The Two Wolves

Once upon a time, or so the Cherokee legend goes, a young Indian boy received a beautiful drum as a gift. When his best friend saw it, he asked if he could play with it, but the boy felt torn. He didn’t want to share his new present, so he angrily told his friend, “No!”

His friend ran away, and the boy sat down on a rock by the stream to contemplate his dilemma. He hated the fact that he had hurt his friend’s feelings, but the drum was too precious to share. In his quandary, he went to his grandfather for advice.

The elder listened quietly and then replied. “I often feel as though there are two wolves fighting inside me. One is mean and greedy and full or arrogance and pride, but the other is peaceful and generous. All the time they are struggling, and you, my boy, have those same two wolves inside you.”

“Which one will win?”, asked the boy.

The elder smiled and said “The one you feed.”

This story, told in How God changes your Brain, by Newburg and Waldman (neurotheology), is a wonderful example of the power of therapeutic story-telling. Stories can help us see ourselves more clearly. They give us visual metaphors to describe intangible feelings inside us, along with new strategies for managing our challenges. Continue reading

Lavender Cake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARECIPE

Base layer

1/4 cup of caramelised buckwheat groats

1/4 cup of walnuts 1/2 cup of almonds

4 pitted dates

Process everything together in the food processor. If your mix isn’t sticky enough, add more dates! Press this mix into the bottom of a baking dish. This is your base layer.

Middle layer

5 pitted dates

2 tablespoons of almonds spread/paste

1/2 tablespoon of tahini paste

1/2 cup of cashews a pinch of salt

Blend everything together in food processor. Taste test and more dates if it isn’t sweet enough for you. Pour/spoon into your baking dish, and spread it evenly over the bottom layer. Put the baking dish in the freezer so this layer can firm up while you make the top layer.

Top layer

2 bananas (you can use peeled frozen bananas if you like)

1 cup of blueberries

1/3 of a cup of organic dried lavender flowers(or less if you want a more subtle flavour)

4 dates

1/2 cup of cashews

Process all ingredients. Taste test for sweetness and add more dates or blueberries as needed. Spoon this mixture over the middle layer and spread it out evenly. Put this back in the freezer overnight. The next day, remove from freezer, let it thaw out for a short time (e.g. 5-10 minutes), and then cut into squares and serve. 

The Therapeutic uses of Lavender

As a herbalist/naturopath, I find lavender particularly effective for relieving stress, anxiety and insomnia when there is a lot of anger involved, such as feelings of irritation and frustration. It can provide either a stimulating or sedative effect, depending on what the body needs.

ACTIONS

*Anti-inflammatory

*Antipyretic

*Analgesic

*Antiseptic

*Nervous Sedative

*Immunostimulant

*Relaxant

USES

*Agitated depression or depression mixed with anxiety.

*Restlessness, anxiety, frustration, irritation, insomnia, over-active mind.

*Low back pain, abdominal cramps, flatulence, aches and pains, headaches.

*Dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, cold limbs, chilliness.

*Fever, sore throat, sinusitis, asthma, cough, infections and inflammation in general.

*Nausea, constipation or diarrhoea, appetite loss, sore liver area.

*Topical for burns, sunburn, itching, bites, eczema, acne etc