BarbetteSpitler.com

Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

ARE YOU FULL?

hqdefaultMany people are surprised to learn the human stomach is supposed to be the size of a human fist. Not just any fist, though. That particular human’s fist. Regardless of age, height, or bone structure, the human stomach is designed to be only as large as the size of a gently closed fist.

Ever wonder why a newborn is only able to take in 2 ounces at a time? Gently close up their hand and notice… that is the size of their stomach. They simply cannot hold much volume. Thus, they take in a few ounces at a time and when the body has properly digested and used or stored the calories taken in, the body will signal it’s need for more when its ready. That signal is… hunger. When an infant has taken in more volume than the stomach can hold, the body will expel the excess. It’s simple and it’s logical (and messy).

Are you full?” is a question many parents ask their children before they allow them to leave the dinner table. “Finish your food”, is a statement that teaches them to finish a volume of food regardless if they are satiated or not. The parents are unwittingly teaching the children to eat because it is there and they are expected to clean their plate. But what if they are no longer hungry? Why would we encourage them to eat more than they need or want? Why?? From this moment forward, let them leave food on their plate! Next time, give them smaller portions. And if they want another serving later, make it a half serving! And you serve it up for them  Don’t rely on their ability to judge proper portions.

Let’s talk about… portion size.  A dinner plate for a child should be much smaller than that of an adult. So use a smaller plate for children! Control the portions of the food going on that plate and do not be distracted by their cries for more or their wails of  how unfair you are to them. If they are still hungry, then can have more later. But when we know the size of their stomach, we also know they are not physically hungry after they have eaten – they are deceived by the visual effects of the portions or the sight and scent of the food. It is much easier to give the children a few extra bites later, than it is to take away food once they have been condition to larger portion sizes. When I see parents giving their children plates of food the same size as their adult dinner plate, I am horrified. We are setting these children up for a lifetime of overeating.

I understand some parents become weary of their children have 6-8 mini-meals throughout the day. However, that is exactly how the human body was designed to eat. Only when hungry and only enough to satiate the hunger. Many people do not even know what true hunger signals are anymore because they eat for emotional reasons or because the food is readily available and they are enticed by the sights or smells of the food.  If adults ate frequent small meals like little children, there would be happier, healthier people in our culture.

I also understand there are also children who have learned the pattern of saying, “I’m finished” at the dinner table (because that food doesn’t excite them) only to cry “I’m hungry” an hour later in order to have a favored snack. That pattern is more about parental manipulation by a bright child and less about their physical hunger and need to eat for fuel. I do not encourage big meals and snacking. I do however encourage small meals and snacking, if the snack standard in the household is limited to fruits and vegetables.

When we eat more volume than our stomach can hold, the stomach has to stretch to accommodate the volume. An occasional overeating episode will stretch the stomach and we are temporarily uncomfortable (Thanksgiving Dinner perhaps). However, as the food is digested and moved out of the stomach, the stomach will return to its proper size. This process can be slowed significantly when there is a combination of foods that digest at different rates and in different ways. The slower the process of digesting the food, the longer we are uncomfortable, have heartburn or feel bloated.

Chronic overeating (over-stretching) causes the stomach to remain stretched out – similar to over stretched elastic bands. It takes more volume of food to fill a stretched out stomach. More volume means more calories are taken in than the person can utilize thus the body stores the fuel as fat for the famine that never comes. This is the process of gaining weight and it happens fast! For many in our culture, this process leads to obesity, diabetes, and a whole host of illnesses and dis-ease.

It’s simple. Eat too much volume for several meals, the body will adapt by stretching the stomach to accommodate the additional volume. Eat too much volume over a period of time and that stretch will not easily bounce back. That adaptability by the stomach can actually become a problem for us humans. It would be much easier if our adult body would expel the excess like an infant instead of stretching to adapt.

During an episode of “My 600lb Life”, the gastric surgery showed the size of the person’s stomach. It was larger than a football. Imagine trying to keep up with the volume needed for her to feel “full”. She simply couldn’t eat enough! She ate as much volume in one day that a normal sized stomach would have in a week. After speaking with others who have been morbidly obese and lost weight without bypass surgery, they tell me it takes weeks for the stomach to return to it’s normal size. Weeks of portion control – meaning they returned to eating the volume of their gently closed fist rather than trying to get to “full”. When their body realized they were not starving (no famine here), the body began properly adapting again to their new normal. They lost the excess weight and the discomfort and the chronic health conditions!

