Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chiropractic facilitates ALL healing.

Chiropractic has never healed anybody of anything.

Healing is a deep, complex process that includes your physical body, your emotions, your mind and your human spirit. All healing always includes all of these dimensions to some degree. Healing arts and practitioners can facilitate healing, but, ultimately, your healing is driven by the innate wisdom of your being. Chiropractic works with this wisdom at every level -- body, mind, emotions and spirit.

The people I serve in my practice fall across a broad spectrum of health. Most are perfectly healthy, many are in pain, some are on a journey with some sort of chronic disease. All are beautiful and perfect. And for each person, Chiropractic is integral to their healing and growth.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Life is a roller coaster. Have fun!

Last Sunday I got to do something I've been waiting to do for 38 years!

When I was 12 years old, my family went on a vacation that included a drive up the coast of California. One stop was in Santa Cruz where we got to frolic on the beach. Santa Cruz has a great boardwalk with a classic old roller coaster. Unfortunately, even as close as we were, we didn't get a chance to go on it.

Well, last weekend, Cricket and I visited her family in the San Jose area for the Thanksgiving holiday and we spent a day on the coast. Late in the afternoon, as the sun was sinking low over the ocean, we made it to the boardwalk and went on the roller coaster -- The Giant Dipper.


Cricket and Me in Front of The Giant Dipper
(Isn't she beautiful?)


Needless to say, I was thrilled!

The Giant Dipper is relatively small compared to the mega roller coasters at newer amusement parks. Small, maybe, but WAY exciting! The ride starts out by twisting and turning through a surprisingly long, completely dark tunnel. Then, after emerging into the light, you have the thrilling ups and downs that are the reason for going on a roller coaster in the first place. We had a blast!

The Giant Dipper is a perfect metaphor for life and health. You start out in the darkness, twist and turn through a tunnel, then emerge into the light. Once outside, the roller coaster is a thrilling succession of ups and downs. And we do it on purpose. It's not an accident. We anxiously and happily climb into the car because we know it's going to be FUN!

Today, I happen to be diggin' life. Totally! Other days can be more challenging. But I'm living on purpose, relishing all of the ups and downs. Every one of them!

As I've written before, life is a roller coaster. Enjoy the ride!!!

Here's a video of the Giant Dipper that I found on YouTube.
(I've never met Aaron.)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Healing Comes From Above, Down; Inside, Out

What do healing and skateboarding have in common...?

When I was a student at Palmer College of Chiropractic, I had a really cool decal on one of my notebooks. It said "ADIO" in large fancy letters. Lots of my friends and teachers thought it was great. I got the decal from my son, Matt. At the time, he was an avid skateboarder. ADIO happens to be the name of a company that makes skateboarding shoes. So, why on Earth would I walk around with a skateboarding decal on my notebook, and why would my Chiropractic friends and teachers think it was so great?

It just so happens that ADIO has been a central concept in Chiropractic from its earliest days. Healing, health and life come from Above, Down and Inside, Out.

It starts with the understanding that there is a power in the Universe greater than ourselves. In Chiropractic philosophy we call that power, "Universal Intelligence." The major premise of Chiropractic is, "There is a Universal Intelligence in all matter, constantly giving to it all of its properties and actions, and thus maintaining it in existence." Your body is a collection of many trillions of cells, thousands of chemicals and countless molecules and atoms. Universal Intelligence is what tells that collection of cells, chemicals, molecules and atoms to be your human body. (Above, Down)

Your have within you an Innate Intelligence or Life Force. Your life force is what causes all of your cells, chemicals, molecules and atoms to work together, in perfect harmony, to give you life. It is the core of your being. Everything you experience in life comes from this core. Life, health, healing, happiness, success--everything! (Inside, Out)

ADIO!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We’re forgetting something. In the food we eat…in healthcare…in exercise…in the way we live. We're forgetting life!

Last Thursday I got high on…breakfast!

Earlier in the day I attended my weekly yoga class where we practiced an especially powerful type of yoga known as Yoga Nidra. After that, I went for a four-mile run on a scenic, challenging trail. The type of running I do is called ChiRunning, which focuses my life force, and brings in the beauty and chi of my surroundings to carry me along the trail. My post-run stretch consisted of more yoga…in the sunshine…next to the lake. Needless to say, by the time I hopped in my car to head home, I felt fantastic!

At home, I made myself a breakfast that included a locally grown organic apple; an omelet of organic eggs, fresh spinach, organic locally grown sweet onion and some locally produced organic goat cheese. I washed it all down with some delicious whole, raw, locally produced organic goat’s milk. There was such a high vibe in that meal that, by the time I finished, I literally felt high!

Yoga Nidra – more life than a cup of coffee.
ChiRunning with Mother Nature – more enlivening than pounding a treadmill while watching TV. More fun, too.
More yoga – more life than not having enough time to stretch.
Fresh, organic, local, unadulterated, delicious food for breakfast – way, way, WAY more life than an egg McMuffin.

Get high on...life!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It’s “flu season.” Is the flu caused by “germs”?

The Germ Theory of Disease tells us that germs are the cause of disease. I have a different theory.

Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary defines “Germ Theory” as, “Theory that certain diseases are the result of the presence of pathologic microorganisms in the body.” The same dictionary defines “germ” as, “a microorganism, esp. one that causes disease.”

So, do germs cause disease? To answer that, let’s delve into another important and time honored theory, the Fly Theory of Garbage Dumps. The Fly Theory states: “Garbage dumps are due to the presence of the flies that buzz around them.” I hope you get a good chuckle from this tongue-in-cheek analogy. We all know that flies do not cause garbage dumps; on the contrary, the dumps provide the environment that allows the flies to proliferate. We find flies everywhere, but large concentrations tend to exist where the environment allows them to, like at your local sanitary landfill.

Tomorrow you may go to work, school or the store, and be sneezed on by someone who has the latest bug that is going around. You may catch it, or you may not. If germs caused disease, you would catch the bug every time you were exposed to it, and so would everybody else. Germs are ever present so if germs were the cause of disease we would all be sick all of the time. To quote Bartlett Joshua Palmer, D.C., known as the Developer of Chiropractic: “If the ‘germ theory of disease’ were correct, there’d be no one living to believe it.”

Like flies, germs are everywhere. I learned in a pathology class that the average person in one of our nation’s cities will inhale 10,000 different types of viruses, bacteria and fungi every day. Right now there are more bacteria in your mouth than the number of people sharing our cozy planet. We will never be able to avoid germs; they are an inescapable part of our everyday existence. Germophobes provide a comfortable home to as many germs as Charlie Brown’s hygienically challenged buddy, Pig Pen. No problem. Our immune system allows us to live in harmony with them. If you "catch the bug" it's because your internal environment is in a state that allows pathogens to proliferate. Your cold or flu symptoms are normal, healthy immune responses keeping you in harmony with your external environment.

Germs are present in disease, but they are also prominently present in perfect health.

Should you get a flu shot?
Check out this funny video first!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The best health insurance is a wellness lifestyle.


A simple blog post for a simple concept:

Enjoy a balanced diet of fresh, natural foods.
Engage in physical activity that you love.
Incorporate a spiritual practice in your life.
Have your spine adjusted regularly to make sure you are in alignment...
...with yourself
...with your external environment
Live!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Reduce Consumption -- Improve Your Health.

Reduce, reuse and recycle -- great advice for taking care of our Mother Earth. It's also great for your health!

Last Thursday at my yoga class, my teacher, Chris, asked us each to make a personal commitment to helping the planet by reducing our consumption of something. She asked us to think of at least one specific thing we could reduce in our lives. As we meditated and reflected on her request, nothing came to me. I'm already pretty conscientious a about conserving. Still, I knew that there are ways that even the most scrupulous conserver can improve, so I left myself open to discoverig new ways I can reduce my own consumption. I knew something would come up, and it didn't take long. After my yoga class and a great trail run, I ran some errands on the way home. One errand was to a music store to buy a CD I've been wanting. At the checkout stand, I spied some delicious-looking dark chocolate bars, and--on impulse--I bought one. Not the healthiest thing in the world, but after all, I rationalized, I had already burned a lot of calories that morning.

Impulse consumption. Something I've found myself doing a lot of lately, and not something that I need to do at all. Eliminating this impulse buying is a small but effective way for me to reduce my consumption and improve my health at the same time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Symptoms are your body's way of telling you to make a change.

This time of year is many people's favorite, including mine. The fall colors here in North Idaho are resplendent!



Autumn is a season of important -- and beautiful -- transition. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, Mother Earth prepares for her winter slumber. As we observe the most visibile of these changes -- the changing leaves -- we marvel at their beauty. Year in and year out, although we have seen it happen many times, we always treasure the fall for its vibrant colors. This is a change we are familiar with, and one whose beauty we recognize.



