• Promotion of the Month
  • Inspired Quote for This Issue
  • Make Role Modeling a Hobby
  • I Just Want to Hold You
  • Counting One’s Blessings Yields Benefits, Study Shows
  • Transform Your Life through Nature
  • A Touch of Humor: Yosemite

Do Your Beauty Products Age Your Skin and Harm Your Health?

Even though the brand you use has words like “all natural” and “organic” on the label, the product can be loaded with chemicals, parabens, phthalates, nitrosamines, lead and other harmful ingredients that are absorbed through your skin. I can’t tell you how many times someone has called me asking to compare my lines with such and such product, and with rare exceptions, when I checked the ingredient list of their products, I found that they were far from organic or all natural. If fact, while there might be a few herbal ingredients listed, there were plenty of unhealthy toxic ingredients.

At, before I decide to carry a product line, the first thing I look at is the ingredient list. I also verify the products with the Environmental Working Group’s online safety profiles for cosmetics and personal care products. They rate products based on the ingredients, and have three scoring ranges, the lower the score the safer the product:

  • 0-2 GREEN are the most safe products
  • 3-6 ORANGE for moderately safe products
  • 7-10 RED for hazardous products

All beauty and hygiene products carried by — Miessence (skin, hair, body, makeup), Abbey St Clare (skin, hair), Honey Bee (lipstick, lip liner, eye liner, mascara) and Signature Minerals (eye shadow, blush) — fall within the 0-2 GREEN zone (except lip gloss, which is a 3)

SAVE an additional 10% off Beauty and Hygiene Products in September. Click here to shop now.


“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” — Jimmy Dean

By Dr. Michael G. Rayel

Like in most families, children are around you everyday. Whatever you show to your children is what you teach and impart to them regardless of your intentions. In the eyes of your children, you are a teacher. Everyday you are teaching “live” “” whether you like it or not. You’re like a walking lecture in your child’s life.

What are you willing to show to your child? What are you going to teach your child through you? Do you want to be credible?

The Best Way to Teach is to Model What You Preach

Parenting articles and books tell us that we should be role models for our kids. However, finding a reliable source on how we can become one is a challenge. Being a role model is not an easy task. It requires determination, self-control, self- reflection, and discipline.

One of the best ways to become a role model is to simply practice what you preach. Obviously, you can’t tell your child not to smoke or drink when you smoke a pack a day or you have several drinks before going to bed. Likewise, you appear phony to your kids if you advise not to use foul language when you criticize or verbally abuse your spouse at the dinner table.

Your Teachings Should be followed by Action

“Talk is cheap,” as the saying goes. Your advice is of most value to your children if you back your pronouncements with action. I know a father who preaches to his children not to punch back if they are hurt by a playmate but the same father never hesitates to grab his kitchen knife every time his neighbor in the same apartment building makes a noise.

Show your children the behavior that you want them to show to others. Talk the way you want them to talk to others.

If you want your child to practice self-control, then you have to show self-control yourself. If you expect household rules to be followed, then don’t violate these rules yourself.

Don’t Preach Anything that You are not Willing to Follow

Don’t make a household rule that you can’t follow. Never make a rule that you intend to break if no one is watching. A rule is only effective if it is consistent and properly implemented.

A rule is designed to establish order and harmony in the household. If you constantly break household rules, you are probably better off not having them. Try to be realistic. Make a rule that is reasonable and that everyone, including you, can easily follow.

Don’t Create Rules that You Intend to Break If They are Inconvenient

Don’t make a rule that you plan to violate regularly at your convenience. A rule is created to serve as a guideline regardless of whether it’s convenient or not. However, don’t be totally inflexible. As you now, there are exceptions to the rules.

Occasionally, you have to be flexible to accommodate these exceptions. For instance, I have a rule that food should not be brought into the bedroom. However, when one of my children is sick, then this rule does not apply. I’m not saying that we should be flexible all the time. In essence, there should be a compelling reason to break a rule.

Make Role Modeling as Your Passion

Make role modeling as your interest and passion. Enjoy doing it. Practice and master it. Observe how you speak and behave in front of your family. Make sure that the behaviour you show is the same behavior you want your kids to learn and that your speech should reflect what you want to hear from them.

