Archive for the ‘Holistic health’ Category

I Am Black (sort of)

October 16, 2017

You wouldn’t know it to look at me. My race is Caucasian and my skin doesn’t have much color to it. I don’t have any African-American heritage. And I’m not just black. There are a few other races mixed in there as well.

Let me explain. Thirty years ago, my wife and I adopted a newborn little girl who happened to be African-American. Her skin is the color of fine milk chocolate and her hair is as kinky as kinky can get. We fell in love with her right away. Adopting her ended nine years of failed attempts to have a child naturally. Just five months later, we adopted another baby. This one is half Hispanic. Several years later, we adopted a little boy who is part black, part Pacific Islander. So we have a variety of races in our family.

Shortly after we adopted our first little girl (who is now very tall and beautiful), we experienced a very eye-opening incident. We were walking in a mall on our way to see a movie and a young man started talking to us. I don’t know what his problem was but he started spouting all of these racial slurs against black people. I felt an interesting reaction. I was very offended. Not just for my daughter or for all people of color, but for myself. My daughter had become a part of me. So in a way, I had become part black. So when he was insulting black people, he was insulting me as well! I told him in no uncertain terms that I didn’t appreciate his remarks.

I’ve thought about it many times since. My children are a part of me, even though they aren’t related to me biologically. That makes me part white, part black, part Latino, and part Pacific Islander. But it goes further than that. I believe that everyone on this planet is my brother or sister. That’s not just mushy poetic talk. I believe we’re all children of one Heavenly Father. I believe that spiritually, as well as going way back in genealogy, we’re all related. Everyone of every race is a part of me.

I wasn’t raised to be racist. So I don’t understand racism. I realize that even those who are racist are my brothers and sisters as well. But I just don’t get it. I really thought that the people of the United States had risen above racism. I know there are still individuals who are struggling with it, but I didn’t think that organizations would still rise up against people of other races, like we’re seeing now. I don’t understand how someone would think that they’re better than someone else simply because of the color of their skin or their heritage.

Racism is based on hatred. Whether a person feels that their hatred is justified or not, it’s a very destructive emotion. It not only hurts others, including society itself, it can lead to violence and other destructive actions. And it goes deeper than that. Strong negative emotions, especially hatred, tear us up inside. They rob us of both health and happiness. As a doctor and someone who works with emotions quite a bit, I’ve seen what these emotions can do to people. So it isn’t just about “being nice”. It’s about your own health and well-being. Even if you feel a certain satisfaction in “justifiably” feeling hatred toward someone, it can still be very destructive.

As my wife always says, “everyone just needs to play nice”. Forgiveness and gratitude can bring you much greater happiness than feelings of hatred. We’re all related in some way. So try to feel more love and empathy toward others, including people of other races or ethnic origins.

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The Parable of the Minefield – Part 2

February 10, 2017

When I wrote the Parable of the Minefield, I was thinking that I was defying the definition of courage, when I thought that the prevailing definition was a lack of fear. But when I looked it up in the dictionary afterward, I saw that the definition actually does match my understanding of it. It defines courage as “the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous” (Merriam-Webster). I would change one word of that. I would change “know” to “feel or believe”. Life is all about perception, especially emotions. For instance, if you have a phobia, you may know intellectually that your fear is not reasonable. Your mind may tell you that something is not dangerous, even though in your heart you believe it is. No matter how much logic you try to apply, you may not be able to summon the courage to do the thing you’re afraid of.

In my story of the minefield, what if there were no mines, but rather, people just thought that it was a minefield? Would it have changed the 5 examples? No! The first person, who didn’t know that it was believed to be a minefield, would have been vindicated to find out later that there really never were any mines. However, he still may have initially had a panic attack when he was led to believe that he had just crossed a minefield. He was still ignorant of the common belief, even if it was incorrect to begin with.

The second man, who didn’t care because he had given up, would not have changed his attitude if he found out later that it was not really a minefield.

