Monday, 31 July 2017

Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



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from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Stanford researchers identify biomarkers associated with chronic fatigue syndrome severity | 31 July 2017


The following is a press release from Stanford University that had been subject to an embargo until 8pm UK-time.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have linked chronic fatigue syndrome to variations in 17 immune-system signaling proteins, or cytokines, whose concentrations in the blood correlate with the disease’s severity.

The findings provide evidence that inflammation is a powerful driver of this mysterious condition, whose underpinnings have eluded researchers for 35 years.

The findings, described in a study to be published online July 31 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to further understanding of this condition and be used to improve the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder, which has been notably difficult.

More than 1 million people in the United States suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis and designated by the acronym ME/CFS. It is a disease with no known cure or even reliably effective treatments. Three of every four ME/CFS patients are women, for reasons that are not understood. It characteristically arises in two major waves: among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 20, and in adults between 30 and 35. The condition typically persists for decades.

“Chronic fatigue syndrome can turn a life of productive activity into one of dependency and desolation,” said Jose Montoya (pictured), MD, professor of infectious diseases, who is the study’s lead author. Some spontaneous recoveries occur during the first year, he said, but rarely after the condition has persisted more than five years.


Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association comments:
“This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health in America (equivalent of the MRC here in the UK) and published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The research was carried out by a group of well respected ME/CFS researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, California, including Professor Jose Montoya – who I have met on several occasions.
The findings, which largely relate to specific abnormalities in various immune system chemicals called cytokines, confirm and add to our existing knowledge of immune system dysfunction in ME/CFS.
As with immune system research that has already been published, the findings support a key role for low level immune system activation in ME/CFS and that the consequent overproduction of certain ‘proinflammatory’ cytokines could help to explain the ongoing flu-like and infective symptoms that are so characteristic of ME/CFS.
This study also looked at how the pattern of immune system abnormalities changed in relation to both severity and duration of symptoms.
As a result, we are clearly getting closer to finding biomarkers that are actually diagnostic of the disease – which is very encouraging given the long delays that people with ME/CFS currently face with obtaining a diagnosis and receiving appropriate management advice.
As the researchers also point out, these findings could help to select patients who might respond to various types of immunotherapy drugs that can ‘re-set the immune system thermostat’ and dampen down an overactive immune system response with the production of symptom causing cytokines.
A very welcome and encouraging development for people with ME/CFS.”

‘Solid basis for a diagnostic blood test’
The study’s senior author is Mark Davis, PhD, professor of immunology and microbiology and director of Stanford’s Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection.

“There’s been a great deal of controversy and confusion surrounding ME/CFS — even whether it is an actual disease,” said Davis. “Our findings show clearly that it’s an inflammatory disease and provide a solid basis for a diagnostic blood test.”

Many, but not all, ME/CFS patients experience flu-like symptoms common in inflammation-driven diseases, Montoya said. But because its symptoms are so diffuse — sometimes manifesting as heart problems, sometimes as mental impairment nicknamed “brain fog,” other times as indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, muscle pain, tender lymph nodes and so forth — it often goes undiagnosed, even among patients who’ve visited a half-dozen or more different specialists in an effort to determine what’s wrong with them.

Montoya, who oversees the Stanford ME/CFS Initiative, came across his first ME/CFS patient in 2004, an experience he said he’s never forgotten.

“I have seen the horrors of this disease, multiplied by hundreds of patients,” he said. “It’s been observed and talked about for 35 years now, sometimes with the onus of being described as a psychological condition. But chronic fatigue syndrome is by no means a figment of the imagination. This is real.”

Antivirals, anti-inflammatories and immune-modulating drugs have led to symptomatic improvement in some cases, Montoya said. But no single pathogenic agent that can be fingered as the ultimate ME/CFS trigger has yet been isolated, while previous efforts to identify immunological abnormalities behind the disease have met with conflicting and confusing results.

Still, the sporadic effectiveness of antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs has spurred Montoya to undertake a systematic study to see if the inflammation that’s been a will-o’-the-wisp in those previous searches could be definitively pinned down.

To attack this problem, he called on Davis, who helped create the Human Immune Monitoring Center. Since its inception a decade ago, the center has served as an engine for large-scale, data-intensive immunological analysis of human blood and tissue samples. Directed by study co-author Holden Maecker, PhD, a professor of microbiology and immunology, the center is equipped to rapidly assess gene variations and activity levels, frequencies of numerous immune cell types, blood concentrations of scores of immune proteins, activation states of intercellular signaling models, and more on a massive scale.

Finding patterns
This approach is akin to being able to look for and find larger patterns — analogous to whole words or sentences — in order to locate a desired paragraph in a lengthy manuscript, rather than just try to locate it by counting the number of times in which the letter A appears in every paragraph.

The scientists analyzed blood samples from 192 of Montoya’s patients as well as from 392 healthy control subjects. The average age of patients and controls was about 50. Patients’ average duration of symptoms was somewhat more than 10 years.

Importantly, the study design took into account patients’ disease severity and duration. The scientists found that some cytokine levels were lower in patients with mild forms of ME/CFS than in the control subjects, but elevated in ME/CFS patients with relatively severe manifestations. Averaging the results for patients versus controls with respect to these measures would have obscured this phenomenon, which Montoya said he thinks may reflect different genetic predispositions, among patients, to progress to mild versus severe disease.

When comparing patients versus control subjects, the researchers found that only two of the 51 cytokines they measured were different. Tumor growth factor beta was higher and resistin was lower in ME/CFS patients. However, the investigators found that the concentrations of 17 of the cytokines tracked disease severity. Thirteen of those 17 cytokines are pro-inflammatory.

TGF-beta is often thought of as an anti-inflammatory rather than a pro-inflammatory cytokine. But it’s known to take on a pro-inflammatory character in some cases, including certain cancers. ME/CFS patients have a higher than normal incidence of lymphoma, and Montoya speculated that TGF-beta’s elevation in ME/CFS patients could turn out to be a link.

One of the cytokines whose levels corresponded to disease severity, leptin, is secreted by fat tissue. Best known as a satiety reporter that tells the brain when somebody’s stomach is full, leptin is also an active pro-inflammatory substance. Generally, leptin is more abundant in women’s blood than in men’s, which could throw light on why more women than men have ME/CFS.

More generally speaking, the study’s results hold implications for the design of future studies of disease, including clinical trials testing immunomodulatory drugs’ potential as ME/CFS therapies.

“For decades, the ‘case vs. healthy controls’ study design has served well to advance our understanding of many diseases,” Montoya said. “However, it’s possible that for certain pathologies in humans, analysis by disease severity or duration would be likely to provide further insights.”

Other Stanford co-authors of the study are clinical research coordinator Jill Anderson; Tyson Holmes, PhD, senior research engineer at the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection; Yael Rosenberg-Hasson, PhD, immunoassay and technical director at the institute; Cristina Tato, PhD, MPH, research and science analyst at the institute; former study coordinator Ian Valencia; and Lily Chu, MSHS, a board member of the Stanford University ME/CFS Initiative.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grant U19AI057229), the Stanford ME/CFS Initiative Fund and an anonymous donor.

The published results are already being picked up across the world, with the UK’s Telegraph one of the first to comment. We will update this blog as more information becomes available.


from ME Association



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from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Heart Chakra Stones For Living With Love, Compassion And Truth

Green Prehnite

Heart chakra stones encourage you to develop compassion, unconditional love and the desire for happiness. Many heart crystals are pink or green stones and are powerful to help you to live from the heart.

from Healing Crystals For You


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Journal of Health Psychology: Special Issue on the PACE Trial – Introduction by David Marks | 31 July 2017


In Saturday’s blog we featured a press release from the Journal of Health Psychology (The Pace Trial – The Making of a Medical Scandal). Today the Journal has published its promised special issue on the PACE Trial with an introduction from editor David Marks (pictured, and reproduced in full below).

