In Ayurveda, digestion is everything! This is not only the digestion of our food, but the digestion of our experiences through our five senses and extra senses. The digestive fire or Agni, as we call it, needs to be robust and burning brightly so that all of what we ingest, both physically (through food) and mentally/emotionally (through experiences) can be thoroughly metabolized. This can be likened to a fire burning in your fireplace. When it's burning brightly and beautifully it gives off adequate light, heat, and beauty. When it's dwindling down to ashes and coals it provides nothing but toxic residue. And if it's burning out of control, it'll burn the house down. Your belly is that fireplace. You've heard the term "fire in your belly"? Well this is literally what fuels all processes including our passion, creativity and determination! Without it, we can feel tired, fatigued, depressed, defeated, and sick which affects our ability to work, play, have good relationships, be of service, and manifest our dreams. We want to feed our body-mind-heart-spirit with nutrients (both physical and metaphysical) that create something called Ojas, or subtle nourishment, immunity, or essence. Ojas is the result of ingesting foods, beverages and experiences that are nourishing to the physiology, mind, heart, and spirit. Ama, or toxic residue, on the other hand, is the result of ingesting foods and experiences that are harsh, full of chemicals from processing, and detrimental to the physiology, mind and spirit. The body-mind is in a constant state of needing to digest all that happens to it and around it 24/7! That includes our experiences and the emotions those experiences produce. Wherever there is energy, there is digestion, and the food and experiences we take in must be digested and processed resulting in either Ama or Ojas.
Take the time today to bring awareness to everything you put into your body with regard to foods and beverages. How do you start your day; with a cup of caffeine, processed creamer loaded with artificial ingredients, and white sugar? Do you skip breakfast due to time constraints? Do you snack on junk food at the office, skip lunch and then are famished at dinner? Do you smoke, drink, or eat in excess? What types of food do you put in your shopping cart; foods around the perimeter of the store or processed foods from the middle aisles that you microwave to add insult to injury?
Now take the time to bring awareness to the other ways you feed yourself. Are you compelled to multitask? Do you watch violence on TV (including the news) just before going to sleep? Is your job or career a source of toxicity or are you in your dharma, doing what you love? Are your relationships toxic and depleting to your energy, or nurturing, compassionate, and loving? All of these things contribute to either Ama or Ojas. There will definitely be more on this later. In the meantime, there's lots of grist for the mill here. The first step is awareness. Many times and for many reasons we get into habits that contribute to illness and dis-ease without even realizing it. Take the time to step back and look at your life as a detached observer, without judgement, and see where you are being invited to make some changes that will create Ojas! ; )
I hear it all the time, “I ‘m not flexible. I can’t do yoga.”
The truth is, you’re inflexible because you don’t do yoga! (this applies to the mind as well, by the way). You can't expect to magically be able to do the asanas (poses) of yoga perfectly when you haven't stretched in decades. This especially goes for the men! Yoga is literally for every body. Because the essence of yoga is union ~ of body, mind, heart and spirit, within ourselves , with each other, the planet and the cosmos; the practice of it, no matter how quiet or rigorous, is about bringing more awareness to every aspect of your Being. It’s not important that you can twist your body into a pretzel – most people can’t – even yoga teachers. What’s important is that you spend some time each day on your mat to be present with your body, mind, and spirit. That is, really feeling your body & the messages it is sending you, the state of your mind and emotions, and connecting to your soul – that aspect of you that is perfect just as it is and the part you get to take with you when you leave this plane.
Commit to at least 10-15 minutes of gentle stretching and deep breathing each day and feel the difference it will make in your strength, flexibility, and balance. This, by the way, translates to strength, flexibility, balance in your life. Commit to trying it for a month – take a class, buy a book, watch a video, Google “gentle yoga”, there are even classes online – there are many, many resources out there to help you learn. There are also variations on every pose that provide equal benefit and inspire you to go deeper - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Yoga is a practice that can always take you deeper so you do not need to learn everything at once. See if you don’t notice a difference in yourself after several weeks. Others may notice too. So relax, stretch and breathe! You’ll find yourself craving it and just like when you exercise and meditate regularly, noticing even more when you don’t do it. Your joints, your muscles, your mind, your digestion, and much more will thank you! Enjoy!!
"Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth." ~ Walt Whitman
Sleep is a very important topic. In Ayurveda, (the over 5000 year-old natural healing philosophy from India), poor nutrition is the mother of all disease and insomnia is the father. Getting enough sleep is extremely important in helping us live a life of health, happiness and vitality and yet insomnia is a problem that affects a large number of people especially in United States. Some of the causes of insomnia include headaches, excess intake of coffee, tea or soda, worries, negative thoughts, pain, stress, drinking alcohol in excess at night, anxiety, depression, unhealthy lifestyle, toxic relationships, unsatisfying jobs, and illness. Treating the cause of insomnia is obviously the best idea, however, while you are working on that you need to get some sleep.
Hopefully, you have already initiated a meditation practice for overall stress reduction and relaxation. This will help with sleep. Yoga and Pranayama (breathing techniques) can also be helpful to decompress and unite body, mind and spirit. If you are having trouble falling asleep because your mind is racing, try journaling before bed with an intention to “download” your thoughts and worries. Trust that because these things are in your journal, you no longer need to keep them in your mind, thereby giving yourself permission to rest and fall asleep easily. Additional remedies include regularly drinking a glass of warm milk with ½ teaspoon of honey and/or cardamom or nutmeg before bed, taking a warm bath using aroma therapy oils such as lavender or peace & calming, massaging the bottoms of the feet and ears with a relaxing or soothing massage oil. Do not do any invigorating exercise, intense work or reading, or watch violence on TV (including and especially the news!) right before bed as these things are too stimulating to the physiology and not conducive to relaxation and sleep. Create a peaceful, cool, quiet, dark, and calming atmosphere in your bedroom which should be without a TV and only used for two things. ; ) Create a comforting bedtime routine that will help you relax and prepare for restful sleep. Herbs like Ashwagandha can also be helpful in relaxing the mind as well as rejuvenating the body. Be sure to eat a diet rich in B-Complex vitamins and including vegetables, and whole grains. Get to bed by no later than 10:30 PM before Pitta (fire & water), the natural energizing and detoxifying time (10PM – 2AM) kicks in, and be sure to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night depending upon what is right for you. Sleeping from 10 PM – 6 AM is truly different than sleeping from 12 MN to 8 AM! While both 8 hours of time, better quality sleep is obtained in the hours before midnight. Try it for yourself, even if you consider yourself a night owl as I did, and experience the difference. Going to sleep between 10 and 10:30 PM will be easier than trying to fall asleep at 11 PM or thereafter when that second wind inevitably kicks in and we can feel energized.... then it will be even harder to get to sleep and the sleep will be restless. Sleep is a time for for the body-mind to rest so it can heal itself. Detoxification intensifies during sleep time so that the body is able to rid itself of toxins in the morning. Without enough sleep, toxins build up and can create illness, Adequate sleep keeps our cortisol and adrenaline levels in check and assists in weight loss if that is one of your goals. Don't we all just feel better when we get enough sleep? That can even translate to better relationships!
Lack of sleep can cause problems in doing every day work and activity and deplete the immune system thus inviting a number of various other symptoms and illnesses. Insomnia is not a problem that should be ignored or written off as minor. Remember, it is easier to treat a little insomnia or any other minor symptom or seed of illness before it becomes an abnormality on a lab report or diagnostic test. So pay attention to your sleep habits and try some of the remedies listed above if you feel you are suffering from insomnia for more than a couple of days. Be willing to look at the reasons why you might be having insomnia and remove the first cause. Not only will you feel better and more rested, but you will be doing your body and mind a great benefit in the prevention of illness.
Did you know that drinking a hot cup of lemon-ginger water first thing in the morning is a great way to perpetually cleanse and detoxify the body on an ongoing basis? How many of us start the day with a big cup of coffee first thing in the morning? Do you think that a big hit of caffeine is just what your stomach and adrenal glands really desire first thing in the morning before you eat? Coffee stimulates the adrenals to produce more adrenaline (like in the fight/flight or stress response), and is a diuretic so it doesn’t really count as hydration. Do you find that you need even more coffee to keep you going during the day? Do the highs and lows leave you feeling jittery for a few hours and then subsequently exhausted? Sometimes coffee can contribute to anxiety and insomnia even when ingested in the morning. Being a coffee lover myself, I never thought I would be able to give it up, but what I have found is that when I start my day with this healthy and soothing drink, my desire for coffee literally diminishes and sometimes disappears. Try it and see for yourself.
1 C boiling water
1 tsp fresh grated or sliced ginger (or ½ tsp dry ginger if you don’t have fresh, but fresh is always better)
¼ - ½ fresh squeezed lemon (or lime)
Experiment with the amount of lemon & ginger and add a touch of honey or Stevia if you desire a little sweetness.
Mix together & let the ingredients steep for a few minutes. Drink as hot as you can tolerate comfortably.
-Lemon is cleansing to the liver, stimulates digestive juices, is alkalizing to the body and freshens breath.
-Ginger is the universal herb in Ayurvedic Medicine. It is cleansing and detoxifying to the body, enhances digestion, kindles the appetite & digestive fire, and increases the metabolism if you want to lose weight.
-Facilitates morning elimination in a very natural way.
-Gentle yet stimulating to the physiology.
-Hydrates the body after a night of fasting
-When you have overindulged, (sugar, alcohol, caffeine, etc.) this is a great way to detoxify, hydrate, and clear any residual after effects gently and immediately.
Try it every morning for one week and see if you don’t feel cleaner, more vibrant and healthier without the highs and lows of caffeine consumption; benefits you will want to continue!! You might even find like I have, that when you have this first, you may not want coffee, or when you do have it, it will not be on an empty stomach which is much better for your body/mind overall.
To your health ~ Enjoy!!
"Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence. As the great Sufi poet, Rumi, wrote, 'Only let the moving waters calm down, and the sun and moon will be reflected on the surface of your being."
~ Deepak Chopra
Today, make a commitment to a meditation practice! Whether you know how to do it or think you don't know how to do it, make the commitment to sit quietly with yourself for 5-10 minutes (for new meditators) or 20-30 minutes (for experienced meditators) when you get up in the morning. You have the time.... This is the cornerstone to getting to know yourself and recognizing how your body-mind speaks to you. Our body is sending us messages of comfort or discomfort constantly regarding the choices we are making in our food, movement, work, environment, and relationships, but we rarely listen; mostly because we are so busy multi-tasking. I'm guilty of it too, but I find that the less I multi-task and the more I go within, the happier I am because I am living authentically from my True Self and making choices that are in harmony with my unique nature and Nature itself. Here's how to start -
Remember this process: R-P-M; Rise, Pee, Meditate. If you are waiting for some magical time when you will actually have time to meditate, trust me, it's never going to happen! You must put this into your life like you brush your teeth. You wouldn't go a morning without brushing your teeth; so you don't go a morning without meditation, connecting with yourSelf. Whether you have 2 minutes or 2 hours, you don't go a day without it. Find a quiet space, get comfortable and begin to breathe deeply. Keep your attention focused on your breath and when thoughts come, gently redirect them to the breath. After some time, you will be able to quiet the internal mental and emotional chatter that causes stress, which leads to declining health and wellbeing. Whatever comes up, simply go back to the breath. It takes practice, no doubt, but the discipline is worth your time to learn and practice. This place of peace and expansiveness the is place from which all else will flow. And rather than feeling deprived when you are trying to avoid things and practices that you know are not good for you, you will be coming from a place of inspiration (in-spirit) rather than motivation, which is just an intellectual exercise that is not long lasting. If you've ever been on a diet, you know what I mean. When you are finished, simply take a moment to notice how you feel and allow the integration of the practice before you resume your regular activity. The best time is between 5-6 AM (first thing in the morning) and again in the afternoon or early evening (after work and before dinner). But if those times don't work, make a commitment to fit it in somewhere. Regardless of what happens in meditation, where you will see the results, is in your life! Enjoy your practice and I will talk with you tomorrow. ; )
Come to a Kalyana Centre meditation event and experience meditating with me in a group or sign up for a formal course. Contact me for more information.
Ok so the Villanova Wildcats didn't quite make it, but we ARE the Big East Champs! Poor Hank is still grieving! I, on the other hand, have to get over it, because I am starting the Purify Cleanse tomorrow and going to challenge myself to be more disciplined with my health and I want to take you with me!
Let's stop the madness of yo-yo dieting, crazy starvation/deprivation diets, and exercise routines that serve to destroy good health rather than preserve it. Be your own Wildcat (Ram, Duck, Spartan, Wolverine, Cardinal.... you get the idea), and join me in taking yourself to new heights physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Start by imagining how great you're going to feel in 28 days (by Easter) just by following simple tips that you can implement slowly and gently as you ease in to better practices that will last a lifetime. It's not about the Easter eggs, it's about the yoke inside (Yoga). So let's help each other get healthier and happier this Spring. Join me HERE for your daily tip and inspiration and follow me on FB for more tips and simple Ayurvedic (sane) strategies to get back to balance. I'm starting my Purify Cleanse tomorrow which is a sane, gentle, Ayurvedically sound way to cleanse and detoxify. And even if you don't do the cleanse, the tips I will share will certainly be in harmony with the theme of detox in every dimension!
It's FREE to participate and you might be surprised to discover what you learn.... about yourSelf. Please support me by "Liking" Kalyana Center on Facebook, following us on Twitter, and in my own journey as I hope to support you in yours! Much love & light, Dr. Joanna xo
With the ushering in of the fall season comes the increased vulnerability to colds, flu, allergies and more. What seems to accompany that are the ads, signs, announcements and urgings everywhere you look and listen to get the flu shot... After all, Big Pharma has a profit to make and I was recently appalled to see a discount on groceries offered if you got your flu shot. How manipulative and misleading! I urge you to think twice about putting a vaccine in your body that is not guaranteed to combat all strains of the flu. Not to mention, the additional ingredients that are unnatural and toxic, while ignoring and depleting your own body's intelligence that knows how to fight illness if we simply provide the right support. Unfortunately, as versed as I am in Ayurvedic practices during these transitional times, my own immunity became lowered and I caught a cold. ; ( While I am rarely sick, I had to heed the message to take a little more down time, get back to some practices from which I have fallen off course, and cultivate a little more discipline in the self-care arena. During times of transition (like now) we do become more vulnerable to illness, so it is a perfect time to re-commit to self care. When we do get ill, it is a message, whether it's a cold or cancer, high blood pressure or heart disease. To think of it as anything but a message is ignoring nature and ignoring your own innate wisdom that speaks to us in ways that are intelligent and encourage and sometimes force us to heed its message so we can respond in a loving and compassionate way.
Immunity can be cultivated and supported. Here are some basic practices to put into your life at times of transition, especially into the colder, unpredictable Vata season:
Use a Neti Pot! This wonderful Yogic practice lubricates, warms, and cleans the soft, sensitive tissue in the sinuses. This is a practice where warm saline water is gently poured into one nostril and allowed to flow out of the other. You can follow with some nasya oil that helps keep allergens out and protects the mucus membranes from dryness that invites pathogens to set up house and wreck havoc.
Start your day with a cup of hot water with ginger, lemon, and honey. And if you're fighting an illness as I am at the moment, add some turmeric and cayenne pepper for a real boost of metabolism, warming, and detox. This practice has been miraculous in helping me move towards healing more rapidly and has done wonders for the residual cough as well. Honey has natural antibiotic properties and vitamin C and ginger help to kindle the digestive fire (Agni) to digest whatever experiences life hands you.
Stay warm and protect yourself from wind and cold. Feeling cold is not only uncomfortable but can lower your immunity and make you more susceptible to illness.
Consume warmer, heavier and oilier foods and beverages like soups, stews, quinoa and oatmeal. Do you really feel like eating ice cold salads and beverages when it starts to get colder? Use olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil and avocados to lubricate the physiology inside and out especially if you notice your skin feeling drier as the weather gets cooler.
Take even more time to meditate and go within. It is a time to hibernate and become more quiet and contemplative as we continue into the season of darkness and the Divine feminine. Take a break from thinking to connect with this beautiful, creative, and intuitive aspect of your Being.
Do Yin Yoga! This practice is a beautiful and contemplative way to access that Divine feminine, receptive and quiet energy of creativity, wisdom and pure potentiality. It teaches us about receiving as well as about relationships which are vital in helping us feel love, community, compassion, understanding and joy - not to mention the deep levels of the bones and connective tissue on which this practice works.
Bring a yoga practice into your life if you don't already have one. Even 15 minutes on the mat to deep breathe, meditate, stretch, and connect with your Self. The strength, balance and flexibility you cultivate there will translate to the strength, flexibility and balance you notice in life. Just because you don't have time for an hour long class, doesn't mean you can't do it daily or at least every other day. I do it in the kitchen, in a grocery line, at my desk and consciously breathe in the car. It's a great way to take a break from anything and reconnect with yourSelf.
Favor sweet, sour, and salty foods and warming spices like ginger, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
While we still eat all six flavors at every meal, favoring those three will balance Vata and create Sattva or harmony, purity and equanimity in the mind and physiology.
Take vitamin C and immune boosting herbs like Guggulu, Ashwagandha, Guduchi and Amalaki.
If you feel like you are coming down with something; a scratchy throat, headache, runny nose or body aches, try Inner Defense and let the highly antimicrobial essential oils help you fight whatever is ailing you so you don't succumb to illness. Remember to also take time to rest which is the most helpful thing you can to to head off illness.
Turn off the TV and especially the news, and especially before bed! Reduce external chatter that only contributes to internal chatter and turbulence. What are you really missing - the debates? Reality TV? You will be better off not listening to the epitome of turbulence and absurdity.
Cuddle more! Human touch is more vital to health and wellbeing than we realize. Look at your relationships and see where you might extend a softer more compassionate approach, Where might you be wasting time and energy in disagreements and ego-based conversation and drama? What would it be like to let go and see the Divinity within yourself and your partner and share time just Being.
And speaking of cuddling.... Get to bed by 10-10:30 PM! Let your evening routine be quiet, relaxing, and inspirational as you prepare for restful sleep. After 10:30 there is that danger of getting a second wind, so head that off by being in bed with lights out before hand. 10 PM - 2 AM is Pitta time and is used at night for cleansing and detoxification. It's harder for the body to do this when you are awake and at your computer working.
The fall & upcoming winter season doesn't have to be wrought with illness. And if you do happen to catch something, use the opportunity to take needed rest, eat great food and get back on track with your health promoting practices. Illness is a cleansing and a message. Viewed like this, you can go with the flow and end up feeling better than ever from heeding the messages from your body, mind and spirit rather than resisting them by taking medications and continuing your practices that got you there to begin with!! To your good health!! ; ) xo
For more tips come to my monthly Yoga Tune Up this Saturday 08 October at 10 AM!
Autumn, no doubt, is my most favorite time of year. As the leaves change color, the weather gets cooler and the wind kicks up, bringing with it the Vata (Air & Space) season of coolness, creativity, enthusiasm, dryness, and unpredictability. It is a time of transition and also a time of the harvest; to reap what we have sown and enjoy the fruits of our labor throughout the year. It is also a time to eat warm & heavier foods, to snuggle, to rest more, and begin to go within, or to hibernate, pulling back our attention from outside distractions and bringing it to the fertile soil of our essential nature within.
With the exception of 1 or 2 programs, I haven't watched TV in about 3 years. And now that I am getting reacquainted with it due to changes that have happened in my own life, I see that I really haven't missed much!! Besides being bombarded by drug commercials, toxic yet seemingly tempting food advertisements meant to keep us fat, sick and dying, and unessential chatter that adds to the already over-stimulated society that we have become, I find it really does not fascinate me too much. As a matter of fact, I almost find it intolerable and to be simply, information overload!
In Ayurveda, we digest everything, literally everything; not only the foods we eat, but also our experiences provided to us by our five senses and extra senses. The eyes, for example are a Pitta, or fire organ. We take in that toxic television screen and what's on it, through our eyes, and we have to do something with that information. When it's violence, we are inviting that experience into our physiology and our physiology must respond to it. When it's heart-warming and beautiful, we invite that experience into our physiology and our physiology is nourished by it. I just heard recently, probably on the one show I do watch which is Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, that people spend about 5 hours in front of the TV a day,..... A DAY!! First I wonder, who has that kind of time, and more importantly, at what cost? And HOW?? It seems to me we have become so hypnotically scripted in how we live our lives. We're so stressed out at our jobs, relationships, and by subsequently unhealthy food choices and no exercise, all we really feel like doing is crashing in front of the TV when we get home. This is unfortunate for many reasons, but mostly because of what we miss of life; the moments of love and relationship that are forever lost and unretrievable. It's also unfortunate because many of us live in front of a computer screen at work, only to come home and plant ourselves in front of another screen we see from our sofas. Why would we do that? No wonder our eyes are tired! Unless you haven't noticed, (and by the way, there are many who haven't), we're living in a world that just doesn't work. Fear and hate (like we hear about on the news) are the primary foods we are fed from the TV. Isn't it time we chose to nourish our souls instead of being distracted by mindless chatter that creates mental and emotional turbulence that leads to illness and dis-ease of all types?
So instead of turning on the TV just out of habit, I invite you to choose some other, not-so-popular options: get quiet, meditate, do some yoga, sit and just have a cup of tea, take a walk, eat slowly, read, watch a sunset deliberately, breathe, put your devices down (they're just as bad sometimes), and talk to your spouse or a loved one while actually looking into their eyes with compassion and thoughtfulness, and see for yourself the transformative nature of those practices and how life will become sweeter and more purposeful.
I told you only about the eyes,... think about your other senses and how you feed them sattvic (nurturing and pure) experiences or experiences that require significant energy to digest. What are you "feeding" yourself? I'm certain of this; you're worth feeding with love, compassion, mindfulness, joy, good food and rest. I don't think the TV delivers those things on a consistent enough basis to spend so much time with it.
Ayurvedically speaking, everything we put in our body, on our body, do to and with our body, is for our enlightenment. The same applies to the mind, heart, and soul.
We must choose very carefully, especially now....
With Spring always comes new beginnings! I find it to be a time of hope, joy, inspiration and also a time of letting go - of that which does not nurture and soothe, so that those things that do, can find their way in. Recently in my own life, I had an experience last week where I was aware of something that was not working for me, yet I continued to pursue it for all the justifications I could come up with in my limited mind, until something so absurd had to happen to wake me up to the fact that what I was doing, was just not nourishing - and voila - a decision was made; one that should have happened weeks ago. The sense of relief I felt was a big clue that I was on the right track as I said to myself : "I really don't need this toxicity in my life."
Toxicity can come in many disguises. Not only from what we eat & drink, or from our environment, but we can become so stuck in our rationalizations about why we need to do something that is not nourishing to us, or why something has to be a particular way, or why we might continue to allow mental, emotional or physical abuse, meanwhile cutting off the flow of the Divine to show us infinite possibilities for what could be. I've found my tolerance for rigidity (my own and that of others), becoming less and less, and this is a wonderful thing. Investing emotional energy by choosing anger, to be insulted, or to see someone's guilt instead of their innocence is something that still boggles my mind, especially when engaged in by those who understand consciousness and should seemingly know better. It steals our energy to hold on. Getting stuck in fear of what others will think, say, and do is something I find I can no longer buy into after many lessons and deepening into who I know myself to BE. I find that the older I get, the less I care to engage in ego-based notions of right and wrong and those things that create separation rather than Unity. As I continue to detoxify my own life, I am amazed at the actions and reactions that happen simply out of habit. I observe the world and those in it and wonder how it is that we got so far off base to live in such a constricted and stressful state that we have literally made ourselves toxic and sick. No wonder everyone is so tired.
Metaphysically, everything happens for a reason, a higher purpose and certainly for our learning and highest good. For example, kidney stones can be lumps of undissolved anger, a shoulder issue can be about literally shouldering a burden, heart disease is about matters of the heart, back pain can be about not feeling supported emotionally or financially. These things can be very literal and provide important clues as to why we might be suffering physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
So when we decide to detox - let the cleansing of the body support the cleansing of the psyche, our houses and our hearts for those things that no longer serve us. Where might you be rationalizing the continuation of toxic habits, situations and relationships that are creating havoc instead of cultivating peace of mind? The first clue is how your body feels when you think about changes you might need to make. It knows all and responds with messages of comfort or discomfort. Is it fear that's holding you back? Fear of what others might think, say and do? Is it rational fear or just habitual fear? When we need to make changes or embark on a new path, waiting for fear to subside will not yield results. It just doesn't happen and we find ourselves stuck in the same old patterns, repeating the same old actions with the same old results. The toxic buildup continues (in Ayurveda, we call it ama), and we become sick. We must feel the fear for what it is and do it anyway. Taking time to go within and ask yourself these questions is an important part of the spiritual journey to enlightenment. We always have choice - even if only how we interpret something. Metaphysically, everything is relationship and if a relationship is not right for one, it is not right for the other. Moving towards peace and health and taking the road less traveled takes courage, but once you're on the other side of it, you may wonder what all the fuss was about.
Dr. Joanna Carmichael is an RN, Doctor of Metaphysics & Divinity, Interfaith Minister, Ayurveda, Meditation & Yoga Practitioner, Spiritual Teacher and animal activist.