Watch my interview with Aaron Fisher (entrepreneur, public speaker and author; @theawakeningself on Instagram) where we share a heart-felt conversation on awakening and how it was like for me!
Archive for Health & Wellness
It’s finally Spring! . . . which means that, here in Portland, there are now smatterings of rain-free (sunny, even) hours here and there to enjoy ( . . . yay.)
Even with lingering clouds in the Pacific Northwest, and the typical neighbor’s response to that occasional precious sunny day falling along the lines of, “Yeah, wonder how long this one’ll last,” I really am savoring Spring. One reason is the bright and beautiful flowers now waking up in municipal parks, lining main drags of the city with their fluorescent blooms. Another bonus I can’t neglect mentioning is the occasional day that rises up into the 60s.
The main point I want to celebrate with you, though, is my newly discovered fondness for Spring cleaning. It’s not a seasonal routine in which I’d ever before partaken; my recent move last month just happened to coincide with the turning of seasons, and inspired me to purge a lot of crap that I didn’t need but had been schlepping around from temporary housing situation to housing situation for the past five and a half years anyway. I finally rid myself of seven bags of clutter (clothing that I hadn’t worn for years . . . books that I had once had some fleeting interest in, but had never gotten around to reading and which, realistically, I finally admitted that I never would . . . and a few random knick-knacks that my mother had sent me from two time zones away for every holiday listed on the Gregorian calendar and which were already living in aforementioned bags, anyway).
And (with all due respect to my mother), it felt great.
If you’re reading this month’s newsletter, you are no doubt a resilient soul — you just survived a recent astrological double whammy of Mercury retrograde overlapping a blue full moon, followed by All Fool’s Day, followed by a Friday the 13th. And that means that YOU, too, can survive with less clutter in your life. (Which is not to suggest that YOUR life contains an inordinate amount of clutter! — it’s just that we could all use a Spring cleaning.)
We all owe it to ourselves to determine whether any given thing in our life is helping us, or hurting us just by virtue of being one more thing that we have to keep track of. This goes for material possessions, as well as the more abstract things of which we’ve claimed ownership.
If you choose to accept your mission to declutter material possessions, remember that there’s no need for any owner’s guilt as you sort through your belongings. (Cut yourself some slack — you’ve been living in a consumerist society your entire life, and you’ve managed to accumulate some unnecessary junk in the meanwhile.) Also bear in mind that decluttering doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can just keep an eye out as you live your life. (Pause for a moment and ask yourself whether that piece of furniture that never gets used and just sits in the corner is collecting dust is useful, or if it only makes house cleaning more of a tedious task for you. Ask yourself whether that jacket hanging in your closet that you never wear would be better put to use by someone else later to be shopping at Goodwill.)
Joshua Becker is an advocate of minimalism whose own family’s story has been featured on the CBS Evening News, the WSJ, NPR, and various other news outlets.
At his website Becoming Minimalist, Becker provides brilliant ways that the average Jane or Joe can declutter their house. He shares his list of “clutter busting routines”, for example, along with insights into unseen benefits of becoming minimalist. His blog posts offer brilliant insights to decluttering in a wide scope of material, as well as intangible, ways — ranging from overcoming habits of excessive consumerism, to rearranging one’s kitchen to create a less cluttered home environment, to ridding one’s life of superficial gossip, to cutting artificial ingredients out of one’s diet.
Take note, parents — most impressive is that he shares how he’s gone minimalist as a father with young children on the homefront.
The most valuable benefits to be gained from simplifying one’s lifestyle are undoubtedly abstract. Less stuff leads to less stress; hence, more time and energy for the things that really matter. For most of us, our minds and our thoughts could use a Spring cleaning (our consciousness is how we invest our precious time and energy while on Earth; do you ever overcomplicate/overthink things?) while we endeavor to excavate our homes of any unnecessary material items (the idea behind the money that we spent on any unnecessary material aspects, of course, being that it is a reflection of our investments of our precious time and energy).
Quality over quantity.
When I was leaving the hospital after a: few near death experiences, coma, and major surgery, the ICU nurse told me “don’t worry about dusting your house – dust is for leaving love messages for your family in” and “you will experience ptsd”. She also said “apparently you were meant to do something amazing with your life – that’s why you are still alive.” No pressure there!!
I would like to share my recovery with PTSD. I still trigger every now and again or get overwhelmed. I know I will never be the same as before but can function, enjoy life and be creative and productive again. In some ways I am actually better. Some things challenge me more now.
