Tag Archives: balance

It’s Earth Day! What Can We Do?

earth dayIt’s been 44 years since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 and millions of people have been taught to protect our environment. Despite this, pollution and disregard of the planet has reached a truly disturbing level.

During an interesting but challenging moment in my life about 15 years ago, I temporarily moved from San Diego to Boston. The culture shock was stunning, but the biggest impact the cultural differences made on me was Boston’s lack of recycling. In a town full to the brim with educated people there was a complete disinterest in the concept of separating trash. This meant that I, too, was tossing paper, bottles, or anything recyclable right into the waste bin where it would head to an already crowded landfill. It hurt to do it.

Recently I met someone from Boston who told me they still don’t do curbside recycling! Is it true? Unbelievable! I did a little research and found that, yep, it’s still true. However, environmental advocates are on it and you can read about it in The Boston Globe.

We’re all aware by now that our waterways are filthy. Marine and other wildlife life suffocate on our trash. There remains little respect for the earth, a disregard for the sanctity of nature, and a lack of concern for the health and wellness of living creatures. Yet, the most conscientious find it nearly impossible to have no negative impact on the environment. There is the ubiquitous use of plastics we can’t seem to avoid. Even the gentlest of souls among us are hard-pressed to live without contributing to our collective plight. 

I believe one solution is for each of us to take personal interest in cleaning up our sphere. In my region we load up our recycle bins with any and all paper, glass, metal, and plastic. All of nature’s scraps go in the yard waste bin. Home composting is encouraged. This leaves very little trash in the actual trash bins.

Aside from stepping gently on the earth and raising our own awareness, here are some practical ways we can do more:

  • When traveling, visiting a park, getting on a boat or an airplane, we can manage our trash. Pack it out for later recycling or don’t create any. If you live in an area that doesn’t recycle, complain loudly to your town officials.
  • Rethink grocery shopping. Purchase food that isn’t prepackaged. For the omnivores, you can get meat, fish, and chicken wrapped in paper. If you’re at the meat counter, tell them to skip plastic bags. Paper is fine for wrapping meats. And if you’re in a regular grocery store, avoid purchasing items that come on polystyrene (Styrofoam) trays. Polystyrene leaches toxic chemicals into your food and beverages.

As an aside, the manufacturing of polystyrene creates hazardous waste and affects the health of those exposed. It is made with non-sustainable petroleum, harms the ozone layer, and is dumped or blown into our streets and waterways as litter where living creatures ingest it and die. Polystyrene is not accepted by most recycling agencies. It doesn’t break down. It’s not necessary to ever use it.

Fortunately, through the help of organizations like Save Our Shores, my coastal California county has banned the use of Styrofoam as well as plastic bags. We carry our own reusable bags into stores. Recyclable paper products are used in place of that old nasty Styrofoam.

I was recently in Palm Desert and bought freshly made take-out food that, to my surprise, was handed to me in Styrofoam. I’m so used to not seeing it anymore I didn’t want to touch it! Palm Desert is still using plastic bags also. I look forward to the time when all of California bans this toxic habit.

  • If you buy six-packs of cans or bottles held together by plastic, please cut or tear apart the plastic. Never take one of these onto a boat or leave one lying around. They end up in the streets and the earth’s waters where they suffocate birds and sea animals, including dolphins.
  • Plastic containers are polluters. Yogurt, for example, can be bought in a large container and put into smaller reusable containers for transport to work or school. You can replace all types of cleaning products (and reduce the use of plastic bottles) by refilling the same bottle with simple vinegar and water. With a little research you’ll discover many ways to use vinegar (and baking soda) for most of your household cleaning, including clogged drains.
  • Recycle plastic bottles and tubes that hold your personal care products. Bring your own cup for take-out coffee or tea. Take water from home in a sustainable, non-plastic water bottle. Bring your lunch from home or eat where take-out packaging is compostable or recyclable. Use only compostable doggy clean-up bags. Be mindful of plastic toy purchases for both humans and animals.

Meanwhile, on this new Earth Day for 2014, I’m planning a new compost pile in the yard with an enclosure. My last pile flourished and I spread its rich dark soil around all the plants and trees near my house, but my dog wouldn’t stop using it as his personal round-the-clock snack bar. I’ll continue to cut back on plastic in every way possible and reduce my trash, now and throughout the year. What will you do?

