In a World of Soldiers, Be a Warrior

   You may know the famous lyrics “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” in the song All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers. I’m here to say that’s right Brandon Flowers, although I would extend that to say if you have “soul”, or character, that is actually what sets you apart from being a soldier. Having soul does not make you a soldier, it makes you a warrior.

We’ve all heard the term “soldier on” when we perceive a need to put our thoughts, feelings and inclinations aside just to get through the day, the week, the month, or even the years. But I am here to propose something different, and to suggest that this might not be the best attitude to have.

Perhaps it is the mental space we get in when we are looking for determination. We know that determination and will is the key to weathering any storm or overcoming any challenge. However, what are you conquering if you’ve turned off parts of yourself? A part of life perhaps, but not all of it. Soldiering on is not a way to be alive. It is damaging, not only to ourselves but to our surroundings.

The difference between a warrior and a soldier is that a soldier soldiers on while the warrior transcends its path. The soldier mindlessly pursues duty, without plugging into any higher, deeper purpose or meaning. The warrior is mindful of each step that it takes upon the Earth, lighting him or herself on fire to serve as a guidepost for anyone lost in their travels. The warrior walks an illumined path of sovereignty. The soldier is unconscious to what he or she is manifesting, taking orders from an external authority or an external standard.

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What is the point of moving forward when your footsteps are not created with purpose? It is in this way that there is little use for the soldier in this world, if only to service the current paradigm. That’s why I say, in a world of soldiers, be a warrior.

This is where the message turns to metaphor, so bear with me here in this next part.

The tricky element is that to be a warrior requires one to be okay with not being okay. If you are lost in the context of your surroundings, it asks that you be okay with not having a path to follow, because when you begin your journey on fresh ground, you’ll fall into a place of belonging through conscious will. The best part of making your own path is that limitations are no longer an issue, with no marching bodies in front or behind, and no line to tell you where to confine yourself. When you lift your head from the dirt and trail of the other that was showing you where to go, suddenly a new world becomes apparent to you. There are landscapes you’ve never seen, obstacles you’ve never faced, but all the while in awe at what would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

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So what do you do? You wander a bit. It gets interesting here because you may start to question where it was you were even trying to go, or what you were trying to achieve in the first place. What was it that you were servicing? Certainly not yourself, and certainly not the people, which are still in need of assistance in a world hurtling towards self destruction, all while the world persists in their hypnotic, militant trance. It all comes apparent, one way or another, and that is when you receive the call to service, true service. It is the path that embodies service to others rather than service to self.

It is in this way that service comes in many different forms. Service is not always direct, like volunteering at a soup kitchen or buying meals for the homeless. These acts, I will ask you to consider, can be more of a symptom of service rather than the service itself in this specific framework we’re talking about. There is a service to walking to the beat of your own drum, to allowing your own unique expression to shine through and be shared with others rather than conforming and editing parts of yourself to fit into a regime. The concept that this is a form of service is not so far fetched when you consider the fact that you are the only you in the world. There can be no other, and will be no other in the history of Earth than the you that is you at this exact moment. Therefore, what you bring to the world cannot be replicated, and cannot be replaced. In conclusion, you have a duty to be yourself, to walk your own sovereign path, and shine your light in the world.

To be yourself in a world that wants nothing but to put a reign on individuality, to put people in boxes of gender, sexuality, political association, race, and so on, rather than let you identify and walk as a human on the Earth, requires the strength of a warrior. As a warrior, do not let anything happen other than what your soul is naturally inclined to do, to be of service to humanity in the awakening realization that we do not stand alone but together, and that because we are all sharing the same air on this brief dance on a speck of dust floating through space, we’re not going to make it unless we call ourselves what we are, humans, and accept that we’re all connected in this way.

So with that I bid you farewell. Please share your thoughts in the comments. If you like my work and would like to support what I do here at Metanoia, please visit my Patreon page. I offer services for self discovery, promotion, mindfulness, and book lovers.

Also, thank you Marci Brockmann, Joe Milians, and Jen Dougherty for becoming a patron for Metanoia!

Featured image by RHADS

I Came Home Today

It has been a long time coming. Stepping off the plane was a dizzying experience, my senses overwhelmed by bright colors and clean air, the stark opposite from the dull polluted gray that is NY. It was also surreal. Not because I couldn’t believe it but because I felt like a part of me never left the last time I was here, and that I was just picking up where I left off. Surreal because suddenly I couldn’t tell you where the past 2 years of my life had gone as it all became a blur, a dream. I’m disoriented. It’s the feeling of stepping into a new life that you’ve seemingly already had established, that it was all just ready for your body to get with the program. It is also a sort of reincarnation in leu of what was left behind.

