The idea of Slow Living has been around for some time and it was most likely born out of the slow food movement, which is characterized by an approach to slow, traditional cooking methods using organic, seasonal and locally sourced foods. There have been many books written on the topic of slow living, as well as numerous blogs, websites and YouTube videos, but the focus here will be on how we can use slow living to help us put our lives in an order that makes sense to us and gives a feeling of positive control.
When we feel positive control over our lives it allows us to be at peace and feel safe. Readers who follow me know that I correlate feelings of being unsafe with the autonomic nervous system response called flight-fight. Our busy, hectic lives sometimes create a condition of low-level-flight-fight (LLFF) in the body that may continue for weeks, months or years. LLFF creates tension in the body that develops into pain and illness (Tension-Based Pain) that doesn’t simply destroy parts of the body or lead to a poor quality of life, but may lead to death.
Tension-based pain is a relentless enemy responsible for more pain, suffering and disability than any other form of sickness, malady or ailment worldwide - in my opinion.
This series examines five concepts that we can employ to help us reach the goal of feeling more in control, more centered and more at peace each day of our lives.
Concept 1 - Focus on your life right now - forget external distractions
Many people will consider this idea and say “that’s impossible, I must multi-task around the clock to finish all the things I need to get done”. I’ve felt this way myself at times, but the truth is we can only do one thing at any given time. Multi-tasking doesn’t really work for most people. Research shows that multitasking actually wastes more time and reduces productivity.
Multitasking while driving a car and using technology, such as cell phones, has resulted in the deaths of many people, passengers and innocent victims, because human beings are just not able to complete multiple complex tasks.
So what does this concept look like in daily life?
Start with a plan to do one thing at one time. Not three, not two, but one thing that will get all of your attention, energy and focus for a period of time. That is the goal. First be sure that you have everything you need to complete that task, as well as the appropriate amount of time to get it done. Really put your energy and heart into the effort and try to enjoy the process.
There will be distractions, the phone will ring or buzz, someone will try to pull you away from your task and even your own mind will try to divert your endeavors. Don’t give in to the distractions - stay on point. When you are done with the task you can catch up briefly with other people and demands. When the job is complete you’ll know it was done right and that you can now move on to your next successful activity.
This could be the start of a new way of being in the world that will bring you feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Letting go is a concept that we read about often in the media and it describes different approaches to reducing our suffering. In these posts below the reader is asked to see things in a new way, discard those ideas that do not serve us, realize when have the ability to free ourselves, and using the power we have. I hope they will help readers to think through the steps to really letting go of the thoughts that waste our precious time.
#stress #pain #tensionbasedpain #mindbody #backpain #sciatica #transformation #lifestyle
This post contains a reply to a question on Quora. The question feels universal, how can we fix stress when we are in a condition of stress? My answer is below and I hope it brings some perspective.
This LLFF condition coupled with a stressful event can leave us in a desperate state where we feel out of control.
Although we cannot cure stress, we can use many exercises to calm the body and mind to bring ourselves back to homeostasis - a steady physical, chemical and psychological condition for optimal function.
Having a toolkit of coping mechanisms that work is an important step towards managing stress and avoiding the pain and illness it can bring.
I usually don't recommend products, medication or supplements, but Black Seed is an interesting spice with many health benefits that you may want to consider.
Black Seed is a common, generic name for the Nigella sativa plant, which is found in the Middle East, southern Europe and southwest Asia. It is known by several names:
- black cumin
- fennel flower
- black caraway
- Roman coriander
When consumed, these seeds offer an array of health benefits for the following conditions:
Here is a video from Dr. Michael Greger of Nutritionfacts.org in which he discusses the impressive research on this surprising little seed.
The oil is extracted from the seeds and it can be found in capsule form at health food stores and online, but if you plan to try Black Seed, I would recommend finding a high quality, ground, organic source. The seeds have a tasty, light peppery flavor and can be added to soups and stews or sprinkled on any savory dish or even as a way to spice up sandwiches.
These seeds are not a new fad by any stretch, as references to this plant were prescribed in the advice of Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Bible. You may be hearing more about Black Seeds, because there is quite a lot of research going on regarding this plant right now.
Take some time to learn more about this is a very intriguing plant!
If you have any medical conditions you may want to check with your doctor before trying Black Seed.
Black Seed: Are There Health Benefits?
#Blackseeds #plants #medicine #health #Inflammation #Asthma #HighCholesterol #MetabolicSyndrome #Autoimmune #AutoimmuneDisorders #Diabetes #Obesity
Letting Go Series
THEM - We have no power over other people to make them behave the way we want. Attempts to make others act the way we see fit is the cause of most conflicts in the world and we should avoid it, although this can be difficult.
Trying to influence others will often end in failure and resentment from the other person. If asked by someone to offer an opinion on a subject, we can do so, but we should do it honestly and without any agenda other than providing them help. We can set ourselves as positive examples for others, but we shouldn’t be disappointed when they don’t follow us.
ME - We have complete power to conduct our own behavior and our lives the way we choose. Hoping that others will solve all our problems or wishing that fate will somehow intervene on our behalf is a path of weakness. Self-direction is our greatest strength in terms of building successful relationships, reaching our goals, building a sense of community and finding a place of peace in the world. Our personal power is given to us from from the moment we are born and it can propel us through a lifetime of promise, transformation and joy.
Letting Go Series
We sometimes find ourselves saying something on the order of:
The truth is that there are very few situations in life where we are so completely powerless and stuck that nothing can be changed.
In most cases we can make fundamental changes that can transform our lives for the better. Our problem is with our self-limiting belief systems that keep us and hold us in place, even though a situation harms us emotionally and may even cause us physical pain from stress and tension.
Most people who have made significant and lasting change in their lives, do not look back and say: I wish I still had that terrible job, that harmful relationship or that intolerable stress in my life.
Every day the door is open for us to stand up and walk through when we are ready to change the parts of our lives that are no longer working for us. We can think our options through thoroughly, make a complete plan, step through the door and begin to set ourselves free.
Letting Go Series
The human mind is an amazing machine capable of great thought and ideas, but it can also create a fantasy world that may set us up for unnecessary failure.
Plans and goals are positive and useful tools to help us navigate life, but cementing plans and goals as expectations is dabbling in magical thinking that leads us to needless suffering.
Thoughts about what the future holds are just notions that we create in our minds and are not a part of the real world. When we choose to decide that these thoughts WILL happen, WHEN we imagine them, HOW we imagine them, we are setting unreasonable expectation that may never be delivered. We take a thought and turn it into our demand on the world. Sadly, we do not run the world and every attempt to decide how the world will be exactly ends in sadness and longing. Longing for things that in the end, may never have been right for us or not ever had the ability to bring us happiness.
Life is an amazing journey of twists, turns and opportunities:
Letting Go Series
Sometimes we find ourselves repeatedly disappointed in another person’s behavior. Perhaps we make excuses for them. “This will never happen again”, “They were having a bad day”, “I’m sure they understand this is unacceptable”, etc.
Sometimes those kinds of thoughts that we have about that person may be true, but other times our experience tells us that we can not depend on them in the way we desire. The practical experience we have with this person becomes the knowledge of what we can expect in the future. This is where we must use our knowledge of them and see them with our fresh eyes. This fresh view allows us to see what is true.
It doesn’t mean they are failing us on purpose or that they are thoughtless or unkind. This is simply the way they are in the world and we should accept them for what they are. We now have this view, which we can use to put away previous expectations of them and stop our self-inflicted cycle of disappointment.
We all fall short from time, so we may disappoint others in our lives from time to time as well. We’re only human and need to give ourselves grace, as we do for others.
How should we move through life, should we be tough, flexible, ethereal?
We can be all of those things and use the correct approach dependent on our current circumstances.
Water or H2O's shape shifting ability is the perfect analogy for the choices we can make in terms of our own behaviors.
H2O is undoubtedly one of the most amazing substance on Earth, and it demonstrates the power of being the way it needs to be in the world.
Obviously, water has several forms, liquid, solid and gas states, which are dependent upon on the current temperature and other atmospheric conditions.
If we think about the many obstacles we face in life, whether it is another person, our own actions or just fate, we have choices about how we will react to these challenges.
If we have a current difficult situation, we could do several things to in order to deal with it.
Being ice is a tactic that may need to be employed occasionally, but it is very hard on us and will leave us feeling exhausted by always doing battle and taking a beating over time.
Being water gives us options for getting over, under or around difficulties that we find in our path. Water is able to flow by seeking different routes to get where it wants to go. Being like water allows us to think about problems in diverse ways to resolve problems and achieve our goals.
Being steam may be the only strategy that will work to resolve a very tough situation. Removing yourself entirely from a dangerous, frightening or unsolvable situation and moving into a better environment is the best move in some cases.
We all get stuck at times and feel there is no way to change our current circumstances, but thinking about ourselves as H2O with various properties allows us to reflect on our choices and the possible decisions that we always have available to us. There are very few situations in life where we have no other options to choose from. We need to take account of what is potentially available to us, make the best decision and continue to make our way in the world.
#problemsolving #life #backpain #neckpain #sciatica #chronicsciatica #mindbody #headache #chronicpain #tensionbasedpain #mind-body #stress #effectsofstress
There are many ways that we can get stressed by life and sometimes it is not easy, if not impossible to avoid it, but we do have control over the Social Media we consume and those we allow to be a part of it.
In 1997 one of the very first Social Media networks was launched, named the Six Degrees profile uploading service in 1997. Ever since that time, hundreds of Social Media networks ventures have been pushed out into the world.
Social Media can be informative, entertaining and a way to connect with others, but there are negative aspects we should think about.
These networks can waste time and create a lot of different negative feelings. We may find that we don't have enough time to do what we need to get done during the day; that we aren't spending enough time with friends or family; or that we don't have enough free time to ourselves, so we have to ask ourselves how much of our valuable time should we give to Social Media.
How many Social Media networks do we belong to and how many is too many? Being active in many Social Media networks eats up our days or evenings, may keep us from achieving what is important to us and may degrade our personal relationships with our loved ones, family, friends and with the communities in which we live in.
Social Media networks we joined years ago may no longer be relevant to our lives today, but habit keeps us going back, wasting our precious time and getting little or nothing out of it.
Some Social Media networks that we visit don't really please us, they make us sad or angry or contribute nothing to our lives, but habit forces us into this unpleasant tasks.
In Social Media networks where we choose our communities, some of the people we have allowed into our groups cause us to feel unsettled, embarrassed, angry or dispirited. Social Network applications are not friendships, they are not family relationships, they are just online groups, which we have the power to control and we should.
In Spring we sometimes think about Spring cleaning, and we should also consider our online lives and the task of clearing out our Toxic Social Media (TSM).
First published on the Quora space Mind-Body and Chronic Pain
After trying every conventional therapy for crippling, chronic low-back pain, I discovered the problem was completely within my control. I experienced an amazing health transformation in a matter of weeks. Mind-Body medicine worked for me, and it can for can too!