Four Easy Ways To Try Out A New You


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Ah, March — the finicky fickle month that can’t decide whether to mark the death of winter or herald the birth of spring. It’s a time of blustery, bone-chilling winds, mud-ridden grounds, and a sneaky sun that teases us with its cheerful brightness while reneging on its promise of warmth. At this point, we New Englanders are fed up with the cold, dark, and dreary. We are ready — already! — to don our warm-weather clothes and renew our weary yet restless spirits with sunshine, warm air, green grass, and color.

Luckily, May is on the way, and it will be soon be time to get out — not just out of the house or the office, but out of our comfort zones as well. Here are a few ideas for shedding the wet wool blanket of winter — and your same ol’ self — and encouraging the warm spring breezes of imagination, fun, and new-you possibilities.

Invite Novelty Into Your Life

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” — Henry Ford

Spring is a wonderful time to explore something that is totally unrelated to what you do for work and preferably outside your normal comfort zone. Your comfort zone is basically that cozy place where nothing can provoke or heighten your anxiety levels. While most of us continually seek ways to decrease our anxiety — and let’s face it, we all have more than our fair share — there are a few good reasons why stretching toward something new and allowing ourselves to feel a bit of unease can actually be beneficial:

It helps you grow as a person. When you can conquer your anxiety long enough to try something new and succeed at it, you get a great feeling of accomplishment, which increases your self-confidence and your desire to keep trying new things.

It increases the size of your comfort zone. If you live in a small comfort zone, you may often feel anxious or miss out on much of life’s excitement. By getting out of your comfort zone regularly and increasing the number of things you’re comfortable with, you’ll also expand your life’s possibilities.

Doing new things motivates you and helps you learn more easily. By seeking out originality and fresh ideas, you can increase your brain’s level of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that motivates you to act by encouraging you to go looking for rewards. Novelty has also been shown to improve memory and increase learning by making our brains more flexible and better able to quickly acquire new skills and think outside the box.

So if your nose is typically buried in the latest issue of Science magazine, learn to paint with watercolors or dance the Bachata. If you’re often lost in the alternate worlds between book covers, sign up for a cross-country skiing class or hit the go-kart track. If you’re always on the hunt for the next great adrenaline rush, attend a classical music concert or take a quiet walk in nature instead. All kinds of amazing things can happen outside our comfy, everyday worlds.

Travel To Parts Unknown

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” — John A. Shedd

While some people make a habit of jet setting around the world, you don’t have to get on a plane or even drive very far to see something new. If hitting the Galapagos Islands and making friends with a sea turtle isn’t your cup of tea, pick a place or perhaps even a tourist attraction in your own home state that you’ve never seen before and just go.

Traveling out of your hometown, state, or country, allows you to disconnect from your everyday world of work, issues, and familiar people and helps you gain a broader perspective on your life and how you fit in to the bigger picture. It can also help you discover solutions to problems that are normally too close for you to see clearly. And the memories you make while you’re out of your normal environment will have a greater effect on you and last far longer than the ones you make through your normal daily activities.

Catch Some Rays

“When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.”— Wilma Rudolph

Many of us sit inside in front of a computer for so many hours a week that we often forget there’s a world beyond our four walls. The trick to staying happily sane is to get outside for at least twenty minutes every day to absorb all that free energy our sun is dishing out – and be sure to leave your shades behind. When ultraviolet rays hit your bare skin and enter your uncovered eyes, they trigger at least two happy-health occurrences: the synthesis of vitamin D and an increase in our body’s level of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite, sleep, memory, and mood).

In addition to promoting healthy bones, vitamin D has also been shown to lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of diabetes, and lower your chances of heart attacks, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and even several forms of cancer. Researchers have also found that serotonin levels in many people are lower during the winter and suggest that these low levels directly correlate to seasonal affective disorder, or winter depression. In short, more sunlight equals better overall health and happier moods, so let the sunshine in!

Move Your Body

“Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn't formed in a day, and neither were we.” — Lee Haney

There are people out there who cringe at the word “exercise,” who shun the very thought of having to actually move in such a way as to bring on pools of sweat and shortness of breath. And oh, the boredom of it all . . . the sheer waste of time that could be so much better spent doing, well, absolutely anything else! If this sounds like you, maybe you just don’t know what you’re missing. You’ve probably heard that regular physical activity can:

Help you lose weight
Increase your energy and endurance
Reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
Keep your joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible

But it can also:

Create new brain cells and improve overall brain performance
Boost your memory and the ability to learn new things
Increase your creativity
Reduce anxiety and stress
Release endorphins that can alleviate the symptoms of sadness and depression

And the best thing about it is that you don’t have to sweat, grunt, burn, gasp, and generally suffer your way through a WORK OUT to reap the many benefits. The only thing you really need to do is move. And you don’t have go all out for 30 to 60 minutes a day either. Studies have shown that breaking up your daily exercise into smaller sessions throughout the day can be just as beneficial as packing those moves into a single period of time, and shorter, less rigid exercise sessions are much easier to maintain in the long term. Give these activities a try:

Hop on a bike and go for a leisurely 15-minute ride.
Play a musical instrument.
Wash the kitchen floor.
Work in your yard or garden.
Stand up while you’re on the phone and pace a bit while you’re talking.
Take the stairs for a flight or two instead of the elevator all the way.
Walk during your lunch break or hold your next one-on-one meeting outside and walk while you discuss the topic with your colleague.
While you may not make it to the Olympics, you will be a healthier, smarter, and more creative person overall.

So many of us want to lead more interesting lives, to have a purpose for being that goes beyond our jobs and family responsibilities. But change is hard for us humans. It’s so much easier to give in and stay with the familiar, maintain the status quo, and just keep on keepin’ on, isn’t it? But you don’t have to make huge scary leaps to transformation; you can take small, easily manageable steps that will lead you steadily and surely to the life you’ve imagined. Start now. Take a step.

Jill Rogers is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in helping spiritual, self-help, and health and well-being authors to creatively express their concepts in clear and interesting ways and ensure that their writing is of the highest editorial quality. Visit her at assuredword.com.

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Daily Astrology

August 19, 2017

The weekend officially begins under an excellent post-midnight omen, the Cancer Moon’s cheerful conjunction with Venus. By daybreak the sweetness is diminished as a lunar square to Uranus is felt. Nerves grow edgy. Friendships can reflect the strain…
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August 2017

This show offers an opportunity to purchase natural mineral and gem crystals to enhance your healing, meditation, and experiential activities.  200 retail and wholesale vendors from across the...

Cost: Adults $6, Parking $5

Where:
Eastern States Exposition
Better Living Center
1305 Memorial Dr
West Springfield, MA  01089
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Sponsor: LLD Productions, Inc.
Telephone: 505-867-0425
Contact Name: Regina Aumente
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Barbara Fe is back for another amazing workshop! There is no need to have attended her previous classes to join in for this one - just a willingness to explore your own intuitive abilities!...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Studio at One Earth
191 Emery Mills Road
Shapleigh, ME  04076
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Sponsor: The Studio at One Earth
Telephone: 207-636-2500
Contact Name: The Studio at One Earth
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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Sunday Reiki treatments with Reiki master and practitioner Linda Simons in Brookline, MA. Start your week off on a more balanced note with a Reiki treatment on a Sunday afternoon. Please join me...

Cost: Sliding Scale $20-$40

Where:
233 Harvard Street
Suite 36
Brookline, MA  02446
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Telephone: 617-304-2205
Contact Name: LInda Simons
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Join us in the Northeast Reiki Center classroom in Framingham for a Reiki Circle in the Usui Reiki System of Natural Healing. We are a gathering of Reiki practitioners and others interested in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
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Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
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Guided loving kindness meditation every Sunday at HeartSong Spiritual Wellness. No charge to attend. Donations are appreciated to help support this non-profit wellness center. Read more:...

Cost: Free

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: HeartSong
Contact Name: Jacki Rose
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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We're so excited to have Nicki LeMarbre bringing this beautiful sound healing meditation to us. She will also have some crystal and jewelry at the event for sale as well. Nicki is offering...

Cost: Preregistration online $44, At the door $49

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Unit A
Salem, NH  03079
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Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
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August 16 - 19, 2017 Healing Trauma and Installing Boundaries. With Judith Swack, PhD. Learn how to heal PTSD. HBLU™ integrates the best of biomedical science, psychology, spirituality,...

Where:
56 Pickering Street
Needham, MA
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Sponsor: HBLU™, Inc.
Telephone: (781) 444-6940
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Qigong is an amazing practice used to prevent and heal disease. Qigong is a series of flowing and repeated movements, stretches and breathing exercises. Qigong movements are gentle and easy to...

Cost: $12

Where:
The Arlington Center
369 Mass Ave
Arlington, MA
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Sponsor: Maryellen LaBelle
Telephone: 781-710-4325
Contact Name: Maryellen LaBelle
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Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
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Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
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MBSR: Tools for Managing Stress and Enhancing Wellbeing Dates: Wednesday Evenings July 12, 19, 25 August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 Retreat: Saturday, August 26, 2017 9:30-4:30 PM Join us for a...

Cost: $300 - $650

Where:
Cambridge Health Alliance
26 Central Street
Somerville, MA  02143
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Sponsor: Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
Telephone: 617-591-6132
Contact Name: Bridget Kiley
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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August 17 - 20, 2017 The Berkshires is composed of 30 unique towns and two cities bordering Vermont, New York, and Connecticut and is equidistant from Boston and New York City. It is here...

Cost: Please see our website

Where:
Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
430 East Street
Lenox, MA  01240
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Sponsor: Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
Telephone: 866-264-5139
Contact Name: Yingxing Wang
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Learn Reiki — revitalizing self-care and healing in the palm of your hands. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (master teacher) This one-day class covers the basic principles...

Cost: $125

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
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Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

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Come unwind at the end of the week with your Anastasia's Health Happenings tribe! Fridays in Amesbury… Kick start your spiritual journey by supporting others on their spiritual...

Cost: $5 suggested donation

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110 Haverhill Rd
Bldg. C, Suite 342
Amesbury, MA  01913
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Sponsor: Anastasia’s Health Happenings
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Contact Name: Patti Anastasia
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Join Cayce Lannon of Maine Yoga Kids for her first of two kid-focused yoga workshops here at The Studio at One Earth! Bring the whole gang for some yoga fun! We’ll...

Cost: $20.00 per family (up to four people), extra family members $5 per person

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Sponsor: The Studio at One Earth
Telephone: 207-636-2500
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Cost: $1300

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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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Cost: $20 per family (up to four people), extra family members $5 per person

Where:
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191 Emery Mills Road
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Sponsor: The Studio at One Earth
Telephone: 207-636-2500
Contact Name: The Studio at One Earth
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