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December 2018

Mind KEY / 2018
tips and tricks to beat the holiday blues

Ways to beat the holiday blues

Looking to beat the holiday blues this season? We know how you feel. The holiday blues can actually be bad for your health. Here are some tried and true tips to feel strong all season long.   Tips to beat the holiday blues Spiritual Attend worship services. Even if you're not religious, sometimes a quiet candlelit service can be exactly what you need to center and balance. Take part in a volunteer effort or local charity. Giving back feels so good, you'll forget you did it to beat the blues. Physical Find a good workout routine. When in doubt, do something you love--hike, swim, dance. Movement feels good and moves your energy as well as your body. Get back to nature. Nature has proven health benefits, both mental and physical. Take...

Hogfather solstice tradition

The gift of the Hogfather: A holiday tradition shared with family

by Cris McCullough, MA This time of year I am always grateful to an author who offers a little hope and levity when the Christmas madness is too much. British author Terry Prachett was a satirist of the most delicate kind who wrote the holiday story, Hogfather. Because it brings our family so much light during what can be a stressful time, the Hogfather solstice tradition is celebrated every year at the McCullough household. My husband would read Hogfather to our three children each holiday season. Then, quite delightfully, it was turned into a three episode mini-series starring Michelle Dougherty (of Downton Abbey fame).   What exactly is a Hogfather? Pratchett works his magic commenting on the world and humanity's foibles through the workings of his imaginary world, Discworld,...

thrifty holiday shopping starts at thrift stores like Miss Masters Closet

Get thrifty this holiday!

by Theola Malin Between minimum wage jobs and the high cost of books and other living expenses, it is hard for college students to find gifts for their loved ones. I, like many other college students, want to be able to give gifts to the people I love. With my limited budget, I had to find ways to be able to get everyone something for the holidays without going into debt. In my first year of college, I discovered economical holiday shopping through thrift and consignment stores. Thrift shops offered great quality clothes from brands that I could normally never afford.   History of thrift shops Second-hand shops existed in England long before thrift shops were invented. Oftentimes churches would run rummage sales to raise money for the...

cancer moon at the end of 2018 means its time for shadow work

Celebrate your hard work and honor its fruits in 2019

by Seshat Clairvoyant The holidays are here, and yet it feels like only yesterday we were ringing in the new year. How is it possible 2018 is almost over? This has certainly been a year to remember as many people went through huge changes. Many of us are happy to the see the end of 2018. Yes, it’s good to be hopeful for the new year but we must remember that 2018 is an eleven number year in numerology (2+0+1+8=11). Eleven years mean a lot of self work. We are in a shadow period of our individual work, healing and realization. Depending on how you viewed this year it will set the pace for 2019, which is a three year in numerology (2+0+1+9=12 / 1+2=3)....

Holistic consultant helps you discover the best resources for health, business and life.

Your right to health, happiness and success

By Joseph Gonzalez What are your 2019 goals? Whether you’re seeking to improve your health and feel better, bring your business or career to the next level, or simply refocus the next step of your life, Mind Key is here to support you. We believe everyone has the right to health, happiness and success. We also believe that these integral elements of humanity do not exist in isolation, but are intricately and delicately connected. That’s why we offer numerous ways to help you discover and understand the best resources for your body, business and life. Not only that, but we trust your inner guidance system, and want to help you hone it so that you are better equipped to determine which resources are worth your time...

don’t let antisocial behavior symptoms turn you into a grinch

How being a grinch will hurt your health

By John Strzechocki The Christmas season is in full swing and it can get overwhelming. Make sure you take a step back and take a breath. Everyone knows that one person who becomes a feind during Christmastime for one reason or another. Sometimes, for very good reasons, that one person can be ourselves! Rude and antisocial behavior symptoms affect more than just personal relationships. It hurts our physical and mental health, as well. In the article, Does Rudeness Really Matter? Christine L. Poarth, Professor of Management at Georgetown University wrote, “Recent studies have suggested that targets of rudeness report psychological distress and negative emotional effects.” In other words, acting like the Grinch this holiday season will put you -- and others -- at a higher risk for depression, unproductivity,...

Winter solstice ritual celebrations bring us back to our natural rhythms

Celebrate winter solstice with ritual

by Cris McCullough, MA We live at a delicate and dangerous time in history. We are threatened by the accelerating erosion of culture, a crisis of change brought on by our own lifestyles, values and technology. Now more than ever we need cultural forms that assist us in celebrating life in all its diversity, amidst suffering and the day-to-day grind. Historically, the celebration of the continuance of life around the Wheel of the Year served that purpose for communities cross-culturally.  By seasonally aligning themselves with the grander rhythms of Mother Earth, people from every culture renewed their connection and inter-relatedness to their world and to each other. The celebration of Winter Solstice is one such festival. Especially in northern locales, humans throughout time have awaited the...

NCYC and friends caroling Christmas cheer at Emmanuel Church in Newport RI

Newport County Youth Chorus brings the gift of music to Newport residents

By Elizabeth Woodhouse Most mornings in December, I wake with a moment of panic as I think about the impending holidays. I worry about finding the perfect gifts, missing a deal, not leaving enough time for items to arrive… I’m sure many of you can relate. All of that stress melted away last weekend when members of the Newport County Youth Chorus, the free after-school chorus program founded in fall 2017, gathered with their families and members of the community for a couple of hours… to sing. In caroling Christmas cheer throughout Newport, I was reminded how easy it can be to access the spirit of the season in any moment.   Second Annual Crafting and Caroling Christmas Cheer event On the lawn of Emmanuel Church, visitors to the...

Jahmu Chai Tea for health and peace of mind this holiday season

Last-minute Christmas shopping and weather-caused delays can combine for an eventful season. Being constantly on the move means your coffee Keurig might not see an off-day until the new year. Outside of coffee, you may be hard-pressed to find beverages that are both quick-to-make, and not too bad for you health-wise. Then, of course, there’s Jahmu Chai tea. Made with good-for-you turmeric and ginger, Jahmu’s flavorful turmeric tea benefits the body and soul in so many ways—from inflammation to blood sugar, to digestion and sleep. It’s the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love. We like to whip this instant version of India’s golden milk into a fashionable turmeric latte, or mull it with cider or wine for a warm, healthy and tasty drink...

Don’t let school be your downfall in the holiday season

By Joseph Gonzalez   Thanksgiving marks the final stretch of the fall semester for most colleges. Final exams are around the corner–you’re essentially in the home stretch. Yet, managing the holiday school work life balance remains a mystery to most. In the midst of homework and studying, there’s a Thanksgiving dinner you’re sure to attend, and some Black Friday deals might be too good to pass up. Those with jobs, especially in retail, won’t see this weekend as a “break,” especially considering these and other obligations that go hand-in-hand with this time of year. Even after Thanksgiving break, the grind doesn’t stop. Many students work their butts off trying to make back the money they spent last semester, while trying to fit in holiday shopping and family events at...

10 Tips to be emotionally available for others this holiday

By John Strzechocki   The holiday season is here, and with it comes family gatherings, dinners, and events. It’s always fun to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with the family and catch up with what’s been going on in our lives. Arguments are sure erupt over politics when your uncle has a bit too much to drink. However, it’s important to recognize that these little arguments may be more than just family bickering—they may be a cry for help. One thing we all need to be prepared for is to provide holiday support for loved ones who might be struggling this holiday season. Whether it be from a traumatic childhood experience, addiction, or depression, understanding the basis for how loved ones are feeling is one of the best...

November’s Astrological Forecast: Communication is key to manifesting our desires

By Seshat   November welcomes us with powerful, life-altering energy shifts that will continue to steer us for the remainder of the year. Life as you know it will no longer be the same. Everything you have ever wanted, desired, and needed will be presented to you. What is at the heart of your deepest desire? The trick question is not if you still want it, but if you are ready to gallop away with it once you have it? Are you ready to make it yours? Once it is yours, what will you do with it? November scorpio energy will demand you are clear so you can manifest your desire. New moon energy in Scorpio The 7th of November starts us off with the new moon in Scorpio....

Understanding Cannabis: This issue’s TOC

By The Mind Key Community   The literature discussing cannabis use, contemporary cannabis issues, and legalization is vast. Cannabis isn’t just about lifestyle. It has become a public health and human rights concern. Regardless of your feelings on the issue, being up-to-date on the changes in laws and regulations is an important element of our changing legal landscape. Regulating medical marijuana Medical professionals have varied opinions on medical marijuana. This complicates the debate as a whole, especially when it comes to legalizing medically. On one side of the debate, Dr. Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, MBA, an instructor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, is quoted as stating that there is “no such thing as medical marijuana.” Gitlow further argues that there are “already existing medications—safe medications—demonstrated to have value.” Finding...

industrial hemp farming and industrial cannabis are changing the landscape of American cannabis

CBD Oil and Farming–A new wave of cannabis-inspired agriculture

by Daniel Downing Marijuana isn’t just for smoking anymore. With industrial cannabis on the rise, it is time to better understand industrial hemp uses. The decision to buy industrial hemp and industrial cannabis affects US farming. Industrial Hemp Farming promises to play a big role in the future of the cannabis industry. The Hemp Industries Association, a membership-based non-profit trade group, whose purpose is to educate the market and advance the hemp economy is one such resource for understanding the changing cannabis laws. Still, the legality of cannabis can be tricky. In this article, Mind Key has tried to distill new and existing laws to better understand the industrial hemp plant as a whole. Here is what we currently know about what we can and cannot...

Recreational cannabis legal minefields are due to the many issues with marijuana as a possible legal substance.

Your rights as a recreational cannabis user

By Joseph Gonzalez Be on the lookout‒‒recreational cannabis might be coming to your state soon. There are a great many proponents of legalization. That being said, recreational cannabis legal minefields can make it difficult for users to understand what is legal‒‒and what isn’t. A poll done by Marist College showed that more than half of Americans 18 or older have tried marijuana, and almost a quarter of America’s adults currently use it. As medical marijuana is making strides in America, recreational marijuana is right behind it in terms of progression, even if the movement has had slower traction.   Slow, but sure progress As of the date of this publication, Statista, a source for statistics, reports that only nine states along with Washington D.C. have legalized the substance for...

