Managing Mental Health

By Jowanna Daley

How to help clients with emotional wellness.

October is emotional wellness month. As a coach, your client’s (and, of course, your own) emotional health determines the level of transformation they will achieve. Unfortunately, many people struggle with their emotional health and may not even realize it. As a coach, it’s your job to help your clients become aware of their emotions and learn how to manage them effectively.

What is emotional wellness? It is essential to explain what emotional wellness means to your clients because some people focus on happiness and think something is wrong when they experience negative emotions. Therefore, it is critical for your clients to realize that emotional wellness is being able to understand, express, and healthily control their emotions.

Factors that impact emotional wellness. Many things can affect emotional wellness; sometimes, your client may not realize how much specific factors impact their emotional health. Have your clients submit a status before each session, and make sure you check in with them. A wide range of things can impact your clients’ emotional wellness including:

  • Physical health
  • Work or job
  • Life events
  • Life experiences
  • Depression
  • Mood
  • Stress levels
  • Self-esteem
  • Trauma

If you sense that a client is not themselves, ask probing questions if you sense if they are struggling emotionally. Always have tools should they require help, and be sure to refer them to a mental health professional should they need one.

How to tell if clients are struggling emotionally. Emotional distress shows up in a wide range of ways. And, of course, the longer you serve a client, the better you’ll become at recognizing when something seems off. Some key signs that they may be struggling include:

  • Missing sessions or showing up late
  • Slow or no progress
  • Not engaging as they usually would
  • Altered mood
  • Showing signs of stress

Everyone may have an “off” day, so make sure you connect with as one human to another. The more rapport you build with your clients, the more comfortable they will share their challenges.

How to Help a Struggling Client

If your client seems emotionally distressed, help them through it. As a professional, you should have a range of tools that help your clients express themselves and process whatever is bothering them. Transformation Academy’s life coach certifications come packed with tools and lessons to ensure you can help your clients. My favorites include the CBT, RBET, EQ, and Self-Care coaching certifications. Additionally, here are a few tips for helping your clients with emotional wellness:

Offer compassion and understanding. Your clients will appreciate your understanding and compassion. Remember that everyone experiences emotions differently, and what works for one person may not work for another. Be open to exploring different strategies with your clients, and be patient as they work through their challenges.

Encourage self-care. Self-care is essential for emotional wellness. Encourage your clients to make time for themselves every day, even just a few minutes. Suggest activities that promote relaxation and stress relief, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.

Help them identify their emotions. Many people don’t even realize they’re experiencing emotions, let alone know what they are. Help your clients learn to identify their emotions, both positive and negative. They can do this by journaling, doing mindfulness exercises, or simply talking about how they’re feeling.

Guide them on how to deal with problematic emotions. Not all emotions are pleasant—and some can be pretty overwhelming. Teach your clients how to deal with difficult emotions in a healthy way. It may involve talking about their feelings, expressing them or simply acknowledging them.

Promote positive thinking. Positive thinking is key to a happy and healthy life. Encourage your clients to focus on the good things in their lives. Though it can be challenging, it’s worth the effort.

Refer them to a licensed mental health professional Everyone has down days, which does not mean every struggle requires a mental health counselor. Still, have adequate assessment tools (a set of standard questions), including a process to see whether you should encourage them to speak to a clinical professional to signal you when to recommend a clinical health professional.

Emotional wellness is a critical aspect of overall health and well-being. As a life coach, it’s your job to help your clients develop the skills they need to manage their emotions effectively. These tips should help get you started.

October Content Calendar

There is much inspiration for content with holiday, observation, and awareness calendars. Below, I share holidays to inspire you. Remember, it’s good to have some content that gives without expecting anything back. And don’t forget to have fun with it!

October 1

  • Frugal Fun Day. A day to enjoy inexpensive or free activities. This can include going for a walk in the park, playing games, visiting a local museum or reading a book. #frugalfunday
  • Less Than Perfect Day. Perfectionism can get in the way. Less than perfect day helps raise awareness about why it’s okay to make mistakes. #lessthanperfectday

October 2

  • Intergeneration Day. A day to celebrate the relationships between different generations and appreciate the knowledge and experience that older generations can offer, while learning from the optimism and energy that young people bring to the world. It is a day to come together and celebrate the unique perspectives that each generation brings to the table. #intergenerationday
  • World No Alcohol Day. The purpose of World No Alcohol Day is to encourage people to abstain from alcohol for a day to raise awareness of its harmful effects. #worldnoalcoholday

October 3

  • World Habitat Day. A day to remind the world that everyone deserves a decent place to live and to advocate for better housing conditions for all. It is also an opportunity to highlight housing and habitat’s critical role in human societies and the environment. #worldhabitatday
  • Look at the Leaves Day! A day that encourages people to spend time outdoors looking at the leaves. It is a time to appreciate the natural beauty of the autumn season. #lookatheleavesday

October 4

  • National Fruit at Work Day. The day’s purpose is to promote eating fruit as part of a healthy lifestyle and to enjoy the many benefits that fruit provides. #nationalfruitatworkday

October 5

  • Do Something Nice Day. A day to encourage people to do something nice for others without expecting anything in return. This could be anything from small acts of kindness, like making someone a cup of coffee, to bigger gestures, like volunteering at a local shelter. #dosomethingniceday
  • Get Funky Day. A day to let your hair down and have fun! Wear something outrageous, dance to your favorite songs, and enjoy the company of friends. #getfunkyday

October 6

  • National Coaches Day. A special day to honor coaches who have significantly impacted their athletes, teams and communities. This day is also a time to thank coaches for their dedication and hard work in making a positive difference in the lives of those they coach. #nationalcoachesday
  • National Depression Screening Day. A day to raise awareness of depression and suicide and provide screenings for those at risk. #nationaldepressionscreeningday

October 7

  • Bathtub Day. Bathtub Day is a special day dedicated to bathtubs! What better way to relax and destress than by taking a luxurious bath? On Bathtub Day, take some time for yourself and enjoy a long, soothing soak. #bathtubday
  • National Forgiveness Day. A day to forgive others and yourself. It is a day to let go of anger, resentment and bitterness. It is a day to embrace peace, compassion and love. #nationalforgivenessday

October 8

  • National Curves Day. A time to celebrate women’s curves. It is a day to honor all women, no matter their size or shape. This day is a chance for all women to feel beautiful and confident in their skin. #nationalcurvesday
  • Universal Music Day. Universal Music Day is a day to celebrate the power of music. It is a day to celebrate how music can unite people, cultures and generations. It is a day to celebrate how music can make us feel happy, sad, excited and nostalgic. And it is a day to celebrate the way music can inspire us to do great things. #universalmusicday

October 9

  • Curious Events Day. Curious Events Day is a day to celebrate all things curious! These could be things you are curious about, intrigue you, or simply things that make you curious. It can be a day to learn new things, ask questions, and explore your interests. #curiouseventsday

October 10

  • National Kick Butt Day. National Kick Butt Day is a holiday that is celebrated on the second Monday in October. The purpose of National Kick Butt Day is to encourage people to take action to improve their lives and to stop making excuses. #nationalkickbuttday
  • World Mental Health Day. World Mental Health day is observed every year on October 10. The day is observed to promote mental health education and awareness globally. #worldmentalhealthday

October 11

  • Own Business Day. This special day celebrates entrepreneurship and honors small business owners’ hard work and dedication everywhere. #ownbusinessday
  • You Go Girl Day. Celebrate the power of women everywhere. Today, women are encouraged to pursue their dreams and goals passionately and enthusiastically.#yougogirl

October 12

  • Free Thought Day. A day that set aside to promote free thought, a time when people can express their opinions and thoughts without fear of retribution. #freethoughtday

October 13

  • Good Samaritan Day. A day to commemorate and celebrate the good Samaritans who have helped others in need. It is also a day to encourage others to do the same. #goodsamaritanday
  • International Day for Failure. A day to celebrate the importance of failure and recognize that failure is necessary for learning and growing. It is a day to remind ourselves that failure is an opportunity to learn and to do better next time. #internationaldayforfailure

October 14

  • Be Bald and Be Free Day. Embrace your baldness and be proud of it. It is a day to celebrate your unique self and be proud of who you are. It is a day to raise awareness for cancer patients and those who have lost their hair due to other medical conditions and a time to support and empower those struggling with hair loss. #bebaldandbefreeday
  • National FRUMP Day  (Frugal, Responsible, Unpretentious, Mature Persons Day). National FRUMP Day is a day to celebrate people who are frugal, responsible and unpretentious. It is a day to celebrate mature people who don’t need to dress up or put on a show to feel good about themselves. #nationalfrumpday

October 15

  • National Grouch Day. Today, people are encouraged to be grumpy and complain about everything. This day is meant to be a fun way to let out your frustrations, and it can be a great way to get out of your funk. #nationalgrouchday
  • Sweetest Day (Third Saturday in October). Atime to celebrate the people in your life who make you feel special and loved. It is also a day to do something kind for someone you care about. #sweetestday

October 16

  • Steve Jobs Day. People are encouraged to commemorate Steve Jobs by doing something he was passionate about, such as embracing creativity and innovation. In addition, people can think about how Jobs changed the world and what they can do to help continue his legacy. #stevejobsday

October 17

  • National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day (Third Monday in October). A day to celebrate the importance of a clutter-free work area. It is a call for individuals and businesses to take the time to clean up their digital space. #nationalcleanyourvirtualdesktopday
  • National Edge Day. A day celebrating the importance of taking risks and living life on the edge. Push your limits and try something new. Whether you take a risk in your personal or professional life, National Edge Day is about stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing new challenges. #nationaledgeday

October 18

  • Information Overload Day. A day to reflect on the blessings and challenges of having access to so much information. The day is also a time to focus on managing information overload. #informationoverloadday
  • National Face Your Fears Day. A day to confront your fears head-on. Whether you’re scared of spiders or snakes, today is the day to face and overcome your fears! #nationalfaceyourfearsday

October 19

  • Evaluate Your Life Day. This is a day to reflect on your life and assess how you are doing. It can be a time to think about your goals and what you want to change in your life. It can also be a time to appreciate what you have accomplished. #evaluateyourlifeday
  • Love Your Body Day. This loving day is to celebrate and love your body. #loveyourbodyday

October 20

  • Get to Know Your Customer Day. A day to focus on strengthening relationships with customers. #gettoknowyourcustomerday
  • National Day on Writing. A day to celebrate writing and raise awareness about the importance of writing. #nationaldayonwriting

October 21

  • Celebration of the Mind Day. A day to promote awareness of the importance of the mind and to celebrate its power. #celebrationofthemindday
  • Mammography Day (Third Friday in October). Mammography Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of mammograms in detecting breast cancer early, when it is more likely to be cured. The day also serves as a reminder to women of the importance of getting regular mammograms, even if they have no symptoms. #mammographyday

October 22

  • Clean Up the Earth Day. An international event celebrated to inspire and promote clean-up and recycling initiatives worldwide. #cleanupheearthday
  • National Color Day. This is a day when people are encouraged to wear and use colors in various ways. The day is also a time to appreciate the importance of color in our lives. #nationalcolorday

October 24

  • National Crazy Day. A a day to let loose and has some fun. Act crazy, do something wacky, and enjoy the silliness of life! #nationalcrazyday
  • Take Back Your Time Day. A global event calling for people to reclaim their time from work and other obligations to enjoy life more fully. The day is usually marked with events and discussions around reducing our workloads and creating more time for leisure, relaxation and fun. #takebackyourtimeday

October 25

  • Punk for a Day Day. This day is about rejecting the status quo and doing things your way. It’s about being yourself, no matter what that means to anyone else. #punkforadayday

October 29

  • Make a Difference Day. People of all ages and backgrounds come together to volunteer on Make a Difference Day. Projects include cleaning up parks and public areas, packing meals for the hungry, stocking food banks and helping the elderly or disabled. #makeadifferenceday
  • National Hermit Day. A day to celebrate the hermit lifestyle and to reflect on the benefits of being alone and to find peace and solace in silence. #nationalhermitday

October 30

  • Checklist Day. Checklist Day is all about checking off items on a list! It’s a day to focus on crossing items off your to-do list and becoming more organized. #checklistday
  • Speak Up For Service Day. A day when people are encouraged to volunteer and give back to their community. #speakupforserviceday

October 31

  • Magic Day. A day for people to reflect on all the magical moments they have experienced and appreciate life’s mysteries and wonders. #magicday
  • Save a Friend Day. A holiday that aims to raise awareness of substance abuse’s dangers and encourage people to take action to help their friends who may be struggling with addiction. #saveafriendday

Jowanna is a business and personal coach, consultant, freelance blogger, and personal brand photographer. Jowanna uses her 20-plus years of business, information technology, business analysis, and project management experience to serve solopreneurs, microbusinesses, and professionals through consulting, coaching, training, and workshops. She is also a freelance blogger who serves corporate and non-corporate clients. Visit her website at

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Lead by Example

By Jovita Routzong

Expressing your values in your life and your coaching business attracts the types of customers you want.

Preparing valuable content for your clients is where you spend most of your time. You give them numerous materials consisting of audio, video and the written word. You share your experience, wisdom and knowledge with them.

More than your webinars, calls, and other material, however, your greatest influence is the example you set for others.

Focus on the Positive

When you study copywriting, you’re taught to manipulate others by emphasizing their fears. The psychology of this does work, but do you want people to come to you because they’re afraid?

When you attract others by what you can provide them, they’re excited about what they’ll learn. You’ll prepare clients to expect information that can strengthen their lives and businesses.

Be Honest

Honesty seems self-evident and something you do naturally. What you may not do naturally, however, is be transparent about your own journey. Sharing your ups and downs is not only honest, but also can bring you greater trust, authority and success.

Consider these ideas:

•          You have wisdom to share. You didn’t gain it by doing everything right. Most wisdom is gained through embarrassing moments. Share your mistakes.

•          Be transparent. Make your bad day a teaching moment by sharing what you do to overcome the difficulties everyone faces.

•          If you find yourself blurring the lines of integrity, it’s time to consult with someone who can get you back on track.

•          Continue to invest in yourself, read personal development books, and subscribe to a community of coaches where you can learn from others.

Keep Commitments

Of course, you plan on giving your coaching clients all you’ve promised. You’ll deliver the phone calls, workshops and materials. Keeping your commitments, however, involves more than just providing the meetings and materials you promised. One organizing tip is to integrate an online scheduler on your website with your email calendar. However, it’s also about the intangibles your client may never see, but they’ll notice:

•          Are you rested?

•          Is your mind clear?

•          Have you covered your sessions in prayer?

There are times that life gets in the way. You come into your meetings stressed or tired. Be honest with your clients about why you’re not at your best. Offer something in return for not being at your best.

Handle Difficult Clients

The easiest way to avoid having difficult clients is to apply strict standards in selecting those you work with. You want people who:

•          Have similar values as you

•          Know what is expected of them

•          Are able to work within your structure

•          Treat you, your team, and their peers with respect

When you choose your clients well, you lessen your chances of having to deal with difficult members. One troubled person can cause chaos, dissension and devastation in your program.

When someone slips in who causes challenges within the group or doesn’t follow your rules or guidelines, it’s important to take swift action:

•          Be aware that your actions tell your group how important they are to you. If someone causing dissension isn’t confronted swiftly, you are telling the other members they are not as valuable as the one causing issues.

•          Handle the situation privately and with discretion.

•          If there is overt disrespect of other members, step in immediately. Do so firmly and respectfully.

When difficult clients make their way into your group, your job is to protect the other members of your coaching program, as well as the program itself.

Live Your Values

Ensure your actions match what you’re teaching. This is true not only in your business, but also in your life. If you aren’t living a life of integrity, this will impact your program even if others aren’t aware of it.

Showing your values in your life and your business attracts the types of customers you want. You’ll enjoy greater trust, increase your authority in your niche, and reap more rewards from your business.

Jovita Routzong is a Christian Success and Entrepreneurship Coach, and an IT professional who helps small to big businesses in their digital transformation. She is an immigrant from the Philippines since 1995, living with her supportive husband and two beautiful girls. Jovita believes that among all, faith breeds success. Your mindset, attitude, and action are just secondary to faith. Having strong faith is having a strong foundation for every level of success. In her leisure time, Jovita loves reading, singing karaoke, playing golf, video-chatting with her family back home, and having some quiet time for reflection. Her motto: “Seek God in everything you do, and success will follow.” Connect with Jovita at

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Think Yourself to a Better Life

By Anthony Talmage

Where the mind goes, life energy follows.

You may believe that in living your average, daily routine you’re just a faceless cog in a remorseless machine and wouldn’t be missed if you just simply disappeared. How very wrong you would be! What you say and do today can, literally, change the world. But, before action and words comes thought. So it’s not just what you say and do that matters, but also what you THINK. You and I, as human beings, can heal and transform ourselves and our planet merely by the thoughts we choose. Let me explain.

Thought is energy and energy is thought. The Zero Point Field of energies comprise the whole spectrum of resonances, from horror, fear, anguish, hate, lust—to love, happiness, confidence, unselfishness, caring etc. Human thought creates a field of intention which can influence people, animals, plants and even random events.

It has been proven in numerous scientific experiments that human thought can affect bacteria, yeast, plants, ants, chicks, mice and rats, cats and dogs, human cells and even the brain rhythms of other human beings, where the most ordered mind prevails. This adds support to biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s notion of ideas spreading via morphic resonance. The signal from one, powerful mind can impose itself on the less ordered brains of others.

The work of Masaru Emoto, a creative and visionary Japanese researcher, reinforces this idea in a remarkable way. During his life, Dr. Emoto photographically documented molecular changes in water caused by different “thought vibrations.” After exposing distilled water to different positive or negative ideas, words, music, emotions, etc., he freezes droplets of the water and then examines these under a dark field microscope that photographs the results.

His work clearly demonstrates the diversity of the molecular structure of water and the effect of “vibrations” in the environment on it. The result is a series of photographs similar to those of a snowflake, each with its individual “signature.” Dr. Emoto came to the startling conclusion that water reflects our consciousness.

He followed up his research with a book, Messages from Water, containing the results of his worldwide studies. The information and photographs in it are compelling evidence that our thoughts affect everything in and around us.

Dr. Emoto proposes that even as little input as a word, music or simply meditating on water vibrates the electrons. The resulting geometric patterns demonstrate the very real effect human beings have on their environment. By extension, it shows how our awareness and observation participate in the creation of the universe.

If we believe Dr. Emoto, that human vibrational energy, thoughts, words, ideas and music, affect the molecular structure of water, we have to acknowledge the power we have over our fellow human beings. Since the human body comprises over 70 percent water, these same vibrations are having an effect on our own bodies, and those of other people, in the same way as they interact with water itself. That’s why it’s so important to think positive.

Dr. Emoto and his colleagues took their experiments a stage further deciding to see if even words printed on paper and taped onto glass bottles overnight had an effect. The same procedure was performed using positive and negative phrases and even the names of dead people. The different “influences” they tried included the words, “You make me sick,” “I will kill you”, “Adolph Hitler”, “Thank you”, “Love and appreciation” and “Mother Teresa”. The waters were then frozen and photographed.

The resulting images showed an identifiable response and distinct characteristics reflecting the vibrations that attach to the words. Those that had responded to “Hitler” and “kill” were ugly and distorted, while the crystals formed in response to “Thank you” and “love” were beautiful and harmonious. Many believe this provides profound evidence that we can, as I said earlier, positively heal and transform ourselves and our planet by the thoughts we choose to think.

