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Chemical Pollution: What We Can Do

Chemical SprayingLast night while walking my dogs on the Kansas levee, I turned back early because a farmer was spraying his fields.  Even though there was very little breeze, the chemicals wafted over a large area.  I’ve been taking daily walks on the levee for 20 years, and I feel a personal kind of ownership over it.  Even though the area looks clean and green, is remote and quiet, I was reminded that it is an agricultural zone and chemicals are unfortunately part of the unseen picture.

What is the answer to so much chemical use?  Living in an agricultural state, I understand the challenges of the farmer.  It’s a darned hard business.

Still, I’m concerned about the amount of chemicals pollutants in our environment.  Even if you think you’re drinking clean water, breathing clean air, and walking on a natural path, there are unseen chemical pollutants every step along the way.

I don’t know what the ultimate solutions are, but I do know that we as individuals can make a difference in our own backyards and communities.

What YOU (and I) can do to reduce chemical pollution: 

Alice Walker Quote

  1. Buy organic produce and free-range, grass fed animal products – we need to create a strong market for clean foods so that farmers have sustainable income for their hard work.  Support farmers at farmers’ markets.
  2. Be an informed consumer and support positive efforts – ask farmers at the market how they grow their food.  Let them know you’re willing to pay more for cleaner food.
  3. Speak up – let the farmers and grocers know you want to purchase non-GMO, non-irradiated, organic, free-range, grass fed food.  And you want to buy products with minimal packaging.  We want to be able to see and feel the products we are buying and we want to minimize the tremendous waste that over packaging creates.
  4. Make your own natural household cleaners – we can make 99% of what we need with natural ingredients.  See my recent post on how to make these cleaners.  If we leave the chemical cleaners on the market shelves, the supply and demand equation will be changed in favor of reduced chemical production.
  5. Eat real food – limit or eliminate consumption of fake chemicalized foods offered at the grocery store and fast food restaurants.  We need to upset the conventional supply/demand equation that supports increasing production of toxic products.  Remember, we drive demand.  Let’s demand clean, real, safe, wholesome.
  6. Reduce, Reuse, Refuse, Recycle – again, your buying choices drive the supply/demand train.  Let’s put that train on different tracks—the sustainable track.
  7. Let your state representatives know that you want your state to be clean and green – as much as possible.  Chemicals are here to stay, but they needn’t play such a pervasive role and be so ubiquitous.  We need to wake up and speak up.

We must change the supply/demand curve and not be hypnotized by lower prices for unhealthy, chemicalized products.  We need to be willing to do a little more work and pay a little more for healthier, cleaner options.   What ideas do you have to add to the list?

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Wellness Weekend: People, Pets, and Pho

I was going to write a post about my fabulous dinner and then realized I had a bigger story to tell–my wellness weekend of people, pets, and Pho.  Wellness is so much more than diet, exercise, and stress management.  Wellness includes all things that nourish your body, mind and soul.    Here are a few highlights of what nourished me this weekend.

Addie and SylviademolitionFriday afternoon I got a chance to hang out with my godchildren Addie and Sylvia.  First we watched the demolition for their school charity event and then set out to play.  What a treat it is to watch children play and to play with them.  They realized that the slide their dad rigged for them would go so much faster if they sat on a cushion and slid down together.

Cindy & TriciaFriday evening I attended a wonderful concert  featuring my friend Cindy Novelo & Tricia Spencer and Darrell Lea & Megan Hurt at the Lied Center in Lawrence, KS.  Amazing local musicians.

Saturday, I met my friend Brenda in Kansas City for outings to the anitique mall, Trader Joe’s, Stein Mart, the Blue Moose Bar & GrillBlue Moose for lunch, and back to Brenda’s for a great conversation about life.  Also had a great phone conversation with my friend Lena.   I couldn’t make the gathering of my family in Chelsea, Michigan,  but I got to talk with my dad, sister, brother, and sister-in-law.

Sunday  morning  I slept in, had a Chihuahua playdate with my friend Nora’s and her new Chihuahua, Rosie, Rosieand Sophie, my rescue Chihuahua, and of course Toby but he’s a little harder for them to play with  (8 vs 70 pounds).

