Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
I had a brilliant consultation with a client the other day where we talked about making food changes to support her health and the reasons behind it. I've been thinking this for a long time but it was her that put into words how important it was for her to do it from a place of love. Important may not even be the right word, essential doesn't quite fit either as I guess you can make changes from whatever place you wish to. Changes from a place of fear feels very different from that loving place though.
I think everything is longer lasting, deeper, more real when performed from a place of love. Changes are more congruent, easier to maintain and happier to take part in. That doesn't always mean it's easier, but more real works well for me. Getting back to who I really am, who I always was, not who I'd got a little bit lost being.
Taking the time to discover that place of love may, well, take time. But I would wager, time well spent. Probably the most worthwhile time to spend right now. Because what will give us joy and excitement is living our purpose, wholeheartedly and with love. I think on it's deepest level, homeopathy has the power to enable that process, to assist with living in the now, being as whole as possible on every level. Mindfulness too - looking within with assistance to guide and enable the most amazing discovery process.
And sometimes too we can do it ourselves, we can learn to listen to the whispers, the bubbling joy (I remember in some of my darkest times feeling that I was overflowing with joy - just moments, but still valuable pointers that I was on the right path despite of the distance I had to walk to get through), and also to the disquieting feelings. Listen and be aware. To be true to what is, here and now, right in front of you and to let go of the 'what if's, 'what might have been's that can only ever stop you from really experiencing the beauty of this moment. For all we have is right now.
I invite you to, with love, gently let go of that which doesn't serve you and embrace that which fills you with love, passion and excitement for the pure joy of life.
With unbounded love,
It's coming up to almost two years since our beautiful family horse decided it was time to move on. Tonight on twitter I saw a tweet from the vet who I consider as starting my whole homeopathic journey so it got me thinking.
Kara our Czech Warmblood mare had developed uveitis, which it transpired was recurrent for her. Conventional treatment was steroid injections into her eyelid, which I'm sure you'd guess, wasn't possible without an initial sedative. Every 6 weeks. And, as a precaution, she used to head into the field with her 'half pirate' mask on, a modification of a racing mask that meant her eye was able to be shielded from bright sunlight (or there was the total blockout mask that meant she could still go out and graze whilst having the attacks). Not a huge barrel of laughs. With pretty limited conventional options mum took it upon herself (she's a fabulous researcher), to investigate. And chanced upon Chris Day, a veterinary homeopath who works in the south of the UK. Following this lead further took us to a more local practice, a week of homeopathic remedies given to Kara. Not knowing what to expect we waited. And waited. And when she died 15 years later I guess we were still waiting for anything to happen.
Cured? Remission? Healed? Do they all mean the same thing? I don't know the answer to that. But I do know she never had to have steroids into her eyelid again, we relegated the pirate masks to the tack trunk and she enjoyed life to the full.
We used homeopathy on and off for the rest of her life, although towards the end after developing Cushing's disease and having ended up (not totally sure quite how but she did) on conventional medication which nearly was the end of her, we were pleased to restart remedies on a more regular basis which again served her well.
I love that our horse started my homeopathic journey. I love that my first ever experience of homeopathy blows the placebo effect out of the water. And I love that I am able to say thank you for the first seed of homeopathic awareness that was sown for me (I've thanked him tonight).
With my involvement in the “Inspire” Pilates Bootcamp, alongside conversations over the weekend, and my gradual journey into a plant based way of life, I’ve thought a lot recently about fish.
As with everything, there’s lots of opinions out there. Whether they are ethical, moral, health related or emotionally linked, it seems everyone has something to say. And deciding what makes the most sense seems to be the most challenging bit.
For me, the health issue was the highlight. I’d always been aware that it was killing another creature and yet I could put this to the back of my mind as I tucked into swordfish, fresh tuna steak, lobster (only on the very rare occasion and possibly only at The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok). I’ve said before that it was Scott Jurek (American ultrarunner) who started my journey and awareness into plant based eating when he talked about how he felt fitter, recovered faster and trained harder whilst following this lifestyle. The very fact that an athlete could improve upon his athletic performance made me wonder whether I could improve my own health by making subtle shifts.
Colin Campbell (author of The China Study and passionate researcher around the effects of animal based protein on the human state of health says:
‘Some people may have heard that fish are good sources of essential fatty acids. However, the high amounts of fat and cholesterol and the lack of fiber make fish a poor choice. Fish are also often high in mercury and other environmental toxins that have no place in an optimal diet.
Fish oils have been popularized as an aid against everything from heart problems to arthritis. The bad news about fish oils is that omega-3s in fish oils are highly unstable molecules that tend to decompose and, in the process, unleash dangerous free radicals. Research has shown that omega-3s are found in a more stable form in vegetables, fruits, and beans.’
Dr Caldwell Esselstyn Jr adds to this in an interview around his diet to prevent and reverse heart disease
‘Fish oil is not essential. Fish get their omega 3 from plants. It is difficult to be deficient in Omega 3 if eating 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed meal or chia seeds and green leafy vegetables at several meals. There is also research that suggests that those on plant based nutrition become highly efficient in their own manufacture of omega 3. Patients on fish oil are also at increased risk for bleeding.’
My own view is that farmed fish is rich in antibiotics due to the disease ridden climate they are existing in up until they are killed, the additives (such as the dye in salmon to make it appear as the wild variety naturally is) and the high rates of illness combined with the reasons above are enough to make me think I am less eager to consume it.
The often quoted benefits of fish can be achieved easily through a diet rich in plant based foods and these individuals will not lack the essential nutrients that fish too are able to give to us. The bonus side is that plant based omega 3 intake comes without a list of side effects.
I always find a new month a great time to set a new challenge. For some reason I like the mathematical beginning. To start at 1 and work onwards works for me.
Gradually I've been letting go of things that aren't useful to me - milk and other dairy products, cooked, processed foods, gluten, alcohol (most of the time - I have to admit to being partial to the occasional glass of bubbles...), and it's come to my attention that salt has to be the next to go. I've always loved salt and it's been a part of the food I eat. Not much of it but chips, eggs and avocado... Or vegetable crisps. I find it incredibly more-ish, addictive and enjoyable. And whilst I'm really not against enjoyment - at all - I don't like addictive. So now's the time to break the habit. For me sharing that makes it more likely to happen... so here's my November challenge for myself. A no-salt month.
Letting go has been liberating, energy enhancing and generally fabulous for me. Loving the freedom and looking forward to embracing my salt-free simplicity soon!
Anyone care to play out too?
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.
Em Colley MARH, Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition