• 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.

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