Thursday, 23 October 2014

I've just found my mother who died nearly a year ago...

Sound like a strange headline? Events have been like a script from the Simpsons since my Mum died last year...

Not being very close to my sister Jacqueline, when my mother died, it was always going to be difficult, but I could never have guessed how so!
As my mother had appointed my brother Paul and I as joint executors, it was our job to make sure my mother's affairs were dealt with honestly when she died. However, my sister had other plans, and long before our mother died. These were very secretive plans, nobody was to know, but they were hatched when she found that my mother had divided her estate equally between all four of her children.  
11 months later, I'm still waiting for either my mother's bank or my sister to produce a single piece of evidence relating to the systematic pillaging of her account in the year before her death. Even a plausible explanation as to how my mother managed to spend over £100 in Tesco's while in a coma  a week before she died?  
One of my daughters has found from the undertakers that a memorial service took place for my mum on 14th March. She asked my brother Paul and sister Jacqueline where her Grandmother's ashes were interned, and bizarrely they wouldn't tell her. So we now know that she is at Kirby Cross Cemetery, section KL128, but no other details. Don't worry mum, we're still on the case!
The next thing is to try and get a photo of the memorial stone to see what's on it, because yes, my daughter couldn't get that information from my brother or sister, and the undertakers said they were unable to supply it. If you live near Kirby Cross Cemetery and have a camera, please contact me.

A few week to go until my '4 year' PSA and it's exactly the same feeling as the other 8 PSA's since surgery. Statistically the odds are excellent with only a 5% chance of recurrence, so I shouldn't worry too much. 

Alvin Stardust has just died aged 72 with metastatic prostate cancer. Can't help wondering how long ago he developed that, maybe 15-20 years ago. It's such an unpredictable disease, slow in some, fast in others.

The clocks change by an hour in the UK this weekend, giving an extra hours sleep to everyone. It means that we will then be 2 hours ahead of the UK here in South Africa. 


Tuesday afternoons have become a regular cinema time for us here. All the latest films in luxury cinemas with plenty of leg room. On Tuesdays you get 2 for the price of one, so including all popcorn, drinks and admission we still get change from £5.

We play a lot of golf now also, maybe 2 or 3 time a week! We have our official handicaps which are both the same on '36'. How bad is that? We go around the course on about double the shots that a professional takes, but we have only been playing for 6 months. The course is just packed with reed beds, streams and lakes so it's common to see an amazing variety of wild water birds and insects that look straight out of a disney cartoon. I'll miss that when (if) I go back to England. We both love playing on that course and we have plenty of laughs on the way round.



Thursday, 16 October 2014

Why are black men negatively affected by prostate cancer more than white men?


September 24, 2013


When the US Preventive Services Taskforce (USPSTF) made their startling recommendation against screening for prostate cancer last year there was a widespread outcry from prostate cancer doctors and patients. Resistance was especially strong among black prostate cancer survivors and the doctors who care for them, arguing that the scientific studies that led to the USPSTF recommendation did not include many black men. Is this simply another case of "political correctness?" Isn't prostate cancer colorblind? Doesn't cancer behave the same in all men, regardless of race?  
In reality there are a number of differences in how prostate cancer impacts black men compared to men of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. Black men are 60% more likely than white men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, and are more than twice as likely to die from the disease. Black men are also diagnosed at a younger age (about 3 years younger on average) and are more likely to have "high grade" tumors - the kind of tumors that grow rapidly, spread to other parts of the body, and often cause death. Research has given us some insights on why these differences exist and what they mean for black men who face decisions about prostate cancer screening and treatment.
Genetic factors may be part of the explanation
A number of genes have been identified in black men that are associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer and with high grade tumors. However, none of these gene differences is found in the majority of black prostate cancer patients, so their role remains a mystery.
Socio-economic factors make a huge difference
Differences in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment account for a significant portion of the gap in death rates between blacks and whites, and both are heavily impacted by health insurance.  Black men are less likely than whites to have insurance. Uninsured men have lower rates of screening for prostate cancer, are less likely to see a health care professional quickly for further tests if they have abnormal screening results, and are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced disease (cancer that has spread outside of the prostate gland, is more difficult to treat and more likely to cause death). Studies of blacks and whites in the military, where men have equal access to health care services, have shown that this equal access gets rid of most (but not all) of the death rate gap.
Education level also may contribute to the excess burden of prostate cancer in black men. "Shared decision making" is an approach used to help patients understand the various options available for their care and to assist them in making decisions that are right for them. This is particularly important in prostate cancer, where men often can choose between several types of effective treatment.
Studies have shown that shared decision making is much less likely to take place when patients have low levels of education, and black men on average have lower educational levels than white men. There is evidence that they don't receive all the information to begin with, or they may not understand it in the way it's presented. That means they may not be fully aware of the possible consequences of treatment and end up regretting their choice.
'Race-specific' evidence missing
Even when information is shared, it may not be complete or accurate information - at least as it relates to black men. The overwhelming majority of published prostate cancer research studies include few (if any) black men as subjects.  This means that decisions on prostate cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment in black men is based largely on what is known about how the disease behaves in white men. 
A study published earlier this summer shows why this is a problem. It looked at the criteria used to identify men with "very low risk" prostate cancer.  Such men may not need immediate treatment for their cancer, but instead can have their disease monitored (an approach called "active surveillance"). 
This study looked at a group of black and white men, all of whom decided to have immediate surgery instead of active surveillance despite having what appeared to be very low risk disease. Surgical findings and tumor analysis after surgery showed that the traditional criteria for determining very low risk disease worked well for white men, but a significant number of black men actually had more risky types of prostate cancer than originally suspected.  If these men had chosen active surveillance instead of surgery they would have experienced higher rates of complications and death from prostate cancer than the white men in this study.
Prostate cancer screening recommendations provide another example of this phenomenon. The major studies used to make those recommendations included more than 250,000 men, less than 5,000 of whom were black. These small numbers mean that the study results can't accurately measure the impact of screening in black men.  Yet, since these are the only large studies available, they have been used to establish screening recommendations for everyone. 
Getting rid of these disparities in prostate cancer will require changes to how we have historically done research.  We must increase our efforts to get more black men included in prostate cancer research, and more emphasis placed on studies geared toward identifying the reasons for and solutions to the excess suffering and death from prostate cancer seen among black men.
What black men currently can do
So what can black men and their health care professionals do right now?  The advice is the same for black men as for all other men: they must learn all that they can about the benefits, limitations, and uncertainties surrounding screening and treatment for prostate cancer.  Because of their higher risk and the fact that the disease hits black men earlier, the American  Cancer Society and other organizations recommend that a discussion about prostate cancer screening begin at age 45 for black men (and at age 50 for men at average risk). Screening and treatment discussions with black men should include their higher risk of developing prostate cancer and dying from it than other men in the US, and acknowledge the things we don't know related to screening and treatment.  Men should then weigh this information in light of their own values and preferences, and make a decision about screening or treatment that is right for them. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Robbed by the police in Mapupo…continued

This is the location in Maputo where we were robbed by armed police on Thursday 9th October at 11.03 a.m.

Today I have had communications from the British High Commission in Maputo and the Mozambique press agency who are supporting an investigation and keen to run a story.

I also had a call on my mobile from Pedro Cossa, Chief of Police in Maputo, who was very polite but said he was unable to help me. I give him full credit for calling, that would never have happened in England! I'm not sure how this will pan out but I think I'll give it a decade before my next visit. The case has now gone to the 'Anti Corruption Unit'.  



Monday, 13 October 2014

The best construction team in Johannesburg...

Would I ever advertise on this blog? I never have in 4 years but this is exceptional, and so is our friend Freedom. He is a great guy, honest, reliable, hard working, but best of all he brings a smile to your day. We've know him for a year now and he has completed dozens of jobs for us, not only to a very high standard but at a very competitive rate. Give him a call today on 0788224609 or if he's busy just call me on 0712057024 and I'll pass the message on. 
You will not be disappointed.

By far the best construction team in Johannesburg.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Robbed by the Police in Maputo….

Two weeks never to forget…





The Kruger National Park is about the same size as Belgium, and we started in the north, working our way south over a week. The camps within the park are surrounded by a small fence that you could easily imagine a lion would clear in one leap, if it could be bothered, and a rhino or elephant would hardly notice if it happened to just walk on through, pulling the whole thing down behind it. The main gates were wide open between 6am and 6pm, not even a cattle grid to stop anything strolling in.
However, the animals seemed to have no desire to impose and always stayed well clear during the days. Very different at night, when you could see Hyenas at the fence, and hear the thunderous roars of lions, making us shudder with fear one night when a water buffalo was brought down about 100 yards from the tent. The party continued all night with the hyenas and jackals, followed by the vultures and baboons, until only enough left for the insects and bacteria. No waste out here. If you saw an animal it was because it had crossed the road or happened to be beside the road and you got lucky. There was plenty of space where animals could be completely free of humans if they so desired; I liked that. There was nothing to fear from the animals as long as you stayed in the car. Elephants or Rhinos with calves were a problem if you got too close. An angry elephant could demolish the car with you in it, so staying a safe distance was important.

"We are from the Kruger, not Swaziland"

In complete contrast we visited one of Swaziland's National Parks on the return home. It felt like a concentration camp for wildlife. We were the only people camping on the site, and we soon found why. The area was about the size of Hyde Park and zig zagged by so many dirt tracks that if a zebra fell over anywhere it would inevitably end up in the middle of a road. All the trees were dead! Not sure why. There was one elephant which looked emaciated but we were assured that there were dozens of other elephants because, "Look at the huge amount of droppings"! Yes, these were shipped in by lorry every day by the same guy who rewound the tapes of the lions roaring during the night. Had I been one of the zebras, and given the energy, I would have repeatedly thrown myself against the electric fence to end it all.

The only upside was the park had 23 Rhinos which were constantly looked after by an armed guard who herded them around like a bunch of fat 5 ton puppies. He seemed to love his job. They were valuable, and as with everything of value in Africa, always watched closely.

"So are we"

After the Kruger it was off to Mozambique, and at the boarder we met a lovely white South African family. I say 'white' because over here it is acceptable to refer to a person as black or white. You know in the UK now when you see a crime committed and the police ask you to describe the person, and you try to do it without mentioning the colour. You say, "He had black hair, dark eyes and very light coloured palms compared to the backs of his hands", and you try your best to describe a black person without mentioning that he's 'Black', which would have saved a thousand words! Well they don't have that hang up out here, and I often joke with Freedom, our friend from Zimbabwe, that I will be as black as him if I stay here long enough, and he sure as hell never wants to be as pale as me. 
I digress! Coincidentally, they had booked to stay at the same site as us hundreds of miles north near Xai Xai (Shy Shy) and were staying in the cabin across the way. We spent much time with them and they laid on a traditional braai (bbq) and Beverley and I in return put on the most amazing curry night which went down a treat.



The Indian Ocean beach was the most unspoilt I have ever been on, miles and miles of sand, cleaner than clean, warm waves and abundant sea-life. Very few people about, apart from the boys trying to sell 'fresh' oysters to the handful of tourists. I didn't see any sales so I'm sure they were the same 'fresh' one's all week. The children there seemed to have nothing, but
 they all seemed so happy, not having the 'want more' stress of the European or USA child, they were happy to have food and shelter.
"So am I"
 Anyway, Wickers and Hayla have invited us to spend Christmas with their extended family at their home about 5 hours from Johannesburg, which we're really looking forward to. After talking to them, I really understand South Africa now from a White South African point of view, where as living in England, we tend to only understand and sympathise with the black struggle.

