Thursday, January 27, 2011

Women In Step With Themselves

I really enjoyed watching two of my favorite websites come together in one interview. Lilou Mace, of Lilou Mace Web TV, who shucked it all to follow her heart, interviews Regina Meredith of Conscious Media Network, who just happened to do the same thing! Women doing exactly what they feel is the right and perfect thing for them to be doing during these energetic times. What's not to love?

Cooperation, higher intelligence, resonance, coming together, true wisdom, changing the world.

Here is Regina's story:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Post of The Week

Thank you, to Hillary of The Smitten Image on selecting me for Post of the Week for the baby elephant video. If you haven't dropped by Hilary's blog, you really must see her incredible photography. There were several categories this week, and all are worthy of a visit.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


There is a new program on the Independent Film Channel, "Portlandia", with Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live fame, and Carrie Brownstein.  He is doing both programs simultaneously, evidently. He moved to Portland a few years ago and was obviously intrigued by its essence. The city that has bumper stickers asking to "Keep Portland Weird." It is a short comedy series of only six episodes, but from what I've seen so far it is really funny.

We lived there for 2.5 years and both of our daughters live there now. The oldest wears wings on a regular basis and the youngest thinks she is much more attractive when she wears a teddy bear costume. You get the picture... :-)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meatless During the Week

My husband and I are cutting down on eating meat. Don't get me wrong, we still like steak once in a while, same goes for chicken and fish. However, we find we feel better when we concentrate on beans, corn, veggies and fruits during the week. We also feel like we are doing something good for the planet, despite only buying free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, and sustainable fish.

My husband does his own refried beans recipe and freezes it in small containers to be used a little at a time. We usually go through one of these containers a week. We make bean tacos, bean taco salads, breakfast burritos and sometimes use them as a side with scrambled eggs.

Another favorite of mine is Sushi Rice Salad, recipe posted here.

My daughter passed along a new recipe for a Sushi Bowl that we will try tonight. I like that it uses tofu and brown rice. She says she could eat it every night. She also highly recommends 101 Cookbooks for wonderful recipes that are very healthy. I think I will pre-order the new cookbook, it looks fabulous.

How about you? Any veggie recipes I should absolutely know about?

Friday, January 21, 2011

2012 & Web Bots

Have you ever heard of Web Bots? The Web Bot Project is an Internet software program designed by Clif High and his partner, George Ure, and claims to be able to predict future events. It was originally designed in 1997 to predict stock market trends, but the designers also claim that it can predict future events such as 9-11, American Airlines flight 587, Northeast Blackout of 2003, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, and the BP oil spill. They have also had some misses such as a massive earthquake that was supposed to hit Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest in 2008, a complete collapse of the US dollar in 2009, and a missile launch on December 14, 2010 that would start World War III.

How, exactly, does this program work?

From Wikipedia: 

Internet bots monitor news articles, blogs, forums, and other forms of Internet chatter. Words in the lexicon are assigned numeric values for emotional quantifiers such as duration, impact, immediacy, intensity, and others. The lexicon is dynamic, and changes according to shifts in emotional tension, and how humans communicate those changes using the Internet. As of 2008, there were about 300,000 keywords in the lexicon, along with with emotional context indicators which are fed into a computer-generated modelspace. They then use a technique called Asymmetric Language Trend Analysis (ALTA) developed by Clif High to generate a predictive report from a fully-populated modelspace. These predictive reports are known as ALTA or Web Bot reports. The 2010/2011 report underwent a formatting change and is titled The Shape of Things to Come - Volume Zero.

The creators of this software keep the exact methodology secret as they sell the reports on the Internet. But the idea is much the same as the little dot on the left of my blog, which if you click will take you to the Global Consciousness Project website. I talked about it here, in a previous post. The main concept is that "as the mind moves, so does matter" - Dean Radin. The little eggs that are placed all around the world, and directed by Roger Nelson from his home office at Princeton University, went crazy two hours before the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center, for example.

So what does all of this have to do with 2012?

Well, that is the interesting part. According to this particular Web Bot technology - there is absolutely nothing between December 21, 2012 and May 30, 2013! No chatter, nothing. A complete data gap. They say it could be a solar flare, an electromagnetic pole shift - they just really have no idea what it could be. They've had hits and misses in their predictions, but what fascinates me is that there is nothing there to even predict. But then it starts back up again on May 30th, 2013??

Needless to say, I'll be watching my little dot very closely during those months.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby Elephant

I loved this!

Although at the end did the Mom ask the little girl if she had ridden on the baby elephant??? Ghaaa!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Billy's Greens

I watched an interview on Conscious Media Network a while back with Billy Merritt of Billy's Greens. Greens have become a big thing with people focused on good health and nutrition.

This young man has quite a story. Plagued with brain tumors and resulting seizures, he went on a quest to try and heal himself. He tried drugs, looked into surgery, but found nothing was working. Unable to work, or live a normal life, he started eating better, mostly raw foods, fresh fruits and vegetables. His health improved some.

He also spent time every morning meditating. It was during this time that he started praying, hours and hours of prayer, during his day.  He would let God know of his desire for health and then he said he would listen, believing that we need to let the Universe know what we need and then pay attention to strong hunches, instincts, those ideas that say go this way - go that way. He was reluctant to admit, but finally did during the interview, that at one point he heard a small quiet voice that said he must drop everything and "go to Nepal." He said he has only heard voices a couple of times in his life - so it's not like he hears them all of the time - but this one time he followed his instincts and did exactly that - he dropped everything and went to Nepal. After hiking 300 miles in the mountains from one guest lodge to another, he was still having seizures and felt the journey was for nothing. Sad and dispirited, he booked a return flight through the Bangkok airport for home.

It was during time of protests in Bangkok, that included the airport, and flights were canceled. He decided to spend time in Laos, admitting he had never felt so alone and sad. The food in Laos was not what he was used to so he ate coconuts for two weeks. And guess what? He cured his seizures! Something in the coconuts!

This sent him on a path that continues to this day. At 22 years old he has his own business, honed by trying different combinations of algaes, herbs, botanicals, probiotics, enzymes, and superfoods into nutrient-dense combinations that he found to be incredibly effective while working and perfecting his blends at the Ashram Health Retreat of Calabasas, CA.

I came across this interview while concerned for my own health. Struggling with one major virus after another, a feeling that something was wrong, or going to be wrong very soon, I went to his website and ordered a couple of his products. I felt, instinctively, that I needed an immune booster. I have to admit to feeling better - much better. Is it from the superfoods? I don't know. It could be because I'm eating better and exercising again, but I did order some for my family. They just received it, so I haven't had any reports so far.

I think Billy's story is one that proves we have what we need to help us in this world. Paying attention to God, Spirit, Higher Self,  or whatever you want to call it - is the answer. Going within with our questions,  and most of all - listening to the answers. They don't always come in word form. It could be hunches, ideas, synchronicities, something we read, something we hear, someone who comes into our life at just the right moment, symbols, music, pictures. The important thing is to pay attention and remain open.

For me, at this time in my life, it was Billy. I'm now looking at my health from a nutrition standpoint that will include products that help me in this endeavor.

Besides, I believe in supporting grass-roots businesses that feel they are lead by Spirit. Billy proves we don't need to rely on big corporations to meet our needs. This is our future.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Emotions V - Doubt & Confusion (Series starts with "Emotions")

Is there anyone out there that is not experiencing doubt and confusion? We are living in some pretty intense times - it's hard not to feel confused and unsure of our footing.

But doubt can be a good thing. It challenges outdated ways of thinking. It allows for the door to crack and new ideas to emerge.

In the cycle of life -  people, nature, ideas,  even blogs - are born - they reach their peak - and then begin to break down - eventually dying. It is in this way something new can be born, enriched by what has gone before it.

Doubt and confusion can be likened to that point just after the peak of whatever it is that you have believed to be hard and fast. When you begin to realize you may not have had all the answers, or that your way of doing things is outdated, in need of renewal. You may feel confused and unsure of yourself. What had always been safe assumptions are no longer as reliable as they had once been.

