Taking Cues From Mother Nature

A cool front moved through here between Saturday and yesterday, leaving us with temperatures 20 to 25 degrees cooler for the past two days than most of last week.  As Summer fades into Autumn, the night breeze has a slight chill, as does the daytime breeze, and for some reason, overnight the air seems to be more crisp and clean.  It is a beautiful day here today, and even the sunshine seems somehow prettier.  As things have died out over the Summer heat, the plants that managed to withstand the brutal heat seem to be even brighter.

Our part of the earth is preparing to hibernate, as Autumn will surely give way to Winter.  Our area will be at rest, rejuvenating for the next phase, Spring…and the cycle will repeat…waking, living, resting & sleeping, waking, living, resting & sleeping…on and on it goes.

We tend to push ourselves to the breaking point every single day.  Most of us don’t have too much trouble with the waking part of our day, but we try to cram so much “stuff” into it that we ignore one of the most important thing we can do for ourselves.  Rest & sleeping…

If we pay attention to nature, we can get clues.  Take for instance the perennials.  They sprout forth their life, grow, start to wither and die, only to repeat the cycle, sometimes even bigger and better over the following years.  I’d like to use, as examples, two particular plants; Crape Myrtles and Pampas Grass.

When I lived in Texas, everyone grew Crape Myrtles.  One particular fellow had a fence lined with Crape Myrtles.  I passed his place everyday on my way to work.  Before I knew much about them (I still don’t know too much!), at the beginning of Autumn, he cut every single one of them to the ground.  I thought to myself, “What the heck are you doing, mister?” because they were beautiful…smaller, but beautiful.  The next Spring, after resting the Autumn and Winter, they came back with a vengeance!  They grew bigger and more full, and even more beautiful…that next Fall, he did the same thing…Cut them to the ground!  Yet, in the Spring, they came back and grew even bigger and more lovely…

My parent’s driveway is lined with Pampas Grass.  It is a beautiful sight when they are covered in full plumes.  People here, in the Midwest, grow them, as well.  What they do here, though, in Autumn, is cut them down and burn them off…If you know nothing about it, it sounds crazy, right?  Yet the following year, after the Autumn and Winter rest, they come back fuller and more beautiful.

The same goes for deciduous trees, as well…Ever seen a Maple Tree go through it’s cycle?  Another lovely tree with a similar cycle is the popular Bradford Pear.  Beautiful life emerges in the final throws of Winter and the onset of Spring as the trees flower.  Pretty leaves emerge (most are green, but there are other colors as well.  Japanese Maples are famous for their red or red lined leaves and are very popular ornamental trees!) and by Summer, they are covered with leaves.  In Autumn, as the trees wind down for rest, the leaves put on a SPECTACULAR show as they change color from green to yellow to orange and to red (sometimes having all four colors on one leaf!), as the tree gets ready to shed its leaves for the upcoming hybernation. It is an awesome show!

I have known many people who leave the trees to their own devices, once they are established, and they do alright.  I have also known others to nurture and care for their trees, and boy do they flourish!

There are a couple of things we can learn from Mother Nature…

First, we NEED our rest and relaxation to rejuvenate.  Sure, we can go and go and go all day long, deep into the night, crash onto our beds, get a few hours of sleep, get up the next day and do it all again, but that pace takes a toll on our body, and on our psyche.  Our bodies need proper rest, and nourishment if we plan to live long lives.  Lack of sleep leads to stress, confusion and moodiness.  Stress is one of the main sources for dis-ease and bodily malfunction in otherwise healthy adults.  Lack of sleep causes us to not “think” to our fullest capacity, causing us confusion, which breeds frustration, and then anger.  These are preventable things, if we nourish ourselves through proper rest and diet.

Second, Mother Nature can also show us the beauty of life and dignity in death.  As both the Crape Myrtle and the Pampas Grass and deciduous tree examples show us, we can live our lives in beauty and splendor, and at the end, if we do not fear our life or death, we can transition into our next great adventure, and be even more splendid at that.  Many religions teach us about life after death, reincarnation, etc.  So, as you watch Nature, you can see what happens after it appears to “die.”  The next “life” is so much bigger and more beautiful…and on it goes…

Take good care of yourself, respect yourself and don’t be afraid of what is to come.  Take time to “rest.”  There is nothing wrong with simply being still for a while!  Sure, you can take a vacation every year, but what about a little rest every day?  Take a short walk, relax in a warm bath, read, listen to music, take up a hobby, or yoga.  Get proper rest, and then be SURE to get proper sleep!   The things to promote rest do not have to take up much of your time, but the benefits of rest and sleep are unending!  I challenge each of you to take on your life, but treat it with respect.  Grow, live and nurture your life.   And, try treating every living thing with the same “respect for life” and see what you cultivate in your own!  Many Blessings!

