Autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere) welcome to my very late September newsletter. I’m going to be writing today about Fear, perhaps the greatest threat to the human psyche. First, though, the Fall Equinox is almost here (again in the Northern Hemisphere) and that deserves a few words. For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ve got the Spring Equinox headed your way and if you haven’t done so and have a chance to now, it would be a great time to read my April newsletter which was all about Spring and New Beginnings and Confidence.
For those of us up here, though, the Fall Equinox is also known as: Alban Elfed, Autumn Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Cornucopia, Feast of Avilon, Festival of Dionysus, Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Mabon, Night of the Hunter, Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Witch's Thanksgiving, and the first day of autumn.
The following information is something I found on the Religious Tolerance website, I hope you all find it as interesting as I have.
In ancient Britain both the solstices and equinoxes were the preoccupation of the mysterious Megalithic peoples who pre-dated Celt, Roman and Saxon on Europe's Atlantic fringe by thousands of years. Stonehenge and other stone structures were aligned so that the solstices and equinoxes could be determined and honored.
In ancient Ireland clusters of megalithic cairns are scattered through the hills at Loughcrew to celebrate both the solstices and equinoxes.
On the day of the fall solstice, astrologers have determined that the sun enters the sign of Libra — the constellation of the balance or scales.
The Christian Church replaced earlier Pagan solstices and equinox celebrations during medieval times, with Christianized observances. Replacing the Fall equinox is Michaelmas, the feast of the Archangel Michael, on September 29th and the Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary held on March 25th and perhaps Easter replaced the Spring equinox. In Judaism we’ve got Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in Autumn and Passover in Spring.
The Native American tribe from Southern California, the Chumash, celebrates their Fall equinox sun ceremony during their month of Hutash (September). It takes place after the harvest is picked, processed and stored....Kakunupmawa is a ritual name for the Sun. According to traditional Chumash lore, all humans were known as children of the Sun, or 'sons of Kakunupmawa.' The spiritual thoughts of the tribe would become focused on the importance of unity in the face of winter confinement, death and rebirth.
At this time of the year, the ancient Celts (Druids) conducted a mock sacrifice of a large wicker-work figure which represented the vegetation spirit. This might have been the origin of Julius Caesar's comment in his Gallic Wars that the Druids performed human sacrifices. Although he never witnessed a human sacrifice and never met anyone who had, this story has been accepted and repeated often enough to be accepted as truth.
This Celtic mock sacrifice has been reborn in the Burning Man Project, a yearly fall festival celebrated for one week in Black Rock Desert in Nevada here in the U.S.
A new calendar was adopted at the time of the French Revolution in the late 18th century. The first day of the year, the 1st of Vendemiaire (the grape-harvest month), was the date of the fall equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The year was divided into twelve months of 30 days each. That left five or six surplus days which were celebrations ending the year, in honor of virtue, genius, work, opinion, prizes and revolution.
The ancient Mayans constructed a pyramid at Cihickén Itzá which displayed different patterns of triangles of light at the time of the solstices and equinoxes. The dates signaled the start of a harvest, planting, or a religious ceremony. On the fall equinox, seven triangles become visible on the pyramid's staircase.
Wiccans recognize eight seasonal days of celebration. Four are minor sabbats and occur at the two solstices and the two equinoxes. The others are major sabbats which happen approximately halfway between an equinox and solstice. Wiccans may celebrate Mabon on the evening before, or at sunrise on the morning of the equinox, or at the exact time of fall equinox. Mabon is the second and main Wiccan harvest festival.
In Japan the Spring and Autumn Equinox is observed as the six-day celebration the Higan-e. It is celebrated for three days before and after the Equinox. Six days was chosen because it is based on the six perfections, giving, observance of the precepts, perseverance, effort, meditation and wisdom - needed before one goes from this shore of samsára to the further shore or nirvana. The literal meaning of Higan is 'other shore.' The ritual includes repentance of past sins and prayers for enlightenment in the next life. It also includes remembrance of the dead and visits to the family graves. It is thought that the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, being the most temperate times of the year, are ideal moments to reflect on the meaning of life.
The month of September also marks the 'Wine Moon,' the lunar cycle when grapes are harvested from the arbors, pressed and put away to become wine... The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is known as the 'Harvest Moon,' since farmers would also harvest their crops during the night with the light of the full moon to aid them.
Teutonic tribes called the period from the fall equinox until Winter Night (OCT-15) by the name "Winter Finding." Winter Night was the Norse New Year.
On a personal note, my daughter is leaving in a day to move to Seattle and attend the University of Seattle. I am very, very proud of her; she has done this all on her own without my financial help. Her first two years have been done locally while working full time and now it is time for her to move on and get on with her future.
However, because of our history and past, this is also a very frightening thing for both her and me. She has pushed through her fear and pushed forward into the life she deserves to have and I have been lucky enough to learn the true meaning of strength from her while trying to give her the encouragement to do this. I am so proud of you Shannon.
.And so, I felt this was the appropriate time for my article…
Is Fear Holding You Back?
What happens after we die? According to people who have had near-death experiences we meet a Light of infinite love beyond human comprehension, something that does share similarities with the heaven that the religions have been telling us about for ages. We have all heard the name heaven many times and its concept is to be found in all cultures. But what exactly is heaven? Where is it? And how do we get there? I get many clients who come to me because they have found that they can't seem to stick with their resolutions or reach their goals and they ask my help in figuring out why and to help them break through their barriers. I thought you all might benefit from the following suggestions and thoughts.
This is a good time to look at the limiting themes that have repeated themselves in your life. These limiting themes tend to be repeated as a result of fear: fear of change, fear of failure, or even worse, fear of success. And maybe that was okay in the past, maybe you needed that fear for a while for any number of reasons, but isn't it time to let go and move beyond the fear now? Isn't it time for you to move into the happy, healthy and joyous life that you deserve?
Do you really believe that you can create the financial life you want to live this year? Fall completely and deeply in love? Receive a big promotion or find your dream job? You know, those things in life that make you wake up with a smile on your face energized and ready to tackle each and every morning in anticipation of the wonderful and amazing opportunities that are coming your way! Or have you put a lid on your dreams, blocked your hopes and allowed yourself to become resigned to settling for less: less in the current state of your finances, relationships, career and health because you are afraid of failing, afraid of disappointment. Or, even worse, have you decided that you’ve wasted so much of your life thus far, that there’s no longer any reason to try or hope or strive for anything different?
One of the most pivotal steps in improving your life from the inside out is the ability to open your channels of desire and to clearly define what it is that you most want and to let that desire flow through you again. For many people this is an uncomfortable process. Because so many of us believe that having unfulfilled desires will cause us pain, we have chosen, instead, to bury those desires, to put a lid on them, and hide them deep within our subconscious. We may be able to imagine things getting a little better here and there but, for the most part, we are afraid to dream, afraid to believe and afraid to hope and afraid to trust.
The reality of this world we live in is that desire is the life force of energy streaming through us. It is our desires that keep us alive and magnetic. People without strong desires slowly wither away, living only shadow lives of whom they were and who they were meant to be and who they want to be. The more we allow the energy of desire to flow through us, the more vibrant and alive we become, the more connected we feel, and life just gets better and better. So here are some constructive ideas of how to overcome that overwhelmed feeling and move away from fear:
If you haven't done so already, write down your goals and if you did write them down, get out your list and read it again.
Take another look at each goal and ask yourself if you really want to have this goal at this time. Be honest. Don't keep a goal on the list because someone else thinks you need to do it, or because you think it is the kind of goal you are supposed to have. Your goals must be your very own. Something that is important to you right now. Our desire and our goals are like a living, breathing being. They change, they grow, we grow, sometimes we grow out of a goal or into a new one. Just because you wrote something down, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. Just make sure it is your mind that changes and not someone close to you who thinks you need to change it.
Review the remaining list and set interim steps towards your goals that help you work up to them. As an example, if your goal is to run a marathon, set the distance goals over time that will build your endurance to the level you need to achieve.
