Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nirvana and Enlightenment #128

People assume that enlightenment means happiness.

Happiness feels good.
Happiness feels better than being sad.
But, happiness is an emotion.
Emotions do not last forever.
They come and go, motivated by external consequences.

Enlightenment is beyond happiness
because it is not motivated by anything.

It is full and complete unto itself.
Are you?

Creation of an Intention

"Those who believe they can do something and those who believe they can't are both right."

Henry Ford

The Art of Peace #75

When you bow deeply to the universe, it bows back.
When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside you.

The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion, it perfects and completes all religions.

3 "Foods" That Will Shorten Your Life

There are three "foods" that researchers have warned that can shorten our lifespan considerably:

1. Fast Food and Fried Foods
Fast foods are filled with preservatives, chemicals and hydrogenated fats. Even so-called “healthy” fast foods are a danger to your health because they contain preservatives, which aren’t found in “real” foods. In order for fast food restaurants to be profitable, they rely on purchases made in bulk quantity . . . this is where all those preservatives come in. Even if the foods are not fried in hydrogenated oils, they are still a health risk. Most of the so-called healthy foods that restaurants offer, such as deli sandwiches, contain processed meats and cheeses as well as chemicals to preserve them so that they stay fresh longer. Additionally, eating foods that are fried in hydrogenated oils will shorten your lifespan and are a leading cause of heart disease. These foods clog your arteries and raise LDL. Deep fried foods may taste good, sure, but are definitely not good for your health. In addition to heart disease, they are also linked with obesity and stomach problems. Take immediate steps to eliminate fried foods from your diet.

2. Sugars
Foods like cookies, cakes, candy and soft drinks are high in sugar and provide absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. The only thing these foods are good for are to help you gain weight, and quite a bit of it too. They are hard on your stomach because it has to work extra-hard at breaking them down. They lead not only to obesity but also to diabetes, which will shorten your lifespan considerably.

3. Packaged Foods
Stay away from packaged foods, including canned foods, meal packages and frozen foods. All are high in chemicals, which is how they are able to have a long shelf life. Frozen foods, especially the diet foods, are high in sodium. Take a look at the ingredients on the boxes or cans and you will see a list of chemicals included in the foods. Do you really want to put these into your body? Start eating real foods and stay away from anything pre-packaged. This includes anything with preservatives. The chemicals that are put into some foods have been known to promote disease. Packaged foods are also usually high in calories and do not have the nutritional value of real foods.

You can start living a longer and healthier life right away by eliminating these foods from your diet. They offer very little by way of nutrition and have an adverse effect on your health. Start eating plenty of fish, fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains for fiber and you will start to improve your health immediately. You will boost the health of your heart, stomach, weight and even your brain power by eliminating hydrogenated oils, sugars and chemicals from your diet.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Failure is a Limiting Thought

"Failure does not exist. Failure is simply someone else's opinion of how a certain act should have been completed. Once you believe that no act must be performed in any specific other-directed way, then failing becomes impossible."

Wayne Dyer

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."

Winston Churchill

"Fall seven times, stand up eight."

Japanese Proverb

Nirvana and Enlightenment #127

You can embrace the common elements of human existence:
momentary anger,
temporary desires,
and emotions which lead you down untold paths of confusion,
if you like.

Or, you can turn off the transient nature of everyday human life
and know NIRVANA.

Your life--your choice.

The Art of Peace #74

The Divine does not like to be shut up in a building.
The Divine likes to be out in the open.
It is right here in this very body.
Each one of us is a miniature universe, a living shrine.

New Rules of Clean Eating -- #3

New Rule #3: Remember that “foods” are not fattening, “excess calories” are

There’s a widespread fear today that certain foods will automatically turn into fat. Carbohydrates – particularly refined carbohydrates and sugars - are still high on the hit list of feared foods, and so are fatty foods, owing to their high caloric density (9 calories per gram). Foods that contain fat and sugar (think donuts) are considered the most fattening of all. But what if you ate only one small donut and stayed in a calorie deficit for the day – would you still say that donut was fattening?

If you want to say certain foods are fattening, you certainly can, but what you really mean is that some foods are calorie dense, highly palatable, not very satiating and eating them might even stimulate your appetite for more (betcha can’t eat just one!). Therefore, they’re likely to cause you to eat more calories than you need. Conversely, “non-fattening” foods have no magical properties, they’re simply low in caloric density, highly filling and non-appetite stimulating.

Injury Prevention

Playing to Win: Injury Prevention Is the Key

Whether you're an All-Pro running back or a weekend warrior, the goal is the same. You undoubtedly want to lower your chances of incurring an injury while participating in your favorite sport. Fortunately, there are some general rules for injury prevention that apply to all sports, which is important because sports scientists suggest injury rates could be reduced by 25 percent if athletes took appropriate preventative action.

The #1 Rule: Don't Overdo It
Studies have shown that your best direct injury predictor may be the amount of training you completed last month. Fatigued muscles do a poor job of protecting their associated connective tissues, increasing the risk of damage to bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. The point isn't to avoid exercise, but rather to appreciate that overdoing it can lead to injury, and that when your muscles are fatigued, they need rest. It's about knowing what your body can handle at any particular point in time.

If You Can Predict an Injury, You May Avoid an Injury
If you have been injured before, you are much more likely to get hurt again than an athlete who has been injury free. After recovery, if you re-establish your desired training load without modification to your biomechanics, your knees are likely to be injured again. The second predictor of injury is probably the number of consecutive days of training you carry out each week. Scientific studies strongly suggest that reducing the number of consecutive days of training can lower the risk of injury. Recovery time reduces injury rates by giving muscles and connective tissues an opportunity to restore and repair themselves between workouts.

Other Injury Prevention Tips
* Increase your consumption of carbohydrates during periods of heavy training.
* Match increases in training with increases in resting. (Rest is how the body regenerates.)
* Precede any increase in training load with an increase in strengthening.
* Treat even seemingly minor injuries very carefully to prevent them from becoming a big problem.
* If you experience pain when training, stop your training session immediately.
* Never train hard if you are stiff from the previous effort.
* Pay attention to hydration and nutrition (water before exercise, electrolyte drink during exercise and water after exercise).
* Use appropriate training surfaces.
* Introduce new activities gradually and make sure you are clear on how to perform them safely.
* Allow lots of time for warming up before your workout/activity and cooling off after your workout/activity.
* Monitor daily for signs of fatigue; if in doubt, ease off your workouts for a day or two.

I am available for sessions and consultation at The Mind-Body Fitness Studio. Appointments can be arranged by contacting me directly at (631) 880-2531.


Yes You Have

YES YOU HAVE Lyrics and Music by Leeland

Every tree and every stone
Every rushing wind that moans
They sing Your praise My God, they sing Your praise
Every star and open sky
Tell of Your glory divine
They shout Your praise
They shout Your praise, yeah

You've stolen my heart
Yes, You have
You've stolen my heart
Yes, You have
You've wiped away the stains
And broke away the chains
Yes, You have

With Your love
You set me free
Three nails gave me liberty
So I'll sing Your praise
My God, I'll sing Your praise

Oh, with Your love
You forgave my sin
Forgot my past
And brought me back again
So I'll sing Your praise
I'll sing Your praise, yeah

If I ascend into the sky
Or hide behind the night
I can not run
Your love is chasing me
If I fall into the sea
Your hand will rescue me
No one will take Your place
Because This is all for You
Yes, this is all for You

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Rules of Clean Eating -- #2

New Rule #2: Always obey the law of energy balance

There’s one widely held belief about food that hurts people and perpetuates the obesity problem because it’s simply not true. It’s the idea that calories don’t matter for weight loss, as long as you eat certain foods or avoid certain foods. Some people think that if you eat only clean foods, you’re guaranteed to lose weight and stay lean. The truth is that eating too much of anything gets stored as fat. Yes, you can become obese eating 100% clean, natural foods. There’s more to good nutrition than calories in versus calories out, but the energy balance equation is always there.

Stay Strong

STAY STRONG Lyrics and Music by The Newsboys

You're in the moment now
A bitter root
A wandering eye and then
The ties that bind start wearing thin, thin
You're in the moment now
When all you've been blessed with
Is not enough
Here's where the ground gets loose
Here's where the devils call your bluff

Stay strong
You are not lost
Come on and fix your eyes ahead
There's a new dawn to light our day, our day
You've gotta stay strong
You and I run
For the prize that lies ahead
We've come too far to lose our way, our way

We've seen the tragic flaws
The tortured souls
The saints with feet of clay
Here's where sin becomes cliche'
We've come through wilderness and watched
The cloud by day
The burning sky into dawn
Have you forgotten who you are?
Did you forget whose trip you're on?

Stay strong
You are not lost
Come on and fix your eyes ahead
There's a new dawn to light our day, our day
We've gotta stay strong
You and I run
For the prize that lies ahead
We've come too far to lose our way, our way

Get up, there's further to go
Get up, there's more to be done
Get up, this witness is sure
Get up, this race can be won
This race can be won

We've gotta stay strong
You are not lost
Come on and fix your eyes ahead
Our Father's dawn will light our day, our day
Come on and stay strong
His grip is sure
And His patience still endures
There'll be no letting go today, no way

Come on, and stay strong
You and I run
For the prize that lies ahead
We've come too far to lose our way, our way

Cause and Effect

"A man bound hand and foot in the endless chain of cause and effect cannot free another."


(Thanks for the wonderful and inspiring quote, Adam!)

Tom Venuto's 10 Rules For "Clean" Eating

You’d think that nothing but good would come from that, but some experts today dislike the concept of clean foods because it implies a dichotomy where other foods, by default, are “dirty” or forbidden - as in, you can never, ever eat them again (imagine life without chocolate, or pizza… or beer! you guys). Some physicians and psychologists even believe that if taken to an extreme, a fixation on healthy food qualifies as a new eating disorder called orthorexia.

Personally, I have no issues with the phrase “clean eating.” Even if you choose to eat clean nearly 100% of the time, I don’t see how that qualifies as a psychological disorder of any kind (I think people who eat at McDonald's every day are the ones who need a shrink).
However, I also think most Burn The Fat blog readers would agree that any behavior - washing your hands, cleaning your house, or even exercise or eating health food - can become obsessive-compulsive and dysfunctional if it takes over your life or is taken to an extreme. In the case of diet and exercise, it could also lead to or overlap with anorexia.

It’s debatable whether orthorexia is a distinct eating disorder, but I’m not against using the word to help classify a specific type of obsessive-compulsive behavior. I think it’s real.
As some of the reader comments from part one reveal (rather ironically in a discussion on orthorexia), many people are quite “enthusiastic” in defending – or preaching about - their dietary beliefs: no meat, no grains, no dairy, only organic, only raw, only what God made, and on and on the rigid all-or-nothing rules go.

What people choose to eat is often so sacred to them, it makes for tricky business when you’re a nutrition educator.
On the other hand, I can’t help feeling that there’s got to be a way to better help the countless individuals who haven’t yet formulated their own philosophies, and who find nutrition overwhelmingly confusing. For many people, even a simple walk down the aisles of a grocery store, and trying to decipher the food labels and nutrition claims is enough to trigger an anxiety attack.
That’s where I hope this is useful. I can’t draw the line for you, or tell you what to eat, but I can suggest a list of “new rules” for clean eating which simplifies nutrition and clears up confusion, while giving you more freedom, balance, life enjoyment and better results at the same time.


New Rule #1: Define what clean eating means to you
Obviously, clean eating is not a scientific term. Most people define clean eating as avoiding processed foods, chemicals and artificial ingredients and choosing natural foods, the way they came out of the ground or as close to their natural form as possible. If that works for you, then use it. However, the possible definitions are endless. I’ve seen forum arguments about whether protein powder is “clean.” Arguments are a waste of time. Ultimately, what clean eating means is up to you to define. Whether your beliefs and values have you restrict or expand on the general definition, define it you must, keeping in mind that your definition may be different than other people.

Excuses and Failure

"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses."

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver (January 1864 – January 5, 1943), an American botanist and inventor who was born into slavery, revolutionized the previously cotton-based agriculture of the Southern United States through his research into and promotion of peanuts and sweet potatoes. He is noted for inventing or commercializing over 100 varied products made from peanuts.

Fragrances and Their Effects On Stress

Stop and smell the roses isn't just an expression anymore. A good whiff of lavender, lemon, mango, mint, coriander or other fragrant plants have been proven by Japanese scientists to "relieve stress" but not just emotionally. These researchers have found evidence that inhaling certain fragrances does indeed alter gene activity and blood chemistry in ways that can reduce stress levels! It's not just "in your mind" - it's changing the blood chemistry of your mind!

The study, which appears in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, also demonstrated that linalool, which is found in over 200 species of plants (mainly mints, scented herbs, laurels such as cinnamon and rosewood, and citrus fruits) helped to boost immune function as well! The scientists also found that inhaling linalool reduced the activity of more than 100 genes that are normally significantly elevated in stressful situations!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sight and Insight

"The question is not what you look at, but what you see."

Henry David Thoreau

"It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves."

Carl Jung

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."

Anais Nin

"People only see what they are prepared to see."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"What You Resist Persists"

"What you resist persists"
Carl Jung

To explain Jung's point by way of example, let's say I tell myself, "I'm not going to have a cigarette today, I'm never going to smoke ever again." Far from moving my thoughts away from smoking, I am focusing all my attention on the subject of smoking, even though in a negative way.

A far better way to avoid smoking would be to think about a completely different subject - one that grabs your whole attention, and diverts your thinking. Go to the gym or turn some music up loud and put your whole body, mind, and spirit into your dance.

Now, what was I trying to remember NOT to do?

Our Diet and Its Link to Skin Cancer

All types of cancer – skin cancer included, have been linked to deficiencies in the diet. A cancer is formed when a carcinogen infiltrates a cell and corrupts its DNA, causing the DNA to mutate. Some of these mutations convert the normal cell into a potentially malignant cell and the cancer grows.

Without a well-balanced diet, the body’s immune system doesn’t have the means to fight the mutations. In addition to maintaining a balanced diet of high fiber and a moderate amount of fat, it is also essential to your body’s overall health for your diet to include nutrients known as antioxidants. Skin cells are especially susceptible to the oxidation process caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are responsible for deactivating free radicals and preventing oxidation, and as a result prevent carcinogens from entering healthy cells.

The following vitamins and minerals contain cancer-fighting compounds:

Vitamin A (and beta-carotene):
Vitamin A is of particular value in preventing skin cancer as it maintains the integrity of the skin, and its beta-carotene localizes skin cells and protects the cells from light damage. Vitamin A is found in beef liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, winter squash, broccoli, apricots, peaches, milk, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, kale, fresh raw spinach, mustard greens, tomato juice, yogurt, summer squash, green peas, corn, eggs, and green beans.

Vitamin E
Studies of Vitamin E have shown it can actually change newly-formed cancer cells back to normal cells. Vitamin E is found in soy beans, wheat germ oil, corn oil, margarine, dry Lima beans, sunflower seeds, nuts, and fresh raw vegetables.

Vitamin C
This essential vitamin is thought to inhibit cancer from spreading by neutralizing an enzyme made by cancerous cells that would otherwise help the cancer to spread. Vitamin C is found in all citrus fruits and their juices, cantaloupe, papaya, mango, apricots, peaches, strawberries, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, parsley, tomatoes, potatoes, and green and red peppers.

This mineral appears to have the ability to protect individual cells from attacks by chemicals and viruses that can cause cancer. It also prevents cancerous cells from multiplying by slowing down the cellular processes. Selenium is found in seafood (especially tuna and herring), kidney, liver, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, bran, whole grain cereals, sesame seeds, egg yolks, mushrooms, chicken, milk and garlic.

Vitamin D
By protecting your skin from the sun, you may be blocking out Vitamin D synthesis. To counter this effect, make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D in your daily diet. Vitamin D is found in milk, tuna, cod-liver oil, salmon and egg yolks.

Of course, if you are unable to get enough of the above nutrients in your diet through traditional means, you can always add a nutritional supplement to your daily regimen. Remember – the skin is one of the largest organs of your body and has many jobs vital to healthy living. It protects your body from injury, helps your systems to function properly by receiving sensory impulses and by excreting waste products, and regulates your body temperature through perspiration. Such an important organ should be protected and cared for as much as possible, don’t you think?

Nirvana and Enlightenment #126

Zen is not about the repression of your emotions.
Zen is about realization.

Enlightenment is not about running away from your emotions.
Enlightenment is about embracing the source of everything,
including your emotions.

Embracing the source,
you understand causation.

Understanding causation,
you are no longer unduly controlled by the temporary nature
of your emotions.

Not controlled,
you are in control.

One step closer to NIRVANA.

The Art of Peace #73

You cannot see or touch the Divine with your gross senses.

The Divine is within you, not somewhere else.

Unite yourself to the Divine, and you will be able to perceive that of God wherever you are, but do not try to grasp or cling to them.

Slow Fade

SLOW FADE Music and Lyrics by Casting Crowns

Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands
As darkness pulls the strings

Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that
Are sure to follow

It's a slow fade
when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade
When black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made,
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise,
The end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises
Lead broken hearts astray

It's a slow fade
When you give yourself away
It's a slow fade
When black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made,
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade
When you give yourself away
It's a slow fade
When black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made,
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Leading By Example

"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Your example is far more influential and inspiring than any words of instruction, or threats, or even words of encouragement."
Jonathan Lockwood Huie

"You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that's assault, not leadership."
Dwight Eisenhower

"I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself."
Robert E. Lee

More Truths About Fats

There are fats that you want to limit, fats you want to avoid altogether, and healthier fats to look for to include in your diet in small amounts. Let me break these down for you.

Fats to Limit
Saturated fats come from animal products and you want to limit these. Animal sources offer some of the highest quality protein and even the leanest varieties will have some fat. Stick with extra lean varieties of meat, low- or non-fat dairy, and just one egg yolk a day, for example, so that you get high-quality protein, but not too much saturated fat and too many calories.

Fats to totally avoid
Hydrogenated, also called "trans fats," have been in the news a lot. These are fats that have been chemically altered in such a way that your body cannot use them properly, so they're unhealthy for you. They are found in solid margarine and many commercially baked goods, including cookies, crackers, doughnuts and pastries, chips and other snack foods, and many deep-fried foods. Since these are mostly processed carbs as well, and contain the unhealthiest kinds of fat with ZERO benefit, try to avoid such foods as much as possible.

The fats to look for (in moderation)
So for the fat your body needs, look for unsaturated fats, which contain essential fatty acids (EFAs). Seeds, nuts, nut butters, olives, olive and flax seed oil as well as avocados all work well. Some kinds of cold water fish, like salmon and anchovies, also contain unsaturated fats. In moderation, they're a great choice too. Remember, it's good to have small portions of these types of foods each day, but because they're so high in calories - 9 calories per gram - make sure that you eat only small amounts.

Key points to remember
Limit saturated fats by choosing extra lean and low fat animal products. Try to totally avoid hydrogenated fats (also called "trans fats"), those that have been chemically altered in commercially baked goods, margarine, and other processed foods. Choose unsaturated fats in small amounts, such as seeds, nuts, nut butters,olives, olive and flax seed oil, and avocados.

Nirvana and Enlightenment #125

Why are you angry?

Because you are not getting what you want?

Because someone is not behaving in the fashion you desire?

You can be angry if you want to,
but what does that anger lead to?

Anger leads to confrontation, poor health, and unhappiness.
It does not lead to enlightenment.

What do you want to do with anger?

Realize it is born in doubt--desire for something
to be different.

If you are in the present moment,
embracing the perfection,
anger can never grab you.

The Art of Peace #72

Unite yourself in the cosmos, and the thought of transcendence will disappear.

Transcendence belongs to the profane world.

When all trace of transcendence vanishes, the true person--the Divine Being--is manifest.

Empty yourself and let the Divine function.

So Many Surprises

"The beauty of facing life unprepared is tremendous. Then life has a newness, a youth; then life has a flow and freshness. Then life has so many surprises. And when life has so many surprises, boredom never settles in you."


Courage affirmation: I release the familiar that I may better discover my inspiring future.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jacob's Death/ Final Thoughts

People who know me well sometimes are amazed at how I love my cats. They are like children to me. I have always found it odd, as well, that I have this type of relationship with my pets. Perhaps it is because I do not have children of my own. I have learned to stop questioning why it is that I feel this way about my "kids". This is who I am. This is how I feel. Others do not have to understand what I feel. Love is love; no matter who loves whom.

There are so many things Michael and I will miss about Jake. He was like a dog in many ways. He would fetch toy mice and bring it back to you so you can throw it again. He would ALWAYS run to greet us when we returned, even if it was just for 5 minutes! He never got tired of saying hello and got excited each and every time. Often, when I was upset, especially after my Dad's death this past January, Jacob would be so warm and attentive to me. He seemed to know, he seemed to understand.

He loved visitors. He would get so excited when new people came over. He loved to meet new friends. He was different from our other "kids" as unlike them, he seemed to thrive on human connection and interaction rather than from other cats. He loved his "brothers" and "sisters", but clearly enjoyed spending time with his "parents" even more.

He had this very strange habit of falling asleep on his back with all four limbs in the air. It was so cute. Sometimes he would remain in this position for a long time. Such a fool.

He loved to EAT! He went after food with such gusto and passion. He never seemed to get enough.

Never in all of the years he was with us did he ever bite or scratch anyone. He never was even ever fresh to Mike and I. The other "kids", well, that was different! We really aren't sure if he realized he was a cat!
He loved to be treated special. After all, he thought he was a human being!

He never was moody. Always he was ready for a good pet or hug.

He loved to chat with us. We would look at him and speak to him and he would answer. I often wondered if he knew what we were saying to him.

He had this funny habit of sitting with me when I returned from my early morning workouts. He would ask for small pieces of whatever I was eating for breakfast. We shared the after-workout meal together! When Michael and I would be watching television, he would spend time with me, then go to Mike, back to me, and then back to Mike. It seemed he could not receive enough love and affection. He truly survived on affection, food, and love.

I wondered yesterday why it is that I can go back to work today so soon after his death. After all, if he is like a son to me how could I be able to do this? I then realized that pets, unlike our own human children, are destined to die before we do. There is no raising them to be responsible adults and productive members of society. There is no posterity to create within our relationship with them. I believe that subconsciously, we know they will die so we are somehow more prepared for this event. They are ours for just a relatively short time. They love hard, enjoy life, and we love them back. And, then they are gone.

The pain Mike and I are feeling is unbelievably tremendous. We will miss him every day. The house isn't the same anymore. But, we have four other "kids" to love and take care of. There will never be another Jacob. He started his life as an abandoned kitten with no home and left this world being loved and cared for by "parents" who will never ever forget him.


Jacob will be cremated and his ashes returned to us in an urn that Michael and I have chosen for him. All of our beloved pets still "reside" at home with us.

"I Hear Jacob"

I HEAR JACOB Words and Music by Michael W. Smith

Seems like it was only yesterday
He was living here
Yea, he was living here
Lord knows why He's taken him away
It isn't very clear, no it isn't very clear
Into every life a little rain must fall
And losing one you love is like a storm
But storms are passing

I hear
Purring in heaven tonight
And in between the sadness
I hear Jacob
Telling me that he's alright

Life goes on even after life
That's what I believe
Yea, that's what I believe
Jacob's gone, but he will still survive
In a memory
that I'm keeping here with me
Silencing the voice of mortal tragedy
Listening to whispers of the soul
All is peaceful

**The actual title of this song is "I Hear Leesha", but I took the liberty to change some lyrics because it is so apprpriate for what I am feeling today after Jake's death yesterday.**

A Warm Message From Dear Friends After Jake's Death

Subject: "Jacob is at the rainbow bridge"

It's a special place just for animals where there are meadows and hills where all our special friends can run and play together.
There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our animals are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who were ill or old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

"Our thoughts are with you." So glad he waited for you & Mike to help him along.

