Category Archives: Wealth of Health

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath

Happy Birth-Day to the long awaited book that has many favorite posts from BreathingSpaces within the pages!!  My heart is wide open as I deliver this book into your hands, hearts and souls.  My deepest wish is that this book will be of service to those who read it and that it will encourage pauses in life to simply be with the breath and the sacredness of this life we have been given.


                   For a SNEAK PREVIEW go to:


Richard Cawte

Give Us this Day our Daily Breath is so much more than just a book about breathing. The subtitle of this beautifully-crafted and elegant work sums up its difference from anything else that I have read on the subject: “Weekly Breathing Spaces to Delight, Rest and Reflect In”.

That says it all.

Life has become so hectic for so many of us, with so many things to do every day (and never enough time to do them!). In Give us this Day our Daily Breath, Gaye Abbott gives us a clear, easy-to-follow guide that helps us find places of calmness and deep ease from which the day can emerge in a fresh, vibrant way.

We tend to pay attention to peripheral things in our lives and yet so often the very thing that sustains us – the act of breathing – is something we barely pause to consider. What I love about this book is that it brings the act of breathing to the forefront, allowing the reader to explore his or her relationship with the world through the breath itself. It’s an inspired piece of writing, flowing from the heart.  

Giving us weekly practices is a stroke of genius, because it makes it easy for the reader to experiment and adopt new ways of breathing bit-by-bit. That’s why I love the book so much. It’s more than just a book. It’s a road-map to living an in-spired life, a step-by-step manual that invites us to align ourselves with the rhythms of the natural world – and then shows us how.  

Life throws up many challenges, but as Gaye says: “the breath is a tool to anchor you. Allow it to be the constant thread around which you weave your life.” Wonderful advice.

Truly a book to read, delight, rest and reflect in!

Richard Cawte, Ph.D., International Business & Author of the Natural Wealth Course,


Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath is a wise, graceful, kind and gently humorous guide to awakening more fully through

Lea Bayles

weekly explorations of breath.

By relating the natural breathing rhythms to the cycle of the seasons, Gaye Abbott invites readers to reconnect with a sense of being at home on Earth and in our bodies. This fresh perspective combines with personal story and observation to offer valuable new insight into the healing and transformational power of breathing.

Lea Bayles, M.A., transformational coach, speaker and author, creator of the Replenish Your Soul series of guided meditations,


Leza Lowitz

Give Us this Day our Daily Breath is a wonderful book born from Gaye Abbott’s decades-long practice of yoga, meditation, awareness, mindfulness and joy, celebrating the breath each and every day like the gift and prayer that it is.   Inspirational, creative, healing and practical, Gaye offers insights, exercises and easy-to-follow practices that allow us to fully appreciate and embody this act of breathing and all it contains. Gaye writes, “When we come together with another life form, we share the breath in the air that surrounds us. We take of the same breath, so to speak. Down through the millennia this has continued. In fact, we are breathing and sharing the recycled air of the dinosaurs, the very first humans, the dolphins, and the trees…In many of the classes, workshops and retreats, I often have people sit back to back and feel their own breath first, then connect with the breath rhythm of the other without attempting to change theirs. Almost everyone noticed, in a short period of time, that the breath would synchronize and become one. 

Perhaps it was always one to begin with. Through this interconnected basic biological process we can feel each other, and with acute knowing understand what is within the other – even if we do not consciously acknowledge it. What if each one of us joined another – or others – in sharing a peaceful breath rhythm. Would the world change?” 

Yes it would, and with Gaye as our guide, it is bound to. And what a joyful and transformational journey it will be. Thank you Gaye for giving us this day our daily breath and reminding us of the incredible beauty, grace and power of this thing called breath that we too often take for granted!

Leza Lowitz, #1 bestselling Author of Yoga Heart: Lines on the Six Perfections

OFFERINGS: Downloadable (Instant PDF Download Below) with beautiful formatting and the ability to print out each week’s focus for a daily reminder OR through LuLu – e-book (EPub/Adobe, iPad, Nook, Kindle, etc); and soft cover spiral bound or regular soft bound to place in your library as a treasured resource!

PDF Downloadable Version:

Ebook : –
Regular bound soft cover: –—paperback/18852066
Spiral/coil bound soft cover :-—coil-bound/18852103

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath

ANNOUNCEMENT!!  We invite you to go to the Natural Wealth website to see a Sneak Preview of Gaye’s upcoming book: Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath expected out in e-book and soft cover by 12/1/11!!  Go to the page Be Breathed – Our Daily Breath.

Would love your feedback as the book is not quite finished yet…and your comments would be most welcome!  Also check out the video that took Gaye so many takes….and laugh along.  It is such fun to be human!

REMEMBER –  Laughter is a series of exhales expressed with uninhibited joy!

Thank you for taking the time to take a peak at the Sneak!

Gaye Abbott           Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath

Breathe and Trust – While Wings Are Drying

In my own worst seasons
I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair
by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing:

A flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window.
And then another: My daughter in a yellow dress.
And then another: A perfect outline of a dark sphere behind the crescent moon.

Until I learned to be in love with life again,
like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills,

I have taught myself joy,
over and over again….                   – Barbara Kingsolver

I found my mind yesterday putting attention on what is not present in my life instead of what is already abundant.  What happened is that I went down into the despair that Barbara Kingsolver talks about above.  I lost myself in a world where I could not even conceive of the limitless possibilities and opportunities that are certainly ready to show themselves to me as my dragonfly wings dry in preparation for flight in my new home.

What is it about the human mind that seeks ahead of the moment, that fixates on the “I don’t have this relationship, money flowing in, health, etc.” and completely ignores what is present right now, while not trusting that all is unfolding itself just as it should?

What is it that has us ignoring the incredible beauty before us which points to our natural wealth that is almost certainly renewing itself in many and various forms in our every moment?

Well, my mind, I suspect, is just as dangerous a place at times as the next person for it really took me for a ride until I realized with a sudden lightening bolt of awareness that there is so much abundance in my life right now…..and MORE is coming!  Before that however, I wrote to you Richard saying:

My mind is attempting to figure out the whole of what is going on here with this continued illness and how best to support myself to come back into balance.  The truth of the matter is that I am having a bit of a hard time.

Part of the emotional release yesterday, which came and went moving fluidly through my body, was admitting that I am scared Richard.  Part of that feels like it arises from not feeling well for what feels like a long time, and the other part is all of the opportunities (that I can’t see very clearly yet, but trust that they are there) before me in this new territory. 

I want to stay true to my heart and the direction of my soul.  Old stuff seems to be intermingled with new stuff. Everything feels like it has been thrown up in the air and I have no idea where all the pieces will land or what relationship I will have with them. “

Interrupting the e-mail to you for a morning yoga class I repeated the mantra you gave me of “I am ready and everything is happening in perfect time” while I drove to the class.   Then I heard that wise inner voice say “you are working at trying to heal yourself instead of surrendering to the wisdom (and cycle) of this illness and resting within the messages that it has for you”.  (wise inner voice gets quote marks!)

In other words taking the time for my wings to dry before flying off into new territory.  The synchronicity of the class was perfect of course and focused on breath opening and finding at least 3 things that we found joy and beauty in during the 90-minute class.  The Barbara Kingslover  poem above happened to be the hand out given to us at the beginning of class.

During the first part of class, when realizing that my breath capacity was immensely decreased and endurance was shaky at best, instead of worrying I watched the breath expand and my shakiness diminish as the class progressed.  Giving myself permission to rest as needed and placing myself in the hands of the teachers guidance (receiving), all I could see and feel was grace and a resonance with my breath (diminished or not!).

As a guide to coming home to authentic and natural breathing,  I have told so many students, just witness the breath and see what gifts and messages it has to bring within each inhale and exhale.  See how your present pattern of breathing reflects your life experience.  Are you acting from fear or love?

Then, if you are not having the life experience you desire, shift your breathing  from contracted and restricted to open and receptive and see what happens.   Like that newborn that is so ready to take that first big inhale and holler (and yes I did Richard!) we have an amazing tool at our disposal.  It is no accident that this temporary illness has affected my breathing passages so acutely.  There is a renewed trust in the wisdom that it has to bring.

