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Make Friends With The Sun

Make Friends With The Sun

We’ve inherited a fear of the sun. It has developed out of simplistic thinking and a commercially-fuelled set of false beliefs. Here’s the inside story: Ultraviolet light is NOT the fundamental cause of skin aging nor skin cancer. Exposure to the sun is not the main reason that skin wrinkles happen. And here’s some shocking news: The chemical sunscreens we now use to protect ourselves from wrinkles and cancer contribute to both. EXTRINSIC AGING Rough, loose, creviced, wrinkled skin, complete with irregular blotches—it’s known as photo-damaged skin or extrinsically aged skin. It is always blamed on exposure to sun. It is not exposure that causes it; it is the misuse of sun coupled with exposure to mounting levels of destructive chemicals that are the real culprits. To get a first-hand feel for what this looks like, take a look in the mirror at the skin on your bottom. It looks ten or twenty years younger than skin on your face. The difference speaks volumes about what extrinsic aging looks like. How do you avoid it? The ads tell us to smear on more sunscreens. The truth is far more complex. Extrinsic aging means skin damage triggered by external factors—high exposure to UV light from tanning beds or sitting in the sun at the wrong time of the day, chemicals in the environment, and—in many ways—the products you’ve been told to use to protect yourself from them. Mounting evidence indicates that many sunscreens contain carcinogens and that the rise of skin cancers parallels the increase in sunscreen usage Lita Lee, pHD BANISH SUNSCREENS Most sunscreen chemicals which should be protecting your skin from damage actually cause it. They eat up your body’s natural enzymes designed to guard against degeneration. A growing awareness of this in the cosmetic industry has led manufacturers to add free radical scavengers, like vitamin A derivatives and phytonutrients, to their sunscreen products. It’s a bit like sweeping dust under a carpet; this only hides the issue. Chemicals used in sun products and other toiletries do not belong in our bodies. As Rachel Carlson insisted half a century ago, their ubiquitous presence in animal bodies undermines health, vitality, and in this case, beauty too. COSMIC RADIATION The sun produces high energy rays from cosmic and gamma and X rays through longer, lower UV, infrared, microwaves and radio waves. Gamma and X radiation are mostly filtered out by the earth’s atmosphere, although flying in jets at 35,000 feet exposes your body to them in big quantities. This is one reason we need extra antioxidant protection when boarding a long haul flight. When gamma rays—which are also used to irradiate foods and sterilise medical equipment—hit water molecules in a living body, free radicals are generated in large numbers, important enzymes are destroyed and your skin’s natural protective ability is undermined. BREAKING THE WAVES The UV rays—most likely to trigger aging in an unprotected or polluted skin span from 190 to 400nm. They come in three varieties: UVA (320-400nm). Deep penetrating ‘silent-killer’ aging rays. UVA radiation can delve deep into the dermis and wreak havoc with DNA and collagen, triggering degenerative changes especially in light-colored skin, messing up the skin’s enzyme systems and cross-linking its collagen. UVB (200-290nm). Shorter, these guys penetrate more superficially. They can oxidize skin’s natural oils, dry it out and undermine its ability to protect itself on the surface. UVB are mostly responsible for burning. They are what chemical sunscreens try to mitigate in an attempt to prevent sunburn. UVC (280nm and shorter). Highly dangerous to skin. Most of these are filtered out by the biosphere, but you can be subjected to them from most office lighting. FACTS AND FICTIONS Photo aging got its name because it often develops out of excessive exposure to UV radiation. You see it in sun-worshippers on the beaches of Australia’s Gold Coast or California’s Venice Beach. Extrinsic aging mimics the destructive damage all skin is exposed to over time. This damage can happen fast when you hang out too long in the sun, especially between 11am and 4pm. Chemical pollution, long periods of intense physical activity, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs—just like excessive UV radiation—all generate high levels of reactive oxygen species in the skin: Super oxides, hydroxy radicals and hydrogen peroxide. These cause free radical damage, degrade and cross-link collagen, and help produce wrinkles, sags and age spots. Like the rest of these onslaughts, big doses of sun also accelerate the formation of advanced glycosylation end-products (AGEs) to interfere with cellular functions and make skin lose elasticity. However, the notion that sunlight is the bête noir in all extrinsic aging is absolutely untrue. REAL CAUSES Our ancestors were exposed to the sun’s UV rays for over a million years of evolution. The human body is genetically adapted to sunlight, and well equipped to handle it. The exponential rise in skin cancers began in the twentieth century—not in all those years of evolution. What’s happening? Two things. With each decade that passes, we are bombarded with higher and higher levels of chemical aggression in our environment, and forced to handle more electromagnetic pollution. Together they produce toxic build-up in our body, stressing its natural antioxidant systems and undermining our immunity. This triggers degenerative processes, increasing our skin’s sensitivity to UV damage. It also makes us highly susceptible to cancers. Yet we continue to assault our skin with more chemicals in the form of irresponsibly formulated cleaning products, herbicides and insecticides, and to use skin and body care products to deliver yet more chemicals directly to the skin. CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL The standard protocol for sun protection is to smear on more chemical sunscreens. Selling them is a $3.5 billion a year business, and growing rapidly. We fear aging and skin cancer so we keep buying. Yet much of what we buy significantly contributes to the damage we are trying to prevent. Sun “protection” products come in two forms—chemical sunscreens and physical sunblocks. A few products contain both. Physical block products literally create a physical barrier of fine, non-reactive minerals on the surface of your skin, rather like micro-fish-scales. They reflect excess UVA and UVB back into the atmosphere instead of letting skin absorb it. They are good and not dangerous. Using them is like wearing a hat or a veil so the sun’s rays don’t penetrate at all. No commercial sunscreens have been proved safe. Their chemicals penetrate the skin into the circulation and add to the burden of toxins to be detoxified. Joseph G. Hattersley Chemical sunscreen products—most sun protection products fit into this category—are different. They do not reflect. They absorb UVB and UVA rays, allowing them to penetrate your skin. Many chemical screens these days have begun to target UVA radiation as well as UVB, but the “sun protection factor” (SPF number) you read on a product’s label will have been calculated entirely by how much UVB radiation the chemicals it contains are able to absorb. Unlike physical sunblocks, chemical sunscreens “absorb” the UVB radiation in an attempt to neutralize. They are rapidly used up in the formation of new chemical compounds which your skin then has to find ways of detoxifying from your system. WAY TO GO To protect yourself from aging and cancers, you need to limit your use of chemically-based sunscreens. Better still, throw them out. Go for a mineral-based sunblock, or use one of the new mineral foundations every day. Based on physical agents like titanium oxide and zinc oxide, these products reflect the light instead of relying on chemicals to ‘absorb’ and transmute it. They are safe, inert, and protective. Other physical screens are commonly used by surfers, skiers, cricketers, and tennis players. But choose your block carefully. Unless the mineral fragments have been milled into micro-particles, they can make you look a bit like Marcel Marceau. GET SAVVY ABOUT THE SUN Here are some important things to remember about tanning and how to protect your skin from extrinsic aging and cancers: There is no way to get a safe tan. Never use a sunbed. They filter out UVB burning rays but let the UVA in deep. They are automatic aging machines which increase your risk of melanoma. SPF numbers don’t tell you about UVA protection from wrinkling and aging. Most only deal with UVB protection against burning. For the safest protection from aging and burning, read labels. Shun chemical sunscreens in favor of physical sunblocks—products based on micro minerals such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which won’t absorb the sun’s rays or react with your skin. Apply a sunblock a quarter of an hour before going out into the sun. Water resistant products are not what they seem. Their effectiveness is compromised by sweat and swimming. Reapply your sunblock often. If you are or have been using any kind of AHA’s, Retin-A or Renova or any other pharmaceuticals on your face, cover it with a hat as well as a physical sunblock and don’t spend a lot of time outdoors. Never get sunburnt—the damage it causes continues to get worse for 24 hours after the initial burn appears, and when the burn has been severe, can last a lifetime. Think twice before taking oral contraceptives or HRT. Use of these hormone-based drugs is correlated with a three times greater risk of sunburn and skin damage. Take a tip from the Arabs, who know a lot about sun protection. Cover your body well when you plan to spend long hours outdoors. Always wear a hat. Use one of the excellent non-reactive mineral-based makeup products on your face which last all day, look natural, cover your skin and reflect UV rays, while making your skin look fabulous. Devita Solar Body Block SPF 30 Natural, Safe, and Inexpensive Buy Devita Solar Body Block SPF 30 Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup GLOW TIME™ FULL COVERAGE MINERAL BB CREAM Glow Time comes in six great colors, covers blemishes, minimizes pores, disguises wrinkles and smoothes and brightens skin while providing SPF 25 UVA?UVB PA++ Buy Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup

Dare To Be You

Dare To Be You

The core of a human being - that source of virtually boundless creative power, as well as physical and psychic energy - will never be found by dissecting the human body. Nor can it be arrived at by analyzing the human mind. Yet a sense of what I call living from the core or the soul, an experience of living - living truthfully to your own values - is something each of us experiences at certain times in our lives. Although most of us only happen upon this experience accidentally, it can also be cultivated by pursuing actions which we enjoy or which make us feel good about ourselves and our lives. It can happen when we fall in love; when we feel happy because everything seems in harmony around us; or when we feel pleased with ourselves, our children, or some accomplishment. In such moments, everything seems to fit together, or feel right, and life has meaning. Such a sense is central to an experience of living with energy. The techniques for building a high-energy lifestyle with lots of energy are only of lasting value if you value yourself, and live your life on that assumption. tuning into core energy Psychologist Abraham Maslow, who spent his life studying not human pathology, but rather human beings who lived their lives with great energy, creativity and joy - he called them self-actualizers - referred to the special moments in our lives as ‘peak experiences.’ After examining the experiences of thousands of high energy, creative and happy people, he came to the conclusion that these self-actualizers have certain things in common. They tend, for instance, to be the healthiest people in society, mentally and physically. They tend to have a lot of values in common too, such as prizing simplicity, wholeness, effortlessness, truth, honesty, uniqueness, completeness, and perfection - in fact, the same values one might expect mystics to possess. They are, in effect, fully functioning people who tend frequently to have peak experiences - moments of great happiness, rapture, ecstasy - in which life’s conflicts are at least temporarily transcended or resolved. Other psychologists, anthropologists and philosophers have described Maslow’s self-actualizing person too. Carl Rogers - perhaps most appropriately of all - refers to Maslow’s self-actualizer as a ‘fully functioning’ person. Out of their work has emerged a whole new picture of what it is to be human. It has changed our perspective so that we no longer see a human being the way Freud did - as a collection of repressed destructive urges, only barely restrained by learned moral constructs from destroying ourselves and others - but as potentially autonomous human beings. We recognize that the destructive and self-defeating tendencies that we all have are far less the hidden truth of a person than the results of a frustration in the expression of what Maslow called the Self - or soul of life itself. Not only boundless energy, but happiness and freedom from this frustration and from negative thought patterns and the behavior they engender, lie in letting your natural self-actualizing tendencies (which in most of us are still weak or dormant) develop. Until they grow, we all regress into fear and frustration or laziness. Once they become stronger, one’s life becomes an ongoing process of energy release, growth, and unfolding of potential as well as, quite simply, much happier. what are your peak experiences? Take a notebook and, on a clean page, describe a moment or moments in your life where you felt a sense of `living from your core' - a time when everything seemed to work for you, where you felt temporarily fulfilled and good about yourself. If you are not sure you understand the idea, simply describe a moment when you felt particularly happy. Remember the scene as vividly as possible, and use as much detail as you can to recall your impressions. Use this description as a reference point from now on for how good you can feel and how wonderfully life can fit together. As you become more and more self-actualizing and come to live more and more from your soul, peak experiences become more frequent. Create New Visions of You and Your Life Now start to dream of what it will be like for you to have all the energy you ever need. Begin to play with a number of clear mental pictures of yourself fit, well and looking great. But don't just consider the physical changes you would like to make. Get to know the person you aim to be, and see yourself in this image. Record what you see, hope for, want to bring into being in your notebook and refer to it often when you feel unsure of your goals and direction. Here are some of the characteristics of high energy self-actualizing to use as inspiration: An exceptional ability to cope with change and to learn from it. Most people have trouble with change. It is unsettling and frightening. It needn't be. It all depends on how you look at it. We all face fear of changes, but the more you come to live from your core - to manifest your soul energy - the more you will tend to view change not as threatening, but as a challenge to learn from and grow from, whether any particular change at face value appears to be `good' or `bad'. And as far as failure is concerned, instead of being a source of fear, it can be viewed as something that shows us how to deal with a similar situation in the future. After all, human beings do fail sometimes. No great worry about saying ‘No’. Not aggression, but assertiveness, plays a central role in creating energy. It implies a strong sense of your individual right to your values and opinions, and a tendency to respect the rights of other people as well. You need to be able to say no to a food or drink you don't really want, a request from a lover or spouse, a demand from a child or a colleague. The best way to develop healthy assertiveness is simply to practice it. It feels a bit strange at first, but the more you do the easier it becomes. Paradoxically, only when you are positively assertive can you discover what real unselfishness is, because then what you give is what you choose to give, not what you feel obliged to give. A well-conditioned body. This not only brings you energy, it also helps you cope with stress better, look better and younger, and strengthens your sense of self-reliance. It also shifts hormonal balance and brain chemistry, making you highly resistant to depression and anxiety, and highly prone to feeling good about yourself and your life. Top-level fitness leads to a freedom to achieve excellence in other non-physical areas of your life as well. It increases stamina, strength and flexibility - not only physically, but emotionally as well. A marked absence of common minor ailments and troubles. Most people believe that the Monday morning `blues' or the aches and pains in joints after forty are a normal part of living. But they take up little space when you have an abundance of energy. `Normal' means moving with ease, and feeling pretty good about things day after day - sometimes feeling very good indeed - not because something stupendous has just happened, but because when you are really fit and well that is the normal way to feel. Laughter comes easily. An ability to laugh at the absurd (including yourself when appropriate) and a sense of fun are perhaps the most important of all the high-energy characteristics. Joy is health-giving. Paradoxically, often the most delightful sense of humor parallels a strong sense of purpose in a person - another high-energy characteristic. Integrity. The more you become a self-actualizer, the more you set your own standards and live up to them. Your values become a source of strength and energy for you. You don't have to compromise them to achieve some temporary advantage. You can feel the truth, be who you really are, and make your life work. Hard to believe? It’s time to.

