Many of you will know that Elizabeth, my mother from North-West London, is staying with us for a short while. Last Friday, it was decided to drive the 20 miles to the North and along Speaker Road into BLM land and thence up to Secesh Reservoir. This beautiful spot was previously written about in June when we first went to find Secesh. It seemed a perfect spot to take my mother.
What neither Jean nor I had anticipated was that my mother was determined to swim in Secesh; the remote reservoir is at an altitude of 2,870 feet.
Oh, nearly forgot to mention that Elizabeth was born in 1919! That’s 94, by the way!
As I said in the sub-title, this takes some beating!
On Saturday, the 14th June, I published a post Are you grounded? That post was a reaction to this book that Jean and I had recently read.
I also explained that we had ordered an earthing sheet for the bed and that I would report further upon our findings.
Today’s post is that further report.
The slim box containing the half-sheet kit was delivered on the 18th June, five days ago at the time of writing this.
The next photograph shows more clearly what was included in the kit.
From left to right: Case histories from users, an earthing rod above, the earthing half-sheet, and below the sheet, an outlet ground checker, the earthing connection cord, the book, and a full-length DVD of a film on the subject of grounding.
It was then a case of laying the sheet on the bed as recommended in the instruction guide.
Then upon testing that we had a safe earthing connection via the ground pin on our nearby outlet, it was a case of connecting the earthing sheet to ground, as may be observed in the next photograph.
I’m writing this yesterday. We have both slept on the earthing sheet for four nights now.
So what are the results so far?
Jean has had leg muscle cramps each night for months and months. Often just enough to waken her but frequently sufficiently severe to require her getting out of bed and walking around the room. I can vouch for the latter!
Jean has had those four nights totally free from cramps!
Plus Jean has reported sleeping more soundly.
Me – Prostate
In recent months my bladder has been showing ‘old man’s bladder control’! Certainly, over the last year I have been getting up for a pee two times, frequently three times, during the night.
During the day, I could hardly take a hot drink without the need to pee within minutes. It had got to the stage where I would avoid having a drink before Jean and I went out unless I was certain that there would be public restrooms available. I was taking a natural prostate medicine, morning and evening, but still starting to think that it wouldn’t be long before I would need to see a medical specialist.
Since sleeping on the earthing sheet, I have gone down to getting up just once during the night. But it’s better than that!
I have stopped the prostate tablets. During the day, my bladder control is hugely improved. I hold my breath that this is going to continue.
Me – Memory
Like many of my age (I’m 70 in November), my short-term memory is not what it used to be. I have not noticed any improvements in this area.
But I am sleeping much more soundly, which is never a bad thing.
But get this!
Being an old Englishman with a sense of connection to the ancient customs of Stonehenge, especially observing the sun’s dawn on the morning of Mid-Summer’s Day, I had looked up the exact local time equivalent of the moment of the Solstice here in Oregon.
Early in the hours of the morning of June 21st, ergo Mid-Summer’s Day, I woke unexpectedly. I lay there wondering what had awoken me. It wasn’t to jump out of bed and have a pee. How strange!
I lay there for what felt like ten minutes and then curious as to the hour reached across and pressed the illuminate button on my bedside clock. It read 3:48 am.
3:48 am!! How could that be! I could hardly believe it!
Let me explain.
The previous afternoon, I had been curious as to the exact time of the 2014 Summer Solstice. Had looked it up online. In the United Kingdom that precise moment was 10:41 am. The equivalent time of the Summer Solstice in Oregon’s local Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) was 3:41 am.
I knew that was when I had woken up.
Now that’s what I call being grounded to the Planet!
OK, that’s enough for today but there is much more information about the whole business of being grounded to the planet. I shall return to the subject in Wednesday’s post.
Last Saturday, I published a post called Are you grounded?The essence of that post was that grounding our bodies on a very regular basis, as in daily, was the primary means of avoiding a wide range of illnesses. In that post was included the first part of a speech given by Dr. Stephen Sinatra M.D. and I promised to include today the full speech.
So here are the videos including that Part One that was included on Saturday. (I do hope I have them in order!)
A simple heart-healing exercise
Sharing the “secret” for living longer
The healing modality
These further items also could be of interest to you.
Dr. Sinatra has his own website that may be found here.
There’s a 90-minute interview of Dr. Sinatra by Dr. Mercola; see below.
And much more if you spend a short while exploring the internet.
This may seem like a bit of an ‘odd-ball’ after Celebrating Ben and Ranger on Monday and Celebrating Pharaoh yesterday. Indeed, when I had in mind those two posts, writing about self-awareness was nowhere on my mental horizon. Then along came Shakti Ghosal after Monday’s post who left this comment:
Just came a visiting and was halted by these glorious photographs. Horses embody such great qualities of trust, grace and power don’t they? What is it that makes them such a great friend of Man, I wonder? Specially when the latter species, as we know it (and we should know!), can choose to behave quite contrary to those Equine qualities above….