I’m in a personal year number of 1, a year for transformation and manifestation, as is the entire world. The last nine years of my life is a closed book now, and this is a new one. A continuation of the story, but its own story nonetheless, completely untethered and with my own hand guiding the pen. This year will set the stage for the next nine years of my life. It’s a year to remember, and a year for the history books (and globally too). What will I make with the resources at hand? What resources do I even have at my disposal? I’ve set out to discover just that.

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While walking through the community I live in, I noticed how shut up each house was despite the beautiful weather and fresh ocean air. It was then that I began to  have the passing feeling that my history in NY is actually a blessing. These people have no appreciation for the weather or beautiful scenery because they’ve never had to live without it. They’ve never had to live as caged animals for half of the year, or to have an uninhabitable climate where the air hurts your skin upon contact. Or perhaps these people have made their cages and prefer it there. Either way, I see my past as a blessing in this way, and so my windows will remain open.

I don’t and will never understand how people can see nature as a luxury. With all the  tourists here, my immediate thought towards them wasn’t negative. It was “Wow, I get to live somewhere that people pay money to visit when they’re not working.” I wonder, do people know why it feels so good to be here? It is because the soul says ‘Ah! Finally. Something that is real enough to bring nourishment.’ If we don’t consider that a priority, or if we don’t appreciate it when it’s right in front of us, then we are as plastic as the things we buy.

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to post in a while, I recently had the honor to be a guest on Writer Emily Mundell’s blog. Thanks again Emily. Here is the link to that post, which was about my stance on internal inspiration .

Also, thank you Marci Brockmann, Joe Milians, and Jen Dougherty for becoming a patron for Metanoia!

If you like my work and would like to support my endeavors, please visit my Patreon page and explore what services I have to offer.

Symbology and the Masked Intuition of the Mind

When you listen to a song and see the images play in front of your mind’s eye, one can argue that the nature of those images are solely influenced by pop-culture, or the environment one finds themselves in. This is true, the brain can only use the resources that it’s been given, but what is the driving force behind it? What cuts and pastes the random clips and phrases together?

Perhaps there are deeper knowings and meanings that humans could never understand past the physical examples it has at its disposal. What if the mind had no way to communicate its knowledge to us other than through the things it has heard, seen, smelled, tasted, and felt? This is, as we all know it, the underpinning of symbology.

I’ve recently come to ask myself, what if there is something more to know far beyond the images we’re given in this life and the only way to see their truth is through close examination, and an inward meditative journey investigating them? What I’ve laid out is a complicated way to speculate the validity and deeper meaning of symbols. Just to be clear, I’m referring to any and all symbols we might encounter, such as dream interpretation, ancient hieroglyphics, or hallucinations from psychedelics just to name a few.

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This image comes from the book Thin Slices of Anxiety: Observations and Advice To Ease a Worried Mind by Catherine Lepage. It is originally used to illustrate the difference between the field of vision for a normal vs. anxious person. However, I like to associate it with the difference between the focus of a mind that has an external gaze, and mind that has turned itself inward

I’ve always speculated that all there is to know is already within us. This belief was supported when I took a philosophy class and learned about conversations between Socrates and Meno. Amongst many ideas discussed in these works, one of which posses the possibility that everything we come to learn in society is information we’re actually remembering, not coming across for the first time. This is called anamnesis.

While the western man philosophizes the possibilities of inner knowing, there have been many indigenous peoples throughout history to venture into this inward expedition through the use of native plants. Recently I’ve come upon an esoteric anthropology book called The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Nary. This gem is written by a scholar wanting to understand the indigenous peoples of Peru, where he spent years researching their ecology and society.

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This book takes you through his hypothesis that the use of psychoactive plants by shamans may be an avenue to information at a molecular level. Although it sounds far reaching, the evidence he presents is remarkable. In this book, Nary gives many examples in which the knowledge passed down over generations by shamans has an astounding similarity to the knowledge of 21st century biology. He explains how shamans have extensive knowledge about plants and their effects on the body, many of which that seemed too specific to be discovered on accident. He also shows how the visions experienced by both modern and ancient peoples has remarkable similarities to the microscopic imagery of our cells and DNA. Do we have knowledge of the universe waiting to be unlocked inside ourselves? Maybe we do not need to send manufactured probes out into the reaches of space to learn more about the universe. Perhaps the real journey is the one sent inward to uncover what is not readily seen. It makes more sense than most realize, as we are made up of everything we see around us, and so to know ourselves on a molecular level is to know the physical universe.