Flower Essences Part One

Flower Essences Part One

You know the old saying: “Good things come in small packages.” Well, it’s true. Flower essences are sold in little dark-glass dropper bottles. Open one. You’ll discover that, unlike herbal tinctures or essential oils, the liquid inside—from a chemical point of view—is nothing more than water mixed with a little alcohol. This is the medium in which the vibrational energy of a flower (or a gem) has been preserved. You see, the healing power of a vibrational essence depends not on its chemical constituents, but on the frequencies and energies it carries—the spirit or soul energy of the flowers or gems themselves. ENERGETIC FIELDS Where herbs and essential oils bring about direct biochemical and physiological changes, vibrational essences—rather like homeopathic remedies—influence the body via its energetic fields and electrical pathways. So do acupuncture, pulsed electromagnetic treatments, prayer and the laying on of hands. They can all transmit vibrational life-force energy. Dyed-in-the-wool materialists, still totally unaware of fifth entity physics, are surprised by how profoundly healing such energy treatments can be. Provided the vibrational essence chosen is an appropriate one, its health-enhancing effects are deep and long lasting—sometimes even permanent. Let’s examine flower essences carefully. They are made from living blossoms, harvested at the peak of their vibrational power. They influence our emotional and mental states by changing our body’s own vibrational state as well as altering our consciousness. These changes then filter down to a physical level, where they can do many things: energize, stop erratic eating patterns, clear chronic fear and anxiety and increase self-confidence, to name only a few. They can even—to me most interesting of all—help us align our outer lives and the way we choose live them with the nature of our unique innate essential being. When this happens, not only do we experience natural joy and creativity, we experience a sense of expanding freedom. We find it easier to live life by our own rules. We gain access to our unique authentic power. This helps us become aware of what we feel most passionate about, and empowers us to live an authentic life. VIBRATIONS AND WHOLENESS Flower essence healing is only one aspect of what is now known as vibrational medicine—a form of treatment about which have been hearing more and more as the century 21st century develops. British physician Peter Mansfield, one of its pioneers, describes this rather well in his book Flower Remedies. “Vibrational healing,” Mansfield says, uses “the different energy patterns present in nature to modify the vibrations within living bodies, leading indirectly to changes on the physical plane. This encompasses on the one hand methods which use the vibrations directly—light, sound, magnetism etc.—and on the other, methods which involve the preparation of essences from the source of the vibration, which can be absorbed into the body.” PROOF OF THE PUDDING Psychologists and doctors examining the effects of carefully chosen flower essences report that they are completely safe. They can be remarkably effective in helping patients deal with simple troubles—like insomnia, low energy, and fear of flying—as well as deeper issues. Dr Jeffrey Cram at the Sierra Health Institute in California gave subjects either a flower essence or a placebo and then exposed them to stress-inducing fluorescent lighting for long periods. He found, that unlike the placebo which had little effect, flower essences significantly reduced the muscle tension and erratic brainwave activity associated with stress. Meanwhile, Italian medical researchers who tested the effects of flower essences on patients suffering from depression and anxiety found that a surprising 89 out of 115 anxious, depressed and stressed patients who took part in the experiment were greatly helped by flower essence treatments. MAKE IT SIMPLE One of the best practical descriptions I have come across of how flower essences work, comes from the highly respected American researcher, and flower essences creator, Patricia Kaminski. “Just think about a hologram,” she says. “Each separate part of a holographic picture contains images of the whole. This is how it can be used to recreate a three-dimensional image. So it is with a flower essence. One drop of a flower essence holds within it all the energy characteristics of the flower it was made from.” An essence carries the spirit or soul of the flower in its energetic architecture. It communicates this healing blue-print at a very deep level to the energy fields of a human being using it. VISIONARY DOCTOR The first flower essences were created in the 1920s by a highly respected British immunologist and bacteriologist. Dr Edward Bach had become dissatisfied with the way orthodox medicine so often seemed unable to help patients suffering from both chronic and acute illness. Studying the work of the father of homeopathy, Dr Samuel Hahnemann, Bach discovered that many of his own beliefs about the nature of healing echoed Hahnemann’s findings. Like Hahnemann, Bach insisted that it works best to treat the patient, not the disease. Early in his career, Bach prepared bacterial vaccines then administered them to people homeopathically. The results of his work were widely acclaimed by his peers. They carved out a place of high esteem for him in the medical world. The vaccines he made were widely used—some still are. But Bach was not satisfied. He knew in his heart that there is more to healing than treating symptoms. He was convinced that the most effective healing can only take place at the very deepest levels. Bach knew that mental states like anxiety, worry, unhappiness and fear not only undermine vitality, they compromise the immune system, making us highly susceptible to illness and degeneration. He reasoned that, if he could find methods for clearing such negative states, this might well be a key to preventing and curing both acute and chronic illnesses. No matter what symptoms it presents, Bach insisted that any illness is the result of disharmony deep within. RESTORING HARMONY In 1928, Bach began to explore the possibility that the energy of flowers could do this for human beings. He chose to turn his back on a successful career in London and retreat into the wilderness of Wales in search of ways to help suffering people. Bach fasted, he walked in the hills, he opened his mind and his heart to nature, calling out for her help. His intuitive gifts were greatly expanded by the way he was living and eating and by his having abandoned a sophisticated industrial world for raw simplicity. As he came face to face with one herb and flower after another, he became aware of the vast life-force each carried. He also noticed that the healing energies which each held intensified greatly at just the moment when these plants blossomed. Over the next seven years, he worked with these plants in search of a way of collecting their life-healing energies. Gradually, he was able to identify the unique characteristics of each and to understand the kind of disharmony which they help clear. He formulated a group of 12 now-famous flower remedies known as ‘Twelve Healers’. Later he went on to expand them until finally he ended up with a group of thirty-eight flower essences. They are still today known as the Bach Flower Remedies. HEALING FOR THE MASSES So impressed was Bach by the results he got using these flower essences that he decided to leave behind forever his successful orthodox medical practice to devote himself full-time to their development, as well as to teaching people how to use them. Bach had observed that people were becoming more and more divorced from nature—and therefore from their own essential soul nature as well. He believed that in an industrialized world, flower essences are an effective way to counter the destructive processes that resulted from “desensitization” of people which he saw happening all around him. This was a process which he became certain was central to the development of disease. His flower remedies helped re-establish bonds not only between people and nature, but between a human being’s outer personality and his intrinsic soul nature—his innate essence. Before long, Bach’s beliefs would lead him into serious conflict with the medical establishment—especially his insistence that flower remedies should be available to everyone, not just to trained medical practitioners. LIVE YOUR TRUTH The Bach philosophy is simple. It says that each of us has incarnated on the earth to live out a unique divine purpose—our soul’s destiny, if you like. When we are diverted from doing so, either by our own resistance or by learned thought patterns, trauma, emotional repression, inner conflict, or the influence of others, then our personality is not able to become a free expression of our unique soul energy and we get sick. We become anxious, fearful, irritable and angry, thereby lowering our resistance to disease. In time, depending on our genetically inherited weaknesses, we often end up in pain, ill, and degenerating rapidly. Illness, Bach insisted, has its purposes. It is there to warn us when we are going in the wrong direction—to help make us aware of what needs to be honored in our lives that we may not yet be honoring. To be healed, a harmony between our outer life and our inner purpose needs to be re-established. Flower therapy is a powerful way of doing this. Not only does it release stress and trauma. It can help clear repression of our innate life energy and creativity. Most important of all, it can help us realign ourselves with our essential being as well as with nature herself. When this happens, much illness is healed and many degenerative processes are reversed. FOUR-FOLD WAY To Bach, health is not the absence of illness so much as it is an ability to identify its messages and act on them. This does not mean that we should blame ourselves if we become ill. Doing so would only result in further emotional repression. Instead we need to become aware of whatever emotional discord hides beneath a persistent cold or stomach upset and then be prepared to address it and finally let it go. To Bach, healing is a four-fold process. It asks that we: Recognize that we can overcome all difficulties Realize that illness is an expression of disharmony between our outer life or our personality and our soul Discover the cause of this disharmony Clear the cause of disharmony and strengthen the areas in our lives where the expression of our soul nature has been weak. ALCHEMY OF FLOWERS Bach’s explorations into the healing power of flowers, like the work of Kaminski and other flower essence developers, harks back to the ancient art of the alchemists. According to alchemy, when the four elements—earth, air, fire and water—come together in balance then a fifth substance, a quintessence, is created. This quintessence in turn becomes the healing force for body and soul. Bach collected the dew that gathered on plants in the early morning. This dew, he believed, contained the quintessence he had been looking for. It was a perfect fusion of the four elements. In these sparkling drops, he identified the earth that feeds the plant, the natural air in which it grows, the water element in the dew, and fire from the energy of the sun—on which all life depends for its existence. In his healing work, Bach relied strongly on his intuition when figuring out how to work with these elements in relation to extracting the essential healing body of each flower. For days before he investigated the healing potential of a flower, he would himself welcome into his body the physical and mental symptoms of the condition he was seeking to make a remedy for. Then searching for the right plant, he would place a petal or flower in the palm of his hand or on his tongue, register its effects on mind and his body, and record his findings. Gradually he developed a method for transferring a plant’s healing energy to spring water rather than continuing to collect morning dew. It is simple: You can easily learn to do it yourself. To identify the emotional states that each flower essence helps clear, Bach relied on intuition, as has every natural healer, wise woman and mystic throughout the ages. But being a fine scientist, he also “proved” or tested them out on one person after another until he became clear about their actions and confident of their effectiveness. The best of the flower essences prepared today are made in very much the same way—inspired by intuition, observation, conjecture, folklore, herbal tradition, sometimes even shamanic journeying, where the person expands their consciousness to connect with the spirit of the flower and learn from it. Then, once made, each flower essence is rigorously tested on volunteers and colleagues, the sick and the well, and information about its effects is recorded. DEEPEST HEALING Flower essences have been in existence for almost a century now—ever since the visionary Doctor Bach wandered in the Welsh hills in search of a new way to heal the fundamental underlying cause of all illness—classic splits we all have to deal with sooner or later, between soul purpose and the outer life; between mind and body; between emotions and enforced behavior. It’s at this deepest level of human life that flower essences work their finest magic. They bring greater integration and access to authentic power. They can help us shrug off much of the polluting physical, mental and emotional rubbish that prevents each of us from living out the essential beauty and creativity of our true nature. Bach himself knew that once we heal these splits within, the body’s innate tendency to restore harmony will encourage healing to take place on a physical level as well. That is just how flower essences work. They are gentle yet powerful catalysts. They can not only be used to shift emotional or spiritual patterns which we get stuck in. They can also help us remember at the most fundamental spiritual level who we are, then teach us to allow our unique inner radiance to shine forth. Next week we’ll explore how to connect with the essence of flowers yourself, how to make your own flower essences—it’s simple to do—and all the wonderful ways to make use of them enhancing your wellbeing and enriching your life. See you then...

