Monthly Archives: June 2014

Nature & Nurture-a new twist

Our life choices affect our genes and so the genetic make- up of future generations

Our life choices affect our genes and so the genetic make- up of future generations

One of the things that we discuss frequently in our blogs and our book, Nourish the Flame Within, is the power of the environment around us and how it can profoundly affect our influence and well- being. We are not isolated beings. We are interconnected with our environment and that includes the people in our lives. There are factors that affect us in covert and overt ways. This has new meaning to me since reading Bruce Lipton’s book “The Biology of Belief”.

He argues that The Human Genome Project, started in the 1980s, was supposed to pave the way to our understanding of what it is to be human and how we would be able to cure ourselves of many of the diseases that blight our lives. Genes, found in the nucleus of every cell in the body, are made of DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid). In the past, the nucleus has been thought of as the brain of the cell, master- minding and orchestrating the going’s on in each cell.

Evidence points to the contrary, including examples in which the nucleus of a cell is completely removed, experimentally, and still the cell survives for a couple of months. Indeed, red blood cells have no nucleus, yet effectively transport oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the cells of the body for approximately 100- 120 days (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_blood_cell)! What Lipton’s and others’ research have found is that the nucleus is more of a blueprint library of our potential, and that it is down to “environmental influences, including nutrition, stress and emotions” that effect what genes are expressed and when.

“Single- gene disorders affect less than 2% of the population; the vast majority of people come into this world with genes that should enable them to live a happy and healthy life” Lipton tells us and continues by saying that “today’s scourges- diabetes, heart disease and cancer- are not the result of a single gene, but of complex interactions among multiple genes and environmental factors.”

What is also fascinating is that these environmental conditions can change the chemical structure of the DNA that makes up our genes without actually changing the basic blueprint library. These changes can be passed on to our children. The developing science that studies these ideas is called Epigenetics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics) and it has contributed significantly to the nature and nurture discussion. Subtle chemical modifications to DNA that make up genes can lead to two thousand or more different forms of genes expressed.

There is still a lot more research that needs to be done, but we are learning that our daily choices affect not just our lives, but the lives of future generations. Mindful living I am confident will intuitively lead us to wise choices and greater well- being for all. I believe that deep down we know what is best for our present and our future and science will in time prove our intuitive actions to be wise and correct.

The Beauty of Hiking in Nature

The dark wood gave way to a field of wheat that was bathed in bright sunlight.  It looked like shimmering liquid gold!

The dark wood gave way to a field of wheat that was bathed in bright sunlight. It looked like shimmering liquid gold!

I love to go hiking. I like to take cycle rides on the open road. I enjoy SCUBA diving. Like many people, I enjoy the social aspect of these activities, chatting about common experiences and talking to like- minded people. The meet- ups in the pub to organise events, the camaraderie and team spirit of setting an objective, supporting and encouraging each other during the event and achieving the goal are all great fun. There is a sense of achievement at the end, that tired feeling after all that work when you feel you really deserve that hearty meal, the cold beer or cool drink, the mug of tea or coffee with a slice of cake or just a well- earned rest.

Dramatic Contrast
There has always been another side to these activities that keeps me going back for more throughout my life. That is the connection to nature. It is so fantastic, thrilling in fact to be surrounded by the power of nature. I was once preparing for a trekking trip in Nepal with my father and a group of us were striding out in the Chiltons (an expansive, hilly area between London and Oxford in England). We were following a path up a hill in dense woodland that opened out into fields. The group walked on, but I had to stop and take in the glorious view. The contrast was so dramatic. The dark wood gave way to a field of wheat that was bathed in bright sunlight. It looked like shimmering liquid gold! This event happened twenty years ago, and it stays with me in vivid detail. That is how profound an effect it had on me. Not a single member of the group recognised this moment, given freely by nature, to be enjoyed by anyone open to seeing her gifts.

Dead Mans Fingers
I have had many such moments, and they always rekindle my spirit, that inner flame. Another wonderful example was wreck diving on the south coast of England. I was doing some survey work near Southampton where a lot of Mullbery Harbours were sunk during World War II. They have steep concrete sides. As I sat at the foot of one of these sheer surfaces, I looked up and saw a vertical field of ghostly white “Dead Man’s Fingers”  illuminated in dappled sunlight. It was such an incredible sight shared with my diving buddy that connected us beyond words.

Nature Provides
In this age of digital technology and high definition, these beautiful sights can be brought to you on your TV, tablet, mobile or computer screen in stunning detail. But I think that part of the wonder is the effort you have to go to in order to see these things. You may not set out to have those experiences, but nature provides the spectacles, you just have to be there to see and experience it.

Little Moments that Nourish
As we continue to promote our first book “Nourish the Flame Within” and write our second, “Feel the Power”, I realise more and more that the energy in nature that nurtures the spirit is on tap during every day experiences. As I write this I can see a tree swaying so gracefully in the summer breeze outside my window and I can hear the birds chirping away. It warms me from within, makes me feel alive. I feel connected, I feel content. There can be so much more to a walk, or a bike ride or simply a glimpse out of the window if we strive to see the little moments that nourish the flame within and feel the power all around us.

Mind- Set is Everything

Mind-Set is Everything: what you imagine colours your reality.

Mind-Set is Everything: what you imagine colours your reality.

 

In researching for my own general interest and specifically for our second book “Feel the Power”, I have come across some fascinating scientific research that spans psychology, neuroscience, quantum physics and anthropology. It amazes me that such diverse disciplines can actually point towards the same reality, namely to discover the truth about our living universe and our role within it.

The power of the mind is an important aspect of this research, because human beings interact with the universe through our minds. Here is one such experiment conducted by Shlomo Breznitz that I read about in The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot (1996, Harper Collins Publishers, ISBN: 0586091718).

I quote directly from the book (pages 87- 88): Breznitz “had several groups of Israeli soldiers march 40 kilometers (about 25 miles), but gave each group different information. He had some groups march 30km, and then told them they had another ten to go. He told others they were going to march 60km, but in reality only marched them forty. He allowed some to see distance markers, and provided no clues to others as to how far they had walked. At the end of the study Breznitz found that the stress hormone levels of the soldiers’ blood always reflected their estimates and not the actual distance they had marched. In other words, their bodies responded not to reality, but to what they were imaging as reality.”

Isn’t that amazing? It was what the soldiers thought they were doing that had the most powerful effect on their bodies, not what actually happened. What they imagined had a physiological affect on their bodies which in turn affected their performance. It begs the question: What is it that you are imagining that affects your body and therefore your performance at work, in your relationships and in life generally?

How are your thoughts affecting your health, the way you approach and manage stressful situations or the manner in which you interact with others? The old adage “Mind over Matter” has been given new meaning and science is presenting us with countless examples of this across many fields of research. This blog series will look at some of these experiments which I hope will challenge some of your thoughts and perceptions about yourself and the world around you and perhaps encourage you to question some of your beliefs that may be holding you back from achieving your full potential and experiencing life in its fullness and beauty.

 

 

 

My Illness had Its Roots In The Past

303aLynette’s Illness series Part 2

Often, I’m reminded that life is a funny old thing. It has the capacity to bring us a variety of different experiences – some positive, some negative and some a curious mixture of both. Experience is a good thing but it’s important to understand how the past can impact the present and what you can do about it.

 

On  Holiday Pain and Strain

At this moment, I am sitting in Madera outside the Café do Teatro enjoying the sun, the music and people around me. My husband is sipping beer and generally enjoying life. It has been an up and down sort of day. I awoke this morning with physical pain having strained my back a few days ago taking a sled ride down a mountain. It was good fun albeit a bit scary in places, but as we turned this way and that I felt my tummy muscles strain. It only took me bending over the bath to make the problem a lot worse.

Terrible Sun Burn

My husband is suffering from severe (ish) sunburn to his face’s face.  All his own fault, in fact. He had refused to wear sun block or a hat, insisting  he was going to be brown for his return to work.  I warned him this was plain insanity, and now he is in pain and as red as a lobster. My husband’s sun burn was the result of macho stupidity, but to be sure we both had a hand in our own pain.

Just as my husband’s terrible sunburn was brought about by his own actions, I would say the same about my M. E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). At an earlier stage in my life, I was merely reacting to daily opportunities and challenges, without understanding that I was sowing the seeds of my poor health.

Doctors Don’t Know

Doctors don’t know what causes M.E. – some think it has something to do with viral infection. I did have a viral infection before my M.E. but more importantly, I think I ran myself down. I was depleted and low in energy. I worked too hard and did not sleep correctly. I was terribly stressed took things to heart, allowing it to affect my health and wellbeing.

Too Emotional

We all feel emotions acutely from time to time and that is normal. It’s not that I felt emotions acutely that caused my pain and illness, it’s is that I allowed trauma and unhappiness, though my ignorance of the situation, to stay and build within my body.

This is what I believed caused me to become ill with my viral infection.  I don’t know  whether the viral infection had anything to do with my M.E. and neither do the doctors, but being low and depleted of energy and vitality certainly did.  So my illness was a result of what I did. It was to do with my interaction with life.

Difficult Moments

Life has its difficult moments for us all. It is in those difficult times that we may gain some trauma to our person. Of course, traumatic circumstances should be avoided altogether, if that is not possible, the trauma that is gained through these difficult times needs to be dealt with and removed.

I did not deal with mine. I was like I was like so many people who just do not understand the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual severity of not dealing with the trauma that life’s stresses bring.

There’s Hope.

There is hope and there is recovery from trauma. The person needs to know what help they need and the correct method of rectification. For me, this came in the form of Reiki. It was a long road to recovery and not least because most people with M.E. do not make a full recovery at all. Some even die from the illness, or commit suicide. It is a hard life living with M.E. and I have to say I had my moments of wanting to end it all. Trouble was I was too weak, ill, and foggy brained to think about it seriously.

Recovery

My recovery started with acupuncture and ended with Reiki.  Reiki is the therapy that made the most difference to my health and made me well. Today I am a Reiki master and try to help others by teaching Reiki and giving Reiki treatments.  Reiki is a Japanese energy healing therapy and works by transference of universal energy (subtle energy).  There is recovery from the illness, I know because I made that recovery.

If you have M.E. and would like to experience Reiki and take part in an informal study, please contact Lynette by emailing her at, lynette@thelivingenergy.co.uk.