Category Archives: Mind
Have you ever said “I don’t have time?”
Have you ever been stressed out because you’ve felt like “You didn’t have enough time in the day to get everything done”?
I’m sure you have at some point or another, in fact, I’ll even admit that I have more times that I would like to admit, but it is a train of thought that our ego-driven minds like to lead us to as humans.
I came across a quote a while back that basically made the point of: Did famous and successful people have more time than you? Of course not, so you should never say that you don’t have enough time — everyone has been given the exact same tools, we just have to utilize them most efficiently for ourselves.
Now, from a psychological standpoint I find this cycle that we often place ourselves in to be rather interesting. We say to ourselves or those around us “I don’t have enough time” yet the paradox is that the thought itself is what causes a greater separation from the present moment. Well silly, of course you don’t think that you have enough time… because you’re wasting all of your precious time by worrying and thinking that you don’t have time! (I have stopped and told myself this on a few cases, upon a quick realization).
The truth is that we are supposed to live for the moment. We are supposed to take things in, experience it, and move on to the next thing. We are not supposed to attach ourselves to people or things. We are not supposed to dwell on emotional disappointments and hurts. We are only supposed to experience them in the moment, accept them, and move on to the next experience with optimism.
Perhaps some of you may be able to remember back what life was like as a young child. At a young age, when we still looked to the world with curiosity and endless possibilities, we spent our days playing with toys after toys. It was exciting to dig a hole outside. We loved riding in a wagon to the grocery store. And if we ever fell down, we cried and let it all out and then moved on to the next thing. We never started crying 2 days later about the bruise on our knee — heck, that was in the past! So why does it matter, right? It was at those ages when the days felt long, we were content, and felt rather fulfilled, despite we didn’t actually do all that much activity (as far as “work” goes).
Perhaps this is one of the concepts that was missed in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is this: That those with the most success in life and positive impact for humanity are those that, not only know how to manage time effectively, but live in the cycle of: take in the moment, experience it, and move on to the next thing. It’s a matter of living with an eye of continuous curiosity and adventure and to not focus on any one thing for too long.
Yes, that may sound a bit ADD or ADHD, but aside from popular belief it is actually a positive way of living. I can say from experience that you feel much more alive and overall fulfilled. And, as a result, you become even more intuitively in-tune because you are living so much in every single moment.
Now, I’ll admit, it’s been easier for me to become re-attached to this way of being when I’m really doing things I enjoy (like exploring a different country and culture while I’m on vacation), but nevertheless it is still possible to be achieved in day to day life.
I know this is certainly much more easier said than done at times, especially once you are already on the self-defeating cycle, but if you take a day of “I just want to adventure and enjoy X, Y, and Z and I want to be so busy and occupied with it that I have no time to think” it can have a very positive effect on you.
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I have recently decided to do a short video at the beginning of every month for “Tarot of the Month”. For August 2012, the card I received was the Moon. Check out my video below for a deeper understanding of the moon and some tips on how to cope with the challenges this card represents.
I hope that was beneficial to you! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions then feel free to comment below!
Most everyone has dealt with an upset stomach at some point in their lives. Much of the human population today suffers from frequent heartburn, diarrhea, bloating, or constipation. More and more people every day are being diagnosed with gluten intolerance or other Irritable Bowel Diseases (IBD). Even more are being diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is particularly more dominant in young females.
Along with so many of my fellow friends and peers around my age, I myself am also have IBS symptoms and have been struggling to find balance with it for several years. For this post, I would like to go through some of my experiences of what I have found works and what doesn’t work.
In Western Medicine, most digestive issues are treated with either synthetic medications or dietary changes. A good portion of the US population is spending large portions of money each year in hopes to “cure” their chronic digestive issues. With the recent discoveries of traces of IBD and IBS, this has influenced Western Medicine to invent detox diets, promote diets with high fiber, and promote overall healthy eating.
