A bad diet is an unnatural​ focus on food

fullsizeoutput_2543Any “diet”, nutritional advice or way of eating that makes us think about food all day, encourages us to talk about food all day and forces us to talk about food more than it wants to talk about our feelings, thoughts, dreams, passions and the deeper reasons that determine how we use food is a bad “diet.”

A friend told me once about a girl she thought I should follow on Instagram. The girl once had a life-threatening eating disorder and now she talks about using food in a positive way. Sounds great, right? Here’s someone who had used food negatively and was now using food positively. Something about that story just rubbed me the wrong way till it finally hit me, “Why is someone who had been so obsessed with food STILL talking about food?”. Even though it’s good food talk, it is still food talk and we all desperately need a to have a different conversation. Especially, when we are suffering an obesity epidemic in youths and adults.

While at VIVE Alchemy, we think it is important for you to have an honest conversation about food and learn how you are designed to nourish yourself with food, we do not believe food should NOT be the focus of your day or your life. We do not believe food is the connection that exists between your mental, emotional, physical or spiritual parts.
Food keeps you alive and nourishes an internal connection, but wild blueberries or cupcakes don’t connect the heart to the mind or the mind to the spirit. Likewise, food is not a relationship connector. Food may be something you share with a friend, but food cannot be the connection in a relationship.
The bottom line is we can focus on food all day long and it won’t change our hearts, minds, spirits or relationships. Food is neither the root of our problems or the divine solution. It is not our best friend, saviour or something that can make all our dreams come true. Food is a basic need that doesn’t require all our attention. The more time and energy we spend focused on it, the less we spend focused on our whole-person, and the very person who determines how, what, why and if we are using food as a means to an end to get something it can never give us or if it is as a basic daily gift of nourishment that helps us live our lives, pursue our passions, nourish our bodies and practice health.

the result of living to get results

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We are not designed to live life to get results. Life is not a result. Life is living how we are designed to nourish our whole-person, our neighbor and the world with truth, beauty, dreams, exercise, passions, good thoughts, physical nutrients and love.

If we deprive the spirit, heart, mind or body to get a specific result, then we will make up for that deprivation somewhere, somehow and someway.

Trying to get results force us to live in contradictions and deny satisfying our basic needs. The mind is starving for truth and we try to fill it up with and more useless information. The body is starving for nutrients and we try to fill it up with junk food. The heart is starving to be heard and we ignore it. The spirit is starving to be known and accepted. Yet, we stay in places and online where we can never be known. We deprive our deepest needs to use all our time, energy, resources and even ourselves to get some fragmented temporary result.

But…What have been the real results of living to get results?

We are constantly filling ourselves up but we’re always hungry. We are more connected but we’re completely disconnected. We are full of information but we are more confused than ever. We work harder but we still don’t have enough. Our kids are involved in more activities but they still don’t know who they are. We are busier and more entertained than any time in history and we are bored out of our minds. We know more about more people and we don’t know them at all. We call more people friends but we are lonely for friendship. We have more drugs and healthcare but we are sick. We have bigger houses, larger neighborhoods, massive churches and less community. We have more diets and exercise gyms but we have epidemic rates of obesity. We have more grocery stores and less local organic foods; more time to talk and less real conversation; more knowledge and less wisdom; more drinking and less real celebration; more religion and less hope, truth and love; more things to make us happy and less joy; more politics and greater divisions of wealth, power, resources and relationships; more schools and less learning; more platforms to communicate and yet no one hears our voice; more room to create and less creativity. We have so much but we have so little.

WHY?

Because we are so busy living to get bigger and better results to live bigger and better lives that we deny nourishing our hearts, mind, bodies, spirits and relationships the way they are designed. Results will not fill us up with truth, love, hope, joy and peace. We may love results but they cannot love us back. It’s time for a different way. It’s time for us to remember who we are and how we are designed to be satisfied and not be used to get a result.

You are invited to Give-Up living for results and learn how you are designed to be nourished as whole-people in Vive Alchemy.

 

The birth of Vive Alchemy

ViveShoot_May17-44I have been in a very weird place the last 4 years. It has seemed as if I have been growing and birthing a baby. However, I am not actually having a human baby for the fourth time but I have been watching my whole life come together to create VIVE Alchemy. See, Vive Alchemy is not really a business. I did not create something to make money or find a new angle to do what I have always done. No, VIVE Alchemy is my truth and it is not just my truth spiritually, but my truth emotionally, mentally, physically and relationally. It is all of me and all things past (experiences, skills, mistakes, successes) merging with all things present to create something tangible that can live, grow and evolve beyond me.

How does all of this come together (everything in the past, who I am, what I believe, dreams, hopes passions and truth) to become something I can hold in my hands and then share with the world? Honestly, I cannot begin to tell you exactly how all this has happened other than ALCHEMY (which is why it’s the name of my business). I don’t know if you are familiar with alchemy but it is a mysterious process of taking basic elements and combining them in just the right way to make gold.

My life has not been so much of a journey but more of a process like alchemy. This process has taken my basic truths (my design, past mistakes, successes, hopes, dreams, passions, dislikes, likes, fears, weaknesses, strengths, skills, talents, experiences and who I am) and put me in the hands of the divine Alchemist, who has done what He does best and worked all things for good. During this process, not only was the idea of control ripped completely out of my hands, but I was exposed at very deep levels. Yet, this was where I found myself weak, vulnerable, fragile, transparent, desperate and dependent on something bigger than me to discover just exactly who I was, how I was designed to live and what I was designed to give to the world. It seems that all the ways that I had tried to fill myself up with strength, independence, toughness, security and control just got in the way of me being me and living the life of love I was designed for.

I do believe you find your true-self when all the performing, earning and proving has stopped and you are forced to live how you are designed. It’s here you discover the best parts of you and even the worst parts of you. In other words, it is here where you can be honest and it is this truth that creates the space to be known and accepted; and where truth and love overflows to transform us, our relationships, our communities and our world. And that’s exactly what happened to me. Everything that I hid behind or ran to for cover had to be removed, so that I could stand in this wide-open space butt-ass naked to see love shining through my weakness, vulnerability, neediness and desperation. So welcome friends, VIVE Alchemy is me and it my gift to you to find hope, health, honesty, new habits and happiness. I invite you to rediscover who you are and how you are designed to VIVE.
 

Information will not make you healthy

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‪Information alone will never give us what we need to become healthy. To be healthy is to be whole and to be whole requires the nourishment of our whole-person, that includes our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships. Information is a small piece of what we need to be whole-person healthy. Information is not education. Education does not just inform us but it creates a space for more. It helps to reveal our truths, talents and skills, while it flames the embers of creativity, passion and desire. Education helps to create knowledge but knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is the free gift that flows from our experience, strength, hope, knowledge and truth. ‬It is a gift we freely give and receive.

For transformation to happen, we need the space for personal alchemy.  Information, education and knowledge can help to create the willingness and space that we need for our truths, experience, strength and hope to produce wisdom. Only wisdom can transform our choices, habits and lives. We CAN participate in transformation by creating the space to be known and accepted, which means we must be honest and give truth a chance to open our hearts and minds; and set us free to live the way are designed.

10 ways not to sabotage the plant-based movement

BB5CED2F-ECDD-450E-9E1B-7149DC291C6F1. Make it a diet. Diets are formulas for weight loss that have failed to make Americans healthy. Obesity and diet-related disease and sickness are at epidemic levels. 70% of Americans are overweight or obese because real people cannot fit into a diet formula for very long. Diet formulas fail because they reduce people and food to variables and they reduce eating to nothing more than calories in and calories out, portion sizes, hacks, tips and an unnatural focus on food.

The absolute worst thing that we can do is promote plant-based eating as just another weight loss diet. Plant-based eating is not a diet but a return to how we are designed to eat natural whole foods without rules or restrictions. To reduce our health and plant-based eating to just another weight loss formula or diet will undermine our desperate need to eat a volume and variety of real whole foods to treat, prevent and reverse obesity and diet-related disease and sickness.

2. Make it complicated. All the weird timing, tricks and massive amount of fragmented information that we all learned on previous diets should be left behind. Seriously, get rid of the 80% full nonsense, portion sizes, timing and all the ridiculous ways that we have been taught to manipulate and control our bodies. It doesn’t work and it creates an unnatural focus on food. Plant-based eating should set us free to eat. (PERIOD) Actually, EXCLAMATION MARK.

Eating whole food plant-based is an easy and natural way to saturate our bodies with nutrients. Plant-based foods are an invitation to freely eat as much as you want, eat as slow as you want, eat as fast as you want and eat whenever you want. Eat it raw, boiled, baked, broiled, sprouted, steamed and/or microwaved. If whole-food plant-based is the way we are designed to eat, then we can freely eat without guilt, shame or fear of doing it wrong.

3. Make it time-consuming. Plant-based eating doesn’t require that much effort. Eat fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and whole grains. You’d be so much better off eating a can of corn, some rice and beans, some potatoes and bread than 99% of the food in most restaurants. Food doesn’t have to make your wildest dreams come true every time you eat. In fact, we need to get back to food that doesn’t take a great a picture or knock our socks off but gives our bodies the nutrients they need to treat, prevent and fight diet-related disease and sickness.

4. Contradict each other. I just read a research article claiming benefits for a super strict low-calorie plant-based diet. I also found the same health benefits in a study where people ate 4 lbs. of food a day on a plant-based diet and a different study showed the same benefits on a regular plant-based diet. Without a doubt, doctors see the opportunity to differentiate themselves in this new plant-based world but please stop. Let’s work together to help people start eating plant-based before we start telling them some particular way to get better results. Perhaps, we can trust the long-term research of the blue zones that shows just eating plant-based is enough to treat, fight and prevent most diet-related disease and sickness, without any further restrictions.

5. Talk in extremes. I know there are many people who have extreme conditions and diseases but before we talk about what we have done to treat these conditions and before making specific food suggestions, can we (as a plant-based community) just encourage everyone to eat a plant-based diet? Most people are not even eating broccoli, garlic, onions, fruit or vegetables; and we are definitely not getting enough fiber. So, before we mention specific foods that “might” help to prevent, treat or reverse disease, let’s do all we can to encourage everyone to eat a daily variety and volume of plant-based foods and give their bodies a chance to regulate and heal themselves.

6. Make food promises. One of the weirdest things in the diet industry is how food is marketed as a savior that can “transform” our lives. No doubt, food is important but it is only one part of a basic health routine that we need to practice. Sleep, sun, exercise and hydration are also important to physical health, as well as spiritual, mental, emotional and relational health. Instead of making food promises that food cannot keep, let’s remember that eating is a reflection of what we believe about ourselves and how we are designed to be nourished. Plant-based eating cannot save you but it is an important part of a healthy routine.

7. Get Greedy. The current state of health and a billion dollar diet and fitness industry are the results of a failed medical industry to provide leadership, education and put prevention before profits. The absence of properly educated doctors has created a huge gap that has been filled with an insane amount of marketable diets and exercise programs.

One of the main reasons that the plant-based eating movement has had so much success is because a handful of doctors have done the research and have worked together to support each other. These doctors have not allowed minor differences in opinion, ego or their own businesses to get in the way of the plant-based message. These wonderful doctors have worked hard to lay a solid foundation of research, truth and common sense that we can build and grow the plant-based movement. We can avoid the mistakes and confusion of a super competitive diet industry by working together to continue to make the plant-based message the main thing. So far, we have done that. I hope we see that continue.

8. Forget who we are. We have the opportunity to not tie our identity to food. Plant-based eating is something we do but it is not who we are. Let’s not get weird and huddle together in our own groups and demonize others. Let’s continue to create a space to help people practice health and encourage a way of eating that not only benefits them but will positively affect our communities, our cities, our nation and our planet. Let’s open our homes and dust off our pots and pans to make delicious plant-based meals for our friends and families; and create spaces that nourish our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships.

9. Be an expert/know it all. Ok, I need to work on this. Trust me, we are surrounded by so much fragmented information that everyone believes themselves to be an expert. Until a person is willing to do the real research, we are never going to convince them to eat plant-based, no matter how many facts, evidence-based research or China Studies we throw at them. So, eat your little plant-based heart out and show the world how amazing you look and feel. Do your thing, let your light shine and be your best self.

10. Create room for self-proclaimed experts. Doctors, I am begging you to better educate yourselves on nutrition and lead the way in a new health and wellness movement that brings back common sense and basic understanding to a culture full of misinformation and a market saturated with celebrity doctors and “diet’ experts. We need doctors who don’t just treat disease but help prevent it. We need doctors working together to rid our world of obesity and diet-related disease and sickness. Thank you, Dr. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. Michael Greger and Dr. Garth Davis for showing us what cooperation, integrity, commitment, perseverance and truth can do.

 

 

 

Don’t do SAD

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Obviously, the Standard American Diet is Sad but dietitians and doctors, who continue to promote a portion controlled SAD diet as a healthy and realistic way to achieve good health, are RIDICULOUS. We are literally dying from SAD and from trying to portion control a diet that is void of the nutrients that we need to prevent, treat and reverse diet-related disease and sickness. It doesn’t make sense to eat foods void of nutrients and it makes even less sense to put people on a diet that further deprives them. Can we wrap our heads around the truth that people are already starving and obesity is result of just how hungry we are for physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and relational nourishment?

70% of Americans are overweight or obese. Most people are priming their bodies for disease and sickness, because they have no idea that non-nutrient foods and their very own bodies are not designed to be portion controlled. Obviously, there is something very wrong with what we have been told to eat and how “experts” have continued to push a health formula void of truth, wisdom and common sense. Please listen to me. Health is not as hard and complicated as we have been led to believe. It is time to reconnect with our bodies and rediscover how we are designed to eat to fullness and fill up on fiber and nutrients. It’s also time to return to the basics of health that does not start with food or workouts. Let me help you. Vivealchemy.com

The Gratitude Formula.

IMG_1004“BE Thankful”- Isn’t that something that we not only want ourselves to be, but we want our kids, spouses, siblings, children, parents, employees, employers and basically everyone that we share an interaction with to be too? We tell ourselves to be thankful. We tell our families, friends and even strangers to “be thankful” believing that thankfulness can change them and how they treat others (cough, cough us).

It seems that entitlement and being thankful go hand in hand. The more we are given, the more we expect ourselves to “be thankful”; and the more we are thankful, then the more we are entitled to be given. Likewise, the more we give to people, then the more we are entitled for them to “be thankful”. We have been led to believe that if we could just be thankful enough, then it would transform our spirits, hearts, minds and relationships. In other words, it would get us something.

Because we have forgotten who we are and how we are designed to live, we are attracted to formulas that promise results and we easily buy into a thankfulness formula that tells us, “If we are thankful (enough), then gratitude will transform us from the inside-out”. What do we do with our gratitude formula? Like all our other formulas, we force ourselves to be thankful, even when we are not. We grind out thankfulness and if telling ourselves and others to “be thankful” doesn’t work, then we resort to the usual “motivators” of fear, guilt and shame. Who hasn’t been a victim of “If you are not thankful, then there’s a chance you could lose it” or “If God took away everything you didn’t say thanks for today, then what would you have tomorrow?” Don’t forget the classic,  “How can you not be thankful, when people are starving all over the world?”.

Out of fear of reaping the consequences of not being thankful enough, we say, “Thank you” and we do what needs to be done to prove we are thankful. But, are we really thankful? Motivation usually motivates me to “do” something to prove that I am thankful, say “Thank you” and make a list of everything I am thankful for, but does motivation really have the power to create the heart change needed to BE THANKFUL.

Have you ever really thought about thankfulness? Is thankfulness just a formula that we use to get more? Is it just an act? Is it something we should reward or praise someone for? Is thankfulness simply a means to end?

As a nice southern girl, I was raised to “do thankful”.  Yes ma’am, no sir, thank you, no thank you, thank you notes, prayers and regular old southern politeness were more than enough to prove thankfulness, when you are being judged on thankfulness. Forty-two years later, I can honestly admit I was kind of good at “doing thankful” but I wasn’t thankful. Honestly, I didn’t really know there was difference, until I experienced what real love looked like, tasted like, sounded like, smelled like and felt liked. You might know the kind of love that I am talking about. It’s the kind of love that moves in, sleeps on your couch, knits you sweater, makes you meals, pursues you relentlessly and kisses you nonstop when you are covered with the mess of your own life.

It was this love that set me free from doing many things, including trying to prove that I was thankful and just be loved for who I was. See, inside-out transformation happens when love invites you to be known and accepted; and live as you are designed without fear of being rejected. When I discovered this kind of love, I discovered a thankfulness that overflowed from the depths of my soul. The AMAZING result of being loved so deeply and freely was that I wanted to give that love away. In fact, when I looked around, I saw this love (that was filled with truth, hope, joy, kindness, goodness, patience, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control) was already overflowing into many areas of my life and relationships. It’s crazy to see what this kind of love does to heal and help you, and then flow through yout to heal and help others. It creates these beautiful spaces in our hearts and lives where we can just sit with each other, just be ourselves, find rest and be thankful.

See, thankfulness and gratitude isn’t something you do, it is who you are, when you know that you are loved. So, today I invite you to Give-Up the gratitude formula. Instead, I hope you find love. Love that’s there for you to both receive and give. Love that must be discovered in you first, before you can give it away. Let’s start our gratitude journey by not trying to conjure up thankfulness and force thankfulness down people’s throats, but by just trying to be honest about all the ways we do and we don’t, we have and we have not loved ourselves and others well. It is only truth that can set us free to love and be loved for who we are and not for what we do or don’t do.

I have discovered it’s this place of honesty that invites us to be known, accepted and loved; and it is only love that creates tables, hearts and lives that overflow with thankfulness. So, today and every day fight the good fight to remember you are loved, love yourself and love others.

 

Stop selling our kids a broken health formula.

A photo by frank mckenna. unsplash.com/photos/EgB1uSU5tRA

I live in one of the most unhealthy cities in the country. My home state is first in youth obesity and sixth in adult obesity in the U.S. We are not just an unhealthy state but we are an extremely unhealthy nation and we all live in the wild wild West of health and wellness. In this environment of overwhelming information, nonsense and poor health, we have been easily captured by the loudest and most extreme products or programs promising fast results, despite their proven inability to transform health.

Case in point, I recently set up a VIVE table at a local elementary’s health and wellness fair. I kid you not, I had not finished setting up my table before I heard the words “macro and micro nutrients”. Literally, these words make the hair on the back of my neck stand up and of all places to pimp protein shakes, why in the world would you do it to a bunch of 5 to 10 year olds. But why not, when across the gym a “certified personal trainer” was timing kids doing burpees. Thank God, on my left the local nonprofit gym brought hula hoops and jump ropes, because the other tables were signing kids up to participate in organized sports (and we all know organized sports are not free and not just for fun). Sidenote: I am all about sports but these are elementary kids and they deserve to have a chance to enjoy exercise and be encouraged to play. Seriously, give them a freaking chance to develop naturally and learn to just play a sport for fun and enjoy exercise.

Here we had a perfect opportunity to differentiate health and wellness from sports and to introduce kids to a different way to think about and do health and wellness, but well intentioned adults subjected kids to the same fragmented diet and exercise formula that has failed at least 70% of them. (70% of adults are overweight and obese) Instead of setting kids free to practice health at the most basic level, we squandered an opportunity to teach curious minds and open hearts, by trying to sell products and programs. Unfortunately, we (once again) reduced health and wellness to results, shakes, competition, heavily processed “health foods”, technology and sports; and we did it without any structured classroom teaching.

I am not going to say I was surprised by the scene. Well, maybe the protein shakes surprised me but with a $137.00 worth of Vive health cards, I was ready to plant seeds of free health truths. In all, I spoke to about 50-60 kids. Honestly, it was super fun and the kids were sweet and attentive. Yet, here is a public school that serves a middle to upper middle class community and these kids have plenty of access to fruits, vegetables and healthy foods but only 2 kids knew what foods had fiber, 2 associated fiber with fiber bars, at least 10 wore fitbits and none knew a basic health routine that included the synergistic effect of sleep, sun, play, water, laughter, fiber, walking and laughter.

Seriously, the whole thing made me upset. I believe kids and adults deserve a fighting chance to experience a new approach to health that understands the importance of being known and accepted, the necessity of being given the truth that sets one free to know who they are and trust how they are designed, and the encouragment to practice daily routines and exercises that honor and respect their design (and the same design that their neighbors share). But, the only way kids are ever going to be healthy is if they are surrounded by truth, love and healthy adults, who are practicing healthy routines with them.

Think about it, what if every station was filled with healthy adults, who were practicing the same basic health routine and encouraging an understanding of health that included the spirit, heart, mind and body as a whole. What if we actually taught kids that health is not a program but a daily practice of nourishment? What if kids began to see that healthy communities need the presence of healthy people, who know rest, love, peace, emotional awareness, truth, art, music, passion and imagination more than they know how to do burpees and drink a protein shake? What if we stopped talking about workouts and diets and started practicing healthy routines that teaches kids that being healthy and practicing health gives us results that cannot be measured, timed, calculated or scored? Truth is that we are never going to out-exercise and out-diet poor health with the same programs, formulas and understanding that has created the epidemic results of disconnection, confusion and apathy that we are currently experiencing.

Yet, it is not too late. We can start over and we can move to restore a common sense approach to health that teaches us that no one in history has uttered the words “macro and micro nutrients”, until we started selling something to people, who had forgotten how they are designed. It’s time that we returned to a whole-person approach to health and addressed a missing foundation of truth that has allowed a fragmented approach of health and wellness to reduce people to results and health to a diet and exercise program. We don’t have to squeeze ourselves or our kids into a one size fits all fragmented weight loss formula. We can bring common sense and basic understanding back to health; and set people free to be healthy by practicing the most basic routines that saturate their spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships with the nutrients that they need to live. Together, we can help create a community that sets kids and adults free to be healthy (fitbits not needed or required).

Schools Should Not Be Places of Tragedies But A Home Away From Home

school.jpgIt is unfortunate that the art, music and movies reflecting the values of our society are blamed for the behavior of kids and adults, when the behavior of kids and adults are also reflecting the values of our society. Our children do not spend the majority of their time listening to music and watching movies. Instead, our children spend the majority of their waking hours in schools learning what we as a culture believe is vital to human development and the development of our culture. It’s not music or movies that are a home away from home, it is schools and they are funded by a government that is failing to provide the funds, structure, support and freedom that schools and their staff need to take great care of the people being raised there.

We don’t need more money for metal detectors, we need teachers to be our best and brightest; and to be extremely well paid. We don’t need schools to be protected from the outside world, we need schools to be at the center of our communities connecting past, present and future generations. We don’t need core curriculum, standardized testing and a strict grading scale, we need physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health and development to be at the heart of every class, every activity, every sport, every meal and every adult on school grounds.  We need schools to be a safe place where kids are learning who they are and how they are designed to take care of themselves, others, their community and their world; and how to develop and give away their time, talents and truth. Schools are our greatest opportunities to right many wrongs and to heal, help and protect our most vulnerable.

If the only place kids can go for 900- 1000 hours a year is void of nutrition, imagination, nature, outside play, exercise classes, art classes, music classes, inspiration creativity, personal and relational development, love, encouragement and teaching that creates thinkers, then we are going to have art, music, movies, TV shows, social media, careers, businesses, men, women, politicians and government embodying and reflecting what they learned as kids. We are going to have leaders who can easily divide and control us with our pocketbooks, pharmaceuticals, addictions, handouts, fears and hate. The results of which would lead to epidemics of depression, suicide, poverty, obesity, diet related sickness and disease, stress, loneliness, addiction, disconnection, relationship breakdown, crime and low self-esteem.

  1. Nearly 4 in 10 U.S. adults are obese and 70 percent of all Americans are either overweight or obese.
  2. Obesity is also plaguing 18.5% of America’s youth. By the age of 10, 100% of kids raised on the Standard American Diet are in the first stage of atherosclerosis.
  3. Diet-related disease and sickness, such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, are the leading causes of death in the U.S.
  4. One in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication and one in four women in their 40s and 50s
  5. We are a nation in despair. U.S. suicide rates have reached a 30-year high.
  6. We are a nation in pain, 2 million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.
  7. We are a lonely nation, 20 to 43 percent of American adults over age 60 experienced “frequent or intense” loneliness and as a predictor of early death, loneliness eclipses obesity.
  8. We are a nation leaving organized religion, 65 percent of churches have plateaued or declining in attendance.
  9. We are a nation unhappy in our workplaces, Employee unhappiness and disengagement costs companies in the U.S. $450-550 billion a year.

It’s time to stop blaming and start rebuilding an educational foundation that sets teachers free to teach and kids free to learn. It’s time to create spaces that are full of truth and love; and places where kids can be known, accepted and encouraged to become who they are designed to be. It’s time to focus more on imagination, inspiration and encouragement than testing. I do believe where there is truth and love there is hope for change and transformation; and where there is truth and love there is protection from being harmed by selfishness, greed, pride, anger, guilt, shame, pain and fear.

 

 

 

 

Give up the grind.

3DD968F6-C3CC-4792-92B7-63A8584E1725You don’t need to work harder.
You don’t need more discipline.
You don’t need more focus.
You don’t need tougher workouts.
You don’t need harder exercises.
You don’t need a diet.
You don’t need a better program.
You don’t need to be broken down.
You don’t need to focus on change.
You don’t need more reps or sets.
You don’t need f…ing motivation.

I want you to discover what real health feels and looks like; and how you are naturally designed to “be” healthy. You aren’t designed to “just do it” but you are designed to be a whole-person, who isn’t defined by what you can or cannot do.

When you know who you are and how you’re designed to eat, sleep, drink, sleep, breathe, listen, ask, look and move to nourish your spirit, heart, mind, body and relationships, then you WILL become emotionally, physically, spiritually, relationally and mentally healthier as WHOLE-PERSON.

Do you want to be at a healthy weight?
Do you want to be less stressed?
Do you want to be less busy?
Do you want to be healthier?
Do you want real friends and community?

Of course you do. We are naturally designed to become our best selves. However, we are not going to find ourselves doing a program or a formula. We are not going to find heath/wholeness in anything that wants to separate our hearts, spirits, minds and bodies to get a result.

You know what I gave-up when I had six-pack abs? I gave-up loving my heart, my mind, my community and my spirit to make sure I ate and worked out when I was supposed to. The more I focused on my body, the more obsessed I became with my body. Thankfully, I was brought to a point that I had to admit that I had joined in the practice of reducing myself to a body to get results that told me who I was and what to do.

I didn’t understand how I was designed and we don’t understand the way we are designed to be healthy, when our whole day revolves around what we eat, how we exercise, what we buy and what we do. Instead, we live as bodies and we live as consumers, when we attempt to fill ourselves up and change ourselves from the the outside-in. We live as bodies and surrender living to do whatever is “guaranteed” to “change our lives and get results”; and we grind it out regardless of the anxiety, pain, fear, guilt, loneliness, hopelessness or shame that results from what we are doing.

For example, social media has resulted in increasing levels of anxiety and loneliness but we keep logging on for more. Eating has resulted in sickness and disease but we keep eating whatever makes us “feel good”. We eat, don’t eat, exercise, don’t exercise, watch, scroll, work and worship to get results, even when those results are hurting our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships.

Have you ever stopped to think that grinding it out keeps us from being known and accepted by keeping us disconnected from ourselves, others and the world. Perhaps, it is not your effort or lack of effort but these formulas and programs that are producing an epidemic of unhealthy results. It’s time to remember that we are not designed to eat, exercise, drink, worship, work, play and consume our way out of shame, guilt, fear or pain and into love, joy, hope, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness or self-control.

It’s time to step away from beating yourself up and having others beat you up to do better/ try harder. It’s time to give-up the grind and listen, learn, live and love. I don’t know where this process will take you but I can promise that it will be better than being reduced and using the hell out of one part of yourself to “get” a result.

You are amazing. You have a beautiful design. It’s time to rediscover your design and the life you are designed to live. Join me for a new way and new conversation about everything we do to get everything we already have been given at vivealchemy.com