Archive for June, 2017

On Being a DAD

June 23rd, 2017

Father’s Day was never as big of a deal as Mother’s Day. It’s probably because dad’s role in the kid scenario is not as painful as mom’s role. I can honestly say though that being a dad can sometimes hurt like heck. It starts fast as each baby advances through their childhood ailments and other challenging experiences. As a young dad, I always wished their pain could have been transferred to me so they would have been spared, but that’s not the way it works.

When they were little, and I was alone with them at ages one and three, and both had fevers that were approaching the stratosphere, I fed them popsicles, bathed them in tepid water and prepared cold water enemas which, thank goodness, never had to be administered. That’s a memory I’ll never forget.

Then there was that time when my daughter caught her finger in the swing chain and broke the tip of it. The worst part of that experience, however, was when the nurse asked me how it was broken, and she asked me as if I had somehow tortured my baby girl deliberately.

Then there was the time I was in Lancaster and got the call that my son was hospitalized with pneumonia. I left immediately and arrived at 2 a.m.to sit with him throughout the night at his hospital bed. The resident had explained that the IV antibiotic could be painful, and as I sat beside his bed, I could hear a drip, drip, drip of the IV. Each drop made me wince. A few days later while sitting beside him at home, I heard that same sound and realized it was his SWATCH watch.

Of course, there was that day he was hit with a fastball and almost died from the dye from the CAT scan, and the time he accidentally shot the neighbor in the hand with his BB gun. Oh, wait, those were my pains. He didn’t feel anything.

There were those accident phone calls, too. My daughter’s college boyfriend’s car was T-boned on the passenger side and the hospital call went something like this, “Is this Mr. Jacobs? Your daughter’s been in an accident. Please come to the emergency room.” Or the time my son was hit by a truck and the neighbors were all in my driveway crying. Those were lifetime memories.

Much of today’s personal pain comes from their perceived individual or business challenges, from money challenges, health scares, and, of course, Lyme disease. It never stops until either we die or they do, and that’s the reality of being a dad. You can be there for them all the time, but not too much because being there too much can make them too dependent.

And now, all these years later, I get to do it all again with six my grandchildren. We’ve dealt with at least three or four broken arms, a broken leg, and a broken nose. We’ve had gymnastics accidents from the non-parallel bars and home accidents from falling off a yoga ball.

The hardest grandkid pain, though, has been from broken hearts caused by military deployments, from being bullied, broken promises from friends or loved ones, and misunderstood or unmanaged expectations from teachers and relatives that caused pure agony.

Before this scares any of you father’s to be, understand that I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. In fact, going through my life without my kids and grandkids would have been a journey not worth making because, when it comes down to it, there’s nothing better, nothing. Remember, roses have thorns, beaches have hurricanes, and bees have stingers. It’s all part of the deal, all part of this crazy thing we call life.

We’re all made of energy and matter and are both transient and eternal. Enjoy the journey.

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Repeal and Replace ACA

June 19th, 2017

When we discuss the concept of struggling for survival in America due to our health care coverage, it seems like this discussion should be considered absurd, but, unfortunately, it’s not. How many of us will be forced to stay in jobs that we hate or will be required to keep working long after retirement to maintain healthcare coverage? And how many of us will be left without insurance or will be unable to afford insurance in the future? These are all issues that must be taken into consideration as the Republican side of the U.S. Senate moves forward with their replacement of the Affordable Care Act.
We rank 38th internationally in infant mortality and 37th in overall health yet we spend more on healthcare per capita than any other industrialized nation in the world. If you are a child today in the United States, there is better than a 30% chance that you will develop and experience the devastating impact of Type II diabetes. In addition to the fact that we are overweight, under exercised and nutritionally bankrupt, we are seeing projections that our generation will potentially outlive our children.
In addition, we will soon be spending 3.8 trillion dollars on health care in the United States with less than 5% of these dollars being spent on preventative medicine. At the same time we continue to plunder our younger generations by spending over 50% of our healthcare dollars on end of life care that will neither improve our health status nor increase our longevity.

When will our priorities as a nation include health care consistency? As a country, we continue to struggle to establish a dependable national health policy. We have not embraced prevention and wellness, and we can’t agree if healthcare is an entitlement or another journey in capitalism. We also continue to see the irony of one side of isle that wants healthcare for all and the other side that is proposing significant cuts in health and human services.
Our current challenge, though, is we aren’t exactly sure what is happening in the Senate because their work has been cloistered. If it follows the recommendations of the House, it appears that millions of us could either be without insurance or unable to afford it. We also understand if healthcare is not addressed comprehensively, the Baby Boomers could indeed contribute to bankrupting our current system.
Earlier this year, the Pew Foundation report indicated that 60% of Americans say the government should be responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all, the highest percentage in more than a decade. This however is a very partisan presentation where Republicans supporting this coverage only accounted for 32% of the total and Democrats and Independents weighed in at 85%.
So, how do we work together to make our country a better place? Let’s live up to our own description of ourselves, and recapture world leadership in things that do matter. Is it possible to save more of our newborns, to help our children, and still find a way to treasure our elderly? Will we ensure that the life span of our children and grandchildren is not shorter than our own. Can we embrace a new philosophy of caring for our fellowman that will make a difference in the delivery of health care in our country?
Regardless of your party affiliation, we may only have one chance to influence our legislators in this critical decision and the time to do this is now. If you don’t believe that your voice matters, you haven’t been paying attention lately. Call, write, and reach out to Senators Toomey and Casey and make sure they know where you stand on this healthcare issue in America. It is possible to meet every one of the commitments that President Trump made in his campaign speeches regarding healthcare coverage. It’s just a matter of priorities. What are our priorities? More importantly, what are your priorities?

 

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EGO

June 15th, 2017

Critics say both statins and fluorides are supposed to have a negative impact on your IQ, Actually, neckties are supposed to restrict blood flow to the brain, too. (Maybe that’s what’s been going on in the United States lately?)

Regardless, I’m going to share some potentially impaired ideas with you that I’ve been thinking about for the last few months. I’m hoping that sharing this information might help you avoid a few of the pitfalls that I’ve encountered on my own life-journey.

From the book, New Eyes by Steve Treu: “A fundamental tenet of Buddhism is that suffering is inevitable during our lives.” When I’d have a bad day while working at the hospital, I’d just go up to the OB unit, look at all of those newborns and think, “You poor little babies, you have no idea what’s coming.”

Over the years, I’ve come to understand from my 20/20 hindsight, that a large percentage of my most mentally and emotionally painful experiences were preventable. They were, for the most part, self-inflicted wounds due to my personal conditioning, education, and perceptions. Most of the pain, however, could be directly attributed to my ego.

The ego is an amazing part of all of us. I’ve written about how our Amygdalae’s, those little almond sized parts of our brains, can drive us bonkers, but egos can be much worse.

The classic definition of ego is “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. And the synonyms for ego are our self-worth, self-respect, self-image, and self-confidence. It’s that part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for not only reality testing but also for our sense of personal identity.”

Some of us have over inflated and undeserved super egos, and some of us don’t have enough of an ego. It’s the Goldilocks ego that would be “just right,” but they’re hard to come by most days.

Look, we all need a strong ego just to survive, but your ego can also spin out of control so fast that it makes the speed of light stand still. What’s the cause of most of our ego problems? Well, childhood, junior high-ood, and adulthood are three factors. Then throw in parenthood, and just “the hood.”

Because parenting doesn’t require any training, most of us tend to do unto our children as our parents did unto us, and that can create more baggage than a Samsonite store. There are your overly critical parents, those demanding parents who just won’t stop picking on you. Then there are the over nurturing, helicopter parents who won’t let you out of their sight. Both provide us with lots of material to screw up our ego for life.

If we can be objective about our egos, we can avoid a majority of those self-imposed craters of pain caused by them. It all feeds into our self-inflicted unhappiness, and in the big picture, it’s kind of meaningless.

If we could just tangibly remove ourselves from the equation, step back and look at what’s really going on, much of what we become hysterical over is just senseless. The size of our house, the cost of our cars, the number of karats in the diamond, and the quality of our clothing will not deliver lasting happiness. Always ask the question, “In the big picture of life, does this really matter?”

Some of us tolerate toxic people and noxious situations way too long, and most of us take things much too personally. If we can just step away and quiet our amygdala we can see who the jerks are, what their game is, and why it’s better to just avoid them any way we can.

If that doesn’t work, take seven deep breaths which will automatically throw your body into the relaxation response. Then take a really hard look at whatever is driving you crazy and ask, “Did anyone die?”

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Finding the Balance with Drs. Deepak Chopra, Dean Ornish, Mimi Guarneri, Len Wisneski

June 2nd, 2017

 

Over the past 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the physicians listed above. I’ve worked with some of them for several years at a time. I’ve worked with Dr. Dean Ornish to help fund and advance his research projects in prostate cancer and heart disease, with Dr. Mimi Guarneri to establish Integrative Medicine Centers on the East and West Coast, and with Dr. Len Wisneski to support his efforts to move the agenda of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium’s 600,000 integrative practitioners to the next level. Finally, I’ve worked with Dr. Deepak Chopra toward helping design his future in ways that can impact millions of additional people. These relationships and engagements have been both an honor and a pleasure.

As a professional in integrative medicine management, my knowledge and expertise are in the areas of conceptualization and creation of integrative medicine programs and centers. My skills are most valuable in identifying and recruiting potential professionals, tying the programs together with national networks, working with my partners to avoid pitfalls in finance and scheduling, and designing these centers to succeed.  But what these physicians have worked on throughout their careers and what these centers are about is helping us find balance in our personal lives, the balance between our egos and our consciousness.

The major challenge that we have faced in this work is that many of our potential participants are so deeply engrossed in their traditional healthcare models that the possible impact of Integrative Medicine does not always register with them.  If they cannot visualize themselves utilizing these practices, they typically cannot identify with the millions of participants who do so on an international level.

The other challenge that we face in integrative medicine is that, because we are living in an avaricious society where most days we collectively seem to have lost our balance on many levels, our primary focus has become very heavily skewed toward only material and ego rewards. We seem to have collectively moved away from our journey toward wisdom, compassion, forgiveness, patience, humility, and respect. These are the consciousness traits that are reinforced through the practice of Integrative Medicine.

Some like to use the quote that we are all spirits having a human experience which reinforces that healing depends on the mind, body, and spirit connection.   Even though we all know that Ego-based successes do not guarantee peace in anyone’s life, we continue to run on that treadmill that promises to provide us with more ego-related rewards such as money, power, and control while starving our souls of the very real consciousness nourishment that will provide us with inner peace.

We all know that the only germane question in life is if our personal journey is bringing us that peace. That is what Integrative Medicine is intended to help promote, a path to peace.  We can only find that path if we embrace the Greek words, “Gnothi Seauton,” know thyself.  This Unity Consciousness can only be found inside ourselves.

No matter if it’s God, Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, or Native American consciousness, it’s a journey that we all must take for ourselves because we all know that our time here is both fleeting and temporary.  We are spiritual beings living in a human body. Integrative Medicine practices are all about finding that balance between ego and consciousness that will help us create inner peace from the outer chaos.

Many of us have heard the saying of the Buddha, “We become what we think.” We are all made of stardust, and we have vibrational connections that cannot be denied. Our universe is only one of millions and billions of stars and planets, and we also know that the path to finding happiness is deep within us.

Things and awards can’t buy us our inner love and peace!

BREATHE

 

 

 

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