Panchakarma

Panchakarma means ‘5 actions’.  Pancha means 5.  Karma means action or procedure.

Panchakarma is the penultimate cleanse for the elimination of toxins (ama) and the replenishment of tissues.  Panchakarma comes from the ancient, holistic, healing system of Ayurveda which has its roots in India.

For five thousand years the people of India and China have been using plants to treat every disease known to mankind.  Why?  Because it works.  10 years ago a group of traditional scientists asked US Congress to fund research into Ayurveda.  What started as a $10m project grew into $100m. Ayurveda was approved as an addition to the 27th arm of NCCAM – the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a result.

This study was heavily related to the Human Genome Project which was formed to study how genes function individually and collectively.

How do genes relate to Ayurveda and Panchakarma?

Genes are switched on and off as we age.  When genes are on they make protein and perform a function.  And vice versa.  As we grow older some genes are switched on, others off.

Herbal therapy (ayurveda) works by utilising the protection system of a plant.  Plants produce toxins to protect themselves from insects.  These toxins have a unique ability to bind to our genes.  They provide the switch that the body hasn’t been capable of actioning.

There are 3 stages of PK therapy:
1.  Purva Karma – pre-treatment
2.  Pradhana Karma – primary treatment
3.  Paschat Karma – post treatment

The 5 actions referred to consist of the following and appear at  various times during the 3 stages of PK.

1. Vamana – purging
2.  Virechana – liver flush
3.  Vasti – enema
4.  Nasya – nasal treatment
5.  Rakthamokshana – bloodletting

I’m Day 5 of a 21 day PK.  Day 1 I felt completely overwhelmed.  This might have had something to do with moving out of my villa and packing all of my worldly possessions (again) into bags…knowing that as of the 21st June I’m not sure where my path is going to take me..and said bags (again).  It’s not so much stress as its the emotion that comes with goodbyes, closing one door to open another that seems to put me into a temporary tailspin.  But that lasted one day and I woke up on Day 2 feeling completely settled in.

So what happens when Panchakarmering?

Each day begins with medicated ghee (Snehapana).  Ghee is derived from clarified butter – the protein is removed.  The purpose of the ghee is to bind to the toxins (ama) in the body.  The body is literally saturated with ghee. Tomorrow I have my last serving of 10 tablespoons with some nasty looking herbs swimming in the bottom.  Taking it is not so bad, and my body was craving the fat the first few days…now..not so much.

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7am is yoga time for an hour.

Then Kitcheree is served for breakfast and lunch.  I really love kitcheree.  Its such a great comfort food.  Rice, mung dhal, veges and spices are combined into a soupy mix that my body craves..it craves it because I’ve literally felt like I’ve been starving!..which is unusual.  Because when I fast I rarely feel like I’m starving…ironically…

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In the afternoon, EVERY day I have 2 hours of treatments including Abhyanga (medicated oil massage), Shirodhara (medicated oil dripped onto the forehead), Nasya (oil decoction into nostrils),  Pasta (paste of onion, garlic, ginger, pepper applied to the body) and Bashpasweda (steam treatment).

3 times a week a 45 minute meditation is offered which I generally decline preferring the mozzie-less, air conditioned comfort of my awesome room and a guided meditation of my choosing.

Purva karma finishes for me shortly and I move into the primary treatment next week.

Why are you doing another detox?

My latest bloods show Candida, low white blood cell count (low immune system) and low thyroid.  Hormone, electrolyte panels and a few other bits haven’t come back yet.  But my system is so ready for a reset.  I tend to do monthly liver flushes but the last structured fast was back in December.  None of the above are surprising after having parasites.  Panchakarma is literally a program of rejuvenation so it makes sense.

Alternative medicine takes more time and a more effort than traditional medicine to get results, but I’m willing to do this rather than to fall prey to a Western medical system, that frankly I feel doesn’t serve me or anyone.  I just can’t support the miseducation given to thousands that are simply listening to an authority figure for want of better information and choices.

I have a strong belief in mind medicine.  Its really crazy how stress, anxiety and depression can f#@k up your body.  I love the philosophy of Ayurveda because of this.  As well as having amusing names for conditions like Cantankerous bowel syndrome to keep me entertained, Ayurveda encompasses not only science but religion and philosophy.

In Ayurveda the whole of life’s journey is considered to be sacred.  Truth is Being, Pure existence, the source of all life.  Ayurveda is a science of Truth as it is expressed in life.

Isn’t that beautiful?

 

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Being upside down

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Stagnation

I am an expert at procrastination.  And I can make up an excuse for just about anything.

Except, its not very well received in Ubud.  Everyone here is just too damn intuitive.  I get called out on everything.  On my last retreat I was accused of judging a guy I’d never even met before!  I was incredulous, but do you know what?  He was right.  It doesn’t matter that I hadn’t said anything to him, he’d picked up on this energy and took me to task over it in front of the ENTIRE group.  Sounds crazy right?  But I learned my lesson.  Thoughts, words and actions…its not enough for me just to say the right things.  Energetically, everything has to align in order for me to evolve, in order for me to be in full integrity.

While I’ve been merrily prattling on about all the clever things I’ve learned recently, I’ve kind of neglected my true story.  The one where I’m meant to be making progress in embodying myself authentically…or in contemporary language – I need to get my arse back on the horse and get on with my life.  Because while my life was turned upside down, inside out and back to front, it stopped shaking recently and now…nothing.  No movement.  Stagnation.

Being upside down

What do you do when stagnation occurs?  Move.  When things stop moving in the body, death is not far away.

That was pretty dark.  But I like to think of health and wellness as:

…Everytime you neglect your health, you’re just telling yourself you want to die quicker.

Oops…even darker…oh well…change the subject…

Downward dog is powerful.  Being upside down does something to my brain.   It feels like it empties out the shit that gathered there overnight and allows some space to be created.  All of a sudden, I feel creative and alive again.  But today my body needed more exercise… in a concentrated kick ass, dynamic way..

…So here I am at the Ubud Centre.  I think I want to move into the gym.  I mean, its air conditioned, it has a great shower, a juice bar, a  hang out space and all the equipment to get me moving.  They give me fresh clean towels and I like the type of people that I meet here.  They’re literally the movers and shakers of Ubud.  Type A personalities, Doers.

Theres a certain mindset required for getting your ass to the gym, or any kind of exercise…and I want to soak their motivation juices into my cells.

It might seem a little crazy that I’m so excited over this gym outing.  I’m going to let you into a little secret on why its really, really significant for me.

This is another important step for getting life back on track.  I used to go to the gym with Scott.  And I just stopped.  I forgot that I loved it.  I forgot how it made me feel.  But this morning, devine forces intervened.  My yoga class was full and nek minut..here I am..I didn’t want yoga.  I wanted to run – I needed a hit of the good stuff.

30 minutes of graduated hill climbs, and sprinting was all it took.  It was torture.  But it was totally worth all those feel good chemicals …I’m literally getting high on seratonin…

The Rant

Why did I need a serotonin hit?  Well, who wouldn’t?  But today, particularly, I’m feeling frustrated and pissed off.  At myself and the world.

I think I’m pretty random.  And I’m definitely hard to keep track of.  I’m forever changing my mind so I’m almost impossible to pin down.  I kind of like being unpredictable.

And I’m pretty unapologetic for all of that.  I mean…my life WAS turned upside down.  And thats how I’ve been living it…the puzzle pieces are swimming around in space, and I’m pulling them in like planets to the sun, hoping that they’ll start orbiting in some kind of pattern.

Ubud pisses me off in a lot of ways, because sometimes I’m just really tired of looking after myself.  The whole ethos of the spiritual journey is to take responsibility for yourself.

  • Take responsibility for the 10th person this week thats angry/frustrated/disappointed with you.
  • Take responsibility for every bad thing that happened to you because you called it in.
  • Take responsibility for the less than ideal person that you’ve turned out to be.

I can whinge all I like.  I can blame who I like.  I can get angry.  I can get frustrated.

But its still my own fault.  And I’ve still chosen to suffer a little longer.

The Lesson

See The Rant above…THATS why its MOST important to get to the gym – I like to pretend I’m stomping on all those sincere, well wishing, perfect people out there who I really just want to punch in the face and tell them to F*ck off.

I dare YOU to MOVE.  Turn your life upside down.  Invert.  Shake it all about.  Who knows what’ll fall out…

Today my favourite colour is gold

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Gold: Congratulations you’re sitting in the winner’s seat at present or about to be.  Everything that you have worked hard and long for is about to pay off and you rewarded.  If you are having trouble seeing the light just know in picking this colour the sun is in your pathway and you will shine and make your way through eventually, definitely not unnoticed as people do notice you in crowds.  You stand out as does the sun but you are also very compassionate and giving too not to mention spiritually connected to the higher self.  Maybe this colour means you need to connect more with your higher self.  You have much wisdom and knowledge to share and people are inspired by your actions and words.  Just remember not to be too showy and stay humble in your achievements.  There’s plenty of room for more growth even though you are at the top which is where you should be and not only can you enjoy the rewards of your success but others will do to.  It’s like when you win so does everyone else who come into contact with you.   Avoid petty squabbling as this could indicate family squabbles it’s so not worth it, sometimes people can be envious of your wealth/abundance just continue on being successful and staying true to yourself.   Sometimes this does indicate a need to look around new ground, you can effect a beneficial change in your circumstances by taking the right action. You are well protected. 🙂

Purple: News coming. Big change in career for the better maybe a new promotion or you will be given more responsibility within your circle or job. A time of honour for all of your achievements. Please note that this could also mean spiritually as well so shifting up a level spiritually too. Vibrating at a higher level, you have a sudden increase in positive energy, your spiritual side is calling you more than ever now. I feel you will be gifted something special or blessed with another spiritual gift received from above. A busy period lots of meetings, reconnecting with people, powerful and important people who will promote you in some way. Know that things happen for a reason it’s about being in the right place at the right time. 🙂

Red: Many new doors are suddenly opening for you or about to. But you must have the strength, determination and courage to walk through them. Use this time to tackle any projects no matter how hard or impossible they seem at this point. Remember you can do it! You are passionate and confident and you fear nothing. Pay attention to the signs around you. Either you’re giving too much attention to someone or lacking attention the attention from that someone. If so try not to overdo it and push for something to happen, instead use your persuasiveness, charm and confidence skills to get what you want. Patience and perseverance will be more beneficial then force or over obsessing. Love is in the air. 🙂

Blue: If you have been feeling a bit emotional and/or under the weather lately it may be a necessary time to take a well-deserved break to find some calmness and inner peace again. A short trip to the sea or lake. Ask your family or friends to support you and offer you advice as you should never have to deal with everything on your own. It may even be as simple as being out of touch with yourself so try meditation and retreat. You are very highly spiritual and can often pick yourself up again by going within and talking with your guides who will tell you what to do and put you back on track. Try taking up a new spiritual interest or meet new likeminded souls, you are never alone. Know that the path before you is promising and we must keep going however you should know when it’s time to withdraw and return again. Listen to your intuition and everything will be ok. 🙂

Green: Luck is definitely on your side, money money money. This is a good time to start a new addition to the family as it increases fertility. It is also important if you have any unresolved issues with anything or anyone to sort them out now. Avoid letting issues fester or get worse because green indicates the need for balance and healing. Try to eradicate any feelings of jealousy and envy at this point, instead of turning into the green eyed monster lol when being attacked or in a confrontational situation just remain calm and/or walk away from the situation it’s just not worth it when you have so much positive things going on, negativity only slows down the process. Take advantage of the blessings around you and enjoy more family bonding time. 🙂

Yellow: Brings positive light regarding the start of a new business venture and much improved communication skills. This is a very significant time for business dealings and negotiating. Set your sights high on what you want to achieve and communicate your thoughts, say what’s on your mind. Yellow is about strengthening the mind so try not to over think situations ok to avoid mind clutter. Make sure your intentions are clear and everything will work in your favour. People are willing to listen to you. You are also able to connect with messages a lot stronger than ever. 🙂

Pink: Be prepared for a new romance or new relationship. If there’s been problems in your relationships lately, don’t worry because things are about to look up and improve either you will choose to go your own way and start fresh or you will journey into a more deeper level of the relationship. It may be that more affection is needed so please pay attention to your own demands as well as the demands of others. You may even find yourself being looked upto by others more than usual and it’s quite overwhelming for you. Remain patient and show these people your appreciation and loving guidance & support if needed. 🙂

Silver: At this point in time don’t make any rash or hasty decisions ok. There is a need to ensure that you put your spiritual ideas before financial matters please. Sometimes we draw this colour because we are too focused on the material side of things when it’s your spiritual wellbeing that needs attention. It is said that silver is related to the moon so with this colour can bring a confusing period where decisions must be made but we are out of touch with our inner worlds, we are left wondering what decision to make listen to your intuition not your head. These moods can come and go ok fluctuation just remember to cleanse yourself regularly. Free your mind from any negative thoughts. Believe in Magic! 🙂

White: Some good news here if you picked this colour everything will go well and the choices you have made and decisions will indeed be correct. Spiritually you are strong and well protected. You see things as they are. Black is black and white is white. White is the sign of purity and cleanliness and new beginnings. Have faith in yourself that you are on the right path and being guided to a place of perfection. If things haven’t been going so well for you then take this as a sign you can start today fresh. Wipe the slate clean. So release what needs to be released. Eliminate what no longer serves you and live a healthier and happier life. You have the potential to do great things and be anything you want to be. Spiritually you are being guided to leave the past behind once and for all. 🙂

Full credit to Kitrina Aroha Aubrey of Mana Wairua (The Stronger Spirit). This is her koha. Please see her facebook page if you wish to follow her.

Seeing fire through the fear

What is the meaning of life?

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This is the meaning of life. To observe beautiful things.

This question is one that I’ve pondered constantly over the last 18 months.

I have all of these answers now.  I’ve always had them, I just chose to forget them.

Giving myself permission to feel sadness and get vulnerable in order to unwrap them has been daunting.

Meaning is subjective. There is not one meaning.  I give meaning to my life by living it.  Fullstop.  Living it according to my own rules.  Unashamedly.

What is my purpose?

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I like this purpose..eating..drinking..being merry..

There isn’t one purpose.  Theres many.  Purpose isn’t a task or an action.  It’s an attitude.  I belong here.  I’m fully occupying my space on earth with presence and assurance that I’m worthy.  That every moment I breathe  I’m radiating higher energy into the cosmos.

Where is my map?

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Here is my map.  Its written in nature.

Yesterday I felt alive.  I felt invincible.  Because I had made a decision.  And then I attached an action to that decision.  Then I made another decision and I attached a second action.

This is my map.

Who are my people?

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Here are my people.  They are the ones that cross my path on my greatest adventures.

I am everyone and noone.
I am everyone.  I need noone.  I want someone sometimes.  I’m sovereign.  I’m self serving.  I’m independent, strong and confident.  I’m codependent.  And sometimes I’m a bitch.  I’m all of that.

Where is my fire?

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Ahhh there it is..fire
Move or it will consume you
Quench it or it will burn you
Embrace it or it will extinguish you
Let it burn and feel heat, see the light

My ‘story’ is one of grief.  But not grief as you would presume it to be.  Not over the gaping hole that my dead husband left.  The hole that I created when I left my body.

I’m not angry with some higher power for taking away my person.  I’m angry at myself for giving up on myself.

I cannot in all faith, love and respect myself until I stand up and live my life with 100% authenticity.

I cannot love and respect myself until I can unashamedly be who I am.

Go hard or go home.  Complacency is not my thing.  The complacency of this reality is simply not acceptable.

There it is, the fire.  It was always there.  It just needed air, earth, water, space and suddenly it ignited.

If I had 3 months left to live, what would I do?  Would I forget about the mortgage and really LIVE?  What is my definition of living?

None of us know when that day will come.  So the question I have is, why aren’t I living like that today?