Posts in Retreats
Why Bother to Meditate?
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When we try to sit in silence with our mind, it can be a daunting and noisy experience. We have been programmed from an early age to live our lives in a constant state of distraction from our self. We keep busy often to avoid having to face our deep inner thoughts and feelings which we suppress daily. So when we first sit with our mind in silence & watch the stream of people and thoughts rushing in to greet us, it often overwhelms & irritates us. We want to run away very fast. We get up after only a few minutes of frustrated silence & turn on the TV, read a book or call a friend, anything but really see what is going on in our mind. It is a gruelling task to face the interior demons. The emotional attachment we give to our thoughts can cause us much pain and unnecessary suffering. The good news is when we take the time and muster up the courage to face these thoughts & associated feelings, they slowly begin to dissolve & eventually in time disappear or certainly no longer have the power they once had over us.

The objective of a meditation practise is to create new more logical and eventually positive thoughts.

Extracts from Same World New Mind:The Wellbeing Guide for the Mind Body & Soul

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WellbeingSuperstar

The Guide

www.thewillowretreat.com

 

World Wellbeing
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Love Life Now

The Present Is A Present

Have you ever wondered why we have such a significant amount of mental and physical sickness in a world where we have such sophisticated medicines & highly technical hospital equipment available? Since the beginning of time, the world has been going through constant change & development. However, the body & mind that we have been given as our passport to live in the world has not evolved in the same way. We live now in a world so far removed from nature & from the simple lifestyle of our ancestors that our bodies and minds are struggling to cope.

At a first glance, the complementary wellbeing therapies like naturopathy and yoga can seem like a whimsical & quirky way of living. We read stories about Yogis in the Himalayas in India standing on one foot for a number of years to gain salvation and peace of mind in this life. Rest assured there are simpler methods we can all master & easily integrate into the modern day medical and educational setting to enable us to live well without having to resort to standing on one leg for too long.

Naturopathy and the complementary therapies are not some new trendy form of lifestyle, but a recognised scientific method of healing that has been practised since the beginning of time. Hippocrates is regarded as the greatest physician of his time, and he himself believed in the natural healing process of rest, a good diet, fresh air & cleanliness. He advocated treating the body as a whole & not just as individual parts. This is where the power of the more holistic complementary treatments like meditation, yoga based stretches and proper diet come into their own.

Meditation and medication have only one letter that suggests their differences. Maybe it's time we began allowing meditation to be part of our medication. 

Rumi once wrote ‘Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field I will meet you there’. This field of neutrality, equality and respect is the place where the western practises must meet with the eastern practises in moving forward and creating a new world of wellbeing.

Teresa Spelman

Naturopathy Doctor & Yoga Teacher
Mobile: 00353864674507

World Wellbeing

Teresa Spelman

Publication in The International Wellbeing Conference NUIG

 

Living with an Eating Disorder (No More)

Living WITH BULIMA

PUBLISHED IN Galway Now Magazine

by

Teresa Spelman 

Everyday we put food into our mouth. Some of us eat and forget about food till we feel hungry again, for others it is a daily emotional nightmare of ‘Will I have this’ or ‘am I allowed that’ and ‘will this make me fat’?

I was 14 years of age when I first noticed I had a body. I was 15 years of age when I noticed I had a body that was not perfect. I was 21 years of age when I began to feel such hatred, loathing and frustration towards my body that I turned to bulimia as I did not have the willpower to be anorexic.

During those times of desperation when I felt the suffocating pressure of stress on my chest, I would turn to the fridge and the cupboards and eat with such a focus and concentration that I could have been mistaken for a Buddhist monk. Of course monks focused on emptiness and not the smooth taste of Nutella as it melted down their throat or the satisfying crunchiness of a packet of ginger biscuits combined with chunks of milk chocolate.

The funny thing about an eating disorder is that it has nothing to do with food at all. Food is just the drug or focus of choice that is used to suppress and distract from any and all feelings that you are too frightened to face. Looking at unrealistic body shapes in magazines and on the television was not the cause of my experiences with bulimia. Being called ‘fat ass’ or ‘Hey chubby cheeks’ was not the cause of my experiences with depression. Life itself does the job of triggering what you need to face about yourself. It is only when I stopped and started observing what I needed to change within myself could I begin to slowly transform my daily life. I needed to face my own ego pride, my once deeply hidden fears of death, the helpless need for control and know my purpose and meaning in this world.It was not the food which I needed to purge and be rid of but all the unexpressed feelings and emotions, the rampant and fierce thoughts and the loud constant judgement of the mind.

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Truths

'Surgery can help to remove a damaged organ but only meditation & quiet time can remove emotions like anger and fear to calm and soothe a disturbed mind'

It took a number of years, but the hell that is Bulimia which had taken life years earlier with an innocent jar of Nutella in France, finally ended for good on a weighing scales in a naturopathy hospital in India. I remember the morning very well. I was heading out to see the naturopathy Doctor for the usual check up. I glanced at myself in the mirror and my mind said I was still too fat and I would have to fast for a few more days. I was no longer throwing up the food and so strict rules were still in place with regard to what I could and could not eat. I was so tired of it now. I left my room feeling hopeless and helpless. I had already been fasting for days. I had a few minutes to wait before I could see the naturopath and so I popped onto the weighing scales,something I never allowed myself to do. I was shocked & confused at the (extremely low) numbers flashing in front of my eyes. How could this be? My mind had said I was still too fat and yet the scales were saying something very different. Were they broken? I weighed myself a few times just to be certain. And that was it. I was already (too) thin and had been for many years but could not see it. That was the moment the mind truly lost the war and it was over and it was time to make a return to health and living again.

There are many things I don’t miss about that time in my life. I don’t miss feeling cold all the time. I don’t miss feeling weak and the accompanying dizziness. I like that I can concentrate for longer than 5 minutes. It is such a joy not being forced to exercise to earn the food I might be allowed to eat later. I don’t miss those bony painful ribs sticking out of my body. I like when I sit down now that it doesn’t hurt. I definitely do not miss the endless criticism from the mind while out clothes shopping with comments like you are too fat for that, too ugly to wear that, too fat thighed to wear that, too fat ankled to wear that, too big bumpy nosed to go out like that and so on. I like that my thighs are affectionate and on good terms with each other again. I like not having to check a mirror every 5 minutes to see if I have lost any weight or have an altered/better body than the one I had woken up with that day. I especially enjoy not having that desperate unrelenting desire to be thin.

So long to the daily strict exercise regimes, the controlled feeding frenzies and the self-hatred that had once been a silent yet powerful companion. Having lived for years not knowing that it was OK to be myself, even when that meant at times, disappointing others or not living up to their expectations, was a liberating realisation and one that has set me free in so many ways. I love that life is once again full of possibility & wonder.

Naturopathy

 

Articles from the Wellbeing book

Same World New Mind

BY

Teresa Spelman

Naturopathy

‘If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time’

Edith Wharton

Having been on a diet for most of my life I know how agonising and frustrating it can be waiting for the body to morph into the shape you desperately desire and feel certain you must have if you are ever to live any sort of happy and successful life. It all began at 15 years of age when I took a look at myself in the mirror and felt deeply upset at what was staring back at me. Going from a straight up and down body to a curvy one was not something that I felt comfortable with at all. This added to an already inferior mind disposition along with comparing my body to others where my own seemed of a sub-standard quality. I was amazed daily at how some girls could still look good in the horrid grey and maroon ill-fitting school uniform and there I was looking like a small baby elephant. So began my experience of denial or indulgence with the added accompaniment of purging food for many years ahead. It was these long years of dieting, bulimia, the constant self-punishment and complete exhaustion that finally led me to naturopathy.

My first experience of Naturopathy treatments was over 12 years ago in Thailand in a place called Pie. I was introduced to steam bath and massage, which lead to studying and learning the healing techniques of acupressure. A month later on the same journey, I literally fell onto an island, hung over and badly sunburnt and happened upon a wellness centre in one of the south Islands where I had my first juice fast and enema treatment. I was extremely apprehensive with the thought of inserting a tube up my anus, and dreaded the moment of insertion. Needless to say, I got over it and the positive results overpowered any slight discomfort experienced.

My next experience of Naturopathy was to be in India 7 years later. I spent 21 days at a Naturopathy Hospital in Pune. I had made the decision that I wanted to finally ‘heal’ or ‘fix’ myself. My initial reasons back in my days at Pie for using Naturopathy were purely physical. I wanted to lose weight. However, now the need and intention was more serious. Having researched all other avenues with regard to treating depression, bulimia, chronic stress and Irritable bowel syndrome, I decided to give Naturopathy a serious try. I knew in my heart that pills would never help me to get to the root of my problems. Instead of the conventional route, I spent my days getting massaged, steamed, covered in mud, walking in grass, eating fruits, drinking juice, some days fasting completely, giving the body & mind a well-deserved rest. I simply had time to get in touch with myself, re-educate myself on food, how to eat, what to eat & why we eat. I practised yoga, meditated, cried, got angry, frustrated, laughed & in the middle of all that felt wonderful moments of inner peace. I left the Naturopathy hospital feeling like a new person. The only medicine I had taken for my many ailments was in the form of fresh fruits and juices, yoga postures, meditation, enema, massage and mud therapy. In essence I was given a prescription for how to live a healthy life. It was up to me whether I followed it or not.