11 Ways to Navigate through Stressful Times

tumblr_ll3l0cUWgz1qb6t6wo1_500Life has stressful times as a norm, but right now some of us are feeling a more intense squeeze. Feelings of discomfort, unease, and vague anxiety can be constant. Some are feeling great intensity while others are simply riding the waves of expansion and growth, excited to see where they’re going but longing for guidance to navigate the new terrain.

The underlying theme of the day is we’re being forced to change from within by letting go of old, outdated, now-useless ways of being and allowing something new to emerge. Allowing a more creative, self-responsible, and I’d like to believe wiser part of us to come forth.

There are many things we can do to manage stressful times (without numbing out). If you are in a state of self-excavation where extreme personal inner evolution is happening, if you’re in a let go or be dragged phase or your life, welcome fellow traveler!

Always treat yourself like you’re a whole human being with a body that is interrelated, interconnected, and not at all separate from your thoughts, emotions, and soul. Today people are quite disconnected from their emotions and thoughts, not to mention nature, the natural rhythm of the earth and sky, and their own soul energy. If this sounds like you, navigate more powerfully and successfully through unknown territory by paying attention to the needs of your physical body, your mind, your emotions, and your true soul essence.

How?

It’s not that complicated, really. I’ve tried all kinds of convoluted ways and experience has shown me to simply return to the basics. Any links with the following will direct you to my previous posts on that topic.

  1. Eat well. Quality protein with vegetables is my staple of choice. Fresh fruit. Plenty of water.
  2. Get plenty of sleep. Preferably at night, all night.
  3. Move your body and exercise.
  4. Go out in nature for a little bit and spend time on the earth.
  5. Seek out people who are trained to help you heal what’s nagging you. We need others to help us who have already seen this part of the journey.
  6. Have some body work (a massage is ideal) which helps settle tension and calm your mind.
  7. Have energy healing (or see a respected counselor) if you are emotionally or mentally stuck. Don’t feel as if something can’t get better. It can and it will if you want it to.
  8. Take time away from electronics and tech devices. Turn everything off and then feel what you feel. Get in touch with the discomfort and be okay with it.
  9. Breathe in and breathe out fully. Breathe in again. Release the breath completely as you breathe out and let go of all that is ready to go.
  10. Sit through the storms without having to self-medicate, get distracted, or otherwise foil the attempts of your soul to have this incredible life experience. Because the number of medicated, distracted, soul-detached people is so high that we’ve become a zombie civilization. Numbing out might feel like the way to get through, but the noise inside will only get louder.
  11. Finally, tell yourself this: All is well with the world. All is well in my world. There is nothing I need to make happen. I easily flow with life. I’m here to create and find joy in my creations.

 

Wifi, Electrical Devices, and Your Energy Field

Electric WorldIn October of 2012 I posted 5 Ways to Protect Yourself from EMFs. I’d like to come to this topic again, as it’s quite relevant to our modern time and important to know what can adversely affect your energy field.

You’ve heard of the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in our environment, which have been linked to cancer. TVs, cell phones, wireless gadgets, computers, wifi, and the newly installed “smart meter” all emit EMFs. 

Your energy field is sensitive and reacts to other energy fields. There is enough data about the long-term health effects of power plants, power lines, and transmitters to warn us that our dependence on electricity, electronics, and wireless data can have health consequences. And, there are things you can do to counter some of these potentially negative health effects.

If you use a microwave, step away from it when it’s on. (Same for dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers.) Three feet is the distance at which most scientists say the EMF from an appliance diminishes. Also, move electronics away from your bed, including electric clocks and especially your cell phone or tablet. Ideally, turn your cell phone and other wifi off at night.

It might be tempting to go to bed with your tablet, laptop, and/or cell phone nearby, but it’s not the healthiest choice. You will be under a steady bombardment of EMFs for many straight hours. Likewise with electric blankets and heating pads. What happens to your energy field when you sleep underneath a blanket that you have to plug into an electrical socket? Or when your unique energy field has a nearby wifi signal beaming through it all night?

