Acting with awareness especially with others is not taught much in schools except indirectly. The Radical Act of Action and Reflection: Who are You? intends to very simply point to this gap and offer some simple ways to become more reflective of ourselves and our world, more able to know ourselves as autonomous and united, able to literally co-create.
Youth who seem always connected and are often taught “collaboratively” are still not taught to know themselves and make choices in a way that is possibly more helpful. We have schools that purposely do not teach independent thinking, that maintains teachers as authorities and then if we are lucky, we go on, becoming another “authority” and “qualified” to earn a living.
This post intends to help end this “transference of power” from an authority, back to a self who is ultimately the authority. Words do not teach. Experience teaches. Resistance and resentment, I believe are just entrenched by current methods and beliefs of who is really in charge of our lives. One friend was so committed to the autonomy of his children he allowed them to go to Denmark from the UK. In Denmark, where they could choose studies and teachers themselves.
As the hookah-smoking caterpillar in Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland asked, Who are you?
In our crazy, hyperactive world, there may be no more radical act than the act of reflection. This post is about acting, reflecting and creating, if you feel called, inspired by your lived experiences and reflections, even your experience of this post.
I offer this post out of my experience. I attended many colleges. Two colleges specifically encouraged reflective writing in which the self, the I, was included as opposed to pedantic scholarly writing with no author revealed, no context for the reader to know more. I am forever grateful for this happenstance.
I am sure you, if a reader, have already been exposed to reflective writing and journaling. While there are many ways I could share this concept of action and reflection, I want to keep it fun and easy. Here is a powerful classic I used in an undergrad class for your consideration. It is A Gift From the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh. (I chose the nicest edition with notes added by the author.) Your library surely has it. While some may consider it too feminine, it is a great opportunity for men to learn a powerful feminine skill (in the Jungian and cultural sense) to begin to gain access to perhaps long-repressed feelings and wonderings.
This might just be your push to begin a very powerful tool: writing down, physically, not on a computer at first (feel it viscerally). I was taught by one wonderful mentor to write my experience as soon after its occurrence as possible and I did this a great deal and gained a great deal. If memories are tough, I believe reading this gentle book may help. I do not promote deep recall of trauma but I suggest a more “sideways”, a gentle approach in appreciation first of yourself, the hero of the story or the creating to become in the future, the dream manifested.
I often went to the web and found pictures that inspired and pasted them in and I had one friend who taught journaling as an art. She drew most of her entries. The main things are doing it as soon after the experience as possible when inspired, and your memory is strong; come up with YOUR way and if possible make it at first by hand (the tactile part is often very powerful and later you can computerize). To the point: keep a journal. You will quickly not only have your dreams memorialized you just may have a product!
What kind of world might we have if every child and adult learned to reflect and act from those conscious reflections together? No wonder meditation is popular. These skills of acting and reflecting and sharing in some form with the community, I believe, are much more useful than meditation alone; life becomes a practice of presence, of aware interaction. Combined with a daily meditation practice, which literally changes the brain? Wonderful!
Note: as I update today this post on WATER, the government has ended all protections and the EPA is basically destroyed. I cannot even keep up with the news.
Water as medicine? I hope I have simply explained the leading edge science of epigenetics earlier. No geneticist worth their salt would not use this new title. I have mentioned authors and videos elsewhere. At its simplest, epigenetics believes it offers an answer to the nature vs. nurture question and found it epigenetics to be both/and. That is, nature gives us chromosomes and thousands of genes and these genes can express for good or ill, depending on nature, the environment that cells (each a little self or consciousness to some scientists) as we live. This has huge implications on every part of our lives. As John Muir said:
Bottom line, as many spiritual teachings offer, everything connects to everything else, seen and unseen. How we act and interact with ourselves and all of nature literally, as quantum reality would attest, creates matter. So you, dear ones, have the power to create wellness or illness. It is your choice. About that free will thing…
We are all aware of the spoiling of water worldwide and as the video, I will post testifies and I learned from Canadian indigenous people, known as Bands, water, not oil will be our next wars. And we know of surpluses of water, toxic, of Flint, of hurricanes and how corporations like the Nestle corporation take and bottle water for free and even sit with other companies on the water boards of states. And we know the Dakota Pipeline and pipelines everywhere are being fought to protect water and that these pipelines often break, spoiling water for innumerable beings.
We are all taught to drink enough water but how many of us have really known it as sacred with the ability to create negative calming ions and oxytocin, the hormone of Motherlove?
Here is a lovely video I received recently and just had to share.
A quote from the film: “Nature is medicine – a walk on the beach; a surfing session; a stroll through the woods heals us. It fixes what broken inside of us. Nature can reduce our stress, it can make us more creative and bring us together.”
Upwellings is a natural occurrence in the ocean when the currents are just right, and many fish come to feed due to rich nutrients
Here is a post by a friend, Reverend Deborah Streeter, who has Upwellings Ministry as her life’s mission.
V for Peace
“We come in peace,” said the teacher, making her fingers into a V for her young students as they approached the Touch Pool. “Use just two fingers to touch the animals.”
This week during my guide shift at the Monterey Bay Aquarium I got a brief reprieve from my post-election despair. For my half hour at the Touch Pool, I could set aside my fear for our nation and instead help little kids touch sea stars and decorator crabs. Good therapy, to see so much hope and smiles and curiosity. “Are they real? Are they alive?” the kids asked. Happy proud parent chaperones shared in the delight and the touching. (MBA welcomes 80,000 school kids free each year, building a new generation of ocean stewards.)
