The Inner Shift to Enlightenment

 

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. Buddha

 

Sometimes this inner shift comes with age but always through the attainment of knowledge.  One enters a period of enlightenment where the material world is no longer your focus.  An inner shift is when you realize that true abundance is much more about “being” than it is about “having,” “going,” “doing” and “getting.”   It is here, you discover to your great delight that your unconditioned self is made of everything you are trying to find in the world. Yes, you truly have it all.  Joy is your spiritual DNA.  Love is your original energy and your true nature is already free. Your true nature begins to materialize, you naturally experience a life that is rich in every way.

 

Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Morihei Ueshiba

Though you may travel the world to find the beautiful, you must have it within you or you will find it not. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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WHO INSPIRES YOU TO BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE

As a young writer at the age of nine I was instantly inspired by music to write.  As, I grew older I found that music was my muse in many ways.  If my mood was high I would listen to rock music and when it was mellow I would listen to Stevie Nicks.  I think anyone that enjoyed the music of Fleetwood Mac found Ms. Nicks to be enchanting, mystical and unique.  A tiny little lady with such a dynamic stage presence that all eyes were on her.  She has not had an easy life, there have been drug problems, weight issues, etc, and yet she remains positive about her life and continues to do what she loves and that is to sing.  What I admire about Stevie is she ventured out on her own in a predominantly male orientated industry and became a successful solo artist in her own right.  But what I admire more than that is that she has and always has remained a “REAL person.  She inspires me to be a little different, to see things outside the box.  Her music creates an ambience in which I can find peace and sereniy in an often insane world.  Her obstacles inspire many to keep going, no matter what.

 

My partner inspires me to be REAL everyday.  He always supports my creative endeavours and my dreams.  I admire Marty because he is a genuine person and sees beyond himself.

 

 

 

 

 

My dog Molly inspires me to be a better person, being that she is sensitive I have to always remember that she gives me all her love and attention and she deserves that from me. She has taught me to be more accepting of life and to remain calm in many situations.

Who inspires you?

The Word of God

This Day With God

I’ve been sharing over the last few weekend’s on the core value of physical and mental health. Today I’d like to start laying out some strategies to build up this core value. There are various ways including getting help from family and friends or attitude and discipline but today I’d like to start with the Word of God.

The Word of God can brighten a day; providing lessons for the mind and food for the soul. These are two necessary elements in a healthy life that relieves stress and provides inner peace. In this world there will be trouble but we can take heart because there is comfort and value in Christ’s sufferings. We can lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross; access God’s power through prayer and His Word.

As I entered middle aged, my age started to show around my middle. The physical body became…

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Blessings

The Strait of Georgia encompassed me as I stood at the top of the freshly rain laden mound.  I took in a long breath in awe of it’s enormity.   As I walked further down, the water became closer and more expansive.    I felt like a mere speck in the universe only having experienced this once before in Oahu as night fell and the sun set for the day.  In Hawaii when the water embraced the sun, when the union of the world below merged with the world above my heart skipped a beat and with it my feet tingled.  It was in that moment I knew there was something larger than me at the end of this game, we call life.  There is a power greater than myself that has given me so many blessings.  How selfish humans are in so many ways, we do not appreciate nature as much as we should. There is an innocence and peacefulness in these waves I view in the distance, that beckons me to continue walking.  My mind and body are calm and at ease.  The wind gently pulls at my hair that was in a ponytail, now flowing freely around my face.  I hear the comforting sound of birds and see several boats sailing in the deep jade coloured waters as the night began closing in.  The mist below my feet starts to rise and with it my visibility becomes reduced..  One can describe a certain balance that I sense is entering my consciousness or is it just what one’s natural state is meant to be?  Are we so convoluted with technology and worries that we fail to arrive home very often?  To me, this was worth a lifetime and yet seems a lifetime ago.

Alternatives to Pharmaceutical Drugs for Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder

I find myself cringing at the thought of another winter approaching.  The darker days, less sunlight, cold temperatures, ice,putting on the parka and boots, does not make me feel overjoyed with the idea of winter.  Many of us are affected by the lack of sunlight and with the time change approaching quickly, one will be getting up in the dark and ariving home in the dark.  For many years melatonin appeared to be the one option that seemed to alleviate the problems associated with SAD.

For those of you not familar with what SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder) it is describes as such:

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is an extreme form of common seasonal mood cycles, in which depression develops during the winter months.

How seasonal changes cause depression is unknown, but most of the research into mechanisms and treatment has focused on changes in levels of the brain chemicals melatonin and serotonin in response to changing exposure to light and darkness.

SAD is characterized by typical symptoms of depression, such as sadness, hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide (in some cases), and �atypical� depressive symptoms such as excessive sleep, lethargy, carbohydrate cravings, overeating, and weight gain. The symptoms usually occur the same time of year, typically fall and winter, and disappear with the onset of spring and summer. (1)

There are several treatment options available other than pharmaceutical drugs.

