What supplements I use to help combat Arthritis

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[NOTE: these are not prescriptions, I’m sharing this as my own experience in helping to reduce arthritic pain and inflammation – you may need to experiment with the dosage you take and always consult your doctor for possible drug interactions.]

Many people and clients have asked me about this and I have grown weary of writing down the list each time.  So here it is:

All of this was passed on to me except the Bromelain – which I reasearched. It works to some degree. I will begin the list with the least expensive and work up to the most expensive. The least expensive places to buy these supplements are at Amazon or Vitacost with two exceptions.

  1. MSM (methylsufonylmethane) 1,000 mg per day with and equal amount of Vitamin C to activate it. It will take up to two weeks for any noticeable effect. MSM occurs naturally in foods. It treats joint pain, muscle cramps and may decrease joint degeneration. It is used in treating other problems see: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/msm-methylsulfonylmethane-uses-and-risks#1
  2. Turmeric anywhere from 450 mg to 1,000 mg per day for lessening inflammation: https://draxe.com/cayenne-pepper-benefits/
  3. Bromelain (pineapple enzyme) I take two tabs of 500 mg on an empty stomach per day. Normally Bromelain is used as a digestive enzyme – in Europe they have used it as a natural anti-inflammatory. I’ve experimented with taking up to 3,000 mg at one time and although it eliminated the pain completely it also produced dizziness boarding on vertigo. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-895-bromelain.aspx?activeingredientid=895&activeingredientname=bromelain
  4. Cayenne in capsules I take two 500mg x once per day for reducing arthritic pain. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-945-Cayenne+Pepper+CAPSICUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=945&activeIngredientName=Cayenne+Pepper+(CAPSICUM)&source=2
  5. Glucosamine 750 mg / Chondroitin 600mg for joint pain. Some swear by this I’m not sure it has any effect on me. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/10/facts-about-joint-supplements/index.htm
  6. Hyaluronic Acid 100mg to assist joints. I get the Now brand without additions of Collagen. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1062-hyaluronic%20acid.aspx?activeingredientid=1062&
  7. Fish Oil 1,000 mg for joints (it also has been used to treat depression) I take 1 capsule of 1,000 mg per day. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/omega-3-fish-oil-supplements-for-high-blood-pressure
  8. Flex Now 2,250 mg of Shea butter helps with maintaining cartilage and bone, reduces pain and inflammation. It takes 30 to 60 days to notice a result. http://www.powerofshea.com/
  9. Topical – Helichrysum essential oil

Where I buy:

  1. MSM 1,000 mg from VitaCost.com 240 capsules from the Vitacost brand
  2. Turmeric from either Vitacost or Amazon
  3. Bromelain – Source Naturals 500mg per tablet, 120 tabs per bottle and I get two bottles from Amazon at a good price.
  4. Cayenne – I get it from the Now brand from Amazon
  5. Glucosamine 750 mg / Chondroitin 600mg from Costco 220 tablets per bottle
  6. Hyaluronic Acid – from Vitacost or Amazon
  7. Fish Oil 1,000 mg per soft gel; 400 tabs per bottle at Costco
  8. Flex Now from their website two bottles of 90 tabs each (180 tabs altogether) for $59.95 not including shipping. Amazon and Vitacost charge about $60 per bottle:     http://www.powerofshea.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Care as a Right

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Caring for health both as humans and as a planet with all the beings and all the elements of the planet does not seem to enter into our thoughts about health care. Some have thought about the health of the planet, but a healthy planet is not considered a part of health care policy. Our health and the planet’s health are divorced from one another and that seems unnatural and dangerous. Much of the literature – on-line about health care involves cost and money. This is an example of a reductionistic view of health that separates health from communities and the planet and sees health care as a business where profit is the highest value and health care is secondary to profit. Most corporations – at least the larger ones become more or as concerned with profit as with the products and/or services that they provide or sell. An environment where profit is accentuated limits the ability for higher levels of health care service to come to the fore due to a context of competition for profit.

By artificially separating Health Care for humans from a holistic view of a healthy planet we have created an isolated system where individual health is doomed for failure. Large corporations and government regulation or the lack of it to provide the best health care possible for humans excludes our environment – Earth and creates a destructive loop. As far as profit from larger corporations such as HMOs, the AMA, insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations Health Care has less to do with health and more to do with profit.

