Monday, February 26, 2018

"Let's put our hands together..."

"Let's put our hands together..." is an expression we use when we want to share our appreciation of someone's accomplishments.  We give them our applause.  Clapping is also a way that we can gain the attention of another.  We clap loudly in the kitchen to scare the dog away from the cat's food.  In this day and age, we can clap to turn on or off a light.  I sometimes use the sound of a good sharp clap above my head to align the main chakras or Chinese energy centers in my body.  It brings them abruptly into balance and coherence.

Aside from the seven main chakras of the body, there are numerous chakras in our hands and feet.  There is a tiny little chakra at every knuckle, one at either end of every bone in our skeleton.  And since our hands have so many bones, nearly thirty in the hand and wrist, this results in lots of potent energy centers all giving to and receiving from the world.

Some of you may have seen the graphic depicting the sensory receptivity of our bodies.  This shows a little person with big eyes, lips and tongue, extending out from his body are gigantic hands.  It helps us to understand just how much of our perception of the world around us is generated through our hands.

The Chinese meridian system of the body shows how energy travels through our bodies.  Meridians are shown as pathways of energy running from top to toe and passing through an organ like the liver, the lungs or the kidneys.  Each of these meridian lines has a number of points along the way.  For example, K-27 is the 27th point on the kidney meridian.  Several of these meridians begin or end at our fingertips.  When we place our finger tips together, either in thought, or in prayer, it feels good.  It connects some of the circuits of our meridians.

Something that I have enjoyed doing since childhood is to hold my finger tips up to the full force of the water coming from the shower head while bathing.  I also do this with my toes and with my lips and gums and the teeth in my mouth.  This stimulates the nerve endings there, activating the meridians that travel up and down, revitalizing my whole body and many of my organ systems.  And quite often the other end of a meridian, either coming up from or going to the mouth and toes, is located in the fingertips.

We 'drum' our fingers when we are thinking.  We sit at our desks and fold our hands to quiet and center ourselves.  We snap our fingers to keep time with a beat in the music.  We put our hand on a freshly skinned knee.  It brings the intention and the healing power of our whole body quickly there.  We shake hands in greeting and to show the other that we mean no harm.   

We touch our loved ones lightly to make contact with our finger tips.  Hoofed animals use their noses for this, but we use our fingers to convey our love.  With a hand on someone's shoulder, or holding hands with another, we put the love in.  Our hands and arms extend out from the area of our hearts and express our love.  We give hugs, pulling our loved ones in close, so our hearts can touch.  Our fingers and hands are beautiful tactile extensions of our love.

And then in solitude, while in meditation or in personal ceremony or prayer, we connect our fingertips together or cup our hands, one resting inside the other, or press our palms lightly together, connecting the circuits of our own heart's energy, feeling the love.

So, let's put our hands together for just a moment now and feel the flow of this love within.
As we enter into the last month of the first quarter of this new year, I give my love to you all with best wishes for a joyous, love-filled and blessed rest of this year.

Monday, January 29, 2018

The ABC's of Intuition

Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. This is a natural human trait, but for some of us, it is not so easy to access. Outside influences can be mistaken for our own inner perceptions. Memories and old patterns can masquerade as guidance. Please enjoy this hour long talk on how to learn how to listen to, cultivate and trust your own intuition.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The One Thing There Is

We are all one.  Or so say the majority of the spiritual teachers who have walked this planet.  But, what does this really mean?  If we are all one, how come we feel so separate from each other? 

I think the answer to this question lies in several areas: 
First, we have been acculturated to dwell predominately in the left hemisphere of our brains with our thought processes.  Here we are analytical and separate, we base our assumptions on information from the past and speculations about the future.  This is the area of our thinking that is constantly trying to evaluate who we are, what we have done and what we should do next.  It is a place of separation and individuation.

Second, we have been conditioned to be less aware of the thought processes that are common to the right hemisphere of our brains.  This is the seat of our oneness, our commonality, our unity consciousness.  And though we are less aware on the surface of this aspect of ourselves, it is clearly at the core of who we are.  When someone calls for help, we don't run away, we run toward them and try to help.  At the deepest level of our beings, we understand that to let the other suffer or die would be to let a part of ourselves suffer or die.

Third, when we all saw that image of earth, taken from space in the 1960's, we opened our eyes as if for the first time and began to see that there were no dividing lines for nations or governments.  Instead we began to see ourselves as very lucky to be alive, all of us, thriving together, on this little blue green marble, floating in the vastness of outer space.  From this perspective, we began to see the earth as one organism, miraculously supporting us all.

And while it is true that we are each unique and different, we now see that we are a part of the whole.  Just like our nose is different from our eyes, we understand that both are a part of our face.  As my mentor Peace Pilgrim puts it, "We are all cells in the body of humanity."   We may each be different, but we are not separate.  And it is our oneness that is at the core of who we are.

But why stop there?  If our individual selves are a part of humanity, and if humanity is a part of life on earth, why not go even further and try on the thought of all of life, either on earth or beyond, as being a part of the vast consciousness that pervades the Universe.

So now, with this thought in mind.  How do you think each aspect of life, or awareness, would like to be treated?  How would your nose like to be cared for?  Certainly not as separate.  That would leave it hanging out there all on it's lonesome.  The same can be said for one another.  How would each of us like to be treated?  

Ah, in steps The Golden Rule.  'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'  There is some version of this teaching found in every major religion on the planet.  

But what about beyond?  As we move our attention on out into the galaxy, it doesn't take too much more looking for us to begin to see the Universe as a whole?  Awareness arises, dances in one form or another, passes back into compost or spinning galaxies and arises again.  As we start to appreciate the depth of the beauty that we find there, we begin to learn how to embrace the one thing there is.  We find that we can celebrate not only our individuality, but also our unity consciousness, living, loving, caring for and embracing each and every aspect of the whole.   

A very Happy New Year to you all.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Quick Relief from Aches and Pains

Please enjoy this short video on how to restore ease in the body after a hard day's work or an injury or fall. Commonly available simple cures can help you to heal fast.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Birthing A New Human Consciousness ~ The Contractions Are Getting Closer

There has been so much intense news of late.  Just this past month of September, Hurricanes Harvey and then Irma swept through Florida, leaving deaths and untold square miles of devastation in their wakes.  During Irma's storm, wind speeds were recorded at 185 m.p.h. and remained at that speed for 37 hours, marking her one of the most powerful storms ever recorded.

A week later, we had the unthinkable tragedy in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting to date, with 64-year old gunman Stephen Paddock firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition, from his many rifles designed exclusively for killing humans, into a crowd of innocent music lovers.  His motivations were not known, but they resulted in such profound suffering with 546 injuries and 58 people dead, including himself. 

And just one week after that, we have had a series of wildfires in the Santa Rosa area of California.  Nearly 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and over 40 people have expired in the fires making this the most deadliest week of fire in California history.  Nearly 200 people have been hospitalized and over 5,000 structures, most of them homes, have been completely destroyed.

All three of these are news items are of epic proportions.  They have all happened in the last couple of months and have taken place just in our own country.  They don't begin to cover the tragedies on the world scene, most of which are political or climate change related.  Burma and Puerto Rico to name just two.  It seems that the heat is getting turned up.  

I sometimes think of that little frog in the ultimately cruel 19th century biology experiments, where the water is slowly heated, getting hotter and hotter, until the frog expires.  Yet when another frog is placed in water that has already been heated, it immediately jumps out.  

It is only because we see the frogs as separate from ourselves that we can even consider such a heartless test.  If we were to embrace our oneness, as all of the great spiritual wisdom traditions of the world encourage us to do, through their various renditions of The Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," then we would never consider such an act.  Nor would we stand by, allowing the difficulties and suffering of others to seem so distant and removed from our own life experience.

Were we to look at all of these recent current events with freshly innocent eyes, I wonder, would we jump?  Would we choose to make a significant change.  I hope so.  Because looking at them from the perspective of 'business as usual,' like the slowly heated frog, is likely to let us all perish.

As I hear the news on the home front and on the world scene, it seems to me to be a reflection of our own awareness that is begging us to evolve, to step up to a new level in our human consciousness, our interconnectedness.  And evolve we must.  Either that or perish like that poor first little frog.

All of these perilous incidences remind me of the intensity of the process of birth.  As the time of transition draws near, the contractions increase in severity and frequency.  Soon they come one right on top of the other until the new life begins to crown.  It is a dangerous time.  Both the mother and or the babe can be lost.  Both stand right at the door of death before they choose life and behold a new consciousness coming into being.

Perhaps we can consider this metaphor together, as a possible vision of how we can help ourselves to make the changes that will allow us to ride safely through these troubled times.  Let us see ourselves being born into the far-reaching implications of an evolving consciousness, one where we hold the deepest considerations and self-responsibility for our collective future.  One where we let all of our actions and choices reflect that understanding.  As we do so, we can see our shared reality, our unity, with each of us as a part of the whole, a portion of Divinity.  And as we rise up in our perception of this, we see that we are each worthy of love, our own love, each others love and the love of all.  

It is my hope that together, we can make this shift, despite our cultural conditioning to the contrary.  We can learn to see ourselves, with all of our differences, as valuable contributions to the whole.  And it is true, we are different, but not separate, as a baby finger is different from a thumb, but both are uniquely wonderful parts of the one hand, the whole body, the whole being and all of Divinity.

From this beautiful place of self-love, self-respect and self-allowance our 'cup runneth over' and the love spills forth into the field of our shared reality and we can see that the challenges that arise in our lives are blessings in disguise, here to help guide us, out of separation and back into unity consciousness, from whence we came and where we belong now.

This is the new human consciousness that I am trusting these increasingly strong and frequent contractions will bring; the one we are all waiting to see be born.  Our oneness, our unity consciousness, immersed in the interconnectedness of our shared Universal Love.   I invite you to join me in holding this vision together, as one.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Natural Healing for Rotator Cuff Injuries

Surgeries are very traumatic to the body and they can often be avoided by building strength and caring for ourselves naturally.  In this five and a half minute long video, I discuss natural care for healing minor rotator cuff injuries.   Once the rotator cuff is healed, in order to avoid reinjury, be sure to visit YouTube, for videos on exercise programs for strengthening the rotator cuff.  These exercises are a very important step and need to be the final part of any rotator cuff healing regime.  For lasting results, we want to gradually get every muscle group in that joint strong.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Prebiotics, Probiotics, Compost and Consciousness. How we really are what we eat.

Nearly all of us have heard how our bodies are made up of more than 30 trillion cells.  What we may not know is that our bodies are home to nearly ten times that amount of microorganisms.  These are non-human entities, sometimes referred to as our 'microbiome,' and they consist primarily of viruses, yeasts, fungi and bacteria.  Though some may be pathogenic, we could not survive without the vast majority of them.  They are a part of who we are, with most of them being bacteria.  They live on our skin and in our intestines and are responsible for breaking down our food so we can assimilate it.  Known as probiotics they are considered "helpful," because they keep us healthy.  I've heard our gut tracts likened to a jungle, full of a wide variety of life forms all acting together in harmony to create the whole.

I have a little jungle in my backyard too.  We have thirty different types of trees growing around our home.  Years ago because of the sheer quantity of leaves, I learned from a friend how to make compost from them using the Rudolf Steiner method.  To do this you first gather quite a few very specific types of plant material including: white oak leaves, chamomile plants, valerian roots, mustard stalks, pine needles, sea weed, oat straw, yarrow leaves, dandelion leaves, and wood ash.  Apparently, each of these breaks down into varying strains of bacteria, fungus, yeasts and molds when layered onto the heap with some native soil and cow or horse manure.  These microbes will then quickly convert all of your garden waste into rich soil full of nutrients that will support plant growth.  

Once you've created this original compost, it becomes a great way to process garden debris because you don't have to stir or turn it.  Instead you just place your varying garden leaves in layers, scattering a few shovelfuls of your original compost in between each layer.  Then spray it with a little water, cover it, and within two or three months it has completely broken down and is ready to use.  It will look just like a pile of leaves on top, but if you dig into it, 'voila,' rich new compost awaits you.  And, your new compost now contains all of the bacteria that was present in your old compost and it can now be used to "seed" all subsequent compost piles.  Scattering this compost on your flower beds or around your trees is just like giving your garden a healthy dose of probiotics.  

Probiotics do for our digestion the same thing that my compost does for my garden leaves.  These bacteria help us to break down our food into rich nutrition that we can easily assimilate.  Referred to as "friendly bacteria," they are found naturally occurring in a variety of fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, pickles, kefir and yogurt.  There is a reason why so many native cultures enjoy these "weird-tasting" fermented foods.  They keep our digestive tracts happy.

Prebiotics are the fibers from plant based foods that we are unable to digest, but that feed the "friendly bacteria" in our intestines.  As our bacteria break them down, the end products nourish our colon cells creating better health in our systems.  Some of these prebiotics break down into fatty acids that improve our metabolic health.  Commonly recommended prebiotic foods include: dandelion greens, oats, seaweed, chicory root, burdock root, apples, green bananas, nectarines, flax seeds, barley grass, asparagus, onions, leeks and garlic, some of which are the same plants that I used in creating my compost for the garden.

Our beneficial bacteria is originally transferred to us while we are growing in our mother's womb.  We swallow them and we also take them in through our mouths during natural childbirth.  Breast feeding further transfers even more beneficial bacteria into our systems.  They then make their homes in our digestive tracts and in various other areas of our bodies.  These bacteria are a natural part of who we are and we have shared our lives with them since the dawn of humanity.  Just like we can't live without them, they can't live without us.  And once we've got them, they can thrive in our intestines for a long, long time, hopefully from birth to death, busy at their friendly little jobs of tending to our health and breaking down our food for us so we can absorb it as nutrition.

However, a problem arises when we take large amounts of antibiotics or use them repeatedly, or consume them regularly in the flesh foods of animals that are routinely treated with antibiotics, such as restaurant meats, farmed fish, or commercial eggs and dairy products.  Typically, a single course of antibiotics won't destroy entirely the whole scope of our variety of friendly bacteria, but because they are non-selective in killing bacteria, even small amounts of antibiotics taken over time can seriously compromise our intestinal flora leaving our internal jungle like one that has been clear-cut.  When this happens we start to see all of those very serious digestive problems, like irritable bowel, colitis and Crohn's disease, where people can have a very hard time taking in nutrition.  This is why a strictly raw vegan diet has such a huge success rate for healing these disturbances.  The variety of whole, fresh, raw plant foods, fermenting in our intestines helps us to repopulate the jungle.  

Some time ago, I had the very good fortune to travel to New Zealand.  New Zealand is a beautiful country that sustains itself in the world economy by exporting goods.  One of the products that New Zealand supplies is lumber.  While visiting there I saw many acres of pine trees, all planted in rows.  Though these looked like fairly healthy forests, they were not at all like the forests that nature creates.  A natural forest is teaming with wildlife and though there may be a predominance of one type of tree, there are many other types of plants and even other trees all growing together, creating a vast cacophony of wildness.  This is not the case in a mono-crop of trees planted for timber harvest.  The soil with mono-cropped forestry can only sustain two or three harvests of trees before it becomes completely devoid of nutrients and the trees are unable to survive there.  And though there may be a few varieties of birds living in a mono-crop forest and perhaps a couple of different species of animals, mono-culture is unable to sustain a wide variety of life. 

Sadly the same thing can happen in our gut tracts.  I've heard it said and I think it's true, that we Americans tend to eat the same ten or fifteen foods over and over again.  And, the food chemists, who are hired by most of the manufacturers of processed foods, know exactly which foods or combinations of food-like chemicals or additives will trigger our addictions with the result that we come back for them again and again.  They include these substances in their recipes so we will regularly crave them and become the good 'consumers' that these manufacturers would like us to be.  The sad thing is that many of these ingredients can erode our good health because they are not only wholly deficient in pre and probiotics, but they also lack much of the nutrition that we need to regenerate our tissues.  And they tend to pack on the pounds, which slow us down, not only physically, but mentally as well.

Most would agree that preventing disease is easier than reversing it and when we suffer from a diet deficient in nutrition and characterized by "junk foods," we tend to die very slowly, with a long spiral down into poor health where we become heavily dependent on medical treatments and drugs.  Whereas, when we have a good diet, rich with nutrition and living foods, we are caring for our health and we become less likely to succumb to the management of disease.  The difference between these two is what we call "quality of life."

When I was in my early twenties, I would often go to visit some very good friends of mine.  They had a little daughter and lived together in a small, high desert town.  Every day, at 3:30pm, they'd all three walk down to the corner market to pick up what they wanted for dinner along with their groceries for the following day.  This always included a little bit of chocolate which they enjoyed together for desert after dinner.  Their little girl would be with them as they circumambulated around the store.  They'd start in the produce section, come round past the dairy, slip down an isle or two, pass by the meats and then progress to the check out counter.  This was where the fireworks would begin, right there at the candy counter.  Their little girl would start with begging and progress quickly to whining and crying.  Then, she'd dramatically throw herself down on the floor, right on her belly and start kicking and screaming and pounding her fists into the floor.  It was such a regular scene that everyone just let her have her tantrum, went about their business and paid for their groceries.  Then her parents would patiently scoop her up and carry her home.

As their daughter matured, those tantrums passed, but I often remembered that raw demonstration of craving in action, over the subsequent years, as my own desires for the candies at the check-out counter would routinely rise up to my awareness.  It almost felt to me like there were hundreds, if not billions, of tiny little voices that were inside of me saying, "Wait a minute, we're starving in here and we NEED that chocolate!  Don't you dare leave this store without giving us our sugar fix."  And guess what, that was exactly what was happening.  

We can cultivate all kinds of bacteria in our gut tracts, the good, the bad and the ugly.  The friendly flora, the healthy bacteria, helps us to digest our good nutrient rich foods, like fruits and vegetables.  The bad bacteria thrives on refined carbohydrates like sugar, and white flour, candies, pasta, meats, eggs, dairy products and the likes.  When these bacterial and yeast populations become overly large, they cry out to be fed, regularly.  Do you remember that old childhood chant, "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream?"  I do, and that is exactly what is happening.  And we think it's us, our human cells and conscious awareness that are screaming.  But, really, it's the conscious awareness of the unhealthy bacteria that is influencing our minds and demanding to be fed.  This can happen with intestinal parasites too.  They all want to be fed and they can't thrive on kale.  

So, this brings us to the topic of consciousness and the infamous "Twinkie Defense."  Perhaps you recall the terrible murder of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone by Dan White in San Francisco in 1978.   During the following trial Dan White's defense attorney successfully argued that his client was mentally impaired, just short of insanity, and was thus compelled into a murderous state, due to his over-consumption of sugar laden Twinkies.  Grant it, this is a very extreme case, but I think my point can be taken.  Because, not only our health, but our moods and emotions are absolutely affected by what we eat.  Our actions and behaviors are affected too.

Sometime ago, I wrote a blog here that I called, "No Food Cravings.  Wow!"  At the time I had started eating a small amount of homemade Kimchi every day with my husband  After about a week of this we were both astounded by how we could walk into a grocery store and pass by the fresh baked crusty french breads, the wine, the cookies and cakes, even the pizza rich with gooey melted cheese, And, Not, Even, Notice, It.  Instead, absolute peace of mind prevailed.  We felt no pull, no addictive tendencies at all.  In fact we didn't even notice it until we were out of the store.  And that is one of the surest symptoms of beautiful health, isn't it?  You don't even notice it when you have it.  Your mind is clear and you are free to be who you are and do what you love.  

So there's the truth of it all.  We really are what we eat.