The Sacred Journey of Conscious Dying

February 5, 2021 @ 5:30 pm February 7, 2021 @ 4:00 pm UTC+0

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Early Bird + Treatment
acupuncture & essential oils deep meditation and integration journey
$ 540.00
445 W El Roblar Dr
Ojai, CA 93023 United States

New Year’s RESET

January 8, 2021 @ 9:00 am January 10, 2021 @ 4:00 am

Join us for a weekend immersion in deep nourishment for the body, the heart, and the soul.  We’ll spend ample time in nature, practice yoga together, receive the healing gifts of acupuncture, essential oils, sound healing, and pranayama, and attune our bodies to the rhythms of nature.  Space is very limited.

Details

Start:
January 8 @ 9:00 am UTC+0
End:
January 10 @ 4:00 am UTC+0
445 W El Roblar Dr
Ojai, CA 93023 United States
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Tickets

The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking “Get Tickets” will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Early Bird + Treatment
acupuncture & essential oils deep meditation and integration journey
$ 540.00
$ 0.00

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Winter Solstice River Walk

Join us for a mindful walk to the river to close the solar year and welcome the arrival of winter.   We’ll walk in silence and gather by the river to honor the passing of the year, to share our intentions, and to build a mandala together as a community to invite the return of the light.  Social distancing and safety respected.

Categories
Uncategorized

Radiance & Resilience in Seasons of Change

The season of Harvest is upon us. What are you harvesting this year?

For some, this has been a time of blessings, new discoveries, unforeseen opportunities, and a much needed slowing down. 

For others, it has been a time of disruption, frustration, grief, and trauma.   

For all, this year has been uncharted territory, tremendous loss, and the stress of navigating this new normal has affected nearly every part of our lives. 

What then, does this next season have in store?  

How can we prepare for the unknowable future? 

How can we become more resilient, more vital, and more centered amidst the constant climate of change?  

In traditional cultures, and ancient medicine traditions that have weathered millenia of change, we see that in times of uncertainty there is a return to the fundamentals, and ultimately, to the rhythms of nature.  

The wisdom of ancient medicine traditions tells us that this season is about turning inward, and as we begin to turn our focus from the outside, others, the external world, we begin our journey back to our center by finding ourselves literally in our own skin.  

Look down at your hands.  Your arms, legs, feet.  Look in the mirror at your face, neck, abdomen.  

How do you look?  More importantly, how do you FEEL? 

Fall is about beginning the journey home to ourselves, and though it may sound superficial, we begin with learning to care for our skin.  

The skin is the largest organ of our body, with some 20+ sq feet of area.  

The roles of the skin range from protecting us from the outside world, to touch and sensation, regulating temperature, detoxification, and interaction with the elements.  

As we begin to focus on the skin we can see that there are a myriad of ways that it communicates, showing us how we are interacting with the outside, and, perhaps more importantly, revealing a glimpse of what is happening on the inside.  

Skin conditions often flare up during the fall as the weather dries out, and this vast organ does the work of letting go of the year’s successes and failures: just as the trees shed their leaves we literally and metaphorically shed our skin.  

When a doctor of functional medicine or eastern medicine sees a skin symptom, the first question might be, how is your digestion?  

A dermatologist will likely tell you that your gut health has nothing to do with your skin condition, but the wisdom of thousands of years tells us otherwise.  

So, ironically, our focus on beauty brings us to a focus on our inner environment.  What is happening in the gut?  

Eastern and functional medicine agree that lasting health begins in the gut.  AND, if we are not taking care of our insides, all disease potentially begins in the gut.  

As we move our focus inward, Fall asks us to optimize our digestive process.  It is crucial that we make the most of what we eat, absorb nutrients, and eliminate efficiently.  

If we have poor digestion, our body becomes malnourished and toxic, and our immune system becomes overloaded with the cleanup.  

In the same way, we have to digest our emotions.  We have to cleanse and let go of what we have been holding, to grieve and release what we have lost, and to surrender our unfinished plans back to the earth so that the cycle can begin anew.  

The fruit of our efforts in tending to our skin, healing our gut, and letting go of our accumulated emotions is that our immune system becomes free to do the job it is meant to do, making us stronger, more resilient, and more adaptable.  

Now more than ever we need all of our immune resources on deck for the task of protecting and keeping us safe, and for helping us meet the unforeseen challenges that will inevitably arise in our rapidly changing world.  

So the work of Fall begins on the surface, but culminates in upgrading the core systems that are responsible for our immediate and lasting wellbeing.  

There is no shortcut to health.  

But, there is a simple path that we can all walk.  

And it begins by taking an honest and compassionate look in the mirror.  

We all want to feel beautiful, to feel embodied, to feel confident and at home in our skin.  

Feeling beautiful translates into feeling successful, into feeling loved, capable and empowered.  

The beauty we seek is more than skin deep.  Because we also know the experience of hiding behind a beautiful mask.  

True beauty radiates from a deep place of peace and balance within our center.  

True beauty is the reflection of a harmonious inner environment.  

When we tend to our inner environment, we are able to relax and feel at home in the body, which brings us into balance with our natural rhythms and the turning of the seasons.  

We free ourselves to change, grow, renew, and reset just as nature does, time and time again.  

In short, we Fall into ourselves in the best way possible.  

This returning home is the goal of our Fall Wellness program, Radiant & Resilient, and registration is now open.  We’ll spend 8 weeks together learning to restore radiant skin, optimizing our digestion, and enhancing your immune system for maximum resilience and adaptability.  

Categories
Immunity

What’s More Scary Than a Virus?

We are living in a frightening time.  Going out the door, or into the supermarket, passing someone on the street, getting on a bus, all these seemingly normal activities have become more stressful as we learn to live with masks, distancing, and the constant “threat” of becoming infected.  

There are many different perspectives on what is really happening, and nobody seems to have all the answers.  What does seem clear is that we are at the “end of the beginning” and moving into a new phase of re-integrating back into our lives.  

As we do this, it is important to recognize that we are in a constant state of risk evaluation and that in this process, we are learning as we go.  In a sense we are moving through unfamiliar territory, although all the physical landmarks look the same.  For me it’s been like coming home after being away for a long time, and seeing everything through new eyes.  On the one hand this is a good thing, inviting us to re-evaluate what is important, to appreciate our blessings, and to simplify our lifestyles.  

On the other hand, this carries inherent stress that should not be underestimated.  In essence, it is as if we are having to relearn everything, and living in a heightened state of fight or flight.  The level of stress is compounded by financial uncertainty, isolation, social awkwardness, lack of structure, lack of leadership, etc, etc, etc…

Some doctors are suggesting that the negative impact of this period of quarantine on our mental health is on course to outweigh the benefits of sheltering at home.  It appears that we have been able to flatten the curve in many places by limiting our outward activity and interactions.  And yet, the consequences of this choice may be far-reaching and difficult to manage.  

Chinese medicine is a holistic system of health and wellbeing that has weathered many epidemics over the course of more than 2000 years and has much to teach us about how to endure, to adapt, and even to thrive in a challenging environment.  

One key to health under any circumstance is to harmonize our actions with the movement of the seasons and the natural environment. 

 So, as we move from spring into summer, it is actually very natural for us to begin moving outward, being more social, perhaps traveling, gathering, celebrating, being creative and expressive, dancing, moving, exercising, and being outdoors.  

With current circumstances, we may choose to continue moderation in this outward activity, but it is important to recognize this is what is natural in this season.  If we choose to continue to isolate, we are in this regard going against nature, which is not necessarily wrong in this time, but will require adjustments in other areas to compensate.  

Summer is the season of the heart, and the heart naturally moves us towards connection, experiences of unity, expression of our deepest truth and our heart’s calling, celebration, expansion, and the fulfillment of our spiritual aspirations.  How can we collaborate with this momentum even under the limitations of our pandemic predicament?  

The risk if we do not is that we are going against nature, our heart’s natural tendency.  We are seeing an increase of anxiety, depression, desperation, loneliness, suicide, and so much more in a world where these were already a pandemic of their own.  (Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America) 

According to Chinese medicine, all of these are symptoms of a heart out of balance, and a symptom that we are living out of balance. What I am suggesting is that we do need to get creative and find ways to connect, to express, to move outward in ways that feel safe to us, and to nourish our hearts in this difficult and stressful time.

In times when being social may be difficult… One of the simplest tools we have to nourish the heart is meditation.  Meditation has been shown in many research studies to benefit mental wellbeing, what it does best is to put us back in our center, back in our heart.  From there, we can make choices based on what is true for each of us, take actions that feel aligned to our inner wisdom, and collaborate on solutions that will not only help resolve the coronavirus pandemic, but also move us closer to a way of living that is more in harmony with who we truly are. 

Categories
Nutrition

Adrenal Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast of Champions:

Sorry, you can’t buy this in a cereal box…

The first thing to do for the adrenals in the morning actually happens before you wake up.  It’s a very special technique called going to bed early…like before 10pm.  If you don’t, there’s no breakfast in the world that will make up for that lost and precious slumber, that can only be replenished while horizontal.

Still, whether you have been sleeping well or not, what you eat or do not eat in the morning sets the stage for the rest of the day, especially with regards to blood sugar.  Blood sugar balance is one of the fundamental keys to restoring the adrenals, and conversely, as logic would suggest, blood sugar imbalance is one of the quickest ways to exhaust the adrenals.

With that in mind, let us return to your waking routine, and the recipe for an Adrenal Healthy Breakfast.

First Course:  8 hrs of pure, totally organic, home grown, uninterrupted sleep, ideally between the hours of 10pm to 6am.  This is like a palate cleanser.  You don’t want to wake with the taste of yesterday still on your tongue…start fresh.

Second course: 15-20 minutes of silent seated meditation.  Get comfy, wrap yourself in a blanket, go outside if it’s warm enough and let the sun bathe over your closed eyes…and let your eyes look inward.  Take inventory, and listen to the heart.  Give thanks for another day and the miracle of life.

Third Course:  Before any food, and before any coffee, if such is your predilection, there is something one must do without fail.

Drink water.

I’m not talking about a sip of water for your parched lips when you rouse from dreamland.  I’m talking about a generous 24-32 ounces of purified, love infused, adrenal replenishing, kidney nourishing, whole body hydrating water.  Visualize the flood waters pouring into your kidneys, washing away the sins of the past and bathing you in clear brilliant light.  Tell the water thank you as you are glugging it down, and if you are feeling really wild, even whisper I love you…it has been scientifically proven to change the crystalline structure of the water, very cool.

If you like you can squeeze half a lemon into it, and I like to add a dash of good quality sea salt or trace minerals, especially if you are drinking reverse osmosis filtered water regularly.

Drink it down.  Don’t delay.  Be patient if you have to.  Be persistent.  It may be like pouring a glass of water into that plant that you forgot to water for 3 weeks.  At first it all just sits on top or runs through and pees right out.  But if you pour it in slowly, steadily, a little at a time, and give it a good soak down, then the next day your work will be much easier.  Every day I start with 32 oz of life giving water, and sometimes I’m still thirsty after that.  This is the best way to re-hydrate after not drinking for 6-9 hrs, and to get a good portion of your day’s water in before adding any food.

Be prepared to do a little flushing, and make room for breakfast 😉

Fourth Course: 

Before breakfast is a great time for a little exercise.  If you are in adrenal fatigue, you are going to want to keep it light most days.  Start with a brisk 10-15 minute walk, some stretching, and if you are old fashioned you can add a dozen sit ups or push ups.  Just get the blood moving.  If you know Tai Qi, or Qi Gong, or like yoga, a 15-20 min practice will wake up the meridians, invigorate the circulation, and prime your digestion.

Fifth Course:

Ok, ok, finally let’s talk about food.

The key to an Adrenal healthy breakfast is to have some protein within 1 hr of waking (15 min meditation, 15 min exercise, 5-10 min of morning self maintenance and flushing, 15 min of breakfast prep).

The easiest way to do this is the incredible edible egg, assuming that you are not allergic to eggs.  (Egg allergies are fairly common, but more common is the psychological aversion to the supposedly unhealthy cholesterol found in eggs, which is actually good for you.)

Here’s a breakfast I eat a few times a week, pretty simple but satisfying and delicious.

1-3 eggs, scrambled.

Kale or baby kale, stems removed, and chopped coursely.

Olive oil

Apple Cider Vinegar

Balsamic Glaze

Dress and lightly massage the kale to soften it and allow it to marinate for a few minutes while you prepare the eggs.  Serve the eggs over the kale.  This is not rocket science, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Add a spoonful of raw sauerkraut for added probiotics

Salsa**

** I am of the persuasion that all, well, at least most food is nothing more than a delivery system for Salsa.  So if you like salsa, homemade is best.  I’m not referring to Pace Picante sauce, or anything that resembles it even remotely.  Think fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, and ,maybe some garlic blended.  Nothing fancy, just good old fashioned salsita.  If you are like me, you can add salsa liberally to this recipe.  If not, or if all you have in the fridge is pace picante, you can omit.

Fifth Course:

Five course breakfast, you oughta be full, and feel like true royalty, which you are.  🙂

If you are a true foodie you are probably feeling like I tricked you with the recipe headline.  I realize this is not much in the way of recipes, it’s really more like a formula for an Adrenal Healthy Morning, but it is also a functional, delicious breakfast that will get you through good times and bad.  And you can feel free to foodify it liberally.  Think of it as a canvas upon which you can paint your foodiest breakfast dreams. 

Breakfast is the best meal to do low to no carb, especially if you are dealing with adrenal stress or dysfunction.  Pass on the toast, the waffle, the pancake, just for now.  If you are still hungry after a meal like that, add an avocado next time.

If you are a die-hard coffee drinker, or if you are so fatigued that you truly can’t get going without a cup of joe, here’s how to make your coffee more adrenal friendly:  Drink it after breakfast.  NOT before.  NOT on an empty stomach.  Just like that.  Magic.

If you and coffee are all too much like a dysfunctional teenage relationship, and you’ve been trying to break up for years but just can’t shake the craving for what you know isn’t even good for you anymore, we have a solution:  try Essential Medicina’s Mind’s Eye.

That’s it.  Keep it simple, and learn to enjoy the beauty of simple flavors.

If you are someone who does not feel hungry in the morning, having a breakfast like this for a few days in a row will generally switch your body into breakfast mode and the morning queasies will disappear.  Usually a lack of appetite in the morning is due to a blood sugar imbalance, which is exacerbated by drinking coffee on an empty stomach.

Ahora, tú! Let us know what is your favorite adrenal healthy breakfast in the comments below.

Categories
Nutrition

Time is Money, But Energy is Freedom.

Too long we’ve been trading our health for wealth…

Here’s the old way of thinking: 1 hour equals x number of dollars, multiply by 40, multiply by 4, subtract expenses, and you’ve got your worth, in a simple number.  If you happen to have a big number, you might feel good, and if you have a smaller number, well, you probably feel a little less wonderful than you’d like.

But this simple and admittedly oversimplified equation has forgotten something entirely.  Something that is essential to the understanding of that perceived value that we place on money and “net worth” and such measures.  It has overlooked the cost to the individual who is working that hour, giving that % of their life force and energy to earn a $, and whether or not the energy put in is reciprocated.  So you may only put in 1 hr on a particular project, but that 1 hour might cost you 2 hours of anguish, planning, worrying, hurrying, and stressing out, none of which you can be compensated for adequately.

In short, we are trading our energy and our health for wealth.  And anyone who has found themself lacking in either energy or health can validate the immeasurable value of both of these somewhat harder to measure treasures.  Is $100 worth losing your health?  Would you trade $1000 for your health?  What about $10,000?  How do you think you would enjoy that $1,000,000 if it cost you all of your health and energy, such that you could barely get out of bed in the morning to enjoy the “wealth” for which you had bartered?

In the new economy that is emerging, it is not so much money that gives us power, it’s energy.  Energy comes from health, and together this dynamic duo empowers us to face down the many challenges of modern life, and to meet the many opportunities with open arms.  Those who are the most adaptable, the most inspired, the most creative, the most innovative, and the most healthy are attracting the most opportunity, the most followers, and the most support.

I invite you to take an honest look at your energy…look at it like you are looking at your bank statement.  Don’t be wishy washy.  A bank statement tells it like it is:  how much is in your savings account, in unambiguous numbers.  In my world, an adrenal test will do the same for your energy savings account.  Are you running low?  Overdrawn?

You have amazing things to do in the world, far greater than what you can accomplish in 8 hrs a day, and worth far more than whatever you might be earning in a month or even a year.  Your family, your company, your community need not only your time, but rather your vitality, your enthusiasm, your motivation and encouragement.  Your ability to bring your greatness to life, and to create greatness in those around you, may depend somewhat on your bank account, but nowadays, and perhaps always, it depends far more on your energy, your inspiration, and the spark that enlivens you to create a new and better you, and a new and better world.

If you are still coming up short in the energy department, and yet carrying a deep down inspiration to do and be something great, I strongly encourage you to make a change.  Reach out for help.  Take an honest look into the energy savings account.  Get clear on what’s holding you back, and how you can recover your greatest asset in your quest towards greatness:  your health, your brilliance, your ENERGY.  It is without a doubt your greatest wealth.