Empower, Enlighten, Equilibrate

The Impacts of Food

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In this day and age, there is so much discussion about the foods we eat, making sure we have enough nutrition, or the ramifications of eating genetically modified organism (GMO) foods.  Nutrition is definitely important to ensure that we have the right amount of minerals, proteins, sugars, and fibers that our bodies can use.  We are told to have a balanced diet, get adequate amounts of sleep, get enough exercise, and maintain a positive mindset, which will help to ensure a healthy and wellness lifestyle.  If that was the case, why do we still find it difficult to be healthy?

I am not negating the importance of what we put into our bodies, but what also is vitally important is our mental and emotional state of being at the time we are preparing our nutritious foods or when we are eating.  Just think about this for a minute, what if you had healthy, organic, local grown produce but at the time you were preparing the food, you were angry with someone or some life circumstance?  Have you had comments from family members or friends criticizing how your food tastes bland or too salty, or even bitter perhaps?  Reflect and see what was going on at the time you were preparing the meal; were you uninspired or irritated?  Or has the opposite been true, parents or siblings even children expressing how amazing the dinner was and how good they felt after they ate?

Another case in point, have you ever been to your favorite restaurant and on one occasion felt the food was flat or didn’t have the usual “wow” factor?  Often we attribute the mishap to the chef having an “off” night, or that the substitute chef was responsible for the disappointing entree.  Could it possibly be a combination of the chef not being in a happy mood or possibly some form of unrest among the staff and servers as well?  I am asking these questions to spark awareness about how important our state of mind and emotions dictate our appetite and tastes.

This concept is known as the mind-body connection and has been researched for over forty years, linking the mind with physical expressions in the body.  Right now if I mention sucking on a lemon, how many of your lips started to pucker and mouth begin to water?  It’s truly amazing how a picture, a smell, and even a thought can create a physical response of the body. We can either choose to work with our minds and control our mental thoughts and emotions, or we can learn to connect with our bodies and gain another way to be more present in our lives.  The time is now to start connecting with your body if you haven’t done so.  The more in tune you are with your body and its subtle signals, the more you don’t have to be surprised by some health crisis or major health ailment to make you mindful of how the stressors in your life are impacting your physical body and overall well-being.

I want to share a few easy-to-do things that you can do to start connecting your mind with the body, utilizing food consumption as the method.  The next time you sit down for a meal, take this opportunity to observe how you eat.  Do you take little or big bites?  Do you wolf down your food, or do you allow yourself time to savor the flavor and enjoy the food in your mouth?  If you eat fast, do you find yourself rushing through life and many times feel overwhelmed by all the things that you need to get done?  If you are a slow eater, do you find that you tend to take time before coming to decisions, and taking action?  Neither way is right or wrong, but it is a simple expression of how you operate in the world.  Observing your eating habits will slowly illustrate how you experience and deal with life.

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Another example is to look at your cravings for comfort foods.  Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed or worried about something, you tend to reach for chocolate, sweets, or salty chips?  How many times have you started to eat a bag of chips, telling yourself I will just eat a few chips and then 10 minutes later the whole bag is empty?  Then how often do you proceed to mentally flog yourself for eating all the chips and now have to exercise for two hours to offset what you put into your body?

My suggestion is to enjoy your comfort foods when you crave them.  Eventually, the more you give yourself permission to eat these foods, the more you will find that after you start eating your comfort food, you’ll stop sooner.  The only reason you crave comfort foods is an attempt to fill a void or an emotion that can be linked to anxiety, fear, sadness, or lack of love.  When you address this void or charged emotion, is when you will be free of the cravings for comfort foods.

Learning to listen to your body and establishing a clearer communication with your mind-body takes time.  This strategy does not happen over night, but if you stay mindful and work towards this goal, it will serve you and help you navigate through life’s experiences in the long run.

If you can relate, or have a story to share, please comment below.  There is a benefit in expressing and exchanging our stories.  Let’s hear it!

