Think About It: It’s Not About The Gun

What Causes Death Among Americans?

I have been doing some research on what causes death among Americans.  Here is what I have found:


In the United States, 36% of adults and 21% of children are obese.  Each year, 280,000 people die from obesity.  Obesity is caused by eating too much and moving too little.  These obesity facts come at an annual cost of $147 billion.  That is a lot of money.  It seems to me that if people took better care of themselves, we could free up a bunch of money for many great causes.  The bottom line is that 767 people a day choose to die of obesity.  The weapon of choice, food.  Do we get rid of food?  Think about it.


Every year 88,000 people die in the United States from alcoholism.  Divide the annual deaths by 365, and you get 241 deaths per day.  The weapon of choice alcohol.  Do we get rid of alcohol?  Think about it.


Suicide kills 44,965 people each year in the United States.  Seventy-one percent of suicide attempts are with drug overdoses; fourteen percent are cuttings or piercing, and six percent are with guns.  Over half of successful efforts are with the use of firearms, seventeen percent succeed using hanging, and twelve percent of overdoses are successful.  Every day 123 people kill themselves.  The weapons of choice, guns, bedsheets, belts, rope, and drugs to name a few.  Do we get rid of all of these methods?  Think about it.


Every day in the United States between 2500

By |2018-02-27T09:04:17+00:00February 27th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Running Through The Dark

The Dark Side

The past few weeks have brought with them some challenges.  Many of these trials feel like they have a dark side to them.  As I was reflecting on the best way to handle each of these tests of my mettle, I remembered a story that I heard many years ago.  It is the story of The Legend of Cliff Young.  It goes like this.

Cliff Young

In 1983 Cliff Young showed up to the starting line of one of the world’s toughest races.  Every year, Australia hosts a 544-mile ultra marathon from Sydney to Melbourne.  This race has been coined as one of the most grueling endurance races in which someone can compete.  This event takes five days to complete and as a rule only world-class athletes who train exclusively for this race dare to enter.

I Can Do This

Cliff Young was a 61-year old farmer who showed up in his Osh Kosh overalls and workboots with galoshes over the top to run the race.  Cliff lived with his mother, had never been married, and had never run in any kind of a competitive race before.  He was asked by reporters if he had any sponsors or backers.  People said he was crazy and that he would never finish the race.  Cliff told the reporters that he grew up on a farm with no horses or four wheelers to round up the sheep on the farm.  Cliff talked about having to gather the

By |2018-01-24T13:45:50+00:00January 24th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

Simple Abundance

It never ceases to amaze me that the world gives me exactly what I need, exactly when I need it.  Below is an excerpt from my morning “Quiet Time”…
From Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance

“Maybe you have set aside time to begin the journey of your authentic self.
Then again, maybe you haven’t…
If you wonder why I suspect this, it’s because I’ve been where you are now.  I know.  I know how days, weeks, months, even years can escape your grasp.  I know what it’s like to put everyone else’s needs before your own so that you can’t
find a half-hour a day for yourself.  I know how easy it is to find heartfelt excuses for why you can’t begin something new even if you yearn to, desperately.  I know how easily the word “tomorrow” slips out unconsciously.  Tomorrow you will begin.  Tomorrow.  All this I know.
But what I know most of all is that learning about a journey is not the same thing as taking one.

Now that I’ve got your attention let me tell you about the rest of the year.  Each day from now on we’re going to use the daily grist of our real lives as a cause for celebration.  That’s right, celebration.  I have learned many lessons on my path.  Chief among them is that the details of our days do make a difference in our lives, that no experience is ever just for drill, and that everything can be a springboard for inspiration if we are

By |2017-12-29T11:25:03+00:00December 29th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

My Seven Words

Khalil Gibran

Khalil Gibran once said that people would never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words.  What would your seven words be?

Before I share my seven words with you, I want to tell you a bit about Khalil Gibran.  He was born in Lebanon in 1883 and died in New York City at the age of 48 from cirrhosis of the liver due to severe alcoholism.  Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi.  His best-known work is The Prophet, a book composed of twenty-six essays.  Since first being published in 1923, The Prophet has never been out of print.  If you haven’t read the book, do.  If you have read it, reread it.

A Foundation to Build On

As I was pondering this question, I remembered Tony Robbins Six Human Needs.  Tony identified six basic human needs with the belief that everyone is, or can be motivated by fulfilling these needs.

Here they are:

Need 1:  Certainty/Comfort

Need 2:  Uncertainty/Variety

Need 3:  Significance

Need 4:  Love & Connection

Need 5:  Growth

Need 6:  Contribution

Every day we are reflexively determined to meet these needs.  When these requirements are met at a high level, our degree satisfaction and fulfillment in our lives is abundant.  If these needs are met at a low level, we will experience life as being unsatisfactory and disappointing.  I think that we can agree that Tony’s philosophy of what lies at the root of human aspiration and the extent to which these needs are met make a difference

By |2017-11-08T09:58:12+00:00November 7th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Halloween Is Over, Are You Still Wearing A Mask?

Are You Wearing A Mask?

Yesterday was Halloween also known as All Hallows’ Eve.  It is a celebration observed in many countries on October 31.  There is much history with roots in age-old European traditions of lighting fires and wearing costumes to ward off ghosts and remembering the dead.  In the second half of the nineteenth century, Halloween became a popular day of celebration in the United States.  Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.

Today as I was driving to work, it occurred me that Halloween is the one holiday when people can dress-up as anything or anyone that they want to and hide behind or play the part of that identity or mask all day long.  Now, I have to admit, I have seen some VERY creative costumes over the years, and I take my hat off to those people with such vivid imaginations.  But, back to the masks and dressing up; I wonder how many of us go beyond Halloween metaphorically being someone that we are not?  How many of us pretend to be someone other than our authentic self?  And, why would we?  Are we afraid to show up as the real us?  If so, what is it that we fear?  Is it not being accepted by others?  Is it that we don’t feel worthy?  Do we think if people knew who we indeed are, they would reject us in some way?  Do we lack

By |2017-11-06T09:15:25+00:00November 1st, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

The One Question That Led to My Tidy Lifestyle

I was gathering up my things to leave my house for the day when a thought came rushing to my mind. It was likely brought on by the recent news of terror attacks in the U.K. Not to be morbid because that isn’t my nature, but I thought, “What if I don’t make it back here at the end of the day, for whatever reason. Have I left my home in good order? Would I be OK with a family member or a friend finding things as I left them? A sobering thought in some ways and inspiring and motivating in others.

The sobering part is easy to understand. It is likely that very few people close the door behind them as they step out into the world to “do their day” with the thought of never returning. But things happen, in the United States nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, this is an average 3287 deaths a day. And over half of them are ages 15-44. An additional 3900 people die each day of a range of causes from cancer to crime. Think about it that means that at least 7000 people each day walk out of their homes never to return.

You might ask, how can any of these statistics be the basis for motivation or inspiration. Well, for me it made me stop and have a closer look around. Was I OK with leaving the dirty dishes in the sink? Was I OK with leaving

By |2017-10-30T10:14:49+00:00June 14th, 2017|Categories: Thoughts from the Barn, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Art of the Handwritten Letter: Part Two

Write a Letter to Someone Important to You Who Has Died

Welcome to the second in a series of four suggestions to compose a handwritten letter.  If you missed last week’s installment, you can read it here.  http://meetmeatthebarn.com/why-handwritten-letters-make-a-powerful-impact/

A Handwritten Letter That Says What Needs to be Said

The first letter that you were invited to write was a thank you note.  I hope that you chose to participate in sending a note of appreciation to someone who has had an impact on you.  This week I am asking you to scribe a letter to someone who is no longer living.  That’s right, this is your chance to say what you might have left unsaid to someone while they were still living.  Or maybe you would like to simply check-in with a dearly departed.  Whatever the case may be, use this occasion to connect or reconnect with a soul who somehow matters to you.

I think you will find that this exercise gives you the opportunity to get some things off your chest, or to get complete with a person, or maybe have a private dialogue with someone you miss and think of often.  You will likely have emotions of recollection, humor, sadness, and joy.  Whatever it is that you experience, “be” with it, appreciate the fact that you have taken this opportunity to make amends, to say I Love You, or to merely give a wink and a nod to a beloved and never forgotten friend.

So, what do you do when you

By |2017-10-30T10:15:28+00:00April 4th, 2017|Categories: Lines In The Sand, Thoughts from the Barn, Uncategorized|0 Comments

How The Runt of the Litter Became the Blessing in My Life

I was blessed with the daily companionship of Porkchop for 11 years. He was given to me on my birthday, but when I first saw him I was disappointed. I wanted an Australian Shepherd, and the dog in my mind’s eye looked nothing like Porkchop.

He wasn’t the cutest puppy, and as a result he was the last of a litter to find a home. To add injury to insult, one of my horses stepped squarely on his face within 15 minutes of our first introduction. That left my new dog with a swollen nose and many restless nights of discomfort and labored breathing.

porkchopI took him to work with me every day. I was, and still am (in addition to running Meet Me At The Barn), a co-owner of a San Diego-based physical therapy and wellness company. From the very beginning, Porkchop captured the hearts of our patients. He had an uncanny sense of who needed his love and encouragement. He showed up every day until his last ready to serve, expecting nothing in return while putting smiles on faces and extending genuine comfort to those in pain. Maybe it was long-remembered empathy.

When my house burned down in 2007 Porkchop patiently tolerated the gypsy lifestyle of shuffling to four different temporary homes over two years until we were able to move back into a reconstructed house. During the long and demanding days of construction, he never left my side and he generously allowed

By |2017-03-07T15:31:15+00:00June 24th, 2016|Categories: Thoughts from the Barn, Uncategorized|0 Comments