September 26, 2012

The road to Idyllwyld

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September is Peridot Month

Peridot In celebration of the month of September, our Peridot Gem Elixir is on sale! Get 30% ($7.50) off this elixir until midnight, September 30. Use the discount code GSP30 when you checkout through the website shopping cart. Peridot is traditionally considered the "Stone of Purification". It stimulates tissue regeneration and removes toxicity from the physical body. Peridot helps strengthen the metabolism; aiding the heart, thymus, lungs, gallbladder, spleen, intestinal tract, ulcers, and eyes. Peridot increases clarity and patience, helping with the release of negative emotions. Promotes a positive outlook on life. Use this elixir with the Clean Sweep spray--put a few drops of the elixir in the spray bottle--for a double-strength energy clearing.

Whole Being Weekend

Whole Being Weekend After the somewhat extreme experience of Burning Man, I was happy to adventure further up into the high California forest for the venerable Whole Being Weekend in idyllic Idyllwyld, California. This was one of the original "hippie" festivals that started in 1970 and has been going strong ever since. The festival takes over the Buckhorn Camp about two miles out of town, with full facilities, RV hookups and great hiking trails all around with a breathtaking view of the neighboring forest valley.

I had to admit to myself that I was more into this weekend for the music and the relaxation--not really opting in for some of the intense workshops that were being offered. I did do two of them--one because it sounded like a lot of fun, and the other to renew an old practice.

A short, firecracker of a girl calling herself Missy Galore got up for the Saturday morning workshop rundown, and spent her 45 seconds espousing the joys of "Galactivation Fluffing." She danced around with her "fluffing wands," and it just cute-ted me out so much and was so whimsical, I just HAD to plan for that one. And she certainly did not disappoint. Within about 30 seconds of starting the workshop, she had everyone laughing, and by the end of the workshop we were all high on fluffing, had made our own fluffing wands, and proceeded to spread the joys of fluffing to the entire camp. To "fluff" in this context is to open up the atoms and cells of your body to accept the universal cosmic love that holds all creation together. Hey, would could be more useful?

On Sunday I opted to do the Medicine Wheel workshop with a very knowledgeable man of Native American heritage. My past shamanic training has been mainly Peruvian, but I had lost touch with some of the elements of the practice. In particular, I was looking to restart and recreate my "mesa." In Peruvian shaman practice, the mesa is a bag or pouch of items--rocks, sticks, feathers, anything really--that has special meaning to the shaman. Once these items are collected, it is possible for the shaman to "read" the layout of these items much like the practice of reading tea leaves. Each item in the mesa is a metaphor for a particular experience or archetype and "speaks" to the shaman when he asks for guidance or insight. During this workshop, I received my first item that now resides lovingly in my mesa. Mission accomplished!

The Whole Being Weekend was highlighted by a concert by Larisa Stow & The Shakti Tribe, as well as a great night of kirtan by Karl Anthony, who has been doing the Weekend for 27 years. I danced myself into a sweat, and had a liberating and transformative time--met some wonderful people and got myself wonderfully grounded for the life ahead.

Avocado Love

Avocado I visited a friend in Hawaii on the Big Island, whose entire yard was an avocado orchard. These were the big ones, too--nearly the size of cantelopes. We simply picked up a few dozen of these behemoths, and he made a huge batch of guacamole. The taste was unforgettable and I fell in love with the avocado.

I consider avocadoes a superfood because of its outstanding nutritional benefits--more and more as research continues. The latest buzz is that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells. The high oleic acid content in avos prevents other cancers, too, mainly breast cancer. Here are some more great benefits of avos:

Eye Health - Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.
Lower Cholesterol - Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.
Heart Health - One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
Stroke Prevention - The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don't.
Better Nutrient Absorption - Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. In one study, when participants ate a salad containing avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn't include avocados.
Glutathione Source - Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.
Vitamin E Powerhouse - Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.

So, eat freely of this great superfood!

Consulting the Heart

feel the love In the series of books by Carlos Castaneda, the Yaqui Indian shaman, Don Juan, would hit Castaneda sharply on his back between the shoulder blades in order to send his student into the "Second Attention." While in this Second Attention, Castaneda was able to experience a much richer, deeper world, where shamans could do amazing things, and what seemed impossible happened right before his eyes.

