Rattlesnakes Are On the Move Again

buns
Bunny

Spring, fall and winter have always been preferred over summer……never a favorite. But nowadays spring is on the hot side and rattlesnakes are on the move again. Recently got word of numerous sightings and yes I find it a little alarming. Two years ago my chihuahua was bitten, with fang marks on each side of her ankle. She probably didn’t see the dastardly creature; I sure didn’t. Eighteen years with no snake encounters and all of a sudden they’re everywhere. Kinda in keeping with the times in general I guess.

I recall that June afternoon two years ago as though it was yesterday. Bunny was in her enclosed yard for approximately 15 minutes before appearing at the door with a sausage sized back leg. I thought a spider bit her; rattlers were not on my mind. They should have been: a neighbor’s dog had been bitten several weeks earlier.

We rushed to the vet office where Dr.Felser pointed out it was not a spider bite. Fang marks were evident with venom still dripping from the two holes. The process of saving her was a nightmare. The swelling went down in hours but the extreme pain remained for more than a month. So I’m currently in rattler prevention mode; lots to do!

Rattlers can’t see or hear. They sense vibrations as threat to life so mole repeller stakes have been put in place beneath the ground around the fence line. They are vibing: danger, stop where you are! Now I’m working on this years addition to my snake offensive: Osha Root.

Snakes have an excellent sense of smell. It is their primary sense and one of the odors they hate the most is Osha Root. Native American runners tied Osha Root to their moccasins for protection against the poisonous strike. Sounds like a great idea.

Breaking up the very hard root demands a sharp hacker. The larger pieces are attached to waxed cord and hung from the fence at ground level. Powder and chips are sprinkled along the fence line, dropping down into the dry grass. hopefully it won’t blow away.

Found some tiny, porous medicine pouches to fill with Osha chips and attach to dog halters. I have no idea if this is going to work but I’m willing to try anything. Anything! Which reminds me: activated charcoal is needed to absorb the venom while racing to the vet office. I have the homeopathic remedies ready to go. They were very helpful throughout the first experience.

The snake threat does change the daily hiking experience. Bunny loves to race through the forest of high grass and undergrowth. I cannot allow my fears to restrict our greatest pleasures together. I’ve been hiking with dogs for 16 years with no problems. It takes meditative focus to keep one life threatening experience from ruining our romping about in the great outdoors.

I look forward to that first deep frost in the fall. It means the slitherers will take refuge and my little dogs will be safe once again. Right now I need a soothsayer to cast a radical spell across the land. Seriously.

Thinking about soothsayers reminds me of the ancient Egyptians who called ravenous rattlers demons and made them the guardians of the 12 gates in the after-world. If the demon snakes determined one’s heart impure the trip toward Osiris was ended only to begin anew with the next sunrise in hell. I’m sure snakes were well chosen for the job.

Mindblowing “Proof” of Deadly Chemtrails; Please Watch!

The video posted above is a mind-blowing and must watch video. The first two speakers give basic info on the phenomenon. Then comes the mindblowing stuff regarding how aluminum in chemtrails, used to keep them aloft, is sitting on internal magnesium receptors and thereby replacing them, making it mandatory to take magnesium. Magnesium and potassium are perhaps the two most important minerals in the body. If you don’t know their importance – read up. Their absence can cause serious illness and death.

When I first moved to Taos back in ’95 I started writing about chemtrails. The Taos News wouldn’t publish anything so I posted on a local internet bulletin board, Laplaza and got no response from anyone. Then Bill Whaley started Horsefly journal and I started writing about them on a regular basis. You can find a copy of Poisoned Skies at Janeodin.com. Click on commentary and scroll down. You’ll find some interesting info.

The only initial response I received was from Mieshiel (Scott) Murray and his parents Pintki and John. Mieshiel and I did a project (I forget the name) at a local gallery and later Murray gave a presentation at TCA. Now a new group in Taos, Take Back Our Skyhas been doing a good job getting the word out. Sigrid Erika is the leader of this group. I hope they are receiving a better response than I did back in the ’90s.

