Susan S. Kane
M.Ed.
Reiki Master Teacher
Integrated Energy Therapist®
Master Instructor
Master Hypnotherapist
Blog

Resolutions Resolved

January 23, 2018
How is 2018 going for you so far? Are you part of the nearly 43% of the population (according to www.statisticbrain.com) that do not make New Year’s Resolutions? Or are you part of the 42% who make them and never succeed or fail at them? Or part of the 48% of the people surveyed who make them and find infrequent success? That leaves only 9% of this people in this study feeling successful. Not many, wouldn’t you agree?
If you are on track so far for keeping your goal (s), Congratulations! But, beware, as 80% of all New Year’s Resolutions are broken by the end of the month. (www.answers.com)
The Sun (www.thesun.co.uk) has some advice. The website lists ten suggestions for achieving your goals. I will share the first three of them with you. (For the complete, list check out the link.) Tip number one: Only make 1 resolution. Number two: Don’t wait till New Year’s Eve. Number three: Don’t pick something to work on that you have attempted in the past and failed.
I think those are great words of wisdom. The top goals most people make concern eating healthier and losing weight, followed by self-improvement (quitting smoking and exercising more) and being smarter with money. If you are a resolution maker, does this look familiar? If so, and you have not found success, I have something for you to consider. If you adapt the practice of mindfulness to whatever it is you are doing, you will be in a position to change an undesired behavior into a behavior you want. If you do this long enough, you will have created a new habit, the new behavior you are seeking. A very basic definition of mindfulness is to bring your attention to what you are doing. Let’s look at the most common goal listed above: eating healthier and losing weight. You are hungry. You notice a bag of chips (or whatever) on the counter and before you realize it, you have grabbed a handful and put it in your mouth. (Doesn’t this mindless eating happen to all of us sometimes?) You stop chewing for a minute and assess what has just happened. You are now being mindful about your behavior. You have brought your attention to what you are doing and you now have a choice. Do you continue eating the chips (or whatever), or do you stop? You observe: are you really hungry or is something else going on (bored? anxious? You name it.) Whether you decide you really are hungry or not, you have brought mindfulness into the picture. You can now, mindfully, decide what to do next. If you decide to continue eating, what do you choose to eat? If you decide you are not hungry and are not going to eat, what will you do? It’s in that one precious moment over and over again, that place of power to make a new choice, to make a new decision, which puts us on the journey to reach the goal(s) we set for ourselves. Until the ‘mindfulness muscle’ is developed, you will probably forget, and if you are like me, probably more than once. I am not in any way saying changing ingrained habits are easy. Sometimes it is wise to seek professional/outside help.
Where is it written that January 1 is the only time to set goals? Each morning the sun rises and we have a brand new day ahead. Consider this: Why not make this the day you resolve to be more present to what the day brings and cultivate awareness, cultivate a mindfulness approach to your life?

An idea for 2018?

December 28, 2017
If you get posts from commansensehealth.com, then you may have already seen this. I thought it was worth sharing for those who haven't seen it. Maybe we should all add more laughter to our lives in 2018...What do you think?


The Benefits of Laughter Therapy & Laughter Yoga
by Moss Greene

We’ve all heard that “laughter is the best medicine.” But who took it seriously?
All kidding aside, IS laughter really the best medicine? Could a daily dose of “ho ho ho” heal what’s wrong, or is it just a sick joke?
The health benefits of laughter have been praised since biblical times, with proverbs like, “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Shakespeare wrote years later, “Merriment bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.”
And today, laughter therapy research and laughter yoga tend to agree.
Laughter has been found to boost your immune system, reduce pain, heal your heart, decrease stress and increase your feel-good hormones. But best of all, laughter is fun, free and has no negative side effects.
The Health Benefits of Laughter Therapy
More than likely, if you go to a doctor or a shrink for some ailment, they’re not going to write a prescription that includes a good belly laugh.
But “laughter therapy” is a new use-your-mind to heal-your-body approach that is growing rapidly in popularity. “And it’s as real as taking a drug,” says Dr. Lee Berk, Professor of Medicine at Loma Linda University.
As Norman Cousins tells us in his book, Anatomy of an Illness (As Perceived by the Patient), when he was diagnosed with a terminal disease, he was unable to move, given little hope and in constant pain.
Cousins credited his recovery to a prescription for watching funny movies. With every 10 minutes of laughter, he got two hours of pain-free sleep.
Years later, using movies to rate the effectiveness of laughter therapy on cardiovascular health, Dr. Michael Miller from the University of Maryland School of Medicine discovered that laughter is great for your heart.
The American College of Cardiology presented his breakthrough research.
Dr. Miller’s team measured the blood flow from healthy participants both before and after they watched two very different films: the graphic war movie, Saving Private Ryan and the hilarious comedy, Kingpin.
The blood flow differences were quite dramatic – a 35% DECREASE after the war movie and a 22% INCREASE for the comedy. Dr. Miller’s conclusion? Laughter may be as good for your heart as exercise!
The Health Benefits of Laughter Yoga
The benefits of laughter yoga include all the benefits of laughter therapy, plus laughing yoga combines laughter with yoga breathing exercises.
Laughing yoga is a body-mind approach to laughter, which means you don’t need to find a way to feel happy. You “fake it until you make it” and that fake laughter soon turns into the real thing with real benefits.
Here are the main health benefits of laughter therapy and laughter yoga:
• Reduces pain
• Adds joy to life
• Relieves stress
• Enhances mood
• Relaxes muscles
• Eases depression
• Builds relationships
• Improves blood flow
• Attracts others to you
• Strengthens immunity
• Massages your muscles
• Exercises your whole body
• Releases feel-good hormones
• Promotes cardiovascular health
Most hospitals today encourage patients to laugh. Many have TV comedy channels, comedy rooms and regular visits from clowns. As Groucho Marx said, “A clown is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast.”
Turn Your Frown Upside Down and Start Clowning Around
Studies show the perfect prescription for a long, happy life is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and tune into the cosmic laugh-track.
So, do the benefits of laughter prove that laughter is the BEST medicine?
The answer is it doesn’t really matter. Because whether you use a laughter therapy mind-body approach or body-mind laughter yoga, if you want to feel good as often as possible, you’ll laugh every chance you get!

Shining From the Inside Out

December 20, 2017
The following poem was recently shared with me by a friend and I would like to share it with you. As we experience the winter solstice tomorrow,and start our way back to the brighter days of spring and summer, it is a good reminder we can shine, no matter what the season.



Inner Light by Danna Faulds

The inner light is always with me.
When I slip beneath the agitated
surface of the mind, I find it,
like a fragment of the Big Bang,
still glowing. This energy doesn’t
depend on health or strength
or even mental peace. It isn’t a
product of belief, nor is it “me” in
any egocentric way of speaking.

The inner light is always there,
waiting to be felt and seen, waiting
for me to release it through my
choice to be still and recognize
its presence. The illumination
grows the more I let it go. Like
radiant heat it flows out of me,
flows from my whole being
without leaving me depleted.
We’re all like this – whether we
know it yet or not – tiny stars,
glowing in the dark.

A Thanksgiving Poem

November 20, 2017
All in a Word~ A poem by Aileen Fisher

T for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather
H for harvest stored away, home, and hearth and holiday
A for Autumn’s frosty art and abundance in the heart
N for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember
K for kitchen, kettle croon, kith and kin expected soon
S for sizzles, sights, and sounds and something special that abounds
That spells THANKS for joy in living
And a jolly good Thanksgiving.



Calm Interrupted

November 06, 2017
I live on a street that has been undergoing construction, on and off, for several months. Last week the construction was “on” and as I pulled up to wait I noticed a beat up, old blue truck in front of me. Singing along with the radio, I shifted my attention from the truck to some ducks flying above. I was totally enjoying the perfect fall day…the air was perfect temperature; the sun was bright and a slight breeze was blowing.
My calm soon evaporated. The man in the passenger’s seat of the truck in front of me, emerged waist up, leaning out the window, shaking his fist and hollering at the flagger holding the STOP sign in front us and shouting, “What the ---- is going on here??” With his fist gaining momentum and his volume now extremely loud he continued, “We have somewhere to go!! Why aren’t we moving???!!!”
My first thought was the flagger knows how to handle impatient people…after all, surely others have complained about this long wait. However, when I heard expletives flowing from the flagger back to the man, I realized he didn’t know how to handle this situation. I was witnessing a form of violence. Recently having read The Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele, my understanding of what violence is has expanded. Before reading this book, I would have thought of this exchange as just rude, maybe unenlightened…but I would not have use violence to describe what I was seeing. According to Adele, an exchange of unkind words and/or heated, unpleasant words is a form of subtle violence. And, a most unpleasant heated exchange was exactly what was in front of me.
Being witness to this scene, I felt involved in it and I felt uncomfortable. Knowing that getting out of my vehicle and coming between them was probably NOT a wise thing to do, I reached for my cell phone. If this continued, I would call 911 for help. Obviously, these men were not in balance, and I sensed both felt powerless, but for different reasons. I took a deep breath. Then I began to offer loving energy to the situation in front of me. A few minutes later, the flagger brought his two way radio to his left ear. Slowly, he bowed to the truck, as the sign SLOW appeared. Then, extending his right arm out from left to right, in a gesture of allowing royalty to pass, he boldly offered more obscenities to the truck’s occupants as they sped by him.
I put my cell phone down, returned my hands to the steering wheel and began my cautious passage. I didn’t want to look at the flagger, and I didn’t, but I could feel anger coming from his being and hear profanities as I went by him.
I suspect these two men have no idea how their exchange of words affected me or if they even thought about this occurrence again after it was over. But I did. The spoken word has great influence over all who hear it, not just those it is intended for. It seems to me, if all people decided to use nonviolent language, even in difficult situations, we might create a happier world, one conversation at a time. What do you think?