Friday, January 20, 2017

Life After Inauguration Day

Ralph & Julie
After reading And Then It Was 2017, my friend, Ralph Miller, commented, "I hope you'll blog something about how to live in the post... world that's coming..."

So I will.

In a few minutes, Donald Trump was just sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.  From this day, Jan 20, 2017, and for the next 1,459 days, he will serve in that position.  It's that time period that Ralph was referring to when he said, "I hope you'll blog something about how to live in the post... world that's coming.

I told Ralph that I would, however a handbook for that has already been written.  Actually, it's a short pamphlet, 19 pages to be exact.  But don't let the brevity fool you.  It has everything we need to know about living in "the post... world that's coming."

It begins:

This moment is it.
There is no "better" moment
than this one. 

And continues:

... You may observe
some emotional tones
to this particular moment...
in which case it is already seen
from another moment
and is not this
but that moment.

A few verses later the author instructs:

Can you describe this moment?
Be careful?
The slightest distance
from this immediate experience
will move you off center.

And on page 17 the author speaks directly to the question:

Whatever has been
is gone.
Whatever will be
does not yet exist.
In this space
we reside.

Those who would distract you
with notions of speed, growth
and decay are merely nervous.

Remain steady in the Stillness.

"Remain steady in the Stillness," That's how to live in this moment... and this one... and this one... and this one....








Thursday, January 19, 2017

More Paleo Questions and More Paleo Answers


Yesterday I said I would post Part Two of Paleo Q&A's today and here it is.  Before I get into the nuts and bolts, here's a note and a suggestion.  Mark Sisson, my mentor by my choice, has done all of the hard work for me.  Let me explain.  Mark devoted thirty years to his running and triathlon career, becoming a world-class athlete in the process.  With a degree in biology and years of experience as a professional athletic he shifted his focus to diet, but more than just what we should eat.  He has studied and continues to study gene control through what he calls the Primal Blueprint.

As of today, I have 30 days experience with the Primal Blueprint.  Mark has 30 years.  That's why I'm going to defer to him to address today's questions and comments.  One more thing, before we go to the comments and Mark's answers.  The whole story is contained in the two books pictured above.  They are available from Mark (click here), or Amazon (click the book cover(s) you want to buy) or a number of other bookstores, including Barnes & Noble.

And now: The Comments and The Responses:

Claude said: “Consider this. Agriculture was born approximately 10,000 years ago and it was the key to human development and civilization and the reason for this is very simple: Thanks to agriculture (that provided grains, legumes, vegetables, and some small animals at first, like chicken and eggs), man was able to free himself from the relentless pursuit of food that his huge brain demanded; and from that point on, he had enough time on his hands to start to think - and yes, culture and civilization were born right then, both the daughters of agriculture!”

Jared Diamond, UCLA evolutionary biologist and Pulitzer prize winner, in his Discover magazine article, Saturday, 5/1/1999, said: "Recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered. With agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence." 

Diamond, in the same article said: How do you show that the lives of people 10,000 years ago, got better when they abandoned hunting and gathering for farming? Until recently, archaeologists had to resort to indirect tests, whose results (surprisingly) failed to support the progressivist view. Here's one example of an indirect test: Are twentieth century hunter-gatherers really worse off than farmers? Scattered throughout the world, several dozen groups of so-called primitive people, like the Kalahari bushmen, continue to support themselves that way. It turns out that these people have plenty of leisure time, sleep a good deal, and work less hard than their farming neighbors. For instance, the average time devoted each week to obtaining food is only 12 to 19 hours for one group of Bushmen, 14 hours or less for the Hadza nomads of Tanzania. One Bushman, when asked why he hadn't emulated neighboring tribes by adopting agriculture, replied, "Why should we, when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world?"

He also noted: While farmers concentrate on high-carbohydrate crops like rice and potatoes, the mix of wild plants and animals in the diets of surviving hunter-gatherers provides more protein and a better balance of other nutrients. In one study, the Bushmen's average daily food intake (during a month when food was plentiful) was 2,140 calories and 93 grams of protein, considerably greater than the recommended daily allowance for people of their size. It's almost inconceivable that Bushmen, who eat 75 or so wild plants, could die of starvation the way hundreds of thousands of Irish farmers and their families did during the potato famine of the 1840s.

Mark Sisson says, (The New Primal Blueprint, Introduction) Human beings prevailed despite incalculable odds over thousands of generations.  Our primal ancestors were lean, strong, smart, and productive, which enabled them to survive, reproduce, and ultimately rule over more physically imposing members of the animal kingdom. This was no mean feat, yet conventional wisdom has essentially dismissed the legacy of our ancestors in favor of easy, quick-fix “solutions” to ill health that sell regardless of negligible long-term results.

Today at the age of 63, I feel healthier, fitter, happier, and more productive than ever.  No longer a marathon or triathlon champion (but nor do I care to be one), I maintain a weight of 170 pounds with 8 percent body fat.  I eat as much delicious food as I want, unbeholden to rigid meal times.  I exercise just 3 to 6 hours per week (instead of the 20 to 30 I logged back in the day), and I almost never get sick. Hundreds of thousands of readers at MarksDailyApple.com chronicle similar success stories each week. 

Claude said:  “To sum up: I'm totally certain that your bout of paleo dieting is excellent for you and your wife, flushing all the bad stuff we accumulate through the years as a result of our bad eating habits and modern agriculture that has stuck chemicals into everything; good thing to do, no doubt, provided you don't keep it up indefinitely. Put a stop to it as soon as you see that you are losing too much weight. You can't allow yourself to go down the drain, hey, I'm your friend, I want to see you alive for yet another 2 or 3 decades! 

OK, now you know what I think! And I do worry about your health. Please share this message with Christina. Discuss it. Pursue this concept of the link between the size of the human brain, its nutrition needs and demands and the appropriate diet that is needed to maintain our mental powers.” 

I say: Claude, I appreciate your comments and concerns and I assure you, I am monitoring my Primal/Paleo lifestyle closer than I’ve ever monitored any of the various lifestyles I’ve adopted.  At this point (30 days in) I am pleased to report that I find every aspect of the Primal Lifestyle at least ten times better than I dreamed possible, at this age (74) or any other.  And It will be my pleasure to keep you posted on our progress.

Pame said: “Very interesting and intelligent exchange of ideas. When all is said, and done however, I must consider that none of us live forever. The Paleolithic remains that have been found have never been ones in advanced years. Several factors must also be taken into consideration... We are living longer now than in previous years…”

Jared Diamond, in the previously quoted article, “The Worst Mistake…” said:
One straight forward example of what paleopathologists have learned from skeletons concerns historical changes in height. Skeletons from Greece and Turkey show that the average height of hunger-gatherers toward the end of the ice ages was a generous 5' 9'' for men, 5' 5'' for women. With the adoption of agriculture, height crashed, and by 3000 B. C. had reached a low of only 5' 3'' for men, 5' for women. By classical times heights were very slowly on the rise again, but modern Greeks and Turks have still not regained the average height of their distant ancestors.
Another example of paleopathology at work is the study of Indian skeletons from burial mounds in the Illinois and Ohio river valleys. At Dickson Mounds, located near the confluence of the Spoon and Illinois rivers, archaeologists have excavated some 800 skeletons that paint a picture of the health changes that occurred when a hunter-gatherer culture gave way to intensive maize farming around A. D. 1150. Studies by George Armelagos and his colleagues then at the University of Massachusetts show these early farmers paid a price for their new-found livelihood. Compared to the hunter-gatherers who preceded them, the farmers had a nearly 50 per cent increase in enamel defects indicative of malnutrition, a fourfold increase in iron-deficiency anemia (evidenced by a bone condition called porotic hyperostosis), a threefold rise in bone lesions reflecting infectious disease in general, and an increase in degenerative conditions of the spine, probably reflecting a lot of hard physical labor. "Life expectancy at birth in the pre-agricultural community was bout twenty-six years," says Armelagos, "but in the post-agricultural community it was nineteen years. So these episodes of nutritional stress and infectious disease were seriously affecting their ability to survive."
The evidence suggests that the Indians at Dickson Mounds, like many other primitive peoples, took up farming not by choice but from necessity in order to feed their constantly growing numbers. "I don't think most hunger-gatherers farmed until they had to, and when they switched to farming they traded quality for quantity," says Mark Cohen of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, co-editor with Armelagos, of one of the seminal books in the field, Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture. "When I first started making that argument ten years ago, not many people agreed with me. Now it's become a respectable, albeit controversial, side of the debate."
There are at least three sets of reasons to explain the findings that agriculture was bad for health. First, hunter-gatherers enjoyed a varied diet, while early farmers obtained most of their food from one or a few starchy crops. The farmers gained cheap calories at the cost of poor nutrition, (today just three high-carbohydrate plants -- wheat, rice, and corn -- provide the bulk of the calories consumed by the human species, yet each one is deficient in certain vitamins or amino acids essential to life.) Second, because of dependence on a limited number of crops, farmers ran the risk of starvation if one crop failed. Finally, the mere fact that agriculture encouraged people to clump together in crowded societies, many of which then carried on trade with other crowded societies, led to the spread of parasites and infectious disease. (Some archaeologists think it was the crowding, rather than agriculture, that promoted disease, but this is a chicken-and-egg argument, because crowding encourages agriculture and vice versa.) Epidemics couldn't take hold when populations were scattered in small bands that constantly shifted camp. Tuberculosis and diarrheal disease had to await the rise of farming, measles and bubonic plague the appearance of large cities.
Pame said: “Everything here is organic or is not... By that, I mean that every molecule regardless of its composition came from here so is natural even if we rearrange the molecular structure... Plus, the fact that the soil, water and air have all been changed in one way or another by chemicals we have or are using. There are traces of arsenic and DDT in all of our soil from runoff if nothing else...LAST is the natural way of things: Everyone is not supposed to have the same body type in weight or appearance. It is the differences that both attract and repel others. Not everyone prefers fat, but not everyone prefers skinny. Natural selection based on these factors are the way selections have been made for pairing and reproduction since time began. It is my opinion that whatever a person prefers and agrees with regarding their body and lifestyle is fine. This has been discussed, changed, modified since man could hold a pencil. I say therefore, "To each his or her own". Just my opinion.

