More than Surviving; Thriving and Inspired=Living!

On my other blog from 2014 I wrote on the effects of fearful thinking and I entitled it the fear chapter. I said that the motivation that comes from fear cannot be called motivation. Instead, what we refer to as motivation involving fear is a knee jerk reaction. I still insist that this is the case. The motivation that I am envisioning is related more to thriving and inspiration.

My degree and training seeks to improve the quality of life of all people. It is a global labor of love. There was no minor required for my major, but I chose one anyway-Zoology as it seemed an excellent fit, and it was.

People not merely surviving, but thriving and living inspired and inspiring with a spark that helps the next person to glow is the ideal. When you are inspired, there is an energetic exchange that takes place, even quickens your spirit, mind and body. You then see the full picture; you want to give back to others, to your community, to society and the globe. The religious who experience this begin to live their religion more fully, (like the perfect the saints concept affirmed in LDS teaching), and you will see and feel the essence of what the founder of your religion was describing in the ancient records, (whether that founder is Muhammad, Abraham, Jesus, Buddha etc). that there is a place between the brick and mortar of religion that is itself, alive, well and thriving, and is actually laughing with joy. Maybe suitable words for it are severely lacking, but in Christianity it is referred to as “the spirit of the law”, the essence (my chosen word for it). This essence is already woven between and throughout those molecules of brick and mortar of religion since “all spirit is matter” (Doctrine and Covenants; LDS record).

There is within this philosophy of live-and-let-live room for confident atheism too. Belief (or not) is ultimately a choice. Since harm reduction is the objective, freedom to choose is respected and encouraged. Just how religion should not be abused or used abusively or forced on others; likewise atheism should not be these. Both should be live and let live and not systemized or incentivized to infringe upon, cause more exclusion, or be forced onto the rights of others’ freedom to choose (to believe or not and practice or not) or to control people (Staples O. 2016). Adopting the right view (Buddhist term) of seeing one’s life, and that of others as a journey, not an arrival provides the needed clarity and respect.

The current mode is that fear is used to control large amounts of people. The media and governments have used these scare tactics. I wrote about this in the Fear Chapter of my old blog before I returned to university and became familiar with the Protective Motivation Theory (Rogers & Deckner, 1975). I still insist that fear causes a reaction, but we must get away from calling this reaction born of fear motivation.

On one hand, the destructive nature of greed having been discussed here illustrates the reason for this attempt to control or at least influence large amounts of people. Some of the reasons for this become self evident. You will likely see as I did that all options afforded by what we refer to as freedom in America: the anyone, anywhere anything, anytime for everyone has its parts that lack wisdom. At a global population of nearly 8 billion it is easy to see why freedom to choose may mean something different than it did 2,000 years ago. There simply isn’t enough space to omit rules and regulations. However, corralling people through fear with secretive methods toward a goal only known by some is ineffective in the end. It only adds to the inequality, distrust, lack of respect for each other (and for leaders) and increases- neighbor to community to global tensions.

I was glad to hear that Biden is planning to eliminate dependence on fossil fuels. This is a major step in the right direction to help prevent natural disasters, especially floods as the polar caps continue to melt with a rising global average temperature. Not to mention improved air quality (of which I am always commenting) especially in my state of Utah; I look forward to cleaner air for walking the dog, cycling, hiking and just being in the yard. All people deserve clean air to breathe and pure water to drink.

After all when a better way of serving humanity is discovered, why in the world does that improved method not become standard? The factors are many. One big reason is lack of education, a social problem that is another topic for another time. Here, this example is given to show why some key standards, rules and regulations are necessary (I agree there can be too many, and we’ll discuss that later) and I’m glad to see one taking place and one that is sustainable. This is one of the keys that I propose. The universal standard should now be sustainability. There is not the space or the resources in this world to settle for anything less at this point in 2020.

Instead of manipulation and a monopoly that seeks to placate, anesthetize and hide information from the masses, (most people now understand that this is happening); how about correct information and guides that allow people an informed choice in all aspects of spirit, mind and body on their journey through life. Harm reduction, assuming that individual has no intent for destruction or to harm others, freedom to choose is expanded, essentially giving people the benefit of the doubt. It extends trust and an invitation with an open hand. May I submit that this is the goal. Humans not merely surviving, but thriving inspired, inspiring because they were not only allowed but encouraged to do so. This is born of joy, joy that flows toward “pursuing happiness”. It says yes as much as possible instead of the many ‘no’s…

Fear may motivate when there is a real and immediate threat such as being chased down the street by an aggressive person, the traditional fight or flight. However, the misconceptions being generated now with COVID in places where there is no immediate danger is not motivation. There is the kind of fear that is self-manufactured (Fogler, 1995), but fear can also be generated, worsened and encouraged through media and government. This is where I have typically used the word fear-heroin, or recently I heard a term which I find even more suitable: Fear-porn.

