January 2015 Ask Dr. Gayle Column Lotus Guide
Q: When deciding on affirmations to achieve goals, do you think it’s better to be specific or general?
A: I used to think being open-ended, like “the right job” was the way to go. After researching global youth activism and viewpoints for a decade (with travel adventures), I focused on getting book contracts from publishers. After turning down four offers that included charging readers $100 for a hardback and other problems, I realized I needed to affirm good contracts. If you’re interested in global issues, I invite you to critique chapters. Email me, come by a Wednesday energy balancing, or participate in my Mind Power workshop at the Yoga Center of Chico. Check out the three book draft contents on https://globalyouthbook.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/global-youth-b…lease-critique.
Q: I’m bothered by the idea that if we just think positive and be affirmative all will be well. What about positive people who get cancer?
A: We attract opportunities to grow. Some of those challenges can be very difficult and often it takes repeats of core issues to really get the lesson. In terms of health issues, there’s always an interaction of genes and environment. Scientists discovered that which genes express is influenced by our health habits and emotions such as exposure to toxins like cigarettes or depression. Do an Internet search for epigenetics and read Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief. He points to the importance of unconscious beliefs and suggests how to change them. See www.brucelipton.com/resource/article/epigenetics and read about the connection of telomeres on longevity.
Q: I’m addicted to sugary soft drinks. How can I quit?
A: Substitute rather than just saying no to addictions and remember we often crave what we’re allergic to. Try mixing mineral water and fresh orange juice to duplicate the bubbly taste. I make a pot of herb tea, add almond or coconut milk and liquid stevia and sip on that throughout the day. When lab mice were given 25% added sugar to their diet, the females died at twice the rate of mice fed a standard diet and males were 25% less likely to reproduce. Read Dr. Andrew Weil’s website and “The People’s Pharmacy” site for more health information and learn about the harmful effects of sugar.
Q: I have so much to do that I worry when I’m trying to sleep at night. How can I sleep?
A: Dr. Andrew Weil suggests valerian and melatonin as remedies on his website.
Homeopathy sleep aids have no side effects and have been used effectively since the 19th century. Try the remedy called Café Cruda as homeopathy is based on the law of similars. Chico homeopath Marci Mearns suggests, “You may find relief with one of the “sleep” or “sleep & stress” combos from Hylands or Boiron. Keep in mind that selection of a helpful remedy may require a bit of trial and error, or consulting a professional. Homeopathy is a holistic system which, at its best, goes far beyond symptom relief to treat the root cause of a sleep disturbance.”
Acupuncturist Amy Dawson suggests avoid eating large meals at night because the insulin levels can lead to low blood sugar late at night that will wake you up. “Watch what protein you eat before bed. Too much of it (like red meat) can lead to alertness. Avoid stimulants like coffee and tea with caffeine after noon. Exercise! Americans tend to have a sedentary lifestyle. That, combined with stress, makes for a terrible night’s rest. Visit your local acupuncturist for a custom treatment and herbal formula to bring you body back to balance.” Sweet dreams!
Q: I can’t afford a lawyer to make a will but I want to be prepared. Suggestions?
A: Yes, Don Juan advised in Carlos Castaneda’s books to live as if death is over our left shoulders. Follow Nolo.com directions to do it yourself, but ideally you’ll set up a living trust so your heirs won’t have to do through probate.
Q: I’ve known my boyfriend for a long time although not very long as sweethearts. I need to know how he feels about me, as I’m unsure if we have a future. How should I proceed?
A: It’s not easy but I’d take it one day at a time to prevent him from feeling pressured, which makes any of us back off. Step back a little so he’ll come towards you. Ground and find your security within. Do Brain Gym exercises daily to maintain clear thinking and be centered. http://sspw.dpi.wi.gov/files/sspw/pdf/sascevanshandouts.pdf
Q: I’ve had numerous occasions where I was promised a job and moved to be near the job only to find it withdrawn. Should I keep trying?
A: If there’s a pattern in our relationships of any kind, it indicates a powerful unconscious expectation at work. My guess is your parents let you down as a child. Change your expectations starting with this visualization to activate what Einstein called subtle energy or quantum physicists call the quantum field. Imagine you have a beautiful Persian rug perpetually underneath your feet, always guarded at four corners by loyal Fu dogs, those fierce guardians of Chinese temples. Next time, get a written contract in place before you move and consider seeing a career-planning counselor.
Q: When I have conflicting inner voices telling me what to do, how do I know which is the right one to listen to?
A: Meditation and exercise can help quiet the chatter that blocks clarity. Sleep on a decision and wait until you feel calm and right. Read Voice Dialogue’s online descriptions of our subpersonalities so you’re aware of which ones are generating strong feelings that may be misleading, such as the inner critic or the inner child.
Q: I’ve read that life as we know it is an illusion, as the Buddhist say. It’s just a projection of consciousness, as portrayed in the Matrix films where reality is not what it seems. Do you agree?
A: Yes, but what matters is what we can do here and now, how we can expand our potential, be of service and enjoy the dimension we understand.
Q: Smoking is the only way I know to cope with my anger and frustration. Any way to quit?
A: Do daily exercise that includes feet pounding like walking to work out frustration and increase endorphins. Post photos of smoke-blackened lungs where you keep your cigarettes. Join a support group like those organized by the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking program and research success tips online.
Q: My boyfriend and I get along really well but he drinks daily and too much. What can I do?
A: Try telling him you love him and his body and don’t want to enable its destruction. Inform him of the toxic effects of heavy drinking and ask him how you can support him in finding an alternative to drinking. Go to AL Anon meetings to learn how others cope with the alcoholics in their families.
Q: My son was a professional athlete and he tries to give me advice like a football coach, which makes me feel defensive and angry. How can I get him to stop?
A: Say something like, “Oh, the football coach is talking. Please tell him to sit on the bench. I’d rather talk with the more understanding and empathetic you, your therapist sub-personality.”
Q: I’m really busy, like many people. How can I integrate spiritual awareness in my life?
A: Bless each meal with simple thanks to infuse chi into the food. If you have a garden, give thanks to the plant each time you harvest. Chant mantras as you do a routine activity like brush your hair. Give daily praise to the people and pets close to you. Listen to uplifting music like the soundtrack of Avatar. Let me know what you would add and I’ll share it with readers.
Q; My sister criticizes her husband, he retreats to long bike rides and she feels like he likes his bike more than her. How can I get her to cool the criticism?
A: Encourage them to take a communication class like Non-Violent Communication. He should speak up, saying, “I feel put down when you criticize how I clean up the kitchen.” Since pair bonding is based on the shared memory of good times, they should plan a fun couple event at least once a week and praise each other at least once a day.
Q: I don’t know how to deal with my third chakra’s “No! Don’t wanna!!” obstinacy, Nothing I’ve done seems to work to get me to spend the time necessary on a job search.
A: It’s like arm wrestling. Your adult self needs to discipline and assert itself over the resistant child. It comes with practice, just like building any muscle. Reward yourself for spending an hour a day on Monster, Craig’s List, Linked In, etc. Find a support buddy who is also changing a pattern and call each other to give encouragement. Read books like What Color is Your Parachute to approach your job search strategically.
Q: I’m overwhelmed by the clutter in my apartment, but I can’t seem to get to clearing it out. How can I get on top of it?
A: Set aside a half hour after dinner most days of the week to clear out one category of stuff, such as clothes or reading material. Label three big bags: trash, donate, and keep. Consider hiring a student to help you because then you’ll have to do the work. Tell yourself, “I’m the living human being, more powerful than inanimate stuff.” Invest in file cabinets for your files of paper work and shelves to keep organized and prevent generating piles of stuff.
Q: My boss is critical and just plain nasty; she makes comments about my work in front of other workers. How can I handle it?
A: I’d ask for a one-on-one meeting to evaluate your work where you ask her to give you criticism in private. Give her written examples of her oral critiques and ask her how she suggests that you react to them. If she has a supervisor, you may need to ask that question of that boss. A secure person probably wouldn’t engage in put downs, so try complementing her when she does something positive.