Saturday, November 22, 2014

Expressing Health and Well-Being

As people diminish in health, how it it expressed?  The same way it is expressed in increasing health and well-being -- by the muscles of the face (head), hands and feet -- which most people have never learned or exercised to express -- and so those muscles get very flabby, and incapable of ,movement (expression), until there is no movement at all.  At that point, one seems to be unresponsive to everything going on about them -- even if the critical function of circulation and respiration have not ceased, whereupon they would be pronounced "dead."  But often, long before that definitive proclamation, many stop being acutely and fully responsive, for which we often note that their expressions are "dead," or lacking in animation (movement).

Many people think it is enough just to have their faces fixed in permanently smiling or uplifted expressions -- without variation, or the possibility of movement (change), as all that is required to fool the most undiscriminating observers into thinking they are healthy and well.  But really, it is more the range of movements that communicates the truth of that being -- well or ill.  That's why it is often noted that an extremely depressed person, shows no change of expression -- that is striking to people who are aware of such differences.

Unless they are actually in the commission of a crime, such people only note the strangeness of the expression -- as though one were not responding and interacting with one's surroundings, but rather, the mind is someplace far away, living in another world.   Upon noticing that, the appropriate response is to approach such individuals cautiously, not knowing what their responses might be, since they have no awareness or intention, of communicating their thoughts, feelings, and responses to any other.  This is important because communicating all this, is the primary function of all human beings -- and not running, lifting, jumping, throwing, walking, etc.  The primary function of the human being, is to communicate -- thoughts, feelings, responses, etc.

That is mostly done by the muscles at the extremities of the human body -- which are the head, hands and feet -- where most do not think it is important to maintain, improve and optimize -- but surely, is the summation of human expressions and proficiencies.  However, in the teaching of activities, they are not considered of primary importance -- but it surely is, to the very observant.  That deftness of movement (fine motor coordination), is what distinguishes the great artist/athlete/musician, from those who have only mastered the gross movements -- of seeming to do the same thing, but not as masterfully, definitively, authoritatively.

Most simply see the gross movement -- and are not aware of the fine movements -- where the prodigies of every activity, distinguish themselves.  That is what they do better -- and not simply, more of, what everybody else is doing.  They are doing something that makes a difference -- apart from just doing more.  Those are the finer points of life.

When one is young, it is not so important, but with time and age, become the difference between life and death, and before that, the difference between a good life and a bad one.  Those are distinctions, we are pretty much prohibited from making -- in the misguided intention, that such things shouldn't matter -- but they do, and so are critically important to distinguish, and discriminate -- in favor of.  That is the whole point to life, the survival of the fittest -- which must happen, regardless of what the legislation says.  We cannot legislate  nature -- which is what is.  What is, dictates everything else.

Aging diminishes the capabilities at the extremities more importantly and critically than anywhere else.  Those are usually the first to fail and so act as the barometers of overall well-being -- way before life is threatened.  The muscles in the face, hands and feet, are the most important to maintain, and beyond that, optimize -- even if there is no contest for motivating it.  That's particularly true for those with arthritis -- which begins to include most older people, on top of those born with that congenital challenge.  With age, the lack of muscular development in the hands, feet and head, are impacted tremendously so as to produce deformities -- because the musculature is not strong enough to maintain the structural strength of proper, pleasing shape and design.

The head is also being impacted in less noticeable deformities due to disintegrating musculature.  The question should be obvious which are  the most important muscles and faculties to maintain and develop -- over less critical parts that most think are more important.  They seem to be important until aging becomes a factor -- which is not just about being a certain amount of years more than most.  It is fundamentally about how fit one is for life.  Fit means getting better.  Age can mean either getting better or worse, but most think only gets worse.  Is that age, or just the wrong choice, and then the refusal to change -- ever again? -- until the day one dies, which one certainly will.

But way before then, there is much one can do to fully develop the faculties one is born with.  That is Knowing Oneself.  The simple truth some have offered throughout time.  That is the Secret of Life -- Knowing Oneself.  The only way one knows, is to develop it as well as possible.  If the face, hands and feet never age, then that body never truly ages -- because that is where it shows most -- if one is looking for it.  The health of the rest is implied -- by the condition of the extremities.  That's where the human body ages, and fails first.  

Those are the cognitive faculties.  When that is the pattern of failure, it is easy to address, by specifically designing and implementing those exercises -- in preference to all others.  It is more important to move the foot full-range, than any amount of limited range repetition -- which is likely to be walking and running.  But that doesn't necessary imply full-range movement -- which is what one wishes to maintain, and develop beyond that.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Evolve or Die

People don't change because they want to; people change because they have to.  If they don't have to change, they won't -- even as much as they say they'd like to.  It is only when they have no choice, that those who can change, will, while those who can't -- when they have to, perish.  That is the story of evolution -- the overriding imperative of all of life.

It's okay not to want to change -- but when one has to, that's the difference between life and death -- and those who live another day, and actually improve their survival chances.  Individually, that is also the story of "aging" -- which is usually meant to indicate one is becoming less fit -- to survive and thrive.  The fit are those who survive and thrive -- not just in the familiar sites and conditions of athletic competitions, but more importantly, under whatever conditions present themselves.

The best of course, create a response that hadn't existed before -- the literary tour de force, or unprecedented achievement that is the quality of that individual.  As such, it is not the "average" performance, or stereotypical response -- but something wholly new, which is the culmination and integration of that particular life -- manifested as the meaning and purpose of that unique existence.  That is what we all hope to live for.  That makes our lives extraordinary -- even to us.

Psychologists have called it the "peak experiences" that revitalize and change the course of one's life -- if they properly regard it that way.  To those who can't or won't, those are the crises that send them into an irrevocable reversal that they never pull out of -- that ultimately ends their life.  For most, that will take many years to run its course -- but the trend is unmistakable: one just gets worse, and there is no getting better.

That happens in every life -- so the challenge is to use those crises as the opportunities for transformative change that revitalizes that existence and life -- from that continuation that offers them no escape from that dismal fate.  That is the greatest wisdom and lesson in our lives -- that most do not dare define and confront -- because it means having to choose the untraveled path -- as the only hope from that certainty of doom.

One doesn't get to that point until one feels they have nothing to lose.  They don't even have to feel they have something to gain.  They just know, they have nothing to lose.  Those are the turning points for lives that get better.  They have to get immeasurably better -- unforeseeably better.  They have no idea where they'll end up from their act of desperation -- except they know they cannot go on as they have been.

For many, that is the "health crisis" -- in all its variations -- signaling that change cannot just be casual or moderate.  It has to be a total change -- to meet the challenge that threatens that very livelihood, questioning its every precepts and tenets -- before life can go on.  Those are the supreme moments of every life -- its defining moments, that tests their true capabilities -- and what they are all about.  Nobody can answer that, for anybody else.  That is everyone's moment of truth -- when they have to stand alone.  It is in those moments, that they find out who they are, and the person they've become.

Many don't want to know that.  They prefer to hide in the safety of the average and anonymity -- never knowing who they themselves are.  That is not on their agenda -- of things they want or need to do.  They are entirely content to know only the "average," and never any particular individual -- especially themselves.  They don't want to know that.  But that is the whole beauty of living and life -- of knowing how one could have been different, and made a difference in one's own life.

Instead, they wished to be distracted from their own lives -- into the entertainment and amusements offered by others -- that can consume an entire lifetime.  So in the end, they've lived like everybody else before them -- or thought they did so.  And that was "all there is."

It is thought in most societies and cultures, that the old know all there is to know, and are absolved of learning anything more -- when that is when it is most important to reimagine life very differently all over again.  The young do that because they don't know any better -- and so are open to the possibilities.  That is the fire that drives them -- until they feel they have seen it all, and have nothing more to learn -- because they know it all, of a rapidly shrinking universe.  That is how people grow "old" and die; they are no longer evolving, nor think it possible for themselves -- because they just want to hold on to the life they've always known before.

But every ending, is also a new beginning -- that brings new life and energy, for those who can embrace it.  That's how the last, can be first -- but not if they just continue with their losing, dying ways.  That won't change anything.  But if one does all the right things -- the right way -- it bears fruit, in its own good time.  That is the unmistakable lesson of the universe.  That's what matters.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"Senior" Citizenship

Arguably the greatest milestone in every life, is reaching the status of full, or senior citizenship -- when one is entitled to all the benefits of living in their society.

Until then, one has to struggle largely on one's own -- feeling "less entitled" -- until the day one reaches the magical age of 65 -- when the entire machinery of that society, is now dedicated to helping one out.

Early benefits can be obtained at 62 -- or even earlier, if one is judged "disabled," but no questions asked entitlement, begins for most at 65 -- when Medicare also kicks in.  Then the great equalizer is how healthy one is -- all things being equal, because at that point, one will be as equal to anyone else -- with the machinery of the government and society, now on one's side.

For most, that means not being completely dependent on the vagaries of the market and "other people's opinion," to largely determine what one's choices will be.  At that point, nobody cares -- if one conforms or not to the tyranny of opinion -- because they'll continue to receive their full entitlements, whether anybody approves of them -- or not.

That's a huge advantage to have -- that most will not feel fully entitled to, until they reach the milestone of full (senior) citizenship -- with all the seniority rights, of no longer being held to account -- to anyone else, but themselves -- at which point, accounting to oneself, was never so important -- leaving woefully too many, totally unprepared -- for that responsibility and accountability in their lives.  That is also one's greatest opportunity -- to choose the life one wishes to live, or more accurately, is the karma of one's life -- up to that point.

The person one is then, is the summation (result) of the life one has lived -- that earns them their entitlement for life beyond.  Obviously, one hopes to embark on that stage of life, in the best condition of one's life -- rather than reaching the point of despair that life cannot get any better, but only worse, from here on out.  Those latter, have failed to prepare themselves for the fulfillment of their lives as the golden years of their existences.

That period should not be the beginning of decline and deterioration -- if one has learned all their lessons correctly.  Of course, many will have learned all the wrong things in life -- and done them, to their detriment.  But life doesn't have to be that way -- in the actualizing world of full functionality -- rather than the old paradigm of dysfunction, still acceptable to many, as the only way life can be -- and particularly, end.

Life doesn't have to be -- and end that way -- short, nasty and brutish anymore.  It can have whatever ending, and meaning, one can imagine it being -- and living that way.  That means living healthy and intelligently -- as the way to ensure one's best health and well-being, and no longer just leaving it to chance, and the arbitrariness of others -- to determine for all, how best everyone should live their lives.  Everyone, as a "senior" citizen, has a right to determine that for themselves.

But many, will not know how to rise to that challenge and golden opportunity in their lives,  because they've never prepared themselves for that possibility -- and the possibilities, but have only done what they were told -- for the benefit of those telling them what to do.  So doing what is for their own benefit, is something that many have never been taught to do, discovered for themselves -- or even thought possible.  That's how the world fundamentally changes -- upon reaching senior citizenship status -- that even people who have thought they've prepared for that stage of their lives, have largely missed the point -- thinking it is simply the continuation of life as usual, but one is older, and less capable -- rather than rightly, as being at their most powerful.

At that point, money is not as important a differentiator as the vested interests would have us continue to believe -- because what is even more important at that point in life, is all the knowledge, information and experience one has learned in their lives -- that leverages any amount of money.  "A fool and their money is quickly parted," has been known for ages.  But a wise and intelligent person, will find a way -- no matter how daunting the situation may first seem -- because that is their learned response to a problem -- to solve it, rather than  accept and give into the problem as their inescapable reality.

The solution may not come immediately, or in the next few days -- but they will continue to work on it -- all their life if need be, until they resolve it.  That is the meaning and purpose of their lives that they have dedicated themselves to -- that persists long after they have stopped working at any job -- simply for the money, power, status, etc.  They have created a meaning for their life -- which keeps them going far more compellingly and powerfully than the usual incentives -- that when they stop for most, leads to their disintegration and deterioration -- because that motivating force that was the vitality of their existence, has disappeared.

So while one is still young, or more importantly, at any age -- one is preparing oneself for the best life one can envision -- and manifest.  It is not simply life as we have known it in the past -- but a whole new way of being that has not existed before.  That is the work of man -- and all humankind -- to be all that one can be.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Future Will Be Different

For most of recorded history, those in charge, tried to convince us that the future would be no different than it had been in the past -- which is to say, that history merely repeated itself, and never broke new ground -- when the real truth is that the future has always been different, and never just the repetition of the past.

That's why civilizations and cultures rise -- and fall, just as individuals are born, and then they die -- to make possible change, which is to say, "different."  Otherwise, people can only be victims to their past, and not the creators of their future -- to the extent that they can imagine possible.  But that does not simply mean that anything is possible, but rather, one finds out what is possible, which is the discovery of truth -- at least for that moment.  That truth of the moment, is not necessarily, the truth for all time -- but only for that moment, and that is why one is always discovering the new, and not merely reaffirming the new as the old -- as many think is their duty to do.

In that manner of living, all that is new, is merely made old -- and not being reborn in the new, as life has to be to remain fresh and young.  Clearly, that is how some are young, while others are old -- in their time, and before their time.  They refuse to change anymore -- but are insistent, that the world and everybody else, change for them -- so they can remain the same.  That which is unchanging, is that which is dead -- because the nature of life, is that it is always changing -- which is manifested by movement.

That is the value of movement -- that it is change, and the life-giving force it brings.  One doesn't move to stay the same; one moves to produce a change -- and this understanding is critical, for determining and designing programs of exercise, that hopes to produce desirable changes, and not just more random activity -- signifying nothing meaningful and productive.  That is to say, that it is important not to just learn anything -- but to cultivate specifically desirable results -- that are obvious and measurable.

However, often what is measured, is not what is most important to measure, but simply, what is easiest to measure -- as in the common example of heart rate, rather than goals, food, tools, or any other tangible expression of what one things is important to effect.  The objective is not just to work harder and faster, but to produce a specifically desired result -- of a better body, health, and life -- that doesn't come about just by increasing random activity.  

Understanding this difference, is the reason some succeed, and many fail -- because they fail to distinguish, that which is relevant and significant to do.  Instead, their efforts, are likely to produce failure and frustration -- rather than the greater clarity, of what they are doing, and attempting to improve at.  But that doesn't happen, just by doing anything -- or only that which they've done before,  that has failed.  They have to do something different -- in order to succeed, and get better.

That's obviously how the future is changed -- and made different -- or it doesn't matter what one does, and how much one does of it.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Your Health is Your Wealth

Health is not something separate from your life -- but is the summation of all one does and is.  There is no good health in spite of it.  There is good health, and good life, only because of it.

That is to say, that the way one is, is a direct result of what one does -- and not that there is no relationship between one's health and the way one lives it.  People have good lives, because they live good lives -- and have bad lives, because they live bad lives.  People who do bad things to their health, have health problems, and its many complications.

The obvious one is smoking; slightly less obvious, is overeating, and eating bad food choices, and not exercising to keep the body well-conditioned -- so that it can do the many things it might want to do -- instead of always explaining that one can't do that -- which eventually becomes everything.

How is a reasonable person to expect that their quality of life and activities will   be severely impacted and limited -- until finally, one needs an army of caregivers to do everything for them -- because one has long given up doing anything for oneself anymore, and think getting everybody else to do everything for them, is their seniority entitlement.  Those are choices people make to become less competent and able -- just as it is a healthy choice to become more competent and able.  

It is not the same -- whether one chooses to be healthier, or unhealthier.  Such choices matter profoundly, in everything one chooses to do -- in one's life.  It's not just health for health's sake, something only vain and arrogant people do.  It is what every intelligent being does -- choose to enhance their chances for survival, and beyond that, actualizing the greatest life one can live -- as the primary meaning and purpose of their lives.

All one has is a chance -- at life.  There are no guarantees and entitlements of the best life -- but one has a chance at it, and that is as much as one can hope for.  The rest is learning what makes life better, and what makes life worse, and choosing to make it better -- every day of one's life.  As soon as one stops doing that, than there is no reason or hope that things can get better -- because one doesn't no the difference, or care to know.

So things get worse -- and one has long forgotten how to make any difference in their lives -- which is their world.  And so they complain about the world not working -- and not just them -- who they think has no part in it.  They see the many ways to fail -- and no way to succeed.  That is their choice -- the way they see the world, as not working, and only getting worse.  

But obviously, the world is working, or there wouldn't be so many people in the world -- setting world records.  People get better, because it is in their DNA to get better -- unless they choose not to.  They sit on the banks and watch the rest of humanity cross the river because they've decided that they can't go on -- and they don't want to do anything about it.  They've lost the will to change.  They now demand that the whole world change for them.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Why Running is Overrated

Healthier people are more likely to run than unhealthier people.

But as many people point out, it wreaks havoc on one's knees, feet, back -- and so most people don't run anymore -- particularly as they get older and more out of shape.

The geniuses at the high school physical education departments of the world, would be doing something much more worthwhile and valuable creating/describing movements that everyone can do without causing the injuries, deterioration and pain that tells most people not to do something -- with good reason.

Just turning the head 360 degrees left and right -- for 5 minutes standing or seated, would activate all the muscles of the body and keep one in that condition and proficiency all one's life, rather than produce the graveyard of knees, feet, backs that precludes one from meaningful, healthful movements anymore -- because they injure themselves in that way, but are convinced by the "experts" that those are the only movements that matter -- as if they mattered.

The UPS driver needs that skill at turning one's head and knowing conditions all around him to act safely -- rather than he needs to carry a package for 5 minutes to deliver to the next carrier along the route. 

Humans are an  information-gathering/processing animal, and not one reliant on brute force/strength or ruthless competitiveness for survival.  More often than not, problems solve themselves just in taking in enough information to know what is going on -- at which point, one only needs to contribute a little bit of effort to that understanding and awareness -- rather than invent the wheel entirely with only their own efforts.

That is not an effective or productive way for a human to be -- reinventing everything from scratch -- without that awareness of what already exists -- and leveraging that understanding with readily-available tools.  One of the great inventions, is the chair -- for which many things can serve that purpose, and so one doesn't need to build a chair every time one wants to sit -- for the purpose usually, of sparing their knees, feet, back and hips from unnecessary wear and tear -- so that one has those capabilities ready when actually needed.

That is what humans are doing -- preparing and building the reserves so that they have them when they might actually need them -- and not just burning as much calories, time, energy and resources -- because they have no idea of what else to do, and think that alone is enough.

Let's move health reporting out of the Stone Age.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What One Thing, Changes Everything?

What is the condition and conditioning fundamentally all about?

It is to refine and enhance one's ability to change -- as a response to any challenge one faces in life -- giving them greater survival value.  That is the big picture -- before one gets lost in all the minutia that doesn't mean much of anything.  It's not about the trophies won, highest achievement or greatest risk undertaken -- but capacity to handle most of the circumstances one will encounter in living their own unique lives.  If one can do that, than the results speak for themselves -- but if one is always complaining about not being in the condition to meet those challenges, then those are the opportunities missed, and the life unfulfilled.

And then one asks, "What is one doing otherwise?"  How is one wasting their time (and life)?  Even the greatest athletes in the world, don't spend most of their lives competing -- or training to compete.  It's usually a very small part of their lives -- and the majority is just living it, from day to day, as most people do.  But even in those daily lives, there's a huge difference between those who look forward to each day with purpose, and those who dread another day falling further behind -- and that is the biggest difference that one can make in their lives.  It matters much less how much one bench presses -- if one ever does it at all, even once in their life.

Far more important than sacrificing everything else in life for such an arbitrary objective -- including one's health and limbs as the most fanatical inevitably do -- it makes much more sense to ensure those capabilities over the full course of one's years (life), which for those living now, is not unthinkable to last 100 years.  However, up to now, most don't live that 100 robustly healthy -- and most are in obvious physical decline beginning at 50, and as some proclaim as soon as they graduate from high school, that they're already starting to get "old" -- meaning a noticeable decline from their peak at youth.

In many traditional and primitive societies and cultures, that was about right -- because the lifespan only reached 40 for the luckiest, and the less fit and robust, were weeded out much sooner, out of the necessity of a marginal hold on life -- for everybody.  Now, the average person lives like only kings and pharaohs used to previously.

That is the greatest opportunity of living in these times -- that many are totally unprepared for -- that most just take for granted and fritter away -- the greatest capacity for the fulfillment of their own lives, from beginning to end.  Many people's visions still include a prolonged stage and period of life in which they are totally incapable of doing anything for themselves even -- thus requiring an army of others to be employed just to keep them alive in that state (condition).  That is what many still regard as the normal expectation of a long life -- and not the possibility that it could be robustly lived from beginning to end, as the new and quite predictable new normal.

That is the ending of "age" and "aging" as we've known it up to now.  It's not just one thing that changes -- as we are used to thinking of things -- but everything that changes, as the new paradigm of condition and conditioning.  What one thing, changes everything?, and no longer thinking, of the many different things that need to change as though they are unrelated to one another.  There is not enough time or energy in the world, to change everything in the world as though it is unrelated to every other thing -- requiring change, but what is the critical path, by which one changes everything?

That is obviously brain functioning -- at the root of everything else one does -- including thinking -- apart from the doing.  That requires a conditioning in which, the doing is one's being -- rather than doing one thinking, while thinking one is doing something entirely different -- as the fragmented, divisive mind is conditioned to.  The mind is not apart and separate from the body.  The health and functioning of the body, is the mind, awareness and functioning of the mind.

Obviously, the most important functioning to effect, is the functioning of the brain -- above increasing one's bench press or time in the marathon -- before one does anything else, or even attempts to.  It might be that by increasing the functioning of the brain, that one will see no need to bench press a maximum weight, or run ever again unless absolutely necessary -- and not because one doesn't know what else to do to burn more of the calories one thoughtlessly consumes -- as their preoccupation and abuse of every opportunity they've been given, and presents itself daily to them.

One doesn't have to continue -- doing only what one has done before.  The whole realm of possibilities -- awaits being taken.  But that means seeing the world freshly -- from the very moment one awakes.  Otherwise, there is only the continuation -- of what one did before -- and not beginning the day freshly, without preconceived notions of how the day must be -- like every other before it.  So only in that first moment upon awakening, is an entirely new day possible -- and not later, and later, until one is too exhausted -- to think and do freshly, but fall asleep again.

And so nothing ever changes.