Sunday saw me at the annual Cape Town book fair and expo courtesy of Thulani and some complimentary tickets he managed to wangle from somewhere. It was a terrible affair...and that's all i have to say. I did manage to talk to some vendors though. In speaking to a vendor from Kenya i found out there is an entire technology city being built some distance outside of Nairobi....think Silicone Valley~Africa. I also bumped into (only) a couple of folks i know. Interestingly enough i did have a conversation with some folks concerning trees. They started the conversation as i was looking at a poster they were giving away. It went something like this:
_Are you concerned for trees?
__I only am concerned for one tree?
__Yeah, it's in New York on the upper westside by a park near Riverside Church.
_Why just this one tree?
__It is the tree i put my back against at the beginning of in my healing process for a spinal cord injury i have.
The conversation went on from there with me saying i believe if you talk to one tree you talk to them all.
(It's like dealing with a member of the Bifall sect out of the holy city of Touba, Senegal; you give to one, you have given to all.)
They then said there was a tree person who says trees are connected world wide, and that they can smell, hear, taste, feel...
I also related a story i heard when i was in Auroville, India.
As the story goes when the Matrimandir, the meditation structure in the centre of that Universal City; when the structure was being built, the workers would drive nails into the very old banyan, near the site, to hang up their belongs as a convenience in hanging their belongings. As the story goes; The Mother, the personage who designed the city of Auroville as a modeled tribute to Sri Aurobindo... The Mother (as she is called), who never set foot on the site, got a message from this ancient banyan requesting the worker stop driving these nails into the tree.
I left with a plastic bag my favorite people, the folks from Cape Town central library, gave me. I had dumped freebies into the bag. On the train ride home i leafed through the Special Jubilee (British Queen's) issue of Reader's Digest. In the issue was a 20 tip feature section titled "Energise Your Life."
This was somewhat fortuitous as i had received a snail mail letter from an old College buddy of mine. He knows of my spinal cord injury and on-going recovery; wanted some advice on his own health.
Here are the tips.
- Coffee_powerful protection against cancer and stroke - lowers the risk of depression. So claims Professor Sanjiv Chopra, author of Live Better, Live Longer: The New Studies That Revel What's Really Good -and Bad- for Your Health.
- Pack in protein in the morning_protein helps persuade you r brain and stomach that they're well nourished and satisfied; skimp on it and your hunger might lead you right to a bag of potato chips. So says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Book Sugar Solution.
- Pump up your potassium_ It's a mantra embraced by Dr. Martha Gulati, author of Saving Women's Hearts.
- Pick up some sleep shades_Dr. Lisa Shivers, founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois in the USA. The blue light emitted by computers, smartphones, TV and the like stimulates your brain, making it harder to fall asleep. One should give up screen time an hour or two before bedtime. Dr. Shivers solution is to put on blue-light-filtering glasses. You put them on if you are using a computer before bed for better sleep.
- Stand up and count to 60_No matter how much one goes to the gym; if you're spending much of your day sitting, you're sabotaging your dutiful efforts. Take standing breaks as much as possible during the day says Chris Freytag of the USA TV program 10 Pound Slimdown Xtreme.
- Get results in 20 seconds_Shawn Achor is the author of The Happiness Advantage. He says the difference between having a goal and actually accomplishing it is just 20 seconds. This has to do with the start-up time required for a task.
- Early to bed, early to eat_This has to do with the daily regimen one puts ones body through. Dr. Michael Breus explains in his book The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan.
- To feel better, imagine the worst_Extolls Timothy Wilson, the author of Redirect: The Suprising New Science of Psychological Change.
- Worship morning sun, seek refuge in the afternoon_Explains Dr. Jennifer Kitchin, co-author of The Dermatologists' Prescription for a New You!
- Beware Sugar-free traps_Lollipops and other hard candy dissolve slowly giving acids more time to destroy ones teeth, is the finding of Dr. Sok-Ja Janket, research associate professor at Boston College.
- Start your day with Chocolate_A square of dark chocolate, eaten mid-morning, has just the right amount of a substance that is a cousin to caffeine to wake you up - but not enough to cause one to crash later writes Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of Real Cause, Real Cure:the 9 Root Causes of the the Most Common Health Problems and How to Solve Them.
- Snack on real energy foods_Dr. Pam Peeke, author of Body for Life for Women has a favorite pick-me-up. It's two multigrain crackers, spread with two tablespoons of crunchy organic peanut butter and one tablespoon of low-sugar blueberry jam.
- Rev up with the spice of life_Hot chillies have an active ingredient that strokes your metabolism for an hour after you consume them says celebrity chef Jennifer Iserloh in her book Secrets of a Skinny Chef.
- Eat more quinoa_For a better taste, roast this rich in protein, fibre and hard-to-get magnesium (a protection against Hypertension). A typical serving of this "super food" has twice as much protein and eight times much fiber as a serving of white rice. This from Scott Uchiein, author of Canyon Ranch Nourish: Indulgently Healthy Cuisine.
- Switch to grass-fed beef_More expensive, but the health benefits make it worth the splurge, says New York psychiatrist Dr. Drew Ramsey, co-author of The Happiness Diet
- To boost self-esteem, get into a friend's head_To ramp up your self-compassion, one should try writing a letter to oneself about something you've been struggling with in the voice of a trusted mate, suggests Kristin Neff, a life-development specialist at the University of Texas and author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind.
I always view these types of lists as reference points toward further research. You never know if, for instance, some coffee cabal did its propaganda/marketing thing with a researcher or author. But one has to start somewhere. So let's stay with the coffee thing as an example. If i factor personal preference with known facts and add personal observations into a theory about coffee i would come to the conclusion of rejecting the coffee tip.
First, i have never had a real taste for the beverage. When i was young, my grandmother liked coffee but not to excess. She serve up coffee ice cream every now and again; however I would not eat it. I preferred chocolate ice cream.
The ever changing facts about coffee are just that: every changing and adjusting. So i remain neutral on that score.
My observations on folks who indulge in the drink shows me people do become addicted to the substance. This is not good as i never want to be a slave to anything.
But if i am not going to be partaking in the coffee would what would i replace it with? Tea us an obvious choice but i also know about a morning concoction of hot water, lemon, ginger and honey for the morning replacement of coffee; the list stated square of dark chocolate, plus pure pomegranate juice (one 6 once shot a day). So a reject the tip in favor of my own knowledge. The same would go for the grass fed beef. If i were to chomp on flesh it would be either ostrich or venison.
On the other hand the quinoa and real snack food and morning protein (avocados_yum-yum) and sugar-free warning and letter writing to oneself...all i agree with and can expand on...And so it goes.
******* ******* *******
This entire series i will be writing in the coming days/weeks has be sparked by that posted letter i received. I feel compelled to answer, so i must. But let me share the first two paragraphs of the letter so folks will understand just what is what. It reads thus:
Regret not catching you & your production while you were in town. Had hoped to hear about your travels & how you wound up in S. Africa. Particularly wanted to find out how you overcame your health challenges. The motive here was partially selfish as I'm dealing with prostate cancer. Nothing exposes the evils of capitalism more than having to deal with the medical industry.
I tried to avoid the usual suspects & even went to WBAI's Dr. Majid Ali. But of course the 'non-conventionalists' aren't in the insurance loop & are expensive. There was also pressure from family & friends who weren't too keen on alternative medicine. So i had 45 radiation treatments & am still recovering from that...
When i got to the chemo part my jaw dropped. My immediate thought was: This is a mighty strong Brother...Da-a-amn, 45 sessions. How much radiation does he now retain in his body?
So...i have put him in touch with a Purging and cleansing practitioner a go to here in Cape Town. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk77TzjiUPc&feature=youtu.be).
And have decided to write this series of missives about what my experience has and continues to evolve around healing in this modern circumstance. I am calling the series Saving ones own Life. It will appear periodically as there are other writings i must release from my connection(s) to the Universe.
A couple things more
I am also advising the Brother that he immediately do two things:
Find a tree with roots that are showing through the earth. Sit on one of the roots. Ask permission first...yes, talk to the tree. While sitting there ask for healing.
The other thing is... I better put this in context first. You can ask any earthly being, or rather petition any earthly being for anything; however when one is dealing with a "higher" power, petitioning is not the best approach. (Re: the Roberta Flack song Reverend Lee with the line "God can not be petitioned.") Instead take the Bob Marley approach, "Give thanks and praises."
So what you should do is every time something you consider good comes your way or is positive for you...I'm talking like catching a bus or train in a timely manner, waking up in the morning still able to see another day, seeing a rainbow.... Every time something good or great happens, simply mumble to yourself: "Thank you God." If you miss the exact moment of the event (blessing) remember it in your mind and utter that mantra, "Thank you God."
Your road is your path. I don't know if my observations and/or answers can really help you. Only you can save your own life.
But i will say this: I thank you Brother, for contacting me and giving me an opportunity to release what the Universe has and continues to be revealed to this servant.
Thank you God