Adding more to your Life and Spiritual Path

Posts tagged ‘Health’

WHOLE FOODS? CHEMICALS? or SOMETHING IN BETWEEN?

1280px-Good_Food_Display_-_NCI_Visuals_Online(File:Good Food Display – NCI Visuals Online.jpg – Wikimedia Commons)

Whole, Unprocessed, Organic Foods offer the Best Nutrition for Healthy Bodies and Healthy Microbiomes.

By:  Dr. Mary Lucero, PhD

People are waking up to the awareness that eating whole, unadulterated foods is a good idea. We are beginning to understand that only whole foods offer the biocomplexity (the diverse mixtures of ecologically balanced biochemical and nutrients) needed to sustain healthy bodies and functional microbiomes. The problem many people face today is that when it is necessary to use processed or packaged foods, it can be challenging to distinguish between whole foods, extracts or other preparations derived from whole foods, and added chemicals. The goal in choosing whole foods should be to maximize whole foods and minimize chemicals.  Extracts and other preparations derived from whole foods can fall anywhere between the two categories, with some extracts being quite complex and balanced, while others are pure enough to behave as synthetic chemicals. If you must use extracts, learn to pick extracts that retain biochemical complexity. Avoid purified chemicals completely.

What standard nutrition labels won’t spell out for you is whether an individual ingredient is a whole food, an extract from a whole food, or a chemical. One reason they won’t tell you this is because the boundary between these categories is not very distinct. Processed foods are almost always mixtures of whole foods, extracts of foods, and chemicals. Whole foods and whole food supplements will have the greatest biocomplexity. Added chemicals (which may be naturally occurring or man-made) will offer the least. The generalizations below are not carved in stone, but they offer general guidelines that can help you distinguish whole foods from other ingredients found on food and supplement labels.

Identifying whole foods.

Most of us easily recognize common dietary staples, such as beef, apples, mushrooms, corn, or fish as whole foods. Difficulty arises when we encounter packaged foods with ingredients whose names we can’t pronounce. If you are lucky, the manufacturer included the scientific name on the label (Panax ginseng or Chlorella vulgaris). When present, the Latin words in the scientific names (eg. Chlorella vulgaris) give you an immediate clue. Scientists give all identified plants, animals, fungi, and microbes a Latin binomial (a name with two words) to represent the genus and species living things belong to. So when you see two words in Latin representing a single ingredient on a packaged food or a supplement label, the odds are good that you are looking at either a whole food or an extract from a whole food, rather than at a chemical. Beware, however, of apparent “binomials” that contain “acid”, as a word or -ate, –ide, -ite as suffixes. More on this under added chemicals. Of course, identification of food items you are not familiar with becomes harder if the label doesn’t show the scientific names. Fortunately, we live in the information age, so when all else fails, so if you really want to consume a food with ingredients you have never heard of, you can always Google it to learn more.

Extracts or Natural Product Preparations Derived from Whole Foods.

Extracts and Natural Product Preparations constitute an enormous grey area because some extracts, like essential oils, retain sufficient biocomplexity to promote balance. For example, a typical essential oil (an extract) may contain hundreds of unique compounds that co-evolved within a plant in ratios compatible with living cells. Other extracts can become so purified that only a single chemical or drug remains. Think of sugar, corn starch, or even cocaine. Purification decreases the nutrition and increases the potency and the toxicity of a compound. For example, a coca leaf (a whole food/herb), is less potent and more nutritious than cocaine (a coca leaf extract and a toxic drug). Highly purified substances can disrupt metabolic balance within your cells and within your microbiome.

Since extracts can run a broad spectrum, ranging from mixtures with remarkable nutritional or biochemical complexity to highly purified compounds, like sugar or corn starch, the term “extract” on an ingredient list, while perfectly legal, does not provide enough information to help you assess whether the ingredient has the biocomplexity and balanced proportions that support microbiomes. Unfortunately, this may be all the information you have access too. Our labeling laws were simply not designed to help us think holistically about food. If you are dealing with a transparent company, you can call their customer service to find out more about their extraction process. When choosing products that contain extracts, look for those that retain biochemical complexity (ex:   choose dehydrated cane juice over white sugar).

Added Chemicals

To support balanced nutrition and a healthy microbiome, minimize exposure to any chemical that has been added in ratios differing from those found in whole foods or natural living systems.   This obviously includes reducing exposure to drugs, chemical preservatives, and pesticides, but it also includes reducing exposure to compounds you might currently view as a food or a nutrient, like white sugar or ascorbic acid (aka Vitamin C).

Because chemicals are often added in soluble forms, they can often be identified on package labels by the word “acid,” or by suffixes like –ide, -ite or –ate. For example, pantothentic acid, magnesium citrate, niacinamide, and monosodium glutamate are all chemicals that can be found on food or supplement labels.

