Double Take

'When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find peace of mind is waiting there. And the time will come when you see we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you – George Harrison


1 Comment

Talking About Food Addiction by Nigel Summerley and Rowena J Ronson

Talking About Food Addiction by Nigel Summerley and Rowena J Ronson

curvaceous

Image: Curvaceous by Rowena J Ronson

NS: Karen Carpenter was a beautiful young woman with a sublime singing voice – and she was a great drummer. You don’t get many combinations better than that. She should surely have had a happy and fulfilling life; but at the age of 32, she was dead from anorexia. Why would someone who appeared to have it all bring about, in effect, their own death? And why does our relationship with food seem to play such a large role in some mental and emotional dramas?

RJR: Your words bring up a lot of questions for me, including what does it mean to be happy? There is also a ‘should’ in what you are saying. Should Karen Carpenter have been happy and fulfilled, following her purpose in life. If only the human brain were that simple. If we were all content, would none of us have an eating disorder? What do you think?

NS: I was probably saying something naive to suggest that musical brilliance would equate to a happy life. How much great music has been created by troubled souls? And it may well be that contentment eludes almost all of us. But how does discontent become linked to food? Is this all about our image of ourselves? Or is there also something else going on?

RJR: It seems musical brilliance can often lead to the exact opposite of a happy life. Kurt Cobain, Nick Drake, Ian Curtis and Jimi Hendrix are examples of those troubled souls you mention. As for food, we derive such comfort from eating, don’t we? An unhealthy relationship with food is encouraged from when we are very young. Our parents control us by depriving us of or treating us with food. Young babies can take some control back by not eating and seeing the impact it has on the emotions of the caregivers. I think food issues such as anorexia go way deeper than image…

NS: Yes, food can be very comforting and very satisfying – and instantly. In this respect, it may be much more potent than the other things we seek to give us comfort and satisfaction. But if it fails to give sufficient comfort, do we then feel we have to have more of it? Is this one of the roads to obesity? Food also does seem to be tied up with reward and punishment – and that presumably can include punishing ourselves, either through giving ourselves too much or too little food. If food were not so readily available as it is in the so-called developed world, would it be the potential problem that it is? Have we lost sight of what food is actually for?

RJR: From working with a great many binge eaters, I hear that mostly the overeating leads to discomfort. On a basic level, though, we all overeat. We all put way too much focus on food. We need far less than we feel we do – and this obviously does not just relate to food. And our minds become very used to excess. What feels like a normal portion one day, can subtly be expanded to a whole new ‘normal’, and it goes on. I agree that reward and punishment play their part in our food story. Small children often feel they can take control of their parents by using food as leverage. And this of course stems from society where food is given as treats. From the patients that I have seen with anorexia, I don’t think that they believe that they are punishing themselves by not eating. And I am not sure it is about availability of food either. It goes a lot deeper than that.

NS: If food were not so readily available – and over-available – would food-related problems still exist? I’m sure you’re right that we all eat too much, putting our bodies under excessive strain through having to process it all. But if anorexia has very little to do with food, as seems likely, then what do you think is going on?

RJR: You ask good questions. I guess there are not many overeaters in Tanzania! But over here in the West, we are conditioned to base everything around eating. In terms of anorexia, each person tells their own story. What do you think might be a reason to start that level of control over oneself?

NS: It does seem to be about control in some way. But is it control taken to the point of self-harm? Discipline taken to a point where it is almost punishment? You have said that it is not about punishment and imply that it is more about self-control. We usually use the term self-control as a virtue. Does the anorexic see their behaviour as virtuous or good? Could it even be more than control? A sort of triumph of the mind over the body?

RJR: Good questions, and I am sure it is different for different people. The control and lack of control all seem part of it. Seeing it as a triumph would be a delusion anyway. All of this lies in the unconscious mind, so we can only guess what is going on for each individual, and they will not really know either….

NS: In that case, is it as far as we can go to say that somehow the outer reflects or exhibits the inner. That the physical appearance is indicative of the inner turmoil – just like a frown or a grimace but more extreme, and more “controlled”? Is it a form of wordless language – saying something like: “Look, this is what is going on inside me”?

RJR: And that is a great question with which to open up this discussion to our audience. I invite our readers to contribute.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

The Cancer Test by Rowena J Ronson and Nigel Summerley, photograph by Rowena J Ronson

The Cancer Test by Rowena J Ronson and Nigel Summerley

Tinkering by Rowena J Ronson

Photograph, Tinkering by Rowena J Ronson

RJR: There is a new test that is about to become available which can detect if you are going to ‘get’ cancer within the next thirteen years. So my question to Double Take readers, and to you Nigel my fellow dialoguer is, would you take the test?

NS: Why would anyone NOT take the test? I just took a test for bowel cancer – and have been told I’m OK. I recently had a check-up for skin cancer (because I’d had a skin cancer a couple of years ago) and have been told I’m OK. I think many medical tests give false positives and false negatives, but somehow they’re still kind of reassuring when they tell you that you are all right. There are, of course, other more complex answers to your question. But what would you do?

RJR: It was a question posed on LBC yesterday but unfortunately I did not get a chance to listen to the call-in, or contribute for that matter. I suspect that awareness and funding play a part. But you are right, I am looking for a dialogue that covers the wider and yet more personal aspects of the discussion. With new knowledge that only 1% of our susceptibility to disease is genetic according to modern epigenetic science, awareness that there is a probability that we might create malignant cancers in the future, could be a good thing for many. I guess it will depend if we are realists or relativists, and whether we feel by living our life differently we can create change. It could be possible that knowing would create a defeatist attitude, depression, and an inability to enjoy life in the now for fear of the future. Or it might be that we will be empowered to do everything we can to take care of our health in the hope that by doing so, we will change our susceptibility and not allow disease in the future to flourish.

NS: Isn’t it the case (statistically) that in the next 13 years we all (or at least the older ones among us) have a very good chance of “getting” cancer. Do we actually need a test to tell us this? I suppose if the test is foolproof, then it would be irresistible to know the result. But, as you seem to begin to suggest, whether we have cancer or not depends to a great extent on how we choose to live: what we eat, what we drink, what stresses we put ourselves under, what environment we live in etc. If a test could tell us that we are definitely going to have cancer, maybe that would make us look at all these things more closely. I wonder if we might benefit from regularly having an official letter through the front door confirming that we are definitely going to die. That might also make us change.

RJR: I couldn’t agree more. I realised, again from listening to LBC over the last few days, that most people do not take care of their health or take responsibility for it. Those that called in and took part in the discussions mostly said they knew their lifestyle was making them ill but had no time to do anything to change it. And those that called to say they were reading What Doctors Don’t Tell You, and taking magnesium to prevent strokes, or meditating and eating healthily, were told that they were in the minority and most people will not go to such great measures. I was quite stunned actually. Because I am so aware of what is healthy, and surround myself by those who also know and actively take care of themselves, I did not realise how the majority consider a healthy lifestyle totally unachievable.

NS: It takes a bit of effort to know what is a ‘healthy lifestyle’ and, I think, even more effort to put that knowledge into practice. I think I know quite a lot about ‘natural health’ but I can’t pretend that I live the healthiest of lives. Like a lot of people, I try to do it – but in many ways fall short. The same goes for exercise – I have always done quite a bit, but I know that I could do a lot more. And then there is mental/spiritual health… and the same shortcomings. We can blame the human world we live in (which conspires to push us into the unhealthiest of diets and lifestyles) but in the end it has to be down to us. Perhaps we need a shock (like the prediction of a future cancer) to make us change?

RJR: I guess the same issues arise in our own awareness and simultaneous denial of global warming. We know we are damaging our environment to irrevocable destruction, but we continue to partake in the same ‘unhealthy’ behaviours…..

NS: Exactly. Will we always behave like this? Or is there something that could make us change? Perhaps that last question is a wrong one. The ‘something’ that could make us change is already here – the reality of our own deterioration and the deterioration of the environment. Do we refuse to look at the situation completely because we are concerned only with ourselves and with the short term? Or are we too lazy to behave differently?

RJR: I wonder if it is the survival part of our brains that keeps us selfish and short-sighted. A paradox perhaps, as it this very aspect of us – our will to survive – that will lead to our destruction. I wish too that it were as simple as the fact that we are all too lazy. We have so much working against us – so many mixed messages. Doctors, for example, do not consider there to be a link between nutrition and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. Are you surprised?

