What does the first day of spring mean for us?
This year the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is Wednesday, March 20, 7:02 a.m. Eastern Time: a day of equal balance of the hours of light and dark before the sun continues its journey towards longer daylight hours and warming temperatures.
The equinox energy is strong for four days before and after March 20th, giving us time to bask in the opportunities and lessons it brings.
Why listen to a guided meditation?
Meditation is one of the most beneficial methods of reducing stress and improving health. It has been proven to:
bring deep relaxation
lower blood pressure
strengthen the immune system
If you do not have a regular meditation practice, guided meditations are an excellent place to start. Best of all, it’s effortless.
Let this seven minute guided meditation bring you peace of mind today.Continue reading
“The magic of family meal time comes not from the food on the plate but from who’s at the table and what’s happening there. The emotional and social benefits that come from family dinners are priceless,” said Elizabeth Planet, CASA’s Vice President and Director of Special Projects.
Christmas and Thanksgiving have always been my favorite times of the year: time with family and joyous celebrations. From my 20s on, I lived in California and my family was on the East Coast so I chose Christmas as the time to go East to visit, and spent Thanksgiving with friends in California.
It was always a great day, but there was one very interesting phenomenon that happened most years: everyone was very attached to having dishes from their childhood Thanksgivings. That meant we often ended up with multiple duplicate dishes, just made with different recipes.
I recall a Thanksgiving dinner for 8 that had two large turkeys, four different bowls of cranberries and an assortment of other dishes that could have fed 40. I knew at the time it was because each of us wanted to recapture the magic of our childhood Thanksgiving, but only recently did I start to give it more serious thought.
To me, Veterans Day, celebrated this Monday November 12, just isn’t enough to honor what our veterans have done for this country.
Although I am a pacifist, and was an active anti-war activist during the Vietnam War, I was ashamed of the way our veterans were treated when they returned home.
And I am still deeply saddened by the lack of support and care our veterans receive today.
Yes, war is horrendous, and perhaps if women were running the world there wouldn’t be any wars. But those who did their duty and fought for us deserve better than one day to celebrate them.
“In our culture, whenever we receive a gift of food – whether someone buys us groceries or makes us breakfast or takes us out to dinner – we say that it extends our life. And as we accept that food, we breathe a word of prayer so that the dividends of that gift might be multiplied into the life of the person who gave it.” Bear Heart in The Wind Is My Mother
CEREMONIAL GIFT OF FOOD
Viewing food as a gift is one reason that most Native American ceremonies I have attended include a pot-luck afterwards: we are practicing the gift of life extension by feeding one another.
But before the people eat, a “spirit plate” is prepared and offered to either the Ceremonial Fire or Mother Earth. This represents a thank you for all that we have received and a prayer for the continuation of life and that all the nations on earth have enough food and water always.
Many Native American ceremonies also include Spiritual food on the altar. In the Lakota tradition it may be water, corn, berries and meat that are placed on the altar during the ceremony.
They are placed there as a prayer that the Eagle Nation will come and take the essence of that food to the places in the world where there is not enough food or water. So the food on the altar is a prayer that all the Nations have enough to eat.
This Saturday, September 22 at 10:49 a.m. Eastern Time marks the beginning of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a day of balance of the hours of light and dark.
From here, temperatures begin to fall and daylight hours get shorter than the nights. The word equinox comes from the latin words meaning “equal night.”
Since a balanced life is something we all strive for, yet can be hard to achieve, why not set the goal of having the best possible day of balance in the Equinox? Just one day to start with. One day at a time is often the easiest way to make any change.
Here are 16 tips to help you live a day of balance this Saturday:
Notwithstanding my love of my I-phone and other I-things, I am an old-fashioned girl at heart. For as long as I can remember, my food-related motto has been, “How my grandmother ran her kitchen is good enough for me.”
I have never owned a microwave. Native Americans teach that it kills the spirit of the food.
Even before hearing of that teaching, it intuitively felt wrong to put food in it. We even use the phrase “nuke it” – I rest my case with that statement.
Our society has become so dependent on microwaves that some foods come only with microwave instructions. I recently bought a spaghetti squash with a label for microwave cooking — no other cooking instructions. I was grateful to have a pre-microwave edition of The Joy of Cooking to tell me how to cook it.
Does the energy in food matter? Absolutely!
One thing that doesn’t get much attention in discussions of our food is how the animals we eat are raised and killed and the energy transmitted along with that.
In other words, what you eat affects more than just your diet.
MEDICAL MYSTERY OR CUTTING EDGE SCIENCE?
But first let me tell you about my friend Pete, who developed a sudden love of dark chocolate after receiving a heart transplant. It mystified his wife, but she heard similar stories in their heart transplant support group.
Unusual? Not at all. There are legions of anecdotal stories about organ transplant recipients taking on new interests and food cravings after their transplants:
There’s a lot of discussion these days of where food comes from. And I’m not talking GMO, fertilizer, hormones and antibiotics.
How many of today’s children know that the meat in the package from the supermarket was once a life? That vegetables grow in the ground? That milk comes from cows? Unfortunately, many don’t.
The distance placed between us and the source of our food has desensitized us to the world around us. What we eat used to be a life – and too many of us have lost all awareness of it.
FROM VEGETARIAN BACK TO MEAT EATER
Being raised Irish-American, meat and potatoes was standard fare at my house.
Do you ever wonder why you try to follow the conventional wisdom of recommended dietary guidelines and your health still declines? The brilliant documentary “Forks Over Knives” and the book “The China Study” provide the answers.
“Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health” has been getting a lot of well-deserved positive press lately. The bottom line: we would all be healthier if we eliminated meat and dairy products from our diets.
The film presents excellent research to support the claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by eliminating animal-based and processed foods from our diets.
This is a story about it never being too late to find your voice in every situation. I only just found mine.
Yes, I teach and write about being all you can be, going for your dreams and being fearless – but some lessons take longer to learn than others. Or they come in stages. And as I’ve said many times, we teach what we need to learn.
Given a choice, I always choose a female health practitioner instead of a male. I have had incidents in the past of male practitioners making sexual advances so I figure, why tempt fate?
My primary physician is a man and I am very comfortable with him in all circumstances. But again, all things being equal, I will usually choose a woman.
And yet sometimes we are not given choices, and how often do we just go along with what is happening without expressing what we want?
“Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine.” Slovakian proverb
It seems to be an axiom of life that we take for granted those things that are always present. Our bodies are made primarily of water, as is planet earth. Yet how often do we think about our relationship with water? Or how to protect it and use it?
It is universally accepted that there can be no life without water.
It is the first thing we use every morning and the last thing we use each night. It comes to us in the form of lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, springs and sacred rain.
Ancient prophecy told of a time when we would have to buy our drinking water – that time is here. So that indicates to me it is time to stop taking it for granted.
Ever wonder how the classic Hitchcock thriller “Psycho” is related to clearing the clutter? Probably not, so read on.
If your nerves were on edge while watching “Psycho,” here’s why: every time director Alfred Hitchcock cut to the house on the hill, something was different.
In each shot he would change the location of the door, or the number or placement of windows, or the number of panes in each window.
The shots weren’t held long enough for the viewer to be conscious of what the changes were, only that something was “wrong” with that house. The result? An uneasy feeling throughout the film. That’s why Hitchcock was such a master director.
Feng shui is the ancient art of balancing energies in a space to bring health and good fortune for the inhabitants. Just as we want and need a healthy, balanced body, we need and should want a balanced living environment. This is what Feng Shui provides.
Developed in China over 3,000 years ago, today it is known and practiced throughout the world. It deals with placement of a building on land, location of doors, windows and rooms and objects within the rooms.
I am a believer because I study and teach about energy so feng shui makes perfect sense to me.
Can we learn to be optimistic?
I believe so, and researchers agree.
But it will take some undoing of early programming.
The average fourth grade child has heard the words “no, you can’t do that” over 70,000 times. So we have to work to overcome that negative imprint.
Not only are optimists happier than pessimists, research shows they are healthier, live longer and make more money.
Meditation is perhaps the easiest way to expand your mind, other than using drugs.
I played around with LSD and marijuana on my college weekends and it always gave me a good high. But I reached a point where I didn’t want to rely on something artificial to make me feel good. I wanted to feel good on my own. So I discovered meditation.
My meditation path was brought with ups and downs, which I’ve discussed elsewhere. But now that I’ve settled into a meaningful practice that’s the right one for me, it works like a charm.
Here are the ways it can benefit your mind, body and spirit.Continue reading
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 5.4 million children ages 4 to 17 in the U.S. have been diagnosed at some time with ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ], and 66 percent of those with current ADHD take medication to control the condition.
Is ADHD perhaps over-diagnosed? Might Ritalin be over-prescribed? In my humble opinion, yes. Is there something to be done about it? Yes.