Monthly Archives: February 2011
5 Easy Steps to Turn Your Life Around–Step 1
Anyone can turn their life around no matter how dire their situation seems. Granted, if you are tied to a stake and fire is being put to the kindling, it would have been easier to turn your life around had you started a tad sooner.
For most of us though, using five easy steps gives us plenty of room to turn things around. Even easier, none of the steps actually has to be completed before you will start to see results. All you need to do is make it your intention to complete the steps, and then start following through.
Let us begin.
Step 1 – Make a Commitment to Take Control of Your life
No two people have an even remotely similar thought process. But when it comes to controlling our life, there are two distinctly different worldviews: “I am the effect,” or “I am the cause.”
The first is the most common and widespread view as far as we can see back into history. In this view, we as humans are born into a world (mostly hostile) in which our experiences are dictated by people, circumstances and events that happen to us—germs, war, genes, environment, villains, accident, and luck. This is the dominant point of view of society, religion, government, and most of our ancestors.
To a person enveloped in this worldview it is very comfortable and safe, because: 1) Anything that goes wrong is not their fault; others are to blame. 2) Struggle with adversity is seen as noble. And 3) their parents and just about everyone else they know see the world this way.
Although the “effect” worldview is the norm, people who participate in this worldview tend not to feel very good because life is a constant struggle.
The second worldview, “I am cause,” has been around for a long time, but it has recently gotten a lot more public attention. In this worldview, each person creates their experience through their thoughts and attention. The Universe, in fact, rearranges itself around their habits of thought and expectation by means of the Law of Attraction – also known as the Universal Organizing Principle. People who live this way create the life experiences they want by choosing thoughts in alignment with what they want – in other words, thoughts that feel better.
It is important to know, however, that you don’t need to be highly disciplined with all your thoughts to turn your life around. You just make a commitment to take control of your life and start working in that direction, in baby steps at first if needed.
Step 2 – Watch Your Language
I don’t know how many times I heard that rebuke when I was growing up. LOL!
The whole idea of controlling one’s thoughts seems overwhelming. It is. And if you try you’ll have as much fun as herding 100 cats. But we don’t need to control every single thought. Some thoughts are just whim of fancy. Just because you imagine your audience naked, it doesn’t mean they all start taking off their clothes.
Likewise, exploring an idea will not bring it about. Wondering what your life would be like if you married so-and-so or if you had followed your instincts and turned down a job you hated, does not mean “reality” will shift to make it happen.
If fleeting or exploratory thoughts don’t manifest, what kind of thoughts do? The thoughts that manifest are sustained thoughts – habits of thought and expectation. Unfortunately, we may be the last to know what our habitual thoughts are, because – for us – they are the norm.
One way to identify our thoughts is by listening to what we say. The outer evidence of your sustained thoughts is embedded in the words you say on a day-to-day basis, both to the people around you and under your breath to yourself.
Watch your language. Do you put yourself down? Do you glorify your struggles? Do you argue that your pain is worse than someone else’s? Do you tell people how bad you have it?
If hearing yourself is difficult and you are brave, ask a family member to point out to you your self-destructive or self-limiting language. (They might have to be brave, too.)
Here are some examples of language that might not serve you:
- I just look at a cake and it goes right to my thighs.
- I’ve got plenty of luck–and all of it bad.
- I’m squeaking by.
- All the good men are taken.
- My arthritis won’t let me do anything anymore.
Look and your words and see if they do not mirror your experience.
Do you feel better or worse when you say them?
The trick is to find something better to say – tell a better story.
- One piece of cake every once in a while will not affect my weight.
- I’m starting to have more and more good luck days.
- No matter what, things always work out for me.
- Somewhere out there is a good man hunting for me.
- I’m having more and more days where I can get out and have fun.
[For more on this and related subjects, see my new eBook, Tame Your Demon: How to Become Okay with Where You Are When Your Life Sucks.]
As you start telling your better story, it won’t take long before you start to notice that things in your life are shifting to support your new story.
Step 3 – Find a Way to Love Yourself More
Some of us can find all kinds of reasons to judge ourselves harshly. Maybe our parents told us we were not enough. Maybe our circumstances feel like not enough. With our attention on everything that is wrong with us, it is easy to see why we overlook the simple truth: We are a being of light and love, living in a sea of light and love, inherently worthy of loving ourselves.
Here is proof.
You know from Law of Attraction that like attracts like. In other words, what you bring into your life is a vibrational match to who you are. What did you bring into your life right now? You are not reading Kitten and Puppy Hater’s Digest or How to Build a Fertilizer Bomb Using the BS You Hear on TV. You are reading this article, where I am reminding you that you are a being a light and love.
You are a vibrational match to me telling you that you are a being of light and love. That is who you are. And no matter how often your mother or father or husband or wife or sister or preacher or teacher or coach or officer or anyone else told you differently, you are showing your true vibrational alignment right here, right now.
You are also a very powerful creator. You have created all that is around you for as far as you can see. And while you may not like parts of it, what you have created is perfect. You may have forgotten why you created the parts you no longer like now, but at one time those too served you. And those things you created that you don’t like are not you, they are just your creations.
Let me ask you a question.
If Susie Homemaker burns her cake in the oven, is she that cake? Or has she simply created a cake that is not to her liking?
Similarly, the life you have created is not you. But you created it with the best of intentions – even the parts that are not to your liking–just like Susie did when she started baking her cake.