NS: I know that up until relatively recently many doctors still did not recognise the link between what we eat and illness, but surely that has changed now, hasn’t it? I agree about the mixed messages – even on what is good for us to eat. One health guru tells us one thing, and one another. I think it’s still the case that many conventional medics don’t acknowledge the link between stress and cancer – with most resources put into drug research, into “cures for cancer” – when it seems likely that many cancers could be prevented by a stress-free, well-nourished lifestyle. We are conditioned to think there is going to be a fix for everything, rather than think about taking care of ourselves.

RJR: I agree completely and welcome Double Takers to join the discussion.


Leave a comment

A Step Beyond (and my thoughts on the film Her) by Rowena J Ronson

A Step Beyond (and my thoughts on the film Her) by Rowena J Ronson

Unknown

There is something so inspiring about an excellent script beautifully portrayed by exceptional actors. When I know that one of my favourites is starring in a new film I get very excited at the prospect of losing myself in the characters and really being taken in and over. I saw that Joaquin Phoenix was the protagonist in Her in 2014, but only just had a chance to watch it – and he did not disappoint.

His vulnerability is so believable and appealing that I was mesmerised, even within the opening scenes. And this same energy was something of a parallel process within the film too.

To cut to the chase, as our technology encourages these days, a personalised program is created, an artificial intelligence, aptly named ‘OS’, or operating system. With the gender of your choice, she, in this case, speaks and interacts with you as if she were a person at the end of a phone. She can think, feel, communicate and learn but she doesn’t have a physical form and obviously is not human. This actually reminded me of modern relationships reliant on modern technology!

Also unlike a real person in a 21st-century relationship, with all the many distractions that fill our lives, the OS ‘operates’ by being 100% present all of the time. Dedicated to its ‘operator’, it becomes the closest friend you could imagine – one who listens and loves you unconditionally and only wants the best for you, but at the same time has no limitations, no stuckness and a boundless ability to evolve.

I could see the appeal of having this kind of connection. It seems almost cleaner and more real when compared with meeting someone through the same medium, a dating site on a computer, because on that forum we have no clue about the person’s history, their intentions and their ability to be present and connect deeply.

The film shows many scenes of people walking along the streets having their own conversations and experiences with their OS, and not connecting to others at all. But it was also interesting to see all of them smiling and seeming truly happy. Phoenix’s character Theo’s OS, Samantha (with Scarlett Johansson’s deliciously dulcet tones) develops her relationship with Theo while nurturing one with herself. She knows clearly that it is important to have her own needs met and so she role-models the perfect scenario where she is communicative, caring and supportive, and also really clear about her own personal development and what her needs are from life and from her relationship with Theo.

But what happens if we keep evolving and being open to the lessons we can learn from our experiences? What happens if we do not feel we are limited to just this lifetime and what we imagine this lifetime to be from our limited perspective? What would happen if we allow ourselves not to be limited? What journey could we go on then? What would it take to create that shift in paradigm?

The answers to these questions came for me in this film and I hope I have said enough for you to watch it and let me know what you think. I was not disappointed and I have woken this morning feeling my mind’s unlimited potential if allowed to tap into my higher self, my purpose and universal connectedness.

There was a message for me in the film about not being limited by relationships and the importance of developing the relationship with ourselves, and beyond, with the universe. Amy Adams’s character at one point in the film speaks of the socially acceptable temporary insanity of falling in love. I liked the way she phrased that and I am sure we can all relate to that amazing sensation of freedom when we surrender to our feelings and chemicals, when we can truly experience that open space within and our ability to connect with another and with ourselves.

Falling in love does feel like we have opened the door to another dimension. The film also illustrated the power of interdependence and how are relationships are real and beautiful, but in the spaces in between, when we are not connecting with people, we have the potential to connect with ourselves and with the universe.

Her is a thought-provoking piece which, because I was open to its resonance, has internally created a shift in my consciousness, and for that I am grateful.

From now on, I want to be open to the other dimensions that are clearly here but which we have trained ourselves not to see, and I am truly excited about the potential of this journey.


Leave a comment

Talking About The Movie Click, And Gratitude by Rowena J Ronson

MV5BMjEyODM5MzY2N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjcyMTIzMQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_

Talking About The Movie Click, And Gratitude by Rowena J Ronson

Since discovering Shadow Work and stepping on to ‘the carpet’ to do a process last month during a wonderful workshop in the West Country, I have been much more aware of my shadow and have been welcoming its presence to create a healthier and more balanced emotional life. I remember joining a new therapy group a couple of years ago and when I first did some ‘work’ the group reflected that I seemed ‘very together’ despite a huge amount of stress in my life. And they questioned where my fear, anger and grief were being held, as they sat uncomfortably experiencing those emotions themselves, due to my lack of expression, as is common in group therapy work.

And now, visiting a darker place in myself, I am much more aware of those shadowy fears, resentments and dark broken pieces within.

So last night, in an unconscious attempt to bring these broken pieces into my awareness, I decided to revisit the 2006 Adam Sandler film Click. I had a clear space to watch the film on my own so I would not need to edit my response – so I could truly be present to experience whatever emotion it triggered for me.

The film is about a family man who is unable to prioritise time for his family due the pressures of work, ambition, earning money and a boss who clearly did not respect his boundaries. As a result he worked all hours and his wife and children experienced the rough and raw end of his irritation, anger and inability to commit to quality (or any) time with them. This had become their way of life and no one was happy as a result.

The Universe then offers him a vision of an alternative life where all his wishes could come true. He could skip the parts of his life that he doesn’t enjoy – to relieve impatience and monotony, ill health and arguments and instead selfishly do the things he thought he wanted to do instead. He manifests a remote control that can mute, skip, rewind and fast-forward his life whenever he choses. And as a result he isn’t ‘present’. The film describes this state as being on autopilot and I wondered how common this is in people’s lives today.

The modern day version sees families sharing a meal with each member wrapped up in their own little virtual world on their mobile telephones. People spend their lives looking forward to their next holiday, when they will earn enough to really start living, when they will find the perfect relationship so they will feel complete, when their kids will grow up and be less demanding. When, when, when. And all the while they will resist living in the present and truly appreciate what is real and available in their lives to be grateful for NOW.

So the film, as planned and predicted, did make me cry A LOT, and some unexpressed grief was released. It reminded me of the speed of time and how we are here for such a brief spell. Everyone and everything is always changing as we live in a dynamic ‘energetic’ world, which is good in some ways but really painful in others. Our parents are destined to not be with us forever and so with their inevitable parting, our times with them become more and more precious and significant. This button got readily pressed for me in the film as Sandler’s character’s father passed away while he was busy fast-forwarding his life. It brought home to us both, how no one wants to be left with unresolved issues with their parents that forever lie in the realm of regret. And how easy it is for us to take our relationships so much for granted, as if those around us will be here indefinitely and therefore each interaction holds less importance than it ‘should’.

Our children’s early years come with immense challenge and they can feel overwhelming, relentless and unrewarding especially when the going gets tough. These years, and the mirror our children hold up for us, offer huge opportunities for personal growth. And again, how easy is it for parents and children not to be actually present and in relationship with their family, themselves and their surroundings.

Our time here is precious. Every day is a blessing from the Universe. Gratitude for all we do have makes our life so much more rewarding. And being truly present creates unbeatable life learning and rewarding experiences. Be very careful what you wish for……. Click click.


Leave a comment

Healing Profound by Rowena J Ronson

Healing Profound by Rowena J Ronson

Embryo by Rowena J Ronson Embryo by Rowena J Ronson

Yesterday I received a profound healing from a colleague of mine and as a result I am inspired to share the experience with you. Kate Codrington practises an energy therapy from Mexico called Rebozo. I had actually booked a session on impulse, not knowing what it involved but trusting the space Kate holds and knowing I would reap benefits, as I always do, in her multi-talented care. I could sense energetically when we began that it was an intuitive and safe space she was offering, as I lay on her massage couch open to the experience. I had actually prepared myself for the session by limiting my food intake before I went so my system could focus on healing rather than digesting. I had also journaled in the morning to clear my mind so that I was free from incomplete thought processes whirling around in my brain.

