Monday, December 28, 2015

Happiness Runs





In 1969, Donovan, the Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist, released a beautiful album called Barabajagal.  In it he shared one of my all time favorite songs which he had written and composed.  If ever I want to smile and have myself some fun, I remember his little tune and start singing its lovely chorus.  It's a wonderful tool to keep in one's back pocket to share at parties or with children and it is a sure fire cure for the blues.  If you don't know the tune, listen to this little excerpt.  It is such a joy and will make you want to get up and dance around.  And speaking of rounds, it is delightful to sing this in a round.

Happiness runs in a circular motion
Thought is like a little boat upon the sea
Everybody is a part of everything anyway
You can have everything if you let yourself be
Happiness runs, happiness runs
Happiness runs, happiness runs
Happiness runs, happiness runs
Happiness runs, happiness runs
Happiness runs in a circular motion
Thought is like a little boat upon the sea
Everybody is a part of everything anyway
You can have everything if you let yourself be.


Sometimes I substitute the last line with "You can be so happy if you let yourself be."  And both are true.  We all tend to ride ourselves so hard.  And most often, if we just let ourselves be who we really are, not only do we enjoy ourselves much more, but we also find that we are quite naturally tending to our own unique part in the grander scheme of things.  So with thanks to Donovan and in honor of all of our New Year's resolutions, here's to letting ourselves be happy.   Happy New Year to you all. 
                                                ♡

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Season of Giving




Learning how to recognize our unique role in the grander scheme of things is one of the keys to joy.  This is how we come to give our true service to the world: by staying in our joy.  I like to let my joy be my guide.  If I find myself slipping out of joy, it is a signal from my higher self to make a course correction.  Yes, we want to help others and yes, it is good to lend a hand, but we need to check within to be sure that what we are lending our energy to is in accordance with our truth, the truth of who we really are.

Too often, we are socially conditioned to give ourselves over to the wishes and demands of others, to be beholden to the tribe.  And this by nature is not necessarily bad.  It can be a beautiful thing provided that the type of service being asked of us is what we feel in our hearts that we'd like to give. 

Herein lies the key.  We have to ask within.  Only we know how we'd best like to serve.  And this is something that we find out when we listen to our gut feelings, or when we take the time, usually in meditation, to consult with our god-self within.  And when we hold to this as our guiding principle in life, we not only give our lives in service to all, but we also find a sense of everything being right in the world.

So, in this, our season of giving, I like to remember to ask within so I can stay in harmony with my part in Divine Plan and thus find myself in service to the whole in my own special way.  

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

Our Gut Feelings Guide Us



Our Enteric Nervous System keeps us safe by giving us what we call gut feelings about whatever is going on around us.  Enjoy this short video about how we are all connected through our feeling sense.

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Juice Feasting Through the Holidays





In pre-agricultural times, when we humans lived in small migratory bands, there would often be lean times as we would move from one place of abundance to another.  These times of scarcity would occur periodically and often would grow more profound while in the depths of winter.  It is felt by many, myself included, that these times of intermittent fasting and occasional longer times of fasting would allow our bodies to do a deep self cleaning.

Many of our contemporary health practitioners advocate the benefits of intermittent fasting or times of significantly reduced caloric intake for our health.  And the benefits of longer term fasting regimes, like water fasting have long been known within a variety of spiritual communities for the ability to bring exceptional clarity and insight to the practitioner.

I have done extensive fasting in the past, both for reasons of health and for clarity, and have found these experiences to be most profound, leaving me with a feeling of being 'preternaturally clear.'   However, in recent years, I have discovered juice fasting, or 'juice feasting,' as it is fondly called by those who have enjoyed it.

A common adage in natural healing advises that we rebuild while we detoxify.  And this is what occurs while we juice feast.  Here, the reduced caloric intake lets our bodies remove toxins while the large servings of fresh, raw, organic, vegetable juices flood our bodies with the nutrition needed for healthy metabolism and the rebuilding of damaged or worn out body tissues.

Frank and I have long enjoyed adding a pint of fresh, raw, organic, vegetable juices into our daily meal plans.  We prefer the juice without the pulp because we can consume so much more nutrition that way: lots and lots of enzymes, minerals, flavonoids, vitamins, and other beneficial phyto-chemicals.   The difference is between consuming the equivalent of two stalks of celery and one cucumber versus a whole bunch of celery and several cucumbers along with any number of other leafy greens, all of which would be impossible to eat in a single sitting.  Plus the juice is loaded with soluble fiber, which is what our body really needs and we get plenty of other fibrous materials with which to sweep our colons clean in our other foods.  So, most mornings, it is our fresh, raw, organic, vegetable juice that we enjoy for breakfast because it gives us such a great nutritional and energy packed start to our day.

This year as the onslaught of holiday foods began to loom ahead, we decided, in early November, to take a different tact in regards to holiday feasting.  Instead of risking ill health and distended organs, we made the choice to do what nature has long encouraged us humans to do and began a time of reduced caloric intake.  Only this time, in addition, we decided to add the benefit of health building nutrition with juice feasting. 

I must tell you, it has been great.  We are feeling fantastic.  All of the little aches and pains and other signs of inflammation have simply melted away.  And, please pardon me for boasting, but I must share that my vision, which has always been good, has progressed to crystal clear.  I've been jokingly saying that I can see a mosquito on the arm of a hiker on the mountain, which isn't quite true, but it gives you an idea of the increased level of health that our time of juice feasting is blessing us with.

Of course our loved ones are missing us at the holiday feasts, but our doors are always open to them for a nice cup of herbal tea.  And we are delighting in using this time of celebration for detoxification and the rebuilding of our beautiful health.


© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Just Being Me and Creativity




One of the best ways to increase our creativity is to do what we did so well in childhood. I referring to devoting little moments throughout our days to "Just Being Me." It is simple and easy and brings us adults great reward.

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Paris



The images that our hearts and minds call up when we think of Paris are not congruent with what has happened this past week.  We think of culture and great food, art and music.  Now our minds are flooded with the impossible.  Grief is everywhere.  Unresolved questions abound. 

I remember reading years ago about a group of peacemakers, half men and half women, who would go into the hearts of areas of unrest and ask to hear the people's stories.  Many of our great spiritual teachers tell us that it is not until we have heard each other's pain and seen each other's tears fall that we can begin to understand.  Until then we think only of retaliation… for the retaliation… that came as a result of retaliation…  and on it goes.  This is at the heart of this kind of war.  And in my book, the utter useless, wasteful futility of war is something whose time has come. 

In relationships, if I am vigilant, and if I do my inner work, I will always find an offense, that I did first, that caused the offense of the other.  We in the West have some very heavy responsibility for much of the suffering in the rest of the world.  As the takers, we have squandered and displaced many - world round - from their homes, their livelihood and their ability to be in happiness and peace.

I'm not saying that that is what is at play here.  I'm just saying that we need to take a look at our own selves.  With open eyes.  Who is bombing who?  And why?  And for how long?  And where?  We need to look at ourselves if we are going to create a world beyond war.

The wisdom of this planet's human elders, those rare few who have lived in peace and in harmony for millennia, all hold within their knowledge the importance of the balance of the masculine and the feminine.  The woman and the man are acknowledged as separate and different and yet both are equal and equally honored.  And they serve to bring each other in check.

One of my friends from South America said that the peaceful high Andean people, the Quechua, felt that they could only forgive the conquistadors.  This was because the conquistadors came from a group of people who had no equal feminine.  They referred to them as 'the ones who had no mother,' no woman to balance their vanquishing and larcenous purely aggressive unchecked masculine energy. 

The mother says, 'No!' to violence, aggression and war.  And so does the Crone.  When the masculine and the feminine are held in equal regard, they hold each other in check.  My questions are, "Who is bombing who?"  And, "Where is the mother?"

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

One More Beautiful Ghost Story



Over the last two weeks on this Blog/Video Log, I've shared with you how I've been blessed by spirit reaching out to help and protect me during some of the more challenging moments in my life.  This week, I'd like to share with you one more story where a gentleman who had recently passed away was protecting his wife by reaching across the veil between life and death. 

This particular event took place when my husband, Frank and I were traveling in New Zealand in 2005.  We had always longed to go there knowing how truly beautiful it is in so many ways.  For our accommodations we preferred farm stays and home stays as this gave us the opportunity to make friends and have more personal interactions.  New Zealand's people are bright, intelligent, creative and kind.  The landscape is spectacular.  And for me, as a working psychic, I was amazed and delighted to discover that my clairvoyant function was extremely heightened every day that we were there.  I was able to avert danger, interact with nature and sense the presence of spirit at a much more profound level.  

The story, that I'd like to share with you now, took place after we had crossed from one "island" to the next.  At the ferry station we decided to take a taxi van with several other travelers to our separate destinations in the area.  I helped the driver load our luggage into his enclosed trailer.  Then off we went.  After dropping off most of the other tourists, but with still a few to go, we arrived at our destination, the home of a woman whom we had contacted a day or two before.  

Frank jumped out to go to her door and be sure that we had arrived at the correct address and I got into the trailer with the cabby to sort out our bags and began placing them on the curb.  Frank came and got a load of our cases and took them in.  Then an older gentleman, presumably the husband of our hostess arrived on the curb full of appreciative and welcoming softly murmured comments.  After a quick little exchange of smiles, I resumed my activity in the trailer and emerged a few moments later with the last of our bags.  From the curb, I saw the elder gentleman enter the front door of the home and I then followed after him. 

Once inside, I met our hostess, who was just showing Frank to our room, right near the entrance.  I went on into the room to freshen up while she invited Frank to come upstairs and see the kitchen.  After showing Frank around, she then went up to the third level to resume watching a very exciting tennis match on the telly, and invited us to join her, if we'd like, once we had settled in.  

After looking around, Frank returned downstairs and I asked how he liked meeting her husband.  Frank was nonplussed by this and said that her husband and her two teen-aged children had all died the previous year in an automobile accident.  Our hostess had shown him a photo of them.  She also said that she was looking for a little more income and that we were her first home stay guests.  It was right after that that she had excused herself to go upstairs to finish watching the game. 

Hearing this I followed Frank up to the kitchen area to see the picture and there, in a photo, with two beautiful youngsters and our hostess beside him, was the older gentleman who had greeted me with smiles of welcome out in front of their home.  Apparently the husband, unbeknownst to our hostess, had reached across the veil to greet us at the curb to see if wee would be suitable guests in their home.  Evidently we passed his approval and received his welcome.

I am touched to know that our loved ones can help us not only in life, but also in death.  They watch over us, whether we are aware of it or not, just making sure that all is well.

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How Our Deceased Loved Ones Can Help Us






This is the time of year when the veil between the worlds is thin and we can more easily connect with those who have passed on.  Please enjoy these two stories about loved ones who have passed away and yet were able to reach across the veil between the living and the dead in order to help us.

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Spirits Can Help Us By Reaching Across the Veil



Spirit is love and those on the other side can sometimes help us by reaching across the veil between life and death.  Please join me in this little video as I share three remarkable ghost stories at this time of Halloween.  These show how we can be helped by those who have died and who continue to give their love and protection to us while we are alive.

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

♡ Cleaning Up Our Act ♡





Cleaning up your act is a lifelong task, isn't it?  Frank and I got started with this in our twenties.  After a fine rebellious rising up in our late teens and early college years, we discovered, as most do, the toll that the fast life can reap.  Dehydration and hangovers make poor test results both in the classroom and in life.  So, we started back then, finding the more moderate road.

Our thirties brought on some serious work and striving as we sought to meet our life goals.  This begged an even cleaner home base from which to draw our strength.  So, out went most of the toxins, found in commercial products: shampoos, cleansers, cosmetics, plastics and processed foods.  We also realized that natural fibers and home cooking gave us a sturdier base to launch and land from.

