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MARCI™ was started by Linda Mitchell in 2002 in response to a need for the hyper growth that the holistic wellness industry was experiencing. It was our intention for practitioners to refer to MARCI™ as a resource tool for their daily practice. Much to our joy, MARCI™ has grown by leaps and bounds and now features articles and tips on everything from health and wellness to sustainable living. - Linda Mitchell, Founder of HMN & MARCI™
Inside This Issue: Breaking the Silence of SAD, Depression By Linda Mitchell
Featured Contributor Publishing Committee Jefferson Harman, Chair Janine M. Torsiello, Editor Erin Saxton, Media Strategist Dawn Benko, Photojournalist Sheri Horn Hasan, Journalist Linda Mitchell, Exec. Dir.
Exec. Dir. & Editor-in-Chief
Janine M. Torsiello
Editor & Layout Designer Dawn J. Benko Photographer
Board Members Linda Mitchell, Founder & Exec. Director Donna Price, President Vivian Sartoretto, Leadership & Membership & Events Kathy Lynch, Integrative Medicine & Education Karen Flaherty, Public Relations Tracy Nosal, Secretary Ann Thomas, Trustee Jefferson Harman, Publishing
Birth Chart Plays Part in Depression An Interview with Steven Forrest By Sheri Horn Hasan
Astrologer Steven Forrest’s Sign-by-Sign Recipe for a Happy Life By Sheri Horn Hasan
MARCI TM SPOTLIGHT WRITER Where is Hope After the Flood Waters Subside By JeffersonHarman
The After Loss Credo by Barbara LesStrang Baumann
These 8 Steps Can Help Beat the ‘Winter Blues’ By Debbie Robel
Group Offers 7 Projects for a Healthy and Prosperous Democratic Republic of Congo
Lighting Your Way: Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder By JeffersonHarman
“The Secret” Coaching: Finding Your Strength By Lisa Nichols
Dilute Dpression with Hydration By Chase Hookway Project Planet NetworkTM
Radical Self-Acceptance is the Key to Overturning Depression By Ann Thomas
Assessing Anxiety and Depression Through the Mind, Body and Spirit Connection By Kim Ruggiero
Inside This Issue: Letters to
We would love to hear from you! Please write to us at:
Aryuveda for the Modern Soul By Shree Rhaghavan
Calendar of Events
Columns Creative Arts With Beth Olney
Aromatherapy With Christina Santiago The Whole Pet With Dee Broton
55 Newton-Sparta Road, Newton, NJ 07860 Phone: (973) 300-1184 Fax: (973) 300-1189 www.HolisticMentorshipNetwork.com MARCI@MARCImagazine.com Disclaimer The views expressed within the various articles are not necessarily the views of the Holistic Mentorship Network, publisher of MARCIâ„˘. Copyright for all articles, poems, etc. are owned by the respective authors. Permission to copy or use in any manner is at the sole discretion of the writer.
Spirituality With Catherine Perry
Working With Spirit With Christina Lynn Whited
Eat Right...Feel Right With Judith Gisser
Conscious Parenting: Age 13 & Under With Beth Haessig
Conscious Parenting: Age 13-19 By Jordan Brown Money Coaching With Tom Selkow
Everyday Acupressure With Susannah Pitman
Night Sailing With Jefferson Harman
Legislative Matters With Omar Rashed
Breaking the Silence of SAD, Depression a message by Linda Mitchell, Founder of HMN & MARCI™
“My recovery from manic depression has been an evolution, not a sudden miracle.” — Patty Duke Depression is a serious illness, and the most common mental health problem in the United States. Each year it affects 17 million people of all age groups, races and economic backgrounds. For the individual and family, it is both a frightening and frustrating illness, and often times suffered in silence. Shame and feelings of unworthiness will often times detain a person from seeking professional help. Fortunately, with the infrastructure of the Internet, we are able to share information quickly, and news about depression is more readily accessible to all of us. Depression can also be a normal process of grief from the loss of a job, a move or losing a loved one. Each one of us deals with loss differently, and it is important to understand this, lest you become an agitating friend to the person you are trying to convince to get on with life. Depression, in this case, is a healing process that can last over a short or long period of time. The best thing you can do for someone grieving is to be there when they need a friend who is willing to just listen. Several members of my own immediate family suffer from depression. Their illness ranges from living with a chronic illness, to post traumatic stress disorder to addictive behavior, and chemical imbalances. In this past year, we have lost two family members to suicide. I believe there are many root
causes to depression, and 80 – 90% of the time it is treatable. The sooner treatment is sought, the greater the chance for recovery. This edition of MARCI™ addresses Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a seasonal pattern of depression usually occurring around the same time every year and often times referred to as the “winter blues.” Jefferson Harman, Publishing Chair of MARCI™, speaks openly about his own personal journey with SAD, his road to recovery and how he maintains a healthy regimen for his own healthcare needs. Our planet has experienced many natural disasters this past year. Often times, lives are lost, and many more become homeless or displaced, all of which can leave a person in a state of mental anguish. Theresa Cecylija, a holistic practitioner and grief counsel-
or, was left homeless after the turbulent storm of Hurricane Irene flooded her home and office with waste and toxic material. Theresa shares her story of watching the rising waters take over her home, her grief, and feelings of depression, as she tries to rebuild her life. Each one of us moves to our own tune, or should I say in our own personal space within the universe. Astrologer consultant, and author Steven Forrest gives his insight on the relationship the planets have on the person experiencing depression in an interview with journalist and astrologer Sheri Horn Hasan. When we step outside the box, or into the universe, we can see how all life forces play on the mind, body and spirit. Although depression can feel depressing to talk about, it is important that we do acknowledge that it does exist in our communities, and perhaps within our own families. It is nothing to be ashamed of — and know you are not alone. This time of year can be especially difficult. Not only because of the “winter blues,” but dealing with holiday festivities can bring up a lot of feelings. Our columnists and authors have shared their hearts with you, and it is our hope that you will find tools to help you heal, cope and recover if you or a loved one is experiencing depression. We hope you will share this edition of MARCI™ with family, friends and professionals who treat mental health issues. Thank you for sharing the season with MARCI. In peace & love, Linda
MARCI™ Featured Writer
Birth Chart Plays Part in Depression An interview with Astrologer Steven Forrest by Sheri Horn Hasan, HMN Publishing Committee Member Renowned international astrologer Steven Forrest has written numerous books on astrology. He received a B.A. in Religion in 1971 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and shortly thereafter began to establish his astrological practice. His books include: “The Inner Sky”; “The Changing Sky”;”Yesterday’s Sky: Astrology and Reincarnation”; “The Book of Pluto,” and his most recent “Book of the Moon: Discovering Astrology’s Lost Dimension.” In addition, he and his wife, astrologer Jodie Forrest, together wrote “Skymates: Love, Sex, and Evolutionary Astrology,” and “Skymates: The Composite Chart.” Well-known and respected in the astrological community, Steven won the 1985 Professional Astrologers In-
corporated Award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Art and Science of Astrology,” and was nominated for a United Astrology Congress Regulus Award in 1992, 1995, and 2008. Steven served on the Ethics Committee of the International Society for Astrological Research from 2002 through 2006, and helped write the Code of Ethics that governs professional astrology. He served for many years as Chair of the Kepler College Advisory Council, which is part of an effort to open an accredited astrologically-oriented university in Seattle, WA. Steven currently leads four ongoing Astrological Apprenticeship Programs, two in California, one in North Carolina, and one New South Wales, Australia. More than four hundred students have passed through this training program.
MARCI: Steve, I am writing this article for a layman audience, and am wondering if you could give the general population an outline of which planets and/or signs are most highly identified with the issue of depression in the chart? Steve: My simple answer would be Saturn and Pluto — those are the planets I most typically see triggered when a person is experiencing a depressive episode. But the real answer is that any and all of the planets can be implicated. Each planet represents a specific set of needs at a psychological or spiritual level. If any of those basic needs are chronically unmet, depression can arise. Venus, for example, represents our need to exchange love with other beings. All of us understand how sad we can become when we are lonely. In many ways Pluto would be the very centerpiece of depressive theory in astrology in that Pluto is connected with painful unconscious material. If, for example, we were sexually abused as a child and the scenario is that the person has lost conscious contact with that experience, that it’s been repressed inside of them, a Pluto event in
the chart can often foreshadow the surfacing of such a memory. Ultimately, if we do well with Pluto we will deal with the memory, and release the painful emotions connected with it. It’s a long painful process, but it can lead to healing. And yet we can easily recognize that if a person is carrying such a wound inside themselves but doesn’t know it yet, that this would sap energy from the psyche and there would be a kind of low level of depression, which is chronic for the person simply because the energy was leaking out from that wound, you might say. As the Pluto event began, there would be a sense of an intensification of all that — it’s like the material is getting closer to the surface of the psyche, and the person can feel pretty glum, or feel angry, or futile, or you name the feeling, it’s likely to be coming up. I would just like to emphasize though that the real purpose of such an astrological event is the healing, that we can carry it forward and come to a breakthrough — that’s the correlation between Pluto and depression. cont’d on page 14
Sheri Horn Hasan, of Karmic Evolution Astrology, is a Forrest-trained astrologer, who practices in-person in N.J., N.Y., and the surrounding area, and by phone and skype throughout the rest of the country and the world. A graduate of Steven Forrest’s Level One Certificate Program, Sheri has studied at the Faculty of Astrology in Oxford, the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London, and the Astrological Society of Princeton, in addition to attending numerous classes and lectures at astrological events held by NCGR, ISAR, OPA, and AFAN astrological organizations, both in the U.S. and abroad. You can contact Sheri at info@KarmicEvolution.com, via phone at 732-547-0852, or through her Web site at www.KarmicEvolution.com.
Astrology’s Remedy for Depression: Live Your Sun Sign Astrologer Steven Forrest’s Sign-by-Sign Recipe for a Happy Life By Sheri Horn Hasan, Karmic Evolution Astrology MARCI: In your opinion, how can an individual best become aware of how his or her natal chart identifies the role depression may play in his or her life? Assuming this can be done, how can the individual then take precautions to shield themselves from depression? Steve: The subject is individual and so complex that really the best answer is to have a good astrologer sit down with you and your chart. More broadly, the birth chart describes a life that, if you live it, you will experience the whole gamut of human emotions – some of them painful, of course – but you will never enter into a true depression: stagnant, morbid, and stuck. Each planet represents a specific set of needs at a psychological or spiritual level. If any of those basic needs are chronically unmet, depression can arise. How to Take Good Care of Your Sun Sign: If we have nine days in a row of that are all kind of grey and drizzly and dark, you know how you feel, of course – everybody is depressed. And then the sun comes out, it’s a bright blue morning, after nine grey dreary days, and we all cheer up, we’re glad to see it. But it’s the most basic response imaginable to sunlight, and it’s good astrology because If you take
care of the Sun, you’ll have a “sunny” disposition. This is like God’s own remedy for depression. Each of the Sun signs and houses and aspects, and a million other details, will go about creating this “sunniness” of energy, this vitality, in a different way:
safety, like being inside something, the crab in the shell is the classic image. Being inside your little hobbit hole of a house, or the special room in your house that’s probably kind of small and soft and feels safe. Cancer restores itself that way and reenergizes itself.
Aries: There’s a need for an experience of the edge, a sense of adventure – maybe you need to get a little scared, you need to stir the blood on a pretty regular basis – that’s how Aries takes care of itself.
Leo: Leo benefits a lot from performance and attention. When you have a chance to shine and people get to see what’s inside of you. I say the world creativity but I mean it in the broadest sense. Telling jokes at a party, and people smiling at you and appreciating the jokes, even that’s a creative act, so Leo has to shine and get applause. If you want to depress a Leo, put him in a situation where nobody appreciates him.
Taurus: Taurus benefits a lot from simplicity, comfort, time in nature, good food, sitting around the table with your dear friends eatin’ pasta and drinkin’ wine, and just feeling comfortable and safe and familiar – that’s Taurus. Gemini: If you want to depress a Gemini, bore them. It’s like, wake up in the morning and you’d better pray you’re gonna have some experience you’ve never had before, that’s what feeds Gemini. They need freshness and surprise, new ideas and new information, and interesting conversation. Cancer: Cancer needs a lot of quiet time, there’s a strong orientation of just being able to sit quietly curled up with a book, or to sit with your dearest soul friends, quiet. There’s a lot of healing that goes on in a Cancer incarnation, and it requires serenity and a feeling of
Virgo: There is a great emphasis at becoming skillful at something that benefits others. This is the servant and the crafts person come together. If you want to depress a Virgo, make sure that when their great aunt Minerva dies and leaves them fifty-eight million dollars, there is only one string attached: and that is that they have to live like a lady or a gentleman from that moment on, which is to say to not work. Virgo needs meaningful responsibilities; it needs to feel productive to avoid depression. Libra: There’s tremendous support for joy in Libra in terms of having aesthetic experience just
encountering beauty, whether it’s the beauty that humans create, like the ballet or the art gallery, or the beauty that God creates, the universe creates, as in a beautiful sunset. Harmonious relationships with other people, just being engaged with other people whom we like, that’s huge, getting a hug can go a long way for a Libra. Scorpio: If you want to depress a Scorpio, put them at a cocktail party that lasts forever with nothing but trivial chitchat. But the opposite of that, the source of the joy, is the sense of meaningful, honest, intense contact with other people. The kind of friends with whom you go out to some edgy places of being totally real with each other, that’ll feed Scorpio. Sagittarius: Sagittarius carries a lot of the gypsy energy, and so it’s hungry to travel, to have new experiences and adventures. The image of the gypsy, dancing around the bonfire, draining the cup of life to the dregs, shall we say, that’s all Sagittarius – it has to live large, in a nutshell. Capricorn: Capricorn is the seagoat, which is a pretty weird piece of biological engineering. It’s half fish and half mountain goat, but it represents the ability to swim the widest ocean, or climb the highest mountain and, as we translate that metaphor we realize that Capricorn needs a challenge, it needs the facing of things that are difficult, it needs accomplishment. Sort of like what I was saying about Virgo, if things get too easy, if nothing is happening and nothing is being created, nothing has gotten done, Capricorn is bored and this creates a depressive state, so the climbing of mountains in one sense or another.
population, so the things that will keep an Aquarian from becoming depressed are often also things that will get the person into trouble. For example, I like to fantasize that someone is reading this article, and their attitude is wow, you know, there’s something to astrology, maybe I believe in astrology, after all, and then they start telling that to their friends and their friends think they’re crazy, ‘cause astrology gets laughed at a lot. But the Aquarian person is willing to say, no this works for me, I’m going to follow this line of interest in my life even if it involves me getting made fun of! Then we have a happy Aquarius, because if they do what they’re supposed to do, so to speak, then they’re miserable. Pisces: Finally we come to Pisces. Pisces needs, I’m gonna say, meditation, but that word’s a little dangerous because it can be too formal or specific a word. Pisces needs time to gaze out the window, stare into space, maybe it takes on a religious or meditative kind of quality in an obvious sense, but Pisces needs time to sort of inhabit the imagination, or inhabit other dimensions, sort of logging hours in a state where we’re not fully engaged in the hustle and bustle of the three
dimensional human world. Pisces is a source of energy and vitality that’s really not in this world; it has to able to spend time in that higher state, that altered state. MARCI: Sounds like our readers should remember that taking good care of their simple Sun sign is huge – maybe the most important factor! And it sounds like a chart analysis can help a person answer the most basic questions about what really makes them happy. Steve: Astrology can answer questions that wrestle with deeper issues, questions about what ultimately will make you a lot happier. Astrology can, in fact, help you with stuff like here’s your lucky day, here’s your day to go to Vegas, it can work like that – it can work at that level. But somebody imagines that if they win a million bucks in Las Vegas they’re going to be really happy, and they certainly will have a happy day, but how happy are they going to be after a year – does a million dollars always make somebody happier? Many think of course it will but, when we actually look at the results, it can be more complicated. Astrology tells you what will actually work for you in terms of making you happier.
Aquarius: What feeds Aquarius is always that which will always seem a little bit odd to the general
continued from page 11 MARCI: It’s my understanding that both the planets Neptune and Saturn may be identified as “depression prone” planets. Do you agree and, if so, can you shed some light on how these planetary archetypes influence an individual in terms of a depressive outlook — or worse yet, a deep unyielding depression? Steve: I mentioned earlier that each planet has its own unique depressive signature. Neptunian depression can arise from a drifty, lost attitude. In a Neptunian time, we need to be actively searching for a new vision in life. If we don’t do that, it starts to feel like we aren’t moving forward. Imagine starting high school over again as a freshman, and facing those four years a second time! There’s Neptunian depression. You
need to do the work of figuring out how to move forward meaningfully in your life. That is spiritual work--dream-work, meditation, that kind of thing. Saturnian depression is often the kind that arises from very concrete outward situations that are “stuck.” Depression is so “medicalized” in the popular imagination now. It is important to remember that people get depressed for good, specific reasons: bad health, no money, overwhelming but meaningless responsibilities. Saturn requires hard work, and that is sometimes the cure. But it also requires that we mature — a situation that was formerly engaging to us might grow sort of stale. For example, when you are young, it is good to date. As you get older, you might need to move on into marriage. If you’ve gotten there inside yourself but you haven’t made the changes, you’ve flunked Saturn--and you will experience depression.
MARCI: As Neptune moves into its own sign of Pisces on February 12, 2012, most astrologers are in agreement that the fourteen years Neptune will spend there may result in a collective energy that, on one hand, becomes more spiritual, but on the other hand, may move towards escapism — one of Neptune/Pisces shadow sides. What is your opinion on this, and how can an individual be mindful — or conscious — of utilizing Neptune’s energies in a positive, rather than negative, way during this period? Steve: That’s a big subject! I’ve got a short, free video about it on my Web site — http:// www.forrestastrology.com/ Astrology-Videos-with-StevenForrest/Neptune-in-Pisces. Basically, humanity is ready for a spiritual renaissance. It works quite reliably when Neptune passes through Pisces. The video will give you the details. cont’d on next page
continued from page 12 For all of us, there is a greater need now for inner work, meditation, creativity — that kind of thing. The ones who do not do it will be overwhelmed by their own heightened sensitivity, and many will seek numbness in any of a variety of ways — drugs, legal or otherwise, alcohol, the Internet, video games, television, and so on. MARCI: Do Saturn and Neptune work together in an individual’s chart, either positively or negatively, in terms of the issue of depression? Steve: Positively, they can work together by linking Saturnian self-discipline with Neptunian visionary spiritual-
ity — setting that alarm clock for six a.m. so you can get up and meditate or do your yoga. Negatively, they work together linking an exaggeratedly negative attitude — dark Saturn — to feelings of futility and passivity, which is the dark face of Neptune. MARCI: Your style of teaching includes past life karma. Combined with what I’ve learned about past life regression therapy, there’s much talk about dissociation and dissociated behavior, which, in many cases, can result in memories that are not fully conscious. Can an astrologer differentiate between different kinds of depression, say, perhaps, depression induced by a Pluto transit vs. a Neptune one? And can you identify as an astrologer whether or not a person is dissociated
vs. that Saturnian kind of stuck feeling? Steven: Dissociation is particularly linked to the planet Uranus. This is a planet that you might think of as the god of earthquakes and lightning bolts — that’s one of the traditional associations. An earthquake or lightning bolt is a shocking event, of course — suddenly the landscape is changed. The notion is that the classic origin of the dissociation is trauma, something that hits us hard out of the blue and shocks us. If we think of the looks in people’s eyes two minutes after the great earthquake (in San Francisco in 1906), for example, and they’re walking around and they’re literally saying “I can’t believe my eyes,” or statements like that, that’s really the beginning of dissociation. cont’d on next page
continued from page 13 And it can occur, in my view — I do believe in reincarnation, as you know — we could imagine a person going to their grave after some trauma, still dissociated, not having come back fully from that trauma. And then they reincarnate, they come back into this lifetime still in that dissociated condition. And there are certain signatures connected with the planet Uranus in the chart that will correlate with that kind of reality. MARCI: I know some astrologers, and other holistic-oriented practitioners, believe that depression — when it is not all consuming and extreme enough to lead to thoughts of suicide or other life threatening ideas — may simply be a necessary state to go through because it denotes formerly unconscious concepts breaking through to consciousness. In other words, that depression, when it is not extreme, can actually be a useful component to work through in order to achieve a greater level of consciousness. What is your take on that?
them to understand depression better? For example — grief-somebody loses somebody and maybe it’s a shock. How long is someone supposed to take before they get back into the swing of things? Steve: The world obviously doesn’t do a very good job of supporting our inner journeys and our spiritual work, the world runs on more immediately practical kinds of concerns, so that’s a problem, but what astrology will do is it actually kind of harmonizes with that problem. It will talk not so much about something that you need to do this weekend or in the next six months, but how to change your attitude towards your life, the basic values by
which you’re living. The chart will describe to a path that, if you commit to living it for the rest of your life, you’re gonna cheer up — you’re guaranteed to cheer up! MARCI: We have a lot of people now who are subjected to the misfortunes of the stock market, unemployment, and the economy. Do you see, when we talk about the issue of depression, a collective depression? Steve: Yeah, sometimes the astrological weather can, for example, put a lot of emphasis on Pluto. Like right now there is a lot of emphasis on Plutonian cont’d on next page
Steve: I agree absolutely. I think that “depression” has become the modern word for “demon.” People fear it too much. We hear of someone who just lost their husband or wife being given anti-depressant drugs. This is criminal. Grief is not depression! Sadness is not depression. Our human hearts mirror our experience, and some human experience is painful, sad, and poignant. These are not pathological conditions. They enrich life. It has been said a trillion times, but without the lows we could never experience the highs. MARCI:: Is there some role that astrology can play in an individual’s life that enables
continued from page 14 energy because for everybody Pluto and Uranus are interacting with each other, they’re square — ninety degrees — from each other in the sky, and that sort of stirs both of them up. So I go back to the comment I made about Pluto earlier and how it can correlate with depressive processes, but also with breakthroughs relevant to that which depresses us…so those two ideas are connected, But right now that energy is a lot more up than it was three or four years ago. MARCI: Many people don’t really understand what an astrologer can do for them. Can you tell us a little bit more precisely how an astrologer can look at a per-
son’s chart and give them enough detail about their life so they can discern whether or not they’re living life to the fullest, or to their highest potential? Steve: Astrology will tell you what actually works for you in terms of making you happier. It’s a blueprint for the happiest, luckiest, and most meaningful life that you could live! For example, here’s a question in life: should I get married or not? In general, am I the marrying type or am I not the marrying type? There’s different kinds of people in the world, if we answer that question wrong, like if we get married and we shouldn’t, or we don’t get married and we should, we’re gonna be miserable. And how can you know if you’re the marrying type or not? It’s really hard to sort it out, because we get so confused, and our fears get into it so much.
A birth chart can answer a question like that. Also, what kind of work should I do? It’s very practical in terms of giving you direct information about how to make yourself happier. Essentially, what the astrologer will offer the client, what the birth chart contains, is a description of a life, that, if you live it, you’ll die with a smile on your face. You’ll have the sense that you lived the way you were supposed to, that you had meaningful experience, that you were in harmony with the will of the universe. That can sound abstract, but what it boils down to is a feeling of vitality and engagement and energy that you’re living the right life for you, that it’s genuinely your life, and that you did what you came here to do. There’s no greater victory in the world than that — spiritually or psychologically.
MARCI™ Spotlight Writer
Where is Hope After the Flood Waters Subside? A Candid Interview with Theresa Cecylija by Jefferson Harman, HMN Publishing Committee Chair
In late August 2011, Hurricane Irene devastated communities from Puerto Rico up the East Coast of the United States and into Canada. My own borough of Pompton Lakes, NJ was hit particularly hard, with dozens of houses destroyed, one of which suffered a gas explosion. Many people were evacuated from their homes, some unable to ever return. In the neighboring town of Pompton Plains, the waters were equally merciless. Theresa Cecylija, a therapeutic massage therapist and resident lost her home and her office in less than a day. Knowing that thousands could relate to her story, I asked Theresa if she would allow me to interview her for MARCI’s Winter edition. MARCI™
Photo Courtesy of Theresa Cecylija
Whenever someone experiences a catastrophic event, there must be acknowledgment of the tolls taken, if we are to heal effectively and move on. My intention is to offer Theresa’s story here in the hope that it may offer some solace to those affected, as well as hope as they begin again.
Jefferson: Would you give us a snapshot of what you experienced before the hurricane? Theresa: Immediately before you get a Reverse-911 call telling you to prepare to evacuate. If you sleep through it, you’re in trouble. This is exactly what I did. The next day I asked my neighbors if they had heard anything. They told me we have to prepare to evacuate. Your heart sinks. They said they were anticipating anywhere from six inches to eight feet of water. Jefferson: What did you do? Theresa: We elevated our belongings. You put in cinder blocks, and get anything you can fit upstairs – your computer, electronics, etc. and then you wait. The water started coming around the corner. I could see it from my house. It’s like when you fill your bathtub. It starts as a little and then it just spreads, very quietly. Panic sets in and you want to move more stuff but it’s too late. I didn’t want to leave, but I had a friend staying with me,
and my dog. If you don’t leave you can get stuck. We went to a neighbor who took us to town in their boat. Then you wait. Jefferson: Where? Theresa: I went to a friend’s house in another town. There were also shelters, some hung around town at the firehouse. You try to sleep, but you worry. I called every day asking when I could go back. Jefferson: How long did it take? Theresa: I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday, it’s blurred. When I finally got to my home, there was four feet of water. I’m 5’ 2” tall. Jefferson: So your head and shoulders would be above the water in your own home. Theresa: Right. And even things that were elevated higher than four feet, water sucks upward. It just took it all away. All my living room furniture, my entire kitchen, my dining
Photo courtesy of Jefferson Harman
room, office, therapy room – I lost everything down to my last paper clip. It’s just gone. Jefferson: But not at the moment you first return home. Theresa: No. At that moment, it’s wet, it smells, you get nauseous. Jefferson: And it’s also not just water. Theresa: No, it’s not. And that’s why you can’t save stuff. You can’t wash your belongings, like that linen that was handed down to you from your great grandmother that you never met. There’s no saving that because there’s human waste in the water, there’s sewage, oil, dead fish – It becomes a safety issue. You have to let all this stuff go, and it literally shakes you to your core. And people just don’t get that. They think, “Oh, well you have an opportunity to redo your house.” Well, how? What if I didn’t want to redo my house? What if I wanted to hold on to that memento from my father who died before I cont’d on next page
Jefferson Harman reads the symbols present in your dreams & everyday life. By interpreting this invisible language, he identifies your blocks & challenges & ways to overcome them. He offers workshops & private readings in Lucid Dreaming & Overcoming Your Phobias. Jefferson is a recurring guest on “Life Unedited” with John Aberle, on WCHE Radio 1520 AM, in the Philadelphia area (listen live at wche1520.com). He is developing a podcast, “Everyday Symbology”, with psychic medium & certified hypno-therapist Patti Lehman discussing all things metaphysical. Jefferson is a Board Member of HMN, chairing the Publishing Committee, & is a practitioner at Peaceful Paths in Butler, NJ and Full Circle Counseling in Lincoln Park, NJ. www. everydaysymbology.com ; 973.839.9317.
continued from page 17 graduated grammar school? I wake up in the middle of the night and I realize something that’s lost. And now that it’s been a couple of months, people don’t realize that although the urgency of the emergency is gone, the urgency now is just survival. And with the holidays coming up, I don’t have a home. Jefferson: And this is really the reason that we’re doing this, because you are not alone. Countless people experienced this all the way up and down the East Coast. I think offering these thoughts is enormously important because it gives a voice to people who otherwise feel that they are just left alone. You and I said it in conversation earlier in the week, it’s like after a funeral, everyone’s gone and you’re left to deal with the grief. Theresa: But the grief in this case is very fragmented because you can’t take a few days off and just feel miserable. There is no burial, no ritual to say goodbye. You have to do the insurance, go to work to earn income, clean out the house. You can’t just sit on the stoop and cry, which is what you want to do. And it’s a tough time of the year. You’re going from warmth to cold. And now all these people are displaced.
no walls, no insulation, no sheet rock, no floor, it’s a shell. There’s limited electricity. I just got heat in the last two weeks. My sliding glass patio door still has water between the glass panes. And I keep seeing my life literally in a heap on the lawn. Furniture, books, photos, work stuff, just gone. Thank God for organizations like the Rotary, and the churches in town. They sent out teams of people that were working till late at night to help people rip walls down. You only have a certain amount of time to do that for health reasons. But for myself, I felt like a stranger in a foreign country that didn’t speak the language. Everyone wants you to feel the grief, but no one has time to do that at that moment. Jefferson: What would you recommend for people who are trying to help someone like yourself? Theresa: There were wonderful people who came to help clean up and they had the purest of intentions. But they just did a sweep of my desk. They tossed things that would have meant nothing to
them but meant a great deal to me. People don’t realize that when they go to help people in a time of crisis that you have to be cognizant that an object may be damaged but it may mean something to someone. Just make a heap that they can sort later. And now that time has passed, people need a soft space. I’m fortunate that I have friends who know that if I talk about this, they know enough to just be quiet and listen. Just listen. Just let me vent. Sometimes I lose it, and it tests friendships. But you know who your friends are in times of trouble. You snap at the people closest to you. You don’t mean to. And be kinder to people who have experienced so much loss. Don’t assume they can rebuild it all. Just because someone has insurance does not mean they’re going to receive enough money to replace everything they’ve lost. They’re certainly not gonna replace heirlooms and memories. Jefferson: Tell us about your experience with water cont’d on page 20
Jefferson: Can you describe what your home is like at present? Theresa: You can’t open the front door. Inside, it’s down to the supporting beams, there’s
The After Loss Credo I need to talk about my loss. I may often need to tell you what happened – or to ask you why it happened. Each time I discuss my loss, I am helping myself face the reality of the death of my loved one.
I’m experiencing a pain unlike any I’ve ever felt before. Don’t worry if you think I’m getting better and then suddenly I seem to slip backward. Grief makes me behave this way at times. And please don’t tell me you ‘know how I feel,’ or that it’s time for me to get on with my life. (I am probably saying this to myself.) What I need now is time to grieve and recover.
I need to know that you care about me. I need to feel your touch, your hugs. I need you just to be with me. (And I need to be with you.) I need to know that you believe in me and in my ability to get through my grief in my own way. (And in my own time.) Please don’t judge me now – or think that I’m behaving strangely. Remember, I’m grieving. I may even be in shock. I may feel afraid. I may feel deep rage. I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt.
Most of all, thank you for being my friend. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for caring. Thank you for helping, for understanding. Thank you for praying for me. And remember, in the days to or years ahead, after your loss – when you need me as I have needed you – I will understand. And then I will come and be with you. - Barbara LesStrang Baumann
Barbara LesStrang Baumann is author of the best-selling book, “AfterLoss; A Recovery Companion for Those Who Are Grieving,” and founder of The AfterLoss Grief Recovery Program which is providing hope, help and healing to bereaved survivors in many parts of the world. Originally published in hardcover by Thomas Nelson Publishers, her book has been cited by leading clergy and other healthcare professionals as the defining work in its field. A frequent international speaker she is widely known for her assistance to the bereaved, clergy, funeral home professionals, caregivers and hospices and has appeared in a number of venues on network television in both the US and Canada. Her work has been published in seven languages. Barbara Baumann is also a survivor of loss and approaches her audience as one of them; a fellow traveler on the grief journey. Having forged her own path through loss to recovery, she deals realistically and sensitively with the grieving process and provides specific coping skills for bereaved survivors and for those who wish to help them. Her poignant messages minister to those who
have lost a loved one and to those who wish to provide meaningful support to others. She is also the author of The AfterLoss Credo, One Day There’ll Be an Empty Chair, A Christmas Credo, How to Explain Death to a Child and How to Explain Death to a Teenager, If I Could Only Choose Again, and many targeted articles on grief recovery. She has been interviewed and quoted by major newspapers including a front-page story in The New York Times and a feature in People. Cosmopolitan cited her as one of America’s outstanding women. Barbara Baumann facilitates The Grief Share Group at Southwest Community Church, Indian Wells, CA and The Post Abortion Support Group in Palm Desert, CA. She served as president of Harbor House Publishers, Inc. Michigan, and Harbor House (West) Publishers, Inc Santa Barbara and Rancho Mirage, CA. She now devotes full time to helping the bereaved through her writings, seminars and support-groups facilitator. A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, she and her husband, Bill, reside in Indio, California.
continued from page 18 since the flood. Theresa: The interesting thing is the shower, because water is usually comforting, cleansing. Some people didn’t want to take a shower or bathe at first. They thought, “That water hurt me.” Think about it. Water is the essence of our existence. We’re composed mainly of water. And here water came in and took away everything. Changed my life forever. And yet, there’s the beautiful ocean. There’s that glass of water that you want to drink. So you take a shower to comfort yourself, and all of a sudden, you’re pissed off and you don’t know why. There’s so many emotions, particularly at this time of year. It’s so important for people to be kinder to themselves. Jefferson: What are you doing now to heal yourself? Theresa: Recently, I started stretching my body again. I had shut down. The flood has been like a surreal, out-of-body experience. I’ve just been going through the motions and the stretching and the physicalness brings me back.
counselor, there was a creed that I read called the “AfterLoss Credo.” I was able to save a copy of it, it was wet and I dried it in the driveway. I thought it was very apropos that I was able to save this. I would encourage everyone to read it, especially if you know someone grieving, or if you are going to volunteer over the holiday season. [see sidebar for the “After Loss Credo”] I’ve begun to get little things for people to show my gratitude for their help. And I got myself a little trinket so that when I’m back in my home I’m going to have a new memory. It will not replace what was lost, but I have gratitude that I survived. Make some kind of peace with nature. Make peace with water. Write a letter that no one will read, to the water. Write everything that you feel no matter how unpleasant. Then rip it up, and go to a river, and put it in the river and let it flow away. It doesn’t have to make sense, just get it out. And then after you’ve done it, come home and take a shower and reconnect with water in a positive way. Jefferson: Any additional thoughts about this experience?
Theresa: Funny you should ask that. If you begin to forget things and nothing makes sense and you think that you’re losing your mind, it’s possibly Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. You should seek professional help. Even if you just need validation, there’s a lot of volunteer organizations where you can talk to somebody. I know New Bridge Services is offering counseling throughout New Jersey for folks who survived the flood. (http:// www.newbridge.org/) Reach out to churches, or schools where therapists do internships – a lot of counselors are volunteering their time. Most of all, be gentle with yourself and others. Theresa Cecylija, BA, CMT, CPI, CIMI, Rev., is a Certified Massage Therapist specializing in Bodywork & Somatic Therapy, Oncology & IGM, Acupressure. Swedish, Therapeutic, Hot Stone, Sports, Seated, Oncology, Mastectomy, Elder-Care, Eclectic, Infant Massage & IGM Acupressure in Pompton Plains, NJ. She is also a certified counselor in Process Healing and Grief Counseling. You can reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. or on her Web site at www.touchthatmatters.com
I also go away if I can, even if it’s only for a day. Just being in a different setting where I can’t go to the house, I can’t go to work, makes a difference. You do sleep differently. You come back stronger. Jefferson: There has to come a time of acceptance in all this. How do you begin to do that? Theresa: When I was studying to be a grief
These 8 Steps Can Help Beat the ‘Winter Blues’ by Debbie Robel As we transition into the colder weather, every living creature is making a life changing transformation in preparation. Birds fly south, whales cross oceans, and leaves fall off the trees. Most of us just pull out the sweaters and coats and eat the same foods we have been eating year round. To stay healthy and have balanced moods, we need to shift our diet and lifestyle from one season to the next. 1. Food – our ancestors were forced to live off the land and eat only food that was locally harvested. Nuts, hearty grains and winter squash store for months without refrigeration. They produce heat in the body, provide good nutrients to combat dryness and boost the immune system. 2. Don’t diet – due to the limited food choices experienced by our ancestors, our metabolism naturally slows down in the winter. The best time to diet is the spring when the locally grown food choices are naturally low in fat and calories. 3. Water – in Chinese medicine, winter is the season for the kidneys and water is essential to the kidneys. Make sure to drink plenty of clean filtered water to nourish the kidneys. Drink room temp or warm water to keep from getting chilled.
to conserve energy for warmth. Think about winter as the time to restore energy for the upcoming spring. 7. Connect with Nature – exposure to sun helps regulate serotonin and melatonin balance, and Vitamin D3 production. Experience the season by going sleigh riding or ice skating, learn to ski or snow shoe, and go for long walks in fresh snow when the sun is out (without sunscreen). 4. Supplements – less food choices and sunlight creates deficiencies of nutrients. Supplementing with a multi-vitamin, Vitamin D3, fish oil, Vitamin C. Food sources of Vitamin D3 – oily fish, butter, cream, egg yolk, and liver. 5. Exercise – slow down, but keep the body moving to stimulate the neurotransmitters in the brain that keep our spirits up. Yoga or Pilates stretches muscles and organs, Tai Chi or Qigong provides slow, calculated movement, and rebounding (mini trampoline) stimulates the lymphatic system. 6. Sleep – our ancestors didn’t have controlled temperature and lighted environments. They would wake and retire with the sun. More sleep helped
8. Emotions – we may experience an inward feeling – just as sap returns to roots to conserve energy and regenerate for the coming spring. This is a great time of the year to check in with our emotions with internal rejuvenating practices such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. Debbie Robel is a certified health coach and founder of Guided Wellness, a company devoted to helping people who are “fed up” with feeling lousy. We cut through the nutrition myths and media hype, and define the food that is right for the individual. Debbie teaches how our kitchens can become a wellness center with quick and healthy meals to nourish our body, mind and spirit. Where there is quality food, there is vibrant life. Let Debbie be your guide to wellness.
The Gary Null Show on ProgressiveRadioNetwork.com Join Gary every weekday at 12 noon at ProgressiveRadioNetwork.com for the latest in health and hear conversations with the real voices behind a new renaissance â€” audacious thinkers, scientists, physicians and healers, polemicists, investigative reporters and raconteurs. Listen in anytime via the ProgressiveRadioNetwork.com archives.
Helen Caldicott Michael Parenti
Danny Schechter Lester Brown
Barbara Ehernreich F. William Engdahl James Galbraith
Susannah Heschel Michael Hudson
Simon Johnson Rabbi Michael Lerner
Frances Moore Lappe
Rupert Sheldrake Sister Miriam William McKibben Ashok Gangadean Andrew Wakefield Sherri Tenpenny McGillis
Mae Wan Ho
So, why starve yourself on NPRâ€™s Wonderbread when you can nourish your mind with real food at WBAI?
Group Offers 7 Projects for a Healthy and Prosperous Democratic Republic of Congo Dr. Ani Kalayjian and David Melvin Pressley, took seven projects to the troubled and war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo to try and build a more healthy and prosperous area there. The pair and others were representing the Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention (ATOP) Meaningfulworld volunteer team joined by partners from the Democratic Republic of Congo Peace and Conflict Resolution Team. Few countries have seen the amount of violence that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has witnessed in the past few decades. Exacerbated after the Genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the fourth largest African state has endured wars with its neighbors, civil wars, and other forms of violence that have proliferated immense poverty and famine, an HIV/AIDS epidemic, increasing rape rates, and gender intolerance. The International Rescue Committee estimates more than 5.4 million people have died from the prolonged conflict, a conflict that Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times says is being ignored by the international community. ATOPâ€™s Meaningfulworld Peace Building, Conflict Transformation, and Forgive-
Photos Courtesy of Dr. Ani Kalayjian
Photo, top left, shows someo fthe Congo children who care for each other, washing, bathing and helping one another. Bottom left: Dr. Ani Kalayjian is facilitating an art therapy session with the orphans in the refugee camp. Photo above, Shows a circle of gratitude and unity (Ubuntu), as part of the last part of the 7-step healing model. .
ness Program began immediately as the team met their main partners at the Peace and Conflict Resolution Project (PCR), which is under the leadership of Pastor Samuel Muderhwa and his wife, Faida Mutula. “We began at the Pentecostal Church,” Dr. Kalayjian said, “Where I spoke as the guest to deliver a message of love and forgiveness. There were more than 500 people packed into the Church, drums beating fast and passionately, a chorus singing, and all kinds of musical instru-
ments vibrating the space. The message was well taken, and members of the congregation came to me and told me they had come to Church with headaches and stomachaches, and they left nourished and in peace. I was in awe of their belief system, as they were all praying with such a deep faith, hope, love, and connection. We then went to another Church where well over a thousand people were gathered. I wondered why the poorcont’d on next page
continued from page 25 est are the most faithful or religious.” The group had seven projects developed while addressing the needs of the Congolese. They started working with the PCR’s HIV/ AIDS women’s group, who were struggling without medications and reporting weakness, severe symptoms, and helplessness. Other of the projects included: educating boys and men to help prevent early unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STDs such as the deadly HIV; reaching out to the women in the maternity ward of a hospital in Chiriri/Kasha, listening to their experiences, their needs, and their pain and empowering them and providing needed medical supplies. At the core of all workshops is the seven-step Biopsychosocial and Eco-Spiritual Model, through which various aspects of trauma, dispute, conflict, or disagreements are assessed, identified, explored, processed, worked through, released, and a new meaning achieved. ATOP volunteers spent a few hours each day counseling individuals with specific needs such as family issues, health issues, nutritional issues, and identity issues. Many of the complaints were on the somatic levels: Tachycardia, Hypertension, heart palpitation, chest pain, of which many are related to
their unresolved trauma. Volunteers taught them about the limbic breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) method, healthy nutritional intake, and creating inner peace with visualization and meditation. David Pressley characterized the journey as a rewarding experience. “While it was emotionally extremely draining, I was happy to be there and share the sorrow of the Congolese. I wish we could do more, and we are planning to do more. I was also angry with the extent of the suffering, as there was an underlying helplessness and resignation with their plight instead of reaching in and discovering solutions and working steadily
to reclaim their basic human rights.” The seventh project was teaching yoga stretches and chakra balancing movements, especially those for reinforcing trust: opening the forth chakra for unconditional love, strengthening the third chakra for empowerment and the fifth chakra for self-expression and demanding basic human rights, and the sixth chakra for insight and strengthening their inner resolve. In the future we are planning to start tennis courts for the slums, to empower, engage, discipline, and train youth in a constructive sport. With support, ATOP can cont’d on next page
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Ani Kalayjian
Dr. Ani Kalayjian facilitates a play therapy session for children in the refuge camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
continued from page 2 continue their 7 Projects for a Healthy and Prosperous Congo. Education is the key to growth, empowerment, and confidence. $325 will educate a child in Congo for an entire year (10 months). Together it can make a difference in Congo. Please send checks (made out to ATOP, DRC Sponsor a Child) to 135 Cedar St, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, or donate online at www. meaningfulworld.com.
Lighting Your Way Living With Seasonal Affective Disorder by Jefferson Harman
“The Sun” by Lykaestria at the English language Wikipedia, 2011. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionShare Alike 3.0 Unported license.
I am grateful for the opportunity to write this article. Over the years, I have had countless chances to tell people of my personal experience with the devastating affects of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I have done so not to dwell on the difficulties, but to offer my story in hopes of helping them or someone they know to overcome this serious illness. I am happy to do so here as well. Many years ago, I learned the hard way that I had been suffering from undiagnosed, long-
term depression, with a specific diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). At a particularly difficult time in my life, I suffered a breakdown that was the culmination of years of unrecognized and untreated depression. It was unrecognized partly because SAD was a “new” disorder. Although there are documented cases that date back centuries, serious research into the disorder only began in the United States in the 1970s. It was not until 1984 that SAD was for-
mally described and named by Norman E. Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health. This meant that for a lot of years people just told me “it will pass, just cheer up.” Thank heaven for Dr. Joy Browne, the popular radio talk show host and psychologist (www.drjoy.com). In the 1980s, she was my touchstone. Her show was the place I went cont’d on next page
continued from page 28 to hear other people’s stories, to learn problem solving techniques and to seek practical advise on psychological issues. One of her famous quotes which helped me greatly was “Telling a depressed person to cheer up is like telling someone with a broken leg to run a marathon.” First, you have to heal the leg. It’s not about feeling sad, although depression is not a happy experience. It’s as if years of accumulated stress, unhealthy thought patterns and the hormonal imbalances that come with them all come home to roost in one crushing moment and you literally crumble under the strain. For me, the stress of three
people close to me dying within two months, serious work and financial difficulties and the end of a relationship — all weighed so heavily on me that I collapsed. Not fun, and seriously life threatening. When I crashed, I was unable to get off my couch, had a fountain of water pouring from my eyes and I felt my body collapsing from the weight of it all. I literally cried nonstop for days. I could barely lift my head up. And I had worked out with a personal trainer for three years up until that point, so it wasn’t a lack of physical stamina. If anything, my gym regimen was one of the components that saved my life. Depression can be difficult to understand if you have not experienced it. But it is a physical, debilitating illness.
Luckily, I had Dr. Joy’s years of advice under my belt, along with my own research on anatomy and physiology. It was as if I knew I would need all this information to heal myself one day. I wasn’t a therapist or a doctor, yet I had more than a pedestrian knowledge of these subjects, having never studied them in college. I was a music and theater major, why would I need that information, right? And yet, I could not get enough of it after college and all the time leading up to the breakdown. So when it hit, I knew exactly what to do. I called my brother, who helped me find both a psychiatrist (for physical testing and medication issues) and a psychologist (for talk therapy) because cont’d on next page
continued from page 29 I knew I needed both, that each serves a different purpose. I also knew that for myself, medication was a short-term remedy. It was a boat across the river. That may not be so for everyone, but I knew instinctively that it was my path. The real remedy for me was this: medication to help me to physically swing the pendulum back to center so I could handle the next steps, stepping up my diet and exercise program to keep me physically balanced (starting slow and working my way back), a reprogramming of my thoughts and habits coupled with ongoing light therapy. That last one was truly a lifesaver for me. I read up on SAD and learned everything I could about its symptoms, physiology and treatment. After all, I was now armed with the information that had eluded me for a couple of decades. It wasn’t all in my head. There was a physical disorder at play that no one knew about. And it went unchecked and untreated all that time, which is why it was so devastating. While there are varying opinions as to the proximate causes and treatment of SAD, light therapy made a world of sense to me personally. A simple way to describe how it works is that the body clock is regulated by bright light. There is a relationship between serotonin and the production of melatonin in our bodies. These hormones are neurotransmitters regulated by our exposure to sunlight and darkness. This balance, of course, is changeable throughout the year, with a higher level of serotonin usually produced in the summer and melatonin in the winter. In balance, they regulate our mood and our sleep patterns.
Sunlight entering through the eye signals the production of serotonin, which converts to melatonin in darkness. The balance of these two compounds is crucial to the flow of our circadian rhythms. This is also why some people who have SAD may experience hypomania in the brighter months, as serotonin tends to elevate mood. I was a night person. I have always had more energy at night. So I was sorely lacking in sun exposure and it was taking a toll I did not realize. As I began the road to recovery from that major episode, I went on a medication regimen for a few years, along with talk therapy. But in that time, I also learned how to change my thoughts to heal my body. I used light boxes, which are specifically designed to project a given amount of bright full-spectrum light. I would leave them on while I went about my daily routine and they greatly enhanced my mood and my ability to function. I kept up an exercise and diet regimen and ended up in the best shape of my life. It’s been a long time since all that happened. What I know now is that I need a certain amount of full-spectrum light exposure each day, preferably from sunlight. But if that’s not available, there are plenty of indoor substitutes. I even had full-spectrum light bulbs installed in my office, so I don’t even have to think about getting enough bright light. I just flip a switch. I also do not tell people that I “suffer from SAD.” That makes it a present moment statement and therefore very powerful. Present moment statements can hold great authority over our physiology, and they give us insight into our current belief system. So instead, I say I have experienced SAD, experienced depression. They were visitors in my home. They may even stop by again from time to time, but they
don’t live here. I do. And eventually, I send them on their way by leaving the light on. Jefferson Harman reads the symbols present in your dreams & everyday life. By interpreting this invisible language, he identifies your blocks & challenges & ways to overcome them. He offers workshops & private readings in Lucid Dreaming & Overcoming Your Phobias. Jefferson is a recurring guest on “Life Unedited” with John Aberle, on WCHE Radio 1520 AM, in the Philadelphia area (listen live at wche1520.com). He is developing a podcast, “Everyday Symbology”, with psychic medium & certified hypno-therapist Patti Lehman discussing all things metaphysical. Jefferson is a Board Member of HMN & a practitioner at Peaceful Paths in Butler, NJ, and Aquarian Sun Healing and Learning Center, also in Butler, NJ. www.everydaysymbology.com, 973.839.9317
“The Secret” Coaching: Finding Your Strength by Lisa Nichols When you’ve been knocked down in life, just getting from one day to the next seems to take every ounce of energy you have. So how do you find the extra strength you need to pick yourself up and move forward? First of all, quit focusing on what knocked you down in the first place. Don’t hold onto old stories. You already know what happened to you the first time your heart was broken or the first time a parent hurt you. The what can be mom or dad or a former spouse. The what can be a poor decision you made. When you focus on it, you give more life to it, making it big and grand. After I left an abusive relationship I talked up my ex-fiancé. I talked up my fear of him and made myself even more afraid. When I traveled to the state he had moved to, I started to hyperventilate—seven years after the experience. I made him so huge. He was already 6-foot 9-inches, and I made him 9-foot, 9-inches tall. But you can shrink the what. Here’s how… Visualize the person, thing, or event that knocked you down as a balloon. Blow it up really big,
and label it. Visualize holding it in your left hand and a shiny stickpin in your right hand. Gently pop the balloon so the air seeps out nice and slow. Visualize it getting smaller and smaller until you’ve completely shrunk the what that knocked you down in the past. The second thing you can do to find your strength is to simply recognize that you cannot go and find what you already have. This is not an Easter egg hunt. You don’t have to search for it— you already have the strength you need within to get back up. Use it. Finally, remind yourself of your true worth. When you’ve been knocked down, it’s easy to settle for what’s happening instead of for what you really deserve. I know this intimately. I had settled for an abusive relationship. For three months I was in the valley, and my body felt so weak I didn’t know how to climb out. I was stressed and had the shakes. I cried uncontrollably. My son was only three years old. His life was in danger, and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to get back to me.
So I began to remind myself of my birthright and who I was. I began to seek out people who inspired me such as Maya Angelou. I began to use affirmations to remind myself of who I was and what I deserved. My past does not equal my future. It’s my birthright to experience healthy love. I have the right to feel good about me. If it doesn’t serve me then it can’t stay in my space. Never forget your own worth. It will give you the strength you need to get back up again. Lisa Nichols is one of the most enchanting speakers and seminar leaders of our era in the personal growth market. Celebrated for her signature voice and dynamic style, Lisa has inspired millions around the world with her insightful message about how to brave hardships, find your authentic self, and cultivate the best life. She is the founder of Motivating the Masses and CEO of Motivating the Teen Spirit, LLC, is the bestselling coauthor of “Chicken Soup for the African American Soul” and “Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul,” and best-selling author of her latest book “No Matter What!”
Dilute Depression with Hydration by Chase Hookway One vital necessity that everyone needs more of in the brutal battle against depression — is healthy drinking water. Water makes up seventy-five percent of the body and eighty-five percent of the brain, two-thirds of that composition is intercellular. When your brain or body does not get flushed or rid of acidic substances, those substances are absorbed in your own physical and mental environment, which eventually becomes toxic. Our society needs to recognize that dehydration directly affects the brain, which requires water to function. American experts say seventy-five percent of the U.S population is dehydrated. Experiments performed by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service show that dehydration is associated with confusion, fatigue, and negative moods. Mild dehydration, which includes water loss between one percent and two percent, observed in the experiment are comparable to mild dehydration experienced by people throughout their everyday lives. A study by Tufts University found that a lack of water and fluid intake results in depression, anger, and a generally negative mood. The study examined the effects of dehydration on student athletes and how this affected their performance. Many people are dehydrated and never realize it, or how imperative it is to live properly hydrated.
levels of bacteria, arsenic and chemicals that exceed FDA regulations. Although the FDA has set standards, they do not truly regulate or enforce bottled water quality. This leaves it up to the bottling company to determine what the acceptable level of quality is to supply people.
Our bodies require at least eight glasses of water per day, and sometimes even more depending on our level of activity. People often think that even if they don’t actually drink water, they are getting enough by drinking coffee, tea, soft drinks, juice or beer. The truth is that many of these beverages have a diuretic effect, encouraging the body to excrete water through urination, rather than retaining it and have numerous other harmful effects on the human body. A large majority, if not all bottled and unfiltered tap water available has been proven harmful when tested — containing various amounts of heavy metals, bacteria, arsenic, numerous harmful chemicals, toxins, and carcinogens. Even when these harmful agents are not present, very high levels of oxidation and acid (low ph) are present. The Natural Resource Defense Council states that 1 in 5 Americans drink contaminated water, and 25% of bottle water tested had
Ionized alkaline water is highly recommended, and extremely beneficial to the body in many ways. My personal experience with Enagic water ionizers that produce Kangen water has not ceased to amaze me. Enagic Ionizers producing Kangen water are able to filter and restructure tap water though electrolysis, which has proven to be most beneficial to the human body. Kangen water is alkaline, ionized, anti-oxidant, oxygenrich, detoxifying, micro-clustered, active hydrogen saturated, oxidation reduced, powerful living water for successfully hydrating and maintaining health in your body. In other words — it is pH balanced water able to raise and balance our internal pH. This enables the body to better function and heal itself like it is naturally intended to do, but is unable to when the body is in a state of acidosis (low pH). Kangen water also has very high levels of anti-oxidants in the form of electrons. This is only found in ionized water, that immediately supplies free radical scavenger cells to the cont’d on next page
continued from page 32 necessary electrons they need so they don’t rip them from the body itself. This greatly slows down premature aging and the breakdown of the body on many levels. The most beneficial aspect of Kangen water in relation to this article is that its molecular structure is broken down and restructured into a much smaller size. This is called micro-clustering. Water is magnetic and bonds to itself, so when it is crammed in bottles and pipes, it bonds at much higher molecular structures. This makes it very difficult to absorb into the body. Hence why some people drink a lot of water and still are never truly hydrated or able to wash toxins from the body — an important task that Kangen water excels greatly at with its healthy pH and small structure. It is able to efficiently flush and continually wash acidicness, fat, and toxins from the body, meanwhile truly hydrating and cleansing the entire body on a cellular level. Although, there are many different brands of ionizers, there is one company that has standards set noticeably much higher than all others. That company is Enagic and they have been making ionizers in Japan for thirty five years. The ionizer they offer is the industry leader and is second to none. The surgical grade materials used and hand built process of construction, equates it to the Rolls Royce of ionizers. The Japanese ministry of health certified it as a registered medical device, allowing hospitals and doctors in Japan to prescribe medical quality Kangen water with staggering results. Dehydration is a condition
that occurs when the loss of bodily fluids, mostly water, exceeds the amount that is taken in. The physical symptoms of dehydration are chronic pain, muscle tension and pains , joint pain, abdominal cramps, anorexia, dizziness, light-headedness, allergies, asthma, kidney stones, constipation, arthritis, gout, heart burn, hot flashes, fatigue, flatulence, headache, heart palpitations, and impaired sense of taste, lethargy, low blood pressure, muscular weakness, nausea, vomiting, poor coordination, recurrent infections, loss of coordination, and unhealthy weight loss. There is also a wide array of directly related, potentially serious cognitive and psychological impairments such as: confusion, irritability, insecurity, insomnia, anger, loss of motivation and enthusiasm, fear, hallucinations, short and long term memory impairment, loss of focus, anxiety and depression. Complications of serious dehydration can include: actual changes in the body’s chemistry, brain damage by shrinking of tissue, diabetes, osteoporosis, auto immune dysfunctions, cancer, shock, seizures, and death. The brain will suffer quite quickly from just a small reduction in water. If one suffers from dehydration, the level of energy generated in the brain is decreased. The amino acid, tryptophan, is required by the brain to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, which subsequently is needed to make melatonin. An adequate amount of water is required for tryptophan, to be transported into the brain. Dehydration may limit the amount of tryptophan available to the brain, which is also converted into niacin (Vitamin B3), and niacin deficiencies can also mimic clinical depression. The large majority of medications prescribed for depression the
above symptoms have side effects that are known to promote dehydration, and decrease the body’s personal ability to properly function on its own. Depression should not be considered a normal or acceptable part of life but rather a medical health issue with many causes and effects that should be treated on a broad front lovingly and aggressively. Our bodies are machines of consequence, and although there is never one single cure all maintaining proper and regular consumption of healthy water, especially ionized alkaline water, will have many great benefits to one’s well being. Your body’s many cries for water: you are not sick, you are thirsty: don’t treat thirst with medications —F. Batmanhelidj — Global Health Solutions www.holistic-wellness-basics.com/ dehydration Marion, Rosalie. “Dehydration Affects Mood, Not Just Motor Skills / November 23, 2009 /News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service.” ARS : Home. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <http://www.ars.usda. gov/is/pr/2009/091123.htm>. Intuitive Spiritual Healer / Reiki Practitioner Chase Hookway is an Intuitive Spiritual Healer, Reiki Practitioner, Molecular hydration specialist and a Health and Wellness Activist. Chase has an amazing level of passion to help others not only to regain and advance their health but to also guide people on their own spiritual journeys. He possesses a great gentle but powerful energy to bring one to a deep state of meditation and realization. This is where his clients are best able to fully discover themselves and truly connect with their personal divine journey.
If Trees Had Rights, What Would the World Look Like in 10 Years? Asked of Youth Age 6-12 “Trees would be able to move so they could play with us, and we can play with them.” by Gabrielle Grady, Age 9 “They would be able to talk to us and tell us about the earth, and how it is feeling.” by Taylor Grady, Age 6 “Imagine in 10 years seeing the planet with more trees than usual. You don’t hear the construction workers cutting down trees. The trees feel safe again knowing that they’re not
going to be cut down. You smell more of nature than gas from factories. The trees taste victory because they will never be used as a recliner chairs ever again! I was asked to write a little essay about what I think the planet would look like in 10 years, if trees had rights. I think the planet would look much greener and more cleaner because people would say that trees have just as much rights as us. How would we like to be killed whenever someone needs paper. I think the Earth would look
like we have too many, but we don’t. We need oxygen the more trees the more oxygen. If someone asks, ‘Why should we not cut down trees?’ I will simply reply ‘Why not?’” by Missy Alvarez, Age 12
“Trees would be in all cities and many things would be made of rock and metals instead of wood.” by Joey DeLuca, Age 11
What Would Be Good About Rock Fracking and What Would Be Not So Good About Rock Fracking in N.J. and the Surrounding Areas? Asked of High School Age Youth After some research on the topic, I learned that hydraulic fracturing, or “Rock Fracking,” is the shattering, or breaking, of rock formations to increase the output from underground/ natural wells. Chemicals used at high pressures to cause the cracks to form and open in solid rock increase the flow of oil, gas or water from the well, but these chemicals could damage the ecosystems surrounding the well. Personally, I can see where this process is helpful. This process has enhanced domestic energy supply, and has safely helped the U.S. produce more than 7 billion barrels of oil and 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. And
99.5% of the fluid used is water and sand. This process helps produce more oil and natural gas in places where typical and conventional methods prove ineffective. But what are its downfalls? Despite the percentage of how much fluid used is either water or sand, that’s not to say other chemicals are being used to crack the surface of the rock formations. These other chemicals can be harmful to surrounding environments and ecosystems. But even without harmful chemicals, the fracking process uses anywhere from 1-8 million gallions of water, and a well can be fracked up to 18 times. As for the chemicals, 80-300 tons of chemicals may be used, and
scientists have identified volatile organic compounds stemming from this. But whether chemicals or water/ sand is used to fracture the rock, there is waste. Wastewater or chemicals can be highly toxic, which can harm both the environment and whatever lives in it. The gas or water recovered from a well mixes with this wastewater, and only 30-50% is recovered. VOCs must be evaporated and then taken to water treatment facilities. But not only can this pollute water, but air too, creating ground level ozone that can travel up to 250 miles. In my opinion, this process doesn’t seem so worth it. It can obviously be good in ways, helping retrieve gases, oils, and water in ways that conventional methods fail, but is it worth all the environmental damage? by Ashley Green, age 16
continued from page 35 Fracking, also called hydraulic fracturing, is the extracting of natural gas out of a well that is drilled. When a well is drilled water, sand, and chemicals are injected at a very high rate of speed. The pressure in the well raises and it opens fissures making the natural gas flow out freely. The two types are called horizontal hydraulic fracturing and vertical hydrofracking. Horizontal hydraulic fracturing is when they tap shale deposits containing natural gas. Vertical hydrofracking is used to lengthen the durability of the well that already existed once the productivity starts to run out. There are some positives to fracking as well as some negatives. The positives are that we need natural gas for our everyday lives. Also people can make a lot of money by drilling, or if natural gas is spotted on their property companies will pay them for their property to drill on. However, there are many more negative aspects
to fracking. For instance, fracking uses a mixture of 596 chemicals. For each frack 80-300 tons of chemicals can be used. The natural gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals that are used. Therefore, scientists do not know what chemicals are polluting the air and our drinking water. There is about 1-8 million gallons of water that pushes through these wells and a well can be fracked up to 18 times. There is only about 30 to 50% of this water that is recovered from this well and it can be highly toxic.
I do not think that it would be a good idea to frack in New Jersey or any of the surrounding areas. It would ruin our drinking water by making it toxic with the chemicals that they do not mention are used. Also I don’t think it would be a good idea because the chemicals will also pollute the air. These are the two biggest reasons because many people have their own wells and they would become contaminated with chemicals. This can cause many medical issues along with the polluted air. Finally, many animals drink from our fresh lakes and rivers if these became contaminated our wildlife would slowly die off. by Dalton Leeman & Jessica Chernes, Age 17 ••• “Although the environmental hazards are significant, rock fracking is a calculated risk that New Jersey can take for a sounder and more economically independant future. Although the process
is expensive initially, the benefits far outweigh these starting costs. Once the United States can become energy
independent, it’ll not be subject the whims and demands of OPEC, a dependence which has proven to be abhorrent. New
Jersey can also put many individuals back to work using rock fracking as a jobcreating industry. by M.D. Age 17
Charles Semeraro is a leader in community awareness and proactiveness. He serves as Mentor to Project Planet Network, and stimulates our youth on environmental consceiousness within their communities, and within the world. Charlie sits on the board of Genesis Farms. Through Genesis Farms he has been trained for Transition Towns leadership, an international grassroots effort formed out an urgency to move communities from oil dependency to community resilience in the face of peak oil, climate change, and economic instability. He has been for the past six years a facilitator for the Just Faith program, a 30-week course on social justice and globalization. He is a member of the Pachamama Alliance which created the Awakening the Dream Symposium. He also has several certificates from SQ Wellness. He has worked with the Franciscan Action Network on lobby efforts both in Washington and NJ. His home is heated and cooled by a geothermal system. Several years ago, at his place of work, he was the first to receive Caterpillar rebates and install two upgraded air pollution diesel engines for two of his larger excavators. Visit us on the Web at www.holisticmentorshipnetwork.com/Project_Planet.htm. Project Planet Network™- Together we can heal the planet. Our decisions today are tomorrow’s reality. Let’s create a world that heals our bodies, our oceans, our animals, and our Earth.
embrace the reminders of gratitude, giving and Creation. It matters not if one idolizes Jesus, refers to The Theory of Evolution, loves Budda or honors another belief of how we were created. Me, I love them all. What matters is the common ground that we were all created; something that cannot be denied. Thereupon, we were innately with Elizabeth Olney given a truly free and beautiful gift; the ability to create. There is a light in each of us; in the depths of our being. This wondrous light of our soul may be ignited at anytime. Hence, we need not soley rely on light that shines from the sky, we are able to rekindle the light from within. Amidst these days of less sunlight, some of One suggested approach to creativity is to us get the blues. For those of us who are also dust-off the journal and write. Not only is experiencing a trying life change, grief, fear of writing a creative act, it helps to clarify our the economic state of affairs, too much alone thoughts for we cannot possibly write as fast time or additional disturbance to peace of mind, as we think.There was no lost time that we depression can set in. didn’t write, this book of empty pages simply The fine line between the blues and awaits a re-visit. There is nothing wrong that depression can we can write and get pretty fuzzy. nothing necessarily Everyone gets the wrong if our thoughts blues from time are convoluted or to time yet, we scattered. Nor need need not become we rhyme or sound self-absorbed to pretty. Writing is the extent that a simply calming and state of depression comforting. occurs. As it is for Bear, Some of us do this is a time of not adapt easily introspection for us. to less sunlight. It is the season for Though we need mindfulness and not place labels individuation. There on what condition are so many creative our condition is endeavors we have to in, SAD /Seasonal choose from. Affective Disorder So, whether we is the current have fun with a new term used for this box of crayons, clear condition. Fatigue, Image courtesy of Elizabeth Olney a shelf to arrange oversleeping, a personal altar or carbohydrate script, we need not cravings, weight gain and less time with ponder. Our blessings are countless and as we friends and family are common symptoms of are conscientious about this time of giving, we depression. SAD is used by those who care to need not neglect self. identify the malady and/or reach-out for counsel. Elizabeth Olney contribues articles about Simultaneously, this all has to do with the creativity and art for MARCITM magazine. You can God of our understanding. When depressed, see her mini bio, in the HMN directory: http://www. one’s sense of spiritual self is shaken. In holisticmentorshipnetwork.com/Directory.htm, accompaniement, this holiday time of nostalgia under Creative Arts- Arts Therapy or Integrative can tend to feed depression. And yet, we can Medicine.
Lighten Up from the Spark Within
with Christina Martinez
Winter Blues Have You Feeling Sad? According to PubMed Health, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) refers to episodes of depression that occur every year especially during the winter season. Symptoms can include loss of energy and clarity, apathy in work or recreational activities, sluggishness, irritability and social withdrawal. Some say it can be related to hormonal imbalances in the body. Let’s face it, with all these winter storms, could the winter blues take a toll on you? Certainly. Some New Yorkers are even singing lines from the Broadway musical, Annie. “The sun’ll come out tomorrow bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun.” Annie, I’ve got news for you: aromatherapy can help bring more sunshine into your life. SAD is a real issue affecting many people. Speak to your health care provider of choice. Conventional Images courtesy medicine will of Christina M. Martinez tell you that forms of treatment can include antidepressant medication. But, what about those who prefer a natural solution? After seeing all those pharmaceutical company commercials for antidepressant medication, do you really want to take something that will increase your likelihood of depression? Some companies say you may have increased suicidal thoughts. Pardon me, but isn’t the point to help people recover from depression rather than have them take medications that cause further imbalances in the body?
There are natural, healthy alternatives like taking in as much sunlight as you can during the day. Aromatherapy with its powerful effect on the limbic region of your brain, responsible for memories and emotion, can serve as a preventive solution. Apply, inhale or diffuse oils. Young Living™, the world leader in aromatherapy, has options that can increase energy, boost mental clarity, support the immune system, and lift your spirits. These solutions do not have chemicals, synthetics or fillers. Self-Care Techniques for Happy Winters Joy™, a blend of Rose, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine and other oils is useful for overcoming grief and deep depression. It is said to raise your body’s vibrational frequency bringing happiness to the mind, heart and soul. Stress Away™ is a blend, powerful to keep stress levels at minimum. Lower your stress, boost your immune system. Frankincense oil can be used, inhale and rub a few drops over your spine. Frankincense is good for increasing focus and mental clarity; it helps boost the immune system. Inspiration™ is a blend of oils that were traditionally used by Native Americans to increase spiritual awareness and help people connect with their life purpose, harnessing inner strength. It contains several oils, including Frankincense known to stimulate the limbic region. Cedarwood oil is also included; high in sesquiterpenes to stimulate the pineal gland which releasees melatonin, thus improving memory retention and focus. Christina M. Martinez, CHBC, CCA is a holistic health educator, Certified Clinical Aromatherapist from the Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy professional program, and keynote speaker with Sky Diva Oils, a division of Rising Above, LLC. Christina has been featured on CNBC On the Money and Cablevision For the Health of It, and is a contributing expert in Latina magazine and Garden State Woman magazine. For more information on Christina, please call 888.811.8883 or visit her Web sites: www. SkyDivaOils.com and www.RisingAboveLLC.com.
The Whole Pet with Dee Broton
Animals Can Suffer from Depression Too
destructive behaviors, excessive sleeping, loss of appetite, pacing, and lack of motivation. For some, exercise and mental stimulation are all they crave and will do wonders to help your pet out of his despair. Others however may have a chemical imbalance and you should speak to your veterinarian about possible medication and / or herbal remedies. I personally think therapeutic-grade essential oils are a wonderful treatment for depression as the sense of smell is directly connected to the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain. We had our own experience recently where we took our Olde English Bulldogge, Tyson on a hike in the woods with our dog walking group for the first time. Usually Tyson stays home because he has severe hip dysplasia that has drastically reduced his ability to take long walks. The trail I had chosen seemed to be one that Tyson could handle so we brought him along. In the end we chose a longer, more challenging trail and Tyson was a trooper. At one point he climbed up on a stone wall and looked from side to side as if he were taking it all in. I worried that he would be laid up for days with sore legs, but instead he came alive. This 9-yearold dog who spends most of his life sleeping was reborn that day. He has since started playing with our other dogs and is full of energy. Tyson will now be joining us on many more hikes.
Animals, much like humans suffer from depression. It has been evident for a long time that animals taken into captivity and placed in zoos or research facilities have shown many signs of depression, but what about your domesticated pets? Dogs, cats, and horses can develop depression from grief of losing a loved one, from a change in living environments, or even from a schedule shift. Animals thrive on consistency and when you disrupt that consistency, it can cause many physical and emotional changes. Unfortunately, there are many cases of animal cruelty around the world. Neglect comes in many forms. Dogs are too often Dee Broton trains dogs tied out using positive reinforceon chains ment training and essenand left in Image courtesy of Dee Broton tial oils to modify unwanted back yards and cats are left Tyson is a 9-year-old Olde English Bulldogge. & challenging behaviors. alone in apartments while Deeâ€™s philosophy is to heal people work long hours and the dogâ€™s mind, body, and travel. There is a common spirit and to strengthen the bond with their fammisconception that cats like to be alone. Cats ily creating harmony in the pack. Dee also orlive in colonies much like dogs live in packs. ganizes the Sussex County Dog Walking Group There is a sense of community. When animals for those who are looking for a fun activity to do that would otherwise live in such a community with their dog and those with reactive dogs. Dee are segregated and forced to spend endless is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainhours alone, it can lead to many behavioral ers (APDT), A mentor trainer for Animal Behavissues. ior College, Inc., Pet CPR & First Aid Certified Signs of depression in animals include and a Certified Raindrop Practitioner. lethargy, lack of or excessive grooming,
with Catherine Perry
Using Humor in the Healing Process Incorporating humor into the spiritual growth process is a favorite technique of mine. In my experience, people take themselves and their problems so seriously that their grip on their worries is far too tight. Let’s take depression, for example. For those who find themselves in a depressed state, I want you to know first that I deeply and completely respect you in your totality. Please know that I wouldn’t joke around about someone who is despondent, bereaved, or severely traumatized. I have been in that dark place. But at some point in the healing process, it’s time to give the psyche a break from the chronic sadness and lethargy that feels as if it will not end. After acknowledging the pain, gaining insight into the cause(s) of the depression, and trudging through the treatment process, it’s time to turn to the absurd. Yes, the hilarious…the strangely silly…outrageously funny side of life. Here’s a little exercise sure to bring some relief to the stagnant energy of the sad-state: I actually tried it in my kitchen this morning, as I woke up a bit grumpy. While the act seemed weird, I did find myself laughing and feeling more energized. Of course, a good shoulder-heaving, nose-running, mouth-drooling crying spell is a great pre-requisite for letting the humor in. OK, here it goes: Sing the following lyrics to the tune of “I Feel Good” by James Brown. Now, if you don’t know who James Brown is— was, rather, as he is deceased—or if you don’t know the song or you are tone deaf, please look it up on YouTube so you can sing along while using the lyrics I provide here. I f-e-e-e-l crappy (da-na-na-na-nana-na)
I wish I were happy (da-na-na-na-na-na-na) I fe-e-e-yul crappy (da-na-na-na-na-na-na) I wish I were happy (da-na-na-na-na-na-na) Much CRAP! No HAPP! I fe-e-e-yul S-A-A-A-A-A-A-D! HUH! HAH! OU! Did you try it? OK, now reverse the lines to: I fe-e-el happy (da-na-na-na-na-na-na) I used to feel crappy (da-na-na-na-na-na-na) I fe-e-e-yul happy (da-na-na-na-na-na-na) I used to feel crappy (da-na-na-na-na-na-na) ALL HAPP! NO CRAP! It’s a-a-all G0-0-0-0-0-0-0-D! HUH! HAH? Jump Back! Kiss myself! Oh Yeah! I am sure, as I have experienced, that you did chuckle a bit. And, I’ll bet you were dancing—or at least moving to the beat. Right? Spiritual growth and healing doesn’t have to be so heavy, so serious. We can all lighten up a bit to take the load off our hearts. Hah! Dr. Catherine P. Perry, M.Ed, DD is a psychotherapist-turned-spiritual healer, intuitive, lecturer, and author of the award-winning book “Courageous Wake.” She is an expert in energy medicine, intuition, human capacities, and selfhealing. She owns a private healing practice and Reiki training center in Paramus, NJ. Dr. Perry holds a master’s degree in counseling and a doctorate of divinity in the spiritual healing arts. She is a certified Reiki master-teacher, certified hypnotherapist, certified Karuna Ki master-teacher, and a certified Seven-Rays practitioner. Her book “Courageous Wake” is available at www.authorhouse. com. For information about Dr. Perry, visit www. catherinepperry.net or call 888-330-7248.
Working with Spirit: Subtle Energy with Christina Lynn Whited
Sound and Light Therapy for All We are vibrational beings, bundles of energy. That energy becomes focused into physical reality through sound and light. We are each unique combinations of sound and light, each one of us different from the other, yet all within the structure of a similar paradigm — that of the human being. Everything around us, all physical matter, is made up of sound and light responding to preset paradigms as well; paradigms we all agreed upon when we decided to incarnate in this world, even if we don’t remember the agreement. Nearly everyone understands that we need Vitamin D for wellness, that it only comes from the sun, or a pill, as our bodies cannot manufacture it without direct sunlight. We are therefore urged to go out into the sunlight for at least 15 minutes daily, to make sure that our supply of this vital nutrient is consistent. But there is more outside than you may realize. A few months ago I channeled the information that it is also necessary to be out of doors in order to receive the energy of the Music of the Spheres. It is suggested that we spend at least fifteen minutes outside with our heads uncovered each day. As beings comprised of sound and light, we need exposure to both elements for our maximum well-being. Please note that this advice should not be contrary to common sense. If it is snowing or raining, or the wind is lashing everything in sight, do not feel that you need to expose yourself to those extremes to get your daily dose of energy. Wait until the elements have settled, and then go out when it is comfortable to have your head uncovered.
The good news is that the energy of sound is available even at night, so you are not bound by the hours of daylight for your sound quota. If you are feeling the least bit reluctant to bare your head, wear a hat, but turn your face to the sky to catch as much of this wonderful energy as possible. Sound and Light, the most basic components of our being, are free to us all to recharge our batteries whenever we wish. Take advantage of all Spirit has to offer and offer your thanks to the Creator for these gifts. Rev. Christina Lynn Whited has developed Soul Path Clearance and created Unconscious Scripts Release as a means of empowerment for her clients. She is head of the Circle of Intention School of Intuitive Sciences in High Bridge, New Jersey, and is available for private consultations. Over the course of the last twenty years Whited has been featured in People magazine, on CNN and Geraldo, and in the New York Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and many other papers. She has spoken on radio programs across the country, talked to many groups both regionally and nationally, and has been featured in spiritual books. Her work has also been lauded by such notables as Dr. Wayne Dyer and Dr. Joe Vitale. She can be found at www. CircleOfIntention.com.
Create a space for three meals in your day. Begin by breathing slower and deeper and thinking about all the things you are grateful for. Make every bite of food a sensuous experience. Notice the aroma, color and texture with Judith Gisser of what you eat. Savor every bite; chew well and notice what changes. 3. Maintain Even Blood Sugar with regular meals that include protein, healthy fats and lots of unprocessed plant foods whenever you eat. 4. Include Specific Foods That Lift Mood: apples, brown rice,cabbage, cucumber, fresh wheat germ, Kudzu, apple cider vinegar, dark greens, fatty fish, ground flaxseed 5. Move Through the Lethargy of Stagnant If eating chocolate makes you happy when you Depression: If you consume an excess of high are feeling down, you already know what Jeff fat foods, more than one alcoholic drink/day Bland, the father of Functional Medicine noted: for women or two for men, use drugs often, “Phytonutrients found in foods are the most and hang on to anger and resentment, this can powerful biological response modifiers science has lead to feeling you are discovered.” trying to push your way through molasses. CRITICAL DISCLAIMER: Like any Foods that improve illness, it is important to liver function and identify the root cause increase circulation of depression you may experience.. Depression can help you feel can be a symptom better: beet, cherry, of many serious peach, onion, parsley, diseases including MS, Parkinson’s or Cancer. watercress, crucifers, Often it originates with black pepper, cumin, hormone imbalances fennel, ginger, turmeric, of PMS. Post Partum Depression, Menopause basil, cardamom, and Hypothyroidism. horseradish, marjoram, While you experiment mint, rosemary to see how the food choices you make can 6. Add Regular help brighten your Moderate Exercise, mood and renew your Sunlight, Daily Spiritual energy and focus, get to Image courtesy of Judith Gisser your physician to identify Practice and adequate possible causes. Vitamin D3 for best results. Give and get hugs daily. Many doctors will automatically put you on a “trial” of a SRRI Judith Gisser, MS, CNS. CWC, is a Board medication to see if keeping the serotonin Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Wellyou have stick around longer is what you ness Coach. Judith identifies your unique conneed. Before you get on a medication that stitution and metabolism and teaches you to eat changes your brain chemistry and is difficult to right, feel right and use simple tools to achieve discontinue, choose to implement a few simpler sustained energy, resilience and peace. Appropriinterventions below and notice how your body ate supplementation is recommended. A member and mind change. of the American College of Nutrition, Judith 1. Eliminate These Serotonin Drainers: is also an herbalist, author, corporate wellness caffeine, low fat diet, insufficient calories, trainer, key-note speaker and developer of a 30Aspartame, processed food, skipped meals, day Detox with a Difference program available in stress overload. person, via teleconference and on CDs. Visit her 2. Experience the Pleasure of Food: Web site at www.judithgisser.com.
Eat Right… Feel Right
Modify Mood with Food
Age 13 & Under with Beth Haessig
Try for Yin and Yang Balancing our parenting styles takes practice and consciousness. Whether you are a single parent or with a partner, it’s important to give your child both Yin/Yang energies to develop their externally-focused selves and their internally-reflective ones. Yin represents the feminine principle of receptivity, reflection, interior surrendered being. Yang represents the masculine principle of consciousness, proactivity and outward doing. Yang is about your transcript, or the record at the end of the soccer season. Yin is the experience during the game—was it fun? Both are important. The first step is to look at your current parenting style—is it more yin or yang? Is this a result of imbalance or is this your proclivity coming from strength? I can comfortably say that women have the potential to know Yin better, and men, Yang. This is true for most people, not all. Sometimes, we allow one energy to predominate due to cultural rewards, or how we were parented. After determining your own tendency, take a look at your partner’s style. Is your child getting a nice sampling of both gifts? A yang style of parenting is involved with getting our children to do. In our achievement-oriented society,
Look s u r o f
we are often yin-deprived, and thus bring this imbalance into our homes. We look to assess the worthiness of the day based on the number we read on the pedometer. If we felt valuable just the way we were, there may be less of a need to consume and accumulate more, with fullness already felt. We may squeeze in a yoga class but if we don’t sweat enough, it too supports the fleeting illusion of value—through the doing doing and more doing of poses. Yin living is about presence—sitting and watching, or maybe asking yin questions (i.e. what was that like for you?) rather than yang ones (i.e. what did you do today?) Cultivating the skills of reflection supports your child’s process of being and becoming by helping them find their esteem through the experience of feeling their lifeforce in their bodies. Value lies in the fact that they are living life in the form of a human being. Too much parental yin may result in overindulgence and then depression. Too much yang results in rigidity and then anxiety. By balancing our parenting styles within ourselves, and between partners we give our children ALL the gifts that the universe has to give us, with profound abundance. Our children then receive the full dimension of life—represented in ALL the energies of creation; an inner self and an outer, the ups and the downs, the dark and the light, and yes, the yin and the yang. Beth L. Haessig, PsyD, is a licensed psychologist and a Core Energetics practitioner (body-centered psychotherapy). As a holistic psychologist, she works experientially through movement, breath, and mindfulness, to help children and families cope with the 21st century challenges we face in our mind/ body/behavior. For more information, see www. BethHaessig.com or sign up for her newsletter at BethLH@optonline.net.
Conscious Parenting Age 13 - 19
Teens Can Also Be Feeling SAD Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that generally appears at the same time each year. With SAD, a person typically has symptoms of depression and unexplained fatigue as winter approaches and daylight hours become shorter. When spring returns and days become longer again, people with SAD experience relief from their symptoms, returning to their usual mood and energy level. There are two types of SAD: fall-onset SAD and summer-onset SAD. The fall-onset type, often called “winter depression,” is more recognized. With less sunlight during these two seasons, the brain does not produce enough serotonin, the soothing neurotransmitter in the brain. This results in feelings of depression. The National Institutes of Health estimates that more than 36 million Americans suffer seasonal depression that occurs in the fall. Many of these are teenagers. SAD usually starts in young adulthood. It is more common in females than in males. Some teens with SAD have very mild symptoms and just feel out-of-sorts or irritable. Others have more serious symptoms that interfere with relationships and schoolwork. It’s important to notice if your teen is experiencing any symptoms different than their daily attitude. Don’t simply brush it off as just being a “teenager.”
centrate, problems with relationships (being sensitivity to rejection), a heavy feeling in arms or legs, and the times you’ve been depressed during the fall/winter season outnumber the times you’ve been depressed at other times over your lifetime. If your teenager suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, talk to a healthcare provider about the following natural treatments to see if they might be a good option for them. 1. Omega-3 fatty acids 2. SAMe 3. St. John’s Wort 4. Melatonin 5. Yoga 6. Acupuncture 7. Massage therapy 8. Meditation It is also healthy for your teenager to try and be social, particularly when they are feeling down and they would rather isolate themselves. Being around other teenagers they know and like can help to boost their mood and lift their spirits. Every little thing helps when you want your teen to feel better. Jordan Brown is a Therapist, Empowerment Coach and owner of Full Circle Counseling in Lincoln Park, NJ. Jordan is the Director of an In-Home Intensive Therapy Program for families in crisis throughout New Jersey. Jordan is the founder of a women’s empowerment group on meetup.com and is a recent co-author of the book “Empowering Transformations for Women.” Jordan can be reached at Jordan@fullcirclecounseling.net.
Symptoms of SAD If you have SAD that begins in the fall, like many teens, you might have the following symptoms: increased need for sleep, increased appetite with carbohydrate craving, weight gain, irritability, inability to con-
Money Coaching with Tom Selkow
Try Applying Reading Exercise to Finances There is an exercise in a reading program that is designed to really boost one’s reading speed off the chart while maintaining or increasing comprehension. This exercise simultaneously expands the comfort zone and increases the difficulty level that can be comfortably operated at. The exercise is really rather simple and yet eloquent at the same time. Start by turning a book upside down and going to the back page. Then read “down” the pages as fast as you can turning the page every 1-2 seconds. Continue this exercise for at least 60-120 seconds without stopping. When finished return to the back page, still upside down and perform the same exercise twice as fast as the previous time for 60 seconds. Now turn the book over and turn to the front of the book and begin reading in the conventional direction as fast as comfortably possible. Odds are the speed with which one reads at this point is far greater than just a few minutes before, likely with much better comprehension. Now move this template onto your financial life. Imagine your financial balances 10,000 times larger than they are now. As fast as possible page through all of the decisions that must be made each day with this level of income — in reverse order, continue to imagine all the things that must be done at this income level with a complex structure of businesses and agreements in place that must be accounted for
— backwards. Now go back and do it again but this time imagine that the balances are sufficient to pay off the national debt in one stroke. Think it is impossible? Read the history of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Now think about the current financial picture, notice any changes? How does it look different? What is possible now that wasn’t ten minutes ago? Have fun with this exercise, try it as many times as you like — perhaps at least once a day — and add in your own unique challenges and twists. For more information about transforming yourself using sound, tuning forks, and personal awareness tools, surprisingly fast, safe and comfortably contact me, Tom Selkow, by e-mail at email@example.com or phone at 862268-3497. Tom Selkow, Consciousness Technology Practitioner, is the owner of Zero Point Transformation, LLC, in Sparta, NJ. He is certified as a Matrix Energetics Master Practitioner, Money Coach and has a wide range of tools available to help his clients transform their relationship to abundance, life, career, relationships and more.
Everyday Acupressure with Susannah Pitman
Use Acupressure to Stop Sugar Cravings
school, there was a store across the street that had the most awesome triple chocolate truffle brownies. During an eight hour school day, feeling run down from studying and traveling into Manhattan for class, the brownie seemed to call my name as I walked past it while getting my lunch. I decided to indulge, and it tasted terrific. Unfortunately, immediately afterwards I had a headache, cloudy thinking and neck and shoulder tension. I felt terrible, so much so that I told a classmate sitting next to me. She told me to press “Supreme White”, which I did for about 15 minutes, gently massaging the point on one foot and then on the other. Afterwards, all of my symptoms were gone and I felt completely better. For your health, it is always better to pass on the refined sweets, and “Supreme White” can help you conquer your cravings. However, if you do indulge, know that pressing “Supreme White” will not only help you feel better but also help prevent the next sugar craving.
It starts around Halloween when candy becomes too easily accessible. After days of having a little candy here and there, you start to crave it every day. You try to stop having more candy, despite the intense craving you are experiencing. Then Thanksgiving comes, and the plethora of desserts that seem to only be on hand once a year become available, making them Susannah Pitman, MS, LAc is an acupuncturist too difficult to resist. Of course, there are the with a private practice in Boonton, NJ. She completed leftover desserts that follow and last for days, her Masters degree from Tri-State College of maybe weeks. Then the December holidays Acupuncture and has traveled to China and Japan to come with candy canes, hot chocolate, cookies further her studies. To learn more about Susannah’s and every other sugary treat at every party and practice, visit www.balanceacupuncturecenter.com or gathering. Before you know it, you have intense call 973-257-8924. sugar cravings. “Supreme White” is a wonderful acupressure point that can help curb your sugar cravings. The point is located just over the ball of your foot. Sit cross-legged on the floor or a couch. With your opposite hand, press the point with your thumb towards your heel. Press until you feel a mild ache or heaviness. Pressing this point every morning for a few minutes and before any meal or gathering where sweets will be offered will help you resist the sugar craving. If you do indulge, press “Supreme White” afterwards. Applying acupressure to this point will help decrease the effects the sugar will have on your body, including decreasing headaches, cloudy thinking and muscle aches in the neck and shoulder, all Photo by Michael L’Eplattenier symptoms people may experience ‘Supreme White’ is a wonderful acupressure point that can help curb after having too much sugar. your sugar cravings. The point is located just over the ball of the foot. Back when I was in graduate
Dear Jefferson, In my dream, I was in the center of my home town, standing at the main intersection. I was watching what was going on across the street, 3 or 4 men on very long stilts were walking around, crossing the street towards a brick building. I thought it was the Maytag store, selling washers and dryers, but the building was more ornate and fancy/important looking than before. It looked somewhat like a bank — lots of bronze and black onyx or marble in the front. The men were dressed in bright colors. One of them fell down as he was crossing the street. He was wearing electric blue. Even though he was as tall as the building (maybe three stories) he managed to maneuver back up very easily, (I think he did it on his own but maybe had help from the others, although they may have just watched). I think another one of the men was wearing lavender. The other colors might have been green and orange. They all crossed the street, and made it to the building. It was unclear whether they got smaller, or the entrance got bigger, but as they approached the seemingly small door, they all managed to fit through easily. I think they were dressed kind of circus-y, the way you would expect people on stilts to dress, with top hats, etc. I should also add that a few days after the dream, I was fired from a job I don’t like and had been thinking of leaving. I don’t see this as a setback, but an opportunity to find a new job I do like. I am, of course, concerned about the job market and the economy, especially in light of the current Occupy Wall Street movement. It seems like everyone is concerned about the tough economic times, but somehow I know I’m going to be OK and find the new job. What do you think? David in New Jersey
Dear David, Your dream is somewhat prophetic, since you lost your job. You are considering a new job, and this puts you in the center of town because that is the heart of it, and your heart is not in your old job. So you come to the town center to see what is happening, or available to you. You see the men on stilts walking around. The men indicate yourself and others like you who are searching the job market in this difficult economy. The men on stilts also represent the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters for a few reasons. One, they stand out in size compared to the opening of the door of the bank. This is the ratio of the 99% as opposed to the 1% described by the OWS movement. The men also indicate OWS in that they are in the center of town, with an almost circus like appearance. This goes to the protests taking place at town halls, with colorful tents, signs, and the ways in which the protesters are attempting to bring attention to their cause. It’s a spectacle meant to draw attention. You observe the men crossing the street, indicating that this is something in your immediate future. The brick building was the Maytag store and is now the bank, because at the moment you sense that some banks may be unethically handling or symbolically, “laundering” money. It is a symbolic representation of your observance of how some banks are not behaving in ethical ways in this economy, one of the main reasons for the protests. The dark colors of bronze and cont’d on next page
black are to show contrast between the bank and the men dressed in bright colors. It is a reference to tribal or traditional sensibility vs. individuality and creativity. The four colors the men are wearing represent levels of the chakras, each color showing the characteristic of the person wearing it. Lavender would indicate a light purple, or the color of the sixth chakra. In this case it is pastel to indicate a lightness of this person’s state of mind. Certainly a person on stilts in a colorful outfit suggests someone who is carefree, so this color shows he is unfettered with deep thoughts. The green and orange would be the heart and sacral chakras. The man representing you is wearing electric blue because blue is the color of the center of will and choice. This means your choices are “lit up” at this time, they are alive and well. Choose them wisely. The man who fell down represents your being fired. Note how you are less sure of what colors the other men are wearing, but this man was in electric blue. It shows your awareness of him more than the others. My guess is you had a sense that losing your job was a possibility, and as you said, you were looking to move on. Whether you did it all by yourself or with help, you see yourself, through this man, symbolically getting back on your feet very easily, which is how you described yourself after you lost your job. Your uncertainty as to whether he got up himself or with help shows how you are aware that either experience is open to you in these times. Even if the others just watched, they are still showing solidarity by witness-
ing. This shows that you feel supported by the group and it enables you to get back on your feet. The men cross the street and enter the building, or their new jobs. This is not to say they will work for the bank, but rather that they will enter into their own connection to prosperity. With so much disparity around income imbalances between the rich and middle classes, it seems unlikely that someone so tall could fit through such a small door. But the metaphor here is that there is a job that fits you perfectly waiting for you and you just have to connect with it. I wish you well on your journey. Jefferson Harman reads the symbols present in your dreams & everyday life. By interpreting this invisible language, he identifies your blocks & challenges & ways to overcome them. He offers workshops & private readings in Lucid Dreaming & Overcoming Your Phobias. Jefferson is a recurring guest on “Life Unedited” with John Aberle, on WCHE Radio 1520 AM, in the Philadelphia area (listen live at wche1520.com). He is developing a podcast, “Everyday Symbology”, with psychic medium & certified hypno-therapist Patti Lehman discussing all things metaphysical. Jefferson is a Board Member of HMN & a practitioner at Peaceful Paths in Butler, NJ and Full Circle Counseling in Lincoln Park, NJ. www.everydaysymbology.com, 973.839.9317 http://www.dreamtree.com/inside/dreamresources/dream-faqs/
Copyright © 2011 by Jefferson Harman. All rights reserved. Printed by permission of the author. Image Credit – “Night Sailing” Copyright © 2011 by Jefferson Harman. Used by permission.
Legislative Matters with Omar Rashed
Depression, Nutrition and Taking Action Sadness, stress, and depression are rampant in the United States today. U.S. residents are among the least happy people, compared with others in post-industrialized countries. The U.S. is the 14th nation in happiness and contentedness in the world. People living in the U.S. are diagnosed with and suffer from depression at a disproportionate rate, compared with other nations. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 6.7% of the U.S. adult population and 11.2% of the U.S. adolescent population suffer from depression in a 12 month period. There have also been changes in the numbers of U.S. residents taking antidepressants. Between 2005 and 2008, 11% of people 12 years and older took antidepressants. Antidepressants were the No. 1 most prescribed medication for adults aged 18 to 44 and No. 3 most prescribed medication for all ages. Finally, “from 1988-1994 through 2005-2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United Sates among all ages increased nearly 400%.”
Compared to other nations, the United States takes the lion’s share of pharmaceutical medications for mood disorders. “The US comprises 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes two thirds of psychological medications.” Is it really necessary that this many people take medications for depression? Aren’t there any alternatives? Explaining causes of depression As this issue highlights, there are, indeed, other causes for depression. To name a few causes, spiritual emptiness, consumerism, lack of connection between people, an increasingly hostile and isolated world (despite the advances in social connectivity), the stressful pace of life, and, of course, unemployment and money woes fuel the problem. There are many possible solutions, as well. Nutrition is at the heart of the fight against depression. What we eat has a great impact on our physical and mental health. However, gaining access to the information we need can be difficult. We often need to consult with nutrition experts to determine what to eat and what to avoid. However, what seems like a basic question — what should we eat — becomes more complicated by some proposed social and health policies. Social & health policies One such piece of legislation was initially introduced in the Summer 2011 edition of MARCI — the dietician vs. nutritionist bill. Let’s recap: “The “Dieticians Licensing Bill” restricts who is legally allowed to offer nutritional advice.” cont’d on next page
A summary of the differences between dieticians and nutritionists (from Summer 2011) follows: “By definition, a professional dietician is someone who follows the guidelines of the American Dietetic Association. This association, as evidenced in their Web site, has Corporate Partners like Coca-Cola and Hershey’s and Premium Sponsors like PepsiCo, General Mills, and Kellogg’s. If I wanted dietetic advice from corporations, I would not want it from the makers of these products (with high fructose corn syrup, excessive sugar, and simple carbohydrates that break down and increase fat). The sponsorship of this association conflicts with the legitimacy of their advice. A nutritionist, on the other hand, in the true sense of the word, is a trained professional who helps people achieve wellness using drugless healing through a therapeutic program of diet, energy work, and supplements. They do not have corporate sponsors, the USDA, or the FDA dictating their guidelines, practices, or knowledgebase. They implement natural, holistic approaches, using tried and true methods.” State-by-state analysis There has been quite a bit of development on this issue across the country. Originally, we only looked at the New Jersey legislation. However, legislation similar to the “Dieticians Licensing Bill” has formed in other states, as well. A state-by-state analysis follows: New Jersey: As mentioned in a previous edition of MARCI, the Dietician/ Nutritionist Licensing Act (bill numbers: Assembly- A 1987 and Senate- S 809) creates a new board to regulate dieticians and nutritionists. However, rather than treat them as separate professions, this bill gives both sets of
professionals the same exam — based on the American Dietetic Association (ADA), instead of recognizing other educational institutions. New York: Currently in New York, there are two separate licensing boards for dieticians and nutritionists. However, the proposed legislation (A 5666 and S 3556) call for the dissolution of these two licensing units into a single “Licensed Dietician/ Nutritionist.” Unlike the New Jersey board, the New York board would comprise of four (4) dietician members and three (3) nutritionist members. However, as has been the case in previous policies and boards, when there is a majority of influence belonging to one group over another (in this case, dieticians over nutritionists), the minority will not be able to override the majority, and in this case, the licensing exam will almost certainly reflect the dietician majority. Ohio: Ohio currently has one of the strictest dietetics laws in the country. An individual must be licensed as a dietitian within the state to practice dietetics. The practice of dietetics means: 1) nutritional assessment to determine nutritional needs and to recommend appropriate nutrition intake, including enteral and parenteral nutrition; 2) Nutritional counseling or education as components of preventive, curative, and restorative health care; 3) Development, administration, evaluation, and consultation regarding nutritional care standards. There are very few exemptions. Among them are two groups: 1) The federal program Woman, Infants, and Children (W.I.C.); 2) Weight loss programs not designed to treat an illness. Note: such weight loss programs must be approved in writing by a licensed dietician, cont’d on next page
Legislative Matters continued from page 51
licensed physician, or a registered dietician. Colorado: Colorado is one of the most favorable and progressive states in the nation regarding the dietician and nutritionist question. In 2007, under their sunrise review policy, Colorado decided to disband its ADA sponsored licensing board. Their conclusion was that the licensing process had no beneficial effect for the people of the state. Here is where to find the government’s concluding letter: http://www.lizappeal.com/Documents/ colorado_dietitans_licensing_not_needed.pdf Call to action So what can you do about it? Participate in HMN Local Chapter meetings and support us in our advocacy days. HMN staff are gearing up to collect information from HMN members on what areas of policy are of concern to you. We will be distributing surveys at chapter meetings starting January 2012, and we will have an online survey
you can fill out at our Web site on Monday, January 16, 2012. After we learn about the issues of concern to you, the practitioners that make up our membership, our research and public policy team will plan and hold legislative advocacy days at local chapters and venues from February 2012 onwards. At these meetings, we will strategize and tell our elected officials about the policies that are helping and hurting us and our profession, such as the Dietician Licensing Acts discussed here. Stay informed.Visit the Holistic Mentorship Network Legislative Web page for updates: http://holisticmentorshipnetwork.com/ LegislativeIssues.htm Omar Rashed is the Research and Public Policy Director for the Holistic Mentorship Network. He researches problematic and encouraging public policies relevant to Holistic Practitioners and informs HMN membership and staff of policies to mobilize people to engage state and federal legislators. He completed his Baccalaureate degree in Social Work at Rutgers University and then went on to complete his Master’s of Social Work at the University of Michigan. His areas of interest are poverty, healthcare, education, and labor policy areas.
Radical Self-Acceptance is the Key to Overturning Depression by Ann Thomas
I have found that most mild to moderate depression stems from a person’s outlook and judgment about themselves and their circumstances. We can be very harsh with ourselves, always comparing ourselves to others and feeling as if we don’t measure up somehow. It’s time to overturn depression by changing the way you look at yourself. It’s time to practice radical self-acceptance. Radical self-acceptance means seeing yourself for all that you truly are — neither with rosecolored glasses nor with muddied glasses, but with a clean, clear accurate lens. There are five components to radical self-acceptance: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and sexual. Radical self-acceptance of your physical form. This means to see your body from a loving point of view. This is the place where you get to notice how beautiful and amazing your body is. Notice where your body curves and where it angles. Pay attention to the parts of your body you normally neglect. Be mindful of your organs and how they serve you. Notice from a place of compassion what you don’t like about your body. If it is something you can change, begin to visualize how you want it to look and feel. If it is not something you can change, send that part of your body love and ask the Divine to help you embrace that part of you. Radical self-acceptance of your mind. Your mind is both the holder of infinite possibility and infinite doubt. The same mind that can visualize a goal is the same mind that can derail that goal by producing a fear-based thought.
Mental self-acceptance requires you to become aware of the full spectrum of your mind. Once you are aware, you can cultivate a healthier mind by choosing affirming thoughts and eliminating negative ones. Radical self-acceptance of your emotional being. Part of accepting your emotional being is recognizing that you experience a painful emotion (anger, sadness, shame, etc.) so that you can fully appreciate its opposite. You would not really know joy if you haven’t experienced pain. You cannot fully cultivate compassion, if you have never experienced shame. No, you can’t rid yourself of pain. But, you can work to reduce the intensity with which you feel it. One way to reduce the intensity is to accept and pay attention to your wounded parts (whether it’s a wounded child, teenager, or adult). By doing so, you decrease the chance that those parts will create unpleasant situations that force you to pay attention to it. Radical self-acceptance of your spirit. This means honoring the divine within you. All that is good and divine is not outside of you. God is not someone outside of you. But, we tend to forget that. We think we are separate from the Divine. We believe heinous things about our worth — thinking that, essentially, we are not good enough. Radical self-acceptance of your spirit is knowing that your true essence is divine. Radical self-acceptance of your sexuality. This means fully embracing your sexuality. I am not just talking about your sexual
orientation — I am talking about fully allowing yourself to have intimacy with your sexuality. To stay connected to your body and spirit. Many people I know (especially male and female survivors of sexual assault, molestation, or incest) either underplay or overemphasize their sexuality. This is in part because of the messages and stereotypes we receive about our sexuality. But, neither extreme is loving. What is loving is to embrace the fact that our sexuality is an expression of and a portal for our divine energy. As a result, we must act on our sexuality from a place of integrity. As you can see, the common thread to radical self-acceptance is to see yourself holistically, from a place of love and compassion, and most importantly without judgment. As you continue to accept yourself, you inevitably loosen the grip depression has on you, welcoming more joy and love into your life. After all, sustainable happiness begins and ends with a foundation in love and acceptance for yourself. Ann Thomas, Esq., CPCC, ACC, is a motivational speaker, author of 101 Affirmations for Radical SelfLove (available on Amazon.com), certified life coach and founder of Evolving Goddess, a company devoted to teaching women around the world how to connect with their divinity and love and accept themselves unconditionally so that they can be happy, feel at peace, and create a magnificent life. For more information, visit: http://www. evolvinggoddess.com.
Assessing Anxiety and Depression Through the Mind, Body and Spirit Connection by Kim Ruggierio
It is clear that our society today, as a whole, is overworked and highly stressed which often leads to high anxiety and depression. We often battle these with alcohol, comfort food and yes, even compulsive shopping. Many of us simply look to distract and numb ourselves rather than peel the onion and face our issues head-on. Of the many clients I have worked with as a Wellness Coach, the majority have been challenged by anxiety or depression. If left untreated, anxiety and depression can lead to serious complications. Well-rounded Mind/ Body/Spirit assessments are the key to effective, longterm solutions. Sadly, many physicians lack the time and training to assess and treat us as a whole person. Root causes are often overlooked and the resulting symptoms become the basis of our treatment. For example, undiagnosed and untreated Thyroid Disease can result in anxiety and depression. Medicating the symptom does nothing to address the root cause and may even mask it further. Antidepressants are one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. Unfortunately, their side effects may mimic our original symptoms or even trigger a domino effect of new issues which can overwhelm us even more. I do not argue that anxiety and depression may require medication. However, we need to examine other factors as well, that are often overlooked, that may impact and contribute to these chronic conditions. Fuel For Your Engine The quality of foods we eat, along with the
timing of meals, can affect depression and anxiety. Many people skip breakfast or have only coffee and a doughnut. They describe their mornings as stressful, and may experience headaches, lack of focus, mood swings and feelings of high anxiety. A sugar or caffeine surge can negatively affect a person’s physiology, particularly brain function. Even if a person doesn’t have Diabetes, Insulin levels can rise and peak, and blood sugar levels drop. This vicious cycle repeats over and over during the day. Being proactive and eating well-balanced, minimeals throughout the day can help keep blood sugar stable. Combining complex carbohydrates with protein is ideal. Clients who eat at least three meals a day, plus natural snacks in between, tell me how much better they feel both emotionally and physically. Catching Zzzzzzzzz When we lose sleep or experience poor quality of sleep, chemical changes in the brain affect our perception of ourselves and how we view the world. This also impacts our ability to effectively deal with life’s stresses. Many of my clients sleep with the television on. This can affect Serotonin levels in the brain, which can impact our REM stage sleep. We may wake feeling energetic, but are we truly well-rested? “Nervous energy” should not be confused with healthy, well-balanced energy. Getting a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night can help you feel like a million bucks, inside and out.
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continued from page 54 Keep Moving Exercise can help with anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that physically active people recover from mild depression more quickly, and that there is a strong correlation between physical activity and good mental health. When juggling family, career and household responsibilities, more often than not, exercise is the first action item to fall off our To Do list. Raising your heart rate into your aerobic zone for 45 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week, can help realign your perspective and increase your ability to manage stress more effectively. Over time, this can lead to a reduction in anxiety and depression. Motivation can be hard to come by when you’re depressed. One way through this challenge is to retrain your brain to view exercise as “play” – something you deserve and look forward to. Find something you love to do, perhaps with friends or family, and establish a routine you can stick to. The Vitamin Factor Vitamin & mineral deficiencies can also affect anxiety and depression. I recommend specific blood work, to rule this out of the equation, early on. B vitamins are essential for normal brain function and mood regulation. A vitamin D deficiency may cause low moods along with muscle weakness. Potassium, also known as the “cognition mineral,” can impact anxiety and depression. If levels are too low, symptoms can include decreased focus, impaired cognition, muscle weakness, fatigue, anxiety, nervous system deterioration, poor sleep and yes, depression. Omega-3 supplements, either alone or especially in combination with prescription medica-
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Many of us simply look to distract and numb ourselves rather than peel the onion and face our issues head-on.
tions and talk therapy, may be effective in treating mild to moderate depression. While more research is needed, it appears that low levels of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), one of the fatty acids found in fish, are common in people with depression. Supplementation with therapeutic doses of amino acids sometimes results in an improvement in mood in just a few days, but the typical course of treatment lasts from two months to a year. Low doses of amino acid supplements are used thereafter. Amino acids are converted to neurotransmitters. As neurotransmitter levels rise, depression and anxiety symptoms diminish. The Highly Sensitive Person Emotionally sensitive people/Empaths often experience heightened levels and greater frequency of both anxiety and depression. The (HSP) Highly Sensitive Person is a term that psychiatrists and psychologists often use to describe this type of person. An HSP tends to have a
hyper-sensitive nervous system, is highly aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, is more easily overwhelmed when in an over-stimulating environment, and is extremely sensitive to the feelings of others. These are often positive experiences, however, based on their surroundings and stimuli, they can be negative and even damaging to the individual’s emotional well-being. Through education and practice, the HSP can master their gifts rather than relying on medication to numb or mask the situation so they don’t have to “feel.” Aches and Pain Chronic pain, at high or low levels, can drive the mind and body deep into a stressful, anxious state. Over time, we may become so familiar with the pain that we overlook it’s direct impact on our overall mood and sense of well-being. Eventually, we feel lethargic and slow our daily pace. We may lose motivacont’d on next page
continued from page 55 tion to enjoy our children, complete our chores and even go to work. To work through this, we must first take the time to assess, preferably with a professional, the connection between our anxiety and depression and our underlying physical pain. Once we gain a clear understanding of this, we can take steps to better manage the pain through medication, exercise, meditation, nutrition, Reiki and other such practices, to help minimize the emotional strain and move past the resulting anxiety and depression. Talking to someone about what you are going through can help. Finding a professional who truly listens to you, thinks outside the box, and doesnâ€™t just treat you by your test results,
can make all the difference. This can be an MD, therapist, or spiritual guide, as well as holistic, healing practitioners. Facing ourselves in the mirror can be something that makes us uncomfortable, however, by not doing this we miss out on unleashing our potential to heal. They say the answers are inside of us. Finding someone you trust and taking small steps is a great way to start. Assessing anxiety and depression through the mind, body and spirit connection is crucial. They are truly interconnected. We are a whole person and not the sum of our symptoms. Through education we can gain a better understanding of alternative treatment options. Well-rounded approaches that complement Allopathic Medicine, providing us with positive results. I hope this article will empower and inspire others to become their own health and
wellness advocates. Have faith and never give up. Kim Ruggierio, founder is the driving force behind Wellness Begins Here. Kim is a Certified Wellness Coach, Reiki Master, a Degreed Exercise Physiologist and is affiliated with The American College Of Sports Medicine. She has over 20 years of experience serving women, men and children from all walks of life including competitive athletes and weight loss/fitness clients with medical challenges. Kim has also survived health challenges of her own, such as Systemic Lupus, severe Hypothyroidism and Lyme Disease. She has combined her own personal experiences and knowledge of holistic health practices with her extensive professional background in the medical, pharmaceutical and fitness communities, to assist other people in overcoming their own obstacles, particularly women suffering from complex and confusing Autoimmune Diseases.
Ayurveda for the Modern Soul by Shree Raghavan
In an age filled with chemically manufactured medicines of every variety, it’s no wonder that the rate of major diseases has risen meteorically. Independent research demonstrates that the rates of cancers, cardiovascular illnesses, and metabolic diseases have steadily increased over the last quarter century, a testament to our synthetic, chemical culture of the 21st century. Holistic therapy’s greatest asset is providing solutions for everyday living outside a synthetic context, and Ayurveda is the oldest holistic practice present. The word Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words for “life” and “knowledge,” ultimately combining the two into “the knowledge of living.” Although the tenets of Ayurveda span across nearly every dimension of human living, whether it be health, relationships, or emotions, modern generations will find the medicinal/nutritional sector most directly applicable to their lives. Ayurvedic medicine is derived naturally, made from herbs and shoots that provide medicinal relief without the often deleterious side-effects of conventional medicine. As the winter season draws nearer (which, incidentally, is why this article was written for MARCI’s Winter Edition), common maladies and illnesses double and triple (or perhaps even more), and it’s certainly beneficial to consider incorporating Ayurveda into your lifestyle and medicinal choices.
For those with breathing problems, asthma, or nausea, cardamom is often a solution that provides immense relief. It’s often found in Indian tea, which certainly functions as a warm, staple drink for many during the winter period. Those suffering from the mental dreariness and emotional stresses of the winter may find Badam (almonds) to be a helpful remedy that boosts general mood, tolerance, and satisfaction. Maricha, or black pepper, treats the common cold, cough, and phlegm symptoms, results that I have been able to corroborate with my independent holistic research on Ayurveda. I have also observed that a combination of Jethimadh (licorice root) and Vasakha (Malabar nuts) treat virtually every physical symptom associated with the Winter months: The common cold, coughing, phlegm, throat and sinus infections, and bodily aches are all alleviated by these two potent medicines, which purify the bloodstream and naturally increase the body’s supply of endorphins and white blood cells. Apart from these medicines, two major medicinal oils that should be used on a regular basis are Neem Oil and Coconut Oil. Neem Oil, which has been renowned for its fatigue-alleviating properties for centuries, provides lasting relief to muscle aches, compressions, and bodily pains when massaged into the skin. Coconut oil can be applied on the skin and scalp to reduce body heat, which correspondingly re-
sults in lower blood pressure and a more relaxed state of being. Ayurvedic medicine is rapidly gaining popularity in the Western world, and holistic practitioners worldwide are utilizing it for the undeniable benefits it provides. Ayurveda keeps the body resonant because humans are biologically structured to take in natural foods and substances. This winter, make a positive change in your life by partially, if not wholly, adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle. The results will certainly show. Shree Raghavan is an avid student of finance, business management, and marketing. He pursues these avenues through the Holistic Mentorship Network and its affiliated businesses, working to advertise and promote the industry. Shree’s practical business knowledge comes from helping manage his family’s financial business and from his various leadership roles in his school and community. His side passions include Indian Classical Vocal Music and Politics: Please check out his Twitter page, HHS Politics. A Junior in Hillsborough High School currently, Shree wishes to major in finance/economics and pursue a career as an independent entrepreneur, financial administrator, or personal finance manager. He thanks HMN for the support they have given in furthering his interests.
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