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mental health

The search for mental clarity, emotional balance, and spiritual openness will makes it possible to develop your unique creative potentials. The sky is the limits.

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Affirmations

Affirmations

Every one of us has more potential for health, happiness, self expression, energy and good looks than we ever make use of. Although there are many tools to help you towards self fulfillment - good food, exercise, stress control, beauty techniques, etc. - by far the most important of all is learning to use the power of your mind. you are what you think Because we create our lives from thoughts, it is important that we think constructively. Unfortunately most of us, without being aware of it, limit our possibilities for fulfillment because we continually bombard ourselves with negative thoughts. We all carry on some sort of internal conversation throughout the day. Usually if we tune in and listen, we find that it is full of negative thoughts and self doubts. Most often we are hearing the voices of our parents, or of people in authority telling us that we can't expect to be happy, that we are bound to fail, that life is suffering and that we should face the stark realities. Out of these negative thoughts arise our self-image and our sense of purpose and direction. It is clear to see, with so much criticism and so little sense of possibility, why we never dare dream of better things. The first step in changing your attitude towards yourself and your life is to stand back and listen to the voices in your head objectively and realize just how ill founded they are. Once you detach yourself from the rubbish going on in your head, you can begin on the path to self-fulfillment. love thyself Whether you feel you are too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too selfish, too sensitive etc., in order to change, you must begin by accepting yourself right now for what you are. Try this exercise: Look at yourself in a mirror and repeat the words, "I love and accept myself completely, as I am" in your head over and over. And as you do write down any blocks that seem to keep you from accepting yourself. You may feel stupid or ridiculous or embarrassed, but stick with the exercise and you will find that it begins to ring true. positive affirmations You can learn to program your mind to bring about success and fulfillment in all areas of your life through positive affirmations. An affirmation is a phrase which can be silently thought, spoken aloud, written down or all three. The great thing is that affirmations can be done anytime and anywhere in one form or another. There are a few basic guidelines for contacting the appropriate part of your brain and evoking results. Once you understand them, you can create your own affirmations to help you become all that you can be. present tense The subconscious part of the brain only understands now - the present tense - so it is important to phrase your affirmation in the present tense. If you try the future tense, e.g. "I will be happy." your goal will remain constantly out of your reach. It may take a bit of getting used to to write or speak your dreams in the present tense, but remember that is just a formality. first person The most powerful suggestions are those made in the first person. Remember when you say "I" you are including all of you and so helping to integrate and employ your entire being in your goals. It is always better to make affirmations positive rather than negative. In other words in stead of saying, "I no longer overeat" say "Everything I eat returns me to my ideal weight of...." specific and realistic Set yourself specific goals at first, which are within your capabilities to achieve. Once you have accomplished them you will be encouraged and can set more challenging goals. If you are trying to give up smoking, for instance, begin with the affirmation that you will cut down the amount you smoke by half. Then you can cut by half again until you finally stop altogether. short and simple Keep affirmations as short and direct as possible. A concise brief affirmation will have more impact than a long wordy one. suspend disbelief Try while doing affirmations to cast aside doubts and believe in the possibility of what you are saying. If you keep experiencing negative thoughts, get them down on paper, then get rid of them and reassert your positive affirmation. personally phrased Make sure that you are happy with the wording of your affirmation. For each person, the word choice may need to be slightly different. Feel free to change any of the affirmations we suggest to suit your own requirements. all encompassing Remember that the affirmation can be used to transform any area of your life, from career and self image to your relationships with others. The Bible says: 'Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find.' Know that you have every right to be successful and happy and that your life is yours to create. Here are some favorite affirmations. Find one or two that you particularly like and repeat them to yourself often. My daughter and I both like the written affirmations, because for us they seem to solidify things. Other people prefer to repeat them silently in meditation, or even sing them. If you do write them down keep a special affirmation journal and write in it any thoughts that arise as you write. Also make a note of things that change for you for the better, and be sure to give thanks for what is given to you. We find seven a useful number to work with. Repeat the affirmations in multiples of seven at a time. some affirmations Every day in every way I am getting better and better. I have everything I need to enjoy life here and now. I create my life and it is good. I love and appreciate myself just I am. Each day my life unfolds in beautiful perfection. I enjoy to love and be loved. The more I give to others the more I have to give. My relationship with ....... is getting better and better. It is good and right for me to have everything I want. Everything I eat makes me strong and healthy. I eliminate wastes easily and completely from my system. I have an exciting, rewarding and well paid job. I have plenty of energy and I enjoy work. I communicate freely and easily with others. I have all the time I need to accomplish all I want to do. It's okay for me to enjoy myself and have fun. God's energy within me produces perfect results in everything I do. Everything that happens is working for the good in my life. I can do ........ and nothing can stop me. ....... or something better now comes to me for the total good of all concerned. I give thanks for all that I am blessed with.

Meet The Helpers

Meet The Helpers

The right kind of herbs can be a great asset not only during times of heavy pressure, but also to help increase your body's adaptive energy so you can take a lot more pressure without cracking. Hans Selye, the father of stress, did not believe this could be done. Now, thanks mostly to research carried out in Russia we know it can - provided you know your herbs well and choose the right ones. There are two classes of herbals that are helpful when it comes to stress. The first are the adaptogens. These are agents which can help protect you against mental and physical fatigue. The second group are the problem solvers such as valerian - an excellent alternative to tranquilizers when you need some extra help, or echinacea, which is an immune booster should you feel yourself in danger of getting a cold or flu during very demanding times. Rather like people, each herb has its own personality. Get to know them; they can be great friends for stress and overall health, enhancing your energy levels, protecting you from fatigue and illness, and helping you to unwind. Let's look at the adaptogens first. medicines for the well The adaptogens include a wide variety of natural substances. In practical terms, they improve your ability to adapt to all forms of stress, while at the same time helping to normalize its biochemical effects. Taken as ‘medicines for well people’ adaptogens can be remarkably helpful in keeping you youthful and full of vitality. Russian researcher II Brekhman at the Institute of Marine Biology Far-East Scientific Center of the Academy of Science in Vladivostock has probably done more than any other single scientist to find natural substances with adaptogenic properties, and to test their effects both on animals and humans. One of the first natural substances which Brekhman and his coworkers investigated which had this ability was Panax ginseng. Probably the most well-known and highly respected natural medicine in the world, the ginseng root was first used for medicinal purposes more than 4,000 years ago ‘to restore the five internal organs, tranquilize the spirit, calm agitation of the mind, allay excitement, and ward off harmful influences.’ for perfect harmony Over-processing and heat treatments destroy many of the beneficial effects of the adaptogens; as a result, most of the ginseng you find on the market is pretty useless. You need to choose your products carefully. There are three true ginseng plants: Panax ginseng, which is the original Korean/Chinese plant: Tienchi (Panax noto-ginseng) which is another Eastern version of the plant: And Panax Quinquefolius, or American ginseng. The active chemicals in ginseng are compounds called ginsenosides, of which there are thirteen. They lie at the core of ginseng's anti-stress properties. When choosing ginseng you need to look for a standardized ginseng extract with a guaranteed percentage of ginsenosides. Panax ginseng comes from Korea or China. The best quality roots are the big red ones which are six years old. Second are the white roots and third are the red grown in Japan, so look for country of origin when buying them. The whole roots are best to take, with root pieces and extracts following in that order. Ginseng tablets and powders often contain ‘fillers’ and are much less potent. American ginseng - Panax Quinquefolius - is usually less effective than Panax ginseng, unless you can get large old roots which are hard to come by. Unlike most other stimulants in common use, ginseng does not produce a sudden rapid rise in blood sugar followed by an unpleasant dip in energy. Nor is there any danger of becoming dependent on it. Also, Brekhman and others have found that ginseng acts as a stimulant without causing insomnia, and that it not only helps stave off fatigue but also strengthens the organism as a whole. The beneficial effects of taking ginseng multiply and build up over the period in which it is used. And ginseng's benefits last long afterwards. siberian ginseng Another adaptogen which has now been widely investigated, particularly in the Soviet Union, is eleuthrococcus senticosus or Siberian ginseng. Members of the same family, but really a different species, eleuthrococcus' therapeutic properties were only discovered in the past 50 years. Like ginseng, it has the capacity to strengthen the body's ability to resist illness, degeneration and fatigue, while never upsetting its natural functions. It is also a mild stimulant, the stimulant action lasting between six to eight hours. But its tonic effects are accumulative - they come gradually over a few weeks. They include increased stamina, better sleep patterns, better memory, cleaner thinking and improved athletic performance. Brekhman and many Russian researchers believe that eleuthrococcus is an even better adaptogen than ginseng. But there have so far been very few well-controlled studies to validate their claims. The best form of eleuthrococcus senticosus comes in extract direct from the Soviet Union. It has been carefully low-heat processed to preserve its biological activity. amazon power The most exciting herb I have come across for a long time is suma (Pfaffia paniculata). Locally known as Para Todo - "for everything" - suma has been used by Brazilian Indians for centuries as an aphrodisiac and general tonic. Recent research shows that, like good ginseng, the wild root of the suma plant also has strong adaptogenic proprieties. Suma is well worth looking at as a nutritional support to raise your energy levels, enhance your ability to be very active - both mentally and physically without fatigue or damage - and detoxify your cells as a prevention against premature aging and degeneration. Apart from the adaptogenics, which strengthen the organism against stress, there are two general herbs which can be a real help during times of heavy pressure - echinacea and valerian. daisy with a difference The immune system plays an important part in protecting from stress-damage. For prolonged stress can interfere with the immune system and you can become highly susceptible to infectious illnesses. That's where echinacea comes in handy. Known as Purple Coneflower, echinacea is a member of the Composite (daisy) family with potent antibiotic and anti-viral effects. The roots of two species, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia, have long been used against infection, and in detoxifying the body, by native peoples including the American Plains Indians. In recent years, the herb has been heavily researched in Germany, where numerous scientific studies now verify its health-promoting abilities. In Germany there are now more than 200 prescription products based on echinacea or its derivatives. Echinacea is able to amplify the activity of the immune system not only by helping an ailing body to recover swiftly, but by helping protect from infections such as colds and flu during the long winter months. I find it a welcome friend taken daily as a preventative during ‘flu season’ as well as a great boon to recovery if you feel yourself coming down with an infection. perfect calmer There is one more herb that can be enormously helpful especially when you become so wound up that you find it difficult to come down. Valerian, Valeriana officinalis, lives up beautifully to its folk reputation as a natural tranquilizer. Recent research confirms this common herb has a remarkable ability to normalize the workings of the central nervous system. Scientific research confirms that valerian is a superb natural sedative. One of the major problems with drug-based sleeping pills is that, while they will put you to sleep, they can also interfere with the quality of the sleep you get when taking them, and leave you with a ‘hangover’ of fatigue in the morning. Researchers found that valerian not only significantly improved sleep quality it also left subjects with no hangover the next morning. But it is just as good as a de-tenser. I find it particularly helpful when I have been traveling across time zones as a help in readjusting my sleep patterns. Get acquainted with a few of the best herbal stress-helpers. They are good friends to have around when you need them.

