Lest you think I’m just a whiner, living here at the Willowbrook lab, where your dreams turn to mold, I am learning how to take mold and make mold-aid.
For example, instead of continuing to be mosquito bait drinking my morning coffee on the only remaining and unscreened deck (for which I continue to pay), I’ve decided to go for pre-dawn bike rides. This morning’s ride reminded me of the best night ride I ever had — the moonlight ramble in St. Louis, Missouri. I don’t know if this ride continues, but I participated in the ’90s with about 18,000 other riders through the streets of downtown St. Louis from midnight to dawn. It was a blast! There should be more events like this because anyone can participate. It’s not a competition, just a great way to connect with your community in a healthy and novel way. Very different from organized day rides.
Have also been reading the book, ”Gesundheit” by Patch Adams, about cultivating happiness, which he believes cannot happen without a sense of community. This book has been out for years, but it’s new to me. To my pleasant surprise, it turns out we were both military kids at the same place and time in Germany. And we espouse virtually the same philosophy about mind-body approaches to wellness. His is a holistic approach to wellness in which each person is unique and individual within a larger system of shared humanity.
The book also discusses how managed care and the greed of big business dominate our lives and cripple health care (and us). You can also watch “Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream” on Netflix to find out how and why the uber wealthy own the rest of us.
Patch speaks about his medical training as depersonalizing to both himself and his patients. How being a professional healer in western medicine creates a chasm between doctor and patient. His are astute observations that human connection and understanding can be more healing than conventional medicine, which eschews the very behavior that activates the body’s ability to heal itself. Thus, he embraces alternative and complementary practices by knowing that one size does not fit all. I find it particularly refreshing that he refers to ”so-called mental illness” in the book. Patch’s apt discovery is that happiness is the best medicine — the most potent biochemical prescription not for sale. He shares how to do happiness, which is remarkably similar to concepts in dialectical behavior therapy such as improving the moment and using beginner’s mind.
Meanwhile, the demolition continues here at the Willowbrook lab. Today it’s the removal of the exterior framing, easily heard through my earplugs and headphones, but the blackout tarp is gone for the moment! Happy dance.