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

October 20, 2017

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October 2017

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...

Cost: $125

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road
Framingham, MA  01701
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Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
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With Barbara Blanchard Headaches are a common clinical condition that can benefit from acupuncture and acupressure treatment. This workshop will study the different types of headaches as defined...

Cost: $125 students, $175 professionals

Where:
Roots and Wings Yoga and Healing Arts
317 North Main Street
Natick, MA  01760
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Sponsor: Eastern Medicinal Therapies Education Center
Telephone: 617-435-3586
Contact Name: Lauren Paap
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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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All-day retreat, including meal, movement, morning and afternoon experiential sessions. Limited spots, pre-registration required. Email Kyle@PortalCrystalGallery.com or visit...

Where:
Portal Crystal Gallery
489 Mass Ave.
Arlington, MA
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Sponsor: Crystal Concentrics
Contact Name: Kyle Russell
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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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The Daoist Benevolent Association offers free classes on traditional Wudang style tai chi. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Brown School
42 Milk St Newburyport
Newburyport, MA  01950
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Sponsor: Daoist Benevolent Association
Telephone: 978-462-4617
Contact Name: Barbara
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Nancy's therapeutic and healing nature stems from her own personal journey through health struggles. Her style is open to everyone, no matter physical or mental challenges, or age....

Cost: $15 drop in or $12 with 10 class bundle

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
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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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Come join Mary Budrose on October 17, November 14, December 14, from 7-8pm to learn more about the The Budrose Center For Spiritual Growth healing program and experience a chakra balancing...

Where:
Budrose Center for Spiritual Growth (Blossom Healings)
54 Main Street
Topsfield, MA  01983
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Telephone: 978-561-1687
Contact Name: Mary Budrose
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The Daoist Benevolent Association offers free classes on traditional Wudang style tai chi. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Brown School
42 Milk St Newburyport
Newburyport, MA  01950
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Sponsor: Daoist Benevolent Association
Telephone: 978-462-4617
Contact Name: Barbara
Website »

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One-of-a-kind, life changing holistic health education program again being offered free of charge Local business owner shares groundbreaking mind-body-spirit course to combat obesity epidemic...

Cost: Free

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: Michelle Caron
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Beginner Kripalu Yoga with Lisa Davidson Brand new to yoga or returning after a break, this class is kind and challenging for your body, relaxing and destressing for your mind, and will help you...

Cost: $113 for 7 weeks

Where:
A Yoga Leaf
@ Whimsy
686 Worcester Rd.
Framingham, MA  01702
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Sponsor: Lisa Davidson
Contact Name: Lisa Davidson
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A unique divine healing meditation, lead by Bhavna, to help you in your life; with your relationships, money, work and family. Also, the meditation helps with letting go to release...

Cost: $10

Where:
Bhavna’s Wellness Group
512 Main St.
Penthouse Suite
Shrewsbury, MA  01545
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Sponsor: Bhavna’s Wellness Group
Telephone: 508-970-5620
Contact Name: Krista Bennett
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Daoist Priest Zhou Xuanyun teaches traditional Wudang style kung fu.

Cost: $110/month

Where:
Boston Ultimate Fitness
72 Beach Street (4th Floor)
Boston, MA  02111
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Sponsor: Daoist Gate Wudang Arts
Telephone: 508-245-8305
Contact Name: Zhou Xuanyun
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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
Website »

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Christopher Penczak discusses how you can call upon Michael for aid in your own life and to help the planet. Explore the lore and magick of this beloved figure who crosses many cultures and...

Cost: $35

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
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Telephone: 978-474-8010
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October 18 - 20, 2017  With Renée Starr Ladies, reclaim your sacredness, awaken your devotion, and become the magic you seek. Details at www.goddesspriestesswitch.com. ...

Where:
ZuZu's Healing Arts
122 West Emerson
Melrose, MA  02176
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Telephone: 781-665-8844
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This gentle yoga class is good for all skill levels. Scheduled perfectly in the middle of your week; the movements will be a welcome respite to your usual morning routine.

Cost: $10

Where:
Bhavna’s Wellness Group
512 Main St.
Penthouse Suite
Shrewsbury, MA  01545
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Sponsor: Bhavna’s Wellness Group
Telephone: 508-970-5620
Contact Name: Krista Bennett
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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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With Lisa Rockenmacher and Kristan Bishop Looking for a deeper connection with bliss? Seeking practical ways to increase wellness and health in all aspect of your life? Do you desire a...

Cost: $100

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
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Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Telephone: 603-969-8968
Contact Name: Brian Serven
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Are you ready to embrace more self-compassion and nurturing into your life? Take the plunge now! This 6 week group will weave yoga, creative arts, meditation, journaling and...

Cost: $180

Where:
Integrated Psychotherapy
31 Hastings Street
Mendon, MA  01756
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Telephone: 508-335-6732
Contact Name: Sherri Snyder, MA, LMHC
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Cost: $1300

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Women of Wisdom
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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​One Night Only in Portland! Enlightened Spiritual Teacher Dave Oshana! Experience the transformational miracles of the enlightenment transmission. Enjoy the freedom to be your true self!...

Cost: Free, donations accepted.

Where:
Z Dance Club
1844 Forest Avenue
Portland, ME  04103
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Sponsor: Enlightenment Transmission Foundation
Telephone: 207-443-7001
Contact Name: Maryanna Bock
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What are smudge fans, and what are they used for? Smudging is probably best known as a Native American ritual, although smudging has been used since ancient times by many people as a ceremony of...

Cost: $25

Where:
YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
189 Main Street
4th floor
Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
Telephone: 508-478-3333
Contact Name: Barbara Hickson
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In this 220-hour, one-year program with lead trainer Hari Kaur, you will become an instructor and learn the fundamental principles and practices of Kundalini Yoga.

Where:
Yoga At The Ashram
368 Village Street
Millis, MA
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Telephone: 508-376-4525
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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
View map »


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

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People get ready! We are going to stir it up! One time only! Join Chuck Raffoni (Relax and Recharge with Chuck) for a night of Broga® Yoga, Bob Marley and Brews at Western Ave. Studios in...

Cost: $25

Where:
Western Ave Studios
122 Western Ave
Lowell, MA  01851
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Sponsor: Relax and Recharge with Chuck
Contact Name: Chuck
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Certification in Core Energetics with directors Karyne Wilner, PsyD and Charles Corley, Med. For heart-centered psychotherapists and body-mind healers. Training begins October 20.

Where:
Middletown, RI


Telephone: 401-316-7401
Website »

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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
View map »


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

More information

Daoist Priest Zhou Xuanyun teaches traditional Wudang style kung fu.

Cost: $110/month

Where:
Boston Ultimate Fitness
72 Beach Street (4th Floor)
Boston, MA  02111
View map »


Sponsor: Daoist Gate Wudang Arts
Telephone: 508-245-8305
Contact Name: Zhou Xuanyun
Website »

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October 21 - 22, 2017 A two-day training facilitated by Reiki Shihan (Master-Teacher), Lou Orsan This two-day Level II training enhances your knowledge and practice of traditional Japanese...

Cost: $190

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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Do you desire more connection and nourishing touch?  Do you find it hard to ask for what you really would like in life and in the bedroom? Do you want to improve your confidence and...

Cost: $97

Where:
Watertown Center for Healing Arts
17 Spring St
Watertown, MA
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Sponsor: Conscious Intimacy
Telephone: 415-244-1652
Contact Name: Brynn Bishop
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
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


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

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