The third man, who wouldn’t go because he was overcome with fear, was unable to cross the field because he believed that it did contain mines. Even though the mines were not real, his fear was very real because it was based on the belief that he would likely be killed or maimed by what he thought were mines in the field. Even if someone came along and told him that there no mines in the field, if he continued to believe deep down that there were mines in the field, he still may not have been able to summon the courage to cross it. Many of us have unreasonable fears that may have no basis in fact, but their effect on us can be just as real as if it were a dangerous situation.

Did the fourth man, who was trembling with fear as he crossed the field, exhibit true courage even though there weren’t really any mines? Absolutely! Courage is doing the thing that you’re afraid to do, regardless of whether or not the fear is justified.

What about the fifth man, who was inspired to exercise faith and put his trust in God as he confidently crossed the field? Did he exercise real faith even though the danger wasn’t real after all? Of course! What about when he prayed about it? Shouldn’t God have simply told him not to worry about it since there weren’t any mines in the field? Even if he were so spiritually in tune that he could have gotten such a detailed answer to his prayer, it may not have been in the man’s best interest for God to share that tidbit of information. One of our purposes here on earth is to learn to exercise faith. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. The more that we can use faith, the less fear will control our life. Did the Spirit lie to the man? No. God simply gave him an assurance that, one way or another, everything would be alright… and it was. Of course God knew that there no mines in that field. But all the man needed to know was that things would be okay. Through that experience, the man was able to build his faith.

There have been many times in my life that I’ve lacked courage; times that fear has held me back. When I have exercised courage by going forward in spite of fear, I have not only accomplished more than I would have otherwise, I have grown personally and built my character. Exercising courage does not mean doing stupid dangerous things. But when your heart, mind and spirit tell you to do something or take your life in a particular direction, move forward in faith, in spite of fears that may be getting in the way.

“I Tried!”

October 27, 2016

falling-dominoes-1422284For a long time now, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of “trying”. The word “try”, along with all of its variations, is often misunderstood and misused. I believe that looking at this concept in the proper manner can have a major impact on your success in life. Imagine the following two scenarios –

Scenario one – I have a pencil on my desk and I ask you to try to pick it up. An easy task, right? If you pick it up, that’s doing, not trying. If you don’t even attempt it, you can’t say that you tried.

Scenario two – I ask you to pick up a large truck and lift it above your head without the use of any tools or equipment. I would consider that an impossible task, as I’m sure you would also. You can pull up on it with all your might, but you won’t be able to lift it, even if you have some delusion that you have super powers.

For some of you word buffs, you will argue that the word “try” also means to accomplish something. However, the way that I think of it and the way that it’s often used, especially in the past tense, means that you attempted something but did not succeed. So please bear with me as I use it in that manner. The way I see it, there are three prerequisites for honestly saying that you tried to accomplish something.

  1. You must approach it with the belief that the task is something that is possible for you to achieve.
  2. You must put forth a full, honest effort with a clear intention to succeed in the task.
  3. In the end, you must fail in the attempt (going back to the way that I’m using the word). Based on 1 and 2, if you do not succeed, this will qualify you as having tried. If you do number 1 and 2, in most cases, you will succeed, in which case I would say that you didn’t just try, you did.

In the first scenario, there is a case in which you could say that you really “tried” to pick up the pencil. Let’s say that, unbeknownst to you, the pencil had been glued to the desk and it was your understanding that you could only use your bare hands to pick it up. In that case, you would have gone to pick it up and fulfilled all three of the prerequisites of having tried. What if you believed that the pencil were glued to the desk even though it wasn’t? Would you even make the attempt? If you really put forth an honest effort, you would pick it up easily and be surprised that it was no effort at all. What if you had been hypnotized to believe that the pencil actually weighed 2000 pounds? If you even tried at all, would your belief prevent you from lifting the pencil, even though in reality it only weighs a few ounces? That’s an interesting question.

There are actually many times in life that we encounter this type of situation. How many things would you attempt if you really believed you could and would succeed? How many things do you avoid because you don’t believe it’s possible (or at least likely) for you to be able to succeed?

