‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for July 5

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There are very few days when we have control of our time. No matter what our schedules may be, there is always a change taking place that keeps something from happening when it is supposed to happen. And when the day is ended and our schedules have not been met, then it begins to drag on our spirits.

Soon we become so wound up in the problems of the moment that the delights of our souls drift away and become a part of the mist of “someday.” Someday I will get to do what I want to do. Someday when this necessary work is finished – and it is possible that the things we believe to be so necessary are really robbers of our lives? Do we spend too much time with the menial tasks and allow our creativity – the ability to bring newness into our lives – to dry up and become nonexistent?

William Blake called this within us “God.” One of the greatest poets ever to live, he believed that if we keep alive our ability to see and feel the beauty of life, our menial tasks will become easy and the way successful.

Yesterday is only a dream, tomorrow only a vision, but today – we live. If we live as we should, our yesterdays will be dreams of happiness, and our tomorrow’s will be visions of hope.

Nothing is so sad as the man who spends all his time today judging tomorrow by his experiences of yesterday. He has a vision, but his faith does not support him to pursue it. If some great stroke of good fortune should overtake him, he will be all ready to go, but he doesn’t really expect it to happen. So today he sits waiting for the world to change for him, never guessing that he is the one who must change.

No one is so misled as the woman who has such a busy schedule that she hasn’t time to listen to her children. She expects to take the time to play with them – someday. But it is today that the bridges must be built from the soul to the body to the spirit. It isn’t something built from a quick kiss or a smart smack in the right place, but from daily communion and understanding.

Today is the very life of life when the best things are nearest – breath in our nostrils, light in our eyes, flowers at our feet, duties at our hand, and the path of God before us.


Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet:


Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

Elder’s Meditation of the Day July 5

Elder’s Meditation of the Day July 5

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.”

–Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE

The truth shall set you free. This is the truth. When we speak the Truth, we do not need to be defensive. Truth needs no defense. When we speak the Truth, we do not need to attack because Truth cannot be attacked. It is so easy to want to manipulate or to be deceitful or dishonest. My head tells me I can get away with doing these things, after all everybody does it.

My Creator, today let me know Truth.
Let me live Truth.
Let me risk the Truth.
Let me make the Truth sweet.
Help me to make my word good.
Let Your spirit and intent be added to by words.
Let My thoughts be Truth.

July 5 – Daily Feast

July 5 – Daily Feast

Remembering can be painful and sometimes without any real benefit. It keeps us feeling guilty and regretting so much that the good memories are washed out. It is easy enough to forget the good that happened, without covering the good with bad memories. No doubt, everything has not been ideal – but haven’t we given enough thought to the unhappy times? It doesn’t do any good to ruin the present time recalling what went wrong in the past. But we can begin to change. Maybe only a little at first – but honest effort has always changed things for the better and given us self-respect as well. Time grows more and more precious and what we do with it at this moment makes or breaks today and all our tomorrow’s.

~ We are not afraid to work and we are not afraid to do right. ~


‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Daily Motivator for July 5th ~ Changes for the better

Changes for the better

If you want the world to be a better place, then work to make it a better  place. If you see something as a problem, then take responsibility for  implementing a workable solution.

It’s a waste of time to prove how bad things are. Instead, put your thoughts,  your passion, your energy and efforts into making things better.

When you find some aspect of life to be frustrating, or unjust, or abusive,  don’t complain or assign blame. Come up with a positive alternative.

Life changes in every moment. So use this moment to make some changes for the  better.

The future does not have to equal the past. You can choose your future by  what you do with what you have right now.

Just because you’re in a difficult situation, doesn’t mean you’re stuck  there. Make some changes for the better, and move your life in the direction you  choose.

— Ralph Marston

Daily Motivator 

Daily OM for July 5th ~ Remember the Light Side

Remember the Light Side

In Praise of Fun

by Madisyn Taylor


During our journey we can become very serious, it is important to remember to have fun along the way.


