Molly Larkin

Author Archives: Molly Larkin

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller "The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

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Why you should throw away your sunscreen now

If you’re like me, you’ve spent your life slathering on sunscreen every time you were out in the sun.

Everyone said to do it. It was a no brainer, right?

Well, guess what? As with many pieces of health advice, “everyone” turns out to be wrong!

The latest research shows that if you apply sunscreen every time you’re in the sun, you’re blocking the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D. Adequate vitamin D may reduce your risk of up to 16 different types of cancer, including: pancreatic, lung, ovarian, breast, prostate and skin.

Vitamin D contributes to healthy bones, lowering blood pressure and protecting against a host of other diseases. Yes, you can take a supplement, but it will never be as good as the direct source of the sun.

In the USA, vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels. Ironically, vitamin D deficiency can lead to aggressive forms of skin cancer. A ground-breaking 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that optimal blood levels of vitamin D offers protection against sunburn and skin cancer.

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Why we should greet the Sun each morning

“The Sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.” Galileo Galilei

The ancients have always known that the Sun is the center of the universe, yet how often do we wake up in the morning and greet it?

How much do we even know about it?

The Sun grows our food, brightens our days, affects the earth’s climate and our health. But we don’t think about it much except to cover ourselves in summer with toxic sunscreen that we don’t really even need [see next week’s post on that].

The Sun is also a great force of spiritual energy and spiritual teaching. So we should take the time to learn more about it!

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What I learned from Alfred Hitchcock about clearing clutter

Clearing clutter. We read about it all the time.

But it’s more than good housekeeping. It’s a key to self-healing.

When I was in graduate school working on a Masters Degree in Economics [yes, I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true], I got tired of Economics [that seems much more believable] and instead took film courses.

This was at the University of California at Los Angeles [UCLA], which at the time had one of the best film schools in the country. [It still does].

The film classes were excellent, covered a variety of topics, and were like balm for the soul of true film lovers like me.

One of the best lessons I learned was from a casual comment by our teacher about the Alfred Hitchcock film, “Psycho.” It was a lesson that has served me in work and in life.

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What’s in a name? The shameful case of the “Washington Redskins”

How is the “Washington Redskins” team name still in use in this day and age?

Most of us have heard the term, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?”

Did you ever believe it was true?

Not likely, because we all know words have power and can hurt.

In fact, there is ample evidence that negative thoughts, feelings and words, can be harmful to the body.

It follows that everyone, be it an individual or a national sports team, should be more conscious of their use of words.

THE HISTORY OF THE TERM “REDSKINS”

The Washington team has tried to defend its name choice by saying that the term “Redskins” honors Native Americans. But that view doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

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21 tips for turning negative thinking into positive

I was recently asked by a reader how to maintain positive thinking. He said, “every time I’m positive, or at least I think I’m positive, then negative things happen.”

Having struggled with that very issue, I promised him an answer.

I agree that when stuck in negativity, it can be hard to pull yourself out. But not impossible.

First, accept that we all go through negative thinking some of the time; the trick is to not dwell there. Like driving through a bad neighborhood, you want to get out as soon as possible!

Here are some of the things that have helped me:

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Why God rested on the 7th day

As we begin a new year, many bloggers are writing about goal setting for 2015.

I have done that before and you can read my previous post.

But aside from setting goals and intentions, if we want to bring about something new in our lives, we have to change what we are doing, or how we are doing it.

If you keep doing the same old thing, you will get the same old results.

Today I’m going to propose one change to your life that may make a surprising difference: more rest.

WHY GOD RESTED ON THE 7TH DAY

We’ve all heard the phrase from the Bible, “And God rested on the 7th Day.” But what does it mean, really?

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Season’s Greetings!

Wishing you peace, love and light now and forever! Here’s a small gift from me: a link to my 7 minute guided meditation video: You Are Light   Molly LarkinMolly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping […]

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The Winter Solstice – why it’s the true new year

Winter Solstice is the day when light is reborn out of the darkness of winter. Our days start to become longer and lead us back to the beauty of spring and the warmth of summer, stretching towards their peak at the Summer Solstice.

Most ancient cultures celebrated this return of light and life with feasting, music, light and fire, and for many, it was the true beginning of the New Year.

It was so important to the pre-Celt ancients of Ireland that they spent over 30 years building a monument to the returning sun: Newgrange.

Older than Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza, it was designed so that on the Winter Solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage into the inner chamber and for 17 minutes illuminates the chamber floor and the symbols etched on the back wall.

WHAT DID THE ANCIENTS KNOW THAT WE DON’T?

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Save the wolves, save ourselves

Your family plays, forms loving bonds and social hierarchies, raises children and works to sustain itself, just like every other family.

But on a regular basis, your family members are slaughtered, just for being alive in the world today.

I could be talking about any minority group, anywhere in the world. But today I’m talking about wolves.

Mysterious, mystical, misunderstood wolves.

This post contains a 4-minute video on how the presence of wolves has a cascading effect on ecosystems by changing the behavior of deer, regenerating forests and stabilizing rivers. It’s almost miraculous. Wolves restore ecosystems by their very existence.

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A Native American Thanksgiving Prayer

I have published this prayer for the past two years during Thanksgiving week. It is timeless and appropriate at any time of year, but particularly now.

Thanksgiving prayers are common to most religious groups. Native Americans had entire ceremonies just for the purpose of expressing thanks – sometimes the ceremonies lasted for days.

This Thanksgiving Prayer comes from the Seneca Nation and is at least 500 years old.

It is traditionally done around a fire, with spiritual food on the altar. I have adapted it to be used as a Thanksgiving Prayer on our national holiday:

SENECA THANKSGIVING PRAYER

And now we are gathered together to remember the Great Mystery’s first instruction to us: to love one another always, we who move about on this earth.

And the Great Mystery said that when even just two people meet, they should first greet each other by saying: “Nyah Weh Skenno” which translates to “thank you for being” and then they may take up the matter with which they are concerned.

[Nyah Weh Skenno more literally means: “thank you for being alive in the here and now and not adding to the confusion of the world.”]

The Great Mystery gave us our lives and requires in return only that we be grateful and love one another. The purpose of this prayer is to pass on those instructions and give us the opportunity to express our gratitude.

So the first thing we will do is give thanks for our lives.

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When life hands you lemons…

“What to do when life hands you lemons” is not the post I had planned for this week.

But I got handed a bunch of lemons – figuratively – by being stranded for three days [going on four] just three hours from home due to a blizzard.

When life throws us curves [the proverbial lemons] we have choices: to fret and moan and sulk, or make the best of it.

I thought I’d share the lessons I learned, which can be applied to most any surprising situation.

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8 Lessons learned failing the “no sugar challenge”

Well, I’m embarrassed to report that, after posting three weeks ago about my great start, I now get to report on lessons learned failing the “30-day no sugar challenge.”

Technically, I wrote about a 10-day no sugar challenge proposed by the documentary Fed Up, but I was undertaking 30 days of no sugar.

But whether 10 days, or 30, I failed.

However, I did learn a lot [about myself and sugar] which I felt was worth sharing.

The goal, set by my friend Gary, was to avoid anything with sugar in it for 30 days.

HERE’S WHY I FAILED

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Why anger is a wall we need to knock down

Like many people, I’ve always been uncomfortable with anger.

I don’t like to get angry, and I don’t like to be around angry people.

True to my Irish heritage, I’m slow to anger but when I do, watch out!

And over the years as I’ve meditated more, and done more self-healing, I’ve been rather pleased with how calm I usually am.

So imagine my surprise at finding myself angry quite frequently over the past month.

Mind you, there have been things going on in my life that many people would say justify being angry about.

But that is not an excuse for someone like me who is trying to live her life at the highest vibration possible.

Healing from our anger can be one of the most powerful ways to move our lives forward.

WALLS BUILT OF ANGER

Best-selling author Wayne Dyer, Ph.D., tells the story of holding onto anger toward the alcoholic, abusive father who abandoned him and his family when Dyer was just an infant.

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The 10-day no sugar challenge! Will you join me?

A couple of weeks ago my friend Gary posted on Facebook that he was going to do 30 days of yoga and no sugar and asked who would join him.

I was the only taker! And neither Gary nor I had even watched the documentary “Fed Up” yet.

“Fed Up” proposes a 10-day no sugar challenge. If you go to the website www.fedupmovie.com you can sign up to join the challenge and get helpful reminder emails for 10 days.

You can watch the “Fed Up” trailer at the end of this post.

I am now on day 11 and feeling great. But I’m surprised no one else wanted to join us so I thought a blog post on why we should be avoiding sugar was in order.

Because sugar is slowly killing us as a nation.

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Christopher Columbus — First Illegal Alien

Imagine a foreign-speaking stranger, calling himself Christopher Columbus, walked into your house one day, claimed it was now his and threw you out, or even enslaved or killed you and your family.

Would you celebrate him with a national holiday?

Neither would I.

Yet the United States and other countries in the West continue to celebrateChristopher Columbus as having discovered the “New World” even though there was a perfectly marvelous civilization already living here.

[Columbus Day in 2014 is Monday, October 13 – a Federal holiday.]

My Lakota dad Wallace Black Elk called Columbus “the first illegal alien.”

Native Americans had been living fulfilling lives on this continent for thousands of years before Columbus’ arrival. Or, as author Kurt Vonnegut put it, “1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat and kill them.”

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Do you know where you come from?

Do you know where you come from?

I’m not talking geography here, I’m talking about our ancestors – those who walked before us and paved the way for our life today.

Learning about your ancestors can give your life a whole new meaning.

KNOW YOUR ANCESTORS, KNOW YOURSELF

In 1992, I accompanied a Native American elder to Australia for a conference including Maori and Aborigine elders.

Maoris are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, but the group traveling with us was living in Australia at the time.

Known for their warrior culture, Maoris are also known for their traditional haka war dance. If you’ve ever watched New Zealand’s rugby team, the All-Blacks, you’ve likely seen them perform the haka before the game. It’s meant to intimidate their opponents and raise their own energy and is quite a sight to behold and feel.

But Maoris are also very friendly and fun loving and loved to sit around camp singing and inviting people over for coffee and laughter.

Because they were living in Australia at the time, the Maori family invited our group to come and stay at their home in Adelaide for a few days in between teaching events. It was here that I got the most powerful life lesson of that trip.

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Is the invisible world the real world? 

How many do you see when you look at this picture?

In most of my classes I hold up my hand and ask this question: “How many do you see?”

I always get one of two answers: “five fingers” or “one hand.”

But a traditional Native American might say, “nine,” because they count the spaces in between.

To them, the invisible world is as real as the visible. And it’s the invisible world we want to connect with in order to maintain the magic in life.

WHAT’S IN THE INVISIBLE WORLD?

What we cannot see is usually depicted in Western society as the stuff of horror stories or science fiction, but that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with reality.

And, yes, the invisible world is real.

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Native American spirituality – three myths laid to rest

In my years of “walking the red road” as well as well as living in the non-Indian world, I’ve come across a few misconceptions about Native American spirituality that I’d like to lay to rest.

Here are the most common misconceptions I’ve heard:

1. Native Americans idolize things such as bison [buffalo] skulls and nature.

2. Native Americans don’t believe in God.

3. Native Americans believe in ghosts.

None of the above is true. Here’s what is true as to what Native Americans believe in:

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On snakes, transformation and “crushing it”

Upon finding a road-killed snake last week, “crushing it” took on a whole new meaning for me.

According to urbandictionary.com “crushing it” means: “Being in severe shape, looking good, being better than others, looking hot, feeling positive, having more than others, having relations with other attractive people.”

Or put another way, “doing it all…. well.”

But can we really “crush it” in everything we do?

Not according to television screenwriter/producer Shonda Rhimes in her June 2014 Dartmouth Commencement Speech. Ms. Rhimes is the creative force behind the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal and had this to say:

“As a very successful woman, a single mother of three, who constantly gets asked the question, “How do you do it all?” For once I am going to answer that question with 100 percent honesty here for you now.

“Shonda, how do you do it all?

“The answer is this: I don’t.

“Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life…

“Anyone who tells you they are doing it all perfectly is a liar.”

I love her honest answer, and this is why I want to take a look at how we really “crush it.”

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How do we teach children?

How do we teach children?

By example, our words and our actions. That seems pretty obvious. But how do we do it well?

If we are living our best possible lives, we will teach by example and the teaching becomes easy.

I found a great example of it in my own family during a recent visit.

A few weeks ago, I walked into my kitchen and discovered my three-year old grand-nephew standing in front of the open refrigerator precariously holding my great-grandmother’s antique glass serving bowl with just one hand.

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