How should we touch other real live animals? If you’ve seen the terrifying touch pool scene in “Finding Dory” you know that touching with one finger encourages dangerous poking and that using your whole hand can quickly do even more damage; detaching or lifting the critter out of its life-giving water home. No, the best way is with the gentle V, two fingers and let them be where they are.
A life lesson? A touch pool gospel? Touch others only gently, where they are, no poking, no grabbing.
And touch others in peace.
(I heard that teacher’s words, “We come in peace,” years ago, and I use the phrase with kids every Thursday. Only today did I research the phrase and the V sign. Nixon used Churchill’s V for Victory sign during Vietnam, and at his resignation, but 60’s peace activists (like me) successfully co-opted it into a peace sign. Is it also related to the Vulcan double V “Live long and prosper” – which we know from Nimoy, is a religious gesture? How about the phrase “We come in peace?” That’s usually said by movie aliens who are anything but peaceful. Are kids like aliens to the touch pool critters? Perhaps. Was the teacher an old hippie, or maybe a Trekkie? Whatever, the sentiment and the sign work – peace to all creation.)
Over the years the Aquarium has built lower exhibits to encourage interaction and to help “tactile learners” make more connections. Instead of distant objectification, we can touch, relate, engage.
But only if we do so gently, in peace, with respect. I’m hoping these kids grow up to build that kind of world. And vote for it. That would be a big V victory.”
I hope this has helped remind us all the inter-connectedness of all. Pay attention and take your water as a sacrament. Share water; love each other.
Read this post and consider your relationships to water and how we know that it is beyond precious: it is essential medicine. Lastly, I post a meme based on the words of Freeman House who was able to inspire his community to save the salmon in N. CA.
Comments are invited. Much to learn here. Think I will go drink some water, water a plant and take a swim.
Recently in an inspirational talk on meditation, the teacher spoke of practicing a kind of virtual reality of imagining in our guts our true nature; I interchange Buddhist concepts and more Earth-centered ones of divinity. You can use your own definition. You may simply imagine yourself as a whole healthy human. (Personally, I have little interest in virtual reality though meditation centers like Spirit Rock are using it; look up via NY Times).
For me and for the teacher I was listening to, our guts are a center of feeling. We all know the old saying, to have a “gut feeling” about something. Well in my practice I live by those intuitive gut feelings and trust, as James Hillman suggests, that the rational thought will align and I will not try to fly off the roof.
After listening to this talk as the shower water poured over me I felt my “gut” which I know better by its Japanese name, hara and indeed I felt very good, whole and open-hearted. The teacher also spoke of doing this for at least 30 days to strengthen our “core” belief in self as perfect just as we are. I also remembered literally strengthening my core muscles in Pilates and as you may know, Pilates was and is used by dancers very effectively. Imagine yourself with the grace and balance of a dancer, moving through your days even when facing challenges. I found myself feeling delighted and remembering one of my all-time favorite books, now old but still very worthy, simply called Hara: The Vital Center of Man.
I will not go into this more except to say I highly recommend it. I find that living from the hara is especially good for men to begin to get it that thoughts and feelings are inter-woven and as Buddhists would say, co-arising. Men have been so trained to repress emotions and that I suggest this split is part of why “heart” disease was an early killer, with emotional expressive (often abused) wives surviving. (My own mentor, a world-famous teacher, and scholar told me personally that women know much more clearly as they get the big picture via their feelings of relationship energetics).
Many men are now very adept at knowing their feelings and now many are learning to able to express quite well in relationships. Feeling vulnerable and open is no longer filled with fear. In fact they learn what was long called “women’s intuition.
I want to move on to the Gut-Brain Axis. I hope you get a sense of how wise cultures that encourage the gut as the “true brain” may be healthier than ours, in which we overrun our gut instincts far too often to our detriment.
For this section, I will be using the work of Chris Kresser, an MS and a Traditional Chinese Medicine integrative health practitioner in San Francisco for several reasons, but mostly for what I see in using his book, The Paleo Cure and reading his very informative blog posts. As you now have the link to his site and brain-gut axis teaching, I suggest if you have brain or gut or other issues you read straight from him. And I will also say that I differ greatly with millionare computer geek turned natural health guru, Kresse. Paleo is not for everyone.
I want to make a few points from my experience and learning. I find the words digestion, nutrition, and nourishment very evocative and metaphorical and very “referential” to the knowing of the gut. All terms of how we take in life experience as nourishment or poison are what I am pointing towards. Does your life nourish you? Are you digesting and assimilating not just food but experience? Is your personal microbiome in good shape, keeping good critters working and bad ones out? Do you have good internal and external boundaries?
I hope by this point you realize that I am mostly focusing holistically, now often called epigenetically, that is, the impact of our personal nature and nurture systems. Who said, as within, without? Let’s put it very bluntly: if you have digestion issues you probably have brain issues and Kresser will tell you more. And I believe if you have these issues, you also have emotional issues, something Kresser will also teach you. The environment you force yourself to live in will make you ill or help you heal. Since beginning my very profound meditation and healing methods, my gut issues have much improved.
I just received this video on trauma and gut issues, like IBS. Perlmutter is very respected and these findings are very profound especially if, like me, you suffered in childhood.
Getting Tested or Self Testing your Poop
uBIOME, just up the way from Stanford University, a leader in genetic research, I believe is the first pro poop testing company. When they first opened I went for it and then they offered me another for free. I definitely need more good bugs in general. As I can no longer afford this service I practice poop watch, not obsessively but as part of my general health self-care. You can easily know whether your poop is good or bad and if you do as I did under genetic guidance before uBIOME was available, I learned to use the Bristol Stool Chart. You can find many online. It is easy and you learn it very fast.
Now that you know you need lots of good, especially soil based, bugs in your guts and you are wanting to improve your digestion and your mood, you may want to add pre or probiotics to increase your gut flora. Kresser seems to prefer prebiotics especially resistant starch, an indigestible fiber that gives your poo great shape and good bugs. For quite a while I made a resistant starch cookie which I will share shortly but it became too expensive for me as it requires organic cashew butter and it is quite expensive. I have a friend now hooked on his own formulation of this. For now, I leave the question of probiotics up to you; many who have other issues, like “leaky gut” from antibiotics can aspirate bacteria into lungs as on friend did, getting pneumonia.
I learned of the resistant starch tigernut flour from outstanding nutrigenomist, Cynthia Smith in a conversation on FaceBook. As usual, I took off on my own research and found this fabulous tigernut ball recipe from https://www.mommypotamus.com/resistant-starch-cookie-dough-recipe/ I made some adjustments, using monks fruit maple syrup as it is sugar-free. I was able to find organic cashew butter locally but at ten dollars a jar, it was unsustainable. I tried sunflower butter but found I am sensitive to it. So, for now, I do not eat these. Enjoy if you can. Of course, organic cocoa nibs, please, in moderation as they can make kidney stones worse as chocolate is high in oxalates, another whole topic.
I hope you have enjoyed this highly eclectic journey, which I feel is a lovely expression of epigenetics: as within, without. You are what you eat and how you feel depends on the nourishment of food and environment. For the open-minded, here is the video that got me going down this trail. talking about virtual reality and our guts. Enjoy.
Phenomenology: You Get to Choose
I loved learning of the science phenomenology in college especially because I attended a school of East-West philosophy, CA Institute of Integral Studies. The school and my doctoral studies in psychological transpersonal phenomenology fit very well with my years in Buddhism.
In a nutshell, phenomenology arose after the Enlightenment, when Westerners had literally dissected most of nature, including human anatomy, and learned “laws” that seemed to control behaviors. BUT if one, such as me and a very famous lineage, wanted to study living human experience, what could be done? One could not kill the test “subject” as in the natural sciences. Many famous practitioners arose, each improving on the earlier revelations of what it meant to be human. Like what does love or hate feel like? Probably my favorite was Merleau-Ponty who basically answered for me questions Buddhism never did. He said we can never escape the perceiver, we are always interpreting via our perceptions.
As a student of Buddhism, I had learned that we were to lose ourselves; I did not understand as I do now, it means we are to lose our preferred attachment to a particular perception, that we could and can transcend any state of being, with training. As Zen master, Suzuki roshi taught, in order to lose ourselves, we must first know ourselves. (His Beginner’s Mind is how I started my meditation practice and recommend it to you. Read a chapter, then try to sit, following your breath for five or ten minutes; I fell in love with it.) I had learned about co-arising; that is one experience arises its opposite or near cousin also can be perceived. Still it was not till I read Merleau-Ponty that it snapped, no, unless we dissociate from our bodies, which I and others do not encourage, there is always a perceiver.
Whether you acknowledge it or not, and many especially men who have been taught to stifle feelings, our most powerful way of knowing how we want to live is through our feelings. Imagination also has a big place in how we co-create our lives. Here is one of my all-time favorite poems by now deceased Buddhist poet, Lew Welch:
[First You Must Love Your Body, In Games,]
First you must love your body, in games,
Then you must enter the world of men and
Then you must return to your mother and
Then return to the world that is
that you may finally walk in the
So phenomenology and Buddhism and other traditions teach two things important to our personal choices and this post: One, everything is connected (I will let you research that if networking especially as found in nature does not make sense to you) and two, you have an absolute free will to choose your mood and actions. It takes practice: at least 15 minutes daily of silent meditation in which I hope you eventually become more comfortable and receptive, perhaps to the transpersonal realms where we are non-physically connected in a field of knowing. As you get comfortable with meditation, you can choose to focus on receiving joy and a great deal more. A quote from the great Sufi poet Rumi: (although it sounds a bit modern to me)
Your depression is connected to your insolence and refusal to praise. Rumi
One last shot that life is so much more than you allow. http://awarenessact.com/scientists-now-believe-the-universe-itself-may-be-conscious/
You have tremendous power to create the reality you want. Meditate and contact me if you want help with meditation and more.
This post is of particular joy for me. It is about tarot card like inspirational cards. I have used them for years especially after meditation. Symbols, like poetry, reach much deeper into our senses, often beyond words. I find they can be hugely synchronistic, like the two days in a row that I got Abundance from my current deck. I did not get rich but my days were definitely focused on the abundance of life everywhere.
In my field of Transformative Learning and Change, we are taught many methods to help adults learn to make meaning. Even though my school, ciis.edu, is a school of East-West Learning, we did not focus greatly on what I now call the receptive mode which some say occurs in meditation. We did use transpersonal psychology, which is a Carl Jung term meaning we are all a part of a greater field of consciousness. Quantum Reality now has basically taken over the field, letting us all understand we are made of particles and waves and are stardust.
In my doctoral and master’s work, I took on a form of research, a spiritual inquiry, using Cooperative Inquiry, as my focus. Basically, Co-operative Inquiry proposes that reality is an unknowable mystery best treated with great reverence. I love poetry, metaphors and the field of semiotics (the science of signs and symbols of all kinds) in general because these methods engage our imaginations and each of us can project and sense our own meaning; little is literal, all could be said to be very personal. We are individuals living in a universe of connection. Everything matters in how we live, how we relate.
This imaginal knowing in my view is much more real than our daily challenges. Imaginal knowings I find lift me up and beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary where dreams may be recognized. So my daily cards aid me greatly in knowing beyond the usual mode of thought. You might like it to for adding some depth and zest in your day. Here are some of my favorite decks.
This is an absolute dear deck to me and would be a great one for kids with adult help. You can pull a single card or make layouts for predictions and totems. I have the Otter in the middle of my totem; this is feminine playfulness and fits me well. I love feeling this. I just lost my old deck and invested in a new one and I love it every morning.
This deck and astrology/tarot books are exquisite. Astrology/tarot interpretation by my dear teacher Vicki Noble and the art was done by her old friend Karen Vogel. The cards are round and each one transforms male based tarot images into teachings of Goddess culture and female power. Very refreshing to see some old icons turned feminine. Recently Vogue magazine and designer’s for Dior chose Mother Peace as the basis for new fashion. Click here for google images of both clothes and fashions and a bit more. And click here for a story on Karen and Vicki and a slide show. Needless to say, I love this deck!
This is the deck, by Meredith L. Young-Sowers is the one I now use as I have traveled and these “appeared” at a holistic medicine center in Vermont, not far from the author’s home. As a degreed horticulturist, I had to have these and I love them and they often resonate with other teachings I am following.
These cards I bought as I am studying the teachings of Abraham Hicks. I expected these to be quite challenging. I find them comforting and fun.
You get to choose. I find anything that helps me learn beyond the ordinary I welcome. I hope you do too. Here is a link to other tarot cards on Amazon; there are some classics there and if you dig deeper, you may find a deck that “calls” to you.
Thanks for considering all this. May you find your own magical path to well-being.
This is a very personal post. I have had C/PTSD as well as the genetic disease MTHFR c667t which I will write at another time. Homeless for most of last year, I went broke living in motels. PTSD nightmares were frequent visitors.
In January when another trauma occurred I followed my usual path and joined an online trauma recovery group but in short time I realized I knew more than the teacher so I got out and began devotedly practicing some the things that I will now share with you. Very early on I learned: if you are in PTSD nightmare WAKE YOURSELF up and if you are safe, recognize this: I AM SAFE.
First, let me give the advice you will get from me often: Get off all processed foods. Much that is in them are neurotoxins especially from GMO’s (glyphosate which is more toxic than Agent Orange according to one geneticist I respect.) Sugar we now know causes inflammation and the last thing we need is brain inflammation or any other part of our body. EAT WHOLE ORGANIC FOOD. If you are low-income, SNAP has a special farmers market bargain. Look into that but eat simply; you will feel better.
Secondly, learn to understand that no matter how abused or traumatized you are, are perfect just as you are. You have not sinned; you came here perfect and mistakes are normal and acceptable. There are many spiritual and religious practices that teach of our human perfection, no matter how flawed we see ourselves now. If no spiritual ideal suits you, call on sports metaphors and just try IMAGINING yourself as a champion because you are. The more you can believe this the better you will sleep.
If Sports does not call you maybe Quantum Physics will:
From a quantum physicist:
“The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.” ― Lawrence M. Krauss,
For more evidence enjoy this TED Talk, there are many of these: We are all Stardust.
And: If you do speak your story, speak as a hero as you begin, and I am here to help, to re-write your biography into one of a hero. CHOOSE WHO YOU WANT TO BECOME. Hopefully, some of these will help you understand: YOU ARE A MIRACLE and your place here is important no matter what you have gone through. Nothing can change this.
I have mentioned waking yourself up when you have a nightmare and recognizing where you are NOW. All the ideas above lead me to my next suggestion: go to sleep noticing yourself as a miracle or a hero (I sing in the shower before bed). GO TO BED IN A GOOD MOOD and the chances are, over time, you will sleep better and WAKE UP IN A POSITIVE MOOD is highly likely. I also listen to inspirational talks and play scrabble online. I have FUN.
Also, learn what good sleep hygiene is and use it. Here are the basic guidelines: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/sleep-hygiene
While WiFi is not considered very healthy, I enjoy earbuds in my ears and before sleep I watch a beloved film on my laptop; I learned this trick in an FB Trauma recovery group. Even if its one you watch or listen to over and over. Then as you fall asleep, switch to one of the many deep sleep meditations to listen to overnight. This is one of my favorites:
Frequency healing is becoming widely accepted. Here is a book by a woman I did sound healing with. Eileen Mckusick is on Facebook if you want to contact her or a student. As I find more books, I will post them. Eileen is leading edge. If it intrigues, follow that passion; search YOUTUBE and learn about binaural and other auditory healing methods.
Make it your lifeblood. Let happiness be your intent. Treat yourself to the wonderful app on your phone: Insight Timer: https://insighttimer.com/ It is a really fun app; not only can you search for meditations, relaxations, kid’s meditations and nature sounds, you can see how many, near and far are meditating with you. Play with it; get to love it as I do. There are two specific to PTSD and many for sleep. Let FEELING, SENSING JOY, be your deepest intention. I will post more on meditation in time.
While my method of dealing with PTSD is pretty unique, based on my learning and experience, all of this has become very popular now as the growing field of positive psychology.
BTW, I have tried just about every therapy there is, know leaders in the field of trauma treatment and been trained as a somatic therapist. I have come to believe therapy often re-traumatizes and while looking back and making sense of what occurred, if done in a very special way, can help. In my view, much therapy re-traumatizes. Here is a link to a Psychology Today article with a checklist as to what therapy should and should not be doing for you. Now we also know via meditation studies, brains and health can change quickly.
Reread all the memes from above. I will return soon and suggest supplements to help.
To sum up. 1. Eat clean. 2.Focus on who you are, truly. Imagine yourself well and gifted and FOCUS on that one. I forgot to mention to search Google Images for any of these kinds of images I have posted here; I have them posted all over my walls. 3. Use good bed hygiene. 4. Meditate, meditate, meditate.
Visit my Google Plus Community Rapid DNA Change for many more inspirational posts on feeling good and worthy, out number one interest.
Sweet dreams. We are all Divine, just as we are.
Note: this is being updated in the wake of another school shooting. As we now know the young man was on psychiatric drugs, I dare to say here, that if he had learned some of the things I report, he may not have acted out. Some believe brain chemistry begins to change within 6 weeks of regular mediation and non-GMO food. And of course a lot of love and support. I believe youth will not be living the driven lifestyles of especially their absent fathers. I recently introduced a Native youth to some of this and he was excited to have a way to deal with what he called his “upsets.” He was open to MEDITATION. Social justice and the high cost of all medical care upsets me greatly. Many naturopaths and functional doctors are millionaires now and out of reach for most of us. I was made genetically ill probably by black mold and by the psych drugs I naively accepted psychiatric medications to “deal with” cancer first by a private oncologist, and then by a poor people’s clinic.
I did not respond; we tried more and more and I was getting more depressed and had serious reactions that I eventually researched myself and stopped some.
It was not until I got to our wonderful local hospital with Obamacare on its first day. I was offered a new psychiatrist who I was told uses food. As a highly educated researcher, I said sign me up. Within three sessions, hearing of my declining health, he had me tested for MTHFR, which causes cancer, mental illness, and heart disease. I have the most sensitive form and we have, some say a 70% reduced ability to detox so all the meds and the fillers were literally lethal for me.
My epigenetic list of no Rx is huge. And as a doctor’s daughter, I grew up on antibiotics, some of which are now labeled black box by the FDA, largely through the testimony of the severely disabled as they cause muscle wasting. Some have died and I am privileged to know many in that community that testified.
I easily got off all meds, inherited a little money and was able to hire a genetic nutritionist who also has MTHFR. With a lot of work and dedication, I got in great shape and felt better than I had in the 7 years since cancer. I will always be grateful for my doctor at the Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula. He literally saved my life. They have recently become MONTAGE and as always, appears to be doing great things. It is a privilege to be treated there.
Now genetics has become epigenetics and so I became somewhat of an expert in that and have advised many. We know that STRESS and INFLAMMATION are two of the main causes of disease. This means that much of what we suffer can be handled via lifestyle. I am blessed to have generally the will and now a worldwide community to keep me relatively healthy. And much of natural health is being used in traditional medicine, such as with diabetes. Time Magazine made a cover issue in 2010 about how our DNA is not our destiny. Our quality of life is what matters.
The big news now in epigenetics, which I now call native wisdom, is that more and more are being healed via energy medicine, especially meditation and frequencies. Books are being written and doctors who started as neurologists and biologists are now millionaire meditation teachers. Back to my complaint about the social justice issues in wellness. Everyone could and should have a meditation practice. And this is now all extensively evidence-based.
Here is a paper on DNA changes due to meditation:
I am a long time meditator, over 30 years in many schools, mostly Buddhist and specifically Zen so I feel well able to report here to you. You are welcome to email me for more guidance. I will share several here.
Several months ago in a time of high stress, after I had lost my home and my many meditation cushions were put in storage, I took a risk and invested in the organic Buckwheat Hull Zafu you see above. And I began a trauma workshop thinking I had an illness that needed therapy but a couple of things made me change my mind, I left the trauma group and re-committed to meditation. I made sure I had the Insight Timer app on my phone.
Using the app, I let my intuition lead me to a meditation by Shakti Sutriasa, for prosperity and soon found myself looking up her blog and trying some of her processes. I fell upon a process to try 40 days of mantra, a chanted meditation, and I dove in. At the same time, I found very positive and uplifting meditations of Abraham Hicks, a channeled entity who has over 1k videos, all free, on YouTube and teaches that JOY is our natural inheritance. Only Thich Naht Hahn who I got to spend off-season time in France, told us to only mediate if we can smile.
Many meditation teachers all assume we feel and know our true natural goodness. But especially in the West where severe trauma is rampant, students often absolutely feel no sense of self nor sense of right to live. This is no joke. An old story that made the rounds tells of the Dali Lama being amazed that there might be such a thing as low self-esteem. I decided I would allow myself to move towards life-affirming teachers and I am totally pleased I have. Since my 40 days of mantras, I wrote a book and began this blog after feeling all my life I was not an artist I now feel I am. I feel I have found my calling and that is to inspire. So let’s go.
You can find many videos on YouTube about this phenomenon. I like this one as it speaks to skeptics about it being a method of control. GET THIS CLEARLY: Meditation and the mindfulness that emerges are about self-control and mind training, not religion nor control by others although corrupt teachers have taken advantage of students (and I have true stories I can tell). Enjoy this very well done video, great for naysayers.
There are a great many meditations that quiet the mind through movement. We are all aware of yoga. Whirling is one I have done and it is amazing. It is from the Sufi Tradition of Islam.
I developed my mantra practice based on a combination of several traditions, and doing the mantra 108 times as is traditional in several religions. Lest Christians feel left out here, realize that many Christians practice especially Buddhist meditation, which often includes chanting. Thomas Merton was probably one of the most famous Catholics to explore meditation. It is common to meet nuns at retreats and my last Zen group had an Episcopal minister as a member; we met in his church. I say all this because I am about to post one of my most favorite chants, by Epic Choir. I can find no information on them but they look Christian to me! Enjoy!
As I have mentioned, almost all geneticists are now epigeneticists as it is verifiable that cellular healing and harm impact DNA. When we choose non-gmo, dairy free, folic acid-free, fresh foods, low or no carbohydrate, and meditate to reduce stress we are epigenetically impacting our cells. Two leaders in the field are both MDs of high standing: Bruce Lipton and Joe Dispenza. You can meet with both on FaceBook. Here is a brief Lipton talk:
I cannot end this post without mentioning the practice of sacred dialogue. The author of The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram, told me personally to always speak as if in prayer. Whenever any of nature catches your awe, you are being contacted by the greater field of consciousness in my view. My mentor, John Heron, and his partner Peter Reason developed practices based on a Participatory Paradigm.
I am devoted to John Heron’s process of Co-operative Inquiry. Heron’s Feeling and Personhood: Psychology in Another Key has face to face practices in each chapter. And perhaps the originator of the concept of sacred dialogue is Martin Buber. His I and Thou changed my life and I suggest it is one of the best natural anti-depressants you will find.
I hope that this has demonstrated two things: that healing can occur through meditation and that much of what you have learned here is free or inexpensive.
Namaste and Gassho
(a deep bow to the Spirit in Us)
Aromatherapy seems very popular now and many friends are selling various brands. Here I introduce two aromatherapy/ essential oil sites that I think are best. I have a degree in horticulture and healing and relaxing with herbs and flowers deeply appeals to me at the soul level. Currently, I use bergamot as recommended by the NIH et al in numerous papers, I will let you search and my genetic counselor as it transforms glutamate into the relaxing GABA. According to many research papers I now see it does much more. You might want to do a search using NIH (before 2017) and bergamot. I also use frankincense as it is especially said to be anti-inflammatory. Lastly, I use lavender just because I enjoy it so much and it as very accepted anxiety reducer.
Hopefully, you are already aware that these oils are topical or diffused to be inhaled. I have found little to no evidence that they are safe internally (I have heard of lavender “pills’ but rarely see them now). AND essential oils are VOCs:
“Essential Oils are Volatile Organic Compounds. They not only give off VOCs, they are VOCs. However, VOCs given off by synthetic chemicals accumulate in the body and create inflammation and disease, while the VOCs in essential oils actually break down and clear away synthetic chemicals that are stored in your body and help ease inflammation and disease.” from Nature’s Mold Rx.
Glad to have found this citation as a friend who is extremely sensitive was recently very concerned about this and I had no answer at hand. My intuitive sense is that any natural oil (and quality really matters here) would be non-toxic. Glad my sense is supported.
You can find aromatherapy companies in abundance; many are MLM which bothers me ethically. And I would really want to know the purity of the products. I recently got invited into a CBD oil company (MLM) and when I looked at the various products there was little revealed about ingredients and what I did find, I would not use nor recommend. This is not to say that there are not good ones besides these two; I just find these two extremely ethical. And both offer classes.
http://www.floracopeia.com/ has a gorgeous, highly educational site and all products are wild harvested and organic. And I may return here to consider their skin products for us. Here is a video on their story:
While I certainly urge you to buy from them, and they offer some wonderful resins, here I offer Amazon products, which ship free with Prime and support this site.
From the site, https://draxe.com/, “Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS is a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist with a passion to help people get healthy by using food as medicine.” This means he can be a resource to us on many levels but as he really embraces aromatherapy and gives classes, I would troll around his site. He gives away many free books and I especially like his King’s Medicine Cabinet which he now gives away free when you sign up on this page: https://draxe.com/natural-cold-remedies/
He also keeps up and knows the medicinal qualities of many unusual oils: https://draxe.com/natural-remedies-category/essential-oils/
Axe is also a prolific author. I felt these most beneficial; there are others for you to consider.
Lastly, I recommend some diffusers, including the very sweet little one I began with, has a USB connector so I can use it while working on my computer.
I thoroughly enjoy offering leading edge info and products that are directly from nature, like food as medicine, here is aroma as medicine. I use my oils diffused and in my tub with Epsom salts for a soothing soak before bed. Sweet dreams and to your health!
As many of my friends know, I am a Crone with no youth or children of my own. I have never had a child. Doctors said it would be anatomically difficult and I was very clear that I did not want to pass on my family dysfunction that was well-off but very abusive. Now as I recover my true self and feel free of what I will call the “family and marriage trance” I feel blessed and able to share my great love and concern for youth who are inheriting a pretty challenging mess.