By excluding Earth from the health equation the Health-For-Profit Care Business excludes known and intuitively known toxic elements manufactured by industry that kill, maim or systematically weaken immune systems over time to name a few of the health risks from the toxic environment of planet Earth. Thus we create conditions for poor health, utilize Health Care Corporations to use expensive solutions to assist those that fall prey to toxic conditions so additional profits can be generated and maybe ill persons may survive. That is unhealthy but it creates huge profits for large corporations. The work of Patch Adams provides a ray of hope for medicine.[1]

Based on public health care the long-term effects of immediate profit create a higher expense: “In 2010, U.S. public entities spent $3,967 per person on health care. That’s far more than Germany, Canada, France, Britain, and all of the other countries we conservatives normally think of as socialist dystopias.”[2]

The myopic gestalt of profit and the greed it foments has truncated our survival as a species on planet Earth. The short-term solution is government regulation and a human right to Health Care. A longer-term solution may be to include Earth as part of capitalism.[3]

[1] http://www.patchadams.org/gesundheit/

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/03/28/yes-health-care-is-a-right-an-individual-right/#227bd71a4d66

[3] http://www.natcap.org/

Why NOT go to a Psychic?

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Originally published on April 6, 2010 – now with updates

Context:

As technology and social change have accelerated beginning in the 1980s humans have resisted these changes and seek reassurances from psychics and other spiritual gurus that “I am going to be okay.”

In 1992 the frequency of the planet changed and the way of the patriarchy died and something new was born. No one knows exactly what the new energy is like or how it will manifest. Our proclivity as humans is to remain the same until whatever new future is deemed “safe”. The patriarchy is hanging on – one need only look at the election of Donald Trump to see a desire to return to simpler times while in denial of a complex world.

 

When one asks a psychic about one’s future there are a number of underlying assumptions we’d all like to be true:

 

  1. There is a future that can be nailed where anxiety and fears are removed, then I can know I am safe and happy.                                                                                                        ~ one possible solution: breathe through anxiousness and face fears as a way towards mastery. When we put off safety and happiness in the future we are always chasing it rather than acknowledging we may already feel safe and happy because we decided.

 

  1. I give up my power to the psychic (a parent-figure perhaps?) instead of co-creating my future with spirit.                                                                                                                         ~ one possible solution – breathe and be your own psychic – perhaps through meditation

 

  1. I believe that some “thing” in my future will make me be okay.                                             ~ see possible solution in #1

 

  1. There is something wrong (or I am bored) with me in the present – I am incomplete.      ~ one possible solution – perhaps peace is the flip side of boredom? The present is all there is. Decide you are complete, peaceful and there is nothing wrong with you.

 

  1. The content of my life (what my ego identifies with) is what makes me happy. Things and having allow me to feel secure and owning happiness – “I am in-control.”                                                                                                                                                  ~ one possible solution – begin with a gratefulness practice. How are you happy right now? Make a list or just contemplate this.

 

  1. I have forgotten what real happiness is (like when I was a kid) and have traded my happiness for “I’ll be happy when I have…” thus confusing content for being (an other way of stating number 4).

 

  1. I believe “magic” can make things happen and I don’t have to work for it.                          ~ one possible solution — making a space for unplanned events to unfold while cultivating your intuition can open doors to “magic”. Intuition may be a “spotty” thing, but without a practice to exercise intuition the the logic of daily life fills up everything and where’s the fun in that?

 

Anyone with intuition can see your expectations and tell you the logical conclusion to them – thus posing as a psychic and maybe doing a good job of it.

Life is 99% hard work and maybe 1% miracles or good luck. There are many factors in manifesting the content or things of our lives. Remembering that we are already happy can be increasingly difficult because we have forgotten how to play like children and have heaped personal, family and society beliefs on our plate and forgotten how happy we once were.

Once I began cultivating being within myself working towards “the future” became easier knowing that whatever happens to be “I am okay” inside.

my account of the Blizzard of 1978

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INTRODUCTION

In 1978 I worked in a psychiatric nursing home. One of the patients punched me in the face and broke my plastic framed glasses and drove it into my left eye. I went to the ER. The Ophthalmologist said that I may have a detached retina, but the area was too enflamed to make any determination.

“Go home and rest. No reading.” He squirted some goo in my eye, put a patch on it and made an appointment for February 5 1978 at 10 am at the Fallon Clinic.

THE BLIZZARD

On Monday February 5th two of my nine housemates took me to the appointment, one driving his car and other driving my car.

 Snow fell, and it was a storm like any other. The waiting room of the Fallon Eye Clinic was in a basement and was without windows. The doctor had had an emergency at the hospital so my appointment was pushed back to 11:30 am.

No detached retina, my eye was fine.

I put my coat on and stepped out of the waiting room. White-Out. I barely found my car the snow was everywhere, visibility was maybe five feet at best. I drove, inched home. I lived in a house with nine others two toddlers and an infant and Monday was our food shopping day. When two of the shoppers arrived home from the supermarket with some food they said that the store was being closed due to the blizzard.

We went to Spags (of Worcester, MA) – they said – open for emergencies only. We didn’t have enough food that was our emergency. We went to a deli on Water Street, our last stop before hunkering down in the storm.

One of my housemates was trapped at his parents’ house and delivered groceries to customers from their corner store on a snowmobile.

Four to five feet of snow fell. People died in their cars on the Mass Pike.

Giant bucket lifters cleared the road; piling snow up on either side of 20 to 25 feet high. It took me three days to dig out my little VW bug. And it had a flat tire.

Hope for Peace and Justice for All – the long haul

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In 1982 I experienced a gradual awakening as if I was emerging out of a cloud. I realized that the world was “Upside-Down” meaning that peace and justice existed only for those with the money to pay for it and that war was good for business. Later as a result of my desire for truth and a spiritual reconnection with planet Earth I came to see that justice needed to include the planet as well as all the peoples of the planet.

I didn’t know my place in this life-long movement, only that I needed to be a part of this vision for a better world for all.

My quest lead me to California to study Vipassana Meditation with a 90 year Cambodian Buddhist Monk. I felt called to become a healer, but my rational reductionistic thinking got in the way at that time.

In 1985 I began work in a Crisis Residential Treatment Center for people without money (or with SSI disability) experiencing a mental illness difficulties.

In the course of my work there I uncovered the alternative healer in myself and surrendered to this avocation.

I have worked in alternative non-profit Mental Health in California for nearly twenty years as a part of team working to assist those in crisis to have more meaningful lives. Many of our clients would come back. Some have gone on to meaningful and productive lives, others have died some by their own hand and some by disease. People without hope, living on the streets respond to a home-like environment and the care given by the team to begin the process of respect each individual deserves.

Working both as a Crisis Residential Counselor and as an alternative healer there are many times that I don’t or haven’t know the results of my efforts (or the team’s) and I continue to work for this because its the right path.

I recently retired to continue to pursue an alternative healing practice full time

Frantic for the future

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As humans we are so often concerned with outcomes that we become frantic for a specific future. While we may achieve our desired outcome another desired outcome looms just over the hill and a precious state of consciousness is lost. Frantic actions seem more prevalent and perhaps even programmed consciously or unconsciously. Distractions and the illusions of multitasking abound amid the frantic drive for an increasingly allusive future.

ASIDE: Multitasking has been scientifically debunked. We as humans cannot focus on multiple tasks simultaneously because our brains are not hardwired for it. We focus one one task at a time and when confronted with a variety of tasks we stop one task and begin another decreasing our effectiveness https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creativity-without-borders/201405/the-myth-multitasking

Perhaps our frantic actions focused on a elusive future is an inevitable result of acceleration of science and technology. Are we trying to catch up?

Perhaps the emotional compunction to feel frantic has a cloying, obsessive, out-of-breath neediness that originates from an unconscious compulsion to feel in-control. This can readily be seen in driving habits. I have fallen prey to this frantic need to pursue timeliness under impossible conditions as I think we all have from time to time.

When I first arrive in California in the early 1980s driving was more pleasurable, relaxed and civilized. It was laid-back. Driving in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York had a murderous cut-throat aspect where many were threatening to use their cars as weapons. California driving was easier due to less cars on the road and the “laid-back” philosophy of drivers. Now with a greater number of drivers and cars on the roads and increasing distractions – cell phone and texting, the neediness of “being first” and other stresses we as drivers are less present and/or increasingly prey to issues of entitlement and fears converted into anger and rage.

