Workshop: Into the Land of Dreams
Judith Dreyer, MS, BSN
Time: 6:30 – 8 pm
Date: Monday evenings: November 5,12, 19th and December 3rd
Location: Contact Storyteller’s Cottage, Simsbury CT. to register.
Did you know dreams come to guide you? Did you know the dreams of your heart guide you, too?
Dreams are not just about our nighttime journeys but more encompassing than you can ever imagine. And, dreams are our birthright.
But how do we understand our dreams and the dreaming time? This workshop will give you tools to begin your journey and excite your imagination. Dream sharing is a part of every class and you will learn an easy but profound technique to capture the meaning and essence of your dreaming and create practical action. Materials are provided.
Autumn’s chill, holidays and colds seem to come at the same time. We bundle up, turn on the heat, stay indoors. with school parties and adult parties, maybe too much eating, lots of sweets. We seem to get a cold more easily this time of year, suffer from indigestion too.
My podcast guest this week, Janet Pagan, Ayurvedic Nutritionist, suggests a few simple remedies to ward off the beginning of a cold, soothe digestion. Ayurveda uses many plants to balance our dosha type. One ayurvedic tea, CCF, is quite helpful for balancing our digestive system. What I have learned in my herbal studies is that when our digestion is more balanced we feel better, we sleep better and our immune system is supported.
CCF stands for Cumin seed, Coriander seed, Fennel seed tea.
Cumin: Cumino aigro, is a small, herbaceous plant that grows to about 10″ in height. This plant is indigenous to Upper Egypt but found in many far eastern countries. Medicinal and popular in the Middle Ages for its medicinal properties, it was grown, used and sought after. But it does not have popular flavor and so was blended with other herbs. It has a carminative action, which means it aids in digestion.
Coriander: Coriandrum sativum, also known as cilantro, (coriander is the Spanish name for cilantro), is indigenous to Egyptian area. Tall, growing to a height of about 2′, its an easy addition to most gardens. Coriander is also a carminative and masks the flavor of cumin. I like to add it to my summertime vegetable juices. When it goes to seed, gather them and dry them. They keep well and you can begin to make your own tea blends.
Fennel: Foeniculum vulgare ( wild variety), a tall, hardy, perennial, growing to 4-5′, stems are often cut down for flavoring and even garnishing. Fennel grows for years and easily propagates from seed. It originates in the Mediterranean. Fragrant, a softer licorice-like flavor makes fennel a great choice to mask other flavors, such as cumin.
These three seeds are known to aid in digestive disorders from relieving flatulence, colic, diarrhea, cramps, even acid indigestion. They also stimulate our digestive juices which support the efficacy of nutrient breakdown in our stomachs and small intestines. Three well-known seeds, form easy to grow plants, can be added to your garden wish list for 2019. In the meantime, get some seeds, make your own tea. When our constitution is strong we can handle the changes in weather, the changes in diet, company, and parties with more ease.
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
Add to 4 cups of boiling water. Let sit a few minutes. Sweeten if needed to taste. I recommend honey, maple syrup, or stevia but you may find you enjoy the flavors on their own. Try it plain first. Sweeten only if needed.
Ayurveda, as a recognized medical model, offers many simple remedies that work. I hope you get a chance to make this tea, enjoy its flavors. Wishing you good health.
“As long as we are not living in harmony with nature and our constitution, we cannot expect ourselves to be really healed. Ayurveda gives us the means.” David Frawley, Hindu teacher, author, speaker.
Description: Ayurveda is the “science of Life”. Recognized by the World Health Organization as a legitimate medical model, Ayurveda offers a healing system based on observations of our natural world. How can we use, understand, and apply this healing system in our everyday life? My guest this week, Rev. Janet Pagan is an Ayurvedic nutritionist, certified health coach, Reiki counselor. She discusses dosha types, seasons and more. Join us for an informative discussion.
