My Wizard of Oz

100_0347He was a wizard, and he flew from Australia – always known as Oz in Down-under. So of course I called him the Wizard of Oz, even though he was basically an inspired and eccentric architect, and an inscrutable, irascible, metaphysical teacher who couldn’t stand fools. This meant it was tricky asking a question. I had the feeling that if you needed to ask the question, then you weren’t worthy to receive the answer!

His devotees were doctors, including a very illustrious one, teachers, estate agents, salesmen, housewives, seekers. I studied with him for several years at the end of the eighties, ostensibly learning about herbs and nutritional medicine. The herbs were an old idea, the nutritional stuff quite new, much of it channelled. He had studied with other New Age luminaries like Stuart Wilde and Denise Linn in London.

We learned lots of other things besides herbs and supplements – at the time they seemed avant garde, and a bit out of left field, but we now read reports on just what he told us back then – that pouring boiling water on coffee draws the oil out, which is a no-no… so never make coffee with boiling water he told us. So we didn’t. Never drink instant coffee either he said, drawing our attention to the smell of dry cleaning fluid emanating from it. Eat butter, not chemicals was another nugget of wisdom!

He told us that teenagers have their best sleep between seven and eleven a.m. and that they need it. Twenty five years later, one secondary school here doesn’t start lessons until after ten in deference to what is now known about teenagers’ sleep needs. I think of him every morning when I test, using a method like muscle testing, to see what nutrients I need … sometimes I need more calcium, sometimes more amino acids, or niacin… or whatever. This way I almost never have a cold, flu or other health problems. My husband has always called me a New Age Nutter, but the proof is in the pudding.

During the years I worked with the Wizard, we were required to have a thirty minute afternoon nap, he said it was good for the system and kept us young. I still do. Starting off with Reiki, before I know it, I’m deeply asleep, and wake exactly on time.  Our spiritual destiny is to be in the right place at the right time, he mentioned almost as an aside. And since wherever we are, is right place, right time, this was immensely comforting – and practical.

One of the disciplines that he suggested when we were working with him, has now become a way of life for me. The world you live in is not a violent world, he said, so why pollute it by connecting with the fear and violence in other people’s worlds?

Watching fear-based programmes or reading about disasters simply feeds your mind with negativity and unnecessary fear, he said. So I stopped watching the TV news. I had never read the crime pages – why read about people who’ve had dreadful lives making their lives and the lives of others worse, or waste time reading about crooks and crims – I used to say. It felt like voyeurism or schadenfreud. And by avoiding stories that were violent or negative in newspapers or magazines, and having never watched violent thrillers, horror movies or any fear-based plays, films, or TV programmes, my world became very peaceful indeed.

I used to joke that I only watched the weather, there was plenty of action and excitement there – floods and hurricanes, snowstorms and thunder-storms, earthquakes and tornadoes, tsunamis, droughts and forest fires – but without the drug of violence or voyeuristic sex. Now, I don’t even bother to watch the weather, finding it far more interesting to take what comes. If I want to know the weather to plan what to wear for a day away from home, there are plenty of people to ask, from my husband to the shopkeeper in the village. Nearly everyone seems to listen to the news and weather, except me. Some people seem almost addicted to news programmes, as though listening and watching make them feel that they are involved in life and all that’s going on.

But I find that this actually gets in the way of me having my own life and trying to be mindful.  I don’t need to hear about other people’s dramas and traumas, or disasters and scandals to make me feel I’m alive. Sometimes something so horrendous happens that of course I hear about it, and want to send my compassion, but no-one needs my curiosity.

Now though, with all the reading that I do with blogs, another insidious fear has crept up on me. I’ve been aware for the last forty years (who hasn’t) that we don’t treat our planet with the respect and understanding that will keep us and the planet in good health. But in the last year of reading informative and expert evaluations of the various threats to our world – Arctic melting, drilling for oil, fracking, carbon dioxide levels, destruction of forests, GM infiltration, death of bees, polluted oceans, dying species of fish, birds and animals – the list goes on – I’ve become so well informed that I realise I’ve begun to get sucked into anxiety and negativity.

For we rarely hear about the numberless organisations, groups and individuals who in their own way are making a positive difference to their communities, and therefore our world. Sadly, the good news doesn’t sell news or newspapers. And yet there is good news all around us. So now I feel I have to take the Wizard of Oz’s discipline a bit further.  Stop reading all the doom and gloom about climate change, desertification, rhinoceros poachers, Monsanto and the rest, and instead actively seek out the good news.

