Sunday, March 29, 2009

A message that is worth repeating: Now is the perfect time for internal spring cleaning.

As I've found out over the last few days, sometimes, if you want to clean up a mess, you need to make a bigger mess first.

In last week's post, I mentioned that I was going to participate in a sweat lodge and then start a fast to cleanse myself of old energys and make room for rejuvenation and rebirth. Well, the sweat was powerful; it initiated a very deep cleansing process for me, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I actually felt kind of sick for a couple of days, didn't sleep very well and had some really freaky dreams. And the fast, which I began on Monday, magnified the experience. It wasn't until about midmorning on Thursday that I started to feel a bit normal. By early afternoon, I felt fantastic -- lighter and with more energy than I have had for awhile. I got lots of work done and even went on a short trail run to enjoy the beautiful spring afternoon.

A photo I took from the trail

If I didn't understand the nature of healing, I might have been tempted to end my fast as I started to feel worse and worse. Luckily, I knew what was going on; feeling sick was how my body happened to be reacting to the deep cleansing that was taking place. Sometimes, in order to wash old stuff out, you need to stir it up first.

Over the last week, I have had several new clients. Two of them actually felt a bit worse after their first adjustment. To explain why, I used the analogy of cleaning a room. When you do your spring cleaning, part of the process is pulling things out of drawers and closets so you can decide what stays and what goes. Initially, the room that you're cleaning will have junk strewn all over the place. It will be chaos. Then, as the cleanup progresses, the room begins to look neater and cleaner. Fianlly, the job is done, the room is neat as a pin, and there's no more junk hiding in the closets.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Time for some internal spring cleaning! Get rid of what's no longer serving you to make room for better health...

Happy Spring! This is a time for renewal...for rebirth...

As we all know, one of the most time honored of spring traditions is spring cleaning. I'm an enthusiastic proponent of it myself. But for me, it is not as important to clean out my house as it is to cleanse and renew my self.

There are two personal rituals I practice in conjunction with each spring equinox. First, if you happen to be reading this on Sunday afternoon, think of me -- I'll be sitting with fellow sojourners, in a sweat lodge ceremony of the Native American tradition. The day after the lodge, I will begin a multi-day fast. (I always wait until the day after the lodge to start my fast, because a sweat lodge is followed by a feast, and I don't want to miss the feast.)

Both the sweat lodge and the fast are deep, cleansing experiences, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They both provide an opportunity to release things that no longer serve -- toxins, foods, vibrations, ego, habits, patterns, relationships, limiting blockages, beliefs, judgements...the list goes on...

When we let go of things we no longer need, we make room for a new, healthier, more empowering way of living. In other words, fasting and sweating -- or whatever avenue you may choose to do your own spring cleaning -- can lead to rebirth.

Enjoy your new life!

What does this image have to do with your health?
I'll leave that to our imagination...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The greatest adventure is the journey of self discovery.

I went on Arctic expedition the other downtown Coeur d'Alene...during my lunch hour!

I often like to take walks during my lunch hour (which is actually two hours). One of my favorite walks includes walking around the CdA Resort's floating boardwalk, around City Park and back around the boardwalk. The boardwalk is just over a half mile long and is the world's longest floating boardwalk.

It was a bitter cold day. The temperature was close to zero; the wind chill was no doubt below zero. The wind was splashing waves up onto the snow-covered boardwalk, making for icy, treacherous walking conditions on a boardwalk that was rocking heavily.

In all, the route is only about two miles, but in conditions like this, two miles has the feel of a raw, extreme, epic adventure! It was a challenging walk, but exhilirating. And it was just outside my office door. You don't always need to travel to a distant locale to find adventure

In fact, you don't even have to step outside your front door. The most daring, sometimes frightening, always breathtaking journey that you will ever take is to go deep inside yourself.

Your journey will take you to beautiful vistas you could not have imagined, by way of dark canyons you never expected. As you descend into the deepest, darkest of valleys, you will behold magnificent views on the way down. At the bottom you will discover some of the most verdant and unexpected beauty—beauty you could not see from the top. Not until you reach the bottom can you find the treasures that the valley has to offer.

As you climb out of each valley toward the next peak, you will rarely get a straight shot to the top. On the way up you will encounter dips, plateaus and unexpected detours. Each of these milestones has a gift which you will find if you keep your eyes open. You will always find the top. Always. Sometimes it might not look like what you expected. Remain open to the different gifts that life has to offer, and you will always make it to the top...

Enjoy your adventure!
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Are You Afraid of Better Health?

I overcame a great fear the other day -- my fear of mashed potatoes.

Seriously. Mashed potatoes.

These weren't just any mashed potatoes. They were the ones that had been gradually changing color in a Tupperware container in the back of my fridge since Christmas. This past Christmas, I had the good fortune of partaking in three separate Christmas dinners. As a result, I enjoyed many meals of leftover turkey and fixings. Finally, sometime toward the end of January, I called it quits on Christmas dinner. The last holdout was one small container of mashed potatoes. It has since been lingering behind the orange juice and yogurt, not really in the way and usually obscured from view. On those occasions when I noticed them, I would pause, say to myself, "I need to throw those away. Later." Then I'd slide them back out of the way and close the door. I just didn't want to deal with them. Every time I looked at them, I could tell that finally opening up the container was not going to be pleasant. When I finally did it, it was very unpleasant. But I did it, and now I don't have to deal with it anymore. And I have Tupperware container that I can use again.

So, what does this have to do with health?

Better health means change. And life changes -- even positive ones, and even easy ones -- can be scary. Maybe better health will require you to change parts of your lifestyle that are ingrained and you know will be inconvenient to change. Maybe better health will nullify some of your excuses. If you become healthier, you may not fit in with your current group of friends. Perhaps others don't believe you can change your life, and you're afraid of their nay-saying. Or, maybe, (fill in your own fear here.)

Now is as good a time as any. Reach back to the back of the fridge and clear out your old, green mashed potatoes. Don't be afraid. It'll be OK...

Wishing you a vibrant week,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Sunday, March 1, 2009

You are a collection of the finest gems imaginable.

I had an epiphany the other day when I was doing yoga in the snow. (That’s right…I like to do yoga in the snow. I don’t even bundle up. I wear no more than if I were practicing inside my warm house.) The day was clear, bright and sunny. As I moved through my yoga postures, the sun would catch individual snowflakes at just the right angle, and the glint reminded me of diamonds. My mind formed a picture of me practicing yoga in a field covered with brilliant, sparkling diamonds. I was reminded that the beauty of Nature that surrounded me was a precious gift. This is true every moment of our lives, wherever we may be.

“Ha,” you may be saying, “What if I’m in the middle of a big smoggy city, surrounded by skyscrapers and snarled traffic, and can’t even see Nature? Where’s the beauty there?”

“Well,” I reply, “you are surrounded by your own body, a beautiful and perfect creation of Nature."

Every part of your body – every molecule, chemical, cell, structure, blemish, germ, feeling, thought and dream – is a precious, sparkling jewel. Each individual gem brings you a gift, as does the synergistic whole of your being. Think about it for but a moment you will be able to find the gifts in every part of you.

To illustrate the point, go back and look at the picture at the top of this post. It's a picture of a dead tree on a gray, cloudy, freezing, muddy, slushy day. And it's beautiful!

Yours in beauty and perfection,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Coeur d'Alene, and Sandpoint, Idaho