Whole in the Universe

earth, 15 century France15th Century manuscript 

WELCOME TO THE WHOLE IN THE UNIVERSE CAFÉ’ wherein we present holistic health and well-being subjects both macro and micro. We envision this café may have hundreds of different offerings to drink in, and we invite you to not only sip here from time to time but also to contribute a comment or question which we’ll post here.  We’ll start the discussion with this introduction…

At one of our meetings, we began with a comment that “a life well and truly lived is an adventure.”

A hand shot up, and a lady said: “Great, I love an adventure!” she paused, then added: “as long as I know where I’m going!”  Well of course, what makes an adventure is that we don’t know where we’re going, and that makes some of us nervous to the point of being unwell.  That unwellness we may say is caused by a lack of ease… which causes disease…disease.

Be Well! is an Explorers club for easing into whole life living. That involves what we call the discovery and exploration of the “Whole U” – body, mind and spirit. It’s from this big picture perspective that we begin to recognize our place in the fullness of things. We explore our nature and discover our natural balance -that we’re living one inter-connected life expressed not only in its common similarities, but also in its common differences. It’s an adventure that allows us to become healthier, happier and wiser, and it begins and ends with our being open to change.


The art of natural health and well-being is one of constant tuning-in to what is actually happening in our body, mind and spirit here and now. So we don’t focus so much on what has happened or may happen, as we do on what is actually happening now. We use pain as a pointer – as an indicator that something needs attention. And that attention may include a holistic assessment of our suffering from a whole range of SOS – Source Of Stress – indicators like poor nutrition, low self-worth and high anxiety. Indeed, they’re often connected.

At BE-WELL! our approach begins with expanding our understanding and ends with expanding our range of action. That’s because we want you to take over your own well-being, to know and manage what you can know and manage, and to clearly see what you cannot know or manage. It’s in that knowing and unknowing that we will find our own balance, our own dance, and a significant reduction of that which is the main cause of disease and disturbance in our world today: stress.


We won’t go into all the aspects of physical, mental and spiritual stress here, (you’ll find lots of info here and here) except to say that to live a full and happy life we must learn what makes us feel so empty and unhappy now – in other words, what are we so stressed about? At Be-Well! we start and finish with helping you discover for yourself what is happening when you do this or don’t do that. We give you the practical tools to fix and fine-tune your life with balance and beauty; to act from wholeness and health, and to heal by leaning into what you love!


An ancient Chinese sage once said: “Live well and long like a plant – tend the new shoots.”  BE-WELL!  will put you in touch with a whole universe of “new shoots” to enliven your daily experience of a life lived with balance, beauty and delight.



Natural Health

We were sitting at a cafe in Berkeley, talking about food and how it’s in our very nature – right down to our cells – to be healthy, and that we all want to be healthy,  when a woman sitting nearby interjected:  “Excuse me, but what you’re saying sure rings true for me since I started to look closely at my own health. But I travel all over the US on business, and I buy most of my food at grocery stores, and what I see is a lot of people pushing carts full of stuff that perpetuates their suffering!” she paused and added: “sure did mine…why do we do that to ourselves?” Could it be that we think we’re already eating well?


We need not look further than our habits to see why and how we often defeat our own best intentions to be well. Indeed, we’ve been raised as consumers of convenience, including our daily food. We mostly consume what nutritionists call the Standard American Diet (SAD) These processed, packaged, refined and reduced “food experiences” have become habitual – we’re often addicted to the very things that cause us so much pain and suffering.  Despite our best intentions, we’re often too busy, too stressed, too distracted to care for our self, to pause long enough to see that we’re habitually contributing to our own poor health outcomes by default and neglect.

In fact, when it comes to making healthy  food decisions,  we usually read the front of the package but not the back! We’re getting sicker even as we age, all the while being told by the Food, Health and Pharma Industries that we’re getting better…or will soon!

Enough said! Let’s leave the sickness industries behind and move on to what we can do to get off this wheel and significantly help our self to natural health and well-being.


The first step and the last step to healing and staying healthy is revolutionary Understanding. At BE WELL! we want you to understand for your self what fundamentally causes disease and discontent and what can really cure it.  We recognize a basic principle from ancient medicine: Your body is food transformed; your food quality – subtle and gross – directly determines your health. Of course, we address the Whole U, and that includes those other “foods” we consume: the “SOS” – Sources Of Stress that also affect our physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. They include  relationships, family, work, money, taxes, bills, living, dying!!!..and the underlying resolutions, duties, obligations and responses that seem to cause stress and disease. Or as a client quipped: “What do you eat for anxiety?”

This holistic Self Care understanding gives us the power to change, to heal and to live more fully as we age. And the first step is to stop the car before the next curve! Stop the downhill runaway cascade of ailments – not by stepping heavily on the brakes, but by easing off on the gas pedal – naturally.

And that’s where BE WELL! might be helpful in many ways.

First, we’d like to invite you to pick and graze all over this abundant garden site! We hope you’ll find a lot of interesting and useful  information to nourish a more healthy and happy life. And then if you would like more details or to explore your Natural Well-Being with one or both of us, in private or group sessions, please email Alla or James at

Meantime, there are a few other forums in the works! If that  interests you, we’d be delighted to keep you posted when you SUBSCRIBE to our FREE, BE WELL! SELF CARE NEWSLETTER.



Inspired Living

“There must be more to life than having everything”

(Maurice Sendak)

Sendak said it all, didn’t he? Most of us have been raised to believe that the measure of a successful life has to be in the tangibles – things like cars, houses, careers, travel and family. Oh yes, and those calculated relationships! Taken together, these are the aspirations that generations before us thought and taught must be the keys to “the good life.” And indeed, they do bring a kind of satisfaction that passes for happiness. The key word here is “passes” and of course, the fact that everything passes is not going to keep us happy for long.

So what doesn’t pass? Can we ever be happy? These are the big questions which some of us may face after a life filled with acquired dissatisfaction, with fleeting pleasures and endured pains. Is there a way to live not so much in traditional aspiration as in inspiration?


We spend most of our lives avoiding the fundamentals of natural well-being, and the resulting disconnects are the cause of disease and disaster. For instance, it’s not that in our hearts and even  in our heads, we don’t want reality, it’s just that we want that reality to be what we think it should be. We want life to fit a personal wish list that keeps getting longer and a personal timetable that keeps getting shorter.  We spend our days in hot pursuit of what we want and our nights tossing and turning over what we don’t want. In our aspiration lies our desperation.

John Kabat-Zinn sums up our predicament like this: “The world itself is weeping and begs for us to bring an entirely different level of attention and resolve to its suffering based on our inherent beauty, goodness and creative imagination.”

“Can we create by sourcing the actual as the foundation, change as the template and what is next as the unlimited field of possibility?” says Steven Harrison. Indeed we can, and in fact, we must, begin to courageously engage in life fully and fundamentally rather than partly and preferentially.


The foundation for inspired living is not an idea or an ideal; it is solidly based on what we may call “Fidelity to Reality” or the direct recognition of, and co-operation with, what is. It involves us deeply and completely in living fully. Inspired living calls us to question our traditional guides, to withdraw our investment in bankrupt beliefs. To finally move away from limitation and fragmentation toward a more fully cooperative and therefore sustainable way of real relationship to each other and mother earth.

Inspired living invites us to be fully alive, to watch more alertly and to follow the flow of life with less resistance. To stop stubbing our toes on hard facts that have always been trying to tell us something very important: to the degree that we resist what life actually demands, to that degree we will suffer.

We’re called upon to stop living in an imaginary projection of our  virtual world, and to  embrace not only our full humanity but also our full divinity. That is our Natural Well-Being, and its cornerstones are what has never gone away and does not come and go: Reality, Truth, Love and Peace.

At BE WELL! we’re engaged in broadening and deepening our understanding of, and relationship to, the  body, mind and spirit. It’s our intent to nourish the whole of our being. In other words, as someone once said at tea one day:  “Be Well! is about living fully without the fight, right?”

If you have a comment or a question, please contact us.

Thank you, and be well!

Happiness is joy in simple things.
Happiness is joy in simple things.