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Prayers are not enough. Silence is unacceptable. 

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As I have attempted to find some way to cope with the overwhelming tragedy of another massacre (and it is just that, mass murder, now referred to as ‘school shootings’ as if it’s a category of murder), I have read other people’s words and reflections, seeking some way to turn the absolute despair that comes with this grief into doing something — taking some action beyond praying for the families.

With each of these horrific incidents, this country moves further toward being a civilization willing to sacrifice our children in order to sustain a “right” that has long since moved from its original purpose in our Constitution, one that now has become the right to turn the majority of U.S. citizens who see the damage and danger of our “right to bear arms” into hostages to a non-taxed, sparsely represented pro-gun lobby.

Nearly 60% of Americans favor gun safety legislation, but a mere 60 senators, elected to serve all of the people in their states, choose to ignore the majority in order to secure their own political positions. They offer prayers as if that will restore the lives lost to guns in the hands of madmen. 

Madmen yes, because nearly all of these assassins who can get guns no matter their background or mental stability are men — usually young men. In an FBI list of active shooter incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2018, CNN reports that only nine of 250 incidents identified involved female shooters.

Guns are now the leading cause of death among American children and teens. According to a report released by the CDC last month, 4,368 kids died from gun violence in 2020, compared to almost 4,000 who died in car crashes. There are some serious racial disparities in the data, too: Black children aged 1 to 19 have died from gunfire at a rate more than four times that of white kids. Wondering what the stats are in your state? Here are the 10 states with the most gun fatalities among children. (via Katie Couric’s newsletter)

I call on the global community of women, and especially now American women—mothers, wives, sisters, colleagues—to lead whatever actions are necessary to put reasonable, compassionate leaders into the positions where the decisions about gun safety are made. This means campaigning against the political leaders who kowtow to the companies and vocal minority, and putting forward reasonable, compassionate leaders in their place.

Prayers will not make this happen. 

60 senators voted no in the most recent attempt to have national gun safety laws. Here’s who they are.

According to the Brady Campaign, these are the top 10 senators who have received the most money from the NRA: Mitt Romney ($13,647,676), Richard Burr ($6,987,380), Roy Blunt ($4,555,7222), Thom Tillis ($4,421,333),  Marco Rubio ($3,303,355), Joni Ernst ($4,124,773), Rob Portman ($3,063,327), Todd Young ($2,897,582), and Bill Cassidy ($2,867,074). You can see the numbers for more of the senators here

Richard Burr (NC), Rob Portman (OH), and Roy Blunt (MO) are all retiring this year. Todd Young (IN) and Marco Rubio (FL) are running for reelection this year. Let’s start with a call campaign — call 202-224-3121 — and tell them that you support universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. That’s a start. 

Speak up, speak out, stand up and show up: Yes, that’s how I define being dangerous enough to meet the challenges of dangerous times, and as this week makes tragically clear yet again, we are living in dangerous times.

We can’t be silent or sit on the sidelines while our children and our communities are in danger every day because guns are available and in the hands of so many who would not be able to have them with common sense gun safety legislation. Note the countries that have such laws and compare the numbers of deaths by guns. Guns, especially assault weapons, kill people. To deny that is insanity, just as it is insane for a democracy to allow such tragedies to happen again and again and offer prayers, rather than protection under the law.

As Coach Kerr, put it so passionately… 

“We all are not okay. We need to rise up and say, ‘Enough is Enough.’”

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According to Everytown for Gun Safety, these are the common sense laws that Congress needs to pass in order to start solving America’s gun problem.

  1. Background checks on all gun purchases
  2. People under 21 should not be able to buy guns
  3. Alert local law enforcement of failed background checks
  4. “The Disarm Hate Act” prohibits anyone convicted of a hate crime from buying a gun
  5. “Red flag” laws that allow loved ones or law enforcement to intervene by petitioning a court for an order to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing guns
  6. Federal and state laws should block people with dangerous histories — including domestic abusers, convicted stalkers, people under restraining orders, people recently convicted of a violent crime, and others — from being able to buy guns
  7. Require that lost and stolen guns be reported to law enforcement to deter illegal gun trafficking
  8. Require prohibited people to turn in their guns
  9. Institute waiting period laws requiring gun buyers to wait until a certain period of time has passed to receive guns purchased
  10. Close the loophole that allows gun purchases to go forward when background checks take longer than three days

It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again. We are the majority — on gun control, on abortion rights, on LGTBQ+ / trans rights, on climate change — on so many of the issues that are dividing us as a nation.

We must all speak up, speak out, stand up and show up.

That means vote, donate, act — and by doing so, become as dangerous as we need to be to meet the challenges of these dangerous times.

Onward!
– Pat

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Food Is Medicine And What We Eat Is Important

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Your mental state is a critical component of your physical health. And when you’re under a lot of stress, you might not be eating the healthy food that provides nutrients for fighting anxiety and depression. So when we examine what we’ve been eating, most of us discover that the decisions we’ve been making in the name of simplicity, convenience, or saving time have been damaging to our total health – body, mind, and spirit.

A person’s diet is a direct reflection of their health. When a person does not eat the right foods, their body breaks down. This can lead to an overall decrease in quality of life and many other diseases linked to improper nutrition. In North America, our current diet mainly consists of an excess of grain, sugar, fried and fatty foods. As a result, disorders including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and certain malignancies are becoming increasingly widespread.

The science of food has always been discussed; however, with recent technological innovations in food processing and agriculture, people have enjoyed more convenient foods that are less expensive than ever before. Unfortunately, with every convenience comes a trade-off. Smart foods are often packed with sugar, salt, and calories, leading to poor health in some individuals. 

To understand what a person is putting into their body, it’s essential to realize that the small molecules in food are responsible for allowing our bodies to function. These small molecules are called nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and enzymes. A nutrient is not a value unless absorbed by the body through a specific pathway. For example, if you absorb calcium without vitamin D, your body will not use that calcium. 

Eating a balanced diet keeps you healthy, but it helps reduce your stress. For example, eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants because they help augment your immune response and prevent toxins from damaging your cells. Vitamins A, C, and E serve as antioxidants that fight off free radicals in the body. Free radicals are toxic products of metabolism that cause damage to your cells. Experts claim that they are responsible for the aging process. Good sources of these vitamins are deeply-colored vegetables- green leafy, yellow, and orange vegetables, such as squash, broccoli, kale, spinach, and carrots.

Iron is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, and it mainly functions to deliver oxygen to your cells. Hence, an iron deficiency, medically termed Iron-deficiency anemia, is associated with weakness, easy fatigability, and pale skin. Tea, coffee, red wine, grapes, and berries are rich in antioxidants that function the same as your vitamins A, C, and E. 
You need a diet that’s healthy and balanced – and one that can fit comfortably into your busy lifestyle.

Here are some of the recommended dietary guidelines.

Eat a diet high in fresh vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. 

Exercise every other day to release endorphins, feel good, get the blood flowing, and reduce stress levels. 

Eat salt only when you need it, but not too much as your body does not need it. Many people with anxiety are hypothyroid or have low magnesium. When your body needs more sodium, it can indicate that you are not producing enough cortisol or are dehydrated. If you experience chronic anxiety, I recommend working with a physician to run tests on cortisol levels and then take salt supplements as needed. Use spices like turmeric, ginger, curry, and aromatic herbs like parsley, rosemary, sage, and basil.
Eat low-fat meals because they will cause a minor spike in blood sugar levels: think lean meats, eggs, vegetables, and nuts; avoid dairy if it makes you feel anxious. 

Drink lots of water — keep hydrated all day — ideally at least half a gallon if possible — your brain needs water to function optimally! 

Avoid foods that you know will make you feel bad, such as dairy, even with low-fat content. You can cut out dairy and not worry about it! 

Avoid sugar, caffeine, processed foods, alcohol, and any other substance that makes you feel bad or increases anxiety levels. Also, avoid coffee — drinking more than one cup a day can cause anxiety in some people. Coffee is also dehydrating and inhibits the absorption of minerals from food/water/supplements — try caffeinated water as a substitute for coffee if you like the caffeine kick. 

Find a natural health professional that you can talk to or work with to quickly get the results you want. 

Healthy foods and nutrition can help you stay fit, but they can also assist you in treating disease. When you nurture your body physically with these nutrient-dense foods, your mental capacities improve, as does your spiritual welfare. Moreover, because your spiritual health is at its best, it will radiate to the exterior world, causing others to notice you’re happier and more relaxed, and your stress levels have decreased dramatically.

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The Points of Light Civic Circle Offers Real Ways You Can Change the World 

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Sixty-six percent of Americans don’t believe they can make a big impact in the world. 

That figure is according to Points of Light’s research on civic engagement. But what if I told you there are actually many ways to drive change? 

Today’s political climate can feel divided or even stagnant, but the truth is, you really can make things better, starting with your own community, one act of kindness at a time. And those aren’t just words. I’m here to share real, practical ways for you to make a difference. 

The Points of Light Civic Circle helps people connect to opportunities and understand that doing good comes in many forms. It is a framework that represents your power to lead, lend support and take action for causes you care about and live your best civic life. 

The Civic Circle provides actionable examples of all the ways you can change your community to reflect the world you want to see around you. In fact, you’re probably doing some of these things already. Are you helping a neighbor by picking up groceries or chaperoning on your child’s class field trip? You’re volunteering. Did you vote in the last election or help others get to the polls so they could vote? Those acts of civic duty illustrate the “vote” element. When you buy a product, do you choose to support companies that reflect your values or advance a social cause? That’s called “purchase power.” There are nine elements of the Civic Circle, and countless ways to bring each one to life. 

This blog is the first in a five-part series that will help you find real and manageable ways to activate the Civic Circle through apps, documentaries, podcasts and books. 

We also offer other resources to help you connect with all the ways you can become empowered to be the change you want to see in the world. Check out our videos that provide an in-depth look at each element of the Civic Circle. And don’t miss Civic Life Today, our digital magazine series. Each issue takes a deep dive and provides materials, ideas and inspiration so that you can become civically engaged.  Get started today, and launch your own civic engagement journey with these tools. 

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Are you an Amateur or a Pro? 30 Differences to Help You Decide…

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My client, Sebastian, thinks he’s behind on “life”.

He thinks he missed the memo the rest of us received on how to live a happy life.

I know better.

Sebastian hasn’t fallen behind and there is no such memo.

We’re all just trying to figure it out.

Unless we’re not. And there are a lot of people who simply are not trying to figure it out.

My friend and Professional Coach, Elaine Taylor-Klaus, calls them Status quo-ers — as opposed to Growers.

Anyone who makes a serious commitment to working with a Professional Coach is by definition a “Grower” and Sebastian is no exception.

Growers want to know, feel and live more. They push every boundary and sometimes fall off cliffs. They say “yes” to way too many things and often feel overwhelmed and over committed. They have a congenital distaste of the status quo and will sabotage any situation if it feels like “settling” to them. They’re insatiable and often don’t know what exactly will assuage their hunger.

Growers often appear to the world as troubled, frustrated and critical.

Inside they feel unfulfilled and misunderstood.

The truth is that they can’t help but be driven by Oscar Wilde’s belief that,

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.”

Growers will break every piece in the china shop when they find themselves just existing and not living as they see fit. And they suffer for it.

That is… until they turn pro and transform their life!

Steven Pressfield famously states in his book, Turning Pro

“Becoming a pro, in the end, is nothing grander than growing up.”

Sebastian thinks he’s falling behind because he’s still living life as an amateur at 34.

To put the above into context, I didn’t turn pro till well into my 40’s!

Best move I ever made! 

So what’s the difference between living life as an amateur vs. a pro?

Although there is no one size fits all manifesto on “how to turn pro”, here are thirty distinctions I’ve learned which apply to ANY Grower who is truly committed to living a life of purpose, fulfillment and ease.

  1. Amateurs look for hacks and shortcuts — Pros do the work.
  2. Amateurs speed up — Pros slow down.
  3. Amateurs are busy — Pros are focused.
  4. Amateurs sell first — Pros serve first.
  5. Amateurs think it’s about them — Pros know it’s never personal.
  6. Amateurs think life is short — Pros know life is actually really freakin’ long.
  7. Amateurs are reactive — Pros are responsive.
  8. Amateurs live with constant misunderstandings — Pros take the time to get clear.
  9. Amateurs don’t know what success looks like (to them) — Pros  know their definition of success and aren’t afraid to change it.
  10. Amateurs don’t know their core life values — Pros do.
  11. Amateurs want to feel happy — Pros want to feel alive!
  12. Amateurs play to “not lose” — Pros play to win.
  13. Amateurs are harsh — Pros are fierce.
  14. Amateurs secretly enjoy being in the “Victim Mindset” — Pros are a “Hell No” to that!
  15. Amateurs wonder what people say about them when they leave the room — Pros know.
  16. Amateurs have false and limiting beliefs around money — Pros don’t.
  17. Amateurs are constantly searching for life balance — Pros are living an integrated life.
  18. Amateurs think everything matters — Pros know what few things actually do matter (for them).
  19. Amateurs set boundaries defensively — Pros simply honor their “operating system”.
  20. Amateurs think help is a four letter word — Pros actively seek opportunities to help and be helped.
  21. Amateurs don’t have a relationship with their “Future Self” — Pros are best friends with their “Future Self”.
  22. Amateurs confuse knowing with doing — Pros receive knowledge and apply it (EVERY moment of EVERY day).
  23. Amateurs love information — Pros love insights.
  24. Amateurs have intentions — Pros have commitments.
  25. Amateurs have expectations — Pros have agreements.
  26. Amateurs compare — Pros create.
  27. Amateurs live from probability — Pros live from possibility.
  28. Amateurs are focused only on the “Goal Line” — Pros are focused on both the “Goal Line” and the “Soul Line”.
  29. Amateurs set goals with contingencies — Pros know contingencies are just excuses and NOW is the time!
  30. Amateurs create from the past — Pros create from the future.

Now that you are aware of the 30 differences between an amateur and a pro, where do you see yourself?

And I’d love to know why. Get in touch with your answer.

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