Eat lots of chocolate. Often it is the nice guy that finishes last, sometimes a nice guy makes someone else’s better, so go with the odds and stay neutral. Travel far and wide spending every penny you have, you always have family or some close friend that will take you in. Have a fuck it list, instead of a bucket list. When life gets to serious find a friend to giggle or perhaps drink with. Laugh in the face of danger, though your primal fear, flight or fight will try to kick in. When your inner dialogue tells you not to do something do it anyway. On forgiveness, you may pretend you have forgiven someone but those scars are always going to be there so subtly wait for your chance to even the score. Do not say, “Things can’t possibly be worse,” because then they do. If you follow your dreams and they change IT IS NOT A FAILURE, it is simply readjusting your journey. You can chose not to see the ugly things in life but your heart will always know they are there whether you accept them for what they are or not. When you shoot for the moon and miss you are floating around in outer space with space junk. Start with small steps and build an aircraft first. Do not waste your precious time finding love because it will find you when you need it. Life can be terribly miserable, confusing, isolating, and humbling, that is part of the human experience; to be alive is to feel the gamut of all emotions. Do not ever let facts get in the way of imagination. Facts are adult made ways of seeing things. Well-behaved women rarely make history.
Get some sleep. Eat an orange every morning.Be friendly. It will help make you happy.Hope for everything. Expect nothing. Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room before you save the world. Then save the world.Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.Don’t stay angry about anything for more than a week, but don’t forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm’s length and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass ball collection.Wear comfortable shoes.Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.Plan your day so you never have to rush.Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if you have paid them, even if they do
favors you don’t want.After dinner, wash the dishes.Calm down.Don’t expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want to.Don’t be too self-critical or too self-congratulatory.Don’t think that progress exists. It doesn’t.Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don’t do anything to make it impossible.Forgive your country every once in a while. If that is not possible, go to another one.If you feel tired, rest.Don’t be depressed about growing older. It will make you feel even older. Which is depressing.Do one thing at a time.If you burn your finger, put ice on it immediately. If you bang your finger with a hammer, hold your hand in the air for 20 minutes. You will be surprised by the curative powers of ice and gravity.Do not inhale smoke.Take a deep breath then take another one.Do not smart off to a policeman.Be good.Be honest with yourself, diplomatic with others.Do not go crazy a lot. It’s a waste of time. Drink plenty of water. When asked what you would like to drink, say, “Water, please.”Take out the trash.Love life.Use exact change.
(Notice my perfect title, because nothing is perfect not even me.)
It is been said that it takes about 21 days to form a habit I think it is more like 42. But the science behind it is quite simple. It strengthens neural pathways with the repetitive behavior.
What kind of habits would you like to have? Here are some tips I found to aid in the transition to a new ‘good’ habit.
#1 Write a I-Like-This-About-You note/text/email each day for someone
Often letting people know the things you appreciate about them builds a better foundation of community. The gift of a compliment is from the giver not the receiver.
#2 Talk to one stranger each day
I love doing this. Often people think I am strange but it is so worth it when I meet that one person who has such a life to share…
#3 Take one picture each day
Not of yourself to post on Facebook… just kidding. Of anything you want. See how you change throughout the 30 days.
#4 Re-evaluate one long-held belief each day
Always questioning your own beliefs otherwise you become singular minded. Don’t let the world hand you your own reality.
#5 Take a 30 minute walk each day
Walking is healthy, relaxing and inspiring, not to mention it is easy and free! See how a genuine smile effects someone passing by.
#6 Take a moment each day to practice self compassion and self-love (Hard)
You can test your own level of self compassion here. Most do not score very high. The standards we set for ourselves are crazy high. We all are good enough, worthy enough. Self love is a skill that can be developed, you learn to stop fighting against frustration and start accepting it as an integral part of life itself. Self love and self acceptance are also crucial to loving and accepting others around you. Exercises to increase self compassion can be foundhere and check out the love yourself challenge here.
#7 Try a new recipe each day (Intermediate)
If you want to learn how to cook you need to practice, practice, practice. Forcing yourself to try a new recipe each day is a great way to learn of more techniques and ingredients. It also makes it easier to drop bad food habits you might have and turn them into healthy ones!
#8 Learn how to draw a human face in 30 days(Intermediate)
There are many ‘how to’ youtube videos on drawing and if you ever wanted to learn how to draw, stop making excuses. Set yourself a challenge and be amazed what you can achieve in 30 days!
#9 Read a chapter each day (Easy)
We all know we should be reading more often but somehow we are glued to the same computer screen you are staring at right now. Clicking buttons. The solution is to take some time each day to read one chapter. Just one. Easy right? Do it somewhere cozy or outside. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, turn on some ambient music. Check out these links on what books to read. Click here and here.
#10 Study a topic you’d like to master each day (Hard)
Knowledge is power! Click here to find out what is possible and how to do it.
#11 Walk/Drive/Run a new route to work/school each day (Easy)
This is a great challenge to keep alert, discover new places, get a better understanding of your city and to have more fun while doing one of the mundane daily tasks of life. It also challenges the brain to stay agile and sharp.
#12 Read a new article on HE each (Easy)
A great way to keep inspired, to come up with new ideas and to motivate yourself to make the best out of life!
#13 News-fast for 30 days (Intermediate)
Stop following the news. See how much stress lifts.
#14 Pick one bad habit you already have and ditch it for 30 days (Hard)
Are you a smoker? Do you like to see the negative side of things? Do you practice self-hate? Do you eat fast food? Do you play too many video games? Quit them for 30 days, and pick another challenge instead!
#15 Inspire yourself each day (Easy)
Studies have shown that people who are inspired are happier, nicer, productive and will not stray away from their chosen path if life gets difficult. So print a quote and tape it to the mirror. Have an inspirational video as your starting page. Use an inspirational mantra for meditation. Get a principle to live by. In short, get your dose of inspiration each day!
#16 End your shower with cold water (Intermediate)
Cold showers are great for uplifting ones mood, cure stress related diseases, to strengthens ones immune system and to make your skin beautiful. You can read the reports of some HEthens that have been trying it for some time over here!
#17 Think of an accomplishment you’d like to achieve for each year of the next 30 years, a year each day.(Hard)
This is great existential shock therapy. You can’t answer these questions without facing your life as it is right now and how it is likely to unfold. This one also gets harder progressively. It’s a great way to reflect!
#18 Practice a random skill everyday (Easy)
Even if it is hacky sack or chess. There are many available how to do on YouTube and other video sites. Pen tricks, hand stands, parkour, dances, cooking tricks. Broaden your arsenal!
#19 Take the stairs every chance you get (Easy)
This just makes sense because if we don’t use it we lose it.
#20 Wake up early each day (Intermediate)
It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom. – Aristotle
Check out how to become an early riser.
#21 Keep a journal (Intermediate)
Great men have always carried pocket journals to write down ideas. Einstein, Da Vince,… Just do it.
#22 Don’t lie for 30 days (Hard)
Well, at least not for personal gain. There are some things best left unsaid.
#23 Doing something that scares you every day (Hard)
Fear is the one thing keeping you from being the best version of yourself. The only way to overcome your fears is to face them head on!
#24 Don’t complain for an entire day (Hard)
This one will likely take more than a few days to work up to achieving. Even if you’re a highly positive person, it’s difficult not to utter one negative sentence for a 24-hour span. Don’t be down on yourself if you can’t make it past an hour — as with everything this takes practice! This one is also great practice for becoming conscious of your thoughts.
#25 Meditate each day (Intermediate)
#26 Practice (at least) one completely selfless act each day (Easy)
Go out of your way to help someone else out who may or may not deserve your kindness. Take out your neighbor’s trash. Give a $5 to a homeless person. Do something that takes real effort on your part while brightening the day of the receiver.
Today is a great historical day for Michigan, and the United States. Today marks the beginning of the downfall of Unions. Michigan is where unions began and have become quite powerful.
It isn’t so much the union being weakened as it is a chink in the armor protecting the middle class.
Consider this: China’s low-wage advantage has resulted in industries moving production (jobs) outside of the U.S. for many years now. While China imports are only 7.5% of American spending on all consumer goods but those imports comprise 80% of toys, 85% of footwear and 40% of clothing bought by Americans.
Ironically: What the pay for labor in China is, for the most part, is equivalent to the pay for labor in the U.S. before unions stepped in to protect them.
Current Reality: Americans are consumers not producers! Sadly, I cannot profess to be an exception myself. The U.S. has a large trade deficit with China, as well as the rest of the world. U.S. imports much more than it exports and has done so for many years now.
Advantages: The average American consumer has benefited from the huge volume and wider variety of lower-cost goods from toys (containing lead) to clothing, footwear and electronics coming out of China. This benefit has resulted in overbuying. (Note the ban of certain American products in China, just FYI.)
Caution: The American government has benefited from China’s trade surplus. China has slowly shifted their foreign exchange surplus into U.S. Treasury securities. Many of us, including myself, do not understand this complex and convoluted implication. Now China helps fund everything from America’s wars to the bailout of the U.S. sub-prime mortgage crises.
There is one group of Americans that have been negatively impacted in China’s trade surplus: American workers who have lost their jobs as a direct result of American companies relocating or outsourcing to China.
WOW: The United States has lost 3.4 million manufacturing jobs lost since 1998, of which the AFL-CIO estimates about 1.3 million were tied to China.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The only significant way the U.S. trade deficit with China, and with the rest of the world, will decrease is if the U.S. consumes less and saves more. Otherwise we are handing over our quality of living readily. The next generation will pay dearly.
Is Aggression the Answer?
Aggression will never be the answer for the future, only through small deliberate steps can we shift back into balance. American politicians arguing for tariffs on China exports or worse, an outright ban on certain products, but this will hurt American consumers and more importantly American businesses with operations in China.
We need to provide options for American businesses to bring the jobs back to United States soil and United States workers. We want the businesses to continue to thrive, this equates to jobs.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We MUST first encourage each other to decrease consumption. To learn to use the things we have already invested money in instead of discarding it. If we cannot make this shift we need to start teaching our children Chinese.
Back to History: Today, at the Michigan State Capitol, Right to Work legislation is being passed. For many years the unions themselves have become to powerful and overtime have forgotten the reason for which they were created. They will start to remember now. There is a need for unions, they protect our safety, health, and rights. In a right to work state you can be fired for just about any reason at anytime creating fear and instability.
By slowly chipping away at the powerful unions we will begin to see lower wages. This is going to happen, in fact, it has been happening and despite this our consumption of goods has continued to grow.
Think global, Act local. A simple start is to create a location in each of our small communities were excess materials, of all types, can be sorted and stored. Like a Goodwill or Salvation Army but not so corporate minded, funding corporate salaries. Employ students from the local high school taking business classes. (In Alaska there was a brilliant study where students planned and executed a business, it thrived, the students learned more than could have ever been taught in a class, and the community had something to bring them together.) This will build a stronger community, reduce, reuse, recycle, and, most importantly, provide a way for families in need.
Stop, right now, over consuming and be inventive with ideas on how to Think Global while Acting Local.
P.S. There is a neurological science used in wiring our thoughts to be consumers and not producers. The great news is this hard wiring can be rewired. This I will write at a later time.
The stomach is one organ comprised of many compartments. Each compartment, or region, has specific motor and secretory functions.
The fundus is the upper portion of the stomach.
Food moving down the esophagus cause receptive relaxation of the fundus. Receptive relaxation is mediated by the vegus nerve and it prepares the stomach for the arrival of a meal.
Food moves from the storage portion of the stomach into the body of the stomach, also referred to as corpus. The corpus contains the parietal cells responsible for secreting acid for the breakdown of food leading to digestion.
The pH of the stomach can be as low as 2.0 as a result of parietal cells pumping protons in to the into the gastric lumen.
Parietal cells also produce Intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is required for the absorption of Vitamin B12 in the diet. A long-term deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to megaloblastic anemia, characterized by large fragile erythrocytes. Pernicious anemia is a condition where intrinsic factor is not produced and leads to the same type of anemia. Atrophic gastritis, particularly in the elderly, will cause an inability to absorb B12 and can lead to deficiencies such as decreased DNA synthesis and nucleotides metabolism in the bone marrow.
The body of the stomach also contains:
1) Enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells are neuroendocrine cells in the gastric mucosa that control acid secretion by releasing histamine as a paracrine stimulant. The antral hormone gastrin and the neural messenger pituitary adenylyl cyclase–activating peptide (PACAP) potently stimulate histamine synthesis, storage, and secretion by ECL cells.
2) Chief cells which secrete pepsinogen, a pro-enzyme activated in the acid environment of the stomach. Acid converts pepsinogen to pepsin which is involved in protein digestion (proteolysis).
3) Epithelia cells which secrete bicarbonate iOS and goblet cells which in turn secrete mucous. The bi-carbonate mucous mixture forms a cytoprotective barrier which shield the gastric epithelial lining from the low pH.
The gastric corpus mixes content with acid and pepsin and then moves the content into the gastric atrium. The gastric atrium pumps gastric content through the pylorus into the duodenum (first or most proximal portion of the small intestines).
Movement of content in the stomach to the duodenum require coordinated contractions of antral muscle and relaxation of the pylorus into the duodenum (the first section or the most proximal section of the small intestine.)
The mucosal layer of the duodenum contains many types of enteroendocrine cells. These cells secrete various molecular transmitters and hormones in response to digestion, both chemical and mechanical. These secretions create a feedback system regulating gastric, small intestinal and gall bladder motility and secretions. Some of the more common gastrointestinal hormone secretions are cholecystokinin (aka pancreozymin), Secretin, and motilin.
Of all the secretions of the enteroendocrine cells the enterochromaffin (EC) cells are the most interesting.
Enterochromaffin is so named because “Entero” means ‘related to the gut’ and “chromaffin” comes from the chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla of which they share a common characteristic of a chromium salt reaction.
