Archive for the ‘Health’ Category
A house of horrors abortion clinic in Philadelphia. A fourth grade teacher in Florida having students print that they would “give up some of [their] constitutional rights in order to be safe or more secure.” A New York high school teacher who assigned his class to “argue Jews are evil” while blaming them for the problems of Nazi Germany.
I am less troubled by who we have become than by the question, “Why don’t we care who we’ve become?” Have these collective offenses to the Divine in each of us been reduced, at best, to passing stories on the nightly news? Why do we not care about education that is agenda based, deceitful and perverse? Why are we so apathetic or hardened to the systematic slaughter of the unborn that we allow it to continue in the name of a woman’s right to choose?
I am a woman and I chose. When my ex-husband and I could not have a child we chose to go to China and adopt our daughter. She is a beauty both inside and out. In light of the gruesome story out of Philadelphia, I look at her and am pained by the thought that she, too, could have been brutally “terminated” but for the courage of her birth mother, the existence of an orphanage and her own sheer will to survive. What right do we have, we who are the beneficiaries of the gift of life, to take it from the innocence of others? Why do we think we can escape the inevitable slippery slope of turning a blind eye to the total disregard and devaluation of human life? If you know your Purim story and Mordechai’s admonition to Queen Esther, then you know the wisdom teaching that if you try and deny your responsibility towards saving humanity, you too will perish.
As for the stories out of Florida and New York, they are “the canaries in the gold mine” of education. We are, through “Common Core” and our indifference to the personal responsibility for educating our children, abandoning and enslaving this and future generations to the distortions and perversions of evil. So as the power players bombard us with news and arguments in favor of gun control, they are simultaneously and systematically seeking to selectively control the population and mold minds through abortion and curriculum, respectively.
What they seek to accomplish can only be attained by our accompanying indifference and cooperation. What we think will not happen here is based upon the false premise that it can never happen here because it has never happened here.
The premise is false on two counts.
First, at the end of the Civil War, the nation embarked upon Reconstruction and by way of Black Codes, prohibited gun ownership from freedmen, slaves and African-Americans. The result? A flourishing Ku Klux Klan. We have, in our own history, sought to control birth, education and self-defense of an entire people. It was a shameful time, a blight upon the National saga, with repercussions still felt today. Secondly, an enlightened and civilized society, Europe of the early twentieth century, was the breeding ground for Adolph Hitler.
Evil can and will exist anywhere humanity allows it to germinate and grow through indifference and cooperation. The good news is that each of us has total control over how indifferent or cooperative we choose to be. Pick your cause. This is the time to be heard. This is the time to stand. Find the indignation within and, with focused intention, speak truth to power. This is your moment.
There is only One of Us. In no more concise a fashion can this be stated than it was by Rabbi Hillel, the 1st century Jewish sage and scholar who said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”
Have the presence of mind to ask yourself “When?” Then have the courage of heart to hear the response. “Now.”
There are are two stories out today that defy logic and call into question our humanity.
The first is about Iraqi interpreters who worked for the U.S. military. Now that we are gone, the lives of those brave men, and their families, are in peril. They have been marked for death. Yet, that’s not the shocking part of the story. The real shock is that bureaucrats at the U.S. Embassy, in processing applications from these individuals seeking U.S. visas (hoping to save their lives) have been dragging their feet at best… and been downright arrogant and rude at worst.
In the second, unrelated story (unless you consider the lack of humanity in both stories as common ground) farmers in Pennsylvania have been using human feces as fertilizer to grow crops. While local residents have done everything they can to stop this public health hazard (waste in their drinking water for starters), what they have been told by their local government is that it’s a Federal issue as permits for such use are issued by the EPA.
Now I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want the EPA to be my first, or last, line of defense against harm. Did you see “Norma Rae” or “Erin Brockovich?”
Common sense…that’s what’s lacking. Common sense and respect for all living Beings. If you’re still asleep and thinking that the Federal government, or even your state government, isn’t too big or too busy to protect your wellbeing…think again. As for how we treat our friends, look no further than these Iraqi translators…or Britain…or Israel, for that matter.
If there’s one takeaway from both of these stories it’s that we must rely upon ourselves, have compassion and concern for life wherever we find it and wake up to the fact the bureaucracies are helpful to a point…beyond which they become a breeding ground for inhumanity.
Now that we get it, let’s start curing this disease by voting out every incumbent in 2012 and starting over. In the meantime, call you Congressional Representatives, and the U.S. State Department, and advocate for those Iraqi translators.
I don’t know how to even begin to cure the EPA. So, for now, I guess we pray for those people in Pennsylvania.
It astonishes me how many people remain asleep…unconscious…unaware. And how many others are living in a world of denial. I understand the tendency to bury one’s head in the sand, so to speak, in the face of so much bad news and uncertainty. Admittedly, these are trying times.
But denial never gets you anything other than delayed truth. It doesn’t obliterate it.
Here’s my latest take on fear. It’s been the tool of choice for controlling the majority of people on earth for, at least, the last 5000 years. I think it’s time we stopped buying into the illusion that energy is scarce and costly, that remedies for illness are limited to choices predetermined by a few and sanctioned by government, that politicians need be corrupt and we need to accept this as a given, and that corporations and banks need to be insatiable entities satisfying their endless hunger for money and control at the expense of those who reply upon their services and trust in their good intentions.
Energy is free. It’s in the air…the “space” all around us and extracting it has gotten everyone discredited who ever proved that to be true. Buddhism, and even physics, assert that out of “no-thing-ness,” or the void, came everything. Well, if there is nothing in the void, then it’s devoid of light, also. So light is not the Source of all that is… darkness is. And darkness is not a bad thing. Its no-thing and holds the potential from which every-thing manifests.
For these past 5000 plus years we have been living under the fear-based illusion that to break the rules gets you cast into hell (the abyss), or prison, or just plain outcast from mainstream society. As if the abyss is bad. I would ask you consider that the very thing we have been told to fear… the dark, the unknown, the “other”… is, in fact, the Source of true power. And those who have known this truth, in both religions and governments worldwide, have used that illusion to manipulate us with fear-based thinking for most of human history.
Wake up! Now! Fear is a tool to control you. That’s why there is so much “bad” news. That’s why economies are collapsing. The insatiable individuals and companies that have run our reality by fear are panicked. They are desperate and the only way they can hang on to their power is to make certain you are more frightened than you’ve ever been in your entire life.
It’s a game. Its not real. Refuse to play. Step outside the box. Follow your own inner guidance. Link up with like-minded people and stay the course. We are on the threshold of a brave new world and it’s not one ruled by one world government. It’s a world imagined by billions of individual, creative, compassionate souls who have awakened to say:
Nature has a way of balancing things out and making quick friends of entrenched adversaries. When tsunamis, earthquakes or any type of natural disaster strike a nation, it is instructive to see how the peoples of the world come together to offer aid. New Orleans, Haiti, India, Chile… these were but a few of the geographic regions that experienced natural disasters where our differences were transcended by our humanity. Or, as I prefer to think of it, our Oneness.
Let’s pray that Turkey can move beyond its political and religious agendas to rethink its decline today of the medical and humanitarian assistance Israel has offered following the devastating earthquake just suffered there. It is hard for me to believe that anyone, or any nation’s leaders, would deny themselves some of the nearest and best medical, military and technological aid on political or religious grounds. In fact I would have to question the politics or the religion of any group of people who would allow their own to suffer and die rather than accept the outstretched hand of a neighbor whose intentions are heartfelt.
Perhaps Turkey and the world in general, should consider that what we have failed to do of our own Free Will may now be imposed upon us in a most distasteful way by the Earth itself. When we accept that we are powerless to oppose the full force of Nature unleashed… and that our only hope during such moments and their aftermath is our support of one another…perhaps we will rethink the wisdom of so much division and hatred and contemplate a new strategy whereby we pull together rather than apart.
If not, like children, we may have to learn the hard way. Turkey certainly is.
“Alone Together” written by MIT professor Sherry Turkle is big news because in it she lays out the case that the various means of social networking, via technological advances, have actually diminished our ability to communicate not enhanced it.
Well, forgive me for I told you so, but I came to that conclusion years ago… writing and speaking about it ever since. While I had no scientific data to back up my conclusion, I had eyes, ears and common sense. Admittedly, pre-technological apparatus… but quite useful none-the-less.
My observation was that when social-spiritual development is outpaced by technological development the result is alienation, dependency and in extreme cases addiction to the technology.
Why? Well, for two reasons.
First, because we are going to be slaves to something in our lives. Now before you get all huffy about that statement, allow me to explain. When I say “slave” I mean that we humans will spend our lives in service to something. We will each select goals, or ends, and means by which to achieve them. Without core ethical and moral underpinnings that support us in discerning positive means and ends from negative ones, we are easily seduced by the most expeditious route to where we want to go… however, not necessarily the most life-affirming route. Core ethical and moral values are best developed over time, observing people who exemplify them by their behavior.
