How Core Values Can Impact Behavior & Achieving Goals

Mental Health Happy Hour Support Group

August 2018 Topic: How core values can impact behavior & achieving goals


How many of you are really good at goal setting and prioritizing your core values?

Often times it's easier to go by our feelings, but that isn't a great strategy if you'd like to make big progress, or even steady progress. Going on what we feel all the time can keep us in a holding pattern. Many struggle with holding pattern that coasts on their successes, and maybe highlights some of the areas where they could improve, but ideally it's not that bad, so improvement doesn't have to be the priority if they are comfortable and doing good things, right? WRONG. This is a bad way to exist because it breeds complacency.

So how do we make better strategies in our goal setting and keep our values hierarchy at the forefront? If they aren’t written down, they aren’t real, so write them down in a place that you see every day. The values hierarchy is an ordered list that helps us make informed, conscious decisions according to what we personally value, which is directly linked to our goals, if we are really serious about achieving them. Here is a list of core values:

·         Authenticity

·         Autonomy

·         Growth

·         Kindness

·         Meaningful Work

·         Love

·         Fun

Once our core values are in place, the goals can follow. In order to stay on top of the forward motion, we need to keep values AND goals at the forefront EVERY DAY. So, here is some great advice:

■ Plan each day, week and month in advance.

■ Plan each month at the beginning of the month.

■ Plan each week the weekend before.

■ Plan each day the evening before.

Below is a list of core values commonly used by leadership institutes and programs. This list is not exhaustive, but it will give you an idea of some common core values (also called personal values). My recommendation is to select less than five core values to focus on—if everything is a core value, then nothing is really a priority.


Core Values List:  (Circle Your Top Core Values)

  • Authenticity
  • Achievement
  • Adventure
  • Authority
  • Autonomy
  • Balance
  • Beauty
  • Boldness
  • Compassion
  • Challenge
  • Citizenship
  • Community
  • Competency
  • Contribution
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Determination
  • Fairness
  • Faith
  • Fame
  • Friendships
  • Fun
  • Growth
  • Happiness
  • Honesty
  • Humor
  • Influence
  • Inner Harmony
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Learning
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Meaningful Work
  • Openness
  • Optimism
  • Peace
  • Pleasure
  • Poise
  • Popularity
  • Recognition
  • Religion
  • Reputation
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Security
  • Self-Respect
  • Service
  • Spirituality
  • Stability
  • Success
  • Status
  • Trustworthiness
  • Wealth
  • Wisdom

Setting Realistic Goals Benefits Your Mental Health

Having realistic goals benefits your mental health, but many people with depression or other mental illnesses struggle to set goals. Read on to learn about how to make and keep goals that benefit your mental health even if you're living with a mental illness.

Why Do Goals Benefit Your Mental Health?

Goals that benefit your mental health are motivational tools that help you pursue your dreams and give you reasons to stay productive. Sometimes goals are based on responsibilities. For instance, you might set daily or weekly goals to complete assignments for school or projects for work on time.

Realistic Goals Benefit Your Mental Health

The hardest thing about setting goals that benefit your mental health is knowing how to make them realistic. Sometimes, you might think about what others are capable of doing and expect the same (or more) from yourself. So you make unrealistic goals, like completing a 20-page essay in one night or running a marathon in two minutes. Then, when you do not meet your goals, you either stress yourself out even more or you just give up. As a result, setting unrealistic goals damages your motivation, and that damages your mental health. So it is important to remember what your abilities are to set reasonable expectations.

Tips on Goal-Setting that Benefits Your Mental Health

Focus on Short-term Goals on Tough Days

On the days when I am most depressed, my two main goals are to get out of bed and shower. Usually, if I can get out of bed, showering is no problem. After that, I am refreshed for the rest of the day and feel more confident that I can set and attain other goals. However, there are days when getting out of bed and showering are my limits.

Going to Work or School Can be a Goal

For many of those who struggle with both depression and anxiety, going to work can be a goal that benefits your mental health because it helps with the social aspect of life. If you are prone to avoiding people out of fear of what they think of you, work is a place where you are required to interact with others.

While it can feel uncomfortable at times, this is a good thing. It gives you an opportunity to put yourself out there and be more social than you thought you could be. In the end, it could help you build confidence and achieve your goals.

Goals Can Help You Avoid Isolation

Personally, I have not really struggled with going to school or work. But on my days off, getting out of the house can feel difficult. On those days, I make it a goal to at least text a friend so that I am not completely antisocial.

Resource content:



Six Steps to Reaching Your Goal

Step 1: Name It- Identify what your goal is. It must meet the four Goal-Naming Criteria listed below.

o    Personal- Your goal must be important to you.

o    Possible- You have the time, ability, and resources you need.

o    Positive- Your goal is stated as a positive action, “ I will” rather than “I won’t.”

o    Specific- Your goal is measurable so you will know when you have reached it.

Step 2: Picture Yourself- Picture yourself reaching your goal so you know what you are aiming for.

Step 3: Say, “I can”- Use positive self-talk and say, “I can” to boost your confidence.

Step 4: Think How To Do It- Think of what actions you can take to accomplish this goal.

Step 5: Go for it!

Step 6: Celebrate Your Success!


Coping Strategies for our Mental Health


What Are Coping Skills and Strategies?

Coping strategies and skills are the responses and behaviors one adopts to deal with difficult situations. Coping strategies come in many forms.  Think of when you were last upset or angry. How did you respond to that emotion? Did you go for a walk? Listen to music? Draw, color or paint? Mediate? Go to the Gym? Those are healthy coping strategies that individuals choose to practice to move forward for their own self-care and wellness purposes. However, in life, there is always a balance of positive and negative.

Humans tend to learn coping strategies from those they come into contact with while growing up. When a person learns and develops habits of negative coping skills, stressors become catastrophes and confidence in one's ability to cope is diminished. Negative coping strategies are self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, reacting to others' actions, driving fast, bullying, physical and mental abuse, cyber attacks, sexual assault and etc.

Strategies for Good Mental Health Wellness

According to Sydney Youngerman-Cole, RN, BSN, RNC and Katy E. Magee, MA, "Many mental health problems begin when physical stress or emotional stress triggers chemical changes in your brain. The goal of treatment and prevention is to reduce stress and restore normal chemical processes in your brain." Coping skills are methods a person uses to deal with stressful situations. Obtaining and maintaining good coping skills does take practice. However utilizing these skills becomes easier over time. Most importantly, good coping skills make for good mental health wellness.

Some good coping skills include:

  • Meditation and Relaxation Techniques: Practicing deep breathing techniques, the relaxation response, or progressive muscle relaxation are ways to help reduce stress and induce relaxation.
  • Time to Yourself: It is important to set aside time every day to allow yourself to relax and escape the stress of life. Give yourself a private, mini vacation from everything going on around you.
  • Physical Activity: Moving around and getting the heart rate up causes the body to release endorphins (the body's feel good hormones). Exercising provides some stress relief.
  • Reading: Escape from reality completely by reading. Reading can help you to de-stress by taking your mind off everyday life.
  • Friendship: Having friends who are willing to listen and support one through good and bad times is essential.
  • Humor: Adding humor to a stressful situation can help to lighten the mood.
  • Hobbies: Having creative outlets such as listening to music, drawing or gardening are great ways to relax and relieve everyday stress.
  • Spirituality Actively believing in a higher power or divine being can have many health benefits. In recent studies, it has been found that people who pray have better mental health than those who do not.
  • Pets: Taking care of a pet helps distract the mind from stressful thoughts. Studies Show that pets are a calming influence in people's lives.
  • Sleeping The human body needs a chance to rest and repair itself after a long and stressful day. Sleeping gives the body this chance so that it is ready to perform another day.
  • Nutrition Eating foods that are good for you not only improve your physical health, but they play a major role in your mental health. When your body gets the proper nutrients, it is better able to function in every capacity.

There are also negative coping skills which can hinder progress in dealing more positively with stress. Actions that are harmful to both mental and physical health include:

  • Drugs
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Self-mutilation
  • Ignoring or storing hurt feelings
  • Sedatives
  • Stimulants
  • Excessive working
  • Avoiding problems
  • Denial

These actions offer only temporary relief, if any, from stress. Ignoring or covering up how you feel does not solve the problem and the next time the situation arises, you will still have no way of dealing with it.

The next time you find yourself faced with a difficult or stressful circumstance, remember to practice your new coping skills. These skills lead to good mental health and happier you.

Ten Tips for Better Mental Health

  1. Build Confidence - identify your abilities and weaknesses together, accept them, build on them and do the best you can with what you have.
  2. Accept Compliments - many of us have difficulty accepting kindness from others but we all need to remember the positive in our lives when times get tough.
  3. Make Time for Family and Friends - these relationships need to be nurtured; if taken for granted they will dwindle and not be there to share life's joys and sorrows.
  4. Give and Accept Support - friends and family relationships thrive when they are "put to the test." Just as you seek help when you are having a tough time, a friend or family member might come to you in their time of need.
  5. Create a Meaningful Budget - financial problems are big causes of stress, especially in today's economy. Over-spending on our "wants" instead of our "needs" can compound money worries. Writing down where you money is going helps you keep a closer eye on your finances.
  6. Volunteer - being involved in community gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction that paid work cannot. Find a local organization where your life skills can be put to good use.
  7. Manage Stress - we all have stressors in our lives but learning how to deal with them when they threaten to overwhelm us will help to maintain our mental health.
  8. Find Strength in Numbers - sharing a problem with others who have had similar experiences may help you find a solution and will make you feel less isolated. Even talking about situation with people who have not experienced what you are going through is a good way to gain outside perspective.
  9. Identify and Deal with Moods - we all need to find safe and constructive ways to express our feelings of anger, sadness, joy and fear. Channeling your emotions creatively is a wonderful way to work off excess feelings. Writing (keeping a journal), painting, dancing, making crafts, etc. are all good ways to help deal with emotions.
  10. Learn to Be at Peace with Yourself - get to know who you are, what makes you really happy and learn to balance what you can and cannot change about yourself.

Meditation / Relaxation Techniques

When our bodies are exposed to a sudden stress or threat, we respond with a characteristic "fight or flight" response. This is when epinephrine (adrenaline) and nor-epinephrine are released from the adrenal grands, resulting in an increase in blood pressure and pulse rate, faster breathing and increased blood flow to the muscles. Every time your body triggers the "fight or flight" response to situations that is not life-threatening, you are experiencing what is essentially a false alarm. Too many false alarms experienced by the body can lead to stress related disorders such as heart disease, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and immune system disorders.

A simple meditation technique practiced for as few as 10 minutes per day can help you control stress, decrease anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, and achieve greater capacity for relaxation.

The Relaxation Response

The relaxation response was developed by Harvard physician Herbert Benson in the 1970s. The technique has gained acceptance by physicians and therapists worldwide as a valuable adjunct to therapy for symptom relief in conditions ranging from cancer to AIDS. The relaxation response is a technique designed to elicit a state of deep relaxation in which breathing, pulse rate, blood pressure and metabolism are decreased. Training our bodies on a daily basis to achieve this state of relaxation can lead to enhanced mood, lowered blood pressure and reduction of lifestyle stress.

The two essential steps to the relaxation response are:

  • The repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer or muscular activity.
  • Passive disregard of everyday thoughts that inevitably come to mind during the process, followed by a return to the repetition.

To elicit the relaxation response:

  • Choose a focus word or phrase for repetition. You can use a sound such as "om," a word such as "one" or "peace," or a word with special meaning to you.
  • Sit in a comfortable position in a quiet place free of distractions. Close your eyes and relax your muscles progressing from your feet to your calves, thighs, abdomen, shoulders, head and neck.
  • Breathe slowly and naturally and as you do say your focus word, sound, phrase or prayer silently to yourself while you exhale.
  • Intruding worries or thoughts should be dismissed to the best of your ability by focusing on the repetition.
  •  Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. It's okay to open your eyes to look at a clock while you are practicing, but do not set an alarm.
  • When you have finished, remain seated, first with your eyes closed and then with your eyes open, and gradually allow your thoughts to return to everyday reality.

The relaxation response can also be elicited through other meditative and relaxation techniques. No matter how the relaxation state is achieved, the physical and emotional consequences of stress can be reduced through regular practice.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is one of the easiest stress management techniques to learn, and the best thing about it is that it can be done anywhere! When we become stressed, one of our body's automatic reactions is shallow, rapid breathing which can increase our stress response. Taking deep, slow breaths is an antidote to stress and is one way we can "turn-off" our stress reaction and "turn-on" the relaxation response. Deep breathing is the foundation of many other relaxation exercises.

  • Get into a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down.
  • Put one hand on your stomach, just below your rib cage.
  • Slowly breathe in through your nose. Your stomach should feel like rising and expanding outward.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth, emptying your lungs completely and letting your stomach fall.
  • Repeat several times until you feel relaxed.
  • Practice several times a day.

Information about the relaxation response courtesy of: Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

PMR is a technique of stress management developed by American physician Edmund Jacobson in the early 1920s. Jacobson argued that since muscular tension accompanies anxiety, one can reduce the negative feelings by learning how to relax and relieve the muscular tension.

PMR is based on alternately tensing and then relaxing one's muscles. A person can practice this technique by either sitting or lying down in a comfortable spot. The key to the relaxation process is taking some deep breaths and then proceeding to tense, then relax a group of muscles in a systematic order. One can start with the head and move down to the neck, shoulders, etc or can start with the feet and legs and proceed accordingly. The goal of the process is to cause deeper relaxation to the body than by simply attempting to relax.

