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Holistic Lifestyle Magazine

Collectible Summer Edition 2019/2020

RSA R39.00 incl. VAT Namibia N$39.00 incl. VAT

The Art Of

Retreating Meditation, Yoga, Buddhist and Sufi Retreats Transformational places and spaces Groot Marico, Ixopo, India and Bali

Conscious

Living

Seasons of the Soul Living in the New Energy Treating ADHD Holistically

IC T S TA N A K F 22 BOO AYS W , 39 A E , 25 V I G ES: 9

People Dillon Forte, Sacred Geometrician and Spiritual Tattoo Artist New Columnist 'The Earth Custodian'

PAG

Featured in this edition...

Hello 2020!

Men’s Heal

www.odysseymagazine.co.za


30 - 31 May 2020

CTICC, Cape Town


Community

2019...

! ! ! r a e Y What a

4 Editions down centre Bach Flowers SA Best Stand Runners Up Lokinwi Fes val

Innate Health Best Stand winner Lokinwi Fes val

Mindful Media Holistic Magazine

Minimag issue 3/2019

Hypnotherapy Feed Your Brain

www.odysseymagazine.co.za

Develop The Mind Meditation Adventure

Body and Mind Fes val DLI Hall - KZN

South Coast Spiritual and Holis c Is Emotional Quicksand Dragging You Down?

Body and Mind Fes val DLI Hall - KZN

Odyssey Magazine 2019 Lokinwi Fes val Jozi odysseymagazine.co.za | 1


Reection /RɪˈFLƐKƩ(Ə)N/ 'SERIOUS THOUGHT OR CONSIDERATION' SYNONYMS THOUGHT, THINKING, CONSIDERATION, CONTEMPLATION, STUDY, DELIBERATION, PONDERING, MEDITATION, MUSING, RUMINATION

The Art of Retreating


OUR SECTIONS:

Community

Beauty

Food

94

Health

Body

Mind

42

Contents by Segment From Debra’s Desk 6 7

Editor’s Note Editor’s Choice

Community 1 Looking Back 8-9 Win with Odyssey 13-14 There is an alternative to Chemotherapy World Cancer Day 4.2.2020

Body, Mind and Spirit 16-21 Spiritual Living with Colleen-Joy Seasons of the Soul 24-25 The Power of Reconnection Maggie Hamilton 26-27 Awakening from Sleepwalking Louise VN Liebenberg 30-31 Living the New Energy Natalia Baker Editor and Publisher Debra Stevens Robins +27 (0) 82 875 2985 debra@odysseymagazine.co.za

32-37 Spotlight on Yoga Yin Yoga is Taking Over Kundalini Yoga Kriya Yoga Divine Yoga of Light 44-45 Planetary Yogas 88 -91 Managing ADHD Holistically Dr Arthur Long

Features 50-68 The Art of Retreating Places and Spaces Retreat, Reflect, Restore 75-77 To Ink or Not to Ink Interview with Dillon Forte

Health & Personal Care 69-74 Men's Health It's a Man Thing Boost Your Testosterone Fatigue Management

94

Happiness Hacks

Travel 61-66 My Passage through India

Eco Planet 78-79 Green Industrial Clean 80 Earth Wisdom Diana Smith

Home, Parenting and Relationships 22 42-43 81 82-83 84-85 86-87

A Conversation with Death Children as our Yoga The Middle Wife Alice's Unborn Child Co-Sleeping the African Way Sacred Lullabies

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Spirit


Home

Parenting

Planet

Relationships

Travel

Columns 10-11 Wavelength Jill Iggulden Stevens 46-48 Stargazing 2020 Margarita Celeste 80 Earth Custodian Diana Smith 92 Ask Heike Heike Sym Competitions and Give-aways 9 Life SimpliďŹ ed: Nianell Hot-Footing it to Health Christine StormerFryer The Law of Success Napoleon Hill Get What You Want Tony Burroughs

Spotlight

69

61 In Every Edition

Books

25

Inside the Secret Life of Fairies Maggie Hamilton Llewellyn's 2020 Planetary Guide

39

Food 40-41 Host a Soulful Dinner Clinical Casebook 28-29 Quantum Body-Brian Reboot Johanne Werth Other 7 38-39 90 96

Poetry Book Reviews Young Booklovers Crystal Corner

Listings 15 Wellness Showcase 55, 59 Retreats Showcase 95 Therapists & Teachers

84

Copyright and Disclaimer Odyssey Magazine ISSN 0256-0356 (odysseymagazine.co.za) is owned and published by Mindful Media Publishing (Pty) Ltd No person, organisation or party can copy or re-produce the content on this site and/or magazine or any part of this publication without a written consent from the editors' panel and the author of the content, as applicable. The publisher, editor, authors and contributors reserve their rights with regards to copyright of their work. The copyright includes (and is not limited to) the content and/or images used in any of the articles of this publication, the Odyssey Magazine logo and any of its derivatives. The content in Odyssey Magazine and its website and digital platforms are made available on the terms and conditions that the publisher, editors, contributors and related parties: Shall have no responsibility for any action or omission by any other contributor, consultant, editor or related party. Disclaim any and all liability and responsibility to any person or party, be they a purchaser, reader, advertiser or consumer of this publication or not in regards to the consequences and outcomes of anything done or omitted being in reliance whether partly or solely on the contents of this publication. Are not responsible in any way for the actions or results taken by any person, organisation or any party on basis of reading information, or contributions in this publication, website or related platform. publisher@odysseymagazine.co.za

Mindful Media Publishing (Pty) Ltd Registration No. 2018/581347/07 Odyssey Magazine KZN Head OďŹƒce P.O. Box 21505, Umtentweni, 4235 +27 (0) 78 342 9389 editor@odysseymagazine.co.za www.odysseymagazine.co.za

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Editor’s Note Greetings sojourners

Thank you, ank you, ank you! The first print edition of Odyssey Magazine in seven years, our Collectible Winter Edition, is a sell-out. Gratitude to our circle: Our readers, contributors, advertisers and the incredible Odyssey Magazine team. In my role as editor, working through the multitude of editorial contributions I receive, I have realised that our conscious thought leaders in South Africa are all dedicated to a single vision, that of inspiring you to live your best life. We are grateful for the wisdom, knowledge and passion that they share with open hearts; their insights and stories catalysts for bringing meaningful change into our lives. I am often asked if Odyssey Magazine is a ‘women’s magazine’; Odyssey Magazine is an ‘all people’s magazine’. Articles and insets are nourishing and uplifting to all genders, traditional backgrounds and paths and for those embarking on, or currently experiencing, a more conscious and holistic lifestyle. In this, the 227th edition of Odyssey Magazine we bring you a holistic perspective on men’s health and feature ‘The Art of Retreating’; exploring beautiful places and spaces. In the next edition some of our features include: ‘Woman Divine’ a woman’s health feature and ‘Veganism, a New Way of Living’ As we move into 2020 Odyssey Magazine is the only quarterly national print publication in this genre in Southern Africa, with seasonal editions in March, June, September and December each year. May 2020, bring you bliss, joy, peace and the most vibrant and abundant year ever.

All love and gratitude, Debra

Autumn Print Edition on the shelves 30.3.2020 Subscribe: www.odysseymagazine.co.za/subscribe.html Join the Odyssey Community http://www.twitter.com/ZaOdyssey http://www.facebook.com/Odysseymagazine https://www.instagram.com/odyssey_magazine_za odysseymagazine.co.za | 6


Welcome to Editor's Choice, in which we will feature some of the editorial team’s ‘favourite things’: Good reads, great products, superb services and beautiful places and spaces; and share with you why they love them. This bouquet is given to products that our editorial team would personally recommend to our readers, family and friends.

Editor’s Choice The Victorian Garden Organic Skincare Company’s Quince & Honeysuckle day cream and the Rosemary & Frankincense night cream

My Favourite Things A Poem by Carolyn Chilton Casas

“For over five centuries the popular imagination has been gripped by the story of King Henry VIII and his six wives – and by the tangled web of passion and intrigue that lies behind it. Our Royal Tudor Collection was created in commemoration of the six Tudor Queens. We profiled each Queen and created products based on personality, looks, skin/hair colour and favourite perfumes, foods etc. These two are Queen Anne Boleyn’s products.” www.thevictoriangarden.co.za. Anne Boleyn could have been considered as a feminist of her time and ahead of her time. Her French fashions, manners and grooming made Anne’s mark in the English court, although not as much as her intellect, her desire for reform and her radical ideas. These historically-inspired all-natural products are adapted from original Victorian diaries; they meet cruelty-free international standards. Although adapted from hand-crafted methods of yesteryear, they meet the highest 21st century health and safety requirements. We are delighted to have a product of this quality manufactured and available here in South Africa. On my mature combination skin, I found the day cream to be rich and silky, almost air-whipped, leaving the skin feeling nourished and hydrated and the night cream gentle, yet bold. After 21 days of use we noticed a healthful glow as a result of using both the day cream and the night cream. The size is also most convenient for travelling. A truly innovative combination of 16th century botanicals, creating a special skin care experience for our times.

Bathtubs of bubbles, warm water and candles, mornings with nothing that needs to be handled, the croaking of frogs and the birds as they sing, these are a few of my favourite things. Muses who visit, leave presents for writing, Reiki that flows from my heart and my fingers, watching how flowers grow leading to spring, these are a few of my favourite things. When my work looms, when the fog glooms, when I'm feeling sad – I simply remember my favourite things… and then I don't feel so bad. ceccasas@aol.com odysseymagazine.co.za | 7


The OM Team

Win with Odyssey! Holistic Lifestyle Magazine

www.odysseymagazine.co.za

Debra, Publisher & Editor #buckstopshere

7 FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS WINNERS Andrea Highcock Ingrid Lamprecht Lisa Nightshade Marise Viviers Maritza van Zyl Natalia Terblanche Shirley-Anne Pegram

Cindy, Customer Fulfilment #gotogal

Denis, Design & Layout #getsittogether

JOHN LOCKLEY - LEOPARD WARRIOR WINNERS Johannes van der Westhuizen Pumza Sobekwa Mary-Molly Herbert Sandra Naude Barrie Thomson

KIKI THEO - MONEY ALCHEMY WINNERS

Pieter, Digital & Social Media #tagsforlikes

Sheilagh, Sales Lead #productvisibilityboff

Mariana Mans Patrick Peterson Yousuf Patel Kara, Interviewing Journo #straighttalk

Congratulations! odysseymagazine.co.za | 8

Susan, Proof Reader #cookapedia


Enter to Win THE LAW OF SUCCESS: 16 Secrets to Unlock Wealth and Happiness by Napoleon Hill

Give-Aways! 4 s ie Cop

A protégée of Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) was a pioneer of self-help writing, and his Think and Grow Rich ranks among the top 10 bestselling self-help books of all time. After querying dozens of prosperous individuals about how they achieve their success, Hill distilled their responses into a series of principles that promote self-confidence, thrift, imagination, enthusiasm, self-control, concentration, and cooperation. Each chapter of this volume forms a lesson in using these traits to develop the untapped “mind-power” that leads to success. Nearly a century after its initial publication, the self-help guru Hill’s enduring advice continues to offer modern readers valuable guidance for cultivating their inner potential. Publisher: Dover Publications ISBN-13: 978-0-486-82483-3 ISBN-10: 0-486-82483-7

Life Simplified: A Transformational Book by Nianell You are LOVE and you are here to LEARN TO LOVE and to LEARN HOW TO LET YOURSELF BE LOVED Life Simplified is a ‘Book of Living’, an invaluable and profound spiritual harvest of insights about the game of love and life that we choose to play here on Earth. It is a simplification and unpacking of seemingly complex concepts that will transport the reader beyond limiting and fear-based belief systems to a place deep within; a place of feeling, healing and pure love. Nianell’s heart was shocked back to life by personal loss that took her on a journey of discovery and understanding which she shares in this book. Life Simplified is the perfect companion for all of us. DEBRA STEVENS, Editor of Odyssey Magazine Publisher: Tracey McDonald Publishers ISBN: 978-0-6399928-8-4 ePUB ISBN: 978-0-6399928-9-1

3 s ie o C p

Get What You Want: The art of making and manifesting your intentions by Tony Burroughs Setting intentions can change the direction of your life – learn how from the man who has taught over a million people. “Open Get What You Want to any page and receive the wisdom of the ages. This book is filled with magic in the form of words and teachings. I suggest you read and absorb a little at a time – then watch as you become the master manifester of your life”. Publisher: Viva Editions ISBN: 978-1-936740-20-8 ePUB ISBN: 978-1-936740-2-1

3 s ie Cop

Reflexology: Hot-Footing it to Health by Christine Lynne Stormer-Fryer Within every human being is a natural desire to be healthy and well, health being the foundation for an abundant life. However, with the human race becoming increasingly frenetic, keeping pace can be incredibly daunting and personal wellbeing often ends up taking a back seat. There is no better time than now to use these accelerated energies to ‘Hot-foot it to Health’ with reflexology, an ancient and highly effective form of natural healing. Using the feet-the physique’s unsung heroes-reflexology activates and mobilises the body’s innate healing abilities to hasten the healing process. In this insightful book, Christine Lynne Stormer-Fryer, a world-renowned authority on natural healing and health, reveals how feet highlight the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of being human, and suggests the best steps to regain and maintain optimum health using the natural energies of reflexology. Publisher: Christine Lynne Stormer-Fryer ISBN: 978-1986332-06-4

5 s ie o C p

Email your entries to: cindy@odysseymagazine.co.za With your name, surname and email address with the answer to this question in the subject line: Who are the author/s of any or all of the above books By entering this competition / give-away you agree to our Ts and Cs for all competitions and giveaways. For more info visit: www.odysseymagazine.co.za/enter.html / Closing Date: 31 January 2020 odysseymagazine.co.za | 9


The Best of all Possible Worlds “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Shakespeare - Hamlet Act 2. Scene 2

F

orty-two years ago Odyssey received two complimentary tickets through the post from Mark Baker, the young American in the principle role of Leonard Bernstein and Hugh Wheeler's highly entertaining operetta, Candide. The operetta is a light-hearted parody of Leibniz's philosophy that we live in the Best of All Possible Worlds. The tickets were for the opening night at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town on 19.11.1977. After the show, we met Mark backstage and I was able to arrange an interview for publication in our February issue. Earlier this year, I was drawn to a concert in the Cape Town City Hall, to hear a live performance of the Overture to Candide. As the conductor raised his baton, the beautiful strains of Bernstein's music filled the auditorium. My heart missed a beat. I recalled the joy and exuberance experienced all those years ago, as the music touched on the various themes expressed in the operetta. The nostalgic memories evoked while listening to the overture made me realise that it had never occurred to me to read Voltaire's original. I was fortunate to find an English translation in the central library odysseymagazine.co.za | 10

opposite the City Hall. Well! Candide, the delightful, highly entertaining comic operetta, was a far cry from Voltaire's original work, written in 1759. The operetta had failed to give any inkling of how mind-bogglingly gruesome Voltaire's satirical critique would prove to be. Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) was a major influence during the 18th Century's Age of Enlightenment, which promoted religious tolerance, liberalism and human rights. He objected strongly to Leibniz's philosophy in that it seemed impossible to reconcile the evil which befalls man with that of a God of Love. The destruction of Lisbon in 1759 by earthquakes, fire and tidal waves proved to be, for him, the last straw. In protest he wrote Candide. Despite the reader being emotionally drawn into vivid descriptions of the inhuman suffering endured by the fictional characters caught up in historic atrocities, Voltaire's literary skills were of such an exceptionally high standard that his novella is able to elicit spontaneous chuckles, evoked by the absurdity of our hero's philosophical acceptance of his tutor Dr Pangloss's teaching that all is for the best.

The dilemma faced by Voltaire belongs to the theological and philosophical theory of Theodisity¹. I do not need to 'go into that'. I am very comfortable in my own acceptance of Leibniz's theory of living in the best of all possible worlds. However, we have been given the gift of Free Will and therein, I believe, lies the problem. It seemed an appropriate time to 'resort' to a meditation. I seldom meditate — far too busy I tell myself — but I know meditation works. It is what I often suggest to others whether they be in pain, are feeling blue, or looking for guidance. I made myself comfortable and followed the Transcendental Meditation technique given to me by David Fiske in the early seventies. After the meditation I was prompted to look up the interview with Mark Baker, which was published in the February 1978 issue of Odyssey (sub-titled 'Towards Living in a New Age'). The introduction resonated with the nostalgia I had experienced when listening to The Cape Town City Orchestra playing the Overture to Candide.


It helped me understand why I had had no idea that Voltaire’s novella had been written in protest against Leibniz’s philosophy. The review, written within a few weeks of having attended the operetta, described the show as an entertaining send-up, not only of man’s cruelty to man, religious hypocrisy and shallow optimism, but also as a mirror in which to view one’s own philosophy and gauge the depth of one’s understanding of spiritual law. Like all good theatre the operetta provided food for thought. I just loved the reference to Paquette, the serving maid, who was so bored when stranded in Eldorado — a Utopian heaven on earth — that she expresses her frustration through a powerful song ending in the words “… people laugh and dance for hours, get me out before I scream.” What is good or bad is relevant to our culture, our status and our beliefs. The review also drew to my

attention the fact that as early as 1978, ongoing experiments were being carried out on the effects of different states of consciousness upon the environment. Today, with the advances being made in the field of quantum physics, we have a better understanding of how our thoughts (energy) affect our environment (matter)². Regardless whether we believe in Fate or Free Will, the choices we make affect not only ourselves but our relationships and the world we live in. Whether we grasp the significance of the quantum world or not, we are part of it and we are responsible for the effects of our thinking. At this time of year, Christians throughout the world will be celebrating the birth of Jesus. His teachings give the World, regardless of religion or philosophy, the direction forward: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; love them that hate you; turn the

other cheek; love thy neighbour as thyself; judge not that ye be not judged. On a more intimate note, I wish to share a loving and sobering thought which affected me deeply when I heard it this morning during a pilates class: “With every choice that offers joy, there is a counterpoint. Each happy moment holds a shadow of sadness. Indeed, during cultural celebrations, the very joy of the day is weighted by memories of people lost and times past.” Bon Voyage, Jill ¹Theodicity: Philosophical and theological theory which attempts to explain how a god of love could create a world which contains evil. ²Wavelength Minimag March 2019. Jill Iggulden Stevens: Pioneer, Seeker, Teacher, Storyteller, Sage Founder of Odyssey Magazine.

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Health Updates

Chilli May Help Fight Lung Cancer

Health Updates

A new Marshall University study suggests that chilli peppers may provide more benefit than making food taste better; they may have the ability to help fight lung cancer. This study was presented at the 2019 American Society for Investigative Pathology’s Experimental Biology Meeting. Findings may be important in the battle against cancer; lung cancer is the leading cancer-related cause of death among men and women, and most cases become worse as cancer cells begin to spread throughout the body due to metastasis. “Lung cancer and other cancers commonly metastasise to secondary locations like the brain, liver or bone, making them difficult to treat,” explains study author Jamie Friedman in a release. “Our study suggests that the natural compound capsaicin from chilli peppers could represent a novel therapy to combat metastasis in lung cancer patients.” According to the authors, capsaicin impedes lung cancer metastasis by suppressing SRC proteins which are involved in several cellular processes such as proliferation and independent movement. The team is investigating less spicy ingestion methods that will still retain all of the cancer-fighting qualities that capsaicin may possess. Source: https://medicalxpress.com

Yoga and Tai Chi Good for Strokes High blood pressure, high fatty acids and high blood sugar levels are all risk factors for stroke, In 2017, 56 000 South Africans experienced a stroke, equivalent to one stroke every nine minutes. In a new meta-analysis, researchers analysed 26 studies published between 1985 and 2017 that examined how Yoga and Tai chi moderated key stroke risk factors. The results showed that Yoga and Tai chi regulate blood pressure by teaching people to breathe deeply, balancing and stabilising their autonomic nervous systems and lowering their heart rates. Additionally, Yoga and Tai chi can help improve diabetics’ health by increasing blood and oxygen supply to the tissues, helping to produce insulin and boosting antioxidants. Survivors of stroke are at an increased risk of another one, so it’s important we find interventions to help reduce the major risk factors. Source: Future Neurology

Vitamin D May Help Prevent Diabetes This three-year study involved 2 039 people with high blood sugar levels. Their vitamin D levels were measured at the start of the study and six months, one year, two years and three years later. For every five nanograms per millilitre (ng/mL) increase in vitamin D levels, the risk of developing diabetes dropped by eight per cent, says Anastassios Pittas, MD, of Tufts Medical Center in Boston. The study does not prove cause and effect. "But if confirmed, there are huge implications because vitamin D is easy and inexpensive." Source: https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org MEDIFACT – Maintaining Memory – Neuroscientists have identified lifestyle factors for maintaining healthy memory and for avoiding memory decline at any age, especially those over 55. People with a better memory are more educated, engage in more social activities, undertake new cognitive activities, have a lower heart rate, higher body mass index (probably due to muscle), do self-maintenance activities and have living companions. Source: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. odysseymagazine.co.za | 12


Community - World Cancer Day

There is an Alternative to Chemotherapy and ARVs Research done by Cancer Scientist, Dr Hulda Clark, 60 years ago is now scientifically confirmed by Italian doctor.

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round-breaking new research has now come forward by an Italian Doctor, Tulio Simonchini (https://Italiandoctor-shocked-the-world-cancer), that cancer is a fungus and can easily be treated without invasive chemotherapy and radiation. This new research backs Dr Hulda Clark's research that cancer is in fact a very treatable condition... It has been our mission for the last 20-odd years to assist in educating the public that cancer and many other diseases are treatable. Dr Hulda Clark was way ahead of her time and was treated as an outcast for her findings that all diseases originate from toxins, solvents, metal toxicity and acidic systems. High levels of toxins, chemicals, etc are food for parasites, fungi and bacteria. It is a known fact that, in the plant and human world, carcinoma is caused by fungal infections; they carry with them a tumour which weakens the immune system and creates cancer. The toxic load in the system from bad diets, chemical creams/soaps/general chemical household cleansers and poor hygiene is in fact food for these fungi, bacteria and parasites. The higher the toxic load, the higher the acidic level in the system... Cancer cannot grow in an alkaline system; this is a proven scientific fact. Every cancer is caused by Candida fungus... Acidity is the growing medium Candida uses to survive. Candida is rife in society because of our lifestyles and eating habits. We have forgotten the simple ways of living and respecting

our beautiful bodies. By changing our lifestyles to a more healthy and balanced energy, we encourage our bodies to remain strong, young, vibrant and healthy. Candida infections can be treated and reversed by changing to this healthier lifestyle. You may have noticed that anti-fungal drugs on the market are ineffective in treating fungal infections any more, because most attack only the surface cells. This is the same with chemo and radiation treatments. They do not attack the mother cells and destroy them; they work on the surrounding cells and have no issue with killing healthy cells too. Fungi like Candida weaken the cells and prevent proper absorption of nutrients as they attack the mucus cells, as an example in the colon, creating leaking gut syndrome. The exhausted immunity can then not stop the system from producing foreign cells, tumours and growths, which are colonies of like-minded abnormal cells. Dietary changes are very necessary to remove the food that feeds fungi, bacteria and parasites, like sugars, junk food, processed food, dairy and gluten. By moving to a living diet the system can build up resources in its immunity and fight back any inflammatory, fungal and immune attack. A Full Body Vital Organ Detox of the system is required, with drastic changes in the lifestyle and

diet. There are hundreds of detox techniques available on the market at this stage, but completing a Full Body Vital Organ Detox is paramount to beginning the fight against any disease in the system. The vital organs must all be detoxed to attain the best results, as completing only one or two of the systems allows the parasites and toxins to remain in the other organs and will have defeated the object of detoxification. The vital organs are colon and gut, kidneys and liver, these being the main cleansing and filtration systems we have to remove toxins from our systems. In following these stringent detoxes we will accomplish the removal of huge loads of toxins, chemicals, parasites and bacteria that have built up over the years… Alkalinity plays a vital role in combating and cleaning up the system from fungal invasions.

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Community - World Cancer Day

The best alkaline agent available to fight cancer is bicarbonate of soda aluminium free. This is taken orally every day for a 3-4 week period. For vaginal fungal infections, being the main culprit for cervical and vaginal tumours, take two litres of pure filtered water, add two tablespoons baking soda in a douche wash. By consuming bicarbonate of soda you are changing your acidity level to alkaline and cancer cannot survive in alkaline conditions. Lugol's Iodine is an absolute must for all to use, as 80 per cent of the populace are deficient. But Lugol's has an amazing result when used as a body painting method. Many cancer patients have used this method with great success. Body painting the areas directly related to cancer will allow the Lugol’s Iodine to be absorbed through the skin and into the system killing off any diseased cells. Lugol's is also paramount for all your organs to function properly. Dr Clark’s theory is that HIV and Aids are caused by a single parasite - the human intestinal fluke, which is found in every one of her case history studies. Once we have ingested the parasite, the toxic levels that are normally very high in our systems aid in prematurely breaking down the eggs and allowing them to hatch faster. The main solvent dealt with here is benzene, a chemical substance that breaks down fats and is found in everything we consume like ice cream and frozen yogurts and in personal care items like creams and shampoos. This solvent has a propensity to load in the thymus, where T-cells are developed and, once it has invaded the thymus, it will inhibit the production of T-cells. The theory is that there are five barriers that need to be

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removed with the benzene; they are asbestos, PCBs, heavy metals and azo dyes. Once these have been removed through Full Body Vital Organ Detoxes, heavy metal detoxes, asbestos detox, PCB detox, azo dye detox and changes in lifestyles through implementation of removing these toxins from diets, living areas, work areas and personal care items, the person’s T-cells begin to recover. The HIV virus is eliminated but caution should be taken to continue to ensure that none of these five barriers are consumed at all, even in the tiniest of amounts, as the virus will then be reinitiated. Bi-yearly detoxes should be continued to ensure all and any contamination is removed on a regular basis. As with the cancer protocols Lugol’s Iodine has proven to strengthen and rebuild the thymus glands and assist in ensuring sufficient quantity of the iodine is available in the system to maintain homeostasis. Using the bicarbonate of soda is as effective for HIV/Aids patients to facilitate the alkaline status required to ensure no re-infections can occur in this balanced alkaline state. Find a practitioner that you can work with in a safe and calm environment to address your emotional issues. Cancer and other diseases first begin with suppressed emotions and issues that have been buried for a long period of time and, if left unattended, will move to reflect in physical form every single time. Releasing these emotions has proven to assist the immune system to receive the message that it may now fight a good fight. Having dealt with many cases of clients over the last 20 years, those with not only cancer but other debilitating dis-eases as well; remarkable results have been

achieved using Dr Hulda Clark protocols. Clients with cancer and HIV/Aids are horrified to find out that some of the cheapest and simplest methods that have been described in this article can assist them in curing their diseases without the invasive chemo, radiation, surgery and ARVs. We have made it our mission to educate, assist and be available to spread the word: Cancer and HIV/Aids are not a death sentence; they are treatable and the treatment is affordable to all who have the courage to change the status quo, but it does take full participation in the process of healing. Dr Clark was an internationally renowned Canadian research scientist, born on 18 October 1928 in the Soviet Union, and author of eight best-selling books, with a doctorate in physiology. In 1979 she left government-funded research to start her own research, which concluded that all diseases originated from parasites and toxins. She also developed the ‘Famous Zapper’. www.naturalhealingsa.com


Health

Wellness Escentia’s Detox Bar Escentia’s Detox Bar is a Luxury Soap made from the finest natural ingredients. The base ingredients: Coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, castor oil, lye, water and a blend of essential oils. Added into the Detox Bar are bentonite clay, charcoal, spearmint, clary sage and rosemary essential oils. www.essential-oils.co.za

Products & Services Showcase

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The Victorian Garden Victorian Garden cosmetics have revived the skin care secrets of the 19th century for the modern-day woman who embraces earth-friendly values. Ingredients are certified organic wherever possible, and the company follows an ethical, sustainable and cruelty free ethos. www.thevictoriangarden.co.za

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Spirit - Spiritual Living

Spiritual Living With Colleen-Joy

The Seasons of the Soul

Photo by Sherene Hustler How to overcome the challenges of spiritual suffering, seeking, awakening and enlightenment. Are you experiencing a spiritual autumn, seeking truth and wanting answers to life’s big questions? Are you experiencing a spiritual winter, feeling suffering and wanting to find sanctuary? Are you experiencing a spiritual spring, awakening to your true self and having epiphanies? Are you experiencing a spiritual summer, where your heart and mind are being enlightened? Each season of the soul challenges us in specific ways. Here is a guide to help you to overcome easily the challenges and to take the gifts from each experience. Your soul autumn - spiritual seeking

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What is a soul autumn? To look up at the sky with longing. To look at your reflection in the mirror and wonder about what you truly are. To sometimes feel alone because very few are interested in seeking the truth. To feel discontent because your intuition tells you that there is more to life than what meets the eye.

Which of these questions have you asked during times of seeking? And, most importantly, which of these questions are not answered in a way that satisfies your heart and mind? • • • •

During our soul autumn we are asked to shake off the leaves of false beliefs, to stand naked in the vulnerability of admitting that we do not know, to follow the call to find truth and to not give up until we have found the enlightenment of real understanding. It is natural for our souls to seek the truth. Just as everything in nature grows to maturity, through the trials of life our souls grow in wisdom. Eventually we feel a natural calling; and the seeker is born.

• • • • •

“What is the meaning of life?” “Who am I?” “Is God real?” “Where is God?” “Do I exist beyond death?” “What is my purpose?” “Where is my soul?” “What is the nature of reality?” “What is true?”

What challenges do you face as a seeker? A spiritual autumn asks us to have courage. Your heart longs for truth sometimes as an urgent need, other times as a gentle whisper.


Spirit - Spiritual Living

For some, the seeking is everpresent, the mind is consistently drawn to questions and natural selfenquiry. For others, seeking comes and goes like the tides, sometimes absent and at other times pulling attention strongly. In whichever way spiritual seeking arises for you, recognise it. Honour it. This is the call home to the true self. Even if you think that you are not looking for the self, you are. The search for happiness, peace, love, purpose, God, truth, reality — these are all the search for the true self. Here are some of the most common challenges that we face during times of spiritual seeking. Which of these three are the most relevant to you? • SPIRITUAL MARKETPLACE – Contradictory competing teachers and teachings. • ALONENESS - Feeling alone in your seeking. • INTUITION VS. INTELLECT – Which to trust? SPIRITUAL MARKETPLACE The spiritual marketplace is noisy with so many competing voices, so how do you know which teachers and teachings are authentic and all right for you? Remember that the truth is always distorted through the translation process. Truth is translated through language and through personality. Ultimately all teachers and teachings are like a vehicle

driving you to the beach. You are made to get out of the vehicle at some point, to discover the truth for yourself. This is why many traditions referred to teachings as pointers. They can only point to the self. You must still discover what is being pointed to directly and intimately in your own understanding. I remember as a young spiritual seeker bravely reaching out to teachers. Some of the teachers I found, still live in my heart in a place of great reverence. I am eternally grateful for the presence of authentic wise souls that have contributed to my journey. But I was also shocked by some teachers who I discovered were either deeply damaged to the point of being insane, abusive or were outright liars, manipulating people for power and money. There was the minister's wife who told me that her husband used congregation money to gamble every weekend. There was a new age teacher that locked me in a room, forcing me to hear her crazy ideas about my daughter being the first of the new race (fortunately I escaped.) There was a teacher and friend who used investment millions from others, to build a spiritual business, while stealing a database, telling me outright: “#@! the bunny huggers, I'm in it for the money.” I walked away sick to my stomach. As a young person I naïvely thought that anyone carrying a spiritual banner would be

authentically loving and coming from a place of true service. I'm sure that you have also discovered that the spiritual marketplace is filled with its own version of insanity, infomercials, abuse and deception. So it might be helpful to look at how the teacher lives their life. Just as I would not seek financial advice from someone in debt, I prefer to seek spiritual counsel from someone living the values they teach. Certainly, teachers are human and sainthood is rare. But remember that the ego can dress itself up as a spiritual identity very easily. Be discerning. ALONENESS You might notice that the true spiritual path of seeking does not attract hundreds of thousands. Many spiritual seekers feel alone. Sometimes they are the only seekers in their family. As a teenager, I would go to the local town library, to take out books from the very small body, mind and spirit section. The librarian, who stamped out my books, always looked at me with great hostility. It was very difficult to find like-minded seekers. Today, the Internet gives us such incredible opportunities to seek community. But of course, this also means learning to discern and filter through a lot of noise.

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Spirit - Spiritual Living

There's a difference between feeling lonely and being alone. Aloneness is one of the most important contributors to spiritual growth. Spiritual enlightenment, the knowledge of the true self reveals that the self is non-dual, that there are no separate selves. This full understanding is found in the spring and summer of our spiritual journey, dissolves loneliness and gives us the gifts of aloneness, or all-oneness. INTUITION VS. INTELLECT Intuition without the intellect can be gullible and naïve. Intellect without intuition can be blind. They might seem like a polarity, for indeed they are. Like two sides of a kite, they work together when they are in balance. Use your intellect to ask powerful questions. Use the intellect like a sword of truth to cut away false belief. Then use your intuition to feel in your body for that which resonates with openness, peace and love, for these are the signs of truth.

How to take the gifts of seeking The gift of the soul autumn, of seeking, is freedom from false beliefs. Shake the tree free of dead leaves. Don't give up and don't stop seeking until you are free of the false. Be brave enough to stand naked without the mind's “I know” beliefs. Surrender to the “I don't know” mind that is critical to every autumn of seeking. The Zen tradition calls this the 'child mind' because it is open to

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learning instead of filled with a clutter of beliefs. Don't settle for belief. Go for deep knowing. The path of enlightenment is often described as a path of negation. We remove the false to reveal the truth that is always there, self-evident, shining as the self that you already are. Your soul winter - spiritual suffering What is a soul winter?

To feel the body and mind contracted in suffering. To carry the burdens of emotional pain. To push against life with anger and frustration. To be tortured by thoughts laced with fear. Which of these questions have you asked during times of suffering? And most importantly, which of these questions are not answered in a way that completely satisfies your heart and mind? • “Why do good people suffer?” • “How can I be free of this emotional pain” • “How do I quieten the mind?” • “Where can I find true lasting happiness?” • “What is the point of life, if everything dies?” • “Why do I feel people's pain?”

• “What is the right decision for me?” • “How do I find lasting peace?” • “Why does this hurt so much?” What challenges do you face in the winters of the soul? When we experience loss, fear, stuckness, a lack of direction and trauma, these times of suffering can be so incredibly difficult. Thích Nhất Hạnh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, activist and the father of the mindfulness movement teaches, “No Mud, No Lotus.” We can make use of our suffering to put it to work towards the path of enlightenment. This does not mean to be attached to suffering, or to create a false identity as the 'one who suffers' but it means that, when the mind and heart are brought to their knees, there is an opportunity to open to truth. Which of these three challenges are the most relevant to you? • FALSE IDENTITY – Suffering because of believing that you are your thoughts and feelings. E.g. “I am sad” and “I don't agree.” • PERSONALITY- Taking personality personally. • SYSTEMIC BURDENS - Carrying karmic, systemic baggage from family.


Spirit - Spiritual Living

FALSE IDENTITY The root of emotional suffering lies in not knowing the true self. Selfignorance causes its own form of fear, shame, anger and anguish. When we don't know who we truly are, a substitute false self is created by the mind. The false separate self is based on belief and thought alone. It is a 'self-image' and not the actual self. When we believe that we are our thoughts, our thoughts can become tyrannical dictators ruling over our lives. Thoughts are in you, you are not in your thoughts. Thoughts depend on you to exist; you do not depend on thoughts to exist. Feelings are in you, you are not in your feelings. Even the most intense painful feelings are in you as awareness. You are the space in which all feelings rise and fall. You are open awareness, aware of thoughts and feelings. When we don't know this we suffer. When we do know this, we, as the true self, can become the sanctuary for thought and feelings to come to be enlightened. PERSONALITY Like the patterns of leaves on trees, each body, mind and soul is expressed by life as a pattern of personality. When the heart and mind are ignorant of the true self, this personality pattern can only express itself at a lower level. When the heart and mind are enlightened with

knowledge of the true self, the personality can express at its highest radiant level. Taking personality personally, by believing that it is who we are, is also a source of suffering. When we think that we are our likes and dislikes, our tendencies and character, we build a fortress of defensive beliefs around this separate identity. We might even go to war with others about being right about our own preferences. All the while, the personality is in the self, the self is not separate in the personality. It can be extremely helpful to study and understand your personality, for example the Enneagram system, but even more helpful and liberating to realise that your personality depends on you to exist, that you, as open non-dual awareness, are always free of the personality. SYSTEMIC BURDENS Everything in life carries the burdens of its destiny. Life is a movement of death and birth, of pleasure and pain, of the burdens of karma and dharma. To learn to carry our own burdens with dignity is helpful. But without realising it, many also carry the burdens of others. Working energetically to hand back the known and unknown burdens that we carry systemically from our family and others can be freeing. I have seen students experience miraculous freedom when burdens are handed back from their hearts and minds.

How to build a sanctuary during suffering When we believe that we are a separate self, we ask life and others to give us peace, love, happiness and sanctuary from suffering. When we realise the true self, we experience that, like an oasis in the desert, is wholeness. We experience the self as love, peace, beauty and contentment. This becomes a resting, healing realisation for the mind, heart and soul. This is why enlightenment is liberation from suffering. How you build a sanctuary from suffering, is to enlighten the heart and mind with self-knowledge. So that you know yourself as the place of rest and healing for all that arises in you. Your soul spring - spiritual awakening What is a soul spring? To suddenly see things clearly and understand. To have epiphanies that free you from old false beliefs. To have spiritual experiences, tasting deep peace, love and beauty. To realise that you are indeed not a small separate creature, crawling around a little blue planet grabbing for scraps of happiness.

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Spirit - Spiritual Living

Which of these questions have you asked during times of spiritual awakening? And most importantly, which of these questions are not answered in a way that satisfies your heart and mind? • “What is the meaning of my spiritual experience?” • “How do I reconcile contradictions in spiritual teachings?” • “Why can't I keep the bliss and peace of my spiritual experiences in everyday life?” • “How do I live my spirituality?” • “How do I find enlightenment?” • “Why do I feel torn between my purpose and financial survival?” • “How do I make a difference and live my purpose?” What challenges do you face during spiritual awakening? Just as a flower opens to the sunlight in spring, your soul opens to selfknowledge in the spring of your spiritual growth. The heart and mind become more sattvic (clear and able to see the truth). Even though spiritual awakening is filled with times of bliss and liberation, there are some significant challenges. Which of these three are the most relevant to you? • SPIRITUAL BUNGEE JUMPING Chasing spiritual highs. • MISSING THE I - Not claiming the

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self in the experience and instead creating a spiritual identity. • DOERSHIP - Still carrying the burden of doership. SPIRITUAL BUNGEE JUMPING Epiphanies and spiritual experiences can be deeply validating, proving our intuition and helping us to grow in spiritual confidence. But they can also be quicksand for the mind, causing us to get stuck and distracted from what ultimately matters most. From Kundalini experiences, to magic mushrooms, blissful meditations, ecstatic epiphanies and Ayahuasca trips – any of these can be a blessing and a trap. Firstly, it might be helpful to realise that special spiritual experiences are not needed at all for self-realisation or enlightenment. In fact, they can sometimes be an obstacle. Why? Because you are already the self; and the self is ordinary available present awareness. We need only bring self-knowledge to the mind and heart. MISSING THE I As the great sage Ramana Maharishi, would point people to the path of self-enquiry by asking frequently, “To whom does that arise?” Many spiritual epiphanies and experiences can be like watching incredible movies, what is more important is who is watching? Don't miss the 'I' in your spiritual awakening.

If you're looking for the self, you won't find you in the movie, even if the movie is spectacular and mind blowing. You need to direct your attention to the witness, to pure awareness that is always aware of the movie. DOERSHIP One of the most challenging understandings that is necessary on the path of spiritual enlightenment is to understand that the self is not the doer. There is not separate self, and the self is not a doer. Handing back the burden of doership is a significant freedom for the heart and mind. But the ego is very likely to defend its beliefs that it, as a separate self, is the doer of life. Spiritual awakening without the release of doership is not complete. Life is self-organising, it automatically moves in a sacred dance. This dance occurs in awareness and of awareness. Life is a miracle, moving naturally in service to itself. Awareness is not the doer, just as the screen in the movie is not doing the movie. The movie of life is projected into and onto the screen but does not impact the screen. The movie, life, the sacred intelligence of God, is looking after itself. Just as our hearts are beating, eyelashes are growing, thoughts are rising and falling and planets are being born.


Spirit - Spiritual Living

How to take the gifts of spiritual awakening Make sure to look for the true self amongst the epiphanies and experiences that are common to spiritual awakening. Don't miss the 'seer' while your attention is on what is 'seen.' Your soul summer - spiritual enlightenment What is a soul summer? To know yourself as open, pure nondual awareness. To feel free of the constriction of the ego-based false belief in a separate self. To lose interest in the personal separate identity. To see the self in all of life and be moved to serve in a natural, intuitive, spontaneous way.

Which of these questions have you asked during times of spiritual enlightenment? And most importantly, which of these questions are not answered in a way that satisfies your heart and mind? • •

• • • • • • •

“Why has my life not changed now that I know the self?” “How do I relate to others when I have no interest in personal stories?” “Why do I feel less interest in things that used to interest me?” “What do I do now that I have so few desires in life?” “How do I serve life at the highest?” “What is my life's purpose?” “Is what I am experiencing normal?” “Why is enlightenment sometimes painful, even frightening?” “How do I live an enlightened life?”

What challenges do you face as the heart and mind are enlightened? Knowing the true self is not enough.

Some are called to live the truth that they find. Living an enlightened life comes with its own challenges.

live in the now as the now.

Which of these three are the most relevant to you? • NO MAN'S LAND – Feeling disorientated and lost without a 'separate self' as the focus of your life. • ANSWERING LOVE – Answering the new call to discover how love wants to move. • EMBODIMENT – How to enlighten the heart, mind and being.

The reed has been hollowed, so that it can sing the song of the self.

NO MAN'S LAND Once the mind and heart are infused with the song of the true self, there can be a sense of disorientation. A type of no man's land where the relationships, career and life that were built to serve a separate self may or may not feel right any more. For some this is a gentle transition and for others it is a dramatic and sometimes painful letting go. Either way, there is a reorientation and a rediscovery. Discovering life, relationships and work from the perspective of wholeness. Be open and willing to discover everything afresh. No longer being driven by the carrots and sticks of life, your body and mind are finding a new flow. ANSWERING LOVE Instead of speaking for the personality, for fear and desire, now the opportunity is to speak for love, for wholeness and for truth. Enlightenment asks us to live each moment intuitively, because we cannot anticipate what will be needed, even in the next five minutes. We are asked to tune in intuitively to how love wants to move in any given moment. Because life as love, always knows how to move, what to say and what to do. This can be frightening for the mind, because the mind wants to anticipate and plan, to control and direct. We are asked to

EMBODIMENT

To know the self is not enough. Truth asks to be embodied, to be lived. Enlightenment does not only belong to beautiful saints wearing robes, enlightenment belongs in our homes and in every aspect of living. Everything wants enlightenment. Every aspect of our heart, mind and soul wants to know its origin, wants to share in the freedom of the true self. The challenge here, is that many don't go this far, they don't answer the call to embody enlightenment. How to take the gifts of spiritual enlightenment Live an enlightened life. Ask 'how does love want to move?' and tune in intuitively to the natural flow of how your life as love wants to serve. That's how we take the sacred gifts of self-knowledge. The world needs enlightenment. Souls are being called to this path. Have courage and face your soul winters with dignity. Bravely shed the leaves of false belief in your soul autumn, awaken to your true self in spring and live an enlightened life in the summer of your soul. Invitation to my free online course helping you to live an enlightened life You are welcome to enrol for my free online enlightenment course on https://nondualitycourses.com Colleen-Joy is a spiritual teacher, author and artist. She offers a spiritual mentorship programme online to students worldwide. Colleen-Joy shares her teachings with Odyssey Readers in every edition in our Spiritual Living segment.

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Mind

A conversation with death

I

t was early in the morning when I imagined myself approaching the Angel of Death and beginning to question him. “Sir,” I said, “I really need to ask you a number of important questions, perhaps you can help me? Are you really able to swallow up complete human lives, the collective history of mankind, so many memories and a level of selfconsciousness which has evolved over millions of years? Are we really supposed to accept that we are born, and live, love and laugh merely to pass away forever into some sort of oblivion?” “I suppose it depends on what you mean by oblivion,” he said. I told him that it seemed unreasonable to suppose that a highlydeveloped principle such as Life, evolving in different forms for millions of years, eventually expressing in a sentient human being, would simply allow itself to be extinguished forever in a few short decades. “I mean,” I said to him, “would you willingly participate in any drama that you knew was ill-fated and would leave you with nowhere to go? Is it logical for an evolving process such as Life to continue along a route that will lead it to a point of nothingness?” He laughed. “Are you not confusing your own mortality with the universal process of Life?” he said. “That is my point exactly,” I replied, “A universal process. People die, but Life continues. Is Life therefore not eternal?” I was not making much progress, but I continued to argue the point. My peace of mind was at stake and it was too important for me not to use this opportunity to speak directly to him. “And what of evolution?”I asked him. “What of it?” he replied. “Why would the many forms of Life continue to evolve at all, if it was all destined to end abruptly?” He laughed and said that I had a good point! But then he quietly continued by saying: “Perhaps, like you, Life simply does not know what Death is and stupidly stumbles on producing human beings for no real reason at all.” “That is not logical,” I said. “We know that Life develops in its many forms. It odysseymagazine.co.za | 22

simply doesn’t make sense that Life would evolve towards a point where it would eventually cease to be.” “Do you doubt that you die?” he asked. “Death is not my concern,” I said to him. “The question is whether it all ends at death. Do I really fall off the edge of the universe into a black hole with the power to swallow up space, time and my own memory of myself? What happens to that memory, our identity?” I asked. “If death is able to dissolve our knowledge of ourselves, how is it that we are now, at all times, still able to remember who and what we are, as a child, an adult, during sleep, when dreaming and once we awaken again?” He smiled, but did not reply, so I continued. “And if we are still evolving,” I said, “as we are led to believe, then we are at present still less than perfect?” “That does make sense,” he said. “Then surely we have, sometime in the future, still to be perfected, otherwise all talk of development would be pointless?” I replied. “Once again you confuse yourself as an individual, with the larger process of Life. It is the process that renews itself,” the angel replied. “If the process is continually renewing itself,” I said, “then it must be eternal. And if life is eternal, surely I can still continue to exist in some way or other?” I now began to question the mystery even more deeply, reaching into the very structure of the human mind and the processes underlying our thoughts, for that one self-evident truth that would prove, beyond any doubt, that our consciousness continues after death, something that we have missed, in its fleeting moment of truth. The philosopher Descartes had followed this same path many centuries ago, deducing our very real existence from a single realisation: ‘I think, therefore I am’. “Perhaps,” I surmised, ‘I could build on this and prove to myself, ‘I am selfaware, therefore I must continue to exist

Dr Jimmy Henderson

after death’. With this thought, I faced up to the Angel of Death once again. “In our understanding of science,” I said to him, “it is a proven fact that a lamp will not light up unless the entire circuit is complete.” He nodded. “Likewise, could we, as human beings, have ever reached a point of selfawareness if our consciousness were not part of a completed circuit or eternal cycle?” “Explain yourself further,” he replied “Would not the permanent ending of our consciousness at death have rendered our present state of selfawareness impossible?” I said. “Surely our present self-awareness must be linked to some future continuity, the completion of a circuit of consciousness which enables us to look forward and backwards in continuous self-reflection? And is this self-reflection not our present selfawareness?” At first he was very quiet. Then he asked a question: “If your Life continues,” he said, “what would be my role as the Angel of Death?’ “Perhaps you are a facilitator!” I retorted. He liked that remark and laughed out loud. I continued. “Perhaps your purpose is to guide us into this eternal, more perfected form of Life?” He challenged me: “And what is this more perfect form of Life of which you speak?” “During sleep I dream, and my consciousness remains intact,” I replied. “Will I not dream after death?” “Perhaps this life is the dream,” he said. “Do you like to dream?’ “If I were to dream after death,” I said, “then I would have to be alive in some way, for in order to dream we must still exist.” He did not reply. “What then, is death?” I said, “The end of one dream or the beginning of a new one?” He left without answering.


A story that may change the way you think Words Anthea Pretorius

I

n 1960, two men made a $50 bet that had remarkable results. The first man was Bennett Cerf, the founder of the publishing company Random House and the second was Theo Geisel, whom we know as Dr Seuss. Cerf challenged Seuss to write an entertaining children’s book using only 50 different words. Seuss won the bet. His book, Green Eggs and Ham, has sold more than 200 million copies. There are hidden principles in this story that affect my life and yours: • •

• • •

No one has unlimited resources. We all deal with a range of constraints, limitations or challenges of differing complexity. These constraints may include physical/mental abilities and familial challenges and may involve, for example, time, money, distance, doubt, fear, culture, race, language, sexual orientation and religious constraints. We may use constraints as excuses, as reasons for quitting and avoiding responsibility. In the process, we rob ourselves of attainable, achievable and rewarding destinies. Do not allow your constraints to limit, cripple or silence you, or to hold you back. Stop making excuses. Be disciplined with regard to your time schedule. If you have 20 minutes to exercise, make them count. See constraints as opportunities to use what you do have, to find creative ways of overcoming them and use the power of constraints to make better choices. Feel the power when you discover solutions and taste success. Let that encourage you to be more adventurous.

Every choice moves you closer to, or further away from, realising your dreams. What will you say yes or no to this year? What is worthy of your consideration, energy and efforts? Dr Seuss had 50 words to tell a story and ultimately his story had a massive impact.

Contact Diana 082 309 9798 dianasmith@vodamail.co.za www.hiddenmind.co.za

Contact Janine Zitianellis 083 764 2177 janine@ebhealing.co.za www.ebhealing.co.za

What is your canvas? A gymnastics mat or the racetrack? A blank page? A wheelchair? A stutter? A camera? A laboratory experiment? A passion for dance? A revolutionary idea? Exploit your canvas. Don't let anything hold you back. anthea.pretorius@up.ac.za

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Spirit - The Power of Reconnection

The Power of Reconnection Words Maggie Hamilton

O

ne of the challenges in these turbulent times is how best to still the growing sense of disconnection felt by so many in a world that seems chaotic and out of sync. Our indigenous people have much to teach us in this regard. Regardless of the times, they see the planet as a living book of life, full of insights and healing for us. Just to contemplate this possibility tugs at our soul. That’s because once we were all first nation peoples, powerfully connected to the precious web of life. And the miracle is that we still hold within us the memory of when the living intelligences in plants and trees and stones that some call fairies, whispered to us, and we understood what these astonishing beings had to say. Years back the great native American Chief Seattle hinted at this almost mystical connection to all that is, when he told of how ‘even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare odysseymagazine.co.za | 24

feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.’ How different this life view is from our own. Imagine being able to see the world as Chief Seattle saw it - full of shimmering possibilities. Who would have thought that even the dust beneath our feet could react to our presence? How can we work with this insight? The wonder is that these possibilities are as available to us in cities, as in villages or deserts or by the sea. Our journey of reconnection starts by spending regular time connecting with Nature. Whenever you wake early, open a window. Listen to the birds singing in the new day. Allow their sacred song to wash over you. As they whisper of the potential in this new moment, attune yourself to what you hope to accomplish today. Ask that you may be blessed, and that you will be a blessing to others. Take a moment now to sense this day. How does it seem to you? Is it inviting, or stormy and confused? How do you feel about this? If you’re feeling a little uncertain, disappointed, fearful or frustrated, close your eyes and journey to the pure centre of this new day. Anchor yourself to it, so you won’t be pulled off-centre regardless of how the day unfolds. Bless this

intention, then get on with your routine. It’s also essential to seek out places in nature close by that soothe the soul. Know this place touches you because it’s been waiting for a very long time to have a meaningful relationship with you. Take in every possible detail there. Come to know and love that place. Run your fingers over the rocks and stones there. Breathe in the sweet scent of the earth. Bless the earth beneath your feet. Feed this place with your love and attention, and bless all life forms there. As you settle into this space, note the elements in nature here that call to you. Is there a flower here that arouses your curiosity. Take in its shape, and the colour of its petals. Breathe in its scent. Stay alert to any change in your mood. Perhaps you feel lighter, or filled with delight. Or perhaps you feel inspired in some way. However it is for you, silently express your gratitude for this gentle exchange. We connect to the fairy kingdom through our senses, and through this to the vast web of life. So when you return home, you may like to look up the spiritual/healing properties of the tree or flower you’re attracted to.


Spirit - The Power of Reconnection

Perhaps you’re drawn to the crane flower (Strelitzia reginae). After drinking in its beauty you return home to discover this vibrant flower helps us strike out for freedom, and has the capacity to bring us more joy. Crane flower is also known as a regal flower. So what does regal mean to you? Are the living intelligences in this flower whispering of your need to reclaim your sovereignty? To reset your boundaries at home or at work? Is the crane flower calling for you to walk the world with more authority? To trust in your own judgement? Take a moment to contemplate the gifts here. Energetically this bright orange flower also links us to our second chakra, our sacral centre the energetic centre for our emotions, sensuality and creativity. What is the healing message here? Perhaps the crane flower is inviting you to live a more vibrant life? Where does pleasure sit with you? Does it rule you? Or are you in

need of more pleasure? And what of your creativity? Is its brilliant orange encouraging you to let go the expectations of others and seek more joy, to live a genuinely passionate life? As your connection with the crane flower grows, it will offer deeper insights still as you form a loving connection, a living bridge to its healing wisdom. The same is true for every living thing you connect to. Imagine that? Every leaf, every rock, stone and feather has its own secrets to tell. As we develop a relationship with the places in nature close by, these spaces become holy to us, offering us ever more ways to become more whole. We know when we’re truly communing with the living intelligences of Nature, as one or more of our senses feel as if they’ve been set on fire. Our heart explodes with joy at the recognition of it, or perhaps we’re moved to silence or tears. The fairy kingdom is so much more

than glitter and pink tutus. It’s the very heartbeat of life itself. What we’re doing here is reawakening the impulse we had as small children to gather up feathers, twigs and stones, to drink in every detail of the living world, to embrace our connection to all that is. Writer and teacher Brian Bates expresses this beautifully, when he says, ‘For us the skin is what divides us from the rest of the world … we are inside ourselves sitting in the wood and the wood is inside of us.’ Writer and teacher of the sacred Maggie Hamilton has worked with the transformative power of the fairies for some years now, which she shares in her new Hay House book Inside the Secret Life of Fairies. www.maggiehamilton.org @maggiewhispers and secretlifeoffairies.wordpress.com

Enter to Win 6 autographed copies of:

Inside the Secret Life Of Fairies by Maggie Hamilton

Email your entry to: cindy@odysseymagazine.co.za With your name, surname and email address with the answer to this question in the subject line: Who is the author of the book Inside the Secret Life Of Fairies? By entering this competition / give-away you agree to our Ts and Cs for all competitions and giveaways. For more info visit: www.odysseymagazine.co.za/enter.html Closing Date: 31 January 2020 www.secretlifeoffairies.wordpress.com

What is it about fairies that enchants us so? Where do these elusive beings live, and what do they do? Why is it some see fairies and others do not? What's the truth about glamour? And why, when they promise your dreams will come true, do fairies grant three wishes? Maggie Hamilton has spent a decade exploring the rich world of the fairy. Having talked with people from all walks of life, she captures their astonishing, sometimes poignant encounters with fairies here. Read about the fairies found in people's homes and gardens, deep in nature, and in city streets and parks. On this mesmerising journey deep into this achingly beautiful otherworld, you'll discover the many exquisite possibilities present at dawn and dusk, and why the fairy kingdom has an ecology all of its own. For those with their own fairy stories to tell, and fairy lovers everywhere. odysseymagazine.co.za | 25


Spirit - Awakening from Sleepwalking

Awakening from Sleepwalking Discovering self-awareness is the key to effective communication for improving relationships with 'the Self' and others. Or is it the other way round? What if we could communicate our way into self-awareness? Words Louise VN Liebenberg

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e tend to think we can get to self-awareness only through deep reflection and continuous digging into our history. While that's true, Conscious Communication Techniques anchor us effectively into awareness. Communication is something we use daily, is luckily unavoidable and is therefore invaluable in bringing our self-awareness into daily practice. Anything you continuously practise becomes a habit and speaking from a place of truth, self-respect and selfresponsibility is a habit that becomes life-changing if we use it often. Effective communication happens when others truly hear us and we truly hear others. But before that can happen, we need first to neutralise the emotional triggers in our own speech. We do that by removing all words that are blaming, judging, generalising, or that come across as a personal attack. There is an added brain bonus. When we start concentrating on the content of our speech, our logicalanalytical frontal lobes switch on and the primal, over-reactive amygdala switches off, thus neatly stopping overemotional reactions. Once the emotional response is dialled down, we can reason better, we're better able to listen to others and we can negotiate without boiling over. When we remove the habitual communication hamster wheel – of blaming, judging, emotional attacks, generalising and withdrawing – there odysseymagazine.co.za | 26

are huge gaping holes in our communication and we're free to be creative in getting our message across effectively. And now we can be heard, because we haven't primed our audience into counter-defensiveness, protesting innocence and their own retaliatory attack. It is a sad fact indeed that someone who is judged or blamed will tend to use any or all of the following: They may 'switch off' because they've heard it so many times and feel powerless against what's coming. They can counterattack, they can protest their innocence at all costs, or they can comply but in a passive-aggressive way. Then there is the walking-away manoeuvre, or 'let's pretend the other does not exist for three weeks' punishment. The big takeaway here is that your blaming or judging starts the cascade of your not being heard! We're 'heard' once we've neutralised our biggest pain points, which come from our upbringing, unresolved hurts, invisible scars and self-judgments. That's when we can shift into adult gear and talk about hard subjects. In adult mode, we ask for what we want, we're vulnerable without being manipulative, we take responsibility for our own happiness, we set boundaries clearly and we respect the same from others. We're oblivious to our own victim outlooks – our perception that we are victims – which cause the self-

disempowerment epidemic we see everywhere in society, in families and in relationships. Our victim outlook causes the endless chatter in our heads and is the biggest source of being triggered into anger, overreactions, withdrawing, retaliation, personal attacks, over-emotionality and punishing behaviour. The only way to become conscious of how we present ourselves as victims is to examine our speech and outlooks. We can describe victimhood as 'waiting for someone else to change, waiting for someone to do something, as opposed to doing something or fixing something inside ourselves'. It is the wishful-thinking, believing-inmind-reading dilemma of giving away our power and our right to a voice, a choice, and to take care of our own wants and needs. We leave it in the hands of another human! The words that help us notice this very undesirable state are easy to spot once we're aware: “He did this to me”, “I had to”, “they made me”, “I have to”, “I cannot” and the wily phrase: “Yes, but...”. Remove these, and you have come a long way indeed. Victimhood is also lodged in our resistance to 'what we cannot change'. We spend so much time resisting the thing 'we wish were not so' with mind-chatter about how it should be different, that only exacerbates the victim-feelings inside us.


Spirit - Awakening from Sleepwalking

Things-we-cannot-change are amongst our biggest triggers into victimhood speech and thought patterns. By their very nature, they make us forget we're resourceful, adaptive human beings with free choice to decide how we want to proceed and what we want to or can do next. We always experience victim feelings as powerlessness and once we understand that, we're ready to move from feeling powerless by remembering our true place in the world: An adult with the adult rights of voice and choice. Self-empowerment grows from the exact opposite of victimhood – the knowledge that I alone am responsible for my own happiness, for having my wants and needs met and for finding everyday joy, peace, and grace. To understand our gravitation towards victimhood, we first need to engage in serious self-examination to see where this tendency came from. Is it parental examples we're following, or are we so steeped in limiting beliefs that we daren't have a voice? Do we believe that we are using our voice, but we're coming from deepseated fears of abandonment? These fears cause us to over-control, build huge self-protective walls and appear self-sufficient to the point of behaving in way that appears rejecting to others. If we weren't raised by parents who affirmed us, who liked us for who we are and who believed in our ability to shine, we need to learn to do that for ourselves. It is regrettable that children indeed get only the tools that their (mostly well-meaning) parents have to give and we need to move on from historic hurts and re-parent ourselves with self-love, selfacceptance, self-feeling and self-care. Healing those childhood wounds with 'loving kindness to self' is a big step into empowerment and out of the victim perspective. Once we've examined ourselves for any signs of victimhood or resistance to 'what is' and, very importantly, once we're ready to

replace behaviours that we've viewed for all our lives as essential for survival, we're ready for improved communication, which leads to improved relationships with ourselves and others. So, this is how it works: We first let go of all victimcommunication styles. The 'they did that to me' conversations. The 'have tos,' 'ought tos,' 'should haves,' 'may nots' that we impose on ourselves and others. We stop waiting for others to change. We take charge of the one person we can take charge of: Ourselves! We replace non-serving communication with 'I chose to' and 'I let him' in the past. We take back our power by taking responsibility for our own choices and inactions. Next, we invest in finding our place of truth. It starts with self-acceptance. There is no 'I'll like myself when…' here. It is total immersion in self-acceptance; here and now and with forgiveness for our frailties and wild abandon and joy for our uniqueness. It is a great gift that no one else can decide for us what our truth is and that it is up to us to redefine what matters most. We get to re-evaluate our beliefs and to decide which habits and outlooks we inherited from others and which need discarding. We can go one step further and have fun finding out where our passion lies. When we've healed our broken places and found our truth, we can speak from the heart and the gut and the head and it is good and true and right for us. Our place of truth is the only place from which we can show up as 'real' – that place where we can show our vulnerabilities and celebrate our unique strengths; otherwise known as personal stardust! The last missing piece of the great communication puzzle comes from initiating all interactions from a place of self-respect, based on a realisation of self-responsibility. The words from

our lips are very different when we apply self-respect compared to when we respond from fear or hurt. When we speak from self-respect we have boundaries without rejecting, we're affirming without people-pleasing, and we take better care of our own wants and needs. In summary:

• We slow down our responses by

engaging our logical mind to reject blaming and judgmental words. We neutralise our old emotional wounds so we can speak calmly from a place of neutrality. We invest in our own peace by finding our own truth, self-respect, and self-responsibility.

Becoming aware of our conversational patterns enables us to fine-tune our communication style, leading to greater connection and less friction. But the biggest bonus is that this is our shortcut to a daily awareness practice. It is born out of necessity, but we keep and celebrate it as our 'sanity'. It is indeed, waking up from sleepwalking. And the verdict is in: we need both self-awareness and effective communication to live a life of grace, peace, and effectiveness. One does not exist without the other. Louise VN Liebenberg is a Conscious Communication Coach and Relationship Expert. Drawing heavily on her professional experiences and her own transformational process, Louise VN Liebenberg, Life Coach, Counsellor, Rescuer-Of-AbandonedCats and Road-Trip-Lover, shares her no-nonsense, practical approach to mindful, constructive involvement in one's own life. Her book Hamster Wheel Relationships For Women: A Step by Step Process to Transform Unfulfilling Relationship Patterns is available on Amazon and you can sign up for her free monthly “Everyday Joy” newsletter at www.i-nfinitepotential.com https://www.facebook.com/louiselieben bergauthor odysseymagazine.co.za | 27


Body - Clinical Casebook

QUANTUM BODY-BRAIN REBOOT “As a business owner, I was feeling totally overworked and exhausted before the session. In particular, my neck, shoulders and spine were extremely tense and painful. When Johanne tested whether my spinal column needed to be cleared and rebooted, several areas in my spine felt as though they were on fire with pain and discomfort. During the clearing, the heat in the painful areas of my spine first intensified and then cooled. I clearly felt waves of energy streaming throughout my body, clearing the painful areas and then I felt the neural energy pathways between the brain and painful areas clearing as well. It literally felt as though I was standing under a cool, refreshing multi-colour waterfall which was flooding throughout my body. When Johanne ended the session with some intuitive toning, this served to accelerate the healing further. I clearly felt and also saw powerful healing frequencies with sparkling rainbow light dancing around and throughout my body, transforming and totally rejuvenating me. After the session, my body felt relaxed, soft, joyful and totally invigorated. Wow! Quantum Body-Brain Reboot is the most powerful healing session I have ever experienced!” Annelie Kotze

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s human beings, our individual history (story) ultimately becomes our biology. Doctors and scientists say that stress causes over 60 per cent of all disease. When we are constantly stressed out, our adrenal glands run the show and override and suppress all of our other endocrine glands, together with their important hormonal secretions. Over time our immune system becomes compromised and thus we become more susceptible to disease. Traumatic events, illness and injury, cause the physical body to become contracted, causing body cells to become de-polarised, and lose their natural innate ability to odysseymagazine.co.za | 28

absorb nutrients and get rid of cellular waste products. Blood and lymph are not able to flow freely through contracted systems, which ultimately results in energy blockages, within muscles, organs and body systems within the physical body, which, if left unresolved, over time, may develop into disease. The physical body and brain, just like a personal computer, benefit greatly from being rebooted, defragged and restarted. Body-Brain Reboot Treatment is a comprehensive healing modality, designed to address and clear underlying causes and issues which lie at the root of disease symptoms, shock, traumatic events, allergies, etc. and

rebooting helps to restore body systems back to optimal function. When the body is relaxed and in a state of harmony and balance, it is able to access an infinite amount of universal energy, which flows freely within all space, in the vast field of intelligence that surrounds us, which assists the body to heal easily and quickly, especially when deeply relaxed, or asleep. During times of injury, shock, trauma, or stress, emotional stress pathways and neural pain pathways are formed, sending pain and stress messages back and forth, linking the sites of injury and the brain. These links reinforce painful symptoms and conditions.


Body - Clinical Casebook

During a Quantum Body-Brain Reboot Session, stress and pain pathways are cleared, balanced and rebooted, and negative beliefs, which may also lie at the root of any specific illness, are addressed, cleared and replaced with more supporting and positive beliefs. Because the process clears energetic pathways, the reboot process is able to treat chronic conditions and painful symptoms which, despite our very best efforts, have not shifted at all. This often produces miraculous results on areas of chronic pain, such as sciatica, or even post traumatic stress, which can be effectively and completely cleared within minutes. The best way to describe a Body-Brain Reboot Session, is like experiencing a powerful combination of Theta, EFT and Body Talk, but on SPEED DIAL. At the start of a session, a discussion is held with the client, to find out what their symptoms and personal challenges are. We also ensure that the client is well hydrated, because muscle testing works more effectively on a well hydrated system. Kinesiology (muscle testing) is used to test body systems, organs and functions, according to each person's individual health and other related challenges. During a relaxed, blissful and happy state, the brain is able to oscillate easily between alpha, theta, and gamma - whichever brainwave

is most beneficial for optimal healing, clearing and rebooting. To induce the optimal brainwave for healing, the client is encouraged to recall a happy memory, any truly blissful day or moment, such as how we felt when we were holding a baby or puppy, etc. When the client is relaxed and in an optimal brainwave state for healing, we induce a linkup between the hypothalamus, nervous system and meridian circuits, while doing the Body-Brain Reboot Process, to ensure effective clearing, integration and reboot. During a clearing, the client will hold one hand on their heart and the other hand on an area which needs to be cleared, while the practitioner places one hand at the base of the brain, while tapping on the cerebral cortex. During the entire process the practitioner is fully present, while maintaining a powerful, personal connection to the Creator / Source, while focusing on feelings of joy, love and gratitude. As soon as the clearing of a specific area is completed, the client's body will usually either relax, or sway backward. After a certain amount of clearing, an entire body-brain integration process is facilitated to enable maximum clearing, balancing, integration and rebooting of key areas within the brain, (cerebral cortex, hypothalamus and cerebellum areas involving information

processing, emotional storage and recall, decision-making, integration, coordination and also balance). TESTING INCLUDES: Water Utilisation – body hydration; PTSD / shock and trauma: Adrenal fatigue and sympathetic nervous system overdrive; chronic pain injuries, failed surgeries, body trauma and scars; resetting physical and emotional levels; individual body systems (central nervous system, immune, skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, lymphatic, urinary, muscular, etc.); autoimmune illnesses; allergies; candida, fungi, viruses; bacteria, parasites; heavy metals; DNA restructure; geopathic / electromagnetic stress; optimum utilisation of sugar and carbohydrates; foreign implants (tooth fillings, breast implants); system disruptors; brain / body integration – receptor site dynamics; energetic attachments; spinal cord and nerves; immune system (B and T cells); circadian body rhythm: holographic repatterning: Resetting of the body's blueprint of perfection and more. Johanne Werth, Multi-Modality Energetic Practitioner website: www.quantumhealingza.com.

From Breakup to Breakthrough Coaching: Join me, Philippa Levitt, for private or group coaching sessions, over skype or in person.. To Learn More Email Me On philippa@philippalevitt.com odysseymagazine.co.za | 29


limitlessness

the quality of being inďŹ nite; without bound or limit Synonyms: inďŹ nitude, unboundedness

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Spirit - Living in the New Energy

Living In The New Energy Words Natalia Baker

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had a remarkable experience the other day. It was an inner instruction to put down my pen and journal, get out of my mind and to open to receive the New Energies. Needless to say it was a beautiful experience, vibrant and peaceful. It felt as though I was being bathed in it. The more I allowed and received the more love poured in. After a while the experience became quite ecstatic. It was uplifting to know that this energy is available to each of us 24/7 if we simply relax, accept and go in the flow. The New Energy is limitless, yes limitless. Living in it is like putting on new clothes because it makes for a life of grace and ease. In the old energy there was much pushing and forcing. Life was effort. What we wanted was ‘out there’ and we had to work for it; whether a job, applying ourselves diligently to our spiritual disciplines, keeping healthy, or putting huge energy into making a relationship work. In the old way we had to struggle for results and progress. We had to earn them. We are now discovering none of this is true. The New Energy holds everything for us: Abundance, prosperity, joy, love, peace, fulfilment, harmony, compassion, creativity, inspiration, beauty, connection and more. We create by simply expressing what we want clearly with intentions and choices and being open to receive the form in which it comes to us. It is that simple. A dear friend, truly living in the New Energy, employs several people. When someone is not performing she notices, makes a statement inwardly of what she would like and asks for it to be changed. She only asks once and it happens seamlessly. The person either moves on or changes

within the work environment. Isn’t this the most graceful and easy way in which you could bring about a change? Incidentally, she only ever asks once. In the New energy there is a lightness of being, a rejoicing and gratitude for everything we are, we do, we breathe, we experience. We see it all as gifts and there is appreciation for the opportunities to grow, expand, serve and for financial rewards. Personally I often just go about the day saying “Thank you.” So many of us are working on trust. In the New Energy it won’t be necessary because we will be so in the flow, we will know we live and move and have our being in the life stream which is the Creator. There is no separation and we will truly claim ourselves as being part of Source, both the dark and the light of ourselves. Changing our orientation sounds wonderful but it creates a huge stress on our bodies because we are altering the way we are bringing energy into the body. The manner in which energy is naturally distributed in the body also changes. The changes in our DNA are gradually transforming our bodies into Light Bodies, or the Free Energy Body as Adamus, St Germain prefers to call it. As you probably know, our bodies are transforming from a carbon base to a silicon base. Silicon is a substance which can hold the crystalline frequency whilst we are still in the physical form. It literally enables us to be and radiate light through our physical bodies. These changes are happening at the same time we are learning to surrender fully to the New Energies. Before this can happen, though, we need to be fully living in the New Energy. It may be of interest to you to know that our bodies are very different from what they were 10 years ago and

they will be unrecognisable in another 10 years. For most of us this physical change is not something of which we are aware. Being able to access the New Energy is very much related to relieving ourselves of the burden of old belief systems which have infiltrated every aspect of our lives and being. Many of these old beliefs are inhibiting and restrictive. They have been absorbed from parents, educational systems, religions, the media, and society in general and more and most often held unconsciously. Releasing these beliefs is one of the most important pieces of inner work we can do. It liberates us to dance in the New Energy! Most of us are at the doorway to the New Energy, we are in a transition stage. Soon there will be no effort or struggling, and no trying. All we have to do is to be willing, to let go and allow, and be open to receive the love. EXPERIENCING THE NEW ENERGY. Give yourself about 5 – 10 minutes for this. It’s very simple. Be comfortable, relax your body on the breath, let go of all tension. Get out of your mind and go into the feeling. Now start to experience the New Energy. Let go, surrender to it, allow, allow, allow. Be open to receive. Note how you feel throughout these few minutes. Natalia Baker is a leader of consciousness, metaphysical teacher, professional public speaker, regular contributor to magazines, retreat and workshop facilitator, counsellor and conductor of ceremonies and rituals. Her book SEIZE THE DAY, A GUIDEBOOK FOR CHANGING TIMES is a best seller. info@nataliabaker.com www.nataliabaker.com

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Spotlight on Yoga

Why Yin Yoga is Taking Over Yin Yoga is a gentle and uplifting practice that facilitates healing of our heart, mind and spirit. It is the ultimate nurturing self-care that enables our bodies to commune with us. Whilst totally different from Vinyasa, it provides the perfect yin and yang balance when one embraces both.

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nstead of merely focusing on movement, Yin Yoga emphasises the importance of slowing down through stretching, rest and introspection. Like a cool breeze on a hot summer's day, Yin Yoga provides the user with a quick respite from the pressures that often burden us in this modern age. Nourishment and balance The word balance can be used as both a noun and verb, therefore allowing it to be viewed as both a state of doing and being. It is a divine state of equilibrium where all parts are equal. Your mind, emotions, body and soul all require different forms of nourishment in order to support this balance – in the form of a healthy diet, physical movement, rest, meditation, or exploration. When we nourish ourselves from within we are able to uplift and replenish our energy fields, leaving us feeling rejuvenated, restored and full of odysseymagazine.co.za | 32

introspection. Nourishment gives us the energy to step out of the comfort of what we perceive to be our reality. It enables us to explore new realities and perspectives with enthusiasm, clarity, focus, willpower and curiosity – therefore allowing us to keep our balance in a world that is in a continuous state of evolution and change. It is important to be mindful of the idea that challenges and difficulties do not present themselves with the intention of throwing you off balance, but rather to test it and to allow it to grow. This, in turn, provides great insights, in a divine reflection, into your growth and progress as a human. Retreat within We all experience moments of feeling lost or disconnected from ourselves, those around us and the world at large. This can leave you feeling tense, fatigued or agitated. It may also lead to the judgment of both self and other. When we

experience these feelings we need to reset, ground ourselves and find the inner light that brings us back into balance. Yin Yoga allows us to retreat within, to embrace changes, stretch our resilience and accept our circumstances with kindness and without feeling overwhelmed by life’s ‘stories’ or occurrences. Chi and the meridians Ancient Chinese tradition often refers to the meridians – a network of pathways through which spiritual energy, or chi, is able to flow like water through the body. Chi can either have a yin or yang energy. Yang has been described as being masculine in nature, having a powerful, active or strong energy. Yin, on the other hand, is gentle and feminine, being nurturing and supportive. Yin and Yang are often posed as divine opposites and often work in harmony to support each other.


Spotlight on Yoga

There are predominantly 12 meridians, which are broken equally into six yang meridians and six yin meridians. These pairs support and nourish the organs, tissues and functions of the body, as well as playing a part in emotional and mental expression and development. The flow and balance of these meridians is supported through exercise, herbal medicine and acupuncture. Stimulating specific areas of the body paves the way towards an improved and balanced energy flow within the body. Research has shown that the meridian points can be found in the soft tissue, or fascia, throughout the body. This uninterrupted system of fibres covers the organs, muscles, bones, blood vessels and nerve endings and gives structure and support to the body in the form of posture and form. A healthy fascia provides strength and elasticity but, if not stimulated regularly, it could weaken and lead to injury. Gentle ways to rejuvenate the fascia include gentle pressure and long stretches. Holding poses from two to ten minutes can improve the flexibility, grace and fluidity of one’s muscles, organs and ligaments. This could lead to an improved mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. A heightened awareness through Yin Yoga The various poses and stretches that are utilised in Yin Yoga allow for the participant to step into a deeper psychological awareness with himherself, as well as with his or her own emotional and transpersonal awareness. It enables one to gracefully step into the natural flow of life, allowing one to accept life in all its challenges as it swiftly ebbs and flows. By bringing the participant into a greater sense of unity and awareness, a higher state of observation is achieved, where a heightened understanding of life is

awakened. It is a daily dose of compassion and nurturing from yourself to yourself, an integral path that paves the way back to balance. Yin Yoga for everyone Push your physical boundaries Yin Yoga positions aren’t always comfortable. It’s about stretching the body, the mind and the emotions to allow you to expand and grow and shake up your boundaries. Poses should test the body and could allow for discomfort, this is perfectly normal. However, do not continue if you are finding it increasingly painful or aggressive. Using props for a more comfortable rhythm Yoga isn’t all about poses and stretches. It’s about finding your inner point of silence, relaxation, or reflection. Props, such as bolsters and blankets, can help you to relax and ease into the process of working with your targeted areas, thereby allowing you to relax without tension. Challenge yourself with gentility instead of force Remember that yoga is a doorway through which you are able to enter into a deeper sense of communication with your body. It is important to push yourself, but not beyond what the body is willing to endure. Deep breathing and a state of clarity and calmness are equally as important as moving the body. Therefore, try to use only 70 to 80 per cent of your body’s maximum ability. The rest of the space will allow the breath to flow. Hold your poses for up to five minutes and utilise this time for deep inner travel and reflection.

a pillar of support to guide you through the emotions or thoughts that may arise. Like water, allow it to flow as your thoughts, both pleasant and unpleasant, move through you and transform you. You may even want to try directing your breath and intention to areas of the body that require deeper relaxation. Using Yin Yoga to nourish your spleen and liver By assisting you to embrace reflection and kindness to yourself and all facets of your being, Yin Yoga is able to support healthy muscles, ligaments and tendons. Yin Yoga has also been used to support the liver and spleen – which are both responsible for the flow, distribution and nourishment of blood – the rivers of life and emotion. The spleen is known for its ability to transform nutrients from the food we consume into spiritual chi, which then travels throughout the body. The liver then stores and supports this chi, which is used as nourishment for the body and mind. There are a few positions in Yin Yoga that allow you to soften the spleen and the liver, allowing for a calmer and gentler version to step through the anger, judgment and aggression that may be experienced in everyday life. These positions include sukhasana, twisted sukhasana, sukhasana forward fold, upright dragon, sleeping swan, half dragonfly side stretch, and metta meditation.

It’s all about the breath Yoga is a time for deep meditation and mindfulness. Use your breath as odysseymagazine.co.za | 33


Spotlight on Yoga

Kundalini Yoga If you're looking for a school of Yoga that is able to stimulate not only the body, but also the mind and spirit, then Kundalini Yoga is for you. Words Kerry-Ann Aiken

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hrough an internal journey between spirit and body, this practice will allow you to realign yourself so as to gain greater understanding and wisdom of yourself through your own conscious awareness. Kundalini Yoga was passed down through generations from Yogi Bhajan, who received the teachings and mastered them by the age of sixteen-and-a-half. It is a school of Yoga that is based on Tantra and Shaktism schools of Hinduism. It is essentially a blend of Raja Yoga (the practice of meditation and mental/physical control), Bhakti Yoga (the practice of devotion and chanting) and Shakti Yoga (for the expression of energy and power). The aim is to awaken the Kundalini energy, build physical vitality and increase consciousness. People have used Kundalini Yoga to realise their life purpose, release themselves from Karma and to activate their full creative potential. It provides a full body workout whilst allowing the user to dive deeper into a spiritual connection with their mind, body, emotions and spirit.

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What is the Kundalini? Kundalini (meaning Shekhinah in Hebrew) is an inner spiritualising energy that allows us to experience heightened joy, peace, ecstasy, love and awareness of God. These are our natural emotions in complete liberation. Once the Kundalini has been awakened it moves through the physical and subtle bodies, removing blockages and spiritualising one’s consciousness. The Sanskrit word kundal means ‘circular’ and the Kundalini can be described as being a coiled snake that sits at the base of the spine. Kundalini Yoga is used to awaken the Shakti from its coiled base, allowing it to rise through the six chakras that reside along the spine. It then merges with Shiva or Cosmic Awareness (the spiritual Kundalini) in the crown chakra allowing one to disappear and enter into self-realisation (I AM THAT awareness).

the body and to prepare the mind, nervous system and spine for the energy that results from a Kundalini rising. The postures are used to activate the spine, navel and focal points of pressurisation on the meridians. The flow of the energy is controlled through pranayama (breath work) and bandhas (yogic locks of energy). This form of Yoga enables the user to control the direction, release and flow of the Kundalini energy. A simple breathing technique using alternative nostrils (left and right) is the technique utilised most often. This assists one in clearing the nadis (subtle energy channels and pathways). As Yogi Bhajan explains, “The process of growth through Kundalini Yoga is a natural unfolding of your own nature. The blocks to that growth are your attachments to the familiarity of the past, and your fear of the expanded Self.

The purpose of Kundalini Yoga The purpose of Kundalini Yoga is to prepare the body for the awakening of the Kundalini. It is used to raise one’s awareness of

As you practise Kundalini Yoga you will grow. Like a snake you will need to shed old skins to be more of who you are.”


Spotlight on Yoga

Yoga Divine

Kriya Yoga Gifted to us by Kriya Babaji Nagaraj Words Tarryn Meyer

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he word ‘Kriya’ means ‘action.’ Most of the postures we practise have some kind of movement involved. This is designed to flex the spine and strengthen the core in readiness for meditation. But Yoga is so much more than just bending and flexing! I personally believe that the western world has prostituted this Divine Yoga situation and turned it into an exercise – yet the asana (postures) we do are only one eighth of what this Kriya journey is all about. Kriya Yoga was given to us by the great deathless saint, Kriya Babaji Nagaraj. This divine being said: “I am existenceknowledge-bliss absolute. I am that by very nature. I cannot be anything else but that as I am that alone without a beginning and an end. It is my real innate nature. I am the absolute and supreme Self, both within and without the finitude. I am truth, eternal and everlasting. Death is a joke to me and I am the death of death. I am the infinite, eternal and immortal Self.” In this teaching, Babaji teaches us that the soul is eternal and everlasting! It is also written in the Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 vs 20. Here we learn of the true nature of the Self (Soul): “This Self is never born, neither does it die, the Self never ceases to be; it is eternal, unborn and everlasting. This ancient One does not perish when the body perishes.” Babaji teaches us that there is life beyond death and death should not be feared. We also learn that one should not lament over the dead because their souls have continued on their journey, yet we just can’t see their body anymore. This has brought me great comfort and peace during times of loss because we know that Divinity cannot be lost. Babaji selected 18 specific postures, practised in sets of 2, to not only flex the spine but to help create better energy flow through the chakras and auric field. Practising these poses you feel a marked relief from stress, depression and anxiety.

The 8 Fold Yoga Journey, as described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras speaks of Kriya Yoga as the key to enlightenment and everlasting peace. The path encompasses the following concepts: 1. Yam (Social and universal virtues) 2. Niyam (Restrictions)| 3. Asana (Postures) 4. Pranayama (The scientific art of mastering the breath) 5. Pratyahara (Withdrawal of the senses) 6. Dharana (Contemplation) 7. Dhynam (Meditation) 8. Samadhi (Pure, divine bliss) Starting at the very beginning of our Yoga journey, we have the 10 Commandments of Yoga and these encompass things you should and should not do. These are the principles of Yam and Niyam. They are: Non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, seeing God in everything, nongreed, cleanliness, contentment, austerity, self-study and surrender to the Divine. As you can see, the very foundation upon which Yoga is built has nothing to do with exercise! It all starts with how you think and the way you treat people. The beauty about Kriya Yoga practice is that it embraces all religions, even those who have no desire for religion. The golden connection with every single person on the planet is this: Everybody wants peace! Everybody wants love! If we all followed these 10 simple rules, the world would be a far more peaceful place! Most people start Yoga on step 3: Asana Why? Most people think yoga is an exercise. The beauty of Kriya Yoga is that people start classes with the desire to lose weight, and slowly experience a natural shift toward selfdiscovery. Every single person to whom I have taught Kriya Asana, has returned with the desire to learn more, to understand more and to share their story of peace and love – ultimately sharing positive vibes!

One of the most hated and most favourite postures (sounds weird huh – but read on and learn why) is called Vilasanam (Bow Pose). In this posture, we lie on the tummy, hold the ankles with our hands and lift in a bow shape. We then rock backwards and forwards, then side to side. Our guru always says: “The pose you hate the most is the pose you need the most!” In the beginning, this posture seems impossible but it flexes the spine, massages the organs and strengthens the core. On an energetic level, it activates the Solar Plexus (Manipura Chakra) to help release built-up emotional drama – generally people with loads of emotional baggage struggle with this pose – but the more you practise, the more energy is shifted, the better you feel. When it comes to energy healing, it doesn’t mean you have to re-live any trauma, it means the body releasing it on an energetic level. Yes, Yoga asana can help you lose weight but it happens because you develop a sense of self love and respect – you start to become aware of what you put in to your body and how you treat yourself. Your Selflove manifests in those around you – family and friends. And slowly, you become more peaceful and inspired to do good things. In this process, you naturally become healthier and any excess weight just falls off. The focus changes from weight loss to health and peace. For those who wish to experience pure peace and love, Kriya Yoga is a lifelong journey. It’s not an easy journey and trust me - is not for the fainthearted! But it is all worth it! Tarryn Meyer runs the Bluff Yoga Studio, under the guidance of her Gurudev, His Holiness Swami Shankarananda Maharajji. She strives to learn more about herself daily. The more she can learn, the more she can share and help others on this journey. https://web.facebook.com/DivineKriyaYoga/

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Spotlight on Yoga

Yoga of Light Awaken Chakra Energies through the Triangles of Light. Our ancestors were aware of a web of energy that connects and interpenetrates all things. The Shape of Light

I

n sacred geometry, the solid figure related to the ether-the subtle energy that surrounds all objects-is the dodecahedron. This solid has twelve faces, each of which is a pentagram, one of the most potent sacred symbols. When correctly drawn, the pentagram has four points forming a square and the fifth point in mid-heaven. To some extent, it’s the symbol of man, with the two lower points representing the feet, the two middle points the arms and the upper point the head. The pentagram is thought to be the shape in which the universe is contained. Our bodies are also thought to be contained within a pentagram. If this notion is accepted, we could say that, as the web of light surrounds and interpenetrates the universe, so our own bodies are surrounded and penetrated by their own personal web of light. We might then argue that our personal web of light is derived from the nadis, the subtle energy channels through which prana (the life force or vital energy) flows and odysseymagazine.co.za | 36

contained within the etheric layer of the aura. In this case, is it feasible that our personal web of light is responsible for the formation of the triangles of light felt and ‘seen’ while holding certain asanas? I believe that this is so. The Triangles of Light As you engage the energy lines that form the triangles of light, you will discover how visualising-and, eventually, feeling-these triangles as you practise the postures energises the body, allowing you to connect to your own inner light. Using the Triangles With each of the following asanas, more than one triangle of light is formed. First practise your chosen asana, holding it for as long as is comfortable, then repeat it to work with the triangles of light. At first, visualise just one of the asana’s triangles. Then each time you work with this asana, you can visualise a different triangle of light. When you feel ready, you can start to visualise all of the triangles. When you’ve formed the triangle or triangles

present in the asana you’re practising, visualise them filling with white pranic light, energising and bringing into balance the parts of the body each triangle works with. At first you may have difficulty visualising the triangles, but with practice it becomes much easier. Remember, we’re beings of light and we need light for our well being. A new Dimension At this time in Earth’s history, the planet and its inhabitants are on the verge of a quantum leap into the fifth dimension. We’re already starting to move from the third dimension, one very much connected to our emotions, our thoughts, and our earthly survival, into the fourth dimension-one where we have to look at ourselves and let go of everything that we no longer resonate with. It’s a dimension where all institutions are breaking down in order to facilitate new growth and a new way of living. This isn’t a very comfortable period, but one that’s necessary if we and all things on Earth are to move into the fifth dimension.


Spotlight on Yoga

One of the key issues we have to contend with is fear. This emotion has the power to stop us moving forward into the light of our true being. Endeavouring to overcome fear and other negative emotions and thoughts will enable us to pass eventually through the fourth into the fifth dimension. Another challenge when we pass through the fourth dimension is to start working to open the heart chakra-the chakra of unconditional love. One way to open the heart chakra is to visualise any triangle involving that chakra filling with pale pink light. Pink is the colour of unconditional love. TRIKONASANA (triangle posture) Standing upright, walk your feet about 1 m apart. Turn your right foot outward 90 degrees and turn your left foot slightly towards your right foot. Adjust your feet so that the heel of the right foot is in line with the arch of the left foot. Extend both arms horizontally, then bend sideways, taking your right arm down and placing your hand as far down your right leg as possible. Eventually, with practice, the right hand can be placed on the floor by the outside of the right foot. Extend your left arm upwards, palm facing forwards. Rotate your trunk from the hips to open your chest. Turn your head to look up at the upstretched arm. To ensure that the position of the body is correct, this posture can be done against a wall. If you use a wall, when you rotate your trunk, your back and both shoulders should touch the wall. • There are three main triangles of light connected with this posture:

The first triangle is formed with the minor chakra on the palm of each hand and the heart chakra. •

The second triangle is created with the minor chakra on the sole of each foot and the base chakra.

The third triangle is formed with the soul star chakra and the minor chakra on the palm of each hand.

This asana works on the hamstring muscles and thighs. It fully expands the chest, invigorates the abdominal organs, and strengthens the hip muscles. The main chakra

activated by trikonasana is the heart chakra. About the Author: Pauline Wills is one of the world’s leading Yoga instructors, as well as a reflexologist and colour practitioner. She co-founded the Oracle School of Colour in London, where she teaches and practises colour therapy and reflexology and offers weekly Yoga classes. Her books include The Reflexology Manual, Chakra Workbook, Colour Healing Manual, and The Meditation Book of Light and Colour. She lives in London. www.oracleschoolofcolour.com/

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Book Reviews

AVAILABLE IN STORE

JUST RELEASED

ARRIVING SOON

EDGAR CAYCE’S THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY

THE WAY OF FIRE AND ICE

THE TRIGGER

Kieth VonderOhe

Ryan Smith

David Icke

ARE Press • 9780876049778

Llewellyn • 9780738760049

David Icke Books • 9781916025806

For decades, people have looked to Edgar Cayce’s readings for guidance and insight. The spiritual truths and encouraging words contained therein have enabled thousands of individuals to gain inspiration that has brought profound change into their lives.

The Way of Fire and Ice reimagines Norse Paganism with mystical practices and rituals for today's world as well as tips for building community and resisting fascism.

The Trigger is not only about 9/11. In exposing the network that orchestrated and covered-up those horrific attacks Icke reveals the force that is dictating your life in increasingly fine detail and leading the world along a dark and dangerous road to total Orwellian global control.

The daily reflections in Edgar Cayce Thoughts for the Day: 365 Inspiring Lessons are accompanied by inspiring true stories from people who have applied the principles found in the readings and experienced lifetransforming results. Additional stories come from a variety of religious sources, including Biblical, rabbinic, and Sufi traditions.

This approach to working with Norse deities and beliefs is a living, adaptable tradition, representing a strong alternative to the reconstructionist perspectives of Asatru and Heathenry. In these pages, the old ways come alive in a radically inclusive form. You will explore the secrets of the World Tree and the mysteries of the gods, work with the many spirits around us, and feel the deep rhythms that drive all life while creating new songs of power.

We are inspired as we see how other people have confronted the challenges of life. We are given new You will also discover how to make hope and insight as we see how they faced struggles, joys, disappointments, these practices part of your every waking moment, developing your own and moments of growth. personal spirituality and building This book is designed to offer you the healthy, sustainable communities along the way. opportunity to explore spiritual concepts in practical yet uplifting "... Smith's sensible guide will moments that can bring light and enchant any reader interested in grace into your daily life. Norse mythology and paganism." —Publishers Weekly

The book is written in two distinct, but fundamentally connected parts, and together they represent perhaps the most controversial book of modern times, and long before that, given the ever-gathering climate of mass oppression, censorship and freedom deletion. David Icke has had the courage to write it. Do you have the courage to read it? If you do it will transform your view of 9/11. It will transform your view of everything. For trade enquiries visit www.newhorizondistributors.co.za or call us on 021 447 2436

Available at Exclusive Books, Bargain Books, Wordsworth Books and selected bookshops countrywide. odysseymagazine.co.za | 38


Book Reviews

THE PROPHET AN ORACLE CARD SET Khalil Gibran, Toni Carmone Salerno US Games • 9781572819856

You are far, far greater than you know... The greatest of wisdom is not torn down by hardship, cast aside by time nor looked over by progress. Rather, its value and acuity are made clearer by the changes and challenges that inevitably come to our world. First published in 1923, "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran has been read by millions, in over a hundred languages. Its truth is a lovingly welcome home, without boundary, pretence or condition. With thanks to the Gibran National Committee for The Gibran Museum, Toni Carmine Salerno is honoured to present 42 of Gibran’s transcendent paintings together with his bestselling work to inspire love, balance and creativity. This 42 full-colour card and guidebook set includes specially selected artwork reproductions, the complete text of "The Prophet", an introduction and how-to-use section, making this is a uniquely beautiful treasure for divination, direction, contemplation and insight.

Success will be yours with Llewellyn's 2020 Daily Planetary Guide, the most trusted and astrologically detailed datebook available.

STAND A CHANCE TO WIN a copy of the 2020 Daily Planetary Guide available from New Horizon Distributors. Send your entry via email to fulfillment@odysseymagazine.co.za with your name, surname and email address with the answer to this question in the subject line: Who publishes the 2020 Daily Planetary Guide?

GIVEAWAY

Determine the best time to do anything on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis—and even down to the minute. Before setting up a job interview, signing a contract, planning a vacation, or scheduling anything important, consult the weekly forecasts and Opportunity Periods—times when the positive flow of energy is at its peak. With valuable information on aspects, ephemerides, retrograde planets, eclipses for 2020, and more, you'll be ahead of the game in everything you do. Even beginners can plan wisely with explanations of the planets, signs, houses, and how to use this guide.

By entering this competition/give-away you agree to our T&C’s for all competitions and give-aways. For more information visit http://www.odysseymagazine.co.za/enter.html. odysseymagazine.co.za | 39


Food - The Yoga Dinner

Hosting a Soulful Yoga Dinner Set a date and invite all your favourite yogis (or potential yogis!) • Design your menu. Make sure you mindfully set a menu that can be enjoyed by all of your guests. My favourite vegan recipes are included. • Clear your covered patio or another large room in your house of all furniture. Make sure you have plenty of candles to light. • Prepare the menu in the morning with dollops of love. Foods should all be chilled or ready to just heat and serve. • Have water goblets ready with water and garnish. Use herbs and fruit from your garden, like a sprig of rosemary, with a strawberry and a slice of lemon. • Have the silverware wrapped in linen napkins, tied with a beautiful fabric, raffia or ribbons. Place a personal beautiful hand-written saying or quote on a small piece of paper and attach it to the napkin by the ribbon. • Get your guests there at 6 pm and have your favourite Yoga teacher scheduled to come by at 6:30pm to teach the class for an hour with dinner at 8 pm. There are many Yoga teachers who would be honoured to come to your home to teach and to enjoy the sumptuous dinner that you have lovingly prepared. • Pick soothing, meditative music to create a relaxing mood. Deva Premal and Mitten are a good choice. There are some amazing sound healers who would be able to offer a sound journey to your guests. • Offer Yoga props, such as eye pillows, belts, bolsters and blankets. • Have your guests bring wine or anything their hearts desire. It is also a lovely idea for each person to bring a Yoga or meditation gift item ranging from Yoga clothing to candles to incense. This way each person leaves with a gift in remembrance of a beautiful soulful evening and dinner. This is a wonderful way to connect with like-minded people, friends, students and family.

AVOCADO, ORANGE,BEETROOT AND WALNUT SALAD Ingredients: 1 ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and cut into slices 8 cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved or 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges 1 orange, peeled and segmented 25g washed baby spinach 75g cooked beetroot, drained and sliced ½ small red onion, finely chopped 25g chopped walnuts For the dressing: 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper 1. 2. 3.

Arrange all the ingredients neatly on a plate. Mix together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, drizzle over the salad. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over the salad.

EDITORS TIP Not all balsamic vinegars are vegan friendly so check the label carefully. odysseymagazine.co.za | 40


Food - The Yoga Dinner

MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLES WITH PAN FRIED HERB TOFU Ingredients: Mediterranean Vegetables 4 tbsp olive oil 1 red onion, halved and cut into wedges 1 small aubergine, trimmed and thinly sliced 1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and cut into chunks Salt and pepper 2 garlic cloves Fresh thyme 1. 2. 3. 4.

5.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, Gas 6. Pour oil into a roasting tin and pop in the oven to heat up. Add the onion, aubergine and peppers. Season generously with salt and pepper, stirring to coat in the oil. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, add garlic and stir well, basting the vegetables in the oil and return to the oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the vegetable pieces. Season to taste and serve with sprinkles of fresh thyme.

Pan Fried Herb Tofu 1 packet firm tofu, well drained Grated rind and juice of half a lemon 2 tbsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed Large pinch dried crushed chillies 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1.

2. 3. 4.

Cut the tofu into cubes. Pop into a non-metallic dish and scatter with the lemon rind and juice, oil, garlic, chillies and plucked thyme. Turn the tofu gently so the pieces are evenly covered in the marinade flavourings. Cover with cling film and chill for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tofu onto a plate and discard the marinade. Heat the oil in a medium sized frying pan or wok. Add the tofu and stir fry for 5 to 8 minutes or until the tofu is a golden brown and heated right through. Serve garnished with fresh thyme.

COCONUT YOGHURT AND BERRY LAYER Ingredients: 1 packet of vegan biscuits Amaretto liqueur 500ml tub of coconut yoghurt Vanilla extract Fresh berries such as strawberries and blueberries Fresh mint to serve 1. 2. 3.

In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut yoghurt with vanilla extract, to taste. Roughly layer biscuits, yoghurt and berries with a drizzle of amaretto liqueur between each layer. Scatter with berries and decorate with fresh mint.

EDITORS TIP: If you want a non-alcoholic version, use pineapple juice instead. odysseymagazine.co.za | 41


Parenting - Children are our Yoga

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Parenting - Children are our Yoga

Children as our Yoga As a Xhosa nation, we have a saying, 'ukuzala kukuzolula', roughly translated, birthing a child is the gift of stretching yourself.

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hat if our children are here to provide a platform for our freedom? Like keepers of ancient wisdom, what if they hold answers we need in order to free ourselves from the different kinds of bondage we experience? On the surface, it could just mean that now you have an extra pair of hands to help you around the house. You could relax more and stretch a bit. There is also the obvious physical stretching of the body to accommodate a growing child and its delivery to this plane. And of course, the spiritual stretching of the heart, opening wider and wider still that can only be experienced by one who loves deeply. Yet, could this be that birthing a child is Yoga itself? If Yoga is the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness, then could having our children be a stretching of ourselves to meet ourselves? Could it be a face-to-face meeting of the child you once were, but still are? The child that was, before you got caught up in the drama of illusory living and held on for dear life? Could our children be offering up a mirror, so we can see how the truth of who we are looks and feels like when we dare drop the masks and the robes of

conditioning that we wrap so tightly around us? I have three children of my own and the gift of four godchildren. When one of my best friends recently asked me to be god mama to her son, I was thrilled and grateful, and also acutely aware of the universe's humour. I need seven little mirrors held up at the same time to draw myself towards myself! Now that's a dance! I have noticed that whenever I am preoccupied and not 'here and now', my children remind me through pushing all kinds of buttons. So I can either pull myself away from my preoccupation and be 'here' with them or get caught up in the drama and react and send us all in a crazy spiral and get us all dizzy and spent! Could it be that our children stretch us and that, as we contort, we get riddled with uncomfortable feelings that are really pointing us to our area of confusion, the area blocking the flow of life. We could either honour this message by taking a deep breath, see this for what it is, a gentle nudge to come back 'home', and clear out all the confusion or we could act out and get really mad and fight the mirror. Ah, those little volunteer mirrors! We all want the very best for our kids. Usually our time is spent

carving out their bright future, meaning we are there, not here with them; we are constantly sprucing up our idea of who they should be; as a result we ignore who they are. This keeps us so busy and away from our kids, even though we may be in the same room as they are. Bondage and suffering is leaving the child you are with right here and now, to go and live with another version of this child in a future time that does not exist yet. Could it be that when they scream, sulk, are 'naughty', 'bad', all that they are doing is to bring us back to reality, back to life, back to ourselves! Stretching us back to where we are. Isn't that freedom? We have heard it time and again that God is in the now! Yola Motsieloa is an Oneness Approach Coach at the KANSY Group and mother of seven. She runs programmes for children (11+ years) and adults awakening a wiser, kinder and compassionate world through the ‘Oneness Approach’ to Life. She believes that, when we are aligned to the totality of who we are, we ‘Human’ better. www.kansygroup.com

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Spotlight on Yoga

Proprioceptions and the Planetary Yogas of Vedic Astrology Words Robert Rittel

The ancient seers of Vedic astrology provided us with an extraordinary knowledge of the universe which creates the 'clarity' and experience attained by studying the planetary yogas, so that one comes closer to the ultimate cosmic awareness and is able to create an accurate interpretation.

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roprioception is the sense that lets us perceive a natural flow, the sense or conscience feeling of movement like juggling or playing music without thinking. It encompasses a complex of sensations, including perception of joint position and movement, muscle force, and effort. Proprioception translates from Latin as unconscious perception of movement and allows the body to control its position for optimal locomotion and to locate internal and external space. The Sanskrit word Samadhi, literally means ‘to direct together’ and is the state in which the body perceives the union with soul. It is an experience of divine ecstasy as well as of super conscious perception and awareness. The Vedas tell us as that everything in the Universe is awareness. We all have that selfodysseymagazine.co.za | 44

awareness to a greater or lesser degree. Samadhi is beyond the normal mind and intellect, which makes describing it very complex and it can only be fully appreciated by direct experience. The Vedas explain that at times, periods occur when we lose all perception; in this state, the concepts of time and space are altogether different. For a minute, an hour, or more you are in another world. Now you see that practically everything happens spontaneously, thoughts and ideas do not affect you. You remain undisturbed and your inner being functions in a dynamic and confident manner. The mind moves beyond the outer layers of objective realisation to the subtle aspects of awareness and the creative abstract qualities such as beauty, love, sound, texture, form and flavours begin to be understood. Even unrecognised

spheres and circumstances can be kinaesthetically realised. The pain in a lost limb, the mother’s sense of something being wrong and, of course, planetary influences triggered by the motions of the moon. This Samadhi is known as cosmic consciousness, where the mind becomes fully awake and is in a state of witnessing the awareness of the divine within oneself. Planetary yogas or union are planets in signs and astrological aspects which are influenced by each other. The effect of a planetary yoga, good or bad, will manifest in one's life determined by birth, transits and planetary periods. The effects of these yogas depend on several combined and interrelated factors and are very complex as well.


Spotlight on Yoga

The basics are malefic yogas and beneficial yogas. Medical Ayurvedic knowledge therefore considers that astrology plays a very important part in diagnosing the body and that its gunas or element qualities, combined with time and planetary aspects are crucial. Human life falls under two grand divisions, which are fortunes and misfortunes: Beneficial planets like Jupiter and Venus establish beneficial cosmic inheritance such as luck, creativity, charm and public appreciative influence but also create malefic tendencies of waste, ignorance, envious relations, sinful nature and other unpleasant aspects. While malefic planets like Mars and Saturn create forces of sorrows, troubles, ill health, physical and mental deformities and accidents, they are, however, creating at the same time the power of courage, contentment, will of determination and powerful leadership qualities. Those qualities in connection with proprioception create a constant development, where our movements, actions and ideas that we carry out become an awareness of learning that needs constant balancing. With every new understanding, the experienced wisdom becomes more profound and we realise the foundation or pattern of circumstances in its originality of energy. That divine superstructure and eternal spring, from which these drops of conscious nectars are drawn, is a language which arose from the very nature and its laws

creating adaption and potential. The natural law of balance comes with the solution to the circumstance. Terrence Stanley Fox from Canada, an active teenager involved in many sports, was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. Four days later his leg was amputated six inches above the knee. Terrence starting running with a prosthesis to raise more than $24million for cancer research. He called it the ‘Marathon of Hope’ which drew international attention. In Terrence’s birth chart the planets Saturn and Mars create a very malefic yoga: Mars energies in athletic prowess and the force of Saturn established circumstances for the loss of his leg, but the spirit and determination opened the doors of awareness for greater visions and good. Imagine the planets, like our local Moon, waxing and waning light and strength through the constellation passing other planets establishing a powerful cosmic timer and observer. The micro/macro cosmos in its constant maturity provides the introverted and extraverted synchronising balance, the source and vortex of potential. The cosmic proprioception reveals itself in Samadhi and its meaning to direct together, providing the solution of awareness. By understanding the laws of nature one can adapt oneself to these. The nature of light and the radiation of celestial entities are astrologically speaking ‘enlightenment’ which means that its manifestation resulted

from the refinement of the soul through many lives. Our sensitive nature and strength, our bio-psychological sphere of individuality is thus influenced by light of nature. The light during the day and through the year changes and so the individual soul, with its enlightened properties, establishes its purpose and maturity. The planetary influence reveals itself through basic characteristics and becomes a living force with functions, deities and history in your life. The ancient seers of Vedic astrology provided us with an extraordinary knowledge of the universe which creates the ‘clarity’ and experience attained by studying the planetary yogas, so that one comes closer to the ultimate cosmic awareness and is able to create an accurate interpretation. Vedic astrology provides a refined understanding of the soul’s purpose and opens the doors of perceptions towards our spiritual and real circumstance. The author Robert Rittel, born in Koblenz, Germany, was raised in a Franciscan orphanage. Trained as a chef, he travelled many countries in a search for the deeper meaning of life and its mysterious wonders. In 1996, he came to South Africa, married and met some inspirational people who pointed him to his spiritual inheritance. In the study of Astrology, passion and love for the ancient knowledge of the Vedas was sparked.

Chirology Courses in Johannesburg - Private or Home Study via Skype Consultations – Publications – Blog – www.godgivenglyphs.com Jennifer Cell: 082 415 0653 email: jen@cheiro.co.za odysseymagazine.co.za | 45


STARGAZING With Margarita Celeste

What 2020 Holds In Store For You

Aries and Aries Rising 21 March – 20 April This is a huge career year for you, Aries, as most of the planets gather in your professional area and ask you to restructure your idea of authority. Many of you may rise to a powerful position, especially with the great conjunction of Saturn and Pluto over the months of January, May and October, and you're going to feel the increased pressure of leading a team. Try and find ways to blow off steam, and don't carry the world on your shoulders, as tempting as all this power is. You have major responsibilities which will need to be put down from time to time so that you don't get so worn out. Watch the months of September through November, as Mars, your ruler, goes retrograde in your sign, which could put a few projects on the back burner, though give you an opportunity to reconsider your life direction and the goals you want to achieve! Taurus and Taurus Rising 21 April – 21 May Fortunately for you, Taurus, the planets are all in earth signs this year, which feels like your comfort zone, being an earth sign yourself. Sure, Uranus is still quite disruptive as it travels through Taurus, especially if you are born in late April. Seize this opportunity to reinvent yourself, and to march to the beat of your own drum. Personal growth is a huge deal with many of the planets in Capricorn and in your travel and learning zone, and this can be a good year to get structured in your knowledge, beliefs and philosophies, or to do some focussed, serious or work-related travel. Your ruler, Venus, goes retrograde for the first time in 18 months in the sign of Gemini, which could throw your relationships topsy-turvy, invite an ex back into your life or force you to re-evaluate your relationship to yourself, your money and your personal value systems. Gemini and Gemini Rising 22 May – 21 June You'll have the usual Mercury retrogrades to contend with this year, Gemini, though it's something you're used to by now – mark your calendar for the months of Feb - March; Jun – July and Oct – Nov to take some time out to reflect and process instead of throwing your intellect at everything! More importantly, the nodes are about to shift into your sign, which highlights changes to be made in your relationships, and asks you to balance your needs with those of your partner. June, November and December bring some heat, and it'll be important for you to adapt to change – which you usually have no problem with! Venus, planet of love, goes retrograde in your sign between May and the end of June, which could make you the most charming person in the room, though you'll need to be sure to be honest with yourself and others when it comes to matters of the heart.

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Cancer and Cancer Rising 22 June – 22 July The great Saturn-Pluto conjunction starts in January this year, Cancer, and may throw your relationships into turmoil. It's likely that things have been this way for quite a while, so this simply just gets you one step closer to resolution. Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and Mars line up in Capricorn, your opposite sign and in your commitment zone, and so there may be some extra pressure on you to restructure things and either go the whole way with someone or not at all. A serious relationship may arise, or it's possible that some of you may get married this year! If wedding bells are ringing, try and plan it outside the Venus retrograde, which occurs between May and the end of June, and if you can, avoid making major decisions around this time as the chances are high you may change your mind – especially with a Mercury retrograde in your sign around the same time.

Leo and Leo Rising 23 July – 22 August This could be a serious year for love, Leo, and if you've been single for a long time, Saturn moving into your serious relationship area could spell an end to the drought – though it may take time to develop. Those of you who are already attached, expect a testing of sorts coming into your partnerships, which only really becomes more serious towards the end of the year. If your bond is strong, then it will become stronger, and if it's on shaky ground, then it could be difficult to continue things the way that they are. Work is very much on your mind, and it'll be important for you to keep a good eye on your health, to delegate where necessary and avoid extra stress, as it could take a bit of a toll – this has been an ongoing theme for the last two years, so it's time to make a final shift now towards a healthier, happier you. Virgo and Virgo Rising 23 August – 23 September A hobby or creative passion could become something much more serious, Virgo, and this may have been building for a while. However, it's going to take hard work to “birth” your projects, and you'll have to keep your eyes on the prize. Those of you with children may see a major increase in responsibilities over 2020, and it'll be very important to build strong boundaries, yet temper them with compassion when it comes to your kids – you may feel pushed to the edge a few times, and you'll have to take a deep breath and try to find time for play amongst all the seriousness. Some of you may have a baby this year, which will inevitably be a life-changing experience, and some of you may forgo the idea entirely. When it comes to love, a casual relationship could become that much more serious, so keep on putting yourself out there. Libra and Libra Rising 24 September – 23 October Venus, your ruler, only goes retrograde every 18 months and this year is one of those times. It can be a frustrating experience, as your partnerships are so very important to your wellbeing, so whether it's an ex returning, being indecisive about the relationship you're in, or challenging issues around money and how to share your time, you'll have to sit tight and wait for it to pass – and try not make any big decisions. She goes retrograde between May and the end of June, so let this time be a reflection of what you do want in love, rather than a push-pull between you and another. Big endings are coming your way this year to make space for something new, particularly when it comes to your home and living situation. Some of you may have an important move this year, which may feel challenging, but also opens up new spaces and opportunities for you. Scorpio and Scorpio Rising 24 October – 22 November As the great Saturn-Pluto conjunction climaxes over the months of January, May and October of 2020, it's a time of great personal transformation for you, Scorpio. You are finding new ways of communicating your ideas, and getting rid of old ways of thinking which have held you back. Try and avoid pointless power struggles with siblings, neighbours or teachers, and disengage from drama. Your ruler, Mars, goes retrograde around September until November, which puts a couple of things on the back burner for you, especially at work, and it'll be a good time to go over old projects and see if any of them need reworking. Colleagues may infuriate you at this time, so try and work alone if you can, and you'll get more done. Your love relationships are undergoing an overhaul with Uranus in your commitment area, and it may be a time in which you and your beloved are separated more than usual, due to circumstances beyond your control. odysseymagazine.co.za | 47


Sagittarius and Sagittarius Rising 23 November – 21 December Your ruler, Jupiter, has now officially moved out of your sign, and it's a good time to reflect on all your accomplishments and gifts over the last year, Sagittarius. Money matters are front and centre over 2020, as the planets gather in this area of your astrology chart, to stay throughout the year. You may be restructuring things, making important investments (such as buying or paying off a home), and your self-worth will also be an area to work on throughout this time. Hard work is more important than play, and with the nodes moving into your sign, you'll find that personal relationships are more emphasised, are up for review and potential change. The eclipses in June, November and December are turning points for you and your sweetheart, and if you haven't met anyone yet, this could be a time that someone special appears in your life. Capricorn and Capricorn Rising 22 December – 20 January The past year has been enormous for you, Capricorn, and hits a climax in January of this year as Saturn and Pluto in your sign finally align at the same degree. This is in the area of your astrology chart that is all about your identity, life path, environment, and to some degree, your health. Any or all of these areas are about to undergo serious reconstruction, a reconstruction that has already begun in many ways, and now just needs action. You may find yourself in a completely different place this year, both personally and professionally, and though it feels like an enormous amount of pressure, you have to remember that diamonds are created under the same overwhelming conditions. You're being forged, reborn and remade in so many ways, that you'll only gain a clear perspective towards the end of the year, how much change you have been through. Aquarius and Aquarius Rising 21 January – 19 February Powerful inner changes are wrought this year for you, Aquarius, and you may be facing and clearing a great deal of past trauma, working through immense karmic baggage and letting it all go. This letting go is coming in the form of endings that may be extremely painful in the beginning, but very necessary for this rebirth. You may walk away from a career, a family or relationship situation or something else that simply is no longer in alignment with you. As Saturn, planet of lessons, edges into your sign this year, only to stay fully as from the end of 2020, you'll be undergoing an enormous identity shift and at the same time, growing emotionally, mentally and spiritually, Be ready to start shouldering immense responsibilities, Aquarius, especially those of you born around 19 – 29 January. It'll feel heavy at first, but as you become used to the weight, you'll realise all along that you were born for this. Pisces and Pisces Rising 20 February – 20 March It's a non-drama year for you, Pisces, though you may face some reconstruction around your friendships and personal goals, as Saturn and Pluto align in this area of your astrology chart and ask you to rethink your long-term plans, and if the people in your circle fit into those plans. It can be hard to let go, but the friendships you decide to stay with, the dreams you forge ahead with, will be those that stay for a long, long time! It's best not to avoid taking responsibility for these areas, lest they stick around and fester for longer than you would like. Whatever letting go you do, do it with love and forgiveness, the way you do best. Your ruler, Jupiter, is weakened in the sign of Capricorn this year, but may assist you with getting the job done, no frills, no fluff and no “luck”. Only blood, sweat and tears will help you get to the place you want to be, so try your best to remain focussed, with your eyes on the final destination.

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The Art of Retreating “We long for blessed rest that reaches into our marrow and beyond. More than physical, mental, and emotional; complete and utter rest for our battered, frazzled, hopelessly forgetful souls.� Laura Thomas


Retreat In its simplest form 'Retreat', means 'to withdraw, to draw back.' A deliberate act of stepping outside of normal routine by withdrawing (not running away) from the noise and pressures; the immediate and insistent claims of our social, domestic and workday responsibilities in order to be in a quiet place where all our senses are open. Restore Bring back or re-establish (a previous right, practice, or situation). Return (someone or something) to a former condition, place, or position. Renew Resume (an activity) after an interruption.

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Travel - The Art of Retreating

What does it mean …? To retreat The 13th century Zen master Dogen advises: “Take the backward step and turn the light inward.” It's a good description of the retreat experience, particularly one with a focus on meditation. This is not a selfish practice; as Dogen says elsewhere: “To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to perceive oneself in all beings, to be enlightened by all things. To be enlightened by all things is to remove the barriers between oneself and others.” Meditation. Is it as inane as watching the grass grow?

W

hen I was busy building the Buddhist Retreat Centre, a friend of mine was puzzled and asked me why I would want to do something like that. To spend so much time, energy and money on building a lovely country resort and invite people to sit quietly on black cushions, doing nothing - just watching their breath. “This, surely, was as loony as watching the grass grow,” he said. He was a dynamic businessman and very successful in running a string of clothing factories and shops. I had created one of the primary architectural and structural engineering consulting practices in South Africa, with branch offices in other parts of Africa. To him, the idea of withdrawing from such odysseymagazine.co.za | 52

achievements and reflecting on the deeper meaning and purpose of life was a waste of time. He wanted to advance and expand - not retreat or withdraw. A similar dilemma happened 2500 years ago when Siddhartha Gautama, the future Buddha, decided to become a mendicant yogi rather than wallow in the luxurious life that awaited him as the son of a wealthy landowner in northern India. Siddhartha's father had been told by a yogi that his son would become one of the greatest gurus of all time. Even so, this was bad news for dad. He had visions of his son succeeding him and expanding his empire - not abandoning it for some nebulous nirvana. We all come across similar choices at some stage in our lives, even if they are not quite as dramatic as that. It often happens when

something painful pounces on you. This may lead you to some reflection: Is life just a relentless succession of random and painful experiences alternating with pleasant ones, or is there a larger purpose lurking behind them that you need to uncover to make it all meaningful? This is what happened to me when I was still very young. I experienced the very painful years of the Second World War in Holland when my family, along with most Dutch citizens, was reduced to poverty. Although I did not know it at the time, this is where I believe my journey into Buddhist philosophy started: In Suffering (Dukkha) - the first of the Buddha's Four Noble Truths. The other Truths spell out the psychological processes and mental disciplines that can be learnt to enable us to deal with suffering wisely and effectively.


Travel - The Art of Retreating

That is why the Buddha's philosophy has endured so vigorously for 25 centuries. It tackles the most fundamental human experiences - the ones that underlie our everyday lives: The way we deal emotionally and mentally with needs and wants; our likes and dislikes and the way we delude ourselves and misunderstand situations, deliberately or otherwise, and helps us to navigate our way through circumstances, particularly the unpleasant or challenging ones and, in doing so, to get to know ourselves - and the world - at greater depth. So - what does it mean to retreat - to me and to Chrisi, my wife, who has been at my side for almost 33 years? And to the thousands of people who have experienced, often for the first time, what it is like to sit on a black cushion for half an hour or more, letting go of the thoughts that randomly and relentlessly elbow their way into your awareness - only to return almost immediately? The Retreat Centre offers a range of retreats to equip us with powerful mental and psychological tools to bring clarity in these issues. They range from those investigating Buddhist thought and philosophy, through to meditation; as well as those featuring bird watching, cooking, pottery and photography. At first glance the latter might appear to be unrelated to Buddhism, but even these retreats will contain some element of mindful awareness, refracting the chosen subject matter through a Buddhist lens. People from all walks of life come to these retreats with a variety of motivations and expectations. Perhaps they want to deepen their meditation practice, to take some time out from a hectic working life; to reflect on a tense domestic situation; to consider the trajectory of their lives; to make a decision

about a way forward. Maybe they just want to learn how to take a good photograph or prepare a great vegetarian meal. Each person will have a different reason for going on a retreat. Different paths will have led them to this place. The 13th century Zen master Dogen advises: “Take the backward step and turn the light inward.” It’s a good description of the retreat experience, particularly one with a focus on meditation. This is not a selfish practice; as Dogen says elsewhere: “To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to perceive oneself in all beings, to be enlightened by all things. To be enlightened by all things is to remove the barriers between oneself and others.” There is a story about the famous psychiatrist and thinker Carl Jung. A patient called urgently wanting an appointment for the next day. However, Jung already had a booking for that time so an appointment was made for a later date. The next day at the preferred appointment time the patient was walking in the park when suddenly he came across Jung sitting on a park bench. The patient became angry. “You told me you had an appointment!” “I do,” said Jung. “With myself.” We all need to make an appointment with ourselves from time to time. To reconnect with who we really are; to maintain balance; to recharge exhausted batteries. To make time to go on a retreat is a necessary and healthy step for anyone.

‘time out’ from daily activities. A weekend retreat typically begins with an introductory talk on the Friday evening and ends with a guided loving kindness meditation in which one deliberately projects kindness and compassion to all beings, including ourselves. A retreat has a dynamic all of its own and this dynamic will be different for each person - but, like a good film or a book, it will probably have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The overall experience can often be cathartic. Attending a retreat is not only making a commitment to yourself, but also to the other people who have come. There is a collective, supportive energy generated during a retreat, especially in a meditation retreat held in ‘noble silence’ which creates the psychological space, to better enable us to “turn the light inward”. Such silence allows us to experience our inner self more fully; to drop the masks and the various other defences we often employ in our day-to-day interactions with others and also gives us the chance to experience better the world around us: The sounds of birds, the creak of trees in the wind.

A few thoughts on retreating “Take the backward step and turn the light inward.” The BRC provides the space for that backward step, for the light to turn inward. During a retreat everything is designed to allow that process to occur - this is odysseymagazine.co.za | 53


Travel - The Art of Retreating

Raindrops. Noble silence allows one the precious release from the incessant internal dialogue that never seems to stop, not even in our dreams. Many expect that a retreat will automatically be a blissful experience. For some it may be, but, as with anything in life, there are no guarantees. If you are not comfortable with yourself in daily life you won’t suddenly find yourself in some magically transcendent state simply by going on a weekend retreat. As Jon Kabat-Zinn points out: “Wherever you go, there you are”. Sitting on a meditation cushion, breathing in and out, there is no escape from who you are. That is not always a comfortable place to be. Like it or not, you are forced to confront the reality of your own circumstances. So choose the retreat you wish to attend with care, with a sense of where you are right now, what you

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are looking for and what you need. Retreats demonstrate, in a surprising variety of ways, how we can harness the clarity and calmness to engage our world of experience boldly, both the rough and the smooth, and act creatively and compassionately within it. Indeed, it is our primary task in life to navigate our way through these difficult processes wisely and, in doing so, to get to know ourselves at greater depth than would be the case if we ignored them or pretended they did not exist. When I first envisioned the BRC 50 years ago, I intended it to become a space for people to experience what it is like just to be still and to disconnect from the daily routine of life. Simply to sit and tune into whatever happens - to wake up even if it is just a pigeon calling in the Erythrina tree outside the meditation hall. The centre has become all that and more - to the thousands of

people from all over South Africa and the world who have visited. Many feel enriched by their experience and able to carry that spirit forward in their relationships with their families, their friends and colleagues and all those they meet along the ‘Great Way’ as it is called in the Zen tradition. Louis van Loon of The Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo, KZN, South Africa Perched on a ridge at the head of a valley in the Umkomaas river system in KwaZulu-Natal, the Buddhist Retreat Centre looks out on a vista of indigenous valleys, forests and rolling hills receding like waves in the blue distance. It is a gentle, sympathetic space where one can be still and get in touch with oneself and reflect on the things that crowd one's life. CNN featured the BRC as one of the 10 finest meditation centres in the world. https://www.brcixopo.co.za/


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Travel - The Art of Retreating

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Travel - The Art of Retreating

Turn Resentment into Gratitude Retreat at The Zawia Ebrahim “Your day is a letter of correspondence from Allah to you. Those moments are His words and the flow of the day is His grammar.” Shaykh Ebrahim

I

lived in the Zawia Ebrahim, a spiritual retreat nestled in the Walker Fruit Farms in Gauteng near Johannesburg, South Africa, on and off from 2016 to 2018. Here I was exposed to Sufism, or Islamic mysticism. The Zawia was founded in 2000 by Shaykh Ebrahim of the DarqawiShadhiliya Tariqa. Shaykh Ebrahim received his idhn (permission) in the tariqa from the late Shaykh Mustafa Bassir of Morocco. Zawia is a convent for Sufi devotees. Its history dates back to the early Khanqahs (which were buildings designed specifically for gatherings of a Sufi tariqa and is a place for spiritual retreat and character reformation) of the 10th century. Like all Zawias across the globe, the one in Walker Fruit Farms is intended as a place where Sufis can live, pray and pursue their practice under rules that stipulate their behaviour and a Shaykh who guides their spiritual progress. Zawia Ebrahim is a point of convergence for spiritual rejuvenation. The objective of having the Zawia is to have a place for retreat from the physical world for a while in order to reflect on the story of our lives. To be in awe of the Grand Design that manifests in our life and to surrender to the odysseymagazine.co.za | 56

totality of the Other. When seekers on this path emerge from the Zawia after this period of introspection, they find themselves to be alert, internally gathered and in effect, transformed. They are then ready to go back to their roles and responsibilities and channel the energy they have gained at the Zawia back into the world.

this story (my life) that I’m experiencing now was written especially for me and to enchant me. As a result of this insight I have moved from a state of resentment to awe and gratitude. • I’ve learned how to conduct myself with courtesy and deliberateness in this world so that I am becoming an exceptional work of human potential. • I’ve learned that for love to be effective I have to turn it into a verb (doing word) and not a noun. Love has taught me that I’m here to give, not to get and that I’m here to serve others, not myself.

The environment is austere and comprises a mosque, rooms for travelling seekers on the path to live in temporarily and a room for Khalwa (spiritual retreat/seclusion). I have learned and internalised many things from my experience in this tariqa and at the Zawia Ebrahim. I’ve listed three of the insights that have stood out for me and guide my life right now. • I’ve learned that I’m the point of this entire enterprise and that

Of course my experiences at the Zawia are not limited only to these insights. There are many more that have been of unfathomable benefit to me. However, if I only had to practise awe and gratitude, courtesy and deliberateness and love, I’d feel secure and fulfilled on this human endeavour. It may be helpful for me to describe three of the practices in this particular Zawia that got me to this point.


Travel - The Art of Retreating

These practices, and plenty of time for reading and self-reflection, are what take up the days of those following this path. The cornerstone of the Sufi practice is the Salat, the second pillar of Islam. All seekers at the Zawia pray five times a day according to the rules of the Salat. At every prayer we are mindful, in the moment and fully focussed on our Rab (Allah). We’re encouraged to meditate after our morning prayers and in the evening before retiring to bed for at least 20 - 40 minutes at a time. The point of the meditation is to help silence the inner dialogue and to change that dialogue from an ambience of resentment to an ambience of gratitude. Meditation helps us extract ourselves from the minutiae of the day-to-day events and to see things from an increasingly higher perspective. We are encouraged to keep a journal of our daily experiences. Essentially, our lives are a daily conversation with Allah and a journal is one way to keep track of that. If one journals for a while, it becomes apparent that, as you walk through life, you can assume that nothing that happens to you is arbitrary i.e. determined by chance, based on or subject to individual will or judgment. Similar to meditation, journaling is aimed at turning resentment into gratitude.

One of the most effective practices in the Zawia is the practice of Khalwa. It’s an intensive exercise in silencing the inner dialogue and achieving peace within and without. It requires one to be in complete seclusion from all worldly connections, including Time. The concept is to remind one of the ultimate abode in the grave where all transactions with the world stand suspended. The Khalwa therefore is an opportunity of a lifetime, to suspend all worldly connections and go deep within one’s own and truest self. The Zawia also holds a weekly Dhikr and Hadra. Dhikr is the remembrance of Allah. The form in the Zawia is the chanting of a Darqawi Wird (litany) which includes various invocations, the Kalima, Durud or salawat and other verses from the Quran. Qasidas (songs/hymns) of Shaykh Muhammad Ibn al Habib are sung after the Dhikr which contain within them the praise of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad and elucidate the matters of tasawwuf (Sufism). This is followed by the Hadra which is a vigorous chant of Allah’s presence and has a special place in the practice of the Shadhili Sufis. It is a wonderful practice to halt the internal dialogue and to bring us into the present moment so that we can be in awe and gratitude for this gift our creator has bestowed on us.

My experience at the Zawia has changed my life forever. It occurs to me that, if you’re looking to turn resentment into gratitude, live a life of courtesy, deliberateness, love and to figure out the story of your life so that you can become the magnum opus you were meant to be, then a visit to the Zawia Ebrahim may just be something you’d want to consider. Jacques de Villiers helps his clients navigate this human endeavour elegantly and eloquently so that they can triumph. He is an author and professional speaker who has presented more than 1200 discourses over the last 20 years; from Malmesbury to Milan. He is the father of a teenage daughter. jacques@jacquesdevilliers.com http://www.zawiaebrahim.com https://www.fracturedmonk.co.za

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The Art of Yoga Retreating Time on retreat in a secluded, natural place, is a precious opportunity. For some, the word 'retreat' can bring up resistance as it feels like running away. We may see it as an admission of defeat or a sense of escaping from life. Yet there is immense potential in taking time away from daily concerns. Sometimes we need to retreat, in order to chart the most skilful way forward. In order to advance, we need time to get to know our own body, heart and mind. A Yoga or meditation retreat allows us the chance to dive deeply into what replenishes us.

T

he Tara Rokpa Centre provides such a place.

“At TRC, city life melts away and is replaced by one filled with endless trees, nourishing food, and the most beautiful Yoga setting you could hope for. You'll leave feeling whole in every way.” Lara Mason In 2018, the area around TRC was designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve, with its dolomitic aquifers giving rise to three river systems. Of particular national interest is the source of the Marico River, the Eye, with its crystal clear water and exquisite blue-tipped lilies. It is a magical place, home to fish and crab and even eels that migrate between the Marico and Mozambique. TRC currently comprises 280 hectares of land, with three distinct sites: the main retreat centre, the Tikologo permaculture site and Tara's Valley secluded retreat site. In this way, TRC has space for all visitors, from Yoga students on weekend retreats or teacher training courses and volunteers who are odysseymagazine.co.za | 58

keen to learn about meditation and permaculture to Buddhist practitioners who yearn for a sacred place of silent practice. Retreat to Dive Deep When we are in the fast flow of an urban life, we can easily lose sight of who we are and become distracted by outer experiences. Our selfimage is filtered through social perceptions. Every single person has a slightly different view of us, based on their own mind, so we twist and turn, trying to fit into the picture that others create. Social media has amplified this, as we get feedback through 'Likes' from others, instead of realising that we have far more authentic real-time feedback by tapping into the world of our feelings, physical sensations and intuition. We need to take time to inhabit our own skin; our own body, heart and mind. Is this selfish? Let's see. When we turn to our unique selves we find that we connect with the universal aspects of all humans. We can understand our own shadow and the shadow we

see in others. We also recognise our own light and help to bring out that light in others. When we notice what makes us happy or sad, we are more able to recognise or even preempt those feelings in others and behave skilfully in order to provide support. Time on retreat gives us the chance to shift our level of consciousness, so that we suddenly see solutions to challenges more clearly and are more easily able to let them dissolve away. As Einstein is often quoted: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” (Continued on page 60...)


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Visit the Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, a sanctuary of stillness and beauty, for a new lease on life, and enjoy a wide range of workshops - structured and self-retreats - which include meditation, yoga and chi kung. 087 809 1687 | bookings@brcixopo.co.za |ww.brcixopo.co.za w

2020 RETREAT SCHEDULE NOW AVAILABLE and OPEN FOR BOOKINGS Contact Chrisna 082 443 5875 ashforth@iafrica.com / Salomie 083 458 6968 salomiejk@gmail.com

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Travel - The Art of Retreating

(...Continued from page 58) Yoga Retreats at TRC Steven Heyman, from Yoga Works, reminds us that, “Yoga is not about twisting yourself into a knot: Quite the opposite. You learn how to untangle yourself and move, think and feel with more freedom.” Time on retreat, with skilled facilitators, allows participants to learn practices that untangle both the body and mind. We learn to improve our levels of mindful awareness and community care and enhance our innate qualities of wisdom and compassion. These are such necessary skills at this crucial time in the planet's evolution. The Octagon meditation hall, with its cow dung floor, offers a beautiful grounding space for up to 45 Yoga practitioners or 100 meditators. The centre can accommodate up to 60 guests, in simple, clean farmhouses, with additional space for camping. Everyone wishing to seek a quiet place to recharge and recover from busy lives is warmly welcomed here. No one leaves the centre without raving about the delicious, hearty vegetarian food that is lovingly prepared by TRC's kitchen staff. TRC offers a deep connection to the elements, which nourish our wellbeing. Besides the rich red earth, there are perennial streams, Tara's waterfall and the Eye, along with dramatic summer thunderstorms. Visitors feel the warmth of the sun and, in winter, enjoy cosy evenings around the fire. Gentle breezes flutter through the indigenous trees, all held within the vast space of the African sky. A weekend, or longer, in this space allows guests the chance to return to balance and slow down their minds to the gentle pace of nature.

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A recent guest wrote, “It would be worth your while to linger at the TRC for a couple of days, allowing the residue of the rush and noise of the city to dissolve. You feel your body gently and more fully as it moves through the healing bushveld air. This venue is a sanctuary for Yoga practice or any dedicated quiet time.” Besides Yoga, it is an ideal venue for resting, walking in nature, mountain biking on quiet gravel roads or swimming and diving at the Eye. When not in use for therapy or Dharma courses, the centre also welcomes individuals, families and larger groups to use the accommodation and share the beautiful valley. There have even been weddings and many family Easter camps, where parents reconnect with their children and children learn to connect with the land. Smita Waghmarae, a Yoga participant, sensed that “doing Yoga at TRC feels like coming home to yourself, to all the things that make you feel whole.” A weekend retreat provides time away from daily life concerns and offers the chance to recuperate and recharge before heading back into the normal cycles of life. An extended retreat means we can enter a transitional space intentionally. It seems to slow down time so that we can see ourselves more clearly, to learn new skills and ideas that may help in the prioritisation of our daily life activities, or the intentions behind them. This also allows for fundamental internal shifts in the way we relate to ourselves and the world around us.

“There are places where it is easy to be happy, comfortable in your skin and connected. TRC is one of those.” Karine Bezuidenhout

The peaceful Tara Rokpa Centre (TRC) is a welcoming, down-toearth, retreat venue, in the Marico bushveld. It is becoming increasingly popular with Gauteng's Yoga community, who relish the fresh air, the picturesque valley and the majestic night sky. Visitors find they connect with themselves, their community and the earth itself. TRC's founder, a Tibetan lama and doctor, Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, understood the need for a multi-purpose healing centre in post-apartheid South Africa. He founded the centre in 2004, with the aspiration to offer opportunities for spiritual, emotional, social and environmental healing. With his guidance and a 1000-year vision, TRC is managed under four wings of activity: Dharma, Therapy, Environment and Humanitarian Aid. “Our society, with all its modern wonders and conveniences, bombards us with stimulation while at the same time largely depriving us of what is natural and wholesome on this earth. Our education tends to develop the intellect in a way which is not balanced with emotional and practical experience.” Akong Tulku Rinpoche For up-to-date information on retreats and events for 2019 and 2020 please consult the website: www.tararokpacentre.co.za


Travel - My Passage Through India

My Passage through India

Words Carolyn Casas

Entering the ashram gates at Puttaparthi is like walking through Disney's Fantasyland. Statues of elephants, horses and monkeys,

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isiting India was never on my bucket list, not even on my radar. Hinduism's largerthan-life gods and goddesses seemed so foreign to me. In all the travelling I had done, I never once considered India. This is my story of how a journey to India allowed me some amazing experiences and maybe even my destiny. Joy, a woman who had lived in India and studied under the famous guru, Sai Baba, was planning her last trip back to India and offering to take a group along with her. I was curious enough to want to hear more and to meet the leader and some of the women who had committed to going, a remarkable assortment of Yoga teachers, healers, artists, educators, meditators, a well-travelled group. Then there was Joy - an eccentric, high-spirited, independent, strongwilled, take-charge, power of a woman. I still had my doubts. There was an honest trepidation of how this trip might change me, but there was a foggy intuition there was a reason

for me to go to India. Maybe I'd done too much learning from books and something real would shake me up. In the end, the pros outnumbered the cons. The beautiful, turquoise-colour journal my daughter gave me for Christmas starts with a quote of Gandhi's, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” But five days before the trip, I was still unsure; I wrote, “I'm not sure why I'm going on this trip, but I guess I'll find out. It's an act of faith.” Our group arrived in India in the early morning. Joy's friend of 20 years, Shiva, excitedly met us with heavy, moist, flower leis of marigolds. Shiva was Joy's taxi driver when she lived in India. His skin and eyes were the darkest I had ever seen, like a beautiful combination of smoky quartz and indigo sapphire. His limited English was learned by talking to tourists. It was obvious that Shiva adored Joy, his American friend almost twice his age; he respected her like a mother. He attended to her every need and also

to ours. His smile and caring were contagious. We got used to his Indian head waggle that means yes in India, very similar to our gesture for no. We came to find it very precious. That first morning, he led us to a place where we could shop for cool cotton tunics, wide, loose drawstring pants and tasselled shawls to cover our chests. Imagine 17 jet-lagged women in and out of three dressing rooms in the small store, choosing patterns, colours and textures that they liked, or just something that fitted. I was desperately in need of food and a bed rather than sparkly bracelets. The sights on the hourlong drive to Kovalam Beach were so different from anything I had seen: Women in colourful, jeweltoned saris lined the streets, motorcycles, cars, buses coming within inches of us, colourful, dusty storefronts. There were rickshaws, motorised three-wheeled vehicles, going every which way, temples and statues of gods and goddesses and tropical vegetation.

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Travel - My Passage Through India

After a dazed meal in the hotel dining room, it was all I could do to carry my suitcase and backpack to the room and crawl into bed at three in the afternoon. It was a mistake, perhaps, because I was awake just after midnight. After breakfast, we took a long, hot walk over the humid tropical beach and up a hill to the town. Thin teenage girls splashed in the ocean in full sari and shawl, covered from their necks to their ankles. A rickshaw seemed a great idea for the return to the hotel and then we treated ourselves to Ayurvedic hot oil massages in the afternoon. These two days and nights were planned to give us an easier assimilation to India; the rest would not be so luxurious. The next morning, we travelled by bus to Kollam where we boarded a houseboat. Two men in wraparound dhotis guided the boat and cooked our midday meal. It was a slow, scenic four-hour trip up the river to the Amritapuri ashram. The views were stunning; we saw families and children going about their daily activities; we even glimpsed a wedding procession. In the hot afternoon sun, we left the boat and walked up steps to a high bridge over the river to reach the ashram. Unfortunately, the spiritual teacher, Amma, was not in residence. Amma hugs everyone who comes to her to receive darshan. It is estimated that she has embraced more than 33-million people throughout the world in the last 30 years. The humanitarian work that she and her devotees have accomplished over the years is especially impressive. It has included providing food, housing, education and medical services for the poor in 40 countries around the world as well as India. Her organisation even raised one million in aid for Hurricane Katrina victims. (Three months later I would have odysseymagazine.co.za | 62

the gift of being hugged by Amma at her retreat centre in San Ramon, California.)

Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma) The room was on the 13th floor. Stepping into the rickety, old elevator and having learned that Amma and her devotees had built the high-rise buildings, gave us cause to pray for no earthquakes that night. We opened the door to a small room with a tiny window, two single cots with thin rubber-coated mattresses. Even though it was stifling, we were reluctant to open the screenless window due to mosquitos. The bathroom was functional, although basic, with a spigot and a bucket for bathing, much appreciated in the heat, and a sit-down toilet, which, I learned later, was often not the case.

We spent only part of a day and one night at Amritapuri. After the bhajan ceremony that evening in the ornately decorated temple, we partook of a meal with foods I was unfamiliar with. It was a night of little sleep. In the morning things looked brighter; there were some familiar breakfast foods at the Western Café. After eating, we were off again, on a five-hour bus trip to Cochin airport, to fly to Bangalore the next day. This journey had already stretched me: Feeling sick and disoriented, not being able to communicate, not knowing Indian traditions, resolving that my feet would be dirty – shoes had to be taken off and left outside when entering the temples, occasionally not to be found again. And there was my discomfort sleeping and not always having water accessible. It made me appreciate how easy my life was at home. When the plane took off, I saw Shiva's eyes closed and his hand gripping Joy's. I was sure he was praying; at 43 years old, it was his first flight. From Bangalore, we started off in yet another bus to Sai Baba's ashram in Puttaparthi, the place Joy had lived and worshipped for 10 years.


Travel - My Passage Through India

Entering the ashram gates at Puttaparthi is like walking through Disney's Fantasyland. Statues of elephants, horses and monkeys, predominant colours of pink, baby blue, and gold. Our suitcases and backpacks were deposited with Shiva so we could go quickly to the bhajan ceremony. It was held in an immense, gilded temple with what must have been a thousand people or more sitting in rows on the stone floor. Unlike Amma's, this ashram seemed to be populated mainly with Indian people, most of whom did not speak English. The rules are strict - no photography, women and men do not stay together; each gender even has its own time to eat at the restaurants and to shop in the general store, women must be covered with a shawl at all times. We ate dinner that first night in an ashram cantina. My strategy was to take little mounds of several different foods so I could try them. Then we were given a meagre suite for four of us. The screened windows looked out to a tree where birds gathered to sing. The next day, my roommate and I sat on a bench in the park listening to chanting from the temple. A young Indian girl came over to ask if we could take a selfie together. Next, her mother wanted a photo with us too. Soon we had a little group around us speaking in Hindi and broken English. That they made an effort to befriend us made us so happy; we hugged when we parted. The ashram general store is multi-storied: the bottom floor for food and miscellaneous, the middle for women's and children's clothing and the top floor for men's clothes. Out of curiosity, we walked up to the men's floor. There was a young man's white cotton embroidered shirt that I liked. When I started to try it on over my clothes, as I had done on the women's floor, I was quickly told to stop. Apparently,

Ganesh statue, Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India women were not allowed to try on men's clothing. Next morning, I went to the Ayurvedic clinic for a hot oil massage. These massages use an incredible amount of oil, so you slip and slide around on the mattress as you are given the equivalent of a deep tissue rub down. Then you are put in a covered box, like a small igloo, sitting, with only your head sticking out and hot steam is piped into the box like a sauna. Warm water was prepared in a small tub. I was given some mud-looking paste to wash with and then the woman scooped the cleansing water over my body. They did not speak English; I was told what to do by hand signs. A puja ceremony was planned at the clinic to honour us as special guests. We were packed into a small room, sitting side by side on the floor, with flowers, fruit, the smell of incense and photos of relatives who had passed surrounding us. Dr Rao, the retired founder of the clinic, gave a talk. He left his successful practice in Madras after hearing Gandhi speak in 1940 and worked helping poor villagers in rural areas for over 30 years. Years later, his children and grandchildren have taken over his Ayurvedic medical practice.

Everything Dr Rao told us felt true to me. “Love is everything, duty without love is deplorable, if you are happy you are on the right track – not everyone needs a guru, be flexible with your spouse, the most important medicine is love and service to others.” He spoke for almost an hour; I wish I had a tape of it. When I think about the gurus I heard talk while in India, this man's message touched me the most. When I again couldn't sleep because of pain in my shoulder, I prayed for help. Miraculously, I was given an appointment with Dr Trejo, the grandson, after the puja ceremony. He told me there was an Ayurvedic treatment for my shoulder and I was given an appointment for the next morning. We could not get back into our room to change that afternoon. This was the beginning of a grace that followed me through India, where things I needed started manifesting. My roommate began bringing it to my attention. That day, somehow, I was able to open our flat mate's combination lock after only having seen it opened once. There would be more serendipities and synchronicities to come.

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Travel - My Passage Through India

We attended samadhi in the temple. The guru, Sathya Sai Baba, passed on in 2011, but his chair is still on the altar and it is believed he is still there. While he was alive, he and his followers built a network of free hospitals, clinics, auditoriums, ashrams and schools and established drinking water projects. There were many reports of Sai Baba performing miraculous healings, resurrections and clairvoyance. He is claimed to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi - a saint who died eight years before Sathya was born. After the samadhi ceremony, devotees are allowed to go up to Sai Baba's chair. I knelt down, put my head on the altar and gave thanks. After dinner in an ashram restaurant, some of us were asked if we would stay to do seva, a tradition of volunteer service. We were instructed to wash the tables, stack the chairs on the tables, sweep and mop the floors and then take the chairs down again. The gift to me, for doing this tiring service, was to sleep comfortably through to morning for the first time in India. Next morning at the Ayurvedic clinic, a woman used a very hot towel, wrapped around a ball of herbal medicine which was heated on a stove. This was alternated with hot oil and rubbed and patted into my injured shoulder and the top of my arm. It felt good although it was burning hot. I took a rickshaw back to the ashram. There was still an hour before the bus. As I was walking out of a spice store, the owner told me I had a golden aura. He said he had watched me touch things in the store and each piece had lit up. He told me that people with golden auras have the ability to heal. On the bus ride, I had my first personal experience of Reiki when the nurse in our group offered to put her hands on my shoulder. The stars were aligning. The bus took us back to odysseymagazine.co.za | 64

Bangalore, where we stayed in a nice hotel. A buffet dinner, yet another night with little sleep, and a 5am awakening for a flight to Delhi and then another to Dedadrun. Next morning, I found myself sandwiched in between two men in business suits, on their way to Delhi. I was thankful that the diarrhoea had stopped. Most of us were sick, we deduced from the buffet dinner the night before. The plane had been boarding when we ran to the gate. Did we all make it? I wasn't sure. Joy and another woman missed the flight. So, we carried on without our fearless leader. Thankfully we

still had Shiva. On another bus, we travelled from the Dedadrun airport up a winding mountain road along the Ganges, the river a colour of milky turquoise. In places, the road was so twisting and narrow that two buses could barely pass each other. I closed my eyes at these times; there were no guardrails, of course. The ashram Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh was large, almost like a village. We walked behind the porters, with curious monkeys coming up to evaluate the newcomers. We passed statues of the gods and goddesses: Shiva, Krishna, Kali, Ganesh, Ram, Lakshmi and Hanuman. There were ornate archways, decorative trim on the buildings, peaceful gardens, writing in Hindi characters, women sitting and standing in groups, in saris of

ruby, topaz, amethyst, lapis lazuli and emerald colours. In typical fashion, with a little rest, Joy quickly rallied, and she and the other woman were able to make the afternoon flight. The first thing we did was to go outside to a view of the Ganges and walk down one of the main streets of Rishikesh to drink a chai in a small café. Once outside, you are really in a different world. There are strolling monks asking for alms, sacred cows walking freely in the middle of pedestrians and motorcycles that whizz by within inches of your body. There were people bathing in the Ganges, many more statues of Hindu gods, poor people sleeping on the side of the road, blind people, men selling trinkets, hawkers hoping to lure you inside their shops. It's a lot to take in. Just before sunset, we went outside to the Ganges again where the ashram guru was performing an Aarti, or fire, ceremony. There were many monks in saffron robes chanting and playing musical instruments that I didn't recognise, the sound enchantingly intoxicating. Lanterns were passed through the varied crowd so each of us could hold and move them in circles as a group. The monk told us to make a wish. It was dreamlike, so distinct from anything I had ever experienced before. After 6am yoga the next day, we crossed the Ganges in a small boat to the open satsang with the famous Jamaican guru, Mooji. Lunch was on the edge of the Ganges and then we walked back over the 10-foot-wide suspension bridge, busy with pedestrians and motorcycles, sometimes with a single person or a whole family onboard, zooming by left and right. On the steps outside our building, I had my feet and ankles hennaed in hand-painted, artistic designs.


Travel - My Passage Through India

Another 5am morning, this time to experience the sunrise at the Kunjapuri Devi Temple in the foothills of the Himalayas. This road was even narrower and much steeper than the entrance into Rishikesh. I closed my eyes at times and prayed for protection. According to Hindu mythology, the father of Sati was not pleased when his daughter married Lord Shiva. Sati's father humiliated Lord Shiva in public. Disturbed by this, Sati jumped into the fire and ended her life. Lord Shiva then carried Sati's body on his shoulders towards the Himalayas and her heart is buried in this temple. There are 300 steps up to the temple. The majority of us, lulled by the warm weather we had experienced below, had not worn socks under our sandals. We filed into the small temple, which barely fitted a holy man, his attendant and one other person. We were each blessed with a red, smudged bhindi between our eyebrows and a handful of what looked like puffed corn. The next day, we had a free day in Rishikesh, our first of the trip. My roommate had continued to point out synchronicities that kept happening around me. This morning I woke up lamenting that a horoscope reading I had been looking forward to was not going to happen. The two of us went out, crazily trying to find a breakfast place, which looked to be a mile and a half away. We continued down dirt roads for some time, finding no restaurants and surrounded by only local people who didn't speak English. When we stopped momentarily to reassess our location, a man walked out from a side street and addressed us in an accented English, asking if he could help us in any way. His name was Peter, from Adelaide, Australia. He

knew a place for a good breakfast and offered to take us there. When we arrived, he sat down to join us. He had come to Rishikesh to see Mooji, to whom he felt a strong connection. Peter had experienced an intense sense of spirit several times after listening to Mooji; once he had felt an indescribable feeling of love for everyone on the planet that had lasted a day or two. Hearing his reactions to Mooji's presence, I thought I would try to see him again. But alas, the next day

was his one day a week off. Peter augmented his savings by doing astrology readings. My friend just smiled; another desire manifested. When I told him this was something I had wanted, he offered to meet us later for a full reading. He would not accept payment; he said he had felt guided to do this reading for me, when he saw us on the road. We said goodbye and started walking back to the ashram. We stopped at a tiny, open air shop to look at a few pieces of jewellery and some Indian clothing. I looked up

just as Mooji rode up on his motorcycle and stopped in front of the store. I went over and told him I had been at his satsang two days earlier, but had been at the back of the room where I couldn't see him very well. We talked for a minute and then I bowed in namaste and he did the same. My friend just looked at me with her eyebrows raised. In the afternoon, we went to the café, where Peter was already sitting. When he started my reading, I was astonished. How did this man whom I had just met know my life, my character, my relationships? As he went over my chart, he said what was strong was my sense of playfulness. I am like a child, he told me, which helps me have easy relations with my children and other young people. I can be a good friend to them because I act their age. One of the first things he exclaimed was how happy my life must be. He jokingly said that he wanted my life. He continued. The most important role to me is that of being a mother and having a comforting home where people are welcome. Both true. I have a close connection to God and have been interested in things of a spiritual nature since I was a young child. It is easy for me to manifest the things I want in life. Well, especially true in India it seems. I was on a quest to explore the higher meaning of life and had a love of adventure, philosophy, religions, travel and foreign cultures. All true. He went on to tell me that my chart showed that my search for self-healing could lead to me healing others; I could dedicate myself to the service of others. There was that healing element again.

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Travel - My Passage Through India

He told me some other personal things that made me emotional. The reading affected me greatly. It was as if Peter had explained my own character to me and that made me realise that I am how I was meant to be. Our group hosted a fire ceremony on the banks of the Ganges and so we were the guests of honour. Our seats were around a central fire pit. Entrancing mantra-like songs were chanted by the monks. We were each given a bowl of seeds soaked in oil to throw in small pinches on the fire. As the sun set, each of the women in our group took a small package of flowers surrounding a lit candle and stepped down to the Ganges to let them go as a symbol of any struggles we were ready to release in our lives. A few of my personal fears floated down the river that evening. The following morning was a 3am departure, walking a half a mile through the dark streets of Rishikesh, past sleeping figures and animals, over the bridge, now free of people and motorcycles, to a bus that transported us to the train station in Haridwar. When the train arrived, there was a mad dash to board. Since we had assigned seats, we didn't understand what the hurry was until later. There was only so much room to store luggage and, if one of the luggage spaces was not procured, you had to travel the four hours to Delhi holding your suitcase or with your legs cramped up on top of it. I endured the entire trip without using the bathroom, which, I was told by my friends who were more desperate,

genuine and as open as I knew consisted of a hole in the floor how to be. I had been seen by over the tracks. the people whose paths had In the past two days, I crossed mine and in being seen I estimated I had slept about four was given a better view of hours, not the best recipe for myself. This journey was the beginning another long journey, spiritual food needed to propel but then I was going home. me in a new direction that I least Before leaving the hotel, we sat of all expected. But I was ready. in the lobby, sharing what we had been given as grace from Carolyn Casas is a practising this trip. Without a doubt, I had Reiki Master/Teacher and a developed greatly as a person – I student of metaphysics and had become more flexible, more healing. She is happiest writing patient and compassionate; I stories and poetry, reading, had shared more. My favourite spending time with family and part of the journey had been the friends, volunteering and playing generous smiles of the Indian beach volleyball. Carolyn copeople and how they always founded a women's circle in her reached to include me. I had area to raise money for been blessed by Dr Rao's puja Guatemalan women to start ceremony, been cared for by small businesses. loving hands in the Ayurvedic ceccasas@aol.com. tradition, had an increased openness that led to many manifestations, had received Peter's awesome astrological reading, and R E I K I A S S O C I AT I O N O F S O U T H A F R I C A the gift of the seed of Reiki had been planted in my soul, which would become an integral part of my life. Bryce The Reiki Association of Southern Africa (RASA) was founded in May 2001 and is dedicated to the Courtenay upliftment of Reiki in South Africa. wrote, “Good travel is Reiki is the ancient art of “laying on of hands” in order to heal. It is the use of touch to convey warmth, serenity, love, returning home caring and healing, through the channelling of energy to a slightly enhance a person's own life force bigger part of Our association is one of voluntary membership and a everyone and commitment from members to a high level of service not quite the delivery at all levels of Reiki practice and education. RASA supports Reiki practitioners and those exploring a life with same person as Reiki as a spiritual practice and healing art. when you set out.” In India, I Find a practitioner or teacher in your area https://reikiassociation.co.za/nd-a-reiki-professional had been as

RA SA

Contact Karen Lange 082 857 5999 or email karen@reikiassociation.co.za odysseymagazine.co.za | 66


Travel - The Art of Retreating

Retreat, Rehabilitate and Recover Drug and alcohol abuse costs SA businesses dearly. It's believed that, in 2014, substance abuse cost the South African economy approximately R40-billion.

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rug and substance abuse is taking its toll on South African businesses and, with almost 20 per cent of South Africans (one in five adults) abusing alcohol and prescription or recreational drugs, very few companies are exempt¹. Vernon Goss, director of the Riverview Manor Rehabilitation Centre in Underberg in the southern Drakensberg, which has maintained a high standard of dedicated care and professionalism over the past 20 years, says that, although local

statistics are hard to come by and often outdated, this is a growing problem. After a global economic meltdown in 2008 and a massive local recession that began in 2018, these figures are climbing. “Higher prices and shrinking disposable incomes put immense pressure on wage earners these days. Add to that the fact that companies are not replacing staff and even retrenching and then piling more responsibilities on those left behind

and you have an extremely stressful workplace. Growing rates of substance abuse are no surprise,” he points out. However, the result is potentially catastrophic. Many tasks – such as driving a vehicle, a forklift or operating machinery – require alertness, good motor co-ordination, quick response and reflexes. The survival of a company requires good decision making and attention to detail at the highest level.

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Travel - The Art of Retreating

Substance abuse impacts negatively on safety and security, resulting in accidents and even fatalities. Absenteeism and increased sick leave, poor decision making and even sleeping on the job due to a hangover can reduce efficiency and production. Substance abuse can also negatively affect the morale and well-being of co-workers or even result in theft to support a growing habit. According to the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) in America (where alcohol- and drug-related abuse by employees totals $100billion a year), alcohol and drug users are not only far less productive, but use three times as many sick days, are more likely to injure themselves or someone else and five times more likely to file worker's compensation claims. Mr Goss notes that, unlike that of many other countries, South African labour legislation stipulates that businesses play an active role in assisting employees. While the Occupational Health and Safety Act sets stringent standards for workplace safety and emphasises the employer’s responsibility for ensuring no alcohol or drug abuse on the job, transgressors can’t simply be dismissed. The Labour Relations Act says that dependency on alcohol or drugs must be treated as incapacity and not misconduct. Item 10 stipulates that, if an employee informs and employer that he or she is suffering from an addiction, the company is legally obligated to provide help before even considering dismissal. Mr Goss believes that support from an employer – and the fact that rehabilitation can be funded by medical aid – can have a significant impact, saving companies the added expense of losing valuable skills and experience and hiring and training new staff . odysseymagazine.co.za | 68

The most important thing of all is finding a treatment facility with a sound track record that provides an intensive programme that includes life skills that are vital to a sustained recovery from various conditions. These could include everything from drug and alcohol addiction and dependence to anxiety, depression, trauma and stress. Since the addition of a new wing in 2018, Riverview Manor has constantly updated its programmes to incorporate a growing range of addictions that now also includes everything from substance abuse (crystal meth, heroin and cocaine) to prescription medication and even gambling and sex addictions. Riverview was named by British journal, Addiction Today, as one of the top five facilities of its kind in the world. It is also the first South African rehabilitation centre to be accepted as a member of the European Association for the Treatment of Addiction (EATA). “The best way to begin any journey to recovery is to choose a treatment centre and a partner that you can trust and with whom you feel comfortable. You need to find a place to which you can escape to heal and deal with any addiction that is impacting on your ability to live a healthy life. This must be a place where you are understood and feel nurtured and where you can be confident that you have total privacy

and confidentiality. This is particularly important for high profile clients such as CEOs or managers. Because we are located in the rural town, they can participate in supervised activities without fear of recognition,” he explains. Notes: The annual cost to the country of alcohol abuse alone, in terms of absenteeism, lost productivity, health and welfare costs and alcoholrelated crime is estimated at up to 10 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or as much as R37.9billion annually, according to a 2014 study published in the South African Medical Journal (SAMJ). About Riverview Manor: Since 1999, Riverview Manor has provided the most effective professional treatment and rehabilitation of drug and alcohol addiction and dependence, eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, anxiety, depression, trauma and stress disorders. Located in Underberg, in the stunningly beautiful Southern Drakensberg of South Africa, Riverview Manor is a private specialist clinic with a difference. The clinic and its surrounds offer an environment that resonates with healing and recovery. https://riverviewmanor.co.za/


Health - Men’s Health Feature

It's a MAN thing … A Men's Health Feature Words Debra Robins

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he human male has a distinct physiology that brings its own health opportunities and challenges. In this special report we look at the natural and preventive health strategies a man can use to stay healthy for a lifetime. Anatomically, the male reproductive system comprises the testes and the penis with a system of ducts and glands, including the prostate. The testes are a pair of egg-shaped glands that sit in the scrotum on the outside of the body next to the penis and it's these (stimulated by the action of pituitary hormones) that produce both sperm and the male hormone, testosterone. The brain, through hormone regulation by the pituitary and hypothalamus, plays a critical role in the control of the male reproductive system. In young men, the prostate is about 20g (but it becomes enlarged

as men age. The prostate doubles in size between the ages of 21 and 50, then doubles again from 50 to 80 years old, although it's not fully understood why this happens.) Testosterone Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone (androgen) synthesised from cholesterol. Its synthesis and secretion occur mainly in the testes; its production is stimulated by the hormone from the pituitary gland, in turn stimulated by the hypothalamus. Once it's released into the general circulation, about seven per cent is tightly bound to the storage form – sex-hormonebinding-globulin (SHBG) – and unavailable for biological activity. Forty-eight per cent is bound to albumin, serving as a buffer to protect it from rapid metabolism, and about two per cent is free testosterone – the bioavailable and

active form. Testosterone regulation determines male health. It plays a key role in the development and function of the male reproductive system. Testosterone has major anabolic effects, is responsible for muscle growth and strength and plays a role in the normal inflammatory response. During foetal development, testosterone promotes maturation of the sex organs, particularly the penis and the scrotum. This process is initiated in the first four to six weeks of conception when the male characteristics start to develop. Once the male baby is born, testosterone levels rise, triggering the masculinisation of the brain where it crosses the blood-brain barrier into the male brain, a pathway that's blocked in females.

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Health - Men’s Health Feature

During puberty, androgen levels rise (in both boys and girls), causing adult-type body odour, and increased oiliness of the skin (sebaceous glands enlarge), acne, and appearance of pubic, facial, body and armpit hair and, in males, the deepening of the voice. In boys, androgens stimulate male sexual differentiation and development, a heightened level of free testosterone in the blood, triggering sperm production, increasing male fertility and libido, penis enlargement and the frequency of erections. In adult males, testosterone is essential for healthy sperm development, regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (the stress pathways) and increasing competitive and challenging behaviour. In terms of sexual arousal, testosterone levels peak early in the day, regardless of sexual activity. Research shows that the degree of sexual arousal is exquisitely sensitive to levels of testosterone and there's a marked increase in male testosterone levels when meeting a new female. Males are also very sensitive to female body odour and testosterone levels rise when exposed to an ovulating female – sexual arousal in men is heightened when women are most fertile. The prostate secretes a slightly alkaline fluid that transports the sperm into the female vagina for conception. This alkalinity counters the acidity of the vaginal tract and prolongs the life of the sperm. As men age, circulating androgen levels decline. Between the ages of 20 and 70, serum testosterone levels fall, with an increase of SHBG of 30-50 per cent, causing a decline in free testosterone of 30-50 per cent. The principal androgen in the prostate is dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and, as men age, the balance of DHT is increased with the reduction in serum testosterone. Androgen (male hormone) receptors for these hormones occur in the prostate but are also widely distributed throughout the body, including in vascular, endothelial and smooth muscle cells. As such, many physiological systems of the body are influenced by androgens, including the cardiovascular system (nitric oxide release, lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity), calcium mobilisation (bone density), vascular integrity and regulation of the odysseymagazine.co.za | 70

stress response (sympathetic nervous system), inflammatory enzyme systems and reactive oxygen species (free radical) generation. Testosterone Deficiency Testosterone deficiency is a major health issue today and can generate many symptoms, including a decline in libido, erectile dysfunction, increased fat deposition, decreased muscle mass and muscle quality, reduced bone mass, reduced production of haemoglobin, decreased energy and motivation and impaired brain function. As men age, these symptoms may also include fatigue, decreased self-confidence, irritability, increasing frailty and weakness, osteoporotic (bone) pain, depression and reduced cognitive ability and the lethargy associated with anaemia. Testosterone deficiency also contributes to cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis, heart attack and strokes, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Testosterone deficiency is a complex issue and can be related to ageing, stress levels, diet and lifestyle choices, obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, various medical conditions and some pharmaceuticals. Testosterone and Fertility Testosterone is essential for normal quantity and quality of sperm and therefore for male fertility. It takes about 70 days for sperm to mature and be able to fertilise an egg. This short time for their maturation makes them more

susceptible to environmental influences. When released from the testes, the sperm take two to10 days to travel through the epididymis and become motile (gain the ability to swim strongly) so they can attach to and penetrate the female egg. Rising infertility in couples is a global health issue involving about 15 per cent of the world's population; male infertility accounts for about 40 per cent of cases. Low sperm count and quality (oligozoospermia) is a significant issue impacted by problems that affect sperm production or the sperm transport process. These may be genetic, physiological or environmental. Sperm production problems can be caused by undescended testes, varicose veins or torsion (twisting) in the testes, genetic factors or environmental factors such as radiation, infections, chemical exposure and some pharmaceuticals. Sperm problems can also be related to infection or prostate disorders (or vasectomy). Sexual problems are related to erection or ejaculation issues: Erectile dysfunction, failure of ejaculation, prostate surgery, some medicines or spinal cord injuries. Hormonal problems such as low testosterone, pituitary hormone disorders or steroid abuse (widespread among bodybuilders) are also common. Prostate Health The most common symptoms as men age are the development of lower urinary tract symptoms and prostate disorders.


Health - Men’s Health Feature

Nocturia (having to get up repeatedly in the night to urinate) plays a big role in men's health, causing lack of sleep, sleepiness during the day, reduced sense of wellbeing and vitality, lowered productivity and deteriorating mental health. It's associated with a negative feedback mechanism where it's caused by low testosterone but, in turn, also lowers testosterone. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate, is one of the most common conditions in older men. More than 50 per cent of men aged over 70 show symptoms of this condition. With the age-related decreases in serum testosterone, a rise in hormones such as oestrogen and growth factors contribute to this condition. The first symptom often noticed is nocturia. Other common symptoms are dribbling and a sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder. In advanced stages of the condition, there's an increase in the incidence of obstructive symptoms: Delayed beginning of micturition, weak urinary stream and residual urine in the bladder. There symptoms can significantly disrupt quality of life. Related Cancers Prostate cancer is the sixth leading cause of death for males. Early detection also has positive benefits as the condition is more easily treated successfully, from both a medical, herbal and nutritional perspective. Changes in testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) play important roles in the development of this condition. As men age, their prostate becomes increasingly sensitive to androgens, demonstrating an increased metabolism toward the production of dihydrotestosterone which, in combination with oestrogens, contributes to abnormal growth and cell accumulation (by a reduction in the rate of cell replication). With the age-related alterations in the androgen-oestrogen balance contributing to prostate pathology, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the common focus for medical treatments. Unfortunately, due to the enormous susceptibility of prostate cells to androgen deprivation, many men will develop hormone refractory cancer or castration-resistant prostate cancer. Androgen deprivation therapy may also increase cardiovascular risk, particularly

in men with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Testicular Cancer is a cancer that develops in the testicles. Symptoms may include a lump in the testicle or swelling or pain in the scrotum. It is the second most common cancer in young men aged 18 to 30 and the incidence is increasing. There is evidence that testicular cancer may be triggered by environmental (chemical) factors such as endocrine disruptors, which impact on oestrogens and androgens, particularly in the developing male. If the tumour hasn't spread, the main treatment is an orchidectomy: Removal of the testicle affected. This is often the only treatment necessary and, if the tumour is detected early, is usually successful. Herbology and Male Health The regulating effect of medicinal plants on male reproductive function is associated with many activities: their ability to regulate testosterone levels, their anti-inflammatory activity and their antioxidant activity. Antioxidants provide the critical defence against free radicalinduced male infertility as well as prostate disorders such as BPH and prostate cancer. Nutrition A western-style diet impacts negatively on testosterone metabolism and is associated with lower circulating testosterone levels. See our page 73, 'Foods to Boost Testosterone’. For many reasons it's important to reduce weight if overweight. Research

has shown that testosterone levels normalise as overweight men lose that excess flab, particularly abdominal fat. Exercise regularly. High-intensive exercise in short bursts is very beneficial for overall health and cardiovascular function. Intermittent fasting along with regular exercise has been shown to improve hormonal levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular, metabolic syndrome and inflammation. Sexuality, Sperm Count and Fertility Increasing evidence suggests environmental factors can be a cause of deteriorating sperm quality. These include exposure to various chemicals, heat, radiation and heavy metals such as lead and mercury. Exposure to environmental oestrogens, pesticides and herbicides is linked to alteration in spermatogenesis. Synthetic oestrogens are used agriculturally in the livestock, poultry and dairy industries. Bisphenol A (a plasticiser common in plastic water bottles and in the water they contain) is a well-known endocrine disruptor that affects both the male and female reproductive systems. BPA (and associated chemicals) is a known oestrogen disruptor causally linked to adverse health effects in humans, including disrupting normal development of the male reproductive tract. Cigarette smoking has been associated with decreased sperm count, alterations in motility and an overall increase in numbers of abnormal sperm. odysseymagazine.co.za | 71


Health - Men’s Health Feature

Herbal Tonics, Nutrients and Vitamins Vitamin D is essential for the healthy development of the nucleus of the sperm cell and helps maintain both sperm heath and sperm count. It also increases levels of testosterone (when measured over one year) and therefore increases libido. Vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic proportions in the western world. Vitamin D also has a major role related to calcium metabolism. As such, it improves bone metabolism but is critical in the health of the cardiovascular system, where it influences blood pressure, coronary artery disease and cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Vitamin K2 has many roles in the human body, including the regulation of osteoporosis. It also has shown promise in prohibiting cell proliferation in prostate cancer cells that are hormone resistant, possibly due to its antioxidant activity. Ginseng, a well-known male tonic, is Chinese medicine, with substantial research. Two major clinical trials showed that at a dose of 2.7g/day for eight weeks, versus placebo, there was a significant improvement in cases of erectile dysfunction. Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herb, has multiple uses. It relieves anxiety, assists with stress management and improves muscle strength and recovery. With its significant antioxidant activity, ashwagandha

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increased fertility by improving sperm count and motility and has been shown to improve the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Tribulus Terrestris. Research shows tribulus, or bindii, has substantial effects on male health. It is a tonic, aphrodisiac, stomachic, diuretic, antilithic and astringent. A potent herb in Ayurvedic medicine for the genitourinary tract, it is prescribed particularly for the removal of kidney stones (it inhibits oxalate formation). It is also cardiotonic and antihypertensive, has been shown to regulate blood sugar in diabetics and lowers serum cholesterol. Antioxidant nutrients are critical to raise testosterone levels, including vitamins E, C and carotenoids, as well as the minerals zinc, selenium and magnesium. Zinc is a critically important nutrient for testosterone production. It has been calculated that 45 per cent of men over the age of 60 are critically low in zinc. It's vital for healthy sperm production, sperm formation and motility. The prostate gland contains the highest level of zinc of any body tissue and zinc is therefore essential for the health of this gland. Zinc is secreted into the seminal fluid and has a multifaceted role in sperm release and motility. It acts as an important antiinflammatory factor and protects against sperm oxidative damage. It has multiple roles in male reproductive

health and is essential for conception and embryonic implantation. Selenium. Low levels of selenium have serious adverse consequences for male fertility. It plays a crucial role in the antioxidant protective system, preventing free radical damage to sperm. A major study showed that serum selenium was inversely correlated to prostate cancer susceptibility. Higher levels of selenium were associated with lower risk of metastases in men with prostate cancer. Magnesium. Low levels of magnesium may increase blood levels of C-reactive protein, a significant marker of inflammation and heart disease. Drinking alcohol and reduced consumption of green leafy vegetables play a role in this deficiency, the symptoms of which also include anxiety, spasms and cramps, high blood pressure and stress. Magnesium plays a major role in stress response (both mental and physical stress), so higher stress levels increase magnesium elimination from the body. Vitamin E status is associated with lower risk of prostate cancer. It is a vital fat-soluble antioxidant molecule in cell membrane. As such, it protects sperm integrity and motility. Omega 3. Ideally, healthy fats should comprise 50 per cent of the dietary fats and come from a variety of sources: animal, vegetable, seafood, game, nuts and seeds. High omega-3 fatty acids are important as they reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular function, reduce depression and improve cognitive function. They also play a big role in the management of healthy prostate function. In an interesting rat study, fish oil supplementation prevented reproductive dysfunction in rats on high-fat diets and improved the function of genes that synthesise testosterone. Krill oil is recommended at 3-4g per day. Krill oil has a higher bioavailability than fish oil for omega-3 supplementation.


Boost Your Testosterone Levels Within 48 Hours Low testosterone levels in males are becoming more and more common today and it's no wonder that 40 per cent of men over the age of 45 are affected!

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he good news is, there is an allnatural approach to increase human growth hormone as well as T-levels. This is because the production of testosterone is dependent on the presence of specific nutrients. In this article, I'll cover the best strategies to boost human growth hormone and increase testosterone naturally and fast (within 24 to 48 hours). Why Do I Need Adequate T-levels? Healthy testosterone levels are not only necessary to ensure sexual satisfaction, heighten arousal, increase libido and stimulate sexual desire, but it’s also crucial to maintain high energy levels, muscle mass, regular sleep patterns, a healthy pain response, sufficient levels of red blood cells as well as optimal bone density. Chronic stress, inadequate exercise, insufficient nutrition, weight gain, low vitamin D levels, imbalanced microflora and prescription drugs all contribute to depleting the body’s normal immune response and can in turn tax the body, slow down the metabolism and even lead to diabetes and, in short, are a recipe for low T-levels. If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, discover what natural approaches you can take today to maximise performance: Eat Healthy Fats Men who suffer from low T-levels often consume too many carbohydrates and junk food. It’s important to load up on healthy fats and get rid of all those empty calories. A study done on the effects of diet on serum sex hormones published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry showed that when men decreased their healthy fat intake from 40 per cent (of energy as fat) to 25 per cent, testosterone levels decreased. In order to produce adequate hormones, healthy fats are required. What exactly are healthy fats? Number one is healthy saturated fats, such as coconut oil, raw sheep or goat’s milk cheese and fermented dairy products

such as yoghurt and goat milk kefir. This does, unfortunately not include conventional dairy which dampers testosterone. Secondly, you should be including more omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, salmon or even a good quality fish oil supplement. Lastly, monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, olives, almonds and avocado will also help to boost your testosterone levels naturally. If you neglect healthy fats in your diet in favour of starchy carbs, grains and sugar, your weight, health and testosterone levels will almost definitely suffer. Make Sure To Get Enough Zinc Zinc is a very important mineral when it comes to adequate production of testosterone. Research shows that zinc modulates serum testosterone levels in normal men. The best dietary sources of zinc are protein-rich foods like fish and meat, raw milk, beans, raw cheese, raw milk kefir and yoghurt. Other wonderful sources of zinc are oysters, wild-caught salmon, sardines, cashews and anchovies. If you decide to supplement zinc, make sure to have no more than 40mg per day as too much zinc may cause side effects such as nausea and can also interfere with your body’s ability to absorb some other important minerals such as copper. Enhance Sexual Drive with Pomegranate Throughout history, the pomegranate has been said to enhance sexual drive and function and has been a symbol for fertility. With high levels of iron, vitamins, A, C, E and antioxidants, research has found that having pomegranate juice daily not only increases testosterone levels by up to 24 per cent but it also improves mood, reduces blood pressure and even influences anxiety.

virgin olive oil may be of aid. Over a period of three weeks, participants who consumed extra virgin olive oil every day experienced a testosterone boost of up to 19 per cent. Even though garlic does not produce testosterone, it does contain a compound, called allicin, which lowers levels of cortisone in the body and, therefore, adds to your body’s ability to use testosterone more efficiently and effectively. Reduce Your Exposure to Xenoestrogens Xenoestrogens have been found to be anti-androgenic and block testosterone’s actions. They can be found in plastic bags, plastic wrapping and pesticides. Make sure to reduce hormone and pesticide exposure by choosing organic meat and vegetables wherever possible and try not to have foods that are wrapped in clingfilm. This article can also be seen on Zena’s blog: http://healthnook.co.za/2019/09/30/boosttestosterone-nutrition/ Zena le Roux is a sports and performance nutritionist and health coach. She works with individuals who are low on energy and find it hard to live to their full potential. Her approach is unique as she combines nutritional science with health coaching to help clients to DO (not just think about them) the things that they know are good for them, fix their relationship with food and sustain their results in the long run. www.healthnook.co.za, zena@healthnook.co.za

Try Olive Oil and Garlic In your quest to increase T-levels, extra odysseymagazine.co.za | 73


Health - Men’s Health Feature

Fatigue Management for Busy and Active Men Have you forgotten what truly and deeply rested feels like no matter how much sleep you get?

Words Zena Le Roux

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etting a good night's sleep definitely is important to provide you with enough energy to get through the day, but there are many other factors that also come into play and need to be considered. Being tired is not part of life – it doesn't have to be like this. Discover how to reclaim your energy, fight fatigue and perform your absolute best throughout your demanding day: Do You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome? When your gut lining becomes permeable and damaged, small particles of undigested or partially digested food, bad bacteria and unfriendly microbes will pass through the gut wall into your bloodstream. Symptoms of leaky gut not only include the obvious issues like diarrhoea, bloating and cramps but can also include weight gain, changes in mood, difficulty learning and concentrating and also fatigue. Leaky gut can be caused by certain foods such as grains, gluten, nuts, seeds, GMO foods, processed foods and refined sugars, as well as antibiotics and prescription medication. If you suffer from leaky gut your energy levels, especially, will be affected as it results in malabsorption of nutrients and will, therefore, cut the body's supply of essential minerals and vitamins short. In order to heal leaky gut, foods like sugar and gluten, which damage the gut, should be removed and replaced with healing foods such as healthy fats, vegetables, healthy protein sources, sprouted nuts, seeds and grains, bone broth and fermented foods. Then, gut healing supplements should be taken like quercetin, pancreatic enzymes, lglutamine and probiotics. Consider Hydration If you are an active man, the chance is good that you'll have an excessive loss of body fluids (electrolytes and water) which will result in dehydration. Stress, diabetes, prescription medications, being in the sun for more than an hour, drinking other beverages or soda, higher altitudes and not replenishing after excessive exercise could all lead to dehydration. odysseymagazine.co.za | 74

Remember that substituting water intake with juice or soda is definitely not the answer. This is because sugary drinks spike your blood sugar, which results in your cells not getting enough water to function properly. Bicarbonate, chloride, potassium and sodium (major electrolytes in the body) are some of the main components which assist your body with adequate energy levels to keep your cells and organs functioning. Your brain, muscles, nervous system, heart and brain require an especially high amount of water and electrolytes to function properly. Dehydration further also affects the thickness of your blood. This causes your heart to send nutrients and oxygen to your organs, muscles and brain at a much slower pace and will, therefore, make you feel moody, exhausted, lethargic and unable to concentrate properly. The best natural way to stay hydrated and obtain electrolytes from whole foods is by having coconut water, watermelon, celery, kiwi and cucumber. Imbalanced Blood Sugar Levels Lead To Exhaustion and Fatigue Most people aren't aware of how blood sugar imbalances could be a major contributing factor to low energy levels and many other health problems. Symptoms include anxiety, moodiness, headaches, food cravings and, of course, exhaustion and fatigue. A poor diet high in simple carbohydrates, added sugars and processed foods leads to out-ofwhack blood sugar levels. Most forms of sugar and refined carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar levels, which will, firstly, cause inflammation and fat storage. And, of course - what goes up must go down. After a blood sugar spike, you will experience a blood sugar dip which will lead to cravings, extreme fatigue, moodiness and lack of concentration. Eliminate most or all sources of refined sugars from your diet and choose low GL (glycaemic load) carbohydrates and sugars. These low GL foods will give you sustained energy throughout the day without any blood sugar spikes or dips and will eliminate cravings.

Blood sugar levels can be balanced by following three simple rules: – Have protein every single time you eat (e.g. have a few nuts or a boiled egg with a piece of fruit) – Eat regularly (every 3-4 hours) – Choose low GL carbohydrates (2) Bonus Energy Boosters •

Drink Vegetable Juice

Vegetable juice is extremely easy for the body to digest and absorb. You'll notice increased energy levels as your body will be reaping the nutritional benefits. It also provides very important minerals and vitamins which further supply energy to your body's cells. •

Eat Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are magic little energy boosters. Because of the high amounts of essential fatty acids, chia seeds have been found to make you feel fresh, combat inflammation, boost brain power and even enhance sleep quality. Because of high levels of fibre and protein, they will also keep your blood sugar stable (with no energy dips in the afternoon). This article can also be seen on Zena's blog: http://healthnook.co.za/2019/09/30/fatigu e-management-busy-active-men/


Body - To Ink Or Not To Ink

TO INK

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NOT TO INK Tattoos have been around for thousands of years and have been used for many reasons: To brand outcasts of society, as a part of ancient rituals and for medicinal purposes. So, it should come as no surprise, then, that there are polarising views around whether to ink, or not to ink. Let's dig a little deeper into tattoos, their origins and how tattoos can positively and negatively impact the spiritual body. We also had the opportunity to interview Dillon Forte, spiritual sacred geometry tattoo artist who has worked with well-known celebrities. odysseymagazine.co.za | 75


Body - To Ink Or Not To Ink

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attoos are permanent body art that and have belonged to a vast number of cultures all over the world. Evidence found on mummified skin shows some of the earliest tattoos dating back as far as 2100 BC. Originally tattoos were made with sharp instruments and fireplace ash (soot). Since then the art of tattooing has evolved significantly, and today advanced tattoo guns and specialised inks are typically used. Tattoos often hold spiritual significance for their wearers but there are also many who still believe that tattooing negatively impacts the spiritual body. To understand tattooing fully, let's consider how tattoos have been used all over the world. In ancient China, tattoos were typically found on bandits and convicted criminals who wore their tattoos as a form of branding. In Egypt, tattoos were used for decoration purposes, but research also suggests that they were used as a form of medical treatment. Tattoos are an integral part of the Samoan and Pacific Islander cultures; they represent one's standing in society and are often reserved for chiefs. In ancient Rome

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and Greece, tattoos were used to brand outcasts of society. Today, tattooing is far more commonplace and can be found in communities and cultures the world over. But how do tattoos affect the spiritual body? And should they be used as a form of spiritual selfexpression? We all know that tattoos are permanent and expensive, but what are some of the other pros and cons to tattooing for spiritual, reasons? Pros ‡ Tattoos are a powerful form of self-expression and can be used to represent both individuality and solidarity. ‡ Tattoos are a physical representation of one's own path, growth and evolution. Each tattoo is often linked to a powerful memory or moment in that person's life. ‡ Tattoos have been used to enhance spirituality by permanently affixing spiritual symbols to one's body, for example chakra symbols are used to improve chakra alignment. ‡ Tattoos are powerful healers for those experiencing grief or loss and can be used to eternalise a

lost loved one or mark the end of a particularly painful time in one's life. Cons ‡ Tattooing is painful and can have negative impacts on one's health, particularly if a tattoo becomes infected or if the wearer is allergic to the ink. ‡ Tattooing can be addictive. The body releases endorphins and adrenalin when in pain; it's possible to become addicted to the experience of being tattooed as a result. ‡ Many tattoo inks contain oxides, metal salts and plastics which can be harmful to both the physical and etheric bodies. ‡ According to the Vedic philosophy on Sattvik living (harmony), tattoos introduce distressing energies to the body and negatively affect the Vishuddha chakra. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and only you can decide what is right for your own body and spiritual practice. Whatever you do do it with love, do it with the best intentions and don't judge others who choose differently from you.


Exploring Spiritual Tattooing with Dillon Forte

Body - To Ink Or Not To Ink

We had the opportunity to speak with Dillon Forte, a well-known tattoo artist who's style is "a blend of tribal, geometric and spiritual influences". Dillon has been tattooing for 13 years and has had the opportunity to travel the world sharing his art with others, and even tattooing celebrities like Chris Hemsworth, Usher and Kat Von D. Interview and words by Kara.

Odyssey: Dillon, you've spoken about how important finding and pursuing your 'why' is. What originally got you into tattooing and sacred geometry? And how has this evolved for you over the past 13 years? When I was a teenager, I had my sights set on being a professional skater. I didn't consider art as a career until a skating accident forced me to seek other passions. During that recovery period I spent most of my time drawing and creating designs .That is when I realised my goals had shifted. Tattooing seemed like a natural next step for me. My style has changed a lot since I first began. It wasn't until a couple years in, that I combined my lifelong fascination for sacred geometry with my love of tattooing. Odyssey: Tell us a bit more about your designs and artwork. Do you have a clear design process? How do you decide what elements to bring into a design and how does this evolve until a piece is finished? I focus primarily on sacred geometry, incorporating different techniques like dot work, black work, line work and so on. My design process is different every time. Getting to know my clients and hearing their hopes for the tattoo are a big part of the final design. Odyssey: You've spoken about the deeper archetypal truths and drawing parallels between our ancient past and where we're headed in the future – can you tell us more about this?

I think there is a lot we can learn from the past and that it is important to identify congruences where they exist. Not only learning from mistakes but also in acknowledging universalmathematical laws that connect us all. I believe most human conflict stems from the idea of separation. Odyssey: There are different schools of thought when it comes to tattoos; some believe it's a way of enhancing their spirituality whilst others believe tattoos can be harmful to the physical, spiritual and energy bodies. What are your thoughts on this? The marriage between tattooing and spirituality predates modern religions by thousands of years. Also, scientifically speaking, there is no evidence to suggest that tattoos are harmful for the body. Odyssey: You have several tattoos yourself; do you have any favourites or ones that hold a lot of meaning for you in particular? I really like my torso piece done by my friend Andre Malcom. It is a large Japanese traditional dragon that takes up most of my stomach and chest.

Odyssey: Tell us more about the piece you recently did for Usher? How did you go about landing on a design that incorporated sacred geometry and the Berber talisman? We landed on that design because it represents transformation. Usher felt connected to the meaning and gave me a lot of creative freedom to incorporate my style of sacred geometry into the piece. Odyssey: Tell us more about your vision for creating a “Temple of Sacred Geometry” and a non-profit organisation? The Temple of Sacred Geometry is my vision for a communal space dedicated to nature, education, and oneness. The temple and non-profit go hand in hand, as it would be a mission of the temple to contribute to the world through various philanthropic endeavours. Odyssey: What advice would you give to our readers who are looking to get a spiritually inspired tattoo? Holla at ya boy – Dillon Forte. They can email me at sriyantratattoo@gmail.com. https://www.dillonfortetattoo.com odysseymagazine.co.za | 77


Green Industrial Clean “By understanding patterns and past trend characteristics we can interpolate what the future holds...” – Naila Dowla.

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Planet

Industrial cleaning products that are free of harsh and damaging chemicals are vital, especially for products supplied to restaurants and healthcare facilities, where harsh chemicals can have a direct effect on both employees and clients. According to the aforementioned report, “Healthcare is the fastestgrowing application… (it) is expected to grow due to heavy spending in healthcare activities in developed economies…. Moreover, rising awareness and growth in healthcare investment are the major factors boosting the Industrial & Institutional cleaning market.” In further reports the industrial cleaning market is set to continue its dramatic increase well into 2025, and potentially

beyond. “In such a booming market it is critical that manufacturers and suppliers understand the needs and demands of the industries that they are serving. It is also their responsibility to ensure that they maintain high quality control and meet demand without compromising health and safety, thereby providing products that are effective and safe for consumers as well as the environment,” concludes Mr Coetzee.

In 2016 Green Worx was presented with the award for runnerup in the Green Technology Innovation category of the Mail & Guardian (M&G) Greening the Future Awards. In the same year, the company won the 2016 South African Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation. In 2017, Green Worx won the Green Business Award at the Mauritian African Leadership Awards and was declared a finalist in both the Sustainability Blank Canvas and Management of Systems awards categories, in The Da Vinci tt100 Business Innovation Awards Programme. www.green-worxcs.co.za.

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Planet - Earth Custodian, Diana Smith

Ear Custodian A New Odyssey Column in Every Edition

Earth Wisdom Reflections of a Gridkeeper

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t’s hard to pinpoint when I first consciously knew that I was destined to become a Healer. I think the first realisations came soon after we bought a dairy farm back in 1993. It was a very significant time in the history of our country and the energy was changing. We took up the challenge to become dairy farmers, gradually introducing kinder biodynamic practices. During this journey, with gratitude towards the cows for deepening my spiritual connection, I began connecting into the Earth Energies in a much deeper way. I’d enjoy watching the cows in their paddocks from my first floor office window and observed that every morning and evening, small groups would take turns to sit in one particular area. They would gather together, a group of about six or eight cows at a time and spend about 10 minutes in this special spot, chewing the cud and enjoying each other’s company. Then they’d all get up and move off, allowing the next group to settle into this special place. Years later, only when I learnt about geopathic stress and areas of high energy, vortexes coming up out of the earth or the intersection of ley lines, did I understand what those cows knew instinctively. By sitting on one of these high energy areas, they could absorb energies for their health, vitality and wellbeing. This is commonly practised in the animal kingdom. Animals have a sixth sense when it comes to energy and I’m pretty sure they can ‘see’ energy ley lines. Many wild animals including birds migrate across huge distances using energy lines for navigation. Our ancient ancestors were aware of energy in the earth and they often built places of worship over a convergence of energy lines. The connection to the spirit realm is thinner in these places, so communication with God, angels and odysseymagazine.co.za | 80

higher beings is easier and clearer. Some examples of high energy sites would be: Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Chartres Cathedral, Vatican City and many ancient sacred sites in southern Africa: Zimbabwe Ruins, Cathedral Rock, Table Mountain, Llandudno and Adam’s Calendar, to name a few. Everything, including each individual, has its own energy frequency. Every tree, rock, plant, bush, insect, etc. has its own frequency and this can be measured by using kinesiology. More importantly, every living thing has its own Spirit. Just like we have a Soul or Spirit, so do animals, plants, trees and rocks and even water has a Spirit. Earth healing work Try this exercise: Go outside and hug a tree, or sit at the base of a tree with your back resting against its trunk. Once connected physically with the tree, ask your tree some simple questions and don’t be surprised when you get clear, intelligent answers. Should you allow yourself to sit quietly beside a stream, waterfall or the ocean, for a while, you’ll often catch a glimpse of water spirits. Some are quite chatty and others can be less so, but always try to connect and express your gratitude for the beautiful life-giving water and ask them if there is anything you can do to help. What do they need? The answers can be quite surprising and there is always a sense of pleasure and appreciation from the spirits for being acknowledged. By being present and consciously calling in the elementals, we can communicate with aspects of nature to listen to what they need in order to help them heal. Land, rivers and oceans have been contaminated by pollution and are suffering from runoff of excessive chemicals used in large scale farming.

Diana Smith Earth healing is required now and many are hearing the call to step up in service to undertake this work. While humanity has been ‘asleep’ for many thousands of years, ominous foreign forces have occupied parts of our planet and these also need to be reclaimed by humanity and healed. Scientists can now prove what Ancient Wisdom Keepers have always known. Our thoughts, our belief systems, our feelings and emotions have a massive impact on our physical bodies and the world around us. Consciousness creates the physical molecules. What we think and perceive eventually makes its way down to the cellular level. Our thoughts and emotions create our reality and that of the world around us. By becoming aware of the importance of the power of our thoughts, we can change our own destiny and that of Mother Earth. We are conditioned by our education system, family, cultural and religious beliefs. Many of us are also born with past life karma and imprinting. Main stream media delivers a barrage of excessive information, much of which is fear-based and creates personal and collective trauma in our energy fields. By becoming more conscious and discerning of what we allow into our lives, we can start to reconnect to ourselves, our families and Mother Earth. This IS the Awakening. Diana is a practitioner of Energy Medicine and a Spiritual and Vibrational Energy teacher. She has trained extensively throughout the world. A Zimbabwean by birth, she has a powerful affinity to natural Africa and its sacred sites. She is the proud mother of two sons. Diana represents the HiddenMind & Bio Energy Institute, Europe and TransfOrmus. www.hiddenmind.co.za www.sacredafricantours.com


Parenting - The ‘Middle’ Wife

The ‘Middle’ Wife “Out of the mouths of babes…” I have been teaching now for about 15 years. I have two children myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

W

hen I was a child, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and, usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model aeroplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome. Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing child, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant. “This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday. “First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.” She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The children are watching her in amazement. “Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts going, 'Oh, oh, oh, oh'!” Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. “She walked around the house

for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh'!” (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.) “My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.” (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.) “And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew! “Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe. “They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it

was from Mom's play-centre so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there in the first place.” Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another 'Middle Wife' comes along. Courtesy of Mum and Me Magazine – Words an Anonymous Grade 2 Teacher www.mumandmemagazine.com Mum & Me magazine supports conscious, gentle parenting.

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Parenting - Alice’s Unborn Child

Alice's Unborn Child A Soul Connection Story Words Robyn Sheldon

A

lice stared at the ceiling uncomfortably, unsure about the ensuing couple of hours and wishing she was at her Preggy Aquarobics class. She was missing it because she'd been gifted a soul connection to her unborn baby session at her baby shower and this was the only time she had free from work. Her belly felt large and Alice was aware of how much weight she had picked up during her pregnancy. She knew she had a baby in there somewhere, it was pretty obvious because he kicked a lot and already had her on his own sleep deprivation training programme. But he didn't feel very real and connecting to him on a soul level? Alice was a top-of-hergame social media entrepreneur with 36 000 followers on various platforms and she didn't really believe in souls, or heaven, or angels or flights of fancy. Hannah, the therapist, had told her that they would use a process of active imagination to connect to the baby. Alice was dubious. She didn't think she was going to be very good at this. The therapy room overlooked the back of Table Mountain and the occasional whiff of October orange odysseymagazine.co.za | 82

blossom floated in through the open window. Hannah didn't have any crystal balls or incense thank heavens and she hadn't raised a judgmental eyebrow at Alice's plan to have an elective Caesar on the 18th of December to be back home in time for Christmas with the family. Still, Alice wasn't planning to make this easy and to just go-withthe-flow. Flowing wasn't really something she aspired to. Hannah explained that she would lead Alice through a guided relaxation similar to a preggy Yoga one and they would see what came up thereafter. She would be asking Alice some questions. Alice could imagine her answers. Hannah would write everything Alice told her down, and would give her the transcript at the end of the session. Alice sighed and thought of the backlog of mails in her inbox. She wished she had given the session to Jason, he was more laid back than she was, probably because he spent his spare time on his surfboard, which Alice hoped would change after the baby was born. The relaxation was actually easy, Alice was exhausted and it was soothing to follow Hannah's voice. Then when Hannah asked her to

imagine a favourite place to get her imagination going, she surprised herself by choosing Noordhoek beach, while Jason surfed and the sun dipped on the horizon. It felt pleasantly calming and the image seemed to belong in her heart. When she placed it there though, she suddenly felt herself catapult from her body, swirling outwards in a disconcerting, unfamiliar way. Alice bleated, sure that something was very wrong, but Hannah was entirely unperturbed. She placed her hands on Alice's feet and guided her gently back into her body again. Alice's heart was still thumping, so Hannah suggested she go back and see where the fear was coming from. There was no doubt at all. The fear immediately took Alice back to the divorce, when her mum moved them to Kempton Park and she'd had to go to a new school, which she hated. Under Hannah's guidance, Alice's heart then chose a fuzzy, warm pink to clear the distress of that memory and Alice found herself blanketed in a soft pink; a kind of candy-floss for her heart. She snuggled into it and felt as if she were five again, and still living on the farm.


Parenting - Alice’s Unborn Child

Hannah then asked her to visualise her Higher Self and immediately, a sparkling, powerful and brilliantly white unicorn appeared. She, Alice, had imagined a magical creature as her Higher Self! That was unlike her. But the unicorn touched her forehead gently with its horn and unicorn glitter blasted through her body like a breath of fresh air. Her five-year-old self remembered this magic so well. Thereafter, it felt strangely appropriate when her unborn child took the symbolic form of a silky bunny. Alice was half disbelieving, but when the bunny nuzzled her ear and sniffed her cheek softly, something ancient, desiccated and rigid in Alice’s heart melted. The bunny asked her to remember her unicorn magic so that it could retain its connection to its soul wisdom after birth when they would meet again as mum and baby. Alice knew this would be an easy task. She stroked its velvety fur with an imaginary but utterly

delighted hand, and she kissed its twitching nose. It was very strange, but Alice felt immersed in a sea of unconditional love, wisdom and acceptance, all of which seemed to be emanating from this cute little silvery-white bunny. As Alice breathed its unconditional love into her heart, the bunny became a soft and snuffly baby sharing some enchanting skinto-skin time after birth. Alice hadn’t given breastfeeding a thought up till now, and had imagined that bottles might be less messy, but now she recognised that breastfeeding might keep the connection to this unconditional love alive. She felt her imagined baby’s unconditional love flowing through her chest, and not only that, she could feel it flowing from her heart directly into her baby as well. She wasn’t sure she had ever experienced this in her life before. “This is going to be fun”, said the bunny-become-baby, and Alice knew without a shadow of doubt,

that indeed, despite sleepless nights, unmet deadlines, shabby pyjamas covered in burped up breast-milk, which she might be wearing all day long, this was going to be magical, and very much fun indeed. Alice took the day off work and went up Table Mountain by herself. She pondered on the session from the top of the mountain with the spring October breeze ruffling her hair, and came to the conclusion that next year, when her baby was a bit older, taking up surfing to wash the tiredness off her soft, post-birth body, might be just the thing to keep the magic alive. Robyn Sheldon is an author, midwife and soul integration facilitator and she helps individuals to connect to their innermost resources. She has more than 30 years of in-depth experience in meditation practice, which provides the inspiration for her writing and illustrations.

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Parenting - The Gentle African Way

Words JC Niala

There is a fundamental difference in the way children are raised in the 'Majority World' compared with the west. This stems from perceived benefits of interdependence vs. independence. Having experienced both cultures, I would say that they can learn from each other but, ultimately, the choices that parents make can have a profound impact, dependent on their cultural context.

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hen I returned to the country of my birth, Kenya, after over a decade and a half of living in the UK, it was a strong maternal instinct that drove me. I had grown up in Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire and the UK and was keen for my then unborn child to grow up with an understanding of interdependence. I was also (like many first time parents) incredibly naïve. The first time that I had even considered the concept of nighttime parenting was when I encountered a Sears' book with that very title. Until then I had assumed that, given my propensity for sleep, my baby would turn out to be exactly the odysseymagazine.co.za | 84

same. How wrong was I? African Time is different to European Time in that the emphasis is based on the action that occurs rather than the arbitrary time to which it is assigned to occur. Those living more in tune with natural rhythms find this less of a problem, but I was returning to the city of Nairobi, which is much the same as any western city in the way in which it functions. When I first returned I was living with my mother, who had kindly adapted her house for our impending arrival. She had specially installed a new bathroom complete with adjoining purpose-built changing

room. What was noticeable by its absence was a lack of 'nursery' for the soon-to-arrive baby; there wasn't even a cot. In traditional African parenting style, it was expected, that in the early days, I would be with the baby 24 hours a day and that necessarily included the nights. There are many books and articles that go into the 'safety' of co-sleeping. This is something that many Kenyan mothers find rather amusing. In Kenya it is the opposite, where it is viewed as dangerous for infants to sleep in a room by themselves. How could the mother respond quickly to a baby's needs? What about nighttime feeding?


Parenting - The Gentle African Way

Having been given no option, and not really able to imagine a different one myself, I simply got on with it. My daughter slept next to me and I discovered a whole world that I did not know existed. Between the ages of eight and 12 months she would wake in the morning and sing for half an hour before she even opened her eyes. Her pediatrician informed me that she was one of the only children he had seen with such severe eczema who had not scratched until she bled – being next to her I was able to catch her hands and apply soothing cream any time that she needed it. The nighttime became yet another opportunity for us to bond and connect. This made me interested in sleep. In my practice, I started to ask patients how many of them (as adults) slept through the night. A lot less did than you might think. Many woke to go to the toilet, others to get a drink, some woke regularly and had found a way to manage this, and a few did struggle with insomnia. It made me realise that, perhaps, what we demanded from babies was actually quite impossible for some and so I started to research. I found that many cultures all over the world do not consider it strange to wake at night and even make use of that time! The Kung (San people who live mostly on the western edge of the Kalahari) of Botswana will sing and play games. In Europe in the 16th Century there were even special nighttime cafés that catered to this particular clientèle. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/maga zine-16964783 (The myth of the eight-hour sleep is an article which covers this well)

There are even Catholic prayers devoted to and to be said specifically during ‘the time between the two sleeps.’ This was invaluable information for when, as a toddler, my daughter would wake – and be fully awake at 2am. Instead of pacing the floors and trying to get her to return to sleep we did things. We baked, we drew and after an hour or two she would return to sleep. The phase only lasted a few months and, looking back, I now see how we snatched together time that we had somehow lost in my busy days filled with the return to work. At four she decided it was time – she woke up one morning and throwing open our cupboard doors declared ‘why do we have to share everything?’ Our consistent practice of shared sleep was over.

My sister-in-law gave me a cotbed, I converted my writer’s studio into a bedroom and she moved out of my room and into her own. What the African philosophy behind co-sleeping and nighttime parenting had given me was four years of liberation. I was free to enjoy our closeness without any guilt, free to embrace her varying sleeping patterns and wait for a natural consistency to emerge, free to play with her in the middle of the night because there was no pressure that she was supposed to be doing anything than what we were doing in that moment. There was no pressure for her to be independent so young and no concerns that she would never learn to do one of these most natural things – just in her own unique style. Courtesy Mum and Me Magazine

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Parenting - Sacred Lullabies

Sacred Lullabies S

ince long, long before the written word, mothers have shushed their children to sleep with a soothing cradle-song. Perhaps the first songs or lullabies were just a simple repetitive 'sssh, sssh,' while rocking an infant close to her chest, where her baby could feel the rhythm of her heart and know the safety of being in her arms. The oldest written lullaby from Babylon is 5000 years old. The translated lyrics tell of a crying baby who has awakened the house-god. The house-god tells the baby that his crying scared him and that they should both be asleep. But no doubt due to the oral tradition of singing, many lullabies of past civilisations have been lost. The lullabies of antiquity were also used as a verbal protective magic. Mothers chanted and sang to ward off evil and to protect their sleeping babies from demonic forces, or other threats from the dangerous centuries in which they lived; times of war, famine, marauding invaders, disease or death. Amulets found by archaeologists suggest that mothers used not only words to protect their children but tangible charms. Several lullabies were 'dark' implying that the words were more about comforting the mother than the child. Mothers could sing about their anxieties, about their fears of loss or death without the infant understanding a single word. In this intimate safe place odysseymagazine.co.za | 86

the mother would take comfort from the words and the baby would take comfort from the rhythm and the pace of the lullaby. New mothers, past and present, often feel afraid, isolated and alone… but they know that they're never alone for there's a tiny new person who is totally dependent on them, a realisation which is sometimes frightening and overwhelming. So mothers sing timehonoured lullabies, handed down from previous generations that call on the angels to watch over their babies and allow the connectedness of family to fill the wee dark hours when only mother and child are awake. Some past lullabies are now considered inappropriate for children of the 21st century: 'Alouette', a French lullaby first published in 1879 tells about wringing a bird's neck and plucking its feathers. Undoubtedly many mothers of this time would have sat on a stool before the kitchen fire going about the task of plucking a bird and preparing it for the family dinner. An American lullaby, 'Hush Little Baby' promises bribes of mirrors, diamond rings and what will happen if mockingbirds refuse to sing, all if a baby will go to sleep… Bess Lomax Hawes (1921-2009) was an American folk musician, folklorist, researcher and anthropologist. In her

Words Lynne Stevens research she made an observation about the isolation of babies in American lullabies. “Baby,” she said, “Is up in a tree or alone in his room, or his care-giver has gone a-hunting or is rounding up sheep.” She quotes the well-known poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Land of Nod, “where all by myself I have to go,” and Eugene Field’s, Wynken, Blyken and Nod, “who sailed off in a wooden shoe.” She comments that the children were everywhere except safely in their own beds! Bess Lomax Hawes suggests that the line, “when the bough breaks the cradle will fall” is a reference to closing the bedroom door once again isolating the child. “Is this,” she asks, “because America values independence and inner strength in its children…or…is this about the inevitable loss and separation a mother feels as her children grow up and leave home?” So perhaps lullabies are just whimsical ‘mommy-nonsense’ because even serious words sung in a higher pitch with a comedic tone become acceptable and laughable in a song because babies don’t judge. A traditional Zulu lullaby tells the heartbreakingly honest story about absent fathers working in cities far away from home. A mobile phone advertisement portrayed this beautifully: A security guard is in his guard hut; his beanie is pulled down low over his ears against the cold.


Parenting - Sacred Lullabies

The lights of luxury cars highlight his features as the cars turn into the gated estate. He bends down, his mouth close to the phone as he sings to his toddler daughter who’s snug in her bed far away from him, “Thula tu thula baba, thula sana.” The lullaby promises that he’ll be home by dawn, guided by a star. So mothers and fathers sing, assuring their children that they belong here – to the universe – to their families – to them…in a special place in their hearts where lullabies sing to their souls too.I ‘can’t sing’ but babies don’t judge, so when my son Bradden was born, I sang ‘Que Sera, Sera’ to him without really thinking about the words. When he was six years old he sang this song in the school play and I was overcome with tears. Did this mean that he would have no control over his own future? Thirty years later he sang this song to his bride, evocative words that promised, no matter their circumstances, they would always have each other. Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes were first published in 1697. My tattered copy is 80 years old and has been much loved by many generations of my family. The last entry in the book is Rock-a-bye-Baby. Our 17-month-old twin granddaughters were snuggled down in their cots, sleepy-eyed listening to the lilt of my voice as I sang this ageold song, but suddenly their three-yearold brother, Jamie, sat upright in his bed, fully alert with an incredulous look on his face. “That’s ridiculous!” he said, “Who puts a baby in a tree?” I forget who said, “you can take any song and slow it down and sing it to your kid to help them sleep!” So I try a Sunday school song: ”Oh be careful little eyes what you see, For the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see.” The song continues with, “Oh be careful little ears, what you hear, Oh be careful little mouth, what you say, Oh be careful little hands, what you do”... I never got to telling the little feet to watch where they walked, because Jamie was up again, “Why?” he asked, “What did those little hands do?” He’s a practical child so I explained that it’s just a song…a song for children to be careful as they grow up. He

nodded sagely. So I searched my mind for a song to use as a lullaby to lull him to sleep – a song that would capture his attention, but not be interesting enough for him to think about. So I sang about “Puff the Magic Dragon who lived by the sea and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee”. I sang about Puff’s friend Jackie Paper and the adventures they had together until Jackie Paper grew up and no longer needed his imaginary friend and how he left his childhood behind him…to take his rightful place in the world where the universe intended him to stand. Urban legend would suggest that the song was written about an LSD trip, it may or may not be so. What is consistent is the intention of the singer of the lullaby to induce harmonious sleep… the words of no matter. But now his twin sisters are up, peering over their cots with milky smiles, so I reverted to singing ‘sweet grandmanonsense’ because my own words have no reality, and they settled down again… but as I stopped singing I heard a soft plea, in their second language, words with a pleading upwards inflection, “Encore grandmère.” Lullabies are, perhaps, just meant to be whimsical ‘mommy-daddy nonsense’ between parents and children, a parent’s way of assuring their children that they belong here – to the universe, to them, in a special place deep within their hearts where lullabies sing to their souls too. I was privileged to have a grandmother who read stories and sang lullabies to me but sadly the stories and songs were silenced with her passing so when my own children were born, I simply made up the lyrics to long remembered sacred tunes and, years later, when my first grandchild was placed in my arms, I didn’t bother to learn the correct words, I simply sang My Own Song. Eight years later our twin granddaughters arrived unexpectedly 10 weeks before their due date and had to spend 2 months in a neonatal intensive care unit. Our son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Héloïse, spent hours stroking them through the sterile portholes of their

incubators singing songs to them. My resilient daughter-in-law insisted on a positive mantra for their daughters, so Scott chose ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley as a daily affirmation for their tiny girls. “Rise up this morning' - Smiled with the risin' sun - Three little birds - Pitch by my doorstep Singin' sweet songs of melodies pure and true, sayin this is my message to you-ou-ou: Singin': Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be all right; So don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be all right…” Perhaps those Three Little Birds were a symbol of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit who stayed by their sides as tiny fingers gripped tightly through the portholes as if to say, “Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright.” It has been proven that preemies in NICUs respond better to treatment and begin to thrive when music is played and lullabies are sung to them, for it’s extremely difficult to bond with a baby when it’s attached to a bewildering array of monitors and life-supporting tubes. So the music soothed the twins even though they were lying in separate incubators, each with their own medical condition proving that the music was just as important as the ‘skin-to-skin’ therapy already long recognised by the medical profession. On Christmas Day 2017 they were finally allowed to hold their precious babies. Scott began to sing the sacred Brahms Lullaby written in 1868. “Lullaby and goodnight, with roses bedight, with lilies o’er spread is baby’s wee bed... Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed…” But through his tears, the words escaped him, and he only remembered my sweet mommy-nonsense of his babyhood… “Lullaby and goodnight ‘til the morning is light, la-alla al-lalla la la laaaaa - may you wake when the day chases darkness away. May you wake when the day chases darkness away.” “It’s the connective thread that matters, Mom,” he told me. He’s right – the correct words don’t matter – just sing your own song.

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Parenting - Don’t Fix What Aint Broke

Don’t Fix What Aint Broke A holistic view of embracing ADHD

Words Dr Arthur Long

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rthur Long is an Australian who has been in in South Africa some 20 years, a certified clinical hypnotherapist, ethnopsychologist and doctor of ethnomedicine with over 50 years’ experience accredited in Australia, USA and South Africa. In 50 years of helping adults and children from all walks of life, he notices a very sad trend in all healing modalities. He offers help to many parents, teachers and anyone dealing with very the frustrating disorders challenging us today. “New, previously unheard-of disorders are appearing in our children, ruining the attitudes and lives of too many people, more than mere coincidence,” he writes. “Labels such as Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are branding children as young as one year old as suffering from some terrible disorder. But these people present odysseymagazine.co.za | 88

as having behavioural problems not mental and the labels seem no more than buzzwords. “Once people are labelled with these buzzwords, they believe something is terribly wrong with them and resort to drugs. “So many names given to so many symptoms are convincing tens of thousands of adults and children that they are supposedly suffering from something. “These symptoms, in earlier times, were simply dismissed as character traits and, if they ever got out of hand, a child would be disciplined and taught right from wrong to enable them to realise they had done something unacceptable. More importantly, this instills good manners. “Labelling adults and children as having faults and being unable to function without drugs, creating drug addicts in the process, is wrong. They are being prescribed

drugs for behavioural character traits misdiagnosed as diseases which, in reality, do not exist. “We are allowing doctors, psychologists , psychiatrists and teachers to create a generation of people who are told so many times there is something wrong with them it makes them believe they cannot function without their tablets and are incapable of paying attention. “Through misinformation and misdiagnoses, the talent of extremely bright and clever youth is being destroyed. “These days if a child becomes bored or inattentive to boring subjects or teachers, they are labelled as suffering from something. If a child gets overenthusiastic about something they are told they are suffering some dread disease and branded for life.”


Parenting - Don’t Fix What Aint Broke

Dr Long goes on to say that, in his experience: “Such children are in fact super clever and bored stiff by their teachers or the subjects forced upon them that, for their advanced mentality, are completely boring.” Dr Long is of the belief that children often emulate parental behaviour and stress symptoms and that hyperactive behaviour and inattention are, in many cases, developed from their surroundings, often exacerbated by bullying, observation of parental violence or violence to the child. “In my experience I regularly see people branded with this unfortunate misnomer (ADD or ADHD), causing very clever people to believe something is wrong with them, then being given tablets similar to opiates to dull them down or stop their minds from being distracted and, in many cases, they become totally dependent upon prescription drugs. “I've even seen eight-year-old children saying they cannot concentrate without their tablets, not even having been taught what concentration is; on cocktails of both Ritalin and Concerta, acting like zombies, some suffering severe weight loss and missing out on a normal childhood.

“Ritalin is proven to be wrongly prescribed, over abused, addictive, dangerous and a factor in many suicides worldwide. It is known in many countries as the suicide drug as young people may be depressed and such depression is magnified by Ritalin”, says Dr Long. South Africa has one of the highest rates of prescribing medication for ADD and ADHD in the world, much higher than even the whole of the USA. “It seems that we haven't caught up with international trends which are moving away from medication being the first and often the only route taken when ADHD is diagnosed. “Around the world there is far greater emphasis on investigating the symptoms of ADHD and finding out why children may behave as they do, and then finding solutions which may, but do not necessarily, include medication. This is part of an eco-systemic approach which ADHASA, the Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Association of South Africa, has advocated for some 20 years. It also involves examining the impact of the child/adult with ADHD on their current circumstances, as well as the effect of the environment on them, and making adjustments accordingly.

“Ritalin and Concerta are not toys or an instant fix as parents are being led to believe.” Dr Long notes a shocking trend in South Africa in the over usage of Ritalin. “People find they can get a high with Ritalin and its similar sister, Concerta, and begin to believe that more is better, particularly when the stress of added study through varsity seems insurmountable. They are led to believe this is a huge problem after they have been told, even from the age of five years that they cannot concentrate without their pills, and they will obtain their concentration tablets legally or illegally to get a cocaine high or, in theory, concentrate better.” Ritalin and Concerta, are not as harmless as parents are led to believe. Ritalin side effects include loss of appetite, weight loss, anorexia, insomnia, nausea, dizziness, palpitations, headaches, vision problems, blood pressure increases, skin rashes, numbness, psychotic incidents, nervousness, sweating, tingling in hands or feet, fever, aggression, muscle twitches, bruising or purple spots on the skin, buzzing in the ears, and much , much more. It is far from being the magic pill to make a child controllable. (continues on page 91...)

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Parenting - Don’t Fix What Aint Broke

(...continued from page 89) “This follows the over diagnosis and more often misdiagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder in children as young as five years of age,” reiterates Dr Long. “Whole classes of children are on this tablet, with side effects such as behaving like zombies, suffering euphoria, delirium, confusion, toxic psychosis, and hallucination, insomnia, and aggression, but they are, in the teacher's opinion, 'controllable'. “All children I have seen in this situation are in fact super clever,” he adds. “I have had many children and adults come to me for help as they are addicted to these pills. Even varsity students obtain these tablets illegally and subject themselves to total abuse of them because they are convinced they cannot either behave or concentrate without them. People start by being recommended these tablets in early childhood and the habit of usage progresses into their later years.” What can be done for these people? “Parents expect teachers to teach life skills and teachers expect parents to have taught

life skills so the child misses out,” says Dr Long. “One such case was a fiveyear-old girl brought to me for help after teachers recommended she be put on Ritalin as she would not pay attention. “During our session this little girl walked back and forth in front of me. My remarks to her father were that, during the time of our consultation, he should have told her to sit down and pay attention over fifty times. He expected me, a stranger to her, to do this work. Not once was she told then, or in her previous years, how to behave, pay attention, learn, or listen. “She didn’t know how. She had never been told, just branded as suffering from ADD. Once told to sit and pay attention she quietened immediately.” “Both parents and teachers must be trained in helping the needs of children, says Dr Long. “I am fortunately in a position to help children, their parents and teachers to address this problem with great effect. There are many alternatives to prescription drugs. “Hypnotherapy is a great help, offering a person control over their feelings and emotions, helping them cope with life’s

difficulties, feel good, calm down and concentrate better without drugs. “Natural vitamins, Omega 3 fatty oils for example, have had great results in calming and increasing concentration. Sugarfree diets always help a child stay calmer, therefore sugary breakfast cereals can be their biggest enemy, putting them in a state of sugar rush for hours afterwards. Reading to babies from day one gets them into a routine of knowing to pay attention and when.” “I have had good results using hypnotherapy, rather than these drugs, and offer my help to people wanting to quit these pills. I also offer courses for teachers and therapists to add to their skills in helping these children. Save your children from a possible lifetime addiction or worse side effects NOW.” See reference http://ritalinsideeffects.net/ For more information on Ritalin side effects see: http://www.drugfreeworld.org/dr ugfacts/ritalin/the-viciouseffects-of-prescriptionstimulants.html Email: art@hypnotherapysa.co.za

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Ask Heike

Q: I am in my late 30s and just went on a date with a really great guy, the first good one I’ve met in a long time and it just feels so right! But I’m not sure if he is “The One”. I don’t

Ask

Heike

want to settle if he isn’t my soul mate. Can you tell me if he is my soul mate… how will I know? Sarah (Port Elizabeth)

T

he soulmate topic is an interesting one and is often confused with the idea of one person we have been waiting/searching for our whole life in order to be complete, ride off in the sunset with and live happily ever after. Normally that includes the idea that we will just recognise that person instantly, the relationship will be effortless and filled exclusively with bliss from beginning to end. That’s not quite how the spiritual soulmate concept works even though it’s very often sold that way by media and society. A soulmate is a person who is aligned with your soul and is here to challenge, awaken and stir different parts of you in order to fulfil the lessons you have chosen for this lifetime. They always arrive when we are ready for them and not a moment sooner. They arrive when we are ready to learn the lessons and they can be a romantic partner, a friend, mentor, child… and very often they disappear out of our lives once we have mastered that lesson. The good news is: There are no coincidences but only synchronicities in your life, which means your being drawn to him already indicates that he needs to be in your life right now, for there is some kind of soul contact with him which makes him a soulmate. The question is what kind of soulmate? There are different spiritual soulmate connections:

Healing/Companion Soulmates. These are predominantly people who act as mirrors in our life, show up with intention and provide us with life lessons that clear blocks and repetitive patterns from our past. They help us with moving forward. Very often this relationship falls away when the purpose is fulfilled.

Past-Life Soulmates. Because there is familiarity due to past lives shared, they often feel very easy and comfortable very quickly. They are people we trust; no topic is off limits and no matter where you are geographically or how long you have been apart, there is always the instant connection. They teach us trust and belief in ourselves; they are the wind beneath our wings, propelling us towards our destiny. They’re very often lifelong friends and bring out the best in you.

Karmic Soulmates. These are relationships we brought into this lifetime with lots of unfinished business. They will occur until we break the cycle and learn the lesson. These relationships are deep, karmic and often painful, negative and full of drama, for they involve ego struggles. This connection is intense and serves us for we need to overcome suffering in order to break a karmic cycle and learn unconditional and ego-free love and understanding to self and others.

Twin Flames. This is another term with lots of misunderstandings around it. The ancient Greeks believed that our souls were once whole and the Gods divided them into two separate halves, and once we found our other halves we would become whole and complete again. We are always connected with our twin flame, just when we meet in the physical plane (which doesn’t happen all that often) things can get very intense, for as much as it is completion it also challenges us on the same level.

The good news is that none of these connections are less valuable than the next and, with that, are never wasted. These soul connections appear either for a reason, a season or lifetime, depending on their nature. Ultimately, they appear when we vibrate in that frequency. So watch your frequency and be aware of your energy, for ultimately that is what attracts certain connections and experiences into your life.

Heike Sym

Psychic, Medium, Tarot Reader, Reiki Master Numerologist, Metaphysical Profiler, Coach

Online readings via Skype & WhatsApp Face to Face Readings - Durban KZN mobile: 083 291 9719 www.heikesym.com email: heikesym17@gmail.com odysseymagazine.co.za | 92


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Mind

Joie de Vivre Happiness Hacks You Should Know About joie de vivre – noun exuberance enjoyment of life.

Get Moving It is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, and science has proven why exercise is very important in our life. A study cited in the book: ‘The Happiness Advantage’ also confirmed the importance of exercise on our happiness level. Studies show that exercise has the biggest effect in reducing depression.

Connect often with family and friends Perhaps you have heard about it before, but one of the top five regrets of dying people is not spending enough time or staying in touch with friends and family. Spending more time with the people we care about is very beneficial to improving our happiness and our overall quality of life.

Sleep more We spend roughly one third of our lives sleeping, so you cannot underestimate the importance of sleep for the quality of our lives. Research has found that people who take an afternoon nap are desensitised to negative emotions yet more responsive to positive ones. This research shows that not only does sleep deprivation cause emotional problems, a sleep boost can bring emotional advantage. Good quality sleep makes humans more joyful.

Get off the couch and get outside In the book by Shawn Achor – ‘The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance’, his research suggests that spending as little as 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosts a positive mood, but also broadens thinking and improves the working memory. Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University.

Put down your cellphone A study by Kent State University, Ohio, USA surveyed more than 500 students and found that frequent cellphone use was associated with lower grades, higher anxiety and reduced happiness. “It’s likely that people spending more time on devices have less frequent contact with live social networks and may be more vulnerable to social comparison that leaves them with a sense of emptiness,” says Ramani Durvasula, PhD. Excessive use of even the best technologies reduces our happiness in meaningful ways. So, put down your cellphone and your happiness level will surely improve. odysseymagazine.co.za | 94

Meditate You might have heard that meditation is very important. The truth is, yes, meditation helps you improve focus, clarity, attention span, calmness and you guessed it right - your happiness. Be grateful, keep a gratitude journal Gratitude is the act of being thankful for simple things in our life. Practising gratitude has been proven to increase happiness. There’s a study from Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that suggests that a conscious focus on blessings (in other words: practising gratitude) has emotional and interpersonal benefits. So, be grateful for every little thing in your life.

Spend money on experience, not things Everyone knows that money can’t buy happiness but if you’re going to spend money in search of satisfaction, splurge on an experience, not on expensive ‘stuff’. A study in Psychological Science found that those who tended to spend their money on doing, as opposed to having, were better off in the long run. This effect was chalked up to the perceived superiority of anticipating an experience to anticipating owning an object. Practise Your Spirituality, Rekindle Your Faith In a study published in Frontiers in Psychology it was found that those who actively practised their faith or walked their spiritual path were happier than those who didn’t practise. All we need is LOVE An epic Harvard study about happiness that was conducted over a time period of more than 75 years (it is called Harvard Grant Study) has concluded: “Love is really all that matters for humans to be happy,” in particular the love and acceptance of the self. “Loving yourself starts with liking yourself, which starts with respecting yourself, which starts with thinking of yourself in positive ways. Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship in your life.


Health - Wellbeing

Wellbeing Valerie Kerr Pianist & Composer Music in the Soul can be heard by the Universe ATCL LTCL (pf) B.S.Y.A. (mn) B.S.Y. (Col) B.S.Y. Hypnotherapy

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HEALING Helen Hansen

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New age, crystal & esoteric shop and healing centre in Kyalami, Gauteng Heart conscious crystals, beautiful jewellery, harmonising and uplifting gemstones, healing wands and tools, custom dream catchers and much more

Call Nitasha Sookraj 082 3026 591 Email: info@soulsparks.co.za www.soulsparks.co.za

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Jikiden Reiki is characterised by its simplicity, as this branch of Reiki remained in Japan and has not been altered in any way. This is Reiki in itʼs purest form - the 'essence' of Reiki. Learn. how to feel and work with the body's energy pulse. You can do this course and be registered on the Jikiden Reiki site in Japan making your qualification international. See http://www.jikiden.com

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All Of Life Comes To Me With Ease, Joy & Glory® odysseymagazine.co.za | 95


CRYSTAL Crystals and the O R three states of being N E A crystal has three “states” of being: “dormant,” “active,” and “ignited.” R

T

hink of the “dormant” state of a crystal as being asleep. When you are asleep, you are resting, breathing lightly, recharging your energy. It is almost the same for a crystal, it is in a positive yet resting state where energy is being conserved for greater future use. Think of the “active” state of a crystal as being awake. You are alert and ready; a greater flow of energy and activity is emanating from you now. This is the same for the crystal, except it has a very specific role and job to do and will activate its energy direction or magnetise its energy emanation only when the opposite or resonant energy meets its field. Think of the “ignited” state as an awakened crystal charged for a particular healing purpose. This crystal has been called into direct service with a programmed focus. Programming a crystal means it is invested with a “focus of energy” in order that it may direct that energy in healing action. By healing we mean to cleanse, transmute, and eradicate negative energy and bring about energetic positivity, energetic harmony, and energetic flow in its place. The “ignited” crystal is fully powered, fully switched on to perform the task it has been charged with, and in this state, it is able to do a hundred times what it can do in its “active” state. That means a hundred times more powerful in both “energy absorption” (pulling in negativity from the energy field) and “magnification” (radiating out positive energy). Because of this fully powered state, this crystal will be working hard and require regular cleansing, followed by reprogramming and reigniting if required. To expand on the three states of crystal being, I should explain that the crystal that lies beneath the earth evolves and is mined/harvested when its life plan decrees it

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is time to be “birthed”--much the same as us, in fact. At the time of its birth to the earth surface, it has a live but dormant status. This means it has all the faculties and energy properties that it requires for its life and work on earth; it has a life plan and a planned connection to people/places/precise times (again, just like you). Yet the power of its energy and potential is not yet ignited; this dormant status remains until it connects to key people/places/timing in its destined life plan.

A rose quartz journey Let’s imagine a rose quartz: This crystal has taken 2.8 million years to evolve to the point of discovery and birth from the earth. At the point of birth, the rose quartz has living energy but is dormant, and yet it will still radiate great positivity as it is newly freed from the purity of its connection to the earth mother, who has created it. There is sadness too, because those involved in this part of the crystal’s life are often “non-knowing” in matters of energy and do not understand what they do. This particular rose quartz travels far, not usually in energy-sensitive circumstances; it is loaded, bundled, thrown, hacked at, hewn by sand and water, polished, and sometimes carved, either well or grotesquely and inappropriately to the majesty of its being. The rose quartz reaches a local warehouse in Brazil, for example, and is purchased by, let’s say, a dealer from England. The rose quartz then continues its journey, travelling unceremoniously again across seas and roads, even by air, until it reaches the wholesaler, who then sells it on to the retailer. Imagine how many negative energies have attached themselves to this “new baby” rose quartz, freshly hewn from

the earth; it is not hard to imagine that many people handling this new crystal would be of low positivity, perhaps even quite negative. A blessing then that our rose quartz was birthed in a dormant state and has had the protection of the “seal of energy” of its dormant state. The dormant state is new, in the sense that before Atlantis we did not have dormant crystals. Pre-Atlantis, our new baby rose quartz crystal would have been born out of the earth in an active state. Back then, humans could withstand being around active crystals; in fact, we adored, loved, and craved to be around active crystals. It was like being plugged in and on a “high” during the whole time you were with your crystals. Part of the fall of Atlantis was due to our greedy manipulation of this high energy. What it means for us all, living now on this planet, is that this veil of “dormancy” protects us from doing great damage. Many people who use crystals do not truly understand the power of crystals and their correct use, nor is there a wide understanding of how to cleanse crystals effectively. Author Bio: For more than 20 years, Sharon L. McAllister has been working as a holistic therapist and developing and teaching both crystal healing and reflexology diploma courses for the Hope Healing Clinics in Manchester and Yorkshire, UK. A passionate teacher who emphasises the practical everyday applications of crystal energy, she lives with her three children, husband, and dog between mountain and sea in the Scottish Highlands.


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Odyssey Magazine Collectible Summer Print Edition 2019/2020  

Odyssey Magazine, founded in 1977, is the foremost, long-standing holistic and conscious living magazine in South Africa. We publish four pr...

Odyssey Magazine Collectible Summer Print Edition 2019/2020  

Odyssey Magazine, founded in 1977, is the foremost, long-standing holistic and conscious living magazine in South Africa. We publish four pr...