It may sound strange, but it wasn't until my last few days of high school that I realized that the word commencement refers to a beginning. Because graduation was called commencement, I just assumed the word meant ending. It wasn't until I though about it and looked it up that I realized that it was called commencement because it was the beginning of our lives as adults.

Welcome to commencement for 2006!

A new year brings with it so many new hopes and dreams that it is worthwhile examining some ideas that could use some clarity. It has been said that life is a series of beginnings, not endings. And yet we often times stay focused on what is ending and we fail to fully engage in what is beginning.


I would like to take this opportunity to focus on your health from a commencement point of view. Many people that come to our office do so because they want to begin expressing a higher level of health and life. Yet there are almost as many who come because they wish to see an end to certain things (pain, illness, disease, etc.). Because of this, when they begin to feel better, they believe it is because they are seeing the end of their problem, rather than the beginning of a greater expression of health and life.


I know this may seem like a small distinction, but it really is huge! If we remember that the Law of Attraction always causes us to experience more of whatever we are giving our attention to, we realize that it is actually impossible to move away from anything! The real reason you get better is because you begin better expressing your healing and constructive innate intelligence! It is the commencement of a whole new level of living your life.


The adjustment process re-connects your physical body with the innate intelligence that runs, regulates, adapts, heals and grows you from conception until death. As this intelligence is progressively expressed at higher and higher levels, you necessarily begin to see the signs that you were not fully connected before disappear. But again, it is not because you are seeing the end of something, but because you are beginning to express your innate intelligence at a higher level again.


I would like to suggest that you remember that you can commence seeing exactly what you want for your life in 2006 as soon as you clarify what that is. Take some time over the next week or two and identify exactly what you would like to see as far as your health, relationships, career, finances and any other categories you personally find meaningful. Write these things down and read them every day for the next few months and see what happens.


Remember, you are working to experience the life you wish to have, and regaining your health is the very FIRST step in the process. Why do you want and need your health? So that you have what it takes to live fully in all of the other areas of your life! Take the time now to identify what that life looks like so that as you gain greater and greater levels of health you will know what to do with yourself!


Make time to consciously and deliberately move yourself in the direction you wish to go, and commence progressively living the life of your dreams this year!


The Tiny Black Dot

This article requires a little bit of participation on your part. Please take a piece of white scrap paper and make a little black dot in the middle and bring it back to read the rest of the article. Make sure you do that first.


Ok, now I want you to hold it in front of you and tell me what you see.


The majority will say that they see a black dot. Very few, if any, will say that they see a white sheet of paper with a tiny black dot.


We tend to look at our lives in very much the same way. We have our health, enough food to eat, a job that pays the bills and allows us some leisure activities, but we don't focus on that. We don't appreciate that. Instead, we concentrate on the tiny black dot - the, let's say, 10% in our lives that we don't like ... or the things we wish we could change. By concentrating on the 10% that represents our problems or things we don't like, we develop a negative attitude and feel lousy. Plus, there's a universal principle that comes into play: we attract what we think about most. By focusing on what is lacking in our lives, we create more experiences of scarcity.


Think about your life. Are you paying too much attention to the 10% that isn't what you want it to be ... as opposed to the 90% that's going well? I'm not saying we should ignore our challenges or things we'd like to change. But if we paid a lot more attention to the 90% that IS working, we'd have a better attitude and we'd get better results.


When it comes to your job, do you concentrate on all the positive aspects of your position, or do you gripe about your salary and your co-workers, or the fact that someone else got the promotion you wanted?


What about the basic necessities of life? Do you feel gratitude every day for the food you eat, the clothing you have, the roof above your head... or do you take all of these things for granted? Worse yet, do you complain that you don't have more?


And let's not forget your body and your health. How much time do you spend thinking about what IS working? Your body is a miracle, make no mistake about that. There's nothing "ho-hum" about your body and its day to day operation. Albert Einstein once said that there are two ways to live your life - one way is as though nothing is a miracle...the other is as though everything is a miracle. Most of us walk around with a ho-hum attitude about the miracle of our bodies. We treat this amazing creation as if it's no big deal.


Consider this: your heart is only the size of a fist and yet it pumps blood through your body. Every day, the heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood and beats about 100,000 times. That's just in one day. In one year, that amounts to 36,500,000 beats. And in most cases, the heart just keeps on beating 36,500,000 times a year for many decades. Stop for a moment and recognize the enormity of this miracle. And, of course, you don't have to change any body parts or beat your chest manually to keep your heart going. It automatically beats and sends the blood through your body with no effort on your part.


Now, let's consider your brain. The brain and spinal cord are made up of many cells, which include neurons. There are about 100 billion neurons in the brain. 100 billion! Neurons are nerve cells that transmit nerve signals to and from the brain at up to 200 miles per hour, coordinating and controlling all aspects of your body functions. Isn't this amazing? Of course it only works at its best when it is free from vertebral subluxations, which is why it so important to have your spine checked regularly.


Then there are your ears ... your eyes ... well, I could go on all day about the miracle of your body and how we take it for granted. Just one final example to drive the point home.


When you "get a cold" and have difficulty breathing for a few days, I bet you'll often tell everyone that you are congested and don't feel well. When the cold clears up in a week and your breathing returns to normal, you probably don't say: "My breathing is perfect today! I'm able to get all the oxygen I need!" Why does it make sense to complain about your breathing for the one week it is impaired ... while failing to acknowledge the other 51 weeks when your breathing is full and healthy?


Stop taking this incredible body for granted. Appreciate all the things that ARE working! You're a walking miracle, and part of an extraordinary universe.


Some of you may feel that ignoring the black dot is not the answer - and that you need to focus on the black dot to improve certain conditions in your life. Well, if you choose this route, here are three strategies you could use:

1. Worry about the black dot.
2. Complain about the black dot.
3. Take some proactive steps to eliminate or reduce the black dot.


The only strategy that makes sense is #3. Yet many people select strategies #1 and #2, which only makes them more miserable.


Be brutally honest with yourself. Are there any areas of your life where you're ignoring the large white sheet and seeing only the tiny black dot? Do you see the faults of those at work or at home, and seldom affirm people for their positive contributions to your life? If you're like most of us, you have an abundance of blessings, yet you're often blind to them.


If you've been staring at some tiny black dots recently, take responsibility for that. And recognize that nobody is forcing you to keep your eyes on the black dot. You've developed the habit of focusing on the negative. Your life (and the lives of those around you) will be greatly enriched if you start to shift your vision toward the white sheet.


You have a choice. You can keep staring at the black dot and telling others about all the things that are wrong in your life, or you can begin to appreciate your many blessings. Sounds like a pretty easy choice to make, doesn't it?


Two Questions


When a person with any type of symptom enters a chiropractic office for the first time, there are two questions that person needs to consider to be sure that the person understands the chiropractic objective. This is important so there are no misconceptions or failed expectations on the part of the person seeking care and to ensure that there exists the proper understanding of chiropractic's purpose.


The first question is: What will you do if following the chiropractic adjustment your symptom(s) do(es) not go away?


If the answer is that they will seek care elsewhere, further clarification is required. If a symptom of a medical problem does not disappear under chiropractic care, it may be a wise decision to be examined by some other professional.


It is critical for people to understand that chiropractic does not provide treatment for medical conditions. It corrects vertebral subluxations so that the body can work closer to its maximum potential. The hope is, of course, that in so doing, the body will have a greater ability to heal itself, enough so that the cause of the symptoms will be in part, or wholly resolved. While that is something everyone would like to see happen, it is not the chiropractic objective, simply because it is something your chiropractor has no control over. It is up to every individual body to heal itself.


Here is the point: if the symptoms do not go away, the body still needs a good nerve supply and it still needs to have a full complement of vital mental impulses, life's information traveling to all the parts in order to function at its best. In other words, regardless of whether the problem goes away, improves, stays the same or even gets worse, everyone still needs to have their spine checked and subluxations corrected.


Subluxations decrease everyone's quality of life. They cause the body to work at less than its intended level. If someone has a medical condition that needs to be treated, he/she still needs (maybe especially needs) the body to work at its highest level possible. So the answer to the above question should include continuing under chiropractic care.


The second question is: What are you going to do if following a chiropractic adjustment your symptoms do go away?


It is interesting that both questions address opposite circumstances but both should elicit in part, the same answer. Again, everyone would like to see symptoms go away while under chiropractic care. However, there is no way to know whether that is a direct result of being under chiropractic care.


We do know that by being under chiropractic care the body can work better than it would if it were subluxated. But the chiropractor's real interest and objective is making sure the body works at the highest level it is able to at all times. That necessitates having your spine checked regularly regardless of how you are feeling or whether any particular symptom has gone away.


When it comes down to it, the answer to both questions is based upon the fact that the chiropractic objective is to enable your body to work better and that is important for all people, under all circumstances, at all times.


Innate Forces


Universal forces are the forces of the environment which tend to break down or be destructive toward structural matter. They tend to break matter down into its simplest components.

However, to carry on the cycles of life, material must be built up in the form of a living organism. That is the function of the innate intelligence of the body and it uses innate forces to accomplish its purpose.


These forces are the power and the messages that the innate intelligence uses to build atomic particles into the elements, the elements into chemical compounds, the compounds into the component parts of a cell, the cell into a tissue, then an organ and eventually into a living organism.


For anything or anyone intelligent to communicate it must have a system. A computer needs the Internet to communicate with the other computers. Human beings need words, sounds, writing and computers. The innate intelligence uses forces and in human beings these forces are carried primarily over the nerve system as the body's communication system. We call these forces innate forces or mental impulses. Every living organism has these innate forces. They are the means by which the innate intelligence of life controls and coordinates the function of the body's material substances and life itself.


The problem is that we really cannot measure mental impulses. Science has developed instruments to measure the electrical nerve impulses that travel over the nerve system, instruments like the EMG and the EEG. But these only measure the energy, not the message that is contained within that energy and it is the message that is vitally important to the proper coordinated function of the body.


Perhaps an analogy would help demonstrate this concept.  Samuel B. Morse invented a means of communication called the telegraph in the 19th century. Most of us are somewhat familiar with it and how it worked. There were actually three "forces" that were carried over the wires. The first was an electromagnetic force that made the entire system work. Without it the receiving telegrapher's key would not click at all. The second is the dots and dashes that make up the Morse Code. To the unknowledgeable person that is all they are, a series of dots and dashes. They can be heard and even measured. But there is a third "force" as well, the force of the message that is contained within the dots and dashes. The words cannot be seen or heard but there is a specific, intelligent and intelligible communication coming over those wires. Anyone unfamiliar with Morse Code would think it was merely clicks on a telegrapher's key. The words and their message are not physical although they are transmitted along a physical wire.


A similar situation occurs with the innate forces in the nerve system. There are messages from the innate intelligence of the body transmitted over the "wires" of the body to the organs, tissues and cells. We are not able to understand those messages and we really do not need to. However, we do see the results. The body produces just the right amount of insulin, adrenalin, cortisone and a thousand other chemicals to meet the needs of the body twenty?four hours a day, for an entire lifetime. At least it does as long as there is no interference in that communication system.


Getting back to our analogy of the telegraph, suppose someone were to interfere with the telegrapher's transmission. Perhaps just randomly hit the key every few seconds while the telegrapher was sending a message. The random dots and dashes would distort the message and it is likely the recipient of the telegraph message would not understand what the message really said.


Similarly, if there is a vertebral subluxation in the spine, the nerve system is affected. The message that is being carried by that nerve is distorted and cells work improperly and may actually die. If enough cells work improperly and/or die, tissues, organs and the entire body breaks down. Keeping these lines free of interference then truly is a matter of life and health.

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