Author Archives: HappyPathfinder

Genetic profiling for tailored diet & exercise advice?




Found out about 23andMe personal genetic profiling (as in 23 pairs of chromosomes).

What a wonderful opportunity for humanity! huge data set to forward health, medicine, psychology, the applications have set my brain on spin-cycle!

But then I read:

The FDA banned companies giving access to individuals to their own genetic information in the absence of a doctor, citing 2 specific concerns regarding reporting the potential predisposition for any serious disease:

1.) False Negatives

2.) False Positives

You can still order your kit & get a lot of information, but they no longer are allowed to interpret large portions of it.

Silly! First, these are refferring to genetic potentialities ONLY, not a diagnosis. Anyone ordering such a test understands that. If you get a false negative, then you just behave today exactly as you did yesterday, since you still don’t know. & if you got a false positive, what is the first thing you would do? Go see a doctor, perhaps? This ban was obviously not about public safety, it was about money. The FDA is accustomed to being paid just like the mafia, & when 23andMe didn’t cower, the FDA had to demonstrate a show of power. Any kit bought (only $99) after November 22, 2013, 23andMe can’t report on the individual’s in-depth specifics. Those who purchase kits after this date will only get ancestry information and raw genetic data without any form of interpretation. It is possible that they will get health-related results at a later date, pending FDA approval.

I ordered my kit, obviously well after that cut-off.

I followed the instructions of spitting into a tube after not eating nor drinking for 30 minutes, mixed the preserving fluid & I registered & mailed it off. I am very interested in my ancestry, health profile & I have authorized 23andMe to use my data for further research, but I have a more precise motivation: I want to find research that has identified the genes responsible for the the production of things like digestive enzymes. My thinking is: How much amylase I produce, (a digestive enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates), is probably a strong indicator of whether I should eat a high or low carb diet.

I will review & report my results, when I get them.

Will-Power can be hard, Want-Power is easy


enjoy life

As I am experimenting with new habits, I noticed today that my experience of the exact same familiar task is very different if it occurs as a “want to” as a opposed to a “have to”. When I “want to” do something, I find a way & I am far more productive & waste less time. When I feel I ” have to”  do something, I catch myself rationalizing & justifying & letting myself “reason” my way off the hook. What is interesting is that it can be the exact same task, like exercising.

So I played with this a bit today. I’d let some dishes pile up in the sink, from my recipe experiments, because the dishwasher was full of clean dishes that I hadn’t found time nor energy to put away. I caught myself avoiding the task & I know this path only worsens over time. So, I shifted the experience. I put on some great music & enjoyed putting the dishes away & even reorganized some cabinets. I enjoyed the warmth of the water over my hands & the smell of the lavender soap. I enjoyed the daydream time & the rather zen activity of cleaning. It was a very satisfying experience.

This little conversion from “Have To” to why I might “Want To” gives me choice. Choice = freedom. Freedom seems to have a lot to do with happiness. This exercise of choice seems like a key to happiness & lead me to another insight:

“In Order To’s”… if you hear yourself use those words, even to yourself, you are being slave-driven by something that robs you of your freedom. “In Order To” is the logic of “Have To”. All “In Order To’s” exist only in a world where you are not enough. If you feel you “have to” exercise “in order to” be attractive “in order to” have people like you, then you are living in the context that you are not already likeable enough just as you are. Not only does this leave you dis-empowered & feeling small, but it also requires willpower to continue to workout, since you don’t really want to work out… what you want is for people to like you. If your endeavor requires an expenditure of willpower, it is already a life-costing situation rather than a life-giving situation. Further, you are in jeopardy, because sometimes you are simply just short on willpower.

So if you convert exercising into an enjoyable experience; like : it feels great to stretch & feel the pump & feel strong & get amp’d up on fun & fast music & challenge yourself

Then the point of exercise is that it is fun & feels good with the added bonus of having you feel happier, more energetic & mentally clearer for the rest of your day. this has you enjoy your time. Your time is your life. Rather than costing you your time (life) & energy (life), this experience gives you vitality.

Choosing to enjoy the thing you need to do, for the sheer joy of doing it, requires no will power, as enjoying it is its own reward.



