⁃ fine-lines with Black fine-nib pens on white paper
⁃ the human physique by playing with Dumbells, energy inputs, processes and imagination
⁃ Lifestyle variables to DESIGN TAILORED LIFE & LIFESTYLE SOLUTIONS for individuals
⁃ Consciousness to “see” what many do not in the current & future
First and foremost, I AM AN ARTIST 👨🎨…
I may need a different mix of chaos & order … a more challenging mix of comfort & discomfort … a varying mix of stability & flow compared to more “normal “ people.
People may find it weird, but …
I see life as an very large experiment made up of many smaller experiments. I refer to these experiments as experiences.
And I Am … the Scientist at heart… with an artistic soul.
WHAT WORKS For ME.
I remind myself that I must experiment with WHAT WORKS FOR ME.
As an Artist 👨🎨, money does not validate my credibility.
As an Artist, my credibility lies WITH ME, GOD & My WORK. In other words, if I write a Blog … a poem … if I sketch ✍️ a fine-like picture of beautiful building architecture … then, I write or draw – whether it will sell or not.
As an Artist, my sense of self respect comes from my belief that I am created in the image of God, my internal reflection and from DOING THE WORK.
My work …
One fine-line-sketch -at-a-time, one set of exercise at a time, one poem at-a-time, one blog-at-a-time … one dream at-a-time. Five years working on a lifestyle proto-type, 10 years working on an entrepreneurial adventure, a lifetime pursuing a dream that takes a lifetime.
As an Artist, making money is not what drives me. I do not need to be extremely wealthy & rich but I do need to be RICHLY SUPPORTED by those who love & BELIEVE in me.
My CURIOSITY NEEDS to be fueled for my intellectual, spiritual & philosophical needs. These needs as well as my insatiable physical & emotional needs have to be continually fed to continuously EVOLVE.
I must …
Never allow these needs to be stagnant, for this will show in my work. If will show In my life. It will show In my temperament. …
… In my aura, my vitality.. my life force.
It is very important that I keep moving …. As this allows me to CREATE.
I need to CREATE to express my love for life … of life . If I fail to create, I get moody.
Nobody likes a moody – me.
In order to CREATE I must stretch the boundaries … making new laws … encouraging novel ways of looking at things … and not necessarily following the existing laws and staying within the current boundaries.
First, I must BREAK ALL THE RULES.
As an Creative Artist, I need to continually FEED and NURTURE my ARTIST CHILD… for the more I nurture this INNER CHILD, the more ADULT i am able to appear.
There is a CONNECTION between SELF-NUTURE & SELF-RESPECT.
When I allow myself to be bullied (very seldom), and somewhat allow to be forced by other peoples’ need for me to conform … to be more normal or more nice, I lose myself.
Sometimes I do. I lose my – Self.
I allow myself to succumb to the whims of the ordinary man, to be ordinary like the ordinary. Something My inner fibre of being just does not agree with.
I sabotage my CHILD ARTIST.
For when I am not creating, I am not a very nice person to be around. I am certainly not “normal” or very nice – go myself or to others. Many say I am “weird”.
So be it.
In my experience, There is a connection between self-nurture and self-respect.
Every time I create something from nothing, I feel the creativity is a spiritual journey. For me, doing the ART WORK is a SPIRITUAL PRACTISE.
To me, there is never a “finishing line” or point where I can say that “I have made it!”
It seems that when I feel I “got there” … “there” vanishes. Vanishes into thin air. Just like that . In sculpting the physique for example, I have been working towards the elusive holy grail of bodybuilding: balance & symmetry.
Haven’t found it for almost 30 years now.
Every time I create … I have a piritual journey.
I NEED to keep moving … like a Spiritual Shark 🦈… if I stop improving, I will sink to the bottom of the Ocean of life and …
MY WAY like LIFE’S WAY is not the “straight & narrow path” as the majority take … but one instead which is literally “my way”
MY WAY is a SPIRAL PATH… not the straight & narrow. My way is a spiral path because I AM an ARTIST, but more importantly, I am created in the image of God.
It is a simple and as complex as that.
As an artist, I am a traveller. In body and in spirit & imagination. I yield to my SPIRITUAL LEADING.
The Creator bestows on us the gift of creative thinking & doing. Our recognition & use of our gifts, given by God, is, in turn, our gift 💝 to God.
When you Accept this DEAL OF A LIFETIME… I believe it is the beginning of TRUE SELF-ACCEPTANCE.
Give thanks and praise the Lord.
FIRST: MOVE INTO THE BODY, HEART ❤️ & SOUL.
To move into the body, heart & soul, one must first resolve to ACCEPT that one MUST MOVE OUT OF THE HEAD/MIND.
This is not easy.
Especially in a “busy” world with a lot of external & internal noise.
I make exercise a key part of my life because I am and have been seeking a form of MOVING or MOBILE MEDITATION. The execution of well-chosen exercises allows me to practise this … what I call – moving meditation.
This meditation experience puts me squarely IN THE MOMENT… in the NOW.
If I don’t respect the weight and/or don’t focus, I will get injured. I have not gotten injured lifting weights since I began almost 30 years ago.
My goal has always been to seek BALANCE & SYMMETRY in body… which translates to balance & symmetry in mind, heart & soul.
Like I said, earlier, many of us (like me), we DO learn by doing. Exercise, for example, is often the impetus that moves us … moves us from stagnation to inspiration… from seeing problems to opportunities for find solutions … from self-pity to self-respect & living with dignity.
One of the things we learn is that – I AM Stronger … WE ARE … STRONGER THAN WE THOUGHT. From my experience, we learn to have a different worldview… we learn to look at things with a new Perspective.
And a lot of times, this different perspective is the KEY to experiencing life a little differently … a little bit better …
I used to tell people that if I made that person I see in the mirror better than, last week, than last month, than last year … in ten years I will be on the World Stage, standing and competing against the best in the world.”
Within ten years, I stood on stage against the best natural bodybuilders at that time, representing Australia. A Big Dream, come true. I repeated the feat the following year for good measure. As a great mentor once said –
“If you think you can, you’re right … you CAN.”
Don’t ever laugh at another person’s dream, no matter how far-fetched it is.
2.5 Disagree with people, if you must but don’t hate them.
It’s ok agree to disagree and still like someone.
In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling and personal judgements. Leave judgemental comments to God or people who have a profession as a Judge.
Where is heaven? Where is God? What if God is in you all this time? What if you are God? How would that change your view of life? Maybe God is light … maybe we are essentially light as Physics stipulates … then , follow your light. Find your light and … then, shine that light to the world!
Need to eliminate ignorance
What does “God” mean to you? Who is God to you? Have you pondered about the meaning of God?
I have. For many, many years now.
I grew up in a strict extended catholic family household. Going to mass every Sunday was a must and I spent about eight years of my youth serving as an alter boy, assisting the priests serve the patrons of the church.
I’ve always believed there was a God. I still do.
He has answered many of my prayers. However, I have always been curious and this curiosity still exists and has gotten me in to more than a little trouble in my youth and this hasn’t changed. I had and still have a need to eliminate ignorance.
I question almost everything because I am constantly searching, searching for my truth. To some extent, I believe every individual is – searching for beauty, their truth. But, many individuals also do not think, do not question everything. Why should they? I mean, it is easier to just adopt and follow what has come before … “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” as we have heard many times growing up.
This attitude of just blindly following all that have come before us may be good in the short term but can be disastrous in the long-term. This attitude of just following blindly, also applies to religions. I mean a lot of people think that because their parents, grandparents, doctors and religious elders were all Christians, then ALL those beliefs about GOD must be true.
Fill your life with light. Light your path through your life. Light the dark for you … for others. keep seeking your light
What if it isn’t?
What if what we’ve been told about this God is not what the truth is? Once again, let me ask you what is YOUR meaning of your perception of “God”? This word, name could be one of the most mis-understood, mis-interpreted concepts in the history of man-kind. What do you think?
What if God rests inside each and every one of us? What if I said that I AM GOD!
Yep, you can be forgiven if you yelled out ‘blesphemy!’
But seriously, what if what we know of God is not the truth? Asking questions, asking the rightquestions helps us gain wisdom, helps us absorb knowledge. Asking the right questions and always questioning and seeking the truth has helped us evolve and progress and enjoy the spoils of the standard of living we all enjoy now.
The whole foundation of science is based on questioning ‘truths’ that have gone before and dis-proving it. Why aren’t we applying this questioning attitude to all areas of our lives? Why don’t we apply this to your/my current meaning of the word God.
I think I am/you are – God!
One way to know YOU is to understand God. God is in you. God is you.
In greek mythology, I think the word “G.O.D” stands for:
G: Gomer – which means ‘wisdom’ = > the manifestation of knowledge, like our bodies is the manifestation of our mind.
O: Oz – which means ‘strength’ => represents our physical being – our structure, our core.
D: Dabar – which means ‘beauty’ => something that gives pleasure, visual pleasure!
So, it seems that God rests in the physical realm, the physical world, in this third dimension – the world ‘within’ each and every one of US.
To chart our course in life, in the tree of life, we all need wisdom to make wise decisions; we need strength to support and give support where needed and lastly, we need beauty to see truth. As Keats said –
“Truth is beauty and beauty, truth. That is all there is … and all there is to know” or something to that effect.
Believe or not believe. What is true is that … you are light. Shine your light strongly.
Is God a frequency?
I have learned that popular belief DOES NOT EQUAL TRUTH.
Is God a frequency?
What if GOD is a frequency that exists within YOU, within me … within each and every one of us. What if when we pray and meditate we literally just ‘tune in’ to our unique frequency with GOD. How effective we communicate depends on how well tuned in we are to that frequency.
God is the light. You are the light. Find your light Find God. In you.
What is your frequency? Does it tune to God?
GOD is a frequency that exists within YOU. But what is your frequency? Is it connected to God’s frequency? Can you TUNE IN?
Search for answers. Be sceptical and think with reason.
But, also search with your heart. Maybe, you won’t find all the answers and that is ok. What is important is to continue to ask the right questions and embrace the quality of answers that resonate with you.
Than resonate with God’s frequency.
Work on fine-tuning your musical instrument (your body-mind-soul-heart connection).
Helping someone achieve his best, in one of the best ways I know how: through increasing self-awareness. Vv.
Upload to heaven but also upgrade when you’re there
What if heaven is a really powerful mainframe computer and we are the individual personal computers (pcs) connected to this extensive network. All we have to do is make our ‘connection’ to the mainframe computer (heaven) more stronger.
Tune in to the right frequency.
Maybe, just maybe, in the future, with increased awareness of ourselves and the power that rests within us – GOD, we are able to upload ourselves, our mind in to the mainframe (heaven) and be ONE WITH the UNIVERSE.
Life is a series of well-defined journeys. Life is a series of goals Life is goals on a never-ending path to … salvation.
Becoming one with collective consciousness
If we were ‘uploaded’ to a heaven, it would allow us to become immortal. But that is just the beginning. In this virtual world, this heaven, we could beautify and strengthen our bodies simply by reprogramming the computer software to improve our minds, not our bodies.
We won’t only upload ourselves to heaven, but also upgrade when we’re there!
As a Christian, we get taught that the immortal soul does not lack a body in heaven. But, I am willing to miss that point with the overall satisfaction that going to heaven is about union with God.
Entering a new spiritual plane, the fourth dimension and being inside the great computer mainframe in the sky would allow us to mingle our frequencies, our lines of code to form a ‘hive mind’, thus becoming one with collective consciousness.
That is when all suffering as we know it will dissipate, finally dissolve the distinction between self and others that lies at the root of all suffering and evil.
Consciousness will be you, me, us … all as ONE.
The unity of all … to be one … possessing an unearthly wisdom, like a God where, this consciousness, this one-ness will find spiritual sustenance in our union with each other.
YOU linked to me linked to each and every one of us as we are now …. Only a million times more powerful.
Linked to consciousness … the great super mainframe computer in the sky we call –
God bless you … in other words, You bless you. As God is within you … you are God.
“I searched for God and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only God.”
The old Cap’n Viking Pirate … & being ONE, heaven and consciousness
Providing a little bit of assistance. My pupil here ‘feeling the essence’ of the exercise. All relationships require work and time . Sometimes, its the little things, that determine your success in pursuit of a worthwhile goal. No need to work so hard in the gym to beautify our bodies in the virtual world. In heaven. In consciousness.
A little bit of assistance goes a long way to knowing what is enough. You do this by knowing firstly, what is MORE THAN ENOUGH. But, this is a limitation of the realm we live in … where limits are imposed on us. In the 4th dimension, in heaven … the “IM” is taken out of impossible.
Where has time gone? Ten years went by … .like a blink of an eye. Memories… that is all we have … shared memories.
We have many.
He knows he will always have a home.
He has spent his first ten years of his life, with me, his mother and his sister. Spent it in our home .. which is HIS HOME.
I like to think that his home is a place of celebration, a continuous celebration of Life. His home is the place where he can let down his hair and just be, himself. His home is where living happens and laughter rocks the walls.
I’d like to think that his home is the place where he learns to play, to have fun, to relax, to love and … to pray. Each day in our household is a celebration. Everyday, our Family prayers allows us to reflect on our life so far … with GRATITUDE.
There is an abundance of laughter in his home. So loud that it carries all the way to the streets and neighbours.
His home is where Real Living, takes place.
He learns how to work, how to play, how to eat, how to ride in cars together, how to attend Taekwondo lessons, how to play music in bands virtually, how to watch youtubes and videos, how to host friends, how to take care of his self, how To be a better brother, how to be the loving son that he is, how to develop our own private family jokes (usually they love “roasting’ me).
In our home .. his home, we try not to take life too seriously. In our home … a home of celebration we thrive in conversation and accept that humour and laughter is essential elements to our Family cohesion.
Our home … his home … vibrates to us and to everyone around us that …
“This is what life is all about. In a nutshell, life is what happens in our home … it is where he is celebrated.”
Home is where …
My son … has his Nintendo game, his soccer and rugby balls, his books, his swords, his toy guns, his snacks.
Home is …. Being able to walk around in his undies all day … home is Eating cold watermelon and tropical pineapple together at the dinner table on a winter day. Home is where he is allowed to yell … to get angry … and it is ok. Home is where he can play wrestle games in the bedroom and backyard and come out of it … unscathed.
Home is where he gets unlimited hugs and kisses and learns about the important things in life. Home is where he learns how to agree to disagree and resolve conflicts.
Home is where he learns to be appreciated and listened to. Home is where his strong sense of self … his powerful self image … his confidence is built. Home is where he understands his responsibilities to contribute to the family to make it work … that little things, matter.
To sum up … I hope my ten year old son learns much … in our home .. his home.
One day, I hope, he would look back and realise that home is where he discovered wonder and learned to not only Dream … but …. To Dream BIG. One day, he remembers to repeat some of … OUR traditions … OUR unique family qwirks … our UNUSUAL ceremonies.
I hope that one day, my son looks back and views his time in his home .. our home as a period where he not only FOUND but …. EXPERIENCED, JOY.
With … his dad (me), his mum, Cathy, his sister, Olivia and our pet schnoodle : “Mr Fussy/Fuzzy Cuddles”.
Is there anything we read, hear or see ‘the truth’ anymore? THere are so many lies propagated in the media in today’s world. There is one truth – if a lie is being told and repeated enough .. the lie will eventually be believed to be a truth.
What is the truth when it comes to the covid-19 virus? There are many questions that should be asked and no question should be left out and put in an “out-of-the-question “ basket. With so much information at our fingertips, and most contradicting one another, one of our biggest risks is is our inability to sieve through the bullshit to …. Find the Truth.
I just don’t know what to believe anymore. One minute, one ‘expert’ says one thing … another minute, another expert says something else. Even the so-called experts and professional analysts cannot agree on the truth. They usually speak from their own self-interest and try to sell their ‘version of the truth’.
What have we learned in the aftermath of this pandemic?
A question I ask is – why has the containment of this virus 🦠 done already … like six months ago? Why has it taken so long?
What have we learned in the aftermath of this pandemic?
What has each individual country learned and what have we learned as human beings? One obvious thing is that the biggest threat to our existence is not something huge like a war or terrorist acts… it is the very very small (viral or bacterial) that we should be more fearful of. We should be more scared of the INVISIBLES … of what we CANNOT SEE with our naked eyes than … what we CAN SEE.
If you look at probabilities, there is a high probability (greater than 90%) that the virus originated from the Wuhann Lab, in China. The likelihood that the virus originated from “a Lab” is high. Then, it follows that, the likelihood that it originated from the Wuhann Lab is very high.
A question we should be asking is – was there a prior epidemic of this virus … that has allowed this current viral strain to be very effective in spreading? If it came from the Wuhann Lab, what were the protocols/internal controls used at the time? Why was this allowed to happen? On the other hand, if it wasn’t the Wuhann lab, we should be told that it wasn’t. If it was from nature, we deserve to be told. If it was from another lab, we need to know that , too. Why aren’t the governments giving us answers to these questions?
In other fields, say, in manufacturing, if a machine worker narrowly misses death when using a Machine or only loses a limb or his/her life, most businesses would do everything possible to NOT LET that happen again. In a factory setting, they would put up clear signs, get employees further training, counselling, boundaries indicated, protective gear and so forth…
And why? It was a “lucky break “ and control measures put in to mitigate the worst situation (losing a life) does not happen again in the future.
