Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Soda Wars!

And the debate continues: The soda ban, albeit well intended, is not going to solve the obesity issue. In fact, I believe it is actually causing more harm than good. I am a fan of the Mayor and his efforts to create wellness programs with city employees and also the population, but I can’t agree with the methods he is using to deliver the message that soda is a contributor to obesity and illness.

I would like to see a mandatory calorie count on every cup, in big numbers of course. Many people don’t realize that a 38 oz cola (the size of a 7-Eleven Super Gulp with ice) is 512 calories and 128 grams of sugar. That is more sugar than 7 bananas, and ½ the calories a dieter is supposed to get in a day. By banning, we (wellness advocates) risk alienating the very people we are trying to help. If we educate, we have a shot at getting their attention without pushing our views on them.

Yes, I fought hard for second-hand smoke laws and the banning of cigarette smoke in any public place, but that was to protect the innocent—those of us who want to breathe and smell air without carcinogens. Big difference between the two, don’t you think?. I totally understand why the Mayor is doing this. I agree with his intention; I love his desire to create change; and I applaud his passion. I just don’t think we are going to achieve the desired effect; which is to get Americans healthier and more responsible for their food and drink choices.

Mayor, if you are listening, “I love you; I respect you, but we may need to rethink this one.” D.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Before You Leave Your Marriage...

Excerpt from "The Ten Commandments of Divorce" The Last Resort, or is it?

A portion of my time coaching is spent trying to save marriages. That’s not to suggest that there are people out there who are too hasty in their decision to divorce. Most couples feel they have no choice or lack the means to deal with their differences and unhappiness. They don’t believe they have the ability to change the negative aspects of their relationship, and they usually blame the wrong reasons for their marriage becoming unhealthy. That is where I step in, because statistically, staying and working things out is the best recourse. According to the Institute for American Values, almost eight out of 10 couples who avoided divorce were happily married five years later.

Everything from hormones and the chemically ridden food we poison ourselves with to the environment, money and stress can contribute to the downfall of a relationship. We often blame it on a lack of love, not realizing that love is a decision. We claim “irreconcilable differences,” not understanding the need to continuously forgive each other and ourselves. We cite infidelity as a leading cause, but we never look into how bio-chemistry plays a role in leading us astray. We complain of “cruel and unusual punishment” and fail to consider mental illness as part of our vow to stick it out “in sickness and in health.”

Too often we are ready to jump ship without really investigating the underlying causes. Not because we want to get divorced, and certainly not because it is easy. Staying almost always seems harder than leaving. Rather, it’s because we don’t understand the options. To know how to save a marriage requires the skills of a psychoanalyst, bio-chemist, translator, coach, mediator, nurse, financial advisor and in some cases, addiction counselor. We just aren’t equipped emotionally or intellectually to handle all the idiosyncrasies of the human persona – our own or that of our spouse.

Since we don’t know how to fix each other’s problems, we decide to depart, not realizing that leaving doesn’t necessarily solve anything. When couples split, they are often amazed at how unhappy they still are! Clients who have been divorced for any length of time come to me with their tales of woe, and I listen as they walk me through their former marriage and subsequent relationships, all with pretty much the same outcome. When they are done, I ask, “Who or what is the common denominator in your life?” Ultimately, they come to the conclusion, “It’s me.” When the realization is made that it may not have been entirely the other person’s fault, when the need to work on their own issues becomes clear, the real mending can begin.

After becoming single, there are so many new problems to pin misery on. Co-parenting issues, lack of money and living arrangements are a few, but many of the real reasons for discontent are still with us, or I should say, within us. As the German writer and spiritualist Eckhart Tolle puts it, They (intimate relationships) do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you.” Clearly, the issues that we need to heal from do not leave our personas as we physically leave a marriage. They follow us … relentlessly.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

On changing the world...

Some people think I am crazy for believing I can help heal the world.Some people think I am arrogant for thinking I can make a difference.
Some people think I am audacious for even talking about my ideas.
I choose to listen to the ones that have been telling me I can.

Helen Keller: “You are only one, but still you are one. You cannot do everything, but still you can do something; and because you cannot do everything, you should not refuse to do something that you know you can do.”

Theodore Roosevelt: “Believe you can and you are halfway there.”

Anne Frank: “How wonderful it is that you don’t need to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Leo Rosten: “The purpose of your life is not to be happy—but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.”

Robert F. Kennedy: “Each time you stand up for an ideal, or act to improve the lot of others, or strike out against injustice, you send forth a tiny ripple of hope…and crossing each other they form a million different centers of energy, and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that you and a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Woodrow Wilson: “You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world.”

Gandhi: “If you change yourself, you will change your world. If you change how you think then you will change how you feel and what actions you take, and so the world around you will change. Not only because you are now viewing your environment through new lenses of thoughts and emotions, but also because the change within can allow you to take action in ways you wouldn’t have—or maybe even have—thought about while stuck in your old thought patterns.”

Martin Luther King Jr.: “No one has the right to rain on your dreams.”

Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Charles Eames: “Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.”

Wayne Dyer: “Your mind at peace, centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe. Anything you really want you can attain, if you really go after it.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it. Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of the Earth.”

B.J. Palmer: “You never know how far reaching something you may think, say or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.”

Harriet Tubman: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Sri Chinmoy: “Do you need a revolution to change the world? I suggest that the most effective way to change the world is to begin by changing yourself. If these ideas gained greater acceptance, the world would unmistakably change for the better.”

An old Friend: “Past the seeker as he prayed came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them, he cried, “Great God, how is it that a loving creator cannot see such things and yet do nothing about them?” God said, “I did do something. I made you.”

Who inspires you? DM

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

You May Want to Get Out of My Way...

It is a day of independence…one in which we commend and honor our forefathers who bravely fought for a new ideal and what they believed would be the land of the free. I haven’t fought in a war, but I fight for the rights of many every day. It is because of me and people like me that many get to sit in a restaurant, movie theatre or airplane without inhaling carcinogenic smoke. It is because of me and people like me that many are becoming aware of the dangers of gluten, sugar and other “food” products which is forcing the food companies to amend their offerings. It is because of me and people like me that many will be offered wellness programs at work and school…a practice that is proving to induce healthier lifestyles and money savings for all who participate.

With this post, I am not asking for recognition. I am not asking for donations. I am not even asking you to click the like button! But if you are so inclined to help, there is one thing that each and every one of you can do, and that is, “Listen to me before you condemn what I say!”

A long time ago, I stopped waiting for the country to change. I decided instead to be the change the country had been waiting for. You too have a voice, but please don’t use it against me and others who are trying to save lives, educate and empower. YES! I want to take soda and high fructose corn syrup away from kids, and if everyone really opened their eyes to its dangers, no children would be allowed to drink it. YES! I want to abolish smoking in public. I want clean air for everyone, and if there was no such thing as a cigarette, my father would still be alive, along with so many of our Country's citizens. YES! I want to eliminate sugar in all our schools. If educators and parents understood the correlation between sugar and obesity, diabetes, aggression, depression, alcoholism and drug use, they would want it gone to.

Although I don’t carry a weapon, I am a patriot and a soldier, and I believe one person can fight a war with love and goodness better than an army can with guns. I am a researcher of science and a teacher of truth, with a loud mouth and a rowdy pen, and I will never stop using either. In the end, I would rather die fighting for what I believe in, than live a life fighting regret…regret for the loss of people who don’t know any better or who are hell bent on killing themselves because, after all, “it is a free country.”

Join me or you may want to get out of my way, for I am a river, and what I can’t go around, I will go through. This Country needs to change direction, and whether everyone likes where I want to take it or not, trust that it will keep all of us alive and healthy. This Country needs a reality check, and like what I say or not, trust that it is factual. This Country needs a leader who will fight the tough fight, and like ME or not, I plan on continuing to be one of them. DM