I was fascinated by the idea of the Second Attention, but wondered why Don Juan would slap poor Carlos between the shoulder blades to get him there. As I continued in my shamanic studies, I found out that the Second Attention resides in the Heart. When observing and sensing the world through the heart, it allows those to see "who have eyes to see." It references the world away from the intellect. Using your head to see the world only allows you to see through the filter of social programming and personal judgment.

The heartspace in the body is a completely unique electromagnetic system, creating a magnetic field hundreds of times stronger than the brain's. Additionally, some bio-magnetic research has concluded that the heart is a torsion field, capable of accessing alternate realities, different dimensions and creating a bridge to all universal information.

In modern applications of the heartspace effect, the HeartMath Institute promotes its "Quick Coherence" technique:

  1. Focus attention on the area around your heart
  2. Breathe deeply and notice your breath as coming out of the heart area
  3. As you maintain your heart focus and heart breathing, activate a positive feeling. Recall a positive feeling, a time when you felt good inside, and try to re-experience the feeling.
The HeartMath Institute has done extensive research on this technique and has proved it lowers general stress levels, cortisol, blood pressure, and nervousness. You can use it to "press the reset button" when things are getting stressful, and allows you to experience from a new perspective. That perspective is the torsion field of the heart. In Matrix Energetics, it is, "Drop Down" in order to sense from a heartspace. By dropping down into the heartspace, it is then possible to effectively "notice what you notice," and see what is useful.

Consulting our heart intelligence gains us access to much fuller and vibrant life. Try it!

Vibrant Living Tip: Use the Rose Quartz gem elixir to help open the heart and increase sensitivity to the heart's innate intelligence.

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Personally, from the president...

The Strange Case of Perfection


I've been noticing lately that I have been--and others around me have been pointing out how "perfect" things are, or that some event or drama was "perfect". Sometimes, it's done with a tone of irony, or even cynicism, and yet this underlying truth remains: Everything IS perfect the way it is.

Oddly--and ironically--to me, this flies directly in the face of what being human has been about. We are toolmakers, we are strivers, we are dreamers. If everything is perfect, why use tools? Why strive for any goal? Why dream?

I believe the answer is that, as humans, we also have the habit of judgement. We judge this to be "bad" and that to be "good," usually without much thought as to why we feel that way. And any justification usually comes after the judgement has been made.

I've come to believe that there is nothing really inherently "wrong" with judgement, other than it prevents the perception of perfection. If we want to play the game of judging whether or not this person's behavior is reprehensible, or that chocolate cream pie is the best food in the world, hey, knock yourself out. It's a choice, though, because I can agree or disagree about what is reprehensible behavior, or what is the best food. Likewise, seeing perfection is a choice. Much like happiness is a choice, and I think the two are related.

I've also come to believe that much of what is "wrong" in the world is the inability to see the perfection of it over time. Hindsight always gives us that advantage of context when events happen that, at the moment, seem just plain wrong. Perhaps that perception that leads to the judgement that something is "wrong" or "bad" is just Nature's way of telling us to wait and see.

The famous story of the zen monk (or farmer, or cowboy), who with every turn of events declares, "We'll see", illustrates this point:

There's a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse... and everybody in the village says, "How wonderful. The boy got a horse" And the Zen master says, "we'll see." Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, "How terrible." And the Zen master says, "We'll see." Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight... except the boy can't because his legs are all messed up. And everybody in the village says, "How wonderful." Now the Zen master says, "We'll see."

This is a commentary on the cosmic wisdom of the big picture--the bigger the picture, the more perfection comes into view. So, I tend to want to suspend judgement in the moment, opting to wait and see where the story of perfection is leading me.

To the question, if everything is perfect then why do, be, or have anything? The answer is that if your actions are only the result of "correcting" some "bad" or "unwanted" condition, then you are condemned to a life of disappointment and non-fulfillment, because there is always something "more" to achieve, or something else to "fix."

Why not live simply to create? Create your life to be a really cool sculpture, or paint your life as a vision of the highest version of your divinity? Instead of correcting some perceived "lack" or "insufficiency", why not just create what you envision? I believe that's why we are here. No judgement--although that's okay; no "fixing"--although that's fine, too; but just create something wonderful, something unique to you, something that gives you joy. Why do anything else?

In vibrant health,

Boyd Martin, President

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