Let’s say that the pencil really was glued to the desk but I never said anything about using a tool to lift it up. Would you just assume that you must use your bare hands, or would you get something to pry it up with, or if necessary, get it off the desk in pieces? In other words, do you think outside the box to get something accomplished, rather than giving up because you believe it’s impossible?

In the second scenario, what if you just thought it was a real truck, but it was actually a cleverly disguised balloon that was barely resting on the ground? Your internal beliefs may prevent you from even making an attempt to lift it. After all, you don’t want to look foolish! But in this case, if you really did make an honest attempt to lift it and were able to get past any personal belief that could prevent your muscles from even putting forth the effort, you would be very surprised to learn that it was not only possible to lift the truck above your head, but actually quite easy.

Everyone knows that even the strongest man in the world can’t lift a large truck above his head with just his bare hands. But how many situations are there where everyone believes that a task is not possible, but then someone goes out and does it anyway? There have been many examples of this. Either the task was easier than everyone believed, or as is often the case, someone found the strength, inspiration, ideas and determination to actually accomplish it, in spite of the difficulty.

Why is there so much confusion? The simple answer is that we need to have a clear understanding of what we can and can’t do. But obviously it isn’t always that easy. I’ve written in previous entries about how challenging it can be to perceive reality as it truly is. We have so many filters, biases and preconceptions, plus the fact that we don’t usually have all of the facts. Just like having a pencil secretly glued to the desk or a balloon that looks like a heavy truck. There can be many factors skewing our understanding of what is really possible for each of us as individuals. There can be a lack of understanding of what’s truly possible in any given situation. We may be lacking in belief and determination, including self-confidence. We may have false perceptions of the rules and limitations. Or in other words, we may be “stuck in the box”, like assuming we can’t use a tool to pry up the glued-down pencil.

I believe that some of the greatest sources of stress in our lives can be attributed to these kinds of confusion. One situation is where you truly believe you can do something, but you consistently miss the mark. Like if you really believed that you could lift a real truck with your bare hands, so you kept pulling and pulling on it with all of your might. You just wind up getting sore, worn out and wasting time. There may really be goals in your life that are beyond your reach, although I don’t believe that’s very common. The fact is that the truck CAN be lifted, but you need a lot of help and the right tools. So usually, it’s not so much that the task cannot be accomplished, but that you’re going about it the wrong way. So rather than stressing about not being able to ever accomplish a particular goal, if it’s something that you really desire, step back and take an objective look at how else the task could be accomplished.

Another source of stress is when you’re putting great forth great amounts of effort trying to accomplish something that you don’t even believe you can accomplish. If you really believe deep down that the pencil weighs 2000 pounds or is glued to the table and you think you’re not allowed to use any tools to pry it up, especially if you have a lot of time and emotion invested in that belief, would you be able to just reach down and pick up that pencil that isn’t stuck and only weighs a few ounces? This is where you get into some of these deep psychological mysteries. And yet, I think that it happens quite frequently. What if a football team was getting a pep talk right before a game where the coach said, “There’s no way we can beat this team, but go out and give it your all.”? (In other words, don’t plan to win, just “try” to win. Have you ever talked to yourself that way?) Maybe the other team will not be very good and they could beat them after all. Perhaps, but I doubt it. Most often, that team who doesn’t believe they can win has very little chance of winning. Any decent coach, even if he knows deep down that they’re playing a much better team, will do his best to instill into the players the belief that they can win.

In life, we’re sometimes faced with situations that we don’t believe we can win with, but we put forth our best efforts anyway due to social pressure or physical necessity. It could be a salesman with a very poor sales record who’s been told that he’s got to get the top sales for that week or he will be fired. Then at the end of the week, his sales aren’t much better than normal and he gets fired. He then cries out, “I tried!” Or it could be someone who’s been trying desperately to find a job for a long time and who needs to find a job this month or his family will be out in the street. The next month rolls around and still no employment. He exclaims bitterly, “I tried my very best!” In neither of these cases is the person lying. However, as I stated earlier, I believe that part of trying is not just putting forth an effort, but actually believing deep down that you can accomplish the task. Trapped emotions, acquired beliefs, and so forth can prevent us from having the faith to really put forth a full and honest effort, even when we are doing our best to believe “on the outside”.

Energy work that we do, including the Emotion Code, Body Code and EVOX, can help people to release trapped emotions and false perceptions that prevent us from reaching our full potential. In the meantime, it’s important that we don’t judge others based on what WE believe they should be able to do. Notice that I did not state in either of the scenarios in the preceding paragraph whether or not they were capable of accomplishing the task that they absolutely had to succeed at. From the outside looking in, we have no way of knowing, in spite of how well we feel that we would do in that situation. One of my pet peeves is when someone says, “if I can do it, anyone can do it”. That is a slap in the face to our Creator who made each of us with unique talents and abilities. Also, we don’t know what someone is or is not capable of, given their current circumstances. For ourselves, we need to do some careful self-examination and make sure that if we feel that we’re really trying to accomplish something, we are fulfilling the first two prerequisites of what it means to really try. Then if you really do fall short of your goal and you don’t accomplish the thing you’re trying to accomplish, you can truly and justifiably say, “I TRIED!”

Remember though, it makes no sense to intend to try. Just like the example of picking up a pencil. You can intend to pick it up or you can refuse to pick it up. If it had been glued down, you could say you tried after the fact. But it doesn’t make sense to say that you intend to put forth an effort with an intention to fail. Like Yoda said in Star Wars, “There is no try, only do.” In future tense, never say you’re going to try, only intend to do.

Crises and Priorities

August 1, 2016

storm-843732__180What are your priorities? In other words, what are the things that are most important to you? Although they could include sports, games, and other leisure activities, most likely your responses would include spouse, children, career, education, income, and or religion. When life is going smoothly, it can be easier to maintain your priorities, although a common problem is that people tend to get lazy and start slipping away from the things that are really important toward the things that are more fun or easier. When things aren’t going so smoothly, when times are turbulent and stresses mount, there are two common responses. For some people, it brings their priorities into sharp focus. Especially when we feel threatened, we cling to the things that are the very most important to us. For other people, they can sometimes go into panic or survival mode and completely lose sight of the priorities.

It is said that good health is one of the greatest blessings that you can have. It’s true that no matter who you are or what your station in life is, if you have poor health, your quality of life will suffer. This applies to old and young, rich and poor, even nobility. Of course, when I refer to health, I’m looking at it from a holistic standpoint. It’s not just a matter feeling good physically. It’s a state of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. When you’re young and very active, the tendency is to take your health for granted. As you get older and start to accumulate injuries, surgeries and other health problems along the way, you can go too far the other way and be obsessed with your health. Of course, what I often see in these cases is that people are not obsessed with their health, but rather their health problems. (Energy flows where the attention goes.)

The commotion in the world is increasing. There is greater stress and uncertainty. Even if you’re fortunate enough to be in a stable family and have a good job, chances are you’re feeling the stress. How will you react to crises around you? When the stresses of life, community and country are closing in around you, do you set aside priorities or do you focus on them more intensely? Hopefully your health is a priority for you. I think about how, when you’re preparing to take off in an airplane and they give you the safety instructions, they tell you that if oxygen masks are needed, to put yours on first and then help those around you. The reasoning behind this should be obvious. If you pass out, you’re unable to help yourself or anyone else around you. So in life, even when your spouse and children are your main priorities, it won’t help in the long run to sacrifice your own health in order to help your family. The more stresses you have in life, the more critical it is that you pay attention to your health.

Take care of yourself. I have a feeling that conditions in the world are going to get worse before they get better. Do whatever you can to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually for whatever may lie ahead. If I can be of assistance, contact me.

