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The Complete Explanation & Solution To PMS, Reproductive & Stomach Disorders, Depression & More

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Have you ever wondered why PMS is so common among women today? What about why it so often comes with additional symptoms and disorders like PCOS, endometriosis, IBS, ovarian cysts and depression? There is a very simple truth behind these complicated and often debilitating issues: the liver. Stagnation and lack of proper energy flow in the liver is at the root of almost all reproductive, gastrointestinal, and even emotional conditions. And thanks to Traditional Chinese Medicine, we can all be on the road to healing.

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Why are we in pain if it’s a natural part of life?

PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is just what the name implies – a syndrome. It’s a disorder, meaning out of order/out of the ordinary. So why does everyone seem to have at least some of the symptoms? Our bodies were created to perfection; we literally have the power to regenerate and heal ourselves. There are no mistakes here. We wouldn’t have a period in the first place if it was meant to hurt us. After all, periods are the reason women live longer than men! We lose old, stagnant blood every month so that our incredible bodies can replace it with fresh, clean blood to nourish our organs. It’s a time of renewal where we’re connected to the feminine energy of the moon, where we shed what we no longer need and start fresh. In fact, we actually menstruate according to nature and the moon – some women cycle with the new moon, and others with the full. There are no coincidences!

We shouldn’t have to suffer through this time of regeneration, and the truth is that we never have to again. Every symptom that your body produces is a signal. Every ache and pain is a trail of clues that leads you to a root cause if you figure out how to follow the patterns. Symptoms are not meant to be muffled with pain relievers and Midol. Symptoms are meant to be observed and thanked, because your body is telling you exactly what you need to do in order to get well.

Following the Symptom Trail

Chinese Medicine offers such amazing explanations for illness because it does exactly what I mentioned: it uses your symptoms as clues to a bigger issue. Let’s think about PMS. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? The emotional roller coaster, of course! Women can often tell when we’re about to get our periods because we get moody and unpredictable.

Emotions = The Liver

Whether it’s depression, anxiety, sadness, PMS, PMDD, or even bipolar disorder, it’s related to the liver in TCM. The liver is the seat of emotion, especially irritability and anger.

5PhasesEmotionalStates

source: www.ayacupuncture.com

When the liver is healthy, the liver meridian naturally balances your mental state and releases suppressed emotions via your flow of Qi/energy (also known as life force). The fact that depression, frustration, irritability and anger are major symptoms of PMS leaves us the clue that disharmony in the liver is to blame.

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Let’s look at the other symptoms that come with difficult periods:

– Cravings, particularly for sweets/carbs/salt
– Water retention
– Fatigue
– Diarrhea/Constipation
– Abdominal bloating
– Breast swelling + tenderness
– Headaches
– Insomnia
– Sore throat
– Nausea
– Menstrual irregularity
– Painful menstruation

Each and every one of these symptoms can be explained by Chinese medicine, and will be traced back to the liver below.

The Liver & The Flow of Qi

Qi is the ‘prana,’ energy, or ‘life force’ that flows through our organs each day and keeps us alive. When the Qi is free flowing, we have a healthy body with no issues. When it’s not free flowing, we have a problem. This means that whenever there is an issue, no matter what it is, the Qi is somehow blocked and there is an underlying imbalance in one of your organs/meridians.

The basic energetic imbalance that causes PMS and reproductive/emotional disorders is Liver Qi Stagnation. In Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for “spreading the Qi” throughout the body and maintaining its smooth and unobstructed flow. This implies that the right energy arrives at the right place at the right time.

source: www.comfytummy.com

source: www.comfytummy.com

The chart displayed above depicts the “Chinese Body Clock.” At 2 hour intervals all day and night, our Qi moves into different organs of the body to do its active or repair work. This cyclic, uninterrupted flow of Qi through every organ at the right time represents the Western view of the endocrine system and the rise and fall of hormones in the body. We secrete different hormones at different parts of the day for very specific reasons.

Anything that harms the liver obstructs the flow of Qi (since I mentioned that the liver is solely responsible for “spreading the Qi.”) Because Qi mirrors the Western concept of the endocrine system, this can be translated as: anything that harms the liver obstructs the flow of hormones. This makes perfect sense since, after all, hormones are indeed metabolized by the liver! And of course, all the issues we’re talking about here (cramps, PCOS, cysts, etc.) have an underlying hormone imbalance and relate to the reproductive system.

Here’s how it works:

The liver’s job is to spread the Qi…
↓↓
so if there is congestion in the liver,
↓↓
there is congestion of Qi.
↓↓
The Qi’s job is to move the blood,
↓↓
so when the Qi becomes stagnant, the blood also stagnates.
↓↓
Over time, congested or ‘stuck’ blood will do exactly as it sounds: clot and stick in places it shouldn’t. This leads to ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, myomas, and painful menstrual periods because the body is cramping up to expel your period. There is a lack of Qi to assist in moving the blood out. In such cases, the menstrual discharge is often dark or clotty.

The Chong Mai, or “Thrusting Channel,” is an energy pathway that runs up the core of our body. It is also known as the “Sea of Blood.” When there is Liver Qi Stagnation, and thus stagnation in the lower abdomen, the Thrusting Channel is affected (which you can tell from the photo is where your menstrual flow would exit).

source: www.kundaliniawakeningprocess.com

source: www.kundaliniawakeningprocess.com

Symptoms in the Chest and Throat

The second area of the body that can manifest symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation is the chest. This explains the chest symptoms we see with PMS: breast swelling, pain and tenderness.

Fullness and stagnation in the liver will thrust up past the chest and then manifest in the throat. This can lead to hypertrophy of the thyroid gland and goiter, along with all types of thyroid imbalance – something else that’s common in those with PMS, cysts and the like.

Symptoms in the Stomach or “Spleen”

In TCM, the “Spleen” stands for the entire process of digestion. Just of the “spleen” as the stomach. Energetically, Liver Qi Stagnation is a fullness of stuck energy in the liver. And unfortunately, this fullness gets vented onto the spleen. In this case, the liver invades the spleen, or as it’s known in Chinese medicine, the liver “attacks” the stomach.

source: www.organicolivia.com

As shown above, the liver is the organ that can directly “attack” stomach. The root of IBS and gastrointestinal pain is actually the liver’s attack, because it’s ‘overcharged’ with heat due to being stagnant and full. This is why you shouldn’t eat while watching TV: Your eyes are connected to your liver. When you’re eating, you’re supposed to be focused on the food so that your spleen is charged and focused on digesting. If you are using your eyes to watch TV, you are charging your liver while your stomach is in motion. This gives your riled up liver a chance to attack!

This liver fullness makes the spleen empty. An energetically weak or ’empty’ spleen explains the symptoms of diarrhea and constipation that come with IBS, gastrointestinal disorders and PMS.

Craving for Sweets

Since the flavour that “tonifies” (or strengthens) the spleen is sweet, people with Spleen Emptiness due to Liver Qi Stagnation will crave sweets. Unfortunately, too many or too concentrated sweets will only further weaken the spleen. Avoid candy and high sugar fruits due to their concentration of sweetness, and stick to warming/mildly sweet foods like sweet potato, sweet rice, pumpkin and squash.

Water Retention

The Spleen is also in charge of transforming and transporting water in the body. If the spleen is empty, there will be water retention and bloating.

Emotions + Depression

The first thing I talked about was how depression, frustration and irritability come with PMS and Liver Qi Stagnation. However, Liver Qi Stagnation is responsible for any emotional troubles that come with or without PMS! The liver stores the “Hun.” In TCM, the Hun represents the psyche. When the liver becomes congested (and therefore stagnant with heat) the Hun becomes agitated due to the abundance of heat with no way to disperse it. Heat and stagnation in the liver are at the root of all emotional problems, including anger and depression.

source: www.fredhatt.com

source: www.fredhatt.com

If this stagnant heat ‘wafts’ up to disturb the heart, it causes restlessness and anxiety.

Cold in the Uterus

Yang deficiency (a deficiency of heat) in the uterus is another huge contributor to the stagnation of blood and Qi. Over-eating raw fruits and vegetables, iced or frozen foods and drinks, and drinking too many cold juices, are all contemporary Western causes for blood vacuity. This can cause blood stasis in the uterus due to cold invading the womb and be harmful to healthy menstruation if they are eaten just before or at the onset of menstruation (when they are often craved). Opt for lightly cooked vegetables, roots like sweet potato and hearty soups or stews.

