Finding your Light

Posted October 20th, 2017 in Emotions, Great reading, Psychology of Disease, Soul Food by Rebecca Lane

Lately, I have been rereading the writing of don Miguel Ruiz, and discovered his son’s book The Five Levels of Attachment. This work has really helped me to solidify my understanding of attachments and agreements and I thought to work through my understanding with you here.

You see, I love helping people discover themself, their true self. Part of that discovery can entail healing the physical body – but sometimes this healing can take time. As a ‘healer’ sometimes I notice myself feeling disappointment that someone I’m working with isn’t feeling better, isn’t recognizing themselves the way I see them.

When you begin to look after yourself, you start a journey of loving and accepting who you are right now – all parts of whomever that is. It requires consciously, truthfully looking at who you are right now – and noticing the stories and beliefs around who you should be, what you should look like, who you should be with, what you should be doing, where you are. All of these shoulds cause us so much pain! These are our attachments. We can be so attached to these stories that we are unable to see our own truth. They can sometimes be more real than our own truth. They become like a fog that swirls around us blocking the light that is our true essence.

Getting attached to results – as in my wanting people to feel better – is one of these stories or attachments. When I look at what it means for another to be better, to heal, I am looking only from my own limited perspective. I have no idea what the other is experiencing.

And it goes deeper than that. My needing to see results is caused by my own negative core beliefs, in this case – I am not enough – a very common core belief! When I experience someone ‘not healing’, it reaffirms my own story that I am not good enough at what I do. You can see that this can become a never ending cycle.

So now, look at it. Who is responsible for healing? I am. There is only me at the center of it all. It is my belief that needs to be noticed, to be honoured, to be respected, to be loved. Every part of me requires love and respect to be free.

I hear you belief, I love you, I honour you, I respect you – and I release you

As you slowly, gently, continuously release from these attachments you become clearer. You become the beacon, the bright light of love here on Earth – the light you were born to be. Its not about being more – its about being less. Releasing your beliefs makes you lighter, brighter. You are a clear example of what it truly means to be yourself.

Healing Music of Dr. Hamer

Posted October 28th, 2015 in Depression, Emotions, Psychology of Disease, Soul Food by Rebecca Lane

Very simply (and please forgive the simplicity), Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer was a German doctor who, after losing his son in a shooting accident, developed testicular cancer. He recognized that his cancer had occurred as a direct result of the shock of the catastrophic loss of his son. This understanding motivated him to research cancer further and as a result developed the controversial German New Medicine (www.newmedicine.ca).

Through the millennia, humanity has more or less consciously known that all diseases ultimately have a psychic origin and it became a “scientific” asset firmly anchored in the inheritance of universal knowledge; it is only modern medicine that has turned our animated beings into a bag full of chemical formulas.”

While I find the research and teachings of German New Medicine really important for the understanding of how cancer manifests in the body, I find a different creation of Dr. Hamer even more interesting.

One the most challenging aspects of my work with clients is supporting them in releasing their emotional issues, patterns and even emotional identities (where part of their body has actually taken on the identity of an emotion – it recognises itself as fear or betrayal). Dr. Hamer was aware of this challenge and created a piece of music that actually supports the body in releasing these emotional issues. It is available for free on YouTube and I will include the link.

However, I want to insert a caveat here. Releasing deeply held emotional issues can be painful. Sometimes listening to this music can almost hurt. Be respectful. Listen to your body. If you find that after 10 minutes you feel actually sore in a part of your body, turn off the music and send that part of your body love and acceptance. Listen. Is there something your body is ready to let you know? Is there an old negative belief system that you had totally forgotten about starting to replay in your mind? Hear it – even say the words, “I hear you”. Thank it for reminding you. Remember gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions, next to love. What we are able to love and be grateful for raises us up.

Everything in your body happens for a reason. Your body is pre-programmed to protect your ability to stay alive. Negative patterns and beliefs were at one time created to protect you – whether by your parents, by society or by your body. An example: when your mother hugged you every time you hurt yourself, it could have started a protective pattern in your body that whenever you felt pain you would receive love. Now as a teen or adult you are frequently breaking bones and falling and hurting yourself when you feel the need for love and acceptance.

Growing up means finding love and acceptance within yourself. Easier said than done!

So, back to the music. Listen to it every day if you can – for as long as you are enjoying it. Listen when you are feeling stressed, or worried about an exam, or a presentation at work. It will calm you down. Develop a practice of listening for at least a few minutes every day – you could use it as a starting point for your daily meditation.

Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3DtuKpP8OQ . Enjoy!

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Food Conscious

Posted November 21st, 2013 in Nutrition Articles, Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

It has been a long time since I have written a blog post – almost a year! This has been an incredible year; the most important part is that I have been working with many different clients with many different issues. Working with all of you has been a great source of joy and inspiration for me.

I sometimes get asked, if I could give people one piece of advice to improve their health and wellness, what would it be.

All other things being equal, the answer is: Be conscious of the food you eat – understand the ingredients; know how it is prepared; and “consciously” ask yourself, do I really want to eat this food?

This advice is hardly revolutionary. But, in today’s world, one could say it is largely counter-evolutionary.

In the last several decades, our society has evolved into a world where we are less concerned with what we eat, and more concerned with how long it takes to eat it. Grabbing a “quick bite” has become more important than eating good food. Starting in about the 1950’s, mass produced burgers, wrapped in Styrofoam or wax paper became acceptable, even desirable, sustenance if it meant getting somewhere on time, getting more work done or pleasing your kids, who wanted the toy of their favourite cartoon character that came with their burger.

Even home cooked meals joined the rat race and were put into overdrive. Ingredients like sugar, bleached white flour, white rice and the beloved sodium became the fuel that drove the engine and, for many meals, the microwave became the race track.

So, how did this become the road most traveled? There are probably a number of factors that deserve honorable mention. But, none is more significant than communications technology. To illustrate the impact this technology has played in both how and what we eat, I’ll tell you story about my husband’s first encounter with a Blackberry.

In 2001, his brother was in Toronto on business and invited him to drive into the city and meet him for dinner. They were eating at a trendy restaurant in the Queen West area. It was about 9:30 pm and they had just been served their main course.  His brother’s Blackberry rang, either with an incoming call or email. He quickly looked at it and put it away. He then proceeded to wolf down his food before standing up and saying, “I’m going outside and deal with this.”

My husband said, “Hey, it’s quarter to 10 at night, they can’t expect you to just jump and get back to them. It is after hours, man, it is your time. You’re having dinner with your brother!”

His brother looked at him and with total seriousness, said, “When we were given these things we were told, if the office contacts you we expect you to reply 24/7.”

If the infiltration of communications technology into every waking moment of our day was not bad enough, it has been matched, gig for gig, by the equal proliferation of information technology, including news, entertainment and, most significantly, advertising.

We are all just so “busy.” Fast, mass produced and highly processed food helps us to get on with our “busyness.” And, all that advertising helps us know where to find it.

After many years of neglecting “what” we eat in favour of “how” we eat, something happened on the way through the drive thru. Somewhere along the line, we got fat. Between 1979 and 2004, obesity rates in Canada skyrocketed. In children between 12 and 17, the obesity rate tripled to just under 10%. For adults between 24 and 35, the rate more than doubled to over 20% and in seniors over 75, the rate also doubled to just about a quarter of all people. (Source: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/050706/dq050706a-eng.htm)

In the United States, where obesity is worse than in Canada, U.S. Surgeon General, Richard H. Carmonal, testified before Congress in 2003, saying:

“I welcome this chance to talk with you about a health crisis affecting every state, every city, every community, and every school across our great nation. The crisis is obesity. It’s the fastest-growing cause of disease and death in America. And it’s completely preventable. Nearly two out of every three Americans are overweight or obese. One out of every eight deaths in America is caused by an illness directly related to overweight and obesity.”

Dr. Carmonal went on to say that in the year 2000, obesity cost the U.S. economy $117 billion. By 2012, that number had grown to almost $200 billion, exceeding even smoking as the number one driver of rising health care costs. (Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/30/us-obesity-idUSBRE83T0C820120430?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews)  

Dr. Carmonal fingered lack of physical activity and poor eating habits as the two key culprits “feeding” this growing crisis. He identified the key factors to overcoming the crisis as, more exercise, better nutrition and improved health literacy.

It is the third of these key factors, improved health literacy, which brings us back to the advice I gave earlier. Food literacy is a component of health literacy. Be conscious of what you eat. Read labels – understand the ingredients you are ingesting – know how your food is prepared and what that means for nutritional value. And, consciously ask yourself, do I really want to eat this food.

Now for the good news. The times they are a changing. With health costs soaring and the baby boom generation getting older and having to focus more on staying healthy, there is renewed interest in “what” we eat. The signs are all around us. For example, a growing percentage of customers going into drive thrus are ordering salads. Cafeterias in schools, hospitals and other institutions are improving the nutritional value of their menus, sometimes removing soda pop and high sugar foods. Terms like “whole foods,” “free range,” “Grain fed,” and “organic” are becoming more and more common in our food vocabulary (though they should not be accepted at face value).

There is some more good news. The human body is an incredible organism. Our bodies want us to succeed and to be healthy. They can, if properly treated, reverse a great deal of neglect and self-abuse. In other words, except in extreme cases, it is never too late to eat right and get healthy.

The purpose of this article is not to lay out a specific diet plan. There are many resources available that can do that. The purpose of this article is to drive home the point that you need to be conscious of what you eat. The food we choose to fuel our bodies is one of the most important and personal decisions that we make and affects our health and wellbeing more than just about anything else we do.

Knowledge is power and knowledge of the food we eat can power us to better health and to just plain feeling good.

Some of the most valuable knowledge available to us, not to mention by far the most accessible, is what we can learn by LISTENING TO OUR BODIES.

When people say things like, “I like hot and spicy wings but they don’t like me.” Guess what, your body is telling you something. It doesn’t like hot and spicy chicken wings.

By asking themselves a few very simple questions, most people can create a meal plan that will be as good as any you read in a book or magazine. What food nourishes me and makes me feel good? What food gives me energy and supports my feelings of health and wellness. Conversely, what foods make me feel sick or bloated after eating? What food gives me heartburn?

Looking at a very specific example, many people go through their lives constantly feeling tired, bloated, heavy and sick because of an intolerance to wheat and gluten. Let’s face it, we are a bread society. It goes with every meal. Toast and bagels for breakfast; sandwiches for lunch; and what dining out experience would be complete without the “welcome to our restaurant” basket of bread for dinner. For those suffering from an intolerance to wheat and gluten eating must feel like a virtual mine field at times. They could feel so much better if they understand their condition and adapted to it.

The questions we need to ask ourselves about good eating are simple, yet so many people choose to ignore the signs.

Another key question to ask about the food we eat is, what do I hunger for? Are you eating because you are feeling frustrated, lonely, bored, or just plain ticked off at the world and want to take it out on someone, even if it is you. Self-sabotaging eating habits are all too common. They are also almost always self-defeating. The sad truth is, whatever your problems, food will not provide your answer and, in fact, can make things a whole lot worse.

There is no doubt that one of the most critical factors contributing to our food choices is our mental state and mental health. If you have problems, talk to a friend, family member, colleague, counselor or therapist. Let food do one thing – nourish your body.

Earlier, I said that the key questions we need to ask about the food we eat are counter-evolutionary. Actually, we may be witnessing a revolution after all – a revolution where a growing number of people are saying, enough! It is time to slow down and closely look at the food we eat. It is time to place our focus on eating well, nourishing our bodies and feeling good. In the end, that is when we are at our best and are the most productive.

The Autonomic Nervous System

Posted November 28th, 2012 in Brain Health, Depression, Hormone Therapy, Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

Your body’s ability to deal with stress is regulated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This system monitors the environmental signals, interprets them, and organizes appropriate automatic behavioural responses.  It is composed of a specialized group of neurons that regulate cardiac muscle (the heart), smooth muscles (walls of the visceral organs and blood vessels) and glands.

The autonomic nervous system has two components that balance each other – Protection – the sympathetic nervous system(SNS) and Growth – the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). What is important to know is that both systems CANNOT operate optimally at the same time. We unavoidably restrict our growth behaviours when we shift into protective mode (stressed).

Protection – the HPA axis and the Immune system

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) turns UP your nervous system. It helps us handle what we perceive to be emergencies or threatening situations (can include emotional upset as well as physical stress) and is in charge of the flight-or-fight response. The SNS has two systems to protect the body: the Hypothalamus – Pituitary – Adrenals axis (HPA Axis) which responds to perceived external threats, and the Immune system which protects us from threats originating underneath the skin (like attack by virus or bacteria).

1. HPA axis

  • When the body perceives that there are no external threats, the HPA axis is inactive and growth flourishes.
  • When brain’s hypothalamus perceives an environmental threat, it engages the HPA axis by sending a chemical signal (CRE) to the pituitary gland.
  • The pituitary gland (master gland) is responsible for organizing the body to deal with the impending threat.
  • The pituitary gland sends a chemical signal (via ACTH) to the adrenals informing them to coordinate the body’s “fight or flight” response via stress hormones.
  • HPA axis interferes with both the immune system (protection) and growth systems:
  • HPA axis also interferes with our ability to think clearly
    • The processing of information in the forebrain (the center of executive reasoning and logic) is significantly slower than the reflex activity controlled by the hind brain
    • Adrenal stress hormones constrict the blood vessels in the forebrain reducing its ability to function
    • Stress hormones also repress activity in the brain’s prefrontal cortex (the center of conscious, volitional action)
    • In an emergency, the vascular flow and hormones serve to activate the hindbrain (source of reflexes)
    • Stress hormones inhibit neuronal growth, leading to depression. In chronically depressed people the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are physically shrunken.
      • When the brain’s stress machinery goes into overdrive, it leads to depression.

2. Immune system

  • When the immune system is mobilized, it can consume much of the body’s energy supply.
  • Adrenal hormones secreted by the HPA axis actively repress the action of the immune system

Growth – the Vagus Nerve

The parasympathetic nervous system turns DOWN the nervous system and helps us to be calm. It is most active when the body is at rest and not threatened in any way. This division is sometimes called the ‘resting-and-digesting’ system since it is chiefly concerned with promoting normal digestion, with elimination of feces and urine, and with conserving body energy. It promotes relaxation, rest, sleep, and drowsiness by slowing our heart rate, slowing our breathing, constricts the pupils of our eyes, increases the production of saliva in our mouth, and allows us to digest our food and grow.

The vagus nerve is the key instrument of the parasympathetic system. Beginning in the medulla oblongata, the nerve travels to all of the organs of the body sending signals to and from the brain. The two previous posts provide lots of information about the vagus nerve and how to activate the relaxation response. Post 1 – The Vagus Nerve, Post 2 – Activating the Vagus Nerve.

Importance of sleep

A recent survey found that more people are sleeping less than six hours a night, and are having difficulties sleeping (because they are unable to turn off their HPA axis). Chronic sleep loss can contribute to health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and a decrease in the immune system’s power, reports the Harvard Women’s Health Watch.[i]

Some important tips for getting a good night’s sleep and allowing the PNS time to heal and relax are:

  1. Keep a regular sleep schedule – set a regular time to go to sleep, and to wake up. After dinner, when you are relaxing on the sofa, try not to fall asleep and then wake up late in the night, get up and do something mildly stimulating. On the weekend, catch up on your sleep with naps.
  2. Naturally regulate your light/dark cycles – increase light exposure during the day by taking walks outside in the light, use a light therapy box in the winter to offset SAD symptoms. In the evening, turn off the television and electronic devices in your bedroom and close the blinds so outside lights don’t disturb you.
  3. Create a relaxing bedtime routine – keep noise down, keep the temperature cool (adjust your thermostat to automatically drop several degrees during the night), and sleep in a comfortable bed.
  4. Eat right and get regular exercise – stay away from really heavy meals late at night, avoid alcohol before bed, cut down on caffeine and avoid drinking too much liquid before bed. Having fruit several hours after dinner or before bed puts the system into ‘detox and cleanse mode’ which turns on the pancreas and liver and may keep you awake. If you are hungry before bed, try a light snack of a small piece of turkey or chicken breast, or avocado, or some soaked nuts with some plain yogurt.
  5. Get anxiety and stress in check – try the activation of vagus nerve techniques in the previous post to turn on the PNS.
Organ Sympathetic   Stimulation/Stress Parasympathetic   Stimulation/Relax
Heart
Heart rate Increased rate and force of heartbeat Decreases rate; slow and steady
Lungs Dilates bronchioles Constricts bronchioles
Gastrointestinal   tract
Motility Decreased activity of digestive system Increased slow muscles mobility (peristalsis) and amount of   secretion by digestive system
Sphincters (closing   valves) Constriction Relaxation
Secretion Reduced Increased
Gallbladder and bile   ducts Relaxed Contracted
Bladder/Kidneys Constricts sphincters (prevents voiding) Relaxes sphincters (allows voiding)
Exocrene glands   (glands with external secretion)
Salivary glands Slight secretion Copious secretion
Digestive glands Reduced secretions Copious secretions containing many enzymes
Sweat glands Secretion No effect
Pancreatic glands Reduced secretion Copious secretion[ii]

Today, we live in a stressed-out world and an increasing body of research suggests that our hyper-vigilant lifestyle is severely impacting the health of our bodies. Daily stressors and emotional upsets are constantly activating the HPA axis causing emotional and physical disharmony that cause major illness such as cardio vascular issues, depression, digestive issues, glucose/insulin resistance. Further, these stressors are not released from the body (as they would be in a fight or flight situation) and can build up to become chronic fears and concerns.

A dynamic balance needs to exist between the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system, so that they can continuously make fine adjustments. As a society we need to find new ways to release our fears and stressors and add relaxation time and techniques to our daily life.

Footnotes

[ii] http://ayurveda.lotusguides.net/en/index.php?p=articles&id=2 and Marieb, Elaine N., Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology, p. 269.

Additional References

Lipton, Bruce. Biology of Belief. Hay House: 2005. Pp. 114-119.

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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.

Steve Jobs’ Commencement Address – 2005

Posted October 7th, 2011 in Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

Steve Jobs gave this as his second story of his Commencement Address at Stanford University on June 12, 2005.

Love and Loss

I was lucky. I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation – the Macintosh – a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started?

Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me – I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT.

I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple.It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.

Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Steve Jobs
1955-2011

PS > Thanks to www.insightoftheday.com for bringing this to my attention this morning!

Why spiritual connection is essential for physical health and healing

Posted October 4th, 2011 in Cancer Prevention Strategies, Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

Caroline Dupont will be interviewed on the Health Lady tomorrow!

This Wednesday, October 5th at 4 pm (EST) Nancy Desjardins will be interviewing me to explore: ‘Why spiritual connection is essential for physical health and healing’
  • How are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health connected?
  • How do emotions affect our health? our health choices?
  • How do we let go of emotions that are no longer serving us?
  • How do we get beyond the stress and worry of our health challenges?
  • How do we connect to the best choices on our unique health journey?
  • Why is it so important to have a meditation practice for our physical well-being? 

I hope you can join us!

 
If you can’t make it for the live call, you will have access to the live replay later.

Something is not quite right

Posted October 4th, 2011 in Cancer Prevention Strategies, Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

Your meditation practice is personal to you. It doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to be!

I just received this wonderful letter from my colleague Caroline Dupont and wanted to share it with my readers too in hopes that you will enjoy the message as much as I did. Sherri Doak and I will be cooking for Caroline at her Deep Healing Retreat in October in Midland and look forward to meeting lots of new people and sharing great ideas there! Enjoy the letter (by the way, the woman to the left is neither Caroline nor me – it’s a pic I found online. I would like to meditate here, but on a cushion!):

“‘Now’ is just what’s happening – minus everything that you think.” Adyashanti

Dear friends,

I hope this finds you happy and well.

One of the things that I’ve noticed in me and others is a fundamental tendency to evaluate our lives on a moment to moment basis with an overall sense that something is not quite right, or even that something is deeply wrong. 

The object of our dissatisfaction, the ‘something’ itself, generally changes from one day to the next, or one year to the next. It could be our weight, our health, our partner, or lack of partner, our job, our financial situation, our children, time constraints, or tiny details like the temperature of the soup, the scratch on our car, the way our hair looks today… no matter how hard we try to make things ‘perfect’  there is always something lacking.

Is it possible to move beyond this existential tension?

Many people have asked this question and the answer most often seems to be a regular meditation practice. Ask Carolyn Myss, or the Dalai Lama, or Deepak Chopra, or  Wayne Dyer.

We need stillness to see the truth.

The beauty of a regular meditation practice is that it gives us a rare glimpse of our lives from the very ground of our being, that sees no fundamental problem and in fact sees from deep and far enough to grasp that no matter what is going on in the physical world, no matter how our mind interprets current circumstances, there is actually never a single molecule out of place. To experience this fully is a deep gift because from this new perspective we cease to move through life from a place of dissatisfaction and problem solving. 

This is not to say that change is not needed because it is, but when we approach change from this deeper place we are engaging an energy that will help us to respond to life’s challenges, not with resistance, but with greater clarity, accuracy and access to appropriate action.

This is how lives are transformed.

In order to experience the best that meditation can offer…

  • Do your best to maintain a daily meditation practice.
  • Incorporate body-based awareness in your meditation practice rather than using techniques to by-pass to ‘spiritual’ states.
  • Regardless of the techniques used in your practice, incorporate ‘no technique’ regularly – put it all down and completely let go for at least some of your practice.
  • If you’re having a difficult time staying with your meditation practice you are likely very close to a significant emotional layer and subconsciously avoiding it. Get some help. This is something that I do in one-on-one consultations in person, over the phone, or on skype.
  • Take a meditation class.
  • Attend retreats. They are one of the most powerful ways to move through significant emotional layers to access your true nature, and transform your life. Each retreat is an opportunity to show up with sincerity and openness to the mystery of the deepening process.

Here are some upcoming opportunities:

“The mind doesn’t rest as a result of getting its questions answered; it comes to rest when we see through the incessant drive to know.” Adyashanti

All blessings to you,
Caroline
www.carolinedupont.com

PS > that last quote really resonates with me. Thank you so much Caroline for adding it!

Day 9 – the Gift of Friends

Posted April 7th, 2011 in Meat in, Psychology of Disease, Recipes by Rebecca Lane

Angels around us

I know – so what happened to Days 6 through 8? Life happened, or in this case, death. Over the weekend, two of my high school friends lost a parent, so I packed up two black dresses and headed to Petrolia so that I could show them my support and love for them. But I received a lot more than I gave.

When I left Petrolia for university, I lost touch with all of my girlfriends from high school. Three years ago we reconnected through the wonder of Facebook. Two years ago we got together for a Soul Sisters retreat weekend and found out how wonderful it is to get together with women of the same age and similar background and find out the journeys our lives had taken us on. Two weekends ago we were together again for our second Soul Sisters retreat at the Scandinave Spa in Blue Mountain. What a cleansing, renewing experience that was.

This was different. First, I called up a friend whom I had always loved and admired, but never been really close with and asked if I could stay with her. She welcomed me with open arms and greeted me at the door with an open bottle of wine and chocolate! Who could ask for more? We stayed up and giggled, while remembering the years gone by and got to know each other again. I met her husband and son and learned even more about this beautiful, strong woman.

After a great sleep, far away from streetlights, I was awakened to the blessed aroma of coffee (yeah, I know its not good for me) and we talked and laughed some more as we got dressed and ready for the funeral.

I won’t go into details of the funeral, but the number of people there were a testament to the people this farming man touched while on earth – whether through his own words or deeds, or those of his children and grandchildren. I was moved most by the words of his family after the funeral service – and by the hug from his daughter.

The second funeral was very different from the first, but again I was moved by the words spoken from the heart about this creative, artistic, loving woman who had touched so many lives while on earth. And again it was the hugs that I will cherish.

I realized that we are remembered by our words and actions, not by our regrets for what we should have done or might have been. By the bodies that we have hugged, by the tears that we have kissed, by the times we sit and listen, by the laughter (and wine) that we have shared.

I will always remember these past two days – thank you to my friends for sharing their love and for being open to receiving my love back in return.

Before I left for Petrolia, I made a huge pot of chili for my family back at home. My intent was that on Monday night they could have the chili with a salad, and then on Tuesday night they could make fajitas.

Chicken Chili Con Carne with beans and vegetables

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ lbs. of ground chicken or turkey
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
½ diced red pepper
½ diced green pepper
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large garlic cloves
2 16 oz cans chopped tomatoes (my own tomatoes are long gone, so I used Eden)
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto peans
¼ cup chilli powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt

In large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, cook chicken in oil. Once chicken is cooked, add the onions, peppers, celery and garlic until onions are tender – about 10 minutes – stirring frequently.

Add tomatoes and their liquid, chilli powder, cayenne, and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

Stir in beans. Serve in soup bowls with grated cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro on top.

Day 3 – Valuing Yourself

Posted April 1st, 2011 in Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

Does how you love yourself affect how others love you?

I Need Love

Yesterday was a day filled with challenges. And I didn’t react to them in a way that I’m totally proud of. But I learned some lessons as a result of my responses that I think are important to share.

I’m in the midst of many changes – developing Turning Point Nutrition into a business that offers real value for people with breast cancer, going through peri-menopause, and parenting two teenagers who are themselves in the stage of moving away from home or at least starting to think that way. Yesterday I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with TPN and started to feel like everything I do has no value. Sometimes I get like that – one little thing becomes EVERYthing! Know what I mean?

To compound this, my son came home from school with a poor result on a test. And again, somehow this was my ‘failure’. Then my husband called to say that he wouldn’t be home for dinner, and my daughter had made other plans!

Alex doesn’t really like fish – and that was the last straw. I just couldn’t face making fish noodle soup bowl and then listening to him complain about “fish again!” So we went to Wendy’s for dinner. “Failed” again.

This morning, things are a little brighter – it’s amazing how much better the world is in the morning, outside, when the sun is shining. While walking the dog, I came to several realizations. How I feel about myself changes moment by moment – and I need to be gentle with myself as I navigate through these changes. Further, how I feel about myself affects how others treat me. When I treat myself with value and respect, in turn I feel valued and respected. When I treat myself as a failure, I feel like others treat me as if I’m not important, or valuable. Whether or not its true doesn’t matter, that’s how I FEEL.

I think one of the reasons why we went to Wendy’s last night is because I needed to be ‘refuelled’ – I needed to be reminded of how valuable I really am, I needed to be shown love, and I went looking for a ‘quick fix’. In an extended family community of old, I probably would have gone home to my mother for dinner – but it’s a long drive to Ottawa! But that’s what I needed.

It’s not what I got.

So, how can we develop ways to ‘refuel’ without filling ourselves with empty food (that’s what I call fast, packaged, or fried food) or going on ‘retail therapy’ trips with money that belongs to the bank?

I thought that just by having all of the ingredients at home, and a plan for what I would make, would be enough to keep me on track. But that wasn’t the case this time.

I was thinking that one thing that I can do is to put a couple of meals away in the freezer for days like last night. Not leftovers, but meals that I’ve actually prepared on days when I have extra love and energy to spare for a rainy day. Something that will freeze well and that the family will enjoy without complaint – like a vegetarian lasagne, or spaghetti sauce, or shepherd’s pie. I might even wrap it up with a card to remind myself that there will be good days again!

The other is to call a friend and tell her how very important she is to me, so on the days when I need it, she can remind me of how important I am to her! What goes around comes around. We just need to send it out there first, so that it can come back – like setting up a savings account for a rainy day!

So, needless to say, we’re having Fish Noodle Soup bowl for dinner tonight! Hopefully my family will be home to enjoy it with me.

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