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...