Tag Archives: body-mind-spirit

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The underlying theme of the day is we’re being forced to change from within by letting go of old, outdated, now-useless ways of being and allowing something new to emerge.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.

 

The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer Featured

BookCoverImageMy book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer is the topic of an article published last week in the Santa Cruz Weekly. Of course I have to tell you about it.

Written by local wellness reporter Maria Grusauskas after a personal interview, the article forced me into another level of acceptance that it’s okay for people to hear about some personal business. I’m not totally comfortable with my brush with the other side being laid bare, but I wrote about a personal subject with the intention of sharing information that will help others. And, humans are curious about some of the less-than-pleasant details.

If it helps people see the options and gain a fresh perspective, I’m for it. It’s just taken some getting used to, and it continues to be humbling, so kudos to Maria for pushing the envelope. I’ve had feedback this past week that indicates people are thinking more as a result of what Maria chose to include in the article.

As for the book itself, I do weave my personal experience through the pages, but it wasn’t my preference. My first choice was to offer the numerous ways you can build your immune system, detoxify, build your strength and courage, heal on all levels, and even reverse tumors. All this without saying a word about me or how I knew anything about it! But my editor said no. “People want a human story. You need to tell them what yours is.” Ugh!

So I returned to the book and began to add personal detail. It wasn’t comfortable to do, as I’m not one to easily reveal my medical history or even my ideas about how we relinquish our power (and minds) to a system that isn’t working all that well on behalf of breast cancer. But in the end, telling the story was a good thing.

I’ve had much positive feedback about how the book helps others see things from a fresh perspective because I shared my own experiences. In fact, just the other day someone exclaimed, “And you look so healthy!” Yes indeed. The Big C isn’t a death sentence, folks. I’m here to tell you that there is health and vitality, even after having that unwanted date with the dreaded C.

Back to the point. I hope you’ll check out this feature article and spread the news to your friends and loved ones that cancer doesn’t have to be such a scary word. There are many, many options and choices that can strengthen each of us beyond it to greater health and wellbeing. I’m not the only example. There are many of us!

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.

 

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.

Kirkus Review for The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer

BookCoverImageAlthough I have many wonderful reviews of my book on Amazon.com, I’m pleased to present my first book review by Kirkus Reviews, a tough critic and trusted voice in the world of book reviews.

I waited for many weeks for this review to arrive, sometimes wondering what I would do if it were negative, perhaps reviewed by someone who “didn’t get it.” I figured I’d spend the first few days in seclusion, the next few weeks moping, and then get on with life. But, alas, it has arrived and I’m quite pleased with it. Here it is:

“In this debut memoir, a holistic healer shares her story of breast cancer and explores an array of approaches to physical and spiritual health.

Grant, a California-based holistic healer, found herself under the surgeon’s knife, facing breast cancer surgery, nearly a decade ago. In this wide-reaching guide, Grant details her personal struggle with her diagnosis, then touches on the variety of ways that she believes one can help combat breast cancer and most other “dis-eases.” “I simply couldn’t proceed blindly onward hoping surgery, caustic drugs, and radiation were enough to ‘get me back to my old life,’ ” writes Grant. “I had to give equal consideration to the importance of food, body movement, stress-reduction, immunity, environmental toxins, lifestyle, emotions, mind, and spirit.”

While it may be no surprise that a holistic healer would favor alternative approaches, Grant admits that she also had to overcome her own bias against traditional doctors in order to get better, with an acupuncturist friend telling her to “see them as healers, because they are. They are part of the world of healing and some of what they say is valid.” Thus, Grant acknowledges, “There is no right or wrong way. But there is a path that is best for you and I’m here to help you honor that.”

This accepting spirit infuses the narrative, which presents a host of holistic options in workbook style. Each chapter ends with a “Take a Moment for Yourself” section, featuring questions for self-reflection.

Grant’s book contains a wealth of information, from recipes to lists of inspirational music selections and health and healing reference works. Although this guide is largely well-organized, there is some repetition, and Grant’s personal story sometimes disappears within the larger topics she discusses. As a whole, however, this overview may be a welcome aid to those with breast cancer and helpful to anyone seeking to achieve a healthier life.

A personal, expansive tour into the world of holistic healing.”

Kirkus Reviews

By the way, my book is best in the paperback version so it can be easily used as a reference, but it’s a great deal for the Kindle currently at $4.99. It will be a valuable addition to your library, if I do say so myself.

Women of a Certain Age and the Holistic Approach

Cynthia Johnston, herbalist, MoonMaid Botanicals founder, and host of "Women of a Certain Age" on BlogTalkRadio.

Cynthia Johnston, herbalist, MoonMaid Botanicals founder, and host of “Women of a Certain Age” on BlogTalkRadio.

Tonight at 7pm Eastern (4pm Pacific) I’ll be the guest on “Women of A Certain Age” on BlogTalkRadio. Women of a Certain Age is hosted by Cynthia Johnston, founder and herbalist at MoonMaid Botanicals located in Cosby, Tennessee. Her radio program offers ideas, solutions, support, and encouragement for women of all ages as they go through various stages of life. As Cynthia says, “As our environment changes, our bodies change. I offer tools helpful for these changes.”