As with following the heart and intuition, trusting in the unfolding of ones life also increases the amount of synchronicity that occurs.  Within the last few days there has been an increase in this department.

In addition to the yoga class focus (just for me of course!) there was the turquoise craftsman that showed up as I walked past the Artisan’s Alley on a main street of Austin a few days ago.  Mind you this is before I received your last post Richard.

I was drawn to the turquoise and when asking the craftsman about a particular piece, he was happy to share that this bracelet that I had in my hand was made in Mexico near Sleeping Beauty mine and was very high quality.  Did I notice that it had a clasp in the shape of a heart on it?  I thanked Frank who has been making jewelry for over 30 years, paid my $7, and put the bracelet on as I walked back to my car.

Then after reading your last post Richard I was struck by the synchronicity and realized that I had made a necklace a year ago while I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and it incorporated turquoise in the design with a heart locket right at center.  No onyx in that necklace, but a visit to the local bead shop has fixed that.

I am learning that the path to Natural Wealth is paved with trust, faith, synchronicity, lots of color, textures, smells, and rich sounds……and much more.  I look  forward to learning about the “much more”.  I am breathing here….and my wings are still drying….


Overcoming The Fear of Success

Dear Gaye,

Firstly, happy landings in your new home! I totally understand how you are feeling. It’s a common reaction for everyone who “takes the leap” into following intuition rather than logic. You’ve had years of following one way of doing things, so expect to feel the shifts happening in your body as it recalibrates.

On top of that you have moved to a new environment in a city where little is familiar. Relocating on its own (without free-flying from the job) puts various challenges in our paths, not least because everyone tells us how “stressful” it is. So how do you deal with the fears that rise up from your subconscious into your conscious mind?

Well, here are some immediate suggestions:

Firstly, deny the possibility of fatigue or dis-ease coming to you as a result of the move. Remember the phrase “Movement is the barometer of the soul” from last week? Your movements are constricted in some way, because of your natural fear of not having those things that you are used to around you. So, make a clear statement that affirms your health and energy (rather than focusing on not being tired). Repeat that statement until you feel its meaning seeping all the way from your fingertips to your toes. The feeling is the crucial part.

Secondly, use some of the stones or crystals that will help you. Some people smile at such advice, thinking it’s very “New Age”. It’s actually very old-age! Little is older than the rocks and crystals around us and if you stop to think about it, we’re all pretty much 100% crystalline. The water and blood in our bodies is crystalline, as are our brain cells, including those crystals of magnetite at the center of the brain. Magnetite is what give us our sense of direction, helping us “get home in the dark”. So, to help you find your new sense of direction, your “homing instinct”, try the following crystals/stones in whatever form works for you (rings, necklaces or simply unworked rocks).

Turquoise and onyx are the ones for you just now. Quite a color combo! They’ll help both lift your spirits and provide the foundation energy you are looking for. Wear them, have them out in your rooms, whatever works best. Both are the traditional birthstones of your birth month (although you won’t find that info on most sites about them).

Turquoise has been used for centuries as a healing stone. Being blue, it corresponds to the throat chakra so will help you find your voice in your new environment. It is also known as one of the truth stones. Speaking your truth (which is what you do so honestly and genuinely in this blog) is crucial to your ongoing success. It’s a part of you showing that you walk the walk whilst talking the talk. Turquoise is known to help ground the body, especially for those with wandering spirits (!) helping you to free your spirit by articulating things that are dear to your heart. Interestingly, it was often used to treat the lungs and respiratory system, so I suggest the best usage for this stone is to have a piece hung around your neck, reaching as close to your lungs/heart as possible.

Onyx on the other hand is a stone of self-mastery, helping you regain your vigor, strength and vibrancy. Not specifically a healing stone, it is appropriate for you more for its qualities of helping you release old patterns of thoughts/beliefs and protecting you from the fear that you’re feeling. It’s mystical number is 6, the number of material creation, but it corresponds both to the first and fifth chakras, meaning that it will not only help ground and calm you, it will also help the turquoise in giving you confidence to find and use your voice in a way that you have not felt free enough to do up to now.

Thirdly, wear red or rich terracotta colors when possible. Red, being the color of the first chakra, will be a great aid for your core energy.

On to the lungs: this is simply a reaction to the fear of moving into new territory. Remember the image of the dragonfly we used some weeks back? Well, you’re no longer crawling up the stem towards the surface of the pond. You’ve broken through, moving from liquid to air. You’re in a new environment. Nothing is quite the same. No job, no security of fixed income, no established friends in the area. Where is everything? How do you get acclimatised?

The answer is: everything you desire is at your fingertips. Don’t rush, hurry or worry. Take your time. Wisely and slow.

The dragonfly sits on that stalk for quite some time before its wings are dry enough for it to fly. It just sits and acclimatizes – and BREATHES! That’s the key here (and the reason for your lungs drawing attention to themselves): the requirement to simply breathe and be still for a moment. The temptation when we move home, especially when we have just left the job behind, is to rush at everything, especially in today’s world where everything is about “the need for speed”.

Take your time. Breathe. Acclimatize. This is an essential part of the process, a required hiatus before you spread your wings and “take off”.

It’s my guess that the last time you did something as huge as this was when you were born! That was the time when you last moved from liquid into air, when oxygen suddenly rushed down into your bronchial tubes and inflated your alveoli. You trusted the process then. You took that first breath. Yes, you may have screamed (knowing you, you probably gave a good ol’ holla!) but you carried on with the process, rather than crawling back into your mother’s womb.

In many ways you are going through a time of re-birth just now. So, keep the faith you had when you were in the womb. Keep the faith of the dragonfly as it sits waiting for its wings to dry. You will be flying soon enough.

One last thing: you say “I imagine that I must be ready.” Imagine instead that you ARE ready (must is usually a reductive word) and that everything is happening in perfect time. Imagine yourself experiencing all the elements of Natural Wealth right now: health, love, money, perfect self expressing and a contented spirit. Dwell on feeling success as having already been achieved. That way, you’re already there!

Until next time,

Love and best wishes,

More From Richard:

Someone Has Your Back

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” -Alan Watts

This evening in a restorative yoga class in my new home of Austin, Texas, where we did partner work in a Thai Massage style, the teacher in his quiet and grounded voice said, “you can let go now of those areas that you are holding onto. Trust that someone has your back”.  He had no idea how deeply this hit me in that moment.

It came to me quite clearly that although I have said to myself, you Richard, and others that I am in trust about the unfolding of my life, the truth of the matter is that there are parts of me that are showing up rather strongly now that have no idea how to trust, especially when it comes to monetary wealth streams – just one of the many energetic ways that wealth shows up in our lives.

Yes, this relocation to a new city – which was completely my choice mind you – represents an opportunity to practice the Universal Laws of Wealth and abundant living way beyond anything I  have ever done before.  I imagine that I must be ready.

Several things converged to make my first couple of days a little challenging including a rather bad case of bronchitis (I never get sick!) which started in the time I was in my “home” town of San Diego 4 days before my arrival here.   After that last post that you did Richard it gave me pause to see just where I might be contracting, and perhaps not in complete alignment with this chosen journey.

In addition, great change can be stressful and when our entire lives are dumped upside down (again by choice!) the emotional reactions can cause some imbalance in the body.  At these times we know that it is best to rest, but sometimes that may not be possible, or we may choose not to.

Coming back around to trust I have decided that the signs that “someone has our back” are around us all of the time!  From the day I quit the “job with benefits” on 7/1, to right now in this very moment I have been supported emotionally, physically, monetarily, spiritually, and basically taken care of in such an amazing way that I am still in awe!  Family, friends, strangers, and you Richard have been the signposts along the way letting me know that “someone has my back”.

This evening as my body relaxed against the young woman in the yoga class who was supporting me in a pose the flash of recognition came that I was holding on, contracting, and doubting that it was OK to really trust.  Not in the pose – but in my life!

My mind tells me that I have 3-4 weeks at most before some streams of income need to be coming in.  Watching over the last few days since I arrived here there is a mental hesitation (and endless inner calculations) about spending money – any money.

