One of the things that pains me so much is how so many of us are yearning for real connection, real relationships for others, but that is so hard to come by in our increasingly plastic world.
There’s a lot of reasons for this, but you can boil it down to two main ones:
Emotional absenteeism runs in families, and it happens when the parent themselves got locked inside their own heart, because for whatever reason, their own parents never really saw them, never really spoke to them about their own emotional state, never really ventured past that ‘safe’ space of talking down to the kid as a dependent, ‘mini-me’ or nuisance.
I used to get really angry about this, but then I came to realise more and more just how badly these parents are hurting themselves, and in pain. It's so hard to get stuck being ‘plastic people’, who can’t really own their own true feelings, or even really know what their true feelings are, let alone express them.
And if a person can't 'see' their own true feelings, they can't validate anyone else's, especially not their kids'.
With the rise of the screen in our lives – first TV, then video, then computers, and now i-Phones – this emotional absenteeism and emphasis on external appearance has become a rampant epidemic, a plague, destroying so many people’s lives.
Usually, I don’t post up pop videos here on spiritualselfhelp.org, and I certainly don’t post up things that aren’t shmirat eynayim friendly. But this video affected me so strongly – to the point where I literally got heartache and started weeping – that I’m making an exception to that rule.
If you don’t want to see 30 seconds of bare-armed dancing ladies, skip it. But if you’re already used to seeing things like that, then please do watch it.
A picture speaks a thousand words, and this video manages to convey something in 3 ½ minutes that I’ve spent the last four years writing about, here on the blog.
It’s by Stromae, a Belgian singer who lost his father in the Rwandan killings back in the 1990s. It’s in French, and the chorus is: “Where is your father? Tell me, where is your father?”
So many people are missing their parents at the moment. And the worst is when your parent - your loved one - is there right in front of you, and you still can’t really interact with them in any but the most plastic way.
I read the following post on SassonMag.com, by writer Varda Branfman, and it blew me away. I asked her permission to re-post it here on Spiritual Self-Help, and she kindly agreed. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Everyone called him “The Biggest Gastroenterologist in Colorado.” I come to him on a referral because I am suffering from intestinal pain, chronic digestive problems, and a persistent low fever.
After looking at my X-ray, Biggest Gastro feels I need to undergo a series of tests to figure out exactly what I have going on in there. He says it is urgent and I must check into the hospital immediately, even though it is the eve of Rosh Hoshanah. My baby is 11 months old and still nursing. She will have to go cold turkey and get weaned overnight onto a bottle.
It all happens so fast as we stand together in front of an x-ray of my colon. Squarely facing us is the problem and the doctor’s firm conviction that something must be done immediately to fight it. He knows exactly how to confront it, and suddenly, we, the very object of his emotional conviction, know absolutely nothing.
He is willing to save me, but it is clear that I must put myself entirely in his hands.Later, I learn that such confidence as he displays is a sure sign that I am straying in the wrong direction.
But his confidence is mesmerizing, and we’ve been numbed out by a feeling of helplessness that something bigger than ourselves is now in progress.
We live several miles from the hospital, and my husband explains to me that he will not be able to walk over to see me for the next three days, two days of Rosh Hashanah and then Shabbos. There is hardly time to say goodbye. We are both in shock. The doctor has intimated that I may be seriously ill. Rosh Hashanah begins in about two hours.
There’s no one to watch our baby if my husband stays with me. The doctor’s words have suddenly plunged us into a drama of life and death, and no one to say, “Wait, don’t put your life in the hands of Biggest Gastro. Don’t leave yourself here. Go find your healing.”
We’ve been led to believe that there is simply no alternative. There are tears in the corners of my eyes. I try to be strong for my husband. And then I find myself alone, dressed in the hospital white gown.
From my symptoms and their examination of my colon, they seem to think that I have one of those big diseases. They are determined to get to the bottom of it and have reeled off the names of a series of tests that will cover all the bases.
I am my body
My body is not working properly, and like any car engine that is making funny noises, we have taken it into the shop. The only difference is: I am my body. I can’t leave it off for a few days, and then come back and get it.
What is done to it, is done to me. Perhaps I have an unusually strong identification with my body. I haven’t quite been able to separate from it.
When it stretches, I stretch. When it feels a wave of well-being, so do I.
On my first visit from the nurse, she announces that I will be eating nothing but cubes of instant broth for at least two days. I look at the ingredients on the silver wrapping. There are written a series of chemicals designed to taste like chicken soup. Sometimes they gave me a bogus vegetable broth with just about all the same chemicals.
I surrender and watch my body get weaker and weaker. I’m being starved so that their tests on my colon don’t have to be so messy. Then, they start drawing blood every few hours and ordering me to take stool samples twice a day. I barely have the strength to walk to the bathroom.
Test after test
Left with my own thoughts for 72 hours, I die slowly from every single possible disease of the digestive system. The nurses are very solicitous, but they don’t have time to chat. They do notice my weakness and order a wheelchair to transport me to the daily X-rays, the Cat Scan, Bone Marrow Test, Colonoscopy, and Gynecological Work-Up. I overhear one of them saying to the other, “She’s so young. I think she’s a young mother.”
Perhaps they are not aware that I am an orthodox Jew and for 72 hours there will be no phone calls or visits because it’s a three day Yom Tov. The second bed in the room is empty, and I am totally alone for most of the time, almost as if I’ve been put on isolation ward.
I enter the hospital with a low-grade fever and stomach pains, the clear result of an inflamed colon. I am being moved and manipulated and rolled over all day long. No one has asked me how I’m feeling and truly waited for the answer.
I am being killed by formalities. The extra blood tests, stool tests, and all the comprehensive tests are ignoring the state of the patient. She is slowly going under.
“There is no pain”
On the second day, they perform the colonoscopy. They give me a local anesthetic which they assert is just a precaution in case it’s painful, and when I scream from the pain, they assure me that there is none. As my screams get louder, their polite assurances turn into a fierce insistence.
What a relief when the Biggest Gastro announces that he’s found what he is looking for—the ulcers in my colon. He is plainly enjoying his expedition into my interior, and he launches a description of the terrain. The cramping I feel is unbearable, and I’m flailing with my arms when the nurse pins me down.
