EXCERPT: The Higher Good Beyond Good and Bad

I wanted to share this.  As many of you know, I’m seriously working to overcome cancer right now (Imagine three hours of Qigong a day and a complete and total diet shift, and you’ll get an idea).  It has turned my life upside down, but also blessed it on so many levels by opening my eyes to things that needed to change.  So when I read this again today, it really hit home.  I feel more real and filled with Love than I ever have in my life.

 

 

Excerpted from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Copyright © 2001 by New World Library

Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace?
Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.

 
Is it not possible to attract only positive conditions into our life? If our attitude and our thinking are always positive, we would manifest only positive events and situations, wouldn’t we?
Do you truly know what is positive and what is negative? Do you have the total picture? There have been many people for whom limitation, failure, loss, illness, or pain in whatever form turned out to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of false self-images and superficial ego-dictated goals and desires. It gave them depth, humility, and compassion. It made them more real.
Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. Even a brief illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn’t.
Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be more precise: they are neither positive nor negative. They are as they are. And when you live in complete acceptance of what is — which is the only sane way to live — there is no "good" or "bad" in your life anymore. There is only a higher good — which includes the "bad." Seen from the perspective of the mind, however, there is good-bad, like-dislike, love-hate. Hence, in the Book of Genesis, it is said that Adam and Eve were no longer allowed to dwell in "paradise" when they "ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

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Spring is Here… But… One more Winter tidbit

 

On the weekend I talked to some friends in Arizona.  Surprise, surprise, they were getting blasted with snow.  After getting off the phone I decided to write this post although the snow has melted here.    We have peas, onions, garlic, leek, beets, carrots, lettuce, some brassicas and a host of herbs coming up – so looking out the window it strikes me as funny that I waited until the snow was gone to write a post about it.  Especially when it stuck around for four months.  But it’s still snowing for some, right?  And for others, this gives you plenty of time to plan for next year.

When we were facing winter last year – our first winter in this region of the country -  we were told that we would end up snowbound from the main road if we didn’t purchase a large, powerful snow-blower.  After watching one in action, I was not impressed.  In fact, the idea slightly depressed me.  Did I honestly want to spend the peace of the early morning mixing fuel and starting a loud, belching engine?  It ruined the picture in my head.  How do the Amish remove snow, I wondered?

A quick search of the internet led me to this – the Snow Wolf (aka Wovel ):

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We were pretty skeptical at first, but after watching all sorts of videos on the Wovel in action and reading reviews from various sites we decided to give it a try.  We ordered one, complete with the optional protective guard and ice-chipper plate.  A small fraction of the price of a large snow-blower!

Out of the box it took us several hours to assemble.  I admit, I had some serious doubts.  Somehow it had escaped me that the wheel spokes and shovel were plastic.  But now I’m here to tell you that it works!  We got through a mountain winter, sometimes with several feet on the ground, never snowbound, never even delayed by the snow – no fuel to buy, no belching engine.  Just good old-fashioned Human Power.

Update 4/2– Garam Masala, Candles and Soap

For the most part I have been focusing on spending time with my family and healing.  Every little moment seems to matter so much more.  It feels so good to just be able to cook a meal or spend time relaxing with my DH, I can’t even tell you.  Things I might have taken a bit for granted just a month ago.

One of the interests I’ve entertained myself with is spices.  Or rather, spice blends.  There’s been several but I’ll tell you about my favorite one.  I was liking  paneer (cheese) so much (both the making and the eating) I started diving into Indian Cooking blogs and Indian-fusion sorts of recipes for other dishes that included or complemented it.  Of course then I needed garam masala (lit. “hot mixture”), which I haven’t found locally.  So I took to making my own from the items I easily had on hand.  Eventually I will use whole spices as fresh and local as possible, roasted and/or ground myself to match the quality and freshness of the homemade paneer, but for now, after several attempts, our favorite quick mix is this:

Mix equal portions of ground cinnamon, coriander, ginger, and cayenne pepper.  Add a double portion of ground cumin.  Add a half-portion each of ground black peppercorns, cardamom and all-spice.  Store in a glass jar or other airtight container in a cool, dry place.

IMG_3653Naturally, then, when a friend shared their abundance of fresh, baby spinach I turned to Indian Fare.  I’d bookmarked several spinach and potato dishes that reminded me of a dish I’d enjoyed back when I lived in Arizona and combined them to produce what I was looking for.  The results turned out so delicious I’ve made them several times in the past two weeks!  The closest recipe is here.  The changes I made are that I used my processor to do the grating.  I cooked the spinach along with four large potatoes, peeled and diced, in a large skillet with minimal water and a lid (to get the potatoes cooked quicker with less water).  I also added a grated carrot, a clove of minced garlic, salt, pepper and a few sprigs of fresh parsley to the spinach and potato mixture (it all gets blended up together at the end).  I omitted the cayenne but instead used 2 tsp. of my garam masala spice mix.  And I used sour cream instead of evaporated milk.  The best way I’ve ever served spinach – hands down!

Since the last update I’ve also completed two exciting indoor craft projects with my Dear Husband I want to share.  Candles and Soap.

With the candles we were able to perfect our mix, method and container/wick widths to get a pour we like and can predict.  They burn clean, even and slow with a gentle pear scent. Next time we will use a bit shorter jar.  These are 20-hour candles.  I really wish you could smell them:

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DH and I had planned our soap adventure for awhile now, but like many things lately it needed to be postponed.  We were spurred into action by a request from a friend for all-natural, lemon guest soaps.  Thus, these lemon bars were born:

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Our soap is a blend of organic goat milk, vegetable glycerin, coconut oil and soy protein.  Natural iron oxide powder produces the yellow color.  Light use of lemon essential oil (5X) provides the desired properties and scent.  It wasn’t as much work as we anticipated and the results were definitely worth it. I think we’ve been bit by the soap-making bug…our list of ideas to try is growing!

Given all the possibilities I don’t know that lemon would have ever placed among my picks, but I already plan on making more for myself when my own sample runs out!  Even though we kept the scent on the fainter side of things, there is something just perfect about the rejuvenating pick-me-up of the lemon when I wash my face in the morning!

Weekly Update – 3/8

I suppose my weekly update should rightfully be called a monthly update.  I can’t believe we’re all the way back to the Full Moon again, now in Virgo!

Not to be too heavy, but since the last time I posted I was diagnosed with a rare sort of cancer and have had surgery to remove the singular tumor.  I spent a week away from most of my family at a large hospital two hours away and am still at the beginning of the recovery-phase.  It has all happened very fast, but the prognosis is good.  I am feeling both “lucky" and well-loved.

I made the decision to go ahead and mention this here because DH and I are convinced it would have all been terramin labelmuch worse, and perhaps more similar to what we were told to expect, if it wasn’t for a product called Terramin Clay (Calcium Montmorillonite).  This is because we had originally been operating under the presumption that I had a cyst which ruptured beneath my skin and my research was for natural home remedies to draw-together and pull-out an infection of this sort.  I initially tried a daily compress of Epsom salts and later a compress of wool-felt soaked in cold-pressed castor oil (i.e. “the Edgar Cayce Remedy”), which may have added to my results.  However, we didn’t notice dramatic changes until the Terramin.

Based on what I read about the clay I started ingesting a teaspoon mixed into 8 oz. of water or orange juice every morning.  I much preferred the taste of it when mixed with orange juice, but mixing the fine powder with water allowed me to brush my teeth with the remaining “grit” in the bottom of the glass.  Being gritty and all, you might imagine that it would be too abrasive to scrub your teeth with, but it isn’t.  The clay is highly absorbent and any grit turns soft on contact.  Studies show that it actually helps harden tooth enamel through remineralization;  I found more than one person claiming that it had completely repaired not only their enamel but large cavities as well.

Although most commonly used for internal applications, I also started applying a thick paste of it to the distressed area that I would let dry and tighten and pull like a face mask might.  This was why I’d purchased Terramin in the first place.  I’d read that the negative charges on the clay give it the ability to adsorb or attract positively charged toxic matter like a magnet.  It seemed perfectly suited to ridding my body of what I thought was the ruptured cyst.  After just four days the affected area was reduced to a third of its former size.  It was indeed drawing together and pulling outward!  I used clay for the eight days preceding my visit to the doctor, and every day both reduced and condensed the lump.

