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Considered together with additional evidence linking imbalances in the gut to memory and cognitive impairments, this research holds fascinating promise for better understanding and treating many neurological diseases--including multiple sclerosis. Research has shown that fully one-third of the molecules in our bloodstream comprise the breakdown products of our own gut microflora. The presence of endotoxins in the blood can trigger a systemic inflammatory response from the body's defense mechanisms. And the results can be devastating: autoimmune disease, neurological conditions, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, heart disease, and even some cancers. In fact, recent research published by the American Society for Neurochemistry links the development of multiple sclerosis to poor dietary habits that increase inflammation. In this world, images appear and disappear. Things are not always what they seem. Quite suddenly, the parameters of time and space dissolve into their background matrix of infinity. Where you thought you caught a glimpse of a lifting veil, darkness returns. Despite its mercurial tendency, its ephemeral and shifting nature, its urge to hide and seek and play tricks with your mind, the soul ultimately wants to be seen, related to, cared for, and loved. This is the secret. This witnessing is what welcomes spirit back to matter and transforms lead into gold. The Alchemical Quest When you don't follow your nature there is a hole in the universe where you were supposed to be. Beginning with Starlight With our history of changing churches while we were growing up, Jonathan and I knew we wanted to find a church home where we could plant roots, find friends, and serve others but were not sure where to look. In the big city, it felt like there was a church on every street corner so starting our search felt overwhelming. We also joined the local recreation center where I discovered group exercise classes for the first time. I instantly fell in love with this fun way to experience health and fitness. I discovered that I could be physically active and burn calories without punishing myself for eating bad foods or being too fat.

This changed my entire perspective. I enjoyed it so much that my instructor asked me if I was interested in filling in for her a few times. The next thing I knew, the staff asked me to consider teaching fitness classes on a regular basis. I got certified to teach group fitness and do personal training, and I have never looked back! As I started graduate school, I was astounded that they only allowed students to take a few hours at a time. As you've just experienced, being faced with living on your own is much less stressful when you can pay your own rent and buy food. Money of your own gives you choices. Create a Vision and Follow Your Passion Do you know where you want your life to go? Where you want to live? How you want to spend your days? Have you identified your purpose? People who have been caretakers have often lost their sense of life direction and passion. Saving your relationship may have been your most recent life goal. It's time now to create new life goals. You may not have anything in common but that other person you may find interesting and even enough to pick up some of their traits and try some of their hobbies you may have not previously been interested in. That's a pretty cool feeling, but in relationships chemistry is often a plus but chemistry alone isn't enough to have a long lasting relationship. You have to be compatible! You may like to watch reality tv shows, your significant other may think your choice of entertainment is silly. That doesn't affect your chemistry or possibility of being compatible.

On the contrary you like all the same shows, have all the same hobbies and yet still that's not a guarantee that you and your partner have long term compatibility in a normal loving functional relationship. Do Opposites Really Attract? Where is My Soulmate D o opposites really attract? In order to find your soulmate, the magic key, to find the polar opposite of yourself then ride off into the sunset of happiness. I feel terrific, or Do I have to get up? When you look in the mirror, what does that little voice say? I look and feel great, or, I wish I had more hair. What does it say when you interact with people? How can I help this person? Self-talk is important and beneficial, and it's very important to monitor your self-talk. If not, you potentially fall victim to negative self-talk. So give internal self-talk with positive affirmations such as: Today is going to be an awesome day. I feel terrific. View reading this article as an exercise that helps you find the way you want to live your life. Over the past four years, I've thought about that every day. Now, I know how I want to live my life. And more importantly, I know how I don't want to live my life. I don't want to be caged.

I don't want to be afraid of what people think of me and my actions. I do what I want. And if people don't like it, I don't mind. I believe in freedom. Others can also do what they want. And the whole time, loving energy is passing back and forth between us. And it feels good and uplifts our spirits and gives us the sense that we belong and that we matter. And hopefully we can learn to go along in life mostly open, mostly authentic, and mostly willing to let our love go out, and to freely take it in. But without a doubt, we will encounter many who are shut tight, like doors. And every time we face them, we have a choice. We can give them love anyway, and hope a little of it slips around the edges, or we can defensively shut our own doors and pull up our own bridges. That's the instinctual response. When facing anger, or anything unpleasant in others, we have a tendency to retreat. But we don't have to. We can understand that angry and upset people are actually crying out for love, and we can choose to be kind to them. Consuming too many calories, sugar-sweetened drinks, fried foods, and not enough fiber--as well as not getting enough exercise--can exert negative effects on the microbiome. This syndrome of leaky gut is practically a guarantee that the body's immune system will shift into overdrive. The resulting chronic and systemic inflammation can then damage the blood-brain barrier, as described later in this article. My Personal Prescription for a Healthy Microbiome As you'll read throughout this article, I've used a wide range of therapies to treat my MS--so it's difficult to single out one particular approach that's been the most effective.

I can say that treating my gut with a combination of herbs, nutrients, and prebiotics has played a critical role. If you're wondering where to start with your own complementary treatment, I recommend it be here. A diversity of whole foods. This improves intestinal pH and encourages diversity in the microbiome. Fermented foods. Many years ago, on a day that feels like yesterday, on a brand-new leafy morning in early Spring, quite suddenly the ground beneath my feet shifted. Drawn down by unseen hands, I sat on the earth and took a great gulp of air. I placed my fingers on my belly, on the field of blood-red living stone at the center of my being and felt something happen. At that very moment, a spark of fire exploded in my womb. The cosmos tipped and one single, unique speck of starlight fell from the infinite chaotic void of heaven to pierce my body. As that single flash began to unfurl into a tiny galaxy within me, I transformed from maiden to mother. I knew that morning. I had no doubt. But it was another two weeks before the slip of paper pronounced me pregnant. As my body began to change, my psyche also shifted. Since I was so used to cramming my schedule fuller than I could handle, I instantly started looking for other things to do. With extra time, I knew I needed to do something meaningful so I started volunteering at the local pregnancy help center. When I was growing up, my mom had volunteer counseled women with unplanned pregnancies and they were able to find help and hope. I always loved this ministry because I saw how my mom made a difference for Jesus by loving these women. As I volunteered, I met precious women in crisis who needed someone to advocate for them and tell them that God knew and loved them unconditionally.