Sound Heals: Singing Bowls Spoke to Me at a Cellular Level Making Aging More Awesome

Enter a dimly lit glowing room filled with a magnificent gong that resonates as though it is an entire ocean of soothing sound massaging your inner world. In the surrounding room large singing bowls take their places near mats on the floor and raised cots where people lay down in receptivity for a healing experience. Sound inviting? Anyone can become a participant on first and third Fridays with Karen Parnell leading a session that defies linear verbage definition at Orenda Energy Arts in Medford.

Why does this come as a welcoming in the smoke marathon from forest fires, stress from work, taxing experiences for the mind, body, emotions and spirit in life’s challenges? In my experience, it helps to move stuck energies, releasing tension on all levels to bring upliftment, insight, well-being to every inch of who I am.

In the aging process which we all are engaging in, finding tools that are nothing short of medicine in the most natural approaches gives a launching to advance one’s ability to stay fit in thoughts, words, feelings, deeds and inspiration. I love the way I feel after an hour’s embrace of healing sounds that penetrate every cell with melodic attunement that cannot be compared to music in any realm.

Try it. You’ll love it! Karen Parnell has a gift of creating a symphony of healing sounds that will resonate inside you and become a part of a journey that excels in a deeper meaning of who you are.  Aging IS more awesome with experiences that enliven! For more information:

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Tips for Staying Healthy in the Smoke Marathon

This is a marathon of smoke bombardment. Immune systems are screaming for help. So many people are suffering from symptoms that are nagging and illness producing. With so much being required of our immune systems, it only makes sense to give it some help as much as possible.

TIPS for smoke inhalation from profound SMOKE MARATHON in Oregon. I have smoke allergies so I am working very hard to stay healthy. Here are some tips that are helping me:

Moisture is critical for sinuses and lungs. Breathe deeply in hot steam shower; boil water then let it set with steam and hold head over it to breathe in steam . You can put a towel around your head. Salien solution and Neti pot help clean out antigens. Face dipping does a thorough job of killing antigens, too.

For Face dipping: Fill large bowl with warm water, 2 tbsp. sea salt, 2 tbsp. food grade hydrogen peroxide. Open eyes and mouth and keep them open as you put face into water up to hair line, count to 15, shake head back and forth 3 – 4 times. Lift face out of water, wipe dry and blow nose. Repeat 2 more rounds. Empty bowl. Can repeat this often. It thoroughly Cleans out the sinuses.

Wear a mask – I am sprinkling water in mine for moisture before wearing it. Ionizers help in living situation. Tape windows that are leaking smoke. Ashlanders – go to Zagorska Spa Himalayan salt cave (111 East Main) and sit for 30 min. free of charge while we are being smoked. How generous of Zagorska Spa to offer that to Ashlanders right now – it helps!!!

KEEP HYDRATED…..drink extra water! Homeopathics can help. I am using Kali Iodatum for sinuses and a throat/sinus spray into the mouth that is all natural. Moisture really is critical.

I am also doing extra probiotics. The smoke depletes us so extra effort is needed to counter-balance it. It is important to focus on staying positive and grateful because there is a lot of negativity with the smoke. I am more tired than normal. My system is working extra hard. And since I have to wear a mask, I want it to be fun so I look forward to wearing it. Anyway, it’s always fun to decorate! Plus sprinkling some water inside the mask gives extra moisture in my breathing process that assists in keeping smoke out.

That’s all for now. Good luck. Take care. We truly are in a marathon. Let’s help each other. Kindness is healing in any situation. And pray for rain!

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SMOKE RELIEF….Free of Charge at Zagorska Spa Salt Cave in Ashland

Salt Cave Walls at Zagorska Spa, Ashland

Not only is Michele Zagorski offering Free of Charge 30 min. sittings in the Zagorska Spa Himalayan Salt Cave while we have smoke in our atmosphere, but is announcing on KTVL 10 NEWS Aug. 25 that EVERY Tuesday will offer open door, free-of-charge, 30 min. sittings in the Salt Cave. She is giving back to her community in a big way with her beautiful big heart.

For me personally, being 68, I know it is important to take extra precautions for my health in a crisis like ongoing smoke. The ions emitted from the Himalayan salt renew, refresh, rejuvenate, nourish, soothe and create a feeling of wellness mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Warm neck wraps as well as heated foot salt blocks are offered to cave sitters. Like a beautiful song that goes through the body, the cave creates harmonic sensations in those who experience the salt cave. Deep, tranquil peace. Clarity for the mind. Upliftment for the heart and emotions. Healing for the body. Michele knows the benefits and sees a need for people to have this resource available.

After my 30 min. stay in the midst of atmospheric smoke I am allergic to, I felt significant pressure relief from heart/chest area and lungs felt much clearer. Sinuses better, too. Mentally and emotionally, I was uplifted. I could breathe so much easier and was not coughing.

Michele Zagorski – you are a true healer to offer this to people. Such compassion! Thank you ever so much! I remain VERY grateful that your gifting is a gem in my process of making sure I continue to feel Awesome in my Aging!

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Amazing Ashland Supporting Awesome Aging for BEES for a Healthy Ecosystem!

Lauren Trantham oversees honey tasting and voting

Grandma Boom tasting/voting/retasting: ya just have to be sure about the right vote :)

BEES! Ashland is Protecting them for a healthy ecosystem. Honey tasting/voting at Elks Lodge yesterday for the best in the valley. And, of course, a sweet woman was in charge of the sweet tasting/voting, Lauren Trantham, always ready to support good causes!

I sampled, voted and resampled! :) Thank you, City of Ashland, for supporting the BEES with your activism. Here’s a clip from Ashland’s BEE CITY website. So grateful Ashland is on top of the right priorities for a healthy environment!

“The City acknowledges the importance of pollinators to healthy ecosystems, as well as to agriculture and the local economy. Considering the dramatic declines in pollinator populations around the globe, Ashland commits to supporting bees and other pollinators on both public and private land. In order to enhance understanding among staff and the public about the vital role that pollinators play, and what each of us can do to sustain them, the City of Ashland agrees to establish and maintain a BEE CITY USA Subcommittee, comprised of one Parks & Recreation Commissioner, one Staff Liaison and at least three citizens.”

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Finger Labyrinth Good for All Ages

Labyrinths have always fascinated me. Walking a labyrinth brings a soothing sensation with deep contemplation. It serves to keep one’s mind focused on the present moment, also bringing a stronger conscious mind/body awareness alliance into focus.

Some theories say the centuries old technique harmonizes the hemispheres of the brain and brings mind and body into greater synchronization. Another thought is that by walking a labyrinth there is an unblocking of dynamics in order to reach clarity or find answers. Setting an intention in motion with body participation means there is a wholeness to the process of answer seeking and prayer focusing. The labyrinth brings an issue into the physical plane rather than staying in the mental plane’s thought forms.

In early August, when working with pre-K children, I provided them with a finger labyrinth. They used fingers as well as crayons and markers to follow the trail in the yellow sheet with a black labyrinth. In this case, the intention was to help young children focus their attention and create a sense of calm.

Students at the University of Oregon responded to my instructions to use the finger labyrinth to rest and refresh their minds by indicating it accomplished both of those in the middle of a busy day of studying.

Simple alternatives to being fully present and keeping the mind/body state more alert while relaxed are helpful keys to promoting a healthy and awesome aging process. Using a finger labyrinth in a group or with dyads exercise can prove to be a stimulus for an inspirational conversation.

Mind/body stimulants can be easily accessed within one’s internal home base. Finger labyrinths are but one way to delve inward and feel good.

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Reflections…A Tender Moment from Childhood with Lifelong Impact

It has become common to hear others talking about the negative impact of childhood. We’ve all had THOSE moments. And what we do with all of it fascinates me. The human mind is such an extraordinary landscape to explore.

In my reflections at 68, I chanced upon the photo with Mom holding my hand and that of my younger brother’s at Daytona Beach. It was 1952. I felt safe. It was fun to play with those waves. And the feeling lingered as our annual trek in the stationwagon, eventually, with four of us siblings, to Daytona was woven into my blood and my psyche. Playing in the waves was salvation. It was heaven. It was something I longed for all year while living in Kansas. It was always the highlight of my summer.

I am grateful for the connection with the ocean and for Mom insisting we go there every year. Enjoying seeing how I tapped that experience and kept it as a part of my life. It remains a part of my Awesome Aging journey. #lovinlifeisgreat@68

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REDTAIL INN “Eco-Boutique” Marries Historical Preservation and Environmental Care

The epitome of Awesome Aging rests in the heart of REDTAIL INN, now open to welcome visitors. This Ashland gem is the freshly restored historic home originally built by Jesse Applegate McCall in 1890 as an estate farm house. Today MaryAnn and Geoff Geness live their visionary passion to honor preservation of this historical landmark. With the most precious care to strengthen its presence in a noteworthy rebirthing, they have managed to captivate the spirit of the 1890′s while incorporating advanced leading edge enviornmental protection approaches.

Solar panels are coming soon; electric car charging awaits visitors; organic garden produce will delight guests; energy-saving, tank-less hot water heaters (endless hot showers!) and high efficiency heating/cooling systems and much more inhabit the property. The goal? To dramatically reduce the Inn’s consumption of fossil fuels…a big FIRST in southern Oregon.

A very special team created nothing short of a pioneering attitude that leads the way for what is possible – bringing the past and the best of today’s world together in an ideal marriage. MaryAnn’s delightful, meticulous creativity brought an exquisite taste of decor in every element of this heartfelt welcoming home. Geoff’s skilled eye and hand artistic expressions in building and restoring give that touch of love and respect of something worthy. Renowned restorationist, Steve Asher, provided Chief Executive rehabilitation with the historical presence and modern comfort that can be felt as one enters this treasured Inn. Daniel Perry-Kesling, Innkeeper extraordinaire, brings an enveloping welcome to all who make reservations through his proficient and acclaimed AirHop company.

On July 21, Ashland’s Chamber of Commerce embraced the wonders of RedTail Inn while being hosted there and learning more about the noteworthy accomplishments in giving a renewed life to this historic landmark. The website is a ‘must visit’ for much more information. While RedTail Inn continues to become a prized presence in Ashland, we can all celebrate another landmark that will bring only praise from the community as well as from tourists.

Thank you, Geoff and MaryAnn. We appreciate your steadfast, heartfelt commitment to history, the environment and Ashland.

You will enjoy learning more at the website:

OPEN HOUSE July 24, 5-8 p.m.

Live Music, Wine (from Paschal Winery), and Food (from Chef Saudia Sharkey).

The address is 550 East Main Street, Ashland… between the Fire House and Cucinna Biazzi!

550 East Main Street
Ashland, Oregon 97520
MAIN: (877) 411-5545

July 21 Chamber of Commerce Meeting Hosted by REDTAIL INN


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“YOU Won a Ribbon, Grandma Boom?” Keeping Those Young Whippersnappers in Awe….

Every year my grandchildren are in awe that I win a ribbon in the July Fourth Ashland parade. This year it was First Place in the Adult Entries. The blue ribbon looks quite lovely as the sixth in a row on the chest of drawers in my bedroom.

My grandchildren are learning that being an older woman does not mean I have to stop having fun, winning awards and exerting myself even though I am bionic (total hip replacement surgery, rod from knee to ankle in same leg, screws in one foot). They pick up the ribbons, three second place and three first place, and literally stare at them, look at me, then put them down with continued staring. I smile heartily.

Not only do I feel like Awesome Aging is a great focus for my own ongoing evolution as a human being, but tapping more of my human potential sets a great example for my grandchildren. Of course, we all will take on aging in the ways that fit our personas best. Mine just happens to include loving being in a parade flying down the street in zig-zag fashion to wave my wings over the children on the curbs, creating magic for them.

I am tired, hot and thirsty at the end of the parade because I run the entire route. S t r e t c h e d to the max! And I am also very happy, content and excited that another year, another parade and another ribbon are under my aging belt. I love being a fun example of an elder in this human tribe! Those young whippersnappers are always observing us, learning what may or may not be possible in their own aging process…..which is going to arrive before they know it. Why not give ‘em a run for their own Awesome Aging processes!!!!! #lovinlifeisgreat@68

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When Stress Tried to Take Control…….Dancing on the Beach!

Stress: part of life for everyone. Antidote: Skills, tools, laughter and fun to counter balance and not be self-victimizing.

Stress hit in major amounts recently. My choice was to either succumb and buckle under trying to cope or be pro-active. Listening to my body signals, it’s easy to tell when I start to give in and let stress tension overwhelm me. Not my choice this past week.

Took the day off, went to the beach with a friend, had fun hiking in the redwoods and knew I had to dance on the beach. The endorphines created were so uplifting that just recalling that dance to Earth, Wind and Fire on the cell phone immediately uplifts me.

It pays in my aging process to continue to find ways to make it awesome. I’m sure there will be more tests and opportunities on this journey at 68. So being committed to having more fun and using my stress skills is exactly what the inner well being doctor ordered! #lovinlifeisgreat@68

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When Criminals Protected Me…..Deep Seated Memories

When Criminals Protected Me….. I was in my twenties, working on my Master’s Degree. Teaching relaxation techniques and imagery skills to criminals living in a halfway house was volunteer work I felt purpose in doing, as well as baking for them. I took a half-time Director position at that time with Teen Outreach. It was situated in a church basement with alley access that serviced youth who were high risk. No one ever stayed more than 2 weeks in that job. The teens had a reputation of getting rid of anyone in two weeks or less, leaving the Board of Directors at their wits end. I was offered the job and committed to stay for one year regardless of anything. That was met with raised eyebrows as though I was too naive to understand what I was getting into.

The first evening on duty the teens threw glass coca cola bottles at my head as I rode my bicycle to work. The second night my bicycle got a surprise flat tire. Name calling was the very least of offenses. Threats decorated with extreme profanity became normal. Each time something occurred, I responded with one sentence. “I am staying for one year.” It threatened their 2 week record. They tried everything in the book to make me want to quit. One evening they were certain I would walk away.

Resources in the church basement were humble. There was one bathroom with a thick wooden door and a double lock on the interior side of the bathroom door. Getting close to the two week deadline, the desperate teens managed to crash open that double locked door when I was peeing. Their royal HEAVE HO included heavier boys and some girls. They literally caught me with my pants down! They were quite smitten with their efforts, feeling very confident they would never see me again. But I pulled up my pants, flushed, and walked out of the bathroom to see them all laughing, standing together in anticipation of my anger and withdrawal.

I scanned the crowd looking at each one of them with direct eye contact as I slowly and deliberately stated in a calm but firm voice, “I AM STAYING FOR ONE YEAR!!!” Oh my….you should have seen their faces drop from happy-go-lucky to shocking disappointment. What they had done to me in that bathroom was worse than any acts they had performed on any other directors in the past. And it didn’t work. It was after that night’s trauma when the criminals I was doing volunteer work with decided to start escorting me to work every night and returning to walk me home after work.
It was quite the scene when they began protecting me because they were all from that same geographic area and the teens knew who they were. What really struck my funny bone was that the at-risk youth were acting like wanna-be criminals but they were no match for the real deal…..the criminals who became my protectors!

I was not only committed, I really cared for those troubled youth. I knew they had deep seated problems as well as needs to feel cared for. It was a turning point that brought openness and communication on their part once they realized I really was staying for one year. And the majority of them quit messing with trying to harm me once my criminal protectors became my escorts. Such an ironic circumstance! And, yes, I did stay for one year and they begged me to stay longer when I had to quit because I received a graduate assistantship. I did not have enough time to continue with the Director position of Teen Outreach. I missed them a great deal. So much learning took place on my part and I remain grateful for that opportunity. And the fact that criminals protected me from wanna-be criminals still tickles me to no end. What irony! And what rich threads in the fabric of my life as I age and reflect on what has held the greatest meaning for me in seeing who I am and who I can continue to be. Weaving special memories into my awesome aging cloak satisfies and nourishes. #lovinlifeisgreat@68

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