When someone is confronted with a diagnosis of cancer, in the vast majority of cases doctors recommend surgery — often, as quickly as possible. The goal is to remove the cancer, with the hope that the person can go on to live a normal, cancer-free life. But unfortunately, the reality is often otherwise. For far too many people, cancer recurs; either at the primary site, or the cancer metastasizes, arising at sites distant from where the cancer originated, often in life-threatening areas, such as the lung, liver, brain, or bone.
For many people, the passion for speed has become an addiction. Our culture and society encourage this addiction; we emphasize doing instead of being, multitasking is considered a desirable skill, and we are generally more focused on quantity instead of quality in all aspects of our lives. Every modern convenience, from cell phones and computers to instant meals and microwave ovens, feeds our addiction to speed and encourages the illusion that we can do more in less time. Because our bodies are so efficient at adapting, we are often not aware of the negative impact that this fast pace of life is having on our being, which is in essence our spiritual nature.
“Feel better! Have more energy! Live longer!” Sounds like a late night infomercial, or the claims made for patent medicines in the late 1800’s, doesn’t it?
But in truth, there is a class of herbs that will increase your energy, help to prevent disease, and even likely extend your lifespan. These herbs are called “adaptogens”, and I recommend them to everyone for increasing vitality and well-being.
Adaptogens got their name from their unique ability to buffer the effects of stress—they actually help the body adapt more readily to the demands of life. Everyone experiences stress, whether it’s everyday worries about work, money, and relationships; the physical demands of athletic competition; or the emotional and physical stressors of chronic illness.
I have always felt a deep connection to St. Francis of Assisi, the Christian saint best known for his love of nature, animals, and the poor. In the early 1980’s I lived in Holy Protection monastery, a Byzantine Eastern-Rite Franciscan monastery. This was where I was professed as a 3rd Order, Secular Franciscan.
Born at Assisi in the year 1182, St. Francis came from a wealthy family. Although he spent his early years enjoying the material benefits of wealth, he soon recognized the shallowness of his lifestyle, and renounced his inherited wealth. He chose instead a simple life of poverty, which allowed him to fully devote himself to God and his calling.
Energy enhancing beverages are everywhere these days, but most are designed merely to provide an intense, temporary jolt of energy. Unfortunately, this false energy leaves you depleted when the “high” wears off.
Most commercial energy drinks depend upon large amounts of caffeine (two to three times the amount found in a cup of coffee), an excessive amount of sugar (from six to sixteen teaspoons in one serving), and long list of other questionable ingredients.
Energy drinks are actually a great idea that can benefit almost everyone needing an infusion of energy, including athletes and people suffering from chronic illness or undergoing chemotherapy. But instead of drinking a highly sweetened, caffeinated, chemical concoction, try Schi-Zam™, my natural energy drink.
I spend a great deal of time counseling individuals with life threatening illnesses. Understandably, the unknown—the emotional trauma of their unexpected diagnosis, the rounds of invasive medical treatments, and their suddenly uncertain future, frightens many people.
They come to me for advice in how to best approach their illness, knowing that they will receive a leading-edge, holistic protocol that encompasses nutrition, botanical support, information about medical procedures, and lifestyle recommendations. What they generally don’t anticipate receiving is spiritual guidance. In my experience, however, the people who do best are those who deepen in their spiritual practices, and who strengthen their connection to God, however they may conceive him to be within the context of their personal beliefs. For healing to occur at the deepest level of being, I believe that a strong personal connection to God is essential.