Silencing the Harsh Inner Critic

In my youth I felt like a lowly caterpiller until healed my life and became a weird and wonderful butterfly. It is why we chose them as the logo for our company and my book.

In my youth I felt like a lowly caterpiller until healed my life and became a weird and wonderful butterfly. It is why we chose them as the logo for our company and my book

–By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

My father’s mouth twists in a snarling expression as dark foreboding eyes spit sparks of rejection that sting the very essence of my being. The volcanic intensity of his energetic eruption sears into my spirit and I recoil within in a futile attempt to reduce the impact of his diminishing words. “Create—all you ever want is the time and money to create—create what?

You can’t make a living creating—you’re just lazy—you don’t want to work—you never finish anything—grow up– take some responsibility! Quit all the daydreaming and get a real job. You will never amount to anything creating—it is bloody well ridiculous! Then he’d mutter some indistinguishable words as he stormed away leaving me feeling as fractured as Humpty Dumpty after his fall—with no Kings’ horses or men to put me back together again.

I loved my father and desperately wanted his love, approval and acknowledgement—but after a lifetime of trying to measure up, I never succeeded. Little did I know then how his rejection of my basic essence would warp things and lead me down a path that was fuelled by a desire to be perceived as responsible, productive, and hard-working and most certainly a finisher—at all cost. Without really understanding the process, a rift began to develop between what was authentic for me and things I needed to compensate for because of my father’s rejection. Through time, the chasm grew.


His unyeilding criticism and rejection distorted my sense of self and I began to define myself outwardly because of an innate lack of self-worth.   My father’s rejection showed up as a harsh inner critic that continued to drive my perfectionist behaviors. In contrast, the whisperings of my inner spiritual world had creative urges that sought expression. When for fleeting moments I would tune into that inner space it felt graceful, inventive and teeming with possibility. Unfortunately, the creative urges were difficult to fulfill within the distraction of outer busy-ness. There was a greater need to prove to my father, the world and myself that I was not the inadequate, irresponsible wing nut Dad said I was.

A mind-trap developed and it drove me hard. There were some pay-offs though and I often found myself basing in accolades from others. I interpreted their comments about not having an off-switch—or being the energizer bunny and laughingly saying they wanted to remove my batteries as proof that I was not some idiosyncratic misfit. Their comments fed ego-driven needs that pushed me onwards and upwards. The ‘busy-ness syndrome’ became a way of life and helped keep the inner critic at bay. Through time, the incongruities of living within a house divided began to create a variety of health problems.

Feeling burdened by inadequacy and living an inauthentic life led to the development of two eating disorders. Patterns of compulsive coping alternated between self-starvation (anorexia nervosa) and binge/purge cycles of bulimia and laxative abuse. Long muffled signals of what it felt like to feel unencumbered, free, happy became distant echoes for over thirty years. Other times feelings of fear, dissatisfaction and inadequacy engulfed me completely. Other times the ‘busy-ness’ would cause my body to rebel and the only way it could preserve itself and slow me down was to create illnesses or accidents.

Even then, I could not relax and truly let go—my mind was so locked into driven, self-punishing workaholic’s pattern did not allow l for sustained periods of inner peace and balance. After a series of setbacks, I developed fibromyalgia. That turned out to be one of my greatest life lessons because it had such a slowing effect that it allowed to realize I was searching for something and I began to look for new ways to increase my spiritual bandwidth.

Somewhere along the path I had rejected most forms of organized religion because my mind could not reconcile the gaping discrepancies that were (in my opinion) too blatantly obvious for any thinking, questioning person to ignore. I wanted a relationship with a different kind of Deity—one that was available every moment of every day and one that could provide a more compassionate lens for me to view my life. That was not what I found within many pious pulpits. After many health challenges I began to look for a spiritual life rather religiousness formulated only on the outer and perceptions of human thinking.


Even though my busy mind kept waking hours jammed to the point of bursting there were more frequent connections breakthroughs to what I knew was a Higher Power. During those times, I would feel calmer and was kinder and gentler towards others. In a similar feel, there were some expansive periods where outlets for creative self-expression returned and so did the bliss.  However, those times were short-lived.

The hard-wired imprinting of my youth would re-activate the negative areas of my brain and the old groove would become a vacuous trap that would suck me back into deep feelings of inadequacy about not being productive—and therefore not good enough. The mind-trap of busy-ness that had become a distinct personal identifier took years to transform. Nevertheless, the interesting part of it all was that my personal challenges and healing journey led me on a quest and that allowed me to create a successful career as a life coach, group leader and free-lance writer.

Eventually I developed enough awareness to see that the inner saboteur was making it difficult to take care of body, my whole self and I began to find ways to re-frame my thinking, and as I changed my beliefs— my outer life changed as well. After recovering memories of sexual abuse, I was able to overcome both two eating disorders and live a more balanced, fulfilling life. As I healed and became whole, I met the love of my life and married for the second time. My relationship with David created a safe haven for what at times felt like a bedraggled body and spirit. With his encouragement, love and support I began to see things differently.

During the times my driver would come back in full force David would create peaceful pauses by gently asking—“When is enough ever going to be enough for you? As I watch you, it is clear that you never take any real pleasure in your accomplishments. You finish something then barely pause to enjoy anything before saying NEXT! You are a fiercely creative and a  original thinker yet you reject the very essence of who you are and what you do. Can’t you see that you are treating yourself and your achievements the same way your father did?”

One would think that kind of feedback would be an epiphany and clang a chord that evoked instantaneous change—but it did not happen that way for me. As with most growth processes change comes by taking three steps forward, two steps back then three steps forward until we make lasting changes. It took awhile, but the positive reinforcement from David began to re-frame the old programming.

It was daunting at times to confront ingrained mindsets but with persistence and cognitive re-structuring my inner landscape changed and so did my outer world. After years of white-knuckle, nail-biting challenges I now have a ‘so what’ attitude and no longer feel any need to justify I how I choose live. By choosing to stop worrying about other people’s perceptions, it is easier to follow my own Loadstar.


That attitude allowed me to slow down and write a 500-page manuscript about my healing journey and spiritual development. I’ve Been There—A Testimony of Hope It will be another visual reminder that will assist me in erasing my father’s opinion that I am not a ‘finisher.’ The ripple effect of that inner knowing has allowed me to become more capable, responsible and discerning than I ever dreamed possible.

Life lessons 1

Being able to accept that my quirks, flaws and eccentricities are a viable aspect of what makes me unique has finally silenced that harsh voice from the past that contributed to inner and outer chaos. Repeated exposure to any emotional state creates coping patterns that can be healthy or unhealthy. The old continuum has found a different path to follow and the momentum continually contributes to improved health, increased well-being and a more balanced lifestyle.

It is very different from the fragmented, disjointed, dissociated way I once lived. Once I grew tired of feeling entrapped within my ‘personal displeasure centers’ my intention to change created a positive ripple effect. I built upon the original desire for change by opening myself to the love and support of my partner David, having some and holding firm to the decision leave old self-perceptions behind live a more authentic life.

Thankfully, with practice and persistence it became easier to reveal more of who I really am. That has created a sense of solidarity between my inner landscape and outer activities. Once I told he inner critic to put a sock in it I could hear the inner whispers from my soul and heart’s desires.  Both my parents have passed on and with the balanced life David and I now live we live within our means I listen to the All-knowing voice within. I am aligned to the Feminine Divine aspects of the Divine and the spiritual guidance and support I receive during meditation loves, is encouraging and more powerful than anything my father said. Consequently, I am free to live an authentic, conscious Source-centered life on my own terms!


My journey to health and wholeness gave me an opportunity to grow beyond the past limitations. The healing and life learning created a passion for whole person healing and dynamic living and is the focus of the personal development company David and I co-founded and co-direct. For more information about Fresh Beginnings check the website at


Sharing Perspectives With Respectful Dialog


This graphic suggests 20 ways to create loving, healthy relationships

This graphic suggests 20 ways to create loving, healthy relationships

Respectful Dialog 101

Respectful Dialog 101

By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

There are some who refuse to think…they just rearrange their prejudices.–Dr. Robert Anthony

This article has been previously published and all rights are reserved. If you choose to share please include CRDM Writing Road as the original source.
In our work as group leaders, life coaches and public speakers, some advise against discussing religion, politics and spirituality. We choose to do so and find that it is not the ideas that are offensive. More often than not, it is the tone and presentation that offends. In our interactions, we find people with open hearts and minds discuss most anything. Our approach involves something we call “respectful dialog.” This method allows each side to listen attentively so they can hear differing points of view. It requires understanding and a respect for differences.

Respectful dialog is not about polarization through black/white/right/wrong thinking. It looks for common ground. Even when there does not appear to be any; an acceptance that people have a right to their opinions, choices and lifestyles whether others agree or not. Respectful dialog involves attentive listening, openness and acceptance in the face of differing opinions.

The biggest clue that they are not receptive to another point of view is the tendency to divert attention back to their position. They override, discredit and/or ignore opinions other than their own. We had one person who was bold enough to emphatically state, “I don’t care what the facts are I believe what I think is “right.” That loud clunk is the sound of minds’ closing.

