March 31, 2010 · 8:47 pm
There are so many ways to say “believe.” Thoughts Become Things, picture what you want, visualize, pray, to name a few. The real truth is that to believe is to create, and that creation exists because of the energy you put into it through your thoughts. This brings up the constant dilemma of channeling our thoughts towards the end result we want and learning to focus on the positive changes we want to make. I think about this a lot.
How can we learn to train our mind to go down the positive path? Is it so easy that we overlook it? Is it simply a matter of directing all of our energy in a single, positive direction? I like to imagine the belief as the pebble dropped in a still pond and the ripples expanding out as all of the parts of my life that will be affected. The pebble, however, must be composed of molecules of hope, energy, faith, knowledge, and love.
The ingredients for this pebble are gathered from special places along the path. Places that influence who we are and what we believe. For me those places are yoga, meditation, prayer, walking, friendship, family, gardens, books, blogs, and shared conversations. With these ingredients I become the catalyst for the ripples.
March 30, 2010 · 5:35 pm
Sometimes I think I care too much, but is that really possible? I care about the many people in my life: friends, family, students, parent of students, my dog (well he is sort of like a person) and then of course there are the orphans in Haiti, and the women with breast cancer that I will honor in September while walking in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I care about people getting all that they deserve from life in the most pleasant manner possible. I care that they are healthy and that they are able to contribute to world.
If I put the word “take” in front of “care” then it becomes another important message: take care. If we are to help others, we must first take care of ourselves. Or maybe we must also take care of ourselves. It is the message we get on airplanes about putting the oxygen mask on first so we are able to care for others. To care about oneself is to realize that what you put into your body becomes your body, what you do with your body impacts your body’s ability to function and that your body is the home for your inner spirit while you reside here.
Care is also something we give as a gift to others. When my mother was in Hospice, I was amazed by the compassion her caretakers had for her. They barely knew her, yet they cared for her a gently as they would their own mother. The tender touch we give a newborn, the comfort we give as we wrap our arms around an injured child, the casual caress we give our partner upon departure, all of these signs of caring are shown through tender, physical touch.
We can also demonstrate caring by taking the first step, calling first, being the first to suggest a get together, the first to send a comment, the first to offer to help, the first to volunteer. We show we care by giving advice to others that will enable them to enrich their own lives, to improve their health and their future. We demonstrate caring by cooking a special meal, buying a little treat for no reason, doing something nice “just because.”
We show we care when we relax, decompress our schedule, make time, when we sit on the beach with someone and just listen to the waves and watch the seagulls. The ability to care is not reserved for humans, animals demonstrate caring and unconditional love, but we can express our caring with words and acts of kindness, and because we can, we must.
March 29, 2010 · 10:17 pm
My New Diet
Over the years I have been fascinated with learning. I love to learn new things about myself, about the world, and topics relating to improving oneself and striving for a balanced life. I am also dedicated to improving my health which has been a project for more years than I’d like to remember. When I was a member of Weight Watchers, our group leader gave us these 17 words, Power Words. I have mine in a small frame on my bathroom sink when I can see them first thing in the morning. I select one word to focus on each day, but I thought it would be interesting to focus on one word each day right here in my blog.
The words are: prepare, care, believe, forgive, change, risk, listen, choose, relax, pray, persist, wait, smile, focus, act, trust and accept.
Today I will start with “prepare.” This word is especially appropriate for me today because after a relatively easy bone density scan, I received the unhappy news that I have Osteoporosis. The causes are not known yet but will be revealed after the 7 test tubes of blood are examined. Osteoporosis can be caused by many things, such as age, low vitamin D levels, low calcium absorbtion, or it can be hereditary. That is my suspicion since my mother also had Osteoporosis. So, I actually have it, it is not just a precursor to the condition. I have to prepare and establish new routines to prevent further degeneration and also build up strength and balance to prevent future injuries.
I have a plan of attack. I will take my vitamin supplements religiously, resume my yoga practice, walk my one hour daily, and eat lots of dark, green leafy veggies. I will prepare and strengthen my body to hopefully thwart future degeneration.
Preparation is a life skill that must be taught. The skill of being able to take a peak into the future and predict what might happen in order to prepare ahead of time is something I hope to teach my own daughters. I hope to spare them the news I received today by encouraging them to be proactive, establish healthy habits now and to realize that the things you think will happen way off in the future arrive sooner than you thought they would. After all, I still feel 19 inside and am constantly shocked to find out that I’m not.
March 25, 2010 · 10:06 pm
Where does the time go?
I am searching for time. Recently I seem to be dwelling in an abyss of obligations, commitments and sleep deprivation. Time eludes me and when I do find it, it travels swiftly through the hourglass, reminding me of that old soap opera, The Days of Our Lives. How can I accomplish what I need to and what I want to? I am convinced I have to restructure time and set new boundaries for myself.
1. Limit time on the computer, specifically on social media. Computers are time suckers. They seem so efficient and helpful but in reality they are magnets that attract you and then hold you fast. There is no such thing as “quickly checking your e-mail.” To attempt to quickly do anything is to enter the labyrinth of the cyber world. Exiting is a tricky task.
2. Walk every day. Walking allows for time to think, plan, wonder, imagine and enjoy the world. Walking may seem like a time-consuming activity, but the benefits outweigh the time commitment. The benefit of good health, improved attitude and clarity come along with the obvious benefit of the exercise itself.
3. Learn to say “no.” Saying “no” in order to stick to your own plan and your own schedule is different from saying “no” just because you are selfish, or self-involved. You can help people, and do favors, but just learn to put yourself first and take care of your needs.
Three new rules are enough. They provide the structure I need and if there were more rules, it would just take too much time anyway.
March 12, 2010 · 10:03 pm
I can’t help it. The only thing on my mind now is the sad state of affairs at my wonderful little mountain school which is unfortunately ruled by a large insensitive school district and an even larger and cold-hearted State. The wonderful staff of 16 has been sadly divided into the haves and have-nots. Those having received pink slips and those who have not. The pink slips are not pink, and are not slips. They are cruel white letters notifying my friends and co-workers that they will no longer be employed as of July 1st. Their classrooms will be vacated and another displaced teacher will move in. Our school family will be torn apart and all of our work, building community, sharing lives, stories and commitment to the education of our charges will be forever changed. These dedicated teachers will move on or move away, their lives forever changed through no fault of their own. They will possibly change careers, locations, and living situations. Some will leave to teach in other countries.
Who is to blame for this dismantling? The same greedy people who caused the collapse of the economy, the tumbling down of the housing market, the elimination of thousands of other jobs and the change of the world economy as we knew it. People whose thoughts and views do not extend beyond themselves and people with no foresight, compassion or vision for a future that includes prosperity for those outside the circle of power.
Phrases like “No Child Left Behind” are irrelevant as obviously most children will now be left behind, fall through the cracks and suffer in the silence of class sizes exceeding 30 children. There will be no winners in the “Race to the Top” because all will wallow at the bottom-teachers, students and parents who dreamed of a better life for their children. When these parents, elected officials and business people get older, age and depend on the younger generation for medical attention, and care taking, who will be there to do it? The untrained masses? Those who have the scars of betrayal left from these decisions to short-change their education? The red faces of the embarrassed, short-sighted “officials” will not bring satisfaction to those of us affected by today’s actions.
Questions are many and answers are few. There are, however, the faces of these teachers who are being forced unwillingly out of their classrooms, they are the faces of my friends.
I don't think pink is my favorite color anymore.
March 8, 2010 · 10:26 pm
Well, so much time has passed and I have very little in the way of an excuse for my lack of writing. It is true I had the cold from hell for 2 weeks, and yes I was finishing up the last couple of weeks of Six Weeks in a Cast, but it seems that I have been spending a lot of time doing everything but writing. I have been reading many blogs written by others, finding old and new friends on Facebook, keeping up with my book club reading, attending social events and getting much-needed sleep. As Gretchen Rubin dictates in The Happiness Project, it is time to Aim Higher. I take that as a challenge, and being the Type A person that I am, I must have a continuous challenge, meaning there must always be something new to entice me.
I am getting my walking legs back and have joined a couple of women at my school in the Couch to 5k program, starting today. It is actually a great motivator and the best part is that there is an iPhone App. for the program. Basically you just select the music from your iPod to insert into the program, select the day and week of the program, i.e. today I was on Week 1, Day 1 and the program tells you what to do. I love it! It says, “Warm Up. Brisk walking” and then the timer counts down from 5 minutes. This continues through walking and running intervals and then a cool-down. The music plays in between voice commands. I actually RAN! That in itself is amazing. I did my workout, hit a few of the strength training machines and came home to eat my healthy dinner, take my Melaleuca vitamins and drink my water. Life is good.
Time to hop back on the treadmill.
The Wellness Company I now represent!