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.

Surrender to Serenity

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God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can

And wisdom to know the difference.

This prayer, attributed to American theologian Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr, has taken on a life of its own since Niebuhr first used it in a sermon seven decades ago.

It brought comfort to countless military personnel during World War 2, when it was published in 1944 in a Federal Council of Churches book for army chaplains and servicemen.  Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs have made it an important part of their meetings.  It’s used at funerals, in hospitals and hospice, at graduations, or during private contemplation.

What is it about the Serenity Prayer that gives it such lasting power, and makes it appropriate for so many circumstances?

It’s because the prayer makes us a humbled yet hopeful partner with a loving God – a God who won’t magically make challenges disappear, but who, at our request, will give us the spiritual strength and discernment to understand and then handle any situation which may arise.

It offers a course of action when we feel we’ve screeched to a painful halt, and places us directly in the flow of divine grace, love and peace.  The prayer acknowledges that sometimes, the only way to release our anger, or fear, or impatience, or shame about something in our lives is to merely let all those harmful emotions go.  It helps us surrender to the reality that what’s done is done, what is, is, and perhaps the only possible thing about it that can change is the meaning we chose to give it.  On those occasions, when surrender is the only option, the prayer reassures us that heart-felt surrender will result in a positive emotional shift, and a blessed peace.

The prayer speaks to the spiritual warrior in each of us by calling on God for the sheer guts to bravely confront what’s out of balance in our lives, and set it right.  Whether it’s an issue in our personal or professional lives, a health opportunity, or a worthy cause that speaks to our heart and soul, we’re not asking God to just handle it – we’re asking God to partner with us, to have our back while we charge ahead with prayerful resolution to make the world a better, more loving place.

And finally, the real power of the prayer is its acknowledgement that sometimes, the line between knowing when to surrender, and knowing when to keep fighting, can be hard to discern.  Only through the divine grace of a loving God can we truly learn which is the right course of action.  While ‘knowledge’ about an issue can be all tangled up with ego and less than entirely positive motives, ‘wisdom’ comes straight from the heart, and straight from the hand of God.  Beseeching God for the pure insight and good judgment that comes to those who ask is a powerful, positive way to take the right path.

May you know the peace that flows to us only by surrendering to God.

When your body, mind, and spirit are aligned, you can achieve good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to learn more.

Sprouting Part II: Sprouting Alfalfa

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If you have begun to incorporate sprouted foods into your diet, alfalfa may be one of the first foods you start sprouting at home. Alfalfa is a natural choice for sprouting because the fully grown alfalfa plant is too rough and bitter to eat. However, the tender sprouts of alfalfa seeds offer a multitude of nutritional benefits, along with a pleasing earthy flavor, and they can be grown right at home.

Why people sprout alfalfa:

In eastern cultures, the health benefits of sprouted foods have been recognized for centuries, but it was not until the WWII era that Americans started to realize the goodness of sprouting. During this time, sprouted foods like soybeans and alfalfa emerged as a cheap, wholesome, and easy-to-grow food source that could nourish troops located in even the roughest conditions. Soon, sprouts became more common to western cuisines, particularly alfalfa sprouts. These are among the most commercially available sprouts found in grocery stores, but many people prefer to sprout them at home so that there is minimal risk of foodborne illness or contamination. Call the OHI Store at (888) 643-7867 and inquire about our full line of seeds for sprouting, sprouting equipment and sprouting books.

Why alfalfa sprouts are so beneficial:

Sprouts are a critical component of a raw food diet, because they supplement vitamins and protein that many people consume through animal sources. Alfalfa sprouts in particular offer lots of protein, vitamin B, and vitamin K. Plus, these tasty sprouts have virtually no sugar or fat, so they are filling and satisfying enough to support cleansing and weight loss. Another added benefit of alfalfa sprouts is their effect on cholesterol, as they have been shown to help clean the arteries of bad cholesterol that can lead to heart disease.

How to include alfalfa sprouts in your diet:

Most people enjoy alfalfa sprouts in simple applications like salads. They can be easily added to almost any recipe; because they are palatable with no strong flavors, they blend well into raw dishes. Alfalfa sprouts can be cooked, but their full nutrition is better preserved in the raw state.

Find out more about how sprouting can transform your diet with Optimum Health Institute. The holistic healing program at Optimum Health Institute consists of three-week-long sessions that can be taken consecutively or independently. The sessions interlock classes and activities drawn from 24 ancient spiritual disciplines that promote healing of your body, mind, and spirit. Along with learning how to cleanse and nourish the body with diet, fasting, and exercise, guests learn how to quiet and focus the mind with journaling and meditation, plus renew and awaken their spirits with study, prayer, and celebration. To learn more about the OHI program, call (800) 993-4325 or visit www.optimumhealth.org.

Listening to Body Wisdom

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Your colleague takes credit for a report you’ve been working on for weeks.  A few days later, you wake up with laryngitis.

While you have the nagging feeling you should be meditating more, there just isn’t time – especially since you might have to make a doctor’s appointment because your left ear feels blocked up.

After a challenging childhood where you were shown little love, you still have trouble trusting people.  And your recent medical tests showed you’re pre-diabetic.

What’s going on here is your body is showing you there is a literal and very strong connection from what you think, to how your physical self responds.

While we at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) teach about the body-mind-spirit connection, you don’t have to go any further than your own frame to see the proof.

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.  When something happens on a spiritual level, for instance, like you feel you’re too busy to meditate and pray regularly, that spiritual imbalance must become denser so you’ll pay attention.  It drops from a spiritual issue to a mental one – you began chastising yourself that you haven’t made time to pray in you can’t remember how long, but you still put it off. 

If the mental obsession still doesn’t produce the desired shift, the issue must become denser yet, and manifest in the physical form as something like a plugged ear.  When you’re consciously aware that the body will signal spiritual imbalances, you might be able to make the connection – the left side of the body represents the feminine and spiritual aspect of taking God energy in, while the right side represents the masculine, and how you direct your energy in the world.  So difficulties with the left ear can signal you’re not listening to the spiritual messages you’re being given.  Slow down, mindfully meditate and pray for spiritual direction, and see if that ear might not just “open up” on its own.

When you either willingly or unwillingly yield your power to someone else, like letting your dishonest colleague take credit for your work, your throat – the center of communication and how you use your will – will usually signal the imbalance.  Coughing, a sore throat or even completely losing your voice can force you to face the consequences of not speaking up and blocking that truth that desperately wants to be heard.

What about the onset of diabetes? In her fascinating book, You Can Heal Your Life, author and spiritual sage Louise Hay suggests that people who don’t have enough sweetness in their life can experience an insulin imbalance, and develop that particular health opportunity.

Louise’s book lists just about every medical issue you can imagine, and the corresponding thought process that very likely either caused, or greatly contributed to that particular health opportunity.  She also offers readers specific affirmations geared to shifting the mind’s past attitude towards an issue to facilitate healing on every level. You can purchase from the OHI Store by calling (888) 643 -7867.  As Buddha said, “What we think, we become.”  Affirmations, meditation and prayer are powerful spiritual tools for quieting and redirecting the mind to focus on balance, positive new behaviors and optimum health.

When we can begin to see physical challenges as an indicator that there’s a deeper truth to the situation, and an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, we can truly appreciate how the body-mind connection is a powerful spiritual gift.

When your body, mind, and spirit are aligned, you can achieve good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to learn more.

 

Dry Brushing Your Skin

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Detoxifying your body is an important step in achieving holistic wellness, and there are several components of the detox process that you will need to become familiar with in order to take hold of your health. Along with a cleansing diet to detox the inside of the body, you can detox from the outside with the technique of dry brushing. This simple practice is relaxing, revitalizing, and helpful to the natural processes that cleanse the body. Here are some of the basics about dry brushing to get you started on this process at home:

  • Why do it? Dry brushing the skin helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is responsible for carrying toxins out of the body. When you wake up the skin through the process of dry brushing, the circulation of toxins between the lymph vessels speeds up. Therefore, toxins are removed from the body faster, so you feel less tired and get sick less often. An added benefit of dry brushing is exfoliation of dead skin cells, so the immediate result will be softer, smoother skin.
  • How is it done? The most important part of dry brushing is the direction of the brush strokes. You should brush in long strokes toward the heart, starting from the lower body and moving upwards. This motion will flow with the circulation of the lymphatic system. To dry brush, you should invest in a large brush with stiff bristles and a long handle. You can order brushes for dry brushing from the OHI Store by calling (888)643-7867.
  • When to do it? Brush just before showering when your skin is completely dry. You should apply just enough pressure to pull the skin slightly, but brushing should not hurt. If you have brushed correctly, you will notice that your skin is slightly pink but not overly irritated.

Explore even more ways to facilitate natural, invigorating healing by visiting Optimum Health Institute. The holistic healing program at Optimum Health Institute consists of three-week-long sessions that can be taken consecutively or independently. The sessions interlock classes and activities drawn from 24 ancient spiritual disciplines that promote healing of your body, mind, and spirit. Along with learning how to cleanse and nourish the body with diet, fasting, and exercise, guests learn how to quiet and focus the mind with journaling and meditation, plus renew and awaken their spirits with study, prayer, and celebration. To learn more about the OHI program, call (800) 993-4325 or visit www.optimumhealth.org.

Embracing Your Anger

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There’s a very cool T-shirt that reads, “Depression is Anger without the enthusiasm.”  That’s very funny, and also very, very true.

At the Optimum Health Institute (OHI), we teach guests that there are just two core emotions – positive, or love based, and negative, or fear based.  This fear is frequently expressed as anger.

Somewhere along the line, many of us, and most women, got the message that it just wasn’t OK or “ladylike” to feel or express anger.  “Nice” people never got angry – instead they would just swallow their emotions, compromising their desires, beliefs and goals, to keep everyone else happy and maintain a semblance of peace.

After decades of getting this message that “anger is wrong,” and trying to stifle this very honest and real emotion, what happens?  Yep – the T-shirt is right.  Depression sets in because it really is anger without the enthusiasm.

Depression isn’t the only potential fallout from unexpressed anger.  A recent study at Columbia University Medical Center shows unexpressed rage can also literally harm the heart.  Our feelings of anger set off our “flight-fight response,” which drives up heart and respiration rates and tightly squeezes blood vessels as our body gets ready to react decisively.  If we try to suppress that emotion, the body never gets the “release” of appropriately expressed anger, and our risk for heart disease is escalated.

Explosive, undirected spurts of anger can take the same toll on the heart as suppressing rage, so it’s important to learn to express your anger in appropriate ways.

Confronting the situation or person that triggered your anger is key, as is being able to have a discussion – even a rather heated one – about the issue in question.  Healthy resolution is not about fixing blame – it’s about getting back to that core emotion, and verbalizing what need of yours you fear is not being met.  This moderate expression of anger, research shows, can be both constructive and heart healthy.

Dr. Candace Pert, the pharmacologist and researcher who’s rewritten the medical books by proving every cell of our body has a separate consciousness, has seen other positive results from occasionally letting that anger inside of us explode.

She’s seen cancer patients who do not meekly accept their diagnosis, but rage against the disease attacking their body.  The same way a fever kills invading germs, she’s seen this expression of fury result in an almost immediate remission, as if the anger somehow burned out the cancer cells.

We need to understand it’s not the emotion of anger itself that’s wrong, but any inappropriate behavior that anger and fear might trigger.

When you feel your anger level start to creep upwards, instead of just swallowing it, try these steps:

  1. B-R-E-A-T-H-E!  Consciously taking a few deep breaths helps you stop and take a quick inventory of the situation.
  2. Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?”
  3. Know that your FEELINGS are neither right nor wrong. It’s the BEHAVIOR you choose to do as a result of your feelings that can be unproductive.
  4. At the core of all anger is a need you have that is not being fulfilled. Identify that need, and you can constructively express exactly what you want – whether it’s being listened to, getting rewarded for your contribution, being respected or just having your own space.

In our Emotional Detox class at OHI, we share the idea that “Holding anger and resentment towards another person is like me taking poison and hoping that someone else dies.”  It’s a funny thought with a lot of truth – and it’s also a great reminder to first own your anger, and then release it in an appropriate and constructive way.

When your body, mind, and spirit are aligned, you can achieve good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to learn more.

 

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