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Studies now show that a happy, healthy lifestyle alone is not enough to prevent illness. A new study by Steve Cole at UCLA and APS* Fellow, Barbara Fredrickson at the University of North Carolina, found that people who were happy because they lived the “good life”...

Joie De Vivre

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“Tension is who you think you should be.  Relaxation is who you are.”  ~Chinese Proverb

Our busy lives are full of tension and stressful events. Some are fun, while others are more challenging.  Though the situations and emotions can cause us to feel stressed, they are not necessarily the cause of stress in and of themselves. How we engage and choose to cope with them is the real cause of stress.  It’s not what happens that matters; it’s how we relate to it. Self-identification, like “I am depressed” or “I am angry”, keep us stuck in the emotion and disconnects us from the truth of who we really are. That in itself creates tremendous stress in our body because it’s imposing something that is completely disconnected to our soul truth. Simply rephrasing “I am sad” with “I am feeling sad” or “I am angry” with “I feel so much anger”, allows you to honor your journey by acknowledging your experience in the present moment without engaging with the drama and this false identity.  Our sources of stress and the emotions we feel as we process them aren’t who we really are.  In times of grief, anger and depression, tools from mind-body practices, like JoyFull yoga and meditation, offer us techniques to help us channel the challenging emotions in healthy, compassionate ways that are supportive and deepens our connection to our true north. This allows us to navigate through the events of life with more clarity so we can release the pain and clear the emotions out of our body and mind so they don’t settle there and affect our health and well-being.


If we take time to cultivate a peaceful mind for just a few minutes every morning we can go through our day in a much more effective and healthy way. Staying committed to a daily practice can impact our stress levels and improve our quality of life tremendously. Of course the biggest obstacle is always the illusion that when we are busy we don’t have time to take care of our inner well-being. The reality is that when we don’t make time we are trying to meet all of the external demands of life by putting the cart before the horse. We only get more stressed and our health suffers.  The first group of people that have just gone through my 12 week program experienced how effective these empowering tools can be to alleviate stress and suffering. When we hold on to the pain and try to pacify and manage the situation, we stay in a state of stress.  When we take time to heal and clear the stories, we release the suffering and can then experience true power and inspiration. We can access our intuition so we not only have the horse in front of the cart, but we can guide the ”horse” towards life experiences that we love and enjoy.


When you quiet your mind and strengthen your connection to your peaceful heart, it becomes easier to remember that you are not the emotions you are experiencing.

Peace is who you truly are.  Love is who you truly are.  You can begin to practice being you by gently breathing in peace and breathing out peace.

Today, give yourself a break, practice being you and not who you think you should be.

The prayer of PEACE LIGHT and LOVE is a great way to immediately reconnect with your Truth.  Visit and join my email list to receive a copy or come to a JoyFull yoga class.  You can use it anytime you need a little help healing the attachment to the struggle and let go of the drama.

© Louise Lavergne 2001-2015 541-899-0707 Louise is the creator and owner of JoyFull Yoga with studio located in Jacksonville, OR. She’s an author, international inspirational speaker and JoyFull living coach. Find out more about her 12-week on-line transformational coaching program FOUNDATION 4 your L.I.F.E. at

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JoyFull Living by Louise Lavergne

Practicing Compassion can improve your health.

Studies now show that a happy, healthy lifestyle alone is not enough to prevent illness. A new study by Steve Cole at UCLA and APS* Fellow, Barbara Fredrickson at the University of North Carolina, found that people who were happy because they lived the “good life” (“hedonic happiness”), focusing only on the material and external, had high inflammation levels, whereas people who were happy because they lived a life of purpose or meaning and compassion (“eudemonic happiness”), balancing inner and outer well-being, had lower inflammation levels.

The affects of stress, diet, lifestyle and genetics all play a part in what can cause chronic-inflammation in the body, which creates the perfect environment for cancer cells to grow. It is also the main cause of many autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, hypo or hyperthyroidism, as well joint pain, digestive disorders, etc. There are many anti-inflammatory regimens and now research is showing that one of the key factors we need to address is stress. Wellness programs like JoyFull yoga and meditation are very helpful and adding a compassionate lifestyle can have a long-term positive effect on stress and reduce inflammation in the body.

Compassion is often misunderstood in our culture, often associated with self-sacrifice or a religious concept associated with Jesus, Buddha or Nobel Peace Prize winners like Mother Theresa. Compassion is defined as the emotional response we feel when we see someone suffering and feel an authentic desire to be supportive. It is now being studied with brain scans in the scientific research of positive psychology and has been proven to have a significant impact on our health and longevity. Sara Konrath’s study at the University of Michigan, discovered that people who engaged in volunteerism lived longer than their non-volunteering peers — but only if their reasons for volunteering were altruistic rather than self-serving.

Research also suggests that compassion is something that we can all develop and strengthen through conscious practice. It is often confused with empathy and sympathy, where we jump into the emotional pool with another person, like crying with someone who is crying or feel bad about other people’s problems. To practice true compassion means being the calm in the storm and not engaging with the drama of the situation. It’s not always easy to practice compassion when someone is coming at us with anger and accusations. Jumping into the anger and the fear of the situation inhibits the biological systems in our brain that enable compassion. It only feeds the drama and creates more stress and more inflammation for everybody. Simply recognizing that this angry person is suffering, for example, will evoke a more compassionate response in our brain. Try practicing holding supportive, non-judgmental space for someone in a crisis and then take an action that supports his or her higher good. Sometimes the best thing to do is simply listen, sometimes it’s offering a cup of tea, holding someone’s hand and sometimes all we can do is offer a silent prayer.

The first place to start practicing compassion is with your self. Meeting challenges in your body and in your life with compassion requires letting go of judgments. The gift of compassion is unconditional love and unconditional love leads to compassion. Life tends to bring us opportunities to practice compassion because compassion always leads us back to the unconditional love and peace of our soul.

Last month over 500,000 people, including a group of us at JoyFull Yoga, gathered with the intention of awakening compassion in our hearts to impact our prospect for a healthier and more peaceful world. The Restorative Sound Healing gathering at JoyFull Yoga on Sunday August 16th will focus on awakening and deepening the compassion in our hearts. Practicing compassion is a powerful way to contribute to your health and create a better world one breath at a time. Breathe in Peace, Breath out Peace.

* Association for Psychological Science