Decisions, decisions – Judy Sharp reflects on life

FIRST OF all, I want to thank all those who responded to my article two weeks ago. Some offered their own views about the modern malaise of ‘lowest common denominator’ broadcasting and public behaviour, others took me up on my offer of information on spiritual development.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. I had the privilege of talking to a group of ladies who all have, or have had, cancer. Organised by Cynthia Williams, these ladies knocked me out with their practical, intelligent, no-nonsense approach. My mother died of lung cancer when I was 18 and my eldest sister died of breast cancer when I was 42 – they were both only 58 years young. Having experienced loss at first hand, I was left wishing, after meeting these survivors, that support groups such as these had been around years ago. I talked about the harmful ingredients that lurk in cosmetics and personal care products. We discussed ingredients on the labels of their favourite products.

Invariably, the second ingredient on shampoo (after water) is Sodium Laurel (or Laureth) Sulphate – a proven carcinogen and an ingredient that is commonly used as an industrial cleaner, where it carries health warnings saying that contact with skin should be avoided. Body lotion commonly contains Propylene Glycol, a key ingredient in brake fluid and anti-freeze and another known carcinogen. Many deodorants contain aluminium – a heavy metal that blocks the lymph nodes or cleansing system of the body. Fluoride is another baddie, believe it or not, as is talc (yes, as in talcum powder). Use of talc in the genital area has been proven to significantly increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

The lists go on – if anyone is interested, I will happily send them information of ingredients to watch out for. The usual question I am asked is “how can this be? How can they allow it?” Sadly the answer is that ‘they’ – the governments who are meant to regulate consumer safety – are swayed by the powerful lobbies of the cosmetics and personal care product manufacturers. Ironically, while these potentially very harmful ingredients are allowed to go unchecked, natural remedies that are powerful in the fight against cancer have been quashed by lobbying by drugs companies.

Laetrile, for instance, also known as Vitamin B17, is basically the extract from the kernel or seed of fruits such as apricots and cherries. Because it is natural, it cannot be patented. Because it cannot be patented, the drugs companies cannot make money from it – and so there has been a huge operation to discredit it. Anyone who thinks that Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair invented the art of spin only needs to look at the campaign that ignored medical research and independent tests and launched a PR programme that ensured that Laetrile was virtually banned. Same thing happened with Cassie Tea, the formula refined by Renée Essiac in Canada. Because it was natural, and because it worked without any harmful side effects, the Canadian Government was persuaded to ban it – and her.

The more I research this whole area, the more I am horrified that remedies – and lives – are being sacrificed for the sake of corporate coffers and sheer greed.

Douglas Ballard has been here, setting up a healing group and giving healing to the many people who booked one-to-one sessions with him. The first group meeting brought together a disparate collection of people with one common interest – spiritual development. For Douglas, refining the healing ability we all have is one of the avenues open to those who choose to work with Spirit. Under an official, accredited UK system, there will be a structure of healing and development groups established here in the Algarve, so if anyone is interested, please contact me – we need to know where you are so that we can organise locations.

One of the things Douglas did while he was here was to conduct a blessing ceremony for a couple who had previously had a civil wedding. It was held in the landscaped garden at the bride’s family home and, with the ceremony tailored to suit their personal wishes, it was a delight for them and their guests. As he has been officially ordained, he has the authority to handle such ceremonies, and I am sure there are many people out there who would like non-religious christenings for their children or weddings for themselves. We are looking into the legalities – and also hunting down suitable locations – right now, so again, let me know if you are interested. Tel 966 108 605 or email judysharp@mail.telepac.pt.

The Algarve offers a wonderful quality of life, as Skip said last week. We have chosen to live in this beautiful place for a variety of reasons, but the backdrop of the sunshine, the people and the laid-back approach to life has to be a great foundation. What you build on that is entirely up to you. How do you define quality of life? What is important to you? Are you actually taking responsibility for your life or are you giving away the power to the ‘them’? It is all to do with making positive decisions. Do you take time to find the products that do not have harmful ingredients? Do you take time to balance your spiritual side with the material, practical side? Do you take time for yourself, period?