Understanding the Communication from Our Unconscious Mind

Understanding the Communication from Our Unconscious Mind
Hello, Dr. Anita Johnston here. I’m in Palau, Nikko Bay and I’m about ready to go diving into an underwater garden and I’m taking you with me. One of the rock islands stands alone but there’s a whole cluster of them surrounded by coral reefs, which are amazing. This one is called Rembrandt’s Cove.

Diving underwater feels so much to me like descending into a dream. The laws of the universe don’t seem to apply here. Gravity is different. Time gets altered. Sounds have another frequency and words show up as internal dialogues in my own mind. Actually, beneath the water is a fantastic and beautiful world depending entirely on an unusual complex web of interrelationships between plants and animals.

This entire reef has been formed very slowly over thousands and thousands of years through an interesting partnership between huge colonies of diverse coral animals that come in all shapes and sizes and they partner with the green algae, a tiny plant that lives in the tissues of the coral animal. The algae uses photosynthesis to provide nutrients and oxygen for the coral and the coral provides a protective environment for the algae and the carbon dioxide it needs to consume. It is the algae that gives the corals the brilliant colors that we see.

While in normal conditions the coral and the algae coexist in a mutually beneficial relationship but when the coral is stressed by the water becoming too warm or excessively low tides, for example, it dispels the algae cells and turns white. If the disruption of the coral/algae symbiosis occurs for too long a period of time it can be disastrous and even lead to the death […]

The Love Food PodCast With Julie Duffy Dillon

The Love Food PodCast With Julie Duffy Dillon
I was recently interviewed by Julie Duffy Dillon on the  Love Food Podcast episode 68. 

Do you consider food to be your enemy or a waste of time? Are you tired of struggling with body image, yo-yo dieting, and food hate? Do you desperately want to embrace intuitive eating, but are too afraid of leaving behind the safety of an eating disorder? Listen now for a breakdown of how to confront these common food peace dilemmas.

Key Points of the Podcast:

We live in a world of PARADOX… it’s about food, but it’s also not about food at the same time!!
So how are our food issues not about food? This struggle is a messenger to let us know that there are other issues going on in our lives… what other hungers are we starving for??
What is the symbolic nature of our food struggle? If we struggle with food restriction, it’s important to look at other areas in our lives where we are restricting. If we struggle with binge eating, it’s important to ask where else we feel scarcity in our lives.
How do we create a peace-keeping force in our lives? We explore compassionate curiosity, rather than judgment.
The foundation to food peace is compassionate curiosity!!
How do we discern our symbolic hungers??
First we need to change our patterns in our lives… then we can tackle the patterns in our relationship with food.
So how do we crack the code on our food behaviors??
Sugary foods usually indicate that we are needing sweetness in our lives, either from ourselves or others.
Salty and crunchy foods generally indicate repressed anger and frustration.
Warm foods mean we are yearning for […]

Balance in Recovery

Balance in Recovery
Hello. Dr. Anita Johnston here, and I am at Nikko Bay in Palau, in the backyard of my very, very dear friend, Cliff, who goes paddleboarding in probably the most beautiful, pristine water in the world. The key, clearly, to paddleboarding, is

The key, clearly, to paddleboarding, is balance.

But here’s the thing.
It’s not simply about balance.
It’s about pleasure.
It’s about the joy of living your dreams.

Cliff is living his dreams, and this is what he does every day, right outside his back porch, in his backyard. Now, not all of us get to live this kind of dream, and nor should we, because we all have different kinds of dreams. Each of our dreams is unique unto ourselves, but the key for all of them is to find the balance. The balance in your life between what it is you need to do in order to achieve your dreams, and, then, how to enjoy the process.

You see, that’s the case for recovery as well.

Because in order to recover, it does require a certain kind of balance between doing what you need to do (that may not feel really great in the moment) and making sure that you’re also focused on what brings you joy.

Because you know how you want your life to be, because you have a dream for things being better, you do what needs to be done, and (here’s where the balance comes in) you also do what brings you joy.

So, the process then becomes one of saying Yes.
Saying yes to your future dreams and also allowing time in the present moment to enjoy what life has to bring.

It’s a bit of a paradox. A paradox that requires balance, because […]

The extraordinary changes that mark the change from girlhood to womanhood.

The extraordinary changes that mark the change from girlhood to womanhood.
Hello. Doctor Anita Johnston here and I am in Palau right now.

Wait, where is Palau? Well, Palau is south of Guam. Where is Guam? Well, both Guam and Palau, are part of the Micronesian islands. Polynesia, which most people know about, includes Hawaii and Tahiti. Then there’s Melanesia, which is near where New Guinea is, and then there’s Micronesia which means little islands — and there are lots of them. Palau is about 7 degrees north of the equator. Guam is about 14 degrees north of the equator and Hawaii about 22. To get to Palau, you go to Hawaii and then to Guam and then you turn left and go south and you get to Palau.

Now, the thing about Palau is I think it’s the most beautiful place on the planet. The islands are pristine. The water! The water feels like silk on your skin and is crystal clear. And the corals are brilliant and amazing. Culturally, however, Palau is a really interesting place. One of the things I find most compelling is that they still have rituals for girls when they have their first menstrual cycle. And they celebrate many of the phases that women typically go through.

One of the things I find most compelling is that they still have rituals for girls when they have their first menstrual cycle. And they celebrate many of the phases that women typically go through.

When a woman gives birth for the first time, it’s extraordinary what they do. They cover her body in oil and turmeric so that her skin shimmers. There’s dancing and celebration. And, when a girl goes into menarche, which is the […]

There’s meaning to what you eat!

There’s meaning to what you eat
Hello Dr. Anita Johnston here.

I’m at the Little Theater in Epidaurus and I’m going to tell you the story about Demeter & Persephone.

There were once these two goddesses.
Demeter was the mother goddess, and her daughter’s name was Persephone.

The story goes that they were very, very close. They did everything together; they went everywhere together. One day, they were out in a meadow and they were picking some flowers. As Demeter turned her back to reach for some flowers, Persephone was reaching for a (get this), narcissist flower. Just in that very moment, the earth ripped open and up came Hades with a chariot being pulled by four black horses. He snatched Persephone and took her into the Underworld. Demeter turned around and said, “Where’s my daughter? Where’s Persephone? She’s gone!” She was frantic.

She went to all the gods and goddesses and said, “Have you seen Persephone? Persephone’s gone!” The gods and goddesses said, “We don’t know.” She went to Zeus, who was the king of the gods. Zeus said, “I don’t know where she is. I don’t know!”, which really wasn’t true because Zeus had had a part in all of this. He knew that she was in the Underworld with Hades.

Demeter fell into a huge depression. She was so upset; she could not get over the loss of her daughter. Demeter (whose name in Roman times was Ceres), was the goddess of the grain and the harvest (which is where we get our word for cereal). She was so full of despair, that as a result, the trees stopped producing fruits. The olive trees were no longer bringing forth any olives. The grasses were not producing any grains. […]