Back then I pointed to chemtrails hundreds of times and had nothing but denials of what the viewers were very clearly seeing. I know folks who deny having said “you’re crazy; why would the government or anyone else spray the skies with toxic chemicals?” or “oh it’s just weather modification. Hope it brings rain” I have an astounding memory. I do believe the above video will clear the air with the truth of the matter. At last!

There is much info from noted authorities from several disciplines on the video. So much I didn’t know even with years of research etc. But the most horrifying blast is they are using nano particles to seed the sky-ways and we have no protection. The nanos can pass through face masks and absorb through the skin.Their admonition to take magnesium daily should be considered. I would also include potassium on that must take list.

Please check out the video. It’s a year old which is not a good sign regarding getting the news out. I haven’t seen anything on national news. Perhaps in another 10 years the media and other sleepy-time observers will discover the relevance of aluminum to the Alzheimer’s epidemic; aluminum is the culprit. At which point it may or may not become viral information.

What Scares Are Blowing in the Wind?

Late summer and winter of 2015 I had a succession of strange flu like illnesses. I say strange because the first one was severe, appeared without warning, producing laryngitis and hacking cough, forcing a trip to Urgent Care where it was immediately diagnosed as micoplazma, a most unusual disease that can switch back and forth between virus and bacteria. Interestingly, I was told by Urgent Care there was an epidemic of micoplazma pneumonia in the area at the time.

The horror of it was the pathway it seemed to create for several flu like episodes that returned every few months for a total of 4 experiences. I though I was doomed, a product of my aged immune system which had always protected me with great vigilance. I had not had a respiratory illness in over 20 years and was in very good health – so it was quite shocking.

During this time I had been hiking everyday with my little dogs, forcing myself to go out on extremely windy days. I don’t like strong wind, never have and certainly not the kind of wind that blows across NM, whipping up dust visible from many miles away. I have worn wrap-around sunglasses for many years to protect my eyes.

I haven’t been ill for months now and I attribute it to my refusal to walk about in heavy winds. An unfortunate dilemma; winds in NM have increased astronomically over the past couple of years and 2016 is a real humdinger. Our spring winds are up in the 35 – 60 mph range, carrying all manner of particulate matter from all over the world.

Flu-like symptoms are a frequent response to airborn toxins ranging from pesticides, neurotoxins, chemtrails, virus’, bacteria, fire retardant, on and on according to Dr. Leonard Horowitz writing in Death in the Air and Emerging Viruses. Patients describe similar symptoms throughout his books.

Northern NM residents face possibilities for blowing biological weapons and radioactive particles. We live in the center of Star Wars research at Los Alamos, Sandia Labs and Kirtland Airforce base. Winds blowing north from Los Alamos carry all manner of deadly particulate matter. This should be obvious. In past years depleted uranium and beryllium were burned on site and carried for miles on blowing winds. Who knows what is coming out of there now,

Children and over70s are very susceptible to airborne toxins; our immune systems are not strong enough to withstand the bombardment of everything blowing in from California agriculture, Japan, Monsanto corn-lands, neighborhood Miracle Grow fertilizers, manure and sources mentioned earlier.

Flu-like symptoms seem to be a major clue that wind blown particulates are taking you down. It might be a good idea to always wear sunglasses that protect eyes and simple, coal filter face masks
when facing severe winds. Mds will definitely poo-poo the idea but they don’t have all the answers. If I had relied on the eye doctor for an iritis cure I would still be waiting. In fact he told me there was no cure for my reoccurring condition. Soon as I started wearing the wrap-arounds the condition stopped occurring.

The Force of Gravity is Increasing

Look around – determine for yourself. No testing done here – just simple observation. Skin, muscle. fat layers are falling, rolling down to the waist area, creating a round ball slogging down the path. It must be increasing gravity because I’ve weighed the identical amount for the past 7 years. What to do, what to do?