When I went into my local town yesterday, in each shop I visited I met gentle good people, living gentle good lives. Knowing them as I do, I know they put a hundred per cent into their vocations and work. And then there’s the girl at Tai Chi, who with her husband buys up Christmas trees every year. They take their cars and a trailer each, and go off separately to other towns selling the trees and then give the money to charity.

There’s the fun, wonderful woman working with refugees and indigenous communities, and who started her local branch of the hilarious Red Hat Society; the teachers in the local school who use The Virtues Programme in their schools; the organic farm which teaches sustainability, where people come from all over the world to work there and learn. The local council now takes their advice.

There’s the business man who mentors fatherless boys, and the amazing woman who finds homes for unwanted animals and who secretly rescues battered wives, taking them to hide in her home until they sort out their lives. And Greenpeace have just e-mailed to say that New Zealand will soon become the third market in the world in which all major canned tuna brands have committed to use only tuna that is caught by more sustainable fishing methods.

This is the sort of news I want to know about. This is the sort of information that comforts the soul and inspires hope for the world. And most encouraging of all, is to know children and young people who are growing up fully conscious of all the ills of power and hypocrisy, greed and moral equivocation, and who are evolving their own code of such integrity that the world will be safe in their hands in the future. Our children and grandchildren are up with the play, they are wise and knowing. So no worries then, as they say in this neck of the woods. ‘All is well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well’…. as long as I monitor my fear and violence intake !

Food for Threadbare Gourmets

Mushrooms were on ‘special’ at the grocer, so I bought a lavish tray of them, and brought them back home to use some for a quick lunch. I used sour dough bread toasted and buttered, and sliced plenty of mushrooms in butter and finely chopped garlic. When they were lightly cooked, I stirred in parsley and enough cream to bubble up and thicken. Poured straight onto the waiting toast, they were filling and delicious. I’ve also used sherry instead of cream in the past, and that’s good too. Shitaake mushrooms are delicious this way too, and any of the big tasty mushrooms are scrumptious – unfortunately they make me ill – so it’s button mushrooms or Shitaake for me.

Food for Thought

This is a postscript to a blog called ‘Voices from the Void’, which I wrote back in February about the ‘Voice ‘ which so many people hear when they are in a dangerous or difficult place. Reading a biography of Queen Victoria last night, I came across this quote from her after the early death of her beloved husband Albert, when she was still a young woman. Writing to her unhappy daughter, the Empress of Germany she said: ”I too wanted once to put an end to my life here, but a Voice told me… no, “Still Endure”.

This made an indelible impression on the Queen, who used “Still Endure” as a motto for the rest of her life.

 

 

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74 Comments

Filed under cookery/recipes, environment, great days, happiness, life/style, peace, philosophy, pollution, spiritual, sustainability, The Sound of Water, Thoughts on writing and life, Uncategorized

74 responses to “My Wizard of Oz

  1. I’ve started a little folder on my computer with “Valerie’s recipes”. Everything you make sounds so delicious!! 🙂

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  2. Such sage advice! I have started taking half hour naps in the afternoon and avoiding watching violent images as much as possible. I wish the local schools would adopt a late starting time for the teens here. Your wizard was truly wise. As are you, Valerie – you are very in tune with your instinct, what is right for your body and mind.

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    • Thank you Letizia – so glad you enjoyed the blog, and already agree! Those naps are wonderful aren’t they! Yes, my wizard was a huge influence… and I use so much of what he taught all the time…and am still learning !!!

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  3. Elly

    Fascingating blog Valerie. Are we allowed to know the identity of your “Wizard of Oz”? I would like to read more about him and his ideas.

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  4. In the most difficult conversations, dialogues, situations, I recall something in the back of my mind urging me NOT to go into the world of unrest and disquiet. Sometimes I would visualize myself in a ring of light where fear had no entry. That doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize there is tragedy or violence in this world. It means we can change the conversation, the direction, the goal. These words resonated within me. “The world you live in is not a violent world, he said, so why pollute it by connecting with the fear and violence in other people’s worlds?”

    “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
    – Anne Frank

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    • Thank you for your lovely comment Rebecca… you’re so right – we’re not burying our hands in the sand, but just not buying into the negativity.
      Anne Frank’s quote just blew me away – how wise and utterly loveable she was…

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  5. two engaging goldens

    Our youngest daughter has not watched tv or listened to the radio for as long as I can remember. I always say to her that her education is sadly lacking. Whenever we used to go on holidays we would make an effort not to hear the news but I couldn’t wait to catch up when we got home. Guess I am hooked. Your post is food for thought though. Joy

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  6. Amy

    Actively seek out the good news around us is a great way to live. You never fail to spread the good news and share wonderful moment of life, great readings, delicious recipes, food for thoughts… Thank you, Valerie!
    Love the beautiful photo you posted.

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    • Dear Amy, thank you for your lovely words – a real bouquet.. and I’m so glad you noticed my little pic… still haven’t learned how to enlarge, but I’ll get there one day !!!

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      • Amy

        When you click the “add media” the “insert media” shows with the photos you have. Click the photo you want to insert (after you uploaded you photo), look at the “attached details” on the right side, scroll down, you will see the “attach detail setting”, at the bottom there is a box for “size” from the arrow sign, choose the size you want to post.
        Hope this helps. Let me know if it’s not clear to you…

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      • Amy, thank you so much – I’ve been practising… and I think I’ve got it !!!!

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  7. Juliet

    Valerie, I totally agree about the need to screen out the bad news. I stopped watching TV news decades ago; have just cancelled the newspaper after a brief return, and don’t watch any TV now apart from occasionally Country Calendar. There is so much good news out there that doesn’t get reported, so good on you for collecting and showing it to us.
    In my new book on ageing I have a whole chapter (‘Attitude’) which is about how to cultivate a positive outlook, and the importance of doing so.

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  8. My son always says that the job of newspapers and TV news anchors is to scare us. Then we have to into follow their stories. I browse through the newspapers to check out the human interest stories and skip the wars, killings and disasters, since there is nothing I can do to help those situations. My worrying doesn’t help anyone one single bit.

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  9. How wise was your Wizard. Truly truly this was a very dear post to read. I agree and then I agree some more. There is goodness all about us and in us and if we turn down the noise and concentrate on the wonder and goodness, all is well etc. Keeping the fear and violence at bay is hard but I am getting better at it. I try to read and see and remember what is good (my blog helps me to do this) and I am the better for it and so I hope is my world.

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    • Oh I think you’re so right… blogs about goodness like yours must add to the sum total of peace and goodwill.. thank you for your lovely words… isn’t it wonderful that we are all agreed….

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  10. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    I will check out your recipe this weekend….
    I don’t watch TV, read papers, if I want to know the weather I walk outside…alot more accurate…if flies bite or I cook we will have rain….learned that very early…
    I would have liked to meet your Wizard, though I am not sure about the coffee advice…I like mine hot….so did y’all heat it up or just drink it lukewarm room temperature ?
    I will close my computer on such a wonderful post full of nice thoughts..
    Thank you….I am glad I found this calm space….
    Take Care….
    )0(
    ladyblue..

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    • Oh no – we all had hot coffee- we just waited until that boiling bubbling sound of the water stopped, and then poured the water on – hot coffee was not a spiritual imperative, but a physical must !! So glad you enjoyed the blog – it sounds as though we’ve all reached the same conclusions about the news !!

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      • LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

        LOLs that makes sense, I agree it is a must!

        I quit watching 8 years ago….much easier to wake up I think….no expectations of bad news only of what I see and hear wandering while feeding my zoo ….
        )0(

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  11. I stopped watching the news when I was sixteen. It was only depressing me. My grandmother scolds me for not keeping up on current events, and I tease her gently for being addicted to the news. The only news I see these days is the things that show up in my newsfeed on Facebook, and I generally read the headline but not the story. It’s too sad!

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  12. I so agree with all you said. Also a new age nutter and have also stopped watching TV news. Interesting to see so many others feel the same. I’ve been reading Bill Clinton’s bio, ‘My Life’ where he often speaks about how the news dwells on negative rather than positive information which viewers find much less interesting.
    ‘My Life’ is a surprisingly good book by the way.

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    • Great to hear from another New Age Nutter, Bruce !!! Isn’t it interesting to see how many people feel the same abut the news. Interesting too about Bill Clinton’s book, I must try to find it… Is is an unexpurgated life ???

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  13. lucewriter

    Thank you for writing this validation and reminder. My husband (of almost 40 years) insists (ever since 9-11) on keeping the news on the television for a few hours each morning and for a couple of hours in the evening. I find it demoralizing. It sucks soul from me. I need to actively figure out a way to replenish myself better during those times of the day.

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    • That’s tough.. luckily my husband had a TV in his study, but funnily enough after a while he stopped watching too… apart from the messages, the actual sound is so crude and invasive isn’t it. Do hope you find a way to protect yourself…

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  14. Oh, Valerie!! Sometimes I think you are my other half, although you have lived richer than I and with much more flare…but I too studied with a very wise and wonderful woman who taught me how to channel, how to use the ‘belly button test’ and she was a physician- a medical Doctor by practice, but a New Age Nutter by every day. I still do all I learned, I still use my massage therapy on my family and I do not watch negative television or read horrid stories it creates a blackness in the soul I don’t want to experience.

    Anyway, I could go on and on and on, but you understand!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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    • Linda, what a delight to read your comment…. isn’t it wonderful how many great teachers are out there changing lives and giving us knowledge… and wouldn’t it be lovely to all meet and swap notes !!!

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  15. Beautiful post! My exact way of living and thinking. I too am known for being the nature-freak,( have had my mentors too) and I take it as the highest compliment. It’s my trademark, not many people achieve that in a lifetime 😉

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  16. I admit it, I follow the events of the world and my local area. This is especially true of those issues close to me, relevant to me. I am an activist in those issues that have affected me and my family. I simply cannot shut out the news, it serves me to understand what is happening.

    As you always do, you open a door to your world and provide wonderful insight into both how you have achieved your outlook and the great peace you exude. Would that we could all face the world with such grace, what a world we would have.

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    • Dear Val – we each have to find our own balance in our own world, and I’m sure you know what’s right for you… and I’ve learned so much from reading your thoughts on what is going on in your world…Thank you for the lovely things you say.. you are the most generous person and give so much to your world. What you give and what you say is so unique.

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  17. Now I know some of your secrets Valerie, I shall have to adopt them (especially that afternoon nap!) Take care.

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  18. Hi Valerie!

    What a beautiful post on how to keep the mind clear and living a peaceful life! Thank you for sharing your inspiring insights and experience, here!

    To stop reading the news and other fear-based media has helped me, as well. Once in a while (very rarely) I check on the news to see if a change is visible in the way of reporting. And, up to now, whenever I do I can feel the suction and the construct of fear trying to take me in and leaving a foul aftertaste.

    On the other hand I have created my own positive news feed on my Yahoo reader. I searched for pages with positive news and subscribed to them via RSS – and whenever I find such a page I add it to the feed. That is my way to stay informed – on of them.

    There is so much beauty and beautiful change going on in this world and I currently I have a feeling that the public media will be the last place where we eventually hear about it (though I trust we will, one day). As I learned, today, Albert Einstein once said:

    “Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.”

    These days, there are already many more. And I believe, the more we do see with our own eyes and feel with our own hearts we will find how much grace and joy this world already has for us – and by that create even more beauty.

    It’s a long comment, sorry if it’s too long. Seems I have to catch up a bit *grinning*.

    Much love my dear!
    Steffi

    P.S.: I did not know that you use the word “schadenfreud” in Newzealand. It has German origins, as you probably know. 😉

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    • Dear Stephanie, Lovely to hear from you and read your lovely comments. So glad you enjoyed the post.. it seems there are many of us who feel the same and want to stay in the light. Loved your quote from Einstein, and I agree with you that there are many more people these days who have open eyes and hearts. It’s so good to be in touch again – I missed you, love from Valerie

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      • I missed you, too, Valerie! 🙂

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      • Stephanie, I didn’t reply to your query about schadenfreud … I think everyone uses it now, because no other language has a word for it !!!

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      • No worries Valerie – it was just a side note, but seeing the word in your article made me smile. So thank you for replying, now.

        Yeah, I noticed that it was a bit difficult to explain to my partner who is from the US and did not know the term, yet. No English word I knew would translate it propperly… (in Germany we say Schadenfreude, by the way)

        Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where there was no need at all for a term like that? 🙂

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      • Thank you Stephanie, for giving me the right spelling… I had a feeling I hadn;t git it right…
        Yes, wouldn’t it be a much better world if that word became obsolete, I had the same thought myself when I replied to you before !
        Great minds think alike !!!
        And what amazing English you have…XX

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      • Yes, great minds think alike! – And to add a nice syncronicity: Kim and I had just spoken about the Wizard of Oz the day before I read your article.

        Thank you for your feedback on my English. It improved a lot since I am living with a native speaker and also during the three months in Ireland. (Although Irish English is a different and very beautiful world.) Your German would be just as good if you’d live with a German native speaker, I’m sure!

        I suppose when you translate the sound of the word “Schadenfreude” to English it doesn’t matter so much how you write it as you won’t speak the “e” at the end like we do in German. 😉 – And somehow it gets a much sweeter feel seeing it used like you did, before. Let’s hope that it provides some healing for the energies behind this term!

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      • Just love synchronicities !!!

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  19. Yes!! I too would love to have a news report that focused on the good, the positive, the sweet people out there, working to bring peace and ease to those around them! Until then, I’m avoiding the regular broadcasts.

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  20. Ahhhh we share Reiki in common too Valerie. I have found it to be deeply transforming at every level. Afternoon naps are a great reviver.
    I am a total fan.
    Thank you for sharing your Wise Wizard’s wisdom….

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  21. I forgot to say that your Cyclamen is looking in tip top condition – must be the Reiki!!!:-)

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  22. I shall reply prperly to this thoughtful and gentle piece later.
    I just popped in to tell you that our beautiful Grandbaby is called Bluebell! I don’t use family names on my blog but wanted you to know that the the little one with the bluebell eyes is indeed a Bluebell herself! 🙂

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  23. A very nice post, as always, Valerie. I find myself watching the news less and less often as I get older. I truly believe that what you focus on increases, so I attempt to surround myself with positive things, thoughts and people.

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    • Hello Shirley, thank you for your comment, good to hear from you… I agree with you – your thoughts shape your world,l so we draw to us what we’re thinking about… so life is good when that’s how we feel !

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  24. Amy

    Thank you for letting me know. Glad you figured it out. I’m not good at writing steps…

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  25. Funny that. We are trying to break our addiction with the news which upsets me more and more and leaves me feeling so impotent. I’m trying to take this advice:
    “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”
    ― Dalai Lama XIV
    Food for thought as always. I shall indeed monitor my intake of fear and violence. 🙂

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  26. Erik Andrulis

    This really resonated with me, “Sadly, the good news doesn’t sell news or newspapers. And yet there is good news all around us. ”

    It’s so true. I look around and see how beautiful everyone and everything is and then look at the news and see very little of that. Everything has a price tag now, and good news is no longer given the value it deserves. Well, this post is priceless, as are you, Valerie. Thanks for giving yourself to the World!

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    • Erik, thank you so much for your generous and loving comment – deeply appreciated.
      I’m blown away by your exciting blog, and can’t wait to read all the posts
      I’ve missed…so thrilled to have found you – or rather, that you found me – I always wonder how people find other blogs, being a complete technological incompetent….

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  27. I didn’t know that instant coffee was a no-no. Darn. I’ve been drinking it for years. Oops. You’ve had so many interesting experiences, Valerie–did you ever work with herbs and nutritional medicine professionally?

    You are so right about the negativity. It’s so easy to get sucked into it, because sometimes it seems as if that’s all there is, is bad news. I stopped watching the news and reading conventional news websites a long time ago for that reason. It does feel better to read about positive and encouraging developments and events. And three cheers for New Zealand tuna!

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  28. Oh Madame, great to hear from you… yes, well I use what I learned when I’m counselling people, as our emotional and mental state is so intermeshed with our physical state, .. so as we change our feeling and thinking after discovering the origin of what has shaped our behaviour, we often need a little boost of various nutrients as this new knowledge is integrated, and the body adjusts – a bit more slowly than the mind and heart…..
    I don’t think I’m explaining very well, as it’s a huge subject, and I’m really only an enthusiastic amateur !!! ,
    I always read your delicious blog, but am usually too daunted to leave a comment, as every-one else is so witty and clever and up with the play.!!!!…….

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  29. Pingback: Über Gewahrsamkeit, Zeit und Entschleunigung | Kokopelli Bee Free Blog

  30. Pingback: About Awareness, Time and Deceleration | Kokopelli Bee Free Blog

  31. Switching off the news, and weather, is one of my practices. When I do watch the news, I’m always heartened by the number of people who notice and do something about the various problems described. It’s about critical mass, and I feel that the number of people living mindfully is increasing daily! xoxoM

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  32. I reaslly like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and exposure!

    Keep up the very good works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

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  33. Asking questions are truly good thing if you are not understanding anything fully,
    except this article provides pleasant understanding even.

    Like

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