Archives for November 2014

Attitude of Gratitude: Giving Thanks and Celebrating Love

It’s 11/11 our favorite day of the year! The C & P Show (Chris and Parisa!) were married three years ago today. But that’s not the only reason why we’re celebrating. We’re thankful that every day we have the opportunity to practice love and gratitude with you. What a perfect beginning to the Thanksgiving and holiday season. If I were to ask you what “gratitude” means, could you tell me? If I offered you a turkey drumstick (tofu stick if you’re vegetarian), could you explain how gratitude makes our lives happier and healthier? Me neither. Thank goodness for experts!

Robert Emmons, one of the world’s leading scientificexperts on gratitude, says that gratitude is an “affirmation of goodness.” According to Emmons every time we practice gratitude we’re affirming to ourselves and others that the world is good and our lives are blessed with gifts. Gratitude teaches us that “other people – or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset – gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”

According to Emmons’ The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California Berkeley people who practice gratitude consistently report the following benefits:

• Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More joy, optimism, and happiness
• Acting with more generosity and compassion
• Feeling less lonely and isolated

Here are some useful tips for cultivating an attitude of gratitude this holiday season and always:

• Take time to give thanks. Right now, in this moment ask yourself, “What am I most thankful for?”
• Before you go to bed write down a Top 10 Gratitude List (like Oprah!)
• Send an old-fashioned, snail mail thank-you card to someone you love and appreciate; you’re thanking them for being wonderful and kind
• Exercise regularly and stay active. You’ll feel better from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Mindfulness traditions such as Qigong and yoga are proven stress-busters and peace-makers
• Be present and stay present. Focus on what you’re doing and what you’re feeling in this moment. (When you’re anxious, you’ve likely projected your fears into the future. Come back to the pre-sent, where all the action is.) Pay attention to your thoughts and don’t believe everything that pops into your head. Is the glass half full or half empty?! Perception is reality so see the world as benevolent and kind.

We so appreciate you, dear reader, for including us in your lives and for reading these posts every month. We believe everyone on this plant is connected. When you nurture the seeds of love, appreciation and gratitude in your heart, we all benefit. You don’t have to be an expert to know that when we share love, we spread love. Show kindness to yourself, extend and share that love with your inner circle, and watch the ripple effect take care of the rest; from you to the world. Imagine. What a gift to be the change you want to see in the world. Gratitude starts with YOU.

One love, one world, one giant thanks from us to you.

Love and Gratitude,
Chris & Parisa Shelton and the Morning Crane Team

Lung Clearing Exercise

This is an excerpt from Chris Shelton’s book, “Qigong For Self-Refinement, Total Health with the 5 Elements”. Chp. 9 Pg. 53.

This exercise particularly clears and harmonizes the energy of the Lung. It is useful for reducing any of the physical or emotional complaints listed below, or it may be used as a general health practice. It is particularly beneficial during the autumn to help strength the lungs. It can also help release excess sadness and sorrow.

Physical signs:
•Shoulders rolled forward.
•Phlegm
•Chronic coughing
•Dry Skin(Eczema)
•Stools dry and hard or loose
•Aversion to cold or heat
•Easily catches colds or flu

Emotional signs:
•Lack of willpower
•Disinclination to talk
•Lack of assertiveness
•Feelings of sadness, disappointment
•Hypersensitivity
•Feeling exposed, vulnerable
•Unable to attain one’s goals

The Movement:

1. Start with the Three regulations: Steady breath, relaxed mind, Wu Ji posture (feet shoulder width, shoulders relaxed and broad tailbone tucked, Crown Point rising). The tongue should be lightly touching the roof of the mouth behind the upper teeth.

2. Pull Down the Heavens three times.

3. With the eyes gazing forward, allow the arms to float up in front of the body to shoulder height, palms facing down.

4. While inhaling, spread the arms out to the side, palms down, as though opening curtains. This movement expands the chest.

5. Turn your palms up and, while exhaling, bring your arms back to the front, to the center of your body, closing your chest.

6. Repeat, with a continuous flowing motion.

7. End by Pulling down the Heavens three times.
Notes

1. It is recommended to do this 3-6 times for health maintenance; 9-36 times when addressing a particular problem.

2. You may enhance the efficiency  of this exercise by saying the Lung sound “SSS” when exhaling.