Two books vividly affected me as a young teen and avid seeker even then. The first is Aldous Huxley’s last novel, Island. I urge you to at least read the blurb. It is gloriously Utopian. What has stuck with me so vividly is that the Islanders considered children to belong to all. Whenever there was an issue in their home hut, arguing, sex, whatever, youth were able to simply go to another “family” and be welcomed.
This concept awed me. I had my dear Auntie to go to as a girl but shouldn’t we all be responsible for the well-being of children? In today’s culture, due to much strife and pain, this is often the case and mixed and non-traditional families abound. As a student at the College of Santa Fé, studying At-Risk-Youth, accepted this new normal, which is actually very old. That suited me and my own beliefs fine and later considering grandparenting as an area of doctoral study, I would discover a great amount of very positive research on the wonderful impact of grandparents. To sum up, I have long felt children’s well-being is all our responsibility.
The second book of great impact regarding loving families I read as an adult, was The Kin of Ata are Waiting for You by Dorothy Bryant, (considered a feminist sci-fi genius). A man escapes the cruel world into a very loving community. In fact, so loving that they ritually feed each other. I always saw as sort of a stadium event, in the moonlight, spooning food to each other. This image still gives me chills. Highly recommend this cult classic.
Thirdly, a big influence on my beliefs was going to college ONLINE and Face-to-Face at the Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. I sometimes had arguments with classmates and had to learn how to make up. I experienced my cohort, as civil and kind. This, being raised in violence and constantly challenged, was a big awakening and I will be forever grateful that I am still friends with a few. So, “families” can be kind! These are the values that lead me to share here.
A large part of my healing occurred in a snap, after journaling about my trauma first in a group with a well-known trauma coach who has over 300 YouTube videos and many are on the Insight Timer app I recommended earlier. I did not stick with the group due to other writing demands I had; she was kind and refunded my money. She did several things that were uplifting for me and best of all, I realized I know much more than she did and had studied formally. And I discovered the work of Abraham Hicks and reacquainted myself with quantum concepts, especially that we are all stardust originally and I believe we come to learn.
I finally got it that we are born perfect, and if quantum physics is right, we are made of stardust. Secondly, through the coach’s use of Erikson’s Stages of Development (which feminists like me have issues with; it is built for a capitalist patriarchal world) and made a comparison to my life, via lots of journal writing, I finally really felt pride in myself and especially in my childhood dreams that are still very alive and well. For the first time, I felt myself beyond my family’s warped concepts of me.
Please embrace this basic concept of perfection for yourself and all of us, especially in your interactions with children and youth. They come unblemished and faults are false; we are all faultless for the problems visited upon us. I am now at the point where I truly forgive.
This all was greatly enhanced by discovering the work of Abraham Hicks, who has over 1k YouTube videos by these “channeled” entities. And you may especially be touched by their take on childhood abuse. While the method may be a little strange to you, the psychology is spot on. Very liberating, forgiving and loving. Here is a video on parenting:
Esther and Jerry Hicks have several books for children, based on the adventures of Sara. Here is a link to a three book set of Sara stories. Please consider following many spiritual and psychology models and treat your kids as precious and very capable. My own book, called Who’s in Charge of My Life? has a ton of resources for you towards helping young people recognize their true value, just as they are.)
This is where I do my usual rant. NO GMOs; they are truly toxic; be as organic as possible even if you have SNAP. Eat whole unprocessed foods as a family. This is true nutrition and education as our bodies and our relations as worthy of care. If you are up to it, make your own homemade baby food. Amazon has tons of tools and books but I would be cautious about what the materials compose the kits. Are they non-toxic? READ THE REVIEWS. This looked like a great book: The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet. If you want to learn and perhaps buy pre-made, research Amazon. Here are the results of my search on non-gmo baby foods. NOTE: I had a long discussion with a very aware friend. Organic food can still be exposed to GMOs…thus we chose that search term. I am still considering if one is better than another. MOST OF ALL READ LABELS AND REVIEWS.
Do I really need to tell you this??? Let the kids lead you; make it research into fun. There are some great apps that get you outside, exploring like geocaching. I think I will let you look those up, preferably together. And of course all the usual fun things. I was jubilant when I learned to catch a fish! And later to golf. If you don’t know how to play “gamefully”, with allies, your kids do. You can bone-up reading Jane McGonigal’s Super Better and watching any of her many TED talks. Super Better is her doctoral dissertation and full are very good research. When kids play video games in the same room, they become more friendly and more socially able. Jane cured her own injury/depression treating it gamefully. She is one of my longtime heroes. Living gamefully is a life philosophy that can heal.
Jane has many TED talks. Here is one on healing trauma gamefully:
I would recommend Thich Naht Hanh, a Buddhist teacher I spent much time with and his meditations for children are on Insight Meditation app and YouTube and you can buy his books. Thich Nhat Hahn in one of his books teaches a way to develop a non-punishing time out, by allowing a child time alone in a special space with an altar and favorite objects. Mindfulness develops self-awareness; something I hope you understand as crucial to becoming a worthy adult. I just updated my own post on meditation here in light of the recent shootings and the use of psychiatric drugs on youth. Meditation on Living Co-creatively.
Lastly, there is a wonderful new author, on the lost father. I just can’t find it at this moment.
May your parenting and be caring, joy-filled and mutually beneficial. I feel I am right: the youth do belong to us all. As Sly Stone sang, “We are all Family.”
