SHORT FAST – Chipping Away at Ill Health

The incremental benefits of short fasts.

We spend so much time looking for the magic bullet treatment that we are in danger of missing the benefits of slowly slowly chipping away at ill health.

I have often thought ‘Oh if only I did another long water fast, like 21 days, it would help me so much!’

But in truth what I notice is that, while I wait to see if that is possible, I do what I can, and what I can is to water fast almost every day, finishing eating by at least 4pm and not eating till breakfast the next day. That gives about 16 hours of fasting.
Honestly, that is so beneficial to the body, to digestion, to assimilation that it really should not be over looked.

We don’t need half of what we actually eat. Most of eating is habit, a lot of it is emotional, and some of it is essential.
At first choosing to fast after lunch feels terrible. The mind screams ‘NO! WE WILL DIE!’ and will drive us towards desperate action.

But if you persist the body quickly gets used to it and begins to appreciate the opportunity it now has to start to slowly ‘clean house.’ If you go to bed with no digestion happening, or very little, it helps sleep, helps the liver, and thus helps the whole system.

Eating late in the evening is an absolute no no in our house, never happens, never. And I know people work, and people have kids and busy lives.

But if you are drawn to short fasting you have to find a way.

Some resources for you:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide#what-it-is 

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/06/short-term-fasting-may-improve-health

https://www.allaboutfasting.com/how-long-should-you-fast.html

Advertisements

Real Healing means Healing EVERYTHING you can

During my first Panchakarma treatment in India in 2004 I was a mess.

Physically I was all over the place and pretty desperate. I had rosacea all over my face (eczema) my liver was aching and, by all accounts, under serious stress, I had high levels of toxicity from years of chemical abuse, I was exhausted and sick.

Mentally I was a mess, I had permanent frown lines between my eyes and I was highly charged, nearly always frustrated and angry, and anxious.

Emotionally I was still carrying all the baggage of the unresolved past. The bags were heavy but I carried them anyway, I guess I didn’t know there was a choice to put them down, we don’t get that truly until we have put them down. I just couldn’t let go.

Spiritually I felt no visceral connection with God, the divine, natural intelligence or anything. It was all conceptual at that stage of my life, and no amount of ‘beliefs’ helped me.

Can you see how everything in my life was reflecting everything else?

There was a deep holding on to the past on all levels.
That toxicity was deeply embedded, both in my psyche AND in my body.

When I understood this connection it almost didn’t matter where I started the journey of release and renewal because I was going to come up against everything anyway. That’s what happens in real healing.

If you start on the physical level it’s going to bring you face to face with yourself, your stuff, your past, your beliefs, your defenses and your grievances. Your task is to meet everything even though it hurts.

That’s detoxification. It is powerful but deeply transformative.

And if you are in any doubt, just keep going, one step at a time, bit by bit, little by little.

Here I am at Ayushakti in Mumbai, 2004

Worrying about things that don’t happen – is catastrophic for the body

I just wrote this post on Facebook and it was my most popular! Is everyone suffering from this?

Worrying about things that don’t happen is one of the chief causes of adrenal stress, immune compromise and nervous system meltdown.
It is not only a spiritual issue. It is a mental and emotional issue, and very much a physical one.
There you have it, a truly holistic experience!
I know this syndrome intimately as I have been very vulnerable to it most of my life and have now largely ‘tamed’ it. It comes with a ‘vata’ disposition, according to Ayurveda. (The vata dosa, or body type, is prone to anxiety and fear)

Worrying about things that don’t happen is a fixation that must be met with openness and willingness to face the fear. We feed it the fuel it wants by turning away from it or being overly reactive to it. We lose our discernment and become hyper anxious.

That hyper anxiety hits the body hard, and is ultimately useless and destructive.

I recently returned from a trip to the east coast of USA. We accidentally got my name wrong on the flight booking, and that caused me considerable anxiety. I imagined they wouldn’t let me on the flight. I actually became quite stressed about the whole thing. Add to that I thought our luggage was over weight, and we didn’t have enough time to get everything done and I was all over the place!

