A Look at the Seven Chakras

Did you know your body is made of ENERGY? And so is the universe and everything that is in it?

I tend to geek out when I read about the seven energy chakras in the body. At first, I thought that perhaps they were a little “trendy” or somehow “new age”. I even questioned if they were maybe ungodly, or anti-Chrisitan. But the more I have studied and learned, the more convinced I am that this is an essential part of how we are designed. Whether you believe in creation or evolution or something else, you really can’t argue that we don’t just have a physical body. There is also a non-physical part to us. I believe it’s an integral part of every human, and that there is an ultimate design for it all to work together. It’s fascinating!!

The word chakra literally translates to “wheel”. It symbolizes the spinning, rotating energy that’s inside of us, and there are seven main centers for it. They start at the base of your spine and run right up it to the top of your head. It’s important for these centers to be aligned and in sync for your PHYSICAL and EMOTIONAL health to be at their peak! When you are balanced, the chakras give the right amount of energy to the right place. When one, or more, are out of balance, they can be giving too much or too little, and your overall health may suffer.

For the next few weeks, we are going to look at the Seven Chakras-what each one is, how to tell if it’s balanced and functioning well, and suggestions for ways you can work on getting an unbalanced energy back into balance. Today, let’s look at the foundation of the chakras, the Root Chakra.

The Root Chakra is called Muladhara in the Sanskrit language. The translation of Muladhara is two part – Mula means “root” and Adhara means “base” or “support”. This 1st chakra is the foundation for all the others. If your foundation isn’t stable, what’s built on top of it will most likely have some issues. Muladhara is located at the base of your spine, where your tailbone is. The role of this chakra is to “ground” you to the earth. Another way to say it is that this chakra connects your body’s energy to the earth. It stabilizes you, provides you with security. The chakras are represented by the seven primary colors, and the Root is always represented by the color red

This chakra, when open and not blocked, flows energy that facilitates our everyday needs. These can be basic needs, like food, shelter, water, financial security and safety, and also emotional needs like feeling loved and free from fear.  For most of us, these are things that are necessary for survival.

When this chakra is BALANCED, you feel peaceful when you think of things like money or shelter or safety. You also feel very connected to being “human” and the experiences that go along with that in relationships.

This chakra gets a LOT of use in our day to day lives, so it’s easy for it to be overactive, which means a little too much energy flowing through it. An overactive Root Chakra feels like jitteriness and anxiety, or fear. Sometimes an overactive chakra will be shouting messages of survival to us when there isn’t really any danger or threat. This can show up physically as lower back pain, hip issues and ovarian cysts and prostate issues. We aren’t designed to be in a constant state of fear and anxiety.

So what can you do to tone down an overactive Root? First, it’s important to make sure your survival needs are met. Your Muladhara gives you the energy to do just that, so work with it to take care of those practical issues. Then you can turn to spiritual practices to help calm this chakra. Focusing on connecting spiritually through quiet times of prayer and meditation needs to be done daily. Make it a priority to keep your energy balanced and healthy. Finally, find some ways to volunteer, and spread kindness and compassion wherever you go. This helps to divert energy to some of the other chakras and bring your Root down to a more healthy level. 

Sometimes the energy in this chakra may be too low, not enough flowing through. This can happen when most of your needs have typically been easily met. When that’s the case, you may be prone to day dreaming, and people may describe you as “having your head in the clouds”.  This isn’t necessarily a serious issue, but remember that being connected and balanced in our chakras is important, so dealing with a sluggish Root is just as important as dealing with an overactive one.

If you need some revving up in this energy, get reconnected! The earth is the source of energy for Muladhara, so reconnect with it. Get outside and enjoy nature! Go for a hike, dig in the dirt, or take a dip in the ocean.

Plants in various forms have been known to be extremely helpful in keeping energies balanced. Consider eating root vegetables to help harmonize your Muladhara. Essential oils have also been found to be extremely helpful in either getting energies back in balance, or offering support to energies that currently ARE in balance. Oils like Patchouli, Cedarwood and Vetiver can help calm an anxious, overactive energy. Nutmeg and Rosemary will help to stimulate a sluggish one. Use Bergamot and Frankincense to support a balanced chakra. Diffusing is a great option for using oils to help balance, but you can also use them in a foot massage, or apply them directly to your tail bone.

Your Immune System

“You only believe in science. That’s probably why we never win.” – Nacho Libre

OK, for the sake of brevity let me set out some things that are core to my take on this:

  • I believe we are created
  • I believe our world was created for us
  • Therefore, I believe that natural, organic, “close to earth” living is always best

Our immune system is an incredibly complex firewall designed to keep us healthy. We literally are surrounded by harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses on a daily basis. This vast collection of cells and tissue vigilantly keep a look out for harmful invaders. Once a threat is identified an immediate response is put into action. Our body overcomes the adversary and stores what it learned in preparation for the next attack.

