Ham and cheese meditation

 Last time I wrote, I spoke about my calling to go do the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  After years of procrastinating I finally found the courage to get on that plane and go.  I really didn’t know why I had to go there, and I didn’t know why I had to go alone.  And, the funny thing is, after 21 days straight of sleeping in a different bed, 21 days of cheese and ham for breakfast and step after step after step along the path not talking to anyone.......I still don’t really know!  

When I first came home and people were asking me, “how was your trip”, I kind of didn’t really know what to say.  It was really challenging.  I saw really nice places and met cool people.  Drank lots of nice wine. I knew it was an amazing experience, I knew I felt different and could see things differently, but how do you describe such a profound experience in words.....without sounding like a hippy jillipy!    

Essentially though, I think this is where the true lesson of my pilgrimage was.  I just needed to experience the experience.  I needed to get out of my head and into my body and just feel and see the beauty of life.  It was one long meditative experience that was not always comfortable and had far too much ham and cheese in it, however, it was the experience that I needed.  I now know that the little lessons I learnt along the way, have and will change the way I see and feel things.  My reference point has changed and above all else, it was a lesson in trusting my intuition.  

So I think this is what I can pass on as lessons I learnt from the camino, from my ham and cheese meditation; 

          1.   Experience the experience - get into your body and experience things, big and small.  Eat the ham and cheese....smell it, taste it, feel it, just for the sake of eating it.  Not because it is healthy, not because it is going to give you energy, do it just for the experience.  When we can turn our minds off and experience things through all of our senses, taste, smell, touch, hear, see, we can effect profound change, not only in our bodies, but in our external lives.  If you think about it, this is what meditation is.  Sitting and breathing.  Experiencing your breathe through your body.  (sorry now I’m getting hippy!!)

          2.  Trust your intuition - I really believe that above all else, our own trust in our intuitive selves is where the answers lie to our health and happiness.  Especially given that we are living in a time where money is the driving factor behind our medical care, we need to trust what we think is right for ourselves.  Listen to your instinct.  Your instinct will tell you when to trust the information provided and whether to trust the people providing the information.  Do what your heart is telling you to do.  If you have a nagging feeling to do something.....then do it.  And I am not talking about egocentric extravagant experiences that we feel “called” to do because everyone will think we are amazing and wonderful.  Do what your heart is genuinely yearning to do.  It will be that thing that keeps popping up no matter how many times you ignore it.  It might be something small like paint your toenails......doesn’t matter.   

The cool thing is, when you just experience the experience, that constant blah blah blah blah blah that goes on in your head slowly quietens down and it becomes much easier to hear that inner voice of intuition. 

In health and happiness, 

Jac Edser

Not your typical doctor.....essential tips to health and happiness

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of the death of my dear friend Dr Lisa Macdonald.  Lisa was an absolute beam of health and beauty and if you were lucky enough to know her or be a patient of hers, I know you will be smiling reading this and remembering her.  

As a tribute to Lisa, I have written a list of things that I know Lisa believed were essential for good health and happiness.  Lisa was definitely not a typical doctor and her potions, lotions and notions were not your typical remedies.  But everything Lisa did was grounded in science, based on medical evidence and traditional wisdom........and of course, her own life experience.  

These are in no order of priority; 

  1. Love - Lisa knew that the fundamental life force that we all need to live and thrive is love.  We know from studies that children fail to thrive without human interaction and love.  Adults need it too.  A warm hug, a friendly smile a loving gesture.  
  2. Friends - especially girlfriends.  Lisa loved hanging out with her girlfriends and always encouraged others to hang out with their friends and foster friendships that were uplifting and fulfilling.  Be yourself and see who you belong with.  Don’t be someone just to belong to a particular group.  
  3. Good food! - no point eating something unless it is good for you and it tastes good!  Fresh food and good quality food.  Shopping at the markets for local, fresh and organic products was what she encouraged and to eat things that were specifically good for you and your constitution.  
  4. Herbs - if you every visited Lisa’s house you would always leave with a basket of herbs that were not only yummy, they all had their purpose.  Lisa taught me so much about herbs and how to add them into your daily life.  Growing them and eating them is one of life’s simple pleasures.
  5. Outdoors - getting outdoors and enjoying nature.  Cycling, bushwalking, beach and swimming.  She believed that this was essential to good health for many reasons including getting sunshine, exercise and fresh air.
  6. Good quality water - filtered water so that you get rid of all the chemicals in it!  We are made up of over 70% water so it makes sense to drink good quality water.  
  7. Seaweed - Lisa saw many medicinal qualities in seaweed....and she was able to make it taste good!  Cook with it in soups, salads, sushi.  Lisa knew all the tricks about how to make stuff taste fantastic.......I even had one of her spirulina smoothies that tasted good!  If you have had spirulina, you will know that it tastes yuk!
  8. Bathing - one of Lisa’s rituals was to have a bath in bath salts.  Her absolute favourite bath salts were SOUL, from Embody.  She realised the healing benefits of a bath.....a tradition that has been around for centuries. 
  9. Holidays - just about every patient that saw Lisa came away with a prescription for a holiday.  As a business owner, I used to laugh and think “yeah that would be great but.....”.  Life is short.  I now see that holidays are essential for good health and happiness.  Plan one now! 

In loving memory of a wonderful doctor, healer and friend.