A Simple Exercise that will Help You Relax in 10 Steps:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position, with eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths, expanding your belly as you breathe air in and contracting it as you exhale.
  2. Begin at the top of your body, and go down. Start with your head, tensing your facial muscles, squeezing your eyes shut, puckering your mouth and clenching your jaw. Hold, then release and breathe.
  3. Tense as you lift your shoulders to your ears, hold, then release and breathe.
  4. Make a fist with your right hand; tighten the muscles in your lower and upper arm, hold, and then release. Breathe in and out. Repeat with left hand.
  5. Concentrate on your back, squeezing shoulder blades together. Hold, then release. Breathe in and out.
  6. Suck in your stomach, hold, and then release. Breathe in and out.
  7. Clench your buttocks, hold, and then release. Breathe in and out.
  8. Tighten your right hamstring, hold then release. Breathe in and out. Repeat with left hamstring.
  9. Flex your right calf, hold, and then release. Breathe in and out. Repeat with left calf.
  10. Tighten toes on your right foot, hold, and then release. Breathe in and out. Repeat with left foot.

Meditation is a mind-body practice originating from ancient religious and spiritual traditions. The practice of meditation started thousands of years ago and first became popular in Asia with the teachings of Buddha, who practiced meditation himself. Eventually, the Buddhist form of meditation spread to the Western world, and remains popular today. In meditation, one learns to focus their attention while trying to eliminate or diffuse their stream of thoughts. This practice is believed to result in a state of greater relaxation and mental calmness. Practicing meditation can change how one reacts to emotions or thoughts.

Meditation is used as a mind-body medicine. Generally, mind-body medicine focuses on two things: the interactions between the brain, body, and behavior of the individual, and the ways that emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors affect health. Meditation is used to help reduce anxiety, pain, depression, stress, insomnia, and physical and emotional symptoms that are associated with chronic illnesses and their respective treatments. Meditation is used for overall wellness.


Other Positive Coping Skills

Here's a list of coping skills that will help you when you are feeling strong emotions such as anger, anxiety, or depression. These activities are not likely to create more stress or problems, so these help you be more resilient and stress tolerant.


  1. Write, draw, paint, photography
  2. Play an instrument, sing, dance, act
  3. Take a shower or a bath
  4. Garden
  5. Take a walk, or go for a drive
  6. Watch television or a movie
  7. Watch cute kitten videos on YouTube
  8. Play a game
  9. Go shopping
  10. Clean or organize your environment
  11. Read
  12. Take a break or vacation

Social/Interpersonal (with others)

  1. Talk to someone you trust
  2. Set boundaries and say "no"
  3. Write a note to someone you care about
  4. Be assertive
  5. Use humor
  6. Spend time with friends and/or family
  7. Serve someone in need
  8. Care for or play with a pet
  9. Role-play challenging situations with others
  10. Encourage others

Cognitive (Of the Mind)

  1. Make a gratitude list
  2. Brainstorm solutions
  3. Lower your expectations of the situation
  4. Keep an inspirational quote with you
  5. Be flexible
  6. Write a list of goals
  7. Take a class
  8. Act opposite of negative feelings
  9. Write a list of pros and cons for decisions
  10. Reward or pamper yourself when successful
  11. Write a list of strengths
  12. Accept a challenge with a positive attitude

Tension Releasers

  1. Exercise or play sports
  2. Catharsis (yelling in the bathroom, punching a punching bag)
  3. Cry
  4. Laugh


  1. Get enough sleep
  2. Eat healthy foods
  3. Get into a good routine
  4. Eat a little chocolate
  5. Limit caffeine
  6. Deep/slow breathing


  1. Pray or meditate
  2. Enjoy nature
  3. Get involved in a worthy cause

Limit Setting

  1. Drop some involvement
  2. Prioritize important tasks
  3. Use assertive communication
  4. Schedule time for yourself

How Each Category of Coping Skills Helps

Diversions are those coping skills that allow you to stop thinking about the stress inducing situation. Diversions aren't meant to be the final solution, but each can be useful in the basic goal of remaining safe.

As time goes on, move away from diversions and toward those skills that will build resiliency to the challenges that continue. Diversions are only useful if one can recognize warning signs when feeling overwhelming emotions.

Social or interpersonal coping strategies involve interactions with others. Scientific studies have proven the benefits of social support to counteract the effects of stress on DNA. Social supports can be useful for recognizing warning signs and providing assistance in difficult times.

Cognitive coping skills are those that involve using the mind and thought processes to influence the way one feels and behaves. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of treatment that helps people find ways of thinking that improve their mental responses to situations.

Learning to think in more rational ways can be done by recognizing and changing irrational thoughts. Ultimately, a person can become much more stress tolerant and ultimately improve behavioral outcomes.

Tension releasing or cathartic coping strategies involve acting on strong emotions in ways that are safe for one and others. Punching a pillow could be a way to release tensions in a safe way. Be careful with cathartic responses because these tend to become habit forming and may translate to real life scenarios, so the child who practices punching a pillow may envision a person's face and end up actually punching that person's face when angry.

Physical process is directly tied to mental and emotional processes. A person's breathing rate can illicit a response from the sympathetic nervous system. Raising your voice can send signals to your brain that you are angry. In the same way, acting calmly in the face of difficulty can help send signals to your brain that everything is o.k.

Exercise is another thing that can help by producing endorphins, which are naturally occurring drugs that can create a calm or euphoric feeling.

Praying, meditating, enjoying nature, or taking up a worthy cause can affect a person on a spiritual level. Satisfying the need to feel worthwhile, connected, and at peace improve well-being at the core of a person. Spiritual well-being then exudes out of a person in attitudes and actions that are self-actualized. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we all need to feel a sense of purpose, but not everyone reaches that level.

Limit setting is a preventative measure to protect against overwhelming stress created by doing too much of something. Limits can be set for one's self or others. An example of setting a limit with others is learning to say "no" when you know you are too busy to help someone. Setting a limit for yourself could include dropping involvement in work activities that are not a good fit for your skills and focusing on those that you are efficient doing, which may mean having to be assertive with your boss about how you can help the most.

Pumpkin Everything!

NWR hosted a BYOP Pumpkin Carving Party back in October & wants to share with you all the packet they gave to participants full of useful information about pumpkins!


History of Pumpkin Carving

The Irish brought the tradition of carving pumpkins into Jack O'Lantern to America. But, the original Jack O'Lantern was not a pumpkin. Pumpkins did not exist in Ireland. Ancient Celtic cultures in Ireland carved turnips on All Hallow's Eve, and placed an ember in them, to ward off evil spirits.

The Tale of Stingy Jack and the Jack O' Lantern

Jack O'Lantern legend goes back hundreds of years in Irish History. Many of the stories, center round Stingy Jack. Here's the most popular story:

Stingy Jack was a miserable, old drunk who took pleasure in playing tricks on just about everyone: family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself. One day, he tricked the Devil into climbing up an apple tree. After the Devil climbed up the tree, Stingy Jack hurriedly placed crosses around the trunk of the tree. Unable to touch a cross, the Devil was stuck in the tree. Stingy Jack made the Devil promise him not to take his soul when he died. Once the devil promised not to take his soul, Stingy Jack removed the crosses, and the Devil climbed down out of the apple tree.

