• Earth Day – A Year-Long Celebration

    In 1970, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, enlisted bipartisan congressional support to launch the first Earth Day.  He was dismayed by the tragic damages dealt the environment by a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California the previous year, and wanted to focus national attention on the importance of mindful stewardship of the planet.

    Over 20 million people participated in the “teach-in” that April 22nd, and the awareness-raising project took root.  The success of the first Earth Day is credited with sparking the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts.

    Just 20 years later more than 200 million people around the globe took part, and this year, an estimated one billion will participate in Earth Day events.

    Let’s make Earth Day a year-long celebration!  With a little creativity and commitment, we can each be more effective in finding personal ways to be kinder to the environment.

    1. Reduce: Just taking your own shopping bag to the grocery story every week is a huge step towards helping the planet.  Using refillable containers for beverages you bring from home instead of buying plastic bottles of water is another little step that gets big results.

    2. Reuse: Don’t be so quick to toss empty, worn-out or broken items.  An old, torn T-shirt makes several superior dust cloths.  Twist the cap back on an empty liter plastic bottle and cut off the bottom, and you have a great scoop for dog food or bird seeds.  Collect various colors and sizes of broken pottery and make a custom table-top mosaic.  Melt broken crayons and pour the wax into a clean plastic prescription bottle, and make a super crayon!  A broken ladder, firmly attached to the wall on an angle, makes a dramatic and practical set of shelves.  Get crafty and creative, and you’ll come up with clever solutions.

    3. Recycle glass, plastic, metals, electronics, batteries, mercury light bulbs and cardboard.  Just check with your local waste management facilities for specifics.

    4. Plant a tree in memory of a loved one or pet, and you’ll be part of the global movement to plant one billion trees.

    5. Volunteer to help with a beach, river or highway cleanup project in your area.

    6. Shop consciously, and choose items with a high percentage of recycled material.  Also look for furniture made from reclaimed wood, or harvested through sustainable forest management.

    7. Choose energy-efficient appliances, electronics and household building materials.  Double-paned windows dramatically cut down on heating and cooling costs.

    8. Conserve electricity by turning off lights, TVs and computers when you’re not in the room.  Wait until the dishwasher is full to run it.  Keep the thermostat a little lower in the winter, and higher during warmer months.

    9. Start a windowsill or potted garden to grow fresh herbs.  If you have the space, start composting kitchen waste to create nutrient-rich soil.

    10. Since Earth Day was initiated as a “teaching moment,” take your kids or friends for a hike in the woods.  Being in the beauty and grace of nature reinforces our responsibility to care for our planet, as God directed.

    Help make Earth Day 2019 the most effective one yet by being an active participant.

    Be an active participant in your health, too, when you learn how to make positive, powerful and lasting changes to your lifestyle choices.  Make a life-affirming visit to the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego or Austin, Texas.  Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Doing “The Work” of Self Transformation

    Real transformation occurs when you apply learning to life. OHI’s holistic healing program is designed to:

    • Inspire and motivate you to make healthy choices in life
    • Explore physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being
    • Integrate helpful tools and teachings in your daily life
    • Enable transformation so that you can achieve optimum health

    Usually, it takes a spiritual revelation or a personal crisis for us to stop, reassess a tough situation, and transform our lives into expressions of joy, gratitude, success, and love.

    For author and speaker Byron Katie, it was a bit of both.

    It was 1986, and her multiple diagnoses of paranoia, depression, agoraphobia, and an eating disorder had landed her in a half-way house. She was lying on the floor of her room, marinating in self-loathing. At that lowest point of her life, the final indignity of a cockroach crawling over her foot suddenly shocked her into spiritual consciousness.

    She realized that if she stayed anchored in her dark thoughts, she suffered – but if she stopped believing the dire stories continuously playing in her mind, the suffering immediately stopped.

    From this epiphany, Byron Katie developed The Work – a four-question exercise and a ‘turn-around’ to help discern truth from fiction, and to reclaim our self-esteem and self-awareness.

    To do The Work, when someone or something “they” say upsets us, ask yourself these four questions:

    1. 1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
    2. 2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
    3. 3. How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
    4. 4. Who would you be without the thought?

    After you’ve responded to each of the four points, you create a statement that is the opposite of what you initially believed, or a “turn-around.” For example, if you said, “My boss is too demanding,” your turn-around statement might be, “I could be more effective at my job.”

    It’s an exercise that forces us to confront our subconscious programming from messages we’ve received since childhood. Answering each question honestly and completely releases us from non-productive emotional patterns and empowers us to recreate our world from a perspective of empowerment. The “turn-around,” in particular, pushes us way out of our comfort zone to reevaluate the issue from a completely different perspective. Frequently we discover a truth we’d avoided seeing – and this new wisdom can mentally, emotionally and spiritually set us free.

    Individuals and groups around the world quickly adopted the simple, direct and transformational nature of The Work. Schools, universities, corporations, hospitals, churches, prisons, and shelters are sharing this mindful exercise.

