Whenever anybody asks me "How are you?"
I always answer "In mint condition".
With emphasis on the mint.
I have no idea where or when it began but I do say it with conviction and it always raises a kind of grin from those that don't know me to an outright laugh from those that do.
Because everybody who knows me also knows its not true.
As a figure of speech it means "in perfect working order", which I am definitely not.
Broken both arms, both legs, fingers, toes, both wrists, countless ribs, a clavicle - pneumonia, two bouts of cancer, (See the section on Cancer), my hands look arthritic - they just don't feel like they are arthritic and my toes have given to hiding under each other.
Macular degeneration - and not just in one eye.
Oh and tinnitus - the sound is loud but not painful - yet.
This site is a "how to" on a range of different subjects that really have made a difference to me and hundreds of other peoples lives as students or private clients I have worked with or mentored over the decades.
And you need to have Rules in place.
Rules to abide by - Rules to remember - Hard Rules you stick to - Rules that become whatever-time-you-have-left habits.
"Hell" said Jean Paul Sartre, "is other people".
And it is true that other people are the biggest causes of stress and tension in our everyday lives.
Especially true of those we are related to.
We are the product of those around us and have been since the day we were born. Our parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins, our friends, teachers and fellow students in schools colleges and universities, writers, actors, singers and songwriters, athletes and sports stars, A,B,C and D celebrities, workmates and workplaces and much more have all played their part in shaping us.
Evolutionary psychologists and biologists tell us we only have 5 tools in our existential toolbox.
We are all tribal, self-centered, biased and we suffer from illusions and wishful thinking.
And we all possess 9 primary negative emotions and just 1 primary positive emotion.
Whatever you set out to do for yourself will in any event need to be underwritten by a strong sense of self-belief and the self-discipline to succeed, particularly when you are ill.
These are the two root causes of all failure in the self-help world.
And they are built into self help business models who thrive on your failure.
This is what I know about.
BREATHING - because breathing affects everything we do and most of us breathe rather badly. Nearly 60% of us have become mouth breathers with poor posture and why getting into the habit of breathing through your nose is such a good thing for your respiratory and general health and well-being, particularly your ability to get the most out of your sleeping hours.
EATING AND DRINKING - good quality water, nutritious food and diversity are a must.
And how to learn Hard Rules to get to be lean and stay lean because the downside is obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Managing the next few elements are incredibly difficult to weave satisfactorily into the mix of each day with few regrets.
FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS - I have over 20,000 hours of meditation experience with slow conscious breathing and I know the gap between feelings - which always come first - and thoughts.
And knowing this will help you give you valuable time to learn to manage your own emotions in the moment.
LIFESTYLE - How yours could affect your breathing, drinking, eating, feelings and thinking, your perception, worldview and philosophy of life, sleep, stress, recreation, exercise and how you deal with pain and suffering.
Here are the things that can occur to many of us as we get older - a period of mostly slow and long decline, in which we are often found wanting as we struggle to come to terms with much that is going on with and to ourselves at this time in our lives.
PAIN - because we have all experienced the feeling of pain.
It is life's arbiter and as we grow older there will be more of it and we need to learn how to manage it and put off popping pills only as a last resort - not at the first sign of it.
CANCER - because I have had it twice myself and I have learnt interesting and practical ways of living and dealing with it for me which may be of help to you, or members of your family and friends.
I have done this by placing reality on the table in my dealings with the medical oncology industry, who are only allowed to use 3 tools in their toolbox to try to help you and ignore any other options available to you, of which there are many.
DYING - because we don't ask to be born into this world but we must have the right to choose when and how to leave it if we wish and not simply wait to die like millions do.
We need to get a conversation going around living and dying that takes the fear out of the one thing that all of us will one day do.
We need to learn to say "Goodbye" forever and let go - for the living and the dying.
Learn to let go of the fear of dying.
Over the years my students and private clients have always enjoyed the range and scale of recommended reading I have provided for them to add depth and essence from a third party source I have read that they can trust.
Hope you find them of interest too.