If you want to strengthen Will-Power, you’ll need to exercise Doing what you said you’d Do



I admit that I am a little self-conscious about how basic my first round goals are:

(Sleep, Diet, Exercise, this Blog, Work plans, reading & learning, organizing, scheduling, budgeting, etc.)

I also have a bit of shame in admitting that an embarrassingly common mistake I have made, is: I, (perhaps more frequently than the average person or at least more publicly), come up with fantastically ambitious plans & then I get distracted, derailed or my interest simply wanes… & then nothing much comes of my grandiose visions.

Thankfully, I have achieved at least enough, that I feel my self-esteem is at a healthy level & I have some workable degree of credibility with my peers. So, it just begs the question: What’s the difference?

When it has worked, Why? How did I accomplish &/or complete what I’ve accomplished &/or completed?

versus: that which I’ve left unanswered, incomplete, or wholly undone?

In part, this experiment , (I am, rather plainly, calling:) my “Fulfillment Project” is meant to discover & refine that key difference.

At the moment, I suspect a key factor has been the degree to which an endeavor was “self-sufficiently doable”. I mean to say, for example, that a resolution to workout for 2 consecutive hours every single day at a gym with a trainer is soon challenged… What if your car breaks down? What if your gym is closed? What if your trainer gets sick? What if you are running late? What if you have immoveable commitments & don’t have 2 hours? What if you get sick? Etc. Any of these occurences, would have a reasonable person let themselves off the hook for fulfilling on their commitment. 1 day off, might through happenstance, become 2 days or 3 days in a row & then you are off schedule. Before you know it, it often takes just as much re-starting willpower as it di to start in the first place; which must’ve been a considerable & hard enough to must ammount of willpower given the evidence of your not having been doing whatever it was that you resolved to do, before your recent resolution to do it.



What if you commit to exercising full out for 10 minutes — NO MATTER WHAT

Even if you are sick, you could exercise for 10 minutes. 10 minutes is long enough to get your hear rate to maximum. 10 minutes is long enough to do 2 full sets of :

35 incline sit-ups, 35 V-shaped floor-washers, 35 leg raise push-ups, 35 deep-squats w/ calf-raises & shoulder-burns w/ fore-arm flexes, 15 chin-ups & 35 Supermans   —- all using only body weight.

10 minutes seems something anyone can muster even when they don’t feel like it. 10 minutes is so “self-sufficiently doable” that  it is hard to let oneself off the hook, even when thwarting circumstances arise. & often, for me, ( much more so than I ever expect), fulfilling on that 10 minutes creates a momentum that has me choose to keep going.

Setting my goals at “self-sufficiently doable” levels keeps me from feeling oppressed by them & subsequently resisting them & then justifying why I am not wrong for not fulfilling, but rather,  was overly-ambitious in setting soooo many goals sooo high in the first place.

“Self-sufficiently doable” keeps it easy so there is room for fun.

Plus: at the end of each day, I have exercised my will-power muscles & integrity muscles & commitment muscles. Keeping my word to myself doesn’t just make a life by design seem ” self-sufficiently doable”, but by practicing doing what I said I would do, I am, in fact, already living a life by my own design.

The Sun will shine on you, if you’ll just go out to meet it


returning of the light



I do my best thinking first thing in the morning, which lasts up to 2 hours. I’ll incorporate that into my schedule. I woke up easily enough this morning. Got caught up reading & researching & reminded myself that life is not what you know, but what you do.

As part of the C.H.A.R.M.E.D. playground of Health & Fitness, I said I would see the sunrise whenever I could while walking/jogging, while I learn to run. (I have had great difficulty running, in the past, but think I would really love it)

I may take on as part of my 1st Health & Fitness goal to run 3 miles in under 30 minutes.

I live in the city & am concerned about breathing car fumes deeply. I also read about NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder) having dire impacts on physical & psychological health. There are woods at the end of my street, so I bundled up & decided to walk/hike/jog/ explore the forest…


It is a happy feeling to feel so warm & cozy from being softly, but thickly swaddled & at the same time exhilarated by the cold.

The air seems cleaner in the winter. Breathing in the winter, to me, is as refreshing as drinking ice water in the summer.

