[This is the third post of a 3-part series.]
It was my friend Paula’s gardens that saved me me.
Just over a year ago, when we first moved to Oahu from ‘upcountry’ Maui, we lived in a house owned by a friend in a suburban neighborhood of Honolulu. From the beginning, I felt that something in the house was not quite right, though I attributed much of what I was feeling––an ongoing sense of mild autonomic nervous system activation, a slight buzzy feeling, a slight nausea––simply to the fact of being back in the power grid of a city. Surrounded by power lines, radio towers, cell phones, and a dozen neighbors with WiFi was vastly different from dear Maui, where we lived encircled by a whispering eucalyptus and pine wood high on an unspoiled mountainside. (Our residences for years before that, in the Spanish campo and English countryside, were also rural.)
I realize that I am far more sensitive to electromagnetic energy than most. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember, though I believe my acute sensitivity is one of the things that always helped me in my work in the healing arts, particularly when working the subtle ‘energy’ modalities. For better or worse, I have only a short window that I can work on a computer or talk on a mobile, and WiFi quickly makes me nauseated, scattered, and woozy. I cannot even be in the same room as an active microwave, and I find electronics stores (BestBuy, the Apple store, etc.) very challenging after only a few minutes. However, just because others are less sensitive and don’t easily feel the negative effect on their biofield from electronic waves doesn’t mean that disruption isn’t happening, as noted in Parts 1 & 2.
The longer I stayed in that Honolulu house, the worse I felt. Built on a hillside and accessed by a deck, there was no yard or garden to speak of, other than an overgrown terrace below the lower part of the house. Not able to simply step outside and place my feet on the earth, as I have for so long, I was no longer ‘grounding’ daily.
As the months went by, I deteriorated. I grew steadily weaker and more tired, and I began having blood sugar issues again. I was worn out simply from climbing the stairs, exhausted to the point that I needed to lie down. I was no longer able to work other than for a brief period in the morning. An ongoing, low-level headache plagued me for weeks. I couldn’t have been further from health, and my mate was beginning to grow concerned.
While I realized that I felt depressed about leaving Maui and living in the suburbs of Honolulu, I sensed deeply––intuitively––that my physical ailing was more than mere depression. I know the faces of my blues demons; this was new. Repeatedly, I told my partner, “This is electromagnetic. It’s like I’m being bombarded by massive amounts of electromagnetic energy and my own field is totally deranged.”
We moved the WiFi downstairs and shut it off when not in use, but overall I didn’t notice much of a difference––though I can always feel when our home WiFi powers down, or is actively transmitting to/from a device I’m using. When I left the house, I felt better––less nauseated, less ‘buzzy’, not so tired and weak––particularly if I went to the beach and put my feet in the sand or water for at least half an hour. Returning to the house, however, it didn’t take long to begin feeling poorly again.
One day, after some landscapers had cleared the overgrown front and side aspect of the house, I realized that a large electrical transformer was placed just outside the master bedroom––which was not only where I slept but where my desk was placed, where I spent most of my day working. Between sleeping and writing, I probably spent two-thirds of my time in that room (it was nicely air conditioned in the heat of summer). The pieces finally clicked.
“We have to move,” I told my partner. We were already working on this, searching for a place in desirable Kailua, over the mountains from Honolulu, but so far had not found an acceptable, affordable house.
As I continued to deteriorate, despite knowing that the transformer was a significant portion (probably all) of my problem, I agreed to go see a doctor and run a full set of blood work. Not surprisingly, the results revealed nothing other than an apparently healthy system. When I explained that I thought the cause of my ailments might be electromagnetic, the doctor looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. He suggested that I go on anti-depressants, saying, “it can’t hurt,” at which point I thanked him and walked out of his office.
I knew it was electromagnetic. Finding the transformer confirmed it for me, as did my ‘grounding’ experiments at the shoreline, which immediately helped me improve. When we shared the situation with our friend who owns the house, he informed us that his previous tenants had told him that they felt the house was making them sick but he dismissed it as craziness. Not considering my partner and I to be crazy, now he found himself with something to consider.
In a desperate move, hoping I might improve if I went elsewhere, I flew over to my friends’ tranquil home on the North Shore of Kauai, a beautiful garden refuge which has always been a sanctuary (one that I have written about in a couple of posts and shared in some of the Riverspeak podcasts). Very weak when I arrived, I felt exhausted as I sat on the airport bench and waited for Paula’s chariot.
As we drove to the North Shore, it took more energy to carry a conversation that I wanted to spend. Arriving at the ever-welcoming house above Hanalei Bay, what I most wanted to do was simply lie down for a nap, but instead I shed my flip-flops (“slippahs” we call them in Hawaii, local style) and walked barefoot around the lush, private property. Partially bordered by a neighbor’s large botanical garden, the two-acre parcel has been beautifully terraced with a living abundance of trees, flowers, and organic fruit, and lovingly transformed into a peaceful, healing oasis.
Away from power lines and WiFi, gratefully immersed in a sea of plants and living, natural energy, I slowly made my way down to the year-round stream and waded into the cool, clear water. Feet submerged on a wide, mossy rock, I stood there a good ten minutes, allowing the stream to wash round my ankles, breathing deeply, all my senses open wide to the tropical beauty that enfolded me. I was being devoured by mosquitoes but I didn’t really care. Removed from buildings, electricity, and anything man-made, the sense of being steeped in the living energy field of the earth couldn’t have been more palpable… nor more desperately welcomed.
Slowly I walked back to the quaintly charming, solar-powered guest cottage, feeling already recharged and brighter. Less weak. I slept for an hour, and then went back out walking barefoot for thirty minutes. Just a few hours after my arrival, I was remarkably changed and improved. By the evening, I felt more myself than I had in weeks, and my hosts could see the difference in my countenance, demeanor, and general energy. Twenty-four hours later, with as many of those spent barefooted on the earth as I could manage, I felt completely normal, energized and healthy again, as if the past months in the ‘sick house’ had never happened. Remarkable. Two days later, I strapped on my walking sandals and headed out for a brisk jaunt up to the water tower at the top of the road, something I could not even have attempted the day previous.
A week later, returning to the urban buzz of Oahu, within twelve hours I began to spiral down into familiar ailments again… but I knew the end was in sight. We had secured a new place to live and, two weeks later, we moved to a lovely house in Kailua, on the edge of a tropical ravine and backing to a wide, protected greenbelt, surrounded by trees and lush greenery. Just a single electric line coming into the house, not a transformer anywhere near. A special property, it is an oasis in its own right, and I have been stable and healthy since arriving here, stepping out barefoot each morning to greet the day.
According to Clinton Ober and Stephen Sinatra, MD, authors of Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?, a factor that demonstrably lowers our vibrational frequency is the wearing of rubber-soled shoes, which effectively insulate us from the earth’s natural frequency (with which we have evolved over eons). The soles of our feet are beautifully designed as electrical conductors through which the earth’s electromagnetic energy and health-generating negative ions stream into our bodies, recharging and balancing our biofield. Multiple studies have documented the healthful benefits of negative ions, including their potent, anti-inflammatory effects. Yet with the advent of cushioned, non-conductive, rubber soles in our footwear, most of us are effectively insulated from this elemental healing energy that plays a vital role in maintaining our physical health (and natural frequency of the human field).
In the studies I mentioned last week in Part 2, factors that have been shown to lower the frequency of the human field (leading ultimately to a decrease in health and vitality) include:
- Exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF’s), extremely low frequencies (ELF’s), and most recently, WiFi
Computer, television (at close range; flat screens are best), mobile phones, microwaves, electrical outlets within 5 feet of sleeping range (especially if plugged in), electric blankets, heating pads, etc.
- Chemical exposure
- Air travel
- Drugs and alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar
- Consuming ‘inert’ food: canned, frozen, packaged/processed, microwaved
Factors that have been demonstrated to elevate one’s electromagnetic vibration and frequency (and thus improve overall health, vitality and functioning) include:
- Drinking pure water
- Consuming raw and living foods: fresh fruits, vegetables, juices, herbs
- Herbal teas and infusions
- Being in nature
- Direct contact with earth
- Deep, conscious breathing
- Pure essential oils and flower essences
In the cosmic ‘download’ that I described in the opening of this three-part series, the information and images centered upon primary ways to support, restore, and maintain the torus-shaped human energy field. Three key elements were present: raw and living foods, grounding in nature, and minimizing our exposure/use of electromagnetic devices (the last being increasingly difficult for most people in our modern technological world).
To recharge the human energy field, we can simply walk outside––barefoot, of course––and spend 30 minutes there. If we wish to accelerate the process, lean against a tree; this brings your spinal column into (near) contact with the trunk’s vertical axis, which is a powerful conduit of healing, natural, electromagnetic energy. As the vertical axis of your field merges directly and intimately with the tree, a powerful ‘recharge’ occurs. Try it as an experiment for 15 minutes and notice how different you feel––and if you have back pain, notice how it feels after your session.
From my own experience, I also know that submerging oneself in a natural body of water, particularly salt water, very quickly restores the biofield. Most of us don’t have that option, but we nearly all have access to a patch of earth.
In non-western medicine such as Ayurveda, it is held that the healing energy of life, a subtle intelligence and ‘charge’––prana, chi, qi, mana, etc.––is present in all elemental things to varying degrees. As a part of nature, our bodies also contain this life force and depend upon it, and when it is lacking or diminished, we grow ill. We build or recharge these subtle resources primarily by consuming fresh foods, drinking pure water, deep breathing, exercise, appropriate rest, and being in nature, along with other prana-building exercises and practices.
A diet of mostly raw and living foods––at least 50%––not only directly supports our field but also builds health. It is the prana in food that holds the true secret to healing, vitality, and nourishing our own biofield. The fresher the food, the more life force it possesses; something straight from the garden or the roadside farm stand carries much more prana than that which was picked a week ago and shipped across the country in a plastic box––though that still beats frozen or canned, which on a bioforce level is nearly inert. Ayurveda makes a very strong point that leftovers and food that has been in the fridge for several days is severely depleted in prana.
Consuming a high percentage of raw and living foods also helps our bodies to detoxify, lighten up, and shifts our blood chemistry back to a slightly alkaline pH which is normal and optimal for health (and which carries a different electromagnetic charge). Freshly made, unpasteurized juices are excellent for this (skip those bottled ones if you’re looking for prana, but they’ll still help with alkalizing and detoxification). The Western diet is overly high in wheat and grains, meat, and sugar, with the result that most of us are highly acidic in our tissues, as well as being in a mild (or severe) state of acidosis and inflammation––which recent studies show to be the root of many degenerative disorders.
This last step may seem a bit “out there” to some but I’m going to share it anyway, because at this point in an “out there” series of posts, what else have I got to lose? Water from a spring or well has a very different ‘energy’ to it than our inert, treated water from city or county sources that flows to us through concrete and metal pipes (or plastic bottled water). For those of us without access to a spring or a good well, alkalized water and/or solar charged water––placed in a glass jar and allowed to sit for several hours in sunlight––is believed to have a directly beneficial effect on the energy field. I don’t know what sort of studies (if any) have been done on this but I admit that it’s a practice I employ myself.
Our industrial, man-made world is severely lacking in prana; it does not promote health. Sadly, the very matrix has become unhealthy. Even if we have a high amount of prana in our bodies from a conscious, wellness-oriented lifestyle, the electromagnetic pollution of the modern world seriously undermines the integrity of the biofield, itself (as demonstrated in my personal account written above). The natural environment, including the earth under our feet, is the true source of health. Healing and vibrancy is natural for our bodies, not supernatural, especially if we can reconnect and plug back in to the source of that healing.
Earth has a great ability to awaken and nourish the soul, and to guide us toward healing the body and spirit. We must realize that we are not apart from our environment but a part of it; health depends not only on what we put into the bodymind but also what surrounds us. Evidence is mounting about transformers, ‘smart meters’, and ‘sick buildings’. Health is a constant exchange with our environment, both inner and outer. Building a conscious relationship with Self––bodymind, emotions, soul, the energetic field––mirrors and supports reestablishing and honoring our interrelatedness with the web of life.
Soul Artists understand that though the soul is not constrained by shape, physical limitation or deformities of a human body, one’s essential ‘life force’ is elevated or diminished by his overall health. If we neglect the body, then in a very real way we disregard the soul and dull its creative dream. We must celebrate the bodysoul: honor and care for it, claim and cultivate our personal power, and also open our senses wide in pleasure, wonder and deep feeling. The body is the golden cup into which is poured one’s soul, spirit, and the mysterious elixir of grace. Yet in a toxic, incoherent world, we must be proactive and diligent if we seek true health.
Gentle reader, here’s hoping that you realize that a thing holds a different and dearer sense of value when we have earned it through diligent effort. The journey to vital health may prove truly difficult, fraught with uncertainty, setbacks, pitfalls, and tests of faith. It isn’t easy to change our patterns or shift our paradigm. Yet the challenges we face on our quest for health are surely part of our soul’s unique evolution and unfolding… and part of the Larger Story.
Friend, if you made it here to the end of what is probably my longest post ever, I salute you… and thanks for coming along with me on this healing journey into energetic realms.
Now, unplug and go outdoors. Barefoot.
PS. For a fuller discussion on the benefits of ‘grounding’ in a barefoot manner, I recommend the recently popular book, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? by Clinton Ober, Stephen Sinatra MD., and Martin Zucker (2010, Basic Health Publications), which offers a simple and straightforward read, focusing mainly on documenting the health benefits with many interesting case studies.