Eating Consciously With Your Mind, Body, Spirit, and Emotions

The reason so many of us are suffering from disease is because we are eating unconsciously, disconnected from the foods that we are putting into our bodies. Many people eat to numb their emotions, to relieve anxiety or depression, out of boredom, or many other factors, none of which involve a conscious connection to mind, body, spirit, and emotion.

Before you put a handful of chips into your mouth, it's important to connect spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically, and ask yourself a few questions:

· Is this really what my body needs?

· Am I actually thirsty, instead of hungry?

· Am I eating this to satisfy an underlying emotion that I haven't resolved or faced?

· Am I eating out of boredom and/or lack of direction?

· Am I eating consciously or unconsciously?

When we eat unconsciously, we tend to grab the convenient, processed foods that are already prepared and within easy reach. Most likely, the foods that you are unconsciously grabbing to fulfill an unresolved issue are acidic-forming foods. Cooked foods and processed foods tend to make the body more acidic. And when the body is acidic, then disease develops.

Disease cannot take hold in an alkaline body. When your body Ph level is alkaline, you enjoy better health and well-being. When your body is acidic (due to unconscious eating of processed and cooked foods), then you open the gateway for disease within the body (ranging from cancer to diabetes to obesity to heart disease).

You can reverse disease within the body by lowering your Ph level. You can check your Ph level easily by purchasing Ph strips and testing your saliva. You can purchase Ph strips at most health food stores and pharmacies. So, what can you do to alkalize your body, if your Ph levels are acidic?

The rule of thumb is to simply start eating consciously. Eating consciously naturally leads to an alkaline state. Your Spirit already knows what's best for you, and when you eat consciously, you are connecting with your Higher Self, which knows the truth. So how do you start eating consciously?

Conscious eating is all about slowing down and connecting with your food, your mind, your body, your emotions, and your spirit, in order to make healthy decisions that are just perfect for you and your well-being.

Connect with the origin and the "spirit" of the food. Where did your food come from? Really connect...If it's an animal product, was the animal treated humanely? Is the food organic (or is it processed, loaded with pesticides, fillers, sugar, genetically modified)? In general, you can increase the amount of raw, unprocessed foods in your diet to help alkalize your body. When you connect with living foods (uncooked), you are receiving all the enzymes you need to break down food and digest it properly. When food is cooked, it is considered a "dead" food, usually absent of many of the important nutrients and enzymes your body needs. It's best to connect with the pure essence of food in its most natural state. Once food is broken down and processed (in many cases, multiple times), the nutritional value of the food diminishes. The more raw and unprocessed foods you can eat, the better!

Connect with your emotions. Is this food fulfilling an unresolved emotion? Or, is there a better way to face your emotions rather than eating to numb your emotions?

Connect with your physical body. Are you really hungry, or are you just thirsty? Would a glass of water suit you better? You can use a pendulum to determine whether your physical body needs certain foods or not. You can also use kinesiology (also known as muscle testing) to connect or "check in" with your physical body to see if what you're about to eat is actually good for your body.

Connect with your spirit. Does this food make your spirit soar or sink to the floor with heaviness? Is it a heavy food with lots of spiritual baggage (like meat from an abused animal, or heavily processed), or is it light, whole, and pure?

Bless your food! One of the best ways to start making a change is to bless your food. When you honor your food and express deep gratitude for your food, you life shifts to a new way of living, a new way of being in this world!

Mind-Body-Spirit - When Physical Illness Erupts From Suppressed Negative Emotions

Several years ago I worked with a client who had developed a serious and irreversible eye disorder known as Macular Degeneration or MD. MD is a retinal disorder that affects one's central vision, i.e. that which you require to read with and progressively spreads peripherally to involve the rest of the retina over a period of time.

He had tried everything even surgery and yet his vision continued to deteriorate. He eventually heard of my work with a process I call the Mind Resonance Process® (MRP) and got up the courage to try it. I say "courage" because MRP actually addresses the emotional roots of performance anxiety and other issues that a person may be struggling with.

It has been my experience that individuals who develop "physical" medical problems are often suppressing negative or painful emotions from past because they are afraid of feeling them. Suppression becomes a strategy to deal with the internal pain as it effectively "pushes" the pain into what is referred to as the "unconscious mind". There it remains out of consciousness and therefore out of awareness. That however does not mean that the problem is gone.

What it means is that the problem is still "there" yet the individual is less aware of its presence.

Now a couple of words about the "there" or the "where" these negative emotions actually go.

Effectively the unconscious "storehouse" is the physical body. In other words the emotional pain gets shoved into the body and hides there. As it does so it continues to harbor pain and hurt and this has a disorganizing impact on the both the structure and function of the physical body. Now for a while the body will accommodate the stressor but over time as more and more suppression occurs over one's life time the pressure of this pain eventually causes an overwhelming disruption that erupts as a physical illness.

The man who had the MD worked with me for two months, once per week and as he did so we targeted various memories of events that had anything to do with the problem. These included such things as the initial diagnosis of MD, memories of events along his deteriorating course as well as other difficult personal matters in his life that preceded and/or were the consequence of his MD. I helped him erase many of these memories from his unconscious mind. Effectively this meant that I was able to allow the "pain" from such submerged "emotional abscesses" to become permanently released.

This not only released the pain it also "erased" the memories permanently, and felt to this person as if they never happened.

During the course of the work with MRP this man was able to spontaneously recover over 90% of his vision in the damaged eye.

Now MD is considered a progressive and irreversible eye disorder. In my view this is most probably due in part to the cumulative emotional suppression that eventually overwhelms one's physiological processes.

It appeared that in this case it could be released with MRP and may thus be a hopeful sign of a greater understanding of the emotional roots of physical illnesses.

Mind, Body, Spirit - Health at Midlife and Menopause

Midlife and menopause is a time of many transitions. Shifting hormones may produce hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss, insomnia, and mood swings. Our growing realization of life's impermanence leads to taking stock of our lives' successes and failures, how they've compared with what we expected, and what's next. Identity and esteem issues arise as changing roles, like children leaving home, cause us to question "Who am I? Who do I want to be?" Through this, some of us will discover greater clarity, strength and confidence about ourselves, while others will feel confused, lost, distressed. We will be faced with our parents aging, ourselves aging, numerous relationship changes, leaving work, resuming work, and multiple situational influences which may destabilize our sense of self and well-being. Cultivating good health, mind, body and spirit, will be paramount to surviving and thriving all midlife and menopause brings. Here's what I suggest:

1. Being positive and open-minded. Viewing midlife as a journey, an opportunity to become more fully present to your life and who you are, will enable you to better weather the ups and downs. Research indicates that women who adopt this attitude have less intense physical symptoms, fewer mood issues, less esteem problems, and more personal satisfaction. Be prepared to let go of pre-conceived ideas of your life and how it was supposed to be. Marcus Proust said, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new lands, but in having new eyes".

2. Rediscovering you. Remember adolescence when you took those shaky steps to becoming who you are. Welcome to "second adulthood" as Susan Braun Levine describes it in her book, Inventing the Rest of Our Lives. Think about who you were before you became a worker, wife, mother, daughter, best friend, etc. Ask yourself "Who am I?" Deep down where roles fall away and your character emerges. This is a chance to reconnect with those parts of yourself you've buried and breathe new life into being creative, adventurous, bold, sensitive, who knows. It's up to you.

3. Listening to your inner guidance. With estrogen declining and a deepening sense of life's impermanence, many women discover a newfound freedom to loosen the bonds of being who they "should be" and becoming who they choose to be. When you can quiet the voices of what others want or want for you, you can hear your inner wisdom. At first, it may be hardly audible. But, the more you tune in, the stronger and clearer it becomes. It is not the voice of self-centeredness, but inner knowing which begins with self-compassion and extends to others. Listen wisely.

4. Choosing nourishing relationships. At midlife, we may find that relationships we've been involved in for years, aren't working well for us. Why? While it occurs for many reasons like changing interests, frequently it's because we don't feel emotionally nourished and that there's enough give and take. The bottom line is to not force yourself to stay in situations you've outgrown. Instead, ask yourself honestly, "Do I enjoy being with this person? Does she/he bring something positive to my life even if it's changed over time? How much do I want them to remain a part of my life?" Respect what you want and need equally. It's time.

5. Reducing hot flashes. Now, for some body wisdom. While hot flashes are a product of estrogen shifts, certain substances/situations will aggravate them. So, limit your consumption of alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and hot beverages. Dress in layers and sleep with a foot or arm uncovered to stay cooler as heat intensifies them. Reduce stress by shortening your to-do list, taking regular breaks, working out, and practicing relaxation. 15-20 minutes of deep breathing or meditation daily was shown to decrease hot flashes up to 70%. If you have trouble sitting still, try yoga or pilates. Discover what works for you.

6. Building heart and bone health. With declining estrogen, women are at increased risk for heart disease and osteoporosis. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in women over 50 and complications from osteoporosis including hip fracture, likewise result in disability and death. Exercise and good nutrition are key. Twenty to thirty minutes of weight-bearing exercise, e.g. walking, weight training, circuit workout, combined with cardio building, e.g. jogging, aerobics, swimming, several times weekly, is recommended. Daily calcium intake for peri-and post-menopausal women should total 1200-1500 mg. Calcium and 800 IU Vitamin D for absorption. Choosing calcium rich, high protein, and low fat foods will support bone and heart health.

7. Enjoying sex. With hormonal and relationship shifts, sex often changes at midlife and menopause. According to Dr. Jacob Klein, Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, "As women go through perimenopause, arousal proceeds desire", meaning that women need to feel aroused to be interested in sex. "It's like going to a restaurant when you're not really hungry, but your appetizer arrives, you see other people eating, and you start feeling hungry," he commented. Physical symptoms of vaginal dryness and decreased lubrication may lessen interest and pleasure. But, having sex regularly will offset these some. So understand what's going on, don't take it personally, make adjustments, and have fun!

8. Living on purpose. Creating the life you want may be the biggest challenge and opportunity midlife women face. It involves discovering and prioritizing what matters most to us, and then taking actions to pursue these values and goals. For one woman, it might be returning to school and completing her degree which she interrupted to have children. For another, leaving a marriage which has not been nourishing for years. It requires the courage to follow our hearts, whether others approve or understand. To accept our responsibility for the life we create, and living our dreams.

9. Creating a spirit-filled life. What this means is having a sense of connection with something bigger than oneself, whether it's God, nature, or the universe. Spirit gives us a feeling that there is more to life than our physical existence and at midlife when the reality of our mortality confronts us, many of us long for this knowing. The ways we attain spiritual connectedness are unique whether through organized religion or individual practice, but all have value. Look at Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. and Gordon Dverin, Ph.D., Your Soul's Compass, for ideas about accessing your spirituality.

10. Embracing stewardship. As our connection with something bigger than ourselves grows, we often discover an interest in protecting and caring for our communities and our planet. We want our children, others we love and even those we don't know, to be free of the inner and outer obstacles that hindered us. In becoming more fully ourselves, we discover a love and respect for all that is. Healing ourselves helps the world toward a better tomorrow.

For me, the journey of midlife and menopause has been rich beyond words. This doesn't mean it's been easy, and each of us will have our share of ups and downs as we traverse this unexplored terrain. But this second adulthood affords us the opportunity to re-examine our lives with the wisdom, strength and resources, we've gained, and to decide, if we're willing, what matters and what's next. A time to dream again and to live our dreams.

Mind-Body-Spirit Connection: Talk to Your Knee!

Sitting at a restaurant people-watching and chatting with my husband this past Friday night, we touched on some pretty cool topics, but the one that excited me most had my arms animated, my eyes sparkling, and my voice elevated. As we discussed his job as an Advanced Placement Biology teacher at a prestigious high school on the North Shore of Chicago, I wondered aloud the prospect of teaching the future doctors, medical researchers and everyday citizens of our country beyond mitochondria, photosynthesis and traditional biology fare. What if all students were taught at an early age their true power to initiate and advance the healing of their own body? In short, as I practically yelled across the bar to my husband's embarrassment, "What if we taught children to talk to their own knee!"

Through my years on the spiritual path, time and time again I have been led by holistic healers past the drugs and allopathic remedies offered by the well-meaning medical profession and into the interior of my emotional landscape and beautifully designed body. It is my firm belief that it is not enough simply to listen to another's (not even a medical professional's) take on what has gone awry within our own body, for an outsider is not privy to our emotions, heart's desires, subconscious treasures or deeply hidden wounds that absolutely and unequivocally affect all that manifests within our whole system.

Once a symptom appears, we find ourselves at the tail end of what has been building energetically within our body for days, months and even years. We must not only begin to make all-important connections respecting the body/mind/spirit simpatico, but also to understand how to achieve greater intimacy with our own body and inner world if we are ever to move into preventive medicine and away from the "drugs as bandaids" cycle that leaves many individuals today feeling unempowered emotionally, physically and financially.

The Soul-to-Soul Perspective asserts that inner work is imperative to overall well-being, including vibrant health. If a negative emotion (energy in motion) such as anger, guilt or resentment OR resistance to a soul calling to create change remains unexamined, it will eventually show itself somewhere in our body as dis-ease. Most people today still make no connection that what has shown up as illness within the body has anything to do with thoughts, feelings or subconscious beliefs so they go about healing themselves from the outside in versus the inside out.

Our most sacred and intelligent body is always giving us clues (at first subtle and if unheeded quite loud) regarding what needs to be looked at--in both our interior and exterior world--more closely. It deserves our utmost appreciation and acknowledgment, ALWAYS!! So next time you get laryngitis, caress your throat, thank your throat, and acknowledge gratefully a throat that allows you to speak. Seek to understand what your throat is trying to tell you with this ailment. There is a clear message meant just for you if you will but only listen and appreciate your purposeful throat--a very much alive and vital aspect of who you are rather than simply a separate, disconnected body part.

In other words, if your throat is illin', look to see what it is YOU are unwilling or afraid to communicate. If your knee blows, look to see what you are no longer willing to hold up or hold onto, and if your eye begins to twitch, look to see how you may perceive things differently. Through supreme wisdom, our beloved body is willing to show us the way. You may be surprised at the two-way communication system and outright LOVE FEST with your body that can become the norm. So come on, talk to your sprained wrist, caress your battered lower back and acknowledge the daily gifts offered up from your twisted ankle. It's time to make the body/mind/spirit connection part of daily reality as self-love and self-healing go hand in hand. Imagine a world--politically, economically, medically--where our young were taught to do just that.