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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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Do you want to start your week off right?
Check out your Mindfulness Monday Quick Hit below.
- Step outside and feel your feet firmly on the ground.
- Close your eyes and take in a deep breath filling your lungs completely.
- Exhale gently and slowly open your eyes.
- Notice your surroundings – the air, sky, ground, plants, sounds.
- Recognize this feeling of calm centeredness.
- Take this feeling with you throughout your day.
If you found this quick hit helpful please share with others.
Any questions or comments please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tired of chasing success & satisfaction? Not sure what you’re doing wrong?
Our research shows that most women are following the wrong strategies as they work tirelessly to achieve success and satisfaction. In fact, our studies reveal that most of you are working against yourselves. Ouch!
When you follow your proper human design strategy, and you make sure that your Mind, Body & Spirit are all strong and in alignment, then you’ll start experiencing the results you envision with less effort. I know this firsthand, as I’ve been personally experimenting all year, and am eager to share this info it with you!
Your mind can be the LEAST HELPFUL tool in your toolbox unless you know how to train it and control the negative thinking that overtakes it. When you use it for your benefit, it’s quite powerful, but most people simply rehash the same negative thinking over and over, and then expect their life/business situation to change. Get a handle on your mind, and you’re much closer to achieving your goals.
But that’s not all –
Your body is Command Central for your entire life.
And while we know we need it to exist – it literally supports us – often we either ignore or even abuse it. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You’re a spiritual being in a human body,” and so your body (often called “the body temple”) enables your Spirit to exist and move freely through life. It provides you with not only needed energy to live your day powerfully, it’s also one of the best decision-making tools on the planet. Think about how many times you’ve said “It doesn’t feel right” or “Yes, that feels like a good idea.” The only place we actually feel things is within our bodies, which provides invaluable wisdom and knowledge. However, if you’re disconnected from it, you’ll miss these precious signs.
Some wonder how in the world Spirit can help in business. First of all, when we say “Spirit,” we’re referring to something you cannot see, that is larger than you, that you can access for support. To you that may be “God,” “Nature,” “Universal Intelligence,” “Jesus,” Buddha,” etc. What you call it does not matter; what matters is that you call upon it. Plugging into this Source provides access to intuition, resourcefulness, serendipity, flow and trust. It’s like connecting your electrical cord to the outlet in the wall; instantly you’re provided with power, energy, and flow.
If you’re feeling out of balance, or you’re not sure what’s wrong, take our quick Something’s Missing Quiz to find out. At the end you’ll get a bonus First Aid Kit customized to help you strengthen whatever’s off in your system.