Soon the leaves will fall and the trees will appear to be lifeless. But we all know that they are still vibrant and alive; we just can't see it. Great potential lies latent in each tree...waiting. Come springtime, new leaves will bloom and we will marvel at their beauty just as we did six months earlier. With these changes comes new growth.



Our bodies go through cycles as well. They aren't as predictable as the seasons, but they always offer us the opportunity to rest, reflect and -- if we're willing -- change. In this change is where our lives expand and our breathtaking human potential unfolds.



Your symptoms are every bit as beautiful and perfect as the colorful leaves on the autumn trees. A new season is at hand -- an opportunity for breathtaking potential to be revealed.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wellness is a way. It is not a goal, an end or even a means to an end.

Your health -- are you going to tank...or win?

Wellness is a way of living—a way of being. Wellness is a popular buzz word today, but unfortunately most people have a fuzzy understanding of what wellness really is. I once heard a prominent physician define wellness as, “the prevention and management of disease.” Doc, I respectfully disagree. Wellness is about health and vitality; it has no relation to disease.

Most people believe prevention and wellness to be the same. On he contrary, they are fundamentally different from each other. Let me illustrate the difference by using business as an analogy. Two new business school graduates, Winifred and Tanicus (Win and Tank to their friends) have just earned their MBAs and are charging out into the world of big business to make their fortunes. Tank’s strategy is to steer clear of the pitfalls of the business world so that he can avoid failure. His outlook and approach are based on fear. Tank has a failure consciousness.

Win, on the other hand, chooses to achieve success. She understands what it will take to succeed, and she devotes her time, energy and resources to move in that direction. Win has a success consciousness.

So, time to place your bets. Who will win and who will tank? My money is on Win to win.

The Law of Attraction tells us that what we concentrate on, we invite into our lives. Many “wellness” programs have nothing to do with wellness because ultimately, they seek to prevent disease. They approach health from the same fear based failure consciousness that Tank carries with him into the business world. This does not mean that prevention is bad; it certainly has its place. If it is our main focus, though, it can keep us rooted in the world of disease. A wellness lifestyle, on the other hand, opens the door to success, health, and maximum potential. Which would you prefer to invite into your life?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Maximized Potential Evolves Through Continuous Refinement

I spent last Thursday examining colons.

Frankly, colons have never been of great interest to me so I never took the time to learn much about them. Now I realize that colons are important, even for a Chiropractor like me, so last Thursday was Colon Day for me. I devoted the day to learning as much as I could about colons, and scrutinizing as many as I could find.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am putting the finishing touches on my first book, Oby's Wisdom! A Caveman's Simple Guide To Health and Well-being. I finished the first version of the book over a year ago but, as any writer will tell you, once you've "finished" a book, the work has only begun. Even with the first draft, I knew it was a special book. With every refinement, it is becoming better and better. By the time it is published, Oby's Wisdom! will be a truly remarkable book.

Over the past months, I have been focusing mostly on the content. One thing I've been putting off is checking my punctuation. I'm pretty good with periods, commas, dashes and the like, but I've never been all that great with colons. As I started scrutinizing my manuscript, it became glaringly obvious that I needed to tighten up my use of the colon. So I cracked open my Prentice-Hall Handbook for Writers and honed my colon skills. It took hours, but in the end, it has really improved my manuscript.

As always, there's a health tie-in here. Refinements are always useful. Regardless of how healthy you may be, scrutinizing the details of your wellness lifestyle and making small but meaningful improvements -- nutrition, exercise, Chiropractic adjustments, spiritual awakening -- will allow you to continue to grow, improve and evolve for the rest of your life.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nature will tell us all we need to know. We just need to listen.

Last weekend, I was reminded of this by a rather unlikely teacher. I got chased by a moose!

I was hiking up Scotchman Peak just north of Clark Fork, Idaho when I happened upon a moose family; a bull, a cow and -- although I didn't see it at first -- a young calf. I was climbing the steep trail when I saw the bull and the cow about 75 yards ahead, right on the trail I wanted to take. I have great respect for moose. In general, they're not too concerned about humans, but you always want to honor their space.


View of Scotchman Peak from the valley floor


The trail up...

As soon as I saw them, I stopped. The bull had already seen me and was scoping me out. I spoke to him in a level voice and asked if I could proceed on the trail. I had gotten a couple of glimpses of the cow as she moved about, but I hadn't seen the calf yet. The bull wasn't too concerned by my presence so, as I spoke, I would take a few steps at a time toward him, continuing to ask if it was OK, and promising to respect and honor his mountain. Before I got too far, Mama Moose decided that I had come close enough and she started heading down the trail toward me with bull and baby right behind. She wasn't attacking or charging me, but the message was clear: "Turn back, Mark."
Yes, Mrs. Moose!


Good morning, Mr. Moose!

I'm not one to argue with a moose, so I turned around and headed back the way I came.

Before I go any further, let me explain that I spend a lot of time in the back country and I make it a point to be in tune with my surroundings. I listen...I sense...I feel...and Nature always lets me know what to do. A cow moose with a calf is potentially as dangerous as a mama bear with a cub, but a moose will only become aggressive if she feels she or her offspring are threatened. I have encountered cow moose with calves on three previous occasions. Each time, the mama moose let me know whether or not it was OK for me to hang around.

The first time was about 6 years ago. I came upon a cow with twin calves and, after asking permission, started shooting pictures. The cow was OK with it for awhile, then she turned and told me to go. So, of course, I did.


Moose mom nursing twin calves, September 2002

A couple of years after that, I was jaccuzing in a wilderness hot spring when a cow and calf came out of the woods and started munching ferns right at the edge of the pool I was soaking in -- only 15 feet away. They were very aware of my presence and didn't mind my being there at all.

Just this last April, my partner, Cricket, and I encountered a cow with a very young, wobbly-legged calf. We sat down on a log and took quite a few photos, speaking softly and reassuringly to Mama moose the whole time. She was very obliging and let us hang around as long as we wanted.



Mama and baby moose, April 2008

Now, back to last weekend on Scotchman Peak. Mama Moose had told me to turn back, so I was moving at a relaxed jog back down the trail. Not only was I giving the moose their space, I also took it as a message from the mountain that today was not the day for me to climb Scotchman Peak. I had traveled down the trail a ways when I encountered two hikers coming up the trail. I stopped and told them about the approaching moose. Within less than a minute, we heard the moose mooving through the brush very close by, traveling parallel to the trail we were on. Now, the best way to avoid them, was to head back up the trail. So...back up the three of us went. I'll admit that I was wondering if that was the right thing for me to do, because I thought I had gotten the message just a few minutes earlier not to take the trail that day.

A few minutes later, just as we got to the place where I had first seen the moose, I noticed that I had missed a switchback earlier, and I had been starting to take a bad trail. I hadn't seen the switchback because it was obscurred by a fallen tree, and I had been totally focused on the moose. When I returned, the picture became clear -- Mama Moose was there to keep me from taking the wrong trail. Then, after I had backtracked, she had me turn around again so I could make it to the top of the mountain.


Breathtaking view from the trail


Almost (huff...puff...) to the top!

Nature is a sophisticated, intricate web -- a web you and I are a part of. We're constantly receiving messages that can guide us along the path we need to travel. This applies to our health and well-being as well as to wilderness trails. You need only listen and you'll find your way to the top of your mountain.

View of Lake Pend Oreille from the Summit of Scotchman Peak


Another view from the top

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Furnace; conclusion

Welcome! If you're just tuning in, this is the sixth and final chapter of a serialized story. To read the story in sequence, scroll down September 28 and start there. Enjoy!

Chapter Six (Conclusion)
The Genius


The next morning, the friend with the malfunctioning furnace still was not present. The others shared most magnanimous concern for their absent friend and hoped he would be able to return soon. After the gathering broke up, one friend approached The Nut.
“I always thought that you only needed to check circuit breakers if you had a problem in the circuit breaker panel. Are you saying that circuit breakers can actually affect things in other parts of the house?”
“Of course they can. Circuit breakers affect the entire house. If one of them trips, there is interference with the power supply to everything controlled by that circuit breaker. This makes it impossible for the house to function at its highest potential.”
“Can checking circuit breakers actually alleviate problems such as our friend’s ‘Malfunctioning Furnace Syndrome?”
“If the problem is caused by a tripped circuit breaker, then turning it back on will solve the furnace problem. If not, it won’t. But the beauty of checking circuit breakers is not in fixing or repairing malfunctions. It is very important to check all of your circuit breakers regularly to make sure there is no interference with the power that runs your house. This maintains your house at its highest potential.”
“Why do I need to have my circuit breakers checked so often? Why can’t I just wait until I have a problem?”
“Many problems are not evident when they occur. If your furnace stops working, you know that right away. But what if your smoke alarm stops working? You might not know that until your house burns down. Checking your circuit breakers is more than just fixing what’s wrong with your house. It’s about taking care of want is right.”
“Wow!” said the friend. “That’s so logical and simple. You’re not a nut at all. Why, you’re a genius! I can’t believe that everyone doesn’t have their circuit breakers checked regularly.”
“Neither can I,” sighed The Genius.
“I sure hope our friend has his circuit breakers checked before it’s too late.”
“So do I…So do I.”

Have you had your family’s circuit breakers checked lately?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Furnace; continued...

Welcome! If you're just tuning in, this is Chapter Five of a six chapter serialized story. To read the story in sequence, scroll down September 28 and start there. Enjoy!

Chapter Five
The Slippery Slope


The next morning, the friends again gathered to discuss matters of grand consequence. But one was missing.
“Where is our friend with the broken furnace?” asked one.
“Malfunctioning furnace,” corrected another, wagging his finger.
“Yes, yes, of course, malfunctioning. Where is he?”
“It seems the strong chemicals have caused many problems. Paint is peeling, pipes are rusting and there is a big stain in the carpet. The furnace specialist has consulted with several other leading furnace specialists. They have decided to use some special tools to cut open the furnace to look for the problem. They might have to remove the furnace altogether.”
“That sounds risky”
“Oh, but these are the finest furnace specialists available. And the family has tried EVERYTHING. This may be their ONLY hope.”
“It sounds like our friend and his family are sliding headlong down a slippery slope, observed The Nut. “Why on Earth would they want to remove the furnace?”
“Because it isn’t working properly.”
To which The Nut replied, “Will it work any better after they remove it?”

Is the Nut really a nut? And what does all of this mean to you? Find out in tomorrow's gripping conclusion, Chapter Six; The Genius...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Furnace; continued...

Welcome! If you're just tuning in, this is Chapter Four of a serialized story. To read the story in sequence, scroll down September 28 and start there. Enjoy!

Chapter Four
The Nut…

Again the friends gathered in the morning to discuss matters of profound magnitude. The one with the malfunctioning furnace was weary and not of good disposition. He was cold and had not slept well.
“Isn’t your furnace better?”
“No,” was the forlorn and glassy eyed response. “It seems the strong chemicals have caused more problems.”
“Must you stop using them?”
“No, of course not. We again consulted the furnace specialist and he gave us more strong chemicals to counteract the bad effects of the first set of strong chemicals.”
“What if that doesn’t work?”
“Of course it will work! The furnace specialist has assured us of this. It’s all very scientific, you see.”
One began to speak. “You know…”
“Oh, I know,” came a most exasperated reply. “You’re going to tell me to have my circuit breakers checked. Utter nonsense! My furnace specialist said that checking circuit breakers couldn’t possibly help. It’s too unscientific. Besides, I simply don’t have time to have my circuit breakers checked. And my House Maintenance Organization won’t pay for it. You are a very strange fellow!”
And the others rolled their eyes and whispered to each other about how very strange this “circuit breaker” fellow was.
“What a strange fellow.”
“Yes, very strange indeed.”
“He’s not just strange, he’s a NUT!”

Will our friend's woes finally come to an end? Where will he turn next? Find out tomorrow in Chapter Five; The Slippery Slope...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Furnace; continued

Welcome! If you're just tuning in, this is Chapter Three of a serialized story. To read the story in sequence, scroll down September 28 and start there. Enjoy!

Chapter Three
The Specialist


The following morning the friends were once again gathered to discus matters of most pressing concern.
“How is your furnace?”
“Well, the furnace specialist came and looked at our furnace. Most impressive! He wears a white coat and an instrument around his neck that he uses to listen to the inside of the furnace.”
“Most impressive indeed! Tell us more.”
“First he used the instrument to listen to the inside of the furnace. Then he shined a very expensive flashlight into certain parts of the furnace. After that he poked his finger into various furnace openings, and then he took samples of various furnace fluids so he could perform some very expensive tests.
Most of those gathered were quite impressed.
“OOOH!”
“AAAH!”
“Very impressive!”
“Yes, most impressive,” said the man with the furnace. “It seems our furnace is suffering from a condition known as, ‘Malfunctioning Furnace Syndrome.” The furnace specialist gave us several strong chemicals which he said will make our furnace as good as new.”
And again, most were quite impressed.
“OOOH!”
“AAAH!”
“Where would the world be without modern furnace specialists?”
One, of course, did not share the others’ enthusiasm. “Aren’t you afraid these strong chemicals might harm your furnace or other parts of your house? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to just check your circuit breakers first?”
“Of course not!” was the indignant reply. “This furnace specialist is very wise. He would never give our furnace anything that could cause harm. Besides, checking circuit breakers couldn’t possibly help anything with such an important sounding name as, ‘Malfunctioning Furnace Syndrome.’”

Will the furnace specialist solve all of our friend's problems? And what of this strange "circuit breaker" fellow? Find out tomorrow in Chapter Four; The Nut...

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Furnace; continued...

Welcome! If you're just tuning in, this is Chapter Two of a serialized story. To read the story in sequence, scroll down to yesterday's post and start there. Enjoy!

Chapter Two
The Plan…

The next morning the friends were gathered again to discuss matters of great importance.
“How is your furnace?” asked one.
“It still isn’t working. We are very, very cold. I have decided to consult with a furnace specialist.”
And one asked again, “Have you had your circuit breakers checked?”
“No, no,” was the answer, delivered with an air of confidence. “This is most definitely a furnace problem, not a circuit breaker problem. This furnace specialist is one of the most respected in his field and he has a very large ad in the yellow pages. We are confident that he will be able to fix our furnace.”

Will our friend's furnace soon be back to normal? Or...? Find out tomorrow in Chapter Three; The Specialist...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Your body is your home. Have you had your circuit breakers checked recently?

The Furnace

This is an amusing story I first wrote when I was a Chiropractic student. It uses your home electrical system as a metaphor for your health. I decided it would be fun to serialize it all week in this blog

Chapter One
The Problem


Several friends had gathered one morning, as they did every morning, and were discussing matters of great importance. One had a very annoying problem: “The furnace in my home is not working and it is causing my family great discomfort.”
“What are you going to do about it?” asked one friend.
“I’m sure it is nothing,” was the reply. “We will just ignore it and it will probably go away on its own.”
All of the friends nodded and agreed that this was wise.
All, that is, except one. “Have you thought of having your circuit breakers checked?” he said. “If one of your circuit breakers has tripped, it might be causing interference with the electrical supply to the furnace. It you put the circuit breaker back into place, it will restore the electrical supply, and your furnace will once again work properly. Your family will be warm again!”
Incredulously, the man with the furnace problem replied, “Circuit breakers? How foolish! The circuit breakers are in the garage and the furnace is in the basement. A problem in the garage could never cause a problem with something in the basement.”
And the other friends shook their heads and snickered.
“Circuit breakers? What a strange fellow.”
“Yes, very strange indeed.”

What will become of our friend's furnace? Find out tomorrow in Chapter Two; The Plan...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Are you feeling well...really? Or are you tolerating?

"I'm feelin' great, Doc."
I hear this all the time. And often it isn't the truth.

It's not that people are intentionally untruthful with me. More so, they are being untruthful with themselves. People come to me in pain, then after a few adjustments, some decide that they don't need to come in anymore because they're "feeling fine." Really, though, they're just back to the level of pain they are used to tolerating. They have been living with pain -- and limited potential -- for so long that they have forgotten what is like to really feel and be well.

Our society's approach to health and healthcare has become so pain, disease and symptom oriented that after symptoms are gone (or back to where they were), many people leave it at that. It's kind of like having a fuzzy signal on favorite your radio station and not bothering to tune it in better.

As I have said so many times before in this blog, the most important aspect of healthcare is to help you maximize your human potential. Healthy habits and a wellness lifestyle are valuable regardless of your state of health. Whether you are sick, in pain, or well, it's important to incorporate things into your life that will take you to the next level of vibrant health. In other words, tune in your life, then crank it up!

So...are you feeling well...really? If not, what are you going to do about it?
And, if you truly are feeling well, what are you going to do about that...?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Empower Your Potential -- Not Your Problems

I have used that quote a couple of times before. It's one of my very favorite quotes, with an important message. This short, inspiring video of a beautiful and perfect high school athlete illustrates the point better than anything I can say.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Live your life as a best seller – not as a rough draft.

There is one key process necessary to transform a rough draft into a best seller…

Refinement!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am currently in the process of putting the finishing touches on my soon-to-be-published book. I actually “finished” the book a couple of years ago. And it was pretty darn good. I thought it was great, but it wasn’t…yet. In truth, I later realized, it was just good.

Any writer will tell you that when you finish writing a book, you have really only just begun. After I finished my first draft, I had a lot of very smart people read and comment on my manuscript. They gave me some insightful, no holds barred feedback that enabled me to upgrade my manuscript to very good.

Refinement…

That was a year ago. Then it sat as I tried to find the perfect publisher for my sure fire blockbuster.

Since then, I have gone through somewhat of a spiritual awakening and entered into a new relationship. When Cricket and I had been together for a few months, she read my manuscript. She sold me that the writing didn’t sound like me any more. I realized that my book had not yet caught up with my life. So we both went through it cover to cover and wrote a complete revision.

More refinement…

Now we’re going through the process yet again. If you were to look at the revised manuscript today, you would see hundreds more handwritten markings and notes – on every page – from beginning to end.

Even more refinement...

The end product will be a book that is great!

Writing and refining a book is a wonderful metaphor for life and health. After I “finished” my book for the first time, what I really had was a first draft. It was pretty good, but still had a long way to go to become great. But…the potential to become great was there.

Your life today is but a draft of what it has the potential to become. There are opportunities every day to make refinements to your life and health: Improving your nutrition…exercising…regular chiropractic adjustments…more fun…deepening your spiritual practice…the list goes on. So today, decide on one refinement you can make, then follow through. As time unfolds, continue making more and more refinements.

You can live a pretty good life as a draft, or you can work toward a “best seller” life. The choice is yours.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I have a cure for the common cold!

It's true; I do. So far, it has never failed. It has worked 100% of the time.

The cure...? It's the innate healing wisdom of my body!

I seldom catch a cold, but when I do, I don't have to do anything to cure it. My body can do that all by itself. I simply make sure my body is fully expressing life so that my immune system can work as designed. (See last week's blog.) I maintain a positive attitude, keeping in mind that I am a being of beauty and perfection; I keep my body, mind, emotions and spirit in alignment with each other, and with my external environment; I eat whole, nutritious foods; I practice yoga and meditation, I keep well hydrated; and I remain as active as possible.

In sum -- I turn on life!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Health is more than the absence of pain, disease or symptoms. Health is balance. Health is harmony.

Vibrant health is like playing on a teeter totter.

When two kids (or young-at-heart grownups) are playing on a see saw, the fun is in going up and down…up and down. What fun would it be if the see saw remained motionless – in a perfect state of balance – with both kids hovering at an equal height above the ground. That might be a fun challenge for a moment or two, but it would get boring pretty fast and they would go right back to teeter tottering. You might say that their enjoyment comes from existing in a constant state of imbalance.

Or you could look at it a different way: that their ebb and flow – their cyclic exchange of energy – is really a state of harmonious, dynamic balance.

That is the way health works. For example, you may believe that if you catch a cold, you are out of balance. This is the conventional view of what a cold represents. This view holds that if factors in your life get out of balance, you are more susceptible to disease because of suppressed immune functioning, and that the purpose of the immune system is to fight germs and disease.

Under Dr. Mark’s teeter totter theory of health, a cold isn’t an illness. Colds are cool! When you are experiencing the fever, coughing, sneezing and runny nose of a cold, that shows that your immune system is working perfectly – just as Nature designed – to keep you in a state of harmonious, dynamic balance with your environment.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pain is a gift – an opportunity to do something special for yourself.

What would you do if you were in serious pain and there were no drugs, surgery or other medical care available?

As a Chiropractor, I hear it every day: “I just want to get rid of the pain!” I can relate. Pain – chronic, debilitating pain – is something I experienced for years. For most of those years, all I did was fight the pain. Fight, fight, fight! With drugs…with herbs…with meditation…with yoga…with Chiropractic…fight, fight, FIGHT! The more I fought, the more pain I attracted into my life. What I didn’t realize was that the pain wasn’t an external thing; it was me. My pain was manifest in every aspect and at every level of my being. It wasn’t until I stopped fighting and started loving and honoring myself – including my pain – that I finally gave myself a chance to move past the pain. By making decisions based on love rather than fear and anger, I elevated my rate of vibration and brought myself into resonance with who I really am, and connected with my true calling in life. Eventually, my real, pain free self emerged.

Sometimes pain forces the issue.
At this point in history, there are drugs – lots of ‘em – for pretty much anything that may trouble you. But, as many people have discovered with dismay, often drugs provide little, if any, relief. Sometimes the side effects are even worse than the original problem. Yet the pain persists…

When that happens, the only way through it is to embrace a new perspective based on self love. This new perspective allows you to grow, thrive and evolve in life rather than remain locked into a cycle of pain, helplessness and despair.

Two important points:

1. The pain might never go away, or if it does, it might come back. So…adopt your new perspective for what it can add to your life, and not as just another way to fight. Then, if the pain does go away, cool. If not, you still become more than what you were before.

2. A change of perspective doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything you have been doing. You can still do things that you feel benefit you. For example, I still have my spine adjusted regularly and I still practice yoga and meditation. But now I do those things as an expression of love rather than loathing.

You are a gift. Your pain is you; therefore, your pain is a gift. Receive the gift with deep gratitude and enjoy all of the wonderful things that you will invite into your life as a result.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Health isn’t something you squeeze in. Health is the priority that you plan around.

Are you building your house upside down?

Everybody knows that if you want to build a house, the first thing you need to do is to lay the foundation. If you put up walls and a roof without a solid foundation, everything will crumble and fall before very long.

If you want a happy, successful, fulfilling life, you must build that life upon a foundation of vibrant health. Unfortunately, many people allow their health to take a back seat to other, less important aspects of their lives. Even though they know the importance of healthy activities, they prioritize their time, money and energy on everything else first, planning to squeeze health in when they can. They’re putting up walls without a foundation. All too often, health is squeezed out entirely.
(“I just can’t seem to find the time…”)

I can understand why. We’re busy. We have many competing priorities. Things that seem urgent in the moment can overshadow what is really important.
(“…just as soon as I…”)

Then, as health issues begin to show themselves, cracks begin to form in careers, relationships, dreams…
(“If only I had…”)

A few days ago, I planned to go out for a nice run, and then do a little bit of house cleaning afterwards. Before I walked out the door, I decided to move the dishes from the sink into the dishwasher. (…real quick…then I’ll go.) Then I washed the sink. Then – since I had the cleaning rag in my hand – I started wiping down the stove…then the counters…(just one more thing…real quick…then I’ll go.) Finally I said, “STOP!” I threw down my cleaning rag, dashed out of the house and went on a great run. After I got back, I didn’t have time to finish cleaning the kitchen. I had to stretch, take a shower, and then go see my Chiropractor for my weekly adjustment.

So, did I ever finish cleaning my kitchen? Yep. I managed to squeeze it in later.

Your health is the most important part of your life – the part that deserves the front seat – the part you plan around – your foundation.

Healing update.

My beautiful, perfect, self-healing body is awesome! Last weekend I participated in my first event since my injury. I swam in the 1.76 mile Long Bridge swim in Sandpoint, Idaho. I didn’t set any speed records, but I’m back out there, and having a great time. I have gone running several times in the last couple of weeks and there is no more pain around the injury site.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Do you want healthy children? Then let them get dirty!

When my son was in elementary school, I helped coach his baseball team, the Bulldogs. Our players were younger, smaller and less experienced than the players on the other teams so everyone expected us to finish in last place. But what these kids lacked in size and experience they more than made up for in spirit, determination and heart. They were scrappy, they played hard and they had a blast. After the first few practices a team motto emerged: “Get Dirty!” Parents used to joke that soon we wouldn’t have a field to practice on because the players wore most of the field home with them. To everybody’s amazement, except ours, we ended up being one of the best teams in the league. At the end of the season the players presented me with two autographed baseballs. On one were penned the words, “Coach Mark, Get Dirty!” It was signed by Maury Wills who used to play for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, and is considered one of the greatest base runners in the history of the game. In fact, he was the first player to steal more than 100 bases in a single season, breaking Ty Cobb’s record that was almost 50 years old. Maury Wills was a guy who liked to get dirty. The second – and most important – of the two autographed baseballs said, “To Coach Mark, Get Dirty!” and was signed by all of the Bulldogs.

Getting dirty on the baseball diamond, rolling around in the grass, and wet, sloppy puppy kisses help children build natural immunity. As kids are exposed to microbes from a variety of sources, their immune systems respond by developing a broad range of antibodies. These continuing challenges strengthen developing immune systems just as pumping iron builds six pack abs and rippling biceps on body builders.

