Category Archives: Uplifting

Learn To Truly Love Yourself

Learn To Truly Love Yourself

 

Most of us are so busy waiting for someone to love us that we’ve forgotten about the one person we need to love first—ourselves. While we’re caught up looking for love from a partner we miss out on receiving love from the one person who has the most amazing love to give. That is the person who stares back at us from the mirror. However you can learn to love yourself unconditionally.

 

love and value yourself

Falling in love with yourself does not have to be loaded with guilt. It’s not selfish when we do it with appreciation. And best of all we discover a source of love that never runs out.

It’s often said that we “can’t expect others to love us if we don’t love ourself first”. While this is true to an extent it’s not the whole picture. Because the reality is, others DO love us even when we don’t love ourself. They see the beauty within us even when we can’t.

When we don’t show ourself genuine love we can very quickly find ourselves caught in a cycle of negativity. Lack of self-confidence, insecurity, jealousy and self-loathing feed off each other and escalate our unhappiness. If we continue in this pattern we begin to push others away. This perpetuates our belief that we are not worthy of love, and reinforces our self-dislike.

Conversely, when we love ourself and treat ourself with kindness and respect we always have someone around who sends us love. We feel more confident, positive, and secure. We draw others to us and we receive even more love from them also.

 

How To Love Yourself

So how do you start falling in love with yourself? The whole idea of turning this concept into a process may seem a bit ridiculous. However, it’s not really so silly.

Engaging in a process of introspection and appreciation makes the process very possible.

Enjoy what you’re reading and want to know more? Continue here…

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Red Tent Soul Sister Sanctuary

Copy of Join forces in harmony

Have you ever joined with a circle of women where you take the time and space to connect with your inner knowing, in order to receive insights and clear pointers about the direction your life needs to follow right now?

The Red Tent Soul Sister Sanctuary helps to restore balance in your life and nurture your personal spiritual growth, as well as providing you with a deep sense of nourishment to fuel your soul and fill your heart.

If you are in Melbourne this coming weekend this is your opportunity to experience for yourself.

To discover more about the event read on…

With the Winter Solstice just behind us, we journey this month under the Cancer Dark Moon.

The energy of both the Winter Solstice and Cancer is very feminine and enables us to connect strongly and deeply with our innermost feminine intuition. This is our time to seek supportive nurturing, not only of those we cherish and hold, but of ourselves as well.

As we prepare to emerge from the darkness of winter, it is an excellent time to connect with our highest knowing and focus on what we need in our life to nurture and support ourself, so we then may nurture and support those in our life.

Women instinctively know that gathering with other like minded women offers enormous psychological and energetic benefits.

The Red Tent Soul Sisters Sanctuary is an opportunity to take time-out from your busy life to reconnect with your inner self, to let your inner child out to play, to share and to be supported in a sisterhood of exchanged knowledge, insights, gifts, wisdom, guided meditation, laughter & art, all within a safe and sacred space, while consciously journeying with the cycles of the moon and universe.

Traditionally the Red Tent was a place where women would gather to tune in to their feminine wisdom and receive insights for themselves, their families and for the greater good of their community. It would take place during the dark moon when the Moon is shadowed from the Sun by the Earth, and when feminine intuition is at its most heightened.

The Cancer moon is ruled by the element of water and is represented by the archetype of the Crab, who shows her hard exterior to the world in order to hide and protect her vulnerability within. This new moon takes us through a concentrated cascade of emotions where trusting and respecting our feelings brings awareness of personal needs.

So come and journey with us, join with a variety of beautiful women of all ages, cultures, and walks of life. This is a time and place where every woman is honoured for her own feminine wisdom and experiences, all of which allow us all the opportunity to learn and grow from each other.

Each RedTent gathering includes a sharing circle, insights for the coming month, guided meditation, setting intentions and a shared supper (or lunch).

You leave feeling deeply soul-nourished and filled with purpose.


WHEN: Saturday 28th June
TIME:   11.00am for 11.30 start – 2.00pm
COST:   $20
WHERE: Indigo Centre for Health & Wellbeing, 563 Whitehorse Rd,. Mitcham Vic 3132

 

Please bring a small plate of food to share for lunch afterwards


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For more info please private message Catherine Bullard on Facebook or call +61 429 140 181


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Participate Relentlessly In The Pursuit Of Happiness

People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you're fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort.
People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you’re fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort.

Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”         ~  Dalai Lama XIV  ~

For many people the pursuit of happiness is the main focus of their life. This week what happiness is all about has popped up in my radar in a number of ways.

Apparently, according to the Sydney Morning Herald on May 28th this year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says ‘Australia is still the world’s happiest nation’. Their happiness guage is based on the majority having paid work, the national economy side-stepping the worldwide recession, people working fewer hours, the existence of a stronger sense of community, and that most people said they have more positive experiences than negative in an average day.

But is this how to define happiness? Is it all about the economy and what we possess?

According to the Greek philosopher Epicurus external goods such as status and luxury are not good for us, and putting value on them, and pursuing them is not good for us at all.

Epicurus believes we need to abstain from external desire in order to achieve tranquility. He says the path to tranquility is through choosing the simple things in life.

A quick scroll through my Pinterest feed affirms that this is one belief firmly ascribed to by many others today.

 “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”   ~ Dalai Lama ~

Apparently our level of happiness is age-related as a study by  Hannes Schwandt, a research associate at Princeton University shows. People are happiest at the age of 23 and then again at 69 and life slumps for most people in the mid-50’s, when many battle with regret. Young people in their early twenties feel very optimistic about their future which while it equates to happiness can easily turn to misery if the expectations and dreams are not met.

Our happiness is age-related
Our happiness is age-related

So what is it that makes sixty-nine year olds happy? Have they come to terms with their failures? The research showed that the elderly have lower expectations and so are less disappointed. Is this all? It reminds me a little of Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh who never expected anything good.

Is it that they have stopped seeking happiness in the material world, so they are ab;e find happiness in other ways?

Of course this piece of research presents a perfect example of what happens when you focus on the past or the future.

The famous quote “carpe diem” may have come from the Roman Horace, but many others, including Epicurus also had something to say about living in the moment. Epicurus advocated living in the present moment as it is the only point at which we have any control. He said that by focusing on the past and future we dis-empower ourselves, but when we focus on the present moment we re-empower ourselves. This has become a very popular approach. It forms the basis of many Buddhist practices and many of the techniques of modern psychology are also based on this concept.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”     ~  Dalai Lama XIV  ~

It is widely accepted that happiness is not to be found in the trappings of the world but as the result of our internal state of mind and approach to life. Happiness lies within.  As Elizabeth Gilbert said in her book  Eat, Pray, Love  , We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.”

Leave the busy commotion of the mind...and enter into the stillness of the heart
Leave the busy commotion of the mind…and enter into the stillness of the heart

However, there is no one thing in life that many agree can apparently be said to be the key to happiness. It seems that many psychologists have given their advice as to what the answer is and there are any number of blogs with lists advising how to achieve a happy life.

Finding happiness seems to boil down to our need to make changes both to the way in which we assess the positive and negative about our life, as well as the attitude we adopt as the purpose of our life.

Psychologist Martin Seligman believes the key is to recognize our strengths and virtues and then to use them for a purpose greater than our own. This concept is one that is ascribed to widely.

“One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.” Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

Srikumar Rao, the author of Happiness at Work thinks our biggest obstacle is the belief that we are powerless and the victim of circumstance. He believes that we are the creators of own existence, and that control lies within the attitude with which we approach our work, and by association our life. As he says “The knowledge we have that we are responsible for living the life we have is our most powerful tool”.

Rao advocates inhabiting the “other-centred universe”. This is a world where our focus lies on others. And is a wisdom that forms an important part of Eastern spirituality. If we are motivated by an attitude of focus that is outside ourself, of looking for ways to achieve in our life that will be of benefit to others rather than focusing on satisfying our own wants and desires, then we will find happiness in our life.

Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~  Dalai Lama  ~

For many people what may seem a huge negative in their life, a disaster, can in fact turn out to be a positive in hindsight. Often when serious illness forces someone to stop their life, to let go in order to undergo treatment and healing, they are offered the opportunity to turn their life in a different direction, one that can ultimately lead them to a happier life. Often it is a much simpler life.

Changes are made on many levels. Frequently the person finds they need to address their nutrition and they adopt a natural, wholefood diet, including the discovery of superfoods. The often seek out and adopt practices like meditation that allow them to sit in stillness. They recognize the generosity of others around them and begin to regularly and frequently express gratitude for those others as well as for the small, simple joys of everyday life. Importantly, their approach to their life can undergo a radical change which leaves them focused on the world outside themselves. Leaves them asking what they can do to improve and benefit the world and the individuals around them. It leads to a generous approach to life.

So what were the things that have reminded me this week about the purpose of life, the pursuit of happiness?

Well, firstly my free ‘Kindness Cards’ from the Wake-Up Project  http://www.wakeupproject.com.au  arrived in the mail. These are beautiful little cards to leave behind when you anonymously perform a random act of kindness. They tell the person that an act has been performed and invites them to repeat the game with someone else, to pay it forward. Why not some yourself?

Secondly, I have entered a competition on Pinterest to create “My Happiness Board”. I am not sure if entering a competition to win a great prize constitutes the true pursuit of happiness, and it has created some stress for me, however, once the event is over I will slowly build the board to hopefully be an inspiration to others. You can take a look here (don’t worry, you won’t need to trawl through a huge board – the rules called for only five pins!)

Thirdly, I re-read a favourite book (I love to re-read!) in which one oft-quoted line is “it is what it is”.

Forget about a positive spin on life. Life is what it is. We have to make the best of what it is – it could be better, it could be worse. But it isn’t – it is.

Look for your strengths, the things you may not even recognize, and use those strengths to address ways in which you can make the world a better place. Practice kindness, be generous with what you can offer. Accept what life gifts back to you. When you reach the age of sixty-nine you may very well realize that the lemons of your life were indeed gold.  As Aristotle reminds us “Happiness depends on ourselves”.

And lastly, take note of Gretchen Rubins’ advice and try to notice and give credit to others that are living a life focused on giving what they have to offer to others.  “The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It’s more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted. No one is careful of his feelings or tries to keep his spirits high. He seems self-sufficient; he becomes a cushion for others. And because happiness seems unforced, that person usually gets no credit.”

Acknowledge your strengths, the things you may not even recognize as they come so easily to you, and use those strengths to address ways in which you can make the world a better place.
Acknowledge your strengths, the things you may not even recognize as they come so easily to you, and use those strengths to address ways in which you can make the world a better place.

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

Source articles

History of Happiness

http://philosophyforlife.org/philosophies-for-life/epicureans/#sthash.ZnrVDZZt.dpuf

http://www.smh.com.au/business/australia-the-worlds-happiest-nation-oecd-20130528-2n87z.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/people-happiest-20s-60s-article-1.1407789

http://www.thehappinessinstitute.com

http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2009/09/the-happiness-project-book/

http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-resources

Stop And Take Stock – Before Life Whizzes Right On By You

It seems that people constantly speak of how fast the world is today, of how hurried they feel or make comments like “wow, can you believe the year is almost half over, already”! We talk constantly about our fast-paced world and many people feel overwhelmed by the demands of life in 2013. We all know that we should be taking time out to relax, to re-group, to re-new. But, there is no time!

Copy of Lake Reflections

Life races on.

Suddenly it is mid-year, the end of the year, ten years later, and that’s when we really feel confused about where did all that time go to.

In times past there was far more awareness about marking the important times of our lives. Families and communities lived a slower, more measured life and were able to recognize and acknowledge the passing of time more easily. They would gather for birthdays, religious celebrations, housewarmings, engagements and marriages. In many indigenous societies they would also mark the passing of the seasons and the lunar calendar. But today many of these occasions for celebration have disappeared, while other celebrations are done in a way that may not hold the same meaning or have a significant effect on the person. We have all stopped pausing to take stock of our life.

Making the effort to stop and mark points in our life forces us to take the time to look at where we have been and how far we have come since the last time we examined our life.

When clients I am working with are feeling despondent about their health I often read back some of their history notes taken months or years earlier, during their consultation, as it allows them the opportunity to actually recall how bad their health was in the past and how much better they are now. Frequently as they improved they stopped remembering how they had felt or how incapacitated they were when they first came to see me. When I remind them they are able to then appreciate their vast improvement and to go on with a renewed positive outlook.

I don’t see this as simply a time issue however. All too many of us are our own harshest critics. We set standards and expectations for ourselves at impossible levels, we fail to recognize our achievements, let alone acknowledge them.

If we stop and assess where we are in life, what we now do differently, what we have learnt, how we view the world around us, or engage with the people we encounter differently, we then have marking points that we can use to compare and notice changes within ourselves. It allows us to realize that although we feel that we are simply racing through our life we are in fact changing and growing also. When we take this time it affords us a chance to recognize ourselves as the wonderful person we are and perhaps to judge our faults less harshly.

We have just celebrated a 21st birthday in our family and I insisted (of course) that we hold a party for close friends and family. My son was very reluctant and in fact resistant. But partway through the night he told me how glad he was that I had forced him have the event. I have watched with joy as through the week since the party his reflections have allowed a wonderful self-appreciation to blossom, and he is bubbling with plans for the next few months. I am sure that without marking this significant occasion he would have drifted on through the year, and perhaps his life, without this exuberance about himself and the possibilities that life offers him.

Our lives go on now 24/7. Everything seems to be available all hours of the day or night. Stores don’t close up for the weekend any more; movies run non-stop; we can find what we want at any hour, day or night. The world is on permanent ‘GO’. Nobody seems to be making the space to ask ‘where have I come from, and where might I go from here’.

The lyrics of the opening verse of ‘Tapestry’ by Carole King have always resonated for me, and whenever I hear them I cannot help but pause and reflect on my own life tapestry.

My life has been a tapestry
Of rich and royal hue;
An everlasting vision
Of the ever-changing view;
A wond’rous woven magic
In bits of blue and gold;
A tapestry to feel and see;
Impossible to hold.

Instead of racing on with your life, never noticing or appreciating much of the intricate and beautiful pattern of the life-quilt you are weaving, take some time out for reflection.

Try to make a regular time each week to ‘take stock’ of what you have done, what you achieved, what you learnt, how you could change things. Perhaps even start a journal in which to record your thoughts. Then do the same monthly, then every year on your birthday. Find something you love to do, maybe a meal with friends, a facial or massage, walk a labyrinth, maybe see a show – whatever you love, just something you enjoy – and mark the important occasions in your life as an acknowledgement of your worth and of the contribution that you are making to those around you and the earth as a whole.

Take some time out to reflect on the rich and royal tapestry of your life.

Do you already have some practice that helps you to reflect and take stock? Leave a reply below and tell me what you do, or what you plan to do, to make ‘acknowledgement’ space in your life.

Hawaiian Tapestry by Jay Wilson Take some time out to reflect on the rich and royal tapestry of your life Photo credit: Daniel Ramirez
Take some time out to reflect on the rich and royal tapestry of your life
Hawaiian Tapestry by Jay Wilson
Photo credit: Daniel Ramirez

 

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

 

Get Down To Earth Again And Do Some Grounding

This year I decided to ditch my footwear inside the house, ever since reading up on Barefoot Earthing or Grounding. This is a radical new health practice that is quickly gaining momentum as word about its benefits spreads. Its impact can be quite far-reaching and yet it is incredibly simple to do, costs nothing, is always available and feels great.

Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you take off your shoes to walk barefoot?  Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hlkljgk/5760553436/
Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you take off your shoes to walk barefoot?
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hlkljgk/5760553436/

Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you take off your shoes to walk barefoot? Well it seems there is a scientific explanation, and research into the practice of Grounding has found that it can significantly improve all sorts of health problems. It can help your energy levels, reduce stress, improve your sleep, decrease muscular inflammation and stiffness as well as other chronic pain, reduce anxiety, improve circulation, prevent free-radical damage and associated premature ageing and even heal injuries faster. It brings you back into a state of equilibrium where your body is best able to heal itself. Those who use the practice on a regular basis report great results. I am certainly finding I have less aches and pains whenever I walk round without shoes than when I leave them on.

It all has to do with electrical fields.

These days we live completely immersed in electro-magnetic waves (EMFs) from a huge number of everyday items including our mobile phones, computers, wireless technology, huge numbers of electrical appliances, and even compact fluorescent lights. The air in our houses, our workplaces, our schools and in some outdoors places is full of electro-pollution, harmful positive ions produced by this multitude of electrical contraptions that surround us. These positive ions are contributing to ill health.

Electrical stress is now recognized as a significant contributor to many health problems and in fact a new chronic illness, “Diabetes Type 3”, has been coined to describe the effect of illness believed to be from electropollution. Surrounding yourself with sources of negative ions helps to rebalance this disharmony, as does being in places where negative ions are in abundance.

The surface of the earth is electically conductive and has a permanent supply of free electrons sitting just above the surface. The charge on the earth surface is negative and anything that is close to the surface will also carry that charge

Your body also has an electrical field, sometimes referred to as the biofield or the aura. When your bare feet are in contact with the earth negative electrons can easily pass into you. Grounding helps to prevent a build-up of harmful electrons in your body as well as promoting a discharge of the positive ions from your body into the earth. Simultaneously you receive a flood of free electrons from the earth. These neutralize the free radicals in your body which cause inflammation and are responsible for many health problems. The flood of electrons immediately ‘re-balances’ you, which is why you feel so good when you walk outside barefoot.

In case you got lost in that explanation, simply, standing on the earth rebalances the electromagnetic field of your body, helping to strengthen your immune system, and boosting both your health and your wellbeing.

For most of our existence humans have gone barefoot and often slept directly on the ground, things now are very different. As well as being surrounded by electromagnetic pollution we are cut off from receiving the rebalancing benefits from the earth because the shoes that we now wear have rubber and synthetic soles that insulate and block transmission of the natural beneficial energy of the earth. Think how rubber gloves can provide protection from electrical shock.

 HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF

  • Take your shoes off and go barefoot on grass, beach, bare earth, even concrete when it is laid directly on the earth (but not if it is painted or sealed) whenever you can
  • You need to walk around on the earth for about thirty minutes to gain the benefit
  • Swim in lakes, rivers, or the sea
  • Wear shoes with leather soles
  • Purchase and use one of the indoor grounding mats or an earthing bed sheet.

By the way, the reason I am able to benefit from earthing when walking barefoot indoors is because my floor is unglazed slate sitting on a concrete slab which is set directly onto a rock shelf on the side of a hill. You would not get earthing benefit in a home above the ground, or with glazed tiles, or a layer between the concrete and tile, or with other floor coverings.

If you would like to read up on Earthing also then get a copy of the book EARTHING – The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?  by Clint Ober, Dr Stephen T Sinatra and Martin Zucker.

Remember though, Grounding is not a substitute for medical treatment and if you have a medical condition you need to consult your healthcare provider.

Taking your shoes off and walking barefoot in the sea helps to rebalance your energetic field.
Taking your shoes off and walking barefoot in the sea helps to rebalance your energetic field.

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

http://www.earthing.com/category_s/1823.htm

http://www.barefoothealing.com.au/

http://www.wellbeing.com.au/article/Features/Body-Health/Barefoot-earthing_1054

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/04/why-does-walking-barefoot-on-the-earth-make-you-feel-better.aspx

http://www.naturalnews.com/028967_electropollution_diabetes.html

What is Biofield Therapy?

Combat Stress In Your Life With Meditation

The pace of life has increased exponentially over the last few years and we are all living with increasingly rising stress levels
The pace of life has increased exponentially over the last few years and we are all living with increasingly rising stress levels

“We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don´t know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home.
Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home.”
Sogyal Rinpoche

Stress plays a major part in the development of many illnesses. It is known to affect many body functions including the reproductive system, cause eczema and psoriasis, cause dry mouth or ulcers and musculoskeletal pain as well as affecting the immune system as a whole.

The pace of life has increased exponentially over the last few years. As we all take on more and more in our lives and the influx of information bombards us faster and faster, we live with increasingly rising stress levels – whether their cause or focus is on our work, our family , finances, or the health of ourselves, our parents as they age, our family or our beautiful planet, or any of the myriad of commitments we all have in our life. Some may even be stressing about whether they are allowing enough “download” time to counter the stress they have. Almost all of us, including children, are affected to some degree.

DE- STRESS

One of the ways that I often suggest to clients to offload the effects of this stress in their life is to adopt the practice of meditation. Some say they have tried it but just can’t maintain focus. But for others the idea is somewhat daunting and many dismiss the idea out-of-hand. Introducing something new requires planning, and for them to allocate scarce time seems to only escalate their problem. For others it is all just a bit ”woo-woo” and uncomfortable.

But the fact remains that meditation is a wonderful way to de-stress, and it does not have to be difficult, or to require big chunks of your time, or to actively involve “chakras”. You do not need to join a class, it is entirely portable. And it does not have to include burning incense, crystals, difficult yoga poses or the need to “get it right”.

There are many different ways that the benefits of meditation can be obtained and it’s simply a matter of finding the one that fits you and your life, and then making that a regular part of your day.

There is a misconception that in order to meditate you need to completely shut down your mind. But for most people the mind chatter just keeps on intruding, constantly pulling them out of that calm, quiet, thought-free place we all seek.

The truth is that in order to be able to meditate in that way takes many, many years of practice. For the majority thoughts wander in and out, and it’s ok. The key is to accept that your thoughts will wander, and to simply consciously pull them back again whenever they do, by focusing once more on the meditative technique that you are using.

The thing is, meditation does not have to be a big major undertaking. Sure there are yogis who can sit and meditate all day. But there are also others who do it throughout their day in bursts of a few minutes. And many more who allocate a set amount of “me-time” when they are able to do their practice, and re-group.

MINDFULNESS

The enlightened Buddist monk Thich Nhat Hanh advocates doing walking meditations, which offer you the opportunity to transform an everyday practice into a healing and nourishing way to develop mindfulness, awaken your consciousness and to bring some peace into a life all too often over-run with stress. Basically they are meditation in action. You become mindful of the action of walking and try to keep your mind focused on the experience of walking and breathing. This makes it a lot easier for “monkey minds” to deal with as it gives the flighty mind something on which to concentrate. You can hear him explain it here and watch him demonstrate this form of meditation to a group of followers. It is a good form of meditation for women, who often benefit from active meditation as it is more yang, or masculine. I learnt the practice of this powerful technique from this wonderful Walking Meditation Kit – comprising book, DVD and CD which you can buy from Amazon. Meditation Oasis has clear detailed instructions for doing a walking meditation to get you started right here.

If you find you prefer active meditation Osho offers a number of  dynamic meditations you may like to try.

Many people prefer a guided meditation as they find having a voice directing the practice helps them to maintain their focus. Here is a simple ten minute relaxation meditation that I came across recently. I like it for its simplicity, her gentle, soothing voice and because it incorporates conscious muscle relaxation – perfect for releasing stress. I believe this is one you could even do at your desk if things start to get on top of you at work.

If you are having difficulty actually relaxing any muscles in these meditations one tip is to tighten each muscle momentarily. This allows you to relax the muscle on release. Use this technique until you are able to relax the muscles at will.

BREATHE

One of the simplest ways to start meditating is to practice consciously watching your breath, often called mindfulness . It comes out of Buddhist tradition but is not ‘religious’ in itself. It is all about ‘being present’ and allows for your mind to do its own thing while you develop, over time, the ability to detach from the thought. That sounds complicated, but in fact it is very simple. Here are two variations of a calming and simple meditation that focuses on the breath, again from Meditation Oasis. Breathing Meditation is one of the simplest forms of meditation and yet is also one of the most powerful. You may discover you never need to look any further!

Of course there are many different types of meditation that can be used to fulfill all sorts of purposes. Many have heard of Transcendental Meditation which derives from Hinduism. Zazen meditation involves just sitting for long periods. Kundalini is gaining in popularity and focuses on the rising stream of energy that exists in humans. Guided visualizations can be a very powerful way to opening your awareness. I use these in my Women’s Circles often with wonderful results. They involve concentration on an image or imagined environment or experience. Another form of meditation that I have found particularly powerful is the practice of Qi Gong, a Taoist meditation technique. Of course there are others as well and you may like to investigate some once you have established a regular meditation practice in your life.

I am a big fan of not taking on big loads – maybe it is the inner sloth, who knows. But if there is an easier pathway then I am always willing to give that option a go. And one way that always makes things a little easier to achieve is to break tasks down into their smallest bites and to then tackle those one at a time. If the prospect of meditation seems a bit daunting to you then start small. Start out by adopting a five minute breathing meditation, or if that is too much make it three minutes. Or start by doing a quick body relaxation every day at your desk or before the kids come home from school, or before going to bed at night. Or maybe even do it for a few minutes a few times through the day.

Soon you will find that it is easy to meditate.

“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.”
Voltaire

This is how I picture myself meditating...but it is far more likely I will be sitting in my car catching a few brief moments to centre my breathing before plunging back into the chaos of life
This is how I picture myself meditating…but it is far more likely I will be sitting in my car catching a few brief moments to centre my breathing before plunging back into the chaos of life

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

http://www.iam-u.org/index.php/8-basic-kinds-of-meditation-and-why-you-should-meditate-on-your-heart http://www.wildmind.org/walking/overview

Soak Away Stress In Your Own Home Spa

reduce stress with DIY home bath products

 

I choose to practice gratitude every day. But no matter how hard I try I still regret that I don’t have a bath in my home.  Soaking in a bath with essential oils is an excellent way to reduce stress.

I love bath products and make a small range of beautiful natural skin care products. They’re simple and fun to make. It’s wonderful to be able to play with aromatic essential oils, beautiful cold-pressed vegetable oils, Himalayan salts and nut butters.

But I still long for a deep tub, candles, oils and salts in the bath, maybe a crystal in the water, music …well you know the scene. So whenever I go on holidays I always pack these goodies and book hotel rooms with a big bath.

Because this is the ‘Stressful-Season’ I’d like to share with you five wonderful super-simple home-made recipes for your Home Spa that sound easy and delicious. I hope you decide to practice a little self-love and steal an hour from your busy life to try them out.

 

1.  YULE RECIPE

So much alcohol goes in through the mouth over the holidays. Do yourself a favour and put that glass of red wine or champagne in your bath instead. Red wine is full of antioxidants which are simply awesome anti-ageing tools. If you feel a little decadent a glass of champagne in the water helps reduce discolouration of your skin as well as fine lines. The bonus is that the champagne needs to be flat! So have a drink first. Instead of throwing the leftover down the sink, throw it into the running water of your bath instead. Then hop in and soak for twenty minutes.

 

2. DETOX RECIPE

This is a great detox bath and my guess is you’ll probably need a couple of these after a dose of holiday partying.

Regular readers know I love Himalayan salt. It has so many health benefits as well as being relaxing and soothing. Unlike table salt it contains 84 minerals which give it the gorgeous pink colour. For it to be an effective detox you must have the right proportion of salt to water. In a tub of 100 litres you need 1200 grams of Himalayan salt.

Don’t use any soap, shampoo or oil with this as the salt cleanses perfectly. Soak for 30 minutes, towel off and then rinse with clean water. The salt leaves your skin beautifully silky smooth.

 

3. DIY BATH SALTS

Bath Salts are really easy to make at home. Try out this one.

Mix 50% epsom salts, 25% sea salt and 25% bi-carb soda (baking soda). Don’t use the stuff labeled “Lectric Soda” as it’s not Epsom salts. You need true Epsom Salts to get the benefits. Use about 2 tablespoons (40mL) of the mix in each bath. You can store any leftover in an airtight jar.

You can also add 7 – 10 drops (0.3 – 0.5 grams) of your favourite essential oil to each tablespoons of salt. I love Sandalwood mixed with Rose Geranium and Lavender. This mix smells amazing and these particular oils have a great nourishing and moisturising effect for my dry skin.

 

4.  GODDESS BATH

Cleopatra was spot on when she added camel milk to her baths. I don’t do dairy so wouldn’t use this. But if you’re not allergic to dairy products milk makes a fantastic mild exfoliant. You can use full cream milk or milk powder, or goats milk to the bath salts mix. Or even camel milk if you have some.

First add 5 drops of essential oils of your choice to the milk. Mix well. Add equal quantities of each mix to the bath (two tablespoons of the salt mix and two of the milk mix). Then soak for 20 minutes.

 

5. BEAUTIFUL BATH OIL

Bath oils are the easiest of all to make and very luxurious.

Use a good quality vegetable oil like Sweet Almond or peach as the base. I choose cold-pressed oils and make my own blend which includes hemp seed, avocado and macadamia oil. For every tablespoon of vegetable oil add 8-10 drops of a single essential oil or a blend that you love. Float a tablespoon of the mix on the water.

You can also add botanicals to the water for their aromatic bliss and health benefits. Be sure to use organic flowers, not sprayed with pest control.

Lavender blossom is a wonderful relaxant. Rose petals have beautiful skin softening properties and their scent is intoxicating. In fact even the water gets softer when you add rose petals. Sprinkle a handful in the gushing water and remember to breathe in the aroma as you relax.

 

MAN SPA

Many men have learnt to love spas too. Lose the candles, music and rose petals, and look for less flowery essential oils.

Grapefruit and orange oils create a feeling of wellbeing. Orange is cheering and uplifting, and the fresh citrus smell appeals to men (as well as women).

Relaxing sandalwood is another good choice and helps with balancing all skin types.

Juniper is a great rejuvenating oil with a smoky note that works really well with citrus oils.

Frankincense, marjoram, cedarwood, orange, sandalwood and vetiver are some relaxants with a less girly tone. Patchouli is another oil suitable for men, that I also love. But it’s definitely one you need to be sure he likes before using.

Use the recipes above as your base and choose oils that suit his emotional state. If he’s a bit reluctant encourage him to try it out just once for at least twenty minutes. With a good magazine to read it’s a much better way to unwind than the television and he’ll surely get hooked.

 

QUALITY OILS

One important thing to note. I’m really fussy about the oils I use and will only use top quality ‘Therapeutic Grade’ oils and you should too.  The effectiveness of aromatherapy is directly dependent on the quality of essential oils employed.

Many oils are promoted as being 100% pure and natural but are adulterated or simply ‘lifestyle products’ using the concept of aromatherapy. These are low quality ‘essential oils’ and ‘aromatherapy oils’ often leave a nasty residue after burning.

I hate the way that advertising loopholes again allow manufacturers to mislead the buyer. Look for therapeutic claims on the oils you use and you’ll then be sure they’re going to actually do you good.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Choose your favourite recipe, mix yourself up a batch of ‘relaxation’ in your kitchen and schedule a ‘recovery hour’ in your calendar.

Then light a beautiful scented candle, especially the ones with multiple wicks, and put on some soothing music. If you have an amethyst or rose quartz crystal put it in the bottom of the bath. Just be sure not to sit down on it. Lock the bathroom door and relax back for half an hour.

After your bath lavish your favourite moisturiser on your skin and emerge rejuvenated and able to face the next holiday challenge.

 

salt detox for bath
Photo credit: Dennis Wong

 

And  here is a little trivia to end with – today 12/12/12 is the very last date that will have all three digits the same until the twenty second century, so almost certainly the last you will encounter.

Enjoy!
Do you have a favourite bath-time recipe? Please share it with us in the comments below

 

 

 

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Holy Basil! It’s Tulsi, the Queen of Herbs

Tulsi holds both medicinal and spiritual importance in India

Herbal teas are a wonderful way to obtain the benefits of herbal remedies very easily and I sat down today to enjoy my afternoon cup of tea with great pleasure. I drink a variety of green and herbal teas but this one, Tulsi tea, is one of my favourites.

Tulsi, Ocimum sanctum or Holy Basil, is a small plant which has played an important role in Ayurvedic medicine and has been cherished as a sacred plant by Indians for nearly five thousand years. It is also known by many other names that reflect the exalted position it holds, such as Sacred Basil, Queen of Herbs, the Incomparable One, the Elixir of Life and the Mother Medicine of Nature. In Ayurvedic medicine many herbs are highly valued, but Tulsi is a prized medicinal, recognized as a herb with unique status and revered alongside the Lotus

Tulsi is believed to be spiritually endowed and powerfully transformative. In India it plays an important part in religious practices and is used during meditation to gain clarity and protection. Many traditional Hindus worship at an altar in the courtyard of their home on which is placed a potted Tulsi plant, which is thought to provide divine protection, insure personal health, spiritual purity and family well-being. The plant is revered for both its healing abilities and its ability to heighten spiritual awareness. It is thought to balance the chakras and to be capable of bringing on goodness, virtue and joy in humans

There are three types of Tulsi, and all are known for their fragrance which resembles that of their cousin, the Sweet Basil that you use in cooking. Krishna (purple) is slightly peppery and Rama (green) is cooling and mellow. Vana (‘forest Tulsi’) grows wild and is a bit ‘lemony’. They are members of the Lamiaceae (mint) family have a mint overtone.

Traditionally Tulsi was used for an impressively wide-range of health promoting purposes. As a herbal remedy it has been shown to have many benefits. The chemical composition of Tulsi is very complex and it is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. It is used in over 300 medical treatments and there is a lot of evidence of its health benefits. The research offers impressive evidence that Tulsi has general vitality-enhancing properties which support and enhance the body’s natural capacity to maintain a state of well-being. Research shows that it both protects against and reduces stress, enhances stamina and endurance, increases the body’s efficient use of oxygen, boosts the immune system and slows aging.

Holy Basil has a wide range of actions including anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral which make it effective in fighting infections. It’s also an adaptogen, antidepressant, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue (promotes the flow of mother’s milk), and immunomodulator. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and in addition it will boost your immunity. These terms may be confusing but this range of actions all add up to a herb that is able to restore widespread balance in your body.

Tulsi is perhaps most recognized and appreciated as a powerful adaptogen, and acts as an excellent ‘anti-stress agent’. It is a herb that allows the body to cope with the many stresses of modern life, whether they are environmental, physical or chemical. It keeps the body in a balanced state of health and offers protection from the vast range of diseases that are caused by these stressors. It assists with mental tension, emotional difficulties and problems that are the result of poor lifestyle. It is an ancient protective herb ideally suited to the modern world because it will help prevent illnesses that are the result of living a modern high-speed lifestyle.

Tulsi Tea nourishes a persons growth to perfect health and promotes long life

Tulsi is beneficial for so many problems that I have to list some of the ways that it may help you:

  • Supports the immune system
  • Helps fight infections, and is widely used to treat respiratory ailments
  • Provides physical stamina
  • Has anti-depressive action
  • Enhances digestion and nutrient absorption and helps with gastrointestinal problems such as bloating
  • Reduces inflammation in diseases like arthritis
  • Supports heart function, reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduces the risk of stroke
  • Neutralizes dangerous chemicals that can cause cancer, degenerative diseases and early aging
  • It is a nerve tonic
  • Sharpens your memory
  • Is expectorant and effective in asthma, cough, croup, allergies and respiratory infections
  • Strengthens the kidneys
  • Lowers cortisol levels
  • May help to lower blood sugar levels and nourishes the pancreas
  • Is useful in many children’s illnesses like diarrhea, cough, cold, fever or vomiting as well as ADHD
  • It hydrates the skin and helps with disorders like ringworm or dryness
  • In conjunction with chemotherapy or radiotherapy it neutralizes the effects of bio-chemicals
  • In addition it assists insomnia, pain & spasms; excess phlegm, sluggishness, excess weight, lack of energy

It seems that Tulsi is able to offer remarkable preventative and curative potential with respect to many degenerative disorders, such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and dementia.

It is not recommended taking Tulsi during pregnancy or if you are considering getting pregnant (there are indications that it may have an anti-fertility effect), but it is perfect after the birth as it helps to increase milk production

The tea is made from the leaves and blossoms of the plant. The Tulsi I drink (Pukka Organic Three Tulsi) is a mix of only the three different Tulsi’s, (Rama, Krishna and Vana) but others I have tried have been combined with green tea, or other herbs for flavour. As I enjoy the fresh, zesty flavour of the Tulsi leaf, I prefer the ‘pure’ blend rather than one added to other teas, both for the taste as well as the increased benefits it offers. It is the perfect pick-me-up in the late afternoon, immediately rejuvenating my energy, and uplifting my spirits, and without any caffeine at all! As I drink it regularly I know it is also having a positive effect in the long-term on so many of my body systems.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. It is advisable to seek professional opinion and guidance before trying any of the treatments suggested on this site.

Source articles:

http://hinduism.about.com/od/ayurveda/a/tulsibenefits.htm

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/Holy_basil.php

http://www.holy-basil.com/

http://organicindia.mercola.com/herbal-supplements/tulsi.aspx

How To Do Happy…Or Pigs In Clover

Piglet and Eeyore – Optimism and Despair

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as the result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have”   –  Frederick Keonig

Have you ever wondered why some people seem so happy while others just don’t seem to be able to capture happiness in their life? There have been studies done into what makes people happy (of course, there are studies for everything these days) and they all seem to suggest that the most important thing for a happy life is a strong connection to family and friends, which makes a lot of sense. If you think about the unhappy people who are depicted in film and literature they are invariably shown as having cut themselves off from other people around them. Of course there are times when there are genuine reasons not to be happy, such as in times of grief, but there are also some people who just never seem willing or even able to allow happiness into their life.

So based on the study findings here is a list of the most important things that make people feel happy.

  • As I said, many consider the number one requirement of happiness to be having a circle of family and friends around you who are there to offer support when you need it and with whom you can share your experiences. They are people who you can trust when you need advice or even simply to listen to you, and in return you do the same for them. Having deep and meaningful conversations have been shown to increase happiness. We all need connection, it makes our life seem more meaningful. In fact lonely people are apparently more likely to die early.

  • For me I think the feeling of gratitude has to be high on the list. Today in my neck-of-the-woods it is beautiful – a sunny 23 degrees, gentlest of breezes and the scent of the Spring flowers wafting through the open door as I write. On days like these my happiness soars and I feel immense gratitude for the opportunity to experience this, gratitude that I am not stuck in a windowless office all day. It all comes down to what you focus on – if it is on the problems in your life then they take over your consciousness, but it is easy to find pleasure in small things and if that is what you are looking for then things that you can be grateful for will appear more and more often. If you are noticing the good things around you, no matter how insignificant, then there is less room to notice the bad. Gratitude needs to be expressed though, talked or written about and one way to do this is to keep a “Gratitude Diary” where you can write down what you have to be grateful about every day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.” – Louisa May Alcott
  • Lots of the things that we stress over are not changed in any way by the amount of attention we give them. Whether we stress them or not they go on and play out exactly the same as they would do if we put them aside and didn’t allow them to cause us such anxiety. It comes back to the old saying of “don’t stress the small”, but I would add “and learn to appreciate the small instead”.

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

  • Allowing and expressing gratitude of course leads to you developing a positive outlook and to cultivate optimism. Recognising failures as the opportunity to learn and grow helps you to see the world and everything that happens as a chance for more experience. It’s really interesting that attitude is entirely related to what we see around us. Olympic Bronze Medalists feel fortunate that they have won a medal while Silver Medalists apparently feel bad that they missed out on the Gold. It comes down to focusing on what you have, not what is missing. So avoiding social comparisons helps to avoid the poison of dismissing what we actually have done or what we actually do have. If you need to make comparisons then use an earlier you as the benchmark.
  • Forgiveness seems to be a biggie here. Holding anger, hatred and resentment is very toxic. Your mind can’t differentiate between emotions from the past and the present and so the negative, hateful feelings simply eat away constantly causing great harm to your immune system. Rita Mae Brown said that “One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory”. No doubt that would help with cultivating forgiveness, but it seems that controlling your mind to avoid the negative may also be valuable as it helps builds the positive outlook. You can’t do anything about the past so let it go.

  • You need to feel good about yourself to feel happy. First up you need to recognize your talents. We all hold great strengths within but often nobody, including ourselves, ever acknowledges them. Even when we seem to be failing we are often exhibiting strengths such as perseverance and courage which we are not even recognizing. The Virtues Project  is one way you can learn to recognize these in yourself and all those around you. Once you acknowledge your talents and strengths you can start to develop and expand your passions, to excite your curiosity, leaving you hungry for more ‘life’. But probably most importantly it allows you to just be who you are – yourself.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey

  • Having meaningful work or an occupation is vital to feeling happy. It is not just about having something that distracts or fills you time, although being in the state of ‘flow’ certainly gives you flashes of intense living and distracts you from the more boring parts of life. Doing something meaningful provides a sense of fulfillment that allows self-actualisation. It is also about simply using your talents, building your character through the responsibilities and obligations it entails.
  • Practise generosity and learn to give to others. Having meaningful work might offer you this opportunity. Giving may also be through caring for a family, volunteering, simply spending time with someone, basically just helping another. Altruism is deeply satisfying and will not only make you happier but also help shape your character.
  • It is worth remembering that health and fitness is important as there are physiological factors involved in feeling more or less happy. Certain neurotransmittors such as dopamine, seratonin and endorphins have an effect on your feelings of well-being as do some amino acids. Production and levels of these are affected by your diet and exercise. Too little of the foods required or too little exercise, leads to low levels of these essentials in your body and an inability to feel happy. There have been studies done that show that exercise can be just as effective in helping people with depression as anti-depressants such as Zoloft and that these people were less likely to relapse as they also had a sense of achievement. This is a great article about foods (and their components) that have a direct impact on ‘feeling good’. It includes lists of the foods rich in mood-enhancing nutrients that you need to eat in order to boost production of neurotransmittors such as dopamine and endorphins, and provide you with necessary amino acids needed to feel happy.

Of course there are other things that help to build happy people, which could be seen as a sub-groups of those above – here are some more that I can think of:

  • Take responsibility for your life- Victim mentalities don’t ever make for happiness
  • Follow your gut – This is about listening to your intuition, and also not regretting the decision you made later
  • Change – Being open to change allows you to grow
  • Practice random acts of kindness – This raises serotonin levels in your brain, making you feel wonderful as well as making the recipient feel cared for and any onlooker feel better too – this is certainly a case of  ‘passing it on’
  • Practice compassion – The Dalai Lama said “ If you want to be happy, practice compassion”  (but this one takes practice) and it is also linked to serotonin levels
  • Develop coping strategies – “S**t happens!” having well-practiced strategies on call that help you to cope will always assist you in getting through the moment
  • Practice spirituality (or religion) – Embracing a connection to ‘all’ gets you over the idea that you are all-important and allows you to recognize that life is bigger than any one individual
  • Make commitments – Removing choices actually subconsciously makes you happier (it has to do with knowing your purpose) and having goals provides something to look forward to
  • Freedom – You need to have the choice to determine your own fate
  • Slow down to savour life – take the time to embrace and enjoy the joys. Learn to appreciate the simple things in life (there’s gratitude again!)
  • Develop your creativity – Creative effort nurtures happiness and leads to ‘flow’
  • Follow your life-purpose – First work out what matters and then work on building the courage to pursue it (but don’t get obsessive!)
  • Smile – So simple! So effective! Do it all the time. “You’ve got to S-M-I-L-E, To be H-A-Double-P-Y  –  Shirley Temple

Here are some concrete ideas to increase happiness in your life.

When all is said-and-done your happiness comes down to YOU”!

How happy you are rests on the way in which you approach your own life, you are actually the one who makes the decision to be happy or not, whether you are aware of it or you are doing it subconsciously. There will always be ups and down in your happiness but you can raise the base-line of your happiness, so start working on it today. As Aristotle said “Happiness depends upon ourselves”

So have I left anything out? What makes you happy? Add your ideas in the comments below.

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Spring Is Here – Detox Time

Spring Cherry Blossoms

With the arrival of September comes the stirring of Spring down here in Oz. (For my Northern hemisphere followers there are also steps that you need to take to deal with the change from the warmth of Summer into the cool of Autumn and I will post some pointers for you next time).  Doors and windows are thrown open at the first hint of a warm day letting light and air pour through rooms that have been closed up throughout the dark depths of winter. Second-Hand Shops are flooded with donations as cupboards are cleaned out and goods are discarded. Intentions are set and with the new mindset changes begin to happen. Dogs get walked more frequently, meals start to include more fresh, raw produce, gym programs are set and personal trainers are hired, and many people undertake a detox program to rid themselves of the winter “blahs” and get their energy surging and their bodies trim for the seasons ahead.

Your body’s natural detox system is awesome when it is functioning at full power. But when something breaks down, the toxins are simply not eradicated and build up inside you, stressing every system in your body and leading to lots of health problems that can include bad skin, allergies or arthritis.

At work this week I have begun the Spring Detox Programs and now is the time to consider starting these in your life also. Toxic overloads build up over time and obviously cannot be dealt with by simply eating fruit over a weekend. Also,  doing only a juice fast or detox diet may cause more harm than good, as your metabolic processes will slow down dramatically, and this includes waste removal. The toxins within your body are stored in the fat cells. Increasing  exercise without making any other significant changes can release these toxins into your system as the fat breaks down, but not necessarily adequately flush them out of your body.

To detox properly you need to put a number of things into place and commit to making long-term changes rather than just a 2-day or even week long quick-fix.

There are many ways that you can go about this.

First be honest about what you need to change. Do you smoke? Drink lots of coffee, or soft drinks, which also often contain caffeine, or worse, aspartame? Are you binge drinking, or drinking alcohol on most nights? Are you addicted to sugar or foods high in saturated fats? Are you too sedentary? Are you stressed? Even though you don’t take stress “into your body” it is still very toxic to all your body systems, particularly if it is ongoing.

So to create an effective detox you need to work with the natural body detoxifying processes. At the same time limit the amount of toxins you are exposed to so that you reduce the stress on your detox system, while also strengthening it at the same time.

 

Fresh, raw, organic vegetables
Fresh, raw, organic vegetables

The first line of defence against toxin overload is in limiting what you put into your mouth. This usually means giving up coffee, sugar, bread, milk alcohol and red meat, but if doing this stops you being able to detox in other ways then it won’t be all that good (although I always maintain even small steps are useful to a certain degree and sometimes the best way to get started). In spite of this, to effectively detox you do need to reduce the toxin intake from food. Eating only organic food is the best option but if it is not possible, at least try to always eat some selected organic foods. You also need to add foods to your diet that will stimulate the liver, bowel and kidneys so they work better, as well as foods that neutralize free radicals like berries, kidney beans, avocadoes, cherries, spinach, red cabbage, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green tea, nuts, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and kiwi fruits to name just a few .

Here are 5 Great Springtime Detox Diets you might like to try. There are lots of  “Top 10 Detox Food” lists around. This list suggests general food groups and this one specific food items, and both are great places to get ideas for changes you can make. But remember they are just a start and you should aim to expand on these lists.

Juicing is a another great way to get optimal health and well worth including in your nutrition plan. How often are you getting the 7-8 serves of fruit and vegetables you need every day, and do you know how big a serve actually is? Juicing offers a way to help you meet those requirements. You can add veges that you don’t normally eat and get a wider range of nutrients and also this means you are able to rotate your foods more. Here is a nice comparison of the different types of juicers available. Check it out before you get one. And then check out these good recipes to get you started. Celery, fennel and cucumbers are good veges to start with as they are easy to digest.  You can add lemon or lime, cranberries or blueberries, or fresh ginger to boost your health and get a great flavour burst. As you get the hang of it you can add superfoods to your juice like Spirulina (my own fave “multi-vitamin” superfood), chlorella, barley grass and maca powder. Use organic veges and fruit, especially if they are one of the ones included on the “Dirty Dozen©” list . Also, drink the juice straight away as it is very perishable. If you need to you can store it for a day in the fridge, in a container filled right to the top so there is no air to allow oxidation to occur. The only drawback about using lots of juices in your diet is that you lose the fibre that is in the fruit and vegetables when you juice them, and so you will need to be very conscious of maintaing a high level of foods with a high natural fibre level in the other foods in your diet.

While exercise is essential to a good detox, gyms are not always helpful or healthy. Their environment is one that for many people simply builds their stress levels and negates any health benefit they would otherwise gain. Running or walking in the open air, or swimming gives you the benefit of aerobic exercise away from the stressful environment.

Eastern exercise like yoga, t’ai chi and qi gong are wonderful ways to exercise as they offer you so much. You will gain all the benefits of other aerobic exercises as well as much, much more. Yoga for example, teaches you to breathe properly, it stretches your muscles which in turn releases toxins, it balances your inner body energy, or chi, it helps to reduce your stress and it stimulates your lymphatic system. It is also very calming for most people and leaves them feeling at peace as well as envigorated. There are many types of yoga and you are sure to find one that suits you.

Detoxing is not just about what goes on inside your body. It is also important to attend to your external body. You are going to like this! Massage, body-brushing and heat treatments are some great ways to stimulate detoxing from the outside.

About half a kilo of toxins leave your body each day, carried out through your skin in your sweat, but this can only happen if your pores are clean. Also, if you are you are using an anti-perspirant then you need to be aware that it will be blocking some of the major drainage pores of your body. The pores can also be blocked by a build-up of dead skin cells that sit on the surface of your skin. Normally they are shed, but this doesn’t occur as well as you age. So, removing these cells is important to detox and body-brushing is a good way to do this. Here is how to do it. Body salt scrubs on dry skin will also help. I make a delicious one from Himalayan Salt and essential and vegetable oils.

Sauna and steam treatments are another way to remove toxins. By the way, when smokers leave a sauna they often leave a yellow tar residue which has oozed out of all their pores on the towels and a fine layer of black tar under the benches. Is that an incentive to stop smoking? I hope so.

Massage detoxes the body in two ways. Firstly, by reducing stress which if prolonged depresses your immunity and therefore your resistance to infections. Reducing stress  can also help reduce cravings. Secondly, it stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic flow, which feeds more nutrients into the cells and removes more waste from the cells. There are a few different types of massage, and while all will be beneficial manual lymph drainage is the most beneficial for detoxing.

 

So, armed with these few tips to get you off and running, start formulating your Spring Detox plan today so you can get it underway quickly and head out on the path towards a lighter brighter spring you.

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site.