Miracles: Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire

Dr. Deepak Chopra, through his many books, lectures and workshops has been providing us with many critical tools to create the magnificent, miraculous life that he says is our birthright. Even if we think that our future is completely mapped out, things inevitably happen to shape our destiny in ways that we can't even imagine. These everyday coincidences or little miracles, he assures us, are hints that the universe has bigger plans for us, bigger than we have ever before imagined. We can learn to tap into the field of pure potentiality, he says, where anything and everything is possible—where dreams can come true, simply by intending for them to occur.

Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire is effectively harnessing the power of coincidence. Not only are everyday coincidences meaningful, they actually provide us with glimpses of the field of infinite possibilities that lies at the heart of all things. By gaining access to this wellspring of creation, we can literally rewrite our destinies in any way we wish.

Miracles happen every day. Not just in remote country villages or at holy sites halfway across the globe, but here in our own lives. They bubble up from their hidden source, surround us with opportunities, and disappear. They are the shooting stars of everyday life. When we see shooting stars, their rarity makes them seem magical, but in fact, they streak across the sky all the time. We just don't notice them during the day, dazzled as we are by sunlight, and at night they appear only if we happen to look up at the right place in a clear dark sky.

Although we think of them as extraordinary, miracles also streak across our consciousness every day. We can choose to notice or ignore them, unaware that our destinies may hang in the balance. Tune in to the presence of miracles, and in an instant, life can be transformed into a dazzling experience, more wondrous and exciting than we could have ever imagined. Ignore it, and an opportunity is gone forever. The question is, would you recognize a miracle if you saw one? If you recognized it, what would you do? And if you could somehow orchestrate your own miracles, which miracles would you choose?

Synchrodestiny is not a fantasy. It is the understanding that heaven and earth are the same; that synchronicity, meaningful coincidence, miracles, and good luck are all different terms for the same phenomenon. The intelligence of the body works through coincidence and synchronicity. The extended intelligence of nature and the ecosystem, the great web of life, also works through coincidence and synchronicity, as does the fundamental intelligence of the universe.

Although most of us do not live at the level of soul, we can rely on coincidences to show us the will of the universe. We all have experienced coincidences in our lives. The word itself means co–“with” and incidence means “event.” So the word refers to events or incidents that occur with other incidents—two or more events occurring at the same time. Because the experience of coincidences is universal, most people take them for granted—life's quirky moments—and then forget about them. Coincidences are much more than amusements. They are a clue to the intention of the universal spirit. The meaning of the coincidence does not happen with the incident itself but with the person it is happening to. Without our participation any incident would be meaningless.

Coincidences are messages that guide us like dreams to help us manifest our intentions. So first you must have an intention and you must get in touch with your spiritual self. Only then will you have a way of using coincidences to fulfill your intentions.

There's a conspiracy of coincidences that weaves the web of karma or destiny and creates an individual's personal life. The only reason we don't experience synchronicity in our daily lives is that we do not live in the level of where it is happening. Usually we see only cause and effect relationships: This causes that, which causes this, which causes that—linear trajectories. Yet beneath the surface something else is happening. Invisible to us is a whole web of connections. As it becomes apparent, we see how our intentions are woven into this web, which is much more relational, much more holistic, much more nurturing than our surface experience could ever be.

As you look back on the pivotal events in your life—even if some events, activities, or conversations seemed insignificant at the time—you can discover a series of synchronicities or coincidences along the way. So much of life depends on chance meetings, ironic twists of fate, or new ideas that branch out in completely new directions. By simply tracing your personal history you can gain enormous insight into the role that coincidence has played in your life. And by reaching into your non-local mind through meditation and mindfulness you can harness the infinite power of coincidence to shape your own destiny.

Through the 5,000 year old Vedic tradition of Ayurveda, Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simon, co-founders of the Chopra Center, teach the basic tools for restoration such as meditation, yoga and mind-body awareness. For further information, or to learn more about Chopra Center workshops please visit : www. Chopra.com

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Letters to Deepak

Dear Deepak,

I am a woman who feels she is at a crossroads in her life; everything I thought had certainty seems to be shifting. Even my body is starting to change in ways I never imagined. I often question whether life will hold any great surprises for me or will the pain of uncertainty and the anxiety I feel each day win out? Is it possible to change the way I feel about life as I approach one of its most difficult stages?

Arlene Hoffman

San Clemente, CA

Dear Arlene,

What you speak of is the timeless connection between your body and mind as your psychology is changing in ways you have not expected and your mind is focused on other challenges. Bringing balance to this body-mind connection is a path that can bring you peace of mind. Meditation as taught at the Chopra Center can be your first step on the Journey to emotional healing & physical balance. Women experiencing life transitions have found an easing of menopausal systems such as hot flashes & irritability through the gentle integration of a daily meditative practice. Change can truly come from within staring with at the level of the soul. The uncertainty you write of is a component of the cycles of life. One of the 7 Spiritual Laws of Success—the Law of Detachment—suggests that you factor in uncertainty as a core part of your day so that change can become a highlight and a magical surprise, rather than something to be feared.

 

Dear Deepak,

I have been a meditator on and off for 15 years. Sometimes with great success and have seen the value; other times I have abandoned the practice as a waste of time. I truly believe there is something more to this life than the material world around me but I have struggled with trying to understand the difference between soul and spirit and where my life fits in the whole equation. Is there a way I can reconnect to my inner self without spending 100 hours in therapy?

Benjamin Mosma

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Dear Benjamin,

At our six-day meditation retreat, Seduction of Spirit, we go through an exercise called a soul profile. This process is an opening of the door to our deepest level of consciousness with the physical body, casual body, subtle body and the world outside of ourselves where we consider the fact that are all the same thing: pure consciousness wearing different disguises. At the level of your soul you are unbounded consciousness brimming with infinite possibilities. The proof of this is when we drift from activity, thoughts, sounds, sensations into a realm of stillness and silence where we experience present-moment awareness. At the moment you are the silent witness to that spirit you seek because at that moment you are spirit. The soul is to spirit as a wave is to the ocean. The Sanskrit, Aham Brahmasmi means I am the Universe. So when you ask the question, “How do I tap into spirit?” you have already answered because you are one and the same thing.

Dear Dr. Chopra,

I never imagined I would be writing you a letter since I have spent the last 20 years as someone entrenched in corporate America. I am one of those women who does it all.

I have run the house, raised the kids, been a supportive wife and been an equal participate in the family's finances. I do a great job at work but I am tired.

I don't believe the answer for me would be a week at a luxury spa but I need a quick fix. My husband shares the same ailment; he is bit of a workaholic and perfectionist too.

We would both benefit from learning to balance life, but honestly who has the time?

Dr. Chopra, do you make house calls?

Grace Copeland

Rancho Bernanrdo, CA

Dear Grace,

As you probably know I am an endocrinologist but I do not make house calls.

But Dr. David Simon & I do host a weekend retreat for the sole purpose of renewing the body; mind and spirit for those challenged with time management issues. Together you will learn how to weave balance through nutrition, the tools of mediation, yoga and emotional release. You are probably carrying a lot of stress in your mind and every cell in your body feels it as well. In the corporate environment the weight of deadlines, meetings and office demands often feels overwhelming. Renewal Weekend will help you reconnect with the unconditional self that lies beneath all those layers of work, home, and relationship challenges. Please join us for Renewal Weekend in Berkeley and at the Chopra Center on the grounds of the La Costa Resort and Spa.

For more information about the Soul of Healing Workshop with Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simon e-mail: SOH@Chopra.com For the Renewal Weekend information e-mail: RW@Chopra.com

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Alcoholism, Part 4 -- Healing the Body
    

Over the course of the last three issues of The Light Connection, this column has been exploring the causes, symptoms, and cures for alcoholism. While we must first heal brain chemistry, all organ systems need to be supported and healed, and three major metabolic imbalances need to be targeted in the alcoholic.

1. Hypoglycemia

2. Candidiasis

3. Adrenal Exhaustion

Hypoglycemia

90-95% of alcoholics are hypoglycemic, including alcoholics who have not had a drink in years. Hypoglycemia can cause depression, digestive disorders, muscle pain, numbness, lack of sex drive, allergies, poor concentration and memory, muscle twitching, nightmares, anxiety, fear, shortness of breath, fatigue, and dizziness.

Let's look at basic sugar chemistry. Each time you consume any form of sugar, whether processed white sugar, fruit, or alcohol, your pancreas releases insulin in response to a rise in blood sugar (glucose). Insulin temporarily binds to glucose and transports it across cell membranes into our cells. Glucose is our body's main fuel and our brain's only fuel.

After insulin “drives” glucose into the cells, blood sugar drops. Let's say that your baseline blood glucose before breakfast is 80. Thirty to sixty minutes after breakfast (or the consumption of sugar), your blood sugar might rise to 150. After insulin transports glucose into our cells, glucose in the blood drops. In the healthy individual, glucose slowly and steadily declines over a five-hour period until it is back at your baseline (80, for example). In the healthy individual, glucose will not drop below your baseline. Things are quite different for the hypoglycemic. One to two hours after eating, glucose will drop from its high point (150, for example), and will plunge below baseline. Let's say that your glucose drops to 60. It will take several hours for your glucose to slowly climb back to baseline (80). During those hours of hypoglycemia your brain will be deprived of glucose and you may feel depressed, anxious, shaky, confused, and tired. People with fatigue and depression 2 to 4 hours after eating are dealing with hypoglycemia.

The alcoholic “cures” his hypoglycemia by drinking, for alcohol is loaded with sugar. Each sip of alcohol temporarily increases your glucose. Briefly, you will feel better and may even function better. However, alcohol is the worst source of glucose you can find.

If you are hypoglycemic, you may feel as if you are on a mental and physical roller coaster, and probably don't know why. Over time, your pancreas has a more difficult time creating insulin in response to the sugar you ingest, and so insulin-glucose chemistry becomes impaired.

The stress of hypoglycemia causes your adrenals to work overtime, releasing the hormones epinephrine and cortisol. Epinephrine causes your liver to break down glycogen into glucose. We'll talk more about the adrenal glands in a minute. For now, it is important to understand that blood sugar problems steadily pound away at the adrenals.

Treating Hypoglycemia

To begin to manage low blood sugar, you will need to change your diet by restricting sugar and low quality carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables, and some grains are high quality carbohydrates. Junk foods and pasta are low quality carbs, and they break down quickly into sugar. By eliminating sugar, you can finally give your pancreas a rest.

Here are nutritional supplements that will help with sugar metabolism and will decrease sugar cravings:

L-Glutamine, an amino acid that decreases sugar cravings.

L-Alanine (amino acid),

Vitamin C,

Magnesium,

Pantothenic acid, and

Niacin (Vitamin B3).

Chromium picolinate stabilizes blood glucose. Alcohol and refined sugar cause a loss of chromium. One study showed low chromium levels in 91% of alcoholics.

Candida

Generalized candidiasis (also called “candida”) is a huge problem for many alcoholics. Candida, a systemic yeast infection, causes problems from head to toe, creating symptoms that include: exhaustion and fatigue, brain fog, depression, poor concentration, poor memory, adrenal exhaustion, intestinal gas and bloating, muscle weakness . . . and hypoglycemia. By looking at this last item, hypoglycemia, you can begin to see the tangled web of metabolic chaos caused by alcoholism. Candida remains “voodoo medicine” for much of mainstream medicine. Most conventional doctors do not believe you can have a yeast problem throughout your body unless you have AIDS, terminal cancer, or are suffering from the side effects of cancer chemotherapy.

Here is how candida begins. We all have some yeast in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It is part of the normal balance or ecology of the GI tract. A variety of things can cause yeast, or candida, to overgrow. Antibiotics are a main offender. You may be prescribed an antibiotic for a bladder infection, but antibiotics do not have intelligence, so they kill bacteria everywhere, including “friendly” bacteria in our GI tracts, like acidophilus and bifidus. When healthy bacteria are killed off, candida rapidly multiplies, so that your GI tract is filled with excessive amounts of candida. This intestinal overgrowth can lead to gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn.

Candida has two states—a bud state and a hyphae state. Hyphae are like fingers that dig into the lining of our GI tract, causing irritation, malabsorption, and possibly leaky-gut syndrome.

Candida does its damage is several ways: 1) It causes irritation and inflammation wherever it is present. In the GI tract it causes chronic irritation and inflammation of the lining of the GI tract, 2) Candida eats some of the food you are ingesting. Instead of feeding your body, you are feeding your candida, 3) Candida produces up to 100 neurotoxins which are made up of short chains of amino acids, called “peptides.” Candida, all by itself, can make your brain quite sick. It will not permanently poison your brain, for the toxins it releases are subtle in their action and are not deadly.

After years of intestinal overgrowth, candida easily finds its way into the blood stream, infiltrating nearly every organ and anchoring into body tissues with their hyphae. Systemic candida can be innocuous or it can cause more than 50 symptoms, as described above. In terms of alcoholism, candida causes hypoglycemia, digestive problems, fatigue, mood swings, insomnia, poor memory and concentration, allergies, and sugar cravings.

Nothing feeds candida better than alcohol, for the two “foods” that feed yeast are sugar and yeast. Alcohol is made by a fermentation process involving fruits, grains, and sometimes yeast. Consumption of alcohol makes candida worse and worse. A 1991 study of 213 alcoholic patients showed 55% of alcoholic women and 35% of men had candida overgrowth.

There are a number of ways of diagnosing systemic candida. The history is extremely important, for one can have normal lab data, but still have candida overgrowth. If a woman has frequent vaginal yeast infections, oral thrush (white coated tongue), fungus growing between her toes and in her fingernails, I “know” she has systemic candida, regardless of what the results of lab work are. But lab work is important and includes: 1) Stool analysis for yeast, 2) Anti-candida antibody blood test. I order the blood test through ImmunoScience Labs in Beverly Hills , California . This test indicates if one has intestinal candida overgrowth, systemic overgrowth . . . or both. It also provides a numerical value for the amount of candida, which lets me know how bad the candida problem is. When I re-test after 3 months of treatment, the anti-candida antibody test lets me know how much improvement there has been.

Treating Candida

1. Anti-fungal drugs and herbs. Medications like Nizoral and Diflucan are, by far, the most powerful agents for killing candida wherever it is. However, these medications can be hard on the liver, and so I never prescribe them without first ordering blood work to test the liver. I repeat liver tests every month. The medication Nystatin is weaker than Nizoral or Diflucan, but does not adversely affect the liver. Herbs, like Caprylic Acid, Olive Leaf Extract, and oil of oregano are useful in controlling overgrowth of intestinal candida, but are not terribly effective in treating systemic candida.

2. The amino acid, L-Glutamine, helps heal the lining of the GI tract, which is damaged by candida.

3. Probiotics, supplements containing billions of friendly bacteria (acidophilus, bifidus, and other friendly bacteria) are a must.

4. The mineral Molybdenum prevents candida from going back and forth from the bud state to the hyphae state, keeping candida in its bud state.

5. Candida diet. Avoid all forms of sugar, yeast, bread, and anything fermented or aged. With the exception of mushrooms, all vegetables are fine, whether raw or cooked, as are beef, poultry, and fish. You can find yeast-free bread.

You cannot be reductionistic in treating a chronic health problem, looking for the one and only cause. From this series of articles on alcoholism, you have seen how complex the causes of alcoholism are, and how comprehensive treatment must be. After reading about hypoglycemia and candida, you can see that there is overlap between these two problems, with candida worsening hypoglycemia. Together they gang up to cause chronic stress on the adrenal glands.

Adrenal Exhaustion

Chronic physical and mental/emotional stress “hammer away” at the adrenal glands. The stress of candida and hypoglycemia cause the adrenal glands to produce epinephrine and cortisol in response to each signal of stress. The adrenal glands are part of our fight-or-flight system. The pituitary gland is the master gland of the endocrine (hormone) system, and is part of a feedback loop with the adrenals.

Cortisol and epinephrine mediate all the physiological reactions of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight response evolved as an emergency survival mechanism. When the caveman was confronting a cave bear, the fight-or-flight chemistry kicked in, preparing him to either run for his life, or fight for survival. Our mind/body complex cannot tell the difference between the real threat to life of the cave bear, and the threat of an angry boss. Our bodies respond to all stress as if it were life threatening. The physiology of the fight-or-flight response includes:

Glycogen breaks down into glucose so there is an instant release of ready energy.

The heart pumps faster.

All bodily functions not required for immediate survival shut down. Digestion stops.

Blood vessels in your skin shut down, so that if you are injured in combat, bleeding will be minimized. However, blood pressure goes way up.

The immune system temporarily weakens, as it is not needed to fight the cave bear. Sexual function also shuts down.

Cortisol is the main stress hormone. It functions by:

Increasing blood coagulation.

Reducing inflammation and the immune response.

Stimulating the brain and reducing sleep.

Reducing insulin secretion by the pancreas.

Increasing glucose production in the liver by breaking down glycogen.

Increasing blood sugar levels.

To review: You have already read that increased blood sugar levels cause your pancreas to produce more and more insulin. Chronic blood sugar problems, namely hypoglycemia, cause the adrenal glands to work overtime to stabilize blood sugar.

Many of us live in a state of frequent or constant stress. With the alcoholic, much of the adrenal stress is caused by physical factors. In the early phases of stress, the adrenals are pumped up, producing high levels of cortisol and epinephrine. Over the years, the adrenals cannot keep up with the stress and so the release of cortisol becomes erratic, with the adrenals releasing too much cortisol at certain times of the day, and too little at other times. You WILL BE exhausted when your adrenals are not producing enough cortisol.

After many years of unrelenting stress (mental or physical), the adrenals give out, producing abnormally low levels of cortisol throughout the day. At this point, you become overwhelmed by stress, light, sound, emotion, and other stimuli. Social interactions that were once easy for you become challenging. We require cortisol to handle the “normal” stress of everyday challenges. This is healthy stress. Not all stress is bad. However, when cortisol levels drop to permanently low levels, once simple tasks become difficult. Focusing and concentrating on once simple tasks can become overwhelming. At this point, you are in adrenal exhaustion and you feel fatigued most of the time.

Treating

Adrenal Exhaustion

Healing adrenal exhaustion is not easy, but here are some initial steps:

1. Practice meditation or relaxation techniques to decrease stress.

2. Take a multiple B Vitamin 2 to 3 times a day. Stress depletes B Vitamins.

3. Take the necessary steps to treat hypoglycemia and candida. By so doing, you will take an enormous stress off the adrenals.

4. Take the B Vitamin Pantothenic Acid to support adrenal function.

5. See your doctor and ask for an Adrenal-cortico stress test. This is a saliva test.

6. Your doctor may suggest that you take pregnenolone, the mother hormone for the adrenal gland, from which adrenal hormones are made. Pregnenolone is a safe hormone.

7. Your doctor may suggest taking DHEA in the range of 25 mg a day, to support the adrenal glands while they are resting and healing.

8. If you have normal blood pressure, you can take licorice root, which supports the adrenals as well as the lining of the GI tract.

9. Adrenal glandular extracts.

10. If you suffer crippling adrenal exhaustion, your doctor may recommend hydrocortisone (trade name: Cortef). Cortef should not be taken in doses greater than 15 mg a day, which is the amount your adrenals should be making. If you take too much Cortef, you will interfere with the adrenal-pituitary axis, and it will be difficult for your adrenals to recover.

Diagnosis and treatment of adrenal stress and exhaustion is complex. You want to look at all of the above recommendations as temporary solutions that give your adrenals a rest as well as the nutrients they need to recover. If you don't address issues of stress, both mental and physical, you won't give your adrenal glands a chance to recover.

Adrenal exhaustion and candida have a great deal to do with intestinal health. And blood sugar chemistry (hypoglycemia) has a lot to do with adrenal exhaustion and candida.

Full recovery from alcoholism requires a change in thinking. There are multiple causes of alcoholism. There are tremendous problems with brain chemistry that can be repaired. There are huge problems from head to toe that I call “metabolic chaos.” Hypoglycemia, candidiasis, adrenal exhaustion, and digestive problems are the major causes of metabolic chaos. All of these problems can be tested for, diagnosed, and treated.

What is required for full recovery is a powerful commitment to change your life, your diet, and how you handle stress. You can also re-define what is really a stress for you. You can move out of the mind-set that alcoholism is an untreatable disease. You will need a good doctor, determination, understanding, and the willingness to go the distance until you achieve your level of optimal health. Do not let anyone determine or define what your highest level of functioning can be. Such labeling is usually destructive. It's your life. Go for broke, and realize that there is no false hope. To quote Bernie Siegel, “There is only false no-hope.” When you are ready, begin your climb out of a lifetime of metabolic problems to discover that a wealth of energy, peace of mind, physical strength and well-being is probably a reasonable dream to strive for.

In the next issue, we will conclude this five-part series on alcoholism by examining psychological and spiritual issues.

David Gersten, M.D. practices nutritional medicine and psychiatry out of his Encinitas office and can be reached at 760-633-3063. Please feel free to access 1,000 on-line pages about holistic health, amino acids, and nutritional therapy at www.aminoacidpower.com.

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Dear Louise

Dear Louise,

Do you know what causes paroxysmal atrial tachycardia?

H.J., Boulder, Colorado

Dear H.J.,

You need to calm your anxious heart, dear one. Why don't you just call it “rapid heartbeat” instead of that dreadful label? Instead of worrying about every little thing, love and appreciate everything you do have. Trust that Life will always take care of you. Look into the mirror, put your hands over your heart, and say: “Heart, I love you. You can calm down. We are safe.” Then breathe deeply. Appreciate your heart, your lungs, and every other organ in your miraculous body. All is truly well.

Dear Louise,

Is it true that there must be a balance of good and evil in the universe? If so, then isn't it true that for every good and loving act someone performs, the universe must balance that with the creation of an evil act?

M.K., London, England

Dear M.K.,

Oh my! I've been getting the most bizarre letters and questions since September 11, 2001. I think the events of that date triggered some fear corner in our collective brains. Stop wasting your thoughts thinking about evil. There is no evil. There are simply some people behaving very foolishly. But that's only because they don't understand the laws of life. What you give out comes back to you. Always. It's just that simple. The outpouring of love and compassion around the world since that date has been amazing.

Decide what you want to receive in your world—not what the media tells you is coming. Think the thoughts that will attract that, and you can create your own paradise.Affirm: I live in the paradise of my own creation. I am the creator of my life. I love Mme!

Dear Louise,

I went back to school at age 53 to get a long-dreamed-about MBA. I'm not ready to change careers, as I'm done with school, but I'm 58 now and terrified that I'll be subjected to age discrimination and never get the job I desire. Help me through worrying about my age in this crazy job market!

R.Z., Richmond, Virginia

Dear R.Z.,

Time to stop whining! You went to school for the joy of it. You're now giving the world the opportunity to experience your wonderful new self. All that other stuff may be true for others. It's not true for you! You're not under the law of anyone else's thinking. You create your own reality.

Now, what is the reality you really want for yourself? Get a hold of your thinking, girl. It's your world. Make it the way you want it. Here are some affirmations to use:

There are people looking for exactly what I have to offer. They will be delighted with my joyous personality and positive outlook on life. They see my spirit and love me. I attract a good salary, and the job market is perfect for me. All my dreams come true, and I love life!

Subscribe to the Louise Hay Newsletter! Call for a Free Issue: (800) 654-5126, or fax (800) 650-5115. Ask for a free catalog of books, audios, videos, and products by Louise Hay and other Hay House authors. If you would like Louise to answer your letter, send it to: admin@hayhouse.com or write: Hay House, P.O. Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100. Visit www.hayhouse.com

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