Often when we talk about fun, or doing things just for fun, we talk about it in a dismissive way as if fun isn’t important. We tend to value hard work and seriousness, and we forget to pay our respects to the equally important, light side of silliness and laughter. This is ironic because we all know the feeling of euphoria that follows a good burst of laughter, and how it leaves us less stressed, more openhearted, and more ready to reach out to people. We are far more likely to walk down the street smiling and open after we’ve had a good laugh, and this tends to catch on, inspiring smiles from the people we pass who then positively influence everyone they encounter. Witnessing this kind of chain reaction makes you think that having fun might be one of our most powerful tools for changing the world.

Laughter is good medicine, and we all have this medicine available to us whenever we recall a funny story or act in a silly way. We magnify the effects of this medicine when we share it with the people in our lives. If we are lucky, they will have something funny to share with us as well, and the life-loving sound of laughter will continue to roll out of our mouths and into the world.

Of course, it is also important to allow ourselves to be serious and to honor that side of ourselves so that we stay balanced. After a great deal of merriment, it can actually be a pleasure to settle down and focus on work, or take some time for introspection until our next round of fun begins.



Thou art the King who reigns within,
The jester and the Friar,
The maiden child, innocent and bold,
The mother, crone and liar.


Thou art the meaning of success,
The flash that doeth inspire,
The holy beam of golden light,
The flickering of the fire.
Thou are the glory of the day,
The beautiful song of birds,
The light that glowest in the dark,
The poet, and the words.
And every single day I see,
In every star that shines,
With fear and wonder, joy and love,
That thee and me combines.
For in the end we are one,
The Lady and the Lord,
The spirit and the great God,
The truth I’m moving toward.
So in the day that lies ahead,
To every man and tree,
To members of the fairy lands
Bright blessing be to we.

CFL vs. LED: What’s the Best Lightbulb Type?

By Carl Seville (a green  building consultant who works with Atlanta electricians) for Networx

Unless there is some big action by conservatives to repeal Bush   administration legislation that requires more efficient lighting, many  old  incandescent bulbs (or lamps) will become unavailable over the next  few years.  This will leave most of us having to look for alternative  products to light our  homes, the most common being Compact Fluorescent  Lamps, a.k.a. CFLs, and Light  Emitting Diodes, a.k.a. LEDs.  Somebody  seriously dislikes something about  both of these newer lamps, often  resorting to stocking up a lifetime supply of  incandescent lamps to  avoid using CFLs and LEDs. But those are some  short-sighted people who  are prejudiced against new technology because of bad  experiences, rumor,  fear, or a combination of all three.

CFLs had a reasonably  deserved poor reputation early in their development.  They flickered,  the color of the light wasn’t good, they took a while to get to  full  power, and they couldn’t dim. On top of that, there is a tiny amount of   mercury in them, so there are some safety issues when they break,  but trust  me, you don’t need a HazMat team to clean up the mess. Things in the CFL world  have changed. High quality, reasonably priced  lamps are available that have  excellent light color and quality, don’t  flicker, don’t need time to warm up,  and are dimmable in standard  fixtures. And as a benefit, they don’t put out 90  percent of their energy as  heat like incandescent lamps, which leads my friend,  Architect Michael  Klement to describe them as heaters with light as a by product.  This means that  you don’t pay so much  extra to air condition your house in the summer when the  lights are on. Look for ENERGY STAR rated CFLs, and check for the new FTC  lighting  facts label that tells you the efficiency and color of the lamp.   If  you’re looking for something that resembles incandescent lamps, buy CFLs   with a color temperature of about 2700 degrees Kelvin.  Don’t worry  about  what it means, just know that it is a nice, warm, familiar colored  light.   Oh, and the light will use about 75 percent less energy and last about  10 times  longer than the old style lamp.

