by Lynn Wonders | Oct 20, 2022 | Life Over 40, Spiritual Healing & Growth, The Kitchen Sink
When I trained with Drs. John and Julie Gottman of The Gottman Institute years ago, I was introduced to 30 years of research they had conducted observing over 3000 couples in determining the predictors of divorce. One of the behaviors they recognized as very problematic in marriages is when one partner (or both) use what the Gottmans call harsh-start-up which is when a partner begins a conversation with a harshly negative or critical comment. The anecdote, of course, is approaching the same conversation with a soft-start-up which is consciously softening tone and choosing words which are respectful and absent of criticism or negativity.
This same idea is true for the way we lead our lives. If we are able to employ a softer approach to everything we see, do and say, our relationships will thrive in a very positive way and we will likely feel a greater sense of peace in our daily lives.
The Power of Soft: 10 ways to improve relationships & life by using
- Check in with yourself before you speak. Notice if there is any “charge” of anger and take a deep, full breath. Come into awareness and intention to speak softly.
- Express feelings, thoughts, ideas, and requests with a soft tone of voice.
- If you want to receive something, first give freely and then softly and clearly make a kind request of others. If you are ignored or get a “no” don’t take it as personal rejection rather understand that person is simply not available at this time.
- When you hear others brag and boast, know that likely they have some fear and insecurity within. Soften your heart to them rather than rush to judge.
- Listen more than talk. Hold space for others and just really listen. As you listen simply hold the space with full attention rather than rushing to respond.
- When you feel the sensation of anger, soften the edges and peek underneath the anger noticing there are probably thousands of moments of confusion, fear, pain and doubt under there. Breathe into the sensation of anger feeling it as simply energy in your body. Breathe through it and with it. Watch how it will begin to dissipate simply by being observed with breath and softness.
- If someone is harsh with you, attacks you verbally or lashes out, take a moment to sit back and breathe and remember they also have pain, confusion, fear and doubt under the emotion from which they are speaking. Soften your heart toward them knowing this. Then, with a soft, clear voice make a request, “I must ask that you please not speak to me so harshly. I am sorry for what you are feeling and I will help if I can.”
- Be like water. Take the shape of whatever container you find yourself. Flow around obstacles. Be softly persistent. Be capable of changing shape and form as needed to adapt to the environment. Be fluid in all things for here is your greatest strength.
- Practice softening the muscles around your eyes and jaw regularly. Also, practice softening your belly throughout the day. Drop your shoulders down and away from your ears and notice when your hands are gripping the steering wheel or the pen or the phone. Soften.
- Take pause. Learn to wait and not react and jump to respond to what others do and say or to whatever impulsive thought may tempt you. Cultivate an ability to shift into neutral and observe long pauses before taking action.
A steady, dedicated practice of observing the power of soft will improve your relationships and your life. The word power is often confused for hard-hitting, fast-moving, action-oriented behavior. On the contrary, soft-touching, slow-moving, being-oriented behavior with fluidity, flexibility and patience allows for longer lasting joy and peace in life.
by Lynn Wonders | Oct 26, 2018 | Life Over 40, Managing Stress
Stress and anxiety go hand in hand. Addressing those physical stress signs for women is an important part of forging a healthy holistic lifestyle.
When we are under stress, there is a domino effect of chemical reactions in the body that cause our entire nervous system to feel shaken up.
There are also a whole host of physical stress signs for women that can show up before you may even realize just how much stress you are under.
These physical discomforts may seem like a mystery in terms of why you’re having them, It is common to mistake the symptoms of stress to mean something is really wrong, but in most cases, it is your body signaling that there is something happening that is causing high levels of stress.You may wish to see your health care practitioners to first rule out any true medical issues.
There are many easy and natural ways to manage stress signs for women so that you can feel empowered to build a plan for prevention and relief.
(There are links to other sites for resource reference, some of which are affiliate links which will yield small commission to us if you choose to make a purchase).
Top Tips for addressing some of the physical stress signs for women
1. Handling Headaches
Headaches often have biological reasons including food allergies or hormone imbalance and interestingly those factors can also one of the many stress signs for women.
Special Neck Stretches
- When stressful events or situations arise, we often automatically, naturally tighten our muscles, This is a natural reaction for the body because when our ancestors realized a grizzly bear was chasing them they needed those muscles to tighten in order to run fast or climb a tree. But muscle tension in the neck and shoulders (where a lot of us carry our stress) can cause terrible headache pain. Try gentle neck stretches on a regular basis.
Consider Food Sensitivity
- Turn to your nutritional choices. Keep a detailed food journal to track what you are taking in and any symptoms that show up.
A Natural Muscle and Joint Rub Product
- A particular blend of the essential oils can be rubbed into the back of the neck, shoulders, the collar bone area and upper chest to invite release and relief of tight muscles. This is my favorite muscle rub product.
Plenty of H²O
- Staying hydrated is an important way to ensure proper circulation and head off headaches at the pass. Studies have shown drinking plenty of water can relieve headache symptoms if you have early signs of dehydration within 30 minutes to three hours.
- B-complex vitamins contain all eight of the B vitamins and are a safe, cost-effective way to naturally help prevent and treat some headache symptoms. Read the science here.
2. Mitigating Muscle Pain
As mentioned above, muscle tension is one of the common stress signs for women. You can develop chronic pain in your muscles throughout your body. As a yoga instructor over the past 20+ years I can share with you that most people don’t have awareness of their muscle tension until they are in so much pain they feel desperate for relief.
Scan for Tension
- My top tip, especially for women over age 40, is to make it a practice of tuning in to your body, scanning for even mild levels of tension before it develops into pain. Chances are you are feeling stressed from pressures in your life and work and you are staying in particular physical positions for too long. This can cause serious damage to your muscles and your joints over time.
Take Breaks From Sitting
- Set a timer for 30 minutes when you sit down to work and when the timer goes off, get up, stretch in all directions and go for a 1 minute brisk walk around the room or better yet step outside for some fresh air, look up at the clouds and the tree tops to stretch your neck and go for a 5 minute quick walk swinging your arms.
- We all know regular exercise is recommended. Create a daily routine that includes regular consistent stretching before and after your strengthening or cardio exercise. Try gentle yoga postures in the morning taking your time, breathing slowly and deeply as you stretch.
- The right kind of magnesium can help your muscles naturally relax. Try an Epsom Salt Bath, soaking in the tub for 20-20 minutes with 1-2 cups of these salts dissolved into your very warm bath water. You also can take a chelated magnesium glycenate in capsule form or you can try this magnesium citrate supplement called Calm dissolved into warm water before bed time.
3. Ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome
One of the stress signs for women shows up in the gut. It was found that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 51% of women in a 2007 research study. IBS can be very painful and inconvenient. There is cramping, diarrhea, sometimes constipation and is often tied to stress. If you have noticed that you can’t eat your favorite foods, or you find yourself in the bathroom more often than normal, you may have IBS.
Identify Food Sensitivities
- Completely eliminate what nutrition experts say are the most common food allergens for a three month period. Those food allergens are dairy, yeast, gluten eggs, corn, soy, and peanuts. After the 3 month period, slowly reintroduce one food per week to detect which cause symptoms. When I eliminated all of these foods for just one week I noticed relief from my own IBS symptoms which showed me I definitely have food sensitivities and this realization helped me to begin a detective pursuit for answers.
Try Digestive Enzymes
- Assist your digestive system by introducing enzymes before you take your meals which may help ease your IBS symptoms of gas and bloating.
Eat Fermented Foods for Good Gut Bacteria
- These foods contain all the healthy bacteria your intestines need for proper digestion. Try kombucha drinks, sauerkraut, or kimchi.
- Scientific studies show mindfulness meditation helps alleviate symptoms of IBS in women. Go here to watch my meditation instruction video and read about the benefits.
4. Eliminate Insomnia
Between hormone imbalance that comes along with mid-life and phases of menopause and the pressures and worries of life, insomnia is another of the stress signs for women. And when your sleep is disrupted exhaustion further stresses your mind and body. Ensuring a good night’s sleep and eradicating insomnia requires some dedicated practices. Here are just a few of my top tips.
Create Rhythm and Routine:
- Our minds and bodies prefer predictable rhythm and when we get out of our routine it can cause stress. Likewise, the stresses of life can throw us off rhythm. Consciously create a schedule that allows you to observe a specific sleep-prep routine by winding down your day an hour earlier than you normally do to build in time for your mind and body to slip into sleep. Observe your commitment to this schedule and guard it with your life.
Turn Off Electronics
- Keep them out of the bedroom and stop looking at all screens one hour prior to bed time. The light emitted from screens activates your brain possibly producing a boost in cortisol which keeps you alert.
Get Hydration In Before 7 pm
- You do need to make sure you are consuming plenty of water during the day but try to get it in before dinner and then have a cup of soothing organic herbal tea after dinner to begin winding down your mind and body for the day. If you drink a lot of fluids right before bed time you’ll be awakened by a full bladder.
Keep Room Cool & Dark
- It’s been shown in studies that we sleep better when the temp is cooler as long as you have appropriate covers. And be sure any light sources are turned off or covered well.
Calm Your Cortisol Levels
- There are certain herbs shown to calm the activating chemical often known as the stress hormone called cortisol. Here is one product called Cortisol Manager that I have had good result with, taken after dinner with my night time tea.
Don’t Toss & Turn
- If you find yourself waking between 2 and 4 am experts say this is related to your cortisol and possibly blood sugar levels. Don’t stay in bed tossing and turning if you’re full awake. Go to another dark room and sit up in the dark and try to do some deep slow breathing before returning to bed. Otherwise your frustration with inability to sleep will only cause more stress keeping you more awake.
Addressing the stress signs for women requires an action plan!
Creating an active plan for consciously relaxing your body and mind is so very important for your health. It’s important to have a PLAN you can follow for your self-care.
Contact me to discuss your self care needs and how I might help you create your personalized plan.
by Lynn Wonders | Jun 11, 2017 | Life Over 40, The Kitchen Sink
Menopause symptom relief is key to quality of life for women in midlife.
When I was hit with sudden, full-blown menopause symptoms following a medically necessary full hysterectomy at age 44, I had to figure out some solutions. I was too young to be dealing with these symptoms.
I found a wonderful functional medicine doctor who ran all kinds of tests and helped me realize the natural means to providing menopause symptom relief. Here are the things I have discovered:
Clean up your diet
- Eating organic dark leafy greens every day
- If you’re a meat-eater, only buy and consume hormone-free, humanely-raised, organic meats and eggs.
- Give up white foods (sugar, potatoes, refined grains)
- Lean toward small portions of unique whole grains (spelt, millet, amaranth) rather than wheat and rice
- Try quinoa a few times/ week – it’s actually a seed not a grain and is high in protein
- Incorporate juicing vegetables a few times each week
Kick the coffee habit
- Caffeine is found to contribute to hot flashes and irritability as well as mood swings. Do yourself a favor and make friends with the herbal tea menu and say adios to coffee.
Step away from the wine and whiskey
- Medical research shows that alcohol consumption messes with our hormones and affects calcium absorption and may contribute to osteoporosis
- Research also indicates that alcohol consumption contributes to hot flashes
Create a sleep-time routine
- Stop eating 3 hours before bed time
- Turn off all electronics one hour before bed
- Create a very dark and cool environment where you sleep
- Wear cool, loose cotton nightgown and invest in some cool, cotton sheets
Saddle up to some supplements
- Seek a functional medicine doctor who can run tests to see where your vitamin and hormone levels are which can then lead to specific recommendations for natural supplements.
- Talk with your doctor about B-vitamin supplements. A lot of times this can help with symptoms depending on where your levels are.
- Omega 3 essential fatty acids have been shown to help with symptoms. You can increase your salmon consumption and you can supplement with good clean fish oil sourced from purest, cleanest fish.
- Seek out non-estrogenic herb supplements. You may want to stay away from soy as it’s been found to have complications for some women
Learn to relax
by Lynn Wonders | May 23, 2017 | Life Over 40, Spiritual Healing & Growth
Empty nest syndrome is a real thing. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
It’s been two years since my second child graduated high school with honors.
He is an amazing young man with a mind of his own and a big heart.
I recall as I sat on the back row among an ocean of other parents watching their children walk the stage I could feel the moment of life-pivot not only for these graduating seniors but for all the women who watched and cheered as our babies received their diplomas.
I can remember the day he was born with such vivid sensation it was hard for me to grasp how he was leaving the nest.
It is a mix of emotions but mostly incredible joy because I know I’ve done my job preparing him and encouraging him to be the independent young man he is today. It is not sadness that brings tears to my eyes, rather, a moment of recognizing that a chapter of my own life has come to a close as my son is standing on the edge of the nest about to take flight.
As a counselor and coach, I work with a lot of women who feel lost after their children leave home. Empty nest syndrome hits hard.
When your identity and role in life has been care-giving mother to your children for so many years it can be challenging when suddenly there are no baby birds to care for. This is an ideal time to discover who you are outside of this role of mother and care-giver.
Here are some key questions I am asking myself today. I encourage you to consider these questions for yourself:
- What did I love to do before I had children? For me, it was theater, singing and writing. Though I write for my work as a coach, instructor and counselor, I used to write fiction and poetry. I plan to get back to that. Soon. And I would love nothing more than to get back to acting and singing on stage. That took a backseat when babies were born. What about you? What might you return to now that your kids are growing out onto their own?
- Do I still love this nest or is it time for a change? We still have one more kid to see through high school so we will likely stay in this house another 3 years but with both my sons soon off to college living in their own house (together by the way… isn’t that great that brothers choose to live together in college?) I have two vacant bedrooms and reconsidering the nest. How can I make this nest more conducive to my new stage in life? I’m converting one into an office of my own. You might consider if it’s time to downsize or move to the beach or the mountains. Where have you dreamed of living? If you choose to stay, is it time to remodel? redecorate your nest?
- How will my kids and I stay connected? What is my role now? In my case, my sons are both going to college close to home so we’ve agreed to designate Mondays as family dinner night. This way I can ensure they get at least one healthy meal each week and I get to hug their necks regularly. I’ve noticed over the past 3 years since my first son moved out on his own that when he comes to visit, my role is no longer authoritative parent (well, sometimes… but it is fading more and more as he is now 21). Our roles with our young-adult children can and should shift to open-minded listener. They are at a stage in their development where they are seeing the world through new eyes of independence and they typically have opinions about things. It’s important to allow them their opinions and just be happy to see them. They need to know we are here for them but we need not load them up with unsolicited advice.
- How’s my marriage? Oh yeah! That guy! This is a great time to reconnect… There is more time and space in life now to turn toward your spouse and rediscover the flame that brought you together in the first place. Yea!
- How are my finances? Fortunately my oldest son is fully independent and my second son has an 80% tuition scholarship to college and has a job of his own so they aren’t sucking me dry in this department. I know a lot of parents at this stage are feeling the pinch of the higher education bills. It’s a good time to hunker down and take a good look at the bank accounts, retirement funds, investments, expenses and re-evaluate. What can I do without now? Where might I cut back? Where would I like to spend?
- Where am I with my career? For a lot of women I work with, after the kids leave the nest they are just beginning to develop a career outside of primary job as mom. For some women, like myself, who have had long established careers outside of the home and child-rearing job, it’s time to reassess where we feel most passionate and where we feel tired. Will retirement be an option? Partial retirement? Career change? My own work continues to evolve year to year morphing and shape-shifting and as long as I am tuned into my heart and desire to be of service I am confident I will be led to what’s next. What about you?
I see this time in life as one ripe with opportunity for celebrating a job well done as we watch the kids leave the nest and a time to begin anew and consider who we are aside and apart from child-rearing mother. We will always be mother to our children but our role there changes and it’s actually feeling quite exciting to me as I consider the possibilities.
by Lynn Wonders | Feb 1, 2017 | Grow a Heart-Based Business, Life Over 40, Spiritual Healing & Growth, The Kitchen Sink
The RAIN mindfulness technique is one I have adapted from other versions and utilize with my therapy clients, my mentoring clients and my meditation students to help them with a practical way of dealing with intense interactions and situations.
So, let’s take a look at how I identify the steps in the RAIN technique.
R = Recognize. Recognize the challenge or difficulty that is present.
A = Accept and Allow. This is the opposite of our typical reaction which is to resist the challenge or difficulty. Here we have recognized we have a difficult challenge here and we accept that it is right here in front of us.
I = Inquire and Investigate. Seek clarification and gather information rather than jumping to conclusions or making assumptions.
N = Neutral. Rather than fighting, resisting or fleeing the scene, you shift into neutral gear which is more easily achieved after completing the first three steps of the RAIN process.
