Archive for the Finding More Love Category

Three Answers to Stress by Barbara Bruce

Will the only person on this planet who lives without stress, please raise your hand.

Stress: some is good, too much is dangerous to your brain.

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You have just entered the stress zone!

Because of, or in spite of, our present time and place, we are all subject to stress of one kind or another. Some stress is good. It prepares your brain and/or body to be on high alert and ready for what may be coming next. When a stressful situation occurs, your brain and body react by producing hormones – adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol. These hormones increase heart rate and respiration, send more blood to skeletal muscles, dull pain, and stimulate the immune system. You become mentally alert and all systems are “go”.

However, if stress levels remain high for a sustained amount of time or if they occur too frequently, your brain and body suffer. Many psychological/medical studies suggest a large percentage of visits to the doctor’s office are due to psychological problems, often the direct result of stress. The way your brain perceives stress determines whether stress is experienced as a panic or a challenge. While normal stress protects the body in times of threat, prolonged stress may potentially damage both your brain and your body.

“All well and good”, you say, “Stress happens. What can I do about it?”

“There are several right answers”, she said confidently. First, in my classes I have people learn to breathe. (Did you know most of us don’t know how to breathe efficiently?) Right now, put your hand on your belly and breathe in expanding your belly like a balloon. Hold your breath for a count of 5 and slowly breathe out. This form of deep breathing is known to slow heart rate and reduce blood pressure (108/65 after a yoga/breathing class for me)

Running a close second is exercise (there is that word again). Exercise can reduce the experience of stress, depression, and anxiety. Dozens of scientific studies have demonstrated the relationship between exercise and the reduction of stress.

Three is meditation which promotes lower blood pressure and slows the heart rate. Four is caring relationships which help in creating emotional trust, support, and relaxation.   And five is caring for a pet which may provide significant emotional comfort that helps reduce stress (think purring cat).

Barbara Bruce is an educator with a passion for teaching/learning about both  the learning brain and a holistic approach to successful aging.   To learn more about Barbara, including her books and upcoming workshops, please visit:

The Poetics of Aging by Pastor Brian

The Poetics of Aging

The traditional view of aging thinks of it in terms of work: measured by whether work is present or absent.

I prefer instead to think of aging in terms of music.  Life has four ages, stages, or movements, just as a symphony does.

So, of course, aging as music, aging as poetics, is long overdue for discussion– Dick Bolles

The Poetics of Aging  – That was the heading in an e-mail I received.  It caught my eye

It turned out to be the name of a conference: Poetics Of Aging Conference: A Grassroots Gathering To Celebrate Eldership And Value Aging As The Basis For Depth And Wisdom (November 16 – 19, 2011, San Francisco, CA  —

It may seem an obvious insight that we all age, but there is a strong cultural bias against aging.  I am delighted whenever I encounter another positive perspective on the second half of life.  “The conference mission is to counter the mainstream understanding of aging as decline and/or disease with a more expansive, humanistic, and creative – that is poetic – vision and approach.  Together we shall create a climate where people share their awareness and creative expressions, while providing room for self-study and discovery.” The website led me to a fascinating paper by Dr. Nader Robert Shabahangi the founder of the AgeSong Institute ( — One of the many collaborators of the Poetics of Aging Conference) Continue reading The Poetics of Aging by Pastor Brian

We Never Outgrow the Need for Love (video)

This 90 second video by Dr Verna Carson, author of Spritual Caregiving, explains how peace of mind can always grow.
What do you think?