Apologetically, she asks the doctor if it’s possible to remove the probe because the patient is not behaving. And, after a disdainful look in my direction, he complies.
The findings seem conclusive, but they are determined to rule out all the other possibilities. And so the tests go on and on. Each morning for my nine day incarceration, the nurse enters the room, looks on my chart, and cheerfully announces the day’s events.
No strength left to care
I am only a shadow of myself. On Sunday, my husband makes his long-awaited visit with my baby. I am too weak to hold her. I want to respond to her joy at seeing me, but I can only squeeze out a faint smile.
Then I burst into tears as I realize that I don’t even have the strength to care for her.
I should have known. I had already had some experience with this award-winning hospital. It was in this very same hospital that my sweet baby was born.
Together with my husband and our little overnight suitcase, we made our way down to an underground floor of the hospital complex. Our steps echoed in the giant windowless hallway until we came to the massive door with a small sign to the left announcing we were at the right place. We were then buzzed in. It reminded me of the entrance to a nuclear power plant. It all seemed very dangerous and secretive.
Once inside, it continued to be soundless. The nurse led us to the first room on a long corridor with another massive door to open. Inside, there were again no windows in a large room with a hospital bed smack in the middle. Off to the side in the shadows, a few chairs.
And then again, the door closed.
I climbed up on the bed, and for the next nine hours I labored to have my baby. When I looked up at the clock that said 3, it could have been 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning. With no natural light, I had lost track of the time.
I was alone with the faithful contractions at regular intervals. Fortunately, I had hired a labor coach who kept reminding me that those contractions were getting me closer and closer to the birth.
From prison to hotel
Once the baby was born, we were taken to the maternity ward up on a higher floor. There were windows and pitchers of ice water on the table. Someone sent me flowers. The hospital became a non-intrusive backdrop to another of life’s major events. It was more of a hotel with meals at the side of the bed and triple occupancy in the rooms.
Thank G-d, I was not there to be healed. All the tests came out normal, and they sent us home after three days. I was a healthy, normal new mother, and the nurses were full of congratulations.
Now they are cold and efficient, as if they are simply there to monitor the mal-functioning machinery.
The fight-back begins
At the bone marrow test, my will to live begins to stir within me. In horror, I watch them drill a little hole into the bone of my hip and extract a bone sample. This time, the anesthetic works, and there is only a numb feeling from my waist down.
It is too late to stop the procedure by the time I find my fighting spirit. As they remove the syringe, I demand to know why they are doing this to me. They don’t have the answer. Without even looking up, they tell me to ask my doctor, as they proceed to clean up the site of the invasion.
I began to see myself as a war zone, being ferreted back and forth from room to room, from test to test, with my body being chipped away bit by bit. They are using the state of the art weaponry— miniature television cameras, chemicals, radiation, and the knife.
And an age-old tactic—slow starvation.
Arousing the sleeping warrior
When I am finally allowed to eat again, I feel some strength returning. It’s very possible that there is some real food content on the tray before me, between the wonder bread and the rubber chicken, between the instant mash potatoes and the red jello. But at least there are some calories here which translate into energy to arouse the sleeping warrior within me.
My doctor is impossible to find, apart from his star appearances every afternoon on the ward rounds as he instructs the student doctors about each case. All the student doctors are wearing white coats, but he has on an impeccable tan suit and tie. He moves with the assurance of an elevated being who has conquered the entire human digestive system.
He explains to me that there is a tendency to developing leukemia in my family since my father succumbed to that disease, and he just wants to make sure with the bone marrow test that I don’t have it.
I don’t want to argue with him that my father’s symptoms were totally different from mine, and that I’ve already endured the colonoscopy which defined my condition as ulcerative colitis.
I have been fighting a losing battle ever since I gave my consent to this hospital stay and signed over full rights to my body and my life. I know that it is useless to argue with the prince of this malevolent kingdom, but still, I dare to say the words, “I want to go home.”
With an explosion of feeling just under the surface, I calmly try to stare him down.
“Oh no, no, we’ve got to rule out the possibility of parasites in the stool tests, and that will take another few days,” is his benevolent reply.
Illness is big business
I am beginning to understand the story. The hospital is getting good money from my insurance policy for each day that I stay on. I am now quite sure that the hospital is not a place of healing, and now I discover that it is really big business. A multi-million dollar business. And this Biggest Gastro is one of the top executives.
He gives me a charming smile. “I’ll try to get you back home before Yom Kippur, but I can’t promise.”
At least, he knows what Yom Kippur is, but does he know what he is doing? All along, he has been acting as if he is doing me the biggest favor in the world, acting as if he is saving my life. He carries himself with a giant helping of self-justification and conviction, as if his chosen work is to save lives. But he is far from saving lives. Even far from healing them.
In his role as doctor, he makes a good living for his family, but does he know how much destruction he leaves in his path?
He prescribes a daily dose of cortisone to control the ulcerative colitis which he claims to be a chronic condition and incurable. When I ask him for some dietary suggestions, he is happy to assure me that I can eat anything with impunity. I just have to keep taking the cortisone.
I don’t have any medical training, but it seems obvious to me that a digestive problem might be exacerbated by eating the wrong foods, that the sensitive lining of my colon might respond well to some foods and be irritated by others.
My other big question has to do with the drug of choice. I once worked in a drug company for about six months. If hospitals are big business, then drugs are even bigger.
Without even reading the little white paper wrapped around the bottle, I know there are side effects to cortisone. With a small amount of research, I learn that the side effects include teeth loss, depression, weight gain, and after 20 years of use, a much higher likelihood of cancer.
When my husband calls the doctor to ask him about the likelihood of cancer, he laughs it off by saying something about twenty years being a long time. Apparently, he’s not very concerned about knocking a few years off my life and saddling me with a host of unsolicited ailments besides the one I have.
Grateful to be alive
It’s Erev Yom Kippur, and I finally leave the hospital about 15 pounds thinner and with big, black circles under my eyes. Our Rabbi forbids me to make the fast. I’ve been de-humanized, but I’m grateful to be alive. And I’ve learned my lesson never to give my body and my life into the safekeeping of “well-meaning” health professionals in big city hospitals.