In this post I hope to share some of my sleep “experiments” and what has helped. First understand, I know my genetic base well and while I feel this is changing especially as I grow into more self esteem and a sense of safety, using especially meditation, I still generally take my nigh time supplements. Genetically, I am labeled as not a good sleeper. Epigentically, as I heal myself, my sleep is much better. Some nights I forget to drink my sleep brew!
Always, always, buy SINGLE ELEMENT supplements, never “proprietary blends” that may contain herbs or vitamins you do not want. (There is a rage for “stacking” now and this can create great, useful combos, but only buy from really clean sellers.)
Buy organic and non-gmo if possible. Amazon is very good with this, though they do not carry all I use. When you search a supplement, always put “organic” of non-gmo in with your search terms.
ALWAYS read the ingredients. Not listed? Do not buy. Best brands will emphasize how “clean” and approved by various organizations their products are. This also means generally, they have NO EXCIPIENTs, which refers to item one. Excipients are fillers like stearates and others. I stay away from those unless I have no choice.
Look for the best price and be sure to see if shipping is included. Supplementation (often called “biohacking” now) is expensive but there are some tricks to get the price down. I will Share those next. Of course, using Amazon Prime is one of the easiest ways if you can afford and often they run specials on Prime. Right now they have 30 day free deal. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. Prime shipping is free, two day.
Use free discount searching apps. My favorite is Honey. You can find it online and in your systems app shop, free. It works great on many many sites and when you put something in your cart, it searches to make sure you have the lowest price. Amazon often has items from other vendors, and Honey. changes it out in your cart.
An app I am not fond of is Wikibuys but you may like it. The problem with Wikibuys is there are no reruns and no customer service; their price are often great so if it is a product you know you like, try it.
Lastly I like Coupons at Check Out but it is not as good as Honey. I see this whole supplement thing as full of social justice issues. Manufacturers and practitioners should have low income programs, just as drug companies do. Big Alt Medicine has arrived. And it is not cheap.
Remember: ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT USING ALL CLEAN NATURAL PRODUCTS IS THAT THEY ONLY EFFECT YOUR BODY FOR 4-6 HOURS. With NO excipients to make them long lasting, you are safe to try. Start with a small bottle.
At night I take in a tall glass of water: 2 scoops lysine by Nutra Bio
Lysine assists in many ways; you can read the specs. I take it with Source Naturals Co-enzymated b6 (aka p5p) 25 mg. and is involved in many functions, especially nervous system. It is put under your tongue, to melt. I also use Source Naturals Co-enzymated b2. B2 is also under the tongue and has many functions including reducing blood pressure.
With this in my water, I take the queen of anxiety/insomnia supplements, totally approved by the NIH at very high doses, as in grams of powder, for ANXIETY (you can search that.). Bestselling psychiatrist, Kelly Brogan, recommends it for many mental conditions. I see doses of 6 grams to 12. I think I have seen as high as 18 grams. I currently take
All of the above, especially lysine and b6, are due to my very serious anxiety from trauma and genetics of high glutamate, which is a excitatory neurotransmitter. (BTW, if you get gitters taking any of the many protein powders, especially whey, realize they all, even pea, contain glutamine which raises glutamate. (For those that can, L glutamine, (L is natural form, D is synthetic) may do great things. I cannot go near them. All I have suggested are general ANXIETY REDUCERS and insomnia supplements.
If you wake up hot, you may be having an allergic reaction to something environmental. You may not recognize this as sleep disturbance. Generally this involves the DAO gene, although sensitivities are much more complex. You can take a DAO enzyme but I think you will find the best from Seeking Health very expensive. While Seeking Health supplements are truly great, they are expensive. I happen to stumble on Benadryl as impacting DAO so that is what I use. Clear not dyed, if possible. And, be aware 50 mg. (2) is all the body can absorb and you may find them great insomnia supplements.. A wonderful site, Self Hacked has more than you ever want to know about histamine intolerance. So if you tend to over heat, I would read Self Hacked and research more, but this disturbs my sleep depending on my diet.
Magnesium threonate is a new form of magnesium recommended for day or night and said to still the mind. I am addicted to it as I tend to obsessive thoughts and worries at night though this is lessening as I make sure to go to sleep with positive thoughts. While I think this is a great product I had one friend have very negative reaction and others say it does nothing. Start out small. The normal does is 144 mg. x 3. I take 6 now. As it is expensive I will link you to pages of them and you can choose, just choose clean and read Amazon reviews. Amazon also sells multi packs that may save money.
Some will ask of many other products that work work for them but they do not work for me like GABA or serotonin. My best advice is try small amounts, use mostly single elements so you can recognize what works. I take a great probiotic, Prescript assist, and I mix up my probiotics and I have been tested, I have tons of GABA and serotonin in my body but I don’t convert them. According to one Doctor, whose book on brain issues is a bible, if you get ANY effect form taking GABA you may have leaky brain barrier and that is not something you want. So I suggest you try some of my suggestions and skip GABA. Serotonin is easily added via L. reuteri in a probiotic.
I invite your questions and challenges on any I have posted. As I say, these are things that work for me. We are each unique. Start low and go slow, we say in one of genetic forums I participate in, Phoenix Rising, a great brilliant resource for much more than they say in their label. Sign up for free, introduce yourself in the forums, seniors may help and then use the search for almost anything health related. Truly brilliant.
Sweet dreams all. Contact me with questions, np@living-co-creatively.