Monday, October 31, 2011

"I Was Meant For The Stage ..."

"From the floorboards to the flys,
Here I was fated to reside.
And as I take my final bow,
Was there ever any doubt?
And as the spotlights fade away,
And you're escorted through the foyer,
You will resume your callow ways,
But I was meant for the stage."
~ The Decemberist ~ I Was Meant For The Stage ~

Over this past weekend, Russell and I has the opportunity to play at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary.  Definitely a dream come true.  This facility hosts many great acts, plays and performances year round.  As mentioned in a previous blog post, the east indian community held a cultural event, Diwali, and this year, we were one of many acts playing at the event. 

Differing from our usual band sound, we played with an author and classically trained singer, Mrs. Jayshree Bhatt.  Our item included Russell on bass, myself on keyboard, Harjitbhai on tablas, Vineet on sitar and a choir of 12.  Mrs. Bhatt chose 4 religious ragas to celebrate Diwali.  With the purity of her voice, the trance-like tabla sound, the angelic choir and our non-ethnic feel on bass and keyboard, we delighted the crowd with four songs.  

In between all this excitement, I had to carry around my juices, meds and potatoes to make sure I was on schedule.  Some spoke quietly to each other as they curiously wondered what "drugs" I was ingesting prior to performing ... I felt like a bit of a druggie, getting "ready" to perform.  And to my surprise, it made me laugh thinking ... hmmm what are they thinking.  As well, I had a few people who "know" about my diagnosis, and I know they know, but they don't know I know they know ... whatever, anyhow these few looked shocked that I was walking, talking and even performing on stage.  In their minds, cancer means weak, frail, and dying ... and in their defence, that is probably their experience with family and friends.  They were greeting me, cautiously, probably not sure what or how the conversation would go.  For me, it was life as usual.  I was more worried about my performance and my indian sari falling off then the impression I was making to the casual few.  At that moment, I really didn't bother with what others thought, and it was liberating.  

My parents said to me a few nights earlier, that they were proud of me, where I was, and what I had become.  What I represented and knew that I was beating this horrid dis-ease with a great deal of class.  I guess I had what I needed to be "seen in public". I had myself, my own sense of who I am.  I wasn't there to impress anyone but ... me.  And I did.  And it was awesome.  Once again, I had Russell on stage, beaming and glowing in the moment.  And every time I looked in his direction, his smiling face made me laugh.  He was meant to be on stage.  His emitted his passion and true love for music and it was contagious.  

Another moment of feeling I was exactly where I was suppose to be in my life ... and loving every musical moment.

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life" ~ B. Auerbach

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Soul Inside ... "

"and the beat of my heart
Marks the passing of time
And I just wanna scream to the sky
There are times when my mind is an explosion of feelings
I`m trying to hold on to the soul inside"

~ Soft Cell ~ Soul Inside ~

Another supplement prescribed on the Gerson Therapy is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).  CoQ10 is a naturally-occuring vitamin-like nutrient found in every cell of the body.  It is present in highest concentrations in cell mitochondria or where energy is produced.  It's primary function is to help with the conversion of food and oxygen into energy.

You may be wondering if CoQ10 is "naturally-ocurring" why prescribe it?  Well as you know, those diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses have a direct connection with weaken immune systems and require all the tools available to rebuild themselves.  And, anti-oxidants are important.  They are substances that protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals.  Free radical damage may lead to cancer.  Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals.

So, back to Coenzyme Q10 .... it is a powerful antioxidant and provides additional help neutralizing damage-causing free radicals.  Studies have show that additional supplementation supports healthy blood pressure, cholesterol levels as well as promotes healthy immune-system functions.  Also, due to aging, levels of CoQ10 decline, resulting in less efficient organ function because of reduced energy supply.

As always, check with your health care practitioner prior to taking any supplements.  Inquire about the "type" of CoQ10 you are prescribed to ensure you are getting the highest quality, 100% natural form.  Some synthetic forms are processed using tobacco and other non-natural molecules of unproven effectiveness.  Making sure CoQ10 is produced by natural fermentation; the version identical to the human body's own CoQ10.