The first light of the winter sun skews blue as if thawing the sky

Morning melts the night. Pale shadows evaporate, revealing all the miraculous complexity in glorious gilded detail.

I feel at the beginning of a spiritual journey.  Auspicious that the days are now lengthening, the nights are shortening — the light is returning.

This dawn, as I warm up to a comfortable rhythm for my run, I breathe ghosts of my past to disapate in the returning of the light.


How wonderful!!  I discovered criss-crossing trails!

my bunny trail


I even discovered a small bridge over a tiny stream. I sat down on it & meditated with my eyes wide open to the sun.

meditation bridge

I typed this into my phone:

“  The suffusion of the sun’s smile warms & wakes all the now incandescent colors of nature aglow

Its lustrous & lambent beams brush faded frost from the florid forest floor

The muted & subdued frost fattens into vibrant & vivid jewels of dew

& a conflagration of clarity in my mind is ignited, too

The returning of the light seems holy. I feel blessed.

As this day is born anew, so am I. ”

I’m not lazy, my thyroid is.

No more (Thy)ROID RAGE... I want my thyroid to be as happy as its butterfly shape.

No more (Thy)ROID RAGE… I want my thyroid to be as happy as its butterfly shape.

I have been exceptionally tired lately. Admittedly, attempting to hold my new schedule hasn’t gone smoothly & I have an all-you-can-eat stress buffet at work, but I still feel that I have been especially lethargic. I suspect it may be my thyroid.

Like a pandemically large number of people (27 million Americans + another estimated 10%undiagnosed), I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism & prescribed the synthetic & generic levothyroxin, which I have just discovered uses gluten as a filler!?!?!? & has a normal variance of +/- 10% in potency from one pill to the next, which seems dangerous. After extensive research & 3 recent blood tests, I have permanently switched to the natural porcine Armour Thyroid.

After further research, as of this morning, I have also switched from the typical doctor recommendation of taking thyroid medication in the morning to taking thyroid medication at night.

a 2007 study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, and a follow-up larger randomized trial reported in the December 2010 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine – have found that taking the same dose of levothyroxine (i.e., Synthroid) at bedtime, as compared to first thing in the morning, may be better.

The researchers suggested several explanations for the results:

  • Even when waiting at least 30 minutes to eat, breakfast may be interfering with the intestinal absorption of levothyroxine thyroxine.
  • “Bowel motility is slower at night,” which means that it takes longer for the levothyroxine tablet to transit through the intestinal system, resulting in longer exposure to the intestinal wall, and therefore, better uptake of the medication.
  • The conversion process of T4 to T3 may be more effective in the evening.
A new study from the journal Thyroid, presented evidence that those who consume coffee at the time of taking their thyroid medication, see a 25-57 percent drop in T4, one of the thyroid hormones, compared to non-coffee drinkers. This adverse effect persists for up to one hour.
 Studies showing about a 20% drop in absorption if Synthroid is taken with food within 1 hour, compared to an empty stomach.
If I am eating late, I am going to eat my last bit of food by 2.5 hours before bed (8:30pm), which gives my body ample time to digest all food so I will go to bed on an empty stomach. I will take my Thyroid Medication on an empty stomach 90 minutes or 1 hour before bed (9:30-10pm) & begin my nighttime ritual to trigger my body’s associative principle. I will read in bed & take my night supplements just before turning off the light (10:30 – 11pm)
Adult typical safe range of iodine is above 150mcg & below 1100 mcg. I am making sure to eat seaweed as a snack from now on — it is very low in calories,  exceptionally high in nutrients; to include iodine, which the thyroid needs to produce thyroid hormone.

I am what I Do, not what I Think

I had fun painting the backdrop, which I entitled "shhh-hh...."

Progress is taking action steps, not deconstructive analysis. I had fun painting the backdrop, which I entitled “Shhh-hh…”

5 weeks have elapsed!! along what is developing into my year-long “Fulfilment Project” for 2015. I have invested eye-blinding hours reading (mostly skimming) & studying dump-trucks full of information on the internet that I thought might help me on my quest to find short-cuts to sustained happiness & getting the most out of life for the minimum investment of effort. However…

     In the tragic-comedy of a Sisyphusian sort of insight, I just realized that I have typed 267 pages worth of notes! Ha! That is basically equivalent to a novel! (A really incoherent & fragmented, schizophrenic novel, but by page count: a novel.)
    The ridiculousness of this is, that just as I thought I was making progress, having summarized & correlated & compounded so much diverse information from the internet & having officially completed reading 2 of my selected books… it turns out that just reading my notes will take as much effort as reading yet another book! =2 steps forward & 1 step back… what a perfect irony!
— I just had a quick daydream montage in my mind of:
      …pushing myself to run along a flat desert sand path of a known distance of 10 miles. At first I am motivated by my progress of having run, what I estimate should be, 2.5 miles, so far…, until startlingly I suddenly see a bird twice the size of normal, swoop down & catch a lizard twice the size of normal & land on a cactus that is twice the size of normal…
      I begin to realize that, while I have, in fact, covered some distance & the 10 miles stayed a fixed 10 miles, I am shrinking relative to the desert & have, so far, shrunk to half my original size in a quarter of the time of my planned run; therefore, in net effect, the distance has doubled, since each of my strides now only covers half the ground. Further, if I have shrunk by half in only a quarter of the time, it stands to reason that, at the same rate, I will shrink by half again in the next, let’s say 25minutes, of time. So, if I was originally 5’10″ & planning to run 10 miles in 100 minutes, I am now likely to be, by the 100 minute mark, only 4.375″ tall & have only covered 2.34375 miles, but that isn’t the most disheartening news… I am still shrinking, so the net effect is that I will continue to cover only half the ground that I did each previous 25 minutes. So the next 100 minutes, I will only have covered an additional .1464843 of a mile. & the next 100 minutes after that would only add another .0091552 of a mile & the next 100minutes would only add .0005719… After 400 minutes ( 4x’s the 10 mile effort & 16x’s the effort I thought would have brought me to the 2.5 mile marker), I still would not have reached the 2.5 mile marker that I thought I had already reached… worse still: I would be eternally getting closer with infinity still to go…. never ever ever arriving.
The above daydream metaphor is often how pursuits such as these progress for me.
As it turns out, I just had a valuable insight!
 ….my internal mental action of studying & preparing to post, occurred in external reality as the emptiness of inaction…
My successfully expanding research to prepare to post, would be empirically observed as my failure to post anything at all over the past 2 weeks.
I just got more “forwarding” value from this insight that than all the reading & studying I’ve done up to now.
Here’s the insight:
When “approaching” a problem, I have a propensity to “take a step back”.
It goes something like this:
I ask myself, ” What do I want?”
I answer myself, “I should imagine how the 125 year old future me would apply his accumulated wisdom in suggesting an answer to that question.”
I resist the temptation to Hugh Hefner-ify the 125 year old me &…
I imagine the answer would be in the context of fulfillment & legacy & how I might make wiser choices today that become smarter strategies aimed at creating the greatest sustainable good for myself & those I love & that I would enjoy the journey all along the way.
cue my dysfunction:
Therefore since Time is the one ever-perishing, non-renewable, non-preservable commodity required to invest in all endeavors in such a life, I should develop an economic formula as a ranking & selection tool for discerning where one could best invest their time for the maximum return on that investment.
Therefore I should distinguish all the universal “Currencies” of life & their respective “Exchange Rates” as ratios to units of time.
Therefore I will have to quantitatively & qualitatively distinguish each currency into a discrete yet versatile unit.
Therefore I should invent an “Option Discovery” process, since the “ultimate” path is a rank only determined by its position relative to the “penultimate”, “antepenultimate”, & “preantepenultimate” best-fitting options available according to your intended result & criteria of tolerances.
Therefore I should divide all areas of life into distinct playgrounds.
Therefore I should distinguish all ways to play.
Therefore I develop a goal-setting process.
Therefore I should construct strategy principles into applicable templates.
Therefore I should develop a time management methodologies & motivational techniques
Therefore I should…
& so the research into competeing theories begins which explodes into an ever-expanding universe of peripheral topics & sub-topics;
 while I zoom-in to analyze the main topic at first with a magnifying glass, then a microscope & then an electron microscope & then I study the quarks which make up the protons & neutrons of the atoms that make up the molecules of the cells of the organs of each creature in each ecosystem on each continent of each world in the solar system of the project which I want to begin… eternally getting closer with infinity to go.
…Not this time.
Now, I get it. Memorizing a map is nothing like visiting a place.
I will figure this out experientially– by virture of tangible practice versus abstract theory.
I will “lean into it” so that, if I am to make mistakes & falter, I will fall forward…
even if on my face… it may still be over the goal line.
I have now learned:
You can infinitely divide a single stride into ever smaller units of measurement & divide any individual unit infinitely in half, but moving forward is actually taking step by step in a simple process of addition (whether or not you ever comprehend the infinite subsets of fractions contained.)
I think; therefore I am;
but I am what I do;
not what I think.

What I focus on gives me my Reality.



face-deep blue-eyed peep into a sleeping rainbow

face-deep blue-eyed peep into a sleeping rainbow

I never finished the above painting when I was 13 years old & pondering what the future may hold for me… but I am glad, now, that I started it & got as far as I did. There are many lessons I have learned since then, that come to mind behind these same blue-eyes.  Peeping again into the sleeping rainbow of my future, I have learned that what I see is my reality; & what I see is what I focus on; therefore: what I focus on gives me my reality.


Since Spring is when new life begins, I’ve begun making a 90 day action plan to begin March 21st, the 1st day of Spring (until June 21st, the Summer Solstice) ,  for beginning my new C.H.A.R.M.E.D. life :


CELEBRATION: I will select somewhere to celebrate my accomplishments & to plan my next adventures in Commitment… Maybe Surfing lessons in Costa Rica?



I will develop the habit of exercising at least 15min a day 5x’s a week



I will have posted a minimum of 11 blog articles with self-created photos, drawings, videos, crafts, artwork, etc.



I will have formed a Men’s Team



I will have added $50,000 per month to the bottom line of my scrap metal recycling company



I will have read 7 enlightening books



I will have completely unpacked, moved into & ergonomically designed every room, closet, shelf & drawer of my new home

I will have a complete garden plan ready to deploy in my backyard by the Spring Equinox


If it weren’t for the respite of night, we could not see the stars; & therefore would not ponder them.



Begining this Fulfillment Project to live a “C.H.A.R.M.E.D.” life, I figure a good Lifeline (why does it have to be “dead”, since it gives you life to focus?), would be March 21st for the Spring Equinox, This gives me time to select & set my first round of goals in each of the 7 areas of a C.H.A.R.M.E.D. life & then to formulate how to proceed & make action plans.

I just want to sit tonight, & quiet my mind, to focus & begin to puzzle this out.

I am grateful for the elongated reprieve of these longest nights of the year. I have craved quiet contemplation. Cozily sheltered under the dark wing of this long winter’s night, I feel secure in an eddy of escape from the everyday avalanche of angst… That rushing detritus of distraction & deluge of anxious obligation that pelted & swept me uncontrollably tumbling & growing further & more densely buried beneath blurred days & weeks & somehow consumed the last decade of my life.

With the succor of a spiritual mother hen,  a brooding night has nestled me in my nest. Snug in this comfortable solitude, my most private thoughts are safe to play & a clutch of incubated “New Life” ideas begin to hatch.

A birth-wet & fuzzy chattering of hatchling ideas, I do not have it all worked out yet, but I think waiting for perfection has been a key mistake I have regularly made in the past.  I will begin where I begin. The important thing is to start. Who said I had to get it all perfect on my first attempt?

I will enjoy the process.


The 7 Playgrounds of a C.H.A.R.M.E.D. life


Sitting on the sun

“Living a full life” , … I like that phrase :-)

I hear that as “joyful abundance in all areas.”… which got me thinking…

What are all the areas of life in which one might have a sense of joyful abundance?

I want this to be the most fulfilling year of my life… So I have been formulating a sort of “Fulfillment Project” & its time I give it some order…yes, I want to be not just happy, but fulfilled & I want to fulfill on who I know I could be, but…. What am I actually going to DO?

I brainstormed for hours & hours &  enjoyed starting a “Bucket List” & then I organized my list categorically & I noticed that everything fit into 7 distinct categories & I couldn’t think of an 8th, nor do I see a need for one.  I’m really excited about what I came up with !

The 7 Playgrounds of a C.H.A.R.M.E.D.  Life

Celebration: every 90 Day goal cycle should be borne out of a celebratory period & the accomplishment of that new cycle of goals should be celebrated. Ideally, this celebration would be done by crossing off a bucket list item.

Health & Fitness:  I figure I am going to want energy to accomplish all my first round goals.

Art & Soul: this is a category for Self-expression & Inspiration. To make all the other goals a part of who I am being. The idea is to channel self-expression into a measurable creation… A physical manifestation with a momentum independent myself,  that because it exists outside of me, I can give it away to others. — This is the purpose of any Human life.

Relationships: I remind myself: “You are not the thoughts you have or the feelings you feel. You are what you do & what your community says about that. Nothing is real, until you share it with another.” This is the first thing I have written in my journal as I begin this experiment. & just now I added “The most powerful way to do this, is as an invitation for others to play & to collaborate.”

Money: (more journal notes to myself:) “Live in Abundance. Prove this to your ego, by being generous to any source of inspiration. You attract & expand that to which you give yourself.”

Education: ( apparently determined to get my value out of my journal) “Your whole universe is perceived through, navigated by, generated from your mind. Your mind is your universe. Enrich your mind, enrich your life through educational experiences.”

Dwelling: (seriously clocking some journal mileage here:) Home, Garden, Car, office, each task-specific work station — Design any place you dwell ergonomically, like a cockpit. Engineer for maximum efficiency. Decorate your space as an expression of who you are. Try to keep only the missions at hand in view to minimize distraction. Keep Missions highly visible through posted mantras, vision boards, calendars, etc.

I am really excited to share this with my Men’s team tonight!


You can never get anywhere, except from exactly where you are



You can never get anywhere, except from exactly where you are…

…But you can get anywhere from there.

Ever have a silly thoughts like the following?:

  • As soon as I have enough money, I will be more generous & philanthropic.
  • Those group exercise classes seem really great, as soon as I’m in good enough shape, maybe I’ll sign up
  • When I know as much as they do, I’ll participate.

I recognize now, that I have missed out on a lot of life while I planned & researched & organized. I have spent a lot of life preparing for the life I want, rather than living it. Its sort of, as if I’ve been in sniper training & I only have the one shot to hit my target. I have spent a lot of time checking hour-by-hour weather and taking into account anything that could happen and packing for any situation that may arise and scounting out my best spot to set up and calculating wind speed and air density and distance and curvature of the earth and…(ad nauseam)

Meanwhile, I have witnessed very very successful people take a different approach.

I have this business partner, for instance: Someone once asked us both to answer a complex riddle. Well, I am the smart one. It was up to me to prove it.

My partner immediately begins a rapid fire of answers, silly & inane at first. Then he picks up lucky clues from his random shots in the dark and begins to zero in. & while I am quietly & intelligently devising a strategy for analytically applying deductive reasoning….*Clap! …WTH!?!? My partner who was overzealously spitting while spewing desultory answers like an automatic sprinkler, got the answer before I had even tried.

He was hunting with a machine gun while I acted as if I only had one bullet. If we were hunting for food, who do you think would go home hungry?

Want to know the dirty little secret behind my inactive failure & his flurry of action that ended with success?

I didn’t want to look stupid, but in the end, I actualized my fear because I failed. I was so grave & intense about it, as if it were life or death. My identity had been threatened.

My partner had no ego at all. Jumping like an enthusiastic kindergartner, he was enjoying playing a game.

That is the first secret:

Play Games. No one is going to die. So, why not play games that interest you?

Everyone starts somewhere, they say.  Let your ego know that your body is safe; your identity is safe. & pretend for the moment, that wherever you are is not just “fine”, but ponder for a moment, why wherever you are is the perfect place from which to embark on an amazing adventure from where you are to wherever you want to be. No one said you have to get it right. No one said you only get one try.

Where do you want to go?

Ready, Fire, Aim!