God’s grace can mean many things. I like to think of it as a gift we are given by the benevolent power that works in our life. Some might call it a blessing. In terms of recovery I sometimes feel grace is doing me a favor. Grace is giving me what I need at the time I need it.
I have had many challenges in my life to over come. A great deal of them have come as the result of growing up in a dysfunctional alcoholic household. At their best they include self defeating and unproductive thought processes, behaviors and coping mechanisms. At their worst they include abandonment, neglect and sexual, emotional and mental abuse.
I believe that it has been grace that has doled out the awareness of these challenges to me when I was in a place to deal with them. Meaning that I had the teachers, support, environment and spiritual, emotional and mental stability to deal with them. Not that all of that would make it easy but I was ready.
The other edge of the sword of grace is that I believe that it was also grace that kept me unaware of these challenges until I was ready. I still remember being 18 months clean in the fetal position on my couch in pain I did not understand let alone know where it was coming from.
I remember having three thoughts; use, kill myself or ask for help. I am so glad that I had a sponsor that had been working on his issues from childhood and had shared some of it with me. So I called him and my first teacher had appeared.
I remember thinking of awareness as a curse. Why oh why is that power that works in my life doing this to me. Things were going so well. Lucky for me that power is much more smarter than me.
So I chuckle to myself a little when I hear others talking their awareness as such a hindrance to their life and well being. Change is a byproduct of awareness. Without the awareness that something is not serving us why would we work to change it. When we come to understand this we can begin to look at awareness as a gift.
Becoming aware is just the beginning, its like a memo or announcement. Now we have a choice, do we heed the memo and chose to the the work to change or say thanks for the memo, I’ll file it for later. I don’t know about you but I have learned filing it for later doesn’t work for me. Now that the problem and the need for change has come to my conscious mind its like it won’t leave me alone. This brings me back to grace and my belief that I am ready and have all I need to work through anything that is needed to make the change. Am I afraid, unsure of the unknown or whether I have what it takes to do what needs to be done. I would be lying if I said no. But not to the point that it can paralyze me like it used to. I think that comes from my past experiences of doing the work and coming out on the other side. Knowing that I have learned to be OK without being OK , that as always it is a process, that it won’t last forever but most of all that it is a gift. That I am being given this opportunity to grow and heal because I am loved and knowing I have learned to love myself enough to do the work.
May all those in need learn that awareness can be a gift if you let it, that we are given an awareness because it is time to do the work and that we have all we need to do it even if we don’t see it.
Author: Paul Hellwig
Paul is a Spiritual Life Coach specializing the Healing of Childhood Wounding and Addictions Recovery. I am a recovering addict myself with over 25 years clean. I have spent the last 25 years of my life on a spiritual and healing journey and I am now dedicating my life to help others do the same.
healingbearlifecoaching.com / @bear_healing
The inspiration for “ Just Breathe ” first came about a little over a year ago when I overheard my then 5-year-old son talking with his friend about how emotions affect different regions of the brain, and how to calm down by taking deep breaths — all things they were beginning to learn in Kindergarten at their new school, Citizens of the World Charter School, in Mar Vista, CA. I was surprised and overjoyed to witness first-hand just how significant social-emotional learning in an elementary school curriculum was on these young minds.
The following year, I decided to take a 6-week online course on Mindfulness through Mindful Schools (http://www.mindfulschools.org/), figuring that if my son was learning about this, it only made sense that I should learn too. Within the first week, I felt the positive effects of this practice take root not only on my own being but in my relationships with others.
As a filmmaker, I am always interested in finding a subject worthy of filming, and I felt strongly that Mindfulness was a necessary concept to communicate visually. Thankfully my husband, who happens to be my filmmaking partner, agreed. We made “Just Breathe” with our son, his classmates and their family members one Saturday afternoon. The film is entirely unscripted – what the kids say is based purely on their own neuro-scientific understanding of difficult emotions, and how they cope through breathing and meditation. They, in turn, are teaching us all …
Toothbrushes and toothpaste haven’t always been around. Before there was dental floss people had to rely on natural entities in order to keep their pearly whites their whitest. Today many people use alternative methods of keeping their teeth clean. Natural remedies for tooth cleaning has been around for centuries and some of them are still being used today.
I have made a list a quick in home tooth care options. You will be surprised how many useful tools you can find around the house that will make your mouth and smile happy.
Baking Soda is a natural substance that is used for household cleaning. This substance is often times found in toothpaste for extensive teeth cleaning. If you want to make an excellent toothpaste than baking soda is definitely a must have. Baking soda helps to freshen your breath as well as kill germs.
Good ‘O Tooth Powder
2 Tbsp dried lemon or orange rind
1/4 cup baking soda
2 Tsp salt
Place rinds in food processor or blender, grind until peel becomes a fine powder. Add baking soda and salt then process a few seconds more until you have a fine powder. Store in an airtight jar or bottle for best results and lengthened use. Proceed to brush your teeth by dipping moistened toothbrush into mixture, brush as usual.
1 Tsp of the Old Fashioned Tooth Powder
1/4 Tsp Hydrogen peroxide
Mix into a paste and brush as usual
Food for thought (Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent tooth cleaner as well. This resource is used as a teeth whitener in many types of toothpaste.)
1 Tsp baking soda,
1/4 Tsp hydrogen peroxide
1 drop oil of peppermint
Mix ingredients together to make a paste, apply to toothbrush by dipping toothbrush into mixture, brush as usual.
Everyone likes to have fresh breath but not all people enjoy chewing gum or popping a tic tac in their mouth. You will be very surprised at how a quick piece of fruit or vegetable can freshen up.
Fresh parsley can sweeten up your breath in a jiffy.
If you chew on fennel seeds and anise seeds your breath will smell much fresher.
Peppermint or spearmint leaves taste wonderful and they will freshen your breath quickly. You can also drink a delicious cup of peppermint tea. (This is great after dinners)
If you add one drop of myrrh oil to one cooled cup of tea and then gargle lie a mouthwash, your breath will be fresher instantly.
Strawberry Flavored Tooth Cleanser
1 Tsp of the above Old Fashioned Tooth Powder
1 Tbsp crushed ripe strawberries
Mix strawberries and powder into a paste and brush as usual.
Lemon Clove Tooth Cleanser
Tiny amount of finely powdered sage
1 ounce of finely powdered myrrh
1 pound powdered arrowroot
3 ounces powdered orris root
20 drops oil of lemon
10 drops oil of cloves
12 drops oil of bergamot
Rub oils into the powdered ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Dip your toothpaste in mixture and began brushing.
2 1/2 cups of mineral or distilled water
1 tsp fresh mint leaves
1tsp rosemary leaves
1 tsp anise seeds
Boil the water, add herbs and seeds, cook for up to 20 minutes. Cool, strain and use the water as a gargle/mouthwash. Add 1 tsp of tincture of myrrh as a natural preservative.
I hope that these simple recipes will be of a great significance for you. Please use at your own discretion. If any of the ingredients cause an allergic reaction please discontinue use or do not use at all.
Author: Celin Childs
Guest writer, In5D.com
Tai Chi Principles in Daily Life
There’s a fighting game in Tai Chi called, “push hands”. It’s to learn how to read another’s energies and use it to your advantage. The goal is to break their footing (root to Mother Earth) and move them. Contact must be maintained at all times, if there’s a disconnect – game’s over.
The goal is to match energies. When person A and person B are equally balanced in force, they become one. Stay empty. One subtle movement from the one that is egoless can them move the other. The power beyond just the physical force is where’s it’s at.
It takes very little energy, subtle energy is a better description of what it takes to drop another to the floor. Where the legs just go out from under them and their down without any pain. Before one realizes what happened, they are picking themselves up off the floor. You find their center and shift it.
Awareness is the secret. By overcoming the fear and blinders, we awaken to that subtle yet powerful resource. We step into what is sovereign and available.
It’s a whole new energy game. It’s doesn’t take decades to build energy from martial arts training or meditations. There’s an energy shift that is to our advantage. We are awake enough now to know, it’s about belief and trust of Yourself, Higher Self. Cultivate right mind, body, and spirit and the energy is quickened.
Awareness is the secret. Then we can get on with the business of co-creation; create other ways of seeing, inventions, solutions, assisting others across time, etc.
This is one of the most illustrative videos about the practical use and effect of the subtle energy body.
This is Lama Dondrup Dorje, this video was filmed 2004 at a workshop at the Singapore police headquarters.
Developing an awareness of this energy and cultivating it is of key importance.
Scientists have posited that monogamy is not natural. Increased divorce rate and incidents of infidelity seem to support this view, which has led some opinion leaders and the lay man to conclude that societies would benefit from adopting polygamy!
Supporters for and against both lifestyles are very passionate. It may seem like straddling the fence, but I am not for or against either… like most things in life, they both have advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you to decide which best suits you. To help you make an informed decision, let’s look at it objectively.
We all know what monogamy is – the union of two people who share sexual pleasures and intimacy exclusively with each other. Polygamy is the state where a man has more than one wives. Many mistakenly associate polygamy with Muslims, or if you’re Jamaican like me, members of the Rastafarian community. However, Christianity also embraces polygamy, with men of God like Abraham and Solomon having more than one wives. Though I wouldn’t want such a relationship, I feel it’s hypocritical to say I believe in God and condemn or make unlawful, that which he doesn’t have a problem with.
Some say polygamy would cut back or eliminate infidelity. But men in my country (and elsewhere, I’m sure) are sex oriented; they see polygamy as a legal and culturally accepted way of getting more vagina. However, polygamy is governed by rules and has criteria. For it to work, there has to be the following prerequisite:
1. The man has to be financially able to maintain all his wives (on this grounds alone, most men wouldn’t qualify).
2. All wives have to be treated equally. This extends not only to material possessions/ money, but intimacy and affection also. No favouritism allowed!
Conversations with my male friends yield this surprising information: while a man may have 5 or 10 sexual partners, he invariably gets emotionally attached to 1 or 2. Based on that, I don’t think most men would have the emotional wherewithal to treat all his would be wives equally.
From a religious perspective, polygamy was allowed to provide for the maintenance of women and children who were widowed or orphaned when the male population was decimated by war. Polygamy is family oriented, and where a man uses it only for sexual gratification without consideration for his wife and children, it causes strain on the family structure.
A woman should never agree to polygamy if she knows she is jealous, or just to keep a man. Things will be fine once her life partner is devoted only to her, but the relationship will get toxic with resentment if he falls in love with another woman and fathers other children. In this case, she can’t say the man broke her heart, as she was complicit in her own pain.
Marriages exist to nurture us spiritually, emotionally, physically and sexually. Sex is a spiritual activity that bonds us in the spirit realm, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Polygamy and monogamy are the same in that, neither is better or worse for us. There are happy polygamous couples and sad monogamous couples; the reverse is also true. It depends on your personality, what you want in life and what you feel comfortable with.
Haneefah is the creative Director of her recently formed internet station Island Beat TV, and host of Owambe Jam, a cultural event to celebrate World Poetry Day.
Long term drink and drug users often need to go through a detox (short for detoxification) to remove the harmful chemicals from their systems. Detoxing is a natural process that occurs in the body all the time, where organs such as the liver and kidneys break down harmful chemicals into less dangerous substances which are then excreted safely. Heavy drinking or drug use leads to a build up of chemicals that the body can’t deal with properly. In many cases this can cause serious damage, such as Cirrhosis: a hardening of the liver tissue and decreased liver function.
A medical detox is an opportunity for an addict’s body to remove the build up of harmful chemicals caused by excessive drinking or drug use. You will be prescribed a class of medication called Benzodiazepines, which affect the neurotransmitters in the brain. They help to prevent the withdrawal symptoms you will experience through an alcohol or drug detox. Initially the dose will be high, as the symptoms will be most severe to begin with. As your detox progresses, the dosage will be decreased. Throughout your detox, you will be constantly monitored to ensure your body is coping with the withdrawal.
A lot of people try to self-detox, also known as going ‘cold turkey’, on their own. This not only has low chances of success, but also can have serious consequences for your health. Heavy drinkers run the risk of Delerium Tremens (DT) – incredibly severe withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal. Without medical attention, addicts can experience:
In an alcohol detox that is being monitored by health care professional, the symptoms of DT can be identified and treated. An alcohol detox assisted by medical professionals will take place in a calm and supportive environment, reducing stress, and making you feel more comfortable. If you’re struggling from severe withdrawal symptoms, your doctors may sedate you until the worst of the effects have passed off. They will also be on hand should you experience complications such as with your breathing, which could require you to be intubated.
Even if you are not at risk of Delirium Tremens, there are many other alcohol withdrawal symptoms that you are likely to experience. These can start as soon as a few hours after you had your last drink, and often include:
These symptoms can last for more than a week. Some patients may even experience hallucinations, although these will be different to those experienced as a symptom of DT as the patient is often aware that the sights, sounds, or feelings they are experiencing are not real. Should you make it through the withdrawal process successfully, you will still have a long battle on your hands to ensure that you don’t lapse back into alcoholic behaviors at some point in the future.
People all over the world to use detox diets as a way of keeping their bodies healthy and working correctly. These people often have no problem with alcohol or drugs, and simply want to promote a healthy equilibrium and healthy organs. However the idea behind a detox diet is exactly the same as an alcohol detox. The idea is to allow your body to remove anything harmful. People may even go on a detox for caffeine.
A detox diet consists of foods that will minimize your chemical intake, such as organic produce, as well as a good balance of vitamins and minerals. This is particularly important for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, who will often have major deficiencies in vital nutrients thanks to poor dietary habits associated with their dependency. A detox diet also includes plenty of fluids and high-fiber foods, to increase the frequency of urination and assist bowel movements.
