Happy Fourth of July Friends…I hope you are enjoying this day to the fullest!

In today‘s blog, I want to show appreciate the singers, musicians, songwriters and beat makers for continuing to share their perspectives especially during the turbulent landscape in which we currently live.  As a lover of the life and freedom that music provides, SoundCloud Spotlight really allows me to vibe and just feel what many are feeling during today’s life changes. So in honor of loving life, love and music I want to share some tunes to which I’ve been feeling.

The first song comes from one of the my old favorites: Little Dragon. “Where You Belong” sounds like a reflection on love that seems lost but in reality never left.  It’s summery, refreshing, led by a funky base riff with keyboard interaction that sways —all the while being laced with the distinctly beautiful vocals of lead singer: Yukimi Nagano.  Listen below. 

The second song, while released in 2019, has an urgency and passion that is very of the moment.  “All for Us” starts with Labrinth’s classical three-part a capella, and then the intoxicating high-pitched vocal samples with 808-like base kicks in. This is enhanced with trance-like synths, topped off with guest vocals by Zendaya that contrast nicely agains the swagger of Labrinth.  All that’s needed is some hi-fi headphones or car speakers — and its like being transported to another world. Check it out!

So, as always, I find myself away from my blog longer than I anticipated and what happened? Well, life happened — but this time the WORLD has changed.  Oh, yes, I’m referring to the Coronavirus or what scientists have labeled as COVID-19.   Before, I go any further, I must thank all the essential workers, first responders and our frontline healthcare providers for all their dedication and hard work.  They are truly the heros!  

At this point we are all probably use to multiple hours of TV/internet, homeschooling the little ones, outside lines at grocery store chains and eating at home and/or eating everything in sight.  This is pretty much what I call “The Social Distancing Dance.” 

As for today’s blog post, I’m simply elated to share the new music that has been popping up and around social media, streaming sites and TV.  I also would like to let you know that SoundCloud Sundays is returning, but the name is changing to SoundCloud Spotlight.  This again, is my way of sharing my favorite music to viewers but on any given day of the week. That said, head down to the links below and check out “Bittersweet” by Lianne La Havas, “Make the Most” by Lonr. (Feat. H.E.R.) and “Wrong Place” by H.E.R.  If you love these tracks as much as I do, please be sure to leave me a comment.


This he following article,  “6 Serious and Surprising Beauty Impacts of Sleep Deprivation,” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments.  Read more below.

Photo by Pexels

Do you have challenges falling or staying asleep more than a few times a week? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Nearly one quarter —  or 70 million —  Americans deal with chronic sleep issues, says the National Institutes of Health. Not getting enough sleep can have serious —  and surprising —  consequences for how you look and feel. Are you tired of feeling tired? Here are six ways lack of sleep may be affecting you and a few tips on how to catch more zzs.

Brittle Hair and Dry Skin

Sleep is a time when our body’s cells repair and regenerate, so if you can’t fall asleep, your body doesn’t have time to work on its regular maintenance routines, like hair and skin rejuvenation.

Good Sleep Tip: Want glowing hair and brighter skin? Try out a bedtime ritual to help care for your body and relax your mind. Take a warm bath, moisturize and listen to soothing music. Make the habit stick by starting your routine the same time every night.

Poor Mood and Brain Function

When your mind is tired it can’t function at top capacity. This means your processing can be slower, memory less reliable, problem-solving skills less organized and mood unstable. How does brain function impact beauty? It impacts your self-esteem. How you feel about the way you look happens in the mind —  and a well-rested mind stands a better chance of feeling good about how you look.

Good Sleep Tip: Try painting your bedroom walls in soothing, neutral colors to help create a serene space for sleeping. Avoid bright colors and shoot for light blues, soft greens and neutral earth tones.

Weight Gain

Lack of sleep impacts the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. So if you are losing out on sleep, the weight can start to add up.

Good Sleep Tip: Maintain a regular exercise routine —  the CDC recommends 150 hours of moderate activity a week along with two days of strength training. When you exercise regularly, your body needs more rest to repair and rebuild. However, try not to exercise too hard too close to bedtime.

Off-Balance

Lack of sleep can dampen your balance and physical reaction timing. This can be especially challenging for people who enjoy wearing high heels, trendy boots and enjoy running or working out. When your balance is off and your reaction time slow, the chances for injury and illness from accidents go through the roof.

Good sleep tip: Reduce the amount of blue light you get in the evening. This is the light emitted from our screens —  laptops, tablets and smartphones —  which we often have the bad habit of using in bed. Blue light is mentally and physically stimulating, so if it is part of your wind down routine, it’s actually probably doing the opposite.

High Blood Pressure

Chronic sleep issues are often linked to higher blood pressure, which if left unattended has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease. Hypertension, the medical name for high blood pressure, is often the result of high stress and anxiety, which can also negatively impact sleep. We know stress has a direct impact on physical appearance —  from wrinkles to dark circles under your eyes.

Good Sleep Tip: Meditate to help let go of intrusive thoughts, regrets that you cannot change and future worries you cannot control. There are many great apps you can explore to become more familiar with the various types of meditation, from Calm to Headspace to Insight Timer.

Weakened Immune System

When you sleep, your immune system powers up. Not only is it an optimal time to recover from an illness or injury you’re already battling, but your body is also working on ways to protect against ickiness you have yet to come up against. A weakened immune system can lead to skin breakouts, easier bruising and damaged teeth and gums.

Good Sleep Tip: Eat more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and caffeine. Not only will you sleep better, but a balanced diet will also add an extra boost to your immune health.

Sleep has a strong influence on how you look and feel. If you’re not getting good quality sleep, try changing your routine or exploring proactive ways to get better rest. If that still doesn’t work, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about next steps for getting good sleep.

Hey SoundCloud Sunday Lovers! Well, actually today’s feature is not from SoundCloud but you can hear it on plenty of other services. And, most of all, it comes from an awesome new artist who draws inspiration from the soulful demeanor of John Legend, genre-bending style of Pharrell Williams and cadence of Kanye West. “Date Nite” from the debut album, “ON Mii: The Pre-Quel,” is a wonderful offering from Wuan DCMO.

Laced with bouncy synths and silky vocals “Date Nite” expresses the excitement of new love found, when the moolah’s burning a hole in the pocket and you can not wait to spend it on the one you love.

And if you love “Date Nite,” and you WILL love “Date Nite,” just wait til you hear the other tracks on “On Mii: The Pre-Quel.” This album is a breath of fresh air and a timeless treasure. Trip-Hop, Reggae and R&B all blend seamlessly in this super chill exploration of the exhilaration of first love found, the wistful rumination of what went wrong and the hope that love can be gotten back.

My rhetoric won’t due this song justice so take a listen for yourself.

Check out the links below:

Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/…/on-mii-the-pre-quel-s…/1450596261

Amazon Music. https://music.amazon.com/albums/B07N31JJ14…

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4F5XJtWn1Upg6pyjEl5qZW…


The following article,  “Enhance the Connection Between Your Mind, Body and Soul,” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments.  Read more below.

Image via Pixabay

You don’t have to hike the mountains of Tibet to find a peaceful place to reflect on life and its meaning. Making small changes to your day can help you connect – or reconnect – with your higher power or settle in with your spiritual side.

Hit the hay the right way

Sleep is one of the cornerstones of overall wellness, but for many people, it can be hard to come by. While we tend to blame our busy schedules and obligations for our lack of shut-eye, our bedrooms have more to do with our sleep health than a lot of us realize. If you’ve already taken basic sleep-well steps, like cutting down on caffeine consumption and going to bed earlier, use a critical eye to examine your bedroom. Do you have a lot of light or outside noise pouring in each night? Hang some light- and noise-reducing blackout curtains. Do you wake up sweating at 2 a.m.? Turn the temperature down before climbing into bed, or if you don’t have air conditioning in your room, install a small window unit. Getting adequate rest on a regular basis can make a world of difference in how you feel physically and emotionally, so make sure you’ve created a bedroom space that supports that.

From morning ‘til night

Finding happiness, peace, and contentment is a matter of living in the moment – each moment. From the minute your eyes open until your head hits the pillow, you have to make a conscious effort to experience life. Take a minute to stretch and reflect on your day before you get out of bed. This five-minute exercise will prepare you for the ups and downs you’ll face. Do the same at the end of each day, but consider how your reactions to situations directed how you felt in each moment. Once you realize that you have control over your reactions, it’s easier to achieve overall happiness.

Meditation

Meditation allows you to focus on your strengths and narrow your train of thought. When you meditate, you have an opportunity to block out negative energy and avoid being overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings you’d rather not have. There are many benefits of clearing your mind and living in the moment. This infographic is a great introduction to how meditation affects the mind, body, and spirit.

Food and mental health

Taking care of your mental health doesn’t stop at meditation and intentional positivity. A mounting body of research, as highlighted by the American Psychological Association, suggests that the way you eat can have serious effects on your mental health. In one study, adults with depression were randomly assigned an eating plan designed to eliminate junk food and add more produce, legumes, and fish to their diet. The control group was told to continue their normal eating habits. More than one-third of the test subjects showed an improvement in depression levels, compared to the less than 10 percent of those who continued with an unchecked diet.

Fitness boosts spirituality

There are obvious benefits to paying attention to your physical health, but there are many more that hide just beneath the surface. Health Fitness Revolution explains that exercise releases epinephrine and dopamine, both hormones that directly relate to your perception of life. Further, working out gives your body sustainable energy and can help you operate on a higher mental plane, which can lead you toward your desired spiritual practices.

Whole health for a happy you

When you’re trying to live your best life, it isn’t enough just to focus on one aspect of your health. You have to put time and energy into all seven dimensions of wellness. These include intellectual, emotional, physical, social, spiritual, occupational, and environmental. If one of these doesn’t work for your lifestyle, it will knock you completely off balance. As an example, if you aren’t happy in your job – your occupational wellness – you may be stressed out, which is bad for your emotional health. Stress can take a toll on your physical health by swaying you away from making good choices regarding self-care. When you don’t make positive choices for your physical health, you may begin to pull away from your social activities, which can make you feel lonely and wreak havoc on your emotions.

The way you care for yourself every day impacts your overall quality of life. One small positive change can snowball and create a cycle of wellness that helps you thrive from the inside out.




After reading the following parable below, I could not help but share…
So the story goes that the sun and the wind were debating about who was more powerful. After boasting about their might, they made a wager. They wagered that whomever could force the coat off the man walking down the street was the most powerful. So the wind began to demonstrate it’s impressive power. It blew and blew, nearly ripping the coat right off the man, but he wrapped the coat around him tighter. Eventually the wind gave up. At that very moment the sun took over. Its shine became brighter and brighter until the man took off his coat and slung it over his shoulders.
Moral
What the wind attempted to do by force, the sun was able to do just by being.
In our everyday lives we often use our efforts/actions forcefully, pushing against instead of allowing our presence to invite what it is we wish to receive. We are being encouraged to surrender our forcefulness, and intense actions. This does not mean to give up on your goals and achievements. It is about understanding the process of manifestation in a more intellectual sense. There are ways to create that give you energy and doesn’t leave you worn out. It’s about allowing what you want to come to you with ease. Shine your light and allow your presence to invite what you want to receive. It is about cultivating an energetic affinity with what you seek, rather than feeling lack and need. It’s the feeling that you are already a naturally abundant being who gratefully invites more of what you want into your life. It’s about seeing the job you want in your mind’s eye, even if it is not yet the job you have. You energetically embody what you wish to attract more of into your life. Like attracts like!
That said, I am learning to manifest through gentle being-ness and attraction, choosing faith over fear.

Today’s blog was inspired by a “reading” I did on myself using the Archangel Power Tarot cards.  The message was “find time to celebrate, live more mindfully and you are free.”

As I was sitting and reviewing the cards and messages I couldn’t help but smile at what I thought was a great gentle reminder that I could share with my readers.

You see, everyone is working so hard and time seems to be flying by so much that small reminders like these are easily forgotten.  Our current world tends to demand more and more from each of us.  We tend to forget to simply smile, create, celebrate and let it all hang out.  Therefore, my first and important message to each of you is to relish time with good ole family and friends, as good family and friends contribute to a richer life.

In addition, we are moving into the new Libra moon of Transformation on October 8th.  During this transition take advantage of your moments by re-dedicating yourself to living a more purposeful and mindful life.

Try leaving the phone to charge in a separate room while singing along with your favorite song.  Ask “How can I find more moments to eat without texting or multitasking?” Live in that moment.

Moments are fleeting and when gone, they can’t be gotten back.  This is another reason why we must remember we are free.  The fears we face each day are just illusions. We can overcome many of our challenges by choosing to change our perspective.  Jot down different solutions, no matter how far-fetched, and then imagine yourself realizing these objectives.

Most of all, celebrate each and every moment and remember how good it is to be alive.

Enjoy some high vibes on me.

If you like the content here and want to support, please check out the three new T-Shirts we’ve produced for our male readers!

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Thank you for your support and if there’s content you’d like for me to cover, don’t hesitate to shoot me a comment.

Sending each of you love and light…Namaste,

So today on SoundCloud Sundays I featured guest blogger iObserver music selection.  Read more below

The Funkyard is a series of playlists that I’ve created on a popular streaming service. Stop by The Funkyard Pt.7 for some hot, sweaty, funky, good time tracks. It’s a party that would make Fred Sanford smile and maybe cut a rug or two. Not unlike a good wedding, the recipe for The Funkyard playlist could be described as “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.”
You can find all of that and more on the Pt.7 of this playlist that features Janelle Monae, Anderson Paak and The Internet alongside the Incredible Bongo Band, Prince, Bootsy Collins and The Ojays. Not to mention the underground sounds of Coultrain, Róisín Murphy and Maggie Rogers. So go swimming in the Frank Ocean dressed in “Pink + White” and dance like a Prince with lots of “Musicology.” Just be sure to have a funky good time!
Wanna construct it yourself? The full Funkyard Pt.7 playlist includes:
  1. “Dance or Die” by Jonelle Monae
  2. “Momma’s Place” by Róisín Murphy
  3. “Balancing Act” by Coultrain
  4. “Musicology” by Prince
  5. “Apache” by Incredible Bongo Band
  6. “Give a Little” by Maggie Rogers
  7. “Run” by Gnarls Barkley
  8. “Fire” by Ohio Players
  9. “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance” by Anderson.Paak
  10. “La Di Da” by The Internet
  11. “Together” by Kaytranda
  12. “Black Sweat” by Prince
  13. “Y Not?” by Coultrain
  14. “Making Plans for Nigel” by XTC
  15. “Pink + White” by Frank Ocean
  16. “Happy Man” by Jungle
  17. “I’d Rather be You” by Bootsy Collins
  18. “Backstabbers” by The Ojays
  19. “The Work Pt.1” by Prince

Dance or Die

Momma’s Place

Balancing Act

 

 

Musicology

 

 

Apache

Give A Little

Run

 

Fire

 

Heart Don’t Stand a Chance

 

La Di Da

Together

Black Sweat

 

Y Not?

 Making Plans for Nigel

Pink + White

Happy Man

I’d Rather Be With You

Back Stabbers

The Work Pt. 1

 

Summer is almost over and as we prepare our transition into September I’ve decided to post this article as a help to anyone out there working hard to overcome addiction.

The following article  “6 Underrated Addiction Recovery Techniques” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments.  Read more below.

Photo credit: Pexels

6 Underrated Addiction Recovery Techniques’Aadd

Identifying and treating the feelings and behaviors that trigger and fuel addiction is a critical part of addiction recovery. What’s more, using alternative addiction recovery techniques in addition to your current efforts can nip triggers in the bud. Here are six alternative addiction techniques.

 

  1. Solid nutrition

 

Research has specifically shown that changing your diet can promote faster recovery, decrease withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression and protect neurons. Using nutrition to improve addiction recovery requires not only changing the kinds of foods that you eat, but also altering your dietary habits and disrupting ingrained behaviors. Now, don’t feel like you need to suddenly become vegan and eat only raw broccoli. Set goals to make small improvements in your diet. Even small changes result in big health benefits.

 

  1. Aerobics

 

Put on your best 80’s neon and sweat it out. Research has shown that an important part of addiction occurs when the reward center of the brain doesn’t work correctly. Exercise works the same parts of the brain that are used by addiction. It can change the way that the reward center works and help your brain be happy from exercise.

 

Studies have shown that for people with drug addiction, aerobic exercise significantly reduces symptoms of anxiety or depression that are sometimes associated with recovery. Enjoying aerobic exercise occurs when it’s done regularly, so make efforts to work out with friends or loved ones who can keep you accountable.

 

  1. Yoga

 

Yoga can form a critical part of recovery process because of its ability to offer both physical and mental discipline. A core reason that yoga is so successful is because its purpose is to changenegative thoughts and feelings that are associated with problematic behaviors of the human condition, such as addiction.

 

Additionally, yoga can helpwith common withdrawal symptoms, such as sleep problems, stress management, depression and anxiety. Schedule time in the morning or before you go to bed, since those are times where you can most easily set up a yoga or meditation habit.

 

  1. Gardening

 

There’s no feeling quite like getting your hands in the dirt and producingsomething of value. Gardening can be done by almost anyone, and your garden can be adjusted to fit your living situation. Being able to see the literal fruits of your labor is a meaningful way to establish a system of accountability, and it can be scaled to require as much or as little work as you want to devote. There’s a reasonthat it’s being suggested by more and more therapists as a useful supplement for mental illness treatment.

 

  1. Pet therapy

 

Pets are a surprisingly common factor in aiding in addiction recovery. Regardless of whether the pet is big or small, the relationship that people form with their animals can be a powerful way to establish accountability and manage stress. If your life circumstances or health don’t allow you to have a pet, that’s okay. You still have options.

 

  1. Going outdoors

 

Ecotherapy isn’t a new concept, as it’s probably been around for as long as humans have. However, more research and articles are highlighting its ability to help people cope with stress and overcome negative feelings. You can distract yourself and have better control addictive triggers or urges. Structure your weekends or downtime so that you can be outside. It can help curb cravings, and also will give you a chance to see incredible sights or meet new people.

 

Finding what works for you is largely trial-and-error. You’ll have to figure out which techniques best manage symptoms of addiction and work to turn those into habits. There are other kinds of alternative addiction recovery techniques available, such as alternative therapy strategies including psychodynamic psychotherapy, so stay open to new ideas and recovery approaches. Using these techniques can help you avoid relapse, manage stress and find inner strength.

 

Author

Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.

 

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