So, just when some of  us were becoming a little more comfortable with CFLs,  we now have to  thing about buying LEDs instead. LEDs are electronic, solid  state  lighting, and we’ve been looking at it for years in our clock radios,   microwaves, and other equipment.  The technology has advanced far enough   to provide interior lighting, although it is still evolving and not all  lamps  are quite ready for prime time.  People like the fact that LEDs  don’t have  any mercury in them, so there is no fear of difficult cleanup  (and they  generally don’t break like a regular bulb anyway).  They last  a really  long time, an estimated 30,000 50,000  hours, compared to  about 10,000 for CFLs and about 1,000 for  incandescents. They are, however more  expensive, although prices are  coming down. LED efficiency is similar to CFLs,  and getting better all  the time. In terms of light quality, LEDs are getting  pretty close to  CFLs and incandescents but it may take some effort to find  something you  like the look of.

So what’s a poor consumer to do?  First,  accept the fact that  incandescents are an obsolete, inefficient  technology and you won’t be able to  buy them forever. The choice  between CFLs and LEDs, for now at least, is partly  financial and partly  aesthetic. LEDs are more expensive, but they last longer,  so if you can  afford to spend the extra money, you’ll end up even or better in  the  long run over CFLs. As for the aesthetics, check out several different   ENERGY STAR labeled lamps and figure out what kind of light you like,  then  stock up on them.

You can also look for the Lighting Facts  label, a sort of nutrition label  for lamps that includes the energy  used in watts, brightness in lumens,  estimated yearly energy costs, lamp  life, and the light appearance.  This  helps you compare different lamps  just like your breakfast cereal.  So go  forth and shop for your new  bulbs. With a little effort and research you can  find some that you  like that will save energy and money for many years.

How to Welcome Opportunities

How to Welcome Opportunities


By Erica Sofrina, Author of Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western  World.

The ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui puts a great deal of emphasis on  the entryway to the home. It is considered the “mouth of chi” where all of our  opportunities come to us. This may seem like a bit of a stretch to westerners,  however, in recently reviewing my old Interior Design textbook from years ago, I  saw that it presented some of the exact same concepts as this 3,000-year-old  practice.

It stated that choosing the right entryway was the most important part of the  design of the building and should be chosen after a great deal of study and  care. A poorly designed entryway would hamper the success of the business and/or  negatively affect the occupants of the home, which is also a primary Feng Shui  teaching.

It went on to say the entry should be strongly differentiated from the  immediate surroundings making it easily identifiable from the street, and should  make a graceful transition between the street and the inside. If it was not easy  to see and people had a hard time finding it, they would arrive grumpy and out  of sorts, which would negatively impact the occupants.

It talked about how people need 15 feet to adjust from the outer to the inner  domains. How the experience of arriving at a front door after enjoying a  fragrant and attractive garden was considerably more enjoyable and helped make  the transition. If the transition was too abrupt, there would be no feeling of  arrival and the inside of the home would fail to be an inner sanctum.

I understood that this 3,000-year-old collection of “folk wisdom” and  observations about how to arrange our living spaces in the most optimum way was  just as applicable today and still being used in design curricula; it just  wasn’t called Feng Shui.

Along with these core design concepts, Feng Shui goes on to teach that our outer environment always  reflects our inner environment. If our homes are out of balance it is an  indication that our lives are as well. By making our entryways more  “entrancing,” we call in positive energy that translates to new and welcoming  opportunities in our lives.

Feng Shui teaches us to observe the first thing we see when looking at the  home. These are called “greeters” and are felt to either attract or repel the  good energy or “chi.”

Negative “greeters” might be dead lawns, plants limping along, old shoes,  toys, car parts, junk or clutter of any kind. Sticker bushes and pointy plants are  not only dangerous but send “go-away” messages along with unfriendly signs such  as “beware of dog,” “no soliciting,” burglar alarms, or “no trespassing.” The  burglars may get the message but unfortunately so will the chi!

Peeling paint, rusty door-knockers, cobwebs, broken lights, squeaky or broken  doors and locks all broadcast a message about the state of the lives of the  occupants and will be attracting a like energy. Replace these with  positive “greeters” such as water fountains, gazing balls, garden art, and  fragrant plant-lined pathways. Add colorful pots of flowers on either side of  the door and a fresh new doormat.

A  newly painted door is another great way to freshen up your entry and call in  positive energy. If the door is not visible from the street, bring in  eye-catching objects such as lighting, wind-socks, flags, banners, wind chimes.  Make sure the address is easy to find and in a prominent place.

If you do not resonate with the more traditional Chinese “cures,” there are  books that present a more Western perspective of Feng Shui you might relate to more  easily. The point is to take the essence of these wonderful, simple and  practical teachings and apply the parts that make sense to you. Using objects  that you love from your own culture and upbringing will have a much more  powerful impact than superimposing objects from another culture.

I encourage you to use these tried and true Feng Shui suggestions in creating  a beautiful transition to your home. It will not only “entrance”  the chi  but set the stage for a wonderful arrival!

Malware may block thousands Monday (so check your PC)

Malware may block thousands Monday (so check your PC)

DNS Changer Working Group

A screenshot of the DNSChanger scanning website, showing a clean bill of health. No software installation is required to run the scan, which can be found at dcwg.org.

The warnings about the Internet problem have been splashed across Facebook and Google. Internet service providers have sent notices, and the FBI set up a special website.
But tens of thousands of Americans may still lose their Internet service Monday unless they do a quick check of their computers for the DNSChanger malware that could have taken over their machines more than a year ago. Read entire article here…..

Think You Can’t Afford It?

Think You Can’t Afford It?

Christy Diane Farr

I can’t afford it…

These words are quite complex and they’ve been popping up  a great deal  lately – both for the women I work with and in my own head. I’ve noticed that we  are quick to claim “I can’t afford it…” when often, at least it appears to me,  we mean something entirely different. And while these words may be quick to our  tongue, they fall short of the empowered state in which most of us intend to  live. Here are a few of the most common ways I’ve noticed this case of mistaken  identity playing out:

1. When “I can’t afford it” really means “I don’t want  to.”

This happens all the time and, honestly, who are we protecting by blaming the  balance in our checking account for our “inability” to do something we don’t  actually want to do?  Whether it is a lunch date or a new house or a  workshop, if you receive an invitation that you’re not interested in accepting,  just say no. All you have to do is say“No, thank you,” or “That doesn’t feel true for me at this time,” or “I’m  looking for a different type of support right now.”

As I learned many years ago from one of my first teachers, “No,” is a  complete sentence. Just decline, politely if you wish. You do not have to  explain yourself to justify saying no. And if you’d like to explain  your decision, do everyone involved in that situation the decency of offering  the truth. If they have a problem with you, then they have a problem.  You don’t. The truth is enough, just offer it and let it work its magic.

2. When “I can’t afford it” really means “I’m not worth  it.”

This is when someone has access to the resources, really wants to invest them  in this opportunity, but isn’t sure that it’s okay to give themselves the gift  of this opportunity. I’ve seen women do it with everything from education to  clothing (especially bathing suits), and health care to vacations. These are the  same people who would never let their partner go to work without being perfectly  attired, their children go without medical or dental care. They make sure that  their co-workers’ shifts are covered so they can take time off. They give and  give to make sure that others have their needs met, but they won’t invest in  themselves.

This is not a life-affirming way to live. The “I’m not sure I’m worth it”  mindset leads to burnout, illness, and perhaps most painfully, an unshakable  case of martyrdom.

3. When “I can’t afford it” means “I’m afraid it won’t  work.”

That’s a reasonable concern, but instead of just saying, “I can’t afford to,”  let’s dig a little deeper. This either means that you’re unsure the thing you  are considering is worth the investment, or you’re unsure that you’ll do your  part to ensure your success after you invest. If it’s the quality of the  investment — the membership, certification, services, or products — do some  research before you give up on something that resonates as true for you. Ask for  recommendations, typical results, and whatever else might help you decide if  this is true for you. And don’t forget to find out if there is a money-back  guarantee, and what you have to do to ensure you’ll get a refund if the  investment doesn’t produce what you’d hoped it would.

