This Week at OHI


Optimum Health Institute’s Weekly Blogs.
OHI offers a holistic healing program based on ancient spiritual disciplines that promotes healing of your body, mind, and spirit through all-natural, non-medical practices.

Spiritual Fellowship During the Holidays

Affirming Your Life

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
-- Hamilton Wright Mabie

Affirmation: Today during my meditation, I will focus with gratitude on the special people, both family, and friends, with whom I share spiritual fellowship during the holiday season.

Spiritual Fellowship During the Holidays

They’re the people who raised you, or you raised them. They’re the friends you first met decades ago, and now you can’t imagine your life without them. They’re the relatives who might only come together for holidays or family milestones, but they’re always in your heart. Together, they create a spiritual fellowship that transcends space and time. Your connection is so much richer and more profound than just being in the same place, at the same time. It’s actually at the core of being able to experience true joy and positive purpose.

That’s why the holidays are such an important touchstone for families and friends. It’s a time designated to come together in beloved community, and make new memories you’ll reminisce about during holidays to come.

In the relatively new science of Positive Psychology, one of the three necessities for being happy in your life is having a “community” – a close knit group of one or many family members and/or friends who know you, and have your back. Your spiritual community represents your safe space to retreat to after a disappointment, or to celebrate a victory.

There’s a particular richness to this community during the holidays, and you can make this the year you add even more to the connections. Here are some ideas for reinforcing the unity, caring and love for each other.

  1. First, release all expectations. There is no such thing as the “perfect” holiday. But choosing to focus on the things that are positive, fun and interesting will keep you, and everyone around you, in the jolliest of moods.
  1. Start a new tradition of going around the table and sharing your happiest holiday memory. Chances are, the memory will include at least one or two others gathered there, reinforcing the “spiritual community” theme.
  1. If someone introduces a topic that could erupt in an unpleasant exchange, gently – or not so gently – steer the conversation in another direction. You can even make a joke of it – “How about those Mets?”
  1. Bring music to the mix. John Denver once said, ““Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.” A sing-along or informal concert, or even a holiday music mix on an iPod, can draw everyone into the fun.
  1. Feel gratitude for coming together again in the circle of your family and friends. Even if old tensions start to run high, you can be authentically grateful that you now have the opportunity to create happier new memories.

This holiday season, experience true fellowship and spiritual community at the OHI missions in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health with an extended stay. Visit us online at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 224-2620 to make your reservation. Mention the code “HUG” for special savings.

The Divine Simplicity of the Spiritual Quest

Spiritual quests can take many forms. They can be as dramatic as the young sheltered prince Siddhartha in 6 th century B.C. Nepal desiring to know of the world that lay beyond the palace walls. He started out on what would be a six-year quest and blossomed into total spiritual awakening, becoming the Buddha. Another spiritual journey began with a young girl in 15 th century France having visions. Joan d’ Arc received divine instruction to help save France, and have the Dauphin crowned King Charles VII.

For the majority of us, though, our own personal spiritual quest can begin as a mere whisper; a stirring in the heart that slowly, steadily, takes us out of our comfort zone. It can start with the feeling that there’s something ‘more’ – more real, more purposeful, more loving – that we have yet to discover.

The late author and spiritual mentor Wayne Dyer said it beautifully: “ When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” There are simple steps we can all take to change how we process things, and to start out on our own spiritual quest.

These disciplines so important for your transformation are what Optimum Health Institute (OHI) calls “The Five P’s to Optimum Health.”

Purpose: Meditating on what you feel are the most purposeful things for you to do. When you shift your focus from, “What’s in it for me?” to “How can I help?” you immediately begin to rewire your brain into a place of higher awareness. Random acts of kindness, visiting people in the hospital, contributing to or starting a food drive – there’s an infinite number of ways you can personally make a positive difference.

Positive: Choosing to maintain a positive frame of mind has immediate health benefits – lower stress, lower risk of heart disease, lower mortality and better coping skills, for starters, all of which help lead to spiritual transformation.

Persistence: Faithfully following spiritual disciplines and choosing to live a more holistic life help you develop the strength and commitment to reach your goals.

Patience: Being gentle with yourself as you allow your body-mind-spirit to heal and transform paves the way for sustainable and healing changes.

Prayer: Mindfully connecting with the Divine takes you to, and keeps you in, an Alpha state of grace, gratitude and purposeful power. Through prayer and meditation, your spiritual path becomes clear.

Practice the 5 P’s and make great strides on your spiritual quest with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to find out about special money-saving offers and make your reservation.

Spiritual Awakening

Sometimes, when we reach rock bottom, we discover our spiritual awakening was waiting there for us to embrace it.

She was 43, bedridden, with three kids and an unhappy second marriage. Her destructive addictions to food, alcohol, and codeine sent her spiraling downward. As a last-ditch effort to heal her body, mind, emotions, and spirit, she asked for help and was admitted to a rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles.

Deeply depressed, full of rage and feeling completely disconnected from her life, she lay on the floor of the attic, staring at the ceiling. Suddenly she felt a faint tickle on her bare foot. A cockroach was brazenly making its way across her toes.

At that very moment, in the most vulnerable, desperate situation she had ever experienced, Byron Katie had a spiritual epiphany. She could either surrender to the bottomless pit of fear and loathing and give up on her life, or she could completely change the meaning she gave to basically everything.

In that moment of spiritual clarity, she realized that old beliefs and judgments had kept her stuck in a place of pain. By simply giving herself permission to release those beliefs, and substitute positive, hopeful new thoughts, she could immediately and permanently transform her life into one of joy, purpose, and love.

As she shared her new revelation with others, she began to realize the way she shifted the meaning of things in her own life could be a powerful tool for transformation for anyone else, too. That’s when Byron created “The Work,” a series of four questions designed to help people separate myth from truth, and reclaim their lives:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
  3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

Sharing The Work became Byron’s new spiritual purpose, and she has authored numerous best-selling books on the subject, lectured, created an international institute, and been dubbed, “a spiritual innovator for the 21 st century” by Time magazine. She has touched millions as The Work is being taught at prisons, hospitals, universities, corporations, workshops, and retreats across the globe.

Had she not confronted her own desperation, though, Byron never would have experienced the spiritual awakening that has transformed so many lives.

Find a sacred space of empowerment, serenity, and encouragement to nurture your own spiritual awakening with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation. Call today to find out about special money-saving offers for November.

Our Secrets to Strengthening the Spirit Through Prayer

Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) practice to create and nurture our connection to God, and renew our spirit. Simply put, prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening for God’s answer. Because we’ve been given the divine gift of free will, prayer is actually our first step in reaching out to God, and affirming the existence of a Higher Source.

There are thousands of ways to communicate with God. Some people get out in nature; others use music, a candle or incense to silence mental chatter. There are others who can pray anywhere, any time. When we connect to God on a heart level, we can stay mindfully in the moment without mentally over analyzing the experience.

When you learn how to quiet the mind, you become more aware of God’s healing presence and your direct connection to Him. It can be particularly powerful to open all your prayers with an expression of gratitude for God’s many blessings.

While we encourage individual prayer at OHI in the manner that’s most comfortable for each guest, we also cherish our tradition of prayer circles before meals and ceremonies. There’s great symbolism in prayer circles. When two or more are gathered together in the name of the divine, their prayers generate powerful, purposeful energy and there’s a deep spiritual fellowship. While a group prayer may be more general, there is an undeniable healing energy that enfolds everyone. A circle symbolizes eternity, the perfection of creation without beginning or end. We hold hands and appreciate our community of caring, mutual respect for individual differences, and fellowship in our love for and surrender to God.

Another OHI group prayer tradition is our Friday morning testimonials, where guests and adherents share their experiences. I remember when a young woman told how God had answered her prayers, but not as she anticipated. She endured a tough childhood, and was raised by her grandmother. The girl fell in with a bad crowd and got involved in drugs and destructive relationships. Each time she began to straighten up, she sabotaged herself.

She prayed for help, and found a substance abuse recovery center. When she still didn’t feel whole, she kept praying for assistance and met a person who suggested she come to OHI. Her first few days she was sick as a dog while her body released years of toxins. By the middle of the week she turned the corner, and was transformed in time for Friday morning testimonials. She developed a personal connection to God, and resumed her spiritual path with clarity and joy. What made the difference? She had to just trust that God really WAS answering her prayers, even through those tough first days at OHI.

Sometimes God responds to our prayers in ways we didn’t anticipate. Other times He responds so much more magnificently than we could have possibly imagined. The bottom line is this – the only true prayer is the sincere desire of the heart. And all true prayers are answered.

Strengthen your relationship with God through prayer, and discover a clarity that can't be achieved through your works alone. Find the perfect setting for deep prayer and contemplation with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation. Mention the code “October” to find out about special money-saving offers.

How Generosity Transforms the Spirit

In the anxious hours as Hurricane Irma was nearing Florida this fall, a powerful act of compassion was playing out that grabbed the nation’s attention.

A woman had driven 30 miles to a home improvement store in Orlando to purchase a generator. Strong winds would surely knock out power for hours, if not days, and the woman’s father depended on his electric oxygen concentrator to breathe. When the man in line in front of her received the very last generator the store had in stock, the woman dissolved into mournful sobs.

Without even knowing why the generator was so crucially important to the woman, the stranger gave his to her, and hugged her. She clung to him, crying and thanking him for his kindness. The single act of compassion reverberated throughout the country, inspiring others to also help neighbors in need.

The generosity of spirit provokes an open-hearted response. Moving stories of previously mind-mannered people suddenly stepping forth and putting others first serves a dual purpose. It not only confirms the innate goodness of others; it kindles an urge in all who learn of their deeds to likewise be of service. The generosity of spirit, it’s been scientifically proven, is catching. Even if we feel we ourselves don’t have enough, when we see others being generous, we’re willing to go the extra mile to help someone else, too.

This desire to come together and share with others transcends boundaries of religion, nationality, race, age, and gender. It’s a spiritual energy of open-heartedness, charity, and optimism that sweeps everyone into its embrace.

As we head towards the season of gathering for the holidays and celebrating our blessings, it’s an ideal time to think about new ways we can share our own spirit of generosity, without waiting for a crisis to trigger a desire to help.

Identify a cause you feel passionate about, and go online to find local opportunities to share your time and get involved. Everyone probably has at least a few books you’re not going to read again. See if your local library or school could use them. Buy an extra bag of dog food and donate one to an animal shelter. When you let your friends know what you’re doing, they’ll be motivated to get involved, too.

If the OHI healthy lifestyle program has enriched your own body, mind, and spirit, you might want to consider sharing that gift with someone else through a donation to the OHI Scholarship fund. Every dollar you share goes directly into a scholarship, and every donation is 100% tax deductible.

Enrich your spirit with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation. Mention the code “October” to find out about special money-saving offers.

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