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The Holistic Home Why Your Home’s Happiness Matters

By: Debbie Schaffer

holisticImagine walking into your home (or maybe you’re there now). Do you feel comfortable and happy? Or are you restless and at a loss? Is your space your sanctuary? Or do you feel that something is missing? We’re all familiar with the term “holistic” as it is applied in a health context – as a way to bring balance to the mind, body, and spirit. But did you know that this same approach can be applied to our homes and what better place to practice a holistic approach to living than in our homes.

As a designer, I study each client and home from a holistic perspective. I can’t “decorate” a room without looking at the people who live there, how they live, what their energy is like, what their goals are, and how they want to FEEL when they are home. It is so important to understand the “whole” of my clients and their spaces so that I can bring them into balance with each other. Our homes are more than just the address where we live; they are energy that can be designed to support us… mind, body, and spirit.

Through my “holistic design approach,” I incorporate techniques that can have profound effects on my clients and their homes, including Feng shui, space clearing and use of essential oil sprays.

Most people are aware of Feng shui, the ancient practice of using energy to bring a balance. Feng shui techniques can be applied to a whole house, a single room, or even a desktop or the garden. As an advanced practitioner of Instinctive Feng Shui™, I help my clients discover how their “inner worlds” are reflected in their “outer worlds.” We identify areas of their lives that they would like to enhance, and then work to balance the energy in the corresponding areas of their home. For example, if a client wanted to bring a new romantic partner into her life, we would focus on the topmost right corner of her home. I might suggest making sure the bed is big enough for two people, having a night table on EACH side of the bed (with equal lighting on each), and bringing in pairs of pillows – all of which represent TWO people in a relationship.

Energetic space clearing is another technique I love to use. We all know what it’s like to walk into a space and realize that an argument just occurred. What we’re doing is sensing the residual energy left by the people involved. “Space clearing” (a term coined by the amazing Denise Linn) removes old, stuck, stagnant, or unsupportive energy from a space and sets the intention for new supportive energy. I recommend a space clearing after you’ve recovered from an illness, to remove the “leftovers” from an old relationship, to enhance the energy of a new season, or especially when moving into a home. Think of it as throwing open the windows on that first warm spring day! I use bells, sage, crystals and/or essential oils, depending on what the space “needs.” And make no mistake, rooms DO communicate! I’ve cleared single rooms, entire homes and even yoga studios.

Speaking of essential oils, this powerful arsenal is a key component in my toolbox. Essential oils have been used for centuries to “treat” various physical issues. But did you know that essential oils have spiritual and emotional properties, too? Connecting with someone’s angels or guides will help me determine and create unique and personalized essential oils sprays in order to help bring them or their home into spiritual and emotional balance.

The relationship you have with your home is a two-way street. How you feel on the inside will be reflected in the way your home looks. But the reverse is equally true. If you think of your home as energy, and you treat it with grace and kindness, it will reward you with a renewed sense of balance, happiness and support.

Choose Growth

 By: Alison Whitmire

ChooseGrowthYou are now all that you ever will be. What is your reaction to that rather provocative statement? Try this: You have within you right now everything you will ever become. How does that feel different? Or this: You have only just begun to tap into your innate potential. Might they all be equally true?

Consider a seed, like the seed of a tree. A seed has within it everything it will ever become. The seed has the tree inside of it, waiting to be expressed. If a seed possessed consciousness and saw itself only as a seed, would it ever become the tree?

We all start out life as seeds. Seeds with potential that we can’t begin to imagine. And over time, we shape ourselves through our willingness to step into that potential we cannot see. One step at a time, we can brave the unknown and grow into a fuller expression of ourselves.

We all grow the same way, by stepping into the unknown and taking on challenges that require more of us. When we take on challenges that require us to be more, do more, know more than we do now, we grow. We learn from the experience, we develop our ability to be in uncertainty and discomfort and we stretch into the potential within us. It is certainty, that by stepping into uncertainty, we will grow. And we get to choose.

Growth and comfort do not coexist.” Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

At any given point in our lives, we can choose growth or we can choose comfort. And the choice itself defines us. Choosing comfort is easy. For many of us, it doesn’t even feel like a choice, it’s our default setting. And we are encouraged to maintain our comfort though encouragements like “If it feels good, keep calm and just do it”. And if we can’t get comfortable, we may numb ourselves until we are. And the comfort we stay in, then truncates who we become. The seed grows to no more than a sapling and our lives become more of the comfortable same.

Choosing growth, choosing to override our default, calls upon us to be more. To be more than we think we are. Bolder, more courageous, more willing. Choosing growth requires from us belief, courage and trust.

We must believe in the expansive tree within us, not as opinion, but as truth. We must suspend our doubts, those feelings that keep us safer than we need to be. To see more in ourselves than our past or present has revealed to us. And envision the grandeur of the person we can become.

Our conviction in the truth of our belief is not enough, we must act upon it. We must courageously step toward our vision of ourselves, beyond what we know and what we’ve been. We must set aside our fears, leave the safety of comfort behind and enter into the space of possibility, of likelihood, of risk.

Courage is the action we take when our desire to express our potential exceeds our craving for comfort.” – Anonymous

Last, we must trust. Trust in ourselves and trust in the Universe. And we must let go our need to protect ourselves, our resistance, our interference and all that keep us small.

Belief, courage and trust are the elements that initiate growth. All are choices we make. Nothing more. Our growth is in our choosing. We can choose to believe, we can choose to be courageous and we can choose to trust ourselves. And only by so choosing, choosing growth, do we come into the complete expression of ourselves and become the glorious, inspiring, expansive tree we are meant to be.

Breaking into Bliss by Jumping into Fear

 By: Dr. Aymee Coget


The only way out is through. 