What about you?  Do you eat to the point of being “full”. Do you encourage family to “fill up”. Can you leave food on your plate? Have you ever tried having smaller meals more frequently? I’d love to hear your experiences.

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THE TASTE OF THE TONGUE

images-9The human body is designed to digest the foods of the planet and use that energy for fuel. The foods of the planet are easily digested, absorbed, and converted to energy. It is not designed to use the body’s energy to digest processed foods. It’s just that simple! Yet, it is processed foods that tickle the taste buds. It is the sweet. It’s the sweet and salty combined. It’s the hidden sugars that tantalize the tongue and leave us wanting more and more. Whether it’s healthy or not doesn’t seem to matter. What matters is the taste on the tongue!

The human body is designed to use food as fuel. Imagine eating as the input valve for the body’s energy source. (Like the gas tank for a car.) We take in food, covert it to energy for immediate use or store it up for later use. The tongue helps us to move the food in our mouth for more efficient chewing and it aides in the process of swallowing. It also has taste buds that help us to discern the basic nature of the food including salty, sour, bitter, spicy, and sweet. In our culture, the sweet has won us over.

The human body is designed to eat only when hungry and only enough to stop the hunger. We were not designed to eat until we are “full”. We have done ourselves a terrible disservice by teaching ourselves and our children to eat until we are full. Maybe that was a condition of centuries ago when famines were feared. But that is no longer a threat for our culture. The illusion that we must eat until we are full has caused an entire population of people to over eat. Over eating stretches the size of the stomach and we have to intake more food quantity to reach “full”. The cycle continues until we have a morbidly obese human with a stomach organ the size of a football instead of the size it was designed to be – the size of our fist. Regardless of your age, height, or bone structure, the size of your stomach is supposed to remain the approximate size of your closed fist.

The human body is designed to eat the foods of the planet. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds all have enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are far more complex than we can fully understand. They work in synchronicity with each other in such a way we cannot duplicate with scientific measures. The foods of the planet were created/designed to fuel the body with energy for activities and to sustain life. Although scientists try to fractionate the elements out of the whole foods to design specialty vitamins or try to genetically alter natures bounty in order to make it “better” – there is nothing better than the whole foods… as nature intended for us.

The human body is designed to digest minimal amounts of meat. Fresh meat that was caught or killed and shared with others… fresh off the bones. If cooked, it was added to vegetables for a stew like meal or eaten by itself in small amounts. The human body was designed to eat more foods from plants and less food from animals. Meat as the main event in our meals does more harm to our bodies than good. We were not designed to handle the processing of meats (or any foods) like we eat today. And it’s literally killing us. Our culture has more dis-ease and chronic illness than any other. The dietary intake of our culture is the primary culprit.

When I think of how our body is designed to eat healthy foods of the planet, I am continually amazed at how often we choose to eat based on taste and taste alone. We live by the taste on the tongue! We will eat with no hunger noted but anticipating the taste of the food in front of us. We have become so addicted to sweet and the need for sugar on our tongue that we are as addicted as any cocaine, heroin, or meth user! The research has shown sugar to be that addictive! And, we allow it to be the front runner in our dietary choices. From coffee based sugary beverages and so-called sports drinks to breakfast cereals and other highly processed products we call “food”… sugar is added! I believe if sugar were discovered today it would be FDA regulated. We know it is a primary factor in deteriorating health conditions like diabetes and all inflammatory diseases. Sugar feeds bacteria, viruses, fungus and cancer cells. Yet, we still choose high sugar foods admitting, “it tastes soooooo good!” It is literally the taste on the tongue… a muscle in the body less than 2x4in.

Take a look at your own food choices. Does the taste of the tongue guide your food choices? Do you follow the SAD diet (Standard American Diet)? Do you seek healthier food choices? Do you recognize food is fuel not just a tantalizing treat for the tongue? Or are you way too fond of the sugary, sweet desserts and snacks? Do you think you might be addicted to sugar? Ponder your food choices this week and then revisit this blog and comment below!

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When People Show You Who They Are…..

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Many years ago, I was in the front row to hear Maya Angelou!  Her words of wisdom were profound and her presentation was delightful, thought provoking and…. for me… quite moving.  She said some things that the audience found humorous and other statements that were met with the silence of significant thought.   Other bits of wisdom were met with quiet conversations and remarks spoken in whispers.

One of her famous quotes came after she told a story.  The story ended with her looking out into the audience and stating, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”   I remember thinking to myself…”Well, that’s not fair!  People can change.”  I am one of those people!  I was an unhappy teenager.  I was angry about a multitude of things and was quite sure my entire future was doomed to be filled with continued trauma and drama.  But, I changed.  I changed my attitude, my perspective and my outlook and everything improved!  Because it happened for me, I believe everyone wants to be happy and everyone will look for a pathway to make it so.  Right??  Doesn’t everyone desire to be happy?  Isn’t everyone willing to make changes to achieve a greater level of happiness??

Over the years after the event, I looked over my notes often.  I agreed with her on every level and every point, except that one statement.  I always believed people can and want to improve their life and their outlook.  I had a fundamental belief that no one truly wants to hurt or harm another.  I believed it is our responsibility to and for others, to believe they can change and to support them as they do.  It’s part of the reason I became a Health & Wellness Life Coach…. to assist those who are ready and willing and to provide the tools to make it easier and more efficient to find and keep a positive perspective.

Recently, I’ve revisited this pearl of wisdom from Maya.  I’ve had to make a few changes to my belief system.  I recognize that everyone can improve and have a metamorphosis which leads them to create a life of wonder and happiness and joy.  I also recognize, for many people, it’s easier to blame others, complain and stay right where they are!  And finally, I’ve had to realize that there are those who will give lip service to all the “right” things and their actions tell quite the different story.  Actions speak LOUDER than words ever will.  When the actions are not in alignment with the verbiage – listen to the actions/behavior.  What people do and how they do it is more expressive of their intention than their words.

When people show you who they are, do you believe them the first time? Do you allow for the possibility they may change and become  more focused on love and service to others rather than self-service.  Or do you take your first impression of them and assign it to them permanently?  Do you believe people can change and improve?

I think we have to be mindful of what people show us and allow for it to improve.  But don’t assume it will  …. and don’t be disappointed when they show you who they really are!  We all have free will and get to choose our attitude and behaviors.  We can’t be disappointed if we have no expectation of another person’s way of being.  Thus we cannot be disappointed when someone shows us who they really are….

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What is Energy Medicine?

400_Human_Energy_Field_2I get a lot of questions about energy medicine…  In a nutshell….  Energy Medicine is based on physics rather than biochemistry.  Physics is the study of energy.  You remember from high school?  Physics does not override biochem.  It DRIVES it!  Biology and Chemistry behave according to the laws of physics.  The human body is made of energy.  ALL matter has energy!  IF you have ever had an x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, EKG, EEG, EMG, laser surgery, etc… they are all done using energy!

Conventional medicine treats the symptoms of a singular body system.  My friend, Christina Ross,compares western medicine to auto mechanics, plumbers and electricians.  It’s a GREAT analogy.  The human body has bones (structure), digestive system (plumbing), and nervous system (electrical).  Western medicine treats the body systems separately.  If we have a heart problem we see a cardiologist.  If we have a stomach problem we see a gastroenterologist.  If we have a structure problem we see an orthopedist.  Pharmaceuticals (medications) affect the chemical signals in the body and all medications have side effects meaning they affect (mostly negatively) other body systems because they interfere with the chemical signals of the body.  Treating the body as if it is just a sum of it’s individual parts is not only inefficient it is often detrimental to the body as a whole.

Energy medicine recognizes ALL body systems are connected and strives to harmonize the entire energy system.  When the body is in energetic balance, (then and only then) does the body heal itself.  Energy medicine works with the electromagnetic signals of the body.  Since every cell, tissue, muscle, bone, organ, blood…  every part of the body is energy and therefore sending electromagnetic signals throughout the body – harmonizing them to balance is the most efficient way to heal the body.  Since every part of the human body is interconnected and integrated with every other part of the human body – achieving balance in a body system also means achieving energetic balance to the whole.

In our culture, we think nothing of getting an X-ray nor do we understand fully how the energy of it works.  We get an ultrasound and only care about the results and nothing about the energetics of how it works.  We see our heart rate blipping on the monitor screen and don’t understand the science behind the graph. We are just happy to see the activity that indicates we have a beating heart!  Measuring the brain waves (EEG) is yet another tool to measure energy waves and determine the brain activity.  Each of these examples are an example of using energy for testing or reading the electrical signals within the body.  We use these terms nearly every day yet we know little to nothing about the science of these tools which measure the energy within the body.  But we do not question the validity!