Anyways – Bach Flower Remedies saved my sanity. Rescue Remedy is sold in health food stores or online so if you want to try it right now, go get some! Personally, I prefer my own line of bach flower remedies named Faery Heart Elixirs available also online (www.universalembodiment.com). They are liquids made out of the vibration of plants, that you take under your tongue, but work emotionally, and energetically within minutes. They don’t effect medications and are good old mother nature LOVE! I could take them when I was freaking out, distraught, feeling overwhelmed and feel peaceful and calm the next moment. They are life support for the sensitive souls! Life saver for me and my family for sure!
Another thing that helped me gained control of my life, was working with a miraculous belief systems coach named Marie Martin from Kelowna, British Columbia. She has worked with many front line workers, 911 operators and others that have suffered with ptsd. She helped me clear subconsciously what was triggering me in a easy, loving, calm, and quick way. Once they were cleared, my triggers either went away or lessened to a manageable “normal” proportion. It is possible to roll through triggers quickly and easily.
Nutrition, healing, time and patience is always necessary for recovery. Family support is also a blessing! My family’s support and understanding made the hell I was in, a bit easier. Janet, my girlfriend, was really a saint! She repeated herself a million times because my short term memory was nonexistent in the beginning and I asked the same questions repeatedly. When I was in a full on freak out she would remain calm and not make eye contact (family joke) – wait for my outburst to end, and hope somehow we would all survive. PTSD is not easy on us, but our families get to go thru it right alongside us too! Remember to cut them a break! Try not to judge yourself so harshly. You are lucky to be alive. Be gentle with yourself! Show some love for the family walking by your side thru hell also!
For physical support in regaining my memory and straightening my body out after surgery, I went to a Body Talk practitioner named Richard Stuart from Calgary, Alberta. It took a few treatments to get the rest of my organs working together again and my brain function back but he was key for my continuing physical, emotional and energetic support. I did say brain function back! One night after a session it felt like a switch flipped on in my brain and I had some more back – best feeling ever for me! Body Talkers can get your body communicating with each other again which supports healing in a way like no other modality for me. I love it! Strongly recommend checking them out in an area near you.
PTSD survival and enjoying life again is possible. My intention was to share some huge keys for my own recovery process. Trust your intuition. Keep watching for the people and things, that can assist you. If you need some referrals I’ve sprinkled them liberally throughout this blog. If you are interesting on finding out more about my line of Faery Heart Elixirs, or the people that assisted me, please check out my website at www.universalembodiment. com. If you need any suggestions or want to connect – drop me a line!
Miracles happen every day! Trust me, I am one and so are you!
As I begin a new diet this month, I feel inspired to discuss food. And its effects on mood. And with that, in light of the ways that our own biological systems operate, take a look at the paradigms of holism and dualism.
Recent neurobiological evidence shows that the neurotransmitters and neuropeptides that steer our emotional course are not isolated to the head, but actually exist throughout the entire body. In each system of the body, to be precise — each of the systems of the body, which share almost three hundred internal communication substances that we produce to carry out daily functions, to be even more precise.
Basically, our systems require the proper balance of enzymes and nutrients in order to function correctly. Our biological systems rely on receiving a substantial amount of raw material in order to correctly fulfill the complex and intricate roles for which they are designed, in fact. However, such a proper balance of enzymes and nutrients is something that many Americans simply don’t get, considering all the processed material that’s out there and marketed as “food”.
The connection between food and mood isn’t exactly news — in fact, the connection between nutritional deficiencies and behavioral patterns has been documented for centuries. However, such unprofitable projects have been ignored in the past, and overlooked for the sake of more “exciting” medical research.
Regarding that medical research, have a few stats on mood: according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), approximately one in nine Americans of all ages reported taking at least one antidepressant medication in the past month during 2011-2014. Meanwhile, NCHS data reveals that fewer than one in fifty Americans did thirty years prior. (Skyrocketage!)
One factor contributing to this skyrocketage is, of course, timing. The introduction of the first selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) came in 1987, and because SSRIs do not carry the same potentially life-threatening cardiac risks associated with the tricyclic antidepressants that came before, at the time they were considered to be a far healthier choice, especially for the geriatric patients who comprise the largest percentage of antidepressant users (the NCHS reports that 18.9% of Americans age 65+ reported taking at least one antidepressant in the past 30 days, 2011-2014). It’s also worth noting that the age group that is 65+ Americans is now living to see older ages than they were thirty years ago — and, studies show that usage of antidepressants increases with age.
Overprescription of antidepressants is another contributing factor. Antidepressants have seen an expansion in indication in recent years; some of the patients who take them are not diagnosed with depression, but rather conditions such as anxiety or insomnia. Questions as to how many of these non-depression diagnoses could be handled without antidepressants are being raised in medical journals.
And, part of the reason for overprescription is . . . drug lobbyists.
