This reduces the leakage of ammonia from the feces in the gut to the bloodstream. The ammonia effects on neurological function are thereby halted. Just as in the case of HE, better understanding of how the gut and brain communicate with each other can offer valuable clues about a variety of illnesses, including multiple sclerosis. We'll return to this concept a little further down. But first, let's explore some of the factors that contribute to an unhealthy gut. This inborn capacity to perceive the spiritual domain and transcend the limitations of our ordinary senses allows us to communicate with divine realms, perceive the subtle body, and begin to bring to life our entelechy, the fulfillment of our spiritual potential. Taoist alchemists regarded the imagination as the domain of the hun or cloud soul, the yang spirit whose job is to bring the messages of the celestial bodies--the sun, moon, and stars--down to Earth. The sixteenth-century European alchemist Martin Ruland the Younger spoke of the imagination in his Lexicon of Alchemy as [t]he star in man, the celestial or supercelestial body. Jung points out that Ruland's definition firmly connects the imagination to the divine in us, what Paracelsus called the alchemical astrum, or sacred essence of life. This special kind of heavenly luminosity opens us to our star map and our destiny. Jung took this one step further to describe the imagination as a [c]oncentrated extract of the life force, both physical and psychic. The word imagination, which comes from the Latin imaginatio, refers to the real and literal human power to craft images and create symbols. Writes Jung, Imaginatio is the active evocation of inner images . This activity is an opus, a work. It may seem like I am belaboring a point but, stick with me. I found that if your feelings defined your identity, then your feelings could also define how you thought about and related to God. My own insecurities, guilt, and shame led me to the conclusion that I was not enough. Because I wasn't enough, my world was unstable, and I couldn't trust anything to turn out good. I had defined myself by this lie for years.

I mistakenly believed that how I saw myself was how God saw me too. I must only trust myself. If I please Him, maybe He will make everything better. He will make everything right. What can you do differently? Can you describe your authentic self? How would your life change if you were willing to be more authentically you? No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. You are either in control of yourself or you allow someone else to be in control of you. In the relationship with the narcissist, most of the time the narcissist was in control. As a caretaker you primarily accommodated the narcissist's feelings and preferences and deferred to his choices. Although that was quite restrictive and often exasperating, it can be difficult to automatically switch into being independent and self-reliant. Making your own decisions takes thought, time, and energy, and it can be scary to feel responsible for everything in your life again. Learning to be independent can feel lonely and intimidating. Breathing out. Trusting yourself means I used to see a butterfly in my mind's eye every time I heard the word transformation, but life has schooled me. Transformation isn't a butterfly. It's the thing before you get to be a pretty bug flying away.

It's huddling in the dark cocoon and then pushing your way out. It's the messy work of making sense of your fortunes and misfortunes, desires and doubts, hang-ups and sorrows, actions and accidents, mistakes and successes, so you can go on and become the person you must next become. Ask better questions, sweet pea. Men and Women are as different as things can be. Just like cats and dogs. I'm willing to give you more money for it. Just tell me what I need to do. Jon Huntsman looked him in the eye and said, I shook your hand for $54 million and that's all I expect you to pay me. This was the start of a great relationship between the two men. Huntsman even spoke at Mr. Kampen's funeral. Demanding versus Demeaning Sometimes it's easy to demand something of someone, like a deadline or a project that's due, but be careful to not cross the line between being demanding and demeaning. I once hosted a session for a celebrity speaker at a hotel. This person has many great qualities, but the one negative quality was that he was not afraid to use certain language when talking to hotel employees. And you're free to do anything you want. Most of us don't realize we have that power. We live our entire lives believing we have to obey others. We fear that if we don't obey people, they will be disappointed in us. This is your life.

And you have to feel good about it. You don't have to be happy all the time. But you do have to feel good about what you do. That's important to everybody on this planet. We all want to be happy and feel like we matter. You will need a pen or pencil, your journal, and a few quiet, uninterrupted moments. Read the passage below out loud to yourself several times. Go slowly and really feel each statement as you read through. Then pick the sentence, or statement, that resonates most strongly with you and write it in your journal in large letters. This is your affirmation. Commit it to memory, and repeat it as suggested above. I am willing to be exactly who I am. I am willing to accept myself with all of my gifts and imperfections. I am willing to share myself with the world. I am willing to stop pretending that I am something other than I am. Antibiotics Antibiotic overuse on a global scale has led to unintended and highly dangerous consequences: the rise of so-called superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), certain strains of E. Many of these organisms can now be deadly for children, the elderly, and immunocompromised and other vulnerable individuals. It's safe to say that antibiotics have negatively impacted the global ecosystem. Thanks to current research, we are also beginning to better understand the deleterious effects of antibiotic use at the individual level.

The very term antibiotic gives us a clue: anti, meaning against; When we take such medications--and don't get me wrong, there are some very good and necessary reasons for doing so--they act not only on the bad bacteria we want to kill, but also on the very good bacteria resident in our gut. And this disrupts the delicate balance our microbiome depends upon in order to function effectively. Have you ever suffered an upset stomach during, or shortly after, a course of antibiotics? This is why: Studies have shown that taking ciprofloxacin (for example) for as few as three to four days negatively affects a person's microbiome, greatly decreasing its diversity and depth. In fact, it is the work of alchemy and it is directly linked to the weaving of the subtle body and the clothing of the soul. Imagination contains the root word magus. Through magus, imagination joins the word group correlating to make, machine, and might and from there back to the ancient Indo-European root mag(h), which is also related to the word magic. The magician or magi is one who makes, creates, crafts, and in particular, makes a thing into something new. The magician works with matter and sleight of hand, transforms and recreates the world through the clever, tricky, and skillful use of the imagination. Essential to magic and to imaginative processes are the qualities of ingenuity, uncertainty, daring, elegance, and most importantly, creativity. Magic asks that you suspend disbelief and discover the determination to see the world differently. These are also important characteristics of alchemy and Alchemical Healing, for without imagination it is impossible to see the subtle body or to truly touch the soul. Continuing the Journey Several weeks after the coyotes arrived, Michaela did not show up for her appointment. God enough. The lies and distortions all had one thing in common: I was at the center. Even in my insecurities and self-loathing, I was still the focus. If I , then they/God/circumstances will . I allowed no room to know and experience God because I was firmly entrenched as the center of my own universe.