Gill Edwards, in Stepping Into the Magic, reminds us that the positive side of doubt makes us think, causes us to pause and consult our inner wisdom - allowing for integration of our intellect and intuition. Points of clarity are often superseded by new points of clarity - if we are open to challenging dogma and old belief systems. In other words confusion leads to thinking. And that can be a good thing.

Have you had these experiences lately?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Emotions IV - Shame & Guilt

My very first memory of shame and guilt happened when I was six years old. My mother was in the hospital, and had been there for most of the month. My father went to visit her every night after work, but I went with him only this one time. I'm not sure why it was only this one time, but I suspect that she thought she would be coming home and didn't want her young daughter to see her in a hospital bed. We had not been visiting long when I became fascinated watching a reflection from a big window in the room. It was a nurse who was feeding a comatose patient with a feeding tube. In those days most people were two to a room, and I was later to learn this young woman would live many years in this condition. At any rate, I must have been staring at the reflection for some time when the nurse looked up - gave me a dirty look - and angrily swept the curtain closed completely - cutting off my view of the window. I was so frightened, ashamed that I was watching something that evidently I wasn't supposed to watch, that I begged my father to leave. I grabbed his hand and started pulling him to the door. I was so worried the nurse would come out from the curtain and tell my parents that I had been watching her.

This would be the last time I would see my mother alive. She never made it home from the hospital.

Young children are what we call 'concrete thinkers' in that everything is literal, right now, immediate. It will take years before they are able to think in more abstract terms. Yet, it is in childhood that we often learn shame and guilt. I remember a few times my daughters relating something back to me that had made them feel bad about themselves as children, and in all instances - it hadn't been that big of a deal! They had thought it was traumatizing, but viewed from an adult perspective it was simply not anything they should have been worrying about. I think this happens throughout our lives. We do not cut ourselves a break and realize we are here to learn, to make mistakes, to grow through pain and calamity, and that from a lifespan perspective we will understand life differently at different times of our lives. It's easy to look back with an adult perspective and see how dumb we were as adolescents, but unfortunately we often drag our guilt and shame along with us.

You may harbor guilt from childhood that is affecting today. Gill Edwards from Stepping Into the Magic, suggests guilt from a stolen lolly pop as child may manifest as a deliberate block from ever having money to spare, or from setting up your own business. Having heard that your mother nearly died during childbirth gives you asthma - a reluctance to breath.

It is often resentment in disguise. When we feel we have no right to feel angry it is often converted to guilt. Here then, from her book, is a guided meditation for releasing guilt and shame:

"Relax deeply, then find yourself in a peaceful place in nature. Ask your Basic Self to join you - and to show you any memories which make it feel ashamed or guilty. Reassure it that whatever it shows you, you will send it only love and forgiveness. Then sit and wait patiently ...

The answers might come as memories, images, thoughts, feelings, sensations or symbols. Whatever comes up, feel love for your Basic Self. If specific events come to mind, perhaps offer a loving new perspective to your Basic Self. For example, point out how hurt, frightened, jealous or young you were at the time. Or convert the guilt back into anger. Or remind your Basic Self that it is OK to make mistakes, and tell it what lessons you learned from the situation. Or reassure it that there is nothing to feel guilty about, since it didn't cause any harm. Or just remind it that it is loved, simply for being. (Occasionally the Basic Self wishes us to make amends in some way if we have hurt someone else, but it is often content to be forgiven.)

Keep asking whether there is anything else to be released, until every memory has been cleared, right up to the present day. (This might take two or more sessions.)

Now walk with your Basic Self in search of a fountain - a magical fountain made of crystal, with water cascading down. This is the Fountain of Grace. As you step into this sparkling fountain with your Basic Self, immersing yourself in its waters, you will be released from the past, forgiving yourself and others. You will know that you are loved. Bathe in the Fountain of Grace until you can really feel this emotional shift. Then gently come back to the room

More than one of you suggested I watch the following video. Wise souls that you are:

Next up: Doubt and Confusion

Monday, January 10, 2011

Emotions - Part III - Fear

Moving on from anger, lets look at another issue of our time - fear. Just as a reminder, I'm using Gill Edward's Stepping Into the Magic as a basis for this series. I think the combination of being a working clinical psychologist, with one foot in science and the other in spirituality, makes for a well-rounded look at emotions and their effect on our lives.

