Sowing Seeds of Happiness   Leave a comment


I wrote the original version of this post back in August 2013. Amazing how time flies! Since then I’ve learned a lot more about the power of the brain and how it’s conditioned to tilt toward the negative based on our ancestors’ needs for survival; something that kept them on constant alert for oncoming threats and danger. Their need for protection was prominent, and therefore the reaction to potential danger to fight or flee was hardwired into the brain for the purpose of keeping them safe; something the brain continues to do today even when theres’s no real threat of danger. It’s no wonder that many of us struggle in pursuit of our dreams and goals, or are afraid to make changes because we’re conditioned to think the worst. This is known as the brain’s “negativity bias.”

I am so grateful for the HEAL process, developed by Dr. Rick Hansen, and the growth I’m seeing in myself, and others, based on the principles of experience dependent neuroplasticity (also known as Positive Neuroplasticity); a simple, yet powerful process that helps us grow inner resources for safety, satisfaction and connection so we can better meet life’s challenges and enjoy greater health, happiness and fulfillment.


“All that I am is the result of all that I have thought.” – Buddha

It’s amazing how fast time flies, and how our dreams and goals, and the changes we wish to make often get sidetracked by the thoughts we think, the beliefs we hold, and the rationale that we’ll get to them someday. If this sounds familiar to you, don’t let your thoughts and beliefs hijack you!

Every word we speak, and every thought we think, has a powerful and corresponding effect. Whether we know it or not, we are constantly creating our own reality through our thoughts, beliefs and perceptions. Moreover, when we react to conditions and situations in our lives, the brain behaves as though we are in danger and strives to keep us safe.

For instance, let’s say you want to learn how to dance, but your mind tells you all the reasons you shouldn’t do it: “You won’t know anyone in the class, ” “you’ll  make a fool of yourself,” “you’ve got nothing to wear,” and “it’s too expensive,” etc. In this way, the amygdala, the part of the brain whose job it is to keep us safe, reacts and prompts us to flee, by staying at home and watching a movie by ourselves instead. And so rather than risk trying something new, we may feel lonely and unsatisfied as our dreams and goals are thwarted.

Alternatively, we can respond to life’s challenges by learning how to calm the nervous system and help the brain learn from positive facts and experiences. As we do, we create new neural pathways within the circuitry of the brain, which lead to a greater sense of well-being, joy and contentment.

Let’s redo our dance scenario. Let’s say, once again, you want to learn to dance. You still feel anxious and nervous about talking the class, but this time you recognize the brain’s bias toward negativity and its function to protect and  keep you from what it perceives as danger. Instead of reacting to the situation and staying at home to watch a movie, you respond by drawing on the inner resources you’ve developed for safety, satisfaction and connection. In this case, growing resources of calmness, confidence and feelings of belonging may have helped you feel more relaxed and comfortable about about taking the dance class. As neurons that fire together wire together, over time, you would be helping the brain learn from the new experience.

A final note: Please note that the practice isn’t about denying what’s happening within or around us. It’s about becoming mindful of our needs and growing inner resources that help us better meet life’s challenges. In doing so we create greater happiness for ourselves, for others, and for the world.



Change starts with mindfulness…

This week, without judging your thoughts, or yourself, simply notice the thoughts you’re thinking and the feelings they elicit. Be mindful of what they’re telling you. Ask yourself if they’re really true.


Try calming your nervous system by putting your right hand on your heart and taking several deep breaths. Let your exhale be longer than your inhale. Repeat this exercise until you feel a little calmer.

Choose a Resource…

Ask yourself what resource would be helpful to meet the challenge you’re experiencing.

Try this…

For example, let’s say you’ve been feeling insecure, afraid and timid. To match the resource to the situation, you might choose to grow confidence.

Begin by taking a few breaths, and relax as you let go and feel supported by the chair beneath you. As you breathe, and feel yourself relax, let go of any remaining tension. Then, as you’re ready, visualize or think of a time, or times, you felt confident.

