Something to Ponder: Pomegranates

Dear readers,

Can you even believe that something as amazing as the pomegranate grows on this Earth?

Super high in antioxidants, pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits, offering us many health benefits!

Something to Ponder: Pomegranates!

 

Photo of pomegranates by Jonas Renner on Unsplash.

 

4 Helpful Tips for Looking for a New Doctor

Hello readers!

In today’s post I will share a bit about why I just did the search for a new doctor, and then I will share a few tips I gleaned in the process.

For the last five years (of 23 years) of living in Ashland, Oregon, I worked in a wonderful medical office, Morningstar Healing Arts, and I saw Howard Woodwind Morningstar MD, and his wife Sue Morningstar WHCNP (Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner), as my doctors. They were very caring people, and I got used to a high standard in terms of quality medical care.

So, last Fall, when I visited my new doctor here for the first time, I was pretty shocked by her demeanor. I will just call her “Dr. B” here because she has so many terrible reviews online that I don’t feel the need to do that. When Dr. B walked into the room, after curtly introducing herself, she asked me point-blank “Why are you here?” I replied that I was there for an annual exam, and I started sending her loving energies, hoping she would soften and be friendly to me. Well, that did not happen, and many months later, when I was reflecting on that visit, I thought that when she asked me that question, a good response would have been, “Actually, Dr. B, the question is, Why are YOU here, when you clearly are not good at this work!”

At the end of the appointment I scheduled my follow-up exam with her for one year later, and I was actually planning to give her another chance, but then I read the scathing reviews about her online, and several people said that they gave her a second chance and she still wasn’t nice!

So, when I started having lots of uncomfortable health issues again in the late Winter and early Spring, I did not have a doctor that I felt comfortable with, and I felt too sick and tired to look for a new doctor… Fast-forward to this month of July, and here is the background story on why I got motivated to look for a new doctor now…

In my ideal world, I would like to regularly sleep well, and have a normal, healthy body, and be able to do satisfying, financially successful work, and live in Sedona, Arizona. Well, none of that is happening in my current reality, and while I am doing my best to make the best of the situation I’m in, some days it is just really hard to accept that I am not living in my ideal world. Those days usually coincide with “bad” days, which typically come after “bad” nights.

It is possible that I am experiencing a relapse of Fibromyalgia (after I had been symptom-free for almost 3.5 years), but it is confusing because the symptoms are always changing and the aches keep moving around. At the moment I am feeling completely fed up with this frustrating body situation, thus I am motivated to go to a doctor. Hopefully the doctor can help me figure out why I feel so bad. If a diagnosis can be made, then hopefully I will learn whether or not it can be treated, and whether or not I’ll ever be able to work again. (I have been unemployed for 3 years and have been living as a boomeranger with my parents for the past 1.5 years.) Currently I cannot imagine being able to go to a job.

So! Here are a few tips if you find yourself also looking for a new doctor:

1. Read online reviews and/or talk to people who know the doctor.

2. Look at their photo if possible. You can really tell a lot about a person by gazing at their photo.

3. When you call their office and speak to the receptionist, ask questions about things that are important to you. If they don’t know the answers, ask them to go ask the doctor!

4. Consider typing up a list of your health issues and health goals to bring with you to the first appointment. Before writing the list, spend some time getting really clear about your health goals. While typing the list, be aware that you are sending a positive message to your body that you really care about it and you are going to do everything you can to help it be healthy.

Do you have any other tips to add to this list?
Do you love your current doctor, or are you looking for a new doctor now?

 

Photo* of sunset on the trail in Sedona, Arizona, taken by Teja in November 2018.

*If you are viewing this post in an email, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog where you can see the photo.

Soaked Oats: A Super Easy Breakfast Recipe

Are you looking for a healthy breakfast recipe? Did you know that oats have many health benefits?

High in antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber, oats are very good for your heart’s health, and can lower cholesterol as well as improve blood sugar control. And, if you eat a gluten-free diet, you can buy gluten-free oats.

Have you ever heard of eating soaked oats?

Yes, it is true. You do not have to spend any time cooking oats. Instead, you can soak your oats overnight. This saves a lot of time in the mornings! When my sons were little, I made them each a jar of soaked oats the night before, and in the morning when they were ready to eat, they simply opened their jars, stirred, and began eating.

So, for this recipe you will need an empty jar, oats, optional ingredients such as raisins and dates, and some pure filtered water. Sometime in the evening, as part of your bedtime routine, add ½ cup oats to the jar and top with any dried fruits you like (I prefer raisins and medjool dates), then add water until it covers the top of the dried fruits. Secure the lid tightly and sit on the counter. Then enjoy some sweet restorative sleep, with happy dreams…

In the morning, you can simply stir and eat out of the jar if you are like my sons… Or, you can pour your soaked oats into your favorite bowl. I prefer my bright red bowl! Next, sprinkle on cinnamon (I use a heaping ½ teaspoon), and any other spices you like, such as ginger powder, turmeric, or cardamom. Then add any nuts, seeds, or nut butters. I love walnuts and almond butter stirred into mine. And finally, if you have any fresh fruit or berries, you can add them also. I really love the soaked oats with strawberries and red grapes.

Before taking that first yummy bite, take a relaxing breath, cultivate gratitude for the blessing of having healthy food, and then eat mindfully. You might also consider doing a practice of offering the food to the Divine… to your concept of Something Greater, such as God, Nature, Source of All Love, or the Universe. I offer my food to Hanuman, who is an aspect of God in Hinduism. He represents Love, Devotion, Strength, and Positive Energy, so I invite those qualities to come into me through the food.

