001: Getting Beyond The Zombie Life Aug13

001: Getting Beyond The Zombie Life...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/GCOYL-001.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 14:13 — 13.0MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSIn this premier episode, we bring a conversation between Dr. Deb and lifecoach Jeannette Slater. We all get stuck and start living life on auto-pilot. In a sense, we start acting like zombie. This dialogue is a call to wake up from the zombie life, try new things, and breathe new life into your...

Shut Up!

Maintaining sanity in a noisy world is more and more challenging. Everybody wants a piece of us, from advertisers to kids to needy friends. It’s ok to have boundaries. In fact, healthy people have lots of healthy boundaries. We are the most over-stimulated people in history. We think we have to be available to everybody all the time. Enough! If you struggle with too much noise in your life, try giving yourself permission to say later or NO! (If you won’t give yourself permission, allow me!) It’s ok to turn off your cell phone and other devices. or wait till later to respond. People die in traffic because they think a text can’t wait. Make wise decisions with your time and resources. While it’s good to be generous with others, their needs do not necessarily set your priorities. Look for ways to quiet your mind. Maybe leaving the TV off (especially early morning and late at night) will give you much needed time alone with your thoughts. Take time each day to be still and think about your priorities. Try relaxing techniques like prayer, meditation or yoga. Take time for yourself. You only give life to others when there is life inside of you.   Photo by Russian photographer, Maria Beliakova, of Jet Media. Retrieved from http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1070268...

Seek and Serve

I recently had a brush with my own mortality. I wasn’t aware of it, but I was told the surgery was just in time. Since then, I have been flooded with prayers and well wishes from literally hundreds of friends and acquaintances. It’s been overwhelming. And I’m grateful.

You Can Do It!

I did it! My fancy automatic espresso machine was jacked; it seemed to have a problem, and I couldn’t figure out if it was mechanical or electrical. Turns out, it was neither. It was coffee; stuck coffee. Yup, the thing they don’t tell you (up front) when you get one of these complicated systems is the kind of regular and periodic maintenance you need to perform. But I fixed it! What motivated me was not wanting to ship the machine back to Seattle where it was purchased. Besides, I had just thrown out the box (after almost 6 months)! So I educated myself. I did online searches to find articles and videos to solve my problem. Then I performed the surgery. And did I mention I fixed it?!! Some things are not worth our time (if you can afford an alternative). And some things are above our skill level (like fixing my garage’s concrete foundation). Other things are just a matter of researching and believing in ourselves. You have incredible value because you’re made in God’s image. That’s not an issue. True self-esteem comes with doing a job well done. It grows when we stretch ourselves and accomplish things we didn’t know were in us. It comes from fixing your fancy coffee machine, forgiving, or rising to some other challenge. We are our own worst enemies because we doubt ourselves. We have to rewire our brains to believe what others (especially God) see in us. Now go do that thing you need to do. You can do it!   Royalty-free image by Borb Krisztin; retrieved...

Never Enough

We’re never satisfied. Enough is never enough. Life seems to be a constant chase for filling what can never be filled. For some it’s food. For others it’s shopping, sex, drinking, being with people, working, or collecting. We never quite reach what we’re striving for. Seriously, how many pink shirts do you need in your closet? The Germans have a great word for this while English does not. Sehnsucht, is what we might describe as “addictive yearning.” Read on; this article isn’t what you think. The renowned 17th-century philosopher, inventor physicist and mathematician, Blaise Pascal is said to have written: “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man that cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God.” However, it seems that what he actually wrote in his Pensées (Thoughts) was more like the following: “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself” This unfulfilled longing can lead us to unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Franciscan Priest, Richard Rohr calls them addictions: “Addiction uses up our spiritual desire—the drive God put in us for total satisfaction, for home, for heaven, for divine union.” Many religious people view the “questing” part of our personalities as something God installed to drive us to him. HOWEVER, not everyone sees this unmet, addictive yearning as of God. Northern Irish philosopher...

Less Than You Are

It’s common for many to grow up with phrases repeated over and over to them: “Who do you think you are?” “I don’t want you to get a big head” and “You don’t know very much do you?” These get stuck in our heads and affect what we think of ourselves and how we do life. Unfortunately, they are only partially true. We don’t really understand our worth. I’m reading through the Bible’s New Testament and came across a very interesting phrase. It’s in The Message translation; it offered me a fresh perspective. “I don’t want you to become part of something that reduces you to less than yourself.” That’s what the apostle Paul wrote to the Christ-followers at Corinth in Greece. Because we don’t understand our worth, we engage in thoughts and activities all the time that reduce us to less than ourselves. Lying, cheating, exaggerating, hating, fighting, despising, bragging, withholding, clinging, being arrogant and selfish. All these are practices that reduce us to less than ourselves. It’s why things like pornography are so insidious. (You really are better than that.) You were created for real relationships, not fake ones. What are you thinking or doing that reduces you to less than yourself? Are you in a toxic relationship? Do you engage in unhealthy behavior? Are you stuck in a job that’s killing you? You have incredible value. You have aspects of the divine in you. The planets, plants, animals, and angels are awesome. But they are not made in God’s image as you are. Consider your worth. Then consider the things that reduce you to less than yourself and make changes.   1 Corinthians 10:20 in The Message Royalty-free image by “beermug” (real name not listed); retrieved...

Real Food

The irony was overwhelming. I walked into a popular fast food restaurant to use the facilities while traveling. It was a small town in Kansas surrounded by lush, fertile farmland. I immediately noticed that almost every person in the place was overweight. The crowd was not dining on fresh fruits and vegetables full of rich nutrients, fiber and life. Instead, people were munching on highly processed chicken nuggets, deep friend potatoes, soda, and Big Macs made with standardized ingredients shipped from thousands of miles away. The contrast between the surrounding land and the sight in the restaurant was jolting. I can imagine the diet-related diseases many in the place struggle with: heart disease, diabetes, diverticulitis, gout and who knows what? We have bought the lie. We have traded the goodness and power of a juicy strawberry and lush, alive salad for fast, cheap comfort food with a long shelf life. The conventional American diet consists primarily of corn, white flower, sugar and mass-produced meat. I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries about our food. I’ve found it shocking to realize most of it is controlled by a handful of multi-national agro-conglomerates. As I drove further, I landed in the city of my birth in the heart of the American Midwest: Iowa. I passed miles and miles of growing fields. Instead of crop diversity that encourages a balanced ecosystem, the fields have two crops that are rotated endlessly: corn and soybeans. Farmers are forced to buy hybrid and GMO seed from big corporations and get sued if they try to save any seed for replanting. They grow “Roundup-ready” seeds that won’t die when the weeds are sprayed with chemicals. That’s a scary thought. It’s hardly the scene that greeted my great-grandfather who landed here a...

There is no map

Does the thought of finding your own way in life excite you or freak you out? Some people are very comfortable with rules. They would prefer someone to just tell them what to do. Are you like that? Do you take comfort in just doing what’s expected of you? Do you long for a clear path that has already been cleared? I think there is great pressure in society to conform. From the time we start school, we are expected to perform in certain ways. We are rewarded when we behave, color within the lines, and serve as good members of the group. Life is not like the childhood chance game of Candyland. As Seth Godin wrote in his book, Linchpin: Are you indispensable?, “You pick and card and do what it says; repeat. This is early training in agenda-following; indoctrination in obedience. We teach kids that the best way to win is to endlessly pick cards, follow instructions, and wait for it all to turn out ok. What a disaster!” We think if we stay on the track, life will go well. Then it doesn’t. The fact is, life if hard and unpredictable. Shit happens. There is no map. There is no one standing over us to constantly tell us what to do. You were born with a brain, a heart, freewill, creativity, and the opportunity to make your life what you want it to be. You have the chance to create your destiny. Nobody is going to give it to you. You have to work for it. We accept a different scenario when we follow others’ expectations, try to hard to fit in, or give up. Yup. We try to do the right things, but life knocks us down. Knowing when to...

Delayed Gratification...

I would really like to have an iPad. In fact, I’ve thought about this quite a lot in recent weeks and spent a fair amount of time researching the models and scouring the Internet for the best prices. But do I really need one? And is it a priority? Of course I could use one, and my lizard (animalistic) brain is successfully justifying my “need” for one. But the more developed parts of my brain (and character) are trying to overrule the impulse. Sometimes we need to choose to wait– delay the gratification.  In the 1960s, psychologists at Stanford University conducted a study in delayed gratification. They gave children a cookie. The kids were then told if they did not eat the cookie when left alone, they would get two cookies. Predictably, most ate the cookie and only few got the second. In tracking these children, researchers found those who were able to resist the temptation to eat the cookie immediately did better in school and were more successful in life. Delayed gratification seems to be a key for success. Self-control is not easy. We are naturally selfish and impulsive. And we are constantly bombarded with marketing campaigns trying to convince us to buy buy buy, eat eat eat, and consume consume consume! Poverty is a complex issue. It’s not a lack of things, but a lack of life skills. Certainly many people in the world live in places where systems keep them down. Others choose to live self-sacrificially to invest in others. But a very huge contributing factor to poverty is a lack of self-control. People live paycheck-to-paycheck because they spend money as soon as they get it. Many are unable to think long-term; they give in to immediate gratification. They can’t pay the...

Germs

We need to have a healthy view of germs. There are good bacteria that are essential for life. They make is possible to grow food, break down that food in our bellies, build our immune systems, and compost plants in the life cycle. However, there are bad bacteria and viruses that make us sick. Some people are germaphobic, washing their hands dozens of times a day and using antibacterial cleaners on everything. Overuse of antibacterial soaps are actually harmful as they destroy good and bad germs. People associate bathrooms with germs, so they clean the toilet and sinks. But what about the door handle, faucets and light switch? (Consider that 10% of people don’t wash their hands after using the toilet.) Here are some items we often forget to clean and should: Cell phones: When is the last time you cleaned your cell phone? Think about all the places your cell phone has been: on public counters, in pockets with money, in the bathroom when you use it to pass the time. Your cell phone has 10 times more germs that the average toilet seat. Remote controls: We grab and use them when our hands are in various states of cleanliness. Remember to wipe them down next time you clean around them. Door knobs and handles: We touch them; our friends touch them. Yet we forget they are even there when we clean. Give them a good wipe down with an antibacterial spray as part of your cleaning routine. Car surfaces: We jump in our cars after shopping, running errands, handling money and meeting people. Use cleaning wipes on that steering wheel, shifter and other things you touch often. If you use public transportation, be aware of what your’e touchng and clean your hands...