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

Basking For A Boost

Brilliant Friends,

It was necessary that I get outside. Yesterday morning I was tired. I haven’t been able to use my earthing mat during the night. Long story. So I ripped off my shirt and soaked in some sunlight.

It’s amazing what a few moments in the sun can do. I watered my head down with a hose, barefoot on the concrete, and squatted for a bit.

UVB rays hit the skin and spur it to make vitamin D and cholesterol sulfate. Basically, it makes me feel good and high on life to bask in the sun. If you’re feeling drab, flat, low, it might be time to get out under nature’s heat lamp of joy.

Just try not to overdo it. Too much time in the sun and I start to feel dizzy, tired, spent. And I get skin damage. But leave the sun block behind.

From the research I’ve read, our skin needs the sun to come through to get the boost. So I go bareskinned. Feel it out for yourself. Wait until you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Let yourself bask. And when you’ve had enough, remember that there’s another day to get more.

Live powerfully,


The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

Jet Lag Recovery

I am tired.

We flew in from Taipei last night. It was a full day of plane rides, bus station exploration, hot spring bathing, and more plane riding. I’m fatigued, jet lagged, and sore throated.

I stayed up for most of the overnight flight. In Pacific time, it was morning when we took off. But since it was 11:30 p.m. in Taipei, I had to pull two full days of wakefulness. Even with the exhaustion, sleep didn’t last too long last night. I meditated and had magnesium before bed, which helped. But I woke up around 5:30 a.m.

Although I was tired, I didn’t want to struggle back to sleep to wake up late in the afternoon. So I stayed up and slowly awoke. I made butter coffee with a blender for the first time in weeks. I was also able to add cacao butter and vanilla powder, two ingredients I sorely missed during travel. The resulting concoction was heavenly.

My game plan is to take vitamin C throughout the day, stay up until bed time, exercise, and take a good dose of magnesium at night. The C is going to help with my throat and also with my general well being. After all that traveling, with sweets on the plane, and lack of sleep, my body really needs the extra antioxidant boost. Now that I’m home, I have my powder form of vitamin C. Just mix into a glass of water. It’s my favorite way to take it.

Earthing is also key to recovery from jet lag. I got outside as soon as I woke and spent some time with the dogs, barefoot on the concrete. Later in the afternoon, I had a barefoot squat session. Reconnecting with the Earth’s electromagnetic field is essential to healing. Getting good sun time also feels magnificent.

I can’t wait to get up refreshed tomorrow morning.

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

Is the Sun the Same Twice

No. Well, it’s the same sun that was there yesterday. But the angle will be different. It depends on where on Earth you live. And what season it is. And what time of day it is. And the weather. The sun is never the same twice.

Sunlight helps us make vitamin D and cholesterol sulphate, two critical micronutrients that affect gene expression and mood, among countless other elements of wellness. To be more specific, the UVB rays of sunlight are responsible for this skin activation. UVA rays are the ones that can cause sunburns.

The angle of the sun relative to the horizon determines which UV rays pass through the ozone layer and reach us. UVB doesn’t penetrate Earth’s atmosphere when the sun is below approximately 50 degrees from the horizon. The rays bounce off the atmosphere.

This means there are specific days and times that sunlight actually lets us make D and sulphate. And no two days are the same. Clouds, pollution, anything else in the sky, as well as what we wear, can block UVB. Unlike UVA, which is the stuff that burns in excess, UVB is a bit gentler as far as radiation goes. It won’t penetrate as well and may not even touch parts of the Earth’s surface for extended periods.

For some of us, during parts of the year, naturally occurring (via the skin with the sun) vitamin D and cholesterol sulphate just will not happen. So it’s not as simple as taking walks every day during lunch break, if you work in an office. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

But nothing is. With all things considered, the fact that sunlight touching our skin can make life enhancing nutrients is simple enough. We can be grateful for that amazing gift of wellness.

And in light of gratitude, we do the best we can with what we have.  So, what to do when we don’t have access to UVB?

The simplest solution is oral vitamin D3 pills. As guidance, 1,000 IU for every 25 lb. body weight. So 4,000 IU for a 100 lb. person. The optimal blood test range is 50-70 ng/ml. I’ve tested for 53 ng/ml 25 OH D in the middle of winter, just taking 5000 IU of D3 on a less than daily basis.

I regularly take walks to the park and spend 30 minutes to an hour there in the sun, almost daily. But knowing of the limited UVB availability, I can figure that the sun time hasn’t always been spurring D production.

But you can see that I’ve still been able to maintain optimal levels by loosely supplementing. See Mercola’s article, linked below, for cancer and heart disease treatment levels of vitamin D.

The slightly more difficult solution is a tanning bed. UVB rays in a safe tanning salon could be the best alternative to actually being in the sun. Mercola says to look for a bed that doesn’t have a hum. This noise would indicate it’s powered by magnetic ballasts, which can cause cancer. So, silent tanning beds.

The best solution, of course, is get it from the true source. UVB from the sun at 50 degrees or more above the horizon. Home may not always be the place to do this.

Travel, anyone?

Live powerfully!




Mercola tanning beds

Navy sun position

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