Conventional medicine is newer in comparison to energy medicine.  Pharmaceuticals have only been around for the last 60 years.  Yet, energy medicine and hands on healing have been see in drawings dating back to 2700 BC.    It is well studied and again I remind you…. there are no negative side effects.  I’ve been told only Jesus heals…  I submit to you that is wholly inaccurate!  Every human body has the ability to heal itself.  You have healed yourself of cuts, abrasions, broken bones, and many illnesses including influenza, colds, gastroenteritis, headaches, and many other interruptions of the human system.  No medicine can cure you.  No doctor can heal you.  You heal yourself.  Healing is made easier and much more efficient when you treat the body as a whole, recognize and harmonize the human energy system, and only use medications when truly necessary.  Fortunately, medications are seldom truly necessary!   Thankfully, we have the scientific understanding of energy medicine and it is available at our fingertips!

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Change My Friends!?!?

84633959afc236bcad8429b8235015adChange My Friends??  But ONE friendship can change your whole world!

This weekend I heard a quote that caused me to pause a moment.  I wrote it down.  It was thought provoking.  I’ve been pondering it all weekend.  “If you can’t change your friends, it’s time to change your friends.”

I am an RN of 25 years who shifted to health & wellness advocate.  My career is health promotion and disease prevention.  I encourage people to take action to clean up their diets and learn to fuel their bodies with quality nutrition.  I educate people about nature and nurture.  I introduce people to holistic and complimentary supplements and modalities which will enhance their health and wellness.  My wish for everyone is the best physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health possible.  Yet, I recognize I am considered an odd ball in my circle of friends and family.  I am often teased and many poke fun at me for my beliefs, my suggestions and my lifestyle.  I am sometimes disappointed when I cannot affect change with/for them.  I am aware some of my friends and family ignore me,  thinking I am just sharing my opinions.  However… I am schooled in nutrition.  I have researched nutritional supplements and holistic methods.  Thirty years ago my opinion was that food only needed to taste good!  Fast forward through degree programs and research and I KNOW for certain, food is fuel!  It is the major ingredient in our physical performance, our mental capabilities and our emotional balance.  No Oreo or Dorito can provide that fuel and we are silly if we think it can or will!

I know people in my circle who don’t want to believe that food is the major player in allowing dis-ease or  promoting good health.  But change friends just because they don’t think the same as I?  Change friends because they smoke or drink or carry around an extra 50 pounds?  Change friends because I can’t influence them enough to want to enhance or improve their health?

Twice I was over 200#.  Once was while pregnant with twins.  I have carried extra weight and yo-yo dieted most of my life.  I understand the addiction to sugar because I lived it.  I attended Carbohydrates Anonymous (which I think is now known as Food Addicts Anonymous).  I was addicted to Diet Pepsi.  I totally understand the issues!  AND…I am a nurse with over 25 years experience in ER, ICU, Home Care and Hospice.  I have seen the affects of drug interactions, recreational drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and poor food choices.  We humans want to think food is about “tastes good” rather than “fuels well”.  We want to ignore the connection to what we put in our physical gas tank affects our physical, mental and emotional performance.  Egads… how do we not SEE the connection??  For a long time, I didn’t!  Yet, change my friends because they see things differently?  Wouldn’t that be like changing my friends because they have different religious or political beliefs?  I’m still pondering this….

I asked Damn-Near-Perfect (my husband of nearly 32 years) for his thoughts.  His words of wisdom….”When you surround yourself with people who don’t believe you, don’t “get” you, and don’t want to hear what you have to offer, it hurts your heart and makes you doubt your place on the planet.  When you surround yourself with people who think like you do, you will never again doubt yourself and what you do.  ”   WOW.  WOW.  WOW.

Deep Breath.  A few tears.  And now…..

Changes Ahead!!

Changes next exit

 

 

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“UNFRIEND” Means Much More

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I read a FaceBook post from a young lady who said a close family member had “unfriended” her.  As I pondered this, I was mindful, there are always two sides to every story.  I wondered about the other side of the story.  I don’t remember any of her posts being inappropriate, so I looked through them to see if I missed something.  I had not.  Not one of her posts crossed any type of ethical or moral lines. Not even borderline.  What type of message did the family member intend to send to her and why?

