Suzanne Norman

Enlightened Living Articles

Heart Chakra

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In our yoga classes this month, we've been focusing on the Chakra system.  An important concept of yoga is that of the Chakras. In yogic thought, the body contains seven primary points that store energy, known as Chakras.  (There are thousands of Chakras within our bodies)

Westerners would interpret the Chakras as nerve centers, but they are much more than this.  As life energy, called prana, enters our bodies (using oxygen as its vehicle) the breath and life energy serpentines its way down and up our spinal axis.  At the meeting points of this serpentine movement, a vortex of energy is formed.  These energy vortexes are Chakras

Though not physical in nature, they can be associated with various aspects of our physiology and psychology. 

They do more than store energy, each Chakra controls a different system of our body as well as a different realm of your emotions.  When a Chakra becomes blocked, you could suffer from problems in that area.  

For example, a sore throat, or….an inability to adequately communicate your feelings could signal a blocked

vishuddha (throat) Chakra.  If you have indigestion, or…are overly competitive, you could have an imbalance in your manipura (solar plexus) Chakra.

Certain yoga poses can make releasing and opening the Chakras easier, flooding them with energy, which helps to balance your entire body/mind.  
One of the goals of a yoga practice is to free the blocked prana to ensure balance and harmony in the physical body, the mental body, and the spiritual body.  

The Heart Chakra is called Anahatha.  This is associated with the cardiac plexus of nerves.  The heart Chakra is associated with the capacity for us to emotionally and spiritually nurture others.  On a physical level, imbalances here are associated with lung and heart diseases.  Psychological implication of a lack of energy imbalances here would lead to apathy or an inability to offer love to others.  Feelings of love and compassion are experienced at this center.  This energy center is about love, relationships, passion, joy of life.  It relates to the heart, lungs, thymus gland and emotions.

When we work with yoga asana to bring balance to this Chakra, we would look to heart openers, back bends!

One of my favorites is a simple, passive, supportive backbend.  Lie on the floor with a rolled yoga mat or blanket running perpendicular to the spin across the scapula (shoulder blades) with the arms in goal-post position above the rolled support.  Relax and breathe evenly but fully in the belly, back and chest.  Visualize your heart center, which is behind the physical heart.  imagine a radiant green aura of light coming from this place.  Each time you breathe in, allow that light to expand and as it does, expand the feelings of love, compassion, empathy, generosity, optimism, and grace.  As well, feel the muscles of the front of the chest, shoulders and mid-section releasing and relaxing.

Allow five minutes in this position.  When you are finished you will feel less tension and tightness in your shoulders and chest.  Your breathing will have deepened, and your posture improved.  More importantly, you will have a more open and compassionate heart center.

love thy enemies

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,.."  Matthew 5:44

I am not a religious person nor I don't profess to know much about the bible, but I do know that some consider this to be one of the most important verses in the entire New Testament and is what separates Christianity from all earlier religions.  I suppose most of the verses in most of the religious text are subject to personal interpretation, translated based on our own perceptions, conditionings and beliefs.   But this one is powerful and appears fairly straightforward to me.

But these modern times, especially In light of the recent events in so many parts of world, this ideology seems to be lost, forgotten, or ignored.  How does one "love thy enemy" when there is such hate, violence, and destruction imposed upon human beings by other human beings.  How can we forgive? How can we begin to heal as a species, a planet, a collective consciousness?  These questions keep many of us awake at night, worrying for our future.

I turn to the teachings of the wisdom traditions when I feel lost and disheartened.  Time and again, regardless of the problem I am seeking an answer to, I am presented with one simple idea…change your perception. Clear your lenses and try to see through new eyes.  This is empathy.

Empathy is not sympathy.  Sympathy is the outpouring of pity or feeling sorry for someone(s).  Empathy is the ability to step into the world of another person, what is it like to be in the skin of another, feeling what they feel, trying to understand.   Empathy is easier when its our neighbor. We can more easily step into the shoes of those near to us, especially if they are "like" us.  But empathy doesn't work so well at a distance.  For instance, how can you step into the shoes of an Isis operative to understand their motives?  How do you try to empathize with someone you hate in order to understand them? 

This is where Gandhi was so ahead of his time.  Gandhi, who was Hindu, said "I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.."  He saw the power in this, the power of empathy to bring about peace.  Gandhi dedicated his life to satya (truth) and peace. One of his more famous quotes of "an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world bind", supports his renown as  a pacifist committed to non-violence and conflict resolution.

For those not so steeped in the ideology of those like Gandhi, the militarist Robert McNamara, a former U.S. Secretary of Defense famously said that the number one rule in all foreign policy making should be to empathize with your enemy. He didn't mean to befriend or agree with them, he meant that to think smart, you had to understand what it is that drives them. Because if you don't understand them or where they are coming from, then all of your strategies to defeat them will be a failure.  While his motives were different, he understood the value of empathy.

Empathy is vital to any form of relationship, business, familial, or global.   So how does one begin to develop empathy?  There are many techniques or ideas you can consider to begin to open yourself to this ability, but one of the simplest ways is to simply be curious.

Develop and nurture your curiosity of another person, a stranger. Ask the Muslim guy that sells you your morning paper about his life, his world. Ask the Hindu in the tea shop about her family, her dreams.   Act as if that person is more interesting than your are.  Then you will begin to soften your fear and perhaps your hate,  and empathize (feel) what another person feels. You never really understand a person until you've stepped inside of their skin and walked around.

This is the only way to begin to heal, to build healthy and peaceful relationships toward a common goal. 

"A man is absolutely free only when there is no identity left.  You are neither a Christian nor a Hindu nor a Mohammedan; you are neither an Indian nor a German; you are neither a man nor a woman.  You are just a pure consciousness, and that consciousness is eternal." 

Healthier Summer Tips

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Sunscreen smarts 
We've been led to believe that sunscreens are the safest way to protect yourself from sun damage, and that's due to the fact that companies spend millions of dollars a year to keep you believing that. Yet most sunscreens block out beneficial UVB rays, (which are the ones that help you produce vitamin D) leaving you wide open to the damaging UVA rays... not to mention the toxic chemicals that are the ingredients in most of these products!

There are a few better ideas.  You may want to consider skipping the sunscreen. Don't wait until your skin turns dark pink to get out of the sun, go from sun to shade every 15-20 minutes, this is the best way to prevent a burn. You'll get a healthy dose of Vitamin D and avoid absorbing harmful chemical toxins.

Or consider a natural alternative. Coconut oil and aloe vera gel are natural sunscreens that are also good for your skin. And that red pepper you may throw on the grill will also help protect your skin. They're full of antioxidants that defend against sun damage.

Kill Pests, Not Brain Cells
Bug sprays containing DEET are some of the worst offenders when it comes to toxic chemical exposures, especially to children, and the longer the product claims to keep the bugs at bay, the more chemical it is likely to contain.  And the risk increases if it's left on overnight!
Why risk it? use essential oils instead.  Mix citronella, peppermint, and tea tree oil with witch hazel and distilled water.  Bugs hate it, and it smells great.

Quick Dips
Traditional swimming pools are full of harmful chemicals. Chlorine, bromine, and their byproducts can start damaging your DNA in as little as 40 minutes of exposure.  So keep your pool sessions to 30 minutes or less.  And remember, exposure to pool chemicals doesn't end once you're out of the water, so be sure to rinse off when you get out.

Healthier Grilling
Marinating meats in beer before grilling will help prevent meats from  forming carcinogenic compounds.  But so can pre-cooking them to further limit the amount of cancer-causing chemicals formed on the grill…like heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Start with grass-fed or organic, free range chicken.  They should be free of any antibiotics or hormones.  Bake it most of the way in the over. Then finish it on the grill right away to prevent bacteria from moving in.

Add Some Color
That's not the only way to help fight cancer on the grill. Antioxidants in vegetables can help soak up any toxins left behind on your meats.  Tossing them on the grill also helps to bring out their natural sweetness.

Zucchini, rich in vitamins A, B, and C, is a great choice as it hold up well on the grill.  Add some red peppers and this combo packs a healthy dose of antioxidants like lycopene and nasunin.  Together, they fend off cancer-causing free radicals!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015
There is scientific proof that you can heal yourself. And this isn't limited to just the nuisance symptoms that decrease your quality of life such as low energy,aches and pains and waning vitality. It applies to chronic health conditions that Western medicine hasn't been able to successfully address, as well as life-threatening illnesses.  

The Eastern medical and the more "natural" health modals have known this for hundreds of years. Our own contemporary medical establishment has been proving that the mind can heal the body of over 50 years.  We call it the placebo effect. There's loads of data proving that the mind can believe itself well. (We can also think ourselves sick, this is known as the nocebo effect)

Patients treated with placebos don't just "feel" better, they are getting better. Bronchi dilate, warts disappear, colons become less inflamed, hair grows back on the heads of bald men, ulcers heal, as well as many other measurable physiological phenomena.

It turns out, the body has built in self-repair mechanisms that fix damaged proteins, repair DNA, eat up cancer cells and other infectious agents that our bodies are exposed to everyday.  This natural ability explains the spontaneous remissions that we hear about from seemingly "incurable" diseases. 

How do these things happen physiologically? Through the power of our thoughts!  A positive thought or emotion can trigger spontaneous repair within the body.  A negative thought or emotion can, conversely, help foster dis-ease.

What disables the body's natural self-repair mechanisms?  Stress. Stress flips on a series of physiological cascades associated with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the "fight or flight" response of the sympathetic nervous system.  

But here is the catch, the body can only repair itself when it is in a state of physiological rest.  Whenever your body is in stress overload, it shuts down self-repair. 

In October, I will be hosting a workshop to share not just the scientific proof that you can heal yourself, but also tips for using the power of the mind to optimize the body's natural self-repair mechanisms.  You'll learn how disease prevention and spontaneous remissions aren't just something that happens randomly, but something you can experience for yourself.  

Please join us

Meditation Shown to Change Your DNA

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

We know that meditation is good for us.  There are hundreds of studies showing how it can decrease stress, calm the mind and emotions, and increase mental clarity and focus.  The medical studies showing how, in as little as ten minutes per day, meditation can help reduce blood pressure, quell anxiety and aid in the prevention of heart disease, should be enough to get everyone on the meditation bandwagon!  But now we have more support in favor of this ancient practice. 

A recent study published in the Canadian scientific journal Cancer, the use of mindfulness meditation was shown to have an impact on certain types of DNA in breast cancer patients. Specifically it was the length of telomeres, which are tiny protective caps on the end of chromosomes. In this study, they found that the telomeres where physically altered as the result of mindful meditation.

Leading the investigation was Dr. Linda Carlson.  She and her colleagues took distressed breast cancer survivors and divided them in to three groups.  The first group was randomly assigned to an eight week cancer recovery program consisting of mindfulness meditation and yoga; the second to a twelve week group therapy in which they shared emotions and fostered social support, and the third was a control group, receiving  just a six hour stress management course.
A total of 88 women completed the study and had their blood analyzed for telomere length before and after the interventions.  Telomeres were maintained in both treatment groups but shortened in control group.

Wondering what telomeres have to do with anything?  Here's the lowdown.  
Basically, shorter telomeres correlate with ailments like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (just to mention a few).  So if we can manage to keep these structures from shrinking, our overall health is better off.  This new correlations of telomere length with the age old practice of mindfulness gives people the power to control their own health!  

So if the zen-ness of a meditation practice isn't enough to draw people in, maybe the proven promise of physiological health benefits will get them on the bandwagon!

The Mind Governs the Body, not Partially, but Wholly

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
In any situation, you have the ability to have any response you want. When you forget that, the mind/body connection ceases to be effortless and natural, stress begins to accumulate and negative signals from the mind begin to damage the body.

Any thought or feeling must express itself physically because all of our thoughts create chemical reactions. Everything we think and do originates inside the deepest levels of consciousness and bubbles up to the surface of life. You are constantly creating your reality, so make your thoughts positive, loving and healthy.

There is an old Indian saying that goes, “If you want to see what your thoughts were like yesterday, look at your body today. If you want to see what your body will be like tomorrow, look at your thoughts today.”

The real medicine our bodies need is the medicine of awareness

Foods that Help Fight Stress

Friday, November 01, 2013

Just the other day I was asked what the hardest thing I’d ever done was. Without hesitation, and without thinking about it, I responded, "the year 2013!"

For me, this year provided a lifetime of challenges and can be defined with one word, loss. This emotionally stressful year has challenged me in many ways. One of the most troubling of these has been to my physical health. I began to feel depressed and had trouble sleeping. I gained weight, despite the fact that I couldn't eat.  I suffered digestive problems, agitation and migraine headaches. My road back to balanced health will take time and patience.

I am luckier than most in that I am educated in and teach an array of stress reduction techniques and healthy lifestyle choices. Yet my daily yoga and meditation practice and knowledge of how stress works weren't enough to fully protect me.  

A body under too much stress for too long starts to exhibit the signs of adrenal exhaustion: fatigue, depression, skin problems, sleeplessness, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, lightheadedness, poor memory, blood sugar fluctuations, among other symptoms. And at this point, relaxation and yoga are not enough. We have to also nourish the body with foods and supplements if we hope to find balance again.

We all deal with stress every day, and our bodies strive to adapt and keep balanced and healthy. Can foods help you with stress? Most certainly. There is a category of herbs called adaptogens that help the body adapt to stress, restore balance, and support normal metabolic processes. They help increase the body’s resistance to emotional, environmental, biological, and physical stressors and promote normal physiologic function.

There is ample research to prove many of these herbs  are important medicines that can be used for the prevention and treatment of a variety of common ailments. Adaptogens are superior healing herbs that have a long tradition of use and benefits. They are remarkable natural substances that help the body adapt to stress and provide a defense response to acute or chronic stress. They are unique from other substances in their ability to restore the balance of endocrine, hormones, modulate the immune system, and allow the body to maintain a state of homeostasis.

An adaptogenic substance is defined as an agent that allows the body to counter adverse physical, chemical, or biological stressors by raising nonspecific resistance toward such stress, thus allowing the organism to “adapt” to the stressful circumstances. Some researchers contend that adaptogens enhance the body’s natural bipolar homeostatic balancing capacity and help return stressed physiological systems to normal. Adaptogens produce changes in the body because they stimulate and balance several body systems, including the immune and neuroendocrine systems.

The traditional systems Traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine from India, Tibetan medicine, and kampo from Japan, have long histories of success with herbal medicine. 

Traditional herbal medicine differs in both theory and practice from Western medicine. In traditional herbal medical systems, herbs (medicines) are seen as correcting internal disharmony rather than simply targeting symptoms as in western medicine. There appear to be active constituents found in herbal adaptogens that work to stimulate the neuroendocrine and immune systems via multiple metabolic pathways. They affect the brain, nerves, endocrine glands (pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, thymus, pineal, pancreas, ovaries, and testes), and immune system by helping to normalize and enhance function.

 Adaptogens also modulate our responses to stress and help regulate and support the immune system. Adaptogenic herbs support the entire neuroendocrine system, in particular adrenal function, helping to counteract the adverse effects of stress.

I suggest adaptogens to my clients for an array of health challenges and I encourage you to research them. My favorite adaptogenic herb is ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune amphoteric, antitumor, nervine, antispasmodic, mild astringent, and diuretic.

Ashwagandha is a calming adaptogen. It enhances endocrine function, especially helping to re-regulate the thyroid and adrenal glands. Few herbs have a direct effect on thyroid function, but in animal and human studies, ashwagandha root was found to stimulate the thyroid, making it useful for hypothyroidism. Because of its nervine functions, it is very effective for anxiety, fatigue, cloudy thinking, stress-induced insomnia, and nervous exhaustion. This herb is a key player in my nutrition arsenal these days and I believe it should be considered as a daily tonic against normal, every-day stressors and not just when you feel overwhelmed with stress. It’s the every-day stress that simmers and eventually boils over.

Cautions: avoid using this herb if you are sensitive to nightshade plants. Avoid using this herb if you have hyperthyroidism. It is probably best to avoid its use during pregnancy.

Stress & Your thoughts

Friday, November 01, 2013
“Remember that stress doesn’t come from what’s going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what’s going on in your life” Andrew Bernstein

The ability of the body/mind to manage stress successfully is critical to health and vitality. Stress may be the leading cause of illness and disease. The American Institute of Stress reports that as many as 75 to 90 percent of visits to physicians are due to stress-related complaints. In survey after survey, Americans identify stress as the number one health concern today and more than 50 percent of adults in the United States report high stress on a daily basis. And chronic stress, in addition to a host of physical symptoms, can cause serious mental/emotional imbalances.

