Is it possible for women and men to be ‘just friends?’ How important is it?

A question from a reader of my book: “Can men and women be ‘just friends?’”

Response: HUMBLY speaking as a REALLY dumb fellow…yes, I believe women and men CAN be ‘just friends.’ Respectfully, this may just be one of the ‘keys to the universe.’ I have splendid friendships with many women, in the here and now and historically. It doesn’t in any way have to be about sex. This may sound naive and quaint, but I don’t believe it is so. It is sad that we often miss out on what may be among the most splendid of blessings/gifts (female/male friendships). This is on every level, emotional, spiritual, and overall health/wellness…resplendently so.

Living in a semi-rural area (versus also having lived in a large metropolitan area for many years), I find that many men (especially) act like they have an intrinsic responsibility to (on some level) ‘hit’ on every woman, or they don’t feel like ‘real men.’ Humbly, I am no one ‘special’ or important, albeit I find that learned and/or cultural outlook embarrassing. Sex IS a SO splendid blessing, yet everything doesn’t have to be about that.

Please know that I’m not saying I am in ANY way some ‘sweet and innocent’ fellow…it is NOT the spirit in which I am setting forth my thoughts herein. That said, among the most splendid blessings in my life, is in being ‘just friends’ with many women, i.e., who I believe are most often the superior half of people. In having such friendships, I sincerely see this as a most splendid part of my good fortune.

Once again (and again, and again, and again, if necessary) quite humbly and respectfully, I believe it is SO much about a benevolent and altruistic spirit of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace…AND figuring out how to TRULY mean it, No Matter What! I believe it is SO much about a benevolent and altruistic spirit of endeavoring to do the right thing for the right selfless sake. I believe it is SO much about realization that we are so much more in the same common ‘boat’ than we often think and act. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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Michal Bick of the LA Examiner reviews my book…

Reviewing a ‘Glimpse of Heaven’ by Dr. Glen Hepker

A Five Star Rating

In the healthcare industry, Physicians serve to help patients alleviate/eradicate our illnesses. But what if individuals were able to prevent illness by having healthier internal and external environments? What would the world look like if every person took an active role in his/her own health and wellbeing?

Dr. Glen Hepker, who has doctorates in Psychology and traditional Chinese health arts, explores these types of questions in his book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health. He gently advocates the mentality that growth is linear and how self-improvement can help make the world a better place to live in.

Board-certified psychiatrist Mark Lassise, M.D., encourages readers in his Foreward to keep an open mind when going through the book — To consider how medicine, psychology and philosophy can intertwine.

Dr. Hepker suggests “embracing healthful change” by focusing first on one’s internal world. This includes: thought patterns, interactions with others, the friends we prefer, the degree of exercise and nutritious dietary intake, etc. Does a human being feel heavier or lighter as a result of these choices?

With an enhanced awareness of one’s own decision making, a person’s quality of health could be better understood and then hopefully changed for the better. For example, what solution would promote health if heavy feelings arise after spending time with particular people?

Put another way, what steps can a person take to feel lighter? Perhaps by implementing this strategy, a person can make it a daily habit to prefer choices that gravitate towards a healthier and happier life.

He writes:

“Enforcing healthful change and thus a more and more healthful way-of-life is not simply just good for oneself – It is less costly to society and less harmful to the world at large: It makes the world a better place on multiple levels” (42).

By taking responsibility for one’s own health, a person can also encourage others who want to improve their lifestyle.

When considering preventative medicine, the philosophy of this book suggests another way to improve one’s quality of life. By having a new perspective to reflect on, it can very well benefit a person who is committed to personal growth.

For more information, check out Dr. Hepker’s websites:

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How healthful is it that our moods so often dictate the spirit with which we treat others?

What is the importance of treating people just as well in our worst of moods vs. just our best of moods (and figuring out how to TRULY mean it)?

“When describing the philosophy within the traditions of the health and wellness arts which I teach and coach, I commonly begin by defining the theory of the Bright Beautiful School of Thought, e.g., the principle that the world would be a much better and different place if more and more people took True Responsibility for their own health and wellbeing – in short, True Health Through True Responsibility. In practical application, a central feature of the Bright School of Thought theory and hence, True Health, is the True Responsibility of Healthful Interaction – the employment of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace in our interaction with others – AND figuring out how to do so while truly meaning it – No Matter What.

According to this theory, there are two things that we as human beings can absolutely control…the fashion by which we interact with others and the level of objectivity and insight we choose to employ with ourselves. In support of this thesis, is the concept that a clear gauge of one’s True Health is congruent with one’s ability to honestly display oneself with “dignity, decency, goodness, and grace” – inclusive of the realization that the quality of our interaction with others and the depth by
which we enjoy insight into ourselves is a primary gauge of our wherewithal to manage stress and anxiety (inclusive of stressors of ALL shapes and sizes).

In a fundamental sense, this notion is congruent with the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It is just honest and healthful diplomacy, whether with a spouse or other loved one, a friend or acquaintance, a coworker, or with anyone we come into contact with – a store clerk or waitperson. If we wish to take True Responsibility for ourselves, it is the REAL CHALLENGE – No Matter What.” (Copyright 2011) — Dr. Glen Hepker

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