The Future is Now

New year celebration!

New year celebration!

The thing I love about blogging on WordPress and posting updates on Facebook is that, whether I like it or not, my life is on record. That is, parts of my life are on record.

Having a record comes in very handy as we come to the end of another year. I can travel back in time to view snippets of life’s moments. For instance, I see that I began 2012 in the same way I’m ending 2012: focused on diet.

In January 2012, I learned that Dr. Terry Wahls healed from MS through diet.

In February, I learned that Joe Cross healed from a rare autoimmune disease and lost 100 lbs through a change in diet.

In March, I learned that Anita Moorjani healed from stage four Lymphoma, although, diet had nothing to do with it. That experience, was a very out-of-the-ordinary occurrence. I’d say; a miracle.

During the year, I noticed that health challenges were up and down for me, as was sticking to a healthy eating program.

Still, through it all, I have come to the conclusion that the foods I eat affect the level of RA symptoms I experience and in fact, they affect how I feel generally.

Yet, because of an event that occurred the year prior; I learned In The End, Only Love Matters.

And so, I have learned not to stress myself out over the little stuff, like diet, health challenges, financial challenges, silly drivers, etc.

I learned that I must make the best of each day no matter what seems to be going on in the moment because how I think, feel and react to what is going on in the moment is creating my future.

“The future is Now;” when I heard Ti Caine say these words, a light bulb went on.

To me, this statement means; if you’re not changing what you’re thinking, doing,  how you’re feeling or reacting in the moment, chances are, you’ll be doing exactly the same things a year from now and you’ll wonder why your life is the same.

Been there; done that. And, still doing it, to a point.

Even though, I learned about Love and I learned about Gratitude, it’s in the moment-to-moment practice where it really counts.

So — by this time next year, I want to say, I’m the proud owner of a “clean” body (clean being detoxified of allergens and toxic substances), I increased my income by $400 a month and I increased my level of peace, joy and gratitude.

I guess, another way of saying “the future is Now” is: We create our future each and every moment.

If I want health, abundance, peace, joy and gratitude in future, I have to make the choice Now —  in each and every moment.

And so, this blog post amounts to my way of pondering, picturing and planning the best year ever.

Wishing everyone many blessings and thank you very much for visiting, reading and commenting on the blog.

May we love lots, laugh lots and live lots. And may 2013 be your best year ever!

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Learning about Health – Day 13

Yummy

Yummy

In the New York Times bestseller Clean:  Remove Restore Rejuvenate, Dr. Junger opens chapter three with a question he asked himself after a consultation with a New York psychiatrist, “How and why did my brain cells forget their chemistry?”

The psychiatrist told him that a low serotonin level in his brain caused his symptoms, but the psychiatrist did not tell him how and why his brain developed the low serotonin levels in the first place.

Dr. Junger discusses the differences between western and eastern schools of medicine and states that unlike eastern schools, western doctors no longer diagnose a medical problem by observation and deduction.

In the west, diagnosis is based on code. That is, a list of disease names with corresponding symptoms for which treatment is based on a list of pharmaceuticals.

The “how” and “why” the patient experiences symptoms is not usually addressed.

What Dr. Junger writes in his book is exactly my experience.

I presented symptoms. The doctor took some tests and sent me to a rheumatologist. I received a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. The rheumatologist began treatment from the list of medically accepted pharmaceuticals for RA.

Since then, the “how” and “why” questions have led me on a personal search for answers in naturopathy, homeopathy, eastern schools of medicine, spiritual traditions, and many different healing modalities.

Logically, it makes sense to me that if an over-reactive immune system is the cause of RA symptoms, then something must be present in the body to cause the over-reaction.

It does not make sense to me that my immune system is in fight mode for some elusive reason as western medicine would have us believe.

Dr.Junger makes a compelling case for toxic overload as the cause of many western diseases.

He defines a toxin as “something that interferes with normal physiology and negatively impacts bodily function.”

Chapter three quite thoroughly discusses how we are exposed to toxins.

In chapter four, Dr. Junger explores the evolution of the modern food system and its effects on our health and makes a case for “we are what we eat”, in addition to, “you eat what you are”.

Dr. Junger explains,  we are what we eat because “the compounds that the body makes from food are what it uses to build your bones, muscles, tissues and even the molecules and enzymes that fund your chemistry.”

And, you eat what you are because you crave the foods your body is accustomed to having. Dr. Junger says, “craving toxic food is a classic sign of a toxic state.”

When you switch your diet to live food that carries the energy of life you will find yourself craving these foods again and again.

I found this to be true for me, as well. When I stick to a live food diet, I find myself craving fresh live food juices and smoothies quite frequently. When I slip back into old habits, I crave fish and chips, cheeseburgers and chicken pot pie.

At the end of chapter four, Dr. Junger tells us how to live a longer, healthier life based on life expectancy research from communities world-wide.

Communities that grow their food using compost, water and sun, who eat mostly raw and seasonal foods, whose animals are fed and raised in natural ways, who lovingly and leisurely prepare their food, who chew their food ten times longer, who sit at the table with family and friends, who spent time in the sun, move a lot, occasionally enjoy rich foods and wine, who have strong bonds with family and friends, and who live life with a strong sense of purpose and community belonging live a longer, healthier life.

According to Dr. Junger, Clean is about giving rest and relaxation to the digestive system to awaken the body’s own detoxification system so that it will clean up and eliminate toxins that make a body sick.

Next post will cover chapter five.

To read a summary of chapter two, click here, chapter one, click here.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat symptoms or medical conditions. Always consult a qualified medical professional.

Learning about Health – Day 2

Microsoft Office Images

Microsoft Office Images

In the previous post, I summarized chapter one of  Clean: Remove Restore and Rejuvenate.

In chapter one, we learn that our body’s detoxification system is continually working helping to keep us alive.  The cells are constantly eliminating waste substances that get processed through body systems and are then expelled.

If the system is efficient it helps to keep us healthy and young. If the system is heavily clogged due to environmental toxins,  improper diet and stress, symptoms and health conditions appear.

Chapter two, chronicles Dr. Junger’s journey from childhood in Uruguay where his family shopped at the local farmer’s market, ate lunch and dinner together at the family table through his early desire to become a doctor and then onto cardiology where the effects of his lifestyle and what he saw in his patients led to a desire for change.

Dr. Junger completed his internship at New York University’s Downtown Hospital in Lower Manhattan. He writes that the pace was fast with his main sources of nourishment from takeout, vending machines, nurses’ potlucks and the hospital cafeteria.

When he had time, he shopped at the local supermarket for fast microwave food that fit perfectly with his hectic schedule.

He found himself thinking, “Boy these Americans really know how to make things easy.”

Dr. Junger began to gain weight, he sneezed often when the seasons changed and always felt exhausted. It seemed the convenience foods were taking a toll on his health.

At the completion of a three-year internship and residency, Dr. Junger moved to Manhattan’s Upper East Side and started his cardiology training at Lenox Hill Hospital.

During the second three years of training his allergies got so bad that he had to use antihistamines and steroid inhalers. He felt bloated often with abdominal discomfort alternating between constipation and diarrhea.

After consulting a Gastroenterologist and going through all the necessary medical tests to rule out serious health conditions, Dr. Junger was given a diagnosis of “irritable bowel syndrome.”

The treatments suggested were antispasmodic pills, anti-flatulence pills, painkillers and anti-diarrhea medication alternating with laxatives.

He wasn’t surprised that nobody asked him what he was eating since he had never taken a nutrition class in his medical training.

Then something surprising occurred, Dr. Junger started waking up with chest pain. As a cardiologist he knew the heart muscle and its arteries were not the problem. He found out he was depressed.

With no family history of depression and no situational evidence to cause his feelings of impending doom, he decided to seek help.

In addition to feelings of sadness, Dr. Junger noticed his mind did not stop thinking thoughts. Dialogues played incessantly and kept him awake at night.

A psychiatrist prescribed Prozac, stating that a chemical imbalance prevented his brain from producing enough serotonin.

Dr. Junger received a second opinion. This time he was prescribed Zoloft, the cousin to Prozac. The psychiatrist explained that serotonin is responsible for the feeling of well-being and happiness. He reassured Dr. Junger that he wasn’t alone and stated he was starting to see depression in almost epidemic proportions.

Dr. Junger rejected the idea of being on prescription drugs for life and began his own research. Delving into subjects of psychiatry and psychology led him to self-help and then on to Eastern Philosophy.

Dr. Junger discovered meditation helped calm his mind and led him to being more present in the moment. He learned that the study of yoga encompassed personal attitudes toward the world and others, attitudes toward self, body postures, breathing exercises, control of the senses, concentration, meditation and present moment awareness.

An opportunity to work at a meditation school in India for one year came to Dr. Junger. He took it without hesitation.

While at the meditation school in India, Dr. Junger’s medical symptoms were clearing up.

At the end of the year, he returned to America and took a job as cardiologist in a busy practice. Many of the patients were taking five or more prescriptions and his job encouraged adding more.

One day, Dr. Junger received a visit from a friend who had just returned from a stay at the We Care Spa.

Dr. Junger’s mouth dropped as he watched his friend walk into the room. Ten days before, he saw a bloated, overweight, sallow-skinned man. Now, he saw a man who was fifteen pounds lighter, with shiny glowing skin and with eyes whose whites glistened.

The spa is known for green juices, colonics, massage, sunshine, yoga and meditation.

Due to his hectic and committed schedule, Dr. Junger couldn’t actually stay at the Spa so he took on the program as a spa out-patient.

After two weeks of the program, his body reset itself. All of his symptoms disappeared including headaches, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and depression.

This experience motivated Dr. Junger to research detoxification processes and expanded his doctor toolkit to include detoxification, dietary change and wellness from inside.

This was the beginning of the Clean Program.

Next post will summarize chapter three.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat symptoms or medical conditions. Always consult a qualified medical professional.

Learning about Health – 100-Day Challenge

Microsoft Office Images

Microsoft Office Images

Many, many months ago, I purchased a book, “Clean: Remove, Restore, Rejuvenate,” by Alejandro Junger, M.D. The New York Times bestseller is “The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself.”

While I read the book when I purchased it, it sat on my shelf until a few days ago when I decided to give myself another challenge.

The best way for me to stay focused on something is through a 100-day challenge.

I decided to go through the book chapter-by-chapter highlighting important points and implementing the ideas as I go.

Chapter one talks about the awesome healing ability the body has. It’s the body’s organs and physiological process working together that keeps it clean.

The chapter explains that by implementing a focused period of detoxification, the body will reset itself because you have switched on its innate healing ability.

Some of the benefits of detoxifying are; steady energy, avoid colds and flu, heal allergies, age gracefully and avoid disease.

In actual fact, the body’s detoxification system is always working every day. The trouble is, toxins from the environment and from the food we eat accumulate in the body faster than the body system can keep up.

Our ancestors, the hunter-gatherers feasted and fasted. They went through periods when they bulked up followed by periods of imposed famine.

Signs of toxic overload include; headaches, bowel irregularities, allergies, weight problems, depression, anxiety, and pain.

According to Dr. Junger, one of the most common consequences of poor detoxification functioning is inflammation.

I know all about inflammation as rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory auto-immune condition.

Dr. Junger states that “as toxicity accumulates, your body systems are damaged one by one, starting with your intestines.”

Apparently, intestinal irritation causes a host of symptoms like; seasonal allergies, skin rashes, depression, and even a lack of enthusiasm for life.

A person can do one, two or three weeks of the “Clean” diet.

Sounds interesting don’t you think.

I definitely know that my diet isn’t clean. For one thing, I have way too much sugar. Sugar cravings are a challenge for me. Every day, I eat food items such as; dark chocolate, honey, gluten and egg-free cookies, energy bars and hot chocolate drink mixes.

Next post will cover chapter two.

Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it.

 

Uninspired, but Educated

Microsoft Office Images

I’m not feeling well-inspired these days. Life’s been rough for weeks now.

It’s challenging to live with a chronic illness, as many that do, know so well. It robs you of your energy. It robs you of your abilities. It robs you of your freedom.

Yet, there are positive aspects to the experience of disease. It’s taught me about what’s really important in life. It’s taught me about gratitude. It’s taught me that even though I don’t have a post-secondary degree in anything, I still have much to offer.

One of the experiences RA disease is giving me is the opportunity to live in poverty. Living in poverty has forced me to reach out to agencies and groups in the community.

When I worked full-time, the network of community supports just wasn’t on my radar at all.

I had no idea that people on social assistance received $599 per month for housing and food and the people on disability received $1,064. Nor, did I know that the affordable housing wait-list is six years long and the majority of the food available at the food banks is either canned or packaged.

Living in poverty is an educational experience.

As well as being educational, it is giving me an opportunity to participate in community work and to develop skills in areas such as advocacy, public speaking and writing articles.

In addition, I’m learning about the various levels of governments and the procedures in which they operate.

I’m mostly involved with a group called, Awareness of Low Income Voices – ALIV(e). We have a website and a new blog.

ALIV(e) is a collaborative group of individuals dedicated to bringing an active and positive voice to individuals and families who are experiencing or who have experienced poverty level living in the Waterloo Region.

ALIV(e)’s goal is to educate the public about the impact of poverty on peoples’ lives, to inform the public about changes in policy as it applies to those who live at poverty level, and to share information on available resources that may not be well known to the general public.

On the blog’s “About” page we state;

Poverty (for the most part) is not a choice. Many of the people who live in poverty experience challenges and barriers that create obstacles to rise above their situations.

Societal attitudes, social policy issues and systematic barriers, as well as low wages, disabilities, psychological or emotional factors, illness, single-parent families are among the challenges faced by those who live in poverty.

My personal story is an example of how someone who once had a full-time job ended up in poverty through a debilitating illness.

Others end up in poverty due to mental health issues, undiagnosed learning disabilities, psychological and emotional disturbances or disability due to accident.

All want to work, but find it hard to do so without considerable outside supports which, by the way, are non-existent.

From time to time, I hear comments from those not living on social assistance. Some of the comments are things like; they’re lazy, they get “free money”, they’re ripping off the system, they’re deadbeats…

I have to say, this makes me sad.

The majority living on assistance are truly needy individuals who deal with significant challenges.

It’s equally sad to see that when governments have cuts to make, they tend to target the social assistance programs. Why? Because they can.

After all, it’s the poor. They have no high-powered lobby activists to make deals on their behalf. They have no bargaining power.

It seems, quite frankly, the poor don’t have rights.

It seems, they don’t have the right to live with dignity and respect. It seems, they don’t have the right to a hopeful future.

Poverty is growing in cities and rural areas all over the world. Yet, many of us want to ignore it because it doesn’t affect us. Many of us still have our jobs.

It is wonderful to have jobs and hopefully governments will help create more jobs. The more jobs, the better. But, let us not forget and leave behind those who deal with significant challenges and barriers to employment.

I urge people to look into the social assistance policies in their cities and countries to see if they will adequately meet the needs of one who is unable to work.

And if one is fortunate enough to “have it all covered”, maybe rallying around those who “don’t have it all covered” will be the push that governments need to create policies that provide adequate safety nets for those in need.

Please visit the ALIV(e) blog to read my article, “Exploring Social Welfare Abroad”.