I leave the bottle of cortisone unopened. I become an avid reader of books on digestion. I learn about the connection between stress and colitis, and between stress and problems with health in general. I discover that colitis and diet are intimately related. The lining of the colon is dramatically affected by the food that passes through there.
Biggest Gastro seems convinced that my illness is something like a wild bronco wrecking havoc in my digestive system. That we must bring in the big guns—a powerful medicine called cortisone—which will tame that bronco.
Let’s try another paradigm. The spastic colon with its internal sores is my friend. It’s me. It’s suffering. It’s trying to tell me something about my lifestyle. I’m under too much stress, and the pint of carob Hagan Daz that I consume just about every other day is too rich for anyone to handle.
I’ve developed a hyper-sensitivity to dairy products. Perhaps I’ve been internalizing certain emotions that I should have been letting out. Maybe it’s the pressure cooker principle. Just so much pressure that’s swallowed, and the top flies off. The colon is my sensitive place. It’s out of commission. Maybe I can nurse it back to health.
Illness is the body’s way of sending us a message about what needs to change
From now on, I’ll be listening to the messages it’s sending me. Maybe this bout with illness is the best thing that’s happened to me. I’ve been alerted that I need to change, even though the doctor assures me that nothing needs to be changed. “Just take this handy little pill, keep eating what you’ve always eaten, keep living like you’ve always lived, you don’t have to change an iota.”
The hospital experience has alienated me from my body. My first mistake was putting my body in their hands. They didn’t realize what a delicate, whole entity I am, how my soul is intertwined with that colon, how sensitive I am to the energy in the room, in the food, in the words that come my way. How I am a sponge, a delicate plant swaying underwater, alive to the currents.
The fact that they would submit their own bodies to the same treatment if some doctor thought it was the preferred course of action, that fact helps them to justify what they did to me.
They are caught in the system, much more deeply ensconced than I am. Their livelihood seems to depend on it.
The experience in the hospital doesn’t teach me how to heal. But it does teach me where healing is not found.Now I begin the process of healing. I allow myself permission to breathe deeply and feel what I need to feel. I won’t tell anyone. I can do it quietly without anyone knowing. I imagine a glacial lake of crystal clear water. I once swam in such a lake, and it is easy for me to return there in my thoughts.
The glacial lake feeds into a stream, and I harness that stream, coax it over in my direction, and guide its flow into my colon. I feel the cool water lapping against the sides of my colon. I even imagine little rainbow fish swimming through the colon in the flow of the healing waters.
I discover that brown rice, sweet potatoes, green vegetables, apple sauce, lemon juice, sesame butter, and rice cakes are friendly food. I drink mineral water, and prepare myself cups of peppermint tea. I lie on the couch with a book even when there are dishes in the sink, or I lie on the floor and let the baby crawl all over me.
I begin to be grateful for my ailing colon, for the message it sent me has begun to transform my life. I am more peaceful, more centered in myself, more alive again to my own dreams and visions.
And, with great amazement and gratitude, my colon responds beautifully to this gentle handling, to the listening ear, to the responsive relationship I’ve put into place. I recover my health and vitality, and begin to feel better than I did even before my “illness” began.
In light of my discoveries about how healing works, I begin to question some other paradigms that I took for granted – and I learn an amazing secret: How to honor my own intuition, listen to internal signals, and awaken to my own inner guidance.
If you’re like most people on planet earth, you probably haven’t been feeling so hot the last few weeks. The more sensitive you are to space weather – i.e. how the sun’s rays, and the cosmic rays interact with planet earth and human health – the more ucky, strange, light-headed, spaced-out, wired-up or just plain weird you’ve probably been feeling.
In this post, I want to try to set out a little more clearly how the same factors that are leading to increased seismic activity is also affecting your brain, your mood, your ability to sleep at night and even, your physical health.
In recent weeks, volcanic explosions, large earthquakes and freak weather events have been multiplying across the globe. God is the main reason all this is happening, and the force majeure behind it all, but the way in which God is probably doing this is via the interaction between cosmic rays and silica.
Magma contains a ton of silica. People also require silica to produce collagen and bone - and collagen is a semi-conductor. To quote EFT guru Dawson Church:
"Semiconductors are not only able to conduct energy, in the way the wiring system in your house conducts electricity very quickly from one point to another. They are also able to conduct information; think of your high-speed Internet connection. Besides many other properties, semiconductors are also able to store energy, amplify signals, filter information, and move information in one direction but not in another.
"In other words, the connective tissue system can also process information, like the semiconductor chips in your computer. Your connective tissue system is well suited for the task of conveying both energy and information, because it connects every part of your body to every other part.”
The sun’s rays and cosmic rays are a form of radiation, or energy, that is vibrating at a particular wavelength, and that electronic ‘vibration’ is interacting with planet earth in a whole bunch of ways that we haven’t even really begun to understand.
People are electric.
What that means is that the human body is governed by an electrical system so sensitive, and so finely tuned, that even small changes in these ‘vibrations’ can have a huge impact on the hormones our bodies’ create, and on how much ‘stress we feel, subliminally or otherwise, and also what substances our cells secrete.
What brings all these things together is the human pineal gland, which is a tiny, grain-of-rice-shaped endocrine gland located in the brain ‘behind the eyes’. The pineal gland is responsible for producing a number of very important substances and hormones, including serotonin and melatonin.
Melatonin is responsible for regulating a number of the body’s most crucial biological rhythms, including our sleep cycles and ‘circadian rhythms’. As a very general rule, the body produces more melatonin when the pineal gland is exposed to light, and stops producing it when exposed to darkness. Melatonin also plays a crucial role in protecting our nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.
(I.e. the stuff that can cause mutations and other genetic ‘changes’ – both good and bad – in the human body.)
Now, are you ready for the leap into some really cool stuff?
Scientific researchers have found that the pineal gland acts as a kind of ‘way station’ or link between the external environment, and the body’s network of internal systems. To quote the study:
“The pineal gland takes environmental information and converts it into chemical and electrical signals within our bodies. It converts light, temperature and magnetic environmental information into neuroendocrine signals that regulate and orchestrate body functions. It regulates our internal clock—determining our daily sleep–wake patterns and influencing our broader lifetime rhythms.”
The researchers also suggest that the pineal gland is the ‘physiological interface’ between body and mind, and the ‘gatekeeper’ enabling people to access their more spiritual side, and the spiritual dimension.
