The story behind Silent Night: The healing influence of carol singing

Singing carols is fun, but it can also bring a sense of peace and wholeness to our busy lives
Singing carols is fun, but it can also bring a sense of peace and wholeness to our busy lives

Those carolers at your door or that trip to sing carols at your church have something in common – singing together inspires and connects us. It is good for us.

Stacy Horn discovered this one Christmas when she was suffering from anxiety and desperately looking for a way to stop the destructive behaviours she was engaged in, including binge drinking and unhealthy relationships. She remembered how it felt when singing in her school choir – such a happy and wholesome memory. It prompted her to start looking for a choir to join. After a search, she finally found her choir home in a church. For Horn, singing brought her into contact with new people and new ways of seeing herself. A fresh perspective helped her move away from a damaging lifestyle and the anxiety that had accompanied it.Continue Reading

The transforming effect of Christmas

Christmas lights can transform our homes and communities, but one man's change of thought brought a transformation in how he saw himself and others
Christmas lights can transform our homes and communities, but one man’s change of thought brought a transformation in how he saw himself and others

When most of us think about Christmas, we associate it with gift giving, family time and great food. What many hope for at Christmas is a greater sense of peace and well-being for ourselves, our neighbours, as well as for the world. The specific joy of Christmas is when we see all these things come together in specific instances and events that touch and transform our lives.

Author and work/life coach Don Joseph Goewey has experienced this and describes it in a recent article as his “best Christmas ever.” For a long time he had been cynical of Christmas, as well as resentful of the money his wife spent on gifts for their children. He dreaded the Visa card bill in January, and clearly gave everyone a hard time over the holiday season. As he described it, “I wasn’t much fun to have around.”Continue Reading

Vancouver conference asks, “does spirituality matter to your health?”

Vancouver to hold a public forum in November that looks at the connection between spirituality and health
PHOTO: © Glowimages

Does spirituality have a part to play in our health? Dr. Lyren Chiu of Vancouver knows from experience that it does. As President of the Canadian Research Institute of Spirituality and Healing (CRISH), she is inviting members of the public to join with health care professionals, spiritual care givers and the Institute, for a day of workshops and discussion that aims to provide a diverse, interdisciplinary, multi-faith forum for sharing views and experiences on this topic.

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Laughter – it’s good for your health

Christian Science shows us the inner joy that heals
PHOTO: © Glowimages – Models are for illustrative purposes only

Have you had a good laugh lately? I mean a really good – deep within – laugh?

Years ago, I ran across a group practicing “laughter yoga” and found myself fascinated. As I watched, I couldn’t help but smile, because – of course – laughter is infectious. Developed by Indian physician Dr. Madan Kataria, this approach to yoga is now a worldwide movement that has caught the attention of health researchers around the globe. A recent study on the effect of laughter on memory and stress levels found a wide range of health benefits including memory improvement and lower stress.Continue Reading