Parasites

Many people think that because we live in a first world country, we’re immune to parasites. This is quite the contrary and I urge you to look at the work Kerri Rivera and Dr. Kalcker are doing for children with autism. Through a parasite protocol, diet changes, hyperbaric chambers and so much more they have been able to successfully recover 162 children of autism. These children pass huge parasitic worms – and lots of them. One child (the before and after photos can be seen in Kerri’s lecture video) had 5 jars worth of worms by the time he was recovered. Once I started parasite cleansing I was shocked at the sheer number of liver flukes I passed. Have you ever seen ‘tomato skins’ or ‘carrot pieces’ in your stool even though you hadn’t eaten tomatoes or carrots that day? Those are liver flukes. They plug up the pores in our liver and excrete waste into our blood, making it extremely hard for our Qi and blood to flow and clean itself normally. It’s important to parasite cleanse bi-annually and eat a diet so healthy that your immune system kicks the bugs out!

So how do we get Liver Qi Stagnation in the first place?

1. Stress and Emotional Burden – Most, if not all women with PMS have more than an average amount of emotional stress in their lives stretching back at least to puberty. Stress = frustration and anger, and the burden we face just keeps building. Our world is faster than ever and it’s impossible to keep up.

2. Environmental Stress – Our lives are incredibly stressful on an emotional level, but there’s an environmental and energetic war being fought as well. Our entire lifestyle generates more stress than the human organism is capable of withstanding. Background noise from our computers that are constantly on, background music everywhere we go, blaring televisions, EMF radiation from our phones that are constantly on our bodies, driving in cars, pollution, denatured processed food, politics, and more. The media constantly projects fear on us to keep us controlled whether it’s Ebola, measles, shootings, or terrorism. We’re bombarded with advertisements that tell us we’re not good enough and need to rush out to buy a product or service to make us acceptable to society.

3. Birth Control Pills – Birth control pills add hormones that are out of phase with the body’s normal periodicity. These synthetic hormones adversely affect the Liver’s spreading function and thus the energy of the entire body. This is why birth control pills are implicated in high incidences of pelvic and breast tumors, which according to TCM always begin as Liver Qi Stagnation.

4. Poor Diet – You know the deal. We are a Liver Stagnation Nation because of the the food we eat as a culture. There has never been a better time or reason to ditch the junk and put whole foods into your body.

5. Poor Sleeping Patterns – Look at the Chinese body clock! You are not supposed to be up past 9 or 10 pm. This is so important. You will never be healthy if you are staying up until midnight or 1 AM every night, even if you’re sleeping late the next day. After 11pm we enter gall bladder and liver time, and being awake or active during these hours directly causes Liver Qi Stagnation.

6. Lack of Exercise – We need to go on more hikes to move the blood and Qi and breathe the fresh air. Do more yoga and move that lymph.

How to Treat Liver Stagnation and All That Comes With it:

DON’T LIST:

Coffee, black tea, energy drinks, soda with caffeine.

Thick, creamy, or cheesy sauces.

Alcohol. Don’t do it! It’s too yang and charges up your liver causing the Qi to ascend, just like anger. Actually, that’s why alcohol can make people angry and violent.

Excessive sugar.

Fried and oily food.

Heavy, complicated, or oversized meals.

Late dinner and eating before bed.

Inactive lifestyle.

Repressing your feelings. Journal it out. Writing literally brings emotional and physical healing.

– Excessive work and stress. Turn off the electronics!! In the last decade, electronics have taken over our lives in a whole new way. Constantly checking our smartphones creates agitation in our livers.

– Ice cream, chilled foods and icy drinks. Cold = stagnation.

DO LIST:

Eat real food! The best for liver Qi stagnation include:

Screen-Shot-2015-02-14-at-3.46.05-PM

– Exercise! When we sit, the Blood in our arms and legs returns to the liver for storage. This pooling of blood in the liver tends to aggravate the liver Qi stagnation. Exercise pumps this blood out of the liver and along with it, some of the stuck Qi.

