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By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve


January 14, 2012 (Boulevard)--The natural rhythms of nature and our own physical systems help us understand about cycles. Last month we worked on completion. The completion of 2010 and shedding the old skin, the sadness of loss, the pain of outcomes not desired. It is now the New Year and time to look forward to the fresh and clean. It is time to bring in new information into our lives and re-generate plans for the coming twelve months.


Sometimes we resist change or new information. That is quite a dangerous position to hold. If we insist on doing exactly what we have always done, we will get exactly the same result. For example, I walk each day for 45 minutes with the goal of stress relief. If I go to the doctor and see that my blood pressure is still high, and I do nothing else to change it, then eventually I will be forced to medicate [uck] or die. This is a terrible end result. Therefore, if medication or death is not acceptable to me, I MUST do something different. Perhaps I will need to walk 55 minutes each day. I might change my diet to cut way down on salt. I could even reduce meal size and lose weight.


During January, the In-Breathing time of year, is what I call the time of making a clear picture of myself, my career, my home and family for January 2012. Once that picture is really clear it becomes a compelling roadmap to my actions between now and then. Do I have to acquire new skills, hire a coach, buy a new piece of equipment, go to classes, allocate time or resources away from something else? How can I have the best chance of success?


A good example is found in the way we plan and go for a camping trip. Let’s say we want to plan a trip to an area with awesome wildflowers and we want to end up with photographs that are absolutely stunning.

We need to learn about when wildflowers appear. We might take a class in nature photography. A better camera might be required. Time and money are necessary. How much of each? We think about this always keeping the end result in mind. Let’s say, a beautiful, framed photograph, mounted on a wall in your home. Each time you see it, you will remember your pursuit of new skills, perseverance in learning, and the trip itself.


Learning is In-Breathing because we are taking something in to ourselves. Learning helps us live longer and better. Learning, or the quest for new skills, keeps our brains functioning at a high level, pushes off age-type problems. So challenge yourself to learn something new. Take a class. Read a book. Practice with someone who knows.


Of all the people I know, the most youthful ones, are those passionately interested in everything around them and keen to learn something new. The In-Breathing they do will keep them young for a long time to come.


I recently heard that fresh, wild herb tea [tisane] taken every evening can prolong life. Here I go again, off on a quest for true knowledge, to implement with my own life and share with others.

The Purple Mountain Sage welcomes questions from readers! Write to us at:

The Purple Mountain Sage is Sharon Courmousis, co-owner of Sacred Rocks Reserve and RV Park, a 163-acre wilderness preserve and campground in Boulevard, CA, which is also home to Sacred Rocks Artists’ Colony. She leads people on personal journeys that transform their lives. Sharon can be reached by calling: 619-766-4480. Visit the Sacred Rocks Reserve website at:

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"Sage Advice"

This sounds like "Sage Advice" to me, from the Purple Mountain Sage, a woman that I have had the pleasure of meeting, and being given a guided tour of her Sacred Rocks facility.