First, I would like to offer a sincere Mahalo Nui Loa to Char Ravelo and other members of the Kauai Health & Wellness Association for all the hard work to put on a conference like this in a few short months.
Secondly, our Mahalo to Beth Tokioka and the Kauai Economic Development Board for supporting their efforts with the gift of this beautiful facility here at Kauai Community College so that we may gather.
Thirdly, I need to offer thanks and appreciation to my parents, Brigadier General Clarence E. Beck, who inspired me with the Spirit of Service and Devotion to Duty; and Patricia L. Beck, who taught me to read hearts and minds, but always heal and love the Spirit within us all.
That being said, I am the only one responsible for this talk, so please forgive me if I say anything that offends you. God is still working on me.
When I told my husband that I would be talking for an hour, and I was concerned about whether I had enough material, he just laughed!
So to warn you, I’m sharing material that inspires me, so I will be going fast.
Much of it is material that we “already know”, but we don’t always implement. I hope to remind us of a perspective that makes Life, and eating, and many of our choices, easier.
To build on the ideas that Char Ravelo has introduced and to move more fully into the Spirit and intent of this conference, I want to deepen our awareness of the Infinite Choices and Opportunities that revolve around eating and nutrition, but in fact, about any domain or aspect of our lives.
I will take a leap forward, builing on what Char introduced, and assert that there are NOT three tracks for this conference, but at least Four, and more likely, an infinite number.
We are multi-dimensional Beings occurring in a three dimensional world, our local universe, on the planet we call Earth, on the Jewel of the Planet, the island of Kaua’i. So there are multi-dimensions to all our activities, choices, and decisions.
Perhaps Body, Mind, and Spirit are simply the lower forms of Expression of
A vast, enormous Being—the One Life that flows through all things.
If this is so, then Body, Mind, and Spirit, are all content inside one Huge and Loving Context, Life itself.
I like to think of Being as the flow of life through all times, dimensions and universes. It is the Unified field to which many healers direct their attention.
And the source of both infinite possibility and specific information that supports our health and happiness.
To worship at the altar of any single domain, means to neglect the Larger
Life Force, and we are out of balance.
Body<Mind>Spirit are simply different aspects of the one whole Life. As those who are teachers, healers, and practitioners, whether on our selves or others, we are constantly consulting with our Higher Nature, one might call it one’s higher senses, or in effect “Channeling” wisdom from the One Life.
Body, Mind, and Spirit, are distinct aspects of our Being, and occur simultaneously, and are accessible to us at all times. I will suggest that what we call emotions, more properly belong to all three domains.
Since what we call thinking is the dance of electrons over our neurons, and what we call emotion is now seen to be the combined dance of electrical impulses through the brain, as well as the flow of neurochemicals, or neuropeptides through the entire body, and since the areas of the brain which attend to, or perceive God, have now been mapped, we can see that no part can exist without all the others.
I refer to our deep feeling, our Sensing, as intuition. It is somehow “in” us, though it clearly is outside of us as well, and it teaches us. It is the Inner Wisdom that shows up and says….”NO, not that. Yes, This!”
Perhaps this Sensing is the balanced interaction when we are paying attention, allowing ourselves to be Present to all the information, the guidance from all our instruments.
In working with clients, I help them to see that sometimes we pay too much attention to one instrument. This would be like driving on the road and only looking at the speedometer. Soon you will run out of fuel.
God gave us more than one instrument to help us stay in balance.
Just as two eyes give us depth perception, and better spatial orientation,
Multi-sensing helps us perceive more about our world and our way through it.
You call it the body, but I call it the Divine Instrument, self renewing, self repairing, self refining, in constant growth and development. It is the vehicle we use to express Life and Love, and it radiates our energy, our personal Song into the the world, and into the lives around us.
One instrument is the brain, though as we learn more, we see that the exquisite nervous system of the human being is distributed throughout the entire body. A sea of neurochemicals bathes every cell and each cell helps influence that chemical sea. Those chemicals are the messages, the Body talking to itself, and loving itself and others into a happy life.
Even inside our brain, there are three distinct brains. An ancient, prehistoric reptilian one, the lower brain stem responsible for our basic survival, and for detecting threats to our existence and sending message about fear and alert to the higher brain. Then there is a more recent mid-brain, capable of more sophisticated processing, and finally the modern brain, the huge cerebral cortex capable of processing and storing infinite amounts of information, all electro-chemically encoded.
One could consider these three linked brains, along with the fourth, the full body network as receivers for the energetic expressions of the Life energy around us. They can be inter-related, linked and coordinated to function efficiently together or they can be discordant and dysfunctional.
Many disciplines work on adjusting one aspect or another with variable results, but our greatest opportunity for success and happiness comes from focusing on the whole being and trusting that. Each aspect is just one facet of the jewel we call Being.
What we came here to share today is the Miracle of what happens when we allow one Being to resonate and reflect the wholeness, the fundamental healthiness of Life.
The challenge is, to manifest the daily behaviours that allow us our greatest opportunity for happiness and joy. It occurs to me that Spirit doesn’t care if I drink coffee, green tea, or beer. What makes a difference is how it alters my ability to express the Life Force flowing through me.
Body by Nature:
Natural Choices from the Natural Mind
Cultural change, so much has happened in the last twenty years. A generation ago, people actually used typewriters, Today’s young people haven’t even seen one, or know what one is. Cultural change is always faster than biological change, and there is a fascinating book on this “The Tortoise or the Hare”. It is an old book now, but things become old very quickly.
My husband took in his cell phone for some maintenance. The young girl looked at him and said “We don’t stock parts for these very old models. They are obsolete.” The phone was a little over a year old.
So cultural change moves very rapidly. It moves more closely to the speed of the mind and now, the speed of the web. So cultural changes influence economic markets and marketing, and so our food and nutrition patterns will change very quickly, when new information or products hit the market.
Look at the Costco phenomenon! Eating habits on this island changed in one month.
In Hawaii, we talk about the “coconut wireless” the talk story network. “Faster than a speeding bullet, but not nearly as accurate” It travels quickly but is not always true.
My son, Caleb the computer guru, says that looking for data on the internet is really worse than looking for a needle in a haystack. “It’s looking for a needle in a pile of needles.” Unless you already have some education and sophisication about critical thinking, you can’t make good sense of the data you find.
WE are inventing data faster than we can make sense of it. Which is probably a good thing, as a lot of it is inaccurate.
There is a biological feature of the brain that shows that frequent repetition imprints something, even if it is a warning AGAINST something. When something inaccurate circulates on the email or internet, it becomes believed. False data repeated becomes common truth.
And the separate fragments do not account for the whole You can put some of the isolated, detected element from breastmilk together in an infant formula, but you cannot create breast milk. There are vast numbers of components yet undiscovered, which are not yet accounted for. And those are the items that have the most impact on infant health….hormones and antibodies, custom blended for each baby by each mother.
Natural nutrition from birth. Mother’s milk is a unique, individualize, and specialized custom formula, that changes by the hour. The content and flavor changes with the mother’s diet, mood and activities. The infant, within hours can specifically identify its own mother’s milk, and will turn away from breast pads saturated with another woman’s milk, to find its own mother.
Prehistoric programming built in for our survival. Biologic inheritance, millions of years old. The baby, if healthy and allowed sufficient contact with the mother, can actually use two inborn instincts, the stepping or crawling reflex, activated when its feet touch something (hopefully, MOM!) and the rooting reflex, activated when a distinct sensory pattern occurs on its cheek.
A touch there will cause the baby to turn its head and put its mouth on the location in space where it was touched….hopefully, the breast and nipple.
Mothers milk changes composition rapidly in the first week, to provide different nutrients for different needs. All automated, factory installed programming. I tell you this to remind you that we have Intutive KNOWING, Natural Wisdom about how to eat.
We just have to be awake to manage the Unnatural marketing going on around us.
Mother’s milk changes with the season and her diet. Just like cow’s milk and goats’ milk which humans drank for many thousands of years. Milk in the spring when animals could eat the fresh greens, was rich in vitamins and minerals from the spring greens. Winter milk from animals fed grains, has more fat, but less essential elements, the vital essences.
Mother’s milk varies, not only with her diet and nutrition, but also with her mood and state. Adrenalin, floods the fear chemicals through her system and the milk is infused with a different flavor. Some babies will refuse to nurse, at first, when mother returns to strenuous physical work or intense exercise activities, due to the taste of the increased lactic acid from her workout.
The point is this, our prehistoric bodies were programmed for success, and they are dynamic energy patterns in a constant state of flux. By the time I get to the end of this sentence, millions of red blood cells have died, destroyed and recycled, and millions of new blood cells are in the process of showing up.
We can track how long diabetics have been exposed to high blood sugars levels by looking at the amount the percentage of damaged cells, effectively “burned” by the sugar.
The lining of our gut replaces itself every seven days. So we are in constant turnover. And we require raw materials and energy to manage this dynamic energy and creation process.
