Grain brain – linking the brain & gut

The book with this title is worth a read – it hypothesises around the connection between wheat and a myriad of health conditions.  Recommend.

Gluten free has become a ‘thing’ of immense proportions in the food industry, generating millions of dollars in revenue as people seek the right health food.  There are celiacs yes, and there’s everyone else who some cynics guffaw at – those ‘gluten sensitive’ souls who they postulate might be imagining the symptoms they’re suffering from just because they’ve heard that carbs are fattening – well carbs are fattening! – they’re a diabetics worst nightmare.  Diabetes is a lifestyle disease. Lifestyle disease = you should be changing your daily habits….anyways….I diverge….

Its true that grains have changed.  Rise up the GMO grain.  Rise up mass industrialisation.  Rise up all the extras chemicals, additives, preservatives, colours and ‘stuff you can’t pronounce’ in your food.  All so it arrives at your supermarket looking the same that it did 2 weeks ago.  It could be any one of these things that have changed the face of grain.

One can only get a true sense of how it affects your own delicate inner terrain.  After 2 weeks of eating like a rabbit on bowels of leafy greens and glasses of wheatgrass, my system was well and truly purged of wheat.  The human body is amazing like that – within 3 days, the flora has begun to change for the better.

When I arrived back into the country to hot cross bun territory – I couldn’t resist and downed a couple of packets.  Well I’ve never felt so crappy.  In the past I had dialled wheat (and most starches), dairy and sugar out of my lifestyle, but –  I do have a real weakness for crispy, fluffy, spicy buns (not fruit peel!!!) slathered in loads of salted NZ butter.  Alas, my internal flora rebelled and I swelled up like a melon.

When I visited my new favourite psychic, Deirdre Cotton, the first telling off from her was ‘I feel bloated and pregnant (ie she was feeling what I was feeling).  You need to stop eating wheat.  You used to be so good at this (skipping wheat, dairy, sugar), but recently, no…just STOP IT!!!!

So I did.  And I’m retaining less water and I feel less bloated.

Funnily my aunty has late onset celiacs, so I wonder… ???

So its time now for me to not only cut out all of my wheat and starch but also to cut out ALL of the food that I’ve been indulging in that I have cravings for.  To be fair the KFC ended when a colleagues daughter started work at the drive thru and I felt like a fraudster getting my fast food hit …I mean…hormone pumped, enzyme-less, putrid flesh with nil nutrition!! – but it tastes soooo good 😦

and guess what …there’s wheat in that shitty bird…

If you take a watch of the link below, you’ll understand that food really is medicine and I’m not lying to you.  Neuro-degenerative diseases of the brain like depression, anxiety, autism, dementia, Parkinsons, alzheimers, bi-polar and schizophrenia are results of poor gut flora.

Case in point – I reappear from my 3 weeks of relaxation and eating grass and its like I picked up my mojo and bought it back in my suitcase.  My brain is no longer fuzzy.  My outlook can’t stop being positive.  I’m all smiley.  I’m up at 4am and getting 6 hours of sleep and feeling full of energy and vitality.  I’m doing a 30 day hot yoga challenge, netball and bootcamp once a week and started cycling.  I’m growing, sprouting and operating at 200% better efficiency.  I’m literally feeling the LOVE.  Like I LOVE everything …. and THAT my friends is a couple of kgs of dancing, freakin’ happy good gut biota.

Namaste

#dialoutwheat

 

If you want to educate yourself a little more from a scientific perspective, click on this link.

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The black dog

I stopped dreaming.  I don’t know when.  I only realise this because last night I DID dream and it was vivid and shocking.  I had a dream that someone close to me committed suicide.  I felt the emptiness of that.  I felt the emptiness of the world.  And it also took me back to that space of isolation, despair that I’ve occupied so many times before.  I’ve literally sat in a beanbag with a blade in my hand running it along my skin wondering what it would feel like to have my blood squirting out of my veins, but knowing I would never do it because from all accounts its a very painful process.   I use this method often when I’m working through something.  I take my body through the motions of what it would feel like to engage in a process.  It takes the emotional charge out of it.

Those who have experienced the black dog will commiserate with a feeling of apathy for the future, a tiredness and malaise that can’t be shaken off.  That feeling of everything being a little pointless.  Of being hopeless and of no unherant value to the world.  And a very strong reluctance to get out of bed and face the world- to interact – to experience joy.  

Depression and anxiety feel to me to be very strongly linked.  And how both of them are acted out in life are what interests me.  Depression is a result of brain chemistry.  Its very often linked to the food we eat.  But there is no doubt that some people have a stronger disposition towards depression than others ie the brain falls back to this as a natural state of being.  

I’ve always managed depression like an addiction.  I keep getting a picture of a rat in a cage hitting the lever to get a hit of glucose.  I’m constantly looking for a hit of the good stuff in life to keep me ‘up’.  This is an effective management tool. Anything that creates seratonin, endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin is superb.  Usually movement/exercise gives me a good hit – massage is another.  Any activity that gets my metabolism and circulation going, like yoga is fabulous.  

Libby Weaver reiterated a few things to me.  The symptom of not being able to get breath past chest level is one of anxiety and high cortisol levels.  One thing that has really worked for me is being in nature.  Leaning against a tree and just breathing, I can move that block.  Lying on the ground, feeling only the sensations of air, sun, grass, earth seems to disengage the sympathetic nervous system.  And disengages the monotony of my whirring mind.

The most harmful display of my depression has been the connection to emotional eating patterns.  Orthrexia is defined as an over addiction to ‘healthy’ eating.  Actually I use it as a compensatory method to stop binge eating in its tracks.  

My funny little brain has somehow convinced my body that feeding myself is a reward.  So just like the rat, I keep hitting the lever, much like a heroin addict, to temporarily make myself feel better.  It works – for about an hour – until I feel the effects of over eating, or unhealthy eating.  And then I start to mentally abuse myself for being so weak.

We all have methods for getting through tough shit  – to survive.  But in Dr Libby’s words – if we want to thrive – harmful addictions, self deprecation and violent mind talk must stop.  Just stop it.

It would be fair to say that losing someone who is an integral part of your life creates a lot of pain, depression and anxiety.  The gap that is created is not just loss from missing someone.  Its filling all the gaps that that person filled before.  What did that person provide? Love, affection, financial stability, emotional support, fun.

 A choice must be made.

We must either keep that wound or find beautiful ways to fill it up. 

Reinvigorating the feeling of gratitude for the small pieces that make up your life today is paramount to wellness.  Embracing simple delights right now is the only way to love life right now.  Giving oneself a pat on the back is absolutely required.  I have a 100% success rate of surviving the rollercoaster to date.  Its pretty hard to get 100% in this world sometimes – so I’ll claim that.  

And I’m going to love my black dog by taking it for a walk to the river.  Cause no dog can stay in the black down there.

What step am I up to? Am I done yet?

The Matrix is a funny place.

I defined the Matrix really as everything outside of Ubud, Bali.  Because Ubud seemed to me at the time to be sooo far away from reality…so far away from the space I grew up in.  And the rules were different.  Well, strictly speaking there weren’t any rules except for headspinning lines like ‘everything is an illusion’….woah…so far out man (said in a 1970’s hippie intonation)

And I say funny place in a somewhat bemused sense.  But actually its been more like bewildered.

4.5 months ago I put down roots in suburbia.  I set up accounts for utilities.  I started a new job.  My life suddenly became adultier.  I had commitments.  After 2.5 years of not adulting, this was a perplexing, overwhelming and a too fast transition back into ….?  Reality?  I think this is what most would call reality.  But, I call it the Matrix.  To me, Ubud with all of its eccentricities felt more REAL.  More Authentic.  And perhaps more me.

I turned around from a work task last week to find in front of me, an old friend of Scott’s.  I had one of those moments where I felt like I was seeing a ghost.  I was.  A ghost from the past.  I literally just stared and tried to place this person who had appeared in my reality.  We caught up for lunch and the conversation turned into a philosophical discussion about being conscious and the challenges of operating in the matrix.  At the end, I walked away feeling frustrated.

I walked away feeling frustrated because the upshot of the discussion is that I’m still seeking.  And I thought I was all down with being in the present moment and all that.  I thought I was done with seeking for at least another 6 months.  So I felt frustrated. In fact, frustration seems to be a common theme for me.  When I dig down deep into that feeling, all I can find is a general frustration..with the Matrix….for my inability to make it work.  I can do it yes.  But does it fit like a glove? – no.  I long for an existance that I have not yet created.  And I am too scared to create it.  Because I have given myself excuses not to create it.  I have given myself excuses to dumb myself down and survive in the Matrix.  And that’s what my frustration is.  Because after all that I’ve learned…still here I am – a worker in Lego land.

Taking a step back now and just considering all the above… maybe its not the matrix.  Maybe its my inability to make the matrix my own.  My inability to transfer back into it and do everything on purpose.  Yes I’ve made changes.  Yes, my perception has changed.  But am I living fully 100% every minute of every day in my own skin.  Or am I still being swayed, pulled by invisible tethers to conform?  Perhaps my frustration and lack of satisfaction is more to do with the fact that it feels very uncomfortable to be in this space and I long for the comfort of a tribe that walks alongside me.

And the annoying factor is that my tribe lives over oceans.  And the tribe I’ve found to date here take so much longer to connect with.  Less time.  Less vulnerability.  More walls.  More Matrix.  I feel like an alien.