Many years later, Jack died, he went to the pearly gates of Heaven and was told by Saint Peter that he was mean and cruel, and had led a miserable, worthless life on earth. Stingy Jack was not allowed to enter heaven. He then went down to Hell and the Devil. The Devil kept his promise and would not allow him to enter Hell. Now Jack was scared. He had nowhere to go, but to wander about forever in the dark Netherworld between heaven and hell. He asked the Devil how he could leave, as there was no light. The Devil tossed him an ember from the flames of Hell, to help Stingy Jack light his way. Jack had a Turnip with him. It was one of his favorite foods, and he always carried one with him. Jack hollowed out the Turnip, and placed the ember the Devil had given him, inside the turnip. From that day onward, Stingy Jack roamed the earth without a resting place, lighting his way as he went with his "Jack O'Lantern".

On all Hallow's eve, the Irish hollowed out Turnips, rutabagas, gourds, potatoes and beets. They placed a light in them to ward off evil spirits and keep Stingy Jack away. These were the original Jack O'Lanterns. In the 1800's a couple of waves of Irish immigrants came to America. The Irish immigrants quickly discovered that Pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve out. So they used pumpkins for Jack O'Lanterns.

Did You Know?

With all the good ole’ fun it’s no wonder that pumpkins are also good super-foods for our health and boost your immune system. Pumpkins are full of vitamins and minerals essential to living a healthy life! That rich orange color we all love is full of beta-carotenes which turn to vitamin A in your body. Beta-carotene has been shown to lower heart disease and is full of antioxidants.  Pumpkins are also low in sugar and high in fiber which helps your digestion. With all those health benefits I’m so glad that there are so many healthy recipes to try, especially with a super-food like pumpkin.


What to Do with Your Carved Pumpkin After Halloween:

Carved pumpkins will rot quickly, so it’s best to get them off your stoop and put them to work as soon as possible.

Compost It- Pumpkins are full of nutrients, which makes them a great fertilizer. Just make sure you remove the seeds before you add them to your compost pile (unless you want baby pumpkins cropping up in your garden next year).

Bury It- No compost pile? No problem. Simply bury your jack-o-lantern in your winter garden. It will decay quickly and enrich the soil.

Share It -You may be done with your jack-o-lantern, but the leftovers are a delicious snack for animals like deer, squirrels and birds. Place your pumpkin in a spot where you don’t mind a little wildlife activity and let the feast begin.

Pumpkin Puree- This is an easy and popular pumpkin dish. Simply cut your pumpkin in half or in quarters, scoop out the seeds and guts, and place your pumpkin face down in a baking dish that’s filled with 1 cup of water. Bake for 90 minutes or until the pumpkin flesh is tender, then scoop it out and puree it in a food processor. You can use this to make pumpkin pie, cake, pumpkin spice latte, muffins or bread!

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Prep Time-1 hrs 15 mins, Cook Time-1 hrs, Serves: 5 1/4 cups (approximately)

Ingredients- 2 sugar/pie pumpkins

Instructions- Snap or cut off the stems and cut each pumpkin in half. Be careful when doing these steps. To make it a little safer, slice off the top or bottom of each pumpkin to create a flat and more stable surface to cut the pumpkins). Scoop out the insides with a spoon or ice cream scoop and save the seeds for roasting. Place the halves on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350º for about an hour or until a fork slides through easily. Remove from the oven and let them sit to cool. When they have cooled off, flip them over and scoop out the insides with a spoon. Place the insides into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Refrigerate your puree or separate it into 1 cup portions, place into freezer safe containers and freeze.

Recipe Notes- I always process two pumpkins at a time because that is the size of the baking sheet I bake them on. Feel free to do more if you have the space. Be sure that your baking sheet has raised edges because the pumpkins release a lot of moisture while baking. Depending on the size of your pumpkins and how many you bake, the amount of pumpkin puree you end up with will vary. In my case, I ended up with 5 1/4 cups. Homemade pumpkin puree will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and a half. Homemade pumpkin puree will keep in the freezer for 6-8 months so you can enjoy pumpkin desserts for months to come!

Eat The Seeds- If you’re looking for a healthy snack to munch on for the rest of fall, look no further than your pumpkin! All you need to do is wash, drain and toast the seeds, then add the seasoning of your choice. For specific instructions, try this recipe from FitSugar.

Turn it into a Planter- Post-Halloween pumpkins make for a unique addition to your winter garden. To convert it, cut a large hole at the top and hollow out the center. Then drill a small hole at the bottom for drainage and fill the pumpkin half-full with potting soil. Add some seasonal plants like pansies or thyme, water thoroughly and enjoy your seasonal planter!

Prepare For Thanksgiving- One fall holiday is over, but there’s another one right around the corner. Upcycle your Halloween pumpkin by turning it into a Thanksgiving centerpiece! As long as your pumpkin wasn’t damaged or munched on by animals during its stint on your doorstep, it should last for a few months before it starts to rot. If you want to give it a nice shine and preserve it better, rub some Vaseline into a rag and buff the surface.

Pumpkin Lasagna-Ingredients:  Oven-Ready Lasagna Noodles, 2 jars Three Cheese Alfredo Sauce, 28 ounces Pumpkin puree, 2 TB Brown Sugar, 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice, 32 ounces Whole Milk Ricotta, 1 tsp Garlic Salt, 1 tsp Italian Seasoning, 2 (12 ounces) packages Chicken Apple Sausage, 2 (10 ounces bags) frozen spinach, drained, and 2 (8 ounces) bags Shredded Mozzarella- Visit Pinterest for more info.

Pumpkin Facial Mask- Recharge your skin with pumpkin’s good-for-you vitamins A, C and E.

2 Tbsp organic canned pumpkin puree or 1 small pumpkin

1/2 tsp organic honey

1/2 tsp milk (I used skim, but you can substitute soy or almond)

1: Start with clean skin. Remove all makeup and wash your face with your regular cleanser.

2: Combine pumpkin puree, honey, and milk in a small bowl and mix well. If using a fresh pumpkin (or leftovers from a carved jack-o-lantern), scrape the insides and remove the seeds. Beat the gooey insides to a creamy pulp and mix with honey and milk.

3: Apply the mask using your fingers or a medium-sized makeup brush; avoid getting the mixture too close to the eyes. You can also apply to the neck and décolletage, but you’ll probably need to double the ingredients.

4: Allow the mask to set for about 20 minutes.

5: Gently wash off the mask with a warm, damp washcloth and follow with a moisturizer.

Pumpkin Pie Play Dough-1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp cream of tartar, 1/3 of the jar of pumpkin pie spice (the tiny jar), maple extract, vanilla extract, food coloring.

Combine the dry ingredients and the oil. Slowly add the water. Add a few dashes of each of the extracts and a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff.