Why weren’t the voices that were raised in concern or this virus back in 2015 not listened to and taken seriously? What protocols were overlooked leading up to this pandemic? Why was the process off-shored to China? Did our current systems allow this? Who was responsible for this system at that time? Why hasn’t people brought to justice yet? Who is responsible for this pandemic? Governments collectively?
Is this going to be another case of INFLUENZA?
… and we will not find a cure and eliminate it but will just have to live with it.
Will it become part of our new “normal “ like the influenza virus has become? Living with the FLU virus has been a huge cost to governments and nations. Imagine the cost of living with the Covid forever? The cost to people’s well-being and the economy will be astronomical…& possibly incalculable.
** Here’s the thing:the ABILITY to ELIMINATE the disease goes down the longer we delay to have EFFECTIVE RESPONSES… to take control of its spread. It will be too late when large numbers of people catch this disease and their mutations and selections will result in adaptations that we just could not possibly manage.
Then we’ve got a HUGE PROBLEM!!
Medicine has come a long way. Yes, it has. The pertinent question is … is this going to be another case of influenza? I feel it will be.
If you look back in history, you will find that hospitals were dangerous places in the 18th century. One eminent Victorian surgeon commented that –
“a patient laid on an operating table … is exposed to more chances of death than the English soldier on the field of Waterloo.”
18th century medicine was not very effective. With all our advances in technology and medicine, can we say that 21st century medicine is ‘effective’ in it’s management of covid?
In the 19th century, Mary Wortley Montagu went back home with the smallpox inoculation/vaccine from Turkey but had a difficult time finding Doctors who would share this with people, given many were not willing to destroy a significant stream of their revenue. Even if it was for the good of mankind. Doctors were looking out for their own self-interests.
After the French Revolution, patients with similar symptoms were grouped together in wards. Doctors started to recognise and treat illnesses as ENTITIES in themselves rather than regarding complaints as being inseparable from individuals.
Is this happening in today’s world? Are beds and access to medical treatment going to be a “bidding war?” will the beds And medical professionals only be given to those with money as it was back in the 19th century?
Medicine … using vocabulary of the Military.
Also, in the late 19th century, medicine started using the vocabulary of the military, referring to diseases and germs similar in concept to enemy invasion.
Words like breakthroughs, defeats, and destruction and “let’s fight this”. Nowadays, they use phrases like ‘we’re in this together’. Like many other scientific metaphors used in the past, these images operated both ways:
Reflecting how illness was conceived
Affecting how foreigners should be treated
Back then, wealthy nations tried to defend themselves against infectious immigrants just as bodies had to be protected against viruses or microbes. This analogy was used. Question is – is it still being used today?
You see, diseases had usually been blamed on foreigners and this case of covid is no different. It also provides new grounds for rationally explaining old fears.
And what are these “old fears?”
Prejudices against race and cleanliness could now be given a “scientific label”. This was utilised by many wealthy nations back in history. Is it still being used now?
Is this one way of the government setting up a screening program to assess citizens health? Are our DNA (through swabs) just another way of science and governments finding out more about each individual? How can this be used against us?
Could the increased awareness through advertising, as “medical security “ really patchy vetting procedures … say, to allow rich immigrants easier process into more wealthy nations? Is this simply a tool to help curb unwanted immigrants?
Governments have had a history of controlling diseases by curtailing individual freedom… which is the same objection given by anti-vaccination supporters.
In science, often what seems straightforward in the labs proves quite complex outside the labs.
Over a century ago, Robert Koch, the German bacteriologist, shot to fame for identifying the organism responsible for Industrial Europe’s biggest killer – tuberculosis (TB).
Even though Koch proved that nobody could catch TB without first, being exposed to the TB, he was unable to explain why only about 10 % of people became infected. What sort of rates exist for the covid? Apart from age, are certain races more at risk?
During Koch’s time, it was found that the “Cure rate” for TB, proved lower than had been hoped. The enemy agent (similar to the covid strain identified today), had been identified but it seemed to leave many potential victims unscathed. Back then, many concluded that many individuals were somehow tainted in advance or had pre-existing conditions that made them more susceptible to getting covid.
Over one hundred years later, society has learned to “live with the disease “ – TB, that is. TB was, only recently, given an identity as a contagious disease that circulates in squalid city slums. A mark of inferiority rather than aesthetic vulnerability.
At one time, to contract TB, was to invite scorn… it was a matter of shame… making it out to be that patients had been picked out rather than innocent victims of neural microbes.
TB was as bad a stigma as contracting syphilis, blamed on prostitutes. Society attitudes stayed this way until towards the end of the 20 th century. Cancer became the new TB…. The big C that could not be mentioned by name.
Given how long it has been for us to respond to the covid strain and managing it, it is highly likely that, we won’t find a cure … but instead, just learn to live with disease, like we did with TB, over the last one hundred years.
A lot of deaths.
A quick reference on Google on world-stats indicates that as of 9th July 2021, there were a little over 4,000,000 covid-related deaths, with the USA heading the tally with > 623,000, followed closely behind by Brazil at 530,000 and then India at > 400,00 and so on. Australia has just under 1,000 deaths. So, there has been over 4 million deaths in just over a year since it began.
A lot of deaths.
In 1999, the American Institute of Medicine published a landmark investigation called “To Err is Human”. It reported that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of preventable medical errors.
Lucian Leape, a Harvard professor put it higher (at 120,000 in America alone) estimated that a million patients are injured by errors during hospital treatment.
In 2013, a study done & published in the journal of patient safety put the number of premature deaths associated with “preventable harm “ at more than 400,000 per year (in America, alone). Compare this to the number of deaths caused attributed to Covid and it is comparable. But, no one is alarmed at this knowledge because not much is said about it and so not much is known about it, by the majority of people.
Preventable harm included –
Dispensing wrong drugs
Injuring patient during surgery
Operating on the wrong part of the body
Peter J. Pronovost, professor at Johns Hopkins school of medicine testified at senate pointing out that the deaths was equivalent of two jumbo jets falling out of the sky every day for an entire year! Comparing and saying –
“Every two months, 9-11 is occurring.”
Can you imagine, news headlines repeating information of deaths caused by the crashing of two jumbo jets EVERY DAY! It would cause utter chaos .. that could lead to an up-rising. Possibly. The public has lost a lot of trust in the medical systems and are turning to alternative medicines in droves. Question is why has it got to this point?
Why do we tolerate these numbers …. These stats in preventable harm in this area of life when we would not tolerate it in any other sector? We don’t tolerate the covid-related death toll numbers, so, why has the medical profession knowingly or unknowingly, hid this information from the public … year after year?
Upon further study, you will find that the numbers put preventable error in hospitals as the biggest killer in the United States – behind only heart disease and cancer. Can you imagine that?! Third highest!!
And these are just numbers for the USA, what about when we add all the other numbers from other countries? What sort of numbers would that total to? Highly likely be greater than the 4,000,000 reported deaths relating to covid.
This Affects ALL OF US.
But those numbers are incomplete and definitely higher now.
However, it is not just the number of deaths that should alarm us, there is also the non-lethal harm caused by preventable error. Back in that 2013 study, this equated to about 1000 preventable deaths AND 10,000 preventable serious complications per day …
The problem is not a small group of crazy, homicidal incompetent doctors going around causing havoc. Medical errors follow a normal, bell-shaped distribution.
They occur most often not when clinicians get bored or lazy or malign, but when they are going about their business with diligence and concern … but these mistakes STILL happen!
Imagine the flow-on negative effect it had on the patient, their family and friends, their community and wider.
The Biggest Risk right now, as I see it…
Strong Social connections allow for a better and longer life. There are decades of evidence from communities suffering the reverse phenomenon: the gradual loss of social ties.
A study by James House, published in the journal SCIENCE concluded that social isolation is as dangerous for health as obesity’s, inactivity and smoking. The evidence was as strong as in the landmark US government report that in 1964 officially linking smoking with lung cancer.
The House report says that social isolation is actually more dangerous than lack of exercise and obesity. This is the biggest risk right now, as I see it … in most western societies- deaths exacerbated by social isolation due to covid restrictions.
This is probably the single most powerful behavioural finding in the world.
Social isolation is indeed a death sentence!, I believe, as much a threat to iur survival as hunger, thirst or pain. If individuals are deprived or it – “human contact” (as imposed by covid restrictions), the extreme case is we can start to become attached to innanjmate objects. This is demonstrated by Tom Hank’s character on the movie CASTAWAY, who has a meaningful relationship with a volleyball he calls Wilson.
Will this pandemic lead to increased purchases or innanimate objects for companionship? More sales for the IT industry?
Lesson: this AFFECTS ALL of us.
Why do so many mistakes still happen?
Well, I will leave that for a future blog.
So many questions still left unanswered, about our past … our present …. And our future.
But, as they say …. That is JUST LIFE.
You can choose to enjoy your ‘one life’ and worry about what YOU CAN CONTROL … and NOT WORRY about what YOU CANNOT CONTROL.
May God continue to shower his blessing on you and your family and loved ones,
I love hats. I wear different hats, depending on the occasion and the style of dressing that I feel is appropriate to the setting. Just like in “life”, we all have to juggle the many roles that we play in the play-ground and classrooms of life. Each role can be likened to a different hat. In life, there is no – “one-size-fits-all’ solution for every one. A key part of life for everyone is: SEARCHING for the relevant hat/strategy to fit the situation/circumstance you’re in. Do you like hats? What type?
We’re ALL in tribes or groups. Family. Extended Families. Work colleague. Sporting tribes and so forth. The tribes are small to the very big.
In One of the many “tribes” I am a member in, we all get a question that relates to aspects of life. Members of this little tribe are of all ages and come from different backgrounds and socio-economic & cultural backdrops.
In one question, we were comparing the different paths people take to success. Based on a Ted-talk by the David Epstein, our Modern societies place a lot of emphasis and pump up the “stay focused “ on one thing and specialise your way to success (like Tiger Woods did). David called this the “Kind Learning Environment”. In this environment, the rules are clear and never change; largely based on knowledge of recurring patterns;
The other way – which he called “wicked learning environment “ was “sampling “ or “trying many things before settling on one”. In this environment, the rules may change; it may be delayed, it may be inaccurate. This is the route the great Roger Federer took – trying out a huge variety of sports before settling on Tennis.
The former (Tiger Woods ) chose and specialised from before he was 2 years old and built up his > 10,000 hours before he was in his teens. The latter has fun with many sports and specialised latter.
Society tends to trump up the former method because it makes for good storytelling. Why? Well, for many reasons , chief among them is “making a decision early “ shows decisiveness and a competitive advantage is far better. Yes, that is true for many things in life.
Taking the 2nd route like Rodger Federer seems like “wandering “ and indecisiveness and that is frowned upon by society.
Is it? Really?!
As David Epstein postulates, the wicked learning environment is more like the world we are living in than the former, isn’t it? We are living in an increasingly uncertain world, where the rules and ‘way of life’ can change very suddenly. Have a look at what happened in 2020. We are living in an increasingly uncertain world and we need to re-learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable and adapt quickly to survive.
YOU are WORTHY. Never forget that. TRUTH.
Being a Wanderer, DOES NOT mean you’re LOST.
So, one of the members in this little tribe said that he has been called a “wanderer” for a big chunk of his early life. Confirming what I have said about the way society in this point-in-time “deemed acceptable “. There was a great list of “sampling” he wanted to experience in the future.
Being a “weirdo” and referred to as a “wanderer” is a blessing in disguise.
Many great thinkers were wanderers – pick a few names from the Bible – Jesus Christ, Moses… then you have Buddha, and Rumi .
Being a wanderer DOES NOT mean you’re lost.
To me, It just means that you have unanswered questions. It’s good to be asking questions- whether the “small” (what tasks to run today for example) … then the high level questions (which generally involve greater consequences – like what work suits me or who am I going to marry as examples).
But to me, the important questions are the “large “ questions, like – How can I derive “meaning “ from my life, for example.
However, most people would rather keep themselves “busy “ Or focused on a project(s).
in my experience, our lives and our happiness are inextricably entwined with the Large questions of meaning.
Keep searching … keep asking questions. That is where you will find … your ‘meaning’ to your life. MEANING IS THE NEW MONEY. Build your WEALTH WITHIN.
Some Questions are UNANSWERABLE.
If your “wanderer” hat takes you on this journey seeking answers to the more IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, know this:
That’s ok. For some things in life, what’s important is not that you find the ‘answer’ but … that you asked the question. The RIGHT question.
I’ve always told my family, that for some things, there are no answers – “that’s just the way it is”. I’ve even invented a word that is all encompassing: “KAKA!”
It comes in to use when I am tired of answering my two kids endless questions. when I say “Kaka!” … it means – I am not obligated to explain or give a reason … it is “just the way it is”.
END OF CONVERSATION!
They DO NOT like the word and I use sparingly.
Oops … I may have digressed there a bit …
My 3 kids never stop asking me questions. Some questions get the “kaka” answer. Silence.
Someone is TRULY “LOST” when …
So, wandering is a good strength and is a courageous thing to do. you “open” yourself up, you allow yourself to be vulnerable.
BEING a wanderer does not mean you are necessarily, Lost.
To me, a person is LOST when they are too obtuse, filled with fear or distracted or “busying “ their lives just to avoid asking the IMPORTANT Questions… that is when someone is truly, Lost.
That, my friend, are the seemingly “ UN-Weird “people of this world.That also happens to be the majority of the population.
But… in many times in life, the “majority “ doesn’t always mean you’re in “the right “. It just means that is the prevailing view of the majority of a group /community/societies …. at that time period.
Does it mean that it was “right?”
For example, the punishment for stealing a loaf of bread 🥖to feed your family two hundred years ago was to be classed in the same mold as murderers. You were all simply bunched together and shipped off to an “island” on the other side of the world 🌎… never to ever return.
That faraway “Island” was modern day’s Australia. And those “convicts” were modern-day Australian’s forefathers. Now, did the “punishment fit the crime?” At that time, yes… the majority felt so … the society felt it was so.
Is that punishment appropriate in today’s societies?
I love this quote. Increasing your awareness is parameters to having clarity and success in your life. SEARCH. Become the BEST ‘searcher’ you can be. One day .. you may find ALL the answers you’re seeking for YOUR questions to give ‘meaning’ to your life. A wonderful book says – “Seek and ye shall find; Ask and ye shall receive.” True.
There is no “one-size-fits-all”.
So, enjoy your “weirdness” and accept that there is no ANSWER (s) that would be applicable to ALL… there is no “one-size-fits-all” category.
Remember, it is that “search “ for answers… wearing the “wanderer” hat… that makes the search so important. Enjoy the UniqueYOU.
To me: I firmly believe it is spirituality that serves as the foundation for our existence. Besides, many years ago, I didn’t really catch the ‘message’ the Priest of my Catholic Church was during the church service. On my way out, I asked the “Father” what his message was and he said –
“Son, the world needs more ‘weirdos’ … more ‘stirrers’ … more ‘questioners’ and people who ‘rock the boat’. I agree. It is the wanderers .. the questioners .. the rebels .., the ‘shit-stirrers’ that will help change the world and help create environments that encourage better creativity and innovative thinking.
We don’t just need to work on ‘improving what is already there/here” … we need dreamers .. more ‘weirdos’ … more wanderers … to help not just IMAGINE. We need to Imagine BETTER. We can’t arrive at better solutions by doing the same thing that got us here.
May God continue to shower his blessings on you and guide you in your decisions.
All the very best in your search (and don’t forget to take a torch with you, to help you see in the darkness… as you sail through the Seas of Life … he he he !!)
Cheers & ahoy!
From another “weirdo” … from the Land from Down-under!
Courage is the springboard to success in anything worthwhile.
Be YOU. As YOU are. Accept the uniqueness … and weirdness that you know you are. Embrace YOU. Never imitate.
Can we just live with the questions? Is asking questions a way of interrogating reality? Is there another way?
Why do we have questions? Why do we question? What is a question? Does it help us make sense of Reality? Is questioning seeking balance /elegance in your life? If it is … is it the FINAL or pinnacle of finding this elusive “balance & elegance “ in one’s life?
It seems like WE ARE unable or unwilling to live with questions.
Why, I wonder?
Here are a few more questions: 1) do you like the colour red? On doors? 2) Do you like doors? 3) Is a question the “door to what lies beyond?”
It seems being or allowing oneself to be vulnerable is a difficult thing for people to do. Questions and living with unanswered questions does just this: leaves the questioner vulnerable, weak. Is this such a bad thing?
Maybe, it could argued that questions open up gaping holes in our personality, our theology or our lifestyle. Questions, for many, force an honesty that they are unwilling to face – an honesty that requires them to live with themselves… with their lives, unresolved.
I think most humans do not like living with that unanswerable questions in their heads. And why? Well, questions so strange things to people and one of the hardest things for people to embrace is the uncertainty surrounding unanswered questions.
Maybe you like a green door? Does the colour of the door matter? Does it have a significant effect on what is inside? Why?
Destruction before tender, loving care.
It is through the process questioning that will liberate us all. In the process, we are effectively disassembling ourselves from within . This disassembling will give us answers …. that will give us all the grandest Expansion.
And If it doesn’t, don’t “ throw in the towel “, stick with it!
Destruction before tender, loving care. Just like it is essential for creating new muscles and keeping existing muscles: apply forces and destroy muscles and then give it the best nutrition and rest. Then, you repeat it all over again… and again … and
Just like questioning.
You could choose to go into the darkness and explore it or …. stay with the light.
It is through disassembling that we move flexible boundaries (sometimes break) so that … we can include inside these boundaries all that WE ARE.
And REVALUE it.
And just like the creation of muscle … become …
A yellow door maybe? Perhaps you like the colour yellow. What is your colour blind?
We may not know all the answers. That’s ok, God is always there.
In the book of Job in the Bible, I roughly counted 288 question marks, many of which came from the mouth of Job. Other questions came from his counsellors who are like side-show con-artists of today.
God said of them –
“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?”
However, God does answer the questions… 78 of them, in fact, by the end of the book of Job. God’s answers to 78 of them came in the form of questions, though.
God is an expert at answering a question with a question.
Does the shape of the door affect what is inside? Why does colour matter? Why do we need doors?
The truest answer to all our questions is to : WORSHIP HIM.
One thing remains: questions… we just cannot live without them.
Cheers to you wherever you are in this beautiful world !
Maybe all the answers to your questions lie within YOU. Your mind, your consciousness. Maybe, it is not about seeking answers but simply asking more questions. Maybe questions are asked simply for discussion and debate … to help fuel our capacity to RE-IMAGINE … a better future. A future that is NOT based on the doors of the past…/ future based on alternate possibilities of the future. A Future based on the future, not past.
When Alan came to me, he was in a bad place – not having enough sleep despite seeing many “experts”, was on the verge of losing his job and his marriage. With immense courage he undertook the plan I developed for him using my Lifestyle framework principles . He not only started sleeping again (from 700+ apnoea per night to under 4) … he lost > 25+ kg and got his life back.
The cost to get to below 4 per-cent.
I learned something very early on in my foray in to the sport of bodybuilding (almost thirty years ago now) and the art/sport of bodybuilding & physique artistry: the leaner I got, the harder it was to lose body-fat!
I knew pretty early on that I could just ‘clean up’ my diet a little and chop and change here and there, and drop from 14% to 8% body fat in a matter of weeks. I usually stay below 15% body-fat year round, just something I’ve done now for the last 15 years at least.
However, I also learned that when you get to single digit body-fat %, it gets even harder to lose unwanted body-fat. But, I’d get on the treadmill and x-trainer or bike in the gym a number of times in a week and drop under 10% (you can begin to ‘see’ your abdominals clearly around 9%). I keep going and then I get down below 7%. Now, to keep dropping bodyfat to 6% and then to 5% can get pretty hard, especially when you’re doing it the ‘hard way’ … NATURAL and no assistance from steroids or performance-enhancing drugs.
Sometimes, the body just does not want to barge and literally stalls your progress. Let me give you a secret, it is fucken brutal to go below 5%. Very few people go ‘there’. It is a very ‘spiritual experience’ to say the least but it can also be a soul-destroying for those unprepared for the challenges.
So, there I am .. slugging away at the cardio machines on low-carbs, hypoglycemia and fearing muscle loss. Sometimes, I question – ‘what was I doing wrong?’ Isn’t a kilo a kilo? Being at 6% is quite an achievement but I wouldn’t dare boast about getting to that point if everyone else in the world would stop there too! Competitively, they don’t. Regardless of the cost, winners DO NOT stop at 6%. Just to make the Finals (Top 5) at amateur shows, you need to get to around 4%. That is just the standard that is at minimum.
The cost to get below 4% is different for everyone. That’s what I had to get down to to beat the best Natural Bodybuilders in the World at my first of two consecutive World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, almost 15 years ago now. Here’s a tip: you’ll look your best but you’ll feel the worst you’ve ever felt.
Quite ironic, I know. I’ve been there many times in my life. Not a nice to be for very long. I believe, it is the closest thing you come to experiencing death, without dying.
Teaching you to love yourself better and more. That the most powerful show of self-respect is to say ‘no’. Saying no to foods that are not aligned to your desired body image is the highest form of self-respect and love.
Genetics: a gift and a curse.
In the sport of bodybuilding, like most other sports, genetics can be a gift and a curse that either propels you forward or holds you back. I didn’t have the height genetics for example to play basketball and dunk but I certainly have a healthy dose of Type IIb muscle fibres necessary for explosive power, muscle growth and size. You may never have my back and lats insertions and I may never have your biceps peak, even though we both try and train to maximum.
The thing is genetics dictates muscle SHAPE. And muscle shape is muscle shape.
My daughter appears to have taken after my wife in body shape and my son appears to have my build. No amount of training would transform one in to another. They will just be bigger version of what they already are (what steroids and performance enhancing drugs do) – a person’s strengths will be even stronger and weaknesses will be enhanced too.
Here’s the thing, in addition to this covid epidemic, we also have an increasing mental illness epidemic, a broken-families/home epidemic, an obesity epidemic etc. Conservatively speaking, two thirds of modern-societies are overweight and childhood obesity is consistently rising. If you dig a little deeper, something more surprising arises. Among the developed countries, though childhood obesity has increased that much in 30 years, the bottom 50% of the BMI (body mass index) hasn’t increased at all. That means the leanest 50% of kids across the world haven’t gotten fatter at all, but the heavier you are on the BMI, the higher the increase in obesity.
Translation: if a child has the genetics to become obese, then due to today’s societal changes (mom’s not home cooking, greater than 60% of our meals being out now, less activity, etc.) they get even heavier. But, children who don’t have the genetics to become obese, though they live in the same culture with the same foods and temptations don’t gain weight.
Keep your pendulum swinging … because to be stuck at one end is not life-affirming To successfully transform your body, one needs to be a better master of their internal Balanced & Breathing.
Some Genetic Differences.
Have you wondered what some of those genetic differences are?
From my insatiable curiosity of the how the human body and mind works, and my experience of helping hundreds of people over the last 3 decades, here’ a few things I have found –
I have found a few things, firstly, as children, we go through two “filling up” and two “expanding” phases in our growth. I can readily observe this in the two pre-teen son and daughter. The amount of body fat cells our body creates is mainly genetic but also is influenced by how much we eat during that first year of life and the period right before puberty. An individual may have 20 billion body fat cells and another may have 200 billion. All of the hormones that cause body fat storage now have 10 times the load for the triglyceride loading.
And what is triglyceride loading? Google it and see what you find.
Let me share an example – You’re cruising along, the diet is going great, and then you read an article on-line that says once a week you need a “giant CHEAT meal” and load up with 10,000 grams of carbs for fear of muscle loss. What do you some people do, then? Yep, you guessed it … they visit their nearest Pancake shop and eat enough to break the world record. Obviously, this is an extreme example and the ‘carbing up’ wouldn’t really take that much at all. This is also part of the reason I tell almost every person that has successfully transformed themselves NOT to be tempted to get any information from any source, except from me. There is less clutter and noise in their heads and so, better overall progress made to their original goals.
Do you want to know why this practice is a fallacy? Well, you can certainly fill up your glycogen stores with some fruit, that’s right … a simple apple or banana. And you can refill your liver with two lemon tarts? Here’s a fact – 350g to 500g of carbs can pack all of your muscle tissue with all the glycogen it can hold? Any more and you could seriously make yourself feel sick and very uncomfortable.
Here’s the catch: after consuming all those mountains of pancakes to your tilt, your body goes in to reverse. You IMMEDIATELY stop burning body fat. Normal circulating amounts of insulin are three times that of glucagon – your best friend in fat loss. That’s right, your BEST FRIEND in fat loss is the opposing hormone, Glucagon. Not Insulin! That means we’re three times better at storing fat than losing it.
Not what you wanted at all, right?
It is a great feeling to do this … but make sure it isn’t your ego that is leading. Beating genetics to get a certain result is a great achievement all in itself. Stubbornness, well that’s ok.
Evolution favours Survival.
When it comes to evolution and your biology, your body is made to be conservative and to hang on to every ounce of fat for possible future famines. Your body is designed to Survive. It’s main concern is not how your abs look on the beach or how you look in a coat of competition tan on stage at a contest, naked in front of a thousand people. No, your body is built for survival.
So, when you’re cutting back on carbs and in a state of ketosis, or calorie-deficit, your body’s primary objective is to continuously look for ways to store fat. That is just what the body does.
Insulin is your enemy my friends, brought about by you having an unscheduled “high carb’ meal/day(s). Glucagon production stops and insulin not only shuttles glucose to the muscle, but it also tells the liver to go in to the ‘glucose-to-fat’ conversion mode. The body basically begins hording the fat. That’s right, it shields the fat and makes it very hard for you to burn this. I’ve heard all the excuses, some were –
“But is was just one meal! But my body needed it! But I just had one dessert! But I even though it was three cups of rice, it was clean food!”
Your body doesn’t care – it just wants to store. Now, if I have 200 billion fat cells and you have 20 billion, who is better at storing fat? Who can afford more slips on a diet plan? Certainly not me (the person who struggles to get lean at 200 billion fat cells for example).
Balance & symmetry brings you closer to harmony … to beauty …closer to infinity. Just like mathematics does
Work WITH your body, not AGAINST it.
I believe the majority of people who venture into transforming their body, work against it. They don’t work with it.
There are so many related hormonal/biochemical reasons that some people are naturally thin and some are heavy. Working against your genetics is a hard day in the office, every day. Yes, we can do our part to gain or lose weight despite our genetics, but it’s a real slug-fest … a real battle. I’m oversimplifying and skipping important issues to make the point, but one more factor in weight loss that has been given much play is the hormone, leptin. Leptin is secreted by fat cells and basically, let’s you know when you hungry or full. It is the primary signal carrier for hunger/satiety. When enough filling occurs in the fat cells, leptin is released and tells the brain that you’re not hungry. When not enough leptin is present, hunger is the king.
As you probably know by now, there are three body types – the ectomorphs, the mesomorphs and the endomorphs, basically the skinny, the stocky and the fat types. There is a marked difference in the endomorphs (obese tendencies) versus the ectomorphs in terms of leptin. Experimental studies show obese children deficient in leptin eat dramatically less and lose weight when leptin is brought to normal amounts.
A friend and former student/client of mine who achieved the impossible. Following the Quality Plan I designed for him and adopting my “3-legged stool’ framework, Nathan went from 125+kg to 88kg. A massive transformation given he is leaning towards the ‘endomorph’ type. I have not seen anyone work as hard as this man. Very proud of what he achieved.
So, what are the lessons here?
There are four but I will just mention two. Firstly, if you have a body-type which is, you came from a family of obesity and endomorphic, then you will be ‘carb-sensitive’. If that is the case, then, you are definitely not an ectomorph and WILL just have to work that little bit harder. Sometimes, a whole lot harder. You may have to drop your carbs very low just to release fat cells and then increase the probability of using them as energy. That is difficult.. but there are tricks available. Knowing when to ‘cycle’ your carbs is essential and you will need to do more cardio and be willing to suffer more. I have had clients like these over the years and I take my hat off to them. They are real modern-day warriors.
There is little consolation when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere with your body transformation and weight loss. The scale can be very mean to those endomorphs. It is literally a “David vs Goliath” and where David beat Goliath and the tortoise beat the hare for these folks. You have to hang in there if you’re a ‘carb-sensitive’ individual. Hang in there … and summon all the patience you can muster. You will need it.
You will WIN this race and achieve your goal. You will kill Goliath.
Know YOU. Know your strengths. Work to your strengths. Not some of the time … ALL the time.
Until next time,
Quality lean muscle that “flows” takes time & a goal of balance & symmetry
At 4.2% at my 1st world championships. Getting to 4% body-fat was very hard, staying there was harder.
The very popular “most muscular” pose. It brings the ‘house down.’
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