Archive for March, 2011

Webinar “Wu Wei – when to act and when not to act”

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Date:
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 – 16:00 – 17:00
Presenter:
Randine Lewis, Ph.D., L.Ac.,FABORM
info: http://medigogy.com/tv/wu-wei-when-act-and-when-not-act

Being at one with the Tao, or the source of life itself, allows the expression of a state called Wu Wei ??, or spontaneous right action.

This effortless expression is one in which the paradoxes of doing and non-doing coexist. The spirit of existence moves through you in ways that are harmonious, and true to life.

Wu Wei can only be expressed through the experience of unity, or life as a whole, giving rise to spontaneous, natural, and effortless flow, in alignment with the whole of existence, now. One expression of this way of being is called, “Free and Easy Wandering”, also the name of a Chinese herbal formula that helps resolve internal resistance to life, and interestingly enough, hormonal imbalances.

Dr. Lewis’ revolutionary retreat work has helped countless individuals arrive at the fertile place of letting go to what is, allowing the source of life to express itself in the most fertile and harmonious way. She has helped couples overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to fertility by helping them arrive at the joyous state of opening to life itself.

Join Randine Lewis in an interactive webinar moderated with Lorne Brown on Wu Wei March 22nd, at 4 p.m. PST; 7 p.m. EST

past archived webinars by Randine Lewis – http://www.medigogy.com/info/randine-lewis

Wu Wei – When to Act and When Not to Act?

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Being at one with the Tao, or the source of life itself, allows the expression of a state called Wu Wei ??, or spontaneous right action.

As the planets move effortlessly around the sun, we find our alignment with life itself. From this state, we are more fertile, more at ease, receptive, and without stress.

This effortless expression is one in which the paradoxes of doing and non-doing coexist. The spirit of existence moves through you in ways that are harmonious, and true to life.

Wu Wei can only be expressed through the experience of unity, or life as a whole, giving rise to spontaneous, natural, and effortless flow, in alignment with the whole of existence, now. One expression of this way of being is called, “Free and Easy Wandering”, also the name of a Chinese herbal formula that helps resolve internal resistance to life, and interestingly enough, hormonal imbalances.

I recently worked with a couple who came to retreat and then had an individual session with me. The husband had extensive urologic workups where the doctors revealed his sperm count, although normal, had a high percentage of abnormally shaped sperm, and told them they would have to IVF with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injections). The woman was in her late thirties and had some luteal phase issues as well. They were urged not to hesitate because of her age. Of course they were shaken. But thankfully, the couple waited. Something about the interaction didn’t feel right, and they chose not to act out of fear and desperation. Instead they sought out ways to address their issues naturally. Within less than a month, his sperm issues had resolved themselves completely, naturally, without any intervention.

The Fertile Soul’s revolutionary retreat work has helped countless individuals arrive at the fertile place of letting go to what is, allowing the source of life to express itself in the most fertile and harmonious way. We have helped couples overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to fertility by helping them arrive at the joyous state of opening to life itself.

Dr. Lewis will be hosting an interactive webinar on Wu Wei March 22nd on Medigogy:

Discovering Our Pure Potential Later in Life

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

One of the greatest gifts of The Fertile Soul process has been helping women, regardless of where they lay in the reproductive aging process, to access their life potential. The key is meeting them where they are.

Thousands of years ago, Chinese medicine recognized that a woman’s reproductive life span began at approximately age 14 (now it is earlier), when the life giving powers of the heart endowed the womb with the ability to bring forth life. It was also recognized that at approximately age 49 (today it is later), the essence is returned to the heart, and although a woman is no longer able to bear children, her maternal energy strengthens in this return, and is offered to the world. Menopause is seen as a revered transition because of its power. As the reproductive essence declines, the spirit of the heart increases. When a woman in her later reproductive years is challenged to bring forth life, we have to address her spirit more than tending just to her body.

Denise was a spirit filled woman who came to a Fertile Soul retreat in her late forties, when Western reproductive medicine told her she was too old. Immediately on meeting Denise, I knew she was one who would not be held back by medical beliefs and limiting paradigms. This was her strength, which I like to maximize, rather than trying to “fix” the limitations of the paradigm in which one does not necessarily fit. She returned to her home in Africa, and within a year was pregnant naturally. Nine months later Denise gave birth to a healthy son.

The process of honoring the heart, the true healer, is not just to be true to oneself; but also to move past the limitations of fear and worldly beliefs, and into the full expression of a spirit filled life. Denise became a mother toward the end of her fifth decade. Her music career took off. Her passion is being lived. I am so inspired by Denise; I wanted to share an article that was written about her.

Live according to the truth of your heart. Don’t let anything or anyone else hold you back. You have one life to live, and this is it!

Honoring Our Inner Wisdom

Friday, March 11th, 2011

My fifth grade daughter can fit into my shoes now. Much more developed than I was at her age, Kyra’s ten year old body is already getting curvy, and I can sense that she is nearing her transition into puberty. I recently came home from one of my “Fertile Soul” retreats to find her doing nightly sit-ups. I was appalled that she was already trying to hide the tiny bulge of her developing belly. I had to re-teach her, just as I teach my patients, that our female bellies are supposed to be fuller, and weren’t meant to be flat like men’s stomachs. I had to teach her how to breathe into her belly again, which she had innately known from her first breath until she and her friends started to stick out their chests, suck in their stomachs, and model themselves after their Brittany Spears-like roll models.

Not that my role models were all that voluptuous either; remember Twiggy? We baby boomers were so detached from our female essence that we couldn’t accept our inherent femaleness, either. We became depressed when we couldn’t reach the outward appearance to which we aspired; we developed fibroids, endometriosis, infertility, and eating disorders. I remember the day I got my first period. I saw red and after the initial panic subsided, I cried, stuffed some toilet paper in, and pretended it didn’t happen. I knew this meant I was becoming a woman, and I wasn’t ready to enter the shameful world of breasts, bellies, and hips. I exercised more, ate less, and still my body defied my attempts to control it and developed ever so slightly more. I could only cope with my new maturity by acting sexual; not at all in line with my Scandinavian Lutheran upbringing. Add a little more shame, poor diet, cigarettes, alcohol, and the stress of medical school, and voila – premature ovarian failure. My body turned against my own reproductive system. I treat many women like myself, with endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, fibroid tumors, and a multitude of hormonal and emotional issues which prevent the full expression of their fertility.

Perhaps how we view ourselves as women needs to change so that our reproductive health can improve. In a recent Calvin Klein add, you almost can’t tell the gender difference between the emaciated female model and her male counterpart. What happened to the days when women celebrated their reproductive coming of age? I am reminded of the Renaissance paintings picturing naked large bellied, large hipped women surrounded by cherubs, and I’m certain those models didn’t cry when they first saw their own blood. There was a time when our menstruation was celebrated as the root of all life. It was precisely a woman’s reproductive essence that made her so powerful; in fact, according to The TaoTe Ching,

“The Doorway of the Mysterious Female is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang.”

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the first menstruation is seen as a gift from the heart which houses our spirit, to the uterus. The gift that pronounces, “You have entered sacred womanhood. Your body is now in tune with the tides of the moon, and with nature. You may now produce life.” A woman who received these messages respected herself and honored her childbearing potential. She took care of her reproductive essence. She listened to the deeper messages of her body: how much sleep she required, what kind of foods her body needed, and how she was to express her spirit in the world. When her childbearing years were over, the uterus bestowed its gift of life blood back to the heart. Menopause represented a transition into a woman’s wisdom, when she became revered by society.

TCM views the body, mind, and spirit as inseparable from each other, and ultimately from nature. As a part of the natural world, we abide by the same laws as the rest of the living universe. Just as atoms consist of protons and electrons, everything else is composed of opposing positive and negative forces, yin and yang. Yin energies are feminine – quiet, subdued, dark, and internal. Yang energies are masculine – loud, bright, energetic, and external. Neither yin nor yang is preferable, yet in our society the yang attributes are accorded far more worth. We are not encouraged to go within and care for ourselves. Melancholy moods are not allowed, and a sense of quiet is rarely achieved. Most women’s physiologies desire a time of rest and turning within every month. Yet we are rewarded for pretending we don’t menstruate. Use a tampon, take a Midol, and go to work. In fact, then go grocery shopping, and then to the gym. Make dinner afterwards, too. Our lifestyles scream for a break. Yet we are encouraged to go, go, go; beyond stress, beyond fatigue, beyond our inner sense of knowing. We have become too yang, and this has created a disparity in our health and in the world. The physical consequences of this imbalance cause us to enter puberty earlier, develop endocrine ailments, fertility disorders, and psychic conflicts all through our reproductive lives.

The demands of our externally focused, fast paced lifestyle don’t encourage us to live or eat healthfully, which underlies the development of most modern day disorders. Our bodies begin by sending us subtle signals like migraine headaches and back spasms, and when we don’t pay attention to the faint messages, they will become more obvious, like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Chinese medicine views diet as the foundation of our health and well-being. Yet most of us in the West devour a quick snack for taste and instant energy; not for what our bodies truly need. Most of us know what our bodies need; we just haven’t been encouraged to pay attention. We are too frantic to listen to our internal messages. A cup of coffee and a donut is easier than a spinach omelet with a side of fruit. Yet knowledge about health isn’t limited to ancient Chinese secrets; dietary wisdom is a part of our past, too. In fact, it is almost instinctual when we pay attention. Here are some examples:

- Our grandmothers recognized that Chicken soup was good for a cold. They knew our bodies became so depleted from fighting germs, that the bone marrow (from which blood cells are produced) deeply replenished our immunity.
- When we have a sore throat we are inherently drawn to warm liquids like hot lemon with honey.
- Warm milk before bed contains L-tryptophan, which helps us to relax and sleep better.
- People with liver disease develop an aversion to fried foods. The body knows that the liver is under stress, and can’t break down fats.

We all have access to dietary insight when we listen to the deeper parts of our beings that truly know what we need. At our retreats, women are guided to reestablish their mind-body communication and tune in to their deeper wisdom; improving their fertility, general health, and emotional well-being.

I choose to pay attention to the wisdom of my ancestors and change the patterns of the messages that aren’t congruent with health. Kyra is learning to eat when she is hungry, and to pay attention to what her body truly needs. And when she gets her period, we are going to celebrate. We will buy fancy red underwear; we will go outside to look at the sky and see what phase the moon is in; I will teach her to rest, and to honor the needs of her sacred body.

Relax and Open Up to Limitless Abundance!

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Are you ready to receive?
I don’t mean can you accept a new handbag or a compliment, but are you really ready to receive into the depths of your being? Just imagine what life would be like if, within your deepest self, all you would have to do is recognize your own perfection to receive your heart’s greatest desire. Did you know that it is your very nature to receive; that unlimited abundance has been yours all along? Sink into the part of you that thrived as an infant, just absorbing food, taking in swaddling comfort and receiving love. That part still exists. Receptivity is at the core of your very being.

Are you ready to be healed?
I don’t mean can you take a pill or go a doctor; but can you acknowledge yourself as perfectly whole? The root word for heal is the same as for whole and holy. You were inherently created whole, capable of receiving the gift of healing that has been yours all along, if you can open up to the most powerful transformative process in creation, that of recognizing yourself as holy.

It is inherent within the female nature to be open and receptive. Yet our society has ingrained within us that we have to fight and struggle and crawl over the next gal to get what we want! I have been treating “infertile” women for many years now, and have found that their greatest impediment to conceiving is their own inability to open up to receive. They believe they are infertile, and must fight to get a baby before their time runs out. They panic into grasping for anything and everything outside themselves. They go from doctor to doctor, from mind/body clinic to in-vitro fertilization procedures, to donated eggs and sperm, ever finding their goal more elusive. One of my patients, Carrie, for example, went through 27 IVF procedures and nine cycles of donated eggs and never reached her goal. She was trying as hard as she could! When we discussed how this process was killing her, she said, “I’m really trying to let it go, but I can’t!” She spent over 2.2 million dollars, lost all her friends and pleasures in life, and developed an autoimmune disease, but didn’t know how to stop. She only knew how to try harder, and it was killing her.

Most of us just don’t know how to let go. We think it means giving up, and we won’t do that! Like Carrie, we have mastered the “how to” process of trying to get whatever material object we desire out of life. But true receiving involves more of a “how not to” process of releasing the tight grip that prevents accepting the gift – of a baby, of happiness, of joy, of abundance.

The process of receiving may not be easy, but it is simple. It is our very nature. The ground receives the seed and absorbs the rain. The little sprout bursts through and grows toward the sun. It receives from above and below, and just does what it was meant to do. It doesn’t try to grow; it just grows. Like a kitten, a puppy or a baby, it is our nature to receive and to grow. Then something happens and we start to struggle. We think we are going to lose the nurturing sustenance that has been there all along; we’ve just forgotten how to receive it.

The process of trying involves effort: holding the breath, sucking in the stomach and pushing out the chest, compressing us ever tighter internally, all in an attempt to get the prize. It is as if there are tight fists clenching from within, trying desperately to hold on, to force us one step closer to the goal. Physiologically this process forces our adrenal glands to dispatch stress hormones that actually prevent us from receiving. When we are in fight mode, the housekeeping functions of the parasympathetic nervous system shut down. Our breathing becomes shallow and ineffective. Our blood becomes acidic and inflammatory processes ensue to protect us from the internal conflict. The reproductive system screeches to a halt. It knows we can’t receive when we are struggling to “get” something. And it sets up internal protective mechanisms so that we won’t be able to receive. Just as animals in the wild won’t go into heat when they are under stress, nature knows that when we struggle, we cannot take in. We can’t absorb food or water, we can’t sleep, rest, or receive. We stop producing the feel good chemicals like beta-endorphins in our brain and serotonin in our gut. We feel bad. We’re worn out, our heart is strained, our blood pressure elevates. Our immune system falters, and we remain sick. We labor ever harder because we don’t know how not to.

The things that we cling to most fiercely close us off the most. When we feel we must fight for a child, we are actually preventing ourselves from receiving it. When we habitually tighten any body part, it becomes more and more dense until it can actually calcify, becoming like bone. This process of internal tightening has become second nature. We try to hold on to our figures, our appearance, our youth, our money, our spouses, our jobs, our status, our security, and our lives. We resist the natural processes of ebbing and flowing. We seek, grasp, hold tightly, and look for the next thing to seek, grasp, and hold. Western medicine recognizes that at least 70% of all disease can be directly related to this internal tension. I would say it’s at least 90%. But the good news is that as water dissolves minerals like salt, we can dissolve physical impediments by allowing ourselves to flow again.

I practice traditional Chinese medicine, which seeks balance so that the inherent life force can flow within our being, throughout our relationships, and in our interactions in the world. And this involves letting go of the processes that obstruct, or cut off the flow of our life force, or qi. You don’t need to understand the life force, and you don’t need to seek it, either. All it asks is recognition. I recall the story of the fish that was madly swimming around seeking the source of life. He sought out a wise old fish and asked him what the secret to the source of life was. The old fish, said,
“It’s water.”
“Where can I find this water?” asked the young fish. The old fish replied,
“Just recognize it. It is all around you. You are it.” The young fish pondered this for a moment, and said,
“That’s crazy. It makes no sense”, and he swam on in search of the source.

So how do we recognize what is at the core of our being and all around us, waiting to be received? We unclench. Here is the process: It’s a moment-by-moment recognition. Are you clenching or unclenching? Let’s practice.

(a) Clench: Make a tight fist. Close your teeth together, and tense your jaw. Look around and compare yourselves to others. See how different they are from you. Take small, smallow breaths as you recognize they have it better than you. Their stomachs are flatter than yours; hold yours tighter. At all costs, protect yourself, as you turn your thoughts to all you don’t have, but desire, to make yourselves more like them. Think about all you haven’t done at your job. Maybe you can stay later at the office tomorrow, or just worry about it tonight in bed. Can you feel what that does to your body?
(b) Unclench: Release your fists. Lay open your hands. Let your shoulders down. Close your eyes, Go within. Exhale. Feel the depths of your breaths as you let out your gut. If you quiet yourself enough, you may be able to hear the amazing sound of your own heart beating, with no involvement from you at all. It is a part of the miracle that you are. Now laugh, and notice the vibrations of the laughter. See if you can feel it in your fingers and toes. Dance like you’ve just been unleashed. You have been!

That’s it. If you choose to live by (b) above, don’t worry; it will not transform you from a high functioning Type A into a couch potato. All of your endeavors will actually require much less effort. You expend less energy as you function on a much higher level. As you unclench, you breathe deeper. Your sympathetic nervous system relaxes, and blood flows to oxygenate your entire body. You actually have more energy. Your hormones can balance themselves. Your digestive system can absorb nutrients, and your intestines can move. Chemicals of relaxation and pleasure are released in your brain and gut. You rest deeper, and can become more effective in all your pursuits.

As an ocean refuses no river, it is your nature to receive. As a river refuses no raindrop, it is your nature to accept the gifts of the universe. You become ever more abundant, and you don’t even have to try. The process involves recognizing the internal wisdom and allowing your inherent health to be released. You don’t have to try to be proficient and outline every page in this book, to adhere to a militant method, or to be worthy of letting go. You only have to recognize it and let it express itself. By going through the unclenching process in this book, you will experience a shift in the core of your being that will allow your cells to enliven with love. Joy and peace fill very cell in your body as you relax into the healing process. You open up to receive. A child. Abundance. All that is yours and has been yours all along!

INQUIRY FOR THE SOUL Parts 2-4

Friday, March 11th, 2011

PART II

Expand the energies of creation by visualizing either the color blue or in your pelvic cavity. Let it fill up your pelvic bowl and expand outside your physical body. Next, visualize your chest cavity expanding either through the color red. Circulate the two colors together through the breath, and see them merging at the center with a bright lavendar color. Visualize your heart and pelvis as expansive and feel them open to full receptivity.
As your heart opens, also open the area between your shoulder blades. Consciously communicate with the sense of the child that is to come to you. Open up your consciousness to experience what he or she might need from you, and ask yourself these questions for him or her:

Is there any work I need to do on myself before you are ready to come?

Are there any unresolved emotional issues or lessons that I need to resolve before I feel you are ready to come?

Is there any friction or discord in my life that I need to resolve before I can receive you?

What about my partner?

Is our professional or living situation conducive to your coming?

Do you feel accepted by me/us already?

Is our acceptance of you is limited in any way?

Do you feel we will still accept and love you fully if your life lessons have to do with physical, mental, or emotional limitations?

Is there a sense that we might have expectations of you that you might not be able to fulfill?

Do we see a vision of you that is not consistent with who you really are (gender, appearance)?

How may we best prepare for you and make you feel welcome in this life?

PART III

When you have successfully answered these questions and feel ready to create a contract with your incoming child, allow yourself to state out loud (in your own words) something to the effect of:

“I am ready and willing to accept my role in your upcoming incarnation, to help you learn your own life lessons, and to lead you to satisfy the destiny you are meant to fulfill. I agree to love you unconditionally as your mother/father”

PART IV

Exercises to perform at home: Microcosmic orbit – circulating essence from below and spirit from the heart. Calling in and opening up to the soul of the incarnating child.

Connection between the heart and the womb.
This inner connection must be present in order for life to ignite. There is a void at the center of the heart, and a void at the center of the uterus that connects life through a woman’s body. The heart contains the connection to all of spirit, the womb contains the deepest spark of the divine within.

The connection between parents – As the energetic potential of one combines with another, this cosmic uniting creates a new potential for the incarnating soul. The spiritual factors surrounding each parent and their energies together cannot be overemphasized. The sperm of the father contains his condensed essence, full not only of his familial genetic contribution, but his cellular beliefs, desires, and limitations. As well, the mother’s egg contains the essence of her, her foremothers, and their life energies. These essences combine to produce the qi which will direct the development into organs and meridians. Once this spark has been ignited, any unresolved issues of the parents will become issues that the child will have to overcome in his or her life. During pregnancy, the more conscious you can become of your own unresolved emotional obstructions, negative beliefs, and spiritual limitations, the more it will free up your child to rise to a higher potential.

Intention candle: Sit eye to eye with your partner. Each of you reach into the depth of yourself, and call on the place deep inside your dan tien that wishes to invite a new life to share with yours. Circulate the microcosmic orbit each within yourself. Each of you light a candle representing the light you would like to bring forth through a new life. Now bring the intention into the energy you share, and circulate the microcosmic orbits in each other, together. See a large infinity symbol uniting you, as you energetically open each other’s microcosmic orbits together, sharing into your deepest and highest energies. Open up your hearts, and see if you can bring in a third energy between you. Don’t force it, just open up to it. When the energy comes to a rest, open up the area between your shoulder blades.

Each of you take your candle and together light a new candle for the soul that you wish to draw in. Each of you may say a prayer of invitation to the child. At the end of your spiritual meditation, each of you blow out your partner’s candle. Together, blow out the candle of intention for your child, as if you are blowing a wind of invitation for him to come into your life.