New Year's Resolutions
Well, I'm back from vacation, and though well-rested, for some reason I just don't feel quite ready for the start of a New Year just yet...

Typically, I spend the last few weeks of the year thinking about what I've accomplished this year, and what I wish to accomplish for the next, but somehow 2017 ended in a whirlwind of activity that left me no time (or energy) for planning, so I had to force myself to plan out my goals and tasks for the first quarter of 2018 earlier today...  Fortunately, the act of sitting down to plan actually got me moving, and I do have my first 12-week plan of the year sketched out.

Below are some of my goals and resolutions for 2018, as well as some of the tools I have used to help ensure I will accomplish them, but I'd love to hear some of yours as well! Drop me an email, or chime in on our Facebook page and share your plans for 2018! The simple act of sharing itself is proven to greatly increase your odds of achieving them.  :-)


 
 
Holistic health
It's no secret that we now live in an information economy. We are bombarded with information from all directions all day long - is it any wonder we often suffer from what is now called "information overload"?

However, rather than feeling overwhelmed, I think all of this information can be a good thing - provided we use it wisely and for  good...

For example, one thing that all of us now have instant access to - which even our parents' generation didn't - is information on how to live healthier. We no longer have to entrust our health to corporations or the medical industry.

While it is of course always wise to consult with a qualified medical professional for any serious illness, there are many ways that we can improve our health naturally and take preventative measures to reduce our odds of needing medical treatment in the first place. And with the growth of the internet, we now have access to loads of information on how to care for our health in this manner. The trick is knowing how to separate the good and useful info from the less helpful stuff. (By the way, that's what I aim to do on this blog, so please check out our archives to get the facts on important health and holistic living issues!)

But besides just reducing your risk of disease or living longer, there are a number of other reasons to consider taking more of an interest in your health. Below we explore 5 reasons why it is a good idea to learn more about how to live healthy and embrace a more holistic lifestyle - not just for yourself, but for the community around you, and for the planet!



 
 
2017 Gratitude ListSome of my awesome family
visiting for Thanksgiving!
It's that time of year again!

Yes, it's time for my annual Gratitude List - the time of year when I reflect on the many blessings I have received over the previous year, and give thanks for the abundance of goodness I have experienced this year.

While I am grateful for many of the same things every year, each year I find there is a certain area of life I am especially grateful for. It is always interesting to me to review the previous year's list, as I find that my focus has changed over the past year as I have learned to appreciate new and different things.

This year's focus has been a bit different from last year's, as I've really been realizing just how important some of these amazing people are to me...


 
 
Relieve holiday stress naturally
Yes, hard as it is to believe, the holidays are just around the corner...

While children feel a sense of excitement during this time of year, it seems as adults, we tend to lose the magic and instead focus on the stress the holidays brings. This is unfortunate since we all experience way too much stress in our modern world already - and it's killing us...

Search for the term "stress and disease" on Google, and you'll find nearly 600,000,000 results - and with good reason. Nearly every type of disease you can think of can be either caused or exacerbated by stress.

Stress puts your body in "fight or flight" mode, taking valuable resources away from the healing and detoxifying activities that your body needs to engage in on a continual basis to avoid disease. Chronic and ongoing stress causes inflammation, which, as you probably already know, is a major cause of many of our modern diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

So what's the good news?

Well, the good news, of course, is that there is something you can do about it!

While it may not be totally possible to avoid all stress (and you probably wouldn't want to anyway), there are plenty of things you can do to help lower your stress levels and cope with stress in healthier ways, which will improve both your mental and your physical health.

Best of all, they are safe, natural, and (for the most part) totally free!
  So read on to find out how you can improve your mental health and keep stress at bay, and save your money for those important holiday gifts...


 
 
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!