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Margaret Cochran, Ph.D. Headshot

Earth Seeks Clean Air, Organic Food and Green Living Inhabitants

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Well, it's no wonder the earth has to advertise because as far as romances go, the one we are having with the planet earth leaves a great deal to be desired. And, not coincidentally, it very accurately mirrors the relationship we have with our bodies and our health. We are all intricately and inexorably interrelated; person-to-person, person to body and person to planet.

How Did We Get Here?

Since the industrial revolution manufacturing goods has ruled our economy. Our economic success has been driven by the lie that people and the environment we live in are not our most valuable and precious assets. In fact, they are often considered mere impediments to making profits. So, if we manufacture a breakfast food that consists mostly of sugar and is an insulin raising nightmare, it's OK because it results in profit. The end justifies the means absolutely! And with regard to consumer responsibility for the problem, we often throw up our hands and surrender to the marketplace because we are told that if we do not that we will be jobless, poor and unable to feed our newly created carbohydrate addiction.

Food is chemistry after all -- our bodies are electrochemical entities and to say that food powerfully affects them is a gross understatement. There is an important psychological principal which the food manufacturing industry takes advantage of daily via advertising and promotional campaigns, and of which most people are consciously unaware, and it is, "Food affects mood which drives mood to choose food.'"

So if you are feeling tired, anxious, sad or even happy you will be driven to either soothe or celebrate your mood with food, and as a food manufacturer, I want to be your "dealer." Like any good "dealer" I'm not the least bit concerned about what my drugs are doing to you the user, what effect manufacturing them may have had on the people who did so, or how any waste products produced may have harmed the planet. For example, I wrote an email recently to one of the major food manufacturers about the fact that they continue to, despite well documented evidence of the danger to human health, put trans fats into products aimed at children. I received from them a form response explaining to me in a most condescending manner that any negative health effects that trans fats might cause "have not been proven..." This is a classic gambit that the tobacco industry used for many years and it is now the go-to defense when anyone doesn't want to deal with reality. It's called denial, and we are literally killing ourselves whenever we use it.

Bottom line, we are encouraged on a daily basis, from multiple sources, educational, political and industrial to name a few, to think of ourselves as living in a modern and progressive society. However, despite all our apparent sophistication and advancement we have vast quantities of toxins in our environment that are poisoning us and our planet, that we add to daily.

Our Chemical Romance

We have created an economy largely based on human made chemistry rather than naturally occurring chemistry. Now in some cases that is a good thing as we have created medicines that can save lives -- antibiotics are a good example of this. Some not so good examples are petroleum products and farming poisons. We are so attached to our petroleum products that we are literally destroying the earth to get at its last dregs of oil so that we can create gasoline, a poison whose waste and by-products are known carcinogens. And of course we mustn't leave out farming poisons like pesticides and herbicides. Now, I suspect that if someone approached you and said that they were going to cover your fruit and vegetables and the land they were grown in with poison to facilitate a maximum yield of those same fruits and vegetables, you would probably say "No thank you!" And, of course, that's what non-organic farming looks like, and lots and lots of people eat non-organic food. Considered in the abstract, the idea of poisoning our food and the planet that sustains us would be a silly and laughable idea, but it's not abstract, it's real, it's happening now and it's deadly!

Our Reality Check Bounced!

The world used to be a very agrarian based, garden and farm to table world. However, as we have developed a more industrial culture we have increasingly adopted a mindset of "lethal separation." We close ourselves off from basic reasoning like cause and effect. We have repressed important concepts such as "you are what you eat" or don't eat. We are also encouraged to forget to use one of our earliest acquired developmental milestones, that of "object permanence." Object permanence is the awareness that something that has existed, still exists, even if it's out of our line of sight. Or put another way, the trans fats in the canned frosting that you are eating may get you a trip to the cardiologist in addition to a ticket for a four vessel bypass operation. And, when we dump garbage in the ocean and we don't see it anymore, that doesn't mean it's gone away.

"Stop The World I Want To Get Off"

Here's the good news -- you have power and lots of it that you can use to affect changes in your own life and in the world. All those "good folks" who want to make money and are now doing so by poisoning you watch what you purchase and what you don't very carefully, and they are not going to manufacture what you don't buy! So the key concept here is something I call "Whole Brain Thinking." Whole Brain Thinking is the cognitive skill of being able to think AND feel rather than think OR feel about your life choices. Using this skill you will not be swayed by fantastical claims, sales pitches and fear mongering. Beware of anyone who says that they or their products are things that you and our economy cannot live without. Be cautious around anyone who wants to tell you that there is only one answer to our political, economic and environmental problems: theirs.

So How Do We Get Our Romance Back On Track?

There are a few basic and powerful steps that can improve your life, your health and the health of our planet more rapidly than you might think:

1. Eat whole organic unprocessed foods.
2. Drink the purest water possible.
3. Breathe deep relaxing breaths several times a day.
4. Move! Don't sit so much.
5. Turn off your electronics and let your brain rest.
6. Use Whole Brain Thinking.
7. Attend the Health Freedom Expo(s) www.healthfreedomexpo.com

Oh, and with regard to your romance with the planet. I strongly recommend a second honeymoon. Take that trip together you've been putting off, go for a hike, admire the earth, experience it with gratitude and when necessary nurture and defend your planet, and if you do you can both change your Facebook status to, "In a Relationship."

Join Dr. Cochran at the Health Freedom Expo: March 2-4th www.healthfreedomexpo.com Long Beach Convention Center-300 East Ocean Bl, Exhibit Hall B Long Beach, CA 90802 888-658-3976. Dr. Cochran will be lecturing on March 4th at 3pm in room 103A

Dr. Cochran is a transpersonal psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, educator and author with more than 30 years of experience. Dr. Cochran works with her partner, board certified family physician David J. Waggoner, MD, at Saratoga Family Health Center, where she takes a whole person approach to health and wellness. Dr. Cochran is a columnist for The Huffington Post and a contributor to ABC-TV, Northern California. Dr. Cochran host a radio program; Whole Brain Thinking: Wisdom, Love, Magic Visit: www.sfhc.com and www.drcochran.org

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