Wednesday 12th- Treatment 5

Just like the best journeys have no true beginning or end, neither should the relationships we forge along the way- Unknown

Today was bittersweet. It was my final treatment. The good (the treatment and chatting with Manjot about my life) comes with the not-so-good (the finishing of the treatments and not seeing Manjot for a while).

However, reaching a new point means letting go of what’s come before. So, I thoroughly enjoyed my final treatment and our final chat (for now) and prepared myself for my farewell.

As I hugged Manjot I said to her “It’s not goodbye, just cya later.”  We both smiled and I knew that it was true.

Namaste, Natalie

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Tongue scraping & Oil Pulling

Tongue Scraping

“Hold on what do you want me to do…. scrape my tongue?” I guarantee you, do it for one week and you will never quit. It is like brushing your teeth. Once you start, your mouth just doesn’t feel clean without doing it.

Tongue scraping, or Jihwa Prakshalana, is said to remove ama, which is digestive impurities (the result of incomplete or inefficient digestion). It is important to remove ama as it is toxic and if it isn’t removed, it will be reabsorbed by the body.

Here’s How to Scrape Your Tongue:

  1. While there are professional tongue scrapers out there, I prefer the front of a large flat spoon. I’m not sure if the spoon I use is silver but if you are using a spoon, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend a silver spoon (Silver is known for its antibacterial properties.)
  2. Relax your tongue so that the scraper contacts maximum surface area, and place the scraper as far back on your tongue as comfortable. Gently yet firmly, scrape the entire surface from back to front.
  3. Rinse the scraper well with hot water after each use.
  4. Repeat this process 3-5 times, until your tongue looks clean, and pinkish or red in colour.

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Oil Pulling

This practice has been an aspect of Dinacharya for thousands of years, and involves swishing oil, such as coconut, sunflower or sesame, around your gums and teeth for 2-20 minutes each day, typically in the morning. Oil pulling is effective in removing toxins and parasites, which reside in between your teeth, around the tongue, and on the gums. This simple routine involves swishing (not gargling) one tablespoon of oil in your mouth for as long as it feels comfortable.

While I find any longer than 5-6 minutes excruciating, I continue to do this practice for as long as I can because I know that it draws out bacteria and has been shown to promote healthy gums and teeth and reduce tartar build-up.

Embrace oil pulling as part of your daily teeth-cleaning routine, and remember these few things:

  • Swish the oil gently. If your jaw or mouth starts aching, slow down.
  • Avoid swallowing the oil throughout the process.
  • Once you are done pulling, spit the oil in the garden or into the bin. Do not spit it in the sink as over time the oil may clog pipes.
  • After spitting, rinse your mouth with warm water before consuming any beverages.

Being healthy in Ayurveda

flowerspinkAccording to Ayurveda, someone who is healthy has all three Doshas in balance, a wholesome appetite, strong digestion, all body tissues functioning favourably, regular excretion, and their mind is in a state of bliss, in tune with the spirit.

There are many ways in which you can begin to balance your Doshas, one way is obviously through the food we eat but another way is engaging in a regular routine of looking after your health and wellness of your mind, body, and spirit.

 

That daily routine is called Dinacharya. Below I have simply listed the steps in an Ayurvedic daily routine. If you are just starting out I recommend trying to implement just 1 or 2 of these steps and establish a good routine before taking on any more steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed and then giving up altogether.

Dinacharya: Your Daily Yogic Routine

The Ayurveda practice of Dinacharya, or “law of nature,” consists of daily self-care routines, which provide structure for instilling balance and establishing cohesiveness in the physical, mental, and emotional bodies.

  1. Wake up in the morning before sunrise.

 

  1. If easy and natural… eliminate: empty bowel and bladder. Don’t strain. Ayurveda never wants us to resist healthy natural urges, or strain by trying to force them.

 

  1. Wash your face and splash cold water in the eyes. Our eyes work very hard all day and they tend to accumulate a lot of heat. Splashing a bit of cold water into each eye in the morning helps to cool, soothe, and relax the eyes, but also helps us to feel more vibrantly awake.

 

  1. Scrape your tongue (yes, I know it sounds revolting and it is gross but now, 9 months in, I can’t stand not doing it first thing in the morning as my mouth feels so much better for doing it). Please see my Blog “Tongue Scraping & Oil Pulling” for more information on how to do this.

 

  1. Oil pulling (once again it is something that takes some getting used to but once you get used to it, it is addictive). Please see my Blog “Tongue Scraping & Oil Pulling” for more information on how to do this.

 

  1. Rinse mouth thoroughly and brush your teeth.

 

  1. After this is a good time to drink a cup of water.

 

  1. Skin brushing. Please see my Blog “Abhyanga & Skin Brushing” for more information on how to do this.

 

  1. Perform Abhyanga- warm Ayurvedic oil self-massage- which oil to use depends on your Dosha. Please see my Blog “Abhyanga & Skin Brushing” for more information on how to do this.

 

  1. It’s best to wait 10-15 minutes for the oil to soak in between your massage and shower. If you don’t have time, immediately jumping in the shower is OK.

 

  1. Shower using warm rather than hot water.

 

  1. Perform Yoga Asanas (poses/ postures) and Pranayama (breath work).

 

  1. Practice Meditation starting with just a few minutes each day and working up to twenty minutes.

 

  1. Eat a light breakfast.

 

  1. Then… work or school- you are ready to do this!

 

  1. Make your biggest meal your lunch.

 

  1. Go to bed early.

 

The above are only a select few options on the full menu of Dinacharya offerings. Obviously, you will already be doing some of the things listed above and won’t need to add everything to your routine. Try one or try all the offerings. I suggest taking on adopting one or two practices to start with and continue to build your routine. The adoption of two Dinacharya-inspired changes can make a difference when enveloped into your day-to-day routine. For example, since January I have implemented oil pulling and tongue scraping into my daily routine and my mouth is thanking me for doing so! We are all works in progress and I continue to work towards building other practices into my daily routine.

The implementation of a personal Dinacharya ritual can serve as powerful and effective insurance for physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing.

I hope this has been helpful.  🙂

Enjoy!

Two Monks and a Maiden

One day, two monks set out for a temple in a valley beyond the woods. While cutting a pathway through the woods, they came across a choppy stream they needed to cross. There, stood by the bank of the stream, was a beautiful young maiden dressed in silk. She was clearly at a loss as to how to cross without getting muddy and wet.

So, without thinking twice, the elder monk gestured to pick her up. Shocked, she obliged. He put her over his shoulder and waded across to the other side. The younger monk, dismayed and uneasy at what he had witnessed, followed in tow.

Upon reaching the other side of the bank, the elder monk put the maiden down gently. The maiden paid her respects and walked on. The monks then continued on their way to the temple.

As they navigated through the forest, the younger monk, still troubled by what he’d seen, asked, “How could you do that? We aren’t even supposed to make eye contact with women, let alone pick them up and carry them!”

Without a thought, the elder monk turned to the younger monk and said, “Oh, are you still carrying her? I put her down when I reached the other side of the stream”.

And with that, the elder monk turned and continued leading the way through the forest, leaving the younger monk to contemplate his words for the remainder of the journey.

–       Author Unknown

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It is very interesting to me that the lesson of ‘letting go’ has come up in my Ayurveda sessions. As you might recall, I wrote about this in an earlier post ‘Life Lessons’ where I admitted that letting go is one of the hardest lessons for me. I am so glad that it has come up again as it is another reminder that it is an area in my life that I need to spend some more time developing. After all, if we are holding onto yesterday’s actions, it will affect today’s progress. Thinking and worrying about what we did or didn’t do, should or shouldn’t have said or done cannot change the past. Beating ourselves up over past wrongs cannot make them right. Instead, we need to forgive ourselves, try to make amends with the people we have hurt, and move on with life the best we can. Well at least that’s what I want to do as life is short and the only way to enjoy it is to live in the present moment.

Tuesday 11th- Treatment 4

“Don’t let the darkness from your past block the light of joy in your present. What happened is done. Stop giving time to things which no longer exist, when there is so much joy to be found here and now.” – Karen Salmansohn

Today I felt like my mind was defragmenting. I just let it all go.

The practice of letting go is used to support our acceptance of the way things are, and I believe it’s a cornerstone of creating a happy, full life. Learning to let go of the things that are not serving you will free up energy and resources and you will begin to reap the benefits of a grateful, joyful life.

I feel that I am now on the road to a grateful, joyful life.

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Namaste, Natalie

The Two Wolves

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An elder Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other stands for love, joy, peace, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person too.”

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The grandfather simply replied, “The one you feed.”

–       Author unknown

 

What wolf are you feeding?

 

Namaste, Natalie

Monday 10th- Treatment 3

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“Love is a choice. Fear is a default. Choose love and overcome fear.” – Manjot

 

I didn’t write this post immediately after my treatment as I have been pondering this idea for a few days.

 

Do You Love, or Do You Fear?

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” – John Lennon

 

If you remove all your fears- every one of them- how different would your life be? Think about it. If nothing stopped you from following your dreams, your life would probably be very different.

In the English language we have many words to describe the emotions we experience in our lifetimes. But deep down there are only two emotions: love and fear. Or should I say love or fear since the two can’t coexist. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear anger, hate, anxiety and guilt are fostered.

According to Manjot (and the Karmic law: The Law of Focus), we have to make a decision to be in one place or the other. There is no neutrality in this. If you don’t actively choose love, you will find yourself in the ‘default’ of either fear or one of its component feelings. In difficult circumstances when our commitment to love instead of fear is challenged, we must choose love otherwise the choice will always be the alternative; fear.

Even when you choose love, it doesn’t mean you will never fear again but you are one step closer to healing old wounds and chasing your fears away.

Whatever one puts out into the Universe will come back to them. Love tends to breed more love, and fear tends to breed more fear because like attracts like. It’s really up to you.

How about you, do you love, or do you fear? You can share your insights and join the conversation by clicking on the comment link.

 

Namaste,

Natalie

The 12 Laws of Karma that will blow your mind

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Karma is the law of cause and effect– an unbreakable law of the cosmos. Your actions create your future. The reason your fate is never sealed is because you have free will. Therefore, your future cannot already be written. That would not be fair. Life gives you chances. This is one of them.

 “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” – Ghandi

 

 

  1. The Great Law/ Law of Cause and Effect: “As you sow, so shall you reap.”
  • The simple explanation of the Great Law is: our thought and actions have consequences- good or bad.
  • Energy (thought, action) that we put into the world has a consequence, immediate or not.
  • To receive happiness, peace, love, and friendship, one must BE happy, peaceful, loving, and a true friend.
  • Whatever one puts out into the Universe will come back to them.
  1. The Law of Creation: “What we desire comes through participation.”
  • Life requires our participation to happen. It does not happen by itself.
  • We are one with the Universe, both inside and out.
  • Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
  • Surround yourself with what you want to have in your life and be yourself.
  1. The Law of Humility: “Refusal to accept what is, will still be what is.”
  • One must accept something in order to change it.
  • We must first accept the present circumstances in order to change them.
  • In focusing on the negative instead of making changes to address the negative, we’re committing to a zero-sum result.
  1. The Law of Growth: “Our own growth is above any circumstance.”
  • “Wherever you go, there you are.”
  • The only thing we have control over is ourselves.
  • True change only occurs if we make the commitment to change what is in our heart.
  • It is we who must change and not the people, places or things around us if we want to grow spiritually.
  • When we change who and what we are within our hearts, our lives follow suit and changes too.
  1. The Law of Responsibility: “Our lives are of our own doing, nothing else.”
  • When there is turbulence in one’s own life, there is often turbulence internally. If we’re to change our life, we must change our frame of mind and surroundings.
  • We mirror what surrounds us, and what surrounds us mirrors us; this is a Universal Truth.
  • One must take responsibility for what is in one’s life.
  1. The Law of Connection: “Everything in the Universe is connected, both large and small.”
  • Our past, present and future are all connected. As such, we must put in the work to change these connections if we desire something different.
  • The smallest or seemingly least important of things must be done because everything in the Universe is connected.
  • No step- first, intermediate or last- is more important in the accomplishment of a task. All are required.
  • Each step leads to the next step, and so forth and so on.
  1. The Law of Focus: “One cannot direct attention beyond a single task.”
  • We cannot have negative thoughts or actions and expect to grow spiritually. We must direct full attention to achieve any desired task.
  • One cannot think of two things at the same time.
  • Always think thoughts of love.
  • If our focus is on Spiritual Values, it is not possible for us to have lower thoughts like greed or anger.
  1. The Law of Hospitality and Giving: “Demonstrating our selflessness shows true intentions.”
  • What we claim to believe must manifest into our actions. Selflessness is a virtue only if we’re accommodating something other than ourselves.
  • Without a selfless nature, true spiritual growth is nearly impossible.
  • If one believes something to be true, then sometime in their life they will be called upon to demonstrate that truth.
  • Here is where one puts what they claim to have learned into practice.
  1. The Law of Change: “History repeats itself unless changed.”
  • Conscious commitment to change is the only method of influencing the past. History will continue along an unconstructive path until positive energies direct it elsewhere.
  • One cannot be in the here and now if they are looking backward to examine what was or forward to worry about the future.
  • Old thoughts, old patterns of behaviour, and old dreams prevent us from having new ones.
  1. The Law of Here and Now: “The Present is all we have.”
  • History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.
  • Looking back regretfully and forward pointlessly robs oneself of a present opportunity. Old thoughts and patterns of behaviour negate the present chance to advance ourselves.
  • Live in the here and now. Practice Mindfulness.
  1. The Law of Patience and Reward: “Nothing of value is created without a patient mindset.”
  • All Rewards require initial toil.
  • Toiling away cannot be circumvented through wishful thinking. Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil, nothing else.
  • Rewards are not the end-result. True joy comes from doing what one is supposed to be doing, and knowing that the reward will come in its own time.
  1. The Law of Significance and Inspiration: “The best reward is one that contributes to the Whole.”
  • One gets back from something whatever they put into it.
  • The true value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.
  • Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.
  • The end result is of little value if it leaves little or nothing behind. These lesser contributions have no impact on the Whole, nor do they work to diminish it.
  • Loving contributions bring life to and inspire the Whole.
  • Energy and intentions are vital components that determine the significance of an end-result. Ideally, love and passion embody the motives of one that resolves to leave a lasting impression on the Whole.

 

Namaste,

Natalie

 

P.S. This list was adapted from several websites. The words above are not my original thoughts or words. For further reference you can visit the following websites where I obtained this information:

https://www.davidwolfe.com/12-laws-of-karma-change-life/

https://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/12-little-known-laws-of-karma-that-will-change-your-life/

https://www.powerofpositivity.com/12-laws-of-karma-that-will-change-your-life/

 

It is what it is

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There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbours came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“It is what it is,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbours exclaimed.

“It is what it is,” replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown off violently, and broke his leg. The neighbours again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “It is what it is,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbours congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “It is what it is,” said the farmer.

–       Author Unknown

It is what it is. It is neither good nor bad; nor positive or negative. It just is.

Sunday 9th- Treatment 2

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“Don’t say I don’t like you, say I love you but you must go now. I no longer have any need for you in my life.”- Manjot

 

 

A common theme in my world lately has been the idea and practice of letting go. I have issues letting go of things that no longer serve me. In a previous post “Life Lessons” I briefly wrote about how difficult it is for me to let go of thoughts and feelings that no longer serve me. I identified that this is an area that I struggle with and one that I need to continue to work on.

In life, I find we hold on onto A LOT; mostly unnecessarily so. We hold on to feelings of anger, sadness, happiness, regret. We hold on to things. We hold on to the idea of things. We hold on to dreams. We hold on to certain ideals. We hold on to people. For me I hold onto thoughts and feelings for way too long.

Manjot teaches that there are no negatives, just experiences and that every experience teaches us something. The trick is to know when the lesson has been learnt and when to let go. When you view the world as just a series of experiences, you must be thankful for what it has taught you and move on.

Manjot is teaching me the steps of moving on by peeling away past layers of myself, my thoughts, feelings, my hurts, limiting beliefs that no longer serve me, and anything else that needs to be cleared. In doing so, she is helping me step more fully into the person I’m here to be in this life.

What steps do you think you can take to let go and step forward? How does it make you feel when you let go of these things that you cling to? I’d love to hear about it, let me know!

Om, Shanti.