Who’s Gonna Start!? (Validating)

Validate comes from the latin word validātus, which means to make strong.  Validate in English means to confirm or approve.  Confirm means to acknowledge and strengthen a perspective.  
The FIVE ELEMENTS philosophy, my model for healing and happiness, suggests that every plant, mineral, and animal has a unique perspective that brings VALUE to the whole. 
From the perspective of the plant, it brings VALUE in the form of nourishment and healing.  From the perspective of the mineral (rock, soil), it brings VALUE in the form of filtration of water, nourishment and growth of plants, and houses a diverse community of microbes that protect, defend, and through decay, return nourishment to the soil. 
You know in your heart that you have VALUE to bring to the whole.  Do you feel safe to express that value? 
Invalidation means to weaken, or devalue another perspective.  You might say that you don’t care what others think about your perspective, but if you dig deep, it does matter.  We have an innate desire to be loved and valued…so it just isn’t true that you don’t care. 
“I don’t care”…is a product of invalidation.  It was conceived from the perspective of feeling invalidated. 
I know you don’t enjoy invalidation, and I agree, in this culture, it requires thick skin to express your unique perspective and VALUE.  Because…human animals have learned that a unique perspective is a threat to their own.  
Imagine talking to the soil… SOIL: “I don’t eat the plants, I feed the plants.”  HUMAN: “Well, that’s just stupid, anyone can see that the plants are for eating.”
You would never argue with the soil, right?  It is TRUTH…one perspective feeds the plants, while another eats the plants. 
Why…do we invalidate another human’s perspective, clearly observed from unique eyes, ears, and experience?  
You and I want validation.  Who’s gonna start?  The starting point…is…ASSUMING POSITIVE INTENTION.  
When I was in school, I couldn’t figure out how to receive validation (other than compliance, which was PAINFUL!)…so I used adults to receive validation from other kids.  I disrespected, smart mouthed, broke rules…and the other kids laughed.  I found a way…a way that alienated adults, but created my own version of validation.  
I bet it was difficult to see my positive intention from the adults’ perspective.  From their perspective, it looked like my intention was to be disruptive.  But the more they punished me, the more this strategy deepened and expanded in me.  It became an identity…and to this day, I feel uncomfortable around adults. 
I sometimes say to my kids, “I don’t understand adults, either!”  “But, Dad, you are an adult.”  “I know,” I say, being subtly suggestive of my lack of understanding of MYSELF!  
If I now, met me then…I would say, “It looks like you are frustrated that there is no room for your perspective…so you make jokes and disrupt whatever is going on, to let everyone know how frustrated you are.  Would you let me show you how to be significant without getting in trouble?  You can still make everyone laugh…”
Validation is critical to cooperation.  Have you ever heard a democrat say to a republican (or vice versa), “Oh, I completely see your perspective and what you are trying to accomplish.”  Do you observe cooperation in politics, or adversity?  (if only slightly less immature than my earlier versions)
Are we doomed to invalidation, since our ‘leaders’ demonstrate and embody invalidation!?  The political perspective of Gandhi was “to be the change you desire in the world.”  
I validate my kids, even if I invalidate first.  I validate my patients, often by showing them what is wrong with them, after somebody told them there is nothing wrong!  And to all, not only do I validate your expression, I ENCOURAGE you to express your unique perspective (in a way that brings VALUE, not disruption!). 
And, it is OK…if mine is different.  I will still do my best to see the value in yours. 
If you desire validation (and I know you do), remember this article always…and even if you begin with invalidation…come back around…step into the others’ shoes, and see their perspective…and ASSUME POSITIVE INTENTION.  
As the first self help book, the Bible, says in Luke 6:38, “GIVE…and you WILL receive.”

A Child’s Plea…

Dear Mom and Dad,
“Hi…it’s me…I want you to know that I have a hard time understanding and sharing my feelings, but I will do my best.  The truth is that I am very afraid…I am afraid that I am not good enough for you.  I feel like I am a bother, annoyance, and even a burden to you.  I am afraid I am not important to you.

I know you say you love me…but I FEEL more than hear.  I feel this powerful urge to do what I want to do…to follow my heart in curious exploration, self expression, and everything FUN.  I also feel  this powerful urge to be loved, protected, accepted and nurtured.

I am afraid that I can’t have both.  I follow my heart desire, and it keeps upsetting you. 
At times, I feel like I would sacrifice all joy to have your love.  And other times, I am so angry that I don’t have the space to be me.  Would God create an existence that didn’t provide the opportunity to be me AND be loved for it?  I am new to this world…please… tell me. 

I follow my heart…I run, climb, create, explore…I play my heart’s desire.  You tell me to stop, quit, knock it off, or that I did it wrong.  I FEEL your upset…so intensely…and don’t know what to do with it. 

I wonder if there is a way to follow heart desire AND please you.  Every time you tell me that I am wrong…or bad…I learn to NOT trust my joy.  Please…help me…figure this out.” 
The five elements philosophy suggests that if any energy is allowed the space to meet its needs and desires…the natural progression is service toward the greater good.  Our heart desires significance.
 Which means…if provided the space to really explore heart desire…the heart will find service.  Service is providing a VALUE to another energy…and this hearts service will be a passionate expression of love. 
“Providing space” does not mean permissiveness…it means a structure, with clear boundaries…
where every energy is safe to express desire.  It means allowing natural consequences…it means TEACHING how to express heart desire…how to get what they want…while still getting what you want. 
It means focusing on positive intention…positive actions…and positive consequences. 
I recommend learning “NVC” (Non-Violent Communication)…for the “greater good.”  
It goes like this… 
“You were curious (positive intention)…so you explored mom’s purse (observation)…that’s not ok (boundary)…because I have important things in there…like cards that allow us to buy groceries…like those delicious chocolate coconut treats (value of boundary)…if you are curious and want exploration, I have the perfect place for you… (Teaching the structure to win!)” 
Then… “You found a diamond!!! (energy toward the positive exploration)…that is worth 10K!”  (positive consequence)
The five elements is a study and observation of energy flow…the philosophy is over 3000 years old (the flow of energy is a bit older)…and this ancient wisdom insists…they WILL find a diamond…if provided the space…
Yours in Health and Hearts Desire (aka happiness),


The Science of Natural and Pharmaceutical Medicine

There is a perception that there is little or no scientific basis for natural medicines.  I rather like the science of tradition…3000 years (the first recorded/written documentation) of historical use for a symptom or condition seems pretty convincing to me!  
It seems Medicine puts some credence on that history as well, because approximately 50% of the pharmaceuticals developed in the last 50 years were based on plant medicines.  Researchers search the plant for “active ingredients” and then either create a chemical variation of that ingredient, or find another chemical that reproduces the effect of the plant’s “active ingredient.”  Ie. Tamiflu is designed to recreate the effect of Elderberry.  
But it’s true, natural medicine doesn’t stand up to the medical standard of research.  This is where people with a single diagnosis are given a specific plant or mixture, and symptom results are graphed against a placebo.  The flaw in this type of analysis, in my experience, is that identical conditions may have a multitude of causes.  
For example, I have seen patients with sciatica who have responded to chiropractic and muscular care, while others, based on our diagnostic process, were found to have multiple intestinal infections creating inflammation, and responded only to anti-microbial plant medicines.  Of the hundreds of cases of sciatica I have seen, I bet that no two had identical root causes!  
But still…is there little to no research on plant medicines that is of value?  I typed American Ginseng into the database of the National Library of Medicine.  I found 407 published articles.  By contrast, I searched Prozac…11,485 published articles!  Here is a sampling of page 1 of both….
Improved cognitive performance on ‘Working Memory’ factor at 3 h with American Ginseng. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25778987

…suggested that American ginsengprotects the ovary against Premature Ovarian Failure by regulating prostaglandin biosynthesis (inflammation, these hormones are why we take advil), ovulation, and preventing ovarian aging. High hormone levels (PGE2, FSH, and LH) were reduced, and Estrogen secretion approached normal levels, leading to improved POF (Premature Ovarian Failure, loss of ovarian function before age 40) symptoms and abnormal ovulation.   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25705687

(This is one where the researchers are extracting the “active ingredient” as a result of evidence of heart protection.)  American ginseng is capable of ameliorating cardiac dysfunctionand activating Nrf2, a master regulator of antioxidant defense, in the heart. This study was designed to isolate compounds from Americanginseng and to determine those responsible for the Nrf2-mediated resolution of inflamed macrophage-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25882312
Among important components of Americanginseng, protopanaxadiol (PPD) showed more active anticancer potential than other triterpenoid saponins. In this study, we determined the in vivo effects of PPD in a mouse cancer model first. Then, using human colorectal cancer cell lines, we observed significant cancer cell growth inhibition and apoptosis (apoptosis = destruction of tumor cells).  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25704023

RESULTS: American Ginseng significantly reduced experimental colitis measured by the disease activity index scores. This suppression of the experimental colitis …suggested that the ginseng significantly promoted recovery from the colitis. Consistent with the anti-inflammation data, we showed that ginseng very significantly attenuated…colon carcinogenesis by reducing the colon tumor number and tumor load. The ginseng also effectively suppressed inflammatory cytokines. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25535472

In this study a novel neutral polysaccharide (PPQN) was isolated from American ginsengroots and its structure and anti-inflammatory activity were investigated.  These results indicated that PPQN may have therapeutic implications in treatment of inflammation and inflammatory-related diseases.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25434805
Effects of pharmaceuticals on Marine life.  Pharmaceutical products affected H. diversicolor physiology and health. As a benthic top predator, adverse effects on sea-worms can potentially culminate in ecosystem perturbations.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25899671
This study investigated the route and degree of uptake of two ionisable pharmaceuticals (diclofenac and fluoxetine) and one ionisable compound used in personal care products (triclosan) into the sediment dwelling worm, Lumbriculus variegatus.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25892588
Canine separation-related problems (SRP) (also described as “separation anxiety” or “separation distress”) are among the most common behavioural complaints of dog owners. Treatment with psychoactive medication in parallel with a behaviour modification plan is well documented in the literature, but it is unknown if this is associated with an improvement in underlying affective state (emotion and mood) or simply an inhibition of the behaviour.  Prior to treatment (with Prozac), the dogs with SRP responded to ambiguous positions (unwelcoming positions) in the cognitive bias test negatively (i.e. with slower running speeds) compared to control dogs (p < 0.05). On weeks 2 and 6 of treatment, SRP dogs displayed similar responses in the cognitive bias test to control dogs. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25889323
participants receiving fluoxetinewere less accurate at identifying anger and sadness and did not show the emotion-potentiated startle effect. There were no overall significant effects of fluoxetineon subjective ratings of mood.  (Is this of benefit?)  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25864939
…showed feasibility as an effective transdermal delivery system for FX (Prozac).  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25863117
The rest:
1. How another pharmaceutical enhances serotonin activity increases from Prozac.
2. A substance in marijuana shows evidence of calming.
3. Case study: 16 year old, suicidal…improved with Prozac.
4. Retrospective: Another drug was better than Prozac at treating breath holding in infants
5. Prozac prescription increases concentrations of Prozac in sewage.
6. Monkeys were trained to self administer cocaine…Prozac decreased their seeking behavior.
7. Prozac increased several energy production systems in brain cells, including increasing cholesterol formation and glucose uptake.
8. The plant medicine effects on compulsive behaviors in mice was equivalent to Prozac. 

Oh…come on…don’t make me read the rest!  That’s 13 of the 20 on page one!  The POINT…there are several studies on page one of the search for American Ginseng that offer value.  What does page one of Prozac tell us?  Granted, there are over 500 more pages of prozac research, while less than 30 more pages of Ginseng research.  

I’m not willing to go through the 500 pages…are you?  Especially after the sampling of page one?  Would you be more willing to look deeper into Ginseng?  I would…it sounds like there is value in this plant!  And I have…along with the amazing history of Ginseng!  

Let me know what you think of this pretty objective analysis!?  (Just reporting the facts, ma’am)

Learning and School

I tend to ask the question, “Is that true?,” an awful lot.  It’s the energy of the “Revolutionary” archetype.  And of course, I’d have to have a strong Revolutionary energy to practice alternative medicine.  So, including and beyond health, I wonder if there is a better way than the accepted mainstream version. 
This questioning process is the source of all innovation.  We’d still be sitting in the dark and sending telegraphs if someone hadn’t wondered if there might be a better way.  
As our children came of school age, we asked the question again.  Is public school the best way for kids to learn?  And even more, is learning the goal…or is there more meaning behind learning?  And what is important to learn?  To what ends…what are we learning for…what is the end goal?
I want to point out the purpose of this questioning process.  It is NOT to declare how stupid everyone else is.  It is not a criticism of current standards.  It is a wonder and thoughtfulness about potential improvement in efficiency and effectiveness.  And the reason for the point is that sometimes people who are practicing current standards might hear it as a criticism.  I want to be clear…that is NOT the intention!  
For example, the i phone 5 is not a criticism of the i phone 4…it is a stretching toward increased efficiency and effectiveness.  
Back to kids learning.  My simple wonder, is…if a child focuses on her heart desire (what she likes and is interested in)…will she discover her most beloved gift to humankind and provide that service or product in exchange for value?  (Earn a living) 
Bill Gates snuck away to a college (don’t recall the details) that had one of the first computers.  Every spare moment was devoted to that intense interest and desire.  Edison had something like two weeks of formal education, but he found the information he needed to be one of the greatest inventors of all time.  All of his time was focused on what he loved and was interested in.  
When I was 10, I discovered an interest in health and fitness.  I had stacks of muscle and fitness magazines by the time I was a teenager.  (Which turned out not to be the best source of information, but it was a start!)
What would have happened if I had been able to commit 8 hours a day toward this study…even encouraged to discover more depth of knowledge in this interest?  What if my teacher taught me how to research and expand my knowledge in this field…to follow my heart and interest to its fullest?  
Obviously, I don’t know…nor does anyone else.  But I wonder!  
Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called “The Outliers” several years ago.  An outlier is a person who achieves greatness in their profession.  People who put a lasting mark on their fields of expertise.  He shared the story of Bill Gates, plus Wayne Gretsky and the Beatles.  He shared stories of entire cultures who had risen to greatness.  And the common factor was time commitment.  
For example, the Beatles played in Germany in a club that stayed open until 5AM.  Other bands went home at 2AM.  That extra 3 hours per night in practicing their passion meant an additional 48 hours per month, and nearly 600 hours per year!  Then he described how Gretsky got more practice time.  Then the entire Canadian all star team…and how entire cultures of people found ways to get more practice time leading to greatness.
One example was  a certain group of immigrants to New York City.  He described how they, as a culture, fought to get their kids into advanced public school math programs, driving their kids in to classes before the sun was up or the bus was running, and staying after school until dark…and from that practice, led to a cultural innovation of a technology field.  
Practice.  And passion.  
The Beatles, Bill Gates, and the hockey greats were practicing their art form.  The passion of the NYC immigrants was to rise above the oppression of their homeland.  
Gladwell counted the hours, and discovered that there was some magic about the 10 thousand hour mark.  If you practice ANYTHING for 10 thousand hours, you will be among the outstanding greats in your field, and people will pay you to experience your talent.  (No job required!)
He also noted that you must LOVE your art form or talent, because 10 thousand hours is a long time to practice, before you make a living from it.  Most people opt for the security of a job and a paycheck rather than struggle in practice for so many years!  
When I was 25, I had graduated with a doctoral degree, and in two years had three failed attempts at making a living in my trade.  The fourth attempt was so painful (mobile chiropractor), that I filled out an application for a j-o-b.  Entry level position, but a secure paycheck every week.  The interviewer was in shock…he said he couldn’t take me on…it was an expensive process finding and hiring good help, and certainly I would want to return to my field of expertise.  
Great…my education path had created un-employability!  I knew a bunch of information…anatomy, chemistry…but the reality is that I had around 200 hours in practice.  I was a beginner…a novice…a hack.  If I were a piano player, people would pay me to stop playing.  
But I had to practice…there was no other choice.  So I did…I found some other chiropractors willing to put a novice into practice, and my exchange was moving 1,300 miles away from “home.”  I felt like I had no choice.
It’s funny…in medicine/health care, we call our job a “practice.”  And practice I did.  I discovered that Chiropractic was not my passion.  (whoops…that left a 100K debt on my financial statement!)  I kept practicing my interests, and found the information I needed, well outside the environment of school.
Somewhere around the early 2010’s, I hit 10 thousand hours of practice using applied kinesiology and integrated natural medicine.  I have achieved results that look something like greatness…amazing stories of healing…leading people from extreme discomfort to comfort and happiness.  
I was still a little “off” of my true-heart-passion, however.  My evidence…I struggled financially, and even despite some “greatness” experiences, felt unsure of myself.  I kept practicing my passion on myself…which turned out to be ‘creating happiness’…locating resources outside my profession, and practicing in my own family, until…I started to really feel it (happiness).  Not “I can live with this” but Deep connection, acceptance, authenticity, trust, significance, contribution…  
My children proved to be primary educators in my passion…becoming happy.  
Just last year, I was urged by a patient to teach her how to be happy…specifically through teaching a seminar about that topic and the resources I had accumulated to increase happiness.  But…no…I was a novice…a hack.  Only a few hundred hours practiced.  
She kept asking…here and there…and finally I was brave enough to say yes.  I held my first happiness group with 15 people…and I sucked so much that 10 quit.  But the 5 that stuck with it…over 12 weeks…shared amazing stories of life altering happiness!  
I gained the confidence to bring it more into my practice…and my practice time is adding up…10 thousand hours is still a few years away, but I am completely happy in my practice (both versions of the word).  
As this happened, the struggle seemed to dissipate…as I connected more deeply to my passion, my bills seemed easier to pay!  
Back to kids learning.  I was voted class devil…I spent a few different nights in jail…I was very angry inside…very anxious inside…

What if that is the resistance to NOT following heart desire?  What if that stress and anxiety were my signals to keep focusing on heart desire…and when I finally do (did), all of life falls into place?  What if my education slowed my connection to heart and true passion?  (Although I believe that everything happened just as it needed to get me here)
I don’t know…and neither do you.  
I do know that Savannah was not happy.  She got sick more often, headaches, and seemed depressed at times.  And, just as a general rule, I try not to do things that increase sickness, pain, and depression.  Savannah is a unique individual, and each unique individual has to discover their own heart passion.  We felt that school was not increasing that.  
Can it be ok that she does it differently…more like Bill Gates and the Beatles?  I personally ask Savannah for advice, and even for money on one occasion.  She is 12, and seems to have things figured out better than I do at 44.  
Until she goes to school…there, she learns she is “behind,” needs “special consideration,” and is so “different” that one boy was punished for pointing out her difference.
At home, she is rich…makes money easily…through her consideration and talent.  She is valued as a special gift to her parents and everyone she encounters.  She is energetically attractive to all people, and all people want more of her once they experience her.
I have found through education (in resources such as the book I mentioned), and through my experience and practice…that moving toward and into that experience (I am of value, important, and desired) is what brings fulfillment and wealth.  My learned (experienced) rule is…NOTICE what increases stress and strain…and do less of that…NOTICE what increases ease and comfort…and do more of that.  
And it will be unique to every individual.  The NYC immigrants increased ease and comfort by going to public school MORE…Savannah finds the same by staying home.  
I am fully convinced that this strategy is effective toward happiness. 
I also acknowledge that I have NO CLUE.  (And therefore would never criticize another path!)  I have had the experience of stress and strain while trying to fit in to a structure and do the “right thing.”  I have also had the experience of ease and comfort when following my heart, even if it is not the “right thing.”  That is very real to me.  
My goal for Savannah, and the rest of my tribe, is to follow her heart.  Do what they want to do, and trust that God and nature will provide for them.  To connect to the innate need to contribute to community through that…whether it is the beauty of art, helpfulness of doctoring, or innovation of invention.  
I don’t know how that happens, exactly…and neither do you. But I wonder…