Nonetheless, extenuating factors aside, physicians do report a general rise in depression throughout the U.S. One reason for the prescription of antidepressants is the simple fact that they do work for many patients as temporary mood-lifters.
However, temporary mood-lifters do not address the underlying causes of a bad mood. And, it’s been reported that most Americans on these mood-lifters do not seek therapy, which prolongs the underlying causes of their conditions and therefore, dependence on antidepressants (which, by the way, often come with some potent side-effects).
So, if patients who have been diagnosed with depression don’t seek therapists, then let’s ask, Why the rise in depression in the first place? (. . . before you insert your own politically-inspired answer here . . .)
Know that one simple reason is, we are what we eat. Yes, we’ve all heard it before. Because it’s true. And yet, for a saying that’s by and large considered to be such common knowledge, it’s far too often got a blind, drive-thru steering eye turned to it in the U.S.
Dr. Neeha Mehta states in “Mind-Body Dualism: A Critique from a Health Perspective” (2011) that the medical field today is facing crisis due to paradigmatic stance Cartesian dualism, which continues to hold strong throughout the entire world (centuries after the death of René Descartes in 1650). Basically, this mind-body dualism maintains that the physical and the mental exist in two separate realities.
Do people today really believe that their physical bodies and their mental happiness are not connected? Surely this can’t be the case, given the number of us who swallow tangible little blue pills with the intention of lifting our abstract moods.
Shamanic teacher and practitioner Jan Engels-Smith writes that the mechanistic view of fragmented parts is an artificial construct that was developed through humanity’s efforts to control their universe, rather than become a part of it. Since Descartes’s time, of course, we have since made catapults and rocket launches in understanding the depths of our universe
. . . and the likelihood of us ever being in control of it.
If our overt belief in the effects that pills can have on mood isn’t proof enough that it’s time to ditch the dualism, then the existence of our emotions-driving neurotransmitters and neuropeptides throughout our entire bodies surely serves as evidence enough that it’s time for a paradigmatic shift favoring holism — an acknowledgement of the interconnection of all things. And, the connection between the food and the mood in our bodies is one of the more direct examples out there.
We are the masters of our fate and the determiners of our future wellbeing. One way in which we harness such mastery is, choosing what foods we eat, if we are so fortunate as to have a choice in that matter. Good nutrition brings good moods. And, good moods bring still more good things. After all, like attracts like.
Positive energies attract positive energies, and create realizable affirmations that enrich our lives and promote manifestation. Similarly, negative energies attract negative energies, and stymie our connection with the better opportunities that we seek.
Simply remember that you are what you eat.
Isabel Spradlin of Spradlin Bodyworks hosts an interview with Laera Morrow, owner of Laera’s Lair of Natural Healing, on the topic of abdominal health and its effects on the nervous system.
The mission of Laera’s Lair is to guide people to heal dis-ease without using pharmaceuticals — both through spreading awareness and through working with clients. I specialize in working with clients living with brain and nerve dis-ease. My own success in naturally controlling my epileptic seizures led me to realize the power of healing methods that lie outside the realm of conventional Western medicine, and often are labeled as “alternative”. It is with gratitude for my personal journey that I, too, now regard these alternatives as being fundamentals of healthcare, and I find myself beyond motivated to share my passion for natural healing with others at my Lair.
Real Ways To Cultivate Self-Love
Love is the “capstone” sustaining and holding life itself together. We are the very real fabric of love!
Loving yourself lays the framework for how we love others and in turn how we let them love us. Quite simply if you struggle to love and accept you as you are right now… (this is most of us at one time or another in our lives).. how can you accept and give love to others?
Loving yourself directly influences at the core how you live your life with and amongst others.
Cultivating self and other love is a life learning process with many bends in the road as you move with each season. How do you begin if this seems out of reach or too difficult?
Start by simply pausing with intention. Notice your personal inner dialogue. Take a “real” look within. What do you typically say to yourself when life is good and in those times when you’ve hit a roadblock or have been in a holding pattern? Noticing and listening to your talk will reveal where are in the process “self-love.” This process is not selfish or self-centered. What is revealed and gathering will open a door to become.
Although complex and unique to each of us our own sense of “love” when authentic in our hearts and bodies will feel “right” expressed in self-confidence, comfort, and ease.
Here is a loving list to get you started and refresh your perspective!
10 ways for you to love yourself!
1. Learn and practice self-compassion.
This area is crucial for cultivating and deepening how to love yourself. It is a key piece from which love is cultivated and sown.
Dr. Kristin Neff – The pioneering self-compassion researcher, author, teacher and creator of the Self Compassion Scales writes this on self compassion.
“Having compassion for yourself gives you the ability to honor and accept your humanity in the moment. Things will not always be the way you want them to. You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals. As you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and your fellow humans in the experience of life.”
Empathy is defined as being able to put yourself in someone else’s situation in the present moment. By loving yourself.. you show respect/love for others by listening with understanding to their struggles. without feeling pity or sympathy for them.
3. Cultivate gratitude.
Learning how to become grateful for everyday things and people in your life strengthens love by placing emphasis on what is versus what isn’t. Love grows here!
4. Accept who you are.
Embrace and love the things that make you uniquely you. All parts of you -are- who you are. Both the good and not so good! They don’t define you but rather are part of your distinct makeup.
5. Let go of the past.
When you live in the past you stay in the past. Whether you feel the past was the best of times or painful. Embrace today! Affirm your life by being where you are today knowing that this place… even if especially trying is just a season meant to raise your awareness where you are now so you have a margin to move forward each day.
6. Practice “Ahimsa” Non harming to self and others.
“Ahimsa” is a sanskrit word from yoga philosophy found in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali the Hindu mystic. Ahimsa, one of the five Yamas, is practicing love to self and others by seeking to think and act with love and kindness. Ahimsa requests the practitioner to cause no “harm” with unkind talk, thoughts, and actions both to self and others.
7. Be realistic.
Every day is not going to be a great day nor a bad day either. Some days will simply be mundane or ordinary. Allow you to be you in each given day.
8. Reward yourself.
Do something you enjoy because this makes you smile and affirms your life be it a yoga class, a hike, a good book,learning something new, hanging with your tribe enjoying time spent with someone special to you. Rewarding you with things your enjoy is love.
9. Develop a daily self-care routine.
Your body (physical and emotional) is yours and it needs you to nurture and take care of it by placing yourself lovingly first within the lineup of all other professional and personal obligations.
10.Create healthy emotional boundaries.
Take time to set up physical, emotional boundaries that protect you and others from being manipulated and used or simply from overextending your best loving intentions. Setting up boundaries allows you to separate who you are and what you need from the thoughts and feelings of others. This intentional action may seem selfish and “unloving” initially, however overtime setting up healthy boundaries is lovingly empowering for everyone.
Which of these tips resonates with you? Please share!
The Universe is truly amazing and the power of connection and energy continues to blow my mind!
Once again this is another perfect example of the Universe working its Power and Magic and collectively gathering women who have the intention and purpose of living in truth and teaching others how to do the same by sharing their stories and their vulnerability!
When I was invited to be part of this book, I immediately knew intuitively the right publisher had found me and I trusted from the first email!
I had put the intention out in the universe about a year prior and it’s not by chance the opportunity showed up when it did!
I knew I would meet other authors and that they would be sharing their stories but I had know idea who!
When it was revealed who all my co-authors were I was blown away at the alignment the purpose and the power at all of these beautiful powerful women all uniquely different but energetically a strong similar vibration and intention!
My teaching to others is “Trusting your Intuition!”, and you can’t teach something until you have a strong practice with yourself first.
I am joyful at the trusting on this project! I don’t believe there are any coincidences and it is obvious and clear here, the energy behind this collaboration is for the greater good to inspire and raise the vibration of consciousness through sharing our own vulnerability and personal journeys!
Let your intuition always be in alignment with your truth and it will never guide you wrong!
With much love and gratitude,
Are you one of those people who has “to get to just one more thing” – constantly?
How about needing to be on-the-go all the time out of habit? Well imagine what it would be like if you could just STOP.
Stop the busyness and bring in the ahhhhhhh…
Most of us spend our time running around doing, doing, doing.
And while sometimes that makes us feel productive, important and needed – it sure doesn’t help us to feel grounded, clear or calm.
Do You Ever Just Stop?
Does it ever occur to you to just stop? Even for a moment.
It’s interesting how stopping changes your perspective on what seems so urgent.
And what really is so urgent or critical that you can’t stop, take a deep breath and become present?
Let’s be honest. Gratefully, for most of us there are very few occasions in our day, when our habitual running is actually averting pure disaster.
And it goes without saying, that you’ll be considerably more focused and effective if you do stop for that deep breath.
Here’s How To Stop & Become Mindful
So the next time you find yourself rushing – use it as the perfect opportunity to become present and mindful by following these quick steps:
- STOP dead in your tracks.
- Take a deep breath.
- Really feelthat deep breath.
- Refocuson what’s in your field of vision.
- Groundyour feet.
- State to yourself aloud “I am present”.
- Smile.(very important step)
- Move onto your next task.
The more often you’re able to practice STOPPING, the better you’ll feel.
Pretty easy. Can’t hurt to give it a try.
Please bring mindfulness to others and share my message.
Any questions or comments please reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please find the original formatted version of this blog here.