Journey to Wholeness

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Are you feeling sick or tired all the time?
Are you happy with your life or are you thinking there must be something more for you out there?
Are you up for a wholesome rest where you can transform your health and your life?

If you say yes to either one of these three questions, let us walk with you hand in hand to live a better life – Mind, Body and Soul.

Journey to Wholeness – Transformational Health Retreat
11-13 December 2015 – Vila Air, Lembang, Bandung

During this 3 Day 2 Night Retreat, you will:

  • Discover and take action to live your life purpose
  • Learn simple yet powerful self-healing techniques
  • Start practicing meditation or mindfulness in your daily life
  • Use yoga to balance your body, mind and soul
  • Relax, take a break from the daily routine, return to your wholeness

Expect surprises… more exciting programs await you!

This retreat is facilitated by:

Amelia Devina
A Quantum Healing Practitioner & Intuitive Coach, Amelia’s goal is to help you find out who you truly are, why you are here, and what you should practice to be the best version of yourself. She does that by giving you tools (healing, reading, coaching, wisdom) that you can immediately apply to improve your life, relationship, career, health and many more than you can possibly dreamed of. Read her blog at ameliadevina.com/blog.

Joshua S. Lie
A naturopath, energetic healer and meditation facilitator. He was trained in various highly respected Australian complementary and alternative medicine institutions such as Charles Sturt University, Nature Care College and Awareness Institute. He believes in the healing power of Mother Nature. Joshua has great success helping his clients with holistic approach combining herbalism,shamanism, Reiki and meditation. His specialisation is in helping psychosomatic illnesses and chronic health problems. Visit his website at joshualie.com

Silvia Hendarta
A yoga instructor, meditation facilitator and founder of Wannabe Zen, Silvia is teaching in several yoga studios around Jakarta. She is trained to teach yoga at Satyananda Yoga Australia, Fitness First Asia, and Byron Yoga Australia. Silvia is into health & wellness, spirituality, coffee, good books, and endurance sport (she is a marathoner & triathlete). She blogs at silviahendarta.com

Register now – see, hear, and feel the transformation!

Get your early bird prices till 19 November 2015!

Contact: Karuna Center (Fandi) 021-56728264 WA 081287783338

Please kindly share to all your friends, this might be something they’ve been looking for. Thank you and see you there!

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Cleaning up my diet

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Happy Idul Fitri to all my muslim friends, congratulation for finishing the fasting month, time to celebrate! It’s a big break here in Indonesia and especially Jakarta, people go back to their hometown to visit their parents and extended family, and also go for holiday. It’s that time of the year when most people forget about their diet and splurge, and after the break try hard to burn all the calories again!

Although I’m not fasting nor celebrating Idul Fitri, I’m also trying to get rid of the few extra kilograms that has crept back. I hit my target weight of 59.9 kg around October/November last year, right before my first full marathon – managed to keep it a few months – and over time (over 6 months only – Mid Jan to Mid Jul) now I’m back at 62-63ish kg.

I thought I’m eating cleanly enough, exercising enough, resting enough, yet my body continues to gain weight. So these past few days I’ve been trying to pinpoint where did all this extra weight come from. Here’s what I found.

Drinks

I don’t drink soda and most ready-to-drinks bottled stuff. I sometimes drink isotonic drink, only when I’m out running outside. I do have a soft spot for hot chocolate and hot coffee. Hot chocolate obviously contains sugar so I’ve been eliminating that, and I opt for non-sugar coffee with cream. I thought hey non-dairy creamer is allright – it’s just a little fat, right? Well well I was wrong. Although it doesn’t taste sweet, non-dairy creamer contains sugar in form of glucose syrup. Exact ingredients of non-dairy creamer are: Glucose Syrup, Hardened Vegetable Fat, Sodium Caseinate (Contains Milk Protein), Stabiliser (E452II, E340II) and Emulsifier (Non-animal Origin) (E471), Anti-Caking Agent (E554), Colour (160B). Hardened vegetable fat is another name for trans-fat, which is not good for the body. OMG I have been drinking this stuff for quite a while. And all the other things that has only alphabet and numbers as a name. Oh dear.

I’m also drinking fruit & vegetable smoothie more now. Fruit & vegetable smoothie is supposed to be healthy isn’t it? What’s not good in wholesome blended greens and fruits? I guess what I did wrong was portion size, because I don’t want to just use half a fruit I just throw it all in the blender, I may prepared too much of it and drink it all up.

Cooking

I’ve been cooking more often now. Generally what I cook is simple vegetable soup with noodle. Or vegetable stir fry with rice. When I make soup, to make the flavor more strong, I sometimes put in up to 2 tablespoon of chili sauce. My favorite chili sauce brand is Dua Belibis (It got 4.7 score from hotsaucefever.com!). List of ingredients: chili (47,236%), sugar, water, garlic, vinegar, salt, monosodium glutamate flavor enhancers, preservatives (sodium benzoate, sodium metabisulfite). So as the second listed item, sugar could be just a bit less only than the chili… it could be up to 40%! No wonder this chili sauce taste so delicious.

When I cook vegetables, I generally cook for myself only (hubby doesn’t want to venture into my vegetarian cooking). Although I try to keep in mind about portion size, more often than not the final cooking is too much, but I don’t want to throw away any, and I don’t want to put it in the fridge because I don’t want to reheat food. So yes I ate the whole thing. The rationale “It’s all vegetables, should be OK” – well even if it’s vegetables, calorie is still calorie.

Snacks

I remember back in October – November last year I rarely snacked on anything other than fruits. I had the discipline to not put into my mouth anything highly processed (biscuits, cakes, donuts, fried stuff, breads, etc). Then I started to take a little bit, thinking “It’s OK just a little bit” – well it’s a slippery slope from there on. At first just one bite is OK. And then one piece is OK. And then suddenly one whole package is OK.

Action plan

Having identified the possible causes of my weight gain, here’s the changes I will implement to stop gaining weight and start losing it.

  • Drink more water or herbal tea
  • If I must have coffee, opt for black or with normal milk. Non-dairy creamer is a big NO
  • Watch portion size for smoothies & cooking – if I have to refrigerate half then so be it
  • NO bottled sauces in cooking. Read the ingredients!
  • Learn how to make my own chili sauce
  • Resist the temptation of unhealthy snacks… by always having a healthier snack alternatives available

I’m keeping my exercise & rest as it is, only changing my food & drinks intake. I will update the result in 3-4 weeks time.

Image credit: google image

Inner revolution

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The seventh post of Live Your Legend blog challenge: “What revolution will you lead?”

Definition of revolution from dictionary.com: a sudden, complete or marked change in something.

So in other words this question is similar with the previous prompt “What difference do you want to make?” but with more power and more urgency.

Last week I wrote about how people can only change if they want to change themselves – we can’t force people to walk through the door, we can only show them the door, and if they decide they want to walk through it they will. Now in order for us to notice the door, and get thinking about what’s on the other side of the door, and whether we should walk through it or not, we’ll have to be in a certain degree of non-reactiveness and awareness.

Non-reactiveness and awareness is quite rare these days, as we are bombarded with stimuli all the time from all around. Phone is ringing. Messages coming in through several different platforms. Non-stop emails pouring in. Pressures and deadlines at work. Stressful commuting. And many more. And we react to them. It’s even addicting, having to react to something. When there’s less stimuli, we seek out stimuli because we are bored. Because we want to react.

But if we react all the time, and have no time to be still, to be aware, we won’t be able to see the door of change. The door is not hidden, it’s there in plain sight, but if we don’t take time to pause and be still, we tend to not notice that door.

How to be still? How to be non-reactive? How to be aware?

First step: be comfortable in our own body, take charge of our own body, feed the body with enough nutritious food, keep it fit by staying active, give the body enough rest to recuperate. It starts with the body first because the body is the seat of the mind. Smoothly functioning body will help the mind to progress to the next step.

Second step: take time to train the mind. How? Through breath and meditation (both stillness meditation and moving meditation). The simplest way to train the mind is to watch it. Just watch, witness, and observe. Then we’ll start to see thoughts forming, out of nowhere. Like clouds form in the sky. If we pursue that thought, if we don’t abandon that thought, that’s where the trouble begin – pursuing thought generate other thoughts and before long we are worrying. If we just observe that thought, it’ll move on, or disintegrate, like clouds. After a while, we get better at noticing the thought cloud forming, and we get better at not pursuing the thought cloud. Then the mind sky become clearer, because the thought clouds moved on.

Another way to train the mind is to anchor the mind’s attention to one thought. So where there were many thoughts, we train the mind to hold just one thought. And that one thought can be breath, can be mantra, can be sound, can be a form, can be anything. By placing all the attention to that one particular thought, all the other thoughts moved on, cleared away, then the mind sky become clear.

When the mind is clear, the water is still, the ripples are gone, the mud has settled down, then comes clarity. We can see through the clear water. We can access the inner wisdom that’s in everyone of us. We are in touch with the buddhi. We notice there’s the door of change, and we can see what’s on the other side of that door, and decide whether we want to walk through the door or not.

The revolution I want to lead is an inner revolution. I want to inspire and help people to pause and be still, to overcome reactiveness, to arrive at clarity, to allow the inner wisdom, the buddhi, come forward and make decision. Then they’ll be able to change, perhaps to change something in their life so they can live a happier and more meaningful life.

Image credit: wallpapersdesign.net

Health is wealth

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It is health that is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

It is said that health is the only true wealth. I agree; without health, there’s nothing else. Without health we can’t enjoy anything – the world, the people around us, the food we eat, the nice house we live in, etc. But peculiarly we very often forgot about this, and put health in the backseat.

I’ve been through that. Somehow I placed my health secondary to career. I worked 12 hours a day (sometimes more), didn’t exercise, didn’t eat properly, smoked cigarettes, hunched in front of a screen all day. Gulped coffee to keep me going and pulled all-nighters when needed. My body protested by giving some warning signs. There were the monthly flu, the headaches and lethargy. Fell ill several times, although I didn’t need to be hospitalised, the doctors ordered a few days of complete rest at home.

Thankfully along the way my priorities got sorted out. I must thank yoga for that, it was through yoga that I became more in touch with myself, and started to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It didn’t happen overnight, but the small changes accumulated. Now it’s been years since I fell ill or had the flu. I very rarely have headaches or feeling unwell. I have reasonably good energy level during the day and sleep soundly at night. Not only baseline healthy, I can say now I’m fit as well, I participate in endurance sports for fun.

There are plenty of healthy lifestyle advise out there, there’s no lack of resources to get started. And there’s nothing new really, it’s all common sense. No quick fixes, no magic pills. It boils down to the choices we make everyday. Here’s a list of the small changes towards healthier lifestyle that I did.

  • Reduce sugar intake. The fastest way to do this is by not adding sugar to your tea or coffee (obviously), and give up packaged drinks (soft drinks, bottled juices, anything in tetrapaks, instant 3in1 hot choco, etc). Read the nutrition label and see the sugar content.
  • Eat more naturally. Always choose food that is least processed. Avoid instant & packaged food. Avoid biscuits and snacks. I know sometimes it is not practical, but just do the best we can.
  • Exercise. Find an activity that you like to do, that moves the body in such a way that it raises the heart rate and get some sweat going. For me it’s yoga and running, now I include strength training as well. The key here is finding what we enjoy doing, be it dancing, swimming, basketball, martial arts, whatever. If we enjoy it, we’ll stick with it.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits. Always have some fruits ready at the fridge, bring easy to peel fruits to work (eg bananas, oranges). Order salad if we eat out.
  • Drink enough plain water. I used to keep a 2 litre jug at the desk at work and my target is to finish the water in a day.
  • Savor the food we eat properly. Take time to enjoy the texture and flavor, and chew thoroughly.
  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday. The body functions better with a routine. Sleep enough that when we wake up in the morning we feel fresh and alert.
  • Drink freshly squeezed lemon water in the morning.
  • Avoid junk food. Try to prepare food at home as much as possible. If this isn’t possible, find a healthier food vendor, take a healthy catering if necessary.
  • Have enough quiet downtime. Journalling, meditate, read, anything that gives the body-mind a break, a quiet time.

Now I’m fine-tuning my food intake by consuming more alkaline and sattvic food. I adapted this from a book that my guru published, The Wellness Sense, a practical guide for physical and emotional health based on Ayurvedic & yogic wisdom. It’s available in ebook format from Amazon.

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This book is not only about food. There is explanation on the body’s constitution (the three doshas), yogic and Ayurvedic cleansing practices, cycle of disease, mental afflictions and detoxification, and much more. Swamiji summarized healthy living in three key points: simplify our life (in all aspects), everything in balance and moderation, and always remember to be grateful for this life we’ve been blessed with.

When we are healthy, we can enjoy life fully, and that’s the whole point of living isn’t it? To enjoy the creation. With a healthy body and mind, we can continue doing what we do best in the best way we can, and continue contributing to others and to the world.

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.
~ Joyce Meyer

The essence of yoga and all the faiths and traditions is to be easeful in body, peaceful in mind, and useful in life. The aim of yoga is to make the body healthy and the mind tranquil and pure. With a pure mind and a healthy body, you become a useful instrument for God.
~ Sri Swami Satchidananda