If it’s that you aren’t sure you can hold up your end of the deal, then  that’s another matter altogether. Take time to think about what you’ll need to  succeed here. Support is key, and, depending on what you’re investing in, there  are plenty of things you can do to set yourself up for success. New gym  memberships work best with a workout partner. Recoveries are strengthened by  support groups, sponsors, and perhaps therapy. I’ve even noticed dramatically  improved results when my Sick of Being Stuck students share their experiences  with the people they live with.

If you find something that you believe is true for you, go the extra mile to  make sure it’s a solid investment and that you have what you need to show up  strong in the experience. Once those two things are in place, dig in… and change  your life.

4. When “I can’t afford it” means “my resources are  otherwise committed.”

This is a tricky one because there are plenty of ways to spend your money  that make sense and there are plenty of others that do not. The line between  those two groups of expenses varies from person to person. Since your life today  is (quite simply) the results you’ve cultivated by  investing your resources  (money…but also time, energy, creativity, etc.) the way you have in the past, it  should be relatively easy to assess how it’s working out for you.

Take a moment to think about your life as it is today. Is this what you want  more of in the future? If it is, then you’re set — keep doing what you’re doing.  This isn’t a matter of not being able to afford; this is about making choices.  You’re choosing to invest as you are, and it’s getting you exactly where you  want to be. No worries. Hold your head high, and let your choices speak for  themselves.

If you’re not pleased with the results you’re getting, it might be time to  move that line.

For example, I used to think that I didn’t have the money to eat the way I  knew was true for my body (sugar- and gluten-free vegan). I used to tell myself  that I couldn’t afford to make the change. Then, I realized that I was spending  money every single month buying the junk food that I was putting in my body,  plus the money I spent managing my poor health, and I was dangerously close to  needing to invest money in clothes in the next size up. This doesn’t even  account for the non-monetary investments, like energy I sacrificed by fueling my  body with junk and through the constant internal battle around food. I  sacrificed much sanity and self-esteem in this war, all of which I got back when  I made the change.

Essentially, it took a pretty harsh reality check about how many of my most  vital resources were being invested with such lame results. I knew I had to make  a change, to move that line to a place that was more aligned with my integrity,  so that I could bloom into who I wanted to be.

5. When “I can’t afford it” means “I want this, but I’m  not sure how to do it.”

This is where the magic is, if you ask me. When you feel the words forming in  your mouth, “I can’t afford to…,”  pause and consider if this is the kind of  opportunity you want to cultivate for yourself. If it is, make it so. Release  that old way of thinking, the belief that you cannot afford to have this thing  in your experience. Instead, declare it as your own, and open your mind and  heart to make room for it in your life. I’ve seen these opportunities become  possible in as little as 25 minutes and as long as years, depending on the  situation. Regardless of how long it takes to make it possible, if it’s  true, it was always worth whatever it took to make it happen.

I connect with people regularly who say they want to register for a class,  join a small group, or schedule a private session (with me or one of my peers)  but recognize that their budget currently does not include this sort of  experience. Some of them inquire, get the details, and vanish into thin air,  while others go to whatever lengths necessary to create this opportunity for  themselves.

That might mean redirecting funds from another lower priority, opening up to  additional income streams, or converting resources we already have into money we  can spend on what we want and need. As much as I can bear to, I strive to be  open to all manner of possibilities, and my needs and desires have been met in  all of these ways, plus gifts, mysteries, and more than a few downright  serendipitous experiences.

This weekend, in fact, we are going to use one of my favorite tricks from the  Sick of Being  Stuck program. We are having a yard sale to turn the stuff that no longer  serves us into the cash we need to take a huge next step in the life of our  dreams. For us, this is about redirecting resources, cashing in on what we’ve  brought into our lives in the past to keep dancing forward into our beautiful  future.

And after sharing the Sick of Being Stuck experience for almost a year now, I know  that — even without going through the motions of selling it all — releasing what  no longer serves you from your physical environment is to change your life.  Assuming, of course, that you want it changed. It will heal you, free you,  restore you into the kind of person who calls in exactly what you desire.

If you think you can’t “afford” something, you’re probably right. But it  doesn’t have to be this way. You are worth more than a distorted perception of  yourself and the limited returns you think you can cultivate. Even if the  decisions you are making aren’t cutting it right now, you must remember  that you are still in control. You can make different choices. This is your  life… go live it.


10 Signs You Should Detox Your Life

10 Signs You Should Detox Your Life

By Tina Tessina, DivineCaroline

Many of my clients come in with complaints about personal habits that  feel  toxic in their lives. Just as you can detox your body when you’re  feeling  sluggish, it’s also possible to detox your emotional life. Here  are some of the  most common ways your life can back up on you, and how  to handle it.

1. Frequently late

The cure to lateness is twofold: learn to estimate time better, and  get more  organized, so you are not delayed by looking for last minute  items. Perhaps the  most important reason to cure yourself of lateness is  that it is rude to  others, and costs you their good opinion. If your  partner is late, stop  waiting! Set a reasonable grace period (eg:15  minutes) and then leave without  the other person, leaving a note about  how to meet you wherever you’re going.  That way, you are not forced to  operate on the other person’s time schedule.  You’ll be surprised at how  quickly he or she will learn to be on time.

2. Often angry or irritated

Being easily angered or irritated is a great way to punish yourself.  It  raises your blood pressure, and tends to create unnecessary problems  with  others. Anger interferes with clear thinking, and being irritable  makes it  unpleasant and difficult for others to work or socialize with  you. To reform  this habit, you must develop more emotional maturity.  Understand that your  anger is not seen as power by others, but as  childishness and petulance. It  will lose you far more than you will  gain. Learn to slow down, and reduce your  overly high expectations.  Allow others to be themselves, and don’t expect them  to march to your  drum. Counting to 10 works wonders, as does taking three deep  breaths  when you are upset.

Taking up yoga, meditation, tai chi, or another calming pursuit will  teach  you patience. Strenuous physical activity is a great way to burn  off excess  anger. If none of these work, see a therapist or join an anger management  group.

3. Unsure of ability to do something

Insecurity and feelings of incompetence are definitely stressful,  but they  may also be useful. Find out if you really are unprepared for  the task ahead.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or ask for help. It’s  OK to be a beginner,  even if you’re an expert in other things. If you  don’t try to pretend you’re  better than you are, you will get more help  from others. Take it slowly, and  allow yourself to learn as you go.  Above all, be supportive to yourself, and  don’t subject yourself to  harsh internal criticism.

4. Overextended

Frequently becoming overextended can be a sign of  grandiosity—overblown  expectations of your abilities—or of trying to  control everything. Reduce your  expectations of your own  accomplishments, and allow others to help you in their  own way. In the  long run, being a team player is usually more efficient than  trying to  do it all alone and becoming overwhelmed.

5. Not enough time for stress relief

This is an extension of being overextended, and may be a sign that  you  always come last in your own life. Learn to schedule time for  yourself to relax  and to play. If you write personal time on your  schedule the same way you do  appointments with others, you’ll be more  likely to actually do it. Join a class  or group that meets regularly for  a relaxing activity such as dancing,  stretching or meditation, or  schedule a regular massage, manicure or facial, so  you’ll have a  guaranteed place to relax.

6. Feeling unbearably tense

If your anxiety is this high, you may need therapy.  Anxiety and panic  attacks are among the easiest things to fix in  counseling sessions. You are  probably running non-stop negative  self-talk, which keeps you anxious about  everything. Try affirmations  and/or prayer to counteract the running commentary  in your mind. Learn  to breathe deeply from your diaphragm when you feel  anxious—it slows  your heartbeat and calms you down.

7. Frequently pessimistic

A negative attitude is a result of negative self-talk, and of a  negative  attitude probably learned in childhood. There are many  self-help books which  will guide you in learning to change the nature of  your approach to life.  Techniques such as prayer and affirmations,  counting your blessings, and  setting small goals every day will help you  turn this around.

8. Upset by conflicts with others

All conflict is upsetting. The key is to reduce the amount of  conflict in  your life. Many of the above techniques, such as anger  reduction and positive  self_talk, will contribute to improving your  relationships with others. In  addition, you can learn better social  techniques such as active listening,  positive regard, win-win  negotiation and clear communication which will  eliminate the source of  conflict. Learn to listen to others (even when you  don’t agree) and,  before speaking, consider how your words might feel to the  other person.  Treat other people more as you would like them to treat you, and,  most  important, stop and think before reacting to someone else.

9. Worn-out or burned-out

Burnout is the result of feeling overextended or ineffective for a  long  period of time. Most of us can deal with small amounts of  frustration or  feeling overwhelmed, but if it goes on too long, we lose  all our motivation,  and become burned out. Motivation comes from  celebration and appreciation, so  learn to celebrate each little  accomplishment, and seek appreciation when you  need it. If you have  trouble doing that, perhaps it’s time to make a career  change or to  change some other aspect of your life.

10. Feeling lonely

Loneliness may not result from actually being alone, but more from  feeling  misunderstood or not valued. People often isolate themselves  because they feel  inadequate in social situations. Value the friends you  do have, and make new  friends by attending classes or other group  events where you can focus on a  task or assignment. This will take the  pressure off your contact with other  people, and give you something in  common with them. Be wary of spending too  much time on your computer, in  chat rooms, etc. These activities absorb time,  but do little to dispel  loneliness. Make sure you schedule some time with a  friend at least once  a week, and if you don’t have friends, then use that  weekly time to  take a class or join a group (for example, a book club or sports  group )  which will give you a chance to make new friends.

(Adapted from It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction.)

Lighten Up – The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Casserole

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Casserole

To prepare for this ritual, clear a space for the circle in the center of the kitchen. Then don your ceremonial apron and hold your ceremonial spatula in your right hand. Stand in the center of the circle and face east. You are ready to begin:

  1. With your spatula, draw a banishing pentagram to the East. Then, thrust your spatula through the pentagram and say, “Microwave dinners, be gone!
  2. Move to the South. Again, draw a banishing pentagram and thrust your spatula through it. “TV dinners, be gone!
  3. Move to the West. Draw the banishing pentagram and thrust your spatula through it. “Ramen instant noodles, be gone!
  4. Move to the north. Draw the banishing pentagram and thrust your spatula through it, “Mystery meat in a can, be gone!
  5. Move to the center of the circle and stand still. Chant the following: Before me, Martha Stewart. Behind me, Betty Crocker. To my right side, Julia Child. To my left side, Martha Stewart, AGAIN!
  6. Visualize yourself standing in a giant casserole and proclaim, “For about me bakes the casserole, and around me shines the 6-course meal.
  7. Clap your hands three times and say, “It’s a good thing.

The rite is over.

If the ritual is not effective, please order take-out ASAP.

Daily Feng Shui Tip for July 5th: “Bikini Day”

Whether we’re wearing an itsy, bitsy, yellow polka dot one or any of other fashionable design, today’s ‘Bikini Day’ energies celebrated those two tiny pieces of summer fabric. But what if you overindulged yesterday and you can’t quite squeeze into that bikini today? One quick (and holistic!) way to break up the bloat and increase efficient digestion is to intertwine the fingers of both hands and then hold a golf ball between the palms. Allow the ball to ‘roll’ back and forth, stimulating reflexology points that will put the putt-putt back in your game. Once you get rid of the gas the bloat will be gone too. Another quick way to decrease bloat is to drink peppermint tea with a few shakes of digestive bitters. Bitter herbs are great for stimulating digestion while the peppermint is a carminative herb that almost immediately reduces gas and belly swelling. When you eat, chew with your mouth closed and increase your intake of water, which flushes waste from your system. You should be back in that bikini by the time the neighbors are firing up the barbeque for round two!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com