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Daily Affirmation Daily Affirmation:
I will do my best today, because I want to do it, not because I have to do it and not because I am trying to please others.

   
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Insomnia, Chronic Fatigue and Chinese Medicine

In our society we put a premium on our waking hours and have the tendency to underestimate the importance of a full-night’s sleep. Millions of people who suffer from insomnia look for quick fixes instead of exploring the root causes of the problem. Sleep hygiene is an afterthought for many people. Evening is a time to allow our minds and bodies to turn inward to our subconscious. Sleep deprivation is the root of many health issues like memory impairment, a weakened immune system and stress that can lead to cardiac disease, heart disease and digestive disorders.

Exposure to the diminishing light at dusk helps regulate sleep hormones in the body. Excessive lighting at night, evening shift work, evening computing, video games, television and late-night eating all serve to counteract the body’s natural rhythms. It’s no wonder people have trouble sleeping. Rather than embrace nighttime as rest time, we tend to let our minds wander from one element of stress to another keeping us up for hours or perhaps an entire evening. We are then forced to approach the new day without having benefited from the regenerative powers that night time brings.

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Meditation: The Nectar

Through meditation we discover the nectar within. Pure Being.
When the physiology that is in accordance with Being is printed out, all behaviors flow from that place. All desires flow from it.

And ultimately, all actions flow from it.

When we are in accordance with Being, everything flows from our one true Self.
Through our daily meditation practice, we establish ourselves in Being first, and then take action. In this sequence, action is more powerful, more frictionless and ultimately more fruitful.

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Meditating on Loving Kindness (adapted from Jack Kornfield)

This meditation uses words, images, and feelings to evoke a loving kindness and friendliness toward oneself and others. With each recitation of the phrases, we are expressing an intention, planting the seeds of loving wishes over and over in our heart.  Begin with yourself and gradually begin to include other people in your meditation, picturing each beloved person, recite inwardly the same phrases, evoking a sense of loving kindness for each person in turn.  Finally, include the difficult people in your life, wishing that they too may be filled with loving kindness and peace. This will take practice. But as your heart opens, first to loved ones and friends, you will find that in the end you won’t want to close it anymore.

So Let’s Begin~!

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Meditation: The Bad Old Days

Change is inevitable. When we are stressed out, we lose the capability to detect subtlety in our everyday experience. Our consciousness becomes dulled and our senses fail to perceive subtle shifts and changes. We miss out on vital information and fail to perceive change in progress.

When we lose that subtle capability to detect change in progress, our everyday experience can become dominated by alternately being surprised by change and then reacting to it. Having missed the signs of change at the subtle level, we are forced to interact with change when it becomes a big, non-negotiable demand.

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Meditation: Back to Basics

The quality of our actions is rooted in our mental outlook.  Calm,  clear thinking gives rise to action which is creative, inspirational and  evolutionary.  On the other hand, stressed or reactionary thinking  yields action that is rife with friction, short sightedness and even  regret.  It may even do harm to ourselves and others.  That is why we  strive to take care of our mental well being, since our state of mind  directly impacts, and is in fact the basis of, our activity.

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Meditation: The Perfect Prescription

Sitting  quietly in meditation is a practice which reveals our least excited  state – the very basis of our Being.  However, our least excited state  may not always result in an experience of sustained pure silence.   Instead, we must think of our least excited state as our simplest form  of awareness in that particular moment.
As the mind  dives into meditation, our body faithfully and dutifully prints out  whatever state of de-excitation the mind is able to achieve.  The sequence is:  first the mind, and then the body.  These are  the mechanics of how the body launders stress – through simple rest – and the engine driving that process is the mind.
As  the body unwinds stress, the mind can become active with thoughts, emotions or even body sensation.  Those experiences are the after effect of the body unstressing.  Whenever we have those experiences in our meditation, as long they are preceded by our thinking the mantra, then we know they are the byproduct of stress release.
When there  is more stress in the body, there are more opportunities for stress to  be released.  During the early days of meditation, when the body is  still holding a lifetime backlog of stress, only very little  de-excitation is needed in order to trigger its release.  As we clear  out that backlog through regular practice, the trend is toward more sustained periods of depth in meditation.
However,  deeper meditation is not solely a function of how many months or years  we have been practicing.  We must also factor in whatever is happening  in our current life experience.  Life is change, and with change  comes a variety of demands.  Sometimes those demands can overwhelm us  and add stress.  Even though experienced meditators find this happening  less and less in their lives, no one is completely immune – no matter  how much meditation we’ve done.
For most, the three biggest demands in life are change in living situation, change in work (financial) situation and change in relationship status.  Even long time meditators report that their depth of meditation can change when those demands arise.  Oftentimes, meditation during those challenging periods feels more “on the surface” and less relaxing, and some even feel a little agitated coming out of their practice.
If any of those experiences sounds familiar, know that you are not alone.  And also, remind yourself that it is just a small bump in the road – it will pass.  Ultimately, the perfect prescription is simply to keep regular with our practice, and take the whole experience as it comes, without judgement or concern.

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Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food

Food has the power to temporarily alleviate stress and sadness, enhance joy, and bring us comfort when we need it most. Maybe it’s cultural, or maybe it is the way in which we celebrate victories, birthdays, memories, the end of each work day, and pass the time in between? It is no wonder experts estimate that 75 percent of overeating is triggered by our emotions, not physical hunger. So much overeating is caused not by hunger, but by our emotions. Eating is a common coping mechanism for stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil, but the ramifications can be significant. Most Americans are overweight and many suffer from resultant health problems because, for them, food is therapy.

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Meditation: Removing Resistance

One of the most overlooked fundamental principals of our personal evolution is simply to remove any internal resistance to growth and change. On its own, meditation promotes this very quality by purifying the physiology of old stresses which in the past have become obstacles to our evolutionary process. For many, old programs and internal voices endlessly looping in our minds have told us “I’m not good enough” or “nothing good ever happens to me.” These statements are old stresses, and while untrue at the most fundamental level, they have a profound impact on how we approach our daily existence, and how we process and internalize what goes on around us. Even when something good is happening, we can have difficulty accepting it, or we expect “the other shoe to drop” at any moment.

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Optimal Nutrition and Healing Habits: What to Eat Post Surgery or Hospital Stay

An article from the Human Nutrition, Applied Nutrition Journal and US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reported that individuals/patients on a surgical, a medical, an accident service and an elective orthopedic ward were given foods that reflected a very low daily intake of iron and vitamins as compared to those recommended for healthy adults. When I worked in hospitals and rehabilitation centers in Florida and in California, I noticed that people recovering from major surgery, those battling cancer, patients that were recovering from pneumonia and those in hospital beds for chronic illnesses were given white bread, canned (saturated with sodium) soups and canned (marinated in sugar water) fruits, and Jell-O. I questioned many times to myself and to the dietary staff, as well as hospital/rehabilitation management how people (most of them seniors) were supposed to recuperate when we are feeding them junk food that was essentially “dead”?

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Meditation: You Are Fulfillment

 Someone asked, “What is Happiness?”
In a word, Happiness is fulfillment. It is an internal state of non-neediness.
Whenever we felt needy in the past, we most likely looked to the outside world in order to fill that void. The trouble with this approach is that once we got whatever we thought we needed, happiness had moved on. We then found we were lacking something else, and now we needed that too. Each successive object or experience only temporarily filled the hole. When we began our meditation practice, almost immediately we had the experience of fulfillment within ourselves. Inner contentedness is purely self-referral. That means, it does not depend on anything outside of ourselves in order for it to exist.

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