Rob Brown, MD

A Physician's Unique Perspective on Wellness

Category: The Purpose

Telepathy – Spiritual Communication among the Living

Many people believe that spirits of those who have passed can communicate with the living and influence their lives by protection and guidance. But, do we receive spiritual communication from those that are living too?

We have all seemingly random thoughts pop into our head. People’s faces we haven’t thought about in awhile come to mind. Emotions surface, including anxiety, that have no rational explanation. We reach for the phone to call someone when the phone rings and it’s that same person on the phone calling you. I have come to understand that this may at least sometimes be a result of spiritual communication among the living.

Mind reading

Tina and I met at school. It wasn’t an academic center, but rather a less formal, group that held retreats centered on stretching the power of the mind. At one event, we were taught a technique to read each other’s mind, more commonly known as mental telepathy.  My partner, Tina, and I, practiced the discipline face to face and had some success, but not more than a skeptic would have considered random. And, I, ashamedly, was a skeptic.

Yet, I was intrigued with the possibility that this skill could be learned. After the retreat ended, Tina and I decided to continue practicing this discipline weekly. She lived in Oregon and I lived in Pittsburgh. At first, we chose categories to narrow down the possibilities of information being sent, and improve our chances of success. Each week, we recorded hits, near misses and total misses. Over the course of a few months, our accuracy increased.  Yet, I remained doubtful that we were experiencing anything more than getting to know one another’s personality and tendencies.

Then, one week, I was confronted with the extraordinary.

One Sunday, after going through our results from the previous week, Tina stated she would send me two animals and I decided I would send her two playing cards. Jokers were fair game. We hung up the phone agreeing to transmit the information at some unspecified time over the week. We would speak again the following weekend.

While driving home from work later that Thursday, I realized that I hadn’t done the exercise yet. I began to think about what card I would choose to send mentally to Tina. The first card that popped into my mind was the A spades. I chuckled to myself, thinking that this wasn’t the nicest card in the deck to send.

So, when I got home, I took out the deck of cards and went through them quickly, deciding on the 2 hearts and the 10 diamonds. After writing them down in my journal, I studied the cards carefully and went through the ritual I had learned to send the information to Tina.

Then, I cleared my mind, brought up her image and waited for animals to come into my mind.

The first image that came was faint. But, I recognized it was an animal with a long neck. Ahh.. a giraffe, I thought. I cleared my mind again and waited for the next image to appear. The second animal I saw was in a tree. A koala bear? I entered my observations into the journal and promptly forgot the session.

That weekend, I was scheduled to fly to Las Vegas for a conference. Sunday morning, I went down to the casino lobby and waited in line to eat at the coffee shop. At 11:00 am, it was time to call Tina to discuss our results.

Results

After exchanging some pleasantries, we got down to business. “I’ll go first.” She said.

“What did you get from me?” I asked.

“Well, I brought up your face while I was doing a meditative walk and a card popped up into my mind. It was the A spades.”

I was surprised. “You get credit for that!”, I said. “I had thought about sending you the A spades but I changed my mind.”

After she berated me for changing my mind, I asked her if she got another card from me.

“Well yeah. I got two more cards from you. The first was the 2 Hearts and the second was the 10 diamonds.”

Upon hearing her, I think I stopped breathing. Tears welled up in my eyes. I stood there online at the coffee shop barely able to hold on to the phone. The contrast between the extraordinary realization of what we had accomplished with the noise of the casino was all the more impactful.

“Oh my god!” I said to her, “That’s exactly what I sent to you!”

“OK cool. What did you get from me?”

I have to take a pause and say that Tina was unmoved by her accuracy. She accepted this incredible phenomenon as she would if she had hit the bullseye during archery. In her world, this phenomenon was expected for we had been practicing, right? I, on the other hand, was dumbfounded.

Our conversation continued and I read what I had received from her. She said, “Yes, I sent you a giraffe. What else did you get?” I told her a Koala bear, but she had in fact, sent me something completely unrelated.

Now, I knew this was not random or about odds, but I had to figure out the chances of this anyway. Being able to accurately identify 3 playing cards alone including the jokers, would be odds equal to 1 out of 54 x 53 x 52 or 148,824:1! And that doesn’t even take into account that there were only supposed to be 2 cards! When considering that there were actually 5 bits of information going back and forth between the two of us, the fact that we hit 4 of them spot on was astronomical odds. No way this accuracy was random chance.