In fact, keeping our kids too squeaky clean can actually lead to diminished immune capacity and poorer health. In the late 1990’s a hypothesis known as the Hygiene Hypothesis emerged which supports this point. A German health researcher named Dr. Erika von Mutius set out to show that children who grew up in the poorer, dirtier cities of East Germany developed more allergies than their counterparts in West Germany. When she compared the disease rates between the two countries she found just the opposite. Dr. Von Mutius concluded that children in East Germany had fewer allergies precisely because they were exposed more to other kids, animals…and dirt. Studies since then have shown that kids who live on farms, have pets, come from larger families or start day care at a younger age have a much lower incidence of asthma than other kids. Another report tells us that the more often kids catch colds during their early years, the less likely they are to develop asthma later on. When kids are exposed to common bacteria, their immune systems are able to mature the way Nature designed them to. Their immune systems are on the front lines maintaining their edge while the immune systems of kids in overly clean environments are kicking back all day and letting themselves get soft and weak.

Of course good hygiene is important; just try not to take it too far. Teach your kids to wash their hands before meals but resist the temptation to hustle them to the sink and slather them with antibacterial soap every time they pet the neighbor’s cat. Our well-intentioned attempts to shield our kids from every cootie in the neighborhood deprives them of essential opportunities to develop a robust immune system.

So, believe it or not, germs can be good for you! The next time your kids come in from playing outside, check their hands. If they are too clean, tell them, “Young lady, young man; you march right back outside and when you come back in I had better see some dirt under those fingernails.”

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Your Potential is as Deep and Vast as the Ocean

"If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work but rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."
--Antoine de Saint-Exupery
(Thanks, Cricket!)

This quote is a perfect lead-in for a big announcement I'm ready to make. Many of you know that I've been working on publishing my first book. I just finished a major revision of the book and will soon publish it as an e-book. Then, as soon as I can, I will publish it as a hard copy. It will be published through a new publishing company that I helped found: Bitterroot Mountain Publishing. I will provide updates as this process unfolds.

The reason that the quote is so appropriate is that my book will provide a new perspective on health and well-being. It will take you beyond the idea that health is merely the treatment or avoidance of illness, end even beyond staying well and becoming healthier. In this blog, I have written of human potential -- your infinite human potential -- a lot. That's what I discuss in the book, too. In it, I hope to teach you to long for the endless immensity of your own sea of human potential.

Healing update: Big day on Thurdsday! I went running for the first time since "The Big Gash." I only ran two miles (well, a little more) just for a test drive. There were a couple of very brief periods when I felt some stinging but other than that, it felt pretty good to be running again. I think there may still be another small piece of glass in my leg, but I doubt it will cause me any limitations. It may come out or it may not. Whatever happens -- as we know -- will be perfect. I haven't mentioned this yet, but I have a small fragment of glass in my right ring finger that's been there since I was a sophomore in high school (1974). I tried to melt a cover slip over a bunsen burner in my biology class. Guess what? Cover slips don't melt; they shatter. (Don't tell Mr. Hamrick; he still doesn't know.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Trying to get well quick is like trying to get rich quick. Commitment is critical!

We are a society obsessed with new “miracle cures.” Often, they are nothing but lottery tickets for health.

When it comes to your financial security, is it wiser to buy a lottery ticket each week, or invest regularly? Of course, investing it is much wiser. By being committed over the long term, your wealth will grow and grow and keep on growing.

The same is true when it comes to your health. If you commit yourself to eating fresh, whole foods, exercise, meditation or prayer, and regular Chiropractic wellness care, these shrewd investments will pay off in terms of vibrant health.

By staying committed to your health over the long term, you can be sure your health investments will grow and grow and keep on growing.

Trying to get well quick is the same as trying to get rich quick. But investing wisely pays off.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What you do makes things happen. Who you are decides what happens.

Do you want a mansion? Don't build it; reveal it!

Follow the wisdom of be-ing rather than do-ing. Any successful enterprise requires effort (doing), but your doing must be built upon a foundation of being. Where you end up in life and health is driven more by who you are than by what you do. Who you are is the foundation of all that you build in your life. Without a rock solid foundation, any mansion you build will topple.

All that you seek already exists inside of you, just as the great symphonies of the future are already contained within the matrix of the Universe. The composer, conductor and musician do not create symphonies; they serve only to reveal them. Your task is to reveal you.

Healing update:
Innate Intelligence is awesome! I've been wondering -- trusting but still wondering -- why my wound has been taking so long to heal. On Thursday morning I found out, and got yet another lesson on the human body's amazing ability to heal itself.

Before I tell you about Thursday morning, I need to fill you in on what has transpired since my last healing update. About a week and a half ago, there was no longer any question that my wound was infected. It was still very red and sore, warm to the touch, open, and draining more than it had so far. So I decided to intervene -- a little. For two days I applied hot a epsom salt compress three times per day. After that, even though it didn't appear to have changed much, my intuition told me I didn't need to apply any more compresses. Within a couple of days, it finally closed for good and stopped draining.

Fast forward one week to this past Thursday morning...

I was pulling on a pair of shorts and, in the process, knocked the scab off of my cut. When the scab fell off, a shard of glass, an inch long, fell out of my leg! (See photo below.)

The amazing thing is that, when I first gashed myself, the glass was not even visible in the wound. Obviously it was pretty deep inside. Had I rushed off to have it stitched up, chances are, the glass would have been stitched right into my leg with no way to get out. I don't even want to think about the complications that may have caused. As it turned out, by honoring my body's brilliant healing wisdom, I allowed the process to unfold naturally, and my skin was able to work the glass out on it's own, with no complications.

I have showed the shard to a number of people and many have commented, "so that's why it wasn't healing." Let me point out that it was healing all along. It simply took a bit longer because my body had to expel the glass. That was all part of this remarkable healing journey. As I have said before, healing involves many wondrous things that we are unable to see with our eyes.

So...will it scar? At this point it looks that way. But it probably won't be any worse than if I had had it stitched.

Innate Intelligence rocks!



This is the shard of glass
and coin that were in my leg
for almost 6 weeks!
(Just kidding about the coin.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

How can we really know the power and beauty of Nature if we always "assist?"

Could I be (gasp!)wrong?

People have asked me some interesting – and valid – questions in the weeks since my little scratch.

Why not just put…
…aloe
…vitamin E
…ice
…a dressing
…this remedy
…that cure
…on it?

What’s wrong with helping it along a bit?

Aren’t you worried about…
…scarring
…infection
…tearing it open?

What if you’re wrong?


All of those questions come from our standard western way of viewing our body and healing. I’m opting to look at the world differently this time, let Nature take her course, and see where that journey takes me. Maybe assisting would really only be interfering. How are we to know if we always assist? I can’t be “wrong” (or “right”) because I am not trying to prejudge the final outcome, and I’m not attached to any particular result.
I’m simply exploring…
…and sharing…
…so we can all learn.

This will be my last healing update for awhile. Visually, the wound looks pretty much the same as last week...and the week before. Miraculous healng is happening beneath the surface; it's just not visible to the eye. No picture this week -- the pictures are looking pretty much the same from week to week, so I won’t post any more until there is a visible difference.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Make health decisions from self love, not ego or fear.

I had to make a very difficult health decision during the last week.

The decision I was faced with was whether or not to let go of a dream…a two year quest…and not participate in Ironman this weekend due to my leg injury. It was a tough decision. I had actually decided more than a week ago not to run. But this week, as the athlete village started going up in City Park, and as the Ironman vibe began to permeate Coeur d'Alene, I began to have second thoughts.
“Well, I know it’s not the smartest thing in the world, but I’ll bet I can gut it out. It’ll probably set my healing back a bit...but I’ll be an Ironman!”
I went for a short run on Tuesday to test drive my bad wheel, and it actually didn’t hurt very much. But…it didn’t feel right. I’m not healed nearly enough to swim, bike and run 140.6 miles, and in my heart and mind, I knew that.

Had I been thinking rationally, I wouldn’t have even considered starting the race. But after two years of eating, sleeping and breathing Ironman, I had allowed it to become my identity. I had grown attached to winning a medal that I could show off, and being able to tell everyone I was an Ironman finisher. I had my story: “Arthritic to Ironman! What a hero! Hooray for Mark!”
Tough to let go of. Pure ego!

I also feared that I would be letting people down. The Ironman community is a close knit one. We train together, we party together, and we support and cheer each other on through good times and bad. I had set a goal and made a commitment…and told everyone about it.
“What will people think if I don’t come through?”
Fear!

Had I made my decision from a place of ego and fear, I most certainly would have failed to finish the race, and quite likely would have turned a relatively minor injury – and one that is healing beautifully – into a serious one. Luckily, I listened to the quiet, rational voice within me and stayed out of the race.

But I’m still a part of it. If you’re reading this on Sunday morning, I’m out on the course as you read. I’m cheering my fellow triathletes on with as much energy, heart and spirit as if I were running the race myself.

Good luck, my friends!!!

Healing update: I'm healing more and more every day. The wound may not look much better -- in fact, some people have said it looks worse -- but I can innately tell my healing process is continuing to unfold perfectly. Visually, we can only see what is on the surface. Healing takes place at many different levels. And, as I said before, healing is not a smooth, linear process. It's not always easy for us to understand, because it is far more sophisticated, complex and high tech than any technology we humans will ever invent. It is orchestrated by a wisdom that our intellect will never match. So...I am willing to trust...this is perfect!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Healing is like a roller coaster – you may not know what’s over the next hill, but you can be sure it will be pretty exciting!

Healing does not follow a linear path. It is a journey with peaks and valleys…twists and turns. And the healing of my wound is unfolding as quite the journey indeed!

Shortly after my last post, the redness around the wound began to increase in size and became very tender to the touch. I was showing signs of a possible infection. Again, this led me to feel some fear, and I considered resorting to intervening in the healing process. Had I decided upon intervening, it would have been some sort of conservative self care – probably a hot compress – rather than falling back on the conventional medical paradigm.

At this point I suspect that I do have a minor infection but I’m not worried about it because I also have an immune system – standard equipment! The redness is receding significantly and the pain is almost gone. And it’s starting to itch like crazy...a sure sign of healing. What all of this means is that my immune system is keeping me in harmony with my internal and external environment. Is that cool or what!?

This wound is a gift! It’s yet another chapter in a healing saga of many years that has taught me valuable lessons about myself and Spirit. Our bodies are classrooms – universities – vehicles for deeper healing, evolution, transformation, and even ascension.

As my fears surfaced this past week, I turned to my loving partner, Cricket Windsong, who is a practitioner in the Shamanic Arts. Her patient wisdom and guidance allowed me to rediscover some important things that I already knew, but were being obscured by my fears:

I am a being of beauty and perfection!
• Don’t try to judge what beauty and perfection should look like.
• Sometimes intervention can be appropriate, but the decision to intervene must come from a place of love, not fear.
• The wisdom of Nature is brilliant in its simplicity.
• That same breathtaking wisdom is found within my own physical body.
• My healing proceeds in its own perfect time, and not according to what happens to be on my weekly planner.


Oh yeah!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mother Nature packed us a lunch.

(Note: for this week's healing update, scroll down to the bottom of this post.)

There is one nutrient that is more important than any other. It also happens to be the nutrient that is most lacking in the typical American diet.

That key nutrient is life!

Most of the food that Americans eat is processed and lifeless. Processing robs food of its life essence and adds unnecessary -- and often toxic -- man made stuff. This is true not only of junk food but also of packaged “health food” and nutritional supplements.

The simplest and healthiest nutritional plan is to eat what Nature provides -- a balance of fresh, whole, natural foods. That way you don’t need to keep up with the latest ever-changing diet trends, scrutinize complex lists of unpronounceable ingredients or analyze confusing nutritional information.

Include as many organic foods as possible. Most people understand that organic foods are superior to non-organic ones. Organic foods are free of the toxic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones and other chemicals that non-organic foods contain. More importantly, organic foods do not need to rely on artificial means to become delicious and healthful. They grow and develop by maximizing their own life potential, and by expressing their own natural beauty and perfection. Organic foods are more alive.

Another way to maximize the life in your diet is to enjoy foods that are in season and locally grown. The foods that Mother Nature has to offer right now in your own area are in resonance with you—they are tuned to the same frequency. The fruits and vegetables that you bought from your local farmer’s market this morning are playing clear and beautiful music. But the genetically modified produce that was harvested and frozen months ago half way across the continent is coming in fuzzy and dissonant.

The subject of genetically modified foods brings up another a contentions debate. Like so many other discussions, there is voluminous scientific evidence to support either side of the argument. So who should we believe?

Consider this: We know that everything in Nature constantly evolves. Our food supply, both animal and vegetable, has evolved right along with us. Genetically modified foods took a different road and are just another example of a processed food. Just because they poked up out of the soil does not automatically make them healthy. Even the basic ingredients in Twinkies had their start in a fertile field at some point in time.

So keep it simple…eat the lunch that Mother Nature packed!

Healing update: My wound from last week is healing nicely. In fact, I'm healing
beautifully and perfectly! After just one week, you can see a remarkable difference. I still haven't used any external intervention at all -- no antiseptic, antibiotic, ointment, medical attention, bandage, dressing, soap or anything beyond my body's own maginficent innate intelligence. I'll admit that a week ago, about 12 hours after the injury, after the wound reopened and bled more profusely than when the injury happened, I felt fear. I was tempted to seek medical care. It took discipline for me to stick to my plan. It also took a great deal of trust and confidence in my body's ability to self heal. As you can see, my body is worthy of that trust. It's amazing what our bodies can do when allowed to follow Nature's design.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Time for me to walk the talk.

Here's your chance to observe, through photos, the innate healing wisdom of my body at work.
This past Friday morning I sustained a serious gash to my lower left leg.(See photo below.) My loving son hastened to my side with our large first aid kit. (Well..OK...he didn't exactly hasten.) I chose not to use anything from the first aid kit. He also told me I should go to urgent care and get stitches. I never even considered it.

I don't need any of that to heal. As I have said before, our bodies have an incredible capacity for self healing. This wound gives me a great opportuniy to use my own body to illustrate the point. I took the picture below about two hours after the injury. Each week for the next few weeks, and then every few weeks thereafter, I will post an updated picture so you can see the healing progress.

Here's the story behind the cut: As I was shaving on Friday morning, my cat, Angel, was on the counter drinking out of a heavy pyrex bowl that I keep on the counter for her to drink from. She likes pushing the bowl around on the counter with her paws and has never knocked it off of the counter. Until Friday. The bowl came down with a crash and broke into several large pieces, one of which carved a nice new groove into my leg.

I have not used anything external to treat the injury. I didn't scrub it out; I let it bleed for awhile to cleanse itself. I didn't use any antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, aloe vera, tea tree oil or anything of the sort. None of that is as powerful as Nature's design. I did apply some of my own saliva to the wound. Saliva contains a protein called secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) which has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and other healing properties. (Why do you think animals lick their wounds?) In fact, if I could, I would lick it. I usually do that for cuts and scratches. But for me to lick this one -- on my lower leg -- I'd need to do a bit more yoga.

I invite you to follow me on this healing journey. You will see first hand that the innate wisdom of the human body -- unassisted -- is brilliant!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

If we are to have peace on Earth, we must first make peace with our own bodies.

This weekend we will celebrate Memorial Day, honoring the countless thousands Americans who have fallen in war. Tragic losses – all of them. Many decry war and feel that we should work toward peaceful solutions to conflict. But, realistically, can we have peace on earth when we are all fighting within ourselves? How many times have you said something like, “I’m fighting off a cold.” If we’re fighting ourselves, is it any wonder that we fight within our families…faiths…nations…?

The truth is that when you have a cold, your body is not fighting anything. What is happening is that your immune system is keeping you in harmony with your environment. Any health challenge, be it a cold or a chronic disease, is an opportunity for growth. When we understand that philosophy -- when we treat our selves with love and reverence -- then it becomes easier to embrace the idea that differences between people can be an opportunity for deeper understanding and love.

Love yourself; love your process. Peace will grow from there.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy birthday...

...to me!

I'm 50!

And life just keeps getting better!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

You have infinite potential -- accept it!

We all have infinite potential. All of us. But for many people, there’s one thing that gets in the way of actually realizing that potential.

Ourselves!

In my last blog entry I mentioned that challenges in life present an opportunity for a “creative expansion” in our lives. Most – maybe even all – of the growth we experience in life comes as a result of rising to the challenges that life presents. But to experience any growth and evolution, we must first do one thing:

We must accept the challenge!

To accept a challenge is to embrace our potential. But accepting a challenge is often difficult because it necessitates a change. It takes us out of our comfort zone, and that can be scary even though we may not necessarily like the comfort zone we’re in. For many of us, it feels safer to just accept the status quo and feel that there’s no way out.

The truth is that, regardless of our circumstances in life, we always have the potential to change them. It takes time and effort – sometimes a lot of time and effort – but we can always make positive changes in our life. When we rise to the challenges that life presents us, we begin to realize the infinite potential that we all have.

Embrace your own breathtaking, infinite potential!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Just Love Yourself!

I have a disease.

At least that’s how I thought for many years. After all, that’s what the doctors all told me. And I had the pain to prove it!

The truth is, and always has been, that I am a uniquely beautiful and perfect expression of The Divine. So are you!

Often when we experience pain and disease we rush to judgment against ourselves. We see our new challenge as something that is wrong – that needs to be fixed – something we need to fight. Remember that such experiences are not something external; they are an integral aspect of us. When we try to fight them, we are only fighting ourselves.

Rather than fight or try to “fix” yourself, just love yourself. It’s OK to seek medical care if that’s what seems right for you. Listen to your doctors, embrace what calls out you, ignore what doesn’t. Whatever decision you make, make it from a place of self love.

When we operate from self love, health challenges become an opportunity for creative expansion in our lives – life changes of our own design that open new doors and lead to positive new experiences. In my case, I was called into the healing arts. And facing my challenges has even made possible my current foray into endurance sports. Years ago, before I was diagnosed with arthritis, I never would have considered such craziness. Now, despite years of pain, I'm within two months of running my first Ironman.

Loving yourself goes deeper than accepting yourself. Just love yourself without feeling the need to accept or reject anything. And just loving yourself is more than loving yourself “just the way you are.” Just love yourself without regard to what you are, were, or might someday be.

Just love yourself!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Your thoughts, words and dreams are the thread you are using to weave the fabric of your life.

Earlier this week I had a medical checkup…and it might very well be my last one ever. I’m not into gloom and doom.

For the most part, I’m exceptionally healthy, but my blood pressure was a little bit high – 140/94 – so of course the doctor wanted to prescribe blood pressure medication. To me, the blood pressure reading is simply a message from my body that I need to make some adjustments in my life… be more consistent with my yoga and meditation practice…eat less pizza…get more sleep…whatever. Or maybe that blood pressure is perfect for me.

So I told the good doc that I had no desire to ever take blood pressure meds. Her reply: “Well…OK…if you want to die of heart failure…”

Heart failure!

For a lot of people, that comment could be an eventual death sentence. Words are powerful! Words from a respected professional such as a doctor can be a seed that will grow to fruition and come true, simply because the doctor said that’s what is supposed to happen.

Take a moment right now to think of some words from well meaning health practitioners that you have woven into the fabric of your life – words that may be adversely affecting your life.
“You have (insert diagnosis here).
“You need to take these drugs for the rest of your life.”
“You need to take these vitamins for the rest of your life.”

“You can’t do (insert fun activity here) anymore.”

Words like these don’t have to be your reality unless you choose for them to be. Shifting to a more positive dialogue can make your life more positive. Positive words and thoughts aren’t an instantaneous magical incantation that will get you immediate results. But if you think, feel and speak in a certain way, your life will unfold in that way.

And guess what…you are a beautiful and perfect being!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You are important right now!

There are two great excuses in life:
"I don't have the money."
"I don't have the time."

Is there something important to you that you're putting off by using one or both of these excuses? The truth is that you probably do have the money and the time. It's not a question of whether you have it, but how you're prioritizing it. I'm not here to suggest how you should prioritize your money, time or anything else -- it's yours to prioritize. I point this out just because so many people never really think about their priorities. They just follow old habits, old beliefs and the expectations of others without considering themselves.

I see this all the time with people and their health. They know and want to do the things they need to do, but they invoke "the big two" to avoid making changes in their lives...even if those changes will ultimately benefit them and those close to them.

What are you putting off? You can probbly do it simply by shifting your priorities. Just do it!

You are important right now!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stop avoiding and start living!

Life is a bike trail...

I love bicycling. Anyone who pedals a bike has encountered a lot of bumps and hazards in the road: rocks, broken glass, potholes, sewer grates, old shopping carts (I speak from experience); you name it. One of the most important skills I have learned for staying upright is to keep my focus on the track I want to take, and not on the hazards I want to avoid. We tend to be drawn to whatever we to focus on. If you rivet your gaze on the jagged pothole in the middle of the bike trail you will probably slam right into it. But concentrating on the path around the pothole will allow you to cruise merrily on by.

When it comes to our health we still worry about obstacles rather than choosing to follow the smooth track. In the last couple of decades our approach to health has evolved somewhat, but we still have not made a fundamental shift in consciousness. More and more we seek alternatives to the invasive drugs and surgical procedures that conventional medicine has to offer, but we do so for the same old reasons—to treat disease and symptoms.

We’re still focusing on the potholes!

Why swerve when you can live? Life will often present obstacles to dodge, but so what? Relish the adventure of your journey.

Stop avoiding and start living!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Focus on process, not progress.

We can learn a lot from little kids.

Last night I was reading the book, Chi Running, by Danny Dreyer, and came upon this passage which really struck a cord with me.
“I would venture to say that most of us could run pretty easily back when we were in grade school and not feeling pressure to perform. But we have since lost that wonderful sense of ease. We often have performance anxiety that makes us uptight and blocks us from feeling ourselves and doing our best. In order to regain this ease and joy we need to consciously teach our bodies how to relax so running can feel as effortless as it once did.”

Although the author is talking about running, that wisdom can be applied to many other aspects of life, including our health. Following Nature’s simple wisdom will always help you to maximize your human potential, whatever that may be. Health and well-being are a lifelong synergy of spirit and action, and not a page of goals, statistics and achievements. “Progress” and “results” are human judgments—nothing more. Simplicity empowers!

Unfortunately, in this high tech world of ours, it is all too easy to lose sight of the simple genius of Nature. Best-selling authors, eloquent speakers, sensible doctors, and well-meaning family and friends bury us under heaps of brilliant, scientifically sound—and often bad—advice. When you become confused and don’t know where to turn, remember that high tech is merely a human design while the elegant genius of Nature is low tech and simple. And Nature’s simple plan always works. When your educated mind is at a loss as to which high tech route to try, go low tech. Instead of fretting over which nutritional supplements are the best for you, go buy some locally grown organic spinach. Rather than stress out over whether you will be able to make it to the gym today, just go out and play.

Nature’s simple wisdom is your lighthouse in the fog.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Your challenges in life are an opportunity for your body, mind and spirit to explore new horizons.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been experiencing a good bit of pain in my upper back and shoulder – intense enough that it has put a major damper on my Ironman training. What a beautiful gift!

Since early in this year of new beginnings, I have been in a new relationship with a beautiful, special woman. My past relationships haven’t been all that great, so entering a new one dredged up a few old fears and insecurities. The pain that I’m feeling is a physical manifestation of those fears and insecurities. The great thing is that, by listening to the pain, I have become aware of things within myself that I need to clear. Had my fears continued simmering away beneath the surface, they may have caused me to unconsciously sabotage this beautiful new relationship. Instead, I have been doing deep inner work that is allowing me to become a more caring partner for the special woman in my life, and a better person all around.

Another benefit of the pain is that it has turned me inward on my quest to becoming an Ironman. Since I’m pretty much unable to swim, bike or run, I have started using my training time to visualize my successful completion of the race. Completing an Ironman is as much mental as physical, so my visualizations are good training in and of themselves – and important training that I have been neglecting up until now.

Don’t fight your challenges; learn from them. They are a gift – an opportunity to creatively expand into a new, fuller life.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

There is no Higher Power. But there is a Greater Power

The power that created the Universe is something we cannot even begin to comprehend yet we all have the power to manifest it. I choose not to describe it as “higher” because that connotes something superior and separate; something we cannot reach; a place we cannot go.

There is a Greater Power and that power is you! You hold the same power that created the heavens. Within you is the artist that painted the aurora borealis and sculpted the Grand Canyon, and the genius that invented honey bees and solar systems. Human beings just like you and I gave us the great pyramids, space shuttles and post-it notes, as well as the Constitution of the United States, the civil rights movement and the Sunday comics.

We each represent an inextricable part of the Universal Intelligence that created us. The Divine is not Him or IT; the Divine is you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

IT!

IT is you!

There is only one health problem it this world.

IT!

We are totally preoccupied with IT.

Fighting IT.
Finding a cure for IT.
Losing IT and keeping IT off.
“Let me kiss IT and make IT feel better.”
IT cetera, IT cetera, IT cetera…

Stop worrying so much about IT. Start taking care of you!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

What's Happening?

What you do makes things happen…
But who you are decides what happens.


Do you want to know what you need to do to achieve optimal health and whatever else you want in life?

Well, I'm not going to tell you.

To get the most out of life you must follow the wisdom of be-ing rather than do-ing.

We constantly hear of easy, step-by-step programs or two (or three, or four...) week plans for achieving anything we want. But they all fail to deliver because they neglect what is inside of us – they ingore our essence. Certainly any successful enterprise requires effort. But your doing must be built upon a foundation of being. Where you go as you journey through life is determined more by who you are than by what you do. As you engage in your chosen spiritual practice, eat fresh, natural foods, enjoy physical activities that enliven you, have fun, and follow your passion, the things you need to do will reveal themselves.

Being will tell you what to do.

And remember: you are a being of beauty and perfection.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Empower Your Potential!

Empower your potential, not your problems!

Last Thursday evening at my Toaastmasters meeting, one of our officers passed around a get well card for all of us to sign for a club member who will be undergoing surgery soon. I almost couldn't bring myself to sign it.

Inside the card, in big black type, were the words: "You're sick!" I didn't want to affix my signature to such a disempowering declaration. But the woman the card was for is a very special person to all of us in the club. She is a loving grandmotherly type, is a wonderful speaker and storyteller, and always has a big smile and heartfelt kind words for all of us. So I really wanted to wish her well. What I wrote in the card was:
"You are a beautiful and perfect being!
-- Not sick --
Beautiful and perfect."


While it is true that she has a very serious diagnosis, it is even more true that she has some serious human potential. We all do!

Remember the law of attraction -- what we say and think is what we attract into our lives. Do we want to be laying "sick" on those close to us, and ourselves...or beauty and perfection?

Friday, February 22, 2008

You are Uniquely Beautiful and Perfect!

The most beautiful person you can be is you.

You are a uniquely beautiful and perfect expression of the Divine!

As you follow a spiritual path through life, you reveal more and more of your beauty and perfection to the world and to yourself. Each adventure on your journey reconnects you with the Divine and brings more of you to light. The most beautiful person you can be is you, expressing your beauty and perfection, and offering yourself and humanity the divine gifts that have been entrusted to you to share.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Are You Living an Inspired Life?

Life is an art,
not an act.


There are a couple of ways you can live your life.

The way that most people choose -- usually by default -- is to go through life as though it were an act in a play, written by someone else, reading lines and following the choreography from a script not of their own design, and often not even a script they particularly like.

Or

You can be the artist that creates a life that is your own magnificent work of art. Even if you've been following someone else's script for many years, you can start on your own creation whenever you want. You may have a clear vision or just a vague sense of what you want to create. Either way, the most important thing is to get started. Now!

When an artist first begins a new creation, the final product -- whether it be a painting, a poem or a play -- is always an unknown. Of course the artist will have a concept...a starting point...then as it unfolds, inspiration flows from the great wellspring of creativity that has given birth to every masterpeice ever created.

Following somebody else's script...or...creating your own inspired work of art.
The choice is yours.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Healing is Growth!

Healing is more than overcoming pain and disease. Healing is a continuing, lifelong process of growth and transformation.

Have you ever realized that you are just like the sky...?

Awhile back I was walking around the floating boardwalk at the Coeur d'Alene Resort, gazing at the clouds as I walked. I noticed that clouds at different levels were moving in different directions. The big, puffy ones closest to Earth, as usual, were floating majestically, toward Canfield Butte to the east. The flat ones, higher up, raced northward toward the Rathdrum Prairie. The highest clouds of all—the thin, wispy ones—seemed to be standing still. If you have ever contemplated clouds, you may very well have noticed this phenomenon also. It’s pretty easy to figure out. The wind blows in different directions at different altitudes. It’s all part of Nature’s plan.

Crisscrossing clouds are a great analogy for the mysteries of the healing process. Distinctly wondrous things occur in concert with each other at many levels of your physiological, emotional, mental and spiritual being. Sometimes we can see cumulus, stratus and cirrus clouds all at the same time. On the rainiest days we can only see the towering thunderheads closest to Mother Earth. But just because you can’t see past the rain, that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening beyond it. A lot is going on at every level.

Symptoms are just our first cloud layer. Often they get all of our attention and blind us to the life that still thrives beneath our misery. As the healing process unfolds it is easy to make the mistake of believing that if you are not feeling better, nothing is happening; that whatever you are trying is not working. Try not to make that mistake. Your body’s innate healing wisdom is working. Remember that behind even the darkest, stormiest, most foreboding clouds, the sun is always shining.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just Love!

Don't love unconditionally. Just love!

There is a love deeper and more pure than unconditional love.

Just love!

If you have a pet – a dog or cat – you know that your pet loves you with a depth and purity that can’t even comprehend the possibility of placing conditions on love. Such a love is Magickal! ;-)

It’s just love!

Just love:
Comes from a pure and open heart
Can only be given and received when you allow yourself to be vulnerable
Carries no attachments
Is joyful
Honors
Only gives; never wants or needs
Fully receives and embraces the love that always comes in return.

Just love!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

There are Demons Lurking...

We can't exorcise demons. We can only bring them back home.

We all have our demons.

Over the last couple of weeks, one of my old demons has emerged, big time. (I won’t go into detail.) What was my first reaction? I wanted to “exorcise” it, of course. Isn’t that what anybody would want to do?

The demons I’m talking about are our old, hidden fears and stresses that limit our potential. There are countless techniques for “clearing” these demons. But you can’t clear them. They aren’t external. They’re you!

Your demons are nothing more than errant vibes that are out of resonance with your very complex energy field. And because they manifest themselves from your own energy field, that’s where their energy comes from. The more you try to fight them, the more energy you’re giving them and the stronger they get. When you fight them, you feed them!

Demons are always an opportunity for deeper healing. When they arise, embrace them…listen to them. They will give you great insight. Then love them! Love is the most powerful energy in the Universe. Continuous love streaming to your demons will eventually tune them back in.

You can't send your demons away; you can only bring them back home.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Life is Absurd

Nothing is worthwhile unless it's absurd.

Whatever you're doing in life; it's absurd! I hope...

This past Friday morning I jumped into the pool at about 4:45 for an Ironman training swim. I had been swimming for about a half an hour or so, with my mind pretty much in neutral, when it hit me; this is absurd! Who gets up at 3:50 in the morning so they can get to the gym at 4:30 so they can swim for over an hour in a box of chlorinated water so they can be ready to squeeze into a wetsuit in 5 months so they can jump into a cold lake amid the flailing elbows of 2500 other people so they can then ride 112 miles on a bike so they can then run a marathon! The thought of the whole idea made me laugh. (Which is a trick when you're underwater; beleive me!)

When I got to the end of the pool, two other swimmers were stopped, taking a quick breather between sets. I stopped and said, "You know what? This is absurd!" They both laughed and heartily agreed. After that, my workout was a whole lot more fun.

As you're pondering the absurdity of what you're doing, take a moment to enjoy this video of an absurdly funny comedy act.

Life is absurd! Have fun!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Unstoppable!

"The only person with enough power to stop you is YOU."
Ed Hearn
2006 World Champion of Public Speaking

You are unstoppable! Unless...you get in your own way.

When Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen set out to publish Chicken Soup for the Soul, they were rejected by 130 publishers.

130!!!

But they kept going. Now they have sold over 100 million books. That's 100,000,000!!!

What if they had given up after the first rejection...or the 10th...or the 100th?

Whatever you set out to accomplish, you can do it. On the way, you will no doubt make some mistakes, take a few wrong turns, and make a few miscalculations. There may also be some circumstances and people who knock you down. Temporarily.

Just remember that regardless of what happens, you can't lose the game until you throw in the towel.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

No Illusions; No Fear!

"There is no greater illusion than fear."
Tao Te Ching

Some call me crazy. (I am.) On the first day of this year I celebrated the New Year by participating in a crazy annual Coeur d'Alene tradition: The Polar Bear Plunge! This is the seventh year in a row that I have gathered with about 400 other intrepid souls on a snow covered beach in subfreezing temperatures to dive into the icy waters of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Anyone who has ever done it will tell you that the experience is challenging but exhilirating. To me, stretching myself by moving beyond my fears and rising to such an intense challenge -- and having a lot of fun in the process -- sets the tone for a happy and successful year.

As I do every year, I invited a number of my friends to come and join me. Most called me crazy. One replied, and I'm quoting directly: "Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!" My own brother referred to it as "madness."

Five actually showed up. They ranged everwhere from nervous to freaking-out terrified. And I'll admit that every year as I'm watching my breath drift off over the near frozen lake and facing the prospect of stripping down to my swimsuit and taking the chilly dip, I always think, "Geez, I can't believe I'm doing this thing again!" Then afterwards I feel great and I know I'll be back next year.

Here's what my friends said after the plunge:

"Awesome!"

"Empowering!"

"My sister always said I was the stupid one and I think I just proved her right. But right now I know I'm having more fun than her. She's probably still sleeping."

"I thought I would turn into an iceberg...we have GOT to do this again next year, and I am bringing all my friends."

"I was terrified of doing this...can't wait to do this next year...I feel more alive, less fearful of the unknown, and more grounded in my skills to consciously handle my life."

Not bad for 30 seconds in an icy lake!

Remember, your fears are nothing but an illusion. Wonderful things await you beyond your fears.