   Although I don’t have an extensively thought out conclusion drawn from this information, it’s worth pondering and I felt compelled to share it with my readers and leave it up to them to take what they want from it. It is ultimately through this lens that I began to fully grasp the possibility that we have more information inside us, subconsciously and within our on molecular makeup, that any of us will ever know or understand on a human level. How could I possibly explain the magnitude of that in a mere blog post?

Thank you Marci Brockmann, Joe Milians, and Jen Dougherty for becoming a patron for Metanoia!

If you like my work and would like to support my endeavors, please visit my Patreon page and explore what services I have to offer.

Featured image from Magister Templi

Living an Organic Life: Worthy Goals for 2017

From what I’ve gathered these past few months, 2016 has been a terrible year for most people. Not just globally, but in our individual lives. I found this surprising. It’s interesting how the world can experience turmoil as one in this way. It makes you wonder about the true nature of our reality, and just how deep our connection to one another penetrates. We’re all on the same ride on spaceship Earth whether we can feel it or not.

I was one of the many unlucky souls apart of this massive wave of destruction. In 2016, I graduated college into a fruitless job market, had my father diagnosed with a severe brain tumor after a very sudden grand mal seizure, experienced the death of my last grandparent, and had to deal with an onslaught of family drama concerning alcoholism, codependency, and people refusing to pull their head out from under the sand. It has been one low blow after another, my goals once again put aside so that I could handle the daily traumas that ensued. With all of this happening, it’s at least comforting to know that I’m not alone in all of this, and if you had a similar year, know that you’re not alone either.

I don’t know what will come of all of this as it is not yet over, but I can say one thing with certainty. I’ve never been so determined to cut out everything that I don’t need in my life, and to base all my intentions on the highest good. I’m no longer living for myself, and in some strange paradoxical way, this feels like living more on my own terms than ever before. Living at home at the time my father developed his illness was the best thing that could have happened, and I’ve done everything I could to help my parents so that my mom didn’t have to quit her job and my dad could possibly live a little longer with my cautionary advice, but now is the time for me to start my life. My start has been long overdue, as most get theirs when they graduate high school or enter college. There will always be something standing in the way, and it is time to cut the chords and take the leap unhinged. I’m writing about this personal experience because it might be relevant to anyone reading this, especially if they were also apart of the transformative shit storm that was 2016.

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The Death card in the major arcana of the Tarot stands for profound change. Death teaches us to let go of outgrown ways of thinking and move forward. This is the perfect card to meditate on when you want to break free from old habits or circumstances. It’s a time to cut out what is not necessary in your life. For a new life to be realized, we must release old energy. When Death rides in, it is on the understanding that change has been sought after on a subconscious or spiritual level.

I’m entering into the New Year with a very important detail that I haven’t seen emphasized on social media and fellow blogs. Yes, we’re entering into a new year that will bring us into a new cycle and a different path, but despite this, the change is not going to be as sudden as we want it to be. Just because I’m writing a 7 instead of 6 at the end of the date does not mean that my father’s health will suddenly turn around, or that people will start making better life choices, or that a job will fall from the sky, or a place for me to call home will emerge. These things take time and they will remain unchanged without my will and determination.

What can any of us do to move beyond our obstacles?

A healthy diet can surpass food alone, pervading all things that include relationships, how we spend your time, and any aspect of life that we have control over. If there’s some feature of your physical environment that you don’t have control over, such as a job, finances, and home life, make it a life quest to change this, to work with it. The year of 2017 may not be the year that it all happens, but it can be the year when you begin to push up against a wheel that wasn’t turning before, one that will slowly gain momentum the harder you push and the more time you spend trying to move it.

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The Wheel of Fortune welcomes a change of course. The Wheel is always turning, and so where you are on it now will not be where you are forever. You should not simply stand still and accept what life hands you. You can actively work towards improving your situation. Remember to remain optimistic, keeping in mind that when we’re pushed into a new direction, it leads to somewhere even if you don’t know where it is. This is better than stagnation. Meditate on this card in times of powerlessness, and when you wish for fate and destiny to be in your favor.

For some of us, this will mean an organic diet of meaningful relationships, fulfilling activities, practical information, and daily actions based on sheer life purpose. You will have to cut out harmful people like you cut out sugar. You will have to shape your day on the basis on how everything you do is contributing to your goals. It will require the airy fairy essence of faith, and the solid grounded character of grit. All in all, just know that when one understands the illusion of separation, there is always a way out of the fire simply waiting to be realized.

Thank you Marci Stern and Joe Milians for becoming a patron for Metanoia!

If you like my work and would like to support my endeavors, please visit my Patreon page and explore what services I have to offer.

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The Dreaded “I Love You”

Why is this phrase taken so seriously? It’s not scary for me to love pizza, but it’s scary to tell your friend that you love them (particularly if they’re the opposite sex, or same sex if they’re male). I’m not someone to say “I love you” often as I personally believe that not handing it out aimlessly gives it more meaning. But after a good day spent with a friend, or a meaningful conversation on the phone with a family member, why is it oddly uncomfortable for some people?

Perhaps a part of the discomfort is owed to our flawed language. As many of you probably already know,  english seems to use the word love for everything while other languages have words for love that pertain to different things. For example, there are several greek words for love, which include love of the self, lust, a deep friendship, etc.

In english there is a staggering, and even offensive generalization for the word love that other languages would be appalled to discover as there are so many different kinds of love, and pertaining to different kinds of relationships.

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Deformities aside, language itself operates through our own personal associations. When we are learning the meaning of the word, we often have our own unique experiences shaping the definition of that word. It is as if each word has one standard definition that is very loose and malleable, with several subdivisions within it depending on the circumstance, and depending on a person’s history with that word. For example: “I have a barrel of oranges” means different things to different people. For the blue collar worker, it is “Oh no, thats another barrel of oranges that I have to process.” For Stacey, a nutritionist, that is a lot of vitamin C. For Bob the business man, that is $0.20 per orange, 300 oranges per barrel, 300($0.20)= 1/12  month’s rent. For Cindy who is allergic to citrus, it is a trip to the hospital. To Jerry the fashion designer, it is a barrel of oranges. It goes on. There is an emotional sheath coating each word that we’re not always aware of.

I love words, and I love language. I write because I do not have the artistic skill to create certain things otherwise. I cannot paint or draw the images that haunt me, so I craft a story that I can insert them into. I can’t always photograph a feeling or thought that I’ve had. So I use words, which gives me an infinite pallet immediately at my disposal. Despite this, words fail me all too often. Words sacrifice accuracy in expression for instantaneous communication. This is how words can separate us even further.

I do not have the psychic capacity to know what “I love you” means to all of you, but I can identify what it means for me personally. To me, the phrase “I love you” is often a reflex of having someone in my presence who did or said something so hilarious that it returned me to the moment and made me feel joy. It means I value your position and involvement in my life, whatever that may be. Lastly, In a very unique way, to say “I love you” is as if my heart is saying thank you.

Don’t be afraid to express your appreciation to your friends and family for the holidays this year. It may take time to find the right words and the right setting, but don’t blame that on yourself. Blame it on the limitations we’ve cultivated in our modern language.

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Thank you Marci Stern for becoming a patron for Metanoia! Please check out her beautiful artwork and publications (can be found on her contact page).

If you like my work and would like to support my endeavors, please visit my Patreon page.

Featured photo from lleana Skakun

Medicine of the Earth

Although it is not apparent in this blog, I’ve made it a point in my life to study alternative medicine, the chemicals in our food, the pharmaceutical industry, and the detriment that our overall modern lifestyles have.

The body that you’re in is not disposable. It is your most valued real estate, and yet almost nothing we’ve cultivated into habits serves its wellbeing. In my two years of searching I’ve learned a lot, and have wondered if I’d ever try to write a post about it. So many questions and obstacles have interfered with my ability to even start making one. There is just too much information, too much that has to be learned and explained. I thought it wouldn’t be worth it. I wouldn’t be able to explain the full magnitude, and I was right. I can’t. However, what I did with this post is try to hit a few major points, and tried to explain some things from a viewpoint that you may not have thought of or seen yet. I’ve also listed many of the resources I’ve used over the years to come to my understanding at the end, and you can use them or not use them to the extent that you’re comfortable with.

I finally felt compelled to write this post after I wrote “The Illusion of Separation“. In this post, I explained the false perception that the environment is something outside of ourselves. I spoke of how it is an extension of our bodies instead. It is of the Earth, and therefore of the same governing elements. We are very much at the mercy of the environment, our bodies in a constant mutual exchange that blurs the line between ‘I’, and ‘Us’, going beyond other individuals and encompassing the entire planet and all of its systems. This is an important detail to focus on because it provides leverage for the simple idea that medicinal plants and other homeopathic remedies can have efficacy on the ailments of our bodies. With this, I will begin.

1. The History of Modern Medicine

“You come out of this analysis and all this history with the realization that the medical profession is really like a lap dog of the pharmaceutical industry.”

– G. Edward Griffin from The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest

Contrary to what we’re conditioned to believe, synthetic drugs did not become the preferred method of treatment because it was more effective. This statement is not an opinion, or an inference, but a historical fact.

 It’s true that the pharmaceutical industry took prevalence and outcompeted plant-based remedies, but this is only because it was funded by big business, making it nearly impossible for any competitors to practice. In the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds, homeopathy and other natural methods of treatment had a stake in medical schools. It wasn’t until The Flexner Report of 1910 established by the Carnegie Foundation and J.D. Rockefeller reformed medical education in America. This movement prohibited the practice of medicine without a license from their school. Viable medicine took on a new definition, no longer encompassing natural alternatives, and completely embraced synthetic patented chemicals. A doctor who was not indoctrinated on this form of medicine was no longer allowed to practice their tried and tested methods.

After The Flexner Report, the use and investigation of natural medications became a crime, and that is why 100 years later alternative medicine is considered a fad more than a legitimate treatment. Again, this is not a conspiracy theory, it’s history.

To this day, there are recent accounts of sabotage.

“On May 6th 1992, they raided our clinic, with guns drawn. They told the King County Sherif that we were selling drugs (because remember they call vitamins a drug and anything used as a treatment is a drug). So the King County’s sherif’s office was expecting drug dealers. They raided with guns… kicking the doors in, gathered all the employees into the corner and proceeded to start seizing equipment, medical records, payroll records, banking records, and everything.”

-Dr. Jonathon V. Wright, M.D. from The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest

(After this event, Dr. Wright found out the case was closed from the newspapers, having not been convicted of a crime, with all of his records never to be returned.)

How could alternative medicine be fairly tested and compared with current treatments if this is how the government reacts to new clinics? This is obviously an inflated reaction to something that shouldn’t pose such a threat, which begs the question as to why these doctors are so aggressively attacked by society and their government.

As I’ve discussed in The Hidden Dogma in Science, when money is thrown on a study or preferred method of practice, it tends to reflect the interests of the foundation that provided the funding. This brings attention to the scary truth that we must face. We may not be able to fully rely on most of our current scientific studies, especially those within the medical field.

2. How Pharmaceutical Drugs are Dangerous and Why They Aren’t a Viable Solution

Ironically, many patented chemicals that our doctors prescribe with good intentions are chemical compounds that mimic those found in nature. You may be wondering why we aren’t advised to just use the plants themselves. Plants are difficult to make money off of. You cannot regulate a plant, unless you make it illegal like the federal government has done with cannabis. You are much less likely to find a lab in someone’s home than a garden, and so this is how patented chemicals are more of a viable business.   

These chemical compounds are similar enough to natural compounds, which are originally compatible with our biology and chemistry, to have an impact on our ailment. However, they are also different enough to leave a trail of destruction in the body, thus creating the long list of side effects that appear on the bottle and at the end of advertisements. I have often heard the statement “The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t create cures. It creates customers.” This is inherently true, as those who take one treatment need to take several other medications just to handle the side effects of the treatment. In this way, our ailments become a means to be dependent on a system that makes money off of our health.

Despite the fact that doctors are well aware of the negative side effects of their mediations, they prescribe them anyway. This is something that they were taught to do, and see it as the only feasible solution based on their education, which comprised mostly of how to prescribe pills and almost nothing about nutrition, or anything else for that matter. This is one of the most shocking and frustrating aspects to modern medicine in my eyes. A solution that causes a long list of other complications is not a solution at all. This is logic that even a child could understand, yet doctors cannot see beyond their training and perception to understand that this is unworkable. It can’t go on like this anymore, and denial that any alternatives are viable is pure dogma given the way history has panned out and given the trove of scientific papers supporting alternatives that they weren’t advised to study in med school.

In addition to poor side effects, most of the treatments recommended are not cures to what is causing the symptom in the first place. All medications do is mask a problem rather than address the root cause. In contrast, alternative medicine is a holistic approach. It treats the problem for what it is. To the body, a migraine is not a migraine. A migraine is dehydration, stress, or some sort of imbalance in the body. But in modern medicine, the problem is the aliment. To doctors, cancer is an accumulation of mutated cells. In alternative medicine, cancer is a compromised immune system that left a part of the body unchecked and is now manifesting in a certain way. Cancer is a body that has lost its ability to make viable cells, and when not addressed, takes over all bodily systems. When you are depressed, a friend doesn’t suggest that you to stop being sad. The depression is a symptom to a larger issue, and so that is why you seek therapy to identify the cause and how to approach it. With modern medicine, we take pills that sever our connection to the body. It can no longer tell us what is happening and why something is wrong. Imagine if you had the flu and didn’t know it. You would continue to run around like a chicken with its head cut off like we normally do in our hectic lives, and eventually the body would shut down without warning, no longer able to cope with the sickness that has overtaken all functions. The cure to any ailment lies in the cause.

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Western medicine’s picture of health

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Alternative medicine’s picture of health

3. Our Food Is Slowly Killing Us.

In refraining from turning this post into a novel, I cannot cover all there is to be known on this topic. Instead, I’ll go over a few major points. With this standpoint represented in The Illusion of Separation, the saying “you are what you eat” becomes a very literal truth. You are what you eat, and so it comes down to one of two choices: Do you want to be a manifestation of light, or do you want to be a stressed animal sent to the slaughterhouse? Do you want to be a body that is balanced and nourished or do you want the illusion of being nourished and a body that is made on and run by processed chemicals? The ramifications are surprisingly extensive, much more so than what we’ve delved into in health class. If a synthetic hormone has an impact on the health of the consumer, it goes without saying that natural hormones will as well. When we eat meat, we’re consuming the chemicals that were produced from the horror that was that life. An article in The Atlantic discusses this:

Studies on human consumption of artificial growth hormones, which are believed by many to affect our reproductive systems and other bodily processes, have already resulted in policy changes in many countries, including those that make up the E.U. Attention is now turning to these naturally occurring fear-induced hormones as scientists worry that their consumption causes similar problems.”

Aside from this, meat consumption is another cause for cancer. This is especially true for processed meats such as salami and pepperoni, as their nitrates are known carcinogens.

So perhaps you take this to heart and decide to become a vegetarian, vegan, or make a pact to eat less meat. There is now the predicament of GMO’s, pesticides, and other issues that come out of food that is anything but farm to table. Although washing fruits and vegetables helps take off these chemicals, there is no way to completely rid our food of it. It is in this way that carcinogenic substances can accumulate in our bodies, as they come from many different sources and have daily exposure. It also does not require a lot of scientific proof to support the extent of the danger that pesticides create. A pesticide is “any substance or mixture of substances meant for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.” In other words, its purpose is to be toxic to living organisms.

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Another major contributor to increasing rates of cancer and our poor health is refined sugar. The case with sugar is particularly tricky because it is in nearly everything we eat, and so wanting an occasional sweet or latte puts us way over recommended daily intakes. The daily recommended daily intake is about 27 grams of sugar per day. While people obsess over calorie count, sometimes they’ll fail to see the grams of sugar that are in one serving of what they’re eating. Processed sugar is particularly unhealthy because the natural benefits that it is found with in nature is taken out during refinement. Also, recent studies have revealed that sugar consumption not just feeds, but leads cancer.

4. Where Do We Go From Here?

With all of this against us, it’s easy to feel like there is nothing we can do to prevent ourselves from becoming a victim of humanity’s preference for money over life. However, this is far from the truth. There are several things that we can do starting today, but it takes time and conscious effort. Like anything in life, the results you seek will only come from the amount of time that you put into an endeavor. It will take much more than reading this article, or any other piece on health. It starts with a lot of research, with looking into everything you buy. Research is also required on what things you can be consuming and practicing in order to prevent yourself from becoming immunocompromised. This, at least, will help your body rid the toxins and screen for cells that are abnormal, as it is doing as you sit here reading this.

Above all, you vote with your money. There is no form of legislation that can control the corporatocracy that has become of our world. When you buy anything that is organic, or anything that expresses concern for the consumer’s health, you are doing more than just helping that business. You are sending a message to the marketing industry that you are an informed consumer and are not interested in their cancer-causing products. This, more than anything, will force change. We have to send a message to these careless industries that we’re not buying what they’re selling, and if they want to survive, they will have to adopt sound practices that serve humanity, not just themselves.