With extra dollars one can have a face and body-lift and yank all that skin back into place. But still it’s a futile struggle because within five years the skin will have dropped back into jowls, double chins and marionette mouths. It’s demoralizing. There isn’t much to be done about it – other than radically transforming one’s internal point of view.

Losing weight doesn’t solve the problem of accumulating rolls around the middle. Moderate daily exercise doesn’t touch it. Ten pounds lost and the rolls persist. I’m not interested in lifting weights at the local gym or getting a personal trainer. They both cost money and when one lives on SSI there is nothing left over for such luxuries.

And the face – what a scary sight. I force myself to apply organic face cream, certainly not one of the so called miracle $300 an oz creams. Never used them. But I’ve found nothing works as promised. How could they? All the models seen with so called rejuvenated faces are in their early 20’s; not hard to rejuvenate. Common sense says that when over70 there is basically little to do but love what one has and let go of past expectations.

Nothing lasts forever; we’re just a passing through. To ignore the change and pretend things the same, brings shock, pain and the blues. Ah, it’s so much easier to let it all go when reaching that certain age. No need to hoard past expectations of beauty and true romance cause there’s no way of returning to those precious moments long past.

There is some comfort knowing I am not alone in coping with the ravages of time. Basically it doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of things such as family, friends, good health and joyful endeavors. One of those joyful endeavors is getting to know oneself better with each passing day and letting go of everything you can’t take with you on the mysterious trip into infinity where the force of gravity will no long hold sway.

There is something to be done for the future. Take as much cash as possible out of the bank and squirrel it away before they close the doors and your money disappears into a very black hole. If you know about black holes – you know there is no return. It’s kinda like that gravity problem. Meanwhile google: banks deny withdrawals. It’s an interesting subject.

Getting Friendly With the Grim Reaper

“We behave as if we are never going to die – an infantile arrogance. But even more injurious than this sense of immortality is what comes with it: the sense that we can engulf this inconceivable universe with our minds………Our goal is to reach infinity and be aware of it.” Castaneda, The Active Side of Infinity

There are endless accounts of what to expect after death – everything from a maintaining of appearance as we rejoin with family, friends and spiritual masters in a heaven of endless magnificence – to the other extreme of grotesque tortures experienced as punishment for bad karma. Threats of a fiery hell have always been used to keep the masses under control and have nothing to do with preparation for after death realities.

Death and dying should not be thought of as a taboo subject. Try bringing it up in conversation and see the reaction; you are immediately perceived as negative. Yet, recognizing death as a constant companion is a first step toward experiencing a fearless encounter with one’s final reality which can come without warning at any moment.

A rewarding first step in developing a friendship with the so called grim reaper is Stephen Levine who dedicated his life to work with death, dying and grief, writing about the process in numerous books such as Who Dies? and A Year to Live, combining Buddhist principals with other wisdom traditions. In Who Dies? he writes, “Who is prepared to die? Who has lived so fully that they are not threatened by their imaginings of nonexistence? For it is only the idea of death that frightens us. It is the unknown we pull back from.”

Another master of the subject is Carlos Castaneda, the author of a series of life changing books. For those who think of him as an unremarkable hippie guru I turn to Deepak Chopra who wrote “Carlos Castaneda is one of the most profound and influential thinkers of this century. His insights are paving the way for the future evolution of human consciousness. We should all be deeply indebted to him.”

The Active Side of Infinity, Castaneda’s final book is concerned with aspects of death and dying focused on dying in full consciousness. Don Juan called the death experience the definitive journey and described life after death as “a concrete region filled to capacity with practical affairs of a different order.” Preparation for entrance into the active side of infinity includes close examination of one’s life in search of memorable, life changing events of an objective nature. He describes the type of acceptable events with great clarity.

The other major activity in preparation for death is to leave no debt unpaid which sent Carlos on a journey to find all his benefactors and gift them in a magnificent manner. It is an incredible book of much value to those planning to die at some point in the near or distant future.

If there is an afterlife it is certainly determined by one’s energetic configuration at the time of death. This frequency is enhanced by love and joy – and lowered by fear, anger, and ungratified longings. One’s life’s work is to assure a frequency of bright radiance at the moment of death that will gravitate toward energy of a similar nature in the stratosphere and beyond. Embracing impermanence and change, releasing material attachments and creating a loving nature establish a good path toward a higher frequency and peaceful death experience. And this is no small task in today’s world.

It’s good to keep in daily contact with the following wisdom-cliches because they monitor deep realities. Although it will appear quite simplistic, try repeating these phrases from time to time and notice how your awareness transforms: Nothing lasts forever; we are just passing through; you can’t take it with you; live each moment as though your last; make love not war. Basically everything fades into a new and brilliantly unknown reality.

Medical Directives Are Very Important for Elderly

Wealthy folks with excellent health care and wishing to live forever may not find the joy in this information that prompted me to laugh and dance about with great happiness. I now feel so much better prepared for the future; Be Prepared has always been a highly respected motto.

I do not want under any circumstances to end up in the care of western medicine in a hospital or retirement home after having a stroke or heart attack. I’ve heard too many nightmare stories about way over 70 folks going into hospital with serious illness and coming out in much worse condition, particularly when on Medicaid. Often they end up in horribly depressing recovery elderly homes.

Have you visited one of these places where folks sit or lie around staring into space, eating horrible food with no quality recreation such as meditation and yoga therapy. Places where patients don’t even speak to each other when face to face at meal time. They are silent, pallid faced captives waiting to die. It is truly hideous.

I’ve had a medical directive for many years but always knew that in an emergency situation the EMTs attending my unconscious body would do everything to revive me and take me to hospital. Exactly what I do not want. A directive in my safety deposit box or a closet drawer was not going to do the job. Then I learned the process in other states and got busy creating it for myself since there is no statewide registry in New Mexico. They are a little behind on a lot of issues. to say the least.

In Oregon after your directive is recorded at your local hospital you receive a packet with various sized stickers and notices to put on your door and in your wallet and wherever responders might see your directive reference. So I brought the directive to my local hospital and they put it on file. Next I made up some notices in bold print which read as follows.

“Emergency Medical Directive
I have a medical directive that states: Do not resuscitate or take to hospital for any reason. The only assistance I want is pain meds if necessary. Copy of directive found at holy Cross Hospital, Centinel Bank safety deposit box and dresser drawer in closet.”

A copy of this statement is now taped to my front door and in a noticeable spot in my wallet. I feel prepared now for any eventuality. Sure hope it works; can’t imagine the alternative of living in a semi-vegetative state for the final days, weeks, years of my life.

I can’t believe anyone wants these circumstances yet millennials are very prone to allow family members to go through hellacious hospital experiences and/or to slowly rot in old age mausoleums. In this respect I am very fortunate. I have no living family members to imprison me in one place or another.

Of course it looks a little crazy for a very healthy person to have a notice of this nature taped to glass front door but that’s OK. Whatever is necessary to get the job done until there is a system here like exists in the very advanced state of Oregon. All states should have state wide registries. But somehow that might defeat the dreams of big pharma and western medicine in general.

HaHaHaHoHo Transforms Disease

I must remember to laugh more. Sometimes its not so easy in the insane word we navigate but then I remember it doesn’t need to be spontaneous, it can be created as an artificial expression and have great positive effects. LOL forever and ever. No better therapy in the world.

Laughter is the easiest, quickest method for achieving internal exercise almost effortlessly. I do enjoy the entertainers that make me laugh but I also know that manufactured laughter creates similar benefits by expanding one’s internal space. Perhaps I should post some reminders around the house: Laugh fool; the jokes on you! Laughter is remarkable therapy as Norman Cousins documented in Anatomy of an Illness where he tells of healing ankylosing spondylitis after Drs had given him 6 months to live.

