WGP 049: Healing – What’s Love Got to Do with It?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Healing and Love:

  • I’ll explain the difference between conventional and natural healing methods
  • I’ll talk about unconditional love and why it is the most important factor when it comes to healing
  • I’ll talk about a couple of things that can stop the healing process from happening properly
  • Finally, I’ll share a few ways you can make love your drug of choice to help you with any healing journey you may be on


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS THAT WILL BRING MORE LOVE INTO YOUR LIFE

There are two main belief systems out there when it comes to healing. One is used by the conventional mainstream model and the other by more traditional natural healers.

The current conventional medical model used mainly in western societies focuses on treating health symptoms and disease with medication or surgery. So they have a pill or a procedure for every illness. What conventional treatment misses is the fact that health symptoms and disease are really signs of underlying hidden malfunction that has been going on in your bodymind for days, weeks, months, perhaps several years in terms of certain cancers and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Conventional mainstream medicine is based on a mechanistic, reductionist, allopathic model of healing where the human body is separate from the mind and works much like a machine that can be reduced down to different parts and by treating the symptomatic issues that are appearing in the parts you will fix the rest of the machine.

On the flipside of this you have natural traditional ancestral healers that use a holistic approach to healing where they may or may not treat health symptoms and disease directly, but they do look for the underlying root cause of the issue and they will look to support your bodymind’s own innate ability to heal.

This holistic approach by natural healers aligns with the theory of Vitalism, which is the understanding that there is a life force energy that beats your heart, breathes your lungs, and heals your bodymind.

To compare these two very different models of healing let me use the engine check light on a car’s dashboard as an analogy. Conventional mainstream medicine would treat the check light in the following ways. They would test the bulb, make sure that there wasn’t anything wrong with the bulb. They may remove the bulb. They may also tape over the check light so you can’t see it. They may even ask you to put a blindfold over your eyes so you can’t see the check light. This is what it means to see things as a machine and to reduce things to their smallest parts and to treat only the symptom.

Now natural healers would see the check light as a sign of some other underlying issue going on. Then they would find that this engine check light relates to an issue with the engine itself and so they would go directly to the engine and do further tests on the engine. Once the problem is found a natural healer would choose from a number of different strategies that they feel would fix the specific issue that they found in the engine and once the engine is fixed wouldn’t you know it the engine check light on the dashboard inside the car is no longer lit. That’s how a holistic root cause healing model works. It treats the underlying cause of the symptom.

Earlier I mentioned life force energy and how your bodymind can heal itself. Think about a cut on your skin. A band aid or plaster over the cut isn’t actually healing it. It’s simply preventing the cut from getting infected and getting worse and can actually improve the speed of healing, but the band aid or the plaster isn’t doing the healing. Think about a broken bone. A cast isn’t actually healing the bone. It’s job is to prevent the bone from healing out of alignment, but the cast isn’t doing the healing.

This life force energy that is healing the cut and healing the bone has many names:

  • Qi
  • Prana
  • Breath
  • Spirit
  • GOD that’s god all in capitals
  • Innate Intelligence
  • Universal Intelligence or simply
  • Energy


There is another name for this life force energy that heals your bodymind – Unconditional Love.

Not to be confused with conditional love, which I’ll talk about soon, unconditional love is love without conditions, without boundaries, with no limits, labels, or separation. Unconditional love is holistic and integrated and given without any real thought or expectation. It just is. The perfect example of unconditional love is the sun. The sun gives its energy willingly. It doesn’t ask for anything in return nor does it expect anything in return. It doesn’t need specific conditions outside of it to be met before it shines it just shines from within to give its energy without. The sun just gives and gives and gives off radiant energy to the entire Solar system supporting all life.

Compare this to conditional love which is all about setting conditions that must be met before love is given or received. Conditional love means there must be a giver and a receiver so there is also separation in conditional love. For example a parent may show love for their child only after they’ve cleaned up their room. Or someone may love you only if you do x, y, or z. Another example is you will love yourself and your life only when you have the money, the car, the house, the spouse, etc.

Remember that life force energy that heals you. It doesn’t wait for x, y, or z. It just is. Your bodymind is constantly breaking down and being rebuilt every second. You have 2 million blood cells turning over every second in your bodymind right now. There’s 2 million, there’s 2 million, and there’s another 2 million. When you get injured this life force energy actually gives even more of itself and doesn’t stop, it won’t stop. Now that is what I call unconditional love and without unconditional love you would never heal.

Now there are a couple of things that can disrupt this healing process and block unconditional love from working its miraculous magic: human thought and incorrect application of healing techniques.

The book A Course in Miracles teaches you that human beings experience two fundamental emotions that all other emotions come from: fear and love. When you come from a place of fear you are excluding unconditional love from the experience. Fear can be seen as another form of conditional love where you feel it is safe to let go of fear only when certain conditions are met. The problem with this type of conditional love is that it is born out of fear and love that comes from fear is finite, it’s not consistent, it’s not empowering, and it’s not fulfilling real deep-seated needs. Whereas unconditional love that doesn’t come from fear, because it doesn’t come from anything it just is, is infinite, it’s persistent and consistent, it empowers all and it fulfils everything.

If you get into a fear mindset you’re blocking unconditional love from entering your life and entering your bodymind, and your bodymind’s ability to heal will diminish. Because fear blocks love and when there is no love there is no healing.

Think about the many stories about someone who was as fit as a fiddle until they get diagnosed with a terminal illness and die weeks or months later. Would they have died so early if they hadn’t visited the doctor’s office and hadn’t been diagnosed? Was the fear that was instilled into them by the doctor what actually caused their death? And some diagnoses turn out to be wrong, but people still get sick because their fear is so strong that they believe what they are told and this stops unconditional love from giving them vitality, from maintaining their bodymind, and from healing. So fear sucks the life right out of people who have been misdiagnosed all because of a thought that grew in their bodymind, which was planted there by someone else.

So human thought, very powerful.

“The perception of fear will block love and prevent healing.”

Another thing that can block healing is using the wrong tool for the wrong job. Whether you use natural holistic therapies or conventional pharmaceutical and surgical techniques if what you are doing is getting in the way of unconditional love from doing its own thing you are not helping with the healing process. For example if you break a leg, sure you could choose to avoid the hospital and not get a cast and let unconditional love do its thing, but unconditional love works without conditions or boundaries and so it just gives and it will just heal the bone no matter the orientation it is in. So you need some type of cast to support the healing process otherwise you’d be left with a very wonky looking leg and terrible posture. Plus the initial pain of breaking your leg may be so great that a pain-killer would most likely help more than even the most potent of essential oils and herbal teas.

Or another example if you get an infection, a slight small infection can be taken care of naturally with antibacterial herbs and raw honey and even coconut oil. With all of them working together to aid in the healing process and supporting unconditional love. But if your infection is left to linger for too long and grows deep and wide then at this point the healing process on its own becomes stunted. So before the infection becomes systemic and spreads now would be a good time to get out the antibiotics and give unconditional love some conditioned loving support with medicine.

It’s not about one method of healing being better than the other. It’s about understanding which method of healing will support unconditional love and your bodymind’s innate ability to heal. It’s as simple as using the right tool for the right job.

So how can you ease your fears and find the right healing techniques for your specific healing journey? How can you allow unconditional love and healing to flow effortlessly through your bodymind? Well you are going to have to cultivate, accumulate, build more love into your life.

Love begets love. Love attracts love. If you’re sick physically, sexually, emotionally, or mentally then it’s not just tree bark, herbs, essential oils, medicine, antibiotics, antipsychotics, and surgery that you need to be looking into. You also need to cultivate a sense of love and wellbeing into your being, into very your essence, into your soul.

If you’re sick and come from a place of fear this will lead to confusion, to anger, anxiety, and poor choices. But if you’re sick and come from a place of love this will lead to certainty, to confidence, and to the best choices you can make in the moment.

The first love you need to work on cultivating is love for your self. Self-love and self-directed loving are prerequisites for you to give and receive love. You cannot give what you do not have so if you don’t have love for yourself how can you give love to anyone else and how can you allow love to heal you.

Learning what love is and what love means to you is critical when cultivating love for self. Because even though people may be loving you with what they perceive as love you may not see it as love.

I like the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman for helping you understand how people give and receive love. The 5 love languages are:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Quality time
  3. Receiving gifts
  4. Acts of service, and
  5. Physical touch

 
Personally I love to give gifts as an expression of my love, but I feel more loved by other people when they choose to spend quality time with me compared to if they were to buy me a gift. So the way you receive love can be different to how you express love. Understanding how you receive love will make it easier for you to love yourself. Since I feel loved when people give me their time I love myself by giving myself time with myself. I do this by going on solo walks, but mainly I spend time with myself through my daily Qi-gong movement meditation practise. So find out what your love language is and begin loving yourself in that way and let others know that this is how you feel loved and let the receiving of love begin.

Another way to cultivate love is to appreciate more of what you have in your life and not concern yourself with what you don’t have or are missing out on. Remember fear blocks the flow of unconditional love and if you’re watching the news or focusing on comparing yourself to other people’s highlight reel on their social media accounts then this may stress you out a bit and is going to cause you to have negative feelings of anxiety and jealousy all of which stem from fear.

So practise being in an attitude of gratitude to fear less and love more. Giving gratitude daily is a simple yet powerful way to feel awesome about what you have going on in your life and to not worry about what you don’t have. Gratitude keeps you in the here and now, in the present, in this moment, and in this moment there is no fear, there is no past, there is no future, there is no learnt fear from the past, there is no projected fear of the future, there is just love for what is right now. Just like unconditional love which is always in this present moment.

A very simple way and yet very powerful strategy to cultivate more love is to surround yourself with a loving community. Whether it’s family, friends, and if you are on a healing journey specifically health practitioners they should all be on your side. They are your cheerleaders and they will help you move in the direction that allows for the effortless flow of unconditional love and to support healing using all available and relevant resources at your disposal. If you have people in your life that promote fear or demand conditions before love is given than don’t focus too much of your time and attention on them. You don’t have to completely shut these people out of your life if that’s too difficult. But if you can spend as little time as possible with these energy vampires the better off you will be. Spend as much time as you can, however, with people that give willingly and freely and who love you for being you.

So what’s love got to do with healing? Everything! Unconditional love is what’s breathing your body, what’s beating your heart, what’s growing your nails, what’s allowing the sounds and the sights to be downloaded, transformed, and uploaded into your nervous system. Unconditional love is what heals your bodymind.

Remember:

“Love isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

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WGP 048: Obesity – It’s Your Hormones, Not the Calories

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Obesity:

  • I’ll explain why obesity is a disease and also a major hidden cause of other diseases
  • I’ll talk about the difference between being obese and being overweight
  • I’ll explain how obesity is caused by hormonal imbalances and not by eating too many calories
  • Finally, I’ll give you a few holistic lifestyle strategies to reduce obesity, regain health, and feel awesome in your own skin


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FAT BURNING FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

It’s no secret. The world today has a lot more fat and sick people than there were 150 years ago. Seeing an obese person way back in the day meant having to visit a carnival or circus that’s how rare obesity was. Unfortunately today you just got to walk outside or turn on the tele and you’ll see excessively large people everywhere.

Since the 1980s obesity rates have doubled. Hmm, I wonder what happened in the 80s? Ah that’s right the low fat recommendation from the American health authorities. Good one guys. Today this misguided unscientific nonsensical low-fat strategy has lead to about 13% of the world’s adult population being categorised as obese and about 50 million kids worldwide under the age of 5 being defined as obese. That’s what gets me the most, seeing overweight and obese infants and children.

Now the World Health Organization has a list of the top 10 leading causes of death and smoking tobacco isn’t even on the list, but we all know that smoking causes many chronic diseases that eventually will lead to death. This is what the World Health Organisation says about smoking:

“Tobacco use is a major cause of many of the world’s top killer diseases – including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer. In total, tobacco use is responsible for the death of about 1 in 10 adults worldwide. Smoking is often the hidden cause of the disease recorded as responsible for death.”

Interesting right? In fact the World Health Organization label smoking as the number one killer, but they still don’t put it on the list. Instead you’ll see diseases relating to the heart, brain, lungs, and infections.

This is where obesity comes in. Even though it’s not listed, just like smoking as a leading cause of death, obesity is a major hidden cause of many of those on the list. The top 3 by the way are heart disease, stroke, and lung related diseases all of which are due to the obstruction in blood and oxygen flow to the heart, brain, and lungs.

The thing about obesity is that most people think it’s just a weight issue and obese people are eating too much and not exercising enough. While I agree that some of the health problems associated with obesity is due to the large amount of weight on the body causing physical dysfunction, obesity causes more harm through physiological and biochemical damage because of its ability to disrupt the function of other systems in your body.

You see your body isn’t stupid. It has specific feedback loops and safety mechanisms to prevent the excessive loss or accumulation of fat and it has to control the amount of fat on your body because your fat cells are actually another organ. So when your fat levels get out of balance the key functions that they perform will be disrupted.

One of the functions of fat is fat acts as a warehouse for toxins. When your body is unable to fully metabolise, process, and eliminate toxins it stores the toxins in fat cells. Fat also sends signals and hormones that can have a positive or negative effect on your immune system and your metabolism. Your fat cells send out immune signals controlling inflammation and stress in your body. Your fat cells also send out hormones telling you that you’re full and will increase fat metabolism, i.e. fat-burning.

But when you have too much fat this will increase the amount of pro-inflammatory signals called cytokines increasing the amount of inflammation and stress in your body putting it in a catabolic state or a state of breaking down. Too much fat will also cause your satiety hormone leptin to be produced in excessively large amounts and your brain will become leptin resistant because there’s too much to take in. Meaning you will still feel hungry even though your body may already be carrying a lot of fat. Plus leptin resistance reduces fat metabolism and the amount of fat you burn causing you to hold onto more fat.

So just as there is heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, kidney stones, thyroiditis, arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions and many other illnesses centred around particular organs and systems there is an illness, a disease of your fat cells and that my friend is called obesity and obesity is a disease that can cause further health issues in the future.

Now I don’t like to use the conventional classification system for defining whether someone is overweight or obese. Currently this is defined by your body mass index or BMI. BMI is supposed to calculate body fat based on your weight and height, but the calculation has a massive flaw. It doesn’t take into account lean muscle mass and bone mass and water weight. So you could have a fit athlete with 10% body fat, but a high BMI and have a very sick person with 30% body fat, but a medium BMI and the athlete would be categorised as obese and the sick person overweight, and this is not a good indicator of a healthy body.

So I define being overweight as holding on to a few extra kilos of fat and looking a bit soft and fluffy and chubby in the mirror, but still having normal healthy metabolic, hormonal, and immune function. This is very different to being obese, which is a person who is also carrying extra fat weight and has a broken metabolism and a weak immune system because their hormones are out of balance.

