So You Caught A Cold? Here’s What I Do To Naturally Heal And Reconnect With My Body’s Needs

How to heal from a cold naturally and reconnect with your intuition

As I’m writing this words I’m still recovering from a cold.

What can I say, nothing sexy to talk about: my nose is running, my head feels like it weighs more than usual, and I can barely keep my eyes open.

On top of this I sometimes cough my lungs out making a sound similar to a gracious donkey. (What, who said donkeys can’t be gracious?)

Anyway, I’ve been observing myself carefully these last couple of days, since the first symptoms creeped in: from the moment it started with a sore throat and up to the current phase. 

My Take on Naturally Healing a Cold

In the last couple of years I’ve been consciously working on improving my natural immunity by avoiding any of the usual drugs: from the aspirin to the antibiotics.

So my approach to this is to take some vitamin C, eat garlic, ginger and onions, drink fresh juices and herbal tea, have salt baths and feet massages and rest as much as I can.

In the beginning, after my body has been used to the help of drugs it took me almost 2 weeks to fully recover, from which one week I would be totally out of order. 

Gradually this time has shortened and the intensity of the symptoms has lessened. 

Like today I took the day off from work but I was still able to to go out and get groceries to prepare my fresh juice and hot soup.

It’s more uncomfortable on the short term to deal with the regular colds this way, but on the long term the benefits are worth it. 

Now, on the side of the mind-body machinery and how the state of one influences the other, there is no better time to test this theory than in times of catching a cold. 

Using The Feeling Sick Days To Observe The Inner Dialogue

I used to get very sad and depressive the moment I started to feel sick.

This happened because I didn’t have the practice of meditation, of observing my thoughts, my emotions or my physical sensations as such, without identifying myself with them.

So I was constantly in the grip of the ever-changing moods and physical states.

Now, I’m not implying that an aching body and high temperature are something to make us jolly but we can observe our thoughts related to these aches and pains.

And by all means, if your state gets worse, go see a doctor, it might be something more serious than a common cold!

But if all you got is an ordinary cold, you can use these days to deepen the connection with your body and your intuition.

From my experience, this is a very good practice to develop mindfulness and re-connect with our unchanging core.

In times of physical unease observe without judgment or impatience what arrises in every moment. 

Like, instead of going:

“Oh shit, I am sick again and I have ALL this work to do! I can’t be sick now, I don’t have the time for this! I hate my body for failing on me again…etc.”

you could try this approach:

“I feel I have a sore throat and an aching body and my overall energy is very low. Although I do have loads of work, if I experience this it means that I have neglected some basic needs of my body and is time to honour them. Yes, it feels uncomfortable, but this is a normal phase of my body healing itself. I love and approve of myself even though I experience this cold.”

And then really give yourself the time to sit with yourself, resting and observing the miracle of your body healing and helping it as much as you can with natural remedies.

Anytime an unpleasant physical sensation arrises observe it, name it and let it be.

The best mantra in times of feeling like crap: “this too shall pass!” It works like a charm, but you have to be persistent.

I also like to remind myself of this joke: “The common cold is healed with treatment in 7 days, and without treatment in one week.”

Other Meanings of Catching a Cold

Our body is our gateway to our intuition and the more we become aware of its needs the more we can understand its signals.

If we have neglected ourselves and caught a cold it is usually a signal that we need to rest and spend time alone.

Cold is also said to be a sign of confusion, in some books that address the emotional causes of sickness. Thus having a cold gives us the break to sit and think things through. 

So if this applies to you it might help to do some free writing and just dump all the thoughts that go through your mind on paper. Who knows what answers might come out of that?

Wrapping it up:

If you want to deepen the connection with your body show respect for its natural healing mechanisms when you catch a cold.

Allow yourself to rest and help the healing process by eating less solid food, drinking loads of fresh juices and herbal tea, and taking natural remedies like garlic or ginger. 

And do not judge or reprimand yourself for getting sick.

Accept it and observe whatever happens in your body, reminding yourself that in a couple of days you’ll feel better.

Do this little mindfulness practice and you’ll deepen your connection with your body and your inner voice.

