The Iceland Roadtrip Extravaganza

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The land of fire and ice!

This is my un-definitive guide to Iceland by car in early summer. Do you have a layover, a couple friends, and a drivers license? Then get your cameras and faces ready for some jaw dropping scenery in the most beautiful place on the planet. Finally returning after two years, this time I am armed with two best friends, an upgraded rental, and a mind blowing itinerary. Iceland isn’t so hard to figure out as there is basically one road, budget shopping (bonus supermarkets), and everything else is on the Internet (from accommodations to itineraries). Therefore this is a quick and dirty guide to hitting and quitting Iceland from my recent perspective to highlight some of the better hidden gems and to show off the beautiful scenery in photos.

Bring waterproof and warm clothing as the weather is unpredictable, accommodation is 30-40 a night, spend a few more dollars on a bigger car while getting a good deal, and pack lots of picnics.

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Reykjavik Area

The capital is colorful, slightly expensive, and a fun time. After doing the few local landmarks such as the church and Viking sculpture either prepare for a long first day or go out and meet some locals. They are very friendly and often invite you home.

Secret hot spring alert: Grotta Hot Pot
20130909-093603.jpgA cute little puddle of a hot spring. Super tiny, but I managed to fit with two people. It feels funny being in such a small space, but the view is huge. Locals even patted me on the back for stripping down in the cold weather.

 

 

First day!
This is the big one. Get some sleep unless you are a train wreck of awesomeness like my buddy Shane and stay out all night with locals in Reykjavik.

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Glymur
Now Iceland’s second tallest waterfall and a small adventure in itself. Strolling up the beautiful canyon you get to descend trough a tiny cave and cross a river before hiking up to the lookout point. A great place to hit first thing in the morning and even spend half a day doing the whole loop around the lake at the top.

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Secret hot spring: Geothermal Hot Tub
This one was given to me by a local and it is obscure. You can drive there easy enough and with a short walk arrive, but it is hit or miss. The water is bubbling out of the earth no doubt, but it requires the piping to be working to fill the tub. On my first visit it was great, on the second the pipes were not in order, so a bust. The scenery is worth the trip and if you can soak, all the better.

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The Golden Circle
This is the must see highlight from Reykjavik, whether you take the tour for 1 day or rent a car. It includes the double waterfall Gullfoss, the timely Geyser, and Thingvellir national park where the tectonic plates are separating. There is amazing history as well as shopping.

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Hotspring alert: Gamle Laugin in Flúðir
1546237_10100367912517451_124478647799574574_nNot so secret but definitely hidden and also not free. You can tour the site which is quite beautiful and see more bubbling water and bright pools coming out of the earth without paying to soak. 20$ to soak

 

 

 

Attraction alert: Flúðir
Tour one of Iceland’s tomato hothouses and enjoy some culture and delicious tomato soup and sandwiches.

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Continuing on because you are gung-ho adventurers, we head south to the coast on our way to Vik for our wonderful Kosy beds.

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Seljalandsfoss
Staring at you right off the main road is this spectacular waterfall. It’s loud, it’s wet, you can walk behind it! The mist is what gets you so wrap up in your waterproof gear. Time this for sunset or sunrise and you are going to get spectacular photos. Actually if the sun is shining at all you will be blown away.

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Vik
You are welcome to find other nearby accommodations or booking well in advance you can stay at the lovely Kosy Vik. A renovated 100 year old hospital with two modern and comfortable rooms in the bottom floor and a wonderfully helpful host. You will be receiving a special Icelandic culinary experience here generally so be prepared. (It’s the classic fermented shark and brennivins shot, bottoms up!)

The sun doesn’t really go down so if you wandered around the small town or black sand beach you could enjoy some unwinding time. You might also have spent three days getting this much excitement into your schedule and you will be rewarded tomorrow again.

Southern Iceland Area

We start our day off by backtracking actually. If you find different accommodation then you can save some driving.

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Black sand beaches of Vik
Located right around the corner is black beach. From the black sand to the unique lava rock hexagonal formations, a trip to this beach is a must. Memory making photo sessions are a quick jot from the parking lot. Easily the best beach we visited.

