The Art of Saying Yes by Alison Keller

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“They say God is happiest when his children are at play.”

~ Old Hardy Greaves, The Legend of Bagger Vance

Picture yourself, for a moment, wearing the burliest winter gear you can imagine. Now multiply that by three. The most important component of your outfit is your boots. They are constructed of thick insulated rubber and wool felt weighing in at 2.75 pounds per boot.

If you are getting the sense that gravity just got more cumbersome, you’re on the right track.

Now, imagine you have 16 enthusiastic, 40- to 60-pound dogs wearing brightly colored harnesses. They are all barking excitedly at you.

Why?

Because you are in the process of hooking them up, one by one, to your dogsled. You are a musher and you have informed them it is time to go for a run. They can hardly contain themselves. They know what they are; they were born to do this. They are saying yes to their Yes.

The dogs, once attached to your sled, begin to yank and pull at their lines with gleeful and robust vigor because, not only are they saying yes to their yes, they are in a collective of like-minded beings, yourself included, who are also saying yes to the same Yes. The very air around you is becoming highly charged with excitement.

The only thing holding your sled in place is a very serious, two-pronged metal hook Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 12.11.59 PMjabbed into the hard-packed snow and, with each new dog you add to the line, you must have faith that the hook will hold. Once your last dog is added to the gang line, you move to the back of the sled as quickly as you can, under the weight of your plus-gravity suit, before the sled breaks loose and becomes something akin to a runaway train piloted by a mob of kindergarteners on a collective sugar high. You grab on, reach down, pull the hook and, Whoosh! You’re off on a roughly 1000-mile race through the raw and rugged Alaskan wilderness where temperatures can, and often do, drop to what we’ll just call the “wickedly cold” range.

So…are you saying, “Yes! That’s for me!”?

Probably not. But for a small group of men and women gathering in the state of Alaska right now to run the Iditarod, it is a big Yes! The Iditarod, self-proclaimed the “last great race on earth,” commences every year on the first Saturday in March, beginning in Anchorage and ending roughly 1000 miles away in the remote coastal village of Nome, Alaska.

For obvious reasons, the competitive musher’s Yes has to be big, otherwise they would not devote so much of their time and resources into such an endeavor. I am intimately aware of how big this Yes is, but not because I am a competitive musher—I happen to be married to one.

I met my husband, Jeremy, 20 years ago on a dusty road in the middle of a remote tourist destination here in Alaska. In the spring of 2002, he took me out on our first date—fittingly, a dog sled ride. The following year we married and, within 18 months, we ushered into the world our first-born son, Bjorn.

Seven months later, on a bright, frosty morning in September, while Jeremy was making his way across a damp footbridge (perhaps a bit too hastily), he slipped on a wet board and, with quite a bit of momentum, crashed into the boulders of the riverbank and shattered his leg. Major surgery was required to put his leg back together with a steel rod inserted from knee to ankle. Needless to say, the recovery process was long, yet Jeremy would find himself standing, the very next winter, as a rookie with his small team of 13 dogs at the starting line of the 2007 Iditarod saying a big fat Yes!

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Jeremy & Bjorn with a team

I could fill pages with the obstacles and turns of events that made the whole Iditarod thing seem ridiculously impossible and utterly insane. Likewise, I can produce an equally long list of grace-filled moments, some nothing short of miraculous, that carried Jeremy and his dogs, not just past the starting line, but all the way to Nome.

I followed that race closely, of course, and it was a tough year out there on the trail. Many of the mushers scratched early due to a blizzard and horrendous trail conditions that were ripping up sleds and breaking a few bones. Jeremy persevered and some of his tales from the trail can be read about in his blog, www.allroadsleadto.dog

As Jeremy neared the finish line, I flew with Bjorn, then 2 years old, to Nome to see him cross it. We arrived a couple of days ahead of Jeremy, who was riding near the back of the pack. The winner and top finishers had already crossed the line several days before.

The final leg and finish line in Nome runs down several blocks of this small town’s main street called Front Street. Once settled in our lodging, I packed Bjorn up snugly in his stroller and we walked downtown to watch one of the mushers pull in.

The experience was more thrilling than I had anticipated. I remember being swept up in the excitement as I cheered with the rest of the crowd lining the street to welcome this trail-worn musher to his finish line. I had no idea who he was but I had a small notion, from following the race, what he must have been through to get there. He had dared to say yes to his Yes and all of us standing there on the street were basking and rejoicing in the reverberation of it.

It’s All About the Yes

There is something subtle and unseen that happens when we say yes. If you are at all familiar with energy testing, or muscle testing, you can experience this for yourself. When a person says or thinks the word Yes, they will test strong. Likewise, if a person says or thinks the word No, they will test weak. The forces at play here are the vibrational frequencies of our thoughts affecting the flow of energy through our physical body out into our subtle energetic body and beyond.Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 11.55.32 AM

Yes carries a positive connotation in our minds and therefore creates a higher vibrational frequency. When we experience what we consider positive emotions like joy and love, we resonate at a higher vibrational frequency. This is why falling in love feels so amazing and light, like walking on air.

Conversely, when we experience sadness or anger we resonate at a lower vibrational frequency, with guilt and shame being some of the lowest frequencies. This is why shame feels so dense and horrid, as if we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. Too much time spent in lower vibrational frequencies can lead to exhaustion and degeneration of the mental and physical body.Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 12.20.34 PM

This is not to say we should push away lower vibrational emotions; we need to find healthy ways to express and process them. It is only when we make a habit of lashing out at others in judgement and anger or suppressing our emotions out of fear or shame that we get stuck in those emotions and they subsequently get stuck in us. When we get stuck in these lower vibrational frequencies for too long, chronic conditions usually arise.

The good news is that higher vibrational frequencies can help you move stuck energy; laughter as the best medicine is truer than you may have realized. This is where learning to say yes to your Yesses is so valuable. Our yesses are what we enjoy, and enjoyment will have you vibrating at a higher, more health promoting level.

But this can be difficult for many of us. We have a lot of noes weighing us down. We give them long, fancy names like responsibilities and obligations. Yes, we do want to take care of the basics in life, but we also want to be careful we don’t start using them as excuses to keep us from our yesses, especially if those responsibilities are consistently contributing to low vibrational frequencies.

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 12.18.05 PMWe have big Yesses and little yesses and if you are not naturally talented or practiced in the art of saying yes to a big Yes (which can be overwhelming and scary), there is great value in beginning with the smaller, more easily obtainable little yesses. A little yes can be as simple as taking the time you think you don’t have to read a good book. Better yet, read a good book aloud with your children, because now you are saying yes collectively and raising vibrational frequency together.

Knowing When To Say No

After Jeremy’s 2007 Iditarod, although he wanted to run the race again the following year, he looked at the realities on the ground and felt he could not ask me to support him through another race. Training and running the Iditarod is a resource-intensive Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 12.34.56 PMendeavor, and unless you finish high, there is no financial reward. As the sole breadwinner of our young family, he knew he had to choose responsibility over his desire to race again. It was an easy and wise choice to make and he did so with no regrets. There were plenty more yesses to say yes to. Saying yes seems to be a gift Jeremy was born with and it would take me many long, difficult years to catch up with him. But catch up I did.

Fast forward 12 years and, if anything, our financial reality is no better than it was back in 2007. But when Jeremy told me he wanted to run this year’s Iditarod, I gave him my full, unwavering support only because I get it—I fully understand the power of saying YES.

Leading From Behind

Make no mistake, saying Yes to a loved one’s Yes carries its own kind of power. I could Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 12.37.41 PMeasily come up with a long list of reasonable noes under the guise of responsibilities and obligations, either spoken out loud in open disapproval or suppressed in silent abdication. But to what ends? So I can feel reassured that the electric bill will get paid on time this month? What frequency do you suppose worry resonates at?

Jeremy frequently speaks about the importance of leading his dog team from behind. A competitive musher must be able to do this well because he literally rides behind his team. Yes, he has talented lead dogs, but the team as a whole is an orchestration of resounding yesses which must be conducted and responsibly stewarded by the musher. It is difficult to get very far down the trail any other way. To hear more about leading from behind, tune into Green Ink Radio for an interview with Jeremy where he talks about this principle

https://www.spreaker.com/user/greeninkradio/fork-tuning-energy-amplified?utm_medium=widget&utm_source=user%3A9495365&utm_term=episode_title

Leading from behind is something each and every one of us is capable of doing when we choose to openly and fully support someone with whom we are in relationship. And our lives become so much richer for it.

The positive effects of saying yes to a Yes, whether it is your own or someone else’s, reverberates out into the world, touching more people than you could possibly imagine. I delight in the knowing that my yes to Jeremy’s Yes reverberates out to connect and resonate with so many others saying yes to this amazing event. From the friends and family chiming in with well wishes and helping hands, to the hundreds of volunteers who flock to the Iditarod from far and wide, year after year to support the race, to the fans who gather at the starting line to see the teams off and the ones who show up on Front Street at all hours of the day and night to cheer the mushers and their dogs to their finish, and to the thousands of inspired children following the mushers from their classrooms every year, we are all saying Yes just by showing up.

