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The Importance of Family Vacations

family canoeingBy Dale Petersen MD - Building  Health -


With the approach of spring thoughts often turn toward summer vacations. When my children were still young and living at home we spent two weeks each summer exploring a section of the country. We were fortunate to be living in the central United States, as we could drive to most destinations. One summer we would go west to see the Grand Canyon and surrounding national parks. The next year might find us heading north to Glacier National Park or east to the Great Smokies.

When my older daughter became an elementary teacher she would often relate her personal experiences as her class studied history or geography. From time to time one of her students would ask, “Mrs. Claussen, is there any place you haven’t been?”

We camped in a pop-up trailer and enjoyed the sights along the way. While we had a specific destination in mind, we had no set schedule as to when we would arrive so we were free to take detours and spend an extra day if we found a particularly pleasing campsite.

Being Our Own Authority

dad and daughterBy Dr. Howard Peiper - Path to a Better Life

Being our own authority does not mean being an authority for anyone else! It just means that we don't let any one else become an authority for us.

Everyone is free to choose, including us, and everyone is responsible for the choice that he or she makes. How else could it be?

Many people try to cross these clear lines of responsibility, but doing so only clouds their perception of reality. Don't be a glutton for punishment. Honor these lines and we will honor each other. First understand that we are not taking responsibility for our self when:

1. We let someone else make choices for us.

2. We make choices for someone else.

That is co-dependence. It is not empowering to our self or the other person. It may appear to gain us a temporary advantage, but we pay for that advantage by forfeiting our freedom to choose our own life.

It's great to listen to others and learn from others. Intimate sharing is essential to our spiritual growth. It gives us feedback that we can use to expand our perceptions. But others do not know what we need. Even psychics and other intuitive persons cannot tell us what we need to know. They may supply an important piece of information or they may not. Either way, we are the person who needs to use this information to find our peace.

Understand that there are limits on what anyone can tell us that will be truly helpful. Those limits apply to what we can tell others. The most help we can give or receive from others is encouragement. Anything more than that is rarely helpful.

Authority comes directly out of experience. It says: "I honor my life. I accept what is true for me, even if it is not true for others."

Inner authority is inconsistent with prescribing for others. As soon as we try to make others fit with our values and beliefs, we undercut the power of those values and beliefs in our own life. As much as we need the agreement of others to honor our own life, we have lost touch with our inner authority.

Everyone has the right, indeed the responsibility to say "This is true for me. This works for me." This is an important self-affirmation. For nobody's life is exactly like ours. Our experiences are unique, and need to be accepted as such.

Anyone who attempts to deny us the integrity of our experience denies his or her own experience as well. It is impossible to affirm oneself by denying others.

So all of our energy that is invested in denial and judgment of others keeps us from our guidance and our truth. We don't begin to know what is true for us until we honor the experience of others. Conversely, we don't begin to hear our own truth as long as we are more invested in the experience of others than we are in our own experience. Authority comes from within and stops at the skin.

Our authority sets boundaries on our own desire to choose when that desire infringe on the freedom and responsibility of others to choose for themselves. It also empowers us to choose for our self when others would make choices for us. Our authority is consistent with and equal to their authority. We cannot deny or overstep their authority without inviting us to do the same. In that sense, our fidelity to our own experience supports their innocence as well as ours.

The authority issue is one of the most profound issues we will ever deal with. There is not one of us who will not puff him/herself up and beat him/herself into the ground. We do not learn our existential authority until we see the falsehood of our ego-based authority. It comes from simple acceptance of ourselves and others.

Those who have illusions of superiority over others often harbor unconscious feeling of inferiority. And those who consistently defer to the strength or wisdom of others often harbor unconscious feelings of superiority. Strangely enough, neither person playing the superior role nor the person playing the inferior role has the willingness to stand alone with his or her convictions. In one-way or another, both seek the support and agreement of others.

Being our own authority, means to learn to be who we truly are and learn to see others as they truly are. Practice equality. Learn from inequality. Accept the process. Use it to align and grow.

"Make someone happy today, mind our own business"


Overcoming Excuses To Get Healthy

moms and strollers exerciseBy Peter J. Weiss, MD FACP - More Health Less Care


Are you making excuses about your health?

Telling yourself why you can't change instead of finding out how you can?  Probably.  I don't mean to be insulting.  This is just how life is; we all make excuses.

An excuse is a defense or justification for something that would otherwise not be acceptable.  How about this one – "Yes officer, I know the speed limit is 35 mph but my wife here is in labor and I'm on my way to the hospital."  That one just might be a valid excuse and you could avoid the ticket.  The excuses we use to defend our lack of progress in managing our own health usually aren't as appropriate.

Have you ever told yourself any of these?

Children of Obese Parents More Likely to Get Type 2 Diabetes

newborn babyThe American Diabetic Association says that the evidence is clear that the children of obese parents are prone to obesity themselves, placing them at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. How and why this occurs remains a mystery but new evidence shows in utero environment in obese mothers may program a child's cells to accumulate extra fat or develop differences in metabolism that could lead to insulin resistance. 



"One of the questions that needs to be explored is how children of obese mothers may be at risk for becoming obese as a result of factors that occur even before they are born," said Kristen E. Boyle, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "Our study looked at the mechanism by which children may be preprogrammed for increased obesity risk, because of changes occurring in utero."

Summer Nutrition Tips for You and Your Family

berry smoothie

By Lisa Metzgar, PhD - Nutrition Tidbits

Summer time means more outside time, more activity, warmer temperatures, and a yummy array of fresh produce.  Here are a few tips to keep you healthy and enjoying the summer months.

  • Make sure you are getting enough water.  As the temperatures heat up, we will be sweating more and increasing our need for water.  Make sure you are drinking at least 64oz. of water to make sure your body gets enough.  Stay away from sugary drinks like soda as those tend to dehydrate you more than hydrate.  If you do have caffeinated drinks like iced coffee, make sure you drink an addition glass of water for every caffeinated drink.