Category Archives: Health

What our definition of happiness is may differ


008 I am who and what I am, full of faults and shortcomings that I have learned to accept. I am no stud or intellectual giant but I have finer points that few ever see or notice. My uniqueness is something I treasure and will never hide from others. I used to be so concerned about what others thought of me, but I have learned that what they think about me is less important than what I think about myself. I have leaned to love me for who and what I am. Take me for what I am or do not take me at all, for I am the sum of all my experiences though life and the person I have become within. I am an ever changing and growing person and I embrace the fact I can and will make many mistakes along this path of life I walk. By accepting myself as is I also have learned to accept others for who and what they are. Not one person can be perfect nor can they be accepted and/or liked by everyone. I learned one of the greatest gifts one can give and receive (besides Love) is forgiveness. For forgiveness is one of those things that usually return to you 7 fold down the line. Just like Jesus taught us, we must love and forgive freely and not be swayed by anger or envy. Selfishness is one of the biggest enemies of being happy and living a full life. Selfishness keeps us from loving and forgiving others, it keeps our focus on ourselves and not on the world in full. We may be individuals but we are also a part of a huge family called humanity. We must learn to love and accept ourselves before we learn to love and accept those around us. Love is something that starts as a seed within and grows outward and so is all the other emotions related to it. To love yourself is not to be selfish it is to be selfless, for loving yourself leads to loving others and is a required first step towards happiness. There is always going to be someone you have a hard time liking but this does not mean you can not love them is a general sense. There have been many who I have not liked so much in my life but I still loved them as a human being.  Hate the sin not the sinner and love the person but not their faults or actions.

I am who I am and you are who you are, We are two unique people with different views but both of us want the same thing and that is to live a happy life. What our definition of happiness is may differ but we both still long for and strive towards that same goal. I pray and hope you will find that happiness as much as I hope I find mine.

Not one person is alike, yet we all desire to be happy.

Raymond Barbier

Beyond the trap of following the social ideals


newprofilepic  Low self-esteem seems to very common place in America now days, seems a good percentage of the population have little if no faith in themselves or their abilities. Some of this is created by the family environment during the early years of our social and personality development.  But it seems that he age of mass media has the greatest effect on our self image and in turn it affects our self-esteem. Being bombarded with unrealistic thin supermodel females and overly muscle-bound males would make any average man or woman feel inadequate or sub par. Too much focus has been on the physical and not enough on the actual mental and emotional side. What one looks like does not dictate who they are or what they can achieve in life. The truth is that what society considers beauty changes decade to decade. There was a time when a heavy-set woman with pale skin was considered  very sexy and tall thin men were the hot item on the market. Unfortunately we seem to always look to society to choose for us what is sexy or not. This creates a lot of self-image problems for the majority of us that are just average looking . Until either society gets real or we as individuals get beyond the trap of following the social ideals we are handed we will be dealing with a lot of low self-esteem.

The truth is each and every one of us have their own ideal of what we consider attractive and/or sexy.  Not all men like skinny model types or bombshells and not every woman wants a Weight lifter. In the end the physical beauty fades and only the personality and heart remains. So it seems we should be more concerned with what one is inside than what they look like on the outside. Though I believe we all are beautiful and that being sexy is more an attitude than a look. For god does not make ugly things, only mankind labels things as such. Is it possible that we judge others negatively in order to try to hide our own faults?

 

 

“If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence it is only because you have not taken care of the lawn you have.”

Raymond Barbier

Most of us are only one or two paychecks away from being homeless


015  Now that winter time is here it is time to start to think about those who are at high risk during cold and severe winter weather. Neighbors, relatives and friends that may be up in age that need to looked after during snowstorms. Simple things as getting them groceries and making sure they have adequate blankets as well as water. There is also the homeless that need warm clothing, food and blankets if not help finding a local shelter. The local shelters also need supplies including food to take care of those in need. Even if you have very little to give or you have a busy schedule you can afford to give a few minutes of your time or a few pieces of clothing you no longer need or want. You can always get your church or organization to start a food drive or campaign to aid those in need. The least one can do is drop off a donation at a local church or non profit to help. Just remember most of us are only one or two paychecks away from being homeless so with that in mind help those that are.

 

May god bless you in This new year of 2012 and may you share the blessings with others.

Raymond Barbier

Our world may be a mess and in dire need of changes


IMG_1078fbI am but a dreamer, Dreaming of a better world and of more of a compassionate humanity.Though I may dream of better things I live in this nightmare we call modern society. A society were money is more important than the ecology and in some cases our own families. A society where drug companies rather treat a symptom than cure the disease so they can have record high profits. A world were the oil is slowly running out but no one is really trying to get off of the carbon based fuel addiction. Too much money to be made in the oil industry to make alternative fuels and / or energy a high priority.

A society where scientists can not seem to make up their minds on anything. Sometimes it makes you wonder how several research teams can come up with such conflicting results. I do not know if the scientists are on the take or just try for the results that will get them more grant money or what. I really hope it is just incomplete data or something not so sinister. Then here in the U.S. we have a congress that reminds me of grade school kids arguing over a ball in the school playground. Sticking to ones convictions may be a virtue but the well-being of our country and the citizens that elected them should be first priority.

In this country alone the big business has had a 40% profit increase but yet they had no growth new employment. So much money flowing in you would think they would hire on more employees and or offer better benefits. Don’t get me wrong I am all for them making profits, that is what they are in business to do. I just think if they made the money here in the U.S. they should reinvest it here by hiring on American workers and paying their fair share of taxes. The present tax code leaves way too many loopholes for the big businesses to use in avoiding paying their full share of taxes.

So much is changing in the world, yet too many of us just sit by and say or do nothing about it. We just watch it change and let those in power make all the choices for us. Our governmental system is one of the best in the world if we exercise all of our rights and get our voices heard by congress. But they can not hear our voices if we choose not to speak. It is the American people who made this one of the greatest nations in the world and we can do it once again if we choose to act. We have seen in the news how citizens can make a change, though they had to go to extremes that are not necessary in a democratic republic as ours.

Our world may be a mess and in dire need of changes that luckily we can make if we decide to do so. The nations of the world need to pull together and make the changes necessary to make a better world for our children. The children are our future, that is if we leave them a future they can survive in. The choice has always been ours to make, Lets hope we make the right one for both ourselves and our children.

God Bless Our Children and may he lead us to the right choices to be made.
Peace
Raymond Barbier

Not even happiness can exist indefinitely


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Emotions, friend or foe to the modem man? Both, for without emotions we would be nothing but uninspired automatons. Each emotion serves a purpose and some emotions serve several functions. Fear is meant to protect our physical body by directing us away from things that endanger our well-being. Anger serves as a protector emotion by putting us in fight mode when there is either no escape or we feel secure enough to fight. Happiness is an emotion that inspires us to be creative and social so we can grow culturally as well as socially. Sadness keeps us rooted in reality, it reminds us that loss is a part of life as well as the constant reminder of our mortality. Even jealousy can serve a good purpose, for it shows that we cherish our mate when it is over a person and inspires us to work harder so we can better our life when it is jealousy over possessions. Each one of these emotions can either serve us in a positive or negative fashion and which way it does is based on our ability to control them.

Since emotions are a necessary part of our physical experience they should never be shut off or suppressed. The negative aspects of our emotions will exist and even though we can not turn them off we can learn to make them short-lived as well as temper their impact on both ourselves and others. They must be expressed and allowed to come to fruition but they can be channeled into a less destructive way of expression. Surprising them are an unhealthy way to control them and causes a lot of physical side effects that can create an unhealthy body. This is one of the most common ways people get high stress levels, and that in turn creates health problems such as high blood pressure and mental problems such as depression and even nervous breakdowns in the long run. One way to express the negative emotions with little impact on others is to write a journal or log and express them through writing. This gives them an outlet but restricts the negative effects. Express them and then let them go, for no emotion is meant to be permanent. Not even happiness can exist indefinitely, though it would be nice to be in permanent euphoria but it would be unproductive and probably would be troublesome down the line.

