Jan 25

Darkness into Light

This is my favorite time of year.  Not only does fall bring amazing colors in the landscape, but apple cider, squash pies, crisp air, and fall festivals.  My favorite festival of the year is the lesser known one of Samhain, which occurs on November 1st.

This is a Celtic born holiday.  Samhain is a Gaelic word which translates as “summer’s end.”   The Celts viewed the year as divided into two seasons: the light season and the dark season.  Literally the days are getting darker and shorter.  May 1st, Beltaine, is the beginning of the light season.fall-leaves-tree

The Celts felt it was very important to honor the opposing forces of light and dark.  They saw all of life in opposing pairs, the same way that the Chinese view life in their concept of yin and yang.  Light and dark, cold and hot, far and near, all of life can be divided into two categories: the dark or yin forces and the light or yang forces.

It is interesting to note where the Celts viewed this continual process starting from.  Their day began and ended at dusk; their year began and ended on November 1st.  Both of these cycles start with darkness.  They understood the world as springing from darkness, the way they saw their seeds needed time underground before they became  fertile plants.  Darkness was sacred because the old needed to die before the new could be born; there was a certain amount of incubation needed to produce life.

The Chinese have a similar view.  They too believe that the yin, or darkness, is what the yang must spring from.  There is always some aspect of both yin and yang in all things and in varying degrees and ratios.  However, if there is not enough yin available, life will not appear.  

Many times in our culture we do not appreciate the yin enough.  We see times of incubation as a nuisance; we see the darkness as something that needs to be cured or cut out.  What we fail to see is that the cycle starts in the darkness and without it the full beautiful life that we want to live would not be possible.  We want to believe that we can be in the womb for nine months and then go, go, go for the rest of our lives.  But this does not honor the interchange of yin and yang, the very cyclical nature that we are.  We will invariable have times of lower energy; the problem occurs when we do not honor the yin and instead push through.  This is what creates a culture addicted to caffeine and suffering from chronic fatigue.  The more we honor the yin and replenish, the yang will then have a base to spring forth.  

I always feel a lot of energy in the fall; I believe my body feels the yin time of year approaching and knows that soon it will fall into quieter energy patterns as the darkness envelopes us.  Understanding and listening to these cycles has also allowed me to appreciate winter.  I allow myself these quieter energies because I know that the darkness will eventually turn back into the light.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.erieom.com/darkness-into-light/

Jan 24

A House Divided

pillsA house divided against itself cannot stand.” –Abraham Lincoln

Pain killer…Check. Anti-inflammatory…Check. Anti-anxiety…Check. Antidepressant…Check.

And that’s just breakfast!

For many, starting the day by downing a handful of pills has become the norm, a natural accompaniment to their eggs and toast.

You take pills because you are taught to, and that’s what most people are accustomed to. Because somehow the drugs are supposed to wipe the slate clean and zero out your not so healthy lifestyle choices. Inherently you know that the drugs are not the best thing for you, but you figure that you can settle for good enough if the pills can help you just get by.

There is a reason that every drug or pill that you are prescribed comes with a list of side effects and warnings. Continually putting foreign/toxic substances into your body over the long run often creates more illness than health.

The reality is that the body is designed to heal from the inside out and express life through an inborn intelligent energy, and it is only when this energy is impeded that the body begins to break down.

Drugging an imbalanced body does nothing to bring it back into balance, and in fact while on the surface it may appear that the drugs are serving a positive purpose, underneath, the body is thrown farther into a state of stress and dis-ease. In effect, you have created a house divided.

The natural, recuperative power of the body is now pitted against the drug’s toxic effects. Even when drugs are designed as closely as possible to work in harmony with the human body, it simply is not feasible to introduce chemicals into the body without also inducing stress.

You are either working to support the body’s innate healing energies or you are working against it. You can’t have it both ways and expect to see positive change over a lifetime.

The key to producing a lifetime of health and wellness is to develop a unified front; to unleash the full power of the body’s meridian systems and then to nurture it through exercise, good nutrition, adequate rest, and a positive mental outlook.

Acupuncture works in unison with the body and serves to optimize your innate healing potential. It is the natural choice to replenish and maintain optimal health!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.erieom.com/a-house-divided/

Jan 23

24 HOURS

24 hours. One day.

What if you only got one? What would you do with it? Who would you see? How would you act? Where would you go?

Fortunately most of us get more than one day to live out our lives. But for too many of us there seems to be something wrong with every single day we are given. It’s too long. It’s too short. It’s cold. It’s rainy. It’s boring. It’s too busy. 

If it were your last day, do you think you would give things like the weather a second thought? If you had just one day to live, your focus would undoubtedly shift from complaining and complacency to productivity, love, and thankfulness.

Well, the truth of the matter is that every day is of equal value. Today is no less important than your last day. Each day is a brand new start and we are all given the same 24 hours to make of them what we will.

All of this may sound a little too cliché, but consider that billionaire powerhouses like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett are given the same 24 hours every day that you are. They are afforded no more time and no less time. The difference comes in how they choose to utilize their hours. And if you think they just somehow happened to arrive at their success by chance or privilege, read up on their life histories and you’ll find that this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Now your goal might not be to become a billionaire, but most people are longing for something more out of life, but are either waiting around for it to come to them, or just don’t know how to go about getting it.

The good news is that it doesn’t take a genius to create an extraordinary life; just persistent focused action on a daily basis.

Maybe you would love to write a best-seller, but are intimidated by the whole process. If you got to work and wrote just one page a day, in a year’s time you will have completed a 365 page book! Even if it took you 2 days per page, you would still have a substantial 180 pages.

Advancing your life simply requires that you prioritize and change your focus. Evaluate your typical day and find those “lost moments” or “voids” in which nothing meaningful seems to take place, and then plan the night before how you are going to better utilize that time. Listen to educational programs during your commute. Instead of surfing the web, study your field of business. Turn the TV off in favor of some quality family time. 

You may not be destined to change the world, but by focusing 24 hours at a time it is easily within your power to change your life!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.erieom.com/24-hours/

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