Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Advanced Affirmations

Affirmations Written on Pure Water for Humidifier

Many of us on the healing path come to realize there is more to healing than the physical aspects. Some of us learn our thoughts have woven our physical (perceived problems) through manifestations. Those who have adapted personalized affirmations have sometimes learned how to un-weave negative, unhealthy thoughts in our minds and see those negative manifestations disappear.

Louise Hay's book You Can Heal Your Life is an amazing resource to discover prewritten affirmations for most afflictions and provide an understanding for how to love ourselves again. After you've been doing this for awhile you'll find it easier and easier to write your own affirmations. But that's not what I meant when I titled this post Advanced Affirmations. Instead I wanted to share what I am doing in addition to saying aloud and thinking positive affirmations everyday.

I have already mentioned water labels in this blog which I place all over my liquids and on jars such as French press for tea, water pitcher, coconut kefir and sauerkraut jars, and rain water jars for plants. 
I've seen such remarkable results from this process that after I connected this with helping others and I began to think about how my positive thoughts affect those around me--whether they know it or not. When I light my karma candles to purify my home and space I now include my entire neighborhood.

How do water, my intentions and positive thoughts reach the world? Masaru Emoto's photographed thoughts captured in water crystals explains it all.

Looking back I will tell you it was not always my first inclination to help others. It wasn't on my mind to hurt others, but I used to focus mostly on myself and my healing needs. Sure I would help others, but it often seemed like a chore. As I've focused so much on my own healing journey I've come to realize how much I want the world to be a better, cleaner place. I have learned over time to give freely what I have to give. Still, parts of the world and my attitude toward it still stink.

Lately I've been more active in trying to make the world a better place, one small act at a time. I usually keep these selfless acts to the world to myself. But I'll mention two (I try to do one a day) to give you an idea. I've surreptitiously stocked the office machines to the brim with paper. I helped an elderly man load his car with groceries. These are not big things, but small acts in an effort to make the world just a little bit better. I've decided to add that to my Juice Feast. Perhaps I will only light a candle, but I will do something to send love out to the world every day.

Source: Sending Love Out Into the World

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Are You Helping Others?

File:Gone But Not Forgotten - John William Waterhouse.jpg
Credit: Gone but Not Forgotten
As I've cleaned up my diet, my thoughts and my life practices, I've thought considerably about the impact I have on the world right now and I can't help but think of what my legacy will be (propelling me to try even more to live a better life). I've studied Buddhism irregularly as a philosophy for many years. I find its intellectually rigorous concepts challenging and satisfying. I've tried to incorporate as many of the elements of Buddhism that work for me in my daily life and from it and raw foods I launched my growing spiritual practices. Because I find the philosophy so beautiful yet demanding I do not consider myself a Buddhist nor an aspiring Buddhist. However as a philosophy and a way of life, when I practice its concepts it makes me a better person.

Recently I've developed an interest in astrology. It took several viewings for me but Rick Levine's Quantum Astrology: Science, Spirit and Our Place in the Cycles of History finally makes sense to me. Through his analysis of planetary alignments over the centuries he clearly shows: "We begin to appreciate that single events do not happen by themselves. They always happen in a fabric of continuity connected to larger events of the past, to unknown events of the future and through astrology we get a different perspective of history." Furthermore he articulates: "So as we dip our toes in the quantum pond and watch these ripples move out astrology, more than anything else, reminds us that our future is not sealed in fate. In fact, it's sealed in every little action that we take every time we poke into that quantum pond. Every action we take has ripples and those ripples have ramifications that build and come back in the future in ways that today, we do not know."

As I've developed myself and worked at becoming a better person a natural inclination is, as the Buddhists have taught me, to help others. Over the course of time I've learned that sometimes when you help others you can actually hurt them. In my current dysfunctional work environment I see drama on a daily basis. It is so broken I've come to the conclusion that I don't know the solution to resolve its brokenness.  I've wanted to leave for months yet I held on because I've wanted to help these souls who seem so hurt, lost and angry. After more than a year of misery, I've come to some conclusions. Namely, it doesn't have to be this way.