Maximizing your intake of whole organic foods and minimizing intake of chemicals are simple steps anyone can follow to support a healthy microbiome. The guidelines above will help you distinguish between whole foods, extracts, and chemicals when reading labels of packaged foods. Keep in mind that these are very general guidelines. They will help you start looking at labels from a whole foods perspective, but they won’t help you identify every chemical or every whole food you encounter. In the end, your willingness to do your own research and become an informed consumer will be your best guide.   You can learn more about supporting healthy microbiomes at endofite.com

 Mary Lucero, PhD, is a systems biologist who specializes in restoring microbiomes (the microbial communities that interact with all life forms) to promote human and environmental health

http://www.endofite.com

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GENUINE FACES

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It had an iridescent sheen to it from all those years of use.  I would often brush it off to make it look more genuine, like a real face.  Maybe I was born with it, but I don’t think so.  I remember a very different sort of face then. 

 I knew the rules of the mask.  You find a mate, you marry, make a family of some combination of adults and kids, yours or others, you have a good job, you buy a house, fit in a box and close the lid.  You give up who you thought you were to become the mask your family thinks you should be.  They say it makes you happy and complete.  And it does for all those years, within reason anyway.

Then one day the lid slips off of the box and you discover a corner, ever so small an edge, is beginning to peel off of the mask.  You try to patch it, but each patch makes the edges tatter more until one day you actually see the real color of your skin under all the makeup of the mask.  It’s beautiful, with imperfect pores and wrinkles and just an inkling of character.  You.

You would have thought you had started the whole world on fire by the way people react though.  Everyone you know and love begins freaking out about the loss of your perfect mask and commences doing their best to help you recover it.  They insist that it be repaired and fitted back on so you can fit back into the box they all know and love.

But the lid is off the box and you like what you see under the mask.  And you want more. 

Now this is where everyone really goes berserk throwing a barrage of accusations and questions at you as if you are mad.  “How can you do this?”  “How can you let it go?”  “How can you possibly like this thing underneath?”  “It doesn’t fit.”  “We can’t see you.”  “How can you be one of us now?”

Your answer is very simple and direct, “I don’t know.  But I kind of like it.  Can’t you see the gift in the changes?”

“NO!,” they exclaim in horror.  “It’s a mess.  We don’t like it.  It means that we have to change too.  NO way.  You had better get back in that mask right now or you’ll ruin everything.”

“But why,” you inquire painfully.  “Can’t you take yours off too and try it just a little?  It’s so freeing.  It’s really more of me, not less.  Can’t you see that?”

“NO!,” come the screams back in great upheaval as if you had just upturned a bridge they were on with your little finger.

In innocence you try again, “Why not?”

“Change, for what?  We’re just fine as we are, thank you very much.  You’re the one that is wrong,” is the only answer you get back. 

Your confusion rises as you ask, “Who am I?”, over and over again.  “What am I doing?  What do I believe?  Who is the true me?  Why can’t I fit in anymore?  And why can’t they change just a little to see my side, see me?”

Anger rising inside you, your tolerance disappears as these scenes play out over and over again with only the same outcome until finally the mask falls off completely thoroughly tear stained and threadbare.  And there you stand in the mirror, YOU.

The arguments cease to matter.  You catch sight of an edge on this new mask of yours that is beginning to fray. How many of these masks are there?  A new curiosity guides you to step out of the box.  The old mask lies on the bottom of the box with the laundry and dishes. 

Suddenly you discover you are in charge of everything as a new suit of responsibility slips uncomfortably onto you.  Friends mysteriously evaporate, finances shift to and fro, and time is immeasurable, all yours now.  You take one last look at the mask on the bottom of the box and securely replace the lid.

You explore your new and bigger box.  It’s heavier and makes funny noises in your brain.  But it’s your box now to design as you please. 

I took a new mask off today, but the responsibility didn’t go away.  It just changed a little, like one degree on a compass.  And I see another mask beneath it still.  I wonder how many more there are to go?  Only I am in charge of finding out. 

WE ARE ENERGY – PART 2

chakra_meridian_energetic_c   WE ARE ENERGY, invisible etheric strands of energy. Many scientists today finally agree with decades of Human Energetic research that everything in the universe is made up of this wonderful invisible source of energy, including us.  In fact, we could not exist if it didn’t exist.  We are living energetic computers.

 Imagine a circuit of brilliantly woven light drawn together by a giant spider connecting everything in the universe together.  Let’s expand our vision and observe as these strands run through and around us, making us a living part of everything in the cosmos.   Now go microscopic and watch these strands course through every cell in our body via our chakras, meridian lines and Kundalini creating cellular light and electricity. These light circuits are why some people refer to humans as, “The connection between heaven and earth” and other people say, “We are all connected to everyone and everything in the universe”.

IMG_0329 chakras   SEE NOW 7 wheels of light being added down the center of our body running from just above our head to the base of our trunk.  These wheels are called chakras.  They are living wheels of light, which draw in this etheric energy and disperse it to all levels of our entire being; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

IMG_0332 etheric field   Change your focus again and as your vision becomes clearer you perceive the four etheric layers of the body; the etheric body, the emotional body, the mental body and the spiritual body.

Each chakra relates to specific body organs and functions, emotions, thought processes and spiritual connections.  Each has it’s own color, a sound that harmonizes and balances it, psychological and emotional processes, and ways that it helps to make us sick or to heal us & keep us healthy.

For example:  the solar plexus chakra color is yellow and relates to the issues in our daily lives that deal with power; expressing power outwardly towards others, in our beliefs about power, or how we define our personal power.  This chakra also helps identify the amount of energy we store towards joy or anger, taking action in our lives through our will power and expressing who we are. Directly connecting to our adrenal glands if effects emotional and physical balance. Malfunctions of this chakra can express themselves in the form of ulcers, timidity, and fatigue or digestive troubles.

IMG_0330 womb   Even in The womb we are connected to this invisible source of life and energy.  Visualize the Kundalini, which is part of our energetic system, running up the spine passing through and connecting to all 7 chakras from the root and the crown chakras.  Our own energetic system supports us as we grow in the womb.  Our Kundalini is our connection to heaven and earth.

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Energetic healers, such as those who practice Healing Touch, Reiki, Sekhem or Pranic Healing, work with this cosmic system of etheric energy through their own bodies.  We do this for the purpose of helping augment and supplement a client’s own energy field.  This work helps to modify the body’s state of health and well being on all energetic and physical levels in a positive manner and promote further healing to continue.

It is also through these energetic strands of light that our intuition, psychic abilities and channeling abilities work and are expanded.  Since these strands connect us to everyone and everything in the universe we have the potential to tune in to anything, anywhere and receive information about it.

A mother receives intuitive, “gut feelings”, that her child is in trouble, someone senses that their significant other is not feeling well, or a gut feeling that something is going to happen and we change our plans only to find out later that something did go wrong.  Only our intuition saved us from having to experience it.  All probabilities are available, but none not written in stone.  It is man’s free will that changes or assists many, but not all, outcomes when perceived in advance.

Book of energy

I encourage everyone to further investigate his or her own either energy field.  All human potential lies in these etheric energy fields.  No matter if you are a beginner or an old pro at energy I highly recommend going back to basics at this time.

New rules are being written on the subjects of etheric energy, chakras, Kundalini and energetic healing all the time now.  But going back to some old time tested material such as C. W. Leadbeater and Edgar Cayce or even exploring the any of the decades of material up until now will help to inform you on any of these subjects.

Pull out the facts that fit you and the teachers you are drawn to, because that is what really counts.  What information is pertinent to you?  What truths are you drawn to?  How do you apply them to your life?

My own personal basic energy favorite is by Maya Heath, ENERGIES A BOOK OF BASICS, as seen above.

Dawn M Cheney

Transformational Light Designs

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dcjaguar.wordpress.com

dcjaguar@gmail.com

 

WE ARE ENERGY

Book of energy

We are energy, invisible etheric strands of energy.  In fact, everything in the universe is made up of this wonderful invisible source of energy and we would not be here if it wasn’t.  It is an unimaginable circuit of lines of light, like a massive intricately woven spider web running through us and around us, connecting us to everything in the universe.   It routes through every cell in our body via our chakras, meridian lines and Kundalini, thus making us what some call, “The connection between heaven and earth.”

I highly recommend reading Maya Heath’’s ENERGIES – A BOOK OF BASICS no matter if you are a newbie to the subject of energy or many years into it.  As the title says, it is a basic introduction to the many different ways this incredible invisible energy fits into and benefits our lives.  Look at it as a guidepost, keeping what works for you and discarding what doesn’t.

Let it stretch your imagination and experiences to the existence of new worlds or to be a reminder of a thing or two concerning basics or things forgotten.  And most of all enjoy the ride.

For more information and/or training, contact me.

Many blessings to you all,

Dawn M Cheney

Reiki Master and Sekhem Practioner

Transformational Spiritual Counselor

Intuitive Psychic & Channel

dcjaguar@gmail.com

COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF

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I don’t know about you, but I find one of the hardest things to do in my life is to commit to myself.  I mean really commit to what I want to do in my life and where I want to go.  A successful business, clients, a home, security, and all the things we’re told are available to everyone.  Does any of this sound a little familiar to anyone else out there?  Finding yourself side tracked and giving excuses as to the whys and why nots, and there go those commitments right out the window.

So what makes it so hard to hold on to those things we want most in our lives, plus taking the action to really go for them?  Self esteem, fear, old wounds, what other people will think of us; these are all huge factors in the quest for ourselves and what we want in our lives.  These come from learned patterning out of our childhood and adult experiences as well as many of our interpretations of those experiences.

One simple tool to help you begin to turn those commitments into reality is meditation.  Through meditation you can begin to learn more about who you really are inside yourself and how to heal and/or change any  misconceptions you find in your life.  It helps gives you choices as to how to see the world and yourself in it.

One of the most basic and simple meditation is to take just a few minutes to sit down, slow your mind down and follow your breath.  By taking just even one to two minutes to do this it will work wonders on the next course of action in your day.

Tell your brain and all those thoughts running through it not to worry, you will get to that great big list of things to do in just a minute or two.  Assure it you will not forget, because it won’t let you.  Trust me.  But for just these brief minutes, you can let go and relax.  In a relaxed state we can recollect our own energy back into ourselves by concentrating on our breathing.

Take note of your breath going in and out.  Listen to it, feel it, hear it, follow it as it expands your lungs on the inhalation and visualize all tension and heaviness flowing out of you as you breath out on your exhalation.  Feel your muscles relax with each breath as you continue to pay attention to your breath.

After a minute or two, or more, allow your awareness to recognize the noises and movements around you and return to what you were doing.  You should feel more relaxed, clear-headed and ready to take on the world again.  This one simple tool can help you re-think your priorities, make better decisions, and handle life better, as well introduce you to the advantages and benefits of meditation as a way of reshaping your life and the choices in it.  You are also teach your mind and body how to prepare for deeper, longer meditations in the future.

SMILE AT YOURSELF

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Have you ever just smiled at yourself in the mirror and found it could make you feel better or even laugh?  Have you ever wondered why you feel so much better when you smile than when you frown?  Well that is because a smile actually has physical effects on your entire body, mind and emotions.  Decades of research have been done on that one little concept of a smile and it’s effects on our health.

A smile can lower your heart rate and relax your body which helps to reduce stress.  It’s like getting healthy without working hard at it.  What could be better than that?  And a smile can release endorphins that help to reduce pain which in turn can make you feel better and put you in a better mood as well.  And to top it all off, when you smile it makes you look younger.  It can take years off of your appearance with just one bright shining smile on your face.  (http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/15-health-benefits-of-smiling/)

But what about smiling inside of your body as well?  For those who may not be familiar with it I would like to introduce a healing system of the Microcosmic Orbit taught by Mantak Chia and Maneewan Chia in their book AWAKEN HEALING LIGHT OF THE TAO.  One of the exercises is an ancient Taoist meditation of smiling at your organs in order to help release negative and stressed emotions  in order to bring healing to your entire being.  It is an amazing process of change and reform in your life.  It can change your anger into compassion, your jealousy into awareness of self, and so much more all in a simple inner smile.

Throughout the millenniums of various cultural ways of healing, the belief in energetic healing is prevalent across the world.  One of the concepts in some of these systems is that each organ corresponds to positive and negative emotions and thought forms; i.e., the liver is associated with the negative emotion of anger and it’s positive aspect corresponds to kindness.  The functioning and health of the eyes relates to the liver as well.  Through the Inner Smile Meditation one is able to help get in touch with these emotions plus help improve your eye health.

In this time sensitive world today we need to take time and space for these small inner moments of healing.  The Inner Smile can take as short a time as a moment or as long as an hour.  It’s all up to you.  The whole point of it is to help yourself improve your life.  As you change you, so to the world around you will change.  Remember, You are the difference. 

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Introduction

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Introducing myself, Dawn M Cheney, on my new dcjaguar.wordpress.com account.  This is the dry stuff, but the good stuff will follow as I get my feet wet here.

I am a Reiki Energetic Healer/Teacher, Sekhem Energetic Healer, Intuitive Psychic Reader, and Transformational Spiritual Counselor.  I was in the traditional business world for over 30 years before finding myself drawn to reactivating my natural healing and intuitive abilities in 1995.  Since then I have created a foundation using Reiki and Sekhem (an ancient Egyptian energy healing system) with Shamanic principles of nature to form a cohesive healing basis from which I work.  These principles work well together to form a well-rounded and balanced approach to helping people find physical relief and improvement with most issues in their life.  In addition, my transformational counseling skills give clients a better understanding of the bigger picture to their health and well being and how it all fits together.

I look forward to building an informative and fun source for practitioners and clients alike and I encourage you all to join in with comments.

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