Are you fit enough to survive a crisis?
It seems like crisis and chaotic events are becoming the new norm. It shouldn't be like that, but somehow it seems to be. Between terrorist attacks, mass shootings, natural disasters, and now a pandemic disease that is destroying immune systems, it is evident we need to self-reflect and take our health more seriously.
America has long been destroyed and dumbed down for too long. What do you get when you make a city car dependent that is surrounded by fast food and inundated by chronic marketing from the television and doped up by pharmaceuticals?
The result is what we see today. A nation that is overweight, sedentary and broken down mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
This pandemic should be the awakening process to how our health has suffered for ages, and how we need to rethink about health from the inside out. People need to realize (or get mad enough to make a change) that they've been sold lies for a long time, and now its time to stop and take a stand against your health.
In fact, what most humans seek - beauty - actually comes from taking care of your health. When you glow inside, you glow outside.
Beauty does not come from makeup. Beauty comes from within.
In terms of getting "fit" it is not a superficial change. We need to develop baselines to increase our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. So how does one do that?
We have two areas of fitness, cardiovascular and then muscular strength and endurance. To build a baseline all you need is simple body weight exercises and also to start walking or doing low impact exercise like a bike to build a baseline. For cardio fitness, aim for a sustaining a cardio session for 20 to 30 minutes.
MENTAL / EMOTIONAL WELLBEING
We've become very reactive in modern society because of technology. To build a baseline we need mind and breath control.
The breath is everything and can make or break us in moments of chaos. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the rest and digest phase (opposite of fight or flight). The diaphragm is a muscle and needs exercise too. Exercise the diaphragm with deep breathing like inhaling and counting mentally for five seconds, and then exhaling and mentally counting for five seconds.
Spiritual wellbeing is difficult in times of chaos. Most find "R&R" in moments during peaceful times of reflection in quiet spaces. Quiet spaces maybe difficult at this time, but know that spiritual wellbeing is directly linked to mental and emotional wellbeing since the breath controls our state of being.
Spiritus (Latin for "spirit" or "breathing"), is our spirit, which is our breath.
I discuss more in the PART 2 video, but take this time to plant the seeds in your brain on how your physical health is thriving or suffering.
Right now, COVID 19 is teaching us that our health is so much more complex and deeper than the superficial look of just having muscles and six pack abs.
One way to increase your health IMMEDIATELY is by eating more fresh produce and spices.Check out my recipe list for more ideas on how to consume more healthy foods.
It's time to rethink our health, and sometimes it takes getting mad or pissed to make a change. Now is the time for that change.
Hello Mind Body Soul Food Followers,
Today I announce the grand opening of my Etsy shop, The Elizabethan Closet, a place to discover vintage clothes, antiques and funky finds. While living in Germany between 2014-2015, I created a self-published vegan cookbook. During this time, I needed props for my recipes and discovered a love and passion for pastime relics. That love grew when I moved back to the states.
During some years after Germany, I noticed I needed some outfits for a couple weddings and randomly chose vintage clothing from Goodwill. It was a subconscious buy, as at that time I didn't know how to look for vintage clothing or did not realize the worker union tags.
The year 2019 was rough, and during this time I found estate sales to be my sanctuary and my sadness was channeled into my photography for this blog. I became inspired by vintage dresses and antique glassware, which ignited many recipes that you see here today.
Now I must part with my collection, and I hope that all the joy these dresses and plates brought me, it will light your home up with some joy too.
It's a bit of an awkward time to post this considering the coronavirus is on the rise in the states. But with this being the season of rebirth, I too have to shed my skin and start a fresh.
Here is just a preview of somethings you'll find on The Elizabethan Closet. I will be uploaded new items weekly. I have been a bit slow at uploading due to the stress of losing employment because of coronavirus and just figuring things out.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me! Thanks for your support!
Being sedentary and alone is not easy. We are social creatures, and the body was meant to be upright and moving. Back in 2018, I worked a startup app called, Snack, to provide quick, and easy to digest videos in under 3 minutes.
Here are a series of short videos that I've done that mainly revolve around yoga, postural awareness and some exercise.