A practice to bring mindfulness to driving could follow this prescription:
1. No cell phone use while moving (calls and text made when the car is pulled over and is completely stopped.)
2. Giving oneself 15 minutes extra in arriving at your destination and when you do arrive don’t begin work immediately. Take a few moments to ground and center yourself so that you can continue to work on being present).
3. Drive the speed limit.
4. Slow down for lights that have already turned red (or yellow at a distance) so that by the time you come to cars stopped at the light they are moving with a turned-green light – eliminating the need for stopping or at the very least remaining idling for a longer period of time at a red light and inching forward. (There is a tendency to speed up to wait in line for a red light as well as a tendency to fill in the gap between your car and the next).
5. If someone fails to use their signal or cuts you off drive defensively- be aware that if you’re feeling angry and wish to act-out your anger it is coming from fear.
6. Acknowledge the anger and the fear use your breath to calm your being and return to your driving practice.

A frantic focus on gaining instantaneous security in the future is an illusion based on a cultivation of a belief that “society” can resolve our problems instantaneously. These beliefs fueled by frantic emotions are cultivated by many in-power seeking to manipulate people for profit. Profit without social and environmental responsibility are cut from the same cloth of feeling frantic about the future. The people who are hurtling down the path of profit could be frantic about their goals and could be seen as perpetrators of manipulating others for future gain. They often cannot see beyond the benefits of their immediate product or service and are locked into the next quarter’s profits without acknowledging a larger more responsible future in the context of community.

A good example of a frantic focus on a future that can solve our problems are people suffering from illnesses. Most anyone with the flu would like the perfect mom to care for them and tell them: “you’ll be okay”. There may be a tendency for an individual to go to their primary care physician- and they will have immediate answers or may invent an answer if they don’t have one and/or run some tests. Part of recovery from a flu is dealing with symptoms and waiting while knowing that the process is healing.

The journey is more important than the destination especially when our focus is frantically fixated on a future result. When anxiety and frantic anticipation are placed on achieving a goal then two modes of reactions seem to unfold: being a parent or being a child. This is a simplification of course. From the outside someone moving swiftly and frantically towards a future goal may not be seen as frantic because as a culture we have normalized the behavior – the drive to achieve goals – fear disappears.

Successful goal setters are admired as they are plugged into a future of immediate short-term growth that often disregards the whole of the journey for a narrow subset of values. Immediate profits disregard the impact to the organic world/planet, disregard social and economic justice for all, disregard the disenfranchised, race, gender / historically disregard women. Often successful goal achievers live within small exclusive social bubbles where their views are thought to include the whole of society regardless of others’ pre-existing conditions and disadvantages. If you live within this kind of bubble the reality of discrimination against poor, middle class peoples, and a disregard of the environment becomes invisible. The plugged in goal achiever treats him or herself and others (including the planet) as objects to be used. The journey is disregarded except to exhort that the ends (mostly within the law) justifies the means. Successful goal achievers often treat those that disagree with them as children creating an imbalanced power relationship.

The people that are neither parents nor children in this equation may be compassionate/neutral people working on being present in the context of the journey. (I’m purposely excluding those that have checked-out because of a tendency to revert to apathy and depression which may lead to feeling victimized.)

People who often feel powerless and revert to being in a one-down position may be more obviously frantic for the future because it may be seen as a fix or a “place” where one can be saved. Powerlessness may come from inexperience, may be gender, race or economically associated or related to addictive behaviors.

The achievers as described above – the parents- need the powerless to make themselves feel righteous and powerful. The children – or disenfranchised need the parents to find the answers or to continue to subject themselves to abuse or to rebel against the power possessors

All of us have been achievers-parents and disenfranchised-children from time to time (no pun intended). Its difficult to live for the journey, to be present, to live in a neutral compassionate place constantly. If you think you have accomplished being present you are most likely living in a illusory state.

As the income-inequality gap widens and we utilize tech toys in our daily lives there is a tendency to becoming increasingly distracted, separated from ordinary human to human interaction – talking face to face is one example, getting caught up in the shrinkage of the spoken word, and plugging into a shorter attention span – television, Twitter etc. pressures us into feeling frantic about the safety we long for in the future.

Breathe and relax into the present. We have great wisdom in our bodies (chronic illnesses not withstanding). Breathe, relax your musculature and let your breath within your lungs and how “the breath” affects the body let you into the present moment. When I notice myself spinning out into some future or worry I shift my attention with gentle love in kindness to my breath and sit in the big easy chair of the present.

Exploring Perception: A New England Mindset

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I was raised in the that mindset in Connecticut and went to college in Massachusetts, spending much of my time in New England immersed in the mindset up until I was 30 years old when I left for California. I still have that New Englander part inside me and I have grown out of much of it.

In my last months in Connecticut my mother would say: “You’re going all the way to Massachusetts? Its so far.” About 100 miles in 90 minutes. The distances are often greater in California and the times longer than 90 minutes but don’t seem as far or take as long because of the expansiveness of the landscape and that so many think nothing of it.

When I arrived and settled into living under the anvil of the oppressive heat of California’s Central Valley near Stockton I remember looking out over the expanse of lettuce and string beans to Mt Diablo maybe forty miles away and feeling ‘the call’ of the mountain. I felt the expansiveness of the landscape and the joy of the sky so big and so wondrous.

My experience of having been (and still being) a New Englander comes from my parents and grandparents and growing up in the 1950s and 1960s and so I can only speak generationally (from my generation). While there are changes from the X generation and the millennials some of the characteristics of the New England persona may still apply, but I don’t know.

I know that many of my friends and clients who reside in New England have overcome many of the downsides of the New England persona, but its still there. I’ve seen it in a relative and in myself.

Bullet points of The New England Persona:
* Stiff Upper-Lip – meaning the poker face, never show your true emotions, especially sadness and /or grief.

Skin-Flint – meaning thrifty. Actually meaning getting rock-bottom prices for goods and services. I told a relative that I had a sliding scale for services rendered. They sniggered at me and asked: “Why would anybody pay more when they could ‘get away-with paying the lowest price.’?” I answered: “Because they have the ability to pay” and “because they think their worth it.”

* Fiercely independent or self-sufficient – not asking for help, doing everything for oneself.

* Privacy – there is an insular quality to families and a distrust of those that ask too many questions.

* Tradition – is very important even if it is invisible and tradition is parochial within communities. Some homes and institutions were established in the 1600s giving a rich heritage and foundation in the past, and this lends to a conservative stance in all areas not just political. When I see a company that was established in 1955 I smile and think of institutions in New England established in the 1700 and 1800s. Its snobbish.

My father and mother were typical New England Yankees, conservative, parochial, fiercely independent and traditionalists. My father’s liberalism came from letting me do what I wanted – explore the world the way I wanted and to learn what I wanted to learn they ways in which I wanted to learn them. He taught me to think – to reason for myself, expecting me to think like he did and when I didn’t he tried to crush me with both his intellect and his fists. Eventually through a long and uneasy truce he began to respect my stance.

Growing up surrounded by reductionistic logic and Republican dogma I rebelled and evolved into the compassion person I am today with a Progressive Political vision.

There are those who are either unaware or vaguely aware of their woundedness and who choose not to work on these hurts. They sometimes live in the past steeped in tradition isolated from others surrounding themselves with an emotional collar of curmudgeonliness, irritation and anger in their refusal to see change. Others are aware of the wound and cannot forgive themselves – such as Lee Chandler, the main character from the film Manchester-By-The-Sea is a defeated man with a hole in his heart. He is a typical man of New England – wounded and unable to heal – living his life out as a silent victim. If my father were alive today he would be living out his New England persona victim as a perpetrator- holding others hostage from a mindset in the past.

My relative – as I have observed has emotionally refused to acknowledge that they world has changed and lives in a tradition of the past that is parochial from a place of fear and denial. And coupled by age has an insular quality to it saw well.

Its a wonder that I have seen the damage caused by the New England persona and have escaped its clutches. Perhaps it has been my relentless search for the truth.

Manchester-By-The-Sea: Context for the film –The story and Casey Affleck’s performance were Oscar performances no doubt. I told a friend that his character Lee Chandler was like many people I have known from New England. She spoke to the character of New England in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Transforming Anger/Fears and “Too Much Democracy”

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It’s important to use compassion and tolerance with people whose opinion is to crush us and make us the enemy. When we allow our own anger / fears to meet those that make us the enemy the result is unproductive and we succumb to the battle of prejudice and lowering our standards. We become part of the problem when we resort to name-calling.

