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How My Life Changed After Reading My First Book by Carlos Castaneda

“For an average man, the world is weird because if he’s not bored with it, he’s at odds with it. For a warrior, the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable. A warrior must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous time.” – Carlos Castaneda

Hello, my name is Aerin Alexander and I am the founder and director of the Energy Life Sciences Institute and Being Energy® Methodology. Below I am sharing with you about the first moment I opened a book of Carlos Castaneda and the turn that took my life as a consequence.

was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1994 when I heard that Carlos Castaneda would be in town to give a talk to a select group of people. My first reaction was emotional. “What?” I thought. “He does exist? And he is in Buenos Aires? That is crazy!”

Carlos Castaneda was an anthropologist and visionary. His books centering on his apprenticeship with don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian from Sonora, Mexico, had catapulted him to fame in the 60’s and 70’s. The first time I opened Journey to Ixtlan, Castaneda’s third book, was by accident.

My mother’s older sister, Rosita, used to work for the Mexican publishing house that published Castaneda’s books in Spanish. No one in my family was an avid reader, including me, and I’d never noticed the book until one special day. 

Our family had just moved to an apartment above a chicken store, with old tile floors, broken windows and holes on the walls, from a nicer apartment, furnished with carpets and wall papers and a mortgage my parents could no longer afford. My dad was forced to quit his job—he refused to be fired—because of the restructuring taking place in the international company at which he worked for 15 years. It was a stressful moment: my dad was looking for a new job and my mother, as usual, was in charge of the family relocation. 

I was entering my first year of high-school and I was concerned about my weight. I was too skinny, and I feared I would end up in the hospital as it happened the year before, when I was hospitalized for a recurrence of rheumatic fever, my childhood disease. I was a picky eater, and under stress, I could not swallow. 

The new apartment was filled with boxes, and I was in charge of, amongst other things, organizing the books. As I lined up the few books we owned in our single bookshelf, Journey to Ixtlan escaped my fingers and fell to the ground, landing open on page 15. The text on that page began: PART ONE “Stopping the World.”

I flipped to the next page. It read:

“I understand you know a great deal about plants, Sr.” Castaneda said presenting himself to don Juan Matus. I randomly flipped ahead to page 110. 

Acts have power,” he said. “Specially when the person acting knows that those acts are his last battle. There is a strange consuming happiness in acting with the full knowledge that whatever one is doing may very well be one’s last act on earth.”

I straightened my back and inhaled; a chill ran up my spine. I sat down on top of the boxes I was emptying and flipped back to page 15 and started reading again from there. I was fourteen years old, and, unwillingly, this book grabbed full my attention. His writings described the world as mysterious and unfathomable and humans, as warriors with purpose and in relation to the vastness universe. Like a healthy food, each page filled empty spaces creating connections and aliveness inside me. 

Castaneda’s words sounded familiar somehow. I had never been to Mexico, but I did dream about the possibility of going some day. My birth name was Maria Guadalupe and, besides my mother’s devotion to the Virgin, I had also developed my own longing for Mexico. I had learned at school about Mesoamerica and knowledge of Toltecs and Mayans. It was the pyramid at Chichen Itza in Yucantán, with its precise number of steps representing each day of the year and exact orientation to the sun to reflect a shadow at each solstice, that I couldn’t stop thinking about. The Mayans lived in relationship to the stars, and don Juan was teaching Castaneda about his link with the invisible universe around. I thought I could also, somehow, I could feel my connection to all. 

That day something shifted in me and I felt the emergence of a purpose, meaning in my life. I was suddenly interested in books and went on to hungrily read not only more from Castaneda, but also Nietzsche, Borges, Neruda, Coelho. My timing was perfectly synchronized with the availability of books. Bookstores were opening their doors in Buenos Aires after a seven-year dictatorship that had prohibited books from being sold and many authors from publishing. Being a teen, not only was I hungry to learn, but I was also naturally delighted to access what had been forbidden. 

