eNewsChannels COLUMN: I didn’t realize until our dear First Lady Betty Ford passed on this month, what an incomparable gift she has given Mother Earth and all Her children. Through Betty’s powerful example of taking her addiction to alcohol and (prescription) drugs out of the closet, educating the public, which diminished the stigma, and founding the Betty Ford Clinic, her gift goes way beyond helping transform the tortured lives of generations of Americans and World Citizens into fulfilling ones. Though sadly some, like pop star Amy Winehouse, could not be reached in time.
Since alcoholism and drug addiction is passed on generationally, Betty’s inspiring and helping moms to get clean too, starting back in the 70′s, was key to getting the whole family, and therefore World Family psychologically healthy to be better Earth Guardians. And three decades of families experiencing more serenity has helped create this Green Revolution.
Photo Caption: Though not realizing she helped liberate much of the U.S. and world from substance abuse, Betty befittingly danced on the table of the Cabinet on her last day as First Lady! Photo courtesy: Kennerly.com.
DADS BECOMING REMARKABLE NURTURERS
Dads also deeply affect their children, and in America, many of these happier dads have become remarkable nurturers while moms have jobs outside the home. And in general, families are becoming more balanced as more and more dads have become a bigger part of their children’s lives, to everyone’s delight.
Betty was the first First Lady or any First Family member of any country we know of to admit to having a substance abuse problem. She had the courage to shine a light on this taboo thanks to a loving supportive her husband, President Gerald Ford, and children, Jack, Steve and Susan, by her side. Her revelation also resulted in studies coming to light back then that “70% of U.S. college students are binge drinkers – our future leaders!” Given the price of drugs and sex, as we have just seen in the news, addicted politicians are especially vulnerable to lobbyists for payoffs and big campaign donations. And much of the Human Race has some kind of addiction challenges.
WHY WE ARE FACING “MASS EXTINCTIONS UNLESS WE ALL TAKE SWIFT ACTION” (CNN)
Seeing that amazing progress should give us confidence that we can make another critical leap since substance addiction is still rampant. And in June, there was an “Emergency Call to Action to Protect Earth by the UN, Pope, Scientists, Indigenous and Olympians.” http://billionaires.forbes.com/article/0a5dcYsfvv0Ns/quotes?q=
EVERYONE IS NEEDED TO RESTORE EARTH!
Everyone is needed to help restore our planet’s life support systems. As Earth Wisdomkeeper, Paul Hawkin, said in his 2009 epic graduation speech, “YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND MOTHER EARTH IS HIRING!” That is why getting to the roots to prevent or heal addictions is critical, as it not only hurts the person, but his/her loved ones, co-workers, companies, fellow drivers, and populations they may represent. And billions of addicts add up to the main reason why Earth Guardianship is still not a big enough priority for humanity and we are facing “A mass extinction unlike anything human history has ever seen is coming unless we all take swift action.” (CNN-June)
RUSSIA ADDDRESSED ALCOHOLIC “CURSE”
Some countries are doing more than others to raise awareness or implement solutions. As President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, an avid skier, addressed his country’s alcoholic “Curse.” It may have been consciously or unconsciously to get more countrymen to care about restoring their toxified lands, especially after Chernobyl… Russian health leaders tried hypnosis, which worked on some, but found, like so many other countries worldwide, that the long-term group therapy of Alcoholics Anonymous’ (AA) 12 Step Program is surprisingly the most effective way to get clean and stay sober. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(06)68015-X/fulltext
WHAT IS ADDICTION?
In the last decade, scientists found that there is a switch in the back of the brain that links our natural urge to survive with eating and drinking healthy fresh foods,(especially organic/pesticide-free), as well as exercising, and making a living. However, addictions from ingesting or sniffing – a huge epidemic among 12 yr olds – of a variety of toxins, alters our body’s chemistry and its miraculous self-healing mechanisms. Regular use or enough overdoses of the toxin overrides or short circuits our brain switch, and instead links our survival instinct to getting more of that (toxic) fix – a drink, drug, glue, sex, cigarette, sugary or diet soda.
Addiction to one toxin is often combined with others, such as having a cigarette with a drink or drug, and unconsciously craving toxic products and fast foods, such as a McDonald’s (nutrition-free) “Happy Meal” with dozens of toxic chemicals in the meat and buns that don’t break down for decades. Just as damaging, these addictions also include a self-fulfilling negative, controlling, pessimistic outlook on life that brings everyone down.
Therefore, the constant craving to get high from pills, shots, sniffing, or alcohol/”spirits,” plus finding the money to pay for it, takes priority over all else, which doesn’t leave much time to serve the greater good. Like trying to drive when high, a fuzzy mind also takes longer to do all the other real survival tasks of keeping everyone in the family fed, clothed, sheltered, and happy.
MAKING HOMES SAFE HAVENS
Making your home a safe haven from toxins can greatly raise your chances of creating lean and clean bright kids. CNN’s Sanjay Gupte said on his “Toxic America” series that cracking windows and buying houseplants can filter 80% of the toxins hidden in so many household products, like synthetic detergents. But shifting to all natural products and foods, like Europe has, can do the most to purify homes to naturally attract children to healthy lifestyles.
The Betty Ford Center near Palm Springs is renowned for its high success rates because Betty genuinely cared about making other people’s lives better. Her rehab program, like others, continues to help people further explore, download and heal psychological wounds, including with their families, which caused them to want to escape reality though substance abuse. Because most addicts are nutritionally starved, her center offers healthy uplifting habits and food to enhance making wiser choices. The Dalai Lama said, “The key to life is having good habits.”
Everyone has childhood hurts that we as sovereign beings are responsible for healing, since God gave us great minds, hearts, intuition and discernment. Betty’s state of the art clinic, like most, includes the spirituality of the 12 Step Programs of AA and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Teen Challenge is a faith based drug recovery program that has also transformed lives around the world. AA and its sister Alanon, a group-support for the families of alcoholics, continue to give on-going critical support to anyone for free.
Since my mom’s father, Anthony Korzun, was an abusive alcoholic, though he died before I was born, my brothers and I attended some Alanon meetings to get educated, knowing that these addictions affect offspring genetically. I wanted to find out why I found myself engaged to two magnificent men who turned out to be alcoholics even though I don’t drink. I prefer medicinals from Nature, the taste of fresh organic juices, sparkling cider and sparkling minds.
The spiritual side of AA was inspired by Switzerland’s Carl Jung who remarked that “‘alcohol’ in Latin is ‘spiritus,’ and you use the same word for the highest religious experience, as well as for the most depraving poison.” http://www.sober.org/CarlJung.html
Jung explained that we all have an urge to get high, which is our “urge to merge with Creator.” And if we do not have the opportunity to get high naturally through sports, dance, or some kind of physical activity we love, including gardening, we may consciously or unconsciously seek an artificial high in a bottle of spirits or pills.
For eons, Indigenous peoples have run or kicked balls for days or climbed mountains while on a fast to get high, not unlike Jesus’ wanderings in the desert to help connect with the Great Spirit to get visions for guidance. Jung realized this innate spiritual yearning, which is why AA gets amazing results through helping addicts connect with their “Higher Powers.” Giving gratitude to their Higher Power/God/Creator/Allah for that divine help is also key.
FIVE KEYS TO BEING PSYCHOLOGICALLY HEALTHY
Jung’s other major mindshift, which made him the “Father of Modern Psychology,” happened while traveling to India, Africa and America around the turn of the last century looking for a model of a healthy psychological person. While living with a Pueblo Indian family in New Mexico, he found the healthy prototype he was seeking. Jung’s “Man and His Dreams” video, which I saw at Colorado’s Telluride Library, described how he discovered the five keys to being psychologically healthy through these down-to-earth original Americans who have doggedly protected their sacred dances and traditions. Through them he realized the importance of balance, harmony and intuition, and he went on to caution modern humans against relying too heavily on science and logic, and not enough on spiritual activities that take us beyond material goals.
By living according to their more gratifying traditional ways, Jung said that one could see joy written on the faces of the Pueblo people, despite all they had been through. Here are those psychological elements he learned, which MUST be incorporated into all schools if we want to create healthy happy generations:
1. Daily Physical Education classes taught by credentialed PE teachers: So kids can get high naturally through a variety of sports, dances, and activities that develop social and leadership skills, good sportsmanship and intuition.
2. Walks or hikes in Nature,(especially led by Native guides to see Nature through their eyes), to heal and replenish our batteries and develop intuition. Plus Organic gardening.
3. Art Classes: Expressing who we are though some kind of artistic activity.
4. Teachers and family leaders sharing with children that to feel wonderful we need to find and give back our unique gift for the greater good of all, be Guardians of Nature, and find ways to serve others regularly.
5. And the importance of giving gratitude for all the gifts we have received, including from Creator, Mother Earth and the Sun.
Therefore, as I instinctively said while serving on four Presidents Councils on Fitness and Sport, starting with Nixon and Ford, that we must better educate the public to understand the importance of PE. That sports for girls and boys are not just fun, they are the key to our physical health and full potential, which the Greeks knew. Having also led the DC March for Title 1X – Equal opportunity for women in school sport and education – I said we need to urge schools to expand their PE Budgets to have daily PE. Now we know that cutting PE in a crunch is not a sane option. And thanks to Jung we also know the same is true for the Arts.
THE GOOD NEWS is there is a solution to ensure that there are plenty of on-going funds for real human needs, including safe renewable energy, health care, agriculture, housing, and education, especially PE and the Arts for substance abuse prevention. This is the moment to INSIST our representatives reallocate billions of nuclear funds for these dire community needs as they finalize our Debt Ceiling Budget Negotiations, by supporting the “Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act – HR 1334.” Just click or cut and paste here: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5372/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6172
Jung witnessed that tribal people who grow up in traditional ways have a potent spirituality where miracles happen. They seek a balance of body, mind and spirit (like Olympians)- though it has been very challenging these last 150 years. They hold God higher than money, power and possessions, and maintain a spiritual connection to Nature, as St Francis did.
AA helps access some of that potency through humbly calling on one’s “Higher Powers,” where everyone receives the guidance needed to also problem solve all the challenges that we are facing in these Earth changing times. The wise ones say that getting rid of addictions is key to raising our vibrations to have the highest outcome no matter what happens.
Betty showed a sizable percentage of Americans and humanity how they can be happier, responsible Earth Citizens, while buying us all a little more time to restore Earth’s life support systems. Therefore, her legacy is immeasurable.
Hail also to the tribes, Carl Jung, AA and other group supports and rehab centers everywhere for their critical roles in raising generations of happier, more responsible Earth Guardians.
Native Americans, like most Indigenous peoples, have less enzymes to process sugar. Therefore, it is befitting that Betty’s wake up call, in turn, is helping more people understand, including the tribes, how to help heal one of the world’s greatest challenges, alcohol, a sugar. Especially since our tribes are now surrounded by people having the highest sugar diet in the world, when there are healthy herbal sweetener alternatives used by many countries that do not raise blood sugar. For example, the South American tribes discovered the sweet leaves of the Stevia plant that the Spanish then spread. Whereas regular consumption of high levels of processed sugar cane, beats, and corn syrups, hidden in most American processed foods, especially in most sodas, raises and imbalances our blood sugar and make children especially vulnerable to alcoholism, obesity and diabetes.
Natural sugars like honey, maple syrup and unbleached sugars still have some mineral nutrients and don’t raise and drop our blood sugar levels as much, but they also have 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon, and 15 grams a day is the recommended healthy limit. So it was a shock when the Rachel Ray Show revealed this year that most Americans have been consuming 168 grams of sugar a day!
All this gives extra meaning to another blessing following Betty’s coming clean. The U.S. Government stopped the practice in some regions of paying tribal men with bottles of alcohol/sugar, and started paying them with money for family food and uplifting community activities, such as training expenses for one of our Native American Olympic Hopefuls.
As part of making amends to heal Canada’s abusive boarding school history with their First Nations, similar to our Native Americans, their government wisely spends millions a year on Native sports opportunities, including developing future Olympians in snowboarding, hockey… This has been effective in preventing their similar depression, substance abuse and suicide epidemics by lifting their self esteem, teamwork, job opportunities and joy. For example, their Gwich’in First Nations XC Olympic twins, Shirley and Sharon Firth, pricelessly inspire and teach kids in their Northwest Territories to ski.
Supporting tribal sport opportunities – government or private – would be good collective karma for any country as we approach 2012, to also help prevent “2,000 tribes a year going extinct,” reported the U.N..
While America’s Indian Health Services has some AA programs and tribes have some PE and sports programs, it is sadly inadequate to heal our history since abuses, including alcoholism, are passed on generationally. Therefore, more support for sports would be a godsend to finally seriously address this missing link – the psychological health part of alcohol prevention. It would especially lift their spirits by giving a handful of our struggling Native American Champions a real chance to realize their dreams of competing in the 2012 London and 2014 Russian Olympics, including in many of the sports their ancestors helped invent. (More on NAOTF.org)
That would be a beautiful way to show appreciation for their tribal gifts to America and humanity, which First Lady Betty helped us remember. To prevent mass extinctions, the UN is now listening to and following the wise strategies of Indigenous Peoples, particularly the Bolivian mission and Native Americans. See http://billionaires.forbes.com/article/0a5dcYsfvv0Ns/quotes?q=
Thanks to the delightful experience of skiing twice with President Ford in Vail in 1975 and 76, while prepping the Amateur Sports Act, I was Betty’s guest at their family quarters at the White House with David Kennerly, their Pulitzer Prize winning photographer who was kind of a son to them. I found her to be a warm, elegant, sharp, witty compassionate Liberator! David shared some touching moments on Betty’s slightly mischievous liberating side, which led to her dancing on the table of the Cabinet on her last day as First Lady, befitting of one whom we now realize is an Earth hero! http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/12/betty-ford-gilded-cage-meet-free-spirit/
I knew very little about alcohol back then, or the full significance of all her contributions, and only with her passing did I connect ALL these dots, and wish I could have thanked her. Though we know from her magnificent eulogies (on YouTube), she would have said, “A Higher power was responsible for the Betty Ford Center, I am merely an instrument to be used to carry out His plan.” For more of her wisdom, “Betty Ford – Healing and Hope,” is available on Amazon.com
History will remember this First Lady for having the heart of a Lioness in facing her demons and helping America and the World face theirs, bringing more joy to everyone as we spiral upwards into more aware, spiritual Earth Citizens.
In Betty’s honor, I hope that all those worldwide who have benefited by her gift, or who also connected the dots, will continue her work with your priceless gifts to streamline our transformation into a bright New Era where Compassion is Totally in Fashion. That will surely make Mother Earth and Betty smile!