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Sacred Truth Ep. 39: Animal Wisdom

Sacred Truth Ep. 39: Animal Wisdom

Watch an animal move. The rhythmic lope of a wolf and the way its body becomes the motion. A horse in a field—tossing its mane, pounding its hooves, running for sheer pleasure. The dolphin as it leaps high in the air above the water, twisting its powerful body then disappears beneath the waves to emerge a minute later in another joyous leap. For many years, I wondered why most of us after childhood no longer experience this kind of rhythmical freedom, joy and vitality. Why, so often do we often feel only half alive? Why have we been tutored to think of our body as separate from ourselves—something to be criticised, judged, or pushed and shoved into shape, rather than celebrating its power and feeling the enthusiasm that comes with the natural movement that is our birthright? For many the primary experience of life is one of deadness. And since nobody can live long in deadness.We start to seek out artificial stimulants—drugs, alcohol, compulsive work or sex—in the hope that these things might, at least, bring back our sense of aliveness. The trouble is, none of the artificial practices work. Where do you find the real guide to joy and freedom? Listen to our animal friends be they domesticated or wild. Your whole life will change for the better. It stunned me when I became aware of this I then decided to see what I could learn from animals in my personal life. The experience of becoming fully awake and alive lies in the body of an animal itself. The same applies to us humans. It has to do with muscle. It's not our mind but our muscle that creates life-energy for us to think, move and feel. The power of the horse, the rhythmical gait of the wolf, the wild playfulness of the dolphin come from strong, fluid muscles. The more fluid the muscles in any living body, the more does it feel fully alive. Animal bodies have two fundamental components. So do we. They consist of lean body mass and fat. Like our own body organs like the heart, liver, spleen and pancreas, as well as their bones and skin must have a good supply of oxygen. They also need top quality nutrients from pesticide-free foods—proteins, fruits and vegetables. Both animals and humans thrive on foods grown in healthy soils. This is essential for us to think, feel, move, and grow so we can stay healthy naturally. The bodies of wild animals, as well as domestic ones—whose owners know enough not to feed their pets on the kibbled pet food junk sold everywhere—remain lean, sleek and beautiful lifelong. This brings power, ease of movement, stamina and beauty. Then they quite naturally express the exuberance essential to their nature that so inspires us when we are in their presence. Too often, we humans treat our bodies as if they were machines. Your body is nothing like a machine. Use a machine, and it wears out. Move your body, which is designed to be active, and you can delight in watching yourself becoming stronger, more fluid and more alive— no matter what your age or condition right now. Here are some more truths animals can share with us: Animals trust their instincts. If something smells bad, they don't question they just get away from it. Animals are in touch with their innate rhythms and the rhythms of the earth. This creates a life-sustaining harmony. Animals are powerful killers when they need to be. They are infinitely soulful as well and open to forming deep bonds both with us humans and with other animals. An animal eats when it's hungry if food is available. When it is not, it fasts. Animals love to play. Animals respect their elders and embrace the social order. Animals are unabashedly honest and loyal. An animal's patience and discipline when stalking or hunting is phenomenal. Animals form deep bonds with other animals even if they don't belong to the same species. A cat with an owl, a cheetah with a dog, a wild polar bear with a husky, a dolphin with a child, a duck with a rabbit. In Buddhist cosmology, there are beings known as "Bodhisattvas." These are believed to be perfected souls who, out of compassion for the struggles of all of us, choose to forsake enlightenment in order to dedicate themselves to helping liberate all beings. It is said that a Bodhisattva can appear in many forms—as a teacher, a helper, a lover—even an animal. According to Mahayana Buddhist teachings, the Buddha himself spent many lifetimes before experiencing his own liberation beneath the Bodhi tree. In many of these lives, he came to earth as an animal with the intention of bringing wisdom, healing and comfort to all beings. The eighth-century Indian saint Shantideva describes every Bodhisattva's intention: For as long as space endures And for as long as living beings remain. Until then may I too abide To dispel the misery of the world. I believe the gifts of a Bodhisattva are beautifully given us through the generosity of our animal friends. I have intimately known three animals that I sense carried the wisdom, healing power and compassion of a Bodhisattva. There was a cat named Carciofo (Artichoke in Italian), Alba, a hundred and forty pounds of pure white Arctic Wolf, whom Aaron and I shared a room with for five nights in Canada, and Tuffy, a gigantic Collie, who went everywhere with me from the time I was six years old. I have learned so very much from them. They showed me how important it is to watch and listen to animals I meet everywhere. I have always been so grateful for their wisdom. Try spending more and more time with animals, be they wild or domestic. Ask them to teach you how to make your own life richer, healthier and more wonderful. Listen in silence to what they show you. You can be quite sure that they won't let you down.

Psychic Scrub

Psychic Scrub

When it comes to rejuvenation on an emotional and spiritual level, the most powerful way there is to liberate life energy is simply to tell the truth. This means nothing more than allowing yourself to be what you are, without the pretensions or self-limiting assumptions that can unconsciously block the experience of being fully alive and able to make full use of your potentials. Far too much vitality lies stillborn beneath patterns of addictive behavior, fear, and heavy psychological baggage - the kind of stuff we all carry around with us to thwart our energy and make simply being who we are hard work. life energy thwarted The physical, emotional, spiritual and social environment in which most of us grow up rarely supports the full unfolding of our individual nature. As a result, like a plant trying to develop in depleted soil with too little rain and too little sun, each of us develops our own brand of disharmony and distortion. We may try to change ourselves to be what we think others want us to be, or we bury deep inside us all our fears, disappointments and frustrations lest they rock the boat of our day-to-day lives. Every past experience, all thoughts, perceptions and fears, can become encoded within the molecular structures of the body in the form of layer after layer of old "stress". Later on in life such `encoding' can manifest as muscle tension, metabolic processes that don't function as well as they should, negative thought patterns and recurring emotions such as fear, anxiety or depression. This happens to all of us to some degree. When we carry around a lot of old stress we can also gradually develop a lack of trust in ourselves, a lack of confidence, or a feeling of being unworthy or guilty. We can even end up burdened by a sense of meaninglessness which leads to addiction, or greed for material things, so that no matter how much we acquire we never fill up our emptiness. polishing the lens of perception At the core - at the very center of our being - beneath whatever physical, emotional or mental rubbish we have accumulated, is where true freedom is to be found. Rediscovering this freedom is essential for rejuvenation. It asks that we let go of distorted habit patterns, fears and frustrations which have developed over the years, and gradually reassert our trust in our essential self. The false ideas, notions and habit patterns that suppress and squander our life energy make us highly susceptible to early aging. They represent psychic and spiritual rubbish which is not only a big energy drainer but can cause as much free radical damage as living on junk food or taking drugs. The wonderful thing about the psyche is that, like the body, given half the chance it will detoxify itself so that life-changing psychic and spiritual energy is released. Psychic detoxification brings a spiritual rejuvenation in its wake that can echo throughout your whole life, adding the freshness of a child's vision to the wisdom you have developed over the years. There are many ways to go about it. Good psychotherapy can help. So can meditation, certain energy approaches to exercise such as Chi Chung, Tai Chi, Yoga and martial arts practices - provided they are taught with a real understanding of the spiritual power that underlies them. But one of the simplest to learn, yet most effective ways of doing this is by autogenic training. It costs nothing but a little time to learn the technique. Once learned, a daily practice of five or ten minutes a day over time can clear away psychological blocks and lift off stresses that have been locked deep within for a lifetime.

Trust Yourself

Trust Yourself

It is important to realize that no matter how inadequate you feel, your best is likely to be better than anybody else's in raising your child, simply because he is your child. But you will not be perfect. Nobody ever was. You will make mistakes. So will your child. Mistake making and forgiveness on both sides needs to be worked into all agreements between you. It is important to remember that you are not here to sacrifice your life for the child, nor is he meant to sacrifice his for you. You are here to give the best you can, and to do what you believe is right, whether or not this or that particular thing happens to coincide with your child's own wishes. When a parent's relationship with his or her child is honest, without guilt, free of any need to be loved or approved of, then the conflicts that arise between you, instead of being destructive, become positive forces in the growth of your relationship - the child's moving toward independence, and your continuing to grow in confidence and self respect. Raising Nature's child by no means demands that you become a servant or slave. There will come times when you have to put your foot down. This may be the twenty-third time your baby throws his fluffy duck out of the play pen and shouts in a demanding way for you to pick it up and put it back in again. It may be later when your child steps off a curb without looking and you have to grab him by the shirt collar and yank him out of the way of an oncoming bus. Such occasions are no time for `parenting classes'. You have to trust your instincts and take action. He or she won't like it. That is too bad, because it is the right thing to do. I remember when my children first started going to the local church discos. I agreed that they could go but insisted that they be home by 10 o'clock. That was important to me. An early return from nights out was written into a lot of our agreements, probably because as a child I lived in a family where nobody cared what time I came home and I interpreted that to mean they didn't care about me. Each of us has our idiosyncrasies. `But Mummy,' my daughter used to say, `everybody gets to stay out until midnight - it's not fair.' `I am sorry Susannah,' I would reply, `I never said I would always be fair. I want you home by 10 o'clock. Frankly, I don't care in the least what everybody else gets to do. It is home at 10 or you don't go.' nurturing seedpower The remarkable thing about a seed is that you don't have to sit and watch it every minute, nor do you have to buy a lot of expensive paraphernalia to get it to grow beautifully. Far from it. You need to supply very little for a seed to develop into a good plant: some healthy earth; the sun - not too much or the young leaves will burn; enough water - again, not too much, or the seed will rot. These simple things create the environment in which, thanks to the inner wisdom of seedpower and of Nature herself, the tiny seed will develop steadily and gracefully into a full-blown flower. So it is with each baby. Your child is much like a small plant. It needs a safe, healthy environment which allows its unfolding to take place, and of course the trust of its guardian - namely you - in allowing this to happen. Coming to trust this power for unfolding in your own child, learning to listen with your intuition and mind and heart to what a child is telling you and making use of some simple techniques for feeding, encouraging play and creativity, and helping your child's body heal himself whenever he is ill, is about all it takes to nurture a child the gentle way. By doing so, you encourage the full development of an individual into whatever he or she is genetically and spiritually designed to become. It doesn't cost a lot of money and it doesn't require that you become some superhuman parent. cut out commercialism In our society, babies are big business. Television, newspapers, magazines - even the little pamphlets they give you free at mother and baby clinics - are full of advice about what you should do and information about products: from bottled baby foods, to special so-called educational toys - which, they tell you, you simply cannot be without if you are to raise a healthy, happy and well adjusted child (whatever that is). All of them have been created by special interest groups. So has a lot of the information about health, diet and child care that appears in the media. Its sources include drug companies intent upon selling immunization serums, purveyors of baby clothes and goods keen to enhance their profits, and baby food manufacturers determined to convince you the best foods for your child come in miniature glass jars. They are all designed to serve their own interests. And they all, to a greater or lesser degree, exploit parents. By preying on our fears of inadequacy and our desire to do the best we can for our children, they can make us feel powerless. Such propaganda not only induces you to spend a lot more money than you need to on a baby or child, it shifts the emphasis of parenthood away from the enormously rich, challenging and fascinating realm of relationship between you and your child, where it belongs, towards a goal of amassing a lot of material junk. I am often horrified by the quantities of shiny plastic rubbish modern parents can collect around their babies and children - toys that never get played with, clothes that never get worn and convenience foods which should never be eaten since they have little capacity to nourish any child. nurturing the seed What your child really needs is what every child in every culture throughout the world has needed for the last million years - simple wholesome food, physical warmth, play, the opportunity slowly and gently to learn about the world around him and about the culture into which he has been born, as well as a parent - or maybe two - who not only makes sure he is safe but delights in his presence. Many parents worry that having a baby will restrict their lives enormously by making them stay home all the time. It does for a while but it needn't always. Traveling with a baby who is breast-fed is just about the easiest thing in the world to do. All he needs is his mother plus a few nappies. He does not need the full range of newfangled travel gear from a slick baby shop. I have traveled with all my children - by car, by rail, by plane - all my life. I not only find it easy, I enjoy having their companionship - especially when you are stuck in some foreign city with no friends in one of those faceless hotel rooms. It is good then to have a friend. A Nature's Child can be just about the best friend you will ever have.

Nails To Flaunt

Nails To Flaunt

Beautiful nails are no accident. A few fortunate women seem to have been born with genes which lend themselves to the growth of long, strong nails, but the rest of us have to work at it. The encouraging thing is that a little work - some changes in nutrition plus a new regime of external care - can transform your nails within a few months. why weak nails? The standard advice (still, sadly, given by a lot of so-called nail experts) is that if your nails are weak or thin or break easily, you need to eat lots of protein to correct the condition. It is this assumption that leads manicurists to suggest gelatin capsules for weak nails. But it is a false one. Very soft nails most often announce not a protein deficiency, but either a mineral deficiency or hypochlorhydrin: lack of sufficient stomach acid. This prevents the adequate production of amino acids from which nails can be built. One of the best possible overall treatments for nails is to go on a six-week course of nutritional supplementation aimed at eliminating hypochlorhydrin. This means taking three 500 mg capsules of a good blend of amino acids (ideally formulated to mimic the balance found naturally in an egg), together with one or two tablets of betaine hydrochloride, and three to six kelp tablets after each meal. It is a method which tends to work even when all others fail. For anyone who has consistently struggled with the problem of poor nails it can be a real blessing. nail glamour Part of the fun of looking glamorous is having 10 beautiful lady-of-leisure nails to waft about. Yet who wants to spend their life wearing protective gloves, worrying about the `catastrophe' of breaking a nail? Learn the French manicure secrets for strong nails and then you can renew your manicure just once a week. Nail Saver Tips Without becoming obsessive, there are certain precautions you can take to help protect your nails from physical damage: Use a pencil to dial the telephone. Use a knuckle rather than your fingertip to push buttons, for example to call a lift. Keep hand lotion ready to use after you wash your hands and during the day. Use rubber gloves every time you wash the dishes. the french manicure You need: nail varnish remover, cotton wood pads, emery board or nail soak, orange stick, cuticle trimmer, nail scissors, buffer (optional), base coat, nail varnish, top coat. The pre-manicure If you are short on time, just do steps 1 and 2. Save the longer pre-manicure for really pampering yourself. 1. Filing It is best to file your nails while they still have polish on so that they are afforded some protection. Keep the sides of the nails straight and only file the corners in a gentle curve. Follow the natural shape of your nails as a guide and file away from the outer edge towards the center in one direction. 2. Cleaning Soak a cotton pad with a remover containing conditioner and press it onto the nail for a few seconds, then wipe it outwards away from the cuticle. If you have been wearing colored varnish you may need to soak a cotton bud with remover and go around the edge of the cuticle to help lift away any remaining color. If your nails are stained , use a cut piece of lemon to help dissolve the stain and whiten them. 3. Soaking Soak your fingertips in a bowl of warm water containing a conditioning nail soak. You can make your own using a few drops of your favorite bath oil dissolved in water. Cuticle care Rinse your hands and pat them dry. Using an orange stick, gently push back your cuticles. This will make your nails appear longer. 5. Top abrasion This step can be helpful if your nails have bad ridges, while you are waiting for the nutritional supplements to affect the new nail growth. Also, if you do not like to wear nail varnish, you can get a polished look naturally. Using a special flexible buffing board with three different grades of roughness on it, simply buff the nail in one direction several times. Start with the heaviest grade and work towards the finest. 6. Final squeak Rub over each nail once more with a cotton pad soaked in nail varnish remover to prepare an oil-free base on which to apply your varnish. The manicure Three steps to success: 1. The base Apply a layer of protective base coat to each nail. Look for a base coat which incorporates nail strengthener. 2. Tip treat Paint the tip of each nail - the white part - with white enamel. This can be matte white or pearlized white. Not only does this keep your nails looking fresh and clean but, more importantly, it gives them extra strength at the tips where they need it. Let the tips dry and then add another tip coat. 3. Top Finish the manicure by applying a layer of top coat to the entire nail to seal the lacquers. To keep your manicure fresh and protect your nails even further, paint a coat of top coat over the top of your manicure every evening and massage a little cuticle cream into your cuticles.