From my personal experience, I can say that with my IBS I had no options with medications nor was I really in favor of allowing myself to become dependent on them because I realized early on that it simply doesn’t work in the long term. Rather than cure the issue, it only fixes the issue for that moment. And even then, the any medication I’ve used would make the issue worse over time.
As a result, I jumped on to a big health kick. Many of my old roommates can certainly confirm my strong motivation on eating healthy. I have often been the one ordering a anything vegetarian — and not for the reason that I’m vegetarian, but because I knew it would be better for my stomach than large portions of meat, dairy, and starches.
I’ve also often purchased herbal cleansing kits and followed the diets of all-natural foods along with it. Though following this type of diet and still allowing myself to go out and be social was difficult, I did notice a difference in digestion and felt better overall after a 7 or 14 day cleanse.
Since that time I have now moved to Korea, which certainly has different food available from Western cultures. Whole grain foods are difficult to find and very expensive, food is often spicy, and vegetables are often in the forms of roots rather than the vegetables we are used to in the US. And needless to say, despite my attempts to find a way to balance it in this environment, I wasn’t quite doing as well as I hoped. The probiotics of kimchi and vegetables in bibimbop just wasn’t quite working for me, and I kept feeling that the spice was triggering heartburn.
As a result, I found myself a Chinese Medicine doctor to receive acupuncture and herbs. After about 6 treatments, I found myself perfectly normal again. Like, I forgot what “normal” actually felt like until I had these treatments. For a few weeks I took 20 small pills of chinese herbs after every meal and had needles put in my stomach under a heat lamp.
And you know the best part? I could eat anything. Yes and I mean ANYTHING! I could go to Baskin Robbins and eat ice cream every day without a fear of eating too much dairy. I could eat spicy and had no heartburn. I experienced no bloating or abdominal cramps. And I must say — it was amazing!
In Chinese medicine, the cause for IBS is a Qi Spleen Deficiency (and other digestive issues can as well). If you have a deficiency in Qi you can actually tell by looking at your tongue. If there are teeth indentations then it means that you are lacking Qi energy. What causes it? Often stress and emotions. Which, of course, leads to my next issue…
… it didn’t last. I wish I could say that all was well and Chinese Medicine worked jubilantly and I never had to get a treatment again, but no.
Why didn’t it work? Based on my experience and self observation I can only think of one reason: Ego is too often present. Meaning, the reason that it didn’t work is because there is still more thinking than living in the moment. I can say that in all of my personal experience that the only time that I had a perfectly balanced system without watching diet or using herbs was when I was so busy that I had no time to think. I was constantly running around teaching, organizing, directing, and preparing. I was spread thin every single day with time to do things yet. Why did it work? Because with the work I was doing I was constantly overcoming fears and acting out of my intuition rather than my mind. Any past hurts or fears didn’t exist in those moments because I had no time to even have them cross my mind. All I could talk and think about was what I had to do later than day and tomorrow and developing new ideas.
So what are my 2 suggestions to help settle your gut?
1. Try acupuncture. It truly does help you to release and balance your emotions. The trick is that is that you also need to keep suggestion number 2 in mind.
2. Live in the moment. Quite the mind and allow yourself to be fully engaged through spirit in each and every moment.
Of course, the second suggestion can be the ultimate struggle for many. This is why I am providing this recommended reading:
“Perfect Digestion” by Deepak Chopra, MD (a Indian medicine approach to IBS)
“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle (its like therapy to read it by influencing you to quiet the mind)
This past weekend I went to the movie theater to see “The Dark Knight Rises”. Along with this I, along with many other Americans, have heard the news about the shooting that took place in Aurora, Colorado following one of the late opening shows for this movie (or at least I think it was one of the opening shows — someone in America who has followed the news more closely is very welcome to correct me). Naturally, the comments from the public I see are all relatively similar with making comments of “How could somebody do something like that” and other comments of basically condoning the shooter and considering him “evil”. After watching this movie based around this imaginative idea of a “superhero” and then seeing this circumstance unfold it provoked a realizations on the concept of “hero” versus “evil”.
I’m sure that everyone can relate to having dreams of being chased by some scary figure — either in childhood and, in some cases, still in adulthood. We’ve all had this scary figuring chasing us up and hill and through a scary building and fearful of ever actually confronting this person and trying to test if something bad will actually happen. Some people that have done studies on dreams do actually encourage the dreamer to confront their chaser because often the underlying purpose for dreams like this is a fear of being attacked. Though, like in all disturbing dreams, the reality is that you are laying peacefully in your bed and there is nobody attacking you. The only thing that is trying to “attack” you is an aspect of your own self. It is something that exists within you and you react to it with fear.
Perhaps this “scary figure” could be symbolized as a person’s “shadow” as Carl Jung calls it (and I strong encourage readers to read “The Shadow Effect” by Debbie Ford and Deepak Chopra for greater understanding than my vague explanation). The shadow is basically the part within each of ourselves that we have repressed and considered “bad” based on the beliefs that society and our culture has taught us. For example, you may have a politician who is an advocate of banning prostitution, yet one day he gets caught for sleeping with prostitutes. Naturally, society would call him a “hypocrite” and so on but there’s truly a very deep and, in fact, enlightening realization that we can learn from this: He was an advocate for banning prostitution because, more than likely, his family and culture told him “This is bad”. This caused and continued to cause him to repress himself and then look to himself as “bad” for even having a desire to go against what is socially “good”. As a result rather than being honest, accepting, and loving for himself he hides this part and then sneaks away with prostitutes to satisfy his drive but does it secretly in hopes to not feel the shame. The trouble is, it eventually catches up to him.
It’s likely that this same exact thing happened to the shooter in this tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. Now, I’m not saying that he was repressing the part of himself that said “I want to kill people” but rather that he was likely his own inner depression, lack of self-love, lack of feelings of love and support from his environment, financial pressures, occupation pressures, and just overall lack of satisfaction of life which was caused by feelings that it isn’t okay to simply be himself.
Is the shadow something that only people that kill, cheat, steal, etc. have? Certainly not, as it is a part of every signal one of us and when the public reacts to these situations in now calling such a person a “hypocrite”, “villain”, “evil”, etc. it only reinforces the initial: Judgement. And I can say that from what I’ve learned in doing tarot for myself, for others, and my own experiences is this: Love and judgement cannot co-exist. If you are judging a person, you are preventing yourself from loving them. If you are loving a person completely, you are free of judgement.
This is not an easy thing to do, but it is certainly something that we should keep in mind and remember in our day to day lives and we will make our lives easier for ourselves.
Now, jumping back to the “Superhero” and “Villain” concept: Because of our shadow selves, this collective view of a “hero” and a “villain” that we see in dreams, and along with our instinctual “fight or flight” response we have the tendency to always view things as a competition. I will comment that this can be more of an issue for men than women, with the reason being that men instinctively react with a “fight” (offensive) response while women more often react in “flight” (defensive) response. It makes sense when you think back to the days when we had to fight for our food, but its not quite as necessary in our now technologically advanced societies.
Because of all this, we have the tendency to live our lives with a “us” versus “them”. Or a “good” versus “evil”. Or a “hero” versus “villain”. But how can we define a person as being “good” or “bad”? And does that give us any justification for judgment onto them? Does it actually cause any ultimate good? No — it only continues a cycle of competition, of one blaming another and no genuine love in existence.
The idea of a “hero” and a “villain” is only an illusion that we have created in our human minds, which ultimately just limits us. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t conflict in the world but rather that we are the cause of the conflict — each and every day. After all, who else exists and “runs” this world other than humans? The truth is that there is no competition, there never was and there never will be — because from a universal and spiritual perspective we are all equals.
My prayers go out to the families of the victims and well as for the shooter himself. It is my only hope that these tragedies influence others to realize this cycle of stagnancy and pain we have caused ourselves by choosing judgement over love.
I recently came across a post with a thought pointing that “Emotional negativity is the cause of a lack of intelligence”. I kind of laughed to myself a bit, in reflecting on how this frame of thinking is so common among particularly young guys that I have dealt with or even older guys (though that, of course, depends on the individual). I can’t blame them for it because I can empathize with their perception, but at the same time it seems to ring within me this reminder of trends that males can have toward the female gender.
Are emotions the problem? Or the better question is: Is intelligence the answer? Yes and no to both — for a number of reasons.
First, emotions should never be looked to as a problem of any sorts. The second we look to emotions as a problem then that causes greater inner resistance (no matter who you are or what your view or opinion is because you are, therefore, making a judgement). This then causes us to want to PUSH away those emotions and feelings rather than accept them for what they are in that moment and releasing them.
Can intelligence help to reduce the effect of negative emotions? Sure, because being more aware of your thought pattern can certainly reduce the chances of having some negative emotional outburst. If you stop the limiting or negative thought from occurring first, then chances are you might not have any bad emotions.
But yet — it STILL becomes more complicated than that, especially in the case of women because so many of us are highly empathetic. All of the empaths out there can easily walk into any room and pick up on all the good and bad energies of those in that area. I can certainly relate to this more than I’d probably like to admit some days. By living in a country where the people have a high stress level, are CONSTANTLY rushing, and often subconsciously have negative views and beliefs of foreigners, it can be quite emotionally draining some days and it’s not even so much my own thinking that initially triggers it (I may get discuss that farther in another post).
Now, jumping back for a moment, is mere intelligence the answer? Not really because that only does so much. You may understand how to run and drive the car but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll never get into an accident. There is another level that has to be reached. Also, I often feel that a high focus on mere intelligence often reduces the amount of compassion and understanding that a person has for others — and so it entraps the knowledgeable one equally as much. The second one has that simple thought of “I know more than you” it now places that person at the same level as the one with the negative emotions.
In the general population, what we so often fail to realize is that it is the thoughts in themselves that are causing this seemingly never ending cycle effect. It maintains this limiting frame of mind of “them versus me” — but it’s completely an illusion. It’s all rooted in our ego and shadow selves.
So what’s the first step to breaking the cycle? As Eckhart Tolle stressed in his books and what is the base in various meditations is the clearing of the mind. To realize what thoughts and beliefs that you have developed through your culture and experiences. To realize that by focusing all your thoughts on the past and the future is weakening you. This is the initial cycle to break — at least for mostly men anyway, as I can’t help but continue to feel that women need something else to counteract this cycle.
Case #1: You go to the doctor for an issue, but over time you find yourself going months later and with little improvement for your issues.
Case #2: You go to a therapist and over time rather than feel a more balanced and grounded in yourself you remain in the same self-defeating cycle.
Or maybe… you are Case #3: You feel that you and found and gained the treatment that you need but with the professional you are working with you can sense that they are trying to keep you coming. Why would they do this? Money.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not suggesting that all of those in the health or human services field are purposely failing to put forth the effort to truly help others. In fact, I don’t necessarily feel that most are really fully consciously aware of what they are doing since it is so deeply rooted in our being as humans. After all, how can we catch it and really notice it in ourselves when large business and the government continue to place more and more requirements on us that we apparently “need” to pay for? College education, certifications, mortgage, car payments, good credit reports, insurance of all sorts — do we really need all of those? It’s often placed on us being told that it is for “security” purposes — for either ourselves personally or for society. But what is true security? The irony is that because it is driven by the a desire for greater financial security it creates this continuous cycle and we keep ourselves on a stagnant plane with the rest of society that does the same exact thing.
I came to this realization the other day when, after going through a spout of anxiety and worry over the decision of a potential investment, I saw how I was truly just blocking myself from my own happiness. I was blocking myself from having the opportunity to create from what I love by allowing all of these businesses and others that tell me what I “need” and “should do” to block off what my heart and intuition was truly saying. And, of course, my tarot cards were a clear guide to this realization!
It’s truly such a self-defeating cycle to go into something with the idea of “I want to make money”, “I’m worried about losing money” or “I need to keep this client around so I continue to make more money”. The only way to truly help ourselves and to help one another is by saying “I want to do this to truly follow my heart and to help others grow for the better. When they no longer need my help, I can know that I have truly done the job that was I meant to do. I am not concerned about debt or how I will be able to afford living expenses because I know that God will take care of me”.
So the question you can ask yourself is: Am I blocking myself with a need for financial security? Am I worried, anxious and fearful over finances? If you are, then your missing God’s message.
It’s quite a significant jump going into such blind faith, but it’s also likely one of the most life altering paths to take in order to spiritually grow.
Got a headache, but unable to find anything to relieve it? I’ve been there — perhaps more times than I would like to (in fact, I have one right now! Ha). And if you’re at all like me, I always want to fix the underlying cause rather than retort to a pain reliever or some prescription drug, so these leaves me to get rather creative in finding methods of relief.
For each person the causes can be a little bit different, but for myself I’ve noticed that it’s usually either digestive or sinus related — and either of those could very well just be rooted in stress. One may simply say “take some time to relax in a hot warm bath” and that will relieve everything. Yet, as I’m sure many others can agree, that’s not so easily the case.
What I have found in my exploration of “natural cures” using aromatherapy can work wonders. Now, I don’t necessarily mean just lotions or shower gels, but rather actual 100% natural essential oils with no additives. These are four that I have found work well for me for headache relief and they should also not negatively effect your sleep in anyway if you use it at night or before bed.
1. Eucalyptus Essential Oil. For all of those Bath and Body’s Works fans out there: Yes, this is the main ingredient in their “Stress Relief” product. This was actually recommended to me from a friend who used to regularly suffer from migraines. I must say that has really help me find relief — even in the most torturing migraines. It is also great to use during any sinus headaches because the powerful smell of eucalyptus helps clear your sinuses. It is a natural expectorant and is anti-inflammatory.
2. Lavender Essential Oil. Personally, I use this not only for headaches but also to help me “wind down” at the end of the day and to sleep more peacefully. As an essential oil, lavender has a very mild scent and it’s likely that if you’re used to more synthetic smells you won’t notice it at first. However, this is still one of the most popular essential oils purchased. It is naturally anti-inflammatory and a sedative. Because it is so mild and is anti-inflammatory, it can also be used to treat acne spots.
3. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil. With the natural scent of Chamomile, it is no doubt that this oil is great for relaxation and to help you sleep better. Dab some of this on before bed and hopefully you’ll wake up fully rested and headache-free!
4. Helichrysum Essential Oil. I have honestly not tried this one yet, but it is supposed to have a fresh scent. It is also supposed to be a very powerful anti-inflammatory.
Now, how do you use these essential oils? Technically, you are supposed to mix it with a carrier oil because it is too strong to put directly on your skin. However, I’ll admit that I’ve put lavender oil directly on my neck and forehead without any problems or hesitation because it is such a mild oil. I suppose that yoga instructor that used to put essential oil on our necks during our final relaxation pose put me into a bad habit!
How are you technically supposed to use them? Here’s a little guide:
1 oz Carrier Oil (such as Jojoba or Sweet Almond Oil)
10-12 drops of the essential oil of choice (Eucalyptus may only require 6-8)
You should mix the ingredients in a bottle thoroughly and then rub the mixture on your next, temples, forehead, etc. You must always be careful not to get it in your eyes — and if you happen to on accident, trust me you will know!
Would you like to try it out? Here are some options below. Always be sure when purchasing essential oils that it lists 100% on the label.
*Note: Also, always be sure to check the size of the bottle of essential oil you are purchasing. Some are harder to extract from the plants so they cost much more per ounce. Always know how much you are getting beforehand so you are not unpleasantly surprised.
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