What kind of body vehicle are you cruising with? No matter what conditions may burden and afflict our bodies, we can set intentions to care for and nourish whatever temple that we are in. We create this connection by bringing a deep awareness to our state of physical existence. When I did this many years ago, I realized that my body was a representation of a Southern style all-you-can-eat buffet, with an extensive dessert bar! I have always loved food and being raised in Alabama, eating was the most favorite past-time. I never thought that I would turn away from enjoying a multitude of fried foods, ham hocks, buttery cheese grits, and mounds of sugary snacks. It would be a travesty for a Black woman from the South to not eat fried chicken! Oh my….
However, when I began to deeply explore the feelings and sensations in my body, I found that many of these foods were not serving my body in a way that gave ease of digestion and increased vital energy. This attention and mindfulness began to transform the way that I saw food. I increasingly became able to identify if I was actually “starving” as opposed to when I was eating as a reaction to an emotional or mental charge or to fill a void in my soul. Through having a loving partnership with my body and learning to listen intently to its needs, I slowly moved into a vegetarian lifestyle with a healthy balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. I do not claim that vegetarianism is for everybody, but I do teach that deep listening is for all of us. Our bodies are mostly the same, though entirely unique at the same time. What works for us individually can be determined by the knowledge from research that we have on physical health in conjunction with the knowledge provided by our own inner wisdom.
We will discover that the body craves to be treated right according to the needs that will give it the most effective functioning and balance. We will also understand that just as a computer sometimes requires a re-boot, our bodies may perform better with intermittent re-boots in the form of cleansing and detoxing. Eating in this manner along with workable exercise plans and activities, we realize a body that is vital, thriving, and flourishing. Now, at the age of 39, I am styling in a body that is exponentially more fit than it was in my 20’s. See for yourself how minding your body can enrich you with a temple to be proud of!
Other reasons to eat mindfully – check out this article from the November 2011 issue of Scientific American Magazine. Food We Eat Might Control Our Genes
Scientific American Magazine, November 2011
By Anne-Marie C. Hodge Scientists find rice microRNA inside human cells
“You are what you eat.” The old adage has for decades weighed on the minds of consumers who fret over responsible food choices. Yet what if it was literally true? What if material from our food actually made its way into the innermost control centers of our cells, taking charge of fundamental gene expression?
That is in fact what happens, according to a recent study of plant-animal microRNA transfer led by Chen-Yu Zhang of Nanjing University in China. MicroRNAs are short sequences of nucleotides—the building blocks of genetic material. Although microRNAs do not code for proteins, they prevent specific genes from giving rise to the proteins they encode. Blood samples from 21 volunteers were tested for the presence of microRNAs from crop plants, such as rice, wheat, potatoes and cabbage.
The results, published in the journal Cell Research
, showed that the subjects’ bloodstream contained approximately 30 different microRNAs from commonly eaten plants. It appears that they can also alter cell function: a specific rice microRNA was shown to bind to and inhibit the activity of receptors controlling the removal of LDL—“bad” cholesterol—from the bloodstream. Like vitamins and minerals, microRNA may represent a previously unrecognized type of functional molecule obtained from food.
The revelation that plant microRNAs play a role in controlling human physiology highlights the fact that our bodies are highly integrated ecosystems. Zhang says the findings may also illuminate our understanding of co-evolution, a process in which genetic changes in one species trigger changes in another. For example, our ability to digest the lactose in milk after infancy arose after we domesticated cattle. Could the plants we cultivated have altered us as well? Zhang’s study is another reminder that nothing in nature exists in isolation.
“Melissa's ability to connect with me as an individual made me feel safe and comfortable. Her calm and soothing voice during the guided meditations really helped me to tap into a state of mindfulness. The mindful eating exercise that Melissa led was very eye-opening and made me evaluate what it is that I am putting into my body. The hike and meditation we went on was very powerful, as Melissa pointed out setting our intentions. Her ability to connect with the mind, body and spirit in Mother Nature was a very grounding experience.”
M.Y., Business Accountant in San Francisco
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-- Dragonfly Healing Center March Workshop: “Mind Your Body: Mindfulness for Exploring the Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit Connection”
Saturday, March 31st from 1pm-5pm at Jikoji Zen Temple and Retreat Center
This is a Co-Ed workshop (all genders welcome!) See details and RSVP HERE!!!
We are feeling the love at Dragonfly Healing Center! The month of amor is here and we have nothing but love for all beings on this journey, with an extra sprinkle of heartfullness for those who dearly support us in our purpose. Much gratitude!
We speak so much of the heart, and the heart has many answers…
Definitions – MacMillan Dictionary
- organ in the body
- area of chest with heart
- your feelings
- central part
- most important part
- shape representing love
- suit of playing cards
When someone asks, “Can you feel where I’m coming from?” or just “do you feel me?” they are inquiring about a heart connection. One that goes straight to the soul, from one human being to another.
I have an affinity towards hearts, for I am a Valentine Cupid – born on February 14th that is. Down in the heart of Dixie, I was delivered at our home by a skilled midwife. She bonded with my mother as they worked to welcome me into this world. A few years ago, my mother took me and my sister to visit our elderly midwife. I was grateful for this act of love from my mother. And I felt so much love for this woman whose hands first touched me as I gasped my first breath of air. How wonderful and heartfelt to touch those hands.
As humans we experience many kinds of love – after all, LOVE is what we all want and is what we all are – it just gets a bit closed off and buried at times.
How do we open our hearts? How do we cultivate more love in our lives, to give and receive?
A way that I know works for sure is through the practice of lovingkindness.
Lovingkindness is also known as Metta practice and is the act of cultivating love and care for all beings. The meditations and teachings enhance our ability to send love and compassion to ourselves and others, including strangers and those that we may not even particularly like. Lovingkindness is a heart-centered component of mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness, being in the present moment with an attitude of non-judgment, grows more awareness of loving the self and seeing clearly how we can best care for self. The heart pumps blood to itself first and then to the rest of the body. The heart is wise! We must care for self before we can effectively help and serve others.
In showing our love and care for the future of this planet, Dragonfly Healing Center is supporting the upcoming Mindful Schools fundraising event through volunteer assistance. This event features Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, who will be speaking on the role of mindfulness in education.
See complete details!!! http://www.mindfulschools.org/home/jkz-benefit/
13. Cultivate a “high-performance mind” - Cultivating a high-performance mind is a very fun, invigorating process that involves consciously accessing the brainwave state that you consciously choose, whenever you feel it is appropriate for a certain situation. Since their is no single best brainwave state to live life in, it helps to train our mind to consciously be able to “switch” states upon command. For those who want to understand more about developing a high-performance mind, I recommend that you go check out the book The High Performance Mind by Anna Wise.
14. Connect through prayer – The act of simply closing your eyes, folding your hands and saying a prayer will raise your level of consciousness. There are many different ways to practice prayer and there are many different practices, that when combined with prayer, enhance the power of your conscious message. Overall, prayer is a great experience that has potential to aid in your conscious awareness.
15. Challenge your belief system - This one can be difficult for many individuals due to the influence of imprinted beliefs by their parents or guardians during childhood. Some examples of beliefs that you could change include: dietary (changing to a vegetarian), spiritual (from Christianity to Atheism – or vice versa), emotional (from sadness to happiness), etc. By changing your belief system and experimenting with new beliefs, you make yourself more conscious of life’s endless possibilities.
16. Befriend like-minded individuals - On your journey towards becoming a more conscious individual, befriending like-minded people can be extremely helpful. If you are going through many spiritual, emotional, and mental changes without the company of others, the process can be much more difficult and confusing than when you have a guide, guru, or some friends that are traveling at a similar pace to you. Not only is being around like-minded individuals healthy, and optimal for your consciousness, it will ultimately give you more joy in life!
17. Pursue a path of spirituality - Pursuing a path of spirituality and becoming more spiritual will aid you considerably in the process of becoming a more conscious human being. Never be afraid to add a new spiritual practice to your arsenal – you never know what may be most effective or a life changing experience.
18. Express gratitude - Expressing gratitude on a daily basis is a very positive, fulfilling exercise to practice. Ways to express gratitude on a daily basis include: giving thanks for your food, expressing gratitude for yourself and others through prayer (as discussed earlier), complimenting others, and letting another person know that you are thankful for having them in your life. By sharing and expressing gratitude, you feel extremely satisfied and will become more consciously aware of the things that you truly appreciate in life.
19. Make yourself happy - What sort of things make you happy? The answer is usually different for everyone. You can do yourself a favor right now by making a long list of everything that makes you happy in life andacting on your listed items. Feeling and experiencing happiness in your life also will give you the powerful drive that it takes to make yourself more conscious.
20. Act on your desires - Simply having any form of desire will raise your consciousness. Desire encourages us to take action to advance consciously. The state of apathy, or not caring about your consciousness, will naturally lower your consciousness. Desire is a powerful way to raise your consciousness.
21. Boost your brain power and functioning - There are many helpful exercises that you can do to boost your brain power and overall level of functioning. One of my most popular articles, 50 Ways To Boost Your Brain Power, should get you on the right track if you are currently confused about the topic. Raising your level of consciousness will naturally boost your overall brain power, and boosting your brain power will raise your level of consciousness; both affect each other in equal proportion.
22. Take full control of your lifestyle - Are you living the lifestyle that you feel is most beneficial for your mental and physical wellbeing? Maybe there are certain bad habits that you need to get rid of or certain good habits that you’d like to implement in your daily routine. Don’t be afraid to act now and make necessary positive changes in your lifestyle to help you take full conscious control.
23. Choose empowering beliefs - In the process of changing beliefs, choose beliefs that are empowering to your soul. A good way to know what belief will be empowering is to simply ask yourself how you feel about adding the new belief. If you feel a strong connection with a new belief, such as feelings of excitement, it will probably be a very good choice of a belief to implement. Make a conscious effort to purge all beliefs that areless than satisfying. Understand also that as you become a more conscious human being, changing your beliefs will become a much easier, more natural process.
24. Avoid physical fighting and abuse - Physical fighting stems from emotional misunderstandings, hatred, and negative emotional expressions. Fighting can be described as the opposite of peace. Physical fighting and other forms of abuse can really do a great job at distracting us from becoming more conscious human beings. Anything that you can do to stop physical fighting and abuse will ultimately make you and the individuals involved more consciously aware.
This consciously aware list is compiled by Drew from4 Mind 4 Life
Below are 99 ways to help you live life in a conscious way. Raising your personal vibration rate not only helps you live life with greater ease, but it also affects the collective consciousness of earth in a positive way. So really it is a win-win situation.
As always, take away what makes you feel good and light within. If any of the below points make you feel heavy, move on to the next point. Emotions are your guidance system to life.
This consciously aware list is compiled by Drew from4 Mind 4 Life
1. Connect with nature – Go for a walk in the forest, jungle, field of daisies, or wherever you feel like getting a connection with nature. It is possible to feel at deep sense of peace and oneness when you attempt to connect with nature. As you learn to connect and appreciate nature, you allow your consciousness to rise up.
2. Get your body moving – Exercise and dancing will raise your consciousness by promoting healthy brainwave patterns, healthy neurotransmitter levels, and great circulation throughout your nervous system. Help yourself rise up and break the pattern of not exercising by going for a friendly walk with one of your friends or even going to the club to dance. Both examples are: easy, fun, and empowering.
3. Simple meditation - Whether you are an advanced meditator or a beginner, the benefits are tremendous and will allow you to tap into your highest state of conscious functioning if you stick around long enough. It is an act that will definitely raise your conscious awareness and allow you to attain greater focus, discipline, and develop a deeper joyous connection to life.
4. Spending time with true friends - Find only friends that align with who you are, your beliefs, and your values – they will make you more conscious. These are your true friends, and though they can be tough to find, they should definitely be cherished. Give some of your true friends a call and make it a habit to spend more time with them.
5. Have the intention to “raise your consciousness” – If you have the intention to raise your consciousness and state of awareness, you are on the right track. Having the intention alone will make you more focused on finding ways to raise your consciousness.
6. Tell the truth - Anytime you tell the truth, you raise your level of consciousness. Why do people tell lies? To protect themselves in lower states of consciousness. People in higher states of consciousness don’t lie because they want to be true to themselves, others, and make relationships in humanity more conscious.
7. Find and live your purpose - Searching for a purpose will help you find your true purpose here on Earth. When you find your purpose and are able to share it with the rest of the world, you will continue to raise your level of consciousness.
8. Take conscious control of your decisions - When you take conscious control of all your decisions, you are actually activating certain neural pathways in your brain that help promote self-control, calmness, and inner peace. Every time you allow others to dictate your decisions or you don’t take full conscious responsibility for your decisions, you become slightly conditioned to be less conscious when making choices.
9. Always be open-minded - Being open-minded is a key aspect in the process of becoming a more conscious individual. When you haven’t accepted the diversity that our planet has to offer: ranging from different cultures, religions, wildlife, and beliefs, you will stay in your same state of consciousness or drop to a lower state. Being open-minded doesn’t only need to be for beliefs either. It can be having an open-mind to try something new such as: a new exercise routine, spiritual practice, or trying a new food.
10. Pursue higher intelligence - There are many ways to become more intelligent. Not everyone is intelligent in every area of their life. Some people are more emotionally intelligent, some have a higher I.Q., while some are more spiritually intelligent. All forms of intelligence increases and enhancements will help you on your journey towards expanding your awareness and becoming a more conscious human being.
11. Treat yourself with respect - Having respect for yourself and your actions will ultimately boost the amount of love that you express towards yourself and others. Make wise, respectful decisions that reflect your values and have strong respect for your personal beliefs. Treating others with respect will help you become a more conscious human being too, but before you can respect others properly, you must first learn to show the utmost respect towards yourself.