Where focus goes, energy flows

Where focus goes, energy flows

“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”  Aristotle 


Biodynamics is a world where the Macro-cosmos and Micro-cosmos align. The Macro-organisms are the stars, the cosmos, and the planets.The micro-cosmos are individual beings (plants, animals, humans). What all connects us is a kind of ‘electrical charge’.

We are all ‘electrical beings’.

The difference between a corpse and a human being is the ‘energy’ that keeps the person alive, keeps the body breathing, and the heart pumping.  In Biodynamics we call this energy ‘life force’ (derived from the Ancient Greek works bio – life and dunamis – energy). This concept of ‘life force’ has existed for thousands of years. In Ancient China it was known as qi. In fact, most civilizations had a similar explanation of how the world and all living entities interconnect with each other. What is clear is that we are all powered by the same ‘electrical charge’ and that this vast energy pool is shared.

The truth is, there is a lot of energy floating around and we all react differently to its influence.

The unconscious mind

Before you dismiss this all as ‘woohoo’, picture yourself in the middle of a dinner party, set in 1770. The scene is candlelit, everybody looks splendid with massive costumes and powdered wigs. At the table, you explain to other guests what a ‘radio’ is – yes there is a box and it has plenty of knobs and buttons. You can press one and listen to music or talk shows, made by people not even in your room, but sitting on the other side of the world. There are many channels and you can choose which one to listen to.

Guess what your audience would have made of you in 1770? Insane, absurd, and else. But here we are in the 21st century – all happily listening to podcasts, radios in our cars, and watching TV. Not so absurd anymore!

Well, the same goes for our ‘inbuild radio sets’. Everybody has one, but most people are absolutely not aware that it exists. Others are aware but have not found the manual yet and can’t switch it on.  There are also a few individuals who are not only aware that a radio exists, but they are also able to switch it on and tune into a specific channel.

This radio set is part of the ‘unconscious mind’. It is the large part of our brain that we don’t have conscious access to, but nevertheless, it exists. It occasionally surfaces in our dreams, inspirations, intuitions and gut feelings. Our brain is like a large computer and clocks millions of impressions every day. Some of these register as important, others are straight away forgotten or filed away. What is deemed important depends on our mindset.

One example would be when you buy a black car of a certain make – and all of a sudden you notice so many other black cars of this make. Were they here before you noticed them? Of course, they were. But only now your brain registers this information as important and shows it to your conscious mind.

Our brain is not a static organ, but a pool of different currents. It is primarily divided into the reptilian (survival brain) and the thinking brain. The survival brain will keep you alive by regulating breathing, and digestion. It also reacts to threats by either running away (flight) or facing the threat (fight). The ‘thinking brain’ is the big canopy above, where you process emotions, and feelings and where you connect to this higher energy via dreams, inspirations and thoughts.

Work with your unconscious mind

And here is the special thing – you can influence your thoughts and future behaviour. In fact, you must train your brain to become better with each day.  We are not the same every day, we are constantly in flux, and what we think/manifest does happen. Our brains are computers and what you feed in comes out. So you better make sure the thoughts (electrical impulses) you feed in are the ones you want to live with.

Knowing how our brain works, this function is super useful for setting and achieving goals.  Ever heard the phrase ‘ Where focus goes, energy flows’. It is your mindset that needs to tell your brain what is important, so it can recognize the information that propels your forward.

First of all, you have to stay clear of too much distraction. To achieve the best results you only want to feed in focused information that is relevant.
If you have a positive outlook, a can-do attitude, and look for like-minded individuals and opportunities guess what you will notice and interact with. On the other side, if you think of what you don’t want – being overweight, poor, unpopular, etc – you just notice more of this! And if all you feed in is irrelevant information, your brain will focus on this and that won’t get you further down the road of achieving your life goals. The brain does not distinguish what is good/healthy or the opposite. Like money, it is indifferent. It can be used for good or bad.

 It is all in your mindset and your thoughts determine what you focus on. And what you can see – you can achieve! What legacy do you want to leave behind?

So next time you fill in your LWTM LifeGoal Planner, get really specific about what you ‘really want’  and then visualize it. Tune ‘your own radio set’ to a channel that is a happy, fruitful place, and gets rid of all negative, destructive thoughts.

In today’s world, this advice is more important than ever! As I keep saying, you can’t change the macro cosmos, but you can change your own microcosmic world! Let’s start with a new mindset today!

Exercise Tip: I promise you if you do this consistently (daily for 90days straight !) you can reprogram your mindset. Find 10 minutes every day. For the first 5 minutes go in front of a mirror and repeat your most important goals and dreams, over and over again. Talk to your image in the mirror as if you were another person. You can set a timer, so you can stay fully focused on the message.

For the next 5 minutes, sit down in a quiet place, and take a few deep breaths. Then visualize one by one what would it look like if you had already achieved what you wished for. How does it feel, where do you live, what do you wear? Once you are crystal clear about what you want and how it looks and feels once you got there, you will notice a shift. It is not sudden, but a slow and constant change. Over time you will notice different people,places and new avenues will open up. You will attract new people into your life. Give it a try and stick with it daily for at least 90 days – daily! And most importantly, keep a diary of your goals and a log of how you implement your dreams by moving forward in small, achievable chunks.  Reading back old goal lists will provide you with a huge sense of fulfillment. Did you know that most people completely overestimate what they can achieve in one year, but completely underestimate what they can achieve long-term? Don’t fall into this trap, pace yourself and grow in a consistent and fulfilling way. 

Remember: YOU alone are the master of your own destiny. Join our community below for more information.

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Hippocrates and the start of holistic medicine

Hippocrates and the start of holistic medicine

Hippocrates

Most of you will be familiar with the ‘Hippocratic Oath’.  A practice where young doctors swear before to uphold an ethical code that won’t harm the patient and will keep all medical history confidential. But few know more about this Ancient Greek doctor. So let’s look at why Hippocrates’  work is still so influential almost 2400 years after his death?

Hippocrates of Kos (who lived around 460-370B.C.) is often referred to as the ‘Father of Modern Medicine.  He was the first physician to diagnose disease based on a medical condition rather than seeing it as a punishment from the Gods, separating biological medicine from religion for the first time. He was also the first doctor to make a valid link between health and adequate, healthy nutrition,  exercise, and environmental factors such as a good standard of hygiene and a balanced mental state. This was ground-breaking work in then effectively rural Ancient Greece.

Observing various stages of illness, he came up with a systematic categorization of diseases and founded the Hippocratic School of Medicine. Although the human anatomy was then not well-researched (in fact we know now that some methods described were clearly wrong), many observations survived and are still a valid part of modern medicine. What made Hippocrates’ approach so appealing is the fact that he was the first doctor to have a ‘whole-body approach’ to medicine. Once a disease is diagnosed it is of course priority to deal with the acute illness.  But Hippocrates believed that prevention and keeping an overall balanced state of health before and after an acute illness is the ultimate goal. A concept that we are slowly losing in our current medical system.

 How is this relevant to the LWTM Lifestyle?

We believe that keeping a healthy body-mind-soul balance is key to a happy and healthy life. Hippocrates borrowed some concepts from the Babylonians (check out this article about their calendar system) who linked body regions with positions in the sky. This meant that within 28 days all the organs/body parts are highlighted for at least 2-3 days at each time.  This may be an outdated concept medically speaking, but it is a great way of working on your body in an equilibrant way within a whole moon cycle. We have therefore added the body symbols to the LWTM lifestyle calendar and called this series ‘ Keep Fit and Healthy From Head to Toe’. 

Astroman 

keep fit and healthy from head to toe

 Here is Astroman, a depiction of how surgeons operated until the 19th century. Today we of course aim for the best surgical procedure when diagnosed with an acute illness. This could even mean robots operating and other high-end technical procedures, regardless of what the stars are doing. But working on each body area for 2-3 days each month will make sure that you pay equal attention to the whole body.  The aim is to prevent diseases from forming in the first place. If you have certain problem areas, then of course spend more time treating that specific body region. 

 

Illnesses do not come upon us out of the blue. They are developed from small daily sins against nature. When enough sins have accumulated, illnesses will suddenly appear

Hippocrates

 Keep fit and healthy from top to toe 

With this program, we hope that you can do your fair share to prevent disease and correct ‘these little sins against nature’ as and when they occur. Look after your overall health by: 

  • Keeping a well-nourished body and a healthy weight
  • Having an optimistic, can-do outlook and being kind to others
  • Keep well-balanced mind
  • Look after your environment (your home and nature) 

Remember – you alone are the master of your own destiny. Have a look at the LWTM lifestyle calendar by clicking the link below and check out the recommended suggestions and tips. 

Have a look at the LWTM Lifestyle Calendar.  What body part is highlighted today?

 

 An Introduction to LWTM

Here is a link where you can download all our free resources to start building your new holistic life 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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? 

 

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Invigorate your body with hydrotherapy

Invigorate your body with hydrotherapy

What is Hydrotherapy?

Detoxifying Treatments

This article is part of the symbol that deals with detoxifying body treatments

 

In essence, hydrotherapy describes a way to cure or invigorate your body via all kinds of water therapies.

This could be extra warm or cold water or a combination of both.

This is not a new concept. The Egyptian pharaohs and priests used hydrotherapy to their advantage. They also added perfumed oils to the water.
The Romans used it in the form of public baths, where ‘heated water’ caused a ‘steam bath’.

Hippocrates advocated a bath in a cold spring to invigorate the spirit and to harden the body and strengthen the immune response.

Over the centuries bathing in hot springs or ‘taking to the waters’ was a natural way of curing many ailments. One man has taken this principle even further and he was called Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897)

He was the son of a poor weaver with an early ambition to become a priest. This was quite an uphill struggle for a poos weaver’s son. Kneipp studied so hard that it took a toll on his health and he suffered from lung problems.

One day he read a book about hydrotherapy and decided to cure himself with this knowledge. After recovering his full health,  he experimented with many methods and finally published a book that explained all this knowledge involving water therapies and plant medicine.

How can you use hydrotherapy at home?

Here are a few tips. Kneipp saw strengthening the immune system and cleansing the blood and bowl as the pillars of a healthy body.
Varying cold and warm water, helps the blood to circulate and get rid of toxins.

It is important that you don’t feel cold when you start this program. If you do, have a hot shower first.

Exercise 1: Walking barefoot for a couple of minutes on a morning lawn, even in the winter. This sounds absurd at first, but it is cheap, easy, and invigorates your whole body. It is important to warm up your feet immediately after the walk with a hot water bottle or warm socks.

Exercise 2: Another method is walking in cold water. Take a big bucket of cold water (you could also do this in the bath, but make sure it is not slippery) and walk like a stork (one foot in the water, the other leg with knees bend and outside the water. Walk for a minute or two, alternating. This helps with tired feet, headaches, feeling tired, and helping you with better sleep. Again, warm your feet up after the exercise.

Exercise 3: Start your day with this exercise for good circulation, good sleep, and tired legs. When you are in the shower, turn the temperature down to 18 degrees (like a cold swimming pool) and with a hand shower direct the stream onto the little toe on the left leg, move the showerhead up the leg, over the knee to the middle of the thigh and stay there, counting to 3. Then move the stream down again, this time in the line of the big toe. Repeat with the other leg and warm up the legs.

Exercise 4: Take a bucket of cold water and put it on a table. Take a seat and immerse your hand and arms (up to chest height) into the cold water. Leave for up to a minute or until you feel very cold. Take them out and warm up with a warm towel and the jumper. This will strengthen your heart and will make up feel alert and alive.

There are many more exercises to choose from but start with these 4 ones. They are all quick and cheap to do. But you need to do it over some time to experience the real benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alkaline food and herbs

Alkaline food and herbs

planting, gathering and using herbs

HERBS AND GREEN VEGETABLES HELP YOU TO KEEP YOUR BODY ALKALINE

 

Only a few decades ago, the perceived wisdom was to eat predominantly a plant-based diet with the odd meat dish thrown in. This way of eating ensures that our bodies maintain a healthy acid-alkaline balance which is so important for a healthy life. 

