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Eat Well While Dining Out

All four elements were happening in equal measure – the cuisine, the wine, the service, and the overall ambiance. It taught me that dining could happen at a spiritual level.
~Charlie Trotter

Too many people just eat to consume calories. Try dining for a change.
~John Walters

Want to stick to your holistic meal plan and eat well while dining out? If you already eat vibrant, exciting foods that give you more energy, you may wonder what to eat when you’re out at parties. Even dining with family who may not understand your food choices can be frustrating.

So, what kinds of choices can you make from what’s being served on the table? Here are some things you can do to nurture your body and soul at parties:

1. Come out of the holistic closet

Here’s an opportunity to speak from your heart. Before you go to a party, tell your host that you are choosing healthier foods to eat at parties. Tell him or her about your new lifestyle and offer suggestions for substitutes, such as using whole grain bread for stuffing instead of white bread. It’s a chance for your host to incorporate healthier versions into the meal and learn more about healthier ways of eating. Often at gatherings, people will prefer the healthier version over the regular holiday fare.

2. Take a plate of food to share

Besides making sure you have something to eat, sharing a dish says, “I made this and it’s a part of my new lifestyle, and I’d love to have you try it.” People are open to new ways of eating, and they’re excited to try new foods. It’s a chance for you to share something of yourself in the spirit of the holidays.

3. Eat before you go

Sometimes bringing food is not an option, such as when you are eating at a restaurant. Having a bite to eat before you leave the house helps you eat less at the party and gives you more time to socialize, instead of worrying about what food to eat. This is a stress-free, healthier alternative to eating what will be served at the party.

Instead of being limited by food choices when dining out, you have many opportunities to eat well during the holidays. You can even become a catalyst for helping other people make healthier choices. You are a positive force for change; it all depends on the attitude you bring.

Nourishing the Spirit

This pleasure, appears as poison in the beginning but is like nectar in the end, comes by the grace of Self-knowledge.
~ Bhagavad Gita

Love is the energizing elixir of the universe, the cause and effect of all harmonies.
~Djalal ad-Din Rumi

How would you like to transform ordinary food into healing elixir Ambrosia? Like Greek gods and goddesses, you have the power to transform everyday food into nourishing nectar through the healing power of intention. More than its biological effects on the body, food contains divine essence, your source. A loving, meditative awareness of food, when consciously cultivated, becomes a bridge to Mother Nature, the Divine, the mystery that is life itself.

Spiritually imbued food is food that has been transmuted with loving, healing energy. Your thoughts and state of mind directly influence other living beings, such as soil, plants, and animals. Likewise, you can transfer energy within your own system into your food, changing it from one form to another.

Spiritual ceremonies (chanting, rituals, prayers, cooking) initiate this transformation of energy from one form to another. By viewing food preparation as a sacred ritual, you can use loving intention to improve the quality of food for healing. In his book Messages from Water, Japanese scientist Masuru Emoto had amazing results in his experiments on water. He discovered that water exposed to limiting thoughts deformed crystals, while water exposed to loving thoughts created beautiful crystals. Does this inspire you to set your loving intention before cooking?

Like a divine offering to the gods, food transformed by love provides nourishment for the spirit. So, when you sit down to eat, say a prayer to acknowledge the contribution of all living beings to the food: sun, wind, rain, soil, plants, farmers, animals, friends and family. After all, much love went into transforming your food into Ambrosia!

Cultivating Universal Energy

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.
~George Washington Carver

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
~Kahlil Gibran

Did you know the natural state of your heart when unblocked (no contractions or distractions) is unconditional love? Unconditional love radiates naturally throughout nature and the universe. Cultivating universal energy helps you open up this pathway of giving and receiving. Then unconditional love can shine from your heart naturally; the radiance of the sun mirrors the radiance of the open heart.

Reasons to cultivate universal energy:

  1. Good health
  2. More energy for deeper self-reflection
  3. To realize your unity with nature
  4. To clear away mental and emotional blockages that prevent you from realizing your source

Mother Nature is balanced. By connecting with her, you can rebalance yourself. Walking barefoot on the grass is a fun and easy way to do this. An acupressure point on the bottom of the foot, called Bubbling Well point (K1), is where you kiss the earth, give love, and receive vitality. (An alternative is shoes with leather or cotton soles to make a direct energy connection with Mother Earth.) By allowing your whole foot to embrace the earth, you become a natural conduit for universal energy. Can you feel a thread of energy traveling from the earth, through your body, to Heaven? Your body is where Heaven and Mother Earth join in you.

This flow of energy begins to accelerate throughout your body to open your heart. When you cultivate universal energy, your heart naturally opens in state of unconditional love. As natural radiance of heart begins to manifest, you connect more deeply with the Divine. How open is your heart today?

Cleansing Your Aura

Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.
~Gary Zukav

Today, people believe their thoughts are their own, quickly choosing words and speaking without showing proper respect to the spiritual origin of the thoughts. However, all thoughts are not your own; they are from the spiritual realm.

You transmit your thoughts into the universe like a radio signal. Other people can pick up these signals and react to your thoughts. You may even react to other people’s thoughts. If you are sensitive to other people’s thoughts, you may feel drained around someone whose aura (energy field) is heavy and dark. Cleansing your own aura can help you feel lighter and more receptive to universal energy.

Because your thoughts make up your energy field, you can keep your aura clear with positive thinking (affirmations). Choose your words carefully. Before you speak, feel those words in your heart and know they convey the truth. Then you can speak the words from your heart, allowing universal energy to flow through you.

If you come into contact with someone who has limiting thoughts, use sacred rituals to cleanse your aura:

1. Visualization

Close your eyes and imagine your aura becoming cleansed with showers of white light.

2. Burn Sage or Incense

Fire and smoke have cleansing power. They have the ability to alter the energetic field of a person or a space.

3. Spiritual Thought

Chanting, meditation, or prayers, which invoke your spiritual source, have the power to attract assistance in achieving your goal.

4. Loving Shield

Love heals all things, so imagine yourself surrounded by a protective loving shield.

5. Water

Water symbolizes new birth and change. It cleanses your energetic fields on all levels, recharging the mind, body, and spirit.

6. Nature

The easiest way to cleanse your aura and ground yourself is to connect with Mother Earth. Use natural elemental forces in food and plants to brighten the energy in a space.

7. Animals

Intuitively, animals can pick up your thoughts and emotions. With their unconditional love, they help bring you back to the present moment.

In your journal, make a list of inner and outer resources that help ground you when you feel tense. Inner resources may be meditation, humor, or prayer. Outer resources may be writing in a letter, listening to music, or taking a walk. Finally, write positive evidence that validates your ability to stay in your own energy. Remember, you’re a work in progress, so enjoy the journey!

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 Abundance

Some people believe that the love of money is the root of all evil, while others believe that money is the path to happiness. However, from a spiritual point of view, money just represents energy and the means for manifesting your ideas. When money is passed freely from person to person, this symbol of wealth engages universal forces to manifest mental images into physical form.

When you have issues with money, you create blockages in the energy flow. Your ideas do not materialize and you are unable to move forward. But when you believe you are abundant and money comes easily, you become the creator of your life and use money as a means to manifest your ideas. It is important to have universal energy flowing freely within you so you can give freely, knowing your own abundance is within you, and trusting that you are provided for.

Recipe for Success: Creating Abundance

Using these questions, create a recipe for what you desire in your journal:

  1. List your ingredients, which are the components you need to fulfill your vision.
  2. 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.
  3. What thoughts and beliefs will you have when you have it?
  4. Visualize what actions you will take when you have it. Remember to visualize in Technicolor, Techni-sound, Techni-everything.
  5. Every great person has a great team behind him or her handling the details. What team members do you need?
  6. What are you inspired to do right now to amp up your energy that will carry you forward?

Money is a symbol of abundance, energy that is flowing and circulating in your life. When you have lack thoughts and save (hoard) money, you indicate to Spirit that there is a barrier to opportunity and creativity. Inspiration cannot flow when you are hesitant to share wealth with Spirit and acknowledge your Oneness. The words “In God We Trust” had power when they were written by the fathers of our country, suggesting that money is backed by spiritual forces. The physical objects you desire are symbols of the spiritual abundance of Love, Joy, Freedom, and Peace that you are lacking in everyday life. When you desire physical wealth, your ego is seeking to find the happiness your higher self knows is already within you.

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.

Journal Break!

I’ve spoken a lot about the power of your journal, and now it’s time to take a break and make sure that you are keeping track of all your progress. This will help you immensely as you look back on how you started your spiritual journey and on how far you have come since you first started.

Use your journal to document three major elements of your life.

  1. Body
  2. Emotions
  3. Thoughts

This can help you discover areas in your life that you would like to change. Of course, this is your journal, so you can feel free to add in any other relevant areas of your life. Just be sure to write about the above three issues, though, because that is how you will really be able to document your progress.

Recipe for Success: Positive Evidence Journal

Develop your awareness of Spirit by writing positive evidence in a journal. Follow these simple steps:

  • In the morning, write your screenplay on the left page.
  • In the evening, write what happened during the day on the right hand page.
  • Remember to express gratitude for the abundant opportunities and blessings in your new life.

It is acceptable behavior in this society to put other people’s needs first, while sacrificing your own needs. Living within this norm, it is easy to set the intention for going to work and spending eight hours a day at the office, since people are often reluctant to set the intention to put their own needs first. Here are some hints for when you want to connect to your truth.

  1. First, listen to your inner voice, and then, set the intention to receive help from your Bliss Guide.
  2. Second, be as detailed as you can in the creation of your day. For instance, when you are planning your day, include the times you will do something and how long you plan on doing it. Include time for your passions. Be specific.
  3. Pretend that you are a secretary, making out the schedule for your boss. She is relying on you to plan out her day, minute by minute. She trusts you to create a day filled with important appointments as well as relaxation time (down time). You will find that not only will you will get more done, you will create the day that you want. You will live from your truth.
  4. Then visualize your day in Technicolor, Techni-smell, Techni-sound, Techni-everything!

Your thoughts and words have the power to create endless experiences. All it takes it your imagination and listening to your heart to be who you want to be. Have you ever envisioned your day and then lived it moment by moment, watching the drama play itself out? It’s almost like déjà vu, except that you created the day through visualization. When you have envisioned a scenario, it is as if it has already happened, because the spiritual world will manifest the desire into action. Now’s your chance, so live your life to the fullest!

Writing Your Screenplay

You are director and main character in your movie. Whatever you want to have happen will happen under your direction. All the world is your stage and the props and extras are waiting for your cue to perform the drama of your dreams. What message do you want to convey to your audience? What is the theme of the movie, your legacy that you want to leave behind for future generations?

Scripting is a useful tool to help you become clear about what you want. Scripting is a personal expression of your passion and sets up divine right timing to create a flow of energy straight to your door. When scripting, it is important to connect with the essences of your feelings and passion. This opens up communication with Spirit using Universal Language. There is no right or wrong way to script. I like to include gratitude and thanks for the gifts that are on their way to me. I also write in the present tense to emphasize that the gifts are already being given; it is up to me to be open to receiving them.

Recipe for Success: Writing Your Screenplay

Letter Format to Spirit

  • Date ___________
  • Dear Divine Team,
  • Write a divine incantation.
  • Begin in gratitude for your blessings.
  • Write your inner and outer intentions for today. The inner intentions focus on the spiritual essences (love, peace, joy, freedom) of how you want to feel on the inside. The outer intentions are what you want to intend on the outside.
  • Script your day. Begin with gratitude and focus on spiritual essences of how you want to feel. Use the present tense. Visualize your day in Technicolor.
  • Acknowledge Spirit in granting your gifts.
  • State that it is done.
  • Sign your name as if closing a letter.

Example of Screenplay

  • 1-5-10
  • Dear Divine Team,
  • Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
  • I begin in gratitude for my Divine Team, my Blessed Life, and my Abundance which overflows as Love and Light.
  • Today, my intention on the inside is to be open to Divine Inspiration and on the outside to connect with Higher Self in each person to meet, to have fun, and serve Humanity in the Highest Way possible.
  • I am so happy and grateful now that I am co-creating with Love a delicious macrobiotic meal. I am so happy and grateful now that my loved ones and I are connecting on the level of the Heart, and we are giving and receiving Love in the perfect amount. I am so happy and grateful for the Abundance of Life that is flowing to me.
  • In gratitude, I decree IT IS DONE. And SO IT IS. Amen.
  • In Love and Light, Julie S. Ong

Hollywood Feature

In Hollywood, every movie comes with a full production team. When it comes to your life, you have to play the leading actor, director, producer, and everything else. You get to set the lighting, design the set, pick the wardrobe, and choose your own props. Use all of these choices to your advantage! You’re playing by your rules to create the best life movie that you possibly can. So get out there and win yourself a metaphorical Emmy, because you certainly deserve it!

Unveiling Your Authentic Self

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
~William Shakespeare in Hamlet

Some people say that we must not be attached to our expectations. However, it is important to think about the end result, because the level of thought is how the visualization materializes. There is a difference between being attached to the end result and being focused on creating. Focusing on creating the goal with passion and emotion allows universal energies to flow, bringing about circumstances for the image to appear on the physical plane. But attachment to the goal with fear that it will not materialize creates suffering and blockages in the flow of universal energy through the energy centers of the body, called charkas. Focusing on what you desire rather than how it may appear moves you ahead with greater efficiency.

Move from holding onto the past to creating new opportunities and experiences in the present moment. Live from your true self, which knows no judgment and preconceived limitations. This your Life, and you are one with the Divine, living in the eternal present without boundaries of any kind.

There are four levels of living your truth. First, do what you can, setting aside the time and energy to create your dreams. Second, do what you must, performing the actions and priorities that define your life as you see it. Third, do what you love, following your calling and reason for living.  Finally, be Love, just resting in your being-ness as human being, not human doing. At the fourth level, you realize your true self and co-create with the universe. What is your passion? Passion drives your soul to choose your experience. If you determine what you are passionate about, you will have the motivation to see it manifested.

Actors have the great challenge of incorporating a role so well into their being that they become the part. They take on the core character and identity so well, in fact, that they think, feel, and behave as if they had been born for the role. People who live from their passion are open to universal energy, and thus integrate their power and confidence to manifest their dreams. To create your vision, you must take on the core character, the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, of your true identity. The first step is to unveil your authentic self.

Recipe for Success: Unveiling Your Authentic Self

Ask yourself these questions to help you uncover your Authentic Self. Remember to write your answers in your journal.

  1. What is your passion? If you had all the resources (money, time, etc.) in the world and could create anything with your life, what would you do?
  2. What is stopping you from living your life to the fullest now? What are your fears and limiting beliefs?
  3. What are your perceptions of who you are? What role are you playing now?
  4. What role do you want to play? Who is your role model? Tune in to the energy of the person. As if you were researching a role for a play, observe how your role model acts and lives. Take notes and pictures. Practice that person’s movements and dress in every detail.

Remember to follow the great Indian Guru Paramahansa Yogananda’s advice: “Do not take life’s experiences too seriously. Above all, do not let them hurt you, for in reality they are nothing but dream experiences. If circumstances are bad and you have to bear them, do not make them a part of yourself. Play your part in life, but never forget that it is only a role.” Now is your chance to let your true self shine. You are beautiful!

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