temperance as a virtue

Temperance in modern use is generally described as moderation or voluntary self restraint. In classical iconography, the virtue is often depicted as a woman holding two vessels transferring water from one to another so what a better time to write this blog post as we are moving into the Aquarian cycle of the zodiac! This is the sign which is depicted as one pouring water (representing wisdom) out from an urn which is the main image for this post. Temperance is one of the cardinal virtues mentioned from Greek philosophy, and also in the ancient scriptures for religious and spiritual traditions including but not limited to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and the Eastern traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

“Temperance is simply a disposition of the mind which binds the passion.”

~Thomas Aquinas

Temperance includes restraint from revenge by practicing non-violence and forgiveness, restraint from arrogance by practicing humility and modesty, and restraint from rage or craving by practicing calmness and self-control. Let’s look at these areas more carefully.


Truly, there is no long-term satisfaction in revenge for an unkind word or action. The reason for this is that to do another unkind act is only to match or beat the first unkind action. To forgive such an action is to work from the opposite end of the action and only in this way is peace acquired (Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha and Christ were all wonderful examples of this thinking and practice).

Can you forgive a wrong that has been personally felt? I know that I have always been amazed by those who have been able to forgive an accidental wrongdoing. You know that even if done by mistake/poor judgement in a time, many people will carry a hurt or grudge for a very long time. Yet this does not help anyone. When I hear about a murder victim’s family forgiving the convicted offender for example, I am humbled by the strength of forgivers and this inspires me to be more forgiving.

Many times forgiveness can come from much simpler wrongs. Like when a promised promotion at work is given to a co-worker, when a lie has been discovered, or when a sibling is given favouritism. Yet even these grudges can be carried for many years. For what possible benefit I wonder? The hurt needs to heal, and healing can begin with forgiveness. Practice temperance.


I remember teaching naturopathic medical information to students in the Naturopathic Medical program, to a group of Nurses and to a large group of Medical Doctor residents. The group of nurses was the most humble in receiving the information I shared. In both of the other groups there was a mix of both sides of this spectrum. I believe that when we are learning from a curious “beginner’s mind” sort of perspective, we are able to receive information humbly and joyfully too. With arrogance, even the actual learning is lessened.

When I was working through the Naturopathic Doctor program myself, I had the pleasure of learning through a Palliative Care Doctor in Edmonton one summer. I will never forget the opportunity she provided in both the learning and through the kind manner in which she allowed me to share my Naturopathic suggestions for her patients. She humbly accommodated my learning and I humbly and gratefully appreciated the experience. Today, here I am working with many people experiencing chronic health care conditions who I know are benefitting from my learning through that doctor that day.

This is knowledge/learning based. What are the other ways people often show arrogance? Sometimes it’s in how they speak to “inferior” positions in the work place, sometimes with how they speak or even look at the homeless on the street. Humility helps us remember that no one wants to feel small – not intellectually, not socially, not personally. Practice temperance.


Now this is the beauty of contemplating with conscious intention, the words of the ancient scriptures. Craving may be simply the need to “be right” in a discussion that may change to an argument in an instant. Most often people may think of cravings as related to food or drink. Certainly all of the medical and spiritual scriptures I have read have encouraged moderation for good health. The health of the mind is no different. Avoiding an angry word in a moment of rage can often bring about gentle interactions from both sides.

We know that quick thoughts, words and actions often lead to dire consequences. Whether they create a tense interaction, lead to more harsh words or common experiences like road rage which can effect innocent people that may not have even contributed to the original rage. With meditative practice and mindful reflection, mystics, philosophers and sages have always mentioned this experience. You can give it a try for even a simple idea (chocolate? that extra drink? one less cigarette?). Remember that fasting from any craving allows for a “new” appreciation for the true pleasure of the experience when experienced. When we abstain from pleasures of the senses (this could be minutes of waiting for a meal to be served, days between enjoying a favourite drink, or a mindfully-present experience of human connection through words, music or intimacy planned once per week), the pleasure is heightened. And I suspect you all have experienced such pleasures. They are truly delightful!

This mastery of self control can be felt in all areas of our lives. Practice temperance. You, and the world around us all, needs this today more than ever.

Wishing you mindful-temperance in all that you do.