Fear is forgetting everything is all right. 

Fear is false evidence appearing real. 

Your comfort zone is a safe place though it may not be the happiest. 

Every day you are confronted with addressing your deepest fears. 

Fear of success

Fear of failure

Fear of commitment

Fear of the truth

Fear of the future

Fear of the unknown

Fear of loss

Fear of scarcity 

Whatever your fear may be, your fear is here. 

Your fear is ever present in your decisions day in and day out. 

To keep you in your comfort zone. 

Your comfort zone has been built for years. Probably decades. 

Your thoughts and beliefs about these topics of fear have probably traversed generations in your family lineage. 

Fear of loss

Fear of success

Fear of commitment

Fear of the truth

Fear of change 

The notion of fear is a stumbling block to your highest states of bliss. 

This fear is keeping you in sedentary paralysis trapping you inside your semi impermeable bubble of life. 

This is subconsciously guiding your every single decision. 

Take this in for a minute. 

Confront yourself. 

What is the fear you have been letting rule your life. 

Fear of success?

Fear of true love?

Fear of other’s judgment? 

What is the fear that holds you back in your life? 

Put a name on it.  

Call it out of the dark of your shadow so you can look at it straight in the eye. 

The eye of your subconscious. 

Ask yourself: Do I want this fear any more?  Do I want to let this fear go so I can move on with my life?  How is this fear serving my highest flourishing? 

Take a moment to wrestle with the truth of this fear. 

Examine it. Where did it come from? Is it even TRUE?! 

When you enlighten your shadow you are shown that you are the one holding yourself back from achieving the highest path of life. 

One in faith.

One in faith in yourself, your path, your inner knowing, your life. 

Fear has been instilled at a rudimentary level in the reptilian part of your brain. 

You live in 2014 where most live without harm in life and can consciously remove any fear you feel ready to release. 

Fear is transformed into faith which enables you to confront your realistic daily decisions in a way where you can achieve ecstatic states of bliss and joy beyond your wildest dreams. 

The only way out is through. 

Jump from the plane.

Commit to your love.

Address the truth.

Embrace success. 

When you can break through fear and embrace your life based on the bedrock of faith is when you can achieve the highest forms of happiness known to humanity. 

Stop dancing around your fear.

Stop making excuses for your fear.

Stop letting your false evidence appearing real run your life. 

You can gain empowerment over your psychology and you can create change in your life with a simple decision. 

Choose faith over fear.

Put your fear in its place. 

See it dissipate in front of your face. 

You are the one who put it in your psychology you can take it out. 

Imagine what your life could look like without fear.

Imagine a lightness of ease and flow in your every step. 

Imagine opportunities flying at you; all wanting you to embrace your life at the highest level.

Imagine your bliss being fueled daily as you grow stronger in building your faith while your fear simply evaporates. 

You have real examples. 

You have real life experiences with fear. 

You have let the external world and the power of your subconscious mind control the experience you make for yourself in life. 

You are making your own experience. 

Make it with faith. 

Make it with bliss as your fundamental essence. 

How can your upward spiral grow from this place? 

The sky is the limit when you walk the path of faith and bliss begets bliss. 

You will never go wrong with positivity. 





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Standing on the Edge

By: Val Cavalheri

StandingEdgeShe stood on the edge of the platform, suited up in her harness and helmet, gripping the rope with sweaty palms and listening to her guide say ‘just let go sit back in the harness, raise your feet and glide to the next platform.’ The problem was she was terrified of heights and yet, here she was 60 feet off the ground, high up in the trees ziplining! How did she agree to do this?” she thought. “There is no shame in going back down the stairs, is there?’ But then again… Before she had time to think about it, she stepped off the platform and let go, feeling her fear turn into exhilaration as she reached the other side. “That was so much fun!” she said to the guide.

“We hear that a lot,” says Joe DeRing former Captain and US Army Ranger, owner of Tree Top Zip Tour by Empower, which operates at Salamander Resort. “People come in telling us they’re tired of being afraid. Ziplining gives them a chance to look at their fear and say ‘I can do this.’ And when they do, we then ask: What other aspects of your life scare you that you want to change?”

If ziplining sounds like a metaphor on life, well… in a way it is. Of course, the Zip Tour can be just a fun and exciting two hours: a little adrenalin and a lot of laughing. But, as Joe sees it, it can also be a life-changer through their one on one Personal Leadership Odyssey or the customized youth, sports, corporate and/or teambuilding programs.

“I’ve experienced great leadership and seen how it saved lives and saw how bad leadership impacted those who didn’t come home,” says Joe of his time in the Afghan and Iraqi War. “I dreamed back then that I wanted to create a business that built leaders.” To those in the corporate world, Joe wants the lesson learned to be, ‘if I can lead myself through adversity and fear, I can be successful in anything. Which, is not very different from what he sees as the benefit of the youth program. “I want the kids to understand that they can lead themselves to success, they can make the right decisions. When they understand that, peer pressure doesn’t matter.”

Joe is a big believer that like anything worth doing in life, it’s all about stepping outside of your comfort zone. He describes it as a three-ringed circle. The ‘Small’ inside, where we all comfortably reside in our day-to-day life. Surrounding that is the ‘Stretch Zone’,’ a place where you’re not entirely comfortable, yet not entirely stressed. Then, there is the Panic Zone. Joe WANTS you to experience near panic and know that you survived, all of which expand both of the inner circles.

So, who is ziplining the 700 ft. of lines at Salamander? Typically, they are 8 to 88 years of age. Families, couples, kids, corporate groups, churches and schools, all find pleasure and benefit getting on top of the platform and just stepping off and into their fear.

For more information and to make a reservation go to: www.salamander