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.

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, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Come Back Where You Belong - OHI September Homecoming

Remember your first visit to Optimum Health Institute? It’s time to feel that sense of excitement and discovery again. We’re commemorating 40 years of holistic healing in September, and you’re the reason for the celebration.

We’re welcoming you back home to your spiritual family with money-saving offers, live entertainment, raffle drawings for prizes and a schedule full of activities to show you how much we appreciate and value you.

Every former guest at OHI San Diego or Austin is part of our proud history. Each and every one of you gave us the opportunity to show you, personally, how a live, raw, plant-based organic diet, exercises to quiet the mind and activities to nourish the spirit can lead to total transformation of body, mind and spirit.

For the past 40 years, you, our growing OHI community, have pushed us to provide more tools for positive change, like adding classes in food preparation, organic gardening, menu planning and so much more. You’ve let us know that while you’re at OHI to unplug, occasionally you might need to check in – so we added complimentary Wi-Fi to each guest room. You also gave us high marks for frequent upgrades to the OHI facilities, like remodeling to include sustainable, environmentally-friendly materials in guest rooms and common areas.

Come back for the big 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.

As part of the OHI San Diego celebration, you can enjoy a value up to $300 on one of our select single-occupancy premium rooms. You’ll save $100 on your room and receive up to two free colonics, a $200 value.

Guests booking stays at OHI Austin can save up to $310 on select double-occupancy rooms, or $165 on select single-occupancy rooms, and also receive a free colonic – a $100 value.

Reconnect with old friends, and make some new ones, with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin as we celebrate 40 years of holistic healing. Visit our website at, and call us at ( 800) 993-4325 and mention code “Homecoming” to receive an anniversary discount when you make your reservation.

Getting Out of a Rut

We’re probably familiar with the symptoms – we’re chugging along, doing basically the same things we’ve been doing for a long time, when suddenly it hits us. Nothing’s really ‘wrong,’ but nothing is really delightfully ‘right,’ either. We’re getting by, but the joy, excitement and sense of discovery is gone. We are officially in a rut.

How did this happen?

Frequently, it can just creep up on us while we’re living our life. And frequently, it happens because we’re actually living someone ELSE’S idea of what our life should look like. Old patterns die hard, particularly ones we pick up in childhood. We can be so eager to earn approval that we put our own dreams on the back burner to pursue what others – well-meaning or demanding parents, teachers, bosses or friends – suggest we do. We gain approval, but we can lose ourselves in the process.

Figuring out we’re in that rut is the first step to leaping back out of it. The second step is to tune back in to ourselves to rediscover what brings us meaningful joy. Through meditation, journaling, introspective walks in nature and even thinking back to what we really wanted to be as kids, we can start to refocus on who we are, and what we need to bring back into our lives to bring emotional balance, and reclaim our happiness and sense of purpose.

We can set this positive shift in motion by identifying a single core value that is essential to living a good life. Family? Spirituality? Vitality? Recognition? Community? When we determine what values are most important to us, we can begin to create a new, rewarding blueprint for our life. We can select several, but for that initial rut-busting focus, we start with one.

After we pinpoint that value, we choose a realistic and meaningful goal that addresses that value. If the value is Community, for instance, the goal can be joining a group that reflects our interests and beliefs.

Now, we create a 3-step action plan to achieve that goal. Maybe there’s a raw foods gourmet club in our city, or a meditation group that gathers on a regular basis. We can attend a meeting, talk to some of the members to see how the group’s interests align with ours, and perhaps volunteer to help organize an upcoming event. Make sure your action steps are measurable and achievable.

Identifying and actively focusing on even a single value will create meaningful and emotionally enriching changes in our lives, blasting us out of that rut for good.

Learn more about identifying values and positive change to help you achieve optimum health in body, mind, emotions and spirit with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Come help us celebrate 40 years of holistic healing. Take advantage of Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special offer through the week beginning 9-10-17. Visit our website at, and call us at ( 800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

How Our Dreams Reflect Our Emotions

A woman was concerned about a disturbing recurring dream. In it, she was sitting in her living room when her dog came trotting in, wagged its tail, and bounded over to her. Suddenly, the animal transformed from a loveable mutt into a terrifying beast, with glowing red eyes and a threatening, fang-baring snarl. The woman always woke up terrified and emotionally exhausted. It was a particularly horrible experience, she explained, because the dog, which she loved deeply for nearly a decade, had recently died.

As the coach in the dream interpretation class gently asked her a few questions, the meaning of the nightmare became clear. The dog had truly been her best friend, the woman said, and there had been no previous indication that the pet was ill. When the coach suggested she might be repressing anger at the dog for leaving her during a very challenging time in her life, the woman became still. She hadn’t realized she DID feel betrayed and abandoned by this canine friend. It was only through her dreams she was able to connect with how much anger was entwined with her grief. After she was able to get in touch with her emotions, she never had that dream again.

Throughout recorded history, dreams have been considered divine windows into our hearts and souls. The Bible even mentions how we receive important information through our dreams:

"When deep sleep falls upon men and they sleep in their beds, then God opens the ears of men and gives them instructions." Job 33: 15-16

Falling into a deep sleep lets us turn off mental chatter that can distract us during waking hours, and come face-to-face with emotions we might be repressing. If we’re feeling stress at work or in a relationship, there’s a good change our dreams will have us running an obstacle course, or maybe floundering on a choppy sea. Through a restorative sleep, we can tap into our emotions, destress, and understand things from a perspective of higher consciousness.

Frequently, dreams will give us answers to questions we’ve been thinking about, or gift us with creative inspiration. Paul McCartney heard the song “Yesterday” in a dream, immediately wrote it down when he woke up, and the rest is music industry history. Movie Director James Cameron dreamt about a planet with tall blue people who were so interconnected with each other, and their beautiful world. Inspired by the visions, he created “Avatar,” which has earned $2.7 billion to date.

Our dreams can even alert us to health issues of which we might not have been aware. Repetitive dreams of a fire could signal inflammation in the body, for instance. Keep a notebook on your nightstand to jot down what you remember about your dreams, and pay attention to how you react emotionally to the messages. There is a wealth of information in those nightly adventures.

Learn more about the powerful connection between your body, mind, emotions and spirit with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. We’re celebrating 40 years of holistic healing, and offering Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special savings through the week beginning 9-10-17. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

The Healing Power of Hope

Of all the many emotions and feeling states we can experience, psychologists agree that ‘hope’ might be the most important. People who are hopeful are happier, healthier, resilient, spiritually empowered and even more academically and athletically gifted.

While more dour personalities tend to lack focus and just deal with what happens to them, hopeful people usually are working towards several goals at once. If they hit a roadblock, they immediately implement “Plan B,” and continue their progress.

Hopefulness and gratitude go hand in hand, as does the ability to establish and nurture strong relationships both personally and professionally. Hopeful people are more open, trusting and motivated than those who are more suspicious or withdrawn, which means that hopefulness is more likely to generate positive outcomes from the world.

Perhaps the best news is that a hopeful attitude can be a learned skill. It’s worth knowing that once learned, the attitude of hopefulness is self-perpetuating. Here are some exercises that if done on a regular basis can help you create a healthy, happy, hopeful outlook for your life:

  1. Conscious Breathing. Slow, deep, rhythmic belly breathing, like that taught at Optimum Health Institute (OHI), is a healing tonic for body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It helps release stress and old baggage as it enhances personal and spiritual growth.
  2. Cultivate and nurture your spiritual community. Fellowship with like-minded, God-centered friends uplifts you and provides healing validation.
  3. Just…smile! Smile and make eye contact with the next 10 people you pass, and see what happens. Smiles are universal expressions of friendship and trust and establish common ground. They’re also contagious.
  4. Reflect on what someone you admire would do. When you find yourself facing a challenge, quickly think of a person you consider a positive role model and ask yourself how they would handle the situation. There are ALWAYS options.
  5. Stretch your spiritual muscles. Experiment with a new sacred practice – toning, for instance. Drumming. Ceremonial dancing, or deep meditation. By going within, you will find answers, and reassurance, and hope.
  6. Be kind. Make it a new habit of performing at least one random act of simple kindness each day. Thank the cashier by name as you’re checking out at the grocery store. Wave ‘thank you’ to the driver who let you merge in front of her. Drop off a carload of gently used items at Goodwill. As Mother Theresa said, “It’s not about doing great things. It’s about doing small things with great love.”

Learn even more ways to cultivate a powerful sense of hope and optimism with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin as we celebrate 40 years of holistic healing. Take advantage of Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special offers through the week beginning 9-10-17. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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