Technology applied to social networking lacks these necessary characteristics. In fact, it stands in direct opposition to them: 1) Its rapid, not allowing for a natural unfolding or development. 2) The human element is sublimated to the technology. 3) The physical distance combined with anonymity negates the behavioral aspect completely.
Simply put, social networking is a misnomer. Its social alienating.
But back to slavery.
In Egypt, Pharaoh knew what he was doing. In mystical Judaism it is taught that the Jews were slaves not because they were physically imprisoned, but because they were socially and spiritually dependent and thereby imprisoned. It wasn’t their bodies Pharaoh took claim to it was their consciousness and their laziness (a/k/a wanting to get things the easy way). The Jews traded freedom of thought for comfort and ease. It is further taught that it’s a “story” in which Pharaoh represents the reliance upon materiality and physical enslavement represents unconsciousness (a/k/a) relinquishment of human consciousness.
I remember many years ago, pre-WORD, when I was working in DOS. As my computer was booting up the hard drive, I saw the words “master drive ” and “slave drive” flash across the screen. It gave me pause. I actually thought it was a joke, albeit a dangerous one, originating in some programmer’s mind who then saw the potential inherent in the medium.
I am many things, but first and foremost I am the mother of a seventeen year-old daughter. Anyone with a teenager knows the distance, detachment and danger inherent in the unbridled access and use of social networking. The big worry isn’t carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritic thumbs. It’s inhumanity.
So, many thanks to Professor Turkle for providing data for all those who need it. As for me, I just looked around at the kids and saw the future. It’s a time-tested method for discerning where we’re headed.
As for possible solutions: Reprioritize your life. Slow it down. Be able to look into the eyes of the people from whom you are learning life’s lessons. Be willing to do things the hard way. Breathe. Laugh. Love.
If you’re going to be slave, choose a Master with a heart.
Jewish or Christian, it’s the season of miracles. Since I had one this week I thought I‘d share it. It begins with back pain.
I’m a swimmer. I love to do laps. I swim outside in the summer months and in the winter I join a health club with an indoor pool. My love of the sport is new since, until about 15 years ago, I was uncomfortable in the water and couldn’t really swim. Having surmounted my fears, I taught myself to swim and have been dedicated ever since.
However, within the last 6 months, I have been having severe upper back pain and so when the pool closed in September I decided it was too painful to swim. I didn’t join the club. Recently, I’ve seen several doctors who have ordered x-rays, ultrasounds, thermography and an MRI… all in an effort to diagnose the pain… which happens to be in the area of my rotator cuff and under the scapula as well.
Last week, a friend of mine who didn’t know of the pain, suggested I join the health club as I have for the past couple of years since it was her thought that I am “just plain happier when I am swimming… so why not?” Thinking over her suggestion, I decided “why not” as well and joined.
Somewhere in my thought process was the hope that, at this point, exercising the muscles by swimming might help.
Enter the miracle.
Yesterday was my second night swimming. Midway through my regimen of laps, a man asked me if he could share my lane. Swim protocol and courtesy says the answer to that question is always “Yes.” After he did a lap or two, with beautiful form, he waited for me to end my lap and asked me if I’d mind if he gave me some constructive advice. “Not at all, please do” I replied.
“When your left arm comes up out of the water and goes back in its crossing over your plane. It’s crossing all the way to your right side. You are going to hurt your rotator cuff and upper back.” (my emphasis not his)!
Can you imagine my shock? I could hardly believe it. I had just had an x-ray earlier that day.
Here he had “showed up” (a tri-athlete I might add) to tell me exactly the cause of my back pain. No disease. Nothing mysterious. Doctors need apply. I am swimming incorrectly and reinjuring myself every time I do.
But here’s the thing.
When you are “in the flow” (no pun intended) the Universe gives you what you need. Exactly what you need. Not always what you want, but definitely what you need.
So, I got a diagnosis, a solution, and a free swimming lesson from a tri-athlete because I was open to 1) my spiritual friend’s suggestion that I rejoin the health club and 2) I was trying to do the best I could for myself.
It’s the stuff of miracles.
But that’s not a surprise because… ‘tis the season.
As a survivor of attempted suicide, I have been a writer and inspirational speaker on depression and suicide for several years. Since both subjects continue to have stigma attached to them they don’t get the public attention they need. However, whenever there is a suicide by a public or media worthy person, it presents an opportunity.
Such is the case today with the suicide of convicted financier Bernard Madoff’s eldest son, Mark.
There will be broad conjecture on the “why” of it. Some will suspect an unrevealed personal embarrassment, or will find perverse satisfaction in Mr. Madoff’s tragic loss and suffering, or, will conclude it’s the “sins of the father” visited upon the son.
I leave those judgmental meanderings to others.
For me, it’s about the two things depression and suicide are always about. The abandonment of trust in one’s ability to handle life’s challenges and the temporary misplacement of hope.
Depression is rooted in the fear that somehow “I am not good enough, capable enough or lovable enough” to live a joyful and productive life. Its weapon of choice is fear… dense, sluggish energy that manifests as immobility. A depressed person lacks motivation, initiative, passion and staying power. They become weighted down by inertia.
When one is depressed, it often follows that feelings of hopelessness accompany feelings of inadequacy resulting in an irrational, but seemingly logical, conclusion that things will never change. The thought of living an unchanging, inert life becomes unbearable. Unable to stand the pain, ending one’s life seems a viable option and a “constructive” step to take.
What I share when I speak about depression and suicide is that the only constant in life is change. For we humans, change is frequently challenging and often uncomfortable. It’s not so much about learning to overcome feelings of inadequacy and inertia as it is about learning to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Then everyday can be seen for what it is: an endless opportunity to create, anew, the life we imagine.
There are two steps I am certain move depression in a positive direction and mitigate the likelihood that it will lead, unaddressed, to attempted suicide.
Giving: Feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness simply dissipate, or disappear, the moment we step outside ourselves and provide assistance to another in need. When you’re depressed volunteer, or just reach out within your immediate environment, and provide some form of help or caring for a family member, friend, neighbor or even animal. The warmth that flows through your system in realizing you are needed and appreciated thaws the freeze of inertia.
Doing something you love: Every cell in your body stores memory as well as the emotion attached to it. So, when you’re depressed and force yourself to do something you love to do… cycling… planting… painting… walking in Nature… whatever… even though you may start out depressed, the sheer act of having your cells call up the emotion stored in them, along with the memory of that thing you love, causes a crack in the door to the place where the darkness of depression sulks. Once that crack occurs, the frequency of Light energy bound to that pleasant memory begins to enter the darkness. The Light energy, seeping in, will elevate and brighten your outlook. Literally.
Mark Madoff left a suicide note. It may not be a literal note, on a physical piece of paper, but it’s no less instructive or important. The note said: “I was lost in doubt and hopelessness. I thought I was not good enough. I didn’t see a way out. I could not bear the pain.” I know that’s what his note said because anyone who has ever been depressed, attempted or committed suicide would leave the same note.
Treating a suicide as “newsworthy” is to make a distinction without a difference. All suicides are newsworthy as they represent the loss of the infinite potential each of us is born with to create a better world. I hope we can shine a bright light on this topic and, by so doing, illuminate the way for all of those who may be temporarily lost in darkness.
The past two weeks have been challenging. First recovering from a virus followed by a sprained shoulder… it’s been a lot of “non-activity” to ask of someone who is inclined to always be working on something. However, since I make it a practice to walk my talk I have to ask myself, “What is the higher lesson to be learned here?”
I think I have it. The Universe has a rhythm. In order to successfully live within the Universe, and in harmony with its rhythm, requires us to feel it and more importantly align with it.
I have a tendency to try to move things at my own pace. This translates into impatience. It’s kind of funny that I still find myself impatient since I tell my clients that impatience is “the absence of trust in Divine Timing manifested as a need to control outcomes.”
You’d think I’d remember and follow my own advice.
But, like everyone else, I have an ego that occasionally enjoys getting in my own way. When I fail to recognize or acknowledge the rhythm of the Universe (also known as Divine Timing) I am under the illusion that my will can oppose Thy will and prevail. And while I use terminology that is religious or spiritual to make the point, it’s somewhat misleading.
Energy is the source of All That Is, including us. When we fail to align with the Universal or cosmic flow of energy, it’s like attempting to swim upstream. Better to move in tandem with that energy, or wait it out, until there is a change of either speed or direction that is more supportive of where it is we want to go.
Nature is great example. Plants have no ego. They have a time to germinate, a time to grow, a time to bud and a time to bloom. They make no effort to impose alternate timing or an alternate outcome. If I can take some liberty and attribute to them a quality they may not exactly have… they trust the Universe.
I think someone tried to tell us to do the same when they said “To everything there is a season…”.
So, its now two weeks into this “slow down period” and the smartest thing I can do is align with it. Having tried to do otherwise for these past fourteen days, I’ve decided today to begin doing just that. I meditated for half an hour this morning and now have written this blog. It is 10:30am. I am about to spend the rest of the day on the sofa reading, watching uplifting DVD’s and… well… not much of anything else.
Except awaiting a change of speed and direction, that is..
This morning I not only see the silver lining I can actually feel it.
Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed universal health care. Today, much of the fear that had been plaguing so many people in this country has shifted. Against all odds, and almost in defiance of reason, the immobilization and concern that are hallmarks of fear have been replaced with a call to action and optimism.
Why? Because Life has its own agenda. And as the saying goes, “Man plans and God laughs.” There’s a parable that’s instructive here:
A horse and cart were being driven down the road when the horse tried to veer off to one side against the wishes of the driver. So, she lightly pulled on the reigns and the horse returned to the original path. Moments later, the horse once again veered off the road and this time the driver jerked on the reigns much more aggressively. Reluctantly, but quickly, the horse resumed the direct path. Finally, on the horse’s third attempt to stray, the driver cracked the whip. Whereby, the horse immediately, and thereafter, stayed on the straight and narrow.
We have had countless “tugs on the reigns” as we, as a nation, have strayed from the direct and intended path. To each of those we have responded in a way that returned us to where we needed to be… but only temporarily. We are a “stiff-necked people” with a short memory, it seems.
So, yesterday, we received a miracle!
The House of Representatives, at least 219 of them, cracked the whip…and while that was not their intention, God was laughing. For the miracle of passing universal health care is that it has awakened a sufficient amount of people to conscious evolution that we have reached the tipping point. Now, enough people understand what tyranny looks and feels like. Now we can actually begin to move in the direction of real change… toward individual freedom, personal responsibility and the kind of oneness that reveals the perversion of socialism and other political systems that purport to speak and act for the best interest of the people.
The best interest of the people is best spoken and acted by the people. Yesterday, 219 of our elected officials ignored that Universal Law in a push to pass the law of universal health care. They’ve declared victory.
Listen. Can you hear that sound?
God is laughing.
It has become increasingly difficult, some might say nearly impossible, for dishonest and corrupt politicians to keep their lies and greed confined to back room deals and off-the-record conversations. Have you noticed?
And why is that?
Its because the pendulum can swing only so far before it swings back again.
The Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal was the real turning point, or in the pendulum analogy, the point beyond which the corruption could go no further and had to necessarily reverse itself. I call the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal “corruption” because it’s occurrence was a corruption of decency, dignity, and integrity. The “outing” of that descent into moral depravity and betrayal of trust on so many levels was significant not for the act itself but for the outing of it. For in the outing, the pendulum finally reached that critical point where it changes direction.
The directional change we took was away from alienation and apathy for all things ethical and spiritual towards a remembering and rekindling of those same values.
So what does the Obama Administration and secrets have to do with all of this. In particular not much. In general quite a bit.
This Administration is no more corrupt, greedy or lacking in conscience than those that preceded it. However, because it is as corrupt as its predecessors, and because the pendulum has changed direction the corruption, greed and lack of conscience will no longer remain undetected or unaccounted for.
And so, no more secrets.
Every day there’s another breaking story about a new back room deal, a quid pro quo in order to get a vote, legislation that’s intended pay back the few at the expense of the many and much, much more. While its easy to chalk it up to dogged investigative reporters or the ease with which the technology makes it difficult to keep such things hidden, I think not.
May I suggest another reason?
Yesterday on television, Glenn Beck interviewed Governor Sarah Palin. When asked about the soulless behavior of the politicians in Washington, and how it may be impossible to serve in government without losing one’s soul, she replied (and I paraphrase) “We live in a fallen world and other than our spouse we are not supposed to put our trust in another person, especially not politicians.”
I take issue with Governor Palin’s observation. By her reply she is obviously religious. If you read my blog you know I am obviously spiritual.
They are not the same thing.
I do not see the world as “fallen.” I do not believe there is original sin. Nor an avenging God. I do believe like the Universe in which we live, We are part of an expanding Consciousness moving towards evermore enlightenment and understanding. And as you move towards en-Light-enment, things that do not support the expansion, and cannot withstand the Light, are exposed and seen for what they truly are.
Hence, no more secrets. That which has been hidden from us is now emerging into the Light of day. It is no longer possible to keep such behavior obscured among the shadows.
This is not a bad thing. However, it makes for a difficult transition. We have lived in the shadows for quite some time now and so the light of day presents us with challenges. For one, our “eyes”… how we see things…have to adjust to a clarity and brightness we are unaccustomed to.
It would be wise for those with apparent power in positions of authority to realize what is happening. For unless they do, and change their values and behavior accordingly, they will go the way of the dinosaurs.
We are spiritually going through the equivalent of a cataclysmic change. A new environment is the natural result of such profound change. It isn’t the strong who will survive.
Its those who understand Oneness.