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The Power Of Myth

The Power Of Myth

While giving a Shamanic Workshop I was reminded of a charming story about a guy who questioned a shaman about the aliveness of trees and plants. “That sounds like a pretty weird idea,” he said to the shaman, “How can you say these things are alive? If rocks and trees are alive then tell me what do the rocks think of the trees?” The shaman paused and looked out across the cliffs at the sea for a few moments, letting the question sink in. Then he turned back and began to speak. “To tell you the truth, I don’t think they worry much about them. After all the rock people know that the tree people are just passing through.” EXPAND YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS It was—and still is —the shamans who worked magic, the shamans who journey into numinous realms and bring back descriptions of reality that the rest of us miss. It was the shamans who returned from their travels to weave a mythology that inspired the tribe, one that made it possible for its members to make sense of their lives and their dreams, their aspirations and their suffering. Later the ‘shamans’ became ‘prophets’, and ‘seers’ but the sacred technology used to work their magic remained the same. As Joseph Campbell says in volume I of his Historical Atlas of World Mythologies, “It has always been the business of the great seer, known in India as ‘rishis,’ in biblical terms as ‘prophets,’ to primitive folk as ‘shamans,’ and in our own day as ‘poets’ and ‘artists’, to perform the work of the first and second functions of a mythology by recognising through the veil of nature, as viewed in the science of their times, the radiance, terrible yet gentle, of the dark, unspeakable light beyond, and through their words and images to reveal the sense of the vast silence that is the ground of us all and of all beings.” WHAT IS MYTHOLOGY In our own time the word ‘myth’ has been corrupted. You read the word in tabloid newspapers or hear it on television used in a totally different way to its real meaning. We hear a spokesman from some government when asked if he can confirm the story that his country will soon be testing a nuclear device respond by insisting, “Nonsense. That is nothing more than a myth perpetrated by our enemies.” The word myth in its true meaning does not mean something false. A myth is a story which has emerged out of encounters in numinous realms of expanded consciousness and which carries the unmistakable fragrance of what is true in the widest sense. It is a tale that resonates at the level of our soul, one which cannot be reduced to meaning by analytical probing, and one which, in the hearing, transports us to a place of knowing within ourselves that is undeniable. A culture’s cohesiveness is constructed around its myths. Our myths form the very foundations of our world views, values and sense of meaning - or the lack of it. If a culture’s mythology does not nourish its people, bring them joy and meaning, then it becomes destructive. Campbell, who was the greatest mythologist of the 20th century – probably of all time - describes the first two functions of mythology: The first is to awaken and maintain in an individual a sense of wonder and participation in the great mystery—mysterium tremendum et fascinans—which sits at the very ground of our being. The second is to create a cosmology for a people replete with mystical import that is directly related to the environment within which a people live so that a people’s lives have a sense of purpose and meaning. From the earliest of times the shaman has been the instrument by which mythologies, cosmologies and religions have been brought into being. This is because he knows how to travel beyond the limited realms of time and space and move at will between ordinary reality and quantum realms. AWAKEN YOUR GIANT The consciousness matrix embedded within us - the means by which such wisdom and healing and power has been accessed since the beginnings of human history remains intact. A gift once given human kind, it has never been revoked. In most of us it sleeps like a great giant beneath the earth just waiting to be called. In some it has already stirred as we explore the powers of healing and self-help through active imagination, meditation, yoga or prayer in our search for truth and beauty, joy and freedom. Now of course we no longer live in tribal cultures. The borders between peoples, between countries and between ritual practices have become blurred, and broken down. In some cases they have been obliterated altogether. Where our ancestors gathered around the fire of an evening to be dazzled by the mythic tales of the shaman and sink into the safety of a shared cosmology that brought meaning, television has become the ‘hearth’ around which we now sit. Our children are raised on the mythology of advertisers. They tell their tales with great skill and persuasion. Yet their stories, instead of nourishing us from numinous realms and empowering our lives, undermine our power and encourage us instead to place it in the hands of the commercial world that would have us believe that the only way we can be free is to consume what they are selling us. RECOVER YOUR POWER Yes we live in different times. Yes we have different challenges. Our concerns are no longer those of locating an animal on the hunt or performing rituals that honour the gods and goddesses asking them to protect our people through winter. Today’s challenges are far greater. How for instance do we move forward as a global community faced with progressive extinction of animals and plant species on a massive scale. How do we live in a world burdened by massive debts? How do we recover our own power and experience our own freedom when the very political and economic systems we have created are structured in a way that makes us feel powerless? And finally how do we come face to face with earthshaking discoveries and dramatic shifts in worldview taking place as a result of findings filtering down from physics, astronomy, biology and consciousness research? These discoveries are not only wiping out our trust in every religious, moral and political philosophy we once clung to, they are quite literally turning our sense of reality upside down while providing us with nothing new in which to trust. LEAP TO AUTONOMY For me the answer is simple. Yet it has only come from over 25 years spent searching, experimenting, learning, yearning, suffering and discovering: It is no longer appropriate for us to rely on outside ‘experts’ whether they be doctors, priests or politicians. We can listen to their words of course. But we can no longer follow them blindly as human beings have so often done in the past, fearful that if we did not behave like good children some misfortune might befall us. It is time we embraced our journey into individual maturity by learning to activate our own consciousness matrix. Doing so enables us to expand our limited three dimensional, five sensory minds into those of the multi-dimensional beings that we are meant to be. It is time we made the leap - each one of us - into our own power and our own freedom, to learn to build powerful bridges between the truth of our own soul and the expression of our personality. It is time we expanded our vision, helped to heal the wounds in ourselves, in others and our planet, that each of us explored the simple yet profound practices once known only by the great artists, scientists, and shamans and use them to become everything that each of us is destined to be. In the process, I believe, we will recover our power, experience our freedom and gain access to healing wisdom and vision of the highest order. Then, and only then will we be prepared together to meet the challenges that face us and take part in the communal process of reshaping our global future. FIND YOUR TRUTH It’s just that so far not many of us have discovered this. Ancient shamanic skills are surfacing in new forms. They are no longer the province of a few gifted people. They belong to us all. So let us pay respects to tribal cultures from the Inuit of the Arctic and Tamang of Nepal to the Sumatran Kubu and Native Americans giving thanks to them for having preserved living shamanic skills. Then let us then turn these skills - which belong not just to tribal groups but to all people – into power for life. We stand poised at a moment of death and rebirth. These are challenging times worldwide, of terrible suffering, corruption and pain. These are also times of personal transformation of the highest level during which we can choose, if we will, to expand our consciousness exponentially, discard self-recrimination and false notions and discover who each of us really is at the deepest level of our being. It is high time we restored the power of mythology in our lives, demystified the realm of shamanism and made use of its marvellous techniques to help us move forward into a new way of living and being. BEGIN HERE How do you start? Try this: Get yourself a notebook and write these questions then record whatever comes to you without stopping to think much. Just let whatever comes flow onto the page: By what mythology have I been living my life? Has it been my own myth or something I’ve learned from others about how I’m supposed to live? If so, what is my own mythology? Do get back to me about what you discover. I am keen to hear from you.