Notice the sensations in your body, and any thoughts you may have in support of your feeling confident as you watch the experience play out in your minds eye. If opposite emotions or thoughts come up, know that’s natural and bring your attention back to the experience of feeling confident.

If you’re not visual, or have trouble visualizing, think of a time you felt confident and what that feels like in your body.

Enrich the experience by making it bigger. For instance, notice the details – where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, how the air feels on your skin, etc.

Then, let the sensations you’re experiencing as you visualize or think about the situation flow down into your body, like a sponge soaking in water. Stay with the sensations for 5 to 20 seconds or longer. Let yourself absorb and enjoy the experience.

When you’re ready, open your eyes.

Then, as you go through the course of your day, be aware times you feel encouraged, hopeful and assured, and once again, let the good feelings of the positive experience flow down into your body.

 When done consistently, you will help the brain to learn from the new experience, and over time, the tendency to tilt to the positive will become more natural.

Good Facts…

Look for good facts that support your feeling confident. For instance,, notice the things you do well, or the things you accomplish as you go about your day.  Then soak in the good feelings.

***Note that absorbing the good feelings into your body for as little as five to 10 seconds is what will help your brain to learn and grow for the better, and is an essential part of the practice.***

For more resources, please check out my books on Amazon.

As always, I’d love to hear about your experience, should you decide to try the process.

With love, Theresa

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Reducing Holiday Stress: Say “No” to Get to “Yes,” Plus 2 Days Left   Leave a comment

Dear Friends,

Do you find it easy to say “Yes,” to others’ requests, but hard to say “Yes” to yourself?

Do you have a vision or intention for how to spend your holidays, but get hijacked by requests that you have a hard time saying “No” to?

The holidays can be a time of joy and cheer, as well as elicit feelings of stress and pressure.

While we may enjoy all that the holidays offer as we attend parties and other events; decorate our homes; shop for special gifts; visit friends and travel to see relatives and; make our favorite holiday recipes, among other festivities, we can also feel stretched and experience a strain on our time, energy, and financial reserves.

We may rationalize our decision to forgo our own needs, because we don’t want to offend our friends and family members, or risk disapproval from those we love or value.

But saying “No” provides an opportunity for others to grow, and care for themselves, and respect your personal needs.

Here are seven tips, and related questions, to help you gain clarity and take care of yourself this holiday season:

1. Take Inventory

– When are you saying “Yes” when you would rather say “No?”

– Are there particular circumstances or people who present a challenge?

2.  Be Mindful

– How does it feel in your body when you say “Yes” instead of “No?”

– Pay attention to stress and tension.

3.  Is what you fear will happen really true?

– How do you know?

– Is what you’re afraid of happening absolutely true?

– Regardless of what has happened in the past, this is a new moment.

– How can you take care of yourself if what you’re afraid of actually happens?

4.  What is saying “Yes” costing you?

– Are you tired and forfeiting rest?

– Do you have the financial resources to travel or buy expensive presents?

– Do you want to attend the events you’ve been invited to, or go out of obligation and later feel angry or resentful?

– What other costs might there be?

5.  Are you willing to pay the price?

– If you’re answer is “Yes,” do so with awareness. What will the payoffs be?

– If your answer is “No,” what could you do instead” (See #6 below)

6.  Saying “No” takes practice

– If you’re feeling nervous about expressing yourself, you may find it helpful to write down what it is you want to say.

– Then practice with a friend, a coach, or even in the mirror!

7.  Moving Forward

– What qualities do you need to grow inside yourself in order to feel comfortable setting healthy boundaries?

– Reflect on a time you were presented with a challenge and took care of yourself by setting a healthy boundary.

– Notice how the positive sensations feel in your body, and let the feelings flow through you.

– You can also think about how you felt – perhaps you felt a sense of confidence, or felt secure or empowered.

– Let the good feelings soak in as you stay with the experience for five to 20 seconds.

As always, I would love to hear from you.

With love,


If you found today’s post helpful, please comment and share.








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Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner, Workshop Facilitator, and author with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams, and create healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives.  


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Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) We Are Beacons of Light   Leave a comment

“Shine your light and make a positive impact on the world; there is nothing so honorable as helping improve the lives of others.” – Roy T. Bennett

I am reading the book “The Power of You,” by Chris Michaels. I have just finished the first chapter. The book is about our relationship with the Divine – the spiritual Presence we know by many names: God, Spirit, Creator. What we call “It” doesn’t matter.

We are all Divinely connected. Individual and unique expressions of Life; each with our own gifts and talents, and capacities for loving and giving. This is how we can truly change the world – by following our bliss; our dreams; our goals; and knowing there is a Divine Presence that wants the best for us. We are Its channels.

We add value to the world, and make a difference in the lives of others, by the simple things we do.

I recently sent a small amount of money to an elderly relative who is living on social security, and a small amount of food stamps. It’s something I learned from my father, who always impressed me with his generosity and I now follow in his footsteps, when I feel called and inspired to do so. Not from obligation, but from a place of loving presence.

We are beacons of light. We have the power to love, to heal, to care for and to bless one another, through our words, our actions, and the very essence of who we are.

I received a message from my relative the other day thanking me, and letting know that my contribution made a significant difference to her sense of security and well-being. It was a small gift, but it meant the world to her.

Our acts of kindness don’t have to be financial – they can be whatever we feel guided and inspired to do, moment by moment. And in doing so, we lift the lives of others, and ourselves, and increase the vibrations of love and well-being on our planet.


What’s one act of kindness you can do today to make a difference in someone’s life?

It can be an act of kindness to someone you know or to a perfect stranger.

Notice how good it feels to contribute to another’s sense of well-being.

Not from obligation, or winning favor, but from a spirit of love and generosity.

And what we give will come back to us in ways we may never fathom. Like a sacred circle.

Try it for a day, a week, a month, a lifetime.

Little by little, our acts of kindness can, and do, make a difference.

It’s all a matter of practice.

If you like, try using the following affirmation from Chapter 11 of



Then let your heart fill with love, and like a soothing balm flowing through you, let the good feelings fill your body.

As always, I would love to hear your comments, and how this week’s TNT works for you.

With love,


“Alphabet Affirmations: Transform Your Life and Love Yourself” is an empowering process that can help you change your thoughts and create greater health, happiness, and fulfillment.


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Don’t have a Kindle? No worries! Download the free app and read on your Smartphone, computer or tablet.

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing Practitioner, Author, and Workshop Leader with more than 25 years’ experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams, and create greater health, happiness and fulfillment. She is trained in positive psychology, neuroscience, practical spirituality, among other modalities.

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Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) Focus on the Positive   Leave a comment

We all experience discouragement from time to time. The key, when in the midst of challenge, is learning to focus on the positive.

“If you keep saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

It’s easy to feel frustrated when things don’t go our way, or take longer than we wish. We may become discouraged, and think that what we long for will never come to pass. Over time, if we don’t change the course of our thinking, the things we tell ourselves will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you would like a different outcome, and one that leads to your success, tell a different story, and shift your focus to your wins.


Keep a journal of all that’s going well.

At the end of every day, add a daily entry.

It will help to change your focus and increase your happiness and energy.

Need some ideas? Here are a few to get you started:


Caught an early bus, and made it to work on time!

Saw a friend you hadn’t seen in a while and enjoyed a lovely visit.

You saw a job posting in your field of interest, and filled out an application.

The sun was shining!

You took loving care of your body, and ate a nourishing meal.

You spoke up for yourself at a meeting.

Your car started!

Get the idea?


Try it for a month. Then, notice any changes in your outlook and your life.

It doesn’t matter how large or small the good things you notice are.

The benefits are yours to enjoy, and will come with daily practice.

With love, Theresa

Need help changing your thoughts and words?

“Alphabet Affirmations: Transform Your Life and Love Yourself” is an empowering process that can help you change your thoughts and create greater health, happiness, and fulfillment.


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Don’t have a Kindle? No worries! Download the free app and read on your Smartphone, computer or tablet.

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing Practitioner, Author, and Workshop Leader with more than 25 years’ experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams, and create greater health, happiness and fulfillment. She is trained in positive psychology, neuroscience, practical spirituality, among other modalities.

Connect with me on:


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Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) 12 Steps to Organize Your Project   Leave a comment

“Sometimes if you’re not sure about something you just have to jump off the bridge and grow your wings on the way down.” – Danielle Steel

Today, I created a list of my top seven goals (who needs to wait until the New Year?); things I’ve been thinking about, but haven’t been acting on – at least not with an organized plan! Among my top three goals is publishing my next book, which will include 365 Tip ‘N Tools (one for each day of the year) on topics such as joy, health, safety, love, and belonging, among others. My mission is to inspire my readers to reconnect to their inner being, enhance their sense of happiness, and provide support to help them take consistent actions to fulfill their goals and dreams. The book will be based on more than 25 years of experience working with clients in the coaching, healing, and training fields.

I chose my writing project as the first among my seven goals to organize. Next, I created a plan to bridge the gap between where I am am now (just starting) and a date I deemed realistic for publishing my book. I then broke the project down into 12 steps I need to take, along with timelines, in order to reach my publication date. The process I just outlined helped me to organize and visualize my project in an orderly and doable way.

It’s easy to procrastinate on the things we would like to do, or experience, until we have a plan and take committed action. And when we do, we build our confidence, and feel energized and hopeful.

THIS WEEK’S TNT: 12 Steps to Organize Your Project

Step 1: Brainstorm a list of one to seven goals you would like to achieve, but haven’t yet acted on, or created a plan to attain it.

Step 2: From the list of goals you brainstormed, choose one that most energizes and excites you.

***Step 3: Decide on a realistic date for accomplishing it.***

Step 4: “Bridge the gap,” by breaking your goal down into manageable and achievable steps you know you can accomplish.

Stretch yourself, but make the steps attainable.

For instance, if you want to write a book, one step might be researching publishers who publish the type of content you wish to write about.

Step 5: Create realistic timelines for completing each of the steps you outlined above, in order to reach your target date.

Step 6: See if the date for completing your project lines up with your timelines, or if you need to adjust it.

For instance, using the example of publishing a book, if your target date for publication is February 30, 2019, but it will take you until April 1, 2019 to complete all of the steps in your plan, adjust your target date accordingly.

If you like, schedule each step into your calendar to remind you of your actions, and reinforce your timelines.

Step 7:  Print out your action plan and place it where you can see it.

Step 8: Create a plan to address resistance, when and if it should occur.

For instance, you can talk with a supportive friend, join a writer’s group (if writing is your goal), or hire a coach or other professional who can help you through the process.

You can also reflect on what’s getting in the way, and how you can address it.

Step 9: Follow-through on the steps you have committed to.

Step 10: If you find yourself struggling, imagine yourself being support, and carried along by the process.

Step 11: Acknowledge each step you complete and celebrate your successes!

For instance, as you complete each piece of your plan, stop and savor the feelings of satisfaction, joy, and achievement.  

Step 12: Use the same process to complete your other projects when you’re ready!

As long as you keep moving forward, you’re guaranteed to cross the bridge!

***Note: You can also write your timelines first, and then establish your projected completion date.


Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing Practitioner, Author and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams, and create healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

You can find her book, “Alphabet Affirmations: Transform Your Life and Love Yourself,”  on Amazon.


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Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) Walk With Me   Leave a comment

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try to see the positive things, to touch just those things and make them bloom?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Such a savoury thought.

I recently returned from a 7-week trip to the U.S., where I had the great pleasure of spending time with family and friends. More than a year had gone by; way too long. I established a deeper relationship with my son, who I miss and dearly love; visited my 93 year-old aunt in New Jersey; had a wonderful time hiking, cooking, talking and reconnecting with friends; soaked in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest; and toddled around my own stomping grounds in New York City. What a glorious trip it was!

Over the last week, I’ve slowly (or maybe not SO slowly!) have been getting back into the swing of things in my current home in Trieste, Italy.  Several days ago I organized an event for my Women’s Spiritual Support and Empowerment MeetUp Group and went to see Walk With Me, a movie about Zen Meditation and Mindfulness teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, and his monastery in France. It was such a wonderful reminder of how we can resource ourselves with peace, safety and connection, when living in the midst of a storm, whether it be personal, relational, political, or global.

I participated in two of Nhat Hanh’s programs when I lived in New York – an evening program at The Beacon Theater and a day-long retreat at the Blue Cliff Monastery in Upstate New York. A gentle and beautiful soul, he is one of my favorite teachers, and I find even listening to his voice brings a sense of peace and calmness.

Although I attended two of his live events, I learned the “half-smile meditation while reading Being Peace (at least I think that’s the book!); one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s many publications. The practice is simple, yet profound; only takes a few minutes to do; and fits in perfectly with positive neuroplasticity – the process of rewiring the brain for happiness, which I have a great pleasure of studying with Dr. Rick Hanson.

Give the half-smile a try and see how it works for you!


If you’re feeling low, anxious or want to experience greater peace, love or joy in your your life , close your eyes and take a breath.

Then, let your lips curl into a half-smile, as you exhale.

Notice the sensations in your body.

Let whatever sensations you may experience fill you.

Stay with the good feelings for five to ten seconds.

Then, enjoy the moment.

Should you try it, I would love to know how the half-smile works for you.

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Need help transforming your thoughts and words into those that support and inspire you?

Alphabet Affirmations: Transform Your Life and Love Yourself is a fun and empowering process that will help you transform your thoughts into ones the lift, nurture and support you, whether you’re dealing with relationships, financial, confidence, or other issues. There’s an affirmation waiting to reveal itself to you!

Available on Amazon

Don’t have a Kindle? Download the free Kindle App on your cell phone, computer or  tablet.  Carry your favorite affirmations wherever you are.



“Theresa’s book and techniques will help guide you on your path to transformation. When you create a life you love and are grateful for your life, mind, body and spirit receive the love message and all benefit.”   Bernie Siegel, M.D., Author of 365 Prescriptions For The Soul 

“A beautiful and simple concept – as easy as ABC! This sweet book offers a creative way to counter the leanings of the mind and provides exercises to stay buoyant and positive — and it offers a section to add even more affirmations to the mix! How cool is that? A great book to have on hand as a reminder that every moment is a new moment and it “affirms” that one can transform their thoughts and their lives in a quick minute. My favorite letter is Q!” – S.G.


If would you found this week’s TNT helpful, and would like to support my ongoing work, please visit my Virtual Tip Jar at PayPal.  It’s here:


Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment   Leave a comment

Interesting article should you, or someone you know, be looking for information on the prevention and/or treatment for cancer.

elyn jacobs

The following is an excerpt of my recently published article, Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment. It was published in the journal Archives of General Internal Medicine (Arch Gen Intern Med 2018 Volume 2 Issue 3).

The current standard of care, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation has not proved to be highly effective and comes with significant side effects and costs. Although conventional cancer therapy can target certain cancer cells and sometimes prevent relapse of the illness, complementary and alternative therapies are required due to disadvantages of the current therapies such as low effectiveness, adverse effects, or availability. Moreover, a number of studies have found adjunctive therapeutic approaches to improve outcomes for cancer patients. One potential complementary method with conventional cancer drugs involves the use of medicinal herbs and phytochemicals. The possible therapeutic benefits include, but are not limited to, anti-proliferative, apoptotic…

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Posted July 13, 2018 by Reconnecting2you in Uncategorized

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