Cannabis' intellectual creativity capacity is being shown in recent research.

Cannabis and Creativity: Using your whole brain

By Marla Funez   Creativity is not just creation, but the ability to see many solutions to a problem. Current research indicates cannabis' capacity to strengthen our intellectual creativity and ability to think freely.   Where is creativity in the brain? A common misconception of creativity is where it comes from. Many people think those who are "left-brained" have a linear thought process and use more logic, while the "right-brained" are creative and more inclined to use their feelings. The assumption is that people who use more of the left hemisphere of their brain are not as creative as people use more of the right hemisphere of their brain. This is a misconception because, as sports psychology writer Christopher Bergland explains in an article for Psychology Today, creativity comes from...

Holistic healthcare considers cannabis in this personal healing account.

Healing with Compassion: A caregiver’s experience

Compassionate healthcare considers cannabis use for patients as a way to heal with dignity. Cris McCullough, MA, is a Holistic Counselor with a practice in Portsmouth, RI. This personal account tells of her first-hand experience with medical marijuana in Rhode Island as a caregiver of a cancer patient who was rapidly losing weight due to aggressive treatment.   By Cris McCullough, MA, Holistic Counselor   It was with some anticipation that we entered a new world together, my BFF of 60 years and myself. As we crossed the threshold of the Greenleaf Compassion Center, we didn’t exactly know what to expect. I had known Marcia since college. She was the maid of honor at my wedding, and godmother to my daughter. We had been through a lot together over...

Medicinal cannabis users: Know your rights

By Joseph Gonzalez   Lawmakers and cannabis users making strides toward legalization have taken charge of the medical marijuana debate. In an ever-changing America, it can be difficult to keep up with the constantly-changing law. A substance that used to be outright banned throughout the U.S., this Schedule I substance is now widely being considered for its medical uses.   The legality of medical marijuana With Proposition 215, California, in 1996, became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. As of the date of this publication, the National Conference of State Legislature reports that a total of 30 states, plus the District of Columbia, have followed suit, legalizing marijuana for medical use. Twenty-two of these states, plus Washington D.C., have policies that have decriminalized possession of small amounts of the substance,...

Cannabis research shows CBD aids athletic recovery, performance, and training.

Athletic lifestyle: How cannabis can benefit your training

By Kevin Hall Athletes come in all shapes and sizes and are concerned with all manner of endeavors. Many feel the demands of focus, rest and recovery, much as we all do. Without the exertion and discipline of an athlete, however, we may not be as self-aware of these needs. New evidence is showing that cannabinoidiol (CBD) aids athletic recovery and training in different doses and combinations.   Be aware, however, that when using THC, the psychoactive contribution of the plant, how you respond is very individual, and so no good dosing guidelines exist.   Cannabis to get focused with training Before, and leading up to the actual competition, athletes tend to need to find focus.  This takes CBD and, perhaps, THC combined. Many guides, such as this article on...

Savor cannabis moderately and take care of yourself with balance and harmony in all things.

Moderation is key: Enjoying marijuana without overdoing it

By Joseph Gonzalez   Marijuana can be something anyone can enjoy, though it certainly isn’t for everyone. Just like anything else you put in your body, you must learn to savor cannabis moderately. Those who are fond of it can use it for a variety of reasons. Personally, though, this substance brought me closer together with many of the friends I have today. Whenever there was an acquaintance I thought I had nothing in common with, smoking ended up being the one thing we could indulge in together. And this was all that was needed for us to be able to open up to each other. It was a simple, yet effective way to make new friends.   Moderation is key As with anything enjoyable, moderation is key. Too much of a...

Cannabis studies substantiate scientific claims that addiction recovery can be aided by marijuana strains.

Overcome addiction with cannabis?

By Oneyda Salazar   Everywhere you turn, there is a new cannabis study in the news, but did you know that recent cannabis studies substantiate scientific claims that various forms of cannabis are useful in overcoming addiction? When the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was implemented, doctors and pharmacists had already been prescribing cannabis to patients—particularly those addicted to opioids. Since then, marijuana has been reclassified by the DEA as a Schedule I substance. This classification indicates no known medical usage, and places marijuana it in the same category as ecstasy and heroin, the very drugs it was originally used to help alleviate addictions from.   The US opioid problem According to a recent press release from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “Each day, according to the...

The chemistry behind cannabis: An overview

Understanding and researching cannabis’ chemical breakdown and structure is important to comprehending the overall cannabis debate. What exactly is cannabis? What is its chemical makeup? What’s the difference between the terms, marijuana, hemp, THC and CBD? Are they all names for the same thing? How does this psychoactive drug offer medical relief? What parts of the plant are used, and what properties do they have? What are the plant’s chemical constituents and how do they work within the body? To answer all of these questions would take a series of books, never mind a series of articles. However, Mind Key correspondent, Joey Morelli, attempts to give an overview of this complex, and often misunderstood plant, and how it works.   By Joey Morelli   The historical use of cannabis Cannabis...

endocannabinoid research expanded in the 1960s, allowing for a greater understanding of how our bodies use cannabis products for health.

