Archive for August, 2008

Meditation … Rejuvenating the Mind, Body and Soul!

By Judith Spitzer

In the book “Eat Pray Love” Elizabeth Gilbert painfully describes her excruciating difficulty with meditation. Of course she was in an ashram in India, where racing thoughts and a cast of characters tended to distract her.

Still, for most of us, it seems hard to find the time to do anything extra!

Jan Gagnon, ND and wellness consultant, says the benefits far outweigh the difficulties and it needn’t be just crossing your legs and uttering “ommmmm” for an hour. Meditation can be done in as little as three minutes using various relaxation techniques.

“Everyone wants to get to that still, quiet space,” says the Naturopathic Physician Gagnon who will be the guest speaker at Nancy Thompson’s evening salon on Aug. 21. “It’s there that we receive inner guidance, healing and support. After clearing your mind and you’re sort of watching your thoughts, you realize you are not your thoughts or emotions and you can tame them.”

Gagnon says rather than telling people about the benefits of meditation, she will be leading a guided meditation at the August Salon so people can experience it.

“It is powerful,” she says simply. “And actually doing it will be much more powerful than listening to me talk about it.”

Gagnon says meditation gives people a way to achieve complete relaxation. “I think women especially are more stressed out than men,” she says. “Women have more jobs. It’s fun for me to work with women. They seem to be more open and willing to try something different.”

Listening to her soothing, relaxing voice as she describes what she does, I can imagine how powerful the experience is.

“First I have people clear their mind,” she says. “Slowly and gently I have them release and let go of their stress. Then we move to physically relaxing the whole body through a series of suggestions relaxing the muscles. After that, we create an inner sanctuary. I think people need both an inner and an outer sanctuary. Finally we get to a place of healing – getting in touch with what we need to heal and opening to that inner assistance from our spiritual helpers.”

Jan Gagnon

Gagnon, who specializes in mind, body, spirit wellness, says the physical effects of the ancient practice are phenomenal. Meditation lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system by raising the numbers of white blood cells and helps the body regenerate new brain cells.

“It increases your ability to think clearly, improves memory and cognition and helps to release endorphins,” she says. “Stress increases the body’s aging process and relaxation reverses it.”

I wonder if meditation can erase that deepening furrow between my brows. Hmmm. Or rather … Ommmmm.

Jan Gagnon ND has been teaching relaxation techniques and stress management for 20 years. She is an expert in mind, body & spirit wellness for women.

Date: Thursday, August 21st
Time: 6 pm – Wine and Tapas**
Location: Lake Grove area of Lake Oswego
Cost: Only $20 to LWL members ($5 discount) –
Register for this Salon at www.flourish-pdx.com/salons
** Tapas are being catered by Chef Heather Made of Black Radish Personal Chef Services. Yum!



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She dreams big and it has paid off! Vicky Trabosh is an international business coach, speaker, writer and philanthropist. She loves working with others who aspire to be their best. Vicky has served on a number of nonprofit organizations and in 2005 co-founded the Itafari Foundation for the people of Rwanda. In a recent interview, we find out more about what makes Vicky flourish

~What is your favorite age and why? 40. I remember looking in the mirror that morning in 1997 and seeing NEW wrinkles I had never noticed before! I laughed out loud and knew it didn’t matter. With great joy and no wrinkle cream in sight, I realized I was a woman about to begin the second half of my life – and I couldn’t wait to see the journey that lay ahead.

~What is your favorite quote?
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt.

~ Who is your hero? The ordinary person who accomplishes something extraordinary….and continually reminds me that anything is possible if we truly set our mind to it. I see it in the women of Rwanda who have come through a genocide and flourish. I see it in the elderly as they find peace and a way to use their wisdom. I notice it in leaders who persevere with integrity. And I saw it in my mother Rita, who accomplished the extraordinary without ever know how she did it. Heroes are everywhere. We
must celebrate them and emulate them and encourage them. Then we too shall be encouraged and then be able to flourish.

~What keeps your flourishing?
Love, laughter, focus and my faith in God. I’ve never been busier or more productive – but now I truly do only those things that are purpose driven and so my energy stays high….though I can exhaust those around me!

~If you were a pair of shoes, what kind would you be and why? Stilettos! But only about 2 1/2 inches high. Any higher and I can’t go the distance. Looking good and being my best for a sprint isn’t enough….gotta go the distance!

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Gwynne Warner of 10,000 Blessings

Another amazing Flourish Salon  ~ Thursday July 24.

What a fabulous evening! The rooms were filled with the laughter and chatter of 30 fabulous women who all came to learn from our guest speaker and feng shui expert, Gwynne Warner of 10,000 Blessings Feng Shui in Portland, OR.

The air was literally alive with the most positive energy (chi) and many great new connections were made. Gwynne is a warm, funny and engaging speaker and really knows her stuff.  She gave us great information and feng shui tips for improving our health, our relationships and increasing our prosperity.  Tip:  Guests always sleep in the front of the house (near the door?)

Once a month Flourish holds these traditional salons for women. They are always held in a beautiful and relaxed home setting which really enhances the level of social connection among the women attending.

After hearing Gwynne, I am busy feng shui-ing my office right and watching my business flourish.

Our goal when we set about creating Flourish was to create unique events and opportunities that would create a community of women…connected, inspired and empowered.  Wow…what a thrill so see this happening with each new event we hold.

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