From the monthly archives: "October 2012"

Quite a few people experience chronic tightness in the inner thighs, and some even end up straining the area, which is one type of “groin strain” you might have heard of (of experienced). The inner thighs occupied by a group of muscles called the adductors. Adduction, as a movement, is bringing a limb back to the body–or “adding” to the body–and thus the name.

There are five adductor muscles: pectineus, adductor brevis (means short), adductor longus, adductor magnus and gracilis. Each one acts to bring the leg back toward the midline, among other specialized functions. We can split these five muscles into two groups–the short and long adductors. The first three named above make up the short adductor group, and these attach from the pelvis to the upper thigh, while the latter two make up the long adductors, which attach from the pelvis to the lower thigh and inner knee.

I’ve already showed you a great stretch for the short adductors–the frog stretch–and I hope you’ve been doing it. Now I want to show you a great stretch for the long adductor group. Watch the video below to see a great stretch for the long adductors, but please be careful as you do it, because if you strain this area, you may find it difficult to treat, and thus, hanging around for awhile. Once you start to open the inner thigh area, you’ll see how your hips and back thighs (hamstrings) respond by opening too. Enjoy the stretch.

All is flux, nothing is stationary…is what they say. And I can tell you from my experience that…well, it seems to be true. Change is inevitable, so why do we fight it? More importantly, why do we avoid being the changer, the one directing the flux?

Well, we do this mostly because change is hard—it can be painful, filled with uncertainty and makes us come to terms with our illusions—all daunting to our sometimes fragile, and very often vulnerable, egos. But change IS inevitable, that I can assure you, so why not be the master of your destiny?

Now it’s important to understand how crucial dissatisfaction is to human development. It is in our dissatisfaction that we strive to change, to grow, whether we are talking about an individual, society or humanity as a whole. Change is growth.

That doesn’t mean that dissatisfaction alone will bring the change we want. On the contrary, the more charge behind a dissatisfaction, the more likely we are to experience it, because the human mind has a way of seeing that which we despise all around us. Have you ever noticed that the more you are put off by an action or behavior, the more those around you exhibit that action or behavior? Hmmm…

So that brings me to an important point—change doesn’t always mean that people should alter their situations or circumstances, but instead that they change their perspective. Everything that dissatisfies us does so because we cannot see how it is serving us in the moment. By searching for, and eventually finding, the purpose of any given situation in our life right now, we can understand its importance to our overall growth and development—something that we stall when we fail to see the big picture.

So I would say that the first step in creating change is to love our circumstances, no matter how difficult that may be. Ask yourself, how does my current circumstance serve me in the big picture? Does it allow me to be free, to pursue my life in the ways I love? Does it teach me how to walk through the world with strength and dignity? Or maybe it teaches me things to teach others—so that they can transition into change more easily? You have to look for the answer within yourself, but I assure you: Your current condition serves you in some way.

With that in mind, how can you be the director of change in your life? I believe that it starts by writing things down. Write what you’d love to become, what you’d love your future to be. Write down what you’d love to do, where you’d love to go. And write down the life you’d love to have in every aspect…and start today. Only by writing down what you would love in every aspect of your life will you stimulate the change you desire.

I do this exercise every new year, and have done so for the last decade. I write down everything I want in my life, in well thought out detail, and as it turns out, I see my life move in that direction. It happens because it’s in my heart; and by writing it all down, I set the wheels in motion. I read, and then re-read, my list throughout the year, and it’s amazing what I accomplish.

But I always remember to seek and understand how my current challenges are leading me toward my destiny. By putting things into perspective, particularly when I find myself dissatisfied, I make it easier for change to occur on its own, without stalling it through my discontent.

We can be the masters of our destiny. And although we cannot control every single situation in our lives—nor avoid the pain, uncertainty or shattering of our illusions—we can direct our ultimate destination by loving every circumstance along the way. Then by writing down what we would love in our lives, in its entirety, we can be the directors of our change, and not leave it carelessly to the wind.

