The Power of Music – Sister Act Edition

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It has been 25 years since the movie “Sister Act” came out.  Yes.  That long ago.  I had no idea until I happened to watch “The View” today.  I usually don’t watch television, but was really happy I caught the show.  Listening to the choir reunion made me smile, and brought me back to how I felt originally when I first saw the movie as a kid.  I had a flood of memories in an instant – at that age I was originally a happy child but was having difficulties at school, had just moved, and my family was experiencing a tremendous loss.  Now that I think of it, it was a difficult time.  This movie, still one of my favourites, uplifted me through its music and message.  I identified with this movie – I felt alone in my new environment and wasn’t sure how to fit in.  Music and singing helped me process this difficult time, as it still does.

Music is a universal language.  Regardless of your age, gender, orientation, race, etc. we all have a love for music.  Some read music, some compose it, some sing from their heart, some beat together pots and pans, some create music electronically – it’s all music.  No matter the medium or the delivery, it’s all music.  That’s what makes it beautiful and cathartic.  Music is a way for us to express in a safe way.  When most people feel apprehensive about expressing their feelings, but they will happily join in a group singing a well known song (I call it the “bar effect” – put on any well known song in a bar and people will belt it out without qualms about their pitch and sound).  And after you sing you feel relief.  You feel a sense of belonging with the group you are singing with.  You feel a rush of adrenalin followed by elation and improved mood.  It is therapeutic.  Hence, music is wonderful therapeutic tool for people to use.

Music heals.  Many musicians use music as their healing tool.  Listen to their songs, their lyrics, their tone.  It’s them pouring their heart out, expressing their feelings in rhythm and key for all to know.  And when they, or their music, is received positively then they feel like they belong, that they are heard, and they start to heal.  Musicians sometimes are the most broken and vulnerable, which makes their music beautiful and relatable.  Some heal through song, some spiral further into darkness.  Hopeful those whom need more treatment will recognize it, receive it, and convey their journey through song.

Music brings us together, it evokes a sense of belonging, a feeling of community.  That’s what community is – communication between others creating a sense of connection.  Through music we express our emotions, we communicate and connect.  The next time you feel your mood is lowered, or you feel like you don’t belong, use music.  Dance around the house to your favourite song, shout out and sing, play or make an instrument, or remember the feeling you felt when you sang/danced to music as a child.  Music elicits your amygdala and engages your emotional memory – with the hum of a bar you can instantly get a jolt of happy mood elevating endorphins, similar to what you experienced when you first heard the song (the opposite is true too, if you hear a song that you used to help your through a tough time you can relive that memory too).  We can learn music and learn through music.  We feel music in everyway – physically (rhythm and base), emotionally (tune and pitch), and mentally (lyrics and hidden meaning behind songs).  Hence, music can be used to help heal one or all of these aspects that make up our whole self.  It helps change our resonance, soothe “dis-ease”, and evoke healing.  It is gentle, yet powerful, therapy.  Think of how easily a tune can stick in your head and change your mood for an entirely – the power of notes and words.  I think I’m going to start singing my affirmations…. give them that much more healing power.

“I will follow…. will follow… will follow”………………………………………………

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The Art of Scheduling – An Organized Mind leads to An Organized Life  

Scheduling is a way to evoke order and calm in your everyday life.  It gives balance and structure, which we need to operate fully physically and mental-emotionally.  Even in infancy schedules are imprutnent to life.  Babies feel best when they have a general routine or order (sleep, food, play, repeat).  Adults and kids are no different.  Kids may appear to favor chaos (especially when they are running circles around you), but actually thrive with scheduling as it gives them a feeling of order, safety, and comfort in knowing what is going to happen.  The ability to accomplish a goal, no matter how small, causes an intrinsic boost to our mood and enhances our self esteem.  Hence, it’s important to teach children how to create, implement, and continue a schedule, as it will help improve their mind/body and develop crucial adult skills of organization and independence.  We organize our routine, we organize our mind, and things seem, and become, more attainable.  So let’s talk about the importance of schedulers and planners for kids (and adults)……

1. Make it colorful

Pick out a planner in your favorite colour/theme in order for it to stand out.  Use coloured pens, highlighter, glitter pens, as a motivational and organizing tool.  Purple can be social, red academic, green sports, gold important events, etc.  Add in extra pages  for notes, affirmations, colouring sheets, and more to make it a journal and planner. 

2. Make it creative 

Use your scheduler for school but also social events, celebrations, events, play dates, job interview, everything!  Put in word searches, sudoku, games, crosswords, etc. to stimulate your kid’s mind to put them in  a more cognitive and focused state.  Create scavenger events, craft activities, art ideas, simple goals and challenges (like find a tree you like, or new book you have read).   You can play hide and find – hide stickers or notes in their planner and once they get to that day they get a prize or special event.  This helps them continue their planning past the first week (or when the excitement about their new planner wears off).  Lastly you can write in affirmations or put them on sticky notes as boosts of encouragement. 

3. Make it fun (educational)

Schedule 1 month and see how you can improve for the next (try for a balance of all different types of events – see if one colour prevails in your journal and that could signal that you focus too much on that aspect).  Set goals – make them clear and quantify them.  Instead of “do better” – listen 10 minutes more to the teacher and make notes.  Did you achieve your goal? Why or why not?  Problem solve how you can achieve your goal in the future – and write it in your planner!  If they are older kids (teens) maybe provide extrinsic motivation such as coffee cards or clothes for accomplishing goals. For younger kids, use a sticker tracker system and for every 5/10 award a special day with mom/dad.

4.  Make it your own.

If you don’t want to purchase a planner you can run off planner sheets online or from word documents and bind it into a planner.   You can design it anyway you like in any color or theme. You can even use black pages with gels pens or use natural paper.  Online schedulers exist too, but don’t provide the same satisfaction as a physical planner.

I understand how many don’t want to use a paper product because of the waste of disposing it at the end of the year.  Now I kept, and still have, all my past planners.  I find that they give me great glimpse into my past years and projects.  If you don’t want to keep them you can recycle or repurpose them.  You can keep the cover and craft the pages in to modpodge projects or vision board materials.   Cut out the goals and post them into a gratitude goal collage.  Burn them if you want to cleanse the year, or shread them and use it as stuffing material.  The possibilities are endless… The only limits are your creativity.

Have a wonderful year back to school and happy planning everyone! 

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Kids and Colours – Using Colour as a Therapeutic Tool Back to School

One of my favourite things in this world is colour.  All colours, in different vibrancies, hues, shapes and shimmer.  As a kid I would marvel at all the different back to school products.  Excited by my purchases of bright geometric shaped planners, glitter pens, scratch and sniff markers, etc.  Even now I’m joyful over getting a deal on vibrant hued sharpies.  Unbeknownst to me, colour is a power therapeutic tool and be used to enhance our mood and cognitive function.

I’m not sure when my fascination with colour began, but I’m sure it started young.  Bright colours and sharp contrast of complimentary colours are used predominately in children’s programs, learning materials, and even clothing! My nephew, whom is a youtube savant at seventeen months, is captivated by any video teaching colours  (personally I just find those videos odd as many involve dolls bathing in candy…. but kids love them).  Along with being therapeutic they are a great learning tool to use for kids of all ages.

So what is colour?  Technically we view colour as a reflection of light off of an object.  We detect and compute it optically via 3 receptors in our eyes (for blue, red and green).  After it is sensed and perceived, it can create a cognitive connection or neurotransmitter release.  If you like a colour, seeing that colour can cause a release of oxytocin and serotonin which helps improve and elevate mood.  Colour is a refracted spectrum of light, hence it’s a form of energy.  Since we are composed of (electromagnetic) energy that’s why colour can be used effectively as a therapeutic tool (used to elevate our energy when low, or discharge our energy when heightened).   There is also a relationship to the chakra system and colour, where if we are deficient in one chakra area then we have a preference for, or treat with that corresponding colour.

Back to school seasons provides us with an optimal time to use colour therapy with our kids.  They can be incorporated in school supplies, clothing, foods, gems/jewellery, meditation techinques, etc.  Below is a list of each colour and how it can used:

Red:

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Is good for structure, routine, and organization.  If a child feels like they don’t belong or fit in, they can use red.  The energy of the colour helps evoke stability and security, and helps with circulation, fatigue, inflammation and anxiety.  It’s a good colour to help focus dreamers in class, and teens that need security and courage

Orange:

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Is the colour of Joy! Thinking orange instantly gives a smile and sense of relief.   It’s a colour that helps stimulate appetite (an orange lunch bag is a good idea for kids that don’t eat much) and improves attitude towards life.  It can be used for allergies, difficulty with expressing emotions, constipation, difficult menstration, binge eating or no eating, lack of self worth and body image.  A good colour to use in small amounts with teens going through body image and self acceptance issues (since it’s a bright colour use in small amounts as teens may be reluctant in bringing attention to themselves).

Yellow/Gold:

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The brightest colour as it contains the most light.  Related to personal power, confidence, and your relationship with yourself.  Help with digestion (as bile is yellow and helps process/breakdown food),  and self esteem/confidence issues.  Use to help your child shine, or see their shine.  Use gold pen or gold cue cards for positive affirmations in their lunch, or give a piece of gold jewellery that can be their “token of esteem and confidence”.

Green/Pink:

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The colour of neutrality, harmony, and balance.  Is great for overall health and wellness.  Can be used to calm an overstimulated or high strung child.  Also great for emotional balance and can be used for teens writing exams or projects/tests.  Great for diffusing drama and tension.  Best to incorporate with foods – eat clean, lean and green!

Turquiose:

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The colour of calm (think ocean), communication and creativity.  Good to use when children have difficulties speaking or expressing (or standing up for themselves).  Is great for deflecting gossip and truth provoking.  Use to boost creativity when braining storming ideas for projections/assignments.  Also has an affinity for the thyroid and ears/nose/mouth/gums – so can use for sore throats and communication/emotional issues.

Indigo (Dark blue):

Is the colour related to intellect, clarity, and healthy boundaries.  Great for concentration of weak/tired mind (make the binder of your most difficult subject indigo), helps you look at the big picture (not focus on little details like agonising over grades).  Is great for wisdom, imagination, intuition, calming the mind.  You may want to avoid in low mood (depression) since it can evoke coolness and detachment.

Violet:

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Is the “mystical” colour related with purification and spirituality.  Purple has a gentleness about it, hence why it’s useful for headaches, nervous pain, neck pain (student shoulder syndrome) and sleep issues.  Great as a pencil colour to stare at or roll across the forehead to help with headaches.  Also good for seizures and aggression, or the other end of the spectrum with shyness and social anxiety.  If your child is highly sensitive to their environment or conflict, magenta is a better colour to use.

Use colour in every way – back to school supplies, clothes, notebooks, foods, jewellery, lunch bags, pens/pencils, whatever you can think of.  The more colour, the better!   Have a wonderful colourful return back to school!

 

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The Age of Aquarius – The New Normal

As a child the word I was called most was “weird”.  Honestly I prefer quirky, but I always took weird as a complement.  Weird to me meant not normal, different, having a unique and creative personality.  Yes, I do realize that if everyone was different than different would be the new normal.   But I still respect different.  To be different means to be individual, true enough to yourself  to allow your inner beauty to radiate.  And apparently that’s my inner Aquarius talking……

What is normal?  Normal is synonymous with ordinary, uniform, same, order, average.  If we stray from “normal” personality wise, we may either be chastised or commended – depends on the person, or persons, evaluating us.  When we defer from “normal” physically we usually see a physician (like the word play there?).  We think something is wrong with us, and we immediately need to be fixed or cured.  Medically speaking, the most important aspect is whether we stray from “our normal”.  We have our own internal barometer (or intuition) that alerts our awareness when we are unbalanced or “feeling off”.   It’s not whether we are normal compared to other’s, it’s whether we are normal compared to ourselves.   It’s all about relativity.

Relativity is the important factor in health.  That’s why it’s important to look at our records and reports over time to see what has changed.  Of course there are definite absolute health normals such as blood pressure, pulse, belly breathing, bowel movements 3x day, etc., but it’s the gradient change from our normal that needs to be acknowledge.  If we change, or shift, too far from our normal then our bodies or mind will send us signals to reclaim our balance and shift back to homeostasis.  The most common symptom we experience is apathy or mood changes when we aren’t in line with “our normal”, or not fulfilling our true purpose.  Once we follow our inner guide (ie our normal, which may not be the societal norm), we resonate with our true self, attract opportunity and positivity towards us, and we experience inner peace and happiness.   The most difficult factor is to understand what our normal is, and have the confidence to live it.

This lunar eclipse (and upcoming solar eclipse) astral fortnight is giving us the gift of foresight and release of themes/trend that no longer serve us.  Our normal, our purpose, our gifts are illuminated and it’s up to us to follow through in celebrating them.  Whether you believe in Astrology or not, the themes represented by the different lunar periods can provide insight into your own life and healing.  This Aquaruis moon is all about shinning a light on your purpose in order for you to be in-line with it…. or enlightened.  If you find yourself discovering your difference, cultivate it.  Understand it.  Live it.  Embrace it.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Calm after the Storm

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It was an interesting, and intense, weekend with the turmoil cosmic energy of the “Thunder moon” and corresponding stormy environment.  I recall a conversation with a friend I had that struck me.  She had been feeling anxious at night and went outside hoping for a storm or rain as that would calm her mood.  That’s an interesting concept – the calming power of chaotic (or “uncalm”) weather.  Think of what it’s like before a storm – high winds, rain, hail, thunder, lightning – analogous to mother nature having  a temper tantrum (even the word “temper” means to create a force in opposition to the current force to create a balanced or desirable effect).  After the storm there is a sense of calm.  The sun peaks out, the flowers and trees glisten, it smells amazing, and we relish and restore in the calamity of the after storm.  Does it appear calm because we are comparing the current weather to that previously and by comparison it feels calm?  Or is it more metaphysical in that the storm is symbolic to a release of emotions (as the shed of water is analogous to a shed of emotion) or a break in even temperament (ie  break in the weather)?

This weekend I felt like I had a bit of a break down.  The English language is so fascinating in that words and phrases can have physical or emotional meanings.  To “break down” could mean to physically break into smaller building blocks, or, emotionally to have a break in your typical personality and allow for expression of emotion in contrast to your typical (or expected) demeanor.  The peculiar thing was that after this break down (or release of emotions), I felt much calmer.  Also, I had learned an incredibly valuable lesson which has helped me heal and grow as a person.

Back to the phrase “break down”.  Biologically it makes sense – things need to break down in order to renew.  When we exercise, our muscular tissue breaks down in order to remodel for greater muscle mass and definition.  Cells, the smallest living units, will naturally break down, or split, when they get too large or run out of nutrients.  The cellular material is then recycled to create new cells and allow for biological growth.  Organisms will break down after death into its simplest organic forms to create soil and nutrients in order to feed other organisms.  Even tree and flowers must be pruned (or cut) to facilitate growth.  If we were to have nothing but growth and no rest than we would completely exhaust and expire as we would run out of energy to sustain the growth.  Hence, we need calm in order to grow.  And we need turmoil (or emotion/expression) to have calm.

I was contemplating the concept of calm as a “temperament” reaction to a harsh (or lavenderchaotic) environment whilst visiting the lavender fields in Niagara yesterday for a well deserved day-cation.  Lavender is a stunning plant with numerous culinary and medicinal uses.  Most fascinating is how Lavender grows – in a rocky climate with little hydration and full sun.  Considering the environment it can survive in, it’s quite a resilient plant! Medicinally, Lavender is a nervine and anti-spasmodic (helping with anxiety, sleep, headaches etc.).  In general terms it’s a calming herb.  Possibly it created it’s calming properties in order to adapt to it’s harsh environment, or it’s calming properties selected for that type of environment.  Herbs are incredibly intelligent – they create medicinal properties in response (and opposition) to environmental stressors.  Just like us – in response to stressors we develop skills and characteristics in order to deal with said stressors.

We become resilient, not silent.

We become calm, not numb.

It is in the presence, not absence, of stress that we express and embrace true calm.

 

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Coming out of the energetic closet

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As a child I was an introvert.  I was incredibly quiet and purposely muted my personality in hopes to avoid attention and judgement.  Containing my personality made me quite unhappy, and eventually I got so good at encasing myself that I became numb and almost forgot who my true self was – optimistic, creative, imaginative and energetic.

When we don’t feel comfortable, whether it’s no confidence in our self or fear of being judged, we hide our true selves as a form of survival and protection.   Eventually our protective shell becomes thicker and stronger and we begin to constantly retreat into it at the sign of any stress (like a crab retreating into it’s shell).  It becomes an armour, an impermeable membrane. We can survive in that state, but we don’t really live.  We just exist.  When we create such a protective layer not only do we keep our true self from shinning out, we prevent things from coming in – such as beauty, love, fun, joy, opportunities, ideas, etc. (along with the negative too as such is life).  A protective shell also keeps from connecting to people, along with ourselves.  It’s like a preverbal closet – we hide, we shut the door and shut out ourselves and others for sake of fear.

Now don’t get me wrong, some days I wish I had my “filter” back, just because it would be easier in helping deflect negativity and stress.  I wouldn’t cry at commercials anymore, or lose sleep over news, or fall hard in love and be prone to heart break.  But that’s not how it works.  With every layer of protection you peel off, the closer you get to your true radiant self.  Also the more vulnerable you become.  It’s learning how to own your vulnerability, your sensitivity, and see it for the gift that it is.  Rather than avoid emotion, allow yourself to experience it and let it pass.  Rather than hide your personality, let it shine and grow.  Be who makes you happy, what makes you whole.  When your true personality shines it then attract people to you that are like you and become part of your tribe (the law of attraction), and you grow and evolve together (synergistically).

One of the best parts of going to Naturopathic Medical school (besides the knowledge I gained and the ability to do a job which completely aligns with my values and intellect), was finding a tribe in which I could truly be myself with.  You can be intelligent and quirky, you can be creative and calm, you can be scientific with faith in the universe and possibilities.  By being supported and understood, I was able to become the balanced and content practitioner that I am.  By peeling back the filters we reveal our true self and can evoke our true health.  That’s when the real healing begins.  And I am honoured to be engaged in a vocation that helps people let their true self shine and heal.

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The Need to Create – The Human Condition

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Today is Mother’s Day.  To me, being a Mother is one of the most important and difficult jobs in our society.  It comes so naturally that sometimes it is taking for granted.  It is a magical and beauty thing to be a Mother, where those whom aren’t Mothers yet may feel incomplete in not having children and fulfilling their “God giving role”.   I grew up Catholic and was taught that the primary role of Women was to procreate (Archaic yes, but this was what was ingrained in my brain subconsciously).  Hence the inadvertent fear of time I have now as I am childless and feel incomplete (and surprisingly it took me a couple of years to realize that this was the unconscious trigger affecting my happiness in life).  As a caretaker, it’s natural to want to help and take care of others (sometimes to your own detriment) as it’s part of the Mother archetype.  When we don’t have children to take care of, we supplement that void with taking care of our parents, patients, family, friends like our surrogate children.  By doing this we artificially fill the childless void, yet that becomes a metaphysical block in manifesting children for ourselves, or caring for ourselves.

So then how do we healthily address this subconscious thought of feeling incomplete (which can be felt by Mothers, want-to-be Mothers, and never-were Mothers)?  The key is creation.  Creation doesn’t have to mean the biblical sense of procreation.  It is the act of creating something tangible that reflects you mind/personality/talent/self.  This can be thought (journaling or conversation), physical movement (dance or exercise), visual art, or any kind of crafting project.  As humans we need to create.  It’s giving birth to an idea/thought/project and following through with it.  We create to express a part of ourselves.

Early this week I coined the term “creatively frustrated” in one of my conversations.  This statement completes explains my mood for the past months.  As a person whom loves art and hasn’t acted in it for a while, you feel stuck.  Like you’ve lost a part of yourself.  And the best way to gain that part back is to be creative.  If you feel stuck in life you need movement (similar to Asian Medicine where stuck energy creates qi stagnation which leads to anger, frustration, digestive issues, menstrual issues, and low energy).  If your creative energy is stuck you feel detached from yourself and humanity, and as a women you energetically disconnect from your identity as a women because you aren’t creating (a contributing factor to women’s health issues).  Creation creates movement – which improves the flow of energy in the aspects of your mind and body’s health.  When you evoke and activate this creative energy then other things in your life start to move and those blocks you use to have start to disintegrate (the law of attraction – emanate creation and attract opportunities and growth in your life).

This Mother’s Day celebrate and give gratitude to the beautiful things, and people, in your life.  If you are feeling stuck, incomplete, or undervalued than evoke your natural creative energy to make something you love.  You are beautiful, you are strong.  You are created out of love hence you will create things out of love in beautiful balance.  That is the human condition.

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It’s the “Trifactor” Week of Teachers – Naturopaths, Teachers, and Mothers

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This week is a very important week recognizing one of society’s most important, and  sometimes undervalued, role – teachers.  It is teachers appreciation week – a time when we acknowledge the role teachers play and the importance of education in ever evolving our minds and hearts.  To me, I look at the role of “teacher” more broadly.  I think it applies to anyone whom dedicates their life to educating and empowering others to help them grow as self-actualized people.  Hence, I include Doctors and Mothers in the same category.  Ironic as it may be, it’s also Naturopathic Medicine week (acknowledging the role Naturopaths can play) and Mother’s Day week.

Teachers in the general sense serve a incredibly important role in a child’s (or adult’s) life.  They provide structure and routine (similar to a mother, hence why the roles are misconstrued sometimes) and when passionate about their craft they inspire their students to learn and more importantly, want to learn (the intrinsic motivation lacking in many children lately).  They point out our mistakes in order to learn constructively, and they sacrifice their free time to help others (through tutoring, extracurricular activities, councils, etc.).  It is a highly empathetic job which needs to be respected as it is truly influencial in jump starting people’s lives for better (or worse).  Think back.  Who inspired you most as a child?  It was probably a passionate teacher that believed in your potential, which gave you the internal energy to aspire to that potential.

If it wasn’t a teacher that inspired you, it may have been your Mother.  Mothers are our original teachers.  Their job begins in the womb.  We learn how to survive from them (hence studies showing that mother’s with high stress levels lead to high stress babies that don’t understand how to diffuse stress healthily).  We learn our most important lessons from them and how to be a better person.  Even if our Mothers have been absent in our lives we still learn from them, from how not to act or the important lesson of forgiveness and empathy.  They begin as our caretakers, then our teachers, then in time our friends and role models.   We also learn our habits from them in regards to self respect, self care, and health.

In regards to self care and health care, Doctor is the next teacher.  In fact, “Doctor” means “Teacher” in Latin.  Somehow the role of Doctor has been misconstrued in our society and this invisible hierarchy has been created where people are afraid to see Doctors because they fear news about their health or are scared that they will be yelled at (a common complaint I hear at my office – “I’m afraid my Doctor will yell at me”).  It is not the role of Doctors to scold, discipline or parent.  It is their role to present reasons behind the symptoms you are experiencing and teaching you self sustaining ways to address and resolve these symptoms.  In case of a Naturopath, their role is to educate you on the interconnectivity of your physical, mental, and emotional health.  How the choices you make, the thoughts you have, the environment you live in, the food you eat, and lastly your genetic susceptibility (or biology) work together to create you.  Hence, you have the power to change your health for the better (or worse).  There is no fault – just responsibility.

The role of a teacher is to display the information to you, to teach you how to apply it, then allow you to make your own decision.  They don’t give you the answers – they teach you how to find the answers from within yourself.  They are guides, not directors.  They empower, not enable.  They influence your life and give you the space to make mistakes and learn from them.  We are always growing and learning.  The best way to learn is to teach, and vice versa.  Let us show gratitude to our teachers, and embrace the role the with love and respect ourselves when it comes to our students, our kids, and our patients.

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Mother Earth – The Original Medicine Woman

On Saturday I was organizing my herbal medicines (see jars below).  Herbs are one of my favourite modalities to use.  The power of herbal tea and herbal medicines is astonishing, and I see great results from using them.  My patient came in, looked fondly upon the herbs I had laid out, and said very simple to me, “This is the medicine that my family uses all the time.  Mother Earth makes the best medicine.  It’s so simple, but it’s natural and it works.”

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She put it so beautifully – Mother Earth makes the best medicine.  The best kind of medicines are foods and herbs (and many herbs are foods – such as licorice which is  a legume).  The amazing thing about herbs is that they tell you what they are good for by how they look/taste/smell and where they live.  For example – dandelion is yellow – bile is yellow – dandelion helps cleanse your liver.  Aloe lives in a dry climate and is good for dry skin and sunburn.  Generations upon generations lived amongst the land and by using the medicines they found in their backyard.  They didn’t over complicate things.  They tried different herbs at different potencies, and when something worked they shared the knowledge amongst the land (almost like the archaic beginnings of the scientific method and communication of medicines).   This elder knowledge became the basis for many pharmaceuticals – where the primary medicinal ingredient is cultivated from the plant and replicated in a concentrated form (such as aspirin, which is created from white willow).  If the plant in it’s whole entirety is effective, why not just use that?

The answer lies in the need for control.  To improve on nature, to have something compact and convenient.  For it to be man-made.  Hence, we improve nature and are in control.  This is a trend ever evolving in modern day medicine.  We abandon the simple medicines of nature, and the knowledge attached to it, and believe only in the power of man-made medicines.  The same trend extends to our believe of healing and disease.  We put trust completely in doctors to cure us and forget the healing power that exists within ourselves, giving our power completely to another which creates a unhealthy hierarchy which is detrimental to our own healing.  I have the upmost respect for Medical Doctors – they are incredibly skilled, knowledgeable, and noble in their oath to serve and help their patients.  However, it is not their job to “fix you”.  The ability to heal resides already in your cellular biology and genetic makeup – it just has to be activated.  In short, it’s not their job to fix you, it’s their job to guide and support you in healing (or “fixing”) yourself.   You are responsible for your health, and that healing power resides in yourself.  The role of Doctor is Teacher – to teach you how to activate your own healing power and the healing power of nature to accelerate your healing.  Doctors are guides, not mechanics.

As humans we are not a sum of our parts.  The same concept applies to our health.  We can’t look at our symptoms separately.  Everything is interconnected and communicates with each other, creating our whole being.   If we are to remove an organ we affect every organ that that organ communicates with.  The same applies to an herb/food.  If we augment it too much then our bodies don’t recognize it and it’s medicinal affect becomes lost (hence why fortifying our foods have contributed to an increase in food sensitivities, our bodies no longer recognize it as natural and create an immune response toward it like it’s a foreign invader).  Let’s recognize and respect the healing power of Nature, rather than trying to improve it.  Let’s recognize and respect the healing power of ourselves, and take responsibility for our health, rather than give that power away to others.  That is what it means to be truly empowered – embracing the power you have within yourself and eliciting it to produce positive change.

Mother Nature is so smart.  We just have to listen to her.

 

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The meaning of green – more than just a colour.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  A day that usually gives young people an excuse to “celebrate” excessively, proudly display Kelly green clothing and accessories, and telling strangers to kiss them because they are “Irish”.  I’ll admit, I am not privy to the direct meaning behind St. Patrick’s Day despite my ginger mane and quartered Irish ancestry.  However, it does make me ponder the meaning behind my favourite colour – green.

green

Being a Naturopath it is no surprise that I enjoy green – in fact it probably borders on cliché.  Naturopaths are well know for using “green medicine” or being cloaked in naturalistic methods.  The amazing thing about green is that it’s more than a colour – it’s a way of living.  It represents physicality – in food, nature, trees, grass, paint, earth, etc; but also represents a mentality – abundance, money, newness, freshness and purity.  Someone whom is “green” is beknownst as fresh, pure, new, bright eyed, optimistic and full of life.  Green can also represent wealth, abundance, and prosperity.  Green jade is a common stone used in Eastern Cultures to represent luck and prosperity (as is a certain clover in Ireland).  The energetic properties of the colour green represent harmony, balance, vitality, and wellness (so think wealth in life and wealth in health).  As a way of living, “go green” means to forage off of the land, abstain from inorganic dyes/soaps/products, use all-natural substances and fabrics, and adopt a minimalistic approach to a materialistic lifestyle.  Green is truly a living, breathing, thing with multitudes of meanings and beings.

Since green is a spectrum, by incorporating green in one aspect of your life it can affect the amount of green in other areas of your life (think Le Chatelier‘s Principle meets quantum physics).  Hence if you want to improve your abundance, perhaps enhance your green?

Here is a list of quick ways to bring a little bit more green into your life:

  1. Eat Green.  Okay this one is a given.  And no, green beer or M&Ms do not count! Dark leafy greens are the perfect way to improve digestion and nutrition.  If you don’t like greens, use fresh herbs or your food (think of it like “green sprinkles” for foods).
  2. Have something living green in your space.  I enjoy having plants/flowers in my office because they “freshen up the place”.  You can do a small herb garden, a recycled green garden, or even plant some seeds and watch them grow!
  3. Wear green.  Simple enough. (By wearing green you absorb the energetic properties of the green wavelength which carries the energetics of the green colour).
  4. Think green.  Simplify your materials.  Detox your closet, fridge, junk draw, relationships, etc.  Incorporate natural soaps, elixirs, dyes, fabrics, etc. in your everyday.
  5. Have a green luck charm (ie good luck charm).  Either a stone, a window hanger, a scarf, a phone cover, whatever!  By putting the thought energy into an object that it is lucky, you automatically attract more “luck” or opportunity into your life (the law of attraction).
  6. Be gracious.  Be grateful for the things that you have.  The abundance of things, or gifts, you already possess.  You can use a gratitude journal or greatful jar to achieve this (yes, it can be green).
  7. Spread the green.  If you are blessed, share it.  Spend time with others, spend time with yourself.  If there is something that you want to do than do it.  Even if you may not think you have the finances for it.  If it is aligned with your true purpose (ie not a frivolous expense) the means will work out.

Embrace green! The colour, the food, the meaning, the living.

Bring balance back into your life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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