I separated these by categories for bedtime yoga, seated/chair/office yoga, mat yoga, and general fitness / exercise. The app / site closed captions may not be accurate and that is a technical glitch of the program not being able to understand some words.
I hope this helps and there are more videos on Snack than shown below:
BEDTIME / IN BED YOGA + EXERCISES
How to do a restorative yoga sequence for bed
https://web.snackv.com/v/qRWOC962Pn?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
The best restorative yoga pose to do before bed
https://web.snackv.com/v/HNF7lglUZE?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to yoga poses using your bed and the wall
https://web.snackv.com/v/p6ByVDlzcU?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do a relaxing spinal mobility flow sequence before bed
https://web.snackv.com/v/SvTaNXuAQ4?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do two versions of tree pose in a restorative manner for bed
https://web.snackv.com/v/AR2tTmU3BE?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Three Easy Yoga Poses to Prep the Spine Before Bedtime
https://web.snackv.com/v/y1OMp1L8TU?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Best Restorative Chest Opener for Better Sleep
https://web.snackv.com/v/HWBPUGHbJl?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Chest opener poses to improve breathing before bed
https://web.snackv.com/v/0r0EHNEUGH?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do a dynamic chest opener using a yoga strap
https://web.snackv.com/v/QuJYlAEGDd?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Three arthritic knee stretches to do in bed
https://web.snackv.com/v/Clw2wJxbZK?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do three advanced hip openers from bed
https://web.snackv.com/v/6fHiXBjTiT?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do two dynamic leg stretches for your hamstrings that you can do in bed
https://web.snackv.com/v/lYAWLL0P8W?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
"How to" stretches to alleviate arthritic pain
https://web.snackv.com/v/cxE8vUpmQk?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
"How to" morning mobility routine to help with stiff hips
https://web.snackv.com/v/EyQV6Mz529?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
CHAIR / IN OFFICE / AT HOME YOGA, POSTURE + EXERCISES
How to move your spin in 6 different directions in a chair?
https://web.snackv.com/v/oBED2GbCKV?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How open your hips in your desk chair?
https://web.snackv.com/v/5g9ugbFt3p?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
A Hip Mobility Routine You Can Do in Your Office
https://web.snackv.com/v/qlhhcKbln4?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do seated spinal twist in a desk chair?
https://web.snackv.com/v/TrE343l9NJ?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do sun salutation from a chair
https://web.snackv.com/v/f2tUqZPD2D?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to Alleviate Acute Back Pain Caused from Sitting All Day
https://web.snackv.com/v/ewnwuyDgdg?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
A Chair Yoga Routine You Can do in Your Office
https://web.snackv.com/v/6Q6HPLvwEB?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
3 easy stretches to do at your work desk
https://web.snackv.com/v/WpE2ZPXZK5?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How you should be seated while at your desk
https://web.snackv.com/v/yKnxMkASBk?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How your posture affects your muscular wellbeing
https://web.snackv.com/v/ZZZqcg6DbW?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Three must do foot stretches if you wear high heels
https://web.snackv.com/v/csF60nRAdj?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to massage your feet to rid damage caused by wearing heels
https://web.snackv.com/v/fGx4wvl5Zf?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How gravity and posture can affect your physical wellbeing
https://web.snackv.com/v/IxaBGkobGj?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Shape and Tone: A Full Body Desk Workout
https://web.snackv.com/v/VuCWQdUIV4?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Three ways to open up hands and wrists while at work
https://web.snackv.com/v/EzyY4wRmdM?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
MAT YOGA + HOW TO + INFORMATIONAL VIDEO
How to do the forward fold using Yoga blocks
https://web.snackv.com/v/N9OpHxYUiC?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to balance onto one foot?
https://web.snackv.com/v/yYHEWHADBU?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to breath into your belly?
https://web.snackv.com/v/hlzYEmnWW5?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to progress into puppy pose
https://web.snackv.com/v/2O6CtpkWKN?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Two ways to stretch your neck and jaw
https://web.snackv.com/v/IT0hp7qESh?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Three asanas to help increase posture awareness
https://web.snackv.com/v/Bq62KcRNVX?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to reduce low back pain?