Yet my heart knows what is needed right now so the herbs and good organic produce for the bronchitis and for vital health, the special for unlimited yoga classes for my body, heart and soul for the next month, saying yes to receive from a friend here who is temporarily graciously housing me free of any monetary charge, and putting gas in my car to explore this amazing new place I have landed myself in are all part of the trust.

I have decided that really being in the moment with dis-trust and dis-ease is just as powerful as those moments when absolute trust is on board.   They are the life experiences which inform us that we are human….and crack us open to possibility.

So, I am plunging in, moving with it, and doing my own unique dance knowing that someone/something (force of Spirit) always has my back.   Now get up and dance with me to Eric Bibbs  Don’t Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down!  It’s all life!!


Health Messages From Within

Good Morning Gaye!

To return to health: in your last post you wrote: “When we are doing what we love and what “turns us on” I have learned that our bodies respond with increased energy and vital health. However, there are times when there is an imbalance present and we fall prey to some malady – hopefully minor like a headache or cold. Are there messages here as well?”


The body is a finely-tuned instrument, constantly giving us feedback on the state of our mind and more importantly our spirit. Hence the expression to “keep your spirits up” meaning to keep yourself in good health.

In today’s world of rush, rush, rush there’s an imbalance in the emphasis placed on material solutions. These are usually quick fixes that rarely produce lasting solutions, not least because they address individual symptoms rather than looking at the body as a whole (which would include the aspects of mind and feeling as well as simply the physical). They simply suppress a symptom, rather than addressing the root cause, which is much the same as the fairy tale of the Princess and the Pea: putting a mattress on top of the others may mask the irritant for a while, but it never gets rid of the cause.

I could expand here about the pharmaceutical industry and how I see it, but you know about all that. It’s enough to say that the top six companies (in terms of worldwide revenue) are pharmaceutical companies and that their combined income exceeds the combined income of the next 94!

Back to treatment. Many older cultures knew the value of treating medical conditions through attending to the spiritual or non-physical side of life. So what is this non-physical part of life? Mostly it is your emotions, your feelings, the energy that creates movement in your cells. Some call it God, some the Life Force, but the labels don’t matter. All that’s important is to know that this Divine part of you is the one that sees the bigger picture.

If your body is the counter on the Boardgame of Life, your Divine Self is the one who picks up the dice and moves you around. When you follow your intuitions and inspirations without fear, you allow this Divine Self to lead you to the places and experiences that are most rewarding. But if you struggle against your intuitions, using logic to rationalize actions that are contrary to your Spirit, you’ll create health issues for yourself. This is, quite simply, because you are going against your Divine Self, your better nature. “To thine own self be true” is as good advice now as it was when William Shakespeare wrote it. The secret is to know that your spirit is as much as your “own self” as your body or mind…

One of the many wise men and women to have graced our planet once said: “Movement is the barometer of the soul.” This encapsulates what you are talking about when you mention the increased energy and vitality that you feel when you are doing what you love. How your cells are vibrating is a direct reflection of how you feel in heart and spirit. The greater the sense of spiritual integrity, balance and foundation, the stronger and more vibrant you’ll be! So, following the promptings of your heart is not just new age mumbo-jumbo: it’s a proven way to better health.

The science behind it is simple. When you do what you love, the movement of electricity inside your cells feels no resistance. You become a seamless conduit for the impulses emitted by your heart. The only thing that can break that circuit is a thought that encourages you to go against the promptings of your Divine Self. That is what creates dis-ease, which is literally a movement within your cells that runs contrary to the desires of your Divine Self. Your body, therefore, is the perfect instrument to tell you whether you are on track on not, whether you are paying attention to the messages that are all around us, or whether you are ignoring them!

Next time I’ll use this idea of the Barometer of the Soul to look at common aches and pains and see what they say about our emotional and spiritual states…and what you can do about them.

Until then – Dance, dance, wherever you may be!

Much love,

Free Flight

“There are times when wind is howling
 and the ocean is roaring so loud  
you can’t hear your own cries of delight.
When layer upon layer of beauty press on you with such force
that you barely have the courage to press the shutter.
                                                        – Dewitt Jones

This may seem like a strange response to your last post Richard, but Dewitt, who is a world-renowned photographer, has touched me with the beauty and depth of his photography and words so many, many times.  This just so happened to be the e-mail photo and words of the day.  I received it after the event I speak of below.