Food is fuel and too rich a mixture effectively burns or inflames and irritates the lining of our blood vessels. Too thick a mixture of fatty acids or fat globules in the blood and layers of fatty plaque will accumulate where the irritated lining occurs. Now the vessel is stiffened, less resilient, less flexible and narrowed. Harder for the heart to pump blood through the narrow canals, easier for a blood clot to form in the thickened blood and clog the tube.
Now we have a disaster…a heart attack or a stroke, as either heart or brain loses its oxygen supply. And often this is a disaster that can be prevented by good management starting NOW!
By learning to LISTEN…with all 47 ears….with all your senses, both inner and outer, you can be awake and aware to the choices you make governing food and energy expenditures.
Whenever I have these conversations, and I have them every day, there always seems to be some grand assumption in there, about the fact that there is something wrong, or there is someone or something to blame, or there is something that needs to be changed. Well, maybe there isn’t .
Maybe there’s just the need for more gratitude and appreciation for who we are, what we have received and more awareness of what we enjoy.
Even my most obese patients, the ones whom I suspect think that I will nag them, are surprised when I don’t. I usually congratulate them! They are always stunned, but I love for them to see how we all have done whatever we needed to do.
Our job was to survive, to get to now, this precious moment of aliveness, and we did it! We are all here now. And each one of us did whatever we needed to do in the best way possible for us, at that time.
How we know this, is that Human Beings always do the best they can at any given moment. Even humans who do things that are strange and inexplicable to us, are doing their best, given their circumstances and upbringing.
There is no past except in our fantasies. The story in our head. Even this body is not your past body, for it is changing as I speak.
Our bodies do reveal traces of past thoughts, past behaviours, and past activities. However, the DNA encoded in our cells, is mostly an untarnished template for perfection. So we have the opportunity to create daily, new patterns of health of vitality of joy.
Whe we are listening for hte voice of the Spirit of Life itself, what the Hawaiians called Aloha, “The breath of God that emanates from the center of the universe and returns once more”, we are always guided by our inner guidance.
When we stop and ask “ what is my goal?” for this action, this choice, this conversation, this thought…..we are always guided by our inner guidance.
And our ability to hear, to perceive this inner direction, depends on our balancing the needs of body, mind and spirit.
So too much chair/desk/computer time creates imbalances in our physicial, our emotional, our mental and spiritual energy patterns.
Too much screen time, not only damages the remodeling of the architecture of the child and adolescent brain, it trains it to respond mostly to the lower reptilian brain, which responds to loud noise, flashing lights, and quick movements. This keeps it in the alert, hypervigilance mode, and causes the child to look for more empty carbohydrates to try to boost brain calming hormones.
Exercise or hugs and physical contact would do more to correct this, but unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and patterns are built which make it more difficult for the child to “remember” normal balance. Being out of balance becomes normal.
Devoting excessive time to any one area makes it harder to “receive” the clear signal of our whole being, the one that helps us make constant course correction.
Did you know that on airplane flights, the pilot is mostly not flying the plane on course?…he or she is making the corrections that bring it back on course when the wind or temperature or atmospheric conditions divert it from the originally intended course.
That is how we make healthy choices. One at a time, bringing ourselves back toward our goal of being happy and healthy now. Unhealthy choices leave us feeling depleted, negative…and energy loss.
We require activity in each area or domain of our life to stay balanced, which is why we always need to be “Niele” or curious? What am I really hungry for? What do I need now? Is it stretching, exercise, physical tasks, comforting hugs or talk with friends. These all change our body chemistry to optimal states.
Particularly in this time of data/information overload—it is easy to allow multimedia to predominate and invade our personal time and space. Email and youtube and websurfing steals hours of our life and vitality, locking us into sedentary activity unless carefully and consciously managed.
By learning to Listen to your Inner Wisdom, you can listen with all 47 ears, with ALL your senses and be awake to the choices you are making for your foods.
What mood are you in when you shop? If you are tired, you will buy more carbohydrates, prompted by fatigue and the prehistoric drive for more energy. You will be attracted to sweets and bright colors for your prehistoric brain is searching for fruits and berries, reds and oranges and yellows.
Marketers know this and notice how many boxes of empty carbohydrates, dead foods that can sit on the shelves for months, candies etc are either packaged or colored red. “Hello, Coca cola!”
Try reaching for oranges, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beets, carrots, mangoes, instead.
Your hand will mindlessly reach for the comfort foods of childhood. Ice creams and puddings may call you . The smooth, calming, creamy textures of childhood.
Can you comfort yourself with yogurts, smoothies, soups, warm roasted vegetables stews, cream cheese with fruit preserves on whole wheat toast?
Rice or oat puddings made with brown rice, dried fruits, organic milks, honey or fruit juice?
When shopping watch the inner isles where mostly “dead” foods lie. If you are tired, try to stick to the outer loop of the market. Unless you are lucky enough to have a health food store handy, only the outer loop of most markets contains the fresh and frozen foods that need to be replaced constantly.
Remember that frozen foods, vegetables and fruit contain nearly as much and sometimes more nutritients than so called fresh food that have been flown or shipped long distances. Or were picked long before ripeness could occur.
Even if you have to pay more for organic or local foods, remember that you are getting twice as much nutrition for your money, and less harmful pesticides and additives. Kaua’I grown products are packed with the vital energies of the island and the Kaua’I farmers and families who work hard to create this helpful choice for you.
Remember that local produce is full of Kaua’I water. Our water is tour beautiful rain, the UA, the blessing of heaven, of life itself. So each piece or fruit or vegetable could be considered a Love Note from God saying that we were born to grow and prosper to share love and life with each other.
The island wishes us well, and provides us the wellness choices.
I like to work with children in the schools. One experiment we do is this.
Imagine a beautiful orange gold papaya in one hand. Imagine a box of cheese nips in the other. Close your eyes.
One is in the left hand, one is in the right.
One is round and firm, moist, heavy, and vibrating with life force, Mana, the healing energy of life.
The other is hard, has sharp corners, is light, dry, and there is no energy radiating from it. Which one will give you Life?
Now open your eyes.
Children feel it easily. It is just that we have grown a little numb from too much thinking and worrying about things.
When we are awake and aware, we know and remember these things, and we always make healthful choices. The foods we eat when we are conscious, awake to ourselves and our surroundings are not the foods that harm us.
When you are conscious, really, it is impossible to eat 5 pound of chocolate.
The problem is that certain foods will drive us unconscious, if we are not careful, because they appeal to the primal , infantile, unconscious state.
If you want to fuel that part of your being, by all means do so. But if you find that having your two year old self running your life is pretty uncomfortable, (perhaps stomach upset, hearburn, constipation or the runs from a few too many chocolates, mocha lattes, mangoes, etc. will remind you of this,) you may want to make another choice.
We weren’t born with the habits we now have. Habits of order or disorder, awareness or consciousness. As babies we came into this world, alert, aware, and wanting only one thing, to love and be loved! Everything else we learned on the path to achieving these goals.
We learned to be this way, and we can learn to be another way.
Food was the ways we learned about the world. In the infant brain, initially , about 80% of the sensory data processing area is devoted to the tongue, the taste buds and mouth. The mouth is the first tool for exploring the wold and making sense of it.
Nutrition in the first year of life influences that infant brain and plays a huge part in what happens next. The infant brain triples in weight in the first year. In no other part of their lives will experience that kind of growth and development. Almost all of that growth is in the cortex, what we call the modern brain, the higher reasoning and processing and data storage areas.
This is the reason that adequate and correct protein is so important for growing infants. In countries where starvation is prevalent, the higher brain will be deprived and the child’s intellectual future will be sacrificed for survival.
Even in our own country, children’s brains are starving for the right foods.
Malnourished, overweight children are a sign that the protein and nutrient rich foods are being skipped for empty carbohydrates. People drug themselves into quietude and passivity with carbohydrates that soon make them irritable, moody, sad, and craving more.
We cannot fill our emptiness with food. We cannot look inside for the fullness of life. We have to look outside, to exercise our bodies daily, to stimulate the health and happiness hormones. I think we need to be outside…on our beautiful island, at the beach, in the forest, in your garden, appreciating the beautiful sky and clouds, and even the rain.
We have to stop and ask “what am I really hungry for, what do I really need?”
In a busy work day this can be hard, so one trick I use is washing my hands. The water is a gift from God, from the island. The sound is refreshing. The flow of water, cleansing my hands gives me sensory stimulation. I focus my attention elsewhere. I give thanks for the moment.
I let my energy settle. I have had a handshake from God, in the blessing of the water, the blessing of the moment.
You will have your own way to stop and give thanks, even for a moment. A moment of gratitude floods your body with appreciation and health.
The next breath is a new flood of life giving energy…abundant and rich and unlimited for you.
Take a minute to just close your eyes and be thankful that we are living in such a peaceful place. Release the noise of your mind, and just listen to the sound a breath. This breath is the word for generosity and love.
Mahalo and Acknowledgement CREATEDATE 7/28/07 4:21 AM
Body By Nature CREATEDATE 7/28/07 4:21 AM