It’s hard being an authentic girl…

…in a Botox World.
  ~Electrik Red

Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

There is a fifth dimension…

… beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition.

~ Rod Sterling (Producer, Host and Writer, for The Twilight Zone, 1924-1975)

Saturday, May 28th was opening night for the Red Light Variety Show of The Twilight Zone.  It is a must see for anyone into the movement arts.  It is tons of fun.  The performers not only were skilled, but were obviously having a blast.  This energy swept over the audience and drew us in.  Tickets are only $10 in advance or $12 at the door.  It is held at the Visual Arts Collective, which is just minutes of downtown with tons of parking.  Three more showings in June, don’t miss it!

Published in: on May 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Free Kid’s Yoga

Saturday, May 28 · 1:00pm – 1:45pm

Settlers Park, Meridian

Created By

More Info
class will be next to the musical instruments at 1 pm please bring a mat if you have one…..ages 5+ if younger parent can practice with with/next to them, No experience necessary!
Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Wondrous Observer

When we first become aware of our life through an observer’s eyes we may become surprised by what we see.  Maybe we discover love, a supportive community or a new child-like fascination. Often, though, when we take the time to slow down and look closer we discover things that are painful or fearful.  This may be why we haven’t looked before.

Be brave and have faith that once you have patiently polished your life with a little elbow grease it will shine. Have faith that you will grow, evolve, or simply be relieved of today’s pain.  This faith is not blind.  It is built upon a solid foundation of experience.  A foundation made of all the successes that brought you to become a wondrous observer.

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , ,

My Ears Perk-Up

Music gives
a soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
…and life to everything.
— Plato

Published in: on May 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

The Guest House ~ Rumi

I share this Rumi poem, not to encourage those with mood disorders to minimize their emotional swings, but instead to remind us all that having feelings and emotions is human and not always a pathology.

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

(The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)

Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

New Class Starts Today!

Yoga Exploration
Every Wednesday 12:15pm – 1:15pm at Yoga for Life

Come explore yoga’s endless benefits.

Evergreen Library Plaza
3065 N. Cole
Boise, Idaho 83704

Angela R. Bryson, RYT
Phone: (208) 473-1249

During this sixty minute class Angela will help you explore the many facets of yoga. Classes will include meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises) and asanas (postures). Each class will vary in content and be tailored to students’ interests. Everyone will be encouraged to ask questions and expand their knowledge. The class is open to all and is appropriate for all ability levels. Shanti Yoga School students can earn contact hours with an observation write-up.

Published in: on May 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Learning to Dance in the Rain, Rather than Weather the Storm

Mental Health Recovery: Learning to Dance in the Rain, Rather than Weather the Storm 

By Keri Barbero

National Alliance on Mental Illness-Boise President

(Originally printed in the NAMI newsletter and reprinted now with permission from Keri Barero)

The term recovery has most often been affiliated with the disease of addiction and widely used by those active in Alcoholics Anonymous as well as substance abuse treatment programs. Initially, the journey of recovering from addiction requires that an individual accept the need for help. Similarly, recovery within a mental illness appears to require some level of acceptance of the diagnosis in addition to the desire to participate in treatment, develop coping strategies and experience an improved quality of life. Mental Health Recovery has been defined differently by numerous organizations, journalists, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. Most often Mental Health Recovery is described by professionals, as well as consumers, as an ongoing, dynamic, interactional process that occurs between a person’s strengths, vulnerabilities, resources, and the environment. It involves a personal journey of actively self-managing a psychiatric disorder while reclaiming, gaining, and maintaining a positive sense of self, roles, and life beyond the mental health system, in spite of the challenges of a psychiatric disability.

Moreover, the recovery model refers to and utilizes the real life experiences of persons as they accept and effectively manage the challenges they face due to their diagnosis.

In December 2004, the United States Department of Health and Human Services—Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) recognized the importance transforming the treatment of mental health diagnoses from a traditionally medical oriented model to a more recovery based, consumer driven approach.  Significant to the recovery movement, SAMHSA identified consumers as having a key part in defining and transforming the mental health system. In doing so, SAMHSA invited mental health consumers, family members, providers, advocates, researchers and others to the National Consensus Conference on Mental Health Recovery and Mental Health Systems Transformation in an effort to further define and promote the recovery model. In the past, the “Medical Model” has viewed mental health diagnoses as an illness and focused more on limitations and “compliance,” rather than the potential for growth. The medical model has also been primarily provider or professional driven and emphasized an external focus of control. Alternatively, the “Recovery Model” advocates for and describes recovery as self-empowerment, increased consumer choice, hope, consumer responsibility, education, and consumer-run initiatives. Practitioners of the model view the individual as having a capacity for self-healing.

Furthermore, the Mental Health Recovery Model promotes and encourages individuals with mental illness to share their journey with one another and learn from each other’s unique experiences. Consumers who have been encouraged to engage in self-directed, individualized care and management of their diagnosis can often provide other consumers with a sense of belonging, supportive relationships, valued roles and community. Within the model this is typically referred to as “Peer Support” and is seen as an important component to the success of one’s recovery. Through sharing and mutual support, the model demonstrates that actively managing one’s psychiatric diagnosis on a daily basis is imperative to maintaining and reframing treatment from the professional or family member’s perspective to the person’s perspective is imperative. Understanding the role treatment plays in recovery, rather than the role recovery plays in treatment, will likely assist providers, family members, and friends to better help and support consumers.

Regardless of one’s discipline, or one’s role in the life of someone with mental illness, we can all instill hope and create an environment conducive to making healthy changes by embracing an individualized consumer driven culture. Even making small recovery based changes in the delivery of services can lead to big changes in quality of life. For example, rather than viewing the relationship between themselves and the consumer as an “expert-patient” duo, a professional can begin seeing it as a partnership where choices are presented and the consumer feels free to make educated decisions about their life as a whole. Being cognizant of the person’s environmental interactions, their community and family life, taking a minute to convey hope for improvement and having knowledge of how to obtain needed resources that you cannot provide yourself, may assist in creating a recovery based relationship. Furthermore, it is crucial to engage the consumer by using person-first language that demonstrates respect and provokes input in their care. For example, when a consumer reports increased symptoms and a decline in functioning, instead of asking if they are taking their medications or discussing pathology, ask them to help you better understand their experience, ask about their home environment, supports, peers, etc. Likewise, family members and friends can make an effort to be more open to and supportive of the consumer’s desires and expressed needs. Encouraging consumers to make choices and decisions also allows them to increase responsibility and enables family and friends to see their loved one’s strengths.

A common fear, and potential setback for consumers who have begun to recover within their mental health diagnosis, is the loss of support services such as disability payment, treatment providers, family members and group or program eligibility. Offering ongoing reassurance, support for a continued recovery within their mental health diagnosis, presenting options, and involving the consumer in decisions can be helpful in alleviating concerns.

There are many ways a consumer might begin in their journey of recovery. A few local opportunities are NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer educational course, seek out information on the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), and the new Peer Run Center for HOPE. Ultimately, as more consumers start talking about and asking for Peer Support, it will become more available, as it in other states across the country.

Keri Barbero

NAMI-Boise President

Published in: on May 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Neurophysiological Effects of Meditation

Part 3 of 3 Post Series: Neurophysiological Effects of Meditation

Calm Stu

Studies uncovering neurophysiological evidence of the effects of meditation make use of neuroimaging technologies.  Neuroimaging technologies include positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG).  PET scans during a study of Yoga Nidra Meditation showed an increase in activity in the left frontal and limbic brain regions (Lou, 1999).  The left frontal cortex is associated with increased positive emotions, while the limbic brain regions are believed to be correlated with emotional regulation.  Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies showed changes in many brain regions including the amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus, all of which are parts of the limbic system of the brain.  The amygdala is often referred to as the ‘fear center’, the hippocampus is the ‘memory center’ and the hypothalamus is considered the master regulator of emotions.  EEG studies backed up what was found in both PET and fMRI studies.  EEG studies found increased theta and alpha frequencies in the left frontal brain region.  This has been a common finding and has been suggested to reflect an enhanced ability to sustain attention and focus (Cahn and Polich, 2006).  According to other researchers this increased activity of low frequency theta and alpha waves is also positively correlated with increased feelings of happiness and joy (Rubia, 2009).   According to Psychology Today, “Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex. Brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety. There is also less activity in the amygdala, where the brain processes fear.” (Barber, 2001)


  1. Barbor, C. (May 01, 2001). The Science of Meditation.  Psychology Today (online periodical). Retrieved from
  2. Cahn, B.R., Polich, J. (2006). Meditation states and traits: EEG, ERP, and neuroimaging studies. Psychological Bulletin, 132 (2), 180–211.
  3. Lou, H.C., Kjaer, T.W., Friberg, L., Wildschiodtz, G., Holm, S., Nowak, M. (1999). A PET study of meditation and the resting state of normal consciousness. Human Brain Mapping, 7 (2), 98–105.
  4. Rubia, K. (2009). The neurobiology of meditation and its clinical effectiveness in psychiatric disorders. Biological Psychology, 82(1), 1-11.
Published in: on May 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Physiological Effects of Meditation

Part 2 of 3 Post Series: Physiological Effects of Meditation

Although meditation is usually thought of in relationship to the mind it affects the physiology of the body in many ways. Meditation enhances the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for releasing chemicals that reduce stress (Takahashi, 2005).  This enhanced activity can be seen in the reduction in cortisol levels and release of beta endorphins. It is believed that stress reduction is what leads to the lowered blood pressure found in experienced meditators (Newberg, 2003).  Meditation has also been found to be associated with increases in immune functioning and a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease (Hoppes, 2003).   “Two controlled studies investigated the effects of six months of Zen meditation practice, and two months of Zen meditation plus progressive muscle relaxation, respectively, versus blood pressure checks in patients suffering from hypertension… The results of the metaanalysis (reviewing the studies) indicated a significant increase in diastolic blood pressure and a non-significant decrease in systolic blood pressure in meditators. (Chiesa-zm, 2010, p. 590)  Another study found that experienced Zen meditators  had significantly higher levels of serum nitrate and nitrite concentration and a significant reduced level of serum malondialdehyde than a control group. Serum nitric oxide is the predominant anti-atherosclerotic principle in the vascular wall. The researchers “reported that, in accord with previous studies that found that oxidative stress could contribute to the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and chronic heart disease, their results suggested that Zen meditation, by reducing stress, could prevent stress-related disease such as heart attacks…” (Chiesa-zm, 2010, p. 587)


  1. Chiesa A., Serretti, A. (2010). A systematic review of neurobiological and clinical features of mindfulness meditations. Psychological Medicine, 40, 1239-1252.
  2. Hoppes, K. (2006).The Application of mindfulness-based cognitive interventions in the treatment of co-occurring addictive and mood disorders. CNS Spectrums. 11, 829-841, & 846-851.
  3. Newberg, A.B., Iversen, J. (2003) The neural basis of the complex mental task of meditation: Neurotransmitter and neurochemical considerations. Medical Hypotheses, 61, 282–291.
  4. Takahashi, T., Murata, T., Hamada, T. (2005) Changes in EEG and autonomic nervous activity during meditation and their association with personality traits. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 55, 199–207.
Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 2:19 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,