It is my submission and hope that it is time to phase out fear-heroin, fear-porn (pick your preferred term) any form of manipulation, witholding the truth, or force and control of the masses through fear generation. This is not a healthy practice to say the least. It is unethical and it dissolves trust. Real power comes from wisdom, compassion and trust, not manipulation, control, fear projection, or brainwashing. This is a two way street involving both leaders and commoners. Inspired leaders know this. A good leader strikes a fine balance between being just, merciful, consistent, yet flexible and receptive when it becomes apparent that current modes and methods are not working, and when it may be time to try a route that is more effective. The citizens of America (and of the world for that matter) need to see more of these qualities not more reasons to distrust government or each other.

Instead, the solid guides of correct, accessible information and freedom of choice are keys that lead to a life of thriving and inspiration are the answer. The principles are taught in my books and this blog. They begin like the growing seed of a plant of spirit,(for those who believe) mind and body of each individual on their journey through life toward life (Staples, O. 2016). I theorize that the latter which I have proposed, encouraging diversity, reinstating free choice, the encouragement of a life of thriving and inspiration through accessible, accurate information is the path that leads to healing-individuals expanding outward to communities, societies and ultimately a sustainable world. Introduced properly, this model and approach would decrease poverty, improve the health, happiness and quality of life for many people on a global scale; it would reduce crime, addiction, improve global relations, increases biodiversity, and help to preserve the earth’s resources and ecosystems.

Be sure to read my memoir The Irony of the Well

New Testament, King James Version of the Bible
LDS teaching
Health Behavior Theory, (3rd ed. 2019. Hayden, J.)
Unjobbing, Fogler, Michael 1995
Staples, O. Eyes On The Prize, 2016.

Key Classes, Sound Education

Been reflecting on university classes and recalled many fond memories.

I thought about the classes Stress Management, Mind, Body Wellness, and Human Sexuality. I would like to see the day when these three classes are offered at the community level at no charge and in fact offer incentives for completion. These would not only benefit the individual but entire communties.

Everyone experiences the stress response to perceived danger, whether real or perceived (it is usually perceived). Learning how to turn off the stress response, and to win the battle over your own mind is a tool that would be so helpful in terms of societal enrichment. We all experience stress; why don’t all people know how to effectively turn it off, or cope? There are many factors. The potential for positive impact would be significant if everyone had access to this class, including those of a lower socioeconomic status . It is the same with Mind, Body Wellness. These classes were more than Yoga and meditation, but being very effective tools, these were part of it. Having all this information given about stress and what constitutes health via notes, lectures, textbook, class outline and discussion was very eye opening. They should be basic education for healthcare, which should start in the neighborhood and community as measures of prevention.

Also, most people enter a relationship at some time in their life. Offering the Human Sexuality class on the community level at no charge and with incentives for completion would be an effective, multi-pronged approach to solving societal issues. Human sexuality is a very broad topic. It was curious to me that every married (or formerly) person from the class scoffed at the beginning believing that there isn’t much else they need to know. It was these same people who were mind boggled by the end of the class saying they had no idea just how complicated, and multi-faceted this topic was. It is true that the topic is one huge gray zone, and it is certainly one topic where the one size fits all (no pun intended) approach does not work. Don’t assume; don’t assume. There is a lot to it.

People should have a right to make an informed choice about this aspect of what is essentially a branch of healthcare. See, here I am right now, practically afraid to say the word. That is mr. Utah in me, I think. Sex is a taboo word here, a hushed topic where the worst is assumed, and that isn’t the way to approach it. There are many important issues related to it: STI’s unplanned pregnancy, complications, contraceptives and how to use them properly for maximum effectiveness, the list could go on. Critics would say that sex education encourages careless behavior. I submit that the opposite is the case. Strong, sound information that is delivered as scientific (along with the inevitable laughs and raised brows that naturally occur too as 20 or so young adults share, debate and discuss these issues) reliable, tasteful, encourages responsible behavior as individuals are properly informed and not withheld from knowing the truth. Learning about this fact of life that is as old as the earth can be fun (and it is) and it doesn’t have to be embarrassing, shamed, or taboo, as is currently the case.
Let’s face it; few parents would be prepared or would want to teach this very broad topic in its entirety. Therefore, I submit that the community level from a tasteful, scientific standpoint is the answer.

Now as similar issues are faced with air pollution, water conservation and sanitation etc, it is apparent that there is no room to be cocky, and certainly no time to be complacent. Many hands make light work. No one can do everything; yet, individual progression in joy doing what you can as you can works wonders. We can own and care about the air we all breathe and the water we drink. Don’t buy into the illusion that it’s the other person’s problem and job.