Okay so what causes obesity?

“Obesity is not caused by consuming too many calories.”

Yes you heard right. Obesity is not caused by consuming too many calories. It is true that you can become overweight by eating a huge amount of calories even those calories come from whole real food sources, but you would never become obese. Your hormonal system regulating hunger and appetite would kick in and prevent you from eating more then you need. Once you do become obese this is when you will be unable to control the amount of calories you take in and will begin to eat well beyond your body’s requirements.

What pushes you over the edge from being overweight to becoming obese isn’t the calories. It is an underlying hidden malfunction in your body’s hormonal system. When your sex hormones, growth hormones, hormones regulating metabolism and stress, when these are no longer playing the same song and in sync with each other a lot of things go wrong in your body including broken detox pathways, lowered immunity, decrease in muscle mass, increase in fat mass, and an increase in appetite for nutrient-poor foods.

So in this respect obesity turns out to be a symptom of other health issues that are already going on in your body.

The leading cause for your hormones going out of balance and for obesity in my book is eating a nutrient deficient diet. Your body is not a finite object, but an infinite process in constant flux and change. It’s constantly breaking itself down and building itself up. If you don’t consume enough nutrient dense foods then your body is left hanging without the right building blocks to build hormones, neurotransmitters, immune cells, bone, muscle, cartilage, ligaments, organs, blood, etc. Also after a meal your body will search for the nutrients it needs in that meal and if it doesn’t find it guess what happens? You get hungry again a lot sooner than you should and you eat more food. And while your body is craving nutrition you begin to crave less nutritious food.

So if all you eat is junk nutrient deficient fake pretend food-like products like commercial bread, biscuits, corn chips, French fries, candy, vegetable oils, soy milk, etc then you are setting your body up for hormonal havoc and mayhem and chronic hunger as it won’t have the necessary parts to make hormones and this will increase your chances of becoming obese. As you can see here it’s not how much you eat, but what you eat that matters most.

“You can be overfed, but so undernourished”

Which is the sad state for a third of westernised populations today.

Another cause for hormonal dysfunction deals with insulin sensitivity. When your cells are insulin sensitive nutrients are taken out of your bloodstream and absorbed. However, just as you can become leptin resistant due to excessive leptin production, excessive insulin production will cause your cells to become insulin resistant. This means that when there are nutrients in your blood, like glucose it will not be absorbed by your cells and this will cause damage to your tissues. So in order to prevent further damage from happening sugar in your blood will be turned into fat and stored away in your fat cells. Eating too many carbohydrates especially processed and refined sugar and fructose and not getting enough quality restorative sleep will cause high insulin production and insulin resistance.

Another cause for obesity is an underactive or hypoactive thyroid gland. Your thyroid produces thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism and temperature and if your thyroid is hypoactive your metabolism slows right down making it very difficult for your body to burn stored fat as fuel. Here’s a list of things that can disrupt thyroid function:

  • Gluten
  • Stress
  • Too much exercise
  • Chemicals in tap water
  • Chemical compounds found in plastics and
  • Certain medications


Another underlying cause for hormonal mayhem and obesity is stress.
Whether it be physical, emotional, or mental any perceived stress if left to linger long enough becoming chronic will cause chronic inflammation upsetting your normal hormonal rhythm moving you from an anabolic and growing state to a catabolic and breakdown state and unfortunately in this catabolic state the one thing that does keep growing are your fat cells.

The health of your gut and gut microbiota will also determine the health of your hormonal system and your fat levels. If your gut is leaky, meaning it’s damaged, and if you have dysbiosis, meaning you have more harmful pathogens than beneficial probiotics living in your gut this will cause a rise in inflammatory signals, stress hormones and depending on your genetics and epigenetic expression this may lead to obesity. Plus a damaged gut will mean you won’t be digesting and absorbing the full amount of nutrients from your foods leaving your body in a nutrient deficient state, which I talked about earlier.

Probably the least known root cause for obesity are obesogens. Which is ironic because these obesogens are Persistent Organic Pollutants or POPs and they are actually out in the open in plain sight for all to see. Obesogens are chemical compounds found in the environment that act as endocrine disrupters, meaning they screw up your hormonal system. They hijack it and create chemical chaos throughout your entire body. This hormonal havoc causes a whole wealth of health issues from cancer to autoimmune conditions and it also increases fat cell number and fat cell size. Obesogens can be found in:

  • Plastics
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Flame retardant materials (such as in clothing and furniture)
  • Treated wood and textiles (such as in building materials)
  • Additives used in paints
  • Non-stick cookware and even in certain
  • Pharmaceutical drugs

 
Let me put all these obesogens together into a pretty terrifying yet common scenario we see today. Let’s say you have a new born baby. You bring him home to your brand new house with building materials, furniture, paint, and new carpets all chemically treated, some of them containing flame retardant chemicals and all of this is off-gassing or releasing chemicals into the air, also known as that beautiful new house smell. You dress your beautiful boy in flame retardant pyjamas. You use a plastic bottle to feed him non-organic formula, which contains sprayed ingredients. And finally you put him to bed in a brand new non-organic chemically treated cot. This is just a chemical toxic soup that this poor kid is living in and he doesn’t stand a chance against growing up without becoming obese or at least experiencing other health issues.

Now along with obesogens I have to mention environmental toxins and toxic chemicals. Remember fat cells are used by your body as a storage unit for toxins. So if you’re chronically exposed to heavy metals, air pollution, and eating a lot of pesticide and herbicide sprayed foods and eating meat from sick toxic animals your liver, kidneys, your entire detoxification system will become overloaded and will be unable to process, breakdown, and eliminate the excessive amount of toxins. As a last resort, so your body doesn’t shut down and die due to toxic poisoning, all those toxins that are not eliminated will be shoved into your fat cells.

“Fat cells don’t just store energy they also store poison.”

This is also why a rapid and dramatic reduction in fat isn’t a good idea without proper supervision and guidance. A lot of obese people their health actually gets worse when burning a lot fat too quickly. Just keep in mind the saying slow and steady wins the race. If you lose fat too fast those toxins are going to be flooding your system and you do not want that.

So those are a few examples and there are more of how a person can become obese without eating a lot of calories. Obesity like every other disease is not caused by one thing, but many things related to your environment, your food, and how you perceive life.

It isn’t just a physical weight problem, but more a physiological, biochemical, and really a hormonal problem. Obesity is a symptom of an underlying hormonal issue in your body and is not caused by eating too many calories, but it will cause you to overeat.

Obesity is also a disease that gives rise to the top leading causes of death.

Alright let’s get into how to heal from and prevent obesity and how to get your hormones humming to a happy and healthy tune.

First up, watch what you eat. Watch it. Get off the inflammatory foods, the chemically sprayed foods, and the highly refined and processed junk fake pretend food-like products. No gluten, no sugars, no pasteurised dairy, no industrial seed oils, no junk. Watch out for the carbs especially as eating too many carbs will cause a lot of insulin to be produced and you want insulin and blood sugar to be in the Goldilocks zone, just right. Real food from Mother Nature communicates with your hormones on an informational level where they speak the same language. By just eating real food you’ll keep your hormones in balance and in harmony and this hormonal bliss will keep your body composition balanced and in check.

Next up, reduce your perceived stress. Practise relaxation techniques. Get a massage, meditate, breathe mindfully, and watch the amount of physical stress you’re under. If you don’t have a formal exercise routine get moving and start working out. If you do exercise regularly and religiously maybe you’re overdoing it and need to do less working out and more working in. If you’re obese then your body is already under enough physical stress as it is, so working out would just add to that stress so look at working in. Working in is where instead of expending energy with a workout you’re cultivating energy, building up your energy stores. Movement practises like:

  • Tai-chi
  • Qi-gong
  • Restorative yoga
  • Hatha yoga
  • Iyengar yoga

 
Are the perfect work in exercises.

Biggest thing you can do to prevent and heal from obesity is to clean up your environment. Remove the obesogens and toxic chemicals and clean up your habitat. Use glass and stainless steel drink bottles instead of plastic. Wear organic chemical-free clothing and buy organic chemical-free furniture and use chemical-free building materials. Cook with ceramic and stainless steel cookware. Actually there’s a lot more to this topic and you can find an entire podcast I did on this quite a while back about how to purify and clean up your environment and support your detoxification system. Look for episode 12.

Along with clean eating, clean thinking, and clean living there are other holistic lifestyle principles to consider in order to fully heal and to keep your bodymind in a happy and healthy state. Listen to episode 30 about the 7 Holistic Lifestyle Principles you can follow in order to live happy, healthy, whole, and complete.

An awesome book that covers everything from diet and exercise to cleaning up your environment and your thinking is How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by holistic health practitioner Paul Chek. This book is my bible and really is a one-stop shop for holistic living.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

“Obesity isn’t about energy in and energy out.”

It’s about so much more.

If you’re fat or overweight, sure you may be eating more than you should.

But if you’re obese then it’s not about how much you eat, but what you eat and the environment you’re eating in. If you’re obese you are probably eating nutrient-poor and sugar-rich foods and you’re living in a very stressful and very toxic environment.

Remember your health is 100% your responsibility so make the choice to own your lifestyle and eat, drink, move, breathe, live, sleep better, and think and feel like you deserve a happy and healthy life. The only person who can save you is you. So don’t play the victim. Be the hero. Because you are awesome and very much worth it.

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WGP 047: Epigenetics – How Your Environment and Beliefs Control Your Genes

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Epigenetics:

  • I’ll explain the difference between genetics and epigenetics
  • I’ll talk about how your environment impacts the activation and expression of your genes
  • Finally, I’ll give a few holistic tips on how to activate and express health-boosting and life-affirming genes


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST HEALING FOODS FOR YOUR GUT

The study of how genes control life is called genetics. Genetic looks at genetic differences, mutations, heredity, and of course of lot of today’s genetic research looks into genetic diseases. Genetics and the study of genes is a very important and valid science, but the belief behind genetics is outdated old-school thinking and that belief is that genes control life.

This belief came from the hypothesis that there is a gene for every protein. The more complex an organism, the more cells and proteins there are, the more genes there would be. That was the idea. This idea turns out to be incorrect.

The Human Genome Project, which started back in the late 1980s, was setup to uncover the entire sequence of genetic information found in human DNA with the side benefit of discovering the genetics of every disease and how to prevent and cure them. The human body has about 100,000 protein molecules, so science expected to find about 100,000 genes. Fast forward 15 years and guess how many genes they found at the end of the project in 2001 – only 35,000. Fast forward another 15 years to today and after further study and research that initial number has shrunk to about 20,000 genes.

There was a lot of hype in the science community about the Human Genome Project, but funnily enough when the scientist’s expectations proved to be wrong, very wrong, there was no big deal made about the unexpected results. This massively incorrect assumption about a gene coding for a protein fell off the radar. Science tends to work this way unfortunately where the good news is reported and the bad news is swept under the rug.

So now we know that there are only 20,000 genes in the human genome and these 20,000 genes code for over 100,000 proteins and alongside this fact is the news that the largest number of genes found in a single animal is 31,000 genes and that animal is the near-microscopic water flea Daphnia. Imagine that, a near-microscopic simple organism with hardly any cells and proteins compared to the 35 trillion cells and 100,000 proteins in your human body and yet this tiny little life form has 11,000 more genes than humans do.

What this shows you is that genes do not control life. No matter the complexity of an organism the number of genes present will vary a lot. It’s not the genes that say how life will be from birth to death. It’s the life that is lived that will determine which genes get expressed or activated or switched on and which genes don’t. Say goodbye to the old belief that your genes control your life and hello to the new way of thinking – that your life controls your genes.

This new way of thinking is actually 50 years old and is called the science of epigenetics, which looks at how environmental signals affect gene expression.

Epigenetics means above the genes and studies how your environment affects the biochemical and physiological processes that are happening outside of your genetic code, but have a direct effect on which sequence of your genetic code to read and which genes to express or not.

Remember the old way of thinking says that genes are in control like a foreman of a construction site. Genes dictate what gets built and so decide the health or disease of your cells.

The new way of thinking, epigenetics, says genes are actually just simple blueprints. They don’t do anything at all. It’s all the proteins and enzymes and cellular signals and every other process that’s going on in and outside of your cell that dictate which blueprints to read (gene expression), which parts of those blueprints to create proteins from (gene variation), and whether or not those blueprints need updating (gene mutation).

What this means is that epigenetics has actually shown that some genes will lay dormant and may never get expressed while other genes will be switched on and switched off and that other genes may undergo spontaneous mutation and transform into a brand new gene all based on your environment, on your surroundings.

So how does your environment impact your genetic expression? How does the environment influence your biochemistry and physiology and determine which genes to read or not, which parts of that gene to express and make proteins from, and which genes to mutate or leave unchanged?

Let me give a little background information first. Your genetic code is one long sequence of molecules like the alphabet is a sequence of letters. Your genes are subsets or small groupings of these molecules like words are groupings of the alphabet. This long sequence of your genetic code is called DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid. Your DNA is covered in a protein sheath. Altogether the proteins surrounding your DNA and the genes contained in your DNA this is called a chromosome. You have 23 pairs or 46 strands of chromosomes in your body. Chromosomes are found inside the nucleus of your cells.

Remember your genes don’t do anything; literally they don’t perform any physical action or function. Everything that happens with genes happens to the gene and is entirely dependent and reliant on signals that come from outside the chromosomes. So your genes are merely blueprints and blueprints don’t build structures.

The life your parents and grandparents lived designed and created your blueprints, your DNA, your genes. You had little say in the matter, but the expression or activation of your genes is all on you.

How epigenetics work can get pretty complex and I’m just going to give a summary here, but I will put a link to a video in the blog post for this episode which will give you more detail and a visual on what I’m talking about.

Your genes get read, expressed or activated, and mutated via signalling, that is the transmission and reception of information that come from your environment and go right down into your cells and ultimately reaching your genes. These environmental signals include everything that your six senses can perceive. Examples of these signals include your thoughts and feelings like fear or love, a physical threat or loving embrace, or digested nutrients from food. These environmental signals are the primary signal the first signal you receive.

Your brain, your heart, and your gut all have nerve centres and communicate with each other and they can be thought of as the primary organs that make up your conscious and subconscious mind. They receive this primary signal from your environment and then based on your beliefs and perceptions about life they interpret and translate this primary signal into a secondary signal, and it’s this secondary signal that is sent to other organs and cells in the form of hormones and neurotransmitters.

When this secondary signal is delivered to your cells it is picked up by a protein receptor in the cell membrane. Once this secondary signal is received this sets of a chain of events where a number of proteins and enzymes in the cell membrane and within the cell itself they bind to each other performing specific functions until eventually they either create a tertiary signal within the cell or they allow a tertiary signal to enter the cell through the cell membrane. This tertiary signal is the last signal that will bind to other proteins within the cell to perform a specific function.