We are proud that this issue marks a special contribution by the Journal of Health Psychology to the literature concerning interventions to manage adaptation to chronic health problems. The PACE Trial debate reveals deeply embedded differences between critics and investigators. It reveals an unwillingness of the co-principal investigators of the PACE trial to engage in authentic discussion and debate. It leads one to question the wisdom of such a large investment from the public purse (£5million) on what is a textbook example of a poorly done trial.

The Journal of Health Psychology received a submission in the form of a critical review of one of the largest psychotherapy trials ever done, the PACE Trial.

PACE was a trial of therapies for patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a trial that has been associated with a great deal of controversy (Geraghty, 2016).

Following publication of the critical paper by Keith Geraghty (2016), the PACE Trial investigators responded with an Open Peer Commentary paper (White et al., 2017). The review and response were sent to more than 40 experts on both sides of the debate for commentaries.

The resulting collection is rich and varied in the perspectives it offers from a neglected point of view. Many of the commentators should be applauded for their courage, resilience and ‘insider’ understanding of experience with ME/CFS.

The Editorial Board wants to go on record that the PACE Trial investigators and their supporters were given numerous opportunities to participate, even extending the possibility of appeals and re-reviews when they would not normally be offered. That they failed to respond appropriately is disappointing.

What transpired
Commentaries were invited from an equal number of individuals on both sides of the debate (about 20 from each side of the debate). Many more submissions arrived from the PACE Trial critics than from the pro-PACE side of the debate. All submissions were peer reviewed and judged on merit.

The PACE Trial investigators’ defence of the trial was in a template format that failed to engage with critics. Before submitting their reply, Professors Peter White, Trudie Chalder and Michael Sharpe wrote to me as co-principal investigators of the PACE trial to seek a retraction of sections of Geraghty’s paper, a declaration of conflicts of interest (COI) by Keith Geraghty on the grounds that he suffers from ME/CFS, and publication of their response without peer review (White et al., 4 November 2016, email to David F Marks). All three requests were refused.

On the question of COI, the PACE authors themselves appear to hold strong allegiances to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET) – treatments they developed for ME/CFS. Stark COI have been exposed by the commentaries including the PACE authors themselves who hold a double role as advisers to the UK Government Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), a sponsor of PACE, while at the same time working as advisers to large insurance companies who have gone on record about the potential financial losses from ME/CFS being deemed a long-term physical illness.

In a further twist to the debate, undeclared COI of Petrie and Weinman (2017) were alleged by two of the commentators (Agardy, 2017; Lubet, 2017). Professors Weinman and Petrie adamantly deny that their work as advisers to Atlantis Healthcare represents a COI:

“We are very clear that there is not a COI that we need to declare. We have had nothing to do with the PACE trial and neither of us work on CFS. Our Atlantis link does not provide any conflicts as Atlantis focuses on supporting patient adherence to medication for various long term conditions, and has not had any involvement with patients with CFS.” (Weinman and Petrie, 9 May 2017, email to David F Marks)

After the online publication of several critical Commentaries, Professors White, Sharpe, Chalder and 16 co-authors were offered a further opportunity to respond to their critics in the round but they chose not to do so. They wrote: As always, we would refer interested readers to our original publications and trial website where most, if not all, the issues brought up by commentators are addressed (Chalder and Sharpe, 12 May 2017, email to David F Marks).

After peer review, authors were invited to revise their manuscripts in response to reviewer feedback and many made multiple drafts. The outcome is a set of robust papers that should stand the test of time and offer significant new light on what went wrong with the PACE Trial that has been of such high significance for the nature of treatment protocols. It is disappointing that what has been the more dominant other side refused to participate.

Unfortunately, across the pro-PACE group of authors there was a consistent pattern of resistance to the debate. After receiving critical reviews, the pro-PACE authors chose to make only cosmetic changes or not to revise their manuscripts in any way whatsoever. They appeared unwilling to enter into the spirit of scientific debate. They acted with a sense of entitlement not to have to respond to criticism.

Two pro-PACE authors even showed disdain for ME/CFS patients, stating: We have no wish to get into debates with patients. In another instance, three pro-PACE authors attempted to subvert the journal’s policy on COI by recommending reviewers who were strongly conflicted, forcing rejection of their paper.

The dearth of pro-PACE manuscripts to start off with (five submissions), the poor quality, the intransigence of authors to revise and the unavoidable rejection of three pro-PACE manuscripts led to an imbalance in papers between the two sides. However, this editor was loathe to compromise standards by publishing unsound pieces in spite of the pressure to go ahead and publish from people who should know better.

What next?
We are proud that this issue marks a special contribution by the Journal of Health Psychology to the literature concerning interventions to manage adaptation to chronic health problems.

The PACE Trial debate reveals deeply embedded differences between critics and investigators. It also reveals an unwillingness of the co-principal investigators of the PACE trial to engage in discussion and debate.

It leads one to question the wisdom of such a large investment from the public purse (£5 million) on what is a textbook example of a poorly done trial.

ME/CFS research has been poorly served by the PACE Trial and a fresh new approach to treatment is clearly warranted.

On the basis of this Special Issue, readers can make up their own minds about the scientific merits and demerits of the PACE Trial. It is to be hoped that the debate will provide a more rational basis for evidence-based improvements to the care pathway for hundreds of thousands of patients.

David F Marks


In a further twist to these developments, the Science Media Centre has attempted to rally some support for the PACE Trial:

expert reaction to Journal of Health Psychology’s Special Issue on The PACE Trial

The declared conflict of interest from Professor Macleod seems particularly petty: “Prof Sharpe used to have an office next to my wife’s; and I sit on the PLoS Data board that considered what to do about one of their other studies.

But perhaps the comment from Dr Neha Issar-Brown at the Medical Research Council, who co-funded the PACE Trial, is more circumspect:

“All research evolves by continually re-evaluating existing evidence and looking for new knowledge and we would always welcome high-quality research applications to better understand the underlying disease mechanisms, causes, prevention and treatments for this extremely debilitating condition.”

You can read all three expert reactions – an anonymous spokesperson from Oxford University also left a comment – by clicking, here.

from ME Association



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from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Happy Monday! Never forget you are magic! #affirmation #healing...

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from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Join me in just one week for the free world wide womb blessing. We will connect with the enchantress female archetype and celebrate abundance! Register at and RSVP with me. Bring a shawl/wrap and a special item for altar. #worldwidewombblessing #worldwidewombblessingmiami #moonmother #moonmothermiami #wombwisdom #wombhealing #wombblessing #wombwellness #wombblessingmiami #wombhealingmiami #wombwellnessmiami #spirituality #spiritualhealing #spiritualguidance #spiritualawakening #spiritualhealingcentermiami #wombhealingcentermiami #miami #miamilife #energyhealing #priestess #priestessmiami #purplelotusspiritualhealing #femaleawakening #femalearchetype #divinefeminine #sacredfeminine #goddess #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Euromene: New European ME/CFS Biomarker database project | 31 July 2017

Last week, an inaugural review was published that presented a biomarker database initiative by EUROMENE, and will lead to better collaboration between ME/CFS research groups across Europe. The review also highlighted flaws in current research, suggested possible improvements, and drew attention to the significant lack of funding for ME/CFS research in general.

EUROMENE (The European ME network) is a collaboration of researchers and clinicians from 17 european countries who aim to promote cooperation and advance research on ME/CFS. They are funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), a non-profit organization, and this initial study has established a database on all biomarker research relating to ME/CFS within Europe on which they hope future research will build.

Two members of EUROMENE are in receipt of grant funding by the ME Association’s Ramsay Research Fund. Dr Eliana Lacerda is a member of the UK ME/CFS Biobank team at London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Dr Elisa Oltra from Spain is examining micro-RNA in PBMCs and exosome-enriched vesicles in people with severe ME/CFS.

Biomarkers; scientific highlighters
Biomarkers are measurable indicators of a disease state within the body, such as certain metabolites or specific genes, which can be used in diagnosis, classification of subtypes of disease, indicators of prognosis and in predicting response to treatment. A good example of a biomarker would be high blood pressure as an indicator of stroke risk.