So tonight one of the tools she’s offering is… me! So be sure to tune in! We’ll discuss some of the important topics from my recent book, The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer: Every Woman’s Guide to Health, Vitality, & Wellbeing, which is also relevant and applicable to anyone who’d like to be in the driver’s seat of their own health and wellness.

Yes, there are drugs for every bodily issue under the sun, and these can stop the symptoms some of the time, but they’ll also cause undesirable side effects and don’t address the underlying cause. When our bodies are out of balance it’s not an isolated problem. It’s an issue affected by your body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Addressing symptoms from this perspective brings fuller, deeper healing and can prevent the ailment from recurring. Read a little more about the holistic approach to wellness in my recent blog post What Does “Holistic” Mean Anyway?

Breast Balm 1I’d like to mention that Cynthia Johnston’s company, MoonMaid Botanicals, is the maker of Breast Balm, a blend of St. John’s Wort, poke root, calendula, and thuja infused in organic olive oil. Designed to be used for breast massage, it is the balm I recommend in The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer.

Tune in tonight at 7pm EST (or 4pm PST) by going to Cynthia’s Women of a Certain Age site and listen to some fresh ideas to inspire you to greater wellness in body, mind, and spirit. Share this link with your friends and loved ones who you know will benefit from a more healthful approach to their own wellbeing!

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 First Step in Holistic Healing: Listening

body soulOur nation’s epidemic of anxiety, depression, overeating and obesity, addictions, and general discontent is a holistic issue. No amount of pill-taking, no newly formulated prescription drug, is going to solve the problem. Though we seem determined that it will. It won’t.

It will only push the true issue deeper and ultimately cause a rupture somewhere else within the body, or the mind, or in the emotional state. Just as repairing something with scotch tape won’t hold it if the appropriate nuts and bolts are missing.

Until we begin to realize a more holistic approach, one that encompasses the physical body, as well as the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of being human, we’ll continue to see increasing dis-ease of the body, mind, and spirit in the form of mental illness and new physical conditions we’ve yet to hear of. This might be great for the medical community profiting from our collective dis-ease, but it’s not good for you and me.

So how do we begin to make this shift from treating only physical symptoms to repairing the deeper issue? How do we begin to repair the whole person when our entire orientation has been on fixing the obvious presenting problem?

It’s a simple beginning. We begin by listening. How many times have you been truly listened to when you’ve gone to get help for a medical condition? For a nagging physical complaint, for an issue where something doesn’t seem right but no one seems to know what to do about it, or even if you’ve gone to a therapist to help you through a life crisis but you still feel you’re not quite being seen clearly, or fully understood. In these situations, you’re not being truly heard. You’re not being listened to and viewed as a whole being, because we have not valued this.

Are you seen as someone with perhaps decades of life experience behind you? With pain and loss, joy and hope, courage and fear, failures and success, all of which could influence your overall wellbeing? Are you seen as someone with both human connectedness as well as loneliness, both inspiration and discouragement? What do you eat? How do you breathe? How do you move your body? What do you do for fun? Who are the main players in your life? What are you burdened by? Do you expect to feel well? What do you get from being ill or off-balance? (There’s often a payoff…)

The answers to these questions hold an abundance of information as to how we can best heal. When we’re willing to ask these questions of others and answer them for ourselves, we’ll be on our way toward true holistic healing.

What Does “Holistic” Mean Anyway?

holisticSo… what is meant by the term holistic? Derived from the word “whole” it emphasizes the importance of the whole rather than individual parts. In the case of holistic healing, it encompasses your physical body, emotions, mind, and spirit. And in the best of cases, your lifestyle.

In recent years we’ve been hearing more about the mind-body connection and in fact there are many mind-body programs in hospitals and clinics that are very successful. Although I love these mind-body programs, I believe they are avoiding one important element: that of the spirit. The spirit is the activating life force energy within and around each living being. To neglect or ignore this is like trying to put something broken back together without the parts. It’s like trying to repair something with scotch tape rather than with the nuts and bolts it came with.

Although we’re gaining comfort with the idea of a mind-body approach, we seem, as a western civilized society, to be resistant to healing from the level of spirit. We’re even resistant to addressing the emotions as to how they might relate to our ailments, whether physical pain and dis-ease, mental illness, or the varieties of discontent associated with our relationships or lack thereof, our jobs or financial state, and even that feeling of emptiness that comes when you’ve achieved everything you thought would make you happy and fulfilled yet you still feel something is missing.

The missing piece from a holistic approach is the spirit, often ignored in our society, in fact looked upon with suspicion in many cases. It’s not understood clearly and it’s certainly not given value. Perhaps it is too tied in with religious concepts? But it’s time to address the spirit and emotions along with the mind and body, to see each one of you as the whole being that you are.

In my next post, I’ll discuss one important way to begin focusing on the whole, rather than on seemingly separate parts.

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!

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