March 28, 2012

"Keep It Simple, Stupid!" Jac

Without a doubt, that is my favorite quote from design school (coined by Kelly Johnson). All it takes to ruin a great design is complexity. I've found that this carries over into all areas of life. But today I want to talk about food.

Our bodies were not designed to tolerate counterfeit foodprocessed food. Food with all these additives, preservatives, and chemicals. Surprisingly, about 90% of food consumed in our country is just that. If our bodies can't break it down, it causes damage to tissues and organs. Is it any wonder that lethargy, digestive issues, weight problems, insulin resistance, heart disease, chronic illness, and cancer are continually on the rise!?

Our society is so caught up in the here and now. We are always on the move, always on the go, always in a rush. Everything has to be quick and easy. But look at what its doing to us! Is quick and easy really what it appears when its causing complications with health and vitality, and therefore, increasing our medical expenses?

What if we all took a step back and simplified our lives with food that compliments the incredible design of our digestive system!?

Eating alkaline foods is a great way to start. I expect you'll be seeing a post about this sometime in the near future, but for now here is a great site with an extensive acid-alkaline food chart, recipes and guide:

If you are only interested in the chart, click on "List of Alkaline Foods" underneath the image for the Alkaline Food Chart just off to the right (sidebar) of this blog.

Enjoy the beginnings of simplifying your life. I'm certainly not near perfect at it, but I'm learning everyday. And so far, it's been a very rewarding process!

March 26, 2012

What’s eating you?... by Jeri

I just finished watching “Hungry for Change”, which was the link that Jada posted on our Facebook page on Friday. I highly recommend this documentary to anyone who is suffering from degenerative disease, depression or who is under or over weight.

Growing up, my mom would always say, “you are what you eat”! It took years before I finally understood the full impact of that statement. Depression, hypoglycemia, weight gain and sleep apnea were just a few of the things my body was suffering from. I was in a state of dis-ease because of the crappy fuel I was feeding my body. The irony is, I thought I was eating healthy. I was paying special attention to the TV commercials and they were teaching me what was healthy! The sleep apnea was so bad that I stopped breathing 80 times in one hour during the sleep test. Also, during the day I would stop breathing multiple times. My body was in a state of degenerative dis-ease because it was not absorbing the much-needed nutrients to survive and I was irritable and grumpy. 

Several major defining moments lead me to drastically change my life and eating habits. I was not expecting what happened. Thirty-five pounds melted from my body and the sleep apnea and hypoglycemia symptoms disappeared.  I was happy and experiencing joy… the bad days had turned to great days and I learned to love myself!

In Hungry for Change, Dr. Christiane Northrup says: “The stronger your witness self gets, the healthier you get. As a doctor, let me tell you what self -love does; it improves your hearing and your eyesight, it lowers your blood pressure, it increases pulmonary function and cardiac output… If we had an epidemic of self -love, then our healthcare costs would go down dramatically.  This isn’t just some little… new age notion… this is hard core science!”

Science! Is the food you are putting into your body eating you? If so, maybe its time for change.

March 21, 2012

"Mother" Knows Best, or Does She?... by Jac

I enjoy movies, although, I'm extremely picky about them. Why waste my time with anything that doesn't leave me feeling like I want to be a better person? I love movies that create an intense emotional connection with application to real life—my real life—and have deep contemplative qualities.

Tangled is a real treat. I can't even tell you how many times I've watched it. But it only took me once to find the wondrous significance it holds to life.

You see, we are all like Rapunzel (you too, guys—of course, in a much more manly way). We are born with light and blessed with gifts and talents. We have been given all of the tools we could ever need—and more—to succeed in this life. Yet we each have a wicked "mother" holding us back, smothering our light and happiness, degrading, manipulating and destroying us, dragging us down, blinding us. These "mothers" are the chains of hell—whatever the form: a real person, a situation, a train of thought, or all of the above. 

Captivity stinks, but when we are there, we don't feel capable or worthy to be freed. And let's be honest, if those chains were broken, what then!? Change is scary sometimes, especially when we don't know what to expect. We get comfortable where we are at—even in an awful, deep, dark hole—because it's easier than breaking down our walls or coming down from our towers where we are vulnerable to the world, men with pointy teeth, and rhino's who trample us.

Once in a while, we get glimmers of hope or glimpses of something better. But then we get squashed again. And it hurts! So we fall back to where we think we are protected. The cycle repeats until eventually we feel hopeless. (What most of us know, but don't really understand, is that we are never completely broken. We are never unworthy of being rescued. It is never too late to rebel against "mother", to dream, to leave the tower and go see the lights! After all, the lights are meant for us—we who have lost our way, we who are living beneath our privileges.)

Then Flynn Rider comes along. He revives the light inside of us and we break out! But it's not easy. Our evil "mother" is always following us, reminding us that we are nothing, that we will only be safe if we return to her. And sometimes we do. And we pay for it dearly. With each return, the escape becomes more and more difficult, because "she" becomes more and more powerful and dangerous. "She" strikes blows in the most painful of places—the areas where we are most weak and vulnerable.

I've experienced the different stages of the life of Rapunzel. so my emotions run high. I hate with a passion anything that strangles light and goodness and tears people down. Tyranny angers me to the point of tears. 

Life is quite the adventure! We can't give up, my friends. We have to fight—always seeking for the light—doing whatever it takes. That is how lost princesses (and princes) are found!

There is much light and goodness in all of you. Let it out, Rapunzel! Let down your hair!

March 16, 2012

No Excuses... by Jada

We are all travelers on this journey called life.  Each individual experiences life in many different ways, with a myriad of personal beliefs and perceptions. 

What do you believe?  What do you perceive about your life, your journey?  

Do you feel justified, make no apologies for who or what you are today because of something that happened yesterday, in your past, something out of your control? 

What if all of that could change?

I love Carol Tuttle’s book, Remembering Wholeness.  In it she states, “One of the greatest powers in healing that we have is the ability to change our perception… We usually only have to make something a big deal if we want to be right more than we want to be happy.”

We are too tired to exercise, too busy to eat healthy, too offended to forgive, too damaged by a horrible childhood to take responsibility for adulthood. 

Sure, everyone has excuses.  A lot of us may have very valid excuses.  But, do we want to be RIGHT or do we want to be HAPPY?  What do you desire?

Dallin H. Oaks once said, “Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.  The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, our becoming.”

Now is the time to prioritize change.  No excuses.

March 15, 2012

Dear Friends,

The journey that leads people to zone balance therapy is as different as it is similar. Everyone has their own, very personal and individual stories, yet each has a desire to heal and be healed. For some, medical answers leave them feeling hopeless as loved ones suffer from seemingly incurable disease. Many are searching for relief and hope, others are suffering from unbearable depression and are looking for a spark of joy, and still others are answering a resounding call to be a tool in the hands of their creator to assist in healing. All are searching for answers and have been guided to the foot zone.

I love this quote: “Our ills are usually of our own begetting. They must be corrected by ourselves. Man is the master of his destiny, be it good or bad. Man has the inherent capacity to heal himself physically. A doctor may cleanse a wound, sew it up, bandage it well, but the natural power of the body must do the healing. Likewise, a healing process in the spirit and mind must come from within—from self-will. Others may help to cauterize the wound, suture it, and provide a clean proper environment for the healing, but the body, with the aid of the spirit, must heal itself.” —Spencer W. Kimball

It is wonderful when we come to the realization that healing is possible on many different levels – not only for ourselves, but for our families and friends.

I am so excited to teach spring classes for We Do Feet Seminars, which are beginning March 29th and 30th in the Idaho Falls, Rigby, and Rexburg area. The distinctive foot zone balance technique taught by We Do Feet has changed my life and has brought wonderful healing benefits to my family and clients. The method is unique in many ways and the curriculum is unlike any other. Continuing education is not necessary because upon graduation from We Do Feet Seminars, students know the entire zone and feel confident in practicing this amazing modality. In addition, once the course has been paid for and completed graduates are welcome to audit any class from any instructor at any time at no additional charge.

If you or anyone you know would benefit from Zone Balance Therapy or We Do Feet Seminars, please contact one of us. (You can find our contact info by clicking on the "contact us" tab on this blog.)



March 14, 2012

Teeter-Totters are Hard Core! by Jac

I woke up the other day thinking about teeter-totters! It brought back some great memories and even made me laugh out loud. 

I remember three old teeter-totters behind my now non-existent elementary school. We'd play on them ALL the time after school before making the trek home. We liked to see how long we could balance without one of us touching the ground. Then, we'd bounce up and down, like normal well-behaved children do... and then, unexpectedly, I'd push off with all the power I could muster up in my skinny little legs and send my poor buddy's side crashing forcefully to the ground. Suddenly, it was war!! We'd giggle like crazy as we kept pushing off harder and harder. One plummeting to the ground, the other holding on for dear life to prevent being catapulted into the sky to rest with the stars.

It's important to remember the power of force when it comes to balancing your life and striving for your goals. Pace yourself—pushing too hard, forcing things, and/or trying to jump straight to the top can cause instabilities that could, potentially, harm the goal. It puts all involved in danger of crashing down hard. And if you're the one on top, that's going to be one nasty fall. 

Determine your priorities. Do first things first. And take it one step at a time.

March 7, 2012

Give Up Control to Gain Control... by Jac

Control: the ability to manage successfully and competently; a means of limiting or regulating.

I'll admit it. Sometimes… (ok, maybe a lot of times…) I'm a control freak. If you read my last post, you'll remember that once upon a time, as a six-year-old, I chose to stop feeling. I had to be in complete control of my emotions for fear of becoming a volatile and vulnerable human being. 

I found myself a lovely mask to wear. I became a perfectionist and a straight A student. I found that if I kept myself busy making sure to do everything just right, I'd not only avoid dealing with things, but I'd also evade any confrontation.

My first grade school year concluded with an experience that put a weird twist on control. It was Field Day—I'd been looking forward to it all year! I was the second fastest runner in my grade, next to my buddy Brad, and I couldn't wait to participate in all the fun and games. And it was all fun and games. Until… the high jump. 

Mrs. Pole* held one end of the rope. And Miss Poles* held the other end. At the beginning of each round, they would raise the rope a little bit higher. Casey and I had beat everyone else out of the competition. He'd clear the rope, then I'd clear the rope. And on and on and on. And on and on. Pole and Poles got sick of the game, so they raised the rope in the middle of my jump. I got all tripped up and fell on my face. I was completely humiliated.

Twenty years later I began to wonder why I was quite good at many things, but not excellent at anything. And why did I tell my parents I didn't want to be valedictorian in high school and then make sure I had enough A minuses to seal the deal?

I began to understand that this childhood experience had taught me a new way to control my life: self-sabotage. I became the perfectionist that kept herself short of perfect to prevent someone else from forcing her into a less than perfect state, thus humiliating her in the process. Not that anyone could ever really be perfect anyway.

After all these years, I've finally learned that my being in control is actually being out of control. For example, my excessive control of emotion left me unable to feel emotion—even the good ones! It's been a long road back and I've still got a hefty distance to travel. Also, my need to perform well enough to always be only second best has held me back from countless great opportunities in life. 

As I strive to give up control, I find myself better able to manage my life successfully and competently. Allowing myself to feel pain and fear is what brings me back to myself and generates power for greater love and happiness. Let go and let God.

*Names have been changed

March 5, 2012

Healing Comes... by Jeri

It was December 21, 1997, the darkest day of my life, the day that I had decided with finality that I would not live to see February. I was in the depths of depression and did not have the ability to shake off the despair. I would wait until after the holidays so I wouldn’t ruin the happy holiday memories for my family, then I would drive to a remote place by the Snake River. Someone would find the car, but they wouldn’t easily find me. I didn’t want my family to see me that way… maybe they would never find my remains and that was okay.

Such were my thoughts that cold December morning. I remember lying in bed feeling helpless. It was the Sabbath and I needed to put the finishing touches on my church lesson, but I could not drag myself out of bed. I felt like a 50 pound weight was sitting on my chest. My face was wet with tears and I couldn’t stop crying. I was devoid of hope.

Even though at this point I was angry at God because I felt he was much too busy for me, I cried out, “Heavenly Father, help me!” In that brief moment of divine intervention I realized my healing belonged to me. I could continue to believe in a hopeless “no cure” diagnosis and a life of despair or I could find my joy. I chose joy and began to change my mindset, which greatly improved my outlook on life.

When first diagnosed, my doctor explained how I had a chemical imbalance and I would need to take anti-depressants for the rest of my life. I began searching for alternative ways to balance and heal my brain and body. Over the years I have tried many different things which have given me relief, such as serotonin, L-tryptophan and St. John’s Wart.

Interestingly enough, a major shift occurred when as a high school senior in 2005, my youngest son, Cameron, wrote a report on bipolar where he came across a “miracle cure” in “The Harvard Mental Health Letter,” April 2001. The following is taken from Cam’s report:

“For years doctors have believed that there is no cure for manic depression, however, a new breakthrough has been discovered. David Hardy, a biologist from Canada, custom-blended nutrients for cattle and hog feed. He noticed that pigs, like humans suffer from central nervous system disorders. He and a friend, Anthony Stephan, in an effort to keep Stephan’s bipolar son out of the hospital, tried hog feed on Stephan’s son Joseph. Since then they have formulated a special blend of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for bipolar patients, and claim dramatic results with this miracle cure. This gives hope to those who have suffered from manic depression illness and a dream of living a normal life.”

Could a “miracle cure” really be something as simple as nutrients? I tried EM Power Plus with great results. Other family members tried it with the same great results! I believe this product was instrumental in assisting my brain and body to balance and heal.

On different occasions I have shared my journey of healing. Often times I hear comments like, “this is my lot in life, I am supposed to suffer, and there is no cure for what I am going through…” the list goes on and on. It seems that some people are so certain that they are not meant to heal that they are unable to hear anything that might give them hope. Hearing comments like these makes me sad, because whatsoever one believes is their truth and they must live by their truth.

In the depths of despair I knew I could not do this alone and I cried out to my source of truth and light. I appealed for help and it was given in such a way that I never expected, but in a way which I needed most. I believe in a kind and loving Father in Heaven who wants us to experience joy while we are on this earth, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, through which all healing comes. I challenge you to seek the healing that is yours through a power greater than yourself.

March 2, 2012

If You Think You Knew Us Jada

By now, I am sure most of you are wondering why we would ever be so gutsy, brave, crazy, or whatever, enough to post our personal stories of mental illness for anyone to read. The fact is reading about the ugly side of depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder is very uncomfortable and difficult. If you do understand where we are coming from, it is more likely because of personal experience rather than hearing about it from someone you know. Posting our stories is like visiting a past life so long ago, it hardly seems like it happened, but it did. 

I realized something from Jac’s post. Each individual person in my family privately experienced the effects of mental illness. It turned us inward. Everything was about survival. We took life moment by moment, breath by breath. We each grasped to take control of a situation that was completely beyond our knowledge and power.

You must understand our life wasn’t all bad. When I was very young, I remember my mom always kept our home spotless. She cooked us wonderful meals, baked bread, sang to us and played with us. She was a wonderful mother.

I am the oldest of four children. My youngest brother was born weeks after my 8th birthday. I adored him to no end, but when he came home from the hospital, he brought with him an entirely different mother. I am sure she was overwhelmed with her situation…Getting used to having 3 children plus a new baby, and holding things together in her business, where she taught children singing and dancing. 

My 8 year-old self saw her mother, who was once full of ambition and love for life and her family, sink down into an unbearable despair. She would get angry very quickly and I didn’t understand why. I heard my mom cry, I heard her express thoughts of feeling crazy, and she didn’t understand why either. I am pretty sure this was before doctors even thought of post-partum depression as a diagnosis for new mothers.

One day, I went to school at the end of my 2nd grade year, literally terrified that she wouldn’t be there when I got home. She said she would probably be taken to the funny farm, where the crazy people went.

The day my mom started taking Prozac, was the day she fell asleep mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually for 10 years and my childhood ended. During that time she would cycle through ups and downs, her “PMS” symptoms out of control…no one knew just what to expect or how she would react. 

My role as the oldest daughter took on a different, however self-appointed, role. My job would be to make sure mom was happy, not to cause any rifts in the sand or waves in the water. I wasn’t always successful. We were all about surviving one day to the next and when I didn’t succeed at my self-imposed job, I took the failure very personally.

By the time I was in junior high, I was stressed out, struggled to find my place with friends, and attempted to keep up with my responsibilities at home. I was given an assignment to do a research paper in my favorite 9th grade class. I wanted it to be perfect, but perfect wasn’t in the cards. 

I experienced my first full blown catatonic anxiety attack the night before it was due. My parents were very concerned about my state of mind and set up an appointment to see a counselor, who taught me coping strategies. I learned very quickly that if I gave the right answers to the counselor’s questions, I wouldn’t have to keep going back.  Counseling was for crazy people. I didn’t want to be THAT person.  It was mortifying! 

I learned to fake my way through every day. I put on my happy face at school, at church, and with my friends. I was the good girl, not wanting to cause problems, so I did what was expected of me. I held everything together the very best I could, careful not to express what was really happening inside of me. And then, it would explode out of me at home, in full blown panic, usually after an altercation with my mom. I felt completely out of control, but at the same time completely in control in the safety net of non-responsiveness. It was the only time I didn’t have to keep it together because I had already lost it.

Graduating from High School and going to college meant an escape from my life into a new world where I didn’t have to worry about my crazy mother or take care of my younger siblings. I promised myself and my parents that I would NEVER return home. I always did, out of necessity, but I stretched it out as far as possible, calling home only when I needed groceries or couldn’t afford to do my laundry.  

I felt that it was a good thing for me to be away, not only for me, but my mom too. It was about this time that my mom had enough of her medicated slumber through life. It was getting to be way too much for her to bear. 

Mental illness is in our past. Do we have our bad days? Yes, of course, we do. But, we are healing. We are healing together. We now have the knowledge to take control of this once hopeless situation and hopefully, help others awaken the healing power within them.