The search…
The researchers conducted a vast search of publications on biomarkers from the last 5 years and compiled a total of 39 active ME/CFS studies from 17 different countries.

These studies were then grouped into four categories of biomarkers; Immunological, Infection-related, metabolic and neurological (See Fig. 1). The majority of biomarker studies at the moment seem to be focused mainly on immunological and metabolic markers.

Studies on immune markers explored immunoglobulins, autoantibodies and cytokines. Most of the studies on infection markers were focused on XMRV, confirming the absence of this virus in European ME/CFS cohorts.

Neurological biomarker studies focused on neurotransmitter regulation and those on metabolic markers included mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and cortisol regulation.

Through the magnifying glass
Most of the studies in this review were exploratory in design, so the number of patients used in each study was low and the control groups were often not properly matched by gender or age, which can have a significant effect on the results.

Some studies also reported inconsistent data, with some findings being reported in one study not able to be confirmed in others. Many of the biomarkers found showed alterations in subgroups of patients, and not in all patients, or had wide overlap with healthy control groups, so were not specific to ME/CFS patients. These subgroups of patients could be a result of differing disease onset (infection- versus non-infection triggered).

All of these reasons, along with the fact that only a few small studies have been carried out so far, could explain why no useful biomarker has been identified. Therefore, the study concludes, strategies are needed to improve the quality and comparability of these biomarker studies – Table 3.

The search is still on…
Although no single biomarker for diagnostic use has been identified, this project provides a platform for advancement of research and the improvement of future studies.

There were, however, some promising initial results which could later develop into something very exciting. Interestingly, metabolic studies consistently revealed different gender-related patterns, which could be an avenue of further exploration.

Furthermore, recent studies analysing multiple metabolites could show specific alterations in ME/CFS patients, pointing to a possible common and specific metabolic profile.

The writers suggest taking a broader approach – instead of looking for a single diagnostic biomarker – to analyse several different pathways together to create a palette of diagnostic markers.

The bottom line
This paper is a fantastic step in the right direction. EUROMENE are bringing ME/CFS researchers together across Europe to collaborate on key issues and are trying to set a higher standard of research – which is desperately needed – and it concludes with a very important message: that the main reason for the scattering of small studies is due to lack of funding.

“To promote research, it is crucial to increase funding for ME/CFS, which is currently still far below the budget funds for most other serious diseases in both the EU and the US funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH)”

You can read the full paper which provides a breakdown of all the published research that has been included in the database, here.


from ME Association



BBC Norfolk: How I fought chronic fatigue syndrome through art | 31 July 2017

Published online by BBC Norfolk, 29 July 2017.

An artist diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome says painting helps her cope.

Jasmine Farrow, 37, was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), in 2012 and found herself bed-bound for almost a year. She said: “I was unable to have my curtains open most of the time as the light hurt my eyes.”

The disease has a number of symptoms including extreme tiredness. It tends to develop between the ages of mid 20s and mid 40s, according to the NHS Choices website.

When describing how it affected her, Ms Farrow said:

“I couldn’t sit up or roll over. sometimes I couldn’t understand what people were saying. Sometimes I couldn’t talk because the brain fog was so bad I couldn’t find words. But it was this illness that eventually started me creating art again.”

Ms Farrow, who grew up in North Walsham and now lives near Acle, Norfolk, said her slow recovery has been greatly helped by her painting. “Finding words is still often a problem and I do find talking tiring still. So I use my art as a way of expressing myself without the need for words,” she said.

She said: “I am sure art has helped my recovery because it is congruent with the core of who I am. I feel such a relief to be making art again. I now have a better understanding of how much I needed it. I really don’t feel myself without it.”

She has a major collection of paintings on her website. She said: “I can express my experiences and the abstract hallucinations I experienced and the emotions I feel and those memories that kept me going when I was laying in darkness for days.” She said she is now well enough to get out and about on her electric scooter.

The disease affects 250,000 people in the UK, according to the ME Association. The charity said of Ms Farrow’s experience:

“It’s great to hear that Jasmine has found a way of expressing herself through art. Those with severe ME often find themselves becoming isolated and almost invisible from society, especially those who are bedbound or housebound. Art can’t take away the symptoms, but anything that helps sufferers find a voice can only be a good thing.”



from ME Association



Ananas (Pineapple) Remedies: Irregular Periods, Pin Worms, Cough

By Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu) PhD. Ananas (Pineapple) is said to be discovered by Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean island of Guadalupe. Botanical name of pine apple is Ananas comosus. Pineapple belongs to Bromiliaceae family. Even though fruits are well known usable parts, leaves are also used for medicinal purpose.  Bromelin is the […]

from Easy Ayurveda: Health – Lifestyle


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Amba Haldi (Curcuma amada) Remedies: Hoarse Voice, Bloating, Cough

By Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu) PhD. Amba Haldi is a well known spice. More used in south India, especially in Kerala. In odd seasons when mango is not available, side dishes, especially chutney is made up of  Mango ginger  (Amba haldi) is appreciated well due to its palatability and aroma.  Mango ginger looks […]

from Easy Ayurveda: Health – Lifestyle


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5 Walnut (Akhrot) Remedies: Skin Glow, Fatigue, Dry Cough, Bodyache

By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu) PhD. Akrhot are well known antioxidant rich drupaceous nut. It has immuno-modulatory actions, memory enhancing benefits and nervine tonic effects. The classical texts like Bhavaprakasha and Nighantu ratnakara referred it by the name Akshotaka or Akshoda.  Botanical name – Juglans regia Family: Juglandaceae Seed marrow is the most usable fruit […]

from Easy Ayurveda: Health – Lifestyle


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Akhuparni: Ipomoea reniformis Remedies: Fever, Cold, Dandruff

By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu) PhD. The plant Ipomea Reniformis Chois is known as Akhuparni or Mushakaparni in  Ayurveda. It is the most used herb by the folk healers of Kalanjimale forest in the treatment of intestinal worms and in pain abdomen conditions. The plant belongs to convolvulaceae family. Merremia emarginata is another botanical name […]

from Easy Ayurveda: Health – Lifestyle


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Ayapan Remedies: Bleeding Hemorrhoids, Wounds, UTI

By Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu) PhD. Aayapan is a shrub with beautiful violet colored flowers. Even though it is a Brazillian plant now- a -days it is found in India especially in Bengal and Himalayan ranges. Even though it is hot in potency it balances Kapha and Pitta Dosha.  The plant is botanically identified […]

from Easy Ayurveda: Health – Lifestyle


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7 Amazing Things That Happen When You Start Loving Yourself More

“When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving,” ~Kim McMillen

I started learning about self-love a long time ago.

In fact, I started learning about self-love so long ago that when, fifteen years later, a shaman in Peru I told me that self-love was the answer to all my questions, I got really pissed off!

I had struggled with depression as a teenager. For about two years, I lived a very sad life. I don’t even remember much to be honest. I felt the pain of existence. I avoided people. Every day felt like yet another obstacle to overcome. I existed rather than lived. Eventually, I overcame it and discovered some tools that I still use to help me with any low moments l might have today. One of them was the practice of self-love.

I found a few helpful books on meditation, the Silva Method, visualization, and the famous book You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay.

I wrote affirmations daily. I kept doing my mirror work. I started to be more appreciative and kinder to myself. I meditated regularly and gradually rebuilt myself. I thought I had nailed self-love. I thought I had really understood what self-love was.

I was wrong.

I was in my early thirties—single and not entirely thrilled about it. Not fulfilled in my corporate career. Living in a converted garage in London and wondering what to change in my life to feel happier.

When my friend asked me whether I would be up for travelling to Peru, I didn’t think twice.

It felt like the right adventure at the right time.

We had a magical time for three weeks. We visited many ancient places, took part in spiritual ceremonies, met and worked with shamans, and visited some old communities living a modest life in the middle of the Andes. We experienced everything that Peru had to offer.

One day, my friend and I decided to go for a coca leaf reading. It was mainly out of curiosity but as with previous past readings, I wanted to be reassured that my life was going to change and that I would soon be in a better place.

Now I know better than to turn to a psychic to ease my anxiety. Once during a reading a psychic told me that there are a few future possibilities for us, based on our choices. So, I started to trust my choices more and become comfortable with uncertainty, as there is always a solution to our problems. I also trust that whatever I experience I’m having is for my highest good and the exact lesson I now need.

Back to my story: So, we went to a back room of a very run down massage place that we’d come across a few days earlier.

The shaman came and set himself up. He couldn’t speak English and had a Dutch translator.

My friend went first and asked her questions and got guidance.

When it was my turn, I started to ask the usual questions: When will I meet the love of my life? When will I find a better job? What job would it be? When will I find a better flat? When will I start earning more money?

After I asked the first question, the shaman stirred the leaves in his palms and threw them up. When they fell, he looked at them and said to me, “When you start loving yourself.”

Fair enough, I thought to myself, and asked another question.

The shaman threw the leaves again, contemplated a little, and gave me the same answer, “When you start loving yourself more.”

I thought “okay” and agreed silently with him. I still felt I could love myself more.

I asked another question and got the same answer. And another question and got the same answer.

Doubts began to appear and I started to feel a bit uneasy.

I felt like we were a bit naive going to a shaman we didn’t know and that nobody had recommended him to us.

When I heard the same answer for the fifth time, I lost it.

I snapped at the translator, accusing the shaman of being fake and not knowing what he was doing.

The translator started to calm me down and tried to convince me that the shaman was very popular and he knew his stuff. Apparently, many people kept coming back to him because of his accurate readings.

Somehow it was hard to believe.

We completed the reading and left.

My friend tried to help me make sense of this experience but I completely dismissed it.

I was furious. Not even about the reading but the realization that I thought I had done so much work around self-love and was convinced I knew how to love and respect myself. But here a stranger was pointing out to me that there was yet more work to be done.

I remember asking my friend angrily, “How much work on self-love do I need to do to actually start loving myself? Is fifteen years not enough?”

I felt helpless and discouraged.

It felt like all the work I had done on myself up until that moment in Peru had meant nothing.

I was frustrated because I assumed that after all the inner work I had done, I should have known better. I should have attracted higher quality men. I should have had a better job. I should have earned more money. I should have been happier.

My life had a few more lessons for me before I actually got what self-love really meant.

A few years later, I was even more frustrated in the new job—and still single after dozens of failed dates with men who didn’t even remotely fit the description of my dream man. Not much happier, I had a moment of realization when I was drying my hair.

It just hit me out of nowhere. I felt in my whole body what it was to love myself. I felt flooded with self-appreciation for no reason. I was overcome by kindness and compassion for myself.

In that moment, I saw how unloving I was toward myself. I realized that through my entire life I had been betraying and abandoning myself.

I completely understood what the shaman in Peru really meant!

Until I truly loved and honored myself, I wouldn’t get a better job, find a loving man, or feel happier.

I wouldn’t because I didn’t love myself enough to feel worthy of it all.

It took me a while to integrate my insights and realize how the love I had (or lack of it!) for myself was directly responsible for my unfulfilling love life, draining career, and overall unhappiness with life.

A few years later, I now have my own definition of self-love.

I believed for a long time that self-love was merely a feeling toward myself.

Now I know better. It is way more than just a feeling.

For me, self-love is a practice. It is a practice of choosing myself, putting myself first when I can, making myself important, and being kind and compassionate with myself. Also, self-love is about choosing things/people/situations that are good for me, feel right, and serve me.

Self-love is an on-going conscious choice!

When I started to practice consciously choosing myself over others, over damaging situations, over unfulfilling friendships and relationships, things changed dramatically.

To illustrate why you need to practice self-love, here are a few examples from my own life.

1. You will start to feel more in charge of your life.

I realized that I had always a choice. I could make poor choices out of fear, guilt, and shame or empowered choices that were aligned with who I was and what felt authentic to me. So, I stopped trying to please people, accommodating men unworthy of my attention, and doing things that didn’t bring me pleasure or satisfaction.

When you start loving yourself more, you too will realize your wants and needs are important, and you have the choice to honor them.

2. You will set stronger boundaries around dating and love.

As a result of honoring my needs, I started to feel more confident and assertive. I became more purposeful with dating. I stopped wasting time on the wrong guys and started making more empowered romantic choices. The final outcome: I found the love of my life after struggling in the love department for years.

When you strengthen your boundaries from a place of self-love, you too will feel more empowered and you’ll stop repeatedly choosing partners who aren’t good for you.

3. You will stop seeking approval.

This was the most liberating thing. As I loved and respected myself more, I stopped worrying about how much others liked or approved of me. I stopped doing things to be liked. This created more space for being more authentic and less defensive, for being more myself.

When you have your own approval and acceptance, you start caring less about other people’s opinion of you and living a life that is aligned with your own values.

 4. You will start to make more courageous and conscious decisions.

I gave up my draining corporate job out of respect to myself.

I moved out of London after fifteen years to have a slower and more peaceful lifestyle.

I fell in love again. (This takes lots of courage if you have been hurt over and over again!)

I got pregnant and had a natural birth. I had no clue how this happened, as I formerly had broadcasted everywhere that if I ever got pregnant, I would be the first to ask for an epidural. But I listened to my body and having an epidural didn’t feel right.

I became a mama to my son. This is probably the bravest thing I have ever done in my life, since I love my freedom so much. But the love for my son helps me forget how important my freedom was to me before.

Self-love will give you the courage to get rid of things that don’t serve you and make space for things that will help you grow. When you truly value yourself, you make decisions that honor you rather than harm you.

5. You will start to enjoy being with yourself.

I stopped filling my days with meetings, dates, and outings, as I did in the past just so I wouldn’t feel alone. I stopped running away from myself into the arms of unsuitable men. I stopped meeting friends just to have some company.

Instead, I started to do more things I loved doing: swimming, yoga, writing, watching movies, meditating. When I reconnected with myself deeply, spending time in my own company didn’t feel scary anymore. I stopped being afraid of being alone.

You too will find that when you become more loving toward yourself, you will start being more comfortable being in your own lovely company.

6. You will develop a stronger relationship with yourself.

As I spent more time with myself I deepened the connection I had with myself. I stopped being desperate for a romantic relationship because I started to have more fun on my own. I became my own friend. I started to feel more secure as a person as I tapped into my true inner being. I started to believe in myself more. I started to trust myself more.

When you deepen your connection with yourself through self-love, you’ll connect on a deeper level with others too. As your relationship with yourself improves, your others get stronger as well.

7. You will stop seeking happiness in relationships.

Loving myself helped me realize that I didn’t need a man to be happy. All the love I needed to be happy was within me already. I took more responsibility for my personal happiness and stopped giving my power away to men.

I understood that happiness was constantly present in my life. It wasn’t somewhere in the future. I just needed to change my focus and learn to appreciate what I had rather than dwelling on what I didn’t have.

When you start to love yourself more and feel happier, you too will likely feel less desperate for a romantic relationship. You’ll realize you don’t need a partner to be happy. You just need to be happy and the right person will show up in time.

So how do you start loving yourself more? Start choosing yourself daily and doing what feels right for you.

Introduce a daily practice of checking in with yourself every time you need to make a decision or a choice.

First you ask yourself: What would feel loving in this situation?

Once you have the answer, ask yourself these thee powerful questions:

Does it feel good/right for me?

Will it serve me?

Will it make me feel energized?

These questions will help you honor yourself and your needs and stay true and loving to yourself.

There is much more I want to say on this subject, but I will leave it for another article.

Let me just say this: Self-love will transform your life—so start practicing!

About Aska Kolton

Aska Kolton works with successful single ladies who are tired with dating. She helps them learn how to love themselves more so they start making better romantic choices and finally get ready to attract the quality man they deserve. Get ready for love with Aska’s 8 Step Dating Detox Guide and join her Facebook Group.

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

The post 7 Amazing Things That Happen When You Start Loving Yourself More appeared first on Tiny Buddha.

from Tiny Buddha


#buddha #Buddhist

Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



Sunday, 30 July 2017

Pollucite Aids Angelic Contact. Potent Healing Stones To Release Toxins

Pollucite aids angelic contact & may assist you to develop mediumship. They help with the release of environmental toxins & are helpful for hands on healing such as reiki healers.

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

Chrysocolla Aids Heartfelt Communication, Goddess Energy


Chrysocolla embodies loving Goddess energy, creates truthful loving communication. A teaching stone with an empowering energy that relieves stress, guilt and fear and brings emotional healing.

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

Happy Sunday! #moonmothermiami #moonmother #shakti #spirituality...

Happy Sunday! #moonmothermiami #moonmother #shakti #spirituality #sacredfeminine #sacredgeometry #spiritualjourney #spiritualhealing #spiritualguidance #spiritualhealingmiami #spiritualhealingcentermiami #affirmation #healing #energyhealing #miami #miamilife #metaphysical #reiki #reikimiami #reikimaster #reikihealing #wombhealing #wombblessing #wombhealingmiami #wombblessingmiami #priestess #priestessmiami #purplelotusspiritualhealing #yoga #yogini #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


#spiritual #healing

Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



Blessing ceremonies for all stages of a women’s life are...

Blessing ceremonies for all stages of a women’s life are available. All stages of a women’s life are sacred, beautiful and should be honored and celebrated. Contact me for more info! #priestessmiami #priestess #purplelotusspiritualhealing #crone #mother #maiden #menarche #femalearchetypes #femaleawakening #ceremonies #womenceremonies #blessings #womenblessings #wombhealing #wombblessing #wombhealingmiami #wombblessingmiami #wombhealingcentermiami #divinefeminine #divinefeminineenergy #sacredfeminine #shakti #spirituality #spiritualjourney #goddess #miami #miamilife #spiritualawakening #sp#spiritualhealing #spiritualjourney #motherhood #motherblessing #moonmother #moonmothermiami #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Saturday, 29 July 2017

Use Celestite To Contact Guardian Angels & Develop Psychic Ability


Blue Celestite is calming and uplifting, balances energy, aids contact with guardian angels in the celestial realm. Develop psychic gifts of prophecy, clairaudience, clairsentience and clairvoyance.

from Healing Crystals For You


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Check out all of my goodies!!! 💜💜💜🔮🔮💜💜💜

Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



Use The 7 Laws of Attraction With Crystals To Manifest

Yellow Apatite

Discover how to use the 7 Laws of attraction combined with specific crystals to help you to manifest a better life. Did you know that these laws work to manifest an increase in wealth and happiness?

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

Crystal sacred geometric shapes available in clear Quartz...

Crystal sacred geometric shapes available in clear Quartz amethyst and rose quartz. Available on my Etsy shop. PurpleLotusSpiritual and during my private sessions, circles/workshops. #sacredgeometry #crystals #crystalsmiami #crystalhealing #crystalhealer #miamilife #metaphysical #energyhealing #spirituality #spiritualhealing #spiritualjourney #spiritualguidance #spiritualawakening #spiritualhealingmiami #spiritualhealingcentermiami #priestessmiami #priestess #purplellotusspiritualhealing #reiki #reikimiami #reikimaster #reikihealing #yoga #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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#shakti #divinefeminine #healing #spirituality #spiritualhealing...

#shakti #divinefeminine #healing #spirituality #spiritualhealing #spiritualhealing #spiritualguidance #spiritualawakening #sacredfeminine #moonmother #priestess #priestessmiami #purplellotusspiritualhealing #reikimaster #reikimiami #miami #miamilife #metaphysical #energyhealing #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


#spiritual #healing

Happy satires! Moldavite incense, oils and earring available...

Happy satires! Moldavite incense, oils and earring available also very soon some amazing moldavite pieces for your spiritual journey! Moldavite is a very powerful spiritual awakening crystal. It is part of the tektite family. It is known as the crystal that fell from the heavens. It aids in your spiritual awakening journey, interdimensional travel and it is a great heart opening Crystal. Available to purchase on my etsy store: PurpleLotusHealing during my private sessions, classes/circles. #moldavite #moldavitecrystal #moldavitejewelry #moldaviteoil #moldavitenergy #moldaviteincense #spirituality #spiritualhealing #spiritualguidance #spiritualjourney #spiritualawakening #spiritualhealingmiami #energyhealing #crystalhealing #crystals #crystalsmiami #priestess #priestessmiami #purplellotusspiritualhealing #miami #miamilife #spiritualhealingcentermiami #reiki #reikimaster #reikimiami #metaphysical #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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The PACE Trial: The Making of a Medical Scandal | 29 July 2017

Press release, Journal of Health Psychology, 28 July 2017.

Journal of Health Psychology Special Issue on The PACE Trial, Vol. 22, No 9, Aug. 2017.

A Special Issue of the Journal of Health Psychology on the PACE Trial, is to be published and freely available online on Monday 31 July 2017.

It marks a special contribution of the Journal of Health Psychology to the literature concerning interventions to manage chronic health problems.

The PACE trial debate illustrates what can happen when researchers become entrenched in a particular point of view, and fail to engage in constructive exchange with critics and stakeholders.

It reveals an unwillingness of the Co-Principal Investigators of the trial to engage in authentic discussion and debate. It leads one to question the wisdom of such a large investment from the public purse (£5million) on what is a textbook example of a poorly done trial.

A controversial and poorly understood disease…

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a controversial and poorly understood disease that blights the lives of over 250,000 people in the UK and 1.0M Americans. People with ME experience a dramatic decrease in their stamina for ordinary physical and cognitive activities, a characteristic dramatic increase in symptoms after minimal physical or cognitive exertion called post-exertional malaise, and a myriad of symptoms including sleep dysfunction, orthostatic intolerance and cognitive dysfunction as well as fatigue and pain.

Normal activities like walking, showering, having a conversation or writing an email can leave people shattered for days or weeks or may simply be impossible. Most people with ME cannot work and 25% are confined to their homes or beds. The PACE Trial sought to test if two therapies, a talking therapy called ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ (CBT) and exercise in the form of ‘Graded Exercise Therapy’ (GET), might help.

Unreliable at best, manipulated, at worst…

The Trial attracted unprecedented criticism, not only because it cost taxpayers an extraordinary sum (almost £5 million) but the trial itself was deeply flawed. The results are, at best, unreliable, and, at worst, manipulated to produce a positive-looking result. Patient groups have cried foul because they believe they are being sold a lie that talk therapy and exercise can cure ME/CFS when in fact many experience actual harm.

The PACE Trial was led by Professor Peter White of Queen Mary University London (retired), Professor Michael Sharpe of Oxford University and Professor Trudie Chalder of Kings College London. They published their results in the Lancet in 2011 with the contentious claim that CBT and GET brought 30% of patients back to normal while 60% improved.

The patient community reacted with scepticism and after a long battle with the PACE authors, a patient from Australia, Mr Alem Matthees, won a Freedom of Information Tribunal case to gain access to a small sub-set of the PACE trial data.


It was discovered that the PACE authors had altered the way in which they measured improvement and recovery to increase the apparent benefit of the therapies. Reanalysis showed that the improvement rate fell from 60% to 21% and the recovery rate fell from 22% to just 7% when using the original study protocol. The genie was out of the bottle.

In 2016 the Journal of Health Psychology published an Editorial by Dr. Keith Geraghty of the University of Manchester entitled ‘PACE-GATE’. Geraghty suggested that the PACE authors had altered their procedures to make CBT and GET look more beneficial. The PACE trial team reacted with anger and submitted a cursory reply. A host of experts on both sides of the debate were invited by JHP Editor Dr David F Marks to write Commentaries on the PACE Trial. All Commentaries were peer-reviewed. The majority agreed that the PACE Trial was flawed, that the PACE authors had altered their methods, breaking a fundamental principle of clinical trials, and that results from the trial were unreliable.

Conflicts of interest…

It also highlighted that the PACE Co-Principal Investigators had conflicts of interest by acting as consultants to large insurance companies and Professor White had also worked as an advisor to the Department of Work and Pensions, a main funder of the PACE trial, with a special interest in reducing social security benefits to disabled ME/CFS claimants.

Despite many serious concerns about the PACE Trial, the trial continues to be used by UK Governmental agencies, the NHS and the National Institute for Clinical Care Excellence (NICE) as part of the evidence-base to recommend CBT and GET to sufferers of ME/CFS. The current review by NICE of these treatments presents an opportunity to bring clinical practice properly in line with scientific evidence.

For further information*

UK and Ireland:
Dr Keith Geraghty
Professor Keith R. Laws
Dr Ellen Goudsmit
Professor Jonathan Edwards
Dr Charles Shepherd
Karen D Kirke
Tom Kindlon

Professor James Coyne
Professor Steven Lubet
Professor Leonard A. Jason
Professor David Tuller

Dr David F Marks, JHP Editor:

Dr Carolyn Wilshire

(*contact details removed for purposes of this blog)

from ME Association



Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



Beautiful #amethyst cluster. About 6-7 inches long. Amethyst...

Beautiful #amethyst cluster. About 6-7 inches long. Amethyst bribe peace spiritual growth aids with dreams and insomnia. Great protective stone as well connected to the crown and the third eye #purplelotusspiritualhealing #spiritualhealing #spiritualhealingmiami #crystalhealing #crystals #energyhealing #metaphysical #meditate #miamilife #miami #yoga #reiki #priestess #priestessmiami #moonmother #reikimaster #miamicrystals #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Friday, 28 July 2017

Agrellite Helps To Prevent Writers Block, Alleviates Anger, Improves Moodiness

Agrellite helps to prevent writers block & can aid you to develop psychic gifts. Aids moodiness & anger, helps you discover hidden blocks to spiritual growth & is a useful healing stone for healers.

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

Gorgoues apopholite clusters!! These are great for...

Gorgoues apopholite clusters!! These are great for interdimensional awareness, aids in connecting with guides, angels and interdimensional beings. Available for purchase during private sessions circles/workshops contact me for more info #purplelotusspiritualhealing #spiritualhealing #spiritualhealingmiami #apophyllite #crystalhealing #crystalsmiami #energyhealing #metaphysical #angels #galacticbeings #miami #miamilife #kendall #priestess #priestessmiami #purplelotusspiritualhealing #divine #reiki #yoga #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Mind and Heart are at Ease by Ajahn Chah

Whatever you experience will become an object for contemplation. This is where the practice really begins. It is the fruit which arises as samadhi matures.

from Buddhism now


#buddhism #buddhist #Buddha

Check out this beautiful tangerine aura Quartz.Tangerine Aura...

Check out this beautiful tangerine aura Quartz.Tangerine Aura unites the Base, Sacral and Solar Plexus Chakras to provide a cleansing, energetic flow throughout the body and to stimulate one’s creativity. I’ve got a few new goodies coming up for you guys!!! Stay tuned!! All will be available for purchase in my etsy store : PurplelotusSpiritual and during private sessions, classes/circle. 💜💜💜#crystalhealing #crystals #crystalsmiami #auraquartz #tangerineauraquartz #sp#spirituality #spiritualmiami #spiriualhealing #spiritualhealingmiami #purplelotusspiritualhealing #priestess #priestessmiami #purplelotusspiritualhealing #miami #miamilife #kendall #yoga #reiki #energyhealing #metaphysical #om

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Fire Quartz yoni eggs. Available only my Etsy shop:...

Fire Quartz yoni eggs. Available only my Etsy shop: PurpleLotusHealing and during private sessions classes/circles
Properties: Grounding, manifestation, making the spiritual physical, protect the body from toxic energies, amplification of ones intentions, magnification of ambient energies, clearing, cleansing, clarity, communication, memory.
Chakra: Root
Fire Quartz is among the most effective stones for grounding oneself in the body and the physical world. It can counteract spaciness and confusion, helping one to see practical concerns and move forward with useful action. Fire Quartz can be used to balance auric field and align the chakras. It pulls stray energies down through the meridian system to the root chakra. #yoni #yonilove #yoniegg #wombhealing #wombwisdom #wombwellnessmiami #wombwellness #wombhealingmiami #wombhealingcentermiami #firequartz #crystalhealing #yonihealth #yoniwellness #miami #miamilife #holistic #moonmothermiami #moonmother #priestess #priestessmiami #purplelotusspiritualhealing #spiritualhealing #spiritualhealingmiami #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Stichtite Aids Kundalini Awakening, A Profoundly Loving Vibration!


Stichtite aids kundalini awakening, creates a shield of protection around the body. Helps emotional healing, aids relationships, assists healing related to the brain and spinal column.

from Healing Crystals For You


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The moon is my calendar helps you to check in with your inner...

The moon is my calendar helps you to check in with your inner divine feminine self on a daily basis. It helps you to connect to your true cyclic self. The moon calendar is available for purchase during private sessions, workshops/classes and on my online store. DM with any questions or for more info. #themoonismycalendar #mooncycle #moonmother #moonmothermiami #divinefeminine #divinefeminineenergy #sacredfeminine #sacredwombcenter #sacredwombjourney #womblove #wombwisdom #wombhealing #wombblessing #wombwellness #wombblessingmiami #wombhealingmiami #miamilife #miami #goddess #priestess #priestessmiami #purplelotusspiritualhealing #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


#spiritual #healing

Join me August 10 as we connect with archangel metatron for...

Join me August 10 as we connect with archangel metatron for balance raising our vibrations and healing. Contact me for more info. #angelmessages #angelhealing #meditation #meditate #meditationmiami #metaphysical #metatron #archangelmetatron #miami #miamilife #spiritual #spirituality #spiritualmiami #spiritualhealer #spiriualhealing #spiritualhealingmiami #spiritualhealingcentermiami #energyhealing #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


#spiritual #healing

Join me next month for my monthly angel healing circle. We will...

Join me next month for my monthly angel healing circle. We will be Connecting with Archangel Haniel
Archangel Haniel can help you develop your intuition and clairvoyance, as well as any aspect of sacred feminine energy. It’s very effective to call upon Haniel during the full moon, especially if there’s anything you’d like to release or heal. Haniel can particularly help with women’s issues. #haniel #archangelhaniel #divinefeminine #divinefeminineenergy #sacredfeminine #sacredwombcenter #sacredwombjourney #goddess #moonmother #moonmothermiami #priestessmiami #priestess #purplelotusspiritualhealing #spiritual #spirituality #spiritualhealer #spiritualhealing #spiritualjourney #spiritualhealingmiami #angelhealing #angelhealingmiami #angelhealingcircle #angelguidance #angelmessages #miami #meditate #miamilife #meditationmiami #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


#spiritual #healing

Inspirational Exeter woman with ME gives hopes to others with illness | 28 July 2017

From, 25 July, 2017.

Like most people, “life and soul of the party” Mary Cousins took her good health for granted until she began experiencing excruciating stomach pains.

In the past six years, the 66-year-old has endured major bowel surgery as well as being treated for a strangulated hernia and clinical depression. Then she was diagnosed with ME.

Mary, of Exeter, admits to having previously been a “complete sceptic” about the illness which affects people of all ages and causes intense physical or mental exhaustion.

Despite her problems, Mary is determined to not let her health stop her enjoying life so she has set herself the challenge of visiting all 74 cathedrals in the UK which are members of The Association of Cathedrals, and will walk as many steps as she can with her mobility walker.

Mary began her Wobbly Steps mission in April, starting off with Exeter Cathedral, and has already visited 20 cathedrals. She has given herself two years to complete the challenge. As well as hoping to raise awareness of ME, she is fundraising for the ME Association.

Mary, a mother-of-two, said: “There are many, many people, including some of those in the medical profession, who are very sceptical about ME and believe it is often thought of as an excuse to be lazy.

“Believe me that those of us who genuinely suffer from ME are not lazy. It’s not like being tired. It leaves you completely exhausted with chronic fatigue. It’s like someone has struck you down. Your bones aches and it feels as if you have flu.

“In my case it’s too easy to give into it and fold up and go to sleep. But if you move, even if it’s just to walk up the stairs, it does help just to do something.

“I set myself the Wobbly Steps challenge to get out and raise money for the ME Association. It is helping me to battle ME, and although it is hard I will not give up and hide under the duvet.

“I am fortunate to have good days and then crash. Some ME sufferers rarely have good days. Moral support is as important, if not more important, to my challenge, and awareness of ME is very close to my heart as so many young people have their lives destroyed by it.”

You can read more of this article, here.

If you would like to support Mary on her wobbly-journey around the UK to raise funds for desperately needed research, or follow her progress and view some stunning photos, then please visit her fundraising page.

from ME Association



What is the prognosis for someone severely affected by M.E.? | 28 July 2017

We received the following questions from someone severely affected by M.E. – who has made no progress and is desperate to know if her health will improve – and thought it would make a useful blog for others to read and then discuss on our Facebook page.

“Can anyone in this world help please with some truth and advice of what the prognosis is for people who have severe ME.

“I have yet to receive any real information as to what my chances are of recovery, and with no treatment and little support I am beginning to wonder whether I am ever going to get some kind of quality of life back…

“I am in my 50’s and severely affected and have seen little or almost no improvement in the last five years. I have been ill for a total of six years – there was very small improvement in the first year but then it stopped.

“My doctor seems caring enough but admits I probably know more about ME than she does, and all she says is ‘people tend to get better’, and that she expects I will too – even though she admits, ‘its slow for ME’.

“I think she mean improves when she says ‘better’ but then she also admitted she hadn’t dealt with anyone who was severely affected. Yet nothing seems to be changing!

“So can anyone tell me what the likelihood of me improving is and for recovery? Has anyone been severely affected and got some life back? If so, how long did it take?

“Am I going to have to live the rest of my life like this?

Dr Charles Shepherd on Prognosis and Permanency in ME/CFS

I take the position, based on both published evidence and on numerous reports from people with ME/CFS that I have seen over the years, that the percentage of people who recover and return to full normal health is small and that ‘spontaneous recovery’ is almost unheard of.

You might find it useful to read the information contained in our leaflet on Prognosis and Permanency – which large numbers of people have successfully used in relation to benefit, legal and insurance claims over the years.

However, a significant proportion of people with ME/CFS do make some degree of improvement – something that can occur over a prolonged period (which may take several years) and eventually return to a reasonable level of health.

On a personal note, I have made a significant degree of improvement in what I can do physically and mentally over a period of many years – progress that I attribute to very careful activity management. Nothing to do with drugs, diet or supplements.

Overall, there is a wide spectrum of severity, variability and degrees of improvement and deterioration in ME/CFS – and so prognosis can very difficult to predict with any certainty in an individual case.

The information below – which I helped to prepare – comes from the 2002 Independent Working Group Report to the Chief Medical Officer:

1.4.3 Prognosis

“Although current research evidence on prognosis indicates that only a small minority of patients recover to previous levels of health functioning, this finding must be tempered by the likelihood of selection bias in studies towards inclusion of those with poorer prognosis.

“The likelihood is that most patients will show some degree of improvement over time, especially with treatment.

“A substantial number of patients will pursue a fluctuating course with periods of relative remission and relapse, while a significant minority become severely and perhaps permanently disabled.

“Gradually progressive deterioration is unusual in CFS/ME and should always prompt a further detailed clinical review to ensure that there is no other explanation that has been missed.

“However, progressive deterioration can occur in some patients with CFS/ME; the existence of such patients, many of whom are among the more severely affected, must be recognised. Many need special attention in the delivery of care and the provision of support.

“As with epidemiological studies of the incidence and prevalence of CFS/ME, knowledge of the prognosis of the illness is limited both by a lack of agreement on definitions (with the consequence that different researchers may not be always studying the same condition) and by a shortage of good studies (see Annex 2).

“However, researchers appear agreed on three points:

  • Prognosis is extremely variable. Although many patients have a fluctuating course with some setbacks, most will improve to some degree.  However, health and functioning rarely recovers completely to the individual’s previous healthy levels; most of those who feel recovered stabilise at a lower level of functioning than that before their illness.
  • Of all the people in the community who fulfil criteria for CFS/ME, many experience the majority of their improvement relatively quickly – thus, the distribution of duration of illness is uneven, with greater numbers having shorter than average duration of disease.
  • In those that do not recover relatively quickly, the illness has a tendency to become more prolonged and in a minority, the duration is very long.

“Overall, there is wide variation in the duration of illness, with some people recovering in less than two years, while others remain ill after several decades.

“Those who have been affected for several years seem less likely to recover; full recovery after symptoms persist more than five years is rare. Irrespective of the statistics, each individual requires the necessary assistance to maximise their chances of an early recovery and minimise the impact of the illness.”

If you have any questions about life with ME/CFS, then please contact us via our Facebook page, Twitter account, or via ME Connect and we will do our best to help.

We can also share your experience or questions (anonymously if you prefer) with members of our Facebook community who are often able to provide helpful suggestions and further support. Simply contact us via Facebook messenger.

Image credit: pezography/123RF Stock Photo

from ME Association



What It Means to Love: 9 Steps to a Strong Relationship

“Be there. Be open. Be honest. Be kind. Be willing to listen, understand, accept, support, and forgive. This is what it means to love.” ~Lori Deschene

They say your heart pounds when you’re in love.

But the very idea of opening up and letting love in can bring on the wrong kind of palpitations.

Saying yes to love… that’s like standing naked, bare naked, every inch of you on show.

Completely vulnerable.

Or so I thought.

My Impregnable Force Field

 “Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” ~Bertrand Russell

You see, I was called a few different things growing up. People said I was reserved, quiet, or shy.

But in truth I was just scared to let anyone in. I felt I needed an impregnable forcefield. To stay safe. To be in control.

And I needed space. Lots of it.

Getting close to people, close enough to fall in love, well, that felt way too intense and personal for me back then.

We didn’t do love in my family growing up. It was busy, busy, busy in our house. Everything was about practicality, working super hard, and getting things done. And done well.

Adults rarely showed affection with each other—something about it being inappropriate in public, my brain remembers. We were taught not to talk about personal things. Life felt secretive and awkward.

As an adult, I ached to be loved. It hurt to be so alone.

It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t really know how to love. And yet, it’s supposed to be an innate trait. Even newborn babies demonstrate the instinct to love, and the need to receive love back.

But in all my years growing up, love and affection felt awkward, foreign. Love seemed equally dangerous and mysterious at the same time.

I learned to keep everything inside, and everyone outside.

In truth, life went wrong precisely because I acted that way. I ended up alone—no lifelong friends, no life-long love. I was lost. Every day felt like an uphill struggle.

And around me love bloomed, but for others, not for me.

Eventually I understood that unless I made some changes, I would never know the absolute security of another’s love, their arms like the softest blanket around me. I would never hear someone telling me everything would be okay. That they’d be there for me, whatever life threw my way. And I’d never be able to be there for someone else.

I realized that I needed to start doing these nine things or I would never know what love is.

1. Be there.

Love doesn’t grow and flourish because you dress up or make yourself up. All it needs is for you to show up, to be fully present.

I used to believe soul mates were mythical creatures, as rare as unicorns, and that finding your soul mate was an honest to goodness miracle—one that happened to other people.

Not true.

Someone is ready to love you. They’re out there. And they’re looking for you right now. But you have to show up fully to connect with them.

In the past, I spent a lot of time caught up in my head, paralyzed by my fears and insecurities. When I was focusing all my energy on protecting myself, I wasn’t available to the people around me. You can’t love or be loved when you’re physically there but mentally somewhere else.

I now know that I need to focus more on the person in front of me than my worries, insecurities, and judgments. Love can only unfold when you get out of your head and get into your heart.

“When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

2. Be open.

Love is a powerful force, but you can’t share it if your heart is closed.

I used to fear the slightest puncture in my protective force field. I worried that if I opened up even a little, it would be the end of me. Somehow staying closed felt like protection. If I let someone in, I couldn’t control what would happen. If I kept everyone out, nothing could go wrong.

But I learned that you don’t need to expose the deepest parts of yourself all at once to be open to love. You just need to let your defenses down long enough to let someone else in.

I started by sharing a little about myself—my opinions, my feelings, and my worries. A little at first, I tested others’ reactions to what I shared. But my confidence grew much more quickly than I expected. And you know, not holding back so hard or pretending turned out to be the biggest relief ever.

“The greatest asset you could own, is an open heart.” ~Nikki Rowe

3. Be honest.

Being truthful in love goes further than just not telling lies. It takes being the real you, the wonderfully imperfect you.

Pretending to be someone you’re not or disguising how you feel sends a worrying message to the person who loves you. Human beings have an inbuilt alarm when they sense someone isn’t telling them the whole truth.

I had an image of the ‘perfect me,’ and it didn’t include being vulnerable. So I lied about the true me in everything I said and did. I pretended that I didn’t worry, didn’t need help, and that I knew exactly where I was heading in life. Those lies alone alienated some amazingly wonderful and loving people who would have been life-long friends… if I’d let them.

“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.” ~James E. Faust

4. Be kind.

I wasn’t kind in the beginning. I was too insecure to let the little things go. A forgotten request felt like rejection. A different opinion felt like an argument. I was also too insecure to accept that it didn’t mean I was loved less.

For example, one night I’d plucked up the courage to sing in front of a crowd, a small one, but to me it felt like standing on the stage of Carnegie Hall. My significant other muddled the dates and double-booked himself.

I sang that night without his support from the crowd because he felt he couldn’t let down his double booking. At the time that felt like rejection, and I reacted harshly. In truth, the situation simply said “I know you’ll understand that I need to stand by my promise elsewhere; they need me more right now. I’ll be right next to you next time.” (And they were.)

Being kind in love means accepting that people can’t always meet your expectations, and giving the other person leeway in how they act and respond. It means looking after the other person’s heart even when you’re disappointed.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~Dalai Lama

5. Be willing to listen.

Love needs to be heard to flourish, that’s pretty obvious. But it took me years to figure out that it was as much my responsibility to listen as to talk.

Because love is a conversation, not a monologue.

In the beginning my head was too full of all the things I wanted to explain, my heart too full of all the emotions I wanted to express. And my mouth was too full of all the words I needed heard.

But I found that when I listened, I learned valuable insights into the other person each and every time. I heard their concerns, self-doubts, and their words of love. I was able to help, support, and feel the growing connection we had. They drew huge comfort from having been heard. Listening fully said “I love you” as clearly as the words themselves.

Like the night we left the movies, having watched School of Rock with Jack Black. It was supposed to be a comedy, a fun date. I laughed lots, but the other person had to sit through 106 minutes of their painful personal disappointment over not pursuing their dream career in music. I listened hard. I heard all their regret, their self-reproach.

And I learned a whole relationship’s worth of areas where I could be super-sensitive and supportive in the future.

Because you can’t speak the language of love until you learn to listen first.

“The first duty of love is to listen. ” ~Paul Tillich

6. Be willing to understand.

Being willing to listen is only half of learning the language of love. The other half is understanding what you hear.

And that means being open to a different perspective, even an opposite view.

At first that sounded like I needed to give up what I believed, to forever bow down on the way I saw things.

Not the case. It meant I needed to learn to see that there could also be an alternative, equally valid viewpoint.

Understanding in love goes beyond being aware and appreciative of the other person’s stance and beliefs. It takes consciously embracing that you’re one of two, and both your perspectives have a place. Love is big enough to handle different opinions and philosophies.

So the other person grew up in a different culture, for example. That works for them and the millions of people brought up the same. There must be something in it. Love means appreciating that.

I learned that speaking your mind doesn’t have to be rude or inflammatory, no matter how directly you say it. In some cultures it’s rude not to! And yet I’d been programed to never disagree or say the ‘wrong thing’ and instead to give the accepted, acquiescent response. Love taught me there’s another way—that it’s more important to be honest and truly understand each other than to simple appease each other.

“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” ~Lucius Annaeus Seneca

7. Be willing to accept.

Love doesn’t have a complicated vocabulary. All it wants to hear is “That’s okay, I love you for who you are.” Accepting the other person for who they are, however, doesn’t guarantee love will flourish in a relationship. For that to have a chance of happening, you have to accept yourself for who you are as well.

To let love in, you need to believe you’re worthy of love, that you truly are enough for another’s heart to fall for.

You need to embrace your human-ness, your less than polished edges, and all your quirks—and theirs, too, in equal measure.

I had to learn to realize I didn’t need to be perfect. And I never could be. That I needed help sometimes. And doing my best was plenty.

I had to accept that about the other person too. I had to step back and see that no matter how large the mess or miscommunication, they’d gone into the situation dripping with good intentions and love.

That didn’t happen overnight. It took some time, some gritting of teeth initially, and a fair bit of biting my tongue. It felt hard to accept it all for a while, until I truly opened my arms to all their idiosyncrasies, seeming blind spots, and contrary points of view. I would have let those beliefs go years before if I’d known how liberated I would feel when I did.

Accept that in a relationship you’re one of two wonderful, separate, yet intertwined individuals.

You can be the amazing you that you are, and they can be their wonderful self too.

 “The greatest gift you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.” ~Brian Tracy

8. Be willing to support.

It’s hard to put the other person first when your own emotions are raging.

I spent years too caught up in the rawness of my own emotions to take into account anyone else’s. I was so busy struggling up my own mountain of troubles that I missed the other person struggling right alongside me.

We could have pulled each other up if I’d only reached across.

Support starts with looking out for signs the other one is struggling. It means putting your own battles on hold for a while.

I learned how to look beyond my thoughts and problems and truly be there for the other person, thank goodness. And our love deepened every time I did.

“Surround yourself with people who provide you with support and love and remember to give back as much as you can in return.” ~Karen Kain

9. Be willing to forgive.

Whenever there are two people involved, there are going to be mistakes and misunderstandings. That’s a given.

But the truth is, they are simply opportunities for love in disguise.

My anxious thoughts made me stress over small things for far too long. I’d analyze and imagine a whole scenario around what was a simple error or miscommunication. Like that confused discussion over weekend plans, when I worried that he saw what I’d suggested as dull, and his mix-up was a disguised attempt to avoid having to drag himself along.

A forgotten tiny promise felt like I didn’t matter. Like that planned cosy evening, just us and a relaxing dinner, that got steamrollered by him agreeing to watch the neighbors’ kids so that the parents could have a special evening instead.

That hurt.

Until I learned to forgive.

Forgiving says, “That mistake is tiny, our love is huge.”

And it says it just the same for what feels like a big mistake too. It says our love can weather this—really, it’s strong enough.

And more than that, every time you forgive the other person you’ll find the compassion to forgive yourself too.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you.” ~Lewis B. Smedes

This is what it means to love.

Imagine opening up your heart and allowing love in. Imagine love wrapped like the softest blanket around you, your heart held secure.

Imagine feeling more confident in who you are. Confident enough to be open, honest, and kind in a relationship. To be willing to listen, understand, accept, support, and forgive.

And that impregnable force field that has kept you so alone for so long?

Throw it out.

And let love in.

About Laura Tong

Laura Tong is a regular contributor on The Huffington Post and other top blogs. Grab her free cheat sheet: 5 Guilt Free Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict). Laura also hosts the Re-write The Rules In Your Life interview series where she shares awesome happiness and positivity tips from experts around the world. Click here to listen free to the latest episodes.

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