Do You Feel In Charge?

Are You in Charge of Your Life?

My favorite part of the Dark Knight Rises is when Bane asks in his creepy voice, “Do you feel in charge?” It’s really a great question. As adults we really are only in charge of one thing–our own lives. We are supposed to take responsibility for all that happens to us in our lives, not complaining when things don’t go our way and not apologizing when things go well for us. As humans, we try to control and mold our environment through technology, philosophy and many other avenues available to us. But I know firsthand that we don’t always feel in control. All of us at some point have complained about something wrong that has happened to us. Sometimes the complaining is justified–it might even feel good to vent. But I wonder, does it do any good?

Aristotle posed the question to his students, “What is the good in it?” He was referring to the deeds we engage is as human beings. With every deed, we should be able answer “What’s the good in it?” If the answer is nothing, we are not supposed to engage in the activity. Of course, this philosophy presupposes that humans do all things with the end-goal of achieving some goodness. This is debatable in regards to humanity as a whole. But, I’d like to keep the focus on you. You are, of course, a good person dedicated to improving yourself physically and emotionally. You wouldn’t be reading this otherwise. So, Aristotle poses a valuable question for all of us. In everything we do, we should ask, “What’s the good in it?” This is one way of taking control of our lives and our environment. By focusing on what good we can do, we can control our actions and therefore positively affect our environment–even possibly control it to the greatest extent possible, something we try to do as humans.

So, are you in charge of your life? Do you own yourself? If the answer is no, then who controls you? Of course you are in charge and responsible for your own life. While things may happen to us that we cannot control, we can control our reaction to them. And I would suggest, when reacting to these external events, ask yourself, “What’s the good in it?” If there is no good in your reaction, why do it? Will it help you to complain? To retaliate? To whine in social media? Will people think more of you or less of you? What will you think of yourself? So ask yourself what Bane asked, “Do you feel in charge?” Because you are in charge. What are you going to do about it?

What is a Carbohydrate?

What is a Carbohydrate and Why You Must Limit Them in 500 Words

I’ve just returned from the tropical paradise of Hawaii and while I’m still buzzing with sun and saltwater energy, I must say that I noticed something I hadn’t on my previous trips. Most of the indigenous population of Hawaii is severely overweight. You wouldn’t think so, because they spend so much time outdoors, engaging in physical activities, but it’s a fact. I couldn’t really understand why until I was offered some pineapple from a staff member of my hotel. I replied “No thanks, I’m not taking in carbs until after my workouts.” Her response was, “Pineapple has carbs?” I had just realized that so many people don’t even know what a carbohydrate is or why they should be consumed in moderation.
Carbohyrate: “any of various neutral compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (as sugars, starches, and celluloses) most of which are formed by green plants and which constitute a major class of animal foods.” In other words, fruits, vegetables, starches like rice and potatoes, wheat, corn, sugar-these are the most common sources of human carbohydrate consumption. Why is this important and why should we limit our intake of them? The simple answer is that carbohydrates cause a rise in blood sugar, an event in which the body responds to by releasing insulin to absorb the sugar in the blood stream and shuttle it into the cell-which can then use it for energy. Sounds great right? Sure, most of us have been taught that we need lots of carbs for energy. The problem is, our cells respond well to insulin (assuming one is not diabetic) when we are young, but constant carbohydrate consumption can damage the cells, especially as we age, making them not as sensitive to insulin and therefore causing a whole host of health issues.
Additionally, if the cells are not in need of glucose (the end product of carbohydrates that cells use for energy) the rise in insulin after consuming carbs will trigger your body to shuttle the energy into you fat cells for storage. If this continues on and on, obesity and diabetes or pre-diabetes is likely to occur. So the question becomes, why should be eat carbohydrates if over consumption can cause severe health problems? Like anything, you never want too much. Carbs are very useful for repairing damaged muscle tissue and replenishing energy (glycogen) reserves in the body. If you are an endurance athlete or weight lifter, consuming carbs to aid in recovery is a great idea. Insulin is a very powerful hormone. It can make you extremely fat or extremely muscular and strong, but you have to understand how your body deals with carbs. Some people are very carb-sensitive. Others are not so much. However, as all bodies age, the ability to process carbohydrates will decrease, so it’s a wise idea to limit their consumption except when necessary for tissue repair. What about veggies? Stay tuned for the next edition……

What If?

What if there are no problems in life? What if there’s no normal life? What if it’s all just life? What if being angry or stressed about something defies logic? What if you should always expect anything to happen? How would your outlook change? What would you do differently? What if you traded in expectation for appreciation? How much more grateful would you become? How much more joy would you have in your life?

What if your philosophy was that everything is part of a universal plan? What if you expected everything good and bad to end? How much less suffering would you have? How much less anxiety would you have? What if you only focused on the things in life you could control? What if you let go completely of anything you didn’t have some control over? What if your philosophy was to do the absolute best you can in things that you can control? How much more free would you be?

What if you did everything and anything possible to express joy? What if joy was in your control and tranquility was possible always? What would it mean to you to know that it’s in your power to have joy, so it would be illogical to experience anti-joy? What if nothing angered you or disturbed your tranquility? What if you didn’t avoid bad news or negativity, but still nothing disturbed your tranquility? What if you could think clearly all the time? What if you are truly capable of all that I asked above? What if?