Humanity is the ultimate Internet, and every time you say yes to your Yes, big or small, you add to the web of love and light in which we all need to play.

So, thank you for showing up.

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Alison Keller writes from Alaska where she homesteads and homeschools with her husband, Jeremy, and their two sons, Bjorn (14) and Liam (8). Jeremy and Alison met and married in the remote backwoods town of McCarthy, Alaska where the local population of bears far exceeds the people. They built a beautiful life together centered around homesteading, homeschooling, and subsistence farming. The family and their unique lifestyle became a point of interest on Discovery Channel’s Edge of Alaska reality TV series. Today they live in Knik, Alaska where Jeremy is currently building a sled dog team with his sons. Jeremy ran and finished the Iditarod in 2007. This year, not only will Jeremy be running the 2019 Iditarod but his eldest son, Bjorn, will be running his first Jr. Iditarod. For more information visit http://www.allroadsleadto.dog. Alison is currently studying energy medicine and spends a lot of her practice time not only on Jeremy and the boys, but on the dogs as well.

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Bjorn with a team member

An Oracle for Everyone

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Each one of us has an experience of being human that is particular to who we are at our core and what we’ve lived over time. But we also share with each other the peculiar experience of being human, of being a unique consciousness that exists within (and, arguably, without) a body on this planet and in three-dimensional space. Becoming aware of ourselves as existing with a body that is separate from the body within which we were gestated is one common aspect of being human. And once we find ourselves inhabiting a body of our own, we are tasked with learning how to care for and feed that body, which is another commonality of the human condition that we all share.

Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 8.16.10 PMAnother persistent aspect of the human condition is a need for stability; a desire to keep things running smoothly with as few disruptions to our “normal” life as possible. Or, more accurately, no disruptions at all, ever! If you’ve lived as a human for any amount of time, you know that this ideal is far from the reality of everyday life. Most of us live through times of disorder and disarray in our personal lives. And most of us have thought, Wow, if only I’d seen that coming! Because if we had seen it coming, we could have been better prepared and being better prepared would have cut down on the chaos and confusion that resulted from not being prepared and then we could have sailed right through whatever it was like a champ!

Let the Dust Settle!

One method for getting a heads up on what’s coming our way is divination. Divination has been used by humans all over the globe and as far back as we have evidence for human life. There are countless forms of divination, ranging from Abacomancy (through Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 8.19.13 PMstudying dust) to Zygomancy (through studying weights). Consulting an oracle—someone or something that can connect with the deity(ies) or spirits—has a long history in human culture. You’ve probably heard of the Oracle at Delphi, even if you’re not sure of what exactly it was. Delphi was a location in ancient Greece where a priestess would go into trance and receive messages from the god Apollo. Those messages were interpreted by the priests of Delphi and delivered as prophecies to those seeking answers.

The Oracle at Delphi is probably the most well-known oracle system in western culture, but there are many other oracle systems from many other parts of the world. Some oracles weren’t people, but statues. Typically a representation of a god or goddess, the statue would move or speak or make some kind of sound that could then be interpreted by the experts in such things. In some oracle systems, like incubation, it was the person seeking the prophecy who was the oracle. They would sleep in a section of a temple or other sacred place (sometimes wrapped in a fresh sacrificial animal skin) and receive their answer in dream form.

One of the most ancient oracle methods comes from China and requires that a turtle shell or shoulder blade of an ox be inscribed with a question and then burned until it Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 8.05.44 PMcracked. The cracks were then interpreted and an answer transcribed. Many African cultures see the oracle as someone with a strong connection to their own spirit double. The diviner and their client may hold hands or both hold a stick and the movement of the hands or stick are interpreted for messages. Some diviners in certain African oracle systems work as pairs, using chains of seed shells cast on the ground, each interpreting the other’s chain and effectively “doubling” the answer. Some indigenous cultures in the Americas used grains of corn for Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 8.06.55 PMdivination, which were thrown onto a white cloth or into water. The kernels were then interpreted based on where and how they landed. This was actually a pretty common method in many cultures, with variations in what was thrown: sand, beads, shells, stones, bones, dice, and so on.

What’s Your Oracle?

Many of these oracle systems are still practiced today. The stars and celestial events (such as eclipses and comets) have been looked to for information about the past, present, and future by just about every known culture for thousands of years and is still widely accepted as valid or, at the very least, intriguing. Free of the stigma usually attached to tarot cards, oracle cards have become a very popular way of gaining insight into a situation or circumstance. The ever-increasing numbers of oracle card decks, featuring themes from a nearly countless number of inclinations and belief systems, speak to our enduring conviction that there is some way to know what’s happening next. And also to our boundless optimism that we can be, somehow, better prepared for it when it comes. 

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To hear more about oracle cards and how they can work for you, check out the latest Tarot Talk podcast.

If you want to learn more about the types of oracles discussed above, try these places:

Oracles and Divination

http://www.worldhistory.biz/ancient-history/58945-4-oracles-and-divination.html

http://www.psychicstudent.com/types-of-divination/

The Oracle at Delphi

https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/pythia-oracle-delphi-001641

Ancient Chinese Divination

http://www.indiana.edu/~e232/02-Shang.pdf

African Divination

https://bulletin.hds.harvard.edu/articles/summerautumn2013/silent-voices-african-divination

South American Divination

http://www.faena.com/aleph/articles/divination-by-means-of-maize/

Thriving on Supplements by Janice Messino

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I live by the idea that the status of my health is mostly maintained by my lifestyle and, to some degree, my genetics. Even so, I know I miss the mark on a balanced diet on many days! To offset those less balanced days, I choose to support my health with specially chosen supplements that assure my body is getting what it needs—not just to live but to thrive. I am not alone in this quest to feel my best. 

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 9.00.07 PMAs consumers, we have been misled in a multitude of ways, but many of us have learned better. We no longer blindly accept a prescription; we now know to ask questions. We are learning how to take better care of our health in order to ward off the need for taking a pharmaceutical. We now have easy access to a great deal of health information, making us better-informed patients. And as patients, we have developed a preference for being treated as an individual, not a collection of symptoms. In other words, we have shifted our health paradigm and, in doing so, have become empowered. Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 9.00.28 PM

As we learn to take better care of our health, the supplement market has expanded to meet our newly-informed needs. This might explain why the supplements market is predicted to grow at a rate of almost 10% for the next seven years and reach a value of $280 billion by 2025. This upswing is, of course, driven by you.

Thriving–or just Surviving?

The late Dr. Linus Pauling, a Nobel Prize-winning physical chemist and peace activist, was a wellness pioneer who strongly advocated for high-dose vitamin C for some specific conditions and for a better state of health overall. The daily amount of vitamin C recommended by Pauling was well over the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) set by the Food & Drug Administration. The RDA claims to be a “level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy people.” But, according to a study of 4,700 adults in the US that used only a modest health assessment, less than 3% of participants were considered healthy. If most Americans are not considered healthy, then the RDA’s guidelines inappropriate for most Americans. It seems that the RDA allows for just enough nutrients to sustain ourselves. Pauling campaigned for levels of nutrients that would allow us to feel our best and to thrive, not just survive.Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 9.06.03 PM

Pauling was not well liked by his fellow health professionals and was often called (at the very least) an unorthodox thinker.  Many years later, his research findings are taken more seriously. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “newer evidence suggests there might be something to Pauling’s heretical claims after all. In fact, a lot of the scientific literature published on vitamin C in the two decades since Pauling’s death support his claims.”

More than 170 million Americans take dietary supplements such as vitamins each year. According to the most recent report from the American Association of Poison control Center’s National Poison Data System (NPDS), not one person in the US died from taking a supplement in 2013. That’s not to say that there isn’t a quality difference between brands. There is! Many supplement companies take extraordinary pride in the production of quality products. To insure safety and effectiveness, supplements should be cleanly sourced and backed by scientific evidence. So, choose a high-quality supplement from a manufacturer and reseller you trust.

 Prescription Death

Unlike the safety of supplements, “about 128,000 people die each year from drugs prescribed to them. This makes prescription drugs a major health risk, ranking 4th with stroke as a leading cause of death.” In light of the high degree of safety of supplements and the considerable number of well-documented deaths caused by prescription and over-the-counter medications, we might ponder why the FDA isn’t investing more time into making prescriptions safer and less time looking for the disadvantages of supplements.

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According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, prescription and over-the-counter medication accounts for close to 80% of the deaths reported by U.S. Poison Control Centers. Even seemingly-harmless acetaminophen, the ingredient in Tylenol and other pain-relieving products, has a dismal track record. The US Poison Control Centers report that “there are 100,000 calls to Poison Control and 56,000 visits to the emergency room, 2,600 hospital admissions, and nearly 500 deaths per year.” Deaths from properly-prescribed medications taken as directed are estimated at 2,460 per week. That number doesn’t even include deaths from prescribing errors, overdose, and improper use! Clearly, in a side-effects contest between vitamins, minerals, and other supplements versus prescription and over-the-counter medication, nutritional supplements come out on top!Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 9.19.07 PM

In my supplement-taking regimen, I make it a point to include supplements which can potentially raise my longevity. Cutting-edge research shows that NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), a chemical compound found in every cell in our bodies, can promote longevity. NAD is said to slow down the aging process by “mitigating chemical stress, inflammation, DNA damage, and failing mitochondria.” Its neuroplasticity-enhancing effects can reverse some age-induced deterioration, such as the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. NAD seems to have the same wonderful longevity effect that is associated with calorie restriction and exercise, and we can’t get it from our diet, no matter how healthy our diet is. But we can take it as a supplement.