Sweets & Treats

Sweets & Treats

The worst health offenders in children's diets are processed sweets made from refined sugar. Not only are they bad for teeth, they can cause more serious problems in children such as subclinical deficiencies or hyperactivity, and in adults can contribute to the development of degenerative diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and coronary heart disease. However, trying to get children to give them up is like pulling teeth from a hippopotamus. Far better to give them a wholesome alternative to replace those chocolate bars, biscuits and cakes. Here are some recipes for fruit desserts and all sorts of sweet treats, each made from nutritious ingredients - nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut, carob and honey - which can be served at tea time with one of our delicious shakes or smoothies, or taken to school in a lunch box to snack on. They are as tasty as they are wholesome, and they are uncooked to supply your child with the highest level of  life order possible. Use them for tea and for snacks and parties. sorbets The easiest way to make sorbets is with a sorbetière - a special machine which stirs the sorbet or ice cream as it freezes it. I have survived for many years without one by improvising... orange sorbet Juice 6 oranges and then combine in a food processor with 2 juicy seedless oranges which have been peeled and quartered. Add enough honey or natural stevia to sweeten, and some nutmeg or ginger if desired. I sometimes like to add a grated peach or two to give the sorbet texture. Pour the mixture into ice-cube trays or a plastic lunch-box type container and freeze. Remove from the freezer and leave to thaw slightly for about ten minutes. Blend the mixture again immediately before serving, and spoon into glass dishes or into empty halved orange shells. strawberry or blackberry sorbet Combine 3 cups berries with 2 bananas and a little honey. Follow the method as above. The bananas give a creamy texture to the sorbet. carob and honey ice cream This recipe is one of my family's favorites. The combination of carob and honey I find unbeatable. 2 pints (about a liter) milk (we use goat's) 2 egg yolks 3 tbsp granular lecithin (optional but very nice since it gives a creamier texture) 1 cup unheated carob powder 1/2 cup clear honey 1 tsp pure vanilla essence We use goat's milk but raw cow's milk is good - if you can get it - or sheep's milk or buffalo milk.  Sheep's milk makes wonderful drinks and desserts, and it usually comes in a convenient powder. Freeze the milk in a low flat plastic container. When frozen, remove from the freezer and let sit for about half an hour until it is just soft enough to slice into pieces. Put the egg yolks into the food processor, add about a cup of the frozen milk, the lecithin, carob powder, honey and vanilla, and blend thoroughly using the blade attachment. Add the rest of the frozen milk and continue to blend until it is just mixed. (Don't overblend or you will make the ice cream too liquid.) Should it become too liquid simply return to the freezer for a few minutes then stir before serving. Serve immediately. cherry whip (for 1) 1 cup natural yogurt 1/2 cup pitted black cherries 2 tsp honey or natural stevia to taste Double cream (optional) Blend the yogurt, cherries and honey or stevia and pour into a tall glass. Top with a spoonful of double cream and garnish with a pair of cherries hung over the edge of the glass. As a variation, use strawberries or raspberries instead of cherries. raspberry fruit freeze pie There are many variations that can be made on this theme - using different berries and fruit to fill the pie base. pie base: 1 cup pitted dried dates 1/2  cup almonds 1/2  cup oat flakes 1 tsp honey or natural stevia to taste A little water Grind the dates and almonds as finely as possible in a food processor. Add the oats, honey (or stevia) and a little water and blend again. You need to add the water slowly to get the right consistency. You want the mixture to bind but not be sticky. Remove the base from the processor in a ball and flatten it into a pie dish with your fingers. As a variation you can add a tablespoon or two of coconut. pie filling: 2 bananas 2 cups raspberries Sherry Honey or natural stevia to sweeten Peel the bananas and chop into pieces about an inch or so thick. Freeze in a polythene bag with the raspberries until firm. Remove from freezer and blend the fruits together with a dash of sherry and a little honey or stevia to sweeten if desired. Pour into the pie crust and serve immediately, garnished with a few banana slices or raspberries. strawberries and cashew cream Make your own non-dairy `cream' from cashew nuts, and pour it over a bowl of ripe fresh strawberries (or any other fruit). cashew cream 1 cup nuts 1/2  cup water or orange juice 1-2 tsp honey or natural stevia to taste Nutmeg Blend the nuts and liquid as finely as possible in the blender or processor. Add a little honey, or stevia, and nutmeg and use as a topping for any fruit. sweet treats These attractive little sweets can be wrapped in colored paper and given in boxes as gifts for Easter, Christmas, etc. 1 cup mixture of almonds and hazelnuts 1 cup mixed dried fruit (such as date and apricot, peach and raisin, or sultana and pear 1 tbsp honey or natural stevia to taste Juice of 1 orange or 3 cups apple juice, dash of orange liqueur (optional), coconut flakes and sesame seeds. Put the nuts and the dried fruit in the food processor and chop thoroughly. Add the honey or stevia and enough fruit juice to make the mixture bind, plus a dash of orange liqueur if desired. Remove from the processor and roll into spheres the size of large marbles. Sprinkle a plate with the coconut flakes (toasted if desired) and sesame seeds and roll the balls in either one or both. Chill in the fridge and serve on a platter decorated with fresh fruit. rocky road bananas This is a great recipe if you have too many ripe bananas on your hands. Once frozen, the bananas will keep for weeks - unless they are eaten immediately as in my house! 4 ripe bananas 1/2 -1 cup coarsely ground Brazil nuts Honey Simply peel the bananas and skewer onto kebab or ice lolly sticks. Roll in honey and then in chopped nuts. Put on a freezer-proof plate and freeze until hard. Eat straight from the stick. If you prefer you can first slice the bananas crosswise, coat in honey and sprinkle with nuts, then freeze to make bite-sized treats. As a variation try mixing a few tablespoons of carob powder into the honey to make chocolate coated bananas and then roll them in coconut, dates or nuts...or all three! yogurt lollies The best ice-lollies are homemade. You can buy ice-lolly molds and sticks in most department stores. Mix a large bowl of plain yogurt with some frozen concentrated orange juice, then pour the mixture into the lolly molds and freeze. You can also add fresh fruit and honey to natural yogurt and blend it together to use, or simply freeze fresh fruit juices such as orange, grape, apple and pineapple. refrigerator cookies 1 cup rolled oats 1/4-1/2 cup blanched almonds 3 tbsp almond or cashew butter or 1/3 cup ground almonds 1-2 tbsp honey Handful of raisins Handful of dates 1 tsp vanilla essence 1 tsp cinnamon Pinch of allspice Finely grind the almonds, raisins and dates in the food processor. Add the nut butter, honey, vanilla and spices and combine well. Mix the oats with the rest of the ingredients. Form the mixture into flat cookie shapes in the palms of your hands (you may need to add a few drops of water) and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm. carob fudge Once chilled, these wonderful fudge balls have the texture of ordinary fudge, and their carob flavor makes them ideal chocolate substitutes. 1 cup sesame seeds 1/2 cup dried coconut 1/2 cup carob powder 1 tsp honey 1/2 tsp vanilla essence Grind the seeds very finely in the food processor. Add the other ingredients and process again. Form the mixture into little balls and chill. sunflower snacks 1/2  cup sunflower seeds 1/2  cup carob powder 1/4 tsp cinnamon A little apple juice Finely grind the sunflower seeds and mix with the carob and cinnamon. Add a few drops of apple juice, just enough to make the mixture bind. Form into a roll about 1in/2.5cm thick, chill and then slice. Alternatively, break off little bits and press them into coin-size wafers and chill.

Help From Nature

Help From Nature

There are many other powerful helpers readily available to give a hand with banishing cellulite. Some of my favorites are: The Cactus Connection Another powerful adjunct to breaking down cellulite and keeping your system clean is drinking the biogenic—life generating—juice of the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera is a beautiful cactus. Used externally, you will find nothing better than pure aloe vera juice as a base for your own anti-cellulite treatment (see below). Used internally, it appears to help detoxify the body in general, enhance digestion so that wastes do not build up in the system, and improve the quality of micro-organisms in the large intestine, which help protect immunity and keep the body clean. But it is useful against cellulite in other ways as well, thanks to its being rich in proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes appear to help with the breakdown of necrotic, hardened, protein-based connective tissue that is essential to eliminating cellulite, although that remains to be proven. It has, though, been recently discovered that aloe vera juice enhances the development of capillaries and circulation in general, reduces water retention and inflammation, and speeds up cellular reproduction in skin. In order to make use of aloe vera’s healing properties, you either have to use the juice fresh from the cut leaves of a cactus which is at least four years old, or it has to be carefully processed at extremely low temperatures to preserve its biogenic properties. Find the best aloe vera juice you can, keep it refrigerated and use it within a month. While beating cellulite, take a small glass of pure low-heat processed aloe vera juice on rising, between breakfast and lunch, and between lunch and dinner, as well as just before you go to bed. Silica Silica plays an essential role in the development and maintenance of cellulite-free flesh. When there is an adequate supply in your body, this brings a high level of support to the metabolic pathways responsible for the production of strong new collagen, elastin and ground substance in skin. A woman’s daily requirement of silica is rather high, at 20-30mg. Organic matter in the soils should, by rights, break down readily available inorganic silica in the ground and render it available to us through the foods we eat. Unfortunately, high-tech farming methods have destroyed much organic matter in our foods, so that our fruits and vegetables are now depleted of silica. Modern food processing then tends to remove even the little that is left. As you get older, the amount of silica present in your body decreases year by year. There is only one, extremely rich source of organic silica known to man: horsetail. Never take powdered horsetail, as it is extremely irritating to the intestines and very little of it will be absorbed by your body. Find a good natural organic silica supplement instead. Most women notice a difference to their hair and nails within 3 to 6 weeks of beginning to take between 2 and 6 tablets of organic silica a day. The benefits on the inside to connective tissue will be happening at the same rate. Plants from the Depths Another source of plant complexes particularly useful in banishing cellulite and re-establishing good body ecology is the sea. All seaweeds—from kelp to dulse, to nori and kombu—are rich in the minerals which your body’s metabolic processes require to function properly. A good supplement of sea plants which have been collected from unpolluted waters and then ‘atomized’, or broken into very fine particles, can offer another source of important metabolic support on any anti-cellulite regimen. Seaweeds tend to have very hard cells walls, and unless these plants are extracted or their cell walls are exploded, much of the metabolic treasure they contain remain unavailable to the body. They are also, of course, delicious to eat. Buy them dried and crumble them onto soups and salads. DIY Cellulite Lotion The active ingredients in the best of the cellulite creams, lotions and oils include a number of potent herbal extracts to help enhance circulation, encourage fat burning, restore integrity to damaged capillaries, decrease water-logging and improve firmness. They include things like silica derivatives, free-form amino acids, herbal extracts from butcher’s broom to horsetail, and even caffeine, which, when applied in the right form to the surface of the skin, has been shown to stimulate fat burning. All of these products need to work with a whole body program, and most of them are expensive. You can make one of your own at a fraction of the cost. It is true it won’t have a sweet cosmetic smell like the others and, because it contains herbal extracts which are brown in color, you will need to be careful not to stain the white bathroom rug when applying it. But it works a treat. Here’s how Take 1 small bottle of aloe vera liquid (350ml). Add to it 25ml of liquid extract of fucus vesculosus and 25ml of kola liquid extract. Shake well. Keep refrigerated. Apply twice a day to cellulite-prone areas of the body after a bath or shower, then, using one of the special anti-cellulite gloves, mits or rollers available in most pharmacies, gently go over those areas of your body.

