The View from Behind Bars

Orange is the New Black
Piper Kerman is the best-selling author of Orange is the New Black, My Year in Women’s Prison and the inspiration for the award-winning series of the same name on Netflix.
Hear her share her incredible true story with Calgarians on Thursday, April 14, 2016 as the keynote speaker for Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary’s 50th Anniversary fundraiser, “The View from Behind Bars – an evening with Piper Kerman”.

Wisdom from the Akashic Records: Resolve to be Strong

Christy Lowrance

By Christy Lowrance

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth”. – Jesus

I don’t know why, but I cannot get this quote out of my head as I am considering what it means to be strong. With the state of the world the way it is, it seems like it is more important than ever. War, poverty, and climate change are forcing us to make a decision on where we stand. As awful as these realities are, it feels like more and more people are choosing love, compassion and understanding over fear, greed and power. So how do we remain strong enough, collectively and individually, to transition this New Earth into the world we want it to be?

I’m not a Christian but I have read a lot about Jesus from sources outside of the Bible and I am fascinated by him. He is the Ultimate Dude and the strongest person I have ever read about. Back in University I wrote a paper on Friedrich Nietzsche’s famous proclamation that ‘God is Dead’, and even Nietzsche was inspired by the exemplary way Jesus lived his life, and envisioned his ideal ‘Overman’ with Jesus partly in mind. Jesus is the example, the living proof, of our incredible human potential if we would only allow ourselves to live like him.

Jesus was a beautifully kind Human Being and was authentic to his core about who he was and why he was here. He didn’t let fear rule his life, he let love rule it. He was fierce in his faith and unshakeable in his knowing that Spirit/God/Source loves us and has empowered us to live a Divine Life. Jesus spent his whole life trying to convince us that we could do it too – we have to try, right?

So what does the above quote mean in modern terms? How do we find the strength to be wholly authentic and true to ourselves and others, and why do we have so much difficulty in finding the Christ Self/God Centre within us? I have put these questions to the Masters in the Akashic Records to find out more about Him and Us.

Jesus is obviously pointing at a different kind of strength than we value today. How can we best interpret his advice in today’s world? You have to allow yourselves to just BE. That is the most important thing we can tell you about strength. All of you know in your heart what your gifts are, and by allowing You to be You, and giving the world your gift, you are doing what you were meant to do. So where does strength come in? By choosing to be yourself under ALL circumstances; fighting off the pressure to conform to what other people want you to be; not allowing other people to define what your strengths are; always following that gut feeling inside of you, knowing that you can trust yourself and should ALWAYS trust yourself in your knowing. You are good enough. You ARE greatness.

How did Jesus become so authentic, and how can we learn from him? Jesus did a lot of soul searching. Truthfully. It was what he felt inside. He followed his heart and his instinct. His curiosity was endless, but what drove him was the search for that beautiful feeling he knew was inside of him. Life. Truth. Knowledge. Love. Don’t you want to know too? You have to start inside of yourself. There is no other way. You can learn from others but you are the only one that truly knows why you’re here. Well, and we do too hah! Stop wondering if what you believe in your heart is right or not. It IS. You’re not crazy to follow your dreams. That’s what you’re supposed to do. And maybe you’re not here to be the expert on Spirit, maybe it’s technology or community work, or anything in between. Nicola Tesla followed his instincts and his gifts and left a legacy behind as did so many others. Many others you have never heard about because they weren’t famous. Maybe you’re not meant to be in the spotlight or achieving grandiose accomplishments, but you are happy, doing what feels right. That’s what matters.

What is blocking so many of Us from finding the God/Light within us? Trust. And Fear. Capital ‘F’. Oh the things you could do if you just trusted yourself and Spirit without fear! These are not complicated answers really, and you already knew that didn’t you? For centuries the powers that be told you not to mess with that stuff, and that you couldn’t do it on your own. That only the powerful could tell you what your relationship with Spirit was. That is not what Jesus said at all. Many were killed for being their true selves, and the lingering fear from the past affects you today. Let go of it. You live in a New Earth with different energy and more freedom. Trust in yourself and Spirit that everything will be ok. You will always have what you need if you remain humble and loving and true to yourself.

And finally, what is the most important thing we should know about being strong and resilient? Love saves all. There is nothing stronger than Love, and that is what Jesus meant by the above quote. Love always has your back, even when you feel no one else does. Spirit’s love. Love for humanity. Love for each other. It comes from places you knew it would and even places you didn’t know it would. So if you are feeling weak or lost or angry, be strong and reach for love. Look back at all those times you were broken and how love picked you up and held you. Be strong in your love and compassion for others and always fight for it. Smiles and laughter can diffuse all the fear and hate. Love is always the right path.

Christy Lowrance
Certified Akashic Record Reader

Strength Comes from Within

Lois Hamilton

By Lois Hamilton

Strength does not come from a dogged determination to push through circumstances but rather it comes from letting go and listening to our inner selves. Within each of us lies the wisdom and ability to achieve optimum physical, mental and spiritual health. What naturally follows is the ability to realize and experience our personal goals.

It is my belief that to realize one’s strength, it is best to begin by providing optimal nutrition to all 100 trillion cells that make up who we are. To nurture our brain, for sharp focus and resolve, it is necessary to consume healthy fats such as those found in wild cold water fish, like salmon, fresh sardines or herring. Plant sources of healthy fats include walnuts, flaxseed, hemp seed, avocados, olives and their oils. When choosing the oils, it is imperative that they be cold pressed, extra virgin so that the healthful properties remain intact. Amino acids are the brain’s messengers and directly influence how we feel. They are the body’s building blocks so it is critical to for a solid foundation to consume high quality protein from fish, hormone free meat, eggs, beans, whole grains such as quinoa, legumes such as lentils and fresh nuts and seeds. To stay strong and vibrant, include these with every meal. B vitamins, specifically B6, B12 and folic acid are important for brain health and mood boosting. Give yourself a positive frame of mind with whole grains (millet, oats, quinoa, brown basmati rice), seeds, nuts and legumes. Choosing fermented foods such as tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso provides the body with vitamin B12 but the best source is animal meat, especially hormone and antibiotic free beef liver. One of my favourites! Fermented foods also provide beneficial bacteria to keep our digestion on track. Green leafy vegetables are the way to go for folic acid consumption and a delicious way to enjoy these is in a juice. The juice combinations are endless and making your own creations at home is quick and fun!

Water consumption is essential to carry the electrical charges throughout your body so that messages may be sent and received. Water also helps to clear toxins out of the body, helping to create an optimum state of health. Drink at least 4 litres of good quality water daily. For enhanced detoxification, squeeze a half lemon in a tall glass of tepid water and have this upon rising in the morning. I find it useful to carry a water bottle and keep track of how many times I fill it up, to ensure I get my daily quota. My smart phone comes in handy for this – I just mark it in my notes each time I fill up, delete it at the end of the day and start all over again!

Blood sugar levels must be kept even throughout the day so that hormones remain stable and to avoid sugar/carbohydrate cravings. Stable hormones equal stable moods, making it easier to stick to your goals. The way to achieve this is to consume high quality protein foods, high quality fats and nutrient dense vegetables – all in moderation. Overeating at meal or snack time, raises blood sugar levels. Even whole fruit, all by itself can raise blood sugar levels and bring them crashing down moments later so eating small amounts of fruit at a time and or consuming a small amount of protein with it (hemp seeds, walnuts, etc) will help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Equally important is to avoid, or better yet – eliminate ALL refined sugars, refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, refined and rancid fats and oils as well as ALL highly processed foods, preservatives and additives. Caffeine also plays havoc with blood sugar levels.

Stay focused, Listen to your inner self! Feel your strength!

Lois Hamilton,
Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner
Holistic Health with Lois

HeartSpeak for Mood Disorders


By Dr. Anne Jensen

Mild fluctuations in mood are a natural part of the human experience;1 however, when the intensity of these fluctuations is extreme, or prolonged, or interferes with quality of life, then intervention is necessary. The prevailing approach toward mood disorders focuses mainly on identifying distorted thinking and its ensuing behavior.2 However, with the prevalence of depressive disorders growing at an alarming rate,3 despite the increased use of cognitive interventions and anti-depressants,⁴ perhaps a variety of approaches is needed.

HeartSpeak is a novel method for easing mood-related disorders and stress-related diseases, and uses concepts from the field of affective science, or the science of feeling. While affective psychology is not a new concept,⁵ it seems to have taken a back seat to the now popular cognitive approaches. In contrast, HeartSpeak uses the paradigm that there are two minds: (1) the Logical Mind, and (2) the Emotional Mind.1,⁶ While the former mind thinks, rationalizes and explains, the latter mind simply feels. Therefore, in HeartSpeak, a patient primarily engages his Emotional Mind, feeling his way free of debilitating moods, putting his Logical Mind aside for the time being.

It is suspected that it is the separation of the two minds that is the key to HeartSpeak’s clinical success. There is a growing body of research to support sensory-based processes for influencing emotional centers in the brain.⁷,⁸ HeartSpeak makes use of this concept, using little dialog, and focusing on sensing the feelings fully until resolution is achieved.

Additionally, in HeartSpeak, it is recognized that emotional reactions consist of a composite of feelings, some of which can be identified as belonging to an emotional family (e.g. anger, fear), others as part of the stress response (e.g. the feelings of flight or flight), and still others belonging to no established categorization system. Anyone who can consciously evoke these feelings is a candidate for HeartSpeak. Since HeartSpeak is in its early stages of use, current evidence is limited. Until effectiveness and safety research is conducted, caution is urged about performing HeartSpeak with those who are acutely ill or psychotic.  Nevertheless, the clinical evidence of HeartSpeak’s wide-ranging uses is compelling, and randomized, controlled trials are underway.

Dr Anne Jensen, DC, MSc, PhD
HeartSpeak International

If you are interested in this new discipline of emotional healing, regardless if you are already a practitioner, or if you are just interested in learning how to manage your emotions and stress, join Dr. Anne Jensen for this exciting 2-day course:  HeartSpeak Practitioner Level 1.

North America 2016 HeartSpeak drannejensen


References: 1. Goleman D. Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1995. 2. Beck JS. Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond. 2nd ed: The Guilford Press, 2011. 3. Center for Disease Control. Current depression among adults — United States, 2006 and 2008. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 2010;59:1229-1235. 4. Wiles N, Thomas L, Abel A, al. Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for treatment-resistant depression in primary care: The CoBalT randomised controlled trial. Health Technology Assessment 2014;18:1-167. 5. Kantor JR. The psychology of feeling or affective reactions. The American Journal of Psychology 1923;34:433-63. 6. LeDoux JE. The emotional brain: The mysterious underpinnings of emotional life. New York: Touchstone, 1996. 7. Öhman A, Mineka S. Fears, phobias, and preparedness: Toward an evolved module of fear and fear learning. Psychological Review 2001;108:483-522. 8. Holmes EA, Mathews A, Mackintosh B, Dalgleish T. The causal effect of mental imagery on emotion assessed using picture-word cues. Emotion 2008;8:395-409.

What does it mean to “not know where the boundaries of the Universe lay”?

Do Nothing

I remember being born, I remember before I was born……and lives before that.

This lifetime, however, is unique. I chose to be an artist, a conscious co-creator with the Divine. What a journey!

In this life, time has begun to disappear. In fact, the Mayans and their study of consciousness cycles pointed to an end of time. 2012 could quite possibly mark the moment in human evolution when we began to leave the notion of linear time behind. A transition that could herald a new expression of our quantum nature and unlock wisdom we have only dreamed of before now.

We are entering into a different energy. Energy is a term we’ve been throwing around for years and yet, science is just now connecting this metaphor to the real and physical consciousness of the cosmos. I have always resonated with the idea that the truth could be this simple. Truly an exciting life this one is, where the emerging study of reality suggests our universe,our minds, bodies, everything within our material dimension is fuelled by electric magnetic energy.

The way that our own galactic centre sends electric pulses every 3-4 seconds and that the whole system transfers that very same flow through our sun and ultimately our consciousness is an adventure I believe we all signed up for in this incarnation.

We are in a portion of our galaxy’s rotation that brings us into direct alignment with the pulse of our galactic centre at this time, a rare and awesome event that humans have never been around for. This new radiation as many are calling it, has some in fear and others practically leaping for joy. Myself I can’t deny the ease with which manifestation is beginning to flow. My Partner and I have recently opened a wellness centre in our home town of, Invermere BC called Do Nothing Floatation Centre. The idea of creating a healing centre is one that goes back to my teen years. It was a sincere heart wish to aid the world in out growing it’s history of war and the distrust of self and neighbour. I am an idealist, a visionary and was just as surprised as anyone that 2012 would actually be the doorway.

I look at the ‘shift’ that seems to have occurred in profound astonishment. It is true, many more these days are ‘waking up’, so much so that wellness is trendy, and hippies are cool!! (Well at least they aren’t looked at as though they have ten heads anymore). There is a general putting down of judgement, boundaries of culture, class, and belief……have you noticed that people are getting along, and crossing realms more freely? I have. I’ve seen more of an open curiosity across the board. I’ve seen a willingness to explore outside of comfort zones and held beliefs. Most of all I feel it in myself as an expansive and deeply relaxing permission to just be.

I laugh to myself sometimes about the profundity of the potential, human beings have chosen. With the internet circling the globe, long standing prophecies of world annihilation fell away with an unassuming collective agreement that “I don’t believe in the world ending and that 2012 thing”. There was a time line that offered that possibility, and somewhere along the way WE chose to dismiss it, and grow up.

I for one, am proud of us! I adore the emerging sense of wholeness, of acceptance and of personal and spiritual maturity I get to witness everyday. I am inspired and excited to be a part of the new design. The most practical, and basic ways to build community are being returned to the ordinary people with big hearts. Net working is a term that used to be associated with profits, now it represents an opportunity for shared innovation. These are the waves that roll over me in daily meditations, that cultivate a practical and grounded hope, that we are doing it!

The boundaries of the Universe are there, if we name them. To not know them, is not to be ignorant of them, it is to dive into them so that they transform into more. Perception is all that separates the surface of the ocean from it’s depths. So it is with this perspective that I invite others to step out of the ordinary and visit us in Invermere, for a little practical magic. Our floatation centre has a little something for the mind, body and soul. The services we offer are massage, float tank sessions, various energy healing modalities and most practical (and delicious) of all organic juice and smoothies.

Bravely and fully with love,

Meredith Penner
Do Nothing Floatation Centre

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