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Mind KEY / Posts tagged "mental health"
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...

Knowledge is power, and forewarned is forearmed when it comes to debating issues of health, even when it comes to researching cannabis’ chemical breakdown and the cannabis debate.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

It is possible to multitask successfully if you focus on splitting up tasks consciously.

Consciously shifting your focus: Successful multitasking

By Marla Funez What is multitasking? Can humans multitask successfully? To what extent is it efficient? What are our limitations and when is multitasking not the best option, based on these limitations? The simple definition of multitasking is to complete more than one task at a time. Multitasking, however, is much more than that. It is about getting the most done efficiently and in the least amount of time. According to this 2017 study, multitasking is only truly considered multitasking when it is done consciously. This means even tasks that you do not want to do can be multitasked. The choice is in whether or not the tasks will be done simultaneously. Choosing to do multiple, different tasks at once means focusing on different subjects or actions at...

Focus on your inner awareness using the physical with soft eyes.

Using your Soft Eyes: Envision the big picture and find your center

By Vera Remes Focus, focus, focus—or maybe not When it comes to focus, inner awareness is essential. As a follower of horse trainers Sally Swift, Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance, I am familiar with the principles of grounding, centering, breathing and “soft eyes.”  Sally Swift describes the essentials of soft eyes in her book Centered Riding as “wide-open eyes and peripheral awareness, awareness of your entire field of vision and feeling sensations from within.” Grounding, breathing and centering can relate to meditation and other metaphysical pursuits. I use those principles in Reiki, energy healing and my everyday life, but I never thought of using “soft eyes” in the same way. Now I have.  Using soft eyes in life may be antithetical to the typical advice given for success—to focus, focus,...

full potential comes from building the new

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want

By Barbara Steingas From the time we are born, we are taught our limitations and we are broken of our full potential. Our parents and caretakers, although well-meaning, tell us what we can’t or shouldn’t do in hopes of protecting us. Even though this is intended for our benefit, it teaches us to focus mainly on our limitations. Rather than focusing on our full potential and what we want to have happen, we instead focus on what we don’t want. For example, we are often told, “Don’t forget (something),” rather than, “Remember (something).” We also have the word “no” said to us an incredible amount of times by the time we are about ten years old. The book What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by...

gain financial focus

Focus on Finances: Practice self-aware spending

By Joseph Gonzalez Having money is something that has been proven to make people feel better about themselves, but the ability to gain financial focus is not an easy task. Money not only enables us to essentially do what we want, it gives us a sense of security, as well. However, focusing on saving money is often easier said than done. Xinyue Zhou’s research article, The Symbolic Power of Money, which was published in the Journal of Psychological Science, explains that money provides a feeling of self-sufficiency. In this mindset, people are less likely to ask others for help. We teach those going into adulthood to be dependent on themselves. So, asking a family member, or anyone, for money at any point could cause insecurity about...

inward focus is key; outward focus is the door

Learning to focus on that which best serves

New life and reflection Spring is a beautiful time of growth, inward focus, new life and reflection. There’s a reason we often participate in spring cleaning—the harsh winter is behind us. With the sun and sprouting life comes the desire for a fresh, clean start. With this new start, we allow ourselves the optimum opportunity and setting to enjoy the welcomed season. Spring also allows us to reflect on so many areas of our life. If we are wise, we can use this time to look inward and do a self-spring clean. We can rid ourselves of the habits, attitudes and relationships that are as harsh or unwelcome as the desolation of winter. By turning our focus to the important and beautiful things in life, we...

Getting a handle on your ego

By Libby Reilly During the month of March, we spent time exploring ego, learning to better understand and accommodate our egos. This exploration into the ego has allowed us to better analyze our relationship with others, our relationship with ourselves, and the important— and sometimes ornery— role ego plays in our lives. Do you have a handle on your ego or is it running your life? Learn more about the ego, how it works in our lives, and how we can use it to our benefit, rather than our detriment, in our feature story entitled Who are you? A look at Ego and Personality Development. Check out our other great ego-driven stories this month, as well.   God Job In this article, Vera Remes talks about our “God...

Healthy ego development and the blank slate

Parenting without ego: from Blank slate to Healthy self

by Cris McCullough Is a child’s mind a blank slate or are children driven by their egos? When it comes to the word “ego,” there are two definitions. As a noun, it describes “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” It implies the cultivation of self-worth, self-respect, self-image, and self-confidence. In the realm of psychoanalysis, it describes “the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.”   Our Children—Blank slate, or ego-driven? As a parent, one can blur the lines between the need to inspire our children to develop a healthy ego, which will help them navigate the reality of their world without harm, and our own ego’s need to be bolstered by the...

How to spot a sensitive secret keeper.

Are You a Sin-Eater?

By Vera Remes The sensitive secret keeper and how to spot them Do you know some who is a patient, sensitive secret keeper, a “sin-eater”? This is someone you go to and confess the aberrant things you do just so you can get them off your chest. The sin-eater puts their ego and needs aside to patiently and nonjudgmentally listen to your stories. They offer advice and never seem upset when you refuse to listen, returning to yet again confess the same thing. Chances are that the sin-eater is posing in this role for others, too. They are the people we turn to because of their nonjudgmental attitudes and accepting personalities, their way of making us feel accepted and acceptable. But consider this: perhaps they can’t walk...

Conscious parenting

Parenting without ego: Living and teaching our children safety and authenticity

By Danielle Rose If our ego is a guidance structure that we created for ourselves as children, then the best way to ensure our children create their own healthy guidance system is through conscious parenting. That means parenting without ego. That means seeing our ego for what it is, and not coloring everything through that lens. It involves facing the fears of parenting, of your own youth, of your future and the future of your children. It involves taking steps to become whole and forgetting what others have to say about the matter. Parenting without ego also involves incorporating all of our inner voices into one coherent direction. Sound overwhelming? Well, so is parenthood. The good news is that, as always, we’ve got the keys to...

Life a life of adventure no matter where you are

Ten Ways to Travel With Less Baggage

By Theresa Birmingham Many of us could do with a little less baggage. We’ve all got things we can’t help but bring with us, however, so how do we find that balance? This month, we’ve discussed ego in its many forms, but one thing that is clear is that in relationships, we bring everything we’ve got. Sometimes, what we bring is good, clean, and useful. But other things we bring can be harmful. Just as in relationships, our life and world travels, we need to be aware of how our baggage is healing or harming us. In my own life, I’ve broken a lot, mended a lot, lived a lot…and as a result, I’ve accumulated a lot. My own all-consuming drive for adventure has brought me many...

Consistent yoga practice leads to healthier ego.

Identifying and Understanding the Ego Through Yoga

Our ego can find balance and centering even with something as simple as consistent yoga practice. As we have learned this month, the ego is not altogether “bad,” and in fact, we can understand quite a bit about ourselves when our ego has healthy balance. Emily Moyer and Catalyst Yoga have put together some great tips for how to use Yoga in your daily quest to understand your ego.   Consistent yoga practice and a stronger self Emily Moyer, co-owner and director of Newport Community Yoga, shares her perspective on ego, as well as a personal story on how lion’s breath helped her expel elements of the ego that were no longer serving her so she could grow forward, refreshed. “When I think of the ego, I think of...

Meditation for letting go of unhealthy ego and embracing the call of our spirit so we can find light.

Let go of ego and embrace peace and light: A meditation

By Kathleen Santora This meditation for letting go of unhealthy ego helps us accumulate more peace and light and attain a healthy balanced ego. Balance is the keyword when examining the essential element of the ego. When we focus on spirit, we can accept the light that we are asking for from this meditation and the universe. Meditation Light is ahead; darkness is behind.  Light is ahead of me; darkness is behind me.  I will forget my troubles and walk toward the light, leaving my darkness behind my thoughts. Disengage your thoughts from the system in order to accomplish your spiritual goals by changing the spiritual behavior of your mind with your conscious mind.  Letting go of ego, going deeper on a daily practice level of thoughts. If you...

Who do I listen to in here?

In this article, Wendy Watson-Hallowell, The Belief Coach, explores how our inner voices can often offer conflicting views. Our inner voices being what drives us toward action and growth. Indecision and goals become intertwined in a quagmire of stuck-ness when our inner compass is out-of-whack in this way. This is often compounded by the very human desire to find answers outside of the self. However, our intuition, inner child and ego have all the answers we need. Bringing these very different, yet ultimately self-serving voices into alignment can help us better understand our path. This can also show us to achieve our wellness and success goals.   By Wendy Watson-Hallowell   We each have a variety of voices inside our minds that take different positions and drive us toward...

build your tribe and find your people

How to let go, be vulnerable, and build your tribe

By Theresa Birmingham This is the first in a series of six articles 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 ourselves 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.   One of the most difficult tasks in this inundated digital age seems to be the ability to build your tribe.   Why it’s hard to build your tribe Perhaps it’s hard to...

Defining personality, building healthy ego

Who are you? A look at Ego and Personality Development

by Danielle Rose and Libby Reilly Defining personality and how your ego forms can be a confusing task. This is because, at its heart, personality is who you are. What you are is a daughter, a son, a grandma, a teacher, a friend, a fill-in-the-blank. But who you are is the base of your being. Strip away all the labels and the emotions. Strip away anything but a given situation and how you react to it—that is your personality. Why are we talking about personality types in an issue on ego?  Because our personality is part of what shapes our ego, and how we perceive and interact with the world. How do you interact with the world? How can a better understanding of who you are...

Understanding Ego and being mindful

Understanding Ego and the Self

By The Mind Key Editorial Team This month, we look into understanding ego and the self. As February comes to end, so do harsh winter days. With March comes the first instances of Spring, along with waves of hope and encouragement for self-reflection. March feels like the perfect time to reflect on the Ego. The Ego, much like a plant, is nurtured and feeds off its natural surroundings. Many things are affected by your Ego such as everyday decisions, some personality traits, and especially your desires! The Ego should never be ignored. And that is what we hope to convey during the month of March. We hope to show you, through a series of articles and meditations, that you can become more aware, and perhaps learn...

Gain perspective and refocus your lens

Gain Perspective through Healthy Patterns

by Theresa Birmingham One of the most difficult skills in life is the ability to gain perspective and to not only gain it, but to hold on to that hard-earned skill. Basically, just like anything else in life, perspective is not a once-in-a-life “Oh, I’ve got it” type experience. In order to truly gain perspective, one must understand that each day is a gamble, and we choose how we will react, how we will understand, and how we will move forward in a given situation.   Triggers We’ve learned that sometimes those flaws we see in others are actually flaws that are within ourselves. When we change our perspective, we can understand that everyone has a path. With this understanding, we often find that our judgments are many times...

One tip for overcoming heartbreak is to sing and dance the hurt away

Three tips for overcoming heartbreak, fast

by Danielle Rose Heartbreak hurts! Overcoming heartbreak hurts more. Sometimes gaining the perspective you need to move past your ex isn’t so simple. It can be so easy to want to ignore the pain, the hurt, to forget that part of your life as if it didn’t exist. Sometimes we make bad choices when our hearts are broken because it feels better to do something that feels good in the moment, rather than feel the hurt for one second longer. However, clearing the hurt rather than shoving it down will help you grow into the person you’re meant to be so that you can find the partner meant for you. Here, we offer our three best tips that you can use right now for overcoming heartbreak...

Kely Luzio-Cardona

God’s Greatest Gifts Are Unanswered Prayers: How perspective changes everything

by Vera Remes What is your perspective on the New Year? Are you feeling positive, or are you needing to find a positive perspective for a seemingly negative situation?  Even if you are welcoming the opportunity to improve in 2018, are you feeling that 2017 was less than satisfying? Have you made a resolution for 2018 that reads well but seems unreachable?  Perhaps you are being affected by the winter blues. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real, even if I myself have trouble understanding it. I welcome the short, darker days of winter as a change from the longer sunbaked days of summer. For me, snow and freezing temperatures as a cleanser for the earth to get it ready for spring. I want to live where...

Sometimes gratitude means nothing: The art of non-gratitude

Is it okay to experience non-gratitude? After a life-changing experience, tragedy, or diagnosis, people often comment on what they’ve learned and the good that came out of the experience. Do people go through hard times in order to gain a lesson? Is there always a purpose to trials? For Jessica McWhirt, that was not the case. In a very scary season of her life, she discovered that sometimes things are just hard — and there’s no need to be grateful for them.   By Jessica McWhirt Non-gratitude is an art. I was eighteen. It was the size of a bean. And that bean-sized thing meant nothing to me.   This was the beginning of how I came to understand the art of non-gratitude. People always discuss how grateful they were for something awful happening to...

gratitude tea meditation

Gratitude and your cup of tea: bringing in abundance, gratitude and peace

Jessica Filkins is a health coach and owner of Jahmu Chai, a healing turmeric ginger tea. Each month, she shares a tea meditation that can be done quickly and easily during your morning cup of coffee or tea to bring more peace, abundance, joy and healing into all areas of your life. As we look forward into 2018, this gratitude tea meditation helps us recognize all that’s come before to bring us to this place, so we can continue to grow forward.   By Jessica Filkins A daily meditation practice can increase your happiness, hone your focus and improve your health. Despite the growing body of scientific research on the benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices, most Americans do not incorporate meditation into their daily lives. However, most...

