Nurturing Whole Health
The Jewish holiday of Passover began Friday evening on the Scorpio Full Moon. Passover commemorates the Jewish people fleeing Egypt after 400 years of slavery, led by Moses. Each year, the story of this journey is re-told during the Seder. Mitzrayim is the Hebrew word for Egypt. It means, "narrow" or "constriction." The point of re-telling this story in present times is to remember the history, but more importantly, to look at the present and understand our own personal or societal places of "constriction." During a community Seder last evening, I was given the opportunity to share a personal, "Leaving Egypt" story.
My story was of a deeply personal awakening and transformation, which has affected every aspect of my life- physical, emotional, nutritional, environmental and spiritual. To gain vibrant, balanced health, occasionally, some must go through what appears to be a system in shock, which can look like someone pressed the "self-destruct" button. This powerful energy is referred to by some, as "Kunadlini." The gift in this kind of transformation comes when one is able to step outside of self long enough to understand the essence of what is taking place- disintegration, evolution and reintegration, so powerful, that it can look and feel like all hell breaking loose. It is the power of universal life-force energy, opening an opportunity for re-balance and wholeness.
My journey from Egypt began close to three years ago when I suddenly developed vertigo. It came randomly at first; then I noticed it was connected to light, noise, crowds and certain foods- actually most foods.
I worked hard to stay standing; saw healers of every bent; got diagnoses and got worse. Six months into the vertigo attacks, after missing much work and barely able to hold myself together around people, bright lights and noise, I met a healer, teacher-guide, who helped me find my way.
I discovered I was not falling apart- well, actually, I was- in the best way. I was experiencing a massive transformation, bigger than anything I'd ever known. Once aware of the process, I understood that sometimes our Egypt (enslavement) is right in front of our noses though we have no idea. It took my body to collapse, for me to understand that I had strayed far from my life's path; from my true self. With this realization, I understood clearly that my symptoms were not illness- they were the manifestations of my body, heart, mind and soul returning to balance; bringing me home to myself; my whole self; my higher self; my true self.
With this realization, something opened and I knew what to do. I noticed I was hearing a new voice. It was very familiar. I recognized my inner voice for the first time. It was so very simple; to listen within; that was my work. Once I understood this, I was on my path; crossing the Red Sea, out of Egypt. My inner voice kept me going; kept me pushing through the internal and external breakdown; the disintegration of all that was keeping me enslaved.
I could no longer work at what I had thought was a great job; I could barely leave my home or be with people, around noise, near artificial light, and my adrenal glands were minimally functioning. So, I let go; I let go. I stopped fighting and learned to breathe, feel the quiet and love the solitude. Sometimes I hated the solitude. I let go of every should I ever felt in my life and saw the real me, for the first time.
Through all the disintegration, I pushed myself to re-tool and follow the strong inner voice that told me I was a healer and my work was to teach and to heal- myself and others. I connected with Reiki Master teachers and I followed and I learned from them; becoming a Reiki Master- Energy Healer and teacher. During this period, I completed a 15-month program to add on to my previous degrees in health education, becoming a Whole Health Educator, Coach and Patient Health Advocate. When I began the program, I could barely look at a computer screen or even have lights on in my home at night.
I pushed. I became a master of harnessing my will and my strength. Each day I said to myself, "Everyday you're getting better", "You're getting better every day." With each vertigo attack I told myself, "I'm fine", "I'm fine", "I'm safe." And soon, I got to the place where within moments I could stop a vertigo attack with my words and thoughts. I discovered the power of Mind-Body Medicine. I loved and blessed my food with, "I take you in, as a blessing and in gratitude and allow you to come in to my body and do the good works you are going to do." And, with more time, listening to my inner voice and harnessing my mental strength, the vertigo vanished, the light sensitivity decreased and many of the food sensitivities left- day by day.
I have lived in fear of depleting my savings or losing my home and each day, I am given a powerful lesson in trusting in God. Like Moses, I have been called to listen in and follow the simple directions; to trust in the face of fear; to trust more; to pray and to offer gratitude each day for all that flows into my life.
I am extremely grateful for the following- exponential inner and outer growth; my family near and far; my strong will; the sanctuary of my home; deep friendships and connection; for those who remembered me when I was at my worst, and for Reiki, which feeds my body, mind, soul and spirit. I'm grateful that following 15 months of intense effort, I completed my degree as a Certified Whole Health Educator. I'm grateful for mother nature which nourishes me daily; for meditation, mantra, and Snake Qigong. I'm grateful for Docs Pro Plugs and Irlen Spectral Lenses. I am grateful to once again tolerate and enjoy essential foods, especially dark chocolate. Most of all, I am grateful for the deep knowing, that our greatest gifts come from our biggest challenges.
The slavery of Egypt- Mitzrayim, saved my life and launched my journey towards awakening, rebirth and wholeness.
I am so grateful.
Many Blessings, Sari
Our environmental aspect of health overlaps with every other aspect of our health. It is not only about clean air, water and food, it is also about feeling, seeing, appreciating and connecting with the gifts, the beings and the people that surround us each day.
There are many ways to stay balanced and healthy. It's not only about nutrition and food or moving your physical body. The physical, emotional, nutritional, spiritual and environmental aspects of your life all create your big health picture. In the activity of life, many of us miss what is taking place daily in front of our eyes. Our environmental health overlaps with our emotional and spiritual health, as well as physical and nutritional. It is not only about clean air, water and food; it is also about feeling, seeing, appreciating and connecting with the gifts that surround us everyday.
I was given guidance a month ago to "Look up and pay attention to the birds." It was advice that made me grateful for the abundance of the diverse life I am surrounded by. The day after receiving this directive, I was taking a walk with my sister on a warm, spring evening. As we passed a spectacular blossoming, ornamental plum tree, we both looked up to see a brilliant gold finch sharing a branch with a ruby-throat-ed, emerald-green hummingbird. Both birds were glistening in the evening sun.
Two days later the a powerful rain storm rolled in and I was warm and cozy in my little cottage. I am blessed to have vaulted ceilings and high windows that lend themselves to looking up and out. I took a moment to stand at the window in my loft, at the top of my stairs. The rain was blowing horizontal. I looked out and up. On the wire extending past the front of my cottage, were two crows. One was quite a bit larger than the other. The large crow had it's right wing spread open, covering the smaller crow, protecting it from the heavy downpour. It warmed my heart to see such love and caring in the bird community.
I've been looking up for almost a month now. When I practice Snake Qigong by the creek, the meadow crows come to watch from high in the trees. When I do, "Flying Snake", with my arms flapping slow and smooth, the crows squawk at me. Sometimes I hear them asking why I keep flapping without taking flight.
Looking down is something else I've been doing. Specifically out my bedroom window into the nesting box below. Two starlings moved in last June, as soon as three owletts fledged the box. One of the owls returned last October, at 5 a.m., on my birthday. The owl slept in the nest box for the day and I watched at dusk as it pop out and took flight over the meadow.
The owl didn't return and the starlings reclaimed their home the next day.
I've never liked starlings much, as far as birds go, but I have learned to love their hauntingly beautiful singing. The starling pair hatched some babies a week ago and I've been listening to the hungry little chirps as mama and papa alternate with the constant early morning feedings. I carefully peek down, out my window to spy on the starlings and observe their early morning bird activities.
I felt a lump in my stomach, knowing the baby birds did not survive the night. At the same moment, I felt the hope of more new life in the box- a clutch of little screech owls. I simply noticed and felt the rhythm of life and death and life.
Last night was very warm and I slept with my window open, nestled with my tiny stuffed animal owl tucked close to my belly. Just as I turned out my light, I heard an owl hoot. My heart fluttered with excitement at the thought that an owl, my spirit totem animal, was close. At some point after dropping into a deep sleep, I was roused by thumping and the sound of loud bird tweets and squawks.In my dream-state, I knew the owl had taken over the nest box. About 6 a.m. I awakened to the sounds of crows, blue jays and starlings. I knew immediately that an owl had moved into the box and was settling in for its day-long sleep. All morning the distressed starlings hopped about chirping on the branches of the oak tree that reach out toward the nest box. I felt a lump in my stomach, knowing the baby birds did not survive the night. At the same moment, I felt the hope of more new life in the box- a clutch of little screech owls. I simply noticed and felt the rhythm of life and death and life.
This evening I heard the starlings tweeting and chirping, just before sunset and then they were gone. I kept making trips outside to see if the owl was awake and peeking out of the nest box. First there was nothing to see and I entertained a moment of doubt as to if I had actually heard the drama in the nest box during the night. I waited and returned as it became a little darker. I looked up, and there was the face of a little screech owl, flush with the small opening in the nest box. I stood below and spoke to her. She eventually relaxed and popped her breast through the small opening in the box, preparing to swoop across the meadow, to her new hunting grounds.
This past month has been a powerful time to step outside of myself and the multitude of places where I tend to get stuck or lost in my work, making future plans or dealing with daily stresses. Looking up and seeing the abundance of awesome life in my environment has offered me a potent sense of balance and joy.
The owl arrived on the New Moon; the darkest night of the month. Owl comes to teach about wisdom, strength and the ability to see through the darkest of nights. Owl, protector and seer in the night. Look up.
What if an incredibly simple practice involving acupressure, movement and breathing could balance mental function, reduce stress, increase intelligence and provide psychological stability? Some doctors and School Occupational Therapists are testing out Super Brain Yoga and getting awesome results.
For several years I worked with developmentally disabled and emotionally disturbed school children, in the field of Occupational Therapy. I've applied therapies which help balance the neurological system, such as Brain Gym, Sensory Integration, which is now called, "Sensory Processing Disorder" and The H.A.N.D.L.E. Method . Super Brain Yoga appears to offer a simple, awesome way to integrate the body's neurological and energy chakra system, helping to balance many levels of mental function.
This video link describing and demonstrating "Super Brain Yoga" is fascinating. The "The Super Brain Yoga" website includes details of what forms the basis of Super Brain Yoga, as well as in depth explanation of the workings of the human energy body and chakra system. Super Brain Yoga combines a specific acupressure technique, with breathing and movement and is based on the connection between the ears, the head and the body. Healers, teachers, parents, therapists and healthcare practitioners may find this this simple, yet what looks to be a powerful practice, worth trying.