Mozambique, what a glorious country, but wish my daughter Luci had been with us as they speak Portuguese. The women are stunning, and Beverley tells me the men are too, but I didn't see them. Many of the buildings remain from colonial times, some having been well maintained, but mainly left to ruin, a ghost from the past. The general elections were causing great excitement with singing and flag waving from lorries loaded with people going to and from rallies. They were keen to engage Beverley and she ran over, gratefully accepting a red hat and a flag, unsure who's side she had just pinned her colours to.
"and me"


So yes…'Robbed by the Police in Maputo'! We were pulled over many times by the armed police, it's routine over there, but we were in for a big surprise. The armed police are called the 'protection police', and they stopped us. They demanded 6,000 meticais (£180) because we were carrying some of our camping stuff on the back seats of our car. Beverley pointed out that they were 'protection police' and only traffic police could impose a fine. They then waved over 2 traffic policemen who demanded our passports and then told us we would not get them back until we paid the fine. We asked to see their ID and they refused, saying they would arrest us if we didn't comply. Realising I was being robbed and knowing that without my passport I couldn't return to South Africa, I gave them the contents of my pocket.
"We would like to move to the Kruger"
Now safely back here I can start the complaints process. We have the exact location of the spot from the tracker on our car, and there is a big push to clear up corruption right now, so even if we don't get our money back it will hopefully put the spotlight on that particular corrupt unit. 
After Maputo, Johannesburg seems so clean and organised, friendly and welcoming, very strange feeling indeed. I love being home.  

Friday, 19 September 2014

Lloyds Bank: Where you're better off dead than alive!

I'm starting a new blog so that people can share their experiences and dealings with Lloyds Bank Bereavement Centre. Just Google search 'Daniel Sencier Lloyds Bank Bereavement Centre'.

My Mother, Ellen Patricia Sencier, died on my birthday back in December last year. She named my brother Paul and I as joint executors. I have a younger brother Andre, and a sister, Jacqueline Heffernan. On this new blog I will be detailing events from when I first tried to contact my Mother's branch in Clacton just after her death, up until this week, when for the first time in 9 months, I finally got a reply! This was only because I had complained to the Banking Ombudsman. But should I have had to go that far?   

Nearly 50 attempts to get someone/anyone to communicate with me, failed.
E-mails, faxes, phone calls and letters all went unanswered until this week. 

It's a compelling story, unbelievable in places and a series of events that divided a family forever.

If you have had a similar experience, please get in touch and we can pool our stories. I called the consumer magazine 'Which' today, they are very interested and want a script. The hope is that one of the national papers will run it also, but early days!


Monday, 8 September 2014

Prostate cancer drug candidate shows great promise...


By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun
6:16 p.m. EDT, September 6, 2014

A white powdered chemical compound emerged from two University of Maryland School of Medicine laboratories more than 10 years ago with a name destined for oblivion, but a future that now looks promising as a treatment for the most challenging cases of prostate cancer.
Today, VN/124-1 is a drug candidate with a name — galeterone — a pharmaceutical company founded on its potential and a record of strong preliminary results in clinical trials with human patients.
The Food and Drug Administration has put galeterone on a fast track for approval to treat prostate cancer, which kills about 30,000 men a year in the United States. Researchers in hospitals and clinics across the country and in Canada are finishing the trial's second round and preparing for the third, expected to begin early next year.
Dr. Kevin J. Cullen, director of the University of Maryland's Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, acknowledged that results are preliminary, but he said it's an auspicious beginning.
"I can think of maybe one other drug in the 30 years I've been doing oncology that showed these kind of results," Cullen said. He called it an "incredibly promising start for this medicine."
Dr. Mario Eisenberger, heading the clinical trial at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, said the drug has had impressive results, but "I don't think anyone can say at this point in time whether galeterone is going to be better than the other" drugs already used to treat prostate cancer.
Before galeterone was a medicine, it was a compound born of a collaboration that began in 1996 between two University of Maryland researchers, Angela M. H. Brodie and Vincent C.O. Njar.
The approach was built on work for which Brodie has won some of the most prestigious awards in the field — research not in prostate but breast cancer. In the last 10 years, she won the Charles F. Kettering Prize and the Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research for her work in the 1970s and 1980s helping to develop compounds that block production of estrogen, the female hormone, that fuels the growth of most breast cancers.
More recently, she's turned her attention to prostate cancer, which feeds on the male hormone. She wondered if the approach that worked with estrogen would work with the androgens, or hormones, that fuel prostate cancer: testosterone and the more potent dihydrotestosterone.
Up to now, one main treatment for the most challenging prostate cancers has been shutting down androgen production from the testicles. The procedure, referred to as castration, is most commonly done today by medication not surgery. The testicles produce about 90 percent of the body's androgen. Most of the rest is produced by the adrenal glands, and a small measure from the prostate tumor itself.
Njar and Brodie were looking for a way to fight prostate cancer that continutes after castration.
Their approach is one in a succession of hormone-based treatments that have been used for years, but it's different in combining several effects at once. This one works in three ways to interfere with androgen's effect on prostate cells.
The medication decreases androgen production and interferes with the process by which the substance binds to the prostate cell molecule that responds to the hormone, known as the receptor. These effects have been produced before, but galeterone is the only medication that also appears to damage the receptor itself.
The triple threat showed impressive results in tests with mice about 10 years ago. Brodie and Njar and their research team published results in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 2005, concluding that the compound "is a potent inhibitor of human prostate tumor growth and is remarkably more effective than castration."
After that publication, Tokai Pharmaceuticals, a company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, named and licensed the compound as "galeterone." Clinical trials with human patients started in November 2009.
To fund its anticipated growth, Tokai applied in August to sell $75 million of stock in an initial public offering. While its stock sale is pending, company officials are not available for comment.
According to information posted on Tokai's website, researchers have given the drug to 200 patients in the first two trial phases.
Of the 49 patients in the first trial, 24 showed 30-percent reduction in prostate specific antigen, or PSA, and 11 showed a 50-percent cut. Elevated levels of PSA can be, but are not necessarily, a marker for prostate cancer.
In the second phase, 51 patients — both with and without metastasis, or cancer spread beyond the prostate — followed for 12 weeks also showed significant PSA reductions. Of this group, 82 percent to 85 percent experienced reductions of about a third, three-quarters saw a reduction by at least half.
Cullen said he was struck by the results even in the first phase, conducted less for effects on the cancer than to see how well patients can tolerate the medication at low doses. With such low doses in the first phase of a clinical trial, results like that are "almost unprecedented," he said.
In the third phase of the trial, galeterone will be compared to existing treatments, Brodie and Njar said, and could take up to another year.
The FDA "fast track" can in some cases cut years off the time it takes to bring a drug to market, Eisenberger said.
Galeterone causes none of the adverse effects associated with chemotherapy, including nausea and hair loss. So far, Brodie said, the chief side effect could be deficiency of cortisol, but that has not been a problem so far. The hormone plays a role in regulating blood sugar, suppressing immune response and metabolizing fat, protein and carbohydrates.
Eisenberger said the effects can include fatigue and itching, but nothing requiring cortisol treatment.
Brodie and Njar are making no bold pronouncements at this point, just eagerly awaiting further results.
"We are cautiously optimistic," Njar said.
"It's a wonderful thing if we can save lives," Brodie said.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Exciting new tool to test cancer drugs and personalize cancer treatment...



