Health happens when the mind, body and spirit are connected and clean. Health is accessible to everyone through God-given natural means, but requires far more intense and continuous efforts than most people realize. Disease is a warning that the conditions for health are missing. Disease is not the sign of a missing surgery, medicine or pharmaceutical product. Health can be achieved through low tech natural means, that create freedom and independence. Humans do not have to depend on corporations, large businesses or pharmaceutical companies to enjoy health. In fact, if one is dependent on such entities they can be sure that they are only suppressing the root cause of the disease, not actually curing it. Even in the cases where a medicine resolves the original illness, the deeper emotional and spiritual root cause remains untouched. Success is only superficial and suffering will return in some form or another at a later date. The body will continue to warn the individual that health is missing.
Understanding the law of karma and it’s logical solution, unconditional love, is the first step towards re-establishing holistic health. Practices that help connect the mind, body and spirit will stimulate an emotional and spiritual cleansing. Some of the most important practices that have helped me are: regular meditation, positive affirmations, fasting, physical exercise, exposure to nature, a fresh whole foods diet, meaningful hard work, random acts of kindness, forgiveness and investing in high quality relationships (by being selective with my friends and maintaining personal integrity in my life).
When I realized the importance of these practices, I immediately stopped using alcohol and did my best to limit my exposure to any chemicals, such as pharmaceuticals and agro-toxins present in food. I also realized that it’s important to embrace the symptoms of an illness when they manifest (they are just a messenger) and invest more energy in the previously mentioned holistic health practices as opposed to focusing on the messenger. As a result, illnesses happen much less often (I have stopped getting my seasonal sore throat and occasional migraines) and when the do happen, they pass much faster.
Occasionally I have been challenged by severe symptoms, such as a 3 month episode of intense, exploding right leg and buttocks pain that made it impossible for me to stand up straight and tormented me through out every activity I performed, including limiting my sleep to just 2-3 hours. Even in that case I recognized it was futile to fight with the symptoms or try to suppress them with pain medications. I carried on life as usual, just much slower and focused only on my most critical daily activities. I asked God if there was anything I needed to change in my life and the answer in this case was: no, everything is okay. This was an intense spiritual cleanse and all I needed to do was stay strong and allow it to pass. Indeed that was what happened and the benefits that followed in the wake of that storm permeated through all of my life. I may write more details about this in another article.
I’m writing this now because I see so many people confused about what it means when we get an illness or disease. I see many who intuitively know that everything happens on purpose. I see many people who are hesitant to use modern medicines and vaccines, but they are missing strength in their conviction. They have forgotten the big picture. Now more than ever there is an intense social pressure to convince us that we must rely on these man-made chemicals (and the companies that make them) in hopes to achieve health. It’s easy to forget that our body’s are highly intelligent and the symptoms are simply a “messenger” that something inside is out of balance. Now more than ever, it’s important to remain strong.
When people are suffering, it’s tempting to reach for the “quick fix” that yields some sort of immediate results, but with unknown long-term consequences. It’s easy to fight with the disease or suppress the symptoms, but at best this leaves the root cause unaddressed and leaves the individual with a false sense of security. At worst it intensifies the illness. All diseases are an attempted spiritual cleanse, if not interfered with they will pass and leave life better than before. And I believe deeply that death (no matter how it comes) is the final most sacred cleanse, where spiritual freedom can be experienced.
In a culture where death is treated as a mistake. Where we are taught to fear death, illness and suffering. Where we treat our bodies as our identity, instead of a temporary home. It’s easy to get convinced to fight with illnesses. It’s easy to count death tolls and point fingers. It’s easy to waste energy trying to “stop the spread” of disease. It’s easy to find ourselves fighting with others, even our friends and loved ones, as long as we wrongly perceive that our health is a result of other people’s actions. It’s easy to get caught up in the superficial events and leave the inner work unaddressed.
I challenge everyone to see through this illusion. Remember that health is a personal responsibility. Remember to be mindful of your thoughts, words and actions and orient them in a loving way, no matter what happens. Remember to take time to care for yourself. Take time to be alone with God and nature. Honor the sacredness of the mind, body and spirit and allow the spirit to change you for the better. Help others learn this truth, not by preaching, but instead through your actions. Health speaks for itself.
Ringworm is a common fungal skin infection caused by tinea corporis. Don’t be fooled by the name, it is not caused by a worm. The fungus produces a scaly, circular, itchy rash on the skin, scalp, groin or feet. There can be hair loss and blistering as well. Tinea is spread through contact and is more likely to infect skin that is moist and has a defect. Although it can be a nuisance, the infection is not dangerous.
Many natural remedies are known to treat ringworm. Here I share a photo documented success story after trying a variety of remedies. To get straight to the point, raw garlic was the hands down winner. In the end, I used it as part of a 3 remedy combination.
The first remedy I tried was lavender essential oil. I always have a high quality Swiss pharmacy brand available to use on cuts and nicks. For the ringworm, I applied it neat (undiluted) directly on the skin. The picture above was taken immediately after an application. This treatment was used twice daily for a week, and did clearly have a drying effect on the rash. See the picture below taken about a week into the lavender treatment.
However, I was unhappy with the speed of healing and so decided to add garlic. I choose this remedy next because I had it readily available and it is often mentioned as an effective agent.
I used the most potent garlic I could find. It was locally grown and organic. I knew from cooking with it, that it was much stronger than typical store bought garlic. For each preparation, I sliced a fresh piece. I made sure to place the newly cut side, with oils leaking, directly on to the rash. I then covered it with a band-aid to hold it securely in place. I left the garlic preparation on for 2 hours, once a day.
Immediately after removing the garlic I could see that the ringworm was unhappy. The rash became bright red, and the oil had a moisturizing effect.
Seeing this, I was encouraged that the garlic would work. Of the 3 component treatment, it was clear to me the garlic was the key ingredient. The first step was always the 2 hour garlic application. After removing it, I wiped the rash with a tissue moistened with apple cider vinegar. This helped take away some of that garlic smell, and it is also popular remedy for ringworm. Lastly I applied a small amount of lavender oil to help dry the rash and leave it with a pleasant smell.
The photo below was taken 2 days after starting the garlic remedy and 9 days all together. There is already some clearing in skin!
After only 1 week it looked like the rash was on its way out. At this point I had to travel and stopped the garlic treatment, falsely thinking it was days away from healing. It turns out fungal skin infections are stubborn and require more persistence in treatment.
As shown below, there was more infection deeper in the skin that started to surface in the form of pustules.
I restarted the garlic remedy, after having taken a week off. During the next couple weeks the skin produced more blisters and cleared more daily. It also went through phases of scaling, as seen below.
Again I naively took a break in the garlic applications. But soon it was clear, there was still more ringworm in the deeper layers of the skin. The skin started to thicken and redden in some places.
Once again, I restarted the daily garlic applications, this time with determination to continue until the skin appeared totally normal.
The rash went through many phases of looking better, then looking worse. I kept the garlic going.
I understand that pharmaceutical antifungals work much faster. However, I am a lover of natural remedies and always prefer the gentler approach even if it means waiting longer.
The entire treatment took about 2 months. I suspect it would have been faster if I had diligently used the garlic from day one through to completion. There were about 3 weeks total that it went untreated. The apple cider vinegar and lavender oil accompanied the garlic preparation well, but if I had only one of the remedies to choose, it would be the fresh garlic. When I first discovered the rash, it was disheartening and I had some doubts that it would heal. I’m happy to report that, garlic, an herb accessible to almost all people, will fully heal a ringworm skin infection if applied correctly.
Clove tincture has multiple therapeutic purposes. I take it along with black walnut hull tincture and wormwood tincture as an antiparasitic. In this article, I share how to make your own clove tincture by hand.
Mix ground cloves with 80-100 proof alcohol. Let the mix sit for 6 weeks, strain and reserve the alcohol.
In Depth Tutorial
– Getting Fresh Organic Cloves
The quality of dried cloves can vary. After sampling 3 different organic clove brands, I choose Organic World Spice Market. The aroma of these cloves hit my face when I smelled them. They really stood out compared to other brands I tried.
