Journals

[from Inner Journey]

Be, do and have

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you love to do, in order to have what you want.”

— Margaret Young

The formula for success is Be, Do, Have. If we seek abundance, we must be abundant in spirit. We can begin to cultivate spiritual wealth by opening our hearts in gratitude.

Start a gratitude journal today. Each evening, write down at least 5 things for which you are grateful. This simple tool will help you open your eyes to the abundance of your world right now.

“Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.”

— Estonian proverb

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What is your body saying? [from Inner Journey]

What is your body saying?

“Many people treat their bodies as if they were rented from Hertz — something they are using to get around in but nothing they genuinely care about understanding.”

— Chungliang Al Huang

“As we explore the extraordinary interplay of energies between the many aspects of our personality — our needs, unconscious reactions, repressed emotions, aspirations and fears — with the functioning of our physical system and its capacity to maintain itself, we soon realise how very wise the body is. With its intricately detailed systems and operations it portrays infinite intelligence and compassion, constantly giving us the means to understand ourselves further, to confront issues we are not looking at, and to go beyond that which is holding us back.”

— Deb Shapiro, Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Scan your body with your awareness. Are you experiencing any aches and pains? Any stiffness?

What might your body be trying to tell you about how you are living your life?

“Your body is the ground and metaphor of your life, the expression of your existence. It is your Bible, your encyclopedia, your life story. Everything that happens to you is stored and reflected in your body. In the marriage of flesh and spirit divorce is impossible.”

— Gabrielle Roth

“What is always speaking silently is the body.”

— Norman Brown

Feel your emotions [from Inner Journey]

Feel your emotions

“The key is to not resist or rebel against emotions or to try to get around them by devising all sorts of tricks; but to accept them directly, as they are.”

— Takahisa Kora

Emotions are energy in motion. They bring us information if we are willing to experience them. Unfortunately, many of us are afraid of the energy of emotions and so we automatically resist them. And when we refuse to experience our emotions, we block them up. They become trapped and that entrapment drains our energy and brings continuing discomfort.

Don’t let emotions push you into action or reaction. Just STOP and PAY ATTENTION. Allow them to be and to speak to you. Once they are acknowledged, their energy is released.

“Instead of resisting any emotion, the best way to dispel it is to enter it fully, embrace it and see through your resistance.”

— Deepak Chopra

“We have to become more conscious of our feeling-world. By learning to identify the ‘emotional baggage’ and manage our feeling-world reactions, we can view life based on current information instead of being held captive by our past.”

— Doc Childre

“Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.”

— Audre Lorde

Looking for Safety [from Inner Journey]

Looking for safety?

“Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can happen to you; security is the denial of life.”

— Germaine Greer

Our personality likes to be in control. It likes to know how things are and what’s going to happen. Underlying this desire for stability and predictability is a deep fear that the world is a dangerous place. The personality fears it will not survive without continually being on guard.

The truth is: we cannot control what happens in life. And under the natural law of attraction, we tend to attract to us what we focus on. EXPLORE SUBSTITUTING TRUST FOR FEAR and the world becomes a gentler, happier place.

“There are no guarantees. From the viewpoint of fear, none are strong enough. From the viewpoint of love, none are necessary.”

— Emmanuel

“One thing we can do is make the choice to view the world in a healthy way. We can choose to see the world as safe with only moments of danger rather than seeing the world as dangerous with only moments of safety.”

— Deepak Chopra

Mindfulness

Tricycle Daily Dharma

January 30, 2014

Eight Steps

Each step along the Buddha’s path to happiness requires practicing mindfulness until it becomes part of your daily life. Mindfulness is a way of training yourself to become aware of things as they really are. With mindfulness as your watchword, you progress through the eight steps laid down by the Buddha more than twenty-five hundred years ago—a gentle, gradual training in how to end dissatisfaction.

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Getting Started”

Self Awareness

Step into self-awareness

“Getting in touch with your true self must be your first priority.”

— Tom Hopkins

Here are some different aspects of self-awareness:

– Know yourself – Explore who you are: your defences, your blocks, your talents, your aspirations, etc.
– Accept yourself – We are at war with ourselves when we resist or deny certain aspects of who we are. Acknowledge the truth of who you are right now – the positives and the negatives. Only when we own our present reality can we change.
– Control yourself – Set clear, conscious intentions and discipline yourself to meet them.
– Express yourself – Go to your heart to identify what has meaning and purpose for you. Live your truth. Identify ways you can give back to life and be in service.

We work on each of these aspects all the time. But as our lives go through cycles, we predominantly work on one of them more than the others. Which aspect are you more conscious of lately?

“Our lives improve only when we take chances … and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.”

— Walter Anderson

“Adventure can be an end in itself. Self-discovery is the secret ingredient that fuels daring.”

