March 2015 Newsletter
Launch yourself into Soul Health with a trip to Peru!
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  The Seeds of Change

hands holding seedlingWith the winter we’ve had, you wouldn’t know that spring is just around the corner. Whether we can see it or not, change is coming, and it’s time to prepare for the next phase of our growth as well as time to become even more conscious of what we’d like to “plant” as part of our evolution.

If you’re anything like me, you’re still trying to shake off the colder months, emerge from your hibernation, and wake up your soul. I’ve taken more naps this winter than I can ever remember. Something about the last few months left me sluggish and in need of restoration—so I gave in. But spring is my time! It is when I look with anticipation to the daffodils pushing through, listen with intent to the birds as they help me greet the day, and breathe in the clean air after a wonderful cleansing rain. I’m ready. Are you?

As part of my 2015 series on “Love and Laughter”, it’s time to address one of my favorite, yet under-rated branches of the Soul Health Model—the Recreational branch.  The article below speaks to the importance of intentionally incorporating fun and leisure into your life to enhance your fulfillment in life.

Although change is an unwelcomed concept for many, I love it—the novelty, the excitement, the chance to learn and grow.  Speaking of which, by now you’ve received the initial notice that “Soul Health Travel” is an option to consider as a “learning vacation”. Transformational travel provides an amazing opportunity to visit places you might not have gone, learn about yourself in a way you didn’t expect, and transform your life to become a new and improved “you”! If you are interested in the “Awakened, Alive, and Awestruck in the Andes” journey, go to my travel page at Take a look at other trips that are in the works, and see how you might invite a new kind of change into your life!

I wish you a restored entrance into this wonderful, new season!
                       In shared light,
           Katherine T. Kelly
          Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

 Banking Laughter

“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.”  ~ Mark Twain

I have a confession to make. The Recreational Branch of my Soul Health Model was the last one I added to the tree, even though I've always placed great value in the benefits of laughter and play. Long ago I even said that my first book would be about adult play since we seem to take our lives too seriously, causing a great deal of stress and enjoying our lives way too little. It is rare that I meet someone who says they have enough fun. Why is that since it is well-documented that laughter can bring great benefit to our overall health?

Almost 20 years ago research indicated that children around the age of 7 laughed approximately 500 times a day, while adults laughed about 10 times in the same time period. Now, studies show that children of similar age laugh about 200 times a day, and adults less than 5. It appears we are heading in the wrong direction, if you ask me.

Research also indicates that less than 40% of Americans use all of their vacation time, choosing instead to “bank” the hours and continue to work their typical long hours. What’s wrong with this picture?

It is up to us to make fun and leisure happen. We may say we “don’t have time”, “don’t have the money”, “can’t find anyone to play with”, “feel too guilty”, or that “I don’t know what is fun to me anymore”. But why do we all long for more of what we won’t create for ourselves?

Fun feeds the soul and laughter bathes the psyche. But many—no, most people don’t have enough of either in their lives. Is it that we don’t value ourselves enough to carve out the time to have some fun? Are we ashamed to “laugh out loud” in reality while we are more than willing to type “LOL” in a text or email (which I’d bet happens much less frequently than the usage of this abbreviation implies).

True soul health requires that we feed the soul in all ways necessary to enhance our overall experience of life, including nourishing ourselves with laughter. Can you honestly say you have enough fun?  Do you really want to get to the end of your life and wonder how much more laughter you could have created? 
As you plant the seeds of change for this year, consider your Recreational branch of health, and determine what needs work. What would you regret not doing this year to create more fun and leisure in your life? Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to go? Why not plan a trip? Have you been putting off taking that art class? How about signing up? Have you missed hanging out with your friends or family who make you laugh? Give them a call.
Fun rarely comes to us—we have to go toward fun. In our culture, we must intentionally plant it in our day in order to reap the benefits that lie within and store up on this much needed commodity. Consider spending some time identifying what is fun to you, then put a plan into action to plant the seeds of change so that fun and leisure are a bigger part of your life.

What needs to happen to make love and laughter blossom as a more important part of your soul health?
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In honor of the launch of Soul Health Travel, I thought it would be appropriate to tempt your travel taste buds a bit.  I get “twitchy” if I don’t have a trip planned, so I always have a running wish list of the places I’d like to visit. 1000 Places to See Before You Die, by Patricia Schultz, gets you started on creating your own bucket list for life-changing travel.  Many of the places I plan to take you to include sites that are “must see” destinations as far as I’m concerned:  Machu Picchu in Peru, Sedona, Arizona, the Grand Canyon and other national parks, Costa Rica and the Amazonian jungles as well as various sites along the ocean.  1000 Places is a great guide to help you feed your own travel soul, and implant some much needed fun at the same time.
                                                  Submitted by Catherine D'Annunzio Foster

 Heart Challenge

As we launch into the New Year, I’d like to make a request. I ask you to send pictures of naturally-occurring hearts that you find throughout the year to my email, or post to social media at #soulhealthhearts. I will circulate these on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. At the end of the year I will provide a link, so you can view these in one place. (If you don’t already follow me on social media, click the links above!) One of your pictures may also be featured in upcoming newsletters. 
Copyright © 2015 Katherine T. Kelly, Ph.D., P.A., All rights reserved.

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