That said, how can you love yourself more? Well, here is a very simple formula for self-esteem:
- If you want low self-esteem, focus on those parts of yourself you don’t like.
- If you want high self-esteem, focus on those parts of yourself you do like.
To love yourself more, all you have to do is put your attention on those parts of yourself you do like, and appreciate them. You could start with the shape of a finger, or the beating of your heart, or the fact that you are a being of light and love. If the best you can do is to give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you might not be a bad person, you have achieved a big step. It can be that you like how you feel about puppies, or about smiling at someone, or knitting, or helping someone, or that you understand calculus.
You will like more and more things about yourself the more you think about it. List them. Appreciate them. Anything is fair game. If you like it about yourself, appreciate it.
But the truth is, you don’t need a reason to love yourself, because you are love. Needing a reason is as silly as asking the rain to prove that it is wet. If it weren’t wet, it wouldn’t exist. Love is why you exist.
Take a breath. Hit the pause button on the voice in your head and you will see: You are love.
I said in the title that these steps are easy. And this one is no different.
Step 4 tomorrow…
(c)2011 Chip Engelmann
From Contrast to Commitment
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
– Dr. Seuss
“Contrast” is the vivid difference between what you are experiencing and what you wish you were experiencing. In other words, contrast is that discontent you feel when you put your attention on what you have created but no longer want. Some examples are: not having enough money, living with physical pain, and feeling grief from the loss of a relationship. These contrasts don’t feel good at all. Then again, they are not supposed to.
What they are supposed to do for you is two-fold: 1) tell you that the thoughts you are thinking are not helpful, and 2) increase your desire for something better.
A lot has been said by Abraham, Paul, and others including me, about using contrast to pivot to what you do want. So let’s look at increasing your desire for something better. But let’s pull way back and look at a very large picture of it. Let’s look at it as a part of your overall plan for growth over several lifetimes.
Currently the awareness of the planet is shifting to “a higher state of consciousness.” Part of this shift is that more and more people are learning that they, not their circumstances, are the one who determines their experiences. Another way of saying this is that more and more people are leaving a reality that is based in victimhood and are taking control of what they experience. They do this by choosing their thoughts and allowing the Law of Attraction to organize their experience.
Yet being immersed in victimhood is a very safe and comfortable state of being. Why? For one thing, it was how our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents (and we ourselves in past lives) lived. It is how our social, political and religious structures are oriented. It is “normal” to believe that bad things can accidentally happen to you and that social, political, or religious systems can save you when you can’t save yourself.
For another thing, victimhood is safe because no one (including you) is pointing the blame for your problems at you; you aren’t the one who needs to change. Our medical system is based on the concept that you can get broken and they can fix you. Germs that you cannot possibly control may invade you and make you sick. Bad people may prey on you. You can get hit by a truck. And this is very “safe” because no matter what happens, it’s not your fault.
But what if there were only you? What if your thoughts created everything? Then everything – the good and the bad – are all your creations. The responsibility may be scary. It may feel uncomfortable, uncertain, and unsafe.
Still, you as Source Energy know that taking control of your experience is your birthright. It is your natural, true, and liberated state – if only you could learn how to do it to your own liking!
So this is the challenge before you, a hardy and brave soul between lives, as you are about to choose your next body and circumstances. How do you move from a very comfortable “victimhood” experience – one that you have used for many lifetimes, in fact since the beginning – into a very new experience of self as empowered? The trick is, you choose life circumstances where taking the role of victimhood is more uncomfortable than embracing a new way of thinking.
So, brave and hardy soul that you are, you choose your parents, your body type, and your circumstances in such a way that you will become uncomfortable.
Here in this lifetime, we are uncomfortable – in contrast – about money, health, or relationships. So we attract the idea that thoughts create our experience and we hear about the Law of Attraction. But is it time to engage ourselves and commit to making the new system work for us? Will we jump into the unknown and invest in ourselves?
Often we figure we will do it later, when we get better, get more money, or find that special someone. But by focusing on what we don’t like, we bring on more contrast and it becomes even more painful. And we may continue to do this — increase our discomfort levels — until we finally get sick-up-and-fed and say “Screw this! I’m taking control of my life no matter what my situation and no matter what it takes.”
Every day, someone makes the leap and decides to move into the vision of their new life in spite of all the things that seem to be wrong with the old one. For others, they wait another day to see if their life will get fixed somehow. As Abraham would say, “Don’t worry, it will get worse.”
The most important thing is, you are already perfect. Nothing about you is broken. Taking control of your life is simply remembering that you are a being of light and love – and as such you are already a powerful creator. You created all your good and, yes, your bad. But you can just as easily – no – more easily, because the Universe and everything in it supports your becoming more of who you really are – uncreate the things you don’t like.
How? By choosing, imagining, and allowing your new life to come to you. By remembering who you really are. By bringing people into your space who resonate with this.
My name is Chip Engelmann and I have made this commitment. I have also dedicated my practice to helping others who choose to make this commitment to overcome their emotional, mental, and physical blocks so you too can remember that you are and always have been a being of light and love and a master manifestor.
(Photo to the right is a mountain of $100 bills. Each bundle wrapped in brown tape is 50 of them equaling $5000. This mountain was the prize in the Great Guru Giveaway.)
(c) 2011 Chip Engelmann
A guide to herbs for headaches
How it works: Butterbur’s active ingredients, petasin and isopetasin, can supposedly calm inflammation and muscle spasms.
Evidence: A couple of clinical trials are positive, but not definitive.
Side-effects: Mild gastrointestinal upset. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA), organic compounds that contaminate certain plants, are toxic to the liver. Take only PA-free extract.
How it works: Feverfew’s active compound, parthenolide, is believed to relieve muscle spasms, keep blood vessels from constricting and hinder inflammation.
Evidence: Clinical trials have had mixed results, but some show it helped.
Side-effects: Mild canker sores, allergic reactions and loss of the sense of taste are possible. Stopping long-term use could result in headaches and joint pain, occasional gastrointestinal upset and nervousness.
(an amino acid from the Griffonia plant)
How it works: Helps balance levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain associated with sleep, mood and migraines.
Evidence: A couple of studies suggest migraineurs may be able to reduce their use of normal pain-relieving meds.
Side-effects: Mild stomach problems, such as nausea and indigestion.
How it works: Contains salicin, a chemical similar to the one in acetylsalicylic acid.
Evidence: Never been investigated for headaches per se, but has been used for centuries to relieve inflammation.
Side-effects: Can possibly cause gastrointestinal irritation and ulcers. Too much can cause skin rash, nausea and kidney inflammation.
How it works: A natural tranquilizer, its sedating property also helps relax muscles and relieve tension and anxiety.
Evidence: Little scientific evidence, though its medicinal use dates back to ancient Greece and Rome.
Side-effects: Mild side-effects (including headaches!) the morning after.
How it works: Its antispasmodic and mild sedative properties relax tense muscles, especially in the back.
Evidence: Little scientific evidence.
Side-effects: Skin irritation from topical use. Ingested oil may be poisonous.
How it works: Because the menthol in peppermint has a numbing effect, applying bruised fresh leaves or peppermint oil to the forehead may reduce pain.
Evidence: Little scientific evidence; studies so far have found no concrete proof of its benefits.
Side-effects: Heartburn, if ingested. Allergic reactions.
How it works: Relaxes the muscles in the head and neck, as well as along the arteries.
Evidence: Limited clinical testing has been done, so there is little, if any, evidence.
Side-effects: Rare allergic reactions.
‘ORIGINAL’ REIKI INFORMATION – THE SOURCES
Copyright © 2002 James Deacon
[Reiki Revisionists or Reiki Mythmakers?]
Takata-Sensei brought the Reiki healing modality from Japan to the west (Hawaii) in the late1930’s (-she received her Master Level initiation from Hayashi-Sensei in 1938), and with the actual Reiki modality, came the story (- familiar, I believe to just about everyone who has ever attended a ‘Takata-lineage’ Reiki class -) of Usui Sensei and the origins of Reiki.
This ‘authorised version’ of Reiki history remained – to all intents and purposes – unchallenged, upto and beyond Takata-Sensei’s death in 1980 – in fact right up into the 1990’s, when ‘new’ information suggesting alternatives to the accepted history of Usui, Reiki, and its origins began to surface.
Amongst other things, there were rumours of a Reiki Society – the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (initially believed to have been set up by Usui-Sensei, then later said to have been set up by some of his students after his death). The Gakkai were said to be ‘keepers of the flame’ of Original Reiki (then it emerged that they apparently no longer teach some of the things Usui Sensei taught, and teach things he didn’t…).
There were other rumours of secret Usui Diaries kept in Japanese Temples; Tendai Buddhists claiming Tendai origins for Reiki, Shingon Buddhists claiming Shingon origins; Qi Gung practitioners claiming Taoist origins; Kotodama practice claiming Usui Sensei taught Kotodama; martial artists claiming Usui Sensei was a high level martial arts practitioner, etc, etc.
Not unexpectedly, this new (and to a certain extent, conflicting) information gripped the hearts, minds and imagination of a great many Reikifolk, and has given rise to a whole host of magazine articles, books, lectures – even the occasional video -as well as spawning a plethora of workshops / courses teaching numerous subtly different versions of ‘original Reiki techniques”
Gradually this ‘original’ and often dissonant Reiki material is being (-some might say, creatively) woven together in an attempt to reconstruct the ‘truth’ about Reiki – it’s origins, history, teachings and practices.
New material continues to emerge from existing sources, and new sources are still occasionally ‘stepping into the limelight’ to offer up their contributions, or to corroborate, dispute or refute recent revelations from other sources…
What follows is a list of some of the people responsible for the information which has already emerged – and still continues to emerge.
Mieko Mitsui (a journalist) had become a Master in Barbara Ray’s “Radiance Technique” Reiki while living in New York…
In 1985 she went back to Japan to try and see what she could discover about Reiki’s origins.
She started teaching Reiki there – and also translated Barbara Ray’s Reiki book “The Reiki Factor” into Japanese – and in the process could be said to have been responsible for single-handedly sparking a ‘Reiki Revival’ in Japan…
In addition to promoting Barbara Ray’s style of ‘western’ Reiki, Mieko reported that, contrary to the ‘Takata version’ of the History, Reiki had not died out in Japan…
She spoke of a privately printed book, “Usui Reiki Gakkai” (said to be an academic text written by a mathematician at Meiji University, Tokyo) which supposedly talks about Reiki and a man named Usui…
Mitsue also stated that ‘Japanese’ Reiki had (as is the case with Barbara Ray’s system) more than the standard three Levels or Degrees found in familiar ‘Takata-style’ Reiki…
She also claimed said that she tracked down the home of Usui-Sensei’s daughter’s family, but that they refused to speak to her about Mikao Usui. [Note: according to Rick Rivard, an inscription on the Usui family tombstone indicates that Usui Sensei’s daughter died, unmarried, aged 21]…
Amongst many others, Meiki Mitsui taught Reiki to Toshitaka Mochizuki & Hiroshi Doi…
Published “Iyashi No Te” in 1995 – the first modern day Reiki book written by a Japanese master…
Trained originally in western style Reiki, apparently also received tuition from Masters in Japan whose training history is partly Japanese…
Mochizuki attributes some of his historical information to an obscure Japanese book entitled “The Secret of How to Take Care of Your Family Members” by Takichi Tsukida…
Runs the Vortex school of Reiki, in Yokohama…
The “Traditional Japanese Reiki” system (created in 1995) is based on the Vortex system’s teachings which contains material from both Western and Japanese sources…
Author of ‘Iyashi no Gendai Reikiho’ or “Modern Reiki Method for Healing”. learnt Reiki from Mieko Mitsui. He also received Neo Reiki training from an Indian Reiki master in Tokyo…
Professes to be a member of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai – the Society believed to have been set up shortly after Usui-sensei’s death by some of his students… Apparently he studied with the former Gakkai chairperson, Mrs. Koyama…
Doi claims that the objective of Reiki was to attain a state known as: Anshin Ritsumei (or: Dai Anjin), a state in which ones mind is totally at peace – not bothered by anything – and in which one perceive one’s life’s purpose…
Hiroshi Doi also says that in the early eighties he studied a form of Téaté (healing) with a Mr.Hiroshi Ohta, but only later discovered that what he had learnt was actually Reiki…
He states that at the time he met Mieko Mitsui he was seeking to develop his own healing technique by uniting systems he had already learned. Amongst the systems Doi mentions are: Nishino Breathing, Shinmeikan Healing, SAS Shin-ki-ko, Genkyoku Kiko, Crystal Healing, Kihodo Healing, Hypnotic Kiko, Osteopathy, Energy Balancing, Astral Healing, SMC Silba Method, Natural Vibration technique, Seiki-ho, Doki-ho, Balance Therapy, & Multi-dimension Body Work…
Hiroshi Doi’s school of Reiki, called “Gendai Reiki” -Contemporary Reik Method – blends western Reiki with what he claims to be Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai practices, though one wonders to what degree “Gendai Reiki” has been influenced by the above-mentioned therapeutic systems…
Martial Artist and Tendai Buddhist. Chris states that, during a visit to Japan in June 200, to complete some martial arts training, he was introduced to several people all having had connections with Mikao Usui, including a 107 year old Tendai nun refered to as: ‘Suzuki San’, who was one of Usui Sensei’s original students…
He was apparently also shown a number of artifacts related to Usui…
On a further visit to Japan in June/July 2001 he claims to have been introduced to a further 11 very elderly students of Mikao Usui, including Buddhist monks and Nuns, Shinto followers and a farmer…
Chris says he was also shown many of Usui’s own papers including diaries, notes and precepts, all in his own handwriting. Apparently he was allowed to make handwritten copies of some of these documents and other copies were forwarded to him later…
Chris’s contacts apparently emphasise that Usui was Tendai until the end of his life, that the Reiki teachings were Buddhist in origin although they included some Shinto energy practices, and also that Usui Sensei did not really have a name for the system – the name used by Usui’s students is ‘Usui Teate’ – ‘Usui Hand Touch / Usui Hand Healing’ and also ‘Usui Do’ – ‘Usui Way’ – that the name Reiki is not used or known by Usui’s students…
Richard Blackwell (Lama Yeshe Drugpa Trinley Odzer)
According to Richard Blackwell – a Clinical Psychologist, who claims to be ordained as both a Tibetan Lama and Japanese Shingon Priest – he is in possession of a black lacquered box containing documents once belonging to Usui Sensei
(- documents which a German antiquarian apparently confirmed as authentic manuscripts from the 7th to the 19th Century), detailing the Reiki tradition and teachings…
One of these documents: the Tantra of the Lightning Flash, is said to present a comprehensive healing method derived from esoteric Buddhism as practiced in Tibet, and was supposedly brought to Japan by Kobo Daishi (Kukai), the founder of Shingon Buddhism [Note: the idea that this ‘Tantra of the Lightning Flash’ had originated in Tibet is problematic, as Kukai had actually returned to Japan (from China) with the sacred texts on which Shingon was founded, several years before Guru Rinpoche (founder of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism) had even taken the Tantric teachings to Tibet. Further, the original catalogue of the texts brought to Japan by Kukai still exists (written in his own handwriting), and this ‘Tantra of the Lightning Flash’ is not one of them]…
Richard maintains that the box was purchased just after WWII by his father (who was then a Captain in the US Army) from some destitute monks who were raising funds to rebuild their fire-bombed temple…
According to Richard, Usui Sensei – although born into a Tendai family – became a devout Shingon Buddhist after a Cholera-induced near-death experience during which he experienced visions of Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairochana) – the central Buddha of the Shingon Faith…
Dave King & Melissa Riggall
Melissa Rigall maintains that she has met several of Dr. Hayahsi’s students while in Japan, and both she and Dave claim to have met about a dozen of Usui Sensei’s surviving students, including one who was more than 112 years old and a Buddhist nun aged 105 who was apparently trained to the second highest level by Usui Sensei…
According to Dave, he and Melissa were taught Reiki by Yuji Onuki (who apparently trained with Toshihiro Eguchi – a friend and student of Usui) in 1971 in Morocco…
Dave says he spent time with Mr. Tatsumi, (said to be one of Hayashi’s master level students), in rural Japan and achieved Usui-do shichidan (level 7) in 1995… He apparently learnt Tatsumi’s attunement process and was allowed to trace copies of the four Reiki symbols in Hayashi’s handwriting. Tatsumi died in October 1996 and is said to have left his complete set of master level notes for Dave and Melissa to review…
Mrs. Chiyoko Yamaguchi
Mrs. Yamaguchi teaches Jikkiden Reiki, using the methods apparently taught to her by Hayashi-sensei in 1938…
Mrs. Yamaguchi said she used have a number of notes (apparently copied from Hayashi’s – it was customary for students to copy their Teachers notes), which were later lost in a fire in Manchuria…
Monk of the Pure Land Buddhist sect, learnt Reiki from Mrs.Yamaguchi…
Teaches what he calls Komyo Reiki…
Like many others, he does not understood why Usui Sensei, if he was -as many claim – a Tendai Buddhist until his death, has a grave stone in a Pure Land Buddhist cemetery…
Mariko-Obaasan, a Buddhist nun (age 105), apparently has no knowledge of UsuiSensei’s experience on Kurama Yama, although she and her friend met him on Mt. Hiei (Headquarters of the Tendai sect) in 1920 and spent almost every day working with him, up to the time of his death in 1926…
Apparently she says that Usui Sensei was not pro-Meiji; also that he was true to Tendai all his life, and made an offering every day to Amida Nyorai…
According to Mariko-Obaasan, initially there were no levels or grades – students simply worked through a series of exercises until Usui-Sensei felt they were ready to proceed – then in 1923 Usui-Sensei introduced a grading system used by (Jigoro?) Kano. Thus the levels in the original Usui-Do system became: rokyu, gokyu, yankyu, sankyu, nikkyu (CKR symbol taught at this level), ikkyu (SHK symbol ), shodan (HSZSN symbol), nidan (DKM symbol), sandan, yondan, godan, rokudan, shichidan (nanadan)…
Mariko-Obaasan reached the 2nd highest level of Rokudan (in Japan, women were traditionally not allowed to attain the highest levels in a given art)…
Seemingly, Usui-Sensei’s system was one focussing on spiritual growth and Mariko-Obaasan apparently has no knowledge of it having a healing component (i.e. in the sense of being a therapeutic modality for the treatment of others)…
* [ – the “in” of Tenon-In is a title for a nun who takes holy orders after the death of her husband (he had been killed in WW-I)]
George (Tan Lin) Mullen
Like Dave King and Melissa Riggall, George claims to have been trained by Yuji Onuki in 1971…
He says that Yuji Onuki showed them two systems. One, called Usui-Do, was a system of self development – apparently the same as is currently being taught by Dave King…
The second, was a ‘religion’ which Onuki claimed had been developed by Toshihiro Eguchi (a friend and student of Usui Sensei), based on some aspects of Usui Sensei’s work. According to George, it involves summoning a consciousness/deity/kami beyond the self that can guide the practitioner to form a connection with the recipient of the healing…
George further maintains that he (George) studied for some time at a remote Taoist retreat in Heilongjiang province, China, where there is extensive library of ancient Sino-Japanese texts…
He says that in several books there is a clear description of the origins and use of all four Usui symbols, and also the basic philosophy of Usui’s early teachings …
George also says that he has personally seen several (Tendai?) temple records, mentioning Mikao Usui, in the Kansai area of Japan…
** All Energy-Therapies Web – www.aetw.org
“Our feet are our body’s connection to the earth.”– Dr. Andrew Weil
Walk Your Way to Optimum Health
If you don’t think walking is good exercise, think again. In fact, if you walk often enough and fast enough, the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can satisfy your body’s daily requirements for aerobic activity. Dr. Weil has long advocated walking as one of the best forms of exercise.
Here are a few of the reasons walking is so ideal:
- Walking is what your body is designed to do.
- Among all forms of aerobic exercise, walking carries the least risk of injury.
- You can walk almost anywhere, any time.
- Nearly everyone can walk, and it’s something you can do throughout your life.
- It’s free!
- There’s no special skill, training, or equipment needed – all you need is the right footwear.
Without proper footwear walking can be painful, making it difficult to maintain an active lifestyle. But with quality, supportive footwear that restores your foot’s proper alignment and efficiency, walking can become one of your favorite activities – and one that moves you toward optimum health.
Reap the health benefits of walking and moving.
Our bodies are meant to move. If you walk consistently, you can help delay or prevent many of the complaints of aging – aches and pains and increasing immobility. But walking also has more immediate health benefits. For starters, walking can help:
- Manage weight
- Improve mood and help ease depression
- Boost your immune system
- Maintain mental efficiency
- Strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles
- Lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels
- Prevent osteoporosis
- Improve energy and endurance 1,2,3
Those are pretty amazing results from such a simple activity, and several large studies have shown that walking can greatly reduce the risks of developing type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease 4
Start a MOVE-ment, and bring someone with you.
Having trouble getting started? Consider pairing up with a walking partner to help you stay motivated. Not only will you both benefit from the social interaction, but you’ll be more likely to commit to an ongoing program. After all, if you want to develop better lifestyle habits, it helps to spend more time in the company of those who practice them. If you want to walk more, spend more time with people who walk.
As you develop your walking program, set your own pace. Taking 10,000 steps a day is a great goal for improving your overall physical, emotional, and mental fitness. But the journey, as they say, begins with a single step. There’s no better time than now to begin.
Deep conditioning helps to repair damage from perms, coloring, or using a hair dryer. And you probably already have these ingredients in your home. So why go out and spend loads of money on expensive conditioners when this will work just as well, but without all the chemicals and preservatives?
Basic Deep Conditioner
small jar of mayonnaise
half an avocado.
Mash both ingredients into a minty-green paste and then smooth into your hair. Cover your head with plastic wrap and a hot towel. Leave on for 20 minutes.
half an avocado.
1 peeled and mashed Avocado
Combine mashed avocado with some coconut milk in a small bowl. Heat in microwave for approx. 45 seconds. Mix together until smooth and thick as shampoo. Test temperature. Massage mixture into hair. Wrap hair in a hot towel or cover with shower cap for 15 minutes. Shampoo & rinse out.
Fruit Salad Deep Conditioner
1 tablespoon yogurt
Blend all ingredients. Apply to hair. For extra conditioning, squeeze in the contents of a vitamin E capsule. Leave in hair for 15 minutes. Then rinse.
Some days our minds are cluttered with unwanted thoughts. Endless, negative preoccuptaions and worries steal away our precious energy and leave us drained at the end of the day. Take this moment to reflect on your anxiety-provoking thoughts.
Now imagine that you are writing them down on little pieces of paper. Once you have a sufficient stack, in your mind take a walk to the nearest river. At the river’s edge, toss out your harassing thoughts, one by one, saying good-bye to each one. Watch the current carry your worries, like delicate leaves, down the river.
Notice each nagging thought drift away and out of sight. use this river to dump our any unwanted anxiety. Return to it whenever you need to empty your mind.
This is a excerpt from ‘five good minutes’,by Jeffery Brantley, MD and Wendy Millstine. I had never heard of this book until I was the lucky receipent of it as a present from a very good friend. The thought provoking insights have often changed my mindset and I thought I could share this one today.
And once again, Thanks K.O.!
There are far more foods that should never cross your lips, but here’s an excellent analysis of at least 7 of them.
1. Canned Tomatoes
Fredrick Vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A, gives us the scoop:
The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”
The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi.
Budget tip: If your recipe allows, substitute bottled pasta sauce for canned tomatoes. Look for pasta sauces with low sodium and few added ingredients, or you may have to adjust the recipe.
Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming, gives us the scoop:
The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.
The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher.
Budget tip: Cuts on the bone are cheaper because processors charge extra for deboning. You can also buy direct from a local farmer, which can be as cheap as $5 per pound. To find a farmer near you, search eatwild.com.
3. Microwave Popcorn
Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, gives us the scoop:
The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize-and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.
The solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.
Budget tip: Popping your own popcorn is dirt cheap.
4. Nonorganic Potatoes
Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board, gives us the scoop:
The problem: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes-the nation’s most popular vegetable-they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. “Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t,” says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”
The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.
Budget tip: Organic potatoes are only $1 to $2 a pound, slightly more expensive than conventional spuds.
5. Farmed Salmon
David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish, gives us the scoop:
The problem: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You could eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.
The solution: Switch to [more expensive] wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.
Budget tip: Canned salmon, almost exclusively from wild catch, can be found for as little as $3 a can.
Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society, gives us the scoop:
The problem: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production [since it was legalized in the USA in the 1990s, despite massive public protest by people objecting to their childnren’s milk, ice cream, pudding, cream, cheese etc. now being poisoned, with the media and academia and the medical establishment all looking the other way and keeping “good german” silent—Dan]. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. “When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract,” says North. As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies. “There’s not 100% proof that this is increasing cancer in humans,” admits North. “However, it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”
The solution: Check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products.
Budget tip: Try Wal-Mart’s Great Value label, which does not use rBGH.
Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods, gives us the scoop:
The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.
The solution: Buy organic apples.
Budget tip: If you can’t afford organic, be sure to wash and peel them. But Kastel personally refuses to compromise. “I would rather see the trade-off being that I don’t buy that expensive electronic gadget,” he says. Just a few of these decisions will accommodate an organic diet for a family.”
Here’s how to forgive someone the right way.
What happens when you’ve been wronged by another and you want to move on? How do you let it go – get on with your life – and make sure it doesn’t happen again?
The short answer is that you forgive yourself for even having them in your life in the first place – so you don’t have to continue to carry the burden around and so that you *don’t repeat the same experience* – either with this person or another one.
You forgive yourself for ALLOWING it to happen – not for CAUSING it to happen.
Right now you may be in some sort of a mental prison. There may be a lot of resentment and other similar feelings. And what you’re feeling now – the bitterness, the resentment, the anger, the hurt; WILL influence your future relationships.
Bitterness only leads to more bitterness. Hurt leads to more hurt.
Forgiveness is a way to clear out those old feelings from the past so you will be better able to believe in yourself and trust yourself. Not to mention you will be wiser and more perceptive!
But are you responsible for what they did? No, absolutely not. You don’t forgive yourself to make them ‘not guilty’.
You created your reality and they created theirs. And the realities overlapped.
