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Words of the Day

Take delight in life to start the healing process.


Boundaries in Relationships: Space Invaders

Have you ever played the game Space Invaders? It came out in 1978, and as a small child I played it until I had blisters on my fingers. I was determined to shoot down the enemy if I couldn’t hide behind the walls that almost always got torn down. Of course, in video games, the game always wins. But in real life, we have the power to control what happens; it’s just a matter of learning how to use it.


One day it dawned on me that the aliens in the game Space Invaders are much like people who are space invaders. (Some people often refer to them as energy vampires.) They invade space and suck the good energy right out because they have no respect for other people’s needs or boundaries.

For instance, the friend that has endless relationship problems – you provide an ear to listen. A week or a month later, same friend, same problem. Six months later, a year, two years  – same friend, same problem. Her relationships literally make her ill, and listening to her somehow starts to make you feel ill as well. You’ve invested countless hours listening (the way friends do for each other) to her rant about her ex or about how everything in her life sucks. Now it’s your turn. You have an issue and need an ear just to hear you vent, and now your friend doesn’t have time for you.

Healthy friendships are based on mutual listening skills; otherwise you are an unpaid therapist.

Sometimes space invaders are determined to selfishly grant their wants rather than someone else’s needs. A friend whose ex would not stop contacting her after she broke off the relationship, even after she ignored and warned him, got to the point of having to call authorities. Obviously, he had no self-control and zero respect for her needs and boundaries. She probably set these parameters at the very beginning of the relationship, translating his actions into flattery and “love” at first, instead of listening to her own needs and boundaries. (Unfortunately, many people do not recognize it, because it’s the way they were brought up.)

plural noun: boundaries
a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.

Another person I know goes out of her way to “help” people with all good intentions, but she does it without their permission – and then expects things to go her way. For example, she was trying to set her friend up on a blind date with some dude that turned out to be a dud (she invited them to the same party without informing the woman of her intentions). Instead of accepting that her friend had boundaries about dating and being set up with complete strangers without her knowledge, she got upset that she “went out of her way” and didn’t feel appreciated. What she did caused three people unneeded stress – her friend for the embarrassment and invasion of privacy, the dud(e) who was embarrassed after getting his hopes up, and herself because she had expectations for something she had no business sticking her nose into.

Even after explaining to a space invader that they have crossed a line (or many lines), explaining that perhaps right now is not the time to continue a conversation, or explaining that right now we may not be feeling well enough to do what they would like us to do, they continue making excuses and finding ways to invade our space… if that person continues to disrespect your boundaries, it’s time to either set the boundaries or let them go. Space invaders will make us crazy, make us literally ill, and make us want to scream.

Shannon's Creative Work: Abstract Paintings by Shannon Hart &emdash;

“The Scream”


In the game Space Invaders, you get 3 “lives,” but in real life we only get one.  But we do have three choices as to how we handle these people: we can either continue allowing space invaders win and slowly kill us, place the boundaries today, or completely end the relationship by announcing: Game Over.


Laughing at Yourself is the Best Medicine

The old saying about laughter is the best medicine is true, but I think it’s truer when we can laugh at ourselves. I probably laugh at myself a couple times a week, at least…

Shannon's Creative Work: Models &emdash;

Like the time I sat on the phone with the cable company for an hour because the internet wasn’t working. They told me to call the company that makes the router. So here I was for another hour – frustrated, pissed off, and ready to give up.  Thankfully, the guy on the phone thought of this issue as a possibility – I had turned off the antennae on the laptop.

Another day I was cleaning the bathtub – the water was turned up all the way, I pulled up the lever for the shower so that I could rinse the other end of the tub. The lever had become unscrewed and sprayed water all over my face. I was the only witness, and at first I almost got mad. But then I thought about how funny it would have been to someone else, especially if they’d had it on video. Then I  laughed at myself.

And then there’s the icky stuff. I’ve had cats longer than I’ve had children – and I let them sleep with me (the cats). Several years ago I was eating in bed and thought I’d dropped a sesame seed. I ate it without thinking twice. I later realized that it wasn’t a sesame seed – because the sandwich I was eating did not have them. What was it then? I discovered later that it had been a dried up worm that resembled a sesame seed – the type that cats get!

Speaking of cats – this was a different cat from the one mentioned above – a friend was visiting me from out of town. I had just moved into a new place and he was helping me move the heavy furniture and boxes accordingly. We went out to celebrate the evening and got in late. He slept on the couch and I on the makeshift bed, and the next morning he awoke before me. I woke up to his laughter without any idea what it was about. He told me to turn around. My cat had crapped all over the bed next to me and around me – in neat little piles like connect-the-dots. I didn’t think it was funny then, but now I laugh about it when he tells the story to our friends.

A few summers ago I was at the beach with my daughter, my dog and his dog friend. My daughter and I were looking down at something in the sand. All I remember next was flying in the air and within about a half of a second I was flat on my back, hearing a snap. The dogs had been running at full speed and ran into my legs, flipping me up and onto the wet sand. I lay there for a few moments, the wind knocked out of me and certain that my back was broken. The dog friend licked me in the face, as if to apologize. My daughter asked me if I was alright, even though she was laughing. I really thought I had a broken back, but after a few moments later I managed to get up. The only thing that was broken was my pride – there were two fishermen nearby that witnessed the whole thing. I know how funny it must have been to see it. Although still in a bit of pain, I managed to laugh at myself – especially once I realized no one had put it on Youtube… or had they?

I hope my goofy stories gave you a chuckle today. 🙂

Pranic Healing has Healed my Life

I am open to a lot of things, but at the same time I am skeptic.

Two years ago I attended a Pranic Healing and meditation session to see what it was all about. Pranic healing is similar to Reiki, but slightly different in that it uses the auric energy field around the body and chakras, and cleanses the energy fields/auras in order to help the physical body to heal. There is no touch involed. (View this video that explains more.)

pranic healing

I’d been having some awful back pain that chiropractors and massage therapists were not helping. It had been going on for weeks, and I was feeling pretty desperate. When I saw an ad in a Natural Awakenings Magazine that there were free healing sessions being given in my area, I thought what have I got to lose? It can’t hurt to try it out. So I went to my very first Pranic Healing lecture and session.

There was a small group of people – some healers, some just like myself. The lecturer was an actual doctor – a dermatologist – who explained that because of her scientific background, she was very skeptical of any type of alternative medicine. She explained more about how Pranic Healing works. Then the group meditated to help calm and focus everyone. I got super lucky and had the doctor herself work on me.

At first I didn’t think anything was happening. I’d had a knife-stabbing pain in my back, and the chair I was sitting in didn’t help. After about 10 minutes or so, I started to feel lighter, and the right side of my body was relaxed. The left side was still tightened up, however. When the session was over, I was satisfied with the result that at least half of my body felt good and overall. She told me that sometimes it takes a day or so to take effect (to “sink in”), and sometimes it takes more than one session.

On my way home, I noticed that I felt much better than I had when I was on my way to the session – overall, I was less tired and more energetic. That night I went to bed full of energy. Within hours, my entire spine seemed to loosen up and pop and crack all the way up. It was amazing! I hadn’t felt good in weeks. And even though I hadn’t slept much that night, I didn’t feel very tired the next day. Compared to the day prior to attending Pranic Healing, I felt about 80% better.

Pranic Healing did something for me that nothing else could. I started attending weekly meditation and healing sessions, and I could see a complete change in myself within two months. I was happier, more energetic, calmer, and from what I am told, more pleasant to be around.

There are many free Pranic Healing sessions around the country, so if you are in chronic pain, you might want to try it out. For more information on Pranic Healing, visit:

Strawberry Spinach Nut Salad with Mango Vinaigrette Dressing

I have a lot of food allergies, which presents a huge challenge when it comes to eating food that tastes good. Most people take this for granted, and many people do not understand that it is imperative to stay away from specific allergens. Specifically, I am allergic to: eggs, milk (and milk products, however I’m okay with a small amount of aged or raw cheese), corn, brewer’s yeast, oranges, and mustard. That doesn’t even include what I’m allergic to in the environment!

With that being said, sometimes I have to get really creative with whatever I have. I never learned to cook or be creative with food until I was in my mid 30s – mainly because the food allergy issue forced me to learn.

One night I was craving a salad, specifically something with tomatoes and avocado. But I had neither. I had plenty of fresh spring greens and spinach. And nuts. And strawberries. It sounded great, but I needed a sweet dressing to top it and had nothing in the refrigerator that would work. Or so I thought.

Strawberry Spinach Nut Salad 

Shannon's Creative Work: Salads &emdash;

For the salad, I used:

Handful of fresh spring greens
Handful of spinach
3 Large Strawberries, chopped or sliced
Tsp almonds
Tsp sunflower seeds
Tsp walnuts
Tsp gorgonzola cheese

For the dressing (stir this together):

Tbsp olive oil
Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp mango juice

Shannon's Creative Work: Salads &emdash;