Thank you very much for reading and leaving your comments. Wishing all a wonderful weekend!

Marianne changed her Profile

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Just thought I’d have a Facebook moment and let followers know that I’ve changed my profile script.

Since WordPress doesn’t make the announcement, it seemed like a good idea for a new post, but I could be wrong.

Here’s the new “About me” on my profile pic;

“He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother.” These lyrics are some of my all time favorite. When I was growing up, I used song lyrics to describe how I felt about my life. In my early teens, this inclination died and was no more. Many years later, every now and then, it returns…and I smile. The Meaning for My Life (formerly Grandeurvision) is about: Love, Life and Presence. Miracle Mama is about miracle stories to inspire a life free from doubt, fear and limited thinking. I write from my heart when I feel inspired to share something. Welcome, friends of the world.

So what do you think?

Inspired by a comment on my friend, Ken Wert’s blog, Meant to be Happy, the profile update is meant to help bring out the authentic voice that lives inside.

Ken wrote a blog titled, 5 Signs Personal Development Blogs Are Hurting Your Personal Development.

One of the comments mentioned the importance of learning to listen to our authentic voice stating that our authentic voice knows what is best and always speaks the truth.

I whole-heartedly agree and found myself thinking that sometimes the lines are blurred.

For instance, scientists prove that environment conditions an organism. Since we are organisms, this applies to us as well. We are conditioned from birth. (But, don’t believe me. Check out the data for yourself.)

I see from my own personal experience; this is true. Even though, I prided myself of being independent, I see where I took on the beliefs of my environment.

These weren’t my beliefs from my own authentic voice. They belonged to someone else.

Over the years, the authentic voice peeped out on occasion, but I was quite good at silencing it.

So — who is the I that did the silencing?

Ah ha!

I caught you!

I see who you are now.

You are the conditioned self. The persona the world sees. The one who judges, analyzes, compares, calculates, criticizes and protects.

The authentic voice knows truth and doesn’t have to analyze, compare, calculate, criticize or make up beliefs.

It just knows.

Have you ever had a knowing about something, that wasn’t backed up by a data calculation of your mind, and turned out to be true?

I love when this happens!

This is how I want to live every day, every moment.

I want an intimate relationship with my own authentic voice.

What about you: do the lines blur for you too? Do you sometimes silence your authentic voice? 

Non-believers won’t read this

and here’s why;

They don’t believe a problem exists.

If they agree a problem exists; they don’t believe the problem is worthy of attention.

They don’t have time for the so-called “do-gooders”.

This post is for the converted. The believers. It’s for the people who are weary of the status quo.

It’s for the change-agents who aspire to rise above status quo into loftier qualities of compassion, unselfish concern for others, responsibility and decisive action.

Amanda Todd ended her life on October 10, 2012. Amanda was fifteen years old. Amanda could no longer live with the pain of the past three-year’s of cruelty hurled upon her by a blackmailing cyber stalker and her peers.

Amanda Todd could be your daughter or grand-daughter. She could be your niece, cousin, sister, student or class-mate.

Bullying is such a common occurrence that many of us mistakenly believe is normal. Many of us are victims of bullying from our families, relationships, schools and workplaces. Bullying infects every aspect of society.

No one is immune. Some of us project the effects externally onto others; our kids, our spouses, our pets, our relatives, our workmates, the poor, the weak, the vulnerable.

Some of us quietly endure the effects inwardly day after day hoping that others won’t notice our wounded-ness.

Amanda Todd began advocating for victims of bullying in a video she posted in September called, “My Story:Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm.”

Carol Todd, Amanda’s mother said in an interview that she “has launched a trust fund in Amanda’s memory to raise money for anti-bullying awareness education and for support programs for youth with mental health issues.”

Let us continue the advocacy Amanda Todd began with her video because “we should not rest.”
Be a voice or help support a voice. If there is enough of us, eventually the non-believers will follow.
Related article • Amanda Todd is an Angel