Our forties began the years of deep cleaning, to edge out the sludge of a lifetime's accumulation, not only mentally, by seriously rethinking who we are and how we wanted to be in the world, but also physically, regularly cleansing the internal organs through fasting and juicing, along with taking sabbaticals for inner renewal.

Then came our fifties, the decade that determines how the quality of your later life will be.  It's easy to drop the joys of physical exercise at this age and trade them in for a more restful and relaxing way of being, but it is so critical to step it up instead.  Dancing, gardening, swimming, biking, walking, whatever it is, our activities keeps us flexible and alive.  Enjoying regular movement holds that eventual downward pull toward the compost pile at bay for a few more decades.

Now that we are in our sixties, we see that slippery slope beginning to claim our peers.  The "Standard American Diet" (S.A.D.) of processed "food," lots of sweets and too many animal products along with sedentary days has been collecting it's toll.  So we are conscientiously upping the ante with exercise classes and time spent with friends recreating.  We've also gone nutritarian to compliment our periods of detoxification.  It's not servings, it's pounds of vegetables, fresh and raw along with berries and seeds for clean sugars and proteins each day. 

Recently we invested in a new super fast juicer.  Frank calls it, "The Kitchen Chipper," because it can juice and entire head of celery in about two seconds.  It only takes us five minutes to make our quart of breakfast juice and five minutes to clean and dry the machine.  So now, it is no big deal for us to make our green juice and consume our pounds of veggies every day.    

Chia seeds, sunflower seeds, a few almonds and walnuts go into our berry and herbal tea smoothies at lunchtime, so we have more than enough protein without burdening our kidneys and livers.  These delicious fresh drinks also provide tons of micro nutrients and complex combinations of bioflavonoids at a lower cost and with way more abundant bio-availability than stuff that comes in a bottle or a jar.

With this and some nice raw sauerkrauts, kimchis and other fermented foods, we hope to round the bend into our last three or four decades with the glow of our own "health care" rather than being subjected to prescribed disease management.  Wish us luck, as we continue to do our best and clean up our act year by year, decade by decade with love for our selves and for all.

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Happens When We Die?



As we make our transition into death, we move into a limitless state of being, full of neutral compassion.  Our awareness broadens and we become one with everything.  Please enjoy this short video featuring a beautiful story of a lovely near death experience.

http://www.nderf.org/

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015

To Thine Own Self Be True





'To thine own self be true.'  Such a simple adage.  Not always easy to follow.

So often in life we find ourselves staying with what is familiar, long after it has grown cold.  Our habit mind dutifully helps us to hold fast while our awake self yearns to let go.  This can even happen with good things. 

I can remember a ceramics class that I was helping to teach.  It was a delight, but it kept on going long after the time when it was supposed to stop.  I felt conflicted and over burdened.  Though I enjoyed it, I was not truly staying in my joy.  I was beholden more to social duty than to my own true self.  These lessons can come hard.  And it's good to say "no," when it's time to let go.

In this particular scenario, Divine Arrangement intervened in the form of an automobile accident that put me where I needed to be, at home, tending within.  As rough as it began, it was there that I found my true joy again.  Nowadays, I like to think that I make these types of choices more frequently and on my own, when it is time to listen within, take stock and re-access.  It just seems so much more wise for me to do this before Divine Intervention sweeps in.

I am reminded of my mother's laundry soap, made from her fireplace wood ash and kitchen bacon grease, bubbling slowly on the stove.  With the flame of transformation beneath it, the two substances would begin to unite.  Over time, large bubbles would slowly rise up, thick and sticky.  Then with a sigh of release, they would pop and sink back down into the congealing, coalescing  mass.

Our creativity must rise, express itself and then return back down to the source in order to gather and rise again.  And just like the fat and ash, we become forever changed into something even more useful and new. 

It's okay for us to let go. When a part of our lives gets too high and tight and thin, be it an addiction, a commitment or an unresolved dream, it may be time for us to go back down.  Sometimes we just need to re-group in order to let ourselves take a little break, mix it up a bit and draw from what we know or have been before, in order to rise up and generate our own transformation once more.     