What happened afterwards was progressive and interesting.

Tina and I continued our exploration into this work. One week, I was assigned to send Tina two names. While giving thought about which names to send to her, I went through 5 different sets of names, finally deciding on Caesar and Cleopatra. When we spoke at the end of week, not only did Tina come up with Caesar and Cleopatra, but she also identified 2 other sets of names that I had considered.

Then, one day, Tina called me up out of the blue. “Were you looking at a red fire hydrant today? I had this image of a fire hydrant in my mind and I didn’t know where it came from.”

She didn’t know it, but I had been house hunting that day and I came across a property I really liked. I had spent time looking at the fire hydrant on the front corner of the property, trying to decide if its location bothered me or not.

So What are the Implications?

People in close relationships what the other is thinking. Many know who is calling them, even before the phone rings.

We are all connected to each other through a web of consciousness and we pick up on each other’s thoughts and emotions all the time. The real skill becomes in knowing who you are receiving the information from.

With this in mind, it makes you realize the importance of watching how you think about others. And most importantly, to live your truth, for there are no secrets in the web of thought.

Numeric Symbols as Spiritual Guidance

For years, friends commented that I was blessed to live under a lucky star. Things often worked out according to plan, but I didn’t subscribe to the religious belief that someone could be blessed or in the childhood fantasy of lucky stars. I rode the streak of good fortune for many years until my luck faded and I became submerged in misfortune. As crazy as it may sound, doing so was a conscious choice.

This sequence of events began after returning home from my semester abroad in Rome. My life became filled with extraordinary coincidences. With frequent moments of serendipity and good fortune, I began to notice the number 69. It was on license plates driving by, price tags, addresses, jerseys, everywhere! At the time I thought it was a funny coincidence.

After graduation though, I moved to Miami, Florida and the phenomenon seemed to follow me. I got used to seeing the number 69 and even began to look for it as a symbol to let me know that I was in the right place at the right time. Sometimes, I would see the number 96 with frequency, as if to tell me that I was “ass backwards!” Over time, I began to notice the number 73, too. The two numbers 69 and 73 seemed to be related to each other as I would often encounter them together.

On one such occasion, my housemate, Paul, and I had gone exploring South Beach to look for a place to rent the following year. Most of the small homes we saw were run down as it was 1988, just before gentrification took place. While meandering the streets, we came across the 100 building, a high rise on Lincoln Road. Neither of us had considered living in an apartment building, but as we drove up to the entrance, a car pulled out of a parking place right in front. Perfect timing. I noticed that the car to the left of the empty space had a license plate with the number “6969” on it. The license plate on the car to the right had the number 73 on it. I thought to myself, “This is meant to be!” My buddy and I walked into the lobby and asked for the rental agent. We were quite sure that rates in this building were way out of our price range, but we had time explore. The agent was out on break. So, we casually asked the doorman if there were any units available.

“I think there’s one in the penthouse,” he said.

Stepping away from the desk, I looked at Paul and said, “I’ve never seen a penthouse, have you?”

He smiled and with that, we walked quickly across the marble flooring to the elevators. We pressed PH for the first time. When the doors opened, we stepped out into a long hallway. I’m not quite sure what we thought we would find up there, maybe an open door? Then, we heard a creek at the end of the hall. A big man, wearing a bathrobe and large gold medallions around his neck stepped into the hallway and faced us. Paul and I, looking suspicious, turned around quickly and headed back towards the elevator.

“Hey, what are you boys doing up here?” He barked.

We turned around nervously and told him that we were looking for an apartment to rent.

“There’s one available across the hallway here. Do you want to see it?”

I grinned from ear to ear as the man pulled out a huge ring of keys and opened up the door. We walked into the living room of a huge 3 bedroom apartment with balconies, roof access and spectacular views of Miami beach and the ocean. He stood in the doorway as we checked out the apartment.

“This is my room!” I called out excitedly.

My future bedroom for the next 3 years had 3 walk in closets, a balcony and its own bathroom!

Initially, the cost of the rent was more than twice what we were able to afford. But, the manager, apparently wanting to attract younger people to Miami beach, lowered the rent until we could make it work. My rent, $490 a month! What at an amazing experience! The sequence of events that lead to us to finding and securing the apartment was unbelievable.

During a conversation with my father afterwards, I mentioned to him about my fascination with the magical numbers 69 and 73. His response shook me.

“That’s interesting. My father died when he was 69 and my mother died when she was 73.”

Upon hearing this, the hairs on the back of my neck stiffened.

My grandfather had died early during my childhood and I didn’t know him well. But, I knew I loved both Nanna and Grandpa. He had been a controlling person, making his fortune in an international art supply business.

It was strange, but somehow, attaching these two numeric symbols to my grandparent’s spirits made sense. I was grateful. But then, the feeling of gratitude dissipated and I felt I had been manipulated. Having this extraordinary gift left me feeling privileged, but also isolated from my friends and family who didn’t seem to be living under the same guidance. It may sound silly, but I wanted to have the same struggles as everyone else. I wanted my success to be from my inspiration and my failure to be from my own lack of performance. I wanted to control my own destiny.

One evening, I went out on to the roof and yelled up to the sky, “Thank you for your help, but please leave me alone and let me be!“

And then, the free-fall began.

At first, I noticed a small discoloration on my earlobe, but it quickly turned into a rapidly enlarging bump, maybe a wart? Melanoma had been an unsuspected diagnosis, even by the dermatologist, and so the the initial attempt at removal was performed incorrectly. This error led to further problems in assessing the severity of the disease. After extensive surgery on my face and neck, I experienced another problem. Because of uncontrollable bleeding in the recovery room, I was rushed back to the operating room to find the “bleeder.” I think I spent over 11 hours in surgery that day.

My classmates were wonderfully supportive. The love I felt from them all made the whole situation during and afterwards manageable. Yet,  I experienced frequent mishaps and I felt vulnerable. One night while looking out over the beach, I quietly sang the lyrics to the Carole King song “Up on the Roof”. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I prayed to my grandparents for help. Afterwards, I felt better for I sensed I had not been abandoned. But, the guidance I received from that point forward was subtle. I observed the number 69 at important junctures, but much less frequently. The sporadic guidance left room for me to make mistakes. Life was less easy than it had been before, but the new paradigm allowed maturation.

The number 73 never resurfaced.

Why have I shared this incredibly personal story? Because I know that this phenomenon occurs to many if not all of us, regardless of whether or not we recognize it. I have heard similar stories from others and now accept that the frequent reoccurrence of numbers in our lives can most definitely be an indication of spiritual guidance. The number usually has a significance to the person who has passed and may indicate the prior relationship. Recently, a friend shared with me an experienced of a reoccurring 4 digit number that he realized had been the numerical birthdate of his sister who had passed on many years prior.

If you too have noticed a recurring number in your daily life, I suggest you try to figure out who you might be receiving communication or guidance from. Be grateful when you do and your life will become that much more meaningful.

I now think we are all blessed.

Do you Consider Government Propaganda “Fake News?”

Call it misinformation, disinformation, statistical fudging, or lies. Fake news is more common than most realize. The news story dubbed “Pizza-gate” created a media blitz, yet more insidious forms of misinformation put out in news stories by credible sources goes largely unquestioned by the masses. In contrast to a bizarre, but isolated shooting, fake news produced by governmental agencies has adversely affected the health and well being of millions. Attempts to expose misinformation is often met with anger or dismissive labeling as conspiracy theory.

I recently experienced this phenomenon during a recent luncheon.

Having arrived to the restaurant late, I sat at the one empty seat. Although I didn’t know it, I was seated between two professionals would perfectly illustrate the societal effect of misinformation in real time.

I had recently viewed the documentary “Vaxxed” in which the whistle blower, Dr. William Thompson, discloses that he and his colleagues at the CDC fudged their data in their landmark research study performed to assess the link between autism spectrum disorder and the MMR vaccine. I found the video deeply disturbing and worthy of conversation.

In the film, Dr. Thompson details how the CDC manipulated their data to get an industry favorable result. I described the film’s content in detail to my brunch neighbors.

The guest on my right was a medical research who, in an extraordinary twist of fate, had worked at the CDC during the time of the Autism/MMR study. I was awestruck by the synchronicity. The scientist made a statement that sent shivers up my spine.

”Everything in that movie is true.”

I believed it was true. Actually… I knew it was true.

The person to my left, an educator, seemed to become agitated and made the quick proclamation:

“There is no link between autism and vaccines. That was proven years ago.”

I had heard this phrase many times in the past. The words didn’t strike me as powerful, but the certitude and finality with which the statement was delivered caused me to recoil. What I didn’t know at the time was that this person unfortunately had a dear relative who was suffering from a severe form of autism.

Fudged data = phony results = fake news.

This ‘definitive study’ provided our doctors with fake news, i.e. the erroneous conclusion that there is no association between autism and the MMR vaccine. We parents and health care consumers had been taught by our misinformed health care professionals that the MMR vaccine is completely safe.

As most people have no fundamental understanding of how a vaccine actually works, opinions are usually generated to be in agreement with the media and doctors. It is easier to be a member of this team of social consciousness if your children have gone through the vaccination process unscathed. Others however have based their views on horrific personal experience.

Misinformation spread by our governmental agencies is nothing new. In recent months, it was uncovered that the EPA fudged their report regarding the risk to our freshwater supplies from fracking operations. At the nth hour, the report changed from:

“EPA Study Shows Potential Vulnerabilities to Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing Process” to “Assessment shows hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread systemic impacts to drinking water resources and identifies important vulnerabilities to drinking water resources.”

Subtle difference? Not for those who have researched fracking and listened to numerous accounts of tainted ground water. The fracking industry held up this misleading, “fake” EPA conclusion to sell fracking as a safe extraction technique.

But, the EPA was caught. As a result, they reworked their assessment and yesterday came to the public announcing that hydraulic fracturing can and has contaminated drinking water.

Is this all really surprising? Our governmental agencies are filled with scientists and other professionals with ties to industry. It is truly a “revolving door”. It is not a stretch to think that researchers might manipulate study results to help further progress their eventual career in industry. As funding is often dependent on industry favored results, it is probably more common than any of us would like to believe, even if those results might be at the expense of the general population’s health.

How do you decide who and what to believe?

Fireworks on July 4th – A Symbol of Entrainment

While sitting on the boat, waiting for the fireworks display to start, my mind drifted. Why was I destined to live a life of turbulence? Deep inside, I knew I became involved with people who mirrored different aspects of my own personality. My own complexity must be the source of my relational ups and downs. Was I destined to be alone? Yes, I became too introspective on this festive holiday.

The fireworks display started. Sheeewwwewww… Kaboom! One hundred tiny pink lights lit up the sky in an umbrella display. Boom! Boom! The lights were ordinary. I had seen them many times before. Yet, this year, they took on greater significance as I began to consider each light both individually and then as part of the whole. Sheewwww… boom!

I was mesmerized, looking at the lights as they fell from the sky, all turning color and then into glitter at the same time. All extinguishing at the same time. I reasoned that there must be the same amount of chemical in each particle falling from the sky, which then undergoes the same reaction at the same time. The result to the onlooker is coherence. A synchronized display. Yet, to me, it was a metaphor for entrainment, and a glimpse into the entanglement of relationships.

Entrainment is a phenomenon whereby physical objects in motion sync with each other over time. Entrainment is not chemical, physical or electrical. It’s an energetic, mysterious phenomenon that is very real. Think of a flock of birds moving synchronistically, all darting right or left at precisely the same time. Similarly, cuckoo clocks on display will all swing in perfect unison. In the garden, weeds all bloom and go to seed at the same time, regardless of how big the plant has become. Entrainment is universal.

Expressions like “Misery loves company”, “Laughter is contagious.” and “It takes one to know one” each hint to the concept of entrainment. While in the presence of someone who is heated and anxious, the companion too will become nervous. If one is in the presence of a calming energy, such as a trickling brook or a nurturing partner, the mind and body will relax. Living beings, including people, animals and even plants will entrain to the rhythms of music. Upbeat tempos will bring energy and higher metabolism, whereas slower rhythms will bring about lethargy and contemplation.

Entrainment occurs at many levels. Numerous internal processes are regulated by entrainment. For example, your heart rate entrains with your breathing rate. If your heart rate goes up, your breathing rate will increase. If you consciously slow your breath, your heart rate will drop.

Over time, we entrain with the company we keep. Women living in close proximity will cycle together. Couples who have been together for a long time will even physically resemble one another. Groups of people entrain to local politics, societal issues, even the weather. In a global sense, the human race is entrained with each other, as well as entrained with the position of the earth and its relationship with other planets, the sun and other celestial bodies. Perhaps this is where the origins of astrology lie.

As my mind drifted back to earth and to the boat, I began to cough and sputter. The smoke from the fireworks had formed a cloud on the water into which we had slowly drifted. Our captain backed up the vessel and we pulled away, leaving the toxic gas to dissipate. Approaching the shore, I came to the acknowledgment that we are all connected with each other. We have lovers, friends and adversaries. Regardless of the emotional hits we get from our relationships, we entrain with each other and our world, all of the time.

No one is alone.

The Death of Blackie or How my Appreciation and Connectedness for Food Continues to Grow

People say naming backyard chickens isn’t a great idea, because frequently, either the birds end up on the dinner table or nature takes it’s toll and predators or disease win out. Despite knowing this, we name the members of our flock. I was told quite directly by my children that they would never eat one of our chickens or ducks, so I decided we would raise them only for their eggs. My children had fun selecting names such as “chick-poof”, “The Jersey Girls”, and ADD “Arthur’s Dumb Duck”.

Although I agreed not to kill our chickens for meat, our benevolent intentions did not shelter our flock from nature. The first year, we lost nearly every chicken to aggressive hawks or night stalking raccoons. The hawks would soar high overhead and caw eerily. The raccoons were unseen. We eventually figured out that they were able to get into the coupe using their little hands in the darkness more adeptly than I could use my own.

Every loss left us with a sense of dread and failure. We continually made improvements to our enclosure. When we were left with one last chicken, we brought her into our home for a few weeks until we could figure out how to completely secure the coupe. We named her TLC for “the last chicken” and kept her safe and well fed.

The final coupe was located in our orchard, surrounded by 8 foot deer fencing. Chicken wire, held into place with nails, staples, bungee cords and bricks enclosed the coupe and attached run. We purchased a new flock of chicks, which TLC raised. The enclosure worked well and all of the chickens, except one, survived the summer. One “Jersey Giant”, named Blackie, had black feathers with a subtle iridescent green mixed in. Her name helped me distinguish her from “Red”, our other Jersey Giant who had a beet red crop. Blackie was a beautiful hen and laid an egg daily. Her eggs were a cream color. Blackie was a renegade and would wander off away from the flock and go scratching and digging in the dirt around the property by herself whenever given the chance.

During the wintertime, we brought the flock up close to the house to protect them from the elements. We felt tremendous satisfaction that we had finally gotten the predators under control. Our chickens had survived through the summer, fall and winter. We were feeling confident that we now knew how to protect them. Upon the transition from winter to spring though, we brought the flock back to the orchard.

In the morning after the move, I went down to the orchard and found a pile of black feathers surrounding our now headless chicken. Blackie was dead. I felt sick. It was my fault. I should have made sure she was secure in the coupe before going into the house the evening before. She must have been terrified. The other chickens were hiding in their coupe, obviously scared. I felt weak and guilty. In a way, I knew I was being a bit silly, yet I couldn’t shake my emotions.

Later in the day, I looked out the window into the backyard with my binoculars and saw a hawk pulling pieces of meat from Blackie’s dead body. When the hawk sensed I was focussing on it, it flew off. Blackie’s body was now part of the food chain. Her spirit must have passed on hours ago.

In addition to the emotional ups and downs of raising poultry, we have had many successes and failures with our fruit trees, our bees and our vegetable garden. In fact, last year, we lost our entire bee colony. Experiences like these help my family connect with their food. What we eat is not merely an abstraction. My children have felt the warmth of freshly laid eggs. We have seen our bees carrying orange bits of nectar into the hive and have tasted the honey made from these bees. We know that by pulling up and eating a carrot, we have ended that carrot’s life.  If we pick lettuce from the garden before dinner, we know we are eating plants that are alive.

Not everyone has the land to grow an orchard or the interest to raise chickens or other farm animals. But if you can, try to grow a garden. At the very least, try to raise a few edible plants or herbs in containers. It’s not difficult and the rewards are vast.

Whether or not you are a carnivore or vegetarian, learn to appreciate the source of your food. For too many, food is the ingestion of a lifeless thing wrapped in plastic wrap or processed material placed in a box, catalogued with stats such as calories, fat content, ingredients, etc. If you think about the source of your food and eat it with respect, the food might taste better and may provide you with a sense of greater nourishment.

How I Met My God on Mt. Kilimanjaro

It was daybreak and the sun came to view on the distant horizon. Hours earlier, we had formed a train of head lamps which snaked up the mountain, surrounded, literally, by stars. It was very cold.

Pole, pole, pole our guides chanted.