Remember the Power of Affirmations. Say affirmations daily!
If you haven't already discovered this, affirmations are a wonderful tool to help change beliefs and patterns that can get in the way of achieving your goals. I have found that the most effective way to use affirmations is to both say them aloud and write them out. When you say your affirmations out loud, you are giving instructions to your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind gives all messages equal weight and doesn't differentiate between fact or fiction, so giving it more positive input in the form of verbal affirmations works to counteract any negative input we are receiving from others or from ourselves. Writing your affirmations out allows you to focus more clearly on what you have just said, making it easier to create a visual image in your mind.
Here are some suggestions on working with affirmations:
Say and/or write your affirmations out several times a day. When you do this, actually use the moment to visualize what you are saying or writing. Affirmations work best when you create the reality for yourself each time you use them. If necessary, reinforce your commitment to say your affirmations by posting them on your bathroom mirror, your computer, the steering wheel of your car, your refrigerator or anyplace that you have to look at regularly.
State your affirmations in the present tense because your subconscious is quite literal. If you say something like "I'm going to quit smoking." Or "I will lose weight." the message sent to your mind, the reality created is that you will get there someday, but not necessarily now. You want your subconscious to believe it is happening now so use phrases like "I am a non-smoker" or "I am thin and fit."
State your affirmations in the positive. Always create an image of what you want in your life, not what you want to avoid. So say something like "I am in a happy and exciting relationship," rather than "I don't want to be with anyone who makes me miserable again." Or say, "I handle my daily stress easily and in healthy ways" rather than" I won't smoke when I'm under stress."
Be specific. Since your subconscious is an excellent tool for creating reality, be clear and exact about the reality you say you want. Don't simply say, "I have a new car", when you mean to say, "I have a new red sports car with a sunroof and air conditioning and an awesome stereo system."
Your affirmation should make you feel as if you just got a small little electrical shock. If it doesn't make you slightly uncomfortable or make you think "yeah, right..." when you first say it, then you've picked an affirmation that isn't right for you. You've chosen something too easy to acquire. Don't let fear hold you back. If it makes you feel a little uncomfortable, then that means you are on the right track. You are working to re-program your subconscious mind with new information and positive thoughts. If you aren't getting a jolt then you are playing it safe and letting fear hold you back again.
Revise your affirmations as needed to make sure they fit what your current goals are especially as you move further and further away from fear and your goals get bigger and better and closer.
- Remember to Enlist Support: Many of us are reluctant to ask for help and support, even though we would gladly give it if asked. Don't be afraid to talk to or call a friend, parent, life coach or whomever and ask for support. Support can come in many forms: encouragement, doing something together, talking about how to overcome a particular obstacle, laughing, crying and so on. If you have not asked for support much in the past, push yourself to ask for help now.
I am committed to helping everyone achieve their personal and professional goals and to help you move away from the fear that may be holding you back. So please remember, whether you want a one time strategy session or on-going support, a personal session or a recorded session, I am here to help you!
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
No poetry this month, I think I’ve made this newsletter long enough.
Exercise: The Road to Independence
Having to rely on someone else to help you, let's say, get out of the car when you're older would be a real drag. An alternative: pull some weeds, take a walk, hit the gym, or do whatever it is that gets you off the couch. Every hour a week you spend active now reduces by 7 percent your risk of being hobbled in old age. You may grumble about that hour you spend pulling weeds each week, but it means you'll have a better chance of being able to do life's daily tasks on your own when you're gray on top. Staying active sure beats needing help with driving, tying your shoes, or cleaning your own home — although some of us could probably use the housework help, regardless! Getting physical reduces your chances of disability because, among other things, it builds the muscles, balance skills, and bone strength that you need not only to be mobile but also to protect yourself from injury.
- Take Sleep Problems to Heart
Still feeling tired when you wake up in the morning? And craving naps during the day?
If you're sleeping long enough, your sleep quality may be the problem. And that's bad news, because studies show that disrupted sleep can raise the risk of clots — those dangerous blobs of congealed blood that have a knack for blocking blood flow to major organs. Just how might poor sleep raise the risk of harmful blood clots? Researchers still need to pinpoint the exact cause, but studies suggest that surges in nervous-system activity — found in patients with sleep apnea, which causes disrupted sleep — may provoke excessive clotting. And that could set the stage for a heart attack, stroke, or other dangerous condition. A daytime doze may protect your heart.
All About YOU: How to Heat Your Olive Oil
No doubt about it. Olive oil is one of the healthiest fats around. But you'll kill the health benefits if you overheat it. It can become rancid and generate toxic chemicals. One solution: Instead of heating the oil in the pan, just spritz some on your veggies, meats, or taters before cooking them. It's fairly easy to overheat both olive oil and cold-pressed canola oil, because they have relatively low smoking points (the point at which they begin to burn). You'll know if you've overheated the oil, because it leads to that burned, charcoal flavor. Yuck. Semi-refined sesame oil, peanut oil, grape-seed oil, and virgin olive oil may be your best choices for cooking, because they contain mainly unsaturated fat and have relatively high smoking points; all of the oils can be heated in excess of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Extra-virgin olive oil starts to burn at about 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Unrefined canola and sunflower oils are even more delicate, burning at about 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Once an oil has been overheated, you end up canceling out the major benefits. But treat the oils right and they'll treat your body right, too.
To Weigh Less, Just Add This
Here's the deal, dieters. You'll make great strides in your effort to lose weight if you get a little extra of this past your lips: water. Upping your daily water intake by 33 ounces -- that's about 4 additional cups -- could help you melt an additional 2.5 pounds over the course of a yearlong diet. Here's the simple science behind the claim. When researchers evaluated the water-drinking habits of overweight women who were following various popular diets (from Ornish to Atkins), water intake helped tip the scales in the right direction. The women who either upped their water intake or replaced sweet drinks with water lost about an extra 2.5 pounds. But it had to be water: Switching to or adding diet drinks didn't have the same effect. So how does H2O give dieters an edge? It may be that drinking water helps reduce calorie intake -- you're full of water, so you eat less! It could also be that the agua alters your metabolism in some helpful way. Just keep in mind that drinking water, by itself, doesn't melt pounds. The women who benefited from the extra H2O were already on reduced-calorie eating plans.
- Pistachios for the Greater Good
When it comes to cholesterol, it's good cop (HDL) vs. bad cop (LDL). And only a good cop has the power to charm your arteries into coming clean. Do you have enough good cops on the beat to keep your arteries clear? If not, put down the chips, candy bar, and cookie, and grab two to three handfuls of pistachios every day instead.
All About WOMEN: The Best Calcium Source
Tablets, chews, fortified juices, dairy products — where should you get your calcium? One recent study suggests dairy is best, with a calcium supplement thrown in for good measure. In the study, women who got at least 70 percent of their calcium from dairy — and the rest from supplements -- had better bone mineral density than the supplement-only group. It's not clear why calcium from dairy beat the supplemental stuff in a study. It may be that dairy favorably affects estrogen balance, making for stronger bones. But more research is needed to confirm the study results. Calcium Do's and Don'ts and the study findings don't mean you should ditch your calcium chews. Just don’t forget to seek out calcium from foods, too, especially because a lot of food sources provide other good-for-the-body nutrients, like vitamin D and protein. Consider low-fat yogurt (415 mg calcium per cup), Parmesan cheese (390 mg per ounce), low-fat milk (290 mg per cup), and — if you're not into dairy — soymilk (300 mg per cup), canned pink salmon (215 mg per half cup), and cooked spinach (180 mg per cup). A balanced, nutritious diet can make a serious dent in your calcium needs.
All About MEN: Prostate Health? Mission Possible
Evading prostate cancer could be a little easier if you'd put more of these on your plate: cruciferous vegetables. Turns out sulforaphane — the compound that makes the veggies in this family taste a little bitter and smell a little funky — can help disarm prostate cancer cells before they do any damage. Here's the cruciferous lineup. There's no surefire way to prevent prostate cancer. But your risk is greatly affected by your diet and everyday habits. For example, how much broccoli you eat. And how much cauliflower. These veggies — along with cabbage, kale, and bok choy — belong to the cruciferous family, and research shows that this family may put the kibosh on prostate cancer like no other veggie group. Up your intake of fruits and veggies. Although cruciferous veggies seem to be particularly helpful in protecting your prostate, upping your intake of produce, in general, is good for it, too.
The Fun Way to Control Blood Sugar
If you have type 2 diabetes, you live with a lot of rules -- but here's a fun one you may have missed: Relax more. Sure, you need to think twice about what you eat, get more exercise, and take your meds. But getting a handle on stress can help lower blood sugar, too. Here's one relaxation strategy that appears to do the trick. "Relax!" If you've ever had someone shout that at you, you know it's sometimes easier said than done. Despite your best efforts, you may have trouble dialing it down. Meditation, biofeedback and hypnosis are all wonderful techniques that work, they really do. (Of course, I think Hypnosis works best of all!!)
Eat This for Better Blood Sugar
When you want to grab a blood-sugar-balancing snack, which is better: a fresh apple or a slice of rye toast? Go for the bread — as long as it's whole grain. Getting about 17 grams of grain fiber a day (the kind found in whole-grain breads and cereals) could slash type 2 diabetes risk by a third, research shows. And rye bread seems to steady blood sugars best. When it comes to preventing type 2 diabetes, controlling blood sugar is what it's all about. And fiber keeps blood sugar nice and steady, so you don't get glucose spikes that send your pancreas into overdrive. Although some fruits and veggies are great sources of fiber, they didn't have quite the diabetes-busting magic touch that the cereal fiber had in a recent study. It may be that magnesium, phenols, and other goodies in whole-grain bread interact with the cereal fiber to help lower diabetes risk.
Cold Wars: Echinacea vs. Chicken Soup
Squashing a cold is like curing hiccups: We all have our favorite methods. But do any of them really work? Seems echinacea, that controversial cold-quelling herb, really can help people feel better faster. Researchers pored over 14 different studies and determined that echinacea can shorten a cold's stay by an average of 1.4 days. Now how about that soup? Certain compounds in echinacea, mainly alkamides, chicoric acid, and polysaccharides, may stimulate the immune system. The end result? Echinacea could help both shorten and prevent colds. Always talk to your healthcare provider before taking any herbal remedy. Echinacea may interfere with your other medicines and supplements, or it could be harmful to you if you have certain medical conditions. Chicken Soup Works, Too. Are you devoted to the cold-soothing chicken soup recipe your mom used to make? Well, you don't have to give it up. Seems chicken soup has feel-better powers, too.
- A Good Reason to Add Berries to Your Oatmeal
A side of sliced strawberries with your steel-cut oatmeal may make for one heck of a smart breakfast combo. That's because oats are rich in heart-healthy compounds called phenols. And it seems that adding some vitamin C (from the berries) is like adding water to a Chia Pet: it causes the heart-helping powers of the oats to grow. When oat phenols and vitamin C were combined in a study, they worked synergistically to reinforce LDL cholesterol and make it more stable -- even better than the oat phenols alone could do. And you want your LDL to be stable, because that means it’s less likely to break down and stick to the walls of your arteries. You know, that process that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other nasty business. Why Steel-Cut Oats? They take a little longer to make, but they’re worth it. Steel-cut oats -- also called coarse-cut oats -- are lightly processed. And that means they probably still have most of their good stuff intact (fiber, nutrients, etc.).
If you have found this newsletter to be helpful to you and you know someone who you feel could benefit from these thoughts and messages please pass it on.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
A Really Important Announcementt
In honor of the Autumn Equinox, New Beginnings and my wonderful daughter, I am giving everybody who orders a session (whether recorded or live) a free recorded session. Buy one, get one free, buy two, get two free, etc.
Just place your order, or schedule your session and we will then discuss which recorded session you would like as your gift.
Cl^ick here .