In recent times,  we eat an ever-increasing amount of acid-forming foods. These include sugar, meat, and dairy products. All of them cause a build-up of mucus and chronic inflammations. Over time this can lead to serious health problems. The main culprits are de-naturalized, processed foods. A constant overload of these acidic-forming foods can cause cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

The good news is that changing over to an alkaline diet is not difficult and will help you to prolong your health. It can even reverse diseases in the early stages – that is if you act early enough. Just stopping or reducing acid-forming produce for a while will help the body to ‘cure itself’.

What is ‘chronic inflammation’?

‘Acute inflammation’ is essential and a natural way for our bodies to fight infections. The problem starts when this state of  inflammation is never ‘turned off’. Then the body produces additional mucus and eventually, the body’s immune response is compromised and it starts to attack its own healthy cells. This is called chronic inflammation.

What is the optimum level of ph?
The optimum ph level is 7.4.  Ph stands for ‘potential hydrogen and is the ability of molecules to attract hydrogen ions. 1 is the lowest ph level (and the most acidic one) and 14 is the highest and most alkaline level. A ph of 7 is neutral, so you could say that a healthy body is neutral to slightly alkaline.

When we eat an overload of acidic food the body will release alkaline elements, such as the calcium in the bones to keep the blood at a healthy 7.4 ph. But if the food intake is constantly over-acidic, then there is a cutoff point to what the body can do and disease is the result.
So it is very important to re-balance the body’s ph level from time to time.

Rebalancing the ph level

One way to do this is to drink a lot of water or herbal teas, all of which are neutral to slightly alkaline. In contrast, all fruit juices, black tea, coffee, sodas are acidic.
I find the best way to rebalance the body is to drink lemon water in the morning. Lemons are very alkaline (and not acidic) and they can balance your ph level in a short period of time. Here is how to do this. 

Another way is to switch for a while from animal protein to plant-based protein such as beans, pulses and wholegrain legumes.
Leave out any milk products and swap out for plant-based milk and cheese varieties.
If you use oils, choose olive, grapeseed or coconut oil and avoid sugar as much as possible.

Herbs in all shapes and forms are alkaline. So drink plenty of herbal teas – they have varying benefits, cleanse and support your immune system.
Here are some of the best for this purpose:
Fennel, chamomile, ginger, raspberry, mint and nettle.

Here is also a link to the series – cooking with herbs – Just type this search function in the blog search box 

 

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The holistic approach to weight management

The holistic approach to weight management

Liquid Fast Day     This article is for all of you who struggle to lose weight or have become eternal yo-yo dieters. 

In 2005 I conducted a small ‘diet trial’ in which I asked people to rotate their food intake and finish off with a ‘Liquid fast day’. At the time the 5:2 diet and intermittent fasting had not even entered the mainstream. But I had always thought it sensible to rotate food and add fasting to the mix. But such a program had to be easy to follow and take little time and no fuss.

After some research, I came up with a  food rotation program inspired by the Biodynamic calendar. I figured, so many civilizations had used this before and I wanted to find out if this method was still effective.

The trial run went well and afterwards I gave everybody a simple questionnaire and debriefed them by phone. All participants reported feeling more aware of the food they were eating, most of them slept better and everybody reported much better energy levels. Which you would of course expect when you eat healthily.

But what stood out the most was how easy many of my tester found it to keep to the varied diet. Many reported it eliminated the eternal question of  – what shall I eat/cook today and it was easy to plan ahead.

This step is really important as in order to keep a healthy weight you need to find a way to progressively change your dietary habits. A week of calorie counting will not work.

When you look up and down the internet the advice is simple: Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and if you want to lose weight restrict your portion size and the frequency of food intake.  But despite all this sensible advice, we see obesity levels rise and rise. What is going so wrong for so many? Surely, this can’t just be a lack of willpower?

In my view, the way we approach ‘weight loss’, is completely wrong. It is always linked with pain/lack of food and never associated with good quality food. The first piece of advice I would give is – Do something about your weight but do not stress about it! Stay relaxed and initially only concentrate on eating seasonal, good-quality produce that is organically grown. Food should be freshly prepared and eaten in good company. Once you have mastered that change, you can go further by adding a program that will keep you in good shape for life. 

Looking around I noticed people who don’t care too much about their actual weight but do care a lot about eating good quality, preferably homemade food are on average much slimmer than people who fuss about calories and permanently seem to be on some kind of ‘diet’. Fortunately, science has rather recently backed up this observation. (Please find links to resources below this article).

Remember –  You are what you eat. But as we are all different,  it follows that we all also need to eat differently. One formula does not fit all. 

What makes us so different from each other? 

For a start, we all have different circadian rhythms, and most importantly, everyone’s gut microbiome is different. 

Inside us live millions of little microbes, mainly situated in the large intestine. They can weigh up to 2kg and are responsible for what kind of food we crave, how easy or hard we find it to lose weight, and even influence our mindset and mood swings.

An embryo develops in a largely sterile womb. But as soon as the baby is born,  microbes start to populate the baby. It is therefore really important to expose your children to all kinds of foods and let them play in non-sterile environments, dig in fresh soil, play with animals, and experience all kinds of different environments. This will help build a strong and healthy gut.

Children digging with bare hands in the vegetable gardens don’t die. But children growing up in overly bleached homes who are given antibiotics for every little ailment end up with a largely compromised gut flora that can eventually lead to an increase in allergies and health problems. Add a sedentary lifestyle and a diet of overly processed food and you have the perfect storm. Once the microbiome has completely changed, it can be really hard to lose weight and a cycle of eternal fruitless diet attempts is the result.

The Biodynamic way of life always stresses the interconnectedness between the soil and the food we eat. We need these healthy gut microbes to come into our gut with organic fruit and vegetables. Believe it or not, it is these microbes that dictate what we crave. I for example, really crave fresh salads as these have always been part of my diet and my gut microbes ask for more and more of what they are used to.

Artificial fertilizers and pest control get rid of the healthy microbes in the soil. Therefore the food harvested from this kind of soil lacks any beneficial microbes and has very few nutrients.  Although we seem to eat a lot of ‘good stuff’, the gut is still a ‘microbial wasteland’  and can easily be colonized by strains of the sugar-craving ‘bad bacteria’. Once these take over your gut – guess what you crave? Sugar –  and so the vicious circle continues.

Next time you think about ‘going on a diet’, the first step is to sort out your cupboard and stock up with fresh, seasonal vegetables. But – and that is very important- don’t change your diet in one sweeping step. This will never work.  Your gut flora needs time to get used to your new diet. This can only happen very slowly and over time. So it is not a swooping step, rather a gentle nudge in the right direction and then a persistent plan to follow through and make it a permanent change.

If your current diet consists of mostly ready-made meals, please don’t stop eating them! Just introduce 1 freshly cooked, healthy meal per week. That’s all. Once this feels effortless, make it 2 and slowly 3. And over time you will have cleaned up your diet, but more importantly, you will have given your gut microbiome time to adapt and endorse your new way of eating. Write down which food you crave. If these are all of the salty, heavily processed kind, make an effort to cut out just one of these foods and replace it with your favorite healthy snack. Then slowly move on and replace another item with another healthy snack. You will see that your taste buds will change over time as well. 

Believe it or not, once you live with freshly cooked, healthy meals you will struggle to eat greasy ready-made meals as your gut flora has now changed, and you will now crave this ‘new diet’ (meaning here the food we eat and not a term for losing weight).

Finally, try to add in some fasting days. This can be very hard at first, but please do persevere. Again this habit needs to be built up slowly. If you have never done this before, please follow a good program and don’t overdo it! If you are on the mailing list (your can sign up via the Freebies), we send out occasionally a blueprint of a fasting regime. 

Once you have listened to your body and have found your own individual food program, you will be able to keep your weight forever- with no stress and drama. If you have never heard of ‘microbiome’ here are 2 useful videos from Kings College, London where Prof Tim Spector led much of its research program.

1.Discovery of the microbiome                                2. Microbes, diet and health  

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