The Knowing

Uncategorized Mar 14, 2020
I understand now that no one else in the world knows what I should do.

I doubt that I am alone in feeling this feeling today.

The news of closures and precautions and viral pandemic are blazing across my phone, my watch, the tv, our dinner table, and in the eyes of everyone I meet.

The experts don’t know, the doctors, the therapists, the journalists, the authors, my friends, my kids, they don’t know. Because this level of global shut down has not happened in our lifetime—certainly not in mine.

Yet through all the unknowing, I feel a weird calm—except when I read the article on the front page to the New York Times this morning about two guys in Tennessee (along with thousands of others) who went out and bought 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer and began to resell it for $70 a piece. That’s just gross.

But now I’m calm again, because Amazon and EBay have cut them off. Karma is real.

Calm is not the same as indifferent. I know people are in...

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Beginner’s Mind for the Holidays

Uncategorized Dec 19, 2019

First’s hold a special place in our memories.
The first time you held your person’s hand.
The first kiss.
The first taste of a new city.
The first look on the kids faces when they see the presents under the tree…

These moments seem to suspend time and become etched in us. I listened to the most wonderful meditation the other day. It reminded me of the freedom of what Zen Buddhism calls ‘Beginner’s Mind’.

Most of us walk through the day silently (or not) casting our views and opinions out onto just about everything and everyone. Even—perhaps especially—those we are closest too.

It’s so easy to focus on a noise someone makes, a habit that annoys us or cast judgment on their actions. Maybe we waste all the wonder on the new, leaving what we have—and once longed for—feeling stale.

That meditation reminded me that my partner and I spent the first couple of years getting to know one another from opposite ends of...

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Start Before You’re Ready

Uncategorized Oct 31, 2019
Photo by Josh Newton on Unsplash
“Are you ready?” Klaus asked finally.
“No.” Sunny answered.
“Me neither,” Violet said, “but if we wait until we’re ready we’ll be waiting the rest of our lives.”—Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator

I was standing on the porch of the tiny green house my daughter’s and I had only just moved into. My head was spinning. My heart was racing. The voice inside me was saying just do it. But then, “I’m not ready. I can’t possibly pack up and move again. We’re just getting settled. What the fuck am I thinking….”

In the preceding months, I had left a marriage that needed leaving. The girls and I regrouped and recouped for a couple of months at the home of my childhood best friend. Meanwhile the other amazing women in my life helped me make a cozy little home out of this weird green box. As the realtor had driven us up to it, the only...

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How to Stop Saying There’s Not Enough Time

Uncategorized Oct 13, 2019
Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash

Why do some of us struggle with time, while others make it look so easy? We all have the same 24 hours in every day.

I like to keep things simple, so a good visual goes a long way for me.

Imagine you have a large glass jar. Next to it, you have a few large rocks, a small pile of marble sized pebbles, and a pile of sand. If you put in the sand or pebbles first, what happens? You can’t fit the big rocks in. But if you add the big rocks first, followed by the medium sized pebbles, and only then the sand, it all fits. (I got this from Tim Ferris, serial experimenter, podcaster, author, etc)

It’s a crystal clear reminder that the important things—the big rocks—come first. So why is it so easy to do the opposite? To get so focused and exasperated from dealing with the minutia that we repeat unhelpful mantras like:

“I’ll make time for that {important thing} tomorrow, or next week when it’s not so...
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The Lifesaving Advice 2.7 Million People Hear Every Day… But Are We Really Listening?

Uncategorized Oct 05, 2019

You know those days when you are too tired to focus, too busy to feel in control, too {insert something frustrating} to enjoy {insert something great}?

What if the thing that turned that around was to be a little selfish?

That sounds crazy, but stick with me. This advice, to be selfish in order to get your personal energy out of the hole—in order to then become more open and generous—is given 44,000 times a day, to 2.7 million people, across 29 million square miles of space.

Airspace.

Every flight you’ve ever taken starts with a survival lesson about being selfish before you can be of use to anyone else.

Put your mask on first.

There are 44,000 flights every day, carrying 2.7 million people, across 29 million square miles around the globe—all hearing this message: In event of emergency, make sure you are breathing before trying to help anyone else.

Back on the ground, we encounter countless big and little emergencies all day. The question is, are you...

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Getting Rid of Pain and Creating Your Own Luck

Uncategorized Sep 28, 2019
Photo by Amy Reed on Unsplash

The other day I was talking with a new client. It was our 3rd visit. Great guy. Super smart. Been in pain for about a year.

Meniscal surgery back in the Spring didn’t fix his knee pain. This is not surprising to me, as multiple studies have shown no difference in outcomes between people who get their meniscus repaired and people who have a ‘sham’ or fake surgery.

No difference in outcomes.

Take a look at this much replicated study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Anyhow, back to creating your own luck. My new friend let me know that the moves we recorded for him to practice felt quite good (we use an app to record the moves and ideas we’ve come up with in each session to make it easy to remember). But after standing for 5 hours at work, his knee still hurt.

How often are you doing those moves that feel really good?

“I do about 10 of them in the morning.”

If you compare the...
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Why Are Doctors Still Giving Cortisone Injections?

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2019
Photo by Jake Ingle on Unsplash

Knee pain can stop you in your tracks. It also continues to be surprisingly mishandled by many healthcare practitioners. People with knee pain would do anything to be rid of it, so following a doctor’s advice for a cortisone (steroid) injection or two is often a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, there’s a problem with that.

Despite mounting evidence that they do no good, steroid injections are among the most common ‘treatments’ for knee pain. The research has been clear for years—steroid injections do not lead to good outcomes for joint pain. A 2017 Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) article raises the stakes and brings the Hippocratic Oath to mind—‘do no harm’.

Numerous researchers have proven that steroid injections have a placebo effect at best. The 2017 JAMA article goes one crucial step further—the steroid injected into your joint causes your cartilage to degrade....

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Tired of Feeling Stiff and Sore? Just Stretch It Out

Uncategorized Aug 09, 2019
Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Common sense and good health go hand in hand.

It stands to reason that if you feel stiff every morning, you ought to stretch yourself out. Don’t waste time feeling old or pining for the days you could jump out of bed without giving you body a second thought. Just stretch it out.

The vast majority of muscle aches and joint pain can be worked out with a combination of mindset and movement. If you are sore you aren’t broken. Your body is craving something different and nothing good will happen until something changes.

Choose to do something different and be consistent with it. If you aren’t sure where to begin, try this or some variation of it.

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Will an MRI Make Back Pain Better or Worse?

 
It depends. In fact only 5% of people with back pain need an MRI or CT to investigate a serious problem. Flip that, and we know 95% of people with back pain don’t benefit from images. So what’s the harm in checking? You may be surprised by the answer.

We’ve all said it, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and in most cases, I agree. Our minds can conjure up entire novels from one photo. Art can inspire generations to think and feel and do amazing things. Shouldn’t a high tech picture of our spine speak volumes about back pain? Time and again, science and experience tell us the answer is no.

 
The power of an image is undeniable, but the value of high tech diagnostics are under scrutiny. Photo by Juan Di Nella on Unsplash

It makes sense that if we have back pain and the technology is available, we want to see what’s going on inside. The temptation is strong for many practitioners and patients alike. Let’s get...

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