Your Inner Circle

The “inner circle” principle is used by the healthy, though sometimes unconsciously. I’ll show you first an extreme example then a practical application.

First, an extreme example…

When Christ prepared to walk into a house to raise the dead, he “permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John” [Mark 5:37]. Then, before he took care of the problem and commanded, “Little girl, I say, get up” [Mark 5:41], before he did anything dramatic, he sent everyone out of the house except the 3 in the inner circle and the parents of the child. He didn’t call for T.V. cameras; he didn’t try to convince anyone of anything. He just ejected from the house the people who “ridiculed Him” [Mark 5:40] and then did his job. Not even the other 9 disciples were allowed in the room.

Practical Application (Importance of Your Inner Circle)…

So, is there really a practical application concerning health in this Bible story? Possibly, your most important and difficult goals, resolutions, aspirations, and tasks for the day should be kept private (not televised or broadcasted). Sharing the most important somehow dilutes resolve and dampens results of my patients. Consider a practical example:

You’re at your mother’s house and you start to explain to your cousin details of how you plan to drop 50 pounds and increase your energy with your new exercise plan. What are the chances that cousin Sue (who’s watching TV and eating a 700-calorie snack) is interested or apt to offer encouragement? If your next party is like most, you’ll hear no comment if you drink a couple of sodas and eat a large slice of desert; you’re more likely to face “ridicule” if you eat a bowl of oranges and skip the desert. That much you know and probably need no reminder. Here’s the part that possibly needs pointing out: the less explaining you do the more likely you are to continue with your resolve.

Explaining and making all actions transparent opens the door that leads to your inner circle of value and resolve. Allowing anyone into this circle weakens your results (even Christ found it necessary to rope off an inner circle). Repeatedly, I see my patients discouraged in the effort to improve their health by the ridicule (implied or direct) of friends and family. Explanation of plans usually brings a reply listing all the reasons for failure. But, change does seem to demand Resolve.

Ben Franklin listed in his 13-point summary of the virtues “Resolution.” A better word might be Promise. Steven Covey said the best way to care for relationships is to make and keep promises. Franklin would have said, “make and keep resolutions.” I’ve found the healthiest seem to make and keep promises to self but are reluctant to reveal those promises.

For accomplishment of promises, Inner Circles seem to strengthen the resolve of the healthy who share powerful goals with healthy people; so, a healthy inner circle can be a powerful motivator and facilitator.

The unhealthy either have an inner circle of mostly people who practice unhealthy habits or else have no inner circle, only resolutions diluted by the ridicule of the crowd.

__ Mark Chapters 4 – 5

__ Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked _____

__ Eat 5 fruits or vegetables _____

__ Virtue: Resolution/Courage – resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

Peace & Health,

Charles Runels
Cellular Medicine Association

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Tune Your Group…Tune Your Health

Reading about construction of temples in Exodus reminds me of another powerful health strategy: plugging into the right group.

Go to a place with a band and dancing, there’s a good chance you’ll do some dancing. It’s natural to be caught up in the activity of the group. Why not use the power of the group to improve health?

Those who go to church are likely to pray. Stay home, you may say a prayer, but go to a temple and prayer will be more intense because of plugging into the group.

I believe someone with an aversion to exercise could change their healthy by simply going to the YMCA and spending an hour there every  day. Something about being around a large building full of people exercising just makes you want to move.

But, there are other less obvious ways to use the group to improve health. You can subscribe to a health inspiring magazine and read it. You may be alone while you read the magazine, but you’re still exposed to healthy group of people through the articles. Hiking magazines, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, and Prevention Magazine are good choices. There are many web sites, and e-zines like this one; but for a strong influence, a regular magazine with articles and pictures of people who improved their health seems to work better.

You can start a walking club that meets once a week on the weekend for a long walk (at least 2 or 3 times as long as what you normally walk). I’ve been part of such clubs when I was running marathons. I normally ran 5 to 10 miles during the week; but would meet a few people for a long slow 15 to 20 miles early on Saturday morning.  I don’t recommend a daily walking club because people usually walk at different speeds (you  don’t even want to walk the same speed every day)…so a daily club frustrates the faster walker and exhausts the slower walker.  Also, when one or the other can’t make the walk, each becomes the other’s excuse for not walking.  Best, is have a daily appointment with yourself and meet for a group walk once a week.

Let’s say you normally walk 2 or 3 miles a day. If you met a friend or 2 for an easy, slow 5 mile walk on a weekend day, then the extra mileage would make up for a missed day during the week. Also, and more important, knowing that you would be meeting someone on Saturday (who’s probably going to ask you about your walking and who also walks) will motivate you to stay on your program. Even meeting just once a week will encourage you to stay more consistent the other 6 days.

Some religions stress healthy living and weekly worship becomes good for both body and mind. The Seventh Day Adventist Church is the healthiest, most long-lived group in the nation.

WARNING:    Watch for groups that glorify the unhealthy. You may connect with the healthier members of a group, but if the group consumes much time and encourages unhealthy behavior, do you really have time for that group?

Which would be healthier, a chess club or a birdwatching club? Which would be healthier, a Mardi Gras society, or a class in outdoor photography? What groups could you consider dropping? What new groups could you consider joining?

__ Exodus Chapters 29 – 34

__ Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked _____

__ Eat 5 fruits or vegetables: actual eaten _____

__ Virtue: Order – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.


Charles Runels, MD

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