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Mind KEY / Lifestyle
nutrients to sleep better

Don’t lose sleep this holiday: Nutrients for better sleep

Sleep disorders go beyond just insomnia. They can encompass any number of conditions, including oversleeping. The stress of the holidays can sometimes add to sleep issues, only compounding stress and reducing immunity, continuing the sleep dysfunction cycle. The good news is that there are plenty of nutrients that can improve sleep naturally. A Market of Newport, Rhode Island’s “Natural Insights for Well-Being” newsletter references The Journal of Nutrition 2021 article for some easily found alternatives for better sleep. What are sleep disorders? There are many, but the four most common are insomnia, sleep apnea (a temporary halt to breathing), irregular sleep-wake cycles and restless leg syndrome. Doctors also consider a sleep disorder regularly getting more than nine, or less than seven hours of sleep a night. Compared...

reduce stress with yoga this holiday

Take Five and Thrive: Yoga for reducing stress

by Sara Sundance Imagine navigating the holiday season with a sense of calm and presence? As wild as that idea sounds, it is not only possible but also incredibly simple. Carve out five minutes from your busy holiday schedule and assume this restorative legs up the wall yoga pose to reduce stress and bring calm. Integrate breathwork, you will quickly relax your body and quiet your mind.  This easy combination of Legs-Up-The-Wall Yoga pose and Box Breathing can make a big impact on your stress levels, and restore a sense of calm. Five minutes to reduce stress with yoga this holiday For the Legs-Up-The-Wall Yoga Pose, find a clear wall space and two blankets. 1. Sit with your side against the wall and knees bent. 2. Swing your legs up against...

Create boundaries for toxic family holiday survival

Tips for thriving with toxic family this holiday

by The Scorpio Effect Holidays can be tough on families. Getting everyone together in one room has the potential to trigger even the most well adjusted. Sometimes the most obvious choice for holiday survival with toxic family is the most difficult: avoid gatherings where the family member will be. As Rachel Zoffness Ph.D. wrote in her 2019 article in Psychology Today, your time is precious, and sometimes that most precious commodity is better spent elsewhere than navigating bad behavior.  When that isn’t possible, boundaries and action plans can save the day. “There’s this idea that holiday gatherings with family are supposed to be joyful and stress-free,” says Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in a WebMD article on stress management over...

journaling to create a holiday memory book

More than just memories: A holiday memory book can heal

by student writer, Josephine Belliveau Creating a holiday memory book can be a great way to commemorate the treasured moments we experience over the holiday season. Most people make scrapbooks that are decorated pages with pictures. However, sometimes pictures don’t do the valuable memories we never want to forget justice. A holiday memory book combines scrapbooking and journaling to bring peace and calm to your holiday traditions. By adding the aspects of daily journaling, you’re turning a scrapbook into a memory book that’s unique to add to your family history. Bringing the holidays alive with stories and anecdotes. You’re recounting these memories with not only pictures but with words.  Creating a holiday memory book tradition Every family has their own traditions and ways to celebrate the holidays, some...

digestive bitters are a natural upset stomach cure

Preempt holiday indulgences with a bottle of bitters

Bitters are an essential addition to my holiday survival toolkit. I will stash a bottle into my smallest purse rather than brave a dinner party without it. This article from Nature’s Goodness in Newport Rhode Island gives an overview this natural upset stomach cure, discussing the history of bitters as a cocktail ingredient, how they work, and where they can be found in foods. by Patty Lenz Bovie for Nature's Goodness Bitters are alcohol-based extracts of bark, roots, berries, leaves, or flowers of bitter-tasting plants. Known for the essential role they play in signature cocktails, they burst with a range of aromatic flavors such as zesty orange, tarragon spice, and nutty coffee. But taste is not their only perk. Research has shown that bitters may also be...

