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New Beginnings

A good traveler is one who does not know where he is going to, and a perfect traveler is one who does not know where he came from.
~Lin Yu-t’ang

One of the principles of macrobiotics is, “What has a beginning has an end.” Beginnings and endings are so intertwined and dependent on each other, neither one would exist without the other. Indeed, the word “beginning” itself implies there will be an end result, just as the word “end” implies there was a beginning.

Yin and Yang

Just as there is a beginning, so must there be an end, and it follows that there must be both yin and yang forces in everything. Complementary opposites of yin and yang at the extreme transform into each other: yin changes into yang and yang changes into yin. For example, a seed is the source of the mature tree. Yet, in looking at the seed, you can not see the mature tree inherent in it; the tree is waiting to be born.

One Infinity

The seed and mature tree, although separate in appearance, are one and the same energy force. Thus, there is one infinity, not only with complementary opposites that transform into each other, but also with beginnings and ends that change into their opposites in a never-ending cycle of life.

Health is Wealth

The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around…. Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing.
~Larry Dossey

The founder of macrobiotics, George Ohsawa, said that it is very easy to cure a disease with macrobiotics, but it is much more difficult to cure the person. He meant that just by following the principles of macrobiotics and eating healthy foods, the person will cure her illness, but if she holds resistance in his body, she will go back to old habits and the dis-ease will return.

Let’s look at the underlying cause of dis-ease, which is the belief that you are separate from the whole. You must be willing to undergo a transformation on all levels for healing to occur. Because thought is the catalyst for action, it is a your thoughts that manifest dis-ease, and if these thoughts are not changed, you will continue to be stagnated.

Your thoughts have the power to affect your choice of food to eat. By managing limiting thoughts, you can make better choices in terms of food and lifestyle, change your eating habits, and achieve a healthy body. Eating energetically balanced foods strengthens your aura, which in turn helps you continue to manage your thoughts. In this way, healthy food is the foundation for spiritual thinking. For example, in Hinduism, those who meditate avoid eating garlic and onions, because these foods carry a certain energy which agitates the mind.

Energetically balanced food is important to keep your body strong to achieve all you want to accomplish. Your body is a tool, which will manifest your ideas, if you take care of it. If your body is healthy, your mind will be healthy, as well, since the energy of body, mind, and spirit are merged and influence each other. When your organs are healthy, your emotions will also be balanced. Spiritually speaking, food carries the essence of the universe, which nourishes you on many levels. When one level is imbalanced, it affects the other levels, and you become unable to function wholistically. Thus, you may see yourself as a victim, choosing to become dependent on others to make choices for you. However, when you are healthy, you can make decisions for yourself and participate in the growth of society.

Besides providing important nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for healthy organ and immune functions, the role of food in health is important in maintaining overall energetic balance of the body. Cooking is an alchemical process, so you can adjust your cooking styles to balance the constitution and condition of your body to prevent and recover from illness.

You can also eat according to the seasons, which imbue food with certain energetic qualities that nourish your energetic body. As each season unfolds, plants absorb the energy of the sun and environment. This seasonal energy is incorporated into the leaves, which is then transmuted into your aura when you eat them. Just as miso is aged for two complete summers to produce the full enzymatic activity necessary for fermentation, plants contain the activity of all the seasons.

Your energetic body is fluid and changing in response to the subtle frequencies of the universe. This energetic body manifests as your physical body. So, if your main channel of receiving universal energy is blocked, then growth of your body is stunted and illness develops. Healthy food and loving thoughts help unblock your meridians and nourish your main channel (spine), so that you can receive universal energy and live in harmony with nature.

When you forget or choose not to listen to your intuition, you rely on information from outside sources for guidance on your food choices. When your energy is out of alignment with nature, your body can become weak and vulnerable to attack from viruses and bacteria. But when you live in harmony with the environment, you can learn to listen to your intuition. An energetically balanced diet allows you to receive energy from the universe so that you can communicate with your inner guides. By listening to your intuition, you can regain health by eating foods that balance your constitution and condition and your immune system and organs clean up cancer-causing toxins and pathogens.

Your awareness of your Oneness with nature becomes clear when your universal antenna is open. Eating food that is balanced and avoiding extremes allows you to be grounded, while aligning our energies with that of the universe. By eating food that is clean of toxins that create stagnation, your body is able to receive universal energy to manifest health in the wholistic sense. This health and wholeness is true wealth, because it is not achieved through any material object.  So, remember to include some good old fashioned TLC in your cooking!

Keep Your Motor Running

When it comes to living a wholistic lifestyle, a change in diet is oftentimes the hardest part of the transformation. I know that sometimes nothing tastes better than a Big Mac, but our bodies naturally crave something much more nutritionally balanced than cheap meat topped off with random condiments and out-of-season vegetables. So if it is not enough for you to think of all of the advantages you can get by eating a better macrobiotic diet, think of all the disadvantages you can avoid by making some simple dietary adjustments and becoming one with nature and with yourself.

Creating Your Goals

As the creator of your life, you can design your vision as general or as specific as you like. Some people like to be in the flow with universal forces, accepting situations as they come, feeling grateful for the gifts they receive. These people are like reeds in water and bend with the current, moving in harmony with universal forces. Other people like to plan their life, taking an active role in creating their future, planting the seeds to harvest the fruit they wish to eat later.

In macrobiotics, the first approach is more yin in nature, passive and receptive. The latter approach is more yang in nature, active and direct. Since the universe is a balance of both approaches, I suggest making appropriate choices to create the life you want, while being open to unexpected gifts that come your way.

The following goal setting format is a general approach to creating your goals (this tool is also useful for New Year’s resolutions). If you want to get more specific with your vision, add some details like dates. Then visualize how you will feel when they magically appear.

Recipe for Success: New Life Goals Format

By Dave Cunningham, Front Runners LLC

  1. For each category below, consider the first things that come into your mind. Don’t question it or try to think it through. Just write it down (or ask someone to write as you speak). For some categories, you will immediately think of several goals. Again, just write them down (or dictate them to someone who will write them for you.

    New Life Categories

    • Physical
    • Spiritual
    • Mental
    • Emotional

    Optional Categories

    • Career
    • Relationship
    • Financial
    • Other
  2. After writing goals for the categories, go back and read through each one. Prioritize them. You may want edit them or add others or delete them altogether. Go ahead and do so.
  3. Finally, make a finished list of goals by category.
  4. Now make a sacred agreement with yourself that you will read them every day for two weeks or a month or whatever you are comfortable with. Then do it. Over the period of the year, you will think of re-reading your goals. When you do, do so. It will become less important, because the acts of writing them down and reading them regularly in the beginning (or January for New Year’s resolutions) will plant them in your mind and heart. You will effortlessly follow the path to achieving your goals.

To get the long term goals accomplished, you must do short term goals step-by-step in an organized fashion. Dividing the yearly goals into twelve monthly goals makes the vision less overwhelming and more attainable. When you surrender and release limiting thoughts and beliefs on the inside, you become open to the many opportunities on the outside that you were unable to see, because you were blind to them.

A Personal Note

Everybody has different needs in their lives, so your list may look quite different from someone else’s. When you try to determine your optional categories, think of what means the most to you. Is it playing with your children? Is it spending time in the garden? Is it trying new and different things? Whatever it is, add it to your list of optional categories. Only you can dictate your priorities, so make sure to include everything that is important to you.

Let’s reiterate these points by exploring two quotes by men who had a clear grasp on their life ambitions:

“There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity.”
~Douglas MacArthur 

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”
~
John F. Kennedy

I cannot stress the importance of opportunity enough, so it is a good thing that Douglas MacArthur and John F. Kennedy could!

Recipe for Success: Creating Your New Life

Create a recipe for your New Life in your journal. For each category, list your ingredients, which are the components you need to fulfill your vision. Then answer the following questions:

  1. How will you feel? Remember why you want this vision. What is your passion? Connect in with the essences of your feelings. What do you really want? Examples are Love, Freedom, Joy, and Peace.
  2. What thoughts and beliefs will you have when you live your new life category?
  3. What actions will you take?
  4. Every great person has a great team behind him or her handling the details. What team members do you need?
  5. What are you inspired to do right now to amp up your energy that will carry you forward?

Recipe for Success: Step-by-Step Guide to Monthly Goals

For each month, list the following for each new life category:

  1. What are your goals?
  2. What are your dates and time frames?
  3. What actions will you take to accomplish your goals?
  4. What is your progress so far?
  5. What are your limiting thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back?
  6. What you will allow Spirit to offer you? How you will allow Spirit to love you?
  7. What you will allow for yourself? How you will love yourself? (Connect with your Bliss Guide for the answer to this one.)
  8. Visualize yourself receiving the gifts in Technicolor.
  9. List the opportunities and positive evidence as they appear.
  10. Be grateful.

Actively participating in the creation of your life instead of reacting to what comes gives you more awareness of your own power as you follow your bliss. This trust of your intuition will become stronger everyday, and you will be better able to speak your truth and teach others to do the same. As each day begins, you will reflect on what your goals are and visualize yourself attaining them.

Because the mind does not distinguish whether the event is happening now or in the future, the emotions of gratitude that arise will create a flowing energy that manifests the event. The most important thing you need to improve your life is to remember that you are connected with the universe and to speak your truth, using your inner guidance. In this way, you can live a balanced life in peace and happiness.

Imagination Game

“It is our duty – as men and women – to behave as though limits to our ability do not exist. We are co-creators of the Universe.”
~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Do you remember as a child how fun it was to pretend? That fun doesn’t have to end. Even now you can tap into your imagination playground to create the life of your dreams. This is a fun exercise that will help you take control of your own life and bring your life’s screenplay to fruition.

Recipe for Success: Imagination Game

  • Close your eyes.
  • Relax and let go of tension.
  • Imagine a table in the middle of the room. On this table is a bright red round apple, wider at the top and narrower at the bottom.
  • Imagine that you reach out your hand and pick up the apple, feeling the heavy weight of it in your hands.
  • In your mind, touch the skin and feel the smooth, cool texture.
  • Bring the apple up to your mouth and take a bite.
  • Listen as you hear the crunch when you bite into the apple.
  • Feel your teeth break into the pulp, and taste the sweet, tart juice in your mouth.
  • Bring the apple up to your nose and smell the sweet, fresh aroma.
  • End the game by bringing your mind back to the present.

Once you are back in the present, stop and think about what you experienced. Then answer the following questions in your journal:

  1. Could you experience a whole body visualization of the apple in your mind?
  2. What emotions did you have?
  3. What thoughts did you have?
  4. Were you surprised at the experience? Is it what you expected?

Next, test your imagination skills even further. Try this game with a macrobiotic meal. Using your imagination, begin with the grains, move to the beans, and then end with the vegetables. Write your answers to all of these questions in your journal and keep them for future reflection.

If Shakespeare was right when he said that all the world is a stage, then your journal is like your official actor bio. Make your biography as clear, complete, and concise as you can so that you will be able to add to your spiritual credentials as the years go on.

Divine Pumpkin Custard Pie

Does your mouth water when you think of biting into a luscious pumpkin custard pie? Every Thanksgiving, I make this delectable dessert that entices guests back for more. Because I am so grateful for my friends, the secret ingredient in this divine pie is my loving intention to send them abundant blessings from the universe.

Divine Pumpkin Custard Pie

This recipe makes two delicious pies: one for your guests and one for yourself. Because it requires one day to set, make this recipe the day before serving. This is a creamy spicy filling.

Wet Ingredients:

2 cans pumpkin or 3 cups fresh cooked thick pumpkin puree (drain fresh cooked pumpkin several hours in cheesecloth until thick like canned pumpkin)
2 1/2 cups Eden Blend rice/soy milk
2 tablespoons molasses or barley malt syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup maple sugar
8 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt

2 pie crusts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk wet ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in another large bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend.
  3. Pour mixture into two pie crusts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Refrigerate overnight until set.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Autumn is in the Air

Food provides more than necessary nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals) for healthy organ and immune functions. In macrobiotics, food is also important in maintaining overall energetic balance of the body, mind, emotions, and spirit.

Macrobiotics basically is about living in harmony with the natural order. For example, as each season unfolds, plants adjust to the energy of their environment. I also harmonize with each season by adjusting cooking styles and eating seasonal, locally grown, energetically balanced foods.

Autumn is in the Air

Hope, Alaska

Autumn is a time of gathering the harvest and preparing for winter. Downward gathering, condensing energy of autumn manifests as rain, falling leaves, and cool crisp weather. Warming root stews, pressure cooked brown rice, and long cooked sautes are cooking styles I like to include in autumn.

One of my favorite autumn recipes is Curry Pumpkin Seed Sauce:

Curry Pumpkin Seed Sauce

1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons chickpea miso or sweet white miso
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup spring water

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Adjust thickness by adding more water.
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