The Beach

My trip to the beach with some friends this past weekend. A collage of the scenery.
We were invited on a group motorcycle ride Saturday. Our first stop was to go kayaking. I’ve never been kayaking. I was under the impression it was going to be a tour place like guided fishing tours where you meet at a fishing dock and hop aboard. No real details were shared with me other than kayaking and motorcycling.

We arrived in the city where a group of riders were going kayaking. Physically, I’m not able to kayak. So, I was a site seer for the afternoon. Once we parked our motorcycles we set out to check out this kayaking thing. I discovered it was on this beach. I was totally unprepared for the beach, except to people/bird watch and make pictures. One lady let me sit on one of her towels. I pulled out my camera and shot some images.

When our group went out in the kayaks my husband and I walked along the beach and I made some more pictures. I couldn’t walk much and ended up in a Mexican restaurant eating a late lunch. After that, it was to our motel for the night. We met up with the our group that night for food.

We got up Sunday morning and ate breakfast with our group. I was worn out from Saturday. I didn’t make many more pictures on Sunday. After we ate breakfast everyone was talking about what they were doing the rest of the day. We, my husband and I, decided to head back home (90 minutes away). My husband mapped out a route to take back. I snapped some shots at a small lake on one of our rest stop breaks. The images didn’t turn out. We stopped for ice cream on our next break.

Then, I got cocky and bold. We got back on the road to finish the 2nd half of our trip. We got stuck behind some road hog cagers (that’s what we call automobiles on four wheels). My husband is a serious risk taker. In riding, I’m not. He passed a car going 30 miles an hour on the curvy mountain roads. I didn’t, at first. Finally, I told myself I needed to just bite the bullet and make a run for it when I had the next clear space to go. I did! Moments later, I was eating dirt! I took a curve too wide and hit loose gravel and low-sided. Just as I started sliding I smelled and tasted the dirt. The dirt was quite soft to be honest. I said to myself out loud, “Oh crap, here I go!” At the moment I was completely stopped I jumped up and made sure to turn my bike off. Tons of people driving by slowed and asked if I was ok. “Yep, I’m fine. My husband was ahead, he’ll be back.” The car I passed saw me slide down and stopped immediately to check on me. A lady hopped out of the car and started checking with me and asking me if I wanted any water. I thought to myself, “How is water going to help me and my bike?” I told her I was OK. She asked if there was anything they could do. I asked if they could stay until my husband came back. She acknowledged they would stay.

A sheriff’s vehicle pulled up and created a bit of a block to help prevent further damage from passers by. He questioned if I was ok or needed an ambulance. I was standing up and moving around. I told him, “No, I only scraped my leg, but no blood.” My skin didn’t even break.

Not even five minutes passed. My husband came down around the next curve. My motorcycle isn’t very heavy. So, he was able to upright it and move it off the soft dirt. My clutch shifter got bent. He bent it back. My left front turn signal came out of its plug-in socket, in tact. My husband took the motorcycle for a quick test ride to make sure everything was working. It was. The officer made sure we were ok before he left just in case we needed a trailer or something to haul the motorcycle back in. We didn’t. We finished the ride back home and parked my motorcycle in the garage. It’s dirty. I had dirt in my pockets and down parts of my clothes. Yes, it’s OK to laugh. I did!

I learned a valuable lesson.

Don’t be impatient and cocky. You’ll pay for it eventually.

Life Balance

balancingWe all find ourselves in this place. Can’t say no syndrome. The over achiever. The guilt trip. The multitasking illusion. The perfectionism.

Sooner or later it all comes crashing down and we burn out. I’ve done it. I have to catch myself sometimes and stop myself and regroup my thought process.

From time to time we need to take a step or two back. Evaluate our life. Figure out what’s causing imbalance.

The best way to handle imbalance is to eliminate tasks.

I came across this article about it:

These are some good tips.

However, in order to have life balance sometimes we much do some soul searching to figure the “why?”. Why am I this way? How can I change it? One answer is our mental habits.

As we grow and learn life lessons we pick up habits along the way. Everything in life around us helps shape who we become. The trick is to form yourself. Because, not everything we encounter is good.

Finding that balance will help you be a better you.

When you feel stuck and don’t know where to turn, you can do one of two things.

  1. You can ignore it and continue being stuck and mentally paralyzed. Or,
  2. You can seek help to get unstuck and find direction.

The choice is yours. I can help.

Contact me for some life coaching sessions today.

Emotional Self-Reliance

lost and faded image
This is a hard place for me. I’m pretty sure it is a hard place for many. We’re emotional beings. We learn from a young age to depend on others for what we need, including emotionally.

When others fail us we fall into the pit of despair, creating depression and being withdrawn and isolated.

All of those things are a bad place to be. I love how Leo Babauta describes and defines this in his article: Becoming Emotionally Self-Reliant. He offers some great options and questions to help us put our emotional health into perspective. Me included.

I’ve been going through this transformation, albeit awesome and wonderful, has it’s potholes and bumps along the way.

There’s nothing wrong with being emotional. It’s how we cope with it and handle it. Check out Leo’s post linked above and ask yourself the questions he offers. Get alone and do some soul searching. I do it often. Meditating/praying is awesome at centering me. Being centered is vital to our mental health.

Coaching offers assistance in clarifying our life’s journey. Contact me for coaching sessions or questions about coaching.

New Years Goals

Smart GoalsWe’re well into January of our new year. How are you doing with your goals/resolutions?

Many people set new years resolutions. Many set new years goals. Many do a combo of the two. Many do none.

It’s great to have goals, aspirations and dreams. The challenge we face is just as my life coach trainer posted on her blog: “Can you be guided by your feelings?” We get all emotional about it.

In order to be successful in life we must be realistic. Have you ever gone somewhere with anticipation and high expectations then were let down because it all turned out less than what you expected? I have!

Our lives are the same way. We get an idea for something. We get excited and anticipate its outcome. We do one of these things:

  • Mentally picture it at the finish without any goals or effort to get it done.
  • Set goals to accomplish our idea without any forethought to get it done.

What’s wrong with these things?

“Good intentions don’t really matter if they don’t lead to good actions.” -Ash Sweeney

Being emotional and allowing our feelings to drive us is a disaster waiting to happen. So, what do we do you ask? This is what you do:

Setup S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Specific (and strategic):  Linked to position summary, departmental goals/mission, and/or overall School of Medicine goals and strategic plans. Be as specific as you can.  Answers the question—Who? and What?

Measurable:  The success toward meeting the goal can be measured.  Answers the question—How?

Attainable:  Goals are realistic and can be achieved in a specific amount of time and are reasonable.

Relevant (results oriented):  The goals are aligned with current tasks and projects and focus in one defined area; include the expected result.

Time framed:  Goals have a clearly defined time-frame including a target or deadline date.


Not a SMART goal:
Author will improve their writing skills.
Does not identify a measurement or time frame, nor identify why the improvement is needed or how it will be used.

SMART goal:
The Department has identified a goal to improve communications with administrative staff by implementing an internal departmental newsletter.  Sally will complete a business writing course by January 2015 and will publish the first monthly newsletter by March 2015.  Sally will gather input and/or articles from others in the department and draft the newsletter for supervisor review, and when approved by supervisor, distribute the newsletter to staff by the 10th of each month.

It’s common to miss the intended target date. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as there’s action. Extend the date to fit the need. Just do not give up.

This is usually where emotions and feelings take over. We begin to feel down and upset that we’ve missed our deadline date. Don’t allow this to happen. Keep plugging away at it. Leaving your emotions on the sideline allows for you to make progress. It’s important to resolve within yourself that your negative inner voice will not take over. Set in place a series of positive affirmations that you can refer to when you begin to get down.

“Successful people in life or business push through their feelings and in some cases ignore them! They step out and do things despite how they feel.” –

It is important not to be so hard on yourself if you make a mistake.

Mistakes are just practice while you become proficient. Kimberly A Edwards
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Live audaciously! Be bold. Check your feelings/emotions at the door. Step into a new life with this new year.

Tricks to Deal With People Who Offend You


Life can throw us some curveballs.

Leo Babauta is the author of zenhabits and several publications.

Some days are better than others. Leo outlines three tricks on how to cope with interruptions in our life at the link I provided at the very beginning.Sometimes, ok, all the time, many people are just plain rude and obnoxious… like a toddler in their terrible two’s. Click zenhabits link above and read Leo’s post.

Body, Mind & Soul From a Technological Point of View

Electronics Battery ChargeEverywhere you turn today you see someone caressing an electronic device, whether it be a mobile phone, mp3 player or tablet. When left uncharged, those electronics eventually run out of power. We are like this also; if we don’t recharge and restore our power, we run out of power too.