He reasoned that if stress had made him ill, then laughter should make him feel better, and it did. Sometimes he was in extreme pain and couldn’t sleep but after 10 minutes of “bellyripping laughter” he could fall asleep. After 6 months of watching favorite comedies he was back at work and lived for 16 more years. What a powerful story; think about it: healing life threatening disease with laughter.

Why does laughter heal? The bottom line is expansion; expansion creates release, complete letting go. Internal release is important to well being and should be learned as a technique that can be applied anywhere under any circumstance. Science says laughter increases immune cell count, triggers the release of endorphins and lowers blood sugar levels.

Forced/pretended laughter quickly turns into the real thing. Try it out and notice how the waist expands with each sound. With a hearty laugh the entire body shakes. With all the horror in the world it might be a good idea to do this exercise from time to time throughout the day. It’s hard to feel sad or depressed while laughing.

Where does one find genuine laughter? Unfortunately sitcoms are not my thing. I’ve never been able to watch them. They all seem so forced and boringly strange. But Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Lewis Black, John Oliver, Robin Williams and many politicians cause the uncontrollable belly-laughts that send healing impulses throughout my tense and tightening body.

Of course my little dogs keep me giggling and most recently the little birdie that visited Bernie Sanders in Wisconsin filled me with joyful laughter and great hope. It renews a belief in miracles. Meanwhile, gotta keep laughing 24/7 in order to overcome the negativity in the world.

Memories, Mindfulness and Meditation

Events that occurred between the ages of 15 and 25 are recalled at a higher rate — what is referred to as the reminiscence bump — a finding that has usually been attributed to the greater salience or emotionality of the memories during this time period. This general pattern holds across all ages, suggesting that autobiographical memory is largely preserved with age. from Ch 1 of Brain Aging: Models, Methods and Mechanisms.

WayOver70 folks are often aware of memories interfering with moment to moment Mindfulness by flooding consciousness with long forgotten events, happenings, relationships and insights. The long-term memory flow is so much stronger with each year passing 70. Sometimes the insights can knock one off course by moving consciousness far, far away from ongoing moments. It’s interesting how we recall memories of what happened decades ago but can’t remember what happened yesterday.

Pop up memories of decades long past can be a great comfort or a lesson of invaluable insight but not so good for meditation when one strives to stay with the breath and not get lost in memories. This is the primary reason for focusing on breath in detail: inhale 1, 2, 3, 4; exhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or focusing on a mantra. This practice greatly improves concentration which sustains short term memory recall.

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. What can we do when wishing to stay in Mindfulness and not become lost in yesterdays? Wide angle viewing shifts one back into the moment pronto. It happens when one shifts into wide-focus. Try it now and see how effective it is. Everything in view is a little fuzzy but equal in visual importance; nothing stands out. For some reason this mode of viewing discourages long-term memory returns and allows one to run the monologue of moment to moment reality so well explored in Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous and many other masters.

Concentration is important to both Mindfulness and meditation. When one does not have good concentration, research shows that short term memory is often affected. Science says it is because of chronic stress producing high levels of cortisol which reduces the ability to produce new memories and thereby creates senior moments. The way to reduce possibilities of dementia is through avoidance of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and depression in mid-life. Since meditation is known to improve all of the above problems along with improving concentration and reducing stress, it is a perfect therapy for all of us.

Another problem interfering with the ability to concentrate and memory is obesity. A 27 year study of 10,000 OBESE men and women in middle age revealed a 74% increase in dementia This study published in the British Medical Journal indicates a mandatory need for a Mediterranean-style diet with lots of fatty fish AND adequate daily exercise. Adequate exercise is suggested as ½ hour of walking which can be done anywhere including at home in circles or however.

Meditation is well known to reduce stress, anxiety, blood pressure and memory loss. Many studies are available online supporting its importance for a meaningful elder life and indicating a need for its presence in elder care such as nursing and retirement homes. I would say that a facility that does not offer meditation training and development is not up to date, and may not be current in other amenities.

