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.

Transforming Emotions, Part 2

Last week we shared some tips on how to transform emotions, like anger and anxiety, to achieve and maintain a positive balance in body, mind, emotions and spirit. Today we’ll continue our look at the remaining core emotions: Trust, Grief, Fear and Love.

Trust

The emotion of ‘trust’ can be a tricky one. It implies a vulnerability – we have expectations about a person or situation, and we’re required to have a ‘leap of faith’ that those expectations will be met. A good rule of thumb is, compassion is always appropriate, but trust is earned. In those instances where trust is required, rely on your instincts, and also seek some information about the trustee’s attributes, like reputation and past experiences. It will help transform ‘trust’ into ‘confidence.’

Grief

Any time we experience a loss of any kind, there is a certain element of grieving involved. Losing a loved one, relationship, job, health, reputation, friends, youth, even moving into a new home – all will generate some degree of grief. The biggest mistake we can make is trying to ignore or deny this emotion. Until we acknowledge our grief, we will remain mired in it. It’s important to be realistic, and admit things in our life have changed with this loss. The next step is to look at how this loss has transformed us. What have we learned? What memories can we cherish? What meaningful things can we do, moving forward, that will not only help us heal, but will benefit others? We can consciously choose to redirect our grief, and our sense of loss, into an opportunity for positive growth.

Fear

Fear and Anxiety are closely linked – they both arise when we’re facing a real or perceived threatening unknown. It’s part of our instinctual survival mechanism, when that twig snapping in the dark might have indicated a saber-tooth, ready to pounce. A ‘fight or flight’ fear response empowers us to take immediate action to remove ourselves, or others, from harm’s way. Pushing a child out of the path of a car, for instance, or freezing when a venomous snake slithers across a mountain trail.

While the emotion of fear can sometimes protect us from taking unwise risks, taken to the extreme it can also paralyze our ability to try anything new. Reliving fear, as in post-traumatic stress disorder, can keep us stuck in an old pattern.

To transform fear, first take a deep breath to help bring mental clarity. That will also empower you to assess the situation realistically. Is there a clear and present danger? If so, take the necessary steps to alleviate it. If there is not, a simple affirmation like, “I release all fear to the light,” can help bring you back into a positive emotional balance.

Love

Love is the essence of emotion, or ‘energy in motion.” It is that transcendent state where we feel a heart-centered connection; to God, another person, our children, our community, the Cosmos, all of creation. It can be a gentle contentment, a deep respect and regard, or a smoldering passion. At its core, Love is life’s greatest blessing, available to us all if we choose to open our hearts and minds.

Experience the emotional freedom of nurturing yourself first with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. It is time to get inspired and take this opportunity to become a better you! Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Transforming Emotions - Part 1

Candace Pert, PhD, the late neuroimmunologist and spiritual author, speaker and visionary, described our emotions as the thing linking our physical bodies to our spiritual selves. Cultivating positive emotions is essential for achieving, and maintaining, optimum health in body, mind and spirit.

The trick to cultivating those positive emotions, though, is to resist ignoring or suppressing less than happy feelings when they arise, as they inevitably will. Instead, learning the tools to realistically register, honor and then shift our emotions, as needed, is a powerful life skill that can change virtually everything for the better.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be looking closely at eight core emotions, and how they impact us.

Joy

The emotion of Joy is closely linked to optimism, serenity and ecstasy. It’s the sense of wonder, satisfaction and a peaceful excitement that you are part of something greater and magnificent. For many people, joy is experienced when they see or hear something of incomparable beauty, or feel a deeply personal connection to God.

Anger

The body has many ways to alert the brain to feelings of anger – muscle tenseness, shortness of breath, feeling flushed and an uncomfortable sensation in the stomach are just a few. Anger is usually an immediate response to a perceived wrongdoing. It can range from mild annoyance to exasperation to a hostile rage. In the short term, pure anger can sometimes be beneficial. Dr. Pert talks about a patient who made only healthy choices, but still received a cancer diagnosis. The woman became furious, and the cancer immediately went into remission. It was as if the unhealthy cells were burned away by the emotional surge.

A quick burst of anger is one thing, but a sustained slow-boil can have serious consequences for heart health. A positive way to process that emotion is to take a deep breath, remember what the thought was the moment before you physically felt anger, and change that thought. You can’t have an angry feeling without first having an angry thought.

Anxiety

Anxiety is that unbalanced emotion arising from fear of the unknown. Instead of staying suspended in that state of constant worry about what might go wrong, shift your thoughts to mentally listing all the things that could go RIGHT. The quickest way to come into balance from an anxious state is to take three deep, mindful breaths. That simple exercise will immediately propel you up into an Alpha state, where clarity and peace are yours.

Surprise

Whether it’s a happy surprise – office birthday party! – or an unpleasant one, the feeling of surprise means you are not in control of an immediate situation you have not anticipated. Take those deep breaths again to enter into Alpha, and be in the present moment. If it’s a positive surprise, enjoy! If it’s not, going right into a more aware, ‘plugged in’ Alpha state will empower you to quickly assess the situation. Are you in danger? If so, take the appropriate steps to remove yourself from harm’s way. Are you upset? First find something in the situation for which you can authentically be grateful. Even if it’s, “Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” that will immediately shift you into a more calm, collected and positive state of mind.

We’ll continue our roundup of effective ways to transform emotions in our next blog.

Experience the emotional freedom of nurturing yourself with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Help OHI celebrate 40+ years of holistic healing with special Anniversary offers. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org for additional information about our program.

Come Join OHI in Celebrating 40 Years of Holistic Healing

You and OHI – we have a history together.

You were the inspiration for a bold, innovative new way to learn how to live a healthier, happier, more balanced life. You were exactly who the founders of OHI had in mind 40 years ago when they opened their doors, and added a whole new dimension to healing.

Now, we’re inviting you back to where it all began in September of 1976 to let us celebrate YOU, and help us mark 40 years of bringing people into wholeness.

For our entire anniversary month in San Diego and Austin, from the week beginning 9/3/17 through the week beginning 9/24/17, every day is a celebration. Sunday you’ll receive a commemorative 40th Anniversary gift while you’re enjoying live music.

Monday through Friday, in addition to our usual prayer circles, classes and spiritual fellowship, we’ll have daily raffle drawings with prizes, including a FREE week-long stay.

In San Diego our Thursday evenings are reserved for a special live musical performance, MUSIC HEALS: A Medley of Songs That Touch the Heart and Soul. The concert was exclusively arranged for OHI by Grammy-Award Winner Jerry Peters.

In addition to the decorations, live entertainment, delicious foods and fun, we’re serving up special September Homecoming savings – just for you.

Come back for the big 40 th anniversary, and find out what’s new while reconnecting with the core program that gave you the basic tools to achieve and maintain optimum health. Be a part of something special as we celebrate 40 years of happiness, 40 years of making health goals a reality, 40 years of caring support, 40 years of trust and 40 years of you - our incredible OHI community.

Reconnect with old friends, and make some new ones during our 40 th anniversary month in September. Call us at (800) 993-4325 and mention code “Homecoming” to receive an anniversary savings when you make your reservation. Make sure to drop by our website at www.optimumhealth.org.

Emotions of the Fall

Fall is just around the corner. Autumn is the season of change, when the focus shifts from the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer to knuckling down for school, for work, and for the upcoming holidays.

It’s a time of special milestones for parents – a child’s first day of school, and in the blink of an eye, they’re heading off to college. That initial euphoria of having the house to yourself can quickly fade into a case of empty nest syndrome. It can bring a deep feeling of sadness and loss, and even fears that you’re no longer needed.

There are gatherings of family and friends to plan; gifts to buy; plenty of expectations and too often a tsunami of stress to handle. While the leaves are falling, our spirits can, too.

Thankfully, the fall also brings with it the opportunity for new beginnings. If the house is suddenly kid-free after 18 bustling years, it’s an excellent time to reconnect with your spouse, turn that newly spare room into a meditation or yoga studio, take those art or dance classes you’ve postponed, or start playing your guitar or piano again.

Get a head-start on holiday planning with some new activities that can become treasured family traditions. In the You Validation class taught at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) San Diego and Austin, Texas, a group sits in a circle and selects one person to begin the exercise. Each person in the circle says something nice to that person, and their only response can be, “Thank you.” Try it around the Thanksgiving table, and see how it brings all the generations together.

Use the fall to plan other positive holiday activities. For instance:

  1. Use holiday gatherings to introduce family and friends to delicious, plant-based dishes and main courses.
  2. Suggest a group stroll post-dinner.
  3. Find volunteer opportunities that could include everyone.
  4. Make a list of topics guaranteed to generate laughter and good feelings, like your favorite comedy movie, or the thing you’re most grateful for in the past year.

Taking a little extra time to meditate on the most positive ways to keep your emotions positive through the coming season will go a long way to helping you achieve, and maintain, optimum health in body, mind and spirit.

You can also rely on a return visit to OHI to give you the clarity, energy and enthusiasm to make this your best year yet. There’s still time to help OHI celebrate 40 years of holistic healing with by attending the special Homecoming celebration the week beginning 9-3-17 through the week beginning 9/24/17. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

The Emotional Freedom of Saying 'No'

All the passengers have boarded the plane, and the flight attendant takes her place at the head of the aisle. She instructs everyone to adjust and fasten seatbelts, move their trays and chairs to the upright position, and turn off all electronic devices. Then, she holds up a bright yellow oxygen mask. In the event of an emergency, she says, put your own mask on first. After all, you won’t be of any real help to anyone else if you can’t breathe yourself.

That’s important advice for airline travel, but even more important for daily life.

Only when we are functioning in a healthy, balanced way that’s in alignment with our values and beliefs can we truly be present, and be of service to others.

Too frequently we can find ourselves sacrificing things that are important to us just to attempt to please someone else. We’ve been diligent about adhering to a primarily live, raw, plant-based diet, but cave when mom insists we eat her famous homemade cinnamon rolls with extra icing.

We’ve been looking forward to a spiritual retreat weekend, but feel obligated to abandon our plans when a close friend decides to throw a huge party. We might even ethically disagree with a new policy at work, but stay silent to keep from ‘rocking the boat.’

Any time we fail to maintain good emotional boundaries, even thought we might think we’re keeping the peace, our actions will actually have the opposite effect. Over time, repeatedly suppressing our true feelings will inevitably lead to deep resentment.

The stress of denying what we feel is the better, more authentic choice can actually have physical repercussions. Stomach churning, sweaty palms, rapid breathing and elevated blood pressure are frequent results of swallowing our emotions. Negative emotions create an acidic body chemistry that robs minerals from our bones, organs, tissues and cells.

When we’ve fallen into a habit of people-pleasing, it can be challenging to start saying ‘No’ and take back our power. We can begin with first getting in touch with what we truly feel.

  1. Imagine yourself taking the time to do something you know is good for you, like meditating, exercising or journaling. Do you feel any hesitancy or guilt? If so, say an empowering statement, like, “I release all guilt to the light.”
  2. Affirmations are an excellent way to embrace your emotions and start to set good boundaries. “I give myself the gift of time to nourish my spirit” is a powerful start.
  3. After years of saying ‘Yes’ when you didn’t want to, it might be hard to distinguish between what you think others expect from you, and what you truly desire. Tap directly into your higher self by thinking of a specific question, like, “Do I want to go to that event?” Then immediately, imagine that you’re seeing a traffic light in your mind’s eye. What color light is lit? If it’s red, your answer is ‘No.’ Green means go for it! Yellow suggests that you proceed, but cautiously.

With a little practice, we can change old patterns of going along with something into the emotionally freeing option of just saying, unapologetically, “No!” It’s definitely a positive new behavior that will have us breathing easier.

Experience the emotional freedom of nurturing yourself first with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Join us as we celebrate 40 years of holistic healing. Take advantage of our special Homecoming Celebration with special offers beginning the week 9/30/17 through the week beginning 9/24/17. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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