Understanding the endocannabinoid system

By Dawn Goodman   Only since the 1960s has endocannabinoid research expanded and started to uncover cannabis' role in health and disease. However, the analgesic and healing properties of cannabis have been recognized for many years—in the 1800s doctors in Ireland and the U.S. prescribed it regularly for pain, even to nursing mothers. Cannabis has been cultivated by humans because of its versatile uses as industrial textile fiber, a narcotic and psychoactive agent. The plant has two identified subspecies: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa, although studies show there is debate among scientists about the current usage of these terms. Today the plant is mainly cultivated by humans, so crossover is common. Selective breeding to make its effects more potent has altered the original plant.   How cannabis interacts...

America’s soil: A brief history of cannabis production in the US

By Daniel Hollingworth, with Dawn Goodman   To understand the complex relationship between Americans and cannabis, it is important to investigate and survey traditional American cannabis products and history. Not just in the U.S., but all over the world, the use and cultivation of the hemp plant, or Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, is evidenced throughout the ages. Some sources date back 25-30,000 years. To trace the entire history of the plant would be a Herculean task. However, we hope to offer some insight into this plant’s role throughout humankind.   What is cannabis? Cannabis is believed to be native to Asia, and is one of humankind’s oldest agricultural crops. It has been found in doctors’ and herbalists’ medicine cabinets for thousands of years. According to "The Health Effects of Cannabis...

Welcome the joyfully healing July days and experience the richness of summer’s power.

July Astrological report: The slow burn of a summer month

By Seshat Clairvoyant   This is a month of intense energy shifts, but it is also a time of lazy summer days, so get set for a joyfully healing July.   Retrogrades abound in the joyfully healing July sun Last month we had two more planets go into retrograde, and this month Mercury joins in on the fun. The good news is that at least Jupiter will be stationing direct this month since going into retrograde back in March. Jupiter will finally finish its deep introspection in Pluto on July 10. Visiting Pluto was a very reflective mode of deep soul healing. The shift in energy will be felt, as with it will come some shocking news. Past traumas will be healed, past wounds will be sealed,and optimism will shine through.   New...

This month, Mind Key will be discussing the multifarious cannabis uses currently in practice, while trying to understand the many facets of use, misuse and abuse, laws, and the history of this drug.

Former gateway drug turns medicinal: An introduction to cannabis use

By Danielle Rose Once considered the “gateway drug,” cannabis has now taken on a new definition of health and wellness, and Mind Key is excited to discuss the multifarious cannabis uses currently in practice. We will delve into many questions regarding its uses and history. For example, is cannabis’ evolving definition accurate? If so, what has become of the multitude of claims that marijuana is dangerous? What are the benefits of cannabis? The downfalls? Is it really any better than other medicinal options out there? To clarify, cannabis is the Latin or scientific name for the plant commonly known as marijuana. Marijuana generally refers to the flowers or buds—the part of the plant that contains the psychoactive component, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Hemp is the fibrous part...

15 plucky superhero songs

15 songs for the plucky superhero in us all

By Theresa Birmingham   We all need to feel like a superhero sometimes. Since the stress of life relegates us to the role of sidekick so often, here’s a Spotify playlist, 15 Plucky Superhero Songs, that inspires you to shed the fear and stop being the sidekick in your own life. We hope these songs help you live fearlessly and find your inner superhero.   Top 15 plucky superhero songs   Eye of the Tiger by Survivor The Climb by Miley Cyrus Dare You to Move by Switchfoot It’s My Life by Bon Jovi Not Afraid by Eminem The Mountain by Dierks Bentley Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey Born to Fly by Sara Evans Brave by Sara Bareilles Heroes by David Bowie Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield Move Along by The...

getting back to the fearlessly bared summer body

What’s in your bikini?

By Danielle Rose   Originally published in the Suburban Trends by North Jersey Media Group, August 2013   Once the adolescent days of a fearlessly bared summer body have passed, our physical image becomes subject to criticism by friends, family, mass media, and even ourselves. Because of this, buried in my bottom dresser drawer is a brand new bikini. I bought it at the beginning of the season—a sort of motivation to get into shape. Numbers on the scale notwithstanding, I’ve definitely slimmed down. I’ve been trying to eat healthier, stress less (if that’s possible), and work out more often.  Still, that bikini sits where it lay untouched.   To bikini or not: A daring personal decision Wearing a bikini is a daring personal decision—one that was much easier when I was nine...

chase adventure despite fearfulness

Living beyond fear

By Barbara Steingas   Living Fearlessly doesn't mean we have no fears; it means we chase adventure despite fearfulness. We all have a degree of fear. Living fearlessly is when we do things despite our fears. We can only move toward our goals and dreams by pushing through our fears, one layer at a time. Like peeling an onion.   Combating fear I've had to do this many times to make progress with the challenges in my life—personally and professionally. We each have different fears that hold us back based on our conditioning, especially during the first five or so years of our lives, usually before we can even remember. Yet, they are so ingrained and automatic that they have a strong impact on our day-to-day experiences. Once we...

experiential learning beats materialism

How I learned experience is more important than my fears

By Joseph Gonzalez   For millennials, experiential learning beats materialism. Studies show we don’t want material goods. We want experiences. We want something we can remember and pass down. However, chasing these experiences can be hard for those who get stuck in fear, worry, and anxiety. Ask a million people how to approach the idea of change, and you’ll get a million different answers. This doesn’t change that a lot people are set in their ways—taking chances is not a priority for many. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Some people prefer not to take chances, while others don’t know how to. I didn’t either. I also didn’t learn how until high school.   An unmemorable high school experience My high school career would not be remembered as a memorable one, due...

A positive outlook overrides fearfulness and allows you to embrace your curiosity and sense of courage

Facing fear: Inviting the universe to help

By Kathleen Santora A positive outlook overrides fearfulness A positive outlook overrides fearfulness and lets you be more open to joy rather than to anxiety or anger—the siblings of fear. In fact, bringing light into any situation, particularly one in which you find yourself most afraid, invites the universe to step in and help.   Do not walk away or ignore things that appear to be wrong with your life, but turn and face those things that bring fear and turn and look at oneself. It is only your own fears that we run from. Do not run, but meet yourself with light in your heart and you can conquer all your obstacles. Strength is not gathered from forgiving. Strength is gathered when you can go to a place beyond...

Foolery brings joy and you can let go of fear by embracing the ridiculous

Be fearless and embrace your second chances

Many of us spend life fearing ridicule and so we avoid the ridiculous when in reality, a little foolery brings joy. We need fun and challenges to move forward toward our dreams. However, we also need those moments of foolishness to let go and experience life in a new way—fearlessly. This article by Marisa Goudy delves into the idea that letting go of our fear and embracing who we are at the heart of us can bring about unexpected surprises.   Foolery brings joy: finding courage and taking chances   What if I… What if I missed my chance? What if I am leaving an important part of myself behind every time I entered a room? What if there are second chances?   It’s August of 2016. Before I arrived at Camp GLP, a...

Don’t be an avoidant destination junkie. Be present.

Conquer your fear of the present: a personal story

By Theresa Birmingham Confession: My name is Theresa, and I’ve been an avoidant destination junkie. I’ve spent most of my life seeking adventure after adventure, focused solely on the future. Because of this, I’ve struggled with situations where I must be present. But I’m kind of converted now. . . I still love to travel, of course. I’m still looking forward to the Sam Hunt concert I’m hitting at the end of the month. But my conversion isn’t about feeling or not feeling anticipation for the future. This recovery has been about understanding that the future is not the only thing that can bring me pleasure and joy. I need to be present, something I’ve struggled with for thirty-three years (yes, that’s my whole life).   Why I’ve avoided...

Fear unquestionably shapes growth and positive life changes--if you let it.

Good fears, bad fears, and your best self

By Shefaa Ramadan What is fear? Fear isn’t all bad; fear unquestionably shapes growth and many times in surprisingly positive ways. If we can learn to understand our fears and overcome the reaction we have to those fears, we can truly live a fearless life. Fear can be that little demon on our shoulders holding us back from personal growth and happiness. It has and will--when we give it the power to--stop us from allowing ourselves to experience the world in ways we wouldn't know possible. Fear is that intangible thing that influences our everyday lives. It may distort the mind or cloud the brain, and we as human beings are inundated with messages of fear all around us.   Fear unquestionably shapes growth I have found there are two...

Fearless friendships enrich everyday life and encourage us to embrace ourselves fully.

Built to last: The fearless life of a beautiful tribe

By Theresa Birmingham   Fearless friendships enrich everyday life and encourage us to embrace ourselves fully. In the very modified words of Jane Austen, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an individual in search of a tribe is inevitably seeking long-lasting relationships that enrich, excite, temper, and lift them up.” Fearless friendships are those we’ve cultivated from being ourselves, and not having to fear the judgments of others.   Overcoming relationship fears Where does our fear of relationships come from? Here are some common fears when it comes to relationships and furthering our tribe connections. The unknown  Sometimes, our fear is the result of newness. We don’t know where we stand with these new friendships we’re building. Instead, we tend to better understand who we are alone—our Netflix-loving, silent-hiking, solo-traveling,...

Living fearlessly successfully requires self-knowledge

Living Fearlessly: finding freedom from within

Contributing authors: Kimberly Marsh, Jonathan Dury, Danielle Rose, and Theresa Birmingham   Living fearlessly successfully requires finding freedom from within and understanding your strengths and weakness as well as your passions.   Outside your comfort zone Are you merely existing, going through your daily motions with apprehension and timidly? Or are you living boldly, abolishing fear and conquering life with an unquenchable thirst? To live fearlessly is to make commitments outside of your comfort zone, to seek out experiences that may scare you—and may also change you. How can you get to a place where you look fear in the face and boldly move forward? How can you work toward living life fearlessly and accomplishing things that help you grow? For the month of June, we’ll explore ways to do...