The events, the challenges, the tough situations will always be in your life. Some of them you can change, some you really ought to change, and many of them you have absolutely no control over. What you do have control over is YOU. Stress management is really you management. You can control what you eat, what you drink, you can control your activity level. You can learn to say no to things you don’t really want and yes to those you do. And yes, you can even control your emotions and the way you react to situations. You can learn to relax, mentally and physically.

It has been said that stress is the body’s non-specific reaction to any demand made upon it. By non-specific, it is meant that our bodies respond in essentially the same way no matter what the stressor. The reaction will be the same whether you’ve lost a loved one or won the lottery. The heart starts beating faster, blood pressure rises, adrenaline releases into the blood stream. Digestion slows. You may feel a racing heart, cold hands, short and shallow breathing, upset stomach. We’ve all experienced these things from time to time. It’s called the flight or fight response. It was a pretty good system in the cave-man days. Faced with a threat, you could fight it out or run away. Either way, you got it out of your system, and things settled back to normal. Today’s stressors usually don’t lend themselves to fighting or fleeing. Usually we just stand and take it, and that means we store it up. And that’s exactly what happens, the distress builds up and accumulates until eventually it just has to manifest itself some way. Stress build-up attacks the immune system, so it affects us wherever we are most vulnerable; some may have ulcers, others may experience heart problems, headaches, emotional and mental disturbances, even cancer, just to name a few. We may see it in our behavior, like over-eating, under-eating, drinking, drug abuse, aggressiveness, and so on. And, as you may know, these things themselves are stressors, which feed back into your system, and the vicious cycle goes on.

Fortunately, there are simple things you can learn to do to mitigate the accumulation of stress. One of the easiest is simply learning to relax. Relaxation can also accumulate in your system and help undo the effects of stress. Relaxation lowers your blood pressure, slows the heart rate, clams the nervous system, and eases tension. As you learn to relax, you will also have an opportunity to create a mental getaway, a private place in your mind where you can go any time you need to relax and promote healing for your mind and body. You can change your perception and learn how to let go of old ideas and beliefs, memories and emotions that no longer serve you well. Most importantly, you can learn to love and appreciate yourself. Remember, your perception is your strongest stress management tool.

I have created a “mental getaway” CD called Relaxation for Stress Release

, and listening to this recording daily can help you reduce the accumulation of stress and start accumulating the health benefits of relaxation. This audio recording is an effortless way to teach your mind to respond differently to stress.

Childs Pose

Friday, November 01, 2013
“Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older” Hans Selye

Stress is a phenomenon that manifest itself in our body in many different ways. Some of the more common symptoms of stress include problems with sleep, depression, anxiety, irritability, and fatigue. Chronic and acute stresses can cause or aggravate most diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, ulcers, insomnia, hypertension, and obesity. According to some estimates, prolonged stress is the initial reason for approximately 80 percent of common diseases. Chronic stress can wreak havoc on our emotions.

It has been said that the body is the battleground of the emotions. What we feel and think manifest in our physical and physiological body. Certain states of mind are reflected in our posture, in our physical form. Our bodies hold and therefore reflect our attitudes and habitual mind patterns.

If there is hardness in the body, there is hardness in the mind. If there is stress and tension in the body, there is stress and tension in the mind.

As we learn to release these patterns in the physical body, the mind will follow.

As we learn to relax our bodies and release tension, the mind will follow.

One of the tools that I use and teach to release tension and stress in the physical body is, of course, Hatha Yoga. Yoga is a holistic system of strengthening, purifying, and balancing the body so that it releases tension and reduces stress accumulation. Used properly, it is one of the few physical disciplines that also strengthen every other system in your body: circulatory, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, hormonal and emotional.

Yoga does not have to be a huffing and puffing experience; a few simple poses done everyday is enough to keep your body strong, resilient and healthy. It is one of the best forms of stress reduction there is. And one of my favorite poses to help reduce stress is also one of the simplest…supported child’s pose. This pose is accessible to everyone, requiring no particular level of flexibility, strength or balance.

Take a large yoga bolster (8 inches thick and about 12 inches wide), if you do not have a bolster, a stack of firm blankets will do and kneel on the floor, hips sitting on heels. Be sure your knees and shins are supported on padded carpet or yoga mat. Open the knees just as wide as your bolster or stack of blankets and, keeping your hips on your heels, lengthen your torso out over the bolster or stack of blankets, turn your head to one side, place your arms on the ground, in goal post position with the forearms resting on the floor, the torso and head resting on the bolster. Relax completely for at least 2 minutes and then switch the turn of the head and relax another 2 minutes.

This is a very restful pose as it pacifies the frontal brain by reducing stress, soothing the eyes and nerves, and calming the mind. It will help to rejuvenate you after a long day. This pose calms the sympathetic nervous system thereby reducing the fight or flight response and draining stress from the body. It will help reduce high blood pressure, relieve dizziness, fatigue and headaches.
(Contraindications: If you have knee issues, try practicing this sitting in a chair at a table, and simply crossing your arms on the table and placing your head on your arms.)

This is just one of pose to help with stress, there are many yoga postures that affect the endocrine system in a positive way. Including a regular yoga practice into your life can be a powerful tool in reducing the negative affects of chronic stress.

If you’d like to incorporate a stress reducing yoga routine into your day, try our Simple yoga for Stress Release DVD. In only 30 minutes a day, you can begin to dramatically reduce the stress accumulation in your body and move toward a healthier, happier body and mind.

Detoxification: the missing link in disease prevention

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Chemicals and wastes are polluting the earth’s environment on an unprecedented scale. Toxicity is of much greater concern in the 21st century than ever before. We are assaulted by enormous amounts of both environmental and stress toxins daily, and our bodies can’t keep up.

Just a partial list of toxins include: chemicals and additives in processed foods and low quality supplements; heavy metals and pesticides; contaminated tap water; preservatives in foods and products; industrial uses of mercury & heavy metals; radiation; carbon emissions; residues from drugs, pharmaceutical and recreational; pharmaceutical by products; increased radiation; and even stress.

We ingest new chemicals, eat more sugar and refined foods, abuse ourselves with stimulants and sedatives daily. We have seen an increase in toxicity diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, arthritis, allergies, and obesity. Symptoms such as immune weakness, headaches, chronic fatigue and/or pain, skin rashes, GI problems, and sinus congestion can all be a result of toxic overload.

Your body detoxes naturally everyday, but the overload of toxins we are continually exposed to can overburden our own detoxification process. Our bodies can only handle so much and when the detoxifying systems are blocked or backed up, inflammation and irritation in the body increased, blocking normal functions on a cellular, organ, and/or whole body level.

Body purification has been a part of mankind’s rituals for health and well-being for thousands of years and detoxification techniques are at the foundation of every great healing philosophy. Personally, I participate in a detoxification ritual three times a year without fail, and if I am traveling a great deal or feel a higher level of stress, it may be another two or three short periods of detoxification. I believe this is the reason I have not had a single health crisis in over twenty years.

Detoxing may bring to mind a grueling (and dangerous) water fast…and this may be the reason so many people avoid it. The truth is, a proper detoxification program is gentle and supportive, and after a few days you will feel amazing. More energy, clearer skin, freer joints, less bloated.

A detox program aims to remove the cause of disease before it makes us ill. It’s a time-honored way to keep immune response high, elimination regular, circulation sound and stress under control, so your body can handle the toxicity it encounters.

“Most people come equipped by nature with all of the pieces of a puzzle necessary to enjoy life with excellent health but by the time they get their career and family underway, most have not only managed to scramble the puzzle….they’ve actually lost some of the pieces” – Dian McLaren

Plato said “the unexamined life is not worth living”, and yet, for me, a daily meditation practice can be one of my biggest challenges. I know the value of sitting quietly for a few minutes each day, I feel how mindfully moving my body opens me and makes me feel more alive, I know how vital these things are to my mind and soul – just as food is to the body.

The single greatest investment we can ever make in life is an investment in ourselves, it is the only instrument we have with which to deal with life and to contribute. And to be effective, to perform at our best – calm, grounded, clear, we need to recognize the importance of taking time regularly to nurture our body and our mind.

As the familiar saying goes “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. It takes conscious effort to meditate, to reflect and look objectively within – but until a person can say honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday”, that person cannot say “I choose otherwise”.

Yesterdays meals will not satisfy today’s hunger. Each day we must nourish, each day we must reflect.

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