17 Habits of unhappy people

•March 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment


An excellent read for any of us who drift toward any number of these habits. I think I’ll print it out and carry it in my daybook!

Originally posted on counselorssoapbox:

By David Joel Miller

Are these habits keeping you miserable?

1. Keeping Secrets – covering up your mistakes

Happy people learn to admit mistakes when the make them and then try to stop making the same ones over and over. It takes way more work to cover up your faults than to admit them and change you actions.  

Keeping secrets isolates you from others and can damage relationships.

2. Trying to please others – be someone else

Spending your life trying to please others is a sure prescription for unhappiness. Trying to be someone or something you are not will keep you stuck in your misery. Learn to accept who you are and move towards who you chose to be. Make yourself happy and others will find it easier to like you. Try to please everyone and you will please no one, especially not yourself.  

3. Trying to…

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Psylliumhusk, Nut & Seed Bread

•February 7, 2014 • 1 Comment
One slice of plain, one slice of dried blueberry.

One slice of plain, one slice of dried blueberry.

I found the recipe for this bread on another site to which I have lost the link, and I’m not sure who the original author was, otherwise I would gladly credit! I have modified it a bit, and give possible variations at the bottom (or in the recipe itself for a few items). The original claim was that this bread would change your life. Well, I don’t know about that, but I do make it every week now and also bake it for a friend who’s hooked on it as well. Literally everyone who has tried this bread loves it and has asked for the recipe.
It’s gluten and sugar free, yeast free, loaded with minerals, omega essential fats, and fiber; tastes just fantastically good especially toasted and with a bit of jam, honey, nut butter olive oil or (on the plain or savory version) any kind of regular sandwich filling (vegan mayo and avocado and sprouts anyone?).

It keeps well out of the fridge for a few days, in the fridge for 5-6 days and you can slice, wrap in plastic or aluminum foil and freeze it for at least a month. That way you never have to be without. It’s a snap to make once you have all the ingredients (so so easy). Two or three slices in the morning keep me going for hours. And finally, if you have trouble with regularity/constipation, this bread is the solution. Detoxing action never tasted this good!

Basic Recipe (The original ingredients are always listed first).
Yield = 1 x Nut/Seed loaf about 9×5 inch bread size/12-14 slices but I’ve made it in a European cake-style pan as well, and a slightly bigger loaf pan and that works fine too. I usually double or triple the recipe to save my energy and the electricity of baking single loaves.

1 cup/135 gr. raw sunflower seeds (or combination sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
1/2 cup/90 gr. flax seeds
2 Tbs. Chia seeds
4 Tbs. Psyllium seed husks

1/2 cup/65 gr. raw nuts (almond, hazel, cashew, walnut, etc.)
1 1/2 cups/145 gr. rolled oats – certified gluten free if it’s an issue for you OR combination of oats, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, millet flakes
1-2 tsp. unrefined fine sea or Celtic salt (to taste)
*1- 4 Tbs. maple syrup, Arenga palm sugar, honey or a few drops of stevia, or other preferred sweetener
3 Tbs. melted coconut oil, butter or ghee, or nut oil
1 1/2- 1 3/4 cups/ 350-400 ml water/other liquid such as fruit juice/broth

The original recipe calls for using flexible silicon loaf pan molds, but I don’t use silicon so I just do it in a regular bread/loaf pan. I strongly recommend greasing the pan & putting a layer of baking paper in, at least halfway up the sides. This makes it much easier to lift the bread out partway through the baking! If you use silicon you don’t need grease or wax paper.

Optional Step: Coursely grind the nuts and seeds in a food processor. This gives the bread a finer texture, but some prefer the chunkiness of whole nuts and seeds. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.

Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl, then pour over the dry and stir together well. If “dough” is too heavy or thick to stir add more liquid until it’s manageable. Consistency will be like wet/sloppy bread or cookie dough.

Pour it into the prepared bread pan and smooth out the top.

Let it sit for at least 2 hours, but can be as long as overnight. When you can lift the loaf slightly out of the pan and it still holds its shape it’s ready to bake.

(Pre)Heat oven to 175º C/ 350º F
Bake 20 minutes on the middle rack of oven. Remove bread from pan after 20 minutes, and place upside-down, either directly on the rack or (if there are loose nuts/seeds falling off) on a stone or metal baking sheet. Bake an additional 30-50 minutes, until bread sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom. Let cool completely before slicing (otherwise it falls apart).
* A note about sweeteners: it really depends on your taste and dietary restrictions. You can opt for completely sweetener free, although the bread will be a bit more bland. Arenga palm sugar, maple syrup, succannat, date syrup, moalsses, stevia, and Rapadura are all
considered as good as sugar-free because they do not spike your blood sugar the way refined sugar does. Honey is also ok for most people except diabetics, people with candida issues and vegans. I do not recommend agave syrup, which is promoted as a health product but is actually a refined product and has nasty long-term effects on the body. Experiment and see which sweeteners give the most pleasing effect for you. For savory bread skip the sweetener altogether and use a bit of extra salt or herbal seasoning.

** A note about ingredients and variations: this recipe is so versatile! It can accommodate variations in amounts and types of ingredients up to 20% or so and the creative options are almost endless. Below I’m listing all kinds of things you could try once you’ve got the basic recipe down. Some of them I’ve tried myself and others still waiting to try but I’ve never had a bad loaf yet. Try:
-dried unsweetened fruits like blueberries, cherries, cranberries, apricots, dates, pineapple,
-fresh fruits: banana, berries, apple chunks or sauce
-dried shredded coconut
-fresh or dried orange or lemon peel
-unsweetened cocoa powder or sugar-free chocolate chunks
-spices: cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger
-fruit juice concentrate as part of the liquid (works well with dried fruit)
-coconut milk (as part of liquid)
Savory versions:
-olive oil instead of other fat
-fresh or dried herbs
-sundried tomatoes
-sweet potato or pumpkin pieces
-chunks of peppers, onion, scallions, shallots
-steamed chunks of broccoli
-finely chopped spinach or kale
-grated cheese

You can use all seeds if you have a nut allergy but all nuts instead of seeds will probably not work too well.
You can make the bread vegan.
You MUST use the psyllium husks as it’s what holds the bread together. Order online if you can’t find it locally. If you use whole psyllium seed you’ll get less fiber and will need to adjust the liquids as it absorbs water differently. It’s better to use the ground up HUSKS.
You can use flax instead of chia.
If you use ground flax seeds instead of whole add a bit more water (like 1/4 cup).
Same if you use quinoa, amaranth, millet, or buckwheat flakes as they absorb more water than oats.

It’s hard to mess this bread up: if there’s too much liquid it will just take longer to bake, if there’s too little it will be a bit crumbly but still taste awesome. I slice mine and toast it in the toaster oven so the inside is also a bit crunchy, or pan grill it with olive oil, coconut oil or butter and then put sugar-free jam or honey on it, goat cheese, nut butter, or eat it plain!
Feedback, favorite combinations, new ideas welcome!

Superfood Raw Blueberry-Date Cake

•October 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Forget about those awful store-bought snack bars full of white sugar, unhealthy fats and fake fruit. These bars (I cal them raw Blueberry-Date Cake) provide superior nutrition, freshness, and taste and are a snap to make. One caution: they’re totally addicting and not low-fat, so be careful because before you know it you will have consumed 1,000 calories, and that’s kind of counter-productive. Use as many organic ingredients as you can afford, but these are super-healthy no matter what, so don’t worry too much if you can’t use anything organic – you’re/they’re still good!.

I’ve given quantities in metric and as always, my quantities are approximate (adjust to taste and what you have available) but if you want to convert to U.S. 500 grams is slightly more than a U.S. pound (about 32 grams to an ounce). You could also just use measuring cups (1 cup = about 100 grams) and adjust proportions.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Fridge Time: 2 hours
Shelf Life:Stored in fridge, Best eaten within 3-4 days (if they last that long); Can be frozen &; thawed for school/work treats
Makes about 20-25 6 cm. x 6 cm. (2 1/2 x 2 1/2″) bars/squares
Excellent source of iron, magnesium, zinc, trace minerals & elements such as boron and selenium, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber. All the sugars are unrefined/natural and combined with the fat and protein in the nuts these will not spike your blood sugar levels.Tea&Cake

500 grams mixed, unroasted, unsalted nuts such as raw almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macademias, etc.

200 gr. fresh (could use frozen) blueberries

150 gr. pitted dates

50 gr. raisins (I used some organic prunes too).

a few stevia leaves, or a few Tbsp. Organic Raw Sugar or Arenga Palm Sugar

Raw Flaked Coconut in mix or roll the bars in it before refrigerating

Flax, Hemp or Chia Seeds

Put all ingredients in a large food processor, or process in smaller batches in an herb/nut grinder. The “dough” will be sticky and you may have to scrape the sides of the food processor bowl several times or split up the mix into smaller batches. Pulse or mix until all ingredients are relatively smooth (mine still had some tiny chunks or nubs but this made it quite a nice texture; you just need it to stick together). Spread into a rectangular or a couple of square cake pans lined with waxed paper, press down to compact it and help it stick together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Cut into bar shapes and store on a plate covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the fridge. They hold up fine out of the fridge for several hours. Alternatively, you could roll them into balls, roll in more nuts or coconut then refrigerate, but these are harder to store due to their shape (but easy and fun for kids to eat).

That’s it! A super-healthy treat for you and your family; each ingredient a powerhouse of nutritional support and they are SO yummy! They might seem expensive because of the nuts and dried fruit, but if you price them out compared to the ones you buy in health food stores, and you factor in the damage the commercial ones are doing to your organs and overall health I think they come out as reasonably affordable. And they’re filling. So enjoy!

•August 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

From friend, teacher, guide, fellow dancer & grandmother Caroline Carey. Check out her wonderful blog for more. http://carolinecarey.me/2012/02/17/dance-yourself-ecstatic-to-the-mystery-of-life/

Me As Dancer/Teacher

•April 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’m an expressive arts therapist, education researcher, choreographer/dance theater-maker, writer, philosopher and body awareness/movement teacher.
I have a B.S. in Dance and Dance Therapy, and an M.A. in intermodal Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University (U.S.) and the European Graduate School (Switzerland). I first discovered dance as improvisation while performing with Elaine Summers (Judson Church Group) in 1982, in an environmental dance piece called SkyDance II at the University of Iowa with physicist/sculptor Otto Piene. Then later I participated in the first Choreographer’s Workshop at Jacob’s Pillow and had the chance to take workshops with Simone Forti. I have danced or studied dance with Olivier Besson, Mark Morris, Carole Armitage, Debra Bluth, and many other teachers in workshops or intensives, including Katie Duck, Michael Schumacher and Andrew Harwood, each adding another layer to what has become the eclectic mix which now creates my own personal style. Avidly interested in diverse subjects such as poetry, architecture, visual arts and practical philosophy, I find possibilities for connection and contact in just about every aspect of what I do. Body Mind Centering, Yoga and Authentic Movement play large roles in my teaching/classes.

Expressive Arts Bibliography

•March 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

IEAT Bibliography

A valuable resource for any expressive arts therapist, community arts worker, teacher...

The Therapy of Touch for All Living Things

•January 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

As a domestic animal, you would be dependent on others for nearly all of your needs: food, fresh drinking water, safe shelter and affection. Pretty much like human babies are dependent. Every morning one of our cats, Muffin, rolls over next to me as I sit on the couch and luxuriates in the deep-tissue massage and extravagent stroking I give her. She purrs so loudly you can hear it in the next room, and I am convinced that it increases her immune system strength and overall well-being. She’s very lucky: not all animals have caretakers who lavish such attention on them but cats can still thrive without extensive human contact, as long as they have another being who will lick and groom them, and they are capable of grooming themselves.  Humans are not so self-sufficient in this area.  We need (safe) touch, regular and caring, in order to survive, to grow, to remain healthy, to thrive.  Studies done in the 50s and 60s established that infants in orphanages who were hardly touched or not at all, except for changing diapers and feeding, withered and some of them even died!  The research has continued (albeit quite slowly in my opinion) and investigators are now finding out more and more about the function and importance of touch in animals and humans.  See this article for some of the newer results: http://www.nytimes.com/1988/02/02/science/the-experience-of-touch-research-points-to-a-critical-role.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

What does this mean to most of us?  I would say it’s a call to accept, no, embrace the valuable and necessary practices of therapeutic massage, contact improvisation teachings, and all other related disciplines within our medical, educational, sociological and psychological frameworks. Touch promotes feelings of well-being, peacefulness, safety, pleasure and connectedness. It can help ‘hyperactive’ people to calm down and focus, premature babies thrive, those with sensory integration issues to become more integrated, heal trauma and lower the perception of pain…  I’ve always wondered why massage is not covered under most health insurance plans as it has been shown to help prevent some kinds of injuries and illness and to reduce hospital staying time; thus saving lots of money in our over-burdened health care system. Happy, secure people are less of a drain on ALL of our support systems.

And what about touch on a daily basis, in our personal lives? It’s sad that my cat gets more stroking than I do, or even than I give my children now that they are in their teens. As we grow older, we experience fewer and fewer opportunities to receive safe, non-sexual touching. What a pity! I’ve seen myself the powerful effects of a hug, a squeeze of hands, a brief moment of warmth as someone lays their hand of support on your tensed and tired shoulders or the middle of your back. When I was giving body awareness/yogilates classes at the cultural center for a univsersity I observed dozens of people experiencing the profound power of someone laying their warm, caring hands on them in a way that promotes trust and healing.  At nearly every beginning of semester, someone would lie on a mat on the floor and be literally moved to tears by human touch, or their own breath. Tears of relief, tears of comfort and being alive; not tears of fear or pain.  I invite you to consciously decide to practice the art of touching more often in your everyday existence. Revel in the changes it will undoubtedly mean for you, and spread the good feelings.

Namasté (and virtual hugs).


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