Alright so you get a primary signal from the environment. Your conscious and subconscious mind changes that primary signal into a secondary signal. Your cells take the secondary signal in and they transform that into a tertiary signal and then there’s a function that is performed in the cell.

Now if that tertiary signal is unable to perform its function because the specific protein its wanting to bind to is missing, the signal molecule will enter the nucleus of the cell where your chromosomes are. It will bind to a specific regulatory protein on one of your chromosomes and when it does this that regulatory protein releases itself from the chromosome uncovering a specific sequence of your DNA of your genetic code. This exposes the gene that codes for the missing protein. The gene is then transcribed and copied and finally converted into that missing protein. The regulatory protein returns and covers up the DNA, and the tertiary signal can now bind to this newly created protein to perform its original function. This transcription, copying, and conversion process is called gene expression, gene activation, or a gene being switched on.

Here’s where it gets very interesting. If the tertiary signal is unable to perform its function due to a missing protein and it cannot locate the specific gene for that protein in your DNA, guess what happens next? The tertiary signal will activate a specific genetic engineering gene, which in turn will rewrite another gene in a different part of your DNA. Meaning the signal is now causing a genetic mutation. With the newly mutated gene now in place this tertiary signal can now activate the new gene, creating the missing protein and the signal will bind itself to the new protein and finally perform its function.

There’s nothing random about these mutations at all. It’s the environmental signal creating specific mutations to perform a specific function.

That may have been a lot to take in, so please watch the video for a visual detailed representation of what I just discussed.

Let me give you a real world example of how this works.

Let’s say you’re scared of spiders and you see a spider. Or let’s say you’re prone to road rage and you get cut off in traffic. Or let’s say your body is sensitive to dairy, but you don’t know it and you’ve been drinking dairy for a long time, for years and you’ve just had another glass of milk. Seeing the spider, getting cut off in traffic and drinking the milk are examples of a primary signal from your environment.

Since you have a belief that spiders are scary, and that bad drivers are a valid reason to get mad, and your body perceives dairy as indigestible and a possible toxin you transform the primary signal to an emotion of fear, an emotion of anger, and your body’s immune system gets activated yet again – this is the secondary signal. These secondary signals, which are now a bunch of hormones and neurotransmitters like epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol, are sent to your cells.

When your cells receive these secondary signals they activate proteins and enzymes that allow negative tertiary signals to enter the cell activating genes that stop growth, repair, reproduction, digestion and elimination; that cause muscle breakdown and fat storage, and your immune system to go crazy. These negative tertiary signals can also cause gene mutations and enhance cancerous cell growth.

Alright time to flip this around. We’re going to change your beliefs and your perceptions. The primary signals don’t change. You still see a spider, you still get cut off in traffic, and you still drink a glass of milk. But this time you love spiders, you are a calm and relaxed driver, and your body is not sensitive to dairy and can digest it without any issues.

So again the primary signals don’t change, however, because you’re now smiling at the spider, giving gratitude for not getting into an accident, and your body is nourished from the milk you get secondary signals like oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, feel good hormones are now being received by your cells.

When your cells receive these secondary signals they activate proteins and enzymes that allow positive tertiary signals to enter the cell and activate genes that promote growth, repair, reproduction, digestion and elimination; they promote muscle-building and fat-burning, and regulate your immune system. These positive tertiary signals can also activate genes that suppress cancer growth and cause cancer cells to die.

So what is this showing you? What this is showing you is that it’s not the primary signal from your environment that affects your genes. It is the secondary signal that comes from your conscious and subconscious mind that affects the tertiary signal and your genes. Whatever situation or event happens in the real world, in reality, it is you, your beliefs and your perception of that situation, of that event, that has the final say on which genes to activate and which genes to leave switched off.

It is your thoughts, your feelings, what you eat and drink, how you move, how you breathe, the toxicity of your environment, the quality of your sleep, the quality of your relationships, all of these control your genes.

Your mood, your health, your life these are the stimulus to your genes and your genes simply respond to that stimulus. If you have a sucky mood and are depressed about life then your genes will simply reflect this fact. So if you want to feel awesome and love the life you have it all begins by changing your beliefs about your life, positively changing your perceptions about life itself, which will change your behaviour and change your genes, eventually making the inside of your bodymind reflect the outside world that you positively perceive.

Now I’m not saying the goal is to think positive and live a naturally holistic healthy lifestyle 100% of the time. That’s impossible. What I’m saying is when you are aware, when you are conscious of your surroundings and of what’s going on around you, know that you have a choice in that moment to choose either a positive or a negative experience. I suggest you make the kind choose for yourself.

Here are three kind choices you can make to positively impact your health and to express health-boosting and life-affirming genes.

First, get rid of your ANTs – Automatic Negative Thoughts. Do this through critical thinking and questioning yourself, your beliefs, and asking yourself are your thoughts and beliefs true? For example is it true that you’re worthless, or that you’re not smart enough, or that no one will ever love you, or that you’ll get cancer because of your genes? Really, is that true? I highly recommend doing The Work by Byron Katie. She takes you through a powerful process of inquiry that’ll show you whether or not your current way of thinking is actually worth paying attention to.

Secondly, practise some form of daily meditation. Mindfulness meditation, movement mediation like Qi-gong or even walking meditation, any task that has you focused on one thing is a form of meditation. Meditation has been shown to boost your immune function, reduce stress levels and inflammation, reduce depression, and improve your mood and your outlook on life.

Third kind choice is to choose to live a holistic healthy lifestyle and you can do this by following the 7 Holistic Health Principles as I outlined in episode 30.

  1. Eat real food
  2. Drink natural water
  3. Move often
  4. Breathe properly
  5. Purify your environment
  6. Get quality restorative sleep and
  7. Form positive relationships with nature, with yourself, and with others

 
These 7 principles bring your bodymind back into sync with the rhythm and flow of Mother Nature and these principles give happy and healing epigenetic signals to your genes.

Okay I’m going to give a quick recap on epigenetics because I really want you to get that your genes are not your destiny.

“Genes DO NOT control your biology! Your beliefs about your life control your biology.”

It’s your habitat and environment, your habits and behaviour, your feelings and emotions, your thoughts and beliefs that influence your genes.

It is your beliefs that change the biochemistry of your blood and your blood carries the signals sent to your cells, and ultimately these signals determine the expression of your genes.

Perceive love and you get feel good hormones in your blood, sending positive signals to your cells where they read and express healthy genes.

Perceive fear and you get stress hormones in your blood, sending negative signals to your cells where they ignore healthy genes and may read and express disease-promoting genes.

Dr Joseph Mercola creator of the number one natural health website mercola.com says:

“Epigenetics shatters the idea that you are a victim of your genes, and shows that you have tremendous power to shape and direct your physical health.”

Meaning the power to live an awesome happy and healthy life lies within you. Take ownership and responsibility for your thoughts and your beliefs about life and you will no longer be the victim, but the victor in the beautiful story that is your wonderful life.

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WGP 046: What is Leaky Gut Syndrome and How to Heal It

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Leaky Gut Syndrome:

  • I’ll explain how a leaky gut can lead to chronic disease
  • I’ll talk about what causes a leaky gut
  • Finally, I’ll give you 5 steps to healing and sealing a leaky gut


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST HEALING FOODS FOR YOUR GUT

Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician and considered the father of western medicine, although I’m sure he’d be quite upset at the current health-care system and medical model we use today, which is really a disease-care model, but anyways… Hippocrates said:

“All disease begins in the gut.”

And he is absolutely 100% correct and let me explain how. And by the way when I say gut I’m talking about the small and large intestines in your body.

Your entire alimentary canal, your entire digestive system is one long tube that begins in your mouth hole and ends in your south hole so anything you put in your mouth and swallow is still technically outside of your body. If it gets digested and absorbed into your bloodstream then it’s inside your body, but if what you swallow gets eliminated then it technically was never in your body. That’s not to say it won’t affect your body only that the effect will be minimal compared to if what you ate did get into your bloodstream.

Now your gut performs many functions in your body besides digestion and elimination and its primary role is to act as a barrier controlling what’s allowed in and what stays out of your body. Nutrients are allowed into your body and unwanted unknown foreign materials are kept outside of your body. So it’s similar to a mosquito net. It allows oxygen in while keeping mosquitoes out. When this barrier becomes compromised and unregulated or when this mosquito net gets punctured and has tears in it this is called leaky gut syndrome.

When you have a leaky gut unwanted unknown foreign materials get into your bloodstream and then all hell begins to break loose in other parts of your body. When undigested food particles, pathogens, toxins, and other irritants that usually get eliminated find their way into your body, into your bloodstream your immune system gets activated and this causes an inflammatory and stress response at whatever site the foreign material settles in. The longer this inflammation and stress goes on the higher your chance of getting a chronic disease.

For example, if you have had leaky gut for a while and unwanted material settles in your joints you may get rheumatoid arthritis. If they settle in your arteries your chance of having a heart attack or stroke skyrockets. If this foreign matter settles in your thyroid you may experience hyper or hypothyroid issues. If they settle under your skin you may get rashes, eczema, or acne. If they settle in your brain your ability to focus and think clearly may reduce dramatically giving you brain fog. If this foreign material stays in your gut you may experience digestive issues like bloating and foul-smelling gas that can eventually lead to Crohn’s or coeliac disease. And if these non-nutrient substances don’t settle anywhere in particular this chronic low-level inflammatory and stress response will cause your hormones and your neurotransmitters to get out of balance with either too much or not enough being produced causing body composition problems (fat gain or muscle loss), reproductive issues (infertility), energy imbalances (feeling tired or fatigued), and mood disorders (depression).

Not only does bad stuff get into your bloodstream with a leaky gut, but because your gut wall is damaged you’re no longer able to absorb the full amount of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins from the food that you’re eating and this leads to nutrient deficiencies. This malabsorption of nutrients causes your body to start cannibalising itself in order to meet its own nutrient requirements. So if you’re not absorbing enough calcium your bones will begin to breakdown. If you’re not absorbing enough protein your body will get this protein from your muscles. Not absorbing enough natural fats? Say goodbye to proper brain function. And if you’re not absorbing enough vitamin A your cells will no longer form and grow properly causing dysfunction of many of your bodily systems.

So having a leaky gut is a serious problem with serious health consequences and it’s not limited to your gut. Your entire body is fair game.

“If you’re experiencing health symptoms of any kind there’s a 99.9999% chance that your gut is leaky.”

Your skin is a dozen cell layers thick and you can see the layers of your skin when you get a cut or you scrape yourself. The mucous lining of your gut, also known as your gut wall, is only one cell thick or should I say one cell thin. The cells that make up your gut wall are called enterocytes. This single layer of enterocytes makes it easy to absorb and transport nutrients into your bloodstream, but this also makes your gut very easy to damage.

Your gut wall isn’t smooth, but is made up of very tiny finger-like projections called villi that stick out increasing the surface area of your digestive system and this makes it easier to break down food and absorb more nutrients. Villi are connected to each other at their base by tight junctions and these tight junctions can open slightly to let certain nutrients in, but they remain closed when there’s foreign material around like undigested food particles, toxins, and pathogens.

There are certain substances, however, that can cause these tight junctions to open even in the presence of foreign material. There are even more substances that can cause direct physical damage to your single-celled gut wall. The term leaky gut syndrome comes from the fact that these tight junctions are opened and your gut wall is damaged. The technical term for this is intestinal hyperpermeability.

The unwarranted opening of these junctions and damage to your gut wall is caused by many many things and a variety of factors including:

  • Anti-nutrients like gluten, lectins, saponins, and phytates
  • Industrial seed oils aka vegetable oils
  • Grains
  • Instant coffee
  • Pasteurised dairy
  • Processed and refined sugar
  • Foods your body is intolerant and sensitive to
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Inorganic foods raised with inorganic fertilisers and pesticides
  • Tap water and water that is deficient in minerals
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Artificial colourings, preservatives, additives, thickeners, emulsifiers, bulking agents, flavourings, and texturants
  • Synthetic vitamins
  • Parasitic infections
  • Dysbiosis, which is not an infection, but simply having more pathogens than probiotics in your gut
  • Environmental toxins including personal and homecare products
  • Lack of exposure to the sun, to bare skin on the Earth, and to time in nature
  • Pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, acid-blockers, and pain-killers
  • Caesarean birth or being born via C-section
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Lack of quality restorative sleep
  • Chronic stress and
  • Chronic inflammation

 
So how do you seal and heal your leaky gut? How do you prevent those tight junctions between your villi from opening when they shouldn’t and how do you repair the damage to the enterocytes the cells of your gut wall?

Here are five steps to healing a leaky gut.

First things first – Redefine your dream for healing.

Without a big enough why, a big enough reason to keep you moving forward you will end up stressed out about the whole healing process. If you stress about how difficult it’s going to be for example to stop eating bread or cheese or having to buy plant-based organic deodorant and homecare products then forget about moving onto the next steps. This stress about changing and healing is just as bad as continuing to eat gluten or drink alcohol. You need to create a dream that matters, a dream that will inspire you to make change happen, to make change stick, and to make healing feel less of a burden and more of a passion, more of a right like you deserve this. Checkout episode 14 for more details about how to build your dream.

Second step – Remove all possible gut irritants.

This includes everything in the list I gave you earlier. Well as much of it as you can handle without stressing out about it. Hopefully your dream keeps your stress levels or your perception of stress in check. Even if you do find yourself feeling a bit stressed about this step you can always practise meditation and movement practises like Qi-gong to help reduce the amount of perceived stress you’re experiencing.

Step three – Refeed your body with holistic nutrition.

This isn’t just about eating real food. This also includes drinking natural water, moving often, breathing correctly, getting quality restorative sleep, and engaging in loving relationships. When it comes to food to heal your gut though you can’t go past:

  • Bone broth
  • Fermented foods like raw milk kefir and sauerkraut
  • Fatty fish like salmon and sardines, and
  • Eating more natural animal and fruit fats

 
Fourth step – Repair your gut with smart supplementation.

You could heal your gut naturally without the use of supplements, but strategic use of supplements will help support and boost your body’s own innate healing abilities increasing your chances for success. The enterocytes that make up your gut wall, these guys love to feed on an amino acid glutamine and you can get glutamine in real foods like bone broth, but you can also find it as a supplement powder called l-glutamine. Digestive enzymes are a fantastic way to supplement your body’s digestive system and will ensure the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Aloe vera juice and deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL are two very potent plant-based gut-healers. High quality fish and krill oil with their anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids will also help your gut heal. Lastly, a probiotic supplement preferably containing soil-based microorganisms will help bring your gut microbiome back into balance.

Fifth and final step – Remember to laugh.