Almost 13 years later, I was studying the esoteric teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky with a group of friends, when the group’s coordinator suggested we read Carlos Castaneda. With the group, I reread Journey to Ixtlan, and I intended every night to connect deeper with myself to understand my own life. As if being called to an appointment, a few months later I met Castaneda in person in Los Angeles, and I entered into the sorcerers’ world.

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Our Organs Have Their Own Consciousness And We Can Talk to Them

My teacher Carlos Castaneda taught me this: Our organs have their own consciousness and we can talk to them. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the departure of my dear teacher and guide Carlos Castaneda. I met him in the mid-nineties as a young doctor looking for a deeper meaning in my path as a healer to people. 

My life brought me to him without looking for it.

Not long before, as a medical resident in Bariloche, Argentina, I had wanted to go in all the way into the medical knowledge. I come from a family of doctors and scientists, where hard work and dedication to the ethics of truth was a strong value.

Thanks to high grades, luck and daring, I managed to get into a unique and prestigious program where I was left as the front person in charge of the ER (Emergency Room) every four nights. It was an exciting and also daunting all-in immersion into hospital life that got me dealing with all kinds of medical issues and emergencies. I practically lived in the clinic, and assisted in trauma, strokes, heart attacks or child births. 

I had the experience of dealing with life and death decisions, of seeing the mystery of the body healing miraculously and the humbling presence of death in my hands. Life was fast, and surprising. Yet, I missed the touch of a larger, more encompassing view. 

In many occasions, the tools I had been given as a Western MD couldn’t help me.

It could only take me so far and a more holistic view became a necessity. One such day, during my night shift, a patient died on my watch.

He was staying overnight after a minor surgery and he developed an acute pulmonary edema that led to him to going into arrest. I moved him into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and tried to resuscitate him, but I couldn’t. It later turned out that a key heart medication the patient needed had not been logged into his chart and was never given to him. He shouldn’t have died. The event caused me to deeply re-evaluate the meaning of my profession and life in general. Medical school did not give me the container for these situations. I even considered to quit medicine.

I left Argentina back to USA, my country of birth. Then, there, serendipity and fate made me meet Carlos Castaneda and everything changed in my life. 

When I first met him, he invited me to lunch, at a local Cuban restaurant called The Versailles which he frequented. I remember that, when he invited me, he had said he wanted to know more about me, but I barely opened my mouth during lunch. He was very animated the whole time, and made me laugh so hard with his storytelling that my belly muscles ached badly. He had such a mesmerizing and charming presence and it absorbed me completely. 

At the end, as we were walking towards the car in the parking lot, he came close and almost in a whisper said that the reason we were there that day was because I could be a bridge between the shamanism he had learnt from his teacher, don Juan Matus, and the world of health and medicine. 

At the time, I had no idea what this meant, but his message of a higher intelligence and energy at play in everyday life came to fill exactly the void I had found in my regular medical life. I was hooked.

A Direct Apprenticeship that Meant Being Open to New Ideas

Over time, Carlos Castaneda became a mentor and guide. He said I could not run away from my destiny and encouraged me to return to medicine. But he gave me the larger container, he opened up what was to me a new paradigm at the time, one which today, decades later, has emerged in science and in our collective understanding: that there is no such distinction between the mind and the body.

Rather, that we are a network of energy and information crisscrossing in all directions between the mind and the body. Peptides and other biochemicals carry the messages of our thoughts and our emotions everywhere, perception affects behavior and behavior changes the very physicality of our brain and body, memories from our life experiences are stored in the organs and in our fascia and, more than a defined, isolated individual, we are more like a cooperative of many voices including a majority of foreign DNA from a microbiome which gives us fundamental aspects of our identity such as our very personality traits, as a pioneering study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) recently showed.

Everything in us is changing and evolving, not isolated, but in deep resonance with our environment, such as the quality of the electro-magnetic field emitted by our hearts which can cause specific changes in the brains of the people around us. 