As Shakti was a new visitor inevitably I went across to his blog site, ESGEE musings, and then to the About page. Where I read, in part,
About Shakti Ghosal
Born in New Delhi, India, Shakti Ghosal is an Engineer and Management Post Graduate from IIM, Bangalore. Apart from Management theory, Shakti remains fascinated with diverse areas ranging from World History, Global trends to Human Psychology & Development.
I was intrigued and starting reading some of Shakti’s posts. That is how I came across The Audacity of Who I am and a day later had been offered permission to republish it.
However, before going on to Shakti’s post let me recap a little from yesterday’s post Celebrating Pharaoh. This section:
The biggest, single reward of having Pharaoh as my friend goes back a few years. Back to my Devon days and the time when Jon Lavin and I used to spend hours talking together. Pharaoh always contentedly asleep in the same room as the two of us. It was Jon who introduced me to Dr. David Hawkins and his Map of Consciousness. It was Jon one day who looking down at the sleeping Pharaoh pointed out that Dr. Hawkins offered evidence that dogs are integrous creatures with a ‘score’ on that Map of between 205 and 210. (Background story is here.)
So this blog, Learning from Dogs, and my attempt to write a book of the same name flow from that awareness of what dogs mean to human consciousness and what Pharaoh means to me. No, more than that! From that mix of Jon, Dr. David Hawkins, and experiencing the power of unconditional love from an animal living with me day-in, day-out, came a journey into my self. Came the self-awareness that allowed me to like who I was, be openly loved by this dog of mine, and be able to love in return. As is said: “You cannot love another until you love yourself.“
I will speak a little more about this but, first, to Shakti’s post.
The Audacity of Who I am
“High above the noise and fear mongering of critics and cynics softly speaks your true self.”
– Mollie Marti, Psychologist, Lawyer & Coach, USA
The other day, I watched the Bollywood movie Queen. In it Rani, a girl from Delhi, travels to Europe after being spurned by her fiancé. The movie then goes on to explore Rani’s ‘World view’ as dictated by her Indian middle class values and how that alters, as her biases and prejudices fall away, as she is confronted by radically different value systems and perspectives. A journey of self discovery in surroundings where she is no longer weighed down by others’ expectations and diktats. As she morphs, she confuses and pisses off many people including herself. Rani emerges from this crucible of experience as a more authentic human being. As she chooses to be ‘who she is for herself and for others’, she symbolises courage as well as resistance. Walking out of the theatre, I could not help but acknowledge how Rani’s awareness and acceptance of ‘who she is for herself and for others’ left her more empowered and in control of her destiny.
Who I am for myself and for others? How many of us are willing to make this query a daily practice as we loosen the constraints imposed by our world-view, let go of who we believe we should show up as and embrace who we really are?
What is it that makes me avoid being who I am for myself and for others? I can see this stemming from my desperation to be admired, liked and looking good. My life experiences have conditioned me to avoid being straightforward and veer towards being diplomatic if I perceive it is the latter which makes me look good. I have also been guilty of the corporate lie. On occasions I have stretched the truth about my company and its services, hidden what could have been embarrassing. On other occasions I have manipulated situations and people. All this to succeed, be admired, look good.
I muse. Have my efforts to gain admiration and look good empowered me to greater heights? Have I succeeded in engaging in my life from a place of worthiness? I remain increasingly unsure.
So if avoiding ‘who I am for myself and for others’ has not worked for me, how could I embrace it? As I think of this, I begin to see what being who I am for myself and for others could mean for me.
It would mean the audacity to show up as the ‘imperfect me’ that I am and the willingness to be vulnerable.
It would mean the audacity to let my hair down and allow myself to truly belong with the folks I choose.
It would mean the audacity to be compassionate and loving even when I hold the fear of not being good enough.
It would mean the audacity to be authentic about my own inauthenticities.
Am I committed to being this audacious?
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse.’ It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Excerpt from ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ by Margery Williams
In Learning….. Shakti Ghosal
Now Shatki’s post is spot on. But it assumes one thing. That is that each of us has sufficient self-awareness “to show up as the ‘imperfect me’”. Sometimes, as in my case, that ‘imperfect me’ was well-hidden from the self. Stay with me a little longer.
My father died of cancer in 1956. Just 5 days before Christmas, 1956. He was 55 and I had turned 12 just 6 weeks previously. I had completed my first term at the local (Preston Road, Wembley) grammar school.