Guess what? It was a big lesson.
a. They didn’t care about the name and changed it in a moment.
b. The luggage was fine.
c. We had loads of time and were still at the airport early.
d. I stressed over absolutely nothing.

Luckily I have learned not to take out this anxiety on anyone else, particularly loved ones. I keep it to myself as much as possible.

But the point I’m making is I worried about things that didn’t happen. And it began to screw around with my body.
Acute anxiety or chronic anxiety, it doesn’t matter, it still degrades the body integrity and must be met with softness and love.

The effect of this unnecessary worry on the body can be catastrophic. From adrenal fatigue to ramped up immune system, to liver tightness, high cortisol levels, risk of heart attack, rashes, and serious digestive problems, this is not some minor issue. Even cancer may be fueled by major worry.

It is a chronic and societal problem that must be faced individually and collectively. 

What can you do?

You can do so much to reduce this heavyweight problem.

All endeavors will help. Here are some ideas that I use.

Meditation. Spending time in nature. Exercise. Relaxation.Visualization. 
Spiritual inquiry. Healing old wounds and traumas. Understanding one’s mind and belief systems.
Magnesium. Detoxification. Nourishment with healthy and organic vegetables and salads.
Decreasing acidic and stimulating foods and drinks. NO COCA COLA!
Love.

Let me know what you think, or whether you worry about things that don’t happen and what strategies you employ, if any, to help reduce it’s damaging effects.

And thanks for reading!

Spring Fever

What are you doing today to keep the body fluid and light?
Exercise?
Are you hydrating with good quality water? I am so surprised as I go around visiting people how many people think they are drinking good water but they are not, nor are they drinking enough.
Are you getting greens?
Are you getting detoxifying berries?
Are you eating enough salads?

Spring is here for some people and around the corner for others. That means a shift of diet may be in order and the fatty, heavy foods that kept us warm and fed like bears in the winter now need to be detoxed and the liver must be cleaned out. Hence astringent and cleansing foods from the ground.
Dandelions could be your best friend.

See below for a useful video.

You must help your body in its natural processes by supporting its hydration and elimination. Remember, if your lymphatic system is not nourished AND eliminating, chronic disease may well be around the corner waiting for you.

Once the body is attended to with as much clarity and love and nourishment as possible, surely then we need to turn our attention to the mind and emotions?
WHY?
Because it is often the mind and emotions that prevent the body from flowing its energy the way it is designed to do.

Fear creates tension in matter – Your body.

Old wounds and traumas block the flow and freedom of energy, creating inflammation and stress – In Your body.

Grievances, hate, resentment, all carry massive electrical charges that disrupt the healthy patterns we are designed for – In Your body.

Attending to these matters, finding ways to release the past and find freedom and self loving acceptance, have a surprising and powerful effect on bodily systems, from the nervous system to the lymphatic system, to the more obvious immune system.

It is worth noting that most people who have ‘healed’ major chronic disease will attribute a large amount of the healing to this area of emotions, mind, and spirit.

That is exactly what I found.

Here is a very useful video from John Douillard about how to adjust your diet for Spring.

Living in Harmony

Living harmoniously requires great dedication at first, because modern life is lived so un-harmoniously. Imbalance is one of the primary causes of the modern malady we call chronic illness, but also that of addiction, depression and relational dysfunction.

To live harmoniously means to drop that which stands in the way of what is balanced and true.
It is not a doing, not a diet, or a regime, not an exercise program, or a search for enlightenment.

It is an undoing as much as anything, a resolution of what is false, toxic and impure.
It is a detoxification of body, mind and spirit.
It is an addressing of what is causing a fight or flight response.
It is the deepest inquiry within into truth and faslehood. And of course that involves the foods we put into our mouths. But it is also how we digest the world mentally or spiritually and emotionally.

To me this is the greatest endeavor.
This is the living of the Tao, living in balance and harmony. When that happens natural wisdom and clarity arises.

Love happens by itself because it is our natural state.

Awakening is just there, not something that is found but simply revealed, because it is our natural state.

What is wrong is not that we are not enlightened but that we are living far out of alignment with our inner nature and our outer environment.

It is not hard to have an enlightenment or awakening experience. What is hard, and where the endeavor must be great, is to really live this awakening in everyday life, in the workplace, in the kitchen, in the family and in the shops.

This rebalancing is the point of the Tao, Ayurveda, and Yoga. But it gets misunderstood easily. It also includes the search for enlightenment. Yet so many people experience this enlightenment as a purely mental experience and miss the living of it as a harmonious reality. That is a shame because it prevents it coming into the body, into relationships and into the world.

I am one whose spirituality and wellbeing are part of the same thing, because they ARE the same thing.

 

Brain Health – It Matters More Than You Think

I have come to believe that our brains are probably the most overlooked organ in the whole body, until they go wrong!

We are more likely to notice, or get tested, or even feel, an issue with, say, our liver, kidneys, or thyroid, than our brains.  Because our brain and our mind are so entangled our experience is always totally subjective, which means we have no real way to tell if something is up, until it reaches the critical zone.

But maybe some of our ill health, stress, and mood inconsistency has more to do with our brains and what they are doing, or not doing, than we think?

Ask some chiropractors and they will say,’ Almost all imbalance (disease) comes from the brain-body communication system going wrong.’ Brain connects to nervous system in a bio-feedback relationship. It compensates and regulates. It operates via your conscious mind but, more importantly, via your unconscious mind. You have billions of processes, actions, complex activities taking place without any awareness from you whatsoever. Yet you are not a machine as such. You are a bio-electrical-organic-organism that interacts with the environment, constantly making adjustments and changes in order to survive and thrive. Everything that happens below the level of conscious awareness still depends on some aspects of its environment to help it. It is as alive as you are, and always adapting to its environment. That environment is you, your thoughts and beliefs.

What does that mean?

It means that if you carry trauma and constant stress, or pent up anger or fear, it affects some of your primary systems, namely your nervous system and immune system. Thoughts affect reality, and they affect matter. That interprets as, your thoughts, concepts and beliefs affect your body on the deepest levels, and the effects may well, over time, begin to impede the function of some of the unconscious actions that must take place for health and wellbeing.

That is where brain will become imbalanced and the bio-feedback relationship between body and mind may begin to break down.

If it’s not at ‘optimum’ then its always in ‘compensation’ mode.

In my opinion, by the time some of the very dramatic brain meltdown diseases happen, there has already been serious fragmentation of the brain-body relationship, but it has been hidden from conscious view.

That is why I favor a strong argument for brain and body detoxification, and a program of relaxation and sleep reprogramming, meditation and spending time calming down. If we take responsibility BEFORE things degenerate we may save ourselves a lot of trouble and money.

The bottom line is help your brain to maximize it’s ability to regulate and communicate. It will serve you well as you age. Here are some ideas.
1. SLEEP. This is probably the most important. In the deepest of sleep, known as ‘delta‘ sleep, the brain detoxifies. Your brain has lymph nodes in it and when this state of sleep is reached the channels of detoxification open and the brain is effectively ‘cleaned.’ It needs to happen regularly. The problem is most of us are living lives that are way too stressful and over active, and our sleep patterns are all over the shop, exaggerated these days by the amount of cell phone and computer use before bed time. Think of delta as the battery recharge time.

And it is not just sleep hours that matter but when you sleep. Ayurveda suggests that for optimal wellbeing we need to go to bed when the sun goes down and get u when the sun rises. Most people I know go to sleep very late after eating a big meal in the evening. For myself, I go to be about 8pm! and get up at at least 5am. That rhythm works well for me. And yet still at times I have to deal with erratic sleep patterns. So I use visualizations and sleep programing visualizations to help with it. They work. In the next few weeks/months, I hope to be able to offer you a new brain entrainment system that will help. I have been trying it out and so far it is working well. Stay tuned!

2. RELAXATION. When you relax, really relax, it has a profound impact on your body and brain health.  Just as sleep helps heal you, so does relaxation. We are designed to be relaxed, to deal with stress, and to return to the relaxed state as quickly as possible, like most animals. But as modernization has enveloped us we have lost the sacred and natural art of deep relaxation. So we spend much of our time in a hyper vigilant state. That means our ‘fight or flight’ mechanism is always switched on and we are prepared for danger. Unconscious mind can not tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined, and so it responds to anxious thoughts, thoughts of the future, thoughts of the past, fear of imagined events, in the same way.

What I am saying is that most of us don’t reach true relaxation even when we are asleep. So we have to create ways to help us. Get off your phone and get outside into nature. Meditate. Breathe. Do yoga. Do nothing at all. Practice stillness and just silently sitting. 

3. EXERCISE. A vital component of brain health ad mind body wellbeing is exercise. Just a little regularly keeps the whole system active and moving.
‘One project found that women over 65 who walked 30 minutes a day slowed their cognitive decline. When measuring mental acuity, the researchers found that the people who exercised appeared several years younger than those in the control group, who did not exercise at all.’ Huffington Post.

4. HERBS, SUPPLEMENTS AND DIET. Fruits and vegetables, anti oxidants and Omega 3 fats from natural sources are all helpful. Heal your gut and it will heal your brain. Stop processed food and toxic sugars. Here is a good article to help you:
https://drjockers.com/the-3-most-important-steps-to-boost-brain-function/

The purpose of this short blog is not to give you the definitive answer to this issue but to prompt you to think about it some more and to begin your own investigation. Believe me, it matters. The brain is not as fixed as we think. Research now is suggesting that it can be repaired, that is is much more ‘plastic’ than we imagine, but we need to really take care of it else we begin to lose function. We have seen the rise of dementia and alzheimers, motor neuron ailments, nervous system related problems, depression and insanity. We don’t have to go down that route, but we must intervene and take responsibility for our own brain/body health.

Most doctors are not going to help with this. They are symptomologists and will only respond to what you present. It is really up to you to dive into this area and figure it out.

Sorry to end this early but I really must go and relax in nature! Thanks for reading!

 

 

WHOLENESS IS OUR NATURAL STATE

How ‘whole’ are you? It is an interesting question most people have not, nor will ever, contemplate. I have and I do, all the time. I don’t think this is just a spiritual question, I actually think its a health question, and a very important existential question. It matters. A LOT. Here is a post I just wrote on my ‘Holistic Life Facebook Page.’

“I have spent 15 years attending to my wellbeing and to the relationship between body, mind and spirit.

In that time I have experienced a 180 degree turn around in how I live, what I focus on and how I relate to life itself.

It has been, and still is, a profound transformation.

Both simple and complex. And my awareness of the divine running through everything only increases day by day.

At first I thought it was just the body that was faltering with all its angry symptoms.

That took me directly into my emotions, which were tangled up, fearful, old and also angry.

That took me to all my thoughts and beliefs, the fundamentals of my everyday life, some of them very toxic and negative.

And finally I arrived at my spiritual essence, the nature of truth and love and reality itself.

Each step of the way my eyes opened as did my heart, until everything melted into the same thing.

You don’t choose wholeness.

You arrive at wholeness. It is a place not a thought or belief. It is a tangible frequency of frequencies.

It is where and when everything comes together, no longer separate.

It is when we, as human beings, become greater than the sum of our parts.

Wholeness is our natural state, and seems to be rare in this ‘techno-modern-superficial-separation-believing’ society.

I am forever grateful that illness came into my life to show me the way home. And I am grateful to my past self to have the wisdom to hear the call to go on the journey of healing, even if it was scary, lonely, mysterious and long.

Sometimes the longest journeys are the best.”

My advice is to take the journey. However the invitation comes, its always there. Be brave, be vulnerable, be open, step into the unknown. The benefits are incalculable. You don’t have to completely turn away from medical systems, you simply have to become your own authority, your own guru, your own advocate. Its about inner discernment as much as anything.

When you find out who you really are, through being very honest with yourself, it changes everything.