Step. Breathe. Step. Breathe.

Two steps forward, one step back. Two steps forward, one… two steps back. Breathe… breathe…

Jim knelt down and put his head between his knees gasping for breath. I felt badly for him, but I was nervous that we were taking too long. Anne sat and quietly announced she couldn’t continue. Timing was important and we had a ways to go before reaching the summit.

It was then that our head guide made an executive decision and asked the accessory guide, Ndesario, to bring me up the rest of the way while he stayed with the two others. I breathed a sigh of relief. A lot of training had gone into this trek and I wanted to reach the peak.

As we ascended, I felt weaker and sicker. At around 18,500 feet I asked myself, “Why the heck am I doing this?”

My fantasy of climbing the 7 peaks faded away as I wondered if I could even make just one. Then, the summit came into view and I relaxed.

It was a gradual walk from there to the peak. When I finally got there, I snatched a quick photo of the sign that would later be the only proof of my success. I then motioned to Ndesario that it was time to head down.

It was about two hours down the scree that I sipped my last bit of water. Exhausted, but otherwise feeling better after descending a few thousand feet, I casually asked Ndesario “How much farther till we get to the camp?”

“Half an hour” he said joyfully.
I’ll be fine”, I thought. The scree was like sand. Step, slide, Step, slide. It was challenging. My thighs burned intensely with each slide. But, I could survive anything for a half hour. The air was warm and indeed, it was a beautiful day.

That half hour came and went. There was no sign of the camp and I hadn’t seen another person since leaving the peak.

Now nervous, I muttered to myself, “Does he know where he’s going?”

While trudging on, I asked more emphatically, “Ndesario, How much further till the camp?”

“Half an hour” he said.
This time with a little less joy.

Filled with panic, I screamed, “You said that a half hour ago! Do you know where we are??? I’M OUT OF WATER!! I NEED WATER!!”

I showed him my empty water bottle and shook it with rage. I was angry with him. I knew we were lost. I blamed Jim and Anne for taking so much time on the ascent. Perhaps most of all, I was angry at myself for not bringing enough water.

Ndesario responded with a string of 3 or 4 “Half an hours.”

At this point, realizing that my guide didn’t speak English, I took off my long underwear as I was becoming dehydrated. Sweating was the last thing I wanted to do. I covered myself with my shell for protection from what was now the scorching desert sun. I threw my underclothes at my African guide, who wore a long sleeved shirt and long pants. Not a drip of sweat on him.

We continued on. As I stumbled forward, I felt my lips crack. Initially, I could taste blood as I licked them, but soon, the blood crusted over and became rough. My tongue then dried and became glued to the floor of my mouth. I looked at my guide, Ndesario, now with fear and respect. He moved steadily without any need for water. I realized then that he hadn’t carried a water bottle on this entire overnight journey.

In my delirium, I began to accept that I might die on Mt. Kilimanjaro. I had no tears. My anger and panic were gone. My mind drifted off and although I kept prodding forward, I lost all sense of time and purpose.

That’s when the extraordinary occurred. I heard a subtle noise from somewhere ahead. Then, a very dark skinned man bounced up the rocks wearing what I remember to be a Rastafarian colored hat. He was filled with life’s energy and importantly, he was carrying a flask.

“Water” I pleaded, with my dried up mouth.I’ll never forget the look he gave me. My life was in this stranger’s hands.

He handed me the flask hesitantly and delicious water flowed into my mouth. It was curiously cold considering we had been in sweltering heat for hours. My savior took his flask back and vanished over the rocks. I regained some stamina to keep going.

We walked for what seemed to be at least another 2 hours, when we finally reached the camp. There, I was quickly placed on a cot and given fluids.

As I lay there dreaming, I wondered who that guy was who mysteriously showed up at the precise moment I believed myself to be at death’s door? Was he an angel? Had my God appeared. Was he a messenger or runner that I had manifested? To this day, 21 years later, I wonder why this guy was alone, wandering over 16,000 feet. I also wonder if he knows he saved a life that day.

Miracles, that is unexplainable “coincidences” for the scientifically inclined, occur all the time, usually when least expected. It is usually only after the occurrence happens that one becomes aware of the miraculous. Whether you have a chance meeting with an old friend in some obscure place, happen to be given just enough money for an expense you couldn’t afford, or stumble upon a choice parking space on a busy street in front of the restaurant you have reservations at, these seemingly impossible events occur. I think of them as divine manifestations.

Being conscious means being aware. Accept those things seen and those unseen. Don’t write divine gifts off as mere coincidence or chance. Pay attention. Call it what you will, your intuition, your guiding spirit, your angel, your God, or something else. The more you acknowledge to these special moments, the more you will see into this nebulous realm and the more miraculous your life will become. Indeed, it may save your life one day.

Create Your Home Consciously

Writing is not new to me, but blogging is another story. I’ve written many scientific papers and a couple of book chapters in the medical literature. Writing non-fiction however has been calling to me for some time now, for I have a lot to share for those interested in learning from my experiences. I am a diagnostic radiologist who for the past decade, has been working and living in a Pittsburgh suburb, helping to raise my two children. In some ways, this area has been an ideal location for during my free time, my family and I have been able to enjoy a mixture of agrarian and city lifestyle. We maintain a small organic vegetable garden, an organic orchard of 16 trees and a flock of chickens and ducks during the growing season. We cultivate our own mushrooms and host a colony of honey bees. Over the years, I’ve learned how to freeze, can and dehydrate extra fruit and vegetables. The family has been able to subsist on the garden’s output for over half the year, each year. Yet, because the city of Pittsburgh is so close, we are able to go into the city to enjoy the many new restaurants and entertainment options Pittsburgh has to offer. Pittsburgh really has become a great town!

In our home, we all enjoy excellent health, but this hasn’t always been the case. My home town, was a hazardous place to grow up in, not only for my own health, but probably for most everyone else as well. The effects of pollution in that region were subtle and insidious. We all joked about the incredible stench driving through Newark or Elizabeth, New Jersey, back then but there was no one specific incident that caused a media blitz such as what has occurred recently in Flint, MI. Over the decades though, the area proved to be a very unhealthy place in which to grow up and live. I have no idea if it was the tap water we drank, the ground that we played ball on or the air that we breathed. But, way too many of my classmates and neighborhood friends were diagnosed with cancer before even turning 40. In fact, I was one of them. Many of my friend’s parents died much too early of chronic diseases, particularly cancer and neurodegenerative disease. It wasn’t until I moved out of the area, experienced life in other parts of the country and travelled the world that I gained perspective and realized that communities all over could be classified as either healthy or even sickly. It has been particularly frustrating being a “health care practitioner” and seeing more and more people develop disease earlier and earlier in life. Asthma, allergies, rheumatologic diseases, cancer, neurological disorders, and of course obesity and diabetes are all way too common, especially in children. It has become clear that disease isn’t random, sporadic or what many consider to be bad luck. Some disease are more common in some locations than in others, indicating they are, in a sense, environmental. What’s even more apparent is that even though we always look for family histories of various disease in the medical field, most disease, including many types of cancer are not genetically predetermined.  People may be genetically susceptible to certain types of disease, but that does not mean they are destined to become afflicted with it eventually.

So why the title “Create your Home Consciously”? During my work and personal travel, it has struck me that most people who come down with a disease are hit from left field and have no idea why they became ill. Some people of course do know, such as the chronic smoker who is diagnosed with lung cancer or the woman who’s husband worked with asbestos many years ago and is doomed to suffer a slow death from mesothelioma. In general though, we do not seem to understand that certain lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis can increase our risk of becoming diseased. It is particularly distressing that so many of us know nothing about the food we eat or the water we drink. Our world has become a giant soup bowl filled with plastics and industrial chemicals, and we inhabitants are for the most part totally oblivious to the biological effects that these chemicals can and do have on our bodies everyday.

I’ve learned a lot over the years, but communicating this information effectively is tricky.  Even when people grasp the knowledge, translating that new concepts into action is difficult. In many cases, changing one’s habits is what is ultimately necessary in order to take steps to improve one’s health. Anyone who loves a friend, or family member who smokes, drinks or takes drugs excessively knows it is next to impossible to convince him/her to stop their self destructive behavior. Yet, how can you look yourself in the mirror when one of those friends is diagnosed with cancer or has an accident that you might have helped them avoid if you had offered your observations to them beforehand?

In this series of short posts, my goal is to set up a framework to help the reader piece together how some of the elements in his/her environment interact with their body’s physiological processes. Following will be a brief description of how contaminants associated with each element can adversely affect their health. This information should help one begin the process of creating a healthy home, consciously.

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