For many reasons that do not need to be shared here, the effect of my father’s death and my subsequent decline in my school performance, left me with a long-term psychological ‘dysfunction’; namely a feeling that I had been emotionally rejected. But that feeling was deeply hidden from me. In fact, that hidden belief remained with me until 2007 when Jon Lavin brought it to the surface. (Jon is a UKCP accredited therapist and NLP Practitioner).
Reflect on that for just a moment. For the thick end of fifty years, this psychological characteristic remained totally below my consciousness yet, nonetheless, influenced me in very real and tangible ways.
The negative influence was that I was drawn to any woman who offered me love and affection and, therefore, was emotionally unable to understand how good a partner she might or might not be for me. (Jean is my fourth wife!)
The positive influence was that I tried very hard to please others, to avoid their rejection, and had successful careers in selling for IBM UK, starting and building a successful business in the early days of personal computing and, later, when my company was sold in 1986 becoming a freelance journalist and business coach.
So back to Shakti’s essay.
I agree one-hundred-percent with what he says. With the proviso that in certain cases, spending time with a qualified counsellor could be your best investment ever.
How to round this off.
If you have been influenced by any of this then do give yourself time and space to counsel yourself. Let your inner person reach out in peace to your outer person.
If that inner person suggests you could be a happier, more peaceful person then reach out to someone properly qualified to hold your hand as you open up to your inner feelings.
Which is why loving a dog and being loved in return by that beautiful creature means so much. For in that private bond that animals offer us lays the truth.
I can do no better than offer this personal reason why being audacious about who you are is the supreme ‘investment’ of all in yourself.
A few months after Jon Lavin brought my fear of emotional rejection to my conscious surface, I met Jean in Mexico, Christmas 2007. I have never loved a person as I love Jean. I have never been loved by a person as Jean loves me.
Being at peace with who you are is the most important celebration.
It’s almost incomprehensible to realise that less than two weeks ago, the 27th March to be exact, I wrote a post under the title of Life, and mortality. These few paragraphs will give you a feel for that post:
Possibly the most important lesson we can learn from dogs!
I was aware when writing the concluding part of Meet the dogs – Pharaoh that the next day I would be faced with writing about a subject that is a whole degree more difficult. Death!
It must have been in my mind when I wrote “of the need to smell the flowers in this short life of ours.“
What has prompted today’s post?
Simply that Dhalia developed a limp in her front, right-hand, leg. That was a few weeks ago. Naturally, we took her to our local vet, Dr. Codd, who diagnosed a strained elbow joint probably as a result of arthritis; Dhalia is believed to be ten-years-old. With the recommended medication, the limp came to an end.
Then about two weeks ago, the elbow weakness appeared in her left-hand, front leg.
On Monday, we returned to Dr. Codd who took further X-rays and sought a second opinion. That second opinion came back with the probability that it was a “osteoproliferative neoplastic lesion” or bone cancer to you and me! It’s not one-hundred-per-cent certain but likely.
The reason it feels so painful is that today (Sunday) it’s very clear to Jean and me that Dhalia’s life forces are ebbing away and that tomorrow morning (i.e. your today, dear reader) we will be taking Dhalia back to Dr. Codd, undoubtedly for him to put her to sleep.
I had in mind writing this week a series of posts on Truth, Trust and Community. For obvious reasons those posts are on hold for a couple of days.
But being careful about what our dogs eat is another story!
This is not the first time that I have used this title for a blog post. The previous time was almost eighteen months ago when I highlighted a fascinating talk about the green revolution by Raj Patel, the award-winning writer, activist, and academic.
However, today is a first in that it looks at what our dogs eat. It was inspired by a recent article by Brady Dennis in the Washington Post. Here’s how that article opened:
Mystery of pet deaths related to jerky treats made in China continues to stump FDA
By Brady Dennis, Published: March 28
Andy lost his appetite. Then came the vomiting, the unquenchable thirst, the constant need to urinate. Over several days last year, the spunky 4-year-old West Highland white terrier grew lethargic and lost more than 10 percent of his weight.
“It got bad,” said Andy’s owner, Alfredo Gude, a retiree in Cape Coral, Fla. “I knew that he was in trouble.”
Gude and his wife rushed Andy to their veterinarian, who referred him to a clinic 15 miles away. Doctors there sent a urine sample to a specialized metabolic lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Days later, test results confirmed the diagnosis: Fanconi syndrome, a rare, often fatal illness that affects the kidneys. The suspected cause: chicken jerky pet treats manufactured in China.
The incident is part of a troubling mystery lasting more than seven years, with reports of at least 600 dogs dying and thousands of others sickened. It has outraged unsuspecting pet owners, confounded the Food and Drug Administration and put the pet food industry’s manufacturing practices under a microscope.
A little later on in the article, Brady Dennis writes:
Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, has called it “one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” a sentiment echoed by others at the agency.
“We are frustrated,” said Martine Hartogensis, who oversees the FDA’s ongoing investigation. “It’s been a long, winding, twisting road . . . [But] we haven’t given up.”
The FDA says it has tested more than 1,200 jerky treats in recent years, looking for salmonella, mold, pesticides, toxic metals, outlawed antibiotics, nephrotoxins and other contaminants. Federal officials have inspected factories in China that manufacture chicken jerky products for U.S. companies and sought input from academics, state and university research labs, foreign governments and the pet food industry. The agency even made its own jerky treats to try to duplicate the commercial process.
This is not some minor issue reinforced by the huge increase in dog food imports into the USA from China. Back to Brady:
The long-running investigation has paralleled a striking increase in the amount of pet food China exports to the United States. That volume increased from barely 1 million pounds in 2003 to an estimated 86 million pounds by 2011, according to the FDA.
Pet treats, including the jerky treats at the heart of the current investigation, have made up a fast-growing sliver of the pet food market. Part of the reason many U.S. companies have looked to China to produce chicken jerky treats, industry officials say, is that unlike in America, people in China overwhelmingly prefer dark meat. That leaves a larger supply of the white meat used in pet treats available for exporting.
Then a few paragraphs later, he adds:
“It’s maddening that it has gone on this long,” said Susan Thixton, who runs the Web site TruthAboutPetFood.com, which has repeatedly demanded that the agency do more. “If this were humans dying, and they couldn’t figure out a cause for seven years, members of Congress would be screaming at them.”
The home page of her site displays a clock tracking how long jerky treats from China have been killing and sickening pets. It asks: “When will FDA make this clock stop?” As of Friday, the count stood at 2,643 days.
“My job is to point out that they aren’t doing their job,” Thixton said. “I have a lot of respect for what they have to accomplish. They have huge responsibilities, but this is one of them.”
When I read out the article to Jean what then jumped ‘off the page’ was this paragraph [my emphasis]:
Angry pet owners also have heaped criticism on U.S. companies that continue to manufacture jerky treats with ingredients from China. The backlash includes everything from skepticism over the industry’s assurances that the treats have never posed health risks to lawsuits alleging harm.
As Susan Thixton was reported earlier: “If this were humans dying, and they couldn’t figure out a cause for seven years, members of Congress would be screaming at them.” Quite so!
Luckily, owners are responding as Brady highlights in these paragraphs:
Nina Leigh Krueger, head of the Waggin’ Train brand, said most retailers and customers have welcomed the treats back. “Thousands of consumers have been calling and asking us for Waggin’ Train treats to be back on the market,” she said.
Terry Safranek is not one of them.
“It’s a kick in the gut to see them back on the shelf,” said Safranek, whose 9-year-old fox terrier, Sampson, who had eaten jerky treats, died of kidney failure in 2012. Since then, Safranek has become a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Nestlé Purina and retailers including Target and Wal-Mart. She helped create Animal Parents Against Pet Treats and Food Made in China, a group that has petitioned the FDA to do better in alerting people about the potential dangers of jerky treats produced in Chinese factories.
The link in the last paragraph takes the reader to the Facebook page for that group. Do go there and ‘Like’ the page.
I will close by recommending you read the Washington Post article in full and then spend some time perusing the website Truth about Pet Food. This is not just about ‘Made in America’ but fighting to ensure that animal treats made in the USA are also using ingredients from the USA!
Remember how Brady opened his article? With Alfredo Gude learning that their dog, Andy, had been diagnosed with Fanconi syndrome, a rare and often fatal illness that affects the kidneys of dogs.
Well last words left with Brady Dennis:
For now, on Florida’s west coast, Andy the terrier has returned to normal after months of treatments — about $3,500 worth — to restore his kidney function. “We feel very lucky,” said Gude, who has taken the advice of many vets around the country to steer clear of pet jerky treats altogether. “It could have gone another way.”
Our dogs (and cats) have a right to be fed to the same standards as us humans!
The two previous sets may be linked to via here. Bob D., who sent them to me, will be delighted with the number of comments and ‘Likes’. Fittingly, it’s dear Capt. Bob’s birthday today!
Going to close today’s picture parade by adding a couple of pictures recently seen on Naked Capitalism. Each day Yves inserts an ‘antidote du jour’ and in the last week two of them were so wonderful that they just had to be shared with you.
After the run of eye-wateringly beautiful pictures of dogs and small children, the third and final set being a week ago, I was gently panicking as to how to follow that up. Then dear friend, Bob Derham, came to the rescue, the first seven of which are offered today.