The study continues that the pineal gland is responsible for taking:
“…various forms of energy, such as light, sound, electromagnetism and the putative energy behind the healing effects of prayer,” and translating them “into electrical and chemical signals within our bodies.”
THE LINK WITH EARTHQUAKES ETC, AND SPACE WEATHER
In 1998, New Scientist published a study showing that the sun’s electromagnetic activity (i.e. the charged particles that make up the solar wind) affect the human electromagnetic field, in a similar way to how it affects the earth’s magnetic field, or magnetosphere.
There are two ways humans are being affected by the sun. In times of greater activity (also called ‘solar maximums’), the sun will typically eject much more energy towards the earth, via things like CMEs, or coronal mass ejections. These are huge bursts of energy that when they hit planet earth, can lead to symptoms like headaches, mood swings, sleep disturbances, mood swings and a general feeling of being unwell.
Then, in time of very low sunspot activity, called ‘solar minimums’, the solar wind from the sun decreases, which in turn weakens the earth’s magnetic shield and enables more of the cosmic rays (i.e. energy waves) from other bodies in the universe, such as stars, comets and other planets to bombard the planet.
Again, there is hard science (if you can call it that) that links cosmic rays – which are NOT the same as the sun’s rays – to much greater perturbation of silica molecules in magma. Greater perturbation = more chemical reactions going on = more magma on the move, = more volcanic explosions and more and bigger earthquakes.
The effects that cosmic rays have on human health are barely on the radar for ‘hard science’, but we can certainly say that levels of UVA, UVB and UVC are also on the rise – often in a very dramatic way – during solar minimums.
We are currently in a solar minimum that is shaping up to be one of the most ‘quiet’ periods of sun activity for 200 years.
That is why the volcano and earthquake activity is picking up, and that’s also why more and more of us are feeling ‘weird’, ill, or strangely emotional.
Once again, the pineal gland is hugely affected by the earth’s electromagnetic activity. Other studies show that during solar storms and other times of dramatic electromagnetic activity, the pineal gland will produce abnormal amounts of melatonin – and this can has some severe affects on human health.
THIS is a good article, to get an idea of the sort of health issues that occurred for a swathe of people back in 2015, when there was a massive solar storm. Here’s an excerpt:
“The type of intense solar activity we’ve been experiencing this week can have serious effects on: the central nervous system, the stomach lining, all brain activity (including equilibrium), along with human behavior and all psycho-physiological (mental-emotional-physical) responses. This can manifest as nervousness, anxiety, worrisomeness, the jitters, dizziness, shakiness, irritability, lethargy, exhaustion, short term memory problems, heart palpitations, nausea, queasiness, prolonged head pressure, and headaches.”
I’m willing to bet a whole bunch of the people reading this have been experiencing at least some of these symptoms, over the last few weeks.
THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION
Usually, I don’t go on so much about the spiritual dimension to all the spiritual self-help stuff, but I’m going to make an exception in this post.
As we said earlier, God is the prima facie cause for all of these things happening. There is a lot of potentially disturbing things happening in the world, and the growing sense of unease is coming both internally, from our biological rhythms being affected electromagnetically, and also by the increasingly erratic and powerful freak weather, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
(Not to mention politics, wars, economic issues and all the other more mundane things
The pineal gland is the most pronounced ‘link’ between body and soul.
The more spiritually-aware a person is, the more God-awareness they have, the more they are trying to work on overcoming their negative character traits, and trying to God what He really wants, the smoother this current period of time is going to be.
The more understanding we have about body-mind-soul being linked, the smoother this process is going to be, and the more we’ll be picking up God’s cues about what we need to work on and change.
Right now, God is creating a set of circumstances that are practically guaranteed to set off everyone’s ‘stress response’ – and its attendant negative emotions and bad character traits - in a very unmissable way.
Fear, anger, anxiety, hysteria, depression, panic, hatred – all that stuff is going to be rising to the surface at the moment.
God is doing that so we recognize we still have a lot of issues to work on and work through, and to encourage us to make Him part of the solution.
The people who get that message, and who make regular efforts to calm down their pineal gland via meditation, hitbodedut, prayer and other methods that connect us to God and to our spiritual dimension will weather this storm much easier, and come through in better shape.
And the people who don’t….
Well, it’s going to get more and more stressful. So it won’t be pretty.
I’ll write more about this, but in the meantime, there is a definite link between space weather, freak weather, earthquakes and volcanoes, and human mood, sleep patterns, wellbeing and physical health.
And so much of the impact that space weather has on us hinges around silica and the pineal gland.
"Facebook’s founders knew they were creating something addictive that exploited “a vulnerability in human psychology” from the outset, according to the company’s founding president Sean Parker." - The Guardian
The first thing to understand is that social media was made to be addictive on purpose. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp – whatever the social media platform(s) you’re addicted to, they were all designed to keep stimulating your brain in exactly the way required to create some sort of mental dependency.
Why did they do that?
Because more users = more influence = more money.
That’s why Facebook has a nasty 30 day limit before it will really let you delete your profile, because it wants to give enough time for any resolution you made to come off Facebook to crack into pieces, and make it as easy as possible for you to go back in to the addiction.
Nice, isn’t it?
So, how can you get out of it?
Cold turkey is one route, but cold turkey doesn’t work for most people (not least, because of the sneaky tricks companies like Facebook are using to keep people hooked.) So instead, the answer is to try to take the time you spend on this stuff down by small increments, on a regular basis.
[I should just mention here that I got rid of all my social media, except Linked In, last year, so I’m not 100% up-do-date on the interfaces being used now, so what I’m suggesting here are broad-brush ideas.]
How can you do this? Here’s some practical suggestions:
It’s very easy to over-ride the password if you DO want to visit these sites, but having an extra obstacle makes it much, much easier to avoid impulse, knee-jerk visits that you really are just making out of force of habit. If you’re REALLY serious about putting these sites off-limits, have someone else K-9 them for you on your PC, without telling you the password they’re using to do that.
4) Don’t do anything anonymously. Sticking to this one, simple rule will help you stay out of a whole lot of trouble online, and take down a lot of the ‘thrill’ of surfing. If you can’t stick your real name on a comment, if you can’t openly visit a certain site, or group as your real self – don’t do it. It’s just feeding the dark side of your personality that is keeping you chained to the internet.
But, as with all addictions, there are deeper reasons for why you keep logging back in, so you may also want to spend some time doing the following:
1)Figure out how much time you’re actually spending on social media every day. Make a note of when you log on, and when you log off, over a 72 hour period. The answer will probably shock you, and it will help you to get more motivated to use that time on stuff that will actually nourish your life and your soul, instead of depleting it.
2)Find out what negative emotion is ‘pushing’ you to use social media. Here’s a few of the most likely culprits:
c.Apathy & despair
e.Sadness & depression
g.Frustration & anger
Once you know what negative emotion is triggering your social media use, then you can take steps to try to deal with it in a more productive way.
EG, if a sense of loneliness is causing you to feel you need to ‘grab some attention online’ by doing or saying something risqué, aggressive, ‘edgy’, or outrageous – think about what real, positive activities you could be doing with a real person instead. Doesn’t have to be anything to set the world on fire – could just be a walk in the park, or a bit of window shopping, or meeting up for a coffee.
(If you really want to take this up a level, try visiting an old age home – I guarantee you’ll find tens of people who would be only too happy to have someone to talk to, and to take an interest in.)
Meanwhile, to take another very common example, angry and frustrated people are just looking for some opportunity to knock someone else over online, or to make a ‘clever’ comment at someone else’s expense, or to try to blow a hole in someone else’s sense of well-being.
Doing this gives them a sense of feeling powerful, and important, and in control. And ironically, it’s exactly this that is actually missing in their REAL life.
So, the idea is the fill the ‘hole’ in your life that is currently full of social media with other, real, more productive things that will really give you something tangible back. But before you can figure that you, you first need to know what negative emotion is triggering your surfing habits.
3. Find productive REAL ways of doing whatever gives you a kick on social media. If you like debating ideas, consider taking a course somewhere that will enable you to do that. If you like finding new recipes online, go buy yourself a gorgeous cookbook (or borrow one from the library).
If you like knowing how your friend’s holiday really was – call them up and ask them!If you still need a bit more of a ‘push’ to get off, take a look at this video. It kind of hits the nail right on the head. (This has a couple of shots of women in it, buyer beware).
And the last thing to say, as always, is to pray on it.
God can turn anything around - even a soul-destroying addiction to the internet.
If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I’m usually trying to point out the links between our mental and spiritual health and our physical health, because the world generally treats physical health as a closed system that only depends on sleep, diet and exercise, as though our brain has no other impact on what’s going on with our bodies.
My approach is very different: if the body is feeling a problem, it’s because it’s only manifesting some issue the soul is having, which comes out in the emotions, and then if it isn’t dealt with and / or acknowledged, that shows up as a physical health problem.
This is particularly true of chronic health issues including aches and pains.
So, when my back started feeling weak a few months’ ago, I knew it was connected to the terrible stress I’d been under. What still caught me by surprise, however, is that when the back muscles started to weaken, my lower stomach muscles went with them, and all of a sudden, I had a pot belly.
I’m 44, and I’ve NEVER had a pot belly, not even after my kids were born. I’m not a ‘skinny’ person, but that’s just not an area that I tend to carry my flab in.
Again, I was so preoccupied and stressed out, it took a while for this to register, let alone for me to start figuring out what to do about it. But then my clothes (which are all designed to fit a slimmer waist and bigger bottom) started to feel pretty uncomfortable, and even in the midst of all the stress and upset, the penny dropped I had to get to grips on the situation from the body, up.
Stomach fat is fed by stress, directly, and in turn, it feeds stress. The fat cells produce a lot of cortisol, which is a ‘stress hormone’, and cortisol produces fat cells, in a yucky vicious cycle that is still very poorly understood.
That’s why even if you’re watching your diet and exercising regularly, you may still develop stomach fat if you’re never-endingly stressed.
So, this is what I’ve started doing to try to take down the flab:
1)Start walking and talking to God, ideally for an hour a day.
I was talking to God at home for an hour a day, but I realized I have to start moving around more, and as I am anyway talking to God then, and as I often get even better insights when I walk and talk, combining the two is a really excellent way of getting on top of the fat-causing stress from the spiritual side, while also burning more calories from the body side of things.
‘Enough’ is not a fixed part of the equation here. The experts often say 8 hours, but really most parents just can’t manage that regularly, so I can’t think that MUST be what we need to be getting to function properly.
I recently read that if you have a good, relaxing sleep even just one night a week, or a good snooze in the day even just one day a week, you live as long as people who get a regular 8 hours every night. This makes more sense to me, as it fits in with God’s ‘shabbos’ paradigm, where one day a week, we have a day of rest.
To put this another way, that Shabbos shluff is actually holy and helping you live longer.
3)Use Rescue Remedy liberally.
Rescue Remedy is a Bach Flower remedy, and it really does help to reduce subliminal stress – that feeling of being wound-up without even really knowing why. If you’re having troubles going to sleep or staying asleep, try the night version. Otherwise, swig down some drops whenever you are feeling ‘stressed’. (The drops are certified kosher, the sweets and pastilles aren’t, at least not in Israel.)
4)Do some exercise specifically to strengthen your stomach / back muscles.
So, I was walking around for six months already, and doing all the above, but the pot belly barely shrank (although I do feel much healthier and fitter again, BH, and have more energy).
It suddenly struck me, dunce that I am, that I actually might need to re-strengthen the muscles in my stomach and back that went all weak a while back, so they can hold my stomach back in the right place.
I hate, hate, hate gyms.
I can’t do things like play tennis or basketball like I used to, not least for tznius reasons, so then what?
Enter: HASfit, a Youtube outfit that actually has some good videos made by people who believe in keeping their clothes on and not frying your brain out with terrible music. (Much rarer than you might think, in our day and age). Even better, they have a whole range to pick from, including five minute work outs for middle aged women who haven’t properly exercised for years.
And the last thing to tell you is that some of their videos are even suitable for men, like the two I’m linking to in this post, which only has Coach Kozak doing his thing in a very tznius setting.
I’m still at the beginners stage, but after doing 5 minutes of easy stomach exercises 3-4 days a week, I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel, BH. So, put your blanket down on the floor, wear something suitable, and hit play!
(The first one, above, is for beginners, and anyone can do it, or at least, make a brave attempt. The second one, below, is much harder, but you can move on to that once your stomach muscles grow back.)
I know I’m not the only one having stress-induced stomach flab issues. And even though I’m working on the flab-causing-stress from the top down, sometimes we also have to work on the stress-causing-flab from the bottom up, too.
The key to dealing with the 'backseat driver' is to understand how it actually operates.
The backseat driver:
- never stops talking
- doesn’t give you a moment to relax, digest, contemplate
- encourages you to spend as much time as possible checking pointless stuff out on your mobile phone
- plays both sides of the equation [like egging you on to 'speak your mind' about an issue, and rationalizes why it's actually good and correct for you to spew poison at other people, and then puts the boot in once you've actually done that, and makes you feel really bad and ashamed of how you just acted.]
- makes you feel ucky
- makes you feel like you can’t do without him.
- is a worry wort - as soon as you deal with one issue, and safely put it to bed, it throws up the next one to panic you about.
This probably sounds all to familiar, because all of us have to deal with the 'backseat driver' to some degree or another, and this is the way it operates for all of us. So for now, don't stress that you've got a huge issue that can never be fixed. It can, but first, we’re just here noticing the problem.
Here's some other stuff that the backseat driver does:
Really? Out outlook is what is shaping this reality, and not the other way round. But by controlling the way we process our experiences, and by filtering all of our experiences through it's own, warped lens, the backseat driver reinforces its version of reality, and maintains it's control over us.
But guess what:
That crazy little guy isn’t really us! And it's not really giving us a true picture of reality.
So then the question begs to be asked: who are we, really?
Let’s find out.
A few years’ ago, God did me a very big favor. Every time I was around someone with a very complicated inner landscape, my eyes would go funny.
The first few times it happened, I freaked out and started panicking that I’d developed some horrible disease that was going to leave my partially sighted, God-forbid, or worse. But then, after this had been going on for a few months, and after I’d been talking to God about it a lot, I suddenly got the insight that my eyes would only go funny around particular people, or in particular circumstances.
One of those people was my husband, so figuring out what was going on become a big imperative.
After many more months of pondering it, praying on it, thinking about it, I managed to narrow down ‘funny eye syndrome’ a bit more, and to realize that it would happen whenever I was around people who were suppressing strong, negative emotions.
By suppressing, I don’t mean that they knew what they were feeling, consciously, and were gritting their teeth, or keeping a stiff upper lip, although clearly that also would sometimes occur.
I mean that these negative emotions were so buried, so hidden - even from the person themselves! - that they had absolutely no idea what sort of tremendously powerful emotional vibes they were actually sending out into the atmosphere.
That was being soaked up by yours truly and making my eyes go funny.
Releasing the pressure
Over time, I figured out that the single best way to cure my funny eyes was by helping the person I was talking with to really acknowledge their deeper, nearly always extremely negative, true feelings.
This is so much easier said than done, as most people who make my eyes go funny are suffering from something called alexithymia, or an inability to really describe or get a handle on their feelings. This usually happens because a kid isn’t really ‘seen’ in their childhood by an emotionally-absent parent.
So when they get upset, or scared, or anxious, or concerned, there is no caring adult around to notice what’s going on with them, and to give them the word, the label, they need to shrink their huge feeling down into language, and make it manageable.
So then, these individuals grow up, and a fuzzy sense of frustration (that they would never think to label ‘anger’) is really the only feeling that can or will admit to experiencing.
But if you could rip the scab off that ‘frustration’, then a whole bunch of seething, immature, enormous negative emotions would come bubbling out. If that sounds like a scary prospect, you are now starting to understand why so many people who find it hard to relate to their negative emotions are so scared of anyone getting anywhere near close enough to prise off the ‘frustration’ lid.
Because a volcano is lurking underneath.
Sadly for me, or luckily for me, depending on how you look at it, pretending that nothing was really happening underneath got very, very hard when my eyes would suddenly go completely weird mid-conversation.
Someone would be telling me what they had for breakfast, or about their upcoming trip to the US to visit family, or about their kid’s new school, or they’re new job - and whammo, my eyes would de-focus and I’d be left squinting around, completely perplexed as to what was going on and thinking big thoughts about serious vitamin deficiencies.
Until I figured this out.
Which is when I realized that God had actually given me a secret back route into instantly figuring where the emotional body was buried, so to speak. Because a person can swear until they’re blue in the face that they’ve made their peace with so-and-so, or don’t care about such-and-such, or completely past whatever it is - but if my eyes have gone funny, I know they are lying.
Especially to themselves.
This is useful with husbands, but not so useful with everyone else
Now, with husbands this is actually a pretty wonderful, helpful thing, as thanks to the funny eyes, we’ve got to the bottom of so many issues that we probably never would have, otherwise.
But with other people? Well, it’s made things pretty complicated. And it’s a big part of the reason I got so anti-social for a while, because for the life of me I couldn’t work out how I was meant to be reacting when someone would be telling me about their wonderful family celebration, or how much they really wanted to just settle down with someone (when the exact opposite was true) while my ‘funny eyes’ would erupt off the Richter scale.
If a person isn’t telling themselves the truth about a particular situation, woe betide the person who is dumb enough to try to step in and deliver the message the other person is trying so hard to ignore and avoid.
I learnt the hard way that you can’t fix people with ‘the truth’, and if you try, you are only going to get your head completely blown off. And you probably deserve it.
So, for a long stretch of time it’s been easier to keep things superficial with most people for most of the time, because in 2018, so many people are dealing with huge negative emotions that they’re repressing, without even realizing what’s going on.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because I have the feeling that the more you start to get in touch with your own real self, and the more you try to work through your own enormous, deeply-buried negative feelings, the more you’ll also start to notice how certain people, certain conversations, set you off, too.
Maybe, your eyes won’t go funny, but you might find your breathing goes a bit weird, or that your heart starts beating too fast, or you suddenly feel horribly hot and suffocated, or weak and faint, or your hands suddenly go ice-cold.
Pay attention to those clues that God is sending you, especially if they’re popping up around a spouse or a kid.
Because those people, you probably can help, if you take a deep breath and prepare yourself mentally to face down an internal volcano of huge, suppressed feelings.
