And, To All A Good Life!


Happy, safe, & enjoyable Holy Holidays to ALL!

ImageWhatever your belief, I hope this season finds you to be of good heart and generous character. We are all in this together and during this season, especially, we are given great opportunity to develop and express the spirit of brother & sisterhood to all, not just those in our circles, of our own race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. We can choose to honor and respect ALL life. We can choose Love over hate, acceptance over intolerance, and we can choose to exemplify standards of morality that will aid our children in respecting and Loving themselves and each other.

These are beautiful times, and yet, highly emotional times for many, many people.  While some of us will be enjoying connecting with family and friends over a great meal on Christmas, others will be grieving for those who are not present at the table this year. Others still may not have a table at which to feast. As well, there are families missing children, parents, friends, and even pets. There are those whose lives were upset by natural disasters and they have not recovered. We have so many unemployed who are stressing to bring home gifts for their children, or just food. There are people who are justly or unjustly incarcerated. They may be inhumanely treated even if their crime is minor. There are wars being fought and service men and women who will not be home for the holidays. While we have a lot for which to be thankful, the challenges may scream louder than our voice of gratitude. We are reminded to keep a soft light on in our hearts for our fellow sisters and brothers who are experiencing hard times. There are young folks without families who care about them and it becomes more pronounced during the holidays.

Suicides are on the rise during the winter season. S.A.D. aka Seasonal Affective Disorder may not be easily recognizable, but here are some signs Mayo Clinic asks us to watch out for:

  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of energy
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Social withdrawal
  • Oversleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating

The holidays also tend to have people rushing around for gifts, holiday parties or just running to get that last task completed before taking off on holiday vacation. Rushing causes mindlessness and accidents of any nature can occur. This is a time to slow down and take heed of what’s in your surroundings. You may be running around so quickly that you don’t even realize you didn’t hold that heavy store door open for the next person, who may have been an elder, a child or a person with physical disabilities. Or perhaps, you have a long list of gifts to buy and didn’t find that item at the store you’re at and need to make a mad dash to another store. This may result in your driving too close and not have enough space to stop when the car in front of you brakes without warning, or speeding and losing control. And, those Christmas parties may have you drinking a bit too much. You can avoid the backlash if you keep your mind with you. Plan ahead and decide to drink and behave responsibly. Believe me, there is no better gift than the gift of life. No gift you can give is better than you being able to show up or to stay alive and safe.

There are those who have gone through tumultuous times this year and are thrilled to be beyond the depths of their struggle. “Yay, it’s over,” is their cheer! Their gift is that they can now finally exhale after months or a year of great trials. There are others who need Forgiveness and to Forgive a large or small transgression. Whatever the case, let us strive to be vehicles of goodness to ourselves and each other. We do not know what another person is feeling when they have that scowl on their face. It may be an incredibly hard time for that person. They don’t need our grief to add to their own. And, unless they are doing harm, we can ignore a bit of rudeness or meet it with a smile, if we just let ourselves slow down a bit and consider what another may be feeling beyond the surface.

This is a time for deepening, cleansing, and releasing what no longer serves our good, especially our Divine Goodness. Please take moments of Silence throughout your day and give thanks for your many precious treasures. Taking moments of Silence also allows us to make better choices with our reactions to adverse situations, avoiding the off-the-cuff responses for which later we may need to apologize. Let’s choose to keep an open Heart for those who may need our Kindness and Compassion. Tis the Season to Forgive. The best changes start within our own selves. Let us be of service where we are guided to be, and use the power of Prayer, powerfully positive affirmations when we are shown our place is to be on the sidelines, not to meddle or interfere in another’s process. Every season is a season for growth and new understandings. Please keep your focus on remaining safe and choose to do no harm.

The very best to you ALL! And, to all a good life! ❤

Choosing Vibrant Health 101


As a child, when my older sister & I would get into trouble, my parents would sit us down for the much dreaded family talk. Mom would rant and rave about how our friends were responsible for causing us to be in trouble. My father would sit back for a spell, allowing Mom the space to express her disappointment. He didn’t agree with her analysis though, much to my chagrin. Poppy, as I lovingly called him, wanted us to realize our power of choice. He’d often chide us with his ever-familiar chant, “You are responsible for your choices and behavior, not your friends, not your sister. YOU!”

What responsible choices can you make for your optimal health? Our health education should begin while we are young children. We should be not only be taught the importance of brushing our teeth and keeping our wardrobe neat and clean, but basic things, like how to care for our reproductive systems learning proper hygiene practices to prevent infections. We should also recognize indicators that let us know our health needs attention, like the importance of knowing what our urine and stools look like. Is the urine yellow? Are the stools formed? Do they come out easily or with force? All these are indicators. If the urine is yellow or the stools don’t release with ease, it may be as simple as needing adequate hydration, increasing our intake of water throughout the day. Children and adults alike should know the dangers of sodas to quench thirst and the value of water. 

