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Natural Awakenings

Approaching A Defining Moment
January 2016

Our authentic self is constantly trying to get our attention so it may be more fully expressed. When we set our intention to genuinely evolve, we naturally begin to pay attention and see how redefining moments appear as needed. They are drawn to us sequentially to support us in the process of staying the course on our pilgrimage, each one a perfectly aligned portal in space and time, opening and closing, creating whatever experience is required to guide us to heightened awareness of our authentic self.

While the possible circumstances that preclude such a moment are limitless, there are key signals to watch for. When they pop up, it helps immensely to stay engaged in the moment, rather than zipping past them on to another distraction. Rather, consider ways in which this might prove to be a pivotal point forward in our life journey.defining-moment-31e33b15

• Moments that challenge our ego and moments that our ego challenges us
• Unexpected events
• Times of significant loss n First-time experiences n Discontentment
• Disappointment
• Experiencing someone or something that instantly inspires us to grow
• Birth of a loved one
• Death of a loved one

Personal growth and evolution can be motivated by either inspiration or desperation. Both may prompt us to ask big questions of ourselves and the universe that cause us to dig deep. The deeper we dig, the closer we come to merging with our truest self.

We know the answers to such questions are correct because they will lead to actions that honor life—like harming no one, including ourself—and affirm the presence of a prevailing power for good that lies within; a power that guides, protects and sustains us. Satisfying answers seek only the highest and best of us and bless all. They connect our mind, heart and soul, moving us forward on the path of wholeness as a fulfilled and joyfully self-expressed person.

When we are impelled to ask an important question of our self and the universe, don’t rush the process and are willing to embrace the answer we receive, it pushes a reset button as to what defines us. It brings us an enhanced sense of authentic wholeness.

The lesson is that when redefining moments appear, we must be open and prepared to go where we had no plans of going—because that’s where our bliss awaits us.


Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D., is the author of Your (Re)Defining Moments, the source of this essay. He has contributed to the human potential movement and field of spirituality as a minister, teacher, coach and lecturer for 30 years. Learn more at DennisMerrittJones.com.

 
Greener Globe
December 2015

World Powers Vow Cuts in Emissions

green-globeThis year’s G7 Summit of the U.S., UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, plus the European Union, has agreed in principle that the global economy must be completely fossil fuel-free by the end of this century to curb destructive climate change. To that end, the nations agreed to work toward cutting emissions between 40 and 70 percent by 2050.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also announced that the G7 countries would raise $100 billion from public  and private sources by 2020 to help poorer nations adapt. Environmental groups such as Greenpeace praised the action. In a statement, the Sierra Club called it “the first time that the leaders of the world have made clear with one voice that we must get off fossil fuels completely.”

Two hundred countries are expected to commit in writing to specific plans for greening their economies at the United Nations Climate Change Conference this month in Paris.


Source: TheHill.com

 
Potatoes Don’t Pack on Pounds
December 2015

Popular Misconception Mashed

potatoResearch from scientists at the University of California, Davis has mashed the notion that potatoes cause weight gain. The researchers tested 90 overweight people divided into three groups, with all of them eating five to seven servings of potatoes each week over a three-month period.

Two groups reduced their calorie intake by 500 calories per day, with one group eating low-glycemic index (GI) foods and the other group eating high-GI foods. The third group had no calorie restrictions. Despite the increased potato consumption during the study period, all three groups showed slight weight loss and reduced body mass index.

The researchers concluded, “Potato intake did not cause weight gain.”

 
Spirituality is Beneficial for Cancer Patients
December 2015

Strong Belief System Aids the Ill

spirituality-cancer-patientsAccording to a new review of research published in the journal Cancer, a strong religious or spiritual belief system may improve a cancer patient’s prognosis physically, emotionally and mentally.

Researchers from Florida’s H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and North Carolina’s Wake Forest School of Medicine reviewed clinical studies that included more than 44,000 cancer patients. The first review focused on physical symptoms and found that patients with stronger religious and spiritual beliefs reported fewer cancer symptoms and better physical health. They also showed enhanced capabilities in managing their daily  lives.

“These relationships were particularly strong in patients that experienced greater emotional aspects of religion and spirituality, including a sense of meaning and purpose in life, as well as a connection to a source larger than oneself,” states Heather Jim, lead author of the first review.

The second review focused on mental health and found reductions in anxiety, depression and distress among those with greater spirituality. Lead author Dr. John Salsman comments, “Also, greater levels of spiritual distress and a sense of disconnectedness from God or a religious community were associated with greater psychological distress or poorer emotional well-being.”

In the third review, the researchers found that patients with a stronger spiritual well-being reported better social health, as well.

 
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