Thursday, September 16, 2021

Eight, or Maybe Nine, Natural Home Health Tips for Relieving Stress and Anxiety

 


 

First of all, not all stress is bad.  If stress is associated with something one is passionate about, or something that is in accordance with your purpose, then, those kinds of stresses are really good for your brain health. (Dean and Ayesha Sherzai, 2019,) and can actually prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's.  An active and engaged brain, even if excessively involved, is a well functioning, happy and healthy brain.
     But, when our stress is not associated with our passion and if it is also combined with anxiety, then it can set us up for a myriad of health problems.  Here are eight basic tips that we can employ, ourselves, which can help us to turn that big boat around toward a more peaceful existence.

1. Breathing.  Everyone knows this one by now.  But still, it must not go without mention.  I have noticed that if I am holding my breath, then some aspect of my body or mind is experiencing stress or anxiety.  To relieve it, I breathe.  This unlocks the tensions.  Focusing on our breath and taking even, measured, conscious breaths causes us to release stressful or anxious thoughts and lets us begin to break the pattern.

2. Meditation.  Innumerable studies have shown how a daily practice of meditation can ease the mind and heal the body.  Even if it is just for five minutes a day or if it is as informal as taking a walk and allowing yourself silent contemplation out in nature, meditation will bring a sense of calm and help your troubles melt away.

3. Exercise.  Burning off some steam through a regular exercise program can really help to calm our body/mind.  The endorphins lift our spirits and it can be fun.  I love to dance and swim.  I also like to ride my bike around the neighborhood.  It brings me pleasure to look at the various landscapes and sometimes I go with a friend, which, through our conversation, often gives me new and different things to think about.

4. Beauty and Nature.  If we take a single moment to pause in our worries and concerns, even if ever so briefly, and simply notice the beauty of nature that is all around us, all the time, we instantly feel better and more refreshed.  A house plant or a potted geranium on the porch or clouds overhead or gazing out over a lake or the ocean or a forest of trees, every moment spent observing the beauty of nature will change our inner chemistry for the better.  And it only requires remembering to stop and notice the beauty.
     Taking it one step further, if we ask nature for help, allowing our minds to silently or aloud just ask, then we will receive.  It is one of the gracious laws of nature to lend us energy when we request it.  So often we forget to ask, but now, you can remember to remember.  Nature will benevolently provide.

4. B-Vitamins and other Supplements.  B Vitamins, especially Niacin, which is Vitamin B3,  can lift debilitating levels of anxiety and depression to normal function. (Please see this excerpt from Food Matters.tv )  I like to get my B Vitamins from food sources.   Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a type of nutritional yeast.  It has a nice broad spectrum of B Vitamins.  I take at least one tablespoon a day.  But my favorite source is the non-fermentable nutritional yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae) found in Dr Richard Schulze's Superfood.  As his website mentions, this type of yeast is not a problem for people who have candida imbalances.
     Other foods that contain B Vitamins are: asparagus, brown rice, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, almonds, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, eggs, mushrooms, brewers yeast, avocados, almonds, fish, legumes, bananas, buckwheat, sea vegetables, raspberries, tomatoes, organ meats, onions, peas, zucchini and molasses.  
    Other supplements that are known to help increase mood and reduce stress are: Omega 3's, Serotonin, Chromium, Vitamin D and Taurine.

5. Sleep.  Good quality sleep makes a world of difference in our lives.  If you can't sleep, first and foremost, I advise stopping all caffeine, especially coffee.  I know, it feels like the only way that you can survive, but trust me, if you are sleepless, and you are a coffee/black or green tea or mate drinker, or if you are a chocoholic, my experience has shown that it is always the caffeine that is at fault.
     Also, in Chinese Medicine, it is understood that we cleanse certain essential aspects of our bodies every two hours.  These are known as meridians.  Some of these meridians, like the one for the
gall bladder or for the liver, are cleansed during our normal sleeping hours.  If we consistently wake up during those hours, we may want to consider doing some herbal cleanses.  (I like Dr. Schulze's 5-day Liver detox for that 3:00am-ish wakefulness.)
     Additionally, the meridian that is cleansed between 9pm and 11pm is called triple warmer.  Triple warmer is what balances and smooths our energy levels and our bodies can best tend to this if we are asleep for at least part of that time.  It also helps to have a regular bed-time.  Our bodies like falling asleep and waking up at the same time.
     Another consideration is avoiding working late or watching a stimulating movie just before bed.  This can interfere with the quality of our sleep.  Letting those kinds of before-bed-habits go can help tremendously.
     Getting a good nights sleep always makes for a calmer mind and more relaxed and even energy levels throughout the rest of the day.  

6. Unplug.  Modern technologies are great, but they can also be very biologically harmful.  They can contribute greatly to stress and anxiety, especially in certain individuals.  Just like how some people react to common allergens, while other people don't, the same can hold true with electromagnetic or radio frequencies, (EMFs.)  A particularly EMF sensitive friend of mine says, "If there is just one thing that you would be willing to do to reduce the amount of EMF's that you are exposed to, it would be this, avoid using your cell phone in the car, even when it is just parked.  Turn it off.  The metal of the car traps the signals and they bounce around in there, continuously and repeatedly bombarding you with these frequencies."  I recently found out that it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving in a car in England.  The stronger frequencies that are needed to keep the cell phone connected, while in a moving vehicle, pose harm to the driver and passengers, especially children.  Please see my blog, "Unplug," from August, earlier this year, for more information on this common stressor.

7. Look up.  Not only do we benefit greatly from looking up metaphorically, through cultivating a habit of thinking good thoughts, but we are also helped immensely by elongating our spine and simply lifting our heads and looking around.  Practicing body friendly posture, which also prevents a myriad of female problems
(Christine Kent www.wholewoman.com,) and incorporating what has become known as the Wonder Woman Stance, during the day increases our comfort and can greatly improve our sense of self worth and self confidence.  

     So try standing with your feet comfortably about shoulder width apart, your spine erect with a nice curve in your low back, your belly relaxed, dropping forward and down, and your chest elevated.  If you like, you can put your hands on your hips, then tuck your chin slightly and lift your gaze with your eyes to look around you.  This alone helps our thoughts to rise and when they do, our stress and anxiety begins to fall away.

8. Common Sense in the kitchen.  Sugar, alcohol and caffeine all bring us up and drop us down.  Natural sugars, like fresh fruit are fine.  But refined carbohydrates like table sugar or white flour seriously deplete our immunity and leave us open to: attack by microbes, poor energy levels and negative thinking patterns.  Alcohol is not only a depressant, but it robs us of our vitamins.  And caffeine really jacks us up and drops us down, so go easy on or eliminate coffee, tea (except herbal) and chocolate, which holds a double whammy of sugar and caffeine.  None of these, which I see as 'the big three health eroders,' are ever good for anyone with any kind of health issues.

     Making strides along any or all of these simple basic self-empowering and relatively easy to accomplish tips will work wonders on helping you or your loved ones to ease the stressors and anxieties of life.

P.S.  9.) My Friend's Fool Proof Method.  I have a friend, who is healthy as a horse as he approaches his 90th year, and he has developed his own foolproof method for unloading stress and anxiety from his body/mind.  He describes it like this;  "1. Inhale a nice comfortably full breath.  2. Exhale evenly and then continue to push the breath out.  Really push it all out.  3. Hold it, like that, for several moments, before inhaling again.  4. Allow yourself to breath normally for a few breaths.  5. Repeat this process two or three or maybe four or five more times.  6. Now, let the body do what it wants to do: move isometrically, contract or move the abdomen, shake or even cry until it feels complete."  Though I've never tried it, this always reduces his stress and anxiety and it may do so for you as well.   ♡

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Unplug


Years ago I had a brain injury that greatly affected my ability to function normally for several years, and it taught me a great deal about stress and anxiety.  If too much was going on, I would experience seizures.  My whole body would begin to twitch and jerk, uncontrollably.  I could have a conversation with someone and there would be no problem, but if the radio was playing at the same time, I would go into overload.  With the fast flashing images of movies and television, my brain would similarly become overwhelmed. 

     Modern technology with cell phones and blue tooth devices carry immense levels of unseen and mostly unheard stimulation. Protecting ourselves from these wireless technologies is a good idea.  They do have an effect and they can be profoundly insidious and covert stressors.  Because of my own experience, I feel that they should not be taken lightly by anyone who is suffering from stress and anxiety.   

     The outcome of this for me is that I am very careful with technology.  In many ways modern technologies are a great blessing in all of our lives, but for my personal health and well being, I do not own or use a cell phone.  My only phone is a corded landline.  All of my computers, including the mouse, TV, etc. are all hard wired with cords into the walls.  And I do not use or have in my home a microwave oven.   My bedroom is not located near any electric poles and my bed is situated at least a foot and a half away from the wall by using a nice headboard.  No electric devices are near me while I sleep.

     I have also 'opted-out' of the 'Smart Meter Program' with my electric company, in order to avoid having my home being near continuously bombarded with some version of Electro Magnetic Frequencies (EMFs) aka Radiofrequencies, (RFs.)  Smart meters, can also be used by other utility companies, like gas and water.  And when smart meters are in use, they typically send out a big blast of RFs once a month, as they retrieve information from their meters. They also can send and retrieve little bits of data, near continuously.  This means that RFs can be affecting us all day and in some cases all night long, as well.  Utility companies prefer smart meters because they report continuously on consumer product usage and they also eliminate the labor expense of meter readers.  This may be a smart move for industry, but it is not smart for living organisms.  Functional medicine doctor Amy Meyers has more information on this if you are interested.

     My head injury, though now completely healed, taught me the importance of all of this in regards to minimizing stress and anxiety.  For this aspect alone, I am completely grateful for that difficult time in my life.

     Fortunately, this particular type of physical stress awareness is now coming to light in a much greater way.  On August 13th, of this year, 2021, the United States court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, (Washington, D.C.) ruled in favor of protecting children from the impacts of radiofrequency radiation, (AKA cell phones, computers, Wi-Fi, 5G and other wireless technologies.)  The court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission, (FCC,) violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to respond to comments on environmental harm.  These comments represented decades of scientific studies about the very real and potential health harms to people.  In the thousands of pages of scientific evidence, the negative impacts of radiofrequency radiation and/or electromagnetic frequencies, (EMFs,) are especially noted as being injurious for beings with smaller bodies, like children and animals.  

     I remember reading some time ago that birds and bees are especially vulnerable when exposed to some of these technologies.  They can become dazed and confused or, much more seriously, they can become reproductively unviable in just a few short generations.  And as is the case with some, they can also simply drop dead from high, (formerly deemed as safe,) rates of exposure.

     There is also significant concern about how these frequencies affect sea life.  The navigational signals used by dolphins and whales along with other migrating species of sea life, like turtles and sea lions may be seriously impacted.  
     

     Also implicated in the court's decisions was The Food and Drug Administration, (The FDA,) as its "safety conclusions" were provided to the FCC without explanation, and the FCC used them to justify their lack of response to the thousands of studies indicating otherwise.  Federal regulatory agencies, like these, are mandated to protect us and the environment, from biological harm.  With regards to radiofrequencies and EMFs, clearly, they have not been doing their jobs.  So, skip wireless, or get fully wired or unplug all together.  For more information on this, go to this link, Environmental Health Trust.    

     Wireless radiation has been shown to alter brain development, damage memory, impact reproductive health and increase the risk of cancer.  Thank goodness the United States federal judicial system is finally catching up and taking legal action to protect us.  This is something that has already been being done in other countries, like the U.K, for years.  It's about time that our governmental agencies are being forced to stop favoring industry by ignoring these health hazards and instead care for the people that they were created to protect.   For this recent development, I am very grateful.  And I hope that you are, too.


 





 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

A Healing Wound Wash

 

 


During these summer months of fun and play, we can get injuries that are not serious enough for medical attention, but that can still warrant careful care.  Please enjoy this three and a half minute video, on how to clean a wound and promote healing with an easy to make, simple wound wash.  


Disclaimer:  As a Clairvoyant Healer, Spiritual Counselor and Intuition Instructor, I share many tips for leading a healthy and fulfilling life.  Please be advised that I am not a doctor. Nor am I licensed in any healing modality. However, I have had years of experience in alternative and complementary health and healing. All healing programs, including standard western medical protocols in addition to natural therapies, can cause harm rather than the benefit that you may be searching for. After all some people can have a strong reaction to something as seemingly innocent as peanuts or strawberries. Therefore, anything that I may recommend in these blogs and videos could be dangerous for you to try. So, it is important that you Ask Your Doctor First before trying any natural healing protocol. However, most medical doctors have little experience regarding natural healing programs and herbal medicine. So please understand if your doctor is unfamiliar with these ideas.

