Happy New Year!

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Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year filled with peace, health, and happiness.  Since 2017 is coming to a close, I thought I’d go through a few favorite blog posts from this past year.  It’s a reminder of how we can elevate our lives through stillness and igniting our inner power.  Included are the links to read the full blog posts.  Namaste!

Is Your Inner Coach Supportive?

Do you have a supportive inner coach?  And how do we nurture a more loving inner voice?We truly have a nurturing supporter higher self—if we pause and let the power in.  Here are some of the things Anita Moorjani, Best-Selling Author of Dying to Be Me has discovered:

  • Overcome the mind and shift to the heart
  • Create gaps between thoughts, so the soul can hear us
  • Being of service is the “Real Work.”
  • Being attached to outcomes creates stress
  • Trust the Universe has the best plan for you
  • And focus on the states you desire and choose more happiness…

Helping Children Succeed with Guided Imagery

Children continue to feel stress at home and at school. Our kids deserve to be equipped with tools to help them better cope. As for parents and teachers, raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted children often feels overwhelming. Parents and educators deserve to know and practice mind-body tools, as well.

Through learning Guided Imagery and visualization, kids will develop emotional self-care to better meet challenges.  Research shows children who use Guided Imagery have better focus and attention—even those children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.)  They score higher in school and on tests.  Imagery also has been shown in studies to help children heal quicker with less pain from surgery and chronic stomach problems…

 Lean into Positivity

A friend recently asked about the benefits of Guided Imagery.  How does tuning into grace and ease for healthier living sound to you?  Here’s the definition: Guided Imagery is a relaxation technique in which words, sounds, and music are used to evoke positive mental images, feelings, and thoughts.  There are over a thousand studies confirming Guided Imagery and meditation can aid health, improve focus, reduce stress, and enhance well-being.   Children also benefit from leaning into positivity.

All of us can use a little peace from daily stress and the over-active monkey-mind. That’s the chatter of thoughts, many times negative, that seem to go on endlessly…

Thank You! Gratitude Meditation

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for family and friends.  It’s a time to practice gratitude for the little things and bigger blessings in our lives. Here’s a gratitude meditation to practice when you want to feel more connected and in a state of grace. Gratitude raises your state of higher awareness with love.

Settle into a quiet place and get comfortable. Please close your eyes. Take a deep breath in on a count of four, hold it. Then release on a count of four and pause. Do this deep breathing a few more times to relax your mind and body…

Wishing you peace and happiness!

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to children and adults.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com, for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

5 Steps to Silence Your Critical Voice

How do you make peace with that inner critical voice?  As I begin writing, thoughts appear: “You’re not good enough; What do you have to say that hasn’t been said? How can you help, if your mind is full of junk?”  Ruminating thoughts and negative chatter like this stops us from reaching our dreams and goals and can also lead to depression.

Today, are you ready to take the challenge with me?  Make peace with that inner critic that says you’re not smart enough, or pretty enough? You’re too fat.  You’re too poor.  You don’t know what you’re doing.  Let’s decide today that we’ll shine a light on ways to silence the voice.  What if we had tools to make peace with that negative voice when it starts chiming in?

Well NOW you do.  And here are what Positive Psychology studies are suggesting.

Look for the positive.  Amplify Your Strengths:  Some research has suggested that we need five positive thoughts for every negative voice we carry around in our heads to feel balanced, happy, and productive.  We often assume focusing on our weaknesses will help, when actually, amplifying our strengths is more important and MORE productive.

Ask for the Positive:  When bosses or others are critical, make sure you ask them for positive feedback as well.   They may not realize the power of the mind.  Neuroscientists studying learning have found this to be the case—when you expect and compliment what’s going right, this expands, and your team will perform stronger.   They haven’t reached their potential and they’re more apt to dig in to fix it. They also learn better, too, than from harsh criticism.

Name the critical voice as quickly as possible. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Bird-Man” the lead character has a very demeaning voice.   Whenever you hear the mean voice—label it.  Bring it to awareness, “Oh there’s that critical voice.”   Mentally reassure the crazy critic that you got this, you can handle this, and don’t need help. With practice, you’ll label it quickly.

Get out of your head and into the present moment.  When you live in the moment, your inner voices go silent. From that point, you are operating from your heart, your deeper mind. You are then following your infinite wisdom, rather than your Ego thinking brain.  To become present in the moment,  take a few breaths, become aware of your body or your immediate surroundings.  This breaks the grip.

Make peace and ask the voice to be more of a coach.   I learned this from Jack Canfield, best-selling author of the “Success Principles.”  At one point, he had a conversation with his inner critic, and said, “Hey, I need you to be more supportive, less critical.  This other way is clearly NOT working.”   From that point on, the voice seemed more positive, more supportive.

 And if all else fails, picture that voice and its big mouth-yakking away.  Now, take a huge piece of black tape.  Cover up the mouth with all of your might.   Now, you cannot hear or make out the words. Ha ha!  That’s one way to fix it!

Please share this blog post and comment how you silence your critical voice.

Vicki Atlas is a Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner and Meditation Coach.   Atlas is passionate about bringing more peace to children and adults and helping you enlighten your life.  She produces the CalmingCorner.com for kids and is helping educators and parents awaken to their best life. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

 

Help Children Thrive with Guided Imagery

There’s research that teaching young people Guided Imagery and mindfulness techniques can help their young minds develop stronger and improve academic performance.

How would you like your children to feel…

  • Much calmer and happier?
  • Get along better with their peers?
  • Improve their learning and focus?

Teaching Mindfulness and Guided Imagery to children can help bring more calm, less stress, and help their cognitive abilities and focus.   Research studies show how Guided Imagery and meditation strengthens the part of the brain in the prefrontal cortex, where focus and cognition are impacted.   It also enhances overall wellbeing as it calms the reptilian part of the brain–the fight or flight response.

It’s great that some educators are beginning to teach mindfulness and meditation in schools.  The results speak for themselves with schools who are introducing meditation instead of detention.  Schools that adopted that in Baltimore showed that attendance increases as suspension rates go down.

Meditation and mindfulness can help children build emotional intelligence and resilience, as well.   But it is so much more than that.  These kids will begin to accept themselves—even the hard feelings–with more compassion and loving kindness.

Even young Children can learn breathing techniques that help them to be more present.  We teach a technique called “Take Five-High Five.”  If you breathe and settle for five seconds, it can help bring a child to a more relaxed state, so she is more available to learn and get along with others.  Our aim is to begin early.  Check out the CalmingCorner.com where Guided Imagery and Mindfulness are calming kids at preschools.

Wishing you peace,

Vicki

 

Today Is World Sleep Day

Are you sleeping soundly?  Many of us continue to drive ourselves at night with work, catching up on Social Media, googling our phones or tablets, and then wonder why we have insomnia and cannot sleep.  And what about our children?  Pediatricians report that more than one third of young children have sleep issues.  In today’s post, we’ll talk about children, and in an upcoming post, we’ll share recommendations for adults

Recent studies show how poor sleep early in childhood may be linked to later cognitive and behavioral problems.  According to Chief of Pediatrics at MassGeneral Hospital, Elsie Taveras, MD, their latest study suggests that early poor sleep at age 3 to 4 had persistent effects with more hyperactivity and inattention, emotional, conduct and poor peer relationships.

As a Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner, my specialty is helping children, parents, and professionals release stress and sleep more soundly with Guided Imagery and meditation techniques.  We offer an audio program called Sleepytime Dreams on our website using Guided Imagery for children.  Having been tested at four different preschools, the program works.  All children, especially those at risk from poorer neighborhoods, in foster care, children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or Autism all fell deeply asleep and awakened more refreshed at naptime.   And at home, parents also report, with Sleepytime Dreams, that even problem sleepers fell asleep quicker and stayed asleep at bedtime.

Since sleep is so vital for repairing young minds and bodies, help our children sleep more soundly.  Please share this post to raise awareness of how important sleep is to our children for their early learning, social, behavioral, and growing needs.  Also, share your thoughts.

Help Children’s Sleep Problems

Our wired, fast-paced world may be affecting our children’s sleep.  Their minds and bodies crave sleep to grow and develop, so we need to help our children receive more sleep.   In following hundreds of Preschool children and their sleep patterns, scientists at Northwestern University have discovered much more aggression in those kids who sleep less at night. The study concludes less sleep leads to more behavioral problems by day.

Older children have sleep issues, too.  A National Sleep Foundation poll finds that two-thirds of children under the age of 10 have experienced sleep problems at night.  Many children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also find more sleep problems.  And research shows lack of sleep may worsen the child’s lack of focus and hyperactivity by day.

We as parents and caregivers can help establish healthy sleep habits.  Make sure our children are receiving the 10 to 11 hours of sleep recommended by pediatricians, including naps.   Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic recommend establishing a regular calming ritual to help children fall into healthy sleep patterns.  Make sure the bedroom or at Daycare is quiet, calm, and comfortable. Keep the room dark, if possible, except for a night light. An hour or more before bedtime, turn off computer games and electronics.  As adults, avoid arguing or provoking issues right before bed.  A relaxed home does make a difference.

Teach children how to relax with deep breathing and positive imagery while lying in bed.  Help them visualize the rays of the warm sun, or the sound of ocean waves soothing them, while doing abdominal breathing.  Guided Imagery helps them calm down for relaxation and sleep.

We offer a solution at Heart Talk Now called Sleepytime Dreams.  Pilot programs at Preschools and Daycare prove it to be quite effective in making bedtime or nap time stress free for young children.  Let the Dream Fairy gently help your children fall asleep feeling loved, safe, and protected.

 

Wishing you Peace!

Vicki

Creating Calm Out of Chaos

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How can we feel calm when there is so much turmoil surrounding us?  How do we come to terms with the chaos?  Many of us are still grieving over the tragedy in Dallas with the slain offices and the shootings.  We are deeply saddened by the mass murder that took place in an Orlando nightclub.  Watching 24-hour news is no way to absorb the turmoil, either.

We also are witnessing a vicious presidential election where tensions are running high on both sides.  We are constantly hit with a barrage of attacking images and quotes, repeated over and over.  At some point, we have to go inside ourselves and ask, “Is there anything we can learn or do?”

They say that change begins with each one of us.   We can ask ourself, “How can I be more civil in this world of tension, or how can I bridge my own conflicts?”  Or, “How can I see my neighbor as myself and settle tensions in my community?”  Otherwise, it will continue to tear at our hearts.

If we are not in control of larger events, then we need to release them.  We can pray for strength and send peace to those suffering.  It’s better to step away from all the news and discover a higher source that can help us through these darker times rather than to live with anxiety and fear.  We can meditate and be still in silence.

I also have a guided meditation program that helps anxiety.  This audio program is called “Embrace Love, Release Fear” and helps you fall into a deep state of relaxation, where you will feel unconditional love then release all troubles and burdens.  You are then empowered to envision what life can be without limiting beliefs.

I invite you to experience more calm instead of chaos.  Put in the discount code “calmnow” and receive 20% off any of our audio programs through August 1st.  Just go to our website Heart Talk Now,  or click “Let’s Get Started!” for a custom mediation session.

Wishing you more peace!  Please share this and let calmness spread!

What’s Keeping You from Meditating?

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I often have wondered that question myself.  I had experienced the great benefits of meditating and doing Guided Imagery in my 20s, so why had I stopped?  I had drifted away in my 30s…with young children, family obligations, and work.  I had trouble finding the time to practice on a regular basis.  Gradually, even my weekend meditations began to slip away.

I hear this from a lot of people—they don’t have time to meditate.  Or, they feel they’re not doing it right.  They wonder why their minds keep thinking when they are trying to be still.  That’s the monkey mind doing its thing…thinking thoughts.

Start small.  That’s what I tell my clients and workshop participants about finding time to meditate.  Practice for just five to ten minutes in the beginning.  You find time to exercise, brush your teeth, take a shower, you can set a timer to “Just Do It.”  Set a timer on your smart phone with a gentle chime.    Set aside time in the morning when you first wake up to meditate…before anyone else is up. That’s what I have found to be   best for me.  Others find coming home from work, or early evening is a good time or before bed.