The personal experiences that follow are the underpinning of a beginning to include everyone in systemic transformations:

In the 1980s I was with my good friend traveling in his van with his dog to a nearby city. We encountered a hitchhiker and decided to pick him up. The young man thanked us and he slipped on a headset and listened to a tape on his Walkman.

My friend remarked about the lack of communication from this young guy. We both surmised this was from his fear that made for the separation. My friend remarked how the world had changed via the overwhelming fears.

The 1960s and 70s by contrast people seemed bold and fearless. In the 1980s fear began to creep in even more creating more division between people.

My father was a man who had many fears. He was a man in rebellion and rage that stemmed from fear. He personified the rebelliousness of his youth against his father to a defiance against government. Some of this defiance was a desire to be free. However the vehemence of his rage against authority and his obsessive need to be right and make others wrong was a clear indicator of his underlying fears and insecurities.

The 1960s and 70s represented a brief time in history where fear seemed to diminish and visions for a new way of life seemed possible. Democracy flourished through the civil rights movement, women’s liberation, protests against the war in Vietnam – people were getting involved and taking political action for change. Some would say it was a brief moment in the mid 1960s where a robust and wild creativity showed a possibility for a new world. I am not writing about the causes of the demise of freedom and creativity, just that it happened and fear took hold everywhere and nobody seemed to notice. Both conservative Republicans and the Democrats reliance on the Trilateral Commission’s report that the citizenry of the United States had too much democracy, and this needed to be scaled back.

White people had begun to re-enter a new kind of materialism – the yuppies. African Americans were taking their homes back from the power oppressors through the Black Panthers. This was movement quickly extinguished by the Federal Government’s introduction of guns and drugs in the ghetto in part through the CIA fueling gangs and wars of color.

As I began to work through my own problems with anger and rage uncovering fear and grief underneath I saw how easily people get stuck within the grip of anger and its justifications. I watched my father become increasingly isolated behind his anger. His desire to be right alienated my mother’s friends when I was in High School. His obsession with righteousness allowed him to beat me with the stick of his power and make me wrong, devalue my existence and subjugate me under his rule of terror. I know his father (my grandfather) did the same to him.

He had voted for Kennedy and later for Nixon becoming a conservative Republican until the end of his days. The anger fueled his righteousness and made him feel powerful. He was highly intelligent and so often he had closed his heart to the suffering of others both inside and outside his immediate family. His need for anger and control drove him away from a compassionate look at the causes of these drives and fueled a compulsivity to become increasingly angry and get more control.

I often watched “All in the Family” with him. One time he asked – probably rhetorically – why conservatives were portrayed by the Media as ignorant and stupid.

“It’s because they have closed their hearts to the suffering of others,” I said quickly.

He grunted. My father was a compassionate man but his compassion was limited to his immediate family and there were strings attached.

I watched my mother emotionally isolate herself from my father with passive-aggressive statements that irritated him and in some senses may have laid the groundwork for my mother’s plunge into dementia. This produced great feelings of sadness in me for her and for my father and her as a married couple.

My father’s addiction to anger and righteousness has been mirrored in present day politics as Republicans make enemies of those that disagree. I lived inside the bubble of indifference to suffering during my childhood and teen years. When I discussed my opposition to the war in Vietnam I tried to argue logically inside the premises my father presented leaving me feeling devalued, defeated and sad.

My father complained about a neighbor who was a postal worker making almost as much money as he did.

“What’s wrong with that?” I asked him.

“Intellectual work is more valuable than manual labor,” he said.

“I disagree,” I told him. “All work is honorable and shouldn’t be valued over another type of labor.”

It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in college that my girlfriend came to my defense about my feelings around war, specifically the Vietnam War, when she said:

“How can a feeling be wrong? Feelings aren’t right or wrong they just are.”

I came to see that my father was an elitist who lived within an upper class politically conservative bubble where it was easy to ignore the suffering of others and explain away oppression because he judged everyone from his elitist perspective. His heart and mind were closed by judgments based on anger and ultimately fear.

Even in myself I have noticed fear and an exclusion of others from time to time based on judgments of “us and them” thinking. This is an easy trap that we may fall into as we identify with a group to the exclusions of others that don’t belong to our group. These judgments include a closing of our hearts through judgments, fears, righteousness and elitism to name a few. These are prejudices when we are unaware of how we exclude others and are both prejudiced and have biases when we become aware of the motivation without examining the root causes and healing them.

We cannot keep our hearts open all the time. Heartedness is an opening to the human condition of suffering, loss and grief as well as love and joy. If our hearts were to be open 100% of the time we would feel overwhelmed and perhaps we might dissociate. So retreating to the mind is important to protect our hearts from feeling overwhelmed. The danger of retreating into the mind is staying there without returning to a compassionate feeling heart-place. Also it’s possible while in our minds to fool ourselves into believing we are compassionate when we are not, or we are compassionate towards those that share our beliefs within our social bubbles.

Changing peoples’ minds and hearts especially where fear and exclusion is prevalent becomes an insurmountable force. Talking to individuals due to many factors cannot solve the problems of fear, anger, and prejudice. To change these exclusionary beliefs and policies a systemic approach planned over decades may begin to make a dent in the fear/anger dynamic.

PART TWO

In the A Working Outline of a Possible Plan:

Criminal Justice System

  1. Overturn the three strikes law. Reduce the reliance on mandatory minimum sentencing until it is a last resort. De-criminalize all elicit drugs. Shed For-Profit Prisons.
  2. When someone is arrested for possession and /or use send then to a mandatory drug treatment or dual diagnosis program.
  3. Make Marijuana legal ( as it is in California) nationwide and tax it.

Tax reform

  1. Lower tax burden on the middle class by raising taxes on the top one percent.
  2. Institute a National Business Based Renewable Sales Tax – Businesses that manufacture products that use parts not made from recyclable materials or use fuels (as in automobiles) that are not from renewable resources. The more recycled or renewable materials that they use the less sales tax. Could a Nationally Based Renewable Sales Tax replace the Federal Income Tax for both businesses and individuals alike? Remember Human Beings are one the top of the Renewable list.
  3. Offer tax credits to businesses that use Renewable Resources and Materials in the products they sell as well as in the manufacturing of the products.
  4. Expand tax credits for individuals that buy products and services that utilize at 50 to 100 percent of the products / services that are renewable or use renewable resources

Education

  1. Utilize emotions / intuitive principles in learning as ways to dream and envision creativity in Grades K through 12.
  2. Include emotional tolerance education in elementary and high school education.
  3. Increase funding and infrastructure for specialized technical education as an alternative to college

Nanites for Teeth Cleaning


My Futurist Hat is on:

I had this idea about five years ago. It has advanced some – a Swiss company – http://swissdent.ch/en/ uses nanites in its paste to white and strengthen teeth. I have been thinking about something more comprehensive.

A toothpaste with nanites to clean teeth, clean plaque build-up – acting like floss and cleaning plaque below the gum line. I imagine dentists would have this first and then each of us would have a kit to use every month eliminating the need to clean teeth at the dentist. If one swallows the paste (no fluoride) the nanites would perish in stomach acid.

 

Being Me

Many years ago I took a break from relationships. In August of 2008 a relationship with a woman that had been ill conceived at the start ended. I decided to live relationship-free since then. Since that time I have been working on feeling whole without a woman as intimate partner.

Intially I was taking a break from intimate relationships and even dating when I became increasingly more comfortable with alone-time. In my work with my private clients and in a crisis-team for mental health clients I work intimately with others’ issues and know the emotional life of my teammates. So alone time has become precious to me.

Friendships have become more valuable and have grown deeper without a need for deep intimate contact and this has been a relief. However some of my friends may have felt abandoned because I don’t have much time for friendships due to the intensity of my private work and crisis-team work. My idea of alone time is not talking on the phone, texting or chatting via te internet during me down time. In addition to shedding intimate relationships I have grown into an asexual lifestyle that fits me well.

I titled this piece – “Being Me” in an effort to avoid labeling my state as “single” thus separating myself from couples. Traditionally many define themselves as couples and singles. Technically I am single but I don’t feel single, I am me; an individual voyaging through the world.

I did find an asexual dating site on-line but due to time constraints I let the idea of that go…

I find that I feel intensely free to be me. Yes I am still attracted to the opposite sex but feel no desire to pursue companionship into dating etc.