"A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his   illnesses" - Hippocrates 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Patience ..."

"...little patience, mmm yeah, ooh yeah, 
I need a little patience, yeah
Just a little patience, yeah
Some more pati... ence, yeah
I've been walking the streets at night
Just trying to get it right ... 

Need some patience, yeah
I ain't got time for the pain ..."
~Guns N' Roses ~ Patience ~

Patience.  An interesting word.  Used in many ways.  Taught from a young age ... we must be patient.  But really it has never been easy to be patient, and probably even harder now than ever.  I can attest to that, currently in a therapy that is recommended for a minimum of 18 months or 78 weeks ... we are on week 34, and always counting...

You see in a world where messages can be sent across the globe instantly, seemingly everything is available with a few clicks of the mouse.  It's very hard not to expect instant satisfaction.  But patience remains a valuable tool in our lives.  We don't always get instant gratification, and some of the best things in life require years of hard work and waiting.  And fortunately, "patience is a virtue" that can be cultivated and nurtured.  Yeah right?  how many times have you heard "I have no patience", or "I just want it now" ... well it is possible.  But it takes time to fulfill this goal ... isn't that ironic?  ... Yet, once you have conquered this, it will become second nature.  And the bonus is that you won't be disappointed at what life can offer you with some spare time.  You will be surprised by how boring, restless and lagging hours can evolve into a passing time of relaxation and peace of mind.

Curious?  yes!  read on ...

(1) Ask why you are in such a hurry?  It appears that we tend to lose our patience when we are multitasking or on a tight schedule, expecting the day to pass within only a few short minutes of busyness and chaos.  If you are stretching yourself too thin, re-do your to-do list before you attempt to change your natural reaction to an overwhelming situation.  Try to do your tasks one at a time, and delegate your responsibilities to share the load. 

(2) Try to recognize the triggers that often influence you to lose your patience.  Impatience is like a slow growth, it creeps up on you.  And if you feel anxious, worried or unhappy you may not even realize the underlying cause of these feelings is impatience.  Raise your awareness ... which events, people, phrases or circumstances trigger you.  At the core of most triggers is a reality that we have a hard time accepting.  But remember to ask yourself, whose realities are these?

(3) Overcome bouts of impatience.  Yes, one of the hardest things to do, but by developing patience, your outlook and attitude about life shifts.  Start by learning how to relax when you feel impatient.  Take a few deep breaths and clear your mind.  Concentrate on breathing and you'll start to get your bearings.

(4) If it is out of your control, let go.  Just let it go.  Easier said than done but it's the only healthy thing you can do.  Practice makes perfect and you will gradually develop the strength to remain patient in the most difficult situations.

(5) Mental note for self ... things take time.  Getting things done now and not wasting time doesn't apply to every situation.  Some things just can't be rushed.  I realize that almost anything really good in life takes time and dedication, and if you're impatient, you're more likely to give up on relationships, goals and other things that are important to you.  

(6) Expect the unexpected.  Ah yes, this has definitely been my journey.  I had plans and last I checked, they didn't include battling cancer.  Life lesson, things don't always work out as planned.  I accept the twist and turns in life ... gracefully.  And I keep my expectations realistic.  This not only applies to my current situation, but also to the behaviour within and around me.

(7) Remember what matters most.  Focusing on what matters most in this life fuels patience.  Move the world toward peace by being kind, generous in forgiveness of others, being grateful for what is, and taking full advantage of what matters most.  Take time to remember any one of these items can reduce our tendency to want something different right now.

(8) Have a positive outlook on life.  Remember that you will eventually get what you want.  Everything works out in the end, for a Higher Purpose.  Yes, this requires maturity and patience to understand and accept.  If you work hard at something, this may be the truth, but most of the time you have to be patient to get what you want.  Our destinations are constantly moving so remember that Life is a journey to be savoured each step of the way.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

" Shine ... "

"Love is in the water
Love is in the air
Show me where to look
Tell me will love be there
Teach me how to speak
Teach me how to share
Teach me where to go
Tell me will love be there
Oh, heaven let your light shine down"

~ Collective Soul ~ Shine ~

This is a very exciting time of year, a celebration of a new year.  It is Diwali.  For my entire life, we have always celebrated Diwali.  A time we spend with family and friends, to embrace, wish well and rejoice.  A time we eat and be merry.  A time we pray.  A time we love.  A time we Shine.

So what is Diwali?  Diwali also known as Deepvali, is the "Festival of Lights".  Diwali originates from Sanskrit, translating into "row of lamps", as small clay lamps are filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil within Indian mythology.  It is believed to be the time of transition from darkness unto light - the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds and bring us closer to divinity.

"The most popular legend of Diwali is that of Lord Rama, from the epic Ramayana.  In the legend, Prince Rama and his wife Sita are banished from their home in Ayodhya by their father, the king.  Rama, Sita and Rama’s brother, Lakshmana, go to live in a forest.  After many years, Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, a ten-headed demon.  He takes Sita to the island of Lanka.  With the help of Hanuman, the monkey warrior, Rama rescues his wife.  The people of Ayodhya light diyas in rows to guide Rama and Sita back from the forest to Ayodhya.  On their return, Rama is crowned king.  Diwali celebrates the return of Rama and Sita."

And while the story behind Deepavali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region, the essence is the same ~ to rejoice in the Inner Light or the underlying reality of all things.  So once again this year, our family will hold prayers in our home.  We will illuminate our homes as an expression of obeisance to the heavenly for the attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and fame.  We will honour Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed God and symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom.  We will honour Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and good fortune.

For us, Diwali illuminates our heart to find reason and hope, acknowledging our awareness is beyond the physical body as our mind is infinite.  For us, Diwali lights will disperse all ignorance that masks man true nature.  We hope for change to lead to pure reality ~ awakening, awareness, compassion, and illumination of oneness of all things amongst celebration and joy.

"Light up the darkness and sparkle up your life this Diwali"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Definite Choice ..."

"Take your pick and make a stand,
With no regrets or change of plan,
Keep your head, don't be afraid,
Be proud of the choice you've made.
Support your scene, you must believe,
Never stop just move ahead
Oh Oh Oh! Definite Choice!"

~ 7 Seconds ~ Definite Choice ~

I never blogged about Steve Jobs.  When he passed on, I was sad, really sad.  Sad for his family, sad for his friends and for the rest of us, sad for society because a true tech iCon had left us.  Immediately after his death, there was a great deal of talk about how he died of cancer.  Yes, of course, whenever anyone dies of cancer now, and it is in the media, it triggers a lot of emotions for me.  Probably for others to -  whether they have lost someone to this dis-ease, their loved ones are battling it at the moment, or they themselves are.  So, for me, there were tears, and a lot of them.  Odd you don't know someone but this type of reaction can occur.  I guess you just identify.  You see photos of the loved ones and their grief.  You visualize yourself in that situation.  The pain you can cause, it feels real and it can be so overwhelming.  

Soon after, I read an article written by the Natural News group, and their perspective on his death.  Yep you guessed it, that conventional therapy is what caused his death and not the cancer itself.  So I merrily sent this to family and a few friends.  I guess if I am honest, to prove a point.  To show that see! see! the treatment plan is what did him in ... not the cancer.  Aha! ..... but then .... no one responded ... maybe because they didn't read it, didn't agree or just didn't bother.  Regardless, we thought it was interesting.  And it felt good to have something else confirming to hold on to.  Mental note to self, maybe only share when others welcome it, instead of bombarding them with controversial stuff ... point taken.

So that brings me to what has happened over the last couple of days.  I have been blogging about other happenings, but looming articles on Mr. Job's death have been playing on my mind.  And finally I had to blog.  Surprise surprise?! .... 