June unearths fearlessness

June Astrological Report: Finding courage

By Seshat Clairvoyant   Happy Summer days are almost here This month’s astrological forecast shows that June unearths fearlessness, and we embark on the journey of finding courage. The days are longer and warmer now, and the nights seem endless. It’s time to hit the waves, go sightseeing, and get active once again. Forget staying inside doing tedious work. Now is the time to travel and do all the fun things you have been daydreaming about on those long cold days and nights. Spring has also brought us rain, which kept us indoors. We have been stir crazy, and full of energy for those long-awaited summer days.   June unearths fearlessness All those daydreams are screaming to get things moving. As a result, you may be acting quite erratic—doing things out...

spirited lifestyles precede prosperity

Passionate living is how to be successful

In order to truly have success in your life, you really do need to follow your heart, your mind, and your passions because spirited lifestyles precede prosperity.   By Libby Reilly What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “passion?” Perhaps you think of the color red, a romantic night with a lover, or someone who is following their dreams. The truth is, there is no wrong way to look at passion. It can be about love, work, or just what makes you who you are. Passion is whatever makes your heart sing.   Diving into a passionate future This month, we dove into passion in many different forms. From entrepreneurs taking a leap to make their dream comes true, to getting passionate about health,...

Five tips to set your world on fire and find your passion

Contributing Authors: Marla Funez, Danielle Rose, Theresa Birmingham, Marisa Goudy, Kerstin Zettmar and Jessica Laudati   Although it can be difficult discovering or rediscovering passion, you can jump-start healthy harmonious passion in your life. No one can tell you what you love to do. You must figure this out on your own. Your tribe may give you direction or even encouragement, but following someone else's passions or letting another individual live out their passions through you will be your greatest regret in life. Why, you might ask, does passion matter? Passion is the animator, just as Dr. Frankenstein’s corpse was brought to life with lightning. Your passion distinguishes you from that of a zombie walking through life in search of that spark. According to a 2009 study...

Genevieve Ryan talks success. Success is many things, and for this Massachusetts native, it's having her cake and eating it too.

Stories of Success: Author and Professor Genevieve Ryan keeps trailblazing

By Theresa Birmingham Professor, published mystery author, and Massachusetts native, Genevieve Ryan talks success in this month’s passion issue for Mind Key.   The Professor Genevieve Ryan, Gen, is not only a published author, she has a Masters in Forensic Psychology and Legal Studies, and she is currently in the process of writing her dissertation. Upon completion of this, she will obtain her Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology. Mind Key/Theresa: Tell us about what you are doing with your life. Genevieve Ryan/Gen: I am a full-time psychology professor at an all women’s college and a writer. I am legitimately finally in a spot in my life where I am living my dream! I am a mood writer, so I haven’t written in a while. [However] I am so blessed to...

Tribe friendships nurture generativity and further promote our foundation for passion and legacy.

Six ways your tribe supports your legacy

This is part two of the third article in a series of six on how to build your tribe and includes a discussion on how to find your guy or gal pals, and how to go deeper with yourself and become more vulnerable. Each article will focus on a different area of friendship and intimacy in order to not only build that tribe, but to create long-lasting bonds that transcend a game night. You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends and the best kind of friend is the one who becomes family. You can find part one here.   By Theresa Birmingham   Erikson, your tribe, and finding your passion Tribe friendships nurture generativity and help build our legacy, as we learned in part one of...

Cultivate abundance and get passionate about your finances

By Dawn Goodman Here’s the thing: Prosperity involves fiscal mastery. But fear not! You can cultivate abundance and master your budget.   Money is energy Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life, writes, “Prosperity involves the quality of our lives as well as any amount of money that we possess.” Money is energy, which is why Mind Key often refers to finances as currency rather than money. Being able to love your finances—regardless of your current financial situation—feels abundant, and leaves room for more abundance, joy, health, happiness and ultimately prosperity. Money can fuel your passion, and according to some studies, can even make you more passionate.   Cultivating abundance: the prosperity/passion connection Kate Northrup, author of Money: A Love Story, said in an interview with spiritual coach, Danielle LaPorte, “When...

Your tribe, your legacy

This is part one of the third article in a series of six on how to build your tribe and includes a discussion on how to find your guy or gal pals, and how to go deeper with yourself and become more vulnerable. Each article will focus on a different area of friendship and intimacy in order to not only build that tribe but to create long-lasting bonds that transcend a game night. You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends and the best kind of friend is the one who becomes family. You can find part two here.   By Theresa Birmingham   Strong tribe friendships foster generativity and promote passion and purpose. Without our need for generativity, we would be aimless. The term, generativity,...

You can jettison healthy weight change and still have a good time.