We now know that it is a fact from research we can enter deep meditation states through practice and then these states can cause definitive changes in all our major regulatory mechanisms such as telomere length (a key biomarker for cell lifespan), inflammation cascades and cell repair. These and other behaviors can change the very expression of our genome through the epigenetic landscape that we now recognize as a highly fluid pluripotential environment in which our body lives. 

What my teacher Carlos Castaneda introduced me to was this same viewpoint. It used different language but its syntax carried the same implications and conclusions. It enlarged the scope of possibilities of my human experience, and that of my patients. Modern science and ancient shamanistic principles and practices came together into a similar unit of life: Our internal body-mind world.

What it means ‘I can talk to my internal organs.’

One practice that Carlos Castaneda taught me was talking to my organs. The idea was simple: just as there is the overall me, there are also many smaller individual aspects of that me, represented in my tissues and organs themselves. In the dynamic world of information within my body, there is a distinct consciousness in each of my organs. Our organs store memories and also contain information. And they can talk to us. The big me can go in and establish a dialogue with the different organs and tissues.

In over twenty years of teaching workshops and clinical practice, I have found this to be very accurate and of highly practical value to understand ourselves and what our bodies are experiencing. 

At times, I would see Castaneda ‘talking to his liver’, for example. He would talk to it in a very kind way, thanking it for all the work it took on. He would caress his ribs right where the liver is, and also pause and take a moment to ‘listen’ to it. 

More than 500 vital functions have been identified in each liver cell, 24/7. It is the organ that organizes and distributes our internal nutrients and resources. In our busy modern lives, it tends to get overburdened. It stores ‘excess’ material, not only physiologically but also in our Consciousness.

Our stressors are ‘stored’ in the liver. 

When our liver gets overwhelmed, it also gets tight, and interferes with other neighbor organs, such as our stomach and intestines, or our sense of calm in our heart.

Our organs can tell us a lot of things. For instance, a patient who came to treatment for severe constipation, had received standard help from doctors such as increasing fiber and exercise, stool softeners and even antidepressants, with weak results. During the consult, using guided imagery, we established a conversation ‘between his higher self and his colon’, and his colon told him that the reason it was holding its movement was because he was feeling stuck at work. He had a long term dispute with his business partner that wasn’t being resolved. 

The colon was storing that emotional and perceptual component of his inner life. 

He realized then that he had been very rigid in his position about the dispute and needed to move on. The day after he signed the dissolution papers he had a bowel movement and within a month he had his regular rhythm restored. 

Another fascinating example of how our organs store information and life experiences, even highly specific and detailed stuff, was reported by Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., in his book The Heart’s Code. I heard about this account by Ron Hulnik, Ph.D., one of the founders of the prestigious program in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica, where I am so excited to be currently taking a Certification. Pearsall, a clinical neuropsychologist in the Transplant Donor Department at the University of Arizona, describes how organ recipients take in memories and personality traits from the donor. He tells the case of a girl who had received a heart transplant from another girl who had been murdered. She soon began to have dreams and flashbacks of being murdered herself that eventually became so vivid and detailed that her mother reported it and it led the police to identify the actual murderer and prove the case in court. The implication of such an unequivocal event makes it undeniable that the organs themselves, independently, are capable of storing a high level of specificity of information. 

How do I talk to my organs?

There are two steps and one rule to do this. 

The first step is doing something to quiet the mind chatter and be present. This can be one minute focusing on our breathing, or even just one breath! 

The second step is to turn our attention to a particular organ with an attitude of inquiry and establish a dialogue. 

The rule is that when we ask a question, we have to be direct, as if we were talking to someone right in front of us, and then pause and wait for the very first thing that comes to mind, without preconditions. It might be a thought, an image or a memory. It might be the feeling of something that could become clear at a later time. 

The rule means that it is spontaneous information that formulates in our Consciousness in the pause immediately after we address the question to the organ. 

Sometimes, there doesn’t need to even be a question; all that seems to be needed is to turn our attention to the organ with the intention to see it and listen to it.

The Practice

For the next moment, close your eyes and let your attention shift from the outer world to the inner world. You can simply let your body release any tension that it doesn’t need, right now. 

In one sweep from head down to toes, just scan across your whole body with your attention and let each muscle relax, let each joint soften, letting all the nerves just open, the circulation and the skin open. And let your body do this at its own pace.

Now, openyour inner eyes and go with your attention to the organ you want to talk to, listen to, or just hold space for. Allow yourself to use your full imagination and live it inside of you.

Have you been having any issues with the health of this organ? Connect to these symptoms, and specifically to the emotions that these symptoms arise in you. Stay attuned to these emotions for a moment. Don’t judge them or try to change them, just be with them.

Now, begin to talk to the organ, as if it was a person you are talking to. A person that is also you, or an aspect of you. Hold an attitude of appreciation, companionship and support. This part of you has been suffering and you want to be there for it. Lovingly express to the organ your support at this time. Talk to the organ as if it was your own 5-year old kid.

Ask simple, direct questions such as:

“Why are you in pain?” 

“How does this relate to my life right now?” 

“How can I help for you to feel better?” 

“Is there anything I can do for you to stop this symptom?”

Remember, don’t prejudge or discard whatever arises when you ask. Spend a moment or as long as you feel is right in this dialogue, or simply sit in the presence of the organ, holding your Consciousness there. 

When you are ready, say thank you to your organ for being available to you. Ask permission to further dialogue in the future. Come out at your own pace and immediately take count of the experience and of any information that came from it. 

I highly recommended to write down this information. 

That’s it. 

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Tools and Tips

Our New Step in Evolution: From homo sapiens to homo universalis

This is an exciting moment for us as human beings. Today, we are in a time that calls for a jump, for a rapid change, not just because we can but because we must.

This is not the time to sit on the sidelines, to be a passive traveler of life. Life on the planet is on the hot seat, beckoning us to get in, get on and get engaged. What comes to us, what life shows us, is defined by the questions we ask, and most often, the best way to boost our learning is to ask better questions; life indeed talks to us back by what kinds of things we ask. My teacher, Carlos Castaneda, called this intending. An evolutionary question has been with me over this past month: 

Where are we going? What is happening to our human species? What are our options moving forward? 

Over the past thirty days, I immersed myself in two almost back to back conferences that, coming from completely different contexts and styles, gave me each the information and the experience of what this can be. This question brought me back an incredible landscape of what is coming to us, a Wow! moment that I am so excited to share with you.  

I have just returned from a one of a kind conference in Brienz, Switzerland, called ‘Universal Spirituality’. Hosted by The Center for Unity, one of the longest successfully active spiritual communities in the world, and put together piece by piece over the past two years, it brought together twelve elders from different traditions around the world, such as a Maya Priestess from Mexico, a Qi Going master from China, a decades long Peace Envoy from the U.N, a 92 year old human rights leader from Ghana and a Sufi sacred musician from Iran, together with over one hundred leaders with decades of personal practice in peace and spirituality, for a sharing, discussion and inner silence practice experiment on the question of: What can be fundamental common elements of an Universal Spirituality?

What deeply committed individuals are in this world! What profound strength of spirit and heart do exist in people, regardless of culture and race! What a joy it is to feel safe, encouraged, and honored as a human being! I brought back from the conference hope, optimism and resolve. We can make it, we really CAN!

Here are 7 distinct shared elements that I found all spiritualties uphold universally:

  1.  An open heart, having our hearts as a reference point. Being open in our heart center to receive affection and to give love.
  2. Optimism as a choice. Choosing to be shiny and engaging and positive because that is the state of our psychology where doors open and the best outcomes come from.
  3. A practice of being in the present, fully; not partially but fully. This is not a given but something that is cultivated purposely. 
  4. Non-judgment towards differences in others, be it religion, race, capacities, predilections and all what is not like me or what I want.
  5. Actively allowing mystery in our life. The state of not knowing is intrinsic to the spiritual experience. Some things we will never know and that is not a threat, that is actually an awe-some, exciting feeling.
  6. Lightness, creativity and joy. Creativity feeds our non-linear self; it is a state of mind. The more detachment from our story we get, the more kid-like we become.
  7. An impulse to give, to help, to support others, to care for the planet. Feeling part of a bigger whole, feeling connected totally enhances our spirit and gives us meaning.

 Here is a powerful pair of questions you can ask yourself, to guide your awareness towards answers within you that can give new meaning and new direction to your spiritual life:

How do you connect to the divine? What are the particular ways, personal to you, in which you feel connected to spirit, to a higher order? Consider this and bring it more clearly into your daily life?

What is important to you, right now, for your spiritual journey? What are the lessons that life is presenting to you in this moment that you need to be aware of, open your eyes to, and embrace? Consider this and let this larger context completely change how you are relating to what is happening now in your life.

During the second day, during a deep meditation practice with all the participants, I could actually feel the silence pressing on my body. Silence had physicality, I could touch it and it enveloped me and everyone around me. In this state, there was no doubt in my body-mind that we all shared these seven traits, and the possibility of really living them. Barbara Marx Hubbard, one of the twelve elders and a leading voice in conscious evolution, stood up and said:

“Evolution is not only gradual, sometimes it also makes a jump. Today, I am convinced that what is happening here is a jump into the emergence of a new type of consciousness for our time, a homo universalis.”

My awareness shoot up high into the sky, into orbit, and as I looked down into the Earth I could see a bubble of light shining in the middle of Europe, a message of true peace expanding onto the rest of the people in the planet. 

I flashed back to my first first conference, two weeks before. It could not have been more different: Business Mastery, a mega event on steroids in Las Vegas, taught by life strategist Tony Robbins. Five days of complete 15-hours a day immersion into pragmatic tools, information and the necessary psychology to implement them and be on the cutting edge of our competitive world.

One of the guest speakers was Scott Klososky,  head of one of the leading consulting companies on technology. He gave a ‘state of the union’ account of what is already here in tech and a projection curve to what new realities technology and gene manipulation is taking us. The most eye popping is this: we are right now at the statistical inflection point of a huge acceleration in the speed of change in the implementation of technology into human biology. 

Data analytics and robotics are going to very soon completely change everything about how we live and what we can do. The projection is that, within 25 years, bio-enhancements to our body will be such that a new species of humans will be born: transhumans; that is, given the desire and financial means, we will be able to augment human function and integrate it with technology to the point that a person will no longer be comparable to a regular human as we have known it until now.

Throughout the weekend, as events unfolded and collective consciousness grew, an artist captured what was taking place into a gigantic art piece. We could all see how it was shaping, bit by bit, until but the last session it became a map, the map of the journey and a blueprint statement to the world of what an Universal Spirituality could be.

My teacher told me that having mastery of awareness mandated that we be in alignment with the mood and realities of the world we live in, what he called the tonal of our time. Being in alignment means we don’t resist it because we get tight and our functionality goes down; rather, we adapt to its presence and we take the best out of it, so we can dance with the world. Transhuman is coming, one hundred percent. It is a reality around the corner, for many of us within our lifetime. 

Sitting in meditation at the Center of Unity, I could see the landscape of transhuman and homo universalis playing out in front of my field of consciousness. One is inevitable, the other one is a potential we can become. As early humans, we did a jump in evolution and began developing our brain until we could think. We became sapiens and, as engineers, we have gone far and will continue to soar, through transhuman all the way to other solar systems and space civilizations. But we also need to become universalis to reach our real potential, and save ourselves from ourselves. It is so scary in its implications, but, as homo universalis, it is also exciting galore, and I can’t wait. I am all in.

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Mind Over Matter?