Youth Factors

Youth Factors

The ageless aging techniques are powerful allies for survival in the 21st Century. Continuing to practice them will help protect you from degenerative diseases and can have you looking and feeling great as the years pass. But we also need to look after ourselves in other ways. Life at the millennium is not easy. We are exposed to aging influences every day of our lives. dump the drugs One of the major actions you can take to protect yourself from premature aging long-term is to stay away from drugs. Many drugs interfere with mineral absorption and undermine metabolic functions. Acid drugs bind calcium and other minerals like zinc and magnesium, making them unavailable for your body to use in its important enzymes which fuel energy and cell reproduction. Without first rate enzyme functions nobody can function optimally. Diuretics - `water pills' - given to eliminate water retention trigger the kidneys to excrete potassium and can lead to potassium deficiency. Although many doctors now give extra potassium with diuretic drugs, diuretics also increase the body's output of zinc, magnesium, and other minerals (something most doctors are still unaware of) so that deficiencies in these elements develop. Antibiotics disturb the balance of intestinal flora, creating disbiosis. The helpful bacteria needed for the production of certain important B-complex vitamins, vitamin K, and for protection against cancer, are destroyed along with the bad guy bacteria antibiotics are trying to kill off in the body. Most laxatives can also be very damaging to the system. Many contain mineral oils which bind fat soluble vitamins K, E, D, and A, leeching them from the tissues. Even when drugs are prescribed by your doctor, keep a close watch on what you are taking. It's a good idea to buy a book on drugs and their interactions so you keep well informed about anything it is suggested you take into your body. reproductive distortions In our modern industrialized world it is all too easy for our reproductive biochemistry to become distorted and youthful functioning to be undermined as a result. In the past 50 years male sperm count in the Western world has fallen by almost half. Meanwhile, women are experiencing the rise of a whole new - as yet largely unrecognized - phenomenon known as oestrogen dominance. Oestrogen dominance is where a woman's oestrogen levels far outweigh progesterone in her body making her prone to cancer, menstrual miseries and menopausal agonies. There are two classes of major reproductive hormones in a woman's body - the oestrogens which are commonly lumped together and called `oestrogen', and progesterone. When these two are in good balance a woman's health thrives. She remains free of PMS and other menstrual troubles. She also remains fertile and able to hold a fetus to full term and menopause becomes a simple transition instead of a passage riddled with suffering. And she is protected from fibroids, endometriosis and osteoporosis. She is also likely to remain emotionally balanced and free of excessive anxiety or depression. When oestrogen and progesterone are not in balance a woman's body becomes oestrogen dominant and all of these things can come a cropper. watch out for xenoestrogens Oestrogen dominance in women and the drop in sperm count in men have come about for several reasons, the major one being the widespread use of oestrogen-based oral contraceptives and the exponential spread of chemicals in our environment. Called xenoestrogens - oestrogen mimics - they are taken up by the oestrogen receptor sites in our bodies to throw spanners in the works. They include the petrochemical derivatives we take in as herbicides and pesticides which have been sprayed on our foods, the plastic cups we drink our tea out of, as well as the oestrogens that come through in drinking water recycled from our rivers. Oestrogens from The Pill and HRT are excreted in a woman's urine. They can end up back in our water supply, as hormones are not removed by standard water purification treatments. To stay vital each of us needs to be aware of the potential dangers of the `sea of oestrogens' in which we are now living. The proliferation of xenoestrogens in our environment needs to be stopped. It is making men less fertile and women more prone to breast and womb cancer, fibroid tumors, endometriosis, osteoporosis, and infertility, not to mention a long list of emotional and mental imbalances. Yet much of the medical profession as well as the general public still remains largely unaware of the effects these dangerous chemicals are exerting on our lives and the lives of animals. As a result oestrogens continue to be prescribed heavily as part of HRT - not only to the handful of women who around the time of menopause may need a little extra oestrogen temporarily - but to thousands of others whose lives would be far better off without it. go for protection You can help protect yourself from excess chemical oestrogens by not microwaving foods in plastic containers, by avoiding birth control pills and HRT, by not drinking from plastic cups, by ensuring that you eat foods grown without chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and by including in your diet foods rich in phytosterols. These plant-based weak hormone-like compounds can help protect us by locking into oestrogen-receptor sites in the body and therefore preventing the much stronger xenoestrogens from gaining purchase in our bodies. Foods with good levels of phytosterols include yams, peas, papayas, bananas, cucumbers, raw nuts, bee pollen, sprouted seeds and grains (such as alfalfa sprouts) plus the herbs licorice root, red clover, sage, sarsaparilla and sassafras. Following a detox regime regularly a couple of times a year can also help detox the system and keep these poisonous chemicals from building up long-term. watch for deficiencies Much free radical damage and many of the problems associated with aging - from depression and insomnia to fatigue, poor eyesight or hearing, fragile bones, stiffness, and aches and pains - are the result of poor diet and the resulting nutritional deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies are now widespread in the developed countries of the Western World. They have developed not because we don't have enough to eat but because we have so disturbed the healthy balance of minerals and other nutrients in natural foods thanks to chemically based agriculture and excessive food processing. A number of large-scale research projects show that someone living on the typical diet of convenience foods over the years becomes deficient in vitamins and minerals. As we get older the most common deficiencies are in potassium, zinc, chromium, iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and vitamin C as well as in protein and fiber. Fiber from fresh vegetables, grains, and pulses becomes particularly important as we get older. Unless the colon functions properly so that wastes are eliminated efficiently constipation becomes a problem so that the build up of toxicity in the body increases the rate at which aging occurs. A national food survey carried out recently in Great Britain showed that the average person is "grossly deficient" in six out of eight vitamins and minerals. And the problem seems to be growing worse and worse as convenience food eaters get increasingly depleted in folic acid, zinc, vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron. The survey showed that the average person in Britain gets only 51% of the European recommended daily allowance of zinc, and only 71% for iron. Similarly 40% of the people studied received less than the recommended daily allowance for calcium. Nutritional deficiencies produce premature degeneration. Avoid them by avoiding processed foods as much as you can, using sea vegetables in your cooking and salads and adding more  green super foods to your diet. choose fats carefully Most of the fats that we eat today have been severely tampered with. Instead of being in a chemical form which your body can make use of (the cis form) to build cell walls, make hormones, and make prostaglandins - all of which are essential to de-age the body, we are eating trans fatty acids. These `junk fats' found in margarine, golden vegetable oils, and all of the convenience foods that we devour - from ready made meals we pop into the microwave to mayonnaise, breads and spreads - can undermine health. Trans fatty acids make up a large proportion of the fats used in making biscuits, sweets, imitation cheeses, margarine, pastries, potato crisps, puddings, and nearly all the packaged and processed food products you find on supermarket shelves. Experts in fat metabolism now blame our ever-increasing consumption of trans fatty acids and our ever decreasing consumption of essential fatty acids in no small part for premature aging and the growth of degenerative diseases including heart-attacks and cancer. About the best oil you can use for salads and wok frying is extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil. It is monounsaturated and much more stable for wok frying foods and making salad dressings. Canola oil is also good but harder to find. gut feelings Another major reason why vitamin, mineral and protein deficiencies tend to occur as we get older is that poor eating over many years often results in a diminishment in a person's ability to digest and assimilate nutrients from their food. This is why for some even eating a good diet is not enough to supply the nutrients needed. Deficiencies in minerals, a low level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach (essential for the absorption of nutrients), or low levels of digestive enzymes are common causes of the poor assimilation that produce nutritional deficiencies. Food allergies and other allergies are also commonly linked with low levels of hydrochloric acid in the gut. This can be corrected gradually by eating a nutrient-rich/low-calorie diet of wholesome foods and by learning to manage daily stress well using a technique like autogenics. Many experts in natural medicine also suggest drinking the juice of half a lemon squeezed into water or taking a teaspoon of apple-cider vinegar in a glass of warm water, twenty to thirty minutes before meals to enhance digestion when hydrochloric acid is low. Useful, too, are good quality supplements of the major digestive enzymes such as bromelin extracted from pineapples, and papain from the papayas. Papain is soothing to the stomach and very gentle. It helps in protein digestion. Bromelin is an anti-inflammatory enzyme which reduces tissue irritation. The pancreas secretes other enzymes important to digestion such as the lipases, amylases, and proteases. For anyone who experiences problems with digestion a good natural combination of digestive enzymes can be a great adjunct to de-aging. One or two capsules with a main meal will usually do the trick. But make sure you choose only the best as there are many poor imitations on the market. sleep a lot Sleep is a great antioxidant and rejuvenator which few pay attention to. Even age researchers are only beginning to be aware of what a potent effect good sleep can have on de-aging the body. Sleep is every bit as essential as good quality food, regular exercise and a healthy environment in rejuvenating the body. In recent years melatonin, the hormone secreted primarily by the pineal gland during the night hours in the absence of light, has been shown to play a major role in controlling the body's circadian rhythms and awareness of time. It has also drawn much attention from age researchers. Melatonin in supplement form can be used to great advantage wherever time awareness has been distorted, such as when crossing time zones or for people who suffer from insomnia. There are many indications that melatonin also offers powerful protection against the body's most destructive free radical - the hydroxyl radical. Sadly, melatonin has been taken off the market in Canada and Britain - amidst a great deal of hooha about it being "dangerous" because it is a natural hormone. Having looked in depth at the whole issue of melatonin I am convinced that used wisely and appropriately it is an extremely useful supplement and that there is nothing dangerous about it. Hopefully one day soon it will reappear. It is still widely available in the United States and most other countries. new radical quencher Meanwhile, when it comes to continual de-aging of the body, the improvement witnessed in people's lives through melatonin supplementation has made researchers ask an important question: Why would the body only secrete a substance like melatonin - a powerful free radical quencher - at night and not during the day? One of the world's experts on the antioxidant effects of melatonin, Dr Russel Reiter, believes that from a biological point of view the primary purpose of sleep may be to create a situation in which the free radicals which we generate during the day (when our exposure to free radical damage is the highest) can be mopped up at night. And it is during the hours of darkness that the body's natural melatonin levels rise. This could well be the reason why many hard-to-treat problems such as food allergies, multiple sclerosis, and ME, are often tremendously improved by getting a good night's sleep. Researchers investigating sleep have also discovered that when the body accumulates high levels of free radicals, a sense of sleepiness tends to set in. Whenever this happens it is a good idea to give in to it and have a nap. At night if you have difficulty sleeping consider using a natural botanical such as passiflora or valerian to help. Everyone's need for sleep is different and while it is true that many of us sleep less as we get older, regular restorative slumber is important for de-aging the body. Enjoy it. Here is a simple check list you can return to to help you create an ongoing lifestyle to de-age your body. 21st century survival Make Every Calorie Count: Gradually decrease the quantity of foods you eat while increasing the nutrients you are taking in. Choose your meals from real foods - the best nature has to offer: raw vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, pulses and seeds, prepared in simple ways to preserve their innate nutritional richness. Avoid Processed Foods: Nix on junk fats, margarines, refined sugar and simple carbohydrates like most packaged breakfast cereals which tend to be depleted of essential minerals, trace elements and fiber. Go Organic: Whenever possible buy (better yet grow) organic vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts. Foods grown without chemical fertilizers help protect your body from pollution while they keep essential nutrients in good balance, on which continuing health depends. Get Smart About Labels: Read labels carefully. Don't be misled by the word `natural' or `no preservatives'. Watch out for references to hydrogenated fats, aluminum, colorings and preservatives and leave foods containing them on the shelves. Wash Non-Organic Foods Well: Use 1 tablespoon of baking soda(bicarbonate of soda) to a sink full of water. Soak for 3-5 minutes to help clear acid-pollutants from vegetables and fruits. Drink Clean Water: Use a good water filter, buy purified water or the very best natural spring waters. Don't use tap water. Eat Deep-Sea Fish: The fattier the better - sardines, mackerel, and wild (not farmed) salmon are full of healthy fatty acids. Stay away from cod, shellfish and most freshwater fish. They are more likely to be chemically polluted. Avoid Aluminum Cooking: Pots and pans of aluminum can leach this metal into the foods cooked in them. Don't Use Irradiated Foods: Their effects on the body are still largely unknown and highly questionable. Add Superfoods To Your Diet: Make good use of foods and herbs that are rich in natural antioxidants and immune-enhancers which work synergistically to protect you. These include algae, spirulina, open-celled chlorella, Australian Dunaliella Salina, bladderwrack, Irish moss, dulse, alaria, kombu and nori as well as green cereal grasses and the power mushrooms reishi, maitake, shiitake, tremella and cordyceps. Go For Greens: Increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts as well as wild green foods like nettles, dandelion and parsley. They are brimming with antioxidants. Minimize Drugs: Use nothing either of prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs that is not absolutely necessary, including hormone drugs. Also minimize recreational drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, nicotine and cocaine. Practice UV Protection: Exposure to sunlight is a great ager especially now with the depletion of the ozone layer. Protect yourself. Grow a Garden: Or at the very least sprout organic seeds and grains for salads. This gives you the freshest, chemical-free foods available. And you can sprout seeds even in a tiny kitchen in a city flat. Cut Down on Meat: Not only is the breeding of livestock on a wide scale wasteful of the earth's resources, most meat and poultry sold comes from chemically raised animals given antibiotics and much has become polluted. If you eat meat make it organic. If you eat chicken and eggs, make them free-range. Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is the body's great rejuvenator, it increases antioxidant activities to counter free radical dangers in the body, enhances the production of the anti-ageing pineal hormone melatonin and is essential to de-ageing your body. loving kindness To care for the body, to enable it to continue to de-age, it is essential that we treat life with respect and care - something which Mitsuo Koda stresses in all of his teaching. This begins with caring for oneself. Creating a lifestyle where your body and your spirit get what they need to thrive - exercise, kindness, rest, stimulation, the rewards of being taken seriously and nurtured. This is something that most of us have to learn how to do. We are always saying `Oh I can't take time to meditate or do autogenics,' or `How do I make time to take long walks or pursue a hobby I love when I have so many responsibilities to fulfill?' The answer is simple and absolutely true although it almost always takes a very long time and a lot of suffering for each of us to learn it for ourselves: Unless you take care of yourself first, making sure you eat well and honor your inner values in the way you live, you are incapable of caring for others properly. For me this has been - in many ways still is - the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn. Each of us behave unconsciously as we have been taught to behave. If our parents happened to desert us or did not care for us very well then we somehow take on their habits about ourselves and don't look after ourselves properly either. The only way to change this is through constant awareness and continued commitment to nurturing the life within us. This in turn develops our ability to nurture others and the earth. life begins today This is the first day of the rest of your life. It can be an exciting one no matter what your age now, what you want to change, and what dreams you want to bring into reality. Begin by making friends with the cornerstone practices of ageless aging. Use them regularly to make your life work better and enhance your capacity for joy. Finally explore what you love most and begin to do it - even if you can only manage an hour or two a week to start with. The American expert in mythology Joseph Campbell used to urge his students at Sarah Lawrence College to follow your bliss, and participate joyously in the sorrows of the world. It is great advice when it comes to de-aging body and mind. By this Campbell did not mean going out of our way to have a good time or chasing rainbows. Far from it. He meant being in touch with whatever is your particular, individual passion and then pursuing it for its own sake, simply because it brings you joy. This can be gardening, or racing motor bikes, going back to university, traveling, listening to music, dancing or surfing the net. The whole point about following ones bliss and honoring ones passions is that doing it leads step by step down a road towards personal authenticity as well as towards the kind of fulfillment that has nothing to do with external success or the approval of society. This too is like rediscovering the joy of childhood when for hours you could sit and perform a particular act or work with a particular skill as life unfolded moment by moment. When it comes to ongoing rejuvenation of body, mind and spirit, what can be better than that?