About My Guest: Rev. Janet M. Pagan, CEO of Phoenix Sol H.P., Inc. is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Rev. Pagan is a Certified Health Coach; Ayurvedic Nutritionist; Reiki Master and Spiritual Counselor. Rev. Pagan also holds a Master Degree in Public Administration from Baruch College and has worked in the field of Child Welfare servicing children and families for over 15 yrs. (Rev. Pagan received a Bachelor of Science in the field of Education and Black Studies with a minor in Latin American Studies from SUNY- New Paltz. )
Transcript: #33 Janet Pagan
I am fascinated with trees. There’s new and maybe not so new research showing us their complexity and their extensive ecosystems that exist beyond our ordinary senses. We know they communicate through their root systems to each other. They send nutrients to a family member in need. They will also share water. Roots are connected by a mycorrhizal hypha network of fungi creating a kind of highway and inner net within the soil beneath the forest floor. Debris and leaves, insects and critters, microscopic nutrients and various species exist within the canopy of a forest and its layers. Mother trees help and support their young ones. And did you know they can cry when in need?
My guest this week, Lois Grasso, author, and transformational breath practitioner spoke about using the power of our breath as a healing modality. We can get stuck emotionally and hold our breath, maybe not dramatically but enough to block our connection to the best part of self. Since this blog and podcast series: Holistic Nature of Us is concerned with all the parts functioning optimally here within us as a human being and within all aspects of this planet, I wondered about trees. Air is an element that governs this planet. There would be no breathable air without our plant kingdoms.
She got me thinking about trees, our relationship with them and how they are suffering today. I read a report through my Master Gardener office last week that trees here in CT are suffering. In certain areas, they got hit two years in a row with gypsy moth infestations. The first year of the moths we were in our second year of a drought. Both factors weaken a tree, both factors open the door to their demise. When growing by roadways, they pose a hazard if and when they should topple over. The cost to remove them is also a factor that towns and the state have to consider for budget concerns.
But let’s get back to breath and breathing. Our first breath gives us life. Without our breath, we cease to exist. Our first responders know only too well that evaluating our breathing is critical to triage work. Life and death are only one breath away. How does a tree breathe? The leaves on trees and needles on our conifers have narrow slits on their undersides, openings that allow them to exhale and inhale. Roots can do the same thing too.
” A tree breathes through its leaves using chlorophyll, the substance that makes leaves green. Chlorophyll absorbs CO2 from the air and uses it alongside water to break down minerals absorbed through the tree’s roots. While trees do not technically breathe, respiration is comparable to inhaling air into the lungs and photosynthesis is comparable to exhaling.” (From youtube video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXTYZpZNqrA)
We inhale O2 and exhale CO2 due to complex cellular processes. Trees use CO2 to make food and release O2 in this process which is photosynthesis.
What happens at night when the sun goes down? Since photosynthesis relies on sunlight to
ignite the metabolic processes within plants, photosynthesis ceases and trees breathe in O2. too.
So they exhale O2 during the day but need O2 at night.
We take breathing for granted. Breathing can be soft or filled with emotion. There’s nothing like the soft gentle breath of a newborn babe. You could say breath is connected to touch. Trees breathe and we can feel the breath of a forest that maybe quite literally takes our breath away.
I hope you will breathe with more mindfulness today and awareness that trees breathe too. During the day we have a breathing relationship with them: we breathe in O2 and exhale CO2 while trees breathe in our CO2 and give us O2. We are connected in very profound ways.
Remember all comments are appreciated. Please like and share. Thanks.
Description: Yogis teach us to be grateful for our breath of life. Without our breath, we do not exist. My guest this week, Lois Grasso, explains how we tend to stuff our emotions, especially as children. She encourages us to breathe with intention, pay attention to our breath. After all, its the most essential element in keeping us alive. But did you know breathing with intention can relieve us of anxiety and other emotions that perhaps we keep hidden inside?
Lois Grass, aka Mimi Stevens, is also the author of a children’s book, Maven and the Magic Buttons. She wrote the book to teach children to use EFT tapping to handle emotional stuff they may be too young to understand. I hope you will join us for an enlighting discussion about two effective modalities.
About My Guest: Since 1991, Lois Grasso has been passionate about her mission to empower and motivate people to take good care of themselves – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. In the ‘90s, she was the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Self-Health Networker, a monthly newsmagazine featuring national and CT health experts. She later became certified in Transformational Breath®, while editing and publishing the founder’s book on the subject, and began her private practice as a Transformational Breath Coach in 2002. She founded the non-profit OxyGenesis Institute in 2003 and has since facilitated 10 international Holistic Health events, including 3 cruise conferences. Today, Mimi still loves public speaking and private coaching to help people get happy and healthy using breathing practices, EFT Tapping, conscious communication skills, and her own modality, “On-the-Ball Anger Clearing”. Today, she also empowers elementary school children (and their adults) via her most ambitious program ever… “Whole Schools Tap Into Happy” is based upon her book, Maven & the Magic Buttons, which she has authored under the pen name “Mimi Stevens”. The book and program make conscious breathing and EFT Tapping easy for kids to learn so they can relieve their own physical pain and emotional stress.
Transcript: #33 Lois Grasso
My guest this week, Gunther Hauk and I talked about the detrimental effects climate warming is having on our planet. His farm is based on biodynamic principles. I had the privilege of visiting Spikenard Farm, Honeybee Sanctuary a few years ago. Set upon a hilltop in the Blue Ridge Mountains, surrounded by an organic farm, forests, creates a safe haven for many critters and plant species including honeybees. These folks create a deep reverence for nature and all its species. Here’s a link to an upcoming biodynamic farming class.
However, we ask tough questions: Are we doing enough? Are we doing enough in a timely enough fashion to make a difference?
I trust and hope my podcast series: Holistic Nature of Us is making a difference in some measure to remind all of us how precious nature is to us. There is a hidden genius and an intelligence in nature that we have ignored as we focused on building a strong economy, developing an industrial based society. Today we need to look at the whole, how everything we do impacts everything on this planet. ( photo, courtesy J Dreyer, Spikenard Farm, Beehives)
Enjoy this short yet informative video about how small farmers contribute to the solutions we desperately need now.
Remember to like and share. All comments are appreciated too. Thanks. Judith
Description: The earth is a living being. How well do we take care of the soil, air, water? Biodynamic farming is a regenerative, sustainable set of principles and practices for farming that rebuilds, restores soils. This system encourages crop diversity, building compost for soil regeneration and more. Meet Gunther Hauk, retired Waldorf school teacher and founder of Spikenard Farm, a Honeybee Sanctuary located in Floyd VA. He teaches many classes and is a part of the Documentary: Queen of the Sun.
About My Guest: Gunther Hauk is a retired Waldorf school teacher. He is the founder of Spikenard Farm, Honeybee Sanctuary, located in Floyd, VA. He is also the founder of the Pfeiffer Center in Spring Valley, NY. Both farms operate on biodynamic principles. Gunther is featured in Queen of the Sun documentary where he joins with others highlighting the issues and the grave concerns many have over the honeybee population declines.
Transcript: Gunther Hauk
My podcast guest this week, Ajmu Ayinde, spoke so beautifully about the holistic framework of hypnosis, his journey and, experiences, He focused on Transpersonal Hypnotherapy and shared with us how holistic this modality is in its application, touching upon aspects of us as a human being seeking help. He mentions guided imagery which reminded me of the research and applications I learned from Belleruth Naparstek, a leader in this field.
Guided Imagery is defined as: “sometimes called guided meditation, visualization, mental rehearsal, and guided self-hypnosis) is a gentle but powerful technique that focuses the imagination in proactive, positive ways. ”
What I learned from her research is that we don’t need specifics to get a specific result. For example, when one has to undergo surgery: instead of affirming the surgery and ‘all will go well’ with the use or need for minimal blood transfusions as an affirmation, she found it was more effective to focus on feeling well using indirect sentences. We need very little to incite our natural inherent ability to heal. So, instead of specific affirmations, she used more generic thoughts such as ‘watch the team that watches over you, notice how your body is cooperating.’ These more indirect sentences actually showed a decrease in the need for blood transfusions during surgery. She found that imagery in this fashion puts the wisdom of our hearts to work. I love this, that our bodies have an inherent ability to heal. Hypnosis accesses this part of us too.
Her website contains many CDs for a variety of ailments that I highly recommend.
3 Benefits of Guided Imagery:
- Delivers complex coded messages to our deep subconscious;
- Uses symbols and metaphors which our subconscious responds to;
- Well-designed imagery can get us out of our head; we can access our intuition, memories and amplify our energy filed.