Be consistent. That’s my best advice.  Tell yourself you will do this for 21 days straight or more.  That’s how a regular routine will begin.   A Harvard study found that just 8 weeks of meditation not only helped people experience less worry and greater calm; it also produced growth in the brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self, and lessened the “fight or flight” part of the brain.

There’s a number of busy executives who have not missed a meditation in twenty-five years, and if you make meditation a priority, you will do it. If you feel like your schedule is too full, remember that even just a few minutes of meditation is better than none.

When we spend time meditating on a regular basis, we actually have more time.  In meditation, we are in a state that is extremely refreshing for the body and mind. As people stick with their meditation, they notice that they are able to accomplish more while doing less. Instead of struggling to achieve goals, they spend more and more time “in the flow.”

Another big problem that keeps people from meditating is they feel they are not doing it right.   I will address that in my next blog. I welcome your comments and share this with your family, friends, and colleagues.

Wishing you Peace!

Vicki

Meditation with Heart

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Do you know your life purpose?  I know it may be difficult but try putting it in writing.  Mine is to use my enthusiasm and powerful voice to inspire people to heal, transform, and live their best life.   I am using Meditation and Guided Imagery to help people, like you, tune into your heart at a deeper level.  We need to heal hearts and inner wounding before we can create the bigness of our life.  When we are still, breathe deeply and unwind for a few minutes a day, we are giving our minds a much needed break. This is not easy when we are driven by all of our “to do lists,” emails, and daily tasks.   Quiet that noise, just for a few minutes a day, so you can nourish your inner spirit.

I have always been on this path, but more recently discovered my purpose in doing an exercise about writing down your life purpose.  I’m in a book club and this month we are focusing on “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield.  I highly recommend this best-seller.    My wiser self has known this to be my life purpose, and as I take ownership, my world has continued to open up in soul-satisfying ways.  Please share with me and others what you believe your life purpose to be.  Declaring it will help bring it into focus.

Wishing you peace and happiness!

Gratitude Meditation

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It’s that time of year during the holiday season when we are more focused on gratitude. Being grateful helps us to feel more abundant, instead of what we lack. Here’s a gratitude meditation to practice. Settle into a quiet place and get comfortable. Please close your eyes. Take a deep breath in on a count of four, hold it. Then release on a count of four. Do this deep breathing a few more times to relax your body. Make sure you release any tension that remains in any part of your body. (Pause for a few moments.) Now place your attention on your heart. Breathe in and out a golden light in your heart. Be thankful for your heart center, which is the seat of your soul and also holds love, compassion, even forgiveness. Keep breathing in love, and breathing out gratitude. Feel your heart expand to someone you love….stay here for a few moments. Now feel in your heart some of the things you are grateful for, like your health, the abundance of nature, the beauty of life, so many blessings. Just breathe in love and breathe out gratitude. Continue to sit in this stillness for a little while, saying “thank you” for your blessings.” As you come back to your body, breathe in this peace and love, than gradually come back to where you are sitting and when ready, open your eyes. Carry this gratitude for yourself and to all you meet throughout your day.

Best Wishes,

Vicki

www.HeartTalkNow.com

Beautiful Thoughts Create a Beautiful Soul

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You are a miracle.  Just consider this.  You have 100 trillion cells in your body.  At any moment, 100 million cells are communicating and performing tasks, without you having to do anything.  If you want to move your hand, you signal your cerebral cortex that moves down your spine to your arm and tells your hand to move.  That’s pure energy making this all occur.  Our thoughts are energy, too.   Neuroscientists say that in the Quantum Field our perception of reality affects our reality.  If you stay in doubt, fear, and anger.  That is what you will experience.  If your thoughts are filled with gratitude, appreciation, abundance more of that will be attracted to you.  So today I want to pass on my Intention for the month of November.  It’s a reminder to focus on kindness toward myself and others.  This comes from Wayne Dyer in his book The Power of Intention…“Beautiful thoughts create a beautiful soul.”  Invite more beauty into your life today.  Appreciate the miracle that you are.

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