Mark says (21-Day Total Body Transformation, introduction):  There is no greater feeling of empowerment than truly comprehending how much influence you have over your health, fitness, and well-being.  Once you realize that your genes respond to environmental signals that you largely create, you are no longer at the mercy of your parents’ legacy, your doctor’s nebulous warnings, or the tremendous momentum against health and balance in hectic modern life.  Everything changes as soon as you “own” the Key Concept that you can influence gene expression on a day-to-day basis.


I say:  Claude, thanks for starting this fun conversation.  I’ve learned a lot from the research I had to do to answer you and Pame.  And, a special note to Pame, our half mile away neighbor: Late at night, when your dogs bark and you see strange lights outside, more than likely it’s just me running up over the hill.







Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Paleo - Questions and Answers

Claude Forthomme, is a writer, an economist, an expert on the United Nations, a Senior Editor of Impakter and a friend of mine.   After reading my Paleo blog yesterday, she raised questions.  Since I'm new to the Paleo Lifestyle, I answered them  with Mark Sisson's 8 Key Concepts (regarding the Paleo/Primal lifestyle) from his  book, 21-Day Total Body Transformation (updated version of the 2011 bestseller).

I sent the reply to Claude and asked if I could use it in a blog if I didn't mention her name.

She said, Of course, Bert, do use my question but why not also use my name? After all, I asked the question publicly on your blog, some people no doubt will have seen it and I have no problem at all if you use that question as best you like! Happy to be of help for your next post!

I shared the 8 Key Concepts (see below) with Claude and she replied:


I'm impressed! But still dubious: exactly what is this Paleo diet? I've heard of it but I don't get it, what's the essence of it? On what evidence is it based? Nutritionists over the past 40 years have gotten it wrong consistently, again and again. I'm old enough to remember that, once upon a time, you had to eat spinach and then you didn't, and then again now you can - or should I say you should? Same with eggs, on and off! Same with meat, fish, tomatoes, cereals, cheese, you name it. Very annoying really. 

And yes, I never use refined sugar (I don't like the taste of it!) and I've tried raw food too but had to give it up on that one: too much adjustment required, my body wouldn't take it and so it was a no-go.

As to sports, running, playing tennis or golf, mountain-climbing etc I couldn't agree more: all very good stuff to do...though exceedingly boring but I suppose one could listen to something while running, plug the music in your ears, or a radio play or something. But alas, I'm addicted to reading and I don't like audio stuff, I'm not an audio person, never was, I just don't get it, I hate to listen to the radio, and even more to a novel being read to me!

So, Bert, enlighten me! 

Claude,

Mark Sisson has written twenty something books on Paleo (Which he calls Primal).  I thought about answering your question from my rather limited experience and realized it would take a hundred pages, at least, to say what he said in one or two.  So I went to my favorite Sisson book, 21-Day Total Body Transformation, turned to his eight key concepts and realized I could use that to answer your question better than anything I could "freestyle."

Here are the concepts and my highlights under each of them:

1.  Yes, You Really Can Reprogram Your Genes:
Genes turn on or off only in response to signals they receive from the environment surrounding them - signals that you provide based on the foods you eat, the types of exercise you do (or don't do), your sleeping habits, sun exposure and so forth.

2.  The Clues to Optimal Gene Expression Are Found in Evolution:  Our genes expect us to be lean, fit, and healthy by modeling the lifestyle behaviors and diets of our hunter-gatherer ancestors - even in the context of hectic modern life.  Plants and animals (meat/fish/fowl/eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds) should comprise the entirety of the human diet, with allowances for the moderate intake of certain modern foods.  As for exercise forms and frequency, less is often more. 

3.  Your Body Prefers Burning Fat over Carbohydrates:  Going primal shifts you into the fat-based, all-day energy metabolism that has supported human survival for two million years.  This shift is the most liberating aspect of primal living.

4.  80 Percent of Your Body Composition Success Is Determined by How You Eat:  Moderating insulin production by ditching grains, sugars, and legumes and lowering inflammation by eliminating harmful man made fats, will promote efficient reduction of excess body fat, effortless maintenance of ideal body composition, increased daily energy levels, decreased risk from illness, and optimal function of various other hormones systems (stress, appetite, immune, metabolic, sleep, thyroid, etc).

5.  Grains Are Totally Unnecessary:  The centerpiece of the Standard American Diet (SAD) offers minimal nutritional value, promotes fat storage by raising insulin, and contains anti-nutrients that promote inflammation, compromise digestion, and often interfere with immune function.  There is no good reason to make grains (or legumes, for that matter) any part of your diet unless you want a cheap source of calories that easily converts to sugar.

6.  Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Are Not Your Enemy:  Cholesterol is one of the body's most vital molecules.  Saturated fat is our preferred fuel.  The true heart disease risk factors - oxidation and inflammation - are driven strongly by polyunsaturated fats, simple sugars, excess insulin production, and stress.

7.  Exercise Is Ineffective for Weight Management:  When you depend on carbohydrate (glucose) as your primary fuel, exercise simply stimulates increased appetite and calorie intake.  Chronic exercise patterns inhibit fat metabolism, break down lean muscle tissue, and lead to fatigue, injury, and burnout. 

8.  Maximum Fitness Can Be Achieved in Minimal Time With High Intensity Workouts:  Regular brief, intense strength training sessions and occasional all-out sprints promote optimal gene expression and broad athletic competency.

I knew when I hit send there would be more questions, and I was right.

Claude said:  Of course, you do realize that I disagree, I consider grains and legumes essential for human health and this, for a very simple reason: the human brain! Yes, that's not a typo, I mean that: The human brain needs an enormous amount of calories/nutritional inputs and if we were cows endowed with a brain as large as ours, such cows wouldn't be able to feed that brain even eating non-stop day and night!

So, I believe that your paleo diet no doubt makes you feel good at first - gives a shock to the organism and gets rid of any excess fat or bad cholesterol etc etc - but over the long run it's likely to be very dangerous. I really mean that! 

Consider this. Agriculture was born approximately 10,000 years ago and it was the key to human development and civilization and the reason for this is very simple: Thanks to agriculture (that provided grains, legumes, vegetables, and some small animals at first, like chicken and eggs), man was able to free himself from the relentless pursuit of food that his huge brain demanded; and from that point on, he had enough time on his hands to start to think - and yes, culture and civilization were born right then, both the daughters of agriculture!

To sum up: I'm totally certain that your bout of paleo dieting is excellent for you and your wife, flushing all the bad stuff we accumulate through the years as a result of our bad eating habits and modern agriculture that has stuck chemicals into everything; good thing to do, no doubt,  provided you don't keep it up indefinitely. Put a stop to it as soon as you see that you are losing too much weight. You can't allow yourself to go down the drain, hey, I'm your friend, I want to see you alive for yet another 2 or 3 decades! 

OK, now you know what I think! And I do worry about your health. Please share this message with your wife. Discuss it. Pursue this concept of the link between the size of the human brain, its nutrition needs and demands and the appropriate diet that is needed to maintain our mental powers.

Thanks Claude, you're making me learn and I love it.  Tomorrow I'll address those questions in my post Paleo - Recent History vs Paleo/Primal History.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lifestyle Changes

Nov 13, 2016
Bert Carson
Age 74
Height 6'2"
Weight 186
Vegetarian
Longtime Obsessive Runner

Update
Jagger - Richards did not win
(main reason-not on the ballot)
I'm still 74
(only there is less of me)
Weight 174
I'm no longer a vegetarian
I'm still a runner but not an obsessive one


This is what that looks like

Jan 14, 2017
What Happened?

This is what is happening.


I've been a vegetarian for over 35 years; Christina for the 20 years she and I have been together.  In our ongoing pursuit of better health, we've been, at various times, vegan and raw food addicts.  Until last month, the most dramatic and effective change we'd made in our lifestyle was abandoning refined sugar, which we did going on four years ago. 

Still, we knew there was more to do, we just didn't know what it was.  Now, though we're only 28 days (as of today 1/17/17) into our Paleo/Primal Lifestyle, we're convinced we've found the way we've been searching for all these years.

Our Paleo journey began when Christina found a video on Facebook which prompted us to try Gundry Reds, a super nutritious concentrated food.  As we waited for our order, we got copies of Dr. Gundry's book, Dr Gundry's Diet Evolution.  Though he doesn't use the term Paleo, it was obvious the Diet Evolution was Paleo.  That reminded Christina of Mark Sisson and his blog, Mark's Daily Apple, which she has followed for a while.

Mark Then
The next step was to get Mark's books, The New Primal Blueprint and 21-Day Total Body Transformation.  Mark, a world-class runner and triathlete in his youth, has been involved in the Paleo movement since 2002, and today he is one of its primary spoke persons.  He writes, publishes, podcasts, certifies primal coaches and distributes his own line of supplements, bars, protein shakes and a host of other Primal related activities under the name of Primal Blueprint (which is the logo I used above -- without permission). 
Mark Now

From Steven Gundry to Mark Sisson, there is a knowledgeable and articulate group of Paleo instructor/mentors in the rapidly growing  international community of Paleo advocates, one or several that may speak to you.  After our research was done, we settled on Mark Sisson, even though he's only a kid, 63, but he has done his research, proven his information and he shares it in a way that we identify with.

I'll keep you posted on our Paleo/Primal Journal, and who knows, maybe there will be an action photo or two (not on a paddle board or the cover of Runner's World).






Monday, January 16, 2017

And Then It Was 2017

My last post on this blog was uploaded on July 8, 2016 and I have done little more on our other site Untroubled Mind

Today, January 16, 2017, I intend to change that.  First, with this post, which is a combination "catch-up" and "We Are Here" statement, then with a follow up to this post which I will mention again in the last paragraph.  Finally, I will post a new blog on Untroubled Mind.

Now, for the "catch up" and "we are here."  Christina and I, along with our partner, Adrienne Wall, own and operate United Portrait Studios.  If you'd like to know a bit more about us, here's a link to the About Us Page.

There are two major seasons in the childcare photography business: Spring and Fall/Christmas.  Ten years ago, when we began, there was a lot  of downtime between the two, primarily because our customer base was small.  That is no longer the case.

Today, one of our most difficult tasks is scheduling and the time between seasons is barely enough for getting ready for the next rush.  Today's business model would have us add photographers, sales and administrative personnel.  However, we didn't build our business by following today's business model model.  We built our business by following our simple statement of purpose - Everything matters, and we choose to continue operating in that old-fashioned way.

In addition to the time we spend working for United Portrait Studios, Adrienne also owns a private photography business, Adrienne Wall Photography, and Christina and I are novelists and bloggers.

If that isn't enough to keep us occupied, the three of us are fitness addicts, and we are always looking for ways to improve.  Last month, Christina chanced on a video that started us down the Paleo lifestyle path and, in less than four weeks, we've changed almost everything we thought we knew and practiced about fitness and diet.

