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Awaken Yourself

When we sense our connection to all other things the possibilities are limitless, says David Arenson 

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been watching the thrilling US Open tennis tournament and got caught up in this alluring television habit.

What I find with watching TV is that it disconnects me from my own life, as I become sucked in to an imaginary world “out there”.

The sporting event is actually happening, so it’s not technically imaginary, it’s just far removed from my own life, if I’m not actively participating in it. Despite the pleasures of tennis, watching it still disconnects me from my own “reality”. I find this escapist and mind-numbing activity comforting and hence addictive.

In my practice of non-judgment, I also acknowledge that even that is okay. It is okay to indulge in enjoyable, mind-numbing activities, so long as others are not harmed. It is not helpful to judge myself excessively harshly, nor to ignore the detrimental effect it may have on myself and my life. I always intend to practise a middle path of understanding.

Ultimately, it’s all about connection - what connects us to our reality and the greater reality of higher consciousness.

There is no “good” and “bad” from this perspective. If the root of acceptance defines everything we do, we can work with what opportunities arise in present-moment awareness. There is no need to be in a state of conflict or suffer from separation or self judgment.

The fundamental existential dilemma of our generation is metaphysical in nature - it is the delusion of separation. This is what is causing people as individuals and collectively as nations the most suffering right now.

What do I mean by the delusion of separation? It is the lack of wholeness that “separation” causes one to feel. It is the drug of little things designed to separate us from this grand life changing reality that we and every other thing and being are connected.

It is the lack of love we feel from being separate, and our desire to fill this lack with counterfeits and distractions. From television, film, games, phones, Internet and a myriad of the latest technological tools and gimmicks, is it an accident that we have created more distractions than ever before?

When we look at the economic situation worldwide, there is a sense of chaos and powerlessness. How things look on the outside mirrors what’s happening inside...

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Nova View:
Go technology-free
one day a week

Most of us love nothing better than getting together with our family and good friends for a convivial dinner party.  I, for one, love cooking and enjoy someone else’s efforts even more!  And I must be lucky in actually relishing the prospect of yet another family gathering each Christmas because we’re a family that enjoys each other’s company around the dinner table.

One of my most enjoyable memories in recent years was probably one of the unlikeliest dinner invitations to come my way, a seder meal with an orthodox Jewish rabbi and his family in Perth.

Recently arrived from Jerusalem, the couple radiated good humour as we sat down to a superb meal of several courses all cooked by the rabbi’s wife according to custom and served by her with complete unflappability as her four very young children helped out in the kitchen. It was a lovely evening and what really struck me was the obvious bond between the couple who’ve since added twins to their brood! 

As a non Jew myself I felt a strong rapport with the rabbi’s wife who told me as they walked us back to our car that, for them, every Sabbath was a honeymoon all over again.  It was a time when they and all orthodox Jews turned off the radio and TV, tuned out the cares of the world and all its discordant noise and made their home a sanctuary of peace and love. I know it is a strong tenet of the Jewish faith that one hold no grievances or speak in anger towards another on the Sabbath - a philosophy that moves me deeply.

This lovely memory was sparked for me this month in David Arenson’s piece “Awaken Yourself” where he touches on the sense of disconnect so many are feeling at present.  He challenges us to create a Sabbath from technology by unplugging all our devices at least one day a week.

I think it’s a brilliant idea and I know it’s exactly what I need to do. Since my son pulled me up short a month or two ago when he called me a “mobile phone addict”, I’ve become aware of just how much I tune into news, emails, texts, the works - and just how much of it is a drain of energy.  At least I draw the line in plonking my phone on the restaurant table so I can tut tut when others indulge.

I know David is right - the only way to beat this addition I share with zillions of others is to create a technology-free zone at least once a week and I’m sure I’ll be happier for it.  I’d urge you to try it for yourself...

Margaret EvansRead the entire
Nova View

by Nova Editor
Margaret Evans

Margaret Evans
NOVA Editor
October 2015

Why Do We Overeat?

Before you launch into another doomed diet, Peter Dingle PhD suggests simple steps like keeping a food mood diary makes much more sense

I had a friend a long time ago who used to seesaw with her weight many times over the year. Whenever she got depressed or upset she would eat a lot of rich, high calorie foods that gave her some instant pleasure. Her favourites were chocolate, and Milo by the spoonful, straight from the can. Despite her reasons for binge eating, it didn’t bring any happiness and in fact contributed significantly to her problem. We need to deal with the beliefs that underlie the undesirable eating patterns as part of any dietary program. 

Examining emotions and habits during a weight loss journey gives an insight as to why people overeat or have a hard time maintaining weight after losing it. The reasons given for overeating and excess weight gain often have similar root causes including boredom, emotional instability and stress. Some of these I have already covered but the potential list is pretty long.

The major reasons for overeating include and our appetite include:

NOVA Magazine, Australia's Holistic Journal
  • Busyness
  • Time of day (energy levels)
  • Mood
  • Nervous
  • Stress
  • Boredom
  • Low self esteem
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Hunger
  • Peer/social pressure
  • Routine/habit
  • Media and advertising
  • Low price/convenience
  • Mental stimulation
  • Too busy
  • Feeling Unloved
  • Anxious or restless
  • Happy
  • Angry or jealous
  • Tired
  • Disappointed or rejected
  • Depressed 
  • Emotional
  • Availability 

Or if there are real food cravings, it may require some mineral or nutritional supplementation. For example, some sugar cravings can be significantly reduced with chromium or vanadium supplementation. Sometimes more protein-rich foods need to be eaten...

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