The body needs many different vitamins and minerals in order to function properly. Heavy drinkers who consume more than 30% of their daily calorie intake in alcohol are the most at risk of developing a mineral deficiency that can seriously affect their health. The most common minerals for addicts to be deficient in a vitamin A and vitamin B1. Alcoholics may also be deficient in calcium, iron, and zinc.
Retinol, or vitamin A, has several important roles in the body. It assists the function of your immune system, allowing you to better fight off infections. It also helps with your vision, and to keep skin and the linings of your body healthy.
Vitamin B1 – Thiamine – is involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the body for the purpose of being converted into energy. It also helps muscles to function properly. Too little Thiamine can cause atrophy of the legs, muscle weakness, and loss of appetite.
Vitamin A can be found in dairy foods such as cheese, milk, yogurt and eggs, as well as oily fish. Spinach, red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, apricots, and papaya are also beneficial, as they contain beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin B1 is found in cereals, pasta, brown and wholegrain bread, pork, fish, peas and soybeans. Thiamine is soluble, so a portion of the vitamin may be lost from foods during cooking. If possible, retain and reuse the juices to ensure you get the full portion of vitamin B1
Organic food refers to any crops or animals that have been farmed using natural processes. Organic farmers do not use chemical fertilizers, most pesticides, or drug treatments on their livestock. Instead they use more natural methods of maintaining healthy crops and livestock, such as rotating animals and crops to ensure balanced and fertilized soil and preventative measures to avoid livestock diseases.
Farmed using artificial-free methods, organic food has not been exposed to the chemicals that large-scale agricultural goods have been. Many people claim that organic foods are more nutritious, although there has been no solid scientific evidence to back up this claim. However, when on a detox, your main aim is to remove harmful chemicals from your system. For this reason it makes sense to eat organic food as this will reduce the amount of chemicals and other harmful substances you are taking into your system. When you already have a build-up of chemicals from alcohol or drug use, making small changes to your diet can help the process be faster and more effective.
Fiber is important for digestive health, as well as helping to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble, both of which should be included in a healthy balanced diet. Insoluble fiber helps keep your bowels healthy, while soluble fiber can lower blood cholesterol levels and make it easier to go to the toilet. This is important during the detox as the harmful chemicals need a way to leave your body.
For the same reason it is important that you drink a lot of water during the detox. This results in frequent urination, which allows harmful poisons that have been removed from the liver and kidneys to leave the body. People withdrawing from alcohol and drugs often get severely dehydrated, so making sure you drink plenty of fluids can help to keep these symptoms at bay.
You can find insoluble fiber in:
Note that you can only find fiber in foods that come from plants.
As well as following a careful detox diet, you can assist your recovery process in a number of other ways. Your alcohol or drug treatment specialist may recommend some of these to you, and you should always check with a medical professional for taking any aspects of your detox into your own hands.
Exercise has many benefits for the body, and just half an hour of activity a day can help keep your system running efficiently. If you are overweight exercise can greatly aid your detox, as toxins will often be stored in fat deposits. Gradually burning off fat allows your body to process and remove these trapped toxins.
Higher levels of activity will cause you to perspire. When you sweat, toxins are drawn out of your body and expelled. A higher level of activity will also increase your heart rate. This helps to wash away toxin build-ups, and provides a better supply of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. A better blood flow means that toxins are more quickly and efficiently transported out of the body.
Exercise pushes lymphatic fluid around your lymph nodes, which are located all over the body and work to filter out foreign particles and toxins. The lymph nodes do not deal with toxins, however, so a steady flow of lymphatic fluid is required to carry them to the kidneys and liver where they can be processed.
Exercise can also help you to deal with alcohol or drug withdrawal in other ways. Exercising releases endorphins in the brain which can make you feel good, and also raise your mood. This can be useful for combating the anxiety and depression that is often caused by alcohol withdrawal or drug withdrawal.
Herbal remedies have been around for thousands of years and are used in both alternative and traditional medicine. Many different herbs promote healthy organs and strong body functions, making them very useful in a detox to help your body work to get rid of any built up toxins. There are a huge range of herbs that can be used for various purposes during a detox, including:
Detoxing is only the first part of alcohol treatment or drug treatment. There are many other things that need to be done in order to help you battle your addiction and stay free of harmful substances in the future. Because detoxing has its own safety risks, and because there is much more to giving up drugs and alcohol than just stopping drinking or drug taking, it is best to seek alcohol or drug treatment from a specialist treatment center. Steps to Recovery can provide you with all the support you need when going through a detox to ensure that the process is safe and effective, and that you have the tools to be able to stay sober.