Stained pathology slides of a patient’s tumor (right) and of an organoid made from that tumor (left).
Credit: Image courtesy of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
 
Research led by investigators at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has shown for the first time that organoids derived from human prostate cancer tumors can be grown in the laboratory, giving researchers an exciting new tool to test cancer drugs and personalize cancer treatment.
The researchers, whose results were published today in Cell, successfully grew six prostate cancer organoids from biopsies of patients with metastatic prostate cancer and a seventh organoid from a patient's circulating tumor cells. Organoids are three-dimensional structures composed of cells that are grouped together and spatially organized like an organ. The histology, or tissue structure, of the prostate cancer organoids is highly similar to the metastasis sample from which they came. Sequencing of the metastasis samples and the matched organoids showed that each organoid is genetically identical to the patient's cancer from which it originated.
"Identifying the molecular biomarkers that indicate whether a drug will work or why a drug stops working is paramount for the precision treatment of cancer," said Yu Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Attending Physician in the Genitourinary Oncology Service and Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at MSK. "But we are limited in our capacity to test drugs -- especially in the prostate cancer setting, where only a handful of prostate cancer cell lines are available to researchers."
With the addition of the seven prostate cancer organoids described in the Cell paper, Dr. Chen's team has effectively doubled the number of existing prostate cancer cell lines.
"We now have a new resource at our disposal that captures the molecular diversity of prostate cancer. This will be an invaluable tool we can use to test drug sensitivity," he added.
The use of organoids in studying cancer is relatively new, but the field is exploding quickly according to Dr. Chen. In 2009, Hans Clevers, MD, PhD, of the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands demonstrated that intestinal stem cells could form organoids. Dr. Clevers is the lead author on a companion piece also published in Cell today that describes how to create healthy prostate organoids. Dr. Chen's paper is the first to demonstrate that organoids can be grown from prostate cancer samples.
The prostate cancer organoids can be used to test multiple drugs simultaneously, and Dr. Chen's team is already retrospectively comparing the drugs given to each patient against the organoids for clues about why the patient did or didn't respond to therapy. In the future, it's possible that drugs could be tested on a patient's organoid before being given to the patient to truly personalize treatment.
After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men -- about 233,000 new cases will be diagnosed in 2014. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in men; 1 in 36 men will die of the disease.
Despite its prevalence, prostate cancer has been difficult to replicate in the lab. Many mutations that play a role in its growth are not represented in the cell lines currently available. Cell lines can also differ from their original source, and because they are composed of single cells, they do not offer the robust information that an organoid -- which more closely resembles a living organ -- can provide.

Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The original article was written by Julie Grisham.  

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Scottish Independence? If in doubt read on...


Would you vote for the package below? Because essentially, that's what you will be doing if you vote 'No'!

"Imagine Scotland was already independent and we were about to have a referendum on whether to join a union with the rest of the UK.
Could the Pro-union side convince us that getting together would be better when we were told what would happen to Scotland after such a union? 


Some bullet points from the campaign…

-Your main Parliament will move 600 miles away, and your MPs will be in a tiny minority & will therefore have limited ability to effect policy on your behalf

-Scotland will get a government it didn’t vote for.

-All of your oil and gas revenues will be handed over to the treasury in London.
-Even though not 1 inch of track will touch Scottish soil your taxpayers will contribute £4.2bn to the HS2 project.
-Your taxpayers will also subsidise the crossrail project to the tune of £4.2bn
-The biggest nuclear weapons facility in Western Europe will be built on the river Clyde, just 30 miles from your largest city.
-Even though you only have 8.2% of the UK’s population you will contribute 9.9% of the UK’s total tax take yet will only receive 9.3% of that tax take back to spend in Scotland (you will lose £4.4bn per year to the UK treasury)
-You will devolve all of the economic levers you have used to shape your economy directly to London and will now only have control of 7% of your economy
-Even though 79% of your MP's voted against it we will privitise your publicly owned mail service
-Even though 91% of your MPs voted against the bedroom tax in your parliament, we will impose it.
-Even though 82% of your MP's believed that a VAT increase would be detrimental to your economy, we will impose a VAT increase.
-You will join a country whose health and education services are rapidly being privatised.
-Now and again you’ll get dragged into an illegal foreign war.
-An austerity budget will be imposed from London cutting jobs and threatening vital public services even though 81% of your MP's voted against the cuts.
-The financial regulation system will be so weak and so lax that your whole economy will be brought to the brink of collapse.
-The most weak and vulnerable in society, instead of getting the protection and support they deserve will be interrogated and humiliated in an effort to get them off the meagre levels of support to which they are entitled.