So, emphasize the positive. Begin each day with a positive affirmation, which draws towards you positive vibrations. Create a higher vision of yourself that you would aspire to, and hold to this vision day by day. Think, act and speak as if you were that higher self. Walk in awareness of this hourly struggle. Our minds are being bombarded continually. When tempted to lower your standards do the opposite. Don’t forget your tools are thoughts, words and deeds which are always creating. Where the mind goes, life energy follows.

Our thoughts should be of love not hate, giving not receiving, positive not negative. Beware of detrimental forces that will resist this change. Fight back. The forces of resistance will create the illusion that you are deluding yourself. It will appear that your positive thinking is producing negative results. This is the way negative entities conduct their fight—by undermining our confidence. Once they get a foothold, we start to slip.

So ignore the apparent paradoxes they’re creating and stick to your beliefs. Thinking positive is working. Give it time. Give it your confidence. You’ll win in the end if you stick with it. While you are assailed by doubt, ignore it and sail serenely on!

I hope by now you are beginning to be convinced of the notion that thought energy has an awesome power and that each of us has a great responsibility to use that power for the benefit of our fellow travelers, and the world we are passing on to our children.

Anthony Talmage is author of three books in his Psychic Mind series, Dowse Your Way To Psychic Power, In Tune With The Infinite Mind and Unlock The Psychic Powers Of Your Unconscious Mind, all available in Kindle and printed versions from Amazon, and other ebook stores here: ttps:// He is contactable via Facebook: Anthony covers more of the themes in his Transformation Coaching Magazine article in his first podcast, available absolutely free. Just click on this link to listen or download:

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Finding Happiness & Success

By Emil Nazaryan

We can be successful and happy at the same time; here are three steps to make it happen.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This timeless paragraph from the U.S. Declaration of Independence gave me chills the first time I read it. In this one short paragraph our founding fathers pretty much summarized the meaning of human life! Don’t you agree?

I came across this paragraph again very recently, only this time something I didn’t notice before jumped out at me. In today’s materialistic world, where almost everyone is looking to achieve success, acquire fame, possessions, title and power, the last phrase from the powerful paragraph stood out. “How interesting,” I thought, “that the wise men who wrote the Declaration of Independence didn’t use the phrase “pursuit of success, pursuit of fame or pursuit of power. Instead, they wrote “pursuit of Happiness.” Is there a difference?”

Thankfully, the recent years of my life have opened my eyes on this issue, and I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that success (as generally defined by society) and happiness are two completely different things. I also know that the overwhelming majority of people don’t think this is true. What’s even more curious, they never stop to question this. Most people blindly pursue “success” thinking that success will give them happiness. You may think the same way, and I don’t blame you. So did I for most of my life. However, let’s investigate this question together and see if your conclusion remains the same.

Are Success and Happiness the Same Thing? To answer this question let’s introduce two sub-questions that will help shed light on the main one.

  1. Can you be happy without being successful?
  2. Can you be successful without being happy?

I bet, just by reading the two questions above, you are already starting to have second thoughts. But let’s not stop there and dive into the first question. Many studies have been done over the years by various reputable institutions that have found some of the happiest people in some of the poorest countries. Isn’t that interesting? But why go that far? Look into your own life. Don’t you know someone who is not particularly rich and successful but is always happy, friendly and content? Don’t just say no! You have surely met cashiers, waiters and other people who may have brightened your day with their enthusiasm and smile. Heck, if you’ve been to Chick-fil-A or Starbucks then you know what I’m talking about!

Now let’s address the second question. Can you be successful without being happy? Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Avicii, whom everyone considered highly successful, are amongst more tragic examples of a “yes” response to the question. Again, looking at your surroundings, don’t you know people with a lot of money, titles and fame who are really miserable? They constantly worry about losing their wealth and possessions. They spend most of their time working, often neglecting what’s most important—their families, their relationships and their health. How is this happiness?

So, what is the solution? Should we not strive to become prosperous and wealthy? Should we abandon our desire to succeed? Of course, not! The winning answer is that we can be successful and happy at the same time! To achieve this we have to shift our motive, our center, our why. We have to undergo a paradigm shift. Here are three steps to make it happen:

  1. YOU ARE HAPPY NOW! Abandon the idea that happiness lies in achievement. That kind of happiness is merely called satisfaction—and it’s short lived. True happiness exists within you, only and always here and now.There’s nothing you need to do, nowhere to go, no experience to have to feel happy. In fact, when you let go of these “preprogrammed happiness notions”, you will feel a radiant, bright light shining from the center of your heart, from the center of your being, putting a giant smile on your face. Its sweetness is unmistakable and unparalleled. It is your direct point of contact with the creator.
  1. FOCUS ON OTHERS. Now that you know material success is not the source of happiness and that you are already happy, start sharing your happiness with others. Focus on helping others get what they want, help them succeed, be kind to everyone and everything. Shift the motive of your actions from gaining something for yourself to giving something to the world.I know it’s hard to imagine, especially if you don’t think you have much to give. But that’s not true. You have infinite resources. How much does a kind word cost you? How many smiles do you have allocated per day? What’s the limit of the compliments you can give out? If you have nothing else, you have an abundance of goodwill and that’s all you need to start with.
  1. RECEIVE GRACIOUSLY. In truth, if you follow the first two steps you will be all set for a lifetime of happiness. You will see that there is really nothing you “need” to be happy and happiness will be your natural state. This state comes with a by-product. People are attracted to light because it ignites the light within their own hearts. Because of this, you will start noticing that you will be attracting people, opportunities and abundance. This is what most people would call success. Only this time it won’t be superficial. It will feel almost effortless because it won’t feel like you were striving, struggling or sacrificing to achieve this. Quite the opposite, you were doing what felt good, brought you joy and gave you a sense of fulfillment. Receive the blessings that come your way graciously, with an open and thankful heart. This is the universe’s way of rewarding you.

“When you get to the top of the ladder you may find it is propped against the wrong wall,” said best-selling author Stephen Covey. It is my sincere hope and wish that, no matter where you are in your life, this article helps you jump on the right ladder without wasting any more time going up the wrong one. Let the center of your heart be your guide!

Emil Nazaryan is a motivational writer and a contributor to the monthly Motivational Corner column of HR Realtor Magazine. He has undergone a spiritual transformation which has led the way to sharing the insights he has experienced with the others. He is well acquainted with all major spiritual traditions of the world, but it is the direct experience of the essence of these teachings that is responsible for the altered life outlook and the motivational articles that stem this. In his daily life Emil is a successful REALTOR and he resides in Norfolk, VA, with his wife and two children. Contact him by email at

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Wading Through Mediocrity

By Darrel Hammon

Seven ways to help you climb out of the ruts and aim for excellence.

Some years ago, I had an epiphany. I had thought a ton about mediocrity and decided that I did not want to be “mediocre.” I also discovered that many of us are wading through mediocrity, but we do not desire to be unexceptional. Often we do not know the most effective way to climb out of the ruts that create mediocrity.

Part of the challenge hinges on that we either choose this route or let the route of mediocrity choose us because we fail to do things that vault us toward excellence. Instead of choosing mediocrity, how do we choose excellence instead?

Here are seven ways, one for each day of the week, to help you wade right out of mediocrity:

  1. Remember why you want to achieve. For most of us, we have always had goals to complete something, large or small, to improve ourselves. Some of us wanted to do something spectacular. Growing and harvesting vegetables are spectacular. Playing a musical instrument is pretty cool. Being able to do lots of things propels us forward to do other things. It is an incredible cycle—doing good reaps other good things. Often, though, life’s challenges provide a barrier, artificial or real, that impedes our progress. Ultimately, we quit trying because it isn’t worth the effort. Truly, it is worth the effort of accomplishing what we set out to do.
  • Understand who you really are. All of us have been blessed with powers and abilities from on high. Yes, I believe in a Father in Heaven who gave us abilities to improve upon. The “Parable of the Talents” in the New Testament is pretty bold in its message that we need to improve upon the skills we are given or they will be taken away. Sometimes, we don’t even try to improve these skills and talents. Rather, we turn our heads the other way and never achieve what we are capable of achieving. We lose. Why not win by understanding who we really are?
  • Prepare to do and then do hard (challenging) things. What? Do you want me to do hard (challenging) things? Only if you want to progress and grow. Hard things are hard to do because they require huge amounts of effort. But what good thing doesn’t? Ask any Olympians, past or present. Are they where they are today because they were afraid to do hard things? Hardly. They practiced hours each day and for several years before they won a medal. Doing hard things makes us stronger and willing to improve.
  • Think positively. Some people may say that power of positive thinking is passé. I think being a positive thinker is still in vogue—or at least should be. Many of our workplaces and many places in the world are choking with negativity, and it is creating a literal moral collapse. People are afraid to even go outside. That’s scary to me that we have lost and continue to lose the good and positive feelings in the world. Think about the positive people you know. Don’t you want to be around them and enjoy their positivity and then let some of it seep into your life? I know I do. There is something contagious about a positive workplace or a person.
  • Increase your skills. One of the best ways of climbing out of mediocrity is to increase your skills, both personal and professional. Lots of colleges, particularly community colleges, and universities offer courses and credential programs that enhance our skills. Plus, many companies offer courses and classes to help their employees gain additional skills. The key hinges on taking advantage of those classes. Perhaps, setting goals at the beginning of the year or even talking to your supervisor who can suggest areas you can improve. Most importantly though, is your decision to improve and slog your way out of mediocrity.
  • Worry about what you need to do, not what others should do. Too often, we worry too much about others and what they should do when, in reality, we ought to be focused on ourselves. Perhaps, watching others and pointing out to them their shortcomings prevent us from having to think about our own frailties. Focusing on self-improvement doesn’t necessarily mean we forget about others. Rather, serving others often pushes us toward self-improvement without us really thinking about it. Our self-absorption really lulls us into being selfish. Our self-improvement propels us to become selfless.
  • Think lofty thoughts and follow through with them. To quit wandering through mediocrity, we actually have to look up once in a while and see the larger picture, make goals to move forward, and then actually do something to help ourselves. It does not do any good to think lofty thoughts and allow them to wallow in the “lofty-thoughts-bucket” until they dissipate into nothingness. If we allow this to occur, then we will be mediocre or worse for our entire lives. And that’s no fun at all.

Many years ago at President Cecil Samuelson’s Inauguration Address at Brigham Young University (BYU), President Gordon B. Hinckley, then the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, remarked; “Mediocrity will never do. You are capable of something better.”

I believe this. I am capable of doing something better, and you are also capable of doing whatever you put your mind to. Are you ready to leave your wanderings through mediocrity and rise above it?

Darrel L. Hammon has been dabbling in writing in a variety of genres since his college days, having published poetry, academic and personal articles/essays, a book titled Completing Graduate School Long Distance (Sage Publications), and a picture book, The Adventures of Bob the Bullfrog: Christmas Beneath a Frozen Lake (Outskirts Press). He also was the editor of the Journal of Adult Education (Mountain Plains Adult Education Association). Most of his essay/article writing has focused on topics about growing up, leadership, self-awareness, motivation, marriage/dating, and educational topics. Some of these articles/essays are in Spanish because Darrel is bilingual in Spanish/English, having lived in Chile, Dominican Republic, and southern California, and having worked with Latino youth and families all of his professional life in higher education. He has two blogs, one for personal writing at and one for his consulting/life coaching business ( You can listen to a poem titled “Sprucing Up” here:

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Spread the Seeds of Love

By Mary Boutieller

Just to be seen, even if only for a moment, can be the balm that we all need.

What do you see when you walk down the street or pass by someone on the sidewalk? Do you take time to notice the plants, the myriad colors, the changes happening all around you? Do you notice the hair color or the shirt of the passerby? Do they look happy or deep in thought? What do you see and feel as you move through the world? Do you feel anything?

In reality, I’d guess that many of us have forgotten to really notice our surroundings. Maybe we think we’ve seen it all before. Maybe we’re too busy getting from Point A to Point B and checking our texts to make eye contact. Often, I take a walk in our nearby park and pass by a dozen or so people each time. I say hello to almost all of them…yet I receive back responses from maybe a third, which always surprises me! After all, chances are we are neighbors. So I wonder when it is that we became less friendly? When did we become more comfortable with downcast eyes and distant stares? When did we forget the power of a smile?

Recently, I watched a show and was struck by a conversation between the host and a featured photographer. The photographer said that the more he got to know his environment, the safer he felt. When he could identify “that bird, that tree, that plant” his surroundings felt more familiar and he could let down his guard a little bit. The conversation resonated with me as I remembered being a child in a neighborhood where everybody knew everybody. Neighbors knew who we were—the five of us kids—and what we were and weren’t supposed to be doing. They greeted us when they saw us and weren’t afraid to tell us to stop doing something we weren’t supposed to be doing. Unruly behavior would be communicated to our mom…and we didn’t want that!

