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"Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws."
– Barbara Kingsolver  
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  Volume No. 18 Issue No. 5 May 2021  

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  Shape the new year
  By Mark Stoller

   Mark Stoller moved to Falcon in 2007. He and his wife, Andra, both U.S. Air Force veterans, enjoy life with their daughters, extended family and adopted rescue dogs in Latigo. Mark savors the privilege of his wife and daughters being his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investigate.

   How was your holiday season? I have always considered the October through December time frame an all-out sprint, ending with the headfirst dive into a new year. However, pandemic restrictions really put the brakes on the normal activities; thus, providing a more enjoyable pace.
   
   The beginning of each new year affords us a brief respite to consider meaningful resolutions and/or a long, slow breath before we plunge back into the rigors of life.
   
   In 2021, I am thinking about cleaning out clutter, resuming my weight loss program and becoming overall more health conscious to make the aging process more graceful than it has been.
   
   For starters, I spent the last week of December completing a digital cleanse. I unsubscribed my email from a butt ton of advertising and mailing lists. I also deleted the endless scrolling, time vampire Instagram and vitriolic Twitter accounts. To my chagrin, Facebook is still a necessary evil for organizational pages.
   
   Next, for weight loss, I had great success losing 30 pounds between May and November using Noom. It has truly shaped the way I view and consume food.
   
   However, since the holidays season started, I have easily gained 10 plus pounds back. While disappointing, this gain is by choice.
   
   There was a famous syndicate writer who passed away in 2014 at the age of 54. In his final column, written from his deathbed, he recalled how he tried so diligently to live a clean and healthy life. He stated he regretted passing up the birthday cakes, rich foods served at gatherings and leaving for the gym instead of spending time with family.
   
   Judging by my waistline, I obviously have no regrets. My version of holiday celebration includes a lot of good imported German food and family recipes passed down through generations. Weight gain is a natural consequence to enjoyable family holidays. Beginning the new year, I will aggressively work to lose the gained weight.
   
   Additionally, Andra and I have established a morning routine of physical fitness she found on Darebee.com. It’s a 30-day program to establish foundation strength. Each day has four to six exercises done in sequence. Level one completes the sequence three times in a row; Level 2 — five times; and Level 3 — seven times. We complete the exercises in about 10-12 minutes in Level 1, making it an easy micro-commitment to start each day.
   
   One of the health and wellness trends for 2021 is the practice of Ayurveda — a 3,000-year-old natural system of medicine that originated in India. The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Thus, Ayurveda translates to knowledge of life.
   
   One aspect of Ayurveda involves tongue scraping. Many systems of medicine, including Ayurveda, use tongue diagnosis as a signal of the internal status of the body. This is one reason doctors have you stick out your tongue.
   
   Different areas of the tongue are related to the lungs, heart, stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys and the intestines. Because the tongue reflects the health of so many vital organs, imbalances are reflected by the amount and color of film coating your tongue.
   
   Andra and I have been tongue scraping for about one month. I am not certain I feel any different, but it is disgustingly satisfying to remove the pasty layer of toxins off the surface of your tongue each morning.
   
   To close, I hope you take the time to line up what you wish to achieve in 2021. This year, I hope I can mirror a tenant my friend Walt, a Free Mason, once taught me: I should always strive “… to be a better man today than I was yesterday.”
  
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