Who in Scotland would vote for such a package?

Who would vote for that union?

So why would anyone vote to remain in such a union now?

This is about democratic ownership, social responsibility and the fact that Scotland on its own will be economically stronger from day one of independence....."

(I discovered this article when Forbes Manson shared it on Facebook)

Sunday, 31 August 2014

10 keys to happiness...


10 keys to happiness by Deepak Chopra:

1. Listen to your body’s wisdom, which expresses itself through signals of comfort and discomfort. When choosing a certain behavior, ask your body, “How do you feel about this?” If your body sends a signal of physical or emotional distress, watch out. If your body sends a signal of comfort and eagerness, proceed.
2. Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have. Keep your attention on what is here and now; look for the fullness in every moment.Accept what comes to you totally and completely so that you can appreciate it, learn from it, and then let it go. The present is as it should be. It reflects infinite laws of Nature that have brought you this exact thought, this exact physical response. This moment is as it is because the universe is as it is. Don’t struggle against the infinite scheme of things; instead, be at one with it.
3. Take time to be silent, to meditate, to quiet the internal dialogue. In moments of silence, realize that you are recontacting your source of pure awareness. Pay attention to your inner life so that you can be guided by intuition rather than externally imposed interpretations of what is or isn't good for you.
4. Relinquish your need for external approval. You alone are the judge of your worth, and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. There is great freedom in this realization. When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself. Putting up resistance is the response of defenses created by old hurts.
5. When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself. Putting up resistance is the response of defenses created by old hurts. When you relinquish this anger, you will be healing yourself and cooperating with the flow of the universe.
6. Know that the world “out there” reflects your reality “in here.” The people you react to most strongly, whether with love or hate, are projections of your inner world. What you most hate is what you most deny in yourself. What you most love is what you most wish for in yourself. Use the mirror of relationships to guide your evolution. The goal is total self-knowledge. When you achieve that, what you most want will automatically be there, and what you most dislike will disappear.
7. Shed the burden of judgment – you will feel much lighter. Judgment imposes right and wrong on situations that just are. Everything can be understood and forgiven, but when you judge, you cut off understanding and shut down the process of learning to love. In judging others, you reflect your lack of self-acceptance. Remember that every person you forgive adds to your self-love.
8. Don’t contaminate your body with toxins, either through food, drink, or toxic emotions. Your body is more than a life-support system. It is the vehicle that will carry you on the journey of your evolution. The health of every cell directly contributes to your state of well being, because every cell is a point of awareness within the field of awareness that is you.
9. Replace fear-motivated behavior with love-motivated behavior. Fear is the product of memory, which dwells in the past. Remembering what hurt us before, we direct our energies toward making certain that an old hurt will not repeat itself. But trying to impose the past on the present will never wipe out the threat of being hurt. That happens only when you find the security of your own being, which is love. Motivated by the truth inside you, you can face any threat because your inner strength is invulnerable to fear.
10. Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence. Intelligence is the invisible organizer of all matter and energy, and since a portion of this intelligence resides in you, you share in the organizing power of the cosmos. Because you are inseparably linked to everything, you cannot afford to foul the planet’s air and water. But at a deeper level, you cannot afford to live with a toxic mind, because every thought makes an impression on the whole field of intelligence. Living in balance and purity is the highest good for you and the Earth.