We should all know the value of good nutrition and that we are not going to get it at MacDonald’s or in any other fast food outlet. Fast foods generally have little to no nutritional value. We need to know what our bodies need daily to operate optimally, choosing to eat whole foods like fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and healthy drinks. If you’re a meat eater, choose to eat free range or kosher meats, fish. Please be mindful to avoid or greatly minimize your consumption of the fish that are endangered due to overfishing and overconsumption. Continue reading

WAKE-UP, CHILD!


Fairy reading in the garden. Photo by Dafina Kuficha

Sleep for five to eight hours and then,

Look around you,

See the love and support that has remained with your

Through all of your difficult encounters.

No matter where you have roamed or what you have done,

You have always remained loved and support.

What have you given back to those who have NEVER forsaken you?

Love, complaints, a helpful hand, lies, excuses?

Yes, you have changed your program, but was it by choice or did it

Prove to be the wrong path for one as gifted as yourself?

WAKE UP, CHILD!

Time moves on and waits for no one!

Be not the fool, the dog who barks at the flying bird.

This is your time. Use it well and it will be kind to you later.

Misuse it and you will be constantly reminded, embittered by the waste.

You have left a messy trail.

It led you to the streets and then to jail.

Achievement in school remains the best way forward.

Education is priceless. If you don’t believe me, try living without it.

Plant the seed now and later the harvest will feed you.

Work hard NOW and the benefits will surprise you.

No matter what you think, NO ONE owes you.

You owe yourself, more than you’ve been willing to admit.

So OWN yourself!

WAKE UP, CHILD!

Stop acting the fool, do well in school.

Be thankful you have a home, the streets are no where to roam.

WAKE UP, CHILD!

This is YOUR life!

Stop spitting on the hands that feed you.

Be loyal to your family.

Look nowhere but within.

Be true to yourself.

No more lies, inside or out!

The truth will set you FREE!

Clean up your trail! No more running! Check out your mind!

WAKE UP, CHILD!

The clock is ticking, ticking, ticking!

It’s about you! What will YOU do for YOU!

C’MON NOW, WAKE UP, CHILD!

 © 1989 Dafina Kuficha

Take a deep breath…exhale slowly


My Lake Chabot hike photo by Dafina Kuficha

These days are filled with fascinating natural occurrences. Arizona has experienced its second major dust storm in a month. Over 241 tornados touched down in Alabama and the midwest, leaving uncountable and in some cases, insurmountable, damages, including loss of life and property. The news is not reassuring but actually serves to keep fear at the forefront of our lives. Stress plays an all too major role in our everyday lives and many of us need a way to handle it effectively. Well, here’s a 10-20 breathing exercise that may not be able to prevent high blood pressure but it can keep it from rising. Sometimes we just need an easy way to handle our stress and the right type of breathing can be the answer. Your breath can be of great aid to your process or it can hinder your process by keeping you feeling fearful and inflexible. Remember, deep breathing is essential to good health.

Acupuncture also aids you in deepening your breathing practice as it aids the respiratory system in improving its function. Choose to have vibrant  health by taking time to deepen your breathing with the Hara Breathing Exercise Technique and open yourself to practices that improve your health.

HARA BREATHING EXERCISE TECHNIQUE

Hara breathing is done to relieve the body, mind, and spirit of all types of stress.  If you feel weak or overwhelmed, scared or angry, breathing into the hara will ease these feelings.  Breathing into the hara region allows you to contact your reservoir of energy, and then helps you to root it.

Find a place of quiet, peacefulness.  Make sure the clothes you are wearing are loose fitting, especially around your waist.  You may lie down, sit down or stand up to perform this breathing technique.  It may feel more comfortable to either lie down with your knees slightly bent (to take pressure off your lower back), or to sit in the lotus (crossed-legged) position. (Careful of too placing much pressure on sore knees)  Begin with natural breathing, allowing your body, especially your jaws, neck and shoulders, to relax.

Begin by taking three deep, cleansing breaths, inhaling slowly through your nostrils, while expanding your abdomen, and finish by exhaling slowly through your mouth.

Now, inhale slowly through your nostrils to the count of five (“one thousand one” and so on).  Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth.  Feel your inhalation all the way down to your hara, the region located about one inch below your navel.  As you inhale to the count of five, your abdomen should be expanding as your diaphragm is moving downward.  Hold the breath for another five counts.  Exhale by removing your tongue from the roof of your mouth keeping your mouth slightly open.  To the count of five, slowly, quietly exhale like a cool breeze.  If a feather were placed in front of your mouth during the exhalation, it would not be moved, so quiet and calm is the exhaling breath.  Continue this exercise without pause between inhalation and exhalation.  As you become more adept with this breathing exercise, you may wish to hold the breath longer.  Increase the count gradually as you are ready for it.

Practice hara breathing daily for at least ten to twenty minutes in the mornings and evenings. You will immediately notice improvement in your inner feelings and in your overall physical health. Feel free to use this breathing technique when you are facing challenges in your life’s daily activities.  You can do the exercise for a few moments  or for ten to twenty minutes, once a day or twice a day or throughout the day. At the end you’ll feel much calmer and refreshed.  Your choices, options, possibilities and opportunities become clearer when you are calmer. Enjoy deeper breathing and better health.   Ashay!

Spring Forward (part 2)


"Awakening" photo by D. Kuficha

It has long been written that the world as we know it will be forever altered by 2012. The need for a global consciousness of global respect, love and appreciation for all life cannot be understated.  We have passed the time for only having recognition and concern for our own problems. Yes, the spiritually-disenfranchised of this nation continue to support devastating wars and conflicts around the world. In so doing, the propagation of fear and terrorism is being used to further us away from our goal of global harmony.  Spring is the season of new thought and new ways of looking at old situations.  We are charged with taking evolutionary steps in the direction of inner peace, then world peace.  We have many movements coming forth to allow bring this goal to its fruition. One such goal is A Day of Global Silence.  The first date is07/07/07.  Spread the world and read the article on this website that will tell you how to use silence to create inner and global peace. Please lend yourself to this effort and spread the word for Silence. Shhh…”Be still and know that ye are daughters and sons of the Most High!”

It is through honoring the truth in our spirits, taking care to rest, eat well, speak truth, speak kindness, think high thoughts, and by respecting all life that we are most likely to remain strong, centered, focused, loving, caring, considerate, enthusiastic, helpful, encouraged and encouraging, motivated and motivating, inspired and inspiring. Many of us will suffer through our own or through the sufferings of others. One thing is certain, no matter how difficult, ridiculous, or fearful things may appear, ALL IS IN DIVINE ORDER. Take quiet time to honor yourself, your thoughts, feelings, fears, or confidences and to attune with greater frequency to the Divine Self, whatever you name IT, God, Allah, Jah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Mother Spirit, Infinite Spirit, Wakan Tanka, Holy Breath of All Life, Jesus, Buddha,Krishna, and so on. Remember also to honor the ancestors of ancient or recent past without whose lives yours would not be. The old folks put it aptly, “always remember where you’ve come from.”

QI GONG EXERCISES TO CALM THE INNER SELF: 

In the Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen, the Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, asks Ch’i Po, “How can one achieve a tranquil atmosphere?” She answers, “By avoiding transgressions of the laws of nature.” One of the ways to avoid (too many) transgressions is through proper use of the breath. Perhaps one or all of the following three qi gong exercises will lively up your qi.

HARA BREATHING TECHNIQUE

Two important reasons for performing Hara breathing technique are to relieve the body, mind, and spirit of any type of stress and to circulate and strengthen the body’s qi (vital energy).  If you feel weak, overwhelmed, scared, angry, or just stressed out, breathing into the hara region will ease these feelings.  Breathing into the hara allows you to contact your reservoir of energy, and then helps you root it.  In so doing, you are bringing in the vibration of optimal health to your being.

Find a place of quiet peacefulness. Make sure the clothes you are wearing are loose fitting, especially around your waist.  You may lie down, sit down or stand up to perform this breathing technique. I find it more comfortable to either lie down with knees slightly bent or place a pillow under them to take pressure off the lower back, or sit in lotus (crossed-legged) position. Begin with natural breathing, allowing your body, especially your jaws, neck and shoulders, to relax.

Yoga birds balancing postures photo: D. Kuficha

Take three deep, cleansing breaths, inhaling slowly through your nose, expanding your abdomen, and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Now, slowly inhale through your nose to the count of five (“one thousand one” and so on). Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth. Feel your inhalation all the way down to your hara, the place located about one inch below your navel. As you inhale, your abdomen is expanding and your diaphragm moves down in a full breath. Hold the breath for another five counts. While exhaling, remove your tongue from the roof of the mouth, and slightly open it. To the count of five, slowly and quietly exhale through your mouth likening the breath to a cool breeze. NOTE: If a feather were to be placed in front of your mouth during exhalation, it would not be moved, so quiet and calm is the breath of the exhalation. Breathe continuously without pause between inhalation and exhalation.

Practice this technique daily for at least ten to twenty minutes in the morning and evening.  You will soon notice improvement in your inner feelings and in your overall physical health.

Copyright 1996 Dafina Kuficha, L.Ac.

Continue reading

Taking Steps To A Healthier, Happier Life


Photo credit: Dafina Kuficha

1)     Wake up with an Attitude of Gratitude ~ Let your first thoughts of the day connect you to your gifts. Before you even arise from your bed, give thanks! Forgive what needs forgiveness. “Do not let any grievance dim your light!” Create an inner smile, no matter what challenging situations are before you, and return to it throughout the day.

2)     Drink at least two glasses of water first thing upon rising and 6-9 more throughout each day, depending on your body’s needs. Water aids in release of toxins through the urine; is lost through breathing, moving your stools, and sweating. It also adds luster to your hair and skin. Dehydration can have dangerous affect on the body.

3)     Stretch like a cat as you are preparing for your day. Raise your arms up over your head and take your arms to the right side, then to the left side, then back to center. Prepare your body for the day.  Movement is crucial to a healthy body.  It also generates more energy, blood flow and flexibility.

4)     Eat a nutritious breakfast.  Breakfast is just that, breaking the fast created by sleeping. Our body relishes the nutrition breakfast provides and helps sustain vibrant energy throughout our day. Make good nutrition a habit throughout your day.

5)     Take extended breaks from tv, movies, computers, phones, from the need to be entertained. Write letters to some faraway friend who doesn’t use the internet, or mend those kitchen curtains. Enroll to take a class in an area of interest that you discover in the quiet time spent with self only. Get creative and remain creative!

6)     Clear the old, useless stuff out of your closet, drawers, cabinets, storage space, garage. Decide what you’d be better without and declutter. This activity can also include releasing relationships that do not support your wellbeing.

7)     Stop everything for a few minutes a day to honor silence. Some may choose to meditate or just be still. When doing so, relax your body completely and let your mind follow. Quiet, do nothing time may seem scary at first, but soon you’ll realize its value.

8)     Start an exercise routine. Make it reasonable. Set a goal. Maybe this is the time to take that dream movement class, like capoeira,  Walking, yoga, taichi, swimming, canoeing, horseback riding, hiking or ice skating are just a few of many examples. Continue reading

Achieving Immaculate Love through the Path of Silence


Achieving Healthy Relationships through Immaculate Love

How can we use the practice of Golden Silence to mend our relationship with our youth?

We conjoin with Immaculate Love through the Path of Silence. Our youth is where we start right now because they can no longer wait for us to “get it together”. We’ve already left them to suffer unmentionable fates by allowing a society seeped in dysfunction define how we would relate to our own children. Into a dysphoric sleep we fell, leaving our precious children to survive by their own devices that exposed them to living lives far too old for them to experience. Awakening ever so slowly, it seemed that we forgot, not only who we are, but who they are to us. Shocked by their standards, our disdain for their culture (i.e., style of clothing, music, language, behavior and violence) became the popular conversation. Yet, even with their population in cemeteries and industrial prison complexes soaring, their condition still hasn’t quite become urgent enough to rally a powerful, solidified national movement. Forgetting how to love ourselves, we forget how to love our children. When we know what Love truly is, not what it masquerades as, we will continuously avail ourselves to its Immaculate quality. This is what aligns us with the golden path of Silence, the fertile garden of truth that resides within us all, the home of the harmonic cosmic conscience.

Be certain: The eyes of our youth are upon us!

The crux of this article applies to all youth of all ages. When we communicate from a place of love to our youth, we are teaching them that they matter and that both they and their feelings have relevance, even if we don’t agree or understand what they are feeling. Whether they like it or not or whether we care to admit it or not, how we feel about our youth aids their growth or promotes their feelings of inadequacy and self-worthlessness. We adults demonstrate to youth daily, our own or young ones we pass in our communities, by the tone of our voice or by the look in our eyes, whether we have love for them or disdain.

When we smile at young people, especially those we hold in judgment, perhaps because their bodies may be covered with tattoos, wearing sagging pants, or behaving loudly and distastefully, we may be adding a glimmer of light to an otherwise very challenged life. We cannot pretend to know the story this child carries daily to school or to the streets. We don’t know if their parents have failed them with abuse or abandonment or if they’re rebelling because these are the years designated in their life cycle to rebel. A kind gesture could, however, save the life of a child/teenager/adult, whose greatest challenge at the time you smiled at them was feeling that they deserved love and could receive it. That smile may free them momentarily of a self-judgment that was tearing a seam in the fabric of their being. Are you aware that the third leading cause of death for a teen is suicide? Many of these young people’s cries for help go unheard.

Before we go on, let us make a clarification of terms, if you do have disdain for your child’s or a child’s behavior; please differentiate between behavior and identity. A child is NEVER bad, but a child may exhibit “bad” behavior. However, if a child hears that he/she is “bad” long enough, they begin to believe that and strive to achieve what is expected of them. You may be asking yourself if you have a challenged relationship with a child/teen how can you show love for someone for whom you have no respect? How can you show a youth love when you find their behavior unacceptable, even damaging to others? How can you touch the heart of a youth who feels closed and angry? I will  to illustrate an answer to this question in the following story. Continue reading