Suzanne Norman

Enlightened Living Articles

Meeting Challenge

Monday, March 23, 2020

 

HOW TO KEEP MOVING LIFE FORWARD DURING A PANDEMIC

We are experiencing some crazy times right now, no doubt about that. We've had similar situations in our recent history and we've come out strong, remember that.

If you're feeling any anxiety, that's completely understandable, these are challenging times and staying positive can prove very difficult. Uncertainty and fear can take a stronghold of your emotions.

Now more than ever, it's important that we stay calm and come together to get through this latest global health emergency.

More than ever, it's important that we all move forward in the spirit of community, compassion, and positive expectations that we will get through this as soon as possible.

When we feel out of control, it can feel as if the ground beneath us falls away and it can be easy to spiral into anxiety and panic.

This is an opportunity to stop and ask yourself, "what can I control right now?" In the moment, you can control your breathing and your thoughts. On a broader landscape, you can choose how you respond to any situation. You can choose to stay positive. You CAN choose to take care of yourself and practice self-care routines that include yoga, meditation, and breathing.

Nourish your body to keep your immune system strong and this includes reducing your stress. You can turn off the constant stream of negativity and go outside and be in nature. You can call a friend and give each other support. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend more quality time with family and friends. We are being asked to slow down and be present, not rushing from one event after another as is usual with our over-scheduled lives. We have a beautiful opportunity to simply be together and unplug, connect, laugh, and play.

One of the best things you can do for yourself when you're feeling down is to help another, to give of yourself. Check-in on a neighbor or an elderly relative and see how you can help them or if they just need a calming reassurance.

What we each most certainly should be avoiding is feeding into the collective energy of fear. Be a hopeful and bright source of energy for your friends and family.

Things are never as they seem and situations such as this have historically never materialized into the predicted disastrous outcomes. If you are healthy, you are going to be fine. Do your part and remain calm and let's come together in the spirit of community to support one another.

On a spiritual level, the viral spread shows us how profoundly interconnected we are. We are all part of each other and part of this world in ways that we often ignore in easier times. It's sobering to realize that we share our very breath with every creature on this planet.

But it's also inspiring to realize that your breath itself can be a healing power when you fill it with light and send it with kindness into the world.

Adding loving-kindness prayer to your breath when you feel anxious or fearful, "May I be happy, May I be safe, May I be healthy - May my family be happy, may they be safe, may they be healthy - May the people in my community be happy, may they be safe, may they be healthy - May all sentient creatures on this earth be happy, may they be safe, may they be healthy"

This practice is one of the best ways there is to lift the mind beyond fear. And it's good for the immune system!

Every one of us has powerful practices for strengthing our connection to grace and healing. This is a time to use what we know.

So along with taking sensible precautions, Use your mindfulness awareness and noticing where your fear sits in the body and when fear is present, create space around it and breathe through it.

More suggestions:
Spend time drawing in light through the crown of your head and feeling that light penetrating your cells.

Protect your subtle body by creating a balloon of light around your body, protecting yours from negativity as well as external threats such as viruses and pathogens.

Our spiritual practice teaches us that peace and joy are not dependent on external circumstances.

The Buddha taught that suffering is optional, you don't have to go where your mind takes you. You can direct your attention to what needs to be done now with kindness, compassion, patience, self-monitoring, and freedom.

Everyone around us needs this, a level of presence and peace. It's the only way you can make an impact. It's time to put into practice what you've been practicing!

If you attend classes at the studio, I want you to know that I intend to keep classes going.  We are now offering the classes on Zoom. I want to help you stay with your practice when you need it most.  Here is the yoga class schedule.  If you'd like to join, please send me an email and I will forward you the payment link and the class link

Class Schedule:  

Tuesdays 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Thursdays 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Saturday 9:00 a.m.

Sunday 3:00 p.m.

Of course, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to meditate every day and I want to help you with that as I am committed to helping you stay calm and grounded during this time. To that end, I have decided to offer daily meditations for you during this time. They are posted on YouTube and on my podcast station

youtube

podcast

 

I leave you with the wisdom of Winnie the Pooh
"Promise me that you'll always remember:
You're braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think"

 

 

A pandemic Of Fear

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


THESE ARE UNPRECEDENTED TIMES

Many are feeling threatened and vulnerable.

We've had pandemic scares in the past and we've all experienced natural disaster emergencies, we've even witnessed a terrorist attack in our country. And yet somehow this one seems different. Perhaps it is a more serious threat than we've ever known, or maybe it's how the media is presenting the information.

Regardless of the cause, the reality is, there are millions of people feeling fear and anxiety unlike anything felt before. People are feeling a deep level of uncertainty and lack of control.

These feelings, if left unchecked and fueled by surrounding energy and behaviors, can build into panic and frenzy. We're seeing this happening around us, and this is a bigger threat to our health in the long run.

Fear is a basic survival instinct, and for a short period of time, it's a good thing. However, sustained periods or fear, the physiological effects of the fight, flight, or freeze response wreak havoc on your body.

I am one of many voices trying to be heard, only mine is telling a different narrative. I am trying to get you to believe that you have more power than you think you do, more control over your health than you are being led to believe you have. If we allow ourselves to believe what is being fed to us without allowing even a small bit of doubt, we are in trouble.

Just this morning, I had an interview about the placebo/nocebo effect. (Been the subject of most of my ramblings lately - check out my latest podcasts)
The placebo effect is when we are told something is good for us, a simple sugar pill for instance, and we see real biological changes in the body after taking the pill. This shows us that if we believe the pill is medicine, and we're told it is a powerful cure, it can be.

Just as strong, the nocebo effect. This is where we are told something bad or negative will happen and we see a biological or physiological response from that belief, including death. The placebo/nocebo phenomenon proves unequivocally just how powerful your mind is in controlling processes in your body. But we must be diligent in controlling the messages that we allow into our minds.

And here is where it gets tricky. Trusting the information that is presented to us. What do we believe to be true or real? We live in an age of cognitive dissonance (very Orwellian) created by the deceptive and manipulative use of language via the media or other authority. We hear the sound bites and talking points of political campaigns or media agendas which rarely present the most nuanced perspective on the issues, leaving one completely dependant on those sources for our perception of reality. This leaves one compelled to disregard their own perception in place of the officially dictated version of events.

Subjecting citizens to a non-stop bombardment of negativity and messages of doom, (I can't help but think about how the torture tactics of prisoners of war) are damaging to the collective psyche of the people.

All I want is for you to surround yourself with the belief that you are safe and strong. That you just consider the possibility that you have powers beyond what you currently may believe. That you not only have healing capabilities and strong defense mechanisms that will protect you against any threat that comes your way. But that you also have a direct line to a knowing that will guide you to your truth.

You have a connection to higher wisdom, some call it intuition or instinct, others call it the voice of higher insight or the voice of God. You have an inner guidance system that will tell you what is right for you and what is the truth.

Your inner wisdom will never mislead you. Trusting your voice of higher insight begins with going inward. Turning off the outer noise and tuning in.

Get quiet and present your question, your problem, or desire for clarity. And then go deep, listen and feel.

Connecting with your inner truth feels like a buoy. You will access a sense of peace and calmness that will support you as you navigate these turbulent waters of uncertainty.

I wish to support you. Please visit any of these resources:

Courses/Programs https://enlightenedliving.mykajabi.com/

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/enlightened-living-radio-enlightened-mind-healthy-body/id1356749661

Foods to protect against Coronavirus

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Highest recommended foods and supplements to fight viruses.

Vitamin C

Read more here:https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/02/24/iv-vitamin-c.aspx

 

(OMNS Mar 3, 2020) The government of Shanghai, China has announced its official recommendation that COVID-19 should be treated with high amounts of intravenous vitamin C.   

Read more here https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/shanghai-government-officially-recommends-vitamin-c-covid-19.2

 

The Sunshine Vitamin (Vit D)

 

Solar ultraviolet-B radiation and supplemental vitamin D have been shown to reduce pandemic fatality rates, which makes sense considering how important vitamin D is for controlling infections and lowering your risk for influenza and the common cold.  Research shows high-dose vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of respiratory illnesses and lung infections in the elderly by 40%.

Vitamin D can improve the immune system's ability to fight infections because it bolsters the first line of defense of the immune system. Take vitamin D in tandem with Vitamin K2 for optimal health.

  
Other essential nutrients to support your immune system:

 

(C
redit to Dr. Mercola)

 

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) — Encourages glutathione production, thins mucus, lowers your chances of influenza infection and reduces your risk of developing severe bronchitis
Elderberry extract — Known to shorten influenza duration by two to four days and reduce the severity of the flu. According to the authors:29
"Given that elderberry is a very rich source of anthocyanins, there is reason to suspect that its impact on viruses might be mediated, at least in part, by ferulic acid, a prominent metabolite that appears in plasma following anthocyanin ingestion."
Spirulina — Reduces severity of influenza infection and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies. In a human trial, spirulina significantly lowered the viral load in patients with HIV infection
Beta-glucan — Reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies
Glucosamine — Upregulates mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS), reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies
Selenium — "Since selenium is an essential cofactor for certain peroxidases, and selenium deficiency has been endemic in certain regions of China and other parts of the world, insuring adequacy of selenium nutrition might also be appropriate in this context," McCarty and DiNicolantonio note, adding:30
"Selenium deficiency also increases the rate at which viruses can mutate, promoting the evolution of strains that are more pathogenic and capable of evading immune surveillance."
Zinc — Supports "effective function and proliferation of various immune cells," lowering mortality in the elderly by 27%
Lipoic acid — Helps boost type 1 interferon response. As explained in a 2014 paper:31
"Type I interferons (IFNs) activate intracellular antimicrobial programs and influence the development of innate and adaptive immune responses … (IFNs) are polypeptides that are secreted by infected cells and have three major functions.
First, they induce cell-intrinsic antimicrobial states in infected and neighboring cells that limit the spread of infectious agents, particularly viral pathogens. Second, they modulate innate immune responses in a balanced manner that promotes antigen presentation and natural killer cell functions while restraining pro-inflammatory pathways and cytokine production.

 

Third, they activate the adaptive immune system, thus promoting the development of high-affinity antigen-specific T and B cell responses and immunological memory. Type I IFNs are protective in acute viral infections but can have either protective or deleterious roles in bacterial infections and autoimmune diseases."     

 

 

Sulforaphane — Helps boost type 1 interferon response

 

 

Protect And Defend

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Everyday habits can have a negative effect on your immunity

Your lifestyle can affect how well your immune system can protect you from germs, viruses, and chronic illness.  Replacing bad health habits with good ones can help keep your immune system healthy.

It should come as no surprise that washing your hands often, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet are effective ways of protecting yourself against viruses and other germs. What you may not realize is that other factors in your life could be compromising your body’s ability to protect itself.

How you spend your free time, your level of stress, how often you drink, how much physical activity you get, and even the air you breathe can take a toll on your immune system.

Stress

Everyone has some stress; it's part of life, but If stress drags on for a long time, it makes you more vulnerable to illness.

Chronic stress exposes your body to a steady stream of stress hormones that suppress the immune system.  You may not be able to get rid of your stress, but you can get better at managing it.  Stress makes the brain boost the production of the hormone cortisol, which impairs the function of infection-fighting T cells.

The top stress busters?  Yoga, meditation, exercise, meaningful connections.   

Loneliness

Feeling lonely could impair your immune system, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology in December 2014. The research, done on rats, found that increased anxiety associated with loneliness leads to greater suppression of the immune system and more oxidative stress, or damage caused by free radicals.   Having strong relationships and a good social network is good for you.  People who feel connected to friends - whether it’s a few close friends or a large group - have stronger immunity than those who feel alone, studies show.  In one study, lonely freshmen had a weaker immune response to a flu vaccine than those who felt connected to others.  

Research published in Psychological Science in February 2015 suggests that simply hugging someone can have a stress-buffering effect and reduce susceptibility to illness.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Over time, too much sitting and avoiding exercise can affect your body’s ability to fight infection, according to a January 2012 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Regardless of age, gender, and other harmful habits like smoking and drinking, a sedentary lifestyle is tied to an increased risk for premature death. Eventually, inactivity can lead to an impaired immune system, inflammation, and other chronic diseases.  Exercise can boost your body's feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better. 

sleep

You may have noticed you’re more likely to catch a cold or other infection when you’re not getting enough sleep. Studies help bear out that well-rested people who received the flu vaccine developed stronger protection against the illness.  Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of a stress hormone. It may also lead to more inflammation in your body.

Diet 

Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks.   A diet high in saturated fat impairs the immune system, and salt and sugar might also have negative effects, according to a review published in Nutrition Journal. Obesity affects the immune system by reducing the number and function of white blood cells needed to fight infection, according to a review in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stresses that good nutrition is essential for a healthy immune system.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc. Go for a wide variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots.  Other foods particularly good for your immune system include fresh garlic, which may help fight viruses and bacteria, and old-fashioned chicken soup.  Some mushroom varieties -- such as shiitake -- may also help your immune system.

 

Alcohol & Nicotine

Even one bout of excessive drinking can reduce the immune system’s response to invading pathogens.  Alcohol’s major metabolite, acetaldehyde, likely impairs ciliary function in the lungs, making them more prone to bacterial and viral invasion. Alcohol also impairs the process of attacking and breaking down bacteria and viruses.

Whether you’re smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes, you’re still being exposed to nicotine, which can have harmful effects on your immune system. Nicotine increases cortisol levels while reducing B cell antibody formation and T cells’ response to antigens. Researchers cautioned that e-cigarettes are unsafe because their vapor contains free radicals that can cause airway inflammation and impaired responses to bacteria and viruses.

This one may surprise you....

Too Much Exercise

Being a couch potato impairs your immune system, but the opposite extreme can also take a toll. Too much strenuous exercise, called overtraining syndrome, can be debilitating for the body and make it more vulnerable to infection, according to December 2012 in Acta Clinica Croatica. But a 2014 study suggests that regular, moderate physical activity can make you less susceptible to viruses.

Grief

A sudden or tragic event can weaken your body’s immune response, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.  Losing a loved one, for example, can boost the production of nerve chemicals and hormones that increase your risk for more frequent and severe viral infections.  Bereavement is associated with increased cortisol response and immune imbalance, according to a June 2012 review published in Dialogues in Clinical NeuroSciences. Certain vaccines, including the flu shot, may be less effective for those coping with profound loss, according to the NIMH.

Laughter

Laughing is good for you. It curbs the levels of stress hormones in your body and boosts a type of white blood cell that fights infection.

 

So in summary, Laugh a lot, get just the right amount of exercise (I would add - do it outdoors for a healthy dose of vitamin D),  limit or avoid alcohol and nicotine, get good sleep, adopt a healthy diet, connect with people, and reduce stress.    

At Enlightened Living, we can offer you all of that!!  Stay healthy and happy


 


 

 

  

 




 

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