 

Have you ever heard that you need to balance your work and personal life? In the world of separation, perhaps, that may be true, as balance is the true nature of all things; but in an integrated world, work and life are often the same.

No doubt that not everyone values their work above all else. Some don’t even have it in their top three priorities or highest values, so what the heck am I talking about? Well whether your work is your life, or you merely work to live, a psychic connection to your vocation can be rewarding, as it can help you gain a new appreciation for each dynamic responsible for the complete synthesis of your life.

When you do what you love; when your work is a part of your life’s mission, then it isn’t work at all—it’s just life. Can you imagine Isaac Newton needing some downtime? “Gone fishin’” posted on his office door at Cambridge? Or Albert Einstein needing a break to go “find himself”? Puh-leeze! No doubt, stepping away from your work is periodically necessary to maintain mental balance, as well as to keep the creative juices flowing; but seeing work as a drag, or living for the weekend, or counting the months till your 65th birthday, and its ensuing retirement, is definitely not living your life’s purpose through your work.

Listen, sometimes people just have to survive, and that’s what work is for them. And in these cases, of course, a balance between work and personal life must exist. However, I don’t think anybody in this mind-frame needs reminding. No, the advice to seek balance is usually left for people who are working hard, because it is either a part of their life’s mission, or they have an end in mind, and the advisors just can’t relate to that. But even so, for these people, an occasional stepping away will help them accomplish more, as the break will surely allow their brains and bodies to recharge. However, when one’s work and life’s purpose are properly aligned, then it really is misguided to try and change that.

But how about for people whose life’s purpose is not connected to their work? Well, I think for these people it is still important to see how their work allows them to live more fully. For instance, one might be dedicated to raising a beautiful, healthy and fulfilled family. Their mission might include the activities they do with their children, the things they teach them, and the experiences which they expose them to, and so on. What a beautiful life’s purpose that is!

It would be a shame to not see how one’s work actually allows for this dynamic to unfold. When we spend time resenting our work, and fail to see the interconnectedness between it and our personal life, then we block the channels to our own fulfillment. This mental dissatisfaction can lead to an incomplete awareness of the magnificence of our existence. But nothing is ever out of order.

Some people feel that when their job isn’t their life’s purpose that somehow things are not right. That’s why it’s important to be aligned with what your life’s purpose is. Don’t try to force what you think it should be. You know deep down inside, because your life’s purpose is what you love. It’s what you do every day that nobody needs to remind you of, or motivate you to do.

So again, by connecting to how your work allows you to carry out that purpose is the most empowering thing you can do in this regard. When you view things in this manner, you won’t feel the need to create balance. Balance is only needed when the misperception of imbalance exists, and this will be pervasive if you can’t see the divine connection among all your roles in your complete life; in other words, seeing the whole and not just the fragmented parts we label as duties.

So finding a balance between your work and personal life is somewhat of a fallacy, since different people have different relationships to their work. For those whose work is their life’s purpose—then live it, baby; but, of course, take the occasional break to recharge your creative batteries. For those working solely to reach a particular goal, like making your first million, then yeah, being aware of, and proactively focusing on, balance may end up saving your life. But for those of you that work simply to live, so that you may carry out your true life’s purpose, then seeing how that work allows the totality of your life to be expressed is essential…and if you can do that, you might find that’s all the balance you need.

Fascinating story in the latest issue of Newsweek: Harvard Medical School neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander, claims to have been to heaven. You read right…heaven. The neurosurgeon states that during a 2008 bacterial meningitis-induced coma, one which left his neocortex inactive, he entered a realm unlike our material plane of reality. As a scientist, and a neurological expert no less, he states that medical science has no way to account for his experience.

Says Alexander,

“According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent.”

His description is very much like The Void that I discussed here in this post. He talks about ascending “higher than the clouds,” and being in the presence of “beings” that left long, streamerlike trails behind them as they arced across the sky. Visual and auditory phenomena were integrated, such that,

“I could hear the visual beauty of the silvery bodies of those scintillating beings above…”

He claims that he was accompanied by a young woman with butterfly wings, and that they were surrounded by butterflies—millions of them—as they floated along on their journey. Communication between them transcended language, and he understood the messages he received immediately to be truth. They were:

• “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”
• “You have nothing to fear.”
• “There is nothing you can do wrong.”

