Keep fit and healthy from head to toe

Keep fit and healthy from head to toe

Welcome to the new series –  Keep fit and healthy from head to toe

Over the coming months, I will add more information about this topic. I have even created symbols that show the featured body regions and will add them to the LWTM lifestyle calendar 

But first, let me introduce you to how it all started. The Babylonians were the first civilization that started to connect the patterns in the sky with practical applications. This blueprint, called Astroman, served as a surgical map well into the 19th century. Nowadays medicine has moved on when it comes to intervention and operation techniques. But the concept of looking at an all-body approach is still as valid as when it was first mentioned by Hippocrates, now called the Father of Modern Medicine (Find out more about him and the start of holistic medicine). 

          keep fit and healthy from head to toe

    “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind, and spirit.”           

B.K.S. Iyengar

Keep fit and healthy from top to toe:

When you look at the LWTM lifestyle calendar you will see 12 different symbols with yellow background, showing a specific body region. These change on an almost daily basis. When you click on each symbol description, you will find more information for each body region.

Which body region is highlighted today? 

 

For more information about LWTM and holistic lifestyle planning please download our freebies 

 An Introduction to LWTM

Stewardship of the land

Stewardship of the land

weeding   This article explores the history of agriculture and how it turned into our recent way of farming that is so reliant on artificial fertilizers and pesticides. How can we use the stewardship of the land in a better way?

The history of artificial fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture

We all can make a big impact, positively as well as negatively. When it comes to cultivating the land, nature always took care of itself, and the rhythmic cycles  –  preparing the soil, planting, harvesting, and composting in preparation for a new growing cycle –  took care of itself for thousands of years. The soil was rich and full of life. There were millions of tiny creatures involved in this delicate process. Fungi, earthworms, insects, and microbes all lived harmoniously in the soil. Microbes cultivated the crops and even colonized the guts of the humans and animals that ate these plants. It all worked in a harmonious, ever-repeating cycle.

Historians think that the earliest form of agriculture arrived with the domestication of wild animals such as horses, pigs, and cows and can be traced back to around 10,000 B.C.

During the Bronze Age (around 3,300 B.C.) more sophisticated ways of agriculture sprang up and modifications to harvest cycles and best planting practices – like Biodynamic planting dates – were established. All these were organic tools with the intent to enhance harvest production.

The arrival of the first fertilizers

The first introduction of artificial fertilizers was undertaken during the early part of the 19th century. John Bennet Lawes began the first scientific investigations about adding inorganic fertilizers (mainly phosphates) onto fields to increase crops with moderate success. But other than these early steps the organic way of farming and gardening remained largely unchanged until World War 1 (1914-1918).

The Haber-Bosch process

The first patents for synthetic ammonium nitrates and other chemical fertilizers emerged from Germany. In 1910 Carl Bosch, working at the time for the chemical giant BASF, started to secure a number of patents for the use of synthic chemicals to increase crop production. He teamed up with Fritz Haber and both won a Nobel prize in 1918 for their Haber-Bosch process. This method is still the main formula to produce artificial fertilizers. Basically, this process converts nitrogen(N2) to ammonia (NH3) by a reaction with hydrogen (H2).

In the years after World War 2, more patents were sought and the use of synthetic fertilizers increased rapidly. Countries like China, Russia, and even Vietnam used these products in great amounts and Russia remains to this day one of the leading producers of artificial fertilizers.

Pesticides

The real problem started when pesticides were used in tandem with artificial fertilizers.  Again during World War 1, chemical warfare started to be introduced for the first time as a new weapon to kill soldiers in the trenches. Factories had to be remodeled to manufacture and supply these substances, mainly consisting of mustard gas and tear gas. But the war was short and once it was over, all these factories stood idle.

Pesticides such as arsenic, mercury, and sulfur dusting have already been used by the Sumerians in 2000 B.C. but in very small quantities and overall the soil health remained intact. However, after World War 1 and especially after World War 2, its use increased enormously.  It is estimated that the worldwide use of pesticides today measures around 2.5 megatonnes per year and this has, of course, a huge impact on the health of our soil and as a consequence our health.

The main detriment is killing the useful bacteria, microbes, and all the millions of other insects and species that help with the composting and the soil preparation. By killing them all, the soil turns to dirt – void of all life, and artificial fertilizers have to be used in ever-increasing quantities to assure a successful crop. The more we destroy, the more we have to artificially feed the plants. It is a cycle of destruction and sadly many farmers are now stuck with this process. To build up a new soil structure takes time, a lot of time. And many farmers would not commercially survive this conversion. This brings me to the next point of stewardship of the land.

 

The Stewardship of the land

 The fundamental way of human existence is to be connected to the natural cycle and the feeling of being at one with nature. We are not above it, far from it! 

We are an integral part of the all-natural processes and share this planet with plants and animals in equal measures.  We need to respect them and in turn, will be enriched by their contribution to the natural cycle. It should be a cycle of mutual benefit, not destruction. 

 

The introduction of artificial fertilizers was not all evil. Initially, it was seen as a means to serve a growing population with increased food security and lower food production costs.  But now we know that this has not happened and starvation still exists. Instead, farmers are held to ransom with increasing fertilizer price rises and worthless soils.

We better had listened to Rudolf Steiner’s warning exactly 100 years ago when he predicted all this and gave lectures to regain soil health and the linked food production and gut health. At the time this approach was ridiculed by many established scientists and the connection was only proven a few years ago.

As I mentioned above, we all can have an impact, positively and negatively. You may not be able to grow your own food, but at least you can source food from responsible food growers who work with the land and its natural rhythms.  It may cost a tiny bit extra as this way of farming is slightly more labour intensive and it takes more time to keep the soil in a good state. But by doing this, these farmers make sure that the land keeps its fertile soil and is in a good state of health when it is eventually passed to the next generation and the next after them. We all share responsibility in this and we all share in the stewardship of our precious Earth.

Here is an article that explains more about gut health and weight control

 

For more information about LWTM and holistic lifestyle, planning please download our freebies 

 An Introduction to LWTM

What does a Black Moon mean for you?

What does a Black Moon mean for you?

A New Beginning

New Moon

The Moon cycle starts and ends with a New Moon. It is the time when the moon lies directly between the sun and the earth and no sunlight can be reflected back to earth. All we see is void, no light, and guidance in the nocturnal sky. Traditionally this has been a time for reflection, introversion, and most importantly new beginnings.

Long before electric street lighting, it was difficult to gather or travel during this time and people stayed at home, sitting around the fire, telling stories and planning for the cycle ahead. This time corresponds to the season of winter.

 

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” Lao Tzuae

It is very easy to stay on a  well-trodden path of daily recurring habits. But to stop, think about where to go next, and even change old habits and carve out a new future is very hard. We often procrastinate and only external circumstances force us to change our ways. But this is a rather painful way. Would it not be better to evaluate your life on a regular basis, even when everything is going well? The – Mend your roof whilst the sun is shining – approach

I think this approach sounds more sensible. The LWTM Goal Planner is just the tool to help you with this change. It forces you to think about your life in detail and then implement changes in small baby steps. So you change gradually and holistically.

Generally speaking, the best time to tackle this ‘overhaul of your life’ is at New Moon. Evaluate your current life situation and check at every New Moon how you progress.  Doing this exercise will improve your life immensely.

What is a Black Moon?

This is a rather rare occasion (about every 2.5 years) and refers to the 2nd New Moon in one calendar month. A Black Moon is seen as a real turning point, either globally or in your private life. If it comes up, seize the moment and introduce change into your life. It may be painful at the time, but over time will be very fruitful and rewarding.
In order to let something new in you have to let something old out.

A Black Moon is the counterpart to a Blue Moon and you can read more about this phenomenon here 

What does a Black Moon mean for you?

During this special time, take some time out of your hectic schedule, meditate and really listen to your gut feeling. What do you really like? What provides you with a deep sense of fulfillment and happiness? Write a bucket list and over the next months and years, try to tick these goals off. If you have yet to make a bucket list (your top 20 things to do in your life), then start one now.

Another concept is to create a vision board. On this board, you cut out images that fill you with a sense of joy, excitement, and happiness. Spend at least 1 minute per day to look at this board and visualize all the events you see.  It is a quick exercise, but by visually reinforcing your ‘new life’ the brain will subtly behave as this has already happened.  It is quite remarkable and it definitely works, as our subconscious mind is more powerful than you think.  As they say – seeing is believing!

