Waking Up…

by Winter on January 18, 2015

Today was no exception in my morning wake-up.  I was brought to consciousness by a heavy weight across my neck and a wet, slurpy kiss that hit my mouth dead-on.  Mikha, our 22 pound, long-haired dachshund was awake, fulfilling his “job-description”to love and kiss any chance he gets. Aided in his mission was “Sneakers,” our mini-Aussie who just wants to play, regardless of the time of day or night. This awakening, though not unexpected, held me somewhere between the world of dreams and my morning tea.

As my reality unfolded, I was aware of the image in my mind, that I was looking at people in a cave, and they were watching the shadows on the wall. 2000 years ago Plato asked us to imagine a group of people chained to a wall in a cave in such a way that they could not see what was going on around them, only reflections cast on the cave wall opposite them by firelight. plato-caveHe invited us to consider how skewed the prisoners’ understanding of the world would become over time, and to value the contributions of philosophers who go out into the sunlight and see things as they really are. It’s easy for us Americans of 2015 to grasp the first part of his allegory, because it’s a perfect description of us watching television. (This article is well-worth a read in Daily Impact.)

Once I was under the impression that waking up meant “oneness,” suddenly realizing our connection to all things. Maybe that’s part of it. But now I am of the opinion that waking up is first becoming aware that we are asleep, that we have been put to sleep with bed-time stories (propaganda), and as a result we are sleep-walking through life. Waking up isn’t easy because it means seeing the truth of our reality.

Pondering this, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Adyashanti:

Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with a becoming better or 
being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretence. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”

We all have our own “truth meter” which sends out alarms when something just isn’t right. These days my truth alarm seems to be constantly going off, just like a car alarm. I wish I could ignore it, but my blood pressure seems to be attached to recognizing lies, so I can’t. I am forced to pay attention.  If I don’t, our human-kind predicament bleeds into my dreams.

Just as in my Yin Yoga Practice, when my body meets resistance upon hearing (or seeing) something (usually from the media), I take a lead from Byron Katie and ask, “Is this True? Do I know for certain this is absolutely, positively, True?) The only thing I have seen/heard in weeks that didn’t set off my “meter” was when the host of “The Price is Right” fell off a treadmill (and even that is questionable).

It’s an overcast, rainy day, here in Maine.  It’s a good day to build a fire, meditate, reflect, practice whatever our practice is, and notice where we meet resistance. I know that many of you don’t watch television, in fact, you don’t even own a TV.  But every now and then, I suggest you take the opportunity to watch “the news.” As you watch, pay attention to your truth meter.

“Until the whole world is free to agree with you or disagree with you, until you have given the freedom to everyone to like you or not like you, to love you or hate you, to see things as you see them or to see things differently—until you have given the whole world its freedom—you’ll never have your freedom.”

― AdyashantiThe End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

That’s a very tall order. . .and we have a long way to go.

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A New Years Resolution: Let Food Be Thy Medicine

by Winter on January 13, 2015

He that takes medicine and neglects diet wastes the time of his doctor. (Ancient Chinese Proverb)

If you are one of the many who have decided to clean up your diet, at least for the month of January, let me toss a few things out for your consideration.

For years I have asked clients about what they ate, and noted that they weren’t getting enough water (1/2 of their body weight in ounces daily).  Their usual response is, “I don’t eat well enough.” A little deeper probing usually gets to the root of their statement which includes (my words) refined, white, food. (Sugar is linked to most of our diseases, including heart disease and, according to Dr. Robert Lustig (UC)) all calories are not created equal.) If you are craving something sweet, your body may be telling you that you are dehydrated.  Drink a glass of water instead.

The truth is, it can be hard to eat healthily, even if you grow your own organic food.  (Speaking of eating, did you know that there is no reason to three meals a day, or that the concept of “grazing” or eating several times a day is a concept from our food industry?) Our soils are diminished, our water contaminated, even the air we breath is filled with pollutants. It’s a wonder we made it past childhood, yet, on the other hand, most of us made (and ate) mud pies. Today we know that children lacking this culinary experience, i.e: don’t play in the dirt, have weakened immune systems.

But this blog isn’t about what my clients eat, or don’t eat.  It’s about what I am discovering/re-discovering about my self, health, and the medical establishment, on my road to balance and health. These are things that I thought I knew, but in hindsight, I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. (Surprise, surprise.)

(For instance, I have long known that as little as 3 Tablespoons a day of Lecithin Granules bring your lipids (cholesterol) into balance. (Because of the great cholesterol myth perpetuated by the pharmaceutical industry, I have many clients, including myself, who use lecithin instead of statin drugs.)

Through my own digging I discovered how many nutrients I was missing.  For instance, I didn’t know the value of magnesium/calcium to heart function. (Traditional medicine failed to suggest that I  might want to add that supplement to my diet, not to mention many other vitamins that I was washing out with my massive amounts of tea!)

Acupuncture has re-ignited my fascination with Chi, and the way it flows through the body.  (Many of you already know that when I scan a body I read Chi as it flows (or not) along the meridians. Meridians, flowing through the body’s soft tissue integrate body and consciousness in the same way that our physical  anatomy integrates the body’s  fluid and solid natures. (Meridian in Chinese is Jingluo, roughly translated as threads that connect, like a net.) Daverick Leggett (Recipes for Self-Healing) suggests that the Eight Extraordinary Meridians link us to a sense of oneness, where we know our connection to the cosmos, inseparable from the whole. Could it be that within the meridians lie our inherited patterns of karmic health?

Reading Chi energy in this way comes naturally, making me think I have another life “somewhere” where I actively practice Chinese Medicine. If what  the Ling Shu (one of the oldest texts of Chinese medicine), suggests is true: our meridians receive subtle information from the environment: stars, planets, trees, plants, humans and animals, meridians could be the basis of all intuition, all psychic information..

My world of complimentary medicine continues to expand. At Wildwood, the local acupuncture clinic, I met Lauren Breau, a fantastic acupuncturist who writes their blog. What I like about Lauren’s blog is not just that she is witty and full of useful information, she often posts delicious, healthy, recipes like this (one of my favorites):

Roasted Dandelion Root Mocha

March 4, 2014 by

A Liver-Lovin’ Sippin’ Tea!

Feeling irritated? Stagnant? Angry? Explosive?

Honestly, I can’t recommend this tasty beverage enough. Dandelion root (pu gong ying) can quickly cool liver heat , and can act as a great substitute for alcohol or coffee. It’s best when you are feeling stagnant and irritable, or irritable and overly-heated (possible diagnoses would be “liver qi constraint with heat,” “liver fire,” or “excess heat with dampness”). That goes double for me (WR).

As for those who SHOULDN’T USE dandelion root (though a single cup of roasted dandelion root tea is unlikely to do any harm, no matter what your diagnosis), scroll down and check out the contraindications.

ROASTED DANDELION ROOT MOCHA

(original version from The Herbal Kitchen, by herbalist Kami MacBride)

Ingredients

3 cups water
3 tablespoons roasted dandelion root (Mountain Rose Herbs carries high quality organic roasted dandelion root, or visit your local apothecary to see if they carry it)
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs

NOTE: Cacao nibs and cacao powder are the cacao bean in its raw state. Cocoa powder is the product of the bean being cleaned, roasted, and powdered. Any option is fine for the recipe, though cacao has more healing/health properties than the cocoa.

1/2 cup almond milk: can substitute rice, hemp, full-fat cow’s milk
1/2 tsp. powdered cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 tsp. sweetener: brown rice syrup, maple syrup, agave, stevia, honey

Step 1: Add water to roasted dandelion root and nibs (if you’re using powder, add powder in Step 3).

Step 2: Bring to a boil, and immediately lower temperature and simmer for 15 minutes (hot, but not boiling).

Step 3: Strain the tea, add remaining ingredients, sweeten to taste, and drink up! Feel your liver qi moving? Good!

CONTRAINDICATIONS: 

Because dandelion could act as a mild diuretic, it should be avoided by those who take lithium or diuretic drugs.

Spironolactone and triamterene may react adversely with dandelion products.

Now in a full body/mind/spirit press, I have added Yin Yoga, not just to my exercise routine, but to my life.  In Yin Yoga, we hold the posture for 3-5 minutes, allowing chi to be concentrated in the deeper yin tissues (bones and ligaments). What originally sounded so easy has been anything but easy. As I attempt to settle into the stillness, I meet resistance from my body. This is not surprising.  It is the same resistance I feel when I become defensive, only in the yin pose I am more aware of my physical discomfort and the thoughts riding along with it. Usually grumbling about pain, I stay with the pose, until my body relaxes. The end result is that I not just helping my physical body, but I am recharging my batteries…my spiritual energy. I believe that it would be good for all of us need to find a way to recharge our spiritual energy. It helps us meet daily challenges. Recharging may be meditation, yoga, gardening, playing the piano, writing, or anything that puts you in the meditative, creative flow. Challenges can come at any moment, and usually when we least expect them.

It’s a good time of year, especially here in the Northeast, to cozy up next to a fire, a good book, and perhaps a cup of dandelion mocha. For me, that book is a recipe book, often one promoting food and healing. While many of us gotten away from our connection to food, nature, subtle energy, it is still there…waiting to be discovered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A heart-felt event…

December 16, 2014

I am one of those people whose blood pressure goes up if I even look at a BP cuff (let alone “think” about the fact that someone, somewhere, is going to check my blood pressure. So recently, when I decided I was going to check my blood pressure it was out of character, even if […]

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Medical Intuition

September 2, 2014

This December 5-7 Larry Burke, MD and I will be offering a long-weekend class on medical intuition at the Monroe Institute.  Because I am frequently asked how I discovered that I was a medical intuitive, I am posting the interview. Winter Robinson and Dr. Larry Burk offer Medical Intuition and Symbolic Diseases at TMI in […]

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Present Moments…

August 27, 2014

It is always bittersweet when we reach these hazy, hot days of August. This quiet morning a window has opened for me to sit on our porch and post my thoughts…of which there are many. One most foremost in my awareness is the changing weather and how flexible we need to be, how our best-laid […]

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Just say, “Yes.”

July 12, 2014

Today is the kind of Maine summer day that you wish would continue for several months, although I suspect, it is going to become much warmer as the day goes on. Usually I don’t start my mornings reading, but Michael left at 5 am to kayak for a Peaks Island to Portland swimmer.  I was […]

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Are you doing what you want to be doing?

June 8, 2014

Last year Michael and I sold our sailboat, having made the decision that we weren’t enjoying (or using) where we lived (in the woods, on a lake, in Maine).  Instead, for 15+ years we had opted to jump in our car, drive 35-40 minutes in summer traffic to the harbor, jump on our boat and […]

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Talking to Strangers

May 31, 2014

Recently, I have been pondering why we (humans) behave as if we are separate from each other, as if there is no relationship between us.  We behave as if everyone else is a stranger  (we certainly don’t talk to strangers)  and our personal world is the only reality there is. We seem to have forgotten, […]

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Along the path to enlightenment…

March 24, 2014

Make no mistake about it…enlightenment is a destructive process.  It has nothing too do with becoming better or being happier.  Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the façade of pretense.  It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.  Adyashanti I used to believe that enlightenment meant being one with […]

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Truth with a capital “T”

March 6, 2014

Zipporah Dobyns once told me that I was searching for Truth with a capital “T.” Zip was a clinical psychologist as well as a pragmatic astrologer, and I am reminded of her words almost daily. Because I have been somewhat shut in, I’ve been catching up on my reading and questioning everything that I read.  (The garden […]

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