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.

Learn to Meditate with Ease

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Are You Stressed Out?  Feel Out-of-Balanced?

Come to our introductory workshop and learn to “Meditate with Ease.”  You will gain more calm and happiness.  This workshop is for beginners or for those who have tried meditation before.  We will also explore the science and research behind how meditation changes the brain and overall well-being. You will come away with meditation techniques and Guided Imagery to begin a meditation practice.   Learn ways to quiet the mind to empower your life   As a bonus gift, receive a special “Stress Buster” Guided Imagery audio program and meditation tips to get started.

The Pilates and Yoga Center in Ladue is teaming up with Heart Talk Now to help you add more peace into your life with a powerful meditation workshop.

  • Add more calm 
  • Improve your health and wellbeing
  • Enjoy more success and abundance

Please RSVP and let us know you’re coming!

Workshop Facilitator:  Vicki Atlas Israel, CGIP, Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner

Vicki is passionate about providing stressed-out adults and children with tools to nourish their inner spirit toward more peace, love, and abundance.  Expand your creativity, happiness, and wellbeing.  In the process, you may also discover better sleep!

Need a Mindset Tuneup?

Combine Affirmations with Visualization

A mindset represents a set of beliefs or way of thinking that can determine your life.  We can choose our thoughts that we think, raise our energy and mindset to higher frequencies, as we affirm our heart’s desires.

You may have heard of the Law of Attraction and may have seen the movie “The Secret.”  It’s about the Quantum Theory that “like attracts like.”  For example, Love attracts more love.  If you act more loving and are thankful for the love in your life, more love seems to show up.  The same is true for prosperity.  Gratitude for prosperity creates more prosperity, even if you’re thankful for only having $100 in the bank.  Praise that 100 dollars instead of feeling bad about it.  That money will expand as you have an attitude of gratitude.   But also, if you have a lot of doubts or fear, fear attracts more fear and limitations.  Fear over a lack of money, blocks the flow.

We can help create our mindset by developing affirmations then visualize them into being.  A powerful “I am” statement is helpful, like “I am creating more wealth and prosperity.”  Keep it in the present tense and not “I want” or you’ll be kept in the “wanting state.” Write the affirmation down on a 3 x 5 card and repeat it often throughout the day.  Now, here’s where the real power comes in.  We have to FEEL and believe it’s here for you.  Let go of doubts or fears.  To do that, we need to close our eyes and do a brief visualization or Guided Imagery in which we see the manifestation of what we want.  The more you can see and feel this in all its glory, with all of your enthusiasm and in full-color detail, the more likely this will occur.

Consistency is important as well—keep the visualization going every day for 30 days at least or more.   The great athletes and Olympic stars often use visualization to reach their goals.   High-level executives and super achievers do this, as well.  You can, too, now that you know how to do it with impact.   Once you visualize and are thankful for what you most want, like great health, being fit, or enjoying more loving relations, then release it with gratitude to the universal power to make it happen.

Doing a mindset tune up may take ten minutes a day and is worthy of your time and attention.  Creative visualization and affirmations are a winning combination to expand your mind and power up your life!  One more thing–please share this blog post with your friends and connections.  And yes, I’m visualizing and grateful for you doing this now.

Wishing you peace!

Vicki

Vicki Atlas is a Certified Guided Imagery Coach and Producer of original Guided Imagery programs and custom sessions: HeartTalkNow.com

Combining Meditation and Aerobics Reduces Depression

People suffering from depression may have a more holistic approach to try for treatment. Neuroscientists at Rutgers University have discovered a breakthrough combining Meditation with Aerobics.    Apparently mixing the two shows better results than either done alone.

The clinical intervention is the first of its kind to combine silent meditation with physical aerobics exercise.  Brain health and fitness, as well as psychological exams are given before and after the training program. The research team is led by Professors Tracey Shors and Brandon Alderman.   Having completed two clinical studies with MAP training—Mental and Physical Training—researches found scores on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) decreased by 40 percent in depressed students.  The participants also showed increases in neuron activity in the brain and reported they were less likely to ruminate about the past or a trauma.

This is how they conducted the study:  participants would practice 20 minutes of silent meditation, followed by 10 minutes of walking meditation, and then 30 minutes of aerobics.  This was done twice a week for 8 weeks, or a total of 16 sessions with these results.  They found depressed students felt much less depressed and more hopeful about their future.

This sounds like a great approach to consider if you suffer from Depression or the blues and see if you find improvement to your symptoms, as well.

Wishing you Peace!

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!

Open Your Heart: Awaken Awareness

Often during my guided meditations, I have participants focus on their heart and expand with light and love.  Many spiritual teachers believe that the heart holds the seat of the soul.     Scientists now seem to back this up.   They have found neurotransmitters both in the brain and the heart, meaning that the brain and heart are always communicating.  There is wisdom there, so tune in to your heart when you have an important decision to make. When you focus on your heart,  answers seem to come from a more loving place.  This contrasts with opinions from your mind or ego, that can often be critical.  When you have flashes of insight from your heart, that’s your intuition.

Approaching life with an open heart means that you open the door to this greater consciousness.  When stressed, try shifting your attention to your heart. Take a breath, get quiet and ask, ”What does my heart say?”  Eventually you will be able do this any time, any place, but at first it may help to try it in a quiet place. Sit with your eyes closed and draw your breath into your heart. Keep breathing in and out from your heart.  You may feel tenderness or sadness in your heart, and you may also feel relief. Any emotions that arise can be witnessed and healed through the meditation process. This benefits both your physical and energetic heart. The more you practice, the more you will find your heart opening to all that is.

Speaking nicely to yourself through your heart may be one of the more loving ways to be.  I have an Open Heart Meditation available on my website that is based on this principle.

Wishing you Peace!

Vicki

www.HeartTalkNow.com

Heart Talk: What if This Were Your Last Day?

Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.” ~Leo Tolstoy

This goes beyond meditation, it’s an exercise in opening your heart to all that is.  If you knew this would be your last day, would you waste time worrying about everything you might not finish on your to-do list?  Would you spend your last precious moments dwelling on a minor setback? Would you hold a grudge about that fight or misunderstanding?  Or would you take time today to tell the people who are close that you love them?

If you knew this would be your last day, would you be hard on yourself for your mistakes, imperfections, or struggles?  Would you make a point, or make a difference? Would you do something, or say something that you’ve been waiting to do or say? Would you listen to people with a stronger focus, taking in every last word? Would you say yes to what you really want and no to what you don’t? Would you give yourself every opportunity to enjoy the people and things you love?   Would you look at life with a new sense of appreciation?

Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and then see this day brand new as if this is the first day of the rest of your life. Think about a happy baby who first experiences life.  Wipe the slate clean. Allow a healing light energy to take the pressure off. Open your heart.  Release and let go.  All is well.  Put a smile on. Today is a new opportunity to be you in love and gratitude!  (Photo from my niece Jaime with love!)

Wishing you peace!

Meditate for Weight Release and Wellbeing

It feels as though my life has gone full circle.  I am addressing Weight Watchers tonight for a Meditation Workshop to help members with tools for releasing weight and feeling less stressed. Mostly, I will share the powerful mind-body connection, and how meditation and Guided Imagery can aid in releasing the physical and emotional weight.  I am truly humbled by this beautiful experience.   Healing myself and healing others, for I have had a lifetime struggle with weight!  My first successful diet as a teenager had been through Weight Watchers.

Now what do I say to Weight Watchers members, who hopefully will not judge my non-perfect-size?   All I will say is that I am you and you are me.  I am a work in progress and my path of healing is moving in the right direction.  I do not proclaim to have all of the answers but I have found meditation, Guided Imagery, and other tools to deal with stress.  Plus, I can share the power of Guided Imagery in helping to create the ideal image and lifestyle at a deeper level.

With these tools, I can be a motivator for others:  to help release the burden, release perfection, let go of the fight.   Release the pain, guilt, and shame, the emotional and physical weight.   Allow a healing power of health and wellbeing, and to hold ourselves up to a light of love, peace, and acceptance.   That is what I hope and pray for all who attend the Weight Watchers Meditation Workshop tonight.  Please share your comments on this blog at www.HeartTalkNow.com.

Loving Kindness Meditation

Teaching meditation and Guided Imagery, I enjoy sharing this Loving Kindness Meditation.  My clients also appreciate their heart expanding.  Although this Loving Kindness meditation has evolved from Buddhist traditions, anyone can practice this mindful meditation no matter what religion.  The words may also vary.   You begin first sending love to yourself, because without loving yourself first, how can you love others.  After closing your eyes and taking several deep belly breaths for calm, say these words silently to yourself:

May I be happy.

May I be healthy.

May I be free from suffering.

May I live life to the fullest.

Stay with this for a few minutes in silence and repeating the phrases to yourself, feeling your heart expand.  Then, you send this loving kindness to someone who has given you unconditional love.   Feel your heart connecting.  Then say these words silently to that person.  Again, go between silence and these words.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be free from suffering.

May you live life to the fullest.

Continue in meditation for a few minutes, saying these phrases.  Then you visualize a friend and say the same words.   After that, you think of someone with whom you have had a conflict and say these words.  This may be difficult but do your best.

Then, spread this loving kindness phrase to those suffering in our community.  Feel your hearts surrounded in light and love.  Feel all the love you spread to others being returned.  Stay in meditation feeling this expansion.   After several minutes, open your eyes and carry this kindness throughout your day.

On this day or any day, spread loving kindness.

Wishing you Peace!

Vicki

 

Say YES to More Peace and Calm in 2016!

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 Learn to Meditate with Ease

The Pilates and Yoga Center is teaming up with Heart Talk Now to help you de-stress in the new year with a powerful meditation workshop.  Learn easy meditation tools to begin using now!
  • How would you like to start off 2016 with more peace and calm?
  • Sleep better?  Improve your relationships?
  • Enjoy more success and improve your health and wellbeing?

Sign up now to reserve your spot at $69 

BONUS Gift:  FREE Meditation Audio CD Program and Meditation Tips!

Please RSVP to: Karen Prechtl 314-569-9400 or pilatescentersstl@yahoo.com

Workshop Led by Vicki Atlas-Israel, Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner

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