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The Sound Of Silence

enter Wild Sanctuary: Unlock Your Core Being in the Rain Forest of Your Mind

Silence. Solitude. These words strike fear into the post-modern heart. We forget the power of escaping for a time into sanctuary, of listening to our breath, the sound of the wind in the trees, or the heartbeat of the earth. There are too many phone calls to be made, meetings to attend, children’s noses to wipe, newspapers to read. Yet solitude has much to teach us. NEW WORLDS AWAIT It takes courage to become a learner again. It asks that you trust enough in life to drop for a time all you know (or think you know) and retreat for a day, a week, even only half an hour just to be—quietly receptive to whatever arises from within or around you: the intense blue of a tiny flower which sears your senses burning away every concern for daily life; a wild thought—and where did that come from? The fragrance of cinnamon sprinkled on a bowl of homemade yogurt. Such things go unnoticed unless we spend enough time alone to experience them. The word “alone” was once treated as two words: all one. To be all one meant to be wholly oneself—all of one piece. This is the great gift of sanctuary. Practiced daily, silence and solitude heal confusion and mend the frazzled nerves that riddle modern life. Getting away from it all to sit on a rock or at a window and gaze at the sky, or look into the dance of our own mind, helps you come home to yourself. It allows the magnificent wildness of your intrinsic being to converse with your rational side. HEAR THE CALL FROM WITHIN Take a dozen steps into the solemn silence of a rainforest or simply of your own body. As you enter this mysterious twilight, you are immersed in past and future. You become part of a primeval world where all life feeds upon itself in a perfect balance of dark accord. You can watch as the whole history of creation is being played out before you, around you, beneath you and you feel part of it. Here, the profusion of plants, insects, fungi, and the bacteria they contain is wild power in its most concentrated form. Our rainforests are the main repository of the earth's gene pool. They are a source of almost infinitely rich morphic fields which have evolved over billions of years. They are also the most important natural resource we have. Wild virgin land carries a spiritual power which makes not only the human soul but the soul of plants and animals, rocks and mountains sing. Rainforests offer the living organisms of our planet a high degree of primordial life energy necessary for the perpetuation of their life. So it is within your own body. You not only live in the universe. You are the universe—the rainforest, the stars and the moon, the seas and the rocks and the sky. They are not only outside of you; they are within each one of us. This is a secret which few have as yet discovered. For we humans have, literally for eons, been trained to think of ourselves as less than what in truth we are—holders of immense creativity and compassion—able to do whatever we long to do at the deepest levels of our being. DISCOVERY BEGINS HERE I am asking you to put aside ten minutes of every day in which you enter the sanctuary of your own being to sit or walk in silence. Let yourself to become aware of how silence acts upon you. Is this something you are comfortable with, or something you try to avoid? Can you sense that there is a richness here that you have not yet tapped? The magnificence and the wonder of the rainforest lies not only in its beauty, but in the ordered splendor of its wildness. It is a wildness which you can palpably feel as you walk beneath its dark canopy of life. Making my way amidst the tangled vines which drip with moisture in this living sea of a thousand shades of green has always filled me with wonder, and made me realize just how far we have moved away from experiencing our own wildness in our urbanized, self-centered, mechanistic 21st century world. It makes me conscious of how desperately we need to reconnect with the creativity, power and wildness in ourselves, learn to trust it and live our lives from our own unique individual truths. INTENTION AND REALIZATION Energy always follows your intention. In shamanic practices most often we use a drum or a rattle to expand consciousness. I love the sound of the drum and the rattle yet I often journey into expanded realms by way of silence alone. I love simply focusing my intention, on whatever purpose I have chosen to follow, then allowing it to unfold, without having to rely on anything external. I believe it’s important that each of us develops this skill—otherwise we can end up like Dumbo when his friend the mouse gave him a feather to hold in his trunk as a talisman to make him believe that he could fly. The little floppy-eared elephant was under the mistaken belief that it was the feather that held the power to fly, when truly it lay within himself. The feather was only a reminder of this. And it was only when he accidentally dropped it that he discovered the truth. This is what you too will be discovering as you journey into the sacred silence. It takes a little practice, but the practice itself is fascinating, and there is no right or wrong way to go about it. It is all a question of living in the moment and allowing yourself to become aware of what is happening within and around you. HERE’S HOW Sit or lie comfortably, watching your breath go in and out of your body. Become aware of the way your breath moves. Is it cooler as you feel it come in through your nose? Warmer when it is exhaled? Now become conscious of your body. Allow any muscle tension simply to sink into the floor beneath you so that you feel deeply connected with the earth. Whenever you are ready, state your intention for your journey into expanded awareness. It might be to restore your energy, to discover more about the nature of reality, to awaken your creative power, connect with the world of nature, or any other desire you have just now. · You do all this silently. Now gently repeat your intention again and again, until you begin to sense a shift away from your thinking mind into your feeling heart. This can take you to a place of absolute stillness. Let yourself to go deep, deep, deeper within. Allow yourself to follow all the way back through time. Let yourself experience your connectedness with the wild evolutionary power that burst forth at the birth of the universe, if you will. This power is your power. You are the universe, just as the universe is you. What does it feel like? Exciting? Wonderful? Crazy? Wild? It is all these things as you are. Then, when you are ready, let yourself come back into ordinary reality, and record what you have experienced. When recording your journey into the sound of silence, put pen to paper and simply write about your experience, whatever it has been, for at least 15 minutes. Let the words flow without ever picking up the pen from the paper. This practice creates a flow that allows you not to edit what has arisen from the deepest layers of your being. When you are ready, give thanks to the universe for what it is, and to yourself for being everything you are. The more you practice this little exercise, the more you can come to know the truth of your own being and the richer your life can become. Do share with me your own experience entering the sound of silence practice if you’d like. I’d love to hear from you about it.

Skin Help

Discover How to combat Oily Skin & Dry Skin for Lasting Beauty

Theoretically, having beautiful skin is simple. Take one part clear young skin, add the forty or so known nutrients from fresh foods eaten as much as possible in their natural state, and mix together with exercise for overall tone and proper breathing for good oxygenation of cells. Put in a dose of fresh air and a pinch of stimulation now and then. Stir well and you've got a recipe that will last for years. That's the theory. In practice, however, things can go wrong: an early wrinkle, acne, dryness, roughness - that's when you need help from special cosmetics, vitamins, and treatments. when skin dries out the cause Dried-out skin usually comes from under-active sebaceous glands, which don't produce enough of this important oily fluid to lubricate the skin and protect it from excessive water loss. It can also be the result of being exposed to excessively drying weather conditions, central heating, or air conditioning. Another, rarer, cause is being on a diet too low in essential fatty acids, such as a fat-free slimming regimen. Excessive dryness of the skin also occurs in people who, unknown to themselves, are suffering from deficiencies of vitamin A or C or any one of several of the B-complex group. prevention and cure Use a water-in-oil emulsion on your face night and day to protect against excessive water loss, by trapping the water in the outer layer of the skin and preventing it from being given up into the atmosphere. Ensure that you get enough essential fatty acids in your diet by using olive oil in your salad dressings and cutting out convenience foods full of junk fats. Consider taking supplements of vitamins A and D in the form of fish liver oil, or drinking fresh carrot juice a couple of times a day and taking some EPA and DHA in supplement form along with GLA. Try putting GLA in the form of borage oil or evening primrose oil directly on the skin too. You need to leave the oil on the skin for only fifteen minutes; then you can remove the excess with a tissue. Vitamin E taken internally and rubbed on the skin from capsules is often helpful too. Other helpful things include a humidifier, weekly steaming of the skin followed by an oil massage, and mineral water sprayed from an atomizer before applying your moisturizer or treatment products. Don't wash your skin with soap. Don't use any skin product containing alcohol. Use a mask for dry skin. Use aromatherapy oils you mix yourself to contain the essences most useful for dry skin, such as geranium, chamomile, rose, sandalwood, lavender, and ylang-ylang. Always choose an oil-based makeup foundation. the oil crisis Oily skin, or seborrhea, is the result of overactive sebaceous glands: it usually occurs due to a hormonal imbalance in the body. Occasionally a diet too high in fats and fried foods or refined sugar can contribute to the condition, as can too much stimulation of the sebaceous glands by heat, the sun, or skin-care products. Studies show that people on diets slightly deficient in some of the B group of vitamins rapidly develop whiteheads, blackheads, and oily hair and skin. prevention and cure Treatment for seborrhea has changed in recent years. Dermatologists used to think the way to deal with the condition was literally to dry out the skin. Dermatologists now realize that oily skin is not the tough and robust stuff they once thought it was. They have found that the use of drying agents in cosmetic products in most cases only treats the problem temporarily by removing excess oil at the expense of worsening the condition in the long run. Attempts to cover it up and to cover up acne with heavy, drying makeup are generally unsuccessful too. The new approach is different, but it may take time for you to get used to it if you are still thinking in the old way. Instead of using harsh products on your skin, buy a mild, lotion cleanser without any drying agent for cleansing and removing makeup. It should be an oil itself or an oil-in-water emulsion. Rub it on gently with clean hands, then wipe it off completely with tissues before rinsing with fresh, cool water. It is important to remove it all. You don't need a tonic or a freshener, but if you want one, make sure it contains no alcohol (alcohol is also a drier). During the day, wear a water-in-oil moisturizer and forget the heavy foundation. Instead, as soon as the moisturizer has had a chance to set, powder your face with double the amount of powder you would usually use, dust off the excess, then spray the face with a fine mist of water (preferably spring water from an atomiser, but you can use ordinary water in a spray bottle so long as the spray is very fine). Now blot with a tissue and then powder again. This will keep your skin looking fresh and matte as well as calming the flow of oil from trigger-happy glands. It will also help gradually to shrink the size of your pores. Then, throughout the day, every three or four hours or whenever necessary, you can repowder, and you'll never end up with the ugly, cakey mess oily-skinned women usually get. Also, stay out of the sun. Sunbathing may dry your skin for a while, but when indoors weather comes you will find you're faced with the results of the same situation: over-stimulation of the sebaceous glands by ultraviolet light, which results in all the problems you have been trying to get rid of. From a nutritional point of view, if your skin is too oily, don't eat fatty foods or fried foods and do eat plenty of raw green vegetables and B-complex vitamins from wholegrain breads and cereals, and liver. The B vitamins (particularly B6, niacin, and B2) in these foods are vital in the treatment of excessively oily skin and the acne that often accompanies it. Vitamin A and beta-carotene can also be useful in treating skin that is too oily. It can be taken together with vitamin D as fish liver oil, or in higher doses on its own as well. Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium have also been reported helpful. ultrasensitive and allergic skin the causes The word allergy means `altered response' in Greek. If you are allergic to something, this means that your body has come into contact with it and instead of reacting normally to it or not at all, it has reacted with hostility, resulting in raised, red, itchy splotches on the skin. An acute reaction occurs within seconds or minutes after coming in contact with the allergen. You can inhale it, say in the form of a hair spray, or you can take it in through your skin as a face cream or a makeup product. There are also delayed reactions, which come about only after a few hours or even days after coming into contact with the allergen. prevention and cure Apart from nutritional therapy to strengthen the whole organism against allergic reactions, the only effective way to deal with skin sensitivities is to be careful about what you put on your face. Get to know the hypoallergenic cosmetics - skin-care and makeup products made without known irritants. Most are inexpensive yet very good and specially formulated with ingredients that have little likelihood of causing problems. The prefix `hypo' means `less'. Hypoallergenic products are designed to be less reaction-producing than other cosmetics. They are fragrance-free and leave out such common troublemakers as aluminum salts, wool fat, and phenol. For immediate relief, skin inflammation usually responds well to calamine lotion, simple witch hazel, and some poultices made with herbs such as calendula. One of the best to use is comfrey, whose very name denotes healing in Latin. It contains the natural anti-inflammatory substance allantoin, which is often used in skin ointments. Make a comfrey compress by pouring half a cup of boiling water over half a cup of the dried herb. Let it cool to a bearable temperature, near body heat, then put the wet herb on the face. Cover with gauze and lie down for fifteen minutes while it cools. This kind of compress will also reduce the pain and swelling over a bruise or a pulled muscle, as well as calm inflamed skin. when acne strikes the cause Although it is more common among teenagers than among any other age group, acne, an infection of the sebaceous glands, can occur at any time in life. It shows up as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and pustules that occur on the face and neck, back and chest. The cause of acne is still not completely understood, and the recommended treatment tends to vary. Many people with acne are victims of a food sensitivity or allergy - the most common allergens being wheat, milk, or preservatives and colorings. And when the elimination of waste via the alimentary canal is inadequate, often wastes are eliminated through the skin. Finally, stress and emotional upset are often implicated. prevention and cure Look to your diet first. Eliminate sweets, sugared soft drinks, and fatty foods such as nuts and fried foods. A diet in which at least 50 per cent of your foods are eaten raw often does wonders for even long-term acne, provided it is used in conjunction with the proper external care and vitamin and mineral supplements where necessary. It is essential to keep the skin clean, removing dirt and excess oil or waxy sebum regularly, using gentle, pH-balanced soaps or detergent cleansers. Skin should be washed in warm water at least twice a day and steamed twice a week to encourage the release of waste matter. Of course your hands should be immaculate so as not to encourage further infection. Topical agents are often helpful. Retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A acid (available only by prescription) applied to the skin is one of the commonly used and generally effective treatments for acne. Sometimes dermatologists use the antibiotic tetracycline, usually administered in doses of 250mg twice a day. In many cases this has dramatically reduced the acne, but there are disadvantages to antibiotic treatment, too. Because of the stress aspects of acne, both regular exercise and meditation or deep relaxation can be helpful too. stretch marks the cause Stretch marks occur frequently on the abdomen and breasts of pregnant women and on the thighs, hips and buttocks of women who have been overweight - particularly women who are deficient in zinc, vitamin B6, or both. A sudden increase in weight or volume of an area of the body or the swelling of breasts and abdomen in pregnancy results in these unsightly lines, which are difficult to eliminate. prevention and cure Ensure that you get adequate zinc, silica and vitamin B6 in your diet - if necessary by supplementing it. Women who are on the Pill are particularly susceptible to deficiencies of these two nutrients. If you gain weight or become pregnant, treat your skin from outside with preventative measures by rubbing on an aromatherapy oil for your skin type twice a day or by the use of cocoa butter. There is supposed to be no cure for stretch marks once they are formed, for the consistency of the skin itself in that area has changed to resemble scar tissue and therefore remains permanently disfigured. What I have seen is that old stretch marks improve greatly with aromatherapy treatment and connective-tissue massage, which appears to bring life back into the tissue by increasing circulation in the area. But while I have seen them fade greatly - enough for the woman to wear a bikini again without fear of looking ugly - I have never known them to disappear completely. blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples the causes A blackhead consists of a solid plug of oil that clogs the pore and then blackens due to oxidation on exposure to the air. If it is left alone it will simply stay there in the skin. Blackheads do not cure themselves. A whitehead looks like a tiny white lump on the skin. Once formed, it will remain unless the chemistry of the oil follicle changes, in which case the whitehead turns into a pimple. prevention and cure Blackheads on oily areas of the face (such as around the nose and chin) that are not inflamed can be removed easily by first steaming the skin to open the pores and loosen the oil material. Then gently, with scrupulously clean hands and the tips of your fingers wrapped in facial tissue, you can ease out the plugs. Never use your nails. Finish off the treatment with the application of an antiseptic cream. If you have many whiteheads it is best to follow nutritional and treatment advice for oily skin. The elimination of a dormant whitehead can only be done by a professional. Besides care in keeping skin clean and nutritional prevention of excessively oily skin, little should be done with a pimple other than to allow it to take its course. don't let age get under your skin Nothing betrays age like the state of your skin. When you are young, it is thick, glowing, soft and elastic. As the years go by, a number of changes take place. To slow down this process and to keep a young healthy skin as long as possible you have first to retain a young, healthy body. This is a total, ongoing process depending on good nutrition, stress control, exercise, and protection from the environment. There aren't any shortcuts. But the good news is this: these skin aging changes appear to be not so dependent on the passage of time as they were once believed to be. There is much, therefore, you can do to retard them. to tan or not to tan A tan is a protective reaction. It results from the formation of melanin, the skin's natural pigmentation produced by special cells whose action is triggered by exposure to ultraviolet rays. Every woman has a unique capacity for melanin production, depending on her genetic inheritance. Dark, thick, Mediterranean skins produce more melanin. This is why they will turn a darker brown than the `English rose' skin, which produces far less. There are some important things to remember about tanning and how to protect your skin from 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. 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 do not 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 them often. If you are using or have used any kind of AHAs, Retin-A/Renova or any other pharmaceuticals on your face, wear a hat which shades your face as well as a physical sunblock and don't spent 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 severe it 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 melanomas in women under 40.  they make you prone to irregular pigmentation - age spots- as well. 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 new non-reactive, mineral-based makeup products on your face (such as Jane Iredale) which lasts all day, looks natural, covers your skin and reflects UV rays for extra protection. forget the cigarettes Smoking also makes skin age rapidly. This is probably because of a substance called benzopyrene, which is found in cigarette smoke and which uses up the body's supply of vitamin C rapidly, making it unavailable for the support of healthy collagen. So the skin wrinkles earlier. The skin of smokers wrinkles and ages up to twenty years sooner than that of nonsmokers. But the problem with cigarette smoke doesn't end there. For it is not only the smoker whose skin can suffer from it. So can the nonsmoker's. She may take in considerable quantities of benzopyrene, tar, carbon monoxide, and other irritating substances just by being in a room with others who are smoking. Some dermatologists concerned about the dangerous effects of cigarette smoke on skin recommend that every smoker supplement her diet with additional vitamin C at a rate of 25mg for each cigarette she smokes. But if you are serious about preventing aging, give up smoking altogether - no matter how difficult it seems, and no matter how many excuses you can make for yourself about why you think you can't just now.

