Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Who Am I? Why Am I Here? And What Am I Doing?

Who Am I?  Why Am I Here?  And What Am I Doing?  These are the perennial questions of our existence.  It doesn't matter if we are fourteen years old or eighty-four years old, these three questions are appropriate for us to ask ourselves at any time in our lives.

While we are young children, we can still resonate with the infinite from whence we have just come.  When we reach our elder years, similarly we can find ourselves at peace with the idea of returning to the mystery of our source.  Reports of near death experiences give us glimpses into what that infinite source is like.  Most tell us of a great calming peace and feelings that 'all is well,' with a sense of total freedom from fear.  But, as we enter fully into this life and before we are ready to depart from it once more, we tend to forget that vast expansive aspect of who we all are.

During all of the many years between early childhood and advanced older age, our focus is largely spent on the day to day aspects of life: acquisition, protection, presentation and more.  We seek to satisfy our wants and needs.  We strive for the end points with little regard for what lies between.  We get our meals and chase after our goals, speeding along the way, too often absentmindedly crushing the delicate flowers beneath our feet.  We hurry on by, bumping into others without stopping to say I'm sorry, or even wondering why.

If we are lucky, from time to time, an existential crisis catches us and stops us in our tracks.  I feel that this is like an emergency break for the soul.  Something happens that gives us pause: a death, the loss of a job, an illness or the end of a relationship.  Then, in come those three little questions again, helping us to take stock, re-evaluate, see who we are, and who we might want to become.  

The deep soul searching that these pauses can bring us, if we are  open to it, can let us see how we are being in the world.  Are we being kind?  Are we bringing as much love and compassion, forgiveness and understanding as we can muster?  Do we express our gratitudes and appreciation for those around us?  Have we stopped to admire the beauty that is present in every moment.  Are we honoring our bodies, the temples of our soul?  

When we take these little (or sometimes big) pauses in life, to see ourselves, another blessing occurs.  We start to see those around us through these kinds of eyes as well.  As we drop our focus on our day to day pursuits, we can see more of their essence.  We see their earnestness, their sincerity, their big hearts and loving devotion.  

I've come to believe that each and every one of us is doing the very best that we can in every moment.  I feel that we are all making the most appropriate choice, for who we are, in any given time and place.  I also feel that we are here to learn and grow.  

Sometimes we grow faster in certain areas of life, and sometimes we grow slower in other areas.  And, it's all okay.  I may be better in science than I am in math.  Whereas my best friend might be just the opposite.  So I look to her for help in my weaker, or less developed parts of my self.  And she looks to me for tips and guidance in the areas where she is not as strong.  Together we help each other.

When we take the time to see ourselves, and everyone whom we encounter, in this way, we find ourselves in an increased state of openness.  We might even enter into wonder and awe.  This is where the magic lies.  Here is where our transformation takes place.  Our fears drop away.  We find equanimity and a sense of understanding, and we embody some of that infinite source from whence we came and where we will all return.

So, for this New year, I'm going to propose to myself a little challenge.  One that will invite that little pause into my every day.  Can I, once a day, ask, who I am?  Am I hurried or am I noticing?  Maybe once an hour, can I bring a flicker of awareness to, why I am here?  Am I learning and growing?  Am I being grateful and kind?  Maybe, if I am lucky, I can hold a tiny bit of awareness in every moment of, why I am doing what I am doing, whatever that may be.  And maybe, just maybe, if I am lucky, I can remember that I am a part of the Divine expansive, interconnected and unified whole, holding myself, all the while, in gentle hands, as I would my own precious darling child.  

Wish me luck with this, my New Year's Resolution.  And I wish you luck with yours, whatever it might be, knowing that whatever it is, it is perfect, and the very best choice for you.

May we all be blessed with a wondrous and very Happy New Year.
All my love to you.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Give Yourself the Gift of Great Eyesight!

Please enjoy this little video and learn how to help yourself to beautiful vision using tried and true relaxation techniques and eye exercises.  With these natural healing methods, we can all begin to restore or maintain our great eyesight, well into older age, simply by taking good care of our eyes.  This eight minute long video demonstrates how you can begin to make a daily habit of great eye care, naturally.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Take a Vacation

Take a vacation.  You don't have to go far.  You don't even have to leave home.  The idea is to get a fresh perspective.  And that's what we sometimes need to do, to look at our lives from a different point of view.

My cousin recently invited me to meet with her and her family in Sedona.  I don't often travel, but I went.  And it was great.  We all had fun exploring the vortexes found there.  It is said that all of Sedona is abundant with these swirling energies and that they can move and might be felt almost anywhere.  However there are four main vortexes that people tend to visit and we did.  We found ourselves feeling uplifted in the 'Yang' ones, up on the buttes.  Then, down by the rivers and in the deeper areas of the canyons, in the 'Yin' vortexes, though we still felt quite playful, we were spontaneously a little more introspective.  Some of us even had the experience of receiving direction for our lives.  
    The energy there in Sedona, especially in the Vortex areas, whether it was yin or yang was wonderful.  My ten year old cousin (twice removed) summed it up as we were leaving the Airport Vortex when he exclaimed, "I just don't want to leave."  And that is how we all felt, we just didn't want to leave, even when our week together was done.  It was so much fun.
    Not only was the beautiful red rock spectacle of nature which is found there amazing, but it was also very refreshing and interesting to see how those around me, my extended family members, organized their lives.  It gave me an opportunity to take stock and to see my own life anew.  Though I am quite technically able, with my website and podcast, and all, I was nowhere near close to the capability of my cousins who were all masters of the electronic modern age.  We still had fun in the usual family way, watching movies, drawing, playing charades and other games, but their skill levels with Smartphones, tablets, TVs and even the airports left me in the dust by comparison.  

For this trip, I flew, which dinged my carbon footprint for the year with a mighty blow.  But to have a vacation, a real vacation, we certainly don't always need to travel far.  I've had similarly transformational experiences by simply going a mere twelve to twenty miles away from home.  Because it is the doing of things differently that opens up the doors of possibility and helps us to see with new eyes.

With a 'Staycation,' we do need to change up our routines to some extent, otherwise it is just like hanging out at home.  We need to seek out the company of folks we are not so familiar with or go on lots of little day trips, visiting sites and local attractions that we have not yet seen in our home town or area. 
    Though travelogues and books about far away places can in no way be considered vacations, it is good to know that we can also gain some insight by engaging our imagination in this way.  We can live a little vicariously through the experiences of others.  This is why we like to see pictures of our friends trips and hear the stories and tales of the far away places that they bring home.  But these are just tiny peeks into new ideas and ways of being, and are nowhere near as all encompassing as time spent away on vacation, immersing ourselves in something completely new.
    When we take a vacation, especially when we travel far, we see how other people live and for some of us, the experience of having everything be so different, even if we are still within our own culture, is quite irresistible.  It holds no equal for bringing a fresh perspective.  It informs us and refreshes our outlook.  And that is what some say is a miracle, a change in perception or a new perspective.  So take a vacation if you can.  It is a wonderful way to brighten one's way of being in the world.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Wake Up Your Psychic Ability

We are all already psychic. It's part of our natural human birthright. Just as we can learn how to drive a car, we can all learn how to develop our psychic skills. As our psychic skills increase, we gain appreciation, love and respect for ourselves and for the world around us. This hour long talk was presented to members of The Institute of Noetic Sciences both in Alaska and more recently in Los Angeles. It gives numerous tools, tips and techniques that will help you to develop your psychic abilities.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Women Are Rising and I'm So Inspired

Three events of late have left me feeling that we are all going to make it into the next step of our cultural evolution.  

The first is the movie RBG about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  Working within the confines of the law, Ruth has devoted her life to opening the eyes of the patriarchy.  Here in America, she has carefully and methodically helped the governing white men of the last sixty plus years to see the injustices that women have suffered for millennia.  And she has created the environment where even they wish to see those situations change.  The cases that she brought before and won within our legal system have substantially freed women to stand with equal status beside men.  Thousands of years of legal oppression were lifted by a single, well-loved and well supported woman within the span of her career.  It is an amazing film.  If you haven't yet seen it, do.  And bless you Ruth!  And thank you!  Because until we all stand together, each of equal value, we can not reach our full human potential.

The second source of inspiration for me is a Netflix special by the very talented communicator and lesbian comedian Hannah Gadsby in her show, "Nanette."  Using humor, standing alongside well justified and profound outrage and anger, she eloquently enlightens her audience and viewers to some of the little known realities typical of our misguided cultural mindset.  Hannah shows us how our cultural lack of acceptance, our blind cruelty, and the use of shame toward anyone who is outside of what is considered "normal" is completely dysfunctional.  And this is great because until we all treat each other with mutual acceptance and love, we can not be truly connected.

Ask any biologist, the people who study life, and they will tell you that diversity is the foundation of all life.  It is essential.  It allows for the interweaving of everything together.  This brings stability.  By culturally debasing diversity among humans, through our discrimination against anyone who doesn't fit the established or presumably cherished ideal, we as a society have not only been weakening our potential, but we have also been creating tremendous pain for too many people, for way too long. 

For millennia now, we westerners, have used the pain of shame to debilitate others.  Be it toward an Irish man, working on the New York docks, in the 1850's, or toward a lesbian woman, in a bible belt, anywhere, in the 1990's, we habitually use shame as a tool to undermine diversity.  This is an outmoded mindset which is very destructive to life itself.  However, slowly but surely, I think that we are starting to grow beyond this.  People like Hannah, who have been labeled "different" or "unacceptable," are managing to find their own worth and rebuild themselves.  Throughout the many decades, those who have been shamed have been sharing their stories and they are awakening our understanding, our compassion and our humanity.  And this is great because, as they rise up, sometimes stronger than a tempest, they help us all to awaken, so that we can start to stand together, in equal value, and begin to reach our full human potential.   

Awakenings like these are sometimes messy, but they are absolutely necessary, because it is becoming clearer and clearer that our western patriarchal societal model, of top down rule, and notions of superiority, doesn't work for anyone, not for women, not for children, not even for the men.  It doesn't work for animals, forests, water or the birds in the sky.  When we refuse to value even the smallest voice, we have lop-sided decisions being made. 

Years ago in one of his lectures, Joseph Campbell said that when it comes to making decisions about what is important, in general, men are concerned with the ideas of acquisition and protection.  This is a more individual perspective.  It often involves competition, getting ahead of the other guy.  Whereas, he said that his female students, at Sara Lawrence College, persistently taught him that women are generally concerned with the more holistic perspective, the far reaching implications that our decisions have on all of life itself.  This viewpoint is more about cooperation, helping each other to learn and grow, supporting each other, together.

When we only have the masculine view of what is right and good, which is the case in a patriarchal culture like ours, we leave out that broader perspective, and wind up serving the few instead of all.  Rainforests disappear.  Young men are commonly seen as expendable and are sent off to prison or to war.  Too often women are undervalued or left broken and destitute.  Children can be born drug addicted and unloved.  As the beautiful feminist Sonja Johnson once said, "I don't like the way men do worlds."  And you know what?  Neither do I.  Because it takes two halves to make a whole and until we all stand together, each of equal value, side by side, we will continue to lack our full humanity and we can not be truly connected.

So, the time has come for all of us to change, and changing we are.  We women are rising up with our voices and finally being heard.  We are no longer being forced to stand in silence as our daughters are raped and our foods are being poisoned or produced in factory farms.  We are speaking our truth and putting our dollars and our buying power where it reflects our core values.  We are purchasing organic and pasture-raised, fair-trade, re-purposed and sweat-shop free.  We are voting for women who are true to women's ideals.  And we are starting to stand up for everyone who has suffered at the hands of our deluded and horribly disconnected cultural mindset.

This brings me to my third inspiration.  Recent election trends show that a fairly large percentage of women are  running for office and I hope every one of them gets in.  Because it is only when women are represented equally, in regards to the number of women to men, that they stop upholding male values and stand for the ones that women naturally support. 

Those of us, who have not been fully indoctrinated into the currently predominating ethic, of "them versus us," tend to open our hearts more readily to everyone: big, little, pink or purple.  Studies have shown that when the going gets tough, rather than the typical "fight or flight," that is commonly held from the masculine point of view, the feminine perspective is to "tend and befriend."  'His-story' has been told by the victors.  And everyone who lost those battles has been seen as lesser than or different, and has been shamed for it.  But in 'Her-story,' despite the potential for individual delinquencies, all are welcomed into the true heart of love.

The time is coming, and coming soon, where we are finally going to be able to let go of personal gain and shame as our societal directives and instead embrace our interconnectedness and our humanity, with love.  As women step more fully to the forefront of our cultural objectives, we will begin to choose values that move us beyond war and destruction and celebrate instead the stability of our diversity.  We will embrace the great big colorful and highly varied whole, valuing all of it, every bit of life, with love and caring.  So I say, "Hooray!" for women rising.  And may we all be inspired to act and speak the truth of our lives.  And may the world rise up to meet us there, as it has done for both Hannah and for Ruth and for the many other hard working men and women who have fought for our equality all the world round.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Four Building Blocks for Developing Psychic Ability

These four practices, of meditation, dream work, sanctuary and prayer, when firmly placed on a solid foundation of self-love, will not only help you to develop your psychic ability, they will also let you claim your own true purpose while deepening your individual spirituality.  Please enjoy this hour long talk that was given to an enthusiastic audience in July of 2018. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

"House Too Hot"- Calming Inflammation In Our Bodies

Before she retired, my all time favorite acupuncturist used to sometimes say to me, "Josephine, House too hot!"  What she meant by this is that inflammation was running high in my body.  And I've heard it said that inflammation is at the root cause of all of our diseases.  When a house is too hot for too long, it can be in danger of catching fire.

Inflammation is a natural body response and generally it is a good thing.  It is our way of protecting ourselves against injury or infection.  Our immune system kicks into high gear and floods the area of concern with white blood cells to help heal whatever has gone wrong.  But when inflammation gets out of control, as it can when our blood sugar levels are consistently higher than normal, it can become a real problem.

As we round the bend into older age, it is especially important to keep inflammation down in the body.  This is because recent journals of medicine have cited continual high blood glucose levels as being a primary cause behind Alzheimer's disease, gradually causing our brains to loose their good function.  Having our C-reactive protein levels tested in our blood is a good way for us to keep track of our inflammation levels, so that we know whether they are getting too high or not.

Many health care professionals feel that cardio vascular disease, swollen or painful joints, skin rashes, increased fatigue and even cancer can be the result of chronically high levels of inflammation.  My mother used to say that cancer was the result of any constant irritation in the body.  And we know that constant irritations can cause hot spots.

So, what to do about it?  Cooling herbs and well placed acupuncture needles can certainly help.  But I, along with many others, find that watching our diet is the surest way to quickly cool our systems down.  This is because a diet high in carbohydrates contributes mightily to rising levels of inflammation.

In general, I find that fruits are wonderfully wholesome and good foods to eat.  The same is true for  whole grains and carbohydrate-rich vegetables like potatoes, yams, beets, beans, winter squash, turnips and rutabagas.  We need carbohydrates in our diets.  They give our endocrine system the energy needed for quick bursts of movement and exertion when hormones like adrenaline come into play.  Diets rich in healthy carbohydrates can be wonderful if inflammation is not a problem.  But if there are rising levels of C-reactive proteins causing conditions like itchy skin or cranky joints, a carbohydrate-rich diet will contribute to higher blood sugar levels and can be like tossing kindling onto to those flames. 

So, when I really need to cool my internal chemistry down fast, I go on a green juice feast.  In such a scenario, I'll often drink two pints or more of fresh raw organic green juice a day.  The fuice from cucumbers, celery, zucchini, kale and collards along with a few herbs like parsley or cilantro will not only cleanse and cool my body, but they also pump my tissues full of good nutrition, rich in vitamins and minerals.

Bieler Broth is another beautiful way to cool down inflammation.  This is a soup that was recommended by Henry G. Bieler, M.D. back in the 1950's, in his book, Food Is Your Best Medicine.  He used it for helping diabetics to stabilize their blood sugars.  It is made from equal parts of fresh organic zucchini, parsley leaves, celery and green beans.  To make it, you cover the vegetables with water, cook them until they are soft, cool it all down and blend it.  It can be stored in glass jars in the refrigerator for up to four days.  It is nice taken either warm or cold.  Having just Bieler Broth and good clean water for a few days, while mostly resting, can cool down many a house that has become too hot.

Another strategy that helps to lower inflammation is exercise.  Burning lots of calories helps us to use up all those carbohydrate fuels before they start to smolder.  A healthy lifestyle of consciously chosen foods and lots of exercise can be the golden road to keeping inflammation levels low in our bodies while giving us plenty of steady energy to burn all day long.