There’s an age-old saying:

“Laughter is the best medicine.”

A real hard laugh boosts your immune system and lowers your levels of the stress hormone cortisol for at least a day so be sure to watch something funny, go to a comedy show, or do some laughing yoga. Yeah, you heard right, laughing yoga. I’ll put a link in the blog post for this episode to a video showing what laughing yoga is all about. It’s actually quite funny, obviously. Also I’ll put a link to the Chewbacca Mom viral video. It’s a video I’ve come across recently and it made me laugh pretty hard the first time I saw it.

Here are a couple of books to help you on your gut healing journey. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by Paul Chek covers how to heal holistically. Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride gives you the GAPs Protocol and this goes deeper into gut healing and is a great option for those with severely damaged guts.

I’ll leave you with this thought. Life is short. Don’t live life so seriously. The time it’s going to take to heal your gut will be long though. So take the time now to heal your gut so you can enjoy yourself later and have more fun before your time is up.

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WGP 045: How it Feels to be Depressed and Suicidal and What to do About it

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Depression and Suicidal Tendencies:

  • I’ll explain what depression is and what suicidal tendencies are including their symptoms
  • I’ll talk about from my experience what it feels like to be depressed and to have thoughts of suicide
  • I’ll talk about contributing factors that can cause depression and suicidal tendencies
  • Finally, I’ll give a few tips on how you can work your way out of a depressive and suicidal black hole


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU IN BALANCE

Depression is a mood disorder in which you feel extreme sadness and grief, you’re uninterested about life, and you suffer chronic mental, emotional, and physical pain. Depression affects 350 million people worldwide and that’s only an estimate. Because depression is such a difficult thing to admit to having with for fear of ridicule and looking weak or looking like a lesser person in other people’s eyes I’d say that between half a billion to a billion people suffer from some form of depression.

There are different types of depression including major, melancholic, manic, and a few others all of these have similar symptoms including:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness and grief
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless, pessimistic and/or guilty
  • Feeling irritable and anxious
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Low self-esteem
  • Indecisiveness
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Eating or sleeping too little or too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Thoughts or attempts of self-harm
  • Thoughts or attempt of suicide
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment


Suicidal tendencies are thoughts that you have about death and killing yourself due to not being able to cope with chronic pain and the suffering you’re currently experiencing in your life. Being suicidal is another mood disorder and an advancement from self-harm where you cut or hurt yourself in order to cope with pain. Thoughts of suicide affect an unknown number of people, but over 800,000 people worldwide commit suicide every year with someone dying from suicide every 40 seconds. A lot more people attempt suicide, which makes thinking about suicide a major health issue.

Here are some symptoms and danger signs for suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die or killing yourself
  • Researching and planning suicide
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Eating or sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Always thinking about death
  • Suddenly happier and at peace with things
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Making arrangements and setting your affairs in order
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions

 
What I’m going to do now is to do my best to describe what it feels like to be in a state of depression and thinking about suicide. Now I lived with depression for two decades and had suicidal tendencies for a decade and a half, but even that doesn’t qualify me enough to say that this is exactly what the experience of depression and thinking about suicide feels like for everybody. Even after having talked with and researched other people who have dealt with these disorders all I can give you is a description of my own personal experience.

Describing a feeling or sensation is extremely difficult though. So what I’m going to do is use two analogies to give you a sense of what depression and suicidal tendencies feel like or felt like for me. If you’ve never had to deal with these disorders I hope this gives you a better picture of what it’s like to live with these two very disempowering ways of being. And if you have people in your life that you think may be dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide, but you’re finding it difficult to relate to them I’m hoping that this gives you a sense of what they’re struggling with and how you may be able to help and support them.

If you had or are currently dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide please let me know if what I describe here resonates with you and makes some sense. If you’re finding it difficult to reach out to people who may not understand what you’re going through, you can always contact me and use me as your first step toward getting a better understanding of what’s happening with you. I’d love to hear your story and share mine with you and support you on your health and happiness journey.

Alrighty first analogy. Think of negative emotions as having weight and feeling like a burden on your back, or on your shoulders, making you feel heavy, making you feel uncomfortable and in pain. The more upsetting and painful the emotion the more weight it has. Positive emotions would be weightless and make you feel as light as a feather. Now imagine an acute short-term pain like stubbing your toe. This feels like a couple of bowling balls on your back. Imagine now that you get angry for accidentally hitting your toe. Now you have a few more bowling balls pile up. Imagine getting in an argument or feeling upset over an expectation not being met. This would feel like a car or a bus on your shoulders. Breaking up with your lover or being disconnected from family and friends. This would feel like a whole city block was weighing you down. Experiencing the death of a loved one, someone you deeply cared about, this is huge and feels like the weight of the world, the entire planet is on your shoulders.

Now imagine this sadness and grief grows where another planet jumps on your back followed by another and then another, and then the sun followed by more stars, and different star systems until eventually you feel like the weight of the entire galaxy is on your back. If deep sadness and unbearable grief were the weight of planet Earth, depression feels like the weight of an entire galaxy of stars and planets.

The longer you have this galaxy on your back weighing you down the more painful your life becomes and the more difficult it is for you to move around. Without realising it another galaxy gets plonked on your back followed by another and another until0020like the theory of the Big Bang where everything rapidly expanded into existence, you have the size of the entire universe weighing you down. You feel like you’re about to lose it and be crushed by this massive burden. This huge infinite mass of the universe causes unimaginable pain and stops you in your tracks causing you to give up all hope of living because all you want is for this heaviness, this non-stop chronic persistent pain to just go away. All you want is to be free, free of this burden, free of this pain, free of this suffering. This is when you begin thinking that ending your life is the only viable option you have left.

That’s how my experience of depression and contemplating suicide was for me in terms of pain. I felt so small and so insignificant compared to the burden that I thought I was carrying. I felt absolutely weighed down by my thoughts and by my feelings and because of them I experienced unimaginable pain and suffering.

In this second analogy imagine standing on the edge of a cliff looking into a deep dark chasm, an abyss with no end in sight. A normal experience of sadness and grief is like tripping and falling into this abyss and feeling scared and alone in the darkness and reaching out for something to grab and hold onto to break your fall, but there’s nothing around that can save you and you’re just falling for what seems like an eternity until out of nowhere a safety net breaks your fall and you’re able to climb to the top of the cliff and find yourself back on solid ground relieved from your grief.

Depression feels like tripping and falling into this abyss and feeling scared and alone and trying as you might you cannot find anything to grab onto and you’re falling and falling in this absolutely pitch-black hole with no end in sight screaming out in fear of dying, in fear of being alone forever, in fear of never being saved. The thing with depression is the fall never ends and you lose track of time and space and of who you were and you begin to fear the dark, and you’re afraid of the unknown, afraid of being alone, afraid of never experiencing love again, and you fall and fall and fall forever. You become desperate and pretend that everything is okay. You put masks on to cover up your fears. You become religious. You become an atheist. You become a team player. You become a loner. You become frustrated. You become apathetic. You become an addict. You become whatever it is you think you need to be to survive the fall, but no matter what masks you put on you are still falling and the fall never ends. You’re afraid of hitting rock bottom, but have no idea how to stop from falling.

Having suicidal tendencies feels like tripping and falling into this abyss and just like depression this fall never ends and you live in constant fear until eventually you give in to the fear and give up all hope of being saved or of saving yourself and you stop reaching out and you stop pretending everything is okay, and you stop looking for ways to put on a brave face. You turn your body and you look straight down into the darkness waiting for the inevitable, expecting it, wanting the fall to end, wanting to hit rock bottom, wanting this fear of the dark, of feeling alone, of never feeling love to end. You’re still afraid of hitting rock bottom, but rock bottom is the only way you see this fall ending.

That’s how depression and suicidal thoughts felt for me in terms of fear. I felt absolutely out of control. I felt uncertain about myself, my life, other people, the whole world. I felt completely utterly hopeless and helpless and saw other people as my enemies and saw the world as a very dark, scary, and lonely place.

This is just my personal experience and everyone has their own perspective and I hope it gives you some insight and understanding about what it feels like to live with these disorders.

Let’s move onto the contributing factors that can lead to depression and suicidal tendencies. What causes these mood disorders?

Conventional medical thinking would tell you that an imbalance either too much or not enough of feel good neurotransmitters like serotonin are the cause of mood disorders. But what causes these hormones, these neurotransmitters in your brain to get out of balance?

As a holistic and functional practitioner I always want to get to the underlying root cause. Depression and thoughts of suicide are symptoms of a bigger problem. Yes these mood disorders are very destructive, but they are not the problem. They are the result of the problem. They are actually signs signalling to you that something in your life is out of balance.

The real problem for this imbalance and the root cause to 99.99% of disease, sickness, symptoms of ill health, and dysfunction in your body, in your mind, in your bodymind they are both one and the same, the root cause is chronic stress perceived or real, physical or metaphysical. This chronic stress then leads to chronic inflammation and this chronic inflammation causes your immune system to run out-of-control.

You have to realise that your bodymind is always in flux, in flow, and shifting between anabolism, which is growth, and catabolism, which is breaking down. When you sleep you’re predominantly anabolic and when you’re awake you’re mostly catabolic. When your bodymind lives in what I call a catabolic soup, which is when the big three persistent stress and inflammation and an unregulated immune system come together, your bodymind will shift into a catabolic state and stay there for a long time and anabolic processes will no longer be deemed necessary.

Meaning your bodymind will begin to break down more a lot more than it grows and it does this because it’s now in survival mode and not your normal thriving mode. Your bodymind will turn off non-vital processes such as growth, repair, reproduction, digestion, elimination, and shut down the production of mood-regulating hormones and neurotransmitters leading to mood disorders.

In this catabolic state your bodymind will also cannibalise itself and strip nutrients from bone to ensure the proper functioning of other vital organs (osteoporosis anyone?) and will become confused and attack your own organs such as your thyroid and joints and your gut and this creates autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Coeliac Disease all because of chronic stress, inflammation, and an unruly immune system.

So if this catabolic soup made up of stress and inflammation and your out-of-control immune system contributes to the cause of depression and suicidal tendencies what creates this catabolic soup? Why are you in chronic stress? Why is there chronic inflammation? Why is your immune system attacking your own body?

“Living a lifestyle out of balance with the seasons and the rhythms of Mother Nature.”

This is the ultimate cause to all diseases physical, sexual, emotional, and mental. Not living in accordance with the laws of nature. To reduce the symptoms and eventually remove your depressed state and suicidal tendencies you need to reconnect to the natural order of life.

Your bodymind was designed to be barefoot on the land, with skin exposed to the sun, connected and working intimately together with your tribe with a sole purpose, to sleep when the sun sets and to wake the sun rises, to live in a toxin-free environment, to breathe clean air, to move often throughout the day, to drink natural pure structured water, and to eat real food from Mother Nature.

This is called living a holistic lifestyle and connecting back to your roots, to your ancestry, to who you really truly are in this Universe. A holistic lifestyle will reduce your stress, the inflammation in your bodymind, and help calm and regulate your immune system.

I have already done many podcasts on how to live a holistic lifestyle and a good starting place would be to look up the episode I did on the 7 Holistic Health Principles to give you the good life. That is episode 30.

Looking back at my life I can definitely see how out of sync my lifestyle was compared to what my bodymind needed and was expecting. I ate a lot of highly inflammatory foods like sugars and grains and pasteurised dairy, and I drank a lot of tap water, and I didn’t move my body enough, and hardly ever did I ground my body to the earth, and I’d always cover myself when I went outside for fear of being burnt from the sun and getting skin cancer.

In terms of my mindset there was one thing that I wish someone had told me when I was a teenager and it’s a piece of advice I’d like to share with anyone out there feeling depressed and suicidal and that is:

“Don’t believe everything you think, everything you feel, everything you say, or do.”

And the same goes for believing other people. I was so much in my head as a teenager, as a child really, and I believed right up to my 30s that what I thought was absolutely real, it was 100% fact, and that the situation I was in was set in stone and there was no way of changing it. In hindsight I can see how wrong I was.

One way I let go of my depression and suicidal tendencies was to start questioning everything. I mean ever since I was young I have always been very curious about life and how things worked, but when my bodymind became stressed and inflamed my curiosity started to decrease until it faded away entirely. Then I like a sponge I soaked up everything around me the good, the bad, and the ugly and believed it to be the absolute truth.

So I shifted my mindset from being an adult that accepted everything to be more childlike and to be more curious.

If you’re feeling crushed under the weight of the universe and feel like you’re falling with no help in sight or if you have beliefs that are not serving you ask yourself this one question – is  it true?

Are your thoughts and feelings and sensations actually giving you the correct data or are they being twisted somehow? Really dig deep and investigate your human experience. I say human experience because my curiosity took me down a deep rabbit hole just like Alice in Alice in Wonderland I found myself in a different world that amazed and surprised me and in this world I discovered something.

I learnt that I am not only human, a creature of habit, but I am also a creature of choice. A creature who can choose is really a creator. I realised that I am the creator of all my human experiences. Actually a co-creator with other creatures.

I realised and I discovered:

“I am a spiritual being having a human experience.”

Once I began to live a holistic lifestyle and nourish my human experience I connected to my higher self, my spiritual self. All through curiosity. But of course that’s just my experience.

So be curious my friend. Question your perceived reality.

Martial artist and philosopher Bruce Lee said:

“Be water my friend.”

This means you need to adapt to the situation that you’re in. Easier said than done I know, but after making changes to your lifestyle and becoming more curious you will find adapting to your environment becomes a lot easier. So if you find yourself in a tight spot, loosen up. If you find yourself heating up, cool down. If you find yourself saying yes to everything, say no. If you find yourself feeling heavy, lighten up. If you find yourself alone, reach out. If you find yourself in a dark place, brighten up. And the major situation and change that I personally had to go through – if you find yourself stuck, move right along because spiritually and metaphysically and scientifically and quantum mechanically there’s really nothing to see here.

By living a holistic lifestyle and being curious you will clear your bodymind of stress and inflammation giving you more clarity about the present and what’s really happening right in front of you. And by being water you will be able to adapt and change and evolve and grow and flow with ease into the next moment. Hopefully feeling lighter and on solid ground.

For more information about how to heal from depression holistically and naturally read Dr Kelly Brogan’s awesome book A Mind of Your Own. Dr Kelly is a holistic psychiatrist who practices what she preaches and although it has women in the subtitle it is very much applicable to men and everyone else as well.

If you have suicidal tendencies please reach out to someone. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, but I ain’t talking about the light that takes you to the other side. If you have no one to talk to call your local suicide hotline. The people at the other end they’re not there to judge you, they are trained to understand what’s going on with your specific situation and they will give you unconditional support and guidance and it’s anonymous. I’ll put a link to a website showing all international suicide hotline numbers. Give them a call and you don’t even have to tell them that it’s for you. You can always say you’re calling on behalf of a friend.

One last thing. As I talked about in the previous podcast about selfless-connection remember you are never alone. There are millions of people out there dealing with the same stuff and they’re also struggling to find other people to share their experiences with.

Wherever you think you maybe and whatever you think is going to happen in the future remember that right now, you are here and you are now. You are always here and you are always now. Right here and now you can choose to keep moving forward, to let go of fate, and to create a new destiny and a new you.

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WGP 044: Universal Lessons in Film – Selfless-Connection

In this podcast I’ll be exploring another Universal Life Lesson found in Motion Pictures:

  • I’ll explain how other people can act as Universal signs and lessons
  • I’ll talk about a few movies that deliver the same universal message
  • Finally, I’ll share how you can apply this universal teaching to your life


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

This is part 3, the final of a 3-part series I’ve been doing on universal lessons taught in film. In part 1 I talked about believing in yourself. In part 2 I talked about accepting your past and accepting who you are now.

Before I get into the final set of films and life lesson I’ll talk a bit more about reading signs from the Universe.

The Universe speaks to you in many ways giving you signposts in different forms, signs that tell you which direction your life should be moving toward. One of these universal signs is other people.

The world is full of kind, generous, and awesome people. But the world also has many annoying, hateful, jerks.

Now I would rather hang out with the awesome folk and not just because it feels good to be around uplifting people, but because I can learn a lot from them. I learn different opinions on so many different topics. I learn new things that I can use to make my own life better and the biggest lesson I get from awesome people is that the world isn’t a terrifying place full of bad and apathetic people as some forms of media would have you believe and that there’s plenty of do-gooders and go-getters out there. For me awesome people are a sign from the Universe that awesomeness truly exists and that joy is an experience that everyone can have.

Of course I do encounter many people who aren’t awesome, but quite negative or hateful or very down on life and being around them can be very draining and energy sapping and they can suck the real honest-to-goodness joy out of life. But I still learn a lot from these so-called energy vampires. I learn different opinions on different topics. I learn new things that I can use to make my own life better. And the biggest lesson I get from negative and apathetic people is that the world is full of opposites. There’s always a different way to do the same thing and there’s always a different way to react to the same event. For me people who aren’t awesome are a sign from the Universe that in order for me, for you, for any of us to experience awesomeness we must also experience the negative, the hateful, and the annoying as well.

My point being people who are good and people who are bad they teach the same universal lesson that life is all about the good and it’s all about the bad. You can’t have one without the other. Everyone is here to give you the full experience of life, the full experience of you. So the next time someone cuts you off in traffic or lets you in the gap; calls you names or calls to say they love you; makes your blood boil or makes your heart sing; remember these people are teaching you something about the world around you and about yourself. What that lesson is though, well it’s up to you to do the introspective work and personal development and reflection to find that out.

Alrighty then before I begin with the final lesson in films spoiler alert! If you have not seen Kung Fu Panda 3, Home Alone, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and The Matrix Revolutions you may want to skip this episode as these are the four movies I will be exploring in the next moment. That next moment being right now.

In Kung Fu Panda 3 Po the Dragon Warrior is reunited with his long-lost father. There is also a new villain on the scene named Kai and he is a supernatural spirit warrior from the spirit realm who defeats his enemies by stealing their chi or their energy. The only way to defeat Kai is by mastering chi. Traditionally Panda’s were masters of chi and Po’s father promises to teach him the art of mastering chi, but they must return to the hidden Panda village where Po was born to complete the chi training. Kai has heard that Po being the Dragon Warrior is the only one that can stop him so he hunts him down so he can steal Po’s energy. It turns out that Po’s father has no idea about how to master chi and lied so Po comes up with a new plan where everyone in the Panda village will use their unique skills and talents and strengths to help defeat Kai. When Kai finally arrives Po and the village put up a good fight, but they lose the battle. In order to save the village Po sacrifices himself and takes Kai back to the spirit realm. Kai is about to steal Po’s chi, but back in the village Po’s father urges everyone to focus their chi on Po and to give Po their energy. The transfer of chi works as Po receives the energy from the panda village and this gives him the strength, the chi to defeat Kai once and for all. Without the support and chi of his father and the village Po never would have been able to defeat Kai.

Here’s a quote from the movie:

“Come on. We can do this.”

In Home Alone it’s the night before the McCallister family fly out to Paris for Christmas, but their youngest son Kevin causes trouble for the whole family and he’s sent up to the attic to sleep it off. Kevin is angry and wishes his family would just disappear. Well with the help of outside forces and visiting children the McCallister’s accidentally leave Kevin behind, home alone. Mid-flight Kevin’s mother eventually realises that he’s missing and does her best once they land in France to find her way back home to America, to her eight year old son. Meanwhile Kevin is having the time of his life without his family around to annoy and bully him and he seems to be having no problems looking after himself. For the first time Kevin meets his neighbour ‘Old Man’ Marley and finds out that Marley isn’t a scary guy as some rumours have said. Marley shares how he hasn’t seen his granddaughter in years due to an argument he had with his son. Kevin gives Marley some advice about reaching out to his son and he realises himself that he hasn’t been the best son that he could be to his own family. A couple of house burglars who call themselves the Wet Bandits, they show show up and target the McCallister home. Kevin makes it look like the home is occupied, but the burglars catch on that Kevin is home alone. Kevin comes up with a plan to defend his home and sets up booby traps all over the house and they work hilariously and cartoonishly well. Kevin tries to lure the Wet Bandits into a trap, but the two thieves finally outsmart Kevin and catch him. Just as the burglars are about to hurt Kevin, Marley shows up with a massive snow shovel and knocks the wet right out of the two bandits. Kevin is saved by Marley and the two house burglars are picked up by the police. Kevin begins to miss his family and really wants them back. Kevin’s mother and family finally return making Kevin the happiest he’s felt in a long time and after seeing his neighbour Marley hug his granddaughter Kevin knows family always stick together.

A quote from the film:

 “This house is so full of people it makes me sick. When I grow up and get married, I’m living alone.”

In Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi the Empire have been secretly building a second Death Star. The Rebel Alliance find out about its location and plan an attack to destroy it by taking out the shield generator on the nearby Endor moon. Luke Skywalker believes he can bring his father, Darth Vader, back from the dark side of the force to the light side so he gives himself up to the Empire. Luke is taken to Vader and he tells his father that he still senses the good in him. Vader says that he must obey the Emperor, his master, and that it’s too late for him now. Vader tells Luke that the Emperor will be his new master and that he will show Luke the true nature of the Force. When Luke meets the Emperor on the Death Star he refuses to join the dark side and learns that it was the Emperor who leaked the information about the Death Star and that the Alliance were being led into a trap. Luke feels frustrated unable to help his friends and his anger takes over as he attacks the Emperor, but Vader blocks him. As Luke and Vader continue their light sabre dual the Alliance fleet are losing their battle in space and the team on the moon are fighting it out trying to take out the shield generator. With the help of the Ewok people that live on the moon the Alliance finally destroy the shield generators. Meanwhile Luke wins his battle against his father and still refuses to join the Emperor. The Emperor then attacks Luke with the dark side of the Force almost killing him, but Vader feeling the small amount of goodness that Luke saw in him he picks up the Emperor and tosses him down a deep abyss where the Emperor explodes and releases all his dark energy. Vader eventually dies and Luke escapes with his father’s body just as the Alliance destroy the Death Star. With the help of the Ewoks the Alliance take out the Empire’s second Death Star and together as father and son Vader and Luke were able to defeat the evil Emperor.

Here’s a quote from the movie:

“May the Force be with us.”

In The Matrix Revolutions the Oracle tells Neo that since his encounter with the Architect and the Source he now has a special connection to the machines outside of the Matrix in the real world. The Oracle also warns Neo that Smith, the Agent programme that Neo once destroyed, but who is now spreading and replicating himself throughout the entire Matrix by assimilating everyone and everything in it, the Oracle warns that if Smith takes over the Matrix he will also take over the Machine City and all machines. The Oracle states that the war between machines and humans will end one way or another and that everything that has a beginning has an end. When Neo leaves the Oracle, a group of Smiths arrive and one of them copies himself and assimilates the Oracle and this Oracle-Smith becomes the most powerful program in the Matrix.

With the Matrix being taken over by Smiths and the machines about to attack and destroy the last human city of Zion Neo decides the best way to end the war is to visit the Machine City, which is something no one has ever done. Neo’s lover Trinity chooses to help Neo on his suicide machine. The Machine City is defended by thousands of sentinels. Due to Neo’s newfound ability to connect with the machines Neo is able to stop a lot of the sentinels, but not all of them. Trinity takes the ship up through electrical storm clouds, which take out the sentinels attacking the ship, but the clouds also take out the ships power. The ship crash lands in the Machine City and unfortunately Trinity doesn’t survive the crash. Neo makes a deal with the machines that he will destroy Smith saving the Matrix in exchange for peace between man and machine. The machines agree and they hook Neo up to the Matrix where he takes on Oracle-Smith in an epic superman-like battle to decide the fate of man and machine. Oracle-Smith and Neo appear to be exact opposites of each other cancelling out and returning each other’s moves over and over. When Oracle-Smith appears to have the upper hand he says, ‘everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo.’ Neo remembers this earlier statement from the Oracle and has a sudden realisation – that he will never win by force because he must surrender to the inevitable – the ending of his own life. Neo lets Smith assimilate him. Oracle-Smith is relieved and the new Neo-Smith just smiles. However, the Smiths don’t know that Neo’s body is hooked up to the Matrix by the machines. The machines send a powerful signal through Neo’s body into the Matrix that destroys not just Neo-Smith, but Oracle-Smith and every other Smith in the Matrix returning every human and program back to normal except for Neo who gave up his body and his mind to save both man and machine. Without the Oracle, without Trinity, without his fellow man, and without the machines Neo would not have been able to defeat Smith and bring about peace.

A quote from the movie:

“If you tell me we’ll make it, I’ll believe you. –We’ll make it.”

So what’s the lesson and common theme I’m focusing on in these four movies?

The protagonist, the hero they’re down and out about to lose the fight, the battle, the war, or their life. But there is always someone else there to help them, to support them, to give them the strength and the courage to keep fighting, to keep moving forward, and to do the right thing. The hero never wins alone, but by working together with family and friends and even former enemies, by working together as a team the hero always saves the day.

So how can you work together with the people in your life to reach your dreams and to help other people reach theirs?

Before you can connect and understand and support and love another person you must first fully connect and understand and support and love yourself. This goes back to part 1 where I talked about the universal lesson of self-belief. You have to believe that you have everything you need already to succeed. A daily affirmation practise is a great way to build up this self-belief. Ultimately this self-belief creates a connection and understanding of yourself. Knowing thyself is a huge step in being able to love thyself and loving your own being in all your forms physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and spiritual, loving all of these is a pre-requisite before you can love another. You can only give what you got and if you haven’t got love to give yourself then you haven’t got love to give to someone else.

Another critical step to working with others to achieve awesomeness is to be here now, in the present moment. This is the universal lesson I talked about in part 2 about self-acceptance. If you’re still battling demons and dragons from your past it’s going to be impossible to keep your mind on the task at hand that’s right in front of you, right now in this moment. That’s not to say that you cannot function in the world if you’re still dealing with issues in your past, but you will be functioning well below your potential. Psychotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, and doing awareness exercises, learning how your past is affecting your behaviour today are three ways to help you accept your past, accept who you are now, and this makes it a lot easier to be with other people where they are on their journey and to accept people for who they are now in this moment.

When you believe in your own abilities and know who are in this moment you create a more authentic connection to the people in your life. No longer are you wanting or bargaining for something from someone else because you already know whatever it is you need you got within you. No longer are you blaming or projecting past hurts on other people because you’ve accepted your past for what it was and now in this moment you get to choose how you respond to the events in your life.

With belief and acceptance of self you begin to believe and accept other people as well allowing you to be with them like you’ve never been with them before and with true honest, open, authentic relationships you can work together with the people in your life as a powerful awesome single-minded team with the same dream and the same goal and the same passion for life.

Here’s a quote from Helen Keller who was a very awesome enabler of other people despite having physical disabilities of her own:

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Think about the greatest sports teams of all time. They became great working together. Same dream, same mission, same goal. Even in individual sports champions win with the support of their coach, family, and friends. Think about war. People will live and die not for themselves, but for their country and will do so side-by-side with their fellow countrymen with the same dream, the same goal, and the same mission. Think about life on Earth. Without the sun we’d still be a bunch of molecules leftover from a previous star explosion just swirling around aimlessly in space. The sun created the Earth and the Earth is home to the soil and the sea and the soil and sea are the mother and the father to all life on Earth.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

Like Kevin in the Home Alone movie there will be times where you just want to be alone because other people especially those closest to you will get on your nerves. This my friend is inevitable. Just promise yourself one thing though. Never stay too long in this alone time. Seeking to be alone is fine. We all need time-outs every now and then. But to stay alone for too long can lead to feelings of loneliness. Keep your time-outs short and sweet, but don’t live there.

Even if you feel lonely you are never, and I mean ever, alone. If you find yourself constantly, consistently feeling lonely, down in the dumps, sad and depressed with life you are not alone. There are millions and millions of other people around the world thinking and feeling the exact same way you are. Feeling lonely, down on life, feeling sad and depressed, millions with different stories and different situations are having the exact same mental and emotional reactions, responses, and patterns in their bodymind that you are experiencing. So if you turn into Mr or Ms Lonely more often then you care to admit, remember you are not alone. There’s a whole bunch of people out there just like you going through a similar process, a similar experience.

We are all in this game of life together. Even if you say to yourself you have nobody and that you are all alone and no one has your back remember this universal lesson – there’s always someone there willing to give you a lending hand, whether they be family, a friend, or a complete stranger, if you’re open to receiving it.

And as Al Green sings:

“Let’s stay together… whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.”

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WGP 043: Universal Lessons in Film – Self-Acceptance

In this podcast I’ll be exploring another Universal Life Lesson found in Motion Pictures:

  • I’ll explain critical Universal signs that you may be missing
  • I’ll talk about a few movies that deliver the same universal message
  • Finally, I’ll share how you can apply this universal teaching to your life


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

This is part two of a 3-part series I’m doing on universal lessons taught in film. In part one I talked about movies that delivered the universal message that you have everything you need to live an awesome happy and healthy life as long as you deeply whole-heartedly believe it to be true.

Before I get into the next set of films and life lesson I’ll talk a bit more about reading signs from the Universe.

Now when it comes to accidents, loss of a loved one, heartbreak, sickness and chronic illness, these can be very painful experiences indeed, but these are also signs from the Universe. These painful events that we’ve all experienced are actually working for you and not against you.