With all my love, 

Raluca

P.S. I am feeling a bit better now that I’ve shared this thoughts with you. Take care! 🙂 

 

 

Negative Emotions – Why You Should Not Repress Them and How To Use Them To Reconnect With Your Intuition – Part I – Anger

How to handle negative emotions - part 1

If you’ve been following the previous blog posts you should have a clear picture of what if feels like for you when you are in tune with your intuition, and also how it feels when your inner voice warns you that you are off-track

In today’s post we go in depth studying negative emotions and how to handle them so they can become a tool for your evolution. 

Forced Positive Thinking = Sugar Coating Your Shit Instead of Owning It

From my experience, especially in the last decades or so, there has been a lot of confusion around “positive thinking” and “positive psychology”, “visualisation” and so on. 

Many people got the idea that “if I just force my self to think positive I will be able to get over the anger” which to me sounds like hiding the garbage under the rug. 

At the other extreme are those who encourage expressing and manifesting your negative emotions in a controled and safe environment, like hitting pillows or a punching bag.

In extreme cases and for short periods of time, these approaches can help you. 

I experienced both of them, and yes, it feels good to hit a punching bag for a few minutes. And it’s helpful to repeat myself a soothing phrase when I feel I’m on the verge of acting out in a distructive way. 

But, for the long term, these approaches don’t work very well. They are OK solutions for short term situations, once you’re already in the grip of a disturbing emotion. 

But what if I told you there is another way? What if you can learn what these so called negative emotions are trying to tell you and then you can choose to act upon or not in a conscious manner?

How To Understand and Own Your Negative Emotions. First Step: Take The Elevator 

No, I’m not talking about a real elevator, but a metaphorical one. 

Lemme explain. In order to understand what your negative emotions are trying to tell you from the perspective of your soul, you need to step outside yourself.

Imagine you’re taking an elevator that gets you a few floors up. Are you there yet? Good. Now look down at the situation you’re in.  Tadaaa! you now have a bigger perspective on it. 

This bigger and higher perspective is essential to help you detach from the grip of any negative emotion. 

You don’t deny it or repress it, and you aren’t feeding it with energy neither. 

You just create a small gap or buffer which will allow you to take a conscious action. Another way of creating this buffer is to think of your negative emotions as guests. 

Second Step: Think of Your Negative Emotions as Guests in Your House.

You can choose wether you welcome them and give them food and water or even a glass of wine, or 

keep them outside your house and not give them any cookies.

Now that we know what we need to do in order to not totaly fall in the grip of our negative emotions, we can start studying them one by one. 

In this approach that I suggest you’ll try and descipher their hidden message from the perspective of your soul’s mission. 

Your Guest Today is Good Ol’ Fashioned Anger.

Anger comes in many forms in your house, and its basic function is to protect you from harm. 

How Does Anger Build Up On Itself Over and Over Again and Why?

Biologically, whenever you get angry your body releases stress hormones that keep you in the “fight or flight” state for hours, even after the event that triggered that state has passed. 

And with every new trigger that puts you again in a fighting mode, your body flushes a new wave of hormones into your blood stream to keep you ready to either fight or run the hell out of there. 

This basic system is what kept us alive in ancient times, when we were litterally facing death multiple times a day. 

The Primarly Function of Anger = Keep Us Safe From Harm

The problem in modern times is that even though a fight with our spouse or our boss, or someone  annoying us in traffic, are not life or death situations, our bodies respond with the same system, the ancient, reptilian brain, triggering the same stress hormones. 

And even though we don’t act upon our anger, but we feel it and repress it, annoying episode after another, inside our body we become cronically stressed. 

Because we are constantly, on a sub-conscious level, always in a “fight or flight” mode. 

We might not even realize this until the build up is so strong that we act in an disproportionate way to a minor fact. 

That’s how you get to see people shooting eachother or beating eachother up just because one crossed in front of the other in traffic. 

Along with the stress hormones build up, every angry re-action reenforces the synapses between the neurons that make you do A when B happens. 

Every Angry Re-Action Adds Another Brick In The Wall 

For example “you start yelling=A when your kid spills milk=B on your new shirt”. 

So every time you repeat this angry behaviour the connections between your neurons are getting stronger and bigger, they build the equivalent of a highway. 

So in time, because our brain loves shortcuts and doing things on autopilot, it will “force” you to adopt the same behaviour, over and over again. 

And in time you will become known as “an angry person”, one that “you never know when is going to blow up”. 

And You’ll End Up Feeling Like You Have No Other Choice But Being Angry

So this is the scientific explanation of how normal people become “angry” people, irrational beings who act out on every little thing that bothers them. 

The Buddhist teachings are calling this compulsive behaviour “karma”. 

It’s basically the same thing described by neuroscience in terms of synapes or connections between the neurons.

The “Compulsive Behaviour” Is What Karma Actually Is

So there’s nothing new under the sun! 

It amazes me how 2500 year old texts describe so accurately what modern science has just recently discovered. 

And this compulsive behaviour applies not only to disruptive emotions, like anger and dissatisfaction, but also to constructive ones, like joy and gratitude. So that’s the good news.

Back to anger now. In terms of your Soul’s wisdom, anger has the basic function to protect you from harm. Its basic message is “you are in danger, protect yourself!”. 

It acts just like your imune system: if a virus or a bacteria invades your body, your imune system will fight it and then it will keep a memory of it so anytime in the future it will instantly recognize it and attack it. 

It’s similar with your lymbic system, responsible to alert you and prepare you in case an outside threat appears: it will attach a strong emotion to that threat so you’ll easily recognize it and avoid it in the future. 

The thing with non-deadly threats, like a querrel, a smal traffic incident, someone bullying you when you were a kid, is that your lymbic system doesn’t really make the difference between these situations and the real life or death ones. 

And it reacts to all of these just like as if your life was in danger. 

Living in modern times represents a very small percentage in the evolution of our brain, whereas the ancient, reptilian one has been around for way longer. 

So it didn’t really have the time to come up with new, more subtle reactions, to make the difference between “a boss yelling at me” and “a tiger attacking me”. For your unconscious brain, these two situations are both enough reason to put you in a fight or flight mode. 

So what can we do? 

First, to learn these basic things about how the brain works, helps you understand a bit what happens in your body when you get in a potentially dangerous situation. 

Second is to get it that anger is almost always a cover up emotion or a secondary emotion, right after the fear of being hurt. 

Anger Is Always a Cover Up Emotion, Usually Hiding A Fear of Being Hurt

In most of the cases anger has multiple possible messages:

  1. warning, this person is going to hurt me 
  2. this person is abusing me
  3. this person has an impure intent even if she acts as if she’s trying to help me

In the obvious situations when someone is violent towards us then it’s easy to understand anger’s role: giving us energy to protect ourselves from the abuser.

In the more subtle situations, when a person acts like their good and nice and wanting to help, but we somehow have a nasty feeling inside and we don’t know why, it might happen because of that person’s impure intent. 

And if we ignore that feeling we might become even more irritated until we manifest anger and we do something to get away from that person.

To sum it up, be mindful that anger is almost never the primar emotion. 

Anger is the secondary one, usualy covering up a fear. 

I’ll give you another example. Even if you’re not a parent you can easily relate to this one. And maybe it will help you better understand your parents reactions every time your were late home when you were a teen 🙂

Let’s say your 15 year old daughter is out at a party with some friends. You agree that she comes home by 23 hours. You wait for her. It’s 23:10 and she’s not home yet. You wait a bit more, a bit anxious. 23:20 you pick up the phone to call her, and she doesn’t answer. 

A mix of feelings and thoughts go through your mind: you are worried “what if something happened?” and you get angry when you think that she’s doing this because she doesn’t respect you, she doesn’t care, she’s just a spoiled teenager and you’ll teach her a lesson when she gets home. 

You call her again and she still doesn’t answer. More worry mixed with anger, depending on the thoughts you feed in your mind. 

23:30 she finaly gets home, saying she’s sorry, there was a minor accident on the way, a car ran into her taxi, nothing serious but they had to stay there and solve the situation with the police and she forgot her phone at her friend’s house and that’s why she couldn’t warn you of being late.

Now, your initial emotion was that you were worried sick for her safety. The second emotion was anger because you didn’t know anything about her and because you assumed she was just acting like an irresponsible teen. 

Now that you’ve found out the truth and saw that she was O.K. you can let go of your anger and express your genuine worry and wish for her to be O.K.

Observe how your feelings change according to the thoughts you have. And untill you find out the truth you’re actually re-acting to an illusion, to a story that you tell yourself in your mind. 