A cheater is basically that way before you meet them. A betrayer is a betrayer before they come into your life. And a punisher would just be punishing someone else if you weren’t around.
The question is – why did I attract someone like this into my life? Of course you didn’t KNOW they would cheat or betray or punish you when you first met them. But then, maybe there were little hints and clues you ignored. I don’t know.
The point is, you allowed it to happen, at least on some level. That ‘allowing’ is your responsibility; something you CAN forgive yourself for.
The value of forgiving yourself is – first of all, it’s empowering to accept responsibility for YOUR contribution. Yes, I understand you were wronged. They engaged in hurtful behavior that was unjustified.
By forgiving yourself, you don’t say their behavior was acceptable. On some level, they must still ‘pay’ for what they did. But that’s not your business. (I understand many try to make it their business!)
But you would be much more productive by dealing with YOUR contribution to these events. And not worrying about their contribution.
“They’ll get theirs.”
But look at the damage it does to YOU by not forgiving yourself. Maybe you don’t believe in yourself anymore. Maybe you don’t trust yourself to make good decisions. Maybe your self-confidence is lacking. Maybe you’re carrying around a ton of pain.
And I would guess many other problems as well have come up because you’ve been wronged. Forgiving yourself can heal the damage they caused. Also, you don’t let someone ‘off the hook’ by forgiving yourself for what they did.
YOU LET *YOU* OFF THE HOOK BY FORGIVING YOURSELF.
Sorry to shout, but I want to make that point clear. By forgiving yourself, you empower yourself. You free yourself from your own private prison of pain.
Here’s the bottom line: You can never truly and completely forgive another until you have first forgiven yourself. That’s why so many people stay stuck in a lack of forgiveness.
Of course you need to forgive the other person to truly be free yourself.
Prevent Disease.com – Soy Lecithin: How It Negatively Affects Your Health And Why You Need To Avoid It
Soy Lecithin has been lingering around our food supply for over a century. It is an ingredient in literally hundreds of processed foods, and also sold as an over the counter health food supplement. Scientists claim it benefits our cardiovascular health, metabolism, memory, cognitive function, liver function, and even physical and athletic performance. However, most people don’t realize what soy lecithin actually is, and why the dangers of ingesting this additive far exceed its benefits.
Lecithin is an emulsifying substance that is found in the cells of all living organisms. The French scientist Maurice Gobley discovered lecithin in 1805 and named it “lekithos” after the Greek word for “egg yolk.” Until it was recovered from the waste products of soybean processing in the 1930s, eggs were the primary source of commercial lecithin. Today lecithin is the generic name given to a whole class of fat-and-water soluble compounds called phospholipids. Levels of phospholipids in soybean oils range from 1.48 to 3.08 percent, which is considerably higher than the 0.5 percent typically found in vegetable oils, but far less than the 30 percent found in egg yolks.
Out of the Dumps
Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a “degumming” process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. Before being bleached to a more appealing light yellow, the color of lecithin ranges from a dirty tan to reddish brown. The hexane extraction process commonly used in soybean oil manufacture today yields less lecithin than the older ethanol-benzol process, but produces a more marketable lecithin with better color, reduced odor and less bitter flavor.
Historian William Shurtleff reports that the expansion of the soybean crushing and soy oil refining industries in Europe after 1908 led to a problem disposing the increasing amounts of fermenting, foul-smelling sludge. German companies then decided to vacuum dry the sludge, patent the process and sell it as “soybean lecithin.” Scientists hired to find some use for the substance cooked up more than a thousand new uses by 1939.
Today lecithin is ubiquitous in the processed food supply. It is most commonly used as an emulsifier to keep water and fats from separating in foods such as margarine, peanut butter, chocolate candies, ice cream, coffee creamers and infant formulas. Lecithin also helps prevent product spoilage, extending shelf life in the marketplace. In industry kitchens, it is used to improve mixing, speed crystallization, prevent “weeping,” and stop spattering, lumping and sticking. Used in cosmetics, lecithin softens the skin and helps other ingredients penetrate the skin barrier. A more water-loving version known as “deoiled lecithin” reduces the time required to shut down and clean the extruders used in the manufacture of textured vegetable protein and other soy products.
In theory, lecithin manufacture eliminates all soy proteins, making it hypoallergenic. In reality, minute amounts of soy protein always remain in lecithin as well as in soy oil. Three components of soy protein have been identified in soy lecithin, including the Kunitz trypsin inhibitor, which has a track record of triggering severe allergic reactions even in the most minuscule quantities. The presence of lecithin in so many food and cosmetic products poses a special danger for people with soy allergies.
The Making of a Wonder Food
Lecithin has been touted for years as a wonder food capable of combating atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, liver cirrhosis, gall stones, psoriasis, eczema, scleroderma, anxiety, tremors and brain aging. Because it is well known that the human body uses phospholipids to build strong, flexible cell membranes and to facilitate nerve transmission, health claims have been made for soy lecithin since the 1920s. Dr. A. A. Horvath, a leading purveyor of soybean health claims at the time, thought it could be used in “nerve tonics” or to help alcoholics reduce the effects of intoxication and withdrawal. In 1934, an article entitled “A Comfortable and Spontaneous Cure for the Opium Habit by Means of Lecithin” was written by Chinese researchers and published in an English language medical journal.
Lecithin, though, did not capture the popular imagination until the 1960s and 1970s when the bestselling health authors Adelle Davis, Linda Clark and Mary Ann Crenshaw hyped lecithin in their many books, including Let’s Get Well, Secrets of Health and Beauty and The Natural Way to Super Beauty: Featuring the Amazing Lecithin, Apple Cider Vinegar, B-6 and Kelp Diet.
Lecithin did not become a star of the health food circuit by accident. Research took off during the early 1930s, right when lecithin production became commercially viable. In 1939, the American Lecithin Company began sponsoring research studies, and published the most promising in a 23-page booklet entitled Soybean Lecithin in 1944. The company, not coincidentally introduced a health food cookie with a lecithin filling known as the “Lexo Wafer” and a lecithin/wheat germ supplement called Granulestin. In the mid 1970s, Natterman, a lecithin marketing company based in Germany, hired scientists at various health clinics to experiment with lecithin and to write scientific articles about it. These “check book” scientists coined the term “essential phospholipids” an inaccurate term since a healthy body can produce its own phospholipids from phosphorous and lipids.
In September 2001, lecithin got a boost when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized products containing enough of it to bear labels such as “A good source of choline.” Producers of soy lecithin hope to find ways to help the new health claim lift demand for lecithin and increase prices in what has been a soft market. Eggs, milk and soy products are the leading dietary sources of choline, according to recent research conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Duke University.
One of the biggest problems associated with soy lecithin comes from the origin of the soy itself. The majority of soy sources in the world are now genetically modified (GM). Researchers have clearly identified GM foods as a threat to the environment, pollution of soils and a long-term threat to human health with links to of the world with unnatural genetic material that may have unknown long-term consequences with links to decreased fertility, immunological alterations in the gut and the exacerbation and creation of allergies.
Genetically engineered soy contains high concentrations of plant toxicants. The presence of high levels of toxicants in the GM soy
represent thousands of plant biochemicals many of which have been shown to have toxic effects on animals.
Unfermented Soy Sources
The manufacture of soy lecithin is also typically confined to unfermented sources because it is quicker and cheaper to make. Unfermented soy products are rich in enzyme inhibitors. Enzymes such as amylase lipase and protease are secreted into the digestive tract to help break down food and free nutrients for assimilation into the body. The high content of enzyme inhibitors in unfermented soybeans interferes with this process and makes carbohydrates and proteins from soybeans impossible to completely digest.
Unfermented soy has been linked to digestive distress, immune system breakdown, PMS, endometriosis, reproductive problems for men and women, allergies, ADD and ADHD, higher risk of heart disease and cancer, malnutrition, and loss of libido.
It is now widely recognized that the only soy fit for human consumption is fermented soy.
Phosphatidyl Choline (PC)
Because many lecithin products sold in health food stores contain less than 30 percent choline, many clinicians prefer to use the more potent Phosphatidylcholine (PC) or its even more powerful derivative drug Glyceryl-phosphorylcholine (GPC). Both are being used to prevent and reverse dementia, improve cognitive function, increase human growth hormone (hGH) release, and to treat brain disorders such as damage from stroke. PC and GPC may help build nerve cell membranes, facilitate electrical transmission in the brain, hold membrane proteins in place, and produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. However, studies on soy lecithin, PC, and brain aging have been inconsistent and contradictory ever since the 1920s. Generally, lecithin is regarded as safe except for people who are highly allergic to soy. However, the late Robert Atkins, MD, advised patients not to take large doses of supplemental lecithin without extra vitamin C to protect them from the nitrosamines formed from choline metabolism. Trimethylamine and dimethylamine, which are metabolized by bacteria in the intestines from choline, are important precurors to N-nitrosodimethylamine, a potent carcinogen in a wide variety of animal species.
Phosphatidyl Serine (PS)
Phosphatidyl serine (PS) — another popular phospholipid that improves brain function and mental acuity – nearly always comes from soy oil. Most of the scientific studies proving its efficacy, however, come from bovine sources, which also contain DHA as part of the structure. Plant oils never contain readymade DHA. Indeed, the entire fatty acid structure is different; bovine derived PS is rich in stearic and oleic acids, while soy PS is rich in linoleic and palmitic acids. Complicating matters further, the PS naturally formed in the human body consists of 37.5 percent stearic acid and 24.2 percent arachidonic acid. Yet soy-derived PS seems to help many people.
Russell Blaylock, MD, author of Excitotoxins, the Taste that Kills, explains that the probable reason PS works is because its chemical structure is similar to that of L-glutamate, the trouble-making neurotransmitter, amino acid and excitotoxin that exists in high concentration in MSG (monosodium glutamate), HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein) and “natural flavorings” and foods containing these soy derivatives. (See Chapter 11.) Because PS competes with glutamate, it may protect us from glutamate toxicity. Ironically, the expensive soy-derived supplement PS is being used to undo damage that may be caused in part by the cheap soy in processed foods
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved lysophosphatidyl-ethanolamine (LPE), another phosphatidyl substance commercially extracted from soybeans, for use as a fruit ripener and shelf-life extender. LPE – once called cephalin — is now being used to treat grapes, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, apples, tomatoes, and cut flowers.
When applied to fruits that are nearly ripe – going into puberty, so to speak — LPE promotes ripening. When applied to picked fruit or cut flowers that are already ripe or blooming, however, it will “reduce senescence by inhibiting some of the enzymes involved in membrane breakdown.” This can dramatically extend shelf life. Whether the substance could also keep human bodies fresh for funeral home viewings has not yet been investigated.