A devastating typhoon in the Philippines has left tens of thousands dead, injured or homeless.
Current U.N. and Philippine government estimates indicate over 9 million people are affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan [Yolanda] across the country.
620,000 have been displaced from their homes and communities. Many thousands are without food, water, shelter or electricity and have been for days.
The feelings of grief and helplessness on the part of those of us who read about this tragedy are palpable. The world is mobilizing to send humanitarian aid; the U.S. Navy is sending aircraft carriers equipped for disaster relief.
What can we do?
Sleep gets short shrift in our society. Health advocates promote the importance of diet and exercise, but sleep is seldom mentioned.
Yet it’s the third leg of the health tripod.
We spend over one-third [36%] of our lives doing it. So if you’re 90 years old, you’ve spent 32 years asleep. Sobering, isn’t it?
The latest research shows that sleep is a bit of a miracle drug and we should all be taking it more seriously.
I’ll admit that I have spent a fair amount of time in my life fantasizing about how much more I could get done if I had more waking hours. I’ve even written posts on how to be more productive.
But no less a power player than Arianna Huffington, in her TED talk, sang the praises of getting enough sleep. That’s a position she moved to after fainting from exhaustion, hitting her head on her desk, and breaking her cheekbone requiring five stitches on her right eye.
Getting enough sleep improves your life in so many ways that it could be considered a key to success, in spite of Margaret Thatcher saying sleep is for wimps and Thomas Edison’s proclamation that it’s a criminal waste of time.
If you’re like me, you often think, “oh, if only there were more hours in a day, or another day in the week, then I could get it all done.”
Even if there were, I probably wouldn’t get it all done.
We don’t really need more time, we need to make better use of the time we have.
The trick is not to get more done. The trick is to decide what you really need/want to be doing and eliminate the rest.
Successful people know how to focus their time and energy. Being productive relies on the ability to distinguish between tasks that move you closer to your goals and tasks that don’t.
Most of us have heard the Native American term “it is a good day to die.” It was usually said in the movies by a Native warrior as he rode off into battle. But how often do we think about what that really means? Do we live as though each day is a good day […]Continue reading
I have been facilitating a Full Moon Drumming Circle for the past six years and I always get the same comment/question when new people inquire about joining us:
“I’ve never drummed before and I don’t know how to do it.”
The fact is: everyone knows how to drum. It’s in our DNA and is one of the oldest means of communication, meditation and musical expression.
So I just tell them to have courage, keep a steady beat and follow the leader. Nothing could be simpler.
When I purchased my first house over 15 years ago, I was pretty darn excited. About everything, even weeding.
I do know that, in the bigger picture of things, weeds are simply plants that we don’t know the use for. . . yet.
But sometimes they grow where we don’t want them. And what’s to be done, but … weeding!
Being in Southern California, I studied drought resistant plants and took pride in doing all my own landscaping.
I remember a friend being over one day and as we sat on the patio I saw a few weeds in the flower bed and reached down to pull them out. She made some comment about weeding and I said, “Yes, I’ll be weeding the rest of my life.”
We laughed at the time, but it was an off hand comment that was truly prophetic.
So what does it mean to be weeding for the rest of our lives. I’m not going to go into the esoteric teachings of removing negative thoughts and habits from our lives, though that is a good analogy.
I’m really going to talk about weeding an outdoor garden and how to make the best of it.
The next time you see a group of trees, don’t just admire their beauty. Say thank you for all they do for us.
Did you know trees communicate with one another? They have a consciousness far beyond our awareness.
They also fight crime. Read on.
NATIVE AMERICAN TEACHINGS ON TREES
“It’s amazing what you feel from a tree. It can give us energy. When we take long hikes in wooded areas, we often put our fingertips on the ends of the cedar or the pine needles. Just standing there touching them, you’re going to feel energy come to you. Trees are emitting energy all the time. Every needle of the tree, every leaf, is trying to make the atmosphere breathable for us. That’s why my people have great respect for trees. The trees are our relatives — we call them “tall standing brothers.” Bear Heart in “The Wind Is My Mother”
If you’re like me, I was taught in grade school that the U.S. Constitution was based on ancient Greek democracy. This is quite a stretch, since ancient Greece government was not democratic.
My research into what children are taught today about the origin of our government is also disappointing.
Apparently the founding fathers simply created it out of thin air, or were influenced by European governments. This depute the fact there was no democracy anywhere in Europe at that time.
THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE U.S CONSTITUTION
The truth is that the U.S. Constitution is modeled in both principle and form on the Great Law of Peace of the Native American tribe known as the Iroquois.
This is absolutely, unequivocally historical fact.
The nature of wolves is something the average person doesn’t usually give any thought to. And yet most Native Americans are very aware of the wolf nation, their gifts and their nature.
So I thought it would be worth a blog post. Because wolves are in great danger now, and they need our help.
My first introduction to the nature of wolves
Years ago, my very favorite TV show was “The West Wing” — a fictional show about what goes on behind the scenes in the running of the presidency and our country.
