Loving what is – Byron Katie

Posted December 16th, 2015 in Great reading, Soul Food by Rebecca Lane

I am reminded of the synchronicities of life that Michael Singer discusses in his books – for shortly after I finished reading The Surrender Experiment, one of my clients shared with me the audiobook Loving What Is by Byron Katie.

Byron Katie’s work is called Inquiry and offers a beautiful, framework for learning from the inner voice. Whenever a thought comes up that triggers an emotional reaction, immediately use the 4 questions to discover what is real, and where the opportunity for growth lies.

The process –

  1. Hear the thought, feel the emotional response.
  2. Write it down – Byron Katie even has a fabulous worksheet called Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet available here: http://thework.com/sites/thework/downloads/worksheets/JudgeYourNeighbor_Worksheet.pdf
  3. Ask the questions – Is it true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? Who would u be without the thought?
  4. Turn the thought around – this is where the opportunity for growth lies. Reread the statement, replacing the name of the person you are judging with your own name, and recognize that you do this very thing to yourself. That this other person is actually acting as a mirror for you to learn and grow. Further, you can turn it around to the other person and recognize that by your judging, you actually do this action to the other person in response to your perception that they are doing it to you – because of your story.

There are many resources on Byron Katie’s site available for free use at www.thework.com. And I strongly recommend purchasing the audiobook Loving What Is available for about $20 on iTunes. My husband, Mark, and I have been listening to it in the car on our weekend drive up to the cottage. It certainly makes for interesting Saturday morning conversations as we release layers of hurt during the night!

So, what does the title Loving What Is refer to?

The learning, the understanding that flows through this work is that there are two worlds – reality and our story. Our business, our journey is clearing the layers of our story so that we can recognise what is reality and stop struggling to change it. It is. Unchangeable. And the struggle against reality destroys us, makes us sad, exhausted, disempowered. Makes us sick.

The opportunity is to unconditionally love reality – whatever shows up, embrace it fully. As Michael Singer says, “life is going to put us through the changes we need to go through. The question is: Are we willing to use this force (reality) for our transformation?”

Loving What Is – a powerful tool to use over the holidays to transform. I intend to share it with my family, so here you go! Enjoy the journey.

The Surrender Experiment – Michael A. Singer

Posted December 16th, 2015 in Great reading, Soul Food by Rebecca Lane

Several weeks ago, I sent an email to Bob Proctor asking him to update us on what he is reading at the moment so that I could have some ideas for new books to look at. I was directed to his blog where he has some great ideas: http://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/6483/six-books-to-read-this-year, but I had already read most of them.

So then, I asked clients and friends to share what they are reading. This presented many great options, and I’m going to share two of them in this post and the next.

I have a special friend who lives in Atlanta who has been on an incredible journey of self-discovery over the past year and it has been a privilege to watch him! He told me that he had come across Michael A. Singer through Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday’s http://original.livestream.com/supersoulsunday/video?clipId=pla_013d598c-fe7c-4671-8eca-5a37074e5825. Oprah discusses one of his books, The Untethered Soul on the clip – but when I went to Chapters, the book that pulled me was the book that followed called The Surrender Experiment. Here are some of my favourite quotes from this book – the pieces that were “aha’s” for me.

His book is all about his experiment to fully surrender to the universal flow of life – “to always be present in the current moment and do my best to not allow my personal preferences to make decisions for me.” (129) “My formula for success was very simple: Do whatever is put in front of you with all your heart and soul without regard for personal results. Do the work as though it was given to you by the universe itself – because it was.” (133) Whenever he experienced any resistance to his experiment, “I simply stopped for a moment, took a breath, and recognized all the negativity as my mind’s initial resistance to change.” (140) Sound familiar? “I had already learned time and again that it didn’t matter if I understood what was happening; it was sufficient to devote myself to the present moment and trust that the flow of life knew what it was doing.” (172)

He realized that “there were two very distinct aspects of what we call mind. There was the logical, thought-driven mind that links together what we already know into complex patterns of thought in order to come up with logical solutions. Then there was the intuitive, inspiration-driven mind that can look at a problem and instantly see a creative solution. As it turned out, the years of spiritual work I had done to quiet that voice in my head had opened the door for almost constant inspiration. It seemed that the quieter the mind, the more the solutions became self-evident.” (150)

On change – “Perhaps change only takes place when there is sufficient reason to overcome the inertia of everyday life. Challenging situations create the force needed to bring about change. The problem is that we generally use all that stirred-up energy intended to bring about change, to resist change. I was learning to sit quietly in the midst of the howling winds and wait to see what constructive action was being asked of me.” (160)

More on the inner voice – “the more I was willing to let go of the inner voice created by my personal likes and dislikes, the more I could see synchronicities in what was unfolding around me. These unexpected concurrences of events were like messages from life gently nudging me in the direction she was going. I listened to the subtle nudges instead of listening to the not-so-subtle mental and emotional reactions caused by my personal preferences. this is how I practiced surrender in everyday life.” (168)

“What I saw was that no matter who we are, life is going to put us through the changes we need to go through. The question is: Are we willing to use this force for our transformation?” (185) He found that “letting go … left me in a state of profound inner peace. I was not in charge, life was in charge, and there was an underlying sense of enthusiasm and excitement about getting to see what would happen next.” (189) In fact, “the constant act of letting go of one’s self-centered thoughts and emotions was all that was needed for profound personal, professional, and spiritual growth. All I did was my very best to serve what was put in front of me and let go of what it stirred up within me. It was not my responsibility to find what was binding me; that was life’s job. My responsibility was to willingly let go of whatever was brought up within me.” (252)

I hope that these insights stir you to delve deeper. I certainly found them powerful winds of change!

After reading Michael’s book, one of my clients brought into my office the audiobook of The Work of Byron Katie. What a perfect transition to a tool that supports letting go of our painful thoughts.

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Alkalising the body for healing

Two Phases of Disease and Health

A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending a META-medicine weekend taught by Richard Flook (www.whyamisick.com). META-medicine combines many energetic tools with the research of German New Medicine (http://www.germannewmedicine.ca/). I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, but if you want to learn more about both or either of these methodologies I encourage you to visit their sites and read Richard’s book (Why Am I Sick) for a new way of looking at disease.

From a nutritional perspective, I wanted to discuss the two phases of disease so that you might be able to understand how our body works with respect to the food it craves.

According to both META-medicine and GNM, after the body undergoes a shock, there are two main phases – stress (immediately after the Significant Emotional Experience 2) followed by rest.

During the stress phase, the body is reacting from the Sympathetic Nervous System programming of fight, or flight. The blood thins, the blood pressure increases – the body is in a state of alertness and needs to be naturally acidic. To maintain this state, the cells are working and need energy. We need energy foods, and supplements or drugs that keep the body in this state of alertness. We crave foods like red meat, dairy, high sugar and salt foods, processed foods (quick energy), drinks like alcohol, caffeine, tea, high energy drinks, supplements such as caffeine tablets, drugs such as cortisone, smoking and chemotherapy. These foods both give quick energy and are acidic.

Activities such as sports, watching certain sports, intensive travel, fighting, arguing, worry all increase acidity further.

In the second phase, our body needs to heal and rest. The body is reacting from the Parasympathetic Nervous System patterns of digesting, relaxing and repair. The blood thickens, the blood pressure drops, the body becomes more alkaline.

To heal, the body needs to eat foods that alkalise, such as vegetables, some fruit, beans, grains and nuts, drinks such as camomile teas and fruit teas, supplements like Magnesium and Selenium.

This rest and regeneration phase is assisted by activities such as massage, meditation, energetic healing, yoga, emotional clearing techniques and naps during the day.

Our diets reflect what we are going through in our lives as well. We are naturally attracted to the foods that our bodies require in order to do the job they need to do. In addition, many of us are eating foods through habit, which keep our bodies stuck in the stress phase. The longer our bodies stay in the stress phase the harder it is to remove all of the toxins built up through the energy production and the break down of the cells.

In our current stressful lifestyles, it often takes the combination of an alkalising diet, meditation and mental clearing, and a detoxification program in order for our bodies to be able to regenerate and heal.

There’s a lot of information available online about alkalising diets, but I personally like best the information from Robert and Shelly Young who wrote The pH Miracle. Their blog is an excellent resource: Articles of Health. And you can get a free list of alkaline foods if you sign in at Energise for Life. A vegetarian diet that focuses on lots of raw and steamed vegetables (juicing is great too as long as you’re eating fibre elsewhere in your diet), sea vegetables, protein from the combination of whole grains (brown rice, kamut, quinoa, oats, teff, spelt, bulgur, amaranth), nuts and seeds, and beans, lentils and peas. Small amounts of fish and chicken can be added once the pH of your saliva starts to stabilize around 7.365. The longer you’ve been living a stress-filled lifestyle, the longer you’ll need to alkalise.

One caveat – If you decide to take alkalising supplements, I strongly recommend that you have the support of a naturopathic or homeopathic practioner. Also, your stomach needs to be acidic in order to digest food so you don’t want to be alkalising within one hour of eating.

Power Up Your Brain – the brain’s evolution

Posted June 27th, 2011 in Great reading by Rebecca Lane

Power Up Your Brain

This past month, I’ve been reading an incredible book called “Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment by David Perlmutter, MD, FACN and Alberto Villoldo, PhD. Dr. Perlmutter is a neuroscientist, Dr. Villoldo a shaman. Interesting, to say the least!

This book is full of information that looks at the whole body and the effects of stress and trauma not only on the physical body but on the emotional and mental body.  It’s also packed with new discoveries about the brain as more research is being done and dispelling myths.

I would like to go over the information given about the brain’s evolution and how that affects us today.  As I read the book, I made notes and I’ll use those notes to write this blog. However, I strongly recommend that you add this book to your reading list because I’ll only be scratching the surface of the information that is given within.

“Anger, fear, jealousy, greed, and worry, while comonplace, undermine our inner peace and sense of worth. But even while … meditating …the mind continues to chase thoughts, compose to-do lists, and fret about activities not yet completed and situations not yet resolved.”

The old brains – reptilian and limbic

Although your brain has unlimited potential, currently it relies on the neural networks created by the prehistoric, survival-at-all-costs brain regions – the reptilian brain and the limbic brain.

The first brain is the reptilian brain, which is anatomically very similar to the brain of modern-day reptiles. This area of the brain is completely instinctual and only concerned with survival (involved in the fight or flight response). It regulates the autonomic functions of breathing, heart rate, digestion and body temperature. It feels no emotions at all.

The second brain is the limbic brain (or mammalian brain) comprised of the amygdala, the hypothalamus and the hippocampus. In the limbic system, signals brought to the brain from the five senses are decoded according to the four F’s – fear, feeding, fighting and fornication. This is the brain of instinct and emotion programmed in us according to the cultural environment we grew up in. Through it we develop behaviours that keep us out of harms way.

The hippocampus acts as a way station, acquiring information from the five senses and sending it out for processing via the amygdala (if there is a perceived threat the amygdala governs our fight-or-flight response) or via the cerebral cortex for all other information. When the hippocampus begins to deteriorate (as a result of free radical damage and oxidative stress from trauma and long-term stress), new experiences are less likely to be stored and remembered (seen in diseases like Alzheimers).

The new brains – neocortex and prefrontal cortex

Luckily, you can overcome the toxic emotions of your old wiring , and the conditioning based on negative experiences from the past. You can heal the old brain and create new neural connections – thereby engaging newer, higher, more evolved brain structures – the neocortex, the prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate.

The third brain is the neocortex which is responsible for speech, writing and higher-order thinking in humans. “If we do not need to fear, fight, seduce, or dine with a person we encounter in any particular situation, the thalamus relays the sensory information, colored by the joys, excitements, worries, or concerns of the limbic brain, to the neocortex for reflection and appropriate behaviour.”

“The neocortex processes signals in a holistic fashion, interpreting environmental sights and sounds into coherent messages. . . It is in these higher cortical areas that selfless love, reasoning, and logic take place. This brain allows us to create new ideas and entertain notions such as democracy as well as to understand mathematics, write poetry, compose music and art, dream of freedom and envision the future.”

This brain can think in terms of time and space. It can store food for the winter, mark the turning of the seasons, and plan and recognize future actions and consequences as good and bad, right and wrong. The neocortex can restrain the Four F’s of the limbic brain and is involved in meditative and transcendental experiences.

The Evolution of the Brain and the Mind

“Thousands of years ago, our ancestors faced a neurological opportunity similar to the one we face today, an opportunity that facilitated an evolutionary leap forward. With the awakening of the neocortex, our forebears acquired a new brain structure that nature had wired for joy, creativity and innovation.

To access that potential, our ancestors required specific nutrients to provide fuel to run their neurocomputer. Once they added brain-enriching foods to their diet, the faculties of certain individuals, the visionaries of their day, came online and began to create great works of art, devise written languages, establish civilizations, and lay the foundations for our modern experience.”

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) found in rich supply in fish and mollusks, is a brain food that has become increasingly scarce in the human diet of today. However DHA provided the neuronutrient boost that brought the prefrontal cortex online.

The prefrontal cortex is associated with personal initiative, invention, science, creative thinking. “When our brain functions synergistically, our prefrontal cortex is fully awakened and we have the ability to develop the very highest form of intelligence and creativity and remain grounded and effective in the world.”

Understanding the conflict between the old brain and new brain

“The old brain perceives the world as a frightening place, filled with rivals competing for the same scarce resurces. To this brain, what matters most is survival, and it is always ready to fight or to flee. It gave rise to the belief that the spirit world is populated with fierce gods who demand sacrifice and that the physical world is prey to invisible forces that are to be appeased. It seeks magical and religious explanations for natural phenomena.”

The new brain, however, understands that we do not have to live in a continuous state of threat – or to be constantly striving for wealth and in constant conflict and competition to justify greed. “It comprehends, rather, that we are all interconnected, that we can practice compassion by ‘turning the other cheek’ . . . and that physical ‘death’ is really an opportunity to return to a heavenly realm.” This higher mind-set calls out to the ways of love.

The most recently developed part of the brain is the anterior cingulate, which mediates empathy, social awareness, intuition, compassion and the ability to regulate emotion. “Its functionality, or lack thereof, helps determine whether our day-to-day behavior is reflexive and fear-motivated or is a manifestation of our uniquely human ability to recognize a wide array of choices, implications, and consequences.” Meditation and other spiritual practices strengthen the anterior cingulate while also calming the primitive amygdala.

It’s interesting, but not surprising to discover that anger produces the opposite effect to meditation. Anger shuts down communication to the prefrontal cortex. Emotion and fear determine and dominate behavior.

“Anger interrupts the functioning of your frontal lobes. Not only do you lose the ability to be rational, you lose the awareness that you’re acting in an irrational way. When your frontal lobes shut down, it is impossible to listen to the other person, let alone feel empathy or compassion . . .”

However, when you intensely and consistently focus on your spiritual values and goals, you increase the blood flow to your frontal lobes and anterior cingulate, which cause the activity in emotional centers of the brain to decrease.

Based on the fact that meditation enhances the functionality and capability of this circuitry, a very important link has been made between the physical brain and spirituality. “We believe that there is a coevolution of spirituality and consciousness, engaging circuits that allow us to envision a benevolent, interconnecting relationship between the universe, God and ourselves.”

Tomorrow, I’ll discuss the role of the mitochondria and how they control the fate of the cell.

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Interesting article at What Doctors Don’t Tell You

Posted February 24th, 2011 in Great reading, Nutrition Articles by Rebecca Lane

Interesting article at WDDTY http://ow.ly/42GHO – the UK government is cracking down on herbal remedies and withdrawing them from shelves.

Wandering on the Web

Posted February 18th, 2010 in Great reading by Rebecca Lane

This morning I received a post from Marni Wasserman’s blog which sent me on a journey of discovery. There are so many products and people who are really making a difference that I’m astounded and thought I would share some of them here.First, there’s a campaign to reduce restaurant waste called Takeout Without http://takeoutwithout.com. You’ll love the ideas they suggest – so simple and we just don’t even think of most of the time. Plus it’s a way that we can make a huge difference.Then I found this blog that’s got my mind working in overdrive: http://fakeplasticfish.com/. So many great ideas and people who are really making a difference in the smallest of ways. Bring your own containers for everything. Where I shop at Nature’s Emporium in Newmarket, I really struggle with constantly taking plastic bags for the bulk products I purchase. I reuse them until they develop holes but I’d really like to come up with a solution that would mean that we don’t need to even have plastic bags as an option. I don’t want plastic touching my beans, nuts or flour.The final place I was really excited by is called People Towels http://ow.ly/18vTj. What an idea – that’s it, from now on I’m bringing my own cloth towels with me so that I don’t need to waste paper towels (which are usually made from virgin wood, not recycled paper like you would expect). The ones at People Towels are really cute, but I’m thinking something more stylish, like a scarf hanging from my purse that does double duty as a towel.Anyway, hope you enjoy visiting these sites and that they inspire you in some way.