Category Archives: SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS

REFLECTING ON A MOTHER’s LIFE JOURNEY

Recently, I lost my mother to a wretched disease called Alzheimer’s. Even when she was fully aware of her mind before this, she had too many areas of her life that she buried in shame and a lack of trusting others. She did not know boundaries and accountability in her life to live a wholehearted life. What she did was to pass it onto her children to be accountable to her, and not to ourselves, by her shaming us to protect her dark sides of being. With this lack of understanding of our soul’s innate wholeness, as we grew into adulthood, we lost the ability to love and trusting ourselves fully so we could be fully present for others. Ultimately, we lost in childhood the natural beauty of self we were born with and about sharing with others our feelings of imperfection and hiding our true selves. We are here for a reason. Finding what that is before leaving this world would be a journey inward. It is scary, but worth the time and effort.

Now that my mother is gone, I feel a sense of a loss and freedom too. I feel myself trying to search for others who may want to truly share their true feelings and experiences of their lack of childhood experiences of loving kindness, compassionate understanding and trusting nature of other humans without being manipulated, ridiculed or judged by another. I know deep down there is a place I can call home.

For that to happen, things need to be put in place like nourishing the body and mind with good vitamins and minerals from the earth, deep sleep, etc., and finding the fully present human beings. We all want that. How to get all we want is to have the courage to step out of our negativity of the self-talk of the ego and to step fully into sharing our love and kindness to the world no matter what the other person in your past has said or done to you. Letting go and accepting what is, is the journey of a lifetime.

 

KNOWING YOUR EMOTIONAL ENERGY TYPE AND HEALING THE BODY

Carl Jung observed that man “can make no progress with himself unless he becomes much better acquainted with his own nature.”(1)

By understanding your own style of feeling, you can speed the appropriate form of healing for you. In this day and age, when information is a mere mouse click away, we have little excuse to simply turn ourselves over to the experts. Especially when we have reason to doubt the efficacy of the conventional medical wisdom. Trying to find the source of your symptoms of your emotional type, you will gain a valuable new framework to augment your health care decisions. Your individuality will be front and center as you gather insight into the ways your personality and your health interact. That’s why I have structured my practice with health and lifestyle patterns during sessions. Our head and heart are one system and not separated in a body of parts.

What needs to be acknowledged and overlooked by many, including myself years back, is the fact that our feelings have a story to tell. They alert us to what is going on inside of us, and they draw attention to our reactions to certain events. If we were part of a series of events, whether it was a tree that fell on us, or we saw a tree fall onto someone else in close proximity, or we never heard about it, we will sense the feelings of the event when we are the victim or seen the victim get hurt. Or not at all as in the last event.   Every feeling has a story to tell.

From simple to complex narratives, mostly the complex side, are the feelings associated with illness. Not just the feelings, but often the resulting symptoms as well. Symptoms are signposts if deciphered correctly, it will tell us something about the personality experiencing them. Did you think who you are is entirely separate from what you are feeling and what you’re going through? Far from it. No one else has your symptoms, your pains and ills. It’s your body and your self. Friedrich Nietzsche stated “There is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom.”

In the West, modern medicine has conquered diseases that ravaged previous generations like polio, tuberculosis, syphilis, and typhoid fever. Today we are beset by maladies that seem to reflect the prevalence of toxins in our environment and an overload of stress in our lives (such as cancer and heart disease). Modern medicine seems incapable of defeating these ills. Furthermore, people are becoming affected by disorders that were noticed in earlier times but largely ignored in the twentieth century: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and post-traumatic disorder. The word syndrome indicates that, while the symptoms of a given condition are evident, the cause or connection between them isn’t understood. Then, the condition cannot be well treated. More and more of us are also made ill by asthma and allergies, while depression casts an ever longer, worrisome shadow.

No, you are not your chronic illness. But it does have personal meaning for you. By understanding your meaning, you have to look at your emotional type. It is intended to capture the way different people feel their feelings (or don’t). It relates to the brain; it relates to the rest of the body; it relates to your genetic inheritance; and it relates to the way you were raised. Your emotional type indicates how likely you are to be affected by certain chronic conditions. It is biologically based gauge of personality.

Significant illness magnified my life. It forced me to confront aspects of myself that I did not see for years. When I was in the throes of the pain, fatigue, and mild depression from my autoimmune disorder with my severe skin condition (psoriasis), I did not have much insight into the root cause of my disorder. As the Chinese understood in the venerable I Ching that “through introspection….external obstacles become an occasion for inner enrichment and education.” (2)

Personality cannot be reduced to feelings alone. According to a leading personality theorist, Robert Cloninger of Washington University, emotional drives constitute four of seven proposed dimensions of personality. The four are novelty seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence and persistence. Together, they make up what Cloninger calls “temperament.” The other three dimensions (self-directedness, cooperativeness, and self-transcendance) relate more to the conscious abilities and predilections than feelings; these he terms “character.” In Cloninger’s well-considered framework, character plus temperament add up to personality. (3) Feelings can be seen as a foundation of personality, a driver, but not the entirety in any sense.

Tufts University professor Ernest Hartmann developed a “boundary concept” to explain differences in personality type. He found that people have differing levels of boundaries, ranging from thick to thin. Thin-boundary people tend to be more artistic, more connected to their dreams and more likely to see themselves merging in their relationships with others. Thick boundary people see clear divides between themselves and others and tend to see the world in black and white.

People with thin boundaries are more susceptible to numerous illnesses with mind-body components like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. These illnesses have a common denominator of low serotonin levels. It is a key neurotransmitter found in the brain. However, 95 percent is found in the neuroendocrine tissue of the gut. Ever wonder why we have “gut feelings,” and feel like we’ve been “punched in the gut” when we get bad news. When the syndrome becomes a disease like irritable bowel disease (IBD) called Crohn’s, treatment is a lifelong process. For many sufferers, conventional treatments offer little relief.

Experts recommend complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches, even beyond the mind-body disorder of IBS, as a powerful treatment for IBD. The first goal is to treat the underlying imbalance that has caused a problem, so you can allow the body to heal itself. The second goal is to provide symptom relief in the meantime. CAM therapies are safe and unlikely to interfere with your conventional medical treatment. Also, they can actually help you to replace essential vitamins and mineral your body is losing because of the disease.

For bowel disorders, here are the most effective mind-body remedies:

Acupuncture-One study found that quality of life for Crohn’s patients improved significantly after treatments.

Mind/Body Techniques-meditation, guided relaxation, yoga, tai chi do not treat Crohn’s directly, but they do reduce stress and stress is known to trigger flare-ups and worsen symptoms.

Even in some of my clients’ cases and my case, I used acupuncture. Learning meditation, guided relaxation, massage and using the BEMER frequency machine daily has made a world of difference with my skin, stress and endocrine system recovery.

For example, you can find a mind-body therapy that is most effective for your type. Hypnosis is perfectly suited for thin boundaries, as is, biofeedback. And acupuncture can be a great way to assist thin and thick boundary individuals. Finding out your thick or thin boundary levels is clearly a critical part of what you can do to best treating a mind-body therapy that is most effective for your emotional energy type.

REFERENCES:

  1.  Jung, An answer to Job, quoted in Juhan, Job’s Body, 19.
  2. Elias and Ketcham, The Five Elements of Self-Healing, 282-83.
  3. Cloninger, Feeling Good: The Science of Well-Being.

A little bit of music in a “musing” state of mind

Does it really matter that we do whatever is needed to keep our bodies and mind in excellent health? We know our population is growing exponentially and we don’t know all the answers.

We also know that we did not ask to be here on this earth either.  Nor did we ask to be born into the family we grew up in either. There are small children who ask these questions, as I did, in ways that are not understandable to most adults. Can we go back to that state of mind instantaneously? I want and wish this concept to be real. It can happen.

This week I flew with someone who is 25 years my junior. We were doing a flying job that can be pretty intense to most people outside of aviation in the last two days. It would be tiring to most people looking from the outside at the amount of details we need to do to accomplish the task at hand.

What does it take to have that focus and clarity to pay attention to that detail with a clear mind? Reduced stress, nutrition, sleep patterns, leaving our personal problems at home, and most importantly, training in likeminded abilities towards a common good; teamwork.

Please take note that everyone and everything we do in this life, whether personally or professionally, that we are all connected. It doesn’t matter where we were born, we are all part of the energy around us. Let’s make it count! Love and truth will make a difference.

 

TELOMERES AND THE STRESS RESPONSES

Have you ever felt what it seemed like “overnight” you looked at yourself one morning and thought of how you used to perceive your youthful and vigorous self and then you looked in the mirror feeling like you have not gracefully aged?  After  going to various reunions from High School to higher education, have you ever noticed how some people seemed to have not aged so much and others who were so radically different that you would never have recognized them had you had not brought the yearbook?  That has happened at many of my reunions.

Some of us were born with longer telomeres (the tails of the DNA that divide and divide over the years) and some people have shorter DNA tails. However, with the stress response and challenge response we had developed from childhood into adulthood may have affected the lengths of these important physiological DNA telomeres. These responses can either lengthen or shorten the telomeres, which has to do with how we engage in the challenge response (to  fully engage , perform at your best, and win; or the threat response (characterized by withdrawal and defeat, as you slump in your seat or freeze and your body preparing for wounding and shame) as you anticipate a bad outcome. A predominant habitual threat response can, over time, work itself into your cells and grind down your telomeres.

After the first 18 years growing up in a high stress family environment, I carried that same threat response into my adulthood.  About 32 years later, I developed a severe autoimmune response from possibly carrying this chronic stress burden. With my  nutritional, including spiritual, recovery within the last six years, I must have lengthened my telomeres as I am looking younger and feeling more vibrant than I did at age 50. Back then, I carried so much “burden” in my family being the one who took the brunt of the psychological and physical abuse and tried to minimize the abusive behavior from my siblings. Being born into a family and feeling isolated and keeping things looking perfect outside the family walls did not help me to emotionally develop. I really learned “the walls of secrecy” that were not serving me or anyone I was involved with in my adult years. When I started my educational journey in the last six years with my nutritional and life coaching career, I did not know that I would be writing educational blogs or benefiting others with my coaching skills. So it is not too late to get more vibrant and youthful as our body ages.

Luckily, my wake up call happened to me over six years ago, when I developed my autoimmune disorder of psoriasis. What I have learned so far (a never-ending search for greater meaning in life), I have chosen and applied the challenge responses into my life. Change was hard because I wanted to go back to my old ways when it was really hard.  I am now working with more serious diligence on my challenge response with myself and others and turning the threat response on its head. Even my clients, when discussing difficulties in applying changes into their lives, they seem to finally realize they are doing similar things to themselves. As you build on your own challenge responses, you will start to see patterns of others with these conflicts of many thoughts and feelings when facing a stressful situation, then you can help them to adjust their behavior by being an example in your own personal relationships. Here are two different types of responses:  One is characterized by feeling threatened, by a fear of losing, or possibly being shamed. The other is characterized by feeling challenged and confident about achieving a positive outcome. In a study, there was a proportion of these responses that mattered most for telomere health. The volunteers who felt more threat than challenge had shorter telomeres. Those who saw the stressful task as more of a challenge than a threat had longer telomeres. (1) Over the years towards forgiveness of myself of being angry and feeling powerlessness within my family dynamics, I instead wanted to feel joy and gratefulness in my life. I, then, decided to control the difficult and stressful events in my life. In addition, I recently found out that I was helping my telomeres by shifting the way I viewed those past events.

Since I used to anticipate a stressful event (muscle tension, heart rate, and breathing) and its outcome as negative, I was not feeling the challenge response until I had learned to relabel it by saying, “This is good stress, energizing me so I can perform well!” This can help shape the body’s response to be more energizing, bringing more dilation to the vessels and more blood to the brain.  Reflecting on the incidents in my life, I tended to feel more threatened instead of challenged. I used to feel troubled and felt anticipatory threat about events that hadn’t happened yet and that may not ever happen. I did not have the skills back then or the people I surrounded myself with that could have explained how to change my thoughts from stress to a challenging response.  My body’s cells were diving under the covers and thereby shortening the telomeres.

Scientists used to believe it was a more linear process that we experience events in the world, our limbic system (amygdala) reacts with an emotion, like fear or anger, which causes the body to respond with an increased heart rate or sweaty palms. But it’s more complicated than that. The brain is wired to predict things ahead of time, not just react after things have happened. (2) The brain uses memories of past experiences to continually anticipate what will happen next, and then corrects those predictions with both the current incoming information from the outside world, and from all the signals within the body. Then our brain comes up with an emotion to match all of this. Within seconds, we patch all this information together, without our awareness, and we feel some emotion.

If our “database” of past experience has a lot of shame in it, as mine did, we are more likely to expect shame again. For example, if I feel high arousal and jittery, maybe it was from something from a strong cup of tea or coffee, and then you see two people who could be talking about you, your mind may quickly cook up the emotions of shame and threat. My mother taught us that well and I absorbed that into my being. Our emotions are not pure reactions to the world; they are our own fabricated constructions of the world. (3)

Knowing how emotions are created is powerful. Once you know this, you can have more choice over what you experience. Instead of feeling your body’s stress responses and viewing them as harmful, a common experience in your brain’s database, you can think about the arousal differently as a source of fuel that will help your brain work quickly and efficiently. And if you practice this enough, then eventually your brain will come to predict feelings of arousal as helpful. It took many years of daily practice. Even if you are one of those people whose brain is hardwired to feel more threat, you can feel that immediate instinctive survival response and then revise your story. You can choose to feel challenged.

A challenge response doesn’t make you less stressed. Your sympathetic nervous system is still highly aroused, but it is a positive arousal, putting you in a more powerful, more focused state. It was so helpful to me recently when I had an intense visceral reaction to a stormy night with maximum crosswind, icy conditions and  two snow storms on either side of the runway that if I had not converted that threat to a challenge response quickly, I would have needed to choose to do something different. I focused through the danger. I channeled this stress to give me good energy for this performance and told myself, “My heart is racing and my chest is tight. Fantastic and now let’s get this aircraft on the ground and visualize a good outcome.” It is good to be tested. This was a new normal for me once again.

It’s healthy to have times when your cardiovascular system is mobilized and psyche is primed for action. But our minds and bodies are not built to sustain this kind of high stimulation.  I used to do this on a consistent basis. Being able to relax, although it has been overrated as a sole source of stress management, is still necessary. I recommend that you regularly engage in an activity that brings you deep restoration. There is high-quality evidence that meditation, chanting, and other mindfulness practices can reduce stress, stimulate telomerase (your body makes this), and perhaps even help your telomeres grow.

Stress and stressful events do not live in each little moment, although they can visit. There is some freedom in each moment, because we can have a choice about how we spend this moment. We can’t rewrite the past and we can’t dictate what happens in the future, but we can choose where to place our attention in the moment. And although we can’t always choose our immediate reactions, we can shape our subsequent responses.

Some studies have shown that merely anticipating a stressful event has almost the same effect on the brain and body as experiencing the stressful event. (4) When you worry about events that haven’t happened yet, you’re letting stress flow over its time boundaries the  way a river overflows its boundaries, flooding the minutes, hours, and days that could otherwise be more enjoyable. I know those years of my life and how hard it was to keep focus on what mattered. I shut off my energies to relationships and focused all on my career because it didn’t make me hurt; avoiding pain and seeking pleasure.

It never fails. Just after you meet a deadline, or you’re going on a long-overdue vacation, you come down with a severe cold of sneezing, runny nose, sore throat and fatigue. Coincidence? Probably not. While your body is actively fighting stress, your immune system can be bolstered for a time. Chronic stress suppresses aspects of the immune system, leaving us more vulnerable to infections, causing us to produce fewer antibodies in response to vaccinations, and making our wounds heal more slowly. (5)

For years, scientists were unsure just how stress, which lives in the mind, could damage the immune system. Now, the important part of the equation is the telomeres. Our body makes telomerase only if our body has the right nutrition. People with chronic stress have shorter telomeres, and short telomeres can lead to prematurely aging immune cells , which means worse immune function. Our minds are not isolated from our body’s immune system.

It is never too late to change your life unless you your body expires before it’s time. We have choices in this life. However, two choices we don’t have is that we will die and we will live until we die. What will be your next step to check off on your bucket list? Please contact me below for a free consultation for your life patterns to change.

REFERENCES:

  1.  Epel, E., et al., “Can Meditation Slow Rate of Cellular Aging?” Cognitive Stress, Mindfulness, and Telomeres,” Annals of the New Yord Academy of Sciences 1172 (August 2009): 34-53, doi: 10.1111/j. 1749-6632.2009.04414.x.
  2.  Barrett, L., How Emotions Are Made (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in press).
  3.  Ibid.
  4.  Waugh, C.E.S. Panage, W.B. Mendes, and I.H. Gotlib, “Cardiovascular and Affective Recovery from Anticipatory Threat, ” Biological Psychology 84, no. 2 (May 2010): 169-175, doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2010.01.010; and Lutz, A., et al., “Altered Anterior Insula Activation During Anticipation and Experience of Painful Stimuli in Expert Meditators,” NeuroImage 64 (January 1, 2013): 538-46, doi: 10.2016/j.neuroimage. 2012.09.030.
  5.  Gouin, J.P., L. Hantsoo, and J.K. Kiecolt-Glaser, “Immune Dysregulation and Chronic Stress Among Older Adults: A Review,” Neuroimmunomodulation 15, nos. 4-6 (2008): 251-59, doi:10.1159/0000156468.

GOOD VIBRATIONS OVER THE HOLIDAYS

Every emotion we experience carries a unique and specific vibration, some positive and others negative. For example, within the last few years before  my “recovery” phase in my health, I realized I was not very joyful and grateful for all I had. When a very negative person enters the room, everyone can tell. The negative individual doesn’t have to say anything, but when they do, it’s usually something negative, further adding fuel to the fire. We all know at least one person like this. Some refer to these people as “energy vampires.” If they can’t be happy, no one else can either, and they’ll try to suck all the joy out of your day and more, if you let them. However, each of us has a choice in how we allow ourselves to feel every day. So choose positive thoughts that keep you happy and in a positive frame of mind, which in turn will create positive resonance or good vibrations and will help repel the “energy vampires.”

Healing in all aspects will soon follow a positive frame of mind, extending beyond your health into other areas of your life even if you didn’t realize you needed it. On amazing aspect of laughter is that when you share it with another, the energy expended comes back to you exponentially, just as with positivity. Remember that energy breeds more energy. It’s just like exercising. You have to expend the physical energy to work out, but then you get that zip in your step, that vitality and sense of well-being in return, even when you’re not actively exercising. Even my father noticed that when I walk I have this spring in my step!

One of the easiest methods of creating positive thoughts, which also allows energy to breed more energy, is by surrounding yourself with as much humor as possible. In fact, regular laughter is far more contagious than any disease or infection. It has a domino effect, with such benefits as increased intimacy, uniting and binding people, creating healthy amusement in addition to all the physical and psychological health benefits.

Besides increasing energy and enhancing the immune system, laughter diminishes pain, improves focus, reignites hope, restores connections, enhances relationships, relieves tension, relaxes muscles, optimizes hormonal balance and reduces the effects of stress. Researchers have studied the release of endorphins, as well as vasodilatation of blood vessels resulting in increased blood flow and reduced incidence of heart attack and stroke as a result of laughter. Other studies have shown improvements in mood, reduction in anxiety and depression and shifting perspectives into a positive light when people laughed. For this reason alone, begin setting a goal to make laughter a part of your daily life and to use humor in all your interactions with others.

Beginning this transformation in your life may seem difficult now, (I know because once I forgave others I felt had hurt me, I felt so much lighter in my sense of being) but once you begin, the momentum will carry it forward. Some ways to facilitate this change are as follows:

Begin by laughing at yourself

Make a joke of situations you would normally complain about

Watch children and use them as examples of how to laugh and take life lightly.

Bring humor into conversations

Move toward the sound of laughter

Spend more time around funny people

Read funny jokes and share them with others

Watch a funny movie or TV show

Count your blessings while smiling

Science has shown that the immune system’s response strengthens when we laugh deeply, from within ourselves. It also creates an entire cascade of chemical events and initiates physiological cascades inside your body like stimulating the lymphatic system (waste system), increases lung capacity and dilates blood vessels, allowing you to process larger amounts of nutrition and oxygen to feed and regenerate your cells and efficiently eliminate waste and toxins from your body.

Here is a list I found of “Murphy’s Lesser Known Laws.” Remember, laugh as much as you can and as often as you can. It’s totally free despite being one of the most valuable and enjoyable activities you can ever engage in with tremendous benefits from a disease prevention and health wellness perspective.

“MURPHY’S LESSER KNOWN LAWS

  1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright…until you hear them speak.
  2. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  3. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t.
  4. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
  5. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90 percent probability you’ll get it wrong.
  6. If you lined up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them…on a hill…in the fog, and nine times out of ten, they’ll have (insert whatever state you wish to insult) plates on their car…
  7. The things that come to those who wait will be the scraggly junk left by those who got there first.
  8. The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.
  9. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
  10. When you go into court, you are putting yourself into the hands of people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.”

Wishing you the best holiday season and let laughter and joy be a daily dose of medicine for you.

 

 

LOVE AND TRUTH EMBODIES OUR HEALTH OF BODY AND MIND

As my parents age with illnesses, I have come to realize that death is part of the life cycle first hand. There are many perceived family pressures associated with my father’s beliefs and expectations of my mother with Alzheimer’s disease by him saying that this was not part of their retirement plans.

Any disease that happens to us or others, we cannot plan for every health contingency.  However, the key is prevention to live the best quality of life and to keep on learning about ourselves each and every day.

Dr. Bruce Lipton, a cellular biologist at Stanford University, said in his research that the thing that causes illness and disease is stress. And the thing that always causes stress is a wrong belief. Those wrong beliefs are embedded in our cellular memories. Dr. Lipton goes on to say that if you can heal that wrong belief, the stress goes away and the immune system in the body can heal everything even genetic illnesses and disease.

When my mother had her mental facilities, she seemed at odds with practically everyone. I truly believe her belief source came down to that she could not please her own mother. I felt that if she could heal this one belief, she would have had a better life. I still have not given up on taking this challenge on with her even with her state of mind.

You see, when you heal the wrong belief, you also heal the thing that is blocking the success and prosperity in life. I know this first hand. I have been working on so many aspects of fear-based thoughts on both the conscious and unconscious levels so that I can have love and truth for my success goals, which need to be 100 percent under my control. Why? Because stress drains your energy and it dumbs you down and it causes you to come at everything from a negative perspective. How in the world are you going to be successful when you can’t think straight, you don’t have energy and you are coming at everything from a negative perspective? Every negative thing flows from fear.

And the wrong belief, according to Dr. Lipton’s research, causes us to be afraid when we should not be afraid. So what comes from fear? Anger, sadness, depression, manipulation, dishonesty, every crime that is ever committed, as well as, fear of failure and fear of other things. So this category of unhealthy beliefs can absolutely change your life.

Some of the unhealthy beliefs are:  “I’m unlovable. I’m insignificant. I’m flawed. I’m hopeless. I’m worthless. Something bad is going to happen. Something must change right now for me to be okay. People are going to take advantage of me. I am bad. I’m not good enough. I’m unforgivable. People are out to get me. I must be in control. It’s not fair. People must think well of me for me to be okay. I can’t do it. I’m not capable. Others should do it for me.”

Those are the unhealthy beliefs that block us from living the life we want to live. And that, when they are healed, can change our lives forever. I know I have lived with most of the above even while looking successful on my resume and the plaques on the wall. However, my body remembered and expressed its dissatisfaction with my negative beliefs by throwing my immune system upside down with the development of my severe plaque psoriasis. Not only did I look at my nutrition, but I had to look at the how and why I could truly heal my autoimmune condition. My heart knew.

Let’s look at some of the positive transforming beliefs. I am lovable. I am significant. I’m whole. I’m a person of worth regardless of my circumstances or what anybody thinks. I have unbounded hope for the future. Wonderful things are in store for me. My future is not tied to the past. I am free. I am always okay. Even though I’m always learning, growing and getting better, I am satisfied and content right now. I love everyone. Everyone is different, but all have worth and value. I will receive all good things by surrendering to love and truth. I can lay down control. I don’t have to try to be someone I’m not in order to be loved. I will believe and live the truth of who I am. I am capable. I can do it. I don’t have to get others to do it for me. I have a say over my life.

Which of these beliefs would you rather hold? How would you rather live? Well, that is why we want to heal those destructive beliefs, and to infuse the healthy ones. I promise you, if you do that in just this category, you will never, ever be the same.

I know how success looks for me everyday and that includes a healthy mind, body and spirit. What does it look like for you?

LEGAL DISCLAIMER:  The statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. We make no curative claims. This information in this blog is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only with regard to healthy living. It is a self-help tool for your own use, it is not medical advice. Always consult with your doctor when considering dietary, exercise, or prescription changes.

Please contact me if you’d like further information on how I can assist you in resolving your challenges by contacting me in the form below.

 

 

 

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

As I sit in another hotel room thinking of what I could write about to share with you my humble opinion of life, I found my heart was pulling me in the direction of forgiveness. I recently took a very comprehensive assessment of where I am in the present moment and answered in love and truth. My overall score was 241 out of a possible 300.

In the area of Forgiveness, for example, I scored a 21 and the scaled score is +6 on a scale of -10 to +10. I know that doesn’t mean much to you right now and I will tell you there was a lot of algorithms involved with this quiz to get to the final score. There was no way I could skew the results to make me look good and successful as I see on my resume or on my home wall with all my past successes.

For a number of years, I have made small steps towards improving the connection between my heart and mind due to unforgiveness issues of the childhood physical, emotional and mental trauma I endured. I didn’t know so much about the spiritual back then even while I was involved in religious practices from a child through college. I found too many limitations and interpretations outside of my self to know what really mattered in my life. You may find yourself questioning your own beliefs from time to time.

What kept me from following my spiritual heart, the unconscious, was the sense of not feeling like I belonged, because I was very confused on how people could be so happy, joyful and peaceful, while I was feeling like I was caged within a jail and could not get past all the pain. Since I have been on this journey, and especially during my psoriasis disorder, I have been deprogramming and reprogramming so many issues of the spiritual heart. Forgiveness of self means to examine one’s participation in whatever positive or negative act that we have contributed to the perceived notion that we had nothing do with the what the other did to us and its outcome.

My forgiveness score said, “You realize that forgiveness of past hurts and losses sets you free to enjoy the present and build a bright future. You choose to focus on seeing the best in yourself and others.”  If I had taken this quiz before my psoriasis, I think I would have scored a lot lower on the scale in the forgiveness issue. I knew even back then that I had more to do to be more healthy.

Unforgiveness and forgiveness may be the most critical issues in anyone’s life. A number of ministers, doctors, therapists, and Practitioners of all types shared that they have seen unforgiveness at the root of just about every problem they have ever experienced. One particular doctor, Dr. Ben Johnson, who lectures all over the world on cancer, and he said, that he’d never seen cancer where there was not an unforgiveness problem.

Now there’s a secret about unforgiveness: it often hides behind anger, fear, sadness, and other things like that. So if you think you don’t have unforgiveness issues ask yourself, “Who do I feel some anger related to, or sadness, or fear?” You’ll usually find unforgiveness at the bottom of those things. Unforgiveness issues can be toward self. They can be toward other people. They can be toward God, or, they can be in reverse of that. They can be feeling like God has not or will not forgive you. Feeling like other people have not forgiven you whether they have or not. Any of those can be the crucial cellular memory that blocks our health or blocks our success. (I never thought that I would have been successful with my two  businesses if I did not unblock my unforgiveness issues). This unforgiveness and the memories that contain this unforgiveness block our healing. They block our success. Why? Because they are destructive memories that are not truth and love. They are lies and selfishness.

It’s interesting too, that the actual word “forgiveness,” if you look back to the original language means to “cut the rope” or “untie the rope.” So unforgiveness means we are literally tied to the thing or the person that we refuse to forgive. Even if the person is not willing to forgive us, we can cut that rope. This is really huge and needs to be done so we can experience the foundation for an abundant life of love, joy and peace is forgiveness. Healing unforgiveness is absolutely essential for healing and for success.

Just imagine if I hadn’t waited 50 years to realize that forgiveness was the key to living a stress free life filled with joy, laughter, and loving everyone regardless if they loved you back, I could have made different choices. However, the choices I did make took so much more effort and courage to step into action to fulfill my dream at the age of ten to fly aircraft. So many personal and professional  relationships with others were trampled because of my mistrust in the world due to my unforgiveness. If you are reading this, and you know who you are, this is my heartfelt public apology and I am trying to love and trust with joy everyday to all those I meet.

Loving oneself means to ask how we have contributed to the pain we carry and to peel away at those unforgiveness issues with ourselves going forward. Struggling with your unconscious, your heart issues, with willpower alone will not win. Being with the pain will heal those unforgiveness unconscious cellular memories. It is well worth the time it takes to do be in love and trust for the rest of your life.

Peace and Joy to all of you on your journeys!

Debra Bartz

STRESS, DEPRESSION AND ANGER: DEADLY COMBINATION

Like stress, depression used to be downplayed as a factor in heart disease. If it did contribute, it was because people turned to unhealthy behaviors, like smoking or drinking, and felt lethargic and less apt to exercise when they felt down. However, we now know that depression plays a greater role than that.

Last year, Columbia University Medical Center researchers evaluated data from nearly 5,000 heart disease patients and found that those who were suffering from both stress and depression had a 48 percent higher risk of heart attack or death during a period of two and a half years. Even when I went through a period over five years ago, with trying to assist our dog through the later stages of his life, dealing with past childhood issues with my parents, and going through menopause, I experienced so much psychological and visceral physiological reactions to these events, I felt bouts of depression, anger and stress. This manifested into an overload to my adrenal glands and possibly brought on some of my health problems.

The researchers concluded patients’ risk is amplified when both conditions are present to represent a “psycho-social perfect storm.” The risk was significant only during the first two and half years after the initial home visit, and was not significant for those experiencing either high stress or highly depressive symptoms alone, but both at the same time. This important because people with heart disease are more prone to depression.

Statistically speaking, about 1 in 20 American adults experience major depression each year, the number is about 1 in 3 for people who have survived a heart attack. Furthermore, researchers have found that most heart patients with depression do not get the appropriate treatment. Unfortunately, cardiologists and primary care physicians tend to miss the diagnosis of depression. Even when they do recognize it, they often don’t treat it adequately.

An anger-provoked heart attack isn’t new, but as with stress and depression, short-term bursts of anger release unhealthy hormones that can result in a heart attack. In fact, a study reported last year in the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care that the risk of heart attack is 8.5 times higher within two hours of an intense burst of anger.

High levels of anxiety were also associated with a 9.5-fold greater risk of triggering a heart attack in the two hours after an anxiety episode. The researchers attributed the increased heart attack rate to the elevations of heart rate and blood pressure. In addition, the tightening of blood vessels and increased clotting activity comes with the unhealthy release of hormones during emotionally charged situations.

As a veteran who has not seen the combat zone, I am not oblivious to the toll Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in our combat veterans in all the military services. I have had my own form of childhood period of PTSD which was not related to my military career. It’s long been known that people with PTSD are at a higher risk of suffering from heart disease, or having a heart attack or stroke. But further research on PTSD sufferers has added to our understanding of the damage stress does to the heart.

This year, 2016, researchers from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, reporting on a study of more than 8,000 veterans living in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, found people with PTSD had a nearly 50 percent greater risk of developing heart failure over a seven-year follow-up period. In addition, whether it led to a PTSD diagnosis, combat service was itself a strong predictor of heart failure. Veterans with combat experience were about five times more likely to develop heart failure than those who had not seen combat.

You may ask why does PTSD cause these heart risks? In seeking an explanation, another group of researchers found evidence that PTSD leads to overactive nerve activity, dysfunctional immune response, and activation of the hormone system that leads to increased blood pressure. They also discovered too that cardiovascular events, including stroke and heart attack, could be stressful enough to cause PTSD symptoms.

Setting off a vicious cycle, this puts those people at a greater risk for future adverse cardiovascular events.

If you have already suffered a heart attack or have other forms of heart disease, stress reduction is a critically important part of any lifestyle change therapies.

Duke University researchers studied 51 outpatients (ages 34-84) with heart disease who were enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation programs due to heart blockages, recurring chest pain, heart attacks or bypass surgery. Half the study subjects participated in three months of traditional cardiac rehabilitation, which included regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, and drugs to manage cholesterol and high blood pressure. The other half went to cardiac rehab and attended weekly, 90 minute stress-management groups that combined emotional support, cognitive behavior therapy, muscle relaxation and other stress-reduction techniques.

After three years of follow-up, 33 percent of the patients who received only cardiac rehabilitation had another cardiovascular event or were hospitalized for chest pain or death from any cause. In comparison, 18 percent of the patients who participated in stress-management training during their cardiac rehab had less subsequent cardiovascular trouble which is about half the rate of the other group.

Sometimes it is easier to complain about stress than to do something about it. Here are 15 easy ways to reduce stress, making your life both fuller and safer.

1/ Eat healthy. A healthy diet can boost your mood because it will reinforce the concept that you are taking care of yourself.

2/ Plant a garden.

3/ Get active. There are so many ways to do exercising. Please figure out the right exercise so that you do not physically stress your body above what it biologically can do.

4/Singing in the shower or put some music on and dance. Even listening to music has an uplifting and calming effect.

5/ Watch your sugar intake.

6/Eliminate alcohol. It may temporarily uplift you, but ultimately, alcohol is a depressant.

7/Join a team for activities.

8/Get outdoors can combat stress.

9/Reduce clutter in your life.

10/Review your work habits. Delegation is excellent to do if you are overwhelmed. Taking the stress out of work is an important step toward better heart health.

11/Live simply. Try cooking at home. It is fun to experiment with creative meals.

12/Do volunteer work.

13/Cultivate interests.

14/Take a stress-reduction course.

15/Find yourself a coach or holistic health practitioner that can assist you to find what ails you and takes the time that other medical professionals seem to not have the time to give you.

If you’d like a free initial consultation, please contact me via the form below.

THIS LIFE OF CHOICES

In this political environment that we are in now brings to me an awareness or consciousness of thought. Even when there is a lot of money flowing to these unconscious politicians, we still benefit indirectly for now. However, if we had a true basis of democracy, everyone would benefit. Let me explain by giving you a bit of my insight.

In the strong democracy view, for example, economic planning by the state is imperative to determine how best to approach a number of fundamental issues, including environmental policy, urban development, economic infrastructure, and many forms of social security and well-being. In the limited democracy view, outside of the military and police functions, these are decisions best determined by the profit calculations of business and investors. The market is infallible, and it is imperative that flawed humans not interfere with its genius. The role of government is to facilitate and protect the profit system.

However, it seems there is an upheaval going on in the U.S. with this split in mindset between capitalism vs. strong democracy and limited democracy. To advocates of a strong democracy, institutions, rules and policies should be put in place to encourage active and informed participation by as much of the population as possible.

For example, over a hundred years ago, access to any type of health care came from doctors who cared about finding the cause of illness, usually people paid with some type of barter system in return for their services and the doctors usually would go to the richer folks and the staff they employed. At that time, the doctors did not have access to all the high-tech gadgets we have today. I do not either as a holistic health practitioner. Even back then, as I do now, the doctors educated the patients on what to do to help themselves to get over their maladies (habit changes). He even helped them to find the cause of their ailments. Today, giving a diagnosis is usually the way of the medical system which will usually result in opening a pathway to expensive drugs and procedures. It does not happen if you resist the urge to allow the doctors’ prognosis to dictate your treatment. Education is the key to deciphering if this is the best path for you. I still believe in our beautiful immune system as the best bet to staying well through prevention. You are in charge.

Today, our U.S. government put into place a health care system, so that in a true democracy, everyone would have access to it. I feel like it is, though, very limited. With all the Federal agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association (AMA), making regulations limiting what is taught to the students becoming doctors, and the Food Industry dictating to the government on what is healthy for us, is making a big chasm of mistrust to the general population. We are in a major upheaval in many ways and, even with the broader battle of capitalism and democracy. What to do about it?

Think of it this way-no one can control what you do to your own body, but you. When you express your beliefs to those around you, you need to take that responsibility and accountability for your actions of doing this because it influences others’ actions. This is considered “personal” politics too. What I do not like is that we as a population have decided to blame others for all that ails us. I accepted that my body decided to revolt against the environment that is around me. I was ignorant of my body and how it really functioned. No longer. My ego debated with me so many times and it wanted me to berate my choices. Even some things were out of my control in the environment I work in (aviation- while sitting on fire-retardant seats, smelling fuel, and layovers in hotels, etc.) and the old choices I made with the ingestion of the “foods” that were available to me.

My goals are to put the feelings of control back into each individual I meet and connect with them so that they can realize a higher consciousness and “higher self.” Finding meaning in life and happiness once they clear their foggy mind from all the years of being “unconscious” due to the environment we live in.  We have to clearly think during this time of upheaval (capitalism vs true democracy) and elect those who truly have ALL of our interests at heart. I don’t want to some day see that only selected individuals get access to the good foods, healthcare, and to live in a clean environment.

Let’s work together so that the political equality requires democratic political institutions. An advanced economy does not exist because entrepreneurs or businesses have the right to invest and can do whatever they please. It exists because elaborate communication, transportation, sanitation, energy, and legal infrastructures provide a foundation that makes commerce possible. Establishing this infrastructure is largely the province of the government, even if the state’s job is to coordinate private interests to get it done effectively. The beauty of infrastructure projects is that they are accessible to everyone. Meaning they generate considerable value for others and for society as a whole. Without such an infrastructure, an advanced economy cannot exist.

Let’s take steps to change our environments starting with ourselves and families. Let’s get conscious again with being grateful for what we have and to not let fallible and unconscious people into our democratic infrastructure. No one should be left behind.