He says that receiving these messages “flooded” him with

“a vast and crazy sensation of relief. It was like being handed the rules to a game I’d been playing all my life without ever fully understanding it.”

He says the experience changed everything for him, “and I quote,

“…shifting the world around me into an even higher octave, a higher vibration.”

Sound familiar? Yes, and he explains that in this heavenly void he got answers (didn’t we just say that?)…instantly. He even calls this place “a void”—completely dark, infinite in size, yet also brimming with light.

He then discusses how his experience goes against his scientific training, although he does admit that modern physics explains the universe to be a unity—it is undivided.

“Though we seem to live in a world of separation and difference, physics tells us that beneath the surface, every object and event in the universe is completely woven up with every other object and event. There is no true separation.”

Hallelujah, brother. What really interests me about Dr. Alexander’s story is that one, it is so congruent with what we hear from yogis and mystics as far as what they have experienced during deep meditation, and that two, a scientist placed in a coma would enter the same realm and have a very similar experience.

No doubt, Dr. Alexander will be crucified by the scientific community (like here), or let’s say the dogmatic faction of said community, devoted to the new religion of scientism. He will also be destroyed by non-science secularists, particularly because he admits to being a Christian, which is akin to Neanderthal in some academic circles. But similar accounts have also come from Hindus, Buddhists, and even those that would consider themselves no particular denomination whatsoever. Nonetheless, Dr. Alexander’s story, and his new book, Proof of Heaven, will be fodder for assault by the materialist intelligentsia of the world. And so be it…all potential truths needs to be told, no matter what the consequences.

Is Dr. Alexander’s experience absolute truth? Probably not, but it is a good model for a universe described by those that look beyond pure materialism. And his big message is rather profound too, which is that the universe is a universe of love. He sums up our current and future challenges to understanding this universe with,

“The plain fact is that the materialistic picture of the body and brain as the producers, rather that the vehicles, of human consciousness is doomed. In its place a new view of mind and body will emerge, and in fact is emerging already. This view is scientific and spiritual in equal measure and will value what the greatest scientists of history themselves always valued above all else: truth…It will show the universe as evolving, multidimensional, and known down to its every last atom by a God who cares for us even more deeply and fiercely than any parent ever loved their child.”

Amazing.


One of the most common precursors to injury of the neck, shoulders, chest or upper back are poor shoulder biomechanics during exercise. Biomechanics are related to structure and function; in other words, how the body moves. Therefore, the positioning of the shoulders is extremely important during upper body movements.

Additionally, how the upper body parts move during an exercise will also effect the overall health of that structure. Think of a sliding closet door that no longer moves freely on its tracks–it sticks. You’ll agree that opening and closing said door will be difficult, and ultimately it’ll break down. That’s exactly what happens to the shoulder joints when the biomechanics are altered in any way. But worse, because the neck and chest are so intimately tied to the shoulder girdle, they can also be affected by poor shoulder biomechanics, sometimes earlier than the actual shoulders.

There are two main causes of poor biomechanics: posture (and we’ll include any adapted dysfunction) and poor form. The former is often a result of the latter, and they consequently worsen concurrently over time. Primary proper shoulder positioning is in the retracted state–or pulled back onto the upper back. This position allows the shoulders to move freely in the socket–thus, resolving the stuck sliding door aspect that can occur when the shoulders are allowed to round forward in the protracted position.

Whether lifting weights or doing yoga, form is everything. Watch the video below to see how to maintain proper shoulder positioning during upper body exercises. Guaranteed you’ll preserve your shoulders that way, and you’ll likely prevent much neck and chest discomfort too. And frankly, you’ll look better, because you’ll develop the way you are supposed to. Give it a try.


Some things are just not what they seem. The world is filled with illusion for the non-discerning mind. It’s not that we are dimwitted creatures we humans, but we want to believe, often in things in which we have a psychological investment…things perhaps lacking clear evidence of validity, or even lacking rationality. Take the video below for example–it shows you just how easy it is to be distracted…mmm, better to say caught unaware. And keep in mind that there are plenty of things in life we take for granted, or maybe even don’t really think about…but should. Yes, watch the video and be prepared to be blown away. Ha ha haaaaaaaa…..


“Wherever pain seems to operate, the presence of God is.” I remember hearing this quote a long time ago; so long ago that I can’t even remember wherefrom, or who said it. I didn’t really understand it at first, either; not for many years actually. Wherever pain seems to operate…hmmm, yes…profound…

I liked it so much, though, I wrote it down as an affirmation. It would come up periodically in my affirmation card rotation, so I would say it religiously (and still do to this day), often pondering its meaning, and how it might be applied to my life on a practical level.

I do not necessarily see this as a specific religious, or better yet, denominational, statement, even though the reference to God is made. I think one could just as easily substitute Yahweh, or Allah, or Krishna, or the Universe, or anything of meaning to the sayer, quite honestly, as it is the essence, I believe, that matters. It speaks of omnipresence, yes, and maybe that’s obvious, but again it’s the practicality to my life that hits home.

Every seven to ten years we go through major life shifts which, as unsettling as they may be at the time, create the necessary dynamics that allow us to step into the next phase of our destiny. Like all things, our lives experience fluctuations—momentary victories, successes and support, as well as challenges, failures…defeats—both sides necessary for our growth and fulfillment in life.

At first glance, we may perceive any particular challenge as a very bad turn of events, something we wouldn’t wish on anybody for the pain; but what these moments really are, in the big picture, are catalysts for change. You see, most experiences that catapult us into the next major phase of our lives require pain. Without it, we probably wouldn’t change very much. Who the heck wants to change when things are going well? It’s the rare bird who purposefully looks for heartache so that he or she may grow (they do exist; just rare, that’s all).

If you look back on your life, you will see these major shifts that have occurred in cycles, each one being shrouded in pain. Without a doubt, we also have many minor shifts in between, but you’ll probably agree that the growth in those cases is more steady than steep. Then along comes a doozy—a death, a divorce, a bankruptcy—and you might even think that your heart is going to condense and sink so deep into your abdomen that you’ll be vomiting any minute…and frankly, some people do.

But it’s these moments that truly define us. That’s another saying I didn’t really get right off the bat, as I thought it was just more pressure to act “in the right way,” whatever that might be. But because we must, by necessity, transcend the experience to grow—to evolve—then of course these shifts define us. We are never the same after these major life shifts, because as painful as they are, they are necessary to complete our destiny—and our destiny is our life.

The all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever present is the source of our experiences. We may not know how any particular one is going to turn out, but in the infinite, it is already done. I like to play a game and mentally expand myself so that I can see down on a smaller version of my life, like viewing an ant farm perhaps. But also to be able to see it in four dimensions, which includes time, such that on the far left of the image is my youth, and on the far right is my future. I’m in a sort of cosmic helicopter looking down at the traffic, and I can see how what I am doing yesterday actually leads to where I am today, in the same way a traffic chopper might see the development of a traffic jam as it is happening. When taken from this context, it’s pretty easy to understand how all my challenges have led to amazing growth in my life. In fact, if it weren’t for the deaths, divorces or bankruptcies, I wouldn’t be who I am today; I wouldn’t do what I do, or have what I have. And I’d be a fool to not be grateful for all of it.

But have it, I wouldn’t without the pain. Wherever pain seems to operate, the presence of God is. Oh yes, I get it… We do have a destiny, and all this on the left of the ant farm is necessary for all this on the right of the ant farm to happen. I get it…yes.

And I can look still farther to the right, even though it is clouded…but I am able to use my imagination. And I can be confident that whatever turmoil I have today, I am being led to where I need to be tomorrow. It’s destiny fulfillment. The all-knowing knows even when I don’t. But now I understand that wherever pain seems to operate, even in the moments of my greatest distress, the presence of God is…and it’s called growth—a part of the cyclical nature of all things.

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