Now I know with his fame, absolutely everything is going to be analyzed, dissected and re-phrased.  But the latest round of articles on "his fight with cancer" has been ... well interesting?  Probably for anyone that is battling cancer the "alternative way", it strikes a chord.  You see, biographer Walter Issacson"outlines Mr. Job's struggle with pancreatic cancer ... offers new insight and details."  Basically stating that when he was diagnosed, he refused conventional treatment and instead tried "exotic" treatments involving diet, juicing and detox.  Hmmmm sounds vaguely familiar?  But does it?? ... I have been trying to find out exactly what "exotic" treatment he followed.  And I will tell you, Gerson is far from exotic.  It is routine, boring, restrictive and difficult.  Just ask Russ, exotic is not the verb we would use.   So, did Steve Job's follow Gerson?  Did he ingest 13 juices a day?  Did he do 5 coffee enemas a day?  Did he take over 80 supplements (not herbs!) a day?  Did he stay on the therapy for a minimum of 18 months as directed?  I am still searching for confirmation on this ...

Also, Mr. Issacson writes about how Steve Job's upset his family because he refused surgery and chemotherapy, that he was a bit of a hippie, contacted "spiritualist" instead and was foolish to not follow the treatment plan provided because if and only if he did, he would be alive today.   Wow, that is amazing eh?  I really wish I had his conventional medical team on my side that could give me a DEFINITE answer telling me that I would be cured and live a long healthy life IF I follow the treatment plan they have presented.  

You see not one doctor I have consulted with ~ conventional, gerson, holistic, traditional chinese, homeopath or ayurvedic has told me for sure, definitely, without any doubt, that the treatment I follow will work.  Why ... because they can't ... ethically and otherwise.  No one knows.  No one knows if Steve Job's truly followed initially conventional treatments that he would be alive today.  They can, did and are speculating at best.  We do what we can with what we know.  I don't think any one would purposely risk their life ~ we all want to live.  And with the abundance of wealth this man had, he did put all his money into saving his life.  But was it too late when he "finally" did what "they" told him would work.  I don't know.  No one does.  

At the end of it all, they world lost a great man who made a difference.  
A visionary.  He lived a life worth remembering.

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Tea In The Sahara ..."

"My sisters and I
Have this wish before we die
And it may sound strange
As if our minds are deranged
Please don't ask us why
Beneath the sheltering sky
We have this strange obsession
You have the means in your possession

We want our tea in the Sahara with you
We want our tea in the Sahara with you"

~ Sting ~ Tea In The Sahara ~

Today I had the pleasure of sharing a cup of tea with a loving friend.  I love visits, they sure do make my day.  And it was not just an ordinary tea we shared, it was Tulsi tea.  I was fortunate to have my Mom give Russell and I this plant which we have growing in a pot near our kitchen window.  Growing up, I knew about the Tulsi plant, mainly because of references made in bollywood movies nicely wrapped with some religious connection.  And I would admire it from afar every time we visited my parent's home.  My Mom is very proud of her Tulsi plant and then one lucky day, she gave me one to grow and nuture.  Yaay me!

So what is Tulsi you may be wondering?  Well, Tulsi (Hindi: तुलसीis also known as the "Holy Basil".  It is an aromatic plant ... considered widespread as a cultivated plant and an escaped weed.  It grows tall with hairy stems and simple opposite green leaves that are strongly scented.  Tulsi is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil.  It is widely used across South Asia as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea.  Commonly used in Ayurveda, it has an important role within the tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving Tulsi plants or leaves.  India recognizes this sacred herb because of its health benefits and healing properties.

So what's all the healing hubbub about?  ...  Well, Tulsi is known for its rich antioxidant properties that are known to promote wellness by building the body's immune system, reducing stress and promoting mental clarity.  By protecting cells from the damage caused by free radicals, Tulsi facilitates the cause and progression of various types of dis-eases; basically inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.  And on a daily basis, Tulsi can help with infections from viruses, bacteria and fungi.  Sounds pretty cool eh?

So why not give it a go?  Perhaps skip that coffee and try out some Tulsi tea.  Pop down to your local organic food store and explore the tea section.  There a loads of brands to choose from.  And remember, above all else, it tastes so SO good, especially on a gorgeous fall day with a loving friend ... ahh BLISS!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Two Kinds of People ..."

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 - 1919)

THERE are two kinds of people on the earth to-day;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say

Not the sinner and the saint, for it's well understood,
The good are half bad, and the bad are half good.

Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.

Wherever you go,you will find the earth's masses, 
Are always divided in just these two classes.

And oddly enough, you will find too, I ween,
There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you?  Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Potatoes ..."

"I don't have time
To feel the pain
Why should I feel?
I can't complain ...
Heeeeey ...
Potatos in the dark
Pickles in the light
Cabbage on wheels
Drive around"
~ Caffeine ~ Potatoe ~

Today as I was getting my tatters ready for baking I started to wonder exactly how many of these suckers I have eaten over the last 33 weeks.  On the Gerson therapy, we are required to have at least one baked potato for lunch and one for dinner.  So, loosely calculating ... close to 500 potatoes thus far on the therapy.  Holy tatters Batman!!! ~ that is a whole lotta carbs no?  And I say carbs for a reason ... you see for the longest time, I stayed away (as most of you do) from loading up on carbs.  The myth "carbs make you fat".  Well that sure as heck is not the case.  Carbs don't make you fat, the "toppings" make you fat ~ oils, butters, creams, dressings, dippings, and fixings.  And if you really think about it ... it makes sense.  Now this is referring to real carbs, not packaged, processed and canned.  We all know that well, that stuff is just not good for us at all.

One of the main principles in the Gerson therapy is to provide the body with a high potassium and low sodium diet.  Within Charlotte Gerson's book "Healing the Gerson Way", she writes about her father's discovery around these two minerals and how their imbalance in the body can lead to serious health issues.  Once sorted, our bodies can heal as they are made to do so.  Yet the average diet is far from this.  Most diets these days are rich in sodium which lead to various dis-eases including cancer.  So why is sodium so bad for us?  Well sodium itself is not "bad" but remember the saying ... everything in moderation?  To the point, excess sodium feeds tumours allowing them to grow.  

So back to why I ingest soooooo many potatoes.  Well, to get my diet back to the higher potassium and lower sodium ratio, the more potatoes the better ... because potatoes are enriched with potassium.  An average size potato has 110 calories and 750 mg of potassium compared to 10 mg of sodium.  Also as an added bonus, potatoes are the cheapest source of potassium.  As you know all of our produce is organic, but we can still purchase a 5 lb bag for ~ $8.  Not bad when you consider an average bevy at the Starbucks is ~ $5.

So as I eat my potatoes twice a day, I can't help but smile and think of a few potato funnies to share with you.  They may make you laugh, but at the very least, may peak your craving today for potatoes ...

  • What do you call a baby potato? A small fry!
  • What do you say to an angry 300-pound baked potato? Anything, just butter him up.
  • What does a British potato say when it thinks something is wonderful? It’s mashing!
  • Why did the potato cross the road? He saw a fork up ahead.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Milk Thistle ..."

Milk Thistle, milk Thistle
Let me down slow
Help me go slow
I've been carrying on ...

Don't be scared of nothing
You go pound for pound
You bring peace to midnight
like a spotted owl ..."
~Conor Oberst ~ Milk Thistle ~

One of the many Gerson supplements is Milk Thistle.  Currently, I take two tablets, three times a day with my vegan meals.  So why milk thistle and what are its benefits?  Well, as mentioned in one of my prior posts, most cancer patients have toxic livers.  Yet, there are many ways to assist in regenerating the liver.  Milk Thistle is a herb and could really be called the liver's BFF.  You see, milk thistle not only protects the liver from toxins, but it also plays an important healing role too.  It repairs liver cells and promotes the regeneration of new cells.  How cool is that??  It ensures that the daily tasks are carried out and that the liver has the ability to rejuvenate itself (visualize my happy dance here).

This herb has the presence of chemicals that can help to detoxify the liver, thereby saving it from the detrimental effects of toxins that are present in our bodies ... and actually reverses some damage that is caused to the liver through excesses in alcohol use, pesticides, and processed foods.  Additionally, it can help prevent some diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.  It is possible to repair this damage done to the liver through wear and tear through a regeneration process.  Worn out cells will grow back again during the process known as regeneration.  And in those cells where regeneration does not occur natural, it can cause the process to start up again.