All the evidence points to the benefits of supplements, along with a healthy diet and moderate exercise, to make all the difference in our health and longevity. For more information on how to make supplements part of your wellness practice, contact Create Health, where we follow the latest research and carry only the finest supplements.

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Source for citations in order of appearance:

Global Dietary Supplements Market Industry Trends and Forecast to 2025. Data Bridge Market Research. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://databridgemarketresearch.com/reports/global-dietary-supplements-market/

Mercola, Joseph. Was Linus Pauling Right About Vitamin C’s Curative Powers After All? Mercola. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/11/23/vitamin-c-curative-power.aspx

Nutrient Recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). National Institutes of Health. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx

Preidt, Robert. Less Than Three Percent of Americans Live a Healthy Lifestyle. WebMD. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20160322/less-than-3-percent-of-americans-live-a-healthy-lifestyle

Mercola, Joseph. Was Linus Pauling Right About Vitamin C’s Curative Powers After All? Mercola. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/11/23/vitamin-c-curative-power.aspx

Over 170 Million Americans Take Dietary Supplements. Nutraceuticals World. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/contents/view_online-exclusives/2016-10-31/over-170-million-americans-take-dietary-supplements/

Light, Donald W. New Prescription Drugs: A Major Health Risk With Few Offsetting Advantages. Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/new-prescription-drugs-major-health-risk-few-offsetting-advantages

Northrup, Christiane. Vitamins Versus Drugs: Which is Safer? Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.drnorthrup.com/vitamins-versus-drugs-which-is-safer/

Schroeder, Michael O. Death by Prescription. US News and World Report. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-09-27/the-danger-in-taking-prescribed-medications

Harrington, Stephen. Anti-Aging Mechanisms of NAD+. Life Extension Magazine. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2018/2/Anti-Aging-Effects-Of-NAD/Page-01

 

Our Love Affair With Pharmaceuticals by Janice Messino

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I wanted to write about “Big Pharma” (aka the pharmaceutical industry) and how the industry affects all of us. I didn’t realize that I was personally affected, especially since I believed that, with my education and background, I knew better. However, in the past I, too, had allowed myself to be taken in. It all started coming back to me—all the drugs that doctors had, at the very least, suggested that I take; the flood of free sample I had been offered,  diagnosis after diagnosis. This was all before I started to take a close look at how I could use supplements, diet, and lifestyle to diminish or remove the physical symptoms I was experiencing. I don’t recall ever being educated by doctors as to how I could help myself through diet and lifestyle. As it turns out, I am not alone. 

According to Fierce Pharma, 9 out of 10 drug companies spend more on marketing than on drug research. CBS News reported in 2016 that the pharmaceutical drug industry spends $5.2 billion annually on drug advertising, a jump of 60% in just four years. This would account for the nonstop ads for pharmaceuticals. All the ads end with the same phrase: “Ask your doctor” about this drug or that. Thus, your doctor is also subjected to an onslaught of pharmaceutical marketing in a variety of delivery methods to the tune of $24 billion a year.

The Drug Pushers Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 5.49.32 PM

Sales representatives are the connector, foot soldiers in every drug maker’s attempt to reach us through our doctors. You might think that drug representatives would have a science or medical background, but this is not necessarily true at all. Pharmaceutical sales representatives do not come empty-handed. They visit doctors with samples (how many of you have been given these samples by your doctor who is overly positive about this new drug?), brochures and pamphlets, “swag” (branded products), personal gifts, and invitations to dinner. They may also invite a doctor to “educational” meetings where industry-paid doctors speak about particular drugs. Typically, these meetings are like infomercials; highly biased in favor of the drug with evidence taken from research that was designed, run, analyzed, and funded by the drug company itself. Sales reps are schooled only in promotional material, not in the science or medicine behind pharmaceuticals. To be fair, many doctors will take this into consideration.

The Crimes

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Most drug companies have been fined a substantial amount for ethical issues. For example, Seroquel, made by AstraZeneca, is an anti-psychotic intended to treat schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder and has life-threatening side effects. It was being marketed for sleeplessness, dementia, and depression. This is known as going off-label and is a dangerous practice. When a drug is marketed for an off-label purpose, it has not been approved by the FDA for that condition and has not been studied for risks or dosages related to the condition. AstraZeneca did not admit any wrongdoing but settled for half a billion dollars, according to Lew Morris, former Chief Counsel for HHS office of Inspector General.

Just about every drug company has paid out for similar problems; it’s not just one drug company for one drug. According to the Corporate Research Project website,

  • Johnson & Johnson paid out 2.2 billion for criminal and civil allegations involving off-label marketing of a psychotropic drug and kickbacks to doctors and pharmacists to encourage off-label usage;
  • Eli Lilly and company agreed to pay 1.4 billion for off-label marketing of Zyprexa, another schizophrenia drug;
  • Glaxo Smith Kline was fined $3 billion for kickbacks paid to doctors and other health professionals to get them to prescribe and promote Wellbutrin (an anti-depressant) as not just an antidepressant, but as the happy, sex-drive-increasing, and skinny pill. 

This list is but a scratch on the surface of the myriad false claims, marketing fraud, and bribery payouts made by pharmaceutical companies. After all, pharmaceutical companies must make a profit and answer to their shareholders, but at what cost? If you would like to learn more about your doctor and their dealings with the pharmaceutical industry, go to Open Payments Data and search your doctor, hospital, or drug company for more information.

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http://www.revenuesandprofits.com

Sources for data in order of appearance:

https://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing?page=0%2C1

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/drug-ads-5-2-billion-annually-and-rising/

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2013/11/11/persuading-the-prescribers-pharmaceutical-industry-marketing-and-its-influence-on-physicians-and-patients

https://www.i-lawsuit.com/seroquel-linked-serious-life-threatening-side-effects/

https://www.corp-research.org/jnj

https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov/

https://revenuesandprofits.com/understanding-the-new-pharma-business-model/

 

Lies About Love

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Ah, sweet love!! We all know what it feels like to be in love, even if we’ve never actually been in love. How do we know?? Our media tells us so! Movies, TV series, magazine articles, websites, Facebook, cartoons, TV commercials, print ads, billboards, song lyrics, music videos, wedding pageantry, advice columns, greeting cards, probably even cereal boxes are eager to show us exactly what love looks like, who is supposed to have it, how to know when we have it, how to know when we don’t have it, and what to do about that. The moderators of culture are so eager to inform us about love that, by the time we’re 4 or 5 years old, most of us are fully informed on romantic love (although pretty far away from needing the information).

The Ideology of Intimacy                     Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 11.59.20 AM

Okay, so what are the hallmarks of true love? A group of sociological researchers outlined the following very specific expectations for intimate relationships that are recognized in our society as markers of that very special kind of love:

♥︎ One True Love

This tells us that there is one and only one perfect “other” out there for us; one person who fits us exactly for always and forever. This love is completely unique and irreplaceable. We must relentlessly search for the One and never let go once we’ve found them.

♥︎  Love at First Sight 

This is the idea that True Love can occur without prior interaction, that it is an on-the-spot choice that is clear and decisive. We either know it or we don’t and we can tell immediately. If that doesn’t happen, then what we have is just a passing fancy, not the Real Thing.

♥︎ Love Conquers All

With this aspect, all we need is love! We come to know True Love as the answer to all of our problems. Once we have met the One, we are transformed. It can be a means of salvation, a lifeline. True love also prevails over all obstacles and outsiders. There is nothing that cannot be solved once we have true love!

♥︎ Happily Ever After

This is the clincher—once we have found True Love, we will be happy for the rest of our lives. Unhappiness means that the person we’re with isn’t the One. True Love endures to the end of time and if it doesn’t, it wasn’t the Real Thing and we were just fooling ourselves.

I have no doubt that, if you have been exposed to mainstream Western culture, you are quite familiar with this way of thinking about romantic love relationships. It’s all so obvious, isn’t it? Sure it is! Until you actually fall in love…

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When we actually fall in love, we find that this model of love is full of holes. Real life almost never matches up to this ideal and when the ideal fails to happen, we may decide that we ourselves are unworthy of love or that we are unlovable. Belief in the Myth of True Love can bring about feelings of deep disappointment, frustration, anxiety, stress, depression, or anger. How is that good for us or our partner?

Let’s look at a different model, a model much closer to reality. I call this one the Truths of Intimate Love. Here’s how it goes:

♥︎ Many Loves & Ways to Love

The truth of love is that we can love many people in a variety of ways. We can—gasp!—have the same feelings of love and attraction for more than one person at a time and it doesn’t make us horrible people; it makes us complex, mulitlayered humans. We may also consider that someone who was “right” for us at one stage in our lives may be “wrong” at another stage in our lives. Again, that doesn’t make us horrible people!

♥︎ Love Grows As We Do

Love does not require a sudden illumination or dramatic moment of choice. It may happen by accident, or something that emerges from certain life circumstances, or even just by going along with whatever is happening. Not only that, but more often than not, love is ambivalent or confused. There’s so much to know about another person and so much changes all the time. Some days we’re all in; some days we’re not.

♥︎ Problems Happen

Love alone cannot solve our personal problems or problems in the relationship. Love is not the answer to dissatisfaction with out lives. Love can’t save us from ourselves, erase our destructive patterns, or resolve interpersonal conflict. That kind of thing takes applied intention and problem-solving skills. Relying on love alone will only dig the hole deeper.

♥︎ No Guarantees

Long-term love relationships require open, honest communication. To be in an enduring love relationship, we must be willing to negotiate, compromise, and change. True intimacy is contingent on the ongoing satisfaction of both partners and true happiness is found within. If we aren’t happy, the first place to look is at ourselves, not at someone else who is “making” us unhappy.

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If I’ve burst your True Love bubble, I apologize. I think it’s better that I burst it here rather than you having your rosy expectations come crashing down around you. It’s important to be aware of when your expectations for your partner or your relationship are coming from the Myth of True Love because the Myth is usually a set up for disappointment and disillusionment. Shift your perspective to the Truths of Intimate Love and you’ll probably find what you were searching for. Because your partner isn’t the problem—the myth is.

Interested in learning more about the different types of love? Tune in to Love Is In the Cards (https://www.greeninkradio.com/tarot-talk-with-mystic-kat-1/), for details on nine different kinds of love that we may experience in our lives.

Reference

Lantz, Herman R., Jane Keyes, and Martin Schultz. 1975. “The American Family in the Preindustrial Period: From Base Lines in History to Change.” American Sociological Review, February 40(1):21-36.

Is Sugar Dangerous?

by Janice Messino

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I was eating my daily square of dark chocolate (a quasi-nutritious snack), and it got me thinking. I know that sugar is poison, yet I have a little dark chocolate most days. I know that there have been studies on sugar dependence that have likened it to cocaine dependence. I did some further studying up on sugar and was quite surprised on several fronts. What a knowledge journey this has been! 

Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition, says:

C12H22011“white refined sugar is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22011. The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21N04.  For all practical purposes, the only difference is that sugar is missing the ’N’ or nitrogen atom.”

Reuben is not the only researcher who makes this claim. This alone is disturbing, but the more I dug into it, the more compelling I found the scientific information about the dangers of sugar. I have now become completely turned off by sugar.

Sugar may be killing more people than cholera or cigarettes ever did. If history is any guide, the majority of people in the US will continue to eat or drink excess sugar, spiking their levels despite the life-shortening impact. The public has 

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 lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo

been slow to give up their sugar addiction. What I find interesting are people who would not tolerate cigarettes or contaminated water, but have little concern about their sugar consumption. That’s how serious this is.

What’s So Bad About Sugar?

Sugar contains no nutrients, no protein, no healthy fats, no enzymes. Sugar exists in many forms besides the white powdered (usually GMO) beet sugar we find at the grocery store.  There are varying degrees of effects from sugar in all forms (including high fructose corn syrup, honey, and maple syrup) and we are consuming more of it than ever before.

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https://www.healthline.com/health/effects-of-sugar-on-the-body

Chronic sugar exposure has been linked to hypertension, Myocardial infarction (heart attacks), dyslipidemia, pancreatitis, obesity, hepatic dysfunction, fetal insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and habituation (if not addiction). Sugar is metabolized in the same way as ethanol, which is essentially fermented sugar. Thus, the effects of sugar consumption are the same as the effects of chronic ethanol exposure (habitual alcohol consumption); the only difference is that alcohol can lead to even more health issues than sugar.

The health issues related to sugar are not found exclusively in adults. Unbelievably, there is are obese six-month olds! Some researchers point to infant formula as the culprit. Similac infant formula is 43.2% corn syrup solids, and 10.3% sucrose. There is only a .2% difference in the amount of sugar in a serving of Coca-Cola verses Similac—imagine that! Parents who mean well are unknowingly harming their babies. High fat diets don’t hurt us; high sugar diets do, because they are metabolized as unhealthy fats. A low-fat diet may not really be a low-fat diet if there are sugars present in most of what you consume

Solutions for lowering sugar consumption

  1. Get rid of all sugared liquids in the house. Be sure to check all beverages, including juices. There’s no such thing as a good sugar-filled liquid! 
  2. Eat carbohydrates with fiber to slow the rate of absorption and reduce insulin response.
  3. Wait 20 minutes before taking a second portion.
  4. Examine all processed food for added sugar.

Why exercise is important

  1. It improves skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, which burns calories and brings insulin levels down.
  2. It reduces stress and stress and obesity go hand in hand.
  3. It lowers appetite.
  4. It detoxifies fructose, improving liver insulin sensitivity.
  5. It burns the food you eat so that it doesn’t become stored fat.

I have been shocked by my new understanding of the dangers of sugar to my body and to my family. For more information on how you can lower your sugar intake, thus lowering inflammation and improving your health, please contact me.

by Janice Messino ▪︎ Create Health ▪︎ (860) 970-7383

Sugar cubes on plate

Corliss, Julie. “Eating too much added sugar increases the risk of dying with heart disease.” Harvard Health Publishing, February 6, 2014. Updated November 30, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021

Reuben, David. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition. Avon Books, September 1, 1979.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth. University of California Television (UCTV). July 30, 2009  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM#action=share

What Will 2018 Bring?

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It’s the big question of the New Year—what’s to come?? Love and romance? Big adventure? More money? Better health? A new home? Great happiness? An appealing exercise regimen?? The possibilities dazzle our imagination, inspiring many of us to set intentions that we solemnly resolve to fulfill with fresh zeal and vigor starting January 1st and continuing throughout the year without fail.

How’s that working out for you?

Setting an intention to achieve a goal has been proven to work remarkably well. When we back a desire with our will and step into the feeling of what we want, we can change our lives. So why can’t we stick to our New Year’s resolutions?? Why does our zeal and vigor fizzle out before February even hits?

Some researchers say that we set big, game-changing resolutions at the new year and, indoing so, set ourselves up fpexels-photo-110473.jpegor failure. Sticking to large-scale goals demands a great deal of commitment and discipline. It’s pretty unrealistic to expect ourselves to suddenly turn on a dime and make all the big changes that we hadn’t been able to manage making any headway on all year. Other reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail are: impatience; not believing in ourselves; little to no social support; time management issues; financial difficulties; not having a plan; or focusing on the negative.

Now what??

First of all, the “new year” is only a new year because we’re told that it is. Western culture has created a division in time called a “year” and January 1 was chosen as its starting point. This is said to have started in 45 BCE with Julius Caesar, who changed the caesars-palace-las-vegas-hotel-casino-40655.jpegcalendar from lunar to solar and set January as the start of the year. The symbolism worked—Janus was the god of gates and had one face looking forward and one face looking back—but the reasoning was weak. January 1st was merely the day that the newly-elected consuls started their year-long term. After Rome fell, some countries set the new year on Spring Equinox; some set it on Christmas day; some set it on Easter. Pope Gregory put an end to the free-for-all by designing a new calendar (the Gregorian calendar, natch), and most of Western culture got on board eventually.

But what are the ramifications of setting the beginning of a new year based on political expedient rather than the wheel of the year? In the northern hemisphere, January is a terrible time for rebirth and renewal! The natural world is largely cold, bleak, and dead.Even in warmer areas, the days are shorter, the sun is weaker, and new growth falters.In the southern hemisphere, January is full blazing summer at its peak. The days are long, the sun is strong, new growth is all around, but it’s not the beginning of anything. It’s the climax before the denouement.

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Is the season the real reason?

Many cultures begin their new year in March or April, a time of year that seems, in the northern hemisphere, far more appropriate to new beginnings. In the southern hemisphere, however, March and April herald autumn and hint at the winter ahead. The new year there would more appropriately start in September or October. But no!! We can’t have half the world on a different year!! That wouldn’t do at all.

What’s a determined intention-setter to do?

The best way to set an intention and have it come to fruition is to follow your own calendar. Know your numerological influences and your astrological chart. Familiarize yourself with the general numerology and astrology of the day, week, month, and year. Set yourself up for success by working with the energy of the natural world and your sacred contracts rather than against them or in complete ignorance of them.

Get started with Mystic Kat’s podcast The Year to Come 2018 for a full year tarot card reading at greeninkradio.com. And maybe make yourself your own calendar à la Julius Caesar. What gives him the right to legislate your renewal? Take ownership of your transformation process and start the year on your own terms!

 

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