Sleeping Peacefully

images There has been a lot of research done on the sleep problems that have been plaguing many people in this country.   Chronic sleep deprivation has been shown to significantly affect one’s health, performance, safety, and financial well-being. A lack of sleep, especially the quality of sleep, can lead to many things such as increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cancer. It also affects one’s immune system, leading to increased incidences of colds and illnesses. Obesity has been linked to a lack of sleep, and when one diets while physically tired, it’s been shown that your body is burning off muscle, not the fat you want to lose.

Lack of sleep alters hormone levels associated with appetite, and affects one’s mental and emotional health. Learning and memory consolidation research shows that a good night’s sleep after learning something will help you better retain the information. Research also showed that driving while exhausted is nearly as dangerous as driving drunk.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities.

Why is it so hard for us to get restful sleep? Have you noticed that as the years go by, even though you may get seven or eight hours of sleep, you still wake up exhausted? There are a variety of factors that affect our ability to get a restful night’s sleep, from light emitted from our electrical hand-held devices, to worries about work projects or deadlines. The underlying cause is stress.   Stress impacts us more than we realize and whenever there is anything unresolved mentally or emotionally, it prevents our parasympathetic nervous system from activating, which is responsible for cellular and body repair. Worries about a family member or disagreements among siblings, a parent, or a significant other impact us negatively as well.

Our mind, expectations of how life ought to be, and our need to make sure that everything will be alright creates a low grade disturbance that keeps us in sympathetic mode, which is the fight or flight response. Our bodies stay activated and remain on yellow alert even though our eyes are closed. Can you relate to times in your life, where it was hard to get relaxed and drift off to sleep, because your mind was so active? Have you ever found yourself unsettled and restless, tossing and turning in bed because of having to make a decision or deal with an uncomfortable issue? Many times we will either put all of our energies into work, or exercise excessively, to the point of exhaustion, in order for us to crash and go to sleep.

Being able to sleep peacefully starts from dealing with our daily stresses and addressing any past or current issues that bother us. Learn to acknowledge this stress and accept that by dealing with these stresses we can establish a new way to experience our lives. Make it a point to resolve any matter that creates a mental or emotional disturbance inside. The more harmonious our minds and feelings are, the more peace and ease we experience in our bodies. A settled mind will lead to a settled body.

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One simple exercise that can help prepare you for sleep is to place your hands on a part of your body that feels comfortable. Take eight to ten breaths into your hands staying focused on how your breath feels coming into your body and exiting your body.   Be really present in the moment and with your body, and slowly but surely you will find yourself starting to be more at ease and drifting off to sleep. The power of being present with your body and in the moment insures that your mind does not get trapped in the past or projecting into the future. Hence, by staying in the “Now”, present moment is one of the secrets that help you to achieve peaceful and restful sleep.

Weighing Issues

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What does being overweight represent? Or one’s inability to keep the perfect waistline or figure? For many it has become an obsession to stay in shape, but obesity is on the rise, and many things are to blame, from bad diets, fast foods, cravings, lack of self-control, and many other reasons. What are your reasons?

We can blame the frantic pace of life and not enough time to prepare a proper meal, but beyond all that, excess weight serves as a perfect strategy for a person to protect oneself. Biologically our bodies were designed to store any extra food as fat, in order for our bodies to have a reserve when we could not find food to eat. Now many of us live in a society where food is abundant and there is not a lack of food, but rather excess. So why do most diets fail, and even exercising all the time, not keep the weight off?

This is where each individual’s body has different reasons for holding onto excess weight. One reason is weight insulates us from any uncomfortable energies, emotions, or situations that we have to face on a day-to-day basis. It could be an uncomfortable work situation, a difficult relationship or family relations, and just being unhappy with our life’s circumstances. What I have seen over the past 15 years is that most people who tend to hold their weight are usually very sensitive and overly caring, many to their own detriment. Hence they use the weight as a way to protect and insulate themselves from all the emotional experiences they have encountered.

Many will cite that they lack self-control, give into the cravings, and eat their comfort foods. How many times have we been stressed and started to eat a bag of chips and in 10 minutes, voila, the bag is empty? Or the chips could be in the form of chocolates as most chocoholics can attest to. Many times we use comfort foods as a way to satisfy a part of ourselves that we feel is empty, but after we consume our comfort foods, why do we end up beating ourselves more than celebrating? I have discovered if you crave your comfort foods, to enjoy it as much as possible, and do your best to refrain from mentally berating yourself for having no control. By not judging your desire to eat comfort foods, you free yourself from guilt and can keep your mental state more balanced. One day, after starting to eat your comfort foods, you will find that is not what you really wanted and will stop.

Here’s where the example of Constance comes to mind. Constance discovered upon many years of trying different diets and cleanses, that the damn weight never stayed off and would exponentially compound over time. She viewed herself as being lazy, having an inferiority complex, and lacking self-discipline. However, as we worked together, Constance learned to trust herself and as she began to gain greater clarity of her life and what she truly “wanted,” one day she had an epiphany. It began when her husband was constantly calling her names and putting her down for being fat. Constance learned to value herself, and understood what her values were.  When her husband asked point blank, “How do you see yourself?” Constance felt something shift inside her being and stated, “I am the most beautiful woman and have the biggest heart of anyone I know.  I don’t deserve to get all this s#%t from you. I cannot change what you think of me and if you cannot see that, then you don’t know me, and I want to know why we are together.”
Constance shared further that self-acceptance is key when she looks in the mirror now. She has learned to know that inside, it’s still her. It’s up to her husband to see that. Constance had lost 35 pounds a long time ago, due to the urgings of her husband after the birth of their second child. Upon which other people, especially men began to notice her. Constance felt physically beautiful at the time and was flattered by all the extra attention. But the moment she did, her husband became extremely jealous and possessive. Since family and security was highest on Constance’s values, there was no way she would entertain any of the male suitors. However, once she began to put back on the weight, people stopped paying attention and her husband calmed down. Realizing this, Constance saw that keeping the weight wasn’t due to her being insecure, it was a strategy to keep her marriage, family, and security intact. Now Constance knows it is her choice to change this strategy if she wants and doesn’t need the weight to keep her husband or family intact.

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By reflecting and taking a look at how your extra weight is currently serving you, like Constance, you can discover the reason your body has created this strategy of keeping the extra curves. Begin by asking yourself,“ How do my love handles benefit me?” Is it the story I tell others, or more importantly, what do I get from being on the “heavy” side? Once you discover your answer, that’s the first step towards you shifting your weight from the plus to a more balanced state of being.

Gift of Spirit Workshop

Gift of Spirit Workshop

May 25th (12-5pm)

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Animal Gift of Spirit Workshop

April 26 (2-6pm) & April 27 (12-4pm)

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Animals Workshop-Apr2014

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Glen came in for a consult with some right shoulder pain. He was a bit shaken up when he read about what I did. Glen thought I was New Age, but I explained that I wasn’t, and that I’m here to help people connect with their own healing energy, not that I put energy into people.

After I explained more, he felt a little better, however, he was very aligned with God and Jesus Christ, and believes that God won’t let anything bad happen to him, so he isn’t afraid of anything.

The right shoulder pain happened four times in Glen’s life. The first time was five years ago. He was shaking out a heavy rug and hurt his shoulder. It was very painful, but he did physical therapy for it, and it eventually went away.

It happened again about a year ago. At that time, he went to see his friend’s shiatsu massage therapist who did some alignments and really worked on the muscle making it feel better.

The third time happened a few months later. Glen wanted to see the same shiatsu therapist, but he wasn’t available, so he saw the therapist’s father. This time it didn’t help as much, but it eventually went away again.

A week and a half ago, he was really tired and slept in an awkward position. When he woke up, he had major pain in the shoulder. He was pushing on the spot that the shiatsu therapist worked on, which helped a little, but the pain was still there.

I asked Glen, “Is there anything going on in your life? Do you have any stress?”

Glen said, “No.”

“What was going on five years ago when it first happened?”

“There was something going on that has to do with my brother but I’m not going to tell you what happened.”

“It’s okay, you don’t need to tell me the details. As long as you recognize that there was something going on. What was going on in your life during the time it came back, and the shiatsu therapist worked on it?”

“There was some stuff going on then too.”

He was starting to see the link, and asked, “Are you telling me that there’s stuff going on in our lives that are causing the pain?”

“Yes, and until you bring balance to whatever that incident was with your brother…”

He cut me off, and said, “That incident is done. I forgave him.”

“Really? Why is the same pain coming up again?”

Glen couldn’t answer. I told him, “I’m not here to fix you, I’m here to help you connect with your own body, and you’ll learn strategies to help you address whatever it is that you need to address.”

“Are you saying that you’re willing to do this and lose business?”

“I’m not going to lose business. I’d rather empower people than have them become dependent on me and have them think I’m going to fix them.”

“Okay, let’s try it.”

I learned that the reason Glen was so freaked out about New Age was because of how he was looking down on his sister.

His sister brought her son (Glen’s nephew) to a New Age healer because he had a hole in his throat area. After seeing the healer, the hole closed up and everything seemed great. The sister, her husband, and son moved to Australia, and the hole opened up again. The family panicked because there weren’t any New Age healers to turn to there.

Glen’s sister ended up bringing her son to a medical doctor who says that it was a good thing the hole opened up because there were all kinds of nasty stuff underneath that’s been spreading like a tumor. Miraculously the boy was saved by Western medicine, and this caused Glen to link New Age with evilness.

If you can relate, or have a story to share, please comment below.  Have you experienced hand pain?  What did you find it related to?  There is a benefit in expressing and exchanging our stories.  Let’s hear it!

Bending to Others

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Bridget has been under care for eight weeks had some huge breakthroughs. She’s done a lot of spiritual, mental, and mind-over-matter work. She realized that although her goal was the body-mind-spirit connection, the last thing she wanted to deal with was her body because she didn’t like her body when she was younger. As she got older, her body seemed even uglier in her mind, because she became very gangly and tall, and just felt awkward in her own body.

In the past year and a half, Bridget’s body has been giving her so much trouble that that’s all she was focusing on. She came in to the office with major scoliosis, but as she’s been getting adjusted, she’s been becoming more upright.

Before getting under care, Bridget was never hungry. Now, she has a big appetite, has been craving more nutritious foods, has more energy, and she’s been cleaning. In the past, she would start cleaning, but because of all the pain, she would have to stop before she was done. Now, she can clean without pain and take breaks intentionally.

She’s also become aware when old patterns come up, and realizes when she makes a mistake, she gets very obsessive over it. She starts to question what she could’ve done, to the point that it can wipe out her whole day.

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Bridget was judging how she gets obsessed over making mistakes. She realized when she was younger, she would get scolded if she made a mistake. Her parents would tell her that she can’t do this or can’t do that, and if she did, she would be punished. She carried it with her, her whole life, and it comes out whenever she makes mistakes.

Because she doesn’t want to make mistakes, she always thinks ahead, especially when she was working for two high-powered bosses. We worked on things so she could see how it’s actually been serving her in a positive way, so that she could now embrace it.

She was also judging all the things she did things mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in the past. She was beating herself up, thinking she should’ve started working on her body first. I explained that if she didn’t work on all that other stuff first, when things started coming up with her body, she wouldn’t have the strength and ability to navigate and recognize it. Bridget is in her 60s, and to make a change at that age is very cool.

Everything happens for a reason and is perfect exactly how it is. As soon as Bridget can accept that, a big weight will lift off her.

If you can relate, or have a story to share, please comment below.  Have you experienced hand pain?  What did you find it related to?  There is a benefit in expressing and exchanging our stories.  Let’s hear it!

An Inconvenient Cough

2065679About eight years ago, Jeff came in with two typed pages of all the traumas he experienced.  He was a physical therapist, and once when a patient was falling down, they grabbed and yanked his shoulder while his back was turned.  It totally tweaked his body and he’s been in pain ever since.

Jeff has been going to a chiropractor every other day for a long time, and was using magnets all over his body for the pain.  When he started seeing me, he said, “I know you don’t crack the spine, but if I tell you I need it, you have to do it for me.”

I told him, “No, I won’t.”

He was upset about it, but knew I was still helping him out.  Months later, Jeff asked to crack his spine again, and I turned him down again.  He was an intense person, but had a very big heart, and went through so much transformation.  Since he started getting adjusted, I never had to crack his spine, and he let go of a lot, causing him to cough all the time during adjustments.

People hated being adjusted at the same time as Jeff because they were afraid of catching a cold.  Every time Jeff would come to get adjusted, he would cough a lot.  There was another woman who was scheduled at the same time, and she asked the office manager when Jeff would be coming again because she wanted to be scheduled after he was done.

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The office manager scheduled this woman later, but it just happened that Jeff called the next time to say he was running late because of work.  The other woman comes in, and ends up getting adjusted with Jeff and his coughing again.

After the adjustment the woman complains to the office manager that she specifically asked for a later time than Jeff.  The office manager apologizes and explains why they were put together again.

The woman then schedules her next appointment earlier than Jeff.  When that day comes around, he gets off from work early and asks if he can come in since he’s already in the area.  There was space in the schedule, and Jeff came in, just to be placed right next to the other woman who was trying so hard to avoid him.

It was crazy and hilarious.  I finally had to explain to the other woman that when Jeff coughs, it’s not because he has a cold, it’s just the body’s way of clearing out all the “old stuff”.  Jeff had so much old stuff to clear out, with so many different traumas throughout his life.

Jeff was a trooper and worked through a lot.  He ended up being a good teacher for me because he taught me how not to cave in and crack someone’s spine just because they insist.

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Gift of Spirit Workshop – JAN 19, 2014

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Harry came in after getting referred by another practice member. He had eye surgery, tension in the neck and shoulders, and every so often, numbness in his hands.

Almost two years ago, he was fly-fishing, and woke up the next morning with pain down his arm. He went to his doctor and was given some anti-inflammatory medicine, but soon after, it got so painful that he couldn’t even pick up a pencil. This pain lasted for over a month.

The doctors had Harry do some physical therapy, and that helped him out of it. I asked Harry, “Did anything change in your life when you the pain first started? What was going on at that time?”

Harry thought about it and said, “Oh that’s weird. Four years ago, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. She went through chemotherapy and everything and was cleared. Two years ago when my pain started, my wife was given a good bill of health from her doctor. It was such good news for her that when she came home, she said she wanted to take a two month vacation. I told her it was okay, but that I had my work to consider. I had to negotiate with her to break it up into three different trips that totaled two months.”

Harry loves his job and he’s grateful for what he has. He loves his wife, but yet, to take off for that long from his job was hard for him. The pain was on the left side.

He also has a hard time sleeping, and if he does fall asleep, he gets up in the middle of the night and has a really hard time going back to sleep. It’s been this way since he was young.

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After getting adjusted, Harry felt more relaxed and was pretty surprised at that. Although he felt more relaxed, he also felt more pain than before. Harry’s shoulders felt stiff with tension. He felt like he worked out when he didn’t work out at all. There was less tension but more pain. I taught him how to breathe into it, and that worked well for him.

Harry came back recently and told me that he loves to watch the television show, “CSI”. He got ready to watch the show one night, but the next thing he knew, he opened his eyes, and the news was on. He said, “I missed ‘CSI’, and it was a new episode! I never miss that show! Then after that, I tried to stay up during the news, but the next thing I know, ‘The Late Show’ was on. I fell asleep through the news too!”

The next time Harry came, he was feeling like something weird was happening to him. He would feel some pain that would disappear right after it started, but it was just his body getting connected.

Harry also finds himself breathing more now, and realized that he would hold his breath a lot in the past. He has now actually slept through the entire night without waking up once, which never happened before. Because his body let go of tension, it can heal better.

If you can relate, or have a story to share, please comment below. Have you experienced hand pain? What did you find it related to? There is a benefit in expressing and exchanging our stories. Let’s hear it!