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The Sacred Feminine

Uncovering the Price of Freedom: Caught in the Wasteland of Rejecting the Sacred Feminine?

It is not easy to live in our 21st century world full of suffering and confusion for many. The challenges we now face worldwide have come about from the long-term rejection and degradation of the Sacred Feminine. The Sacred Feminine is the mysterious source of all life, the wellspring of all creation, and we have forgotten this. Its creative power exists in men as much as it does in women. The Sacred Feminine carries great wisdom, sensitivity, and a tender love for all life. It respects the need for suffering and vulnerability, for deaths and rebirths. It asks that we embrace life and preserve it. In all its wildness, the Sacred Feminine brings to us the ability to unify body and soul, spirituality and politics, the human and the divine. Yet most of us have lost touch with the Sacred Feminine. It’s time to regain it, and there is no better place to begin than to move into the world of women and see what we find there. A WOMAN’S LIFE So great are the demands on women now—many of them self-imposed—that we are often in danger of losing track of our own soul and of burning ourselves out. There is no place for the old female rituals in our lives. In other cultures—among the Native Americans, for instance—women would leave the tribe for a few days each month to enter the soul realms and experience the Moon Lodge during menstruation. There, in the presence of other women, they gave themselves permission to enter altered states of consciousness, to restore their energies, and to express the wildness of their own creativity—a creativity which, at the dark moon time of menstruation, has nothing to do with nurturing or relating to men or to children. We in the Western world have no such opportunity. Instead, many women, unaware of the value of venturing into the soul realms where dreams, instincts and wild energies abound as a way of reconnecting with personal meaning, choose to “control” their moods and cycles by taking hormones—not only to avoid unwanted pregnancies but even to regulate events so that a business meeting doesn't come up in the middle of a menstrual period, when they might not be as rational or socially acceptable as at other times. Then, sooner or later, every woman gets moonstruck. When it happens, the ordinary world in which she has been living is rent asunder. She is being initiated into the wild and wonderful mysteries of the Sacred Feminine. Menopause has arrived. A LOST WOMAN "Isn't it wonderful?" the editor of the woman's page of a national newspaper said to me one day, "Science has finally conquered women's biology.” “What are you talking about?" I replied. "Oh, you know," she went on, "It's great. We don't have to menstruate anymore and we don't have to have babies thanks to the Pill. We don't even have to go through menopause or get old now that we have HRT. At last, women are set free from their biology. I'd like you to write a piece on it." It took me a few seconds to recover from the shock of hearing an intelligent woman voice an opinion so far away from my own sense of what the nature of the Sacred Female is about. I knew there was no point in even discussing the issue. I said that the idea didn't grab me and walked out of the office literally stunned by how carelessly this poor frazzled and confused woman could dismiss a million years of inherited female creativity, wisdom and blood. She had done it with the wave of a hand and the swallow of a pill. Then, almost as an obituary, she had proposed a 750 word article on modern women's new-found “freedom”. At the door I turned to look at her. There sat a haggard 35-year-old who looked 50, hunched over her computer smoking cigarettes. Three years later someone told me she had just had her womb removed. SUFFERINGS OF THE WASTELAND The editor's sense of freedom, like much of the so-called “freedom” we hear about, is certainly of a very limited kind. Since all freedom is won at a price, I cannot help wondering how high a price we are paying and if it is real freedom at all—or is it a new form of slavery dressed up for make-believe? I know too many dynamic, successful women who appear to have everything. Yet, when you sit down with them alone—away from the glitter of their busy lives—they describe feeling out of sync with themselves. A sense of sterility and stagnation permeates their lives, and they carry a feeling of emptiness and even of betrayal, yet from what and by whom they rarely know. Many have aimed for the top and arrived. So now what? Where is the next challenge, the next battle to be won, the next social occasion? Like the editor, they tend to pack their days with duties and appointments, always uneasy that if they stop for a moment they might let somebody down or their lives might fall apart. PERILS OF LOGIC Just as our mothers and their mothers before them embraced the expectations of their culture that fulfillment would come through being a good wife, a good mother or good servant, women now have taken on another cultural stereotype. We have learned to do things logically. We have largely bought into a male stereotype based on the attainment of academic, financial or artistic success. We have thrown ourselves headlong into the male world, and many of us have “made it” within that world's terms. Yet in the wake of our success, we often find ourselves pursued by a confusing sense of barrenness and despair that further achievement in the world, new love affairs or the prospect of a facelift can do nothing to cure. It is at this point that many women, myself included, first hear the call to adventure. It comes as a powerful challenge to leave the ordinary world in which we have lived decades of our lives and set out in search of answers: Why did this happen? What was wrong? What secrets have we forgotten, and what connections had we lost, in our obsession with doing things and our tendency to opt for chemical control of our body's cycles? And what are we missing out on? BACK TO SOURCE How could we, as women, continue to buy into values and ways of living which not only didn’t serve the coming to fruition of our own talents and our capacities for joy, but were inexorably destroying the earth? Where had all our real freedom gone, and our power—not power in the masculine sense of power over, but in the feminine sense of power to? I delved deep into the past in search of archaeological findings and archetypal connections that might give clues to just what as women we had lost, and how any of these lost treasures might be rediscovered. This led me into the realm of myth and ritual. I discovered that the two worlds—the world of science, with all its shifting biochemistry and rising and falling hormones, and the world of myth, peopled with archetypes, symbols, goddesses and rituals—not only met, they are blended within a woman's body and psyche. And where they meet is a cauldron of blood. SACRED BLOOD According to written records, since the beginning of human history, the power of creation was believed to reside in the holy blood that pours forth from a woman's body. It ebbs and flows with the waxing and waning of the moon. Blood has always been credited with magical power and with containing the essence of a person's soul—"one's lifeblood". Medieval physicians believed that a woman's menstrual blood could cure leprosy and act as an aphrodisiac. For centuries, both male and female rituals for receiving the gifts of the Sacred Feminine involved ingesting menstrual blood: It was mixed with red wine and taken as an alchemical drink. Ancient Egyptians, Celts, Persians and Taoists in China all held similar beliefs about menstrual blood, and carried out similar rituals. In Ancient Greece during planting festivals, women mixed their menstrual blood with corn seeds, then spread them upon the earth for fertility. In the 17th century, when William Harvey wrote his famous scientific treatise on circulation, he referred to the flow of blood through the body as the coursing of spiritual power. Even our word “blessing” is derived from the Old English bloedsed, which means bleeding. HARMLESS AND FREE Menstrual blood and the blood of childbirth are the only kinds of blood given freely—that is shed without wounding. Not only metaphorically but speaking strictly from a scientific point of view, human life cannot be created without the blood in a woman's womb. So profoundly did an awareness of the power of a woman's blood touch the lives of primitive people that native words for menstruation carry connotations of spirit, divinity and magic—of the supernatural and of the sacred. Ancient Hindus taught that all life is created out of the congealing of Great Mother's menstrual substance, which had been worked and thickened to form curds or clots from which the crust of solid matter emerges. Their goddess of creation, Kali-Ma, “invited the gods to bathe in the bloody flow of her womb and to drink of it; and the gods, in holy communion, drank of the fountain of life and bathed in it, and rose blessed to the heavens.” INSTINCTUAL SEXUALITY The sexuality of the genuinely free woman is the sexuality of sheer instinct—the wildness of the Sacred Feminine 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 she chooses—in union with another; as power to heal the earth and all its creatures in need of healing; or alone to generate the alchemical meeting of male and female within her own body. 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 Sacred Feminine’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 or a man. Such sexuality is the fuel for all creative powers in the world. It carries with it the energy of regeneration and of healing for the world. It is the kundalini power—the rejuvenating cosmic illumination, the power of the serpent, the sacred fire which heals. LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS As the Sacred Feminine gains entrance into the body and psyche of a woman or a man, it illuminates one dark corner of his or her psyche after another, lifting away all that is old and dead and without meaning, the way kundalini energy rises up within a body to illuminate each of the chakras. Their power becomes the power to leave behind what is dead and useless to make way both for personal rebirth and renewal to the natural world. It is the indomitable creative power that lies sleeping in the consciousness of both men and women. Perhaps more urgently than ever before, the Sacred Feminine now calls to us to remember who we really are, and all the creative blessings we have, which the world around us needs so very much. Never in human history has it been more urgent that we listen and respond, for our own sake and for the benefit of all beings and all living things on the earth.

Fasting Part 4 - Cracking The Code

Lose Weight Eating TWO Meals A Day: Tips for Meal Spacing

By now you will have grasped the principles of meal spacing. It’s time to get specific about putting it all in into practice. TWO MEALS A DAY Put behind you that old adage that you must eat a good breakfast to keep you going through the day. This is untrue. It never has been true, despite all we’ve been taught. The word breakfast literally means the meal at which you “break-a-fast.” That is just what you will be doing on meal spacing—breaking a fast of 12 or more hours after eating dinner the night before. The timings of your two meals each day will need to take into account what your days are like. Is it an easy thing for you to prepare your first meal at home—say between 11am and 1pm? Or do you work away from home all day? If so, does your job require you to eat in restaurants frequently? On days when you don’t, can you make your first meal before leaving for work—say, a salad complete with good quality protein which you can take to work with you, or maybe a delicious smoothie you can carry in a thermos? The rule of thumb for success with meal spacing is to allow 5 to 6 hours or more between your first and second meal of the day. Longer food-free periods are fine too. If you can schedule your second meal in the early evening—say 6 or 7pm, this is ideal. If, on the other hand, you don’t get home until later in the evening or you have been invited out for the evening, then the period between meal one and meal two is likely to be longer than 6 hours. That is fine too. EAT STOP FAST It is essential that, as soon as you finish a meal, you stop eating. And, just in case you have a habit of munching through a couple of biscuits or a bowl of chocolate ice cream between dinner and bedtime, now is the time to break this habit. It’s important to have ended your eating for the day at least 3 hours before you climb into bed. You need an absolute minimum of food-free 12 hours during the night before eating the first meal of the next day. How you plan your eating and fasting periods depends on you. Your timings may change a bit from day to day depending on what is happening in your life. That’s OK. Just don’t forget that, to become lean and healthy and stay that way, and to protect yourself from early aging and degenerative conditions, your body needs extended food-free periods day after day. And the longest and most important is at night, while you sleep. START GENTLY Many people are afraid they will not be able to make it from one meal to the next when they are just beginning to explore what condensed eating can do for them. I recommend when you are just learning the practice of meal spacing that you feel free to eat a snack or two between meal one and meal two if you feel you need to. That being said, the sooner you come to adopt fully this food style and make it your very own, the better. I predict that it won’t take long before you will have no trouble remaining food-free between meals. SNACK SUGGESTIONS Half an avocado with 2 oz (50 g) of Cheddar cheese A no-sugar smoothie made with Vital Whey, sweetened with English Toffee Stevia if you like 1 cup of sliced cucumbers with vinaigrette dressing made with extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with 1/4 cup raspberries 4oz (100g) plain cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s yogurt with half a grated apple sweetened with stevia and sprinkled with cinnamon. TAKE YOUR TIME Your body will need some time to adapt itself to this kind of eating—sometimes only a few days and other times two or three weeks. Just be patient and stick with it. Have your healthy snacks between meal one and meal two until you sense that you no longer need them. But right from the beginning, make a commitment to yourself to end completely the convenience carb foods that undermine health, provoke weight gain and predispose all of us to sluggishness and depression. Eat as many of the good fats as you like while eliminating sugars and the carbs that turn into sugar when people eat them. What are good fats? Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter from grass-fed cows. These can strengthen your body, bring you energy you can rely on, and will never make you fat so long as you avoid the life-force draining carbohydrates which still make up the bulk of most people’s meals. These include breads, pastas, potatoes, bagels, cookies, chips, cakes and the rest. Meanwhile, eat lots of good fats If truth be told, we humans have little need for carbs. When our bodies are fed quality proteins, the good fats, green vegetables and low-sugar fruits, their bodies will quite naturally derive any glucose that they need from these foods. (For more information about this see my book Healthy And Lean For Life, which you can download for free on the homepage of curaromana.com.) By the way, if while your body is adapting to your condensed eating program, you experience light headedness, muscle cramp, fatigue, or grumpiness along the way, make sure you increase the amount of sea salt or Himalayan salt (not ordinary table salt please) that you are using on your foods. LESLIE’S RECIPES Let me now share with you some of my own favorite recipes that are good for any meal spacing program. I hope you enjoy them. When it comes to radiant wellbeing, nothing carries the power of fresh raw foods. Not only are they higher in essential nutrients than their cooked counterparts, the quality of the phytochemicals they contain is the best in the world. Contrary to what a lot of people think, raw fruits and vegetables are easy to digest. Each fruit or vegetable carries within it the exact enzymes necessary for us to digest it fully and efficiently. Bircher Muesli serves 1 This recipe, which is great for either of your meals, calls for an apple. But you can use almost any fruit. Berries work very well. The recipe serves one, but can just as easily be made for twelve. This particular form of muesli is dairy-free. If you prefer to use dairy products, try plain unsweetened cow’s yoghurt, or sheep or goat’s yoghurt if you have a problem with cow’s milk. What You Need 2 tablespoons grated fresh coconut (if you are buying coconut commercially, make sure it contains no sugar) handful of raisins, soaked overnight 1 apple, grated or chopped juice of ½ lemon 3 tablespoons coconut milk or sheep or goat’s yoghurt ¼ teaspoon powdered cinnamon or grated fresh ginger Here’s How Mix together the coconut and raisins and combine this mixture with berries or a grated or chopped apple, lemon juice and the coconut milk or yoghurt. Sprinkle with cinnamon or ginger. Serve immediately. Vanilla Nutmeg Smoothie Serves 1 This meal-in-an-instant is surprisingly filling and the vanilla makes it a warming drink, despite being made with ice! You can make the smoothie with or without the egg. If you do use the egg, make sure it is free-range and organic. Use only the best whey (see recommendations below). Most of what you find out there is junk. Don’t touch it. What You Need 6 ice cubes 200ml clean water 1-2 scoops natural or vanilla-flavored micro-filtered whey protein (see resources) 1 free range, organic egg 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (the real thing, no sugar, preferably organic) a pinch of grated nutmeg stevia to taste Here’s How Put all the ingredients into a blender, but blend for no more than 20 seconds as this can change the nature of the whey protein. Sprinkle a little extra grated nutmeg on top and serve immediately. If you like, you can add 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds to this smoothie for a fiber boost. Warm Bacon and Spinach Salad serves 2 I used to live in Wales. This recipe is based on the great Welsh stalwart—spinach. It’s so often cold in Pembrokeshire, so I made this salad a warm one. What You Need 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 oz (100g) naturally cured bacon, cubed 2 tablespoons raw walnuts, broken into small pieces 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1lb/450g spinach leaves 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, finely grated Maldon sea salt or Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Here’s How Heat half of the oil in a heavy pan and add the bacon until golden brown and cooked through. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then add the walnuts, vinegar and the rest of the oil. Throw in the spinach at the last minute, and toss with the other ingredients in the pan until the spinach has begun to wilt. Serve immediately with the grated parmesan on top. Salmon Delight serves 2 This recipe came from a friend—Belinda Hodson. Salmon is such a delightful fish with a unique and delicate flavor. I love this dish because it is easy to prepare and very tasty. The marinade enhances the natural flavors of the fish and the spring onion really gives it its own special zest. What You Need 2 fillets of salmon juice of 4 medium-sized lemons 2 large spring onions pepper and salt 1 dessertspoon of coconut oil zest of 1 lemon plus 2 lemon wedges parsley (for garnish) Maldon sea salt or Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Here’s How Finely chop the spring onions and place in a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, pepper and salt and blend. Place the salmon fillets into the marinade (flesh-side down) and leave for 45 minutes. Turn the fillets onto the other side and leave for a further 15 minutes. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan. Drain the fillets and place in the pan, cooking until tender. Serve with parsley garnish. Crudités It may sound completely mad, but when dipping crudités, it matters what shape you cut your vegetables into. Some vegetables want to be sticks, some want to be sliced diagonally into rounds. They simply taste better. Keep your crudités in the fridge in a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon. Here’s a selection of some fruits and vegetables that make good dippers Sticks carrots turnips courgettes/zucchini green and red peppers Slices cucumber white radish beetroot Jerusalem artichoke kohlrabi apples Whole button mushrooms—stalks left on baby carrots young green beans, topped and tailed cauliflower florets spring onions Wedges tomato chicory small lettuce endive Serve them with a good dip. Here are a couple of my favorites: Curried Avocado Dip This dip is great for crudités. I serve it together with a platter of fresh phyto-nutrient filled vegetables such as endive, bulb fennel, crunchy lettuce, celery, slices of red, green, and yellow capsicum and anything else I happen to have around. What You Need 2 large ripe avocados, peeled and cubed 3 cloves of garlic, chopped 3 tbsp of lemon juice 1 tsp of vegetarian broth powder 1/8 tsp of Cajun seasoning Celtic or Maldon sea salt to taste freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 tsp of mild to medium curry powder 1 tbsp of lemon zest Here’s How Add chunks of avocado plus garlic, lemon juice, broth powder and other seasoning to the food processor— everything except the lemon zest. Blend until creamy and add lemon zest and serve. This recipe makes about 1 cup, which will keep up to 3 days in the fridge. Sesame Miso Dipping Sauce What You Need 125 ml of rice wine vinegar Granulated stevia to taste 1 tbsp miso 2 tbsp of sesame seeds, ground in a coffee grinder or food processor 1 garlic clove, crushed Here’s How Combine all the ingredients. Can be served immediately. Cool Cucumber Dip What You Need 1 small cucumber ¾ cup of yoghurt (cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s) squeeze of lemon or dash of vinegar 1 tbsp minced onion Spoonable stevia to taste 1 clove garlic (optional) fresh mint Celtic or Maldon sea salt to taste freshly ground black pepper Here’s How Peel and grate the cucumber, then drain off any excess extra juice (you can use it as a drink). Mix with the yoghurt, lemon juice or vinegar, onion, stevia and garlic. Finely chop a few mint leaves and add. Season and serve in a dish with sprigs of fresh mint. FOLLOWING YOUR NATURE It may surprise you to learn that the eating pattern which you are aiming to create for yourself is what the human body has been genetically programmed to thrive on for hundreds of thousands of years. It can enable you to eat well and plenty of food without suffering any sense of deprivation or hunger once you get accustomed to it. This is the way our hunter gathering ancestors, whose genes we have inherited, lived. They ate and then fasted, depending on when food was available and when it was not. When you get into eating quality protein foods at mealtime along with plenty of good fats like those in the above recipes, luscious green vegetables and low-sugar fruits day by day, you are likely to find yourself going from strength to strength. Your body gets firmer and leaner. Your health improves as vitality steadily grows. Your mind becomes clearer. You look younger and better than you may have done for years and you feel happier with yourself and your life. Try it and see. USEFUL PRODUCTS: BEST LIQUID 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. Buy SweetLeaf Stevia BEST MICROFILTERED WHEY Well Wisdom, Vital Whey, Natural Vanilla, 21 oz (600 g) Vital Whey is a delicious, 100% natural nutritional protein supplement. Vital Whey is a proprietary, non-denatured, native whey protein that is produced to maintain the full range of all the fragile immune-modulating and regenerative components naturally present in fresh raw milk. The milk for this product is derived from cows that are grass-fed and graze year-round on natural pastures. Our whey does not contain genetically engineered materials. It is hormone-treatment-free, pesticide-free, chemical-free and undergoes minimal processing. Grass-Fed Year-Round Hormone-Treatment-Free The Finest Biologically-Active Non-Denatured Whey Protein Dietary Supplement Comes in Natural. Vanilla and Cocoa Buy Vital Whey BEST GRANULATED STEVIA 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 Buy Stevita

Look Inside

Discover Creative Visualization & Conscious Dreaming: Journey to Unlocking the Power of Your Mind

The mind's depths are rarely plumbed in everyday life. In fact scientists estimate that we usually use only a mere 10% of our total mental capacity - an unfortunate loss of potential. By expanding our consciousness and awareness and setting the power of imagination in motion we can learn to draw upon the remaining reserves and use them to create and actualize our goals and dreams. The process is known as creative visualization or conscious dreaming. It is based on the principle that in everything we do a thought or an image always precedes an action. For example, the thought, "I will go and make dinner." or "I am hungry." results in the meal. By using this principle we can program our minds with positive and creative thoughts and images to bring about rewarding results. This is something which we have both worked with for a very long time. That the mind is capable of influencing our lives and the world in which we live is only beginning to be appreciated. At clinics throughout the world doctors are starting to acknowledge the role of creative visualization in the seemingly miraculous 'spontaneous remission' of terminal patients. Patients are being taught to visualize their immune systems sending out white blood cells in armies to destroy malignant cells. Whatever particular image works best for the person is encouraged. They may see their white blood cells as little men in work clothes clearing away a tumor VricBor visualize them as sharks attacking and engulfing the cancerous cells. The specific image is unimportant as long as it is vivid and meaningful to the patient. The medical profession also acknowledges the power of the mind in the use of placebos. A placebo is an inert substance or procedure which is presented to the patient as a powerful therapeutic drug or technique and which often leads to a dramatic recovery from a serious physical illness. An American physician studying women in early stages of pregnancy who were complaining of morning sickness and stomach contractions, offered one woman a 'drug' which he said would soothe her discomfort and alleviate her nausea. Within minutes the woman felt better. In fact, the doctor had actually given her a powerful emetic - a substance designed to induce vomiting in someone who has swallowed a harmful substance. Because the woman had faith in her doctor, this fact overcame her nausea and reversed the effect of the drug. Such are the powers of the mind. Conscious dreaming is a way of beginning to tap the powers of your mind in order to take control over your life and accept responsibility for what comes to you. It is done in a state of deep relaxation in which we are able to let go of the tensions, worries and doubts that normally plague us, and contact our deeper self. You can use conscious dreaming to improve all areas of your life, for instance to give you more confidence and a better self image, to improve your performance at work or in athletics, to intensify your healing abilities, to increase your creativity so that you express your talents with greater ease - to even gain insights into problems that vex you. It works on the principle that your subconscious does not draw a distinction between an actual experience and a vivid mental image so that your dreams can take on the weight of reality and eventually become part of your conscious life. And because thought and intention precede physical reality, when you ask your imagination to alter your expectations, you can actually improve that reality. journey to the center To begin the journey of self discovery and transformation you need to relax deeply. Our favorite relaxation exercise was taught to us by a friend Angela Farmer, a talented and dedicated teacher of yoga. It focuses on the breath to still the mind and body and is called total breath. Here's how: total breath technique: This complete exercise can be difficult to learn at first. We suggest you have someone read it slowly as you do it. Or read it through several times and then memorize the key words. You needn't remember all the images, but you may find one or two stick out in your mind. Begin by lying down on a carpet or blanket on the floor. The firm surface of the floor is better than a bed because it allows your muscles to relax more deeply against it. Make sure you are warm enough - cover yourself with a blanket if necessary. Place a rolled up towel or small blanket or book under your neck and head. (The size will depend upon the curvature of your neck.) Your head should be supported and your chin parallel to the floor. Take the phone off the hook and make sure no one disturbs you. Lying on your back bend your knees up and place your feet hip width apart comfortably near your buttocks. Bend your elbows and rest your - palms on your abdomen. Bring your awareness to the contact of your body with the ground. Notice where you touch the floor. Let yourself give up your entire weight to the floor so that you sink into it. Imagine the earth embracing you from behind. Let the breath flow through your body like water, gently easing away any tension in the joints and muscles. Once you have eased your back muscles on the floor your spine will naturally lengthen out. Help this lengthening by putting your hands gently behind your head and easing your head and neck out. (You may have to readjust your head rest.) Instead of breathing, release your back to create a space and then wait for the breath to enter. This waiting is very important. It eliminates the sense of trying and doing which fills our lives every day. Trust that your breath will enter automatically. You need make no effort to breathe. As the breath enters feel it rippling through the layers of muscles in your back and have the sense of "It breathes me". Bring your awareness to the where your legs attach to your pelvis and try to let go of any holding in your hips and pelvis. Don't try to move your legs, but imagine your knees being pulled gently up and away on a diagonal. Consider the possibility of your legs floating away from your pelvis. Now feel the weight of your pelvis against the floor. Imagine it as a hollow basin and let your belly and inner organs melt back into it. Feel the bony part of the pelvis (the sacrum) spreading out on the floor as the breath comes in. As the breath leaves the whole spine lengthens out and the back relaxes further back into the floor. Work slowly up the spine in this way, taking your awareness to the waist or lumbar area then to the lower, middle and upper chest - all the time checking that it is not you breathing, but you waiting, releasing, watching as the breath enters and leaves your body. Observe as more and more layers of muscles give up their tensions. When the breath enters the back of your rib cage, remember that your ribs are only connected to the spine by cartilage and can expand to the sides to create more space for the breath. Notice any hardness and holding in the front ribs and chest and allow them to soften. The front of the body can sink back and be received by the back of the body. Bring your attention to the shoulders and top chest. For most of us a lot of worry, stress and fear are held here. See if you can gently soften in these areas, allowing the sternum (breast bone) to drop down and melt. Let your shoulders gradually sink down towards the floor. Imagine in the center of your chest going through to the back between your shoulder blades and from this point see if you can allow the shoulders to drift apart. The shoulder blades can slide away from each other on the floor with the inhalation and rest separated on the outbreath. Let go of any tension in your throat and neck and allow your head to float away from the rest of your body. Let your hair flow away from your head. Imagine your eyes as two pebbles dropping backwards into a pool of water. Let the skin of your face become heavy and flow sideways and down towards your ears. Become aware of your body as a whole. Feel the gentle ebbing and flowing of the breath throughout you. Now is the time to begin conscious dreaming. Once you have reached this state of deep relaxation it is time to begin conscious dreaming. Explore a sanctuary within your mind to which you can return each time you do the conscious dreaming. Imagine yourself in a beautiful place. It may be a place from your past or entirely imaginary. Let yourself feel safe and at peace. Now evoke your dream. Picture your ideal self. If you want to lose weight for instance, see yourself slim and happy going about your everyday affairs. Try to see yourself as vividly as possible. Imagine other people you know responding positively to the ideal you. If you want to kick a bad habit such as smoking see yourself in a situation where you would normally smoke, such as after a meal and picture yourself quite happily foregoing the cigarette. If you are sick imagine yourself well again and doing your favorite things. If you have a problem, for example with a relationship that is not going well or you need to make an important decision, quietly ask your inner self for advice. By taking the time to listen to your higher wisdom you'll be surprised at how easily problems are resolved. Successful conscious dreaming comes in both an active and a passive mode. You can create images and ideals for yourself actively or you can take a receptive stance and allow images and thoughts to arise on their own accord. Both are important and can lead to valuable insights. At the end of each conscious dreaming session conclude by saying to yourself, "This or something better now happens to me for the total good of all concerned." This phrase allows the possibility of the higher wisdom to work through your dreams. You can return to the conscious dream images throughout the day. By beginning to contact your inner self in this way you will find that it becomes usefully integrated into (your everyday life. Gradually open your eyes and for a few seconds look around you. Then slowly roll over onto one side and gently get up.

Stress Is A Gift

Harness Power of Stress: Use it to Revitalize & Thrive

The idea that stress is all bad is patent nonsense. As human beings we would be little more than vegetables without stress in our lives. Also, and most important, the more committed we are to the lives we are leading and the more right they are for us, the less likely we are to suffer the ravages of stress. Nevertheless we worry about stress, wonder about it, and wish it would go away. Yet seldom do we even stop to ask what it is. Little wonder. For stress is complicated even to define. YOU NEED STRESS TO LIVE The word stress comes from the language of engineering, meaning “any force which causes an object to change.” In engineering the specific change caused by stress is known as strain and there are four possible kinds: torsion, tensile, compression and sheering. In human terms the strain is you body's response to physical, chemical, emotional or spiritual forces, asking in some way that you adapt to them. As we learn this art, we also discover a great secret: How stress can become the spice of life, the exhilaration of challenge and excitement, the high of living with heavy demands on you and and thriving. For, like the tempering process involved in the production of a piece of good steel, once you make a friend of stress, forces which had seemed to be working against you become positive energies that define you, strengthen you and help you express your own brand of creativity and joy. This is one of the great gifts that stress has to offer. Without physical and mental challenges your body would become feeble and you would never feel the excitement and creative energy which are such an important part of wellbeing. But too much stress can be a killer since stress, or rather the inability to cope with it, is the common denominator in all disease states. It is also a strong contributing cause in almost every illness to which we are susceptible. Develop methods for neutralizing the negative effects of stress and you can begin to thrive on its positive aspects. TOSS OUT THE PILLS Drug-based therapy is not the answer: the a million tons of Valium swallowed each year, as well as sleeping pills and other tranquillizers, produce unpleasant and dangerous side-effects ranging from addiction to acute rage, withdrawal, long-term worsening of anxiety symptoms, sub-clinical vitamin and mineral deficiencies, aggressiveness and even acute psychotic episodes. New evidence indicates that taking tranquillizers may also encourage the growth of tumours, impair neuromuscular coordination and make takers more prone to road accidents. Quite apart from the detrimental effects these drugs exert on mind and body, the fact that they treat only the symptoms of overload and do absolutely nothing towards eliminating the causes, means they can never make a positive contribution to wellbeing. What’s worse, relying on pills weakens your ability to cope with life and undermines your autonomy and your self-esteem. QUICK ENERGY NOW It is actually possible to breathe in energy whenever you feel burdened with worry and fatigue. Try this for a couple of minutes: Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply from your diaphragm, so your stomach (not your chest) swells with each in breath. Imagine that you are breathing in vitality from the air to fill your whole body through your solar plexus. As you breathe in, feel that your whole body is becoming more and more relaxed. Imagine it as a centre of immense light radiating outward in all directions, as though you are taking in energy through the solar plexus itself, transforming it into light and radiating it out again everywhere. YOUR FEELINGS MATTER Emotional stressors in your life can take their toll. But f most emotional hurdles can be overcome. Take a look at what continues to trigger off the stress response in your own life. Ask yourself whether it is something which prevents you from turning a lot of your energy to more constructive use. Some stressors provide challenges from which we can grow. Others are simply habitual. They lead nowhere and bring little in terms of increasing awareness or your ability to make better use of your energy. If there are any of these in your life see if you can eliminate them. For instance, take a look at the work you do and ask yourself if you find it really satisfying. Are the financial responsibilities you have taken on really necessary? Can you reduce them in any way? If so, have the courage to drop them and to accept the changes this will bring about; this too can make you stronger. We humans have a tendency to hang on to the status quo at all costs - and often the cost is in terms of lost adaptive energy - occasionally even life. Regardless of whether you learn the world's finest techniques for meditation to counteract stress, if you are in a job you hate year after year or are faced with a relationship that no longer has meaning for you, they will do little good. To make stress work you must not only face up to its demands, but also take responsibility for removing it wherever it is no longer useful and relevant to you. GET INTO JOY Each of us needs to develop our own personal ways of throwing off stress. A walk in the woods for clearing consciousness is something quite specifically ordered by Tibetan doctors to patients who suffer from rapid swings of mood and worry. Or you could try sailing, running, dancing, gardening, listening to music or some other form of hobby. I have a passion, verging on an addiction, for good movies. Explore them all. Find out what works best for you and make it an important part of your day-to-day life. By eliminating unnecessary stressors from your life, practising relaxation and exercise, and becoming more and more aware of which challenges are important to you and which you are better off without, you will develop a way of being which will keep you free from unnecessary illness. You will soon be tapping the kind of vitality and enthusiasm a child has which most adults have long forgotten. A special bonus too - you will quite automatically preserve your good looks and vitality decade after decade. THE ART OF SIGHING When you begin to unwind and let go the muscles' tension, the release is often accompanied by a very slow deep breath - in fact, a sort of sigh. You can use sighing throughout the day to calm your nerves and prevent tensions building up. Think of a stress producing situation which occurs fairly frequently at work, e.g. the telephone ringing and each time it happens, take a deep breath and let it out again, then answer the phone. Be sure to let your shoulders drop as you inhale and breathe deeply down into your belly and lower back. Let the lower ribs expand away from your spine as much behind as in front. When you exhale, don't collapse, but think of your head and spine lengthening upwards. THE BLISS OF BALANCE Stress and relaxation are like two sides of a coin. Learn to move easily from one to another and you will begin to experience your life as a satisfying and enriching challenge like the ebb and flow of the tides. Then you will never again have to worry about getting stuck in a high-stressed condition which saps your vitality, distorts your perceptions and can even lead to premature ageing and chronic illness. The secret of getting the right balance between stress and relaxation is threefold. First, take a look at the kind of stress that is part of your life, eliminate unnecessary stressors and discover new ways of working with the others. Second, learn one or more techniques for conscious relaxation and practise them until they become second nature. Finally, explore ways of expanding your mind, honouring your individuality and for creating an environment that supports both. Not only will this help your body stay in balance and increase your level of overall vitality, it can bring you a sense of control over your life that is hard to come by any other way.

How To Make Sprout Magic

Grow Your Own Sprouts: An Economical and Nutritious Kitchen Garden

Make them the base for salads, add them at the last minute to homemade soups, even carry them around with you in a bag and eat them instead of chocolate bars and biscuits. They are sweet and delicious and won’t leave you with an energy slump. An excellent way to cram your meals with goodness is to sprout your own seeds (sometimes called bean sprouts). Seeds and grains are latent powerhouses of nutritional goodness and life energy: Add water to germinate them, let them grow for a few days in your kitchen and you will harvest delicious, inexpensive fresh foods of quite phenomenal health-enhancing value. The vitamin content of seeds increases dramatically when they germinate. The vitamin C content in soya beans multiplies five times within three days of germination - a mere tablespoon of soybean sprouts contains half the recommended daily adult requirements of this vitamin. The vitamin B2 in an oat grain rises by 1300 percent almost as soon as the seed sprouts, and by the time tiny leaves have formed it has risen by 2000 percent. Some sprouted seeds and grains are believed to have anticancer properties, which is why they form an important part of the natural methods of treating the disease. Another attractive thing about sprouts is their price. The basic seeds and grains are cheap and readily available in supermarkets and health food stores - chickpeas, brown lentils, mung beans, wheat grains and so forth. And since you sprout them yourself with nothing but clean water, they become an easily accessible source of organically grown fresh vegetables, even for city dwellers. DIY Sprouting When you discover how economical and easy it is to grow sprouts you will want to have some on the go all the time. Once germinated, you can keep sprouts in polythene bags in the fridge for up to a week - just long enough to get a new batch ready for eating. Most people grow sprouts in glass jars covered with nylon mesh held in place with an elastic band around the neck, but I have discovered an even simpler method which allows you to grow many more, and avoids the jar method problem of seeds rotting due to insufficient drainage. You will need the following: seeds (e.g. mung beans) seed trays with drainage holes, available from gardening shops and nurseries a jar or bowl to soak seeds in overnight a plant atomizer - from gardening or hardware shops a sieve nylon mesh - available from gardening shops. Place two handfuls of seed or beans in the bottom of a jar or bowl and cover with plenty of water. Leave to soak overnight. Pour the seeds into a sieve and rinse well with water. Be sure to remove any dead or broken seeds or pieces of debris. Line a seedling tray with nylon mesh (this helps the seeds drain better) and pour in the soaked seeds. Place in a warm dark spot for fast growth. Spray the seeds twice a day with fresh water in an atomizer and stir them gently with your hand in order to aerate them. After about three days place the seeds in sunlight for several hours to develop the chlorophyll (green) in them. Rinse in a sieve, drain well and put in a polythene bag in the fridge to use in salads, wok-fries etc. There are many different seeds you can sprout - each with its own particular flavor and texture. Have fun discovering which ones you like best.

Retreat Secrets

Plumb the Depths: Discovering Your Potential Through a Retreat

I smile when the word “retreat” comes up and people get all “starry eyed” and “new age” about the idea. In my experience, a retreat—an enormously valuable event in one’s life which needs periodically to be repeated—has little to do with sitting beneath jasmine scented trees, communing peacefully with God. I have done many retreats of different lengths and kinds, including one in a Tibetan monastery, in which I spent some six weeks learning more about fleas than I would ever want to know. I believe each retreat is meant to be an experience of profound inner transformation, carried out with both feet planted firmly on the ground. PLUMBING THE DEPTHS Like any experience of real change, it asks that we plumb the depths of our being to come closer to what is real, as well as to access creativity, power, and energy we may never have touched before. In many ways, the process is like that of detoxifying your body by shifting from a low-carbohydrate diet to a way of eating that brings clarity to the mind and strength to the body. Retreats often bring to the surface a lot of the toxic “junk” from emotional damage and wrong thinking that all of us carry on a psychological and mental level, so it can be cleared. This is not always a comfortable process. DISCOVERING YOUR POTENTIALS Like the proverbial iceberg, most of us live with the lion’s share of our potential for freedom, joy, creativity, and power submerged beneath a sea of unknowing. We go about our day-to-day duties and pleasures, conscious only of what comes to us through our five senses. How does it taste and feel? What does it sound like? What do we see in front of our eyes? And most of the time—because of the stress that we live under in our urban lives —we are not even fully aware of our senses. Meanwhile, beneath the vast ocean of consciousness that constitutes what it is to be fully human, our greater selves hibernate, waiting to be awakened. It is this awakening that a retreat can help bring about. For like exceptional events in our lives which break through comfort zones—when we fall in love perhaps, or when we’re faced with an event of life-shattering proportions like a critical illness or the death of a close friend—a retreat in silence and solitude can cause submerged areas of our being to erupt in magic, in surges of passion, in vitality, in anxiety, in stunning beauty. EXPANDED AWARENESS For a time, the mundane quality of everyday life is replaced with a sense of expanded being. We not only feel more alive; we wake up to find that familiar things—the tree that stands outside the bedroom window, the cat that greets us when we come home each day, the simple shell we picked up and slipped into our pocket while walking on the beach—has taken on a luminosity we cannot explain. On retreat sometimes, without warning, while listening to music or walking down a street, we can be hit with a feeling that the world is far greater than we ever imagined it to be, or a sense that all we see around us somehow is us. We are all part of the same stuff. While the experience lasts, everything seems right in the world. Then, as our retreat ends, like the sun at the point of setting, it can all fade beneath the mundane horizon—leaving only the faintest wisp of colour to remind us that we once stood in glory, felt the rays of the sun upon our bodies, and knew that sense of being at one with the universe which gives every struggle meaning. A retreat, whether or not it is simply 2 hours set aside a week for you to do something that you absolutely love doing so that you are following your passion; whether you go into a monastery or a retreat centre for a long weekend; or into the wilderness on a vision quest, helps connect us with what is real, and remind us of who we really are. In the silence, when we are removed from the day-to-day structures of our lives which both support us and imprison us, we can begin to plunge the depths of our being and make a better connection with our inner visions, longings, passions, and creative power. DETOX FOR THE SOUL One of the most important gifts of a retreat is to help make us aware that the life we are living may not be entirely our own, or that it is not as authentic as we would like it to be, or that we are not getting as much out of our lives as we feel we should be. Such discoveries are never easy. Yet they often herald exciting changes for the better and help clear away much of the toxic “junk” we have been carrying. The process of reclaiming power and rebalancing energy, by walking away for a time from the ordinary structures of your life, is very much like the process of detoxifying the body. When you stop putting convenience foods into your body and begin eating in a way that supports life-long health, something remarkable happens. Not only do our physical distortions rise to the surface; you might experience fatigue, perhaps a headache as a result of giving up coffee, a deep cleansing of the body. In many ways a retreat acts as a detox for the soul. On a spiritual level, the distortions that we have picked up in our lives also tend to rise to the surface to be cleared away. We may find ourselves temporarily riddled with depression or a sense of meaninglessness, fear, the feeling that the life we are living in no way satisfies our inner need. WRITE IT DOWN On any retreat, it is essential to keep a journal of what you are thinking and how you are feeling, both physically and spiritually. We often forget that mind and body are one, not two separate entities. Nothing brings this truth more to consciousness than the process of retreating from our day-to-day life. For when you let go of the structures of your life for a time, the ideas, feelings, memories, and concerns that have been floating beneath the surface rise up into awareness. This is where it is important not to identify with them, but rather to just remark that they are there, record them, and learn to look at them objectively knowing that the fact they have risen to the surface means that they are probably ready to be got rid of, often leaving us lighter and freer than ever before. LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE Simultaneously, probably because the psyche is so rich and complex and when you are on retreat you hear the whispers of your soul better than any other time, we tend to get tiny messages from the soul. We often get a sense of things that we want to do or be, learn, or try. Some of these things may be insignificant, while others seem to be very large indeed. Record these “whispers” in a journal, right alongside any negative or confusing feelings which surface. At the end of a retreat, you can then go back to these whispers which you have recorded. Make a decision to act upon one or two of the things you want, whether they be apparently insignificant things such as I want to change the way my hair is cut, or large issues such as I want to go back to university and learn new skills. DISCOVER YOUR PASSIONS A retreat can help us come in touch with passions of the soul. Passion, I believe, holds the key to everything, and more than anything else, the stressful demanding lives that we live, where we are living mostly by other people’s rules (being the good employee, the good mother, the good wife etc.) tend to make us deaf to the whispers of our soul. A retreat can awaken again our ability to hear these passions. A NEW LIFE BEGINS The real trick to making retreats work for you comes after the retreat is over. It’s at that point, when you look back into your journal and find out what it is, and are reminded of the things that you most want. These are not just things that you think might be possible, but what you really want in your life. Decide to bring into being only one or two of the things that you want most to do. This is how we ground our spiritual insights in our day-to-day lives and then gradually, bit by bit, day by day, we not only find that the “distortions” we have carried so long have lessened, loosening their hold on us. With each action we take, following one or two or more of what one hears from within, it becomes easier and easier to connect with our soul’s whispers and therefore easier and easier to live an infinitely rewarding, authentic life. And, as often as not, all this can begin with a simple intention to retreat.

Life Force

Unveiling the Aging Secrets: How to Resist Free Radical Damage

The secrets of aging are hidden deep within the molecular structure of the living organism. One of the great biological mysteries, aging is a universal phenomenon - a simple fact of being alive. But how rapidly it occurs is by no means universal. By now much research has been carried out into the processes of aging and all sorts of theories have developed about how and why it happens. The aging clock theory sees aging as programmed by a preset number of cell divisions, the time between which is said to determine our life span. The cross-linking of protein theory suggests that molecular alterations in the body's protein molecules cause micro fibers to be laid down creating loss of elasticity, stiffness and degeneration. The errors in DNA theory insists that chemical exposure, general toxicity and basic genetic tendencies distort the genetic material of cells so they can no longer reproduce normally. Still other theories claim aging comes from changes in brain function to undermine the function and regulation of balance in hormones and the nervous system, or from auto immunity where the immune function declines, or from stress. The one thing that all theories of aging seem to have in common is recognition that degeneration is associated with free radical damage. The more free radical damage takes place, the older you get. The more you are protected from free radical damage the more you are protected from aging.

A New You Calling To Be Born

From Grief to Transformation: How Friendship Heals Two Women in Crisis

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

Truth About Weight Loss Eat Fat Grow Lean

It's Time to Wake Up to the Truth: Ditch The Carbs To Lose Weight & Boost Energy!

Millions of people believe that eating masses of carbs is vital for health, for energy and to keep their bodies running properly as well as aiding in their weight loss. This will surprise you: IT JUST AIN’T TRUE! The rising rates of obesity and diabetes worldwide in the past half century attest to this fact. The powers-that-be including most so-called scientists, the lion’s share of the medical profession, and the mainstream media are still churning out the same old advice: “Eat carbs for energy and cut out the fat from your diet.” Ignore it. THE REAL STORY It’s time to wake up to the truth about weight gain and degenerative illness in relation to carbohydrate foods such as grains, cereals, and all that packaged convenience stuff we have been devouring all these years: A lot of carbs deplete your energy when you eat them often. They also make us fat and are major culprits behind the development of virtually all degenerative illnesses—from heart disease to cancer, arthritis and the rest. If you want a lean, strong body, lots of energy, weight loss, and great protection against early aging, forget the carbs. You don’t need them. Instead, eat lots of green vegetables as well as—wait for it... THE RIGHT KIND OF FAT. Read on for a real eye-opener… DITCH THE CARBS When we look back to our evolutionary past, we see that carbs from sugar and grain, which we now eat so much of, did not even exist before the agricultural revolution. Our paleolithic ancestors ate mostly raw vegetable, nuts, and fruits, and thrived on them. Fast forward to today. Most of the carbohydrates we consume come from grains, cereals, and sugars. This is the complete opposite of what we have been genetically programmed to survive on. It’s no wonder that, as a species, we are fatter and sicker than ever. INNER TURMOIL When you eat high-sugar or high-carb foods (which, by the way, turn into sugar the moment you eat them) several chemical reactions get set off inside your body. These reactions interfere with good metabolic function, making it easier for fat stores to be laid down—and harder for them to be shifted. One type of sugar in particular, fructose, found in things like corn syrup (a main ingredient of fizzy drinks) and fruit juices, is especially bad news. It flicks the “fat-switch” in your system, making you feel hungry even when you’ve eaten. It wreaks havoc on your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. The results? Frequent consumption of fructose leads to increased body fat, obesity, and insulin resistance—often resulting in type 2 diabetes and/or heart disease. This, clearly, is something that you do not want to feed your body. So how can we rectify this modern-day dependency on foods that are both making us fat, and worse, killing us? YOUR BEST FUEL If you’re like most people, you’ve heard that weight gain—and the associated health impacts such as low energy levels—has a simple cause. “It’s just a matter of eating too many calories, too much fat and exercising too little!” The truth? It’s not how many calories you eat, but where you get them from, that counts. Here’s the fact: eating the right kind of fats won’t make you fat. Nor will it impact negatively on your energy levels—in fact, quite the opposite is true. Good fats and proteins, plus green vegetables and some fruit, are the fuels that your body is designed to thrive on. Aim for 90% of your food intake to come from these foods. As for your carb intake, you will need to eat more vegetables than you did before. By the way, green vegetables are also carbohydrates, as well as a great source of the best fiber you can get anywhere. But these carbohydrates are great for you...the more, the merrier. It is the grain, cereal, and sugar carbs you want to keep to absolute minimum. Meanwhile experiment with the so-called “safe starches”, such as brown rice and potatoes occasionally, to see how much your body can happily handle. Start eating in this way and watch your energy soar. GREAT FATS FOR HEALTH AND ENERGY Olives and olive oil Raw nuts Coconuts and coconut oil for cooking Organic nut oils Avocados Organic or free-range egg yolks and butter. Not only are these good fats delicious additions to your diet. They will satisfy your appetite much more effectively than sugars and grains can ever do. This increased ratio of good fats being introduced into your body also helps “reset” your genes to their natural, evolutionary setting, gradually turning body into the fat-burning machine it was meant to be. Want more information? Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It An essential book. It is infinitely important that you understand the truth, in the midst of so much distortion in the media and amongst so called medical and scientific "experts". Do read it. It can change your life. In this exciting new book, Gary Taubes, addresses the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change. He reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century and the good science that has been ignored, answering the most persistent questions along the way: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid? Order Why We Get Fat

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

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.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 16th of June 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.75 lb
for women
-0.86 lb
for men
-0.75 lb
for women
-0.86 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 16th of June 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

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