Monday, 31 January 2011

Taking Back Control of Your TIME

You know the feeling... answer all your emails, return some phone calls, go to a meeting with an unclear agenda, chat with a colleague who happens to walk by and ***ZAP***... it's the end of your work day and you have ZERO to show for it.

Then you get home and organize supper, clean up, take care of some bills, return a phone call or two, put your lunch together for the next day and walk the dog and ***ZAP again ***... where did your evening go??

Ever get the feeling there's far too much to do and far too little time?  An awfully convincing illusion, isn't it?

"Wait a minute!" you protest, "that's no illusion; it's my hard reality every day!"

Okay, but hear me out.  What if there were a better way?  After all, acquiring personal resilience is going to require that you take back control of your time and your life.  And I think you'll agree that very few things would make you feel better than that.  Do you want to know what the greatest "trick" to doing that is?  Then just learn from a master on the video below...

This highlights the extreme power of putting "first things first", of differentiating the truly "important" from the endless stream of the seemingly "urgent".  

Personally, I had a very successful month in business a while back.  In the final analysis, very few actions contributed to that success.  And life's always that way - very few things contribute to what's essential and an awful lot of "urgent" things have very little importance in the long run.  So if you want to take back control of your time, whether at work, at home or both, then your top priority when you plan your week has to be identifying the few things that generate real results and spending your time on them.  

Did I say "plan your week"?  Yup, and that means in writing, folks.  One incredibly useful method, taught to me by my accountability partner, Kathy G., is to take an Excel spreadsheet and outline every day of your week, hour by hour... and color-coded for various types of activities.  And that's where you'd write down those "big rocks" first - those few activities that really matter.  

If you'd like some help learning how to do this, one book I'd definitely recommend to you is First Things First, co-authored by Stephen Covey and Roger and Rebecca Merrill:

Your next step?  Don't delay - revisit your plan for tomorrow and see what you can do to put "first things first" in your life.  Let me know how it goes!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Friday, 28 January 2011

Colon Cleansing - Why and How to Get Started

It's no secret that our bodies are piled high with toxins these days, toxins from our corrupted food chain and water supply, the air we breathe, the household cleansers we use and any number of other sources.

So if you're serious about your health, immunity and overall resilience, you do need to be thinking about incorporating a regular detoxification program into your life.  And the best place to start for most people is definitely the colon.  Why?

  • Over time, thanks partly to poor dietary habits, not all your bodily waste is excreted and some of the leftover ends up attached to the walls of your intestines, where it eventually becomes toxic and leaches those toxins into your bloodstream
  • This leads to a less efficient colon, longer "transit times" for waste matter through your colon and more toxic build-up
  • The most extreme colon cleanse is a colonic irrigation, where the colon is filled with water.  This breaks down and flushes out the caked on waste matter and what comes out is quite a shocking revelation to most people!
  • Colon cleansing was quite popular until the pharmaceutical revolution of the '20s and '30s buried it under false promises of "miracle drugs"
  • Great 20th century exponents of colon cleansing, such as Dr. Bernard Jensen and Victor Irons, lived extraordinarily long and healthy lives 

So colon cleansing sounds like a great thing to do for your health, right?  Unfortunately though, very few beginners have any idea where to start and what to do...

Blessed Herbs - Colon Cleanse in a Box

One of the easiest ways to get started and to see and feel great results is to use a colon cleanse based on herbs and fiber rather than on colonic irrigation.  It's quite a bit easier and more convenient, and I say that as someone who's done it all.  

One of the top cleansing kits out there comes from Blessed Herbs and I love their Internal Cleansing and Colon Cleansing kits because they're so well laid out, so easy to use and have such clear directions.  

Here's a brief video about their Colon Cleansing kit and three different ways to use it:

As a point of information for you, the Blessed Herbs Internal Cleansing kit targets the intestines, the liver, gallbladder, lungs, kidneys, lymph, blood and skin.  While you can order the Colon Cleansing kit on its own, it's currently being offered for free if you go for the Internal Cleansing kit.  

You can find all the information you need right here.

However you do it, I would encourage you to make regular cleansing and detoxification a part of your health routine this year - the benefits are truly astounding.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Sitting Meditation Postures - Mastering the Full Lotus

It's become almost synonymous with sitting meditation the world over.  Some will even tell you it's the "best" meditation posture, advancing all kinds of esoteric arguments to prove their point.  

Yes, it's that darn full lotus posture, the one we all have a love-hate relationship with because so few people, at least in the West, can maintain it comfortably, if they can even get into it in the first place ;-)

So let's set the record straight on the full lotus by looking at the facts:
  1. It is a superb posture for meditation; no argument there.  It leaves you perfectly balanced and anchored, and may even alleviate the need for a cushion under your butt. 

  2. There are lots of other, easier meditation postures used in many meditative traditions, such as the ankle lock, perfect posture, the half lotus, kneeling posture and even sitting on a chair or stool.  So any argument that you can only meditate "properly" in the full lotus is, in my opinion, 'full' of something else...
  3. You need to beware of trying to force yourself to use the full lotus before your body is adequately prepared, because you risk permanent knee damage.
I make no secret of the fact that practicing meditation of some variety, your ability to enter into inner stillness, is one of the keys to your personal resilience.  So finding the right posture for yourself is an important step.  

Here's a super video by Martin Faulks in the UK about how to master the lotus posture.  And for those of you who practice sitting meditation and have no intention of "mastering the full lotus", I'd recommend you watch it anyway, since it briefly covers other postures and has lots of useful material for you:

What makes this such a great presentation?  Just this:
  • It gives you some background on the lotus flower as a symbol
  • It explains and demonstrates the difference between doing the lotus properly and doing it wrong - which can damage your knees
  • It shows you exactly how to train your body for the lotus (training that can benefit you even if you're using one of the other postures, by the way!)
  • It emphasizes the critical preparation of the hip joints
  • It demonstrates, albeit briefly, the related sitting postures you're more likely to use
The one thing I would add here is that if you're seriously interested in improving your full lotus and maybe getting it to the point where you can use it comfortably to meditate, I'd suggest you start in the spring.  Why?

When the ambient temperature around you warms up, so do your soft tissues, and this makes it much easier for you to stretch with less likelihood of injury.  So if you start your "lotus project" in, say, April, then you'll have about six solid months to work on it before the weather cools off again (of course, the opposite is the case for those of you in the southern hemisphere).  

Enjoy the video and happy meditating!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Unravelling the Vitamin D Mystery

One of the disturbing facts about having done my formal training in nutrition a little over ten years ago is that some of what I was taught has been superseded by new information.

A case in point, and one very much on my mind as winter approached, was the mystery of Vitamin D.  And a mystery it is, since we don't yet have all the answers.  However we do know the following:
  • Vitamin D regulates a large number of critical processes in your body
  • And you're almost certainly Vitamin D deficient 
Hmmm.... sounds like the start of a serious problem you might want to nip in the bud.  

To help you understand the essential facts about Vitamin D, here's a great explanation by Dr. Joseph Mercola:

As Winter Approached...

Back in October-November last year I did some research on the Vitamin D question and consulted some experts to try to learn more about how it contributes to maintaining your health and personal resilience.

Living in the second coldest national capital on the planet, where getting sunshine on your skin is a real challenge from November through April, I was looking for a solution for myself and my family.  Yes, it can be nice and bright outside with all the snow, but you're all bundled up because of the cold.  Good thing you can absorb at least some Vitamin D through your eyes, as long as you're not blocking UV-B rays with sunglasses, of course.

But that's no guarantee of maintaining adequate D levels.  Far from it.  So I was looking at supplements and naturally ran into some concerns about the source, quality and absorption (perennial problems with supplements) when I came across the "Sunshine Mist" non-aerosol Vitamin D spray Mercola mentions in the video. 

After using it for a couple of weeks now, I can truthfully say I'm delighted with it and much more confident about getting enough Vitamin D this winter!  So if Vitamin D is one of your concerns, I'd advise you to check it out!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger  

 **The contents of this blog post are not to be considered as medical advice.  Always consult a physician before beginning / modifying a fitness program or before undertaking lifestyle modifications that could impact your health.**

Monday, 17 January 2011

DEEEEP SLEEEEP... and How to Get it

The Power of Qi: Using EFT and Qi Gong to Clear Your Energy Patterns
February 24-26 in Jersey City, NJ
Early Bird Special expires on Friday January 21

Getting a good night's sleep, i.e., a long, deep and satisfying sleep from which you wake up refreshed, is vital to your health, immunity and overall resilience.

And women are about twice as likely as men to have trouble doing this.  Often it seems to be psychological - women have more trouble tuning out the noise, worries and frustrations of the day than men do.  But there's more to it than that...

Your sleep disturbances may come from any number of sources and most of them are under your control.  Some of those involve falling into other bad lifestyle habits that are sabotaging your nightly slumber.  Or sometimes it's as simple as flipping your mattress!

Here's a very well done video that goes over the basics for you:

The Importance of Darkness

The hours of darkness were highly prized by the authentic spiritual traditions of the ancient world, including the original Christian tradition, because they all knew from experience that your brain functions at a much different level during those hours, whether you're asleep or awake.

So naturally, the medical traditions that grew up in these cultures emphasize the need for real darkness as a facilitator of deep sleep.  On the basis of modern scientific research, we now know they were absolutely correct.  

Consider the following:

  • Darkness changes your body chemistry and affects the pineal, pituitary, thalamus and hypothalamus glands - four vital glands at the center of your brain
  • Darkness converts the neurotransmitter serotonin into the regulatory hormone melatonin, which begins to slow down organ function in preparation for sleep
  • The pineal gland generates certain inhibatory reactions, allowing you to enter into the various stages of sleep
  • The hypothalamus monitors your metabolism to maintain all autonomic functions in the normal range
  • Your reticular activation system (RAS) monitors your optic nerve and auditory functions to wake you should anything out of the ordinary occur.  The good news is this protects you from danger.  The bad news is that if your sleep environment lets in lots of light, your RAS may get a bit confused ;-)
The bottom line here is that making sure your bedroom is quite dark at night is a prerequisite to a consistently good, sound sleep for most of us.  And if you live in the city, that's harder than you may think, given all the ambient light from street lights, neighbors' lights, the city lights reflection in the atmosphere and, of course, the moon.  

When it comes to your own sleep disturbances, you have to be a bit of a detective to figure them out.  But with the help of today's video, you'll be back on track in no time ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

**The contents of this blog post are not to be considered as medical advice.  Always consult a physician before beginning / modifying a fitness program or before undertaking lifestyle modifications that could impact your health.**

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Understanding the Resilience Paradigm

The concept of resilience is becoming more and more popular in a number of fields, including everything from personal development to business continuity to corporate culture and leadership.

While everyone agrees that the word "resilience" comes from the Latin verb "resilire", meaning "to bounce back" or "rebound", there's a wide divergence after that, and many of the definitions lack some of the important dimensions critical to progress in depth.  So let's look at the concept of resilience as I use it...

Resilience is obviously a result or set of results; we all want to become more resilient, since the alternative holds little attraction for anyone.  Yet resilience is not only a result set - it's also much more, including:
  • The paradigm or worldview that allows us to achieve resilience in our daily lives
  • The specific set of practices we follow in order to become more resilient physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually
This paradigm is a very different one that the cultural paradigm we're used to in the western world, since it involves a number of significant mental shifts:
  1. The shift from the reactive "coping" mentality, where we bumble along with our inherited, dysfunctional lifestyle, hoping nothing will go wrong, to a proactive mentality of deliberately refining all our human capacities on a daily basis
  2. The shift from looking at most of our dozens of daily decisions as unimportant to understanding that nearly every decision we make will make us stronger or weaker, and the determination to make the decisions that strengthen us
  3. The shift from identifying our self with our rational mind and its conflicting thoughts and emotions to realizing we are not our thoughts and emotions; we simply have them
  4. The shift from considering our body as just the transportation system for our brain to understanding that the human being is, in fact, a single, integrated whole
  5. The shift from mindlessly pursuing pleasure and fleeing pain to the courageous search for excellence, peak performance and harmony on all levels
  6. The shift from the extremely limited vision of human potential in society at large to embrace the extraordinary possibilities that authentic ancient traditions have charted for us
  7. The shift from an approach to life based on ideology, to an approach based on evidence and experimentation, as found in all authentic ancient traditions
  8. The shift from the rather flexible moral compass of the masses to building an excellent character based on truth, honor and courage
 So embarking on the pursuit of resilience takes quite a commitment and quite a bit of time to wrap your head around it all.  For one thing, you can only truly understand it to the extent you've done it, so you're perpetually learning during this lifelong adventure.  

That's a lot to take in all at once.  In fact, I can say with no exaggeration that an entire book could be written to expand on each one of the points above.  Fortunately, I think I'll stop here for now!

However, if you want the health, energy, clarity, calm and sense of purpose that resilience brings, you'd do well to spend a little time thinking over some of these points ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Power of Qi: Using EFT and Qi Gong to Clear Your Energy Patterns

I'm delighted to announce an upcoming live event where you will be able to learn tested and proven tools for mastering your energy, your emotions and your overall health and wellness.  

My dear friend and colleague, Dr. Carol Look, and myself are putting on a joint live event to teach you how to use the 5 top Qi Gong systems ever devised and how to apply the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT - a technique I personally consider to be priceless) to all aspects of your life.  

This event will take place in Jersey City, NJ at the end of February.  You can get all the details and reserve your place here:

Near the bottom of the page there's an audio link where you can listen as Carol and I take you through the event's schedule to help you get a clear idea of what you'll get.  Just in case you miss it, you can also listen to the audio or download it from here:

If you've ever wanted to:
  • Develop imperturbable inner peace
  • Learn to eliminate stress and reach deep relaxation on demand
  • Get relief from or entirely eliminate past traumas that are holding you back or making your life miserable
  • Master your emotional responses and finally get free of emotional patterns that run (and ruin) your life
  • Learn the same health Qi Gong methods that the Taoist longevity tradition has used for centuries to get people past their 100th birthdays in great health
  • Transform your daily grind into an extended meditation session producing great health and inner peace
  • Become stronger and more flexible on minutes a day
  • Replace negative emotions harmful to your health with positive emotional content
...then this event could be exactly what you've been waiting for.

Carol and I will spend 3 full days with you, teaching you, guiding you and helping you become a happier, healthier and more resilient person.  

To check out all the details and reserve your spot, just go to this page:

Energy Medicine and You

As science advances and we learn more about the various energy fields, channels and structures in and around the human body, the one thing that becomes obvious is that working with energy is the most effective means of creating vibrant, long-term health.  

At this workshop, you'll learn a great deal about the structure of your energy body - the meridians, the extraordinary vessels, the chakras and more.  And you'll learn about them not just in an academic sense, but how to work with them, and with all the other structures of your body - your muscles, fasciae, connective tissues, bones and marrow, joints, nervous system, blood, major and minor organs, and more.  

Carol and I hope you'll be able to join us in Jersey City for this fabulous, fun and educational event!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Using Resilience to Transform Your New Years Resolutions

It's that time of year again and we're all getting bombarded with messages telling us to set our goals, start eating right, and get our butts down to the local gym.  You know, the same stuff we've all tried before - the seemingly futile annual exercise of making our New Years resolutions...

Presumably you'd like to have a stupendous year in 2011.  After all, who wouldn't?  In the rush to decide on our New Years resolutions, though, one critical element is usually overlooked, and that element is embodied in the wise words, "Before doing, one must be."

Indeed, of all those who make resolutions at New Years, few are left by early March.  The reason, though, has little to do with what you're attempting, whether that's to lose weight, eat right or get in shape.  Instead it has everything to do with who is attempting it, with what's going on in your head.  And that's where resilience comes to your rescue.

You see, resilience isn't simply a result, it's also a way of life, an organizing principle, a different life paradigm.  It's easy to say to yourself, "I've got a weight problem; better do something about it..." or "My back is giving me grief.  Time to see the chiropractor."   It's a totally different thing to say to yourself, "From this day, from this hour, from this moment, I will choose only that which makes me a stronger person on every level."  

Every decision you make on a daily basis will make you stronger or weaker.  And that strength could be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or some combination thereof.  Resilience is about consistently choosing what empowers you, builds you up, develops all of your human capacities.  

A friend of mine who grew up in China suffered chronic headaches as a child.  They could have given him all kinds of drugs - our medical system would have - or focused narrowly on finding the cause of his headaches.  Instead, his physician sent him off to learn Tai Chi and to practice for at least an hour a day.  Not surprisingly, his headaches soon disappeared and this sickly child became strong, tough and vibrantly healthy because and only because his physician knew resilience was the answer - strengthen the patient's overall health and immunity so that his health challenge will disappear on its own.  

If you really want a remarkable 2011, then I invite you to do one thing only - decide right here and right now that from this moment, you're going to choose only what strengthens you, that you're going to dedicate yourself to building up all of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual capacities and, to borrow the US Army's super successful advertising slogan, "be all you can be." 

People who embrace resilience as the organizing principle of their lives - as all the top ancient cultures taught their children to do - are truly a breed apart.  We think and act differently from the majority.  While others are scurrying around in often misplaced attempts to change their circumstances while desperately hanging on to the very lifestyle that created those circumstances, we're busy working on ourselves, knowing that as we change, so will our circumstances in life.  Before doing, one must be....

So if you'd like to have an incredible year, stick around, become a practitioner of personal  resilience and remake yourself and your life in the process.  Together we'll have a great adventure and there are lots of great learning opportunities coming your way in 2011.

Once you begin to think like a practitioner of personal resilience, your New Years resolutions will take on a whole new life...

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger