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Helm of the Heart

We are the ones we've been waiting for

Monthly Archives: January 2013

healinghand

I recently went to see a chiropractor who specializes in natural medicine, specifically through “Applied Kinesiology”, muscle testing and dietary evaluation, also taking into account lab results and medical history. A number of people I trust and love have experienced significant results by working with this person, and although it isn’t covered by my ridiculously expensive insurance, it was fairly affordable (150$ for the inital consultation, dropping down to 125$ for the second visit, and reducing even more on subsequent visits, plus the cost of supplements).

Dr. Lennox is located in Encinitas, CA. Just having an excuse to go to Encinitas was a huge draw for me, I absolutely love that area and would love to live there. Here is his website: http://www.drlennox.com/

Anyway, I have only had one session, but what I love most about my experience was the feeling of being treated as a complex human being; what I have heard referred to as a “mind/body/spirit complex”. I do not mean to insult or discredit doctors, nurses, etc., since I pay a small fortune every month for medical insurance, I am obviously someone who buys into that system and sees its value. However, there is a tendency for our Western Medicine to splice our symptoms into discrete “problems”, often solved with unnecessary medications or surgeries. Although there is surely a time and a place for these things, there is a need to view ourselves as a complex system with many overlapping and interlocking aspects that are apparent in our minds, bodies, and spirits.

I went through a long list of questions (on the website you can download all of the forms if you want to know exactly what types of questions) that ranged from my medical history, to my aches, pains, discomforts, dietary habits, allergies, sleeping habits, the list goes on and on.

While I consider myself to be in pretty good health, and yoga has healed my body in a number of ways, there are still discomforts that I continuously experience. Mostly, I want to deepen my own connection and communication with my mind/body/spirit.

After talking for a while in a very open manner, the muscle-testing began. I’m not really sure what to say about this, because it is so hard to explain in a way that doesn’t sound absurd. Dr. Lennox was incredibly professional and explained everything that he was doing. Basically, certain muscles are connected to different organs. Your ability to control those muscles and “resist” against pressure is an indication of the health in that organ or system.

I realize that I am giving a broad but shallow description here, but if you want to know more, I think you should explore and ask questions. All I know is that after this experience, I am starting to see connections that I was not aware of previously.

I am going back to have lab tests done to hone in more specifically, but I’ve discovered that a variety of internal factors (genetics) combined with external factors (what I eat, put on my skin, my environment) are all exacerbating what is most likely a singular root cause. More on that later.

It was so refreshing to approach my health in a collaborative, cooperative manner that focused on simple solutions for larger problems. These different aspects of ourselves: mind, body, spirit, all have such important functions, and none of them should be ignored or trivialized.

Most importantly, you must heal your totality through shared love, joy, compassion, and general silliness 😛

mindbodyspirit

♥/☼
Amanda

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Lately I have been fascinated by symbols- what they mean, where they originate, as well as their use in fashion and popular culture. One symbol that has always stood out to me is the “Hamsa Hand” or “Hand of Fatima” (Islam), “Hand of Miriam” (Judaism), “Hand of Mary” (Christianity). This symbol permeates through boundaries of time, space, and faith.

The Hamsa also has a special place in Hinduism and Buddhism. In these religions, the hands are a source of healing. Mudras are spiritual gestures or energetic seals that are used for various purposes. The five elements are associated with the five fingers that are used in mudras:

  • Agni- thumb- fire
  • Vaayu- index finger-air
  • Akaşa- middle finger- ethereal
  • Prithivi- ring finger- earth
  • Apas- pinkie- water

There are many different origin stories and meanings given to this symbolic hand, but what I love is that this symbol seems to belong to every faith, in some manner. Some see the Hamsa as God’s hand in the earth. When I think about how much I rely on my hands to do everything- typing, eating, bathing, showing affection for others or lending a hand to those in need. It is really quite profound to think of our hands as a part of God, or a higher power, allowing us to be creators ourselves.

Across every faith I have mentioned, the Hamsa is a symbol of protection. Some say that it wards off the “evil eye”, and many believe that displaying a Hamsa in the home protects from disasters or negative energy.  This symbol also represents the Goddess energy, or divine feminine. The divine mother lends her hand to ward off negative intentions and radiate love. It is thought to be a talisman for abundance, fertility, luck, and good health. The hand is often pointing down, showing the protection from above.

It is a symbol of our human connection, our ability to create, transform and love.

♥/☼
Amanda

 

 

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It has been far too long since I came here to reflect and record my thoughts. Part of it might be due to my new job working at an online charter school, typing and staring at a computer screen all day. But mostly, I think I have been in the throes of abundant change.

Leaving Northern California and my former school behind was difficult, but my nomadic lifestyle has hindered my ability to take root and marinate on the changes taking place both internally and externally.

There are many aspects of living in Southern California that are wonderful. I get to see my family and friends more frequently, and Mexican food now makes up approximately 30% of my diet.

There is definitely a different “overall vibe”, however. I’m not sure if it’s all the lifted trucks, orange skin and plastic bodies, because these features exist in Northern California, although seemingly to a lesser degree.

I don’t know know if it’s the fact that all the groupons and livingsocial deals in my inbox used to feature museums, yoga studios, and exotic foods, whereas now I receive constant deals for Botox and eyelash extensions.

I really can’t put into words why two parts of the same state seem so different. What I’ve come to realize is that it really doesn’t matter.

Having true “peace of mind” means that you are unswayed by your external stimulus.

I certainly wouldn’t claim that I have achieved this. I’m not sure if it is something to be achieved. It’s more of a practice, like yoga. Something that you constantly work towards, bringing your everyday awareness into harmony with your inner truth.

Since moving down here, I have been practicing at CorePower Yoga. Many people critique CorePower for being “too Western” or “gym yoga”. In essence, I think that many yogis see the chain of studios and the franchise-esque feel and they are turned off. I initially chose these studios because they are all over Orange County and San Diego, and since I am moving around a lot, it’s nice to have that flexibility.

While I loved my studios in San Jose (Just Breathe Yoga & Downtown Yoga Shala) and I credit these studios and their teachers for nurturing my own path as a yogi, I have also found solace in creating my own personal tranquilly, without my beloved community.

I aim to examine the seemingly difficult or frustrating aspects of my life as “catalyst for growth” rather than dwelling on what isn’t the way I think it should be. Throughout this transition, yoga has been one of my constants, and while it may not be in a studio adorned with the works of local artists and we don’t chant, and no one has had me scream with every ounce of my lung capacity before savasana (that was awesome, Noell!), I still crave the time I have on my mat to forget everything and just absorb.

We refer to yoga as a “practice”, but most important things in life should be viewed that way. By letting go of the images and constructs of what we think we should be, and acknowledging our progressions and regressions, we can actually accomplish more.

♥/☼
Amanda