Benefits of spirituality
We often talk about the other aspects of holistic living - good health, proper financial balance, happy and fulfilling relationships, etc., but although these are all important pillars, we can't forget that spirituality is an essential piece of the puzzle. Whatever spiritual practices you choose to follow, having this connection to something higher and outside of yourself is necessary if we want to be truly happy and fulfilled and have a complete and balanced life.

As this article mentions, "Happiness, is in part, a byproduct of achievement best gained when we’re working from something and for something larger than ourselves."

No matter how successful we are in the other areas of our lives, without a sense of a connection to this "something larger," it will be hard to find true meaning and purpose.

Here are 7 reasons why a daily spiritual practice will make your life happier and more complete:


 
 
Holistic living benefits
In the years since I started this site, I have come to realize that holistic living is not just a way of life that benefits those who practice it, but it also impacts the health of the planet as a whole. Living holistically doesn't just mean taking daily steps to lead a more healthy, balanced life - it also means respecting the natural world around you, and learning to recognize your place in it, as well as its impact on you.

When you truly begin to live in a holistic manner, you recognize the connections between yourself and others, as well as the natural world. By doing so, you find a deeper sense of peace and purpose in the world, and you also learn to recognize your body's natural needs and take care of yourself in a gentler and more loving way.


Here are 7 awesome benefits of living a holistic lifestyle:


 
 
Tapping Meditations
A few months ago, I shared with you a unique method for reducing stress, alleviating pain, and improving your overall health and well being. This method, called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), or "Tapping," is a great way to release negative emotions and find a calm, centered state of mind - often in just a few seconds.

Whether you were feeling a bit skeptical, haven't had the time to look into it yet, or  just want to learn more, I've got a great free resource for you this week!

As an introduction to the upcoming Tapping World Summit event, The Tapping Solution is sharing some wonderful FREE videos on how using EFT can help you release stress, anger, anxiety, and other negative emotions, and find a greater sense of peace and well being.

Check out the 3 meditations below to experience the awesome power of tapping for yourself!


 
 
Prayer
It has become a tradition of mine over the past several years to write a special post of thanks-giving this week. While it may at times seem repetitive, I feel it is important for me, as it helps to remind me of all the many blessings in my life - even - or perhaps especially - the ones that remain the same from year to year, so that I may tend to take them for granted.

I think we could all stand to reflect more frequently on the many things in life that we are grateful for. Not only does gratitude help us to live more humbly, and appreciate our lives more deeply, but it may even make us happier and more giving people.

So, without further ado, here is my gratitude list for 2016!


 
 
EFT
I thought I would mix things up a bit this week by sharing a really strange and fascinating technique for naturally improving your health and wellness, mental state, and well, just about any aspect of your life...

When I first heard this technique briefly mentioned on a webinar I was attending, I thought it sounded like the weirdest thing ever, but it sounded so intriguing, I just had to find out more!

And yes, it is strange indeed, but this simple method can help dramatically improve many aspects of your life in just a few minutes per day, and you can do it just about anywhere - even in bed, in the shower, or (my favorite) in the car on your way to work (as long as you don't care about receiving some strange looks from other drivers). :-)

Typically I personally use this technique to relieve stress and anxiety, or remove mental blocks, but many other  users have reported a number of other benefits, including pain relief, weight loss, improved relationships, and even increased wealth. It truly is a holistic method, which is why I wanted to share a bit more about it with you today.


 
 
Mother Earth News Homesteading Summit
I'm back! "Blogging Break Week" was awesome, and I got to work on a number of projects I hadn't had time to focus on over the past few busy months. I also got a lot of stuff done in the garden, and it was a nice break.

But, a bit to my surprise, I actually missed blogging before the week was even half over! So it's good to be back, and I've been busy lining up all of our regular blog posts for the week.

If you haven't checked out our other blogs, you can find them at www.sustainablegardeningnews.com, www.sustainablelivingreport.com, and www.holistichealthwire.com - come on by and check out some of our articles on these special topics!

I also wanted to let you know about a really awesome online event coming up in just a few days. One of my absolute favorite publications (both online and offline) is Mother Earth News. I've learned so many awesome tips about gardening, homesteading, and sustainable living there! If you're a Mother Earth News fan, you may already know about the annual Mother Earth News Fair. These awesome events provide people with loads of workshops, hands-on-learning opportunities, and the chance to meet many like-minded individuals interested in living a healthier, more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle. However, if they're not in your local area, you've probably never had a chance to attend.

That's why I'm super excited that, for the first time ever, Marjorie Wildcraft from the awesome Grow Network has teamed up with Mother Earth News to bring you the first ever ONLINE version of the Mother Earth News Fair - the Mother Earth News Homesteading Summit!



 
 
Holistic living
Sometimes I feel like life is just speeding by so fast I am almost missing it... It's hard for me to believe it is fall already, and we are heading into the holiday season soon!

I stumbled across an interesting article this week, and it made me stop and think about whether I truly live a holistic life...

I came to the conclusion that I don't - at least, not right now. I am so focused on the future, and the goals I want to accomplish (quitting my job, making a living doing what I love and having the freedom to work when and where I want, etc.), that sometimes I miss some of the present - which is all we really have when it comes right down to it, right?

So yes, I realize I'm not exactly practicing what I preach right at this second (though I'm working on it), but I hope you will take the time to read this and think about what living a holistic life means to you. Are you there yet? Are any of these aspects listed below lacking in your life - or missing altogether? Do you see areas of your life you need to work on to regain balance?

Here are 4 ways to live a more healthy, holistic life, starting today:*


 
 
Holistic health
It seems crazy that we are living in the 21st century, with some of the most advanced technological innovations known to man, and that the U.S. spends more per capita on healthcare than any other nation in the world, yet we continue to become sicker and sicker  instead of healthier.

Yet it's true.

Over the past decade or so, the U.S. has made headlines - not for its advanced healthcare system, but for the fact that we now rank lower than almost every other developed country when it comes to a number of health and longevity factors.

In the World Health Report 2000, the U.S. healthcare system was ranked 37th in the world! In 2006, the United States was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita, but ranked 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy (New England Journal of Medicine, Jan. 14, 2010).

And it's not getting any better! In 2014, Time magazine reported that in the 2014 Commonwealth Fund survey, the U.S. healthcare system ranked dead last in "efficiency, equity and outcomes" out of 11 countries including France, Australia, Germany, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K..

And in 2015, the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) stated in their annual Health At A Glance Report that "Life expectancy in the United States is lower than in most other OECD countries for several reasons, including poorer health-related behaviours and the highly fragmented nature of the US health system."

How can this be? How can a country that spends more than any other country in the world on healthcare be so unhealthy?


 
 
American flag
(Note: While I don't usually talk politics here, since we're celebrating America this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to address this topic, as it is something that has become more and more evident - and troublesome to me - over the past few years. )

"Make America great again."

It's got a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Regardless of how you feel about "The Donald," you've got to admit it's catchy. When it comes to American politics, don't underestimate the power of a good campaign slogan! (Remember "Yes we can!"? Whatever that means to you, it ended up meaning a win for Obama in 2008.)

The other aspect of a good campaign slogan is that it can mean whatever you want it to mean, making it feel personal to a wide range of people. If you've been fed up with X,Y, or Z recently, you may feel that "making American great again" will solve your problems.  While "Yes we can," ambiguous as it was, offered a sense of hope to the disenfranchised.

The wording is very important here. For example,  simply "Make America Great" doesn't have nearly the same ring. Why not? Because it wouldn't appeal to the dissatisfied masses who feel that something needs to change. (Almost regardless of whether that change is good or bad, but that's a topic for another day.)
It also appeals to the nostalgia we all have for some shining past moment of glory when our country was (presumably) greater than it is today.

However, genius as this slogan is, I have a couple of problems with it.


 
 
Meditation
Between the craziness of the start of gardening season, and getting ready to launch a new website, I've been a bit overwhelmed lately, to say the least! I think it's time to revisit my meditation audios, which I have gotten out of the habit of using....

I discovered Holosync a few years ago, and went through the whole program over the course of about a year. I didn't necessarily experience all of the  benefits that other users have reported, but I did find some real improvements in several areas through simply listening to the recordings every night.

One big change was that I became less of a procrastinator. This did take a bit of focus, but I found it much easier to change this habit than I had expected, and now I rarely procrastinate anymore - I don't even think about it - I just get stuff done!