Dyrholaey
Just further up the coast from black beach. Known for its unique elephant shaped rock formation and the many puffins. it’s a wonderful place to visit for various reasons or a picnic spot.

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Myrdalsjokill Glacier
Going back further still is the Myrdalsjokill Glacier. You can play around its outskirts, hire a guide and gear, or bring your own ice cleats and take a stroll. This glacier can also be hiked over with a visit to Eyjafjallajökull from the next location (although I did not personally accomplish this, just some friends of mine).

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Skogafoss
imageThis wide waterfall is a beauty. With stairs to the top and an impressive view this is also a great place to picnic. Make sure to stop halfway up and visit the fuzzy trolls. You can also start or end a 2-3 day hike into Iceland crossing over the earlier glacier and visiting the peak of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. You also get to scope or hike through landmanlagur which is certainly off the beaten track and mesmerizing.

 

Crashed DC-3 plane
Have an extra hour? Drive down to a crashed DC-3 and make up your own stories for friends at home. You don’t need a 4×4 to reach here, just some good eye sight to spot the entrance sign which is tiny. Drive slowly and stay in the markers and you will be fine.

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Hot spring alert: Seljavallalaug
10733985_10100367913161161_3354805201119078631_nThe pool at the end of the canyon is easily accessible and frequented by many locals and travelers. The water isn’t very hot except by the vent so be aware of this. The scenery is beautiful and the changing rooms are messy, but at least there are rooms to change in. The hike is fun even if you don’t take a dip.

 

 

 

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Our second and very friendly hitchhiker is on the right.

These attractions are some of the most enjoyable of Iceland so take your time in the area before flying off east into your adventure with a hitchhiker towards skaftafell.

Skaftafell Area
Visit another glacier and svartifoss waterfall which is the inspiration for the Reykjavik church.

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Jokulsarlon Lagoon
Scoot over to the most amazing spot in all of Iceland and a personal item on my bucket list Jokulsarlon Lagoon. Ive always wanted to see icebergs on a black sand beach with the waves coming in and out. I was not disappointed nor will you be. Take some time for photographs.

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Although it is quaint, this is the chicken coop, not the guest house.

Spend the night at the quaint farmhouse Stafafell. Lovely sheep and a small cemetery compliment the large kitchen and many couches of this guesthouse. It was a nice place to rest after such a long day.

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Eastern Iceland!
Despite the amazing scenery from the car and the many fjords, I didn’t see much else in the east worth mentioning. I know there is much more, but southern Iceland seems positively packed comparatively.

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Hengifoss
The third highest waterfall in Iceland and walking up to it feels like walking through a fairy glade. Best when the sun is out, the red rock formations from the Iron cooling in hot magma are impressive.

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Seydisfjordur
This was certainly the highlight of eastern Iceland. Driving over the snow line and down into a beautiful fjord was breathtaking. Spend the evening in this quaint town and book a room at Nordursild (north marina) Guesthouse. The rooms are smaller but clean and incredibly comfortable. The main room of this old converted dock house is full of spectacular nautical furniture and artifacts.

Northern Iceland!
It snowed on us! Driving over the black wastelands of north eastern Iceland the winds picked up and so did the weather. We arrived at a geothermal plant with bubbling gasses spewing from the earth where just yesterday there was a lake, there is now ice skating. We were freezing so much we had to move on quickly.

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Haverarond mud pits
Just across the road literally from the geothermal plant is this wonderful place that looks like mars. Bubbling mud, white hot steam, tourists walking around. Whats not to love?

Myvatn
This is a must stop on the road trip. The lake is absolutely beautiful whether you camp out here or just take a picnic. The only accommodation that was available for us was a nice little room at a working farm just past the lake: Guesthouse Stöng. Beautiful property, they serve their own homemade meats and salamis for breakfast, and have hot tubs to use.

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There are so many things to do around the lake just take a look (Hverfjall hike for instance), but not to be missed is Grjótagjá. This underground hot spring grotto is mesmerizing and beautiful. There is a wonderful splitting of the earth here you can walk along, and if you ignore the signs and go to the little cave next door (to the left), you can get away with some bathing.

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Myvatn Nature Baths
The blue lagoon of the north! Spend a few hours in this milky blue hot spring and watch the weather move across the landscape. Rejuvenating waters and saunas for the weary traveler. By this point you certainly need a break as too much driving and beauty can wear you out.
*Pro tip: Tell them you are a student and save 10$, they dont check either way we noticed.

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Dettifoss
We back tracked due to weather, trying to land a good time at Europe’s most powerful waterfall, dettifoss. There are two roads to get there, east and west. West certainly has a better view and walking around, but if you are going north then the road might not be open all the way and you will have to drive a long way around up the east road. Check first with the government website. We ended up driving on both, but it was still worth the drive.

Akureyri
The beautiful city of the north. After driving around beautiful stretches of the north coast we arrived in town and found a room at the backpackers hostel because they are in the middle of downtown (which happens to be one short road in length) and because we were hoping to land a couchsurfing host (which worked out the next day). The houses are quaint and worth a few hours of walking around, and the nightlife is bubbly since the sun is up all night. We couldn’t find any locals to tell us what fun there was other than drinking and winter sports, so we did just that.

Here we had to say goodbye to our outrageous friend J’Lynn at the little airport. The laughs were wonderful.

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Hot spring alert: Grettislaug
The hot springs of legend! This is worth the drive to visit. Two quaint and surprisingly hot hot springs are well maintained. With rising mountains and the black sea for a view, this was the highlight of our last day. We jumped into the freezing north sea a few times, building up to 10 seconds and then went to warm up in the pools. Our version of the polar plunge.

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Snaefellsnes peninsula
I may have been a little over zealous for our last day, driving from Akureyri to Reykjavik, but we spent an extra day in the north so this is what was left to us. I wanted to see Snaefellsnes peninsula for its beauty and a particular photo opportunity. However it was rainy and overcast. Even still it was beautiful. We crossed a mountain obscured in cloud and couldn’t see 5 feet in front of us. For the adventurer with more time, grab the Snaefellsnes map from the tourist office and visit some black beaches and small towns, I would make this a priority visit on my next tour.

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We got back to Reykjavik in the evening and spent some time in a cafe bar with locals. It was the eve of summer solstice and the city was alive with revelers. We enjoyed the mayhem in the streets till late and then made our way to the airport for an early departure. No damage to the rental and with a huge sigh relaxed into a comfortable seat at the airport. We could have slept, but as our adventures were about to go in different directions we spent the time with each other, and all the beauty of Iceland. Its amazing to think that by the end we could barely enjoy one more perfect waterfall, or another picturesque mountain. It just goes to show Iceland can be too much of a good thing for one visit, so plan a second trip, you wont be disappointed.

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Travel and friends in Europe