That change will be the subject of my next post, Forward, From The Past.  The good news is, you won't have to wait months to read it - I PROMISE.  I'll post it within the next 24 hours.

Bert Carson
Huntsville, Alabama
Monday, January 16, 2016


Friday, July 8, 2016

Mindfulness - Part Two

Thank's to the medical community, mindfulness has become an everyday part of our language.  Don't be fooled by flood of material on the subject.  Mindfulness isn't a new topic.  The Buddha taught mindfulness over 2500 years ago.  In fact, he taught mindfulness and meditation, mindfulness' primary tool of implementation, for over forty years.

 It should also be noted that even then mindfulness wasn't an original concept.  In fact, the roots of mindfulness stretch so far back into recorded time it's impossible to know where it originated.  Perhaps the practice of mindfulness is in the human genes.  I, for one, believe that to be the case.

The simplest definition of mindfulness is: being totally in the moment.  In other words, being totally focused on what's happening in this moment, with no part of your attention anywhere other than in this moment.

We've all done that in moments of what I call "situational mindfulness."  Those are moments when the situation demands our full attention.  Life threatening moments, for one, demand our full attention, as do moments of extreme pain or pleasure.  However, when the situation returns to normal, our attention quickly leaves the moment and wanders into the past, the future, daydreams, nightmares, whatever.

For the purpose of this post, I'm not concerned with situational mindfulness.  I am speaking of mindfulness-on-demand or mindfulness by choice.  Or, for the sake of simplicity, just plain mindfulness.  Most of the self-described mindfulness gurus of today focus all their energy on meditation, which is simply a tool for building one's mindfulness practice, but shouldn't be confused with mindfulness itself.

Meditation is to mindfulness what a hammer and saw are to a building project - important but not the project.  Mindfulness, or being totally present in this moment, the only moment there is, requires a calm mind.  Before a person jumps into meditation to calm their mind they have to know why their mind isn't already calm.  Or, to put it another way, why can't I just bring my full attention into this moment and keep it here by simply deciding to do just that?

The best answer I've ever heard to that question was this line from The Last Samurai:  "Too many mind..."  Watch the clip and you will understand:



That was Nathan Algren's  introduction to mindfulness.  Later, during kendo training, Ujio defeated him in two rounds and then Algren recalled the lesson Nobutada had shared - No Mind - and he... well, see for yourself.




Mindfulness is the practice of moving into the state of "no mind" or more aptly, the state of one mind, or simply Oneness.  To get there you will have to give up anger, stress, and worry.  Obviously you can't just walk away from those "minds."  At least not until you know more about where they came from and what they are.

That's what I'll talk about in my next post on mindfulness.

Your comments are welcome.




    

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Everything Matters

This summer marks the tenth anniversary of United Portrait Studios, a small business, owned and operated by three individuals dedicated to the proposition that "everything matters."

We so believe that simple statement that it is imprinted on our sit tickets - a combination work order/invoice/receipt.  That means that everything we do is imprinted with the words, "everything matters."

In ten years, no customer has ever asked about or even mentioned "everything matters."  That is of no concern to us.  "Everything matters" printed on their sit ticket isn't for our customers.  It's for us.  It's a reminder that everything we do, from snapping the photo to delivering the print matters.

And its more than that.  It's a reminder that no task in our business is more important than any other, no customer is more important than any other, and no transaction is held higher than any other.

And its even more than that.  "Everything matter" reminds us, the three of us who often meet ourselves going and coming as we move fast to insure we meet all of our commitments, that this moment, not that moment or any other moment, is the only moment we have.

"Everything matters" reminds us that the shy child on the set, the one who needs extra love and attention, is the only child there is.

"Everything matters" reminds us that the frantic parent calling about that special 8X10 she forgot to order but must have for her grandmother's birthday this weekend, is the only customer we have.

"Everything matters" reminds us that the father sent to purchase pictures, though he'd rather be facing a salary review or a herd of charging elephants, must receive our full, undivided attention, with a double-shot of love and understanding.

And, "everything matters" is the doorway to this moment, the only moment there is.  And "everything matters" and this post is the gateway to a blog series that I'm calling - Mindfulness and Meditation.  Join me and share your comments.