 As it mixes you can see if you'll need more food dye. We tried to be conservative at first, because I didn't want it to be too vibrant. We added a little at a time until we achieved the right color. Once it's finished cooking, turn out onto wax paper and allow cooling. The pumpkin pie spice was too spicy by itself, for my liking. The extracts make it smell sweeter, just like a pumpkin pie. Sniff the dough. Does it smell too spicy? Add a little bit more extract and knead it all together. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it's too dry, add a few drops of water.

Pumpkin Seed Oil Uses & Benefits

Pumpkin seed oil leans more on the side of carrier oil than an essential oil. But it still has some great health benefits to it. The oils are harvested by experts. They use a press to extract the oil from the seeds. This is done with precise pressures and temperatures to avoid oxidation or destruction by heat. There are a variety of oils to use during the fall and winter season, but one of the main ones is the pumpkin seed oil. But it is not well known.

Arthritis & Inflammation: Pumpkin seed oil can be used to treat joints and inflammation when taken in capsule form. This is because it has high levels of fatty acids and antioxidants along with other compounds that are often reported that they help reduce inflammation and therefore reducing pain as well.

 Prostate Health: Another great use for the capsule form of pumpkin seed oil is to help support prostate health. It is full of fatty acids and high phytosterol content. Studies have shown that both of those compounds help to support a healthy prostate.

Skin Health: Pumpkin seed oil is fast absorbing oil when it is applied to your skin. It is said to make the skin look and feel great, almost new again. This is because it is full of vitamins A, B, E and K as well as antioxidants and fatty acids. All of these are required for healthy skin.


We hope you enjoyed the content that we provided at our Pumpkin Carving Party & hope to host it again next year. Please feel free to comment with any questions, ideas & whether you tried any of the activites/recipes above!

15 Practical Ways on How to..

By: Tatiana Gjergji, Executive Director and Founder of NWR of Albany, Inc.

It isn’t easy to get your shit together but in reality, you need to get your life before life gets you.  The older I get the more I am starting to realize that people, especially those older than me, don’t know what they are doing with their lives even though they seem like they do from their social media account portrayals. You can take that as either a horrifying opinion or reassuring.  I noticed that it was time that I needed to get my shit together when I realized that I was in the bath tub, fully clothed and sobbing from internalizing my father’s substance and alcohol disorder and other crap that brought me deep down into anxiety and depression.

Yeah, I apologized in my first blog post that this isn’t your ordinary blog, shit is going to get real. I feel like I need to be upfront about some of my life experiences because out there in our cruel, cold, closed-minded world, there is someone out there that probably is or went through the same thing I have. So, as I get my life by seeing a professional therapist, working at a job that I enjoy being apart of, building my own empire of my newly developed nonprofit community resource center (NWR), in a loving and supportive relationship, I still need structure and guidance on how to maintain getting my life together. Through coping strategies, grounding exercises and keeping an open-mind I am on the path to getting my entire life.

It isn’t easy to get your life and to be real, it will never completely together. However, that is not to say that you can’t still look and feel like you have got your entire life. So, here are some “real” ways to get your entire life, or seem like you got it all going on.

Get Organized

Whether you are the person who likes to write in a planner, calendar, and Google calendar or using an app on your phone, it is easier and beneficial to you to put it to good us.  Write down due dates, meetings, appointments, birthdays and/or special events, bill deadlines and etc. These visuals help you get your life in order and set out the map as to what to look forward to. Write it all out- Write down a to do list and start to plan out what you need to get down in the 7 days that make a week. You don’t have to take care of things all at once, plan it out by settling things one step in the right direction. Visuals are key to understanding and prepping yourself for future plans, obligations, and expectations.


De-Clutter It All

Stop buying shit that you don’t need!!! Throw shit that you don’t need out!!!! This goes to your car, office, whole entire apartment/house, and don’t forget your email inbox. Clutter in your physical environment and relationships energetically block the flow of abundance, getting in the way of the success we are reaching for, sounds contradicting but nevertheless facts. When we have clutter and unwanted stuff in our lives, there isn't room for the abundance we need. We want more money, nicer clothes, more delicious food, yet all we have is lots of mediocre, old, unused crap taking up our precious space.  This applies to our mental and emotional environments as well. Often we hold onto resentment and deny forgiveness, then wonder why it's so challenging to feel grateful and truly appreciate the things we have that matter. When I de-cluttered my bedroom and closet, it made me feel like I was starting fresh and getting rid of the bullshit that I don’t need, it also looks really nice to have a clean, neat bedroom and closet (that didn’t last long, but still working on it).


Reflect on the Shit you Need to Take Care Of

 I am one to know that life can be overwhelming at times but it makes it easier in the long run to reflect on what you need to tweek, change or adjust. Whether it being your bills, college, relationships, friends, work, exercise, your health, cleaning the house/laundry, and etc. it all needs to be given attention to and get done. Also, keep in mind to not only reflect on what you need to do but on what you have already achieved and happiness in your life. Remember, that your life is more together than you really think it is, so give yourself credit! For instance, this goes back to when I thought most adults who were older than me have their shit together. I am learning that at my age, even though I am not yet married, or have children, I have graduated college, am focusing on my own happiness and passion in life, and have started my own nonprofit, so in most cases, I am getting it together more than I give myself credit for.


Self-Awareness & Your Identity


 DO NOT let life place you or make you into the person you don’t want to be! Put your phone down, FOR ONCE, and stop and look inward. What is your identity, what do you like and dislike; start sculpting yourself into the person you want to be that makes you happy and full! This sounds so cliché in a self-help world that we live in now but this is really important for our human experience. By understanding what makes you happy and content can be the hardest thing to warp your head around. If you honestly feel unhappy and feel like your life is out of your control, ask yourself “What will make me happy?” Be truthful and honest with yourself so you can help yourself focus on the positive aspects of life and start to GET YOUR LIFE!!! Also consider what your core values are: honesty, compassion, love, acceptance, forgiveness, dedication, hard work and etc.


Boundaries: Not Walls Up

I am all about this life! For real, setting boundaries with family members, coworkers and friends have really helped me socially, emotionally and mentally. People don’t need to hear my life story and struggles. I don’t need to talk about every aspect of my life and views on life with a family member who I know might be a little closed-minded to my point of view and decisions I have made in my life. I don’t need to say yes to every occasional hang out or bar hopping scenario on someone’s birthday. Allow yourself to set boundaries with people, its okay! You are not obligated to do most of the things you think you are obligated to do, especially when it comes to toxic people and situations.  Start by: Naming your limits, Tune into your feelings, Be direct, Give yourself permission, Practice self-awareness, Consider your past and present, Make self-care a priority, Seek support, Be assertive and Start small.


To All You Procrastinators Out There..Stop

 Did you know that there are five types of procrastinators? Well, now you know.

Busy Bee- This is the person that always says they are super busy to commit to their tasks, however, what they are doing is taking on the easier stuff so they don’t have to deal with whatever it is they’re procrastinating over. These people need to tackle the harder stuff in shifts. For example, when doing your taxes, work 10-15 minutes and then take interval breaks to ease stress and increase success.

Deflector- This person often avoids tasks based on fear of failure. I find this most common, like who wants try hard to achieve a goal and then end up fucking it all up? You might observe that these people are quick to blame others due to their lack of accomplishments and dealing with the fear. Sorry to break it to you but there are no shortcuts to success, so just stop and think about what the task is at hand and focus on what the best way to resolve it. With that said, it is possible to take responsibility without putting so much pressure on yourself. Perfect is an illusion and not reality.

Excuses, Excuses-  this person accepts the problem but doesn’t really do anything about it. “I’m too old,” “I’m too fat,” is not going to get you anywhere and is not the best outlook of yourself. So, there needs to be an installation of reinforcements and positive outlook on the situation you are dealt with. Try this mantra, “I can and I will” every day and believe in yourself!

Dreamer- This reminds me of children, most children are quick to act and don’t realize the consequences that come from the choices that they make. It’s important to understand the negative outcome of not completing a task. For instance, if you don’t pay your taxes, you could go to jail or if you don’t de-clutter your surroundings, you will lose shit, get frustrated and run out of room for things. So, think about the positive outcomes of completing tasks and how close you will get to achieve your goals.

Crisis Maker- I know a few people who say that they work best under pressure, but do they really put their full effort and potential into it? Probably not. This type of procrastinator is forever stressing primarily because they are not using their time and resources wisely. Organizational tasks such as chores, work deadlines, bills piling up are overwhelming when tackled all at the same time or in a rush. When tasks are taken care gradually they are manageable; you are not as stressed out, and you are more prepared financially, mentally, socially and physically. A great technique that I have learned is lying to yourself about deadlines. Yup, I said it. Set your personal deadlines for a couple of days in advance (before the official deadline) and work towards it instead of in the last minute.



 Do you ever feel relieved when you pay your bills? Bills suck but they’re inevitable to one’s modern lifestyle and there is no way around them, unless you want to develop terrible credit where you can’t have anything under your name, such as a house, car, property, and etc. Trust me, I am still overcoming the deep sorrows of bad credit and it takes a lot out of you financially, socially, and psychologically. When you finally have financial peace of mind there is room for growth and fun! If you are inconsistent with paying bills, try signing up for automatic pay or even lying to yourself about the whole deadline to get ahead of the game. I feel like money comes and goes each day but my goal is to be financially stable so I don’t have to worry, stress or scramble for change to just live.


 Ever since I was a young girl, my dad always emphasized the importance of three essential life focuses: health, honor and education. Without your health, you cannot help others, travel, be the person you were born to evolve into and etc. Get a checkup once in a while, especially your annual physical from your primary doctor and if you don’t have health insurance, which is one fucked up thing in this country that should be a right as a citizen alongside with voting (shaking my head), see if you can get Medicaid or an alternative plan. Try to eliminate sugar intake, reduce and/or eliminate alcohol/drug consumption, put down the coffee if you drink more than 1-2 cups a day, sleep more than 5-6 hours and drink more water!! Trust me, you will feel more alive and have more energy than you think. Give up those unhealthy vices that are damaging your health. I understand that most habits are hard to break but trying changing gradually so you don’t have room to fail and get discouraged.



Make a list of people who you need to forgive, thank, apologize, and just say hello to. At the end of the day, are you going to rest your head knowing that you have regrets? Call your parents, your grandparents, and friends and just say hello, how is your day? Don’t only tell them that you love and care for them but show them (actions DO speak louder than words). “I want to be alone forever and don’t care about anything” said no one that was sober and really thought of the reality of what they just said. Humans are social beings. We want to love and give love, we want to share what happened to us during the weekend to our co-workers, give hugs to those who are suffering, smile back at someone who smiles at you and etc. Just like a relationship, it is 50/50. Phones calls can be received and made. No excuses.



Pick a desirable destination, determine costs, start a savings account specifically for this trip, set a date and gooooooooo! Stay curious, see the world, explore different cultures, peoples, languages, foods, beaches, music, dances and etc.!!!!!



Spirituality is a broad subject and can mean different things to people’s perspectives and human experiences. It can be defined as finding meaning and purpose in one’s life by patterns of daily prayer to a higher being, meditation and/or daily walks outside.  As our brain processes sensory experiences, we naturally seek out patterns and try to understand their meaning. As we ask big questions, the instinct seems wired in our minds. For instance, I have found my own spirituality without practicing a specific religion and have found where I want to be, what I want to focus on to enhance my inner growth and peace in my own experience of life.



 I am not stating to give up and surrender your dreams and hopes! I am advising for you to let shit go that you cannot change. Things happen to us that are out of our control, so since you cannot change or fix it, let that shit go! Push it out of your platform, out of your way of thinking and focus on things you can change. Past events are beyond our control so learn from past mistakes but don’t dwell on them; you cannot successfully move your life forward if you keep looking back. Even when it comes to people that are toxic, negative, close-minded and narcissistic, YOU CANNOT CHANGE THEM!!  Don’t obsess over what other people do, however, talk to them about how they might have hurt your feelings or even state your boundaries/limits and just let it go.


Reacting vs. Responding

 A wonderful technique that I learned from my therapist is responding versus reacting to others who beat me down, tell me what to do, one-up me and all that bullshit. If someone has an opinion of you or shuts you down, that is their business and has NOTHING to do with you; that is why setting boundaries is so important.

Let me just vent: in every area of life throughout your community/world, someone is going to disagree or criticize you…but no one and their opinion about you matters…what YOU want for YOUR OWN LIFE matters!.. You cannot make everyone happy and you cannot give them credence.. The best defense/revenge for individuals who are judging you and criticizing you is INDIFFERENCE & COMPASSION…the day you realize that someone else’s opinion of you is entirely THEIR business, then YOU ARE FREE!! Sorry, I am not sorry! I had to splurge and tell you that, this is what I even tell the students (2-6th graders) that I teach at my day job. But I digress, knowing what responding and reacting is, the differences and outcomes of them is important and helpful to know when you interact with people.  

Reacting is an instant act that is driven by the beliefs, biases, and prejudices of the unconscious mind (when you say/do without thinking). Reacting is presented in the moment and is not throughout to consider what the long-term effects might be.  This is survival-oriented and is somewhat a defense mechanism for many individuals that don’t know any better than acting out through emotions rather than thinking things through and being considerate to others and the situation presented.

Responding is based on information from both the conscious and unconscious mind that is more ecological, meaning that it takes into consideration the wellbeing of not only you but those around you. Responding to others weighs the long-term effects and stays in line with your core values. I find that when I am about to respond to others, I experience an outer body experience where I am seeing from another perspective what is happening and what is the best/right way to handle it for myself and the other person I am interacting with.



Well, I hope this gets you on the right track into getting your entire life. It isn’t easy but just remember that we are all on this Earth just trying to make the best out of the life we are given and of course GETTING OUR ENTIRE LIFE!