https://web.snackv.com/v/VRooWlbsrG?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
3 posture variations for your meditation practice
https://web.snackv.com/v/ZAd9hzts1l?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
3 easy calf stretches while on a mat
https://web.snackv.com/v/1JQ8HEEZnL?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
3 best hip openers lying on your back while using a yoga strap
https://web.snackv.com/v/Xcenky25DU?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Alternative ways of doing Pigeon Pose if you have bad knees
https://web.snackv.com/v/ZG7kiQc7GO?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do 3 different levels of a lying down spinal twist
https://web.snackv.com/v/wVhfZlbHsk?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do 3 levels of cobra pose
https://web.snackv.com/v/WFHWdpK62S?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
3 levels of a seated spinal twist
https://web.snackv.com/v/A2wOhb60hi?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Easy yoga sequence for expecting mothers
https://web.snackv.com/v/DtRy5N2KiF?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Yoga poses that will help alleviate back pain during pregnancy
https://web.snackv.com/v/SPbKMaRMf0?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do happy baby pose using a yoga strap
https://web.snackv.com/v/aHxXsyOljX?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do the best sequence for all athletic pursuits
https://web.snackv.com/v/qXgZe8gTvT?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Three downward dog misconceptions
https://web.snackv.com/v/OyxVrH6wRT?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Downward Dog Modifications with people with weak wrists
https://web.snackv.com/v/emS40rJizm?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Alternative ways of doing Pigeon Pose if you have bad knees
https://web.snackv.com/v/ZG7kiQc7GO?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
3 types of yoga asanas for runners
https://web.snackv.com/v/7WWKO2mnkD?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Three inversions to reduce lower back pain
https://web.snackv.com/v/H3mt0swObt?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
What are the 3 steps to progress into a tree pose?
https://web.snackv.com/v/0ZZDWQ8Fhf?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
What is a standing warrior pose sequence for strengthen hips?
https://web.snackv.com/v/Qqsy6s3TiY?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Vinyasa flow modification for people with weak wrists
https://web.snackv.com/v/sOyfR8D1Sy?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to progress into Dolphin Pose
https://web.snackv.com/v/wW2BeyuvD7?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Can I do yoga if I'm not flexible?
https://web.snackv.com/v/JH3h1x9ajJ?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to transition from downward facing dog to runner's lunge
https://web.snackv.com/v/X5KwkGZYQc?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to do a chair pose with a twist
https://web.snackv.com/v/e9Bxw104tH?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Three creative ways to use yoga blocks
https://web.snackv.com/v/z7kU80unFN?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How men can use yoga blocks to help enhance their practice
https://web.snackv.com/v/7YSxwWZXWA?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
GENERAL FITNESS VIDEOS
Three exercises on how to gain a stronger back
https://web.snackv.com/v/34UdUrjKPb?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Four leg and glute exercises you can do right now
https://web.snackv.com/v/hQM3hemamw?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to get back into a better body
https://web.snackv.com/v/I1PyQI5a7E?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Exercises to do to get back into the gym
https://web.snackv.com/v/SqR1XZ6DKM?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Three moves to help strengthen your body if you work at a desk
https://web.snackv.com/v/xe52GWWx7T?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Workouts you can do from your hotel room
https://web.snackv.com/v/k1ZGuHNp5L?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
No Equipment? No problem! Exercises to do without equipment
https://web.snackv.com/v/6QcpTpnzyh?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
How to burn those holiday calories fast
https://web.snackv.com/v/VEX3Tx4N37?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Moves moms can do to get back into exercise
https://web.snackv.com/v/uE8M2ZIYlw?shared_by_user=YsDvUNq03R (Links to an external site.)
Exercises mothers can do with their babies
LET'S CONNECT + SUBSCRIBE BELOW!
Are you living in a fantasy? Or are you living in a reality? So many areas of life have become so confusing, I am not sure if people know what is real or not.
Just take a look at the internet. How much of the world wide web has damaged or controlled us mentally? Prior to computers, humans have lived for thousands of years, surviving on the planet, using their heads and hands to live life.
Today, people cannot decipher what is real versus fake news, and many people live this "picture perfect" life on social media, discarding the darker or weaker moments. The human mind is altered and flawed. Just take a look at Hollywood and the shows on Netflix. Much of today's programming is dark, gruesome, violent, negative and stuck in some dark fantasy.
Behind this programming is a darker force trying to destroy and control our minds. Beauty is inspirational, death and destruction is not. Love is inspiring and is what heals people and the planet.
Living in a fantasy is either like a fairy-tale or a nightmare. Some people want to ignore the negative sides of life or a relationship because of being stuck in a fairytale where others want to destroy humans because of the demons that live inside their head.
I believe most people are not in reality, but living in a virtual reality, a fantasy or delusional fairy-tale, chasing something that doesn't exist.
What is reality and what is fantasy?
Reality: the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
Many people wonder, why is nature so healing? There are countless reasons, but science is starting to understand how nature heals humans. Whatever your belief is, there is a certain vibration or energy found in different types of environments.
“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” – John Muir
There are four elements on this planet: earth, air, fire and water. Although every landscape differs, every landscape usually contains all four elements to some degree. Most common natural escapes include the mountains and forest (earth), the ocean (water) or the desert (fire). Air is found everywhere and in constant motion even though you cannot see it.
Most people usually appreciate all types of landscapes, but usually gravitate towards something specific like the beach, mountains or drier climates. Now there is a breakdown for what people like. For example, someone who loves water may not necessarily be attracted to sunny, hot beaches, but may actually resonate with cooler, icier waters like you see in Scandinavia.
The four elements is literal in a physical sense, but also metaphorical while viewing life through a metaphysical lens.
- Air represents intellect, mental intention, communication, the breath of life, and connection to universal life force. Air is associated with spring , the east direction and known to have a cleansing power. Physically, air has been considered a pure element. Humans require oxygen for survival and our expenditure of CO2 is then absorbed by the plants to then release O2. Air does take up space, and has volume and exerts pressure.
- Earth represents grounding, the foundation of life, substance, nourishment, stability, fertility, connection to life path, and family roots. Earth is related to winter, the north direction and known to have a cleaning power. Physically, the earth contains rocks and minerals that provides the soil the ability to grow vegetation and to support life.
- Fire represents energy, transformation, connection to personal power, and inner strength. It represents a purifying power and means light. Fire has two sides. In one way fire ignites warmth and creates life, but it also has the ability to burn and destroy. Fire is considered the first element born when the universe was created. On the physical plane fire we know is the sun or a flame. Without the sun there would be no life. Fire requires three things to ignite: oxygen, fuel and heat.
Fire is associated with summer and the south direction.
- Water represents emotional release, intuition, purification, healing, dreaming and inner reflection. Water is indicative of the death-rebirth cycle because it gives life, but also is destructive. Water is associated with autumn and the west direction. Physically, water comprises of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Hydrogen (positive charge) attaches on each end of the oxygen atom (negative charge) and polarizes the water molecule.
Air and Fire are masculine. Earth and Water are feminine.
“Nature itself is the best physician.” – Hippocrates
Part of our attraction to natural settings is also based on the soothing sounds of the natural world that calms the mind, body and soul. Whether its the waves of the ocean crashing into shore, the trickling of a stream in a forest, or the songs of the birds heard in a meadow, sound also has a way of healing us. Musically, the lower beat per minute stimulates the brain to relax where faster and harder beats per minute make us work out harder, move faster or drive more aggressively.
Sound is healing. The natural sounds produced from nature relaxes the brain, which affects the body.
Humans are naturally attracted to nature because we are ourselves are creatures of the earth. Nature is engrained in our DNA. When understanding the elements from a metaphysical sense, it is no wonder that nature is a healer. So many people gravitate to the mountains or ocean for healing or to escape the city life.
With earth and water being feminine qualities, it is no secret that Mother Nature herself bundles us up in her warmth, love and beauty, just like a mother does to her child.
“We depend on nature not only for our physical survival, we also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our own minds.”
Nature affects our health in four primary ways:
- Nature removes us from chaotic environments that contain air pollution, noise pollution, and from artificial light due to looking at screens constantly while at home or work. This overall reduces stress.
- Nature increases physical activity. Whether its a swim in a lake or ocean, or a walk on a trail, spending time in nature generally moves our body. Physical activity (and nature) is associated with elevating mood, reducing physical pain and circulating more oxygen throughout the body, thus making the body feel good. Achieving great physical pursuits like summiting a mountain extends well-being into the emotional, mental and spiritual bodies to make us believe that we can conquer any obstacle or barrier in life.
- Nature is a healthy form of escapism and offers us an opportunity to socialize. Most people travel with their friends or family, and throughout these experiences memories are being created. The stress is left at home, and nature allows us to focus on the moment, enjoy the little things and it brings people together as a form of socialization. Socializing removes feelings of loneliness and isolation, which also boosts mood and self-esteem. A study conducted by the University of Rochester discovered that the people exposed to nature were more socially conscious, they felt more generous and connected to their community.
- Nature is spiritual itself. Whether one believes in God or not, most people marvel at the power of nature. Standing in a valley while gazing at the mountains makes people realize that there is something greater in this world than themselves. That in itself is spiritual and may increase empathy. Even if alone, there are moments of reflection that occur that forces people to spiritually evolve or grow.
Beauty is inspirational, and nature is beautiful. It is no wonder why poets, artists and other creatives spend time in nature writing, contemplating or drawing nature scenes. Beauty inspires the soul, and for some evolves them into the best version of themselves.
Being in the moment and focusing on the present is very important to our well-being. Time in nature slows us down and "forces" us to enjoy the moment. Meditation does not necessarily mean sitting still in a Buddhist temple. Meditations can be in motion. A walk through a forest is just as contemplative as sitting on top of a mountain pondering what will happen in life.
“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” – EO wilson
Every type of environment was healing. The desert at Burning Man burned away many low self-esteem issues.
The power of the mountains and the bugling elk in Estes Park healed my heart from various heart breaks. Mother Earth grounded me and absorbed my pain into the soil.
The oceans in Australia cleansed my soul to awaken my spirit and let go of my childhood wounds.
Walking through volcanic lava fields in Iceland made me realize there is more to life than my work and job title.
The Spirit Rock Vortex in Tuscon, Arizona flooded my body with positive energy as I also sent light and love to many people in my life.
The angels in the sky in Utah sent me a message while pondering a question at the petroglyphs and while staring out of the window I asked, "Is moving to Germany the right thing to do?" and there an angel from the clouds emerged.
And I'll never forget walking the ancient forests on the Camino de Santiago from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela. The trees absorbed my heart break from divorce and finding freshly fallen beautiful green leaves on the ground reminded me that even that even beautiful things in this life fall, but not necessarily fail.
Nature is healing for those who respect the land and the spirit that reside there. So many people today use nature for their own glory or to gain superficial attention from Instagram.
“The contemplation of nature can free one of the ego – the great troublemaker.” – Eckhart Tolle
I think yes and no. People can change, but it has to come from within. Like a budding flower, that burning desire has to come from within to want that seed to germinate.
Some people change. And some people will never change. To some degree, everyone has a baseline. It takes attitude, character and a non-judgmental analysis on your life in order to change. That is what self-actualization is all about.
You have to want to change. So many people in today's world are open to changing jobs, careers and changing their material status, but they are not open to changing their attitude, belief systems, character or developing themselves spiritually.
Change is not a quick fix. It is a journey that is a process of highs and lows. It is self accountability.
Some people are aware of their issues, demons, or problems but still don't change. Why is this?
Most people desire a quick fix. I see this in the diet industry all the time. Try this 30-day detox to lose 30 lbs. in weight." It's a hack, but not a permanent change. Humans need a no nonsense commitment to change. Most people today want hacks, not commitments.
it's the moment in quiet self-reflection that the higher and lower mind unite to make this commitment. It is the unity of the physical, mental and emotional body to realize that work must be done.
Change is not easy nor is it comfortable. It forces you to get out of the comfort zone. I am an advocate for balance, but depending on the change, some people have to go cold turkey. With the hardest addictions like drugs, sex, alcohol or cigarettes, most people can't live in moderation. They are not wired that way. A heroin addict can't just shoot up once per week. They have to go cold turkey and focus on the therapy that gets them healthy again.
Fear, rigidity and self-sabotage hinder one's growth process. Discipline and commitment is the hardest for most, which is why they slip back into old behaviors. And this very thought makes people wonder if change is even possible?
Genetics and environment plays a role on how adaptable one is to change. The older people get, the harder it is to change. It is still possible.
Spiritually, I've met people who had near death experiences come out of those experiences completely different and remove and walk away from the negativity in their life. It took nearly dying for them to "wake up" and change. Sometimes it takes a murderer in prison to read the bible, repent and realize how their life was changed because of spiritual teachings and finding God.
There is no one path to change, but it is possible. In this world. anything is possible.
What do you think? Do people change?
As mentioned in a former blog post, Is Love the Most Powerful Force on the Planet?, in the past, our ancestors only experienced highs from procreation, sex and child birth.
The sad and scary part of today's addictions, is that many of these addictions are warping man's minds, creating real-life monsters, psychopaths, zombies out of many people's souls.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is, "a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death."
It is common for people to have more than one addiction today. In fact, some people trade in one addiction for another. I had a Dietician friend who worked in a bariatric clinic and had "arguments" with the doctors as she expressed this is a psychological, and not just an addiction to bad food. She found that post surgery, many of these people traded in their food addiction for gambling, alcohol, smoking or some other negative habit/addiction. Another example is that research has found that people who have sex or love addictions or trauma, also have eating issues / addictions.
The point is that many issues root to a spiritual and psychological warfare.
Here are some addictions that plague the modern man's soul that goes beyond drugs, gambling, sex and alcohol abuse.
"Gaming disorder" is a serious issue today, especially amongst techies. Introduced in the 1970's, games today are far from the origins of the "Oregon Trail." Today gaming addiction is seen on the same level as gambling. Now that games are available 24/7, most people are hooked, playing for hours everyday instead of once at the arcades.
Research is still trying to figure out as most believe gaming addiction is a type of impulse control disorder. Some have the thrill of winning which releases dopamine, a brain chemical that elevates mood and provides a rush of energy. Many question what games do the subconscious mind as most games today are violent and include mass killing. Games "encourage" a sedentary lifestyle, which further isolates people from humans. Some people can play games and never be addicted, but most people fall into the rabbit hole and get lost in, or addicted to, a virtual reality.
Porn is one of the major issues today, which affects more men than women. Today's porn is nothing like it was 20-40 years ago. For many, watching porn starts off as innocent but can eventually lead to a "dangerous" place mentally and socially.
Porn has four stages as noted from Diagnosing and Treating Pornography Addiction. Dr. Victor Cline provides a model of pornography addiction with 4 progressive steps:
- Addiction - A person compulsively views pornography.
- Escalation - As time progresses, the addict requires more extreme, more deviant material to get the same effect and satisfy the compulsions.
- Desensitization - The addict loses their perception of what is socially acceptable. Illegal material or those considered taboo, immoral, or repulsive seems "normal."
- Acting out sexually - "...an increasing tendency to act out sexually the behaviors viewed in the pornography, including compulsive promiscuity, exhibitionism, group sex, voyeurism, frequenting massage parlors, having sex with minor children, rape, and inflicting pain on themselves or a partner during sex."
We all dream of falling in love with Mr. or Mrs. Right. Some people, like adrenaline and outdoor junkies, have an addiction of falling in love. They love the high one gets from the initial stages of romance, but once the honeymoon phase wears off, they discard the relationship, in search for the next perfect person. Some love addicts put their partner on a pedestal and put more energy and attention towards them than themselves.
At the core, many love addicts have this fantasy that their partner will rescue them, and provide them unconditional attention at all times, resolving any issues or problems they have. When in love, love encompasses their entire existence. They have a fear of being alone or rejected. The excitement of new love, triggers the release of these neurotransmitters, stimulating the brain’s reward system. Most love addicts have issues from childhood trauma or a lack of love from their youth, which needs to be resolved. Some of this I believe has been programmed in our heads from chronic Disney fairy tales from our youth.
Consumerism was a great experiment, and guess what it worked. In today's decadent society, many people are addicted to shopping and finding something new. Compulsive shoppers experience a euphoria when purchasing new goods. However, like the hedonic treadmill, the euphoria wears off, but needs to be refilled with buying something else. Endorphins are released, which blots out discomfort.
It is said that compulsive spending or shopping affects about six percent, or 17 million people, of the US population. One root of the problem is the lack of control one has in their life or on their impulses.
Believe it or not, exercise can be addictive. There is a reason runners get addicted to running because of the "runner's high." There is a tipping point, when healthy exercise turns into an obsession for whatever reason. Some may exercise hours per day because they fear getting fat, or want to lose weight because they think they're fat. Some exercise because of control in their life where others use exercise as a replacement to some other addiction.
Marketers and modern day boxed foods have done a GREAT job at controlling the US population. Some people have a poor palate addicted to salt and sugar, but most have emotional eating issues. These issues lead to consuming high amounts of comfort food or actual eating disorders themselves. Whatever the root cause of the issue is, the brain is affected by emotional eating disorders / impulses.
The American Addiction Center states, "The brain is designed to react to a specific amount of dopamine, researchers say, and when it is provided with a dopamine signal that is too big, changes can result. The brain can turn off dopamine receptors, to muffle the next overeating onslaught, and that means people might eat even more during the next session. Dopamine feels good, and a rush feels wonderful. People who want that rush might need to eat more to get it.
This is the same cycle of dopamine flood and response seen in people who take drugs like heroin or OxyContin. These people also need to take in more to feel the same rush, and these people find it hard to stop taking drugs. Similarly, people with a long history of overeating might also find it hard to stop, due to the brain’s changes. These people are not making the choice to overeat. They are dealing with damaged brain cells."
This is a tough addiction to identify because some people are born to work and make a difference in this world. Some people's lives and identity revolves around work. They don't have hobbies and everything else in life is secondary. Some work so much because they are security junkies. Some workaholics are perfectionists and are their toughest critics. When work controls the life of someone, it is important to step back and analyze how your job affects your life.
Have you suffered from addiction? Do you know of any "uncommon" addictions that are becoming more common in today's digital age? In college, I suffered from exercise and some form of food addiction, which is in part the reason why I wrote, "Finding Om: An Indian Journey of Rickshaws, Chai, Chapattis and Gurus." so people can heal, discover pieces of their psychology and find the connection to their spirit all while enjoying this crazy thing we call life.
A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”
The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”
As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.
A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”
Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.
When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
When logically analyzing the messages, you have to see what you are experiencing and how your intuition reacts to that experience. Some people with karmic bonds will experience synchronicities, but this situation or experience is merely a test to see in what direction of life you'll go into. Some karmic bonds are invitations to do shadow work, and though signs were there, that person or experience is not for your higher good. The "sign" is to walk away, bless, forgive and let go.
We live in a logical world, and most people can handle logical signs from God. If people had visions of spirit beings they would most likely freak out, not able to handle the intensity.
So many people crave divine signs or experiences that is so "explosive" it looks like it comes out of a Hollywood movie. It doesn't work like that.
I will share one story. A person I knew was financially struggling. She kept having conversations and worries stir in her brain about needing help. Low and behold, within hours someone comes to her door and provides a bag of pet food as this woman knew she was strapped for cash.
Was this a sign from God? Absolutely. We must be grateful for each and every gift from the divine. A million dollars or a winning lottery ticket just doesn't pop into our lives. In my analysis, that sign is a message from God saying that you've been heard, and I will take care of you.
One client once lived in Hawaii. His aunt has been ill. One evening in Seattle there was a double rainbow that lasted over an hour. He got the inkling that his aunt just died because this was a sign in Hawaiian culture about rainbows being a bridge to heaven. Later that evening he got a call that his aunt indeed passed away that day.
Signs are signs. They are guiders, but are not strict rules. Some signs are prophetic, others are just divine messages trying to guide you into a certain direction in life. If something is meant to happen, it will.
Remember the divine has no timeline. Some signs and synchronicities occur for years before something actually cultivates.
You must check with your intuition and see what feelings arise when the signs come. Just don't miss the boat because you are expecting something that originates from a fantasy.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com
Follow her travels at: lemontreetravel.com