Maybe. The intricate connections between mind and body are only beginning to be scientifically understood. What we do know is:

Our emotions affect our physiology

The brain is an amazingly adaptable and powerful organ

Regular exercise can improve memory and cognitive functioning

Studies continue to illuminate the interrelationships between the mind and body, and suggest that we only understand a small fraction of what we’re capable of (see what Drs. Deepak Chopra, Dan Siegel and others say on Discovery). What has become clear is that what we think, feel and believe plays a role in how our DNA expresses itself.

So what can we do with what we do know? We can be self-empowered in our own healing process. We can think loving thoughts, be compassionate in our relationships with others, exercise and eat healthfully. We can meditate (meditation has been show to alleviate PTSD and lower blood pressure), and form health partnerships with caring and knowledgeable health-care providers like those at the Energy Life Sciences Institute. The relationship between psychology and the immune system, between mind and body, is at the core of Being Energy philosophy.

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Living With Vitality 24/7

What does it mean to have vitality 24/7? What does that look like? What picture comes to mind?

Everything we do with Being Energy is aimed at feeling fully alive and expressing your greatest potential in life. The question is: What does this look like? Well, it’s different for every person, but at the center of it is a natural flow—a connection with natural rhythms and an alignment of self (body, mind and spirit).

Being 100% vital doesn’t mean that you run a marathon every day without tiring, or that you’re dynamically engaged with your work or family all of the time. What it does mean is that you can visualize or dream your path, and have the energy and clarity needed to accomplish your goals. It also means finding harmony with those around you and letting go of what doesn’t serve you.

Being vital means being strong in body and mind. Our bodies have a remarkable intelligence. They are finely tuned organisms designed to function, repair and regenerate at a level that is astounding. But things can come in and block our body’s ability to rejuvenate.

Toxins in our food, air and water can create blocks to our energy. Poor dietary and exercise habits can lead to stagnation. Resentful thoughts can harm our ability to move forward in lively way. This is why we created the Being Energy Detox Program. This program has helped many people turn their health around and feel renewed energy in their lives. From this place of energy, you can be creative, meet challenges and grow and live in a truly vital way.

To make detoxification easier and fun (yes, fun!), we offer a group program each year. The group program really jumpstarts detoxification to catapult you to a place of greater flow, better health, and a renewed ability to rejuvenate. The group program begins with our next Nutrition + Health program. In the meantime, we invite you to subscribe to our Feed Your Body + Soul Video Library!

But why should you bother?

Toxins can interfere with nutrient absorption, circulation, hormonal regulation and even the expression of information stored in our DNA.

We encounter toxins daily. They enter our bodies via:

  • Air and water pollution
  • Household cleaning products
  • Cosmetics, other beauty products, soaps and shampoos
  • Pesticides in our food
  • Chemicals in the building products of our homes

Toxins are also created in our bodies through metabolic processes, and microorganisms can generate toxins to our systems, too.

Some common signs of toxic overload include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • Muscle aches and joint stiffness
  • Yellowish tinge in the whites of the eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Bad breath
  • Acne and rashes
  • Sinus congestion or infection
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Tremors
  • Moodiness
  • Tendency toward negative thinking
  • Constipation

What can we do? We can make smart choices about what we eat, and the products we buy. We can also periodically cleanse our systems of accumulated toxins in a careful and specific way.

In our Being Energy Detox Program, we look at diet and exercise as well as emotions and thoughts. We integrate Traditional Chinese Medicine, functional medicine and shamanism for a uniquely broad and effective experience.

Our detoxification program is a comprehensive program that works in a natural way, giving your body the information and support it needs to release harmful toxins so that you can feel your best.

How does it work? Many of the toxic chemicals that enter our bodies are fat-soluble, meaning that they dissolve only in fatty solutions and not in water. This makes them difficult for the body to eliminate. These fat-soluble chemicals can accumulate in our fat tissues and cell membranes. In these fatty parts of the body, you may have toxins that have been stored for years.

The liver can convert fat-soluble chemicals into water-soluble chemicals so that they can be excreted from the body. It has two pathways for accomplishing this, known as Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification. The Being Energy program addresses both phases for an effective detoxification.

Certain foods, supplements and herbs, as well as physical and breathing exercises, can aid in liver detoxification. The idea:

  • Remove harmful substances from your diet and environment
  • Enjoy helpful foods and take supplements to support detoxification
  • Take action with helpful exercises and routines to support cleansing

Effective liver detoxification happens in two phases, widely known as Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification. Here’s a snapshot of what each phase incorporates.

To promote Phase I detoxification:

  • Favor organic foods
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Enjoy herbs like rosemary and basil
  • Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet
  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners
  • Avoid processed foods

To promote Phase II detoxification:

  • Eat foods rich in B-complex vitamins (wild salmon, oats, eggs, avocado, kidney beans, almonds, spinach)
  • Enjoy whole grains, nuts and legumes
  • Try probiotics, milk thistle and alpha-lipoic acid
  • Eat lots of turmeric at this stage (curcumin enhances Phase II detoxification, but inhibits Phase I detoxification)
  • Choose fruits high in flavonoids, like organic red grapes and blueberries
  • Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc.)
  • Drink green tea
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid Tylenol (an other drugs containing acetaminophen)

In addition to this, it’s important to address emotions and their role in toxic overload.

Traditional Chinese Medicine provides extensive knowledge with respect to emotions and their connection to different organs and organ systems in the body. Specific acupuncture and acupressure points can be used to provide greater balance. Shamanism also offers insights that we incorporate into our Being Energy program.

Now as the season is changing and spring is in bloom, we can do a spring cleaning with our bodies, too, and make way for greater flow and vitality.

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Tools and Tips

6 Windows to Perception: Overcome Sensory Overload and Optimize Your Awareness

It’s almost here! Being Energy’s next Nutrition class—all about the senses. I invite you to join me live, online on Saturday, October 3rd. We’ll explore the importance of the five senses and how to optimize them, and even give you an exercise for activating your 6th sense for expanded perception. (NOTE: The live class already took place, but you can watch it on demand, along with many other classes, by subscribing to our Feed Your Body & Soul Video Library)

So why are we doing a class all about the senses? The senses are our windows to the world. They give us information that we use to stay safe, interact with others, experience our world and understand life (the hallmark of our species).

The challenge is that we’re so constantly bombarded with a stunning array of input, that most of us suffer from sensory overload. What we register consciously at any given moment is but a fraction of what is coming at us. So what should we pay attention to? How do we prioritize? How can we focus on what is important and ignore the rest?

The art of developing our attention is perhaps more important than ever before in human history because we are faced with more sensory information than ever before.

We do have a natural filter, the reticular activating system (RAS), that enables us to sort out what information to pay attention to and what to prune so that we don’t go crazy. Moreover, it is a filter that is trainable. We can consciously engage our awareness to manage our sensory perceptions.

An important thing to understand is that our beliefs and past experiences shape how we filter sensory input. The great news about this is that we can focus on the senses to quiet the mind (and vice versa) to affect our interpretation of what we are sensing. We can free ourselves from belief systems that don’t serve our overall wellness to activate a greater awareness of what is both seeable and un-seeable around us.

The eyes are especially important. They are often more fatigued by overstimulation than any other sense organ. We make countless decisions each day based on what our eyes are telling us. There is a voluminous amount of information to process. Computers, smart phones and TVs vie for our attention and cloud our visual sensibilities.

In the Being Energy Nutrition class on Saturday, I’ll teach a technique to soften the eyes, and relax and release the eye muscles to open up your perception.

Relaxing is a key thing for all of our senses, in fact. When we can quiet down the way we normally use our senses, we make way for opening to a more expansive way of interpreting sensory data. When you relax your eyes, for example, you’re able to see other aspects of the world. When your eyes become silent, you can see silence. This is true of all five senses. It is also a key for waking up the 6th sense.

When we activate our 6th sense, we have the capacity to apprehend what isn’t commonly available to us—something that we sometimes feel in our gut or our heart.

I’ll talk more about the 6th sense and how to cultivate it on Saturday. I hope you can join me!