As I was driving home, just moments ago, from a great weight training and swim workout with music loud enough to make my body want to move some more, a very large hawk flew directly across my windshield in perfect timing for me to feel the free flight energy (versus the free fall!) and for her to give me the indisputable message – fly free as you become “gainfully unemployed”!

As Dewitt’s quote above reflects I was in absolute awe of this creature of nature and her message to me.  I did cry out in delight, and it was challenging to hold all of the energy that flowed in within that particular moment in time.

Nature often brings us messages.  In fact I would say it constantly brings us messages if we will open our eyes, ears, and heart to receive them.  I was blessed to have received such a powerful message today as I start my very last week in a conventional job.  (last day on 7/1!)

As nature brings us daily messages so does our body.  Your 7 simple suggestions for health are a great reminder! You are correct in that I do all of them, but occasionally forget when I most need to remember!  Just the simple return to increased water intake resolved much of my “crash and burn” syndrome at the end of the 10-hour work day.

That is not to say that this work environment is good for me over all, but at least I am able to finish out the last few days with simple gratitude for the energy I do possess.  This is the life energy that will now go into creative livelihood, and I suspect it will skyrocket!

When we are doing what we love, and what “turns us on” I have learned that our bodies respond with increased energy and vital health.  However, there are times when there is an imbalance present and we fall prey to some malady – hopefully minor like a headache or cold.   Are there messages here as well?

So here I am drinking more water, and my attention is on “free flight” with the ability to touch down or change direction at any time I so desire.  The “free fall” was perhaps more about letting go of control and served its purpose.  Now at this point in the journey it feels good to see the texture, patterns, and lay of the land so to speak from a bird’s eye view, and have curiosity and my heart lead the way for the next stages of this journey.

Thank you for your presence in my life!

Always Love,



Seventh-Heaven Health!

Dear Gaye,

Yes, really important to keep energy levels up at this time. Here are seven simple suggestions. You are probably doing most of these already, but I thought to mention them anyway.

**Keep your water consumption high. Dehydration is such a common cause of the body feeling out-of-whack in some way. Bear in mind that we’re all 70% (or more) water, so it makes sense to feed the body this way. Water is conductive. Plenty of water helps your circuitry to operate at optimum levels and to keep your immune system in good working order, flushing out toxins as you go. It is also beneficial metaphorically as you go through big changes. Water is non-resistant (you can run your fingers through it), has great power (it can wash away mountains over time) and is the life-bringer to every plant and animal on the planet. Drinking plenty will help you to be adaptable, to be strong and to grow healthily as you take “the leap into faith”. It’s an often-overlooked nurturer, so keep an eye on how much you are drinking and if you feel hungry late at night, have a glass of water rather than a midnight chocolate bar!

**Keep your protein intake high. Very important right now as you are burning up a lot of energy (mental and physical) leaving the old patterns behind, finding a new home, creating new income streams etc. I’ll be interested to know what blood-type you are as this can help when deciding on which proteins to choose. As a rule, whey and eggs are the most efficient-absorbed and converted sources of protein for pretty much all of us, but let’s revisit this in a future post.

**Keep your oil intake high. This is another really important, but often overlooked area of optimum health. Oils are such a crucial part of keeping you balanced. The brain loves you when you feed it with good essential oils and repays you with clarity and energy. Think of your mind as an engine. It works best when you keep it lubricated, just like the engine of your car which purrs gratefully when you fill it with new oil. The body is much the same. I find that many clients who are low on energy, confused or not thinking clearly, benefit from adding quantities of good oils to their diet. What kind depends on you, but as a rule fish, flax or linseed work well. Olive oil (extra virgin) on salads. The same when cooking (or coconut oil, which is a great cleanser too).

**Cut down on refined sugars, or cut them out altogether. Refined sugars leech calcium from your bones and weaken the immune system. Whilst they give you the “quick fix” of a sudden blood-sugar-rush, they leave you depleted in the medium-long term, meaning you’ll vacillate from “up” to “down” more quickly. This can contribute to sudden mood-swings, which are not beneficial at any time, especially so right now. Cutting out refined sugars is not as easy as it sounds. They are in so many products these days. But even if you do it in stages, it is worth the effort!

**Eat little and often. This is the most natural way to go with food. I was brought up on the “three meals per day” routine at school, with meals served at a particular time. This often results in us eating too much in one sitting, because we’re “ravenous” by the time we get to eat. Eating too much in one go leads to two things: sluggishness and weight gain. The rule of thumb here is to eat no more than the amount that would fit into your hand when you scrunch it into a fist. That’s the approximate size of the stomach for each of us (in your case, your fist is smaller than mine, which means your stomach is too!). Only when we eat more than that at any one sitting does our stomach expand, leading to weight gain. We actually operate best when we eat smaller amounts (never quite filling the stomach) regularly. This keeps a steady flow of nutrients passing through our bodies, again avoiding the “up and down” swings that eating less often create.

**Cut down on carbs, especially wheat-based products. A lot of people “load up” with carbohydrates in order to feel full, but if you’re eating good, fresh, organic produce you’ll find you are much more satisfied than if you major on a heavily carb-oriented diet.

**Cut down your dairy intake. Few westerners are geared to high dairy intake and a lot are in fact allergic to some degree. It’s also a coagulant, helping to block up sinuses for many people. One of your focuses is how to aid the breath. Step number one, for me, would be to cut out all cream-rich products. And for those who say “but what about calcium?” there are plenty of alternative sources. More on this another time.

As an overall rule, the best advice I ever had was from a nutritionist friend of mine who says simply: “If God didn’t create it, don’t eat it!” That just about sums it up!

There’s plenty more to revisit here, but one last thought popped into my mind. You have used the term “free-fall” quite a lot in recent posts and emails to me. I wonder if that image is really the best for you just now? Falling is a negative word for most of us. We talk of stock markets falling, people falling flat on their faces, falling out of favor etc as a bad thing. (One of the phrases I’d like to change is the idea that we “fall” in love. How about standing tall in love instead?)

In the natural world things fall when they are losing energy or die. Trees fall when the life force has left them. Leaves fall in the autumn, when life withdraws until the following spring. It’s not actually a negative, it’s part of the natural cycle of birth, growth, death and rebirth…but we tend to see it as a negative, which is important here. In contrast, things that rise are seen as strong, full of vigor.

As you know, words are really important. They resonate around us, creating life as we move through them. Perhaps you can come up with a new expression for your current “leap”? Instead of free-falling, what about “jump-starting” or “free-leaping”? Have a think and when you find something that resonates for you, substitute it for “free-fall” each time you are tempted to use that phrase!

Be healthy!

Best wishes,

The Most Important Wealth of All!

Dear Richard –

As I have been free falling in this particular life passage of mine there has been a constant theme arising.  Nothing can move forward – or backwards, sideways, up and down, diagonal or any other way – unless my body is functioning optimally.

Your beautiful post on compassion brought to mind self-compassion.  Enhancing and paying attention to health of body, mind, heart and Spirit is certainly on the top of my list in this realm!

Finishing out these last days of the “job” I recognize what a toll it has taken on my health – even though I am overall quite healthy.   At the end of each 10-hour work day  I am completely drained of life energy, my enthusiasm has ebbed to a dangerously low level, and I certainly don’t want to be around any people.

In other words my tank is on empty!

Over a long period of time I have recognized that this can take an immense toll on health and well being.  Part of the many reasons to take the particular leap I am taking from “small-box” job with benefits to a “no-box” creative livelihood that brings joy and great satisfaction, is my health.

Annie Dillard, a great writer once said:

How we spend our days is

of course

how we spend our lives.

Exactly how do we want to spend our days and what elements that contribute towards our vibrant health do we want to pay attention to?

This is the discussion I would like to have with you now Richard, for you know the old adage:  Your health is your wealth!

….and I would expand this to say that our individual and collective health, and our planets health, are directly and intimately connected.  The most important wealth of all!!

“The first wealth is health.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson