Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

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Tumultuous emotions

It’s been a tumultuous period, this past week, due to chemical exposures and food trials.  There is pain and discomfort.  Gnarly emotions trying to get my goat and succeeding from time-to-time.

Yesterday, I briefly sat at the ocean watching the waves.  This is what came to my mind.

Just like the ocean, one moment mind is stormy and the next it is calm.  True happiness and peace comes from recognizing the transitory nature of all that appears in the mind.  Don’t seek for happiness or shrink from displeasure.  Just let be with whatever comes your way.  It will dissolve naturally on its own.

This is not my original thinking.  It’s the heart of all the spiritual teachings I’ve been fortunate to receive over the years.

Sometimes we mistake spirituality for a “feel good” approach. Life will not always be a bowl of cherries.  There’s no usefulness in indulging the negative thoughts that arise at difficult times, but it’s also not beneficial to suppress them or pretend they don’t exist.  When we practice seeing their transitory nature, they vanish on their own.

True wisdom is so far beyond clinging to happiness.  It is the ultimate path of letting go.

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Advice from the Dalai Lama

Love yourself

“It seems that when some people talk of compassion, they have the notion that it entails a total disregard or even a sacrificing of one’s own interests. This is not the case. In fact, genuine love should first be directed at oneself – if we do not love ourselves, how can we love others?”  the Dalai Lama of Tibet

This quote is from the Dalai Lama’s Facebook page.  As odd as it may sound, we can all  become a “fan” of the Dalai Lama on Facebook.  Then, periodic doses of inspiration like the one above will be peppered on your Facebook home page.

You can also view five short teaching videos by clicking a link on the Dalai Lama’s Facebook page, including these two featured on his wall page:

  • The Need for A Compassionate Society
  • The Importance of a Calm Mind

Last but not least, you can also stay abreast of the Dalai Lama’s travels and hear his comments on world affairs.

This is the use of modern technology in its very best way — to spread love and compassion.

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It’s not always easy to be a pioneer.  It’s not always easy to have an illness that has yet to be validated by the medical community.  Nor is it easy to hold a fresh view of the world that is not yet accepted by our fellow travelers on the path.

Here is a quote to encourage and provide perspective in those times when no one seems to understand and you feel out on a limb.

“Every TRUTH passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self-evident.” ~~ Arthur Schopenhauer

Feel confident – your time will come.

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Health dangers of fragrance

Are you aware of the health dangers of fragrance—not just for those with chemical sensitivity, but for you too? Not  for women alone, but for men as well?

A whopping 90% or more of the chemicals in synthetic fragrance are derived from PETROCHEMICALS.  Yes, petrochemicals!  Very romantic, huh?!?  The chemicals in your fragrance can actually make another person go into anaphylactic shock, trigger a painful migraine, set off an asthma or allergy attack, cause any number of other symptoms, and also contribute to chronic ill health.  By the time you realize that repeated exposure to the low levels of chemicals contained in fragrance are triggering symptoms for you too, it’s a bit late to turn back the clock.  The overwhelming majority of these chemicals have not been tested for safety.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is working to protect your health by eliminating the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems.  Visit their website to read about the hidden health hazards lurking in fragrance.  Here’s one point that stands out for me because I am sensitized:

“Sensitizers: One in every 50 people may suffer immune system damage from fragrance and become sensitized, according to the EU’s Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-food Products. Once sensitized to an ingredient, a person can remain so for a lifetime, enduring allergic reactions with every subsequent exposure.”

I find that number startling!  As Tide (Tide Free) and All (All Fee and Clear) now offer fragrance free detergents, we know there must be truth to these statements.  These companies would never invest in such products if there wasn’t a substantial market and profit to be made.  These products are free of perfumes and dyes. Nevertheless, buyer beware as they still contain plenty of toxic chemicals.  I myself use 7th Generation Free and Clear, but some people with chemical sensitivity are so sensitized they cannot use detergent in any form.

Fragrance is ubiquitous:  off-gassing from dryer sheets, air fresheners, fabric softener, cleaning products, scented candles, personal care products, toothpaste, and the list goes on and on.  Most essential oils are synthetic and thus are typically comprised of noxious substances too.  I love the title of this post on counterfeit perfumes at Smell, Inc.,  Antifreeze and Urine Found in Some Perfumes, which illustrates the potential danger of buying perfumes at special reduced prices.

If you are committed to being green or thinking about going there, a good place to start is to eliminate the use of fragranced products.  Taking care of the planet is important, but protecting your health and the health of your children, who are more vulnerable to toxic chemicals, is also a priority.

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Using dreamtime constructively

dreamtimeHave your ever noticed how the thoughts, emotions, and images you entertain in the hours and minutes before falling asleep enter your dreamspace?

Often the thought or emotion that I fall asleep with is the one I wake with and may be the one I ruminate upon all night long.

For example, if I’m ticked, I notice how this seed of anger germinates all night long and influences my mood the next morning.  In a similar fashion, if I spend the later hours of the evening on the internet, I notice how images I observed there appear, often in a nonsensical way, in dreamtime.  While the latter may not be detrimental, it doesn’t necessarily enhance my wellbeing.

Wouldn’t it be far better to use my dreamtime in an intentional and positive way?

Directing your mind

This can be easily accomplished by focusing one’s mind in a particular direction before retiring.

If you gently visualize healing images—your cells filled with 5-colored streams of pure light, for example—chances are you will wake up feeling refreshed.  Done consistently, it’s been shown by scientific research that affirmative visualizations can enhance healing and recovery in the body, even from serious illnesses like cancer.

If you imagine your body filled with love and joy and tenderly streaming this out from your heart to the world,  you will more likely wake filled with happiness.

If you lightly, without strain, focus your attention on sacred images or spiritual figures of significance to you, these will pervade your dreams often bringing meaning, insight, and wisdom.

Many healing and spiritual traditions utilize the power of mind immediately before and during dreamtime to achieve greater spiritual accomplishment.  They know the power of mind. Just as science is now coming to discover, this clearly shows us that the mind is pliable, workable, and changeable.

As the Buddha said, “We are what we think.”  We can change our mind for the better and have a positive and powerful influence on ourselves and the world around us.

How do you use dreamtime?

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safer cleaning products

Be wary of these cleaning ingredients

EnviroBlog provides this informative article about 7 ingredients in cleaning products that are best avoided.  This is useful to know whether you are healthy or ill.  Continuous low level exposure to toxic chemicals can gradually lead to various forms of ill health and inflammation not simply chemical sensitivity alone.

I keep my life simple and safe by using the minimum amount of cleaning products.  Baking soda and hot water are my #1 cleaning companions.  Baking soda is non-toxic, environmentally safe, absorbs fragrance and other odors, and tolerated by most people with chemical sensitivity and environmental illnesses.  I find buying a 4 lb. box is usually more economical.

The other products that I use include Bon Ami cleanser and 7th Generation All Purpose Cleaner.  However, I want to double check the ingredients in the 7th Generation All Purpose Cleaner.  This article lauds 7th Generation for listing all their product ingredients on their website, since most companies do not reveal all ingredients.

There are a number of ingredients in ‘natural’ products that can trigger symptoms for people.  “Green” is good, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a product is safe for those with chemical sensitivity.

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