Per the National Institutes of Health “For most viral infections, treatments can only help with symptoms while you wait for your immune system to fight off the virus. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections. There are antiviral medicines to treat some viral infections. Vaccines can help prevent you from getting many viral diseases.” At best, it seems clear that science is attempting to improve on a very complex and efficient system without fully understanding it.

Vaccines do not kill viruses. They are intended to train the body how to recognize a virus, combat it and catalog that knowledge by introducing a weakened version of the virus, or specific molecules from it. The unintended consequences of vaccines are debated passionately. Some believe that vaccines are perfectly healthy while others profess a link to autism and the rise of autoimmune diseases. Regardless, we should all weigh the risk and reward of injecting foreign substances into our healthy bodies.

Antiviral medications attempt to reduce the ability of a flu virus to replicate. They hope to shorten the amount of time your immune system needs to fight off the virus, but their effectiveness is widely disputed and their unintended consequences may be disastrous. Even medical professionals who support the limited use of antivirals have expressed the concern that their widespread use may lead to the evolution of stronger viruses.

Beyond those concerns is the truly frightening prospect of a genetically modified virus that your body cannot combat. According to the National Institutes of Health “Genetically modified (GM) viruses and genetically engineered virus-vector vaccines possess significant unpredictability and a number of inherent harmful potential hazards.” I am left to wonder why we need labs genetically modifying something that is harmful to us. Why take something bad and make it worse?

Instead why not take something good and make it better. Science has no magic pill so what is proven to work? Naturally strengthening your immune system is simple to do:

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Eat more whole plant foods
  • Eat more healthy fats
  • Remove artificial foods from your diet
  • Engage in moderate exercise
  • Drink enough water to stay hydrated
  • Lower your stress levels
  • Use natural supplements where needed
  • Increase your vitamin D by getting in the sun or finding a quality supplement
  • Maintain a healthy gut health by using a quality probiotic
  • Eat foods rich in vitamins A, E and B, or use a quality supplement
  • Use antibacterial products with caution and only in situations that truly warrant it. Your immune system needs to “exercise” by doing it’s job-fighting off germs and bacteria

I believe our immune system is smarter than science. When we take care of our bodies, our immune is prepared to destroy harmful agents. We can take practical, centuries proven steps to thrive in this world. Wisdom may not seem as sexy as gene splicing solutions, but it will keep you healthy!

Men’s Health Halfway Home

50 years can be a lot to overcome or an incredible foundation. Most of us are somewhere in between. All of us want to feel great, AND feel great doing whatever we want. Life limited by health obstacles isn’t living life to the fullest. I believe we are designed for so much better. Therefore, not only have I put a lot of time and effort into researching this article, but I stand ready to move forward with you. Together we can find a path that leads to the 50+ freedom we want!

First, some good news. Your body is incredibly resilient. No matter how much time you have invested in self destructive behaviors, your body was created to crave a restoration to health. The path back to healthy may not be easy but it is available to all of us. We can improve how we feel and how we live. Let’s talk about some common challenges that 50+ men face and the natural, close to the earth solutions available.

Heart Health
Life is definitely in the blood. Your circulatory system transports healing throughout your body. It used to be that “experts” told us that all cholesterol was bad and we should therefore eat less than natural “low fat” foods. Now we know that HDL (High Density Lipids) clears out the arteries that LDL (Low Density Lipids) can clog. Some good sources of HDL include olive oil, whole grains, beans and legumes, high fiber fruit, fatty fish, nuts, avocado and red wine. I found this article to be a great resource.

You can further help your heart by exercising regularly. According to the Harvard Medical School, a resting heart rate below 60 beats per second is a sign that your workouts are working. Walking is a great way to get started. Add in higher intensity exercises as your body is ready and feel the results as you make steady progress. Great workout advice can be found here.

Man Parts Health
OK, you probably were either dreading this part or skipping to it. ED (Erectile Dysfunction) and Prostate Health are the one/two combo that can cause huge concerns. As men, we want to remain vibrant sexually, so we have to do the work. Turning a blind eye and hoping for the best is the highway to disastrous results.

Here’s a simple test from Dr. William Catalona, a prostate-cancer specialist at the Washington University school of medicine. Can you ejaculate a tablespoon of semen, or up to five milliliters, on a good day? You could when you were 20. If not, you may want to work on your prostate health. Salmon and tomatoes are two winners and a good natural supplement helps.

If you are struggling with ED, or never want to, then you need to take penis health seriously. I recommend the natural solutions found at Mr Golden Rod

Soul Health
Many men feel depressed when faced with the challenges that come from 50+. We clearly sense our mortality and find change more and more difficult. That’s why we need each other. The emotional restraint that society wants from men can cause them to become isolated. Having a friend to talk to can release this pressure valve.

When that friend has the same healthy lifestyle goals as you, the instant camaraderie of mutual accountability and encouragement can make all the difference in staying steady on the path to improvement. Check out this article for a starting point

There is a lot more than can be said, but let’s start here. When you tackle these three you have an incredible foundation to build on. 50+ isn’t something to fear. 50+ can be a heck of a lot of fun. It may not be easy, but if you commit to a naturally sourced, healthy lifestyle, the years ahead will be much more enjoyable!

Which is the Better Butter?

“With enough butter, anything is good.” Julia Child

If you grew up in my generation then you have heard your television utter the words, “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” a few million times. Perhaps that should have been our first warning, but in the rush to lower cholesterol in our diets, we dashed to buy up margarine instead of butter. 

Now we have a better understanding of the difference between LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein). Simply lowering cholesterol turned out to be an oversimplification that led to increased intake of synthesized foods rather than natural solutions.

Lets start with a basic understanding of what margarine, butter and ghee are:

Margarine is artificially hardened vegetable oil. The oil is hardened using nickel or cadmium catalyst, both of which are toxic to our bodies. Up until recently, margarine also contained trans fats resulting as a by product of the process. As trans fats were found to raise LDL, they were banned in 2015 with a compliance deadline of 2018. It should be noted that some companies were given extensions until January 2020.

Butter is a dairy product made from the fat contained in milk. The quality of the milk determines the quality of the butter. Many feel strongly that cows that feed on GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) result in butter that is less than natural. Consequently, you will find dairies that proudly announce that they are grass-fed operations. While butter is all natural, it’s ingredients may not be! Taking time to make sure your butter came from an organization who prioritizes healthy cows over profits is a bit of extra work that pays health dividends.

Ghee is “clarified butter”. The water and milk solids are removed by a low heat, slow cooking process that keeps nutrients intact. This reduction means that the fat concentration in ghee is higher than in butter, while calories are nearly identical to butter. Ghee has recently become popular in the United States due to the keto diet. In India, ghee has been both a dietary and medicinal staple for centuries. 

Which is the better butter? For starters, margarine of today is NOT a natural product. The removal of trans fats didn’t mean that margarine became a “close to the earth” food. Rather, it became a safer artificially processed synthesis that may or may not have additional health concerns. Time will tell. 

If you would rather not wait on science to answer the margarine question, you can find solace in the fact that butter is no longer deemed evil by nutritionists. While eating it out of moderation can cause LDL levels to rise, finding a better balance will help remove risk. Here is where ghee becomes increasingly interesting. Research has shown that ghee slightly decreases LDL rates in addition to other health benefits.

According to Dr. Axe, ghee is a great source for fat-soluble vitamins, is free of almost all lactose, full of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) and can help with your gut health. Further benefits may apply, but it is important for you to use this short article as a jumping off point and do your own research.

My house is a no margarine zone. We do use both butter and ghee. All things being equal, I am intrigued by ghee and want to get to know it better. Even in the time I spent researching all three I am pulled in that direction. So, what do you think…which is the Better Butter?!

Hike!

One of our favorite things to do is get out and enjoy the beauty that Colorado has to offer. In some places we have lived there have been limited choices on where to go. Colorado offers the opposite problem!

We decided we wanted a day hike not too far from home. That narrowed things down to a few thousand, so while trying to search for a specific hike we stumbled on to a fantastic tool – the AllTrails app.

AllTrails boasts “50,000+ trails. 8 million explorers. Endless memories.” The free version did the trick for us, but advanced features are available with an upgrade. 

We were quickly able to select a hike, get directions and get going! Once we hit the trailhead AllTrails kept us on track as we monitored our progress. With so many intersecting trails we could have wound up lost, but instead always knew exactly where we were going.

Along the way there were beautiful vistas, mountain flowers and wildlife. AllTrails let us chronicle our hike and even post pics that linked to exactly where we were on the trail. I we ever have a chance to meet the app’s developers we definitely owe them a beer. This is one great app!

https://www.alltrails.com/
Sign up for FREE

Living Water

Did you know that over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water? Your body is composed of 50 to 65% water – unless you are a newborn and then that number climbs to 78%. According to survivalist training, while you can survive 3 weeks without food, you won’t make it 3 days without water!

Water surrounds us, nourishes us and cleanses us. It is key to our health and our survival. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention) we should drink water every day, but often don’t. In fact studies suggest that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and the effects can be devastating.

Mark Slemons is one of our favorite pod casters. While his typical focus is business leadership from a relational standpoint he took time to talk about how dehydration can effect the performance of your business team. Click on the image for a quick listen – 15 minutes!

Water is a key component of creation. A design element that gives life. We find it sad that not all of the world’s children have unfettered access to the clean water they so critically need. There are a myriad of organizations that are taking on this challenge, CharityWater being one mentioned by Mark in his pod. Click Here for a list of 5 others.

97% of the water on Earth is salt water. There are also billions of gallons of water vapor in the air at any given moment. Protecting both our air and oceans from pollution must be a priority for the health of our planet. The Ocean Clean Up is an organization doing incredibly creative work.

You can save yourself while saving the planet! Increase your water intake by cutting out obesity causing sugar drinks. Replace the harmful with what God designed to help you. Many times convenience is the greatest obstacle. For that reason we suggest investing in two items:


Yeti Rambler will keep your water COLD for hours and hours. I am never without mine! It is an easy way to get those 20 ounces in your body every morning per Mark’s recommendation! These Ramblers are BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and have a No Sweat Design to make sure your hands stay dry. DuraCoat is a durable coat of color that won’t fade, peel, or crack through extended field use and also provide additional grip to the Rambler’s exterior

 


LifeStraw should be in everyone’s “just in case” plans. Anywhere there’s water you have CLEAN water. Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites without chemicals, iodine or batteries. Durable, 23-ounce, leak-proof bottle made of BPA-free Tritan and features a food-grade silicone mouthpiece; replacement filters available separately

Young Living Essential Oils

Jodi and I have a high regard for essential oils as part of our healthy living regime. I have to admit that initially Jodi did most of the research (and she leaves no stone unturned). I came late to the game, but now, as a daily user, I can assure you this ancient practice has naturally pure benefits for your body, mind and soul.

The use of essential oils can be traced at minimum to Ancient Egypt and was a core healing practice until the Middle Ages when the Church decided Herbalists were witches and persecuted them. Fortunately for us, the Church also determined that bathing was sinful! To overcome the resulting smell, aromatics  were commonly used. These essential oils often not only made company more pleasant, but also saved lives with their anti-bacterial and anti-pesticide properties. The use of essential oils came back strong in the Renaissance and regained their place in natural healing. They have remained there ever since.

Today you have many choices in regards to where you purchase your essential oils.  We have chosen to go with Young Living for several reasons.

Young Living’s proprietary Seed to Seal® guarantee means that NOTHING is outsourced, and therefore the highest standards are insured.  All plants originate on organic farms from heirloom seeds that YL has cultivated, and they are planted in soil that is throughly researched to guarantee no health compromising pesticides/insecticides have ever been used. At maturity, the plants are consciously harvested and distilled on site in distilleries that use steam and cold pressing techniques. No gasses, chemicals, or questionable methods are ever used to extract the life giving oils from the plants. The oils are then bottled, NEVER with fillers or additives, and shipped, ready to come join you and your family! All YL farms are open to the public, and anyone can go take a tour and see the love, integrity, and care that is poured into this endeavor.

Young Living  has 13 worldwide offices overseeing 20 markets, 16 corporate-owned and partner farms, nearly 600 individual products, more than 3,000 employees, and over $1 billion in annual revenue. They currently support six different foundations around the world ranging from feeding children and providing education and much needed medical assistance to helping rescue girls and women from sex slavery. Young Living is an impressive organization indeed!

I can recommend no essential oil company more highly. The first step on your Young Living journey is to sign up as a member.  You have the choice of signing up with a retail account or becoming a distributor with all the accompanying member benefits (NO, you are not under any obligation to EVER order or SELL anything!),

Jodi & I would be delighted to answer any questions!       Click Here to Sign Up

Finding our way back!

In ancient times, man lived closer to God and closer to Earth. In that harmony, all thrived. Tradition and wisdom guided man through life until the birth of science. At the beginning, science was simply the study of what God had created. The beauty of complexity hidden within simplicity. Unfortunately, as man has grown in understanding, he has also grown vain and thought to improve on Creation.

Today we find that science sometimes creates as many problems as it resolves. While no one can deny the convenience and effectiveness of modern technology, the old adage is true; just because we can doesn’t necessarily mean we should.

GMO based foods pose real, long-term health dangers, drugs synthesized in a laboratory have a laundry list of side effects and pollution continues to challenge the Earth’s ability to heal itself.

The pressure of constant connectivity means that going home from work doesn’t mean leaving the stress of work behind. Our brains, souls, and bodies aren’t getting the rest they are designed to have. And as man has turned his focus on himself, the peace that God offers seem more and more a myth.

Fortunately for us, there is hope. We don’t have to stay stuck. We don’t have to return to a time without technology. We simply have to make better choices in how we live our lives. That starts with educating ourselves.

The Pure Life Collective serves as your resource to do just that. We simply want to share our journey and hope that it helps yours. Enjoy!