You are an electrical being with your own “circuit” and that circuit has the key to your physical wellbeing, mental alertness, and emotional health. One way to help keep yourself more balanced in this wired and wireless era is to touch down to earth once in a while. Remember dirt and grass and trees? Go outside (leave your smartphone inside — maybe even turn it off!) put your feet on the ground, breathe the air, look up at the sky.

Reconnecting with the earth is nature’s way of balancing your energy field and one of the best ways to keep your body, mind, and spirit in harmony.

 

35 Happy Thoughts for Inner Peace

mindPart of maintaining a positive, soulful balance in life is to notice our thoughts and where they’re focused. Our mind is capable of dragging us through mud and muck, taking the pleasure out of life as it creates tales of unfounded betrayal, potential ruin, armageddon, loss, disaster, or just plain disgust and fed upness.

One of the challenges many of us face is to redirect our thoughts, to let the mind know who’s in charge. Left to its own devices, the mind can be a tyrant, beating away at our inner peace.  The most powerful way I’ve gained mastery over my own mind, which can be quite creative and wild in its imaginings, is through meditation. But I also believe positive focused thought can be very powerful, can change the course of things, can turn panic into peace.

Here are 35 of my favorite “positive focused thoughts.” Use them freely to gain a little mastery over your own inner tyrant, help it lay down its club, take a rest, and give you a much needed break from its assumptions.

  1. I dance to my own rhythm
  2. Life is a gift
  3. I’m comfortable being myself
  4. My body knows how to maintain a healthy balance
  5. I am enough
  6. I am complete
  7. I am completely healthy in every way
  8. Every day I’m more optimistic
  9. I have the power to choose
  10. All is well in my world
  11. I follow my heart
  12. I am alive and well on all levels
  13. I remain in balance
  14. I’m steady, strong, and peaceful
  15. I make conscious, positive choices
  16. I have the kind of inner fortitude that succeeds through anything
  17. I live in true comfort and joy
  18. My mind is sharp
  19. I feel great
  20. I accept love
  21. I am open to learning about myself
  22. Abundance surrounds me
  23. All of my needs are easily met
  24. I am divinely guided and protected
  25. Everything around me is for my best and highest good
  26. My body and mind are vibrant
  27. I am an absolute genius at creating harmony in my life
  28. I allow the life force to flow through me
  29. I allow myself to be happy
  30. I forgive myself for everything
  31. I am open to positive change
  32. I flow easily with life
  33. Life is interesting, fun, and exciting
  34. I am loved
  35. I am safe

Lost? Go to your base.

yoga womanLast year when I was on a weeklong women’s retreat at Spirit Rock I had the good fortune to take yoga classes from Mary Pafford. I went to the retreat in a grumbly mood, blaming perimenopause or whatever, and once there in my own private silent space I decided to indulge it. But I simply couldn’t maintain it after the first day, after Mary’s yoga class.

Her class got me back into my glorious body. Among other things, Mary teaches how to get into contact with your perineum. Brilliant! She teaches that women’s wisdom can come from deep within, deep down, way down, and so my dark attitude began to fade as I reconnected to this depth in myself through Mary’s playful example.

So, with her permission, here is what yoga teacher Mary Pafford says about going to your base, an excerpt from a longer piece titled “Periwinkle Ahoy! Tales of drought, overwhelm, and perineums.” I think you’ll benefit from her words of wisdom, especially in times of uncertainty and unease.

GATEWAY AND BANDHA

GATEWAY TO THE EARTH by Mary Pafford

This is where the perineum can be helpful. “When you don’t know where to go, go to the base.” A refrain in many of my classes. This is your internal GPS. When trauma arises we often close this area down, rather like an animal fearfully drawing its tail under and in. A temporary protection but many of us are walking around the universe with our tails drawn in as a permanent state of being. Or we have absolutely no connection to this area at all. There’s the taboo associated with sexuality and excretion and we just don’t want to go there. Beyond our own physical body, we have lost our way of being in touch with the world.

Consider the perineum not as a floor as its often called, but a sacred membrane and the way that we communicate on a deeper level with the earth, with our true nature. By simply being in contact, breathing here, one finds a sense of ground. Notice this when you are in transition or in some way threatened or overwhelmed. How helpful it is to just exist in the perineum, not contracting or tucking, just trusting the earth beneath and within you. “When you don’t know where to go, go to the base.” 
 
MULABANDHA

In the yoga world, some teachers encourage a strong engagement of the perineal muscles to draw the energy up and away from the earth to the heavens to cultivate Mulabandha. In this way, abandoning our human beingness ~ earthiness in the pursuit of “higher selves” ~ a new age type of refrain. If you listen to this little clip from Richard Freeman, you will see that this isn’t necessarily the most illuminating way to approach the pelvic floor… or life!

Richard suggests that the Goddess needs to be invited and cannot be forced, thus cultivating relationship rather than a practice of control, attainment, and separation from the mud of being. Can one root through the bones of the base of the pelvis and invite the rebound? The earth deities rise up and support life in the same way that we tend to the earth and this merges and supports our spiritual aspirations as many indigenous traditions encourage. In many of these traditions the earth is spirit – there is no separate word for spirituality.

Estrogen Dominance and Xenoestrogens

estrogenEstrogen dominance and xenoestrogens are words smart women are learning about to keep their bodies healthy and strong in our plasticized world.

Signs of excess estrogen in your body include painful or unpredictable periods, PMS, cervical dysplasia, depression, anxiety, worry, decreased libido, fatigue, weight gain in the hips and stomach, possibly cold hands and feet, and fibrocystic breasts or cancer. Estrogen dominance is partly caused from foods, cosmetics, and other products that carry xenoestrogens (fake estrogens) into the body.

Some chemicals found in plants act like the female sex hormone estradiol, our primary estrogen. Synthetic forms of this chemical are found in plastic, pesticides, dioxins, PCBs, and in drugs given to livestock and poultry to prevent miscarriage and promote growth.

To lower the chances for these xenoestrogens to enter your body and behave like estrogen, reduce or eliminate foods that come in plastic wrap and plastic packaging. This includes water you buy in plastic bottles, since chemicals in the plastic leach into food and water.

In a study at Tufts University published in Environmental Health Perspectives in 1991, Drs. Ana Soto and Carlos Sonnenschein observed that breast cancer cells placed in plastic dishes would grow quickly. Knowing these cells need estrogen to reproduce, they were curious about what contributed to the rapid cell growth. They discovered that the chemical nonylphenol, which prevents plastic from cracking, caused the growth of the breast cancer cells. Apparently nonylphenol had leached out of the plastic dishes and behaved like estrogen with the cells. Researchers then experimented with other commonly used plastics, detergents, and pesticides. They witnessed rapid growth when the breast cancer cells were exposed to these products. (See my post Breast Health through Liver Health for numerous ways to help your body clear these toxins.)

Conventionally-raised beef and dairy cows are given growth hormones. Their feed is treated with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. When you consume conventional milk, cheese, ice cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, chocolate, and processed foods with beef, milk, or milk products in them, you risk overloading your body with xenoestrogens. (Not to mention what the GMOs are doing.) Read more about this in Milk: Does it Do a Body Good?

Organic, grass-fed beef and dairy are the better choice. If you can’t find them or if they are too costly, look for hormone and pesticide-free products. Eat organic chicken and eggs when you can find them, organic grains, and produce that is free from toxic sprays. Note that chemicals used to kill bugs and fungi on the food supply penetrate the surface of whatever they land on, including the soil. Even washing these foods well before you eat them won’t take away the chemicals they have absorbed.

Sometimes you will be in situations where poor quality food and water is all there is. I find this happens most when I travel or attend public events. Until the “food consciousness” raises in this country and truly healthful choices are accessible, we can make the best of it based on what is available. Bless your food and water then return to your organic, food-from-nature, plastic-free diet when you return home.

7 Ways to Get Grounded (& Why It’s Important)

groundingIn a state of ungroundedness you can be easily influenced by others, experience injuries and accidents, foggy thinking, and emotional states like anxiety, worry, and irritability.

Once when I was ungrounded, I stepped right off a curb I didn’t know was coming and sprained my ankle. Another time, I fell off a 2″ high doormat which brought me surprisingly and suddenly to the ground, spraining the same ankle. (Yes, a 2″ high doormat that said “Peace” on it.)