The best source I’ve come across that has compiled various treatments and wellness techniques can be found in the docu-series I’ve mentioned, The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest. In total, it’s a nine hour event, and for good reason. The amount of material out there on alternatives is staggering. Here are just a few papers I could easily find on google that investigate the healing efficacy of plants such as frankincense essential oil, essiac tea, pomegranate, and sandalwood essential oil:

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/12/253/

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874105006239

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874106004570

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711312001250

I can’t know which practices are best for you, as I don’t know your preference and ailments. But here is a list of  focal points that I’ve come to learn and plan on integrating into my life.

1. Nutrition: There is a call for a shift in the way we perceive food. The function of food is far from the simple breakdown of compounds that can be used for energy to uphold bodily functions. That is what we’re taught, and it is true, but it’s the smallest portion of the picture. In order to overcome modern obstacles in health, one must develop a habit of seeing every morsel of food as an opportunity for the body to be able to heal itself. Every bite is either contributing to healthy functions, or taking away from healthy functions. I have a kiwi in the morning because it has 5 times the amount of vitamin c as an orange and will help keep me from getting sick. I put flax seed oil in my avocado mayo for its cancer prevention and heart-healthy qualities. Having green tea in my nightly routine will boost the amount of antioxidants in my system. These are just a few examples to slowly build upon. You start small, buying some things and not others, until one day everything in your cabinet is there to improve your health, not just fill your stomach.

2. Essential Oils: I had only just begun this journey into alternative medicine and holistic healing when my friend Janice invited me to a Young Living essential oils gathering. I had no money and no plans on buying anything, but went home that night with a lot of knowledge on the subject, and even more questions. All of a sudden I began to run into articles about essential oils from unexpected places and when I wasn’t looking for information. I found that I had in fact not gotten sick that semester while I was using a blend to improve immunity that I made while I was there. I was more alert and focused with another soothing mixture I had put together. What I’ve taken away from the importance and utility of essential oils is that they are perhaps the most human practice that a person can cultivate, and it all contributes to a healthier body as a whole. We spend most of our lives cooped up indoors in stale, dusty air. Essential oils brings the smells we’d get on vacation, or in the garden, and all around the world into the home. It is in this way that essential oils have an enormous impact on our mental health. However, essential oils have volatile organic compounds that have multipurpose benefits for the body. They enter into the bloodstream upon topical application, inhalation, or ingestion. These molecules are even small enough to pass through the blood brain barrier, making them an excellent treatment option for neurological issues and brain tumors. In The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest, a woman is interviewed who was able to get rid of a tumor that was growing on her brain stem (This interview can be found here at 59:06, but I recommend watching the entire episode). With these oils, not only have I been able to help relieve stress and help symptoms of illness, but I am getting sick less often and for shorter periods of time, have less head aches, and less insomnia. This is the whole goal to alternative medicine, as its use is meant to reduce the need for medications in the first place, allowing an actual healing to occur.

4. Emotional Well-being: To everyone, this means more sleep, more mindfulness, and more calm. To me personally, it means more time outside. However, there is nothing more human than spending time in nature, so I highly recommend it for everyone, even for those who merely consider the great outdoors as a luxury and not a necessity. When I spend time outside, I become grounded and am reminded of how small human issues are in the totality of life and this world. With this attitude, you can overcome any obstacle in life.

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Thank you Marci Stern for becoming a patron for Metanoia! Please check out her beautiful artwork and publications (can be found on her contact page).

If you would like to support me or have your name and link sponsored on my blog, please see my Patreon page.

References:

1. Article from The Atlantic: How Animal Welfare Leads to Better Meat: A Lesson From Spain

2. The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest (A 9 episode Docu-series available online). In it a man travels the world interviewing doctors, cancer survivors, and other people who have dedicated themselves to studying the field of alternative medicine.

3.The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest – Episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK_sX5ko8SE

4. WHO report says eating processed meat is carcinogenic: Understanding the findings: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/11/03/report-says-eating-processed-meat-is-carcinogenic-understanding-the-findings/

5.  Sugar promotes cancer: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/research-reveals-how-sugar-causes-cancer?page=1

Kindness From a Stranger

It’s the season for random acts of kindness, and this month I have a small, but beautiful experience to share with you that happened to me a couple of weeks ago.

Last month I practically lived at Starbucks in order to complete my writing goals. Sometimes with friends, and sometimes alone, I always try to sit by the window. The view, no matter how abysmal, always gives my gaze and mind freedom to explore something larger than the room I’m sitting in.

One November evening, I was sitting alongside the window by myself when the sun was setting, the clouds a brilliant orange, a unique beauty to be had for where I live. As much as I complain about my geography, there have been quite a few show stopping sunsets to behold. I’m naturally someone who gets energy from the sun, so when it goes down, I’m immediately tired. Likewise, when it comes up, I find it hard to sleep, as if caffeine could be transferable through light and the moment it beams into the room, I’m suddenly lighter, energized, and happy. So I tried to get work done, but in this few passing moments where the setting sun was changing in such divine ways, I made sure to look up every few minutes to integrate with this beauty. One never knows when the sun will come out again here at this time of year. I looked straight at it, imagining the light passing through my skin and becoming a part of me, a keeper of the light.

It turned out that someone noticed my attempt to become one with the sunset. Shortly after the sun went down, I packed up and headed out the door. Someone politely stopped me from behind when I got outside.

“Excuse me, this is very awkward for me, but I just wanted to give you this.” said a middle aged man with a foreign accent that I couldn’t identify. He handed me a folded up napkin. Confused and curious, I said some surprised and enthusiastic exclamation of “okay” and went to my car to read it. Here is what it said:

   My favorite thing about this is that this person did not leave their number. They wanted no involvement, nothing to gain from the interaction. They simply had the pure intention of recognizing the beauty in another person and wanting to make sure they knew that. As someone with little faith in humanity, this touched my heart on such a deep level, and for the first time in a long time, I had some hope for the kind of people that are out there. I felt like there must be people who see each other for more than just objects, and more than what they want them to be for their own interests. There are truly those who are able to recognize a genuine moment, or characteristic in a person, and leave it at that appreciation.

   But the thing is, this experience did not end there. Shortly after that, I found myself back at the same Starbucks where the tables had turned, and I felt compelled to do something kind for someone else. It was night this time, and a boy and his mother sat at the table across from me. I’m usually very caught up in my work, but something about this boy’s stature and expression screamed at me. With no life in his face, he looked out the window as his mom spoke at him, occasionally getting caught up in whatever he had on his lap top. I felt like no part of him wanted to be there, and I wondered how this could be, until someone else joined them and I realized what was happening. They were there to meet with someone who could help him apply to colleges. Instantly I understood this boy’s dread, and went back to my work with the case solved. Some time afterward, I heard the guest get a bit louder and frantic in his speech, so I looked up. The poor boy was crying, and in his eyes I saw myself. It was a person who had completely lost hope. He did not believe that his efforts were good enough, whether they were or not, who knows, but in this day and age when immense pressure is put on youth to get high scores and do every extracurricular activity known to youth, it can be unbearable. I had the same feeling, the same reality, both in high school and into college. I started to hear more of what this guest was saying.

“You have a score of _____… What this college wants is ____…I’ve known people with ______ get into _______… I think you have a great chance with _____… You do sports, you do everything. That’s going to make you more sellable… Do you do varsity? Mention _____ and it will be a great essay… What’s a good attribute to describe yourself? Like, would you say that you’re the life of the party? People always say they’re going to get good grades but what are you going to offer to the university?”

I was ready to vomit just listening to this. Since when did people become numbers and a sales pitch? Immediately, I ripped out a piece of paper from my sketch book and started writing.

   In my note to him, I was quite frank. I made it very honest, and made it clear that it was from a perspective that had been through it all. I gave it a sense that although this feels like the end of the world, it is all a lot of hype and unnecessary stress (I believe I specifically chose the word ‘bullshit’ as my adjective. It has been my favorite adjective as of late). I told him that future me would want my past self to know that my dreams are valid and worthwhile, but that they’re going to change. They are not fixed. That’s a part of life. So if everything is constantly changing anyway, there’s no use in having so much turmoil over what will or will not be. I told him that he was not a number, or a sellable commodity, that he had something to offer no matter what the school boards wanted. I told him that life was short, and to be truly fulfilled is to find what your authentic self has to offer, and provide that. I told him that in the end it was all going to work out, which is needed to be heard after putting so much hard work and stress into something of this magnitude. Although it was incredibly awkward, like it was for that guy who saw my face looking into the sun, the kindness that I was given gave me the courage to stop him on the way out the door and give him my note.

You never know what people are going through. You never know what is happening in a person’s life, or inner world. This is why kindness, and most of all speaking up when no one else will, is so important. I don’t have to go into rates of suicide or how stressful modern day life can be. Anyone reading this will know and can relate in their own way. So please, if you see someone struggling, do something small for that person. If you notice something beautiful in a stranger, compliment them, or simply tell them what you see. It’s the time of the year when everyone needs it, and when the spirit of the holidays makes it viable.

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Kerry Jane

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