Labyrinth Blog

By Kelly Kralles

Walking a labyrinth has always been in my sphere of influence. Hearing it spoken about, speaking to people that ran it, all going on around me for years. I never actually walked one until now.

Wow, what a great experience!! The atmosphere generated by the participants was so peaceful, the beautiful flutes and magical music being played by Sonam Targee such a perfect accompaniment. This particular labyrinth was held at a church by the Labyrinth Society.

I started at the mouth with shoes removed and thought of what I’d like to release or work through while walking the labyrinth. (This is what I was told to do, everyone is very helpful getting you started). Then I started following the person in front of me, stepping one foot at a time, single file, staying on the path or circuit. Taking the turns at first was a study in concentration, but I quickly got the hang of it, so that I could stop thinking about the turns as I approached them.

About half way through, I started to feel slightly light headed. I started smiling to myself (and possibly to others) as I progressed further, because the feelings were starting to overwhelm the thoughts! As I reached the middle of the labyrinth, I joined the others gathered there to stop and say a quick blessing to the room and to the Universe for helping me find this quiet place in my mind.

Now it is time to turn around and follow the path or circuit back out. Same feelings coming in waves now, light, airy, slightly dizzy. No room for actual thoughts anymore at all. Moving around others now too as I work back, so effortless to continue around each other without thinking about who was going to move where.

Following one foot in front of the other, around and around until coming out again. Thank goodness for the chairs, had to go sit down, close my eyes and stay with the feelings for as long as possible. What a treat!!

I have been around energy work and am a Wellness facilitator, so I am more sensitive to energy than some. I can honestly say, this was so much fun in more than just an energy sense. It really clears the head and allows you to concentrate on nothing but where your feet are going for just a little while. We all need that for balance and restoration. I highly recommend walking a labyrinth if given the opportunity.

Go to the for more on how to find the next labyrinth walk!

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Does this beach paradise hold the secret for long life?

Does this beach paradise hold the secret for long life?

And what does this have in common with

“Stay grounded and listen to your Dad?

I watched a wonderful show on CNN, it is Bill Weir’s The Wonder List. Each week he visits different places and cultures, mainly ones that have tradition and have not changed very much over time, treasures of the world that are not well known. He mentions that he wants to visit these unique and special places while they are still there, before they change.

Meeting Dan Buettner,, and listening to his adventure stories, Bill learned some very interesting things. One being a statistic from the World Health Organization that claimed that Okinawa Japan had the longest disability-free life expectancy in the world. They lived longer and healthier. This became his kick off for this interesting series.
The question, after looking at United States longevity statistics is, ‘How do we get those extra 13 years?”

The episode that I am writing about here is his visit to Ikaria, a small island off Greece where people live well into their 90’s and 100’s.

Being in touch with life while slowing down to enjoy it, lots of movement and their diet, are major factors of their long lives.
Growing their own food means that for every meal they are bending, picking doing some form of movement to gather and prepare. They did not know what Organic was as they have never used anything on the plants they grow.
Meat’s a rare treat and a tomato is a snack with their diets being mainly 95% plants.
Interaction across generations is common with Grandparents watching and playing with children.

A few general comments from the Island were:
Having a sense of value, feeling needed.
Hiking, walking, dancing
A life of service
Moderation for everything
Here, life is slow.
Longevity is 25% genetics. 75% comes from where and how you live.
Daily routines that help with stress
Eat a plant based diet

Does this beach paradise hold the secret for long life?

This is the opening line on the CNN page about longevity on the island of Ikaria.

“Stay grounded and listen to your Dad”
This is Bill Weir’s comment to his daughter at her very young stage of aging.
He is watching his daughter grow up, become independent much too soon and, from my perspective, wondering about his own longevity and hers, maybe without him to guide her.

So the common bond, of these seemingly unrelated two statements, is the unknown question of how long will we live?

He also mentions the following statement, as a side note, because his daughter is included as he personalizes his story.

“The real lesson is, when they reach a certain age of freedom your kid is going to ignore everything you have ever said.” Bill Weir

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Have one! Or not…Weight Control

I write this for all the people that are trying to manage their weight and have to wade through the many treats that show up at the workplace. It’s inevitable that as soon as you make a decision that you’re going to be so good and you’re not going to eat any sugar that day that someone brings in Girl Scout cookies, or cupcakes or whatever. Everyone’s gathered together in the kitchen area, sharing and snacking and they call you over to join them. What do you do? You don’t want to miss taking part in the team comradery, but you know they’re watching you, especially if you already have a reputation of being a healthy eater or just the opposite! Do you just ignore the treat? That’s one way to do it, but what if you really really want one??

Here’s the rule as I live it; Have one!! Can you have one without wanting to eat the whole box or bag or whatever? If you know you can, enjoy it! Sample it, take a bite and throw the rest out!

If you can’t have just one, simply pass and tell them the truth! You’d be surprised how many people will relate to that simple admission. It could start a whole conversation on the benefits of bringing in only Healthy snacks in future, you never know!! If all else fails, keep a supply of healthy alternatives handy for just these emergencies. Grab one of yours and join the group.

What’s most important here is accepting yourself and all of your faults as they are, admitting to yourself that no, maybe one isn’t enough, better pass, or yes, let me have one so I don’t binge later!

Be honest with yourself when setting any goals for weight and eating habits. It’s much easier to go with the flow if you already know your limitations.

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Happy “Alamo”

Happy “Alamo”

It means a mission in San Antonio Texas or a Poplar Tree but in this writing I am referring to Alamo, the car rental agency.

On a recent trip to the wonderful city of Atlanta I happened to rent a vehicle from the above-mentioned company. It wasn’t until returning home from the trip that I noticed the wording on the map they had given me.

There is was, right under their logo, a slogan, so short and so powerful that it caught my attention enough to save it and still have it as a reminder.

I am well aware that, especially in today’s world, I need reminders to bring me back the present and what is really important. I still have Alamo’s logo pinned up on my wall with its clever and meaningful, hand written tag line.

Alamo Drive HappyDid you ever notice how most of us, when we are in our car, are in more of a complaining mood. Traffic is going to slow, people are following to close or someone cut you off, seem to be standard thoughts as we cruise along.

So what if we really did do what our friends at Alamo are suggesting to us, what if we really drive feeling Happy.

Here are a few alternative meaning and there are many more.
Delighted, Untroubled, Pleased, Content, Thrilled, etc.
If you woke up this morning you should feel thrilled and Happy just for waking up.

There are not any guarantees that you will each day.

Now to extend this concept how about;
Working Happy
Thinking Happy
Sharing Happy
Eating Happy
Meeting Happy
Whistling Happy
Dancing Happy
It doesn’t have to only be at birthdays that we wish another to have a Happy Day.

You see it is all about energies and how we feel in the moment. If we Feel Happy we attract like energies. Others pick up those feeling and it helps them feel closer to the same.

Have you ever noticed when you are near an angry person how you can feel their energy? Well it works the same way being near a Happy person, so allow that to be you.
It can change the mood of the whole room.

Next time you think of it, while you are walking, try Walking Happy.

Actually just by thinking and typing the word “Happy” so many times I am feeling it more and more.

Now I even have Pharrell Williams Happy song in my head. See if you can watch a YouTube video of Happy and be able to sit still.
He even has a website

Happy feels good.
Happy is a magnet.
Be Happy, use your car to remind you.
Then work on being Happy all the other times when you are not in your car.

Drive Happy.

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Finding Beauty

beautyMy friend Sandy is a Master hair Stylist. She is very well known for her perfection in creating beauty with hair and also for her stories and spiritual thoughts of wisdom she passes on to her clients. Her blog is titled

Below is part of an email I sent to her as a lead off to entice her to work together on the project of drawing more attention to Beauty. This means in all aspects of life, the outer and the inner, the awareness of and seeing where it takes us.

She agreed and here is a partial of what I sent her.

Attached is an article on poet Rumi from Spirituality Health Magazine, March 2008. I saw this and immediately thought, I need to send to Sandy.

I love the opening line on this article, as a theme, to work on together. We can approach beauty in all of life; people, nature, animals, words, thoughts, writing, languages, places, music, songs, art, learning and anything else we can think of.

“Beauty is a significant presence, and it is beauty,
                    in whatever form, that awakens love.”

I am sharing some thoughts to keep in a folder for when the time fits. Thoughts of you, what you do, how you think and how you write is what inspired me think of adding a section on beauty to the mix.

Let’s use Beauty to awaken us, and our readers, to another level of awareness of life.

Still game?

ray j

Here is a quote about Sandy. Julie’s quote, of which a partial here, is what urged me to get this rolling. I read it, said yes that is her let’s see if we can get her to expand her stories.

“Meeting Sandy has changed the way I look at beauty. I’ve never met someone with the level of authentic passion that she radiates for her life’s calling.”
~Julie Colvin, Book Project Coach,Wellness Facilitator and
Author of, A Cure for Emma.

Well Sandy was game for the project so here is her first Blog.
She is a completely Beautiful role model herself, how she looks, how she thinks, speaks and writes.

I am sure this will grow and evolve Beautifully over the next year and on.

Sandy’s Blog Post:

Finding Beauty for Ray Justice
by Sandy Evenson on April 6, 2014

sandyI have been asked by my friend, Ray Justice, to join him on a new adventure. We are exploring the “World of Beauty” on his Web site, Along the way, we aim to help people discover inner beauty and all of its manifestations. We will give our respective points of view on beauty from every angle. I know the male/female perspectives are going to create exciting discoveries for our readers. So, I thought I would get the ball rolling by sharing one of my favorite stories.

Early in my career as a master haircolorist, I found a great way to help my guests see for themselves what I could see when I evaluated their skin tone, existing hair color and eye color. I used a computer assisted color analysis method that would isolate their unique color combinations. It was always fun to show someone just how many colors were in their eyes!

Annie was a wonderful girl who visited the salon regularly for haircuts and highlights. She was among the thousands of hard working women on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. I gained enormous respect for those women, the people you never hear about, working behind the scenes for all of those faces you see in the media.

She was an interesting study. She was so very shy and introverted that it was even hard for her to lift her head enough for me to shape the fringe of hair around her face and over her eyes. I often wondered if something had happened to her to make her so afraid. It made me cringe to think what it might have been.

So, I was so excited when she asked me to do her colors and give her a makeup lesson. She was getting up the courage to speak to a new young man she had noticed at work. This was such progress for her. I was so proud to take part in bolstering her confidence.

After spending some time selecting her colors, I placed each of them next to one another…one for her softly highlighted hair, one for her lovely green eyes and one for her peaches and cream skin. She looked at them and said “They’re beautiful.” I looked back at her saying “That’s because you are beautiful.”

She looked again at the colors. Her eyes widened. She began to smile. Her face was utterly glowing. I think it was the very first time she had ever heard those words spoken about her. It was such a simple thing for me. But, for her, she was just now discovering her true beauty.

I watched her grow in so many ways. She started to walk taller, exuding confidence. And yes, she was even able to introduce herself to that guy who had piqued her interest at the office.

Beauty exists all around us. The very best of beauty comes from deep inside ourselves. We all have inner beauty. And we need to learn to bring it out and share it with the world. That’s when it truly blossoms.

Ray and I are working out the details and will begin our beauty quest soon. Join us on the journey and discover your unique gifts of beauty.

Check out the site. Then, share your comments and insights when we’re up and running.

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“Lonely is The Night” Changing what you think is so.

“Lonely is The Night”
Changing what you think is so.

guitarHow much of my life, of your life, is a habit or pattern?
My answer is quite a bit, often much more than I am aware of.

The way is has been, during our life, is often the way we do it, think it or believe it.
A great deal of this we are not aware of and on a form of automatic pilot.

Questions to ask ourselves when we become aware of those repeating thoughts and beliefs.

Are they real? Are they true? Or just what you are used to?

Here is an example story that happened to me.
There was the time, many years ago, when my son was about 12 years old and wanted to go to a concert featuring rock star Billy Squire. My story was that I did not like his music, with his loud screeching guitars.  So my belief was I don’t like rock, or at least this type, at all.

He was too young to let go alone or with friends and he really wanted to go.
I had an idea and asked him to make me a cassette tape. Remember this was way before iPods were invented. He copied several Billy Squire songs and I listened to them twice a day for two weeks. I would go for a two-mile jog in the morning and again when I got home from work. I estimated I listed to about 7 hours of Mr. Squire during my daily runs.

I intentionally decided to work on my mind before I took him and his friend to the concert.
I had to find a way to not be aggravated by it all. Earplugs were also on my list of possibilities. It worked beyond my expectations; I just needed to be open to possibilities.
Guess what?  I still enjoy Billy Squire to this day and that was 30 years ago.
“Lonely is the Night” still pops into my head now and then and I love it.

So what is the meaning of this story?

My belief was that I do not like this type of music. Even stronger I would of said, then, that it drives me nuts and is annoying.  I changed my belief because I had a reason big enough to have me figure out a way to enjoy it or at least tolerate it.

With “Lonely is The Night” as the theme it becomes a reminder that when we go to bed at night it is a perfect time to pay attention to what we are thinking. What is going on with our thoughts?  It is also a perfect time to practice thinking about, or visualizing what and how we would like things to be instead of how we don’t.

Change is possible and not as difficult as you would think.
Rock on Billy Squire.
“Learn How to Live” by Billy Squire
Year: 1982
Album: Emotions in Motion

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“Very Useful” – The Most Important Part

19122011“Very Useful”  –  The Most Important Part

“When talking with another friend this afternoon, I shared with her what you said about how the most important part of any interaction is the way you feel about yourself, and it was a very useful insight for her. I will definitely be reflecting on and drawing upon that for years to come.”

After we had a business conversation on the phone I received the above message from my friend, Alyce, the next day.
What I was drawn to was her wording “very useful”.
If someone had asked me what our conversation was about I would have answered that we talked about how important it is to feel good, or actually great, about yourself.  This is a very important piece of any communication or connection and thinking of it as “very useful” seems to add more clarity and even an “aha!” Yes not only is this a good idea, about knowing yourself and being aware of how you feel in the moment, but it is also “very useful”.
I can do something with this.
I started wondering about how many things we talk about each day that have little meaning and are not especially useful, let alone “very useful”.
Taking care of our self is important, not only for us but for everyone we come in contact with. Note: we exchange energies with each other.

Think about this, would you rather be in a room with a very happy, enthusiastic person or a nervous, angry or upset one? . . . and when you are, pay attention to how that has an affect on you and how you feel.

It is also interesting, and useful, to remember and know that we learn many things by repetition and the power of suggestion.
That is what I have done in the paragraph above (and below)
I have repeated that this is “very useful”, have drawn attention to it by bolding the wording and hopefully have gotten your attention as to what is “very useful” in this writing.

Now back to my friend Alyce’s comment on what was “very useful”. That is, knowing and understanding that an “important part of any interaction is the way you feel about yourself”.

Next step, pay attention to your conversations and notice if your chosen words had any real meaning. After you have a little insight on that then pay attention to how you are actually feeling about yourself. And then think about how your own thoughts, about yourself, are a part of how you feel. Not the whole thing but a piece to consider.

Are you feeling alert, confident, curious, interested, trusting?
Are you willing to pay attention or are you daydreaming and thinking of other things to talk about.
If this is the most important part of an interaction and is “very useful” to know, then our mission with any connection, besides being informed and prepared, is to feel balanced, alert, aware, and grateful to be with the person we are interacting with.

I have been taught that we need to hear or see something at least seven times to even remember it let alone have it be part of who we are.  In this writing I have repeated, that this is “very useful” information, eleven times, if I counted correctly.
If you have read this far then you have the idea and the rest is up to you.

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Personal Energy – Our Thoughts and Poetic Thinking

At a presentation on personal energy and how it effects our self and others, I did an exercise that had some interesting results. It was for a group of about 70 health care professionals.

Here is how the exercise went.

I asked on a scale of one to ten, to focus on how they felt, in their body, as they heard the word. And to respond quickly, and out loud, without thinking.  “1” being low energy, or negative, in some form and “10” being high energy, feels good.

For the first word “Discipline”, most  said “2”,  for the next word “Adore” most said “10”.

I had done the same exercise with a different group at an earlier date and they said the exact same numbers – “2” & “10”.

Interesting on its own and a reminder for us all to become more and more aware of our thoughts and words and to practice changing some of them if they do not feel good. Awareness is the first step. If we are not paying attention inwardly we will not even know what is there.

Think about practicing with your thoughts and words just as we practice with improving our physical abilities with sports and games. Our personal energy and awareness improve in the same way by being interested to do so, having the intention and practicing to change our habit.

Having written a fair amount of intimate poetry I am interested in finding a way to mix poetic thinking with our daily lives and even with business situations.

Poetic thinking, or writing, is somewhat more about what you feel, and are aware of with your senses, than just what you are thinking about.

It is a deeper, more present, more in tune, more compassionate, and more about life, way of thinking, writing, speaking and being.

Poetic writing and thinking style might be an interesting exercise to relate to some event in your life.  If you do it a few times, you might just surprise yourself.

Remember getting started, taking the first step, is the difficult part. Once you start, your pen, or keyboard, will take over almost on it’s own. Here is a question to ponder and use as a starter.

What choice could you make today that would enhance your personal environment?

And why could or would that happen?

Enjoy this moment as it is constantly changing, and a good time to change your thoughts.

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Eating & Being Aware That We Are Eating

Eating & Being Aware That We Are Eating While We Do.

This following message came in my email this morning from Yoga Journal’s “Daily Insight” – a great free service for subscribers   –

The reason I am posting it here is I have to believe that I am not the only one who often eats on the fly or in the car. I meditate and do Yoga daily and yet. . . It speaks for itself and I am using it to increase my awareness another level. To eat and to be aware that I am eating at the same time. It won’t always happen but it will become more conscious. A new habit is beginning.

Yoga Journal “Daily Insight” – 1/18/13

Do you ever feel like food is something that’s getting between you and your life?
In today’s modern world, we rarely make time to eat mindfully.
Often, we eat on the go, in cars or at our desks for the five minutes we can spare.
But when we eat without noticing our food, we miss one of life’s greatest pleasures and we allow that which should nourish us to become that which causes us stress.
The next time you eat, take a moment to relax and really taste your food.

Stop what you’re doing, sit down, and notice the flavors, textures, and smells of the meal in front of you.
Express gratitude for the health and nourishment it provides.
And then, as you eat, truly enjoy the experience.

Over time, this ritual can improve your digestion and overall physical and mental health.


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Flexible vs Rigid

Flexible vs Rigid
The Weather as Our Teacher

Can you imagine being a person that is rigid in thinking, in other words not very flexible, and then working a career involving the weather? With Mother Nature we have to be flexible, we have no choice, we can not control it.  Weather can be a great teacher for preparation, attitude and handling change, dealing with what is.
Think of a tree in a strong wind, it bends with the breeze, if it does not it may break or become uprooted. Nature and the weather become our teachers.
What about the constant changes even when we “think” we know what the weather will be.

Flexible means that we can adjust, like putty, mold-able, stretchable, and adjustable.
By the way, according to my dictionary, “able” means “having the skill or means to do something”

So with that in mind, another very important question for us personally, is, are we coach-able?  Are we teachable and willing to learn what we need to adjust to?

Do we have the means, the wherewithal, the willingness to be coached, to learn, to change?

Being flexible means we are open and willing to go with the situation of the day as it happens, as it unfolds.blame,

Questions to ask yourself

Can I adjust to what is and am I willing to?
. . . or do I stay with what was “supposed” to be.
It was supposed to be a sunny day and it rains.

Do we want to blame someone, something, or adjust to what is?

First of all, the weather doesn’t care or even know what you had in mind. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is what is.

Flexible thinking expands your choices and possibilities.

Think about this, our expectations – every time something is not “exactly”as we expected, we could instantly adjust our attitude and start watching for a new possibility.

Or this one – try planning to be flexible instead of planning for everything to be exact. Plan for flexibility, be open for the new, leave a little wiggle room. Deal with what is instead of what “should have” been.

There is something about being flexible that just makes things work better. Hard to measure, difficult to say exactly, yet flexibility makes it all easier, goes with the flow.

Rise above, be on top of it – be willing, be flexible.


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