I appreciate the acronym RAIN for this practice because there is an element of knowing and accepting that it will rain some days in life.
Sometimes the rain is a soothing, welcomed nourishing experience and sometimes it comes with a storm that can even be destructive.
Overall, when it rains our outdoor activities and plans may be necessarily altered and yet we find way to make the needed adjustments.
The RAIN mindfulness technique practice is incredibly valuable during times of turbulence whether in personal relationships or political unrest. Rather than reacting and contributing to polarization, this technique can help carve out a space for you to give consideration with use discernment as to how your most centered self wishes to respond.
The RAIN technique does not preclude action. Rather, this technique is a way of lining up your wise mind, your feeling heart and the spirit of your highest self in order to take action in the most effective way without causing harm to yourself or others.
To learn more about mindfulness and seated meditation view my tutorial video here.
by Lynn Wonders | Jan 27, 2017 | Life Over 40, Spiritual Healing & Growth, The Kitchen Sink
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What is Meditation?
The word “meditation” means a lot of things to different things to people.
There are “guided meditations” where a teacher or a guide provides either a live or recorded verbal sequence of visualizations to help your mind and body align and go to a state of focused relaxation.
For some, the word “meditation” means to contemplate, to consider a concept, idea or issue with mental focus.
Meditation, as I understand it and practice it, is a bit different than these definitions. For me we can observe meditation through seated practice, walking practice and moving practice. For these purposes, I want to introduce you to the art and practice of “seated meditation.”
“Seated meditation” is an art and a practice. An art because it is an experience, a process and an expression of who we truly are in any given moment without prescribed, exact, predictable outcome. A practice because it is an act we must choose to engage in regularly in order to realize the benefits.
Seated meditation is the practice of coming to a comfortable seat with spine erect and willingness to just sit and be with your whole self.
Seated meditation is a practice of allowing what is to just be without action.
Seated meditation is an opportunity to cultivate our relationship with what I call “the gentle observer.”
The “gentle observer” is an aspect of Self that is able to notice without judgment and without action. I find that most humans have little if any connection with and awareness of this part of themselves; therefore, it requires a dedicated practice to cultivate this “gentle observer.”
“Mindfulness practice” is when we choose to notice, to pay attention without jumping to action or judgment.
We bring mindfulness practice into seated meditation in order to practice, to cultivate, to nurture, to expand the aspect of Self I refer to as “the gentle observe.” This is the part of us that can simply BE. This is where we find peace.
Now, let’s be clear… We don’t start sitting in meditation and instantly experience peace… Nor is there always peace in meditation even after years of practice.
There is a process and a practice that must be observed.
In the process of cultivating this “gentle observer” and the subsequent experience of peace, we encounter all the not-so-gentle aspects of Self and the non-peaceful feelings and experiences we have in the body, mind and heart.
Seated meditation is the ideal place to practice observing these not-so-gentle, non-peaceful sensations, thoughts and feelings. By observing, by increasing our awareness without action, reaction or judgment, eventually these not-so-gentle, non-peaceful experiences begin to fall away and we are left with a delicious state of BEING with what is… This is peace.
Once we experience this sense of peace, it is like a glorious glimpse… in Japanese this is called “satori.” We experience it but do not cling to it. We do not expect it or chase after it the next time we sit. If we anticipate it, expect it or chase it the experience will surely elude us.
Instructions on Seated Meditation
In the beginning of your practice, it is important to find a certain time and place in your life that is quiet and without interruption. Early morning and just before bed at night are ideal times.
Designate a specific place in your home as your meditation area.
Some people like to set up a little table of dedication to their practice to create a sense of sacred space with a candle, maybe an item that has special meaning to you and your own personal spiritual beliefs just as a reminder that meditation is your special sacred time with your own Self. This is not necessary, however.
In the beginning, bring a timer with a gentle chime. Turn off all other sound and vibration on your device and set a timer for ten minutes. This will help you to allow the timer to “mind the time” rather than your mind worrying about how much time has gone by. Ten minutes per sitting will be enough in the beginning.
Once you have practiced daily for 2 weeks increase the time to 20 minutes.
Eventually you will no longer need a timer because as your connection to your inner Self and your inner Knowing grows stronger you will intuitively know when your meditation has ended.
