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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...

It is essential to take time investigating and surveying traditional american cannabis use and production to come to an agreement on modern usage.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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!

Focus on Writing: How to turn your passion into a writing career

By Danielle Rose Once upon a time, if you wanted to make a career change, such as entering into a writing career or taking up teaching or even trying your hand at 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...

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...

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...

What do you (still) want to be when you grow up? Childhood interests lead to adult purpose

Focusing on your childhood passions could unveil your future career

By Libby Reilly Childhood interests; grown-up focus It might surprise you to note that your childhood interests could be the key to your future purpose. Think about it. Who were you in second grade? Eight-year-old Libby carried a Lion King backpack, learned how to do a French braid all by herself, and discovered that “stage fright” was not in her vocabulary as she shimmied and pirouetted across stages for dance recitals and local plays. At eight years old, Libby also loved making up songs, rhyming words, and she soared through vocabulary tests like a champ. But how do these childhood interests help you find your purpose and focus? This article from Business Insider says that if you are wondering what you should be doing with your life and career,...

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...

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...

Five communication tips for seeing your partner’s point of view

By Joseph Gonzalez Relationships are complex, and relationship communication is one of the most difficult aspects of any relationship. Whether romantic, platonic, or familial, they require effort. The ego and how we were raised plays a large part in how we perceive our partners. They also play a role in our relationships at large. Successful relationship communication shifts how the ego filters our interactions with our loved ones. This can help avoid undue judgment and result in greater relationship satisfaction. Allow the following approaches to enrich your relationships. Allow them to open your mind to new possibilities for strengthening the bond of love.   [caption id="attachment_6761" align="alignleft" width="206"] Relationship communication is key. Image by Kennedy Shenberg.[/caption] 1. Think about where they’ve come from It can be easy to forget how different...

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...

Exhaustion: It’s time to tell a new story

As a woman, as a parent, as simply a person living in today’s fast-paced environment, we could all use more rest and better sleep. Not to mention, better sleep results in better focus. Author and women’s wellness advocate, Karen Brody, has created a 40-day yoga nidra program that makes yoga meditation relevant and accessible to women around the world. In this article, she shares how our ego-driven perspective on rest can be the one factor that keeps us from finding truly healing sleep.   By Karen Brody Let's face it, women today are tired. I support busy women leaders, and here is what they tell me all the time:   "I spent years getting educated and now I don't have any energy to work." "I love my work, but my kids...

Pitfalls of bloggers and rock stars

On a summer trip back in 2015, Mind Key affiliate and writer, copywriter, and coach, Marisa Goudy, learned some life lessons applicable to many creative entrepreneurs and their artistic ego. Through the lens of U2’s song, "Songs of Innocence," Marisa found there are many pitfalls that can be found among creative types and entrepreneurs across the globe. By Marisa Goudy You know the songs that matter. They have a way of illuminating your past. At the same time, they shed new light on your present and make you look forward to a brighter future. (Articles and blog posts can do this too, of course.) If “Songs of Innocence” appeared on your iTunes as a free download back in 2014, you likely recall the backlash. No one even had time...

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...

Learning should never stop: How learning supplements the ego

By Marla Funez The common phrase, "you learn something new every day " often gets taken for granted, especially when it comes to discussing learning and how education balances ego. However, learning is an ongoing process that continues as a person ages. The ego is a filter for how we live our lives, and it continues to grow the more you learn and supplement it with knowledge. The benefits of constantly educating yourself include better decision making, confidence in your decisions, and the ability to balancing the ego. The ego has a strong hold on our perception of the world and therefore, how we interact with it. Even though people cannot control what happens around them, decisions can be controlled. By first having as much information possible...

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...

Avoiding arguments by removing ego can increase relationship wealth and health

Are you committed to being right (Ego based) or your relationship (heart based)?

By Barbara Steingas Marriage, I have found, is about compromise and avoiding arguments by removing ego. About twenty years ago, my late husband and I went to the Big Island of Hawaii to attend an Anthony Robbins multi-day seminar called Life Mastery. It covered five main areas including relationships. Here, we discovered that the quality of our lives, particularly of our relationships, is based on the questions we ask ourselves.   The importance of questions From the time we are young, most of us are taught to ask disempowering victim-based questions. Questions such as, “Why are people doing that to me?” Or “Why are people being such jerks?” These types of questions revolve around our ego and create a separation between us and the other person. They also cause...

Find your career

What is your God Job?

by Vera Remes It's important to find a career with purpose. We spend so much time working. While taking a writing course, I heard the phrase “God job.” The inference is that writing should be something so special, it should be termed a God job. It might have been how the words rolled off the tongue, but the phrase stuck with me. I envisioned a God job as a divine calling.  Some paths you must follow regardless of difficulty. Success wasn’t the goal, per se. Striving made it worthwhile. What is life without some struggle?     What does it mean to have a “God Job”? This discovery brought up how I feel about the course change I have undertaken in my life. By focusing on my God jobs and what truly...

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...

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...