You can’t preach that they should be happy and enjoy life when you’re grouchy all the time. You can’t teach your children good moral values if you’re making a plan on how to cheat your neighbor “” in front of your children’s watchful eyes.

In the eyes of your children, you are a hero. They love to hear you and watch you. They love to be around you. They even love to be like you.

So watch out. Your speech and behavior becomes your child. Commend yourself if your children turn out to be good people. But don’t blame anyone if they show inappropriate behavior. Remember “” they are just trying to imitate you.

Copyright © 2014. Dr. Michael G. Rayel

Author Profile. Dr. Bayel is an author (First Aid to Mental Illness Finalist, Reader’s Preference Choice Award 2002) psychiatrist, and inventor of Oikos Game: A Personal Development and Emotional Skills Game. For more information, please visit

By Michael T Smith

The sound of chirping birds rouses me from sleep. I open my eyes and see sunlight streaming into our bedroom through the half opened blinds. I roll to my right and look at my wife Ginny. She’s so beautiful.

I think back to the day we first met. It was the day Ginny captured my heart. She stepped through the arrival gate at the airport and into my arms. I held her for the first time and knew, one day she’d be my wife.

We’d been through so much in our lives. We’d both lost a spouse, but we overcame and found love again.

She sleeps as I continue to stare. Unable to restrain myself, I slide across the bed. Still sleeping, she instinctively rolls to her side, allowing me to snuggle against her back. My right arm slips under her pillow. My left stretches over her side and cups her to me.

I hold her.

I place my head next to hers, smelling her hair. My left hand, still cupping her, rises and falls with each breath she takes. My eyes close, as a sigh escapes my heart. Holding her, I feel more warmth, comfort and completeness, than I have ever felt before.

We hold each other every night, as we sleep. In the mornings, as I leave for work, we hold each other and say, “I love you!”

I arrive home from work. She’s always there to greet me with a smile. We hold.

Later in the evening, we sit side-by-side. We hold

I pull Ginny tight to me – her skin smooth against mine. Another sigh escapes me. The love I feel for Ginny makes me melt into her. Our bodies become one. Every day, hour, minute and second I want to hold her. I’m not complete without her.

I thought I knew what love was, but I was wrong. I snuggle tight to her. This is love. Love is holding and never wanting to let go.

Ginny, I just want to hold you.


The saying “thanksgiving leads to having more to give thanks for” is more than just a popular aphorism: it’s been proven in preliminary UC Davis studies examining ‘attitudes of gratitude’ and goal attainment.

The studies “suggest the benefits of an attitude of gratitude extend beyond the domain of mood and well-being to encompass more specific indicators of successful life functioning – the attainment of concrete goals in life,” says UC Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons.

The findings arose out of studies examining the effect of adopting a thankful or grateful attitude in everyday life. Emmons divided the study participants into three groups: one group would record the most significant events in their day-to-day lives, another would record minor stressors, and one group would record those things in their lives they were thankful for.

Participants logged their emotions, physical symptoms, health and coping behaviors for 10 weeks. Emmons found that those participants asked to focus on what they appreciated in their lives reported better well-being.

Interestingly, that same group reported having spent significantly more time exercising than the other two groups in the study.

People asked to “focus on the positive experienced higher personal well-being than did those people who were asked to write about hassles or neutral events,” Emmons concludes. “The higher well-being was evident in their mood states, global life appraisals and physical symptom reports.”

The same three groups of study participants concurrently participated in a longer-term study of goal attainment in daily life. Emmons found that those who had been in the “gratitude condition” made more progress toward their goals, on average, than participants in the other two groups.

The studies, Emmons says, “provide empirical confirmation of the … benefits of ‘counting one’s blessings, one by one.'”

Robert Emmons, Psychology


One of the most ancient forms of spiritual practice is to go into Nature to mark the changes in our life journey, clarify a situation, seek healing, or reclaim our true place in the natural order of things.

There often comes a time when you must leave family, friends and work to go off alone into Nature, looking within to discover your current “place” in the Circle of Life. This is a path that has been followed by human beings for thousands of years. You hear Nature calling to you. These questions are pushing you:

“Who am I?”

“What do I have to give?”

“How can I heal my wounds and find my power?”

With the aid of self-generated ceremony and intentional transformation, you leave behind the old ways of the limited self and enter into the initiatory realm, which leads to insight, revelation and rebirth as a new being.

People commune with Nature to:

  • Mark passages: coming of age, midlife or spiritual shift
  • Heal and release past emotional wounds
  • Move through grief and loss, addictions or illness
  • Celebrate transitions: marriage, divorce, career change
  • Find work that has more fulfillment and meaning
  • Reconnect and renew with the self and the earth
  • Discover personal, unique, natural talents
  • Fund a deeper contribution to the community of life

Nature Connects Us to Self

Our connection to the natural world is our connection to the Self. To fully absorb this embrace requires an intimate communication with the Earth herself, allowing her to guide our steps, shape our lives and seep into the essence of our bodies and souls, returning us home to ourselves.

Sacred Renewal in Nature

Time slows down on a vision quest. The stillness of the outdoors can be very powerful.

As your thoughts begin to empty out, you can look into the pool of your own being, noticing how you are, what your dreams are made of, what you need to let go of, and need to let in.

The sacred dimension is present there, and you can enter it easily and naturally. You feel connected to everything, the hovering hummingbird, the stalwart pine in its rocky home, the hawk soaring over its domain piercing our veil of separation with every cry.

With Nature as a mirror, your story is returned to you with clarity and wisdom, empowering you to go forward on your life’s path with more success and joy. True vitality erupts when you’re fully present to your world and your unique contribution to its healing.

A Journey of Self-discovery

You go into Nature to experience how the physical world reflects your inner consciousness and provides guidance for your most profound questions. Borrowing wisdom from native and indigenous people, you learn to re-open your connection with the essence of all Nature: wind, water, fire, earth, animals, plants, rocks and people.

You harness your amazing creative ability to:

  • Heal your body
  • Expand your love
  • Attract phenomenal abundance
  • Tap your natural abilities

Questing Is for Everyone

No previous outdoor experience is necessary. Quests don’t have to be physically strenuous adventures. You can adopt a gentle, non-rigorous approach. Quests can be easy, fun, relaxing and revitalizing. And contrary to what you may have been told, Nature is safer than the average urban environment.

An Ancient Tradition

Collective rites of passage have been important to the social health of human societies for thousands of years, enabling individuals to negotiate their life transitions with purpose and meaning.

You return to everyday reality powerfully moved by having lived close to the healing power of Nature and to your own living spirit. It is a time of great joy, celebrating the natural wisdom and wholeness that you have found.

The reward is to re-enter your life bringing your unique talents and opened heart back to family, friends and community.

One might say that the world is attempting to dream awake its evolution through us. The energy of the wilderness has flowed into us as healing, and from us re-enters the world.

You are filled with strength and clarity so you can easily accomplish your life dreams. You recover the excitement you had as a child. You create your relationships as a source of joy and empowerment. You find a livelihood that reflects your special passion.

Are you willing to be happier, more alive, more successful?

Author Profile: Drawing from the wisdom of native and ancient spiritual traditions, Keith Varnum shares his 30 years of practical success as an author, personal coach, acupuncturist, filmmaker, radio host, restaurateur, vision quest guide and international seminar leader with “The Dream Workshops”. Keith helps people get the love, money, and health they want with his no charge Prosperity Ezine, Abundance Tape and Coaching at


A married couple was vacationing in Yosemite. The wife expressed her concern about camping because of bears and said she would feel more comfortable in the hotel. The husband said that he’d like to camp.

To calm her concerns, he suggested they talk to the park ranger to see what the likelihood of a bear encounter would be.

The ranger told them, “Well, we haven’t seen any grizzlies in this area so far this year, or black bears, for that matter.

“The wife shrieked, “There are TWO types of bears out here? How can you tell the difference? Which one is more dangerous?”

The ranger replied, “Well, that’s easy — see, if the bear chases you up a tree and it comes up after you, it’s a Black Bear. If it shakes the tree until you fall out, it’s a Grizzly.”

The hotel room was quite nice.

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