— Grace Lichtenstein

Herbs – Green Tea

Green Tea Botanical Name: Camellia sinensis

Overview

Archeological evidence suggests that tea leaves steeped in boiling water were consumed as many as 500,000 years ago. Botanical evidence indicates that India and China were among the first countries to cultivate tea. Today, hundreds of millions of people drink tea around the world, and studies are now suggesting that one variety of tea in particular — green tea (Camellia sinensis) — has many health benefits.

There are three main varieties of tea — green, black, and oolong. The difference between the teas is in their processing. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and is reputed to contain the highest concentration of polyphenols, chemicals that act as powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals — damaging compounds in the body that alter cell membranes, tamper with DNA (genetic material), and even cause cell death. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) can also increase the number of these damaging particles. Free radicals are believed to contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems including cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Green tea has been consumed throughout the ages in India, China, Japan, and Thailand. In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, green tea has been used as a stimulant, diuretic (to promote the excretion of urine), astringent (to control bleeding and help heal wounds), and to improve heart health. Other traditional uses of green tea include treating flatulence, regulating body temperature and blood sugar, promoting digestion, and improving mental processes.

Green tea has been extensively studied in people, animals, and laboratory experiments. Results from these studies suggest that green tea may be useful for the following health conditions:

Atherosclerosis
Population-based studies indicate that the antioxidant properties of green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis, particularly coronary artery disease. (Population-based studies refers to studies that follow large groups of people over time and/or studies that are comparing groups of people living in different cultures or with different dietary habits, etc.)

High cholesterol
Green tea has demonstrated an ability to lower total cholesterol and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol in both animals and people. One population-based study found that men who drink green tea are more likely to have lower total cholesterol thank those who do not drink green tea. Results from one animal study suggest that polyphenols in green tea may block the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and promote its excretion from the body.

Cancer
The cancer-protective effects of green tea have been reported in several population-based studies. For example, cancer rates tend to be low in countries such as Japan where green tea is regularly consumed. However, it is not possible to determine from these population-based studies whether green tea actually prevents cancer in people. Emerging animal and clinical studies are beginning to suggest that substances in green tea known as polyphenols may play an important role in the prevention of cancer. These substances act as powerful antioxidants. Researchers also believe that polyphenols help kill cancerous cells and stop its progression.

Bladder cancer
Only a few studies have examined the relationship between bladder cancer and green tea consumption. In one study that compared people with and without bladder cancer, researchers found that women who drank black tea and powdered green tea were less likely to develop bladder cancer. A follow-up study by the same group of researchers revealed that bladder cancer patients (particularly men) who drank green tea had a substantially better 5-year survival rate than those who did not.

Breast cancer
Studies in animals and test tubes suggest that polyphenols in green tea inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. In one study of 472 women with various stages of breast cancer, researchers found that women who consumed the most green tea experienced the least spread of cancer (particularly premenopausal women with early stages of breast cancer). They also found that women with early stages of the disease who drank at least 5 cups of tea every day before being diagnosed with cancer were less likely to suffer recurrences of the disease after completion of treatment. However, women with late stages of breast cancer experienced little or no improvement from drinking green tea.

Colorectal cancer
Studies on the effects of green tea on colon or rectal cancer have produced conflicting results. Some studies show decreased risk in those who drink the tea, while others show increased risk. Further research is needed before green tea can be recommended for the prevention of colorectal cancer.

Esophageal cancer
Studies in laboratory animals have found that green tea polyphenols inhibit the growth of esophageal cancer cells. However, results of studies in people have been conflicting. For example, one large-scale population-based study found that green tea offered significant protection against the development of esophageal cancer (particularly among women). Another population-based study revealed just the opposite — green tea consumption was associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. In fact, the stronger and hotter the tea, the greater the risk. Given these conflicting findings, further research is needed before green tea can be recommended for the prevention of esophageal cancer.

Lung cancer
While green tea polyphenols have been shown to inhibit the growth of human lung cancer cells in test tubes, few studies have investigated the link between green tea consumption and lung cancer in people and even these studies have been conflicting. One population-based study found that Okinawan tea (similar to green tea but partially fermented) was associated with decreased lung cancer risk, particularly among women. A second study revealed that green tea and black tea significantly increased the risk of lung cancer. As with colon and esopageal cancers, further studies are needed before any conclusions can be drawn about green tea and lung cancer.

Pancreatic cancer
In one large-scale study comparing green tea drinkers with non-drinkers, those who drank the most tea were significantly less likely to develop pancreatic cancer. This was particularly true for women — those who drank the most green tea were half as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as those who drank less tea. Men who drank the most tea were 37% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer. It is not clear from this population-based study, however, whether green tea is solely responsible for reducing pancreatic cancer risk. Although promising, further studies in animals and people are needed before green tea can be recommended for the prevention of pancreatic cancer.