Wellness and graceful aging do not operate in isolation from the rest of your life. At Janice Woody’s Lifetime Health the focus is on integrating mind, body and spirit. None of this can happen without expanding your mind first. Remember everything is created twice in this world. First we envision it in mind then we can create it in our day to day reality. Expanding the mind is key to having an enlightened society. Expanding the mind involves trust and faith that we are being led to more clarity and understanding about being well and doing for others.
Part of being well is having peace of mind about all aspects of our lives: spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and financial. We will not have peace of mind without peace in all these areas. The path to peace is strewn with many obstacles, most of our own making.
How are you expanding your spiritual life? Are you conscious of who you are being in this moment? Are you a spirit that supports life and living? Are you being kind and gentle? Are you being compassionate? What will people say about you when you’re gone from this plane?
Is your mental life a scary dark street or a path of light? Do you feed your mind good food for thought that helps expansion? What is your physical life? Are you consciously living in the space of your life each moment? Are you disassociated from your body and somehow thinking that the weight will leave on its own or that you can eat garbage without suffering the consequences? Is your body expanding due to poor choices? Are you an emotional mess? Are you in denial about the reality of your existence? Are you spouting positive affirmations without doing the foundational work of admitting who you are, where you are and how you got here? Are you using your emotional life to support yourself and others? Are you taking action in life or just dreaming?
And lastly, is there peace in your financial life? Do you understand the difference between an asset and a liability? An asset brings you wealth and income. A liability drains your resources, both physically and emotionally. Are you acquiring assets or are you watching your resources slip away funding liabilities that leave you nothing to show for your life’s work?
Do you know that your children are your treasure, the greatest asset you have been given? Do you treat them like precious jewels with gentleness and admiration? Do you build them up and educate them about who they are and where they came from? Are you laying a firm foundation that will allow them to prosper in life and ensure the longevity of your clan? That is also wealth. Don’t relegate their education to a slave factory. Take on the responsibility to educate them about true freedom and the greatness of service to others.
When you’re laid to rest either in a grave or on a funeral pyre, will your legacy be one of peace and expansion? You may think all I have done here is raise more questions with no answers. Everyone is looking for answers. The answers lie inside you. The way to bring them out is by asking the right questions. Now is your budding opportunity to expand your mind. Take it!
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“What a difference a day makes. Twenty-four little hours.” When you give yourself time to digest life, it goes down so much easier. I’m having a health challenge and as always I am reminded to tend to my thoughts. How easy it is to forget that we decide which thoughts to entertain on a daily basis. It seems that they just show up sometimes as uninvited guests and we can’t do anything about that. WRONG! We must tend our thoughts as carefully as we tend our gardens. What gets planted will grow. If you plant watermelon seeds, you won’t get apples. Seems kind of obvious, but many times we find ourselves entertaining thoughts of despair about our health and then wonder why things seem to be getting worse.
Yes, we have to be realistic and face whatever presents itself. Once we’ve acknowledged it, then we decide how to think about it. If the automatic response is panic, doom and gloom, then we find ourselves in the negative death spiral to hell. The negative thoughts come pouring in and start to overwhelm the system.
However, there is another way to tend the garden of your mind. Face reality. What is actually happening? Much of it will exist only in the mind. Then adopt a perspective that leaves you options. It’s amazing how just having a choice can lift your spirits and raise your energy to see the possibilities in life. It’s very easy to decide that everything is falling apart. But what if it isn’t? What if you can make a different choice? What if you can see things from a different perspective, one that has you winning for a change? Or at least gives you a fighting chance?
The way this life works is we have dark clouds and rain, then we get sunshine and flowers. Neither is good or bad. It simply is. The thought seeds we’ve planted determine what sprouts in the fertile soil of our minds. If we welcome the clouds and rain, we have a perspective that this will bring juicy watermelons. If we welcome the sunshine, we enjoy a walk in the park or wandering in our garden picking the sweet fruit. What we harvest is what was planted.
If we are planting negative thought seeds, the harvest will be disappointing at best. What we will have to eat will only irritate the system and make life stressful, dark and cloudy like the sky on a rainy day. Plant seeds that empower you. Plant seeds that give you options. Plant seeds that feed and nourish your soul.
The dark clouds always part and then there is sun. “What a difference a day makes. Twenty-four little hours. You’ve got the sun and the flowers where there used to be rain. What a difference a day makes. And the difference is you!”
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I am giving birth to the warrior now in Level 2 Shambhala. How profound that I would be birthing the warrior on Mother’s Day weekend.
My first experience giving birth lead to the emergence of a truly magnificent soul named Changa Bavu Mukasa. His name means iron-like force and he emerged as just that. I will always remember how he arrived, with a long introduction and much fanfare. My water broke at 7 months and as I sat in the hospital for another 7 days waiting for his arrival, I wondered who is this person. He came down the birth canal with an attitude and when they laid him on the table beside me, he looked up at his father and me with a look of “oh, so you’re the ones I got!”
Thus proceeded the journey of a warrior into listening and hearing. We all had our hearing faculties at the time. Little did we know what was to come. Changa lost most of his hearing over a year later due to meningitis. It was fitting that the logo for his namesake CHANGA is an African Zulu warrior. When we gave birth to CHANGA (Collective Housing and New Growth Alternatives) we had no idea what would happen or where it would lead us. We just wanted to promote deaf-friendly housing. It gave birth to a whole movement that others are promoting now and bringing forth new living spaces that serve the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing. Thank you Changa for inspiring the creation of this grand idea in our lives. We weren’t the first to attempt it, but in the age of the Internet, we were probably the first to give it more light.
The warrior is being born anew in me this weekend. It signals a movement into a new realm of healing, growth and transformation. There is much to be healed through working with contentment, joy, fearlessness and wisdom. I salute all those on the path with me. It takes great courage to birth the warrior. Having to sit with all that arises, acknowledging and accepting. No fighting is required. Non-resistance is a key tool of the warrior. Realizing that all that comes up to challenge you is for you, for your growth, for your healing. The warrior knows that whatever is needed in every situation is contained within it. There is no need to bring the moving van, just an open set of eyes and ears, an open heart.
In some Native American tribes, the young brave went off on a spirit quest to sit with whatever arose, acknowledging and accepting. He faced his fears and moved through them. I learned that fearlessness is not about the absence of fear. It’s facing fear and moving beyond it. We can’t have fearlessness without fear. Just as there’s always a little nugget of sadness in all our joy. Birthing of a warrior is what’s required of an individual. Birthing of a warrior is what’s required of a people to survive and thrive.
May you be happy. May you be free from suffering. May you be at peace. May you be brave and give birth to a warrior. As always, please like this and share it with your friends. Come sit with me at JaniceWoody.com for more on wellness and graceful aging. Here’s to your Lifetime Health!
I use the term Being in Nature vs. Being with or Being out in because this life is about who we are being in each moment. We are as much a part of nature as the trees we walk past daily. We can’t help but be “in” nature. There is a symbiotic relationship here. We are kin with the birds and the squirrels because we all have a common source of being. Many days I’m talking with people who feel overwhelmed by the act of living. I think and feel that our stress with living comes from not realizing our connection with everything around us. When brother bird sings, he’s communicating with you. Are you listening? It may be a sweet melodious chirp I’m hearing or a somber chant. Many times I can feel the direct connection between me, what’s happening in my life and the bird’s song. If he’s doing a somber chant, did I suddenly become aware of him because I’m going through a particularly difficult time? Or am I overjoyed by some wonderful new blessing and because of that I hear gleeful chirping? We are all connected. It doesn’t mean we are all the same. We are just connected in the web of life and we have messages for each other that can uplift and feed our souls.
This is what creates true abundance in life. The never-ending connection between everything. When we tap into this, we start to understand the universe is infinite and there is no lack of anything. It is our narrow perceptions that steal this truth from us. My ancestors were connected in a very basic way and taught me to value this connection to everything. All those days in my grandma’s garden watching and helping her tend to and nurture the crops was my foundation in the truth of abundance. Watching her shake the peach tree to collect that delectable sweet, juicy fruit taught me that one day it would be my turn to shake the tree. And because of her, I would know how. Giving thanks for everything that came, taught me about the most powerful energy in the universe, love and gratitude.
We are living in the month of May and it is full of budding opportunities to realize our connection and how we are being in nature, Are we growing? Are the buds in our lives blossoming? When we become aware of our connection, we begin to see this growth. The growth leads to maturity, then death which leads us back to the start of the cycle with birth. None of this is to be feared but appreciated and acknowledged. We are part of the never-ending cycle of love and gratitude.
Ask yourself this question. Who am I being in this moment? Would I be proud of my great, great-grandchildren knowing this person? Am I living the values I preach to my family and friends? Or am I a straight up hypocrite? Every moment is a choice about who we are being. Stay in the now and stay connected. Nature teaches you how to be in harmony with everything and everyone around you.
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