– Grinding the Cloves
To ensure freshness, I purchased whole cloves and then ground them the day I made the tincture. If you do the same, make sure you clean your coffee grinder well before you use it again.
– Basic Recipe Plus
I used 2.5 tbl of ground cloves for every 2 oz of alcohol. For this particular batch, 8 oz of whole cloves ground down to 32 tbl, which calls for 26 oz of alcohol. The whole concoction fit perfectly into a 1 quart glass jar. If using a metal lid be sure to put a piece of plastic wrap down first. Store the tincture in a cool, dry place for 6 weeks.
– Finished Product
Next strain the mix through a coffee filter and bottle it. Take 20 drops three times a day for 2 weeks, along with the black walnut hull tincture and clove tincture. On the mornings you take the 3 tinctures, take the clove tincture first, about 20 minutes before the other two. The amount of tincture for a 2 week treatment fits perfectly into a 2 ounce remedy bottle. Store in a cool, dry place.
Wormwood, when taken along with cloves and black walnut hull, is an excellent antiparasitic remedy. Dr. Hulda Clark advocated this triad of herbs. Although she suggested taking the wormwood in a dried capsule form, I love to use herbs in tincture form. If made from fresh herb, I feel more of the essence is retained in a tincture then a dried preparation. You may wish to make your own tincture so that you know it is fresh and organic. If done right, it will be higher quality than any store bought version.
Soak wormwood leaves and flowers in 80 – 100 proof alcohol, being sure all the herb parts are covered. After 6 weeks strain the organic matter from the alcohol and bottle your tincture.
In Depth Tutorial
– Getting Wormwood
I choose to grow wormwood in my organic herb garden. I was lucky to find someone locally who gave me a starter plant. My second choice would have been to cultivate the plant from seed. I love Annie’s Heirloom Seeds. As a last resort I would have used a good quality organic dried wormwood for the tincture.
– Basic Recipe Plus
One freezer bag of loosely packed wormwood, once chopped, fit nicely into a 1/2 quart glass jar and required about 16 oz alcohol. It is important that all the herb is submerged. If you have a metal lid, place a plastic wrap on the glass jar first.
– Finished Product
Let the mix sit for 6 weeks, then strain it, reserving the alcohol and discarding the wormwood plant matter. Store in a glass jar, in a cool and dry place. Take 20 drops three times daily for 2 weeks, along with clove tincture and black walnut hull tincture. A 2 ounce remedy bottle is exactly the right size to hold this 2 week regimen.
Black walnut hull tincture is a natural antiparasitic remedy. It is normally used in combination with wormwood and cloves, as advocated by Dr. Hulda Clark. Although the tincture can be purchased at a store, you may want to make it yourself. It is fun to do, can save you money and if you follow the steps below will result in a higher than average quality tincture. You can also make your own wormwood tincture and clove tincture too!
Soak whole black walnuts, with ripe green hulls intact in 80-100 proof alcohol in an airtight container for 3 days. Adding vitamin C powder to the mix, helps maintain freshness. Strain and reserve the alcohol, while discarding the walnuts. Add some more vitamin C powder and store in a glass jar of your choice. Viola, your done.
In Depth Tutorial
– Collecting and Storing Black Walnuts
Black walnuts are perfect for tincture making when they are ripe enough to fall off the tree, but still mostly green in color. Once they are blackened, they are too old. This window for harvesting can go quick, so be observant. In 2015, here in Michigan they were perfect around October 1st. Be sure you have the correct tree. Although the green hulled walnut is distinctive, there is an English walnut and some other nut producing trees which look similar. This article describes the differences in leaf appearance between a Black and an English Walnut tree.
Once you’ve collected your walnuts plan on making your tincture within days or the nuts may over ripen. If you cannot do this, the nuts can be frozen in an airtight container and used later.
– Planning Stage
If you use a 5 quart glass jar to soak your tincture, plan on 2 gallon-sized freezer bags of walnuts and 64 oz of alcohol. If your jar has a metal lid, be sure to place a layer of plastic wrap on top of the jar before sealing with the lid. This protects your tincture from the metal.
– Basic Recipe Plus
Rinse the walnuts and place them whole in the glass jar. To make the tincture maximum potency, chop extra pieces of green hulls and use them to fill the gaps between the whole walnuts.
Add 1 tsp of vitamin C powder to preserve freshness. Choose an organic or non-gmo product, as many vitamin C products are made from ascorbic acid obtained from gmo corn. Pour a 100 proof organic alcohol over the walnuts until they are completely covered. High concentration organic alcohol can be hard to come by. Here is how I found: organic alcohol for tincture making.
Carefully place your jar in a cool, dark place and let sit for 3 days. Avoid shaking the jar, as oxygen causes the tincture to lose its freshness.
– Finished Product
After 3 days the alcohol should be black with a slight green tinge. Pour the alcohol into a new container taking care to separate and discard the walnuts. You may consider using gloves at this point as the tincture and the walnuts leave a dark stain. Add another teaspoon of vitamin C powder to the finished product and store in a glass jar, protected from light. When using the tincture as an anti-parasitic, take 1 tsp the first day, then 2 tsp daily for 6 more days. A 2 ounce remedy bottle will hold exactly the right amount of tincture for this 1 week treatment. Remember to take it along with wormwood and cloves. The remedy is best taken on an empty stomach, especially during a fast or juice cleanse.
Homemade compost is magic! I can recall mixing my first batch with some doubts that chunks of kitchen waste and leaves would disappear and be replaced by dirt. But that is exactly the magic that happened. Compost is a rich, living soil which solves most organic gardening problems beyond the basics of providing proper water, pH and sunlight. Once you learn to make your own compost (which is far better than any store bought version) you will find that your plants, indoors and outdoors, thrive. Here I will describe how to make aerobic compost.
- – Fertilizer – a rich, supply of slow release organic nutrients.
- – Pesticide – a living soil, teaming with friendly micro-organisms, which block harmful pests.
- – Soil Amender – a highly spongy, pH neutral substrate that helps give air and drainage to heavy soils and simultaneously gives structure to sandy soil.
Holistic Benefits of Compost Making:
Some may wonder why a guide to making compost is in the “Healthy Spirit Blog“. I’m fascinated by the transformation that occurs in dirt making. When I remember that I am also a part of nature, it is a living example of the possibility of transformation in my own life. What could be more symbolic than turning waste and crap into goodness? Its good for the spirit and for those of us who spend most of our day indoors, its good for the body too. It also lends itself to be an excellent family activity. My kids love making dirt!
How aerobic compost differs from anaerobic:
- – Almost zero odor (unless you let your kitchen waste sit too long)
- – Produces much larger quantities of compost
- – Transforms quickly (its done in 3-4 months during the summer in a climate zone 4, faster in warmer areas)
- – No worms needed
- – Enclosures are optional
- – “Brown Substrate” – Refers to the medium that provides structure and micro-organisms. Dry leaves are best. Straw can be used but breaks down slower. I mow up leaves from my yard on a dry fall day and then store them in the garage in paper landscape bags (see picture). For my one person household, I normally go through six bags per year.
- – “Green Waste” – Refers to nitrogen rich kitchen waste, it doesn’t necessarily have to be green in color. Made mostly from fruit and vegetable waste. Egg shells, coffee grounds and tea bags are great as well. I keep a small waste basket with lid under my sink and empty it weekly (see picture). Never add meat products, dairy or baked goods. I find fruits with large pits (such as avocado) and corn cobs/husks don’t degrade well and so leave them out of my pile. Grass clippings in small amounts are okay, but if you add too many they slow the rate of composting.
This is so simple you’ll wonder why everyone isn’t making compost and collecting leaves in the fall! Mix about 3 parts “Brown Substrate” with 1 part “Green Waste”. Let is set for a month or two and it will shrink to about half the original size. Mix it up again and a month or two later you have compost!
- – You can literally just plop the two components on the ground somewhere out of the way. I normally do this on my organic garden bed in the fall. Since I have far more leaves than I can store at that time, I make a huge pile on the garden and then hunt down leftover pumpkins and apples for the green waste. Despite being surrounded by wildlife, the only animals I’ve ever attracted were some deer who were after the apples. Now I choose the more rotten ones and even without any barrier the critters leave the pile alone.