Seize the moment, Leave the past and hope for the future.
Raymond Barbier

We dig a pit in which we feel there is no escape.


003 I see the emptiness in the eyes of others, they endlessly try to fill it with material goods and through pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately these are only temporary distractions from the emptiness they feel. The lack of meaning in their life and the absence of self-worth makes the empty feeling in them harder to overcome. What exactly is that emptiness or what causes it could be something as simple as low self-esteem or depression. It also could be the lack of spiritual fulfillment as well as not being accepted by their peers. It seems quite apparent that humans as a species require some sort of community and to be accepted in some sort of social group. We tend to be a very social species and we thrive on being  a part of such a group as well as being loved.

Sometimes we tend to create a false image of ourselves within and can not see the real person we are. We deceive ourselves into believing such negative things that we dig a pit in which we feel there is no escape. The hardest part is coming to the realization that we are not as bad off as we believe. It’s so easy to fall in to the pit but it is very hard to climb our way out. It is one of things that it probably took you many years to create such a negative self-image and it will take some time to teach yourself to have a more positive image. There are many methods of building self-confidence as well as improving your self-image such as attending religious meetings, meditation, exercise and even writing poetry or a journal.

Every day is but one more step in your personal journey through life and each step leads you forward in your self discovery.  If you search within to find out who you really are you may just find that you are far better person than you once believed. For we seem to be a far stricter judge upon ourselves as well as or actions than we are on others. We have to look at ourselves like we look at friends and family. Judge ourselves with compassion like we do those we love and care about, knowing no one is perfect and to expect perfection from ourselves or others is just plain illogical to say the least. To remember your past mistakes is wise but to punish yourself over them is foolish. We paid the price for the mistakes shortly after we committed them and guilt shouldn’t last beyond a few day to a week. Forgiving ourselves and others seems to be one of the hardest things to do., but it is a necessary part of our life.

Well enough of my Psycho-babble Nonsense.
Peace and Love to All
Raymond Barbier

Come up with some real proven facts.


Most meats such as chicken contain all the ess...Ok here we go again with another flip-flop on the health news front. Now they are claiming that salt is now good for you and that being fat is also good. The once believed fact that cholesterol in food elevates your serum cholesterol in your bloodstream is now been revised to say it is not the cholesterol it is only the fat. Well at least so far they have not wavered on the saturated fat issue as of yet. I really wish they would get their theories behind them and come up with some real proven facts. This zigzag technique of informing the public has caused more worry and harm than good in the long run. I am beginning to think they best policy is to just eat a well-balanced diet and keep active and pay less to what you eat but how much of it you consume.

I also am convinced it’s the quality of the food we consume now days. It seems the nutritional value of most foods bought in supermarkets have lower nutritional values than what our grandparents had back in their day. Plus we have so many chemicals added to food along with the food being processed to death before we even cook it. And we can not forget all the pesticides and herbicides that are used in farming now days along with how much food contamination is happening lately. Food safety and quality should be one of our biggest concerns along with water quality. We are what we eat and if we eat junk we get bodies that run like junk. All in the name of progress and cheaper production costs. The food quality crisis also heavily influences our healthcare problems.

Hopefully they will get real accurate facts about what food is or isn’t or bad for you to eat as well as finding the best way to raise the food quality and safety. Until they do, they should keep the theories and unproven facts to themselves to avoid confusion as well as unnecessary stress on the public.

Well that’s my thoughts on the matter.
Peace to all
Raymond Barbier

Read the labels, check the facts, look for healthier alternatives


Food market in Assam 3
Image by Michael Foley Photography via Flickr

Have we become too dependent on mass-produced foods and the chemicals they contain? Our modern lifestyle seems to push us more into an unhealthy diet and very inactive if not stagnant daily routine. Our body requires activity of mind and body as well as a healthy and natural diet. Our body was not designed to consume artificial sweeteners, preservatives and chemicals. Anything our body sees as unnatural is classified as a type of toxin so it tries to filter it out via the liver which causes the liver to become overworked which eventually leads to many liver dysfunctions and health issues. Our digestive track becomes clogged with processed flour along with the toxins and other by products of the processed foods we consume.

