Cultivating Your Life Force Energy

lifeforceI am passionate about assisting you to create Life Force!

Life Force is often referred to as energy, chi, qi, spunk, prana, sparkle, vitality, breath, courage, and even heart. It is beyond just your body’s physical energy; it is also your zest and enthusiasm for passionate, juicy living!
When we are in the midst of transition, healing, seasons, or challenges, our Life Force can wane. Here are some practical tips to cultivate and care for your precious Life Force, so you can truly enjoy every precious moment of life:
1. Tapping your thymus gland: Chinese medicine believes that the thymus gland is the seat of one’s Life Force because it is at the heart energy center. Gently tap the center of the chest on the breast bone with your fingertips to activate more Life Force. While tapping on the thymus, repeat the statement “I have Love, I have Faith, I Trust, I have Gratitude, I have Courage” while taking deep breaths. You can modify this statement to one that resonates with you.
2. Water: Life Force can become stagnant due to lack of “flow” in our physical bodies. Drinking more water helps digestion, cellular health, increasing metabolism, and clearer thinking. This lubricates, moves, and creates more Life Force and fluidity in the mind, body, and spirit.  
3. Passions: What are you passionate about? If you can’t name a few, consider finding a coach or therapist to help you rediscover your passions (e.g. being in nature, poetry, a hobby, music, serving others, dancing).  Many people have passions, but do not take time for them. Make a commitment to carve out time to pursue them . If everyone in the world was following their passions, think of all the positive Life Force we could generate!
4. Shedding what no longer serves you: As a snake naturally sheds its skin when it is no longer needed, so we can shed patterns that inhibit our growth or healing.  This could be changing to more positive lifestyle habits, or using energy work to reprogram your subconscious to help rather than hurt you. Detoxification of your physical body and changing your thoughts can also open up space for more Life Force.
5. Thoughts: Our thoughts are energy;they affect how we feel, and even how others around us feel. Thoughts significantly affect our immune systems, and either help us follow our dreams or keep us from reaching them. Keeping a gratitude journal or having a gratitude exchange practice with a friend helps with thought management. Writing positive statements or affirmations on notecards or putting reminders in your phone are great ways to incorporate this change in your daily life. Make a commitment to practice new, positive ways of thinking about yourself and others to bring in more Life Force!  
6. Mind/Body Practices: Incorporating a daily practice that cultivates your Life Force is key!  Consider one or more of these: meditation, yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, forest bathing, meridian-based tapping, 30 minutes of daily exercise, mindfulness, singing/playing music, walks, or surrounding yourself with people and activities that energize you!
As we move through this colorful fall season, may you be inspired to cultivate your colorful Life Force, too! Your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health are worth it, and everyone around you benefits, as well!

Fermented Ginger Carrots!

Ginger Carrots

(This is found on page 95 of Nourishing Traditions cookbook)

Yield:

1 quart

Ingredients:

4 cups grated carrots, tightly packed (grate these fresh, from REAL carrots, not the little carved ‘baby’ ones)
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 Tablespoon sea salt (not iodized)
4 T  Whey – this is optional, omit and use TWICE the salt if you don’t want to use whey * I did just salt no whey the first time I made these, and they were way too salty for my family

Preparation:

In a bowl, mix all ingredients and pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer to release juices, or just squeeze with your hands. Place in a quart-sized, wide mouth mason jar and press down firmly until juices cover the carrots. The top of the carrots need to be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature for 3 days before transferring to cold storage (fridge or root cellar).FermentedGingerCarrots

Be Alive!

 

There are many ways to “Be Alive”!  Today’s post references probiotics, flora, the beautiful beneficial bacteria that has a life and intelligence of its own that lives within us.

In 2015 I have gotten into making fermented foods.  I had been on the fence for awhile knowing the full benefits of these powerhouse drinks and food.  I already brine all my seeds and nuts, and what was holding me back was an inaccurate concept about “maintenance and time”.  Often people I talked to would say “Oh, I tried that and I just couldn’t keep up with it”.  Our thoughts really dictate so much of who we are and what we are open to!  In my being I knew I wanted to do this at some point; readiness and timing are key!

I kept searching and found some passionate people who had incorporated fermentation into their everyday living.  The tipping point for me was going to a “Fun with Fermentation” class offered by Marlene Connoly and Vicki Jenkins.  There I fell in deep purple love with a year and a half aged beet kvass that Marlene graciously shared.

I have subscribed to Cultured Food for Life for awhile, and Donna Schwenk is THE most versatile, fluent fermenter  I have ever seen about fermented foods.  Check out her site and subscribe to her newsletter; she is inspirational! Cultured Food for Life

So after my class I decided to go “all out”.

I began with goat milk kefir, homemade sourdough bread, fermented cukes, kombucha (honey & sugar based), fermented ginger carrots, and the precious beet kvass.  Each creation has its special bacterial signature that gives off a unique vibration.  I “feel” this when I am around the food or drink or consume them.  The overall all affect is that I am getting probiotics in their natural form and have not been sick this whole year!

It has also been a joy to pass on the beautiful live SCOBYS (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), kefir grains, and sourdough starters.  For instance when I am on my cycle I use the beet kvass more for support.  When I want something filling & of sustenance I have a little of the goat milk kefir (vanilla bean flavored). Did I mention that goat milk kefir is the one form of dairy that I tolerate and does not make my nose run?

I will be offering a *Fantastic Fermentation* class with Nicole Kraft October 9, 2016; 12:30-4:30pm should you be interested.  Lastly, here is the text of the Be Alive dove art picture I posted….

Think freely. Practice patience. Smile often. Savor special moments. Live Creator’s message. Make new friends. Rediscover old ones. Tell those you love that you do. Feel deeply. Let go. Forgive. Pick some flowers. Share them. Keep a promise. Look for rainbows. Gaze at stars. See beauty everywhere. Work with your heart. Be wise. Understand. Take time for people. Make time for yourself. Hope. Grow. Be crazy. Count your blessings. Observe miracles. Make them happen. Discard worry. Give. Give in. Trust enough to receive. Laugh heartily. Spread joy. Take a chance. Reach out. Let someone in.  Do something new. Slow down.  Be soft sometimes. Celebrate life. Believe in yourself. Trust others. See a sunrise. Listen to the rain. Reminisce. Cry when you need to.  Trust life. Have faith. Enjoy. Wonder. Comfort a friend. Have good ideas.  Learn.  Learn from mistakes.  Create.  Explore the unknown.  Hug someone.

Foraging in the Caribbean 

Coco Noni Smoothie
Coco Noni Smoothie

I love foraging!  I believe it is important to eat local foods of wherever you are (whether visiting or residing) for many reasons.  Local foods often have medicinal antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral power specific to where they are grown.  Of course there can also be a zero carbon footprint associated with local foods and a ton more vitamins and phyto-energy in vegetables and fruits when they are fresh.  This year on vacation I got to make a Coco Noni smoothie!

In the past every time that I have encountered the Noni I have been slightly deterred by the ripe “smell”.  This year I decided to work through it and combine it with coconut water.  Coconut can spruce up anything and is one of my favorite foods! The meat of the coconut has a high caprylic acid content that is also good for balancing beneficial intestinal flora.

I ripened two Nonis to where they were soft and translucent.  Often if you find some on the ground that are not decayed these are perfect to use.  Then I pulverized them in a blender combining them with fresh coconut water.  I then strained the seeds from the Noni and had a frothy, healthy, tropical smoothie – voila!  Here is my creation in the photos!

I am reading a remarkable book called Secrets of Your Cells.  Since the Noni looks like a cell on the outside and repairs on the inside I thought it was appropriate timing to get to know this remarkable plant and its fruit.

The Noni’s scientific name is Morinda Citrifolia.  It grows all over Hawaii, the Carribean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific islands in countries like Tahiti and Fiji.  It also can be found anywhere with a muggy climate like Florida!

The Noni is eaten by people with diabetes, cancer, gastrointestinal issues, and general health issues.  Drinking fresh Noni juice instantly revitalizes the mind, body, and spirit.

Some of the benefit of the Noni fruit are:

  1. Analgesic – Noni has the nicknames of “The Tree For Headaches” or “The Painkiller Tree”. Studies have shown that noni reduced pain comparable to the drugs tramadol and hydrocortisone, making it effective for arthritic and other joint pains.
  2. Immune system booster – Noni activates macrophages and strengthens the immune system, which then produces more lymphocytes. It also contains antibacterial agents that fight infectious bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
  3. Antidepressant/sedative – Noni stimulates seratonin and melatonin, two very important hormones. Seratonin affects mood, emotions, and sleep; imbalance in levels of serotonin may contribute to depression. Melatonin regulates the Circadian rhythm, which helps you sleep; keeping this regular will help you get a good night’s rest, also improving your mood.
  4. Skincare/hair – Noni’s properties are useful on skin and scalp conditions, such as eczema and ringworm; also rubbed on scalp for lustrous hair; and will keep your skin young. Just rub some juice on affected skin/scalp, leave on for 15 minutes, rinse off. Ingestion of juice may help your nails to grow stronger.
  5. Anti-tumor/anti-cancer – Noni stimulates the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is an extremely useful substance, one that is at the base of many of noni’s benefits. In this case, it reduces tumor growth and helps your body fight against the cancerous replication of cells. It also contains an immunomodulatory polysaccharide rich substance known as noni-ppt that further fights cancer. The immune boosting properties I mentioned in an above section are also a great help. One more thing that’s important are the amount of phytochemicals in noni that fight cancer. Phytochemicals are found in vegetables and herbs, if eaten regularly will build up preventive amounts. In the case of cancer already being present, noni and other plants with high amounts will slow, stop, or totally reverse the cancer process.
  6. Hypertension – Noni is high in phytonutrients, selenium, and vitamin C, which fights free radical damage on blood vessel walls; scopoletin, a compound that may lower blood pressure; it is alkaline, which keeps bodily fluids from becoming too acidic, therefore hurting free radicals. It also has proxeronine, which is needed for the body to produce xeronine. xeronine helps coordinate the cells to work harmonious, lowering stress and in turn, blood pressure. Also has the amino acid, tryptophan. When tryptophan enters the blood stream and goes to cells, it helps produce other substances that are important, such as even more seratonin, which is great for lowering blood pressure by way of its relaxing effect.
  7. Cholesterol – Noni prevents the absorption of LDL cholesterol, thus reducing plaque in arteries, keeping you healthy and alive longer.
  8. Memory – Noni, as mentioned before, prevents absorption of cholesterol by way of its large amount of phytosterols. This directly helps your brain stay healthier, and plaque does not build up in arteries feeding the brain, keeping it properly oxygenated.
  9. Irritable Bowel Syndrome/constipation – Noni is high in soluble fiber, which helps ease the strain on your intestines and softens stool. Also has necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your intestines healthy.
  10. Antibacterial/antifungal/antiviral – Noni has properties to fight infections comparable to that of prescription drugs. It contains anthraquinones, scopoletin, and terpenes, among others all work together to fight diseases.

Cheers, love, & gratitude for Noni!

Fall Fungi

I have been syncing with the season of Fall and adjusting to the change in daylight.  For me this means an earlier bedtime (compared to summer), attention to routine, eating warmer foods, restorative hot baths, and more walks & yin yoga (instead of runs & vinyasa)!  In Ayurveda Fall and Winter are known as the “vata” seasons where the vata in all of us needs extra support and nourishing.  Ayurveda is an ancient Indian mind/body way of understanding and supporting one’s health.  Vata has the elements of air and space.  It is the dosha that can impact the other doshas; this means that when vata is out of balance (even if it is not your primary dosha) it can bring imbalance to the other doshas (pitta & kapha).  Slowing down can be helpful during this fall season so that that one does not accumulate too much “vata” which would create distress on the mind, body, spirit.

Is there a particular fall practice that you can incorporate into your life to nourish you in this season?

If you are interested in knowing more about Ayurveda or taking a dosha quiz you can check out these sites:

Banyan Botanicals dosha quiz  or Chopra Center dosha quiz

Meanwhile, enjoy the photos of the beautiful mushrooms.  Blessings & Beauty to all who read this!

Rainbows

After completing the Rainbow Children’s ThetaHealing® Instructor course last month in Kalispell, MT I thought it was appropriate that this be post be about “rainbows”.  I have always loved rainbows and think it is amazing what can happen under the perfect combination of water and angles of light!  Rainbows also remind me of ourselves and the various colors we have within us to shine!

Regular light encompasses all these colors.  However it isn’t until a rainbow shows up that we “see” the various colors.  The colors and the full spectrum are always there within the light.  That can be similar to our personal light within.  That full capacity is always there, it is a matter of accessing it, finding the right angles, creating the right environment to fully see the brightness of the colors!