This will be difficult for some to understand at first (I know it took me a while to get there), but the most painful, unbearable, horrendous, terrifying and saddest moments in your life also happen to be the biggest lessons that you’ll ever receive in life. These are massive signs from the Universe, this is the Universe talking and communicating with you.

As I mentioned at the top of the podcast I was given a whole bunch of signs about why I was feeling depressed, but I never paid much attention to them because I was in too much pain. So the trick to seeing and realising that pain is actually a sign and is something that needs to be learnt from is to separate yourself from that pain. Easier said than done and that requires a whole podcast in itself, which I will do eventually, but the point I wanted to make here is there are signs everywhere in your life on how to live and act and pain is an urgent message being delivered to you for your benefit by the Universe, that the way you’re living your life needs to change.

Alright before I begin with lesson in films spoiler alert! If you have not seen Kung Fu Panda 2, The Lion King, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and The Matrix Reloaded you may want to skip this episode as these are the four movies I will be exploring right now.

In Kung Fu Panda 2 Po is happily fulfilling his role as the Dragon Warrior protecting the land with his five martial arts friends known as the Furious Five. When they defend a small village from bandits Po gets distracted and has a flashback about his past. This distraction allows the bandits to escape. Soon after Po and the Furious Five are sent to stop Lord Shen, a really bad guy, who is ready to unleash a new deadly weapon upon the world. During their attempt to capture Lord Shen Po has another flashback about his past, which again distracts Po allowing Lord Shen to escape. On another attempt to stop Lord Shen Po inadvertently again gets in the way and the Furious Five are captured while Po gets blown across town with a cannonball. Po is healed by a wise fortune teller who also teaches him to stop resisting his flashbacks and to accept his past. Once Po calms himself he sees his past for what it really was instead of what he imagined it to be. Po accepts his past and finds inner peace. With inner peace Po is no longer distracted and with the help of a few kung fu masters he saves the Furious Five and the whole of China.

A quote from the movie:

“You gotta let go of that stuff from the past, ‘cause it just doesn’t matter! The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now.”

In The Lion King Simba is a lion cub and son of Mufasa, king of the pride lands. Scar is Simba’s uncle and wants to be king so comes up with a devious plan to prevent Simba from being the future king. Scar tricks Simba into waiting in a deep valley and causes a stampeding herd of wildebeests to head right toward Simba. As Simba runs for his life Scar acts innocent and tells Mufasa about Simba in the valley. Mufasa manages to get Simba to safety, but he gets caught in the stampede. Mufasa leaps for his life onto the edge of a cliff where his brother Scar is waiting. Instead of saving his brother though Scar does the unthinkable and pushes Mufasa off the cliff where he falls to his death. Simba sees his father fall and Scar convinces Simba that it was all Simba’s fault. Simba leaves the pride lands with no intention to return and finds a new home with new friends. A few years pass by and Simba still blames himself for his father’s death. When news of Scar’s abuse of power reaches Simba he feels too much shame and guilt to do anything about it. A shaman finds Simba and shows him how he’s forgotten who he is by forgetting his past. After a hard lesson in accepting his past and to stop running from it, but to learn from the past instead Simba returns home and with the help of his friends, his pride, and the kung fu Bruce Lee fighting skills of the shaman, Simba restores the pride lands back to a place of peace and harmony.

Here’s a quote from the movie:

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.”

In Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Luke Skywalker continues his Jedi training and is trained by Yoda a Jedi Master. After some intense training sessions with Yoda, Luke begins to develop his skills using the light side of the Force, but his fears are disrupting his training. Eventually Luke’s training progresses far enough where he can sense that his friends are in danger. Luke stops his training immediately and leaves Yoda to help his friends in need. Luke flies to Cloud City, a beautiful floating metropolis in the sky, but he walks into a trap and comes up against the Sith Lord Darth Vader who uses the dark side of the Force. After a tough light sabre dual Vader slashes off Luke’s right hand light sabre and all and drops a massive truth bomb on Luke. Luke was told by his first Jedi teacher Ben Kenobi that Vader killed his father, but Vader tells Luke, ‘no, I am your father’. This news shocks and disgusts Luke who is on the edge of falling down a deep air shaft. Vader reaches out and asks Luke to join him on the dark side so that they may rule the galaxy as father and son, but Luke refuses and somewhat calmly lets go and free-falls down a long drop to his death. But as he gets close to the bottom Luke is fortunately sucked into an air vent and finds himself outside at the bottom of Cloud City hanging on for his life. Fortunately again with the help of the Force and his friends Luke is saved. When Luke was confronted with the truth about his past he initially rejected it. He could not bring himself to accept the fact that his father is an evil lord of darkness. After taking a second to pause Luke realises the truth – Vader may have been his father in the past, but Vader is an agent of the dark side now. Learning something new about the past does not necessarily have to change anything in this current moment and so it does not change Luke’s mind as he chose to reject the dark side and his father.

Here’s a quote from the movie:

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Finally, in The Matrix Reloaded Neo and the rest of the human race who are not plugged into the Matrix are still at war with the machines. The underground human city of Zion is their base of operations. Neo as the One has been advised by the Oracle that in order to save Zion he must go to the Source, which is the machine mainframe or the central computer system inside the Matrix. Neo plugs back into the Matrix and with the help of his friend Morpheus and others Neo finds the door to the Source and opens it. Neo gets surrounded by a white light and as he comes out of the light he appears in a room with an old white guy. This man is actually a program from the machine world called the Architect. He explains to Neo that everything up to this point has been part of the machine’s plan all along. The machines programmed the events of Neo’s life in the Matrix so that he would one day end up exactly where he was, inexorably with the Architect. Neo also learns that there have been many One’s before him and that he is the sixth one. The machine’s created Zion to hold the people that wanted out of the Matrix. The machine’s also created the myth of the One, a saviour that would one day free the human race. The Matrix, Zion, the One, returning to Source, freedom, it was all a lie, a trick, another form of control.

Neo is told that everyone in Zion will be killed and there’s nothing he can do to stop it. It is after all the sixth time the machines would have destroyed Zion. The Architect also tells Neo that his lover Trinity entered the Matrix to help Neo, but like Zion the Architect states that Trinity is going to die and there is nothing Neo can do to save her. Neo is then given a choice between two doors. Door number one takes Neo to the Source ensuring the continuation of the Matrix and where he will select 23 people to create a new Zion. Door number two returns Neo to the Matrix where Trinity will die, and by returning to the Matrix this will cause a system-wide crash that will kill everyone still plugged into the Matrix. With the destruction of Zion choice number two would result in the end of the human race. Neo has to reconcile everything he’s fought for and believed in including his entire past with what he’s just learned. Has he never been in control of his life, of his own destiny? Are all his current and future choices and actions determined by his past? Neo’s past, his previous programming tells him to choose the first door to save humanity. That is his role and duty as the One after all. However, Neo isn’t like the previous five Ones. Neo is different as he has strong feelings and a very passionate love for Trinity. Neo chooses door number two as he decides no matter what has happened in the past, no matter how he is expected to act, he can still choose in the present moment to be different. With all his will Neo saves Trinity, but the battle to save Zion and free people from the Matrix is still to come.

A quote from the film:

“We can never see past the choices we don’t understand.”

So what’s the lesson and common theme in all these movies?

The protagonist is faced with a past that they do not understand or that they’re running from. Once they accepted and understood the past to be a lesson to learn from and not destiny or programming that must be followed, then they were able to appreciate the now and they realised that the past doesn’t have to impact the future. Understanding their past helped them accept who they are now and that they could choose in the present moment to be different.

How can you learn from a past that you don’t understand or accept a past that you’re running from? How can you live your present regardless of your past? There are many methods to help you reflect on your past and to figure out how your past is affecting you today.

Seeing a psychotherapist is one conventionally accepted way of seeking help for resolving past issues and investigating current behaviours based on your past. A common practise in psychology is CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is a type of talk therapy. Some people love to talk it out, but others won’t so while psychotherapy can work wonders for some many others may get no relief from it at all. There are some people who have done psychotherapy for decades and are still no closer to accepting their past and accepting who they are. You won’t know if it’s right for you until you give it a go.

Another way to deal with your past and to deal with yourself is by using EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. Also known as Tapping, EFT is a type of energy therapy that makes use of meridian energy lines or energy highways that run throughout your entire bodymind similar to how acupuncture and acupressure work. You tap on certain meridian energy points to stimulate and promote your bodymind’s own innate intelligence and ability to heal from physical, emotional, and mental pain. This is a very powerful and deep technique that I use myself. There’s a movie and book called The Tapping Solution I highly recommend watching and reading to find out more about EFT.

One final way I’ll give you for working on accepting your past and yourself is an awareness and change exercise I got from T. Harv Eker’s book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. Eker uses this exercise to help you work on issues you have around money and to change your financial blueprint, but I’m going to change it up a bit. This exercise is a 5-step process and you’ll need a pen and paper.

Step 1: Identify
Pick one area in your life you’d like to see change and improve. Could be health, wealth, love, relationships, career, just pick one.

Step 2: Awareness
Write down a specific emotional incident you experienced around this one area when you were young? This could be being chronically ill, being abused, or being bullied, growing up without food or money, not having your mum or dad present, write it down.

Step 3: Understanding
Write down how this incident may be affecting your current way of being and how you live. This step is a biggie as it forces you to take a good hard look at who you are and how you are behaving and living today and it makes you connect the dots between your past and now.

Step 4: Disassociation
Can you see your current way of being is only what you learnt and is not you? Can you see you have a choice in the present moment to be different? Nothing to write down here, but can you really truly see it? That your past is what happened. That your past is no longer happening. That your past is not here. That you are not what happened in the past. The past is what happened to you. It’s impossible for your past to affect you now because you are here right now in this very moment, but your past, it’s still in the past! This step is about letting go and separating you, the you that’s right here and right now from events that have long come and gone.

Step 5: Choice
Put your hand on your heart and with full conviction and absolute belief say out loud:

“I now release all non-supportive life experiences from the past and from this moment on create a new and abundant future!”

This is the most important step as you’re declaring to the Universe that you are no longer bound to old ways of being and are the creator of your own bright and beautiful future. This choice is very powerful as it acts as an affirmation as well, but you must believe it as you speak it, otherwise it’s just mumblings and the cosmic forces that are here to help you will not get the message or may even confuse your message for something else.

So those are 3 ways you can have a real hard look at your past and to see it in a new light and I say a new light because for a lot of us the past is a very dark place and if you can find the courage and the right support to illuminate what has happened you can then learn from it so you don’t make the same mistakes and relive the past all over again.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

Accept your past. Learn from it what moves you forward, unlearn from it what holds you back, and realise it really doesn’t matter in the end because, hey it’s all in the past right. If you can do this you will come to your own understanding of why you make the choices you choose to make today and with this understanding you will then be able to change your choices and choose something different, whatever it is you want. Choice is humanity’s ultimate power and this power is always with you in this moment and the next. For more about the power of choice check out episode 20 I did on the power of choice.

Here’s a quote by Marcus Aurelius a former Roman Emperor:

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.”

So accept your past for what it was and was not, accept yourself for who you are and are not, and maybe, just maybe you will be able to accept other people and the rest of the world for how they are and are not.

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WGP 042: Universal Lessons in Film – Self-Belief

In this podcast I’ll be exploring a Universal Life Lesson found in Motion Pictures:

  • I’ll explain how the Universe is always teaching you and giving you signs
  • I’ll talk about a few movies that deliver the same universal message
  • Finally, I’ll share how you can apply this universal teaching to your life


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

The Universe – it isn’t just a gigantic void or space filled with planets, stars, galaxies, and life. It’s also the biggest school in the universe. The biggest university you could say. This university is full of lessons and learnings that have been around since the very beginning and will be around long after the end. These lessons are like laws or principles that when you follow them give you happiness and health and when you ignore them or completely disregard them you feel horrible and unhealthy.

These universal lessons and messages are delivered in many different ways, an infinite number of ways in fact and the signs, they are everywhere and they’re always there. Whether the sign comes in the form of the weather, or other people, a bird through the window, or seeing the same set of numbers over and over again the Universe is always communicating with you.

The most prominent communication tool used by the Universe is your bodymind. Your bodymind is always talking to you giving you subtle cues and clues to the lessons the Universe is providing you. For me it took decades of feeling like crap and having a sick-prone body before I took the hint and learned a very important lesson – my body does not agree with gluten. It also took many many years of feeling lonely and angry at family and friends because I was 100% absolutely certain that I was right and that they were wrong before I learnt another very important lesson – my mind prefers love and connection over anger and isolation. Okay Universe, I finally got it. It took me a while, but I got it. Lessons learned thank you very much and of course I’m still learning new lessons every day.

For such an infinitely large school the Universe’s list of lessons isn’t anywhere near as big, which is why you see the same themes and ideas being retold time and again in different movies of different genres.

I’m going to focus on three of these morals that have been told in countless movies and I’m going to make this a 3-part episode series where I’ll talk about each universal lesson and the movies that tell its tale in its own podcast.

Oh yes before I begin talking about the first universal lesson spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen any of the movies I’ll be exploring in this 3-part series you might want to come back to these episodes after you’ve watched them. I’ll be talking about the Kung Fu Panda trilogy, Wizard of Oz, the original Star Wars trilogy, Lion King, Toy Story, and the Matrix trilogy.

Alrighty then life lesson from the Universe numero uno. I’ll be exploring this lesson in the context of the first Kung Fu Panda movie, Wizard of Oz, Star Wars: A New Hope, and The Matrix.

In Kung Fu Panda Po is a Panda and the unlikely choice as the chosen one who must learn Kung Fu in order to become the Dragon Warrior and save the village. He is told that a sacred scroll would reveal to him the secret to limitless power and that he would only be allowed to read the scroll once he was worthy. After a long time training in martial arts and kung fu Po got the scroll and what did he find? What was the secret to limitless power? What did the scroll contain? Nothing, it was blank. Actually it was made out of golden parchment paper and it did show Po’s reflection. Po didn’t see it at the time, but later understood that there is no secret to limitless power or becoming the Dragon Warrior. He is the Dragon Warrior as long as he believes it to be true.

And a quote from the movie:

“To make something special you just have to believe it’s special.”

In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy and her dog Toto are swept away home and all from their Kansas farm to another world called Oz where Dorothy is gifted a pair of ruby slippers after their farmhouse falls on the Wicked Witch of the East. Dorothy and Toto along with their new friends Scarecrow (who has no brain), Tin Man (who has no heart), and Lion (who has no courage) they all go on an adventure following a yellow brick road to find the all powerful Wizard of Oz who is the only one who can help them get what they are missing and get Dorothy and Toto back home. The Wizard asks them to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West before he will help them, but after Dorothy and her friends defeat the witch they find out that the Wizard isn’t even a real wizard and he can’t help them. Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion soon realise that they didn’t need the Wizard’s help after all as they showed more than enough smarts, heart, and courage when they faced the witch. Dorothy also finds out that the ruby slippers she was wearing could take her home anytime she wanted, but she had to first figure out for herself through her adventure that there was nothing out there more important than what she already had.

Quote from the movie:

“…if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!”

In Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Luke Skywalker finds himself alongside an old Jedi Knight, a space pirate, a Wookie, and two droids on a mission to save a princess and the rest of the galaxy from the Empire. Luke finds out that his father used to be a Jedi Knight and begins his own training to become a Jedi. Part of this training involves learning how to connect with and use the Force, an invisible energy field that can be used for good or evil. Luke struggles to feel the force flowing through him, but continues his training. After saving Princess Leia the planet that the Rebels are based on is targeted for destruction by the Empire’s most powerful weapon, the Death Star. Luke joins the fight against the Death Star with the Rebel flight squadron and the only way to destroy the Death Star is by using the fighter’s own targeting computer system. A couple of attempts are made to destroy the Death Star using the computer system, but they all fail. Luke is reminded by his mentor’s voice to ‘use the Force’ and to ‘let go’. Luke realises that he can’t rely on the computer and that he has what it takes to get this job done. Luke relaxes into himself and takes the shot and score! He destroys the Death Star. A metaphysical nudge from his mentor and a second to pause and think is all Luke needed to believe he could do it, to believe that the Force was and is flowing through him.

A quote from the movie:

“The Force will be with you… always!”

Ah yes finally The Matrix my favourite movie of all of the times. It’s the future and the human race are slaves to intelligent self-aware machines. The machines use living human bodies as a source of energy, while the minds of these bodies are trapped in a virtual digital world known as the Matrix. Neo has been freed from this world of control and he’s been told that he is the only one that can stop the machines. Neo doesn’t believe this and even after he ‘knows kung fu’ he still has doubts. After visiting an Oracle that can see into the future Neo finds out that he isn’t the one after all.

After taking a massive risk saving his mentor and friend Morpheus, Neo now comes face-to-face with the machines toughest agents of control in the Matrix, called funnily enough an Agent. Neo is now faced with a choice – whether to stay and fight or run. All his training and even what he just learnt from the Oracle tells him to run, but for some reason he stays and fights. As another character Morpheus puts it, ‘he’s beginning to believe’. After putting up a good fight Neo realises he’s no match for the Agent and so he does run, but to no avail. Neo is killed by the Agent. Or is he? Yes the Neo full of doubt is dead, but a new Neo rises and this guy believes 100% no doubt about it that he is the one and knows this through and through and Neo takes out the Agent that killed him with ease. Once Neo killed off his old negative beliefs and doubts he was able to fully accept that he really was the one.

A quote from the movie:

“Don’t think you are, know you are.”

So what’s the lesson and common theme in all these films?

The protagonist or leading character goes on an adventure to find something. Throughout their journey they are learning and discovering more about who they are and what they’re capable of. Near the end of their journey they have a moment of clarity and realisation, which is if they believe and trust in their own abilities then there’s no need to go seeking for something out there as they have everything they need to accomplish great things within themselves already.

How you can realise and discover this belief in yourself?

One simple practice you can do are daily affirmations. Yeah a lot of people scoff at this idea, but this is the real deal people.

As Napoleon Hill author of Think and Grow Rich states:

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

By stating an affirmation as fact to yourself every day you begin to break up old neural pathways and patterns of thinking in your bodymind and you begin to create new pathways, new roads to success, you create new habits and you create a new way of being.

A daily affirmation I say to myself every morning I get out of bed no matter how I’m feeling, how hot or cold the temperature is, how sunny or wet it is outside, I say to myself:

“It’s another day in paradise.”

And immediately I just can’t help but smile.

Another affirmation I like to use especially if I’m feeling some self-doubt about my abilities or if I let someone else’s negative energy get to me is a quote from the movie Cool Runnings, but I change it up a bit. I say to myself or out loud:

“I am pride. I am power. I am a strong being of energy who shares love with everybody.”

Another affirmation I like to use every now and then is:

“I am happy, I am healthy, I am whole. I take my love wherever I go.”

Shout out to Holistic Health practitioner Paul Chek for that one.

A few tips about affirmations.

Daily affirmations can be done at any time of the day and as many times as you feel. But the secret to affirmations is this – you have to believe what you’re saying. Without belief words are powerless. With belief words become powerful.

Best way to enhance your belief is to visualise what you would look like, be like, and how you would be acting as if those words were true. Your mind doesn’t make a distinction between a physical event and a mental thought. They are one and the same to your bodymind.

Final tip is you must be consistent with your affirmation practise. By using daily affirmations with visualisation and a real belief in self and done consistently sooner or later without you even realising it, but others will see it for sure, you’ll have more pride and power and love to give than you thought you ever had inside of you.

I’ll leave you with this thought. Here’s another quote from the Matrix where Morpheus says to Neo:

“You have to let it all go… Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.”

What are you freeing your mind from? You’re freeing your mind, yourself from limited beliefs, from the chains of old habits, old thoughts, old feelings, and old ways of being. Freeing your mind opens you up to new possibilities, new habits, new thoughts, new feelings, and new ways of being.

Free your mind and believe in what you already have right now and let that innate force of awesomeness that lives within you to flow freely and express itself.

From the day you come into this world, to this very moment as you listen to this, and to the day you leave this world you have everything you need to live an awesome happy and healthy life. You just need to begin to believe.

Here’s to the ultimate freedom – freedom of your bodymind.

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WGP 041: Juicing vs Blending – Which is Best for Healing?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Juicing and Blending:

  • I’ll explain why consuming juices and smoothies are important for happiness and health
  • I’ll talk about the differences and the pros and cons between juicing and blending vegetables and fruits
  • Finally, I’ll share tips on how to turn your juices and smoothies into a healing elixir


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Everyone knows that vegetables and fruits are packed-full of phytonutrients, plant chemicals that have powerful medicinal and healing effects in your body. Plant power fuels and nourishes animal life on this planet. Without the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting benefits you get from consuming plant matter it becomes very difficult, but not impossible, just hard to give your body the nutritional, energetical, and informational support it needs to thrive.

Unless you live in the North and South poles where you’re exposed to cold with its own unique healing powers and are consuming a lot of nutritionally dense rich blubberous animal fats and their offal then plant foods are going to be a necessity in your diet.

Juicing and blending your vegetables and fruits into juices and smoothies are an excellent and simple way to get more plant medicine into your diet.

When you juice you’re making juices and when you blend you’re making smoothies. Juicing is very different to blending, which makes juices very different to smoothies.

Plants are made up of mostly water much like your own body and also a carbohydrate known as fibre. Fibre is indigestible by your body’s digestive system. This fibre though it is the perfect food for the trillions of microorganisms that live in your gut, in your digestive tract and your gut microbiome plays a huge role in your digestion and in keeping your immune system running optimally.

Fibre is the difference between juicing vegetables and fruits into juices verses blending them into smoothies. When you juice, using a juicer obviously, what you’re doing is separating the fibrous plant material from the water and this water contains a majority of the phytonutrients. This leaves you with a very watery drink and a lot of fibre leftover. When you blend, using a blender obviously, what you’re doing here is pulverising, chopping, mashing 100% of the plant material fibre and all leaving you with a thick drink.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both juicing and blending.

The primary benefit to having juices and smoothies is that they are a very simple, nutritious and delicious way to increase your consumption of vegetables. Not everyone can manage to eat 3 to 9 cups of vegetables a day, but you can easily get 3 cups of a variety of vegetables in one juice or smoothie.

For example in my green smoothie that I have for dinner most nights I put in a quarter cup of parsley. You have probably seen a tiny pinch of parsley used mainly as a garnish and sure that tiny amount tastes okay, but can you imagine eating 4 tablespoons worth of chopped parsley? Maybe spread out evenly over a day, but for me I like getting my parsley dose in one hit and it’s so much easier and tastier mixed into a smoothie.

Now the main benefit to juicing and drinking juices is that they are an easily digested and quickly absorbed source of nutrition and energy. For people with digestive issues, energy issues, and for those who are severely malnourished drinking green juices will be easier on your body allowing your body to absorb more of the nutrients in that juice. It takes about 20 minutes for a juice to be fully digested and absorbed compared to a few hours for a full-blown meal.

Also because your body doesn’t need to spend a lot of energy digesting your juice it will have more energy that can be used elsewhere such as for repairing damaged tissues, increasing detoxification processes, and producing more neurotransmitters and sex hormones.

The thing is the main benefit to juicing, easy digestion and quick absorption, is also one of its drawbacks. But this all depends on what you’re actually juicing. Fruit juices are not healing drinks like green juices are. This is because of the high amount of fruit sugars present in fruits. Remember juicing extracts the water and the nutrients and separates them from the fibre and fibre helps slow down the release of sugar from your gut into your bloodstream. Without the fibre in the juice that sugar is going to hit your system very quick and very hard causing a massive insulin response which is something you don’t want to happen on a regular basis. Listen to the previous podcast I did on the blood sugar rollercoaster for more info on that.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, but it’s natural sugar from real food. Whether sugar is found naturally in real food or refined and added by the spoonful once sugar hits your digestive tract your body doesn’t know the difference. Sugar is sugar. Except if there’s fibre present then your body and your gut microorganisms will deal with that sugar differently. Not just fibre, but fats and acids help with this as well, but I’ll talk more about those later. This is why eating fruits in their whole intact form is a lot better for you than fruit juices and it doesn’t matter if the juices are bought from the shop or made fresh at home. Sugar without fibre is processed sugar to your body.

The other downside to drinking juices is that you cannot extract all the water and nutrients bound to the fibre. Even with the slowest spinning masticating juicers you will always be missing out on nutrients when you juice.

Final drawback to juicing I’ll mention is when you’re using a centrifugal juicer, one that spins at high-speed in the thousands of RPMs or revolutions per minute, a centrifugal juicer will suck in more oxygen which creates more oxidation or damage to the nutrients. Not only do high-speed juicers cause damage, but they also do not extract as much juice as slow masticating juicers do. Even if you do use a masticating juicer that can spin as low as 65 RPMs, as I talked about before you will not be able to extract all the water and nutrients from the fibre.

Moving onto smoothies.

The good thing about smoothies, besides being a simple way to increase your vegetable consumption, is that you are eating the whole food, the entire vegetable and fruit meaning you get the fibre, the nutrients, the water, the whole deal. You are not missing out on anything that may be lost when you juice. This means that even if you do add some fruit to your blended smoothies the release of sugar into your bloodstream will be a lot slower than fruit that’s been juiced.

There is a similar drawback to blending just as there is in juicing if your smoothie is made up mostly or 100% of fruit. For people with metabolic disorders meaning they are unable to digest and metabolise sugar properly due to hormonal imbalances, a fruit smoothie will be doing more harm than healing and can be just as bad as a fruit juice.

Last downside to blending again similar to juicing is that these blenders spin at super high speeds that will cause damage both physically by the blades and oxidatively by sucking in more oxygen.

Alright so how do you make healing juices and smoothies?

First things first – you got to reduce the sugar hit. When designing a juice or smoothie for healing, obviously you don’t want to add any additional sweeteners artificial or natural including maple syrup and honey due to sugars ability to upset your hormonal rhythms and to suppress your immune system.

When it comes to juices you want to be drinking healing green juices with little to no fruit added. I like using kale, cucumber, celery, and some ginger as a base for all my green juices. From here you can add whatever else you like. I recommend adding in some herbs as pound for pound herbs are more nutritionally dense than their larger plant cousins.

The only fruits I recommend for juicing are lemons, limes, kiwifruit, and a green apple. The acidity in lemon and lime help with your digestion and blood sugar balance. The gelatinous nature and compounds in kiwi also help with digestion and green apples are a bit of a compromise when it comes to taste. If you find green juices too bitter then adding one green apple including the apple seeds, especially the apple seeds, can help make the juice sweeter without being too heavy in fruit sugars, with the added bonus of having the low dose of cyanide that come from the apple seeds. No this cyanide isn’t going to kill you, but it’s a great cancer regulator. By that I mean cancer cells love sugar. So when you eat your juice (yes I said eat, not drink) a lot of the sugars will be picked up by cancer cells. The cyanide will piggyback on this metabolism and will also be taken up by those cancerous cells causing them to do what mainstream medicine fails to do – the cyanide causes cancerous cells to die.

Okay other vegetables to improve on taste while at the same time improve healing are carrots, beetroot, and orange kumara or orange sweet potato. The cool thing about the sweet potato is not only does it give you a bunch of beta-carotene and a touch of sweetness, but it also gives the juice a creamy texture. If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, then a bit of lemon juice and sweet potato helps the green juice go down, no doubt about it.

To help lower the glycaemic response, the rate at which sugar gets released into your bloodstream, you can mix in some raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother. This means apple cider vinegar that hasn’t been pasteurised and that looks murky. The bottle should not be clear looking. You should see the mother, which is a collection of friendly bacteria and other beneficial compounds, you should see the mother at the bottom of the bottle so be sure to shake it up before mixing into your juice.

Another thing you want to do when consuming green juices is to eat some fat with your juice. I recommend eating a spoonful of coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil right before or right after your juice. There are a lot of fat-soluble micronutrients in vegetables and they need fat to be absorbed during digestion. So by eating some fat with your juice you can increase the amount of nutrients your body absorbs and assimilates.

Final tip for designing a very healing juice is that you must use a slow masticating horizontal juicer. A high-speed juicer is destroying a majority of the nutrients wasting a lot of that precious plant medicine. A vertical masticating juicer is much better and does more than just juice. It can make nut milks and sorbets as well. The difference between a vertical and horizontal juicer is that while the vertical is better for getting more juice out of fruits it doesn’t do a good job of extracting water and nutrients from non-starchy vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables. Now a horizontal masticating juicer can also make nut milks and sorbets like the vertical one and it is the best juicer for healing as it gets more medicine out of vegetables. If you have the cash go for a juicer with twin juicing abilities to get more out of your vegetables. Or you can simply put the fibre or leftover pulp back into your juicer a second time to get even more medicine out of the plants.

I do have a tip relating to juicing, but not to do with the juice itself. The pulp, the fibre that’s leftover, don’t toss this in the trash. Use it in your compost for your garden or dehydrate the fibre to make healthy crackers.

Remember the base of the green juice I mentioned earlier and play around and make your own recipes from there.

When it comes to healing green smoothies similar guidelines apply.

I use as a liquid base for all my green smoothies one cup of water, a pinch of sea salt, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, and a tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil. You can use any healthful animal or fruit fat you like and any liquid you like so long as there’s no added sweeteners and chemicals.