EC cells release 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in response to stimuli on their apical surface which faces the intestinal lumen. The stimuli occurs on the apical surface resulting in the cells releasing 5-HT at the basolateral surface where it acts at 5-HT receptors on nerve fibers. The 5-HT receptors initiate motor and secretory reflexes.
5-HT cells contain 90% of the bodies serotonin. The stomach has been called the second brain for the complex secretions. This is such a fascinating study I will only mention it briefly here and write a whole blog just on this topic. It is important to understand how food, or digestion, relates to mood.
The small intestines is comprised of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. The duodenum is the smallest section, the jejunum and ileum comprise the greatest section. There is no distinct point at which the jejunum changes into the ileum but instead there is a gradual change in morphology.
The jejunum is wider and thicker and the villi are larger than in the ileum. Lymph nodules are mostly absent in the jejunum and increase gradually with a marked increase in the ileum.
Once I was asked to do a welfare check on a young man of 19. He had just had lunch with his mom. He was depressed because of a break up with a girl friend. He was working two jobs, getting ready to start college, a kind and sensitive young man with everything going for him. When he arrived home he called his mom at work but she could not talk as she was too busy with customers. When she was able to finally call there was no answer. She felt an overwhelming foreboding and called dispatch to ask if it was possible to send someone to her house to check on her son. I took the call.
I was new on the road. Fresh off of shadowing (where a senior officer watches you with scrutinizing detail of your every move) I had passed the week before and was out on my own. It was a beautiful late summer day. I drove to the house and walked in yelling out the boys name. There was no answer. Noticing a single bulb on in the basement I went down the stairs and there he was, body on the floor and brains all in the crevices of the basement wall and ceiling.
When I walked upstairs and out the door it was with a heavy heart. Seconds later the father shows up and wants to go in. I could not really stop him, though I suggested it. It is an awful last memory to have of a loved one. When he came out of the house I felt as if I had been transformed into a very bad b movie. The father was beating the ground, such grief and shock gripped him, his actions were purely primal. Being new, and ignorant, I said to him, “everything is going to be okay.” The most stupid thing I could have said.
He rushed at me yelling, “nothing will ever be the same again, don’t you understand that.” I did. I felt his pain. As he moved towards me, and consequently my gun belt, I did nothing for I felt in my ignorance I deserved the backlash. Another trooper showed up about this time and drew his gun down on the guy to get him a safe distance away from me. In these situations you can never predict what a person will do and keeping a distance is important for their safety and yours. It mortified me that this man just lost his son and because of my inept response he had a gun pointed at him and being told to back down.
In my entree career those words, “everything is going to be okay” was the single most regrettable thing I recall ever saying. There are many more sordid details to this particular story but the point here is being aware of what you say to a grieving person.
Reading the following points bear in mind that timing, context and who is speaking is everything.
The Worst Things to Say to Someone in Grief
- At least he lived a long life
- He is in a better place
- She brought this on herself
- There is a reason for everything
- Aren’t you over him yet, he has been dead for awhile now
- You can have another child still
- She was such a good person God wanted her to be with him
- I know how you feel
- She did what she came here to do and it was her time to go
- Be strong
The Best Things to Say to Someone in Grief
- I am so sorry for your loss.
- I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
- I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.
- You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.
- My favorite memory of your loved one is…
- I am always just a phone call away
- Give a hug instead of saying something
- We all need help at times like this, I am here for you
- I am usually up early or late, if you need anything
- Saying nothing, just be with the person
Many of us have said “The Best” and “The Worst.” We meant no harm, in fact the opposite. We were trying to comfort. A grieving person may say one of the worst ones about themselves and it’s OK. It may make sense for a member of the clergy to say, “He is in a better place” when someone comes to them for guidance. Where as an acquaintance saying it may not feel good.
Here are some of the traits that make the best, “The Best” and the worst, “The Worst”
Traits of the worst ones
- They want to fix the loss
- They are about our discomfort
- They are directive in nature
- They rationalize or try to explain loss
- They may be judgmental
- Not about griever
- May minimize the loss
- Put a timeline on loss
Traits of the Best ones
- Supportive, but not trying to fix it
- About feelings
- Non active, not telling anyone what to do
- Admitting can’t make it better
- Not asking for something or someone to change feelings
- Recognize loss
- Not time limited
As police officers we are trained in the five stages of grief, how to deal with individuals that are blindsided by a incomprehensible loss, and to keep words at a limit. Most people associate law enforcement officers with the grief bearing incident so they are often not the providers of solace and support a person needs. We generally attempt to find someone right away that can better fit that role.
Grief is uniquely different for each individual. Keeping this in mind there is never one pat answer or response, but by arming yourself with words and understanding makes for a better transition through the five stages of grief.
If you have additional situations to share or ideas on offering condolences and support please share.