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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tick, Tick, Tick...

Time is certainly a clock in the heart. It begins ticking the moment our hearts start beating in the womb and stops the moment we gasp our last breath. That special time between the first and last tick is most affectionately referred to as "life."

As we slide down the love canal the slap from the doctor is a fair warning that the warmth of the womb is a thing of the past. In the real world things are going to be a lot different, but luckily childhood allows us the luxury of being totally free, for a short time at least, to live in the here and now. At the age of five we laugh when we hear someone is forty years old. We cannot imagine being "that old." At the age of five time is one our side.

It’s not until we reach puberty and adulthood that we are confronted with warnings that flash like neon signs telling us that the hourglass is running out.

Make plans. Work hard. Save for a rainy day. Plan some more. Work even harder. Hurry, hurry, hurry! The race against time doesn’t allow us to stop and smell the roses. When was the last time you smelled a rose? Have you ever known someone who actually had that rainy day?

In this MTV style world of fast paced living and fast paced images racing before us we get caught up in chasing dreams, trying desperately to become someone, to get some place we think is going to be nirvana. Sadly we never realize it once we get there, so we keep racing on and on and on. But the fact is it’s right in front of us, here and now. It’s called living.

It's our fear of growing old (hence, dying) and our fear of looking at ourselves and enjoying who we are that makes us so obsessed with time. Because of fear we're escaping from ourselves. And because so many of us are doing it nobody notices the damaging effects it’s having on us.

Think of time as a marathon that everyone feels compelled to participate in and win. In order to do so our minds become addicted to fighting the fear of not winning. God forbid if we should ever take a breather. That would suggest the most dreaded "L" word - loser.

Too often we hear stories of fathers spending so many hours working to provide for their families that they wake up one morning and realize their children are all grown. They wonder how they missed out on their children’s formative years. Isn’t spending a night around the dinner table talking with your children more important than working endlessly so you can have that expensive big screen TV?

With the constant media barrages of youth being thrown at us it’s understandable why we wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat fearing the ravages of time. Birthday cakes take on the face of a clock and each year as we add another candle we see time passing by and with it comes more fear and anxiety. The more candles burning, the louder the ticking, and the less room on the cake for more.

Tick, tick, tick…

What birthdays should be is a celebration of being who you are and being satisfied with yourself. Instead people dread waking up on yet another birthday having to look in the mirror and see that Mother Nature has given them a few wrinkles, a few worry lines, and a few more gray hairs.

Biological clocks have caused many women a nervous breakdown as they stand face to face with menopause. And many men go over the deep end as they reach middle-aged. They adopt foolish behaviors like chasing woman half their age, buying expensive sports cars (and we all know what that symbolizes), and popping Viagra like it’s candy.

In order to escape Father Time pounding at our door we run to the gym and pump iron and sweat on the treadmill. But the fact remains that the body cannot defy gravity.

Fashion is designed for the slim fit twenty something, and that’s why gyms are on every corner. There is nothing sadder than seeing someone well beyond middle-aged trying desperately to keep themselves looking like they did twenty (maybe thirty) years ago, and wearing clothes they shouldn’t have in their closet. (Where are the fashion police when you need them?) It’s our obsession with time that makes us act this way. Bodies sag with age. Accept it and move on. Gravity is going to win. All the Botox in the world cannot turn back time.

But what are we waiting for? Are we hoping that a fountain of youth actually exists?

Middle-aged has become the dreaded years. The last chance before it’s too late. Potential employers discriminate when middle-aged professionals seek a career change. A person’s qualifications are passed over in favor of youth. It’s a sad day in the evolution of mankind when smooth skin and a hip attitude trumps wisdom and experience.

Which brings me to the retirees, our parents and grandparents.

Old people are looked upon as relics, sometimes even as nuisances, and not as individuals with a wealth of experience to share with us. We build nursing homes and retirement communities and quietly forget about them. We fear becoming them.

The hourglass cannot be slowed down so why not embrace it and live in the moment and enjoy the now rather than pushing happiness to later when "I have more money. I have a new house. I have a new car. I have blah, blah, blah."

Let’s step out of our material world and dive into an ocean of love and affection. You might actually discover someone you truly love… yourself.

© 2006 MC528. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Princess And The Walnut Festival

Four-year-old Christa has long brown curly hair and beautiful emerald green eyes.

