In a world in which people are stressed to the max, feel overwhelmed, and are caught up living a High Density Lifestyle existence; and in a world in which things seem topsy-turvy and what is wrong is right and what is right is wrong, voices of sanity are desperately needed.
That’s why we need people who live a Low Density Lifestyle to speak out and to be bold with their vision, because they are the voices of sanity, and the voices to lead us out of the wilderness.
And that’s why I’ve had this series on What Would a Low Density Lifestyle World Look Like? - to inspire the Low Density Lifestyle folks to help point the finger to the way to live a sane existence.
In the above video, you can see the actor Woody Harrelson’s poem Thoughts From Within set to music and images. In the poem he speaks simply, clearly and eloquently to help us understand how we’ve lost our way.
Woody is giving a Low Density Lifestyle perspective to a High Density Lifestyle world. Perspectives like these are voices from the wilderness, voices of clarity. They shine a light to help us see through the darkness of a High Density Lifestyle existence.
Woody Harrelson, best-known as Woody on the TV show Cheers, but also star of many well-known movies, including Indecent Proposal, Wag the Dog, and The Messenger, lives a Low Density Lifestyle. He’s a peace activist, a vegan – in the recent film Zombieland, when the script required him to eat a Twinkie, he replaced it with a vegan-faux Twinkie made from cornmeal – and in October 2009, he was conferred an honorary degree York University for his contributions in the fields of environmental education, sustainability, and activism.
I hope you enjoy the video and it inspires you to become a voice of sanity in a High Density Lifestyle World.
A Good Day, with Brother David Steindl-Rast: A Lesson in Living a Spiritual Life
In the last article, I told you of the 12 spiritual practices to honor the earth.
Not only do these practices help you feel more connected to the earth, they also will help you feel more connected to the spiritual dimension of life. And being more connected to the spiritual dimension of life is one of the 12 steps to living a Low Density Lifestyle.
How do we define spirituality? You can say that spirituality is the divine force that is the pulse of the universe, and this force is unlimited, infinite, undying and eternal. This divine force goes by many names: Universal Spirit, Universal Mind, Universal Consciousness, God, and the Zero Point Field, to name a few.
This force is both outside and within; it is everywhere and in everything. Everyone is connected to it at all times; the fewer blockages and densities a person has in their body, heart and mind, then the closer is that connection.
Every time a person allows himself or herself to relax, be silent and still, the potential to connect to the pulse of the universe is there.
When someone is living a Low Density Lifestyle it is much easier to feel that connection, because the static does not overcome the silence, whereas when living a High Density Lifestyle a person will have a harder time feeling that connection, because the static and noise are always there.
Mother Theresa said, “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
Feeling the connection to the spiritual dimension also means holding love in your heart—loving yourself, those close to you, and all the inhabitants of the planet. Love is the ultimate truth at the heart of the universe, and when you feel love in your heart, you create an open energy circuit that connects you to the sacred flow of the universe.
Rumi said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” The barriers you have built within yourself that stop you from feeling love are the very same densities and blockages that stop you from living a Low Density Lifestyle.
It is so important to surrender and let go of the things that hold you back from feeling love in your heart, because when you do, you can come closer to the Universal Force and be FREE.
There are many ways to feel connected to the spiritual dimension; for some it occurs from attending a church, synagogue, temple or mosque, while for others it is more personal—prayer, meditation, silence, walking in the woods, or some other way.
However you find your method of expression, one thing you need to understand is that spirituality is an everyday affair. You are not just spiritual when you go to church, synagogue, temple or mosque; or when you do the more personal way of expressing your spirituality.
Spirituality, and feeling connected to the spiritual dimension, is something that should be realized at all times. For instance, in the Zen tradition, there is no distinction between spiritual and non-spiritual moments. “Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes,” is a Zen saying.
When that understanding is embedded in every cell of your body, your connection to the spiritual dimension becomes second nature, and all your actions will be directed in that way. You are in the flow and every movement you take and every achievement you make is done with effortless effort.
Ever have one of those high stress, High Density Lifestyle days?
A day where everything is going in fast motion, going by in a blur at what seems like faster than the speed of light.
It’s a day where you are not getting any stress relief, a day that is definitely not one where you’re experiencing healthy living.
It’s definitely not a Low Density Lifestyle day.
In the above video, you may recognize yourself in there and you may see some or all of the 10 signs that you’re living a High Density Lifestyle.
I hope that’s not you.
The video is good for a lot of laughs, and that by itself will give you stress relief and help you manage stress.
But all in all, if you ever have one of those High Density Lifestyle days, it’s time to slow down, relax, manage stress, and get back on the track of health and wellness, and of healthy living in general.
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I’ve been talking the last few days about stress – it’s a huge factor that blocks you from living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Stress is all about living life in the fast lane – which is the High Density Lifestyle lane – but the unfortunate thing is that most people, when they’re stressed, don’t even recognize that they are, or what the stress is doing to them – they’re totally incapable of stress management.
So today I want to give you 10 warning signs that you’re stressed out. Please take heed, and if you find you recognize yourself in this, start working on making changes, so that you can experience some stress relief.
1. Forgetfulness. Stress will short-circuit your memory, and cause you to be unfocused.
2. Irrational thinking. When you are stressed, your thinking is not always rational, and it is hard to think clearly. Small challenges can then become huge obstacles.
3. Easily feeling anger, anxiety, irritability and fear. Stress can cause your feelings to spiral out of control. You may start having anxiety and panic attacks over things that usually are easy for you to deal with. You may also become easily angered or irritable at the slightest provocation, or perhaps at no provocation whatsoever.
4. Impulsive behavior. You may do things on a whim, without thinking about the consequences.
5. Tendency to make mistakes. You may forget something, leave it behind, or overlook details that you normally would have considered.
6. Headaches, backache, joint or muscle pain. Stress can express itself by causing you to have pain and other physical ailments. It’ll be hard to live a healthy lifestyle when you can’t manage stress.
7. Difficulty in falling asleep. Sleep problems affects many people, and stress and anxiety is the number one cause of that. Stress makes it difficult to wind down and drift off to sleep.
8. Shallow breathing and tightness in the chest. Many a person has gone to the emergency room thinking they are having a heart attack, when instead it is just the stress and anxiety affecting them in a big way, causing tightness in the chest and shallow breathing.
9. Weakened immune system. When you are stressed, it is easier to develop a cold, fever, flu, sore throat, sinus infection, and other types of infections.
10. Women’s health issues. Stress can cause women to have pain during menstruation, irregular periods, PMS, fibroids, and other women’s health issues.
The key with stress is that everyone has stressors in their life—there are certain things outside of our control that happen to us. But it’s your relationship to the stressor: do you let yourself become overwhelmed by the stressors to the point that some or all of the above warning signs manifest, or do you allow yourself to stay calm, roll with the punches and take things as they come?
If you become more self-aware and more mindful of your actions and reactions to stressful situations, you can become less affected by the stressors because then you are practicing stress management.
It also is important to make sure you are taking the time to relax, whether by going for a walk, exercising, being still, or whatever works for you to give you stress relief.
The more you relax, stay calm and stay in the groove, the more of a Low Density Lifestyle will you live, allowing you to live a healthy lifestyle and be in the land of health and wellness.
The Great Spaghetti Harvest of 1957
What’s one of the best holidays for curing stress and giving you stress relief? Why, April Fool’s Day of course!
A good April Fool’s Day joke will make you laugh, and laughter makes you feel lighter of body, mind and spirit, and by so doing, will lighten your load and help you feel less stressed and more in the Low Density Lifestyle mode.
And so, in the spirit of April Fool’s Day, here are five of the most classic April Fool jokes and pranks:
The Great Spaghetti Harvest of 1957
The respected BBC news show Panorama announced in 1957 that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Many viewers called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
Wisconsin State Capitol Collapses in 1933
The Madison Capital-Times solemnly announced that the Wisconsin state capitol building lay in ruins following a series of mysterious explosions. The explosions were attributed to “large quantities of gas, generated through many weeks of verbose debate in the Senate and Assembly chambers.” Accompanying the article was a picture showing the capitol building collapsing.
Australia Converts to Metric Time in 1975
Australia’s This Day Tonight news program revealed that the country would soon be converting to “metric time.” Under the new system there would be 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 20-hour days. Furthermore, seconds would become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays. The report included an interview with Deputy Premier Des Corcoran who praised the new time system. The Adelaide townhall was even shown sporting a new 10-hour metric clock face.
The Greatest Baseball Pitcher Ever
In 1985, Sports Illustrated published a story about a new rookie pitcher who planned to play for the Mets. His name was Sidd Finch, and he could reportedly throw a baseball at 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy. This was 65 mph faster than the previous record. Surprisingly, Sidd Finch had never even played the game before. Instead, he had mastered the “art of the pitch” in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the “great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa.” Mets fans celebrated their teams’ amazing luck at having found such a gifted player, and Sports Illustrated was flooded with requests for more information. In reality this legendary player only existed in the imagination of the author of the article, George Plimpton.
Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity in 1976
The British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth’s own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.
I hope these April Fool’s Day pranks gives you a few laughs and some stress relief, and at the same time gets you feeling lighter of body and mind and less in the High Density Lifestyle mode.
For the next few days I will talk about stress and relaxation. Stress is both a symptom and by-product of living a High Density Lifestyle, while being relaxed and calm is something easy to do when you’re living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Relaxation is one of the ingredients in the acronym FREE, which if you remember, stands for Flow/Relaxation/Effortless Effort. Living FREE means living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Life in the Fast Lane
When you are living life in the fast lane, you are putting your body under a lot of stress. There is only so long the body is capable of operating at a maxed out level—you can only burn your candle at both ends for so long, and then the inner flame starts to be extinguished.
Stress is all-pervasive in our modern fast-paced culture. I will return to this category time and time again, and I will also return to the category of relaxation many times over. Why, you may ask? Because it can’t be talked about enough. Stress puts you smack in the middle of living a High Density Lifestyle, and the longer you live that way, the worse things become.
So let’s look a little more in-depth at what stress is.
A Brief History of Stress
The term stress was coined by scientist Hans Selye in the 1930s based on his careful observation of physiological responses in laboratory animals. Selye later broadened his findings to include the human response mechanism to a perceived threat, or “stressor.”
Selye found that when he exposed various lab animals to unpleasant or harmful stimuli, there were three general stages of reaction. He called these the General Adaptation Syndrome, or GAS. The three stages were Alarm, Resistance and Exhaustion.
By the end of the third stage of GAS, Selye found the animals depleted of their body’s most important resources: their adrenal glands were fatigued, their autonomic nervous system was misfiring and their immune systems were burnt out.
Furthermore, it was found that this type of reaction played havoc on the feedback loop that constitutes the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the system that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes, including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality, and energy storage and expenditure.
Not everyone reacts to stressors in such a detrimental fashion, and there are times when stress can have positive attributes (Selye called stress that enhanced function eustress). But most people don’t cope well to stressors because they are on system overload, bombarded by stimuli and overwhelmed by life’s demands. Living in this manner is truly a major impediment to a Low Density Lifestyle.
The late Heath Ledger won the Academy Award on Feb. 22, 2009 for his role as the Joker in the film The Dark Knight.
Heath Ledger, as we all know only too well, died on January 22, 2008, at the much too-young age of 28. I wish him a peaceful sleep with the angels.
Unfortunately for Heath, his untimely death came as a result of getting caught up in a High Density Lifestyle. How a High Density Lifestyle manifested for Heath Ledger was in the large number of prescription medications he was taking.
Drugs can never help you become truly healthy and they will stop you from finding your way to a Low Density Lifestyle.
In today and tomorrow’s articles, I will talk about the tragic cases of two celebrities who both were caught in the crossroads of a High Density Lifestyle by virtue of their being a victim of taking medications.
The Australian-born Heath Ledger had been in 18 movies, many of them critical and box-office successes. He received an Academy Award nomination in 2005 for his role as Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain.
His last completed role (he was acting in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus when he died, and filming was suspended) was for the film The Dark Knight, in which he plays Batman’s nemesis, The Joker.
In a November 2007 New York Times interview, Ledger had stated that his recently-completed role in The Dark Knight had taken a toll on his ability to sleep: “Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. … I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” At that time, he said that he had taken two sleeping pills, after taking just one had not sufficed, and those left him in a stupor, and gave him an hour of sleep at best. In January 2008 he also came down with an upper respiratory illness.
When he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on January 22, sleeping pills were found by his bedside, but an autopsy was inconclusive as to whether sleeping pills played a role in his death. Ten days later, on February 6, toxicology reports allowed the New York City medical examiner to state that Heath Ledger died accidentally from being overmedicated. It was found that he was taking six different medications—two pain medications, three anti-anxiety medications, and a cold medication.
Too many people in the U. S. are extremely over-medicated. It is not uncommon for people to be taking four, six, ten or more drugs at any one time. The interaction of various drugs in the body is always a cause for concern—there can be volatile and unpredictable reactions in the body from the many drugs, and it is one that can have potentially lethal complications, as we tragically saw with Heath Ledger.
Sadly, if only Heath Ledger knew better—then he wouldn’t have gotten sucked into the vortex of drugs and trapped in a High Density Lifestyle.
Heath Ledger, you were a gentle soul. May you rest in peace.
Video of Heath Ledger’s Win at the Academy Awards
I’ve talked about the Low Density Lifestyle, High Density Lifestyle, and the concept of FREE (Flow/Relax/Effortless Effort).
Today I want to outline the 12 steps to becoming FREE. These are the things that if you put into practice, will help you to live a happy, healthy, vibrant, successful and enlightened life.
In tomorrow’s post I will tell you what a Low Density Lifestyle can do for you, and how it can make your life a whole lot better.
After this post and tomorrow’s, the postings will shift in format. What will happen next is that instead of the posts explaining what a Low Density Lifestyle is all about–which is pretty much what we’ve been doing so far–we’re going to bounce around from category to category.
What I mean by a category is one of the 12 steps listed below, along with what is covered in tomorrow’s posting about what a Low Density Lifestyle can do for you. Once we go in that new direction, we will be covering a lot of ground and a lot of interesting topics, so fasten your seat belt
If you feel like you still need to get a handle on the fundamentals of a Low Density Lifestyle, sign up for the free 5-day email course on this website. You can sign up for it by entering your name and email address in the box that occasionally pops up in front of your eyes, or you can put your info in the sign up form that appears in the top right column. I can guarantee you that you will learn a lot from the email course.
Anyway, here are the 12 steps to becoming FREE:
Diet and Nutrition: Eating a whole foods oriented diet.
Health and Wellness: Being proactive with your health and becoming empowered and educated as to how the body and mind work and what it takes to be healthy.
Movement and Exercise: Take up a regular practice of movement and exercise, especially the types that emphasize flow.
Flexibility of Body and Mind: Being able to be flexible with your body and your mind, so that you don’t hold onto dogmas and become rigid and unyielding with the way you think or move.
Mindfulness: Being aware of your actions and reactions in your daily life.
Integrity: Being ethical, being willing to do the right thing, being true to yourself and being authentic.
Attitude and Emotions: The way we see the world is the way the world operates based on our perception, so it’s important to be aware of your attitude towards yourself and others.
Abundance: Are you willing to share of yourself, because you believe there is plenty to go around, or are you immersed in a scarcity mindset, where you believe it’s every person for themselves, and you have to get yours before someone else takes it?
Laughter: Laughter and humor is so good for our health and well-being. ‘Nuff said on that.
The Dreamer: Are you using your dreaming abilities–your creative intelligence and imagination? Are or you thinking the same old same old, and going along with the tribe?
Do What You Love: When you do what you love, and love what you do, life has profound meaning.
Connecting to the Spiritual Dimension: There is a sacred aspect to life, and the more connected you are to it, the better off you are.
Stress is a major impediment to living a Low Density Lifestyle. It will stop your ability to be in the flow and find your center of calm and stillness.
Stress can negatively impact your health, well-being, happiness, and ability to live a productive and successful life. Stress will keep you living a High Density Lifestyle.
One of the things about stress is that for a lot of people, because they’re not in touch with how they feel, they aren’t even aware that they are stressed out.
And so, with that in mind, I’d like to offer you some helpful advice to recognize some of the signs of when you are over the edge with too much stress:
1. You get sick often. Stress can depress the immune system, making you more susceptible to various upper respiratory ailments.
2. You have digestive problems. One of the places that stress is felt in the body is in the digestive tract. You may have trouble digesting food, you may get stomach pain, you may have acid reflux, or you may have irritable bowel sydrome.
3. You suffer from pain. It could be back pain, joint pain, or even headaches.
4. You easily get anxious. Stress can affect the nervous system and make you very wired, so that things can easily set you off and cause your heart to race, your chest to become tight, and your breathing to become shallow.
5. You are easily angered. Stress will cause you to have a short fuse and to unload on people, even loved ones, often times for reasons quite trivial.
6. You can’t sleep. You go to sleep, but your mind is still racing, still thinking about everything. Or you go to sleep, but then you wake up, and can’t fall back asleep.
7. You act erratically. You do things impulsively, or you do things that you normally wouldn’t do.
8. You are drinking or using recreational drugs a lot. You need a way to unwind, and so you turn to drinking or drugging as an outlet to help you release all that pent up energy.
9. You are using pharmaceutical drugs to enhance/stabilize your mood. Stress can negatively impact your mood, attitude and emotional health, and so if you are not aware of how stressed out you are, you will be turning to prescription drugs to help you.
10. You lack focus and clarity. You forget things easily, and can’t think clearly. You also can’t focus on any one thing and mentally flit around.
I strongly suggest using the above 10 signs to help you manage your stress. Your life will improve greatly for doing so.
How do you know if you’re living a High Density Lifestyle? Here are ten signs that will tell you if you are. Ok, I’m having a little fun with it, but you’ll get the point when you go through it.
1. That Mother and her 3-year old just don’t seem to walk fast enough through the
crosswalk for you!
2. You begin to think that there is a conspiracy out there to make you late for work every single morning!
3. You’re starting a petition to replace food, water and air as our basic needs with an extra large coffee with triple cream and triple sugar.
4. When you leave the driveway in the morning it looks like a chase scene from your favorite police show.
5. The space around your lounge chair at your kid’s soccer, hockey or baseball games look like the desk at your office.
6. You pray for red lights because you figure that waiting at the light is a great time to get some business done.
7. You find sitting for anywhere beyond five minutes is a great time to get into REM state.
8. You’ve developed your own system of increasing muscle tone in your neck and shoulders without the benefits of working out!
9. You have discovered that ten minutes a day of crying is a new way of replacing meditation to release stress.
10. Whenever your heart starts beating fast you get excited because you’re reminded of your favorite disco tune.
Ok, so how did you fare? Are you leading a High Density Lifestyle?
To achieve a Low Density Lifestyle might at first take work, but it is work that will pay off in tremendous dividends. Attaining this state is not hard, although for many of you there are countless roadblocks, most of which are self-inflicted.
But when you arrive at a Low Density Lifestyle you know it, because suddenly you begin to feel that everything flows and all tasks are done effortlessly. In this situation, the body and mind are in such resonance that you feel like you are “in the zone.”