Accomplish Your Emotional Re-Set During Lockdown

Accelerating the Unfolding

As the Coronavirus crisis deepens, many businesses and venues are closed. An increasing number of people are bored, restless, anxious, afraid and suffering. This creates an opportunity for a re-set. We can re-set our body, mind and spirit even though we may be squirming amidst the unprecedented uncertainty of our dynamically changing times. This post briefly explains what we can do to cultivate well-being, accelerate personal/professional growth and explore the healing of our spirit.

The bulk of humanity is undergoing a major perturbation. The stressful upheaval of our normal routines has disrupted our work and social patterns. While financial and emotional concerns are mounting for many of us, we may have more space and time for digitally connecting with friends and personally re-bonding with family. These social connections can provide reassurance that we are not alone in our uncertainty about when and how the current crisis will be resolved.

Photo by Stephen Leonardi

There is a way beyond social connection to accomplish a mental, emotional and spiritual re-set. The re-set begins with solitary activity. Anxiety, binge watching and aimless boredom can be dissolved through immersion into private awareness. There are two modes for this private activity: 1 passive nonjudgmental observation of our thoughts and feelings, and 2 active concentration of our focused attention while engaged in some form of exercise, such as brisk walking. This second mode is a powerful innovation for creativity and insightful self management that accelerates the unfolding of our life journey.

Let’s consider the passive approach first. Passively observing our thoughts and feelings is commonly known as mindfulness meditation. This is being practiced by an increasing number of people as print and visual media report on the beneficial effects. There is a similar practice across multiple disciplines, including Tibetan, Theravadin and Zen Buddhism, as well as contemplative Christian prayer and Jewish Kabbalah. Tje basic practice is sitting or standing with the goal of following our breath, observing the contents of our consciousness and then returning awareness to our breath. This decreases our internal mental chatter and fosters a deepening awareness of repetitive patterns in our culturally programmed thinking and behavior. As we become more aware of the contents of these patterns we deepen our insight into the origins of any suffering and distress. This begins to liberate us from such cultural conditioning, thereby enabling a fresh more direct experience of each moment of our unfolding lives, free of cultural conditioning. 

Photo by Chuttersnap

The second approach complements mindfulness meditation. This involves actively using fundamental building blocks for our individual life journey: behavior, breath and intention. Simultaneously blending these three components is a powerful approach to self management. This is accomplished by combining: 1 repetitive movement, 2 rhythmic breathing and 3 silently or orally repeating our intention related to an important need, want, wish or hope. This can be variously called an affirmation, mantra, or prayer. Wherever we are in terms of social isolation, financial security, physical/emotional health, and spiritual well-being, it doesn’t matter. When used regularly, this approach can enable us to move forward, step by step, in our chosen direction. This movement from where we are to where we think we want to be is powered by insights and discoveries on the unfolding path. As our clarity improves and our wisdom deepens about the true nature of our life journey, we become more creative and effective in overcoming what may have seemed previously to be insurmountable hurdles.

 Although this may not be so easily discerned, we are constantly changing internally as we experientially notice the kaleidoscope of moments passing through our awareness. Combining active and passive approaches toward life and an uncertain future accelerates a transformation of our consciousness as it heals our emotional spirit. Consider why the active approach is powerful. Actively blending affirmation/mantra with repetitive movement while consciously breathing combines major modes of experiential learning into a seamless whole. It drives intention into our body and behavior. It increases our awareness of opportunities for fresh, often creative action related to our intention. The passive approach cultivates insight as well as creativity. The two together accelerate the process of creatively using skillful means to temper our emotions, reduce suffering and enhance well-being for ourselves and those we care about.

Photo by Austin Chan

As the growth process unfolds, we become more aware of clues in our external environment and in our internal awareness. These can be perceived as hints for the next steps toward a better future. That future might be figuring out how to pay rent if we’ve been laid off, or how to generate the energy to go outside on a sunny day and enjoy the weather, or how to send healing energy to a loved one who is suffering. If we feel helpless, this approach gives us clear actions we can take for a greater sense of agency. If we’re bored, it gives us something constructive to do that grows new brain cells and builds new connections across different regions of our brain/mind thereby enabling a more insightful view of our life circumstances. If we’re looking for answers, or even guidance, it gives us a clear approach that increases our awareness for the input we seek.

 How to reap these benefits? First, consider what is important for you related to a need, want, wish or hope. From either a secular or a spiritual perspective, consider how to turn that into an affirmation, mantra or prayer. Next, move with a brisk and repetitive motion at a pace you can sustain for 20-30 minutes. Breathe deeply in rhythm with your movement. Repeat your affirmation/mantra/prayer in rhythm with your breath. As we progress with this method, we grow new brain cells and make new connections across varied structures within our brain.

This approach is explained in greater detail at: Secular examples of simple aspirational intentions and goal statements are included that can be modified in an emotional or spiritual direction, for those who wish to do so. Beginning, intermediate and advanced stages of this self management practice are presented in detail.

Photo by Marcus Dali Col

An important caveat: this is an enormously powerful combination of methods drawn from ancient spiritual disciplines and blended with contemporary psychology. It should be treated with respect because diligent use will accelerate your individual life journey. Use it for your own and the common good, and it will deliver favorable results beyond expectations.

When focused concentration and movement is blended with its counterpart, sitting and standing meditation, the two are a potent combination for heightened awareness and a better future. Being still and silent while non-judgmentally observing our thoughts enables personal inquiry, self-reflection and insight into the causes of our individual and collective suffering. This can be used as internal guidance for how to take constructive action for our individual and common good. A universal principle is to do what we do with compassion, equanimity and kindness. Doing otherwise simply brings more suffering. The combination of both passive and active methods brings enhanced insight and an acceleration of progress, moment by moment.

May the Force be with us for healing, longevity, well-being, financial security, and a vastly more compassionate future.


ib       @BeimanIrv

An Open Letter to the SVHS Class of 1964 Reunion Committee [and anyone else who is still alive from our own and other graduating classes]:

Susan Casaday Stutts, Lynne Epsman Cohen, Paul Friedman, Jr., Nancy Hesse Benson, Virginia Kelser Jones, Carleton Lackey Sokol, Laide Long Karpeles, Carolyn McDavid Ray, Suzy Ovson, Susan Owens Canedy, Elna Riley Brendel, Kenny Rosenberger, Walter Schor, Mary Ruth Sevier Caldwell, Donna Strickland Himes, Ann Sullivan, John “Tiger” Timmons,Suzanne Trimm Payne

Better Health & Healing, Wellness and Longevity

Greetings from sunny [and very dry] central California! A long and winding journey through residence in multiple states and two continents has given me an opportunity to engage learning opportunities in several key areas that are likely relevant for you. In this unfolding epistle I share my key learnings for better health & healing, wellness and longevity. I offer you the opportunity to possibly go beyond your current behaviors and beliefs into a better future for yourself, your friends and your extended family.

You may wonder why I share this with you. What is my motivation? To self disclose, as I read the recent invitation for a combined SVHS gathering from the Class of ’63, I reflected on my high school years, and realized they weren’t especially happy. I am making an effort to transmute those feelings into something helpful, which is consistent with my own long-term purpose, but more on that later in this treatise on my discoveries over more than a half century.

For those of you who may be suffering from any of the classic chronic disease conditions [heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, etc] be advised that, in addition to any genetic predispositions, the primary causes of chronic disease for most people likely involve a lack of exercise [dealt with further below] and varying combinations of inflammation and pollution or hazardous chemicals. When sources of inflammation, pollution and hazardous chemicals are reduced or, better yet, eliminated, the body’s natural healing mechanisms can be brought into play, thereby supporting an internal healing process. With patience and diligent commitment to a healing path, the results can be quite favorable, way beyond expectations.

Causes of Inflammation

There are two likely causes of inflammation: 1 diet and 2 antibiotics. Let’s consider antibiotics first. Most of us boomers experienced significant benefits from antibiotics in the 50’s, 60’s and forward to today. Unfortunately the accumulated effects in our intestinal gut have surely altered our microbiome. The downside to antibiotics is that they tend to kill off the “good” bacteria in our gut that help keep the undesirable bacteria in check. A diet that includes sugar, dairy and alcohol feeds intestinal yeast. As those yeast organisms overwhelm our desirable gut bacteria, our bodies react with inflammation. That inflammation tends to appear in varied locations and organ systems depending on our idiosyncratic strengths and weaknesses.

To summarize for clarity, the undesirable effects of antibiotics are related to alteration of our intestinal bacteria in a manner that tends to stimulate inflammation. When critical organ systems are battling this inflammation [which might be maintained by certain key aspects of our diet, namely, sugar, dairy and alcohol] they cannot engage the body’s natural healing processes, hence this becomes one of the primary causes of chronic disease, brought on by chronic inflammation.

Anti-Inflammatory Dietary Regimen

For those of you who are suffering and who are motivated to do something to reduce your suffering, one of the most important things you can do is to consider testing the result of specific modifications in your diet. There is a way to improve your motivation and commitment for this, which I share toward the end of this epistle.

The behavioral/nutritional test involves three components: 1 eliminating sugar, dairy and alcohol from your diet for one to three months; 2 adding a nutritional supplement called Yeast Cleanse by Solaray, available at Whole Foods and on Amazon; and 3 adding turmeric and black pepper to your nutritional regimen.

This third possible component can be adjusted based on your response to it. Add a combination of turmeric and black pepper spices to your diet. Indus Organic Turmeric can be purchased on Amazon in bulk, and organic black pepper can be found at Whole Foods or on Amazon. Turmeric is the single most researched spice and has been identified as having desirable anti-inflammatory effects. Black pepper increases the absorption [bioavailability] of the turmeric by three orders of magnitude, i.e. several thousand times. I personally use an approximate ratio of four or five parts turmeric to one part black pepper on most of my dinners at home. Because turmeric is slightly bitter, I add coriander, Ceylon cinnamon and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. These five spices make a tasty combination!

An alternative to adding these spices to a lunch or dinner meal for seasoning is to ingest a tumeric supplement made by Megafoods, a reputable brand that focuses on natural food products in their supplement offering. I often take the Megafoods product in the morning and add the multiple spices on my dinner. We steam any leftovers for dinner rather than microwave them, so I add the spices and the best olive oil I can find at Whole Foods before steaming, and the result is delicious. To go slowly, it might be useful to try one of these options initially to see what happens, and if you detect no undesirable effects, expand your exploration of this healing regimen.

What about other considerations for diet? There are so many different books and websites available with free advice, how to discern what dietary regimen has the best chance of helping us reduce disease and heal ourselves? After years of research into this question to cope with my own varied maladies, I can guarantee without hesitation that the best free noncommercial information source available is at Dr. Michael Greger regularly reviews research on evidence based nutrition and has been doing so for years. You may consider signing up for his newsletter which is often a 3-4 minute video summarizing the research on a health and nutrition topic in peer reviewed scientific journals with an accompanying transcript for a quick read. He has a NYT best seller out, which I haven’t bought because I’ve been reading his blogs for several years. If you go to the link above on your computer and scroll down, you’ll see different links you can check out. If you use a smartphone, there are fewer options.


If you are sufficiently motivated to reduce any suffering or discomfort you might be experiencing to invest your time and attention to a Tedx talk, check out this recent message I sent to my distribution list:

May we save our lives from chronic disease. Watch this Ted talk video on Evidence Based Nutrition. We have to stay alive to thwart the crazies. ?.

My direct experience, and that of my friends, is that these recommendations are a useful addition to any boomer regimen for reduced inflammation and suffering, as well as enhanced longevity. Of course, you can go deeper, and I encourage you to do so. We each have our own paths to discern, and there are surely more discoveries to be had along the way. 🙂

A Three Legged Stool for Longevity: The Second Leg

Consider that I am freely offering you a three legged stool on which to create a foundation for a better future for yourself and those you care about. The first leg of the stool is an anti-inflammatory diet. This includes some items to consider reducing or eliminating as a test, along with spices and supplements to add, and video’s to watch for further expert advice, based on research from peer reviewed scientific journals, summarized by Dr. Michael Greger.

What about the other two legs of the stool? The second leg is movement, otherwise known as exercise. There is fairly good research now to indicate that our longevity is related to the length of our telomeres. In general, the longer our telomeres, the longer we live. Our typical diet, sedentary life style and exposure to hazardous chemicals tend to shorten our telomeres. This is summarized in a NYT best seller by two PhD’s: The Telomere Effect. It’s a thorough treatment of the topic, so if the detail is too much for you, you can check the end of each chapter, where the key points are summarized. It’s a great book for a better future!


My takeaway from the book is that we can reduce how quickly our telomeres shorten, halt that shortening process and possibly even lengthen them with exercise. Either regular moderate exercise or high intensity exercise [HIIT], will provide benefits for our telomeres. I’ve been working on my own physical fitness for decades, so I have begun doing “intervals” to lose some of my abdominal fat. If you do not already exercise regularly, it would be a good idea to start on a moderate exercise program, and get guidance from knowledgeable professionals on how to do that safely. if you’re like Suzanne Trimm Payne and her husband Jack, not overweight and in pretty good shape with no cardio risk identified, you might consider embarking on a slowly intensifying HIIT program. Always trust your intuition about this, though, and be cautious about overdoing it.

To measure my cardio activity during any exercise session, but with special focus on HIIT sessions, I recently bought a Fitbit Ionic watch, and sync it with my iPhone Fitbit app. After the sync, I get a clear readout of my moment to moment heart rate variability during exercise sessions. I find it enormously useful. I was surprised to discern the clarity in the record during my first home workout session where I turned the exercise tracking on and selected “workout” on the watch. This exercise session involved diagonal pushups, curls and squats with free weights [Alert to Walter Schor!] and kettlebell jerks. This involved intensity to a degree that I worked up to over a period of months. Each short burst was combined with rest until the next exercise set.

Notice the peaks rise above what Fitbit calculated as the limit between my cardio rate and my peak rate. There are 8 intervals where my heart rate went above 126, which qualifies that session as HIIT, according to my understanding. Free weights are more appropriate for males; my wife does yoga for both stretching and strengthening. She uses machines at the gym, along with Zumba and dance classes, as well as 2x/week guidance from an excellent personal trainer. We both exercise daily. At my encouragement, and after looking through the above NYT bestseller, she has begun short interval runs on her daily walk with our 8 year old Bichon Friese`, who is the fourth member of our family, and a sentient being whose longevity we want to extend. 🙂

A Three Legged Stool for Longevity: The Third Leg

Now that you have an introduction to the second leg of the three legged stool, what’s the third leg? The third leg is a three component method for combining movement, breath and your aspirational goals, affirmations or prayers. It’s too long a story to explain how I discovered how to combine these three components, but suffice it to say that this method has taken me through more crises, healings and serendipitous discoveries than I can share in what has become a rather long epistle.

I briefly describe it here, but be advised that you can check my free non-commercial website as a “give back” of the benefits and learnings I have experienced. Consider it kind of a “Pay It Forward” contribution to a better future. Over the past 35 years, as it [and I] have evolved, I have named it in different ways, currently I call it the Ready for Better Method. Click this link to explore the website. The method is divided into three stages: beginning, intermediate and advanced. The likely evolution of effects is described in the description of each stage.

Move repetitively, breathe deeply in rhythm with your movement and repeat a statement of your needs, wants, wishes, hopes, affirmations, mantra or prayer in rhythm with your breath, in rhythm with your movement. There are significant benefits that accrue from use of this method, ranging from improved brain, cardio and immune function, to increased serendipity and synchronicity on matters that are important to you.

Several years ago I rose most mornings around 4am to document my learning of this method and continued writing until dinner time. This lasted for about six weeks. I paid a web designer multiple thousands of dollars to advise me on the layout. I’m not selling anything and I get no tangible benefit.

As a PhD cognitive-behavioral psychologist and self directed student of eastern spiritual disciplines, I can assure you that this method is useful. It will enable you to identify and then stretch beyond any limiting beliefs you may hold from past programming by what was for all of us a fairly provincial culture. It will stimulate deeper insights into our own personal responsibility for the suffering and struggles we have experienced. And if you so wish, it may even open your heart a bit wider and deeper, enabling you to share a deeper version of your self with those you love.

As evidence of this, I offer you below a view of the first Valentine’s card I have ever produced. It was for for the most recent Valentine’s Day this month. May this move you to increased motivation and effective action for a better future.




Happy Valentine’s Day 2018

Thirty one years ago
Dad proposed to Mom
On Valentine’s Day

She said
“I’ll be your sister”
He said
“I don’t want a sister
I want you as my wife”

A year later
she said yes.

Thus began
A long and winding journey
that has brought us
to here

We have covered so much ground
experienced so much stress
dealt with so many challenges
found so many solutions
learned so much
it’s been an incredible life
For this we are thankful

At this time
of celebration
and recognition
of those we love and cherish

On this Valentine’s Day
please know
and be pleased with knowing

That I love you both
You enrich my life immeasurably
beyond expectations

I am blown away by who you are
how far you both have come
and how you continue to
and discover

So on this special day

May you both
and know that you are LOVED
from that mysterious arena
that we call HEART



Irv Beiman: Susan Estrich Should Know Bernie Sanders’ Support Is Coming from Everywhere

Irv Beiman: Susan Estrich Should Know Bernie Sanders’ Support Is Coming from Everywhere

Irv Beiman: Programming for a Better Future with the Game of Life (and Heart)

Irv Beiman: Programming for a Better Future with the Game of Life (and Heart)

Irv Beiman: Are You Ready For Better? Oil Wells, Water & Wellness


How to Get Involved to Protect Santa Barbara County’s Air, Food and Water

Strategy for a Better Future:
GET INVOLVED To PROTECT SB County Air, Food & Water

It seems like a no-brainer — we must protect our air, food and water resources from toxic chemicals. If we don’t, we will most likely experience expensive medical bills, unnecessary suffering and premature death. This is not fear-mongering. I know this first-hand after having lived and worked in China for 20 years from 1993 to 2013.


My wife and I moved to Shanghai in 1993 for professional reasons and became pioneers in management consulting by establishing China’s first wholly foreign owned management consultancy. Ten years later there were 130,000 consulting companies in China. Our work in the 1990’s afforded us opportunities to develop relationships with both staff and clients, with their ages ranging from late 20’s to the 50’s. We travelled throughout the country to all of the coastal cities as well as to many cities in the interior of the country.

In those early days the shift from a centrally planned to a market driven economy was just getting started and people were living well into their 80’s and 90’s. However, by 2013 more and more were dying prematurely in their 50’s. Though we were saddened by this, it seemed less shocking in light of the increasing pollution that was occurring as the Chinese government raced to develop its resources and become a competitive world economy.

This seemed particularly true in Shanghai, where we saw reports about the government making an effort to clean up the industrial chemicals in the water. A new water plant was built at the cost of several billion Rmb, the equivalent of more than 300 million USD. The government learned that their efforts to improve water quality, chemicals were leaking into the water distribution pipe system. There was nothing they could do about the pipes, but they did take effective action to reduce ongoing industrial pollution in the city. Industrial production facilities were moved out of Shanghai to reduce both air and water pollution

Here in SB County we have clear choices about the actions we take that will either protect our air, food and water resources, or slowly poison us from hazardous chemicals. Locally, our elected representatives to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors hold the decision-making power for much of our agricultural lands and open spaces. They are our public servants. Therefore, it is our responsibility to tell them what kind of a County we choose to live in. This is not an easy task because it requires us, first and foremost, to become informed

Currently there are three pending requests for more than 700 new oil wells in the county. These are at various stages of environmental review. The SB County Planning Commission will likely consider these requests for new oil wells in the coming months. If approved, these wells could use a variety of extreme oil extraction methods, including fracking and steam injection. These extreme methods inject a wide variety of toxic chemicals into the earth. This can vastly increase the risk of poisoning the air we breathe and the aquifers from which we drink and irrigate our food.


There is much conflicting information about the safety of oil and gas drilling and its environmental impacts. How can we separate fact from fiction? Two informative events were recently held in Solvang and Santa Barbara, co-sponsored by three concerned organizations: Food and Water Watch, SB CAN, and Safe Energy Now! North County. A detailed accounting of these meetings was reported by the Lompoc Record (March 28, 2017). This report is worthy of careful reading and consideration.

Another informative article, an editorial authored by SB CAN executive Director Ken Hough, is “Stop Dumping Wastewater Into Aquifers”. However, before checking out these links allow me to share my own strategic takeaways from the event.