Light Therapy

Light boxes used to treat SAD produce artificial  daylight. They filter out ultra-violent (UV) rays, which can be harmful to your  eyes and skin. Light intensity may vary, which affects the amount of time you  need to be exposed to it. In other words, it will take a longer time for a light  box with low intensity to produce any effects. Light boxes can help increase  your mood and regulate your sleeping, which is often disrupted during periods of  depression.  According to the Mayo Clinic, you need to be within 2 feet of the  light box with your eyes open for a minimum of 30 minutes for it to have any  impact on your depression. (2)

I have found light therapy to be advantageous on days that are overcast and cloudy limiting sun exposure.  It is easy to site in front of a lamp for 30 minutes per day while you read, write, watch television, blog or peruse the internet.

Aromatherapy

Essential oils are extracted from plants and have strong  aromas. Due to their potency, they are often not suitable for use directly on  your skin. However, their fragrant scents can be inhaled. Candles, sprays, reed  diffusers and oil warmers can all emit the aromas. Smelling jasmine, lavender,  rose and sandalwood can be therapeutic if you have mild depression, according to  Holistic Online, because these scents have soothing qualities. Bergamot,  lemongrass and rosemary also can be beneficial.(2)

Photo Credit she smells the jasmine flowers image by Alexandra Gnatush-Kostenko  from  Fotolia.com

Yoga

I seem to be writing a great deal about yoga and I can say that it has helped me a great deal all year round.  If you suffer from stiffness in your body or suffer with arthritic conditions this is the type of activity for you.  With the differentt styles of yoga available there is one for every person.  Restorative yoga is one that I find beneficial in my daily life.  It also appears that yoga slows down the aging process and I have met people in their 80’s and older that would put me to shame.

Yoga is a relaxation technique for your body and mind.  It consists of controlled breathing, posing and meditation. According to the  National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, yoga may help with  depression by improving your mood and well-being by fighting off stress and  helping your muscles to relax. In the September 2010 issue of “The Journal of  Family Practice,” researchers state that the meditative aspect of yoga as well  as the physical component reduces self-reported symptoms of patients with  depression as effectively as anti-depressants or cognitive behavioral therapy  and more effectively than light therapy. (3)

Coffee is not often considered herbal in nature, but in fact, it is. The  caffeine contained in coffee is a stimulant and has a mild antidepressant  effect. It can cause agitation and insomnia in large doses.

Kava kava, an herb used ceremonially in the South Pacific, contains  kavalactones which provide sedative and anti-stress properties. It has been  shown to have anti-anxiety potential, but it should be used with caution due to  possible liver toxicity.

Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center in the article Omega-3 Fatty Acids, people who do not eat enough omega-3 fatty acids on a regular basis are at more risk of suffering from depression than those who do eat enough. Omega-3 fatty acids are important components of nerve cell membranes and help nerve cells communicate with each other. Without proper communication between the nerve cells, mental health can suffer. You can add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet by eating cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, herring or mackerel. Canola oil, flaxseed oil, flaxseeds and walnuts are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Supplements are also available if you cannot get enough omega-3 fatty acids through the foods you eat. (4)

Herbal and Nutritional Supplements for SAD

Some herbal and nutritional supplements can help to alleviate the symptoms of SAD. The herbal supplement St. John’s wort can be effective in treating mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Another supplement, SAMe, can be effective in increasing serotonin and dopamine in the brain which affects mood. Melatonin, a natural hormone, also works well to regulate mood. Talk with your doctor before taking herbal or nutritional supplements especially if you are taking any prescription medications.(4)

Never underestimate the power of exercise in the treatment of SAD.  Even a brisk walk, dancing or doing some stretching exercises can be effective by releasing endorphins in your body that create a “natural high”.

Lotus Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Even if the sun is not shining perhaps one or more of these suggested therapies will find you smiling 🙂

References:

(1).  http://www.evitamins.com/encyclopedia/assets/health-condition/seasonal-affective-disorder/vitamins-and-supplements

(2). Holistic Online: Depression – Aromatherapy

(3). National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: The  Status of Yoga Research
(4).http://herbs-that-heal.net/tag/seasonal-affective-disorder/

Quote of the day

 

Quote of the day:

    Independence is dependence on self in all aspects of your life. Take care to look after yourself and not at the expense of others. Be kind and compassionate to a point, let people do what they need to do, that is how they grow to take that away is not your right to do so.  Independence is not codependence. I am who I am and you are who you are neither of us should lose who we are to be WE. Stand up for yourself, keep up the good fight, otherwise you will lose respect for yourself as people will lose respect for you.

A. H. Penn  (c) 2011.