Thursday, September 24, 2009
This is such a thoughtful and thought-provoking article, so worth reflecting upon...I decided to leave it for myself and others here who may want to consider it further, as I turn my computer off and prepare to depart for the two-day road trip to the SparkConvention. Loves me those road trips!
A Macrobiotic Approach to Good Health
by Delia Quigley
So often the meaning of good health is equated with lack of sickness. According to Macrobiotic principles, health encompasses a much broader scope of qualities and is not just about avoiding disease. Spiritual wellness requires that we know our Self on a deeper level of consciousness, mental health is knowing our purpose in life and the joy we bring to living that purpose, physical health is intimately entwined with our relationship to the earth, the way we grow our food, how we honor the environment and treat all life and living creatures.
The modern technologies we created were meant to provide us with more time to relax, be with loved ones, take care of ourselves and reduce stress. Instead, those technologies have only placed more burden on our shoulders. We now need more time to work longer hours to earn less money to grab time to relax for a few minutes each day. It is easy to get out of touch with our body, feeding it quick meals without slowing down and chewing each mouthful. It is not until there is pain, fever or exhaustion do some people see a doctor and receive medical care. But what if there was a way to assess your health by observing certain conditions that would alert you to any changes?
In The Book of Macrobiotics, The Universal Way of Health and Happiness, founder and author Michio Kushi outlines 7 conditions for optimal health, which I have condensed for your perusal:
1. Lack of Fatigue: Health means we should be able to adapt to whatever the day brings us without feeling overly fatigued. After a long day of work, it is natural to feel tired, but recovery should require a short rest or good nights sleep. We should be physically and mentally alert and prepared to respond to ever changing events with energy and a spirit of adventure.
2. Good Appetite: Appetite here means for food, sex, activity, knowledge, work, experience, health, freedom and happiness. The bigger the appetite, the richer the life. Lack of appetite slows progress and reduces our enjoyment for life. The caution here is moderation, as over-satisfaction reduces appetite and eventually slows down our life activity.
3. Good Sleep: Sleep should be deep and restful. This happens after a day of energetic physical and mental activity. Cloudy or fragmented dreams or nightmares, are all a sign of physical and mental unrest. When the mind and body are healthy, dreams can be interpreted as corresponding to real circumstances and are respected as insight into our lives.
4. Good Memory: Memory is the mother of our judgment. Without memory of what we have experienced, we have no judgment or ability to evaluate life's changing circumstances. Good memory is essential to a meaningful life.
5. Lack of Anger: Anger shows limitation, lack of patience and an inability to make an effort to understand. In one Asian translation of its written characters anger means an "acute sickness of the liver". Good health shows a willingness to accept circumstances with a smile, to make friends of an enemy, and resolve difficult moments in peaceful ways.
6. Be Joyous and Alert: Life calls on us to be active and alert to our surroundings and respond to each moment with joy and good humor. A joy filled life inspires those around us and is the natural result of good health.
7. Have Endless Appreciation: We are healthy when we experience appreciation for the order of the universe and for all phenomena manifesting within this universe. We receive life's bounty with endless gratitude, and we respond by giving with generosity.
Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle designed to achieve optimal health and well being, based on her 28 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics videos and classes, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia's credentials include holistic nutritional counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker.
Quigley is the author of seven books on health and nutrition, including:The Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, The Complete Idiots Guide to Detoxing Your Body, The Everything SuperFoods Book, and Empowering Your Life With Meditation, available on Amazon.com. To view her website go to: www.deliaquigley.com
Monday, September 21, 2009
By Cait Johnson, author of Earth,Water, Fire, and Air (SkyLight Paths, 2003).
We are often urged to practice peace with every step. But how closely do our behaviors match up to this ideal?
Here's a fun quiz to give you an idea of where you fit in on the spectrum of peace. You may want to share it with your friends and co-workers! Take the Peace Quotient Quiz here to see how well you practice peace in your daily life:
Which of the following is CLOSEST to the response you would usually have to the following situations?
1. When someone tailgates me, I usually:
a. Mouth obscenities at them or flip them the bird.
b. Slow down to really, really aggravate them.
c. Pull over so they can pass me.
2. When a salesperson is really snippy to me, I usually:
a. Snarl at them or make rude remarks to them.
b. Report them to their supervisor.
c. Make an effort to be especially friendly, since they must be having a bad day.
3. When a serious misunderstanding crops up between me and a friend, I usually:
a. Yell at the person or write them a nasty note.
b. Talk behind the person's back to our other friends, to make sure everyone is on my side.
c. Suggest a meeting so we can talk the problem through.
4. A loved one is very upset with me for something I did. I usually:
a. Remind him or her of the obnoxious things she or he has done in the past. The best defense is a good offense!
b. Get back at them by giving them the cold shoulder and punishing them with silence.
c. Empathize with them for feeling upset.
5. After an especially grueling day at work, I usually:
a. Take it out on those nearest and dearest to me. I can be a real bear!
b. Pour myself a stiff drink or flip on the television.
c. Take a brisk walk, meditate, or take a soothing bath to wind down and de-stress.
6. In my group of friends or relatives, I am usually:
a. The cause of conflicts, or at least at the center of them.
b. The one who keeps conflicts going by talking about people behind their backs.
c. The person others come to for advice on resolving conflicts.
7. The following most clearly sums up my attitude to life in general:
a. Nuke 'em. Or, sue the bastards.
b. Trust no one. Everyone is out for themselves.
c. We're all in this together, so we may as well do our best to get along.
If you answered mostly "a," you tend to be a bit belligerent and pugnacious. You might benefit from an anger management course! And have you had your blood pressure checked lately?
If you answered mostly "b," you are more passive-aggressive. You usually avoid direct confrontation, but you're not exactly promoting peace, either. You might want to get some assertiveness training so you can be more direct without being aggressive.
If you answered mostly "c," congratulations! You are doing your best to being peace and understanding to your little corner of the world.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
OMG! If ONLY I could truly integrate and LIVE this I would be at my goal weight and living each day with joy, presence and mindfulness:
By Susan Corso, Ode Magazine
Acceptance is the key to change, and the key to peace.
"On the other side of acceptance is where peace exists, where the solutions are," says Ariane de Bonvoisin, author of The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier, quoted in the August 2009 Guideposts.
In 27 years of counseling, I have found that what Ms. De Bonvoisin says is always true. Always. No exceptions.
Do you believe me?
The opposite of acceptance is resistance, and strangely, resistance is what magnetizes to us exactly what we don't want. In facing whatever we don't want, and accepting it as it is, we are then able to reach peace around whatever the 'it' is.
Try this scenario: You really dislike your current job. Really dislike it. You want to quit, but for various reasons, you can't. Rather than continue to resist the job, begin to find things you can appreciate (and therefore accept) about it. I've seen it work over and over again. When acceptance comes, change can happen.
Think of the thing you most resist in your current life. It could be a relationship, a task, an assignment, anything. Notice your own resistance to it. Begin to switch your resistance to appreciation, and you will find yourself living into acceptance of what is. Once you accept what is, it's pretty easy to change it.
One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is that we actually resist peace on this planet. We make peace a when/then possibility. When I lose 15 pounds, then I'll be at peace. Why not be at peace with the 15 pounds, and let them melt away?
When there's a Republican/Democrat in the White House, then I'll be at peace. Why?
When I'm out of debt, then I'll be at peace. Why? Why wait to be at peace? What do you get from waiting, from postponing peace? I don't think we get any benefit from it.
Like the gift of the present moment, peace can only exist in this momen--now. And then the next now. Delaying it doesn't help anyone.
Try acceptance if you want peace.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
...by my teacher, Swami Satchidananda:
"We do not know how much we have done before and how much we have to suffer to undo those deeds but the karmic law knows it. Sometimes, to us, it may seem to be terrible suffering; still, we should accept and undergo that suffering. There is no intention to destroy a person by giving him or her more hardship. The intention is to purify the person, so the suffering and the hardship come according to the capacity of the individual. If you face it with all courage, even the suffering becomes very mild. It is up to you. In fact, pain becomes stronger or milder according to how one faces it.
"OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti."
I understand that the Law of Cause and Effect impacts, and is impacted by, every aspect of life, from my manner of living and caring for myself and others, to my interest in and success with conscious living. It's rather mind-blowing in its implication. EVERYTHING I do (Every cause), good or bad, conscious or unconscious, has an effect. So it behooves me to make strong effort to, "Do good and be good," as the great teacher Master Sivananda recommends.
Friday, September 18, 2009
(and on the filter!) Here's why:
Last year Americans spent 15 billion dollars on bottled water and the sales estimate for 2007 is 16 billion dollars. One can argue that itâ€™s money down the drain because the truth has been watered down by some of the largest bottlers. About 24% of bottled water is just filtered tap water; like Aquafina and Dasani.
You can achieve exactly the same quality of water by installing a filter on your faucet at home. If the cost ($100 or less) of purchasing a filter for your home causes you to hesitate, consider this; you can buy a half-liter of bottled water for $1.35. If you filled this same bottle with filtered tap water once a day, it would take roughly 10 years before you spent that $1.35. However, if you purchased one bottle of water every day, after 10 years you will have spent $4,927.50.
GET OFF THE BOTTLE
Besides the incredible savings that you get with filtered tap water, there are environmental and socially responsible reasons that just strengthen the case for the tap.
Environmental Reasons - Plastic is a petroleum based product. The pollutants associated with the manufacture and transportation of these plastic bottles is unnecessarily damaging to the environment. Of the 50 billion plastic water bottles used last year, about 38 billion went straight to landfills. The plastic in those landfilled bottles is worth around $1 billion. 12 billion bottles were recycled, but remember that plastic doesnâ€™t recycle into the same quality plastic. It can only be recycled a finite number of times before it can no longer be recycled.
Socially Responsible Reasons - Like other water from pristine ecosystems, Fiji bottled water is collected from natural sources and shipped halfway across the earth to the US where we already have clean drinking water in every home. Unfortunately, Fiji doesnâ€™t have a great public water system and last year Fijians fell ill with typhoid casued by contaminated drinking water. When over 1 billion people in the world donâ€™t have access to safe drinking water, buying bottled water with all its associated financial, environmental and social costs seems irresponsible â€“ especially when a home filter gives you the same or better quality water than bottled water.
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