When one is in the present moment of Mindfulness there is no past or future. When learning to practice Mindfulness we practice one thing at a time. When drinking coffee, only drink coffee and so forth with all activities and you will be resting in the eternal present. Or as Ram Das writes in Still HereThe moment is the doorway into eternity.” It is a timelessness that embraces both the past and the future.

Birds of a Feather

images

Remember the old saying dating back to Plato birds of a feather flock together; those birds are crawling out of the woodwork now to support Trump. Millions of them are voting for their mirror images and reinforcing longings for Trump’s realities and objectives. This is the scariest part of the scenario: the millions who admire this fascist baboon, and I choose my words with great care.

1/4 of the population known as Tea Party members are surely among his supporters. These folks are described as over 50, educated, upper middle class, racist, church attending Christians who over-populate California, Texas, Florida, Ohio and New York. The lowest density is in North Dakota, Vermont, South Dakota, Rhode Island and Dist of Columbia. Interesting to note Ted Cruz is an active member of the Tea Party. So one doesn’t have much choice within the Republican line-up.

Another arena of support for Trump and Clinton is the deep south with the unifying factor being Evangelical Christianity. I grew up in the south and returned there to run a newspaper for eight years. I can say from personal experience: it is a racist, backward arena full of brainwashed born again Christians. So of course many of the early primaries occur in these overpopulated (more votes) landscapes of Dark-Age thinking. The locations have been chosen by the 1% in control of almost everything in America and they know oh so much about Christian ethics and how to pull the chains of prejudice.

I find Christianity an unfortunate institution along with all religions that perpetuate violence in the world. Shocking conclusion? I don’t think so, as witnessed by history of religion and American politics throughout the ages. The veil has been lifted in the 21st Century and it will be hard to ignore the facts vibrating around us. The Internet and social media have recorded the ugly realities for all to see. I continue to wonder why Christians haven’t found the plug into the spirit of love as the philosophy of Jesus in the New Testament. Wouldn’t it be great if Christians practiced what Jesus preached? All their hideous prejudice would be gone in a flash and control-freak mentality would melt into unconditional compassion for all life.

1985, driving across the south on my return to Georgia I remember so clearly….. thinking – there’s a church on every corner of settled real estate; this place must glow in the dark. Wrong! Oh how wrong. No way could I have been prepared for Christian ethics. Yes indeedy, I could tell stories about preachers vocalizing unimaginable prejudice against blacks, gays, women – and politicians advocating and implementing the very worse environmental policies and proud of it. And like most freely elected demigods they imprison their faithful in Christian dogma employed to control the believers. Politicians and preachers know how to work all systems. And on it goes throughout time – decade after decade, century after century.

How can born-again Christians vote for a man Jesus would have thrown out of the temple along with the merchants and bankers(money changers)? How can Christians vote for Republicans who are well known adversaries against the poorest of the poor, Social Security, obvious global warming, elderly care, single payer health insurance, gay rights, pro-choice on and on. It is said the favorite news channel for born-again Christians and the elderly is Fox news; how terribly unfortunate. I don’t watch Fox news, it makes me sick but word has it folks treasure their Fox. How come? How can you support those working against our best interests at every possible level?

Bernie says his religion is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” as Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount. Interestingly, Mosaic law has a similar admonition: “Whatever is hurtful to you, do not do to any other person.” Think about it Christians when deciding who you will vote for; listen carefully to self-serving statements and make wise decisions.

It’s important to observe body language when viewing the presidential debates. Much is revealed in gesture and facial expression. That’s why in an earlier post I suggested turning off the sound and viewing facial expression. Having canvassed friends it seems much of this valuable info is being missed by listening primarily to words. For example, after Bernie’s concluding remarks at the Miami debate Hillary was filmed laughing directly at the cheering crowd giving him a standing ovation. It was an arrogant, smirky smile full of disrespect for the people at large. She and George Bush were very good at creating this particular look. It gets to the heart of the matter.

According to Langer Research Associates Clinton has a problem with honesty and trustworthiness and yet folks generally prefer her personality to Sanders, a strange oxymoron indicating some find deception an attractive personality trait. Isn’t it amazing the extreme difference in perception regarding evidence in plain view. Once again I urge you to watch all the candidates without sound and also look at what they have stood for through the years. For example Clinton is known as the Bride of Frankenfood because of her support of Monsanto and GMOs. Good heavens! Even livestock always choose non GMO grains when given a choice between the two.

Supposedly over 78% of America is Christian. Please excuse the platitude but actions do speak louder than words and current world opinion finds America supporting fascist ideals and lacking in compassion for the disadvantaged wherever they may be. Facilitating world bankers creating the 1% in control of America’s destiny is not compatible with New Testament Christianity.

For the first time since FDR we have the opportunity to transform our landscape by voting for a man of and for the people. Bernie has a lifetime record of standing against war and fighting for the masses. And here’s hoping there are enough birds of a feather to sail him onto victory.
Continue reading Birds of a Feather

More On Pogo-stick Walking

iz192001

According to the CDC over 18,000 people die a year from fall related injuries; over 700,000 are hospitalized from falls producing head injury and hip fracture. Those are scary statistics particularly for those of us who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking across mountainous terrain.  Balance is the primary feature of a safe arrival and this is achieved through body alignment, a low center of gravity, diaphragmatic breathing and bending knees.

A low center of gravity and noticeably bent knees are central to all athletic training. When body weight is centered in the pelvis instead of the high chest, the feet become simultaneously heavy and light. One is sure footed and sensitive to holes in the terrain or obstacles in the path.

When speaking of “bent knees” I don’t mean knees bent like Groucho Marx. The knee should give just a little into a slight bend as one steps onto the foot. Also – when standing, one’s knees should be slightly bent instead of locked straight. Observe a side view of yourself in a mirror, focusing on the lower back. With straight knees you will have a sway back which corrects itself soon as the knees are bent slightly.

An easy way to test balance is to stand near a stable table barefooted and with eyes closed. Lift a foot at least 8 inches off the surface and see how long you can maintain balance. Do it with both feet, one at a time of course, making sure there is something nearby to grab hold of in case you teeter about.

When walking listen to the sound of the feet hitting the surface. A thud sound indicates the entire foot is hitting at once instead of rolling through heel – ball – toe. Observe yourself walking toward a mirror. Each side of your body should be a mirror image of the other side. One side should not be higher or lower than the other. The head should rest in a straight line with the pelvis; not a little in front of the pelvis.The arms swing an equal amount and in similar fashion. Do you waddle side to side kind of like a duck? This problem is particularly noticeable in the overweight group. Imagine a rope attached to the pelvis, pulling slowly forward as you roll through heel, ball, toe.

Physical therapists agree that once you fall it is much easier to fall again. It’s as though a pathway is made to repeat behavior; kinda strange but noted in most studies on the subject. So at least be sure to do the barefoot balancing test mentioned above and determine your physical balance. It may be something you need to work on. It could save you life. Specific exercises are given in earlier post: “How Are You Walking?”

If you are entrenched in pogo-stick walking it can be somewhat difficult to embrace a pelvic centered walk. You have been encouraging a high resting point for your chi (body’s vital energy), making one very top heavy. Maintaining a relaxed and balanced walking style depends on hooking into the pelvic region which initially can be unsettling because it’s the total opposite feeling of what you are used to and we strongly resist change.

Hara, The Vital Center of Man by Karlfried Von Durckheim was the only required reading for classes I taught at NYU. It goes into scholarly detail regarding the philosophy and practice of living from the Hara, which is the point a few inches below the navel. Read it as a spiritual and you will have a good feeling for the experience of being centered in this area of the body. All of this information is greatly expanded in my book Napoleon’s Bathtub.