How to Live an Authentic Life—Be a Detective! Track Your Own Truth.

Today the loudest voice, whether truthful or not, can divide and sway public opinion. We are bombarded on social media with its stream of tweets, requests to ‘friend’ this person or ‘like’ that post, and by opinion talk shows and podcasts. The line between truth, half-truths and lies is so blurred that it’s difficult to tell the difference between what’s accurate, a little white lie, or blatantly false. If you fall under the spell of external influences, it becomes difficult to recognize what is real in your own life. Turn off your cell phone, computer, and other digital devices. Change your focus inwards to discover your own inner truths—and your authentic self.

Decide that you are in charge of your own life. Fully inhabit yourself! And don’t let anyone else walk in your shoes! You will undoubtedly find others—a family member, colleague or friend—who want to make decisions on your behalf, “for your own good.” Since everyone has different genes, gifts, circumstances, and challenges, you are unique! Your truths will be different from others and an unfamiliar path may present itself to you. Be willing and courageous to follow your inner calling.

Recognize the clues that come through your body. You may have been taught to “Use your head! Think things through!” when faced with a challenge. This advice is useful, but it is not enough. Your physical body, feelings and hunches are contributing significant information at all times. Your body is a truthful barometer, constantly guiding you. Ignore it at your peril! It sends signals when you are thirsty or hungry. If you override this information, perhaps over-eating when you are not hungry or indulging your sweet tooth, you must live with the consequences. Heeding the clues shared by your five physical senses is an ancient survival skill. If you don’t know food has gone bad, your senses will shout, “Don’t swallow this,” If you don’t pay attention, you may get severely ill or even be poisoned. Any part of your physical body can convey a message to you and, if you ignore its milder messages, it will escalate the intensity of discomfort to severe pain.

Your miraculous body also speaks in metaphor—conveying emotional and intuitive messages. Not all upset stomachs are due to what one has eaten! It might reflect your emotional upset after an unpleasant conversation. Our intuition is recognized as our ‘sixth sense’—we know immediately whether it is safe or not to be in an elevator with someone, without a single word being spoken.

Being fully present, precisely observing the situation and tenaciously following clues is the mark of a good detective. To uncover what is working and what is not working in your life, like your favorite detective, you can use these and other detective skills such as following hunches, challenging conventional views, making educated guesses, testing out a hypothesis until proven or disproven; and getting help when needed.

Practice using these “detective skills.” You can also use them to discover your personal “culprits”, that are leading you astray from being your authentic self: i] Ask “Do I want to continue or release old habits that no longer serve me? If you constantly apologize, even though you haven’t really done anything wrong, ask, “How may I change that? What new habit may I adopt in order to live with more confidence? Then you can choose to initiate a new behavior.

ii] Investigate any dissonance between your words and actions. Are your actions in accord with your words? Do you encourage others to limit sugar, while you still secretly indulge? Are you willing to commit to change either your words or your own actions so that they are not contradictory?

Iii] Examine how you respond when you are asked to make a decision. Are you tempted to make a decision to please others, but not yourself? Have you said “yes” when you wanted to say “no,” and vice-versa? If you have felt pressured to make a hasty decision, do you take time to check in with yourself before agreeing to a commitment? If you are unsure, say, “I’m not ready to give an answer yet. I will get back to you.” That way you will contribute more clearly to any future conversation or decision.

iv] In unexpected situations, how have you responded in the presence of some injustice such as bullying or racist comments? Have you remained silent, spoken up, taken some other action? If so, how did you feel about your action/inaction- at the time? How do you feel now?

The mystery of truth beckons us towards integrating love, beauty, and kindness and away from deception, collusion and pain in our personal lives and in society.

Personal integrity remains the cornerstone value on which to build our lives.

Puja Thomson's Interview with Wall Radio by Van Ritshie

On August 21, 2018, Puja Thomson was interviewed by Wall Radio’s Van Ritshie to discuss her newest book, Track Your Truth: Discover Your Authentic Self.


VAN: Now, tell us, tell us about your books. Now, now, you know, as I look at this, one of your books is entitled My Hope and Focus: Cancer Organizer, another one is My Health and Wellness Organizer, Roots and Wings: For Strength and Freedom, it’s a CD and Workbook, and Aftershock: From Cancer Diagnosis to Healing. All quite interesting books.

PUJA: Well these started as, I was encouraged to write them as health resources because I was always focused on helping people to stay healthy from a holistic perspective.

VAN: I kinda figured that out, yes.

PUJA: So body, mind, emotions, and spirit. So, the first one was a CD of guided imagery and meditation because we can use our mind and we can use our imagination to help healing. And it was also for helping us understand our past. I chose the words “Roots and Wings” for my business as a matter of fact because in Scotland where I was brought up, it’s all about roots and when I came to this country it’s all about wings and space and outer space. And actually you need both: you need the roots to be grounded in your life and then you need from that grounded place you need to be able to take off and follow your inspiration and then move outwards. So, that is where I am grounded in roots and wings together and out of that the body, mind, emotions, and spirit, the inclusive perspective of using all parts of ourselves came for healing or for making decisions are now with my latest book to hone in on your truth and what’s true for you.

VAN: You know what, I kind of go along with what you say and what you write. As a holistic healer, I am sure that is what you are yourself, I want to say this to you, and tell me if I am correct in my synopsis of this, what I am about to say: I am one who firmly believes that if you focus on something, no matter what it is, if you focus on something happening in your life, let’s say you want to change something in your life and you really, really focus that, you know you focus on changing and focus and just putting all these good adaptations into the back of your mind, into your subconscious, that it will eventually manifest on its own. Does the same hold true for holistic healing?

PUJA: It does in a way that we have different parts of ourselves, and our culture tells us to use your head, think things through, and so if it’s only that that’s not enough. You need to allow the body to give you messages that tells you where something might be wrong and follow that through. And your enthusiasm and your non-physical senses can also help you. So, starting with the body that gives you messages and it can also give you messages about how you’re feeling through an ache and a pain, that could be literal, that could be overexertion or it could be that you’re holding onto an old hurt that gives you a pain in your body. And then also spirit, and that’s where intuition and hunch come in, and really seeing beyond the literal, physical, and mental, and emotional capacities. So, we have to get them all in balance, in a way.

VAN: Makes sense to me, you know what I understand that, sure. So, you can have a combination of holistic healing methods in the way of natural, foods whatever it may be, foods, vitamins, etc., etc. etc., combined with a strong mental outlook, you know, focused on what it is that you are trying to do with your body. If you combine them, you have a much better chance, I would think, of accomplishing what you set out to do.

PUJA: Yeah, there’s an energy principle that says: whatever you feed grows larger, whatever you starve shrinks. So, we often emphasize a particular part of ourselves, so some people wallow in their feelings and other people need to pay attention to their feelings. So, if you are too much of one to the exclusion of the others, then, it’s not so healthy. And food and so on is an important part of being holistic.

VAN: Now, it says here, future readings in the pipeline. Now, you refer to readings instead of like, a seminar?

PUJA: Well, I do seminars and readings. If it’s at a library, people are coming to be introduced to my new book, so it tends to be a reading and an explication of how the book came about and reading some introductory parts of it. Now, if it’s a seminar then they will be coming and going and interaction between the participants and working through the themes.

VAN: Okay, you have some readings coming up in September for Retired Men of New Paltz and then you have the Study Club of New Paltz on the 11th. And one of my favorite places in October, on the 7th, you got the Gardiner Library. You’ve got the Warwick Library reading coming up on October 8th and Oncology Support Program in Kingston on the 23rd. That’s all very interesting.

PUJA: That’s kinda combing the theme of the new book, Tracking Your Truth, applying it to tracking your cancer journey.

VAN: So, this is your latest book then? Track Your Truth?

PUJA: Yes, new last month.

VAN: Okay wonderful! Well, you know what, I want to wish you all the very best with this! I just opened it to a random page, and I see two categories: one is Get a Gut Reactions, Heartfelt Feelings, and Blind Spots, and the other is Health, Wellbeing, and Wholeness. So this, I can tell you right now, this is a book that I am definitely going to read because I like stuff like this, I really do.

PUJA: Well I love detective stories, so it’s applying the being a detective to your own life. Because a detective is tenacious, they have to be open to all possibilities and they have to start with where the clues are and follow the clues and even see what the culprits are. So, that’s what I am encouraging people to do in their own life because there are so many distracting voices that take us outside ourselves, you know? And so, this is to help people focus back inside themselves and to their own experiences and their own truth.

VAN: For me a lot of those distractive voices come at night sometimes, when I am trying to fall asleep. I can’t believe what goes on in my noggin sometimes, you know really? Anyway, I want to wish you all the best of luck with your new book. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

PUJA: Well, I’d just like to add that we do have, we can take responsibility and while this book can be for young people setting out, it can be for older people because it’s like we live three lifetimes now within one lifetime so that exponentially increases our capacity to go through change. So I am encouraging people to welcome change into their life and trust their own truth.

VAN: That’s wonderful, that’s very well said actually. Where is your book available?

PUJA: Well, it’s available from me, it’s available in book stores, it’s available on Amazon, it’s also an e-book, so one could go online to get it. It’s the first e-book I’ve done. It can be on Kindle or other e-books.

VAN: Track Your Truth is the name of the book folks. You know what, if you’re into this stuff, it’s kind of a must read for you, you know, get it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, I’m looking forward to reading it myself. And Puja Thomson, I want to thank you so much for coming in and being with us on the air.

PUJA: Well, it’s been a pleasure Van, I’ve enjoyed this conversation.

VAN: Thank you so much, and you have a wonderful day.

PUJA: Thank you.

A Student Intern Finding Balance

As a fourth year college student, soon-to-be grasping my diploma in hand, I am at a point in my life where everyday is a struggle to find balance. I am caught at a constant crossfire as my agenda piles up with what seems like an endless amount of work while I try to enjoy the time pegged as ‘best years of my life.’ I often find myself giving in too much to one side and failing to meet the bare minimum for the other. Whether it be school, work, health, or any of life’s obstacles, I know many find themselves in the same predicament.

It was about a week ago when I laid down in shavasana pose at my first yoga class. This was my attempt to reconcile this angst of instability. I listened to my instructor's voice as she softly spoke, “the only requirement for tonight is that you breathe.” For the first time in a while, I focused solely on my breathing and left my mind at ease, away from both the work and the play. I'm not sure if I'll become a regular yoga attendee but I definitely found solace in the moments of meditation where I managed my breathing rather than my schedule.

If you’re like me, forever struggling to find a happy medium, you have some options at your disposal. In order to find what works for you, I recommend delving into Puja Thomson’s upcoming book titled Track Your Truth.

Below is an example of what Puja Thomson is offering you through Track Your Truth:

“There is always a tipping point where you will lose your balance if you lean too much in any direction to the left, right, back, or front. It is easy to notice when you lose your physical balance. But losing your mental, emotional, or spiritual balance is perhaps harder to notice when you are no longer centered in yourself. And imbalances come in many ways, such as hidden or blatant addiction- indulging in obsessive thoughts, wallowing in emotional negativity, abusing substances such as alcohol, engaging in repetitive actions like excessive cleaning or feeding a sense of spiritual self-righteousness. Over-using what you perceive as strength and avoiding the use of a weaker part of yourself may also lead to increasing imbalance. Similarly, stay glued to what you perceive as your perfectly balanced, comfortable place won’t work either.”

Written by Roots & Wings Intern Samantha Scaglione

How Modern Science and Holistic Healing are Working Together*


  My name is Heather Salerno and I am an intern from SUNY, New Paltz, interning at Roots & Wings. This is giving me insights into more forms of natural healing. I started to think of how people could combine both natural and scientific medicines. I interviewed my friend, Diane*, who has both anxiety and depression to see if mixing both forms of healing could be helpful. She is in her twenties and is a college student. 

                There are many challenges one faces when dealing with a disease. Whether it be physical or mental, the strain it causes on a person can be damaging. Luckily, with the advanced science that is available, medications are out there that can help with these diseases. However, there is also natural forms of healing that can also benefit those who are in need.

                Diane was given medications to help her deal with the symptoms but came to realize that a holistic approach could also benefit her. She was diagnosed when she was in middle school but she knew she had it for longer than that. “I had trouble getting motivated and was constantly anxious,” she told me.  “People don’t realize how this can seriously drive a person crazy…I don’t have the motivation to get out of bed but then I feel anxious knowing that I should be out doing things.” It was hard for her to find balance in her life. However, after she was diagnosed, people started to understand her better. “…people, like my family, started to understand why I acted the way I did,” she explained. They realized Diane wasn’t just being ‘lazy’ but had a legitimate disease that held her back from doing things.

As time went on, Diane came to realize that certain things helped her to overcome these challenges. She pointed out that the medication she’s on does help but she does other things to get her through the day. “I usually try to just get outside as much as I can. Just getting some sunlight helps,” she explained. Diane also came to realize that yoga and meditation could also calm her down when she was feeling stressed. She never had any real formal teaching when it came to yoga but just going through the motions helped her body release stress and clear her mind. She does a form of meditation that involves full focus on her breathing. “I go into my room and make sure everything is quiet,” she said.  “I sit on my bed and close my eyes and just listen to myself breathe…It was kind of hard at first because my mind would start to wander. After a while, I got kind of good at it. It just helps me relax and concentrate on the present”. Doing this also enables her to regulate her emotions. This also helps her avoid trying to escape her room and she can now be comfortable being alone with herself. 

Diane believes that these things help her just as much as her medications. Without the yoga or the meditation, she would have a harder time to keep her emotions balanced. As long as she keeps moving throughout the day, she tends to feel much better. Even just social interactions will put her in a better mood. 

At the end of this interview, I brought up a self-care example from “After Shock: From Cancer Diagnosis to Healing”, that of keeping a personal journal which can be suitable for anyone. This   involves writing down one’s thoughts, feelings, and events that happen throughout the day. In doing so, one has the time to reflect on one’s experience. Diane admitted to never keeping a journal before but decided that she would try it out. “It’s always great to see what I did throughout the day,” she said, “and I can see how writing down my thoughts and feelings could be therapeutic.”


* For confidentiality, Diane is a pseudonym.


Rejuvenation Break: Quality Alone Time

Among the many challenges facing you is the need to "be" not only to "do." By putting aside periods each day to slow down, you will be able to give yourself the opportunity to become more fully aware of what you are actually experiencing from moment to moment. 

Quality time for "being," can open the door to your heart and your own ways of knowing. 

Here are some tips from my book


 that will improve the way in which you spend alone time:

  • While at home, turn off the telephone, your cell phone, TV and computer
  • When you wish to have uninterrupted time for something you love to do, hang a sign on the door handle, saying: "Please do not disturb"
  • Look for a place or several different places in your neighborhood to sit or walk without intrusion
  • Think about the rhythm of your week. Are there natural breaks in your schedule where you can put aside routine tasks? There's great wisdom in the ancient practice of taking a complete day of rest every seventh day
  • Become involved with a group that has little or nothing to do with the stress you have to go through daily. Sometimes it helps to change perspective and consciousness by changing the environment

It may be difficult to carve out time for yourself when you are caught up in the many activities and worries that consume your week, but it is a lifeline to health. Create your own wellness prescription by experimenting with the suggestions that appeal to you and you may feel better because of it. 

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Get Organized Workshop*

Puja had the pleasure to administer a lecture in hopes to help those who attended become more organized. The lecture was held at the lovely Desmond Campus at Mount Saint Mary College.

The turn out was great and the participants seemed blown away by the information they were receiving during the discussion. The lecture closely focused on her book designed to help manage medical visits and paperwork: 

My Health & Wellness Organizer.

Puja explains the ways the Health and Wellness Organizer can be used 

The participants provided wonderful inquiries and feedback to better be prepared for organizing their future paperwork. The book is comprehensive and covers topics such as a personal "yellow pages" and how to manage insurance, bills and legal records.

Participants were thankful for the well structured information they had at their fingertips that would help them become more organized. "It was spectacular - over the top!" Eleanor Sugerman says when asked if the content of the book was satisfactory.

Puja takes questions and engages in discussion

If you're interested in possibly purchasing the book or want to find more information about it you can visit the

Roots & Wings


Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Rejuvenation Break: Be Open to Creativity

Whether you appreciate the beauty  others have created or create beauty as an expressive outlet for your own imagination, it is now known that such activities have great nurturing power.

Through creativity you can become more aware and connected to the beauty or wonder of the world - and yourself. Your creativity need not be beautiful, artistic or perfect. Many people enjoy the sensation of molding clay, mixing colors together with wet pain or playing their favorite instrument.

Here are some tips from my book


 that can help you become more open to creativity:

  • Remember a hobby or some kind of creativity you enjoyed as a child. Let yourself play with that again in the spirit of a child
  • Find a creativity group you'd enjoy in which you will learn something new
  • Play waltz music and allow it to open your heart. If you can, dance
  • As you listen to classical music allow it to flow right into you and the areas of your body that are most in need of healing   
  • Every day choose some colored crayons and let your hands freely express your mood
  • Sing along to the  music that you love

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Know Your Chakras

The earliest discussion of the chakras, 

or energy centers, 

in the body was found in the 


, a Hindu large body of texts originating in ancient India (1700 BCE- 1100 BCE).  ‘


 comes from the Sanskrit, meaning ‘wheels of light.' 

Our energy levels affect our everyday lives. Lack of energy, or blocked energy, can lead to stress, the feeling of illness, and actual illness.  Being in touch with your 7 key chakras or energy centers is important to keep positive energy flowing through your body, and to maintain and improve one’s health.


The Root Chakra

- Located at the base of the spine, the first chakra represents our foundation and connection with our bodies, the surrounding environment, and the Earth. It is the chakra that initiates our fight or flight response.


The Sacral Chakra

- The second chakra is more focused on pleasure and enjoyment. It is located 2 inches below the navel in the lower abdomen. It is considered the center for feeling and emotion.


Solar Plexus Chakra

- The third chakra is all about the individual. Located in the upper abdomen in the stomach area, the Solar Plexus Chakra is the center of our personality, identity, and ego. It effects our ability to be confident and in control of our lives.


Heart Chakra

- Located in the center of the chest, right above the heart, the Heart Chakra deals with our ability to love. This chakra deals with the love one has for other people, but also with the love of oneself as well as one’s inner peace.


Throat Chakra

- The fifth chakra deals with one’s voice and communication. The Throat Chakra is not just focused on speaking to others, but also on self-expression and genuine expression of one’s truth. Accepting our uniqueness  and what is true can help remove troublesome doubt and negativity from our lives. It is located in the throat.


Third Eye Chakra

- Also called the “Brow Chakra”, the sixth chakra allows us to see more than what is in front of us physically. It calls to our imagination and inner vision to help us focus on what matters most to us. Located on the forehead, right above the nose, the Third Eye Chakra allows us to see the deeper meanings of life’s experiences.


The Crown Chakra

- Located at the top of the head, the seventh chakra is at the top of the chakra chain. It represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually. It helps us realize that everything is connected spiritually at a selfless level. We develop an understanding of both inner and outer beauty as well as a pure connection with our own spirituality.

Although very basic, this list of the 7 chakras can help you ultimately come to peace  with all the aspects in your own life. This peace will create positive energies flowing throughout the body with fewer energy blocks, allowing you to feel better physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. There are many other minor chakras that affect our bodies, but these are the main 7 that connect us with ourselves, the world around us, and other people.

Check back in for more about each chakra!

More Ways To Relax At New Paltz*

We have two more ways to make a stay in and around New Paltz an unforgettable one. Last week we suggested you personalize your Country Getaway experience and get moving physically by enjoying the outdoor activities the area has to offer. This week we suggest:

Explore New Paltz 

New Paltz is a charming and historic college town with restaurants and shopping galore. Perfect for antiquing, only seven miles from Roots & Wings. Walk down historic Huguenot Street for views of historical housing built in the late 1700's into the early 1800's that are still standing today. You can visit their website for more information: 

Historic Huguenot Street

Check out the Shawangunk Wine Trail

Enjoy nine family owned wineries nestled between the Shawangunk Mountains and the Hudson River. Taste fine wines made in the tradition of the early French Hugenots and Walloons who settled in the valley over three hundred years ago. 

There are 14 wineries between the Shawangunk River and the Hudson River. You can find move information about visiting them here: 

Shawangunk Wine Trail

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings