Sunday, September 27, 2009

Take the Next Step...

See that beautiful picture? It's not just of a magnificent mountaintop on a gorgeous day. Look closely and you'll notice a tiny speck at the top. That tiny speck is a person. In fact, it's me! I'm standing atop the Selkirk Crest way up north in the Panhandle of Idaho.

The view from the summit was one of the most amazing I have ever expeirenced. To the west lay sparkling blue Priest Lake. To the southeast stretched the vast, silent and mysterious Lake Pend Oreille, the largest and deepest lake in Idaho. Snaking its way to the east was the rugged and green Pack River Valley. The memory of that magnificent vista still gives me goosebumps!

It wasn't an easy trip. It took hours of bushwacking and boulder hopping before we made the summit. There was no trail to the top, so the route wasn't obvious. Some of the routes we tried didn't work. Several times we had to turn around, backtrack and try another route. The dead ends weren't "failures" because each of them presented their own backcountry beauty. Eventually, we made it to the top. We had an objective; we made a commitment and we kept going until we reached our mountaintop.

There are magnificent vistas awaiting you. Even if you have no idea how to get there, you always have one thing available to you: your next step!

Until next time,
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

(Photo credit: Chic Burge)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Your body is smart!

During a trip to India several years back, I visited an old fortress that had a large population of monkeys. Although the monkeys usually managed to tolerate the thousands of visiting tourists, sometimes—as I learned personally—they can become downright unfriendly. At one point, I ventured a bit too close to a female monkey who had a baby with her. She felt threatened and attacked me. Monkeys have sharp fingernails and the attack left me with several deep, bloody scratches on my forearm, not to mention a significantly elevated heart rate and just the slightest bit of shakiness.
What did I do to treat this potentially serious wound? Well, basically, nothing. No antiseptic or antibiotic ointment found its way to my cuts, nor did any bandage shield them. Afterwards, contrary to conventional medical wisdom, I chose not to get a tetanus shot. My scratches never got infected and they healed nicely with no scarring at all. My arm was able to heal without any outside intervention because...
My body is smart!
Your body is smart, too. Nature designed all of us to be healthy and vibrant. Nature’s ingenious design gave us an innate intelligence that we carry with us throughout our lives. When we are injured, it is the wisdom within, and not what we put on, that does the healing. It is our innate intelligence that allows us to heal, grow and thrive.
When the monkey attacked me, my innate intelligence initiated my fight or flight response, and my internal functions shifted gears instantaneously. My pupils dilated to make my vision more acute. My hearing and mental ability became more focused. My blood glucose concentration increased to give me a surge of energy, and more blood flowed to my muscles to give me a burst of strength so I could jump away. The blood supply to my digestive organs decreased. Digestion was not important at that moment. I had to get outta there!
As soon as the threat from the frightened monkey ceased to exist, innate intelligence allowed me to resume my normal mode of living. My muscles relaxed, my heart slowed back down and my digestive processes resumed. Thousands of internal functions that had so radically shifted just seconds earlier, gradually readjusted moment by moment, at exactly the right time, in precisely the right sequence. All of this happened within the space of just a few minutes and I did not even have to think about it.

Until next time,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene,Idaho

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What is the center of your world? You get to choose!

Last weekend, Cricket and I were in Yuma, Arizona visiting family. On Sunday, we took a short road trip across the river and visited the tiny desert community of Felicity, California. Felicity has the distinction of being The Official Center of the World.

This auspicious title isn't just something that the residents decided to paint on a sign. It's a designation that is officially recognized and codified into law by the governments of Imperial County, California, and France. (Hey, official is official.)

Here's the important thing: Of all of the communities in all the world that could have been selected as The Official Center of The World, Felicity is the one who has the title. Why? Because they went for it.

It wasn't random and it wasn't blind luck. Felicity is the Official Center of the World by design.

Reflect for a moment on what the center of your world is. Is it something you chose, or did it just...kind of...happen? Or might it even be something someone else chose for you?

The center of your world is your choice. Choose wisely!

Click here to read more about Felicity.

Until next time,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene,Idaho

Sunday, September 6, 2009

First, add value.

This photo of a beautiful sunrise
is a perfect metaphor for today's thought.

Soft morning sunshine is illuminating the smoky wilderness rather than darkness being removed.

Life works the same way.

"I'm going to start eating more fruits and veggies," is more empowering than, "I gotta stop eating so much junk food."

"I've been wanting to learn to meditate. I feel like this is a good time to start," is more affirming than, "I need to stop stressing out so much."

"I'd like to get back to shooting hoops," is more fun than, "I'm going to quit watching so much TV."

There's something positive you've been wanting to add to your life. Today is a good day to start. Enjoy it!

Until next time,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene,Idaho