- – If you choose to use an enclosure, make sure it is well aerated. I like to take wire fencing, wrap it into a tube and fasten it with plastic tie downs. I then make a smaller tube, place in the middle and it acts as a chimney to deliver fresh air (see picture).
- – Throughout the year I keep adding my weekly green waste to the enclosure, each time with some leaves. After a month or two I’ll pull the wire enclosure away from the pile and give it a good mixing. If the pile seems too “leafy”, its any easy fix, just add more green waste. If it starts smelling like manure, no problem, just add more leaves. Its dirt making, you can’t mess it up! Once the ratio is right, I stop adding anymore to this pile and let it ripen. Once the whole pile shrinks a bit, flip it with a shovel. At this point I’m weeks away from a finish product. While this pile is cooking, I just start a new one in my enclosure again.
- – To save space you can use a mulching blade on the lawn mower when mowing up the leaves. The leaves will be ground much smaller and I find I can fit three times more in the brown paper bag. These leaves also compost faster than full sized leaves.
- – A lawn mower with a bagger makes for easy work, however it is truly optional. You can just rake up some leaves and stuff them in a bag. Many times I’ve just snatched a full bag of leaves from the neighbor’s curb after they put them out for collection. Be sure that the lawn from which leaves are taken, hasn’t been treated with pesticides, otherwise your compost will be dead and your organic garden will no longer be organic.
- – The final product can be measured by its smell and texture. Good compost has a strong, pleasant, earthy aroma. There should be no rotten odor or smell of manure, if so just add more leaves. The compost should also look like rich, black dirt and have a spongy texture. If it hasn’t broken down enough, just give it more time.
- – For indoor plants I remove any twigs and larger pieces from the compost and simply spread an inch of it on the soil. For outdoor plants I also spread an inch of compost around the bottom of the plant as well. I repeat this about twice a year. Compost is very rich. Always “water it down” by mixing it with normal potting soil or the surrounding earth if you preparing a new planting.
- – Horse manure, especially if it still has moisture, is a great additive to compost. It already has the perfect mix of brown and green components and can rightly be turned into compost all on its own. When I have access to it, I double the size of my normal compost pile by mixing it in after I’ve removed it from the enclosure.
Most of my expertise with aerobic composting comes from reading Mike McGrath’s Book of Compost and then doing it myself over the last seven years. I highly recommend reading his short guide for more tricks, such as creating a compost spray and for those who may not have access to leaves and kitchen waste and need to consider alternative methods to make their compost.
A clay brick wood stove surround, designed to operate as a thermal mass heater and safety barrier.
- Allows for safe operation of a wood stove in small spaces. A wood stove can produce high heats and so requires quite a bit of its own protected space. In my 400 sqft home there would not have been enough room to operate a wood stove, without a fire resistant surround.
- Moderates heat output. The thermal mass of the wood stove surround helps create consistent heating. Although it takes some time to heat the clay brick, once it is warmed it radiates a more constant and comfortable warmth than a normal wood stove. A normal wood stove will produce a wider fluctuation in temperatures as the wood burns and then the stove cools.
- Possibly reduces wood consumption. Other authors report needing to feed their wood stove less often after installing a thermal mass surround. This is a convenience as well as a cost saving factor. I could not confirm this benefit, because it would not have been safe to use my wood stove without a surround.
- Feels safer with kids in the home. I was a little concerned about installing a wood stove in my one room home because of my kids. My son loves to use the home as a jungle gym and one inadvertent meeting with the stove could be a disaster. The brick surround gives me peace of mind that the kids are safer.
The idea for a thermal mass surround came to me after learning about thermal mass rocket stoves. In fact, it was a rocket stove that I first looked into installing in my small home. I decided against one because I could not find someone who could help me install it and who had had success with the technology in a small 3 ft X 3 ft space. I also had a wood stove available for free use. I decided to use the wood stove and optimize its performance using a thermal mass surround.
After some researching, I found two other people who had the same idea as myself. Both of these people had used cinder blocks for thermal mass. I learned that over time the cinder blocks crack from the heat. I was planning on a more-or-less permanent fixture, and so decided to use clay brick. I chose to use reclaimed, old style clay brick because it has a solid core. I got this idea from a website devoted to building traditional ovens. It mentioned that newer bricks handle heat poorly, but the old clay bricks are durable and much less expensive than firebricks.
After communicating with the guy who designed one thermal mass wood stove, I decided to build my wall 4 inches away from the stove. He had discovered through trial and error that that design performed better than pushing them right up against stove.
One potential disadvantage of this technology is that most wood stoves are specified to have more “breathing room” around them, than the 4 inches of space this surround provides. I found some heating contractors warning that the wood stove could “burn out” early. I, however, could not find a single report of this actually happening. To the contrary, both of the individuals with practical experience with thermal mass surrounds told me their stoves were operating nicely. One had been using the cinder block surround for over 5 years.
Another caution about a project like this, is to consider the need for reinforcing the floor. The weight of the wood stove and brick surround is considerable. This small home was built with 4X6 post and beams and so ultimately no further floor reinforcement was needed.
This was a costly project for me, especially in terms of time and effort. I’m not sure the thermal surround saves enough in wood consumption to offset the cost of the project. That being said, I’m loving the cozy, constant heat produced by this wood stove compared to the noisy, erratic vent-less gas furnace I previously used. That comfort factor alone made this project it worth it to me.
This is an account of a powerful experience of forgiveness. As with many of my life lessons, it occurred at work. The conflict started because of my attempt to introduce holistic principles while caring for a patient. I felt called to speak a hard truth to a patient and the family who was going through some very intense life experiences. They were dealing with loss on a big level. I had learned in the past when tough, but loving advice pops up into my head, to be at peace with myself, I must speak that truth. I often hesitate, because such advice goes deep and can sometimes trigger an intense rejection. For example, I sometimes give advice about marriage, relationships or job choices. I’ve told a cattle rancher to start eating vegetarian and a girl that she needed to end a toxic relationship. Whatever advice I give, I do my best to present the idea in the most gentle way possible, but even then it can still trigger hurt feelings and rejection.
After giving such advice one day, I felt a huge wall of tension between me and the family member of my patient. We went our separate ways, but a month or two later I discovered that a complaint had been filed against me. I was asked to meet with the hospital administration as they read me the letter. It was clear that this person was deeply hurt. It was also clear in the letter, that they intended to damage my reputation. I felt that my job was being threatened and my work is the cornerstone of my spiritual path. This letter of complaint was attacking the heart of my spiritual path. If felt every bit of this attack.
Fortunately the staff that was handling this issue, was well of aware of the extra efforts I took to care for my patients. They were able to step back and understand that the letter was written by a person trapped in a very rough life experience. They could see how that was fueling the words in the letter as much as or more than the advice I had given. I was comforted by them that my job was safe. They planned to call the person and let them know they were aware of the dissatisfaction and that I was sorry for having caused it, but that my intentions were only to be helpful.
Despite this positive feedback, I was disturbed. My mind worried that this could happen again. I was being forced to face a big hidden fear. Now that it was brought to the surface, I could see that I had been fearful that speaking my truth would jeopardize my spiritual path. When I thought about this rationally, I could see the fear made no sense. How could being true to my spiritual integrity, jeopardize my spiritual path? If I lost a job because of speaking the truth, then I was just working in the wrong place and being let go would be a gift. This self evaluation helped me to see through the fear, but the feeling didn’t go away that easily.
When I returned to work from the meeting, I felt myself cringe inside. The inner reaction was one of fear and shame. I allowed myself to be with those feelings while holding my head up. I did my best to be confident, caring and kind. None of the people who worked with me, knew about the complaint. It was up to me, and how I behaved to either give those feelings life, or let them dissolve from neglect. Later this very day I got a little nod of support from the universe. A doctor saw me and mentioned that his patients always say good things about me and that he appreciated the work I did. The negative emotions where still alive inside of me, but they were finding less and less to cling to.
After work, I went on a long meditative nature walk. I noticed very spiteful thoughts popping up towards the person that filed the complaint, now that I had no distractions. Whenever this happened, I imagined that I was face to face with this person and was given the chance to reconcile. I only choose to think thoughts that I would be comfortable voicing in this situation. Over a period of days, my mind relaxed about this matter and life went on.
As it turns out, a month or two later while at work, I discovered that the patient was hospitalized again, and the family member who I had upset was in the room. I could feel myself cringe inside at the prospect of having to face that person. I let that go. I wouldn’t let fear control my actions. In fact I considered walking in the room to face my fears and seek reconciliation, but then I thought my presence would be disturbing to them. I should give them their space.
Later that day, I found myself by a flower shop and immediately the idea popped into my head that it would be nice to buy some roses and pass them out to strangers. I purchased a couple red roses and walked along the street. As I walked, a new idea popped into my head. I should bring the roses to the patient and their family member. I hesitated. I feared being thrown out of the room and looking like a fool. But after thinking about my options, I decided it would be easier for me to handle rejection, knowing I was doing my best, than it would be to live with regret the rest of my life for passing up on this chance for forgiveness and reconciliation.
I walked up to the door of the room, knocked and as I entered I mentally bowed my ego with the intention of letting my guard down and being humble. When my “adversary” saw me holding the flowers, I quickly sensed a feeling of acceptance. I apologized for causing hurt feelings and offered the flowers. That person responded that they understood I was just trying to help, and that they were okay with me. We shared a long, gentle hug at which time I noticed both of our bodies relax even more. During this exchange my new friend had silent tears flowing. I felt both of our hearts had softened. After spending some time in the room, I walked out feeling very light on my feet. Instead of having to avoid a room in the hospital out of fear of losing my job, I now felt at home, surrounded by friends.
If you enjoy high quality relationships and wish to see more of them in your life, then be sure to maintain a healthy mental image towards all. By “all” I mean your enemies, yourself, all human beings, nature and all creation. What you hold in your mind, even the back of your mind, is what fills your heart. What you carry in your heart spreads to your surroundings, even your loved ones.
When you make a firm decision to carry a positive mental image of all, or a loving inner attitude towards all, then you fill your heart with positivity which has an unspoken, uplifting effect on all those you come into contact with. This is a challenging life work. It is tough because we learn to hold different people in different lights. We learn to have a different mental image of people, depending on whether their behavior patterns line up with our expectations. Even if we’ve learned to treat all people with kindness, that may not be enough. Our kindness probably has an “inner limit” which can be exceeded. Or our kindness may only be a facade, when deep inside we sponsor other feelings.
Its what is deep inside which determines the quality of your relationships, not the superficial behaviors we act out. If you take this idea to an extreme, you will see it is true. For example, if someone has deeply hurt your feelings and you wish to forgive them and be able to enjoy their presence again, to be successful you will have to cultivate a healthy mind towards them. If when they are absent you think of them negatively, or worse yet talk about them negatively, then the next time you are face to face you will be unable to look them straight in the eye and speak kindly to them. If you attempt to be friendly, it will feel awkward and fake, because your kindness is fake.
If however you chose to really forgive and let go, and prove it by only choosing thoughts and words that you could speak to their face, even when they are absent, then you will find it easy to look them in the eye the next time you encounter them. If you chose to forgive and love them, until you can give them a long, gentle hug, then your love has the potential to work magic. The biggest challenge you may encounter on this endeavor is deeply healing your mind’s image of that person. Once successful then your heart will harbor only kindness towards that person. Kindness flowing from one heart to another, is a form of communication that can disarm even the most guarded person, because all beings love to be loved.
Heal all your enemies which such a practice and you will find your mind body and spirit relax. You will have discovered a rare ability to unlock the positive potential in others. You will learn to see the human being in another, when they may have lost touch with it themselves. You will have learned to call out the spirit in another using only your love and your trusting presence. As you heal your relationships, one at a time, you will feel yourself open up. There will be nothing and no one to avoid, or hide from. You will get a taste of true freedom and come to know just how valuable it is to cultivate a healthy mind towards all.