by Deb Brothers-Klezmer, BSN, RN-BC, CRRN, NCTMB & Wendy Midgley, MEd, RD, CDE
“We can only be said to be ALIVE in those moments when our HEARTS are conscious of our treasures.” by Thornton Wilder
In our current BLOG, we welcome the season of Autumn and The Bounty of the Harvest.
All changes in Season are a time to reflect upon what we want to do, or not do, this new season and in the months ahead. The Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur–recently celebrated–offer a spiritual tradition of reviewing the past year, letting go of the old, preparing for the new.
Fall is also associated with the horn of PLENTY, with reaping the crops from the seeds we planted in Spring, that we tended in Summer, and harvested in Fall.
The harvest has many symbolic meanings as well as literal ones. The bounty of the harvest asks us to contemplete the conscious states of GRATITUDE and THANKSGIVING.
On an “energy level,” Dr.Christiane Northrup explains that the body undergoes a shift in the Fall–with our energy going inward as opposed to the outward, active energy of Summer. In going inward, a question arises: What will “percolate” this coming season? What will “gestate” over the winter? Fall encourages us to reflect upon whatever we need to do to feel more whole and complete. It is an ideal time to contemplate matters of the heart.
On a practical level–Fall also reminds us to boost our immune system, to “avoid colds and flu’s”, and prepare for winter.
In this October BLOG, we discuss the true meaning of ABUNDANCE and BALANCE in one’s life (as opposed to the OVER-CONSUMPTION and fear model of our current times.)
We will also weave in the powerful links between true ABUNDANCE and BALANCE, SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING and a STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM. When our spirits are strong and we stay mentally and emotionally upbeat, the immune system is healthier.
WHAT DOES TRUE ABUNDANCE REALLY MEAN?
There are many ways to define abundance. We know the material definitions such as “being rich” or having plenty of money, and having plenty of whatever it is we think we may need.
On the opposite end of the spectrum of abundance is lack and limitation (or feelings of lack and limitation). In current economic times, there is much fear around lack and “not having enough,” as well as accumulating debt.
Another distortion of true abundance is the action of OVERCONSUMPTION in its many forms, i.e. Overspending, Super-Sizing—-even hoarding, as an extreme re-action to fear of lack. We over consume on everything!!!….Food and goodies (sugar, starch, meats, fats, alcohol), MEGA vitamins; drugs (prescription and non-prescription) clothes, sex, “stuff”, hanging out on Facebook, texting, constantly watching DVDs and TV. How many have sat on the sofa eating Nachos—while watching TV—and simultaneously ordered some random item that was just shown on commerical!!!!???
***Overconsumption can be tied to the concept of “ENERGY” in general.***
- How we spend our money is a form of energy. How we “spend” our time is as well. Are we overspending, or over-booking our time? Or are we in balance?
- Are we prepared for the next season and unexpected expenses? Fall—heading into winter—is an expensive time….e.g. we know there will be oil bills as well as holiday fun and gifting. How will we “allot” our money and energy this winter?
Overconsumption can be transferred from one area of life to another. For example, a “dieter’ who is cutting back on calories may suddenly find herself/himself in a store spending lots of dollars she/he doesn’t have on expensive clothes and jewelry. “Adding to your waistline and depleting your wallet are not on most folks goal list“, but the habits persist anyway.
***Overconsumption really solves nothing and never gets us what we really want or need.***
WHY DO WE DO THESE THINGS???!!! A root cause of overconsumption stems back to feelings of lack and the “not having enough” mentality. Feelings of lack and “not having enough” are taught from one generation to the next. Other causes include feelings of general emptiness, boredom and anxiety. A major cause of overconsumption can be tied to not being in touch with one’s life purpose, with one’s inner spirit.
We often overdo and overspend in order to avoid exploring feelings of emptiness and to avoid contemplating who we really are, what we really are about. Somehow we think if we get or have more–we will be happier or more secure. Instant gratification may help in the moment but the satisfaction is fleeting and really doesn’t fulfill us.
Becoming in touch with true abundance and CHANGING our ways, often starts with feeling unhappy/unfulfilled with our current state; and eventually turning to internal motivations (often having a spiritual aspect) vs relying on cues from the external world.
***In the end—breaking free from overspending, overeating, overdoing, and overindulging is about finally trusting that something else exists beyond suffering, hatred, pain and sorrow—and that there is a light-switch for self-love, acceptance, Joy, trust and contentment in every single one of us.***
In Astrology, much of the month of October is in the sign of Libra, which is typically depicted with a set of scales in Balance.
What is BALANCE? The Merriam Webster Dictionary offers many definitions. One that is appropriate for this discussion is: “a bringing into harmony and proportion.” Another definition includes the concept of “a swaying or swinging motion”, e.g. BALANCE doesn’t imply a fixed permanent place. Rather, there is movement in it.
When we are balanced, we take stock of what we want to let go of, of what we want to add, what actions we may need to take to enhance our lives, where and how we may need “to re-group.”
***NOTE: What is BALANCE for one may be totally different for another.***
***NOTE: BALANCE is not “a stuck place.” It includes a constant tuning into what’s important in our lives, a constant re-calibrating and re-setting of the scales.***
We intuitively know when things are out of balance and when we need to re-group and re-calibrate. The challenge is to take action when those times present themselves. The Fall and Winter seasons bring such issues up for examination.
BALANCE makes us re-examine some of our favorite sayings and axioms. For example: is it true that: “You can never be too rich or too thin”? Maybe not! Or: “No pain, no gain.” Is this true?
An important part of our personal identity is a sense of Spirit or Soul. It these words don’t resonate, then one can use the words inner being, SOURCE, higher self, or higher power.
A sense of deep spiritual well being is not likely if we are not in touch with, and living our soul purpose.
When one is spiritually disconnected, OVERCONSUMPTION is a frequent reaction, in an attempt to fill the spiritual emptiness. There is a sense of spiritual loss associated with OVERCONSUMPTION.
NOTE: Excess of any behavior can be associated with spiritual lack or spiritual emptiness, as well as with spiritual clutter. (Even excessive attention to spiritual pursuits can become out of balance.)
Autumn (and winter) are ideal times to contemplate one’s self, as well as how one can contribute to the greater community. For example, Lynn McTaggart, in THE BOND, describes human beings’ need to be connected with others, and all created life, in order to thrive.
Spirit involves the matters of the Heart, and the values of Love and Compassion. According to Mother Theresa: “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
Fall is a good time to “tune up” our immune systems so that we are more prepared for winter and spending more time indoors, (where we are more bombarded by germs and infections.) As soon as the house closes up and we spend less time in Nature, more illnesses present themselves. Children are notorious for bringing fresh “bugs” home from school.
Immune health is directly related to the above topics of ABUNDANCE, BALANCE, and SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING. When we feel that life is abundant and our “energy reserves” are full, when we are living in balance/harmony, and when our spirits are happy: our immune systems are more likely to be strong. We are more able to “fight off” circulating infections. Example: One who is connected to one’s spirit, to true abundance and who seeks balance and harmony…may well “fight off a cold”—-whereas another person—standing right next to “the connected person” (amist the same germs) will not get the cold.
HOW TO IMPROVE IMMUNE FUNCTION:
1. Consider a FLU SHOT. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that people get their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as the vaccine is available in the community. Get the shot before December to ensure that protection begins before flu activity is at its highest peak. (You can also get a flu shot at other times, or for other types of flu’s that might appear). http://www.cdc.gov/flu/
2. Eat well. Choose lots of vegetables, lots of garlic, home-made soups and stews.
3. Avoid excess red meats, sugar, processed starches, highly processed foods, excess alcohol.
4. Drink plenty of water: 6-8 glasses per day, as well as herbal teas.
5. Take nutritional supplements if recommended. e.g., anti-inflammatory fish oil as well as Vitamin D if your Vitamin D level is low in winter. Take probiotics if your gut is out of balance. Vitamin C: e.g. 500 mg–may be helpful at the first sign of a cold. If loose stools result from Vitamin C, take a lower dosage. (Vitamin C as well as the herb Echinacea are controversial re: how effective they actually are with colds.)
6. Say NO to overconsumption.
7. Get enough rest, typically 7-8 hours per day.
8. Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer if proper washing facilities unavailable.
9. Stay physically active. If weather is challenging, use indoor equipment, or walk at the Mall. Take a yoga class. Use exercise tapes at home!
10. Pay attention to your breathing. Remember to take deep breaths in order to oxygenate your cells. (Shallow breathing doesn’t accomplish this.)
11. Find a buddy that says “Tah Dah!” when you say “No’ and one who encourages you to do what’s best for your health and well-being.
12. Follow the advice in the ABUNDANCE, BALANCE, and SPIRITUAL headings below.
13. Treat yourself in ways that truly fulfill your soul and support your life purpose.
14. Watch inspiring DVDs and TV shows (Nature channels, inspiring stories, good comedies) rather than violent shows. Watch less TV in general. Instead, read a good book.
15. Stay connected to friends, family, social groups, community. Community = immunity.
16. Stay in a state of gratitude, even when it’s challenging to do so.
17. Connect daily with an optimist that encourages laughter or brings out a smile in you.
KEY REMINDERS from today’s BLOG
HOW TO FIND TRUE ABUNDANCE:
- Tune into what you REALLY want emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually.
- Tune into your LIFE PURPOSE and your gifts.
- Contemplate how you can “give back” in ways that will fulfill both yourself and others.
- Give “stuff” (clothes, books, furniture, jewelry, treasures from your cellar and attic) away that you no longer need. Give it to those who will benefit.
- Find something, or someone, to be thankful for each day.
Well known motivational and spiritual teachers reflect on what true abundance really means. Spiritual Life Coach Cheryl Richardson associates abundance with FULFILLMENT. Other inspirational quotes are as follows:
- “Abundance is not something we acquire. (Rather), it is something we tune into.”—Wayne Dyer
- “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”—Wayne Dyer
- “LIFE is a field of INFINITE possibilities.”—-Deepak Chopra
- “Prosperity is not just having things. It is a way of living and thinking and not just having money or things.” (and not just lack of money or things.)—Eric Butterworth
- “There isn’t anything that anybody wants that is for any other reason than they think they would feel better in having it.”—-ABRAHAM-Hicks
- “Abundance is merely a reflection of what you allow yourself.”—Marianne Williamson
- “Abundance is not a number or an acquisition. It is the simple recognition of enoughness.”—Alan Cohen
- “Abundance is about being rich–with or without money.”—Suze Orman
NOTE: The state of ABUNDANCE is associated with being in a state of GRATITUDE, practicing thankfulness.
QUESTION: Which of these quotes resonates within you, or helps you connect with your true abundance?
HOW to STAY IN BALANCE:
- Learn to say “NO” to yourself (and/or others) when overspending or overdoing presents itself. Give yourself credit for saying such an important word.
- De-stress and relax on a daily basis. Even 10-15 minutes of conscious breathing and/or choosing “to do nothing” can help.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Get out in Nature, even on a chilly day. Nature is always attempting to stay in balance.
- Take time to clear out mental fog and old emotional tapes. The Sedona Method is a good experiential teaching for RELEASING and LETTING GO.
HOW to STAY SPIRITUALLY CONNECTED:
- Find time to nurture your soul, your spirit. And eat healthy food, too!
- Ask: What FEEDs my soul? (e.g., could be Nature, Music, working with plants, art-work, Yoga, Tai Chi, “alone time,” playing with animals). Then practice one or more of these regularly.
- Meditate, pray, relax in whatever form is comfortable for you. Declutter the mind so you can hear the voice of spirit.
- Be part of a prayer group, or attend the church, temple or mosque of your choice.
- Contemplate upon the state and energy of GRATITUDE.
We end this BLOG by paraphrasing Steve Jobs’ words from his June 2005 speech at Stanford University. Steve recently passed away October 5, 2011. He was a bright light who followed his heart, and who lived in love and abundance. In essence, his message was:
Have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They already know what you truly want and what you want to become. You’ve got to find what you love in order to live a fulfilling life and to do great work. Keep looking until you find what you love. All else is secondary.
Happy Fall!!! We wish you True Abundance and Optimum Health,
The Wellness Shifter Ladies!!
Deb and Wendy
- (Book) The Bond by Lynn McTaggart. Also check out her earlier book The Field.
- For help in “letting go” of old emotional and behavioral patterns, check out The Sedona Method at www.sedona.com
- For Steve Jobs’ complete Stanford University speech of June 2005, go to: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html
- (Book) The Secret Language of Money by David Krueger
- (Article): “Supersize Chi: The Spiritual Cost of Overconsumption”, go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelley-harrell/supersize-chi-the-spiritu_1_b_954683.html