An Internet Assault on Our Health Freedom (Plus, How Cold Water Can Change Your Life) : The 7 Things I Learned This Week

Saturday Jul 23 | BY |
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cold water fearless
I don’t think it took our friend Nick even 2 seconds to consider getting into this ice cold creek in Colorado… I sat on the sidelines.

Today’s “7 Things” covers some pretty important lessons in health, the Internet and life…

In this edition, I share how you can break though challenges that you’ve been having (by jumping into cold water), how the Internet is changing how we get our health information and why the media may actually be needed (as well as what will happen if it goes away.)

It’s a pretty good line up, so be sure to read on through to the end and answer my question for you…

1. A cold water challenge (plus, lessons in life.)

On Wednesday, Annmarie and I went to Smith Rock in Redmond, Oregon to take a little hike…

We were in town for a small gathering a friend of ours put on (which was awesome, BTW) and wanted to sneak away into the nature to ground ourselves. I also wanted to jump in the river to wash up a bit in the water.

When we arrived, we hiked down 300 or so feet to the river bed the winds along massive cliffs of orange, red and brown rock. We followed the river to a ford and stripped down to our bathing suits to get it.

As I put my foot in, I realized that even though the air was about 80 degrees, the water was take-the-breath-out-of-you cold.

I’ve never really liked cold water. I have friends who can just jump right in a glacier lake without thinking twice about it. I’ve always been the one who preferred a hot tub or spring.

Regardless, I stepped in and walked to just below knee level and turned back to Annmarie. She hadn’t even gotten in yet, because she was waiting for my reaction. Just by looking at me, she knew it was cold, but got in to her shins as well.

For about 10 minutes the two of us stood in the water – frozen – waiting for our lower legs to warm up and we talked about if it was really a good idea to fully immerse ourselves in it. In that 10 minutes, we must have exchanged you-go-first’s a few dozen times.

It wasn’t until I decided to get my hair wet by splashing water on my head, that this benign event started to take meaning.

As the ice cold water was dripping down my back, I began to think about all the times that I was fearful of doing something and just dove into whatever it was. I had always found support when I needed it and, of course, always made it out alive.

So I shared this with Ann and told her getting in the water was a metaphor for the larger picture – of conquering fear. (I said it half joking, half serious.)

She laughed and said I was probably right. Then she said, “if it’s such a big deal for you, then you go first.”

So I did.

I collapsed my knees and dropped into the water. My breath became short as my chest became emerged and my back instantly started to tingle – a feeling I remember when I was in high school and I needed to ice my ankles in a big old bucket of frigid water before football games.

Annmarie dropped in right after me.

We had conquered our fear. It felt good.

Unfortunately, neither of us could manage more than 90 seconds in the river, but when we got out we gave each other a high five and celebrated our success by drying out in the hot sun.

We had accomplished something – albeit small – that we were fearful of.

Now, look, you may think I’m a pretty big wimp because it took me 15 minutes to eventually get enough courage to sit in the ice cold water for no more than 90 seconds, but I think the value of this story comes from it’s larger implications.

What haven’t you done so far because your fear is holding you back?

Look at it that way and you may just have to start thinking about how you’re going to go shoulder deep and finally get it done.

2. A new idea…

I want to thank everyone who’s posted comments on the blog from yesterday’s article (here.) Your comments about articles vs. videos lit a spark that has now turned into a pretty hot idea we’ll be developing over the next few weeks.

When I first looked at all the comments, I thought that maybe I should just stop doing the videos because everyone who commented preferred the written format – but as I thought more about it, I realized that those who read the written format were biased to it, so I likely wouldn’t hear from those who like to watch videos better – because they likely didn’t read the article.

If I were to ask the question in a video, I’d be 99% sure that the comments would be completely opposite.

Anyway, with all this feedback, we’re getting set to make a few little adjustments in what we do with the videos and I think everyone is going to be thrilled. I know I am!

The best news is that there will still be videos and articles – so if you prefer one format or another, we’re keeping you in the loop!

What I learned from this process of asking and listening – or better yet, “was reinforced” – is that you (yes, I mean you who are reading this) are a great source of knowledge and insight.

I want to thank you for helping me reach a new perspective that I’d been grasping for the last 3-4 months.

(Next time, I’ll ask right away… it will save me some grief. LOL!)

3. Filter bubbles, revisited.

I wrote about filter bubbles a few months ago (here.)

Then, I hadn’t read Eli Pariser’s book – in fact – it hadn’t even been released.

Last week, I bought the book for the Kindle and am about 50% finished with it.

For those of you who haven’t read about filter bubbles, it’s important to know what they are… it’s where the Internet is going – whether you like it or not.

Google and other Internet leaders are trying to do their best to serve information that you want based on your tendencies. So these companies have been watching what you do online and have started to serve search results and advertisements based on your preferences.

So for instance, if you’re into natural health, you’ll see more ads and more Google search results for natural health information and products. Not so bad on the surface, right?

Here’s where it gets sticky.

If you’re into WebMD (you visit the site every day) and all you know is western medicine and the doctor has just told you that you have diabetes – all the searches that come up for you, when you’re browsing for treatment options will be of diabetes drugs and solutions that have been called up on relevancy to your WebMD preference.

This has serious implications in our ability to grow – since real growth occurs when we’re faced with opposing and conflicting information that challenges our beliefs.

This practice pigeonholes us all into our own “filter bubbles” where we only see what the Internet things we want to see based on our past behavior.

To me, this takes away the freedom of the Internet. There’s no ability to change, grow or develop new ideas.

Pretty scary, don’t you think?

4. When the old-school media is gone…

I’ll likely write a complete article on filter bubbles in the future, but I wanted to cover one more point brought up in the book that is worth mentioning… (And yes, this applies to your health and how you get health information!)

Right now, there is a divide in the types of media that you see online.

Tabloid is one, traditional is the other.

TMZ or Gawker could be considered tabloid and the New York Times or Washington Post could be considered traditional.

As much as I don’t like mainstream media, I think it does have it’s place. It keeps us informed of trends, studies, and events that we may need to develop critical thought and see patterns of behavior – at least the old-school, traditional media does this…

The new-school media feeds on base human nature. Just look at the headlines on Gawker or TMZ and you’ll know what I’m talking about – sex, celebrity mishaps, drugs, death, etc.

What frightens me is that the new-school model is more profitable. Their revenue model is publish whatever gets traffic and sell ads. The old school model publishes what tends to be more relevant (arguable, but let’s assume this is truthful enough), then sells ads.

When you have more traffic, you sell more ads. Given the clues about the New York Times starting to sell subscriptions to its online articles leads me to believe eventually the old-school media will crumble – or equally as bad, start to mimic the new-school model – publish whatever brings in traffic.

This doesn’t bode well for information that is missing the initial shock-factor, but still could be very relevant to us. Information about environmental change or chemicals in our food might permanently take a backseat to images of Lindsay Lohan getting out of a car (is she drunk? is she sober?). Worse, the articles on those topics may just disappear.

We’ll watch this one as it develops, but over the last 5 years, I’ve seen many of the older-school media channels start to publish more tabloid-like articles.

The switch is already happening.

5. Want to change your life, energy and direction?

If so, you have to check out this online event that is being put on by the king and queen of energy – David and Kristen Morelli.

The event features a bunch of cool speakers (including me) and the format is much different than many events you’ve seen before.

In each interview, an expert will share some amazing tips about how to change your life, then at the end David will take you through a process that will literally change your energy to help you succeed.

It’s a cool concept and I think you’ll totally enjoy it.

The event, again, is online and it starts on Tuesday the 26th, so be sure to sign up now here (BTW, it’s free too!)…

6. I thought I’d like Mt. Shasta.

After all the talk I’d heard about Mt. Shasta being a spiritual and amazing place to go, I was kind of disappointed when we stopped there on the way up to Oregon.

The mountain is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, and the nature around it is spectacular as well, but the town is small and seems like it’s seen it’s day – if it ever had one.

The best thing about the city itself is probably the water – which is direct from a natural spring.

Another bright spot is Vivify, which is a Japanese restaurant that has some vegan options and a raw food dessert menu. We didn’t try any of the desserts, but we did order some of the vegan rolls and an entree. Pretty good. Definitely worth a stop if you’re barreling up or down I-5 and happen to pass through around lunch or dinner time.

7. My cat doesn’t like me, he just likes warm.

Completely irrelevant to health, but I used to think that our cat Jonny 5 really liked me.

Now I know better.

What he really likes about me is that I’m warm.

This was just reaffirmed to me a minute or so ago.

He walked into the room, meowing and attempting to jump on my lap as I was typing. Instead of letting him disrupt my writing, I got up off the couch and came into the bedroom to finish this article.

If he really wanted – or loved being in my presence – he surely would have followed me in the bedroom and tried to sit on my lap on the bed.

Of course, this was not the case.

Apparently, all he was saying was something like, “get up, dude. Your spot on the bed got cold, not I want to sleep where you are.”

As I write this, I’m sure he is curled up in a tight ball exactly where I was sitting before.

(In the beginning, I mentioned that this was irrelevant to health, but I actually think that’s not true. It’s completely relevant. Here’s why… have you ever thought one thing was true about your diet and later on found out you weren’t exactly right? I’m seen many people get caught up in diet dogma or belief systems only to realize that what they were doing was based on faulty information or logic. I’ve done it myself.

I guess good old Juanito Cinco (Jonny 5 in Spanish) was giving me a lesson to pass along that had much deeper implications. Maybe he really does love me (and you.))

I want to know your thoughts: What are you holding back from right now? What will it take to “jump in the water?”

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

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