Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love and Wellness

No one ever really heals or changes unless there is an encounter with love. Definitely, this has been my experience with healing and change. This is rather universal, although not often recognized as foundational to a great change of behavior. We know something has happened and we are healed, changed. The need for sugar and carbs is gone, the willingness, desire, and practical path to move and challenge our bodies is just “there.” It is as if our being, our soul received an energetic shot from somewhere and where that is we cannot say and we now see the world differently and our consciousness is more full and present. What happened?

From my point of view, the hound of heaven has caught up to you and a bit more of your false self has died and been properly buried. From this burial, the True Self comes out from the shadows with a bit more presence. This happens through other people most powerfully when the flow between is complete and the circuit is open.

Looking at the keys to success articulated by therapist, counselors, coaches, spiritual directors, and enlightened witnesses you hear that they were most effective and felt their healing gifts really flow when they were most powerfully present to love and loving the person. The words were more clear, the tone pitch perfect, and most appropriate. This appropriateness showed with just the right touch into the hurt.

One of the key concepts that forms the basis of health promotion and wellness programming is the idea of "Readiness to Change." For any behavior change, at a particular moment we are on a continuum from not ready, to contemplating change, to doing the change, to maintaining the new behavior with confidence. The space between the stages is where an encounter with some other in love happens or as Martin Buber said, "all real living (change) is meeting the other." The place where we fall into intimacy, with our fear and hurt and are transformed by love. We now move with more confidence, and are more open to life. If you listen carefully and deeply to stories of true change the encounter with the other is always there in sometimes very subtle and in surprising ways. The parent who has struggled with quitting tobacco and staying quit encounters the innocence and beauty of his or her five year old child taking the cigarettes and flushing them down the toilet. The moment is blessed and the child's pure simple stance, connection, and the words break open the heart and mind of the parent. The parent is forever changed and discovers the willingness, support, and resources-- and changes.

Look for these encounters, trust these encounters. The hound of heaven is after you seeking, nudging, and appearing in ways so that you can believe a bit more convincingly that love and change may be as close as the next breath... what a Sweet Thing!:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bacon: the new health food...say what?!

There is a current T.V. commercial where the middle aged male character pines for the morning when he wakes up and discovers that bacon is "good for us!" Well, that day has arrived--with qualifications.

The lipid hypothesis as a prime dietary driver for heart disease and cancer, has been firmly in our collective consciousness for a generation. We all know the dogma---low-fat, low cholesterol and especially low saturated fat (read animal fat bad, especially red meat) high fiber, high plant based carbohydrates are what we should eat to avoid heart disease, cancer and live a long life. This thinking, which I have preached and taught for twenty five years, was and is one of the foundational ideas of the health promotion and wellness field! And IMHO is basically wrong and not helpful. Science writer Gary Taubes, 2007 book, Good Calories, Bad Calories provides the painstaking, tedious deconstruction of the original Public Health, diet, and nutrition research over the last forty years. Here he is on Larry King:

Let me say, that my overall worldview about diet and health is best characterized in the words of St. Francis, "When I am served partridge, I eat partridge and when I am served porridge, I eat porridge." But sadly, our lives our filled with too much cortisol (stress hormone) not enough muscular stress, and a high carb diet filled with substances that St. Francis would not recognize and cause systematic inflammation and compromise our leptin and insulin sensitivity, hormonal processes that regulate the use and storage of fats and carbs. So many of us should not eat whatever is put in front of us.

It is turning out that the most nasty bits to avoid are the real biochemical toxins found in wheat, industrial seed oils ( all the partially hydrogenated or plain corn, sunflower, soy, cottonseed oil, etc.) and fructose ( table sugar, excessive fruit and fruit juice) These three categories make up 70% of the standard American diet, and their consumption has increased dramatically over the last thirty years. And we see and know the results with obesity levels very high and diabetes poised to financially crush the healthcare system in the near future.

Building on the low carb fad of five years ago, and adding thinking from evolutionary anthropology and critical, objective reading of biochemical nutritional research, a new way of thinking about nutrition and health is emerging. The current popularity of gluten free eating and growth in the marketing of gluten free products is one important piece. And it really is much more about anti-inflammatory whole food eating that comes under the name paleo eating or the caveman diet. There are a number of well done sites, books and blogs, the best of which you can find under my recommendations. Here is a good starting summary. And for my Christian friends and family, here and here are good article explaining how this new thinking is congruent with scriptural references to bread and diet. So, it is about time for Sunday breakfast and ahh, bacon sounds yummy and yes --good!

Peace and All good!