Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance.  Melody Beattie
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Balance Matters

I pulled the BALANCE card this week. The perfect reminder for me as I regain my strength from a visit with pneumonia. When our lives are out of balance from carrying too much stuff in our hearts, on our minds, in our homes or on our calendars; our wellness suffers. We get knocked off our feet, sometimes literally, when we ignore the signs of discord. This issue offers some tips on how to restore balance in and around you. Like all things that matter, creating harmony takes practice but is SO worth the journey. 
Know someone you'd like to gift with ACP Wisdom Cards? Send me your name. I'll draw the winner on Jan 28th. You can have the deck sent directly to your friend or to your home. A wonderful way to spread the clear!
 Click here to view more about the deck.

Everyone always feels better when they clear out their stuff. It's one of the best ways to create balance in your space. Being mindful of where your stuff goes, however, is something most people don't consider. So, next time you are clearing out - do it thoughtfully. Think locally. Is there a school, retirement center or shelter in your neighborhood that might welcome your donation? Call and find out. All the stuff shown in the photo above, for example, was weighing on a homeowner's mind. She needed to downsize and hadn't used the art studio for years but was having a hard time letting go of what had been a passionate hobby. Solution? I contacted the art director of the local high school and arranged for a donation. Not only did the cash strapped art department get like-new supplies (some stuff never opened) that included hundreds of dollars worth of canvas, sketch pads, paints, brushes and art books; the donor had the joy of knowing the supplies were going to budding artists in her community. "Thank you sooooo much for all the fantastic professional grade art supplies. My students are thrilled!" signed P. Weber, La Conner High School. At this writing, students are creating thank you cards to express their gratitude. What harmonious ripples might you create by practicing the art of clearing?

Inhale and Exhale

Most of us give little thought to breathing in and pretty much forget to breathe out. We do a lot of shallow intake and very little release. And there's no way we can stay balanced without doing both deeply and slowly. Just as we need to receive and give, we need to take in oxygen and let out the carbon dioxide. Mind-body medicine is the most powerful healing tool we have. And breathing is the major link between our body and our mind. I got a vivid reminder of that fact when investigating panic attacks. Here I share two simple breathing techniques that bring remarkable results utilizing acupressure points and energy meridians. Use throughout the day and whenever restless, anxious or worried. In a few minutes, you'll be back to center and feeling balanced. Note: Enhance by breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth. Click on the photo for easy instructions. 
TIPS for Staying in BALANCE
SLOW DOWN. Not to be confused with stop moving. SLOW down your hectic pace of agendas and have to's. Take time for a walk in nature (not a power walk), a long bath, slow stretches, deep breathing (see example below). If you start getting antsy, use the affirmation: "I have an abundance of time to do all that is required."
UNPLUG. Get up from your computer every 30 minutes. Set a timer if necessary. Your body needs to move and your eyes need a rest. Leave your cell phone at your desk and walk down the hall, up a flight of stairs or stroll around the yard.  A brisk pace is fine as long as you take a leisurely walk at some point during your day. NOTE: This goes for TV watchers, too. 
WHEN YOU EAT - EAT.  Dr. Bernard Jensen, a pioneer of Iridology, knew back in the 60's that distractions diminish digestion. Thich Nhat Hahn at age 90 is still preaching mindful eating. When we focus on what we are eating, we absorb nutrients better, digest more easily, eat less, make smarter food choices and feel more connected to the process of life. Turn off the screens and look at your food. Enjoy the colors, the flavors, the aromas. Chew slowly. Think about where the asparagus traveled from and who grew the lemon? Conversation is fine as long as it is good natured. Keep disagreements away from food. Mindful, positive mealtime helps keep us connected and in balance.
If your room feels "off" it can affect how you feel, too. Creating balance in your space can be as simple as positioning a mirror vertically rather than horizontally. Adding a plant to offset electronics or a string of lights to brighten a dark corner. Diffusing or misting lavender essential oil (authentic sourced only) easily restores harmony. IMPORTANT: Air toxins wreak havoc with our body and mind. Eliminate detergents, soaps, air fresheners, candles and any other products listing "fragrance" on the label.
Every time I drink in a sunrise or a sunset (like the one captured here a few days ago),
I am so thankful for the natural bookends they provide. Stunning reminders to pause - 
 a powerful shift that always brings me back to center. 
Lots of trains and planes coming up for me in the next few months. I intend to offset any weary traveler syndrome with the glow of warm hugs and laughter and one of the greatest gifts in life's balancing act ... the energy of loved ones.

Wishing you harmony,

Copyright © 2016. Jane Green, A Clear Place All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
P O Box 1564
La Conner, WA 98257

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A Clear Place · 3131 SW Marigold st #307 · Portland, OR 97219 · USA

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