I could write a chapter on fear, but for the sake of keeping it brief, I just want to remind everyone that fear is a good thing. It keeps us moving when we need to move, it keeps us safe from taking dangerous risk, and prepares us for action. Without it we would not have evolved. Research shows that we actually do better when moderately anxious - fear and excitement hone our instincts. Whenever we face growth and change there is an element of fear that usually goes along with it. She suggests how we label it - may be the defining factor between experiencing it as exciting or frightening. She says that when we choose to grow through joy we need to learn to enjoy fear. Reaching for our dreams means constantly facing new challenges - and new fears.

How do we do that?

"Fear comes from our illusion of separateness. It comes from forgetting that we create our own reality. When we walk in the remembering - knowing that we create it all, knowing that we are loved, knowing the only true Reality is love - how can we be afraid?"

She suggests one way to befriend fear is to do something that scares us - parachute jumping, firewalking, speaking in public, asking for a promotion, stroking a spider - you get the picture. Another way is to imagine the worse case scenario in fine detail, and then imagine yourself handling the situation and moving beyond it. I personally think of the logo NO FEAR, and that helps me move beyond worry.

"Fear is a magnet, so whenever we worry about the future, we are attracting that future towards us. Every thought is a prayer! So it is important to acknowledge and release our worries and fears. If I hear a worry run through my mind I sometimes blow that fear into my hands, as if I am holding a frightened bird. Then I attune to Spirit, inhale trust and optimism - and breathe this into my hands to heal and transform the fear. Or I simply put a red cross through the mental image - and gently smile, to reassure my Basic Self that its fears are groundless. Shining the light of awareness upon our fears is often all that is needed to dispel the shadows."

I could not have said it better. 

Since this was longer than expected, next time will be shame and guilt, doubt and confusion. Are you still with me? Am I boring everyone with this series? What about you - how do you deal with fear?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Emotions - Part II - Anger

This book by Gill Edwards, Stepping Into The Magic, is really a gem. It is not often you can get very practical advice that incorporates spirituality, clinical psychology, and a writer that is adept at connecting with their reader. She's trained in metaphysics, shamanism and energy psychology. She has studied with a Hawaiian Kahuna, which is my ultimate dream, yet offers a commonsense approach to life. I highly recommend this book.

Back to emotions -

We know that unexpressed emotions turn into 'gremlins' such as illness, anxiety, self-pity, and a list of other issues that I talked about in my last post. The goal is to try and find a way of dealing with them now, without causing ourselves more pain and suffering. I suggested hitting a pillow if you were feeling angry, but what about if you don't really know what unresolved emotions are lying dormant - causing you problems? Let's look at them one by one. From the book:

"The most common telltale signs of suppressed anger are depression and/or anxiety, self-pity, blame and resentment, guilt, apathy and inertia, sarcasm and irritability, struggle and martyrdom, addiction to drugs, alcohol, work, sex, food, etc., accidents (often an expression of anger turned against the self), cancer, arthritis and other diseases, having affairs, or violence and aggression. (Violence is not an expression of pure, clean anger, but a symptom of bottled-up rage and fear which has eventually exploded.) Since the world is a mirror, noticing any of these signs in people around us can also indicate suppressed anger!"

Wow, that covers a lot of issues. This one resonated with me. I've believed for some time that I have an inner child furious that her mother left her as a child. Yes, death is not something that you can actually blame on a person, but that child was only six. Anger would have been appropriate response to the death of someone so detrimental to her well being. So for me, this is an issue. I won't go into all of the symptoms I have, but suffice it to say - I definitely have a few.

One technique that she suggests to deal with anger would be to write a very angry letter to the person or people concerned. After expressing your total disgust with this person(s), either tear the letter into little pieces and flush it - or create a ritual whereby you burn it in a fire-safe container. By writing everything down, and leaving nothing out, you are able to express exactly how you've been hurt, abused, neglected, disrespected, etc. You've had a chance to feel the anger associated with the incident - now it's time to let it go. 