DIY cold and flu remedy made from pine

A Warming Elixir for surviving the Winter Blues

by Karen Talbot, wild gardener The fragrance wafting up from my hot cup of tea conjures up favorite evergreen memories as I write. I can still smell the balsam firs where we camped in New Hampshire years ago; discovering a magnificent blue spruce on a South County RI trail; and the pleasure of harvesting pine needles for this cup of tea outside my door. Pines are also my medicine for preventing and easing the symptoms of a cold and cough, building  the immune system, and especially preventing the flu. This DIY pine cough and flu remedy is a great herbal solution to survive winter and can be made with almost any evergreen available to you. Pine: It’s not just about holiday memories Evergreen needles are the main ingredient...

Winter healing with white pine

White pine medicine: Not just holiday magic

by Artemis Body & Soul Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) of the family Pinaceae is ideal for winter healing, predominately, because it can be gathered anytime of the year. Often branches of white pine are felled during winter storms, and as long as the needles are still green, it’s good to use. Plus, their medicinal and spiritual uses in boosting immunity and battling congestion and coughs while supporting the lungs comes in handy during the holiday and cold/flu season. So does its spiritual abilities to help the body move through grief, sadness and situations that require a peacemaker. Identifying the winter healer  Identifying white pine starts with recognizing the long bluish-green needles. Look closer, the needles are long and “flowy.” At an even closer look, you should notice...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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. Here are some 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 my own sense of personal identity. The...

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...

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...

immune boosting tips

Tips for boosting immunity

Prevention is always the best measure, particularly now when people are fearful of upper-respiratory illness, quarantines and outbreaks. The CDC and many other health outlets tout sanitation and cleanliness as the best defense against infection. If that is true, then a strong immune system is the best offense. Here are some tips for immune building tips which, in conjunction with cleanliness and healthy habits, can combat any illness.  Don’t skimp on sleep  A full seven to eight uninterrupted hours a night is essential to keeping an immune system strong.  The power of digestive health Immunity starts in the gut, making digestive health one of the most important aspects of good health. Drink and eat lots of probiotics like kombucha or kim chee to promote digestive health and boost immunity....

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finding santa claus

Finding Santa

by Danielle Rose Before I share my story of finding Santa Claus, I’ll start by saying that Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I’m a sucker for an old-fashioned, Bing-Crosby-crooning, It’s a Wonderful Life-viewing, Christmas-Eve-snowing, chestnuts-roasting-on-an-open-fire type of Christmas.  But I’ll also say that the holidays have always been hard. Holidays are hard for a lot of us, and I feel for those of you who identify in this way. I find it difficult—as many do—to not get triggered this time of year. Combining an entire family’s worth of trigger/traumas into one room… one table… during one of the most reactive times of the year can become nothing short of explosive. One person triggers another, whose reaction triggers the first, who triggers someone else...

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Live a longer, healthier life through continued learning

By the Mind Key Editorial Team   It has long been believed that knowledge seekers live longer. In fact, recent studies confirm that continued learning exercises have been found to improve neuroplasticity, or the ability to stay mentally sharp. Continued learning has also been known to reduce the onset or symptoms of memory-related diseases. For example, a 2010 review published in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services found that education has the ability to protect our memory and intelligence, and even minimize the effects of low education. Cognitive inactivity, on the other hand, has been associated with reduced fluid intelligence (processing speed and ability). Cognitive Activity Factors In an article published by Scientific Learning Corporation, renowned researcher in brain plasticity, Dr. Michael Merzenich, notes that the brain...

Healing with the chakras: Where the physical and spiritual meet

My first experience with chakras and energy fields happened about twenty years ago. Although not directly related to chakra healing, it came as a result of two weeks worth of intensive of ritual and meditation in Colorado with Native American teacher and medicine woman, Oh Shinnah Fast Wolf. The experience was so powerful that it stopped myself and three other students in our tracks. My chakra experience We had just finished our intensive with Oh Shinnah Fast Wolf and decided to explore a nearby sacred site, Canyon de Chelly. We pulled up to the visitor center, the three of us got out of the car, came to a full stop and quickly got back in the car. Simultaneously we all blurted out, “Did you see what I...

(Chakra healing)

Understanding chakras: An introduction to the chakra system

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means “wheel.” These are energy centers that exist along the central axis of the spine in living beings. Chakras are an ancient and often neglected aspect of our physical anatomy. Understanding chakras, their history and how they intersect with the physical body can go a long way toward achieving physical and emotional wellbeing. Understanding chakras throughout history For thousands of years, many cultures’ philosophies and healing practices have incorporated the concept of chakras. These cultures include Native American, African, Maori, Egyptian, Asian and Indian, to name a few. Chakras were first described in the ancient Hindu religious texts known as the Vedas, written between 1500 and 1000 BCE, the Upanishads, the Puranas and in other works from the Tantric period of...

the mental agility required of chess is one of the benefits of continued learning

Continued learning is a powerful anti-aging agent

By Barbara Steingas We’ve all met someone or have someone in our lives who thinks they are a know-it-all. Unfortunately, they are self-sabotaging themselves by limiting their own health, happiness and joy, as well as that of those around them. It is a strength, not a weakness, to not know everything. Besides, that is basically impossible. The benefits of continued learning can combat aging, as well as support mental and physical health. In this article, I’ve chosen to share the benefits I’ve experienced in being a lifelong learner.   Benefits of continued learning Keeping the mind sharp My German grandmother, or Omi as I called her, had one of the sharpest minds I’ve ever seen when she passed away at age 94. I firmly believe this is because she made...

create your best year in 2019

Learn to create the perfect year this January

By Seshat Clairvoyant Happy New Year! 2019 is bringing us so much new energy to learn from. This is the year to learn how to create a more positive life. When we add 2019 it adds up to three. Three years give us the energy to create. In numerology, the number three is all about creation, self-expression, optimism, joy and socializing. Perhaps most importantly, threes represent honing your spiritual practice. This is the time for expansion, illumination and plain old fun. The energies will show us how to create your best year in 2019. We will learn new ways of leading a healthier life—a more spiritual life...

lifelong learning comes in many forms

In this issue: An introduction to Lifelong learner

By Catherine Minto Over the duration of our lives, we come to know what we know through the pursuit of applied academia, or the raw experience of our personal journey through life. We learn through trials, tribulations, and triumphs. Failures teaches us as much, if not more than our successes.  Lifelong learning guides us through the endless undulations of the experience that is life. One of the greatest advantages of living in this age is our ability to access and absorb millions of volumes of information. We can gobble it up and literally run with it in our pockets. Being a lifelong learner is so much more than information, however. It’s a free-spirited journey of the soul to remember that life is short, but that we...

tips and tricks to beat the holiday blues

Ways to beat the holiday blues

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

Hogfather solstice tradition

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

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

thrifty holiday shopping starts at thrift stores like Miss Masters Closet

Get thrifty this holiday!

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

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

Celebrate your hard work and honor its fruits in 2019

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

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

Your right to health, happiness and success

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

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

How being a grinch will hurt your health

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

Winter solstice ritual celebrations bring us back to our natural rhythms

Celebrate winter solstice with ritual

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Tips to be emotionally available for others this holiday

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

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

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

Understanding Cannabis: This issue’s TOC

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

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

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

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

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

Your rights as a recreational cannabis user

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

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

Cannabis and Creativity: Using your whole brain

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

Holistic healthcare considers cannabis in this personal healing account.

Healing with Compassion: A caregiver’s experience

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

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...

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

Understanding the endocannabinoid system

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

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

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

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, but refurbished in light of the ongoing battle all women have with self-image, self-confidence and the yearly summer body bikini battle with the beach.   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. Wearing a bikini is a daring personal decision—one that was much easier when I was nine or ten…. Back when self-esteem was a word I scarcely understood; when lack...

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...

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