When I was 20 and at university, I had big plans. I was going to go to London and get paid large city bonuses that would allow me to leave by 30. From there, I would go to the Alps, buy a mountain chalet, and run skiing, climbing, and paragliding adventure holidays. But alas, life had other plans. Flash forward to now, after a decade of being bedridden and another 14 years spent building and running NES Health while managing an auto-immune condition, 2020 arrives. On New Year’s Eve, I stated that this would be the year of becoming a Centered Creator and Collaborator. How that would show up, I did not exactly know. But show up it did! In the form of thou-who-shall-not-be-named, C**ID-19, along with two excellent new additions to our NES Health team – Dean & Tom – who have come into our lives to run the company.
Crisis quickly became Opportunity, as it often does. And does so the more we can shed the parts of us that hold us back, collaborate with others in order to magnify our capabilities, and go deeper into our own unique abilities. Truly refining our unique ability and magnifying it through collaboration is, I suspect, a lifelong journey to be savored and discovered. It is a major key to both fulfillment and success.
The universe loves commitment and it absolutely hates indecision – as will you, with all of the stress and anxiety it brings! So, knowing that, we made the decision to step back and go off on an adventure. My husband David – along with the help of our Morkie, Avi – began looking for the perfect RV. We soon found the perfect one online and purchased it over the phone, sight unseen (well, David went to check it out the next day and pay the rest).
We were able to do this because we’d spoken to friends about what the perfect RV would be and had done our internet research. So commenced a week of packing and having the RV driven to Seattle – the furthest corner away from where we were in Florida. We then jumped on a plane to meet the RV, headed for the worst riots in the country, and started our adventure. That may seem like an ‘interesting’ destination, yet freedom of just a thought away from fear in our minds…
To take a little sojourn into the “thou-who-shall-not-be-named” Crisis and cycles in time. If we look back on history, we will inevitably see patterns emerge – their rhythm typically [ebbing and flowing] over the lifetime of each generation. Each going through Growth, Awakening, Decline, and Crisis. The most obvious correlation being the Great Depression – which the previous generation suffered through before the new growth in the 30s/40s – although there are plenty of other generational cycles in recent history such as the Civil War and further back still.
Most of the world tends to view time as linear, thinking that change goes in one direction, and people seem rather taken aback when crises appear. Their linear perspective then changes course, projecting a continual deterioration rather than recognizing and appreciating the fact that it takes the end of a cycle to bring about a new beginning. A beginning filled with solutions and energetic growth that is built out of the ashes of the old. The new cycle of growth favors those who are able to let go of what no longer serves them, their family, and society, and who are able to find purpose in what society wants going forward.
So, while we are in for some storms ahead, as the norms and institutions that no longer serve us are breaking down, around the corner will come a great rebuilding and period of growth. While it’s beyond any of us to predict the future, we can look to history at how those clinging to power while not in line with the majority of the population, tend to hold on in any way they can. We are currently seeing this with a massive increase in manipulation and deception through media and other sources in an attempt to control people by influencing their thoughts and beliefs.
Yet, as history and the cycles of time show us – at some point, concentrated power dissolves and goes back to the people. We are witnessing the will of the people for nationalism and individualism and away from institutions and globalism, as seen by Brexit and US politics. Of course, this is only a cyclic trend in itself, marked by the ending of one cycle, and will inevitably lead to the creation of new institutions that, over time, lead to the pendulum swinging in the direction of increased global order.
To put it simply – looking at the state of the world as one point in a continuous cycle shows us that it’s healthy, while looking though a linear lens might have us believe that increased global order leads to fascism. Thank goodness for the natural cycles of crisis and growth!
From the global journey back to the journey within – part of the purpose of our trip is to get more in tune with our body and optimize to its environment. Our bodies exist in many different states, and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly it can move from one to another! Living with an autoimmune condition for 24 years has been akin to having a body like a high-performance sportscar – when. Everything is just right, it performs to a level much higher than the average person, but add an allergen, toxin, or too much stress, and it can knock you off your feet. In short, we have an immune system that sees far too much as a threat, so an area if great interest that we continue to explore is that of how to modulate the immune system.
I thought while I was away, I would explore how immune modulating mushrooms like Turkey Tail and Reishi could help normalize our immune system, so that we’d be less sensitive to certain foods and allow our glands to restore themselves. What follows is a lesson in doing your homework on the supplements you’re taking…
In the States, mushrooms are supposedly grown on either oats or rice. Being allergic to oats, I bought ones grown on rice. First brand… Headache! They were purportedly gluten free but didn’t specify what the mushrooms were grown on. On to the next brand, made with mycelated rice… I started consuming them and the headaches only increased over the first week. So I started researching more and was shocked to find out that in order to save money, US mushroom companies will take a sealed bag of rice, inject spores into it and let the mycelium grow, and then in most cases simply grind up the mycelated rice and sell it under major brands in health stores. Most don’t even attempt to grow mushrooms, as it’s too expensive and time consuming to do so! Nearly all brands include the mycelium.
You’ll be able to tell this by looking at the Supplement Facts section on the packaging. It will say whether they contain carbohydrates, polysaccharides or starch, along with listing mycelated rice or oats or whole life cycle. An actual dried mushroom contains less than 5% starch. That isn’t even the worst part… When you inject spores into rice – as an aside, my mum taught me to never so much as reheat rice, let alone grow it into a mycelated mass of who-knows-what! – other mold spores take hold and create the strongest natural toxin known to man, Alfatoxin, and others. That exaplains the headaches! I can’t believe it’s sold to health seekers as a health supplement. $30 USD per tub of dried up moldy toxic rice!
In the same store, a few days later, we found a dried herb section, where we saw whole dried mushrooms that need to be prepared the traditional way – so we’re boiling up Reishi for 3 hours on the stove and we’ll drink sparingly over the next few days. There are also a few brands that dry out extracts of fruiting bodies and actual mushrooms only, which would be way more… convenient.
Convenience, though, is not always a good thing. Over the years, we’ve become allergic too many “healthy convenience foods” such as coconut fried potatoes – yet have no allergy too coconut oil friend potatoes made at home. Is it the over-using of the oil, turning it rancid to keep costs down like the dried mushroom supplement industry grind up mycelated moldy rice?
It really pays, at least as it pertains to optimal health, to have a deeper understanding of where the foods you put in your body come from. And if in doubt, shun convenience and prepare your food the good, old-fashioned way.
In all of that we haven’t even said where we’ve been or done! Our first stop is National Olympic Park, where we’ve enjoyed the dramatic change in climate from the tropics of Florida to the cold damp rainforests of Washington.
The wildlife is amazing – birds land on your hand if you offer them nuts, a baby elk sat one foot next to us and the chipmunks play with Avi. David is getting into Mountain Biking, both our thighs are burning from hiking halfway up a mountain, and tomorrow we move to the West Coast of the Park to experience the western coastline.