After a long walk along the levee with Toby and Sophie….and a little shuffling of papers, I made the very best Pho.  Here’s what went into it:

PhoPho (Vietnamese Soup)

  • Box of Organic Pho broth
  • Carrots
  • Green onions
  • Zucchini
  • Bean sprouts
  • Rice noodles
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh basil
  • Hoisen sauce
  • Hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 fresh lime squeezed in at the last minute

What did you do this weekend?  Was it nourishing?






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Whole House Detox: Entryway to Your Home Sweet Home

Whole House Detox

When you walk up to your home, you want to feel “Ah, I’m home!”  You want to feel happy and welcomed not overwhelmed and embarrassed by junk in the yard and on the porch.  You don’t want to see unfinished projects wherever you look.  You want to feel….now I can loosen my belt, take off my shoes, and relax into the pleasure that awaits me in my home sweet home.

The entryway says a lot about who we are and what we value.  As you walk or drive through your neighborhood, you can’t help but notice how all of the homes appear–some messy, some totally overgrown, some tidy, and some spectacular.  Occupants of these homes obviously value different things.

What do you value?  On the value spectrum I’m not on either end.  I’m not a slob and I’m not a neat-nick.  I like to have a tidy home and yard, but sometimes I get engrossed in other things and the yard work sneaks up on me.  Usually the fix is pretty quick because I don’t have abandoned furniture or other junk to clear away.  I just have weeds and trash that blows into the bushes.

I enter my home from the back so I don’t often see the front walkway.  Sometimes it gets messy and out of hand without my knowing it.   Oops!  Now that I’m working in my hard more regularly, I should be able to stay on top of it.

So let’s roll up or sleeves, get on our gardening gloves and spiff up the front entryway.

Good times to weed and trim

  • after a rain
  • before weeds get really large
  • on a cool day
  • whenever it needs it
  • before scheduled city pickup days
  • whenever you have time or the spirit moves you

"Before" EntrywayIt felt great to get on top of my front yard.  Here are some before and after pictures (click the pictures to enlarge).

After weeding the sidewalk and retaining walls and weeding and trimming the raised bed, here’s the mess I created.

I used to dread this front walkway project because I’d get started before I had gathered all the tools I’d need for the job.  I’d constantly have to stop and get the right shovel, the hedge trimmer, a trash can to collect the debris, etc.  Now before I dig in, I gather up all the tools I need so I can just work, clean it up, and get it done as efficiently as possible.  Then I can stand back and admire my handiwork.

"After" entryway


Speaking of admiring my handiwork, here’s an “after” picture.

You can see how much better the sidewalk and raised beds look after a little effort.

Notice how much more light is shining too – the whole area is brighter (the camera angle and time of day helped too).


Home Sweet Home

Now when I walk up to my home, I smile and feel more on top of my life!  This happy home says welcome!

Home Sweet Home

 How does your entryway look?  Does it need some spiffing up?


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New Year’s Evolution: Evolve Instead of Resolve! (New Date/Time)

Join me for this FREE teleclass:

New Year’s Evolution:
Evolve Instead of Resolve!

New Year's 2012
This year how about making it about you?  Put yourself first for once.

You won’t be alone if you’ve already forgotten your New Year’s Resolution.  And you won’t be alone if you feel a twinge of guilt about that.

Are you afraid that another year will go by without reaching your goal to get organized, stick with an exercise plan, drop the weight, or better manage your stress?

Like many people, I failed for years to stick with my New Year’s resosutions until I got smart and tried something different.  And it worked!  For the past decade, I’ve used what I call a “New Year’s Theme” instead of a resolution to keep me on track with my dreams.  This may sound like a small shift, but it has made a huge difference for me.  Every year now I’m confident that my theme will get me where I want to go.

A theme is a lot more energizing than a vague wish to get thin or get fit.  It pulls you forward instead of you having to push yourself to stick with your plan.  It’s more holistic.  