Kate encouraged me to enter a deep state of relaxation by rocking different parts of my body. She wrapped up my legs, arms and then my head, individually and consecutively and then either rolled or stretched me, according to where her intuition guided her. She sensed my legs needed grounding, so not unlike someone mastering an alien force, she vigorously took on the task energetically until calm ensued and my legs were at peace and several inches longer!

I have always been a fan of rocking, if the truth be known, and took up its practise as a small child. The rocking process is a way to self pacify, as it encourages the release of our morphine-like endorphins, which bring peace and calm. And of course we experience that gentle rocking sensation in the womb, in our mother’s arms, and if we are present in nature as the trees hold that space for us too, as they rock back and forth in the wind.

During this first part of the Rebozo process some thoughts did bounce around in my head but I practised Mindfulness and saw the thoughts for what they were – separate from me – and this allowed me to let them go on their merry way so that I could be completely present in all ways. I now felt fully stretched and very relaxed, in an unfamiliar yet familiar way and it felt really good.

Kate then wrapped my whole body up in a cocoon of knotted, firm pieces of cloth and I felt deliciously warm and altogether snug. She moved up towards my head and her presence there energetically encouraged me to focus on my third eye. Instantly I felt a shift. Shapes and colours replaced thoughts and stuck energy and I surrendered to an even greater level of relaxation in my secure, simulated womb. I flowed in this meditative state down my left side and then up through my right as if I was spontaneously and unconsciously performing a yoga nidra. Within Kate’s safe container, I was able to travel deeper and deeper inside myself, calming my parasympathetic nervous system. Consequently, my own ‘vital force’ stimulated its inevitable healing response.

When I ‘awoke’ I actually felt completely different from whence I began, as if the train leaving the station was somehow transformed by its journey, and could acknowledge it when it returned an hour later. It was more than a sense of calm. It was as if I had been dynamically realigned but at the same time, reborn. I guess this was as a consequence of my inner self’s recognition of its safe and unconditional holding in my mother’s womb. My energetic body remembered and somehow reset my clock, or so it seemed.

I asked Kate, after she finished working on me, what she picked up from the experience. She said that energetically it took quite a lot for her to ground me and as she neared my head she had considered closing my connection to source a little, as I was so open. But she realised that this was not the session’s intention or what I needed, so she let it be. She felt this at the same time as I experienced the healing channelled through my crown and third eye chakras.

She mentioned that this kind of healing is wonderful at reminding our system about our own physical and emotional boundaries. As I left I thought about this on a cellular level as I am taking Natrum muriaticum homeopathically. Nat Mur types constitutionally have issues with boundaries, which makes sense for a remedy made out of salt. Being held so tightly in those knotted cloths, really firmed up my boundaries and brought a calm I had not experienced in a long while. I also thought about vibrational healing and how Kate’s healing, similar to homeopathy, works on an energetic level and is super powerful.

The fact that Kate is following her purpose in life is supremely evident and extremely potent. I recognise this in Kate as I do in myself and it makes a tremendous difference, in my opinion, to the therapeutic relationship and how patients respond and heal in our care. I do not say this from a place of ego but from a deeper sense of acknowledgement and acceptance, and I am truly grateful to know Kate and to experience her work.

Insights and inspiration continued to flow for several hours after the session, and well into the night. I felt like I had been given a gift – a confirmation of my connection to source and earth and to the never-ending flow of life and time. For me it was a reminder of my energetic body, and ‘her’ ability to be healed with vibration and intent. There was something truly fundamental and archaical about the experience – in the knowing that we embody eternal wisdom and we are healing infinitum.

For more information about Kate’s work and specifically Rebozo, follow this link….

http://www.katecodringtonmassage.co.uk/rebozo-massage-treatment/

And for more information about my work, follow this link….

http://www.evolve2solve.co.uk


Leave a comment

10 reasons to bring your fertility, pregnancy, birth, babies and children to see Holistic Physician Rowena J Ronson

10 reasons to bring your fertility, pregnancy, birth, babies and children to see Holistic Physician Rowena J Ronson:

The Young Ones

For fertility:

If you are finding that it is taking you longer to conceive than you would like, homeopathy, good nutrition and looking at one’s lifestyle can be useful to help remove the blockages that might be holding you back from falling pregnant. Holistic treatment is also useful for your partner to assist his fertility, and is also beneficial when there is a history of miscarriage.

For pregnancy and childbirth:
If you are looking to be in optimum health while pregnant; or are suffering from symptoms of pregnancy – nausea, vomiting, mood swings; or you are not wanting to take conventional medication if you are unwell, then having holistic treatment will benefit you (and your baby) and it is safe, natural and effective. Homeopathic remedies are also known to help babies move from breach, and assist with bringing on labour when your progress might be affected by anxiety or other emotions you are experiencing pre-birth. Some women also use homeopathy throughout their birthing process and others even have their homeopath present at the birth 🙂

For mother and baby in those very important first years post birth:
Homeopathic treatment is nourishing in all ways for a mother post-birth. Homeopathy is also a safe system of medicine to help with any health issues that might arise for your baby, straight after birth and the first few weeks and months. Rashes, colic, fevers – babies respond well to homeopathic remedies. I work with mothers closely in those first few years, to support them with their own health and their new addition to their family.

For a safe and natural way to build your child’s immunity:
Homeopathy is a very effective system of medicine to build your child’s immunity and treat acute infections. Each member of your family has their own unique picture of who they are in this world, how they feel, what they think, and how they express themselves when they are unwell. When we have homeopathic constitutional treatment, our immunity grows and is supported and we are prone to less infections. And acute infections can also be treated with acute homeopathic prescribing.

For a holistic way of treating molluscum and other viruses, rather than just waiting them out:
Homeopathy is very affective for treating molluscum and many young children have been recommended to me for treatment as it is effective, natural and there is no alternative given by GPs unfortunately, other than to wait it out.

For behavioural issues and difficult family dynamics:
It is not easy to be a member of a family!! I work with the difficulties that arise from the everyday to the more complex family dynamics with individuals and with the family as a whole.

For when you have exhausted antibiotics and are looking for other options:
Parents and doctors alike are generally not happy in giving children one course after another of antibiotics. Homeopathy offers an alternative to treat both the infections and also build immunity so that infections do not keep occurring.

For ear infections, sore throats, tummy upsets, headaches, eczema:
For all childhood infections, homeopathy offers a safe, natural and holistic alternative.

For Hayfever: With good homeopathic constitutional support over a period of months, ideally begun in the autumn or winter, your children should be less susceptible to hayfever. The allergy can also be treated more acutely during the season.

For hormonal issues for your teenager: periods (pain, frequency, heaviness, PMS), acne, mood swings:
I treat teenagers with all the typical issues that come from being a young person, including their hormones!! Many come for counselling and guidance through these challenging years as well.

For teenagers and young adults with issues with drugs and alcohol: if you suspect or even know your teenager is having issues with drugs and/or alcohol, I provide a confidential, non-judgemental and understanding approach combining counselling, family therapy and natural remedies, including for detox and withdrawal where appropriate.

For more information or to book a first consultation, please contact Rowena direct on 07795 366386 or by email at rowena@evolve2solve.co.uk. She sees patients in St Albans and at Chase Lodge Hospital in Mill Hill.


Leave a comment

Climate of Insanity by Nigel Summerley (photograph by Rowena J Ronson)

Breaking Bad by Rowena J RonsonCLIMATE OF INSANITY?

by Nigel Summerley

We are all more or less agreed that the planet is warming up and that this is most likely the result of our relentless burning of fossil fuels. Right? Well, not all of us.

Some politicians – the very people we look to do something because they have the power to do something – think this is dangerous bunkum and will do anything to assist the cause of climate change denial.

Wyoming’s State Legislature has just rejected new national science standards for schools, because they include teaching about the human contribution to climate change.

Wyoming seems to be resistant to central regulation but also to anything that might jeopardise the coal, oil and gas businesses.

State Representative Matt Teeters, one of those opposed to the new standards, has been quoted as saying that they “handle global warming as settled science. There’s all kind of social implications involved in that that I don’t think would be good for Wyoming.” And he thinks they might help to “wreck Wyoming’s economy”, which is very much tied up with fossil fuels.

So Wyoming prefers to try to ensure its kids remain ignorant about the global warming issue – when they are the ones it’s going to affect, not the politicians with their short-term concerns and vested interests. It’s almost unbelievable.