Happiness and the “If Only” Syndrome

February 22, 2016

Happy confused babyI’ve written before about how the purpose of life is to have joy and that happiness can be gained in a variety of ways, especially with expressing gratitude. Since we’re all looking for happiness, it’s normal to associate happiness with particular people, places, events, foods, etc. This can sometimes be helpful. When we start to lose our way on the path to joy, they can be an anchor – something we can return to that reminds us of happier times, thus enabling us to re-experience that feeling of happiness. Sometimes however, these associations can be destructive. Perhaps the most common of these are sweet foods. People frequently get into a cycle where they eat to feel happy (comfort foods), but then they gain weight. When they see the weight gain, it causes a degree of sadness and disappointment. So where do they go for comfort? Sweet, fatty foods. Then they get into that downward spiral. I knew another guy who was a clean freak. He would spend so much time cleaning that he would often fall short on other important responsibilities. That would make him feel guilty. How did he deal with the feelings of guilt? Clean some more.

Situations where we frequently and easily return to things that make us feel happy can be destructive, or at least hold us back in life. However, there are often sources of happiness that are not easily attained, which can be just as destructive, if not more so. This is the “if only” syndrome. “If only I could lose weight, I’d feel more attractive, which would make me happier.” “If only I had more money, I would be really happy.” There are two varieties of “if only’s”. One is trying to return to a condition that you used to enjoy. This could be your childhood – a time when you felt safe and secure (if you were fortunate enough to have a wonderful childhood), when you had no debt, no marital issues, etc. It could be a great vacation you had but conditions won’t allow you to do it again at this time in your life. Perhaps it was a time when you were thinner, or had more money, or had a job you really loved, etc. In that situation, you can get stuck in the past. You’re not moving forward because you keep looking back.

The other “if only” is where you’re stuck wishing for a condition that you’ve never experienced. “If only I’d been born into a rich family.” “If only I was married to this other person.” “If only I’d been taller, or thinner, or smarter, or better looking, or more talented, or had the opportunity for better education, etc.” If only, if only, if only. Sometimes people keep wishing for a better condition, and then one day they finally accomplish their dream, only to find that they had their ladder leaning up against the wrong wall, as it were. I’ve known of some people who worked hard to become rich and famous, but then when they reached that point, they found that it did not provide the happiness that they thought it would. Some of these even resulted in suicide. That’s not to say that dreams don’t come true and that those dreams don’t turn out to be everything you hoped for and more. (I’m really not trying to pessimistic here.) Sometimes we can accomplish these “if only’s” and sometimes we can’t. I think that hopes and dreams can be great, as long we don’t lose touch with the opportunities of the present.

I work with a lot of people who get stuck in an “if only” situation. However, since I deal with so many people, I see many contradictions. I see people who are depressed and frustrated because they’re having a hard time losing weight. And yet, I see lots of thin people who are frustrated and depressed. I see people who are really struggling with financial problems. And yet, having money doesn’t prevent all problems. There are rich people who are miserable too, although having money does give you more and better choices. (I actually don’t see this too often. Most people who are successful have already overcome the if-only syndrome.)

Whether we’re linking our happiness to the past or the future, it’s a very risky and frustrating situation. Happiness is a choice. As I talk about in my Emotion Code class, no one can make you happy, sad, angry or anything else. Other people can provide input, but it’s your reaction to it that determines your emotion. There is very little joy except in the present. Even happy memories can hold us back if we get stuck longing for them. Feeling joy in the moment can help us to break free from the if-only syndrome. Tools such as the Emotion Code and ho’oponopono can assist us in that. Happiness (joy) comes from the inside. I believe that it is a gift from God.

As I work with people, I look for trapped emotions that are holding people back — physically, emotionally or in their life’s goals. We can often make a significant difference in their lives as we clear out this excess baggage (whether we do it in the office or remotely). We align the spine to help the nervous system, we balance chakras, and clear up other imbalances that interfere with the full expression of health and happiness.

 

Causes

January 25, 2016

Chicken vs eggChicken vs. egg – which comes first? Compared to many of life’s pressing questions, that one seems easy. As I’ve studied cause and effect over the years, and as I’ve learned about principles of happiness, success, the law of attraction, etc., I’ve had to change many of my former paradigms. For instance, I’ve always thought that if I could be “successful”, I would then be happier. Now, I’m finding that success is often the result of happiness, not the cause of it. Another one – if I could solve my most pressing problems, I would be at peace. That’s logical, isn’t it? And yet, it appears that the best condition for finding answers to your problems is to be at peace. When you can take a deep breath, have faith, believing an answer will come, and accept the situation for what it is, you allow that peace to come into your mind, which allows inspiration to flow and answers to come. It doesn’t always come right away or like a brick upside the head. It often comes, softly and subtly. That’s how inspiration works.

I’ve written before about the complexity of the mind, body and spirit. We often want so very much to find a simple solution to a complex problem. The fact is that there are often multiple causes all interwoven together. As I work with people, sometimes I get nearly miraculous results. After just a light to moderate amount of treatment, a problem that they’ve been working on correcting for many years (physical, emotional, life problem, etc.) will suddenly disappear! I believe that in many of those cases, what I’ve done is to provide the last essential piece of the puzzle (which might be a big one) that got them over that final hurdle. Most of the results I get with people range somewhere between minimal and miraculous. Where my results seem to be on the minimal side, in spite of a lot of clearing, releasing and correcting, I believe that I just haven’t done enough yet to clear that hurdle where a major difference would be felt by the patient.

In cases where I don’t seem to be making much progress, especially when I confirmed every correction through my muscle testing, did I fail? Were my efforts wasted? Think about things in your own life, where you’ve worked hard to accomplish something but did not get the desired results. Were all of your efforts wasted? Did you learn from them? Did they make you smarter, stronger, wiser? Chances are that they did. When my results have been less than spectacular, I’ve had to remind myself (and sometimes the patient) that everything we accomplished was good. We made positive changes, even when it wasn’t enough to accomplish the goal they had in mind. I was reminded of this principle in a video I saw lately about how bamboo grows. For the first 5 years, you water it, fertilize it and care for it, but you don’t see anything happening. Then suddenly, it starts growing like crazy. It can get to be 60 feet tall in a matter of weeks. In reality, it was growing all that time – under the ground. It creates a thick, complex root system so it can support the tall trunk once it starts growing above ground. If you didn’t understand this, you would most likely give up watering it and caring for it after the first year or two.

What do you do if you’re not sure your bamboo tree is doing anything, so your efforts aren’t entirely being wasted? It’s probably not going to help it grow to dig it up and check on it every few months. You’d probably kill it! So what about other things in our life? How often have we given up just short of accomplishing our goals? Or how many times have we actually been accomplishing a great deal, even when we weren’t seeing the fruits of our labors, at least not the ones pertaining to our desired goals? May I suggest the following?

  • Be at peace with the journey. Positive efforts are never wasted. Either they’re bringing you closer to your goal or you’re at least gaining wisdom and experience that will help you in other endeavors.
  • Be loving, not judgmental, toward yourself. Do your best, but then forgive yourself when you don’t accomplish things just as you would like. Then extend that same loving, forgiving attitude toward those around you, which will bring you greater peace and happiness.
  • Don’t be overly attached to every little outcome. Keep in mind that the purpose of life is to experience joy. Sometimes we don’t see the bigger picture. I’m not suggesting a lazy, “whatever” life devoid of goals or effort. I believe in working hard. However, I’ve learned that it’s important to first accept what is (as opposed to throwing inner tantrums hoping that it will magically change our current circumstances), and then with calm inspiration, work toward achieving and accepting that which we would prefer.
  • Be open to causes and effects that you may not have considered previously. Sometimes we fail to find the answers for which we seek because we have blinded ourselves to them, simply because they don’t fit into the reality that we understand or have been taught.
  • Understand that feelings of love, forgiveness, peace of heart and mind, and faith will attract more good things into your life than huge amounts of stressful work with the wrong attitude. The Emotion Code, tapping, ho’oponono, and other techniques can help to clear out the barriers to clear and peaceful thought.

I wish you joy and happiness in your life – not that everything will go smoothly without any challenges or difficulties (you’d stagnate and never reach your potential in life!), but that you will make the decision to accept joy into your life and align yourself with its principles.