        Enjoy the lovely sunset photo by my friend Anno. 

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Beauty of Our Hair

 

Our hair is not only our crowning glory, but it is also informs us about the world around us.  It triggers our nervous system in ways that are beyond our ordinary levels of perception.  Please enjoy this short video about the added benefits we can derive from allowing our hair to grow.

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Letting Go of the Ground We Stand On





Allyson said that mom introduced her to Janie tonight.  Mom has been in Hospice since May and has, as they used to say on the farm, "taken to her bed," since July.  There is no one that we can see in her room, but she is talking and visiting away in there, all night long, most nights.

There have been days, many of them, where it seems that she is passing right on throught those pearly gates.  But then the next day, just like the "Energizer Bunny," she pops back up with a healthy appetite and has two eggs with a couple of pieces of bacon, some toast and a quarter of a cantelope.  Later that evening, it's breaded shrimp with coctail sauce. 

She always was a good cook and has a fine appreciation for American cuisine, including ice cream, which is how she gets her meds down to ease her pain and make life a little easier for her Hospice caregivers, the ones who do their share of the heavy lifting.  Such a blessing.  One among many. with Allyson leading the stellum, lighting the way for us all.

It's not easy to die sometimes.  Just like there are difficult births, that stand out in contrast to the easy ones, there are also difficult deaths.  How does one let go of this dear old friend, the body?  I don't know.  I wish I did.  Because, if so, I might be able to help mom to say bye for now.  But I do feel that there is an elegance, and certainly an astrological significance, to the timing of our deaths, just like there is a significance to the timing of our births.  So, I give it all over to Divine Arrangement, knowing that there it rests in the best possible hands.

In the meanwhile, we the living do what must be done.  We select caskets, arrange for headstones, yesterday we bought the mortuary plot, today we crafted the obituary for the home town paper.   We also ate watermelon.  A little sweet with the sad.

I'll leave you with this poem, by Ranier Maria Rilke.  It is one of my favorites and pretty much sums it up for me.  I hope that it speaks to you as dearly as it speaks to me.


The Swan

This clumsy living that moves,
lumbering, as if in ropes,
through what is not done,
reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks.
And to die,
which is a letting go of the ground we stand on and cling to everyday,
is like the swan
when he nervously lets himself down into the water
which receives him gayly,
and which flows under and after him
wave after wave.
While the swan,
unmoving and marvelously calm
is pleased to be carried,
each moment more fully grown,
more like a king,
farther and farther on.



© Josephine Laing, 2015





Sunday, September 13, 2015

How Energy Flows Through Our Bodies



When our energy is well tended, it rises and flows and recirculates through our bodies.  During the course of our days, we often extend our energy to others.  This can be a beautiful thing, so long as we learn how to disengage when it is appropriate to do so and thus manage our energy field wisely.  Enjoy this short video on how to maintain a healthy energetic flow.

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

Free the Breath, Free the Life




Breath is life for us oxygen breathers.  And breathe we must.  Some of us are shallow breathers, some of us are deep breathers.  Whether we breathe too much or too little has an effect on the quality of our life, especially if it is too little.  

Many of us remember our mother's saying, "Stand up straight," or "Tuck your tummy in," or "Put your shoulders back."  These commands plus ideas that blossomed out of ubiquitous thoughts of teen aged self-consciousness like, "My butt is too big," or "I don't want anyone looking at my bust," can all result in holding patterns that adversely affect our breath.  They rob us of room to breathe and when we pinch our breath, we pinch our lives.  

There is a very fancy medical term called, "The Zone of Apposition."  (ZOA)   Very mysterious sounding isn't it?  But the definition of Apposition is "close together" or "side by side."  And the zone of apposition in the body is the area just below our diaphragm, the large plate-like muscle below our lungs, that contracts when we suck air into our lungs.  As it relaxes, with the exhale, the muscle fibers lengthen and the diaphragm rounds and rises up into the area just below the emptied lungs.  When the diaphragm relaxes in the ZOA, it forms a dome.  

The ZOA or zone is thus an area inside our bodies where all of our internal organs sitting close, move up and down, with our breath.  As we inhale they all drop down with the contraction and shortening of the diaphragm muscle into it's plate-like shape.  And when we exhale, they all rise up into the dome area of our lengthened and relaxed diaphragm area, tucking in sweetly, up below our emptied lungs.

Not only is our breath our life, but our movement is our life too.  So, when we pinch and push and hold, sticking our butts out or tucking them under, we lessen the amount of area available in our bodies for our organs to move.  The is especially true when it comes to holding patterns in our upper bodies, like pinched, cast back or elevated shoulders or a pushed up and out chest.  Typically when we do this, we are holding tight.  And chronically tight muscles not only restrict the movement of our organs and our life, they also result in chronic pain.  

Just getting regular exercise can do a lot to help free all of this.  Swimming, dancing and playing tennis all involve lots of different balance and body movement patterns.  Really great athletes are often very free to move in their bodies.  Many athletic endeavors create lots of freedom of movement.  But there are some that might not.  Weight lifting, football, and boxing come to mind.  Whereas wrestling, skiing and fencing leave us more free to move.

Massage is great for releasing stuck and hyper-vigilant muscle groups.  Stretching is good too.  When we keep ourselves limber, we keep all the rib muscles moving and we stretch the diaphragm too.  Various body work techniques can help us to recognize and then free our holding patterns when we have them.  I like the Alexander Technique best of all.  It is based in the subtle sensing of which muscles are chronically and unnecessarily tight, and then once they are identified, it teaches us to gently free them and let them go.  Yoga is good too, but if you are not aware of where you are holding, you can tear.  So becoming aware is a good first step.  And we can do this in part by observing the breath to see if it is free.

So I invite you to give this some time.  Sit in a chair in front of a mirror.  Watch your chest move.  Let the breath fill the rib cage.  See if it fills as it should, like a balloon, all at once.  Do your lungs fill equally in volume?  Do they fill simultaneously?  There was a time when mine didn't.  I had to re-learn how to breathe.  Just like blinking our eyes, we can bring this under our conscious control.  

To get started, try bending over and let your lungs rise up into your back.  Then bend to the right and fill your lungs to the left.  Do the same on the other side.  Think of the dome, and the ZOA.  Relax.  It feels good.  And then give yourself plenty of room to breathe with a nice big sigh.  My love to you and to your next breath, may it help to free your movement and your life.


© Josephine Laing, 2015








Sunday, August 30, 2015

Health Care or Disease Management?




It's really very simple.  The health care insurance companies and all of our predominant health care industries, like bio-medical corporations, pharmaceutical companies and various physicians groups or research laboratories often sell stock and have shareholders.  Because of this they are obligated by law to hold the profits of their investors as priority number one.  If profits are primary, health care is secondary.  

Since these companies must legally put their stockholders first they naturally strive to always show profits in their financial portfolios.  This is why insurance premium rates, that the public pays, are always steadily rising.  And this is also why we were not given a public option in the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

In his campaign, President Obama promised a "Single Payer Option" for health care.  This meant that a governmental organization would pay for and care for the health of all of our citizens so that the ones who couldn't afford it could still receive treatment.  Some call this socialized medicine.  It is what is available in England and in Canada and in much of the rest of the world.  Patients may need to wait, but everyone receives state of the art treatment, for free, and all the doctors and other providers get paid.  

Our fire departments, police departments and many other governmental organizations are "socialized."  We have free libraries, paramedics come to the house in emergencies and our children go to public schools.

But, because of existing vested interests in the health care industries, if a "Single Payer Option" type of plan was to be initiated in the United States, it would represent considerable competition for all of the existing health care industries.  Many from the public would choose the free option for their care and the profits for the health care industries would go down.  So, in order to avoid this, the "for profit" health care industries raised a considerable ruckus and thus became the ones who were selected to design our nation's health care plan.

Sadly, what feeds the "for profit" health care industry is for all of us to live fairly long, but to be sick and require lots of tests and procedures.  So, this is in part why Congress is lobbied so extensively to keep existing food subsidy laws in place.  The result is lots of very poor quality sugary and salty foods, which are very addictive, being widely available and offered very inexpensively.  Corn is subsidized and most of it is made into corn syrup.  Wheat is subsidized and is converted into refined flour which is purely empty calories with little to no nutritional value.  And then there is meat, which without subsidies would cost something like $36 per pound.   These are the foods that we know erode our good health.  We are not subsidizing lots of organic fruits and vegetables even though we know they would help all of us to become healthier.

Another piece to this puzzle is that medical professionals are rewarded with more pay for more productivity.  This means that the more patients they see in a day and the more procedures and tests they order, the more they get paid.  The result is very short office visits with no time to educate patients, or do coaching, about healthy life style choices.  Clearly this system is broken and must be fixed.  But how do we free ourselves from such a sticky bog of disease management.

Fortunately there is an answer.  It is taking the care of our health into our own hands.  But it requires  stepping out of that system that seeks to keep us sick, but still alive.  Many of our contemporary alternative health care pioneers have shown us time and again how to care for ourselves.  Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Paavo Airola and Dr. Richard Schulze, all tell us that diet and lifestyle changes will keep us healthy.  Not only that, they will keep us out of doctors offices and reduce our nation's health care costs significantly. 

If we pay careful attention to avoiding the things that we now know cause us harm, like: food additives and processed foods, GMO's, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and diets heavy in animal products and refined carbohydrates then we are likely to live long and healthy lives, especially if we meditate and get our exercise. 

What really matters here is your health and the health of your family and the health of the people you care about, not corporate profits.  And your best health insurance is love, how you love and care for your body, how you love and care for your family, how you love the food that you eat, the people who grew it, and how you love your environment.  It is really very simple, the foundation for excellent health is love.

© Josephine Laing, 2015






 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Forgiveness and Understanding


Sometimes it's not so easy to forgive.  We find that we are stuck and can't move ahead in our lives.  When this happens, it is most likely because somewhere in our psyche we are holding onto emotional injury.  But the best way to free ourselves, when we are stuck like that, is through forgiveness.  So, this presents a challenge, because forgiveness is the key that opens the pathway to love in our lives.  

It is important to remember that forgiveness is not condoning the wrong doing of another person.  Forgiveness is simply letting it go.   Our emotions can be like broken records sometimes, playing an event over and over again.  And this takes our energy.  The negative emotions or feelings that we may have toward another person have little to no impact on wrong doer, but they have a big impact on ourselves.  So it is a good idea for us to figure out how to clear those angry or resentful thoughts and let them go. 

Given our own situations, our past difficulties, challenging upbringings and what have you, sometimes it can seem impossible to forgive.  But a very wise friend of mine once shared with me that in those tougher times, she could become "willing to forgive" or "willing to let go."  This is a good step in the right direction.  Another strategy is to, "Fake it until you make it "    

Years ago, I came across this forgiveness affirmation that Louise Hay teaches.  It goes like this:
 "I forgive you for not being the way that I wanted you to be.  I forgive you and I set you free and thereby free myself."  I love this one because it includes some self-responsibility for our own assumptions and expectations that we so often hold about other people.

I also like to use this set of three forgiveness affirmations.  I don't remember where I got them.  But they have certainly served me well.  These let us see forgiveness from three unique perspectives.  And again, they remind us of our own self-responsibility.  They also help us to remember that pain is most often a two way street.  Here they are:
I forgive you for any pain that you may have caused me.
I ask that you forgive me for any pain that I may have caused you.
I forgive myself for allowing you to cause me any pain.


A practice of forgiveness helps us to move beyond our holding patterns.  As Gabriel Roth, the modern dancer said, "If we are not holding on, we don't have to let go."  But, if we are holding on, spirit is not free to move…and our healing becomes stuck.   My spiritual mentor, Jana Massey used to refer to forgiveness as "The Law of Erasure."  She would say that it erases the hurt so the truth can be made known.

Another mentor of mine is Peace Pilgrim.  Her book is titled: Peace Pilgrim, Her Life and Work in Her Own Words.  Peace Pilgrim would often say that our problems in life are here to help us grow spiritually and that a life without problems would be a barren life.  I've come to see the truth of this  because our problems are our teachers.  They help us to learn and grow.  

When speaking about forgiveness, Peace Pilgrim once said, “One thing that helped me a great deal was the realization that no outward thing, nothing, nobody from without, can hurt me inside.  I realized that I could only be harmed spiritually by my own wrong actions, which I have control over, or my own wrong reactions.  They are very tricky things, but I have control over them also.  When I realized this, I just felt so free.  And I stopped hurting myself.  Now, someone could do the meanest thing to me and I would recognize that person as a sick person, as an out-of-harmony person.  I would put him in the same category as a mentally sick person.  I would feel great compassion for this sick person who is capable of doing mean things.  I would pray for that person.  I would certainly not hurt myself with a wrong reaction of bitterness or anger.  You have complete control over whether you will be hurt inside spiritually or not.  And anytime, you can stop hurting yourself.”    

I find the insight in this statement to be so very profound.  Here, Peace Pilgrim is teaching us that with deeper introspection we can reach for understanding.  This can help us to move, even beyond the need for forgiveness, because we come to see that those who have done us wrong are coming from their own set of circumstances, which might even be deep psychological imbalance.   If we look at a situation like that, from Peace Pilgrim's perspective we can see that someone who is that unsettled, actually needs our compassion.   Sometimes this can be very hard to swallow but, digging deeper for understanding is the key that helps us to keep our own souls from becoming entangled. 

Our job when we feel that we have been wronged is to rise up out of the mire and not stay there, or to not even fall into it in the first place if we can.  We can take a different street and avoid the whole mess.   We can realize that no matter what someone else may have done, they can not harm us inside.

© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

What the Bee Said.






My friend Kassandra grew up feeling more comfortable with the animals in her life than she was with the people.  Her parents and siblings were sometimes volatile while her dogs, cats and rescued baby wild animals were consistently loving, appreciative and kind. We all respond well to gentleness.  And gentle is what Kassandra was.  

Many people can remember talking with their animals telepathically while they were children.  I do, and so did my friend, Kassandra.  But, she simply never let go of that skill.  Then, seeing a need as an adult, she began offering her services as an animal communicator.  She would help concerned owners to understand the underlying problems their animals were experiencing.  That is how I met Kassandra.  A friend told me about her and I had a question about my horse's well-being.  So, Kassandra came out to the barn and put both my horse's and my own mind at ease.

As the years went on, Kassandra and I got to know each other quite well and became friends.  One day, we were out walking and came upon three hebe bushes in full bloom.  They had lovely purple and white flower spikes that were rising up from the tips of all their branches.  They were putting on a beautiful display and hundreds of bees were busily buzzing around them gathering nectar. 

I wondered if Kassandra had ever spoken with an insect, so I asked her.  She said to me in her characteristic drawl, "What do you want to know, Josephine?"  I thought for a moment and asked, "Do bees know God?"  Kassandra turned toward the hebes and bees.  She got quiet for a moment with a open expression on her face.  Then, instantaneously one individual bee came right up to us, hovering just two feet away from our faces and remained perfectly placed in the air before us.  Kassandra's eyes grew a little wider and then she said, "The bee says, 'We all serve The One.'"  With that and my understanding of her words, our bee zipped away and became lost in the crowd of her fellows busily working away.

All of life holds such incredible beauty and profound wisdom to share.  May we all remember how to listen with such care.


© Josephine Laing, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Beauty, Joy and Love of Water

The Beauty, Joy and Love of Water

Click on the Picture to Link to the Video
In this half hour long video, Josephine weaves story telling with dream-time-journeying to guides us into memories of peak experiences with this vital element of life.  Her words transport us all into an understanding of our participation in the energetic flow of and the interconnectedness that we all share with water.  She reminds us that water is life and that if ever there was a Goddess, she is water.

© Josephine Laing, 2015