So I wondered, again, what it would be like if we sought out our neighbors, smiled at strangers, and said hello to everyone we passed along the way? What would it hurt and what would we gain? We would gain familiarity; we would begin to recognize the territory that we inhabit and feel safe within it? We might even feel at home. Our fears and suspicions often don’t hold up under scrutiny, so perhaps we’d be willing to take a closer look.

I am rarely deterred on my quest to say hello to people, even if I sometimes get discouraged. I truly believe that if we make an effort, don’t give up, and become more curious than afraid, we can start a ripple effect toward kindness, right where we are.

Elizabeth Gilbert said, “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”

Just to be seen, even if only for a moment, can be the balm that we all need.

The next time you are out and about, take time to notice what you’ve been overlooking: a neighbor’s lovingly tended yard, a flower in bloom, a stranger smiling and saying hello. Look for the good around you. There are so many gorgeous things to see and feel, you might be surprised by how much is out there just waiting for you to notice.

Mark Nepo said, “No matter where we think we are going, the journey of every life is to find its home in the moment where everything touches everything else.”

We are not separate from each other. We are not alone either. Let’s spread love like seeds and see if we can, each in our own way, make a difference.

Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at:

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Amping Up Compassion Dialing Down Fear

By Linda Commito

We are all connected, and it is important to be more compassionate if we hope to create a kinder, more inclusive world.

There are many things that I am concerned or anxious about these days, especially given the current state of affairs in our country and the world. Lingering covid, gun violence, and political discord have been wearing, with few or no solutions to alleviate our stress. I admit that I find comfort in my home and am not as open to being “out there.” In fact, when I am out, I avoid crowds and sometimes find myself looking over my shoulder or checking out my environment to make sure that it is safe. But none of this prepared me for what happened next.

One early morning, on my way to a health-care appointment, I was at a traffic light, awaiting an opportunity to turn “right on red”, but each of my three attempts felt too risky. I had noticed a big black truck close behind me, and looked up to see an angry face in my rear-view mirror, with both arms raised in a “What the f…” expression. I raised my arms up to express: “What can I do?” The light changed and I went on my way.

I’m not sure why I noticed that the same big truck, with the driver who had been in such a rush, was now following at a short distance behind me. It had me on alert. I was close to my destination and slowed, putting my right turn signal on. Although there were no other cars on the road and he could easily have passed me, he stayed behind. With the uneasy feeling of being stalked, I turned into my destination, a squared-off parking area, hoping that he would pass by. He didn’t and turned into the same lot. My anxiety was raised, yet I considered, maybe he was going there too.

My intuition said, “Don’t Park!” so I drove around the edge of the parking area and watched as he went into two spaces to turn around. My gut reaction was to “Get the heck out of there!”which I did immediately. And instinctively, I did the opposite of what would be logical: I went left, back the way I had come, as fast as I could, and watched in my rear-view mirror as he went the other way, but apparently, still looking for me, turned into the next side street.

Concerned about going back to keep my appointment, I did so with trepidation. With no people around, I thought: What if he showed up again, how would he express his anger on my car or me? And what would I do? I found myself wondering: What is going on that people have such angereven early in the morning when their day has barely started? And how can we protect ourselves against such spontaneous rage? What kind of a scary world are we living in, not knowing who can pull out a gun at any moment and do harm to someone they don’t even know for who-knows-what reason?

I will confess that I felt off-kilter for the next two days with an upset stomach and an increased level of anxiety. But with prayers and meditation and talking with my partner and friends, I determined that I would not allow anyone to affect my quality of life and what I believe to be true. WE ARE ALL CONNECTED and it is important to be more compassionate if we hope to create a kinder, more inclusive world. We never know what someone else is going through. I sent blessings in my mind to this man, hoping that whatever was upsetting his life would be alleviated. And I expressed my gratitude that I was protected from a situation that could have ended otherwise.

That is not to say that I plan to ignore the safety of myself or others. It is helpful to pay attention. I vowed to slow down and to be more patient in traffic or in line. I also considered what practical things I could do in the future such as carry a loud whistle and, if in a car, do what a friend suggested: drive to a busy shopping area and hit the car alarm or call 911.

I am aware that this is a minor event compared to the anguish that so many people experience every day—fears of bombing, violence, hunger . . . and it makes my heart ache. The news can be overwhelming, but I don’t want to allow fear to stop me from being the best human being that I can each and every day. I’ve determined to maintain and amp up the compassionate quality of my life. I love expressing this Loving-kindness meditation: “May the hearts of all beings be filled with happiness and peace.”

How can we deal with our fears and still remember why we are here, and do our best in each moment to make a positive, loving difference in someone’s day or life?

How can we deal with our fears and still remember why we are here, and to do our best in each moment to make a positive, loving difference in someone’s day or life?

Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place. Linda’s award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love Is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Her latest project, the card game Just Ask 1 2 3, was inspired by a desire to connect people of all different ages, beliefs and lifestyles to share our individuality and find commonality. Linda also created “Kindness Starts with Me,” a program, book and website for children. For more information visit or visit the Facebook page

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Plant Love

By Mark Pitstick

Stories to help you appreciate the plant world and its extraordinary qualities.

I love plants and have throughout my life. In my youth, I thought of becoming a landscaper because it felt so good to get my hands in the dirt and help plants thrive.

I’ve always had “a green thumb” and my many plants do well. A number of people have given me their dying plants, and I somehow help them bloom again. My secrets include:

  • Follow the watering, sunlight and spacing recommendations for that plant.
  • Observe them for signs of too much sun (burning of the leaf edges), too little sun (pale leaves), insufficient drainage (root rot), too much water (soggy stems), or not enough water (dry leaves).
  • Talk to them—either mentally/telepathically or aloud—and tell them how beautiful they are and how you appreciate their presence in your home. When they aren’t thriving, ask them to communicate what they need.
  • Fertilize them every two months and water weekly.
  • Make sure the pot size is appropriate for the plant, since too little or too much space can cause problems.

That’s about it.

My fiancée and I live on 5 acres with lots of trees, bushes and flowers. Caring for indoor and outdoor plants is one of my hobbies—and I get more out of it than they do. Over the years, I’ve learned to greatly appreciate the healing power of plants. Andy is a certified clinical aromatherapist, as well as an RN, acupuncturist, yoga teacher and evidential medium. With her, I’ve learned much and seen firsthand the extraordinary healing properties of the leaves, stems and roots of plants.

I shudder when hearing that nearly 600 plant species have become extinct in the last few centuries. What potential healing powers have been lost? What common diseases might have been relieved or cured if we cherished instead of destroyed valuable plants?

One of the reasons I’m a vegetarian, and have been for most of my adult life, is the impact meat eating has on our environment. Cattle require much grazing land that is created by destroying rainforests and trees. They and pigs also produce much methane that depletes the ozone layer. Excrement from chickens fouls and nearby water. A plant-based diet involves none of these major problems.

Favorite Plant Tales

In this article, I’ll share a few of my favorite plant stories. They may validate your experiences and/or encourage you to increase love and respect for plants.

One of my favorite songs by Cat Stevens is called “King of Trees.” His music and lyrics really spoke to me in this song about a huge tree that was cut down in the name of progress. A portion of the lyrics: “He was the king of trees, keeper of the glades. The way he lightened my life, makes me so amazed. We used to meet by him, many years ago. I loved you, now they’ve come to lay the road. Oh, oh, oh! Don’t lay the road.”

During a two-year period in my twenties, I prudently and occasionally used conscious-altering plants. The old three-story house I shared with two other college students had a window seat facing a huge oak tree. After ingesting psychedelic mushrooms, I experienced a long and soulful conversation with the tree. I stared at its beauty and magnificence as lessons seemed to transfer in a deep, calm and loving voice. Forty-five years later, those lessons still resonate with the totality of my knowledge and experience.

Starting in the late 1990s and for nearly 20 years, I gave many workshops to people around the country. Those were primarily given at Unity Centers, Centers for Spiritual Living, and other New Thought/enlightened venues. I learned as much as I taught from the real-life stories that attendees share. The following one still gives me goosebumps.

A woman who lived next to a large span of woods heard a beautiful melody one day. It was at once flute-like and angelic—the most wonderful sound she had ever heard. She hiked onto private land and, as she walked, the sound became louder and clearer. After nearly two miles, she found where the sound was emanating from . . . a huge stately tree. She fell in love with this plant being, hugged and thanked it profusely. She considered it a personal miracle.

The next week, she took a friend with her to see the grand tree even though the music had stopped. As they approached the area, they saw signs of forest clearing by machines. The gigantic tree was gone. In retrospect, the woman wondered if she may have heard the tree’s song that it sent out before being destroyed. Hearing this was especially meaningful to me since my daily prayers include: “Thank you for helping me to share my greatest gifts, shine as brightly as possible, do all that I came here to do, and sing all my heart’s songs.”

I’ve lived on the same wooded lot for 34 years. Most recently, our neighbors huge oak tree had to be cut down. Its dead limbs were larger than most trees, and could kill someone if they fell. The tree crew estimated that it was over 350 years old. Just imagine all that tree has witnessed. After the crew left, I walked up to the tree to thank it for all the beauty shade, and inspiration it brought.

Initially, I felt sad as I saw the trunk that was too large to cut. Everything else had been hauled away. Then I sensed some messages from the tree (no mushrooms required):

  • It had a great run, a super-long life.
  • Its life force/energy will be shared in other ways: the trunk a home for animals, its wood to warm homes, its branches and leaves to become new dirt.
  • It understood the cycle of life and considered it no big deal; perpetual change is part of life on Earth
  • The one that made me smile: Don’t worry, there are lots of mini-oaks sprouting up all around here.

Several neighbors agreed to find oak saplings and plant them in our yards so that tree lives on as new trees that will be appreciated by many people far after my body has returned to the earth.

I hope these stories you to appreciate the plant world—different manifestations of consciousness to which we each are sacredly interconnected.

Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is an author, master’s clinical psychologist, holistic chiropractic physician, frequent media guest, and webinar/workshop facilitator. He directs The SoulPhone Foundation and founded Greater Reality Living Groups. Dr. Pitstick can help you know and show—no matter what is happening to or around you—that your earthly experience is a totally safe, meaningful, and magnificent adventure amidst forever. Visit for free articles, newsletters and radio interviews with top consciousness experts.

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The very REAL Medicine of Vitamin “N”

By Terez Hartmann

How to tap into the healing power of nature.

A Tale of Green and Blue(ish) in Brooklyn

We’ve all had our moments. And for me, one of the most consistent and powerful medicines that I have found comes from the “mother” of all things: Mother NATURE, a.k.a. “Vitamin N”.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to forest trails, mountains, flowers, and being by some body of water—and all of my best ideas, works and solutions have come from spending time in these natural spaces and places. Even as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, I loved being near (and often in) any tree I could find, would run amok when we would drive out to the country, and would walk what felt like blocks (in reality, only one long New York block), and cross over the Belt Parkway, just to be by “the bay” (an extension of the Hudson River called Gravesend Bay), where I could marvel at the movement of the waves and very often soothe my soul.

Compared to some of the magnificent places I’ve explored since then, most would not even give my concrete viewing spot with not-exactly-Caribbean-turquoise-colored-water a second glance, but for me, it was a sanctuary close to home that delivered real medicine for body and mind, and a place for my imagination to take flight.

A Common Branch

Fast forward to today, and I am beyond blessed to get to live in a state (Florida) filled with so many beautiful parks, hiking trails, pristine coastlines, and a multitude of rivers and lakes; but how amazing to know that the trails, waterways, and green spaces I now frequent share the same healing power as being in the presence of a tree that actually had the tenacity to grow in Brooklyn, or my special spot by the bay.

Here is something I did not know: In addition to the beauty, wildlife viewing opportunities, quiet, presence, and inspiration I have perpetually enjoyed when engaging with Vitamin N, science has come to demonstrate its powerful physiological and psychological benefits, including a specific threshold of TIME that can make a real difference in our well-being!

Get Your RDA of Vitamin N

Below is a powerful alignment tool from my “Onward, Upward & Forward!” Master Class (coming soon to Transformation Academy), that shares some awesome data and ways to make the most out of Vitamin N!

Here’s to getting your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin N and experiencing more calm, clarity, hope, creativity, and joy!

STEP 1: Choose Your Medicine


Visit a forest or green space for some phytoncides, a natural chemical produced by trees, that has been proven to:

  • Help your immune response: increases NK cell activity that can last for days.
  • Reduce inflammation: common forest terpenes temper inflammation and reduce oxidative stress.
  • Calm your nervous system: forest air creates a relaxation response.
  • Help with depression and elevate your mood: exposure to forest air reduces cortisol levels—the stress hormone—and β-pinene has anti-depressive properties.
  • Help with sleep: phytoncides like α-pinene enhance sleep.
  • Improve cognition and concentration.
  • Improve cardiovascular health.

More about “shinrin-yoku” (a.k.a .“forest bathing”) and the medicine of trees here:

Even wearing the color green or adding green to your environment has benefits! Find out more here:


Oceans, rivers, lakes and waterfalls or being in or near water has benefits including:

  • The sound of waves and flowing water gives your brain a rest.
  • Water creates calm and can induce a meditative state.
  • Being near the water inspires creativity.
  • Taking a bath levels out the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to create calmness.
  • It shifts you to a “big picture” orientation and inspires compassion and connection.
  • We are biologically wired with a “blue mind”—even wearing or seeing the color blue is calming!

According to Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist, “We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken.”

More about the therapeutic benefits of water here:


Mountains and movement in higher elevation area benefits include:

  • They strengthen the heart and deeply reduce the risk of cardiac disease.
  • Mountain living is linked to living longer.
  • Like being by large bodies of water, being in the mountains inspires “big-picture” thinking.
  • Altitude may fight obesity and spur weight loss—even when only visiting.
  • Mountain air is cleaner and clearer (less pollution), resulting in easier breathing, especially for those with asthma and, when combined with the benefits of pine forests, also reduces feelings of hostility, depression, and stress.

More here about mountain medicine:


Star-gazing benefits include:

  • Gets you out into nature with all the above benefits!
  • Sparks creativity.
  • Increases well-being and calm.
  • Is great for mindfulness and bringing you into the present moment.
  • When shared with others, it can encourage social engagement.

More starry-eyed data here:


Being around flowers or adding them to your space can:

  • Increases happiness.
  • Reduces perceived stress levels.
  • Help you feel more relaxed and secure.
  • Can lead to a more optimistic outlook on life.
  • Many beneficial medicines, supplements, and essential oils are flower-derived.
  • Bach flower homeopathic remedies have been used for YEARS to increase well-being.

For more about flower power:

STEP 2: Make Time

Spend at least 120 minutes/week (two hours/once per week or smaller slices that add up to two hours) in nature. Why?

  • Science has shown that there is an actual threshold for the very REAL medicine of nature.
  • Going forward, doctors may actually prescribe nature time.

Check out this fascinating study in Psychology Today for more information:

STEP 3: Repeat Forever!

  • To enhance the health of your mind, body, and spirit!
  • To increase your life expectancy and quality of life!
  • To discover deep wisdom and insights about life!

The Bottom Line: The Very REAL Medicine of “Vitamin N”

Here’s to knowing there’s a path to green, blue, beauty, light, peace, and inspiration from wherever you may stand, and to working with and benefiting from the awesome and very REAL medicine of Vitamin N.

Never underestimate the power of nature.

Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann is a Visionary Creative & top-rated instructor, Law of Attraction & Allowing YOUR Success specialist, published author, speaker, singer-songwriter, recording & performing artist & composer, “Catalyst for Fab-YOU-lous” and true Renaissance Woman who has already helped over 10,000 students in over 130 countries allow success and live life on FIRE. She is deeply passionate about helping other Powerful Creatives and Leading-Edge Thinkers live unique, empowered lives on their terms by cultivating the courage to dream, to express themselves boldly & authentically, and to focus Onward, Upward and Forward into new possibilities.

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Ghosts and Apparitions

By Jo Mooy

This month, when the veil thins, spirits move between worlds and apparitions can appear.

October marks the end of summer, when the last of the harvest is brought in. The death of the crops in the fields signaled the changing cycles that governed the lives of ancient cultures. They believed the boundaries between the worlds of the living and dead became blurred during this time, when the darker days arrived, predicting that winter wasn’t far away.

Samhain was celebrated this month, when the ghosts of the dead returned to Earth. That festival, still practiced by Wiccans, evolved into the Christian remembrance of All-Souls Day. For the Aztecs, who honored their ancestors in a Day of the Dead ceremony, it later became the Latin American Day of the Dead. It’s also Halloween, where costumed ghosts and apparitions donned by children and adults make merry.

But there’s a serious side to these celebrations. When the veil thins, spirits move between worlds and apparitions can appear. A ghost is an astral form of a dead person who interacts with the living. And, many claim to have seen one. Chapman University in California runs a yearly survey asking people about their beliefs in the paranormal. Almost half of the respondents believed in ghosts and 58 percent strongly believe that “places can be haunted by spirits.” More intriguing, a quarter of them said they had seen or been in the presence of a ghost.

On ghost-hunting TV shows, scientific equipment is used to record or measure spirit activity. Numerous creepy photos and videos make it seem like ghosts exist. However, none of these offer good evidence of ghosts. Some are hoaxes, created to fool people. The rest only prove that equipment sometimes can capture unexpected noise, images or other signals. Ghosts are the least likely of many possible explanations in the scientific studies.

And yet, there are oddities that happen that can’t be explained. Cold or hot spots appear on sensitive equipment which mark locations that ghosts were seen or frequent. At other times, objects moved without explanation leaving the researchers perplexed. It’s also well known that spirits use electronics to communicate with the living by switching the devices on or off, or actually sending messages. Science says all of these things are impossible. Still some of the recordings say otherwise, but the research teams stand by their findings.

What scientists have discovered is that there are lots of reasons why people might feel they have had ghostly encounters. They might refer to the encounters as hallucinations. But from my perspective—as well as my own personal experiences—that’s a cop-out. I’ve had intense experiences with astral beings that were as real as if I were physically sitting in person with someone.

My grandmother appeared in my bedroom with a personal message that she delivered to me two weeks after her death. Every part of the experience is as real in memory as it was the day it occurred over 40 years ago. On the fifth anniversary of my husband’s death, I got an email from his Yahoo account—an account that had been closed and was no longer active. I verified this with many calls to Yahoo’s tech support.

A young 18-year-old woman who was murdered by her husband appeared in my bedroom when I moved into a house one-quarter mile down the dirt road from her home in Connecticut. She stood at the foot of my bed calling her name, Laura, over and over. A year after the experience, I learned about Laura’s story from the old farmer who lived across the dirt road from her. His wife was Laura’s best friend and witnessed the murder. None of my experiences were hallucinations. I was wide awake when each one happened.

The physical body dies, but the spirit (or ghost) continues its existence. So says every mystic tradition. Thousands of Near Death Experiencers (NDEs) have come forward sharing their stories after the death of their physical bodies. Though, despite the stories, many scientists not in the field remain skeptical. Who’s right?

In my case, I know what I saw because the experience was so “real” that I can still report explicit details that occurred. In most “normal experiences” that heightened awareness is not present. Each person probably has to experience an astral visitation before deciding if ghosts or apparitions are real. Maybe this Samhain or Day of the Dead, you’ll get lucky and can report your own experience.

Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to or email

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