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Where Are The Places We Live? The SeniorScape™


We Live on the Earth, In our homes, In our Bodies and In our Minds On the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day, April 22nd, 2023, we are reminded the importance of caring for our environment, and our planet. The place on which we are dependent for our very breath and survival. Earth Day is meant for us to take action to ensure a healthier planet, not only for us today, but for our children, grandchildren and all future generations. The purpose is to leave a legacy of a healthy planet. As with other commemorative holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, it is on that day we take time out to remember, to do something noteworthy for the people in our lives. However, it is only one day and not the only day that those remembrances should be upper most in our mind an in our actions. So it is, with Earth Day. However, as we all inhabit the same planet Earth, we all live quite separately in our homes, our minds and our bodies. Even if living amongst family or friends, we remain residing as an individual in that space. It struck me a while ago that we care and attend to our abodes, in one way or another. But do we care for our minds and our bodies with the same diligence? We cleanse our outer bodies, but what about our inner selves. How often do we carefully attend to clearing our minds and ensuring that we cleanse, or at least carefully care for, what enters our body. While many people do, many people also do not, and not necessarily through fault of their own. Many of the food choices we make, and reach for, we do as a result of conditioning. While I always knew that we often reach for certain foods mindlessly, or consume certain foods in the name of comfort, it hadn’t really dawned on me how much conditioning plays a role in the process. Therefore, though not without effort, we can decondition ourselves from those unhealthy choices. I began pondering this even more intensely after receiving multiple emails, seeing advertisements and hearing about friends taking what has become commonly known as a skinny shot. Not to be confused with the shot taken by people who have diabetes, but for people who are making the choice to use it for weight loss. Obesity has been called a national epidemic and is getting worse. But it is also a global concern. There are some statistics that indicate that globally, obesity has tripled since 1975 and in 2016, more than 1.9 billion people over the age of 18 were overweight. It plays a major contribution to some of the leading causes of death in the U.S., including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer. In the U.S. 19 states report obesity rates above 35 percent which is up from 16 states in previous years It’s not about changing our communities as much as it rests with the individual who must change mindsets and replace choices and habits for health and wellbeing. That means healthy eating and active living. In addition, over 40 million Americans are pre-diabetic and don’t know it. Some outlets report that number to more than double that to 88 million. This represents not only a health but also an economic concern. IN 2017, the CDC reported the total cost of medical care and lost productivity for people with diagnosed diabetes to be $327 billion, an increase of 33% over a 5-year period. I often use the analogy that our bodies are like a car. They are a carefully tuned and well-timed machines which, when out of kilter, warn us with warning lights, overheated radiators, flat tires, and starter problems. With the slightest pinhole in a tube, leaking fluid an lead to gushes of fluid everywhere. Furthermore, we are careful about the fluids we pour into our cars, the place we pour them, and we ensure lubricants are at their proper level to ensure the smooth-running machine. We certainly don’t put antifreeze in the gas tank, radiator fluid in the engine, and oil, in the radiator or substitute it for windshield wiper fluid. We make all these decisions somewhat automatically but also consciously. However, are we making those same decisions intentionally and consciously for our bodies, our own health and wellbeing? Are we decluttering our minds as we do our abodes? Are we breathing consciously and for our highest level of wellbeing? There is a huge payoff if we pay more attention to what we are putting into our bodies as we do with our cars. Our bodies can run with more precision, less effort, without the breakdowns that we associate with the natural course of events, especially as we continue to age and accumulate years as a car accumulates miles. We can the tide in favor of our wellbeing by making better choices, for our bodies and our minds. This involves more than biannual or annual visits to the doctor as we do with our maintenance car checks. We need to be mindful what we put in our bodies, the thoughts that we allow to invade our minds, and resist the temptation of the comfort foods and advertising that is dangled in front of us, conditioning us that we need these foods to feed our comfort. We can’t depend on doctor visits to help us make our choices. We are the driver of our own vehicle, the CEO of our own wellbeing. My father died suddenly 53 years ago, the Monday before Father’s Day. He was a diabetic and visited the doctor regularly. But the day he died, the doctor did something that likely wouldn’t be tolerated today. He essentially fired my father. He told him to leave his office and never return because he didn’t 100% adhere to the doctor’s advice. While things happen to us that are beyond our control and even to people who make the best choices for their minds and their bodies, there is ample evidence that making healthier choices ensures a greater sense of wellbeing and overall enhances our lives. There is ample information all around us helping us to make those choices. It comes down to paying attention, heeding advice, replacing unproductive habits, and resisting the lure of unhealthy choices that are dangled in front of our eyes and ears. We are accountable for our own wellbeing, and in doing so, will live up to the responsibility we have to our bodies, our minds, our families, our loved ones to be the best and healthiest we can be. In doing so, we will make an important contribution to our society and to our planet To find out more about Life Enhancing Coaching and The IMpathy® Project email: phyllis@phyllisaymanassociates.com


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