Coconut milk and unsweetened almond milk are okay substitutes for water, but even better than water (yes better than water if you can tolerate dairy that is) is raw yoghurt, specifically raw milk kefir. This gives your body more beneficial microorganisms or probiotics. But wait there’s more and something even better than water and kefir for healing (if you tolerate monosodium glutamate or MSG that is) and that’s bone broth made from bones from happy and healthy animals free to roam outdoors and eating their natural species appropriate diet.

“A good broth can raise the dead”

Is a South American proverb and by using bone broth in your healing green smoothie you will increase your body’s innate ability to heal exponentially. If you don’t have any bone broth handy you can always add a tablespoon or two of gelatine or collagen which have similar health benefits to bone broth including repairing your gut and improving joint and skin health.

You can add whatever non-starchy green-leafy cruciferous coloured sulphurous vegetables you want to your smoothie, but when it comes to fruit I would stick to berries and the juice of lemons or limes to keep your smoothie a healing drink. Celery I include as a base in all of my green smoothies. Celery helps normalise blood pressure and aids with digestion. Adding in herbs and spices is a must for the best tasting and healing green smoothie. Parsley and cinnamon are my go to herb and spice. Parsley is a great blood purifier and it reduces body odour and cinnamon will improve overall flavour and help stabilise blood sugar levels.

Oh and when I say green here, in terms of green juice or green smoothie, I don’t just mean literally green, I also mean a high vegetable low fruit drink. So even if your juice or smoothie isn’t the colour green it’s green in my book if there’s not high amounts of fruit and sugar in it.

A couple of taste and healing combinations I’ve found too good to be true when it comes to smoothies are avocado, a tiny amount of red onion, and coriander aka cilantro aka Chinese parsley. Think a guacamole drink. Also raw cacao powder with mint leaves. Yep a mint chocolate drink and when you add in an avocado to your mint chocolate you get a mint chocolate mousse. Mmm hmm, tasty!

Another taste enhancer, well really a texture enhancer is to add cacao nibs or coconut flakes to your smoothie near the end of blending to give it some crunch or sprinkle some crushed nuts or seeds on top of your drink after blending. And by the way peanuts are legumes, not nuts.

One final blending tip is to add a quarter to half a teaspoon of powdered vitamin C to your smoothie. This acts as an antioxidant and protects against oxidative damage that happens when you blend at high-speeds. Also it gives a little bit of tang to your smoothie.

If you really cannot do without fruits or starchy vegetables in your green drinks then you can still make these healing drinks by consuming them post workout. Your muscle cells are more sensitive to insulin after intense exercise so by timing the intake of your sweet green drink after a workout you reduce the impact the sugar will have on your body.

Final overall tip and this is an absolute requirement when it comes to turning a typical green drink into a healing elixir and I mentioned this earlier and that is you must eat your juice or smoothie, not drink it. Meaning you must chew the watery or thick liquid in your mouth for a few seconds, get your digestive enzyme containing saliva all up in that drink before you swallow. Chewing is one of the early stages of digestion, which I talked about back in episode 9, and without this crucial step you’re literally wasting most of the beneficial plant medicine in your drink as your body will quickly eliminate whatever isn’t covered in your digestive enzymes when it hits your digestive tract. Chewing your green drink will turn it into a more potent healing elixir. So no straws please. Drink it straight from the mug or cup.

I’ll put a couple of links to a juicer and blender I recommend in the blog post for this episode.

Look there’s no limits to how you make your juice or smoothie really. It’s up to you. Whatever floats your boat and makes your taste buds sing. However, there are limits to making your green drink a healing drink.

So remember keep the sugar low, add in some animal or fruit fats, move before you eat, and above all else listen to your body.

“If your green drink makes you feel stink or look green or pink, it’s time to rethink your green drink.”

Okay so which is better for healing? Juicing or blending? Well it depends on what you put in your drink, and also how and when you eat it.

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WGP 040: Riding the Blood Sugar Roller Coaster to Hormone Hell

In this podcast I’ll be exploring how Blood Sugar Affects Your Hormones:

  • I’ll explain how hormones control your health
  • I’ll talk about how blood sugar levels affect your health and control your hormones
  • Finally, I’ll share a few holistic lifestyle tips on how to control your blood sugar levels and hormones naturally


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

There is so much information old and new about health and wellness that it can be extremely frustrating sorting through what he said and what she said and what science says just to find yourself back where you began – confused. If you ever find your head spinning and your ears smoking and your brain melting and your bodymind just about to explode because of all the contradictory information out there I suggest you keep it simple by focusing on one thing and this one thing to focus on would be your hormones.

Now do you know how to make a hormone? Okay that’s a setup for a bad joke so I won’t go there, but do you know what a hormone is?

Hormones are signalling molecules that traverse and tell different areas of your bodymind what’s happening in your environment both internal and external and how to respond and behave to environmental changes. Your hormones are affected by your lifestyle, by what and how you think, feel, do, sleep, breathe, move, drink and eat. All these things affect your hormones and your hormones affect all these things. I’ve spoken about hormones before and how they affect your health back in episode 23.

I’ll focus on three major hormones in this episode with regards to the effects of blood glucose levels. Insulin, cortisol, and melatonin.

Insulin is a very critical and important hormone needed for growth and repair as its job is to help get nutrients out of your bloodstream and into your cells. Keep in mind that when insulin is high your body’s ability to mobilise and burn fat for fuel comes to a standstill. Insulin does not have a circadian or daily rhythm like cortisol and melatonin do. Insulin’s release is determined by what, when, and how you eat. The insulin receptor sites on your cells, which is the place where insulin docks when it connects to your cells, these insulin receptors do have a circadian rhythm of their own where in the morning these sites are insulin-sensitive, screaming out to insulin to come and give some nutrients. Whereas in the evening these receptor sites are insulin-resistant where they play it cool and ignore insulin most of the time even when insulin is trying to dock on and deliver nutrients.

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and when you perceive stress or when your body is physically under stress this is when cortisol gets released and is free to roam around your bloodstream where it will suppress your immune system, digestion, and your ability to burn fat, because if you’re stressed the last thing your body is worried about is healing and breaking down your last meal as it wants to move as fast as it can to get away from the stressor. In order to do this cortisol increases blood glucose levels and metabolism to provide more energy to your muscles. Cortisol has a circadian rhythm where it rises sharply in the morning to get you up and moving and then its levels begin to fall throughout the day where in the evening there’s only a tiny amount of cortisol in your bloodstream allowing you to relax and to get to sleep.

Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone, but it’s also a potent powerful antioxidant and it plays a major role in reducing cancer risk. Melatonin has a circadian rhythm, but opposite to cortisol where it’s low in the morning and then rises in the evening making you want to go to sleep as it helps in the repair process of your bodymind while you sleep.

Everything in life ebbs and flows goes up and down in rhythms and waves and this constant flow back and forth keeps everything in harmony and balance. However, when this flow is blocked, disrupted, disturbed, destroyed, taken to extremes even, if this flow is out of time and beat with its usual rhythm then you get disharmony and life that is out of balance.

When these 3 hormones and remember you do have many many more, when these 3 hormones alone get out of rhythm, out of balance, out of their hormonal bliss point or range of proper function this causes illness, sickness, disease, chronic symptoms, and I swear I must say this almost every episode about malfunction and being out of balance, but when these hormones are out of rhythm it can lead to the full-blown expression of cancer.

Now there are many lifestyle factors that can cause your hormones to go haywire, but I’m going to stick to talking about blood sugar levels in this episode.

There is about 4-5 grams or about a teaspoon of glucose, a sugar molecule, running through your entire bloodstream at any one time. This amount of glucose is the optimum amount required to keep your bodymind moving. If your blood glucose level gets too low you become hypoglycaemic causing dizziness, light-headedness, confusion, hunger, anger, sleep issues, and the shakes. If your blood glucose level gets too high you become hyperglycaemic causing headaches, blurry vision, frequent urination, a jumpy mind where you can’t focus, and making you wired, but tired.

Chronically low blood glucose levels can lead to seizures and nervous system damage. Chronically high blood glucose levels have far worse damaging effects. Remember sugar can be very sticky and when you have too much glucose in your blood for too long this causes those glucose molecules to start sticking to cells that they come into contact with. This process is called glycation and these newly created molecules are called Advanced Glycated End products or AGEs and the name is so appropriate because when these AGEs build up your cells are no longer able to function and do their jobs so your bodymind begins to breakdown from the inside out causing you to age rapidly. Depending on your genetics and environmental factors that affect your epigenetics these AGEs may cause excessive damage to your skin, to your nervous system, your gut, your brain, your sight, your heart, your joints, to any organ in your body.

This is why it’s very important that your insulin hormone is working in sync with other hormones and is functioning as it should. Remember insulin takes the glucose out of your bloodstream to the insulin receptor sites on your cells.

Okay so how does blood glucose levels affect insulin, cortisol, and melatonin?

Insulin and cortisol maintain proper levels of glucose in your blood. After you’ve eaten a well balanced meal insulin levels will rise slowly and eventually it will move that small amount of sugar into your cells. Many hours after the meal your blood glucose levels should still be steady and if they do become low a little bit of cortisol will be released to help raise your blood glucose back to where it should be. Not too bad a situation.

Imagine the ocean with a massive big wave coming in and after that initial big wave it’s all smaller waves from thereon out and you’ll have a good idea on what this looks like and how it affects your body. The initial big rush and then a nice calming effect hours after.

Now let’s say you eat an unbalanced meal high in sugar and carbohydrates, and maybe even high in protein as well, with varying amounts of fat. This meal would cause a massive rise, a sudden surge in insulin as there is now excessive amounts of glucose running around in your bloodstream. This huge spike in insulin will rapidly remove the glucose from your bloodstream and move it to your cells. Now this sudden shunt of glucose into your cells will cause a huge rebound effect where now you don’t have enough glucose in your blood. In fact it’s far too low because you had a lot of insulin doing what was supposed to do.

So with this low blood sugar you begin to feel hungry and angry also known as hangry and you have to eat, but what do you eat? More sugars in the form of snack foods, maybe crackers, chips, dried fruit, chocolate, cookies, but this just causes another huge rise in blood glucose levels causing another spike in insulin and here you are riding the blood sugar roller coaster up and down throughout the day.

Using the ocean analogy again imagine massive waves crashing into the shore followed by the sea being sucked out just like you get when a tsunami’s about to hit. And then what do you know another big wave comes crashing in again and then the sea gets sucked out again. And those crashes are causing damage to your bodymind.

Now even if you didn’t eat and managed to stop yourself from reaching for food your bodymind would then turn to cortisol and release cortisol to help get more glucose in your blood. This spike in cortisol causes too much glucose to circulate so guess what happens next? Insulin has to come out to play and get that blood glucose level down again. So you’ve just bought without even realising it another ticket on the BS roller coaster – the blood sugar roller coaster that is.

With regards to melatonin this hormone is affected by cortisol and cortisol is affected by both blood sugar levels and perceived stress.  If cortisol is chronically high due to constant low blood glucose levels and persistent perceived stress then this will disrupt the circadian rhythms of both cortisol and melatonin, meaning you won’t get enough cortisol to get you out of bed in the morning. You feel sluggish and tired causing you to reach for a sugary carb-loaded breakfast like cereal, bagels, muffins, toast, fruit juice, or even coffee. And guess where this high carb meal is going to take you. Back on the BS roller coaster.

Cortisol which should be low in the evening will now rise slightly in the evening making it very difficult for you to relax, to calm down and to fall asleep. Now that melatonin’s circadian rhythm has been disrupted by the disrupted circadian rhythm of cortisol you won’t get that rise in the evening and this will lead to poor quality sleep, less repair and growth while you sleep, and above all else this gives you an increased risk of expressing cancer as there won’t be enough melatonin released at night to suppress the growth of tumours and to cause cancerous cells to self-destruct.

As you can see blood glucose levels have a major impact on your hormones and I’ve only talked about 3 of your hormones. There are other hormones that your blood glucose levels can affect. Hormones that control your immune system, your inflammatory response, your growth and repair, your sexual and reproductive functions, and even your appetite.

So how do you control your blood glucose, your blood sugar level to remain steady and stable and to not spike too high or to drop too low? How do you get off the BS roller coaster?

Well the first thing you gotta’ do is to stop eating processed and refined carbohydrates. Insulin release is mostly determined by glucose levels in the blood, sugar levels, carbohydrate levels. Now it’s not about eating less carbs, it’s about eating the right kinds of carbs more of the fibrous carbs like non-starchy vegetables and less of the starchy refined foods like chips, milk chocolate, candy, pastries, and for some people even mashed potatoes and starchy vegetables can be an issue, but the worst refined food, fake pretend food-like product is carbonated sugar water also known as fizzy and soda drinks.

“Lower your intake of carbs and you’ll lower your insulin levels and the subsequent cortisol release as well.”

Thing is when you do lower one fuel source you need to replace this with another. The other fuel source being fats. So as you reduce your carb intake look to increase your animal and fruit fat consumption by pouring more fats on your salads and vegetables. Remember vegetables are the perfect vehicles to eat more fat. Stay away from the industrial seed oils. No canola, corn, soya, any of those vegetable fats, they are even worse than soda.

Another way to control blood glucose levels is to move your body. Insulin receptor sites on your cells are more ready to receive insulin in the morning than in the evening, but when you move your body (doesn’t matter if it’s high or low intensity, even a good 30 minute walk will achieve this), by moving your body you increase the sensitivity of the insulin receptors on your muscle cells, but not your fat cells. Meaning movement will allow your muscles to take in more glucose than usual out of your blood. This of course means you have to move your body before you eat. However, walking after eating will also increase the uptake of glucose by your cells reducing blood glucose levels post-meal. So take a nice easy stroll not a jog or a sprint, just a nice walk after you’ve eaten.

Final tip is to manage how you perceive stress in your life. Cortisol should only be used in case of emergency as in when your life is on the line. Not just because your spouse put your cup in the wrong cupboard or because someone called you a poopy-head. Meditate, breathe, go outside for a walk anytime you feel anxious or tense. Remember cortisol is there to get you moving. If you’re sitting down being stressed out at work, or at home, or in the car your blood glucose levels are going to spike and you won’t be moving your body to deal with it. So learn what makes you feel relaxed. Listen to episode 3 for more details about how to manage yourself when it comes to perceiving stress.

Some additional resources. I recommend reading The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living this is by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney and also Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. These two books delve more deeply into hormones, sugars, and how fats are your new friend in getting off the BS roller coaster.

Look I get it. Sugar is sweet and sugary foods taste oh so good, but these foods are not doing your bodymind, your hormones, and your health any favours.

“If you really feel the need to eat more sugar just stop for a second and remember that you are already sweet enough as it is.”

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