Sit on a firm cushion under your tail-bone in a comfortable cross legged position OR kneel with several cushions under you like a high saddle OR you can sit on a couch, bench or chair.
Just find a way to sit comfortably with the spine straight and do not allow the back of your head to lean against anything.
You can begin by resting the backs of your hands on your legs/knees with palms softly open in a gesture of receptivity and willingness to receive whatever your meditation practice has to bring you.
Some people like to observe a bow of respect by bringing palms together, aligning thumbs at the forehead or the heart and bowing forward in the tradition of the East – a way of saying to your own Self and what you believe in spiritually, “I am here, I respect, I enter this practice with reverence for all of Nature within me and outside of me.” (if you have a particular religion you observe you can include here what you believe in, i.e. Jesus, God, Allah, Divine, Kuan Yin, Saints, etc.) This is not necessary, however.
In this practice, I recommend you close your eyes in order to bring all the mind’s focus inward.
As soon as you close your eyes it is as if you have entered a new room and for many they immediately become aware of discomfort.
The body may be uncomfortable.
The mind may seem to race about.
You may have feelings or thoughts of urgency to get up and stop doing this.
You may have feelings and thoughts of judgment about what this is all about, how boring it is or how you just “can’t do this.”
I encourage you to sit THROUGH those feelings and thoughts. Notice them but do not allow them to hook you and pull you away.
Instead, gently redirect your noticing mind to how the breath flows in and out of your body so automatically.
Choose to be fascinated with the flow of your own breath. Watch it. Notice it. Focus your mind on the flow of your breath. Feel the sensations in your body as the breath comes in and out. Allow the natural breath to be your anchor, your home-base, your touch-stone in your meditation practice.
Each time your mind drifts away and you notice it has drifted, feel encouraged because as soon as you notice you have drifted away you have returned to the present moment. At this point, gently redirect your mind back to focusing on the flow of your natural breath here and now in your body.
You may find your mind drifts 1000 times. It is not how many times you drift away that matters, however. It is the returning to the present moment 1000 times that helps you to grow your connection to your inner Self and cultivate the gentle observer.
What Science Says about Meditation
- Meditation boosts immune function.
- Meditation is effective in addressing anxiety.
- Meditation helps with inflammation in the body.
- Meditation helps reduce and manage pain.
- Meditation increases your ability to feel compassion.
- Meditation helps heal depression.
- Meditation helps reduce and manage stress.
- Meditation brings healing levels of awareness to emotion and physical body.
- Meditation helps increase ability to focus and attend (good for ADHD)
- Meditation improves your thinking and memory abilities.
- Meditation helps increase and improve ability to regulate emotion.
Neuroscientists have discovered, through various technologically advanced means of assessment, that meditation stimulates increased activity in several parts of the left prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain associated with desirable emotions, such as happiness, enthusiasm, joy and self-control.
Interestingly, these same studies demonstrated a decreased level of activity in the parts of the brain related to undesirable emotions, such as depression, selfishness and a lack of happiness or satisfaction.(http://www.pnas.org/content/101/46/16369.full)
Meditation also produces a calming effect in the amygdala, that walnut sized part of the brain that acts as an alarm and trigger for fear and anger.
Meditation and mindfulness techniques are used by an expansive variety of people now that Science has proven its benefits. Corporate leaders are meditating and encouraging employees to meditate now. Medical professionals are more and more embracing meditation as a practice recommended for their patients. Many schools are beginning to encourage children to meditate. There are meditation classes taught in prisons now. Athletes often meditate to help with their sports.
The US military has been offering mindfulness training to personnel returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, in order to help them cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the psychological after-effects of combat.
Now… it’s your turn….
So, now that you’ve read about this and perhaps watched my video, I encourage you to dedicate time and space in your life every day to begin your own practice of seated meditation. Allow this to be your quiet, sacred time.
After you practice for a while and get beyond the initial bothers of “the monkey mind” you may find that during your meditation practice you experience emotion or even spontaneous movement in/with the body. If this happens, just feel it, allow it to be there and keep focusing on your breath. Do not give in to the curiousity that will arise. It is simply another level of awareness, acceptance and allowing. This will produce healing for your body, mind and heart.
If you need further support or instruction, please contact me personally.
Lynn Louise Wonders