The Manuscript of your Life

Your story is awesome, overwhelming and beyond imagination. Your life is a book, but it’s probably not a best seller. It’s a rough manuscript stained with coffee rings and nicotine. It’s not the clean, crisp, perfectly penned pages found in a book store. Instead it is aged, torn and sloppily written.

A best seller is a natural page turner, exciting in all the right ways and follows a fantastic formula. Our daily lives are unremarkable, our scenes make little sense and the narrative is shit. Nothing seems to happen for any particular reason, the rise of action rarely leads to anything great. It’s like an under dog story without overcoming the odds, or a redemption story without redemption.

When we read back over our life book it seems like none of the characters make any sense, the bad guys always win and the plot seems to be completely absent.

Throughout our lives we grab at our hair and pull it out screaming “Why the fuck is this happening to me? When will any of it ever stop?”

It is easy to get caught up in our lives. Often we mistake ourselves as the main character of the story, so why wouldn’t we? If we arent the main character, then who is?

Chill, drink a cup of coffee and burn your candle at both ends. Miss a night’s rest and immerse yourself in this crap life of yours. Take some time and figure out what the fuck is happening and try to do something about it. If you need to complain or cry or beat yourself up then do it. Wallow in your misery, let it infect every spirit fiber of your being.

Take some time and get to know your pain, make it your friend. While you’re at it think about your mortality and look back on your life. How remarkable has it been? How much good have you done for others? What is your legacy?

At the end of your life story will it have been written with the blood and tears of others? Will it be a terrible tale of envy and anger? Will it’s pages be aged, wrinkled and bound into a bloated book?

Or will you have lived a good life, a loving Life? An existence committed to the enrichment of others? A life with purpose. A purpose that was right for you, one of empathy, compassion and critical thought. A story you wrote, a narrative you drove forward with your own blood, sweat and tears?

Did you learn along the way that you are not the main character? That others have feelings, make mistakes and are bumbling through this complicated existence just like you?

Take a breath. Take a big ol breath. If you are reading this you aren’t dead. You are alive. Even if you are laying on your death bed waiting for the ticks of time to slip away there is still hope. With hope there is goodness, you have time to do good, be good and help others feel good. You have time to leave your anger at the door, to invite love in your life and embrace the fate you make.

The pain you feel might pass, it may never pass. It might ride you like a jockey till the end of the race. But that’s alight, I believe you will find a way. You will climb the tallest mind mountain and experience an epiphany that will forever transform your life.

A life that is awesome, overwhelming and beyond imagination. One without clean, crisp and perfectly penned pages. It will be a rough manuscript stained with coffee rings and nicotine, it will be aged, torn and sloppily written. It will be the best tale, the greatest story, it will be the book of your life.


Empathy an Intro

I think its easy to attack without considering the consequences of our actions. It is easy to say something is bad simply because it fails to meet our paradigm of thought. Critical thought is hard, to stay on course with its edicts we must follow its teachings and consider others. It teaches us to explore our thoughts and feelings. To develop an understanding of our ideology and find ways to bridge our world with others. It teaches us to consider the thoughts and feelings of others. To imagine what it is like to be them, so we can treat them fairly based on their circumstance.

What good does any of this do if we don’t know how to apply these teachings to our daily lives? An expert isn’t born, to be proficient in a skill we must practice. Practice is more than memorization, it is exploration and experimentation as well. We can sit behind old books all day learning what the dead say about body language and tonality, but this equates to nothing if we are unwilling to explore our skills.

What is empathy? “the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation.” [1]

How do we use the skill of empathy? How can I imagine what it would be like if the situation could never conceivably happen to me? Empathy requires imagination, you must have the ability to see something that doesn’t exist. If imagining something like this is outside of your capacity I suggest exploring a few new hobbies. Consider going to your local hobby store to join a role-playing group, get involved in a game where you can play a character and experience an imaginary world. Perhaps find a local writing group and explore fictional writing or experiment with art. If your mind is no longer in touch with your heart it will be very difficult imagining what it would be like to be in another person’s situation.

Mind Tools presents a good primer to practice empathy.

Empathy at Work [2]

  1. Put aside your viewpoint, and try to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  2. Validate the other person’s perspective.
  3. Examine your attitude.
  4. Listen
  5. Ask what the other person would do.  

I would suggest giving their interpretation of empathy a good read, you can find this article at:


To empathize with someone, we need to imagine we are them. What would it be like to be them in this situation. If you were them, how would you feel? If you were them, how would you want to be treated?

[1] “Empathy” Dictionary. Cambrdge Dictionary. Web. 12 December 2017. <>

[2] “Empathy at Work” Mind Tools. Web. 12 December 2017. <

Nioxin vs Monat vs Rogaine

Nioxon vs Monat vs Rogaine

While perusing the land of Facebook I was drawn to an image (shown below) illustrating the advantages of one product over two others. With my interest piqued I spent the better part of an evening researching it’s claims. I believe we all fall victim to the whirlwind of information flashed before our eyes. There is so much knowledge at our fingers tips it can be challenging to decipher fact from fiction.

Errors and Clarifications

The first error the author made was when they classified Nioxin, a company as a product. I am assuming the author intended to compare Nioxin’s Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men and Rogaine to the Monat product: Intense Repair Treatment.

The second error was when it compared the three products unfairly. No attempt was made to compare each item in a like manner, essentially the author was comparing apples to oranges.

The next error was that the active and inactive ingredients were inaccurately listed. If you consult the following data you will see that Acetamide MEA, Cocamide MEA, PEG-150 distearate, Tocopherol, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Diazolidinyl, Sodium Laureth sulfate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben PEG-150 distearate and Propylparaben are not on the ingredient list for Nioxin’s Hair Regrowth Treatment.
The active ingredient of Nioxin’s Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men is 5% Minoxidil. The inactive ingredients are Alcohol, Propylene Glycol and Purified Water. [3]

The active ingredient of Rogaine is Minoxidil 5%. The inactive ingredients of Rogaine are butane, butylated hydroxytoluene, cetyl alcohol, citric acid, glycerin, isobutane, lactic acid, polysorbate 60, propane, purified water, SD alcohol 40-B, stearyl alcohol.

The product I assume the author wishes to compare from Monat is their Intense Repair Treatment, which claims to be a patented biometric peptide formula, that has “higher proven results than other leading hair loss brands” and its “clinical results prove significant results in just 90 days” [1]

The Intense Repair Treatment does not use the terms active and inactive ingredients, instead the terms ‘key ingredient’ and ‘ingredients’ are used. The key ingredient is Capixyl [1]. However on the main Monat website this ingredient is not mentioned. On the main Monat website it states that the product’s ingredients are water, butylene glycol, acetyl tetrapeptide-3, Trifolium Pratense Flower Extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein, dextran, xanthan gum, pvp, cocamidopropyl-pg-dimonium, chloride, benzyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid, fragrance.

According to another source the ingredient list of Capixyl is: Butylene Glycol, water, Dextran, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Trifolium Pratense Flower Extract which matches up with most of the ingredients within the Intense Repair Treatment. [2]

How are the terms key, active and inactive ingredients defined?
According to the World Health Organization the term active ingredient is defined as:

“active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) Any substance or combination of substances used in a finished pharmaceutical product (FPP), intended to furnish pharmacological activity or to otherwise have direct effect in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or to have direct effect in restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions in human beings.”

An inactive ingredient or vehicle is an inactive substance mixed with an active ingredient to give bulk to a medicine. [4]

I have found no pharmaceutical definitions for key ingredients.

What do these three products do?

Nioxin Hair Regrowth Treatment for men and Rogaine have identical active ingredients.
Active Ingredient: Minoxidil 5%.

“Minoxidil applied to the scalp is used to stimulate hair growth in adult men and women with a certain type of baldness. The exact way that this medicine works is not known. If hair growth is going to occur with the use of minoxidil, it usually occurs after the medicine has been used for several months and lasts only as long as the medicine continues to be used. Hair loss will begin again within a few months after minoxidil treatment is stopped. In the U.S., this medicine is available without a prescription.” [5]

Monat Intense Repair Treatment
Key Ingredient: Capixyl (not listed as an active ingredient, see above)

There is no information on Pubmed about Capixyl. [6]

There appears to be no evidence-based data to suggest Capixyl or the Monat Intense Repair Treatment has any affect on the regrowth of hair.


According to my research Minoxidil is the only drug proven to regrow hair. Monat’s claim that Capixyl (or Monat’s Intense Repair Treatment) can regrow hair is anecdotal at best.

[1] “Intense Repair Treatment” Monat Intense Repair Treatment. Hair Canada. Web. 8 December 2017. <
[2] “Capixyl TM” Propspector. UL. Web. 8 December 2017 <>
[3] ”Nioxin Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men” JC Penney. Web. 8 December 2017. <>
[4] “Defintion of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient” WHO. World Health Organization, July 2011. Web. 8 December 2017. <>>.
[5] “Minoxidil (on the skin)” Minoxidil. NCBI. 1 November 2017. Web. 8 December 2017. <>
[6] “No result found for Capixl” <>

Good News… is Great News!


Good News… is Great News!

The world is a beautiful place, with so much awe and wonder it is simply magical. Life is a blessing, an experience to be treasured and adored, from our moments of pure joy to absolute terror. It is more than just smiles and sunshine, more than frowns and tears. It is all of these and everything in-between.

As we move through life we face one challenge after the next. Sometimes these challenges become incredible hardships, after awhile we forget about the beauty, awe and wonder… and the magic ceases. We begin to feel like our life is a curse. When this negativity saturates our existence, the mention of Hope instills within us: fear, anxiety and guilt.

We need Hope, we need this cute little mouse to remind us that good is great! We can make something good out of something bad, no matter how awful our challenges may be. Hope is our ally, our friend. Let her inspire us to embrace the gooey, golden light of life. 

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Discovering Hope


Discovering Personal Advocacy

Discovering Personal Advocacy

Hope is the corner stone of personal advocacy. To find her we must fantasize about the world, embrace the thought of adventure and share our dreams with others. From this spark we will explore our creativity through artistic expression, connecting our soul parts with our body and mind. Creativity gives way to imagination, the ability to see something that does not exist and manifest it within reality. Once we can imagine ourselves as the person we want to be, all we have to do is make it a reality. Hope is the faith we can achieve this reality.

Critical thought entails the usage of empathy, insight and research. We will learn to explore the perceptions and realities of others, avoid pseudoscience and become effective researchers. This is an important component in personal advocacy because it gives us the knowledge to have power over our lives.

Force of will is the quality of pushing forward despite our obstacles and hardships. It is our willpower, forward momentum and determination. It is living with significance, purpose and drive. Force of will sprouts from Hope, it grows with critical thought and blossoms when we give purpose to the pain.

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Discovering Hope


Shawn White


Who is Shawn White?

Hello, my name is Shawn White. I have cancer. I have been shaped by a series of beautifully horrific experiences. I traded my right lung for wisdom and endured chemotherapy for insight.

When I was in my twenties I watched my mother die of pancreatic cancer. She refused surgery and chemotherapy, living her final days by her terms. Her last wish was for the whole family to go on a cruise, and so we went. It was a hauntingly loving experience, one I will reflect on forever. My mother is my role model for personal advocacy. She had the force of will to face anything, even a terrible inevitable death. Her road was bleak and yet she never lost Hope, she continued to dream and love and embrace the light of light.

I have been given many gifts, cancer has been the greatest. It gave me purpose and direction. It set me on a journey where I fell into many holes and tripped over many rocks. Through my journey, I have learned to navigate the path and now I illuminate the road for others, to help them see their obstacles before they face them.

I have discovered personal advocacy.

Now I am helping others discover it as well.


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Discovering Hope

Discovering Hope

Every second is a snapshot of infinite beauty.

Discovering Hope

Hope, the cute, yet terrifying mouse. She has guided us, continues to guide us and will always guide us. Hope is our faith, love and belief we can make the best of any situation. Through Hope we can find our way through any hole, overcome any obstacle and put a smile on anyone’s face.

Would you like to live life to its fullest? To avoid the terrible decisions of others? To enjoy the things you love? And to live by your terms?

Of course you do. We all do.

How do we do this? How do we make this a reality?

We achieve this by becoming our own personal advocate.

If I, Shawn White, knew how to advocate for myself at the start of my journey, I would not have done chemotherapy. Even now, I would rather live with the quality of life I have and die sooner, than endure chemo and live longer. This is my land in the sand, I know the quality of life I want to live and I will fight for it. I want to help you find your line in the sand and assist you in developing the tools to fight for it.

My treatment was not worth the cost I paid in pain, but maybe yours will be. We are different people with different needs. You, I and everyone else are uniquely beautiful creatures and all our approaches will be just as varied. To discover personal advocacy, we need to embrace Hope, learn critical thought and develop our force of will. These are the three main components of personal advocacy, but none are more important than Hope.


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