Category Archives: Inner Nutrition

Inner Nutrition: Overcoming Our Disease of Dis-Ease, by Keith Glendon

As I read an inspirational article on the Internet the other day, I noticed tension building in my chest. I felt slightly inadequate. I watched a cloud of self-doubt form over my perspective. I became curious—why was this inspiration bringing me down? In the coming days, a pattern emerged. I noticed more articles on the Internet. More news headlines and connotations. More advertising and social media event invitations. It seemed wherever I turned, there was a common message: ‘Do more, achieve, strive, compete, stand out, be everything, have it all!’ I was un-inspired. Instead of motivating me to greatness, the undercurrent seemed to shout “You’re not enough!!”

Leonardo da Vinci spent sixteen years delaying his work on the Mona Lisa. For several years, the painting just sat there unfinished. He was criticized for dabbling in distractions that spanned painting and sculpture, music, the sciences, architecture, and other pursuits that kept him from progressing in the eyes of many as an artist. What his critical contemporaries didn’t recognize was that da Vinci’s rambling genius and creative process simply didn’t work along a timeline. He needed time, distraction, procrastination, unstructured puttering. It wasn’t about achievement or greatness but the process of exploring his unique interests and gifts, giving his piece into the flow of things.

After I caught myself being sideswiped by dark feelings from the “inspiration” with which I was being bombarded, I was reminded of the recent passing of my dad’s wife. Gail enjoyed many things but one thing she loved was quilting. A talented craftswoman, she always had a few quilt projects underway. Her creations were expressions of joy and of love. They were often gifts to those for whom she cared. They were artwork and simple, functional beauty – the product of her creative soul expressed in fabric. They were a gathering of friends. They were an investment of her heart. At times, she was intensely-focused at work on her quilts. Other times, projects would sit there in a corner while she read a book, gardened, or went on long bike rides with Dad. Taking time, setting aside, relaxing into life was an essential part of the process.

Gail was taken by disease. Cancer was the culprit. In life, though, she didn’t live in dis-ease. She didn’t strive or compete or seek to stand out or have it all. What she did have was joy in simple things, dedication to creativity, quiet consistency in her passion and love. She shared it freely. She took her time. Not long after she passed, Dad and I stood on a beach at sunset. As I felt his grief, I also felt gratitude for the quiet moment. The beauty of the sky. The lesson in Gail’s life.

There is a disease of dis-ease sweeping our world. Lest we lose our lives to it, let us remember it’s okay to take our time, to dabble, to be distracted, to simply be. In this fast-and-furious ‘modern world,’ let’s remember to express our love, take walks, enjoy one another’s company, create, garden, ‘waste’ time together. Let’s remember it’s okay to be at ease.

Keith Glendon is a grateful husband, father of four, writer, poet, global technology something-or-other, and generally life-loving seeker, learner, and gratitude-spreader. Having grown up in Marquette, traveled the world, and returned to settle in his hometown, he now focuses on being Daddy and offering what he can to the flow.

Excerpted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Summer 2018 Issue, copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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Inner Nutrition: Procastination-Prevention Prompts, by Roslyn Elena McGrath

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.” – Spanish Proverb

Does the mere thought of procrastination provoke a sense of uneasiness and even mild-to-moderate guilt?

According to http://www.psychologicalscience.org, “experts define it as the voluntary delay of some important task that we intend to do, despite knowing that we’ll suffer as a result. Studies have found that procrastinators carry accompanying feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety with their decision to delay, in addition to negative impacts on ‘performance, well-being, health, relationships, regrets & bereavement.’ ”

Leading expert Pychyl, who runs the 20-year-old Procrastination Research Group, finds “Procrastinators get sick more often, report higher rates of depression, and suffer the somatic and psychological effects of elevated stress. Procrastination doesn’t only affect our personal well-being and integrity, but it has an ethical dimension, affecting those around us who suffer ‘second-hand,’ either because of the time we take away from them when we rush off to finish things last-minute, or because the stress we put ourselves under negatively affects the health of our relationships.”

While some of us are chronic procrastinators (20 percent of the U.S. population, according to psychologist Dr. Joseph Ferrari, a leading international researcher on the topic), most of us procrastinate at some time or another. Do you have a task you’ve been putting off? If so, I invite you to explore the following questions:

Is this actually a task or is it a goal? If it’s a goal, what is the first task for you to accomplish toward it? For example, if I want to lose weight, that is my goal. I will then need to choose concrete steps toward achieving it, perhaps no longer buying high-calorie snacks, or eating smaller portions. If what you initially chose is a goal, pick a beginning action step toward it, and apply the questions below.

Do I truly need to do this task? Is it actually a low priority item for my values, a “should” from a sense of social expectations or obligations? Or is it something that is more appropriately someone else’s responsibility? For example, has your child reached an age where he or she could put away his or her laundry, benefitting by taking responsibility for this task?

Do I want to do this task? Does it help me to achieve something I value? Or help to prevent something I find detrimental from taking place? Take a look at the longer-term benefits here. While your task may not have short-term appeal to you, its longer-term value may get you over the delaying-hump to act on it. For example, if I want healthy gums and teeth, I may choose to floss daily despite any dislike I may have for the action itself.

Am I able to do this task? Or do I need more information, skills, or other support? If so, what steps can I take to equip me to complete this task? Do I need to chunk this task down into a series of smaller, more easily accomplishable tasks?

Is there something else I need to do before tackling this task? Do I need more sleep and/or nutrition to be able to accomplish it? Do I need to clear a physical space (desk, counter, etc.) to be physically and/or mentally able to do it? Do I need to obtain and/or organize the materials involved to be able to do it? Is there a different task that really, truly is more important for me to take care of first?

Am I afraid of failing (or of succeeding) at this task? If so, what potential consequences of this are concerning me? How might I respond effectively to my concerns? Who or what might support me in responding to these concerns? Are these potential consequences of greater or lesser concern to me than the risks involved with not following through with this task?

Am I simply in the habit of not doing this task? If so, what steps can I take to help me create a new habit of accomplishing this task? Is there someone or something that might help support me in creating this new habit?

Is there a better way for me to accomplish this task? Is there a more efficient method for me to do this? A more enjoyable one? A better perspective on doing it? A better time of day for me to do it? Might it help me to schedule it in or tell someone supportive when I will accomplish it? Set a deadline for its completion? Reward myself in a healthy manner for following through at each step along the way? Would it be better for me to request, barter or pay someone else to do it?

As Pychyl explains “Procrastination is really a self-inflicted wound that gradually chips away at the most valuable resource in the world: time.” Only you can discover what you need to do to help heal that wound and reap the rewards of time well-spent.

Roslyn Elena McGrath is the author of Chakras Alive! and other personal growth books and CDs. She recently released a recording of the Chakras Alive! meditations, and also offers workshops and private appointments. For more info., visit http://www.empoweringlightworks.com or contact (906) 228-9097, info@empoweringlightworks.com.

Reprinted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Spring 2018 Issue, copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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Can I Really Heal? by Joshua Brown

I want to share something here specific to my personal experience and perspective over the past seven years since sustaining a spinal cord injury from a car accident that left me quadriplegic.

 
It is difficult not to take on a condition as an identity. We sometimes start to identify with our issues until we develop a form of apathy and entitled victimhood.

 
And when we are in deep physical pain and emotional suffering—feeling helpless, we expect others to cater to that, and they often do, enabling us to continue our dream of suffering. I realize this will trigger some folks, but again, this is my personal perspective. Please hear me out if you will.

 
There is a way out of your suffering, or at least a way to lessen it. And if you must suffer, then at least there is a way to find peace with it.

 
If you really want out of suffering, or at least to become functional, open your heart, open your mind. Be willing to move outside of your comfort zone. You could call it a leap of faith. Be willing to let go, and release old conditioning, habits, beliefs, relationships that aren’t serving you.

 
Be willing to ask questions—Is there a way out of this pain (other than dying unless it’s your time)?

 
Do I have to wait until some miracle cure comes along so I can feel better, or walk, or whatever?

 

Do I have to wait decades upon decades hoping?

 
Can I allow myself to believe that I can find the answers and healing in my own life, right now, today, rather than being in agony waiting for someone to produce the magic fix?

Am I attached to this suffering? Afraid to lose this suffering self, even as I say I want it gone? Am I afraid of who I can become if I let it go? Am I afraid to rise to the responsibility?

 
Yes, there is a way out of this pain. No, I do not have to wait for a miracle cure in order to make my life better today. No, I don’t have to wait decades to do something about improving my life today. I can empower myself, rather than waiting for others to find the answers. I have found many of the answers that work for me, and many are still unfolding.

 
Ask and it is given. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you.
With spinal cord injuries and physical paralysis come a host of issues. A few of these are intense, debilitating neuropathic and inflammatory pain, impaired bowel and bladder function, inflammation, swelling/edema, skin sores, lung congestion, loss of bone density, muscle spasms, low and swinging blood pressure, urinary tract infections, ingrown toenails.

Those in my situation are prescribed a host of pharmaceutical drugs early on, and while they are useful to a degree, I have seen them overused. They mask symptoms, suppress systems. To me, it’s as if plugging your ears when your body is screaming at you to listen. For example, with the use of opioid drugs, when the body receives up to a maximum prescribed dosage, the nervous system creates new pain receptors so it can feel.

 
What does that tell you? Your body is giving you messages, over and over again! And what do we do? “Shut up! Just go away!” we say. We are not addressing the root causes. We are just avoiding, suppressing, ignoring until the dysfunction can no longer be ignored.

 
I still use pharmaceutical drugs sometimes because they can be useful for managing some symptoms while you’re on your way to improvements.

 
My body is a complex organism, a very intelligent organism. And my tiny mind, the part of my brain that thinks in words and is educated, would do best to learn that that system is perfect. It knows what is needed, and I must reconnect to its language to discover its solutions.

 
Your journey is not going to be like mine. You may find your remedy through a different process than mine. But I am here to tell you that you do have options. The answers exist. Healing is real.

 
I have eliminated much physical pain through natural and non-invasive means. Now I am more functional. I know how to keep my bowels healthy even with paralysis. I rarely ever have a skin sore. My lungs are improving getting stronger, with very little congestion. Muscle spasticity is minimal. (I like some to keep muscle tone.) My blood pressure is more balanced. I very rarely have a cold or flu (though I do believe they can be good for us).

 
Is it all perfect? No. But life is so much better than two or four or seven years ago. I expect it to get better. I will keep going. Why? Because I like feeling good. I like feeling free. I like being at my best for the humans around me.

 
Joshua Brown suffered a broken neck caused by a severe car accident seven years ago, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. This has led him on a healing journey, learning how to heal in his own way, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Reprinted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Winter 2017 – 2018 Issue, copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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Inner Nutrition: What Camp Means to Me, by Christine Saari

Photograph by Christine Saari

 

It all began with a clearing in the woods cluttered with ramshackle buildings from a former homestead: the remains of a cabin, a leaning barn, a decaying pig sty and chicken coop. I was horrified to learn this was to be the site for our camp. Why would we want a camp to begin with when we lived amidst a beautiful landscape waiting to be explored? “I’ll never come here,” I said to my husband. If he wanted a camp, so be it. I did not!

Jon proceeded without me. One day he took me to the transformed site – the buildings were gone, the clearing pristine. Then he purchased a 100-year old log cabin which had brambles growing inside and no windows and doors. Again I was aghast. But Jon was undeterred. The building was taken apart, transferred and rebuilt. Trees were felled for replacement logs, windows cut, doors made, layers of wallpaper stripped off the cedar logs. Endless work, but I participated, helped lay the floor, chinked, found furniture, worked to make the place cozy.

The two-story cabin has been proudly standing in our clearing since 1994, over time joined by a two-seater outhouse bought from an aunt, a shed and sauna rescued from a pasture for cows who rubbed the dovetailed corners round. Finnish relatives equipped the smoke sauna with a hearth and benches, and a deck was added to the house.

Although I said I’d never come, I have grown to love our camp above the West Branch of the Whitefish River. Why? What does camp mean for me?

With a thirty-mile trip, it is close enough from home to come for just an evening in the summer or for an overnight stay. Of course, if we can we stay longer, but whatever the length of our visit, we return to town refreshed.

Thanks to the “primitive” nature of the place – no electricity, a spring in the woods, a wood stove, life there slows down immediately. We forget about the news, e-mail or phone connection. Instead we make sure the kerosene lamps are filled for the evening and that there is enough wood to stay warm. This is a place just to be. We cook simple meals, talk, write letters, read and play scrabble. We take time to take a nap, we go to bed early. In summer we take canoe rides on the river, in winter we ski. We watch the natural world around us: a wild turkey has lost a beautiful feather, irises are blooming on the shore, a heron flies overhead.

Although we are close to a road, we seem far away from civilization. I can sunbathe unobserved. There are berries and mushrooms and flowers to pick. The stars shine brightly at night, the moon lights up the clearing, fireflies glow in the dark. Because the area is small, we have gotten to know it intimately. Every time we come we see changes. The river swells from melting snow, spring leaves unfold, white trilliums cover the dark forest floor. Here we are aware of the annual cycle of growth and decay and of our place in this universe.

Aside from all that, at camp we are surrounded by our ancestors: the flour bin reminds us of Jon’s grandmother’s farm. Jon’s father brought the cuckoo clock from the war in Europe, and camp brings me back to my childhood, to the Austrian mountain farm without electricity and running water where I grew up. Here I am connected to the past and to nature. Here I feel whole.

Christine Saari, an Austrian immigrant,  is a writer and visual artist. She has published a book, Love and War at Stag Farm, The Story of Hirschengut, an Austrian Mountain Farm 1938-48. It tells the story of her family in Austria during WWII and its aftermath.

Reprinted with permission from the Summer 2012 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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Inner Nutrition: Guffaws for Good

by Nicole Walton

When my mental meter is buried in red, digging a spiritual hole to China, I don’t reach for a wine glass and a bottle of white, or for high-powered aerodynamic sneakers that propel me over hill and dale.  I reach for the phone and dial the number of a friend who I know will make me laugh.  “Hey wench!” Sonya will answer, using her pet name for me, a moniker generated long ago in a now-forgotten but undoubtedly thigh-slapping conversation.  I smile and am on my way to feeling better.

Laughter nourishes me like nothing else (except maybe house special egg foo yung).  Aside from the fact that the act of laughing releases endorphins, diminishes the intensity of pain and lowers the level of stress hormones, it’s just plain fun.  Laughter breaks me loose from my intellectual bonds and springs me into a much lighter atmosphere where I can deal with my issues in a less bleak way.  It lets me know that life is good and should be enjoyed wherever and whenever possible, even when it seems no light can penetrate the fog.

A cousin of mine was involved in a terrible car crash when I was 13.  My mom and I headed downstate to help her family, and as I walked into her hospital room, I burst into tears.  She was in a coma and I didn’t know how to handle it.  As I was led into the visitor’s lounge to compose myself, an older woman sitting in one of the chairs looked up and saw my obvious upset.  “Hey there,” she said, very kindly.  “Those are some pretty boots you’re wearing.”  I looked down at my brown leather zip-up boots and thanked her.  “Where did you get them?” she asked.  When I said they were a Christmas gift she responded, “Oh!  So did you get one from your momma and one from your daddy?”  I laughed.  And I think that was the very first time I recognized the healing power of laughter.  A woman I’d never met before knew I needed to be taken out of my situation, just for a moment, so she made me laugh.  I was lifted up and out, carried away to a better place, enlightened.

Let’s face it: it’s just really hard to feel horrible when you’re guffawing, chortling, and chuckling.

I also get a big charge out of using humor to get a reaction out of others.  “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people,” Victor Borge said.  It breaks down barriers and creates the common ground upon which we meet in jovial sister- and brotherhood.  Our defenses drop and intimacy  is allowed to blossom.  I always feel more connected to the person who giggles at my jokes.

I have a feeling some people envision spiritual practice as being strict and serious.  I’d like to remind them that Jesus laughed.  Buddha laughed.  They knew that a good ole joyful hoot rejuvenates body and soul, creating greater balance within and allowing a greater flow of energy.  I always feel more open to the world in general when I laugh, much like a child.  And how do we enter the kingdom of heaven, according to Jesus?  Like little children.  Perhaps there’s much more of a connection between humor and spirituality than most people think.  I’d like to believe so.

So whenever my batteries need a jump, I just remember the film Monsters, Inc.  At the end, the monsters discover they get more power by collecting kids’ laughter instead of their screams.  As their energy cylinders are quickly filled with each belly laugh so are my own energy centers recharged and replenished, helping me live a more nourished and complete life.

Nicole Walton is a broadcaster, writer, and human companion to two intelligent and slightly pushy felines.

Reprinted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Winter 2011 – 2012

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Attracting the Life of Your Dreams

by Diana Oman

In the fall of 2005, I discovered Abraham-Hicks and the Law of Attraction. (www.abraham-hicks.com).   As I listened to the teachings, something “clicked” inside me.  The teachings felt right and true for me.  It was as if I had truly found “food for my soul”…some kind of incredible “inner nutrition.”  It sparked new life inside me.  I now feast on this “food” daily.  As a result, my life has changed in positive ways beyond my wildest expectations!  I find more reasons to be hopeful and joyful.  More perceived “good” things happen to me than “bad” things.   I now expect things to work out well for me.  I’m in love with life!  And I found freedom!

Here is my inner nutrition menu (Zero calories!  Totally 100% organic ingredients!  Suggested serving: No limitations!

  • AppreciationEvery morning before opening my eyes and every evening before falling asleep, I do a “rampage of appreciation” for everything that I appreciate.  It’s simply a list of appreciative mental or verbal ramblings!
  •  ResponsibilityI believe that I create my life, including every little detail.  Everything in my current “reality” is simply a manifested indicator of my previous thoughts and feelings.  I get what I expect. Everyone and everything that is in my experience is a vibrational match…an exact indicator of the essence that is vibrating within me.  I attract my life experiences by the feelings behind my thoughts and spoken words.
  •  Before taking any action, first get into the “vortex of a feel-better thought”: This means that before I do anything, I first make sure I am  thinking good thoughts.  If I have difficulty finding a really good thought, then I just do my best to “lean” towards a better feeling thought.  Then, I do the tasks on my “things-to-do” list.  I make a deliberate effort to never do anything when I feel or “it” feels “off”. (To determine whether something feels “off”, I check with-in myself to see if it feels like a vibrational match for me to proceed.  If it does, I do it.  If it doesn’t, I don’t.  If it’s not clear, then I simply gather more data and then ask me again.)
  •  Seek JoyI am led by joy!  I make a conscious effort to selfishly lean towards better feeling thoughts.  If it’s related to something that I “must” do, then I find a different, out-of-the- box way to accomplish it that feels like play, not work.  If it’s not fun, if it feels like hard work, it’s not a match for me.
  •  Embrace Love!I do my best to see the Divine light that shines within us all because we are all one.  I try to remember to see life through the eyes of Source.
  •  Ask, Allow, Receive: I ask. (visualize my life the way I want it to be)  I allow the Universe to deliver it and I align myself so I can receive it. (ie., I might speak of expecting something I have visualized with “excited anticipation of it arriving and how good it feels to have this” so then I can be a vibrational match to receiving it”.)  I tell the new story of how I want it to be instead of telling my old story of how it was or how I currently see it.
  •  Surround myselfwith like-minded people: To break through old paradigms of fear-based, limited thinking, it’s necessary to have the daily support of those who “speak the same language.”   We support and celebrate each other’s dreams and manifested desires!  Co-creating at its best!  It is my deliberate intent to surround my life with loving, joy-generating, life-giving, engaging, uplifting, forward-looking, leading edge people!  Priceless!
  •  DVDs/cds/books: Daily doses of these are a “must” in replacing old limiting language.
  •  Really good food and really good Chocolate: Hmmm, another “must.”

If you are ready for positive change, participate in your own life-changing experiment by inviting yourself to play (remember…it’s got to be fun!) everyday with these inner-nutrition hints.  Feel what happens!

Diana Oman is a Marquett Resident, holistic practitioner at Lake Superior Holistic Connection, and facilitator of Law of Attraction events based upon the teachings of Abraham-Hicks. Contact Diana at (9060 250-4995 or email at dianaoman@charter.net. Visit her website at www.lakesuperiorholisticconnection.com.

Reprinted from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Spring 2010. Copyright Diana Oman, 2010.

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