“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
When you are in relationship you can either lift each other up, or pull each other down. Making a commitment to your own health is not only self-care, but is caring for your relationship. Now that you are in the middle of January, this can be a boost to stay on track with your goals. This is a re-post of a blog from January 2012
This is conversation with Cheyenne Mendel, Licensed Acupuncturist, Executive and long time friend.
Candess: We are into the New Year and many people are making changes in their diet to increase their health. What are some of the most important changes you suggest can do for their health in the coming year?
1. Drink good quality Water!
Chances are if you say, “I don’t like water,” you don’t have a good clean source. The very best investment you can make for your health “HANDS DOWN” is hydration. Your body cannot release toxins without it.
All organs need water. The lungs use one quart of water at sea level just to breathe. Your body need much more at higher elevations. When it is freezing you can see your breath. Some people don’t ever even drink that much. Some people say “I drink coffee…lots of water in that.” Have you ever tried washing your clothes or wiping your counters with coffee? You can also get water by eating water filled foods like raw fruits and vegetables.
2. Avoid the offenders!
Avoid the foods that become “goo and glue” in your body. These are sugar, high fat, and refined carbs.
Anything in a box or with plastic on it has been processed in some way. I am currently in California and finally made it to the ever-famous Trader Joes. The problem with this store even though it is pretty cool, is that most of the vegetables are processed in some way. The vegetables are wrapped in petroleum based plastic materials.
Make sure you are not hungry when you shop because you will end up eating whatever you buy. Whether you make a healthy or crappy lunch for work, when lunchtime rolls around you are hungry and you will eat whatever is there. When you eat healthy it is like giving your cells a high paying job vs. minimum wage or a slave labor job.
If eating healthy is too overwhelming then simply avoid the bad stuff. If that is too much, then start small. If you eat sugar all day long then start by avoiding sugar in the morning. Don’t destroy your whole day with an assault on your pancreas first thing in the morning. Avoid the offenders! Nature abhors a vacuum and the healthy food will creep in.
3. Consciously interact with Dr. Nature 20 min a day!
Dr. Nature has many curing aspects such as fresh air, sunshine, rest, movement/exercise or a combination of these. Try a walk and a quick catnap or a cat rest if you can’t do naps. Today people are so exhausted and over stimulated from technology that rest is a higher priority for a body. You know how to do this. Notice how your thinking and feeling changes as your begin to walk in nature.
4. Contribute to others!
Being an acupuncturist for two decades with 10,000 patient contacts, I can say the unhappiest people I encountered in my practice and in life were people that focused entirely on themselves. It is difficult, almost impossible to be happy when you are not healthy, but of being happy is contributing to another person in some way.
Take 10 -15 minutes a day to contribute to someone else. The opportunity or challenge I am offer is to do something that brings you joy. Write and mail a card of appreciation, make someone’s bed, clean the employee break room for 10 minutes, pick up trash around your neighborhood, or bag your own groceries to help a busy clerk. Sharing a kind word or listening deeply to someone can make you happy by giving.
There are stories about random acts of kindness like the story of people paying the lay away bills for people at K Mart. People who use lay-away are typically very poor or they would simply purchase the items in the first place. You can send a loving thought and prayer for a homeless person rather than sending out a thought like “get a job.” (One I have been working on.)
5. Forgive others!
Forgiveness is for YOU and your freedom. If you are offended or “go to your bed in wrath” or are thinking about what so and so said or did to you, then you are sowing strong seeds of ill health. Try forgiving on a small scale and you will understand the truth of how forgiving contributes to your health. Ten minutes of prayer or mediation can really help in this area.
6. Spend 15 min a day on your Essence Self!
Just like how you are instructed in an airplane, if there is a need, an oxygen mask will appear and you must put the oxygen mask on yourself first; it is important to care for yourself first. We all have family or friend situations that we respond to either in a positive or negative way.
It is important to take time to spend with your Essence Self and to put energy into your own “coffer” and not wait for someone else to fill you up.
In an emergency situation, I recently moved to California to manage one of my husband’s businesses. It is a small complex of studios which I am selling. The first 20 minutes in the unit I unplugged and removed the television. I have lived without a TV in my home for 20 years. My 18-year-old daughter has grown up without TV.
Instead of watching TV, I walk on the beach, read, write old fashioned cards, people watch, sit and zone out and have more time to make special “qi” (life force) filled meals for myself. I have more energy to pick out really healthy food and the list goes on and on. Spend 15 minutes a day with your Essence Self and see what you need to create and what you need to let go of this year.
Candess: My thanks to Cheyenne for sharing this with us. She is most healthy and pure person I know and I love her continued support of mine and other’s physical, mental and spiritual health. She has contributed to tens of thousands of people in her lifetime!
7. Step 7 is for the reader. As you read this, there is something you know that you need to do that will be helpful to raise your level of health for the New Year!
“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
Relationships are fluid and changing all the time. Communication is often a challenge and keeping up with the shifting can be disconcerting. In this video I teach you to “Be the Pole.” It is a great way to stay stable when you have a partner that is either reactive or changing their minds continually. Enjoy!
I think it was when I ran into Kerouac and Burroughs – when I was 17 – that I realized I was talking through an empty skull… I wasn’t thinking my own thoughts or saying my own thoughts. Allen Ginsberg
“I can’t get it through your thick skull,” a character on a TV show says. What does it mean? Being a writer, I often listen for sayings and I wonder where they came from.
Have you ever talked with someone and you shared with her as clearly as you can, and when she responded, what she said had nothing to do with what you said?
Communication can be difficult when your head is full of your own thoughts. You are stuck in your own perspective and you can’t seem to find room for how anyone else sees the world.
What happens for all of us is we tend to defend ourselves by taking a stand on something. We see it our way, and close down our minds to other possibilities. In part, this can be a survival tool; to not become so sensitive to all that is happening around, and to just focus on our task.
In relationship though, this can be frustrating and derisive. Have you ever heard two people sharing with each other and you could see both sides, but they could not see the others point at all?
I remember an old 1970’s TV episode of All in the Family, with Archie and Edith Bunker. In this episode, they were discussing politics. Archie was irate when he found out Edith had voted for the opposing candidate from Archie’s. All he could see was his vote didn’t count. She had cancelled it out. They went round and round and he could not understand her vote had nothing to do with his. He would never understand this of course.
We all have this tendency to “have a thick skull” at times. Being a reader, I love seeing the world from other people’s perspective, especially other cultures. How I am in close relationship, well, that may be a different story.
The goal of course is to try to see situations from the other person’s perspective. This can be done in the privacy of your own mind. You don’t have to give up your position. Once you do practice seeing the other point of view though, it becomes easier. You don’t have to agree with the opposing view, but being open to hearing it and understanding why one would see it that way helps strengthen relationship.
Since I mentioned liking to read books that take on a different perspective, I’ll share three of my favorites.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Focusing on relationships this year makes me aware of how many relationships we have in a given day. After a great massage (relationship) and feeling tired and hungry, I met with the seamstress (relationship) who is making the pants to go under my Shalwar Kameez. This is the dress I will wear to the wedding in India on February 3rd.
We talked fabric, which we both love, and although I felt like I was in a big hurry, because I was focusing on relationships this year, I chose to be more present. I slowed down, conversed and listened to all she had to say. In the past, I would have been short, quick, and focused on getting the task done and getting out the door. I really enjoyed being attentive and learning about her business and also realized how pleasant it was to hear her talk with the fabric store employees, who knew her well. I could see she had developed some connective relationships with them as they laughed and shared with each other.
This shift in perception, to slow down, listen, and be present can be life changing. If you to are too busy to connect and be present to yourself and others, join with me in this new adventure!
The Heart Chakra
“One love, one heart, one destiny.”
― Bob Marley
Writing about Love yesterday made me think about the heart chakra. When I was in my own heart, imaging those I love, I realized it was not my heart at all, but really the heart chakra that I focused on.
Many people are not aware of all the incredible information that is stored in the chakras. If you have ever had an intuitive reading from me, you know the power of this experience.
The heart chakra is the one people are aware of the most. It is the Power of Love. It relates to love, self-love, love of others, love of God (or your own word for the Divine,) affinity, loneliness, commitment, forgiveness, hope and trust.
On my website I have listed detailed information about each of the chakras. Take some time to journal about the fourth chakra and see how you can bring balance into your relationships and into your life.
Most of all though, practice focusing on your loved ones in your heart and experiencing the incredible feeling of love! When you do this you heal your heart and theirs!
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
When talking about relationships, love is in the forefront. Close your eyes and focus in your heart and feel who it is that fills your heart. Allow memories and images to come up that fill you with love.
This is a practice that can increase your happiness, lighten your mood and shift your attitude. Isn’t it amazing how much we can shift what we are feeling through a simple image of those we love?
Today would be a good day to reach out to a loved one. You can make a call, text or email them, visit them or send them a gift. Our relationships are sacred and creating a memory with them can last forever.
When you cannot be with a loved one for some reason, you can also focus in your heart, bring your consciousness up out of the top of your head, up into the heavens. Imagine the person standing there with you and send love to the person through your heart. This can heal a wounded relationship and bring peace to one who is missing you. You may be surprised when they call you suddenly!
“You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won’t mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever…. connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Soon after I chose my word for 2014 – Relationships – came the resistance. I am beginning to think that resistance may be the shadow side to most of what I want to manifest.
When I teach manifesting, I have my students or clients think about and write down specifically what they want to manifest. As soon as they do this, I encourage them to then write down all the thoughts of why they can’t have this. Now, this may appear counter-productive, but the reality is, these thoughts are going to either surface consciously or subconsciously and it is better to challenge them outright.
So I’ll use my word – relationships. I have made a decision to focus on relationships this year. The thoughts that surface are these:
- I’ll have to slow down and make time for other people.
- I will get hurt.
- People will want more of me than I can give.
- I’ll have to be present to everyone who comes into my life and I’ll get exhausted.
Now, that I have identified the immediate concerns I have, I can challenge them.
- I’ll have to slow down and make time for other people. – In this case, yes, I will do this. I have wanted to do this for a while and I can schedule my life with more play and less work and if I don’t resist this (stress and exhaustion) then I will really enjoy playing and being more present to friends and family.
- I will get hurt. – Just because I am spending more time in my relationships and possibly allowing an intimate relationship, I don’t have to get hurt. I can move slowly, set necessary boundaries until I am confident and feel safe. I have a lot of skills and can use them in relationship. (You will notice that my resistance here appears to come from a need to feel safe.)
- People will want more of me than I can give. – In this situation, the fear is not related to my friends and family, but more to other people. It will be necessary for me to be discerning of where I put my time and energy. It is not like a dam breaking. I can spend time with my friends and family without opening the floodgates to everyone. (overwhelm)
- I will have to be present to everyone who comes into my life and I will become exhausted. – In this case, becoming present is actually a way of being less exhausted. There will be people around me that I don’t have to be continually present with. I can be present with myself and focus my attention where I would like. I am in control. (exhaustion)
I hope this example demonstrates the fears that come right behind your decision to manifest. Now, you can be conscious of the fears and challenge them. The theme of this 30-day blog, is not just relationship to others, but relationship to yourself. You are in control of your life, your choices and your future!
Much of what I have taught over the years has been about manifesting and creating the life you want. In order to do this, often you have to bring the past into present time to heal. What I mean by this is that when you focus on the past and live in the past, your life is controlled by what you felt and thought in the past. What happens is you continue to feel those feelings in the present. Living in the past leaves no room for what you are experiencing in the present. Living in the past, having your thoughts and feelings consumed by the past, can also control your future. Your past becomes your future.
Living in the past can create depression.
Living in the future can create anxiety.
When I talk about healing the past, what I hear most is “how do I do that?” Well, there are many modalities for healing the past. One that I teach is to become aware of the memories and the wounds. Feel them and change your beliefs around them. Your feelings are a result of your beliefs. Often your beliefs flitter so quickly in your mind, you have difficulty noticing them, grabbing them and examining them.
The ones you can identify is where to start. In your journal, write out a list of people and situations where you have been hurt or angry. Allow yourself to feel your feelings as you remember. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself.
Look at where you may have contributed to the situation. Take inventory of your own actions. You can use the successful process from the Big Book of AA. When taking inventory, write out where you were selfish, self-centered, frightened, or to blame.
Now, you may not have had any responsibility in the situation, especially if you were a child. In that case, look at what was going on in the other person’s life at the time.
People do the best they can at the time. Sometimes their best is destructive and hurtful to others, but it still is the best they can do with the awareness, teachings and the consciousness they have at the time. Are there some things you would like to do that you don’t do? Are there things you do that you wish you didn’t? Have you behaved in the past in ways you would not behave today because you know better? No one is perfect.
Anger is a secondary emotion that covers up pain or fear.
You may have had desires, demands or expectations of someone. Then you find they didn’t either give you what you wanted or they behaved in ways that hurt you.
If this is so and is in the past, in order to heal yourself and move on, you can forgive them. If it is a present situation, then you can make choices on how you choose to handle the situation. If choose to continue to stay in a destructive situation, it is your choice. The responsibility then becomes yours. You cannot blame the other person when you choose to stay. What happens when you blame someone else is, they then have the power to change the situation and you become a victim. When you take responsibility for your choices, you remain empowered and in control of your life.
If you still have a lot of pain or anger about the situation, write out what happened to you. You can write it over and over until the “sting” or “charge” is gone. You may want to read it over and over to a safe, loved one until it is no longer controlling you. You can forgive and move on. This does not mean you agree with what happened, it just means it no longer controls you.
Only you have the ability to clear your past and live fully in present time, thus giving you the power to create the life you want to live.
Clearing frees you to live in present time.