Have you ever been so busy and focused on a project that you forget to eat or drink and maybe even rest? Think for a minute about what happens to you. If you’re being honest with yourself, you will agree that you become exhausted and less productive which gets in the way of projects being completed in a timely manner.

Below are definitions of who we are:

The mind is defined in one aspect as: the faculty of consciousness and thought.

The body is defined as: the physical structure of a person, bones, organs and flesh.

The soul is defined as: the principle of life, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.

What are some of the causes of us being exhausted and drained? I’ll list some below.

  1. Over worked
  2. Not enough rest
  3. Not eating properly

This is where the rubber meets the road. We tend to believe we need to give 110% of ourselves and end up not taking care of ourselves. We tend to say yes to everything because in our minds we’re afraid if we don’t we’ll upset others, leading to us losing our job or losing friends. As a result, we end up eating on the run because we’re in a hurry to get somewhere or to do something else. Eating on the run typically means fast or junk food because it is quick and easy. Because of this, there’s more dis-ease today than ever before. Many researches are busy working out the causes, but, if we simply stop, step back and look at the big picture it will all come into focus. If we’re being true and honest with ourselves, we’ll see all the causes I have listed above.

The other aspect of this is that society has fed us so many lies that it causes us to create these unhealthy lifestyle habits. Looking back in history at the people in our lives and the influences they’ve had on us may reveal the lack of effective leadership or perhaps overbearing leaders. The leaders I’m referring to are parents, teachers and other authorities in our lives.

We need to learn to take back our lives and stop allowing others to influence us negatively. Here’s some tips to help you get started:

  1. Stop listening to the overbearing & toxic people.
  2. Seek positive levelheaded people to surround you.
  3. Stop saying yes to absolutely everything that is put in front of you. Choose only what you know you can handle well. It’s a matter of priorities. What’s most important? The rest can be left for others to handle. In order to deal with this we need to let go of perfectionism as well. It’s not the end of the World because something didn’t go over a certain way.
  4. Get proper rest. This is different for everyone, but generally means 6-8 hours.
  5. Eat good food and not overdo it. Portion control is key.
  6. Take time in the day to pray and read God’s Word. This is key to restoring our soul.

Recap: We sometimes need to change or recharge our batteries.

I offer Biblical Life Coaching sessions for anyone who finds themselves at a fork in the road not knowing which way they want to go. Contact me to set up a consultation session to determine your needs.

Post-Surgery Recovery

back-massageThe rehabilitation post surgery is a vital detail to recovery. While in rehabilitation, your body is relearning proper movement and muscle strengthening. It is common for massage therapy to be a supplement to how rehabilitation is done, or used along with standard rehabilitation procedures.

It is a known fact that massage therapy improves the circulation of blood and nutrients which is very important post-surgery to improve the quality and duration of the healing process. Massage therapy is also used to assist in breaking up already developed scar tissue and prevent to build up of more.

Also, the combination of better blood circulation with relaxed musculature also provides the body with the ability to supply the skin and organs with more oxygen and nutrients. This is important to keep a strong immune system to prevent infection and accelerate the rate at which your body recovers.

Even if the surgery is not due to injury, there is no end to the benefits you can receive. If you have not had surgery before, there are still benefits to massage therapy. Athlete’s can prevent the chances of injury with massage therapy. The stretching and working of problem areas can increase the range of motion while keeping the body more agile.

If you or anyone you know suffers from post surgery pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Massage For Anxiety and Depression

anxiety-word-sphereResearchers at the University of Miami followed 37 breast cancer patients who received massage therapy or practiced progressive muscle relaxation for five weeks. Women in the massage group reported feeling less depressed and angry, and they had more energy. In a University of South Florida study of high blood pressure patients, those who got 10-minute massages three times a week for three weeks lowered their higher number by 11 points.

A review of more than a dozen massage studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine concludes that massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. In a series of studies including about 500 men, women, and children with depression or stress problems, researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants before and immediately after massage and found that the therapy lowered levels by up to 53%. (Cortisol can drive up blood pressure and blood sugar levels and suppress the immune system.) Massage also increased serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.

If you or anyone you know suffers from anxiety and or depression and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Massage For Headaches

A Natural Aid To Headache Treatment

HeadachesMassage therapy offers two important benefits to tension headache sufferers: it may help relieve actual headache pain, and it may help prevent headaches by reducing tension and improving circulation.

Massage works by increasing oxygen and blood flow to tense muscles. During a tension headache, muscles of the scalp, jaw and neck are tightly contracted. The blood vessels supplying oxygen to these muscles are constricted, so that the muscles must work with an inadequate supply of nutrients. It is believed that this combination of muscle spasm and inadequate blood supply is the main cause of pain in tension headaches. Massage helps relax the contracted muscles.

Tension type headaches are often triggered by stress or just the anticipation of a stressful experience. Massage can help overcome your body’s response to stress. With the right pushing, pulling and manipulation of your tense muscles, you may begin to feel stress slipping away. You can consider using massage whenever you are feeling especially tense or anxious, or you may want to have massages on a regular basis, such as once or twice a month. You can practice self-massage, ask a friend to help or get a massage from a professional massage therapist. (If you have any neck problems, check with your doctor before trying any massage technique.)

If you feel you cannot afford the expense or time involved in professional massage therapy, you can practice massage at home, either alone or with a partner to assist you. To get you started, here are some basic techniques that may help when you feel a headache coming on.

Step 1. To begin relaxing the muscles in your neck, let your head drop until your chin is almost resting on your chest. With your palms on the back of your head, press very gently so that you are stretching out your neck but not straining it. Imagine these muscles as loose and soft. If they feel hard and knotted, work to gently soften them.

Step 2. Begin to work your thumbs and fingers down the back of your neck from your skull to your shoulders. Shake your head gently from side to side now and then as you work.

Step 3. Once your neck begins to feel more relaxed, work your finger up over your temples and ears, then back down to your neck.

Step 4. Push your thumbs against your scalp and rotate them firmly in small circles.

Step 5. Press the palms and heels of your hands against the sides of your head, using the most pressure at the softest points on either side. Rather than pressing in, pull up toward the top of your head.

You can alternate these steps as you begin to feel what is working for you. Be sure to take breaks, shaking your head gently back and forth or rolling it around to keep it loose.

Professional massages are offered today at spas, health clubs, beauty salons, and even some workplaces. Choosing the right massage therapist is important. You can ask the advice of your health care practitioner, as well as a friend or family member who has used a massage therapist. You can also visit The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) website to find a massage therapist for a nationally certified or licensed massage therapist in your area. If necessary, experiment with different massage therapists to find the right one for you. Many massage therapists offer a series of massages for a packaged fee; be sure to try one or two trial massages before committing to the package.

If you are interviewing prospective therapists by phone, here are some helpful questions to ask for comparison purposes:

  • Are you licensed?
  • Do you have any degrees/certificates or are you associated with any professional affiliations?
  • Explain the type of massage you do.
  • What is your facility like?
  • Can I get a massage at home?
  • What are your fees?

If you experience sudden or intense pain during any massage, stop immediately. If you feel just a slight intensifying of your headache, however, continue on, remembering to breathe normally. Since headaches usually peak before they disappear, you may just need to get through the peak before you begin to feel relief.

If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Animal Massage

Animal Massage: The Touch That Heals

Allen M. Schoen, D.V.M., M.S.

dog-massageAnimal massage can benefit both you and your pet in many ways. It is a wonderful way to connect with them at many different levels and to share quality time together. It can be done while listening to music, sitting in your favorite chair or couch, laying down in front of the fireplace on a cold autumn day, or while watching T.V.. There are a number of massage techniques depending upon what your goal is. You can use massage just to help your pet relax or to bond with them, to enjoy the magic of touch or it can be beneficial therapeutically in certain conditions. If you notice, pets stretch on their own to relax and keep in shape. Certain yoga postures are actually named after animal stretches such as the dog stretch and the cat stretch! However, as animals get older and stiff, they can’t stretch and move around as easily. There are many natural approaches to help this including nutritional supplements, acupuncture as well as massage.

Let’s review some basic massage as prevention and then we will go over some specific acupressure that you can do on your pet for specific conditions such as hip dysplasia or arthritis. Find a nice relaxing quiet place when your furry friend is not all wound up and ready to play and run wild. Sit or lay down with them and gently start brushing your hands over them from above their eyes, over their head, over their back and down to their tail. You do want to be cautious and not place your hand over an animals head that may be having behavioral problems and be dominant over you or other family members. If you have a problem like that, you should talk to an experienced animal trainer that uses humane positive reinforcement techniques to resolve such behavior problems or speak to your veterinarian if they have experience in behavior problems and training.

Otherwise, if one doesn’t have a pet with a dominance order problem, dogs and cats usually love to have their heads gently touched and brushed. When you follow the direction going forward to rear over the head, neck and back, you are actually following the acupuncture meridians. The most important thing to remember when massaging or just petting your friend is to watch their reactions and listen to them. They let you know in many ways if they are enjoying you touching them or not. If they don’t like you touching a certain area regularly, check it out and make sure there isn’t a problem there. This is actually an excellent way to conduct a superficial physical exam. For instance, if your cat was in a cat fight and has an abscess on its back under the fur and you go over it and they go to scratch you or hiss or bite, stop immediately! You may have just picked something up that you may not have observed otherwise until they got much sicker.

So regular massage and petting can actually be a preventive measure where you may observe things much earlier. Another example is if while you are petting your dog and you feel excess heat over an area of their back, it may be an early sign of a “slipped disc” or arthritis in an area. So even, the most basic petting and gentle massage over the back can bring your attention to something important. If you find that your buddy actually rubs into you instead of away from you and kind of moans and groans in ecstasy, that is an area you may want to massage deeper or for a longer period of time.

Acupressure points on the body are usually small depressions between muscles or between muscles and bones. You may apply steady rotating pressure with a fingertip to a particular acupressure point. If you want to relax the point, gently massage counterclockwise over the point. If you want to stimulate it and give more energy, rub clockwise. If your pet is generally lethargic and weak, clockwise movement will often perk them up. If they tend to be nervous or hyperactive or sore in an area, counterclockwise movement will usually calm them down and relax the sore muscles. This has not been proven by double blind studies by any means, but in chinese acupressure, this is what is recommended.

While massaging your pet, breathe deeply, slowly and regularly and it will relax both of you and create your own rhythm. For if you are hyper and irritable and try to massage your pet, they seem to pick up on that and it can make them irritable and not want to be around you. So it truly is a wonderful way to slow down and relax for yourself. For prevention and enjoyment, you can massage your pet daily or as often as possible.

Again, it relaxes both of you and offers innumerable benefits that way. Therapeutically, acupressure massage can help if your pet has arthritis in a particular joint, if they have a stiff neck or back and even if they have certain internal medical problems. The positive effect of touching and massage can stimulate different neurotransmitters such as endorphins, making them feel better and thereby stimulate the bodies own healing mechanisms.

An example of massage helping a pet is in a case of an old dog with arthritis in their hip. There are three acupressure points around the hip joint. One point is just in front of the hip joint, one above it and one behind it. If you gently massage those points with one or two fingers in a counterclockwise rotation, they often times just relax and groan in ecstasy! There are also points on each side of their spine in small depressions one to two finger widths on each side of the backbone. These can also be massaged. When a dog has arthritis, it is not uncommon for them to hunch their back to compensate and they their back hurts. If they have arthritis in an elbow on the front leg, you can gently massage around the joint as well as the muscle masses around the shoulder and the neck. Again, feel for small depressions and gently rub those and see their response.

Listen to your pet! If they don’t like it, resist, growl, hiss or worse, stop immediately. Most pets usually love it though. There are times when you do not want to massage your pet. Avoid massage after your pet has just eaten. You should wait at least two hours after eating. If your pet is sick with an infection, a fever or a serious disease, they may not want to be touched; again, listen to them.

Avoid massaging the back and belly of a pregnant animal. You could possibly, unintentionally induce premature labor. You also do not want to massage your pet after they have just been exercising intensely. First let the heart rate come down to normal and stop panting before massaging. Later that day, I am sure they would love some massage, just like you or I would. After performing a general full body massage and focusing on any specific areas that need more attention, you can finish off the massage or begin one with slow, gentle rubbing of the inside and outside of each ear. This will provoke wonderful sighs of contentment in your dog and exquisite purrs in your kitty.

For further descriptions of pet massage with pictures, you can check out Dr. Michael Fox’s book “The Healing Touch” as well as a chapter in my book “Love, Miracles and Animal Healing”. You and your pet can both mutually benefit from massaging them and sharing quality time and loving each other. Give and ye shall receive! Enjoy the magic of touch till next time!

No article can replace the services of a trained veterinarian. This article is not intended to encourage treatment of illness, disease, or other medical problems by the layman. Any application of the recommendations set forth in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion and risk. You should consult a veterinarian concerning any veterinary medical or surgical problem. If a veterinarian is caring for your pet, for any condition, he or she can advise you about information described in this article.

If you or anyone you know has a pet that suffers from chronic pain and would like your pet to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.