    Experience your own transformation and make positive, powerful and lasting changes when you embark on a life-affirming visit to the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • A Life Changing Way to Celebrate Mother’s Day

    Women in general and Mothers specifically are the healers in our society.  Mothers are our first teachers – giving us life, nourishing and nurturing us, helping us navigate and thrive from our very first moment.  Their love gave us roots and wings, and laid the foundation upon which we could build lives of purpose, joy, and more love.

    As we grow, our relationship with our mothers grows and transforms too. The dynamic can gradually shift from parent-child to two friends who delight in each other’s interests, passions, and goals. When the goal is adopting and maintaining positive healthy behaviors for longer, more fulfilling lives, mothers and their adult children – and fathers, too – frequently discover the transformational benefits of a stay at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) missions in San Diego or Austin, Texas.

    OHI Austin’s new Executive Director Cheryl Green has seen many family members share the experience of going through the OHI healing lifestyle program since she joined the team in 1999. She particularly enjoys the special bond between mothers and their children as they encourage, inspire and celebrate each other’s successes.

    “We love when families come together at OHI,” Cheryl said. “Sometimes it’s the mother bringing the child, or the child bringing the mother…or the more adventurous duos go through their first week together. Experiencing the program together enhances that precious connection. We love witnessing the development of a new type of family tradition! “

    “Seeing a mother and son or daughter attend the program together always seems to inspire the staff and other guests in the community to new ways of thinking about their own relationships.”

    Evie Edington, an OHI Austin facilitator, has also observed how the unique bond between mother and child is enriched when the two share transformational time together.

    “This experience can only bring you closer,” Evie said. “That heightened sense of love between mother and daughter is so sweet to witness. It really deepens a relationship when people come to a place where they feel safe being vulnerable and open.”

    Amber Santa Cruz, OHI Austin’s new Guest Services Director, agrees that all who witness it are enriched by seeing the special love families share on their mutual journey to optimum health.

    “We have been so fortunate to see so many mothers experience this program with their adult children,” Amber said. “It has such a beautiful ripple effect – benefitting the relationship of the two attending, the other guests, and even beyond the campus…it frequently leads me to call my own mom on the drive home.“

    “It’s especially powerful to hold the space for a mother to witness dramatic physical change in their own son or daughter. We have had guests that wake up pain-free for the first time in years, and for a mother to see that happen for their child, to see them feel good again…no words can describe that feeling.”

    Celebrate your mom, or your child, or a friend and share a life-changing week or two or three this Mother’s Day on May 12 at OHI’s healing missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas.

    Experience the energy boost and detoxifying benefits of an all organic, live, raw vegan lifestyle. Learn how to quiet the mind and rejuvenate the spirit. During your stay, our caring team will support your journey to optimum health and share the tools you need to continue the holistic healing lifestyle program at home. To learn more about OHI, visit our website at www.OptimumHealth.org. To make your reservation, call us at  (800) 993-4325.

  • The Benefits of Eating Organic Foods

    Last week we shared a blog about the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list. The article detailed how organic foods offer a wonderful way to get the quality nutrition you need without the harmful pesticides and chemicals found in non-organic foods. The Dirty Dozen™ list guides you to produce you should always buy organic, while the Clean Fifteen™ lists fruits and vegetables that use the least amount of pesticides.

    This week, we want to share how organic foods are more beneficial to your body than non-organic foods. What you eat has a huge impact on the way your body works, how you feel, and how well you function and perform. The higher nutritional content and increased anti-oxidants in the organic produce you eat can go a long way toward promoting natural healing in your body. Here are some of the important differences between organic and non-organic produce:

    Pesticides

    • Non-organic produce is sprayed with chemicals to kill pests and diseases. These chemicals can remain on the produce until it reaches your home, where it can be ingested by you and your family even after washing. These pesticides may include neurotoxins that gradually build up and cause long-term health problems.
    • Organic produce, on the other hand, isn’t doused with chemicals to kill pests. Organic produce farmers use birds and insects to keep harmful pests in check, or they may plant other flowers or plants nearby to repel the unwanted bugs. Other farmers may use natural or organic products to protect their plants from pests.

    Fertilizers

    • As with pesticides, non-organic produce is fertilized with chemicals that promote growth but can be harmful to humans. Organic farmers use natural methods, like organic manure, to fertilize their crops. Compost is also used to promote strong, healthy plants.

    Herbicides

    • Weeds are a problem for all produce farmers, but non-organic farmers use chemicals to kill the weeds that invade their crops. Organic farmers use less harmful methods to rid their fields of weeds. Mulch, hand weeding, and tilling are organic ways to keep weeds at bay.

    Conservation Methods

    • Organic farmers work to conserve the environment in which their crops grow. They rotate their crops to avoid depleting the soil, gather rainwater to provide irrigation, and reduce pollution in their farming techniques. Non-organic farmers put less emphasis on the environment and more emphasis on the bottom line.

    At Optimum Health Institute, we serve only 100% certified organic foods.  To learn more about our holistic healing programs in San Diego and Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute online or call us today at (800) 993-4325.