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Awakening to the Spirit Within

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This Spring I’ve been paying special attention to ferns.  They poke up out of the soil in tight little curls, and then they gradually unfurl into magnificent, leafy fronds.  It reminds me of my yoga practice, and of slowly releasing my spine vertebrae by vertebrae.

What animates the fern?  In school we’re taught that plants live on sunlight, water and soil, but you can tell that there is something more.  And that is spirit.

Spirit is rarely talked about in the modern world and yet it is the fundamental essence of all being. Watch the emergence of a fern, a hosta or any other plant at this time of year. The delicate green colors deepen and transform. The plant’s shape materializes, flowers appear, then fruits are followed by seeds, and before our very eyes the movement of spirit is witnessed.

As animals, we humans experience spirit as breath and movement. When we inhibit breath and movement we are inhibiting spirit. By liberating our breath and freeing up our movements, we allow spirit to become conscious.  However you identify religiously, this awakening to spirit is the essence of a spiritual practice.

When we feel connected to the life around us we can relax, breathe and move more easily. When we feel connected to the earth, the moon, the sun and the stars, the flow of life within is effortless.  From that place of fluidity and connection, we feel free to be our own unique and creative expression of the Universe.

Awakening the embodied sense of spirit within is essential to good health, both physically and spiritually, because after all the two are deeply interconnected. To achieve that awakening, find a practice that resonates with you and weave it into your life, whether it is yoga, pranayama (yogic breathing), meditation, prayer, chanting, tai chi, sacred movement, kirtan, or any other form that works for you.

Take time to nurture spirit. Find joy and well-being in its truth. A sense of grounding and acceptance comes with this journey towards awakening, and when you are on that path, you will find that you are not alone: at every moment, spirit is within.

Posted in Environment, Finding Balance, Meditation, Mindful Eating, Self-Care, spiritual, Water, Yoga | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Awakening to the Spirit Within

Healthy Water

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Good water is a top priority for good health, yet the water that comes into your house via the tap is not necessarily good.  Luckily, you have several options to improve the  quality of your water and thereby improve your quality of life.

Depending on your location, you could consider drilling a well, though even well water is no longer completely safe (sadly, it once was).  Though our trash magically vanishes every time the garbage truck comes around, we have to remember the scientific principle that mass cannot be created or destroyed, only rearranged.  Everything that we put out into the world, from the pesticide on our lawns to the salt on our icy driveways, has to go somewhere.  Now recall another principle of science: gravity.  When things move, they follow thepath of least resistance, usually heading down, and that means into the soil and into the groundwater.   And that means that unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere truly pristine, a well may not be your best option.

Good water can be obtained in one of two ways: from a completely pure source, or through filtration.  Bubbling up from deep within the earth, springs are pure sources of water, and you may live closer to one that you realize.  To find out, visit www.findaspring.com.

Luckily, you can enjoy high quality water regardless of where you live through filtration.  However not just any old filter will do.  First off, you need a high quality filter that really screens out all the junk you don’t want.  There are many pretenders, so choose carefully.  Second, you either need one that attaches to your main water line and filters all water that comes into your house, or you should install separate ones for different taps.  For instance, one in the kitchen for drinking and cooking and one in the bathroom for showering and bathing.  But as I said in the last post, any contact with bad water is too much, and that includes washing your clothes, too.  When you think about how many individual filters you would need (and having to remember to change them all), the whole-house option starts to look pretty good.

If you’re looking for more information on choosing the right filter, feel free to drop me a line.


Posted in Environment, Finding Balance, Mindful Eating, Self-Care, Water | Comments Off on Healthy Water

What is the Quality of your Water?

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“Just as people and all living things are affected by feelings, so is water. Good words and feelings make water vibrate into all kinds of beautiful crystals…”

–  from The Secret of Water by Masaru Emoto

Water moves me in countless ways, both literally and metaphorically.  When I walk barefoot on the beach the rhythm of the waves sooths and nourishes me, and when I am distraught or confused a hot bath always brings me back to my center.  On a hike in the heat of summer, water is there to quench my thirst. In the winter the site of flakes of frozen water falling from the sky is pure poetry, a dance of light.

Each of our body’s cells contain water, and its constant motion cleanses us.  As water guru Masaru Emoto says, “the messages from water are telling us to look inside ourselves.”  Besides quenching our thirst or steeping our tea, the vibration of water effects us on a deep cellular level.

By now you’ve probably heard that for optimal health it is best to drink several glasses of water each day.  If only that were the end of the story.  The water that comes into our houses hails from pipes with dubious and often toxic histories.  With its great environmental cost and added risk of toxins, bottled water is not the solution many of us have been led to believe.

Yes everyone should stay properly hydrated, but no you shouldn’t just drink any old water.  In fact, if you’re drinking straight from the tap, the more you drink the worse off you might be (http://blogs.mercola.com/sites/vitalvotes/archive/2011/01/11/this-everyday-healthy-beverage-poisons-your-body-one-swallow-at-a-time.aspx).

But wait, you say.  I have a Brita water filter, so I’m all set!  Not exactly.  We are affected by all forms of contact with water, including the water we wash our clothes and bodies in.  You might be drinking top notch H20, but if you don’t filter all of your water, when you soak, you’re not just soaking up water.  Tap water has been proven to contain all sorts of nasty stuff, including pesticides and (gulp) chromium.  Not exactly the sort of stuff you want to lay back and relax in.  For more details about exactly how we’re impacted by our contact with water, see here. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/01/26/whole-house-water-filtration.aspx)

There is no magic formula to good health.  You can’t eat poorly and make up the difference with so-called energy drinks, you can’t just exercise and ignore your emotions, and you can’t drink your daily dose of water without being certain about its quality.  When you stop and consider how much of our bodies — and the planet — are made up of water, you realize this isn’t something to skimp on.  Some say that it’s the single most important element of health. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/01/29/dr-pollack-on-structured-water.aspx)

The good news is that, like all challenges, there is a solution.  More on that soon.

Posted in Diet in the American Culture, Environment, Finding Balance, Mindful Eating, Self-Care, Water | Tagged , , | Comments Off on What is the Quality of your Water?
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