Love, Barbara & Richard & the hounds

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jacob's Death

At about 11:40 am, Michael and I went home to check on Jake. He yelled out when I touched him, and he was extremely weak. I took him out of the cat condo and laid him on his bed. He began to chain stoke as Mike and I pet him and told him it was OK for him to go. He stopped breathing after about 5 minutes, and two minutes later his heart stopped. He died about 11:50 am this morning with us petting him and loving him.

Thank you all so very much for your kind words and concern for Jacob. He was a wonderful, sweet, and loving boy who will be missed by his "parents" and "brother" and three "sisters". Jake was 12 years and two months old.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jacob Update

Jacob was seen by a doctor today and Mike and I were prepared to hear the worst. We had decided to let him go if the doctor thought that he would not recover. Jake had blood work completed and fluid taken out of his stomach. He had severe edema and water around his heart. He was found to also have a heart murmur.

Jake was sent home!!! The doctor gave him a shot of antibiotic as well as Lasix to get rid of the fluid buildup all over his body and surrounding his heart. He is resting now as I write this entry. At this point, he is still in very critical condition and over the next 48 hours we will know whether or not he will survive. He will continue on Lasix if he pulls through.

Thanks to all who have voiced their concern for him. I will continue to update his condition here on the blog. He is such a brave boy and quite a fighter.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Changes and Releasing

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

Have no regrets. How much better to have enjoyed the experience, or the person, for a time than to have never experienced that joy. Release both the good times and the bad times. The nature of life is constant change. Celebrate change.

Tomorrow Mike and I will be taking out beloved cat, Jacob, to the doctor. This morning he seemed much worse. He is having great difficulty breathing, and is once again staying by himself away from the other cats. My feeling is that his doctor will inform us tomorrow that his quality of life is such that it is best to have him put to rest.

I will inform all of you of tomorrow's outcome.

I Will Rise

I WILL RISE Words and Music by Chris Tomlin

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise


Minerals Matter- But Are You Getting Enough?

Webster's Dictionary defines minerals as "inorganic substances occurring naturally in the earth and having a consistent and distinctive set of physical properties and a composition that can be expressed by a chemical formula: sometimes applied to substances in the earth of organic origin, such as coal." Even the official definition leaves questions regarding the vital role of minerals in the body. Minerals are essential for all the chemical processes required for the human body to function properly. All nutrients, such as vitamins, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, sugars, oils, etc., require minerals for proper cell utility. In fact, minerals play a more important role in our health than do vitamins. While vitamins are required for every bodily biochemical process, they are useless without the presence of minerals.

Minerals are also essential for healing. Tissue rebuilding occurs more easily when the body has access to necessary minerals. Certain minerals are critically necessary to the body. These are known as "trace" minerals and include zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, selenium, and copper, to name a few.

When it comes to mineral supplements, most are not easily incorporated into the body, either. It's important for mineral supplements to be water-soluble (liquid form is best) and not in rock form, and that the elements be absorbed readily and fully, bringing more oxygen to the blood cells and thereby releasing toxins from the body.

Remember to talk to your doctor before taking any mineral, vitamin or other supplement for the first time, particularly if you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Nirvana and Enlightenment #124

An emotion is a drug.

Once experienced, you either desire to frequently encounter it
or seek to never feel that way again.

You set life into a pattern of either encountering or running away
from a specific emotion.

Emotions are not NIRVANA.
Emotions are only feelings.
And, feelings pass.

Illumination never fades away.

Your choice,
pursue a lifetime of emotions or know NIRVANA.

The Art of Peace #71

Rely on Peace
To activate your
Manifold powers;
Pacify your environment
And create a beautiful world.

The Divine is not something high
above us.
It is in heaven,
it is in earth,
It is inside of us.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


So many of my readers have asked me about how our cat, Jacob, is doing. As promised, I will keep up to date with new developmen-ts.

Jacob continues to not look well at all. He is now, however, eating a bit more. I try to get home at least once during the day to give him his gel nutrition formula and feed him water via syringe. He continues to have severe edema in his extremities and has great difficulty walking at times. He gets out of breath easily. He is not grooming himself, so I clean him up at least 2-3 times a day. I really don't mind taking care of him like a baby right now. I believe it is my responsibility as a "parent" to care for him when he is so very ill.

He has an appointment with a specialist on Saturday afternoon. We were almost certain that he would not make it until then, but it appears our good care and his desire to remain alive has sustained him. He's tough. It's all so very sad.

I will blog again about his condition after his doctor appointment. Thanks so much for all of your kindness and compassion.

Nirvana and Enlightenment #123

One of the key factors which keeps you from NIRVANA
is fixation on a specific emotion--be it positive or negative.

Emotions are addictive.
They make you feel.
Feelings make your adrenaline pump.
This provides you with the enhanced sense of being alive.

But emotions don't last forever.
By their very nature they come and then they go.

Emotions lead to more emotions, leading to more emotions, and leading to more emotions.

How emotional are you?
Are you dominated by your emotions?
How will your emotions direct you to NIRVANA?

The Truth About Eating Fats

One of the primary benefits of protein is that it helps slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, so there's less of an affect on insulin (blood sugar) levels. Well, dietary fat helps this too. If you eat carbs by themselves, they will cause spikes in your insulin, but like protein, if you combine some healthy fat with your carbs, such as peanut butter, sunflower seeds or almonds with your fruit, the fat will help minimize this adverse affect. What's more, fat is a vital component for building body tissue and cells, and it aids in the absorption of important vitamins and other nutrients.

So we all need some fat in our diet. BUT... the problem occurs when we eat too much of it. Fat is very calorie-dense. In fact, it has more than twice the number calories than protein or carbs. Carbs and protein have 4 calories per gram, whereas fat has 9 calories. So, you consume a lot more calories per volume of food with foods that are high in fat. For example, a tablespoon of peanut butter has almost 100 calories, whereas a tablespoon of lowfat cottage cheese, which is also a great source of protein, has just 12 calories. Don't get me wrong. Nuts and peanut butter are healthy foods and great sources of good fat. But as you know, you must burn more calories than you consume to lose fat. And if you're eating lots of foods that are high in fat, it'll be tough to create this "caloric deficit."

So, while fat does help slow down the insulin response when combined with carbs, like protein does, it needs to be eaten in moderation so you can continue to burn more calories than you consume so you can lose fat.

Key point to remember:
Healthy sources of fat are beneficial, but because they're calorie-dense, be sure to eat them in moderation or it will be tough to create the necessary "caloric deficit" for fat loss.

The Art of Peace #70

Construction of shrine and temple buildings are not enough.
Establish yourself as a living Buddha image.
We all need to be transformed into pure compassion.


"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

Martin Luther King, Jr

"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark."

Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nirvana and Enlightenment #122

There is a Source Point for everything:
the universe,
physical existence,
human problems,
even enlightenment.

Finding the Source Point is the key to enlightenment.

The Source point is obtained by removing obstructions.

Obstructions are caused by society, culture, religion,
and your desires.

Because people desire an answer.
But, there are no answers.
What is religiously or scientifically right today,
will be wrong tomorrow.
What is desired today, will be forgotten tomorrow.

Strip away obstructions.
Seek the Source Point.
You will find the door to illumination.


Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises done before vigorous workouts can warm up the muscles, improve one's range of motion, and prepare the body to perform optimally.
Gentle stretching exercises done after workouts can prevent muscle soreness. Even with an injury that prevents you from doing vigorous workouts, engaging in routine stretching exercises can help to keep you limber and toned.
Just be sure not to overstretch to the point of feeling pain!

The Art of Peace #69

The Art of Peace is a form of prayer that generates light and heat.
Forget about your little self, detach yourself from objects, and you will radiate light and warmth.
Light is wisdom; warmth is compassion.

True Friends

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
Anais Nin

"A friend is someone who understands my past, believes in my future, and accepts me just the way I am."

"Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer."

To all my friends. Thank you.