Inspired Action

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Inspired Action

Today I am inspired to write about actions that are love-based. These actions are often those that come from true heart-felt intention for the best outcomes for all. We can see many people who work hard with motivations that may love the outcome for the self – which may result in praise, financial gain, a sense of accomplishment, etc. yet often these results take consistent efforts and struggle. I have found that many things can be achieved through an inspired action towards personal goals that requires nothing more than a clear and positive intention and consistent steps towards the goals intended. We have all seen people that seem to float through life with easy and genuine joy. I have found in my own life such a brilliant demonstration of this shift within myself too. And believe me, I still notice and experience “less-than-easy” experiences regularly too. This is part of our shared human experience. Oh, but the joys of inspired living… this has been the true blessing in my life. Interesting that I notice that I have lived the joy from this space many times in my life; now, I just experience this through a Conscious decision to do so. In this post I thought I would share how this shift is possible for anyone with a true desire to live from an inspired space too.

So what is the difference between goals we work toward through motivation and those achieved through inspiration? I feel that both feel good once achieved; however, the struggle to keep motivated requires an effort that inspired actions do not. This is not to say there is no effort involved in inspired action. Think of swimming with the current in inspired action rather than against it as occurs in motivated action.

A bit of introspection through mindfulness is useful. Understanding yourself (honestly looking at what you know is true for yourself) is often the first step. If you have emotional baggage to clear from your life that you may be delaying, this needs some time (and likely effort) to clear to move forward more easily with the current of inspiration. I think of big heavy oars on a little boat that represent our emotional blocks. Imagine those oars becoming lighter and lighter as you clear emotional baggage. This is the value of mindfulness. This may lead you to seek counselling or (my favourite as you may know) Grief Recovery. You will know what you need to do. It might be as simple as regular journalling.

Next, take an honest look at the world and people around you. Can you see that each person is going through their own personal struggle? Can you feel their struggles (sometimes obvious and sometimes hidden to protect either themselves or even you?); can you truly be happy in their joys as if they were your own? This would be practicing some level of Emotional Intelligence.

Finally, take action. No amount of waiting for the “right time” or “perfect conditions” will help. Yet each step forward creates a movement. Keep your eye on your honest goal – it can be for anything: love, money, respect, a new job, a home… And let your goal lift you to your next level of your best. Let the thoughts of the goal be filled with good for all connected but let them be guided by your heartfelt desire for the best for you first (remember that first step of understanding your own desires/wishes?). This is a pure thought – you deserve this. There is no reason to rush… flow with the river of loving kindness, compassion and sincerity, and know that the right connections, signs and direction will come to your Awareness as you need it. Then, do not waste time doubting the perfection you may see – that’s when it’s time for action!

I wish us all much Inspired Action in our lives. I look forward to riding the waves with you!

Remember that you can learn more about my thoughts at my website: www.hearthealthbrainhealth.com or you can contact me by emailing to hanifahelps@gmail.com.

Be well. Be Inspired.



Menen Centre June Newsletter

Today I thought I would share here what I shared in my latest clinic newsletter. I hope you find it thought-provoking in your own personal improvement

Happy Summer from the Menen Centre!

June 2020 Newsletter
by Hanifa Menen, BSc, ND
Grief Recovery and Brain Re-Training Coach

Us vs. Them

Hello clients and friends of the Menen Centre!  In this newsletter it’s time for us to discuss the recent events that have brought attention to this important idea/concept. It’s time for each of us to be mindfully aware and personally responsible for our thoughts, words and actions.  So this month I would like to draw your personal attention to the way you think, speak and act in relation to others.  I thought I would draw attention to an area that many people feel are ok to let “slip” into their thoughts and/or conversations with others. This is the idea of what makes “us” different from “them” and what is this doing in our personal and our collective lives?

Different Cultures, Languages, Countries, Colours

In light of recent news events that I am certain you have all read about or seen, North America especially, and the world somewhat, is remembering that we do not all look at each other equally.  This is not surprising. Humans have compared themselves to others for centuries. It is a normal part of the human conscious development that allows this to happen as we each try to understand ourselves and the world around us. With further evolution of our consciousness however, we can learn that we are all more similar than different.  Now remember that this requires an evolution in our Conscious awareness that allows us to think in this way.  If you would like to see/learn more about the evolution of our individual consciousness, do take a look at my series of seven videos on just that on my YouTube channel:
The first of this specific series of Conscious Evolution starts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20fpQLum5AI This is a process that Deepak Chopra has also described in some detail so that could be a useful resource for anyone who is interested.

I believe it is easy for each and every person to fall backwards in their own Conscious Evolution as it is easy to fall into past learned behaviours shaped by fears and/or a desire to maintain perceived control.  I also feel it is the responsibility of each individual to monitor their own thoughts, words and actions.  Now if this was so easy, we would not have “needed” police, laws, and even certain social-etiquette expectations. Yet, those of us that feel we are the “good ones” are already fuelling this separation.  It’s important to remember that not only “bad guys” do “bad things” – anyone can fall into this space of unconscious at any time.

What is the best way for you to contribute to the positive shaping of first your own, and then the Collective Consciousness? Watch what you think and speak! Remember that everything is energy. The minute you say “those people” are not good, is the minute you fuel the energy that does not help. People can do some unkind things – it shows their human side coming through their human form. And people can do some profoundly kind actions too. This shows the best of their spiritual side coming through their human form.

Have you noticed the areas of unconscious bias you may have? If you look at the image at the top of this page you will see that there are age biases, gender biases, cultural biases, physical biases… do you notice that you have any of these?  Maybe you notice in yourself or others a “beard bias” or “turban/scarf/hijab bias” or maybe you have a “white person bias” which is not discussed much but maybe you judge this colour as the “other” that your do not trust or secretly envy?  What happens when you see a caucasian with a thick beard and in a turban?  Does it make you pause? Make you uncomfortable? Every major religion and spiritual tradition has encouraged us to look at each other as equal and good – do you consciously try to practice this in each moment? You don’t even need any reason outside of your own clear conscience to know that this just feels right! No religion or spiritual teaching needs to show this to you.  How beautiful is that?! It’s truly good for the soul!

I remember I was helping as a caregiver for a young blind woman in her 20’s many years ago when I tried to “help” her by holding her arm to cross the street – she was so upset with me at the time because she wanted to do it herself (which she had done for many years before me and needed me to just help by making sure she was safe as she was crossing that street!). In that moment I understood that even well-meaning biases are still biases.  So we can see that any of us can fall into well-meaning or fear-based biases which shape our thoughts, words and actions to others.

You might think that if you do not treat others (noticeably) unkindly, you are good. Do you later talk about them anyways with bias around your dinner table, or think the bias silently while not speaking it? It all matters.  It’s all energy and I encourage you to be mindful of where you put your personal energy!  A bigger concern can happen when you are mindfully-avoiding a particular bias and a person hurts/offends you!  Remember that any person, at any time, can act from an unconscious state. Focus on the action and do not generalize your thoughts to feed an unconscious bias.

I leave you in this newsletter with the words of Mother Theresa that I feel are so incredibly appropriate today and always. It is, and never will be, between “you and them” – it’s always between you and your God/Higher Self.

Today as I am coaching many through Grief Recovery and towards Empowered living through Brain Re-Training, I see that this awareness is the key to beginning (or continuing) personal transformation!

If you have any questions/concerns do feel free to contact me at hanifahelps@gmail.comor call/text 416-920-8975.

And remember that my current discounted pricing for block-appointments is continuing through the rest of this month and July 2020 to help people more comfortably afford the services I offer. You can see my current rates here:
Wishing you all a beautiful summer season and a Consciously-positive life experience in each moment!
Hanifa Menen


On Dying

Today I am energetically trying to help a friend who is grieving his friend who is getting ready for his “transition” to another realm.  I have seen and experienced many deaths beginning with my own brother’s many years ago and followed by numerous patients and friends.  Not one has been easy.

Yet, what has become “easier” over time for me has been the acceptance of death.  I have always felt that when a person’s work in this life is done, their time comes to leave us. The un-ease for me has always been seeing/feeling/sensing the pain or struggle that can happen in this time.  More often I am even more aware of the pain and struggle of the survivors of the recently (or soon-to-be) departed.  I truly believe that is the area that needs more attention.

For myself, I know that I wished each person I have lost to death had more time. Why?  For young people I have always felt they were not able to “truly” live their lives because there were not enough years for them to do so.  Yet each young person I have seen pass I feel has lived longer that many people even twice their age… and they have left a legacy so strong that their thoughts, words and actions are so evidently living through everyone that they touched.  For older people who pass (even the oldest at 98 years old) – I am more aware that even though they have lived incredibly full lives, it is ME wanting them to live longer because I cherish them.  And then I look at how beautiful it is that young or old, such a life is so valued by others that our own selfish desire of wanting them alive (even if they are struggling in some way) shows us how much they mean to us.  And I have never found it “easy” to let go of anyone I have known that is dying.

More recently, I am reminded more and more of what I have read, what Near-Death-Experiences have shown, and what I feel is true in my heart. That the person dying is moving into a beautiful realm of spiritual existence that is not observable to (most of) our human eyes.  Some people like psychics or mystics are able to see this realm.  I am able to read energy from this realm today too (not from seeing it but “hearing” it on some level).  I know that on a vibrational level, things that we finally see manifest (in these cases, in someone’s passing) – is already done.  Many people have noticed and experienced a loved one who is dying that is able to “wait” to see a favourite relative or meaningful relationship before they pass.  I believe that the time around death (could be days, weeks or months), dying people have some awareness of their limited time left on Earth, and are able to use some subconscious/unconscious energy to help them achieve, or see/feel something they truly desire before they pass.  I have known patients who were waiting for a son/daughter to visit from continents away who passed soon after the visit.

And I believe that the Higher Consciousness/God/Universe is involved in this too.  My current friend recently saw a cardinal arrive in his back yard.  I mentioned how this is often a sign/message from a loved one who is deceased and I have no doubt he was thinking about his current dying friend who was most on his mind although not yet deceased.  I held back from sharing the idea of energy moving faster that what we can perceive with our senses as I did not want to worry him further.  Yet I do believe it’s true.  I also believe in miracles so I do not like to give too much thought/energy into a direction that could miraculously turn around (after all, this is how near death experiences happen).  Yet this time, even though I do not know the friend who is passing, I sense that he is being prepared and readied for a beautiful adventure into that realm of existence where all is perfect, no worries exist, and joys unimaginable to our normal human minds will delight him.  How could anyone not welcome this true celebration of the life experience for those they love.  This does require some trust in the unknown and a faith that all religions/spiritual traditions often remind us about.  My instinct and experience fills my trust and faith in this daily and I hope that the energy I share in my desire to help those in such un-easy times of transition will lift them with the same certain energy that I feel in my heart.

If you are working through a recent (or past) loss due to death or the dying experience please know that there are wonders beyond our senses that far surpass the human experience on many levels. The pain of your loss in this time and beyond does benefit from healthy grieving processing too – of course I recommend Grief Recovery for anyone in this space. Take the time you need for your own healing and know that I am here to help if you ever need me.

Wishing you your own healing and transformation through this opportunity in your life. There is a blessing in this experience for you. Trust. Grieve. Heal.



416-920-8975; hanifahelps@gmail.com

Words Matter

As we move closer to the end of this unique school year that has been done for most students and teachers largely online, I am reminded about my own grade-schooling as well as my University and College experiences.

I was the “good” student. I loved learning, loved getting great marks and loved the awards of all kinds. From grades, pats on my back from teachers, meaningful messages written into my “autograph book” that I preferred to store such messages in rather than the simple signatures in yearbooks. And I had the rewards of loving care from my home because I was so “smart.”  I never considered myself smart. Unless I compared myself to my brother’s marks – he was the social personality and I was the academic! Oh yes, I then compared to other students too and judged how good I was based on that comparison and then by my accomplishments every step of the way.  Yet I never found schooling easy.  I was not one of the gifted students with a fabulous memory for detail – but I had perseverance. I studied long, not-easy hours. I was motivated to study.  My goals were worth it.

I was very fortunate to feel/sense my “calling” by both an internal desire and drive, and through a series of family health experiences that solidified my desire to become a Doctor.  I had vaguely considered becoming a professional tennis player but my coach in Edmonton had recommended my coaching continue in the States and there really was no way that my family at that time could afford such an expense. Plus, my practicality always reminded me that athletes often lost their entire careers from a single (yet significant) injury. I wanted a career for life.

Today I am working on creating a new academic course to share with the world sometime soon but as I learn new computer skills through a new course, I am enjoying my learning with a group of incredibly-talented and intelligent students in Healthcare, Engineering, Education and Sports backgrounds. Some have Master’s degrees, some have 2! All are working in academic institutions and seem incredibly computer-savvy! And I’m learning!  Interestingly, I do notice that the “wisdom” I bring to the table is really my honest, compassionate and mindful interactions.  And this feels great.

We all give each other feedback on our assignments and plans and today as I was reading over a classmate’s assignment (the plan for her course) – I noticed how wonderfully-supportive her whole plan was towards her (adult) student success at her University.  And then I came across a beautiful section on grading which was clearly put together to help students understand why they would receive either an A,B,C,D or F on their final grades.   And most of you know I love language!  I noticed in some of the descriptive words (for every grade after an A) there was potential for significantly changing the direction of student-thinking post-graduation from their undergraduate degrees.  I know some students (like myself) would be inspired to work harder to improve and receive more positive feedback (out of their own need for encouragement), and others may feel discouraged.  Language matters.  Words matter.

This made me realize that my fascination with words began long before reading an awesome book a few years ago called “Every Word has Power” by Yvonne Oswald which changed the way I guide my patients and clients.

It made me remember that I had as a pre-teen once asked my parents for a book I fell in love with at a local Coles bookstore – it was a Dictionary of Quotations!! I LOVED it and read every single quote in the book, putting a pencilled star beside my favourites for future reference! I still have that book in one of my many boxes of books in my garage! Before I moved to Ontario a family friend gifted me the book called “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran. I had never heard of it but I absolutely loved it! And over the last few years I have read hundreds of books (some of the same many times) and the words of anything I re-read certainly moves me and sticks with me.

When today I read my classmate’s grading comments planned for students I remembered that the most common and frequent comment I received on my report cards was “Conscientious Student.” I remember thinking “I think that’s good…”  I’d ask my Mom and she’d say it was but the word always stuck in my mind as a bit of a mystery even though I looked it up several times since my childhood.  As an adult, I now know that these comments (typed codes usually) were just the most fitting out of the comments available. Throughout grade school however, I would have loved understanding that this meant “(of a person) wishing to do what is right, especially to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly” or “relating to a person’s conscience.” As a kid I was very self-conscious so in my mind I had always thought that’s what my teachers were noticing in me!

It wasn’t until my Junior High School experience that I truly began to gain confidence in myself as a student.  Here I had loads of direct feedback from teachers and a new drive and motivation in my learning too.  Maybe it’s good that I didn’t know the meaning of the report card notes earlier – maybe my Ego would have emerged sooner?! And maybe I would be exactly where I am today, smiling appreciatively for things being exactly as they should be.

From my experiences I can see that words are such an important part of my lifelong awareness. And now I guide people how to use their words lovingly, compassionately and kindly with the people in their personal and professional lives.  To empower, to heal, to help, to share authentically.  What a beautiful journey!

Please know that your words matter too.  When people can put their feelings into words, empowered action can arise.  I hope you will lift yourself and the people around you with the honest words that you share, the sincerity of your expression, and then watch the creation of your own magic in your life.

I am here to help if you need me. Until then, I wish you all the loving words you need to hear from yourself! Create your own magic!

“The key to pursuing excellence is to embrace an organic, long-term learning process, and not to live in a shell of static, safe mediocrity. Usually, growth comes at the expense of previous comfort or safety.”
— Josh Waitzkin





We Grieve What We Love(d)

We grieve because we love. The intensity of the grief often proclaims the depth of our love. ~Gary Roe

Love and grief can be seen as two ends of one human experience. Or two sides of a coin; or a yin/yang experience.  This is why if one does not care too much about something or someone, there will be less grief in the absence of that thing or person.  When one does truly love, however, grief can be equally intense.

I remember a client calling me once in an absolute panic because her husband thought she may have had feelings/interactions with another man early in their dating and/or marriage time. She was beside herself with grief and frustration about the false accusation that still haunted her husband who was threatening divorce.  When I spoke with the husband I reminded him of what he knew was true of his wife and what I felt was the sincere and honest communication she was currently sharing. They stayed together, and they are happy today.  Of course we may never know if the husband’s fears were based in fact, but here we can see that it really didn’t matter what may/may not have been true from years before this time, yet the human mind will often look for things to be troubled with, even if it does not pertain to now.

Another client I met was in her 70’s when I met her. She had found her husband in bed with another woman… on her wedding day! She still went through with the wedding and stayed married to a man who had several affairs that she was very unhappily aware of.  She felt she didn’t have the courage/confidence to leave the relationship.  One day she came home to see all of her clothes and belongings scattered on the lawn – the husband wanted a divorce.  She needed to share her story to heal this pain.

So many experiences of grief.  My own conscious experiences with grief began with seeing my brother (who I had the BEST relationship with – a sibling connection many would wish for) go from healthy, to wheelchair-bound, to passing away in his 20’s.  That experience led to my desire to go into healthcare.

A few years ago I went through my second separation and divorce.  Here too I enjoyed a relationship that I could not imagine being better – until it wasn’t.  I have grieved many losses with patients and for myself too.  I have lifted others and lifted myself.  And each time, I am reminded about the absolute perfection in all that is, right here and now.  I know that my own experiences have helped me be the compassionate health coach that I am today, and this is a blessing.  I have also had the blessing of numerous kind souls in the forms of family, friends and healthcare professionals that have helped me in my journeys through grief too. So I have felt love even through times of grief. What a blessing!  And this is what directed me to my current work focused on healing grief from losses of all sorts. Also a blessing for my own direction.

I was discussing with a friend today the fact that most of us have been raised to think we can live our lives from either “martyr” or “survival of the fittest” perspectives.  So we can either hurt ourselves trying to help others or we “push others into the ditch” (friend’s words!) to get ahead.  So true.  The biggest learning I have had through my grief experiences is that loving myself is just as important as loving anyone else.  Isn’t it nice that our world is evolving to a place where loving ourselves (without harm to another) is no longer seen as selfish? I think it’s a huge step forward.

So what is the best part of healing grief? It brings us right back to LOVE!!  A little wiser perhaps, and a little kinder too.  What a joy it is to help others get to this space too. True healing goes a long way.

Today as we socially-distance ourselves for the safety of each other, I would like to remind you that each person is truly carrying their own grief.  Let’s help each other’s burdens lighten through this compassionate awareness.

Wishing you joyful, and love-filled days ahead!




Dependence on Medications or Supplements

So we all know that once a medication goes into a body regularly, a dependence on that medication will likely occur, which means a person will need to keep taking it for the desired benefits, sometimes needing to increase the dose as the body may need higher amounts to get the benefits achieved by lower amounts earlier (the body will adjust to it’s “natural” state so it may require more medication to get the same benefits).

The same can apply to supplements. Sometimes a person takes a nutritional supplement to adjust for inadequate natural food choices going into the body – so vitamins and minerals can be very helpful in this time. But increasing quantities can be needed here too over time.

So I’ve always encouraged vitamin/mineral “holidays” with clients. Giving the body a break for a month or two can be so beneficial in making sure that the body doesn’t absolutely require a supplement for a natural function like bowel movements or sleep. And maybe this encourages more mindful food choices during the holiday too!

I do not recommend taking medication holidays without a discussion with your medical doctor as there is much more dependence on these and stopping suddenly can produce some drastic unwanted results.

Over time the body does change too so medications and supplements will be metabolized and eliminated at different rates from the body. It is a very good idea to check with your medical doctor to see if you still need the same dose of a medication that may have been prescribed to you 10 years ago! Yearly blood tests can help your doctor determine if changes should be made.

Most important to remember with either pharmaceutical medications or supplements is to watch your own body’s symptoms and signs. If something is changing, do think about the medications/supplements that are going into your body regularly. These are often overlooked as new medications or supplements are added in.

Throughout my experience with clients, I have noticed that people are much more willing to add in a new supplement rather than remove something from their daily regimen! And this is how many end up taking 10-30 pills of something per day! Wow. Please be mindful of what you are adding to your supplement (or medication) regime and remember that whatever you take in will need to be metabolized and eliminated too. This can put extra strain on both the liver and kidneys in your body and lead to one of the most common symptoms of all – fatigue/exhaustion – as energy that could be provided to muscles and overall energy levels is going to be used for the internal organs processing medications and supplements.

And always remember that mental/emotional strain and unprocessed emotions and life experiences will always show up as signs and symptoms in your health too.  Do work on these areas for achieving or maintaining your own optimum health!

Wishing you all a beautifully-mindful day ahead!



Between Personal and Universal Ethics

In October this year I was invited to present a paper to the IFPE (International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education) – I was part of a panel discussion and my paper was called: “Is That Me I See… In You.”  It was a fantastic group to be part of for the conference consisting of wonderfully educated people doing fantastic work all over!

For me this was a very timely invitation after the recent completion with the School of Awakening 6-month program with Eckhart Tolle and Kim Eng.

I thought I’d share my abstract here and then elaborate on a few ideas just below. Hope you enjoy this post!


The progressive development of the ego which needs differentiation from others to identify itself has created increasing separation among individuals, communities and countries. This has created man-made personal borders, community borders and environmental borders. As individuals become more determined (ego-mind driven) about this need for differentiation, community and countries do the same – the macrocosm reflecting the microcosm.  If we are mindfully-aware, we can see that a dramatic breakdown/dissolution of ego often occurs in times of personal, political or environmental disaster. In this window of opportunity we find that people suddenly see the deeper aspects of similarities between humans from the human spirit that is shaken awake and, temporarily at least, free from the ego through such a time. Today, individuals can take a mindful approach to daily experience rather than a reactionary offence/defence of the ego-mind to start appreciating the oneness of all things. From an energetic perspective, our thoughts, words and actions all make a difference in the larger collective consciousness. This means that each person can be uniquely-individual but that honouring the deeper similarities of the human spirit will bring us closer together than the conscious and unconscious borders we are creating. Unconscious actions create separation whereas every great work – whether in politics, art, music, theatre or health has focused on creation though conscious action/inspiration.  And the best creations through all of these areas have honoured unity over separation, understanding over judgment. This paper focuses on the tremendous opportunity that each individual has in creating personal, professional and worldwide transcending of the self-limiting creation of borders. And all from the comfort of wherever each person is right now.

The purpose of this presentation was to discuss how on a human level we all have the basics for everything from loving, kind and generous thoughts, words and actions, to the other extreme of angry, destructive and harmful thoughts, words and actions. It was also to discuss the possible transformation from “human level” functioning as discussed by even well-known psychologist Abraham Maslow many years ago as what he called a place called “Self-Transcendence” which is not discussed much in literature.  Most know about the level of Self Actualization, but getting beyond the human-self perspective (which would be the Self-Transcendent place Maslow mentioned) is the place that mystics, saints, yogis, and sages through the centuries have described in various ways.

This place always acts from a place of love and compassion. It is what we may call our Highest Self, God/Christ Consciousness or Source. And although it takes some re-training to remind us of this place within us (often clouded by human ego tendencies of feeling better than or less than others) it’s within each of us.  I hope you are inspired to mindfully work to create this place of centred thoughts, words and actions. Therein truly, does lie peace.

Wishing you peace during this holiday season and always!




Vibrational Energy


Have you heard or do you know that everything in our lives is made up of energy particles that vibrate at particular frequencies?  I remember learning this first during my 4th year Neuropsychology degree at the U of A. It was while I was taking a course in Physics (not my favourite, but necessary for my graduation). It was the only physics course that would fit into my schedule and it was a 3-hour night course! And it was about the history of physics! Can’t say I was looking forward to it. And what a surprise for me to end up REALLY enjoying it!! We learned everything from Babylonian numerology to Quantum Physics! Then during my time at McMaster’s Health Sciences, I was chosen by the one Professor who took on one student per year to teach Therapeutic Touch to. Now, my quantum physics learning had taught me there was a science behind the effect of intention in everything, and Therapeutic Touch is an energetic medicine (like acupuncture but more similar to reiki as it does not require touching people for the effects). And it involves using intention for healing. Well, I was chosen as the student this Professor took on as I was very confident that I would be able to dis-prove that Therapeutic Touch worked or was effective. I could not prove this. And let me let you know that I truly tried. I wanted to honestly take on this task so after I learned how to use Therapeutic Touch, I found every possible non-believer in energy-medicine to try this out on. One of my roommates had Lupus and had caught a terrible cold just before a graduation ceremony (I believe for her boyfriend at the time) – and normally she would be unable to do anything requiring exertion for weeks if she caught a cold so she was a perfect skeptic! And… she went to that graduation the next day feeling much better (almost 100% to both of our surprise). Of course that had to be a coincidence right?

So I worked with patients going through high-risk pregnancies as I was studying in a hospital setting at the time. I found patients that I didn’t know being rushed into delivery rooms in critical times and I rushed to ask permission for trying Therapeutic Touch on them… they all said yes to my surprise – more like “do anything!” So I did. And then I’d escape, happily figuring I could prove it did not help because they all went through their baby deliveries – some much earlier than ideal. And yet, each one of those ladies found a way to find me in the days and weeks ahead to thank me for my help. They’d say they didn’t know what I did but they felt it somehow helped them! So my paper from the experience of my course and personal research from 6 months for my Professor was titled: Therapeutic Touch and Quantum Physics – same results using different language.

And now I think of vibrations and energy all the time! Our vibrations really do create our perceived reality. We see colour based on a vibrational wave form, we hear sounds because of vibrations, and we live a life which contains our own living vibration. Our thoughts, words and actions are all vibrations. The super-exciting thing is that we can actually use our vibrations by Conscious choice – by the vibration we hold or express. When we are on a high-vibration, our energy is lighter, more carefree, content/joyful and loving.  When we are in a lower-vibration we feel heavier, sad/disheartened, worried, anxious or angry. And whatever our vibration, we will receive energies that match our frequencies. So when we want to feel lighter energy around us, we can take the Conscious decision to find a way to raise our internal energy. Of course, when someone is sad/angry/disappointed this may seem like an almost-impossible task. Yet it is possible. You can look to nature, your favourite pet(s), a favourite song, art, dancing or another activity to pull you into a higher vibration even for only a few minutes at a time. Soon, you will feel like doing more – because it feels good – and better than the heavier energy. This lighter energy will start attracting other lighter energies to you – whether in the form of people or experiences. And this is worth the effort!

Now I want to make sure you don’t think of forced smiles or listening to your favourite music while your mind is working through troubles/worries is “raising your vibration” because in reality, that is truly not Consciously raising your vibration. This may seem nice for others to see as they may feel you are in a good place – and this makes both sides feel better superficially. To get the honest and deeper experience and benefits – make sure your intention and thoughts truly match your goal (raising your vibration).

And who do I see having some of the biggest challenges?/opportunities to do this? People who have gone through recent losses – might be job, health, relationship, home – or all of the above. I am also seeing mid-life as a stage of time that I see more and more people experiencing a noticeable shift in personal energies. I suspect this is due to the accumulation of various life experiences by this stage of life.  I find mid-life (I know most think of this as over 55 years of age, but I feel it matches people even in their late 30s or 40s) is a time that many are especially effected by heavier energies as many feel they were expecting their lives to be stable and smooth by this time, yet many experience a bit of an “existential” crisis. Divorces and other relationship losses have become very common in this age group too which often adds another layer of uncertainty. And then we come back to energy and vibration.

No matter what age… it’s the same strategy. Shift your energy to shift your life experience. And then get ready for magic to happen!

Who knew that my Physics course would start such an amazing awareness in my life. Of course, we all understand what we need to, only when we are truly ready to do so. So far, in my personal life experiences, I can easily see that this energetic principle is really true!

Remember that the only constant in life is change – knowing this vibrational energy “secret” will increase your vitality and resilience through every possible life experience. Now – trust, and try it for yourself! Raise your vibration!

More energy-revitalizing tips to come. Wishing you a high vibrational holiday season!



The Transformational Power of Opportunities (often disguised as challenges!)

Do you know that opportunities are around us daily? Sometimes it’s as simple as holding a door or an elevator for someone who is 10 feet away. And sometimes it’s about transforming your own and/or another’s life (likely both) through a meaningful interaction, discussion or other action.

Often, in the time of what is perceived as a challenge (e.g. difficult experience – often with a partner or a colleague) we are so caught up in the difficulty that we are unable (or unwilling) to see the opportunity for self or mutual growth and development. I like to focus on self growth as it’s the only area that I believe we have an opportunity for Conscious development. If the goal is to change the other, there will likely be some disappointment in the process – if not at that time, then at a later time. A person does not improve because it’s your goal to get them there – each person improves when it’s a sincere and personal goal.

When we focus on our own improvement, the first step is to step back from any perceived challenge and ask: “What do I need to learn from this?” This is a humble approach which is not often the first response to difficulty. Try taking this step – some people benefit from taking a conscious breath, others by removing themselves from the area of concern to “clear their minds.” That breath or space opens up an opportunity for compassionate understanding of our own and others’ needs. This in turn opens an opportunity for a calm space from which positive actions can flow.

People are layered by the life experiences, thoughts, feelings and actions of their own, as well as the present and historical others in their lives. Working through these layers to uncover the core of oneself is critical to bring out our best. This can be done through counselling, introspection, self-reflection, journalling, and/or meditation. Retraining our minds through useful tools to see the many options we always have at hand to work through uneasy times is most important. Yet, the ego-mind will often want to return to a place of “not-enough” or “not willing” to do this work. Many feel they do not have enough resources (whether the time, strength, calmness, commitment or, most commonly – financial resources) to do this. So when would there be enough? Often the unconscious-mind will feel it’s just around the corner as soon as “X” is achieved. This is most definitely an illusion and if you have not discovered it yet, I suspect life circumstances will show you in the time that it is right for you.

If you have a different Awareness, however, you will see that this time now is as good as any to understand and improve yourself to bring to you the joys that you rightfully deserve (as do the people around you) – for the life purpose you have come to live.

When this Awareness is touched by your sincere efforts at self-improvement, you will find yourself aligned with your true and genuine purpose and will begin to bring to you opportunities and success in the ways that are most meaningful for you.

You are worth this!

I suggest you take at least 15minutes per day to meditate/pray/journal/reflect with the intention of being open to the guidance that will come your way. And then do work on self-improvement in any way you can – in some organized and systematic way. Working with a personal mentor/health professional/coach can be incredibly valuable too – so reach out for the tools you need!

These are the tools for self-transformation that I feel truly change “challenges” into the opportunities you have been seeking!

Wishing you beautiful transformational experiences ahead!



by Hanifa Menen, BSc (Neuropsychology); former ND (early retired after 21 years of practice!) – Grief Recovery and Brain Re-Training Coach. Encouraging Empowered Actions for Clients through Mindfully raising Consciousness.