 

The Chameleon in me

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It wasn’t until I stepped out of the matrix of standardised living that I realised everything is an illusion.  Despite my best efforts to remain above it all, I still want to look cool.  To look good and to invite admiration, respect and affection.  I am still defined by the ideology that I grew up to know as right – have a house, have a secure job, save for retirement, find a partner.  Find your passion.  Do stuff that will look good on facebook.  Have stuff that others will covet. 

But boredom has set in.  While playing in the illusion, I find myself not caring about outcomes.  Of being unopposed to being challenged and unperturbed by opinion.  More often than not I find myself as a chameleon, reflecting the requirements of the person in front of me and denying my true self to exist.  The matrix (or is it me?) is comforted by familiarity and abhors conflict and derisive behaviour.  By relinquishing control I’ve stumbled across a new freedom.  

There have been many catalysts & reasons to this perhaps temporary divergence from standardised living.

One –  too many people I know have died, are fighting terminal illnesses or have experienced tough times.  I understand death and hard times, but I don’t understand suffering.

Two – I’ve experienced an existential existence that feels more like home.  The matrix is not it.

Three – I can feel my heart divorcing itself from old connections, relationships and patterns.  I feel no remorse…at times I feel nothing.

Four – Life feels less gray.  Its becoming black and white and rainbows.

Five – the need to chameleon spontaneously erupts less frequently. When it does it feels fake and empty. 

I thought about the things that bring me comfort, joy and security.  The things that fill me up….they’re not particularly cool.. some are weird.  They aren’t rules, standards,  goals or a bucketlist.  They are just musings that I felt like jotting down, because sometimes I feel like I’m being pulled into a Pleasantville type of fantasy world…the type that you live on the surface.  The fantasy where you operate in a state of denial for fear of feeling the emptiness, unfulfilment and loneliness of a world without doing.  Where you can’t live with yourself stripped naked of ambition, achievement and success.  Where you can find solace and empowerment in the vulnerability of your own Soul because you realise that you are everyone.  And everyone is you.

We all seek connection.  But choose not to enter a state of intimacy.  Because we have built fear like a barracade to protect ourselves.  And in the process we create separation.  We deprive ourselves of the opportunity to experience heaven on earth because we fear love. 

Anyway…heres my jottings..little rays of sunshine that help me operate in this illusion..that fill me up..some are aspirational….

What I want today:

1. To have more stormy, rainy days filled with nothing in particular.
2.  To be independant.   And self sufficient. Always.
3.  To have a really great massage, whenever.
4.  To be fit and strong, shiny and vibrant.
5.  To eat delicious food & medicine foods my body craves.
7.  To help others but only when I feel in the mood..to teach..to give.
8.  To feel part of something great.
9.  To feel loved and cared for.  Receive infinite really really good hugs.
10.  To choose every morning what I’d like to do when I wake up.  Do I want to go to work, or go on a roadtrip in my brand new very fast (with lots of buttons) shiny car or book tickets to Bali?
11.  To be a student of the universe…doing endless retreats, workshops and creative endeavours.
13.  To blog on escapism, adventurism, crazyism, hippyism.
6.  To be crazily in love with myself and the space I’ve created.
12.  Wanderlust.  To find myself on top of mountains, in the middle of jungles and ensconced in faraway villages.
13.  To have endless hot showers and epsom salt baths.
14.  Ecstatic dance.  Groovy tunes.
15.  To build a place where people come, to be inspired, to learn, to find their tribe, to heal, grow and become.
16.  To feel freedom and excitement, thrills and adrenaline, peace and gratitude.
17.  To feel lost in space, embraced by Gaia, surrounded by mythical creatures in a fairytale storyline, cocooned in fluffy clouds and protected by the force.
18.  To minimise feelings of aloneness, lostness, confusedness or uncertainty, doubt and hopelessness.
19.  To unequivocally stand in authenticity, without excuses, masks or shame. 
20. To spend precious time with precious people.
21.  To be selfish and not feel guilty.
22.  To make peace and fully embrace in my failings, shortcomings and inadequacies

Mind pollution

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This morning I woke up thinking about work.  Every Sunday I get a familiar knot of anxiety in my tummy as I get closer to Monday.  I seem to hold this tension until I actually start working and realise its not so bad after all.  Looking back I realise I’ve experienced this my entire working career.   But in hindsight its nothing to do with work.  Work is just the catalyst and anxiety is a learned response when Sunday rolls round.

False Expectations Appearing Real

The real fear is around being seen – of being on a stage.  Fear of failure…or is it fear of success?  Fear of not being good enough.  Of being judged unworthy.  Of being seen as fake.  Of being vulnerable.  Fear of not being liked.

All unfounded of course.  Because fear is not real.  I am not in danger from any of the above.  I will not die from not being liked.

But if I give into these anxieties, fears, stress…will I LIVE fully?

I’m particularly interested in the root of this  anxiety because I still have an issue with high cortisol levels.  It could be one of those hen and egg scenarios – is there some imbalance in my body that started it OR is it my life – my mind

From a conscious theory perspective, anxiety is living in the future you see.  And anxiety is having a gap between where you are and where you want to be.   As I tender the question to myself, I agree with my higher self that yes, there is a gap.  There’s a gap in knowledge and experience.  I love my job, I love the people and love how its unfolding.  But I don’t feel like I have the necessary tools yet to do my job to the level I want to operate at.

I’ve always adopted a ‘fake it till you make it’ strategy.  As long as I have confidence and maintain authenticity in the moment, it’ll get me through any situation.  But then in creeps that seed of doubt…

I reflect on a visit to a revered medicine man I visited in Ubud with my friends Jules and Nige. When it was my turn, he went through the usual motions of checking out reflexology points in my feet, then points in my neck and head and announced, ‘theres nothing wrong with you (physically),  you just have doubt’.

I’ve always been very mind-y.  That is, I overthink to the point of not doing.  This affliction seems to commonly affect females.  (See this hilarious youtube clip on how mens and womens minds work).  How have I managed this in the past?  Usually with nutrition and exercise.  Early morning cardio works.  Eating less and eating well works.  Amazing benefits like increasing seratonin, alkalizing, oxygenating, circulation in the body ensue.  But what about the other benefits?  Well, it takes my mind off other pressing matters – work, money and all things that cause anxiety, doubt and stress.  It puts me firmly back in control. 

It wasn’t until I experienced grief that I realised that exercise and nutrition only get you so far.  I had experienced 6 months of loss of appetite and little sleep.  I was running on fumes.  I thought I was ok, until my hair started falling out..in patches.  Nothing I did physiologically, worked. 

Nothing worked until I quit my job and undertook a serious reevaluation of my life and the gaps in it. 

Nothing worked until I took time out to smell the flowers and push the reset button. 

Nothing worked until I learned the tools to live my life from a different perspective

I didn’t learn about the benefits of managing my mind until Bali.  I learned to love myself and love my life again.  Yoga, meditation, the embrace of a likeminded community.  The safety cocoon of being unashamededly authentic in who I am and what I’m feeling right now.  Nutrition and exercise aren’t the foundation.  The mind is.  It is an amazing, complicated tool.  But its not meant to work at turbo speed on aimless pontifications, fear mongering and pointless exercises.  Its a tool to be engaged when learning, doing and working.  But at other times it needs rest.  It needs time in the nothing box.

So now I return back to my Sunday morning affliction.  Here are my top tips for managing mind pollution:

1.  Write.  I journal and blog my way out of insanity. 
2.  Arm myself with tools.  I’m organised.  Prep for the week ahead.
3.  Ground.  Get into nature.  Hug a tree. Go for a bush walk.  Feel the insignificance of my problems fade as I take in the majesty of Mother earth.
4.  Breathe.  Breathe in for 4 secs, hold for 4, breathe out for 4.  Repeat.
5.  Dance, listen to music, affirm, listen to inspiring podcasts.
6.  Get perspective. Do NOTHING.  Do something I love. Have fun.  Be silly.  LAUGH.  Watch mindless comedys.  Stay in bed. Eat dessert for brekkie.
7. Treat myself.  Massage.  Facial.  Sauna.
8. Find purpose.  Bury myself in a project that I’m passionate about.  Get creative.  Draw a picture of the big picture.  Bluetack it to my mirror.
9. Yoga, meditation.
10. Connect with people.  Physically and mentally.

Certainty, Congruency, being in flow

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Week 1 new job  Check!

And now, time to reflect on where I am right now and give thanks and gratitude for the roiling vortex of flow I’ve been searching for.

To be in flow is that feeling of swimming WITH the current, feeling the support of the whole universe PULLING you inevitably along your path on an unknown yet yummy, delicious journey.  Doors open, red carpets unfold.  I can sink deeper into my natural, authentic self, or rather, I feel safe enough to unpeel one more layer.

To be seen is unnerving, scary.   There is FEAR.  But it is oh so right.  On the other side of fear is Nirvana.  Not in the sense of a perfect existence but more of embracing the path that has been mine but has been left unattended.  The secret garden, the fairy hollow, the forbidden jungle..the mysterious fernglade…that place of mysticism and childhood glee … where imagination and creation abound.

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Tony Robbins is a wise man.  In a recent podcast he touched on the subjects of certainty and congruency with regard to the presidential candidacy.

‘Watch my feet’ he said, ‘not my words’.  I’ve been dancing this dance for 40 years.  He’s talking about being your truth.  Being my words.  Being my standards and morals.  Being my thoughts, good or bad.  Being my feelings, good or bad. 

He talked of certainty.  In a world of uncertainty we all look for a stabiliser, a beacon, a yardstick.  Someone who can ground us, give us hope, make us feel safe.  Why can’t that person be me…?  Often times when I’ve felt overwhelmed I’m experiencing a little non duality – that little concept of mind body soul being seperated.  Being grounded into the here and now, creates certainty.  It creates strength and I feel empowered.

So now I can reflect on this last phase of my life and assert with confidence that I’ve:

1.  Taken the time to ride the hills and valleys to reach the plateau where I’m unequivocally certain of what I want and what I am today
2.  Created an existance of congruency
3.  Placed myself firmly in flow

Thank you me.
Thank you Universe.
Namaste.  We are One.

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Full moon undulations

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One of the culprits – yoghurt, black doris plums and LSA

In the last 24 hours I’ve eaten half a loaf of rye sourdough.  I have food regret.  Yesterday I ate everything in my path.  I chowed down on noodles, chocolate, plums, multiple portions of porridge with coconut cream and toast with honey, toast with butter and salt, toast with butter, salt and parmesan.  It was all good food – organic, wholefood, mostly vegan…but… its still calories and I NEVER eat bread WTF ??!

I rolled into bed at some ungodly hour.

I woke up full, bloated and with my period.  Ohhhhh.. now I get it:) Full moon this month was the 23rd February…2 days late!    While pulling my suitcase apart to find my mooncup, I came across my alkaline testing strips….I’m at 6…I’m usually a perfect balance of 7…ick…

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I’m sorry in advance.  This is so funny.

The full moon represents fire, abundance, power and vitality. It’s time to claim one’s own power, make decisions, work changes, and bring something into being.

The energy of full moon menstruation is outward, world-nourishing. Feasts and celebration go well with full moon bleeding.

So perhaps, I’m doing things ass about face again! …but … I feel like fasting – I never feel particularly hungry at this time of month and I feel like blogging about the moon because its freakin’ amazing how the menstruating population of the world are synced with the moon…gotta love mother nature…

This February snow moon in Virgo will help us to clear baggage and evaluate the turn of events since September.    It asks us to revisit events that have happened in the last 6 months, particularly issues that haven’t been resolved.  Now is the time to reap what we have sowed and to get grounded and clear on the path ahead.  This feels a bit more productive than the last new moon which was all about crisis management.

What do we need to pay attention to? What do we need to focus on right now? What finer details or clues are we ignoring?

Full moon fun

The full moon is a powerful time for me to release that which is no longer serving me, unburdening, purging, cleansing.  It’s time for me to LET GO and welcome in magical new opportunities.

Its time to do this in time for the new moon on the 9th March and the solar eclipse on 8th March, when its time for creative energies to inspire dreaming, building and expressions of the soul.  This point between Eclipse cycles is a magical time, a time where we are all collectively getting ready to start a new chapter, no matter where we are in our path.

Fire and water are my clearing tools today…a little ritual, burning all that I’m letting go of, cutting negative bonds, then, jumping in the lake, washing away the residues of yesterday…

PS then I’m cleaning out the garden growing in the gutters 😉

 

References

Cycle Harmony

Compulsive fk yourself over disorder

Today I’m faced with a decision that has driven me to ignore my phone.  Its turned off while I mull over a little crossroad that I’m at.  To step forward or to remain where I am.  It may not be the best step, but its movement none the less.

You see, the way I look at it, every decision, big or small is a decision to remain in power or not.  To live with the status quo or to move onto a different path – to live by the strength of your authenticity – which are the rules that you have determined through life experience to give you the ability to live in your highest and best interests.  Where your morals, your health, your goals, your mind, your sense of wellbeing all fall beautifully into a place and time where you are fulfilled, at peace and happy.  The consequence of the decision maybe trivial, and often times, only I will know the significance as it plays on my mind, determining how I vibrate out to the world.  Those decisions that put us into a place of fear, uncertainty and unknown are quite often the ones that allow us to grow and bring the greatest rewards.  Sometimes they just allow us to explode out of stagnancy.  I’ve found that living in a constant state of fear doesn’t help the adrenals too much.  The agony of inaction is detrimental.  Small actions can assuage the mind, stimulating a little serotonin production.  The main question I’ve decided to ask myself is, “Are you still fking yourself over?”

Fasty Fast Fast

My energy has been super low – a culmination of poor diet, lack of exercise and lack of purpose, but mainly because of being LOST.  It’s hard to comprehend or synthesise anything when you are tired physically.  But its impossible when you are tired psychologically.

I’ve just finished a 5 day juice fast.  We were presented with a blank pie chart which had been segmented into work, play, health, relationships etc.  We were to shade in to what extent we were satisfied with each area.  Horrifyingly, I couldn’t shade in anything.  A picture paints a thousand words and it was of no surprise that being lost is a huge consequence of not having any of life’s joys sitting on ones plate.

The fast was the hardest one I’ve completed to date – emotionally.  I felt like a dog with my head low and my tail between my legs.  The funniest moment was while doing a fire breath exercise, coming out fixated on meat pies.  That, my friends, is all about eating emotionally which I’ve been doing a fair bit of.  While its more conducive to overall health to stick to a good eating plan, fasting is a quick, effective way for me to restore the old body back into line (sans meat pies!)

Energy in motion

When stuck, its helpful to take action.  Sometimes it doesn’t even matter what it is.  To keep moving is the basis of life.  Well I felt pretty shitty on the fast, but today, I feel an energy that I haven’t had for the last few months.  A renewed feeling of being back in my body.  A sense of vitality that I haven’t had, allowing me to do some yoga, go for a jog, and make a green smoothie.  And a requirement to write in order to work through this decision.  It doesn’t seem like a lot, but to me its something, its enough to keep the furnace lit.  It’s enough to temporarily help me feel like I’m not fking myself over.

The decision

I wanted some questions to ask myself to determine how I would proceed with said decision.  Its a bit weird because I started out with the standard – well how does it make you feel in either scenario.  But that just wasn’t working for me and instead I ended up writing a list of the things that I’m appreciating right now – a framework if you like.  For each decision that I make, I want to align myself up with these.

Well I’ve decided to extend my fast by another 5 days.  Much gratitude to whoevers out there in the globisphere for tuning in.

Arohanui x

  1. To feel empowered
  2. To be healthy and have energy and be balanced – mind and body
  3. To be able to save and buy the things I want to be healthy
  4. To feel like I’m contributing – to be of service
  5. To have the ability to simplify my life
  6. To be down to earth, live by common sense – not stupid rules or bureaucracy
  7. To feel free to be authentic
  8. To feel relaxed, at peace, satisfied, fulfilled and free of stress
  9. To feel like I have a sense of purpose, that I matter in this world
  10. To feel like I’m moving towards where I want to be
  11. To have a home and a routine that allow me to feel grounded, but not incarcerated
  12. To have access to a community of people with shared interests

Existentialism, looping, being in flow

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I wrote this blog on the way to the airport to leave Bali.  And rediscovered it now, as I lay on the biggest stump in the afternoon sun in Victoria park Foxton, my hometown, while I muse on the subject of:
How f#cken Ponicorns make money…so they don’t spend their days lazing around like a loser.

I’m dedicating this blog to Robbie because I can.  And because hes cool.

In the shuttle on the way to the airport to leave Bali, a song came on the radio by John Mayer.  All of me.  It made me sad because I instantly imagined Scott saying those lyrics to me.  It made me sad to recall another goodbye, this farewell to Bali.  I felt the familiar pang of a void opening up, separation as I transition from here to….somewhere. 

I’m not so good at goodbyes anymore.  I pretend they’re not really happening.  Its see you later.  Because the thought of not being able to put all my favourite places and people in one place for me to enjoy like a buffet – the separation, the absence combined with a foray into the unknown, would be unbearable.

But its time to move on…its overtime.  But I got stuck in a loop…and of course, life is not wrong…it happened that way for a reason.

Looping
My gorgeous friend, Monique is talented.  Not only does she ensure I look good in all facebook pictures, but shes way tuned in. While staying at a fab villa on the East coast, we took a walk along the beach.  We found ourselves deep in discussion on the front lawn of a randomly awesome resort on the concept of looping. 

Looping is the act of repeatedly playing the same program.  In an existential sense, we are trapped in thought processes which effectively traps us into words which traps us into actions which traps us into a life.  This could be a perfectly acceptable life in which case, happy days.  However it might not be.  The tricky part is that the ‘victim’ doesn’t have the awareness to observe this state. 

Here are 4 common states that I’ve observed in myself and others:

1.  Is unhappy but doesn’t regard the unfulfilment to be great enough to change or is unaware that a change is even an option.
2.  Is unhappy but imprisoned by the program running in the mind.  Is defeated.
3.  Hits crisis.  Change is inevitable to survive.
4.  Accepts that a change must be made.  Doesn’t know how to do this.  Does nothing.

Being in the flow
I’ve been stuck in a loop.  Not an altogether terrible situation from the outside.  Stuck in Bali due to an Act of God?..which is hilarious in itself… but seriously..for 10 days?!  My Bali family were questioning the lunacy of this setback..the inherant ‘signs’ and the leadup to this quarantine.  It was a merry little trail of breadcrumbs to ‘stay the fk in Bali’.   This became very apparant to me as I checked in.  My layover is the LONGEST check in girl had heard of to date.  The 2 other Kiwis I’d been stranded with both left days earlier, as did the  other 700 Aussies…

Now at first I welcomed a 10 day all expenses paid 4 star vacay…but…I got bored…and then food addictions started to kick in..and the buffet appeared like clockwork 3 times daily.  I crazily manifested this luxury, but I also manifested my worst temptation.  This might seem trivial, but putting sugar and bread in front of a chronically deprived, candida infested maniac with roller coaster blood sugar, the metabolism of a slug and anxiety driven cravings is really not cool.

Despite the buffet…I was still skirting around the edge of being ‘in the flow’.  This concept is one you’ve probably experienced.  When everything is fab – you find the last carpark, win $20 at the lottery and get an unexpected payrise, all in the same day.  A little bit of magic happens – you’re in the flow!

Well, buffet boredom was a terrible test for me, which I failed miserably.  BUT I did break the loop – and was rewarded with a series of rewards…My last night of buffet was amazing healthy, vege balinese style buffet for the local Galungan celebration (not crappy half assed western style), then I got to keep my room till I left that night, then I got my flights changed to direct flights instead of multiple stopovers.  Everything happened without having to request it.

Being in the flow is the path of least resistance and maximum magic! Ponicornism

Existentialism – the meaning of life
I’ve been pondering what Bali has taught me.  There is some anxiety associated with transitioning back into the matrix.  There is some anxiety associated with integrating 2 worlds.  Theres anxiety on integrating BSD (Before Scott Died) and ASD (After Scott Died) into a LWS (Life Without Scott). 

I am at my happiest when I can write about Existentialism – the meaning of life.  There are 4 Ayurvedic tenets for building a strong foundation for fulfilment. 

1. Enjoyment  – having fun
2. Prosperity – supporting yourself
3. Career – supporting the statement ‘I am’
4.  Liberation – Existentialism

Ubud has liberated my mind.  A 3rd world country has retrained me. 

Its taught me to be aware.
Its taught me to observe.
Its taught me to slow down.
Its taught me that life is now.
Its taught me that ME comes first.
Its reminded me to run towards fear.

In short…Its taught me the meaning of life – extentialism.  How many ways can I express that my only purpose is to look inward and find that sanctity of inner realisation and peace.  Because that is my job…just like its everyones job to do the same for themselves.  I contribute by being in strength and in my power.

The tricky part
Is putting all this theory into practice.  I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. 
Because successful integration means taking action.  Opportunities fly past my fingertips as whispers of dreams..tantalising me into fantastical lands where I build kingdoms and waltz about madly tending to frenetic production of….widgets…
Then theres the bank with a half offer of something, somewhere, maybe, that represents the villain in the fairytale, the evil conglomerate in the dark forest in the shadowlands…

Where do flow and common sense merge?

Where will the next breath take me?  Will it be in flow?  Or will I loop?

Lying on this big ole stump nothing even seems to matter…purpose, success, failure…everything feels so insignificant.  Its only when I’m surrounded by people am I reminded that we’re all in a race to have stuff and be stuff and do stuff. 

‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

Mind Medicine

The emotions are considered the major internal causes of disease in TCM. (Traditional Chinese Medicine).  Emotional activity is seen as a normal, internal, physiological response to stimuli from the external environment. Within normal limits, emotions cause no disease or weakness in the body. However, when emotions become so powerful that they become uncontrollable and overwhelm or possess a person, then they can cause serious injury to the internal organs and open the door to disease. It is not the intensity as much as the prolonged duration or an extreme emotion, which causes damage. While Western physicians tend to stress the psychological aspects of psychosomatic ailments, the pathological damage to the internal organs is very real indeed and is of primary concern of the TCM practitioner

I sent this out to a few friends and family members recently:

People mainly think that health is eating healthy food..with some exercise…neglecting the emotional…Is this true?

The answers were wide and varied.  Some chose to focus on the food and ignore any mention of the emotional component.  This is interesting to me when I contextualise my last 18 months.

I wasn’t sick, run down or fatigued before this moment in time.  Sudden loss has all the symptoms of any other serious trauma – this is a fact.
Would you believe me when I tell you that this sudden loss was captured by my body at a cellular level?  ie my highly charged emotional state resulted in disease?  I’m not talking about just sadness and depression.   I’m talking about nervous and hormone systems and internal organs.

Would you believe me if I told you my kidneys represent my fear, my liver represents my anger and my lungs represent my sadness.

Would you believe me if I told you my fear around lack of security – the sense of survival – is causing my mudlahara, my root chakra, my foundation to wobble?

Would you believe that the chaos in my mind was reflected in my blood?

Would you believe me if I told you at a Soul level I invited all of this in, that my path towards SOMETHING is being formed through my experience?

If the mind can heal the body, but the body cannot heal the mind, then the mind must be stronger than the body. Every miracle demonstrates this

  ‘A course in miracles’

Alternative medicine is a bit hopeless at the serious end of disease.  Too little too late in most cases.  It is in fact a lifestyle choice..a preventative.  Determining the onset of serious illness requires listening skills.  The signs can be vague and commonly dismissed.

Of course we can identify the outcomes of common chronic disease by these familiar names – the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, IBS, leaky bowel and thyroid disorders.

But…what if ALL diseases started with a single thought?  What if acne was caused by unsupressed anger.  What if cancer was caused by 30 years of depression and hopelessness?  Would you believe me?

Is all disease preventable?

And  if it is,  where is the stick by which we measure perfect health and whose protocol do we use?  Or do we just suffer on alone searching for remedies and cures?

There is simply too much information in the unisphere (thats a new ponicornism 😉 to intellectualise everything and verify any blanket conclusion….or is there?

Before I go on…let me change gears for a bit…

In a separate conversation on Fear and Anger.  The question was:

Is all fear behind anger?  If so what are you afraid of?

My answer:

Anger is a feeling that is a provocation and an opportunity.  A chance to look inside and observe what person or situation stirred up a reaction in you.  It always comes back to the reaction in yourself and the awareness of the learning thats presented.  Anyone who angers you is your master and your mirror.

Fear is not a feeling.  Its of the mind, therefore an illusion.

But what of anger?  Anger is an emotion that is stored in the liver.  The liver is the bodies largest internal organ.  It is literally the core of chinese medicine and for good reason.  It filters out all the shit that gets poured into the body.  By shit I don’t just mean alcohol, drugs, sugar and processed food.  I mean emotions.

There is no doubt you can f*ck up your body by mistreating it using either method.  But its the mind stuff that interests me.

Take anxiety as an example.  It affects all of the Zang organs.
The spleen for obsessing and over thinking.
The lungs for grief, self esteem and the inability to let go.
The liver, anger, frustration and the inability to let go.
The kidneys fear and phobias.

Anxiety almost always leads to kidney deficiencies because its related to FEAR which is a water deficiency.   And yet anxiety affects multiple organs and in fact the whole body.

Integration
In my head I write protocols.  Every minute of everyday I think about a recipe for common chronic, sometimes terminal illness.  If I open my kitchen drawers I find 101 different remedies, supplements and potions.  Yes I’ve learned a lot.  But is it of any use.  Am I just wasting my time?

None of us can afford to spend $12 on chia seeds, but somehow we’ve had to resort to superfoods to keep us going and amp us up because our lives have ACCELERATED.  We are turbo charged, so we must turbo charge our energy.

But…let me take a minute…stop…look inward…change tack…FEEL my body…FEEL the wind on my skin…access the present moment with my breath…observe any contraction or tightness in my body…feel any anxiety in my abdomen…sense tight muscles in my head and neck…experience the swirling chaos in my forehead…unlock my chest, activate my diaphragm, BREATHE from my belly, filling it long and slow then exhaling the longest slowest breath that I’ve ever exhaled.

All of a sudden I feel energy in my feet and legs.  But the rest of me…those tough spots need to be twisted, squeezed and oxygenated out of the tissue.  ie exercise.

In the last 5 minutes I’ve literally diagnosed myself… through a very brief meditation.

1.  Movement required…cardio…yoga…qi gong..
2.  Abdomen tight and full…green juice…probiotics…twists and stretches to stimulate stomach meridians.
3.  Tight neck, crown, shoulders …anxiety, stress or worry…journel…ask the question? Whats causing this?  Look into the reason why… massage…breath

Intuition…
…is literally ‘listening’ to our body, deciphering its messages and taking action on them.

While food, exercise and lifestyle have an impact on health, I can confirm in my experience that exposing your body to long term ‘over thinking’ does not assist regeneration.  And if thoughts are negative in nature…doubt, insecurity, anger, sadness, this could just be the precursor to ALL chronic and serious illness.

Would you believe me if the frenetic pace at which our lives are lived has contributed to an epidemic?

Disease of the mind.

PS I should note that writing is creative and,  as long as it doesn’t require research, is therapeutic as it shifts paralysed thoughts.  Talking Helps, So Does Writing.
James Pennebaker found that the value of expressing deep feelings stemmed first from the willingness to confront the disturbing emotions. By confrontation, he means actively thinking and talking about the experiences and acknowledging the feelings they’ve stirred. Putting those feelings into words makes it easier to understand what has happened and eventually assimilate it into one’s life.

References:
http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/principles/sevenemotions.html

http://www.storiedmind.com/recovery/why-writing-heal-depression/