So how does this all happen?   Well, an active ingredient called Silymarin, is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals that cause cellular damage.  And in some laboratory studies Silibinin, an active compound of Silymarin, is effective in fighting cancer cells found in prostate, cervical and breast cancers.  The use of Milk Thistle has helped to reduce the cancer cell growth and has improved the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs.  Therefore, regardless of your treatment of choice, milk thistle can be very beneficial to assist your liver to a healthier state.  

Of course first consult your health practitioner when considering any form of medication, synthetic or herbal.  I for one am not in favour of self-medicating, yet am in favour of understanding your treatment plan.  Always, always, always do your research and know what you are ingesting in your body ... and know the benefits and side effects to determine if it is right for you. 

♥ Love your Liver 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Here I Go Again ..."

"Though I keep searching for an answer
I never seem to find what I'm looking for
Oh Lord, I pray you give me strength to carry on
'Cause I know what it means
To walk along the lonely street of dreams
Here I go again on my own
Going down the only road I've ever known
Like a drifter, I was born to walk alone
And I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time"

~ Whitesnake ~ Here I Go Again

Well we are off, on week 32, working the programme, the therapy with no deviation.  Yep it is second nature now, knowing when to juice, when to enema, when to medicate, when to get the soup on, when to bake the potatoes, when to get the groceries and more importantly ... when to rest.  When I share with friends how long it has been they are surprised ... it has been a wild wild ride indeed.  And the latest and greatest ... well, I had another round of tests and all is looking really well.  My family doctor is very happy, encouraged and relieved to be honest.  She has been an amazing support in this whole journey getting all my paperwork and requisitions sorted.  I thank God for her often.  The reports are off to the Gerson doctors today and I anticipate they will be as happy as they were last time around.  And although I knew in my heart that I am doing well & I am healing ... a little voice in me said "what if" again.  Dang those little voices?!  But my dear friend Jolene said to me that these little pangs of doubt are just check-stops, nothing more nothing less.  I still hate sitting and waiting for test results.  But don't we all?  Whether it be a pop quiz in school, a final exam in uni, or a medical diagnosis.  I just don't get use to it ... 

I have to say the love, support, encouragement and confidence around me, from the practitioners I have been working with to my family and friends have helped me on my chosen healing path.  A path that is unfamiliar for some and discredited in most circles.  Initially a path that I was anxious of as well.  But knowing that 8 months later, things are looking up and heading in the right direction.  Hallelujah!!!

The questions I ask myself now is what does life look like from here on out?  I have done what I wanted, achieved what I set out to do thus far.  Now, it is so exciting to think ... what now and how wonderful can it be?  I am more motivated than I have been in such a long time.  The feeling is indescribable ... but as one of my natural practitioners said to me ...

 .... ahhhhh what a brilliant thought!

So as I sit on my couch wrapping up this quick blog post, knowing in the back of my mind I have to prep the soup and potatoes for lunch, life feels good, so good.  I commit to changing those negative thoughts, those tough little voices and I know I am exactly where I am suppose to be ... and loving it ...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Thank You ..."

"And even if I'm there, they'll all imply, 
That I might not last the day,
And then you call me and it's not so bad,
It's not so bad.

And I want to thank you,
For giving me the best day of my life,
And oh, just to be with you,
Is having the best day of my life"

~ Dido ~ Thank-you ~

Here, this weekend, we are celebrating Thanksgiving.  Canadian thanksgiving is about a month earlier than the American date, but the significance is the same.  It is a holiday celebrated primarily in North America.  It is a mix of traditions set by the Europeans and the Native people.  To celebrate before and after the harvest cycle, giving thanks for good harvest, and rejoice together after much work within the community.  And harvest marks the end of the growing season or growing cycle.

This year, I identify with harvesting ~ the growing cycle.  Personal growth.  This year, the turn of events in my life have improved my awareness and identity, helped me develop other talents, enhance my quality of life and contribute to my realization of dreams and aspirations.  And in my wellness journey thus far, I have had an immense amount to be thank-ful for, to be grateful.  You see with our newer Gerson lifestyle, I am looking at so many different aspects of our life, with a different way of looking.  I see differently.  I keep on discovering new ways of living and I AM so grateful to everything that is happening in and around our life.  So I got to thinking ... What are YOU grateful for?  What keeps you inspired and motivated even when things seem bleak?  

One of the most effective ways to stop worrying and boost your personal power is to simply acknowledge what you already have in your life right now that you are so grateful for.  For me, it is my Faith in God, my Family and my Friends I can count on for my lifetime ... yet what about including little things.  The little things that you take for granted in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that already make your life sparkle if you'd only see them with renewed eyes ... 

Commit to starting up your personal gratitude journal by writing down 5 things you are grateful for every day ... it will allow you to collect and reflect on the things that make life great and it has the power to transform us into healthier and happier spiritual beings ...

grat⋅i⋅tude  noun: the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful; 
"make sense of the past, bring peace for today, create a vision for your future ..."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Price Tag ... "

"Seems like everybody's got a price,
I wonder how they sleep at night.
When the sale comes first,
And the truth comes second,
Just stop for a minute and Smile

It's not about the money, money, money
We don't need your money, money, money
We just wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the price tag"
~ Jessie J ~ Price Tag ~

Well October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and brace yourselves ... this post may be a bit of a rant ... You see, everywhere I look there is a constant reminder ~ from PINK window displays in the shops, to magazines that have been taken over by the pink industry, to pink lids on bottled water, pink cookie packaging in the supermarket ... even pink ribbons on bathroom tissue packages ~ just bombarded with "help us find a cure".

Now, I am all for raising your awareness, hence why I blog as much as I do ... because when you are aware of an issue, you can try to solve it ~ real simple.  Yet what troubles me is the "help us find a cure"  part associated with the monies raised.  You see the marketing strategists for the pink ribbon campaign are absolute geniuses, as they touch all avenues, calling on us to donate to rid this horrid dis-ease.  But from my research, the whole campaign is not what it appears to be.  The money is suppose to help find a cure for breast cancer by the pharmaceutical industry.  But the Big Pharma has a really bad track record in the "war on cancer" ... over 30 years and hundreds of billions of dollars later ... they have increased the survival rate over fives years for major cancers by ~ 2% with chemotherapy.  And the cancer rate has gone from approximately 1 in 100 in the early 1900's to 1 in 2 or 3 today.  Just think about that for a moment ... does this resemble anything like a "cure"??  The monies raised in the pink ribbon campaign are  spent on more "cutpoisonburn" therapies ... for every one person that has cancer, 3 people make money because from diagnosis to either remission or death, the average cost for conventional treatment for a cancer patient is $350,000.  And if you don't believe me, just click on the link of CutPoisonBurn movie and watch the Navarro families battle to cure their child of brain cancer ... it will seriously break your heart.

And what I find incredibly offensive about the whole pink ribbon drive for donations is that they are exploiting the generosity of good hearted, kind people who believe that the cancer industry is doing all they can to find a cure.  Little do they know that there are many successful treatments and cures, like the Gerson Therapy, but this type of treatment has been harshly suppressed, proclaimed as "quackery" while mutilating, burning and poisoning treatments are given preference in a world run by corporate greed.  There is no other option given to patients - I was not given any other options.  I was told I would die in less than 5 years if I didn't follow what they presented to me.  I was terrified and rushed to make a decision, sign paperwork even before I could question the effectiveness of the treatment presented.

As I have said this to friends and family, I am not here to tell you what type of treatment is right for you .. I am here to share my story, my choice, and my journey thus far.  There are no guarantees and every single person has the right to make a decision that resonates with them.  Knowledge is power my friends.  What does make me sad is when the decision you make is not affordable.  You are on your own with no financial support.  Presently, we have two friends from the Gerson clinic that have had fundraisers set up so that they can continue with alternative treatments.  

So, why is it that once you accept the traditional, conventional treatment, most of your treatment in this country is covered?  Why is it when I decide on alternative treatments it is out of my pocket?