The highest quality and easiest to obtain oil has already been taken from the ground in SB County. What’s left is of lower quality and harder to extract. To do so will likely require some form of fracking, steam injection or acidization process. This process will use toxic chemicals and millions of gallons of water. Herein lie the problems:

Problem 1: These chemicals can toxify our aquifers and the air we breathe.

Problem 2: We do not have millions of gallons of water to waste forcing oil out the ground. Once used, this water becomes toxic wastewater that must be disposed of.

Problem 3: Currently this toxic wastewater is either injected back into the ground where it can again enter our aquifers or it is used on agricultural crops.

Problem 4: In both instances, this oil and gas wastewater disposal is happening without our knowledge of where or how it is taking place.

Oil company representatives insist their methods are safe. So safe they are unwilling to disclose the chemicals used to extract the oil and gas. However, research indicates that benzene, toluene, xylene and radioactive isotopes are among the toxic substances used. These and many other toxic chemicals are used in numerous routine, unregulated oil- and gas-field activities such as the drilling, cleaning and maintenance of wells, according to a recently published study in PLOS ONE on April 19 [].

Further, thanks to the Halliburton loophole that creates an exemption from existing rules, oil and gas companies can inject petroleum-based chemicals into the ground without obtaining a permit.

Problem 5: The World Health Organization says that exposure to benzene is a major public health concern that has been associated with a range of acute and long-term adverse health effects and diseases, including cancer and aplastic anaemia.

Another ploy used by oil companies is to claim that deep drilling underground does not pose a risk to aquifers that are closer to the surface. What they don’t explain is that many of these wells go directly through an aquifer.

Problem 6: Steel corrodes and cement casings can develop cracks that increase the possibility of toxic chemical leakage entering and poisoning our underground aquifers.

Problem 7: We live in a high earthquake-fault area where the earth moves and shifts ever so slightly causing cracks to form in the underground layers of rock. Steam injection under pressure causes toxic chemicals to migrate through these cracks to other locations — sideways, up and down — including our aquifers.

In the minds of the oil and gas company executives, this is a small risk and well worth the price that the public would pay so they can make greater profit. From their perspective it’s short term money for them versus long term health deterioration for us. In other words, the public is the only loser. I confess, as a psychologist this seems absolutely insane to me.


As previously mentioned, I lived in a communist country for 20 years that looked at this very equation and chose profit. I saw the effects of China’s policy priorities on its people. The public in China is more informed now. People are pressuring the government to clean up the air and water. We live under a different governance system in our county. We have a right to clean and safe food, water and energy. We must stand up for a Better Future for our health and quality of life, and for future generations.

Let’s be clear — clean water is essential for life. The first step is to get informed. Here’s a short video that is informative. Read and learn. Share information with your friends and neighbors, and in your digital networks. Get involved. We need all the help possible to protect our food, air and water. Contact our Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors ( Tell them to protect our air and water from toxic chemicals by denying these 700 new oil and gas well permit requests, and denying any requests to frack, steam inject or use any other extreme extraction methods.

Don’t be fooled by oil and gas propaganda. Our health is at stake. Our economy is at stake. Our property values are at stake. Let’s create a Better Future together by denying new oil and gas permits and supporting a rapid transition to alternative renewable energy sources that are safe and resilient.

[A shorter version of this article was published in SB Noozhawk on April 27, 2017 at]

Irv Beiman, Ph.D. is a clinical/organizational psychologist, a resident of Santa Ynez and a founding board member of Safe Energy Now! North County. After traveling to more than 20 countries and spending seven years deciding where to retire, Irv and his wife decided on Santa Ynez Valley as the most beautiful place to spend the rest of their days. They were the co-authors of a groundbreaking best selling book that is used by enterprises and business schools throughout China, “Balanced Scorecard and Strategy Execution: Applications in China”. Irv is an avid hiker, as well as an exercise and wellness enthusiast. He works pro bono to stimulate non-profits in Santa Barbara County to cooperate beyond their organizational boundaries to accelerate achievement of goals they share in common. He can be reached at A description of his method for accelerating progress toward aspirational goals is described at