My Wellness Drawer

Archive for August 2013

In visions of the dark nightMistery of universe
I have dreamed of joy departed-
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.

Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?

That holy dream- that holy dream,
While all the world were chiding,
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding.

What though that light, thro’ storm and night,
So trembled from afar-
What could there be more purely bright
In Truth’s day-star?

                          Edgar Allan Poe

By Kim Eng

Our natural state is love. So, it’s only to be expected that children come into this world anticipating love. Most children, however, are not born into a family that demonstrates unconditional love, but, instead, one that is crying out in pain. This is a family made up of what I call “wounded souls”.

When we ourselves are wounded, we raise wounded children. A passage in the Old Testament says that the sins of the father will be passed down from generation to generation (Exodus 20:5). Until we are ready to awaken and begin to experience our natural state of love, we continue to pass along a lack of consciousness to our children, our families, our friends, and our co-workers. In other words, the more wounded we are, the more suffering we cause ourselves and others.

We are human beings. This implies, as Eckhart says, that there are two dimensions to who we are: the human and the Being. The human dimension consists of the physical body and the conditioned mind, plus the emotions that accompany it. However, without awareness or presence – which is the dimension of Being – our humanness assumes a complexity that rapidly becomes dysfunctional. In this way, an oversized ego develops, obscures our Being and creates a false sense of identity.

The dimension of Being is formless. We may call it spirit, consciousness or awareness. Raising conscious children requires aware or conscious parenting. So there are, I would say, two aspects to conscious parenting: the human development and the unfolding of Being. Telling your child to tidy their room, do their homework, helping them with schoolwork and answering their questions to the best of your ability… all this is to do with your child’s human development. The human, which Eckhart also calls “doing”, is, of course, necessary, but it alone can never lead to lasting happiness without the realization of Being, which is the realization of who or what you are in your essence.

The Being unfolds to a true expression of itself, like a flower gracefully unfolding its petals. Both these dimensions, human and Being, need to be acknowledged and supported in a child’s life.

When we forget who we are, and the people around us have forgotten who they are, how can we expect our children to remember who they are? It’s vital that we remind ourselves and our children who they are at their core. Here’s one way to help your child remain in or regain connection to their Being. Take a walk in nature and share that experience fully with your child. Breathe the air, smell the scents, look and listen to the sounds, and be with nature without labelling your perceptions. Labels deaden our ability to connect with the essence of nature, which is life. The essence of nature is also the essence of who or what we are – the Being within.

Most of the time, we interact with children only on the human level rather than on the level of consciousness. This “lack of Being” creates further separation from their true nature, which they cannot sense. When we realize that human and Being are one, our relationships with our children can change. As we realize that their primary destiny is the flowering of their Being, their human development is put in its rightful place, as a necessary, but secondary aspect to their upbringing. 

 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie The danger of a single

Don’t miss ‘The danger of a single  story‘ – a heartwarming, mind-opening talk. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s story will change your vision of the world forever.

There are only three kinds of people in your life:

 

Those that leave you alone

Those who help you

Those who hurt you

 

People who leave you alone are dealing with your suffering as a nuisance or inconvenience-they prefer to keep their distance in order to feel better themselves.

Those who help you have the strength and awareness to do more with your suffering than you are able to do by yourself.

Those who hurt you want the situation to stay the same because  they do not have your well-being in heart.

(from The Book of Secrets by Deepak Chopra)

By Deepak Chopra

The path to success can be derailed by clashes with difficult people, and even if the clash isn’t disastrous, it can make your life very unpleasant. Everyone has a store of coping mechanisms that we resort to when we find ourselves in stressful situations. Difficult people force us to fall back on our coping mechanisms. Some of us placate, others confront. Some balk, others become aggressive. When these first-response tactics don’t work, when a difficult person makes you tear your hair out in total frustration, you have to dig deeper into yourself and find a better strategy.

Difficult people

First of all, not every difficult person is the same. There are tyrants, curmudgeons, aggressors, the viciously competitive, and control freaks. A psychologist can outline how each beast might be tamed, but on a day-to-day basis, one can adopt a general approach that’s the same. It’s quite a simple strategy, actually, based on asking three questions.

1. Can I change the situation?

2. Do I have to put up with it instead?

3. Should I just walk away?

When you ask these questions in a rational frame of mind, you will be able to formulate a workable approach that is consistent and effective. Most people are prisoners of inconsistency. Think about the most difficult person in your life and how you have reacted to them over time. You’ll probably find that you sometimes put up with them, sometimes try to get them to change, and other times simply want to stay away. In other words, three tactics have merged in a messy way. You wind up sending mixed messages, and that’s never effective.

So let’s consider each of the three questions in turn.

1. Can I change the situation?

Not all difficult people are beyond change, even though they are stubborn and stuck in their behavior. But there’s a cardinal rule here that can’t be ignored. No one changes unless he wants to. Difficult people rarely want to. If you have a close rapport with the person, you might find a moment when you can sit down and have a candid discussion about the things that frustrate you. But be prepared with an exit strategy, because if your difficult person winds up resenting you for poking your nose where it doesn’t belong, trying to effect change can seriously backfire.

Your best chance of creating change occurs if the following things are present.

– You have a personal connection with the person.

– You have earned his respect.

– You’ve discreetly tested the waters and found her a bit open to change.

– You’ve received signals that he wants to change.

– You aren’t afraid or intimidated.

– The two of you are fairly equal in power. If the difficult person is in a dominant position, such as being your boss, your status is too imbalanced.

A final caveat. Difficult people aren’t going to change just to make you feel better. The worst chance of getting someone else to change occurs when you’re so angry, frustrated, and fed up that you lose your composure and demand change.

2. Do I have to put up with it instead?

When you can’t change a situation, only two options remain, either put up with it or walk away. Most of us aren’t very effective in getting someone else to change, so we adapt in various ways. We are experts at putting up with things. Adaptation isn’t bad per se; social life depends upon getting along with one another. It’s a reasonable assumption that if you have difficult people in your life right now – and who doesn’t? – you’ve learned to adapt. The real question is whether you are coping in a healthy or unhealthy way.

Look at the following lists and honestly ask yourself how well you are putting up with your difficult person.

Unhealthy:

– I keep quiet and let them have their way. It’s not worth fighting over.

– I complain behind their backs.

– I shut down emotionally.

– I don’t say what I really mean half the time, for fear of getting into trouble or losing control.

– I subtly signal my disapproval.

– I engage in endless arguments that no one wins.

– I have symptoms of stress (headache, knots in the stomach, insomnia, depression, and anxiety) but have decided to grin and bear it.

– I know i want to get out of this situation, but I keep convincing myself that I have to stick it out.

– I indulge in fantasies of revenge.

Healthy –

– I assess what works best for me and avoid what doesn’t.

– I approach the difficult person as rationally as possible.

– I don’t get into emotional drama with them.

– I make sure I am respected by them. I keep my dignity.

– I can see the insecurity that lies beneath the surface of their bad behavior.

– I don’t dwell on their behavior. I don’t complain behind their backs or lose sleep.

– I keep away from anyone who can’t handle the situation, the perpetual complainers, gossips, and connivers.

– My interaction with the difficult person has no hidden agenda, like revenge. We are here for mutual benefit, not psychodrama.

– I know I can walk away whenever I have to, so I don’t feel trapped.

– I can laugh behind this person’s back. I’m not intimidated or afraid.

– I feel genuine respect and admiration for what’s good in this person.

If your approach contains too many unhealthy ingredients, you shouldn’t stick around. You’re just rationalizing a hopeless situation. Your relationship with your difficult person isn’t productive for either of you.

3. Should I just walk away?

Difficult people generally wind up alone, embattled, and bitter. They create too much stress, and one by one, everyone in their lives walks away. But it can take an agonizingly long time to make this decision. The problem is attachment. The abused wife who can’t leave her violent husband, the worker who is afraid he can’t find another job, the underling who serves as a doormat for his boss – in almost every instance their reason for staying is emotional. Life isn’t meant to be clinically rational. Emotions are a rich part of our lives, and it’s mature to take the bitter with the sweet – up to a point.

Too many people stick around when they shouldn’t. The main exceptions are competitive types, who can’t bear to be dominated or made to look bad. They instinctively run away from situations that hurt their self-image. The other main personality types – dependent and controlling – will put up with a bad situation for a long time, far beyond what’s healthy. The point, in practical terms, is that you can’t wait until you’ve resolved all your issues with a difficult spouse, boss, boyfriend, buddy, colleague, or employee. Vacillation doesn’t make you a better or nicer person. You are treading water, hoping that the dreaded day will never come when you have to sever ties. The thought of separation causes you anxiety.

But as anxious as you feel, sometimes a rupture is the healthiest thing you can do. That’s the case if you have honestly confronted questions 1 and 2. If you know the difficult person isn’t going to change, and if you’ve examined the unhealthy and healthy choices involved in putting up with them, you have a good foundation for making the right choice: Do I stay or do I walk? I’m not promising that your decision will feel nice. It probably won’t. But it will be the right decision, the kind you will be able to look back on with a sigh of relief and recognition that moving on was healthy and productive.

 

By 

There’s no question that regular exercise is essential to health. For the vast majority of our evolutionary history, we’ve had to exert ourselves — often quite strenuously — to get food, find shelter and simply survive. We naturally spent a lot of time outdoors in the sun, walking, hunting, gathering, and performing various other physically-oriented tasks. We had no concept of this as “exercise” or “working out.” It was just life.

posture-pictures-bad-posture

This are different today. Most people in modern societies spend the majority of their time indoors, sitting on their butts (like you’re probably doing right now). The typical U.S. adult is sedentary for 60 percent of their waking hours and sits for an average of six hours per day (and often much more, in the case of those who work primarily on computers). In fact, being sedentary is now the norm and exercise is primarily seen as an intervention — something we do to guard against the negative impacts of a sedentary lifestyle.

An Epidemic of Sedentary Behavior: The Perils of Too Much Sitting

This increase in sedentary time and decrease in physical activity has profoundly impacted our health. Too much sitting is associated with numerous problems, ranging from weight gain, to osteoporosis, to cardiovascular disease. For example, research has shown that:

 

  • Sitting decreases the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which helps burn fat.
  • Too much sedentary time decreases bone mineral density without increasing bone formation, which raises the risk of fracture.
  • Excess sitting increases blood pressure and decreases the diameter of arteries, both of which make heart disease more likely.

 

Even worse, too much sitting could shorten your life. Studies in the U.S.CanadaAustraliaand Asia have all found an association between increased sedentary time and the risk of early death. These associations were independent of traditional risk factors such as smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, waist circumference and diet.

The “Active Couch Potato”: Why Exercise Isn’t Enough

I’m sure this isn’t news to you; most people are aware that physical activity is essential to good health. But what you may not know is that too much sitting time is harmful even if you’re getting enough exercise.

This means you could be meeting the recommended guidelines for exercise (i.e., 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, five days a week), but still be at higher risk of disease if you sit for long periods each day. In fact, a large study involving over 100,000 U.S. adults found that those who sat for more than six hours a day had up to a 40 percent greater risk of death over the next 15 years than those who sat for less than three hours a day. Most importantly, this effect occurred regardless of whether the participants exercised. Some research even suggests that people who exercise intensely (like marathon runners) are more likely to be sedentary when they’re not exercising. They may assume that their training regimen protects them from the harmful effects of too much sitting when they’re not exercising. It doesn’t.

In industrialized societies, this “active couch potato” phenomenon has become the norm rather than the exception. If you work in an office, commute by car and watch a few hours of TV each night, it’s not hard to see how you could spend the vast majority of your waking life (up to 15 hours!) sitting on your butt. This is far outside of evolutionary norms for humans, and has serious consequences for our health.

Move Like Your Ancestors: Become an “Organic Mover”

We’ve established that 1) too much sitting is harmful, and 2) exercise alone isn’t enough to reverse the harmful effects of too much sitting. It follows, then, that for optimal health we should reduce sitting time and increase “non-exercise” physical activity. The best way to achieve this is by embracing what I call “organic movement”: incorporating physical activity throughout your day in addition to performing distinct periods of exercise. This mimics the ancestral pattern of activity that humans are biologically and genetically adapted to.

In general, I recommend standing or walking for at least 50 percent of the day, and not sitting for more than two hours at a time without taking a short standing or walking break. If you work in an occupation that involves sitting for long periods, here are a few ways to accomplish this:

    • Work at a standing desk. Many employers permit this now, and more will follow once they understand the potential benefits in terms of reduced absenteeism, lower health care costs and higher productivity in their employees.
    • Work at a treadmill desk. If you want to take a standing desk to the next level, and you work at home or have a progressive employer, try a treadmill desk. (I use one of these in my home office, and it has changed my life. Read this post for more info.)
    • Walk or bicycle to work. This isn’t always possible, but with a little creativity it often is. If you live too far away to walk or ride exclusively, consider driving part of the way and walking or cycling for the remainder.Take
    • a standing or walking break. Stand up for at least two minutes every hour. If possible, take a brief walk or do some light stretching. Even short breaks like this can make a big difference. If you have trouble remembering to do this, try setting an alarm on your phone each time you sit down again, or use an app like Time Out(Mac) or Workrave (Windows).
    • Stand up at meetings. If you’re worried about what your colleagues might think, just tell them you have a bad back!
    • Sit more actively. Sitting inactively in a chair isn’t the only way to sit. Consider sitting on a yoga ball for periods of time instead of a chair, or place an “active sitting disc” on your chair and sit on that. Both of these options will force you to make small postural adjustments while you’re sitting, which mitigates some of the harmful effects of being sedentary. These micro-movements can add up to a significant expenditure of calories throughout the day.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Have you taken steps to reduce your sitting time? If so, what benefits have you noticed? If you’re still sitting for long periods each day, how might you take steps to increase your activity?

 

If you pack your child’s lunch in a plastic container, or often purchase ready-to-eat food packaged items for your young one, you may be exposing them to two potentially toxic everyday chemicals: DEHP (Di-2-ethylhexylphthalate) and BPA (bisphenol A). DEHP, a phthalate, is used as a “plasticizer” for everything from plastic bottles to plastic containers. BPA is a man-made synthetic compound used to make plastics — particularly hard plastic bottles — and has been in commercial use since 1957. Canadian and European Union regulators have banned BPA from use in baby bottles; in the U.S., public worry over the compound has led to it essentially being phased out of use in recent years.

Red tupperware

While the long-term health effects of these two environmental toxic chemicals on humans is still currently under review by researchers in the U.S., two recent studies published in the same issue of the journal Pediatrics, suggest that exposure to DEHP and BPA could potentially increase your child’s risk for serious diseases including obesity and type 2 diabetes.

If you pack your child’s lunch in a plastic container, or often purchase ready-to-eat food packaged items for your young one, you may be exposing them to two potentially toxic everyday chemicals: DEHP (Di-2-ethylhexylphthalate) and BPA (bisphenol A). DEHP, a phthalate, is used as a “plasticizer” for everything from plastic bottles to plastic containers. BPA is a man-made synthetic compound used to make plastics — particularly hard plastic bottles — and has been in commercial use since 1957. Canadian and European Union regulators have banned BPA from use in baby bottles; in the U.S., public worry over the compound has led to it essentially being phased out of use in recent years.

While the long-term health effects of these two environmental toxic chemicals on humans is still currently under review by researchers in the U.S., two recent studies published in the same issue of the journal Pediatrics, suggest that exposure to DEHP and BPA could potentially increase your child’s risk for serious diseases including obesity and type 2 diabetes.

read more

Long before we knew about recommended daily allowances for fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, we listened to our taste buds to determine which substances were edible and how much of them to consume. Ayurveda teaches that satisfying all six tastes at every meal can ensure that all major food groups and nutrients are represented, as is the case in most of traditional ethnic dishes.

Here is the table to help us come back to ‘senses’.

Food tastes Chopra

Combining this with knowledge about ‘The coloured gifts of nature’ could make us even more ‘sensible’.

Fruit and vegetable are complete food created by nature and are very rich in natural ingredients. Their joyous colours (green, red, yellow, orange, purple, and white) come from different pigments – each with nutritional value and health benefits. When you shop for your food be adventurous and experiment with colours, or look at the table below and pick the colours that ‘suit’ you best.

food colours minerals

Green
(Kale, Spinach, Melon, Kiwifruit, Green peas, Broccoli, Cabbage, Leafy Greens, Lettuce, Asparagus, Celery, Green Grapes, Green Onion…)Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fibre, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Ingredients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risk, purify blood simulating blood transfusion, reduce harmful LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, also normalize digestion time of food, support eyesight and put the immune system in full activity.

Red
(Red Raspberries, Watermelon, Strawberries, Cranberries, Red Apples, Beets, Red Beans, Sweet Cherries, Fresh Tomato, Kidney Beans, Red Cabbage)

Fruit and vegetable with red colour contain ingredients as lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin and hesperidin. These ingredients act preventively against the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce the growth of existing tumours and LDL cholesterol. Fight free radicals and in cases of arthritis provide support in joint mobility.

Blue and Purple
(Dried Plums, Grapes, Pomegranates, Purple Cabbage, Purple Grapes, Purple peppers, Raisins, Eggplant, Black Currant, Blackberries, Blueberries…)

Fruit and vegetable with this color contain ingredients like lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid and quercetin. These ingredients help maintaining healthy vision, reduce LDL cholesterol, maintain the highest level of defense of the immune system, help normal digestion, improve absorbing calcium  and other minerals, fight inflammation, inhibit growth of existing tumors but also have anti-cancer affect in digestive tract and limit the activity of cancer cells.

Orange and yellow
(Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit, Carrots, Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Peaches, Papayas, Yellow Apples, Sweet Corn, Yellow Peppers, Golden Kiwifruit…)

Fruit with these two colours contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, vitamin C and potassium. These ingredients reduce eye problems in aging, risk of prostate cancer, lower the blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, stimulate formation of collagen, provides healthy and mobile joints as well. Due to the large amount of powerful antioxidants, they also deal with free radicals and premature aging successfully, maintain alkaline state of the body, and also support successful combination of calcium and magnesium in the health “construction” of bones and teeth.

White
(Bananas, Ginger, Garlic, Mushrooms, Onions, White Corn, White Peaches, Potatoes, Jicama, Parsnips…)

These fruit and vegetables contain ingredients like beta-glucans EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), SDG (Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) and lignin which provide powerful immune system support. These ingredients also activate the natural destroyers for all substances dangerous for our body, B and T-cells, reduce the risk of colon cancer (the most common cancer in men), breast cancer and prostate. They help balancing levels of various hormones and more important, reduce the risk of hormone-related tumours.

Tree lr with signature                                                                                                    The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep

Rumi



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  • wartica: I can attest to this; eating garbage food , always lead me to eat more - all because I was lacking real nutrients . Great post and I look forward to s