3 Tips for staying passionate during weight loss

By Jessica McWhirt Staying Passionate During Weight Loss Deep down, we’re creatures of habit; however, knowing that our habits are making us unhealthy may be enough to jettison healthy weight change. It’s difficult and challenging to drop fat. If you want it bad enough, though, there are ways to make changes. That being said, a lot of us are set in our routines, and change is hard. If losing weight was easy, everyone would be doing it. In high school, healthy eating and exercise weren’t on my radar. I didn’t care about them and thought it was for the birds. Then, I found cycling and fell in love with the sport. It completely changed my life. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been and I’m passionate about staying healthy. Yes,...

This month’s passion issue has us looking at all sorts of characters. Mallory Harte Underwood talks success.

Story of Success: Mallory Harte Underwood

By Libby Reilly Stories of Success Mallory Harte Underwood talks success as we delve into this month’s theme of passion. One common thing that comes to mind when thinking about passion is someone who has chased a goal or dream, and is now living their passion through their work. Mallory, the powerhouse entrepreneur behind Hartewood Professionals, a unique virtual assistant business, has done this. Mallory and her family of four reside in Phoenix, Arizona and strive to soak up all that life has to offer. Through her previous work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, meditation and yoga practice, several cross-country moves and now raising two children, there were many instances that lead to her taking the leap into entrepreneurship. In this interview, Mallory shares the scoop on...

Vocational happiness rewards wallet bottom lines and allows you to fulfill your purpose.

Turn your passion into a career

By Joseph Gonzalez Vocational happiness rewards wallet bottom lines, but more importantly, allows you to do what you love and still care for yourself and those you love.   Do what you love How does the saying go? “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” This saying is true for a number of reasons, with the most important one being that work shouldn’t feel like work. Your career should be something that, at the very least, you enjoy. But this isn’t always the case. A 2016 study by Gallup found that 51% of full-time employed Americans are not “engaged” in their jobs. This means that the people are essentially just there to pay the bills—there is no passion involved whatsoever. This mindset is bound...

A passionate individual has strength of will and the determination to follow their dreams.

Finding passion, motivating your life

By Shefaa Ramadan Spirited lives necessitate backbone, and we need that fortitude of will and passion to continue successfully wading through the difficult times in life. Passion is many things. There is no one word to describe it. Have you ever experienced a certain feeling that you just can’t control? A feeling that’s very strong but amazing at the same time? Passion is what gives us that fire inside and makes life worth living. It is overpowering and intense. Passion is the desire, the lust and the motivation to do something. It is that one quality that cannot be taught through a textbook. Passion also, for the most part, is not gained by following a lesson nor can it be learned from our parents or teachers. It comes from...

You need fresh produce in your healthy lifestyle.

The dark side of weight loss: Embracing passion, overcoming hype

By Amanda Hollenbeck How commercialism affects your health The term “weight loss” is often met with frustration, especially when we so often need to unravel weight loss commercialism myths. The idea of having to endure mental and physical self control does not have to become a prison before the journey even begins. A weight loss journey can become a healthy, lifelong and passion-driven decision. Fad diets and the diet industry are cashing in on our need to be thin. They are also fostering an unsustainable practice driven by commercialism and not passion. In the book Encyclopedia of Fad Diets, authors Marjolijn Bijlefeld and Sharon K. Zoumbaris state that diet products are a huge business that rakes in billions of dollars from hopefuls who desire the perfect image...

If struggle fuels passion, then embrace the hardship and turn it into something empowering.

Through hardship we discover passion

By Barbara Steingas Our biggest challenges in life lead to passion and our experience with struggle fuels purpose. It is through these challenges we discover our inner strengths and courage. We become more than we ever thought we could be. This is also how we can give back to the world. We give back by helping others who are experiencing similar challenges and by sharing our trials and tribulations and how we got through them.   Struggle fuels purpose and helps us discover our passion When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease after graduating college, I didn’t realize this trip down a dark rabbit hole would end up becoming my mission and purpose in life. Yet, it didn’t occur to me at the time, because I was just...

Dive into our May astrological forecast to find out how passion can rule in your life this month!

May: A month of passion

By Seshat Clairvoyant Our May astrological forecast is predicting: Passion. The winter was a long one full of challenges, obstacles and surprises we were not expecting. In truth, we knew deep down inside these changes were happening and are still happening. We are still reeling from April’s energy, which is nothing short of surprises. If you read last month’s forecast, you know exactly what I am talking about. Some of us experienced hit after hit in home and career. Some faced issues from the past, while others have been working through trauma. Some faltered while Mercury was retrograding through Aries. April was no joke, and I know you are hoping May will bring some blessings, and even a break in the intense energy. We are now five...

Uncovering passion in your own life can lead to following your soul’s purpose.

A life of Passion: Tackling your soul’s purpose

By Theresa Birmingham At Mind Key, we believe each individual has the potential to discover not only the infinite possibility that exists within them, but we also believe the individual should work on uncovering passion in their life. The difficulty arises in getting to that point. The process. The rigor and effort behind the passion. But here’s the kicker—if we are truly following our passion, our soul, our internal fire, there is no fear. And without fear, the rigor and effort become second to the actual purpose we are fulfilling. Mind Key editor Libby Reilly knew a girl in college who, instead of wasting time with small talk, would ask, “What are you passionate about?” Not, “What’s your major?” Not, “Where are you from?” These questions are...

Finding focus is essential to growth and becoming more self-aware.

Flow and self-discovery: Moving forward with new Focus

By Theresa Birmingham Finding focus and chasing after your best life In truth, finding focus is an effort, but it is an effort worth undertaking. Whether you’re tired of the same-old, addicted to social media, need a recharge with friends, or are struggling with financial focus, it’s important to understand that there are resources and help available. You want the best life you can have. For yourself. For your loved ones. Even for your clients and associates. But much of the business in today’s world is space-filler that we not only don’t need, but that inhibits our growth and ultimately, our ability in finding focus.   Self-awareness in finding focus Yes, greater focus does equal being more self-aware. This month, we discussed how practicing self-aware spending can help you focus...

Learn how to have a writing career, and in the process, gain that flexibility and freedom you’ve always wanted!

Turn your passion into a career

By Danielle Rose Once upon a time, if you wanted to make a career change, such as taking up teaching or accounting, your options were limited. Getting another degree was your only recourse—something that cost significant time and money. How often have you said, “I wish that were my job,” or “I’d love to make money doing that”?  What held you back? Experience? Reputation (or lack thereof)? No time or money to undergo training? What if you could make a career or thriving side-business out of things you already know you love? What if you could become an expert in your chosen field? And, what if you could do all this without sacrificing too much time or extra cash? The answer is incorporating a professional writing...

Relationships give us power and help us discover new focus.

Building your tribe: How your crew can help you discover new focus

By Theresa Birmingham The need to discover new focus can be a difficult task to take on by yourself. But with good friends—whether time-tested or just starting out—you can successfully navigate the waters of life.   Discover new focus in your tribe It’s been a long week. So long. Too long. Sometimes exhausting. And when you’re exhausted, you might be the tearful exhausted. Or maybe you’re the angry exhausted. Or maybe you just detach from the world entirely. Because of that exhaustion, you just can’t seem to focus. That dream you have, or that task you need to complete, falls to the wayside. You can’t seem to get to where your heart and mind need to be to get stuff done. Enter your tribe and their inevitable shenanigans. Whether you’re...

Discover your female power by abolishing the menstrual cycle taboo in your own life.

Shifting focus: Your perception of your cycle may be keeping you stuck

By Danielle Rose The menstrual cycle taboo has been present for centuries. As a writer and avid reader of fantasy and historical fiction, I have always been amazed at how all bodily functions and bloody experiences are described in stories—sometimes quite vividly. The menstrual cycle, however, seems to not exist at all. It wasn’t always this way. At one time, women’s bodies and cycles were revered and honored—as perhaps they should be. However, it’s hard to honor something that is perceived as taboo, unclean or a burden. Not to mention, some of us are crippled with a painful or heavy flow. These symptoms seem to shut our lives down for days or weeks on end. As a result,  women create so much stagnant energy around their...

Becoming an authentic caregiver and mother means using your parenting tools effectively.

Being an authentic parent: Mothering with magic

By Danielle Rose Many mothers today work, whether outside or inside the home. Whether a single parent, married, or living with a tribe of helping hands, moms have a lot to juggle. In today’s fast-paced, internet-and-technology-run day and age, how do they find time to slow down and focus on parenting?   Step one: Stay true to you While in the thick of motherhood, entrepreneur Stephanie Mathews realized that she had to maintain a sense of self, allowing space to continue to grow and develop, while still being the best mother she could be. Stephanie believes that parenting doesn’t have to be “hard” or “lonely.” As the founder and owner of Magical Mothering, she empowers her tribe to be authentic to their vision-of-self, and teaches others how to step out...

Is your glass half full or your glass half empty?

Focus on Relationships: From glass half empty to a full life

by Vera Remes Glass half empty My husband used to be a “glass half empty” guy.  Being a police officer, this served him well and kept him alive, I suspect. As a glass half empty guy, he was always thinking how a situation could go sideways when confronting an unknown.   When we retired, his glass half empty mentality remained.   No matter what was going on, he continued to look at the less positive side of things. That was, until recently, when his focus changed. I’ve learned over the last 28 years of marriage that confrontation does no good and that, if left to marinate, my husband will eventually figure out for himself how glorious life is. That said, I still suffered the initial cringe when I could focus further...

Find a happy and productive life by ignoring the unimportant and focusing on the important tasks.

Focus not Multitasking: the key to joyful productivity

by Dawn Goodman Is focus the key to a happy and productive life? Some say the ability to focus on what is important and follow one task, one goal or one vision to completion, is the key to personal and professional success. In today’s knowledge economy, where information is currency, focus has become even more valuable than intelligence. While it may not be possible to increase your innate I.Q.,  you can learn to cultivate mental strength and train your brain to focus. Deep thinking, a byproduct of focus, is what allows for creativity, problem-solving and learning. But focus requires undivided attention, which in today’s multimedia, multi-screen, multitasking world is hard to come by without—well—without focusing on it.   Is multitasking possible? Research has shown that multitasking is scientifically impossible...