The solution to the problem is to either grow our own food and or purchase organic foods along with becoming more active. Will eating healthier actually cure-all the ailments of the modern man? No. But it can sure make a big difference in the overall health of an individual. The idea of wholesome foods is not a new one,  Sylvester Graham the creator of Graham flour is one of the earlier reformers of the American diet.

Wikipedia Excerpt.

<Link to Wikipedia Page>

The Reverend Sylvester Graham (July 5, 1794 – September 11, 1851) was an American dietary reformer. He was born in Suffield, Connecticut as the 17th child of Reverend John Graham. Sylvester Graham was ordained in 1826 as a Presbyterian minister. He entered Amherst College in 1823 but did not graduate. He was an early advocate of dietary reform in the United States and was most notable for his emphasis on vegetarianism and the temperance movement, as well as dietary habits.

In 1829 he invented Graham bread, and the recipe first appeared in The New Hydropathic Cookbook (New York, 1855). It showed that Graham bread was made from un-sifted flour and free from chemical additives such as alum and chlorine. Graham argued that chemical additives in bread made it unwholesome. The use of additives by bakeries was a common practice during the Industrial Revolution to make breadwhiter in color, and more commercially appealing. Darker wheat bread was considered the fare of country rubes. Refined bread was a status symbol of the middle class because of its “purity and refinement” in its color and was purchased, rather than home-made. Graham believed that a firm bread made of coarsely ground whole-wheat flour was more nutritious and healthy.

Graham was also inspired by the temperance movement and preached that a vegetarian diet was a cure for alcoholism, and, more importantly, sexual urges. The main thrust of his teachings was to curb lust. While alcohol had useful medicinal qualities, it should never be abused by social drinking. For Graham, an unhealthy diet stimulated excessive sexual desire which irritated the body and caused disease. While Graham developed a significant following known as Grahamites, he was also ridiculed by the media and the public for his unwavering zealotry. According to newspaper records, many women fainted at his lectures when he aired opinions both on sexual relations and the wearing of corsets.

As you can see he was definitely a controversial character but he had the right idea on the wholesome food diet. Thanks to him we all had the opportunity to enjoy graham crackers.  I love my convenient foods as much as next person and see no harm in occasional consumption of junk food or fast food as long as it is in moderation. We do not have to totally give up the foods we enjoy, we just need to either use healthier ingredients and eat the less healthy foods in smaller quantities and less frequently. The major downside to going organic / healthy and self grown foods is it will affect the economy since we would be buying less of the mass grown / manufactured foods from the grocery stores which will affect the profit earnings of commercial farming and the grocery stores as well. Guess there is always a downside to every good idea. Though now days the majority of our so-called fish produce, fish and even some meat and poultry comes from other countries and that makes me ask the question how safe is the food we are consuming? What kind of regulations do these foreign countries have on their agriculture production?

I think the saddest part is most people do not even know what they are putting into their bodies when they eat or drink. Most people do not even know the country of origin of the food they eat. Read the labels, check the facts, look for healthier alternatives as well as local sources if not grow / raise your own. Choose wisely what you put into your body and the body will perform better and last longer.

Well enough of my ranting and raving for today.

Peace and Happiness be yours
Raymond Barbier

Nutritional Value Of A Free Range Egg VS. Caged Hen Eggs


Eggs laid by free-range chickens, who found a ...Just an interesting study on chicken eggs, they state the cholesterol in free range is like 1/2 of that of caged. The free range lives on a diet of grasses and insects vs the caged being fed corn and hormones etc..

check link below for more info

Nutritional Value Of A Free Range Egg VS. Caged Hen Eggs