Celebrating Instinct

Reclaim Your Wholeness: Accessing the Ecstatic Power of Instinct

The sense of woman's estrangement not only from her body, but at a deeper level from herself; out of this estrangement develops a sense of powerlessness which leads you to think that what you need to be happy, complete, and fulfilled can only be found outside yourself - by accomplishment in the world, wearing the right clothes, earning a lot of money, winning the love of a man or conforming to some abstract ideal. Yet so long as you are driven by a sense of separateness from your body, whether you succeed or fail in getting what you think you want from the outside world is irrelevant. For neither success or failure brings you any closer to real satisfaction and fulfillment. Only wholeness can do that. the energy of instinct How does a woman reclaim her wholeness? By getting back in touch with the energy of instinct, and giving it as much space in her life as she does reason. For any woman who lives by reason alone is only half alive. Rediscovering the aliveness of the child and the instinctual innocence of bodily freedom can not only help heal wounds of separation between instinct and intellect, it can go a long way towards freeing you to live in the fullness of your being. Being cut off from any part of yourself squanders energy - in anxiety or in depression, in confusion, in unfulfilling relationships, or fatigue or illness. Only when you come to live in wholeness do you have access to your full power. This means rediscovering without fear of self-indulgence - how to celebrate your body. sex or sexuality? Women's magazines are jammed full of articles on sex, and they talk mostly not about the energy of instinct which fuels true sexuality, but about the mechanics of the sex act: "How To Make Oral Sex Work For You"... "A Complete Guide to Sex Toys"...and so on. Like the perfect plastic models on the covers of glossy magazines, such information does little to help a woman reconnect with her body and reclaim the energy of instinct and her deep sexuality. It actually encourages her not to trust herself. It asks instead that she stand back from her body and judge it, or that she put her trust in a lot of abstract "how-to-do-it-better" advice and commercial paraphernalia. The ecstatic, irrational, primordial power of a woman can only be experienced and expressed in the kind of sexuality that enables her to forget the rules and let go of her rational mind, trusting for a time the impulses of her body. Instinctual energy is creation energy - the stuff out of which art is made, as well as sexual ecstasy. So are joy, and the sensual pleasures - taste and smell and sight and touch and sound. As we gradually connect with our instinctual selves and learn to trust them, a kind of alchemical marriage between instinct and intellect begins to take place, and core energy from which we had been cut off becomes accessible. Such a marriage brings in its wake an experience of real personal power - the power with which each of us can create the life we want. When instinct and intellect are reunited your body thrives. It helps protect against early aging, increases vitality, and heightens your capacity for joy. There is only one problem. Like the wild fecundity of a rainforest (which is but another expression of the same life power), the instinctual energy of creation can be scary. It doesn't lend itself to rationalizations or structures. We will never understand it, neither can we comfortably put it into a little box to be dealt with when it is convenient. Yet instinct is a magnificent force. It needs to be honored just as much as the power of reason. Each of us must find her own way to honor it, live it and express it. Otherwise it can turn in on itself and insidiously destroy the very fabric of our lives.

Wild Power Set Free

Unlock the Secrets of the Wild & Unpredictable Dark Goddess

The power of the Dark Goddess or Crone which I wrote about last week, at its most profound, represents the irrational power of nature which causes all things to decay and be changed—as well as true human freedom to be liberated. The experience of change at such deep levels can be a terrifying one both to men and women. Why? Because, these days, most try to live their lives believing that material reality is all there is, and that the great god reason is the ultimate means by which all their problems will be solved. Whatever else she may be, the Dark Goddess is most certainly not reasonable. No more reasonable than the forces which cause leaves to decay in autumn, transforming them into leaf mold that will eventually bring new life to the forest. No more reasonable than the hurricane which, irrespective of man's wishes or longings, blows its course through city and countryside. No more reasonable than the earth herself, as she quakes and trembles with shifts taking place in the continental plates of her body. INSTRUMENT OF TRANSFORMATION It is little wonder that male-centered religions have diabolized the Crone. For she is the ultimate destroyer, the emasculator of male reason. Nature and the Crone aspect of the Dark Goddess become, in the male mind, the castrator—so much so that, during the inquisition, witches were accused of collecting severed penises in boxes or birds' nests. Yet even the male penis itself represented—and still represents—an instinctive power to the male which most Western men feel uncomfortable with. For the penis seems to have a life of its own, quite separate from the man to which it is attached. Like the Dark Goddess it defies man's sterile reason. As Barbara Walker says in The Crone, Woman of Age, Wisdom and Power: "The conviction peculiar to males that sex organs have an uncontrollable, independent life of their own is expressed in the churchman's belief that the stolen penises moved about and ate food in their captivity like animals." The penis, too, is an instrument of the Dark Goddess. The Dark Goddess lives at every woman's core. She guards the Self. She is the friend of the soul whose purpose in our life is to fiercely protect and further the whole process of our learning to live authentically from our essential beings. She never trades in deceit, she never lies, nor does she veil her power. She refuses to uphold any relationship that doesn't work and she tears away with clawed hands or severs with her sword anything within us that is greedy, grasping or infantile. Throughout the lives of both men and women, she urges us to reclaim our own power—the power to set limits and to shout "no", and the power to say "this is what I will do and this is what I won't do" when we are faced with any sort of abuse, or anyone trying to steal our power or dominate us. WILD ENERGY LIBERATED But she is far more than even this. The Dark Goddess is the female power so long rejected and repressed by Western civilization that, when it rises to the surface, it often breaks forth in fury to devastate our ordinary view of reality. Sometimes when she forces her presence to be felt at menopause, she can well up inside, making us hysterical. Her frenzies—which in the rational world of linear thinking, are looked upon as something for which a human being should be tranquilized and kept under control—in the lives of both men and women were once treated with the deepest respect, as visitations from the gods. It was in such a state that the pythia or sibyl at Delphi prophesied the future, and told secrets capable of turning those who sought her help into conquerors of nations. When we forget the power of the Dark Goddess—when we separate ourselves from her essential nature—then we begin to look upon her as a destroyer who arrives like a great snake to break up the structures of our lives, devour our relationships and make mince-meat of our most precious self-deceptions. DESTROY TO RENEW In the lives of both women and men, she can quickly cut through the patriarchal image of being ‘pleasing’, ‘submissive’, ‘gentle’ and ‘nice’. If anyone has so much control of her own behavior that the Dark Goddess is unable to arise when it is time for her appearance to be made, if she remains deeply suppressed, then man or woman can experience her energies in the form of a life-threatening disease, depression, hopelessness, or seemingly endless despair. They can find themselves living in a wasteland, and feel their life to be meaningless and without direction. It is only by finding ways to reconnect with her energy within that the powers of transformation can be set free to work their magic and lead each of us on our own individual path towards freedom. As Demetra George says in Mysteries of the Dark Moon, “Whether we see the Dark Goddess as dancing ecstatically in a swirl of red flames, or enveloped in mist gazing into the inner pools of her psychic awareness, or throbbing with her orgasmic, magical creative energy, or embracing us in our grief, or furiously raging, screaming, crying, or desperately withdrawing into a stupor of denial or numbness, her ultimate purpose in each one of these guises is the same. She destroys in order to renew. The Dark Goddess of the dark moon is the mistress of transformation, and she exists everywhere there is change.” AN ACT OF LOVE The Dark Goddess demands that each one of us clear out of our lives what is no longer essential to our authentic being, whether this be possessions, relationships, jobs—anything that does not help us grow and fulfil our deepest needs. If we try to ignore her demands, like the wild and unruly creature she becomes when thwarted, she ruthlessly tears apart whatever in our own lives is restricting the full expression of our soul. Her rise can threaten everything which in ordinary life we try desperately to hold on to—our self confidence, our self-image, our sense of accomplishment, our material possessions—all of the things which for many years may have supported us now come under the scrutiny of her gaze and the ruthlessness of her sword. What can be hard to realize, while all this is happening, is that everything she does is done with love. We see such things as the breakdown of a marriage, the loss of a job, physical illness that can come at times of enormous change, as evil and negative. For we spend most of our lives trying to avoid a crisis at all cost. Yet crises are often the only means by which we can be thrust forward to a new life. Were the energies of the Dark Goddess not to rise, we would remain stagnated. We might continue living out an artificial existence, all the while trying to fill up the emptiness within with whatever we can lay our hands on, from drugs and sex to success and power in the world—yet never succeed. It is the Dark Goddess that gives us the motivation to change, and brings us the power to be able to carry it out. INNER SILENCE She also pulls us away from the external world, asking us to withdraw inside to a place of stillness and power in which we can begin to hear the echoes of our own souls—sounds which for years may have been ignored or forgotten. She stirs our being at the deepest level. She asks us to enter our own personal darkness, calling us to make a vision quest, presenting us with pain over any issues of our lives that we have been denying. She asks us to face our fears and taboos, whether they are addictions, dependencies, inadequacies—that we bring them into the open, where they can be looked at and healed. Like the Crone who is her messenger, the Dark Goddess has no adornments. She is naked and raw in her confrontations. She arrives to lead us into the labyrinthine recesses of our own being. If we consent, she offers us the courage and the strength to face our own personal demons—demons who for generations have been feeding on our inadequacies, fears, and dependencies and undermining our potential for joy. Either we acknowledge her call, retreat from the outer world and begin to make our descent voluntarily, or she grabs us by the throat and drags us under. And just in case we might be tempted to think that when menopause arrives, sexuality is dead, she makes us think again. It has not died but rather been transformed. INSTINCTUAL SEXUALITY The sexuality of the postmenopausal woman is the sexuality of the Crone. It is the sexuality of sheer instinct—wildness set free. It is she that calls a woman into the secret places of the woods and provokes her to dance naked in wild abandon. Hers is a sexuality to be used in any way a woman chooses—in union with another or alone to generate the alchemical meeting of male and female within her own body. The sexuality of the Crone belongs to herself alone. She will be what she is, she will have what she wants. She is neither passive nor submissive, and her sexuality also has nothing whatever to do with bringing physical children into being. The Crone's eroticism is sheer ecstasy, lived for its own sake, and sheer creativity. She creates in an uninhibited, animated, fiery way, which emanates from the soul of a woman. Such sexuality is the fuel for all creative powers in the world. It carries with it the energy of regeneration and of healing, not only for a woman herself but for the world. It is the kundalini power—the rejuvenating cosmic illumination, the power of the serpent, the sacred fire which heals. As the Crone gains entrance into the body and psyche of the menopausal woman, she illuminates one dark corner of her psyche after another, lifting away all that is old and dead and without meaning—the way kundalini energy rises up within a woman's body to illuminate each of the chakras. Her power becomes the power of the menopausal woman. It lies in her dark blood—the blood of creation. It is the indomitable creative power that has lain sleeping in the consciousness of both men and women. It is asking for us to honor it and set it free. Never in human history has it been more urgent that we do so for our own sake, and the benefit of all beings.

The Beauty Of Being Who You Are

Unlock Your Inner Beauty: From False Facades to Your Essential Being

To be beautiful, you must be who you are. Because who you are is far more creative, vital, and powerful than anything or anyone you might try to be. It’s a fundamental truth too often forgotten. Still we live in a world that teaches us, however unwittingly, that whatever we are is not as good as what we should or could be. It tells us that we need someone or something outside ourselves to give our lives meaning. All of which is utter hogwash. You’ll never fulfill the magnificence and uniqueness of who you are by following convention, bowing down to some guru or following somebody else’s rules. The truth about YOU lies within your own body—your own being. And there has never been a better time to uncover it than right now. SEDUCTION BY ILLUSION The media is full of programs, articles, advertisements, and imperatives that urge you to "be a better lover", "wear this fashion," "make more money". It is an amazing game. It keeps selling dresses, books, and automobiles because it keeps people wanting. But, in the process, it creates enormous misery and dissatisfaction as we look outside ourselves for yardsticks to measure ourselves by. This is because, no matter how well it works, the "want-need-get" game obscures one really important truth: What you need to experience wholeness, meaning and joy is not "out there," "one day," or "if I only had…” It does not need to be bought, sought, seduced, or copied. It already exists right here, right now, inside of you. It simply needs to be discovered within you and then lived out. CONQUERING CONFLICT A woman is, in reality, two women. The first, the outer woman, is a collection of physical characteristics, habits of speech and movement, and ways of thinking and of expressing her essential being. This outer part is the result of past experience, conditioning, and values—either your own or, more often, those given you by your family, educational background, and society, plus a great many preconceived ideas you have about who you are and what you can and can't do. The outer woman comes in many different forms. She may be conventionally attractive, plain, sexy, dynamic, withdrawn, aggressive, apparently assured, or terribly uncertain about herself. And for each outer woman, there is also an inner counterpart, an individual self that is utterly unique. This stable center of strength and growth, your inner core, sees the world in its own way, has its own needs, desires, and its own brand of creativity, and is a law unto itself. Your core holds the power to create, change, build, and nurture. The outer woman is little more than the vehicle for what your essential being creates. THE OUTER AND THE INNER When your essential being is allowed free expression, a woman can be truly beautiful without the need for artificiality or imitation, concealment, or excessive adornment. Her body will be strong and well, her skin clear and healthy, and her movements, speech, and actions will radiate a kind of vitality that is unmistakably charismatic, because it is real—an outward expression of who she truly is. Often, though, the inner and the outer woman have diverged so that there is conflict. The inner truth of a woman can be particularly clear and direct while her outer expression is a mass of confusion in how she dresses, speaks, acts, and looks. Usually this is because she is stifled by false ideas of how she is supposed to be, think, act, dress, and look. Where there is no free channel for expression of your essence, there is much disharmony. Eventually both your health and beauty will suffer. Perhaps even more importantly, you will probably feel you lack identity—have no firm idea of who you are or what you want. TRUTH FROM YOUR ESSENCE Discovering the power of your essential being and learning to live from it involves transformation. This process can be tremendously exciting. Sometimes this can also be challenging, for it means peeling away the superfluous mechanical façades we all collect—the ways of appearing and acting that have little to do with who we really are, but that have come to seem safe and secure. But this transformative process can be thrilling, too. You needn't look for a specific end result to justify it. In short, being beautiful is being authentic. It is all about becoming who you really are. Begin by letting yourself become aware that you are someone quite different from everyone else in the world. To some women who have never experienced this awareness before, this can seem scary at first. Others will find it is something they have known all along without ever putting it into words. Still others will accept the notion as self-evident. When you are relaxed yet alert, nonproductive thought patterns and habits loosen their hold, as do common interfering emotions such as anxiety and fear, so you are better able to hear your inner voice. Listen to it. Let it be your guide in matters of taste and in decisions you have to make. Most of us have been programmed to listen not to ourselves but to Mommy's interjected voice, or Daddy's voice, or the voice of the Establishment, of the Elders, of authority or of tradition. Instead, begin to explore how you feel about something or what you really want. Take a look at the ideas, behavior patterns, or assumptions about yourself and your life that might be blocking your free expression. These mechanical patterns of thinking and behaving are usually unconscious. They come in many forms. They can be ideas you hold about yourself such as "I am physically weak," or "I can't wear my hair back because my nose is too big," or "I will never be slender," or "I am too old to change"; or they can be even more deeply embedded notions such as "I can never do anything right," or "I am only a woman." When you become aware of these notions and the power they hold over you, you will see that many of them are little more than habitual assumptions with no basis in fact, and you will gradually find them falling away so that you are more free to be whatever you want to be. Whatever you happen to be doing, try letting yourself experience it fully. Get involved in an event, action, or project in the way a child would—wholeheartedly. Whether you are peeling potatoes, enjoying music, scrubbing floors, planning work, making love, or eating, let yourself be absorbed, forgetting everything else for the moment. When you are wholly and fully human—your essential being is being set free. These are times which all of us experience, and there is a real delight in this kind of involvement. It silences the usually worried thoughts and concerns that tend to sap your energy and make every event less interesting than it should be. This ability of complete involvement is a key to enormous vitality. At such times, little of you is wasted on anxiety about the past or future, or meaningless and unproductive worry about yourself and others. Explore new ways of doing things instead of mechanically following the same old patterns. Risk being different from the rest—your own natural way of living, thinking, dressing, working may be unique from the way you have been trained to do these things. Your opinions may differ greatly from those of people around you. Be courageous about seeing things your own way and dare to be different in what you say and do when you feel different. Be as honest as you can. Telling the truth has great power. Most of us lean far too much in the direction of being diplomatic and discreet. Many women tend too often to adjust their opinions and answers to fit in with the opinions of others. This leads to a sense of confusion where one is not really sure what one thinks. When you answer something honestly, when you do and say what you want instead of what you think is asked of you, it makes you aware that you are responsible for yourself. This in turn leads towards further freedom, creativity and truth. Take a look at any roles you find yourself playing. There are dozens—the "intelligent woman," the "woman to be reckoned with," the "shy violet," the "sexy lady"' and so forth. Some of them may be appropriate to what you want from other people; others are not only irrelevant but also sap energy that could otherwise be used effectively. The more you are aware of them, the freer you will become from the hold they have over you, and the more you will be able to discover who you are and what you are about. The other thing about roles in relation to beauty is that no role that any woman plays (no matter how delightful) comes anywhere near being as exciting, vital, and fulfilling as the truth of what she is at her core. And gradually beginning to peel away the roles by becoming aware of them is one way of discovering this. Pay attention to any peak experiences in which you perceive the world as a whole and everything as being right. Everyone has these occurrences, but many of us do not articulate them and so they happen and then are forgotten or ignored. The occurrence of these small moments of joy can be tremendously enriching. They temporarily set you free from habitual ways of thinking and behaving that tend to stifle your creativity. Look for peak experiences and enjoy them when they come. They can be useful as guidelines to decision making from day to day. Finally, work out what you want and then go get it. Whatever you work for, work hard and wholeheartedly. This brings a sense of self-reliance and frees a lot of otherwise frustrated energy for constructive use. These things have always been very important to living my own life. They still are. I would love to hear from you about your experience with all of this, if you would like to share it with me.

Sacred Truth Ep. 47: Statins

Dangerous Side Effects of Statins - Do You Need To Take Precautions?

I continue to be horrified by guidelines issued by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, which speak of giving statin drugs to healthy people. Meanwhile, draft recommendations from the US Preventive Task Force have issued new directives claiming that healthy people should be taking statin drugs as a “preventative against possible future illness.” Their main plan is to see one third of all adults in the United States are put on statin drugs—44% of all men and 22% of all women—even if none of these people have ever had a previous heart attack or stroke. Statins are the most widely prescribed drugs on the market. One in four Americans over 45 are already on statins, despite more than 900 studies reporting dangerous side effects from these drugs. These range from heightened risks of cancer and diabetes to sexual problems, neuropathy, and liver dysfunction, as well as immune system suppression, and even a higher risk of cataracts. In Britain too, statins are the most commonly prescribed drugs, costing the NMS £450 million a year. Now 40% of adults (175 million people) are being advised to take the drug. If the new directives are put into practice by the UK medical establishment—as they are likely to be—the numbers of men and women being prescribed statins could well become legion. What are statins anyway? Statins are a group of drugs prescribed to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. Statins have many different names, such as Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Altocor, and Zocor. These drugs are prescribed on the assumption that they will lower the risks of cardiovascular events and strokes. The new directives assert that, if given to healthy people, they could help protect the population from heart attacks and strokes at some time in the future. Happily, a growing number of cardiologists are strongly opposed to the new directives. What’s the problem with statins? Plenty: They deplete your body of CoQ10, which is essential for every cell in your body, and ubiquinol. Both CoQ10 and ubiquinol keep the so-called bad cholesterol from doing harm to your body. However, very few mainstream doctors are ever aware of these dangers. One exception is cardiologist Steven Sinatra, founder of the New England Heart Center. Sinatra recommends that anyone taking statins should take between 100 and 200 mg of CoQ10 or ubiquinol each day as protection. Statins lower Vitamin K2 in the body. This puts you at risk of deficiency of this vitamin, which contributes to chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, cancer, and brain disease. Long-term statin use—10 years or so—has been shown to increase your risk of diabetes, neurogenerative diseases, musculoskeletal problems, and even cataracts. Dr. Eric Topol, highly respected cardiologist and Professor of Genomics at Scripps Research Institute in California, wrote an excellent article for The New York Times Opinion Page in which he warns: “We’re overdosing on cholesterol-lowering statins.” Topol is especially concerned about the sharp increase in the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes that is occurring in people using them. He writes: “Statins have been available since the 1980s but their risk of inducing diabetes did not surface for nearly 20 years. When all the data available from multiple studies was pooled in 2010 for more than 91,000 patients randomly assigned to be treated with a statin or a sugar pill (placebo), the risk of developing diabetes with any statin was one in every 255 patients treated. But this figure is misleading since it includes weaker statins like Pravachol and Mevacor—which were introduced earlier and do not carry any clear-cut risk. It is only with the more potent statins—Zocor (now known as simvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), and Crestor (rosuvastatin)—particularly at higher doses—that the risk of diabetes shows up. The cause and effect was unequivocal because the multiple large trials of the more potent statins had a consistent excess of diabetes.” Meanwhile, a recent study by Jean A. McDougall and her colleagues in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reveals that long-term use of statins increases the risk of both lobular and ductal breast cancer in women between 55 and 74. I am no doctor, but what I have learned during my more than forty years of writing and broadcasting on health is this: When a body is restored to healthy functioning naturally, the need for medication is either dramatically reduced or, more often than not, eliminated altogether. Statins, like most pharmaceuticals, only mask symptoms—they do not heal. Only nature can heal from within. My advice to anyone thinking of accepting the new directives is this: Before you agree to take statins, research the implications of doing so. Learn as much as you can about statin drugs. There are excellent natural alternatives, such as inexpensive dietary changes. So, if your doctor wants to prescribe statins for you, you can be sure you have done your homework. Then you’ll know yourself if these drugs are appropriate for you. Chances are they are not. Here are a few recommendations for where to start your research: U-T San Diego “Doctors assail new guidelines for statins: 18 November, 2013 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Published Online First July 5, 2013; doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0414 http://www.greenmedinfo.com/toxic-ingredient/statin-drugs. This is an excellent compilation of dangers from statin drugs, with links to abstracts. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24052188 Association of statin use with cataracts: a propensity score-matched analysis. This is a good source of information on the use of statins for the elderly. A. Sultan and N. Hynes, "The Ugly Side of Statins. Systemic Appraisal of the Contemporary Un-Known Unknowns," Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2013, pp. 179-185. doi: 10.4236/ojemd.2013.33025.

Kick Colds Naturally

Beat The Cold Naturally: 3 Handy Natural Remedies

The cold is the most common human ailment. It has been with us forever, and affects people all over the world. It’s estimated that the average adult will catch two to three colds a year. Despite its astounding prevalence, there are many natural means of helping your body avoid catching one. And if you already have a cold, you needn’t suffer a full-blown attack. Read on to arm yourself with invaluable cold-kicking know-how… GO WITH THE FLOW Catching a cold is no coincidence. It’s your body’s way of telling you two things. One: There are wastes in your system that need to be eliminated. And two: Your immunity is compromised. It needs building up. The kindest thing you can do for your body is to help it with these elimination and immune-boosting processes. An Epsom-salts bath is a great place to start. Soak, for half an hour, in blood-temperature water to which two cups of Epsom salts have been added. This will assist your body while it is trying to throw off toxins, thanks to the salts’ wonderful toxin-leaching properties. It will also relax you, and ease any bodily aches you might have. But perhaps the single best way you can help your body flush out the nasties is by drinking water—lots of it. (In fact, drink nothing else, except herb tea if you wish.) Make sure your water is fluoride free and otherwise clean. Then go for it. Two glasses first thing in the morning, and two between each meal, is a good amount for starters. EAT YOUR WAY TO HEALTH Next, you need to stop putting any toxic stuff back in. This means no baddies like alcohol; caffeine, grains, cereals and sugary convenience foods. Eating such things will put an extra strain on your system, undermine your body’s ability to fight back, and slow down the healing process. Milk products are also a no-go, as they are mucus-forming. And mucus is the last thing you need when you are already bunged up with a cold. What you need to eat are fresh, raw foods: Fruit. Vegetables. Unprocessed seeds and perhaps a few raw nuts. These will provide you with all the nutrients you need while your body is clearing the cold. Also, importantly, they will not put pressure on your digestive system. Apples, grapes, sunflower seeds and almonds are a few ideas. When you eat fruit, try starting with just one type to make digestion even easier. Then gradually add different fruits, fresh vegetable salads, and then, in a day or two, some lightly steamed vegetables as your cold improves. THREE HANDY COLD REMEDIES We all know that rest is important in fighting off illness, yet it’s often impossible given today’s demanding lifestyles. Quick, symptom-busting fixes are called for. So relax: help is at hand. Take tincture of Echinacea to get your circulation going and your system buzzing. On the first day, take a teaspoon in water every three hours; then three or four times a day afterwards till your cold clears completely. If you have a sore throat, it’s garlic to the rescue. This will surprise you but it works wonders: Tuck an entire unpeeled clove between your lower teeth and cheek and keep it there for as long as you can. Its amazing antiviral qualities will help your body kill off the bugs causing your sore throat. Vitamin C is another fantastic way of supporting your immune system as it does its job. Take between 3 grams (3,000 mg) and 6 grams, three times a day, until a day after the cold has cleared. YOUR HIDDEN DEFENDER So much for getting shot of cold symptoms while speeding up the healing process. “But how on earth do I stop catching colds?” You may well ask. The key to this is a fit, healthy and vigilant immune system. Keeping your immunity strong isn’t difficult. It just requires a little extra effort and awareness on your part. Here’s how. Start by taking a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement: Food-state supplements are best. I recommend Rainbow Light, Advanced Nutritional System, Food-Based Multivitamin, Iron-Free, 180 Tablets. As for extra Vitamin C protection, one to three grams a day is the way to go. Next, make sure to include plenty of fresh garlic in your cooking—one or two cloves per day—and use the Japanese Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms in your diet. These contain wonderful immune-strengthening compounds. Keep up your water drinking, too. Last but not least—remember that depression often goes hand in hand with depressed immunity. Laugh hard and often, and enjoy life. It will keep you well and make you feel great. Rainbow Light, Advanced Nutritional System, Food-Based Multivitamin, Iron-Free, 180 Tablets Powerful Antioxidant Stress Formula Energy Support Potent Superfoods Complete Multivitamin/Mineral Digestive Enzymes & Probiotics Buy Rainbow Light ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: Get $5 OFF your first order. They ship all over the world very cheaply, and their products are the cheapest and best in the world. Get your order sent to you via DHL. I use them for almost everything no matter where I am.

Power Up Your Brain

Age Doesn't Matter Unless You're Cheese: Unlock Brain Enhancement Secrets!

“Age is something that doesn’t matter unless you’re a cheese.” Billie Burke Your brain and lifelong personal development need a rich environment filled with smells and textures, sights and sounds, as well as new ideas and the best possible biochemical medium to thrive. Each time you experience anything, learn anything, or encounter anything, your brain forges new connections. To hold onto new facts, experiences and memories, neurons must grow new dendrites. These dendrites reach out towards other neurons, creating links that have never existed before. This is why it is so important, as you grow older, not to become complacent with your life, get into a rut, or allow it to narrow by doing the same things all the time in the same way. Forget the pharmaceuticals and all their nasty side effects. State-of-the-art natural substances work better. They intensify your experience of excitement, deep relaxation, sensuality, and memory, as well as enhance your creativity and your capacity for joy. GREAT BRAIN SUPPORT There are more than fifty neurotransmitters that affect the brain. Many are found only within the brain and the gut. There is no need to concern yourself with all of them, but it’s useful to be aware of some of the most important. Dazzling advances in brain enhancement have come out of the knowledge we now have about how to support these neurotransmitters naturally, using freeform amino acids, herbs and nutritional supplements. These can not only enhance brain functions but health all round. For instance choline, some of the B complex vitamins, and minerals such as potassium are necessary in truly adequate quantities (not the easiest thing to get as you grow older) for nerves to fire properly. There is also a rapidly developing awareness that we can use natural compounds, such as acetyl L-carnitine, GABA and phosphatidylserine to help counter depression, insomnia and other neurologically-related conditions. Let’s look at two important neurotransmitters and one essential phospholipid found in every cell, the roles they play in keeping your brain young, your emotions balanced, and your body vital, and how you can support them naturally. WHAT THEY DO Serotonin—alters mood, controls appetite and the emotional perception of pain, brings calm and improves memory. Antidepressant drugs known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)—like Prozac/Fluoxetine and Zoloft/Sertraline—elevate serotonin by blocking the chemical’s recycling and inactivation. But beware! These pharmaceuticals have potentially dangerous side-effects. What you need to know is that cells in your brain and gut can synthesize serotonin naturally when you provide them with abundant access to the amino acid L-tryptophan, and to 5-hydroxytryptophan. (5-HTP) Phosphatidylserine—enhances learning, improves memory, and protects from high levels of stress hormones. GABA—an inhibitory neurotransmitter brings calm and relaxation as well as a sense of remarkable wellbeing. SEROTONIN FOR MEMORY Serotonin is one of two neurotransmitters that look after learning and memory. It has many other health-enhancing properties as well. This is an inhibitory neurotransmitter—fundamentally calming to the brain and to the rest of the body. Serotonin plays a vital role in regulating appetite and sleep, both of which go awry when insufficient serotonin is available. Low serotonin can produce depression, insomnia and appetite disorders, including food cravings that are never sated. When you have adequate serotonin, you feel satisfied as well as relaxed and comfortable in your own skin. Serotonin also improves memory. In animal studies, when serotonin levels are increased, the ability to store memories and to learn is enhanced. Drinking alcohol decreases your brain’s ability to concentrate and to remember. Studies show that when people have been given natural substances which produce greater concentrations of serotonin at the synapse, alcohol-related memory deficit does not occur. How serotonin levels affect mood and behavior: Adequate Serotonin Good concentration Easy going attitude Responsive behavior No carb cravings Good sleep patterns Dream recall Rational thinking Loving responses Good natured personality Low Serotonin Depression Poor attention span Reactive behavior Cravings (carbs and sweets) Insomnia Poor dream recall Impulsive behavior Anger and frustration Bad temper Your body makes serotonin by converting the amino acid tryptophan into another metabolite, 5-hydroxy tryptophan (5-HTP), and then changing 5-HTP into serotonin itself. Some of your serotonin then gets converted into melatonin—the hormone used to regulate your body clock. Serotonin is also found in your digestive system and in blood platelets where it helps control blood clotting. Much migraine has been linked to a serotonin deficiency. Many popular migraine drugs are serotonin agonists. This means they heighten serotonin levels in the brain. Increasing serotonin is a goal of many of the anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac, too. They try to correct or mitigate imbalances in the amines—also known as monoamines—which include serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Many antidepressant drugs act by increasing specific amino amines in the brain. While they may be successful in temporarily alleviating depression, all of these drugs cause serious side-effects including insomnia, anxiety, allergic reactions and nervousness. There are better, easier, and more natural ways of increasing serotonin. They include taking supplements of L-tryptophan or 5-HTP on an empty stomach or using an extract of St. John’s Wort or both. Caution: Do not use 5-HTP or St. John’s Wort if you are currently on tranquilizers. Ask for help to gradually get off the drugs before using them. GABA HELPS YOU STAY COOL Glutamine, gamma-Aminobutyric acid and glutamate amino acids, together are known as the GABA system. Discovered in 1950, they are the “calmers”—the most important inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain. They work to balance and control levels of the stimulatory neurotransmitters, such as noradrenaline. Adequate GABA is important if you are to experience reduced anxiety, deep relaxation and to sleep well. All sorts of tranquilizing drugs like Valium or Ativan, other barbiturates, and benzodiazepines, which have sedative effects, try to manipulate levels of the GABA. Nutritional supplements of L-glutamine improve levels of the GABA system naturally, and in the process can help eliminate food cravings and alcohol cravings. L-glutamine has also shown good results in the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients. Mainstream media and scientists tell us that taking GABA itself is not a good way of increasing GABA, since, they say, GABA cannot not cross the blood-brain barrier. However, critics of Big Pharma’s propaganda counter this claim insisting that supplements of GABA, taken together with either L-theanine or the amino acid glycine, activate GABA receptors and provide a wonderful sense of peace and wellbeing. I have certainly found this to be true in my own life. It is usually taken in doses of 550mg of GABA on an empty stomach with 200mg L-theanine once or twice a day. It’s also helpfut taken just before bed to support good sleep. STRESS FREE PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE Not a neurotransmitter but a special form of phospholipid which supports many neurotransmitters improving cognitive function, clearing depression, and enhancing memory and mood, phosphatidylserine (PS) blunts cortisol and helps us deal with stress. PS works best when combined with the omega-3 fat DHA. It can work wonders wherever there is a deficiency of the omega-3 fats or the methyl donors (vitamin B12, folic acid and SAMe) which prevent the brain from making adequate quantities of phosphatidylserine by itself. Supplements of this important phospholipid have been used effectively to clear depression and improve mental functions in the elderly, thanks to phosphatidylserine’s ability to orchestrate so many important tasks. These include stimulating the release of many brain neurotransmitters, regulating the availability of glucose and activating the transport of nutrients into the cells. For your brain to learn efficiently, it needs adequate levels of phosphatidylserine. Levels tend to decline with age. As with any nutritional program designed to enhance brain function, it is never enough only to tackle the issues at a biochemical level alone. There are other actions you can take to transform brain functions while dramatically improving your health and slowing aging. Here are a few of the best. 9 STEPS TO BRAIN POWER 1. Forget high-carb-low-fat diets forever. Make sure you have plenty of good quality protein from fish, organic chicken, organic meat and eggs, as well as lots of phytonutrients from low glycemic, low density carbohydrate vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, bok choy, fresh herbs and low-sugar fruits like berries and melons. 2. Get moving: Physical exercise increases the circulation to your brain. Mental exercise helps create new synapse connections, protects you from the loss of brain cells and can even help you grow new ones. 3. Manage stress: The number one enemy to brain health is stress, because of the effect of cortisol and other stress related compounds which actively destroy brain cells. Take up meditation. Give yourself plenty of time for relaxation, no matter how much responsibility you have for looking after others. Above all, decide to live your life in line with what you really want yourself, rather than living by someone else’s rules. 4. Steer clear of poisons: Eat only organic foods. Avoid GMO foods, herbicides, pesticides, drugs and other compounds that poison your body and stress your liver. Clear your home and workspace of all chemical cleaners, air-fresheners and other products. Use aluminum free baking soda. It’s safe and works great for all cleaning jobs. There are strong links between a buildup of these elements in the brain and the development of diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. 5. Get a hair analysis every five years: A simple hair analysis carried out in a medical laboratory can check for levels of heavy metals such as cadmium, aluminum and lead which build up to damage brain tissue. If you find that they are present, put yourself through a controlled detoxification program. 6. Keep alcohol to a minimum: In any amount, alcohol can damage brain tissue. If you are going to drink at all, make it infrequent and drink only the very best. Forget the plonk. Top quality wine is better than beer or distilled alcohol such as whiskey. 7. Look after your liver: Support the health of your liver with periodic detoxification supported by liver-protective plants such as milk thistle and phosphatidylcholine. Damage to the liver causes damage to the brain. 8. Prescription drugs, over the counter drugs and illegal drugs have side-effects that negatively undermine the health of the liver and the brain when taken over the long term. Stay away from them. Don’t take drugs of any kind unless they are absolutely necessary for life. I’ll share with you products which I have used myself with excellent results: SEROTONIN: NOW FOODS, MOOD SUPPORT NOW Mood Support is a nutritional supplement that contains both nutrients and herbal extracts that aid in the support of a healthy nervous system and a positive, balanced mood state. Buy Mood Support together with NOW FOODS, L-TRYPTOPHAN L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid; therefore, it is not synthesized by the body and must be obtained from the diet. L-Tryptophan is critical for the production of serotonin and melatonin, which can help to support positive mood, healthy sleep patterns, and proper immune system function. Every lot of NOW L-Tryptophan is tested to be free of Peak E and microbial combination. Buy L-Tryptophan GABA: 200 MG OF ZEN 200 mg of Zen contains a combination of L-theanine and GABA. L-theanine is found in green tea (Camellia sinensis). Buy Gaba PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE SOURCE NATURALS, PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE Phosphatidylserine (PS), a phospholipid and DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, are major components of cell membranes, particularly the membranes of nerve cells. They facilitate the electric signals that are the basis of neuron communication, supporting memory, mood, concentration, stress control and other cognitive functions. This DHA conjugate form of PS is believed to increase the delivery of this vital compound to the brain, supporting advanced brain protection and enhanced cell function. Buy Phosphatidylserine

Kids Stuff

Welcome To Parenthood - Learn to Raise a Nature's Child.

A child is born. The waiting and planning, the exercises for birth, the hoping that everything will be all right has finished. Parenthood begins. Oh my God - where do we go from here..? The task ahead seems monumental and you feel completely inadequate in the face of what is required. One moment you are filled with tenderness and wonder as your baby's tiny hand grasps your little finger in complete trust. The next you wish the thing would go away and leave you in peace. Why didn't somebody warn you that within the first three weeks, every item of clothing you own would be stained with baby vomit? Becoming a parent changes your life beyond all description. It could be years before you get another night's uninterrupted sleep. You learn about self-sacrifice for the first time in your life when a baby arrives. All at once everything revolves around caring for this tiny but determined creature who has entered your home, and finding the wisdom to do what is right for your child. There are so many unanswered questions. What do you do when he gets ill, or is unhappy? How do you feed him? Do you let him cry so he won't get spoiled, or do you see to his every wish so he won't be scarred by neglect? Welcome to the world of parenthood. Take heart. You are not alone in your confusion. Now for the good news: the task of raising a child is not as difficult as all the doctors and psychologists would have us believe - especially if you decide to raise a Nature's child. child rearing by the rules A few years ago I had lunch with a beautiful and successful American woman in her mid thirties. Sooner or later the conversation got around - as it often does with me - to children. This woman told me that she had a five year old daughter. I asked her if it was difficult living and working in New York while raising a child on her own. She replied that it had been hard but that now it should get better since she and her little girl were going to parenting classes. `Parenting classes,' I asked, `whatever are they?' `You know, where you learn how to be a parent. We go twice a week together,' she reported with enthusiasm. Curious about what was taught in these new programs, and at the same time suppressing a smile at the latest American attempt to package up something as rich and complex as parenthood and spoon feed it to clients well heeled enough to afford the indulgence, I asked, `What do they teach you?' `Oh, they teach you everything!' she replied, sweeping her hand across the table in a way that makes British head waiters loathe American clients. `For instance, when your child goes to pick up something from the coffee table that you don't want her to have, you must never be negative,' she said. `Negativity is not good for children,' she added, leaning closer in a conspiratorial fashion. `So instead of saying, "No, no," which might crush your child's spirit, you say, "Now darling that is a no, but this is a yes (pointing to other objects near by), and this is a yes and this is a yes."' forget perfect parenting I have little patience with such practices - nor do I believe there are a lot of set rules to follow to raise a child well. That is because, like a lot of seasoned parents, I have learned about parenthood the hard way. When my first child was born I was determined to bring him up right - not to make the mistakes that my parents had made with me, to ensure that he developed quickly both physically and mentally, and that he turned into the kind of person that I thought he should be. I worked hard at it. I read everything I could get my hands on about child development - all the latest theories and all the traditional wisdom. No time or expense was to be spared in bringing up this child. He would be breast-fed, disciplined, and taught to read by the time he was a year old using special equipment designed for the task. I would instill in him a strong sense of moral rectitude and good manners, and he would be given every kind of educational toy I could lay my hands on to help develop his creativity. Also I would never lose my temper, always be patient and kind (but firm of course) and make sure he didn't watch too much television. My master plan for child rearing might have sounded good on paper, but it had a couple of big drawbacks. First, no human being could ever have carried it out. Second, it completely ignored the most important truth there is about child rearing - a truth which I did not myself come to know until I had two or three more children under my belt. It is this: You don't have to read a thousand books and follow a lot of rules the so-called experts make up to raise a healthy, happy, creative child. You only need to learn to trust in yourself and in the incredible powers of Nature. You also need to develop the art of listening - with your heart and mind and instincts as well as your ears - to your child. Most of the time he will tell you what you need to know. Once I finally figured this out - many tried and failed strategies down the road - I let go of my anxieties and theories. Then motherhood became not only a joy for me but a source of never-ending wonder. I discovered that each child - not only my own children but boys and girls with whom I worked as a nursery school teacher, and others - is utterly unique and perfect in his or her own way. I also learned that one's relationship to a child has a life of its own and that, so long as you are willing to face each child honestly and openly day by day, and so long as you honor and respect this relationship, not only does this empower you to give the best guidance and care for the child, in some magic way which I still don't fully understand, it can even help heal deep emotional wounds within you as a parent. Most important of all, I discovered that the whole idea of perfect parenthood is a big fraud. There ain't nothing perfect when it comes to parenthood. Perfect by who's criteria anyway? The sooner you accept this fact, the sooner you can get down to the business of child rearing and enjoying it. For me, raising children - whether it be dealing with a tiny baby or seeing your twenty-five year old develop year by year - has been the most exciting and rewarding thing I have ever done - or ever hope to do.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 20,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 16 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 12th of April 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

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