The Wonders Of Exercise

The Wonders Of Exercise

Let’s talk exercise. It’s time we did. For there is no area of health more misunderstood than exercise—its benefits, its drawbacks—what it will and won’t do. The medical profession continues to feed us the party line: It begins with “every calorie is unique…it doesn’t matter where it comes from…if you want to lose weight, all you have to do is burn calories through exercise.” This is absolutely untrue—in fact, exercise can sometimes be seriously detrimental to those who are considerably overweight. Nevertheless doctors, and the media, keep telling us that it works. And, like sheep, we just keep trusting them. MEDICAL IGNORANCE What happens? Well, when people find that it doesn’t work, they get depressed. They feel like failures. They stop exercising and start eating more because they’re disheartened. They figure that exercising is no use. This makes metabolic syndrome—Syndrome X—worse than ever. For metabolic syndrome and chronic high blood sugar levels are what makes us fat, and keep us that way. That’s the bad news. The good news about exercise is this: Whether you’re overweight or not, exercise done regularly, for as little as 15 minutes a day, is absolutely the single most important thing that you can do to improve your overall health. TRUTH ABOUT CALORIES Because of the media, the medical profession, and purveyors of diet supplements, just about everybody still believes that energy expenditure—and therefore calorie burning—comes with exercise. However the truth is that during physical activity, only the smallest amount of energy expenditure takes place. Exercise accounts for no more than 5% of the calories you burn, unless you happen to be a top athlete. I think this will surprise you too: The greatest percent of calorie burning takes place, not while you’re moving, but while you are sleeping. This phenomenon is called “resting energy expenditure”. Depending on how heavy or light you are, resting energy can account for as much as 60% of your total daily energy expenditure. Another way your body expends energy by burning calories is thanks to the “thermic effect of food”. This refers to the energy it takes your body to digest, absorb and metabolize the foods you have eaten This thermic effect accounts for about 10% of the energy that you burn during the day. So you can see by contrast just how low, in fact virtually insignificant, is the amount of calories burnt during most physical activities. TOTALLY MISUNDERSTOOD The idea most people have—that if they exercise they can lose weight—is also nothing more than a pipe dream. So what does exercise actually do for you? The answer is: some pretty wonderful things. Exercise enhances sensitivity to insulin. This helps your body make use of the fat that has accumulated in the liver and around other organs improving insulin sensitivity and lower ing insulin levels. It also improves both leptin signaling and leptin sensitivity in the cells., calming food cravings, improving muscle tone, and making you feel more vital. Exercise builds muscle. Most people, including most medical doctors, still wrongly equate BMI (Body Mass Index) with body fat. The truth is BMI does not measure the difference between muscle and fat, or between subcutaneous fat (the inessential fat) and visceral fat. Many studies looking at body composition before and after periods of exercise show that the percentage of fat goes down. But this is only because muscle has increased. As this takes place, a person’s metabolic facilities are also improved. PREVENTING ILLNESS We are often told that we need to change our diet in order to prevent heart disease. Indeed this is quite true: However, the metabolic transformations that take place during regular moderate exercise are an even more powerful force than dieting for preventing disease—including heart disease. To take things further, exercise is actually a more effective force in preventing heart disease than losing weight! A study of almost 40,000 American men demonstrated quite clearly that physical activity was more important in preventing heart disease than being normal weight. These major gifts of exercise are more important than people realize, but they have nothing to do with controlling weight. Let’s look now at how exercise works, biochemically and physiologically. NEW ENERGY FACTORIES Regular exercise activates your sympathetic nervous system. This , in turn, tells your muscles to make new mitochondria. Mitochondria are the amazing little energy factories inside muscle cells that burn glucose or fatty acids, to produce vitality for your whole body. Regular exercise plays a big role not only in building new mitochondria, but in getting rid of the old, inefficient mitochondria. Old mitochondria do not function properly. As a result they produce free radicals to undermine your health and encourage rapid aging. Regular exercise clears away the old and helps your muscles make clean and efficient use of the energy stored within the new. This too improves insulin sensitivity, and enhances metabolic health all round. STRESS BUSTER Regular exercise lowers your stress levels. It’s true that blood cortisol levels go up temporarily when you start to exercise. This is a good thing, It keeps your blood sugar and blood pressure up while you are moving. They come back down quickly afterwards. In fact, one of the long term benefits of regular exercise is that it reduces blood pressure. This is thanks to exercise’s ability to lower stress levels all round. Regular exercise also encourages your body to release feel-good chemicals in the brain known as endorphins. This makes regularly moving the body one of the most effective treatments for depression, far better than drugs or psychotherapy. The way exercise increases endorphins always fascinated me. This was what made me become a regular runner. I was determined to experience what is known as the “runner’s high”. And I found it wonderful. WHAT EXERCISE IS BEST For a long time we’ve been told that the best kind of exercise is low-intensity, long interval, aerobic practices, now known as “cardio exercise”. We learned that cardio worked the heart in a beneficial way, and provided all sorts of cardiovascular benefits by pumping more blood to the heart, slowing heart rate, and increasing peripheral muscles. The one thing it was never able to do—although we were misled to believe that it did—was bring about weight loss. Recently, however, a number of studies have shown that high-intensity interval training, where you use an extreme activity for a very short period of time interspersed with a short recovery—as well as plain old weight training—brings equal improvements both in waist circumference and blood vessel flow. So the bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose. Just do it. BE CAUTIOUS Whatever kind you decide to try, you need to do it regularly—at least five days a week. Why? Because the wonderful metabolic effects of exercise—which tell your mitochondria to divide and make new mitochondrial factories for vitality—slow and decline when you miss even a day of exercising. Miss two weeks, and your insulin sensitivity is likely to decline as well until it reaches the level it was before you started exercising. So whatever you decide to do, do it regularly. You need only do it for short periods, but do it every day. A FINAL WORD It is not only the overweight by the way who suffer from insulin resistance—metabolic syndrome. So do 40% of normal weight men and women, especially those who have fatty livers. Recent research shows that fitness not only helps mitigate the effects of overweight on visceral fat. In fact, it mitigates many other health complaints also provided you are consistent with doing it. This is also likely to increase your longevity. And...great news...if you are overweight, but not obese, exercising regularly can help you live significantly longer than that emaciated model on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Recent research shows that overweight people with BMIs between 25 and 30 tend to live longer than skinny people with BMIs of less than 19. DO WHAT YOU LOVE The most important thing for you to decide is what kind of exercise you want to do. It can be as simple as going for a walk each day for half an hour—not a power walk, just one where you feel the movements of, and a connection with, your body. It can be dance. It doesn’t have to be vigorous. It can be rebounding on a mini-trampoline. It can be moderate weight training, for 15-20 minutes a day. I personally like cycling on a wind-trainer. This is a device that your bicycle fits into. It allows you to regulate how hard you choose to pump while the wheels spin but the bicycle remains static. I use a wind trainer because I don’t like cycling on roads. The other exercise I do is on a Concept 2 rowing machine which I was given many years ago. I use it five days a week for 20 minutes at a time. I love doing it: It enables me to move my whole body, and brings me a rhythmic feeling of being completely connected to it. What exercise you do depends entirely on what you love. So begin to experiment. Let go of the idea that exercise is going to make you thin. It will not. What it will do for your health, your emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and to slow the aging process, is fantastic. It can also be a lot of fun. Discover the joys and great gifts that come with moving your body. The time is now. REFERENCES P. Wen et al., "Minimum Amount of Physical Activity for Reduced Mortality and Extended Life Expectancy: A Prospective Cohort Study," Lancet 378 (2011) S. Ludwig, "The Glycemic Index: Physiological Mechanisms Relating to Obesity, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease," JAMA 287 (2002) Stensvold et al., "Strength Training versus Aerobic Interval Training to Modify Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome," /. Appl. Physiol. 108 (2010) P. Little et al, "Skeletal Muscle and Beyond: The Role of Exercise as a Mediator of Systemic Mitochondrial Biogenesis," Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 36 (2011) K. J. Acheson et al., "Protein Choices Targeting Thermogenesis and Metabolism," Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 93 (2011) Shaw et al., "Exercise for Overweight or Obesity," Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. CD003817 (2006) M. J, Gibala et al, "Physiological Adaptations to Low-Volume, High-Intensity Interval Training in Health and Disease," /. Physiol. 590, no. 5 (2012) A. McAuley et al., "Obesity Paradox and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in 12,417 M a l e Veterans Aged 40 to 70 Years," Mayo Clin. Proc. 85 (2010) Bajpeyi et al., "Effect of Exercise Intensity and Volume on Persistence of Insulin Sensitivity During Training Cessation," /. Appl. Physiol. 106 (2009)

Cura Breaks New Ground

Cura Breaks New Ground

Too often, lost in my research and writing, I forget to bring you up to date with important developments that are taking place on NEW CURA ROMANA. My apologies... Let me make up for this now. The changes and improvements that we continue to make are happening fast on all levels: An even more effective Consolidation. An even more potent Essential Spray. A new Cura Romana book. Huge volumes of intriguing reports, as well as a brand new video about the program by me, plus information about where we are going from here. Whew! By the way, participants on the program have spontaneously chosen their own affectionate name for it. More and more people have affectionately come to call their weight, health and life transformations “CURA” which I just love. I only wish I’d thought of it myself. After all, the word CURA means “to give attention to, to care for, to cure, to heal”—all of the things Aaron and I value most. So CURA it is from now on. MY OWN CURA STORY Hundreds who joined the CURA family in the last year keep badgering me to tell them about my own personal struggles with weight. “Did you once suffer from shame about your body?” they ask. “Did you have food cravings?” “Did you ever feel powerless to change all this?” My brand new video, which has now taken over the home page at curaromana.com, will give you all the answers to these questions. It will also tell you all about why CURA bears no resemblance to every other weight loss diet, about the way which it clears food cravings and addictions, as well as how it so often rejuvenates the body in medically measurable ways. Do check it out. BOOK CONFUSION NOW OVER We have had lots of trouble with people misunderstanding that the New Cura Romana book (Bright Orange) is most certainly NOT at all the same as my first CR book (Shocking Pink) but in some new format.  This false notion grew out of a mistake that my wonderful publishers made (I guess everyone is allowed to make one now and then). Somebody in their publicity department mistakenly sent out the wrong press release—namely the same release that they’d sent out for the old book, when it came out way back in 2011. What a mess! Even Amazon became confused, since the same wrong words were put onto their site as a description for the new book. As a result, Amazon has refused to allow people who buy the new book to write reviews of it if they had previously purchased bought the old book, since even Amazon thought the two books were the same. Such a drama! THE TRUTH BE TOLD Leslie Kenton’s New Cura Romana Weightloss Plan is a major advance on the first Cura Romana book.  It guides you through our powerful new Consolidation process, making it easier than ever for weight lost during Essential Spray+Food Plan to stay lost! The new book also conveys my hands-on experience with thousands of men and women all over the world who have done CURA over the past four years, and merges this with vital, up-to-the-minute information any reader needs to make the best of a Cura Romana experience using any book. It guides you step-by-step through Cura Romana’s second-generation protocol, so you learn secrets about banishing addictions, clearing food cravings and staying healthy and lean for life. So, if you decide to shed weight by yourself, make sure you read the new ORANGE book and not the old PINK one which is now way out of date. This is important! ONLINE WORKS BEST That being said, no published book, regardless of how up to date it is, can compare with our CURA JOURNEY PROGRAM or our INNER CIRCLE GOLD CURA online. Why is this the case? Because Aaron and I are continually updating and upgrading the guidance and materials that we bring to participants. This means that CURA ONLINE is literally up to the minute. In the fast moving world in which we now live, no book can ever offer this. You see, the mechanics of book publishing grind slowly. It often takes a year after receiving the manuscript from an author to bring a new book to the public. UP-TO-THE MINUTE Aaron and I do our utmost to bring our CURA participants the most powerful up-to-the-moment guidance, techniques, research and information—stuff that not only helps weight loss, followed by weight stabilization, take place rapidly and smoothly. For us, participants on both programs become part of the CURA family. Some of our people want to shed as little as 10 pounds of fat and then keep it off forever. Others want to lose as much as 40 to 50 kilos, or even more. Their goals are not only to end weight struggles forever, but to experience optimal, drug-free health. Still others—both men and women—look to discover a way of life that increases natural vitality, improves athletic performance, helps clear cellulite and PMS in women, and fosters emotional balance, bringing a sense of freedom and pleasure in just being alive. Not only are these things possible, they are already being experienced by thousands of men and women throughout the world who learn the secrets we love to share. We are constantly updating our online audios, videos, teaching instruments and recipes to make all this possible. My very own audios and videos, made especially for the program, guide you day-by-day from start to finish. Are you serious about leaving behind past failures, food-cravings and self-criticism, and replacing them with your naturally lean and healthy body? Are you ready to create a new life for yourself? Then check out which program is right for you, and join the CURA family online. We send you all the Essential Spray you need for whichever program you choose. They’re included in the cost. Oh yes, and before I forget to tell you: CURA’S JOURNEY PROGRAM is about the best value for money we think you’ll find anywhere. PLEASE BEWARE In case you are going to use my New Cura Romana Weightloss Plan book, there are a couple of important things you should know. First, Leslie Kenton’s Essential Spray, designed for use on any Cura Romana program, is not only unique in its formulation and its effectiveness. It is also the only product for effective weight loss “Fulfilled By Amazon” worldwide. It has been ever since January 2011, when my original book was published. You’ll find several knock-offs aggressively advertised on Amazon, but every one of these products are NOT Amazon-sold. They are sold by companies wanting to get in on the act. It would be fine if they came anywhere near the effectiveness of Essential Spray. Sadly, they don’t. I discovered all of this because many people who were trying to do Cura Romana using my books wrote to me for help. They said they had not been experiencing enhanced health, improved hormone balance and emotional wellbeing, all of which are hallmarks of our Essential Spray, which took John Morgan and I many months to formulate and test before it was released for sale. When these frustrated people told me of their disappointments and that they had bought one of these products thinking it would work fine, I asked them to stop taking it and use Essential Spray instead. They took my advice and never looked back. So please beware of copycat products my friends. You deserve to get the very best from your Cura Romana experience. This is why Aaron and I work so hard to make it possible for you. By the way, do take a look at our brand new packaging for ESSENTIAL SPRAY. We think it’s turned out kind of cool. Let us know what you think. WORDS FROM THE EXPERTS YOU are our experts! Those of you who have done the programs and become part of the CURA family speak to us of your experiences, and we listen. Without your feedback reports after completing your CURA program—either the CR Journey or the Inner Circle—we would never be able to move forward with continuing to make your experience easier, more powerful, more successful and more satisfying all round. Aaron and I are grateful to all of you who have meticulously filled out our “Help From You” questionnaires. We love knowing what worked for you, and what we might be able to improve on. And we feel so good when we hear some of the wonderful praise that you send us, which you kindly ask that we share with others. So here goes—here is some of the recent praise which we’ve been told to share: Louise who’s just lost 12 kilos writes: “Believe me, you will not regret Cura! It is an amazing journey that makes you look deep into yourself, heals and embraces the real you. I am still benefitting in so many ways. People tell me I look fabulous—today I was told I look “hot” by one of my customers. Not bad for a 50 year old!” Natalie, who lost 26.6 pounds on a recent Inner Circle 45 program, had this to say about Leslie’s personal voicemails: “I loved them. She makes me laugh. I love how feisty she is and admire her passion and energy! She is amazingly knowledgeable—a real food and medicine guru!” Merrilyn, who recently shed 16.3 kilos, asked us to share these comments with you: “I have been on diets, spending huge amounts of money for 40 years, getting bigger with each attempt and feeling more miserable with each failure. This program has flipped the switch for me. It has not only allowed me to lose weight without losing tone and condition, it has redefined my shape—I now have clavicles! If that was the only outcome, it would have been worth it. But there is so much more that it has done for me. I am in complete control of my eating now and I no longer have an “off a diet on a diet” mentality. I love eating the Consolidation way. I really enjoy fresh, whole, organic foods so much more than what I used to eat with the added bonus that it’s also so much better for the environment. The hardest thing to convince anyone of who has not experienced CURA is the amazing feeling of well being, true peace and happiness it brings. They think this is just a case of feeling better about yourself. But I know that it’s much more profound than that—something you just have to experience for yourself to understand. And all the health benefits—throw out the antacids, the osteo treatments and feel young again. Dance all night. Play all day. Life is wonderful!” All your generous praise makes us proud and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for urging us to share them with others. Love and blessings to each and every one of you...

Get High On Life

Get High On Life

Several years ago, as a result of an unexpected breakthrough in my own life, I came to understand something remarkable: Bliss is a natural state for human beings. When we feel blissful, it’s not only a wonderful personal experience—it connects us with our compassion for ourselves and others and with innate creative power. It shows us that we are capable of living life to the full, regardless of current circumstances. Unfortunately, in the chaotic atmosphere of the 21st century, with all its economic uncertainties, political unrest and suffering, too few of us tap into our capacity for bliss. Perhaps the greatest reward of working with participants on the on-line Cura Romana program is this: As a result of changes that take place physically, emotionally, and spiritually bliss becomes a frequent visitor in their lives. BODY OF BLISS Our capacity for bliss, as well as our need to experience it, is inscribed in our primitive brain—almost as deeply as our need for air, water and food. Bliss is the medium through which mind, spirit and emotions weave a tapestry of meaning. Bliss renews. Bliss cleanses. It makes us feel whole, solid, stable and alive. Bliss tells us: “This is something I want to try.” Then it brings us the courage to go for it. So important is bliss to our discovering who in truth we already are and to our realizing our goals, that when we deny our need for it we are forced to look for artificial substitutes. Addictions arise: to food, drugs, alcohol, sex—even ambition. But addictions always disempower us. They lead us further away from the authentic freedom that is our birthright. Here’s the bottom line: Find out what brings you bliss day by day. Make space for it in your life and you forge your own unique path to authentic freedom, creativity and joy. Where do you begin? Here’s a three-stage process: Dive into stillness Immerse yourself in sound Discover your passions JOURNEY TO THE CORE At the center of your being is a place of safety and security which you can move into when you so choose then out of again to meet the outside world, form friendships and share your gifts with others. This place within is a permanent sanctuary to which you are able to return when you feel tired, confused, or in need of more vitality and new directions. The key that opens this particular door to stillness is sensuous breathing for letting go. HERE’S HOW: Lie on the floor on your back and just let go, so your arms and legs flop. Close your eyes. Feel your body against the floor. Do you notice any tension in any part of it? Shoulders? Back? Legs? Focus inside your body; notice where you sense any movement in your muscles as you breathe. Imagine you are breathing into that spot. Imagine you can exhale through that part of your body. As you do, experience the breath relaxing your sore muscles as it filters through them. As you become more and more relaxed, experiment with movements that are a natural consequence of free breathing. They are blissful movements. WHOLE BODY SENSUALITY As you breathe in, your pelvis tips back ever so gently, creating a slight arch to your back. Your abdomen and chest rise. Your ribs and back expand and your chin tilts forward just barely. Then, when you exhale, your pelvis moves down again so your spine almost touches the floor, your back contracts, and your chin and head move back again, exposing the front of your neck a bit more. This subtle, natural movement turns into a wave-like motion that gently flows without hesitation from in-breath to out-breath. The whole process of sensuous breathing is already encoded in the human body. Experiment with this kind of breathing, and before long you will discover that it happens automatically. And as this takes place, you can enter a realm of deep stillness and begin to experience a surprising bliss. It’s a bliss that revives, restores energy and helps set you free from habit patterns that no longer serve you. Try it a few times and see for yourself.  SOUND POWER Sound is another effective medium for invoking bliss. The sound of running water winding its way over stones in a stream cleanses the mind of worries and leaves us feeling calm and clear. The sound of a heartbeat played in an infant's cot reassure her and send her into blissful sleep. Take advantage of the sounds of nature even if you live a bustling city life by regularly using earphones and an MP3 audio which reproduces the breaking of waves or the calling of birds. Then there is simply listening to music. This is one of the few human activities that activates the whole brain. Intrinsic to all cultures, music brings us profound benefits—improving memory and focusing attention, as well as enhancing physical coordination and development. It opens our mind and body to experiences of deep pleasure and joy. The right kind of music clears the mind. It filters out distractions and improves focus on whatever activity we happen to be involved in. The finest classical music is generally the best choice. By now it is common knowledge that babies exposed to classical music while in the womb are likely to be born with higher intelligence. GIFTS FOR FREEDOM Music also spurs creativity. Artists and writers learn this from experience. For some, even writer’s block can be cleared by listening to music. Sound and music are processed by both sides of the brain simultaneously. This encourages a unity of perception and feeling in us. Listening to music also reduces chronic pain, including that of osteoarthritis rheumatoid arthritis, back problems and muscular aches. It also alleviates depression by as much as 25%. This is one of the reasons that music therapy is increasingly used in hospitals. It reduces the need for medication during childbirth, decreases post-operative pain, and complements the use of anesthesia during surgery. How does music do this? Music helps us feel that we have a sense of calm control over our bodies. It triggers bliss, fosters relaxation and encourages the release of endorphins. Gentle music relaxes us, slowing the rate of breathing and the heartbeat. It reduces stress all round. Music also boosts immune functions. Some kinds of music can create a positive and profound emotional experience which leads to the secretion of immune-boosting hormones. This contributes to a reduction in the factors responsible for illness. Listening to music or singing decreases levels of the stress-related hormone, cortisol. CHOOSE YOUR MUSIC The most important question then becomes “What kind of music do you use for what?” This is such an individual experience. Everything from Mozart to the soul dynamism of Brazil’s Capoeira can do it for you. I believe that we humans need lots of different kinds of music if we are to gain the greatest value from it. Let me share with you some of my own favorite music and composers. Get yourself an inexpensive iPod or other MP3 player. Experiment with music from different artists and genres. Don’t be afraid to explore lots of different kinds of music in your own life. Find out what each makes you feel. The bliss awaiting you as you do is virtually unlimited. Here are a few of my personal suggestions to get you started: Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony Craig Armstrong’s film music Brazilian Capoeira Arvo Part John Martyn Al Gromer Khan  YOUR OWN BLISS TRIGGERS OK. We’ve explored a few bliss-creating experiences together, from stillness and sensuous breathing to sound. There are many more. It’s time to find out what brings you joy. Get yourself a simple notebook. Start making a list of all the things that bring pleasure to your body and mind by enlivening your senses. Continue adding to your list day-by-day and week-by-week as you become aware of more possibilities. Let your imagination run wild. At the beginning of each week, make a pact with yourself to enjoy one or more of these things within the next three days. And keep your promise. Experiment. Find out just how much enjoyment your body can take! Remember, your body thrives on bliss—feed it and it will reward you with energy, rejuvenation and joy that builds week by week into a whole new way of being for you. Here are a few of my own favorites. Making love. Running along the cliffs above the sea. Smelling lilies and freesias, roses, jasmine, and honeysuckle. Watching a good movie. Dancing with abandon to wonderful wild music. Feeling the breeze on my face on a bike ride. Swimming naked. Listening to all sorts of music. Lounging in front of an open fire. Reading a fascinating book. Spending time with a young child listening to its stories and make-believe games. Snuggling up to my cats. Eating fresh organic strawberries. Walking in the rain. What are yours? Write them down. Then create an intention to make them a part of your life, day-by-day. DIVE DEEP This experience feels like diving deep into a lake where the water is shot through with streams of light in constant motion—one moment gentle and lulling, the next wild or filled with the excitement of wind or the pounding of rain. This is what it can feel like for each of us as we delve deeper into the blissful state and develop greater aliveness. Bliss asks us to immerse ourselves in a way of being and thinking, living and dreaming that feels brand new. Try some of the activities that bring you the greatest joy, will help you rediscover ancient echoes of an endlessly rich way of living too long forgotten. Of course, at the deepest levels, we have never forgotten at all. Reconnecting with your innate capacity for bliss doesn’t happen overnight. It is a constantly developing experience, which makes it possible for us to reach levels of vitality, joy, clarity and radiant health which previously seemed beyond reach. The process begins by reconnecting with the body and developing a determination to live life your own way come hell or high water.

Crisis To Creativity

Crisis To Creativity

Christmas had been full of laughter. But on Boxing Day when the children left, Emma began to cry. Grief racked her body. It was as though she had been taken over by a power beyond herself. There was no apparent reason for this, yet it went on for three hours. That was the beginning. Within three weeks, each time she went out to walk in the woods near her house, the trees, the grass, the rocks - all came alive. They seemed to vibrate with energy and to glisten with light, almost to breathe. Their colors had become overwhelming - too intense to bear. Panic set in. This healthy and competent woman in her early fifties feared that she was losing her mind. The doctor suggested tranquilizers, sleeping pills and psychotherapy. "Don't worry," he assured her. "We will soon have it all under control." For Rebecca, 32, the crunch came at work after neglecting her relationship with her lover and ignoring a mounting biological urge to have a child, then passing up two intriguing job offers and working 18 hours a day for seven months on a marketing plan for a new toothpaste. She knew it was just what she needed for a promotion which would make her the first woman on the board. Then the managing director announced the take over. The launch had to be scrapped. The product would have been in direct competition with the new company's own product already on the market. Two days later, her boyfriend announced he had fallen in love with someone else and was leaving. Then one morning while doing her morning run in the park, Rebecca sprained her left ankle so badly that she could not walk at all for two weeks. This meant that now, when it was absolutely crucial that she be at work to secure her future, she found herself completely bedridden. She felt her life collapsing around her and knew she was helpless to do anything about it. the signs of molting Two women in crisis - that moment in life when the foundations of personal safety, beliefs, security or values are challenged, overwhelmed by either internal forces or external events. When any one of us experiences such a crisis it is a sign that a molting is about to take place. We are being asked to walk a passage which, if made with awareness and trust, can expand our experience of life and our sense of ourselves enormously. This demand for personal metamorphosis may be triggered by a death, the ending of a love affair, the recognition that one is addicted to alcohol, drugs or work, a dawning awareness that what you have always worked for and what you have achieved no longer holds meaning for you, the loss of a job or reputation, or even the detoxification process of a cleansing regime. Although each person's metamorphosis is unique, experiences of profound change have much in common. The advice to people in the midst of crisis is pretty standard too. It goes something like this: "Pull yourself together," or "Don't worry," or "Go see the doctor" (who most often supplies a long-standing prescription for potent antidepressants, barbiturates, or tranquilizers). In the case of women - particularly women of menopausal age - the men in their lives (whether they be husbands, lovers or bosses) are frequently made so uncomfortable by the unexpected changes in a woman's feelings and behavior (changes that they themselves feel unable to handle) that they insist she must be mentally or biologically ill. For they, like most of us, just want things to return to normal. We are all afraid of crisis, and fair enough. Change that is truly transformative seldom comes easily. mid-life transition Emma's background was simple. After many years as a successful wife and mother, she approached the time in her life when all of the structures on which her life had been built were becoming redundant. Her children had left home for university and work. Her husband, the managing director of a large engineering firm traveled a lot and she, who had given up a job in publishing twenty five years before to look after her young family, felt she had little to look forward to. Before crisis struck, Emma had become vaguely aware of these things and told herself she should take up a hobby or go back to work, but nothing grabbed her interest. Thanks to the success of her husband's business, she did not need to earn money. When, unable to cope with the strange states of consciousness into which she found herself plunged, and on the advice of friends and family, she sought help from the doctor, he told her she was menopausal and wrote out a prescription for tranquilizers and hormone replacement. Something prevented her from having the prescription filled. "I feared I was losing my mind and I was absolutely terrified that these intense visual experiences together with sensations of powerful energies flowing through my body in waves day after day were a sign that I was actually going to die," she says, "But a small voice somewhere deep inside me kept saying `see it through - don't run away from it.' I didn't know where to turn. Everyone, including my husband, thought I was irresponsible not to do as the doctor advised. The irony of it all was that the one thing on which I had always prided myself was my sense of responsibility." The healing power of friendship As it turned out, Emma was lucky. Despite her embarrassment and shame about what had been happening to her, she frequently spoke about it to people whom she did not know very well. "It was as if I had to tell someone" she says "and I couldn't speak to my family and closest friends since they were convinced I was crazy." One of the people she told was a woman who had herself been through a similar experience five years earlier. Emma, relieved to find anybody who "understood" and didn't brand her psychotic, began spending time with this woman. On the advice of her husband who thought a change of scene would be good for her, she decided to spend a fortnight with her new friend in a small holiday cottage in the Lowlands of Scotland. There the two women lived together, ate together and walked in the wilderness. Emma's symptoms continued, but the woman she was with was not in the least afraid of them, neither did she worry about Emma's intense emotions - feelings of grief at the loss of her children, of uncertainty about her future, of abandonment much like a baby must feel when taken from its mother - nor about her strange bodily sensations which were particularly severe at night. She simply stayed with her friend and allowed it all to happen. In Emma's own words, "The experience of her simply letting me be in the state I was in and her complete sense of trust that what was happening to me was all right was incredible for me. I learnt from it that the death I feared was not physical death as I had thought, but the death of everything in myself that was meant to die - the end of the life I had lived as a mother, always sacrificing myself for the sake of my children and my husband, and the death of my image of myself as a responsible but limited person with no real sense of identity apart from the way I could serve others." After about ten days, her symptoms peaked and then began to subside. By the time she got home she was still experiencing strange energy flows in her body and the colors still seemed extraordinarily bright (it took about three months for all that to change) but now she no longer feared what was happening because, she says, "I could feel for the first time in my life that there really was something inside me - something very alive and real. I am determined to get to know it and to find out what it is all about. Where it will lead I don't know. I have begun to paint - to try to get some of that vibrancy of color on paper. Incidentally, a lot of people don't like the `new me'. They prefer the `good old reliable Emma'. But I feel, far from my life being over, that I am beginning a new adventure and that wherever it takes me, it is uniquely mine." harbingers of change This sense of impending death which Emma experienced is common in the experience of molting. It is something I have experienced again and again before a major change takes place in my life. As American expert in transformative psychology, John Wier Perry MD says, "Whenever a profound experience of change is about to take place, its harbinger is the motif of death. This is not particularly mysterious, since it is the limited view and appraisal of oneself that must be outgrown or transformed, and to accomplish transformation the self-image must be dissolved... one is forced to let go of old expectations... let oneself be tossed about by the winds of change...cultivating a more capacious consciousness, open to new dimensions of experience." Perry, a Jungian analyst, encourages people to work through their experiences - even when they are very extreme - without the mitigating effect of drugs. Instead they are given the support of a safe place to be while their particular molting is taking place, and a lot of loving support from people who have, from experience in their own lives, learned to turn the experience of crisis into a passage to power. Perry insists that, like the crab in need of a new shell, what precipitates such a crisis is the surfacing of energy from deep within the psyche, which has been bound up in the structures of a self-image or a worldview that has become obsolete - too limited to suit a person's needs. where inner and outer meet One of the most common objections amongst conventional "batten-down-the-hatches" psychologists to viewing crisis as part of a transformational process is that, while a crisis such as Emma's appears largely to have arisen from within, that of Rebecca was triggered entirely by outside events - the company take over, the decision of the man in her life to leave her, the accident to her ankle which put her to bed - all things over which she had no control. Or did she? According to British transpersonal psychologist Barbara Sommers, the outer and the inner world are not as separate as we might imagine. A woman like Rebecca may be far more responsible for precipitating the outer events that triggered her crisis than she thinks. Each of us has an inner and an outer world. When these two get out of balance, say, by emphasizing external or material values to the detriment of more personal deeper values, then a person invites disruption. The more someone like Rebecca pushes on with her ambitions and neglects her inner voice, the closer she brings herself to situations that precipitate crisis. Then crisis becomes a way of rebalancing things by forcing her to turn and look within. Things fail: She loses the man she loves because she has, by her actions, undervalued and neglected the relationship, and she damages her body so she is quite literally forced to go to bed, to be alone and to listen to her inner voice. In Sommers' words, "The real woman inside her doesn't like the way she has been living so she starts to cry out, `What about me?' The more she drives her energy into her conscious external life, the more power from her unconscious is generated to redress the balance. The `feeling' side of her (as opposed to the `doing' side) actually magnetizes a field around her so things start to happen." According to Sommers the important thing about Rebecca's crisis is that out of its forcing her to be with herself, instead of constantly being caught up in doing, comes the opportunity to ask questions such as "Who am I?" and "What do I want? - is my goal really to have a seat on the board? Or is that something I think I want because my father, my society, my friends think it is important?" All crises big or small are opportunities to get in touch with the wholeness of ourselves, not just to live lopsidedly or as partial people pushed into the way we are living by our culture, by education or by other people's views or values. rehearsal for change All crisis offers transformation provided, as the poet Rilke says, we have the courage to embrace it: "...this very abyss is full of the darkness of God, and where one experiences it, let him climb down and howl in it (that is more necessary than to cross over it)." Let yourself become aware of any structures of your own life - emotional, physical, environmental, intellectual - which no longer serve you and the choices you are making. See if there are any passages that are appropriate for you to make consciously. Making simple changes willingly can be useful practice for developing the skill of transforming crises, when they appear, into passages to power. You might like to experience the passage to new energy and clarity that a detoxification diet followed for a few days can bring. Or you might try doing without some addictive substance or activity which you feel is draining your energies. If you choose to do either, notice any changes that come about and pay attention to any messages that you get from within in the process.

Addicted To Fragrance

Addicted To Fragrance

It’s time that I come clean about one of my most powerful addictions: fragrance. Here’s something that may surprise you: Most women choose perfume not as an expression of their personality, but as a quality they aspire to. A sexually assured, high powered businesswoman, for instance, will most often choose a delicate floral. Her shy and introverted sister is most likely to opt for a sultry oriental. As for me, I dislike most commercial fragrances. Not only are they overpriced, many of the most expensive and highly advertised perfumes smell revolting. Why? Because they have become more and more polluted by artificial chemicals which create allergic reactions in many. After all, phoney chemicals are cheap, while the real thing is costly. A discerning nose can easily sense the difference. This is the main reason why I make my own fragrances. It’s easy, and I’ll tell you how I do this. But first, come with me on a mini-journey into the sensuous, irresistible world of real fragrance that, long ago, literally changed my life. Who knows? It could even change yours... GLORIOUS GRASSE At the foot of the Mediterranean Alps, amidst the wild herbs and brilliant citrus of Southern France, lies Europe's hoard of sensuous delight and healing power: Grasse, perfume capitol of the world since the fifteenth century. But that was already long after holy orders of monks had settled in what they called a 'blessed herb garden', where cloves, tuberose, jasmine and lavender spread over the earth in wild abundance, and grew in the harmony of perfect ecological balance. They acted upon that balance with great skill and cunning, introducing rare plants from Persia, India and the Iberian Peninsula—plants to heal the plague and banish evil, plants to soothe and quiet a troubled mind, plants to perfume leather and to heighten the charisma of courtiers and bishops. In alchemists' chambers and cloistered cells, stoves glowed and retorts bubbled with one end in mind: To extract the 'soul' of each plant and flower, of every root and leaf and bark. These men knew that the life-force is something after which every creature lusts. If only they could capture it, they reasoned, if only they could distil it and then drink its essence through their skin and senses, perhaps they could heighten their own experience of abundance, pleasure and wellbeing. That was more than five hundred years ago. Now the advent of high-technology has altered the means. We no longer use words like 'alchemy' or 'soul', yet the goal is the same: To extract the fine, light, almost ethereal essence of the living plant: The essential oil—one of the great miracles of nature. SOUL OF A FLOWER These substances taken from roots, leaves and flowers in the prime of life once formed the core of the world's great perfumes. So precious and rare are these essences that it takes some 8 million blossoms of jasmine to produce a single kilogram of the essential oil, or five tons of rose petals to yield a similar quantity of the famed rose absolute. The essential oil of tuberose is so expensive that every drop is worth its weight in gold. Along with small quantities of animal substances such as civet, ambergris and musk and the new synthetic aromatics, such essential oils are the be-all and end-all of real fragrance—balms to soften skin, perfumed soaps, flowery powders, bathing oils, perfumes, spicy dishes and aromatic drinks. LAMAS AND PROSTITUTES Throughout history, essential oils have been prized for their mind-bending qualities. Tibetan lamas mixed extraordinary combinations of complex hydrocarbons taken from herbs and flowers to produce incense, to heighten concentration and center the mind. Knowing every secret of sensuality, temple prostitutes used them to create heady aphrodisiacs—fragrances carefully contrived to make themselves irresistible to their worshippers. In Persia, astrologers advised their clients on the use of balms made from opopanax and origanum, to give protection when malevolent planets made transits. But perhaps most important of all, these subtle aromatics, which are the life-blood of a plant, formed the basis of potent medicines for healing all the way from East India to the west coast of America. Plant-based essences extracted from flowers, fruits, woods, herbs, spices and resins have extraordinary complexity, both chemically and in subtle energies for healing which they carry. In some mysterious way, they capture the sun's photo-electromagnetic energy and, through the actions of enzymes, transform it into biochemical power. NATURE’S GLORIOUS GIFTS A natural essential oil is absolutely impossible to reproduce artificially. For it is something which, in its wholeness and its power to act on the human mind and body, can only be created by life itself. Herein lies the wonderful paradox of all potent nature-created substances. On the one hand, they have quite remarkable abilities to affect our bodies, minds and feelings. On the other, they are so fine and light and delicate that power can be virtually destroyed unless they are cultivated, harvested, extracted, stored and used in a manner which shows absolute respect for nature and her needs. But herein lies the rub: The essence of any plant is locked within it. In the case of flowers such as rose, jasmine and tuberose, it is found in the blossoms. It can also be taken from stems and leaves such as patchouli, geranium and mint, from fruits, (strawberry, orange and lemon) from roots, (angelica, orris, and vetiver) from woods, (rose, cedar and sandalwood) as well as from needles and twigs such as cypress and pine, herbs and grasses such as hay, sage and basil, resins and balsams such as myrrh and galbanum, and barks such as cinnamon. A few plants, such as the bitter orange tree, are "multiple producers". It yields neroli from its blossoms, petitgrain oil from its leaves, and bitter orange oil from the peel of its fruit. But the most costly and rarefied essential oils come from flowers whose fragility and fine fragrances have made them infinitely desirable. And the method for cultivating them, picking them and extracting them is as great an art as it is a science. A ROSE IS A ROSE Take rose, for instance. The Centifolia rose is cultivated in the vicinity of Grasse. It also grows in Morocco and Egypt. But the most famous rose in the world is the Damascene rose of Bulgaria, which grows in great abundance at the foot of the Balkan Mountains. It bears blossoms for a mere thirty days a year—blossoms which can only be gathered by hand individually, as they have been for centuries. This process begins at dawn each morning and is a race against time. For as the sun grows high in the sky, the flowers yield their essential oils to the surrounding atmosphere—so much so that, by midday, they are only half as potent as they were at sunrise. Whole families enter the fields to pick flowers, each person carrying a great bag over his stomach. A skilled worker can harvest as much as fifty kilos in a day. It is a considerable gathering, yet it will yield only a few drops of the essence. Flowers thus picked must be quickly removed from the sun and processed within twenty-four hours. The Damascene rose is then subjected to a process of distillation where blossoms are spread in abundance on a grill and great quantities of steam directed through them. The intense heat calls forth these fragrant materials, which have a very high boiling point. In the case of the Centifolia rose of Grasse, a process of extraction is used instead to yield not the oil itself, but what is called the rose absolute. Each species of flower is unique, and despite the high-technology of modern perfumery, there will never be a single method of drawing forth the 'soul' of every plant. SEDUCTIVE JASMINE A Jasmine harvest takes place even earlier—while the dew is still on the tiny white flowers, which appear on bushes each night and are removed at dawn by hundreds of pickers of all ages, each carrying a sturdy market basket, into which is poured the blossoms. Harvest in Grasse lasts from the beginning of August to the end of October. There each morning, as you walk in a field of 200 or more of these prolific bushes, you can find yourself inebriated with fragrance. Essence of jasmine, like many of the most prized essential oils, has a relaxing effect on the human body and a narcotic effect on the human mind. By midday, hundreds of baskets of blossoms have been taken to the processing house where they are weighed and wages are paid in cash on the spot. The blossoms are piled high on strainer grills in the extraction container. Then a solvent such as petroleum is passed through them. After the solvent has become replete with the scent, it will be distilled to yield what is known as jasmine concrete. A further process of extraction in alcohol will yield the jasmine absolute. It takes ten tons of the flowers to create 2 1/2 kilos of the concrete, which is transformed into a mere 1 kilo of the prized absolute. Tuberose, the lovely night-hyacinth—a relative of the lily—is perhaps the rarest of all the white flowers, the most costly to extract, and certainly the most demanding of care if one is to draw forth its essence. It is personally my favorite scent. It is grown in Italy and Morocco, as well as in the south of France. There the blossoms are hand-picked and swaddled in damp cloths, and then processed immediately by enfleurage, an ancient method using lard, which is painstaking, slow and laborious. Fat is spread on both sides of a piece of glass and blossoms pressed into it. After 48 hours, the blossoms are removed and new ones replace them, until eventually the fat is thoroughly saturated with essence. A further process of extraction using alcohol then produces the tuberose pomade oil. Because of the time and expense involved in using enfleurage, it has largely been replaced by more efficient and less costly extraction using liquid solvents. Yet tuberose is still one of the most expensive absolutes in the world—a treasure used only in minute quantities. LET’S PROTECT LIFE With the development of high-technology methods of analysis, the current growth in fascination with the healing properties of essential oils, and the burgeoning passion of the Western world for 'natural' products, essential oils could have a bright future. That is provided our awareness of their ecology and our intention to preserve it develops equally well. But it is a big issue. For, ultimately, the preservation of these precious etheric substances is dependent upon our caring for the wellbeing not only of the land around Grasse and other places from which they come, but on our caring for the wellbeing of the whole planet. That, and only that, will ensure the continued existence of this 'blessed herb garden' at the foot of the French Alps—a garden which has brought pleasure and healing for centuries. Don’t rule out using good quality, pure essential oils to fragrance your hair and body. Most are relatively inexpensive. They are a delight to play with, and they can be combined to create your own unique signature scent. You’ll need to dilute them, since some can burn the skin if applied neat. I use 25ml each of pure alcohol (vodka will do) and apricot oil, with 12 to 15 drops of essential oils. Store your scent in a beautiful perfume bottle. Wear it on your body, spray it in the room you work in or play in, put it on your linens and pillows before sleep. Indulge in the magic of real fragrance and sleep like a child again.

Nature's Child: Trust Their Appetite

Nature's Child: Trust Their Appetite

Parents get into the most ridiculous situations over their children's eating. Instead of trusting the wisdom of the child's body, they become anxious and try to force him to eat. The child rebels. The parent worries more, so instead of continuing to provide good simple wholesome foods he or she buys all sorts of specialty items in an attempt to seduce the child into eating more. The child learns that one way in which he can express his independence and wield power over the parent is to rebel. By then, a vicious circle has been established which produces a seriously fussy eater whose diet is unbalanced, whose behavior becomes erratic, and whose parents live in constant worry that their child is not getting properly nourished. Relax. Don't worry about how much your child is or isn't eating. Trust in his own seedpower and in his instinctive will to sustain himself. Provided you offer a good variety of natural homemade foods he will choose what he needs and be well nourished. Even if you have already got into the junk food syndrome with an older child who by now will take nothing but fish fingers, chips and chocolate-flavored breakfast cereal, believe it or not, it is not that difficult a trap to get out of. Clean out your fridge and your cupboards of all convenience foods and start serving good homemade soups, salads, sweets, plus whole grain cereals, breads and crackers instead. Chances are at first your child is going to turn up his nose at it all since all he has been accustomed to is munchy-crunchy crisps and sugary cereals. He eats nothing at a meal. OK, so you take it away, making sure he understands he will have nothing until the next meal. At his next meal you offer whatever else wholesome you have prepared. He may refuse that too. If he is hungry between meals, have a big bowl of fruit on the table which he can choose from (provided he is old enough to choose for himself). If he is also old enough to understand, tell him why you have thrown out the convenience foods - help him to realize that you have come to understand that for him to grow up big and strong and happy - as well as for you to remain well, for his sake - you both need better foods than you have been having until now - that you too, in fact the whole family, needs better foods - and therefore you have decided to change things. The wonderful life force out of which he is growing and learning day by day will not let him or you down. In a day or two he will get hungry and begin to devour some of what you sit in front of him. As his palate and his body become accustomed to the flavors of good foods, and as his body becomes cleansed of addictive convenience stuff he will take more. Offered only good wholesome foods and left to his own appetites to decide how much he will eat at any one time, children's food consumption varies enormously both from day to day and month to month. Children raised this way will go through periods when food is the furthest thing from their mind and others when they can't seem to get enough even on three or four big meals a day. Periods of heavy eating in most children coincide with growth spurts. When you see one come on in your child, you can be pretty sure that you will have to do some shopping for new clothes before long, since those trousers are likely to be two inches above the ankles very quickly. Never use food as a reward or a bribe of any kind. This after all is not what food is all about. It is about nourishment and pleasure. When parents try to make it play other roles, this invariably involves them in hidden agendas with their children which are not helpful to either side, and certainly don't support high level health nor the growth of children's independence and freedom. Here are some simple guidelines for feeding Nature's child well right from the beginning.  The important thing is to build your own menus around what you yourself like best and then share your enthusiasm with your growing child.  Enthusiasm tends to be contagious. The Health Makers Fresh fruits, especially eaten raw Fresh vegetables, preferably organic - especially eaten raw Gluten-free breads and pastas Cereals such as porridge made from steel-cut oats, muesli and granola (but read the labels and watch out for hidden sugars) Fresh fruit and vegetable juices Pulses Cheeses such as cottage cheese, ricotta and Edam in moderate quantities (provided no milk allergies are present) Dried fruits (naturally dried, not sulphur dried) such as raisins, dates, sultanas, apricots Nuts (make sure they are ground to a powder for young children Free-range eggs Fish Free-range chicken Game Butter Olive oil The Health Breakers White bread, rolls, pastries and pies White pasta Sugar and anything containing it Biscuits made from white flour Jelly Jams Tinned fruits Packet and tinned soups Chips Crisps Fizzy drinks which contain sugar or artificial sweeteners Greasy fried foods Chocolate and sweets Artificial fruit drinks Ice cream (except homemade) Margarine Processed oils such as the golden varieties you find on supermarket shelves

Let’s Explode Reality

Let’s Explode Reality

Each one of us is brimming with creative power. Creativity lies at the core of what it is to be fully alive and free, so each of us can express our unique visions as gifts to all life. I believe it’s time to set free our indestructible passion to create from the core of our being. Each of us is being called to do this; not only for our own sake, but for the sake of all beings and the earth itself. I am excited about answering the call. Are you? HOLISTIC POWER Creativity is a mind-body-soul experience. It demands that we have access not only to our intelligence and to the layers of our psyche of which we are consciously aware, but to the whole of our being including what is commonly called the unconscious mind. Most of us have come to ignore the unconscious parts of us, in no small part as a result of Freud’s insistence that they are a repository of repressed desires which need to be codified, pathologized and treated. It is this belief that has propelled tens of millions of men and women into psychotherapy in the past hundred years. As a result, most of us still live with the lion’s share of our potential for creativity and freedom unavailable to us. Meanwhile, beneath the vast ocean of what it is to be fully human, our creative power slumbers, waiting for us to awaken it. PLUMBING THE DEPTHS Then, when the founder of depth psychology, C. G. Jung, came along. Jung announced what every creative artist discovers for himself, that Freud’s “fearful unconscious” is also a realm replete with visions, archetypes, insight and soul—all of these are fuels which feed our creative fires. Once we embrace the depths of our psyche and learn to work with them, we can access the gifts they hold, and live our lives from a foundation of authentic freedom and power. A person’s interior life, insisted Jung, not only merits attention; it calls for dedicated exploration which is exactly what he, himself, did and then recorded in his posthumously published Red Book. Thanks to more than half a century of exploration, Jung came to see the human psyche—both conscious and unconscious—as an inherently spiritual and fluid medium, a magnificent ocean which we humans can fish for enlightenment, creativity, healing and personal transformation. Jung then went on to discover that the dreams, myths and archetypes which reside in our unconscious are highly personal to each of us. Yet we are also connected with what he called the collective unconsciousness, which connects us with archetypal realities that are not only personal but universal. WAKE UP TO RAGING FREEDOM Now this is revolutionary stuff. It speaks of truths few of us even consider, unless we happen to be one of the visionary artists, thinkers or scientists who discover this for themselves in the course of their work. Such men and women are seldom willing to buy into the general consensus of what is taken to be reality. They prefer to strike out on their own, determined to enter uncharted territories and find out for themselves what treasures can be found there to bring back, fuel their work and transform their own lives and the lives of others. Invariably, when someone is courageous enough to question the stuff that the rest of us take to be true, they discover whole new realities. I have a passion to explore the nature and power of creativity from every angle possible in this blog. I hope you will join me in my journey.

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.

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 13,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 13 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 4th of March 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 4th of March 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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