The Eyes Have It

Vision blog

While the five senses – vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch – are an important aspect of our physical being, they are equally significant on mental, emotional and spiritual levels, too.

Today we launch a five-part look at the senses, exploring in depth how each relates to all aspects of our existence, and our health.  We’ll begin with the sense of sight.

While our vision is literally what we see with our eyes, we’ve given the concept much wider application. Creative people who can imagine things that don’t yet exist are “visionary,” “visual thinkers” or “big picture” people.  People with highly developed intuition are described as having “clairvoyance,” which means “clear vision” in French.

One exercise to heighten our visual perception is to pick a point on the wall opposite from where you are sitting, and just focus on that spot.  Deep breathe to move your awareness into a highly perceptive Alpha state, and start to concentrate on what you’re noticing with your peripheral vision.  Don’t strain your eyes – just let them relax and start to register more and more of what’s happening on either side of you.

When we consciously focus on fine-tuning our sense of vision in this way, we simultaneously experience heightened awareness on both mental and spiritual levels, too.  We start to notice more in general, and feel a deeper connection to everyone and everything.  It’s just more proof of how powerfully our bodies, minds and spirits are intertwined.

A fascinating aspect of living in the here and now is that during our lifetime, so many concepts embraced by ancient spiritual disciplines are being verified by the scientific and medical communities.  Key in some of this groundbreaking research is Candace B. Pert, Ph.D., a Research Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.  She was featured in the movie, “What the Bleep Do We Know,” and also Bill Moyers’s book and PBS series Healing and the Mind. Several of Dr. Pert’s books and audio CDs are available in the Optimum Health Store and can be ordered by calling the store at 888-643-7867.

Just one of the fascinating concepts Dr. Pert proved is that the human brain is not the master controller science previously thought; rather, there are seven major concentrations of consciousness in the body that correspond to the ancient idea of seven chakras, or energy centers.

Our sense of sight is tied in to the third chakra, which is anchored in the solar plexus.  The color associated with this chakra is yellow, and it resonates with the musical note E.  The piano is the instrument linked to the third chakra.

While doing the peripheral vision exercise above might improve our sense of sight, applying the research of Dr. Pert and others may also have a positive effect on our mental and spiritual awareness.  Wearing the color yellow, or having yellow objects around, vocally toning to the note of E and listening to piano music may all strengthen our vision, either literally or metaphorically.  It may literally sharpen our eyesight, or make us more “visionary.”

Eating more yellow vegetables and fruits may also have a positive impact on the sense of sight, along with following the other healthy lifestyle habits taught at OHI.

Keeping your body, mind, and spirit in alignment is important for achieving good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, visit Optimum Health Institute in San Diego or Austin. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health in 2013. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

In Honoring Others, We Honor Ourselves

US Flag

What began in 1861 as an effort to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers has become a solemn and respected American tradition.  Memorial Day, the last Monday of every May, is the date we set aside to honor all the military men and women who have died in service to our country.  In the century and a half since that first observance, we have expanded the focus of Memorial Day to also honor living veterans, and those currently serving in the military.

In star-spangled ceremonies around the country, American flags are respectfully lowered to half-staff in the morning, then raised to their full height in the afternoon. The action honors the sacrifices of the dead, and symbolizes that the commitment to fight to protect our nation’s freedom lives on.

Besides celebrating American patriotism, this holiday invites us to focus on a core spiritual and social value – the act of Honoring.  On Memorial Day in cemeteries around the nation, many families tenderly honor all loved ones in spirit, not just veterans, placing colorful flowers on headstones, sharing happy memories and offering prayers of thanks.

When we honor someone, we’re acknowledging our faith in something greater than us.  We’re recognizing that meritorious service, sacrifice, personal integrity and morality are to be respected and appreciated.  We experience how the act of honoring others can bring us a sense of connection, peace and sacred continuity that endures even beyond physical death.

Those upon whom we bestow honor inspire and motivate us, and receive our gratitude.  We acknowledge their leadership and importance in our lives.

As we honor others, we bring honor to ourselves.  The commendable things we recognize in our war heroes and role models become the very values we start to model in our own behavior.  Noting the integrity and leadership in another both consciously and subconsciously shifts our focus to see those values in ourselves, too.  Our gratitude and reverence for them becomes the lens through which we begin to see our own lives. 

This Memorial Day, while we’re honoring those who have lead the way, we have an opportunity to simultaneously honor ourselves by making smart choices to honor our own bodies, minds and spirits.  Why limit this elevated awareness to a single day?  EVERY day is the perfect time to honor ourselves, and live in the optimum joy of a purposeful, spiritual connection.

Learning how to make that connection in your body, mind, and spirit is what we share at the Optimum Health Institute.  Honor yourself in a transformative environment at our missions in San Diego or Austin. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health in 2013. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Remembering Mom’s Best Advice

Mothers Day Tulips

Mother’s Day is always a time to reflect.  When asked about the most inspiring thing their mother had ever told them, a group of professional men and woman shared a wide range of answers.

“Avoid starting battles,” a life coach said, and commented on how the sage advice had preserved family peace through the decades, and helped her get ahead in her career.  “Everyone’s the same – you’re not special,” responded a psychiatrist.  While the thought might at first appear disillusioning, the man shared how the concept spurred him on to achieve personal and professional success through hard work, rather than feeling entitled to things he hadn’t earned.

A minister’s mother had assured her daughter, “This, too, shall pass,” helping the woman navigate challenging events in her life with the knowledge that obstacles would eventually give way to grace.  “Follow your heart” was a frequently quoted phrase, and “Life is not a race, it’s a dance,” was the heart-felt “Mom wisdom” that gave a spiritual teacher’s heart wings.

While nearly everyone interviewed had fond memories of how their mothers’ love and encouragement was the foundation of who they became in their life, a dermatologist’s mother perhaps summed it up the best.

“If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else,” her mom reminded her frequently throughout her childhood.

With those wise words indelibly etched on her heart, the woman practiced what mom preached through college, marriage, medical school, setting up a successful practice, and raising two exceptional kids.  Even now, having passed the half-century mark, the vibrant, youthful and energetic woman is balancing her work and family life with caring for her own body, mind and spirit. 

She prepares wholesome, balanced meals for her family, and doesn’t allow sugar or trans fats into the house.  Multiple times during the week she stretches her body and mind in yoga classes.  When the weather doesn’t allow a 15+-mile bike ride, she dances up a sweat in zumba class and works out on the weight machines.

Even her patients get the benefit of her mother’s “care for yourself” advice  – besides treating their skin, she nourishes their spirit with her handouts on how to meditate and release stress.  She realizes that the most valuable medical advice she can share is how to create a positive balance in life – just like her mom always told her.

Learn the tools for creating a healthy balance in your own life by detoxifying your body, quieting your mind and nourishing your spirit at the Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health in 2013. Find out more about the missions in San Diego and Austin, TX at www.optimumhealth.org .  Call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.