A Little Humor For Your Day – You might be a redneck if. . .

You might be a redneck if. . .

You might be a reneck if…

You’ve ever given a set of Tupperware ice tea glasses as a wedding present.

Your dungarees expose more than half of your crack in the back because the weight of your pocket knife.

Your idea of heaven involves two shotguns and a keg of beer.

You picket your horses on your lawn so you won’t have to mow it.

You’re wearing a camouflage jacket and dipping in your driver’s license pic.

You stop to flirt with the person running the drive through at McDonalds.

You save old kitchen appliances for target practice.

You save old kitchen appliances for children’s Christmas presents.

You get up EARLY on Saturday to go yard sale shopping for entertainment.

Your gun cabinet takes up half your living room.

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Where is Our Connection With Our Bodies and The Earth?

Where is Our Connection With Our Bodies and The Earth?

Author: Aarisa

Where is our connection with our bodies and the Earth, in ritual and in our lives?

It is my belief that we profess a religion that follows the Mother and Father, the Earth and Surrounding Energies, yet I seem to so often see such a disconnection. Connection with our bodies, the Mother Earth, the Seasons, even the rituals we perform seem to get put on the back burner, hidden behind flashy ritual items, robes, and vehement vows of our faith.

Now I am the most non-judgmental person I know, but I do make observations. At a recent Public Full Moon Ceremony that I attended, I found myself wanting after it was all said and done. The disconnection with the energy of our bodies and the rituals was obvious. Every one there, from the young children handing out seedlings to the ritual performers, all seemed very unhealthy. They read the ritual off in broken words from a paper, with no heart in it. When it came time for Cakes and Ale, they served Graham Cracker Bears and Hi C Fruit Punch.

So, lets start our conversation with the connection with our bodies, and the planet.

The junk foods and soft drinks that so many Pagans take home and chow down are detrimental to not only their bodies but also to our Mother. Way more than just what such a diet does to our bodies, the negative effects on the earth, from the way the foods were produced to the plastic packing they are served or sold in, are anything but ‘nature based.’ Everything that we put in our bodies affects us, and if our bodies cannot be healthy, how can we connect with ourselves, let alone with the Earth and our Community?

Who can call themselves a follower of the old ways when they get up, eat their McDonalds breakfast, come home and turn on the T.V and sit on the couch until they get up, put on their crushed velvet robes and perform a ritual, trying to connect with energies that don’t they incorporate into the rest of their lives? My like-minded friends have a joke about RC Cola and Moon Pies for Cakes and Ale but, my Gods, it happens so much. *

I certainly don’t feel a connection to ‘earth’ after eating junk food, do you? I certainly don’t think that eating food produced in ways that harm our Mother, and in its consumption harms us as well, is cohesive to our Earth-Based Religion. I’m not saying that everyone needs to be a health and exercise nut, but being a little more consciousness towards how we treat our bodies and the planet can be more powerful than any showy ritual.

Every holiday for us is about connecting with the seasons and the energies around us. We then take lessons from that and expand them. But let’s get back to the core… connecting with the seasons and the energies around us. (And that perhaps goes a bit deeper than eating hot dogs and hamburgers during Summer Solstice after reading from a printed-out ritual piece.) ‘Seasonal food’ does not mean food that America chooses to push out of a factory from any place at any particular time of year. It means what naturally grows in our/your local area at that particular time of year.

Our planet is in peril. The chemicals we are leaking into the world and that are in our food cause cancer, obesity, diabetes, and many other ailments. They are also killing the Earth. How can continuing to ‘live’ off of those things be cohesive to our religion? The very corn we eat now is being grown with pesticides already in them! The energies around us, those that we create, are so out of whack that I fail to see how we can make any real world change just by going through the motions of a ritual?

Lets move on to the reading part. I’ll admit that I have read off a ritual before. I was not happy with the results, and vowed thereafter to spend time not just memorizing, but knowing the ritual, and meditating on its meaning, connecting with the energies. When just reading off something, one does not grasp the meaning and depth of the words. There is then, no connection or creation of energy, and the ritual, in my opinion, is for naught. And really, how valid can a Priest or Priestess look when they read emotionlessly from a printed-out ritual?

Who here has gone to ritual where everything was read off of a piece of paper? How did it feel to you? Do you feel like the participants connected? Do you feel like you connected? If you did, then great! If you’re like me and like most people whom I talk to, then you felt as if the ritual was missing a key piece. That saddens me. I don’t want to go to ritual worrying whether or not the performing Coven will actually raise a Cone Of Power. Every person who is involved in the Craft should know his/her Craft, and know himself or herself, and therefore, know the energies!

So what has happened to our connection? The most powerful rituals are those connected with taking care of our planet and ourselves… the two things that we get most of our energy from. Wait…don’t we also get our energy from the people around us? Why, yes! We do! So what about their energy? Well, if they take care of themselves and the earth, then they are more connected, most likely. So there is more positive energy to draw upon!

Therefore, if we do the same, then we are making ourselves healthy, positive, connected avenues of energy for those that are around us! In conclusion, I say please…

TAKE CARE of yourself and our Mother!
CONNECT with yourself and our Mother!
HEAL yourself and our Mother!
CREATE good energy for yourself and our Mother!

Blessed Be!

*PS- This is not a hate note for those who are “overweight”. It is about caring about your health. I know plenty of people who aren’t “skinny” but eat healthy.


How To Stay Healthy Even If You Eat Junk, Smoke Ciggies, Skip Exercise & Booze It Up

How To Stay Healthy Even If You Eat Junk, Smoke Ciggies, Skip Exercise & Booze It Up

By Lissa Rankin

Ever since we docs started teaching people the importance of smoking  cessation, moderation in alcohol intake, a nutritious, mostly plant-based diet,  daily exercise, and weight control, millions of people have been beating  themselves up for unhealthy lifestyle habits.  Yet the guilt and shame so  many feel hasn’t led to significant improvements in the health of the general  public. Even though people know how to live a “healthy” lifestyle, most choose  not to. Instead, rates of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease,  and other largely preventable diseases are on the rise.


While lots of people rattle off about the importance of healthy lifestyle  modifications – and as a green-juicing, exercising, non-smoking, health food  junkie, I agree with them – what shocks me is how few are talking about the  other critical factors that contribute to health and longevity – the factors  that are arguably even more important than diet, cigarette use, alcohol intake,  weight, and exercise.

Some Diseases Are Preventable

Before I share with you these factors that may shock you, let me start with a  hat tip to conventional medical wisdom. Yes, some diseases are largely  preventable. If you’re a 3 pack-a-day smoker who winds up with lung cancer,  you’re probably feeling pretty crappy about your cancer because you know that if  you had never smoked, you probably wouldn’t have been saddled with that disease.  If you’ve been eating at McDonalds every day, it won’t surprise you if a heart  attack knocks you flat and you have to get bypass surgery. If you’ve been  boozing it up for three decades and you wind up with cirrhosis of the liver,  well… not to be harsh, but you knew that might happen, right? If you’re four  hundred pounds and you get diabetes, um… need I say more?

Yes, if we aim to lead optimally healthy lives, diet, exercise, weight  control, alcohol intake, and cigarette use matter.

Some Unhealthy People Live To Be 100

But let’s face it. Some smoking, boozing, overweight, junk food binging couch  potatoes stay healthy and die of old age. As a physician, these people have  always blown me away. How are their bodies so resilient to such poisons? Is it  genetic? Is it just dumb luck? These people left me scratching my head, until I  was doing the research for my book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You  Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013).

Clearly, there are many factors contributing to why one person winds up sick  when another stays healthy, in spite of poor health habits. The same is true for  the health nut who is doing everything “right” but still winds up sick.

So what are these factors that your doctor probably isn’t discussing with  you?

Loving Community Equals Health

Let me start by telling you a story.

Once upon a time, a tribe of Italian immigrants crossed the Atlantic and  settled in Roseto, Pennsylvania, where they didn’t exactly live the most  “healthy” lifestyle. They ate meatballs fried in lard, smoked like chimneys,  boozed it up every night, and pigged out on pasta and pizza. Yet, shockingly,  they had half the rate of heart disease and much lower rates of many other  illnesses than the national average. It wasn’t the water they drank, the  hospital they went to, or their DNA. And clearly, it wasn’t their stellar diet.  So what was it that made the people of Roseto so resistant to heart disease?

One physician, baffled by their low rates of heart disease, studied the  townspeople to determine why they were so protected.

The Effects of Loneliness On The Body

What his researchers found is that the tight knit community living in  multi-generational homes and enjoying communal dinners and frequent festivities  provided solace from the loneliness so many people feel. The love and support of  others in the close knit community alleviated the stress and overwhelm many  lonely people feel. Researchers posit that the stress lonely people feel, which  increases cortisol levels and activates the sympathetic nervous system, raising  heart rate, elevating blood pressure, incapacitating the immune system, and  increasing the risk of heart disease, is responsible for much of the illness  lonely people experience.

Because the people of Roseto never felt alone, they rarely died of heart  disease – most died of “old age”- even though they smoked, ate poorly, and  drank.  As it turns out, alleviation of loneliness is preventative  medicine, and the scientific data suggests that loneliness is a stronger risk  factor for illness than smoking or failure to exercise.

Why One Person Gets Sick & Another Stays Healthy

It’s not just loneliness that contributes to whether you get sick or stay  healthy. As I discussed in my TEDx  talk, it’s not just your relationships that affect your health – it’s work  stress, financial stress, mental health issues like depression and anxiety,  whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic, and whether or not you’re actively  engaging in potentially stress reducing activities like creative expression,  sex, and spiritual activities like prayer, attending religious services, or  meditation.

For example, let’s take one person who eats poorly, smokes, and never  exercises, but who enjoys an incredible marriage, a great family, fabulous  friends, a rewarding and financially lucrative job, a sense of life purpose, a  healthy spiritual life, a blossoming creative life, and a kickin’ sex  life.  Aside from the cloud of smoke infusing the lungs with toxins and the  poisons this person’s body is ingesting, this kind of lifestyle has been  scientifically proven to result in better health than the lonely individual in  an emotionally abusive marriage, with a soul-sucking job, no sex life, an absent  spiritual life, and no creative outlets. The scientific data suggests that the  “unhealthy” individual with an otherwise healthy, balanced life is more likely  to live a long, healthy life than a nonsmoking, abstaining vegan with a personal  trainer who is unhealthy and miserable in all other facets of life.

Make sense?

How Healthy Is Your Life?

In my upcoming book, I go into great detail, proving how each of these  factors of a healthy life affect the physiology of the body, but until then, let  me just assure you that what I’m suggesting is true. I’m not recommending that  you pick up smoking, drinking, or overeating. But  I am suggesting that you start thinking about your health beyond the traditional  confines of how most people define health.

Are you lonely? Are you stressed at work?  Are you depressed? What would  it take to alleviate your loneliness, cut back on your job stress, and get  happier?

Expanding how I think about health,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness communities LissaRankin.com and OwningPink.com, author of Mind Over Medicine:  Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary. Join  her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out  on Twitter and Facebook.