Harmony – #wordoftheyear

By: Lisa Wright Burbach

Harmony: According the American Heritage Dictionary, Harmony is: An orderly or pleasing combination of elements in a whole: color harmony; the order and harmony of the universe. A relationship in which various components exist together without destroying one another: different kinds of fish living in harmony. A relationship characterized by a lack of conflict or by agreement, as of opinion or interest: family harmony.

Another word heard used to define harmony is tranquility.

Every year I choose a word of the year, something that I will work towards, something that I want to grow and nurture in myself. This year I chose the word Harmony. I have always thought of this as a personal word, one for my own benefit during the year, but then I heard a friend talk of her word of the year and how she works to make that word effective/impactful to all she comes in contact with. She asks herself “Does my decision right now live up to my word of the year for all involved?”. I thought this was brilliant and much more loving than using it just for personal growth. I love her humility and wisdom in this choice.

Here is my intention for my word this year:

Will this action/decision/word create Harmony in me? It will mean that I won’t put myself down, allow negative self-talk, or argue with myself unproductively. I will believe in myself and look for tranquility to be the outcome of my choices.

Will this action/decision/word create Harmony with my Husband? This is actually the easiest one, we rarely argue or even disagree, but there is always room for improvement. It will mean that I will listen more deeply, I will hear his heart and respond with empathy, compassion, and love to a deeper level. I will be his champion and create an atmosphere of harmony – “a pleasing combination of elements as a whole in our lives”.

Will this action/decision/word create Harmony with my family? I have grown children and I am a grown child; this greatly changes dynamics. It means that to my children I am simply an opinion, and to my parents they are simply opinions. I don’t mean it rudely, but I mean there is no expectation of “obedience”. We should respect their options and work towards harmony. It is possible to disagree and still maintain harmony. This is the “various components exist together without destroying one another.” I will allow them to be them and I will allow me to be me, with no strife, resentment, or discord. We will have healthy boundaries and mutual respect. Of course I can’t control the mutual part, but I can control my side and I will chose to respect and watch joyfully as each person thrives as themselves. I will also know when to let go.

Will this action/decision/word create Harmony with this I do business with: customers, clients, business partners etc.? I love working with my customers, helping them create healthier lives and find joy. I will listen without judging, I will create an atmosphere of motivational interviewing, where I ask questions, reframe, and help them see successes. I will support them in their decisions and be there for them. I may sell vitamins or skincare, or cleaning products etc., but I will do this while creating a safe, encouraging, motivating atmosphere being a mentor, coach, or friend not just a salesman. For me their hearts are my primary goal, the act of becoming a customer is just an open door for relationship.

Will this action/decision/word create Harmony with my friends and all those I come in contact with? I will ask myself this question, learn to pause more, and be OK with silence if I can’t 100% say I will help foster harmony.

Will this action/decision/word create Harmony with Nature: I will remember that the earth is our to share with each other and I will reduce and reuse before considering recycling, I will educate people to make wise choices and I will remember it is an act of stewardship. One who manages another’s property, finances, or other affairs. – American Heritage Dictionary. In this case the Earth. I will enjoy nature, be in awe of the things I see and I will stop to breathe it in and listen. I will walk and spend time outdoors, and I will learn from what nature tells me. I will be in awe of the one who created it all.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there are times when we disagree, when we will never see eye-to-eye on a topic, that’s part of life. Living in harmony says that I will rejoice for you and find peace with you even in those places. I am embracing that I don’t have to be right and I don’t even have to be understood, but I should seek harmony.

I have great expectations for peace, tranquility, and joy this year and repeatedly asking myself “Will this action/decision/word create Harmony in this situation!” I can help create a space where my expectations can be a reality. If the answer to my question is “no,” it will compel me to step back and find a better way, one that will create harmony, or whatever the current word of the year may be.

Quotes for this year:

Romans 12:8 NIV– If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Marcus Aurelius -He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.

Sallust – Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.

Deepak Chopra – Give up being right. Instead radiate peace, harmony, love, and laughter from your heart.’

Forrest Shaklee – Think then, of the happiness you may produce for this moment, for what you think, you look; what you think, you do, what you think you are.

Hi, I’m Lisa and I’m an Independent Shaklee Distributor and Certified Health Coach. My absolute joy is partnering with people to realize their own self value. I believe that as we love ourselves we are loving to ourselves and from there we are more able to eat well, exercise, and take care of our physical selves. It is my goal to touch the lives of others and help people live healthier lives longer!! Through Shaklee I have an excellent partner that shares my passions of environment and health and I look forward to sharing that with you.

#harmony #wordoftheyear #tranquilty #healthyliving

Why Should we Meditate?

By: Lisa Wright Burbach

Meditation; the Oxford Dictionaries defines meditation as “Think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.” 

For many of us the idea of focusing our mind seems impossible, but I want you to think of it like any other exercise; with practice you get stronger and better.  In the words of Dr. Hedy Kober, a neuroscientis. “It did to my mind what going to the gym did to my body — it made it both stronger and more flexible,”.

Before we look at why we meditate, let’s look at how.

How to meditate:

In the beginning I recommend finding a quiet place to meditate.  As you get better at it you will find the ability to meditate in the midst of chaos and be able to use it as a tool to center yourself, but for now pick a quiet place and avoid distractions.

  1. Close your eyes; this helps with distractions
  2. Breathe naturally.  Breathing exercises are another component of meditation, but to start off with focus on just learning to still your mind.  As you breathe normally observe your breathe.  Observe the sound and the feel and feel yourself relax.  As you become more experienced you can add in deep breathing practice.
  3. Once you are settled in you have options of how you want to meditate. 
  • I often meditate  prayerfully, just being calm and aware. As I relax more I begin to let my mind calm down and feel my body release tension.
  • You can focus on your body, recognizing areas of tension. Try a different position if you need to and give yourself permission to relax those areas.
  • You can focus on your breathe paying attention to how it feels and sounds.  When your mind wanders this is a great way to bring your mind back into focus and off of the world around you. Listen to the sound in…out…in…out.
  • You can focus on your emotions, do you need to let things go. How do you feel?

These are just a few ways to get you started.  I encourage you to do some research and find a method that works for you.  Keep in mind even 1 minute of meditation has benefits.

Why should we meditate?

The body of evidence on the importance of meditation is growing rapidly within the medical community and mental health communities and we are all starting to pay attention and you, the every day average Joe or Jane can do it!  Here is some of what science is finding:

  • lower blood pressure
  • improved blood circulation
  • lower heart rate
  • less perspirations
  • lower respiratory rate
  • less anxiety
  • lower blood cortisol levels
  • more feelings of well-being
  • less stress
  • deeper relaxation
  • decreased heart rate and strength of contraction of the heart muscle
  • less oxygen demand, lessening workload on the heartdecreased rate of breathing
  • increased lung capacity
  • better digestion
  • increased hemoglobin (ability of blood to carry oxygen)feelings of calm and tranquilityhealthy immune system
  • May help with addiction, eating disorders, cognitive function and more!

These seem like excellent reasons to meditate!  Remember health is not just what you eat and how you move, but how you think and act or react as well.

Here is a great scientific look at meditation from Huffington Post.

Lisa is and Independent Shaklee Distributor and received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.   To learn more visit http://yieldingaction.com

Van and Lisa are also Independent Shaklee Distributors. Shaklee was Green when Green was just a color! Everything we do has been designed In Harmony with Nature®. Discover our difference.

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PFAS – What’s all the fuss about?

By: Van Burbach PhD, PG

Environmental Consultant

A class of chemicals referred to as PFAS has been in the news a lot recently, and many people have become both concerned and confused, so here is brief summary of what the fuss is all about and our current state of knowledge (or lack thereof) about these chemicals.

PFAS stands for “per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances.” They are a class of man-made chemicals that were first developed in the 1940s – 1950s and have since been incorporated into numerous consumer products. PFAS can be found in:

  • Food packaging;
  • Non-stick cookware;
  • Water-repellent clothing;
  • Stain-resistant fabrics and carpets;
  • Some cosmetics; Firefighting foams;
  • and Most products that resist grease, water, and oil.

PFAS have become ubiquitous. PFAS have been detected in at least 66 public water supplies across the United States at levels above the EPA’s health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion. PFAS have been detected in the blood serum of 97% of Americans who have been tested.

PFAS’ basic chemical structure includes carbon-fluorine bonds, which are among the strongest chemical bonds in nature, so PFAS are extremely stable and do not naturally degrade in the environment or in our bodies. Some long-chain PFAS can degrade to shorter-chain PFAS, but they are still PFAS. This is why they have been dubbed “forever chemicals.” They are highly soluble and mobile in water, so they spread rapidly in our water supplies. They can also be carried as dust in the air, which allows them to spread even farther.

PFAS are also bioaccumulative, that is they tend to build up in animals and humans. They are proteinphilic, meaning they bind to proteins, so they can build up in crucial organs and tissues. Drinking water with PFAS in parts-per-trillion over time can result in parts-per-billion in your blood. Long-chain PFAS are generally more bioaccumulative than shorter-chain PFAS.

There are at least 4700 different chemicals that fall into the PFAS class, the large majority of which have never been studied with regards to their potential health effects. The analytical methods available to scientists can only detect and identify a few dozen of these chemicals. The most common and best understood PFAS are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). PFOS and PFOA have been phased out of products made in the United States over the last 10 years or so due to health concerns; however, they are still used in some other countries from which we import products. In many products, PFOS and PFOA have been replaced by other PFAS that are even less understood but likely present similar health risks. For example, the chemical GenX, which has been a huge problem for people in coastal North Carolina, is a PFAS which was developed as a substitute for PFOA in the manufacturing of non-stick coatings.

Studies of the effects of PFAS on rats and some (but not all) studies in humans have shown that certain PFAS may:

  • Affect growth,
  • learning, and behavior of infants and older children;
  • Lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant;
  • Interfere with the body’s natural hormones;
  • Increase cholesterol levels;Affect the immune system;
  • and Increase the risk of cancer.

Children are especially at risk. PFAS can be passed from mother to child both in utero and while nursing. Studies of PFAS exposure and childhood health present consistent evidence for PFAS’ association with dyslipidemia, reduced immunity, reduced vaccine response, asthma, impaired renal function, and increased age at menarche.

A big part of the problem is that there is so much we don’t know, largely because we have only recently began studying these compounds. There is not yet enough data available to determine how severe the health impacts might be or to determine what levels are safe. Scientists all over the world and from many disciplines are actively studying PFAS, trying to learn more about the many unknown or poorly understood characteristics of these chemicals, including: human toxicity; pathways for impact to humans; fate and transport in the environment; and ways to treat, remediate, or remove PFAS from our water, air, and soil. In February 2019, the EPA issued a PFAS Action Plan; and in December 2019, the EPA issued Interim Recommendations for Addressing Groundwater Contaminated with PFOA and PFOS, which are steps in the right direction; however, much more is needed. Also, industry needs to invest heavily in developing safer alternatives in order to phase out the use of PFAS.

Here are some tips to help you protect yourself and your family:

  • Check your water supply. If you are connected to a municipal system, find out their testing results. If you are on a private well, ask your local health department about testing. While most home water filters will not remove all PFAS, they will remove some of them. Activated carbon or reverse osmosis systems are the best.
  • Check the source of your food, especially fish. Fish from rivers or lakes impacted by PFAS may have very high levels in their flesh. A great guide to safe seafood consumption can be found at Seafoodwatch.org.
  • Check food packaging. Fast food wrappers, microwave popcorn, and shiny paper or cardboard have been found to be sources of PFAS contamination.
  • Check out your cookware. Consider buying ceramic, glass, stainless steel, or cast-iron cookware instead on non-stick pans. If you use non-stick cookware, keep the temperature below 400 degrees. Dispose of scratched or flaked non-stick pans.
  • Check your clothing, carpeting, upholstery, etc. Products labeled stain- and water-resistant likely contain PFAS.
  • Check ingredients on cosmetics. Avoid cosmetics with PTFE or any word containing “perfluor” or “polyfluor” on their ingredients list.

Dr. Burbach brings a broad background in geology and geophysics to the table. He worked for over six years in the oil industry and for over 20 years in environmental project management. He has also served as a visiting research professor at North Carolina A&T State University. He has extensive experience in the development, planning and implementation of environmental assessment and remediation projects and hydrogeological and geophysical investigations.

Dr. Burbach has extensive experience in: hydrogeologic site investigation; environmental assessment of industrial sites, underground storage tank sites, and solid waste facilities; compliance monitoring; remediation of impacted soil and groundwater; and geophysical investigations. Including remediation of pesticides, metals, and hazardous waste.

Dr. Burbach has designed and implemented Corrective Action Plans involving groundwater pump and treat systems, air sparging, soil vapor recovery, soil venting, soil excavation, phytoremediation, aggressive fluid-vapor recovery, multi-phase extraction, ex-situ bioremediation, enhanced in-situ bioremediation, and monitored natural attenuation. Currently, Dr. Burbach oversees compliance monitoring of soil, groundwater, surface water, leachate, landfill gas, and treatment systems for several soil waste sites in Virginia and North Carolina.

Getting Dirty about Cleaners

I used to be a huge fan of cleaning products, I loved the smells, I loved bubbles that talked, I loved trying new ones that came out, I mean I was a household cleaner addict. Well and office supplies, but I feel OK about that one-I mean there is nothing like a clean piece of paper and a new pen- right?!! Sorry, I digress-Then I made the switch to green cleaners and I will never go back. (I’m also a fan of clean and orderly – It just makes life peaceful)

Let’s get to the dirty about cleaners.

  • Chemical pollutants have been found to be 2 to 5 times higher inside our homes than outside.
  • Statistics show that common household cleaners give off fumes that can potentially increase the risk of children developing asthma.
  • 25 million children suffer from asthma.
  • 1 in 10 school-aged kids have asthma.
  • in one decade, there has been a 42% increase in asthma ( 29% for men, 82% for women ). The higher rate for women is believed to be due to women’s longer exposure times to household chemicals. [Center for Disease Control]
  • According to the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board, indoor air pollution consists of toxic gases or particles that can harm your health. These pollutants can build up rapidly indoors to levels much higher than those usually found outdoors. This is especially true if large amounts of a pollutant are released indoors. Moreover, “tighter” construction in newer homes can prevent pollutants from escaping to the outdoors. When we clean our homes we produce large amounts of these chemicals. Picture yourself standing in your shower surrounded by chemicals. Did you know that a person who spends 15 minutes cleaning their shower can inhale 3 times the acute exposure limit?
  • Women who work in the home have a 54% higher risk of dying from cancer than women who work outside of the home because of their increased exposure to household chemicals. [Toronto Indoor Air Conference of 1990 from a 15+ year study]
  • 150 chemicals routinely found in the home have been connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders. [The Consumer Protection Agency )
  • A recent study found that using regular spray cleaning products for 20 years had the same respiratory impact as smoking 20 cigarettes a day.
  • Harmful VOC’s; That “clean” smell you smell – yep, that’s them. They are in things like aerosol sprays, Oven and appliance cleaners, Air fresheners, Dishwashing liquid and detergent, Carpet and upholstery cleaners, Bleach, dryer sheets and more.

Side note – one of the worst chemicals in your home are dryer sheets

  • Studies are showing that some of these chemicals are bioacumalitve, they never leave our body. Once such worry is pfas. Scotchguard, water repellent clothing, nonstick cookware, some cosmetics, products that resist grease, water, and oil.
  • Research is being done now, but pfas are already showing up in cord blood and breast milk! It will never leave their systems.

Potential Health Issues from Indoor pollutants like household cleaners:

  • Respiratory irritation
  • Bronchitis
  • emphysema
  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Respiratory infections in children
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • More serious health issues can occur

I could go on, the data is scary and voluminous. So what can you do?

YOU CAN GO GREEN: #MAKETHESWITCH

By planning ahead, making small changes, and taking safety precautions you can limit your exposure.

  • Paints, glues, and cleaning agents should be used outdoors when possible. If used indoors, adequate ventilation should be available.
  • Restrict smoking. Cigarette smoke contains many toxic pollutants that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers and should be restricted to outdoor areas.Use appliances properly.
  • Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces should only be used to burn wood that is properly sized and aged so as not to give off toxic fumes.
  • Pay attention to and select building materials and furniture carefully. Some types of plywood and particleboard can emit significant amounts of formaldehyde or other gaseous pollutants. Try to avoid these types of products.
  • Practice good housekeeping. Frequent housecleaning removes dust and molds to help maintain good indoor air quality.
  • Provide adequate ventilation. You can increase ventilation by opening doors and windows.
  • Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans that are vented to the outdoors to remove pollutants.
  • Eliminate use of toxic chemicals at home; opt for natural substitutes.

List from Shaklee.com

By choosing products that keep the health of your family and the environment in mind you are making a wise and green choice, Be a label reader, just because it says “Green” on the label doesn’t mean that it really is. Be a wise consumer and do your research.

So why did I go green with my cleaners? I care about my family’s health and the environment. It took a while to learn that clean doesn’t smell and my cleaner is concentrated and lasts a looooong time, so I had to get used to not always checking out the cleaning aisle. A side effect of eliminating those toxic chemicals is that now I can’t stand to walk past that section of the store. The smell is awful and my body is much more aware of the danger. I’d say that’s a good thing” Wisdom of the body. If a clean home and clean earth is important to you too can #maketheswitch

Obviously I’d love for everyone to use Shaklee Get Clean Cleaning Products, but even if you don’t I hope you have been convinced to have a healthier home and eliminate toxic cleaners and products from your home. #maketheswitch and tell us about it. Please feel free to comment or email me at lisa@yieldingaction.com. Visit our Facebook page Yielding Action or Instagram @yieldingaction.

Happy Safe Cleaning!

Would you like to learn more about Shaklee Get Clean?

Laundry, kitchen, bath, and more: Let’s get every nook and cranny spick-and-span. And let’s do it right—with products that are safe around your little ones, powerful against even the most stubborn dirt, green for the planet, and smart on your wallet. You would spend $3,400 for ready-to-use cleaners to get the same amount of clean found in the Get Clean Starter Kit!*

One Kit, One Tree. Shaklee and American Forests® will plant one tree for every Get Clean® Starter Kit we sell.

Get Clean® offers cleaning choices that are safe and green

Email me at lisa@yieldingaction.com to learn more.

Van is and environmental consultant and Lisa a Certified Health Coach and have been Independent Shaklee Distributors for nearly 8 years. Learn more about their stories at https://pws.shaklee.com/yieldingaction/about/

Are you a good Garbage Disposal?

Our bodies are complex, and sometimes it can be hard to cut through all the scientific/medical jargon to truly understand what is going on. So, get ready for the simplest, most non-jargony explanation of aging you’re ever going to see:

Dr. Sears has what he calls his “sticky stuff/garbage disposal” theory of aging. Aging has two main causes: too much sticky stuff (garbage) accumulates in the body, and the body’s garbage disposal system weakens (immune system) so it can’t get rid of the sticky stuff. Health, therefore, is simply keeping the sticky stuff out of your body and strengthening your garbage disposal system.

The longer we live, the more garbage gets into our bodies through the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the stress we store. As we age, our body’s garbage disposal system (immune system) weakens. The garbage that accumulates in our bodies causes the sticky stuff to build up in our tissues. People who maintain their garbage disposal systems and put less garbage in their bodies age better than those who do not.

Three Types of Garbage: 

Oxidation: The first type of “garbage” is Oxidation. Our bodies are oxygen-burning machines. Every minute, millions of biochemical reactions throughout the body generate exhaust called oxidants, or free radicals. An easy way to think of oxidation is to think of “rust.” Trillions of times a day, this “rust” or free radicals attack our cells and tissues like little hammers.

Inflammation: The second type of “garbage” is inflammation. Inflammation literally means the body is on fire. Inflammation is the process which results from chemical messengers repairing wear & tear in the body. When the body is healthy its repair system is able to handle all of the wear & tear. Just as a well-maintained road stays smooth because the wear and tear is fixed as it occurs, a body stays healthier longer if repairs are done on a regular basis. But when the wear and tear overcomes the body’s ability to repair the damage, excess inflammation occurs. This excess inflammation is the primary cause of unhealthy aging.

Glycation: As we get older, our cells become less sensitive to insulin, this is called insulin resistance, which leaves a higher level of glucose in the bloodstream. This excess sugar in your blood attaches to proteins, changing their structure and making them stiff and sticky. These are called aging proteins, the medical term we use is “AGEs” which stands for Advanced Glycation End products. AGEs become a sludge in the tissues of your body preventing healthy growth and repair of new tissues. Common places for glycation to occur is in the linings of the arteries – causing heart disease and in the collagen in the skin – which causes wrinkles.

To learn more about “sticky stuff” and how to keep your body running smoothly schedule a Prime Time workshop with your friends or group or email me at lisa@yieldingaction.com.

Copyright: Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

Begin your journey to a leaner, healthier you!

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Lisa is an Independent Shaklee Distributor and received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

Want to get more technical? Check out my monthly HealthQuest. Note, the data changes each month so click the link each month for new information.