Tag Archives: Healthy Living

Wait Watchers

Wait Watchers

Here we sit at the mid-point of the second month of 2012.

There are some of you who have dropped away from the regular workout routines you committed to in January…

Still a few who are still reading the affirmations that were created as the new year began…

While others have resumed their regular routine of worry, work and wonder about how to make this your best year ever…

Today I am here to applaud the quiet minority who have, for likely the first time ever, continued to do the daily little things; read the chapter of the self-help book, exchange the sweet, sugary delight for a piece of fruit, and invest in a new way to think and work…

Which of these scenarios best describes your GPS location today?

Are you waiting for another year to pass?

Are you watching others live the life you secretly wish to experience?

It can be yours…

Get off the couch and begin today to have the health, wealth and freedom that you believe is your destiny.

Stop waiting.

Stop watching.

Live free beginning today.

Peace.

We’re All in This Together

We’re All in This Together…

While taking my daughter and her dog, Lovey, out for an evening walk, it became crystal clear to me how to solve some of the challenges that face our cities, country and world. Speak to me…

In my little corner of the world, Hercules, California, we have had our share of less-than-flattering press the past 6 months. The hillside less than 100 yards from my home had slid down again, destroying 6 homes…the then city manager was run out of office after it was learned that he had a number of shady deals with developers…with our city now facing financial meltdown. And the final act was holding a special election this summer to unseat 3 city council members who were all too agreeable with that crooked city manager…Hercules, Hercules, Hercules. Not laughing at that movie moment anymore.

But tonight while we walked for more than 30 minutes, my belief in our city was renewed. For you see, we were not the only ones out for a walk with our canine friends. So were many of our neighbors…and the most beautiful things began to happen. We acknowledged one another and spoke. Hello. Hi. Even just the simple nod of the head to say, I see you. Ah yes…a small but significant throwback to my childhood days, when neighbors knew one another and cared, at least on the surface.

It was good to see the Indian elder dressed in his white garb, the Filipino couple with their frisky dogs, the African American male doing his best to keep his two dogs from running too fast before him, and the Caucasian woman who took time to talk with Meisha and comment how cute her dog is. We really are all in this together.

Maybe, just maybe, we can send this message to Congress. Those elected officials who are sworn to serve in OUR best interests. Not those of corporate America or the lobbyists with millions of dollars to peddle influence. Nope. Just us neighbors who are the backbone of this once proud democracy. We the People…

During the last 10 minutes of our walk I heard this song in my head, and I hope you will listen to the lyrics…and remember that there is so much more about us that is similar than not.

Do me a favor today, make it a point to speak to your neighbor, the person in line at the grocery store, the older man or woman who is looking into your eyes, looking to see if your humanity is alive and willing…

We’re All in This Together.

Peace.

Victory in The Valley

Victory in The Valley

Isn’t it strange that we often hear religious leaders and the like discuss how wonderful it will be to rise out of our “valley” experiences and achieve our “mountain top” successes?” That mindset would have us to believe that it is only when we have come out of that valley, be it from the death of a family member, loss of a friendship, divorce…all things that can cause us to lose sight of the euphoria that comes from being on top of our mountain, that we can have true happiness. I am proof that the greater lesson is learned on the path, though the valley.

The past two years have shown me that we can have our valley experience and come into a closer relationship with our Creator, and ultimately, ourselves. The journey is what is important…not just the destination.

Maybe I am not the only one who has historically focused too often on those things that I felt I was lacking…and not giving enough thanks and gratitude for that which is right in front of me. Sure, I don’t have my two 42” plasma big screen TV’s anymore, but I have my family who has loved me with the 20” old-school television…until I was blessed last week with a new 32” LCD flat screen that is the BOMB.

They are only happy that they don’t have to squint anymore to see their favorite shows, while I am ever mindful that this is another small step in reclaiming my new life. See, the valley times help them to learn to be patient as we journey towards renewal. There is so much power and truth in that saying, “In God’s time.”

So, take inventory today of where you are and what you are learning in this valley time of life. Celebrate today that you have__________________. Fill in your own blessings.

I look forward to many more valley experiences, knowing that I can walk through it because He has me in His hand and that the mountaintop is just around the bend.

Peace.

It Ain’t About You

It Ain’t About You…

It has been one week since my latest PSA test and Digital rectal examination showed no further growth of my prostate…and I am still excited about those findings. Since then I have had discussions with a few friends, with the intent to uncover their thoughts and concerns about their health issues; and particularly where it relates to men.

There were a few women who shared with me that their father’s had died at an early age, and thus had wished for a longer time to have spent with there Dads. I believe both of their father’s succumbed to heart failure brought about by diabetes. As I sit and think about my time spent last summer with my grand and great-grand daughters, it became crystal clear that my taking care of myself was important to me…but it really mattered even more when I looked into the eyes of the youngest bloodline that I have created.

And so I ask you men, and women, to consider how you might think of a world that your grand children would live in…without you. That’s right. You are nothing more than the picture in a frame on the fireplace mantle. Stories are told about you and who you were, and always end with a sad refrain, “he/she died so young.” Those of us on the north side of 50 realize how young 60 is looking every day. It is all in our perspective.

On my social media pages I am listing my morning breakfast menus…showing a balance of protein, fruits, juices and sometime a little meat to keep my inner dinosaur happy. Having recently received my cholesterol reading I know that I am doing the right things with regards to my food intake. Again, it ain’t about me…

You see, I am thinking years ahead to my granddaughter graduating from her schooling…my great granddaughter getting her high school diploma…even my youngest daughter getting married. I want to be walking upright and of my own volition…not being pushed around in a wheelchair or worse, not being alive to witness these special occasions.

So, do me a favor and spread the word. We are going to begin the second half of 2011 by making a true commitment to a healthier lifestyle. We will walk more. Eat more fruits. Drink more water. Eat less red meat. And show gratitude for another day of life.

And for those of you who are still not sure if this works…keep my mantra from today in your mind and spirit…”It Ain’t About You.” This is for those future generations who will be doting on you when you are the patriarch/matriarch of the family and telling the stories of how life used to be…in 2011.

Peace.

EveryBody is a STAR

June 11, 2011

Everybody IS A Star…

I was perusing through the song list on some YouTube channels today and came across this song by Sly & The Family Stone. It caused me to take pause and think about those who are trying to be “stars” these days.

I mean we know of all the reality shows, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice…ad nauseum. The Star that the Family Stone was alluding to is the person who will shine their God-given light/talent for the world to see and become a better place.

One of the lines from the song goes, “Everybody wants to shine, who’ll come out on a cloudy day? You don’t need darkness, to do what you think is right…”

Simple, yet so profound.

I am ever prayerful in these challenging economic times, where it seems that those who have much desperately want to keep it, and those with little are trying to maintain their faith and dignity. How much more darkness is required for those with obscene wealth to do what is right in order to put our society back on track…it used to be the American way.

Today is the 10th year anniversary of the Geo. W. Bush tax cuts, which effectively gave the top 1% of Americans even more money, supposedly to create jobs. I ask you and, if I could them, is the sky dark enough for you now to come out and shine?

So, I salute Sly Stone and his provocative lyrics. And ask that you consider how you might be a star to someone whose light is blocked by clouds of despair…Peace.

Caregiving is Never Easy…

Caregiving is never Easy…

As we are at the end of May, and in the middle of moments when we have celebrated Mother’s Day and in a few weeks will honor our Father’s, I came across an article that reminded me of the challenges our family faced a few years ago when our parent’s needed care. Take a read and let me know your thoughts

Please click here for the article:

Drunk As A Skunk

“Drunk As a Skunk”

Much to the chagrin of my now deceased parents, I have been one to ask the “why” questions….all of my life. I’d like to think that has assisted me more than hindered me; but the jury is still out on that.

And so today, as I sat and listened to a magnificent presentation by David Glover at the AgeSong Emeryville residence, he made a statement that caused me to do just that thing; why, do we say that? The cliché that he stated was, in talking about things we all did as newly minted 21 year-old adults is to get “drunk as a skunk.”

Of the 40 people in attendance, it is quite likely that no one but yours truly took umbrage with that comment and began to wonder how those furry, funky rodents must feel about being associated with the over-indulgence of alcohol beverage. I got home and took a look through Google and Wikipedia, and have yet to find a photo, article or reference to that skunk that got drunk, and thus became responsible for that cliché.

Now before you think that I have lost all of my senses, and am putting too much on this skunk concern, my bigger thought is about how often we say things that we have no real understanding of. I mean, has anyone said they saw the skunk getting drunk? Saw him pulled over by the CHP and given a breathalyzer test? Even been referred to rehab to “kick the habit?” No, none of us has had that experience. Yet, we use that cliché as though we speak from a position of authority. Like we were the designated driver for his bachelor party.

My lesson for this post is that we should really become more mindful, in a new way, with the use of platitudes and clichés, and not just ramble on without considering the origins of that statement. In the meantime, just remember that Diamonds are forever; Tastes great, less filling; When it rains it pours; Where’s the beef; and when in doubt, Just Do It.”

Peace.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair today, gone tomorrow…

It is spring and thus time for the NBA playoffs, where it is always interesting to see the types of advertisements that dominate the between play segments of each game. Your standard beer commercials occupy a majority of the commercials, with car and truck ads often a close second in number. However, it is the “other” brands of products that marketers have determined we men are in need of that causes me to go hmmm.

The one lately that has me shaking my head is the one from Hair Club for men. You have seen at least one of these, I know. A very sad looking guy is sitting in the office of this follicle physician (?), looking miserable and forlorn. They hold a mirror to the back of his head and show him the bald spot…like the man has not already seen it before today.

The narrator shares with us how this new “hair” will look and feel like your own natural hair. You can even go swimming, with no embarrassing moments when you ascend form the water.

My biggest laugh came when the African-American man was combing his new “do”, and holding the back of his head/hair with his other hand. You know he was trying his best to make sure that his piece of hair was not going to be dislodged by that brushing. His little smile only made matters that much more humorous. Probably thinking that thankfully the check for this gig is already in the bank. I can recall only seeing two men of A/A heritage with a hairpiece…and neither of those resembled anything like their real hair.

So, as I have seen my once curly black hair both recede and turn to silver in color, I wonder how one determines to take the plunge and seek admission to the Hair Club. Will someone tap me on the shoulder and give me the coordinates to a secret meeting? Will I be required to take an oath and learn a password or handshake? This could all be so much fun. And expensive too, I would presume.

Or maybe I won’t do anything and just enjoy the transition from having a perfectly shaped super-size Afro in my younger days to a card-carrying AARP senior with a Silver-mane…and be graceful, and grateful, through it all. Now if I can just get my salon barber to charge me by the hair she has trimmed, and not by the minute I will be able to purchase that hand held mirror…

Peace.

Missing Them Skipping…

It seems the older I become the more I reminisce about things from my “good old days.” One of the things that I recall is the image of girls skipping along the sidewalks of our neighborhoods and on schoolyards. It is as pure an activity as any that embodies the innocence of childhood playfulness and frivolity. Just as one is unable to smile and be angry simultaneously, I believe it is just as impossible to skip along and be mad at your friends.

When is the last time you saw children skipping along? How did we as a society lose that piece of our childhood innocence? What has replaced it?

As the father of a now eight-year old daughter, I wish for her to have the childhood that I remember where the neighborhood was a place that was safe and fun. Where we could play simple games with our fellow residents, and even those from other blocks, when our biggest concern was to insure we got into the house before the streetlights came on.

Rather than criticize the state of affairs facing our children today, I am seeking to make their time as children better and safer. It will take a number of us, especially the men, to create a “safety zone” for our children. What will you do to give them the same chances to create happy moments in their development as grown-all-too-soon people?

It might take a few dollars to buy a few jump ropes, baseballs and gloves, and a football. They will gravitate to that which makes them laugh and have fun. Outdoors. In the sunlight. With each other. And if you add some Kool-Aid to the equation, your home will be the place to be this summer. It is my belief that your block will be the one that will be fondly remembered by these kids a generation from now.

And the activity of skipping by our daughters will be preserved once more.

Peace.

There Was This Man…

April 22, 2011

There was this Man…

I can’t say I ever had the opportunity to meet Him in person, but I do know that I have felt a kinship with Him for most of my life. He made quite an impact on me, and millions of others, many years ago. In fact, He changed our concept of how we must treat each other…with no concern for pedigree or position in society.

This man had no formal education, yet He was considered a Master teacher. He never wrote a single book, poem or song…yet many quote Him on a daily basis. Now it is strange that this man told the government of the day that His Father sent him to share the good news of a new kingdom on Earth…they were intrigued, intimidated and determined to maintain their authority. Hmmm. Sounds rather familiar to today, yes?

The man even told His friends that He had to leave soon and would see them again after He had been killed. Spooky but spirit-driven. All but one believed. The phrase doubting Thomas must have originated 2000 years ago.

As we consider how to love our neighbors, care for our families and commit to living a life of service, consider that this Man held no office, owned no property or took a wife. Yet He called us family. And told of our inheritance in the Kingdom. What kind of love is this?

And his own turned against Him because he did not overthrow the Roman Empire with an army, militia or mercenaries. He was acquitted by the court of law but condemned by the people’s court. Just because He did not give them what they expected…physical freedom. Yet, the freedom of spirit He spoke of was more than enough; it just took time and faith.

Remember today the man who gave all that He had…for you. Would YOU?

Peace.