Posts Tagged "nature"

In Nature

Posted by on Aug 12, 2013 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on In Nature

In Nature

(Image: ‘Nature’ by dan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Last month, I went to the Om festival in Collingwood . For one week, a temporary community camps in a beautiful forest, and works cooperatively to create the event. Everyone who attends is required to participate in the collective vision. Even meals are communal. Spending 5 consecutive days in the forest with nothing to do but be is complicated. As in other years, I grappled with the absence of urgency and purpose my urban existence demands. Without the ceaseless waves of doing pushing and pulling me in a tidal frenzy, I am left feeling sore, vulnerable, and at times lonely. Yet, day by day, the barriers built up by city living peel off; at times, whole walls collapse into a shivering heap of ash at my feet. And the forest, in its infinite presence and murmuring silence, holds the space for this opening, this deepening of connection with self. A literal understanding of “spending time in nature” is to dwell within one’s own nature. Being in nature is not simply the act of wandering through a park, it is about wandering through oneself. The so-called natural world invites this connection because it exists in perpetual presence. Trees dwell in their nature, as do flowers, squirrels, raccoons, bumblebees, and blue jays. Nature is not something that happens somewhere outside the confines of our houses, streets or cities; nature is within us, it is what we are. My invitation to you is to spend time in your nature. This can mean being in a presence-ful environment such as a park, or beach, or forest; practicing prayer, or still or moving meditation; singing; dancing; even laying down in a quiet room and simply feeling your feelings. Exploring and becoming intimate with the world within you ultimately opens you to the world around. Spending time in your nature brings you home to the deeply interconnected reality of...

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Notes on a Cleanse

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Featured, Health, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Notes on a Cleanse

Notes on a Cleanse

We recently co-ordinated a community-wide cleanse at Source Centre . I created a guideline of foods to eat or avoid, along with some tips regarding lifestyle and approach. We constructed a wall display in the form of a vegetable garden; if someone signed up for the cleanse, they would put their name on a construction paper vegetable, and place it on the wall, signifying their commitment. To my delight, over 25 people signed on to cleanse in some way. This result in itself was very encouraging, as many folks broke out of their comfort zone and agreed to cleanse for the first time. It was inspiring and heartening to witness that courage in the face of many deterrents and fears. Food is a sensitive subject, and bears emotional and psychological weight in our lives. Agreeing to change our eating habits is agreeing to change some deeply habitual aspects of ourselves. The most profound results came about midway through the cleanse. Personally, I had more energy, my skin was brighter, and I felt mentally clear. However, two participants in particular had wonderful results that exceeded my expectations and hopes. The following are testimonials from these participants: The first thing I noticed was a significant reduction in bloating, both in my face and around my stomach area. My skin became very clear. I received a number of comments that my face looked “brighter”. I didn’t have any cravings for meat or wheat products. The lighter meals satisfied my hunger and didn’t leave me feeling bloated and uncomfortable. I found I had more energy also. -Rose I had low expectations for this cleanse – it was an idea I’d played with for years but never got around to trying. Leila’s advice was gentle and precise: “you can do it if you want to.” And I did, so I did. Having committed for one week, I told myself I would try for two. The hard part was getting organized for such a drastic shift in diet (I’m an unashamed carnivore) and staying on top of it, but the results were encouraging and immediate. I was more alert, lighter on my feet and emotionally consistent. I woke up earlier each day, ahead of my alarm, ready for the world. By the second week I felt so in tune with my body and empowered by a growing awareness of my body’s wants and needs (many of which I’d previously confused with one another) that it became difficult to imagine reverting back to my old indulgent ways, so I extended the cleanse into a third week. -Phil What is inspiring about these testimonials is that both of these participants had never cleansed before! And yet, they had almost immediate results, and a noticeable shift in energy, appearance and perspective. Cleansing provides so many benefits, not the least of which is learning to listen to your body, and get in touch with your real needs and tastes. The miraculous thing about resetting via a cleanse is that you often realize you don’t want those so-called addictive foods in the first place. The clarity in your body and mind become a state worth maintaining, and a great testing ground for noticing what you truly crave. Being in nature is another great way to get in tune with your body, and calm your mind. Spending time in nature daily is a great way to cleanse your thoughts and reconnect with what matters. This summer, continue to embrace refreshing yourself with a nutritious and fortifying diet, and lots of time...

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