When Stress Can Be Good For You

Not all stress is bad – here are 5 examples of occasions when stress can be good for you:

1.   Recovering from surgery. Going under the knife is stressful. But the short-term stress of surgery can work in your favor by actually helping you to heal faster. In nature, wounds usually happen following stressful situations, such as when a gazelle is being chased by a lion. Short-term stress hormones surge through the body in anticipation of the potential outcome–like the gazelle getting bit but managing to escape–and gets the body ready for the fast healing that will have to take place.

2.    Preventing colds and flu. If you’re feeling deadline pressure in the short-term, your body will most likely work overtime to keep you well. That’s because some stress is helpful to rev your immune system to fight off viruses and bacteria since it’s the stress-regulating adrenal glands that balance immunity.

3.    Increasing connections. Even if you’re not the type to actually embrace stress, it may motivate you more to reach out to others. In fact, short-term stress has been shown to boost levels of oxytocin, a.k.a. the bonding hormone.


4.    Enhancing memory. Have you ever been in a stressful situation where your mind felt super-aware and laser-sharp? It’s the rush of hormones to the prefrontal cortex (a brain region important for controlling cognition and emotion) that may boost your working memory, or the short-term kind used in speaking, problem solving and processing sensory information. 

5.    Toughening up. Whether you’re stressed because you lost your job or are having marital problems, those feelings could be life-changing–in a good way. Those of us who deal with misfortune are actually more well adjusted than those who’ve had no bumps in the road at all.


A Balanced Third Chakra

Third Chakra

When our third energy centers are fit and healthy, we feel able to take action. Our intentions are clearly focused. Those with vibrant third energy centers claim their power and stand in it. They have no need to demand or ruthlessly take power from someone else. Power flows to them because they know who they are and who they are not. These people can accomplish a great deal in the world.

An inspiring example of someone with an integrated third energy center is Halle Berry, the first African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the movie Monster’s Ball. Berry, the child of a white mother and African-American father, was a shy young girl whose father drank and abused her mother before he left when she was four years old. Kids teased her about her mixed color at school, yet she chose to become a beauty queen, fashion model, and then an actress. While filming a television show, she fainted on the set from undiagnosed diabetes and wound up in a coma for a week. When she woke up, she embarked on a healthy diet and exercise lifestyle. Now she says that diabetes turned out to be a gift. She said, “It gave me strength and toughness because I had to face reality, no matter how uncomfortable or painful it was.”

That pain included an attempted suicide after an early relationship failed. She said, “My sense of worth was so low. I had to reprogram myself to see the good in me. Because someone didn’t love me didn’t mean I was unlovable. I promised myself I would never be a coward again.”

Halle Berry may have come from a place of desperate inadequacy, but her will and resilience have overcome the distortion in her third chakra. She now lives her truth without bending to what others think and has learned how to manifest her desires, overcoming her diabetic condition to have the baby she so wanted in her life, even after 35 negative pregnancy tests. In an interview she said, “I have never been in better physical and emotional shape, and I’m happy in my personal life—what a novel idea!”

A few considerations for obtaining a balanced third chakra are:

  • Live your truth without regard for what others think.
  • Take responsibility for your words and actions.
  • Acknowledge that you have a choice and the ability to manifest your desires.


If you have concerns about whether you have imbalance in this area, answer the following questions:

  • Am I able to acknowledge and move through my feelings of anger and resentment without blaming o verbally attacking others
  • Is jealously eating me up?
  • Do I feel I can cooperate with others as a team player or do I invariably need to hog the limelight?
  • Do I chronically push myself and others to get things done? Do I try to “push” time itself?
  • Do I try to control others or events?
  • Do I have a habit of standing with my arms folded in front of me, above my waist, in an effort to protect my solar plexus?
  • Do I frequently feel overpowered by people I am with?
  • Is winning everything?
  • Do I require outside approval to feel okay about myself?

To support an increase in energy, vitality, and connection to self, I often recommend that people spend a portion of their day in the sun, preferably in the early morning or just before sunset. (If you are inclined to be angry or short-tempered, though, be very cautious about becoming too warm.) Engaging in any physical movement awakens and recharges your body, especially first thing in the morning. Try some form of intentional movement like t’ai chi, yoga, or Pilates, preferably outside. Gardening is another wonderful antidote to a frantic, fast-paced routine. Anything that allows you to slow down and become acquainted with who you are and what you really feel is key.

From Truth Heals (Hay House 2010)


What Color is Your Aura?


The Human Aura:

The aura is the electromagnetic field that surrounds the human body as well as every other organism and object in the Universe.

An Aura consists of electro-magnetic energies of varying densities that permeate through and emit or exit from the physical body of a living person. These particles of energy are suspended around the healthy human body in an oval shaped field. This “auric egg” emits out from the body approximately 2-5 feet (1 meter on average) on all sides. It extends above the head and below the feet into the ground.

The human aura consists of seven levels or bodies. Each one of the subtle bodies that exist around the physical body has its own unique frequency. They are interrelated, and reflect the person’s feelings, emotions, thinking, and behavior. A state of imbalance in one of the levels can lead to a state of imbalance in the others.

The Auric Bodies (levels of the Human Energy Field):

  1. Etheric auric body – Physical sensations. Simple physical comfort, pleasure, health.
  2. The emotional auric body – Emotions about the self.
  3. Vital auric body – Rational mind. To understand the situation in a clear, linear, rational way.
  4. Astral (emotional) body – Relations with others. Loving interaction with friends and family.
  5. Lower mental auric body – Divine will within. To align with the divine will within, to make commitment to speak and follow the truth.
  6. Higher mental auric body – Divine love and spiritual ecstasy.
  7. Spiritual (intuitive) body – Divine mind, serenity. To be connected to divine mind and to understand the greater universal pattern.

NOTE: It is NOT necessary to “see” colors and the ability to “see” them is vastly overrated; it is more important to be able to sense or feel them, or to simply know the state of an aura. So, relax and feel into auras without the need to see and enjoy!

Color Meanings

There is no such thing as a bad Aura! Nor are there bad colors. in their pure state all  colors are good and useful. When light is blocked or slowed down it will loose its  effectiveness and become gray or dull. Everything living has at least four colors  appearing in their aura with a variety of shades and hues.

RED: Passion, very active, (deep red) over active, (dull red) burned out, (bright red) sexy, leadership, love of sports, challenge, courage, practical, desire for possessions, sense of adventure, and a survival instinct. Most children have bright red auras – especially males. They are very active and ‘on the go’. Reds like a challenge, is a force of will, hard workers, like to achieve results and success. They do not punch a time clock, and work till they drop.
ORANGE: Creativity, confidence, ambition, originality, sociability, openness, intuition, independence, expression, ability to solve problems and work without supervision. Many talented sales people, entrepreneurs and people who deal with the public have orange auras. Think while they act. They enjoy their sexuality. They love adventure, excitement and intrigue, and often will have multiple partners. They are independent and not emotionally needy. Oranges love to get organized!
YELLOW: Spontaneous, intellect, happy, and cheerful. A sense of humor, confident, optimistic, with a warm smile are typical. People with yellow auras have the ability to brighten the lives of those around them. Yellows bring warmth, originality and exhilaration they usually are playful, fun loving, humorous, and somewhat childlike. They pay attention to details, organization and are disciplined!
GREEN: Healing, teaching, caring, high self-esteem, tenacity, money, harmony, balance, and growth. A rich dark green is abundance, prosperity and wealth. Greens (bright) are driven to be successful and often own their own business, are goal-oriented and make lists (check them off as they complete a goal). Greens need to be in control. Family matters and parenting are important to them. Medical professionals and people involved in the healing arts of any kind often have greens strongly in their auras.
BLUE: Communication, loyalty, good listener, contentment, peaceful, caretaker, calmness, patience, sensitive, honest, empathic, generous, warmhearted, and often times spiritual. Blue indicates a depth of feeling; love, truth, trust, dedication, tranquility, tenderness and affection. Blues cannot think of sex unless they are in love. Blues convey wisdom, and are reliable. A good talker!
INDIGO: Intuitive, observant, aware, open-minded, liberal, tolerant, charitable, shrewd, perceptive, and leadership capabilities. It represents intuitive understanding, serious, use their imagination, inspiration, creativity, and are humanitarians. Indigoes also have healing ability, and are gentle, and compassionate.
VIOLET: Spiritual, mystical, looks for magical solutions, visionaries, always see the big picture, search for the truth, questioning, take everything at face value, tends to be intuitive, and unconventional. People with a lot of violet (purple) in their Aura field tend to live in a world of fantasy and love to daydream. Things come to them without pushing, what they want and need come to them as if by unexplained. They do not have to push to get what they want.
MAGENTA: Nonconformists, innovated, strong-willed, inventive, imaginative, artistic, resourceful, productive, creative and has an agile mind. Magenta’s are bright and determined about things they regard as important. They are great manipulators as well as actors. Magenta’s tap dance to their own tune!
WHITE: Highly motivated, bright, ability to see ‘the big picture’, a chameleon, money is not always the object of their lives, great wisdom. Whites are avid readers and enjoy television, movies, and the theatre ( the main source of social learning for them). White have become the chameleons of the spectrum, assimilating other colors into their aura in order to hide or protect themselves. Often white (if there is a double white in the photo) echo a spirit that is around the person.

Calcium and Heart Health

Calcium with Vitamin D on by user Ragesoss

A European study published in Heart (a medical journal) in May of this year came to the conclusion that “increasing calcium intake from diet might not confer significant cardiovascular benefits, while calcium supplements, which might raise (heart disease) risk, should be taken with caution.” What the researchers are suggesting is that when supplements supply a sudden burst of calcium into the system, the calcium seems more likely to end up in the plaque that lines artery walls than to build stronger bones.

Basically, we’ve been lied to about cholesterol and calcium by the same people who brought us SAD—the Standard American Diet. Cholesterol, far from being the big bad guy in heart disease, is only one component of plaque: cholesterol is pliable, and vitally important for brain cells and nerves. Calcium, on the other hand, when it forms deposits (calcifications), is a much more worrisome part of plaque. Calcium can pile up in organs and cause kidney stones; Alzheimer’s disease stems from calcification of brain matter; arteries hardened by excess calcium lead to heart attacks. Where does most of that calcium come from? Processed foods that have been “fortified” with calcium, or from supplements that are high in elemental calcium.

The link between calcium, vitamin D, and bone health is fully supported by the European Food Safety Authority, but the big push for calcium supplements by mainstream medicine is supported only by a lot of simplification. Western medicine tends to take things apart, pull apart all the factors and study them in isolation. What Ayurveda and other Eastern traditions do is just the opposite: they look at things as a whole, and understand the complex interactions of our bodily processes. Ayurvedic practices, which have helped to keep me healthy for decades, set the cap for supplemental calcium at 500 mg max/day, while also adding Vitamin K2 (which carries the calcium out of the bloodstream and into bone), magnesium, and Vitamin D3 so the calcium is properly absorbed by the body.

You can see why it’s important to address your calcium intake. Yet it’s admittedly tricky. A friend of mine is lactose intolerant and has been diagnosed as having osteoporosis. She can’t get calcium from dairy products, and you have a eat a truck-load of kale to get enough calcium, yet she needs it for her bones. Fortunately, she is in the care of an “integrative doctor” who understands her needs and has set her on a good nutritional path.

But what about you? Do you take calcium supplements? Do you also take magnesium, K2, and D3? Do you get your other vitamins and minerals from supplements or from food (like juicing tons of veggies a day)? Do you get your important trace minerals from Himalayan salt? Who is overseeing your nutrition? It is highly beneficial to see a holistic practitioner, at least once, who is very knowledgable about diet and supplements and takes into account who you are, your body’s tendencies toward health or disease, your digestive ability, and your food likes, dislikes, and allergies.

It is so important for us all to take responsibility for our health, and especially for the health of our children. It’s not easy when there is so much conflicting or confusing information out there in the blogosphere. Above all, learn to listen to your body. Meditate, and listen even more deeply. You’ll find what you need to know, and be led to those who can help you.