 

Blessings!

A New Body? ExCELLent…

There are many things that fascinate me.  I have been on a quest for as much knowledge as I can possibly get.  As I come across things, I am ever learning new things…much to my delight.  Much of these are spiritual, some are political (I am an independent political researcher by day!), some is gardening, and yet others still are related to alternative therapies.

I have always “known” deep down inside that our bodies were made in such a way that, given the proper nutrition and rest, they could heal themselves.  I took biology in high school and college, but must have missed the lesson that captured my attention a few years back while reading that our cells are constantly regenerating…some do it in seconds, some minutes, and still others in years, but they all regenerate…So literally, you can have a “new body” in a matter of years!!!

It is harder to get people (even me!!!) to understand, these days, in our fast paced, instant gratification world that we really do need to eat better, exercise and get the proper rest, for our bodies to be able to do this magnificent thing!  I am not a biologist, by any means, but I do understand cell division…I also understand that with all the impurities and chemicals in our food, water…and air…and the depletion of nutrients in our soil, we do face many challenges with regards to the possibility of regenerating “pure” cells, but I still feel, deep down, that it can be done.

It seems to me that our first step needs to be listen to our bodies.  We might also consider doing a cleanse or two…Next, commit to changing our diet for the better.  Get rid of processed and fast foods…don’t try to do a “cold turkey” sort of approach, but don’t take forever with it, either.  (You can always grow your own, which kind of helps out in the exercise department, as well!)

Next, we need to find and stick to a proper bedtime schedule.  A dear friend of mine told me that he had found in his research sleep before midnight was the most regenerating.  Next we need to find and commit to a a varied exercise program…Walking, swimming, running, pilates, some sort of sport, yoga, tai chi, Qi Gong,  just a mix of things that will get your body and joints moving…While we are at it, let’s not forget to keep our mind active and grow, spiritually.

I am convinced within myself that we can all be better, healthier and live longer without pumping our bodies full of artificial chemicals and impurities…We are magnificent creatures, capable of anything…but we must be willing to participate…

*This information is for entertainment and educational purposes only and should not be used in place of a doctor’s care.  Should you have health concerns, please seek the care of a professional…

Music makes the world go round…

Music is a wonderful thing…it can make you remember, help you forget, fill you with wonder, rev you up or slow you down…and sometimes it can even help you cry or make you angry.

Some of us favor different types of music, and that is okay, too, because there are so many different types from which to choose.  And any combination of which can help you achieve a particular state of mind.  From Christian to Rock to New Age to Classical to Rap to World to Hip Hop to Country to Alternative to Spiritual and everything in between (I am from Louisiana, so I must mention Zydeco!).  There are lyrics, few lyrics, no lyrics, mostly flutes, trumpet, saxophone, piano, classical guitar, chants, drums, hard, soft, pop…I even have a friend that plays and teaches Harp, and it is amazing!  Truly, the varieties are endless.

Think you like only one or two?  My suggest would be for people to give difference varieties a try.  Over the past few years, I have found several new and exciting styles that speak to nearly every different mood.  some you will know you do not like right away, but you might be surprised what you find you DO like.

Remember, too, music is a form of therapy…and there are people who practice it on a formal basis.  As for me, I just like listening.  I have found it can help me release emotions, discover some I keep hidden, even from myself, and it can also help me center and meditate.  Need to calm down?  Try Native American Flute or New Age.  Feeling “spiritual?”  Try Christian, Celtic or Southern Gospel.  Need to connect on a mental level?  Try Classical.  Feeling romantic?  Try Ballads from nearly any genre.  Just want to dance around?  Try Jazz, Rock, Hip Hop…Zydeco!  You can get tips from YouTube or Amazon, and even your friends, children and mother!  Truly, though, the point is, just give something new a shot.  You might be pleasantly surprised!

“Nature-al” Therapy

Is there too much stress in your life?  Hard as you try, you can’t seem to find that one thing to alleviate it?  Tried yoga, and other therapies, found them very helpful, but still have more stress than you can handle?  The answer may surprise you…get into nature.

Next weekend we turn out clocks up one hour.  for some of us, me included, this is the most dreaded weekend of the year.  It’s only one hour, but it feels like months!  Yet, when you can push past the “loss,” an amazing time is opened up to us.  We can actually get home in time to get into nature, and there are several ways to go about it!

Walking in the park or neighborhood is good exercise, helping us feel better all over, and walking after dinner can help your digestion!  There are all kinds of things and colors to see in nature.  Haven’t you noticed that even the greens are not all the same color!  And, noting that, the trees are different, too.  Different shaped leaves, different heights and overall shapes and, even the bark is different on the different trees!  Birds, butterflies, bees, moths, many with intricate patterns and colorings.  Deer, so majestic in nature.  There are other animals, too, depending on where you live.  Take a camera and enjoy the sights and sounds!

There is something so invigorating about gardening…dare I say it is even spiritual!?!  Getting your hands dirty, digging in the earth, watching as the little seedlings emerge from the turned soil.  It is exciting every year, and I know it’s going to happen!  The earth returns a blessing to us, but it is more than that.  Gardening is good exercise and you get something tangible in return…flowers and food…grown right in front of you.  Not only that, but you can grow many things that are real treat to your eyes as well as your body.  Vibrant red and yellow tomatoes in different shapes and sizes, some heirloom varieties of which have some really neat patterns.  Mixed salad greens, which have differing colors from light green to burgundy reds, not to mention the shapes of the different green leaves!  Garlic chives have a beautiful purple (some are white and some lean towards pink!) tuft on top of their long, slender stalks.  Swiss Chard, the stalks and leaves of which are an array of multicolored wonder.  Peppers…oh the peppers!  Red, green, orange, yellow, “black,” hot, mild, sweet…there is almost no end!  And that is just what you see above the ground!

There are red, yellow, russet and purple potatoes.  Red, yellow and white onions.  Carrots come in orange,  but also yellow, purple, red and even black and white!  And beets, you may ask?  There are red, yellow and white, and some beets are unbelievably patterned inside!  And that is just a FEW of the incr-“edible” things you can grow!

And this doesn’t even take into account the multitude of different grasses, trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs that can be grown.  There are so many different varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers, green plants, grasses…plants that come in so many different colors and textures and smells and patterns, there truly is something for everyone!  There are even plants that are drought tolerant for those who are forgetful!

Sooo…if you are looking for something that will truly lift your spirits and help sooth your mind…Try communing with nature…There is something to do for everyone and benefits are unlimited!

Spring, just around the corner…

PLEASE REFER TO THE DISCLAIMER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE!

For many of us, especially those in the Midwest and the Northern parts of the country, Spring will be MORE than welcomed.  While the snow is quite beautiful, we would like to see the life come forth from the earth.

Spring is looked at as a time to do a little cleaning…It is just as important to clean our body’s as it is to clean our homes…after all, the body is the temple of the soul!  For those who have never done any internal cleansing at all, I have read that a colon cleanse should be done first…many folks into alternative health say disease starts in an unhealthy colon!

There are several on the market.  A good colon cleanser will contain psyllium, as psyllium is a good soluble fiber that helps to cleanse the colon walls, among other things.  I am sure, by now, we have all heard the story of John Wayne’s colon!  Should someone be in need of a great source for body cleanses, you should check out the book Cleansing or Surgery by Paul and Rachel Revere (yes…Paul and Rachel Revere!) at their website.  One thing you MUST remember is that if you are taking a lot of fiber, you must drink a lot of extra water!

I have done the Kidney and Gallbladder cleanses and can tell you they are amazing…the Gallbladder Cleanse really did save me from surgery!  Someday, I will tell that story, as it is much more spiritual than anything else!!!

The book is very small, but packed with information.  It includes several other cleanses, as well, including the Lemonade diet, which is a master cleanse, and a urinary tract cleanse.  There are also testimonials on the website.  As with all alternative therapies, if you are taking any medications or have any existing medical conditions, be sure to talk with your doctor before pursuing the treatment.  I also encourage everyone to do your own research…don’t just “go with” someone else’s advice unless you know and trust them.

Just a little tip as we sneak up on Spring…Enjoy the beautiful season to come!

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Disclaimer:

By suggesting reading and alternative therapies, we are not attempting to diagnose or treat any illness. Our suggestions are merely that, based on personal experience and research and should, in no way, be a substitute for medical advice.