Tag Archives: Health

Year and a Day! Day 1


So I decided to take the Year and a Day program, typically used in spiritual practice such as Wiccan and Pagan, and put my own twist to it. You can do this too if there is something you want to learn more about or perhaps start a new career. Give yourself 366 days to learn the material inside out, picking something new to learn each day.

Maybe you’re wondering what my Year and a Day is going to be about? Herbalism. Yes I have long been interested in the beauty, potency and wonder of medicinal plants. Not only will this incorporate plants, however, it will also incorporate meditation. My study will be, more broadly, integrative medicine.

Integrative medicine has been around for centuries and over in Europe, Asia and other parts of the globe, they see it as a serious practice. It encompasses treatment (and prevention) of disease from a wholeistic perspective. It sees that the entire body should be treated and stress should be regulated as well as diet and exercise in order to treat disease.

There are tons of accredited colleges offering study of holistic medicine, Chinese herbalism, Ayurveda and more. Here in the U.S.? No. We don’t see it as important. I could go on a long rant about how I feel we pump our bodies with chemicals and whatnot but that will be a different post.

So, join me on my journey of 366 days of learning and see where it ends up! Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired and learn a thing or two as well.

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001 – Wisdom Wednesdays – Two Bricks


English: Bricks in a wall.

Image via Wikipedia

Join me every week for a new edition of Wisdom Wednesdays. I take a quote, a lecture or something that has popped up in my life and share the wisdom I gained, with you!

About a month or so ago I had found a wonderful lecture by a monk named Ajahn Brahm who is an Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery, in Serpentine, Western Australia. His talks are wonderful and wise and his charm laced with humor in all of his lectures have won the minds of thousands of viewers. To view his lectures please visit the Buddhist Society of Western Australia’s YouTube.

I’m not sure of the title of the lecture (and if anyone does, please let me know!) but he spoke about how he was building a brick building and couldn’t help but notice these two bricks that were out of place. For days he was squabbling in his mind over these two damn bricks. He stated that he wished to “Tear the whole thing down and build it back up again” Of course, this was something that just could not be done. After a few days a visitor came to the building and proclaimed how beautiful it looked. Ajahn looked at the person and asked if they saw the two bricks that were out of place. The onlooker simply stated “No, but I saw the hundreds of other beautiful bricks”

Isn’t that usually how it goes with us? We tend to look at those two proverbial ‘bricks’ in our lives that we just wish we could tear down and do all over? Days, months and even years pass and we still pick at these two friggin’ bricks. We zoom in on those flaws and see them as being this horrid and ugly part of our lives, our homes, our bodies, our relationships. Everything!

What we can learn from this is to take a step back and look at all of the hundreds of other things that we have done. Those beautiful bricks that we have laid with such precision and such care. Those bricks that we should be proud of and focus on. If this is a human condition, why do we do this? Why do we just pick out the ugly?

It’s actually simple, we want to constantly improve. This is not a bad thing but, we need to learn to accept and understand when the two bricks we are looking at simply cannot be taken apart. We can accept our flaws, notice all of the beautiful things about ourselves and move on to create new buildings with new bricks.

For a simple exercise on gaining perspective on your life, please visit Exercise 2 : Learn To Love YOU!

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001 Herbal Fridays : Lavender


So I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and I’m so happy to be all moved into our new place so that I can!

Herbal Fridays is a series that I created to highlight one herb, mineral or healing plant per week. These plants I post have proven medicinal properties and I will provide tips on how to create tinctures, essential oils and teas. I do not diagnose, treat or claim to be a doctor. If you are having serious mental or physical issues I urge you to see a doctor. These should be seen as supplemental to a routine given by your physician. Always consult your doctor, especially if you are on medication, are breastfeeding, pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

This Friday we will be looking at the beautiful, sweet and calming nature of Lavender!

Lavender is well known for being a relaxant and has been used for centuries to help treat insomnia. Powders, sprays, body washes and oils have been seen to promote sleep and relaxation. A rather new study also shows that lavender can grow back hair lost due to a condition called Alopecia Areata. In 86 people, over the course of 7 months, saw a significant increase in hair growth after lavender oil was massaged onto the scalp once per day.

Lavender can be ingested but should not be ingested by women who are pregnant or breast feeding. It should be ingested at the lowest dosage (1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water) first to see your reaction to it and then increase as necessary (2 teaspoons per cup of boiling water)

Boil 1 – 2 teaspoons per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10-20 minutes. You may reheat afterward and add sugar, lemon and honey to your liking. If you wish to make a blend, lavender goes best with catnip and chamomile for an even more potent relaxing effect.

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Getting Back On Your Feet


One of the most frustrating things is getting to a point in your life where you feel so good just to be picked up off of your cloud. We all have days like these and sometimes they leave us feeling in a much worse spot than we had intended. Days can pass by and even weeks where we feel the weight of the past looming over us. The issue with this negativity is that it can bring down not one, not two but eventually all aspects of our lives.

So what are we to do when we find ourselves in a rut?

1. You are human.
We all make mistakes. It’s just how the world works. There have been plenty of great minds that have openly admitted to making hundreds if not thousands of mistakes before getting to their great Aha! moment. Even after that moment there are times where we will, yet again, find ourselves in a sad spot. This is just the ebb and flow of life. For some, life is good 98 percent of the time and bad only 2 percent of the time. For the majority of these people it’s because they know how to let go and bounce back.

2. Step away from the situation!
Okay, so you’re beating yourself up because you know that you have messed up. Your life seems like it’s in shambles and you keep saying “What if…?” Take a step back. What can you learn from this? How has this helped you? (Notice I used the word help because it will help you!) How can you prevent this from happening again? By taking a step back and re-evaluating there is a strong possibility that you may not have messed up as bad as you think. There may be a simple way out or maybe there needs to be a few steps to take to get you back. If this is not a high priority situation in your life, drop it. It’s not worth the burden of carrying something that may not matter a few years from now.

3. Gain insight and speak to people!
One of the most frustrating and upsetting things is feeling like we don’t belong. Like what we have done has never ever been a fault of someone else. I’m sure that most would be surprised that we have much more in common with our fellow neighbors than we think. Now, it may not be that they made the same mistakes or have been in the same situation but they could have been some place similar. Even if they haven’t it’s good to get some advice from family and friends to help pull you through this rough patch.

4. You will get through this
Finally, know that you will get through this. Yeah, yeah you’ve made a horrible mistake but guess what? Tomorrow will come, and the next day will come and each day will be much brighter than the past. You will be fine and you will get through this. Keep your head up and walk tall. There’s no better time to learn from this than now and it’s best to do it with a positive outlook.

So there you have it, it’s possible to get out of that nasty place and into the sunshine yet again. And hey, if anyone needs some help you are always more than welcome to send me an e-mail or message. We’ll talk it out and pull you back from the depths of the darkness!

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We Control The Universe


Now it must sound like quite an egotistical way to simply state that “We control the universe” but at the core of it, we do. It may seem to many that our lives are constantly governed by others from our bosses telling us to do something to our spouses getting angry that we haven’t done something the correct way. We are generally taught that the world is not our own and we must do as we are told in order to get anywhere in life. Being told to act a certain way, respond a certain way and think a certain way are all things that we are spoon-fed since day one. The concept of the ability to “control the universe” is one that starts from the center of your world. This center is always you. Think about it for a moment, if you look around things are always in front of you, always behind you, always above and below you. From another object or person, they are the center of their universe. So after we’ve established that you are indeed that center point of the universe, how do we control the situations that are given to us? Surely we cannot control whether we get the promotion or not or if tomorrow the sun will shine, right? Our abilities do not span outside of ourselves and whatever situations arise we cannot simply wave a magic wand and make it disappear (or appear for that matter) What we do have is the ability to think, react, feel. Let’s say for instance you do not get that promotion, will you let that bring you down? Will you let that promotion haunt you and consume your life? Or, will you take control of it yourself? What are some things that we allow to consume our universes?

  1. Relationships. Having stressed relationships with those around us. Whether it be family, friends, significant others or even strangers we can find ourselves in situations where we consume our lives with others instead of ourselves. (There is a difference here between being selfish and self-caring)
  2. Work. So our bosses pile up the paperwork or get angry at us for making that little mistake that really would not have made a significant difference in the company whatsoever. We become burnt-out and stressed from even thinking about work the next day.
  3. School. Whether you are in college, high school or pursuing any other type of education getting your work done on time and in the way that the professor or teacher wants it is daunting. Either you strive too hard to get straight A’s and can’t let a B blemish your record or you simply have too much to juggle.
  4. Materialism and self-image. You see beautiful people all day and when you go to look in the mirror you suddenly notice things you dislike about yourself. You become insecure and cannot seem to keep a positive attitude toward yourself or you begin to cherish and obsess over objects rather than loving yourself or others.
Of course there are many more attributes that may encroach on our lives and begin to dissolve any sense of self we have left. So what are we to do about it? How can we make sure that our universes don’t collapse and become overrun by another?

  1. Love yourself. The most important thing you can do is to treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve. Understand that it takes a team of makeup artists and a ton of airbrushing to make those models look perfect. We all have our flaws of course but if we have flaws we must logically have beautiful aspects as well. Look for them, not the flaws.
  2. Treat your body right. Make sure you eat well, drink plenty of water and exercise. I’m sure you’ve all heard that before but it truly is a great way to boost endorphins and create a positive mood. Exercise does not have to be going to the gym! Simply going out for a walk, swimming, hiking, biking are all great ways to get your blood pumping.
  3. De-stress at work. So your boss is a pain in the butt? Take a deep breath, understand their concerns and move on. The next time some project comes along be aware of what your boss has said beforehand so you won’t stress about it next time. Really having a tough time at work? Change it. Maybe it’s time for you to begin on a new career horizon. Don’t go quitting the job just yet but prepare yourself for a career change. Go take some classes at a college nearby or online to jump-start yourself onto a new path.
  4. School. Organize your time into blocks and have it set out for yourself where you can see it. Have reminders to work on that essay a little each day instead of cramming it the day before it’s due. Not a class you enjoy? If it’s something you must take for your requirements try and figure out a way to make it fun. Maybe you need Biology but you are much more interested in Art. Draw your notes! See if you can find fun ways to illustrate what your text is trying to teach you. Not great at Math? Make use of others in class who are good at math. Pick their brain a bit and learn some of their techniques. It may surprise you.

Relationships

  1. If you are in a stressful relationship with a Boyfriend or Girlfriend then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what you would like at the moment. It could be time for a break or something a little more permanent. Friend relationships can be evaluated this way as well. Remember to always voice your concerns before ending something, it could just be lack of good communication between both sides.
  2. For family relationships communication is key as well. If it’s one of those situations that you cannot seem to help by communicating maybe it’s time to realize that certain people are just going to be the way that they are. This does not mean that you must act in a negative manner but just to remove yourself from the situation and begin focusing on yourself.
Remember, we are all in control of how we act, think, speak, listen, love and treat one another. Just because another is treating us bad does not mean that we should treat them bad. Respect those around you, show compassion toward strangers and you will be surprised as to how many positive responses you will get.
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Blog #2: Getting Back On Track!


So lately I’ve been a bit frazzled and out of place by not having such a clear mind.  I have lost touch with myself and I think it’s about time that I finally reconnect. Have you ever had a period of time where your mind just doesn’t seem to be working? It’s as if a haze seeps into your head and you really just can’t find your way. Yeah, this is pretty much how I’m feeling.

I go through life in such a fast-paced way that I just barely notice anything. My mind races with thoughts and I can’t seem to slow them down. When I was meditating daily I noticed a significant change in this. I was thinking more clearly and I was able to pay attention to more things in life. I feel that I had gotten thrown off the meditation wagon for a while to help me realize it’s benefits. It really does help with coordination and being able to be more in the moment. Buddha really had something going on there.

It’s fantastic to see how much meditation really does help the brain. I had done a study about meditation and the human brain and the findings were simply fantastic. It has the ability to repair neural pathways, cure things like ADD, depression, anxiety and the like. It also has the ability to make the synchronization between both hemispheres much more equal and it allows for the whole brain to be used during day to day activities, not just spots. This will allow for a more even distribution of thoughts when trying to figure out a problem. Instead of looking at the problem from just a few points you will be able to see it from many more points.

It’s important to note that this really has helped cure even the most horrid of problems, cancer. There has been extensive research that meditation can cure cancer. By changing the way the brain thinks, it can change the way the cell thinks. What a fantastic thing! Our cells respond to everything we do. Every positive or negative thought, every positive or negative person in our life, every healthy or unhealthy thing we do (Whether it’s eating or working-out;Or the lack of the two)

So people, we must listen to our bodies! We are made up of so many complex structures and so many things that we just won’t understand. The most important thing that we can do is to treat our bodies in the best way possible.

Healing comes from within!

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