Seven Tips for Healing Yourself

1. Accept your illness: by acceptance the illness does not rule your life, it frees up energy for other things and you know the future is something you can handle.

2.See the illness as a source of growth: in any loss powerful human experiences are set in motion. Regard these experiences as teachers, psychologically grow something in place of the loss and become more powerful and resilient than before the illness.

3.View your illness as a positive redirection in your life: when illness is judged to be bad,lots of energy is wasted feeling bad over it. If you assume your life is redirected by your illness towards something that your were supposed to be doing, you are then more likely to be at peace and spare the energy enjoying here and now.

4. Understand that death or recurrence is not a failure if steps one, two, or three are accomplished, but a further choice or another step: if staying alive is your goal , then that is already a failure because we all have to die someday. When you realize there is only limited time left, you might as well enjoy that time to the best of your ability, starting here and now.

5.Learn self-love and peace of mind and the body responds: loving yourself is affirming that you are a worthwhile person and you are here to give something to the world. When you do that, your immune system says, ” This person likes living, let’s fight for his or her life.”

6. Don’t make physical change your sole goal: to make your sole goal to overcome an illness may not be very productive. If you make your goal to learn how to seek  peace of mind, acceptance , hope, love, forgiveness and illness as only one of the problem you are having, it is then far easier and more successful to deal with the illness.

7.Achieve immortality through love: The only way you can live for ever is to love someone – then you really leave a gift behind. When you spend time loving someone you spend a lot of time living and very little time dying. If we have not learned to love we spend a lot of time dying and very little time living.

Resources:

The above list is adopted from one provided by Dr. Bernard Siegel, MD

Page 189

Chop wood Carry Water : by Rick Fields, with Peggy Taylor, Rex Weyler, and Rick Ingrasci

Living In Accordance With The Dao or Healing By Aligning With The Universe.

Some people believe living in harmony with the seasonal changes is beneficial in some way, but when asked how is it beneficial the answer is not that clear.

Harmony in chinese calligraphy

Celebrations to mark seasonal change have been practiced by most cultures since the ancient times. Nearly all traditions also have special days of celebration; Christmas and Easter in the west; Devali and Holi in India; New Year by most cultures and many more. Have you ever wondered why these traditions exist universally? Why is there a need to have celebration for seasonal change or religious celebration? The traditional explanation for  celebration is usually to mark a historical event , christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus christ for example or to mark a change because the conditions we live in have changed e.g. from winter to spring. However, these explanations are not adequate to explain why people celebrate moon cycles for example, there is no significant changes in the weather or any historical events associated with the moon cycle. Is there a more basic need for us to celebrate these? Is it possible that at the dawn of time these changes conferred some benefit to survival and as man become more and more independent of these changes instead of being a survival benefit they became rituals. We are now so independent of the environmental changes most people don’t  even know where about we are in relation to moon cycle, equinoxes or solstices. We are instead overloaded with other useless information such as the life style details of the latest movie star or about the latest disastrous event either locally or abroad. We don’t pay enough attention to the natural rhythms of our universe or cosmos.

In the east there is a whole philosophy of living well and being on the right path, to be in line or in harmony with the universal energy. This energy is called qi, it is primordial , non dualistic, it is essential for action and existence; and from it all the elements of the universe are derived. So it is important to be in line with this powerful universal energy otherwise the flow of your own individual energy is not optimal , or gets blocked if your energy is flowing against the universal energy , which in turn leads to illness. To stay aligned with this energy  one must live in accordance with the Dao or the Way. The Dao can be thought of as the flow of the universe, or some essence or pattern behind the natural world that keep the universe balanced and ordered. To go against this flow of universal energy or not living according to the dao is to disrupt your energy flow and invite illness.

The Dao

In the eastern tradition there is a deep understanding of nature’s cycle and could be applied to many things: not just the seasons ,but also to relationships, one’s work, the development of a child, emotions, the progress of a disease, a life in its totality.

The initial question does living according to seasonal changes confer some benefit? If you look at it through the eastern philosophy then definitely there seem to be  a benefits. It seems to promise better health in addition to many other potential benefits. In the west there is no philosophical thought on this subject but if one apply these eastern concept to western traditions it seems to make sense. LaurelKallenbach, an acupuncturist explains why the final month of the year , an inherently Yin season ( time to be resting and caring for the self), is not the time to indulge in Yang activities like  shopping,partying and staying up late ( these activities require a lot of energy which your body doesn’t have). This disharmony results into feeling tired and exhausted, in fact it may even result in an illness. Another argument given for celebrating seasonal changes in the west by Paula Klimek , she says ” acknowledge not only the outward seasonal changes but also the symbolic/ subjective rhythms of our live. In taking the time to honour these festivals, we honour our own symbolic process of unfoldment.In this way we cooperate with the natural progression and live with a true consciousness.” I would also add that when we are celebrating the seasons we are making traditions with the family and friends which strengthen the bonding of love and caring. All these help the health and the healing.

I myself like the idea of celebrating the seasons, it make me more conscious of my environment, helps to create bonding with others and make me think about universal energy and whether I am in align with it or against it. I wish I can say I am very good at it but I am going to try, I will start celebrating the seasons in more  conscious and deliberate way. Intuitively it makes sense to be aligned with powerful primordial energy.

Resources

Laurel kallenbach: Winter Wonder Yin

ttp://www.yogajournal.com/yogajournal.com/health/101

Paula klimek: Celebrations of Festivals

Page 89 Chop Wood Carry Water by Rick Fields, with Peggy Taylor, Rex weyler, and Rick Ingrasci

Tao -ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao

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Your Health

” Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune. Our nervous system isn’t just a fiction; it’s a part of our physical body, and our soul exists in space, and is inside us, like the teeth in our mouth. It can’t be forever violated with impunity.”

What is Healing? And Who Should Care?

We all talk about the healing but what exactly is healing? Medicine supposed to be a healing profession but it is rear in medical literature to find any extensive discussion on healing. Is healing just curing the diseased part of our bodies? Can person be healed and still have a disease process going on inside the body? Is healing a much wider concept then just eliminating the disease?

Quite often patients come back from the specialist after having had extensive investigations to explain their symptoms but the investigations all come back as normal. The medical profession and the patients assume that no “healing “is required if all the investigations come back as normal. I remember my teachers and lot of the specialists even now tell their patients all the investigations have come back normal so there is nothing wrong and no further treatment or investigations are necessary. The patient continues to experience the symptoms and at this point may even feel worse because nothing was found, no explanation for the symptoms exist and often patients at this stage wonder if they are going crazy? This disconnect between the investigations and the symptoms patient is experiencing is because the concept of the healing here is too narrow.

Physicians today are trained as scientists, they learn about the diseases, the treatments and prevention of the diseases. This very nature of their training makes them look for the underlying cause of the disease, treat it and prevent it from coming back again. The focus is on curing the underlying cause, if this cause is not identified the physician is unable to help.  His role has changed from “healer of the sick “ to the “curer of disease”. This shift of the roles over time, has radically changed the doctor – patient relationship; instead of getting to know the patient as a person, there is a tendency to focus on the disease and the patient becomes to be seen as a disease rather than a person.  There is nothing wrong with focusing on the underlying disease but it should not be at the expense of not knowing the patient as a person. As we will see later, without knowing the patient as a person the physician is not a very effective healer; although sadly lots of physicians don’t see their role as healers anymore.

There is no one definition of what healing is that everyone can agree.  However, there are many features of healing that most would agree with. Most would for example agree that someone who is not “whole” would require healing. So healing here means becoming whole again.  People may argue about what “whole” is but even here common ground for agreement can be found. Most can agree that to be whole means restoring physical health, emotional health, intellectual health, social health and spiritual health. I realize these terms can be argued with too, but in general most should be able to agree.

There are those who emphasize healing in context of real persons in connection with other real persons “ to be whole is always to be whole in the presence of others” – one cannot be whole in isolation by oneself; this is known as healing as a narrative. Persons life narratives are social constructions, stories fashioned in connection with others.  For example when patient over time sees his physician, together they create a close physician – patient relationship that is personal in nature, very private information is shared; in this process healing narrative are created during which healer physician help to restore patient to being whole. There maybe other people in the patients life who may play the role of the healer through their relationship.