© Josephine Laing 2021


Thursday, June 17, 2021

Clear and Present Attention

 


Some years back, I was visiting my brother's family, up in Tehachapi.  My little niece and I were walking around their house, and there amongst the support beams for their balcony, we came upon one of her little wild friends, a pet horny toad, who used to come and visit with her up on the deck; he had apparently quite recently fallen to his death.  She was bereft, so very sad, sobbing with her eyes filled with tears.  We sat together and held his body in our hands and stroked his still soft skin.  

After a time, when her tears had subsided, I asked her if she would like to have a burial ceremony, to honor her little pet's life.  She nodded in agreement and we went to get the garden shovel.  Her mother, noticed us and asked what was going on.  I briefly explained and she came down to join us.  The three of us took turns solemnly digging and preparing the grave.  We gathered some lovely wildflowers from the hillside, laid them carefully in the hole and placed the toad down in there.  Gently we covered over his body as we said some prayers for his well being in a future time.  Then we found and placed some beautiful rocks, ones that she thought he would have liked, right on top.  

Years later, my sister-in-love commented to me how sacred that moment was, for all of us.  She said, "That's why children love you so much.  You give them your clear and present attention."  And it is true, we all need and crave that direct and full attention, not only from others, but also from and to ourselves.  Far too often, in this modern life, we are driven by distraction.  One thing calls us away from our present task, quickly tumbling into another.  We loose the satisfaction of a job well done.  And we barely have the opportunity to even ask about what would be best to do next or what might be most important, right now.   

Just a few short decades ago, multitasking was heralded as a time-saving and advanced human skill.  Now, we know that multi-tasking leaves us with less productivity and lower quality results.  Not being able to fully focus on either task results in a diminished combined performance.  

The same holds true, the research shows, in regards to our ability to concentrate and successfully think through and complete tasks when we are overly stimulated by common substances like sugar or caffeine.  That extra boost may make us feel like we are accomplishing more, and more quickly.  But, in actuality, the results fall short of that illusion.

Another cultural pattern that we tend to hold in high regard is being busy.  We are somehow made to feel 'less than,' if we are not rushing around doing many things, checking our messages, meeting people, tending to lots of details and little emergencies all day long.  Each accomplishment that we do, gives us a small endorphin rush and we hurry off to get another.

Even in conversation, we often are so actively looking for ways to respond, or are so eager to empathize and share our own experiences, that we jump in without letting the other person finish saying whatever it is that they were sharing.  The light of connection goes out of our eyes, as our minds shift into preparing our own thoughts to share.  Perhaps you've seen that.  I know that I have, where someone's eyes become dull as they have let their attention move away from what is being said.  I am often guilty of this particular habit, and I often fall prey to all of the other modern-day tendencies mentioned here, as well. 

But, as my sister-in-love said, there are times when I can give my full and present attention, listening carefully, slowing down, feeling a sense of completion, allowing what is most important in this moment to arise.  And this is true for all of us, with all of these habits.  We can cultivate changes and become more conscious, often just by realizing them and letting ourselves become more aware.  It's okay to 'Stop and Smell the Roses.'   We can reclaim the ability to 'Be Here Now,' as Ram Dass famously proposed.  

Two of my favorite authors, from Australia, Susan Pearson and Martina Sheehan, addressed these cultural tendencies beautifully in their book, Do Less, Be More, which they wrote in 2017.  Instead of giving a 'To do list,' they offer a 'What Not To Do List,' helping readers to avoid rushing off to accomplish more, or dividing their attention with various things.  When we rest between tasks, even if just for a moment, ideas and inspirations have a chance to enter into our thoughts.  Racing around, doing too much and jumping from one experience to another, prevents us from having the ability to let deeper parts of our brain engage and this takes it's toll.

For myself, the times when I have really felt connected to others, and connected to my reason for being in this world, are when I have taken the time to give whatever it is that I find at hand, my complete focus.  I'd rather be right there, in the moment, like that time with my little niece.  If I were to have been checking for messages in the midst of it, or trying to sweep away a few cobwebs and clean something at the same time, the sacredness of the moment would have been lost.  

Those of you who read my blog know that I often like to recall the teaching of the Buddha, who said, "Do nothing.  Time is too precious to waste."  Sometimes doing nothing or at least slowing down and being present in the moment, helps me to feel more alive, more awake and more fully aware.  And it brings me my richest rewards, a joyful and fulfilling way to be.  

I'll leave you with this, from one of my mentors, Peace Pilgrim.  
She put it this way:
"Stay in the present moment.
Do what needs to be done.
Do all of the good that you can each day.
And the future will unfold."
Sweet blessings to each and every one of you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

How I Healed My Plantar Fasciitis


Everybody is different, and the underlying causes for a condition can vary.  This being said, sometimes what can heal one person can also help others to heal.  In this video, I share what I did to heal my plantar fasciitis in the hopes that it might help you to also find relief from this uncomfortable and often painful foot condition. 

 

Disclaimer:
As a Clairvoyant Healer, Spiritual Counselor and Intuition Instructor, I share many tips for leading a healthy and fulfilling life.  Please be advised that I am not a doctor. Nor am I licensed in any healing modality. However, I have had years of experience in alternative and complementary health and healing. All healing programs, including standard western medical protocols in addition to natural therapies, can cause harm rather than the benefit that you may be searching for. After all some people can have a strong reaction to something as seemingly innocent as peanuts or strawberries. Therefore, anything that I may recommend in these blogs and videos could be dangerous for you to try. So, it is important that you Ask Your Doctor First before trying any natural healing protocol. However, most medical doctors have little experience regarding natural healing programs and herbal medicine. So please understand if your doctor is unfamiliar with these ideas. 

© Josephine Laing 2021

 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Hooray for Yesterday, and My Perspective Today.

 

The one thing I've missed most of all during this pandemic is visiting with my niece, her beautiful young family and my wonderful sister-in-love.  Aside from the usual precautions being observed by most of us, and being parents of two small boys, the family has been especially careful.  So, we stopped seeing each other.  

I'm not much for most social media, nor am I free of concerns over the massively increasing and now ubiquitous exposures of electromagnetic frequencies, (EMF's.)  So, for that reason and a myriad of other concerns, I don't choose to own a cell phone.  So, I don't text.  And most young people, these days, truly dislike using their phones as phones.  So, unless we make time to see each other, I'm literally completely out of touch with my niece and her family.

But yesterday, joy of joys, with the onset of spring and the drop in COVID cases, an exception to our 'No Visiting' stance opened with a window of opportunity and we all jumped through.  We didn't hug, but we spent a truly glorious day together out in their charming little backyard.  

The boys had dump-trucks and blocks and a mini, light portable swing-set, along with a delightful elevated circular plastic trough that Gram-mama had just filled with water for them to stand at, pat and splash in, with their toys.  We brought some little celery snacks and some tomato based veggie drinks, which were a big hit.  And we found that we all just delighted in the moment, each moment, all day long.  

The weather was beautiful, the company superlative, and the joy factor was spectacular.  Despite our many vague attempts to speak of ideas or ideals, the boys religiously pulled us back to the present moment of now.  

May we all be so blessed as to have such great fun with our families or friends, catching those golden moments of relaxed love and joy, whenever we can.  As the Buddha said, "Do nothing.  Time is too precious to waste."

I'll leave you with this snippet from a Mary Oliver poem that I love:

The god of dirt
came up to me many times and said
so many wise and delectable things,
I lay on the grass listening
to his dog voice,
crow voice,
frog voice;
now, he said,
and now,
 
and never once mentioned forever. 



 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Simple Natural Skin Care

 


 

Please enjoy this three minute video on how you can make a very simple skin cream that will nourish your skin and keep it happy after spending a day outside.



Disclaimer:
As a Clairvoyant Healer, Spiritual Counselor and Intuition Instructor, I share many tips for leading a healthy and fulfilling life.  Please be advised that I am not a doctor. Nor am I licensed in any healing modality. However, I have had years of experience in alternative and complementary health and healing. All healing programs, including standard western medical protocols in addition to natural therapies, can cause harm rather than the benefit that you may be searching for. After all some people can have a strong reaction to something as seemingly innocent as peanuts or strawberries. Therefore, anything that I may recommend in these blogs and videos could be dangerous for you to try. So, it is important that you Ask Your Doctor First before trying any natural healing protocol. However, most medical doctors have little experience regarding natural healing programs and herbal medicine. So please understand if your doctor is unfamiliar with these ideas.

 © Josephine Laing 2021

Monday, February 22, 2021

Building Soil


Seriously, this is what is bringing me joy right now.  I love the smell of dirt.  I'll often lay right down on the lawn at the park and delicately part the grasses, then I put my nose in there, so I can inhale that fresh bouquet of the soil.  Our park gets watered a couple of times each month, so it has the life giving moisture that all soil needs.  Some dirt is nearly dead, with little to no rainwater or irrigation, and subsequently no plant cover to protect it from the heat of the sun.  But when soil is moist, it is alive with possibilities and full of the promise of fruitfulness.

Twenty or thirty years ago, I learned of the drastic loss of top soil that we are experiencing every year, in America.  The tilling, and consequential erosion of wind and water, carries it all out to the sea.  So, I decided to learn how to 'build soil', right here in my own backyard, so as to do my own little part to reverse that dangerous trend.

I started by saving all of our kitchen scraps, in lidded, five-gallon buckets, just outside the back kitchen door.  Melon rinds, broccoli stem ends, onion peels and more, are all gathered in a little quart sized plastic container by the sink and then dumped into one of the buckets at the end of the day.  (During the summer, this always has a good fitting lid when the fruit flies abound.)  Everything gets pretty ripe in those buckets as the weeks pass by.  And after filling all four or five of them, the contents have sunk down and I can add some more.

On my mother's farm, the "slops" would have been fed to the pigs or to the chickens, fresh each day, and turned into vegetarian poop, otherwise know as great fertilizer for the garden.  But here in the city, we don't keep farm animals and so I let my compost pile, with it's lovely array of healthy worms, do the job of breaking down our veggie scrap slops into rich living soil.

Egg shells are a great addition to any compost pile, but we avoid any and all meat scraps, as that invites the maggots and the flies.  They might do just fine in a different situation, but here, in our little backyard operation, we stick to plant materials for our compost pile.

Way back when, while I was originally researching compost and how to make it, I came across, "The Rudolf Steiner Method."  Rudolf was a scientist and philosopher from the last century who started a whole movement of natural and intuitive methods for supporting life.  His is a spiritually-holistic approach to health and vitality in both the home and in the garden.

For his compost, Rudolf preferred a no stir, layered pile method.  He chose a number of specific plants to encourage the growth of the main families of bacteria found here on earth.  They include: the flowers and leaves of Yarrow, German Chamomile, Dandelion and Valerian along with the stems and leaves of Stinging Nettle and the bark and leaves of White Oak.  All of that seemed like an excellent idea to me.  So, I set about gathering each of the ingredients and I layered them in generously with my fall leaves.  On his recommendations, I also used a base of dried mustard stalks, to allow air to continue to penetrate under the pile.  

Every year, I re-seed my new compost pile with at least a few big healthy scoops of the previous year's rich black mulch, scattered in between the layers, to carry that original intention forward with it's energetic and bacterial components.  I've since found out that you can purchase little bags of Rudolf Steiner's compost mix to use in seeding those wonderful plant energies into a layered pile.

Sometimes I'll use corn stalks or some other air-filled plant stems at the base of my pile, instead of the dried mustard.  I also like to include alfalfa in my compost.  Alfalfa leaves are rich in nitrogen, which is the main nutrient for healthy plant growth.  With it's long leafy stems, alfalfa also adds stability and structure to the pile, so I arrange it nicely as I'm layering on the various materials.  And, nitrogen helps organic material to decompose.

Pine needles are acidic in nature.  As most of our soils tend toward alkalinity, pine needles, that have broken down into compost, help to balance the pH of the soil, thus making all of the minerals and nutrients more available for uptake by the fine root hairs on a growing plants tiny little roots.  

A good compost pile also needs one other vital ingredient, something to help it get hot and cook everything awhile.  This ingredient is moisture.  And this is where my slops come in.  I make a nice mashed potatoes hole in the top of the pile and pour all of those slimy, moldy, decomposing veggie bits right in there, stinking to high heaven.  To put an end to that fecund stench, I have a nice pile of dry leaves, at the ready, to plunk on top.  This caps the smell.  And those slops invite the worms to come in from all around the garden and do their job of breaking everything down, swallowing it and pooping it out as worm castings, all through the matrix.

If I have a lot of leaves and they are all really dry, I'll put a little sprinkler on top of the pile and let it run overnight.  Either that or a good soaking rain will help to get things going.  Another abundantly available item, that can add moisture and heat to a pile, is freshly-mown (non-stoloniferous,) lawn grass clippings or wild soft spring grasses, pulled or harvested before they have set seed.  These can either be added to the pile as layers, while it is being built, or they can be carefully massaged down into the center of a pile after it has been formed.  The tender, fresh, moist shoots will break down right away and generate the heat needed to really speed a pile along.  Horse or cow manure can do this too.  I'll often top my pile with a blanket of black plastic sheeting, which I hold in place with a smallish fallen branch or two.  Here in dry California, this helps to hold both the heat and the moisture in.

Generally, after summer has come and gone, when the leaves begin to fall, I gather them up in my wheelbarrow and stow them somewhere near my pile.  I pick out all of the sticks, that are bigger than a pencil, as these will take too long to break down.  I might also visit a local horse farm, with an empty trash can, for a little manure, and perhaps I'll ask if I can clean up some of the alfalfa scraps from the hay barn floor.  I keep my eyes open for roadside banks of pine needles and fill an old trash bag full with them.  Then along comes the day, usually in the early spring, when I feel inspired to jump in there with my trusty pitch fork and shovel and start the layering process, taking first a little of this then a little of that.  I also sprinkle a few shovelfuls of my own native soil, to enrich my compost pile, with all of the microorganisms found there, as well.

I used to have a nice bin with a concrete floor and a single row of concrete blocks around the sides and back, with a plank board wall on top of the blocks about five feet high.  But then we needed that space for another use and now I build my pile free standing on top of an old piece of plywood.  Rudolf Steiner didn't have a floor under his piles.  But, I find it helpful to have something under there to discourage all of my tree roots from reaching up and taking advantage of all that good nutrition, thereby congesting my pile.  

Most of the decomposition takes place within two or three months, especially if I've added a lot of manure or fresh spring grass to the pile.  Unlike Rudolf, I'll let my pile sit idyl for up to a year, until the following spring planting season gets into full swing.  I might raid it two or three times for various mulching or potting projects.  But I only completely dig it all out, casting it around the garden, replenishing my vegetable boxes and mulching the trees, before I completely rebuild it, generally only once a year.

The amazing thing about this composting method is that the pile looks the same all year round, as if nothing is happening in there.  It may shrink down a little, but all of the leaves on top seem perfectly intact.  However, if you brush them aside, and dig your hands in below the surface, you'll find dense rich living compost ready to enrich your garden and add beautiful layers of nutrient rich soil to your life and home.  Enjoy.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Do It Yourself CBD Oil

 

 

Please enjoy this short video on how to make your own CBD oil, otherwise known as Cannabidiol oil, which is derived from natural chemicals found in marijuana or cannabis plants.  CBD has been shown to help relieve pain, reduce anxiety, alleviate cancer symptoms, and improve neurological disorders along with a number of other potential benefits.  This recipe is designed for topical use and  can be relatively inexpensive and easy to make.


Disclaimer:  As a Clairvoyant Healer, Spiritual Counselor and Intuition Instructor, I share many tips for leading a healthy and fulfilling life.  Please be advised that I am not a doctor. Nor am I licensed in any healing modality. However, I have had years of experience in alternative and complementary health and healing. All healing programs, including standard western medical protocols in addition to natural therapies, can cause harm rather than the benefit that you may be searching for. After all some people can have a strong reaction to something as seemingly innocent as peanuts or strawberries. Therefore, anything that I may recommend in these blogs and videos could be dangerous for you to try. So, it is important that you Ask Your Doctor First before trying any natural healing protocol. However, most medical doctors have little experience regarding natural healing programs and herbal medicine. So please understand if your doctor is unfamiliar with these ideas.

© Josephine Laing 2021