Saturday, July 20, 2019

My New Favorite Bumper Sticker -or- Why I Have Given Up on Religion

      I love bumper stickers. Certainly many of them are mundane and forgettable, but occasionally I run across a gem. My favorite, up until recently, was "Against abortion? Don't have one." I appreciate the general theme that what another chooses to do is none of my business.
     My new favorite appeared within the last week, well worn on the back end of a pick-up truck. Fortunately we were detained at a traffic light long enough for me to see it clearly and remember it. Here you go:
I like your Christ.
I don't like your Christians.
They are so unlike your Christ.
      Before you freak out, send me hate comments or get defensive, I know plenty of fine folks who identify themselves as Christians who are quite Christ-like. 
     What I have no patience for is Christians complaining that they are being persecuted in a country built on freedom of religion. It appears to me that those Christians want the freedom for themselves, but not for anyone who looks or believes differently from them. Alas, freedom doesn't work that way. Also, supporting Trump and his racist and lying ways only makes the Christians referenced by the bumper sticker appear even more "unlike Christ." 
     I am not an atheist. I believe in a higher power. I have a very rich and satisfying spiritual life, thanks to over three decades of recovery in a 12-step program. I was raised in an ultra-conservative religious sect, have passed through several others, and even worked in a church office for six years. I can even state that the church office job was the best one I ever had--I loved it. I've made many good friends through my previous religious associations. But I can also state that in all my working years, the most abusive behavior ever directed at me was by a few "Christian" church members.
     I believe that Christ gave us an excellent example of how to live well. It is unfortunate to me that at this point in time, I would be uncomfortable being labeled as a Christian. And lastly, I want to throw in the gentle reminder that the United States is NOT a Christian nation. It is a very blessed nation where, at least for now, one can practice any religion (including none) that one so chooses. 
     No labels please,

Monday, July 15, 2019

A Personal Tribute to the MELT Method

     What's the MELT Method? At the bottom of this post is a description. If you are not familiar with MELT, please read that first.
     The MELT techniques for relieving Stuck Stress use assorted balls and a 36" roller to stimulate and rehydrate connective tissue. I have been consistently practicing MELT techniques on a daily basis for almost three years. It has helped to keep me active (golfing, lap swimming, walking, gardening, traveling, teaching yoga) and mostly pain-free, despite the fact that I have a hip that could be replaced at any time.
     Last Thursday in a moment of inattention, I missed a step down and wiped out on a cement sidewalk. My right ankle rolled and I landed on my left knee and the heel of my right hand, stopping my face about 3" from the cement. I flopped onto my right upper arm and rolled over on my back to assess the damage. Simultaneously I was feeling stupid (of course, I fell in front of a bunch of people), in pain, and wondering if anything was broken. After a few moments, I got myself up and headed home. The rest of the day was spent with one or more ice packs on swollen and bruised body parts.
     I am so grateful that I have stayed in shape enough to keep my bones so sturdy. Nothing was broken. The only treatment I had was ice, over-the-counter pain meds, and a chiropractor visit to straighten my slightly whiplashed neck. Here's where MELT comes in...
     My bounce-back from that nasty fall, the worst I have yet experienced, has been amazing. I attribute this in significant part to my daily MELTing. Yes, I have some very colorful bruises, a scabby knee, tender spots and a bit of stiffness in my sprained ankle. Those will pass in time. But the very next day after the fall, I was able to swim a half-mile. I continued periodic icing, but was able to resume normal activity. Two days after I was able to golf, gripping the club with a very bruised right hand. Three days after, I did my usual swim of 30 laps (36 laps = 1 mile). The bruises are disappearing fairly quickly. Those 20-30 minutes of MELTing self-care each day have proven themselves to be time very well spent. I'm hooked on MELT and plan to stay hooked.
      I'm 63. A fall like I experienced has put some folks my age in the hospital, even in a nursing home. I'm grateful I was not seriously hurt, and I am motivated to keep using the balls and roller every day.
      I'm MELTing, I'm MELTing!!!

** What is MELT?
MELT is all about the connective tissue which is a tissue that wraps around every single "thing" inside of us ~ every blood vessel, every bone, every muscle fiber, every organ, etc. Consequently, it is the most abundant tissue in the body. Because people don't know what connective tissue is, no one has learned how to take care of it. Diet and exercise do not address connective tissue.

The mere act of daily living (sitting for long periods, carrying kids or heavy bags, even the gentlest form of exercise) causes tension inside the body which results in the connective tissue becoming dehydrated. In MELT, we call this Stuck Stress. Stuck Stress is a stagnant "sediment" caused by excess waste in the body.

Connective tissue dehydration, or Stuck Stress, is a natural, cellular process happening to every single one of us, every single day regardless of age, activity level or diet. If you get out of bed in the morning or up from sitting for a long period of time and you feel stiff, you've experienced Stuck Stress.

The simple, gentle compression and lengthening techniques of MELT yields great results to help you get and stay out of pain by reducing Stuck Stress.