The Reflexivity of Being

If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could glimpse your most beautiful face, maybe you wouldn’t slumber so deeply in that house of clay. Why not move into your house of joy and shine into every crevice! For you are the secret Treasure-bearer, and always have been. Didn’t you know?  ” Rumi

lotus_flower-e1333652193870

There is one aspect of attempting to convey one’s experiential experiences through the medium of language, specifically writing that I find problematic. Although I find myself attempting to communicate in this fashion, I am continuously aware of the limitation of this medium. Its very easy to extrapolate some theoretical jargon, as I have seen all too frequently through the world of written and spoken communication. Its far more complex to attempt to convey one’s own personal epiphany or paradigm of deeper understanding, in a way that is meaningful and that can transcend throughout a varied audience of readers. I mention this fact, as through my life long love and experience of living a holistic lifestyle, which I have written about throughout the various themes that comprise Sattva Holistic. I realize that the paradigm of what I have previously believed constituted living a holistic lifestyle, has been shifted to a very different level of perception. Thus, I am fully aware of how much the body centered Western culture had indeed affected my train of thought and inevitably acted as a filter towards how I perceived myself and how I interacted with the world. 

I have written quite a few blogs on what I believe to be a holistic lifestyle, via various topics. In addition, the life that I have lived up until this point was what is considered a holistic lifestyle, under the very popular paradigm of that word. However, currently I am strongly realizing that due to putting so much focus on balancing the body through organic or heath supplementing dietary regimes, we are continuing to reinforce the body centric Cartesian dualism of our current philosophical paradigm. I thought that in some way I was moving beyond this body centered reality, yet I realize that much of what I was doing in my own lifestyle was heavily focused on attaining greater physical health, it was my main priority, everything else came secondary.

The truth of the matter, is that throughout my life I have been very drawn towards the realm of inner transformation, yet the outer world of health and what constitutes finding this rare medium of physical balance seemed to be my focal point over the last decade. In the time since I left North America and have started to live a very different lifestyle, I realize that the holistic obsession with being physically healthy, to the maximum of standards, is something that does not create any real change on a holistic level. Of course, if your body is out balance and one attempts to find some greater degree of energy and wellbeing, this is normal. Yet, all things in the physical world are impermanent and constantly changing, thus to focus so extensively on a changing dynamic is literally a waste of one’s energy and time in life. It is important to eat organic and health based foods, yet we must look within for any lasting change to take place, even on the physical level. 

I was living a lifestyle rich with everything possible to attain physical vitality, yet on an inner level like many people, I was living a very stressful life, dealing with a huge issue after injuring my hands two years ago, and the resulting emotional frustration. I see now, that by focusing so much on the body, I did not fully embody the true sense of holism. This realization came to me, when I arrived in India and realized how mentally and emotionally stagnant I actually felt, as a result of the last few years of stress. It was a powerful epiphany, to see the inner suffering that I carried, yet in my daily routine in the West, it was not that much of a focal point. Here, where I am currently living, its a daily focal point, to embody a sense of inner reflexivity. To be constantly aware of one’s inner world and to do practices that focus and still the mind, thus to find greater inner peace and wellbeing. In a little over a month, I was able to move through the mass of stagnation, thus finding a sense of joy that I may not have experienced ever in my life. This is a powerful point, as if you had meant me prior to coming here, you would most likely find me positive and a relatively happy person. Yet, deep joy that radiates out in undulating energy without limits, is something I can not really remember experiencing since I was very young. This experience magnified the real issue and the importance of focusing mostly on our inner selves, rather than the body.

When we make the effort to embody greater inner awareness and allow the necessary transformation that is taking place every second to occur, we can find ourselves much freer than we could have ever imagined. Even more interesting, is that the joy I feel does not necessarily come from anything in my external world, with all the constant distractions that we chase after searching for happiness. I have experienced this type of transient joy found through the external worlds abundance of luminous and illusive objects. However, this inner feeling is something very different, it arises mostly when I least expect it, without any external stimuli to produce its emanating effect. Thus, through the life I have lived, and the extreme amount of challenges that have come before me, I realize that to really find a truly holistic lifestyle, one must first look within and have the strength and the discipline to do the necessary work. It is certainly not an easy task to sit with one’s self, yet the fruits of this labour are much richer than anything the external world can provide for you.

Through the powerful epiphany of experiencing this phenomena, I realize this is the one place in the world I feel tremendous harmony. Thus, my husband and I are going to do everything in our power to try to live here for as long as we can. The truth of the matter is that life is much shorter than most of us think and goes by at a rate that is faster than we can fathom. Hence, it has taken me this long to finally come home to rest in a place that brings forth the most precious gifts, through the feeling of deep inner joy and peace. I am also aware that this feeling may not always be there, yet I also realize that the work I am doing through inner transformation has a lasting affect that is far greater than just focusing on eating all organic everything and taking a massive amount of organic food based supplements. I do still enjoy and love organic everything, yet my focus has shifted towards something that creates true change on a deep level. Thus, we must first seek to purify and transform our negative tendencies that we all carry, as there is no amount of external purification that can bring about true holistic balance. If our mind remains filled with negativity, it will have a direct impact and affect on the body, regardless of the most pure lifestyle that we are living.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2013

Advertisements

The Holistic Face of Beauty

“Beauty is truths smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.” Rabindranath Tagore

unnamed-11
Through the dawn of time or so it seems historically, woman have been adorning themselves in some way that is seen as culturally and socially beautiful. This phenomena can been see throughout the world in every form of organized society that has existed up until our current era. Even the most basic form of social organization finds both men and women highly interested in some physical sense of beautification and individualization to assert who they are and their status in the society. Of course, today we really don’t have as much social demarcation through creating distinct appearances, even more specifically, we could say it appears very shallow and superficial.
However, in my opinion, I would have to say that the current idea of women and beauty is being dominated exclusively by consumerism.

I mention the latter, as I was brought up in a very androgynous sense where my mother was highly opposed to any form of beautification and it was highly criticized in my family. However, at this point in my life I see that the masculine reform of women is a far greater problem and issue than mere beautification of women. I am not directing this discussion towards the idea of gender and gender stereotypes; which does dominate and directly affects the appearances of both men and women to a large extent today.

Moreover, I would like to discuss the simple idea of what constitutes true beauty and what does that appear to be, including various factors of adornment from changing one’s hair color, makeup, or any of the massive number of other avenues of physical ‘beatification’. In addition, my interest is more at a holistic, organic, and natural approach to this topic. As well as, looking at the deeper underlying topic of first having a healthy body through proper dietary adherence to clean, pure, organic foods, and fresh water.

The entire discourse around organic dietary preferences and keeping your body healthy through high quality organic food, super foods, pure fresh water, herbs, and lastly food based supplements is highly important for outer beauty. To truly be beautiful one must resonate a healthy vibrance. Yet, as we all age and don’t take proper care of our bodies through eating a cleansing, nutritious, and vibrant diet, the aging process will be quite apparent. Thus, women succumbed to spending billions of dollars a year on toxic products, procedures, and other harmful treatments all to preserve the inevitable from occurring.  True beauty is not looking a certain way or even having a youthful appearance; its the whole energy, feeling, and look that people embody. 

Most people living a holistic lifestyle, who work on all aspects of themselves and keep a very healthy diet, mental and emotional state, and seek to evolve towards their higher potential in life; all have an energy that is apparent, beautiful, vibrant, and youthful. There is no magic serum or product that can bring about an overall essence of true vitality and energy.

However, most of the women I know in addition to living holistically love their organic products. I too am one of these woman, yet the reason I may appear to look youthful for my age is primarily due to my diet, spiritual focus, and constantly working with my own mental and emotional equilibrium.

Thus, the true essence of beauty is found as we grown and evolve in life, shedding the heaviness of certain patters through a holistic purification brought about through dietary, mental, emotional, and spiritual efforts to reach a higher potential of being in life. This is the life I am living and striving daily to embody, a life that is filled with the essence of true beauty and vitality on all levels of being.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2013

 

The Biographical Intuition of Being

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. We will not solve the problems of the world from the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. More than anything else, this new century demands new thinking: We must change our materially based analyses of the world around us to include broader, more multidimensional perspectives.” Albert Einstein 

480987_449566141779329_1424564978_n

I am working within the lexicon of blending a lifetime of holistic health knowledge with an intuitive capability. This may sound esoteric and interesting for many people who aspire to perhaps work in a more alternative or holistic way. However, for me I actually tried my very best to escape falling into the ‘intuitive’ categorization. I am sure it did not help having a father who was an academic, in addition to his lack of support in relation to my innate interest of all things holistic and spiritual. Although, despite this fact I still pursued all of my interests with full force and integrity; to fully embody what is most ubiquitousness to who I am today.

 Its one thing to be a holistic health practitioner, like the majority, who focus almost exclusively on the physical body. However, to find yourself implementing an intuitive approach in combination, brings your practice to a whole new level of inquiry, suspicion, and classification. The reality is that there was never a time that I was not intuitive, it has been a reality throughout my entire life, yet it was also something that I shared with very few people outside of my close friends. In addition, my two sisters are also intuitive, with my younger sister being psychic when she was younger. Today, both of my sisters are educated, successful, and homogenized within the frame work of societies ‘norms’, despite their innate intuitive capacity.

 Within the paradigm of ‘holistic’ health modalities, the actual reality is a sterile theoretical system of medicine based on Cartesian dualism, which has infiltrated all systems of holistic medicine that we see being practiced today. Therefore, the physical body is the main point of focus, even those offering a ‘holistic’ approach are almost exclusively working at a physical level. Thus, there has been a segregation between the energetic, emotional, mental, and the physical. Even more interesting is that throughout history, almost all traditional healers spanning numerous cultural ambiances; all utilized some form of intuition, working in a holistic manner, in combination with the theory of their medical medium. In addition, in my training of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I learned very clearly that there were three distinct roots to illness; physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual. Therefore, to be a competent practitioner one must be able to discern which level needs to be addressed, to implement a sense of holistic equilibrium within the patient.

 In my own life, it has taken a long time to overcome the ambivalence around representing myself in a transparent manner, of allowing others to see the strength of my theoretical expertise working in tandem with my intuition. The sense of stigma came from having intellectual parents that encouraged us to be critical thinkers.  In my youth, I had the fortune of living overseas in several countries for six years. During this time, I was able to meet many inspirational, open, and spiritual people who allowed me to trust the spiritual proclivities I had experienced throughout my lifetime. During this time I was very fortunate to study energy medicine,  Yoga (which I started doing as a young girl), and other holistic modalities. This was the first time in my life I could actually be the person I felt myself to be, surrounded by others who knew that this was a reality and accepted. In this time, I went to India each year, four times to study Yoga at the Sivananda Ashram and spent time in North India where I got to meet the Dalai Lama twice, on two separate occasions.

 In essence, in my early 20’s I was living my life as my own authentic self, which would later come crashing down due to chronic health issues from traveling in South East Asia, when I later returned to Canada in 1998 and began a decade of studying numerous ‘proven’ health modalities. This included going back to university as a mature student to get my degree, which I finished in four years with high enough marks and references to do an MA, if I chose that path. After dealing with a chronic health condition I felt disillusioned with who I was as a person, therefore my goal was to become an academic like my father.

 However, during the time I went to University I was still doing a lot of spiritual practice.  When meditating one day, I had a very profound and clear image of myself being able to take someone’s pulse and access information. Of course, at that time I let that profound premonition dissipate and it was not until several years later that suddenly, I remembered. I decided to give it a try, only to find that I was able to access a tremendous amount of information intuitively; all accurate and in-depth.

 For several years I practiced on all of my friends, discovering that the accuracy and profound nature of this work was something so undeniable that I started doing it professionally; something I would have never imagined myself doing as a career. However, after the stigma of being categorize in the psychic realm I decided that merely offering intuitive readings was not the best use of my innate and learned skills. Thus, now I am amalgamating all the knowledge, both theoretical and experiential that I have thus far gained in life, in conjunction with intuition to assist others towards greater health, self empowerment, emotional support, and to assist others in a deeper understanding of crisis or challenging situations.

 It has taken me many years to surrender more and more to the power of what innately fuels me and accept that my life path is a combination of a theoretical holistic approach, paired with a powerful intuition capability. Thus, it has taken me a long time to fully embrace my deepest potential in life and allow myself to practice Holistic Integrative Therapy, which has benefited many friends and clients over the last few years. 

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2013 

 

 

The Political Dynamics of Choosing Locally Farmed Organic Food

“In the act of eating, we are already participating in production. By eating organic, we are saying no to toxins and supporting the organic farmer. By rejecting GMOs, we are voting for the rights of small farmers and people’s rights to information and health. By eating local, we are taking power and profits away from global agribusiness and strengthening our local food community. Eaters are, therefore, also co-producers, both because their relationship with small producers is a critical link in creating a sustainable, just, healthy food system and because we are what we eat. In making food choices, we make choices about who we are”. Vandana Shiva

vegie

In many ways, one of the pivotal aspects of living a holistic lifestyle is through our conscious awareness of the food that we are consuming. In my opinion, the first most important precursor to really embodying a lifestyle that is Whole, is to first use discrimination in determining where our food originates and what costs are associated with each of our food choices. I mention this point, as when you go to Wholefoods to purchase your ‘organic’ vegetables what you may not think about is that almost all the produce has been imported, picked partially unripe, and transported to each of their stores throughout North America. Therefore, the carbon foot print is immense. I also realize that it is not possible for everyone to plant their own garden or to find a farmers market, yet we live in such an extremely unconscious world, that if you are attempting to eat more organic food, or even attempting to make healthier food choices then it’s important to be able to discern what that means.

One of the reasons why its important to understand what constitutes making conscious food choices and the cost associated, is because there is a huge political cost that each of us contributes to when we go to our local farmers market and directly support our own community of small organic farmers, rather than supporting a massive corporation like Wholefoods. Almost all of the organic farmers who sell their produce at local farmers markets are really not profiting much more than being able to keep their small farm functioning. Therefore, its important to take into consideration that if people do not support theses small farmers through purchasing what they have to sell, they will eventually no longer exist.

In addition, each small organic farm that no longer can continue to function, opens up more opportunity for large corporate agriculture to take its place. In addition, with the loss of small organic farms we then see price increases for the organic foods available. In support of what I have already stipulated, for those of you who have been consuming organic foods for the last ten years or longer, there has been a steady increase in prices of all certified organic food items. One example is the cost of organic almonds, which has shot through the roof over the last several years due to the fact that the high demand for organic almonds far outweighs the availability. Thus, there are far too few farms producing organic almonds to meet the high demand, therefore the price will continue to rise. I have used this particular example to outline the necessity of supporting the local organic farmers that are living within our communities or near the cities where we are living. When we support those few people passionate about organic farming, we not only contribute to supporting our local economy, but also this ensures the survival and longevity of the local organic farmers to keep producing organic foods that are  available to us. In this way its a form of food sovereignty, that many of us are most likely unaware of.

In my experience, the majority of my life I have been eating ‘organic’ foods, first coming from my mother who was organic gardening way before her time, over 40 years ago. I have also lived in several countries in my lifetime and had the opportunity to experience different ways food is made locally available or not. One of the  countries that I live in was Switzerland, where  in the small villages the local grocery store sold almost all locally grown produce from around the area. In England I lived in Totness South Devon, which is one of the riches organic small farming areas of England. I was blessed with locally grown produce, even the organic wheat used in the locally bakery’s bread was grown nearby. However, when I lived in Japan for three years, I realized that attempting to find food items that were unrefined a problem. There was a small company that sold some ‘health food’ items, yet organic food was very difficult to find, although I did mange to find some items at a very small local vegetarian restaurant that also sold some organic fruit and other products.

When I came back to Canada I was very much in awe of the vast array and choices of ‘organic’ food that was available, yet I too went to the local health food store to purchase my produce. It was not until I went back to University in 2006 as a mature student and started to study Anthropology. I took a course in Anthropology and Food, one of our guest speakers was a huge local food activist, who made me realize that the city I had been living in was teeming with local famers markets throughout the year. This was an astounding find, something that I had never really thought about all that much, as I had been conditioned over the years of going shopping in health food stores to find ‘organic’ food.

During my time studying Anthropology my interest was based in medical anthropology, yet for one of my methodology classes of a 400 level we spent an entire semester working on our own Ethnography, which is essentially how anthropologists do their research in the field, as apparent ‘observers’ to formulate a theory. I chose the local farmers market, where I would spend long durations of time talking with the farmers, interviewing the local shoppers, and just watching the dynamics of the market ambiance. It was a fascinating and extremely eye opening experience that further propelled me to make the farmers market the topic of several research papers.

After conducting four months of research, I realized that the majority of the people who shop and frequent their local farmers market do so out of political reasons mainly; such as to support the local economy, to support the local farmers, to obtain the purest and highest quality food available, and to connect directly with the farmers themselves who have grown the food. I found there was a deep understanding embodied by many people regarding the impact of political economy, which stipulates that how you spend your money has a tremendous impact through directly supporting whatever you are purchasing. 

I have spent my entire life intrigued and absorbed by holistic health in all its aspects, from various paradigms of holistic medicine, diet therapy, herbal medicine systems, dietary supplements, and how the quest for health and balance is inextricably tied to the environment, our society and cultural norms, and the overall hegemony of the powerful corporations that exist. I realize that the MOST important aspect of holistic health is to have extreme awareness and discrimination when discerning how we care for our physical bodies. Thus, the quality of food that we eats directly affects not only our physical health but also our mental and emotional wellbeing.

Moreover, in my opinion we need to embody enough awareness to inquire where our food is coming from and what we are inevitably supporting by purchasing from these particular venders. I personally purchase everything I can from the local organic farmers, as I appreciate the high quality produce that they are selling. I am also aware that if we do not support our local organic farmers, then our only organic food choices will be from Wholefoods, where they offer organic produce from mechanical agriculture that is devitalized, in comparison to the fresh produce from a local farm. In addition, when I go to the farmers market I feel like I am part of a large community of people who are actively supporting our local organic farmers through continually purchasing produce and other good from them, sharing recipes, and having a friendly relationship that has been built up over the many years of continual interaction and support.

© All Rights Reserved 2013