I was recently “unfriended” by a family member.  When I asked about it, they indicated my FB posts were too self serving in nature and they weren’t interested in reading them.  As is the nature with social media, we share our joy and happiness. We share our events, our excitement and our thoughts. Interestingly enough, also available with social media are ways to scroll past the posts you do not want to read.  Similar to the old fashioned way of reading a newspaper or magazine.  If you don’t want to read something… you don’t.  You simply turn the page.  When something on television doesn’t resonate with you, change the channel or turn it off.  FaceBook has this feature where you can scroll past a person’s posts.  OR you can take their posts out of your newsfeed so you don’t even see what they share.  Especially if they are fanatical about politics!  You can turn off notifications as well.  It’s that easy. That is…IF it is truly about the content of their posts that offends you.
Social media is an interesting facet of current times.  People use this platform in many different ways.  Some use it as their political microphone.  Others use it to support and advertise their business.  Many people use it as a way to follow friends and family activities yet never post their own.  Just yesterday I heard two people chatting, never having met until then, indicating they felt they knew each other because of their connections on social media.  For each of us, our intention to use social media may differ.  There is no right or wrong way to use it (illegal, immoral, unethical uses not included).  And for each of us, we have the right and free will to read what we want, scroll past what we choose not to see and seek out what we enjoy reading more about.  When we disagree with another’s viewpoints, we can easily ignore their posts.  Really, it’s just that easy.  Even the political posts!
When we click on the option to “UNFRIEND” we are doing more than limiting our view of their posts/newsfeed.  We are sending a message that cannot be unheard.  We are making a statement TO the individual that goes far beyond social media. Explore your true intention before unfriending someone.  Decide if it is really about the posts or is it something else.  Wouldn’t it be wiser and more helpful to share your thoughts or concerns with the person rather than sending them a message you can never undo.   Is it worth damaging a long term relationship over a social media post?  And if it’s not about the social media platform, then determine what it is really about and work to resolve it.  Life is too short and relationships are too precious to click that button and send the huge message that goes along with it.
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Pt 2 “Mom, You’re registered for a full marathon!” No way! Not me!! Never!

Mary and I rocking the half marathon!  Finished in 3 hours 5 minutes!

Mary and I rocking the half marathon! Finished in 3 hours 5 minutes!

Two weeks before the Air Force Marathon, September 2010, my husband and I visited our Air Force son, Cody, at his base in Biloxi, MI.  While there, I just had to run along the flight lines.  It was so cool!!  I was really enjoying the jog/fast walk intervals.  (I never really understood the difference between jog and run, but I am pretty sure as slow as I was going and the minimal distance I covered each time…it was jogging.)  While we visited, Cody surprised me with the announcement he was coming home to run the FULL Air Force Marathon along with several of his friends.  I was so excited to know they would all be on the course and having a new experience together!  But I was in NO WAY interested in ever doing that!

During the half marathon, I had to make a quick potty stop.  I drink plenty of water and I didn’t know to plan around the pee stops.  There was a long line and it put me about 8 minutes behind Mary.  I needed to catch up!  So, I jogged until I found her.  I don’t know what the distance actually was but I smiled often as I realized I was actually jogging a portion of a half marathon.  I caught up with her and later, we crossed that finish line together and with great big smiles on our faces. We averaged 13 1/2 min/miles  for the first 5-6 miles.  We rocked!!  I loved every minute and knew I wanted to do it again the next year.  My son and his friends finished the full marathon.  They were sore, they struggled up and down the stairs.  I giggled at their misery.  And I knew, I never needed to do that…ever!!  Why??  Running (or jogging) 26.2 miles is just crazy!  And look at how much pain it causes!  Dah!  Why would anyone sign up for that?

During the Christmas season, Cody announced he was being deployed to Iraq for most of 2011.  He also announced that my Christmas gift was registration for the 2011 Air Force FULL Marathon.  He promised he would train while in Iraq and he would be home in time to run the full marathon WITH me.  My response….”What in our entire history together would ever give you the impression I wanted to or COULD do a full marathon!!??”  I was shocked, scared, stunned, defiant, and confused all at the same time.  But he was serious!  His answer, “Mom, you fast-walked a half marathon already.  Train to run a half marathon and even if you have to walk the rest, you will have finished a full marathon.”   He talked.  He coached.  He promised.  He even drew out a plan for how I could achieve it.  He deployed and I started training.  Why?  Because I was determined to make him proud!  I was excited he would be there with me. I wasn’t going to let him down. I knew the sacrifice he was making on this deployment.  All I had to do was jog.  So, I took the training very seriously.  I surprised myself!  My intervals lengthened.  My determination heightened.  My confidence increased.  My excitement escalated.  He coaches me very well!  From Iraq, he coached me how to run up and down the hills which was something I struggled with and avoided.  He taught me how the mind plays tricks on us while we run, but how we can play tricks right back.

