Guest Post – Vanessa Dawn – Health Impacts of Societal Change

My Wheels R’ Spinning…..How many of you have ever bought a car only then to realize or become aware how many others just like it are on the road? Ive caught myself saying, oh look, now that I got my car, there are all kinds just like it. In reality, my awareness level just heightened. I felt the same way this past week while on vacation at the beach! First let me say to anyone reading this…I am in no way insinuating those here are obese etc etc or at fault for their disease. Doing so would be hypocritical of my own self. I am merely pointing out how my observations brought me to a different level of “awareness”. 1st—all I see on tv are beautiful, nearly anorexic sized women glamorizing their thin bodies. I have always tried to teach my girls that its not reality. My week at the beach was a far cry from what we saw on the old show “Baywatch”. I was saddened actually by what I saw. Of how the views have changed drastically from now compared to my first ocean visit at age 14, some 29 years ago!!! Have you heard that 2/3 of America is obese? That is the statistic. According to America’s criteria, obesity is when our BMI (body mass index) is above 28% determined by a height weight ratio. My awareness of this statistic was heightened when i was surrounded by so many people in one place to make the comparison. I observed very few people that would be considered in normal range, & it alarmed me. Especially the population of kids! And yes i include my own family in this observation. Whether it was at the beach or at the amusement parks, I felt surrounded by a new future population of brewing illness. Observing the consumptions of processed drinks, deep fried funnel cakes topped with sugar, corn dogs & then observing the swarms of people going out for that huge dinner at 6 everyday as an activity or treat. Furthermore i was saddened by the obese children I saw “out of breath” easily while attempting to do any exertion such as riding the waves, the parents who sat on the sidelines instead of engaging in activities & those I saw who couldnt ride the rides at the amusement parks or sit in a typical lawn chair simply because of size limitations. To know me is to know that i never meet a stranger which is why i took it upon myself to strike up a conversation with a few that i encountered who appeared to be within normal weight….all of which claimed they worked out regularly! My daughters & I had conversations about how what they were seeing now as the “norm” was not the “norm” 30 years ago. Just looking back at old family photos….everyone was so thin! I personally experienced lots of ridicule & fun poking for my own size growing up & by todays standards was nowhere near overweight. After my trip…i cant help but feel tricked by the food industry or has the human race brought it upon ourselves or have we all been mere participants in the change! This change didnt happen over night. But i feel like it has been a gradual, subtle change over the years & generations that “sneaked” up on us. I grew up on a 100 acre farm in Kentucky. My mom who is almost 80 now prepared everything from scratch. We spent summers raising our gardens, canning, raised & killed our own beef, pigs, deer & raised our own chicken. We were modernized yes. My dad was a mail carrier & my mom stayed home & worked the farm. There were hardly any processed items in our house & never a soft drink. Balogna was probably the worst thing in our fridg & lard was the oil of choice. I never had a riding lawnmower till i was 19! I push mowed several acres each week, rode my bike a lot, only ate out maybe twice a year! Gradually our lands have been tracted out & sold because it earns us more monies in the short term. Our demands for food have been put on our groceries because we arent raising our own. If we are putting this demand in the hands of others then have we really been tricked or have the manufactures been forced by us & greed to resort to GMO’s to produce large quantities to meet our demand? My grandma lived alone & died at age 97 from heart attack. My other grandparents died in their late 80’s of natural age causes…no cancer, no diabetes, no disease other than a lil dementia. I feel like I am a product of a new generation of disease. The cause & the effect! My daughters even noticed how our local Amish community lives, watching the kids push mow the yards, working in the garden etc. When i was young, i didnt have to ask what we were going to do today…because i knew! I was up by 7am…i didnt have phones or computers in my hands all day. I made mud pies, played tennis against the barn with a board & ball, swam in the creeks, played in the rain, had no germ-x….was rarely ever sick! This story like so many others Im sure. Its not all about weight, but about habits, the evolution of change….lost arts of self reliance versus dependence on others, greed etc…so many factors in combination…not just a finger pointing blame game. A societal shift in priorities! To the point I observed road signs threatening imprisonment for littering in a society where child abusers go free! Where animals are often given free surgeries & vet care while humans are homeless, sick, children are without healthcare. A generation taught to live any lifestyle & just get a pill to fix the effects! And another pill to fix the effects of that one & the vicious cycle continues. Where does it end? Where did it begin? If 2/3 of society is obese…and 1/3 to 2/3 have fatty liver…i wonder what is the correlation of the two? With the increasing need of liver transplants, i cant help but wonder if the demand will exceed supply of healthy livers in our future…more so our childrens future? Organic, non GMO food is more expensive, but not near as expensive as the medicines required for disease. I had no choice but to change lifestyle because I could not pay for the $1200 a month of meds when i didnt have coverage! Now I have coverage, and my Xifaxin alone is $1,400 a month!!! It & URSO combined cost my insurance almost 2 grand each month!!! Thats a lot of organic, healthy food! Food scares me now. Medicines scare me now! I am living proof that it can all be toxic & life threatening & have long term effects. 3 Years ago…i was on over 29 pills each day just to fix the thing each pill caused! I was toxic! Crazy! At age 27, i believed them when they said my meds where safe while pregnant, only to have my child born with a form of spina bifida birth defect that will effect her the rest of her life! The same drugs that had adverse effects on.me have also been offered numerous times to my kids despite me explaining how they effected my liver! They insist they are safe! Theres a reason why supplements & herbs arent recommended! They arent regulated! The same humans preparing our food, our meds etc…are preparing our supplements as well. I dont live my life in fear no, but i am choosey now & determined to at least teach my girls better ways. Even if they make other choices, i will have taught them alternatives! Seeing & living with me throughout this journey has indeed been a good teacher for them. Just posting on FB wont help I realize, i do plan to be a more active participant in creating awareness & change in our society. We think our voices dont matter but they do! And our decisions & actions matter more! What we demand creates the fire thats fueled. There are no short term fixes in life, just instant gratification with long term results.
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The Challenge of running a support group, restoring my passion

I left the Fatty Liver Disease Support Group I created 6 years ago on Monday after 2 senior administrators left and deleted me from their Facebook. I have known both for 3 or more years and i was friends with their family as well. I was told the drama in the group was my fault for not standing up for them clearly. That I am too lenient and I am too often allowing people to come to the right answers for themselves once they have been advised on things like not using supplements. That I am the reason for the dysfunction that happens in there

I want to be clear that I understand their viewpoint. When you are on the edge waiting for a transplant or you have had one there is a desperate need to demand that everyone else NEVER get to their stage of this disease. I agree completely with this, but my confidence has come from the fact that I am unaware of a single member who came in to the group with early stage fatty liver who has actually gotten worse with the advice given in here about eating natural foods and stopping the processed foods as much as possible. You are looking for a ratio of 90% natural and 10% processed.

I did a lot of soul searching on Monday and cried a ton of tears. I was blamed for drama on the weekend that i was not a part of, i did not witness but that i received 10 emails from angry members about how things happened with deletions and how it was handled.

The issue on the weekend was actually about a celebrity who is extremely controversial that some members wanted to see as a spokesperson and other members were dead set against him.

This had NOTHING to do with the disease and the group at the end of the day. Having someone famous talk about the disease would be helpful but they should be a little less offensive to a large portion of population.

I came to a decision that i would stop running the group if i was truly damaging it by being to kind. I even started accepting that after 6 years pouring my heart and soul into this group that maybe it was time to back away.

I received a large number of emails of support from within the group Monday and I am forever thankful to those that took the time to check in on me.

Tuesday morning I believe God intervened.

1.A local city politician asked to meet with me and have me help him because he has just been diagnosed with fatty liver disease. He respects this is a business for me and wants to pay me to teach his family how to read labels, how to determine what is a gmo veggie and which are not. How to start a small garden and how to conveniently start making meals from scratch.

Once i spoke to him i was energized with my passion for this disease and helping people again. The negative messaging about whether i am doing a good job or not seemed less important.

2. In the afternoon I received a tweet asking me what i wanted to ask for funding for from a group that helps create campaigns for crowd sourcing. I told them about my visions for raising awareness on fatty liver and they see it as a very worthwhile cause and they will help me get this going.

I rejoined my group on Tuesday I was clearly receiving messages from the universe that told me this is too important to back away from.

On Wednesday I was asked to speak at a women in progress lunch on avoiding fatty liver disease at the end of April and I will also be on a talk radio show in Toronto talking about fatty liver as well.

So while i am still quite hurt by the events of this, i lost a large number of friends because i try to look at all sides of a story before i make a decision. Each one who left and deleted me thought i was supporting the other side, when in fact i saw that they all had a point.

If you have gotten worse while you are in my group please let me know. If this is a common event I will reconsider my position again. I want to help not hurt people.

Please be kind to each other and please be even kinder to your liver

Depression and a New Focus

I have been depressed. Absolutely without a doubt It started a few weeks ago when we learned that Megan’s foot is not healing and continued as I realized that in order to face the rest of 2013 I will have to back out of my passions in 2012.

My intentions with Jamie Oliver Food Revolution was to spread the word about eating whole foods and making sure our kids are healthier in the future by stopping the craziness now!

I got asked to become a volunteer in April 2012 and I accepted that challenge with excitement, I focussed a ton of my energy and support into creating a wonderful event in May 2012, I got lots of media coverage and the event was an amazing success.

My intentions with Ignite Health Ontario was to take the food revolution a step further and focus on the whole body experience, we need mental balance, spiritual balance, exercise, we need to eat balanced. Any of these factors being out of balance can cause illness and we always need to remember that.

I was inspired by Ignite London and additionally the creation of Ignite Culture where a full night of topics was related to arts and culture. If that could be done why couldn’t we create a night of health related topics. I was geared up and excited. I shared the idea in an ignite london talk and I had a number of great people come to me afte that to tell me to get in touch with them about this event.

We ran this event in October 2012 and it was a great success. I am very proud of both of these events and the work I did for them.

What I stopped paying attention too was the fact it was impacting my own stress levels, my ability to focus on work and now that we have no way to predict when Megan will be able to walk again I have to raise my hands and scream UNCLE!!

I decided that I need to shelve or back out of both Ignite Health Ontario and the Jamie Oliver food revolution for at least 2013. Making that decision broke my heart I am dousing the flames of passion with my tears. So over the last 3 -4 weeks I have been sleeping a ton, I have had a number of migraines and flus hit me. My Chronic Skin picking (dermatilomania) is at a level that I am struggling to get back under some control.

I have open sores on my arms. hands, chest, face and scalp. They are sore and begging me to stop. I am having so much anxiety around what I do with my life now. How do I translate that passion to taking care of my own health needs when I have never taken care of myself. Where do I start? How do I learn at 44 how to love myself when my entire life has been focussed on helping others. How do I get passionate about work again. There are quiet times that I need to fill with projects and I need to get excited about that and just do it. How do I keep the man beside me who has come into my life as a blessing and I can barely see with the challenges of working full time and being full time caretaker to Megan and the dog too.
I have been crying a ton and finally hit my breaking point last week . I made a doctors appointment to get Megan some more Tylenol 3 for pain and at the same time I asked to have my antidepressant Effexor increased from 75 MG to 150 MG.

I do feel lighter in my thoughts, I am not crying as frequently and do not feel as emotionally lost. I am now having insomnia instead of sleeping too much, I am having cold sweats but I assume thats related to upping my dose of Effexor and it won’t last long.

I have decided that I will focus on work, my health, my daughter, my boyfriend and I will refocus some of my energy to provide direction to Fatty Liver Disease support again. There are some demons that I will need to address in some counselling sessions and its time I took that step to take care of myself again.

I am not out of the woods but I will not hide the fact that yes I am dealing with depression again. I am also taking steps to fight back against its control on me. So 2013 will look very different for me but I hope to have some positive news for you all soon.

Hugs

Michelle

Ignite Health Ontario I – 2 days to go!! Get your Tickets!

I can not believe that Ignite Health Ontario I will happen in 2 days! A thought from my brain that was triggered thanks to Ignite London will materialize in a public event to help people listen to their bodies and start taking accountability for its success. We have amazing speakers that I am proud to get on stage. Jim Mills – Former London Knights Captain, impacted by Guilles – Barres Syndrome and now running the Smile Epidemic! Lisa Merriam – 20 years old and sharing her story of mental illness and how she is fighting every day to raise awareness and diminish the stigma, Blair Rymer will teach us all some base yoga moves and we all get to participate. You will get a chance to learn about and sample Kiki Natural Maple Sap beverage! You will learn why you should consider a chiropractor, a reiki treatment, or a nutritionist. You will learn from Emory Ediger how it feels to move into a nursing home and feel alone and how you can turn that around. You will hear Megan Clermont tell her story of how she has moved from living a life of chronic illness where she spent most of her time isolated and alone as a teenager to now being a thriving busy teenager who fights back against her illness. You will learn about the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution and what my role is as ambassador and what the plans are for 2013. We will have a great presentation on Getting to know your farmer, eating local and watching out for GMO’s ! Have you ever heard of Shamanic Healing? Me neither but we will learn what that can offer for your spirit, Have you considered Hypnosis to deal with challenges like smoking, weightloss, insomnia? We will get a chance to explore new ideas there too! We have all presentations ready to go, we have 2 videographers volunteering their time, we have 3 volunteer photographers, we have a projector, we have a podium, we have snacks and beverages too. Now all we need is you to come and take a seat and listen to these presenters and walk away with one new idea to help you be a better healthier you! http://ignitehealth.eventbrite.ca/?ebtv=C . http://metronews.ca/news/london/410906/former-london-knights-captain-among-speakers-at-ignite-health-ontario/ http://www.londoncommunitynews.com/2012/10/ignite-health-ontario-will-take-place-at-covent-garden-market-oct-24/ Contact Michelle Clermont 226-234-4006 for more details

Voting with your Dollar – Guest Post Tommy Caldwell

Living well is expensive. There are people that will tell you that it isn’t- but as someone who chooses to live well I can assure you it is. It is definitely more expensive than living like crap anyhow. People who face this reality are often looking for a deal. They are looking for ways to make living well more affordable, more sustainable, and more accessible. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that task is nearly impossible. There is always a way in which you can live better on a budget- but better doesn’t mean best- and right now I am talking about ‘best’.
The good news is that living well and to the best of your ability, whilst expensive, is not impossible for most of the population; at least not for the majority of the population that thinks living the best ‘health life’ possible is out of reach. It is really just a matter of realizing what you truly value in your life and what sort of power you choose to put behind your dollar. You have to ask yourself “what am I voting for”?

The Power of the Dollar

Some people love money, and some think money is evil. Some think we should be able to make as much as we want even at the ‘expense’ of others, and some feel as though wealth should be spread evenly in order to sustain the world’s population. Whether you believe one, the other, or neither, there is one thing that can’t be argued: Where you choose to put your money is a direct correlate with what you value in your life at that moment.
Example- If I claim that I can’t afford to eat organic produce because it’ll cost me an extra $75 per month, yet I pay $50-$100 dollars for cable television, it isn’t really a matter of cost, is it? It is a matter of having a nightly source of entertainment trumping the importance of what I put in my body. I value television over food quality. This is one of many examples that people refuse to face in a realistic manner when it comes to all of life’s values. In most cases it isn’t a matter of affordability- it is a sense of misplaced value and a lie that you tell yourself to justify your poor lifestyle choices. There are of course the populations which truly cannot afford to live well, but that percentage is a massive minority in this country and not the topic of this article. If you are reading this on your laptop via your internet connection that you are using at your job or home- don’t kid yourself into thinking that food accessibility is a matter of money or lack-there-of.

The Greater Importance of Being True to Your Dollar Value

On one level it is important that you understand the value of your purchases because it directly affects your life within a short span of that purchase time. This is what we discussed in the previous paragraph with your purchases being a direct correlate to your value system. On a much deeper level, however, where you put your dollar can affect your entire community and even the entire world.
No company, organization, distributor, or small business produces any products, services, or materials that you aren’t currently voting for. Every time you buy a product that tests on animals, you are voting for animal testing. Every time you buy food that is covered in pesticides you are voting for sprayed foods. Every time you buy a genetically modified product you are voting for GMO’s- you get the idea.
This is exactly what you should be thinking about when you spend your money; what am I voting for and supporting?
And it doesn’t relate strictly to food either. When you watch reality TV every night you are voting for useless entertainment and the dumbing of your society. When you buy 40 video games for your child and allow them to play XBOX for 6 hours a day you are voting to crush the creative potential of budding generations.
I don’t mean to sound judgmental- and I truly am not- but I am trying to stress the importance of choice, value, and what your dollar really says at the core of its purpose. This isn’t about judgment, it is about IMPACT.

Make Life a Series of Votes- Not a Series of Spending

When you can change your mindset and begin to understand the depth at which your choice of spending can affect this world, it becomes much easier to put money in more valuable places. Instead of being just another person caught up in buying more of less, you can become the person who buys less of more. Instead of being the person who shops at Wal-Mart so you can get a lot of crap you really don’t need at an ‘affordable’ price, you can be the person who gets a little less from a small business, but less of what brings you far more ultimate value. You not only get greater quality, greater service, and greater care from supporting places that you can truly value, but you are likely supporting someone who has their heart and soul behind what they are offering to the world- and you are directly allowing that person to continue offering passionately.
This is about getting beyond the instant gratification- getting beyond the routine and false sense of needs- and letting your dollar do something far more substantial for you and those around you. Stop looking at each dollar you place in this world as a loss, trade, or direct exchange- and start looking at is as a vote, a change, and an investment in your own personal values.
You’d be amazed at how a simple change in spending perspective can not only better your life in a direct sense, but allow you to feel as though you are creating purpose with every decision you make. It is quite fulfilling and eliminates a lot of needless financial stress.
So when you spend more at the local food co-op, just remember that you are supporting sustainable food practices, organic products, local business, and progressive food thinking. When you spend $100 on a REAL water filter you are supporting clean water, true health, and poison free sourcing for you and your entire family. And when you avoid the big boxes, the big selections, and the big savings, you are revoking your vote for unsustainable business, low value services, poor farming practices, and negligent responsibility.
You are always voting on how the world operates with every single dollar you spend. So you need to ask yourself “what is more important- Value, or Values”- and then you must answer honestly and live accordingly.

What is Shamanic Healing – Guest Post Wanda Davis

What is Shamanic Healing?

 

Shamanic healing is connecting with the spiritual dimension of reality for healing and guidance.  It is a contemporary practice that anyone can learn.  Many are familiar with what an indigenous shaman would do for his/her tribe: healing, divination, ceremony, etc.  Michael Harner, an American anthropologist, has studied indigenous tribes throughout the world and realized there are many core, universal shamanic techniques that are used worldwide, whether it is in Australia, Siberia, Peru, the Amazon or here in the Americas.  He has brought these universal techniques to the Western World and has continued to teach them.  These key elements can be incorporated into daily life similar to teachings in yoga or meditation.

 

Animism is the way of perceiving the world by believing that all created things (humans, animals, plants, elements, seasons, etc.) have intelligent, communicative life force or spirit and their own energy.  One can build a relationship with these life forces for wisdom, insight and healing.  This practice of direct revelation and learning directly from the source brings awe and wonder to every journey.  A shamanic journey is the art using rhythm and intention to enter an altered state, the theta state, of consciousness to connect with the spiritual dimension of reality.  Anyone can be taught how to journey for him or herself.  A shamanic practitioner journeys for another person to determine what healing is needed and then proceeds to act as the conduit for the healing. 

 

Each of us has allies that help us.  Everyone has at least one power animal that brings us power and protection.  You may already feel a connection to a particular animal only to find out how they may help you.  Teachers may come in any form (think of possible trees or planets).  Teachers in human form could include an ancestor, indigenous teacher, person from a story, a saint, ascended master, etc.  You may have different teachers for different purposes in life.  

 

There are three major methods of shamanic healing: power animal retrieval, soul retrieval and extraction healing.  Power animal retrieval brings an animal whose power may be needed for a particular purpose at that time.  In a time of trauma, a person may have lost connection with a part of their energetic soul and retrieval helps him/her feel more whole again and able to move forward in his/her life.  Extraction healing helps remove any energy blockages in the energy body that may prevent the energy from flowing properly. 

 

Shamanic healing can be very powerful and can shift the energy balance towards healing.  A person need only trust the process to gain tremendous wisdom, insights and healing. 

 

Wanda Davis

Shamanic Practitioner, Reiki Master/Teacher

www.wandadavis.ca

wanda@wandadavis.ca

 

Getting Stuck in Someone Else’s Ideals – Tommy Caldwell

We all have people we follow. They may inspire us, speak in terms that we understand and bring us clarity, or uncover topics or information in areas that we don’t frequently research. Whatever your reason, learning from others is the fastest and most efficient way to learn and adopt new ideas and life strategies. But when do we take it too far? When do we get so caught up in what someone else is saying/doing that we bypass our own logic and judgment in exchange for the excitement of a new thought? I’m sure you are all reading this and saying “that’s not me; I think for myself and make my own decisions in life”. I beg to differ, and I think we all need a bit of self reflection now and then.

Research Smesearch…It’s always a matter of opinion
Most things we learn in the age of information have some sort of stemming ‘research base’. When someone cites a reference or some sort of scientific experiment it somehow legitimizes what they have to say. For most of us this is enough to get our ‘eyes up’ and take some questioning away from any given persons spiel. I personally don’t cite references or research for any of my writing or findings because research is biased and quite frankly a bunch of bullshit.
Everyone has their motives- as both the speaker and the listener- and both will find a way of legitimizing what they want to say and what they want to hear; and research is a great way to falsely support our own inner investments. Here are some examples- If you frequent facebook you have seen the picture of the distance runner next to the elite sprinter; the sprinter looking muscular and cut, while the distance runner looks skinny, loose, and frail. If you’re someone like me who promotes explosive movements (sprinting) and somewhat condemns degenerative activities (distance running) it is easy to look at this picture and say “here’s your proof, sprinters look good and perform well and distance runners are flabby losers!” I’ve seen this picture posted by my colleagues and fitness folk alike to prove their point in a totally illegitimate and lame way. They can say ‘research shows that distance runners typically have a higher body fat and lower muscle mass when compared to a sprinter’- and they may very well be right… based on the research they chose to search out.
The worst part about this is that ‘proofs’ like this spread like a disease- with a bunch of agreeable people jumping on the bandwagon and spreading their new found ‘proof’ without asking a single question or looking into how one sided the information may be. You won’t hear questions like “do you think that perhaps big jacked muscular explosive people gravitate towards sprint based activities and excel at them while skinnier, lighter, fiber 1 type people gravitate towards and excel in distance based activities?”. Not to mention the fact that you could easily find a really jacked distance runner and a slightly overweight sprinter, place their pictures side by side and make the same adverse argument; but neither of those things will ever happen with a group of speakers and an audience of listeners that find it more important to prove THEIR point than to prove the point that is most legitimate in the most legitimate way.
You may be saying ‘ok, I get it, but that isn’t really research, that is an optical comparison’. You’re right, it is, but here is a legitimate research paper example that is equally moronic.
I was reading an article in a journal of strength sciences regarding how plyometric exercises (jumping, bounding etc) cause more harm than good. The article explained how they did a 6 week course of varying plyometrics in one group, and then a basic light exercise course in the other. After the full 6 weeks they had several minor injuries in the plyometric group resulting in very little overall gains, and in the other group they showed positive gains in strength.
Well, I did some further research on this article and dug up the stats that they didn’t tell you. Like most lame exercise research papers spread to the average reader, they used a population of elderly people for this testing. So in group one they were having 60+ year old degenerative participants jump around on their old brittle bones and weak stagnant muscles and via their conclusion that jumping around is bad for old people they publish a paper stating that plyometric movements may be bad for ALL PEOPLE. Junk science at its finest, and consequently the most abundant science we have these days.
The point is that you never get the whole story on research, the participants, or the environment- and even if you did, YOU WEREN”T THE ONE BEING TESTED!!!! Research on any other person other than you will never give you a result that should be followed specifically by you. So read your research with caution and skepticism.

Joining the Modern Day ‘Cult’
It’s great to be a part of something. As Seth Godin would explain we all have this deep seeded instinct to find our ‘tribe’ and belong to it. In other words, finding like minded people with similar values to share a portion of our lives with. This is a healthy, effective, and sustainable approach towards becoming part of a good cause, movement, change, or whatever you want to call it. But when does it go too far? When does it get to the point when you’re not so much a part of something as you are ‘under’ something? Where do you draw the line between belonging to something and becoming something?

Losing your true individuality
I come from the mindset that no person should ever just ‘be’ something. I don’t think someone should just be a republican or a democrat. That someone should be a Buddhist, Christian, or atheist. Why can’t someone just be who they are without subscribing to a pre planned train of thought, belief system, or set of ideals?
As soon as you decide ‘this is who I am, and this is what my people are called’, your individualization and potential for growth are over with… done. You build a box around yourself and remove your potential that pertains to everything outside of that box. You are essentially subscribing to one way of thinking in a given subject and blocking out all other sources of competing information.
I can’t think of a worse way to live your life. Having pre-determined thoughts and understandings of everything that surrounds you because you want be a part of something and attach a name to that group.
Unfortunately it is now all around us. In fitness, health, religion, politics and all other topics that allow some sort of adverse thought. You could argue that these different groups allow us to exchange ideas and create discussions, but people are only interested in spreading their own ideas and not truly interested in absorbing others. People these days argue to be heard and spread information to be known- not a lot of people do it to ‘get people thinking’ and create a platform for the open expansion of the mind.

An ‘Open Air’ Approach
People are always complimenting me in somewhat flabbergasted ways in regards to the shape I’m in, the sacrifices I make, and how well I take care of my body. I couldn’t see things more differently. I think getting in shape and taking care of yourself is a fairly easy task. In fact, I think it’s insane that the whole world population doesn’t take better care of themselves because it is the easiest thing you can do. It’s no different than brushing your teeth, going to work, and combing your hair.
What impresses me are the people in this world who have 100% control of their mind, emotions, stress, and intellectual outcomes. I have spent the last 3 years putting far more focus on the health of my mind than the health of my body- and I am nowhere near where I’d like to be. I literally exercise my mind with the intent of making it stronger and more efficient every day of the week, and I am literally moving at ‘crawl speed’ when I think about where I would like to be.
One of the big challenges I faced with the reconstruction of my mind was the ability to understand others first, and not let my own ‘interests and opinions’ affect how I perceived the information I received from those people. Truly listening to another individual who sees something differently than you with the full intent of utilizing their information over yours if it seems more logical is a very difficult feat. The ability to say “I’m wrong, they’re right, what else can I learn from them” is a trait that seems to go against every grain of human nature; but the more I work on it, the better I get, the better I feel, and the more I grow on a personal and professional level.
My point is that we subscribe to an ideal that likely isn’t even ours, from sources that are self serving, and then we put a name on our ‘group’ and shut out all adverse arguments and points, regardless of logic. None of us want to admit it, but we all do it in a completely selfish and childish manner. If you can realize this part of yourself and accept that it is how you deal with a lot of your ‘mental subscriptions’, you will see that you can still have the feeling of belonging to something great and contributing to that movement and yourself, without compromising who you are as an individual and as an independent thinker.
Listen to what others say. Get excited about new ideas. Listen to many many many many different people; but don’t get stuck in a single path of thinking in any given subject, and never think that you or the leader you are following has the answers to all your questions… or even their own. And if you find yourself following someone who is never wrong, constantly condemns others ways of thinking, or suggests that ‘their way is the only way’- you have unknowingly become a member of a modern day idealists cult. I suggest you get out IMMEDIATELY!