“In prayer you communicate with God; in meditation, God communicates with you ...
In silence lies the ability to listen.” - Julia White
Last night on my radio show "Mind Body Spirit Hour", my co-host Shelly Wilson and I, shared the importance of connecting with our higher self through meditation. We realize that meditation is a stumbling block for many people. This is mostly because we traditionally think of meditation as a quieting of the mind, an activity by which we leave all our thoughts behind and become blank canvases. For those who can achieve this, meditation is a wonderful component of their spiritual lives. But for the rest of us, meditation looks like something reserved for monks. In fact, one of the most common statements I hear over and over again from my clients is that they "just can't meditate".
What if I gave you some simple steps to get started, and told you that meditation does not require hours of practice per day? As we mentioned last night on the radio, I promise that once you make the decision to awaken your spirituality and connect with your soul -- you will find that changes start happening. Once you make the decision to connect to your higher self and ALL that is, we are awakened to our true calling. Just being willing to release all pain on the cellular level, we begin a metamorphasis almost instantaneously.
Okay, so you have set the intention to open yourself up to the wonders of a spiritual life -- now what? At least once a day, all you need to do is sit in quiet and stillness. Then simply watch as your deep desires slowly open before you, revealing the honesty and joy of your higher self.
Meditation doesn't have to be difficult. Meditation is simply focused awareness on ALL that is within you, waiting to be valued. Instead of trying to suspend all thoughts during meditation, decide to pay attention only to certain thoughts. For instance, listen to your breathing, or gentle classical music, orfocus on the sounds of your heart beating. You can also focus on a single image such as a candle, budding rose, or an angel figure. Try not to get frustrated with any thoughts that want to intrude. Instead, simply greet those thoughts and ask them to please step aside for now. Then, go back to the image or the focus you had before.
Here are some basic pointers on how to meditate:
1) Sit comfortably. I prefer to sit in a chair where my feet can rest comfortably on the ground. There's no need to sit in a cross legged position on the floor, unless you are perfectly comfortable that way. You may also lie down, but if you do, you might fall asleep.
2) Dress in comfortable clothes. You really don't need to go out and buy special yoga pants, etc! Casual sweat pants, or even pajamas, will do.
3) Eating right before you meditate isn’t recommended. If you eat and then want to meditate, plan to take an hour to let your meal digest. Avoid eating heavy or processed foods prior, so that energy flows easier and your focus remains unclogged.
4) You can light candles, burn incense, use crystals, etc. Whatever puts you in the mood. Try to do this each time you meditate, so that it becomes a ritual for you. Meditating at a certain time everyday, is also helpful.
5) Start with 5-10 minutes a day, with the intention of working your way toward longer meditation. It's a lot easier than you think, once you get used to it. Some people spend an hour a day, or 30 minutes in the morning and at night, meditating. The more you meditate, the stronger your connection to your higher self will be. I personally meditate for at least 15 minutes every morning. When I do not take that time for myself, I notice a big difference -- I might feel rushed, or more easily frustrated with others, or the task before me.
Most people don’t believe they have the time to set aside an hour a day to meditating. And that’s fine. You don’t need to start with an hour, or even plan to work up to that. You can start with five minutes. Even two minutes will do! For example, if you take two more minutes each morning when you shower, and you allow yourself to stand under the water and meditate - you’ve practiced! Or, before you leave the house for the day, set down all your stuff by the front door, go sit on the couch, and focus on your breath. Two minutes, five minutes, and what do you know - you’ve practiced! The key is to be consistent and patient.
5) When you first begin meditating, where you do so is as important as how often and how long. In time, you’ll be able to meditate during a traffic jam, or while waiting in line at the grocery store. Pick some place at home or at the office where you can reliably go for a few minutes to get some peace and time to yourself. Maybe this is at the foot of your bed, or an unfrequented stairwell in the building where you work. Wherever it may be, make that your meditation space. You can choose to decorate it with candles, a soothing water fountain, tapestries, or crystals. Decorate with whatever will help make the location sacred to you.
6) Next decide how you would like to meditate. Do you want to sit in silence and clear your mind? Do you want to chant with a mantra? Do you want to play soft music? Do you want to focus on a candle? Do you want to send your intentions out into the Universe? Do you want to make contact with your higher self? You can simply say on the in breath, "I am light" and on the out breath, "I am love". Start with breathing naturally and purposely until you have created a comfortable rhythm.
As you commit to your practice, you’ll find that over time, how you meditate will change. There is no need after awhile to become too attached to one way of meditating. As your spiritual self becomes a stronger presence in your life, you will know what feels best for your purpose.
So what are you waiting for? Lets give it a try right now.
Sugar has been linked to more than sixty different ailments, including Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Studies show that there are almost 30 million of us with Type 2 diabetes with another 70 million individuals that qualify as pre-diabetics. Yes, sugar is very sneaky!
It is not only in obvious forms such as cookies and candy but also in just about any other food you can think of. From packaged meats to soups to commercial salt, sugar is in there. It’s even hidden in such nonfood items as vitamins, aspirin, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and various cosmetics!
The sugar connection to cardiovascular health was first noticed in the 1970s. In the classic study The Saccharine Disease, surgeon Capt. T. L. Cleave showed convincing evidence that increases in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other common diseases could be traced to increases in sugar and refined-carbohydrate intake. These diseases were virtually nonexistent in primitive cultures, he noted, until about twenty years after the societies began eating refined carbohydrates.
In his classic book Sweet and Dangerous, Dr. Yudkin cited numerous examples in a variety of societies that showed that sugar was a more likely cause of heart disease than fat. For example, the Masai and Samburu tribes of East Africa, he explained, have almost no heart disease, yet they eat a high-fat diet of mostly meat and milk but no sugar.
Recent research is proving the validity of the theories posed by Drs. Cleave and Yudkin, showing a direct relationship between sugar and heart disease because of insulin. Remember that when sugar is eaten, insulin is produced. Insulin not only helps to store excess sugar as fat but also helps regulate blood triglyceride levels, which are a major predictor of the development of heart disease. The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your pancreas will produce, and the higher your triglyceride levels are likely to be.
While refined sugar consumption has declined in recent years, a new breed of sugar substitutes has emerged in the form of artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, aspartame, and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Ironically, these may be even more harmful to your health than sugar itself. Could it be just a coincidence that at the same time the country was quietly being slipped high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the general food supply, the average cholesterol levels were shooting up through the roof? Not to mention the trend of increasing triglycerides and abnormal liver tests. Remember this – our bodies are not designed to metabolize HFCS. HFCS skips right past the need for insulin production and goes right into your cells where it becomes an uncontrolled source of trouble all the way down to your liver. Your body simply doesn’t recognize HFCS so it doesn’t know how to control it, and in the end it stores it as fat.
Here are some highlights of a sample program to help control and treat Type 2 diabetes:
1) A high quality multivitamin that contains optimal levels of B-complex vitamins. It should also include trace minerals like vanadium ( 100 mcg), manganese (10 mg) and molybdenum (100 mcg). In order to metabolize fructose and sucrose, the body requires a molybdenum-dependent enzyme so daily amounts of this trace mineral is critical to avoiding depletion and to help your body get rid of the brain fog which often accompanies sugar intake.
2) Magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in diabetes because it personally escorts glucose into the cells as well as performs more than 300 other bodily tasks. I highly recommend an additional 200 -400mg of magnesium which can be taken during the day or before bed, for peaceful and uninterrupted sleep!
3) For men, look for an iron-free Male Multi-Vitamin. Excess iron is a major factor in cardiovascular disease and can be unusually elevated in males past the age of 40, and in females who have stopped menstruating. So, if you are in this category -- women -- take an iron-free multi vitamin!
4) Biotin – 5 mg. A high potency biotin can enhance sugar metabolism, lower triglycerides and stop yeast in its tracks. Yeast overgrowth is an all too common byproduct of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It can create huge sugar cravings that even the most potent appetite suppressants cannot control. My clients (and myself) have personally experienced fuller hair and stronger nails with biotin, which is an added bonus!
5) Chromium 200 – 400 mcg. A key nutrient that improves insulin sensitivity & is also very helpful in overall weight loss, alsong with 500 mg of L-Carnitine to stabilize blood sugar, increase energy levels and support healthy fat metabolism.
6) EPA and DHA (the Omega-3s) – 1,500 mg twice per day. This natural anti-inflammatory will decrease inflammation, raise HDL, lower triglycerides, and prevent the type of nerve damage that is frequently associated with diabetic neuropathy.
7) Vitamin D-3; 5,000 IU taken 1 – 2 times per day. But make sure to check your Vitamin D levels with your doctor and have them oversee your D supplementation, every 3-6 months. The ideal level is between 50-80 mg/dl according to the Vitamin D experts. Vitamin D is probably the most deficient vitamin in America today.
Lastly, please be aware of your sugar content & its disguises, in every form. I can not reiterate enough the dangers that sugar can cause to our quality of health. Spread the word to your family & friends and support one another as you make health your priority!
As we all know, the holiday season is here! It can be a time of joy, but for many of us, stress levels are skyrocketing. The increased financial, family and work demands of the season can leave your body exhausted and overwhelmed.
Good nutrition is one answer to de-stress. Give this anti-stress diet a try! Its a mood elevator and rebuilds your nervous system health with calming minerals and grounding B vitamins.
1. As stress increases, protein needs increase. Proteins from seafood, tempeh, eggs and sprouts offer notable results. Have a fresh carrot juice once a week.
2. Include magnesium-rich foods from green vegetables and whole grains to calm nerves. Add more potassium-rich foods like potatoes, bananas, seafood and avocados to your diet. Potassium helps reduce stress-related high blood pressure, and regulates blood sugar.
3. Eat B vitamin-rich foods like brown rice. Avoid trans fats from fried foods, red meats and highly processed foods, for better adrenal health.
4. Drink green tea each morning instead of coffee for energy and antioxidants.
5. Feed your adrenals with green superfoods and sea veggies.
Try to enjoy the holidays. Remember to unwind, delegate at least some responsibility, and take time for rest and relaxation each day. The holiday season is a time of both giving and receiving. Allow yourself the gift of health!
Wishing all of you a happy, healthy and love-filled holiday!
The Paige Turner
Do what you say, and say what you mean. Those that mind, dont matter & those that matter, dont mind!
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