Friday, March 21, 2014

Protecting The Fertile Garden Of Your Mind

So this morning my daughter's middle school was featured on a local news channel for some accomplishments that are pretty significant.  Kudos to them for being one of only about 130 middle schools in the US to be so focused on getting our kids ready for college at such a young age.  While that is a great accomplishment, that's not what the topic is for this post.  But it leads to it.

To have the chance to watch the spots that featured the school, I obviously had to watch the news.  Now to some people that's not worth mentioning, it just makes sense.  But for me, I almost never ever watch news programs. The only exception is for some sports or weather information.  After the first segment on the middle school, I left the news on while I did some work on the computer this morning.


We all know just how sensational they try to make news programs these days.  This program was no different.  As I sat and listened occasionally to the news reports, I was disgusted by the negativity I heard.  This person shot, this person arrested, child abuse, deaths, car accidents, war, and the list goes on. I cannot tell you how negatively it began to affect me.  When I realized how I was beginning to physically feel badly with that junk being poured into my brain, I immediately switched it off and put on some uplifting Christian music.

I talk all the time about protecting our minds, and the bible speaks to renewing the mind regularly.  When I think of renewing my mind, I think of what I allow into my mind.  I try to feed it with things that build me up, make me a better husband, father, chiropractor, friend and Christian.  Apparently I've been doing a pretty good job of that for a while, because hearing the news was like a shock to my system, much like when I eat very healthy, and suddenly have pizza or cookies and my body reacts to it.  I'm sitting here now typing this just 15 minutes after turning off the TV and I STILL feel the effects of the poison that was filtering into my mind.

Please make protecting the fertile garden of your mind a priority.  Find inspirational books to read.  Find inspirational people to follow on social media.  Find inspirational people to hang around.  Put your mind on a news fast for 21 days.  Don't worry about missing something.  If anything big is happening, you'll hear about it.  Spend time cultivating gratitude.  Try it. You may just be surprised.

Be inspired.  Be inspirational.

Until next well!

Dr. Bruce

Monday, January 20, 2014

Daily Disciplines

So, how do you start your day off?  Are you a snooze button slapping person?  Are you a sleep through the alarm kinda guy?  Are you a set the clock at the latest possible time to allow you to still get to work slurping coffee and munching on a donut as you arrive at your desk?

I hope not too many of you are that way, but, truth is, I used to be one of those.  I'd hit the snooze button (ok, side bar here:  Snooze buttons are of the devil) as many times as I possible could, until I knew that I had just enough time to grab coffee, hit a shower, and rush out the door just in time to see my first patient of the day.

May I just say, that is not the most productive way to start your day?  Well, I'm gonna say it anyway.  It's not the most productive way to start your day.  Period.

I've recently gotten even more serious about my daily disciplines in the morning, and I have to say, it REALLY sets the tone for my day, getting me energized and focused, which makes chances for a healthy, wellness oriented kind of day much higher.  So, here's what I do, not what you have to do, but maybe it will give you some ideas.

First I rise at 5 a.m.  I grab a cup of coffee (with a little bit of Stevia In The Raw, and coconut milk).  I open my bible or devotional book and spend time reading scripture and/or the devotional for the day.  I spend time in silence being grateful to God for the many blessings I get daily.  I pray through the things on my mind and heart.

I review my daily "to do" list.  I add to it, I clarify it, I edit it.  This way I'm pretty focused on the things I must accomplish that day.  I also review my goals for the year, once again creating a high level of focus for me.   I then spend time doing social media, posting health and wellness information to my Facebook or Twitter account.

When that's done it's time for exercise.  Sometimes it's a brief 20 minute brisk walk, followed by some type of resistance workout at my house.  I don't use weights, just my own body weight.  Exercise really gets my energy up, the walk really gets my mind clear, and exercise always makes us feel better about ourselves when we complete it.

When it's time to shower, I crank up the tunes!  I have a playlist of songs that I call "upbeat and energized".  I get them going as I shower, shave and dress for work.  During this time I'll often go through my personal affirmation over and over, creating more energy and more focus on the kind of person I want to be that day.  As I'm driving to work, I usually continue repeating my affirmation, helping me arrive at the office in a peak mental state, ready to perform at my highest and best for the day.

Finally, at the end of the day, I work on my "to do" list for the next day and rest of the week, and right before I go to sleep, I do my "3 Gratitudes" on my iPad.   That really helps me go to sleep on the best note possible, and gives me positive things to review first thing in the morning.  No better way to end the day, or start the day, than with a complete spirit of thankfulness!

I hope that gives you some ideas on how you can start your day better.  Try it, practice it, see what works best for you, so you can show up as YOUR highest and best every day!

Until next time...Be Well!!
Dr. Bruce

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Choose Life

Every day we have choices to make.  What time we wake up?  Do we get out of bed immediately?  Do we eat a good healthy breakfast?  Are we stressed on our way out the door?  Do we eat out of a vending machine for a snack or lunch?  How do we respond to stressful situations during the day?  Do we come home happy?  Do we finish the day off with a healthy meal shared with family or friends?  Do we schedule in time for exercise? Do we spend time in gratitude daily?  Do we read 30 minutes from a good book daily?  Do we go to bed at a regular time?  Do we attend to matters of spirituality?

All of those questions are good ones to evaluate the "wellness status" of our daily lives.  Very few will answer yes to all of those every day, if anyone would.  But they are a great survey for us to base our daily lives on.  There are other questions you could add into the list, my list is far from comprehensive.  Why not create your own list of questions?  What if you started looking at those questions daily as part of your daily disciplines?  How do you think that would impact your life?

I'll tell you the answer to the last one.  It would most likely help you to take steps daily to making your life a bit more healthy, a bit more wellness oriented.  Creating a new "wellness status" is just a matter of taking a few new steps here and there.  And don't be overwhelmed if you answered no to most of the questions listed, or even if you answered no to ALL of them.  Where you are isn't important, where you're going is.

Don't make your life be one of "what ifs", make decisions today to create your future life.  It's in your hands.  Take some time to be a bit introspective.  Choose life!

Until next time...Be well!
Dr. Bruce

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014: Next Pitch!!

My son has been a baseball pitcher at various levels in baseball since he was about 10 years old.  He's going to be pitching for his local high school again this year it seems.  It's been fun to watch him develop and learn what works best for him.  I'm sad to know that in about 1.5 years his pitching career may be over as he finishes high school.  He has no aspirations for college ball so all the years I've watched him play will come to an end.

I have a lot of great memories of his pitching.  I have great memories of him learning to pitch, and being his catcher as he practiced.  I saw him have GREAT outings.  I saw him struggle.   Now days I don't like catching him as much since I often don't catch the ball in the pocket of the glove and he throws hard enough for it to actually hurt when the ball hits the glove..and my hand haha. But I remember one lesson I taught him years ago.

I taught him a very important lesson when he was struggling to learn to pitch, and missing the strike zone often.  It's called simply, Next Pitch.  I told him that the very millisecond that the ball comes out of his hand toward home plate, he can no longer do anything else about that pitch.  Whether it's strike three, or ball four, or hit over the fence for a home run, he cannot affect it.  All he can do is focus on the next pitch, so don't worry about the last one, just learn from it.  I remember repeating to him "Next pitch" in practice, and sometimes even during a game.

That's life too isn't it?  We cannot affect the last breath we took.  We can't change our last interaction with our loved ones.  We can't do anything about our failings with our health and well being from 2013.  It's over, it's history, done.  So why beat ourselves up over it or get bummed about it?  Learn from your last pitch, and make changes where necessary.

2013 is gone, 2014 is here. Next pitch!

Do me a favor, leave a comment and tell me your opinion on this post. It would be much appreciated!

Until next time....Be Well!
Dr. Bruce