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The call of adventure springs upon me again. Heading to Europe for what was going to be a week road trip around Iceland has turned once again into a friend visiting escapade. The joke in Europe is to invite people in neighboring countries to visit because it is so close, but they never come because the distance is too far. Well in the states, an 8 hour drive is a small road trip and with Iceland only a few hours flight away, I accept a friends polite invitation to Germany. Word gets out quick and friends in Paris and Ibiza soon find destinations on my itinerary while only missing an extra trip to London. A fresh reminder of enjoying friends and food and adventure.
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imageSunny and vibrantly green southern Germany is my first destination. Lahmo and Abhivan, dear path of love friends from India, invite me to share their beautiful life in Lindau. Amazing musicians and artisans as well as meditators, my arrival ends up starting a mini vacation from work and enjoying each day by the lake. Lindau is a small island of tourist envy, enjoyed for its history and lake views. Escaping WW2 bombing completely for aiding Switzerland in food delivery, Lindau is architecturally stunning with a vibrant waterfront. We spend our days with local friends playing music, picnicking, light sports, swimming, and playing with the children.
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I get to visit Austria and Abhivans cabin, see a sailboat race, dance wildly in public and practice tai chi. I saw many beautiful green spaces, the view from the mountains, ate cheese spaetzle, saw a hand of God sunset, and tried to change social stereotypes by getting Germans to dance in the street to the live music being played. It was a beautiful week of enjoying the outdoors, conversations with people I love, and a remembrance of how simple and enjoyable life can be settled down in one place.
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I fly off into the midnight sun, Venus and Jupiter glowing brightly out of my window seat, to enjoy a night layover in Oslo. I am heading to Iceland to participate in an impromptu road trip. After having visited Iceland at the beginning of my world tour I vowed to return to the most beautiful place on earth and do it right. Shane, my long time roommate and fellow world traveler is starting his 1 year around the world tour and Iceland is the kick off. Once declared he was going, our friend Jlynn jumped aboard, and in similar fashion to our south east Asia travels I had to attend as this would be a major reunion. Oh twist my arm universe, lets do Iceland!
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Arriving to a radically colder environment I get my layers on and adjust to the beautiful landscape. Rolling up in the rental from a visit to blue lagoon my friends scoop me, hugs and hellos and land ourselves in Reykjavik. We are relying on my expert travel skills and knowledge of Iceland to get us by. It serves us perfectly and helps Shane learn the ropes of traveling in this day and age of smart phones and wifi. We settle in, take a small tour and prepare for our early morning hike by having drastically different adventures. Jlynn and myself retire early and end up making friends with our hostel mates receiving free wine, while in true Shane style he parties all night with local friendly Icelanders. Arriving just in time for a short nap before we head out for our longest day of exploring Iceland.
imageTouring Iceland by car is the only way to really see it. Everything is conveniently off the one ring road that circles the island and breathtaking views come right to you. Every 10 minutes the landscape somehow changes drastically from mossy rocks, to shrubs, black sand beaches and grassy sheep farms, to volcanic steam, all dotted with more waterfalls than you can shake a stick at. Bring extra space for all the photos you will take, being overwhelmed by so much beauty.
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We find moderately priced but memorable accommodations along the way. Sleeping in a 100 year old hospital, two farm houses, a marina warehouse, and a couchsurfer to boot; everything was cozy and inviting. Seeing as the sun never sets, you get a sundip rather than a sunset, your body always wants to be awake. Many late nights were had wandering the twilight hours of Iceland playing guitar and meeting locals.
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Some highlights of Iceland, to be explained fully in its own post, were to walk on my first glacier, visit a crashed airplane from WW2, hot spring cave, volcanic Mars landscape, snow capped fjords, waterfalls you can walk behind, eating fermented shark, picking up hitch hikers, many hot spring baths, jumping into the North Sea, and the many jokes and antics of spending days driving around with best friends rocking to music.
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Iceland was an overwhelmingly beautiful spectacle shared with dear friends and new ones. A good reminder that traveling with friends is hilariously fun and vastly different than traveling alone. Playing off each persons unique personalities and energies creates a new dynamic environment that being with only yourself cannot possibly experience. I am happy for that and all the laughter.
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One long day of driving and fly off to Paris, which seems to now be my old stomping grounds and most comfortable city for me to visit. I know the ropes and speak enough French to sail easily into the heart of this beautiful city and meet up with Robin. He is figuring out professional life of an international lawyer living in Paris. Long hours but delicious food and a city that seems different from the time spent in school here.
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I readjust to the perfect weather and stroll around these familiar streets eating familiar foods. It’s like being at home in many ways. I’ve been to Paris now perhaps 10 different times and know what I want to see and eat with the little time I have. I enjoy my time with Robin catching up and sharing our lives and art. Pastries and walks and poetry is how one absorbs Paris in pieces.
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We thankfully are in Paris for summer solstice which means that everyone comes out to play music to celebrate summer. It seems on every corner there are buskers and performance groups. From marching bands to ethnic song and dance you can barely turn a corner without some new cacophony assaulting your ears. We dance to soul gospel and Brazilian, teenage bands and accordion players, and finish with a major performance by Ibrahim maalouf the trumpet player and his band. Mind blown with the amount of energy and big band music he brought to the palais royal.
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That was a pretty great farewell party as I head to Ibiza Spain. The world famous island for electronic music and parties, as well as a collection of meditative and conscious people living in the north of the island. It is in the more laid back and less drunk group that I find my friends Adam and Kim, also path of love friends, who open their home and life to me. Beautiful blue waters and sandy beaches greet me in this Spanish countryside of purple flowers and white washed walls.
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Adam is my dear soul brother from PoL and spending any time with him is like looking at myself in the mirror. We share on all topics of the heart while enjoying the never ending sun and sea of Ibiza. The atmosphere is light and jovial with people enjoying themselves and the idea of siesta has never been more real to me in the mid day heat.
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We enjoy local paella, the hippie markets, and a wonderful night of ecstatic dance. Walking around for long strolls in the perfect evening weather, life is well rounded and easy going. I suppose I could enjoy myself in these easy days of friends and ocean play. Not sure what I would do with my time that is of much importance to me but a beautiful place to visit. Adam and I share our connection and love in many ways and remind ourselves of the beauty of the world and our connection with Osho.
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We share a special connection in this world of being of the same soul stuff. I say this because never before have either one of us found someone who is exactly like our inner selves. This boggles my mind as we think and experience the world in the same way. Never before have I so truly seen two people cut from the same cloth. For this reason we share and connect on a special level that makes us brothers in every sense that matters.
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Flying out of Barcelona, there is one last gift for me. My dear friend Tate and Ashley happen to be in the airport, in my very wing, at the exact same time on their way to China. We have enough time for hugs and photos before flying off in different directions. I am heading back to the states for an unknown adventure and they are off to the orient. Florida and family here I come.

