Icarus And The Sun

Icarus got too close to the sun. He felt it as he soared, and wanted to get close to the thing that gave him good feelings. He wanted more. Then he got an urge to see if he could soar higher and higher, to see if he could perhaps touch the thing that even the gods had to fear. He didn’t respect it. It melted his great wax wings, impressive as they were. The liquified fat sprayed all about him, as his shrinking wings struggled to keep him afloat. So great was the span of his wings that the wax fell several kilometers from the point above the earth where they flailed.

Many literary analysts say this story is about man and his hubris. His greed for more. His blind trek toward that which he does not deserve. Maybe it was literally about the sun. I’m sure more than one ancient Greek has experienced the magnificent power of the sun. Both in the way that it made him feel excellent, basking in it, as well as the way his skin got destroyed when he stayed too long in it. Everyone knows that clothes can pale from sun bleaching. But leave them just long enough, and you get fresh, dry laundry. Plants become brown and crisp when they can no longer stand the energy of the fiery globe. But before that, they absorb the sun’s light and turn it into sugars to feed the growth of their stems, roots, and leaves, and to make full, sweet fruit.

Too much sun hurts. But the right amount is one of life’s staple ingredients.

Someone, somewhere, fed the fear of the sun with “links” to cancer. Yes, there is research linking overexposure to the sun with skin cancer. A good look at this research shows weak relations between sunlight and skin cancer. It shows that the relationship exists with people of specific traits: European origin, sensitive to the sun, and reduced skin DNA repair abilities.

Avoiding the sun, on the other hand, leads to vitamin D deficiency, which is related to bone and muscle problems, increases in cancers, autoimmune disease, and cardiovascular disease.

One billion people are vitamin D deficient. Many of them are in this state because of their fear of the sun. Funny, eh? Not really. Fear is a serious thing. It’s literally keeping our race from a staple of life.

To get enough sunlight, you need the following:

  • At least 40% skin exposed
  • 15-20 minutes
  • Every day

Things that block UV-B from spurring vitamin D and cholesterol sulphate production:

  • Sun block
  • Clothing
  • Glass windows of houses and cars

You who have decreased production of Vitamin D in the sun if you are:

  • Obese
  • Older
  • Heavily clothed
  • Indoors
  • Darker in skin shade
  • Pregnant
  • A child or infant

Use your common sense in being in the sun. Don’t stay if it hurts, it’s too hot, or it’s uncomfortable. Just be out enough to feel good. If you have problems stopping at satiety, you are not alone. Figure out how to end things when they are good. Look into meditation.

The tale of Icarus ends in tragedy, but it expounds on a basic human instinct. After all, it is about the sun. There’s a reason we love it.

Be in the sun at the right time, for the right amount of time.

Like all good things, have until satiety. Then stop.

Live powerfully,


The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

Deep Sleep Dashes Sickness

I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

It had been five days since returning from a three month trip. We were living in a time zone 16 hours ahead of California. I was jet lagged with a runny nose, sore throat, sinus pressure, cough, and body aches. Vitamin C megadosing, sun bathing, and earthing were only scratching the surface. I just wasn’t getting enough sleep.

I don’t know why I didn’t think about it sooner, but yesterday it occurred to me that I should wear ear plugs to bed. Normal neighborhood and house noises, however subtle, were waking me up earlier than I wanted. So I plugged up and covered my eyes from light. I also kept a small fan on to keep the temperature down. The summer heat was adding to this sleep deprivation.

With these simple little hacks, it was cool, dark, and quiet at night.

And damn, but I slept like a log. I woke up like a dragon from it’s thousand year slumber. I swept the blanket aside like it was piles of gold being hurled aside by the dragon’s monstrous, scaly tail. I breathed deep, loving the air as much as the reptilian beast would after such an abysmal sensory absence. Seeing the sunlight filtering through the window, I was the dragon emerging from his cave. I flexed and stretched my fresh limbs, feeling blood surge through my tissues.

The achiness was gone. My nose was no longer runny. The sinus pressure was minimized. There was just the slightest sense of head cold left. I was coughing up green phlegm, which is a good sign for me. Still rusty, but I’m on the downhill side of recovery now.

As I stretched out in the sun, I felt better and better. Sleep, I thought again as I have many times in the past, is such an effective tool for human wellness. A UPenn study showed that flies who slept more recovered and survived longer than their brethren who didn’t sleep as much. Sleep triggered the gene pathway NFkB in flies.

NFkB regulates immune response, in addition to DNA transcription and cell survival. Other studies showed that problems with this gene activation were linked to cancer, inflammation and autoimmune disease, and uncontrolled infection.

Sleep, then, as the trigger for this gene expression, has a lot to do with recovery from illness.

Once again, I can attest to this. One night of good sleep dashed away the effects of jet lag, body aches, and misery. I’m betting that one more night will do away with the rest of this pesky cold. Of course, I’m going to keep up the vitamin C dosage, sun time, and everything else.

One hint to getting good sleep if you just can’t: try staying up instead of napping. A bit of sleep deprivation can help with prolonging sleep later and increasing stimulation of NFkB, as the fly researchers found.