But everyone else, you probably can’t.
So the best bet is then just to smile and nod politely, and quickly change the subject.
So honestly, you could call this post the 500 billion big lies that evolutionists like to tell to back up their completely unscientific ‘theory’ of evolution, but let’s stick to seven for now, so I can get this written before I mutate (in another 4 billion years…) into something that can’t type.
BIG LIE NUMBER 1: MACRO EVOLUTION OCCURS OVER BILLIONS OF YEARS
This is the idea that 'given time', an amoeba could randomly turn into a monkey.
It would take trillions and trillions of years before an amoeba could 'randomly' turn into a monkey, or a fully-sentient human being - if it could even happen at all, because nearly all 'random' mutations aren't beneficial to the organism (think cancer) and cause the organism's death.
Pioneering molecular biologist Douglas Axe recently proved conclusively that the amount of time it would actually take for even one of Darwin’s ‘happy evolutionary coincidences’ to occur was a number so big, it’s practically impossible. The world simply isn’t old enough for all the millions of evolutionary tweaks that could turn an amoeba into anything remotely similar to a biped - or even something more modest, like an earthworm or fruit-fly.[i]
Again, to be clear: Axe’s research on folding proteins showed conclusively that 4.5 billion years is not long enough for an amoeba to turn into a fruit-fly, let alone a human being.
This point by itself is enough to show the ‘theory’ of evolution is complete baloney.
Read on for a connected big lie.
BIG LIE NUMBER 2: DNA ‘PROVES’ EVOLUTION
If you pick up a copy of: Signature in the cell: DNA and the evidence for intelligent life, written by Professor Stephen Meyer, PHD, he reviews many origin of life theories, specifically relating to DNA and RNA.
“Meyer dissects each of these theories, the end result for nearly all of these ideas is that they are based on certain amounts of specified information existing as a premise for the subsequent parts of the theory to function, in other words they do not explain or solve the problem of where biological information comes from, but simply displace the problem.
BIG LIE NUMBER THREE: TRANSITIONAL FOSSILS SHOW EVOLUTION
In all my searching for these mythical ‘transitional fossils’ that ‘prove’ evolution, I’ve come up with precisely one example given: a reptile with turtle-type features.
And if you’re a keen observer, you’ll notice that this is backwards as according to evolutionists, sea creatures ‘evolved’ into land creatures and not the other way around.
Here’s what the REAL SCIENCE says about transitional fossils:
“It is not even possible to make a caricature of evolution out of paleobiological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that the lack of transitional series cannot be explained by the scarcity of the material. The deficiencies are real, they are never going to be filled.” - Professor N. Heribert-Nilsson of Lund University, Sweden, summing up his 40 years of work on the subject in his book: Synthetische Artbildung:
BIG LIE NUMBER 4: VESTIGIAL TRAITS
This is the idea that a human appendix is a ‘throw back’ to when they were a monkey, or something.
Most of what arrogant western doctors consider to be ‘vestigial’ organs actually do have a use in the human body, just they haven’t yet figured it out, because they don’t know everything about human health.
Take a look at this article: Your Appendix is Useful After All as one example, but tonsils - another one of the ‘vestigial traits’ often quoted by evolutionists - are also part of the immune system and serve an important function in the body.
BIG LIE NUMBER 5: EARLY EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT ‘PROVES’ EVOLUTION
This is the idea that humans used to be fish / monkeys etc because the embryo goes through a stage of looking like these creatures as it grows in the womb.
Ernst Haeckel, a German biologist, was the first person who proposed this idea, and even did a very nice text book showing how it occurred.
There was just one problem: Haeckel blatantly faked many of his diagrams and falsified his ‘science’, something that he only admitted to many, many years later, after his theory had gained mainstream acceptance as being ‘scientifically proven’.
Yet more than 100 years later, Haeckel’s fraudulence is still being proffered by evolutionists as ‘scientific proof’ that their theory is correct.
BIG LIE NUMBER 6: MICRO EVOLUTION SOMEHOW ‘PROVES’ MACRO EVOLUTION
This is the idea that because a creature, a human, can be ‘conditioned’ by their environment and experiences to change their behavior of certain minor facets of their appearance within a lifetime, or over the very short time - what’s known as MICRO EVOLUTION - this somehow ‘proves’ that an amoeba can turn into a dog, and a monkey into a human, over the (impossibly….) long term.
Again, there is ZERO scientific evidence for this.
This is completely an article of faith, much more akin to a religious belief than a scientific proof of anything.
Please see BIG LIES 1 & 2, above, which show that ACCORDING TO REAL SCIENCE, the probability of the world being old enough to enable all these random beneficial changes to occur is ZERO.
BIG LIE NUMBER 7: COMPUTERS CAN SIMULATE EVOLUTION
That this is even something evolutionists claim as ‘proof’ of evolution is, well, sad.
It stands to reason that computer programmes are based on a whole bunch of ASSUMPTIONS made by the people creating them.
If those assumptions are false, whatever is being ‘simulated’ is also based on falsehood.
It’s a total non-argument for anyone who doesn’t have a religious belief in evolution.
TO SUM THIS UP:
There is so much more to say about this. All the stuff I’m putting up here about Carbon Dating 14 and other radiometric ‘dating’ methods being based on very faulty assumptions; and the ‘belief’ in Lyell’s principle of uniformity (which is another scientific ‘belief’ that doesn’t have a shred of scientific evidence backing it up) also clearly shows that the age of the world is not as the scientists would have you believe.
Why does the world need to be so old?
Because evolutionists need trillions of years to make their theories credible.
But the world is NOT trillions of years old, and even going by the assumption that it’s 4.5 billion (sic) years old, that’s still no-where near the amount of time it would be required for evolution to be a credible theory.
For anyone who isn’t religious about evolution, this should really be case closed.
In the Jewish tradition, after a close relative dies and is buried, you are meant to sit seven days of ‘shiva’ (from the Hebrew verb leyshev, to sit) - i.e. to mourn them formally for seven days.
Even in the most optimal circumstances, sitting shiva for a close relative is usually a very draining experience. But when you have to factor in unexpected deaths, frantic last minute plane rides to a different country, difficulties finding somewhere to sleep, and problems finding nourishing kosher food to eat into the equation - plus the vague unease of leaving your young teenage kids alone at home, in a completely different country - that all adds up to an enormously stressful equation.
And then there’s the other stressful parts of dealing with a close relative’s death, including sorting out their estate, dealing with other ‘difficult characters’ in the family who could snap at any moment and cut a huge swathe of dramatic discord through the whole proceedings, and (if you’re sitting shiva in the UK…) having to make four thousand cups of tea a day for all the people coming to ‘comfort’ you.
So all in all, sitting shiva for most people is actually a very difficult, traumatic experience, even in the most optimal circumstances where friends and family are caring for you, you can eat the food, you can sleep, and all your immediate family is in the same country.
After four days of sitting what I think of as ‘shiva on speed’ for my late mother-in-law in the UK, I got back to Israel late Thursday night with my husband, and felt like I was completely blank. The next day was Yom Kippur, the most important day of the year where Jews fast for 25 hours and pray that God will grant us a good, healthy, blessed year.
This year, I was so exhausted I spent most of the day knocked out in bed, and when I did pray, it was to ask God to please excuse my lack of praying - or anything Yom Kippur related - and to please give me a good year, anyway.
I was hoping to feel a bit perkier by the end of Yom Kippur, but if anything, I actually felt even more out of it and kind of empty-feeling. I could have just sat for hours on the couch without a thought in my head, completely oblivious to the world.
This is not ‘normal’ behavior for me at all, so I started to get a bit worried about it all. Until my husband reminded me that after all the stress I’d just gone through, I’d probably fried out my adrenals and needed at least a week just to process it all, before I could move on.
“There’s been so much going on, you need to just sit for a while and absorb it all,” he told me. “Once you’ve done that, you’ll get your energy and pep back, don’t worry.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF DOWN TIME
I felt very comforted by what he said, because I know he’s right. My job right now is to have some down time - even a lot of down time - to recuperate mentally and physically from the ‘shiva on speed’.
In the old days, people just weren’t able to grab last minute flights to the end of the earth to spend these fraught moments with their loved ones. On the one hand, they probably didn’t get the same closure, but they also didn’t come back from their experiences feeling more than half dead themselves.
As so often in the modern world, the ‘up’ we get from being able to do all these things comes packaged together with a mighty big ‘down’.
But I’m quite lucky, as at least I don’t have to get back to my day job, or report back into work this week. Honestly, I’m going to be out of action for at least another week - and it wasn’t even my close relative!
When people feel obliged to rush back to work so quickly after these stupendous events occur in their lives, I can’t help but think it’s storing up a huge amount of trouble for them further on down the line.
We need time to think, to process, to decompress, to grieve. That’s what the shiva itself is actually for, but in our modern world, even that process can be warped around in to some sort of ‘bereavement party’ where you just find yourself entertaining hundreds of people and making small talk, instead of sitting and crying out your heart’s secret pain.
YOU CAN'T RUSH THE GRIEVING PROCESS
So the moral of the story is, when these big things happen in your life, don’t buy into the modern world’s warped value system that tells you two weeks - MAXIMUM!!! - is enough to get over the death of a close relative, or the other massive shocks to the system that we periodically experience.
Rushing these processes only causes untold damage in the long term, because grief is not a linear emotion, and properly saying goodbye in all the myriad small ways we have to, really can and does take months.
If you feel exhausted after a very stressful experience in your life, understand that’s your body’s way of telling you to stay in the slow lane for a while, and to not rush back to ‘normal’. It’s hard sometimes to take that hint, but I know for myself that if I force matters and try to return to ‘business as usual’ too soon, it’s only going to lead to me getting wiped out for weeks, instead of a few days.
So if you’ve just had a massive shock, take a deep breath, keep your out of office on for a few more days, and give yourself, your body and your psyche the time they all really need to recover, regroup, and move on.
One of the things that critics of energy medicine, and proponents of Western medicine, like to argue VERY LOUDLY is that there’s no scientific basis for energy, or ‘electro-magnetic’ medicine.
This is wrong on a number of counts, but the first thing to say that cannot be overstressed is that every piece of interesting research stretching back 100 years that does appear to prove the electro-magnetic basis of biology and human health has been completely ignored by the medical establishment - at best.
At worst, because electro-magnetic medicine appears to be so fundamentally challenging to people raised with molecular biology as the last word, many of these more open-minded scientific researchers have also had their reputations soundly trashed, for coming up with facts and research that challenges the existing paradigm.
And yet, some brave souls continue to research the subject, (particularly in the former Soviet countries, were the bias against electro-medicine never took hold) and more and more of them are contributing some stunning information to the picture of how human health actually works.
One such researcher is Abraham Liboff, PhD, a physics professor at Oakland University. In a research paper called ‘Toward an Electromagnetic Paradigm for Biology and Medicine’, written in 2004, Liboff wrote that:
“Simply stated, it’s possible to view the living system as an electromagnetic entity, with the response of the system to a given electric or magnetic signal as an outcome expected on the basis of physical law. The familiar hormonal and enzymatic effects [that are the basis of Western medicine and molecular biology] still occur, but in this new approach these are merely associated changes in the system.”
(Don’t worry, I’ll sum everything up in plain English in a minute. But it’s important to see this stuff in situ.)
Liboff then continues:
“There are likely no more than four types of forces in the universe, one of which is the gravitational and another the electro-magnetic…the electro-magnetic force is the underlying reason for life…life is an interactive assembly of polymers.”
And then, he identifies what could be called the ‘electro-magnetic’ sequence of life:
“One merely has to consider the sequence of increasingly complex systems, each necessitated by the existence of the electromagnetic force, a sequence that leads directly to life: electrons, hadrons, atoms, molecules, polymers, living things.”
The last thing to take from Liboff, from now, is his statement that:
“The organization of organisms may be electrically mediated….The gestalt of the body’s physiological state - homeostasis, metabolic turnover, respiration, enzymatic rates - is no more than an intertwined system that can be represented by a single electro-magnetic field.”
There’s plenty more to say on this issue (and I’m planning to bring more of the hard science to share with you, here on the blog) - but you can sum up what Professor Liboff is telling us like this:
You can read more of Abraham Liboff’s research at Reseach Gate, HERE.
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