Yet another time, in a truly ungrounded state, I fainted flat to the ground and still have the scar on my face to show for it. There have been others too, falls and stumbles that have shown me when my thoughts (and energy field) have floated into another realm and are not with the earth.

As a result, don’t you agree I’m uniquely qualified to discuss how to get grounded and the reasons why it’s important? As a psychically sensitive person, I’ve often had my awareness somewhere else. Over time, I’ve had to learn how to remain earthbound. Besides the falls, bloodied face, skinned knees, and sprained body parts, I was born with half of my birth chart planets in earth signs and zero in air. Astrology-minded readers will understand I was meant to be earthbound in this life despite my tendencies otherwise.

Now let’s talk about how to get grounded!

The first step is to pay attention to your physical body.

How does the chair feel that you are sitting in?
What do your feet feel like?
Are you ignoring any physical signs or symptoms? For example, are you thirsty?
Do you have pain or tightness in your body? An anxious feeling? By the way, most cases of anxiety I see in my practice are nothing more than a mental and energetic disconnect from the body.

Next, notice your breathing. This will bring you to a deeper awareness of your body.

Follow your breath.
Bring breath into your belly.
Slow it down.
Lengthen your breath.

Be aware of the subtle changes in nature.

Notice the weather.
What is happening in your natural environment?
Feel the breeze.
Watch the sunset.
Smell the earth’s scents.
Note how the sun feels.
Watch the trees lose leaves or change into their winter state.
Listen to sounds.
Return frequently to notice your own breathing and the weight of your body on the surface you’re sitting or standing on.

Connect with the earth.

Stand or sit for a few minutes with your bare feet on the earth. Scientific evidence shows that the earth balances your energy field. But you don’t need proof from science when you can just do it and see for yourself. Those of you in cold climates, visualize it. Imagine yourself as a big healthy tree with deep roots going into the earth. Check out more reasons to connect with the earth.

Eat earthy food

Hearty meals tend to be grounding: meats and root vegetables especially.

Stop, Feel, Listen, Notice

And finally, if you’re still needing some assistance, have an energy healing session with Dr. Christina Grant. I hear she’s had a lot of experience with it…

What About Healing Stones and Crystals?

stonesTherapeutic stones and crystals form in the earth. Each carries its own vibration. They have been valued for their healing properties for as long as recorded history and have been used for every ailment and condition. In her book The Crystal Bible, Judy Hall says, “Crystals heal holistically. That is to say, they work on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. They realign subtle energies and dissolve dis-ease, getting to the root cause.”

In my nearly three decades of delving into the healing properties of crystals and gemstones, I’ve come across people who believe it just can’t be so. How can a little inanimate object be used for healing?! What hogwash and nonsense! How can you, an educated person, take yourself seriously? But… are they inanimate objects? Are their properties felt by people sensitive enough to detect energy?

Stones and crystals have their own life force and can help shift energies within and around you. I’ve been using them for nearly 30 years and have witnessed the shift they create in others. I’ve felt it in myself and in my surroundings over and over again.

With the wide variety of healing stones and crystals to choose from, any imbalance or situation can be assisted with their use. Two years ago when my beloved 16-year-old cat Calypso died, I buried him with a piece of rose quartz to strengthen the vibration of love around his body. When clients want to access their intuition, I surround them in amethyst. When I’m working with someone who needs to become grounded and centered, I use heavy black stones like hematite or dark smoky quartz.

In my book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer, I added a short paragraph about stones. It’s not very “medical” or officially sanctioned, but as a holistic healer, I can’t ignore their usefulness even for serious ailments. For example, in the case of breast cancer, I’d begin with clear quartz and black tourmaline to clear old energy, and use my intuitive guidance to proceed from there. I would also consider rose quartz to help heal heart chakra issues, which helps heal old pain that might be a factor in the body’s dis-ease.

If you want to experiment with healing stones and crystals, you can first hold the stone in your hands while visualizing the outcome you desire. Then place the stone on the skin over the area of illness or imbalance, or in an area of your home or office where you want to make a shift. As I write this, I have several stones in front of me. Black tourmaline to absorb the EMFs from this computer, quartz crystal to raise the vibration, Connemara marble from Ireland (to keep the faeries happy), and a botswana agate, known for its ability to help one keep focused, organized, and pay attention to detail.

Many stones need to be cleared after being used for illness or after sitting around awhile. (Use your intuition to decide when its time to clear them. Once you’ve used the stones for a while, they’ll tell you if they need clearing.) Most can be cleared under running water, but some, such as Hematite, can absorb water so they are best cleared in moonlight or by being buried in the earth for a day or so.

Also in my book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer (which is an excellent resource for holistic healing in general) there is a Resources section with “Books of Interest” for recommendations on how you can learn more about healing with stones and crystals, but if you’re a beginner, I’d start with The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall. Enjoy!

The Human Energy Field: Creating Harmonious Flow for Your Body, Mind, & Spirit

energy field interactionScientists are learning more about the subtle energy bodies that move within and around all living things. These energetic bodies or “energy fields” contain information about disharmony in your body, mind, and spirit, also known as dis-ease.

Your unique energy field responds to everything around you including your emotions (and often the emotions of others), environmental pollution, people (and their energy fields), noise, thoughts, and food. If there are imbalances in your body, they can be detected in your energy field before a medical device is able to detect them. Even cancer has its beginning in the energy field before it can be seen on an MRI or X-ray.

A weakness in your energy field can cause your mind to be vulnerable to confusion, your emotions to be unsteady, and your body can be more vulnerable to disease. When I’m working with someone with unsteady emotions, for example, I look at the energy field to see what it’s saying, where energy looks dark or stuck. (And yes, your energy field says a lot. It’s full of messages.)

Ideally, energy flows easily through the body and energy field. When it doesn’t, it’s as if the energy is blocked or stagnant. Areas of stagnation can be thought of like a river whose flow is blocked by old twigs, logs, debris, and garbage. Where the river has less flowing water, slime and muck accumulate. If the river becomes quite stagnant, unhealthy organisms grow. If debris continues to pile up, the river’s natural path has to change. Similarly, the flowing energy pathways through your body can get altered when there is stagnation.

Many subtle energy therapies create a healthy flow again, supporting your body and mind and their ability to balance and heal. Did you know “energy work” can be done at a distance? You don’t have to be in the same room being touched or “operated on” by a healer. For more information about this, see my web page. I’ve worked with thousands of people, bringing body, mind, and spirit into harmonious flow through “energy work:” creating a harmonious flow through the human energy field. If you haven’t tried it, contact me. You’ll be glad you did!

Use the Earth to Energize Your Body, Mind, & Spirit

on the earthThe earth offers us food, clothing, and shelter, but also offers healing energy to energize and balance us. “Healing energy” from the earth might sound odd, but when we connect deeply with the earth and either imagine, sense, or hold the intention to fill ourselves up with its energy and light, a natural balancing occurs. Anxiety fades, depression lifts, worries and struggles soften, and it’s easier to approach others with more love and compassion. For these benefits and more, see how often you can get your feet on the earth and use its energy to harmonize you.

In Reiki, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi, energy is drawn from the earth, but you don’t have to learn those forms unless you want to. You can do simple processes. It’s important to begin by connecting with the earth. One of the biggest maladies of our modern era is that people are not connected to the earth. This is associated with addictions, fears, and mental and emotional distortions of all sorts. Especially now when we are inundated with technology to further disconnect us, it’s wise to be aware of the life and essence of the planet beneath your feet.

In my work with clients, the first thing I do is connect people to the earth. I do this visually, which is highly effective. You can do it yourself by standing tall on the earth (barefoot is best) and imagine roots extending from your feet, anchoring you deep into the earth. Be perceptive of the energy in the earth beneath you. We have a living, breathing, powerful life force beneath us, yet who takes note? This simple practice is powerful enough to drain away excess emotions, soothing chaos and frazzled nerves.

Another way to connect is to imagine dropping an anchor of light from the base of your spine into the center of the earth. Then, bring bright light up from the earth into your body. Alternatively, sit on the ground, “drop anchor,” and absorb positive earth energy upward into your body. How do you bring light into your body or absorb positive earth energy? Imagine it, intend it, sense it, feel it. In doing so, you’re making it happen.

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