You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2012.

by David Shackleton (Contact David at

A tricky balance to understand, let alone manage, is between the subjective and the objective.  The subjective includes all of our interior world — our thoughts and feelings, sensations, intentions and judgments.  The objective is the exterior world that we share with others, and includes everything that we can see and touch and hear, including language and the actions of people.

Of course, the two are related — our intentions give rise to our actions, and the actions of others give rise to thoughts and feelings.  Yet they are separate, and it is important not to confuse the two.

One way that we often confuse them is to see one as dominant and the other as subordinate.  I talked last month about feminism’s lack of balance — one way to see this is to notice that it places men as dominant, as having the power that matters, and women as subordinate.  In the case of the objective and subjective worlds, a currently fashionable idea is that of the consensual universe (e.g., A Course In Miracles).

This holds that the objective world is actually a creation of people’s minds.  In other words, the objective is subordinate to the subjective.  The opposite imbalance would be just as mistaken — for instance, the idea that we lack free will, that we are simply machines, automatons like computers whose interior experiences are fully determined by how we are constructed and what happens to us in the exterior world.

Another way that we confuse them is to put something in the wrong place.  For instance, a popular idea that a friend has expressed to me is that “Everyone’s worldview is right”.  As attractive as this notion might feel, it basically invalidates the idea of objective reality.

If “right” has any coherent meaning, it refers to conformance with reality.  And clearly, lots of people hold worldviews that do not conform with reality in a number of ways.  This idea takes a word, “right” from the objective side and employs it incorrectly on the subjective side, for a subjective reason — to avoid the discomfort (and difficulty) of making people’s worldviews wrong.

However, this is not a freedom that we actually have — reality is whatever it is, our only healthy option is to surrender to it and acknowledge that what is right and true is what is right and true, and what is wrong is wrong.  (Admittedly, in the more subtle areas of objective reality it can be difficult to know what is right — but this does not alter the principle that objective reality is unique and independent of what we might wish it to be.)

Here’s another example of putting something in the wrong place.  Someone says something to which we take offence.  Now, it feels to us very much that our reaction is a direct result of what was said, but that isn’t actually the case.  Our feelings are definitely in the subjective world.  What was actually said is in the objective.  But between the two is a place where we decide the meaning of what was said (also subjective), and this is usually unconscious, so it seems invisible to us.

Consider an example.  You see a friend coming out of a store, and you say “Hi.” But they just stare at you, and then push past you and rush off.  Perhaps you feel slighted or offended that your friend treated you so brusquely.  You go into the store, where someone tells you that your friend just had a cell phone call that their daughter was in a car accident.  Instantly your feelings of offense dissolve, and are replaced by empathy for your friend’s fear and distress.

What happened was that you changed the meaning you gave to your friend’s actions.  Their actions, what they objectively did, didn’t change at all, but your interpretation altered and that changed how you experienced their actions.  It “feels” like what you experienced was a direct result of the objective actions, but the example makes it clear that it wasn’t, it was a result of the subjective meaning that you assigned.

Yet our language about such things usually confuses the dichotomy — “They made me so mad,” for instance, declares the subjective to be a direct consequence of the objective, and omits the intermediate subjective stage which is the real cause of the anger.

I recently had a dialogue by email in which the other party said to me, “I don’t share some of your assumptions, or make other ones.”  When I remarked that we all make assumptions, that it is impossible to live without them, he said that he knew that.  It turned out that when he said he didn’t make (other) [assumptions], he meant something quite different from what he said, and he acknowledged that his statement was “unclear”.

But this was a confusion between subjective and objective, because in fact it wasn’t unclear.  An unclear statement would be one that is either ambiguous, or whose meaning is difficult to discern.  His actual statement was absolutely clear in its meaning, by which I mean that you can look each of the words up in a dictionary and determine exactly and unambiguously what the statement means — as you often can with objective matters, they are out in the world and available to study.

His statement was clear, but wrong, in that it was an untrue description of his beliefs.  His claim of “unclear” was (I think) a description of his feeling around not saying what he intended to say, but he insisted that it was his statement that was unclear.  Again, a largely unconscious process (in this case, the translation of intention into words) has confused the distinction between subjective and objective.


I hope you are realizing that this business of balance is tricky to do well — and also important to do well.  The distinctions I am pointing to may seem subtle or of little consequence, but they actually have huge consequences.


It is very common for people to confuse their thoughts and feelings about things with the things themselves, and not to realize that they are doing so.  But if we can’t think clearly and correctly about what actually happened, about what is objective and unalterable, and what is subjective and our own creation, then we have our facts wrong about our world and our lives, and our life decisions will reflect the low quality of our data.


My own approach is to think carefully about the theory and to get the categories really clear in my mind.  I then try to apply a discipline of careful and precise thinking about what is true and what is not.  That reflects my bias towards thinking and theory, and it helps me to understand what is going on, and where some of the pitfalls lie.  Of course, I often fall into them anyway, but I like to think that I manage to avoid some of them in this way.


by Kealy Mann, ND

We all think we know how to lose weight. It’s simple. Eat less calories than we burn off in a day; count and weigh every morsel of food and make sure you exercise for at least an hour.

Well, science is now showing us what we’ve instinctively known for a long time. This method just doesn’t work. It has created a society full of chronic illness with skyrocketing cases of obesity and diabetes, among other diseases.

It has become undeniably clear that this one size approach to dieting just isn’t effective. The latest fads that implore us to remove all carbohydrates from our diet, or just eat Twinkies (as long as we don’t eat too many) are, not only unsustainable, but terribly unhealthy.

It’s time to stop blaming your ‘weak willpower’ and rebalance your physiology to get healthy. Focus on quality, not quantity; eat foods that nourish your body and mind and the weight will come off (and you will feel healthier and more energized).

Our program, The Whole Balance Method, is based on new research which has uncovered the most effective diet and exercise plan for weight loss and chronic health.

On this plan, you will be able to eat plenty of nourishing food and exercise less — without looking at that calorie counter on your treadmill!

We have designed a customized program that will uncover your own personal roadblocks to getting healthy and show you that getting to a healthy weight is about the quality of food and exercise, not just quantity. Once all of your systems are in balance, weight loss becomes almost effortless. We will teach you which foods will balance and nourish your body and mind for long term health and weight loss. To achieve this balance, we will work with you to design a personalized program that will remove all of your roadblocks to weight loss. These roadblocks include:

  • Hormonal imbalance (insulin, hunger hormones, sex hormones)
  • Brain Chemistry imbalance – leading to cravings, emotional eating, depression and anxiety
  • Stress and adrenal imbalance
  • Food & carbohydrate sensitivities
  • Inflammation
  • Detoxification imbalances
  • Negative emotional patterns

The best part is that unlike the low fat, low calorie, low carb, eat snack-well cookies or bacon all day long diets, our program will make you healthy while you get fit. You will look and feel better, age better, feel more in control and prevent chronic illnesses down the road.

While many people lose weight temporarily on fad diets, they usually pay a price in their long term health. Our bodies and minds need fresh, whole foods. Once it receives these foods, in the right balance, cravings will subside (I promise), as will symptoms of hypoglycemia, sleep disturbances and hormonal imbalances. In many cases, diabetes can even be reversed.

Worried that your cravings will get the best of your efforts? Weight loss is not about willpower. How many times have you told yourself that tomorrow you will start your diet and then can’t even make it through the first day? The truth is that you can’t fight brain chemistry and our body’s survival instincts with willpower. You can’t win, in the long term, just by willing yourself to avoid your favorite foods and go to the gym for an hour at the end of a long day.

You may need this program if:

  • You are struggling with your weight
  • You have high cholesterol
  • You have diabetes or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • As you age, it seems harder to maintain your weight
  • You have cravings for _______ (salt, sugar, caffeine) that you just can’t control
  • You suspect you have food sensitivities
  • You are an emotional eater
  • You have tried fad diets before and they have left you feeling even worse

By taking part in the program, you will leave our clinic after a complete assessment by a Naturopathic Doctor as well as your own personal food sensitivity assessment and custom eating plan. You will also have all of the tools that you need to start your new plan.

Your personal workbook will include questionnaires that will help us to customize your eating and supplement plan, journal pages to track your progress, lists of ‘super-foods’ that will nourish your body and your brain and menus and recipes to help you get started.

We are very excited to offer The Whole Balance Method to our new and existing patients. Please join us for our free weight loss information session on Sat, June 23 at the clinic at 1pm.

Please call Collette at 613-839-1198 to RSVP.

I’m at a family gathering in New York state, working past my deadline while folks are puttering about getting breakfast.  We are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of our mother’s death.

The past month has been intense, but not something I can write about in detail without compromising people.  In summary, a new situation is challenging my weakest point, being able to confront when it’s likely that the other person will respond aggressively.

And yet, it is my responsibility to do so right now.  My brain churns to find an alternative solution that will keep the peace and comes up empty-handed.

So my life is disrupted while I search for my courage and my centre.  I do my best in maintaining a healthy diet, continuing to exercise when all I want to do is to stay in bed and keep my meditation practice, breathing into a fear that seems without end.  I realize that I am being triggered into old childhood trauma and that this is a great opportunity to heal.  Groan. . . .

Other than this, Felix is totally toilet trained, has started to play micro-soccer with other 3-5 year olds, is working through a phase of being obsessed with guns and is still happy to help with our gardening efforts.  Although, I have come to realize that I am actually a terrible gardener, a little bit of a shock.

That’s all there is time for right now.  We are going on a family hike up to a high ridge and then having a ceremony for my mum.

warm regards~

Hello ~ I am looking for a more affordable place to live and Carp is on my radar.

Affordable means less than $1,000, preferably around $800/mo.

Two bedrooms would be best, but at this point, I’d jump at a spacious one bedroom and sleep out in the living room.

For more information about me, please contact me at

Tara McDonald

by Katherine Willow, ND

Joint pain comes in a lot of varieties: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disorders, etc.  The first thing to do is to understand the causes, asking questions about lifestyle, emotional trauma and previous symptoms and illnesses.

Lab tests and a physical exam help to fine tune our understanding of which organ systems are involved.  Food sensitivity testing, metabolic testing and hair analysis determine if there is an issue with food, digestion and minerals.  Once the causes are laid out in front of us, the cure becomes obvious.  Let’s look at some common patterns of joint pain.

Fortunately, the most common pattern is also the easiest to treat, when the body is in a state of irritation with multiple food sensitivities and a congested  liver and digestive system, but otherwise in a generally healthy state.  For these vital people, a program of cleansing and rebalancing the diet is usually enough to resolve joint pain and allow people to wean off any medications they are on.

A typical program might look like this:

  • Take out the most irritating foods as identified by a Biotron test or by common sense (ie wheat, sugar, dairy, alcohol, nightshade family — tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers, junk food, processed food and foods we are addicted to and ‘can’t live without’).
  • Add in a healthy dose of veggies, clean proteins (vegetarian usually best, fish, organic poultry), clean carbs (rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa) and cold-pressed oils and organic butter.
  • Add in fibre to move the colon, digestive enzymes to re-inspire digestion and essential fatty acids to decrease the inflammatory process.
  • Drink water according to body type (I use the Ayurvedic system and recommend the book Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra as a guide.)

This usually cures joint pain within 3 months if not sooner.

Other patterns and their treatment include:

  • low adrenal glands, as the adrenals produce our own anti-inflammatory chemicals; treatment involves rest, avoiding caffeine and supplements and herbs that support the adrenals
  • liver deficiency, where the liver needs to be rebuilt before it can function properly to cleanse the body
  • structural imbalances which stress joints can be treated with bodywork including osteopathy, craniosacral therapy, massage, physiotherapy and specific exercises; movement in general helps joint pain
  • emotional trauma, specifically devaluation shocks; German New Medicine tells us that the location of the pain is a clue to the type of devaluation we have experienced ie hands for performance, hips for sexuality, neck for our intellect, back for lack of support, legs for athletic ability, and so on.  More interesting is that if the joint pain is related to an emotional trauma, this means that the trauma has basically been resolved but is continually re-triggered, something we call a hanging healing.  In the optimal situation, the pain only lasts 6-8 weeks and is part of a repair process!
  • nutritional deficiencies need to be identified and corrected
  • environmental exposure to toxins needs to be explored and cleaned up

Joint pain is one of the easiest conditions to treat with natural medicine.  There are hundreds of specific therapies which can be matched to individual cases, including homeopathic remedies and acupuncture.  Please persist even if your medical doctor tells you there is no cure and that you need to be on medication for life!

The Learning Centre is offering several Daily NATURE CAMPS this summer for 3 age groups:

Camp runs 9am – 4pm daily.

Descriptions, registration forms, contact info, etc, are listed below the summaries:

1. Young Wilderness Explorers (ages 4-6) Cost: $40/day
SESSION 1: Thursdays, July 5, 12, 19 (Registration closes: July 2)
SESSION 2: Thursdays, Aug 9, 16, 23 (Registration closes: Aug 6)

2. Young Wilderness Explorers (ages 7-12) Cost: $40/day 
SESSION 1: Thursdays, July 5, 12, 19 (Registration closes: July 2)
SESSION 2: Thursdays, Aug 9, 16, 23 (Registration closes: Aug 6)

3. Wilderness Survival & Nature Interpretation (ages 7-12) Cost: 3 days/$165
SESSION 1: Wednesdays, July 4, 11, 18 (Registration closes: June 29)
SESSION 2: Wednesdays, Aug 8, 15, 22 (Registration closes: Aug 3)

4. Wilderness Survival & Nature Interpretation (ages 13-17) Cost: 3 days/$165
SESSION 1: Tuesdays, Jul 3, 10, 17 (Registration closes: June 29 )
SESSION 2: Tuesdays, Aug 7, 14, 21 (Registration closes: Aug 3)

5. Map & Compass Lost-Proofing (ages 7-12) Cost: $50
Monday, July 9 (Registration closes: July 6)

6. Map & Compass Lost-Proofing (ages 13-17) Cost: $50
Friday, Aug 10 (Registration closes: Aug 7)

7. Kayak Building (13-17) Cost: 4 days/$300
Sat & Sun, Aug 11 & 12, Aug 18 & 19 (Registration closes: Aug 3)


(Children attending camp should bring lunch & snacks, a backpack and also dress appropriately for being in the woods, including sunhats & closed footwear. They’ll also need insect repellant and/or hat nets.)

Young Wilderness Explorers: For youth wishing to explore & learn about the forest. Participants make the most of teachable moments as they unfold throughout the day. Activities vary but may include nature-lore (pond studies & wild edible plants); reading & understanding animal sign & tracks; ecology; nature art/collections; and developing a heightened awareness, including sights and sounds of the forest.

Wilderness Survival & Nature Interpretation: For youth wishing to explore wilderness survival techniques (traditional methods), tracking, and nature-lore. Course is skills-based and offers an excellent start towards learning much about what the wilderness can provide. Students will develop skills and knowledge that are all but lost among modern adventurers. Survival skills include: shelters; starting fires without matches; finding safe drinking water; wayfinding; clothing; map & compass and other lost-proofing techniques; and many other bushcrafts that supplement nature outings. Nature-lore may include the study of wild edible plants; reading & understanding animal sign and tracks; ecology; and developing a heightened awareness, including sights and sounds of the forest.

Map & Compass Lost-Proofing: Teaching students to keep track of the wilderness through various way-finding techniques. Making use of the landscape & surroundings can offer many clues to direction and help one’s confidence. Map & compass skills vary with the age group, but work towards tougher skills like triangulation. This is a busy day that combines theory with practical application.

Kayak Building: A small group of students join together to make the frame of one traditional Arctic Kayak (prior to the point of being skinned). Simple hand-tools will be used to assemble the craft. The traditional Arctic Kayak has no steel screws or fasteners -– all joints are floating and tied. They are very light-weight and extremely fast. Various arctic artifacts will be shown (including a completed kayak). Note: students do not take home a boat. Rather, they learn the skills of making a traditional craft together. Read more about boat-making and see photo:

(some camps may be cancelled if we don’t get a minimum number of registrants)

For more info call 613-839-1179 or email

Participants meet up daily in the parking lot of Carp Ridge Ecowellness Centre
2386 Thomas Dolan Parkway, Carp.

NOTE: The Learning Centre is closed for summer break from Mon, July 23rd through Fri, Aug 3rd.

Announcing our first annual end of summer family & friends retreat, Healing in Nature, facilitated by naturopath Katherine Willow, our wilderness teacher Chad Clifford and our Forest School chef Kim Trott.

The retreat commences Friday evening, Aug 31st and goes until Sunday, Sept 2nd on Labour Day weekend to allow people the Monday to wind down at home.

The family retreat is offered at affordable rates:

  • $250/family of 5 with children under 12
  • $190/couple
  • $100/single
  • $75/ youth up to age 20
  • $50/extra children under 12.

The activity schedule will be posted later in the summer on our website, and also via email to our subscriber list.

Call or email Colette at Clinic reception to register:


A small BC company called Okanagan Specialty Fruits has just submitted a request to Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for approval of a genetically modified (GM, also called genetically engineered) “non-browning” apple.

Contamination from GM apples threatens the future of our apples, and the farmers who grow them.

1. Send your comments to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency before July 3, 2012  Click here.

Tell the government that you don’t want to eat a GM apple!

  • Consumers don’t want GM apples.
  • The GM “non-browning” apple will mislead consumers by presenting an apple that looks freshly cut or unbruised when it is not.
  • BC apple growers have already rejected the GM apple.
  • Contamination from GM apple trees is a risk to Canadian apple producers.
  • The CFIA and Health Canada should not be wasting public funds reviewing a GM apple that no one wants.
  • The government should consult with farmers and consumers before approving any new GM crop.

You can see the notice of the submission for approval of the GM apple here.

This is just the first of many actions needed to stop the GM apple.

2. For more information and to get more involved see


The genetically modified (GM) “non-browning” apple is engineered to keep from going brown after being cut. This apple is designed for fast food companies and other companies that use pre-cut apples. The technology was developed in Australia and was licensed by small BC company Okanagan Specialty Fruits.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits asked for approval in the US in March 2010 and has just asked for approval in Canada. The GM apple has not yet been approved anywhere in the world.

BC apple growers stopped the GM apple from being field tested in Canada in 2001. The federal agricultural research station in Summerland in the Okanagan valley, an important fruit growing area, was preparing to start field trials but BC growers who were concerned about contamination stopped them from happening.

Many apple grower associations in Canada and the US oppose the GM apple, including the BC Fruit Tree Association.

This action alert was re-issued on May 31 2012 by Bee SAFE, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, GE Free BC, Okanagan Greens Society, True Food Foundation and Vigilance OGM.

War is Heck!

On Tuesday evening, August 14 at 7pm sharp, A Company of Fools comes to perform their version of Henry V on the lawn at Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre.

(Admission is pass-the-hat after the performance.)

A Company of Fools is Ottawa’s longest running independent professional Shakespeare company.

They perform innovative,entertaining and accessible shows based on the works of William Shakespeare.

From the website: Henry the Fifth is a Boy meets Girl story with a slight twist. Part “Saving Private Ryan” and part “Before Sunrise” this tale of patriotism and romance finds the boy, struggling under the heavy mantle of recent ascension to the throne. Excited to try his leadership skills he sets out to invade the girl’s country, based on a dubious claim to the throne.  He lays siege to a key logistical port, marches inland and against the odds manages to defeat a much larger force by deploying new military strategies. . .  and then he meets girl.

Presented by the graduating class of the William Golding Academy, Shakespeare’s King Henry the Fifth is a reflection on what it means to be a monarch. This is an overreaching and unflinching production that tackles all the tough questions: Why do we fight wars? What qualities make a good leader? Can this cockpit hold the vast fields of France? And what are we going to do with all of these tennis balls?

This summer’s Torchlight Shakespeare production of Henry V tours parks across the region from July 2 –August 18.   Directed by Geoff McBride and starring Margo MacDonald as Henry, the production promises blood and battle, bravery and romance, all with the Fool-ish twists audiences have come to know and love!

Featuring Simon Bradshaw, Kelly Rigole, Katie Ryerson and Virginia West, this show is not to be missed.  With our always-affordable pass-the-hat admission, there’s no excuse not to come out!

from Johannes & Tina Welsch

Experience the majestic sounds of symphonic gongs & crystal singing bowls!

featuring Sound Mystic Jeremy Sills & Percussionist Johannes Welsch

Friday, June 15, 8pm
(Doors open at 7:15pm) at the Dunrobin Sonic Gym

Admission: $20

Please register by email or phone: or 613-832-0896

For further info & directions please visit

Dunrobin Sonic Gym
2909 Torwood Rd
PO Box 119
Dunrobin, ON
K0A 1T0, Canada

Toll Free: 1-866-255-9741

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 147 other followers

June 2012
« May   Jul »
%d bloggers like this: