I realized as I started to put this together that for some reason I seem to have a hard time getting out a June newsletter. I’m sure there must be something significant about that; but regardless, I’ve decided to make sure this year that pattern is broken. So here for you reading pleasure is my June newsletter with some interesting facts about the Summer Solstice, health tips, quotes and a really interesting article from an amazing woman I’ve just had the pleasure of meeting, at least via emails.
June 21st is the Summer Solstice, also known as: Alban Heflin, Alben Heruin, All-couples day, Feast of Epona, Feast of St. John the Baptist, Feill-Sheathain, Gathering Day, Johannistag, Litha, Midsummer, Sonnwend, Thing-Tide and Vestalia to name a few.
The Summer Solstice (celebrated in June in the Northern Hemisphere and December in the Southern Hemisphere) is officially the first day of summer and is also referred to as Midsummer because it is roughly the middle of the growing season throughout much of Europe. It is also when the night is at a minimum and the day is at a maximum. I don’t know about you, but I just feel as if I have so much more time to do the things I want.
People celebrate this event in a variety of ways, some of which you may be familiar with and maybe some that you are not.
In pre-historic times, summer was a joyous time of the year for those Aboriginal people who lived in the northern latitudes. The snow had disappeared; the ground had thawed out; warm temperatures had returned; flowers were blooming; leaves had returned to the deciduous trees. Some herbs could be harvested, for medicinal and other uses. Food was easier to find. The crops had already been planted and would be harvested in the months to come.
The first (or only) full moon in June is called the Honey Moon. Tradition holds that this is the best time to harvest honey from the hives.
In Ancient China, the summer solstice ceremony celebrated the earth, the feminine, and the yin forces. It complemented the winter solstice which celebrated the heavens, masculinity and yang forces.
Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires. It was a night of fire festivals and of love and of magic. It had to do with lovers and predictions, when pairs of lovers would jump through the luck-bringing flames. It was also through the fire's power that maidens would find out about their future husband, and spirits and demons were banished.
In Ancient Sweden a Midsummer tree was set up and decorated in each town. The villagers danced around it. Women and girls would customarily bathe in the local river. This was a magical ritual, intended to bring rain for the crops.
Midsummer is also traditionally the time when the sun reaches the peak of its power; the earth is green and filled with the promise of a bountiful harvest. It is a time for divination and healing rituals and divining rods and wands are traditionally cut at this time. Personally, I think it is an ideal time to use the power of the sun and the energy that is filling our world through new life and growing things to make lasting changes in your thoughts, your ideas, your body, your health and your life in general. You will find that if you want it, you will have access to the energy you need to really make lasting changes.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
With all the extra daylight hours to work with, I also thought you might find an article on how you can be the best that you can be interesting and reading it a great first step to the changes you want to incorporate into your life
Five Top Tips To Be the Best That You Can Be
By Jane C Woods
If you find yourself operating below your best at work not only will it gradually erode your confidence in your abilities but you can be sure someone influential will notice!
Here are just a few quick tips for getting the best out of your job, any job. However trivial it may seem, if you regularly give your best, others will notice and you will reap the rewards of success! And being successful can become a really good habit you’ll want to keep!
Really absorb yourself in whatever you are doing.
Whatever it is you are doing, even if it’s just filing, become wholly focused on it and do it really well. It matters to someone that it’s done properly so make it matter to you too.
Don’t keep complaining.
It’s a waste of time to complain just for the sake of having a moan or trying to apportion blame. It makes you noticeable for the wrong reasons. Instead try and focus on what went wrong and come up with a solution. Even if your response isn’t acted on you’ll be seen as positive and helpful.
Find out what people think of your work.
So often appraisals can end up putting a focus on what we’ve done wrong but we respond best by being given praise. In fact, it takes about seven pieces of positive praise to wipe out one negative comment. So accept people’s right to criticize your work but then ask what they think you do well and do more of that!
‘If a job worth’s doing it’s worth doing well’.
If you are really in a job you find unfulfilling and useless then make plans now to get out of it. But most jobs are there because someone needs it to be done. Even if you are working below your capabilities at the moment take a pride in what you do. Doing your current job well can open doors for you to move on to something better.
- Be prepared to wait for the rewards.
Once you’ve lifted your game and are performing at your peak you may have to wait a while for people to notice. It’s called deferred gratification, like saving up for something. The anticipation of what you will get at the end keeps you saving even when you get the urge to spend. The end you have in sight keeps you motivated. So it is with work. Top performers know if it’s worth attaining it rarely comes easily. View it as putting in the groundwork for your future amazing success!
Jane is a coach and trainer and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More of her self help articles can be found at www.changingpeople.co.uk where you can also sign up for her regular free newsletter.
I know I’ve been focusing on weight tips a lot lately, but it just seems as if weight is such an issue these days. Confusing diets, everybody looking for a quick fix solution and our children (at least in the U.S. and the UK) having a problem with obesity unlike any that we have ever experienced in the past. So, keeping that in mind, I am again going to focus most of my health tips on weight and diet and exercise.
Gaining Weight for No Reason?
You're eating right and working out, yet your pants keep getting tighter. What's the deal? Could be your thyroid. A sluggish thyroid -- even one that is just a tad slow -- can cause you to pack on the pounds.
As much as 2% of the U.S. population may have an under active thyroid -- called hypothyroidism. Women over 40 are at highest risk, but anyone can have it. And it matters, because your thyroid -- the tiny gland right below your Adam’s apple -- produces hormones that control your metabolism. Too-low levels slow down everything, so your body burns fewer calories.
If your thyroid tests fine, try these tips for battling the bulge or getting over a weight loss plateau: Revisit how many calories you really need. It changes with age and activity level. Double-check your idea of a normal portion size. Get the skinny on your favorite foods. Are you exercising enough?
Antioxidant All-Stars for Super Healthy Salads
When temperatures start rising, there’s no more refreshing meal than a crisp, fresh salad. But as it turns out, not all veggies are created equal. Sure, they’re all good for you, but some -- five in particular -- are extra good, with antioxidant levels that are out of this world!
Toss a handful of these superstar veggies into a salad bowl and you'll instantly up your defenses against everything from wrinkles to heart disease -- and help make your Real Age younger.
Just season with some olive oil, vinegar, and a few of the herbs and spices below and you'll punch up the antioxidant power even more. Health food doesn't get any easy-breezier!
Five Superstar Veggies: Artichokes, Radishes, Broccoli, Red chicory, and Leeks
Seven Stellar Seasonings: Sage, Rosemary, Marjoram, Thyme, Tarragon, Cumin, Ginger, Garlic.
Of the 27 vegetables that scientists have studied, the almighty artichoke, rich in both fiber and folate, leads the antioxidant pack. Look for plump but compact globelike artichokes with thick, green, fresh-looking scales. You’ll find radishes, broccoli, and even luscious leeks at most supermarkets. But what about red chicory? An Italian salad favorite with an oddly appealing bitter taste, red chicory is also called radicchio. It’s becoming more widely available, so keep an eye out for its purple-red leaves.
Once you get it home, try mixing it with romaine. Sage, rosemary, and thyme . . . when Simon and Garfunkel made them famous, nobody knew these herbs had disease-fighting powers -- but they do. And cumin, a spice used heavily in Indian food, is even more impressive, as is ginger. Truth: All of these seasonings can boost the healthfulness and flavor factor of any salad (soups, too).
Walk Out On Your Favorite Exercise
There's a lot to be said for being faithful to one thing. But not when it comes to this: exercise. So don't just walk. Hop, skip, jump, and gallop, too! Doing more than four different activities a week protects your brain as well as your body. And the rewards will be sweet, not just sweaty. In a study of more than 3,000 people 65 and older, those who engaged in four or more physical activities a week were less likely to develop dementia than those who did one or none (assuming they hadn't inherited a gene linked to Alzheimer's disease).
Being active defends your brain in half a dozen ways -- from keeping your neurons sharp to releasing mind-enhancing hormones. Here are three more reasons to cross-train. Already walking 30 minutes a day? Good for you. Now, dust off the stationary bike, and push the lawn mower around the yard, too. Any type of physical activity counts -- from line dancing to training your dog. Doing more than four yet? Here's a little help to nudge you over the edge: Do chores. Housework can burn a tremendous amount of calories.
Try the YOU2 Workout. Choose from 18 different at-home moves. Become a chi-gong expert. The YOU Docs show you the moves in this online video. Jump rope. [From Linda: Dance to your favorite CD. Try a bit of Yoga. Swim. Climb up and down the stairs a few times. Lift some weights while watching your favorite TV show and if you don’t have any weights, use soup cans or bottles of water. The key is to mix it up. You will be surprised how fast you can get into shape if you just focus on it for two weeks.]
When It Comes to Eating Fat, Go Long
Check out this natural, easy, and enjoyable way to keep your hunger in check: Eat long, liquid fats. This type of fat helps turn off hunger signals and sate your appetite, so you eat less overall. Invite a few to every meal. What's a long, liquid fat, you ask? According to John La Puma, MD, author of ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine, these fats have lots of carbon molecules adding to their length. More importantly, they produce cholecystokinin (CCK) -- a lovely hormone that tells your brain, "You're full now. You can stop eating."
You'll find long-chain, liquid fats right where you might expect -- in the healthiest of foods. Good sources include fatty fish (salmon, trout), nuts and seeds (walnuts, flax), and plant-based foods (avocado, olive oil). You should not only eat more of these kinds of foods but also jettison the short-chain, solid fats at the same time. Why? Because not-so-healthy fats actually make you hungrier, according to La Puma.
Naturally, we all wish we could keep our hunger in check sometimes, and lose a few extra pounds in the process. Here are a few more tricks to try that won't leave you feeling like a hunger artist. Eat breakfast -- every day. Grab a few sips of water before you hit the snack cupboard. Ditch anything with corn syrup in it.
Peter Piper Should’ve Picked This Pepper
Whatever their color, bell peppers are brimming with age-fighting antioxidants. But which bell has the most -- red, orange, yellow, or green? If you're going to pick just one, you might be better off red. A study recently showed that reds were the bell of the ball when it came to disease-fighting phenol content. Phenols aren't the only feather in a red bell pepper's cap. According to another study, red bells are also highest in vitamin C -- that mighty antioxidant that helps keep your skin and blood vessels young.
But don't chuck your green, yellow, or orange bell peppers. For maximum Real Age benefits, you want a colorful and diverse diet -- so you get the broadest antioxidant protection. To keep yourself colorful, follow the simple rules of diversity in your diet.
- You Can Think Yourself Thin
Here's a novel weight-loss strategy. Before you take one single bite, think about your last meal -- every detail. It may sound silly, but there's science behind the idea. People in a study who thought about their last meal before snacking munched less. So before your next nibble, picture your lunch plate. Mind over Matter. It made no difference how tempting the treat.
When people were asked to remember what they had for lunch that day prior to eating a popcorn snack, they ate less of the munchy stuff -- regardless of whether it was seasoned or served plain. All of which suggests that appetite may be linked to food memory cues. Daily Strength for the Dieter: Give yourself some superhuman willpower with these tricks for resisting dietary temptations:
(1) Scrap the three squares . . . and eat smaller, more frequent meals.
(2) Nosh on whole-grain bread with olive oil before a meal.
(3) Take a nap.
- The Best Place to Walk
A walk on a treadmill or a walk in the park? Either one will get you fit, but the walk in the park may make you feel a whole lot better! Research confirms it: Exercising in a green environment puts you in a better frame of mind than working out in a sterile gym. Go figure!
In a study, people walked on a treadmill and viewed pictures of urban areas or images of rural scenes with lots of green spaces. The result? Besides bringing down blood pressure, viewing the green scenery improved energy and activity levels, raised self-esteem, and boosted mood. Here's more on living the happy life:
(1) All work and no play . . . can make you a real stress case and
(2) Train yourself to be an optimist. You'll be happier and healthier.
[Hypnosis is the fastest, easiest and most pleasant way to do this].
I am feverishly working on completing my eBook and I hope to be offering it to you all and many more by August 1st. It is a true act of love and is going to have so much in the way of information; suggestions and mental exercises to help each of you help yourselves and those you love.
There will also be some guest authors to share their insight with you including Ms. Jane Woods whose article you enjoyed in this issue. In addition, with each purchase you will receive two free downloadable sessions. So, keep you eyes open for my announcement that it is available.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
Pass It On and Share with Others
If you’ve found this newsletter interesting, please do pass it on to anyone you think might like it.
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