Many yoga practices and various healing modalities utilize guided imagery. Guided imagery allows us to enter into our entire being, not just the head or mind.
We want to catalyze our inherent intelligence to awaken our own healing power. Cool, huh? I think so. I have experienced many guided imagery sessions at the end of a yoga class. It helped me get out of my head, relax more deeply. In the long run, that’s healing!
Remember to share and all comments are appreciated. Enjoy.
Description: Another spoke on the wheel of healing modalities is hypnosis and hypnotherapy. With a long and rich history of application and science-backed research, hypnosis has a place in complementary and alternative medicine as well as within the western medical model. Meet Ajamu Ayinde who explains the use of self-hypnosis, and the holistic framework for Transpersonal Hypnosis. He shares his journey and an inspiring story of how this modality helps. Join us for an intriguing discussion.
About My Guest: Ajamu (Ah-ja-moo) James Ayinde (Eye-in-day) Ajamu is a Certified Medical Hypnotherapist and Transpersonal Hypnotherapy Trainer. He graduated from Trinity College in Hartford with a BA in Asian Studies, emphasizing multicultural education and Performing Arts. His MA is in Motivational Psychology, emphasizing sports performance. Certified in Clinical Hypnosis since 1995, Ajamu specializes in hypnotic childbirth preparation, pediatric hypnosis, and cancer support. He was honored as Therapist of the Year by the International Association of Counselors and Therapists in 2004 and he received further honors from the National Association of Transpersonal Therapists in 2012 and in 2017 for his work with athletes and pregnant couples, respectively. He sees clients in Carmel, NY and worldwide via Skype.
Transcript: Ajamu Ayinde
I began my journey with yoga in the mid to late seventies, a time when the ecology movement was just beginning. I had to travel to a YMCA to get to a class on a gym floor. I was taking tap and jazz dancing lessons at that time. My teacher was on vacation so I did the 30-day routines, following the instructions religiously. When she returned and I resumed classes she couldn’t get over how limber I was, somehow different, even my breathing was better. She asked what I had been doing. Not much except I was given a yoga book and decided to do the program while waiting for her to come back. She was impressed. I was too. I didn’t realize there could be a difference between traditional dance warmups versus yoga but there was. This feedback and observation have stayed with me ever since.
Years pass and I became a lecturer at the local University and incorporated my basic yoga routine from those first classes in each of my holistic studies classes. Athletes from basketball players to soccer were often inflexible. Athletes train for their sport and those muscle groups works really well but what about the rest of their body? Hamstrings were tight, backs couldn’t bend well. So many students commented on how much better they felt after a yoga class. Athletes were awakened to the fact that though they were good at a sport their bodies were not in as prime condition as they thought. This led to discussions and I only hope to inspiration for these young adults to value their body differently.
During this time I came across Mantak Chia’s book Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao. He reminds me of the importance of respecting our body in its totality, not just a machine that we prod on and on. Every organ system is a community of cells, a neighborhood if you will, that functions in harmony with every other system creating an intricate interplay between all parts, united to serve the whole. When we are young, we give the body little thought except for cosmetic reasons or athletics. As we get older and see how the body can run down, we may step up to the plate and take better care. Often, as I have seen in my nursing career, folks often wait until an alarm bell sounds before making changes. We all do this, get disciplined, life interrupts, then we go back to our habits again.
This week, my podcast guest, Eaglemoon Raes, reminded me of Mantak Chia’s meditation, one that asks us to focus on each organ system and give thanks to that community.
- Sit quietly
- Place feet on the floor, back comfortable, breathe
- Bring your awareness to your heart. Feel your heart’s love.
- Feeling this love, focus your attention on each organ system: brain, eyes, ears, nose, mouth etc. all the way through your body.
- When done bring your awareness back to your breath and give thanks for your breath of life.
“These vital organs are intimately connected to our mind. Our body is the filter for all our perceptions, feelings, thoughts, as well as the storehouse for our memory, our very sense of identity.” (p. 21, Awaken Healing Energy through the Tao, by Mantak Chia)
Giving thanks for our bodies seems a timely reminder. Enjoy.
Remember all comments and shares are appreciated.