Child-Raising—Trust In Nature

Child-Raising—Trust In Nature

"Your children are not your children," wrote the Lebanese poet Kahil Gibran, "They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself...You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth." It is a quote I like, not only because—having raised four children by four different men on my own—I believe it to be just about the most accurate description of parenthood I have ever come across, but also because it emphasizes the 'lightness' which develops when you give up trying to be perfect and come to trust the processes of Nature—in feeding, in healing, in guiding you and your child towards what is best for his or her development at any moment in time. SEEDPOWER HAS WISDOM Like the seed of a plant that has encoded within its genetic material the characteristics that will in time produce the full-grown flower, every baby comes into this world carrying a package of as yet unrealized, but incredibly rich, potential. Within each child is nestled his or her very own brand of unique seedpower, encompassing far greater physical, creative and spiritual potential than he or she could realize in ten lifetimes. Your child is like the brush stroke the zen painter uses to represent one leaf on a shaft of bamboo. The leaf he paints is totally singular—like no leaf that has ever existed. Yet within this uniqueness is encompassed universal beauty and life energy of the highest order. Just as I tried to do with my first son, most conscientious parents try their best to mould their children from the outside by imposing upon them their own ideas about what they should act like, think like, look like and all the rest. Not only does it work a lot better the other way round—listening to the individual echoes of a child's own seedpower coming from within, and responding to it by offering whatever at any moment is most appropriate, in the form of food, health, guidance, education, toys and so forth—it is also infinitely easier. CONTRACTS HOLD A KEY Taking on the job of guardian for a child from birth to adulthood also involves making 'contractual agreements'—agreements which need to be re-negotiated from time to time. Like every contract, the parent/child relationship is always a two-way deal. It has to be fair on both sides and nurture both people involved. How well your own contracts develop and how much joy there is for both of you in living them will depend to a great extent on how clearly the agreements between you are understood. Let me show you what I mean. In establishing 'contracts' with my own children, I decided I wanted to supply them with wholesome food and clean surroundings, as well as physical warmth, safety, and the right to their own needs and opinions even if they differed from mine. In return I expected them to accept the home and food and care I provided even though it would never be perfect, and to be as honest, respectful of my decisions and as reasonable with me as their age would allow. What I would never ask of a child—and where so many parents, in my opinion, go wrong—is to ask that the child love me. Get into that contract and you automatically create trouble. For whether or not your child loves you is ultimately beside the point. Your responsibility is simply to use the best of your wisdom and physical resources to help that child grow. I decided long ago that I would do my best for my children always, but that they were stuck with me as a parent for better or for worse—complete with all my warts. I also decided that, while I didn't expect them to love me, I did expect them to know that whatever I did, I did because I believed it to be right. When some decision I made or action I took turned out to be wrong, I owned up and, where appropriate, asked for their forgiveness, just as I forgave them their mistakes. MAGIC HAPPENS I discovered quite by accident that there is a certain magic to all this. For when you genuinely give up all claim to being a 'good parent' or to having your child love you, you create a remarkable expanse of freedom for you both. In the end, not only do your children end up loving you of their own accord, they also respect you (even when they don't agree with you). Most important of all, they feel safe because they know that although at times you may seem unreasonable and unbending, your strength—on which they rely for security—remains uncorrupted by flattery or emotional blackmail (which even very young children can be very good at). They learn that your strength is there to serve them.

Core Energy

Core Energy

The core of a human being - that source of virtually boundless creative power as well as physical and psychic energy - will never be found by dissecting the human body. Nor can it be arrived at by analyzing the human mind. Yet a sense of what I call living from the core or the soul, an experience of living - living truthfully to your own values - is something each of us experiences at certain times in our lives. Although most of us only happen upon this experience accidentally, it can also be cultivated by pursuing actions which we enjoy, or which make us feel good about ourselves and our lives. It can happen when we fall in love, when we feel happy because everything seems in harmony around us, or when we feel pleased with ourselves, our children, or some accomplishment. In such moments everything seems to fit together, or feel right, and life has meaning. Such a sense is central to an experience of living with energy. The techniques for building a high-energy lifestyle are only of lasting value if you value yourself and live your life on that assumption. tuning into core energy Psychologist Abraham Maslow, who spent his life studying not human pathology but rather human beings who lived their lives with great energy, creativity and joy - he called them self-actualizers - referred to the special moments in our lives as ‘peak experiences.’ After examining the experiences of thousands of high energy creative and happy people, he came to the conclusion that these self-actualizers have certain things in common. They tend, for instance, to be the healthiest people in society mentally and physically. They tend to have a lot of values in common too such as prizing simplicity, wholeness, effortlessness, truth, honesty, uniqueness, completeness, and perfection - in fact, the same values one might expect mystics to possess. They are, in effect, fully functioning people who tend frequently to have peak experiences - moments of great happiness, rapture, ecstasy - in which life’s conflicts are at least temporarily transcended or resolved. Other psychologists, anthropologists and philosophers have described Maslow’s self-actualizing person too. Carl Rogers - perhaps most appropriately of all - refers to Maslow’s self-actualizer as a ‘fully functioning’ person. Out of their work has emerged a whole new picture of what it is to be human. It has changed our perspective, so that we no longer see a human being the way Freud did - as a collection of repressed destructive urges, only barely restrained by learned moral constructs from destroying ourselves and others - but as potentially autonomous human beings. We recognize that the destructive and self-defeating tendencies which we all have are far less the hidden truth of a person than the results of a frustration in the expression of what Maslow called the Self - or soul - of life itself. Not only boundless energy, but happiness and freedom from this frustration and from negative thought patterns and the behavior they engender lie in letting your natural self-actualizing tendencies (which in most of us are still weak or dormant) develop. Until they grow, we all regress into fear and frustration or laziness. Once they become stronger, one’s life becomes an ongoing process of energy release, growth, and unfolding of potential as well as, quite simply, much happier. what are your peak experiences? Describe a moment or moments in your life where you felt a sense of `living from your core' - a time when everything seemed to work for you, where you felt temporarily fulfilled and good about yourself. If you are not sure you understand the idea, simply describe a moment when you felt particularly happy. Remember the scene as vividly as possible and use as much detail as you can to recall your impressions. Use this description as a reference point from now on for how good you can feel and how wonderfully life can fit together. As you become more and more self actualizing and come to live more and more from your soul, peak experiences become more frequent. create new visions of you and your life Now start now to dream of what it will be like for you to have all the energy you ever need. Begin to play with a number of clear mental pictures of yourself fit, well and looking great. But don't just consider the physical changes you would like to make. Get to know the person you aim to be and see yourself in this image. Record what you see, hope for, want to bring into being in a notebook and refer to it often when you feel unsure of your goals and direction. Here are some of the characteristics of high energy self-actualizing to use as inspiration: An exceptional ability to cope with change and to learn from it. Most people have trouble with change. It is unsettling and frightening. It needn't be. It all depends on how you look at it. We all face fear with changes, but the more you come to live from your core - to manifest your soul energy - the more you will tend to view change not as threatening but as a challenge to learn from and grow from, whether any particular change at face value appears to be `good' or `bad'. And as far as failure is concerned, instead of being a source of fear, it can be viewed as something that shows how to deal with a similar situation in the future. After all, human beings do fail sometimes. No great worry about saying ‘No’. Not aggression, but assertiveness, plays a central role in creating energy. It implies a strong sense of your individual right to your values and opinions, and a tendency to respect the rights of other people as well. You need to be able to say no to a food or drink you don't really want, a request from a lover or spouse, a demand from a child or a colleague. The best way to develop healthy assertiveness is simply to practice it. It feels a bit strange at first, but the more you do the easier it becomes. Paradoxically, only when you are positively assertive can you discover what real unselfishness is, because then what you give is what you choose to give, not what you feel obliged to give. A well-conditioned body. This not only brings you energy, it also helps you cope with stress better, look better and younger, and strengthens your sense of self-reliance. It also shifts hormonal balance and brain chemistry, making you highly resistant to depression and anxiety, and highly prone to feeling good about yourself and your life. Top-level fitness leads to a freedom to achieve excellence in other nonphysical areas of your life as well. It increases stamina, strength and flexibility, not only physically but emotionally as well. A marked absence of common minor ailments and troubles. Most people believe that the Monday morning `blues' or the aches and pains in joints after forty are a normal part of living. But they take up little space when you have an abundance of energy. `Normal' means moving with ease, and feeling pretty good about things day after day - sometimes feeling very good indeed - not because something stupendous has just happened, but because when you are really fit and well that is the normal way to feel. Laughter comes easily. An ability to laugh at the absurd (including yourself when appropriate) and a sense of fun are perhaps the most important of all the high-energy characteristics. Joy is health-giving. Paradoxically, often the most delightful sense of humor parallels a strong sense of purpose in a person - another high-energy characteristic. Integrity. The more you become a self-actualizer, the more you set your own standards and live up to them. Your values become a source of strength and energy for you. You don't have to compromise them to achieve some temporary advantage. You can feel the truth, be who you really are, and make your life work.