  

Health and Energy management, with your awareness.

Continued from Sweden Part 1:
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You have an amazing power within you. With your awareness you can participate with your body in a relationship of understanding to maintain and promote optimal health. You must cultivate this power with patience and trust, but once you have a degree of how it works the possibilities are endless. To be in communication with the signals from your body, the vehicle in which you express your beingness, extends far beyond being physically healthy.   I will attempt to contain the scope of information to physical health, but remember this process applies to every area of your life, including mental, emotional, and spiritual.  It is my sincere hope that you learn to use and master your “emotional guidance system” as coined by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

I dont get sick.  Not ever and I just dont believe in it.  Meaning I believe in my health, and that I am always healthy.  I am not so foolish to think that pathogens do not enter my body and are fended off by my immune system.  I believe in a healthy and perfect immune system.  Obviosuly self re-enforcing experiences promote this conclusion and I support what currently is or I would create something better.  However I see people in various degrees of sickness all the time.  Sick in bed, sick at work, sick at school, apathetic kinds of sick and serious kinds of sick, pain so overwhelming manners go out the window and you would donate this pain to your best friend if it would just go away.  There are other kinds of sick as well, sick of working, sick of monotany, even sick of living I am sure.  Understand that the physical world is the slowest state of vibration. Meaning slowest to change and typically the last place for symptoms to show up. Higher vibrations such as mental or emotional forms are always the source of illness in the body, long ignored and thus manifested physically.   What sickness comes down to in my understanding is probably just two things.  Inability to manage vital body energy, and the inability to listen to your body signals.  

Vital body energy is your available energy to function and includes all your biological processes.  If you run out of this energy, you would be left without any resources to do much of anything.  If you can recall the last time you were sick in bed, perhaps you understand what it is like to have no extra energy other than be at the end result of the disease doing battle with your immune system.  You probably lack the energy to move much, eat, read, use brain power and manage anything but resting.  You may even feel like dieing, metaphorically of course, but this feeling isnt so far from the physical truth.  Managing your vital energy then is to never let it fall below a point where you are at the mercy of required body functions.  With regard to health, if you maintain enough energy you will never have the physical experience of being sick.

Your major energy souce is obviosuly the intake of food converted to energy via digestion and surplus energy stored  in your body.  Other sources are more intangable.  We all live within an energy field and are constantly interacting with it.  Think of all the electrons holding your body together, this constitutes a field.  One major source of energy is the Earth itself.  Placing your bare feet on the earth instantly connects you to a flow of free electrons which naturally settle in your body to balance out the particles missing them.  Similar to this source is contact with all living and non living entities.  Huging a tree, embracing a human, petting the cat, touching stones, making dinner or anything else you come into contact with exchanges energy that can bring energy into your system or give it away. Think at the atomic level, everything your hand touches instantly connects to and then seperates from the electrons of the object being touched.  Having communicated in some tangable way the sensation of the object to your hand (Hard, soft, cold, warm, rough, smooth, etc.)  That is energy and information moving in the field, giving you valuable sensations and guidance.  This transfer of information is happening with everything, all the time and understanding it will allow us a measure of control in our response to new signals.

Energy loss similarly occurs in many ways that are obvious and some that are more subtle in nature.  Using your body physically and mentally requires the largest costs of energy and this is to be expected.  40% of your energy costs may go into using your brain for complex thought processes alone, with major contributions to digestion, elimination, and muscle recovery following up.  Im going to lump the other costs into one category: stressors.  Any time you are in a state of resistance you can easily feel the sensation of it.  Stress is basically a chronic state of energy loss. Whether these are physical stressors such as ingesting toxins or emotional stressors from work or relationships, they cost you energy.

Maintaining vital body energy then is gathering and retaining enough energy in your system than all the stressors costs you.  To be feeling rundown would be to cost yourself enough energy that you dip into the red and spend more energy on physical or emotional stressors than is being balanced by energy input.  To become sick is the same state, but you introduce a disease process into the mix.  This creates a physical experience of pain or suffering felt immediatly in the body without resources at your disposal to change the circumstance.  Thus finding the proper balance of energy, will keep you from this low energy experience and in a state of health.  To know if you are in a proper environment, by environment I mean a physical, emotional and mental state of being stress free, falls to your wonderful internal system of signaling that is constantly informing you moment to moment of your energy state and your environments effects on you.

Listening to your body signals and emotions:
How often does that little voice in your head suggest something to you?  How often do you listen?  More importantly how often do you act upon that suggestion?  Training your awareness to listen to this internal guidance and intuition starts building the foundation of understanding the energy changes happening to your body at the moment of occurance.  They need not be ‘voices’, any pang, poke, buzz, stab, flutter, gut instinct, emotional state or any sensation at all is the same thing.  This is a process of trusting small seemingly insignificant messages which are actually the continual state of change which you can tap into.  Your body is designed to be a reciever of this information always, but your active participation and awareness are needed to do anything useful with this information.  The key is to start acting on each piece of information.  You dont go from getting advice such as exercise a bit more or slow down on the drinking, to major knowledge overnight.  This is because if you cant listen to the easy changes, managing a big change which might turn various areas of your life upside down for a bit, would end up costing you more energy than staying in your current state of misery. (But really they are all small changes depending on your viewpoint…shhh)

This is exactly what happened for me and my diet.  I had begun to listen to my body and started working on some smaller changes and things were begining to change.  I was sitting on the couch one evening and this plesant sensation sprang on me out of nowhere.  Soon my own voice spoke to me in my head and said “How would you like to be vegetarian?”.  It didnt really use the word vegetarian, it was a bigger concept all rolled into a simple meaning that was transmitted to me.  That is one clear indicator of true inner guidance, it speaks in concepts.  I understood at once, without words, that if I follow this advice this plesant feeling would be a part of a lifestyle of eating healthier and more in tune with my body’s wishes.  It didnt even take me half a thought to say yes and thus started the moment I have been meat free.  I looked back on this event from a few months down the road and it was amazing the transformation that took place.  I didnt even have a last meal, cannot remember the last piece of meat I ate or have I once craved or desired meat since.  I feel sorry for anyone that makes such a lifestyle decision for purely mental reasons and struggles against their body signals.  

I gained more than I thought in that moment.  I had been wanting to cook more, eat healthier, and experiment with varied cuisines.  These were all little desires in my head and I was trying to work with them, but only in small ways.   Switching a staple food from my diet instantly forced me in the best possible way to explore new foods and styles and I have been forever happier from this experience.  The same process occured when alcohol left my life.  Had you told me at the begining I wouldn’t be eating meat, drinking or eating French fries anymore I might have told those voices no way.   I needed enough energy to manage the transformation, and enough trust in the guidance to see it through.  What really costs you is the resistance from outside sources such as established habits, friends and environments that attempt to keep you in stasis with how you used to be.  Having enough energy to stick with your body’s guidance no matter the criticism or disbelief or advice from others that contradicts the information you have received is really the test.

In my recent case in Sweden, I was opening a stuck emotional and energetic space in me that was ready to be cleared.  Whatever the cause, physical or emotional, the signals roughly tend to be similar.  The day before I noticed early on the extra demands for energy.  A lack of enthusiasm, a diminished vocal capacity and need to express myself in speech, slight muscle ache as my body repaired itself slower.  I understood that a process was happening to me, that this was going to require energy, my participation was requested, and thus I acted accordingly.  I cancled all my plans, I rested and I fasted*.  I could easily have kept along with my plans, I would have been tired, but I could have kept going like so many people do day in and day out.  Never feeling their best, but certainly can go on.  Despite our belief that multitasking is efficient and a skill to be honed, we can actually only process one task at a time.  Human beings are only very efficient at ‘switching’ between tasks rapidly which looks like multitasking.  Thus instead of multitasking and taking on the job of processing this healing phase and continuing about my daily life I chose the higher priority: My health.  My health is my number one priority, because without health the possibility to enjoy life is drastically diminished.  That isnt to say I am perfect, but when I am aware enough, I make the best choice available to my understanding.  I gave my body one day and all my energy to literally transmute something physical needing to be changed and woke up the next day perfectly recovered and ready to ride some roller coasters.  Why this particular process required so much energy and a physical response I may never know, but I have been living in and experiencing the new (actually old) emotions coming out of this space and gaining more awareness into my inner world.  If you ever find yourself heading towards a healing phase or see the signs of an oncoming sickness, pay attention and perhaps the this information will be of use.

*Fasting: There is substantial research on the effect of fasting for health.  A typical human body can go around 30-90 days without food before the demand for sustenance returns.  During this abstaining process the substantial demands of energy for digestion are instead used for healing and house cleaning purposes.  Many miraculous healings are attributed to following a fasting regimine under physician guidance.  A short fast of 3-10 days can improve many simple ailments and knock out simple sicknesses if started early and ample rest is added.
  
Steps to start managing your energy and signals:

-Energy coming into your system:
The nourishment you consume is directly the energy that will be available to you.  You are literally what you eat as it becomes the building blocks of new cells.  Eating as clean as possible will allow your body to easily digest the food and turn it into energy.  This is your one real responsibility concerning managing your body directly, everything else is mostly an internal process handled without your conscious involvement.  Remember, digestion costs energy, thus eating properly mixed foods, light on time consuming meat products will leave you with energy after digestion and will not cost you a nap (think of the thanksgiving nap effect of over eating).

-Remove all artificial products from your diet.  High on the list is artificial sugars, chemicals and msg.  Not only does your body treat these substances as toxins and thus must expend extra energy to contain and expel them, they are neuro toxins inhibiting your brain’s normal signals.  This physically reduces your awareness over such body signals as satiation, craving, addiction, and signs of distress.  If those chemicals didnt give your brain a boost of pleasure, you would feel immediatly the toxic effects of these substances rather than feeling the effects at a delayed response.  Read your labels!  If you consume many processed and packaged foods or fast food, tough as it might be to change your habits, try to eliminate as many of these energy costs as possible.

-Reduce your intake of meat.  
Muscle fibers are the toughest food substances for the body to break down. If you want more energy available to you the first place you can recover some is from reducing the work load on your digestive system.  Most meats take up to 14 hours to fully break down, so remember to really chew.  Several studies have shown that meat and dairy consumption over a certain limited amount may cause many of the “Western Diseases” due to inflamation such as coronary disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.  Your body is an amazing machine able to digest much of the variety of foods ingested across the globe.  However too much of certain foods your body already spends a lot of energy digesting actually reach a point where your body goes into defense mode rather than digestion, storing these extra toxins as fat because it cannot expel the material quickly enough without auto intoxicating. 

-Try switching as much of your dairy intake to non cow sources such as goat.  Goat dairy lacks the casien protien found in cow milk which studies show human beings have a hard time digesting. This is also why babies are given goat milk if the mother cannot provide. 

-Reduce drastically or permanently alcohol use.
As for alcohol, moderation is key. Unless you are seriously committed to retaining every bit of energy and awareness, alcohol will continue to cost you some degree of energy and will, as its primary effect reduce your awareness.  These effects resolve themselves usually by the next morning and based on your desire to be more aware, consumption is at your discretion.  

-Begin to meditate.
Any kind of meditation will serve the purpose here, which is to pay more attention to your state of being.  Stop for a moment and really check in with your body.  Really feel what is going on there.  You live in this amazing thing and the amount of senses it contains which are always giving you feedback is astounding.  Having a clear mind really helps with this, but isnt required to begin to benefit.  Your body knows what is needed at all times to be in a state of health and is constantly trying to tell you.  There will be no major roadsigns or sheets of instructions.  There will be subtle sensations and feelings, always guiding you towards the one state of health if you choose to listen.  Our minds and egos would love to do steps 1-2-3 and be finished, but managing our energy is a moment to moment responsibility.  

-Learn Kinesiology, also known as Muscle Testing.
If you are seriously interested in learning a direct technique to ask your body questions and get answers then this is the method for you.  It requires two people to be done, but it can be learned to be done solo.  This technique tests the energy state of the body in response to a stimuli.  There is a small amount of electricity in the body at all times.  If a positive stimuli is tested on the body it will remain strong, likewise if a negative stimuli is tested, it interupts your circuitry and your body will go weak.  It’s pretty cool once you experience it for yourself. The trust comes when something gives you a negative response, perhaps something you like to eat, will you remove it from your diet or not listen to the information your body gives you? Things may change again in the future, but if you cannot experiment with changes in your habits and exercise some self control to see things change then hold onto this technique until you are ready.  I will devote an entire post to this single topic as I use it every day of my life.  In the mean time please read David Hawkins “Power Vs. Force” which is certainly at the top of the list in being informative as to the studies and power of this technique.  The begining is a bit heady on the science, but then it mellows out into easy reading.
 
Once a certain degree of communication is reached between your body and awareness, the process becomes automatic.  You will feel the instant something goes off or goes right.  You can then at that moment start a new process of self discovery into the cause of the change.  Did something I just consume cause a noticable difference?  Did my environment change in some way?  Did my emotional state just change?  Am I feeling my best, and if not what can I change?  These changes are happening all the time, below the surface of common awareness.  To give them the attention they deserve is the first step in listening to what they tell you.  Which leads to following what guidence you understand.  This will leave you with a better internal communication system, better health and the knowledge that you can always take care of yourself because the guidence is always present and speaking with you.  Your body is the very instrument, like a string always vibrating.   

“Remember this pain is not to cause you suffering, this pain is to make you more aware!”  -OSHO

Become more aware and pains of all sorts begin to melt away.  Other pangs and pains may appear to guide you as your new guidance system develops which is how I mostly receive my guidance.  Leave the judgements at the door and be thankful for any sensations in your body. They are all messages whether ‘painful’ or ‘pleasurable’. Gaining a greater degree of physical health leads inevitably to greater emotional, psychological and spiritual health.  You have started on the journey.  Blessings.

-Other resources for further research
Most of this information first reached my understainding by books and recommendations.  Here are many that fit within this topic and I hope they help you as much as they did me.
– www.earthing.com – Products for grounding your body inside a home or workspace to gather those free electons.  I use one of these everytime I work on a computer and I sleep with one of these every night!
– Ask and it is Given, By Esther and Jerry Hicks –  Teaching by Abraham about using your emotional guidance system to manifest anything you want, including your health.  Another comprehensive resource on listening to your body signals.
– Green for Life, By Victoria Boutenko – The importance and ease of including a green smoothie in your diet to fulfill your actual nutritional needs.  This is like rocket fuel when consumed for breakfast!
– Fasting and Sunbathing, By Robert Shelton –  The resource on fasting.  Dr. Shelton has supervised over 50,000 water fasts for health and healing of disease.  http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/0201hyglibcat/020127shelton.III/020127.toc.htm
– Forks Over Knives, Film.  Information about the health benefits of eating a whole foods, plant based diet to combat many “Western Diseases” that we face today.  Covers research from two prominent scientists and the China Study.  
– The China Study – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study
 A 20 year comprehensive study into nutrition and its effects on humans.