Spend time relaxing with activities or people you like.

Breathe.  One of the reasons why exercise is so helpful for Liver Qi stagnation is that you have to breathe harder and you get more oxygen into the body. Deep breathing is essential. Try lying in bed and breathing deeply 10 times before you fall asleep each night.  At work, set an alarm at your desk to stop every 30 minutes and take 5 deep breaths. Or better yet, step outside and get 5 deep breathes of fresh air.

– Use your liver acupuncture/acupressure points.

source: www.blog.daum.net

source: www.blog.daum.net

Press these points off and on all throughout your day. You can use them when you wake up in the morning and especially whenever you are stressed or angry. Pressing on these points can also provide relief of menstrual cramps in the moment.

– Deep relaxation and meditation. What will get at the root of the full/stagnated liver Qi is deep relaxation. There is nothing that will do for your liver what meditation will do, if it’s done the right way. It must include the entire body: muscular relaxation – not just cerebral relaxation. It also must result in the center of consciousness coming out of the head as found in deep meditation. It then must be done for a minimum of twenty minutes per day, but does not need to be done more than thirty minutes. And finally, it must be done every single day without missing a day for at least 3 months or 100 days.

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine: Xiao Yao Wan. Xiao Yao Wan is the most amazing formula for Liver Qi Stagnation. The herbs in this formula disperse stagnant energy in the liver, regulating the secretion of hormones, especially estrogen dominance, which is so common due to pesticides, petrochemicals and xenoestrogens in items such as plastic. Preliminary research suggests that xiao yao wan may have antidepressant-like effects. In a study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2013, for example, tests on rats revealed that xiao yao wan may help fight depression by protecting against stress-related changes in biochemistry. It has been traditionally prescribed for anxiety, depression, headaches, menstrual pain, premenstrual syndrome, pain alleviation, and mood improvement. It is also used to stimulate the digestive system and treat digestion-related health troubles. The important thing is that it treats the root cause: stagnation in the liver!

References

1) PMS: Its Cause, Diagnosis & Treatment According to Traditional Chinese Medicine by Bob Flaws. Blue Poppy Press

2) Gao XX, et al. “An investigation of the antidepressant action of xiaoyaosan in rats using ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry combined with metabonomics.” Phytother Res. 2013 Jul;27(7):1074-85.

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Awareness

Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh Answers The Question

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh explains why he chooses not to consume any meat or dairy products, and points towards the overwhelmingly cruel food industry.

  • Reflect On:

    What gives us the right to torture animals, steal their babies, abuse them simply for our consumption? Where is our compassion, morality and empathy? Have we been made and brainwashed to believe that it's ok?

The most heartbreaking thing to see and to witness is an innocent benevolent being getting tortured and suffering. This is the realty of eating animal products today. Billions of animals are raised for slaughter every single year, and the overwhelmingly large majority of them go through horrific and terrifying experiences. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could eat or wear the clothes of diseased animals knowing what they went through. It’s also hard to believe that anybody who does eat or purchase products that have used animals in their manufacturing process would do that kind of “labour” themselves.

The truth is that many people still don’t know what these beings are going through. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, immoral, and unethical. Morality, empathy, and love are all emotions that need to return to planet Earth, and as long as we have multiple industries exploiting animals, that can’t happen.

If you’re unaware of what these animals are going through on a daily basis, a recent PETA investigation on two of the world’s top cashmere exporters revealed extreme cruelty, including the violent killing of cashmere goats. You can read more about it and see some footage of that here, if you’re interested.

You can view more examples of graphic footage in the trailer of “The Buddha Bowl,” a documentary in the making featuring personalities and some of the most influential and renowned spiritual leaders from all over the world sharing their perspectives on veganism. These include viewpoints from Buddha himself and from spiritual leaders from the past and present, totalling about 30 interviews on animal rights, environmental issues and health.

One of the people in that documentary is Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who is recognized as a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist. The video below is not part of the documentary listed above, but from an interview taken a few years ago at a conference.

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Are We Even Designed To Eat Meat?

There is no doubt our world is becoming more awake, aware, and compassionate. Millions of people around the world have transitioned towards a plant-based diet. This represents the kind of compassion and empathy our world needs more of, and this diet can do nothing but benefit human health, the planet, and the animals.

It’s no secret that eating meat and animal products is destroying the Earth, as clearing land for animal grazing and slaughter is one of the leading causes of deforestation, and factory farms are an environmental disaster.

More people are also starting to become aware of plant-based diets and their health benefits.

A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart. The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort,”

It’s one of many studies that’ve emerged over the years showing the benefits of plant-based diets and their ability to reverse diseases. On the other hand, many studies published have shown how the consumption of meat has the exact opposite effect.

Below is a clip from a recent CETV episode where CE founder Joe Martino and I go into the discussion a little deeper, with a specific focus on plant-based protein compared to meat protein. If interested, you can watch the full episode here by signing up for your free trial. CETV is a platform that we created to combat the censorship we’ve experienced over the past couple of years.

I also go into this type of discussion, if you’re interested in reading about it, in an article I recently published: “Another Study Suggests Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat.”

The Takeaway

Human beings are born with compassion and empathy. What we are doing to animals on our planet today, and how many continue to ignore it and be unaffected by it, is simply as a result of mass brainwashing and marketing by big food corporations. The truth is that we’ve been taught to ignore it, we’ve been taught to believe that it’s OK and it’s our right to do this to others who share the planet with us. No child would ever stand for such a thing unless they were taught to do so. It’s the same thing as racism, we are not born with it, we are taught it. I urge all those who are reading this to do their research into where the vast majority of our food and clothes are coming from, watch what these animals are going through, look into their eyes and and feel what they are feeling.

The ability to feel and understand the emotions of others, animal or human, is a HUGE and VITAL step towards creating a better world and a better overall human experience.

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Health

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 4: The Island)

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The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

4. The Island

The island of Allandon was born of a fiery volcanic eruption that came out of the ocean. At first the island was nothing more than a mass of molten lava which was cooled by the air and the ocean tides into hard rock formations. As more time passed, life began to spring up through the cracks and crevices, until one day Allandon was an island of great character and beauty. As if gradually awakening from a long sleep, the island eventually recognized itself as an island, separate from the ocean. During noontide of his first day of self-awareness, the island noticed the ocean’s waters rushing upon him and then receding back. So he spoke to the ocean thusly:

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“Would you please stop splashing onto the rocks on my shore?”

 “It is the way of the universe,” she replied. “You were born of me and this is how I care for you, softening the rocks on your shore until they become tiny crystals of sand.”

“Why do you do that?”

“So that creatures that walk upon your beach can feel how gently the infinite and the temporal can meet.”

“Will you then leave me alone?” asked the island.

“I can never leave you alone, not until you have melted back into me and we are one.”

The island was outraged. “No! I may have been born of you, but I will not die at your hands!”

“Death is an illusion,” she said.

“Quiet!” he retorted. “You will stop what you are doing immediately!”

“I have no choice in the matter.”

“Well I have a choice,” said the island of Allandon. “I will resist you to the end!”

“Yes, you have that choice,” the ocean replied. “What would be my delight in you otherwise?”

An essential concept that we will come back to many times throughout the course of this book is that of duality. Our conversation itself would not be possible if there were not a duality: you and I. A listener and a speaker. Without a listener, speaking would be pointless. Without a speaker, listening would be impossible.

But it goes even deeper than that. This world, indeed existence itself, requires duality. What something ‘is’ can only be determined when it is measured against something that it ‘is not’. The shadow only ‘exists’ in the presence of light, or that which it is not. The root Latin word ‘exsto’ meant ‘to stand out or stand forth, to project; to be visible’. Existence itself as we know it is only possible where there is duality. While we can truly understand the ‘being’ of darkness only in its relation to light, light as well only exists when cast against a background of darkness. There would be no ‘good’ without ‘bad’, no male without female, and so on.

Duality is what makes it possible to be conscious. We are conscious when we distinguish subject from object, ourselves as perceivers from what we perceive. The day that the island sees itself separate from the ocean and distinguishes the ‘I’ (the island itself) from the ‘you’ (the ocean), that is the day that the island becomes conscious. And being conscious, the island and the ocean are able to talk to each other, just as we are. As we continue to speak about the evolution of consciousness, both on the personal level and the global level, the importance of the concept of duality will become ever more clear.

There is no better or more profound elaboration on the concept of duality and its role in the world than the Chinese symbol of yin and yang, which represents the two basic forces in the universe. Consider them polar opposites, like the positive and negative ends of a battery. Just as electricity is made possible by the dynamic between opposing charges, all movement in the world, all change, is made possible by the interplay of yin and yang.

In figure 1 black and white represent these two opposing forces. White is the cosmic force of yang, the masculine force, sign of the Sun, aggression, light, heat, growth and movement. In contrast the black is yin, the feminine force, sign of the Moon, passivity, darkness, cold, senescence and inactivity.

Figure 1

The small black and white spots signify the precise interrelationship between Yin and Yang: the seed of one is always contained in the other, such that all movement in the universe is the growth of one force out of the other. You can see in the diagram how the polarities literally turn into each other, like night into day and day into night. Our planet’s entire ecology depends on this complementary pattern, where everything that grows eventually decays, giving rise to new growth.

In the new conversation the subject of change is always in the forefront. We seek out support from each other in dealing with and making changes in our lives, because we all have some resistance to change. Change can be difficult. Change can be threatening. But in the back of our minds we know change is inevitable. We see the sun rise and fall, we see the seasons come and go. We know that we are always growing older and one day will die. And even knowing this, we often live as though the circumstances of our life are frozen in time and will stay the same forever.

Of course they never do. The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus noted that in the world ‘the only constant is change.’ And we should all be grateful for that. Imagine if the world around us actually did stay the same and every day was just like the next, if the weather never changed and plants and trees didn’t grow. Imagine if we didn’t age and our children never grew up. Imagine if there was never anything new. It wouldn’t be very much fun and we know it. Despite our resistance there is a part of us deep inside that wants change. That part of us wants us to grow, to evolve, to experience new things. We also want to make our relationships better and more fulfilling. We want to be more powerful in our working life and create more abundance. We want to finally climb the mountain of our dreams and enjoy the breathtaking view from on high.

Fine. But this all doesn’t happen until we are willing to make a first step, and start declaring our aspirations out into the world. If we at least shared our dreams with someone else, and expressed our disappointment that our lives were not moving towards anything worthwhile, we would likely find that we are not alone. Sometimes the friction of mutual discontent is enough to spark us into action. Or we might turn right around and stop talking about it. Our fear of the unknown can be so strong sometimes that we will shy away from the very conversations that we suspect will encourage us to actively make changes.

Now if we decide to keep sitting back and waiting, life will eventually make changes happen to us, and they are not likely to be the ones we are looking for. When we just hang on to our relationships, life will make them slowly slip away. If we endure a job that we don’t like, work will become ever less satisfying and we may even get fired. And if we don’t keep lighting the torch of our greatest hopes, they will fizzle out into oblivion. When that happens, the only way we are able to console ourselves is by rationalizing that our dreams were never possible to begin with, if in fact we still remembered what they were.

In Chinese philosophy change is likened to a constantly flowing river. All the forces of nature move with the current downstream, in a perfectly balanced and synchronized manner. The real exception to this is human beings. We have made for ourselves a raft on this river, symbol of our self-consciousness, our awareness of ourselves as self-determining creatures. This gives us the power of choice. At any moment in our lives we can choose to embrace change and travel downstream or we can fight against the flow. While we may appear to be staying in the same place for periods in our lives, the forces of change are always at work. If we try to stay in the same place for too long, we are actually expending a lot of energy fighting our own evolution, and we are basically allowing life to pass us by. Eventually, the force will be too much and we will be carried a little ways down the river. In these moments we experience letting go, and when we let go we see that the changes we have been avoiding are not so bad after all.

In the transformation of yin and yang in figure 1, all change is contained by the outer circle which, as you can see, is the only part of the diagram that remains the same throughout. This circle represents the source of all change and all things in the universe. It is called the Dao (also written ‘Tao’), which can roughly be understood as the All or the One. In other spiritual traditions the Dao has been called Brahman, God, Allah, Supreme Being, the Unchanging, the Almighty to name a few. The name itself does not really matter. As Lao-Tzu reflects in Dao De Jing,

The Dao is too great to be described by the name ‘Dao’. If it could be named so simply, it would not be the eternal Dao.

Because the Dao (or whatever else we call it) is the unchanging All, then it is necessarily beyond all duality, and therefore beyond description. There is nothing it is not, and so we can never know the Dao. However, we can still experience ourselves as part of the Dao. By definition all things in the universe, including ourselves, are part of the Dao.  Since the Dao is the source of all change in the world, the part of us that feels a connection with the Dao is where our own desire for change comes from. I would like to call this part of us our Dao Self. If it was up to our Dao Self, we would always follow nature in moving with the current of the river.

But there is another part of ourselves, the part which does not recognize our connection to the Dao. It is the part that enables us to function in the world as individuals, to experience ourselves as apart from one another. This part of us I would like to call our Ego Self. The Ego Self  is programmed to survive at all costs and to maintain control over our lives. It is resistant to change because change threatens to destroy a part of the identity we have created for ourselves as distinct entities. It is worried that change will cause our entire being to fall apart. And so our Ego Self wants us to work our way upstream, so that we stay in the same place and remain as stable as possible.

This gives us pause to think about what it means to be human. Are we a part of the universe or apart from it? Is our real self the Dao Self or the Ego Self? While we may live our life predominantly from the perspective of one or the other of our two selves at any given time, they are always both with us throughout our life. Our basic nature is comprised of this duality, and being human means living with the paradox of this double identity. Our Ego Self is connected to our senses, and keeps us focused in the physical or ‘material’ world, the temporal world of matter. It’s voice is the voice of reason. Our Dao Self transcends sensory experience and calls us to look inside, to an invisible world that holds us to be part of the whole, the infinite world of spirit. Our Dao Self speaks with the voice of our intuition.

When we start to accept ourselves as having this dual nature, it is much easier to understand our conflicting desires: we resist change in our lives and yet we deeply desire change. When we live from the perspective of the Ego Self, change becomes associated with pain, suffering and loss. However, as we learn to live life more from our Dao Self it is easier to embrace change and let go of resistance because change is no longer associated with loss. We don’t experience loss because we feel connected to the wealth of the universe.

When John Donne said that ‘no man is an island,’ he was speaking about this interconnectedness that we have with our world and with each other. All of the great spiritual traditions of the past have been saying this in their own way. They all call us to a greater awareness of our union with the source of being, the One of many names which I am calling the Dao.

Like the island ultimately returning into the ocean from whence it came, we too are on a course for a union with the Dao. But like the island we fight against this. When our Ego Self is in charge we worry that if we do not struggle to hold on to our identity we will lose ourselves completely. We become protective of the welfare of our individual selves because we cannot see our greater connection to the whole. This is the paradox of our existence, source of both our profoundest miseries and our greatest delights. And we would not have it any other way.

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Awareness

Food Brands Owned By Monsanto

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Below is a list of food brands currently owned by Monsanto. The list was put out by Vocal Media.

  • Reflect On:

    Are the foods we eat safe? Are the chemicals we eat ingest with them safe? A lot of science has shown otherwise, so what's really going on here.

Monsanto is a biotech corporation that was founded in the early 1900s. They produce genetically modified foods (GMOs) and many chemicals that are sprayed onto our food, including several pesticides. A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research titled, Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary pesticide levels in U.S. children and adults” outlined the issue with these chemicals, many of which were actually originally designed by Monsanto as warfare weapons to be used as nerve agents.

The study highlighted that diet is the primary source of pesticide exposure in both children and adults. It found that an organic diet significantly reduced neonicotinoid, OP pyrethroid, 2,4-D exposure, with the greatest reduction observed in malathion, clothianidin, and chlorpyrifos.

The researchers noted that all of us are exposed “to a cocktail of toxic synthetic pesticides linked to a range of health problems from our daily diets.” They explained how “certified organic food is produced without these pesticides,” and attempted to answer the question, “Can eating organic really reduce levels of pesticides in our bodies?”

They tested four American families who typically don’t eat organic food to find out.

First, we tested the levels of pesticides in their bodies on a non-organic diet for six days. We found 14 chemicals representing potential exposure to 40 different pesticides in every study participant. These included organophosphates, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and the phenoxy herbicide 2,4-D. Some of the pesticides we found are linked to increased risk of cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and more. (source)

This is one of multiple studies that’ve shown the benefits of switching to an organic diet.

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When it comes to GMOs, there is a wealth of information that shows corruption with regard to their approval. A great resource to learn more about that is  called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverte.

The stranglehold that corporations like Monsanto have on governments and government agencies like the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is quite strong. Many senior CDC scientists actually stressed this, but there are several other examples of this type of corruption.

For example, glyphosate, an active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.

Glyphosate has been implicated in thousands of cancer cases, and Monsanto has already paid out billions of dollars to multiple victims. Dewayne Johnson is one of multiple examples.

Many mainstream foods were also found to be contaminated with glyphosate. Here’s a list of children’s foods that’ve been contaminated.

Monsanto was recently acquired by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Big food and big pharma are one in the same. They own the press, they own politicians, and they practically dictate government policy. There are a multitude of examples that illustrate the massive amount of corruption that drives these corporations, yet they are still operating despite the fact that the products they offer have been proven to be extremely damaging to human health as well as the environment.

Those of you who have been involved in the past in the battle to protect our children from poorly made vaccines or toxic chemicals in our food or in our water know the power of these industries and how they’ve undermined every institution in our democracy that is supposed to protect little children from powerful, greedy corporations. Even the pharmaceutical companies have been able to purchase congress. They’re the largest lobbying entity in Washington D.C.. They have more lobbyists in Washington D.C. than there are congressman and senators combined. They give twice to congress what the next largest lobbying entity is, which is oil and gas… Imagine the power they exercise over both republicans and democrats. They’ve captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They’ve compromised the press… and they destroy the publications that publish real science. – Robert F. Kennedy (source)

Today, annual protests are held against the agrochemical company to demonstrate the public’s displeasure with Monsanto’s practices. Not only do the protests illustrate how many people are against genetically modified organisms, but they also represent how many people are against the dangerous pesticides Monsanto produces to kill off pests and insects.

Here are some of the brands that Monsanto works with.

The Brands

This list was recently put out by Vocal Media.

  • Aunt Jemima
  • Aurora Foods
  • Banquet
  • Best Foods
  • Betty Crocker
  • Bisquick
  • Cadbury
  • Campbell’s
  • Capri Sun
  • Carnation
  • Chef Boyardee
  • Coca Cola
  • ConAgra
  • Delicious Brand Cookies
  • Duncan Hines
  • Famous Amos
  • Frito Lay
  • General Mills
  • Green Giant
  • Healthy Choice
  • Heinz
  • Hellman’s
  • Hershey’s Nestle
  • Holsum
  • Hormel
  • Hungry Jack
  • Hunts
  • Interstate Bakeries
  • Jiffy
  • KC Masterpiece
  • Keebler/Flowers Industries
  • Kelloggs
  • Kid Cuisine
  • Knorr
  • Kool-Aid
  • Kraft/Phillip Morris
  • Lean Cuisine
  • Lipton
  • Loma Linda
  • Marie Callenders
  • Minute Maid
  • Morningstar
  • Butterworths
  • Nabisco
  • Nature Valley
  • Ocean Spray
  • Ore-Ida
  • Orville Redenbacher
  • Pasta- Roni
  • Pepperidge Farms
  • Pepsi
  • Pillsbury
  • Pop Secret
  • Post Cereals
  • Power Bar Brand
  • Prego Pasta Sauce
  • Pringles
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Quaker
  • Ragu Sauce
  • Rice-A-Roni
  • Smart Ones
  • Stouffers
  • Shweppes
  • Tombstone Pizza
  • Totinos
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • Unilever
  • V8

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, despite the massive amount of corruption and illegal activities these companies have engaged in, we are the ones buying their products and consuming their foods. All we have to do is make better choices–we can switch to organic produce, we can do our research and purchase from ethical companies, and we can refuse to spray our lawns with herbicides. Vote with your dollar.

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