In another class, Social Problems, which I highly recommend, we were discussing the environment and particularly Utah’s poor air quality. One girl said “I hate feeling guilty every time I have to drive somewhere.” I was thinking about this, and she’s right. That’s just it, we shouldn’t have to feel guilty! The United States has the technology and the money to fix these environmental issues including air pollution. What incentive is there to do so? Besides of course the human race being in danger. The thing is, while there is much work on the individual level that helps, we don’t need to accept full responsibility; some of course, but not all.

America has the resources, the budget and the technology to fix these problems and live sustainably, more respectful of other life forms. Sustainability should now be the universal goal. This objective covers a lot of ground and it involves both individual choice and regulation.

I explore these issues and more in my new memoir The Irony of the Well

Thank you for reading, studying and learning. Educated individuals making informed decisions and this expands outward as a part of global healing.


The unpleasant truth is that scenario is all too common

We all know someone who is in the same boat: Their religion succeeded in scaring (or guilting) the holy shit right out of ’em, or into ’em or whatever, so they got married young. Now they are stressed with a family to feed, (some unplanned children) trying to make ends meet, many bills to pay and they are stuck in a rut, a cycle of poverty. Then there is the cycle of damaged relations, disrespect, a pattern of degrading interactions, which further exacerbates the stress, increasing the likelihood of mental illness, addiction, domestic and substance abuse, rapid depletion of earth’s resources and ironically, severed relationships and divorce.

At that point we ask ourselves: how effective are the current canned answers and mode of things really?
Yes, it is an unpleasant topic that nobody really wants to face; but face it we must. These issues must be dealt with, reconsidered, and worked out with education, and broader models and methods yet that are more specific and still allow freedom to choose. Everything is a choice; or at least it should be.

Change is needed. It is time to try something different, to look at, speak about, and think of things differently. Learn to avoid tunnel vision. Everything is a matter of perspective and diversity is key. Share earth’s abundance and joy, redistribute the power and close the inequality gap.

I discuss these problems and some solutions of avoiding common pitfalls, wisdom shared in my new memoir. Nobody should have to go through all that. The Irony of the Well


Black Farmers Matter

Here is a blog that I like: Black Vegans Rock
Scroll down and you can see the shirt. I like it! Black Farmers Matter.
Afro-Indigenous community farm working to uproot racism

Still now in 2020 there are some glaring discrepancies, social injustices, and there is much work to do. I am so glad to see grassroots organizations sprouting up that are working on these glaring social problems.

I have discussed these and other issues in my new memoir: The Irony of the Well


In your neighborhood, or not?

Happy Friday! (vendredi hereux)!

Today I went to the Asian market and picked up some groceries. I even walked there, considering myself very fortunate to have one close by. I set out carrying my reusable cotton bags. As one who eats a plant-based diet, Asian markets are priceless gems where so many yummy and healthful foods can be purchased. You can find Japanese sweet potatoes (if you haven’t tried these, you must give them a whirl; they are really good!) They are often sold as Japanese yams. You will also find tofu, mung beans, dried mushrooms, shallots, fresh ginger, bok choy, every type of rice imaginable and rice noodles. Excellent finds for excellent nutrient dense recipes; many ethnic foods: Chinese, Indian, Mexican, etc offer a multitude of dishes and if they are prepared well, they can be very healthy, substantial and filling meals that easily serve a family. Shoot, you may even be able to walk there, getting some exercise, groceries, sunshine and fresh air all at the same time. How about that. 🙂

I have written all about this philosophy that more closely resembles the way things are supposed to be in my first memoir The Wellness Diaries

Be sure to check your area for the nearest Asian market and if you have one of these gems close by, be sure to add it to your list of small businesses to support. The more of these small markets that sell pure, nutritious food that pop up, the more we can help to prevent the pandemic of food deserts that are a growing problem in the U. S.

Share the abundance, the power, the earth, and the good life of health for the planet and people. Support small business. Diversity is key.

Be sure to check out my new memoir The Irony of the Well for the continued philosophy that works.


“Where do you get your protein?”

“The answer is lettuce and everything else I eat.”

This response to a very common question is certain to get either a laugh or a scoff. The question sounds like something out of a 1960’s health documentary, but it illustrates a glaring misconception so I give it as an example. Vegetarians and even vegans don’t really have to worry about getting enough protein as long as the calorie intake is adequate. Proteins are simply made up of amino acid chains and different foods contain different amino acids. All foods contain some amino acids, even lettuce; it is also not necessary to combine foods with different combinations of amino acids (such as corn bread and soy milk) as once thought. A whole-foods, plant-based diet full of fresh vegetables, whole grains, starches and legumes delivers excellent nutrition.

The possibilities of yummy food combinations by cuisine or meals of the day are endless.
So embrace your chef!

Be sure to check out my new memoir, The Irony of the Well as one of a five book series of The Well-Being of People and Planet.

Never forget that these blog posts are herbs and spices of a full course meal. The books are the banquet.