Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Beliefs: who am I?

In the recent months we have had some very powerful new moons.  There will be more powerful new moons in the months to come, especially with the placement of some of the other planets.  We will not go into astrology here, as you can find that in some of the other articles.  However, the thing to be aware of is that a new moon is the perfect time to start something new.  About 3 days prior to the start of the new moon, is a good time to look back and see where you have been, where you have faltered and altered, and then review your goals for the future to determine what new thing, mind-set, or change needs to be focussed on next.

In reflection it's interesting to observe what you didn't see while in the experience.  Perception is the immediate judgement that we act upon, however, given a little bit more time to look at the situation with a fresh perspective, and we may well have a different judgement or desire.  While reflecting over a longer period of time we can actually see certain patterns repeat themselves.  The theme of the situation is the same even though some of the people and places may have been different.  In hindsight we can see we are creating the same loop as we did before.

This is such a powerful moment; where we can have a choice to get out of the loop and create a different outcome.  Only when we reflect back and are able to recognize the pattern do we feel like we actually have a choice.  If we allow our judgements, pains, and longings to get out of the way, we can take responsibility for having created the situation and then use wisdom to create something new.  Dr. Bruce Lipton has done scientific research and has proven this point but from a slightly different angle.  In his book The Biology of Belief, he explains how our sub-conscious mind is the one that reacts to the situation; the reaction is to the outside environment of the cell - which triggers our brain to react.  Our conscious mind is the one that desires and dreams of a different future. How is that we almost never create the future that we want?  This is where the power of the sub-conscious overrides, and that power is the messages you downloaded as a child in the first 7 years of your life.  This is the memory storehouse of the sub-conscious mind and it will react to current situations to protect you like it has done in the past. Hence the same themes take place in our lives.  If you can reflect and see some of the patterns in your life, with some focus and assistance, you may be able to create a different future.

To a different future!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Daily Principals to Live By

Part 1 - Life through Yoga: The Social Principles

There are a lot of people taking yoga classes here in the western part of the world, and there are many different kinds of yoga classes being offered as well.  It always surprises me that we in the west we believe yoga is an exercise.  Yoga here is associated with the postures, also known as asanas in Sanskrit, and that's where most people's knowledge ends when it comes to yoga.  Little do they know that yoga is a lifestyle.  I'd like to introduce you to a few more concepts about yoga, and if you choose to practise these on a daily basis, then you just may get to experience what yoga truly is.

The Yamas are the guiding principles to follow that will lead us to a life of peacefulness and freedom. Each characteristic builds on the next.  Let’s start:

1. Compassion (Ahimsa) - for all living things, including ourselves.  Listen to your thoughts and how you talk to yourself.  Is it supportive, kind and loving?  The more non-violent your thoughts, the more peaceful you become, the more you will also be compassionate to your outside world, like other people, living things and the earthly environment.  Continually ask yourself if your thoughts, actions and deeds are allowing for growth and well-being of every being involved?

2. Truthfulness (Satya) - this means not just speaking truth by words, but also being true to ourselves and all others involved.  Much of this starts with choosing the best words.  To further explain this topic, much of conversations are based on our imagination and often erroneous conclusions, not necessarily what we know to be true.  A good example is gossip; it hurts every being.  The hardest part is being true to ourselves.  It is something that lies deep in hearts and souls, places we easily get distracted from with life's daily distractions.  Check in regularly, even before speaking the truth, and ask what the right words are and does your choice allow you to live in peace.

3. Not stealing (Asteya) - not taking what is not yours.  But this principle goes further, it also means not taking more than what you need.  Choosing to take more than needed means you are feeling lack, and that results in buying more things to feel better.  Look around your home and see all the gadgets and tools you have at your disposal.  Act out of abundance rather than neediness.  Start a gratitude journal and you may just find that you don't need all those things, what you need is your health.

4. Merging with Oneness (Brahmacharya) -  merging our energy with that of God.  This relates to the energy that we have in our physical bodies and how we choose to use it.  Again, if we look at the bigger picture, then we can merge into oneness just by feeling the air move through our lungs and allowing us to breathe and feel alive; or by feeling the blood being pumped around our body and limbs to connect all parts into the one body we have.  Sexual energy can also lead to a great deal of merging, so the question becomes how you use your sexual energy.  It's not to be used to hurt others but instead bring you closer to God, and only you can decide whether celibacy or procreation is best for you.

5. Not Holding on to (Aparigraha) – holding on to things makes us feel certain and secure, but life changes all the time and requires us to adapt.  The more we hold on to things and images of how we and others are, the more painful and troublesome it is to adjust to life’s constant change.  Stop resisting change, allow it to change you to grow.  After all, life is just an experience.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Fall into Cruciferous-ness

Yes, it's that time of year again.  The cruciferous family of plants is in full bloom at the right time.  It's autumn, and it's time to boost the immune system given the change in weather and temperature.  Summer has been comforting and fun for bare-feet and bare skin.  Now it's time to cover up and put on the layers.  Thank goodness the Cruciferous vegetable family is in full bloom - Kale, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and even Bokchoy, turnips and radishes.  The list seems almost endless.  And that makes it easy to bring these into your diet!

There are some plant enzymes and sulfur components that occur naturally in this plant family that are the real benefactors to help our immune system.  The crucial part is that we have healthy gut bacteria to break down these components and bring them into our blood.  From there they just get carried to where the body needs them most to fight off any inflammation caused by viruses or bacteria.  The healthy gut flora is absolutely necessary as well as making sure the vegetables are not over-cooked.

Enjoy the plethora of choices for bringing these delicious veggies into your diet and stepping up the game against bacteria and viruses that are in the air.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

To fast or not to fast

With summer finally being here, I find myself indulging in more of the succulent ice creams and convenient faster foods like yam fries with aioli sauce. So to combat the increase in fat I’ve taken to the occasional day of fasting after a finger-lickin’ good weekend.
In my experience fasting for 24 hours has been good in that it gives me energy again. It lifts that heavy feeling from my body and gets my mind out of a fog.

So I thought I would do some more research and find out if it actually is good. There’s research out there that says that it does work for people; especially people that are dealing with chronic health issues. Fasting allows the body to use all it’s energy for the sole purpose of healing itself instead of using its energy to digest food. I do believe the body has the ability to heal itself, so that to me makes perfect sense. Fasting is defined as no eating of solids, no juiced veggie/fruit drinks nor smoothies; it is only drinking water for a specified period of time.
There are people who fast in order to heal diseases and illnesses, and more recently it’s becoming trendier for losing weight as well.

What was interesting to me during this research is that men and women tend to physiologically react differently to fasting. With the onset of “nutritional stress” (whether fasting or caloric restriction), male rat brains showed little difference from normal activity. In female rat brains however, there was more activity and more alertness on finding food, indicating their bodies were not coping well with this stress, as well as reduced fertility levels.
In human studies results showed that men had improved insulin sensitivity and lower cholesterol levels, whereas women showed glucose levels worsened while fasting, and only a minor difference in cholesterol levels. In both groups however, there were improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, body fat and weight when people were in the obese/overweight category.

So the real question becomes should you fast and how often. I find that fasting once a week is doable and pleasurable for me. I feel the result physically, mentally and emotionally. It will be an interesting experiment to see what happens if I were to do it more frequently or for longer periods of time.
Once again, it confirms my belief that every person should find out for themselves what works best for them by experimenting and listening to their own body. Don’t take my word for it, or anyone else’s. However, I do advise that if you want to try fasting to deal with chronic health issues, you find a health institute that can monitor you and your body’s reactions to the fasting to get productive and beneficial results.