Cody returned from Iraq about 10 days before the marathon.  He knew there was no way he could in-process to the base and make it up to Ohio in time to run the marathon.  What??  NO!!  I was terrified.  Now I would be alone!  All my training runs had been alone but with the knowledge Cody would be with me at the marathon.  Anxiety set it.  Then…. I had this thought!  Billy Ray Cyrus had this wonderful show called, “Surprise Homecoming”.  I just knew Cody was really going to be at the marathon!   I started having these fleeting thoughts and daydreams he would be there and at the finish line.  It would be him who would put the medal around my neck.  And….it was those thoughts that sustained me during the entire marathon.  What a great show it would be….  Mom runs marathon for son.  Son shows up from deployment and surprises Mom at the finish line.  Whenever I felt overwhelmed with the remaining distance to run, I would think about that finish line and Cody waiting.  And I’d be re-inspired and re-energized.

As I rounded that final curve, ran under the wings of those magnificent planes, and headed to the finish line I was almost smiling.  I knew it was almost over and I had done it.  But I also knew Cody would be waiting.  I saw the lines of officers handing out the medals as the runners came across the finish line.  I saw a young man in fatigues peak out from one of the officers and my heart jumped!  Cody!?!?  I headed to that chute.  As I got closer, the young man peaked again.  This time I was close enough to see his face.  NO!!  That’s not Cody!!  I cross the finish line, get my medal and look for my husband.  His smile melts my heart and I hold back the tears.  HE is so proud I can feel it.  We hug!  I am shocked I did it.  I actually ran a full 26.2 marathon  Who does that?  Who turns 50 and then decides to learn to run and then runs a marathon!  He tells me to call Cody and let him know I finished.  He hands me the phone but I can’t talk.  Now the tears flow unrestrained. Within moments all four of our boys are calling or texting with congratulations.  Both Cody and his twin brother, Britt, are ecstatic!  They make me cry because they are so proud of me.

I ran a marathon!  Really!!!

Oh…and that young man who was peaking out from behind the officer…he made the news!  He was waiting for his girlfriend to cross the finish line.  When she did, he proposed!  Again, my heart melted!

 

First marathon!  26.2 miles!  Sept 2011

First marathon! 26.2 miles! Sept 2011

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Ohh… To be a plumber…

fixing-a-leaky-shower-faucet_87807702.s300x300   If I was a plumber and knew my friends, family, and neighbors had leaky faucets, I would be willing to help them.  I would shake my head in bewilderment if they didn’t ask me to help.  And I would be disappointed for them to have leaky faucets.  Why?  Because leaky faucets mean they have water to clean up or possibly water damage.  An undetected leak would also include mold growth and damage.  Leaky faucets also result in a higher cost in water bills.  And it means a waste of a precious resource.

I am not a plumber.  I am a health, life and performance coach.  My passion is health promotion and disease prevention.  I teach people how to build a strong immune system.  I encourage people to healthier food and lifestyle choices for better well-being and longevity.  I help people heal themselves from illness or chronic disease.  And I guide people to discover the connection between their mind, body and spirit.  Like a plumber, I am willing to help others to repair their issues and improve their circumstances.  Like a plumber, I am bewildered when people are suffering  (physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually) and don’t ask for help.  Why?  Because whether we are in a health crisis or just looking for better ways to promote our health and wellness, we can waste precious time and energy seeking information and answers.  We look for a quick fix for the symptoms rather than a long term resolution to the initiating problem.  It’s like wrapping a towel around the leaky faucet.  The towel will absorb the water for awhile but the leak remains.  Eventually, the wet towel becomes part of the problem, too

Symptom suppression is the same.  While suppressing the symptoms, we are not resolving the problem.  This means longer healing times, IF healing occurs at all.  It means possible further damage caused by the side effects of the symptom suppression medications.   And,  it means the initial problem continues to produce the same or similar symptoms because it is not resolved. Symptoms are actually messages to the brain/body that a problem exits.  The body will continue to send the messages as long as the problem exists. That means the symptoms continue or increase in intensity or duration, which means more medication is needed to suppress them.  It’s an interesting and complex cycle which often becomes a cyclone of symptoms which leads to more and different medications to address or suppress the symptoms.

Sadly, I shake my head in bewilderment wondering why anyone would want to continue on that path, especially when other options exist. Yet, I witness the journey for many,  If I was a plumber, their continued leaky faucets would be disappointing for me to witness .  As a health and life coach, their suffering is painful for me to witness.   Yes… there are times I wish I was a plumber.

 

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Do you Hear Through Your History?

 Kids-upset-at-each-otherRecently, while working with a teenage client, she shared a text conversation that was pertinent to the event she was processing.  As she read her part of the text conversation aloud, she used a calm, soft voice and displayed a sincere demeanor.  While reading the other person’s texts in the conversation, her voice was filled with attitude and her demeanor was condescending and rude.  I found it intriguing how she was using voice inflections and intonations as well as other non-verbals to communicate in a conversation that clearly has none of those as options.  When I questioned her about it, she was startled.  She didn’t realize she was doing it at first.  As we discussed it, she stated, “But that’s how she talks to me when she’s mad”.  The text conversation did not indicate that the other was annoyed or angry.  In further exploration, we discovered she was assuming how the other would be speaking.

     In my practice I always recommend conversations around deep or serious topics occur in person or by phone (if you cannot do it in person).  In person, you can see, sense and experience the conversation and leave nothing to interpretation.  You can ask clarifying questions.  You have the full focus and attention of the person you are communicating with (yes….insist on it!)  And it makes it more difficult for you, the listener, to hear the other through your own history.
     Hearing through your history limits the brilliance of the other’s message to you.  It means you are filtering their words through what you surmise they mean.  When we “think” we know what they mean we are guessing which means we are hearing through our history and not hearing clearly.  The brilliance (and yes I mean, the excellence of or the magnificence of their message) is lost on you.  You miss it because you are hearing from your own experiences and beliefs.
     The text conversation my client shared was a fabulous example.   Because she was hearing through her history, she was missing that her friend was actually sharing her desire to return to the friendship they once shared.  Her friend was literally opening herself up, being vulnerable, and hoping to reconnect.  My young client was wishing for the same.  However, her past hurts had accumulated to such a degree she was hearing only complaints and attacks.  She couldn’t hear the vulnerability and hope her friend was expressing.  I asked her if I could read the messages out loud to her with a different perspective.  She allowed me.  When I was finished… she cried.  We read the same words…. one was heard through her history.  The other was heard from an open heart.
     Hear with an open heart and you will hear love and compassion.  Hear through your history and you will hear…… your history!
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Passion or Politics

political yin yang
As each election year approaches, I am fascinated to witness the changes in personality of so many people.  Some people seem kind and thoughtful and even generous until someone with different political views joins the discussion.  Some people with differing political views go out of their way to make fun of or put down the other side.  Half of the country has hateful names for Republicans and half of the country has hateful names for Democrats.  And often, those same people, when not talking politics, say they want peace, hamony and all good things.  But if you truly want peace and harmony, how do you get there by bashing another for their political preferences?  How is it okay to demean, dehumanize and demoralize another human being in one breath and then talk about how peace and harmony should reign in another. There is no commonality between the two.
We can’t get to “good” when we keep focusing on the negative the politicians do and forget that WE – the people – are the ones who can make the difference.  Not by pointing fingers but by coming together with a positive focus and then, we the people, make it happen.  We have become a nation that tolerates it’s ignorance, indifference, insensitivity and it’s inertia!  We spend our time pointing fingers at who is responsible for what.  We have lost our focus and what is best for us as a nation.  We’ve let the politicians decide our best interests as fed by the many lobbyists who wine and dine them.
We have the opportunity to join forces as the people of our nation have in the past.  We can turn off the reality shows, and the celebrity news, and turn on our passion for what’s right for our great nation.  We can join together and focus our energy to improve our food supply; improve the health of our people; and restore our faith in our country.  But we will never get there wasting our time, energy and efforts, bashing the other political party, pointing fingers and placing blame.  I believe, we can best move forward by stepping past the political differences and looking beyond how we got here.  And bring our nation together to create a better future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.
What great things about our country and it’s people are you passionate about?  What are you willing to speak up for?  What are you willing to do to improve our great nation?  And let’s get to it!
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