The Lily Program® ~ An Individualized Mental Health Program For Women

Brookhaven Retreat Blog
Friday, 31 August 2012 03:10

Wonder-FALL, Beautiful Skin

Fall is in the air, bringing temperature changes and decreased humidity, both of which alter your skin’s needs. This is an ideal season to rejuvenate your skin with corrective and preventative treatments.

During the summer, our skin tends to produce more oil. We apply sunscreen more often throughout the day, and we typically perspire more than we do during the other seasons. This can cause a build-up of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells on the outermost layers of the skin, inhibiting ideal oxygen and product absorption.

Healthy skin begins with a consistent home care regimen. This regimen does not have to involve several different products and steps, but a few are necessary. Choose a skin care regimen that best suits your skin’s needs and your schedule. Be mindful of any allergies or sensitivities you may have or experience to certain ingredients.

Your Healthy Skin Regimen

  1. Cleanse your skin morning and night with a cleanser appropriate for your skin type (dry, sensitive, oily, blemish prone).

    *When using a cleanser with alpha-hydroxy acids, try applying to dry skin first and let it set for 30 seconds. This allows the exfoliating acidic ingredients to begin to work on skin before adding water to the mix, which has a neutralizing effect.
     
  2. Exfoliate once or twice a week. The frequency of exfoliation depends upon skin type, skin sensitivity, and the type of exfoliation used.

    There are two types of exfoliation methods:
    1. Mechanical exfoliation includes microdermabrasion or products with granular, abrasive particles. Microdermabrasion involves a machine with a handheld wand attachment that simultaneously dispenses sand/crystals onto skin while using adjustable suctioning over applied areas.
       
    2. Chemical or acidic exfoliation involves the direct application of exfoliating chemicals, such as Trichloroacetic acid or alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic or lactic acid, to the skin. These penetrate through the outer layers of the skin into deeper, living layers encouraging skin cell turnover. True chemical peel treatments may have some healing downtime whereas AHA peels typically do not.
  3. Moisturize both morning and night after cleansing (or after exfoliating). It is important to infuse hydration and nutrients back into the skin. This is beneficial and necessary for anti-aging and minimizing skin irritations while promoting a radiant, youthful glow.

    To jumpstart your way to healthy, beautiful skin schedule an appointment with a reputable skin care therapist at your local day spa or medical spa!

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Thursday, 30 August 2012 04:39

Peppery Nasturtium Salad

There is nothing as lovely as having real flowers as part of a summer salad. The specialness of the look creates a mood of silent pleasure that makes all notions of depression flee. I have long believed that when you are served a plate of food that you should be able to eat everything served on the plate. I guess my aspiration to taste all food decorations has led me into becoming an edible flower follower.

At the end of the summer there seems to be a mania for flower salads knowing that these will again not be available for a while.

Always listen to those that tell you that good fresh ingredients are essential, it's true. Flavor, flavor, flavor.

Nasturtium Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large shallots
  • 2 bunches of rocket (arugula)
  • 2 lettuce hearts (Boston)
  • 150g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 organic lemons
  • 5 teaspoons runny honey
  • 3 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12+ nasturtium flowers from the garden (or order from specialist stores)

Directions:

  1. Peel shallots and slice into rings. Wash rocket and salad hearts under running water, shake dry and tear into bite-sized pieces. Wash and halve tomatoes.Wash lemons under hot water, dry with a cloth and zest. Juice the lemons and mix with the lemon peel, honey and mustard. Add oil; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Place salad ingredients in a bowl and mix with dressing. Arrange on four plates and serve garnished with the nasturtium blooms.

Serves 4

Feel beautiful, special and brave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 29 August 2012 04:02

Mindful of Every Moment

Last week, Brookhaven staff attended a three-day training seminar on DBT Therapy. The most profound thing I learned was also the simplest: that it is not only okay, but also imperative, to be mindful of every moment.

The first day began with a half-smile mindfulness exercise designed to bring attendees into the present moment. It proved amazingly difficult to subdue our busy minds. As adults, our brains can seem hardwired to fiddle and twitch, think ahead or dwell with anxiety on past events. We find ourselves unable to simply be. Adding to the difficulty is a sense of guilt we may feel at taking time out of our day to refresh. During the exercise, divesting ourselves of thoughts about air conditioning noises, the next meal, or our personal to-do lists proved a prodigious task.

However difficult it may seem to achieve, a sense of mindfulness is indispensible to our success as it is the building block of happiness. When we take the time to be mindful of our current state of being, we decrease arousal and refocus our attention away from the unnecessary or overwhelming anxiety and stresses in our lives. Mindfulness both draws our attention to all of the quiet beauty in the world around us and teaches us to accept reality without necessarily approving of it.

That is what makes mindfulness so important. It is the integral factor to acknowledging ourselves and owning our own truths, from which we take power over our lives to live them like we intend. Through a calm and real acceptance of who and where we are in our lives, we better understand ourselves, and through understanding, we take control.

Looking the present in the face can take courage and determination, but instills within us a deep and inspiring sense of peace. Near the end of the opening exercise, everyone seemed to have achieved a sense of wellbeing and tranquility.

Rather than living our lives as a series of moments each rushing into the next, in the quietness of our minds, we find our inner selves – soulful and unhurried.

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012 03:46

How Do I Love Me?

Many ingredients form mental Instability: emotional disturbances, personality disorders and general mental health problems. The root of the tree seems to stem from a lack of self-love. Self-esteem and self-love go hand-in-hand. If one lacks confidence and feels unable, they are likely not to see themselves as a valuable contributor of life. This undermines the core of the being causing a cataclysm of issues including not liking what is in the mirror, seeing others as superior, believing self is unlikable, and that one is not capable.

Where does this all come from? Not always, but usually a childhood or adulthood of being told that, “you are no good.” This comes in too many forms to mention. Words heard over and over become beliefs. These beliefs are so ingrained that we live them out in a very negative way. We assume that it is true, that we are this way even when all evidence points to the contrary. So we behave accordingly. This is a cycle repeated over and over with seemingly no way out. So here are some ways others have gotten out of the vicious cycle of self-hatred and started to love themselves and started to believe in happiness again.

Oh how do I love me… let me count the ways. Positive self-talk; I like myself, I love myself, I am a good friend. Even when it is not felt in the heart, just do it! Time takes time and years of negativity will cause one to scoff at words that disagree with what has been told to them over and over. Mediation and prayer, this is up to the individual to decide what works for them. Do kind things for yourself, a long bath with a book, a day off of work to catch up, some people like the beauty shop, or a reasonable shopping trip. While at first it may feel indulgent and phony, eventually repeating the pattern will increase self-worth and make one feel good about taking care of those basic needs. Letting go of people, places, and things that perpetuate the negative can be very freeing. If someone is negative and critical it might be time to re-examine the friendship, relationship, or situation that is causing problems.

All this takes time and diligence. The saying is, “It is 40 miles in to the woods and 40 miles out.” You can choose how to come out, crawl, walk, or jog. The rewards are immeasurable and help you and those around you. Love is everywhere, once you feel it inside. Who cares how long it takes, these methods will work to increase awareness and self-love resulting in a positive, more affirming person!

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Monday, 27 August 2012 02:23

Hero for a Day

In life, are these opportunities or annoyances? We are passing by a frail lady carrying too many bags of groceries. We see an accident on the side of the road. A small child appears afraid and alone at a big chain store. A woman is sitting on the steps of her home crying. How do we decide who we help and who we leave? Does helping someone out really help us? Does it create a triumphant moment for somebody desperately needing assistance?

Opportunity is defined in the dictionary, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary, as “a good chance for advancement or progress.” Annoyance conversely, is defined as, “a source of vexation or irritation: nuisance.” Attitude plays a key role in the ability to be a hero for a day. So many times we pass up a chance to better our lives, by simply opening the door for someone or smiling and saying, “have a nice day.” This is the right thing to do. But, “that’s easy”, someone belts out. Is it? Then why aren’t more people doing it? Our ego and annoyances go together like hand and glove. It is easier to run out a door and not look back. We are, after all, the only people that matter.

Then, that nagging problem occurs, a bend in the road. You find a car upside down on the embankment. Do I pass and call 911? My son has to be picked up from his school in 20 minutes and I don’t have time to help. What if the people are dead? Full of anxiety, how do you make the right choice? You stop, and in a moment of adrenalin, hop in to help. Guess what, your son gets in late from school and doesn’t miss you. The families of the victims get closure that in their last hours their mom was with someone who cared. Details of a sketchy accident become clearer. Helping out clearly makes a difference! What if it was an annoyance, we passed the car, called 911, and then see in the local paper, “Two confirmed fatalities in accident, no details available.” Be a Hero, stop and help!

Simply stated, we don’t have to run into every burning house and save the baby. Sometimes we can’t do anything. But as we are mindful of our surroundings, the universe presents situations that will make someone else, and ultimately us, feel good. These are often subtle and sometimes blatant. The point is about being a Hero every day!

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Saturday, 25 August 2012 23:20

Pan Seared Chicken Breast

A recipe straight from Brookhaven Retreat’s Chef Robert Vittetoe:

Pan Seared Chicken

Pan seared chicken breast over roasted sweet potato puree with a mango and papaya salsa.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz chicken breast
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 mango
  • 1 papaya
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 tomato, deseeded
  • 1bunch cilantro
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Set oven to 350 degrees and roast sweet potatoes until they are tender (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).
  • Fine dice jalapeno.
  • Small dice red onion.
  • Medium dice the outside of the tomatoes and discard the guts.
  • Large dice the mango and papaya and combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add apple cider vinegar and honey with a pinch of salt.
  • Mince cilantro and toss in salsa.
  • Heat pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil.
  • Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and sear on one side.
  • When a nice crust develops, flip over and place pan in oven with potatoes.
  • Remove potatoes and peel away skin. Be careful as potatoes will be hot.
  • Put peeled potatoes in a food processor or blender and add brown sugar, coconut milk, and hot sauce.
  • Puree until smooth and thick enough to hold together.
  • When chicken is done place a scoop of potato puree in center of plate and with circular motions spread into a large circle.
  • Slice chicken and fan out over potatoes and top with salsa.
  • Use cilantro leaf to garnish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 25 August 2012 02:59

How is Your Skin?

To see smooth, beautiful skin is a pleasurable sight. It's one of those very necessary items that we take for granted until there is an injury. Skin is something we know is there and assume it always will be, until a trauma strikes. We really are such a nation of band-aid lovers. The minute a skin injury faces a little child; we are immediately out with boo-by the appearance of a band-aid. Of course, it is unthinkable that we would put a band-aid on a bone deep cut that needs stitches and full medical attention. Yet that is sometimes what we do to ourselves. We try to treat a deep emotional wound with a band-aid; a wonderful tool for the right job but useless for the wrong job.

Iman says that the skin you take care of in your 20s is the one you will inherit in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond; which is why you should never leave home without SPF on your face. The sun does not discriminate. The same is true of our emotional skin. How it is treated in its younger years will significantly affect things as life moves along. Some people become very thin-skinned and are super-sensitive to almost everything and sometimes others become very thick-skinned, feeling nothing.

A maintenance program for most is the way to go for keeping healthy skin. There are actually only a few essential principles you must never compromise on. Eat well, stay hydrated and get a good night’s sleep. That sounds so easy but for anybody with fear, panic, or anxiety, sleep is a very fickle and elusive friend. Sleep hygiene can be a daily pre-bed routine that can really assist to restore good sleep.

Getting comfortable in your own skin takes lots of work. Pummeling away the old calluses and emotional hard skin to reveal beautiful, new soft skin that is ready to live. Wearing your emotional SPF each day by having a mindful attitude about life itself. Everything you take in through the sensory channels will affect the skin so be careful what you expose yourself to.

What you do to your skin now will pay off later.

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Friday, 24 August 2012 05:46

Music of a Healing Heart

Music can evoke so many memories. It can reach levels of joy, sorrow, laughter, and heartbreaking pain. The power of song, music, and your deeply personal response to it is thought to be an emotional engagement like no other, creating moods than can take you to places you did not know you had. Soothing music to those who feel chronically depressed, sad, and alone is comforting.

There are so many extraordinary and varied instruments to choose from. There are those that have been a little stigmatized, as they did not seem as thoroughbred as some others. Stigmatizing something or somebody; judging or labeling can be a great mistake because it underestimates the power of the body and mind to heal and restore. Watching some people speak through their music says more about them than all the words they may choose to utter.

The ukulele for me was associated with George Formby, an amazing artist. The funny thing is the ukulele somehow was a second-class instrument. It was somehow never going to be a harp or a cello to me. I associated it with noise and sing-along songs.

I had to change my view when I saw this instrument played in the hands of Jake Shimabukuro. Watching this man’s deep and genuine love of this instrument and the speed of his fingers and hands work on the strings and body of that instrument is nothing short of captivating. This instrument being played by a man that passionately loves the ukulele, elevated it to a plane not previously known to the humble ukulele. His ability to play is not loudly, proudly, and busily, but quietly, sensitively, intimately, and tenderly. He sought more power to be heard by teaching that music makes its most powerful statement in the quite moments. Healing the mood of the heart by hearing and understanding how to engage with it.

