Exquisite Risk

A guest message by Mark Nepo. An excerpt from his book, ‘The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life’

finding joyRecently, I had an old tooth go bad. It was abscessed and this pressured ache kept building from some elusive spot inside my head. It felt like my deepest moments of doubt. As I waited inside the specialist’s office, I was growing more and more anxious. It’s such a strange journey to be spirit in a body. The Sufis compare it to an invisible bird carried for years within a body of a bird. But the longer I am alive, the harder it is to discern between the two, and the more grateful I am for both.

So there I was, fighting off the memories of my cancer journey, trying to breathe through the pain, and falling into the fear that feeds on poor waiting. In an effort to distract myself, I paged through a book of nature photographs and came upon a full-page color still of a meadowlark. This delicate songbird had climbed the tallest stalk in a wildflower patch, its small talons gripping the stalk tightly in the midst of sudden wind. While its talons were clinging sideways, its body was leaning upright and its head was singing full to the sky.

I realized that the meadowlark holds on, in the smallest storm, in order to sing. Isn’t this what we do — hold on and sing? Isn’t this the art of suffering our way into joy? And if we only hold, don’t we miss the point of our existence? This tiny bird was a teaching from God.

It was then that the doctor’s assistant called my name. Feeling tiny myself, I closed the book, knowing that this was a piece of truth given just in time. For the next three hours they extracted the dying nerve from my mouth, and I held on like a meadowlark, my body slightly twisted as I tried to let my spirit sing. And from that in-between space, floating softly within my pain, I saw how kind this man was who was tending me. Though his eyes were intent on the thin canals inside my tooth, I saw behind his focus to his soft place. It was there that we’d known each other deeply, though we’d never met.

Suddenly, with a rubber gauze covering my mouth, I understood how cautious we are on the surface, and how kind and willing underneath. It is often when in need — when too sad to keep the mask in place, too tired to keep the wall propped up, too wounded to lift the sword — often it is then that we glimpse each other as we really are, stripped of all the things we think we need to protect ourselves. Ironically, once flushed out in the open, it is from the soft place that we guard and hide that kindness seeks kindness, and we are just thankful to be helped along.

Published by Harmony Books, Random House, New York, February 2005. | In The Exquisite Risk, poet and teacher Mark Nepo encourages readers to become quiet enough and open enough to listen to what truly matters—our own hearts, our loved ones, the wonders of nature—in order to live a life with nothing held back. | http://www.marknepo.com/books/theexquisite.htm

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Omega-3s as Brain Food

natural nutrition tip

Omega 3-s as Brain Food ~ InnerVitalityBe sure to get an adequate dose of Omega-3* fatty acids in your diet, which are critical for the healthy functioning of the brain.

They are found in oily fish like salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel. Today’s market also offers cod-liver oil supplements which are easier to swallow and which contain lemon to stop the fishy after taste (look for the terms ‘pharmaceutical grade’ or ‘molecularly distilled’ to ensure your supplements are free of ocean contaminants like mercury). Vegetarian sources of Omega-3 include: flax oil, hemp, walnuts, and algae supplements.

A good maintenance dose consists of 1 gram (or 1,000 mg) a day.

Everyday Guide for Transitioning to a Green Lifestyle by Chris Prelitz

Copyright © 2009 InnerVitality, all rights reserved. | Visit our website at www.InnerVitality.com and we invite you to follow us on Twitter! *Source ~ Lisa Tsakos, R.N.C.P., R.H.N., http://www.naturallysavvy.com.

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Healing Tips for Tension Headaches

Healing Tips for Tension Headaches ~ InnerVitalityIncrease energy flow by placing your right palm (to send energy) where your neck joins your head, and your left palm (to receive energy) on your forehead or crown of the head. A few minutes can work wonders.

An excellent acupressure point for all over pain relief is easily accessible on your hand: Press your thumb and forefinger together. Where your hand crease ends, apply pressure with your other thumb and forefinger. Do this for a few minutes each side.

To determine the mind-body influences in your susceptibility, we love the book Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Deb Shapiro. Empowering!

Consider a CranioSacral Therapy treatment ~ beneficial for headaches and spinal tension.

Copyright © 2009 InnerVitality, All rights reserved | Visit our website at www.InnerVitality.com and we invite you to follow us on Twitter!

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