I hope you enjoy this super easy breakfast recipe! Please let me know how it goes… Who knows, it might just change your life!

Please buy organic food whenever possible, as it is best for your health and best for the environment.

Thank you for reading the StarFire Teja Blog!
I hope that these posts help you to happy up your life.

May All People Have Healthy Food and Pure Water.

 

Half-Way Through 2019: Goals Review Time!

Hello Dear Readers!

Can you even believe that we are already half-way through this year? And how is it going with the goals you set for 2019?

On January 1st, I set these goals for the New Year:

To be Happy, Healthy, Holy, Hopeful, and Helpful.

I actually did not try to make them all begin with the letter “H”… Those goals just came to me spontaneously, in that order, and they all just happened to begin with H… So here is my check-in about how my goals are going:

Happy: As the image with this post says, “I ❤ Happiness.” Years ago I bought a bunch of organic bananas that had a little oval sticker with that quote. I still have that tiny sticker, but it is too small to photograph, so I made this image… I recently suggested to WordPress that they include the featured photo in the emails, but since that isn’t happening yet, I’m attaching the image here again for those who are viewing this post by email…

IHeartHappiness_StarFireTeja

Anyhow, I would say that overall I am feeling much happier in 2019. It is a choice to be happy, and I definitely choose happiness… AND I do practices to keep happy-ing up, and when those practices are effective I write about them in blog posts and books to help you happy up also!

Healthy: Well, physically I look very healthy, and I do eat an organic, whole foods plant-based, gluten-free diet, as well as exercise and take care of my health on all levels… AND, for decades I have dealt with many strange ailments and aches and pains that come and go and move around. My symptoms lately seem like perhaps a Fibromyalgia flare-up, so soon I will be finding a new doctor to get evaluated… Thankfully, all of the practices that I do to happy up also help me to manage my emotional reactions to not feeling well physically. And, fortunately I have good days as well as bad days, so I am very grateful for the good days!

Holy: For many years on my spiritual journey, I straddled two worlds… In one world I wanted to be a nun, and in the other world I wanted to find prince charming. (Please read my favorite blog post ever about how I no longer have that desire for a partner: “Into the Fire.”) Now that I am just living in the one world as a nun, married to God and the Spiritual Life, I am relieved to no longer be searching for an earthly guy… AND, I’m still learning a lot about desires and attachments in the earthly realm! Just because I freed myself of one desire, did not mean that I freed myself of all desires! So even though I am doing many daily spiritual practices, I would not describe myself as being entirely pure and holy. I am doing my best and I am always challenging myself to grow more!

Hopeful: Recently I discovered a new hero, Thich Nhat Hanh, and I read his awesome book, Peace is Every Step, which I will be reviewing in a blog post soon. In that book he talks about how hope is necessary when we are having a hard time because it helps us to get through the difficulties… but then once we get through the challenges, hope is not enough for true happiness, because hope is for the future, whereas happiness is to be found in the present moment. That really resonated as truth for me, and I reflected on how I had set “Hopeful” as one of my 2019 goals because I was still living in what I call my decade of hardships (which began in March, 2009)… And so the first few months of 2019 I was struggling to keep hope alive in my mind and heart… But thankfully, in the past few months there has been a shift into feeling hopeful most of the time… So I think I can check this one off, and move on to living in the happy present moment!

Helpful: Due to the health issues mentioned above, I am not able to do all that I would like to do in terms of helping others… But, I am proud to say that this year I trained with a local hospice and I have been going out to visit with dying patients and their families. And I have been posting helpful blog articles… And I am getting ready to publish my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. (For more information, please read “Double Coffee Days Ahead.”)… So, I am being helpful in the ways that I can…

Thank you for reading my 2019 Goals Review!

How about you… How is it going with your goals for the year?

 

Happy Half-Way Through 2019 to Everyone!

 

 

Tree Meditation for Driving Madness

Crazy driving is not just for California anymore. Have you noticed an increase in aggressive driving where you live?

I am astounded by all of the speeding, running of red lights, and angry behaviors that I notice in other drivers. I have never understood getting so angry at a stranger who paused when the red light turned green. Perhaps she was distracted by something, or maybe her husband just died.

As I shared in my last post, “3 Ways to Transmute Anger into its Highest Vibrations,” anger can be detrimental to your health… So, if you drive often and you regularly get angry while driving, you are putting yourself at risk for many stress-related diseases. Starting now, commit to decreasing the anger that you feel when driving.

When you are driving, if you begin to feel angry, first cultivate the witness. Say to yourself, “some anger is passing through my system.” That will help you to bring some distance between yourself and the angry energy.

Next, visualize a tree. Choose a tree that is rather large and has a firm, sturdy trunk. See that tree in your mind’s eye, and think about how calm and strong that tree is… Also contemplate how patient and forgiving the tree is… Even if you cut down part of that tree, the rest of the tree will still give you shade… And no matter how badly you behave, that tree will still let you walk under it or sit against its trunk.

As you continue driving along, be strong and calm like your tree. Be patient and forgiving with the other drivers. When they make mistakes, think to yourself, “I wonder what kind of day he’s having? I wonder if he’s upset about something?” Cultivate these kind of compassionate thoughts as you drive.

There is rarely (if ever) a reason to get so angry driving that you raise your cortisol and put your health at risk. So… slow down, breathe, and do your tree meditation!

I hope this article was helpful to you or to someone you love.

May All Drivers Be Calm!
May All Drivers Be Healthy!