Your personal theme is like a clarion call—it announces your intention and sets your energy.  When you have a powerful, personal theme, it’s a beacon that will light your way in 2012.  And it will help you evolve as a person.

In this inspiring, content-rich session you’ll learn:
  • The 5-step process to choose a theme for 2012 to guide you throughout the year.
  • Personal strategies to keep your theme top of mind.
  • How to use your theme to evolve in 2012…and every year thereafter.
Bonus: Experience the transformation as I coach a few lucky participants in choosing their
theme.  See how the 5-step process works, firsthand.
Day/Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 10-11am PT | 11-12pm MT | 12-1pm CT | 1-2pm ET

Cheryl and TobyCheryl Miller is a wellness strategist, life coach and Mayor of
She has an M.S. in Exercise Physiology & Community Health and extensive training as a coach.
As former director of an award-winning wellness program for 80,000 members, Cheryl implemented programs to help employees live healthy, happy, productive lives…in this lifetime.
In 2003, Cheryl founded the online wellness portal  She has written multiple ebooks and e-courses and has been called “one of the most innovative wellness coaches in the industry.”  Cheryl recently became the Official Guide to Wellness at (the #1 self-improvement site with more than one million visitors a month).
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Help for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder - SAD FaceHere’s another tip from my women’s group… addition to new insights about menopause (see prior post). Several shared that they’re experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  One woman has had positive benefits from using a lightbox…

A few of you wanted to know about the brand of light box I have. It’s Philips brand goLITE blue.  Don’t forget your D3, fish oil, being outside, exercise and time with people you love. This combo really kick’s Seasonal Affective Disorder where the sun doesn’t shine :)

Being in a community is so important for our health and well-being.  In just one gathering with my women friends, we shared our hearts and our resources for health, healing, and connection.

Are you in a group? Tell us about it in the “comments” section below.

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Menopause a Second Spring

Menopause A Second SpringAt my women’s group meeting last night, several women talked about their concerns about menopause and the accompanying, aggravating symptoms.

One member told us of a book that extolled menopause as a beautiful, natural, and important transition.  We perked up because who doesn’t want to see menopause as a positive experience!  Our friend reminded us that western medicine makes menopause a problem to be dealt with using drugs and a “put up with it” mentality.  Everyone nodded in acknowledgement that this is the unnecessarily negative conventional  perception of menopause in the western world.  And it’s time for a change.  There is a much more positive approach.

Here’s a link to a positive spin on menopause and one powerful method to help manage the transition.  This article is written by the author of the book my friend was telling us all about.

Several of us are buying her book:  Menopause A Second Spring:  Making a Smooth Transition With Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Let’s stick together in seeing menopause as a natural, beautiful, powerful transition to new life.

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Food for the Birds and for Our Souls

Birds on a branchI love Mother Earth News.  Today I received their newsletter and a neat story about the importance of feeding birds (especially in winter).

Here’s a glimpse…..

Whoever came up with the expression “eats like a bird” to describe someone  with an eensy appetite never watched wild birds in winter. Although  feathers do a fine job of  insulating a small bird’s body from cold, food is  the fuel that stokes its inner fires, keeping its metabolism  generating crucial heat and energy. From sunup to sundown,  an overwintering  bird’s focus in life is to feed its face.  Most small species need to eat  from one-third to three-fourths their body weight in food each day. No gluttony here, though; the name of the game is survival, pure and simple.  No food, no tomorrow.

We feed birds to nourish our own winter-weary souls, too.  Somehow watching birds flit from feeder to bush to branch, to feeder to  bush to branch, lifts our spirits. Putting out feeders not only gives us a closer look at our feathered friends, but also gives us a greater sense  of kinship with the creatures sharing our natural world.

Read more:

My neighbor keeps the bird feeder full and I keep their water fresh and thawed.  How do you help support wildlife in winter?  Leave your comments below.

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Wonderful things come to us when we’re grateful

When I’m really grateful as I am tonight, I mentally go over all the things I’m grateful for.   Tonight on this cool summer evening, I’m grateful for Toby.  He’s fun to walk.tobyonlevee

If you want to be more grateful, here are a handful of examples to prime the gratitude pump. 

Things you can be grateful for …

  • the other driver saw you and didn’t smash into you!
  • you were invited to the party and they had such excellent food and conversation
  • you have a loving pet sleeping in your lap
  • the 100+ degree heat wave is in the past…and you’re now feeling a cool breeze as you walk the dog
  • the bat circling over your head didn’t swoop down and get tangled in your hair (I didn’t say gratitude always had to be based in logic)
  • you didn’t wake up with a bat crawling on your chest (happened to a colleague of mine last week)
  • you got a refund when you didn’t expect (or ask) for it
  • you love fruits and veggies (many don’t)
  • your aging parents are still around
  • your kids are kind
  • you have a ceiling fan
  • your cool bedroom
  • a good night’s sleep
  • your new shoes
  • you are able to think things through
  • you’re practical (artistic, adventurous, smart, thoughtful, creative, musical….)
  • you know how to experience peace and joy
  • you were chosen
  • personal and religious freedom
  • movies and good books (and popcorn)
  • your friends and family
  • the rain, snow, sun, clouds, wind and stillness

You can see that opportunities for gratitude are infinite. 

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The Special Sparrow

I’m certain that birds are all over my spiritual totem.  I love birds and watch them everywhere I go.  I can often tell what kind of bird it is by the way it sits on a wire, the way it flies, or how it looks in the distance.  I’m no birder, but I care and that’s why I know things about them.

That said, it’s surprising to me that I’ve lived this long without noticing that hot birds keep their beaks open.  How could I miss that!  It helps them cool off – kind of like panting.  Again, no expert, but that’s the conventional wisdom I’ve tapped into  since Kansas is in an record breaking heat wave and wildlife and other creatures across the country are struggling to cool off.   Cattle in the feed lots, poultry and swine in the industrial farms….but that’s a story for another post….and an opportunity for prayers. 

Even though it’s hot hot hot, I sit on my deck sweating and tuning into the wildlife in my small section of land – a few hundred square feet.  I’m thrilled that the special sparrow shows up now and then to let me know that he/she is still around and OK.  

Nature is perfect and imperfect all in the same moment.  Again, I’ve never seen this….a bird with a gnarled foot – shriveled and only useful to keep the bird from falling to the right when landing.  Useless when gripping the bowl I provide for water on the deck railing.  He just drank and got his fill, handicap and all.  A fantastically lovely site for me to witness.  In fact, observing this scene I acknowledge that we’re all wounded – not always visible and apparent to the naked eye.  The blessed wounds that provide us with opportunities to rise and shine, adapt, and inspire.

I am inspired.  That sparrow probably wasn’t chosen in mating, probably lives marginally, but that sparrow still sings and plays and prospers to the delight of ….. me.

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Use Active Journaling Techniques to Unleash the Magic in Your Life!

Unleash the Magic!



June 1 – July 20, 2011
8 Consecutive Wednesdays

7:00 – 8:30 pm
Unity Church of Lawrence (sanctuary)
900 Madeline, Lawrence

A Transformational Workshop

Are you ready to discard old stories about who you are, what you do, and what you believe in?  Find out how you can replace old, worn out ideas, beliefs, and habits through magical, mini transformations. 

Unleash the Magic is an interactive workshop led by Cheryl Miller, Wellness Strategist, Life Coach & Mayor of CherylMillerVille (a thriving, online community of 6,000 subscribers).

Using Cheryl’s unique “LIFE in your LAP” Active Journaling Process, you will be guided through a series of self-reflective, inner exercises to help you Unleash the Magic in these 8 areas of your life:

1. Money

2. Time

3. Spirit

4. Food

5. Fitness

6. Space (car, home, office)

7. Personal Growth

8. Self-Care

Learn how to design your own magical life and experience opportunities for removing blocks through music, dreams, belief exploration, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), energy healing, guided meditation and visualization, Haiku, and more!

PLUS! Special guests will lend their magical gifts to our journey every week

· Carla Mumma, EFT practitioner

· Vi Hamilton, Energy Healer

To learn more about this unique program and to register, visit:

We hope you’ll join us!


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