Clicky

Search:

A Sad Reminder

October 31, 2021 by  
Filed under blog

What in the world is going on? Right after I posted two blogs about health, I got slammed in my face with a health issue in my family. My kid brother Scott’s family called me to say that Scott is not doing well at all, he’s gone into a coma several times, and I had better come and see him real soon. I told my wife Kimberly that we should go the next day, but she said, “No, let’s go now,” even though it’s a 200 mile drive up to Idaho Falls where he lives. I didn’t argue with her. We jumped into the car and headed north and to see him and give him moral support. 

When I got there, it was so, so frustrating to both us and him as we attempted to talk. He was conscious by then, but he couldn’t get any words out. He would look at us and with a bit of a smile, a blink of his eye and a nod of his head, he would try to answer our questions and communicate with us, his kids, and the grandkids that gathered around his bed.

The next morning, back at our home, the phone rang with the tragic news that Scott had checked out of this life at 7:30 that morning.

He’s the third brother that I’ve lost in addition to my 16-year-old daughter’s tragic death years ago. Wow, that hurt big time. It reminded me of that old saying, “Nobody gets out of here alive.” That’s too darn bad and so tragic, but it’s unfortunately the truth. I’ve preached for years that we all must do some future thinking, planning, and, of course, goal setting. But after we do that, if we want to have the best life possible, we must push ourselves to live in the now, in the “right now moment”. The same thinking should be applied when we start thinking about (or over-thinking) our past mistakes and sad moments in time.

I’m certainly pushing my brain to think back about all the good times with my brother Scott, an ex-policeman who enjoyed all his exciting experiences and lived in the moment, even in his near-death experiences. Wow, I had a ton of great times with my little brother, Scotty boy. One of his dreams was to be on an airplane when it was being hijacked so he could save the day. He had a medical issue that caused him to pass out, even one time on a flight halfway to Kauai. Amazingly, the airline turned the plane around and flew all the way back to Los Angeles where everything turned out okay. I just found out before he died that he wrote a book called Cop Living on the Edge. I got a copy and, wow, it’s pretty good for a non-writer.

In closing, let me give you, the reader, and myself some advice — be in charge of your brain and direct its thinking paths to good places and moments, especially towards the Right Now Moment! It’s the most important moment we have.

With a Little Ingenuity

October 24, 2021 by  
Filed under blog

After the last few weeks, going back and forth to the hospital and working with my doctors and medical technicians, I feel so very grateful and appreciative of all the great minds and effort involved in recovering my health. I found I have become particularly grateful for those human beings who invented the many incredible medical devices, procedures, and tests that have saved so many lives and relieved so much pain.

With everything I went through, I couldn’t help thinking about all the many life-changing inventions that we humans have come up with. From the fairly simple stethoscope to more complex inventions like x-rays, MRIs, and those great angiogram devices. Think about how obvious some of these inventions are but how life changing and life enhancing they can be.

There are so many very simple inventions that we use in our day-to-day lives, like the paper clip or even just paper. Of course, one of the biggest, most basic inventions was the wheel. It changed the world in all kinds of ways. What a different world we would be in if the wheel didn’t exist. We’d have no cars, bikes, airplanes, or trains, to mention just a very few things.

Even the simplest of inventions can lead to changes worldwide. One single spin off (no joke intended) of the wheel was the fairly recent invention of adding them to a suitcase. This made travel so much easier and less painful (especially for us old folks).

It was in 1970 that Benard Sadow took casters off a wardrobe trunk, mounted them on the bottom of a big suitcase, added a strap to the front end, and off he went to make history. Then in 1987 Robert Plath, an airline pilot, turned the suitcase on its side, attaching two wheels and a retractable handle, making a more stable rolling suitcase that you didn’t have to bend over to grab.

These inventors simply took everyday items and put them together. Looking back at these inventions, they seem so basic and simple that I wonder why it wasn’t thought of sooner. In fact, why didn’t I think of that?

Thinking about the many, many inventions human beings have invented through the ages, I found a list of some very popular inventions that are hard to imagine us doing without. These include things like duct tape, nails, Post-it notes, DNA testing, the internet, vaccines, and medical imaging. I could list dozens and dozens, but I think I’ve made my point.

Some inventions were fluke discoveries but many were matter of simply trying to solve a problem. If you and I pay attention and really put our minds to it, there is no reason we couldn’t come up with some new developments or inventions ourselves. Maybe make a list of common items, systems, and habits we all have and then go up and down the list and see if you can put two or three items together in a way to come up with a new product or better way to handle life and its challenges. Maybe work with your family or friends to brainstorm ideas. Give it a shot and see what you come up with. You could surprise yourself, and the rest of us as well!

Controlling the Fear

October 17, 2021 by  
Filed under blog

Last week I wrote a bit about my health problems and going to the hospital over an issue with my cardiovascular system. So this past week, I went through the recommended procedures and was relieved to hear that the doctors didn’t think I needed a stent. Great. I relaxed a bit after that.

But then, a few days later, I was asked to come back to the hospital. The doctors had completed a review and had become concerned. They now wanted to perform a procedure called an angiogram because they had found that the lower chamber of my heart had too many beats for the upper chamber, which, of course, is a problem.

Well, talk about getting nervous, worried, and scared! Man, oh man, my anxiety rose to a new high. I was a wreck.

What pushed my anxiety to a new high level was that I mistakenly thought an angiogram was the same as an MRI. All I could think about was the MRI I went in for about a year earlier. When they put me in the little, tight tube of the MRI machine, I freaked. I told the doctor and assistants that I was getting out as I was claustrophobic. Even though they were very insistent that I should stay in the machine until they were finished, I crawled out anyway.

So here I was last week, facing an angiogram but thinking it was going to be an MRI. My anxiety was through the roof. My own brain was beating me up.

I really do believe that our brains have so much power. It’s amazing. But internal thinking can be a great asset or a huge liability. Our brains can raise our spirits and lift us to a higher and happier place, or it can wreak havoc on our bodies, our souls, and our lives. 

So, I did a lot of thinking about my brain and how my thoughts were hurting me with all this worry. That’s when I realized that if I redirected my brain and thoughts, I could, most likely, get rid of my super high anxiety.

We human beings really do have the power to direct our brains down positive paths, even though it may take some time and a lot of mental work and discipline to do it. But we CAN do it! I did decide to get to work on that, attempting to remove my high anxiety. Soon enough, I found that my work on it was working!

So, I went to the hospital and got my angiogram a few days ago. Wow. My positive thinking really helped me stay calm, plus the angiogram was nothing close to having an MRI. It also turned out to be a great lesson about anxiety, fear and how we can control so much with our brains.

Yes, controlling our emotions takes time and effort, but it is so well worth it. Our brains really can lift our contentment level and make our lives so full of happiness. So, let’s all keep working on getting our brains to totally work for us and not against us!

A Healthy Appreciation

October 10, 2021 by  
Filed under blog

Wow, this was a very ironic coincidence. Last week I talked about health, how important it is in our lives, and what we can do to be healthier and to stay healthy, increasing our lifespan. Just after that blog posted, I received a call from my doctor. The results of some tests they had done on me a few days before had come back and it wasn’t very good news.

It all started when, recently, I noticed that I was tiring more readily, that my long walks each day left me out of breath. I needed to stop and rest about every 50 or 100 steps. Well, the tests showed that my heart, quite suddenly, was not pumping near enough blood. Ouch. That was scary to hear!

So, with this latest news, I certainly got a big wake-up call. I am determined to beat this health challenge and take more time to be grateful and appreciative of any and all good health. Plus, I am determined to work on everything I can to improve and fix all aspects of my health. This made me realize that I’ve been taking my good health and conditioning totally for granted. I really haven’t stopped to think about, and to be grateful for, the good health I have. Again, I was totally taking all this for granted.

In a few days, I’m scheduled to go to the hospital to have an angiogram. That test will tell me and the docs if there is a blockage in my veins. If there is, they will most likely put in a stent. The good news, which I’ve found from talking to a few people that have had this kind of procedure, is that, most of the time, the stent got their heart and life right back to normal.

Talk about greatly appreciating the doctors, researchers, and inventors who came up with the angiogram machines, tests, and stents that can solve the problem! I am double and triple impressed by what they’ve accomplished. I’ll never take those advancements, and the many other medical miracles happening every day, for granted again.

All of us humans need to, more regularly, take time to look at our lives and be grateful for all the great people and great ideas that have helped us. When we increase our gratitude and appreciation, it lifts our lives and makes us happier and helps us to help those friends and family around us. I certainly will be spending more time looking at my life and giving more and more thanks, appreciation, and gratitude for all that good stuff!

Mindful Health

October 3, 2021 by  
Filed under blog

Most of us have some health-related goal or area of improvement that we are working on, or hope to work on, very soon. But how do you know you will be successful? One way is to keep yourself mentally and physically aware while exercising and eating by using a “living in the now” approach. You can get you through a strenuous workout as well as help you eat right, all while increasing your enjoyment of these activities by simply being present and more aware of what you are doing.

For most of us, getting through an exercise routine is a struggle, but if you are completely attentive to your movements instead of thinking about how you can’t keep up an exercise routine, or how much nicer it would feel to be lounging on the couch, you aren’t as likely to quit in the middle of it. Just keep focused on the feeling of your muscles moving and listen to your breath as you control your inhaling and exhaling. This is a primary concept behind yoga and its distressing effects. Soon enough, you will have completed your routine or finished that 30-minute run and are feeling great.

When it comes to food, it’s all about being mindful of what you eat, how much, and the way you eat. For instance, when you reach in the fridge for something, consciously decide what will contribute to a well-balanced intake for the day and choose your best options, not just what looks tasty. Also, stop eating directly out of the box or bag. Instead, set a small portion on a plate or a bowl that you can sit down with as you savor every bite.

Eat in a place with no TV or computer or anything else to distract you. Taste your food, becoming aware of every flavor and texture, and chew it completely. This will make eating even more enjoyable. Slowing down your intake of food will also allow your stomach time to tell the brain it’s getting full. This way, you’re more likely to eat less. Additionally, thorough chewing will help your digestion by having food well broken down before it hits your stomach.

“Living in the now” will help you by not only increasing your appreciation of the sensations of exercising and eating, but will also help you attain your goals for a better, healthier life. You’ll feel great because of your accomplishments, along with gaining the long lasting and compounding effects of the bliss that comes with being consistently happy in the moment.