Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Review: From My Hands and Heart by Kate Mackinnon


From My Hands and Heart: Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy by Kate Mackinnon published by Hay Houseis a beautiful journey through the world of cranialsacral therapy (CST). This gentle healing modality is brought to light through Kate's brilliant writing, fascinating case studies, and even includes instruction on how to perform CST ourselves.

I am still amazed how life flows and the things we need in our life comes to us when we remain open to it. I just "happened" upon Kate Mackinnon's Instagram page one afternoon, and noticed a beautiful picture of Dr. Wayne Dyer and Amma. I love them both and commented on the picture. Kate responded and I soon realized that I had just listened to her on Anita Moorjani's Hayhouse Radio Show. Kate is not only a Hay House author, she was Wayne Dyer's cranialsacral therapist.

I remember Wayne speaking of Kate Mackinnon on his radio show as well, including the work she did, and how she helped him. Prior to Wayne, I had not heard of CST. But Wayne was always introducing us to authors, ideas, healing modalities, and ways of being that were always positive and transformative. After hearing about Kate and her work, I knew I wanted to learn more. 




From My Hands and Heart includes a wonderful forward from Dr. Wayne Dyer. The book is also lovingly peppered with some of the treatment Wayne went through, how it impacted him, and more. There is also a beautiful poem from Nancy Levin, inspired by her experience with CST.

What also drew me to this book was hearing that CST could help TMJ. I have struggled with teeth grinding and jaw clenching since I was a child. As an adult, I am still clenching my jaw, even throughout the day, leaving it feeling tight and tense. This has even caused bone growth on the inside of my lower jaw, due to the stress put on it from clenching. I was eager to read how CST could help me.

Kate Mackinnon's intelligence is palpable in how she explains the different structures of the body and how she is able to use this low-impact healing method to decrease and even eliminate pain in her clients. Initially trained in physical therapy, she leads us through her path to CST. She has such a thorough understanding of the human body, and even works on animals!

Kate also has a deep connection with the energy of the human body. She provides a powerful combination of mind, body, and spiritual healing to her clients, and explains it all to us easily and succinctly in this book. She tenderly works with the cranialsacral fluid in her clients bodies as well as their fascia. To get an overview of CST and what it looks like, check out her website for her video explaining her practice.




I marvel at the fact that she is able to ease pain and restore wellness with the physical pressure comparable to the weight of a nickel. This sounds like such a calm and relaxing method to participate in. Cranialsacral therapy works complimentary with many other healing modalities. She has worked on adults, children, teens, and babies (even in utero!).  CST is used for headaches, asthma, dental pain, easing symptoms in cerebral palsy, Bell's palsy, knee pain, sports injuries and so much more. It is fascinating to read what her sessions bring up emotionally for her clients that need to be released, along with their physical symptoms being alleviated. 

I have enormous respect and appreciation for the fact that Kate undergoes CST on herself for the benefit of herself and her clients. She is very conscious of keeping herself grounded and neutral in order to best serve her clients. 

Kate even shows us how to get a feel for cranialsacral therapy at home. I was thrilled to find an exercise to relax my jaw! Kate also includes resources to find additional information and CST's to work with nearby.

I highly recommend From My Hands and Heart. Thank you Kate Mackinnon for writing about this fascinating therapy in a way that everyone can understand. There is so much packed into this book, that I can't possibly cover it all here. I definitely recommend picking up a copy and learning more!

For more information click the links in the blog or below:
From My Hands and Heart: click here to check out or buy the book
Kate Mackinnon's website: http://www.kmackinnon.com/
Kate's video on CST: http://www.kmackinnon.com/craniosacral-therapy
Dr. Wayne Dyer's website: http://www.waynedyer.com
Hay House website: http://www.hayhouse.com

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com




Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review: Memories of Heaven by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and Dee Garnes


I think you already know how I feel about Dr. Wayne Dyer, so ordering this book was a no-brainer. Memories of Heaven is written by Dr. Wayne Dyer and Dee Garnes. It is a compilation of stories from moms, dads, aunts, nannies and more who have witnessed the divine in children. The stories are beautiful, magical, and oftentimes mind-blowing. These children have recalled being in heaven, past lives, choosing their families, reincarnation, precognition, angels, and more.

Dee Garnes and her son Marcus were mentioned many times on Dr. Wayne Dyer's Hayhouse Radio show. While serving as personal assistant to Dr. Dyer, the love he felt for her and her son was palpable. He often talked of meditating with Marcus, which always took me back to when my kids were toddlers and running all over the house, unable to sit still. What a gift to share meditation with a child. It is such a testament to this young child, his parents and the calming, overwhelming love of Wayne to have those moments together of peace and connection to God. Wayne talked quite frequently of his connection to Marcus, and it was beautiful.




The book began as a conversation Dee had with Marcus. This is a stunning confirmation of how close to God children are. There is more to the story that Dee shares, but you should read it through the book. Here is a part of it: Marcus was only 18 months at the time. She asked "What is God like," to which he replied "Light." This beautiful and honest reply prompted Wayne to ask Dee to write it down, and he later posted it on his Facebook page for others to comment with their stories. Thus the book began.




The chapters are filled with beautiful recollections from children, with each chapter sandwiched by Wayne's boundless wisdom and personal stories from his own divine experiences with his children. The stories are grouped in categories including memories of heaven, past lives, choosing parents, angels and more. Many of the stories are similar to each other, in the same way that adult near death experiences are. There are also stories that are so specific to the family they are in, including picking their parents for a specific reason, visitations from loved ones who have passed and meeting grandparents as well as other family members before they were born.




I felt a moment of sadness when I read the the description of Wayne in the "About the Authors" section at the end of the book. It was all in the past tense. For me, I know he is still around. His physical body is really the only thing that left. This whole book is about our eternal beingness, so to me he is not past tense. He is fully present, even more so than ever.

Memories of Heaven is a beautiful book. It can serve to gently open up discussion with young children to discuss what they might recall before they joined us on Earth, or what they still may be experiencing now. It is a gentle, inspiring read and I highly recommend it. Thank you Wayne, Dee, all of the wonderful contributors, and most of all the children. 

You can click on the links in the blog, or click below to access the book and the authors:
Memories of Heaven: click here
Dr. Wayne Dyer: click here
Dee Garnes: click here

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Diet Week 3: Now We're Getting Somewhere!


At the end of week 2, I received the frozen portion of my Nutrisystem order for the month. I didn't realize I was getting a free week of Turbo10 along with it. The Turbo Takeoff kit includes a week of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with a week of chocolate Nutricrush shakes and Turboshakes. This was supposed to be a kickstart for my first week of dieting.


I am incredibly glad that I didn't start out my weight loss plan with Turbo10, because I would have been a lunatic. I was already in sugar, carb, and calorie withdrawal on the regular plan's 1,500 calories a day. Having two weeks to prepare for this new twist, was very helpful, as I was already feeling adjusted to the plan. It's not something I "had" to do, but I felt better physically and mentally to give it a try.

The idea of Turbo10 is to help you lose up to 10 pounds in your first month. Ideally, a 1-2 pound per week goal is a healthy goal, but having a little extra push in the right direction appealed to me. After week 2, I was already down 5.5 pounds. I started Turbo10 on Sunday. I had breakfast, shake for snack, lunch, shake for snack, and dinner. I also added in vegetables and of course tons and tons of water. 



I made it through the first 3 days on an average of 900 calories a day. It certainly wouldn't be sustainable or healthy in the long term, but through the hunger, I remained determined. It became a bit of a personal quest for me to continue. Maybe the hunger was affecting my sense of reasoning, however, I carried on. 

By Wednesday, I was unhinged. Thank goodness for a dear friend at work who I shared this with. She's working a challenging diet program and could feel my pain. I was so cranky and I had a nagging headache that Tylenol couldn't remedy. As I've mentioned in prior blogs, support is the biggest change for me in my quest to be healthy again. Having someone to reach out to, helped me through the day. 

I realized later in the evening what had actually caused the headache and it wasn't Turbo10.  I took a relaxing salt bath the night before and tossed in about 2 cups of epsom salt. I overdid it, as I had done once before with a Himalayan salt bath. I don't know if it was the detoxing effect from the salt or dehydration, but after I guzzled more water, I felt better.

On Thursday I worked the Turbo10 plan through lunch. My family was taking me to dinner for a pre-birthday celebration, so I put the plan on hold for the evening. I had a salad, and a yummy panko-battered stuffed chicken, homestyle mashed potatoes, and asparagus. I only ate about half of what was on the plate. And I didn't take the rest home either. I am getting used to what "just enough" feels like, and I didn't want to overdue it just because it was there. Feeling better is overriding the yummy factor, and I'm grateful for that. I also don't want to work so hard all week at dieting, only to ruin it on a huge meal.

Friday was my birthday, but I stuck to the plan all day, even through dinner. But then there was cake... I had a small piece, and that was enough. The cravings have subsided so much. As long as I don't get back into the snacking routine, my body doesn't crave it. 

Saturday I went out to breakfast with family and again didn't overeat. I shared some of my struggle and again received wonderful ideas, support, and encouragement. There really isn't anything we need to go through alone. I ordered the healthiest breakfast available and ate a small portion of the plate, similar to what I have been eating for breakfast on the plan. I drank black coffee and water since they have zero calories. For the rest of the day, I stuck to the plan.

Sunday hubby and I went out for breakfast at Denny's and I ordered the Fit Slam breakfast. It was the lowest calorie breakfast on the menu but it was still around 390 calories. That's double what I've been eating. It had egg whites, spinach, tomatoes, a fruit cup, turkey bacon, and an English muffin. I ate it all! Oh well, it really was good! We spent the day in a beautiful town about an hour and a half from our home. We had lunch out and I ordered the veggie burger. There was no burger too it, as it was just vegetables on a bun. I ate just the veggies and the bottom of the bun, plus a few homemade potato chips. I drank unsweetened iced tea, another zero calorie beverage.

So with only three days of being completely devoted to Turbo10, I wasn't sure what my weigh-in would look like on Monday. But I knew overall I did really well. Even eating out, I kept my diet in mind and didn't go overboard.

Drumroll please...I lost 4.5 pounds! Wow! That was quite a bit to lose in a week! I don't have any plans to ever do that again, but it did give me a boost. I am down 10 pounds in 3 weeks! I can't imagine what would have happened had I followed it perfectly for the whole week. But honestly, it was a bit much. I think it gave me a lift psychologically, but the regular plan itself is working, and I know I will get to my goal just by following it.

I can get a bit obsessive, I can obsessively overeat, and I can also obsessively focus on my diet. I am striving for balance. Writing, posting on social media, and talking to friends and family is what is keeping me balanced. I want this to be a healthy, lasting change. I would like to lose 10 pounds a month, but as long as the numbers on the scale are heading down, and I'm feeling well, I'll be happy.

I am also celebrating each 10 pound milestone with a non-food treat. Being overweight, I really stopped pampering myself. I didn't feel well or look well, and I just wanted to hide. I can already feel my personality coming back, and I know it will get better and better. So my plan is for every 10 pounds, I'm putting $30 away in savings. I am also celebrating in this way:

10 Pounds = mani/Pedi
20 Pounds = new walking/workout shoes
30 Pounds = double-piercing my ears (the 2nd closed up a long time ago)
40 Pounds = hair cut/color (a good salon visit hasn't happened in ages)
50 Pounds = facial (it's been years)
60 Pounds = massage (haven't gone because of my weight)
70 Pounds = new boots
80 Pounds = new makeup/makeover
90 Pounds = spa day
100 Pounds = shopping spree! I'm taking all the savings I put away for each 10 pounds, and going shopping!

I'm not sure if I will go for the ultimate 100 pound weight loss, it really depends on how I look and feel. I will be healthy with less of a weight loss than that. I will see when to stop as I continue to go through this. And if I do lose that much, I won't be underweight, I will be within normal guidelines for my height. Time will tell!

Thank you all for listening and supporting. I'm here for you too!

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Diet Week 2: The Edge Is Off


The second week was smoother than the first, and I'm happy to say I've lost five and a half pounds so far! It's an inspiring start for me, because I was really worried I wouldn't be able to lose weight. I had been trying on my own for quite awhile and every time I stepped on the scale it was higher. It has been wonderful to see it go down again!

I am already feeling better with increased energy, clearer thinking, and diminished food cravings. I am not as hungry as I used to be, even though I'm consuming less. My face and belly feels less puffy from letting go of sugary snacks and fast food. I've had couple of anxious and cranky moments, but meditation has helped me get back  on track. 

I am also keeping up with my weight loss gratitude journal. As I've mentioned before, gratitude has been essential to everything that I have manifested in my life. This journal acknowledges all of the moments that are supporting my weight loss goal, including support from friends, helpful books and articles coming my way, divine support, and all of the positive changes I'm noticing. As with anything, the more you put your attention on something, the more you draw it towards you. I focus on what I want in my life now, not what I don't want.The changes in my life have been dramatic because of my attitude of gratitude.



I have started adding exercise into my weight loss plan, and went for a mile walk outdoors last week. I will continue to add in strength training, yoga, and more bit by bit. I'm not putting any pressure on myself, I don't want this to be stressful, I want it to be a healthy life change. Through meditation and prayer I am very tuned in to what my body is saying to me. I'm just listening to it and following it through. This isn't a race for me to get to the end, although I'm pretty excited about the results! I am enjoying the journey and am very happy I am finally taking good care of myself.

I am in a really great mindset for this. I can see myself thin again, I can feel it. I have a knowing that I can and will do this. It's unshakeable. That feeling is what had been missing on all of my other dieting attempts. 

On Week 3 I'm trying something different. When I received my Nutrisystem frozen meals, they included a free week of Turbo10, it was something I was supposed to follow for my first week. It's supposed to kickstart the weight loss plan to help lose up to 10 pounds in the first month. But I don't see any reason why I can't do it now! Well see what happens!

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

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