Are you reacting or responding?

INTRO: Eleanora Amendolara dives into the difference between reacting and responding to help you bring a peaceful grasp on each situation you find yourself in. How can you mindfully approach things that seem thrown at you, ensuring to first take care of yourself and your unique process of writing your own song?  Reacting or responding: How to master the two By Eleanora Amendolara If I had one wish for you, it would be that you would find the tools and concepts to write your own song. It all begins with how you receive input from the world around you. Do you know the difference between emotions and feelings? Are you able to recognize when you are reacting and when you are responding to a situation? Both emotions and reactions are...

sleep's effect on academic performance

Student’s academic performance can heavily rely on sleep

By Toyreh Blacknell, a Fall 2016 graduate of William Paterson University, NJ Time is short. The not-long-enough 24 hour cycle of light and dark is one of the most prevalent patterns we experience as humans. College and high school students alike struggle with how to use those 24 precious hours a day to balance social life, extracurricular activities, and their studies often among family and work duties. Sleep, which should take up 1/3rd of that cycle, is usually the first element to drop from the equation. Unfortunately, lack of sleep only serves to interrupt other physical, mental and emotional patterns, becoming the silent cause to many common ills. This fact has many parents wondering what exactly is sleep's effect on academic performance? How much do students actually...

From “hard on yourself” to “supporting yourself”

Dr. Doni Wilson, N.D. offers simple tips for making positive changes in your life – and how to break the cycle of being hard on yourself so you can start to rely on yourself. Gain support for breaking bad habits through these simple tips for breaking the cycle. Support for breaking bad habits By Dr. Doni Wilson Making a change in your lifestyle can be challenging. We get into habits that are hard to break. For instance, when helping patients change their diet, they often tell me that they can be very “hard on themselves” when they eat something they know will make them feel worse. Have you experienced the “hard on yourself” vicious cycle? As you can imagine, it doesn’t do you much good. I encourage my patients to...

The Hamster Wheel of Self-Sabotage Patterns

By Barbara Steingas We all have goals and dreams we want to achieve--or hope to achieve. However, hoping for something is like chasing a carrot we will never catch. Usually we start off confident and empowered about our goals and dreams, especially if the path to those goals are facilitated by someone or something, like by a seminar leader, or by making a dream or vision board. Consciously we really want these goals and dreams and initially feel motivated to achieving them. However, the self-sabotage pattern sets in after scratching the surface of a goal. Self-sabotage is when we say or do something that ruins our success and happiness. We often don't achieve some or many of our goals and dreams because subconsciously, we don't feel...

sleep's effect on academic performance

Student’s academic performance can heavily rely on sleep

by Toyreh Blacknell, a Fall 2016 graduate of William Paterson University, NJ Time is short. The not-long-enough 24 hour cycle of light and dark is one of the most prevalent patterns we experience as humans. College and high school students alike struggle with how to use those 24 precious hours a day to balance social life, extracurricular activities, and their studies—often among family and work duties. Sleep, which should take up 1/3rd of that cycle, is usually the first element to drop from the equation. Unfortunately, lack of sleep only serves to interrupt other physical, mental and emotional patterns, becoming the silent cause too many common ills. This fact has many parents wondering—what exactly is sleep’s effect on academic performance?   How much do students actually sleep? "According to...

Support our veterans at Visions in Black and White fundraising event

By Kelly Rockey Imagine being someone who spends a good part of their life making wishes come true. For Sandy Mitchell, that life is a reality. Sandy is the founder of Project Help for veterans fundraising, an all-volunteer, 501c3 charity in New Jersey. Project Help has one mission and one mission only, to support veterans and their families in times of need.  Those needs usually revolve around lack of funds due to lack of meaningful employment, second only to lack of housing, especially when a family is involved.     Why Project Help for veterans needs our help Many vets are dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] and Traumatic Brain Injury [TBI] both usually the result of being in the military and being in combat.  Neither is curable,...

The secret to success as a young adult is easier than you think!

By Lizbeth Fabian   In The 8 Success Secrets: For Teens and Young Adults, author Azuka Zuke Obi offers suggestions for remaining positive, following routines, and giving yourself access to opportunities/role models to improve young adult work ethic. I first spotted the book on Mind Key’s Marketplace, and I couldn’t help but think this would be a great way to get out of my summer funk and right into work mode. As a young adult who’s still unsure on how to properly adult, I thought Azuke could offer a couple pointers to help my improve my work ethic. Work Ethic Being a college student, you have to be organized, diligent, and ultimately, prepared. But what many actual college students do is lose everything, forget too many tasks...

Finding the Chai: A review of Jahmu, turmeric and ginger spice blend

By Charla Dury I first discovered Jahmu on Mind Key’s Marketplace. I have always loved chai tea and, after purchasing chai spices from a local spice shop and discovering I needed more ingredients I didn’t have, I was looking for a simple way to make it at home. What mostly attracted me to Jahmu; however, was owner, Jessica Filkins’, Tea Meditation Project. Stemming from her love of Jahmu, Jessica encourages the idea of meditating during the simple act of drinking a cup of tea, and this seemed like a perfect fit for my life at the time. The combination of meditation, turmeric and spices makes Jahmu more than just a healthy spice tea. What is Jahmu? Jahmu Chai is an instant turmeric and ginger chai tea inspired by...

Believing with The Belief Coach

By Barbara Steingas This month, I had the pleasure of a complimentary belief coaching session with The Belief Coach, Wendy Watson-Hallowell. I choose her service for my wishlist because changing your beliefs are the foundation of our successes and failures. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, either way you’re right.” Changing beliefs that are no longer working can help you get unstuck, or achieve your next goal.  We all have blind spots of beliefs that keep us from accomplishing our goals and that sabotage our success. Wendy could help me uncover some underlying limiting beliefs that hold me back from more success with my practice. If I could do this, then I could help more people who I’m here to...

Are you letting gender stereotyping hold you back?

By Danielle Freeman, WPUNJ student writer   If you have ever felt unhappy with yourself, or as if you just don’t measure up to the idea of a perfect man or woman, you are not alone. The good news is that it is most likely not your fault. One universal interference to happiness is an obstacle commonly known as gender stereotyping, or gender roles. Gender roles have become so normalized in everyday life that we usually don’t think twice when encountering one. The fact is, so many are unaware of the stereotypes that we’re also unaware of all the harm they wreak. Developing an awareness of gender roles in your life can help you attain a much healthier relationship with yourself.   Gender roles versus gender stereotyping   Gender roles may not...

Tips for battling anxiety and negative self talk

By Maria Reyes Our thoughts are very powerful.  “Thoughts become things,” according to Mike Dooley, New York Times Bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur in the philosophical New Thought movement.  What we believe, we conceive.  Negative self-talk come from scripts or beliefs that we heard when we were growing up from teachers, parents, peers and society in general.  Not only that, but is the number one factor that undermines the process of manifestation and makes bringing the peace, ease and adventure we seek so difficult.   Mistaken beliefs and negative self talk Mistaken beliefs are the root of anxiety and keep us from reaching our goals in life.  We need to let go of these false beliefs, and by practicing the exercises below, we can battle anxiety and have less stress...

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Understanding Manifestation: Our July Issue’s Overview

By Danielle Rose   Manifestation is the law of attraction.   Merriam-Webster defines “manifestation” as a:  the act, process, or an instance of manifesting. b(1) :  something that manifests or is manifest. b(2):  a perceptible, outward, or visible expression (ie: external manifestations of gender).   If you believe in the palpability of energy, then you understand if we can visualize something, we can bring it into our lives.  There's more to the phrase "what you see is what you get" than meets the eye.  When we "see" something in our mind's eye, that's what we move toward energetically.  And when the energy-self moves, the physical body follows.   How to manifest   If we seek to bring something to us -- be it love, money, career ...

November in a Nutshell

By Carlie Currie In honor of Mind Key’s third anthology, Tempest: Life Upturned, the theme of November has focused on riding out the storms of our lives that can brew during this season. Although this time of year is often seen as a preparation for the happiness of holidays, it can often bring about stress and turbulence. However, sometimes a sense of misdirection can lead us to learning more about ourselves and can be an opportunity for growth. The first theme of this month was mental health awareness. In Tamara’s article, “Art Therapy to Treat Mental Illness” art therapy is used as a creative outlet to cope with mental illness and stress. In addition, her article “How Mental Illness Affects Family Dynamics,” discusses the impact of...

Connection between mental, emotional and physical health

Mental and emotional health play a larger part in your physical health than you might realize.   The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as a: state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. They say that there is no health without mental health. Googling the words "mental health physical health" returned about 197,000 results in under one second.  There have been thousands if not millions of studies surrounding the connection.  I can vouch for the connection in my own life.   Between July of 2012 and March of 2013, I lost 40 pounds walking, dancing with my kids and the Xbox, and riding my bike.  I felt pretty good, even though I still wanted to lose about 20 more pounds. I...