Rio Chama Publications

The Rio Chama Blog

The blog page offers holistic information regarding all facets of healing—be it emotional, spiritual, mental, or physical. We welcome your participation: email us your questions and comments regarding posted information or add a comment to the blog.


Stress is a substantial factor of 21st century life and with the holidays approaching its intensity mounts. In addition to routine tasks, plans for parties and gatherings require shopping for food and gifts, perhaps cleaning the house, and trying to navigatae preparing for guests or to be the guests of others in a cordial way. Family members and friends may not get along--perhaps the biggest challenge of all. For some anxiety about the holidays occurs because they are ill, live alone or in some way incapacitated and have few or no friends or family to be with.

How to relax is the major question which can be answered by referring to vast scientific evidence that shows how the relaxation response counteracts the consequences of stress and quiets the nervous system. Being in such a relaxed state involves a narrowed focus to the exclusion of everything else which provides an atmosphere of trust. And within the bounds of such an experience, our innermost vulnerabilites and potentials can be unconditionally embraced, which stimualtes the growth of healthy nerve cells in our brains. And without our knowing this growth often happens when we are in nature. Who doesn't know the delights of an open field or wooded area in which a flowing creek sings, the gentle wind murmurs, and trees offer up their soothing protection? Our connection to nature is primal and use of it can heal anxiety and tone down the effects of stress.

Thus the answer to the question is: if possible once a day take a walk in nature, sit in a comfortable place and allow your focus to absorb the quieting influence of Mother Nature. If you are unable to walk you can sit in a comfortable chair or lie on a bed and imagine youself in nature. It may be a place you visited previously, or one you've seen in a movie, video, or a painting on the wall. As you quiet your mind and breathe in the energy of Mother Nature, the relaxation response takes over as you experience the beauty, comfort, safety and peace of this natural state. It's a marvelous event that in this relaxed state you not only reduce the effects of stress, but also stimulate growth of new healthy brain cells!

Recent Comments
Jeannette M. Gagan
Thank you Mary--May this information be of help to many readers!
Monday, 30 November 2015 14:20
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This blog describes how individuals advance from one ego-growth stage to the next.

Charles--a thirty-year-old civil engineer had a problem. Even though he thought he had figured everything out--a good education, a lucrative salary, the best restaurants to go to, what church to attend, what kind of women to date, where to vacation and so on, he wasn't satisfied. A closer look at Charles' behaviors and attitudes revealed how he copied behaviors of his social group because having their acceptance was important to him; he identified with and adhered to a higher authority; he emphasized gender roles; he believed there is a right way and wrong way that is the same for everyone; he was preoccupied with appearance, material things, and reputation; he over-valued friendliness and niceness; and thought of life and relationships in simplistic terms: good/bad, always/never.

When Charles went to a psychotherapist with the complaint of his dissatisaction with life--a dissastisfaction that bordered on a full-blown depression, he learned how his way of thinking and functioning needed to be considered as possible causes. Heeding the therapist's advice he scheduled another appointment and also checked out a copy of Grow Up Your Ego: Ten Scientifically Validated Stages to Emotional and Spiritual Maturity from the local library.  Consequently when he read the description of the fifth stage of ego growth--that of the Conformist stage it was a BINGO event. At his next therapy session he announced he was ready to move from the Conformist stage to the sixth Self-Aware stage since he was experiencing a growing sense of an inner life that triggered questions about existence, relationships and behavior patterns. Needless to say the psychotherapist was pleased as they launched into new territory of Charles learning to appreciate multiple possiblities in situations; believing there are exceptions to rules; seeking out alternatives in difficult situations; and having an increasing acceptance of individual differences.

So are you like a conforming Charles, a more self-aware Charles, or perhaps stationed at the seventh conscientious stage whereby you measure achievements by your own inner standards; are committed to self-improvement and establishment of long term goals; self-critical but not self-rejecting; and understand that mutual relationships are complex. Or possibly you are in the more advanced stages of ego growth. To discover your stage, purchase a copy of Grow Up Your Ego and go for it! And good luck!!

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This blog describes how to handle anger in the most constructive way.

Alice worked as an accountant for a large corporation and thoroughly enjoyed her job. However, when a new person was hired to replace the department supervisor who was retiring, Alice's job situation took a downturn. Not only was the new supervisor impatient when his demands weren't met, he would vent his anger by ranting and raving. After several weeks of working under these tyrannical conditions, Alice began to have trouble sleeping and experienced nightmares. In an attempt to address the situation she went to the human resource department of the comapny and explained what was occurring. When she was asked if she had spoken to the supervisor about her dilemma, she replied no and stated her reluctance was due to fear. At that point the counselor suggested she read about anger and suggested several books. Alice checked Grow Up Your Ego out from the library and discovered a section on assertiveness in the sixth chapter on emotions. In fact she learned a great deal about emotions including how natural and important they are along with appropriate ways to express them without harming herself or others. After practicing an assertiveness message prior to going to work, she went to the supervisor's office and forthrightly told him she was experiencing considerable frustration when he lost his temper and requested that when he had a problem with her performance that he do so in a calm way. Much to her surprise the next time he needed to speak with her about something she had done incorrectly, he called her into the office, left the door open and in a poised, quiet way explained the problem and asked for her suggestions as to how the difficulty could be corrected. When she gave her input they reached an agreement as to how the situation could be resolved. Relieved she left his office and at the same time felt concern he would resort to his old ways. Such was not the case for in ensuing instances the supervisor maintained his demeanor and in fact a feeling of mutual respect began to develop between the two. Needless to say, the learning Alice acquired regarding emotions inluding anger not noly kept her from quitting her job, but also improved her relationships with family and friends. She now recommends the book to others.

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This blog describes the benefits of gratitude.  Many types of New Year resolutions are made--from dieting and exercising to breaking bad habits such as smoking or reckless spending of money. An  article in the November 2012 issue  of Psychology Today ( presents results from several scientific studies that target a different topic--that of gratitude. Practicing gratitude regularly can keep you healthier and happier including sleeping better, experiencing less depression and anxiety, and having fewer aches ana pains. Yet few people know about these benefits nor do they know how to practice gratitude.

Practicing gratitude can be done in several ways: by keeping a daily journal of things one is grateful for; by frequently telling a spouse, family member or friend something you appreciate about them; or by looking in the mirror and thinking about something you have done well recently or something you like about yourself (

Making a New Year's resolution to practice gratitude fits right in with methods for growing up one's ego. For example an individual in the fifth conformist ego-growth stage who is preoccupied with appearance, material things, and reputation is not apt to think in terms of being grateful. However individuals established in the sixth-self aware stage and higher stages of growth consider many possibilities for improving behaviors and attitudes. As such practicing gratitude is a powerful way to advance in ego growth. In addition to making a gratitude New Year's resolution many suggestions for making ego-growth progress can be found in Grow Up Your Ego: Ten Scientifically Validated Stages to Emotional and Spiritual Maturity.

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The essay submitted by Jeannette Gagan is a winner in the "50 Great Writers You Should be Reading Awards Contest"! Her essay will  now be included in the 2014-2015 edition of  "50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading." This contest focused on authors as writers and the details of experiences and journeys that resulted in writing and publishing books. The contest did not involve official judges since contestant essays were voted on by people like you and me. Many thanks to those who voted for this award winning essay!

In addition Grow Up Your Ego: Ten Scientifically Validated Stages to Emotional and Spiritual Maturity was a finalist in the 2014 National Inide Excellence Awards contest!

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