Fast forward to after surgery.  Now we know that what we thought was a subcutaneous rupture was really a quickly growing tumor, spreading – and we know that we watched the Terramin Clay reverse the process before our eyes! Even the surgeon reports that the tumor turned out to be surprisingly self-contained, pulling away from the muscle instead of rooting down into it, which in the end was my saving grace from a much worse scenario.  So of course I think this clay deserves a study.  And a medal.  And more people getting to know it.

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In other news to share, another product.  I don’t anticipate that will happen very often.  Nutiva Organic, Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil.  (I love their Coconut Manna, too, but that’s another story!)  I buy it in bulk, two 15 oz. containers at a time.  I keep one in a liquid stage and one as a solid and now keep my pantry in a regular supply.  When I get down to scraping the edges of the container, I move it into the bathroom shelves because it is a great thing for lips, skin and hair.

I’ve been experimenting with it in place of butter and shortening in our familiar recipes.  I even chilled it really well and made a killer pie crust for the tastiest pot pie ever, and have used it to make a healthier, hint-of-coconut caramel.  Using the solid oil in place of butter also turned out to be the final tweak to our everyday, sandwich bread recipe which I’ll share here with you in the coming weeks.  Now it is perfect in every way.  The oil adds just a faint undercurrent to the aroma and taste, but really softens the loaves without diminishing their slice-ability.  My plan is to wake-up at the start of our week and replenish the bread box with that week’s supply.  I read of a local mother who makes 16 loaves for her family every Monday morning.  My goal is 4 to 6, depending on the weekly menu.

It’s also been on my list to share with you my ricotta success.  I absolutely love ricotta but unless I find it on a great sale I usually just substitute a farmer’s cheese because it’s easily on-hand.  However, where homemade ricotta is creamy and spreadable, farmer’s cheese (like Paneer mentioned in a previous post) is crumbly and has some melt.IMG_3537 (1024x768)

I used the recipe for Fresh Homemade Ricotta at Epicurious.  The second time I made it, I didn’t have the fresh lemon juice and used a mild, white vinegar without thinking too much about it (or I would have used a stronger variety) – but it worked.  I’m planning on buying a chinois to assist in making this ricotta and soon, Greek Yogurt.  It lets you drain as much whey as possible without losing your creaminess.

If your family is anything like my family, you will savor the whey almost as much as you savor the cheese.  I will usually try to incorporate it into the same meal.  For example, if making Mattar Paneer, I will use the whey to cook the rice and lentils that go on the side.  There is nothing else like them!  Or, if making Italian, use the whey as the liquid in your bread recipe.  However, it’s also worth freezing any unused whey in pre-measured, one-cup increments.  I add it to bread or rice pudding, pancakes, hot cereal, tomato soup… I intend to keep experimenting…

Many Blessings.

H2O2 Oral Therapy Update

Day 10 and we’re up to 28 drops in 8 oz of water 3x per day.  I still haven’t grown accustomed to the taste but I find myself looking forward to the next cup almost as much, if not equal to, my morning coffee (which is saying a lot).  No surprise, then, that my coffee consumption has gone down by half this past week!  I generally feel a noticeably heightened sense of clarity and vigor for about an hour after ingesting.  I say generally as there have been a few times where it left me feeling rather ill.  When they say not to lay flat for an hour after the dose, for example, that’s actually a good idea and not just obscure advice (apparently it can increase the “bubbling” that sometimes occurs in the stomach).  And you definitely want to leave a space between consuming the diluted H2O2 and eating anything.

That long-lasting bruise that disappeared?  It was replaced a few days later with three tiny blisters that are now almost gone themselves; the only evidence that my leg was ever injured in that spot.  Also, the pronounced improvement in my breathing continues.

Frankly, I expected to feel poor during this initial 10 days and was fully prepared for the “crisis period” many described, but which neither my DH or myself experienced.  Our plan is to get to 50 drops 3x per day and stay at that level for 3 weeks (the cleansing phase), before reducing it to a daily 50-drop dosage for 3 to 6 months (the restorative phase).  After that our maintenance routine will be a weekly 50-drop dose.

I’ll update with developments or changes.

H2O2 and Oral Therapy – the First Day

 

Two weeks ago I would not have necessarily known that H2O2 was another name for Hydrogen Peroxide, and I had never heard of H2O2 Therapy in any of its guises.

Then a friend let me in on the trick behind her noticeable green thumb (really, her garden is easily triple anything around).  She explained that each plant receives a certain periodic dosage of Food Grade H2O2 in its watering schedule and went on to extol the many (and seemingly quite visible) benefits.  I had never heard of doing this, but delivering more oxygen to the plant’s roots (which is what it does) both sounds like a good idea and looks rather effective.

My interest was piqued.  Especially by her suggestion that the clear benefit of providing additional oxygen to the plant is replicated in Humans.  In fact, as I’ve since discovered, most medicinal plants, nutritional supplements and new “miracle” programs (such as the Alkaline Diet) work by increasing oxygen intake and/or supply in our body in some regard.

I found a dozen books at the library, and then researched everything I read on-line.  Even the rather disappointing Snopes article that merely suggests it’s common sense to stay away from it, citing only a case or two of poor judgment.

What started as an interest in developing my own green thumb became an interest in the potential of H2O2 for personal use.  Especially when I read that farmers use H2O2 in their animal’s water supply to decrease the need for antibiotics.  Shouldn’t that be a clue to its potential?  Yet the FDA says H2O2 isn’t fit for Human consumption.  How can this be?  Of course this is the same FDA who wouldn’t approve ammonia-washed meat products for animal food, only to turn around and rule that the same was fit for Humans instead.  Not to promote conspiracy theories, but I don’t believe they have our best interests at heart.

Especially when you take into account that many European cities treat their municipal water supplies using H2O2.  Some since 1901!  The water-on-tap is said to be revitalizing and invigorating.  This, while America treats most of its supply with known carcinogens like Chlorine and Fluoride!

What is H2O2 in the first place?  As I said at the beginning, it is more commonly recognized under the name Hydrogen Peroxide.  More accurately, Hydrogen Dioxide.  In essence, water with an extra oxygen atom attached!

Perhaps because it has been in commercial production since 1890, most people I talk to don’t seem to realize that Hydrogen Peroxide is a naturally occurring compound found in all oceans, lakes, rivers, rain, snow and in all life forms.  It is in all fresh fruits and vegetables we consume, especially concentrated in those grown in the open air.  It is a natural disinfectant.  The Human body creates and uses H2O2 as a free radical to destroy bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.  White blood cells make hydrogen peroxide to oxidize all infections and invaders.  Vitamin C helps us to stave off infections by producing hydrogen peroxide.  The colon, bladder and vagina all produce hydrogen peroxide to stay aerobic and healthy.

When used chemically, H2O2 is up to 5000 times more effective than Chlorine as a sanitizer and antiseptic.  It is used to pasteurize milk in most countries.  It is said to be the “miracle” in the healing waters of Lourdes, France, given the high natural concentration in the spring…

Ok.  So you get my drift.  No surprise, given all of the above, that H2O2 therapy is wide spread.  Especially in Germany, where apparently there are IV therapy stations one can go to wipe out the on-set of ailments.  It is important to know that most strains of harmful bacteria and viruses, all internal fungi and parasites, and cancer cells – all of which are anaerobic – cannot survive in the presence of oxygen, and thus IV therapy using H2O2 shows astounding results across hundreds of thousands of test cases, across several decades, in Europe.

While I would love to participate in the IV therapy, that option isn’t readily available to me at this time, so I decided on the next best option – oral therapy.

I have had chronic asthma since I was 13 (over 20 years), and have a blood disorder similar to Sickle Cell Anemia that, without a spleen, leaves me with a serious immune impairment.  The asthma, I am told, is directly related to the inability of my misshapen blood cells to circulate appropriately through my smaller capillaries.  It stands to reason that increasing the oxygen supply to my body would be a good thing.

After my research I decided to order 17.5% Food Grade H2O2.  Most oral therapy programs call for starting with a 35% solution – but it is considered hazardous to transport, comes with additional fees, and ends up diluted for the therapy anyway!

At this point I am only 24 hours into it, so I will be reporting back on this topic.

I started with 6 drops in 8oz of water, taken three times through the day and at least 1 hour ahead of meals.  I will increase this until I am taking 50 drops per 8oz, if I can manage that.  Even with the mere 6 drops I highly dislike the feeling of the water, so right now that seems like quite a bit!

I had no expectation of immediate results.  In fact, everything I read suggested that there would be a period of crisis in the body as the unhealthy organisms were sloughed away due to the presence of oxygen.  However, both my DH and myself could feel it instantly!  Vitalized is the only word that seems to accurately describe the sensation!  Every part of my body felt suddenly very alive and awake.

But more than that – an injury to my right leg in May that left an enduring deep bruise, completely vanished after my second dose and I am breathing better than I have in 20 years!  In fact, I had no intention to sit down and write this but after such astounding results I feel like singing from the rooftops!

Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

Prevent Food Waste, Save Money, Help the Planet

The results of an intensive 10 year study of food loss recently published through the University of Arizona reveals just how wasteful our nation is with its bounty.  The study, which also made use of decades of earlier research by the same UA Bureau, is the first to quantify the nation’s edible wastes with accurate percentages that track the entire production/consumption equation.  For example, at a commercial level the study finds that nearly half of all perfectly edible produce, nuts and grains are discarded without ever reaching intended markets, often plowed under due to failed bets on the high stakes commodities market.  This constitutes a major impact to the environment as mature crops are discarded in favor of a new bet on a new potential crop.

At a consumer level, the study finds that the average household ultimately discards 14 percent of all food purchases.  Nationwide this is the equivalent of 43 billion dollars each year!

So the question becomes, what can be done about it?  I believe we can turn this knowledge into a positive by letting it spur us to action.  In fact, the study noted three consumer actions that will have a big impact on the future direction these percentages take (given in all caps; the expounding is my own):

  1. PURCHASE PLANNING.  Keep a well-stocked pantry, free of lots of store bought cans and processed junk.  Repurpose glass jars and fill them with organic, whole foods bought locally in bulk and representative of everything your family eats the most of (i.e. don’t buy things just because they happen to be on sale).  When something is used from the pantry or you notice the bulk-jar needs a fill-up, immediately add the item to your next shopping list.  This will help you avoid impulsive trips to the store (the most likely time for you to buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need; 15 percent of such purchases statistically go to waste).  Plan your shopping trips wisely.  Examine the pantry, look in the freezer, examine the sale-ads for the store(s) you’ll be visiting, and then make a meal list for at least a week, if not two or more.  Buy on sale, but not just because it’s on sale.  For example, don’t let cheap prices lure your family into stocking-up on processed foods.  Instead look for good prices on fresh foods that can be paired with items on hand in your pantry, or turned into pantry items (i.e. a cheap price on strawberries becomes a year’s worth of homemade strawberry jam).  Also look for good sales on your common pantry items.  Try not to buy anything at the store that isn’t on your  list, unless you find a good deal on a healthy item that will expand your running list of meals.
  2. RESPONSIBLE USE.  If you appreciate flexibility like we do, avoid planning your meal list by the day of the week and instead just keep a numbered list of the complete meals you have on hand.  Remove meals as they are consumed and add them as they are acquired.  Put the meals that utilize the most perishable ingredients at the top of the list and make choices that don’t allow those items to go to waste (i.e. take-out can truly wait a night if you have fresh ingredients on hand you are letting spoil).  Save any leftovers from your prepared meals for lunches, save the unused portion of any ingredient for use in other meals (in fact, count on this when planning your list), and save the best scraps of meal preparation in freezer bags (for making great stocks, broths, gravies, casseroles, etc.).  If you see produce moving toward over-ripe, preserve it through freezing, dehydration, or canning; or let it motivate you to make something from it in impromptu fashion.
  3. EDUCATION.  Learn about the ingredients you buy and consume and how they are best stored and preserved.  Always take the extra moment to store things properly.  Label and date anything you freeze or otherwise preserve.

And if you really want to see our nation start to break its ties with the specter of mindless insatiability, I recommend a fourth.  Support one of the many programs nationwide that collects surplus foodstuffs from restaurants, grocery chains, produce warehouses, and distributes what would otherwise be thrown away to those who need it most.