Christa loves to play in the park. She can spend hours on the seesaw, the jungle gym, and the swings. Oh how she laughs when she’s swinging higher than the trees!

Nicky is her pet beagle. He loves to go to the park and chase the other dogs.

Christa and Nicky don't like rainy days. On rainy days they cannot go to the park.

Today it's not sunny outside. Plop, plop, plop goes the rain as it dances on the windowpane.

Christa sits by the window counting the raindrops. One there and one there and oh how silly! The raindrops are everywhere. She laughs at them. They seem to laugh back with every plop, plop, plop.

Mommy brings Christa some freshly baked cookies. Cookies with little brown things sitting on top. Mommy calls the little brown things walnuts.

Curious Christa holds one cookie in front of her, turning it round and round. She takes a bite. She chews slowly. She stops chewing and then chews some more. She smiles. She likes walnuts!

Suddenly there is a great downpour of raindrops plop, plop, plopping really loud. Nicky jumps from the bed and hides under it.

Christa looks out the window and sighs. There's nothing for her to do today.

Mommy tells her to use her imagination; to think of any place she wants to be and anyone she wants to be and make believe she's there and she's that person.

Christa thinks and thinks and thinks. Oh! She has an idea!

She remembers how she dressed up as a princess for Halloween. She especially loved the crown of jewels. It was called a tiara.

Rummaging through her closet she pulls out the princess dress and puts it on. She dances to the rhythm of the plopping raindrops. As she sways from side to side the little beads on her dress sparkle like stars.

Mommy reaches in the closet and from the top shelf she pulls down the most beautiful tiara. She places it on Christa's head.

Christa's eyes open wide. She covers her mouth with her hands. She is a beautiful princess!

Mommy calls her Princess Miyo.

"Princess Meeeooo," repeats Christa.

Mommy explains that Princess Miyo is the princess of a small far away island called Miyo. The people of Miyo bring their princess walnut cookies as a symbol of their love. And today they are celebrating The Walnut Festival.

Christa claps her hands. She wants to hear more!

Princess Miyo loves purple daisies! Lots of pretty purple daisies.

Christa imagines herself surrounded by purple daisies. One by one they appear everywhere.

What about a prince? Nicky! Nicky will be her prince!

Christa leads Nicky from under the bed and brings him to her throne. She wraps a blue blanket around him because all princes wear royal robes.

Mommy kneels in front of the Princess' throne and waves her arms in the air as she sings the Princess Miyo song:

Oomoo lahlay mouki lay
Sumi he lumi nay
Princess Miyo
umi lumi fay

Princess Miyo takes a royal bow. Nicky wags his tail from underneath his royal robe. He howls as Mommy sings.

Princess Miyo picks up daisies and tosses them in the air. Like feathers they float to the ground.

Princess Miyo imagines seeing the people of Miyo. Suddenly they are there!

The Miyo girls wear straw skirts with colorful tops and have purple daisies in their hair. The Miyo boys wear straw pants and carry beautifully painted shields.

The people of Miyo sing in unison. They sound like a choir of baby birds chirping. The plopping of the rain echoes like drums beating in the distance.

Oomoo lahlay mouki lay
Sumi he lumi nay
Princess Miyo
umi lumi fay

Princess Miyo parades around the room waving to the people of Miyo. They reach out their hands to touch her.

Princess Miyo shares the walnut cookies with all her new friends from Miyo.

Prince Nicky reminds her that princes love cookies too! Princess Miyo leans forward and kisses her Prince. She feeds him a walnut cookie.

Princess Miyo announces that every rainy day will be The Walnut Festival Day.

Plop, plop ... plop.

Suddenly the rain has stopped. Streaks of sun shine through the window.

Princess Miyo turns to the people of Miyo but something has happened. The Miyo girls and boys are no longer there.

The purple daisies are all gone.

Mommy hugs Christa. Nicky jumps up and licks her cheek.

The Walnut Festival is over.

Christa looks out the window and feels the warmth of the sun on her face. It's inviting her to come outside and play.

Mommy kisses Christa and tells her to look for the rainbow.

Christa looks and looks but doesn't see it.

Mommy says to use her imagination. It's out there. Just keep looking.

As Christa and Nicky race outside, a beautiful rainbow lights up the sky.

(c) 2006 MC528. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Urinal Thoughts

Do urinal splash guards really work? Splash. Splash. I don't think so.

Why are they called urinal cakes? Nobody ever eats them do they?

I'm fascinated by the new urinals that automatically flush when you're done peeing. Though I must admit I fear they're gonna malfunction and flush wildly, like a waterfall, while I'm still peeing and get me totally wet.

Maybe I should forego the urinal and just use the toilet...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Farewell To Coffee

For twenty-four years coffee was my friend, my confidante, through good times and bad. Not one day went by without my morning ritual of grinding the beans, brewing the brew, and relishing that very first sip. The moment my lips made contact was the moment my day began. A coffee-less morning was absolutely inconceivable.

My love of coffee started innocently enough with a mug in the morning. Eventually it became two mugs, then four, and sometimes ten or twelve per day. Many nights I would make a pot of coffee before bed. I always slept like a baby.

I knew I was out of control when one Saturday I made eight cappuccinos. It was like I couldn't stop. I was beyond having a coffee buzz. If blood was drawn I was certain it would come out a nice French Roast. My obsession began to overshadow my joy of coffee. I found myself craving it even when I really didn't want it.

Through the years I developed what can best be described as body migraines where I would become virtually non-functional: physically ill and sleeping for up to two days. At first I attributed it to stress, then to panic attacks, and finally to depression. Deep inside I knew it was something else, but I wasn't ready to face the truth, whatever it was. So I continued being sick and keeping it a deep, dark secret.

These body migraines became more frequent and more powerful as the years went by. I took vitamins. I changed my diet. I exercised and meditated. Nothing seemed to help. In the midst of one bout I went to my doctor who told me there was nothing wrong with me. Foolishly I made myself believe him.

A registered nurse suggested I drink more coffee when I felt a body migraine coming on, assuring me it would help give me energy to fight it off. I did. It didn't help. My last bout lasted three days, and was the most powerful one I ever had. It scared me.

I gathered the courage to confide in a friend. I told her everything: the frequency, the pain, the vomiting, and the crying spells. I left out no detail. It felt incredible to finally get it out in the open. She convinced me to seek help, and steered me in the direction of her acupuncturist.

My first meeting with Rohanna (Acupuncturist, Nutritionist, and Healing Coach) was a pivotal moment in my journey to better health. She immediately sensed it was a food issue causing me so much pain. She had me document everything I ate. I did and the number one constant was coffee. My treasured friend was beginning to look like the enemy.

As Rohanna explained to me, "What made me go so directly into determining that coffee was the cause of your problems was the assessment of the allergy you have for coffee. It was in your Aura and also in your clinical symptoms.

Allergies create peculiar symptoms that sometimes do not fit the parameters of true systemic problems. Your being a healthy person did not correspond with what was happening to you. There is often an allergic reaction to something when symptoms are so pervasive. Unfortunately we become allergic to our dearest security blankets without us knowing it. Even just by repetition of the same food or thought we might become allergic to it. Even more, allergies do not limit themselves to only food. We can develop allergies to drugs, to friends, to foods, to thoughts, to associations, and to thousands of things that we might use in our daily life. This depends in the state of our immune system, our relationship with the world and our belief system.

Human beings are very complex creatures. Getting rid of what causes our problems is as basic as to un-clutter our belief systems. The key to it is to know. That is why sometimes we need help.

In your case, your determination to get well was so direct and the effects of coffee were so detrimental to you that the solution was clear and left no room for options. "

Rohanna put me on an array of supplements and I began to wean myself from coffee. It wasn't easy. I gradually got down to one cup in the morning. Then one morning I stopped the ritual, and I was fine. I think the psychological portion of letting go was more difficult than the physical for me. In my mind I couldn't imagine living without coffee, my security blanket.

My determination for better health prevailed. I am now officially coffee-free. My health has never been better. Sure, there are times I miss coffee, but I know the downside far outweighs that fleeting moment of joy I got from the brewing ritual, the intoxicating aroma, and the very first sip of the day.

Farewell coffee. Hello health.

(c) 2006 MC528. All Rights Reserved.

One Quick Snip

I don't remember my circumcision. Should I?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Welcome... I Just Created This Thing

Sometimes I see things clearly, but that's a rare occasion. Most times I see things through a jaundiced eye. It's just the way it is.

I don't mean to offend. (Well, sometimes I do.)

My mission is to make people think, to step out of their comfort zone and see the world from a different perspective.

Sometimes I'm funny.

Sometimes I'm dead serious.

You'll know it when you read it.