Some reporters in the media follow “trends” rather than verifying facts. Consequently, uninformed participants in social media share it through sources without checking sources or verifying information. When critical thinking is absent, some develop conspiracy theories without hard evidence. Whether the information is visual or hard copy a heavy investment and need to “prove the point” may create a need to misconstrue information. Some use edited snippets to slant information in the desired direction. Sometimes the small fragments of truth are believable enough to sway perceptions.

Basic human rights involve right of choice. At times one cannot control life events but everyone has control over how they respond. In our view…the cause and effect of every thought and action has a ripple or “butterfly” effect. That is why we consistently suggest that every point of view has merit and with that approach, differences do not create discord.

Conflicts develop when communication styles are accusatory attacks with right/wrong judgments and/or condescending demeanors. Who are we to judge? Who makes anyone else the authority in the lives of others? Are we ever really qualified to cast stones? Critical thinkers with open hearts and compassionate sight understand that their views may be erroneous. Perception is not truth and those living within a conditioned existence and rigid beliefs it can be daunting to consider opposing positions.

Loving behaviors towards others does not include judgments, condemnations, superiority, bigotry, pride, control and belittling. Those who keep their heart-minds open show compassion and respect for differences. With love as a core belief, they allow others to create life as they choose without any need to interfere or dictate how or what anyone else is, or is not doing. Perceptions about “truth” are in reality…just that. Perceptions based on teachings passed down by others and eventually integrated as one’s own. Shaping and claiming it to be “truth” is, in many cases conditioned existence where “normal” is whatever one is used to experiencing.

When one is able to explore views and information from a variety of sources, they naturally avoid self-righteousness. Life would be less complicated with a higher emphasis causing harm to none, unity and consensus over diverseness and judgments. The spiritual perspectives we will be offering here are ones based an abiding respect for the opinions of others whether we agree or not. Comments and feedback are always welcome when offered with respectful dialog.

Cause, Effect and Clarity

Whole Person and Balance Wheel

Whole Person and Balance Wheel

By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

Clarity and Integration

Our work in the personal development field involves a whole person approach to healthy, dynamic living. We encourage the people we work to assess their life in a wheel with different spokes where their energy glows out from their core essence. It is difficult to have a good quality of life when the body, mind and spirit are out of balance. When any aspect of the self is creating discomfort, it interferes with the ability to fulfill one’s life purpose or to channel energy in creatively satisfying endeavors.

After years of working as a life coach, group leader and motivator, it is clear that the cause and effect of choice making influences every level of life. The relationship between vibrant, radiant whole health and degrees of sickness and disease is immense and complicated within the constant interplay between the mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and energetic fields. The process of becoming healed and whole begins with inner attunement. Everyone has an inner pilot light and it assists in awakening us to what is…and is not working in life. All change begins with awareness. With mindful attention to the internal and external details in life, clarity develops.

For more information about the healthy, dynamic living services, check the Fresh Beginnings Personal Development Website at

Body Dynamics~Loving and Accepting our Bodies

Loving and accepting the body I have and feeling fit and fab as I age.

Loving and accepting the body I have and feeling fit and fab as I age.



–By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

Whenever I observe magazines and entertainment programs showing images of women with altered images of their appearance, size and shape it reminds me to keep it real.  The average woman cannot morph into those skinny images. It is unhealthy to lock the mindset into limiting self-perceptions. Young and old alike often develop distortions that lead to eating disorders and faulty perceptions about body image.

In my youth, I took a modeling course and pursued a career in the fashion industry.  The constant exposure to unrealistic expectations about beauty led to discontent about the height, size and shape of my body. I am five feet two inches and in an attempt to compensate for what I perceived as an inadequate height I tried to compensate by starving my body to a low weight.

It took years for me to change the old conditioning.  Thankfully, those challenges are far behind me. These days I place greater emphasis on remaining healthy, strong and fit over skinniness. In the process of re-framing perceptions about the importance of size and shape, my husband and business partner, David Malloy and I developed the Body Dynamics System~Your Body is Your Buddy. Our model provides the tools to transform limiting beliefs about the scale, weight and size. It also assists clients in loving and accepting the bodies they have healthy weight management program that assists clients in reaching a place of acceptance about the body they have. The Body Dynamics System provides practical tools that assist clients from the ‘inside out’ over outwardly driven fixations and image management. Clients using the  Body Dynamics System stop chasing after an image that may not be right for them and move into a place of self-acceptance and confidence in the body they have.

The Body Dynamics System assists clients in discovering underlying attitudes and beliefs about their self-perception about weight, size and body-image concerns.

The Body Dynamics System assists clients in discovering underlying attitudes and beliefs about their self-perception about weight, size and body-image concerns.

For more information about the Body Dynamics System for healthy weight management check the page link on the Fresh Beginnings Personal Development Website for this course.

I was able to overcome my unhealthy and destructive coping mechanism and overcome two eating disorders by looking at the root causations. Within my pathway to discovery I came to the realization that the size, shape and appearance of the body has little to do with the essence of the person inside.

During my healing journey to health and wholeness I learned how to love and accept the body I was in. It is the starting point we all need to have. Accepting it does not translate to liking where we are but it is the needed start point to facilitate change. From that point I shifted my priorities and chose to focus on being healthy rather than pressuring myself to lose weight or measure my worth by the scale. That ephiphany was a milestone for me and set me on my current path of healthy, dynamic living.

This approach is the foundation of the Body Dynamics System. This format is the one we present in our private and group life coaching sessions. Once clients understand and accept that the outer is a mirror to their inner landscape they begin to take their power back. With consistency and perseverence they create positive, life affirming changes that last. Loving and accepting the body frees up a tremendous amount of energy.

Societal changes reveal a rapidly expanding population of baby-boomers. The fixation on image-management shows within a culture that pursues youth with some articial approaches and plastic surgery is one of the highest paying specialties in medicine. If one is clear about their reasons for having work done then it usually acheives the desired goal However, if the expectation is not realistic it can lead to further discontent.

With our healthy weight management program, we offer ways for clients to focus on the enhancement of the bodies they have. As they change and re-frame their expectations, it is easier to release the need to force the body to fit the unrealistic ideas within media hype and advertising ideals.  In my view, life is a journey of learning to love and accept ourselves. Once that is in place, it is easier to extend it to others.

Once we achieve that level of self-acceptance the mind is free from encumbering limited perceptions of worth based on appearance. After choosing to cease adhering to the limiting dictates of the media I develope my own “mojo.” Now I choose to wear what feels good on any given day. I am not a fashionesta and proud of it. Women who develop their own style are the ones I respect. Jumping on bandwagons to follow the crowd is of no interest to me.

Being true to oneself is liberating! The same principles apply to the needs of my body over know anything anyone else says. It has a voice with wisdom. When we listen and hear the body guides us to what it need to heal and restore balance. At this age and stage of life, I enjoy being fit. Exercise is not a chore…but a feel-good experience.  So much so that I have another Blog that presents ways to remain fit and fabulous as we age.The link is:

Although the aging process continues we can remain strong and resiliant through balanced, healthy living. At one point, I did not want to accept the lines and wrinkles on my face and considered other options. I view them and my gray hair as reminders that I am feeling younger than my age and that is all that matters. With a strong, fit and fabulous body that supports me along the road of life, the external appearances are secondary to health and vitality from within.

Without our physical bodies, we are in another realm. After everything, I put my body through in my youth I am grateful that I am strong and healthy. Although David and I are not “young” in actual age, we are successfully “youthing as we age.” Our focus intentions involve the love, acceptabce and respect for the bodies we have. Consequently, we are thriving rather than surviving as we move into the advancing years. In our personal and professional experience we know for sure that age is just a number. One’s real age is determined by the quality of life they have, activity levels and attitude.

Everyone needs a starting point that begins with self-acceptance. The Body Dynamics System supports the "whole self" and assists clients in their transformational growth process from the inside out.

Everyone needs a starting point that begins with self-acceptance. The Body Dynamics System supports the “whole self” and assists clients in their transformational growth process from the inside out.

In our private and group facilitations, we consistently remind clients that good health is not a right. Rather, a responsibility requires mindfulness and balance within body, mind and spirit. I am always interested in how others feel about the bodies they have. Care to share your perceptions about yours? Are you locked into the dieting mentality?  Do you dislike parts of your body or do you love and accept your uniqueness?  Have you made peace with the body you have?  For now, I embrace and love my body temple…how about you?

Natural Flu and Cold Remedies


–By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

Previously published in the Aquarian newspaper and all rights are reserved.

During cold and flu season people are considering natural alternatives to heal and balance their systems. In my own healing journey and from working with clients in my life-coaching practice, we sugges a variety of self-health methods. My mentor, Dr. George Kroeker always stressed the importance of body balance.  Whenever illnessess occur, it is preferable  to use whole person healing applications  over external  symptom relief. system so it can heal itself.

Widespread outbreaks of influenza usually occur from October to March. Colds and flu germs are spread  by contact and exposure from  by  an infected person. Viruses can be a concern but the majority of people who come down with them recover within a week or two. The doctor I see says that although many believe in the efficacy of vaccines, they do not guarantee protection against the flu and sometimes cause more harm than good. This may be especially true this fall as rushed production allows less time for safety testing.

Whenever clients  at Fresh Beginnings call us and ask  for natural cold and flu options  we  caution them about self-medicating with over the counter medications. Many of the pills and hot lemon drinks contain the same active ingredients and can overload the system. It is advisable to consult a health practitioner before self-prescribing over-the-counter remedies. Given that there are no known cures for colds and viruses,  the first recommendation is to minimize exposure and strengthen your immunity as the best way to stay healthy. Here are some of my “perspectives” on healthy living and flu prevention:

The Basics

• Sleep as much as needed. The immune system functions much better with seven to nine hours sleep for optimal health. When the body is fatigued, it is less able to ward off viruses and infections.

• Exercise moderately on a regular basis.

• Avoid sugar. Even small amounts of sugar can impair immune function, leaving you more susceptible to the flu.

• During cold weather, indoor heating systems dry out the mucous membranes in the nose and throat. It is important to keep them well hydrated by drinking more water. Using indoor water fountains or other methods to improve humidity, especially in the bedrooms, makes sense.

• Germs and viruses enter through the eyes, nose, mouth and, possibly, ears. Therefore, it is  important to avoid exposure and wash hands  frequently. It’s also advisable to carry a hand sanitizer and use it after shaking hands or touching handles, payphones and doorknobs. A naturopath told me that coating the inside of the nostrils with sesame oil could help to prevent germs from entering the body.

• If you are sick, stay home to recover and to prevent spread to others. Muffle coughs and sneezes with the crook of the elbow rather than using bare hands or tissues. When tissues are used, dispose of them immediately and thoroughly sanitize the hands.

Giving the body time to heal is important and avoding contact with others prevents spreading whatever you have to others.

Giving the body time to heal is important and avoding contact with others prevents spreading whatever you have to others.

• Relax and maintain a positive attitude. Too much stress has a negative impact on health and mental well-being. Meditation and creative visualization  reduce stress and calm.

• Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol depletes B vitamins, impairs liver function and creates greater susceptibility to infections. You might want to add a B-vitamin supplement to your regime.

• Avoid smoking, including second-hand smoke. Cigarette smoke dries out the nasal passages and paralyzes the small hairs in the nose and lungs that help ward off viruses.

•Whenever possible take advantage of infrared or steam saunas. The air in saunas is too hot for viruses to survive; thus steam and infrared saunas cleanse the system and provide immune boosting effects. However, people with heart conditions should consult their health care practitioner before using any form of intense heat therapy.

•Essential oils and aromatherapy support body systems. Clove has antiseptic properties applying it  to the feet  provides a measure of protection.  Lavender is calming and uplifting. For more information on the efficacy of aromatherapy key word them and do an internet search.

Young Living is just one of many essential oil companies offering aromatherapy oils. Check the internet for other reputable sources and do your own research.

Young Living is just one of many essential oil companies offering aromatherapy oils. Check the internet for other reputable sources and do your own research.

During consultations with clients at Fresh Beginnings, we also suggest a variety of flu-fighting, immune-boosting, and nutrient rich foods such as:

• Dark green, red and yellow vegetables and fruits. These are packed with healthful nutrients.

• Fresh, raw or lightly cooked garlic has strong, natural antiviral properties.

• Green tea over black teas.

• Cayenne pepper is filled with vitamin A and acts as a catalyst for herbs and vitamins.

• If the doctor prescribes antibiotics, it is advisable to supplement the diet with  yogurt or acidophilus capsules. It will replenish friendly bacteria in the bowel.  in the course of treatment.  It is particularly important when antibiotics are given for secondary bacterial infections.

• Echinacea is a popular cold and flu remedy especially if taken early, before symptoms worsen.

• Vitamin C and zinc lozenges beneficial, especially zinc gluconate and zinc acetate.

Colds are Another Matter

Although the common cold is usually milder than the flu, it is still worth looking after. If you ignore symptoms and try to keep going as usual, it can turn into a worse illness. If you have underlying medical problems, it’s especially important to pay attention. Here are more ideas for self-care:

• At the first sign of a sore throat, gargle with ½ teaspoon salt in warm water.

• Saline nasal drops as well as steam inhalations with sage, chamomile leaves, menthol and eucalyptus can help clear sinuses.

• Whenever early symptoms of a cold or flu appear, put two tablespoons each of dried sage leaves and whole cloves in a large pot and make a tea. Sipping it can soothe the throat and help fight infections.

• Vapor rubs, hot water bottles and soaks in a warm tub with one to two cups of Epsom salts can provide steam to stuffed nasal passages and relief for sore aching muscles.

• Lozenges with menthol, eucalyptus, honey and lemon may soothe an irritated throat.

• Tissues with moisturizers can help prevent sore skin around the nose. Lip balm soothes chapped lips.

• Traditional Chinese Medicine (herbal remedies and acupuncture) can effectively bring the body back into balance.

• The following is a favorite  cold remedy of ours. It  provides immune boosting and cleansing properties.  If it is too strong,  dilute it or reduce ingredient portions in the next round.

4 C. water

2 T. fresh or ground ginger

½ t. cayenne

1 whole head of garlic

2 quartered lemons (wash first, rind on)

Maple syrup or honey to taste

Simmer 20 minutes. Add ½ cup of mixture to ½ cup warm water or to taste.

Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy is a freelance photojournalist, life coach, group leader and public speaker and can be contacted through the Fresh Beginnings website, or at the website for her book at


Sourcing out natural cold and flu remedies supports the body rather than masking symptoms.

Sourcing out natural cold and flu remedies supports the body rather than masking symptoms.

Video Sharing Insights About the Universe and Consciousness

If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.

~ Niels Bohr


Please share this video if the information resonates. Modern Science is now beginning to confirm what Spiritual teachers, Philosophers, Sages, Ancient Lessons and Psychedelics have been saying for millennia…that the entire Universe is One and what perceive as “reality” is an illusion. It presents the idea that the only “real” aspect of anything lies within the  Universe of Consciousness.

How Better Sleep Can Help Improve Your Exercise Efficiency

Healthy and strong as I age.

Healthy and strong as I age.

How Better Sleep Can Help Improve Your Exercise Efficiency.

Basic Statistics

Experts tell us that to improve athletic performance, sleep is one of the most critical components. The Better Sleep Council did a national survey in 2008 and found the following trends:

Getting nine hours of sleep each night means the better chance of performing higher-intensity workouts.
70 percent of people do not get adequate amounts of sleep every night so they are not able to perform at their best.
One of every three people surveyed feel that quality sleep is critical to improving physical performance.
Sleeping longer leads to faster sprint times, lower heart rate, more energy when working out, better endurance and improved mood.
When you are sleeping, your body is producing human growth hormone. This hormone is necessary for your muscles to repair themselves and grow. This is important for everyone, but especially athletes who work hard to improve endurance, speed and strength so that they can excel in their sport.

As you sleep, your body is working to improve muscle memory, your reaction time and your energy and motivation. Muscle memory is important to do the different things you do everyday. This, of course, includes exercise, but it also includes basic things like hauling in the groceries, playing with the kids and running up and down the stairs.

How Much Sleep do I Need?

The old adage about eight hours a night is true. 7.5 to 9 hours a night is what adults should be aiming for to help ensure that their body is properly rested and repaired. It is estimated that those that are very active, such as athletes, should actually add an hour to this estimation every night to make sure that they are getting enough sleep. This extra 60 minutes can give you that extra edge that you need to take your game or workout to the next level.

Exercise Timing

Sleep does help, but you want to make sure that you are fully awake before exercising to get the full benefits. It is best to exercise between 5pm and 7pm. This is a time where you are most alert and it will not affect your circadian rhythm. This is good news for those who work a traditional job because you can get your workout in after work.

You want to avoid morning workouts because your body is still adjusting to being awake. For example, you are warming up because your body temperature lowers as you sleep and takes a while to return to normal after waking up. If you wake up and then hop on the treadmill, for example, you risk overheating and exhaustion.

On this same note, you want to avoid working out late at night because it can affect your body cooling down and getting ready for bed. If you exercise too close to bed time, you risk actually interfering with your sleep because you are essentially telling your body to stay awake.


About The Author: Brandon Travis works in the health and wellness field. He writes about sleep quality and snoring cures which help people realize a better nights rest. When he isn’t working he likes to spend time with his 2 sons teaching them about the great outdoors.

Healthy, Balanced Ways to Manage Stress



By Coralie Darsey-Malloy


Holidays and special events often bring unresolves issues to the surface. During these times it is  important to approach them with moderation, balance and modesty rather than media hype and marketing ploys.  Over extensions of time, energy and money combined with lack of sleep, disruption of normal routines, frequently lead to an emotional hangovers after any big event.

   1.  Maintain balance and moderation in all things.      Nothing throws the system off like sleep deprivation or over-loading the body with too much food.   After a big turkey, dinner most can attest to the ‘sleepy’ feelings that come from protein overload and the calming effects of the amino acid tryptophan present in turkey.  Being mindful of alcohol and food consumption can also prevent the overloaded feeling that builds up throughout the season and leads to emotional lows when the celebrations are over.

  2.  Make time for fitness and fresh air and sunshine.   Many people have a difficult time fitting daily exercise in under normal conditions.  During hectic times like Christmas, exercise is the last thing that comes to mind.  My message is a different one.  January is coming and the longer you stay away from your various routines,   the harder it will be to get back to where you were.   One way to alleviate stress is to start a new tradition with family and friends that includes physical movement in social settings. Try going for a walk, having a snowball fight or frolicking outside for a while.   It is a guaranteed way to avoid feeling stressed.  

  3.  If you want to reduce the chances of a “blah or low time” try not to be hooked on ‘artificial highs.’  Anticipate great events by having realistic expectations, forethought and enough time ability to plan.  Meaningful gifts do not have to over-extend the budget. It may sound trite it is the thought and effort that goes into gifts that is the true value. Something baked or created with love and affection and exchanged with nice card and/or heartfelt expressions of affection often mean far more to the recipient than an extravagant gift based on material value alone.  These types of gifts usually do not break the budget or lead to financial regret when credit card bills start to roll in after the artificial high and media hype of the holidays are over.

  4.  Be prepared for the re-surfacing of buried emotions.  Family events often trigger buried emotions and can add to emotional lows.  The challenge for each of us is to be courageous and committed to reaching a point where we are able to accept people for who they are … whether we agree with them or not.    If a family member’s behavior is particularly upsetting, set boundaries.   Sometimes conflicts are not worth open confrontation or the timing may be inappropriate.  Instead go elsewhere, take a few deep breaths and either shelve or ignore the person and comments. If there is a need to clear the air it is preferable to contact the person after the holidays and discuss the issue under less stressful circumstances.  Ignoring poor behavior is an effective way of disempowering it.

5. Participate.   There are blessings in giving that do not hold the same feeling as always being on the receiving end. Balance is the key in every area of life. Giving can take many forms other than just the material.  Giving can include visiting and offering support to a less fortunate family, volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen, canvassing for a favorite charity or cause or visiting a retirement home or hospital.  Any of these ‘gifts’ could really make someone else’s day.

 6. Give yourself the gift of ‘self-health.’  The gift of self-health begins with your own actions.  Make a plan to eat less, (especially junk food, sugar, coffee and alcohol.)  Keep water intake high (two to three liters per day) get adequate amounts of sleep, fresh air, sunshine and exercise.  Humour is a great stress reliever so rent some funny movies and laugh, laugh and laugh some more. Laughter releases endorphins that create a natural high and exercises the tummy muscles in an ‘internal jog.’  If relationships need mending, forgiveness is a good place to start.  If we maintain an ‘attitude of gratitude’ for large and small blessings it focuses the heart and mind in positive flows of energy.

What greater gift can you receive than to function at a high level and to flourish physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?  Good health, a sense of well-being, friends, loved ones and a purposeful life create a feeling of abundance without monetary measure. Implementing all or part of the above suggestions will help maintain balance and prevent emotions from getting too high…or low.  However, when all is said and done the  best way to create an emotional high that will keep on as long as we practice it is to focus more on what we can do for others and less on what is not working in our own lives.  The benefits will be yours to enjoy.



Mind Maps are a Powerful Self-Discovery Tool

–By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy
Mind maps are, by definition, a graphical method of taking notes. The visual basis of them helps one to distinguish words or ideas, often with colors and symbols. They generally take a hierarchical or tree branch format, with ideas branching into their subsections. Mind maps allow for greater creativity when recording ideas and information, as well as allowing the note-taker to associate words with visual representations. Mind maps and concept maps are different in that mind maps focus on only one word or idea, whereas Concept maps connect multiple words or idea.

Mind maps (or similar concepts) have been used for centuries By by educators, engineers, psychologists, and others. Some of the earliest examples of mind maps were developed by Porphyry of Tyros, a noted thinker of the 3rd century, as he graphically visualized the concept categories of Aristotle. Philosopher Ramon Llull (1235 – 1315) also used mind maps.

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps can generate ideas, assist with structure, and classify ideas. They also and aid in study, organization, learning, brainstorming, memory, visual thinking, and proactive problem solving

The elements of a given mind map inspire and promote “intutive knowing according to the importance of the concepts. Then they are classified into groupings, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing memories.

By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner, mind maps encourage a brainstorming approach to planning and organizational tasks. Though the branches of a mind map represent hierarchical tree structures, their radial arrangement disrupts the prioritizing of concepts typically associated with hierarchies presented with more linear visual cues. This orientation towards brainstorming encourages users to enumerate and connect concepts without a tendency to begin within a particular conceptual framework.

The mind map can be used to augment or contrast ideas. The former is based on radial hierarchies and tree structures denoting relationships with a central governing concept, whereas concept maps are based on connections between concepts in more diverse patterns.

Mind maps have many applications in personal, family, educational, and business situations, including notetaking, brainstorming (wherein ideas are inserted into the map radially around the center node, without the implicit prioritization that comes from hierarchy or sequential arrangements. Grouping and organizing can be set aslide for later stages of developing orsummarizing, revising, and general clarifying of thoughts. One could listen to a lecture, for example, and take down notes using mind maps for the most important points or keywords.

They can also serve as a mnemonic technique or to sort out a complicated idea. It is useful to use different colours during the creativity sessions. To summarize
Mind maps are useful in a wide variety of situations such as:
• Problem Solving
• Outline / Framework Design
• Anonymous collaboration.
• Marriage of words and visuals.
• Individual expression of creativity.
• Condensing material into a concise and memorable format.
• Team building or synergy creating activity.
• Enhancing work morale.


The mind processes with images and using colorful pens adds to creativity and problem solving concepts.

The mind processes with images and using colorful pens adds to creativity and problem solving concepts.

Self-Health Choices for Healthy, Dynamic Living

By Coralie Darsey-Malloy

Everyone wants independent choice…
whatever that may cost…and wherever it may lead.

–Fyodor Dostroyevsky

When I began my quest for health and wholeness in the mid-eighties much of what has gained mainstream acceptance was considered ‘fringe new age thinking” and viewed with suspicion or flatly rejected. When David and I met in 1990 I made his head spin with my concern about the free radicals and the high glucose factor in his diet. I rambled on about that and the importance of low fat, moderate carbohydrate diet and using food combining as a way to lose weight.

There were many that just patted me on the head and admitted that it all sounded a little too weird for them at the time. Now these ideas have been accepted and utilized by many because they are endorsed by researchers. The growing emphasis on healthy living has created less polarity within formal medicine and complimentary healing systems.

This trend has already started towards more sensitive patient care with a multitude of options that were not available even twenty years ago. The emerging changes in preventative health and wellness techniques can and does compliment today’s precision diagnostic services. Inevitably, professional patronizing, and obscure terminology will give way to cooperative educational approaches, and client-orientated therapies. Future medicine like future world politics, will increasingly acknowledge choice making and empowerment of the individual.

Even before these changes are fully implemented, there is much we can all do to optimize our health. Eating less and eating well are basic premises of preventative self- care. Avoiding the known health hazards of smoking, alcohol, fat, sugar, caffeine, salt and processed foods are another commonsense approach. Breakthroughs in health care reveal that many of the diseases and ailments being treated by symptom relief alone can be readily overcome with social and lifestyle changes.

A long, healthy life is a reasonable expectation under most conditions, and self-reliant health care involves one’s authority over their right to choose what they determine is best for them. As the paradigm of whole-person healing continues to evolve, the knowledge it brings not only liberates it unites people as well. Today personal fitness and healing practices once considered outlandish are gaining mainstream credibility—because they work. Large corporations are underwriting relaxation and stress management courses to reduce employee absenteeism. Insurance companies offer financial incentives to non-smokers and aerobic dancers. Healing in the 21st century will witness the final convergence of science, psychology, body, mind and spirit.

As the science, medicine, the biology of emotion and thought, humor, health and healing attitudes are promoted as a plausible option to symptom relief, drug therapy, invasive procedures there will be more inclination to become well informed before choosing any course of treatment. New attitudes and modalities provide much hope in the form of simple, yet powerful whole-person self-care systems.

They are often equally or more effective than prescriptions and are cost effective, encourage self-responsibility, do no harm, educational, fun and provide positive outcomes! So the good news is…there truly are many ways to achieve health, wholeness and abundant living for those willing to explore options and think beyond symptom relief with prescription drugs rather than assessing core issuers and complimentary healing systems.

Some of the systems we value in our “self-health” care include Traditional Chinese Medicine, Aromatherapy Essential Oils, Chiropractic Care, Supplementation, Energy Work, Massage and of course regular exercise, meditation and keeping life in balance.

We always remind our clients that good health is not a right but a responsibility. When we decide to live long and live strong and take the appropriate steps to do so healthy, dynamic living into advanced years truly is possible.