Jake Shimabukuro, a native of the Hawaiian Islands, captures so many moods and expressions of self-honesty in his music that it makes everything seem so much easier.

You can find him on YouTube.

Enjoy his music as it may help you ask if your own self-honesty is helping your heart to heal.

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Thursday, 23 August 2012 03:56

Wanting What You’ve Got

There is a Sheryl Crow song that states, “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got”. Getting caught in the proverbial trap of materialism is a highly ineffective pattern for filling the hole in your soul. At some point in time, many people think that happiness and joy come from “things”. In talking to people blessed materially and having had the opportunity to have had “stuff”, I have been educated on the value of wanting what you got.

I have read that people who have their basic needs met; food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and money to cover bills…to those who are multi-millionaires, that there is no real difference in quality of life. This tells me it is important to have an attitude of gratitude to all we do have and not concentrate on what we don’t have. Today I am grateful for many things, having something to drive, a roof over my head, and especially food. I am no happier in a BMW than I am a in Ford because I know it can get me where I want to go. Doesn’t mean I like the Ford more, it just means I am blessed to have it and I am grateful.

Gratuity gives a spiritual connection like no other; you begin to feel so blessed and eager to help people who don’t have their basic needs met. That connection starts filling the void, that emptiness that echoes through our heart and soul. Loneliness and despair are slowly replaced by contentment and joy. Life is good! Once again rich with life, rich with love, those circumstantial problems start to be put in perspective. For me being single became OK. When I met someone I was very slow to move, knowing how good it all already was. This helped me to develop a healthy relationship based on being OK with myself. I don’t need anything to be happy except myself and my spiritual connection. What freedom from bondage!

Wanting what you’ve got is a slow process. It usually starts with a gratuity list every day. Watch over time as the list grows and changes. Even if you don’t feel grateful, write it down anyway. As you continue, you will find that you will start appreciating the things on the list. Prayer may be helpful to some, but meditation is equally as potent. Once you start feeling it, the gains are limitless. Start working on wanting what you got today, the payoff is fantastic!

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012 04:45

Facing the Facts

© Diane Keys - Fotolia.com

What do you do when someone tells you something that is invariably true but so totally not what you want to hear? It’s typically not comfortable. It reminds me of trying to fit into a pair of jeans I “out-expanded” years ago. I kick at them, pull, claw at the wrinkles trying to get them on, and for what? Really just so I can say ‘ha! I did it! I knew I wasn’t too big for them’ because I know darn well that the second I button that top button I’m going to either pass out from holding my breath or reverse my decision to squeeze into them and peel them off as fast as possible. Hearing the truth is sometimes the same feeling for me. It’s easy to slip into your rational mind and try to think your way out of the truth. Sometimes the truth does indeed hurt. Sometimes the truth is a reminder that we can trick ourselves into believing a fallacy about ourselves.

I recently tricked myself into believing I was doing good work toward my own self-improvement when in truth I was only going through the motions. I was over-committed to helping others to the point that I had convinced myself that helping others was good enough to count as helping myself as well. While I have undoubtedly learned from every person I have been in contact with, I neglected to give myself adequate time to process what exactly I was learning and then time to apply it in a meaningful way in my life. One day a friend somewhat callously told me, “Stop. Stop ignoring you again.” She may as well have slapped me across the face because I was that surprised by the comment.

What I had failed to see myself was that while it’s okay to be focused on others at times, it’s also important to always be mindful of where you are in your life and how you are feeling in a situation. This doesn’t have to be done to the complete exclusion of all others, but as my friend pointed out, if I am being one hundred percent other-focused, I’m not leaving room to look within myself and see what’s happening. She was right. As uncomfortable as that comment felt, my friend saved me from much greater heart ache and suffering that would surely have resulted from the self-neglect.

Sometimes we are just unable to be objective. We get so wrapped up in things and events that we forget who we are or where we are or what we think. We become so over-indulged that we lose sight of how we feel. If we aren’t looking out for ourselves, no one else is going to. When your knee-jerk reaction to someone is to become defensive, take a step back and examine what it is that’s causing the defensiveness before dismissing what may very well be fact. It is very hard to do. Again, many times hearing the truth, especially when it is truth you’ve convinced yourself is false, is painful but it’s a necessary reminder at times. When that happens, feel the surprise, avoid the defensive impulse, and say thank you to whomever dished out the truth to you. They may just be saving you from a crash in the end.

 

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