Top 5 Motivational Quotations

It’s easy to know what we should be doing to get our lives on track, but sometimes actually taking action can be a challenge.  Looking to get organized?  Maybe you really want to get in shape.  Is there a project at work that you’ve been putting off?  We all thrive off of a sense of accomplishment.  It’s satisfying to actually achieve one of your goals, especially one that has been in the works for a long time, but how do we take the first step?  Taking action toward a goal can sometimes be the hardest part of the journey.  If you need a gentle push off the ledge, take a look at some of the greatest motivational quotations of all time.  Enjoy!

Michigan Psychics -Top 10 Inspirational Quotes - Lao TzuThis is a great one to start out with.  If you let yourself get overwhelmed by the scope or long timeline of a project or endeavor on which you are about the embark, you might get discouraged and give up on the whole process.  What Lao Tzu puts so eloquently is that once you start to chip away at obstacles on the way to your goal you will be motivated by tangible results, no matter how small.  This will help you prove to yourself that you can succeed and it will make the insurmountable much more manageable.  So take that first step!

Michigan Psychics -Top 10 Inspirational Quotes - Eleanor RooseveltEleanor Roosevelt is probably our best known first lady, and for good reason.  The above tidbit of advice is truly one to live by.  Getting our of your comfort zone is one of the most effective ways to find out what you truly love.  From things as small as discovering your new favorite food to something huge like finding out you were put on the earth to do a job you didn’t even know existed, the first step is usually stepping outside of your regular routine.  By doing something that scares you every day, you will become a more complete person and will stumble upon new things that make life that much richer.

Michigan Psychics -Top 10 Inspirational Quotes - Winston ChurchillThis one is huge!  Any successful person will tell you that they didn’t arrive at success without a bevy of failure along the way.  Stay the course and make sure you learn from your failures and mistakes.  There is always a silver lining.  Churchill would probably agree that as long as you learn something and constantly evolve, failures can be successes.

Michigan Psychics -Top 10 Inspirational Quotes - Teddy RooseveltThe second Roosevelt to make the list, Teddy was a nothing if not a doer.  He believed that taking action was always the best policy. The quotation above is worth reading carefully.  Teddy encourages us to be the “man in the arena” rather than spectators.  It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback and criticize the attempts of others.  It’s far harder, but far more fulfilling to strive for something, win or lose.

Michigan Psychics -Top 10 Inspirational Quotes - Robert FrostFace your challenges head on!  Robert Frost is one of the greatest American poets of all time and he didn’t get there by resting on his laurels.  “The best way out is always through” can mean something different for every person depending on the obstacles they are facing.  If you take one thing from this quote, it’s that there’s no easy way out of a tough situation.  You have to grit your teeth and attack your problem at the root.

Come back soon for more inspirational content for taking the reigns of your life!

What Does a Spiritual Awakening Look and Feel Like?

The Huffington Post Religion blog recently tried to answer that question by anonymously asking their readers to tell brief stories about their own spiritual experiences using the app Whisper. If you frequent with this blog, you know that we like to talk about spirituality in broad terms. Spirituality means something different for everyone but at the same time helps to unite us as believers in a greater power. Spirituality can mean praying in a church for some or simple meditation to clear one’s head for others. Some people even find spiritual experiences in sports like surfing.

That’s why this HuffPost piece was particularly interesting. Experiences ran the gamut from people who felt that God had spoken directly to them to those who felt a closeness to nature was a spiritual experience and everything in between.

We’ve selected a few of the most interesting responses. To see them all, visit the full piece on the Huffington Post Religion Blog.

When I used to pray it was always like "why don't I get anything good in life" then I  realized I should be thankful for a lot like my health and family so once I started thanking him and trusting his plan for my life things started getting better

To me, god is nature. God is not a personal being or individual. I feel close to god studying biology, doing research, hiking and camping. Nature is amazing and is a higher power on it's own.

Yes because somehow when things are at the worse he always finds a way to encourage me to keep living and to keep faith.

When I was severely depressed this past winter I bought a spiritual book and the first thing I read related directly to my life and situation and I started bawling my eyes out. I looked up and said "thank you". It truly helped me get through.

Experience vs. Material: How to Get the Most Happiness for You Money

Cash Michigan Psychics

Studies have shown that you get more satisfaction from experiences than from material items.

Humans are creatures constantly plagued by internal conflict. We often do things we know are bad for us or repeat unhealthy behaviors even though we know the results.

According to a recent study covered by the Scientific American’s Podcast, how we choose to spend our money is one of the major places that internal conflict manifests itself.

The findings of the survey show that most people believe their money is better spent on experiences such as travel or entertainment but still choose to spend the majority of their money on material goods.

Most people feel that they will get more satisfaction out of some type of unique experience but still opt to purchase items. Even after making the purchase, those surveyed said they regretted the decision and wish they had spent the money on an experience instead of the electronic or clothing item that they opted for.

So why the blatant disregard for gut feeling in this situation? The Scientific American’s explanation is that people have trouble quantifying experience but can more easily understand the value of goods. The example they use is a car vs. driving a car across the country. The car has a defined value, while the roadtrip experience can’t be quantified as easily. There is probably some merit to this explanation, but it seems a bit simplistic for such incongruous decision making.

One of the potential explanations could be the lack of risk that comes with buying an item. If you feel down, it’s very easy to fill the hole with a new pair of shoes without really having to leave your comfort zone. Taking a leap like traveling somewhere you’ve never been will be more satisfying but will be harder to make a reality. This goes hand in hand with the old saying that nothing worth doing is easy.

In short, if you’re trying to decide how to spend your money, always err on the side of experience over stuff. It might be the more difficult decision but it will pay off in how satisfied you feel afterwards.

Mitigating the Tolls of Stress on Your Body: Part II

In the last installment, we talked about a recent Fox News Health article that covered a study that showed aging and decline in cell health can be accelerated by stress but that these detrimental effects can be slowed and managed by maintaining a healthy lifestyle even during stressful times in life.

While it’s all well and good to try and maintain a disciplined and healthy lifestyle during stressful periods, we all know that it’s very easy to use bad days as excuses to slip into bad habits.  Bad breakups or losing a job can often lead to unhealthy eating, excessive drinking, lack of sleep and other habits that not only make you feel worse in the long run but could actually be doing damage to your cell health.

So how can we avoid those pitfalls and maintain our discipline even in hard times?  Here are a few techniques that might just help keep a measure of consistency during the good days and the bad.

Get Spiritual

Spirituality means different things for different people.  It can be as structured as daily prayer and attending regular religious services or as free form as meditation.  If you have some form of spiritual expression that helps keep you calm during stressful times, make sure you keep up with it on a consistent basis.  If yoga class helps you achieve some serenity, don’t skip it because you had a hard day.  If anything, those are the times that sticking to your schedule can be the most helpful.

Have Someone to Talk To

Stress can be made worse by bottling it up.  Make sure that when you’re stressed out you have a good support system.  Talking about your worries and your fears with someone you trust will help you share some of the weight of your worries. Sometimes just getting your concerns off your chest will make you feel worlds better.

Don’t Get Lazy with Your Diet

If you have a healthy diet that works for you, try not to use stress or life speedbumps as an excuse to cheat. Eating junk food might give you some temporary comfort, but you’ll almost always regret it and end up feeling worse in the long run.

Exercise Regularly

Dealing with stressful situations sometimes leads to shirking your workout regimen.  Make sure you make time to keep your body active.  It’s been proven time and time again that consistent exercise and being outdoors can help lower stress levels. If you’re stressed about a big project at work, take a break and go for a run, even if it’s only twenty minutes.  Your body and mind will both thank you and you will probably end up being more productive overall than if you had continued staring at your computer screen.

Following these simple rules will help mitigate the tolls of stress on your body.

Feel free to share any techniques for staying disciplined in times of stress in the comments!

Mitigating the Tolls of Stress on Your Body

Effects of Stress

There are many ways to mitigate the physical and mental effects of stress on the body.

Between work, family, and relationships, it can be easy to let stress get the best of you. Many people turn to faith or their spiritual guide to help them through difficult times, but it’s important to remember the steps you can take on your own to make sure the stress you’re feeling at work or at home isn’t taking a toll on your body.

Many studies have shown that stress is not only, well, stressful, but can actually have serious physical effects on your body if not manages correctly.  A recent Fox News Health blog post talks about some of the ways you can take care of your body in times of stress.  You can check out the full article here.

A recently concluded study that followed 239 women over the course of a year found that healthy living practices such as eating well, exercising, and getting the proper amount of sleep can help the detrimental effects of stress on the cellular level.

Telomeres, which the article puts into laymans terms as “the protective caps at the end of chromosomes” can be measured for length.  Every time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten slightly which researchers believe is one of the primary causes of aging.  Stressful events like divorce or loss of a job led to a higher rate of telomere shortening, but healthy living was shown to slow the rate of telomere shortening and in theory, slow the aging process somewhat.

Women with similar stress levels but a less healthy lifestyle showed signs of greater reduction in telomere length and more advanced aging tied directly to stress.

So what does this mean for your day-to-day life? It means that staying disciplined even during times of great stress can lead to better health and slower rates of aging.

That can be easier said than done so check out part 2 where we discuss some methods for making this a reality.

Open Source Spirituality: Part II

Spirituality in the internet age

Will the open nature of the internet age start to affect how we think about spirituality?

In the last installment of this post we talked about what open source and p2p mean and how the concepts have helped to create the democratization of media creation, news, art, and countless other areas.  There was a recent post on Open Democracy discussing how these concepts could be applied to spirituality and possibly lead to a more collective, rather than hierarchical view of how human beings experience spirituality.

One of the salient points of the article is that religion and spirituality are often products of their times as much as the times are a product of religion.  A great example of that is the structure of the early Catholic Church.  The Church came rose to prominence in the power vacuum that was left by the fall of the Roman Empire. The political and economic system that replaced the centralized imperial governance revolved around strongmen controlling small fiefdoms that were farmed by peasants who were tied to the land. These fiefdoms also supplied soldiers and waged war against their rivals all while pledging fealty to the strongman or lord.  If this sounds like the complete opposite of what Jesus preached, it’s because it is.  So why did the Catholic Church also organize itself in a similar fashion with priests pledging fealty to Bishops in powerful cities, who in turn pledged fealty to the Pope?  One of the reasons the church structured itself this way was because of the political and economic system of the time.  The church mirrored that organization not through a conscious decision, but because that was the best way to structure an organization in the low middle ages.

So what does that have to do with the democratization of spirituality? If the organizational and sociopolitical system of the middle ages imprinted itself onto the Catholic Church, doesn’t it follow that the spirit of democratization and the open source sharing of ideas and technology would imprint itself on our concept of spirituality?

The Open Democracy article argues that as free sharing and contribution continues to become the way of the world, these ideas will eventually shape how we think about spirituality. No longer will a priest be pouring ideas and spiritual validation downward, but members of the spiritual community will act as equals and share their ideas amongst one another to create a democratized spiritual experience for everyone.

This idea is a bit academic, but there is definitely something to it.  Maybe the technological concepts of open source software and p2p sharing will lead to a democratic sharing of spiritual ideas and experiences without the hierarchy that often accompanies religion.

Open Source Spirituality: Part 1

Spirituality p2p

Will p2p sharing trickle into the way we think about spirituality.

In the last ten years the landscape of the digital world has changed tremendously.  Everything from high-end photo editing software to video production equipment to the ability to easily create your own website have become readily available and non-cost prohibitive.  This has led to academics and observers to trumpet the “democratization” of almost everything. While the term has become somewhat of a platitude, it does ring true for areas of expertise that used to have a high barrier to entry.

There’s nothing stopping a 10 year old from going on Code Academy and teaching himself how to build a website at almost no cost. Musical instruction that used to require expensive private lessons is now available for free on YouTube. It’s not unrealistic in 2014 to teach yourself how to make a living being a graphic designer with a few months of internet research and dedication.

The term “open source” is one that goes hand in hand with “democratization” in many ways. Originally a term that applied only to software, open source now means something along the lines of anything that can be shared and modified by others without paying licensing fees or even permission. The operating system Linux is a pure open source OS favored by many computer programmers. Wikipedia, one of the highest trafficked sites on the internet is essentially an open source encyclopedia, allowing anyone to contribute and edit.

So how does the open source world we live in relate to spirituality and religion?  A recent Open Democracy article discusses how the concept of Peer to Peer (p2p) sharing that has changed the face of technology may also be applied to change the face of spirituality.  Check out part 2 of this blog post when we’ll discuss what this means in a little more depth.

Meditating Your Way to a Better Immune System

Meditation in Michigan

Meditation can lead to a stronger immune system.

For the third installment of this series, let’s talk about the most concrete benefit that the Yahoo Health article on spirituality as a means to a healthier life covers.  Research has actually shown that meditation, prayer, and other spiritual behavior can actually lead to a better functioning immune system.

So how could this be?  Some people believe that it is the spiritual engagement itself that leads to healing.  Perhaps humans have the ability to tap into a greater power through meditation or prayer which can help boost our body’s illness fighting capability.

The more palatable explanation for scientists and doctors is that the daily routine of calming activity that leads to greater healing capacity.  Kelly Turner is an oncologist working out New York City who summarizes the idea well: “It’s not what people believe in but whether they had a daily practice that made the difference.  When you are in deep prayer or meditation, your fight-or-flight response goes off and your rest-and-repair turns on.”

In other words, concentrating on your spiritual self can be such a calming and soothing experience that your body can stop spending its energy on processing stress or protecting itself and start utilizing those resources to repair your body or fight off an illness.

For more information on how spirituality can actually increase immunity, delve deeper in this study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity in 2012.  The gist is that subjects who engaged in 2 month-long meditation regimens saw an increase in their immune systems ability to ward off potentially harmful illnesses.

If you’re still not convinced that spirituality can boost your overall mental and physical health, read the entire Yahoo Health article for even more benefits of leading a spiritual life.

Finding Purpose on the Road to Happiness


Finding purpose through spirituality can lead to increased happiness.

If you read the latest installment on this blog you learned that one of the benefits of living spiritually is preventing depression by engaging with a community group or activity.  People who are active with everything from organized church groups to meditation classes have shown signs of being happier.  These kinds of spiritual get togethers tend to give people a sense that they belong and are valued members of a community.

This recent Yahoo Health article discusses this and other ways that a spiritual life may make you both a happier and healthier person.  In this installment we’ll talk about another benefit of living spiritually: gaining purpose in life.

One of the most common and universal questions that human beings struggle with is why are we here?  For millennia the only ones who attempted to provide answers were spiritual leaders of all faiths.  Almost all religions include some kind of fable about the origins of the human race.  Since ancient times we have been attempting to solve the mystery of where we came from and what our purpose in the universe is.  In modern times, this question has fallen on to the leading scientists of the day.  The particle and astrophysicists who spend their lives learning about the universe on both a gigantic and miniscule scale.  Over the last hundred years the human race has gained more knowledge about our world and about our own origins than all of our predecessors combined.

So why does it feel like the answers only lead to more questions?  The more we learn about the scope of the cosmos the more we contextualize ourselves as merely a tiny fiber in the grand tapestry that is reality.  While this realization can be powerful and humbling in and of itself, it can also lead to questions and doubt that make everyday life difficult to live.

Pondering the cosmos or humanity’s purpose probably won’t help you commute to work or sort out a relationship problem.  So how can we stay grounded while also incorporating an element of the spiritual or the unknown?

There are many ways, but one of the simplest is having someone to talk to about your thoughts and doubts.  Laura Dunn who holds the title of Director of Psycho-oncology at the Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Francisco reports that regular sessions with a spiritual guide can help relieve some of these burning questions and restore a sense of purpose.  Even if you don’t have a spiritual leader you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with, you should feel free to count of your friends.

Share your spiritual thoughts with others.  You’ll find that many of your peers have had the same thoughts and feelings about their place in the universe.  Find a purpose that is meaningful for you.  Seek out something that you truly love and do it well.  It could be anything from artistic expression to spending time with your family.  Only when you find that purpose will you truly be on the road to a happier healthier life.

Preventing Depression Spiritually

Depression and Spirituality

A new study has shown the spiritual living can lead to a reduced chance of depression.

It’s long been postulated that leading a life of spirituality can lead to actual benefits.  Researchers recently gathered at the New York Academy of Medicine and shared their findings which seem to somewhat validate the idea that incorporating elements of spirituality into your life can help you conquer or prevent both physical and mental ailments.  Yahoo Health has the full story.

Let’s look at some of the compelling evidence presented and discuss the specific ways it might be able to help you improve your own mental and physical health.  In this installment, we’ll talk about how living spiritually can help prevent depression.

The Yahoo piece notes that one of the major risk factors for developing depression is living in isolation.  Those who feel separated from loved ones are much more likely to report feeling depressed.  Human beings are social animals and oftentimes we can self-perpetuate a cycle of loneliness.  Your friend asks you to go to a party and you don’t want to go because you feel down on yourself but one of the reasons you feel down on yourself is because you aren’t been social.  Sound familiar?

Spirituality can help to alleviate this vicious circle by giving you a reason to engage socially on a regular basis.  Psychotherapist William McCann is an expert in community and family medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina.  He believes that spiritual activities whether they be organized religion, volunteering with a community group, or even joining a yoga class that meets regularly.  These types of activities give the attendee a sense of being part of something.  It can also lead to a feeling of camaraderie that when lacking can lead to depressive feelings and thoughts.

Staving off depression is just one way spirituality can lead to a happier healthier life.  Check back soon for more ways to improve your body, mind, and soul.