A few years ago I experienced four deaths within a two-week period of time. One death was relatively peaceful; the other three were to varying degrees violent and tormented. Grief and sadness can be very paralyzing emotions and have a comprehensive way of affecting one’s life. Even though I am a Spiritual teacher and I know with unshakable certainty that Love never dies, that in fact no one can die, that one simply moves on from this physical classroom, these four transitions were a lot to digest. I was not immune to the task and responsibility of emotional processing just like everyone else. And, in order to resolve these emotions, I had to find a way to bring meaning to the level of suffering that was inherent in these deaths.
What I found was that when I attached my chosen meaning of relating to others with the greatest engagement of Love and integrity I could manifest; the passing of these other beings brought a dignity and heightened sense of purpose and connectedness into my life. In other words, as a result of these deaths, I choose not to take any human contact, no matter how brief or superficial, for granted. The meaning I chose galvanized my attention to: I desire to make every single contact I have with another living being the best, most serving and honoring encounter I have the potential to bring to fruition. This meaning gave me the permission to heal by loving deeply, consciously and fearlessly.
Choosing the meaning behind what affects our lives is a skill like anything else that requires practice and patience. The more I exercise that free will muscle, the stronger and more healing those choices become in my life. Just as no one else can sleep for me, eat for me or exercise for me, finding the meaning that sets me free and empowers my personal experience of life is something that only I can decide.
I have the choice to attach a meaning to even the most paralyzing of situations, which allows me to evolve into a wiser, more compassionate, resilient being. At the end of the day I may not have added a single extra dollar to my bank account or radically changed a medical diagnosis, but I do have the mastery to feel better about who I am and to fully embrace the unlimited nature of my ability to grow beyond anything that touches my life.
Sometimes learning just a few simple tips for more conscious living can make the most useful and positive changes in our lives. To that end, listed below are a few yet profound tips for improving the quality of one’s health as well as assisting in that perennial task of getting an edge up on anti-aging, emotional health and weight management.
Walking after you eat. Walking is actually a very powerful digestive aid. The Eastern Indian system of self-healing called Ayurveda advocates for “the journey of a 1,000 steps” after consuming food. The walk doesn’t have to be long; it just needs to be embarked upon after mealtime. So if you have a dog, take your fur-covered friend for a once around the block. Your pet will be grateful, and it will serve as a post-digestive gift to yourself. If you can’t walk, massaging the feet relaxes the body and strengthens the digestive system. There are many reflexology points on the foot that connect with our internal organs, thus bringing immediate benefit and support.
The body likes a temperature of 98.6 degrees, because the organs in the body function best at this temperature. As a matter of fact the body can even function well hotter than that, like when we get an infection and the body turns up the heat. But it does not like to get colder. Internalizing cold food and liquids stuns the organs by forcing them to run colder than they are designed to function. Think of the stomach as a pot that sits on your stove. You want there to be a consistent flame under that pot so that everything you put into it gets cooked thoroughly.
All Spiritual Traditions speak of the power of free will. Free will reigns on this planet. The Divine has seen fit to Bless everyone with the free will to decide for themselves what they will do with their attention. There are no programmed human robots on this planet. We are free to give our attention to the love side of the equation, which we have defined as unlimited in nature. But that action only has value if we are also free not to give our attention to love. That other choice would be fear, which we have equally defined as evil and limiting in action and consequences.
Swedenborg has a great definition of Heaven and hell. He describes Heaven as a place or state of being that is unlimited, and hell as a place or state of being that is limiting. That is why when we worry or devote our attention to other equally limiting thoughts or people, our life can feel so hellish. There is a pattern that clearly begins to emerge here: the relationship between good and evil, love and fear, and Heaven and hell, Austin Powers and Dr. Evil.
When we freely choose a love-based thought that feels good, right and liberating, our life takes on an unlimited Heavenly quality. When we freely surrender our attention to fear-based thoughts that constrict and contract our existence, our experience of life becomes hellishly limited and unhappy.
Simply put, you are what you love. The link between love and attention is synonymous, because of the Eastern definition of our Spiritual nature. Spirit is awareness itself. Spirit is inseparable from awareness, consciousness, or any other buzzword you’d like to use for it. Consciousness is what we bring with us when we come to the Earth plane. It is also what we take with us when the body expires and we shed the mortal coil. Awareness is our Divinity, our God juice so to speak. Therefore whatever we give our attention to, we are empowering with life-giving energy. Suddenly the value of being more discriminate with our attention seems like a Spiritually mature and Enlightened thing to do.
You are what you love, and you love whatever you are giving your attention to. Eastern Spiritual psychologies profess that whatever you give your attention to, is what you are making your God. If, for example, you spend all your time thinking about that next cigarette, then you have just made that next nicotine fix your God. If you are worrying about: your bills, your daughter’s boyfriend with the spiked hair and nose ring, the price of oil, then you love worrying about your life. Surprising isn’t it?! Not really, because we in the West consider love to be associated with something we have a positive affection for. However, according to the Eastern sciences of self-healing, love is where your attention goes, regardless of whether or not it is for something ultimately life enhancing.
What we give our attention to is the highest form of inner Spiritual alchemy available to anyone. The physical, outer-world based alchemy reality is simply a metaphor for turning the heaviest of our thoughts, the lead, into the purest gold of our focused attention. And unlike the arduous exterior atomic version of alchemy, the inner can be accomplished in an instant, in the blink of an eye, without expensive equipment, nasty bad smelling acids, or cluttered laboratories. Inner alchemy happens as quickly as it takes to release the dark and turn towards the Light. Another perk of inner alchemy is that all the inner gold you make, you actually get to take with you!
Aligning ourselves with the truth that you are what you love, and you love whatever you are giving your attention to, is why every Spiritual creature is having a physical experience. Having the Blessed opportunity to feel the truth of that higher Spiritual reality, in an arena we cannot fake, is why the Earth was created. Surrendering our free will and attention only and solely to what resides in Heaven, no matter what the physical world throws at you, is the life purpose of every person, everywhere, throughout all of time.
Today it seems we are stressed out, overworked, underpaid and sleep deprived. Balance gets thrown under the bus for productivity, efficiency, getting the job done. No wonder you seldom hear people talk about the value of balance in our everyday lives. Who even knows what it is? How does one find it? Or maintain it?
The truth is, all energy seeks to be balanced. It is a natural state of rest and ease. Even the term for the carpentry tool that is used to achieve balance is called a “level.” Could it be that balance in one’s life can produce a level playing field for the mind, body and emotions? The ancient healing sciences from the East, such as Chinese Medicine and Indian and Tibetan Ayurveda, are all big on treating disease and strengthening the human experience by bring the subtle energies that comprise life back into balance.
Relatively few people seem to understand how to create and nurture a balanced existence. But we all have attained the expert level in not being level. So what exactly is balance? It is an action, a state of mind and a perspective. Balance requires a “bigger picture” evaluation of priorities, an honest inner assessment concerning energy expenditure, and a willingness to implement appropriate boundaries.
Balance is really stopping to enjoy the flowers and the view, and not simply rushing by. Balance is arresting the “just one more thing to do” tyranny that keeps us up late at night. Balance is scheduling time for family and friends with the same commitment and single-minded focus you bring to a business meeting.
Oscar Wilde said, “…we know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” It’s a great definition of balance gone awry and a brilliant place to start valuing balance in your life.
Vaishali is the author of Wisdom Rising and You Are What You Love. She is also a national health & wellness speaker, Huffington Post Columnist and radio host of “You Are What You Love” on heard weekly at www.purplev.com Sunday 11-1pm PST in greater LA and Santa Barbara and on Contact Talk Radio Fridays 1pm-2pm PST and Tuesdays 9-10pm PST. Vaishali learned to transform her life from the threat of two terminal disease diagnoses, domestic abuse and financial devastation. Completely recovered, she shares her wisdom @ www.purplev.com or email email@example.com
Ayurveda is a system based on three doshas – three specific types of energy configurations that comprise all of life in the physical world. Since all of the information in Ayurveda is in Sanskrit, a sacred Indian language, the terms require an English translation. The three doshas are: Vata, which is air and space, Pitta, which is fire and water and Kapha, which is earth and water. Let’s take these one at a time.
Although air and space sound like the same thing, they are really very different. Space signifies an emptiness, and air is what fills up the space. Vata governs the nervous system. Without it nothing would move in your body. Vata is the only dosha that moves. It makes your eyes blink, your blood flow, and it is responsible for all those interesting and sometimes humorous (embarrassing) bodily noises. Vata primary people are small boned, prone to dry hair, dry skin and constipation. They are also creative, fast thinkers and talkers, and occasionally a bit spacey.
This dosha is fire and water, but this water is more like digestive juices, blood and bile. Pitta people are lean, athletic, competitive types and perfectionists. They are prone to infections, loose stools and burning disorders like ulcers and heavy bleeding. They are also very smart and quick minded; they like things done their way and organized to their liking.
Kapha primary people are voluptuous like Marilyn Monroe and Angelina Jolie. All the classic beauties are Kapha primary. They have a tendency to put on weight if they do not work out and eat sensibly. Kapha crave sweet and creamy which can be their downfall. They tend towards congestive disorders such as excess fluid in the lungs and body, impacted lymph tissue and oily skin. They are the most compassionate and easy going of the three doshas. They also have the most physical stamina.
