Tuesday, December 23, 2008
At home there is a little tree lit up with glorious color, our seven year old, Aurora, is beside herself when she gazes at it. Today she put her own presents around the tree. We are all collecting those small thoughtfulnesses into colored packages and placing them around the table under the tree. Everyone feels good. warm. happy.
It has been noted that dysfunctional families are all predictable: it's always something and it's always a soap opera. Happy families are endlessly creative, dynamic, and, most of all, fun! Something new every day. Lots of fun.
My friends, please take a deep breath, no matter when it is that you choose to read this blog, have a perfect day in paradise right now. Let it be your Christmas. Let it be your New Years, Valentines' day and birthday as well, all on this day. Have fun. I am!
In perfect peace there is no fear.
By way of explanation: the computer now works better than ever. I am traveling the next two months and perhaps longer. Blogs will be intermittent. I will diary some because I will have battery power in the van to capture the ideas as they flow out of the desert realms where I intend to roam away from cold wind, damp snow and icey roads.
Be well. Stay tuned.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
What are you thankful for every day?
Thanksgiving celebrations come around only once a year with family gatherings, big turkey dinners, lots of kids, decorations, maybe even an early tree set up in the living room with lights blazing in the late afternoon twilight. In many places in this country, already the cold rainy weather is upon us and along with it the winter coats, scarves, gloves, boots and hats array the hooks in the hallway ready for outside adventures. This day also marks the beginning of the countdown to Christmas usually a little less than a month away.
Giving thanks is the theme we play today. What are we thankful for every day?
I always have a few notebooks running where I collect the bits of my mind in writing. Here is where I take a little minute often to remember what I am thankful for every day. I am thankful that I can and do remember, that my body is holding up quite well for 7 decades of use. I am grateful for the good friends I have where I may be simply what I am at the moment without pretensions. I am happy to be the elder and to give freely the wisdom I have accumulated as I have taken care of the best and worst of myself and life as it flows onward through the seasons and years. I am thankful for some things: I have a reliable vehicle to get around in, my computer opens me to a world of information and knowledge and my far away friends.
Mostly I am thankful for the basic goodness of life. I see my world with clarity not attempting to make it rosier than it is. I choose to see its natural beauty, the beauty of people as they do what they do to make it, the exuberance of children becoming wise in their kid ways. Oh, yes, there is evil in the world and as I accept that as a truth, the very understanding allows me to overcome what I must that is close to me in my small, tidy community in southern Oregon. With patience I continue to work on myself in the arena where I can accomplish useful changes.
While you munch on turkey today, and pumpkin pie, remember again to be deeply thankful. And remember also to consider every day what is good, kind, charming and beautiful in your life.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The good news is that the new motherboard is in and functioning perfectly. The less than good news is that we are way way behind on things.
So, please, any of you who are wishing and hoping for the next blog to come forth, be patient for a couple more days.
Your blogger will be house sitting for a few days over the Thanksgiving holiday with the cat and my own internet connection, floor space of yoga on, and a luxe bathtub to loll in. It will be fun and I will be prolific for a few days.
Take care of yourself. Enjoy your version of giving thanks and afterward, let me know what it was about for you. I love you all. Blessings to one and all.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
There really are only two basic principles to keep in mind when managing health: hydration and alkalinity.
Hydration: water is really simple: drink more of it.
The simple terms: the body required at least one half of the body weight in ounces daily. If I am a 150 pound woman, I need at least 75 oz. or another big glass more than 2 quarts of water. If I am a 200 pound male, my body needs to drink 100 oz. daily or another big glass more than 3 liters. And if I work hard or play hard, or it's hot hot outside, more water is needed. When your body is properly hydrated, you will be naturally thirsty for water when it is needed.
The bottom line? The body requires sufficient water for digestion, for breathing, for moving muscles, for thinking, for replacing cells, simple daily functionality. There is a connection to be made between chronic dehydration and disease conditions.
The second principle is alkalinity: the blood is slightly alkaline (7.3 something pH) and naturally balances itself to that alkalinity. We know that obesity can be reversed when sufficient water is given. There is more to learn: check out: "The pH Miracle" by Robert O. Young and his wife, Shelley where you will find histories of people who reversed unhealthy conditions with attention to dietary alkalinity, as well as the science you need to understand, the method to follow and recipes. This is a really helpful book.
The next blog will offer something more about the principle of alkalinity and some easy tips to steer you in the right direction.
To your health!
Simply put, health is a matter of self esteem. I can love myself enough to love myself healthy. And I must act on the intention I have to live a healthful life.
It's also more than just the body: mens sana in corpore sano: a sound mind in a sound body. I must wish to educate myself sufficiently to be able to create health for myself, health and well being in all its aspects, a whole, healthy and well person able to respond to the many different varieties of life's experiences.
These next few blogs will be about your health, that you really can make a big difference for yourself because without a good body, life simply does not work as well, now does it!
There is very little real information in our world and you must work to find it for your benefit. I wish to help you by drawing on the knowledge that I have developed for myself over 30 something years and share it with you. Take what you can use and skip the rest.
And go for it, there is nothing to lose by being able to respond to your life.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
For the past over 30 years, I have delved deeply into many facets of Chinese medicine, Japanese acupressure, kundalini yoga, Tibetan meditations and some martial arts mostly because of my interested in building my whole health and well being. The techniques I use, the philosophies that explain why and how to use them have become an integral part of my daily life. From my practice I bring practicality and from philosophies I bring understanding. Take what is useful to you and discard the rest at your personal responsibility and discretion.
First of all, I think it is important to renew our understanding of the changing of the seasons which means literally to review the precise journey that the earth, (tilted on its axis at 231/2 degrees) and sun make together annually.
Beginning with the spring equinox, approximately March 21st, we notice that the sun is hovering over the equator of the earth on its northward journey toward the Tropic of Cancer. On May 1st, it reaches the half way point between equator and tropic: this marks the start of the summer season. Mid summer, the solstice, is when the sun hovers over the Tropic of Cancer, its northernmost point on June 21. By August 2nd summer ends as the sun reaches the midpoint half way to the equator between solstice and equinox. This is the beginning of autumn, the fall season. Fall equinox comes approximately September 22nd. when sun hovers again over the equator now on its southward trip to the Tropic of Capricorn. The mid point between equator and tropic is reached November 1st marking the beginning of winter. Winter solstice, when the sun hovers over the Tropic of Capricorn, its most southerly point, is December 21. On February 2nd, the sun reaches the midpoint on its return between tropic and equator. This is the beginning of spring which advances as the sun travels northward on another equatorial pass, spring equinox once again.
It is important to note the five major stations of the sun across the planet: equator, two mid points between equator and tropic and two extreme points over the northern and southern tropic lines. The Druids gave us names to designate the celebrations of the seasonal changes which made the tribal year:
March 21, spring equinox : Oestre
May 1st, beginning of summer: Beltane
June 21, solstice, mid summer: Litha
August 2nd, beginning of fall: Lugnasa
September 21, fall equinox: Mabon
November 1st: beginning of winter: Samhein
December 21, solstice, mid winter: Yule
February 2nd, beginning of spring: Imbolc
When you check out for yourself the annual journey that the earth and sun make together, you can understand that the calender is off by at least half a season. This can make a difference to you when you are considering the plan to make to regenerate your body.
Even before there were Druids, there were earth people who noticed the seasons and the herbs, grasses, and plant foods available for nourishment throughout the year. In Asian lands, the people that collected the plants and ate them could feel and understand which of the systems of the body each was feeding.
Then, they made an important next step: they wrote down their observations on bone, stone and jade. Approximately 2800 BC of the fourth world, a head clan chief named Shen Min collected all these artifacts and synergized them into a treatise known to this day as the Yellow Emperor's Treatise on Yin and Yang and the Five Transformations.
This Chinese shaman identified five elements and five changes: fire, earth, metal, water and wood and noted that with the annual advance of the sun and planet, the seasons, each of these transformations came to prominence and then changed into the next. Fire marked the summer season, Earth was late summer, Metal (air) was strong during the fall, Water at mid winter, then beginning in early spring, the Wood element came to its own. The five elements, also known as the Five Transformations, form the basis of understanding today of the study and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture and acupressure, martial arts, healing techniques such as shiatsu, and moving practices such as tai chi.
The next blog will develop these understandings further. What can it all mean? And mean to me, you ask? With understanding comes the ability to make wise choices.
Monday, September 29, 2008
The mountain attracts many travelers throughout the summer season which begins when the last of the snow drifts melt above Bunny flats sometime in June and goes until the snow flies in October. Those of us who live nearby don't entirely understand what it is that brings people here from around the world. Even though Mt. Shasta is the tallest peak in North America, it is out of the way from the larger west coast cities, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland where we might imagine the tourists will go. Some are glossy in fine automobiles and some are dred-locked skinny young people wearing colorful costumes and unusual names.
Meet J. Galaxy, she is Kansian. We had quite a lot in common as she is a sewer and jewelry maker. She told me that she is a teacher who takes the whole summer off to travel. And travel she has, many countries and many different cultures and ethnic traditions. She explained:
"I took a course in college on ethnic studies. The teacher asked each of us about our ethnic heritage. I am Kansian, was her answer, I was born in Kansas."
"That's not an ethnicity," the teacher replied.
Galaxy explained that having been born on the edge of the American plains where many formerly European people came by covered wagon through frontier hardships when very bad weather and devastated crops left everybody starving so much that their older people, mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers died leaving no information concerning their origins. No one who was left could remember their original homes lands, so, Kansian became their adopted heritage. I think of myself as frontier stock, a survivor among very tough people who made it in a very difficult land. After the class, my grandmother and I did some work on genealogy tracing our family back several generations to Scotland and France. But all that disappeared when we first came to the raw, flat, new land of Kansas and managed somehow to survive."
She also suggested that this lack of identifiable background has made her open and curious of people's heritage wherever she has traveled. For her, renewal has come to mean rich experiences of food and fun from many different places where she took her Kansian survival mentality to share across Europe and south to Mexico and Central America.
There is a fellow on the mountain who hosts the campground at Panther Meadows. Elders of the Indian nations, who have lived near the mountain for generations, persuaded the Forest Service to create a job for him. Johnny get paid to watch over the whole camp ground, to guide visitors seeking to hike the mountain and to clean out the outhouse making sure there is paper and a swept floor for all campers. He spends the entire summer on the mountain.
He visited our camp and shared the reasons for his being the camp host. He had spent many summers since his teen years hiking and camping on the mountain. As a friend to the Indians in this region, he attended many ceremonies and sweat lodges. He shared the story of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, part of which forms the basis of the United States Constitution, a story of peacemaking among strong nations that became a renewed code of honor among them and which placed the elder women (the grandmothers who watched over all the children) in a wisdom place: any one chosen as chief or any law which was not true for all the people could be vetoed by the grandmother council.
While I have been searching and listening, myself an elder grandmother, I have been gathering a greater understanding that the ideas of renewal that I am investigating are actually not a new phenomenon even in my quite small circle of influence. There is a great deal going on in our first world that is not reacting to the downturn of real estate values and the growing takeover of the central banks which squeezes the low income formerly middle class workers and their families. There is a turning inward instead to the small circles of the families and the close neighbors.
I remind people not to be defeated by their powerlessness in the workplace, in the face of the police and war mentality, or before the economic power of the central banks. I remind them that when we look at each other and recognize the heart within and the heart before us, we may experience being power-full, i.e. full of the power of our own spirit. In the circles of our peaceful confederacies, in our families and in our neighborhood circles, there we are power-full, there we are the decision makers guiding our lives in wisdom and peace. No insitution outside of these places can compromise our individual spirit, indeed, it is one and eternal in all people and all nations.
People may lose everything, may starve from lack of food, waring may maim or kill, spirit forever remains.