Free The Body: Charge The Mind

Free The Body: Charge The Mind

Too many of us - fitness freaks and lounge lizards alike - experience our body not as a joy or a finely tuned instrument of expression for our inner being, but rather as a prison incarcerating the Self which cries out for physical expression but is rendered mute by walls of chronic tension, fatigue or postural distortions. Most of us live at only a fraction of our capacity for vitality and we have not the least notion of our body's potential for beauty and for pleasure. For exercise to be of real benefit it needs to be an integrating activity which draws together mind and body. We live in an age of aerobic fitness. Joggers pound the pavements summer and winter, dance studios brim with all sizes and shapes of sweaty women in lycra, and every month or so a `new' system of physical exercise appears on the scene. You'd expect to find the world full of strong supple bodies brimming with grace and energy. The reality is somewhat different. The fine muscle tone, buoyant energy and rich mobility of a coordinated, supple and responsive physical body is a rare occurrence in the Western world even amongst those who consider themselves most fit. Instead we are faced with contracted shoulders and sunken chests, distorted thighs and faces which have aged before their time thanks to poor muscle tone and flagging energy. the body as energy Just as it's important to recognize that the aging process as a whole is not only a biochemical phenomenon but is also dependent upon energy changes - structural information that comes to us through our food and our environment, and our mental attitudes and expectations - so a new approach to exercise is needed to make the most of its potential. Thinkers such as von Bertalanffy and researchers such as Szent-Gyorgyi and the American orthopedic specialist and expert in electrobiology Robert Becker have helped to create a new awareness of the physical body and the mind as a single complex. They have demonstrated that it is no longer enough to consider the body as a physiological and biochemical phenomenon alone. Beneath our physiology and biochemistry lies a unifying system of energetics, which is subtle and complex as well as enormously potent in its effect on body, mind and overall vitality. Becker even uncovered a second `nervous system' previously unrecognized by science which he insists controls growth, healing and regeneration of broken bones. This energetic system appears to be influenced by both our environment and by our thoughts. It is currently being used to explain such diverse phenomena as why acupuncture can be used for pain relief and how hypnosis works. So far very little of the new scientific findings about the body as a unified energetic system has filtered down into the awareness of exercise physiologists and teachers. As a result there are still a great many people for whom even a dedicated and dynamic exercise program followed regularly but mechanically does little good. To an unfortunate few it can even be harmful. To make the most of aerobic exercise for ageless aging, you need not gear yourself up for some superhuman effort. You only need to leave behind the mechanical approach to exercise which tends to treat your body as a machine to be put through its paces - and to get back to basics.

Escape The Rut

Escape The Rut

Working in the same stressful environment day after day produces the same triggers and responses to stress that we simply learn as habits. It’s a good idea to take as many opportunities as you can to break the stress-routine, and there are lots of easy ways to do this. Tea and coffee breaks may be official breaks or simply a chance to grab a quick cup of something between phone calls, appointments or jobs. They are usually few and far between, so it’s wise to make them work for you rather than against you. Consumption of coffee or tea can range from a single cup in the morning to up to 6 or more cups a day. For most people, the process of having another cup becomes an automatic response. The problem is that after the initial caffeine pick up, tea or coffee can let you down badly. Few people know - or want to know - how much damage a few cups of tea or coffee a day can do. Each time you drink a cup of coffee you are getting a dose of between 90 and 120mg of caffeine, and between 40 and 100mg of caffeine for a cup of tea. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, pancreas and heart as well as the cerebral cortex, which is why a cup of tea or coffee will give you a temporary boost in energy. The bad news is that, like any drug, the effects of caffeine are short lived. After the temporary energy boost wears off, your blood sugar level will drop lower than it was to begin with and you will feel exhausted. This encourages you to reach for a second cup, and the vicious cycle is set up. breaks that work An average tea or coffee consumption of a few cups a day has been linked with such complaints as heart disorders, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, gastric ulcers and even mental illness. In an already stressful office environment, a cup of tea or coffee in the long run will only contribute to general fatigue and edginess. It is far better to look to natural energy-boosting drinks that will help sustain you through the day. the caffeine-free break Try a glass of vitamin C tonic. Simply add 1-2 grams of powdered vitamin C (about 1 teaspoon) to a glass of spring water (plain or fizzy) and sweeten with a little natural stevia. Or stir a half-teaspoon of powdered vitamin C into a glass of fresh fruit juice such as apple, grape or pineapple. Try coffee substitutes from your local health food store. There are also some wonderful herb tea combinations on the market, which come in convenient sachets and range in flavor from almond to cranberry. Just add boiling water and a little natural stevia to sweeten if you like. Some herbs are particularly helpful for pepping you up, such as lemon grass, while others, such as chamomile, will soothe your nerves. Have both types around. You generally need to steep herbal teas for several minutes to get the full flavor. If you have a centrifugal juicer, you can squeeze fresh juice, such as carrot and apple, in the morning and keep it in a thermos with ice to drink throughout the day. Or simply keep a bottle of spring water on your desk to drink throughout the day. Most offices can be very dehydrating, and replenishing body fluids is an important boost to mental alertness. find relief Recognizing the signs of stress in your body is the first step to taking control of what is happening to you. We all have specific areas where we hold onto tension. Usually you are not aware of these tensions, because your body adapts itself to them and considers them the norm. You only discover a tension when it becomes so severe that it actually causes you pain. If you can locate the areas in your body which tend to be tight, you can unload not only the physical, but also the emotional and mental stress you are carrying around. Common areas of tension are the neck, face, shoulders and between the shoulder blades, forehead, hands, feet, lower back and upper chest. In a quiet moment at home, try this simple technique for discovering the tense spots. Lie down on your back on the floor with a pillow to support your head and your knees bent comfortably, the soles of your feet to the floor. Become aware of your breathing and then concentrate on different parts of your body - beginning with your head and working down to your feet. A tight spot will feel numb, or "dull". This is because the tense muscles reduce the sensitivity in that area. Once you have discovered your particular area of tension, say for example shoulders, concentrate on that area again and consciously decide to make it relax. On each out breath, release a little more tension. You may find as you do this that tension in another part of your body will disappear as well. That will help you discover another typical tension holding area for you. Once you know your typical tension spots, you can use this exercise throughout the day, whether you're sitting or moving about, to let go of tension. The more you practice releasing these muscles, the easier it will become. breathe easy How we feel is almost always reflected in the way we breathe. When we experience emotional extremes, for example crying or laughing, our breathing also becomes extreme. By changing your breathing pattern, you can also change the way you feel. In this way, breathing can be an important tool for de-stressing. Here is a very simple breathing technique which you can repeat throughout the day to help you let go of tensions and get an energy pick up. Start by breathing in and out fully with a sigh. Wait for the in breath to come by itself. As the air comes in let it fill out your abdomen first, and then your chest. Don't raise your shoulders. Then as you breathe out again, imagine you are exhaling all the tension in your body and let your muscles relax. Pause and allow the breath to come in once more and then continue with whatever you're doing. Use this exercise whenever something triggers a stress response. This can be anything from hearing the telephone ring, to looking at your watch when you're late. Stick a colored tab on your watchstrap and on your telephone so that each time you see them you will remember to breathe! tension release Working intensely for long hours on an exciting project does wonders for the mind and for self-esteem. It does nothing for your body, and can lead to long term stress-related physical problems. Here are a few exercises you can do in any quiet moments you have by yourself to get rid of the aches and pains that come with working for too long in one position. neck release Let your head drop forward so that your chin rests on your chest. Clasp your hands behind your head and gently let the weight of your arms pulling down lengthen out the spaces between the vertebrae in your neck. Then drop your head backwards and let your mouth drop open. Open and close your mouth like a fish (this is why you might want to do this when no one else is around) and feel the stretch in your throat. Bring your head back to center and drop it over to one side so that your ear goes towards your shoulder. Wrap the same arm as shoulder over your head and gently help ease it down. Then ease your head over to the other side using the other arm. Roll your head slowly clockwise twice and then anti-clockwise twice. Finish by giving yourself a quick neck rub. Place your fingertips either side of your neck vertebrae, and rub up and down with small circular movements. shoulder shrug Lift your arms above your head, fingers clasped, and squeeze your shoulders up to your ears. Hold them there for a count of five, then let them drop allowing the weight of your arms to pull your shoulders down. Bring your shoulders as far forward as possible trying to bring the insides of your elbows together, hold for five, then relax. Now push your shoulders as far back as possible - squeezing your shoulder blades together for a count of five and relax. Taking one shoulder at a time, rotate it backwards as if you are unscrewing the upper arm away from the body. You should create a space between your arm and the side of your body. Repeat with the other shoulder. Now take a breath in, and imagine your torso widening and your upper arms moving even further away from each other. As you breathe out maintain this distance. Repeat twice more. scalp tap For a quick energy boost simply use your fingertips to tap lightly over the entire area of your skull. Some areas are sensitive so tap lightly, other areas, like the base of the skull, can benefit from a firmer tap. Massage along the jawbone, with small circular movements, from below the ears to the chin. Your whole head and face should feel alive and refreshed. eye refresher Lean your elbows on your desk and cup your hands over your closed eyes. Hold this for about a minute then gently release your hands and open your eyes. Blink several times. Repeat this exercise whenever your eyes are sore or tired. Remember to lubricate your eyes by blinking often, particularly if you are reading or watching a computer screen.

Sound To Sleep

Sound To Sleep

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

Stress & You

Stress & You

Take a look at how you may be putting yourself under unnecessary stress. Try to identify unnecessary stressors in your life. By eliminating as many as you can, you free a lot of energy for more positive use, and for meeting important challenges. For instance, physical inactivity is a stressor - it decreases your body's ability to function at optimum levels, it encourages the storage of wastes in the muscles and skin, and makes you chronically fatigued. So instead of indulging in it, start some kind of exercise program, and follow it regularly. Many people who take up regular exercise report that they experience conceptual shifts so that things which appeared stressful before no longer bother them. Like cigarettes and drugs, various foods and drinks can be heavy stressors, too. They offer nothing in the way of positive health and vitality, but are a constant drain on the adaptive energy in your body. It is well established that caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, sugar and excess fat are stressors, which actively work against its normal healthy functioning.

Sacred Truth Ep. 46: Aromatherapy Heals Body & Soul

Sacred Truth Ep. 46: Aromatherapy Heals Body & Soul

The power that floral essential oils can exert over mind and body has been known for centuries. For example, before Cleopatra sailed out to meet Marc Antony, she drenched the sails of her barge with the scent of jasmine—an aphrodisiac. He could not resist her. The faintest hint of a floral perfume can transport you back to a place in your memories, and evoke all the emotions that go with it. Why should something as ordinary as a scent have such a powerful effect upon you? It is because your sense of smell is governed by the limbic system—the most primitive part of your brain. The limbic system also governs your most intense emotions—joy, fear, desire, or rage. So an evocative scent has the power to reach into the deepest parts of your mind and body. When you smell any odor, you are reacting to volatile molecules that are wafting their way to odor receptors behind the bridge of your nose. From there, nerve impulses are carried to your limbic system. The chemical messages from the fragrance are then interpreted, and a response is sent by the hypothalamus to the rest of your body.   It was not until the 1920s that the extraordinary physical healing powers of essential oils began to be explored in depth. It was at this time that the birth of modern aromatherapy took place in the laboratory of a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who became interested in the healing qualities of the natural essential oils that he used in his family’s perfume business. Then, one day Gattefosse burned his hand in a laboratory explosion and he immediately plunged his hand into a bowl of pure lavender oil. He was amazed to find how quickly the wound healed without even leaving a scar. It was Gattefosse who coined the word “aromatherapy,” in a 1928 scientific paper. Floral essential oils work from outside in. They impact your body and senses through your sense of smell and by absorption through your skin. When essential oils meet your human body, their molecules not only produce psychological responses like euphoria and increased alertness as well as relaxation but also induce direct and measurable pharmacological changes through your blood stream. They affect your hormones and glandular system, your metabolic processes, and your nervous system, and subtly induce healing on many levels. There are over 1000 aromatherapy oils on the market—about 30% of them derived from flowers. Each floral essential oil has its own distinct personality, which is sometimes quite different from its ‘soul energy,’ which comes through in flower essence healing. Each can be used singularly or in combination. If you have not yet experienced the blessings of floral essential oils in your life, you are in for a treat. Here are some of my favorite flowers, from which teas can be made and whose essential oils or absolutes can be used for a multitude of other purposes. Get to know their healing effects and their uses, then experiment with them in your own life. SACRED ESSENTIAL OILS To open to the abundance of the universe Rose Otto, Neroli, Lavender To clear unhelpful habits and thought patterns Carnation, Tuberose, Hyssop For increased confidence and self-worth Geranium, Rose Maroc, Ylang Ylang To release guilt Clary Sage, Jasmine, Linden Blossom To enhance the connection with your higher self Rose Maroc, Jasmine, Neroli Immerse yourself in a bath laced with essential oils. Breathe in the mind-altering aroma while you absorb the life-enhancing molecules through your skin. Don't disrupt the experience with perfumed soaps, shampoos, or body washes. If you need to get clean, shower first, then bask in the full aromatherapy experience. Once you emerge from your bath, let yourself enjoy the floral aura that you will carry with you for hours. The simplest method for taking an aromatherapy bath is to sprinkle a few drops of essential oil into your bath, swish it around so that the oil is well dispersed, then immerse yourself. Begin with only 2 drops of essential oil in a tub of water then gradually build up over a period of weeks to 4-7 drops. This may seem like a very small amount, but undiluted essences are extremely potent. More than this could irritate your skin. Also be aware that some florals stimulate while others sedate. For example, if you want a relaxing bath, choose an essential oil like lavender, which has a sedating effect, and use it in warm rather than hot water (somewhere between 28-35 degrees C). If you need invigoration, use a stimulating essential oil like neroli and take a shorter, hotter bath (around 35-39 degrees C). If you prefer a moisturizing bath, make your own bath oil blend by combining the following ingredients: To each 1-2 teaspoons of avocado oil or sweet almond oil, add 1 drop of a mild shampoo 2-5 drops of essential oil Shake the mixture in a small glass jar or bottle and add the blend to your bath. Experiment with your essential oils singly or in combination. Don’t use more than 3-5 drops of essential oil in total. Each has its own personality, and you will quickly learn which ones help you most and in which situations. Above all, have fun experimenting. Rediscover the ancient art of bathing that the Romans knew so well. Take time out to indulge your senses with a prolonged floral soak. It will benefit you in so many ways that it would be hard to list them all.

Beware The Sneaky Inner Drainers

Beware The Sneaky Inner Drainers

With the best will in the world to live from your core, and the most conscientious attitude towards living a high-energy lifestyle, you may have no idea just how many factors can still drain your energy. Some, such as the way you eat or how much exercise you get, are fairly self-evident. Others, such as the invisible electromagnetic fields that surround you, are more tricky to fathom. The most elusive of all are the silent attitudes and beliefs you hold within. These inner drainers can affect your energy at any moment of the day without your even being conscious of it. When they do, the smallest challenge or inconvenience becomes a tremendous burden, your stress levels soar and your energy levels plummet. Use the following exercise to help identify your inner energy-draining attitudes. 1. How do you usually feel when you wake up in the morning? I just want to go back to sleep I am excited about the day ahead 2. When you look in the mirror do you... Fret over my wrinkles/grey hairs/ blemishes and feel down about myself? Feel pleased about myself and good about the way I look - imperfections and all? 3. When confronted with a difficult task at home or at work do you think... What a pain, perhaps if I avoid it someone else will do it? Here's a good challenge - a way to really stretch myself? 4. Looking forward to a romantic evening do you... Create a scenario of doom in case things work out badly - that way I won't be disappointed? Enjoy imagining how wonderful the evening is going to be? 5. When you have an argument with your partner do you say to yourself... This is typical, he doesn't understand my needs. I'll never have a decent relationship? Maybe getting things out in the open can help us understand one another better and feel closer than before? 6. When you get a cold do you think... Just my luck! I always catch a cold at the worst possible moment? My body is obviously run down. Let me see how I can change my diet or my lifestyle in order to better support my needs? 7. When someone pays you a compliment do you... Dismiss it as untrue and then try to work out what their ulterior motive is? Accept the compliment graciously and thank them for their kindness? 8. What is your attitude towards your job? I hate it. I'm overworked and underpaid, but I have to stick it - there's so much unemployment about I can't expect to find another one? I enjoy my work. It gives me a chance to use my talents in a fulfilling way and I feel personally and financially rewarded? 9. You are tired and decide to spend a restful evening alone. A friend calls feeling down and asks you to go out with her. Do you... Go out with her even though I don't want to because I feel I should - this is the second time she has wanted to get together? Tell her I'm too tired, but I would be happy go out another night and enjoy my evening alone? 10. You are invited to a family christening which you don't want to go to. Do you... Go because I'm expected to. My family make such a fuss if I don't - I hate family gatherings? Either excuse myself because there is something else I want to do or go because I would enjoy making my family happy? 11. When you look back on your past do you Feel resentful about the opportunities I didn't have and regret many of the things I have and haven't done? Feel grateful for the circumstances that have made me who I am and feel that if I could go back I wouldn't change a thing? 12. Do you feel your future happiness depends upon... Finding the right relationship, the right job, earning lots of money and hoping that not too many things go wrong? Continuing to live from my core and allowing my life to unfold with optimistic anticipation? If you identified mostly with the attitudes in the left hand column it is likely that you suffer considerably from the Inner Energy Drainers. Make a note of your beliefs and assumptions - write them down - with regard to some of the key issues in your life: 1. Your physical appearance - Do you believe that you can look the way you'd like to? If not, why not? 2. Your health - Do you believe that you can enjoy good health? If not, why not? 3. Your relationships - Do you believe that you can have good relationships with your friends? Your family? Your lover? If not, why not? 4. Your Home - Do you believe you can live in your ideal home? If not, why not? 5. Your work - Do you believe that you can have a satisfying, enjoyable and well paid job? If not, why not? 6. Your purpose - Do you believe you have a purpose in life? If so, what is it? Do you believe you can fulfil it? If not, why not? It is important to realise just how much the negative beliefs you hold about yourself and your life can limit not only the amount of energy you have, but also your potential for happiness and personal fulfilment. By becoming aware of any limiting belief you secretly carry inside, you can begin the process of melting it away. Then your inner draining attitudes can become inner strengthening ones instead. HANDLING THE EMOTIONAL DRAINERS Just as it is common to hold negative beliefs, so many of us harbor negative feelings which deplete us of energy. A common one is anger. Anger in itself does not drain energy. It can be the driving force to achieving a goal. When anger is held in, however, it can turn into depression or resentment - both significant drainers. Another common energy drainer is fear or anxiety. Here are three techniques useful for clearing negative emotional drainers. The first - The Forgiveness Letter - is especially good for anger or resentment. The second, Give Away, is good for dealing with fear and anxiety when they arise. The last one, Rewrite Your Past, helps you to reorientate the way you see yourself and your life in order to release any chronic negative feelings you may carry. THE FORGIVENESS LETTER Harbored negative feelings corrupt your perspective on life, and lead you to attract negativity from others. They also make you feel bad about yourself. Getting rid of this energy drainer means recognizing your negative feelings and actively choosing to let go of them. Here's how: Write to any person towards whom you feel particularly resentful or angry (or even to "life" itself). List all the offenses you can think of. Don't hold back from telling the person exactly how you feel. At the bottom of the letter write: "I (your name) hereby forgive you (the person's name) entirely for the above grievances. In so doing I bless you and wish you well, I release my ill feelings and honor my right to be whole, to be free and to trust in myself and my life." When you have finished, read the letter out loud to yourself. Then burn it, letting the flames dissolve any remaining negative feelings. GIVE AWAY Beginning to live from your core can be daunting. As you access deeper parts of your being it is not uncommon to experience feelings of fear or anxiety. Although it can be disconcerting to find yourself in a state of anxiety, once you recognise it you can use this simple technique to disperse your fearfulness. The Give-Away exercise is based on the American Indian tradition of offering gifts to Mother Earth. It can help you release negative emotional energy and gain comfort by reconnecting with the earth. Here's how: Stand or sit cross-legged on the floor. Notice your feelings of fear or anxiety, and try to locate the area in your body where you experience them most strongly. Breathe into this place, and each time you breathe out, imagine your feelings flowing down your body and into the ground beneath you. Make an offering of your fear to Mother Earth. As you do, you will feel calmer and more clear. REWRITE YOUR PAST Feeling unhappy about your past can be a real block to living the fullness of the present and the future. When you feel hard done by because of something that did or didn't happen to you, much of your energy gets tied up in feeling resentful or victimized. Just remember, your past belongs to you. Although the events in your past may be fixed in your memory, how you feel towards those events can change. For instance, let's say that you always had a dream to travel the world, but because you got married and began a family early your dream was sacrificed. Either you can feel sour about never getting to do what you wanted to, or you can look at all the richness the pathway you did take has brought you. Think of something in your past that makes you feel victimized. It may be the way you were treated by a parent or lover, some career advice you were/weren't given, an accident or "misfortune" that befell you. Write about your grievance as fully as possible, remembering the details as well as you can. When you have finished, look at the grievance again. This time ask yourself the questions, "Why did I choose this circumstance? How has it served me? What has it taught me? What strengths or qualities has it helped me develop?" Record your answers in your journal. See if you feel any different about your past (or your present and future) at the end of the exercise.

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