Download your free LWTM Goal Planner now 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Beginning

New Moon

The Moon cycle starts and ends with a New Moon. It is the time when the moon lies directly between the sun and the earth and no sunlight can be reflected back to earth. All we see is void, no light, and guidance in the nocturnal sky. Traditionally this has been a time for reflection, introversion, and most importantly new beginnings.

Long before electric street lighting, it was difficult to gather or travel during this time and people stayed at home, sitting around the fire, telling stories and planning for the cycle ahead. It corresponds to the season of winter.

 

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” Lao Tzuae

It is easy to follow a well-trodden path of your past. But to stop, think about where to go next, and even change old habits and carve out a new future is very hard. We often procrastinate and need to be forced to change by external circumstances. But would it not be easier to prevent this painful way of change by regularly evaluating our lives? 

I think this approach sounds sensible. The LWTM Goal Planner is just the tool. It forces you to think about your life in detail. Generally speaking, the best time to tackle this is atNew Moon. Occasionally evaluate your situation with another New Moon and check your improvements and your progress. Doing this exercise will improve your life immensely. 

What is a Black Moon? 

This is a rather rare occasion (about every 2.5 years) and refers to the 2nd New Moon in one calendar month. A Black Moon is seen as a real turning point, either globally or in your private life. If it comes up, cease the moment and introduce change into your life. It can be painful at the time, but over time will be very fruitful and rewarding. 

A Black Moon is the counterpart to a Blue Moon and you can read more about this phenomenon here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time is money

Time is money

Time is moneyBenjamin Franklin’s quote has not lost its point in today’s fast-paced society. Years ago futurologists predicated a golden, technological Eldorado, where computers would take care for all our mundane activities,  whilst we all enjoy a great deal of free time, sitting by the pool.  

I am not sure about you, but I only hear that the reverse is true. Most of my friends complain about too many emails, deadlines and pressure at work. Once upon a time people had secretaries who typed their correspondence, then it all went through a process of sending and receiving. The other person had time to think, draft a response and again another secretary would type these thoughts up and the process began again. Nowadays we ping off emails with the most complex contents and almost demand a response within the hour, no time to think, no time to breathe. Now multiply this example by a thousand and no wonder everybody is under stress and overloaded. We have become slaves to a never-ending stream of communication.

Don’t get me wrong, I of course think, that technology and the internet is great – but that of course is only when it works. I think everybody has a story to tell of a printer not working, computer programs not opening correctly and so on – and that costs time!

The internet and technology has of course opened up different ways of working and living and it is fabulous how quickly we can inform ourselves about new products, services and learn something new every day, even without leaving our own home. Perhaps we have to learn to use these new products, services and strategies to our advantage, with many free-lancers and service companies  now only a finger-tip away, only too happy to take some of the time-consuming burdens away. This would mean the time we gain we can do what Benjamin Franklin suggested and put strategies in place to use this time to make some money.

Step One – Take a close look at your current financial situation

Money is not the be-all, but let’s face it, we all need it and it is a vital part of our life. So let’s embrace it and let’s make it work for you!

First look at all your saving products, credit cards and current accounts. What is your current annual rate? Some products lure you in with lucrative percentages, but most of them only last so long. Are you still reaping the benefit or are these products now out of date. Do check with one of the many comparison sites you can find online. It should only take an hour of your precious time to find out just how much money you could be saving by switching your funds to a new provider! Then make it a habit of checking your products-  say every three months – to see if your money is still working for you. Get complacent and you stand to lose quite a bit over the years!

Next are your outgoings. Switch provider for insurance, mortgage, bank account, utilities and so forth. Then make sure you pay for them in the most cost effective way, usually by direct debit. It is hassle free, saves time and you won’t get charged interest. The same goes for un-cashed cheques, unpaid bills and outstanding invoices? Don’t leave them in a drawer, cash them in! If people owe you money, remind them and make sure they pay you on time. It is called, having a healthy cash flow and it is the back bone of every business and household.

Step Two – invest wisely

You can’t fuel real economic growth with indiscriminate credit. You can only fuel it with well-allocated, long-term investment.  James Surowiecki

Once you have managed to save a bit, now is the time to consider to invest it. Traditionally investments meant savings, pension and ISAs and that still holds true. But there are also different types of investment that you can enjoy on a daily basis like a property, wine or art. A friend of mine once bought a small painting and enjoyed looking at it for years. Finally he decided to have it valued and to his surprise it had appreciated so much that by selling it he could pay off his whole mortgage. Not an everyday story, but true!

Step Three – learn and create

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

With your earthly investments in place and automated, now it is time to invest in yourself and your future. The best investment long-term is to learn a new skill. What new skill do you want to learn? There are so many on-line courses available now and there surely is one there for you! With these new skills you can create another source of income (see step four)

4 Step Four Set goal to achieve you dream

Few people know so clearly what they want. Most people can’t even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain. Barbara Kingsolver 

On its own, these things don’t make much difference, but put all these strategies in place and it can make a big difference to your financial and life-fullfilling future. I suggest that you use the LWTM life-style calendar as a reminder. Whenever you see the LWTM coin symbol, then make it a habit to do something about your financial situation. Over time, these little steps make a big impact on you financial future and should ensure that you can actually save some money.

If you join the membership and you will be able to download the free LWTM Goal Planner which contains a monthly and annually goal list. So you can make sense of what you want to find a way of achieving what you want out of life – and i hope that is not just money !!

Biodynamic skincare

Biodynamic skincare

Cleansing Beauty Treatments
Why should we vary our skincare routine?

If you have read other articles on the LWTM blog you will be familiar with the biodynamic principle that days have not only dates but also varying qualities. I think most of us would agree that we don’t feel and act the same every day. On certain days we feel energetic and sociable, at others more emotional and withdrawn. Just look at the natural world.  Plants are not in bloom all year round. There needs to be some rest between busy times to regenerate. It is therefore a logical conclusion that we should not treat our skin the same every day.

What is the function of the skin and how does it renew?

The skin is the body’s largest organ. It

  • protects your body from environmental stressors like germs, pollution/ sun radiation
  • regulates your body temperature
  • receives sensory information
  • stores water, fat, and vitamin D

Cold-blooded animals such as frogs sustain their life by mainly breathing through their skin, also called cutaneous respiration. There are even salamanders that have no lungs at all! But in humans and other warm-blooded animals, skin breathing makes up only a very small percentage of the needed gas exchange. But it is the reason why we feel so happy and energized when immersing ourselves in a natural environment with lots of fresh air.

The skin consists of 3 main layers. The epidermis (also the top and body’s barrier), the derma, and the subcutis. For the purpose of this article, I will concentrate on the epidermis. ‘The Ancient Greek words Epi’, meaning ‘ over or on top’, and ‘derma’ –  skin build the word Epidermis – the outer skin or barrier. Until relatively recently scientists assumed that this was a quasi-dead layer of skin cells, shedding in a roughly 4-week cycle, coincidently the same length of time as a whole lunar cycle. But now we know that it is as alive as the rest of the skin, playing an important role in protecting the body from viruses and other pathogens and aiding in the functions mentioned above.

The lunar cycleA new approach to skincare

Now that we know the function and timing of how the epidermis works and renews, it makes sense to structure our skincare in the same rhythm. This, by the way, is not a new concept – but has been in practice for hundreds of years.

First of all, you should establish a daily routine, which will stay consistent throughout. The bare minimum is to cleanse your skin thoroughly every evening and replenishing it with a suitable night creme. In the morning wake up your skin by splashing it with cold(ish) water and add a day cream that includes good sun protection. The products you use will be guided by your skin type. This could be a rather oily, combination, or dry skin.

Now we move on to extra procedures that I would recommend to change in the 4-week cycle and choosing the rhythm of the moon would seem a natural choice.

Waxing Moon:  Any kind of skincare that plumbs the skin, adds moisture and nourishment. All anti-aging procedures fall into this camp, to do extra helpings of serums or body treatments that feed the skin and promote repair and healing.

Full Moon:  Ideal for a sensual massage or luxurious, pampering facial

Waning Moon:  All kinds of skincare that eliminate, deep cleanse, exfoliate, and purify. This would be a good body brushing session followed by a face and body peeling. Lymph drainage, deep cleansing clay mask, and any kind of hair removal.  Here is an article that introduces you to body brushing. The benefits of body brushing

New Moon: As part of a monthly internal cleansing (Liquid Fast Day), add on a detox bath with Epsom salt and purifying face mask.

For more information here is an article called Lunar Beauty 

 An Introduction to LWTM

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