This New Year is about Connecting with your Authentic Self

As I sit here with the sun streaming through the window on this first day of the new year, I am truly amazed at what we are all going through as our consciousness continues to awaken and our emotions, past experiences, and old stories wash through us. This is a challenging yet auspicious time to be on our planet. I see it every day in my work with patients and I am certainly experiencing it in my own life on many different levels.

It is important to not get too attached to your emotional body at this time. If you are experiencing intense emotions whether it be sadness, anger, grief, or anything else, it is important to just embrace the feelings with the goal to allow them to wash through you, not attaching too much to the experience of them and most importantly, love and accept yourself in the process of your own awakening. Know that there is divine light that surrounds you and exists in you.

Try to connect with that light by thinking of someone you love, a pet, a memory of love experienced,  or anything else that helps you connect to that love current. Try to connect with others that can hold and radiate that light and love back to you. Why is this happening and what is it all for? It is really for you to connect with your authentic divinity, this wild ride is helping you connect with who you really are and embrace your core essence.

This seems like a formidable task because most of your life experiences have taken you away from your core essence. The human condition which exists with loss, limitation, fear, constraints and challenges can lead you in two different directions, one of which creates more loss and limitation, another which creates opportunity and growth. The path that leads to more loss and limitation is largely a result of feeling that you are incapable of challenging your fear, a result of feeling that you can’t trust the ideas that are inside yourself. Feeling that you have no choice or are backed into a corner with regards to the challenges you are currently facing in your life creates so much fear and disconnects you from who you really are, so much so, that you may feel all alone in the universe.

This is not reality, rather it is an error; a misperception. This happens when you disconnect from who you really are. We create separation with every thought that we are different, don’t fit in, don’t have anything to offer, aren’t enough or any other old story we tell ourselves that is simply not true anymore. This is an old story so be mindful of your thoughts that are causing separation within your deepest being and challenge them; replace them with thoughts that feel better. Tell yourself a new story about yourself>>>this new story is one in which you are accepted and embraced for who you really are. You don’t need fixing. All you need to do is embrace yourself with love in this moment.

Conditioning and limiting belief systems, both of which are learned and acquired through your various childhood experiences, may have prevented you from truly knowing yourself. If you become quiet, the awareness that is true for you, you beautiful authentic being, will start to bubble up inside of you. If you take your mind out of the process. That is, if you don’t judge it, define it, or analyze it, it can start to gain strength and become a steady stream. If allowed to flow, this awareness will become stronger and will become a force that directs your life into the right stream for you. This stream will feel “right” to you, it will feel like you are connecting in to your deeper knowing of the path for you. You may not see the path clearly or know where it is leading and for the rational mind, this may seem incredibly challenging to let go and trust the intuitive mind. But trust what you feel deep inside of yourself.

If only you can relax into this process, relax into this challenge, let yourself shatter, and start to reassemble yourself in the way that fits you in this moment. This is the process of getting to know who you really are, getting in touch with your core authentic being. It is time to shine the radiant light of your true authentic being right now whereever you are…

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Healing and Navigating your River of Life

Healing is a journey. It isn’t always an easy path. There are no assured outcomes of any kind. It requires you to have a deep level of trust in the process. It requires the ability to surrender to the journey. To allow whatever needs to come up, without any thought of judgement; fully embracing yourself with love and acceptance. It is embracing what is, in all its entirety.

Healing is like a river. The river has all sorts of variations. Sometimes the river is raging, with a currrent that makes it very difficult to navigate. It is in these cases, that you may require someone to assist you. You need to be able to trust that the right person is showing up at the right time to help you navigate these strong waters.

In some cases, the river twists and turns, presenting you with new surroundings, requiring a degree of adaptability. You will have to be fearless.  You may come around the corner and be beset with a new set of rapids, perhaps even rocks, completely surprising you and knocking you off balance. You must navigate this territory with great care to ensure you aren’t thrown so off course, that you will be unable to recover. In this instance, it is important to be gentle with yourself and allow whatever needs to arise within you while you navigate these waters, whatever it is, fully embrace it. Embrace the emotions, embrace the fear, anger, sadness, loneliness, vulnerability whatever may arise in this river.

There are moments when you will fight the current, when it will be very difficult in the river, in your life, when you will struggle, when you really need to let go and trust, knowing that the river is taking you in one direction, only one direction and the more you can surrender to the journey the easier it will be, that no matter what, you are safe in divine care.

In more pleasant times, the river grows serene. You can float down the river, letting its stream carry you gently and assuredly. In these moments you are surrendering to the current. You are floating along, with nary a care in the world. Embrace these moments when you are clearly going with the flow. Remember these moments because life is full of them if you are awake and aware.

The water will be clear and beautiful, everything will seem to be in perfect order, those moments of absolute clarity, where the stars seem to line up in perfect unison, revealing their universal plan. In these moments, you will experience a peace that passes all understanding. You will float along, embracing the journey and wondering in awe at its beauty.

In other moments the river will become dark and murky. You will have no idea where you are going or if you will even get there, wherever “it is”. The journey will feel cold, ominous, and lonely. You will be frustrated, disheartened, and discouraged. You will feel that I can’t continue this. I would rather give up and let the river swallow me up. I might drown in this river. There is too much heaviness in this river.

You may catch yourself on debris in the river; you may find yourself weighed down by things, making your journey even more difficult. You might ask yourself, if it is also important that you carry other debris with you, that it might in fact, be easier to let go of the debris that no longer serves a purpose in your life. You might see yourself letting go of relationships, friendships, jobs, cities, ways of being and anything else that no longer serves you or benefits you in a positive way. There is sadness but there is also hope that in performing this conscious act of self love that you will attract more joyful experiences into your life.

The most important thing to remember is when you are traveling on your own healing journey, on your own river of life to not judge your experience of anything, rather embrace the beautiful being that you are free of any judgements, free of conditioning, free of shoulds and free of regrets; embrace the divine being of light that you are. You have had the courage to navigate the river of your life.

If you look at the scope and depth of what you have been through, at what you have learned, what you have had the courage to face, the trials and tribulations on one pole and on the other pole, the joy, the insights, the love, the breakthroughs, and finally the hope that by going through all of this you have become more radiant in your own personal expression of divine light, love, compassion and have gained a greater understanding of yourself and your place in your own life’s journey.

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Eating Foods to Influence your Vibration and Chakras

In today’s world with the stressors of everyday life being many, it is prudent to pay some attention to what we are putting into our body on a daily basis in the way of nutrition. When I look at food, I pay attention to how much ‘life force energy’ is in the food. Life force energy is a term that denotes how much energy you have available to you in your body. How much life force energy do you have for your daily activities, the things that are required of you and the things that you want to do? How resilient are you? The more life force energy that exists in your food leads to more life force energy in your cells, tissues, and organs. Nutrition can be a great tool to assist with promoting health for your body, mind and spirit.

Look at the ‘vibrational’ energy of your food and how high the life force energy is in it? Foods that are raw will have more energy in them than foods that are cooked. Food that is consumed fresh has more energy than food that comes out of a box or has been sitting on the shelf for long periods of time. Frozen foods have less life force energy than fresh foods. Foods higher in life force energy include fruits and vegetables whereas foods lower in life force energy would include meat, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, flour, and sugar. Foods that are more acidic might be another way these foods are classified versus more health promoting alkaline foods.

There are many teachers that have written about ‘energy’ and potentiality in food. One of the best is Dr. Gabriel Cousens, M.D. a holistic psychiatrist who has written many books including ‘Spiritual Nutrition and the Rainbow Diet’ and ‘Conscious Eating’. He talks about chakras and how eating different foods can influence chakras in your body. Chakras are subtle energy centers in your body. There are seven major chakras in the body. These chakras feed the organs with energy in the body depending on where they are located.  Please read the books I have listed above if you are interested in this. I will talk briefly about chakras and keep it simpler for now.

Choosing to eat all colors of the rainbow will subtly influence your chakra system and increase your micronutrient levels of nutrition. This will also increase the life force energy in your body. I will focus on fruits and vegetables primarily as most people do not eat enough servings of them.

Eating red foods will have a subtle effect on your root chakra which is your center of security and stability. Are you feeling grounded or anxious at this time? If you are feeling more anxious or fearful about things you might choose to eat more red foods which support the root chakra. Red foods add more grounding energy to your body. Choose foods like red peppers, beets, tomatoes, strawberries, apples, cranberries, raspberries and cherries to support this chakra.

Do you want more passion in your life? You might choose to eat more orange colored fruits and vegetables which support the second chakra (located just below your belly button). This chakra focuses on relationships, intimate ones as well as relationship to money; creative expression is fueled by this chakra. Eat oranges, mangos, tangerines, orange peppers, apricots, carrots, peaches, papaya, pumpkin, and sweet potato to support this chakra.

Your third chakra is located above your belly button; this is your center of personal power and self esteem.  Choose yellow foods such as yellow peppers, yellow tomatoes, golden beets, sweet corn, squash, and yellow grapefruit to strengthen this center. Whole grains like buckwheat, quinoa, oats, rice, rye, or whole wheat would also be supportive.

The heart chakra is in the middle of your chest; your capacity to love others and receive love is influenced by your heart chakra. How open is your heart? Choosing green foods such as spinach, kale, leaf lettuce, romaine, arugula, avocados, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro and basil would support your heart chakra.

The throat chakra is next; blue is the color that supports it. Do you speak your truth to yourself and others? This is the center of your personal communication and expression. Choose foods such as blueberries, bilberries, blackberries, blue potatoes, and blue corn to support this chakra.

Your third eye chakra is located between your eyes; purple foods influence this chakra. It is your intuitive centre; where you sense things. Do you have insights about your life? Beets, huckleberries, grapes, purple cabbage, plums, and eggplant will support this chakra.

Lastly, the crown chakra is located at the top of your head. This is the center of your spiritual connection; where you connect to divinity. Do you have a connection to a higher power? Choose golden or white foods such as cauliflower, artichokes, onions, daikon radish, fennel and quinoa to support this chakra.

Foods can influence your energy, health and vibration of your body. Looking at food through a different lens may renew your interest in what you are putting into your body to influence your mind, body and spirit. Let food be your medicine…

If you are interested in chakras, please read about them at your local library or pick up books by Gabriel Cousens, M.D. Until next time, be well!

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Balancing Female Hormones- part two

In the last post, I talked about environmental estrogen and gave some suggestions that you can implement to cut down on your exposure to it. In this post, I will talk about supporting your elimination of excess estrogen once it is in your body.

Estrogen is made by the ovaries, placenta (in pregnancy) and your fat cells (post menopause). Estrogen is metabolized by enzymes in the liver and is eventually changed to a glucuronic acid complex which can leave the liver via the bile and pass into your intestine. Foods to include that support this conversion in your body include red raspberries, high fiber (wheat bran, psyllium),oranges and apples. Diets that support a healthy metabolite of estrogen (C2) include one that is low in fat and high in fiber. A diet that promotes unhealthy estrogen metabolites(C16, C4) would be one that is high in fat, high in sugar, and low in protein. This is why it is so important to focus on diet when looking at any health imbalance.

Once the breakdown products of estrogen pass into your intestine, you need healthy bowel function to eliminate it out of your body. Women who have high levels of an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase (made by certain bacteria that colonize your intestine) can cause free estrogen levels to be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream through the intestinal walls. Diets that are higher in saturated fat and meat will increase these bacteria which we don’t want so minimize these substances in your diet. If you are constipated, make sure the constipation is treated because it could indirectly affect your hormone balance.

Other foods which are champions when it comes to balancing female hormones include the brassica family (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc). Eat these foods at least three times per week. These foods contain indole-3-carbinol which helps promotes the conversion of estrogen to healthy metabolites. Eat them raw or lightly steamed to obtain the best benefit.

Please book in an appointment to talk more about balancing female hormones. There are many herbs and homoepathic medicines that I use in my practice that can support women’s health as well as specific nutrients. Please refer to The Natural Medicine Guide to Breast Cancer by Sat Dharam Kaur, ND for a thorough book on women’s health if you want to learn more.

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Balancing Female Hormones- part one

I test female salivary hormones in my patients if they are overly challenged by mood disturbances at different times in their menstrual cycle, are trying to conceive and are having difficulty, or are in peri-menopause or menopause and are wanting to determine what their hormone levels are. Monthly profiles can track your hormone levels; by taking eleven samples of your saliva every three days starting with your menstrual cycle, you can see a pattern of estrogen and progesterone levels which then makes it clearer for me to decide what intervention might be necessary for balancing.

I do see a pattern of estrogen dominance in some of the women that I test. Signs of estrogen dominance would include a higher estrogen to progesterone ratio- this means estrogen is high and progesterone is low in comparison. Symptoms of estrogen dominance may include irritability, PMS, fuzzy thinking, fibrocystic breast disease, weight gain, water retention, irregular and/or heavy bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis, menstrual migraines, ovarian cysts, and breast cancer. Why do we have too much estrogen and why do we not have enough progesterone to balance it all out?

We are exposed to estrogen in our environment in the form of phthalates (plastics, perfumes, nail polish), PCB’s (non organic butter, farmed salmon, even though it is was banned in 1972 it persists in our environment), pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, BPA in plastic water bottles, baby bottles and in the lining of cans, make-up, perfume, hair spray, shampoo, creams, lotions and other personal care products. Restaurants, golf courses, supermarkets and schools spray chemicals that mimic estrogen to keep their environments clean and weed/insect free. Birth control pills, fertility drugs and hormone replacement therapy contribute further to our estrogen load. This is too much estrogen coming into our bodies which then affects our estrogen levels, increasing them.

It is unrealistic to eliminate all your exogenous estrogen and so the goal is to reduce exogenous estrogens coming into your body.Here are some ways to begin. Buy organic vegetables when it comes to the following- peaches, apples, pears, strawberries, nectarines, imported grapes, cherries, lettuce, bell peppers (orange, green, red), celery, potatoes, and spinach. Buy organic dairy (at least butter), organic meat/poultry and choose wild versus farmed fish. Buy your fruit and vegetables fresh or frozen versus canned. Buy tomatoes, tomato sauce, and crushed tomatoes in glass jars versus cans.

Look for BPA free cans on the label when you are choosing canned foods. Some companies are staring to use BPA free cans. Don’t heat your foods in plastic or wrap warm foods in plastic. Buy glass storage containers to store or warm up food. Buy your home care products (cleaning supplies), insect killer, weed killer, health and body care products from your local health food store or find them online. (eg shaklee.com) Ask the staff of your health food store what their favorite product is for bath and body care and the like. (I found a great shampoo this way.)

Rome was not built in a day. Choose one thing that you can do tomorrow to start reducing the exogenous estrogens coming into your body! In the next post, I will talk about eliminating excess estrogen from your body…

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At the end of the day, you have to heal yourself…

I deal with people on a daily basis that are not well. I prefer to say that they are not well versus they are ill or sick. It feels better to me. In my interactions with many of them, I talk about the need to heal yourself and the power that you do have to affect your own healing. Many times, you may feel isolated in your situation of ‘dis-ease’. You may go to many different people who all have different ideas of what is going on with you and you may want to buy into or embrace a diagnosis that they give you or put your utmost faith in a supplement or product that is going to heal you…but at the end of the day you have to heal yourself. You are likely working with a team of sorts, doctors and other health care practitioners and I do absolutely recommend that. But keep in mind, that no matter what your diagnosis is, you are still in your healing journey, on your healing journey. I say when approaching this subject of optimal health or at the other extreme ‘dis-ease’, leave no stone unturned. Bring it to the level of your soul. Viewing things from a spiritual vantage point, can make all the difference.

This may sound like a lot of responsibility and indeed it is, but this statement is not meant to scare or overwhelm you or even frustrate you. The process of ‘healing’ does not often lend itself to moments of instant gratification or illuminating insights. This may happen if you are lucky. Healing is often a battle in the trenches… for a time anyways…There may be a long period of time when you don’t feel well despite the changes you are making with your diet or the inner work you are doing>>   perhaps forgiving yourself or others who may have wronged you in the past or even confronting your inner victim. This battle in the trenches is hard work- it is facing yourself to the utmost degree, confronting yourself on so many levels that your head spins. When you are in the trenches, you need hope and trust that things will get better, and they eventually will, even if it is just an inner attitude shift that buoys you from time to time, that you can cling to in the choppy seas. This is a process and there are no markers or measuring sticks that make it all make sense. You have to surrender to the process- you feel out of control, yes. It is natural to feel fear- you are in the unknown.

Healing does not always mean curing. Let’s be clear about that. There are no guarantees in life. You can’t control everything that happens to you- control is an illusion anyways. You can’t guarantee good health by eating all the right foods or being kind to others around you or whatever other behavior you think you must do in order to assure you of good health. It would be nice if it were that simple. Wayne Dyer and Debbie Ford both have cancer after all. Healing can mean facing yourself at the end of the day, facing the despair or hopelessness that has engulfed you leading to this place of dis-ease that you find yourself in right now or it may involve confronting an illness that appears out of the blue with no explanation as to why it has shown up. The question is>> What are you going to do about it? I have been there. I know where you are coming from.

Before this process starts and gets underway, I recommend sitting quietly in your life absorbing what is going on in the present moment with non-attachment to anything; contemplation often happens naturally when you surrender to the present moment and trust the process of your own healing journey. There is an inherent wisdom underneath your dis-ease, there is a part of you that knows how to be well; your job, for now, is to begin to access this well being. How do you access well being? Who are the people that make you feel ‘well’ when they are around? What things are on your well being list? What things make you feel better? Everyone should have a list of things that bring them to a better space of well being- on mine>>music, water, flowers, tea for starters. What are yours? My book ‘Using Illness to Catalyze Self Transformation’ is in the process of being self published right now. Until it comes out, I ask you to sit with these words, and ask any questions of me if you feel so moved. Remember that you are not alone. I am right there with you in the trenches.

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The Need for Balance and Mindfulness in Today’s World

In today’s fast-paced hectic world, there is a tremendous need for balance and getting back to values that are the most important to you. When our egos run the show and we are caught up in the external world our internal world is often neglected. This external world which tends to be transient and can change on a dime is not the ‘world’ to get attached to these days. Turn on the news and you will quickly here stories of loss and feel the climate of fear and uncertainty that our media thrives on. This external world does not typically bring a deep feeling of peace to us or a sense that everything is alright with our world. Our internal worlds need to be cultivated and require some attention from us at this time.

Taking a moment to be more mindful in your world can really help at this time. Being mindful is really bringing your attention to the present moment and bringing as much of ‘you’ as you can to the present moment whether the moment involves washing your dishes, talking to a work colleague or chatting on the phone with a family member. Remind yourself that this present moment is the only thing you can really count on and ask yourself how can you bring the best you to the table? Being mindful is a way to quiet the chatter in your mind and bring a feeling of more inner peace to you. You can’t think about your future when you are in the present moment and when you bring your full undivided attention to the present moment it becomes really beautiful I bet if you check in with yourself from time to time and remind yourself of this you will have a better day and the other people around you will have a better experience of you.

Starting your day with a 10-20 minute meditation can also help you prepare for your day and start it in the best frame of mind possible. I recommend setting your alarm clock twenty minutes earlier and getting up to do this. Tell yourself before going to bed that it will be easy to get up at your designated wake up call. By telling your subconscious mind that it will be effortless for you before dropping off to sleep, it will be. Try it and you will be amazed that this is true.

As I have found that people’s emotional bodies are most challenged at this time, I recommend on doing a mindfulness meditation on love. To do this, I would conjure all the people up in your mind that you love most. Spend twenty minutes feeling love for all the people in your life. Think about all the reasons why you are grateful for them in your life, what specifically are the qualities that you most love in them, how they have added to the richness of your life. See how much you can fill your heart up with love for others. If you have trouble feeling love for people, you can also think of your pets or anything else that you feel love for. When you are finished this meditation, you will start your day feeling more in a ‘love vibe’ and will be less likely to react to minor inconveniences or challenging interpersonal dynamics in your day. Try this and let me know how it goes…and remember to love and accept yourself as we are all a work in progress…

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