This article first appeared on MadebyHemp.
2018 was the year we saw a strong surge of mental health awareness. The public’s focus on health broadened to also include taking care of one’s mental and emotional health. People have finally realized that one of the keys to maintaining a healthy body is to have a healthy mind.
This coming 2019, mental health awareness will continue to be one of the bigger focuses on overall well being. Learning a few habits that will promote and improve your mental health will be a great start to your new year.
The secret to a sound body is a sound mind. But it could also work both ways. The secret to a sound mind is a sound body. It might not work for everybody, but for a majority of able-bodied people, a great way to boost endorphins is to go out and move. Find an exercise that you love. You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing. Some people prefer lifting weights, some like yoga, some even run marathons. Find that one exercise you want to stick with and run with it.
Being thankful for the things you have instead of focusing on the things you don’t is a good way of bringing positive energy into your life. It will, more importantly, make you realize you are lucky to have the things you do. Practicing the habit of being grateful will help you become a more positive person.
3. Be kind
Be the person you wish other people would be to you. Make someone’s day by smiling at them, or helping them carry a heavy load, or even just opening the door for someone who has their hands full. A bit of kindness paid forward will cultivate a world of kindness. It doesn’t take much to make others smile.
Get enough sleep. Sleep can do wonders for a tired mind and body. Don’t overdo it though. Get the right amount of sleep in order to feel rested and ready to tackle your day, every day. Put your screen away close to bedtime and concentrate on relaxing. Give your body and mind the time to recover and recuperate.
5. Hang out with friends
Socialize. Even the most introverted person has someone they prefer to hang around with. It does wonderful things to your soul to share your time with the people that matter.
Better yet, try Therapeutic Chocolate with Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Cannabinoids are non-psychoactive and can reduce anxiety. If you are looking to incorporate CBD into your diet, but is not very much of a fan of its earthy taste, chocolate is the way to go. Cannabinoids are found to keep the body in neutral state, and support the functions of the brain, as well as the central and peripheral nervous system. Get your chocolate fix for the day, and get CBD’s benefits while you’re at it.
When they said laughter is the best medicine, they were not kidding. Laughter helps ease stress and anxiety. Hang out with a funny friend, or watch a comedy show. Or maybe learn a few jokes and share them with your friends. Laughter is one of those things that multiply when shared.
8. Eat well
A few desserts won’t hurt you any but for the most part, feed your body the things it should be fed. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. This will ensure your body will feel healthy and will give you less things to stress or worry about. Avoid things that will harm your body like smoking or excessive drinking.
9. Love yourself
Tell yourself something nice every day. Most people are generous with giving away compliments to others but are stingy when it comes to themselves. Start your day by giving yourself a sincere compliment. It could be something simple like “oh my skin looks very nice today”. Or “I do make an amazing omelet.” And develop this into a daily habit. Because loving yourself will allow you to love others more freely.
Give your mind a chance to empty itself out of the negative energy that is pervasive in the world. Give your mind the space to breathe and relax. And as you relax your mind, you relax your body. You connect to your inner Being, your Spirit. Meditation is a great way to connect your mind and your body and spirit into one plane. It is a good way to relax and to relieve yourself of any stress that you may have. Meditation- letting go of thoughts- also complements therapy.
Posted by Edeltraud Grace
For thousands of years, investigators have faced the big questions: What is it that, ‘acting from within,’ enables life and movement? Today, the concept of ‘energy’ (from ancient Greek ‘en’ = inside, ‘ergon’= working) takes on an everyday use beyond science, for example in describing personal moods. Thus can someone be said to be ‘bursting with energy,’ to suffer from ‘lack of energy’ or to be agitated by ‘energy blockages,’ something we also say when we conduct BioMagnetic Healing with Hands? We will now explore that concept of energy a bit more from many different directions. We will not be able to cover all that should be mentioned here, but everyone who would like to delve into energy healing and Healing Magnetism in depth, we recommend the accredited Practitioner training offered at. www.healing-magnetism.com nevertheless the following gives us some hints and insights that we will be able to use. Let’s see what we discover.
As far back, the ancient Greek delved into the phenomenon that we are surrounded and permeated by energy, and searched for laws governing the ‘movements of life.’ They discovered that there are different forms of energy and that no changes or developments would be possible without energy.
Then from the 19th century, essential principles were formulated that are still recognized as the basis of science:
Numerous experiments have led to these findings and are confirmed by simple everyday observations. The heat from a heater or radiator, for example, can only radiate to the cold surroundings, but the heater itself cannot be made warmer by draining thermal energy from the cooler surroundings.
Looking at the big world events against the backdrop of these principles means there would be life and movement in the universe only as long as different energy levels exist. Once the cosmic bodies have ‘burned out’ and everything only has a uniform temperature that would be the end – for us, for all creatures, and for planets, suns, galaxies: the universe would die the so-called heat death.
Today’s scientific worldview is based on the same scenario. However, it should be noted in the first place that the principles described are based only on experiences, they are not irrefutably proved. Secondly, in particular, it remains unclear whether the universe can be regarded as a closed system.
Opinions differ on this key question.
Materialism with ‘feet of clay.’
The prevailing materialistic view of life assumes that the energy system that is the universe cannot be subject to any influence from outside. Although it remains unclear how and why the most comprehensive ‘outside influence’ by far, the Big Bang, came about. That said, the view was formed that the total energy established at the beginning of the universe would only temporarily – as long as there are differences in level – enable the phenomena of life. There is, therefore, no higher reality with which our life and fate can interact. All subjective experiences with unmeasurable energies – whether it concerns Far-eastern life energy concept ‘Chi,’ the phenomena of aura or astral body, Healing Magnetism, the flow of energy through body meridians, chakras or whatever finer-material phenomena are called – would thus be mere imagination. ‘Straight-laced’ scientists consider it calculating or simply naïve if esoteric or spiritually minded people ‘misapply’ the concept of ‘energy’ to the non-measurable scheme of things. In their opinion, the semblance of scientific approach and objective reality is then merely evoked, while in reality utter ignorance, vague conjectures or simple errors lurk behind.
But perhaps misuse of the concept of ‘energy’ – which describes that which ‘works from within’ – lies less in the description of subjective experiences, but, quite the reverse, in the one-sided scientific definitions, since some naturalists and philosophers are convinced, in the meantime, that a purely materialistic view of the world stands on feet of clay.
This is especially indicated with experiments and observations in the microcosm. It is clear, for example, that matter is not really in the form of a union of very small particles, as envisaged. ‘Basically, there is no matter. At least not in the usual sense. There is only a web of relationships, constant change, liveliness’, the physicist Hans Peter Duerr described in a magazine interview the nature of all the material things. “We find it difficult to imagine this. Primarily, there exists only connection, without the connective material foundation. We could also call it spirit — something that we can only experience spontaneously and do not interfere with. Matter and energy occur secondarily in appearance – as a sort of congealed, solidified spirit. According to Albert Einstein, the matter is only a diluted form of energy. But its background is not even refined energy but something completely different, vibrancy.”
Duerr thinks that it would be better to apply verbs to the subatomic world because it does not embrace objects, nouns or things that we can touch and grasp. There are only movements, processes, connections, and information, thus giving us a glimpse of the primordial ground of liveliness.
As soon as one wants to observe its smallest components and define things in a traditional manner, matter dissolves into ‘nothingness.’ Even more spectacular is the view that the whole of reality, as we human beings experience it, manifests only through the interaction with our consciousness. The so-called quantum theory throws up by phenomena in the microcosms a completely new worldview that is in stark contrast to materialism. Some key points of consideration:
The energy of consciousness
The approach of attributing a decisive role to consciousness in the making of the world may well seem to most people today as too far-fetched. Our worldview and thus the logic of our thinking, our language, in short, the whole range of our assumptions or hopes, is based on everyday experiences which influential scientists such as Newton, Descartes or Darwin have condensed by experiments to theories. However, consciousness has up to now remained ignored in all formulations and descriptions. Therefore, the so-called inner world of a person- our experiences, perceptions, expectations, and motivations and so on – is considered unpredictable and also an insignificant side issue for world events. Only (supposedly) objective material reality is deemed critical: consciousness, in contrast, is seen simply as a side effect of biological development, specifically of the brain.
It is our spiritual attitude that is at least to 50 percent responsible for how healthy we are and in reality not only 50 percent, but it does affect every part of us.
Therefore the materialistic worldview does not offer any explanations for some phenomena of daily life. Why is there precognition, telepathy between people or between humans and animals? Why are healing energies or the so-called placebo effect helpful? Why does motivation as well as good thoughts have an invigorating effect? There are undoubted scientific studies for all these effects – but no logical explanation by a material worldview, because we have not yet even begun to understand what consciousness is. The assumption that it arises from brain activity is supported merely by the observation that processes of consciousness have something to do with brain waves. But it can just as well be inferred from such observations that the brain functions do mediate consciousness and thus are a tool to receive and transmit impulses of consciousness. Always, only effects of consciously experienced processes or events can be described.
If quantum philosophy now makes consciousness central to world events, then it leads to the remarkable end that consciousness has not just arisen from the brain, but rather the brain is a result of consciousness. For every material, development is, therefore, a result of spiritual causes.
While the majority of scientists today still assume that every event follows a ‘rising causality’, thus that future effects entails causes lying in the past, the ‘falling causality principle’ dominates in the new quantum philosophical view of the world: An already spiritually molded goal acts from the future into the present and provides the framework for all processes of formation and development.
What has always existed as well as what originates anew is thus the result of a process of consciousness. The really important factor is not then the ‘visible effect’, with which all science deals, but the non-measurable impulse which proceeds the effect; not the ‘dance of atoms, which the observer beholds, but the ‘music’ that gives way to this dance of life – in a wide variety of individual choreographies.
This view of things also opens up a broader understanding of the concept of ‘energy.’ For if consciousness essentially acts 'from within’ and gives impulses to all happenings, then the question whether ‘system’ within the material reality is open or is closed is no longer particularly relevant. And all ‘energies’ that affect our lives can – whether they are measurable or not – have meaning and be effective.
Interestingly, from such ‘theory of consciousness’ bridges can also very well be built to many religions and wisdom teachings, all of which comment on higher realms – on a ‘fine-material or ethereal world’ for example, on the ‘kingdom of God’ or on ‘paradise’ – and regard the will of the human being, thus the activities and engagements of his consciousness as key to his future fate and wellbeing. ‘Whatever a man sows that shall he also reap,’ the Bible teaches.
Abd-ru-shin, the author of the work, In the Light of Truth, (www.grailmessage.com) made clear in the framework of a question and answered the essence of energy: ‘Energy is spirit!’ The nature of the spiritual which moves the material world, therefore, goes back to higher, non-material ‘radiations.’ How this relates to Healing Magnetism is of great interest by the way, and we cover this in great detail in the internationally accredited Practitioner course, whereas here we will stay more with the basics that will be enough for you to start to treat yourself and your family.
Maybe religion and science again will find a common basis of approach. The physicist and Nobel laureate Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976), for example, saw a scientific path to knowledge in optimistic religious terms: ‘The first gulp from the cup of natural science will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom, God is waiting.’
Whoever ventures today onto terrain not (yet) secured by science and wants to fathom the so-called finer-material energies faces different expressions and traditional terms that are difficult to reconcile. Nevertheless, there is broad agreement on some basics.
Rupert Sheldrake and the morphic field
Among those investigating the fine-material fields today are established scientists, including the British biologist Rupert Sheldrake, who has published more than 80 major works and belongs to several scientific societies (such as the ‘Cambridge Philosophical Society’ or the ‘Society for Experimental Biology.’ For example, he explored the navigation ability of homing pigeons. How do these animals succeed in finding their way home over hundreds of kilometers? Even a ‘magnetic sense’ could not explain this ability. Someone may hold a compass in his hands and indeed know where the north is – but that does not mean he can come home.
Sheldrake also looked into the question of how forms take shape in nature or how learning processes work. Animal studies confirmed, for example, that what animals of a previous generation had learned can be learned more easily and quickly by the next generation.
Sheldrake concluded that there must be a universal ‘field’ which governs or ‘codes’ all the processes of development, thus the development of form as well as the process of learning. Using a ‘morphic field’- Sheldrake coined this term in 1973, later he also spoke of the ‘memory of nature’- a form that already exists in one plane can easily arise in another place. This field, for example, also controls the exact appearance of a life form and ensures coordination between organisms of a species. Phenomena such as the formation of bird flight, construction of anthills or long-distance transference of impulses of consciousness (telepathy) can relatively easily be explained by this theory.
Sheldrake’s ‘fields’ essentially point to fine-material backgrounds. He has long been convinced that materialism, together with the restriction of all scientific considerations to coarse material processes, is obsolete. He calls this attitude ‘science delusion’ (the title of one of his recent books) and notes that non-material realities must henceforth be incorporated in our worldview. Only then will science succeed in approaching those central phenomena of life and consciousness that remain ignored because scientists give these a wide berth…..at least officially.
Fritz-Albert Popp and the light in cells
The German physicist Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp investigates so-called biophotons, light emission by living cells. In his view, the cells of an organism control their metabolic events and communicate with each other by biophotons. Biophotons transport information and create a coherent field in which each cell is connected to every other cell and knows what to do. 90 percent of the biophotons is thus emitted by DNA in the cell nucleus. Biophotons coordinate all the biochemical events in the human body. Their radiation can be measured with highly sensitive devices.
Research suggests ‘that cells absorb not only light energy (=photons) from sunlight but also save the information and the order it contains and that these are made available for the metabolic processes taking place in the cells. The coherence, the order of light, appears to be directly related to the order in biological cells.
Thus biophotons provide information about the energetic state of cells. Weak or diseased cells emit little and above all, chaotic light; in contrast, healthy cells show a strong and structured light emission. Disease and aging in cells go hand in hand with a drop in biophoton concentration. In Popp’s view (also), every illness can be contributed to a light deficit in the cell. Biophotons are from this perspective a measure for ‘life energy.’
The human body can, therefore, be regarded as a ‘light mammal,’ whose main ‘food source’ is sunlight. ‘Without the light of the sun there would be no biophotons, then no cell communication and thus no ‘life,’ says Popp. ‘We virtually live on light.’
In a series of daily experiments, the physician measured the photon emissions from the hand of a healthy test person. Analysis of the data showed that the light emission followed certain patterns- biological rhythms at 7, 14, 32, 80 and 270 days when the emissions were identical.
Popp also investigated some cancer patients. They all lacked these periodic rhythms as well as the coherence of the light. An indication, perhaps, that these patients had lost their ‘connection with the world’?
In contrast, patients with multiple sclerosis showed a too high degree of coherence. Excessive ‘cooperative harmony’ apparently prevents flexibility – as if too many soldiers marching in step across a bridge thereby cause it to collapse. Coherence could, therefore, be regarded as an ‘optimum state between chaos and order.’
In any case, light in cells appears to be a key to well-being and health- and thus to what is experienced subjectively as ‘life energy.’ Dr. Popp also explains the effect of homeopathy by the absorption of biophotons. He is of the opinion that electromagnetic signals could explain the effect of acupuncture. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the body has deep in the tissues and invisible meridian system through which flows invisible energy which the Chinese call ‘Chi’ or ‘life force.’ This Chi presumably enters through the acupuncture points and flows to deeper situated organ structures (which do not correspond with those of western biology) in order and provide them with energy. The disease occurs when this energy is blocked along with their channels. In Popp’s view, the meridian system could represent a kind of ‘waveguide’ and direct the body’s energies to certain zones. On the same level also the transition of Healing Energies in Healing Magnetism works.
Dr. Popp is also a researcher for whom science is not exhausted in materialism and wants above all to include the phenomena of consciousness. Popp states ‘…it seems only logical to assume that life in its urge to express itself must follow a plan, a basic structure, which it can resort to in its manifestation and reactions all the way to the cell nucleus. Call the intelligence behind it whatever you want – but there must be an order-creating force for the development and emergence and the interaction of participants in this universe…..and every ‘template’ also bears the signature of the conscious force. In my opinion, everything is rooted in the light.’
Ulrich Warnke and quantum philosophy
The studies and theories of scientists like Rupert Sheldrake or Fritz-Albert Popp exemplify how the world of science is drawing near ancient teachings of wisdom or spiritual traditions and thus also allowing for the reality of finer-material events.
The German biologist Ulrich Warnke goes one step further with an integrated worldview which has consciousness at the center – as ‘an entity beyond our body (…..) energy that can change matter.’
The idea that the ‘life energy’ of our spiritual consciousness acts in a forming and shaping manner in the world is not anew. As humans, we assume simply that we can deliberately shape our lives and for this, we have personal responsibility. This presupposes that our conscious will, in the end, has a decisive influence on all developments. However, it is unusual that this reality is substantiated scientifically since human will, intentions, thoughts, and perceptions are not regarded in the materialistic view of the world as relevant factors for the course of events. In contrast, one can also find conclusions formulated by the biologist Warnke readily in some fine spiritual teachings. He writes: ‘The first step to changing our tangible reality starts out (…) from our will and our strong emotional desire. The subsequent chain reaction is mapped out without our being able to stop it. Once initiated, the creative process continues automatically like a domino effect and becomes our fate. The point is that we can influence our fate in this way in this long-term only by our strongly perceived thoughts and desires. (…..) It lies in all our hands to change the world for the better or worse. (….) We benefit from immeasurably great energy equally flowing through everything. From the smallest atom to the boundless cosmos this energy flows through everything that exists. We find it in every stone, every plant, every animal, every human being. Unlike the stone or plant, the human being can focus and thereby reinforce the cosmic energy – just like a magnifying glass can intensely focus the sun’s rays. Lively perception in a human takes over the function of a focus lens. Thoughts then turn into bearers of the focused energy, the will or volition determines the goal, and the wish or desire activates the process of realization. Provided this chain of events runs unhindered, an energy field is channeled, which leaves visible traces as far as the quantum domain of the atoms. (…)
Therefore, a person bears responsibility for his actions already at the stage when he or she decides on a wish, a plan or action. In the interworld, there is no difference between thought and deed. Good or bad intentions already create reality. If all human beings realized this, they would essentially be more careful.’
But when we realize such abilities of a human being, we also can understand why Healing Magnetism works. Human beings can open up to the life energy and absorb it into their hands and guide it on to the other person, or also to themselves for healing purposes. Important is our connection seeking with the power and our focus and intention too, as intention guides energy. In every country in the world, we find people who all of a sudden discover their healing abilities. Some of them feel an energy field between their hands which they then start to use to affect another person’s body and bring healing. People learn to use the spiritual power they can absorb to do good.
The concept of ‘interworld’ in the sense of Warnke describes a ‘field’ beyond material reality. Like Rupert Sheldrake, Warnke believes that our conscious (and also unconscious) inner world connects with this field – for example, in remembering something: “Because our experiences are stored away in the interworld, we transcend the concrete sensory experience in the act of remembering – for memory occurs beyond time and space. It is purely virtual. (…) As soon as we recall former experiences, we resonate with the interworld where these results are accessible as information complexes.’
‘Interworld’ is a makeshift term to describe energies, potentials or realities beyond the space-time dimension perceptible by the senses. Whether it gains acceptance remains to be seen.
The same applies to the popular concept of ‘zero point field,’ which is sometimes used to describe the basis for interactions between mind and matter. Some quantum physicists assume that consciousness has its origin in a comprehensive field which pervades the whole of Creation. The term ‘zero point field’ describes ‘immense field forces of the subatomic level’ (Warnke). Traditional names for ‘life energy,’ such as Chi, Od, Orgon or ether, are linked accordingly with ‘zero-point energy.’ All the known forms of energy would, therefore, originate in zero point energy. This universal energy would also be used with every spiritual intention, and also we use it to conduct BioMagnetic Healing sessions.
Antennas to the ‘universal matrix.’
In current theories, this energy field is envisaged as a ‘matrix,’ from which all matter arises in a condensed form, as every matter is predominantly – almost 100 percent – space devoid of mass. Warnke: “What we perceive as material worlds are only condensations within a field. (….) The matter of the universe is made up of only three components: proton, neuron, and electron. Depending on how they are combined, elements with very diverse properties such as the specific atomic weight arise. However, quantum physics proves that matter, as solid and unchanging as it may seem to us, is, in the end, an energy vortex with characteristic condensations.
‘Our body is also made up of such energy vortices in the flow of universal energy. They condense in the micro and macro range to a constant form, to structure and shape to be able to work in earthly conditions. This energetic constitution of the body makes us energy and information channels, able to transmit and receive energy and information.’
In Healing Magnetism we learn how to affect the energy field, how to open to healing energy and use it for the benefit of healing. Here we open up in prayer first, and we use our hands to guide the energy to where it is needed.
Some researchers believe that vortex-like spirals, as occur everywhere in nature, are the key to the immeasurable reservoir of life energy. Therefore, the geometric spiral shape would be the ideal antenna to concentrate and store energy. This would underpin the special significance of the 100 billion ‘life energy antennas’ in the human body – the DNA spirals in the cells. They are in resonance with the ‘interworld’ or the ‘zero point field’ and draw all life impulses from there.
The ordinary day consciousness linked with the physical brain can be described as a resonance phenomenon by this approach. Insights, knowledge, ideas would then not arise in the head but are so do speak ‘downloaded’ from the field by the brain, which acts as an ‘information antenna.’
What remains, are personal consequences
The different concepts, images, and theories about ‘life energy’ under discussion, and contradictory ideas of what holds the world together at the core make it nowadays practically impossible to formulate well-founded statements which universally describe the central phenomena of life. But the personal ‘energy management’ remains an important foundation for the health and well-being of each person.
According to traditional ideas we have a part of our life energy provided from birth, another part we need to acquire in the course of life from surroundings – from food and respiration. The acquired energy is functional; it is subject to a cycle of consumption and renewal. We must, similar to a battery, again and again, recharge with energy. We can obtain a certain measure of energy through the right choice and composition of our food, through correct breathing and also the balance of our emotions.
Yes, it is not just the measure of energy that determines our physical and emotional health, but also its harmonious flow through the body.
Due to the modern lifestyle, the advancing environmental degradation, the denatured food, and stress, less life energy are available to the individual today. Added are personal factors such as psychic and physical burdens. If the body has too little energy, regeneration is also delayed. All adverse life circumstances generate inhibitory emotions and cost energy. Such blockages in energy flow can be removed and balanced via Healing Magnetism.
It is more important than ever to recharge the ‘batteries’ through as good a conscious lifestyle as possible because every increase in life energy promotes physical fitness and spiritual growth. Breathing or physical exercises (outdoors) can also help to bring this about as can regular self-treatments with Healing Magnetism (or receiving treatment). In Healing Magnetism we also find a solution to emotional conflicts – via opening to helpful luminous energies in prayer.
In any case, it is about new consciousness impulses, because
The real quintessence of healing is in becoming aware!
5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress: CBD Can Help
This article first appeared on MadebyHemp.
In our modern, fast-paced world, stress is becoming a very common component in our everyday lives. It has become so common, in fact, that we no longer seem to notice stress until it has compounded into something bigger and has started affecting our health. Stress, or rather, stress hormones (a primary stress hormone like cortisol), are released into the body to trigger our “fight or flight” response. In dire situations, these hormones help elevate our energy supplies, increase the concentration of glucose in our blood, and even help our brain use glucose optimally for quicker decision making. However, long-term activation of the body’s stress system could cause a host of health problems — anxiety, depression, heart disease – to name a few.
Therefore, it is important we learn of ways to relieve ourselves of stress. Below are five simple ways to relieve stress:
1. CBD Oil
You’ve probably heard of CBD quite often this whole year. There is good reason for that. Aside from its uses in alleviating the symptoms of epilepsy, it is also being used as a natural means of reducing anxiety and stress. This is because all mammals have an endocannabinoid system. This is a network of CBD receptors along our central nervous system. These receptors react to CBD by fixing imbalances, strengthening our immune system, and relieving symptoms of stress and anxiety. So a couple of drops of CBD oil every day might just be the trick to help alleviate our everyday stress.
2. Learn Healing Magnetism with Hands for self-help
Science already knows that magnetic fields are everywhere. Even light is magnetic. Every human also has his own magnetic field.
Disturbances in this magnetic field has a negative effect on how one feels. Counteracting these symptoms by arranging the magnetic field in the body is what magnetic therapy is all about and results in an improved well-being.
Magnetic therapy aligns the body’s magnetic field through hand placements on the clothed body, which eliminates potential blockages. As a result unhealthy negative energy is channeled out of the body and replaced with healing, positive energy which flows from the hand placement.
In addition, magnetic therapy can compensate for energy deficiencies and thus stimulate the body’s natural self-healing process.
Physical activity causes our body to release happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin. To people who have experienced what is called the “runner’s high”, this is actually the rush of endorphins released by your body as a response to running. Endorphins help our body reduce stress by helping our body overcome pain, and regulate our sleep. The stress hormone cortisol actually reduces the production of happy hormones in our body which will lead to more stress for us. Exercising would help build these hormones back up in our system.
4. Reduce caffeine
We all have a caffeine threshold. Caffeine is known to help keep us awake and give us that boost of much-needed energy, especially in the mornings when all we want is to go back to sleep. However, too much caffeine can contribute to anxiety which in turn causes stress. It could also cause heart palpitations, cold sweat, and some digestive upset when you take too much caffeine. So if you find yourself getting anxious after your second or third cup of coffee, it might be a good idea to skip that cup of joe and maybe have something with lower caffeine levels. Perhaps a nice low caffeine tea, or, dare we say, some decaf coffee?
Spending time with friends and family is a great stress reliever. No matter how introverted and socially averse you are, there is always someone you prefer spending your time with. And for those of us who are extroverted, being with people is an energizing experience. Laughing and having an enjoyable time with the people you love will help you relax more, and forget about your woes. In women, spending time with family and children helps in releasing oxytocin, a natural stress reliever.
No matter your station in life, stress is unavoidable. Keeping these five tips in mind will help you in managing or maybe even relieving stress. And in turn will help you enjoy life more, avoid health issues, and even develop a healthier relationship with yourself and with your social circle.
Nine Tips For Better Sleep Hygiene (Get A Better Night’s Rest!)
This article first appeared on MadebyHemp.com.
What Is Sleep Hygiene? Why Does it Matter?
Sleep hygiene is a series of routines, habits, and behaviors you partake in relation to your sleep. Unknowingly or not, each of us has our own rituals and behaviors which may impact our overall feeling of rest. Things like a 3 pm cup of coffee or sleeping in on the weekend to ‘catch up’ on sleep are examples of undesirable sleep hygiene behaviors.
Sleep hygiene is important because it can either improve or reduce the quality of sleep you are getting. A few simple tweaks can really improve the amount of sleep you are able to get – whether that is 6 hours or 9 hours.
This list is a holistic approach to improving your nighttime habits and is not a simple one-step solution.
1. Develop a night-time wind down routine
This can include:
2. Block out all light and noise
Darkness acts as a signal to your body it needs to prepare for sleep. If you aren’t able to completely control your circumstances, then things like a sleep mask and earplugs will ensure that you are able to block out as much light and noise as possible.
Alternatively, blackout curtains make a huge difference; also using masking tape to cover any small lights on chargers and cords.
3. Use a filter on electronics
Blue light from electronics can mimic sunlight and throw off our body’s natural circadian rhythm. These kinds of devices can trick our bodies into thinking it is still light outside and we should, therefore, stay awake. Apps like f.lux can be installed to block out the high frequency wavelengths that may interfere with sleep.
4. Be mindful of the temperature in the room
The ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping the room dark will aid in maintaining a cooler temperature, and a fan can be positioned near the bed as well.
5. Aim to fall asleep and wake up at a similar time each night
Waking up at a similar time will help strengthen your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Our bodies are designed to rise with the sun and sleep when it goes down – and sleeping in on weekends can throw this rhythm off.
The same goes for falling asleep at a similar time. You will find falling asleep will get easier as your body gets used to its new routine.
6. Move your body throughout the day
Being active throughout the day is beneficial for many reasons, but getting your heart rate up during the day may actually increase the length and quality of your sleep. As little as 10 minutes of walking or cycling on a daily basis is enough to reap these benefits when done on a consistent basis.
7. Stop caffeine at 12 pm
Our bodies are designed to have peak energy after waking up in the morning and should gradually drop throughout the day, ending in sleep at night. A stimulant like caffeine will cause an unnatural spike when consumed in the afternoon and may lead to a crash later in the day. Coffee and other stimulants are best when consumed in the first 30 minutes of waking up – when our bodies should be producing peak cortisol for the day!
Try to limit other substances like alcohol or chocolate to 4 hours before bedtime if possible.
8. Write down a to-do list
If you find it hard to fall asleep at night because your mind is racing with all of the things you need to finish tomorrow, take a minute to jot all of your thoughts down. Having a place to keep all of these thoughts is helpful because you won’t have to stress or worry about forgetting something – all of those thoughts will be waiting for you in the morning!
9. Worst case… use a supplement
A supplement is just that – an extra bonus to an already healthy lifestyle. If you are really struggling to fall asleep at night, things like melatonin or CBD oil can help get your body ready for sleep.
Of course, the goal is to be able to fall asleep without these products, but they can be particularly useful in the beginning when you are trying to get your body’s rhythm back on track.
10 Top Health & Wellness Trends this 2019
This article first appeared on MadebyHemp.com
This year has been a year when most of the world focused on health and wellness in a more holistic manner: both physical and mental wellness. And it is beginning to look like 2019 will be a glorious continuation of what we have been opening our minds up to in 2018. So what can we expect to see in the health and wellness sphere in 2019?
The 5,000-year-old health system, Ayurveda (in Sanskrit means “knowledge of life”) is responsible for a lot of health movements in 2018. Perhaps the most familiar of which would be the ketogenic diet. Ayurveda is an old system of medicine that incorporates plants and animal products, particularly fats. The practice of Ayurveda involves using fats both for consumption, meaning eating fats like ghee, and external use, like oils for the skin. The practice connects both mind and body in bringing about wellness.
2. More Plant Based Alternatives
2018 has seen the rise of plant based food, a whopping 23% rise in sales. Gone are the days when the choices we had regarding plant based food were TVP and tofu. Now it is beginning to look like there will be a huge movement in the plant based fish sector. Expect your local Whole Foods aisles to have more plant based fish meat choices. The plant based fish movement stemmed from the awareness of people of the negative impact of overfishing has on our environment.
3. More Sleep
A lot of people, students and workers alike, are severely lacking in sleep. In the coming year, we will have a better understanding of our circadian rhythm and the effects of melatonin and cortisol on our sleep patterns. If these two hormones get out of whack, our circadian rhythm will be thrown out of its cycle and our sleep gets messed up.
4. CBD Oil
This year has seen a massive rise in popularity of CBD oil. Despite its being taboo in certain circles, Whole Foods Market’s projection predicts that CBD oil will have an even higher spike in popularity in 2019.
Expect that in the coming year, we will be learning more about the endocannabinoid system or the ECS. This is a major bodily system which compounds like CBD and other cannabinoids interact with. We have seen how CBD oil has helped manage anxiety and we’ve marveled at its anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure effects. Cannabis might also help with setting our sleep pattern straight. It most certainly helps with keeping a lid on anxiety and stress.
More and more people are becoming aware of global warming and the dire situation the Earth is currently in. Expect that in 2019, the strong rise of the eco-friendly movement will continue. It is predicted that the use of single use plastics and other single use items will see a further decline and the BYOB (bring your own bag) movement will continue to become more popular.
6. Mental Health
This year, mental health continues to be given its due importance. People are now realizing that in order to be physically healthy, you need to think about your mental health as well. Hemp based products (like CBD oil) has become a more popular alternative to the usual stress medications. It is predicted that 2019 will see the continuation of this mental health trend.
7. Oat milk
Is oat milk the new soy? This year, sales have grown by an impressive 45%. Lactose averse people have found a good alternative to dairy and soy milk and the rise of its popularity does not seem to be ending soon. Grab yourself a bottle of oat milk this 2019 because it looks like they will be flying off the shelves still.
8. MCT oil
Aside from CBD, 2018 brought MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil into the spotlight. This oil is odorless and colorless and stays liquid at room temperature. Putting MCT oil into your coffee, making it “bulletproof” is a good way of boosting your energy. Expect to see MCT become even more popular in 2019 as more people become aware of its benefits.
9. Body Positivity
Thanks to Rihanna and her Fenty brand, body positivity moved from the fringes to mainstream. Body positivity saw a rise in popularity in 2018 as more and more people focus on loving their bodies instead of shrinking them to fit into the mold that society wanted them to look. As more people shift their focus to mental health, this 2019 will see an even bigger rise in the body positivity movement.
10. Hemp based products
Aside from CBD oil, hemp based products have found their way into our lives from our beauty products, to our food. With the 2018 Farm Bill already signed into law, hemp based farming will be legal nationwide. Expect that in 2019, there will be more choices in hemp based products.
Do we live more than once on earth? Does reincarnation exist?
Something we do occupy ourselves with also in our Practitioner Training for Healing Magnetism as the knowledge about Reincarnation can help us find answers to many unsolved questions.
In this Blog post we share the story of Jenny Cockell from England, which is one of the most fascinating examples of past life memories, which have actually been confirmed.
Reincarnation | At Home with Jenny Cockell
Do we live more than once on earth? Does reincarnation exist? The story of Jenny Cockell from England is one of the most fascinating examples of past life memories, which have actually been confirmed. Speaking to “Thanatos.tv” she tells us how she was able to find her children from a previous life, in which she had died as a young mother, and how she was able to exchange mutual memories with them. She also relates memories of other lives – and why her "search for trails of the past” has now come to an end.
With Healing Magnetism we open and optimize additional healing possibilities, even where conventional medicine or other natural healing methods have so far been unsuccessful.
When we conduct Healing Magnetism or when we receive Healing Magnetism we accept that we are more than our physical body. This also means that when our physical body dies, the Soul/Spirit lives on.
Every physical body at some point will die. But how can we achieve a good death? In the following video we can find out what Peter Fenwick has discovered in his Near Death Research.
Peter Fenwick (born 25 May 1935) is a neuropsychiatrist and neurophysiologist who is known for his pioneering studies of end-of-life phenomena. In this interview he talks about near-death-experiences (NDE), death-bed-visitors and how we can achieve a good death. NDE research is at the cutting edge of consciousness research and offers a convincing model for the understanding of what happens when we die. Peter Fenwick describes the different transitional phases of the dying process and highlights the importance of letting go at the end of ones life. He offers fascinating insights into common phenomena at the end of life, such as premonitions, seeing a light, death-bed-visions and coincidences. In his opinion everybody should know about death and the dying process, because it is a normal part of living.
All of our students coming from many different corners of this planet are well aware of how we can help an individual, or ourselves, with the strengthening of the important heart-mind connection using Healing Magnetism and the knowledge of the up-building of creation. Our students are aware of the importance of our ability to connect to our heart/intuition and our brain/s. In the frame of the Internationally accredited Healing with Hands Training we mention also the value of other methods which can help us in that. One question I have received a couple of times from students is what Qigong and Tai Chi is. Let's in the following explain this to us by an expert. How can these ancient methods help us clear the heart-mind connection. (Please note that Virtuosity does not take responsibility for the following content and might not agree with everything said in the article.)
We are grateful to gain further understanding with the following beautiful writing by Dr. Roger Jahnke, OMD. The article first appeared here)
At the Nine Clouds Mountain Qigong Sanatorium near the Six Harmonies Pagoda in Hangzhou, Zhu Hui, a medical doctor and master teacher of Qigong from Tian Tai Mountain, told this Three Treasures story one morning during a tea break. Master Zhu had been practicing Chinese medicine for nearly 50 years, and his teaching was always a rich mix of medical, Daoist and Buddhist influences.
The road to unity
A young monk felt he was prepared to deepen his cultivation practice and his master gave the assignment to cultivate inner quiet and discover the secret of the source of life and its application to the preservation of health and vitality. He gave the suggestion to focus on the Earth Elixir Field (Di Dan Tian). After some months of practice, the young monk reported to the master that he felt sure that the most practical answer regarding the secret was nourishment, rest and the conservation of Qi and inner resources. The master encouraged the young monk, “You have found the secret to preserve the Jing and sustain the body, but you have not found the source of life.” The master teacher asked the young monk if he was still interested in pursuing the deeper secret. The monk nodded and the elder gave him the suggestion to focus on the Heart-Mind Elixir Field (Xin Dan Tian).
This time it was considerably longer before the monk visited the elder. When he returned, now older, he responded that the secret of the source of life and its preservation were associated with accepting what naturally arises and bringing love and compassion into the world. The master agreed and encouraged the monk to continue his good work of compassionate service. The monk said to the master, “I know that I have penetrated to the secret of highly refined interactions of the Qi and the opening of the Heart-Mind. It has inspired me to be of service to my fellow humans. It is clear that this sustains life, my own and others. But I have not determined the secret of the source of life.” The master suggested, “Focus on the Celestial Elixir Field (Ling Dan Tian), the entry place of Heaven in the living human being.”
Some years passed. When the younger monk returned he was older. The elder monk said, “Tell me in one word”. The younger monk said, “Unity”. They both smiled quietly, knowing their was nothing more to say. They parted, both knowing that even though they would not meet again, they were always together at the Source.
The power of Qi
When people turn to Qi cultivation, like the young monk, the focus is usually on health and the preservation of the body. When people discover the magnitude of the power of the Qi (after all it is the energy that runs the entire universe), body health and longevity frequently become secondary benefits of attaining peace of mind and heart.
In the tradition of Qigong, it is believed that once you taste or experience one of the treasures that you are destined to pursue the cultivation of that treasure. As you begin to deeply understand and experience your Body Essence (Jing), your Heart-Mind (Xin) or your Spirit (Shen), you will likely be inspired to cultivate them because the promise is so great. When we cultivate Body Essence it leads to vitality and physical healing. When we purposefully access the Heart-Mind and cultivate the treasure of Heart-Mind Elixir it nourishes peace of mind and emotional healing. It is a rare person who does not become attracted to having peace of mind once they have begun to experience it.
What if you were already whole?
The Spirit does not require healing; Shen is inherently and supremely well. Shen resides with in the Heart-Mind longing to be revealed, expressed, and radiated. When the Heart-Mind is cleared of its typical restraints including fear, judgement and all sorts of trauma, Shen expresses as radiance. The cultivation of the treasure of Spirit can trigger the release of miracles.
The Heart-Mind is the secret gate through which thoughts, feelings, emotions and attitudes are cleansed and purified. The sincere deepening of Qi cultivation practice requires that intention and will become major focus areas in practice and in life. In ancient traditions, retiring to a cave in the mountains or going to the desert, to disassociate from the material world were primary ways to pass through this secret gate. That is why it is often called the “Mysterious Pass”. It was also called the “dark feminine” in many translations because the Heart-Mind gate operates more on surrender communication and collaboration than on conquest or control. The legendary Bodhidarmha, who many revere for having brought Buddhism to China and who was legendary founder of the Shaolin Temple, faced the wall of a cave in deep meditation for nine years. The intensity of his Heart-Mind purification burned his image into the cave wall.
Clearing the Heart-Mind
In modern times, however, most people find it difficult to clear the Heart-Mind, even with years of meditation practice. The intensity of the busy and confused world constantly challenges and activates the nervous system, the heart and the mind. If distraction, busy-ness, constant list making or worry and judgment (of self and others) challenge your Qi cultivation, consider integrating holistic mind/body medicine and group support or counseling along with Qigong and Tai Chi, as complementary tools for helping to clear the Heart-Mind.
In other words the fire of intent that is required to change Heart-Mind integrity (behavior) is so dynamic that it radiates a profound heat. This suggests that changing the habits of the personality (Heart-Mind) will require rigor and discipline – Heart-Mind fire.
Purifying the Heart-Mind Qi
Intentful mind leads the Qi. You can combine Qigong practice with meditation, purposeful declaration, and visualization into powerful imagery and focus that can be used in either stillness or movement. In the relaxed state, mind (intent) with directed visualization or inner affirmation combined with the body movement and purposeful breath practice purify the Heart-Mind Qi.
When you make the choice to “let go” of a grudge or forgive someone who has been unfair, you are removing a factor that may have been depleting or stagnating your Qi — inner resources. The grudge or withheld forgiveness is not hurting the begrudged or the unforgiven one. Instead, the damage is done to the one who holds the grudge or withholds forgiveness. Holding these kinds of feelings constrains the Heart-Mind, exhausts the Qi and overshadows the incredible but buried splendor of the radiant Shen spirit.
A chant to purify Qi
Declarations and blessings in chants or prayers may be integrated into Qigong practice to sustain the benefits throughout the day – starting upon waking and including the moments before and even continuing into sleep. Zhu Hui, was from the Tain Tai mountain – a melting pot of Daoist and Buddhist influences. He often said it is the mind (Heart-Mind) focus that makes what appears to be a simple exercise into a powerful Qigong practice. He often used the following chant in conjunction with his teaching of one of his favorite Buddhist forms, Lotus Flower Qigong.
Extra Qi is pulled out into nature,
Disturbed Qi is pulled down into the earth.
In this my heart is purified.
Who seeks Dao,
Will achieve Dao.
We could as easily say, more contemporarily:
Spent emotional and physical energy is naturally pulled out into nature,
Disturbed and distressed emotional energy is pulled down into the earth.
In this my heart and mind are purified.
Who seeks awareness of Oneness and Unity,
Will achieve Oneness and Unity.
This declaration, and any declarations like it, stated with sincerity and intent helps the practitioner to sustain the focus on purifying the Qi in the practice. Everything from physical sickness to mental/emotional disharmony is being dispelled – Qi channels and pathways are cleared with the power of intent. “Who seeks Dao, achieves Dao” is a promise of Qigong, Tai Chi and all forms of Qi cultivation. It acknowledges that cultivation in a purposeful state will connect the practitioner with his or her true state of radiant wellbeing and eternal spiritual life.
Learn to make medicine with your own body: Join Dr. Roger Jahnke for Entering the Qigong and Tai Chi Way at the Art of Living Retreat Center from April 28th-May 3rd, 2019. Ready to share the healing power of Qigong with others? Dr. Jahnke also teaches the Healer Within Qigong Certification at the Art of Living Retreat Center from April 26th-28th, 2019.
Dr. Roger Jahnke, OMD, has dedicated his life to sharing the powerful holistic healing traditions of China. Author of The Healer Within and Director of the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC), Dr. Jahnke has been a practitioner of these techniques for over four decades and is renowned for the clarity, compassion, humor and depth of his teaching style. Along with colleagues at the IIQTC Dr. Jahnke has contributed to the research evidence base supporting the practice of Qigong and Tai Chi and has trained over two thousand teachers around the world.
This post includes excerpts from The Healing Promise of Qi by Roger Jahnke, and is reposted with permission from the author.
Disclaimer: This Blog post expresses the view and perception of the author and may not express the views and perception of Virtuosity
As a high school teacher in the Bronx for 14 years I got to meet and deeply know a lot of teens. Having those relationships taught me a lot about what makes adolescents tick. I saw that the way adults view teens impacts the way teens see themselves, and ultimately the lives they think they are capable of leading. I also witnessed how school settings can be fertile ground for greater understanding and connection, or misunderstanding and miscommunication between teachers and young adults.
One of the high schools I worked at was a traditional school, with honors classes, Advanced Placement courses, Senior trips and proms. The other was a transfer school, where students go as a last chance for a high school degree (their prior schools failing to meet these students’ needs in one way or another). In this school students call teachers by their first name, they work closely with community based organizations, and it’s where I was lucky enough to introduce mindfulness.
Both schools were Title 1 schools, which meant the majority of the students were receiving free or reduced lunch. Both had committed, caring (and overworked) administrators, staff and teachers.
Since leaving the classroom I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with teens in more affluent communities (one of the schools a mere 10 miles north of the transfer school) where kids are getting the best education and resources their parents and communities can generously give. I wasn’t surprised to also see committed, caring, and overworked administrators, staff, and teachers but I was surprised to see how much these teens were also struggling.
Even though these adolescents’ educational contexts are very different, a couple of things are true for all of them. The adolescent years are challenging, confusing, and filled with changes to the body, their brain, and relationships. Adolescence is a tumultuous time of our lives!
Let’s also not forget about technology and the impact it’s having on our children. Most of us can probably remember what it was like to be bored when we were young and not have a screen readily available. Our parents would tell us to figure it out, go outside, go play. Or they would assign us a chore to make sure we didn’t stay bored. These moments of boredom often led to free play, which is critical in child development. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics free play helps children develop their imagination, curiosity, and healthy relationships with the children around them and their parents.
Whether we think the advent of technology is good or bad, it is here to stay and it is rewiring our children’s minds. Many have a harder time focusing their attention and developing relationships outside of their digital persona.
The developing brains of adolescents
When I taught mindfulness to my teens in the Bronx, I often introduced the book Brainstorm by Dr. Daniel Siegel. Even though it was a challenging text for them to get through, they were engaged with the book because it was giving them insight into the way adults looked at them. It helped them understand what was changing in their brains and effecting the way they were feeling and acting. I will summarize some of the things I shared with my students here, but if this is a topic, you think would be helpful to you or your students will find interesting, make sure to add Brainstorm to your reading list.
Myths of adolescence
The way we see adolescents becomes the way they see themselves. These misunderstandings can lead to confusion and conflict for teens and adults. Which of these myths are you familiar with?
1. Raging hormones cause teenagers to “go mad” or “lose their minds.”
According to Siegel hormones do increase, but these levels then stay consistent throughout much of adulthood. Its not the hormones that are causing behavior changes. What adolescents experience is primarily the result of natural and needed changes in their developing brains.
2. Teens are immature and need to grow up.
The risk-taking tendencies, impulsiveness, and high emotional sensitivity of teens is not a sign of immaturity but rather an outcome of exactly what they are supposed to be doing during this developmental stage—testing boundaries, creating their own view of the world, and preparing for life beyond the family home and school community.
3. Growing up requires moving from dependence on adults to total independence from them.
The healthy move to adulthood is toward interdependence, not complete do-it-yourself isolation. Giving care and receiving help from others is the model we should be supporting.
Pause, take a couple of breaths, and reflect on your own middle or high school experience. I’m sure you can understand why adolescents struggle during this time of their lives especially if the adults around them fundamentally misunderstand them. Remembering our own experience can help us be more understanding and compassionate in the interactions we have with teens.
Qualities of the adolescent mind
Dr. Siegel goes on to name the attributes of the adolescent mind as well as the benefits and challenges associated with these changes. His book also guides reader through activities that ask adolescents to reflect and bring awareness to their internal landscape, and which support healthy communication.
Increased drive for rewards and increased inner motivation to seek new experiences and feel life more fully
Enhanced peer connectedness and new friendships are explored
Emotional sensitivity increases, allowing teens to feel life experiences more intensely
Expanded sense of being leads to conceptual thinking that question status quo and approaches problems with out-of-the-box solutions
Taking these findings into account highlights why mindfulness interventions are critical at this age.
There is promising, if nascent evidence, that mindfulness can support adolescent well-being by supporting development of their prefrontal cortex (where empathy, thinking of consequences, and other executive function skills live), by enhancing their ability to focus, and helping them name and regulate their emotions. In addition, studies of adults participating in mindfulness interventions like Mindfulness Based Stressed Reduction “suggest that participation in MBSR is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.” These research studies, coupled with my experience teaching adolescent, makes it easy to argue for introducing mindfulness interventions to adolescents.
Introducing mindfulness to teens can be especially rewarding and challenging. Working with adolescents can bring to the surface the unresolved feelings and painful experiences we faced as adolescent. To be effective with this age group, we must reflect and turn to our own practice. We also have to make sure that when we offer mindfulness to adolescents it is relevant and engaging otherwise we won’t be able to truly support them.
Working with teens
Some of these apply to all age groups, but they hold special importance when working with adolescents. Adolescence spans from the ages of 12 to 24. This is one of the most confusing times of our lives, even when things are going well.
Article appeared at Art of Living Retreat Center
Argos Gonzalez is a teacher, lecturer, and mindfulness and yoga instructor. He has 14 years of experience teaching high school in the Bronx and teaches pre-service and in-service teachers at Hunter College School of Education in NY. Argos is certified through both Mindful Schools and Little Flower Yoga (LFY), and currently serves as the director of professional development for The School Yoga Project, a program of LFY and Lead Teacher for Mindful School’s Mindful Teacher yearlong certification program.
In this Blog post Dr. Harrison Graves, MD a volunteer at the Art of Living Retreat Center in beautiful North Carolina, explains us why “selfless service” is a way of life and how you can do it too.
“The best seva is helping someone understand this eternal nature of life.”
Seva is often defined as “selfless service,” service with no expectation of reward. It is that — and much more. In today’s blog I’ll share with you why I volunteer, or do seva, and suggest ways you can too. True seva is a way of life — an inner attitude of giving.
Ram Dass explains seva beautifully: “Helping out is not some special skill. It is not the domain of rare individuals. It is not confined to a single part of our lives. We simply heed the call of that natural impulse within and follow it where it leads us.” (Ram Dass was a co-founder of the Seva Foundation. Seva is best known for their work restoring eyesight to over 3 million blind people suffering from cataract blindness in places like Tibet, Nepal, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and throughout sub-Saharan Africa.)
How Seva Can Help You, the Giver
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shares how seva also benefits the giver:
To increase our joy we must share joy with others. Giving is essential for spiritual growth. A willingness to share what we have and to help others is called seva.
Seva connects us to others and makes them a part of us. The barriers dissolve that separate our happiness from their happiness. Lingering moods of unhappiness or depression dissipate when our focus is on helping someone else.
Seva can become complementary medicine for those who suffer with anxiety and depression. Both ailments can vanish when we focus on selfless service.
How to Serve
There are endless ways of doing seva. All it takes is creativity and imagination. Make seva your way of life. If you are helping to mentor a son or daughter, that is family seva. If you adopt a pet from the shelter, that is pet seva. Anytime you willingly donate your time and love to help others, you are doing seva. And there are many such projects that Art of Living members have voluntarily taken up as a way to give back through seva. Whether it’s providing service to prison inmates or supporting schools for under-served students in the developing world or projects in your own neighborhood, there are so many ways to serve.
Service, whatever form it takes, is the flow of love from one human being to another. This desire to share is our basic nature. Sincere giving — without any expectation of return — breaks the boundaries of conditional love and expands our ability to love every human being unconditionally. Perhaps the best seva is helping someone understand this eternal nature of life.
My Experience With Seva at the Art of Living Retreat Center
Soon after beginning my seva at the Art of Living Retreat Center, I realized how much I was receiving: the opportunity to be at America’s top rated and most scenic Ayurvedic Spa, in a setting of Blue Ridge Mountain beauty. Then there is the daily Yoga, meditation, satsang and kirtan. Also, each month I am privileged to meet kindred yogi and yogini spirits from around the world, each of whom seems to have an amazing talent to share: writers, artists, musicians and Yoga/meditation teachers.
Seva at the retreat center might include helping in the kitchen, working in the organic garden or assisting at reception. During Art of Living courses, voluntary opportunities to participate in seva activities are often part of the daily routine, such as cooking, cleaning, gardening or childcare.
Service is the expression of love. Serve in whatever possible manner you can. Ask yourself, “How can I be useful to people around me, and to the whole world?” Then your heart starts blossoming and a completely new level begins. Otherwise we’re always thinking, “What about me, what about me?” It’s nothing! Ask, “How can I be useful, how can I give to the world?
Seva is our own inner joy pouring forth into action.
This Blog post originally was published here
Pic: Fire-circle at the Art of Living Retreat Center in North Carolina. See program guide
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