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Healing Art Photography and Fine Art Gifts

I believe in the healing power of nature. If we take a moment to immerse ourselves in an image of nature we will feel rejuvenated, renewed and revived. Studies have shown that what we look at not just affects our mood, but also how we relate to others and our attention to detail. So if your feeling stressed, run down or just deserve a break, look at the images under "Healing Art" and immerse yourself in them.
My new line of photo gifts enables you to have Healing Art with you wherever you go and also to give as gifts to those who may not be into wall art.

The photogifts include watches, clocks, clothing, hip flasks,keyrings, usb sticks, phone covers, ipad covers,kindle covers, cushions, cards, stickers and so much more. Click on the tab that says Photo Gifts to see them all.

I send out an e-newsletter to anyone who wants one, including a free monthly image to use as a screensaver or desktop image to help in your healing and to lower your overall stress levels. I also let you know what I am up to and include any specials or coupons. To subscribe please send me an email at jules@juliaharwood.com with "Subscribe" in the subject line.



About Me

My photo

Hi, I am a photographer & mixed media artist who has learnt the healing power of nature. I am also a Reiki master. I live with osteoarthritis & fibromyalgia, so live with constant pain. Nature & art have given me hope & help me to be grateful for life even such as it is. My desire is to help others on this journey and to help everyone to decrease their stress and increase their wellness through my "Healing Art". I have a blog at http://www.juliaharwood.com & my art is available for purchase as a gift to yourself or to others at  http://juliakharwood.redbubble.com/ I look forward to connecting with you & hope my images bring you peace, health & happiness in an imperfect world.
I also put out a newsletter each month in which I also give you access to a subscriber only section of my website. If you would like to receive this newsletter please sign up at http://www.juliaharwood.com
All my images are copywrite with all rights reserved.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dancing Stingrays

While we were down fishing this morning at hopetoun some Stingrays came by to entertain us, it was like they were dancing. You can see a video of them here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7khxpF3AZTQ

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Story about a little bird.

When I  got up this morning & went to the toilet (we are camping in a caravan park) there was a little willy wagtail bird that had got into the tiolet block but couldn't seem to find his way out, so I held the door open and enlisted some help to keep him away from the closed windows. He was getting so agitated and flying everywhere but through the open door and it reminded me of us sometimes. How many times do we keep trying to get through a closed window when there is an open door in front of us. We flap around getting upset and frustrated, when if we just stopped for a moment we would feel the breeze through the open door and know which way to go.
I left him as he was getting so distressed. I couldn't prop the door open so just had to leave the bird there.
When I went back a few hours later the bird was gone and then I noticed that there was a 2 foot gap at the bottom of the door where he could fly through. I had been so distressed and trying to help him that I didn't realizr he didn't need my help. How often do we do this. We see someone that we percieve has a problem and we jump in to try and fix it and in out efforts to help just cause more distress instead of trusting that the person will be able to find a way through themselves.
So I learn't two important lessons today, firstly when in a flap, stop look around and see if there are any alternatives. Secondly when I think someone needs help, stop & watch & I may realize that they actually have it under control.
Willy Wagtail
http://juliakharwood.redbubble.com/sets/149782/works
It all goes back to trusting. Put your requests out to God, or the universe, and then let him/her show us what to do and which way to go.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Beyond tender loving care: 'TLCs' promise health and happiness

Beyond tender loving care: 'TLCs' promise health and happiness

Interesting article that explains ways to improve wellbeing without medication.  Also supports time in nature and meditation as tools to wellness.

February 17, 2011
Lifestyle changes—such as getting more exercise, time in nature, or helping others—can be as effective as drugs or counseling to treat an array of mental illnesses, according to a new paper published by the American Psychological Association.

Spending time in nature can promote cognitive functions and overall well-being. 
Relaxation and stress management can treat a variety of anxiety, insomnia, and panic disorders. 
Meditation has many benefits. It can improve empathy, sensitivity and emotional stability, reduce stress and burnout, and enhance cognitive function and even brain size.  
 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Win a 8x10in matted print

Win the image below 8 x10in print matted. Go to http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/Photography.by.Julia.K.Harwood and tag any of the photos with your name and I will be entering everyone who tags into a draw for the image below. Draw is 31st March 2011 and I will post image to you. Remember to "like" the page first. Remember to "share" any images you really like with your friends.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How to Decrease Stress, Increase Positive Moods and Feelings of Well Being

One of the biggest causes of stress and depression is being in a negative situation that you feel you have no control over.


For a lot of people this includes chronic conditions, whether, pain, injury, illness or terminal disease. So when you are feeling this way how can you turn things around?

To suggest it is easy would be to belittle what people in these situations go through, however there are things that we can do to improve our mood and increase our well-being.

The first of these and the one I want to focus on in this article is physical activity.

"Whoa," I hear you say, "I'm disabled or in constant pain or terminally ill, how am I going to increase my physical activity?"

Stay with me. I too suffer from chronic pain, so these words are from the heart and personal, practical experience. There are things we can do.

But first lets look at what increased physical activity can do, notice I didn't say excercise, this is not about excercise, it's about becoming a little more physically active.

Physical activity decreases stress and regulates mood by increasing serotonin and dopamine which are essential for cognitive and emotional wellbeing. Serotonin and dopamine are neurochemicals in the brain that affect the way our brain receives and sends messages.
Being physically active can help combat depression as it releases endorphins and chemicals in our brain that promote positive moods and feelings of well-being.

When we suffer from chronic conditions often physical activity decreases and we tend to become more depressed. Not only are we having to deal with the reality of life changes that have been forced upon us, but we are less able to deal with them as the decreased physical activity is depressing out system.

Therefore it is vitally important that we try to find something that we can do.

When I am in really bad pain I get my husband to drive me to the beach and help me down to the water so I can just float, even this increases the serotonin and dopamine and I feel better able to cope.

Finding physical activity you can do can be a real challenge.

I was recently given the money for an electric bike and the difference it has made is amazing. Just being able to cruise down the bike path with the wind in my hair makes me feel fantastic.

Wait I hear you say, I don't have that kind of money.

My son and his partner put in for my birthday and christmas, so you could ask friends and family to do the same, then I scoured the papers and websites until I found one I could afford. I got a new one online for only A$300. It has taken me from sitting on the sidelines to once again participating in the fun of life.

An electric bike is great as it is peddal assist, so you can peddle but without any resistance and then when you get tired just use the motor.
Where I live there is a man who has a specially built three wheel motorcycle that he can push his wheelchair straight up into, stay in his chair while he rides and then push himself off when he stops.

So what are some other ideas of what you can do to increase your physical activity?

Maybe get a gopher. My eighty three year old Aunty has one of these as it means she can still get around and have some independence without driving. When I broke my foot my son would take me to the local shopping centre where I would hire a gopher for a few hours and just cruise around.

Another option is a tandem bike, so you can sit on the back and someone else can do the peddling.

I live in a seaside town and they have beach wheelchairs available that even go in the water so that people who couldn't otherwise get down to the water's edge can.

We also have a disabled surfers association so people with disabilities can have a surf.

I have stopped using a walking stick and got myself a hiking pole instead. When I use a walking stick people ask what someone so young needs a walking stick for, when I use the hiking pole people just smile and acknowledge you as someone who is fit and healthy out for a walk.

Friends have suggested water aerobics, this is too much for me, but others find they can cope with it as the water holds all your weight. I enjoy walking in the water.

Another friend says that in bad weather she plays Wii or Kinnect and finds that helps too.What about flying a kite, you can even do this sitting down, but it gets you outdoors usually to a park or the beach and you are getting the benefit of increased physical activity as well as the healing benefits of nature.

What activities can you come up with, let's pool our creativity and see how many ideas we can come up with.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Holidaying in Esperance

We are having a few weeks in the south west of Western Australia. We are in Esperance at the moment.

Esperance is known for having the best beaches in Australia, but unfortunately we have been unable to enjoy it fully as cyclone Yasi has reached all the way over here and we have had lots of rain and very overcast skys, but we are keeping our fingers crossed.

We have met Sammy the sealion and I did a 5 min helicopter ride as well.
Sammy the Sealion
http://juliakharwood.redbubble.com/sets/149773/works
 There is also a great local coffee van called the Coffee Cat that is down near the main jetty every morning and is the locals favourite for coffee. We tried it out and the coffee was brilliant!

Yesterday we had a bit of excitement with  a train derailing and the pictures I took of it were in page three of the Esperance Express!!!

Will keep you updated as the holiday progresses.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"How to find your purpose in life."

I recently discoved that one of the things we as humans need to survive this journey is a purpose.

So what is your life purpose?

Many of us can rattle off a few things that come to mind but how many of us know our true life's purpose?

So, how do we find out what it is? I have been doing this search myself, so the answers you find here are ones that have worked for me.

The first one seems very simple but is actually quite challenging.

Get a piece of paper and write or open your word processor and type whatever comes to your mind when you ask youself, "What is my purpose in Life?"

Write down every thought that comes into your head, you may have them flowing in a certain direction or jumping all over the place. That's fine, just keep writing. Set aside at least 30 mins for this but also know it could take up to an hour.

Do you deserve to give yourself an hour of your life to get the guidance you need to suceed?

Turn off your mobile and put a do not disturb sign on the door. This may well be the most important gift you ever give yourself.

As you write or type you will put down something and it will really resonate within you, it will feel like the sun has come out from behind a cloud, but don't stop here, keep going!

That's right, keep going, this will probably happen a few times until you get to your real purpose....you'll know you've found it when you feel the tears welling up in you. You will have that feeling of coming home after being away for a long time.

Sit with this for a while, close your eyes and ask for devine guidence then write it out and put it where you can see it often. This will guide you in everything you do.

When an opportunity comes your way, ask yourself, "How does this fit in with my life purpose?" and use this question as your guide in all you do.

For those of you who want a step by step process to help you , follow the steps below.

1. What things, people, activities bring a smile to your face even when you just think about them?

2. What do you get so immersed in that you loose track of time, or have in the past?

3. Who inspires you. If you had to ask someone for help, who would it be? If you could attend any workshop in the world who would it be run by and what would it be about?

4.What are your natural talents and abilities?

5. What things make you feel good about yourself?

6. What things are most important to you? What are your beliefs or deepest values?

7. If you were to die today what would you regret not doing or not finishing?

8. If you were present at your own funeral, what would you want people to say about you?

9. If money was no obstacle what message would you want to get accross to the world? How would you acheive this?


After answering these questions and doing the writing exercise above I was able to find my life purpose.

For me, it is
To love myself as I am, to accept myself, all of me. To Be!
To trust in God that he has everything under control
I am free to speak my truth and to be me because I am ok. I am loved, I am at peace.
Through this I can love and accept others and allow them to be."

I would love you to share your life purpose with me also.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happiness

I have just come accross the Hapiness Project. Yes I love it's name, but also the idea that we are in charge of our happiness. I have been having major computer issues which has tested my resiliance to the max and I found this site refreshing. So check it out and see if you find it helpful too. An excerpt is "Each month, I’ll propose an area of life to tackle, and over the next four weeks, I’ll suggest concrete, manageable resolutions to help you boost your happiness."


 http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/the-year-of-happiness-challenge.html