You Can Choose Your Reactions If You Create a Buffer

Here’s where the power of a meditation practice, especially mindfulness exercises, can really help you. 

You learn to not believe or react to every thought you have and you create a buffer where you have the time to take a step back and decide what to believe and how to react. 

Without this buffer it’s impossible to choose how to act and you’re constantly in re-active state. 

You feel a compulsive urge to act in a certain way and think “that’s just the way I am, I’m just a type A person, there’s nothing I can do”. 

Well, that’s simply false! 

Just like you developed a bad habbit you can develop a healthy one: through practice. 

Meditation and Mindfulness Practice Helps You Create The Buffer

And just like with any other big shift that you’ve gone through in your life, there is no overnight magic pill or one big push that you can do and then pufff! You’ve transformed. Nope. 

It’s the small, baby steps that you choose to make every single day and every hour of your life that will take you there.

If you’ve ever trained for a marathon or an ultra-marathon you know what I’m talking about. 

Anyhow, this post is turning way too long. So I’ll stop here for now. 

I’ve gotten into all the details about what’s happening in your brain and in your body when you get angry because the processes are similar for any other emotion. 

The difference is in the type of hormones released and in the feeling good or feeling bad about experiencing them.

In the next post I’ll cover other emotions that we usually label as negative like jealousy, sadness, guilt, shame, resentment, greed from the perspective of their hidden message and how they can help you become more in tune with your inner voice. 

All my love, 

Raluca

P.S. Did you ever feel weird when someone asked for your help, and a part of you said “yeah, let’s help this person”, but another part of you was reluctant, feeling like “nope, they don’t really want my help?” Which part of you was right, in tune with your intuition?

What Is Intuition – 3 Practical Definitions According To Psychologists

What is intuition

“Intuition” – It is called in many ways…inner voice, gut feeling, the heart voice…it doesn’t matter how you call  it,  it matters how you use it.

The concept of “intuition” started to become “mainstream” after famous, successful, visionary people like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Oprah Winfrey have told the world that they’ve relied always on their intuition or “gut feeling”. 

But what is this inner guide that we all have and that is related to the heart or gut area of our physical body?

Is there an official, recognised definition of this invisible compass? 

What Is Intuition? 

From quotes of famous people to researchers in the fields of psychology and psychiatry or intuitive healers and authors, it seems everyone has their unique and different approach on intuition.

What I aim to do with this post is to give you the most relevant and  practical definitions of intuition that I found so you can use them in your own quest to become a better intuitive.

“Historically, psychologists have been reluctant to acknowledge intuition as a viable construct, often consigning it to the ‘fringes’ of the field of psychology, within the realms of parapsychology, telepathy and premonition, and equating it to esoteric and ‘New Age’ thinking.” (1)

Most of the times when I talk with people about intuition the most common associations are made with the grey areas of supernatural, unusual, esoteric realms of psychology.

One of my aims is to demystify this concept and its application in our real, ordinary, normal lives.

I am not denying the existence or the importance of these other areas of human psychology and abilities, but they are not the topic I am interested in right now and on this blog.

From this 30 pages study from the British Journal of Psychology (1) I’ve retained the definitions that I found most clear and helpful not only from a theoretical point of view but also from a practical one.

So, in order to make this easier to grasp, I will give you only 3 definitions as I found them in the study, and I will add my comments and reasons for which I’ve chosen them.

Definition#1

Jung (2)  A psychological function that unconsciously yet meaningfully transmits perceptions, explores the unknown, and senses possibilities which may not be readily apparent.

key words: unconsciously, meaningfully, unknown.

Definition#2

Miller and Ireland (3) Intuition can be conceptualised in two distinct ways: as holistic hunch and as automated expertise. Intuition as holistic hunch corresponds to judgment or choice made through a subconscious synthesis of information drawn from diverse experiences. Here, information stored in memory is subconsciously combined in complex ways to produce judgment or choice that feels right. ‘Gut feeling’ is often used to describe the final choice.

Intuition as automated expertise is less mystical, corresponding to recognition of a familiar situation and the straightforward but partially subconscious application of previous learning related to that situation. This form of intuition develops over time as relevant experience is accumulated in a particular domain.

key words: holistic hunch, subconscious, gut feeling, automated expertise, relevant experience.

From this definition I’ve found very helpful the distinction between the two types of intuition: one that is not specific and that is based on the memory of all our life experiences, and one that I would call the “expert” intuition, that develops in time with the experience in a certain domain.

Because we learn best through practice or practical examples, let me give some practical examples to better understand these two types of intuition.

#Intuition as holistic hunch

In this first category you might experience it as leaving a meeting 5 minutes earlier than planned and on the way you bump into an old friend that you wanted to talk to for a long time.

Or you might experience it as something apparently unpleasant, like a traffic jam or the bus that lives the second you get into the station only to realise later that because of that delay you have avoided being caught in an accident on the highway or being caught up in the elevator at home because of power outage.

This last one happened to me this summer.

And I realised that when you stay open and accepting what is even if it looks like something unpleasant or undesirable, and you stay out of judging and complaining, you understand the hidden gift later on.

And this can happen  minutes, hours, days or even years later, as Steve Jobs told us in his famous 2005 commencement speech at Stanford:

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

#Intuition as automated expertise

For this second type of intuition, the one that comes with years of experience in a certain domain, I will tell you the story of an old plumber called to fix a big ship’s heating system.

“On a big cruising ship there is a problem with the heating system. The captain calls in a team of specialists who make tests after tests with the help of modern, computer software tools.

But they can’t figure out what the problem is and how to fix it. Desperate to leave on time for the next cruise, the captain remembers the old engineer who have been taking care of the ship for all his life. and that was now retired. He called him in and asked for his help.

The old man comes in, gets his hammer out and starts pecking and listening to the sounds of the pipes. After 15 minutes of pecking and listening he hits a pipe 3 times in a certain place and the system starts working again. He than leaves and sends them the bill: 10.000 EUR.

Intrigued, the captain asks the old man why is he charging such a high price for only 15 minutes of work. Then the old man send a detailed bill: hammer – 10 EUR; knowing the exact place where to hit with it – 9990 EUR.”

Definition#3

Vaughan (4)  Knowing without being able to explain how we know. Intuitive experiences have four discrete levels of awareness:

1 – physical, which is associated with bodily sensations;

2 – emotional, where intuition enters into consciousness through feelings; that is, a vague sense that one is supposed to do something and instances of immediate liking or disliking with no apparent reason;

3 – mental, which comes into awareness through images or ‘inner vision’. This is an ability to come to accurate conclusions on the basis of insufficient information;

4 – spiritual, which is associated with mystical experience, a holistic understanding of actuality which surpasses rational ways of knowing.

key words: 4 levels, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual

From my experience, this last definition is the most helpful to understand how to actually use intuition in your everyday life.

In my workshops I help the participants to figure out the specific ways in which their intuition talks with them through their bodily sensations, their emotions and their thoughts.

This is the starting point for everyone interested in tuning in with and honing their intuition on a day to day, practical level.

Once you have a clear list of signs on all 3 levels than it’s much easier to develop to the next level, the spiritual one. But, as with any other skill, it takes time and practice.

In a future post, I will give you a practical exercise that you can do to figure out these signs on your own.

Wrapping – Up

In today’s post you’ve received 3 definitions of intuition to help you have a better and clearer understanding of this concept.

In the next one I will walk you through the differences between intuition and insight, revelation, creativity or instinct so you can easily distinguish which is which.

I will leave you with the words of Steve Jobs from the same 2005 speech, that I find truly inspiring:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Let me know in the comments if this post has helped you have a clearer view on intuition and how you have applied it. I would love to hear from you.

With all my love,

Raluca

P.S. As you’ve come to the end of this post exhale deeply and observe your body for a few moments. Enjoy your being-ness! 🙂

Resources

(1) British Journal of Psychology (2008), 99, 1-27, www.bpsjournals.co.uk

(2) Jung, C. G. (1933). Modern man in search of a soul. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, pp. 567–568

(3) Miller, C. C., & Ireland, R. D. (2005). Intuition in strategic decision making: Friend or foe in the fast- paced 21st century. Academy of Management Executive, 19, 19–30, p. 21.

(4) Vaughan, F. E. (1979). Awakening intuition. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, pp. 27-28.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html