Healing Circle at Recovery St. Louis

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Join us for the Healing Circle at Recovery St. Louis on Tuesday, June 26th from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.   This a group meditation process.  We are more powerful when two or more are gathered.

We will learn techniques to connect to our breath to allow a deeper meditation.  Connect to our hearts.  Expand awareness, and feel more peace and less stress.  You will experience meditation, mindfulness, guided imagery, and other mind-body practices to enhance your recover.

As a Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner and Best Mindset Coach, I am honored to be partnering with Recovery St. Louis to co-create these special sessions.

It’s our hope to help make a meaningful difference in your life, and for you to discover a safe place to heal.

With the Healing Circle, we aim to provide healing and build community, whether you are in recovery or not.

 

Mindfulness Comes to St. Louis Schools

Before school begins this fall, teachers at McKinley Classical Leadership Academy in St. Louis will learn mindfulness and meditation.  They will be trained on how to relieve stress and tension so they may pass this on to their students.  All will be learning tools and breathing techniques for calm and focus.   As a Best Mindset Coach, and Certified in Guided Imagery, I’m excited to be collaborating with McKinley in St. Louis to train their teachers.  We will be helping their team and students build emotional resilience to be more successful in learning and life.

As you may know, many of these students may come from poorer neighborhoods, where they witness more crime, violence, and trauma.  From new research, we’re learning that a traumatized brain makes learning more difficult.  Studies show when we calm the mind and body through yoga, meditation, and other mind-body practices, the brain develops new neural pathways that enhances the creative areas, and shuts down the Reptilian “fight or flight” that’s stuck in fear.   Other schools leaders throughout the country have discovered that mindfulness and meditation may be a better way to handle detention and conflict.

It’s obvious students need new tools to help with stress and anxiety.  New research published by the American Psychological Association shows teens may experience higher levels of stress than adults (during the school year.)  Yet, teens don’t have great ways to relieve stress. Most popular are video games or surfing the internet. While these may be stress reducing, they may not be building resilience to help teens cope better with difficulties in life.

This is where meditation, guided imagery, and mindfulness can help. Research shows that when teens practice meditation and guided imagery, it can lower rates of anxiety and depression, and may help with sleep. It can also help with schoolwork and focus, as well as build stronger relationships.

Help our children succeed in life and build emotional resilience! If you’re a teacher or parent and want your schools to build Inner Power Learning and use these breathing and mindful techniques, let your school leadership know about our services.  Contact us at Heart Talk Now for a free 30-minute Strategy Session

Wishing you peace!

Vicki

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and families.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

 

Recovery St. Louis Healing Circle

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Join us for our new Healing Circle at Recovery St. Louis!  All are welcome who want to take the mystery out of meditation, mindfulness, and guided Imagery.   We are more powerful when two or more are gathered.  Also, this Healing Circle will improve your “conscious contact” with your higher power, as it says in Step 11.

We will learn techniques to connect to our breath, connect to our hearts, expand awareness, and feel more peace and less stress.  It’s our hope to help make a meaningful difference in your life, and discover a safe place to heal.  Embrace the love and abundance that is All-That-Is.

As a Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner and Best Mindset Coach, I am honored to be partnering with Recovery St. Louis to co-create these special sessions. With the Healing Circle, we aim to build community and provide healing, whether you are in recovery, or a healer, or needing healing.  Together, we will connect to a higher, wiser aspect of ourselves and hold that same intention for each in the Healing Circle.

 

Are You Connected to Your Inner Guide?

Have you reached out to your Inner Guide lately?  It’s the part of you who is eternal, unlimited, and knows your potential. Your wiser self is forever patient and enlightened.  It understands your life and knows it could help, if you would simply call.

Remember that your higher self is the part of you, who wants only your highest good.  But many of us feel disconnected from our inner power.   Due to stress, depression, illness, or just the busyness of life, we feel out of touch.

My soon-to-be released book called Inner Power NOW will help us connect to that light source within to feel more empowered.  I’m including a few chapters for teens, because there’s a huge need to help them with anxiety and stress.  According to a recent survey published by the American Psychological Association, teens experience even more stress than adults.

As you may know, teens face enormous pressure these days.  The drive to get good grades and get accepted into elite colleges.  They also feel pressure to excel in athletics and lead school activities.  That’s why there’s a growing popularity to offer meditation and mindfulness to teachers and students in education.

I salute this effort.  Teens and young adults will gain enormous strength from connecting to their Inner Guide that will help them when times are tough.  Meditation and Guided Imagery also will help creativity, build focus, compassion, and self-love

Several of my Guided Imagery programs at my store will help with stress relief and connecting to a loving source.  I also work with teens and families in coaching for the Best Mindset for Success.

When we go within through meditation or Guided Imagery, we lower the stress hormone cortisol.  That’s a physical change and in terms of our mind, meditation and Guided Imagery will help teens to become more aware of their thoughts. They can witness a worry thought, without getting caught up in the fear.

It’s helpful to remember that we are resilient. Meditation and Guided Imagery will help us better cope with life on life’s terms with more ease.  You will open up to the more compassionate and creative parts of your brain.

One area that remains vital to success is compassion towards ourselves.  How often do we beat ourselves up that we’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or thin enough?  We can learn to manage that inner critic, by refusing to listen when it starts to criticize.  Do not beat yourself up.  Instead, relax, go inside to your heart, and connect with your Divine self. To help you connect to your higher self, check out my store and the Best Mindset for Success.

 

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to children, teens, 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

3 Tips to Self-Love and Being Mindful

During this week of hearts and love, shower a little more loving acceptance on YOU!  It’s often easier to be kind and gentle toward someone else than ourselves. Here are a few mindful tips that may help with self-love and self-acceptance.

1. Allow Love IN!

Be willing to pause and allow love in!  That’s the true meaning of mindfulness…being aware of a loving presence and being in the NOW of the present moment.  That’s why a brief pause into stillness, a little deep breathing, or even a short meditation can lift your spirit.

What does it mean to let love in and love yourself? It means loving your history and the messes. Loving ourselves means experiencing our feelings just as they are and also accepting what is without resistance—because as they say,  “What we resist… persists.”

Even if we do not like our current situation, let love in.  Maybe our health is suffering, or there’s an addiction, or financial struggles.  We still need to let love in so we may move beyond the hurt and pain.  Staying stuck in negativity will prevent more helpful solutions from breaking through.  It means pausing enough to trust that the right answers will come.  Try pausing in stillness and asking yourself, what would “Love” have me do? My Guided Imagery  meditations feature opening more to love, so enjoy 20% off any MP3 downloads through February 28th.  (Use coupon code love2018.)

2.  Let go of judging Yourself

You have spent too long trying to measure up to an unrealistic ideal of who you think you should be.  When really, you just have to say to yourself,  “ I’m doing the best that I can.” Then, accept that you are doing your best.   it is time to release all judgements.

What does that mean?  It is now time to see yourself as the brilliant person your truly are!  For you are special and unique.   It is now time for you to realize that you are loved unconditionally.  You deserve to be loved for exactly who you are.   You do not need to do anything to feel this love.

3. Honor Your Feelings–both the Good and the Bad

Welcome your feelings.   We need to find a way to be with feelings and let them go.  Emotions such as grief allow us to release pain so that we may move forward in our lives. Other feelings may be more unclear, such as tightness in our stomach or around our chest. As we bring an attitude of gentleness toward it, and sit with the feeling with compassion, we may open more to understanding and our true needs.

Feelings often contain wise messages. If we can cultivate a warm and friendly attitude toward our feelings, they’re more likely to become allies on our journey. New insights open up and our lives move forward in a more fulfilling way.

Many of my meditations feature love, so enjoy 20% off any MP3 downloads on LOVE at my online store.  Now through February 28th.  (Use coupon code love2018.)

To sum up, be willing to pause and let love in!  Then, allow in compassion for yourself and for those areas of your life that you are still seeking to change.  This is true self-love.  When we come from love, we can better uplift ourselves and our world!

 

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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.

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, and forgiveness.

Keep breathing in love, and breathing out gratitude. Feel your heart expand to someone you love…stay here for a few moments. (Pause) 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. (Pause for a minute or more as you imagine each blessing.)

That’s great.  Just breathe in love and breathe out gratitude. (Pause here for a bit.)  Now spread this gratitude to all of your family and friends (Pause.)  Then, expand out into your community.(Pause for a minute or more)

Continue to sit in this stillness for a little while, saying “thank you,” “thank you” for your blessings.”  When you are ready, come back into the room where you began your journey, carrying this gratitude, peace and love.  Gently open your eyes. Remember this gratitude for yourself and others and to all you meet throughout your day.  Please share this gratitude meditation with family and friends.  Wishing you peace!

 

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and a Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to children and adults. If you’d like more of this in your life, connect with her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com, for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

 

5 Keys to a Successful Meditation Practice

I recommend beginning a meditation practice with a strong intention.   At my Ignite Your Best Mindset Group, I tell participants that when your desire is heartfelt, your commitment will be much stronger.  This is the first of five steps to make your meditation a success long-term to empower your best life.

If you don’t set a firm intention, you’ll eventually lose sight of the reason you’re meditating, and be off course.   When you are aware of your intention, it’s like you’re the great batter who is consciously aware of every muscle as he moves his body toward the ball to score a homerun.  Be like that athlete who succeeds!

To set an intention, write down your answers to the follow questions:

  • What is my deepest desire for meditating?
  • How many minutes am I willing to dedicate to the practice?
  • How many days a week am I truly willing to meditate?
  • What is my deepest desire to achieve; is it connecting to your higher power, stress relief, more peace?

Now make an intention from your answers.  For example, “I will commit to a practice of at least 5 to 20 minutes of meditating or Guided Imagery each day to wake up and empower my best life.”  Or it could be, “I intend to do five minutes of meditation three times a week for stress relief.” Whatever you choose and say will be just right for you.  The most important thing is to write down your intention and begin.  When you calm your mind, go inside, you are now aligned with your higher self to inspire and expect great things.

Here are the 5 keys to a successful practice:

  1. Set an intention
  2. Align with Your Higher Power or the Divine
  3. Tune into your body and breath
  4. Welcome your thoughts and feelings
  5. Tap into a sense of wellbeing, joy, and compassion

In future blog posts, I will go more in depth with the other keys to a successful meditation practice.  You can also work with a meditation coach to help setup a strong practice.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach, a Guided Imagery Specialist, and Producer.   Atlas 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

Weight Watchers Meditation Session

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Come experience a live guided meditation session with Vicki Atlas, a Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki produces original Guided Meditations for Children and Adults.  She also offers customized one-on-one coaching to enlighten your life.  Weight Watchers Creve Coeur Open House will be full of education and fun, featuring tools for stress relief.

Tune into Calm, HeartTalkNow.com,  and come join the fun!

Helping Kids Succeed Through Imagery

Alison suffers from Migraines and has headaches that are very painful and hot.  She describes them as pressure and pounding on her head.  Her headaches went away after she learned to visualize a loving white light to cool down her head while learning to relax her body. Then, there’s Josh who suffered from test anxiety at age 16.  But through his imagery of staying calm and focused on exams, he scored higher on his tests.  These are just a few of my young clients who are using the power of their imagination to feel better and thrive.

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.

Parents and children practicing these techniques together bring more powerful results and it can be a great bonding experience.  If parents successfully teach their kids effective imagery techniques to solve their problems, their world could be transformed. If teachers could help children access their learning potential, through imagery, education could thrive.

For the next few blogs, I will discuss some techniques that you may try at home or at school with your children to help them with calm.

#1: The Balloon Breath

This is a technique of breathing slowly and deeply into the belly while focusing attention around the navel. We begin filling up deep into our belly.  This type of diaphragmatic breathing centers and calms children.

You can breath in slowly…filling up with air…then let it out very slowly…  Once more breath in deep, slowly,  then let it out.   (Do this for at least two minutes.)

One teen, who was frequently upset, was able to calm himself and reduce his stress from an 8 to a 2 by practicing his balloon breath several times a day. He found it made him feel especially peaceful when he focused his attention on his heart.  You may feel like you are breathing in and out from your heart.  Gratitude is so important to feel when doing this special breathing.

# 2: Relaxing the Body

Progressive relaxation of the body is a gentle way to calm yourself.  You begin with a light from above—it can be any color that the children wishes.   Then the light pours in from above through the head, face, neck, shoulder, and gradually moving into the legs and arms peacefully, lovingly…with relaxation spreading into each part.  Once the children are physically relaxed you can go into a script that will help the child feel loved, be more at peace, change unwanted behaviors and beliefs, and be ready for new discoveries.

In our next segment, we’ll talk about some other ideas for imagery and stories for stress-relief and healing.  (Please note that patient names were replaced.)

Vicki Atlas is a Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner and Meditation Coach.   Atlas is passionate about bringing more peace and healing to children and adults. Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com for kids.  She’s helping children, educators, and parents awaken to their best life. You can 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

 

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