There are others who emphasize the theme of spirituality in the healing process.  Here the patient finds meaning of the illness through their spirituality.  This leads to a transcendence of suffering, “ things fall into place”- patient find a peaceful place. I see this kind of “ healing” in patients with terminal illness with very short life expectancy. Notice I am saying healing has occurred even though the patient has a terminal illness. This is because I am using the word healing in much wider context. Here the healing has occurred because patient through his personal experience has transcended suffering.

In summary, if we try to put all this together it seems that healing is to do with a human experience of being a whole person physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Furthermore, the wholeness of personhood is facilitated through personal relationships that are made over time; resulting in the transcendence of suffering.

Who should care what healing is?…..we all should!

Resources

The Meaning of Healing : Transcending Suffering: Discussion

Thomas R. Egnew, EdD, LICSW, Tacoma Family Medicine, Tacoma, and Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Wash

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/506905_4

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I underestimated the elephants.

After a raft trip on the river that run through a jungle I was happy to have soaked in the natures healing energy. I was feeling good and wasn’t expecting anything extraordinary for the rest of the day. I wasn’t looking forward to watching ” the elephant show”, I thought it would be just simple tricks that poor elephants had to learn for hours and now were made to perform for us the humans. I was not looking forward to watching them to say the least, I would rather they were in the wild enjoying the beauty of the nature just as I has experienced it that very morning. I started to feel sad for the elephants.

Elephant the Painter

Another Master Painter - out of the 65 elephants in this village only 4 have revealed that they can paint, the rest I think are too shy !!!!

Then something extraordinary happen, three elephants were given paint brushes and I thought they were going to make few spots on the paper and that would be the end of it. But no , they were producing master piece paintings, that I would have hard time painting myself. The painting captured the movements in the picture perfectly. These elephants could think and conceptualize, I was humbled; why does man think that they are the only species that have the gift of creating art….which is one of the highest cognitive functions and one that suppose to separate the humans from animals. I thought hummm…from now on I will either have to call myself an animal or I will have to say elephants are more the just an animal….because to say elephant is just an animal suddenly didn’t seem right… unless we redefine the word ” animal”.  Something to think about,…. this ought to suggest animals have ethical rights too and man cannot treat animals as means to their own ends.

After the elephant encounter I went to fill myself with the beauty of the orchids by visiting an orchid garden. The following orchids are dedicated to all the elephants who should be in nature, filling themselves with natures beauty.

I remain in gratitude for the wonderful experiences I have been able to have in this wonderful, magical universe we live in. I feel my energies are restored and my soul is more aligned. May these gifts flow to others too.

Thai Cooking

Today was a day of creating beautiful and delicious food.

Another of life’s secrets one ought to know. Good food does bring Joy in one’s life.

…..followed by another two-hour Thai Massage with essential oils. Another perfect day.

Here is what we created :

Spring Rolls

Hot & Sour Prawn Soup

Panaeng Curry With Pork

Fried Cashew Nuts With Chicken

Beautiful Chiang Mai

I am finally here in Chiang Mai. I arrived at 11 pm yesterday,  had no hotel reservation, I was supposed to be on the golden triangle tour. Couldn’t contact anyone at 11 pm so I just booked anywhere there was a room available. With the Chinese new year the hotels were full. Next day I organized myself half day tour of the Buddhist Temple and of a small Chiang Mai village; followed by two-hour Thai Massage at the end of the day. Another good day.

Here are some pictures:

My would have been elephant ride !

New years celebration

Every day is a New Year - why wait 360 to celebrate it again when you can do every day !

Poppy flower - relaxing !

It was a tiring day for some.....but very spiritual.

Things don’t always go the way you plan them!

I should be in Chiang Mai doing a cooking class, instead here I am in Seoul where the weather is almost the same as in Edmonton. Just for one second I thought “oh no ” this is going to mess up all my plans. It would have been easy to let myself get disappointed but I reminded myself that universe is perfect the way it is and I am meant to stay the extra day in Seoul. The airline lady kept apologizing that they couldn’t send us on our way to Chiang Mai but I kept on smiling and was almost euphoric; there was nothing that was going to dampen my spirit. I was ready to appreciate and be grateful for what ever the universe offered. It turned out it was a special day in Seoul, it was their Lunar New Years Day. Traditionally, tour lady told me later, they stay home, cook lot of food and spend the day with the family having fun.

I also had adventure on the aeroplane coming to Seoul, one of the passengers fainted, being the only physician on board I had to attend to her. I was able to help the lady who fainted , reassure the aeroplane staff and saved them mounds of paper work. They were grateful and give me a bottle of wine for my services.

I ended up meeting a fellow traveller , Randy from Vancouver, who was also in the same situation as me, he too was going to Chiang Mai to stay with his brother for six weeks but ended up missing the flight because our flight was delayed in Vancouver by one and half hours. We started talking and had a very pleasant conversation. We checked into the same hotel and went to dinner together, ended having a delicious chicken curry cooked in Korean style. In the morning we took in a Seoul City tour, it was cold but had fun looking at what Seoul City had to offer its visitors. It seems like a very modern city and here are a glimpse of what I saw:-

Seoul City Lunar New Years Day 2012

Randy - new friend from Vancouver

Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make everyday  a holiday and celebrate just living.

By Amanda Bradley.

Seoul City - Lunar New Year 2012

Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.

By Denis Waitley

Fellow Travelers

Hello my fellow travellers on a journey to health and happiness. I was going to start series of  articles on healing but decided it would be better when I come back from a short trip to Thailand. Instead I am hoping to post some aspects of the my experience during this trip. Several people asked me what the trip was about, I told them it’s not for work, it’s not for holidays, it is to align my energy  and soul, to find meaning, to find my own potential by taking interest in the outside world.

” TAKING AN INTEREST IN THE OUTSIDE WORLD IS ABOUT DEVELOPING YOU, RATHER THAN FOR THE WORLD’S BENEFIT.”

from The Rules of Life  by Richard Templar

Creating and Sustaining Loving Family.

It is hard to change a family once the patterns are established, but that is not to say it can’t be done. It requires willingness, determination and maybe even outside (family therapy). The idea is to examine the old patterns which are not helpful and learn new ones in their place  which are more conducive to fostering harmony in the family. Here are some suggestions for creating and sustaining loving family by Donald and Nancy Tubesing, a Lutheran minister and educator – listed in their book The Caring Question.

1. Reach out in your family: They suggest in caring for your family by giving yourself to them, we ourselves grow in caring , tolerance and understanding. That is exactly what is needed in the long run to create a loving and caring family.

2. Make the family top priority: They found this characteristic to be common in most of the healthy families. It makes sense because making the family a top priority requires deliberate decision to invest time and energy in family relationships.

3. Expand the family memory bank: Every family has storehouse of collective memories….by recalling peak experiences ( which I mentioned in my article on New Years Resolution) , reliving familiar rituals and traditions, and retelling family stories keep the family spirit alive.

4. Deal with family problems: Our commitment to one another in the family provides the context for working out , rather than walking away from , the problems. All families have problems, commitment to family includes that we continue looking for alternative solutions if the current ones are not working.

5. Finding the forgiveness factor: Families need some way to reach out to one another with love and forgiveness. Most of us haven’t had much experience with true forgiveness. We need to learn how to ask for, grant and accept forgiveness……Forgiveness is not forgetting; it is refusing to hold grudges. Forgiveness doesn’t demand that the others change first. Forgiveness is an attitude freely given that accepts hurts and drops the charges…… Seek out and practice a variety of rituals for asking and offering forgiveness in your family.

6. Accentuate the positives: Say I love you ….don’t assume that the others know you care. Tell your family you love them with your words, with your looks, with your touch, with your attitude, with your thoughtfulness – several times a day. Affirm one another by noticing each others unique qualities, tell them they are special.

Resources:

Chop Wood Carry Water

By Rick Fields, with Peggy Taylor, Rex Weyler, and Rick Ingrasci.

Interchange Blog

Interchange Blog

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