Uncovering The Magnificent Self Part 1

Uncovering The Magnificent Self Part 1

The response to my recent blog “Your Magnificent Self” was enormous. This week’s is PART ONE of my reply to your having asked for more...PART TWO comes next week... Each one of us is ceaselessly involved in creating the quality of our own life. We do this through image-making—a universal characteristic of the human mind which even precedes thinking in the brain. We see, worry, put together ideas, dream, speak, and wonder, all through images. In fact, we experience a continuous flow of mental pictures, both conscious and unconscious, every moment of our life. This capacity to visualize—to 'image'—is one of the miracles of that comes with being human. Thanks to it, we are able to organize our reality, communicate with each other, and make sense of the limits of time and space around which our lives can be organized. THE MAGIC OF IMAGING Images have tremendous potency. When used wisely, your personal images are easy to direct for your own good. They are too often used against you when you are not conscious of them, or when you remain unaware of the amazing powers of choice you were gifted with from the moment you were born. Despite Freud’s assertions to the contrary, we human beings are most certainly not, as he believed, a collection of repressed destructive urges, only restrained by learned moral constructs from destroying ourselves and others. In truth, each of us is autonomous. And, like all beings in the universe, each of us has freedom of choice. CORE FRUSTRATIONS The destructive tendencies we all carry are most often the result of frustrations in the expression of one’s essential being—your unique and magnificent core self. Moving toward happiness and freedom from frustration, as well as freedom from the negative thought patterns and the destructive behavior they engender, develop as we learn to trust our innate self-actualizing tendency. This comes with finding out what we most desire at the deepest levels of our being—when we begin to discover the unique truths that lie within us and live out our day-to-day lives guided by them. In too many of us, self-actualizing tendencies remain undeveloped. Until we become committed to discovering them within and calling them forth, we tend to regress into fear, frustration, and confusion. When we decide to discover them inside us, we start to become stronger, in every way... physically, emotionally and spiritually. Life becomes a process of deep, often rapid growth. Potentials we did not know we had surface then start to blossom into creative projects. A whole new view of our life and self-worth is issued in. Life becomes simpler and happier even if, as is often the case, the world all around us seems to be rapidly crumbling or completely insane. RADIANT AND UNIQUE A fully functioning human being is radiant—more alive than most. He or she is someone who has access to mental and physical powers and is able to use them wisely. As such, these people carry their own unconventional view of things but they are, at the same time, spontaneously more accepting of themselves and of others. Their sense of satisfaction comes from inside, not from the 'carrots' offered through advertisements and self-proclaimed New Age gurus who are now riddling the world with “systems” purporting to bring step by step enlightenment, if only we follow to the letter what they are teaching. Such sheep-like behavior is becoming endemic because there is so much suffering and fear in the world. It is time for each man and woman to connect with their unique authentic being, and come to live life from there. Perhaps the most important question to ask then, if full functioning or self-actualization is so beneficial both physically and mentally, is: how do you go about strengthening your natural tendencies towards it? There are several ways to begin. Here are some simple tools to start with. FIRST STEPS First, entertain the possibility that your essential being—your core self—exists. You are someone quite individual, quite different from everyone else in the world. To those who have not yet experienced this awareness, it can seem a bit strange at first. Others will find it is something they have known all along without ever putting it into words. Still others will immediately accept the notion as self-evident. WHAT YOU BELIEVE Take a look at the ideas, behavior patterns, or assumptions about yourself and your life—in effect, your belief systems. So often, collections of notions which are largely unconscious can be major blocks to your free expression. They come in many forms. They can be ideas you hold about yourself such as ‘I am physically weak', or 'I can't wear my hair back because my nose is too big', or 'I will never be successful...”a good person”...someone of genuine value', or 'I am too old to change'. Some belief systems are even more deeply embedded things like 'I can never do anything right', or 'I am only a woman'. When you become aware of these notions and the power they hold over you, then write them down, you will discover that many are little more than habitual assumptions with no basis in fact. Then you will gradually find them falling away, so that you are free to be whatever you want to be. LIVE THE MOMENT Whatever you are doing, try letting yourself experience it fully. Get really involved in an event, action, or project in the way a child would—wholeheartedly. Whether you are peeling potatoes, enjoying music, scrubbing floors, planning work, making love, or eating, let yourself be absorbed in the task, forgetting everything else for the moment. While we live in the moment and surrender ourselves to it, we can discover a whole new way of relating to life. There is a real delight in this kind of involvement. It silences the usually worried thoughts and concerns that sap your energy and make every event less interesting than it should be. This ability of complete involvement is also a key to enormous vitality. At such times, little of you is wasted on anxiety about the past or future, or meaningless and unproductive worry about yourself and others. WRITE IT DOWN Another way to develop this awareness is through meditation or deep relaxation. When you are relaxed yet alert, non-productive thought patterns and habits loosen their hold, as do common interfering emotions such as anxiety and fear, so you are better able to hear your inner voice. Listen to it. Let it be your guide in matters of taste and in decisions you have to make. Most of us listen not to ourselves, but to Mummy or Daddy's interjected voice or the voice of the Establishment, of the Elders, of authority or of tradition. Begin to explore how you feel about something or what you really want. Then record it. Keep a simple little journal with you at all times. Leave it on the nightstand when you go to bed with a pen or pencil to record whatever imagery comes to you when you walk, relax, meditate or dream. This is a delightful and easy way to begin the process. I suggest that you keep this simple notebook with you wherever you go as artists and writers do. You never know when desires, visions, questions and insights are going to make an appearance. As they do, record them in words or drawings. My suggestion is that, if at all possible, keep your journal to yourself and don’t let others see it. This provides greater freedom for the powerful imaginal world within you to reveal itself to you in marvelous and unique ways. PATH TO FREEDOM STARTS HERE The more we can become aware of what we think, feel, want and don’t want—in short, of our own quite unique values, the better our health becomes and the greater we experience absence of pain, discomfort, anxiety, tension, insomnia, nightmares, indigestion, constipation; lack of fear, longevity, and pleasure, in coming to live more and more as a fully functioning human being. This experience is not so much a state as a process which leads to the discovery of your own identity, nature, and creativity, as well as your own unique brand of joy and freedom. More to come next week... Every blessing... Leslie

Confront Yourself

Confront Yourself

To make the most of your potential you have to truly own your body. This means realizing that your entire body, from the roots of your hair to the tips of your toes, is the embodiment of your Self. Sadly most of us dissociate from our body. We imagine ourselves as a mind somewhere in our heads which is responsible for the rest of us from the neck down. This dissociation encourages us to treat our bodies with contempt: we eat the wrong foods, drink too much, and continually drive ourselves beyond the state of fatigue. Then, when we suffer from pains or get sick we wonder foolishly why fate seems to have it in for us. Sound familiar? Rather than treat your body like a machine which seems to break down for no apparent reason, you need to begin listening to what it tells you. Very often, we can prevent illness or heal ourselves by taking the trouble to tune into our bodies. By increasing your awareness and sensitivity throughout your body, you can not only avoid many health and beauty hazards, you can also learn to apply all of yourself to whatever you are doing and so function at a much more efficient level in everything you do. Total involvement can bring with it great joy and a sense of energy. "Lord, Help me to accept the things I cannot change. Give me the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference." It is important to begin by accepting your own form. All of us have things which we dislike about our bodies. It may be the size of your bust or your hips/waist/thighs, the shape of your nose or chin, your teeth, hair, etc. We waste far too much time and energy worrying about the parts of ourselves that we dislike, instead of focusing on the positive things and putting our energy into the task at hand. Try the following exercise to put your dislikes into perspective. confront the mirror Stand in front of a full-length mirror naked and use a hand mirror to take a really good look at yourself from all angles. Make a list of all the things you dislike about yourself. Be thorough and write down everything you see which you dislike. Now take a pen and give each item a code. If it is something that cannot be changed, for example your height, mark it with a "I" for impossible. If it is something that would require professional help to fix such as chipped or gappy teeth, bust size, disfiguring scars, etc. mark it with a "P." If it something that you know can be changed such as your haircut, muscle tone, weight, excess body hair etc., mark it with a "C." I - impossible to change P - professional assistance c - possible to change for instance... some sample dislikes might be: BUST TOO SMALL I/P I wouldn't want to go through implantation surgery. Perhaps if I slim a bit I'll lose some weight from my hips and my bust won't look so small by comparison. HIPS TOO BIG C I really would like to do something once and for all about my weight problem so that I can wear more attractive clothes and feel like less of a moose. DOUBLE CHIN C/P A face lift would be too expensive. I'll look into exercises to tone my chin and neck muscles. THIN HAIR - CUT DOESN'T SUIT ME C It's definitely time to change this haircut. I think perhaps I'll try a better hairdresser, even if it is more expensive. Hopefully a good professional will be able to tell me what style would suit me best. DARK CIRCLES UNDER EYES I/C I'm not sure if I can get rid of them. Perhaps a detoxification diet for a few days would help? ONE EAR HIGHER THAN THE OTHER I I think I'm stuck with this one. SPLITTING NAILS C I would really love to have long strong nails. I'll promise myself to manicure them regularly and take some vitamin and mineral supplements to strengthen them. CELLULITE ON THIGHS I/P/C? I'm not sure how to get rid of it, but I can't accept it so I'll do what I can. EXCESS HAIR ON MY THIGHS P For the moment I don't really care, but perhaps I'll get my legs waxed before I go on holiday. First, look at the C's. Decide whether you really care enough about the thing to change it. If you do, underline it, and make a mental decision to take action on it. If you don't care enough to do something about it, then it's not worth worrying about any more, so cross it off your list. Now look at the P's and decide whether they are really a possibility - could you afford the expense of professional help? Is the problem really that important to you? Again, either decide to do something about it and begin by making inquiries, or choose to accept it and cross it off your list. Finally, count the number of "impossible" dislikes you are left with. Take another look at yourself in the mirror and this time, beside the first list, make a second list of all the things you do like about yourself. Go on writing things down until your list of likes is at least as long as your list of impossible dislikes. If you run out of things you like then write down the things about yourself which you don't mind. some sample likes might be: EYES People have told me they're nice HANDS I quite like my hands HAIR I like the natural color of my hair LEGS I suppose my legs aren't too bad, although I could lose some weight from my thighs. Make a decision to begin to appreciate and accentuate your positive features and not dwell on your dislikes. The more you focus on your good points, the less you'll notice or even care about your dislikes.

Outer Enemies

Outer Enemies

Our world is full of energy thieves. Excessive noise, environmental poisons in our air, water, food, chemicals we come in contact with to which (often unbeknownst to us) we may be sensitive or allergic, eating junk foods, even changes in the weather. All these things can drain us of energy. A well functioning immune system is dependent on your body’s ability to clear itself of the destructive chemicals we encounter every day in the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink - even from the plastics we store or microwave our foods in. Here are just a few of the energy-stealing environmental hazards the body has to clear, if you are to sustain high levels of energy and to resist illness and premature aging: antibiotics cleaning solvents cadmium and lead in cigarette smoke mercury from fillings in teeth aluminium from anti-perspirants, pots and pans and antacids lead solder from canned foods oestrogens from oral contraceptives and HRT anabolic steroids non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug contaminated foods solvents like formaldehyde, acetone and toluene pesticides and herbicides: DDT, DDB, dioxins, halogenates like PCB and PCP which act as oestrogen mimics and screw up our reproductive systems A major issue in energy-making is to keep your body clean - inside and out. This way you help protect yourself from the damage which toxic substances in our environment can cause. To guard itself, your body stores much of the damaging waste it picks up in your tissues - particularly in fat cells. Any kind of stored waste or toxicity suppresses vitality and immunity. heavy work for your liver The organ at the center of clearing the body of environmental pollutants is the liver. When your liver is working well and is not overburdened with potentially destructive elements, your body remains clean, your immune system is free to function well, and your energy levels can soar. When the liver is not working well, neither is the immune system. The liver, which manufactures important biochemical factors the immune system needs, helps produce lymph, and plays an important part in clearing the blood of cellular rubbish, yeast, bacteria, and other negative micro organisms. Good liver function is central to an experience of high energy. Damage to the liver and poor liver function is invariably present when someone has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Epstein Barr Virus, as it is when there is an overgrowth of Candida albicans. When your liver is poorly functioning all sorts of problems show up - many of them symptoms for which the average doctor has no explanation and no safe effective treatment for: depression, confusion, constant fatigue, numbness in hands and feet, headaches, aches and pains, sweating, and impaired function of the nervous system. Any good practitioner of natural medicine will tell you: at the core of every person with chronic low energy is an over-taxed, under-functioning liver. Experts often refer to it as a sluggish liver or a congested liver. Unfortunately a sluggish or congested liver can be tough to identify using standard medical tests, which examine serum bilirubin and other things like GGTP, LDH and AST. Often physical damage to the liver has occurred before poor functioning of the liver shows up in these tests. Nutritionally orientated doctors prefer therefore to measure serum bile and to establish how quickly your liver clears a specific substance in order to determine how well your liver really is working, long before serious damage has taken place. If you are chronically tired, with or without such tests you can be pretty sure you need to take steps to protect your body from pollutants as much as possible and give your liver some extra support to do its job well. Here’s how: environmental protection & liver support If you use paints or solvents always wear a mask If you smoke, stop; if others around you do stay away from them. Always chose biodegradable cleaning products and forget the chlorine bleaches. Avoid as many environmental pollutants as possible. Don’t cook foods in plastic containers in a microwave. Explore having the amalgam fillings in your mouth replaced with safer alternatives. Stay away from all drugs - prescription and otherwise - unless they are absolutely necessary. Exercise moderately but regularly - long walks are a great way to energize liver functions. Grow your own foods in the garden organically and go on a 2 day fresh juice fast or fruit fast, or a 10 day high raw regime every three months. look after your liver For lasting energy, this is a must. Without a top notch liver it will always elude you. How do you get your liver to function well? Follow the guidelines above. Also, avoid drinking alcohol so long as your energies are depleted or unstable. Even once your energy has been restored, it is a good idea to be careful about how much alcohol you consume. It is better to take alcohol in small quantities only and periodically rather than every day. If you really value a high energy way of life you might consider replacing it altogether with other things you enjoy - like dancing for instance, or laughing, or making love. When you do drink alcohol, support your liver using the special liver helpers listed below. They can also be useful in improving sluggish liver function while energy levels are still low. natural liver support Take anti-oxidant nutrients: a good multi-vitamin supplement taken for several weeks or months can help the liver more easily handle the elimination of toxicity and heavy metals. Try milk thistle: this plant (Silybum marianum) is rich in bioflavinoid compounds with powerful protective and anti-oxidant properties - many times more powerful than Vitamin C and Vitamin E. A supplement of clean milk thistle enhances detoxification, increases the liver's capacity to neutralize and detoxify harmful chemicals and heavy metals and protect the body’s natural anti-oxidant enzymes from damage. Nutritionally orientated doctors recommend between 80-200 mg of milk thistle three times a day. Use lipotrophic agents: compounds such as choline, betaine, l-methionine, and l-cysteine are known as lipotrophic agents - that is they help promote the flow of bile and the breakdown of fats in the body. Lipotrophics increase the levels of a couple of important liver elements - S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and glutathione - a super detoxifier and protector from free radical damage. They are used to treat lots of liver disorders - from cirrhosis and chemically caused liver damage, to hepatitis - naturally. Exercise regularly: moving the body gets a good flow of blood through the liver and activates its functioning. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it will make an enormous difference to how your body functions. under the weather Next time you feel out of sorts and somebody suggests it might be the weather, don't scoff. Weather changes can also steal our energy. Age old beliefs that "ill winds" bring sickness, odd behavior and general misery have been well supported by studies from all over the world correlating the presence of a high level of positively charged ions in the air, or an absence of negatively charged ions, with such phenomena as increased suicide rates, crimes and various illnesses including migraine, rheumatism, and nausea. This can be the result of ill winds blowing such as the Foehn in the Alps, the Sharav in the Middle East or the Chinook in America's Rocky Mountains. Our modern concrete office buildings, furnished with synthetic materials and artificial air-conditioning, also lack negatively charged air ions. If you work in such an environment, speak to your boss about how much he can decrease absenteeism amongst his employees by installing air purifiers and ionizers. light up for energy Light matters for energy too. When you don’t get enough full-spectrum UV light entering the eyes in winter or when you are constantly indoors, some people experience big drops in levels of melatonin - an important brain hormone which regulates our body clocks and influences our moods. This can lead to a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Your energy seems to drain away and you get depressed, or suffer disturbances in sleep and appetite. The remedy? Try exposing yourself to plenty of full spectrum light artificially, if it is too gloomy to get under the real sun. Next time you replace a lighting fixture in your home or buy a desk lamp, go for one which uses full spectrum tubes. If you suffer greatly from light deprivation consider buying a full-spectrum light box. Studies have shown that exposing SAD sufferers to full spectrum light by having them sit in front of a light box for several hours a day lifted the spirits of 60 to 80% of the people tested. heavy metals and hard work There are other environmental energy thieves to be wary of, such as heavy metals like lead, aluminum, and mercury from amalgam fillings. Office pollution, too, can be a real problem, and a hard one to solve sometimes unless you can make your employer aware of how employee performance can be greatly improved by providing a clean work environment. Here is a brief guide to the environmentally-based energy thieves. ENERGY DRAINERS WHERE FOUND/SYMPTOMS HELPFUL HINTS Electromagnetic pollution Caused by static from electrical appliances, computer screens, TV, radio and mobile phones, microwave ovens, electrical dial-face clocks. Symptoms include mental and emotional confusion and hormonal imbalance Don’t sleep under an electric blanket. Unplug the TV in the room in which you sleep. Sit at least 3 feet away from a computer screenand 6 feet from your TV. Give away your microwave oven. Heavy metal pollution: ie from lead, aluminum, mercury, cadmium Cooking with aluminum pots, drinking orange juice packaged in aluminum lined boxes, using certain antiperspirants. Mercury from tinned tuna and amalgam dental fillings. Cadmium from instant/non-organic coffee and other crops grown on contaminated soils. Heavy metals interfere with energy producing enzymes in the body leading to fatigue as well as mental and physical disorders Replace aluminum cooking pots/kettles. Drink spring water such as Volvic. Use sea algae supplements and add seaweed to soups and salads to chelate and eliminate the metals. Eat apples (pectin helps bind and remove heavy metals from the body). Weather Unusual winds and shifting barometric pressure cause depletion in negative ions resulting in depression, fatigue, irritable behavior. Lack of adequate UV light, such as during the winter, causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Use an ionizer in the room in which you work and by your bed at night. Consider full-spectrum lighting. Office Pollution Concrete buildings, plastic furniture, and synthetic decor deplete negative ions. Stale air recycled through conditioning and heating systems contains bacteria which challenge the immune system.  Fluorescent lighting disturbs the nervous system, photocopier and printer chemicals cause allergic reactions. General office pollution symptoms: fatigue, headaches, irritated eyes, skin rashes. Use ionizers and replace fluorescent strip lights with full spectrum ones. Keep photocopiers and printers in a room separate from the one in which you work. Take a break from your computer screen for a few minutes every hour. Use radiation control screens.

Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic Drainage

None of the body’s systems of elimination is less generally recognized or more important than your lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is not only a major route for the absorption of nutrients and an important carrier of immune cells, it is also your body’s metabolic waste-disposal system. So essential are the waste-eliminating functions of the lymphatic system that without them you would die within 24 hours. Your lymphatics are a highly organized and elaborate system of ducts and channels which flow all over your body. The opalescent liquid carries wastes and toxic products from these minute channels into larger lymphatic vessels, and on through the lymph nodes, which are located in the groin and under the arm and the neck. After being purified by the lymph nodes, the fluid is returned to the blood. In this way the lymphatic system works ceaselessly to clear toxicity. In many ways the lymph system resembles the blood system. Except in one major respect. Whereas the blood system is powered by the action of the heart, the lymphatic system has no such prime mover. Instead it is almost entirely dependent upon gravity and the natural pressure of muscles when you move your body. These muscle contractions and body movements keep the lymph flowing. For good lymphatic functioning – to keep your body free of the build up of wastes and toxicity – you need to move your muscles vigorously and often. That is why regular brisk exercise, such as taking long walks, is so important not only to firm your muscles and strengthen your heart and lungs, but also to encourage the steady and effective elimination of wastes from your cells and tissues. If you tend to be sedentary and live on the average Western fare high in fat, protein and processed foods, your lymph system will tend to function poorly and permit the build up of toxic waste products. This can result in so many problems for good looks that it would be difficult to list them all – water retention, stiff muscles and joints, cellulite, premature aging, poor skin tone, even degenerative illness. lymphatic help A particularly pleasant way of helping lymphatic drainage during a two-day apple fast is to lie with your feet higher than your head for a few minutes a couple of times each day. Raise the bottom of your bed a foot off the floor or lie in a hammock with your feet high for a few minutes a couple of times a day. Lying with your feet higher than your head reverses the flow of lymph temporarily, and helps improve lymphatic drainage.

Nature's Child Salads

Nature's Child Salads

Kids are meant to hate salads. In my experience what most, very young, children hate is not salads but the textures to some salads, because they are not cut or shredded finely enough. I don't blame them. I don't like salads either unless there is real aesthetic variety to the vegetables in their color, the way they are cut and arranged or mixed on a plate. I started my children on what my youngest calls `Spiderman Salad'. He came up with that name one day when I was explaining to him that if you wanted to be strong like Spiderman you needed to eat lots of raw vegetables. These first salads are more like vegetable pates. You can chop or puree them (depending on the age of the child) in a food processor or with a handheld blender. The secret is in the `binding' such as avocado or ground cashews or pureed hard boiled eggs which makes them stick together. The great thing about these `Spidermans' is that they are highly concentrated once they have been chopped or pureed. A dessertspoonful at a meal can give more nourishment than an adult side-salad. Experiment, but always taste your experiments yourself. If they are yummy to you, they are likely to appeal to a child. If not - re-season until you have created a real prize. spiderman salad When you make any salad for yourself, including dressing, put a little of it into a food-blender, the sort that has a blade, add a spoonful of cashews or avocado or the yolk of a hard boiled egg, or even a little thick yogurt - something that will bind. Mix it all together and season with vegetable bouillon powder and herbs plus a little salt and maybe a drop or two of olive oil. What you have left is a "Spiderman", a pate which can even be spread on crackers for older children. sprout magic salad Make a base with alfalfa or other sprouts and around the dish arrange: Grated carrot Finely shredded cabbage Chopped apples Grated beetroot Add: Sliced mushrooms, black olives, spring onions Sprinkle raisins over the grated vegetables and add a spoonful of seed or nut cheese. dressings basic french dressing 3/4 cup oil 1/4 cup lemon juice or cider vinegar 1 tsp whole-grain mustard or mustard powder 2 tsp honey A little vegetable bouillon powder and pepper to season A small clove of crushed garlic (optional) Combine all the ingredients in a blender, or simply place in a screw-top jar and shake well to mix. Some people like to thin the dressing and make it a little lighter by adding a couple of tablespoonfuls of water. avocado dip or dressing This is my favorite of all salad dressings. Kids adore it; you can make it thick for them to spread on crackers, leave out the curry powder and feed it pureed to babies, or make it thin to pour over salad. 1-2 avocados 1 cup fresh orange juice (use more or less to give the desired consistency) 1 tsp curry powder 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder Fresh herbs (e.g. lovage and French parsley) 1 small clove garlic (optional) Peel and stone the avocados. Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth.

Eat For Youth

Eat For Youth

Many of the most beautiful meals will be found on the ageless aging table. The variety of colors, textures, tastes and culinary experiences which delicious natural foods offer to anyone with an interest in food preparation and a love of fine cuisine at the very least equals the best traditional cooking. Eating fresh foods rich in `life force' in a high-raw way of eating means that your taste-buds, sense of smell and aesthetic awareness of food become dramatically heightened so that the appreciation of all that you eat can be greater than ever before. From being someone who used to love fresh cream and rich sauces I've become infinitely more appreciative of the fine flavors implicit in ageless aging cuisine. And I love it. Not only because I look younger, feel better all round and have infinitely more energy than before, but because the experience of eating itself has become so much more delightful. Most of us eat far too much and we dull our senses and our appreciation of food in the process. Even the most subtle of Beethoven's late quartets begins to dull the senses when you have too much of it. So can too much food even if it is the very best. Ageless aging cuisine revives them. Put your kitchen scales away and forget the complex routine for preparing a béchamel sauce.  It’s not conventional directions that matter when preparing foods, it is a passion for the foods themselves – a feeling reflected in our passion for the earth and life itself.  It’s good because it tastes good.  Such passion, which is visual, visceral and luscious, becomes the inspiration that, in food preparation, leads you automatically to make certain choices.  Open wide your kitchen window.  Welcome in the breezes of experiment, wit and spontaneity.  Inside, you find the traditional meal of roast meal and boiled Brussels sprouts topped off with a piece of sticky toffee pudding replaced by something far more hedonistic: slivers of raw Pacific salmon, luscious garden-fresh salad, followed by a winter sorbet of cranberry and mint.  The real joy in eating fresh, light foods lies in their taste, their texture and the remarkable ability they have to bring excitement to a palate jaded by too many highly processed, unimaginatively seasoned or over-cooked dishes. sheer energy I look on food as a source of both delight and life-energy which is passed on to us from the earth.  I believe this energy needs to be preserved by not cooking food too much, by eating it fresh and by respecting its essential nature.  Food eaten this way becomes a medium through which we build our own vitality – energy to protect the body from premature aging and illness, to enhance good looks and to keep the mind clear.  It is the life-energy present in abundance in fresh foods and the clean, simple protein from fish, game, organic meat and poultry that makes these foods irresistible and helps us look and feel great. The most significant change to human diets in two million years began with the agricultural revolution, when man went from a carbohydrate-poor to a carbohydrate-rich diet.  The more that these carbohydrates have become refined in the past 300 years, the more problems they have caused us, not only in terms of burgeoning obesity worldwide but also in the development of the chronic degenerative diseases of civilization.   The thing to remember is that when you eat low-starch vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus and cauliflower, or proteins such as fish, meat and eggs, the levels of glucose in the blood (blood sugar) rise very slowly and modestly.  On the other hand, when you eat what are known as high-glycemic foods - starchy foods, simple carbohydrates, sugars - like a muffin, pasta, breakfast cereal or ice cream, blood sugar soars, then crashes as insulin is released in order to lower your blood sugar.  You can end up feeling hungry even though you've just eaten a meal, crave sweets and biscuits, and reach for a cup of coffee and a cake mid-morning just to keep going.  High insulin levels, by the way, suppress human growth hormone essential for healthy muscle tissue, making you look flabby and older. The most important foods are fresh non-starchy vegetables, fresh fruits, and proteins like meat, seafood, eggs and game.  A little unprocessed cheese is fine too and a few nuts and seeds.  Go for nothing but the best.  Here are a few guidelines: Choose natural whole foods – organically grown/raised if possible Your foods need to be as fresh as possible and eaten as close to a living state as you can.  This allows little time for the deterioration that occurs as a result of oxidation. All the foods you eat should be non-toxic and non-polluting to your body.  They should contain no synthetic flavours, colors, preservatives or other additives used to ‘enhance’ them cosmetically.  Stay away from convenience foods. Try to vary the foods you choose from day to day and week to week.  All through our evolution the human body has adapted to a wide range of foods offering a broad spectrum of nutrients. Use fresh garlic and herbs often.  They bring high-level support for cellular regeneration and immune support. Eat what you enjoy and enjoy what you eat.  Eating is one of life’s great pleasures – make it one of yours. make way for a new lifestyle Eating for ageless aging leads most people to a totally new way of living. You become more alert and more active. You will probably sleep less yet far better than before. This is because your whole system will be far clearer of toxicity than before and you will need less time for tissue repair and restoration than you do on a normal diet. You will also probably find that you are better able to deal with stress than ever. This way of eating provides you with high levels of potassium and rapidly restores the sodium-potassium balance in most people. This leads to increased resistance to fatigue and a greater feeling of calm stability day in day out. It may also set you slightly apart from your gravy-eating, hard-drinking friends and may even have them feeling slightly suspicious of you in the beginning. But it has been my experience that as soon as they find you are not trying to sell them anything - that you have a live-and-let-live attitude to whatever they do - they show a similar respect for your new lifestyle. In fact, the people who have been the most resistant to what you are doing and the most opinionated are very often the ones who are first to become intrigued about what an ageless aging lifestyle might offer them. And they are usually the ones with the energy and interest to carry it out. Day 1 RAW DISHES: melon; cauliflower and tomatoes mixed with red peppers and lettuce salad topped with Avocado Delight Dressing (see blow). COOKED DISHES: Steamed fish; wok-fried beans and peas; brown rice. Day 2 RAW DISHES: lamb's lettuce, celeriac and wild-herb salad topped with chopped egg dressing; fresh pears and plumped raisins. COOKED DISHES: Garlic Chicken Soup; steamed baby carrots and basil; young peas with mint. Day 3 RAW DISHES: mushrooms, watercress and chicory salad topped with Basil and More Basil Dressing; Mulled Stuffed Apples (see below). COOKED DISHES:  Fabulous Fish Soup. Day 4 RAW DISHES: `Sunburst' platter of avocado, beetroot, cos lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, celery and peppers served with raw humus (see below). COOKED DISHES: carrot and coriander soup; or venison burgers; Scottish oatcakes; Pineapple Blackberry Frappe. Day 5 RAW DISHES: `Jungle Slaw' salad made from cabbage, tender green beans, carrots, spring onions, red or yellow pepper and almonds served with a citrus dressing. COOKED DISHES:  Lightly grilled salmon and steamed green beans. Day 6 RAW DISHES: gazpacho; pineapple salad stuffed with orange, mango, papaya and strawberries and topped with coconut. COOKED DISHES: Hand Made Sausages (see below). Day 7 RAW DISHES: `Sandstone Loaf' made from carrots, lemon juice, almonds, pumpkin seeds, tahini and herbs; apple and ginger salad; home made blackberry sorbet. COOKED DISHES: Flax Crackers (see below) with humus. small meals For breakfast - or for that matter instead of lunch or supper when you want a small meal - you can't do better than a bowl of fruit muesli. If you have never tasted real muesli (and it bears no resemblance to the flaky sweet stuff you can buy on the shelves of supermarkets) you have a real treat ahead of you. Fruit muesli was the invention of Swiss physician Max Bircher-Benner who devised it as the perfect light meal. It is a delicious and easy-to-digest completely uncooked dish which can contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals, and which is an excellent source of high-quality complete proteins and essential fatty acids. It can provide you with sustaining energy but will never lie heavily in your stomach. And it can be made low in calories. Real muesli (often called Birchermuesli after its inventor) is not a grain-based but a fruit-based dish with only a very small quantity of top-quality fresh wholegrain flakes in it. It is usually made with apples and oats but there are so many varieties which you can make, calling on whatever fresh or dried fruits and whatever kinds of grains, nuts and seeds you have available, that you could quite literally eat it twice a day all the year round and never get tired of it. Children absolutely adore Birchermuesli both as a complete breakfast and as a sweet after a main meal. A small bowl of muesli in the morning will keep you going all the way to lunch with none of the `elevenses slump' that has many people reaching for a cup of coffee and a pastry or a chocolate bar. It is also an excellent food to eat in the evening since it is so easy to digest that it never interferes with sleep. I do a lot of traveling and for many years I dreaded having to stay in hotels because the food available in so many hotel dining-rooms is so poor. I have got into the habit of carrying with me a small `muesli bag' with a hand grater in it plus some grain flakes and minced nuts and a small bowl so I can make my own breakfast or supper whenever I want and not be forced to eat what I don't want just because there is nothing else. Here is the basic recipe: bircher muesli For each person you'll need: I level tablespoon rolled oats soaked in 4 tablespoons water I heaped tablespoon raisins or sultanas I tablespoon lemon juice 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened yogurt I large apple ½ banana I teaspoon raw honey (if desired) or pure stevia to taste I tablespoon minced hazelnuts and almonds or other mixed seeds and nuts I pinch cinnamon (if desired) Soak the rolled oats and raisins in water, preferably overnight. This begins to break down the starch present in the grains and turn it into natural sugar so it is easily assimilated. If you have no time to soak the grains then simply mix with the water (you will need slightly less water in this case) and carry on immediately. Wash the apple(s) and remove core and stem but don't peel. Then, using a stainless-steel hand grater or a food processor, grate the apple into the mixture and, stirring, add lemon juice to protect it from discoloring. Cut the banana into small cubes, add to the mixture with the honey (if desired) and mix with yogurt. Sprinkle the top with the minced nuts and a little cinnamon if you like. Instead of rolled oats you can use other cereal flakes such as barley, millet or buckwheat. These are available from wholefood shops. I find I don't usually add honey to my muesli because it is so beautifully sweet already, thanks to the soaked grains and fruit. You can also make muesli with soft fruit such as strawberries or raspberries, loganberries, red and black currants, blackberries or blueberries as well as with apricots, cherries, peaches, plums or greengages. Or you can mix your fruits together. Also you can make the muesli from dried fruit which has been soaked for twelve hours or overnight in spring water. But make sure you get sun-dried not sulfur dried fruits to which no glucose has been added (it is commonly added to figs for instance) or you can end up with a gastrointestinal upset. seasoning and spices Make use of all of the wonderful culinary herbs that are available: And the list of seductive possibilities seems almost endless: caraway, fennel, dill, chervil, parsley, lovage - the Umberiferae; summer savory, marjoram, the mints, rosemary, and thyme-the labiates, which have a strong aroma and are particularly useful for seasoning; the Liliaceae such as garlic, onions, chives and leeks; and three of my favorites, basil and tarragon and horseradish. Herbs have a special role to play in any ageless aging regime. They contain pharmacologically active substances such as volatile oils, tannins, bitter factors, secretins, balsams, resins, mucilages, glycosides and organic vegetable acids each of which can contribute to overall health in a different way. The tannins, for instance, which occur in many common kitchen herbs, are astringent and have an anti-inflammatory action on the digestive system. They help inhibit fermentation and decomposition. The secretins stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes - particularly important for the complete breakdown of proteins in foods to make them available for bodily use. Organic acids have an antibiotic action and are helpful in the digestion of fats and the bitter factors, which are found in good quantity in rosemary, marjoram and fennel. They also act as a tonic to the smooth muscles of the gut and boost secretion of digestive enzymes. Use herbs lavishly in your meals and you will find you can create the most remarkable combinations of subtle flavors and aromas. drink yourself younger Coffee, although not completely forbidden on any serious program of ageless aging, is not something to drink daily. The occasional cup after dinner is not likely to do much harm. More than that and you are really undermining your potential for age-retardation not only because it contains mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds which cause oxy-stress and free radical damage but also because regular coffee tends to make cadmium (one of the heavy metals) build up in your system and can interfere with proper pancreatic functioning. It also leeches calcium from the bones. Tea is OK in moderation - no more than a cup or two a day - but there are other drinks which are not only good for you, they can be highly enjoyable as well. Alcohol is another substance you want to go easy on. Not only is it very high in calories yet practically worthless in terms of the nutrients it supplies, it also causes your liver to produce one of the most potent cross-linkers known - acetaldehyde. A glass or two of wine can be easily accommodated. More than that as a daily intake is likely to seriously undermine your effort. And make sure it is good wine. The run of the mill vin de table is full of toxic substances which your cells can do without. You'll find some delicious mixtures of herbs in ready-made tea bags if you comb through a few delicatessens and healthfood stores. Some of my favorites have names like Cinnamon, Rose, Almond Sunset, Creamy French Vanilla, and Red Zinger. They are great to drink for pleasure and refreshment the way most people drink coffee and ordinary tea. But there are others which are quite wonderful simply because they affect the body in specific ways. Lemon verbena, for instance, is a refreshing sedative, chamomile soothes the digestive tract, and both horsetail and solidago (goldenrod) are excellent natural diuretics. The teas I like best just before bed are orange blossom, which you make by boiling a few blossoms for 2-3 minutes in two cups of water, red bergamot and lemon peel, all of which are natural sedatives. This last tea comes from an Italian tradition. You make it by peeling the outer yellow skin off a lemon (which has been washed well) with a potato peeler. Pour boiling water over this and let steep for 5 minutes. Then strain and drink. a few recipes to play with Avocado Delight Dressing 1 avocado, peeled and stoned Juice of 1 lemon Juice of ½ orange 1 small onion, chopped finely 1 garlic clove, chopped finely Handful of fresh herbs – mint, parsley or basil Freshly ground black pepper to taste Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and serve. Italian Herb Dressing 100ml extra-virgin oliv oil 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice 1-2oz fresh basil, chopped 1 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Buillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder Freshly ground black pepper to taste Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, adjusting the flavour as necessary. Garlic Chicken Soup (serves 1) 150g lean, skinless chicken breast, but into small cubes 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic 1 level teaspoon Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder 2 teaspoons chopped parsley and/or ½ teaspoon lemongrass or ½ teaspoon mild curry powder 180 ml water Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes and serve. Fabulous Fish Soup (serves 1) 360ml water 1 teaspoon Marigold Swiss Vegetable Buillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder ½ tsp fresh chopped garlic ½ tsp chopped onion 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil or ½ tsp dried basil 1 cup broccoli 150g white fish ¼ tsp paprika Himalayan or Malvern salt to taste Pepper, to taste Put the bouillon powder, water, garlic, onion and basil in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on.  Place the rish on top of the broccoli and sprinkel with paprika, salt and pepper.  Put the lid on and cook for another 5 minutes. Raw Humus 2 cups sprouted chick peas Juice of 3 lemons 1 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Buillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 3 tbsp tahini 3 tbsp chopped spring onions or chives Water to thin if too thick Put the ingredients, except the onions or chives, in a food processor or blender and blend thoroughly.  Top with the chives or onions. Hand-made Sausages 350g lean minced pork, chicken, lamb, beef, venison or wild boar 1 tsp Himalayan or Malvern salt, to taste 2 tbsp gram flour (chickpea flour) 4 cloves garlic (optional) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, coriander or sage ½ large onion, finely chopped Combine all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl and ix thoroughly with your hands.  Refrigerate until well chilled then separate into patties and cook in an oiled skilled until crunchy on the surface and cooked through. Flax Crackers 240g faxseed meal (or buy whole flaxseeds and grind them) 240ml water 30ml tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce Himalayan or Malvern salt, to taste Fresh minced herbs A little chopped garlic Ginger, chilli powder, or cayenne pepper (optional) Combine the flaxseed meal with the water and let it soak for 1 ½ hours.  The water will change to a sort of gelatinous state.  Add a little more water if necessary, you want it to be gooey but not too runny or too thick.  Add the tamari, salt, herbs and garlic (or other flavourings).  Blend together.  Spread the mixture out, about 1/8 inch thick, and cut into squares.  Carefully lift the squares onto a wire mesh and bake in a slow oven until crunchy.  You can also make them in a dehydrator - dehydrate them for 4-6 hours, turn the mixture and dehydrate for a further 3-4 hours. Mulled Stuffed Apples (serves 2) Most of the nutritional value of an apple lies in its skin, or just below it, so wash apples well but don’t peel them. Softish apples are best for this recipe as their insides have to be scooped out. 100ml grape juice or red wine ½ tsp cinnamon 2 cloves ¼  tsp nutmeg 1 crushed white cardamom pod ¼ tsp allspice 75g blanched almonds 2 large apples Squeeze of lemon juice handful dates or raisins ‘Mull’ the grape juice or wine by putting it in a bowl with the spices and leaving for at least an hour.  Discard the cloves and cardamom and blend the remaining mixture with the almonds in a food processor or blender.  Slice the tops off the apples and keep them.  Remove the cores, saving small pieces to plug the bottoms.  Scoop out the apple pulp, leaving a shell about 1cm thick. Lightly blend the pulp with the juice and the almond mixture until smooth, adding a squeeze of lemon juice.  If the mixture is not thick enough, add a few more ground almonds.  Chop the dates or raisins and fill the apple shells with the dried fruit and almond mixture.  Replace the ‘lids’. Or, make stuffed apples with apple sauce and blackberries.  Blend the apple pulp with a little lemon juice, stevia and spices then combine it with the blackberries and spoon into the apple shells. Pineapple Blackberry Frappe This makes a wonderfully refreshing dessert as it stands, or it can be chiled to serve as a cool sorbet on hot summer days. 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks ½ cup blackberries Juice of ½ lime Place all the ingredients in a blender and liquidise.  Serve immediately.

Stress Release

Stress Release

Somewhere inside you is a center of stillness - a wordless, formless space - the home of your self or your soul: There seeds of creativity are sown which later become your ideas and your accomplishments. There in the silence and the darkness, you can begin to listen to your own `inner voice'. You can come to know the difference between what you really want, feel and think, and what habits, false notions and other people's values have been programmed into you. This space - your center - is a place of safety and security. You can move out of it, as you choose, to meet the outside world, form friendships, love and learn. Yet it is a permanent sanctuary to which you can always return when you feel overburdened, tired, confused or in need of new vitality and direction. The key that opens this particular door for most of us is relaxation. By relaxation I mean learning to move at will into a state of deep stillness in which your usual concerns, your habitual thoughts, and the never-ending activity of your daily life are replaced by alert - yet totally passive - awareness. Dipping into such a state even for a few minutes allows many of the physiological changes normally experienced during sleep to take place while your body and mind are revitalized. But it is different from sleep. For, while your body is passive, your mind is highly alert. passive awareness For some people passive awareness occurs spontaneously - often between sleep and wakefulness. It is during this time that their best ideas come and that they experience a sense of harmony both within themselves and in relation to the rest of the world. Most of us, however, have a fear of letting go, thinking that if we give up control of things we won't be able to think clearly and independently or work well, or that someone is likely to put something over on us. In fact, just the opposite is true. When you are able to enter a state of deep relaxation at will, this frees you from patterns of living and thinking to which you tend to be a slave - although usually an unconscious one. It enables you to think more clearly and simply, and to act more directly when action is called for. Another interesting benefit from the daily practice of deep relaxation is a reduction of negative habits such as drug taking - of both prescription and mind-altering drugs - alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. Research carried out in the United States involving 2,000 students between the ages of nineteen and twenty-three who had practiced a form of meditation for periods of between a few months to a couple of years, showed that their dependence on alcohol, drugs and cigarettes dropped sharply. In the first six months of doing the practice, the number of smokers reduced by half . By twenty-one months it was down to one-third. And these changes were entirely spontaneous - at no time was any suggestion made that relaxation or meditation would change any of these habits. bridge your inner and outer world Harvard professor and expert in behavioral medicine, Herbert Benson MD, did the first studies into the effects of Transcendental Meditation many years ago. He has since continued to investigate this state of psychophysical relaxation and has shown that each of us has what he calls the `relaxation response' - a natural ability to experience the relaxed state with all its benefits. All we need to tap into it is a method to turn it on. The possibilities are many. They range from meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, zazen, silent repetition of a word, and autogenic training, to steady aerobic exercise and biofeedback. Each can be useful as a tool for silencing everyday thoughts and for temporarily shutting off habitual ways of seeing the world and doing things. Practice one regularly, and you build a powerful and useful bridge between your inner and outer world. All of them are different. Some will work better for you or be more enjoyable than others. That is why it is worthwhile to try a few different techniques until you discover which ones you prefer. Progressive relaxation is a technique based on the work of Edmund Jacobson; this is an excellent way to begin if you have never done any sort of relaxation or meditation technique before, because it gives most people some sense of what relaxation feels like even the first time you try it. As you repeat your technique (it is best done for fifteen minutes at least twice a day), you will find you enter a state of relaxation that is progressively deeper and deeper. Zazen is one of the simplest ways of meditating, this technique involves nothing more than just being aware of your breathing. But don't be deceived by its simplicity. It is a potent tool for stilling the mind and regenerating the body. And concentrating your awareness on the breath is not as easy as it sounds. We live in an age where discipline is often looked down upon as something which interferes with spontaneity and freedom - something old-fashioned and stifling to life. We tend to rebel against it. But the kind of discipline needed for daily practice of meditation or deep relaxation tends - far from stifling one's ability to be involved in the spontaneous business of life - actually to free it.

Potatoes Are Super Foods

Potatoes Are Super Foods

We’re told that potatoes aren’t good for us. It’s true if you’re talking about GMO potatoes, which most people eat these days without ever knowing it.  Please don’t ever eat GMO anything.  But grown traditionally—unsprayed and certified organic—potatoes can not only be good for you, they can be great.  You see, potatoes belong to a very special yet little-known category of food known as safe starches.  These safe starches are far removed from the grains and cereals that make us fat and foster degenerative diseases. I’ll tell you more about them in a moment.  Meanwhile, it’s time to celebrate the humble potato and its wonderful gifts.     Potatoes come in more than 100 varieties. They can be prepared in almost as many forms—steamed, boiled, baked, sautéed, or what have you. The botanical name for potatoes is Solanum tuberosum. They were introduced to Europeans in 1621, when Spanish Conquistadors brought them back from South America, where they’d been cultivated since 8000 BC. Seafaring men relied heavily on them as a source of Vitamin C to protect sailors from scurvy. Nutrient Rich Potatoes Potatoes are now the fourth largest crop grown throughout the world. They’re good for supplying you with important B complex vitamins, especially vitamin B5, B6, niacin, and folate. They’re also full of minerals like phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, copper and iron as well as antioxidants, phytonutrients, carotenoids and flavonoids. In 1995, the heroic potato was the first vegetable to be grown in space, to feed astronauts on long space voyages. Now let’s take a look at where some of the false beliefs, which have undermined our appreciation for organic potatoes, come from. I think you’ll find this interesting.   Paleolithic diet You may not know that for thousands upon thousands of years, our ancestors lived not in forests as we have been told, but in grasslands. They survived by digging up tubers, roots and corms—all of which are ancestors to today’s potato.  Early man relied heavily on these starchy plants which today are known as safe starches. What scientists now call the Paleolithic diet was made up of 15 to 20% of these foods dug from the ground, eaten with 50 to 70% of fatty animal-based foods, including insects, eggs, birds, reptiles, and creatures from the sea.   Then, along came Loren Cordain, who is considered the father of the Paleolithic diet. He made a few inaccurate assumptions.  He claimed that our ancestors never ate starchy root vegetables—something we know now to be simply untrue. By the way, Cordain is said to have greased his pots with canola oil—heaven forbid—and washed down his Paleo meals with diet soda. What he apparently didn’t do was delve deep enough into the vast research now available in regard to diets of primitive peoples from experts like Samuel Hearne, Weston Price, Stefansson, and Cabeza de Vaca. Anyway, here’s the truth: Early humans were genetically programmed to thrive on these starches—a group to which our modern potato now belongs. We still are today. Safe starches  Safe starches include white rice, potatoes, sago, tapioca, and sweet potatoes. Grown organically, all of these foods can help improve digestive health. But they need to be cooked gently, so any natural plant toxins—which all plants contain to some degree—become neutralized. By the way, brown rice is not considered a safe starch since the phytin it contains can interfere with the absorption of certain minerals and provoke an immune response. There are no known autoimmune antibodies generated by white rice protein. When it comes to potatoes, you will want to store them in a cool dark place. The unwanted solanine and chaconine toxins that they contain are activated if you expose them to light and heat. It’s equally important that you throw away any potatoes that may have become discolored or are no longer fresh.   protect your health and your body shape Any healthy person with a clean digestive tract can eat organically grown potatoes with no problems. Naturally, if you have an autoimmune disorder or are seriously diabetic, you must consult your health practitioner before assuming potatoes are fine for you. As far as the worries many people have of gaining weight when they eat potatoes are concerned—fear not.  Eaten occasionally and in moderation, none of the safe starches cause weight gain. The foods you need to cut way down on or even eliminate altogether if you want to protect your health and your body shape are the conventional grains and cereals, as well as legumes, added sugars and vegetable seed oils. Then you’ll be well on your way to a whole new experience of wellbeing.  Enjoy.

Inner Enemies

Inner Enemies

Heavy emotional stress from anxiety, resentment or depression can drain us of energy. Such delinquent influences also lower your immunity, make you vulnerable to catching colds and flu, and susceptible to premature aging and the development of degenerative conditions. For lasting high energy the energy thieves in your life need to be cornered, collared and dealt a fatal blow. the energy drainer scenario A woman is in a job which she hates. She feels unmotivated and resentful (inner energy-drainers). After work she goes out to drink (alcohol-addiction drainer). Sometimes she drinks too much and this creates friction with her husband (relationship energy-drainer). She feels bad about herself as a result of arguing (emotional energy-drainer). Her poor self-image leads her not to care for herself (poor self-esteem energy-drainer). She eats badly (biochemical energy-drainer). She feels worse and suffers depression. Nothing in her life seems to work and she has nothing to look forward to... You see the pattern. She is stuck in a rut. The energy-drainers have stolen her personal power and she can only see everything in the worst light. Now let's look at the flip side. Energy-enhancers tend to attract other energy-enhancers, creating positive feedback loops and making you feel empowered and in control of your life. Compare the following situation with the previous sketch. the energy enhancer scenario A woman is in a job which she hates. She discovers an inspiring exercise class (physical energy-booster). The class makes her feel good about herself and inspires her to eat better. (biochemical booster). She loses a few pounds, feels better in her body and begins to dress in a more flattering way (self-esteem booster). She meets some new friends whose company she really enjoys (relationship booster). As her self-esteem increases, the people she works with begin to appreciate her more. Her job becomes more enjoyable (work booster). She feels excited about her life and confident about looking for a new job, something she will really love. Identifying your own blockers and drainers, and making the choice to let go of even one or two, sows the seed for more positive feedback loops in your life. It is an important step to take in accessing more core energy and developing your personal power. Sometimes even awareness itself is enough to get the ball rolling. wasting anxiety On an internal level few emotions drain energy like anxiety. While you dash about (either physically or in your consciousness) feeling unsafe and unstable and trying like mad to make everything all right, you deplete your body and your creativity. Where there is anxiety there is a high level of electrical, electropositive magnetic activity and chemical acidity which affect the sympathetic nervous system and encourage feelings of fear, irritability, nausea and headache, as well as an inability to concentrate, muscle pain and insomnia. Even minor attacks of nervousness can dramatically undermine your work performance and make it almost impossible for you to enjoy yourself. Anxiety is frequently related to food allergies. Realigning your diet can help. So can physical exercise which calms electrical and chemical overactivity, replacing it with a more balanced energy, which you can call on, and a feeling of mental and physical well-being. Depression can be a big energy-drainer as well. Sometimes depression develops as a result of blocked emotions which you may not even be aware you are feeling - like grief. Often depression is rather like an anger turned in on yourself to block you from doing harm to anyone else. To break through and release the energy that has been blocked by depression you may need to examine your experience of depression carefully as well as change your lifestyle. Resentment, too, can be an enormous energy-blocker. Anger immediately felt and expressed keeps energy flowing. As adults we tend to swallow our anger, turning it into resentment. Fear can also block energy. In a measurable physical way it freezes you into inactivity and makes all things seem impossible. So can negative feedback loops. When you feel low in energy you tend to attract energy-drainers which in turn attract other energy-drainers and before you know it you find yourself caught up in a negative feedback loop. You feel helpless - a victim of circumstances over which you have no power - and you lack the energy or the incentive to break out of the loop.

Power Healing For Women

Power Healing For Women

In the next few minutes, I want to share with you white hot secrets about two natural plants that you can use to alleviate menstrual, peri-menopausal and menopausal issues gently, safely and effectively. Not once in the last 20 years have they failed to do their job. Both plants have been used to help women for centuries and their therapeutic actions have been scientifically validated. Motherwort The first, and one of the most remarkable natural healing plants on the planet is Motherwort—Leonurus cardiaca—commonly known as Lion’s tail. It gets its name from its ancient reputation for reducing anxiety. Motherwort has all the feel of a loving, caring mother when you take it. It can calm your nervous system while acting as a tonic to your whole body. This lovely blessing from nature is full of mind-altering natural biochemicals which studies in China have shown to have a regulating effect on the womb and the heart, bringing calm all round. It’s effective for easing hot flushes, banishing insomnia, and restoring elasticity to the walls of the vagina. It’s also an excellent natural treatment for many heart conditions in both men and women. Let me tell you how it’s used: Motherwort is rich in alkaloids and is bitter when drunk as an infusion. It’s easiest to take as a store-bought tincture, but you can also grow the plant yourself and turn it into a homemade herbal vinegar. Take 10 to 25 drops of the tincture made from the fresh plant every 2 to 6 hours, or 1 to 2 teaspoons of the herb vinegar as you need it. How To Use There is something so calming and balancing about motherwort that it is hard to imagine if you’ve never used it. It’s a blessing during any stressful time. For best results with hot flushes, use it regularly for 12 weeks or more. That being said, just 10 drops of the tincture in a little spring water will often ease a hot flush while it is happening. Motherwort is also a great help when you awaken in the night in sweat and have trouble dropping off again. Use 10 to 20 drops of the tincture (keep it at the side of your bed with a glass of spring water) and swallow some each time you wake up. Sometimes, it even helps banish bad dreams. Want to know more? Motherwort improves circulation and strengthens tissues that have lost elasticity. You can use it to rejuvenate the tissues of bladder, womb and vagina, for instance, when you take it a couple of times a day for as little as 2 to 4 weeks. Finally, it’s great for clearing cramps when the menstrual flow is light to moderate or even completely absent. Use 5 to 10 drops of tincture or ½ to 1 teaspoon of the homemade vinegar every few minutes until the cramps have gone. Then repeat whenever you need to. There’s one important caution you need to be aware of, however. Motherwort is not an herb to use when a woman is experiencing menstrual flooding, since it can aggravate this tendency. Chaste Tree The other amazing natural plant I love is Chaste Tree. Its proper name is Vitex agnus castus or Monk’s Pepper. Chaste Tree originally gained its name from its ability to calm the lascivious desires of men. On women, however, it exerts the exact opposite effect. It can stimulate your libido while balancing your emotions and energizing your whole body. Chaste Tree is one of the most helpful plants in the world for peri-menopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women. It does the job, whether your hormones are deficient or in excess, thanks to its actions on the pituitary that harmonizes any imbalances. Chaste Tree is better known in Europe and the Orient than in Britain and the United States. There, its berries have been used for centuries to help protect from and even cure cancers of the breast and womb, as well as to reduce breast lumps and tenderness. It can banish edema, clear skin problems, moisten vaginal tissues that have dried, and clear hot flushes. Unlike many healing plants, Chaste Tree is not rich in phyto-hormones. It relies for healing on the glycosides, micronutrients and flavonoids it contains to work its wonders. This humble plant goes deep in its effects on your body and psyche but, like most natural treatments, will take time, so be consistent with its use. Expect results after using it daily for 8 to 12 weeks. In a year to 18 months you can stop using it completely as improvements are likely to have become permanent. Here’s how Here’s how to use it. As a homemade infusion, drink one cup of tea made from its freshly ground berries a day. In capsule form, take 1 capsule 3 to 4 times a day. Or use 15 drops to 1 teaspoon of a tincture 1 to 3 times a day. German researchers discovered that Chasteberry stimulates progesterone synthesis, and this in turn balances excess estrogen which can trigger hot flushes. Chaste Tree’s anti-inflammatory capacities have been known to shrink fibroids when used regularly for 12 to 36 months. Sluggish digestion and constipation are no match for the Chasteberry, which can restore digestion easily and permanently, provided you take it for long enough. It can even clear skin troubles that develop as a result of hormonal change, and banish fluid retention. To top it all off, this amazing plant is known for its ability to clear depression and balance mood: Typical PMS problems, from migraines and depression to ordinary headaches and anxiety, yield slowly but often permanently to Chaste Tree. This usually takes about 6 months, but it is wise to continue with the plant for another 6 months afterward to make benefits permanent. Make sure you choose only the best products. There are too many poor wannabes on the shelves. Here are the ones I recommend. Use them. I think you’ll love them as much as I do. Here are the ones I recommend Eclectic Institute, Motherwort Organic, 2 fl oz Fresh, ORGANIC Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) flower top. ORGANIC grape alcohol content: 45%. Filtered water. Fresh Herb Strength: 1:2. Order Motherwort Organi from iherb Gaia Herbs, Vitex Berry, 60 Veggie Liquid Phyto-Caps Healthy hormone levels are necessary for a woman's physical and emotional wellbeing. Chaste Tree Berry, also known as Vitex, has long been used to support hormone production and balance. Gaia Herbs uses certified organic Chaste Tree berry to provide a full spectrum herbal extract for women's health. Order Gaia Herbs, Vitex Berry from iherb

End Your Depression

End Your Depression

Depression is a killer. I know. I suffered from it badly in my twenties. I think I must have been born with a genetic tendency towards it. As a result, I know so well the deep sadness, feelings of shame and helplessness, the terrible fatigue coupled with not being able to sleep to relieve it, the poor concentration and the strange shifts in appetite that come with it. When you feel depressed, you often feel anxious as well. I’ve learned a lot about how to help people banish both. depression There are many causes of depression—some come from the body and some from the psyche. I believe you can’t separate the two. Just as your body and mind interact with each other to produce the dark, seemingly endless blues that can set in at any period in your life, so can your body and mind work together to clear depression from your life. Few people know this, but wherever you find depression, you almost always find a mass of creative energy as well, which—for one reason or another—has remained blocked. This makes you feel impotent and helpless until it can be set free. You may discover that you have been trying to live your life too conventionally—that is, by other people’s rules—rather than trusting yourself, honouring your own unique truths, and living by them, come hell or high water. When depression is long-standing and debilitating, you may even come to feel you have no soul to live from. This is completely untrue. I love the wonderful American saying, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.” Once you learn to do this, depression begins to its grip on you forever. Deep cleansing your body Deep cleansing your body is the first step to releasing blocked creative energy and restoring the biochemical balance to wash your blues away. Try following a long-term way of eating based on real food, not the packaged stuff they try to sell you in supermarkets: fresh spray-free vegetables—many of them raw—and top quality proteins from wild fish, organic meat, free range chicken, and eggs. Avoid all cow’s milk products including milk itself, yoghurt, and cheese (butter is OK because it is a fat, and it’s the milk protein that tends to cause problems for people prone to depression). Explore sheep milk, cheeses and yogurts, goat milk products or buffalo milk products—my favorites. Must important: Stop eating anything made with wheat or other grains and cereals, including pasta, breakfast cereals, breads and biscuits. Make all processed convenience foods a thing of the past. Eat Real Food A diet free of convenience foods releases you from the sort of metabolic disturbance which causes mood swings and depression. It was just such a diet—one in which at least 50-75% of the foods I ate were raw—that cleared my own deep depression. It frees your body and opens up your mind. You start to see life with a much broader view. You begin to feel a sense of excitement each day with whatever you are doing. But be patient. It takes time for the transformation to happen. Gradually feelings of depression and impossibility melt away like snow drifts in the warmth of spring sunshine. You begin to experience your own natural energies as a more balanced state of mind emerges. More peaceful and centered, you come to see that you are really able to do whatever it is you want to do. Your body is a magnificent system capable of the most incredible regeneration and renewal. You can let go of all the anti-depressant drugs. Recent research shows that most are no better than placebos. When you learn to live on simple, pure, natural organic foods, this helps you transform your whole being physically, emotionally and spiritually—in effect, to discover who you are at the deepest level of your being, and come to live your life from there. I did it. So have thousands of others who never dreamed this might be possible. So can you. A human being is most certainly "fearfully and wonderfully made". It’s time to discover this for yourself.

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 11 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 19th of January 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 19th of January 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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