On my last blog on Jan 14th, 2013, we started a path to
daily meditation, which ultimately helps us connect to what is most important
to each one of us. This is what
brings us to the essence of whom we uniquely are. It steers us into an open field of creating, linking to and enjoying
our passions that support us, and that support those we share them with.
How is your meditation going ? Have you sat still in
meditation for at least 10 minutes a day?
Are you starting to feel calmer, more connected to what is important to
you? If your not “feeling it” yet,
keep doing it – daily. You will and
can shift within days, and eventually minutes. If you have not started, please
take a look at the Jan 14th blog and the AWESOME inspiring video on Secretariat.A horse that taught us more about living than we realized at the time of his life.
After a few years of irregular meditation, I started creating
a more regular practice a couple months ago. I am almost at a daily practice, during it 20 minutes each time. I have noticed that during the meditation I am able
to sink into the progressive relaxation easier. (head to toe release and
relaxation of muscle groups; start from the top and working down) I am able to
concentrate on more of the breath work, as there is less chatter in the
mind. When I notice the chatter,
it is easier to acknowledge it, have no judgment and release it. While doing this, it has been
interesting to notice the ACTUAL thoughts racing in my mind. Many are thoughts of worry or judgment about external unimportant “things”.
I have envisioned certain spiritual beings sitting around me that strengthen
me; and whom I want walking with me all day long ! And lastly, I go to the sensations in the heart area of my
body and envision “breathing through it and growing it.” I stay in that process
of the meditation for at least 5 minutes. If any of this resonates with you –
try it. If it doesn’t make up something
unique to you that does. May be
you’re on a mountain top and you feel the warm sun and light wind on your body. And go from there.
Maybe you have favorite animals around you. Maybe you are sitting on a beach at the ocean or in a huge field
of beautiful flowers. There are also all types of meditation tapes, CDs, and probably apps. Whatever you
envision, you should include these goals for your meditation:
1- Daily practice
2- 20 minutes each time
3- Once your in a meditative relaxed state, work on living
from your heart by envisioning the heart and expanding it.
“It is only with the heart
that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
-Antoine De Saint-Exupery
A friend of mine (and many), and a former physician
during my illness, Dr. Mark Hyman, recently shared in a blog a New Years’ journey he took
during a trip to Bhutan, in South Asia.
A reminder he shares with us:
“I have found a repeatable path to guaranteed happiness, even
joy. And as corny as it sounds, it is quite simple. Serve others with
love and compassion. That’s it. Guaranteed happiness is just a few
When I read that, I thought, Mark is being reminded of the
importance of living more from his heart. We all get swept up with what is not so important – or AS
important. Through all the changes
and pain he shared about that he lived in 2012, he was led to embark on a
quiet journey through the mountains of south Asia with his daughter. At his final destination he served at a Tibetan Orphanage where he provided physician services to a group of monks and poor children.
If we go deeper into understanding the significance of
living from the heart, we learn many things. Maybe everything.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the heart is revered as the sovereign
or the keeper of the spirit. What more is there to say.
The relationship of
Love and Compassion to Foods and Eating
When we eat with a loving and open heart we enhance and
elevate the healing aspects of food.
The opposite is true when we are extreme in our relationship with
food. For example placing emphasis
and importance on the exact correct ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and
fat. Or referring to food as “good
vs bad” foods. Or simply being on a strict diet. Love and living through
the heart is what liberates what we eat to serve our highest good. Yes, eating well is important, but as
everything – it is all is the balance.
Eat and serve food with love and gratitude. Ever further – handle, purchase, prepare, serve and eat foods
with love and gratitude.
have been to the Kushi Institute in Becket, MA – you know exactly what I am
referring to. The macrobiotic diet is plant and energy based. Your physical, emotional and spiritual
thoughts around food and nutrition ALL MATTER.
I visited the Kushi Institute when I was pretty sick. The large quantity of
food I ate (it was so good) metabolized VERY efficiently – unlike any food I was
eating at the time. And I was
eating a limited anti-inflammatory diet, which only included several foods that I
could tolerate. A difference here was the love and compassion around their food
handling, and cooking. And the healing intention they put in the entire process of life there.
When I went into their private kitchen, it was extremely quite, clear
and peaceful. The healing and loving intention was obvious.
The macrobiotic diet is structured around a plant-based diet with
the caveat that additional adjustments are required
for individual application which will vary according to personal situations.
This was not a part of their program several years ago. It was strictly vegan. Interpretation, a vegetarian diet works great if you are healthy and remain
healthy on it. It doesn’t for many
because their nutritional needs can not be met in the current state of health
they are in. So, be very cautious
of any group promoting vegetarianism for “everyone”, especially if they have no
credentialed nutrition and /or functional medicine practitioners on staff. Health promotion and recommendation is not that simple for everyone.
Phytochemicals (phyto = plants) are nutrients that give pigments and color to plants and that
protect plants. They provide this
and more to enhance human health and healing. There are several thousand of them, and their effects have
significant value to every aspect of our lives. And I emphasize, EVERY. They are very small, fine and delicate
– as is our spiritual fabric.
In her book “Chakra Foods for Optimum Health, Deanna Minich PhD, CN, a colleague of
mine, explains some very interesting connections here. Foods for love and compassion resonate
with the Diamond Shape. A diamond has
4 directions. The heart is the 4th
chakra. The diamond is a symbol of expansion, growth, and opening in all directions. This is an interesting parallel to a diamond
engagement ring, and what a loving relationship is. And this has some interesting similarities to my mediation practice.
She goes on that all points are directed outward, like the
feeling generated by love. AND as
I have been naturally lead to in my meditation. The diamond symbolizes the leaves of a plant which is open
to the sun and which helps generate phytochemicals , carbon diode and energy, life
and love ! So there is an intricate connection to plant foods feeding the
heart. I found this
interesting as I am currently concentrating on regular meditation and living
from and expanding the heart. AND, I also just started juicing last night. Two weeks ago I purchased a juicer and I
am on my way to eating more vegetables than I have ever consumed in my life. And
I eat vegetables almost every time I eat.
There are NO coincidences in life. Everything is connected. Please get meditating and start loading up your refrigerator
with sustainable whole vegetables.
Get to your local farmers market, Co-op or Health Food store and explore
your options and get what you love, plus try something new each time you
go. A plant-based diet is one
aspect of eating I always discuss when I first meet with clients. Get your fresh fruits as well – but be
careful. Keep your diet as
alkaline as possible. As far as fruits go, this means your Veggie to Fruit Ratio should be about a 3:1.
Check out juicing if your interesting in getting your
veggies this way. I have been
blogging on this on my Saratoga Nutrition facebook page. I bought the Omega
8006, and so far I love it. My FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Saratoga-Nutrition/155129377831356?ref=hl
Next blog I will discuss more about the specific vegetables that nourish your heart and therefore the soul of
whom you really are.