Other ways of expressing anger in a healthy way would be to pretend to feel the anger while punching a pillow or cushion until the real anger begins to surface. Role-playing, if you will. One way I dealt with angry emotions as a teenager was to take a long walk, or jog, returning home to a long hot bath. She suggests punching the air on your walk, shouting or yelling, all within a safe place to do so, however. We don't want anyone arrested...

I would like to inject a point here that I feel strongly about - we tend to not take into account people and where there are in their lifespan. In other words, don't expect a child, or adolescent, to know how to deal with their anger in the same way an adult or senior would. We are all in different places in our lifespan and that is too often left out of the equation. I sometimes have to remind myself that my 23-year-old is not in the same place as I am when it comes to emotions and decision-making. I simply cannot expect her to understand some things that are seemingly obvious to me. Her view of the world is very different from mine. And that goes for all of us. Be aware that your anger, that feels so overwhelming now, may look different in a few years.

She suggests that you "don't attempt to forgive someone for hurting you, or to understand why you created a traumatic event, until you have first dealt with your anger, hurt and other emotions. Always take care of your Basic Self before 'up-leveling' to your Higher Self - otherwise you will attract further events which will bring those emotions to the surface. Anger does not have to rational, it does not have to be reasonable. Emotions simply are. By feeling your anger, you are honoring your inner Child, your Basic Self." 

She goes on to say that if you feel it appropriate to express you anger to the person concerned - that it be "clean anger." Clean anger is an expression of how we feel, dirty anger is deliberately hurtful or manipulative, full of blame and the desire to punish. It is focused on the other person and not on your own feelings. 

"If your intention is to be hurtful, it might be wise to cool down before expressing yourself."

I knew this post would be long, therefore I'll look at some of the other issues in my next post. I truly believe anger, and all of it's ensuing issues, is a huge problem in our world right now. The only one we have any power to change is ourselves, but by looking inside, seeking out our inner 'gremlins', we make our inner world a better place. Once our inner world is in a better place, it can reflect into the macro.

Next time: fear, shame and guilt, doubt and confusion. This could take longer than I thought...

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I have been dawdling in my reading lately. But one book that I like to read right before bed is Gill Edward's  Stepping Into the Magic. This book is so incredibly positive, it's the perfect thing to read right before going to sleep. One issue that she covers is emotions and the importance of allowing ourselves to feel whatever emotion that comes up. And while I've advocated learning to shut off the monkey chatter in our minds and learn to control our thinking - that doesn't mean shutting down our emotions. In fact, it can be very unhealthy not to allow ourselves to feel whatever it is that needs to be felt. We know that anger that is suppressed, for example, turns to depression and/or anxiety. From the book:

"First and foremost, most of us learn to suppress, deny and distort our emotions. Our emotions are the Basic Self's way of creating inner balance and harmony in response to everyday life. Sadness is a natural response to hurt, loss and grief. Anger is a healthy response to injustice, or lack of respect. Fear is a natural response to threat and danger. Emotions only become 'gremlins' when they are suppressed."

She goes on to say:

"Unfortunately, most of us learn at an early age that our emotions have to be hidden away. It isn't 'nice' to be angry. It is childish to cry. It is cowardly to feel afraid. It is a nuisance if we are joyful and exuberant. 'Be good!' is the constant cry. So we slowly learn to 'be good', rather than to be ourselves - because we want to be loved.

This really made an impact on me because much of what we read suggests that to be 'Zen' we need to not let things bother us. But she's absolutely right - we are human and our emotions are powerful tools when we express them in their proper context. When we are angry - we should feel it! That's how we create change, both personally and on a macro level. I, for one, feel great anger when I think of what has happened in Iraq - never again will I allow our nation to enter into another devastating war without personally marching on Washington. In this case my anger is not only justified, but needs to be expressed to my political leaders, which I do with letters and phone calls. 

When we are sad, we should cry and feel our pain. I remember letting my small daughters pitch fits, all the while reminding myself that no matter how annoying, they had a right to their emotions.  I even envied them the ability to just throw themselves down, screaming and kicking until they were spent. How wonderful would that feel?

Suppressed emotions can easily turn to depression, illness, addictions, self-pity, and paralysing fear.

So what does she suggest we do about them now? 

Well, since it would make this post too long, I'll post on that next time ... until then, go ahead, give that pillow a punch!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

General Anxiety Disorder

I have been in a discussion with someone this week about anxiety and how she feels it on a daily basis, often needing alcohol to calm herself down. It reminded me of my own bout of anxiety-related issues during my early twenties. There is absolutely no doubt there is nothing scarier than feeling as though one is going to faint - especially when you are driving, or are in some other compromising position. Which, for me was driving on fast-moving highways and standing in lines. I know I have talked about this before in this forum, but I believe we are living in times where we are going to see more problems with nervous disorders.

I don't think this is rare in our world. We have plenty to be anxious about. All we have to do is turn on the news and read about all of those blackbirds falling from the sky in Arkansas. But what can we do to alleviate the symptoms? How can we deal with this debilitating issue?

There are different types of anxiety disorders, but the one I'm talking about today is GAD - or General Anxiety Disorder. It's symptoms are also very generalized, such as:
  • Restlessness or a feeling of being "keyed up" or "on edge"
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or a sense of your mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Trembling, twitching, muscle soreness
  • Headaches, sweating or chills, nausea, dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Being easily startled
I think it's safe to say, we all experience at least some of these symptoms at some point in our lives. But what if we feel these symptoms most of the time? Do we have to take drugs to calm ourselves down? In some cases, especially when the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine are involved, that may be the case. But in my case, it was more a matter of getting myself out of a situation that made me feel trapped that eventually alleviated the symptoms.

Which is what this post is all about. I'm not a doctor, nor do I profess to know all the answers, but if you are feeling these symptoms, maybe you could try one or more of these coping mechanisms:
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing, and changing one's thinking patterns. Slow deep breaths, followed by replacing unwanted, scary thoughts with pleasant, calming thoughts. I use a mantra of all the things I have to be grateful for, which works for me when I have unwanted thought patterns.
  • Meditation - it has been scientifically proven that our brain chemistry changes during meditation, but that is a post in itself. Maybe my next one...
  • Exercise - single bouts of exercise, whether intense or not, has show to be of benefit for mental health hours afterwards.
  • Nutrition - stimulants, salt, preservatives, hormones in meat, and sweet, refined foods can all play havoc with anxiety. Soda water (not sodas - soda water) actually helps relieve symptoms, and foods such as whole grains, asparagus, garlic, wheat germ and many more help with the symptoms of anxiety. Not to mention making sure you have enough magnesium, calcium and B vitamins.
These are a few ways we can care for ourselves during difficult times. I think I'll do a post on all of the new science surrounding meditation at another time. The bottom line is we can do many things to make our lives more livable and reduce the stressful causes of anxiety. You may have a few ideas of your own. Care to share?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dr. John Jay Harper

I ran across this man and his last interview while perusing Conscious Media Network's new WordPress website. It just had one line that said he had died. Intrigued, because I had not heard his name before, I followed the link to Kashonia's Blog and Internet Home. Kashonia has a rather interesting story of her own. At any rate, I decided to listen to her interview with John Jay Harper, just a few days before he died at his computer. I was so glad I did. He was someone, like myself, who straddled his beliefs between science, the scientific method, and his realization that there was so much more to our universe than can be explained with current methodologies.

I listened to this one hour, seven minute interview twice, then passed it along to my husband and older daughter. He covers a myriad of topics in a passionate, learned manner from our evolving consciousness to 2012 and what he believes is happening with our weakening electromagnetic fields, to dolphin intelligence, and near death experiences.

If you have the time and interest, I would suggest downloading the Mp3 format as I don't believe she is planning on leaving it up for much longer, and you may want to listen to it again as it moves right along. She asks that you sign into her site, so of course I did.

I would love to know your thoughts on this if you have the time.