For the record, here is a breakdown of some of the costs we have endured during the last 7 months on the Gerson Therapy:

One Time: Flights to clinic = $1,500
One Time Gerson Clinic stay = $16,500
One Time cost of Norwalk juicer = $3,000
Monthly Gerson medication $500
Monthly Homeopath medications = $50
Monthly Traditional medications = $500
Monthly massage, reiki, TCM treatments = $500
Monthly cost of organic food = $1,200

*Therapy averages a minimum of 18 months and upwards to 3 years for some

The time has come for us to demand co-operation between conventional and natural practitioners ~ to assist the patient in reducing side effects, reducing the stress and reducing the financial burden after their treatment of choice.  I have yet to see any pink ribbon campaign for greater funds to help close this gap and carve a pathway for cancer patients to be given FULL disclosure of all the options available.  Unfortunately, the only language that the corporate world understands is money, but if people become aware of the deception and greed driving these campaigns, they can choose to spend their dollars on health education and dis-ease prevention.

Become informed, practice preventative natural medicine, get involved, seek answers ... you will be giving yourself the best opportunity of living healthfully ~ with or without a pretty pink ribbon.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Make That Connection ... "

"Oh what would I do...
I have this feeling...
It's never ever ever explained...
Yeah I'm afraid a part of my heart...
You know there's nothing I would not do...

I want to make that connection, that connection to you
I want to make that connection, that connection to you"
~ Tom Petty ~ Make That Connection ~

Relationships, friendships and other "connections" are dynamic.  Constantly changing.  Sometimes we handle the change, other times we welcome them, but most of the time it hits us up side the head and we are like ... what the heck was that?  Scratching your head you ask what do you do now, how do you handle it now and where do we go from here ... basically what does it "look" like ...

For me, my old patterns and habits were not very ahem ... mature.  In the past, when my relationships would change, I would immediately retreat back into my shell, and feel victimized.  And once I came out of my shell, watchout!  I was angry and wanted to hurt back to those who hurt first.  And I never gave it a thought that maybe they didn't hurt first?  Maybe they didn't really mean to make me feel left out, bad, sad, lonely, neglected and just not needed anymore?  Maybe, just maybe, it's not all about me ... LOL!  What? Really?  okay, okay just being a bit silly ... but seriously, we, and I mean the collective "we" usually think "we" have done something wrong.  And in some instances maybe we did.  

Now, with a different mindset, change is more satisfying.  And I use the changes I have endured in the this year as a template for change in other aspects of my life.  First, I take some time to myself, wrap my head around the situation and decide if, in a recent example, I still want this relationship in my life.  How important is it to me ... and when I listen to my heart, really listen, I KNOW my truth.  It is not a dependency, it is a true desire to have the person in my life.  That it is so worth the effort ~ I decide to reach out, reconnect and in some cases extend the olive branch ... making sure the olives are still on it!  I take responsibility of my own actions, not theirs.  Now, I express myself authentically.  I tell them I miss them.  I tell them I appreciate them.  I let them know I truly care and that I am okay with change.  Their change.  I accept them for who they are now and who they were.  I am there for them ...

So how does this all come about ... well here are a few mental notes help me to navigate gracefully ...

Relationships change happens to all of us ~ change happens every day, to everyone; it's the one constant in life, the thing that connects us all.  And when a relationship changes, it's natural to find it difficult. 

Something good will come ~ people who are good at relationship change always focus on the positive that will inevitably come from any transition.  Change may lead you to new people, help you develop a stronger faith and belief in yourself, give you new opportunities, or inspire you to live a healthier life. 

Turn to your change support team ~ One of the quickest ways to embrace change and move through it is to surround yourself with a team of supportive people.  These people are there to listen, support, and encourage you. They will keep you on a path of hope and optimism as you move through the transition.

Use your Spiritual strength ~ When everything is changing, it's important to find the part of yourself that doesn't change--your calm, centered, spiritual side, your higher self. It's the part that's connected to something greater and uses your intuition as a guide.

Accept change and take action ~ Go in the direction life is taking you and focus on re-aligning yourself with a plan of optimism on the future and not the past, with or without that relationship.  Make a plan that feels right, realistic and hopeful ~ something that resonates with YOU.

There is an opportunity to have some clearing, a new perspective ... for some to start over, others a "re-do".  A new friendship, a new relationship ... that has evolved to meet you both where you are today that is newly defined, mutually serving and with a fulfilling purpose.