One episode that stands out in my mind was the fictional workday during which senior staff met with fringe special interest groups. Not the kind of special interest groups that have expensive lobbyists behind them. Special interest groups that have no money but a forward-thinking idea.
One might call them “seventh generation” ideas.
Do you know what you have in common with astronauts? You both need to be in touch with the energy of Mother Earth in order to be healthy. And “Earthing” [also known as “grounding”] is an easy way to do it.
KEEPING ASTRONAUTS IN TOUCH WITH THE EARTH
We are so dependent on the earth’s energy, also known as her electromagnetic fields [EMF], that when we leave the planet for prolonged periods, we suffer.
The first Astronauts in space for long periods experienced what was called “space sickness” – nausea and disorientation.
The cause was a mystery until one scientist, Prof. Winfried Schumann, theorized it was because the astronauts, upon leaving the earth’s atmosphere, were deprived of the earth’s “song” or electromagnetic resonance.
There’s a saying that everyone knows they’re going to die, but no one believes it. The same is true of natural disasters – everyone knows it could happen in their town, but no one believes it will.
And then it does. And the big question will be: were you prepared?
This is not the post I had planned for this week. I was going to write about “Earthing” – the healing benefits of standing barefoot on Mother Earth.
But this week, my life got interrupted by a natural disaster, and I felt there would be more benefit in a post on the unexpected lessons that occur when Mother Earth seems [emphasis on the word “seems”] to turn against us.
Once again, scientists are proving what indigenous people and nature lovers have always known: being outdoors is healthy! Specifically, new research shows that being surrounded by a forest environment, or “forest therapy” can improve your health. And may even help fight cancer.
In Japan, forest therapy, or shinrin-yoku, is standard preventative medicine. It’s not about being alone in the wilderness or extreme outdoor sports, it’s about allowing your body and psyche to hang out in the peace of the woods.
The term shinrin-yoku was coined by the Japanese government in 1982, but is based on ancient Shinto and Buddhist practices. [There’s that ancient wisdom again!] It’s also known as “forest bathing.”
It was just a few decades ago when people made fun of “tree huggers” — as a former “tree hugger” myself, I now feel thoroughly vindicated!
THE RESEARCH ON “FOREST THERAPY”
Over 8.6 trillion text messages are sent across the world each day. And not one of them is from me.
I don’t text. And it’s not because I’m a technophobe.
As a writer, I spend most of the day on the computer and thank God regularly for the convenience it brings me.
And even though I love my iPhone, I have had texting disabled on it. Here are my reasons:
ONE: When one of my favorite T.V. character was asked why he doesn’t text, he replied “It’s for teenage girls.” I’m inclined to agree.
The average teen sends over 3000 texts per month. But the average teenage girl sends 4000. And these texts have a 100% open rate. How does that leave time for anything else?
TWO: People don’t talk to one another enough. Pick up the friggin’ phone and tell me what you want me to know.
THREE: Receiving texts interrupts you and keeps you from being in the moment. We live in a world full of distractions and it’s harder and harder to focus.
FOUR: In my opinion, texting is no easier than phoning now that smart phones can understand voice commands and make phone calls for us: “Siri, please call Jane” and, voila, I am connected to Jane.
The power of prayer can take many forms. Bear Heart said, “Let your every step be as a prayer.”
What does that mean to you?
To me it means walking the earth each day with respect. And it means being ready to offer a prayer at a moment’s notice.
And prayer can take the form of acts of kindness, because that carries the same energy as prayer.
LEARNING HOW TO PRAY
I was raised a Catholic and prayer was something one memorized: the Our Father or the Hail Mary were the two most popular prayers I learned.
When I started attending Native American ceremonies, I was in awe of how people prayed from their heart, in their own words. It took a year or so of being in that environment before I felt comfortable praying out loud in ceremony. Now it’s second nature.
In continuous print since 1996 and translated into 12 languages, The Wind Is My Mother has struck a chord around the world with Bear Heart’s simple wisdom. “A compelling and important work. . . Bear Heart’s is a truthful, honest voice which has let us into his world, and our world is better for it.” […]Continue reading
[quote]”Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” Fitzhugh Dodson[/quote] The concept of making “new year’s resolutions” has been a bit of a joke in our society for about as long as I can remember — the joke being that “resolution” has become synonymous […]Continue reading
I know how easy it is to feel powerless in today’s complex world. That’s why it’s really important for you to know about The Butterfly Effect.
The Butterfly Effect was first stated in 1963 by mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz, a pioneer in chaos theory.
It states that a butterfly could flap its wings on one side of the world, creating tiny changes in the atmosphere, that in turn set molecules of air in motion that eventually could create [or prevent] a tornado in another part of the world.
So what does that have to do with your life? A lot!
Are you asking the right questions? This occurred to me recently when I was feeling a bit sad for no apparent reason.
Instead of staying stuck there, I stopped and asked myself, “What am I really upset about? What’s really going on here?” And the answer came. There’s always a deeper reason affecting us.
In truth, some of the turning points in my life, and in the life of some of my friends, have come from asking the right questions.
Here’s a list of what I consider some of the best.
“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.
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: