Friday, 4 September 2020

Before You Begin

We call them psychic vampires. They suck the life right out of you! What's the solution? It's in such times (of war, famine, plague, despotic rule) that religion and spirituality tend to lead us in this stepping up, reminding us of the noble worth of the hard bits - the sacrifice, the service, the radical faith. The beautiful questions to ask, then: How are we going to be of service? What are we willing to sacrifice to live the teachings of Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Gaia, The Universe - to save ourselves, and the world? Joshua Tree National Park hike, Palm Springs For years I'd been busting to check out this protected otherworldly area dotted with those funny looking twisted, prickly trees. I'd seen it on the socials and was sucked in by the sepia-toned, boots 'n' lace vibe of the place. I was in LA for work and figured I could squeeze in a road trip and hike. The Airstreams on Airbnb were all articleed out, but I found a room in an equally `frontier' motel on the main highway and set off out of the city in a hire car with windows you had to manually wind down. FYI a guy I'd met in LA was meant to join me. He'd begged to come along. More often than not, bone fractures are precipitated by a fall. So if we can keep our muscular strength, coordination, and sense of balance, we can reduce the risk of falling in the first place. We have learned about inactivity and bone health from the space shuttle missions. On Earth, gravity ensures that all we need to do is move our bodies -- by walking, jogging or running, or climbing steps. But NASA space physiologists have determined that in space, the lack of gravity leads to bone under-stimulation, which causes astronauts to lose bone mass through mineral depletion at a rate of 1 to 1. In 1996, astronaut Norman Thagard lost 11. Researchers at Johnson Space Center have developed and use an array of space exercise equipment, including a special bicycle built for two, to help astronauts maintain their bone health while in orbit.

Even if you bypassed exercise as a teen, you can still significantly increase your bone mass today through weight-bearing exercises. When it comes to strengthening bones, a little exercise can go a long way. In one study, a program of weight-bearing exercise increased participants' bone mass by 5 percent in as little as nine months. Stop spending time with them. Do you have friends who constantly try to bring you down to their level? You know, people who, simply by calling you, can make you feel frustrated, stressed, depressed? And the dream-stealers who tell you that your dreams are impossible and try to make you believe that pursuing them is ridiculous? If so, then it's time for some new friends! These people hold you back with their victim mentality and their mediocre personal standards. In our opinion, you're better off spending time alone than spending time with negative people. Instead, make an effort to surround yourself with those who are supportive and uplifting--people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and congratulate you when you succeed. We are not saying that you should only talk to and appreciate happy and successful people. It's very important to make an effort to treat everyone with respect--that's not a choice. I deferred to `yes' in the face of his enthusiasm and articleed a bigger motel room. The dude did a no-show. Then ghosted me. It left me hugely unsettled, emotionally whiplashed. I arrived mid-morning. It was 39*C in the shade and there's no shade out there. But I was in a mood and this mood needed to be hiked into the dust, so I went hard.

In the one morning I did the Barker Dam Loop and Hidden Valley routes. Then I did the Ryan Mountain, Skull Rock and Split Rock hikes later in the day. By the time I climbed Ryan Mountain, it was late afternoon and my agitated mood had settled. Even eighty-year-old women have increased their bone mass with as little as thirty minutes of exercise, three times a week. Women who are more active not only build stronger bones, but suffer fewer fractures. It has been estimated for each 1 percent bone mass is increased, the risk of bone fracture decreases by 6 percent! A study published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, highlighted the bone-building benefits of incorporating exercise early in life. Those who exercised regularly had greater bone density by age eighteen than their sedentary counterparts. The researchers discovered that the dietary intake of calcium had no impact on bone density. Instead, the girls' involvement with sports and exercise was the decisive factor and primary predictor of bone growth in adulthood. Evidence clearly shows that it is never too late to benefit from the bone-building effects of exercise. Since her diagnosis of breast cancer in 1982, Ruth Heidrich, author of A Race for Life, has won nearly a thousand trophies and medals for marathon and triathlon competitions. Even more impressive, despite a family history of osteoporosis, she has consistently increased her bone mass since her forties. We should always respect others, but the choice we do have is deciding who to spend the most time with. There is a big difference. Question: If I know that my friends are bringing me down, how do I get involved with a better group of people? First of all, there doesn't need to be a formal Good-bye, I can't be your friend anymore. For example, by joining a club, a team, or an after-school organization, you can gradually make the transition to a new group of friends. By joining clubs or teams that interest you, you'll also find more people there who share your same goals and aspirations. School clubs, key clubs, builder's clubs, Circle K, ASB, music clubs, sport enthusiasts' clubs, hobby clubs--these are just a few of the many places to find happy and successful people.

Join a group! Start attending youth events in your area (and yes, there are lots of them if you do some research to find them). Join the Boys and Girls Club after school, sign up for Junior Achievement, Key Club, The Congressional Youth Leadership Council, 4-H, or the FFA. As ever, the desert was able to strip me of a fair whack of my egoic suffering. I've always struggled to do this via those aphorisms (where you witness your ego and stand back from the shards of pain that you've carted around in your solar plexus since childhood, and in the witnessing they dissolve). As I think I've said before, thankfully I have hiking. And the desert. As I skipped up the rocky trail the air was like paint stripper, the light as if under a magnifying glass. In desertscapes the expanse says to you, palm slapping down on the table, `I am big, get on my level. It takes you to raw awe. What a boon for a caught-up ego! Awe is quite a specific experience. It happens when we view beauty amid vastness, predominantly in nature, triggering a deep sense of belonging. At age sixty-three, she retained a bone mass greater than that of the average thirty-year-old American woman. Her secret, she says, is regular exercise, combined with a vegetarian diet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 145 million Americans119 are drinking artificially fluoridated water, and approximately two-thirds of the US drinking water is fluoridated. The fluoridation of drinking water was introduced with the stated intention of reducing tooth decay in the population. The government-recommended dose is between 0. It seems that fluoride -- when consumed in fluoridated drinking water and in all of the numerous beverages and canned foods made with it (juice, beer, vegetables, fruits, etc) -- can cause bone to grow in a deformed manner. It also seems that this chemical ion can weaken bone structure, making bones more brittle and ultimately elevating the risk of fracture.

The effects of fluoride exposure also seem to be cumulative. We may only see symptoms over an extended time, rather than immediately after exposure. Like plaque building up in arteries and setting the stage for heart disease, fluoride may build up in the body and its deleterious effects may grow, proportionate to the duration and level of exposure. How about your local Toastmasters? Or volunteer to serve with other leaders at a church, temple, or mosque. Consider teen seminars or youth camps. Ask your school counselor. The opportunities are out there! There are always ways to find a better group of people to hang out with. Success leaves clues. Bestselling author and inspirational speaker While we were speaking at a high-school assembly, we asked the audience Wof 400 high-school seniors some specific questions: Do you know who the top student in your class is? Do you know who the best athlete is? Our smallness against a backdrop of immensity reminds us of our insignificance and interconnectedness, which brings about a profound, yet elated, peace. The Apollo 17 team, on their way to the moon in 1972, took a photo of the Earth from 29,000 kilometres away. The photo became known as The Blue Marble and it went on to trigger awe around the world. The impact has been studied extensively - it's called the Overview Effect - and it's credited with kicking off the modern environmental movement. Awe, more than any other experience I know, connects us to the vulnerability, wildness and preciousness of life. When I got to the top of Ryan Mountain, I sat and looked out all the way to Palm Springs. As the breeze cooled, I felt myself get really, really .

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