What Every Women Wants

What Every Women Wants

Great stories carry hidden secrets that can transform a life. They bring us face-to-face with hidden truths that help free us from false beliefs and attitudes, self-criticism and negativity that crush us. Cultural conditioning has taught us to undervalue the wild creativity that lies within—that part of us which is instinctual, irrational, and full of passion. Conventional society is so frightened of these things that we have been taught to fear ourselves and to judge ourselves harshly. We swallow our anger even when it is righteous. We crush our wild nature and we see ourselves as ugly. Yet locked within what we most hate and fear lies the greatest power for true freedom. Today I’d like to share with you one of my favorite mythologies of self-discovery—as delightful and important for men as it is for women. Here’s how it goes: THE LOATHLY LADY One Christmastide Arthur rode out with his knights to hunt. By chance he became separated from his companions and found himself at the edge of a great brackish pond. There, a knight in black armour emerged from the shadows and challenged him to a fight. Arthur reached to draw his sword Excalibur and call on its power to protect him from all harm. Alas, he had come away from court without it. He could feel every ounce of strength drain away from his body in the presence of the dark and evil stranger who raised his sword and threatened to kill him. Being a responsible king, of course, Arthur told the dark knight he didn't think that killing him was such a great idea—he had a country to rule, after all, and knights to look after. Where would they be without him? The stranger, bored at the thought of such an easy kill, relented and replied, "OK, I won't kill you so long as you return to this place in three days with the answer to a riddle I shall give you. If you fail I shall remove your head in one fwll swoop." WHAT DOES SHE WANT Arthur agreed. He figured that given half a chance and a mug or two of fancy mead, his pals back at the castle would be sure to come up with something. The riddle the stranger posed was this: "What does every woman want?" So Arthur headed home to ask all of his knights and wise men to give him the answer. Everyone from Merlin to a goose girl he met along the road had a go. Each gave him a different answer: "A woman wants beauty," said one. "A woman wants power," said another, or fame, or jewels, or sanctity. None could agree. Time was running out. Finally, although he had done his best to hide from his beloved Guinevere the seriousness of the situation, the third morning arrived. Bound by his word of honor to the Black Knight, Arthur had to face the music. Along the road to the meeting at the brackish waters, Arthur came upon an old woman. She sat on a tree stump by the side of the road calling his name. Arthur dismounted and approached her with all the courtesy he could muster. For the closer he came, the more ghastly this old hag appeared. Although she was dressed in fine silk and wore magnificent jewels on her gnarled and twisted hands, she was unquestionably the most hideous thing he had ever seen—or dreamed of, for that matter. Her nose was like a pig's, her mouth was huge, toothless and dribbling. What hair remained on her head was greasy, and the skin all over her misshapen and bloated body was covered in oozing sores. COURTESY CHALLENGED Arthur swallowed hard, forcing himself not to have to look away. "My Lord," she said in a surprisingly gentle voice, "Why look you so dismayed?" Summoning up all his chivalrous training, Arthur apologized for his manner, trying to explain it away by telling her he was most unsettled at the prospect of returning to meet his death at the hand of an evil knight because he could not tell him the answer to the riddle, "What does every woman want?" "Ah," said the hag. "I can tell you that. But such knowledge cannot be given without payment." Arthur, hoping once again for a reprieve from death, replied, "Of course Madam, anything you desire shall be yours for the answer—even half my kingdom." IMPOSSIBLE REQUEST The Loathly Lady made Arthur bend down while she whispered a few words in his ear." The moment Arthur heard them, he knew his life and his kingdom had been saved. He was about to leap on his horse again and ride off to meet the stranger when she tugged on his cloak and said, "Now I want my reward." "Of course Madam, what is it that you want?" he asked. "I want to be the wife of your bravest knight and live at your court." Arthur, who only a moment before had felt his spirits soar, was plunged into the deepest despair. How could he possibly expect any knight to consent to marry such a hideous hag? And what would it be like to have to endure such ugliness every day at court? "But Madam, that is impossible!" he said. The words slipped through his lips before he could catch them. Aghast at his own lack of courtesy and agonized by having to ask any of his knights, Arthur said, "I beg your pardon, Madam. You are quite right. Come to court tomorrow. There waiting for you will be your future husband." So saying, he mounted his horse and rode off to meet the Black Knight to convey to him the answer to the riddle. When he got back to the castle, Arthur was distraught. The knights questioned him. He confessed that he had won his life from the Black Knight but then told them at what cost and reported his promise to the Loathly Lady. "My very honor is at stake," said Arthur, wringing his hands, "unless one of you will agree to wed her." His knights were horrified at the prospect and tried to avoid his gaze. But one—the youngest knight of all—Sir Gawain, the most courageous and purest of heart stood up. "Worry, not my liege," Gawain said, "I shall save you, I will marry the woman no matter what her mien." SELF-PROFESSED HERO Gawain did not have long before he rued his offer. The marriage was planned for the following morning and the hag arrived at court. When he looked upon her, even Gawain with all his chivalry did not know how he could go through with the ceremony. It demanded every ounce of his courage. Somehow he managed it. But things got worse. When the festivities were over, the couple were obliged to retire to their chamber for the night. Gawain, unable to face the hideousness of his wife, sat for long hours in their bedchamber with his back to the lady, writing at his desk and praying she would go to sleep without him. Was he to spend the rest of his life shackled to such a hideous monster? ENCHANTED WOMAN Long past midnight, as the candle burnt low, he felt a hand come to rest upon his shoulder. "Will you not come to bed now, my Lord?" a voice whispered from behind him. Shuddering with horror, Gawain mustered his courage to look at her. To his astonishment there stood not the ugly hag he had married but the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She had golden hair and ivory skin. "Why do you seem so surprised, My Lord?" she said to him. "I am indeed your wife. I was enchanted by a wicked magician. But now the enchantment is half broken by your having consented to marry me and so you see I stand before you now in my true form." Gawain could not believe his luck. "Half broken?" he asked. "Yes, my lord" was the reply. "Sadly I am only allowed to spend half the time in my true form. For the rest I must return to the shape of the same hag which this afternoon you married. And now you must choose, my Lord. Would you have me be my true self at night when we are alone together and the hag during daylight hours?" Gawain, whose mind was flooded with passion at the thought of her beauty filling his bed each night replied eagerly, "Yes, that is certainly how it must be." TEARS FOR FREEDOM In the eye of his beautiful lady appeared a tear. "But sir," she said, "Would you then have me suffer the humiliation of the court who cannot conceal their horror at my ugliness?" Now Gawain, if he was nothing else, was compassionate. He could not bear to bring this beautiful woman a tear of sorrow. "No, of course not," he replied. "It shall be the other way round, of course. You shall be my beautiful wife for the court during daylight hours and the hag at night." But this only made the lady weep the more. "Oh sir, would you then deny me forever the joy and pleasure of your embrace?" She asked. Poor Gawain, who after all was but a man (and man has never found it easy to deal with woman's grief) did not know what to do. After much thought he replied, "My lady, whatever choice I make will be the wrong one. It is therefore for you to choose which you prefer." At the sound of his words the Lady threw herself into his arms in glorious laughter. "In so saying, my Lord, you have given the right answer. You have bestowed upon me what every woman wants—her own way. The spell at last is broken. You will never have to look upon the hideous hag again. I am my true self and it belongs to you forever." Such is the power of accepting that which to ourselves is most loathsome. And such is the power of myth in reminding us of it.

See And Feel Its Power

See And Feel Its Power

How much do you know about astaxanthin? It is one of the most important nutritional supplements ever created. This fat-soluble antioxidant has been much studied. One of 700 different carotinoids it may well be the most powerful antioxidant in existence. It is 65 times more powerful than Vitamin C. It brings effective support to the brain, helping to protect it from abnormal functioning. It helps protect from cellular damage to the eyes and the skin as a result of exposure to excess UV sunlight. It may even slow the proliferation of breast cancer cells. Astaxanthin is a super anti-inflammatory as well. Athletes—from weekend enthusiasts to endurance runners and pro boxers—sing its praises for the stamina it brings them. Astaxanthin is derived from part of Haematoccous pluviallis, the algae which gives flamingos and wild salmon their orangy-pink color. It helps the algae survive when they dry out in the baking sun by creating a protective energy field. [video src=http://d1vg7rm5xhtxe9.cloudfront.net/video/sd/astaxanthin.mp4 poster=http://d3oy45cyct8ffi.cloudfront.net/health/video/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/08/astaxanthin1.jpg ] Nutrex BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin Evidence emerging from clinical studies indicates that astaxanthin may even go a long ways to help protect us from nuclear radiation. Finally, it’s an effective internal supplement helping to keep skin strong and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I take it daily and have for several years—2 capsules of Nutrex BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin 4mg each day. Order Nutrex BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply.

Sound To Sleep

Sound To Sleep

If you are troubled by sleeplessness, take a look at nature's sleep aids. Stop worrying about getting to sleep. Just let it happen. If it doesn't tonight, so what? It will tomorrow night. Or the next. Lack of sleep is not going to kill you, but worrying about it long enough just might. Begin each day with 20 minutes in the sun or in very bright light. Your circadian rhythms are linked to sunlight. The sun sets our natural clocks properly, and acts as a natural energizer too. Get more exercise regularly during the day. This helps burn up stress-caused adrenaline buildup in the brain, which can result in that tense, nervous feeling where you are `up' and can't seem to get `down'. Experiment with exercising at different times of the day to see which time works best for you in terms of relaxing you and making you ready for sleep at night. But don't take strenuous exercise before going to bed, as it can set the heart pounding and stimulate the whole body too much. Don't take on any new activities late in the day and don't take a nap in the evening or late afternoon. Don't eat dinner late in the evening - the earlier the better. Make it the smallest meal of the day and avoid snacks after dinner since they can interfere with sleep. Everybody sleeps better on an empty stomach, despite what the hot drink manufacturers would have you believe. Don't drink coffee, alcohol or strong stimulants at dinner. This isn't just an old wives' tale. One researcher looking into the effects of caffeine recently showed that total sleep time is decreased by two hours and the mean total of intervening wakefulness more than doubles when patients are given three milligrams of caffeine, the equivalent of a couple of cups of coffee. Alcohol may put you to sleep, but it tends not to keep you there, awakening you instead in the early hours of the morning. Drink milk. It is an old-fashioned remedy, maybe, but it is scientifically sound that drinking a glass of milk before bed helps you to sleep. Milk contains tryptophan, a precursor to one of the calming brain chemicals called serotonin, which is important for relaxation and for inducing sleep. High in calcium, it is often referred to as the slumber mineral because it induces muscle relaxation. Drink plenty of water during the day. Sleep is induced by the brain, and brain cells need adequate hydration both to stay awake during the daylight hours and to trigger the dreamy relaxation that brings on sleep. Hardly anyone drinks as much water as they profitably could. I regularly consume at least 2 liters of mineral water a day in addition to whatever other drinks I may have. Don't go to bed when you are not sleepy. Instead, pursue some pleasant activity, preferably passive. Television is not the best choice, for rays emitted from the set disturb your nervous system when you least need it. Get into a rut, going to bed as far as possible at the same time every night and developing a routine or simple ritual about it. When it comes to getting ready for sleep each night the body loves routines; they foster relaxation and let the body know what to expect. Make bedtime and rising time as regular as possible and go through the same routine each evening of putting the cat out, opening the window, reading a book, etc. Soak in a lukewarm (not hot) bath for 30 minutes, topping up with hot water to maintain the temperature at just blood heat. (A hot bath before bed is a mistake. It is far too stimulating to the heart, and gets your motor running.) Blot your skin dry without friction and go straight to bed moving slowly. This can be a great thing to do in the middle of the night if you awaken too - use a candle instead of turning on the light and let yourself relax as you probably never can during the day when a telephone could ring or someone might demand something of you. Insist that you sleep in a room by yourself if you want to be alone. Nights, sometimes weeks, sleeping alone can be enormously restful and fruitful. Use an ionizer. A little contraption beside your bed that sends negative ions into the air and is a godsend to anyone who has the kind of nervous system that tends to go `up' and doesn't want to come `down'. Although not cheap, it is an excellent investment, for you can use it at a desk when you have a lot of work to do. Or, if you buy one of the portable varieties, you can also take it in the car on long trips to keep from going to sleep (it magically works both ways) . Negative ions also stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain. Mellow music. Music too can help alter consciousness and have you sinking blissfully into the depths of slumber. An MP3 player kept by the side of your bed can provide one of the most pleasant ways of all of putting a racing mind to rest and easing yourself into sleep. Some of the essential plant oils have a wonderful calming effect on the mind and body. You can take a warm bath with them or place a few drops on your pillow to inhale through the night. For the bath use four drops of lavender oil, two drops of chamomile and two drops of neroli (orange blossom). Or try a drop or two of each on your pillow. Count your blessings. It's an old fashioned idea, but it is a true key to deep relaxation and blissful sleep. Each night as you turn out the light think of six things during the day which you have to be thankful for, regardless of your physical or emotional state or how difficult your life may be at the time. This gradually turns the mind to dwell on pleasurable themes even when you are awake. It can even improve the quality of your dreams. Make use of relaxation techniques and helpers - you will find they enhance many other areas of your life too.

Sacred Truth Ep. 55: Vitamin B12 For Great Energy

Sacred Truth Ep. 55: Vitamin B12 For Great Energy

The least understood of all nutrients, Vitamin B 12 is a huge molecule. It has long been known as “the energy vitamin.” And rightly so. You need to have lots of it in your body in order to thrive and protect yourself from fatigue and degenerative conditions. Vitamin B12 plays a major role in DNA synthesis, the formation of healthy blood cells, and the production of energy in your mitochondria. Yet Vitamin B12 deficiency is now rampant. At least one in four people in the Western world are seriously deficient in this essential nutrient. Meanwhile 50% of the population in the world now has blood levels of Vitamin B12 in the sub optimal range. Why should you care about making sure that you have enough Vitamin B12? First of all, this remarkable vitamin is essential for building myelin in your body. Myelin is a fatty material that encloses the axons of neurons. It provides a sheath of electrical energy around your cells so your nervous system functions as it is meant to do. This helps nerve impulses move speedily and makes it possible for the cells all over your body to communicate with each other. When the myelin sheath is damaged the body becomes prone to all sorts of degenerative conditions, including spinal cord injury, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Your body needs an abundance of Vitamin B12 for many other purposes as well. It’s essential for adrenal hormone production, maintaining a healthy immune system, having balanced moods, and experiencing good memory function and mental clarity as well as physical and emotional vitality. If you don't have adequate levels of Vitamin B12 in your blood you are more likely to experience tingling in your hands, legs, and feet, weak muscles, problems with your memory, apathy, and even depression. The scientific term for Vitamin B12—this water-soluble nutrient—is cobalamin. But, unlike other water-soluble vitamins, B12 is not rapidly removed from your body when you urinate. Instead, it is taken into your kidneys, your liver, and other important organs, where it may remain for long periods. So you can be deficient in Vitamin B12 yet not know it for several years because your body has simply not been absorbing Vitamin B12 from your foods. Perhaps the most important cause of Vitamin B12 deficiency is what is known as food-cobalamin-malabsorption syndrome because your body is not making what is known as intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a protein made by your stomach that binds to Vitamin B12. It’s meant to grab the B12 molecule as it passes through the small intestine, carrying it on to the large intestine where it can be absorbed into the body, eventually end up in your bloodstream. But if you are depleted of stomach acid, as many people are—especially if they have been using anti-acid medications or eating a lot of cereal and grain-based carbohydrates—which create gastric reflux and indigestion—you are likely to be low in stomach acid. When stomach acid is decreased in this way, intrinsic factor can’t absorb B12 properly and your health suffers. As we get older, levels of Vitamin B12 in our bodies tend to decrease. A study of over hundred older men and women showed that we become more susceptible to atrophy or shrinkage in the brain—a well-known characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Here are a few habits you will want to avoid to help prevent this: Don’t drink more than three or four cups of coffee each day. Even better, limit your organic fair trade coffee to only one or two a day. Stop taking prescriptions drugs that diminish Vitamin B12 in the body. Do not use antacids and other drugs to treat ulcers. Change the way you are eating then you will find that most of these problems clear up naturally within a few weeks. Finally, never take antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary. If you do, make sure you counter their effects by using a top quality probiotic for many weeks as soon as the antibiotics have finished. How do you make sure you get enough Vitamin B12? It’s difficult to manage if you are vegetarian. It is virtually impossible if you are vegan. Eggs are a good source of Vitamin B12 provided they come from a free-range pastured farm. If they are genuinely free range, a great way to eat eggs is to put them raw into some sort of smoothie. Good sources of Vitamin B12 are also found in organic chicken, grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb, and seafood that did not come from fish farms. Unfortunately—and this is something few people are aware of—more than half of the seafood in the world is now either contaminated with heavy metals and harmful materials from fish farms where these fish are raised on quite hideous foods. Certified grade A raw milk also contains good quantities of Vitamin B12. There are medical tests that you can take if you suspect you may be B12 deficient. Your health practitioner can organize this as well as help determine the underlining cause of deficiency and how it should be treated. The problem with these tests is that they are not very accurate and, as yet, few doctors are aware of the seriousness with which Vitamin B12 deficiencies must be treated. You can, of course, look for one of the under-the-tongue sprays, although the human body often does not absorb these efficiently. Personally, I prefer occasional Vitamin B12 injections. It is still legal in many countries for you to do these yourself. If you live in a country where they are not legal, your health practitioner can inject them for you. What is important is that when you have an adequate supply of this vitamin in your body, especially as you get older, to help prevent many potentially life-destroying conditions that result in a B12 deficiency.

Sugar Conspiracy Still Rages

Sugar Conspiracy Still Rages

Corrupt information about sugar from advertisers, multinational food corporations and mainstream media abounds. Meanwhile, an unsuspecting public often swallows what they’re told, hook line and sinker. For the sake of your health, you need to become ever more savvy about which products you can feel good about buying and which to avoid completely. Bear with me. I’ll lay out the bare bones of what you need to be aware of as you wend your way around the continually expanding selection of sugar-related products deceptively disguised as “good for you.” SWEET TRUTHS Sugar purveyors have got away with murder. Along with governments who have been supposed to guide us on what to eat to stay healthy, they have for decades wrongly told us that eating fats is dangerous for our health. Multinational food and drink manufacturers cunningly decided to replace fats in the convenience foods they sell with sugar to make their wares more palatable. The vast majority of shoppers, consciously attempting to follow “official” advice, wholeheartedly embraced all the sugar-filled packaged foods they were offered. Many shoppers are now waking up to how dangerous sugar is to their health and their life. But we have a long way to go. Sugar is the most damaging of all the carbohydrates. Ordinary table sugar consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. The glucose part gets digested in your stomach. Then it enters your bloodstream, where it makes your blood sugar rise. This triggers insulin release—a major cause of the development of insulin resistance. The other 50% component of table sugar—fructose—acts differently in your body. It does not affect your blood sugar, and we do not yet know for sure what part fructose may play in the release of insulin. So we are still being taught that eating and drinking fructose fine. This makes fructose healthy, right? Wrong! WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW When you eat a piece of fruit—say, an apple—the fruit sugar it contains comes wrapped up in natural fiber including pectin, a soluble fiber which helps your body eliminate heavy metals from your system. It can take you 10 minutes or so to munch your way through an apple. It takes even more time for your body to break down the fiber and absorb it. This means that the fructose in the apple you eat is released relatively slowly. As a consequence, its fructose can be processed a little at a time by the liver, which is the organ that handles fructose. However, when you drink a nice big glass of apple juice or a soda (which contains 10 times more fructose than an apple) it can take as few as 10 seconds for you to swallow it all. Then your liver gets bombarded with a very dangerous form of fructose known as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). An excellent article published in the prestigious journal Nature, “The Toxic Truth About Sugar,” points out that the consumption of the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup has increased one hundred fold since 1970. “We’re being poisoned to death,” says Robert Lustig, MD. “That’s a very strong statement, but I think we can back it up with very clear scientific evidence.” Lustig and his colleagues suggest that sugar be regulated in the same way alcohol is regulated. The human body, especially the liver, never evolved to handle the kind of fructose load that it is now getting. What does it do? It responds by turning much of the fructose you take in into fat deposits. It also makes you highly prone to cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, hypertension, dementia and type 2 diabetes. SUGAR INFESTATION In the 19th century, we ate between 10 and 20 pounds of sugar per person per year. Today, each of us consumes between 150 and 200 pounds of it a year—much of it hidden in convenience foods, fruit juices and sodas. Because sugar, added to so many processed foods, is everywhere, it is virtually unavoidable. Millions of poorly informed people continue to consume 500 calories or more every day in added sugar alone. What few people yet know is that sugar acts upon the same areas of your brain as alcohol, cocaine and cigarettes do, creating cravings, unnatural hunger and an addiction for yet more sugar. The excessive amount of “stealth” sugar in processed foods has become the backbone that supports the profitable disease care business worth billions. Chronic high blood sugar and insulin don’t just make you fat and predispose you to chronic diseases, they age you. Sugar also undermines the integrity of your skin. When you eat a diet full of non-vegetable carbohydrates—grains, cereals and sugars of any kind—your body gets busy fabricating wrinkles, sags, a puffy face and a lackluster complexion. And, as a result of the chronic high blood sugar and insulin resistance which develops over time, you can end up without the energy to do anything to change it. HEALTH DESTROYERS High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is something food and drink manufacturers have used in ever-increasing quantities since 1978. It was originally a worthless by-product of the corn industry. That is, until someone had the bright idea of turning it into syrup and pouring it into sodas, cakes, breads, cookies, ready meals, even smoked meats and fish—you name it. Nowadays you can find HFCS just about everywhere in packaged foods and drinks—juices, sodas and fruity yoghurts, luncheon meats, even in smoked fish. Foods that most people still believe to be “healthy” are now riddled with this cheap, dangerous stuff. Not surprisingly, HFCS is ultra-sweet—55% fructose and 45% glucose. Because nothing raises blood sugar levels and triggers insulin release more quickly than sugar in its many forms, eating anything full of sugar gives you an immediate ‘high’. Then, it can just as quickly bring you down, leaving you craving something else sweet to keep going. Want to do one thing which can dramatically improve your health, your weight and your good looks? Just stop eating sugar, including fructose, in any form, as well as any foods or drinks that contain it. Beware of what you buy because it is often not even listed as an ingredient on labels. HOW TO CUT YOUR SUGAR INTAKE It’s easy. Change your way of eating from a diet of packaged convenience foods to pesticide-free, whole organic foods that are unprocessed. Never use canned fruits in recipes that need sweetening. Instead go for fresh, low glycemic fruits or top quality stevias. Use organic seasonings to create great flavors for your dishes. Most often, the sugar content of a food has been deliberately hidden by food manufacturers by giving it a name that shoppers will not recognize. Given the dangers implicit in using sweeteners, it’s equally important to be cautious when looking for alternatives to sugar itself. These fall into three main categories: Artificial sweeteners—which you want to avoid like the plague. Sugar alcohols. Natural sweeteners. All artificial sweeteners are harmful, each in its own way. These include aspartame—the worst of the lot. You’ll find it in Equal and NutriSweet; sucralose, which you’ll find in in Splenda; saccharine, which you’ll find in Sweet and Low, as well as many other artificial sweeteners by different names. There is much evidence to back up how dangerous these are. Avoid all of them if you care about your health. Sugar Alcohols with “ol” in their name such as xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, glycerol and lactitol can spike blood sugar but beware. Just because some product label says “sugar-free” this is not necessarily the truth, nor can you be sure it is calorie-free or low-sugar. Probably safest of them is xylitol, but only if you use it occasionally and very sparingly. (By the way, it is deadly for cats and dogs.) “Natural Sweetener” does not necessarily mean natural. Agave Syrup and Agave Nectar can be even worse than HFCS. It’s a misnomer to refer to them as “natural”, despite the advertising hype that has most of the world still believing they are. Higher than any other sweetener on the market, Agave has virtually no nutritional value. As for honey, which has become seriously distorted as a result of the hideous damage being done to bee colonies, it too is to be avoided unless you happen to gather it from your own hives. The Safest Choices: Stevia is an exotic herb which grows in subtropical areas of South America. This plant has been used to sweeten herbal drinks since pre-Columbian times. It’s a godsend for enhancing health and reducing your sugar intake. It’s great for sweetening drinks and baking dishes. But make sure you use only the best. All sorts of so-called stevias such as Truvia and Purevia continue to be promoted by multinational corporations. They call themselves “all-natural sweeteners”. In reality, they have been manufactured only from “certain active ingredients” in the stevia plant, not from the whole plant. As a result, they are distortions of the real thing. Don’t use them. Another good natural sweetener is Lo Han Guo, which comes from a Chinese fruit. It too is good, but more expensive than stevia. Spoonable Stevia By Stevita: Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling. Order Spoonable Stevia By Stevita from iherb ENGLISH TOFFEE STEVIA: Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Sweet Leaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add this nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Order English Toffee Stevia from iherb

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 12 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 25th of February 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.66 lb
for women
-1.00 lb
for men
-0.66 lb
for women
-1.00 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of February 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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