To build the ladder out of this pit of misery I've harkened back to my undergraduate days studying communication models. The one I've learned so much from and reintroduced into my life is
(Google Images)
Stephan Karpman's Drama Triangle Model

I've added a few more commonly used adjectives to the roles written out in Wikipedia, but the Drama Triangle is constructed of the following:
  • The person who plays the role of a victim, martyr or vulnerable being
  • The person or villain who bullies, pressures, coerces, oppresses or persecutes the "victim"
  • The rescuer, hero, or enabler who intervenes, seemingly out of a desire to help the situation or the underdog.
Keep in mind these roles fluctuate in each person in varying circumstances although many people have a natural tendency toward one role. Do you see yourself in one of these? In other visual depictions of the triangle people rightly cite the central element of the Drama Triangle as denial. People who play out this dysfunctional communication pattern are often emotionally or egotistically vested in their roles and do not see the drama they are creating. Here is a short example of the process.

As I envision my legacy I would like it to be one without drama. Don't get me wrong, I love performing arts and I'm not excluding literature from my life--but I am stopping drama by refusing to play this dysfunctional game. The key ingredient in this game is the victim. If there are no victims, there is no drama. This can be a bitter pill for some to swallow. So be it. For me I reflect on the larger, spiritual perspective. Perhaps the person playing the "victim" is evening out karma or is here to learn a lesson these circumstances can provide. I can feel compassion for them and want to help, but I will not do so if it perpetuates drama.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Not All Products are Equal (Pt 3: Best Skin Ever - Seabuckthorn)

File:Venus botticelli detail.jpg
Credit: Botticelli Venus

I haven't spent a lifetime looking for the best facial care, rather in the last few years (when I've merely scratched the surface of what is possible for health and beauty) I've experimented with several increasingly natural organic facial products.  I quite like Tonya Zavasta's green clay mask and moisturizing cream.  I used these products exclusively on my first Juice Feast. All things considered, my facial skin was beautiful. I especially like that she adds in the techniques of dry skin brushing before the mask and using a separate brush to remove the mask--this makes a huge difference.

I am still using up some of her products. I have also been using up some highly fragrant, chemical-free, beautiful moisturizing creams from Mountain Rose Herbs. The Cucumber Skin Cream had an amazingly calm effect on my skin. I liked to use it at night for an extra oomph. Mountain Rose Herbs offer a variety of different creams to target different needs. These are organic, pure and unbelievably low priced.

For roughly the last two months I've used Nadine Artemis's Best Skin Ever --Seabuckthorn as a moisturizer as well a cleanser. My skin has become soft, the tone has evened out and I have been (nearly) blemish free. Since I've started using it I no longer want to wear even minimal amounts of mineral makeup (I still wear a dusting to work but as it makes me look worse! I suspect I will stop altogether in the near future). On the weekend I never wear makeup up and may apply two or three additional squirts of the oil throughout the day and rub gently in my face while reciting my mantra.

As I prepare for a Spring cleanse next week I thought to brush up on Annie Padden Jubb and David Jubbs' suggestions for a blended fast in their awesome book  LifeFood Recipe Book: Living on Life Force. What struck me as interesting was how they talk about a "dead oil test". The test consists of pouring some oil from the grocery store on your finger. Then rinse your finger in water. Finally try and wash it off with soap. How long does the oil stay on your skin?

I saw similar advice in David Wolfe's  book Eating for Beauty. He invokes the image of a used bottle of saturated oil. Try and wipe off the drippings that have over spilled and sat on the outside of the bottle.  He articulates the use of dead oil on skin and its consequences.  The results of organic, cold-pressed oils are regenerative and healing.

Not only do I do my very best to consume only organic, living oils in my diet but now I demand the same for external benefits to my skin.