Doug’s Anniversary Gift

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There are a lot of things I’d change about this song, but it’s real…flaws & all. This is a cover of Thompson Square’s “If I Didn’t Have You,” that was recorded by my brother-in-law Nick & myself. He played the guitar for it as well. Doug LOVES it. That’s all that matters. đź’–

It’s the first time I’ve EVER recorded ANYTHING. DO NOT HATE!

Happy Anniversary Doug. I love you babe.

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Keeping Faith

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I get asked (A LOT) how it is that I remain so strong in my faith when I have so many bad things to face.

It’s called “faith” for a reason.

Dictionary.com defines “faith” with the following:

[feyth]

noun

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing:faith in another’s ability.

2. belief that is not based on proof:He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.

3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion:the firm faith of the Pilgrims.

4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.:to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.

5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.:Failure to appear would be breaking faith.

7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one’s promise, oath, allegiance, etc.:He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.

8. Christian Theology.the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

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I don’t have to see God to know that He is real and I don’t have to know His plan to understand that He has one. Without suffering there can be no compassion. I know in my heart that there is a reason why I have been dealt the hand that I have been and I know that there’s a reason I’m going through everything that I am.

Ultimately, life is about staying strong & not straying from faith even when it seems like everything in your life is a big pile of poo. You don’t give up when things are bad. You don’t think God is false because things don’t go your way or you didn’t get what you asked for.

It’s all for a reason! Everything in life is part of HIS plan.

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Where Did Kerry Go?

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When I was twenty years old, I was officially diagnosed with depression, anxiety and PTSD. I was prescribed depression medications and BAM…the see-saw ride of my body changing began. I gained weight. On top of gaining weight, I became a zombie that didn’t care about anything anymore, so I asked to be switched to a different medication. Thank goodness it was a medication that helped, I was able to work off the weight and I turned back into a human again.

But this was just the beginning of the story that is still being written. My body is still in mad chaos but now, I have zero control over it. I’m thirty-two years old now and over the years, I’ve managed to acquire one medical ailment on top of another, on top of another, on top of another and so on. I’m on medications for ailments and then I’m on medications to counteract the side effects of the original medications and my body is reacting in so many ways and it’s absurd. My body is reacting both inside and out. The most infuriating part of all of it is me not having any say in the matter. I’m helpless and honestly, I feel hopeless most of the time.

I cry almost daily. I look in the mirror and I wonder, where did Kerry go? I don’t recognize the person I see and I know I will never see the person I was before all of this started. I just wonder if I will ever see someone I can be happy with or at least satisfied with. Until then, I suppose I will continue with my daily routine of crying as I see my reflection.

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Do You REALLY Love Yourself?

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5 Signs You Don’t Love Yourself (Even If You Think You Do)

How do we achieve this seemingly elusive state of loving ourselves, in a world where we oftentimes feel disconnected from ourselves? Loving yourself certainly requires time, effort, and commitment, but many of us don’t even know where to start. You might think you love yourself, but in this article, we’ll discuss a few signs that may mean you need to dig a little deeper to truly fall in love with you.

HERE ARE 5 SIGNS YOU DON’T LOVE YOURSELF (EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU DO):

1. YOU FEEL DISCONNECTED FROM YOURSELF.

With most of us starved for time and relaxation, of course it comes as no surprise that we feel disconnected and disjointed. However, if you feel this way more often than not, it might mean that you don’t really love yourself. To truly love yourself, you have to get connected with the “you” that’s been hiding under all the layers you’ve put on to protect yourself in this harsh world.

If you feel like an alien in your own body, simply getting back to nature for a bit or doing some deep breathing exercises can do wonders for your mental state. Learn to reconnect with Mother Earth and unplug from the “real world” for a little while. You’ll feel a lot more real when you get away from reality for a bit, ironically.

2. YOU DON’T TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH.

If you resort to food, alcohol, drugs, or any other substance for comfort, then you probably don’t take very good care of yourself. Not caring for our health is a surefire sign that we don’t truly love ourselves, but in a world with constant stressors, it can be all too easy to reach for a quick fix for our problems. We live in a overstressed, overburdened society, and stress can lead to a slew of health problems that tend to get worse over time if not dealt with properly.

Remember to take care of you, because no one else will do it for you.

3. YOU ALWAYS WANT TO ESCAPE YOURSELF.

Sometimes, we can feel trapped inside ourselves and our bodies, and just want to get out somehow. However, running from ourselves or our problems will never work, because at the end of the day, you’re still stuck with the person looking back at you in the mirror. If you don’t truly love yourself, then it only makes sense that you’d want to run as far away as possible from your perception of yourself. But see, here’s the thing: how you perceive yourself is everything.

If you look at yourself in a positive light, and work to have a healthy self-image, you won’t feel nearly as restless and trapped inside your own self. Work on seeing the good things about yourself, rather than fixating on all the so-called “bad” things.

4. YOU HAVE UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS.

If you find yourself in unstable, toxic relationships time and time again, then you probably don’t really love yourself. Your relationships should enhance your life and well-being, not steal your joy and happiness. Getting tangled up in bad relationships means that you have some things you need to work on within yourself in order to attract the right people. We can only accept the love we think we deserve, so ask yourself: “Do I deserve better?” If you think you do, then you’re on the right track to developing stable, healthy relationships with others.

Loving yourself means getting rid of toxic relationships that only seek to destroy you, and welcoming positive relationships into your life.

5. YOU FEEL DISENGAGED IN LIFE.

Unfortunately, many of us feel this way on a daily basis. However, if we really loved ourselves, wouldn’t we go after the life that brought us the most happiness? Wouldn’t we work on building a life where we can truly feel alive? If you don’t feel interested and passionate about your life, then you need to look deep within and figure out why you chose the one you’re living now. We all deserve to live a life full of abundance in every single way, and you owe it to yourself to create a life worth living.

Work on learning about yourself and rediscovering what really makes you happy, so that you CAN live the life of your dreams and not have to settle for anything less.

Source: PowerofPositivity.com

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Six Foods to Improve Memory & Concentration

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6 Foods to Improve Memory & Concentration
CUREJOY EDITORIAL AUG 24, 2017

Foods to Improve Memory & Concentration
•Coffee
•Chocolate
•Tea
•Blueberries
•Flaxseed oil

Did you know that the foods you eat can help you concentrate and get things done? Caffeine present in coffee, flavonoids in chocolate, and the amino acid L-theanine in tea can sharpen your focus – provided you get these in moderate amounts. Having blueberries or taking flaxseed oil can also be useful. Meanwhile, seafood is rich in iron, which is important not only for improving attention but also memory and learning.

Do you find that your attention drifts off every once in a while? The ability to concentrate, focus, and stay on task is important for accomplishing anything. And when you consider cognitive functioning, the ability to pay attention and stay focused is the “gateway” to other cognitive functions – if you can’t pay attention to something, you can’t understand, learn, or remember it.

As we grow and develop, our ability to concentrate also improves. For instance, 6-year-olds can focus on a task for only about 15 minutes but by the time they are 9 years, they should be able to stay focused for around an hour. But if this is the case, why is it that we find our ability to focus floundering quite often? We find it difficult to concentrate for many reasons, including our interest in the task at hand, our physical and emotional state, our environment, our neuropsychological mapping, and our skill level vis-a-vis the task. A variety of physical and psychological factors can help enhance this ability – food is one such factor.

Foods To Improve Memory And Concentration

To improve your power of concentration, try these foods out.
1. Coffee

Many of us start our day with a cup of coffee. And there’s a good reason why coffee works so well as an eye opener – caffeine! Consuming caffeine in moderate amounts can not only improve your ability to focus and concentrate, it can also make you feel more energetic and alert, quicken your reactions, increase accuracy, improve short-term memory, and increase your problem-solving abilities.

But do keep in mind that the key word here is “moderate.” Too much coffee can leave you feeling jittery. It’s not a good idea to have more than 400 mg of caffeine in a day. An 8-ounce cup of coffee contains around 95 to 200 mg, so no more than 2–3 cups a day. Experts also suggest that pregnant women should either avoid caffeine or limit their consumption to 300 mg in a day.

2. Chocolate

Yummy chocolate can also help improve attention and concentration. This is because cocoa beans are a rich source of flavonoids, particularly epicatechin and catechin which have antioxidant properties. Cocoa also contains caffeine. And according to research, cocoa can improve attentiveness as well as mood. So bite into a delicious dark chocolate bar or have an antioxidant-rich cocoa drink when you feel mentally fatigued and distracted.

3. Tea

Tea is said to the most commonly consumed beverage after water. Like cocoa, it is a great source of flavonoid antioxidants. Tea also contains the beneficial amino acid L-theanine, which can modulate certain aspects of brain function. Studies have shown that L-theanine significantly increases brain activity in the alpha frequency band. This means it can relax you without making you feel drowsy, promote mental alertness, and improve attention. No wonder Buddhist monks commonly use tea to help sustain attention over long periods of meditation. You too can try a cup of tea when you find that your focus is fading. But then again, no going overboard. Limit to 2–3 cups a day.

4. Blueberries

Blueberries are another food that can be beneficial for your brain. Researchers have found that sustained attention improves after having a blueberry drink. But blueberries don’t just help you concentrate, they may improve your memory too. Research suggests that the neural circuitry involved in sustaining attention is enhanced by flavonoids present in blueberry may be responsible for these beneficial effects.

5. Seafood

Iron is a particularly important mineral for your brain. It plays a role in making dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is not only involved in attention but also memory, learning, stress responsivity, and hormonal regulation. Studies have found that when iron-deficient women were supplemented with iron, their cognitive performance as well as performance accuracy improved.

Crabs, oysters, clams, and fish are all rich sources of iron. If you’re a vegetarian, lentils, kidney beans, raisins, and green leafy vegetables like spinach work well too. And do keep in mind that your body is able to absorb iron from plant sources better when accompanied by foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and sweet peppers that contain vitamin C.

Adult men need about 8 mg of iron per day while adult women need about 18 mg per day. About 45 mg of iron per day is the upper limit that can be safely consumed. Excessive amounts of this mineral can be harmful, so do run it by your doctor before taking supplements.

6. Flaxseed Oil

Flax seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid. This essential fatty acid cannot be synthesized by the human body and has to be supplemented through diet. It is well known that alpha-linolenic acid is beneficial for your heart, but did you know it’s important for your brain too? One study found that when children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were supplemented with flaxseed oil and antioxidants in the form of vitamin C they were benefited. And symptoms like inattention, impulsivity, restless, and self-control were improved.

But do keep in mind that it’s best to avoid flaxseed oil while pregnant or breastfeeding as it can have hormonal effects.

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Tough People

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“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”—Robert H. Schuller

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”—Confucius

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Holy Basil

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Benefits Of Holy Basil For Stress, Anxiety & Insomnia

By: Connie Trowbridge

Holy basil is an adaptogenic herb that brings the endocrine and hormone system back to balance. People with a high caffeine intake, who are always anxious and stressed out, have trouble shutting off their brain at night, have insomnia or keep waking up often throughout the night should take Holy Basil supplements. It brings down cortisol levels and reverses adrenal fatigue.

Do not be confused with the basil you grow in your garden and top off your pasta with, holy basil is actually the most revered of all the ayurvedic herbs. Also known as Tulsi, holy basil has been used for centuries in ayurvedic medicine to lower elevated cortisol, regulate blood sugar, ease anxiety, lower stress levels, and help you fall asleep.

Ayurveda & It’s Importance In Modern Lifestyle

Ayurvedic medicines also known as Ayurveda (Sanskrit term that means “the science of life” or “life knowledge”) is a system that originated in northern India over 5000 years ago, and is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit.

Because of the crazy, high-paced, demanding and at times, overwhelming world most of us live in, holy basil is needed now more than ever. In today’s world, people are working more and relaxing less. They are compromising sleep in order to feel the satisfaction of crossing out more things on their to-do list.

This contributes to feeling like crap, constantly being stressed out, being plagued by anxiety, unable to shut off our brain at night, snapping at everyone and just constantly feeling on the fritz!

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What Is Holy Basil?

Holy basil is in the mint family and it’s Latin name is Ocimum sanctum. Holy basil is known in natural medicine as an adaptogenic herb. These types of adaptogenic herbs, work with your endocrine and hormone system to bring you back to balance.

So, when you are having a stressed out day, and you are taking holy basil, it is actually helping your body to better adapt to the stress you are experiencing, and help you function as optimally as possible during that stressful time.

Who Should Take Holy Basil?

If you are someone who:

Drinks a lot of coffee or has a high caffeine intake.Is highly active and works out a lot.Is a high anxiety person.Feels stressed out all the time.Is a worrywart.Has trouble shutting off your brain at night.Has insomnia, trouble sleeping or wake up often throughout the night.Has elevated cortisol levels.Has adrenal fatigue.

Then, this herb will do wonders for you!

What Are The Health Benefits Of Holy Basil?

For those of you who don’t know, according to Medline Plus: “The adrenal glands are small glands located on top of each kidney. They produce hormones that you can not live without, including sex hormones and cortisol. Cortisol helps you respond to stress and has many other important functions. With adrenal gland disorders, your glands make too much or not enough hormones.”

When you get stressed out, your body releases too much cortisol. Since, we register stress from all things such as a work deadline, a hard and long workout, a relationship, sitting in traffic, watching TV, eating sugar, drinking coffee, etc. your body is constantly releasing excess cortisol. This cortisol interferes with the other hormones you have, and you wind up with a hormonal imbalance.

The more cortisol you have, the more stress your adrenal glands begin to experience. In simple words, if you are stressing out (remember, there are many types of stress) then your adrenal glands are spewing out that cortisol over and over again, and you end up having some sort of hormonal imbalance.

Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance

Your hormonal imbalance may manifest as:

Lack of sleep.
Excess belly fat & weight gain.
Feeling tired even when you get a full night’s sleep, or have trouble getting out of bed.
You get sick easily.
You have PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) or PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
You crave unhealthy foods like sugar, carbs, and caffeine.
Your sex drive is in the crapper.
You have gut problems such as nausea, heartburn, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or constipation.
You feel anxious often.
You feel sad, blue and slightly depressed.
You have to pee a lot.
You are moody and irritable.
Your hands and feet feel excessively cold during the day.
You get muscle cramps.

So, to wrap this up, it is very important for your overall well-being for you to manage and eliminate your many forms of stress and their triggers. One way you can do this is with Holy Basil.

Recommended Dosage Of Holy Basil

There are a few forms of holy basil out there, such as supplement and tea form. I myself love the supplement form and feel the effects of it within 20 or so minutes. Jim Nicolai, MD, Medical Director of the Andrew Weil, MD, Integrative Wellness Program at Miraval in Tucson recommends 1-2 capsules in the early evening.

I don’t know about you, but I get stressed out easily in the winter. The gray days, cold weather, lack of sunshine and fresh air, can get me kind of cranky and depressed. Holy basil is a must for me during the winter season.

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