Please comment and/or send email with questions, ideas, stories and struggles.

The Powers of Crystals

If you missed our “Power of Crystals” workshop last night, the universe has got your back….well I do.  All the content that I provided in my packet of resources to guests will be shared right meow!

“Get Your Life” blog is all about connecting with like-minded individuals to discuss all things life and the foundation of getting your life. I will be encouraging readers to email me with questions, stories, and ideas, so I can provide resources, insight and highlight to others that might be going through similar experiences that they are not alone and we’ve got each others back.

When we hold a crystal we are instantly in touch with the forces that shape our planet and the elements that first formed it all beyond the stars. The fascination of crystals are not a fad, crystals have been around for eons and have been adored by many local and distant souls! Let’s get more attuned with the power of crystals by exploring what they are, how they work, what crystal healing is, how to choose your crystals, how to meditate with your crystals, and etc.

What are crystals?

A crystal is a solid substance with a geometrically regular internal lattice, with faces and axes that may or may not be reflected in its external shape. Each crystal is made from its own particular mineral and chemical recipe, which affects its color and shape. In crystallize, that were created from events such as a meteorite, crystal structure, but are nevertheless referred to as crystals.  

Crystals can form only from a gas or liquid solution since it is only at this state that atoms are free to arrange themselves into stable relationships with each other. Despite the difficulties in measuring and identifying the geometrical systems of crystallography, it’s important to acknowledge that a crystal’s formation is the essence of why it does what it does, both in the way it potentially heals and its physical properties. It has been shown that every crystal in a system will share certain energetic properties and ways of working; shape and colors.

How do they work?

Mystical, magical, scientific and pseudoscientific proprieties for healing effects, crystals work through the human energy systems, such as chakras and auras (which I’ll review shortly). The results of using crystals are reported throughout history, science and their healing abilities are attested to by an ever-growing bank of anecdotal evidence.

However, there technically isn’t any credible evidence as to why crystals and gemstones should have any beneficial effect on humans (from the point of view of Western medicine).  Recently, Western medicine has recognized that the emotions and the mind play a huge part of human beings heal. Being that each crystal has one molecule, which is repeated during its structure, it has the ability and organization to adjust and adapt to its environmental changes.  Crystals have a fundamental stability and at the vibration level, can maintain a constant electromagnetic energy. So now consider the human body, which is built up from thousands of different molecules that have their own vibration pattern and way of interacting with its surroundings. WHHAAT!? MIND BLOWN. I love breaking concepts down and connecting them to their meaning; it just fascinates me! (Yeah, I’m weird; whatever!)

Try these exercises..

Exercise 1:

  1. Hold a clear quartz crystal point 1-2 inches from the pal of your hand. Point the crystal toward your palm.
  2. Move the crystal in a small clockwise circle. You will see a point of light either directly in front of the crystal or offset to one side.
  3. As you move, the clearer the crystal and the easier it will be to see.

Exercise 2:

  1. Stand with your eyes closed and your hands held out in front of you with your palms facing up.
  2. Ask a friend to hold a quartz crystal 1-2 inches away from one of your palms (point facing your palm) & slowly rotate it.
  3. Notice how your palms feel different from one another. Observe physical sensations such as one hand being warmer, cooler, heavier, lighter, itchier, and etc. Be aware of any feelings inside you (it might be subtle).

What is crystal healing?

Crystals channel energy. They can focus, store, transmit, and transmute this energy and it can be used for beneficial healing and energizing effects. This is about change; it involved working with crystals to improve your physical & mental health, emotional well-being and your spiritual advancement. They cant do something that you/your body cannot; but they do speed up things that would happen anyway.

Example: Carnelian works well for common colds. Rather than curing the cold or suffering for a while, it speeds up the symptoms process to get rid of the virus.

Crystals help you become open to new possibilities and this is when amazing changes start to magically happen in your life. Whether you are just starting on your journey with them, or you are taking another step on your path, take a bold leap and enjoy the experience of change that crystals bring.

Choosing Your Crystals

Many are becoming more interested in the aspect of how crystals are healing because one or two stones or crystals attracted their attention as simply beautiful or interesting objects. Some people collect a few crystal clusters to decorate their homes, while others become fascinated with their variety shapes and colors. It is easy to find yourself drawn to these wonderful objects and find that you are likely to find that you have a natural affinity with certain crystals specifically.

You may choose crystals on the basis that it will help you with a specific problem or ailment, or you can choose a crystal simply on that you are drawn to its color and shape. •Having selected the crystals that you are drawn to, you may discover that they were the most fitting choice in terms of how they can help you or someone close to you. Whatever the purpose of the crystals you have chosen, this will be revealed to you when it is needed.

Cleansing Your Crystals

When you work with crystals, either by yourself or with others, they absorb energy from you, other people and their environment. Visibly, they can get dusty and lackluster, they might lose their brightness or color. They need cleansing when sticky to the touch too.

Ways to clean crystals:

Running water- hold your crystal under running water for a few minutes. It may need longer if it’s been working hard or hasn’t been cleansed for a long time.

Sunlight- leave your crystal in the sunlight, you can also dry them in the sun after washing.

Moonlight- leave it in the moonlight, especially in the light of a full or new moon.

Incense/Aromatherapy- let frankincense, sandalwood, and smudging smoke waft over your crystal.

Earth- bury your crystal in the earth and leave it there for one to two weeks or moon cycles. Bury it when the moon is full and unearth it at the time of a new moon.

Crystal Cleansing- place your crystal on an amethyst bed, selenite, or quartz cluster or inside a geode.

Programming Your Crystals

Once you have chose your crystal and identified what you want it to help you with, spend some time connecting with it. Look at it, notice its shapes, colors, and plays of light. Hold it in your hands. Become aware of its smooth, flat, sharp and pointed parts. Take in any feelings that your crystal creates in you- these may be physical sensations in your hands or arise as more subtle feelings from deep within you.   Focus on the purpose of the crystal; they all have different physical, emotional and spiritual healing qualities.

Amethyst- relaxing and calming, but spiritually energizing

Citrine- encourages fun, happiness, and joy

Peridot- clears emotional blockages leading to a release of unwanted things and situations in your life. Great to work with for space clearing, or to give you the impetus you need to begin clearing out old unwanted possessions.

Quartz- brings energy into a room

Rose Quartz- allows love to flow and balances emotions

Zincite- great to display in any therapy room as it creates a healing environment

Working with Crystals

You can experience the beneficial effects of crystals simply by placing them near you, holding them in your hands, or wearing them against your skin. Try carrying a small pouch of crystals with you all the time, in your purse, book bag, pockets- they are working to benefit you during every moment. You can meditate with them as a way to help still your mind, drink them in a form of elixirs made by immersing crystals in water (be sure to check if they are safe to drink). Discover crystal healing with the body’s chakras, by placing specific stones upon the seven principal chakra points.

Meditating with Crystals

  1. Find a quiet space, literally, put your phone on airplane mode or “do not disturb”, shut off any other devices and possibly light a candle or two.
  2. Allow yourself to breathe in a relaxed way and feel centered. Calm yourself.
  3. Now choose a crystal to focus upon and allow yourself to explore it with all of your senses.
  4. Connect with the crystal and be aware of any sensations and feelings that arise in you: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
  5. Stay with the process for a minimum of 10 minutes, but keep going for an hour if you have the time.
  6. The important thing is to repeat this meditation daily, no matter how little or how much time you have to spare.

Opening up to Crystal Energy

This meditation is specifically designed to open your mind, still your body and free your spirit to be more receptive to the healing energy of crystals.

  1. Hold two quartz crystals, one in each hand. Close your eyes and feel the energy of each in your hands. Imagine this crystal energy flowing up your arms into your shoulders and chest. Allow it to fill your chest and your heart. Let it flow up into your head and when the crystal energy reached the center of your mind, it will start to see your thoughts. One by one, each thought floats towards the crystal energy and disappears into it. This happens again and again until all your thoughts are floated away.
  2. Now the crystal energy drifts slowly down your body and flows back past your chest and surrounds your heart, gently bathing your heart in clear, calm crystal energy. From your heart this clear, calm crystal energy flows into your belly and pelvis, down to your legs and into your feet and through your toes, until your whole body is filled with clear calm crystal energy.
  3. Allow yourself to bathe in this crystal energy for several minutes. Just relax and enjoy. Let it wash away nay worries, discomfort, or pain you may be feeling.
  4. When you feel you are ready, slowly become aware of your body. Notice how it feels and slowly open your eyes to enjoy your space as you look around you. You are ready to continue working with your crystals, either on yourself or on others.


“Chakra” is a Sanskrit word that means “wheel.” Where two or more channels of energy cross in the body, a chakra exists. Chakras are energy centers and exchange energy with the outside world. Place crystals on the seven principal chakra points as the recipient relaxes deeply. Surround four quartz around each point and it intensifies the effects.


Auras are the subtle bodies of energy that surround the physical body. The purpose of the aura is to act as a protective screen to block out and repel the negative energies, thoughts, and feelings of others, and also to prevent leakage of your own energy. However, holes, known as auric tears, can form within the aura, weakening it, and thus making it susceptible to harm by invading outside energies. These tears have many causes, including stress, trauma, depression, abuse, and physical injuries or illnesses to name just a few. Whenever you are around other people, you are exposing yourself to their subtle energies (and them to yours). Most of the time, these energies are positive, and will therefore have a positive, or perhaps even beneficial, effect on your own subtle energies. However, there are times when people energies, such as negative thoughts and emotions, can be toxic to your own. Negative energies from the people around you can be harmful to your aura, which in turn can cause damage to any or all of your subtle “bodies” (i.e., emotional body, mental body, spiritual body) as well as your physical body, all of which are contained within the aura. Fortunately, stones and crystals can be used to protect the aura from any harm that can come as a result of these negative energies.

Crystal Vibes can Help…

For Energy & Balance- Amethyst and quartz crystal clusters will energize the room they’re in. Everyone will feel more relaxed and at home. Place one in your living room or any communal area

For Keeping unwanted visitors at bay- Cerussite can help remove pests such as rates, mice, and cockroaches. Wash affected areas with a cerussite elixir.

For work- Common opal is renowned for creating a better working environment. It’s a great crystal to have around you while working in your home office and study areas, or on your desk at work.

For happy partnerships- A large piece of chrysocolla when placed in the home can help to revitalize lackluster relationships.

For better atmosphere- Green fluorite constantly removes negativity from a room and cleanses the atmosphere. Display this crystal wherever you have lots of people contact, and bring it into your space after arguments or to dispel a tense atmosphere.

For contentment- Moonstone creates a happy home, so place moonstone crystals liberally around your spaces. Onyx also brings happiness to the home.

To sell your house- If you’re having trouble selling your home, display a large citrine crystal, geode, or cluster in your hallway or your living room. Alternatively, you can place a small citrine crystal in each room of your home. When you do this, interest in your property, viewings, and offers suddenly increase.

After an argument- If the atmosphere feels heavy after an argument, kunzite will allow any residual bad feelings to flow out of the room. It also works wherever there has bee a death or severe illness. After an argument- If the atmosphere feels heavy after an argument, kunzite will allow any residual bad feelings to flow out of the room. It also works wherever there has bee a death or severe illness..

For bonding- Prehnite unites people towards the same goals.

For cleansing- Zeolite generally improve your environment, so place them in your home, office, workplace, car or garden shed; anywhere in which you spend a lot of time. If there are unpleasant odors in a room, Zeolites can reduce them- make a grid of them around the odor.

For break-ups- Sulfur removes negativity after arguments and is a particular useful crystal during divorce.   Crocoite and melanite are also helpful for those in the process of divorce.

For better communication- Schalenblende helps to resolve arguments and get people who won’t talk to each other communicating again. It is useful in business, improving relationships with colleagues, superiors, and others whom you come into contact with, and it’s also helpful when dealing with children.

To make your plants grow- Sphene encourages the healthy development of plants, helping everything in your garden grow.  Display this crystal outside near your plants, on decking, or on patios, or you can place smaller specimens in your plant pots to boost house plants indoors.

For love- Rose Quartz brings love into your home, improving relationships with those who are closest to you. This crystal is also known as a beauty stone- several pieces of rose quartz added to your bath water can freshen a dull complexion, giving softer skin and a more fresh, youthful appearance.

For peace- Display spirit quartz to bring harmony, peace and organization to your home and to all family relationships. This is a wonderful crystal for quelling argumentative tendencies.

Understanding Ailments…

Health is a balance of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energies. These energies are both within us and exist around us and are created by our interaction with, and our experience of, the world. How we are within ourselves both creates and reflects the energies linked to our surroundings.

Balancing energies= State of well-being

When they are unbalanced, we are in a state of “dis-ease” and we become increasingly susceptible to all kinds of illness. These crystals help in different ways to balance out our energies, removing dis-ease and maintaining or restoring health in the process:

-Angelite –Blue Lace Agate –Calcite(all varities) –Carnelian  –Crazy Lace Agate –Emerald -Jade –Opal –Quartz –Ruby –Rutilated Quartz –Silver –Tiger’s Eye –Tourmaline Remember, crystals are created by the natural energies of the planet and are powerful tools for holistic healing. They are not magic, but when you work with them and state your intention they do wonders!

There is just an abundance of information and ideologies about crystals that I can go on and on for days discussing how fascinating and magical they are. Hope you learned at least one thing that sparked your interest in learning and working more with crystals and gemstones. I plan on having another crystals workshop that focuses more on how we can work with them and demonstrate exercises together to open up to their healing energy and frequencies.

Let me know what you think about all this; your feedback, reviews and emails are very important to how NWR improves our services, support and outreach.