6 posts categorized "Self-help"

Ashwagandha!

Ashwagandha Super Root
That sounds like a Hindi-style greeting, doesn't it? Ashwagandha! How are you today? Ginseng, thank you! How about you?

Ashwagandha is Indian ginseng. While I normally don't like to put the focus on supplements, this is one that, in my opinion, belongs in everyone's kitchen cabinet. You know, a cabinet that you actually open. Not the one with the champagne glasses and your grandma's antique tea set that gets opened once a year on Thanksgiving. 

The reason I've picked ashwagandha - OMG is there a shorter way to write this word? How about I call it "ash" for short? Great. So the reason I've picked ash is because so many people suffer from STRESS, and anxiety in particular. How many? 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,  anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting over 40 million Americans. That's 18% of the population! My math is stellar. Actually, I'm just really talented at copying info. Furthermore, people with anxiety are 3-5 times more likely to go to the doctor and 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders.

While there are many types of anxiety-related disorders, I'm going to focus on the more generalized, non-trauma-induced anxiety disorders. However! Even though I am relating to a more general and idiopathic type of anxiety, what I am about to suggest can certainly be used in tangent with psychotherapy. 

After my fifth kid, my body felt broken, and I had a very hard time dealing with all of the daily stress. I generally felt that I was going to freak out from being so overtired and stressed, and I felt sick all the time because of it. A friend suggested I start taking ashwagandha. OMG I just fell asleep for like 20 minutes at the computer. Ash is an adaptogen, which means it helps your body respond to and handle stress better. It's arguably the best adrenal support supplement that you can take.

So many people suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and related diseases. Adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline in response to stress. Whether it's emotional, mental, or physical stress, your adrenals are working on overdrive if you're stressed out. And if they're on overdrive all the time, you're likely trapping yourself in a vicious cycle of physical stress/adrenal stress/more physical and mental stress.

When the adrenals are chronically overworked, they also begin to stress out and get tired. Basically, they want to quit and go on vacation in Tahiti. How long and how well can they function at such high output levels? The answer is not very long. Eventually, they're going to give up and go to sleep, just like I'd like to be doing right now.

What is the problem with your adrenals taking a little break? Well, that means that your body can't deal with stress as well as it should. When that happens, you may begin to suffer all types of anxiety disorders for problems that might have nothing to do with mental or emotional issues. I suspect that there are many others like me, who haven't (thank God) had a serious trauma in their lives, but suffer from all types of anxiety-related disorders.

In other words, you can be perfectly normal and balanced, yet still have anxiety! You're just too stressed!

The great thing about ashwagandha is that it has such a wonderful and powerful calming effect, that it can even be used by those who have really good reasons to be stressed, such as a traumatic life situation. 

Here are two links talking more about this superhero herb. I would encourage you to read up as much as you can on the tremendous benefits that ash has to offer, such as reducing blood sugar, increasing muscle mass, helping minimize symptoms of depression, increasing fertility in men, and so much more.

I take ash every day, twice a day. In the morning, I take one pill with my iodine, (which I hope to write about in the future,) along with a teaspoon of coconut oil in warm water. I gotta tell you, this combination gives me such a supercharge in the morning! I have so much energy at the gym, that the ladies in my Zumba classes give me strange glances from time to time throughout the class. Whatever. I think the espresso I have in the morning might also be a minor factor. Just a little bit.

Then, at about 3:00 pm, before the kiddies get home, I take another one because I know that I'm gonna get stressed. Big time. It helps me so much! It takes me so much more effort to scream at them and react to their uncontrollable boyness. 

If you're on anti-anxiety meds, do not stop taking them without discussing it with your doctor first! See how the ash works in tangent with your meds, and if you feel that it's helping you, speak with your doctor about weaning yourself off the meds and taking the ash instead. 

If you're not on meds and want to feel less stressed in any case, do what I do and take one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I don't weigh much (about 115 pounds) so if I take two, I feel so relaxed that I just want to sit on the couch and chill. So if you don't feel any difference and you weight a little bit more than I do, try two of them after you eat something. 

Wishing you all a low-stress, high-energy, and HAPPY week! Let us know if you're taking it, and how you feel!

~Racheli

Rabbi Lazer adds:

In addition to all the benefits that Racheli has mentioned, Ashwagandha - which I like to call "super root" is great for athletes. Since it minimizes stress hormones such as cortisol, it paves the way to better results for the same amount of work in the gym or on the track, namely, development of muscle mass and reduction of body fat. Google "ashwagandha" and "athletes" and you'll get all kinds of clinical documentation. Unlike drugs, ash doesn't cause a "spike" peak performance followed by a "crash" letdown. Since ash stimulates testosterone development in men, it's great for male fertility. And, since it helps so much in relieving stress and burnout in women, it's a female fertility enhancer as well, since stress is one of the worst enemies of female fertility. Bright Beams blessings for your better health!


Hormone-Crazed Chickens

How crazy is this? 

IMG_20170125_193940075

And this?

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And this?

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Have you ever seen Siamese eggies in your life? All in all, over the past week, we've had about 20 sets of twins. Thank G-d I wasn't the one giving birth to them. I wonder what this means, you know, spiritually. Is anyone out there a secret kabbalist that might be able to tell me? But you can only tell me what it means on one condition: that I will like your interpretation. If you're going to tell me that this means that we'll double our income four times over, then by all means, do it! Whatever cool and imaginative interpretation you may come up with, just do me a favor and don't tell me these are hormone-crazed GMO chickens gone wild. 

I thought ignorance was bliss or something. No? So I can't just ignore the fact that these eggs might have way too many hormones, even by the crooked FDA standards? Sometimes the truth hurts, don't it.

That reminds me - I was talking to a neighbor and trying to convince her to get on the almost-vegan lifestyle that Rav Brody and I are following, and she asked me point blank: "So what do you eat?" Can you believe that I had no ready answer for her? I was like, "Well, I eat... um... I don't really know.... lots of fruits and vegetables?" It almost sounded like was asking her what I ate. She asked me if I can be more specific. "Umm, I'm not really sure... bananas? Cucumbers? Sweet potato? Black bean pasta?" I was so extremely bothered that I was answering her question in the form of a question. Did I need confirmation? Validation? Was I just confused? I have no idea. In the end, I only managed to convince her that I'm a little bit kooky. 

Well I don't know what that had to do with anything. I guess what I'm trying to say in a very roundabout way is that people don't like to hear the truth unless they're searching for the truth. It's human nature to try to rationalize your point of view, even though it may be totally wrong. It really hurts to be wrong. I know - I am so allergic to apologizing to my husband that I break out in canker sores if the "S" word tries to escape my lips. 

Rav Arush is no stranger to people like me. In fact, he wrote a whole article on people that I like to call "Delusional Tzaddikim." These are baalei teshuva who, upon committing to a holy and Torah-observant life, suddenly believe that they belong light years ahead of where they are. Not only that, they don't think that all of their baggage from their former lives needs to be dealt with and fixed. But have no fear, Hashem is here! Here to bring them back to reality with a good dose of BT Bubble Burst. Hashem ain't afraid to tell it like it is, yo.

You know who else ain't afraid of telling it like it is? That's right, our very own Rav Lazer Left-Hook Brody. He's swingin' punches in his latest article by showing that everything that happens is because Hashem wants it to happen, and for a purpose. Even the Nuremberg laws and Hitler's ym"s rise to power were all Hashem's doing. Rav Brody explains why Hashem was giving us a Warning from Above. Is your jaw dislocated yet? No? Then just wait until you read the article! 

Yours truly is also no stranger to sharing the truth with others, even though it might make me, let's just say, a bit controversial. Okay, I admit it. Some people might get their feathers all ruffled up because the truth ain't so pretty. This week, I'm showing y'all how western medicine is in the business of making money, even at the expense of your life. Instead of helping people learn how to eat properly in order to minimize disease, Big Pharma and the rest of their medical mafia are doing what they can to keep you in the dark and make you think that getting sick is a matter of chance, luck, karma, tikkun, astrology, Mercury in retrograde, your parents' fault, or like, so totally random, dude! In my latest article, I expose these criminals for what they are: Medical Vampires. Read this. Now.  

Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen shares a wonderful and deep lesson she learned about truth over the course of her life. She shows through her own personal example, how much the fear of taking a good look at who we are actually creates so much stress in our lives. We create unnecessary competition, both within ourselves and with others. She takes an objective look at her fear of Measuring Up, and realizes that she was trying to live up to a fantasy instead of being truthful with who she is and what her unique set of strengths were. Don't we all do this to one degree or another? C'mon, be honest! And read this article, STAT!

Even though I have no idea what STAT stands for, I know that it's a medical term, so I think it's perfect to introduce Dr. Ballen next, even though he's not a medical doctor, but a psychotherapist. That's not an MD, is it? I'd better ask him. Until I do, Dr. Ballen exposes a type of sadistic therapist that uses threats and sadism therapy in order to control his clients. These therapists are extremely dangerous! If you or someone you know is seeing a therapist, then you must read Consumer Beware!

After reading my dear friend Sunny Levi's latest article, I'm convinced that she's way too righteous for me. I'm going to have to break up with her. She was able to take a potentially explosive and long-running nasty situation with her next-door neighbor and turn it into sunshine and butterflies - and a brand new martial arts studio! I would have just killed the neighbor. I'm kidding (but not really.) Check out this 6th degree black belt Tae Kwon Do Master's Spiritual Aikido moves! 

Yehoshua Goldstein wants to Get Up Like a Lion, and I just want to Go To Sleep! Here's another one that's too righteous for me. I would never think to ask my Rosh Yeshiva about the characteristics of a lion in order to properly fulfill the halacha of rising like a lion in the morning. Of course, I'm a woman and don't go to yeshiva. But of course. I'm so tired I'm rambling. Anyhow, he found out the meaning, and I bet that it's not what you were thinking! 

Oh, here she is again! Rebbetzin Channen teaches us a great way to thank Hashem for things that you either don't think are worth thanking Him for, or you don't feel like thanking Him for. It's called The Glad Game, for all you folks that never heard of the Walt Disney movie, "Polyanna." Actually, I never heard of it, either. But I'm sure this game is a lot more fun than The Mad Game, or The Sad Game, or The Get Out of My Room Right Now Before I Throw a Hanger at You Game. 

On that note, have a lovely week!

~Racheli

 


The Pep-Talk Selfie

Work on Yourself
The secret of winning coaches and mentors is knowing how to motivate their players, to "fire them up".

Even if you don't have a coach or a mentor, you can fire yourself up with "positive self-talk." Essentially, this is a pep-talk selfie.

Use positive language to describe what you hope to accomplish today, tomorrow and in the future. Tell it to Hashem and pray for it, too.

Unfortunately, people are constantly using statements that cause them to berate themselves, their efforts, or their abilities. What could be greater self-persecution? They need to learn how to turn these around into positive statements instead. That's where "positive self-talk."  You certainly know how to take a selfie with your cellphone camera, right? This is just as easy - give yourself a pep-talk selfie! Make 5 to 10 strong statements that reflect your aspirations and abilities. Share them too with Hashem, and tell Him that you're positive that He hears you and that He'll help you. Do this daily and you'll go a long way.

Don't ever forget though: true personal growth doesn't come easy. In fact, it hurts. But it sure feels great.

 


Hooked on the Web?

Web junkie

Addicts usually live in denial.

Everyone knows that substance addiction is bad news, no matter if its alcohol or narcotics. It destroys familes and it destroys the addict him/herself. Yet, there's a much more socially-acceptable form of addiction that has ensnared millions - that addiction to the web.

Compulsive computer use - gaming, social media and aimless surfing - has destroyed people young and old, robbed them of their marriages, their livelihoods and their health. As a spiritual guide and personal counselor who travels the globe, I could write a book of tragic cases that I've had to deal with.

The "Shovevim Period" is a special time for self-assessment and improvement. When we judge ourselves, we don't get judged by the Heavenly Court - that is good news. Although Hashem is lenient and merciful, the Heavenly Court is not.

Today's shiur will present an amazing diagnostic test that will enable you to determine if you're hooked on the web or not.

With the above in mind, you don't want to miss "Are You a Web Addict", today's emuna shiur and broadcast. It takes place this evening (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM local time at our Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva, 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street, Jerusalem, in the main sanctuary. You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time

As always, the live shiur is open to the public - both men and women are welcome - so if you're anywhere near Jerusalem, come on by! If you are not able to view today's broadcast live, then G-d willing, you'll be able to see the video tape of it on this coming Sunday's Lazer Beams.


Jerusalem or Bust

My special friend filmmaker Ari Joseph from Lakewood heard a story from me and put it to film. This not-too-dynamic dude is waiting a whole week to catch a ride to Jerusalem, hitchhiking by the side of the road. After 7 days of waiting and camping out, he finds out that Jerusalem is only a 20-minute walk down the road. It's a message for all of us - get it in gear! Enjoy the flick...

Jerusalem or Bust from Ari Joseph on Vimeo.