Every person is made up of a unique combination of all three of these energies. As a matter of fact anything that is living be it animal, vegetable or mineral is made up of these three energies. It is essential to know what energy is your primary constitutional element, as well as your secondary and tertiary elements. Also important, in order to maintain optimal health and longevity, is to know your proclivity for imbalance. Here is why:
For example, cranberry juice is excellent food medicine for bladder infections. It is also balancing for people who run energetically hot, or in Ayurvedic speak “have a high pitta constitution.” However, if you are prone to dry skin, dry hair and constipation, drinking cranberry juice will increase the dry nature of your constitution, exacerbating those symptoms.
In the area of weight loss, most people traditionally think that melons are a diet food. However, Ayurveda would not agree unless you limit consumption strictly to watermelon. Melons are cold, wet and heavy. That is not optimal energy for losing weight. If you are over weight you already have too much cold, wet, damp energy in your body’s constitution. Eating melons will just add to that imbalance. For weight loss, apples and pears are the best fruits to reach for. But apples and pears again are not good for the folks prone to dry skin, dry hair and constipation.
Knowing your body constitution and understanding your proclivity for imbalance are the absolute keys to decoding what foods are your energetic balancing medicine, and what foods are energetically sabotaging to your overall well-being.
To learn more about Ayurveda, and to find out your unique “dosha” combination, join Vaishali and guests at The Alive and Healthy Conference in Los Angeles on The Queen Mary March 22-24th, 2013 www.purplev.com/alivehealthy
What I love about the Eastern healing sciences is how they perceive and define life. They say that every one of our sensory organs is actually a digestive intelligence. Our eyes digest light waves so we can see. Our ears digest sound waves so we can hear. Our skin digests through touch. We are in fact a collection of digestive marvels. The reason for all this digestive action is because everything we see, hear, touch, taste, experience, think, and perceive is a form of food. These energies are non-physical forms of food that strengthen, sustain and nourish us.
So how can we apply this on a practical level? Here are two easy ways. The first is to remember that nothing that happens to you, nothing that you experience or relate to, is more powerful than you are. Everything is food. Thinking that your mortgage payment or health diagnosis is senior to you would be the same as believing the bowl of cereal you have for breakfast has more power than you do. The second is that you are designed to take in and absorb only what improves your life. Let the rest go for the waste it is. This means, for example, that if there is something negative in how you perceive your body image, or if how you think about that certain job search is not enhancing your existence, it is nature’s way of telling you it is useless, and you can let it go!
The Danger of GMO’s from an Eastern Philosophical / Ayurvedic Perspective:
GMO seeds are designed to be a terminator technology: sterile seeds. In other words if you grow a GMO tomato, no other plant will grow from those seeds. You have to go back to Monsanto for more seeds. From a strictly Eastern perspective when you eat foods that are sterile in life force energy, it will over time affect your fertility. In order to maintain fertility consciousness in your life, you need to consume foods that feed fertility. Over time this could mean physical impairment in reproduction, mental/creative infertility, emotional stagnancy.
While the Western or Monsanto perspective is that food is food. And since food is fuel, any fuel will do as long as there are calories to burn and some basic nutrients. However Eastern perspective is food is energy, Chi, life-force consciousness. How the food was grown, handled, process and cooked absolutely determines how much of the life force energy makes it into your body. Ever wonder where consciousness comes from? Eastern sciences say that your consciousness, be it physical, mental, or emotional, is all fed, maintained and nurtured by the food you eat. That is a major departure from the Western perspective.
Every cell in your body has consciousness. That consciousness directs the cellular intelligence: when to divide, how to recognize and manage foreign or illness provoking elements. The consciousness of the body’s cellular intelligence is only as healthy as the food source/nourishment it receives. According to Eastern self-healing sciences, when you eat GMO foods that have been modified on a genetic level, they will modify your genetic intelligence.
Vaishali learned to transform her life from the threat of two terminal disease diagnoses, domestic abuse and financial devastation. Join Vaishali in Los Angeles March 23rd and 24th 2013 at the Alive and Healthy Conference. To learn more visit: http://www.purplev.com/mediakit/?page_id=54
“When you give your attention to seeing yourself as Divine Love and Wisdom you are beyond any and all limitations and the grip of senseless suffering.”- Vaishali
If I were to distill all of Emanuel Swedenborg’s writings into one concentrated principle it would be this: You are what you Love and you Love whatever you give your attention to. In the same way that the Earth circles around the Sun, everything revolves around this Law – every facet of human and spiritual existence.
Think of this Law as running sunlight through a prism. It reveals a spectrum of colors, the true essence of light, that is invisible to the naked eye. Everything is understandable and knowable in light of this Law. There is no spiritual maturity without embracing it and making one’s peace with it.
To further explore this Truth let’s see it in action. Take forgiveness for example. What is it? How does it happen? What does it look like? How does it feel? How can you be sure you are in right relationship with it? Forgiveness is a choice, your choice, to grow beyond what has hurt you. But it is more than that. It is having the power to grow beyond any and all limitations.