Live powerfully,


The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

Your Share of the Sun

The beast didn’t have exact measures. But he thought it was true that there was an optimal amount of sun exposure each day. He knew there was a certain time of day that the sun radiated good feelings through him.

There were also times of the day when it merely burned him and didn’t give him warm energy. He knew he did not feel well if he were not in the sunlight for more than a day. So the beast tried to go out into the sun, at least once a day, in the late morning and early afternoon.

When he first paid attention, and sat in the sunlight as it glowed down on him in the late morning, it felt amazing. He became vibrant and happy. It was so good he did this again the next day, and the next, and the next.

One day, the beast wanted to have as much sunlight as possible. He stayed outside in the bright day a very long time. At first he felt wonderful, just like the days before. The grass was green, the breeze tickled the trees around him, and the birds chortled with glee. The sun filled the beast with joy. But he became greedy and wanted more. He sat, and sat, and sat. Then he felt dizzy and weak, as though the sun were leeching energy from him. He knew it was time to go home to his cave.

The next day, as the beast washed himself, he noticed that his skin had darkened more than usual. In some places, it looked dry and wrinkled, like aged leather. It was soft, but no longer firm and strong. His skin was hurt, and he was humbled. He was astonished by the power of the sun. It brought him life, but it also ushered in death.

So there was a balance. Sunlight was good. And it was very good in the late morning and early afternoon. It made him calm and happy. He slept deeply at night and woke bright and energized. But meetings with the sun were only good for him if he respected the power of the sun. It was important that he retreat with his gift before he paid the price of overindulgence. He thought about this at length and decided it was worth the risk of death to seek life from the sun.

The beast made a daily effort to make his appointment with the sun. He went out into the daylight, receiving his share of the life giving force shining down on the earth. He walked amongst the trees, flowers, and grass that also received their share. He paid close attention to see when it was time to retreat. Some days he could take much, and other days he could not. He learned that when he was tired, he could not have as much. But it was fine. When he was well rested, he could have more. Soon, it all began to make sense.

He encouraged other humans to take part in this powerful thing. Many of his kind had shied away from it, afraid of the death it could bring. Humans were intelligent beasts, and had wanted to separate themselves from the rest of the world, and from each other. They learned that many things brought death, forgetting that those same things, taken humbly, gave life. So humans restricted themselves from the earth and from the universe. They thought that they could become immortal by doing so.

They covered themselves in pastes that shielded them from the sun’s magic. Their intelligence often outweighed their instinct. But in hiding from death, they had forsaken life. So the beast kept telling them of the wonders of the sun.

Slowly, humans learned to cast away their fears and let the sun touch their bare skin. They came to experience the joy of the sun. People were all different, and so were their needs for this source of energy. Some beasts found that a small amount of time in the sun was ample. Others found they needed to be in the sun longer. Each had her own share and learned to take humbly.

Those that learned to see themselves as part of a world from which they could not part in mind nor body learned to dig deeper into the earth and the universe. They became even greater. Their energy surpassed those of beasts who chose to remain separate, because their energy incorporated that of the universe. With that energy and love they chose to encourage the rest of their kind to embrace life.

And with time, every brilliant beast shared in the same sun and vibrated with the energy of the universe.

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

Take Barefoot Walks to Relieve Stress

Why Barefoot?

I love walking barefoot.

I do this often, outside on the sidewalks in my neighborhood, and I get a lot of energy from it. I started doing it to ground, or earth, myself. Earthing means to reconnect to the earth’s electromagnetic field charge and to restore electrical balance to my body.

There have been a lot of studies about this, and the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! shows scans of people’s electrical charge changing after grounding themselves.

Concrete is actually a slight conductor of electricity, and as long as it is connected to the earth underneath it will allow for earthing when touching skin to it. Walking barefoot on the sidewalk calms me down inside, and I feel like my stress drains out through my feet.

Of course, walking itself contributes to relaxation. Moving, just bringing myself through space, exerting physical motion at the end of my day, or in the middle of it, releases tension from stressful situations. I do not deal with frequent physical dangers, which is true for most of us today. I go through emotional ups and downs, and I fight to resolve issues, and I use a ton of energy in the form of creative thinking and processing, and my body just doesn’t get to be big part in any of it.

I can feel myself tense up physically during the day, and sometimes I don’t even notice it until I get away from it all. We as humans, just like any other living being, are physically geared to deal with problems that we encounter or perceive in our minds.

Think about this: You are walking alone outside at night, to get to your car, and you see a tall, broad-shouldered person walking quickly in your direction. Does your heart rate increase? Do your palms get sweaty? Do you tense up, ready for an attack coming your way?

Even if it’s just a friendly neighbor going about their business, I can’t help but keep track of where they are, if they are looking at me, or just looking as if they are going to pass by without trouble. My eyes are darting, my breath gets shallow and quiet, and my belly tightens.

These sympathetic responses are designed to carry out whatever quick, effective, and powerful task our minds determine is needed for defense. Thus, when I’m encountering disagreements with coworkers, approaching deadlines, or facing immense workloads, my body is also preparing to resolve these problems.

So I walk at the end of a long day to unravel my body’s fortifications.

To powerful living,


Learn more about Earthing