Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Riding The Roller Coaster

Life is like riding a roller coaster — ups and downs, swerves and curves along the way, moments that take your breath away and make you want to shut your eyes ever so tightly wishing it was over. As you lose momentum and slowly pull into the exit station at the end of the ride, you realize that it was temporary, and maybe not so unnerving or scary after all.

You also realize that there is no way to disembark during the dizzying ride, and just like life, it has to play out.

Keeping present to your life, to being, is what it's all about. Sure, we like to reminisce. We think back to yesteryear, at times with joy, at times with misgivings. And we think ahead to the future, often with great anticipation, though sometimes with apprehension. Being in being (no misprint) is what keeps anxiety and despair at bay. Taking on tomorrow's problems today is without merit. Staying present is where it's at!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Are Two Heads Better Than One?

The answer is ... yes!

Jordan S. Rubin, N.M.D., C.N.C., author of Patient Heal Thyself, touches on the second central nervous system of our body. Located in the enteric nervous system, buried under layers of tissue lining the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon, the "other" brain is as good an indicator of our emotions, feelings and medical well being as is the brain in our head.

The "gut" is another part of our physiology that develops early on in embryogenesis. From a division of a clump of tissue called the neural crest, and early on in fetal development, comes our brain and gut through different migratory paths.

Let me explain why I am writing about this topic.

Years ago, while dealing with my own health issues, I was given this book to read. An alternative to basic medical procedures and protocols, it opened up my eyes to the fact that there can always be another approach. It's not always out there and readily seen or available, but through determination, research and an openness to other options, may be discovered.

Every day we hear about a family member, friend or acquaintance that has been heavily burdened with a serious health issue. It is neither easy for the patient nor the patient's family and friends. The expression "health is everything" is a truism.

Addressing the "two brains" of our bodies is not the only two heads to which I am referring. We often ask for second opinions when it comes to medical situations. In support of all who are dealing with serious health challenges, I encourage you to stay positive and seek alternative solutions in addition to the standardized methods and treatments of the medical world. I am forever grateful for medical research and our community of doctors and hospitals, yet, additionally, there are many other amazing, lesser known options available to us.

Patient Heal Thyself is just one of many ways to open up our minds. Jordan almost died of Crohn's disease, but through a tenacious desire to live, and live healthily, found a cure for what ailed him.

Whatever your medical challenge, stay vigilant. Look for cutting edge research and development. Be optimistic. Surround yourself with positives and good energy. Have several servings of humor per day. Jordan's book's dedication, "To all people afflicted with illnesses that leave them fearful and hopeless and who suffer needlessly and don't experience the abundant life we were all meant to enjoy", expresses his desire that we all overcome our medical obstacles. Further, he writes, "This book and my prayers go out to each and every one of you."

I dedicate this column to all of you – patients, caregivers and concerned friends. Please know that you are not alone. We have all been, at one time or another, a patient, caregiver, or concerned friend. Be proactive in your daily lives, because caring starts with caring for ourselves. May the capacity for healing find us all.

Sending love, positive energy and light to guide you on your journey.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Live and Learn

This morning as I got out of bed I heard a small commotion outside my window. A young boy was crying that he didn't want to go to church. He said that he hated church and really didn't want to be there. His mother's reply caught me off guard. She told him that because he hated church and didn't want to go this morning she would make him go two or three more times this week!

I know, as parents, we don't always have the right answer available at the time of the situation. If we had a dollar for every time that happened, we'd all be millionaires! How do we handle these types of situations effectively for each party to come out a winner?

Deactivate reaction. Deactivate reaction. By thinking twice, counting to ten, sleeping on something, we all come out as winners. It is the nano second reaction that gets us into hot water. If we take this mother's response as an example, we can stand back and observe in a detached manner. Instead of punishing her son by giving him more time in church, she might have asked one question — why do you hate church? His answer would probably have led her to a better understanding and a solution to his emotional upset. She punished him with the thing that she wanted him to like. This skewed solution only achieves more anger, misunderstanding and reactive behavior. The mother's frustration and reaction dug a deeper hole, manifesting a more difficult path to travel in the subsequent days.

The expression "live and learn", is spoken very often off the cuff. But by realizing that that is what we are supposed to do, learn by our experiences, our mistakes, and not just a blasé retort when something goes wrong, is a valuable lesson. When we take that ten seconds, digest it and commit it to memory and a part of our education of life, we multiply our chances of making better judgment calls in the future.

None of us has all the answers, even though the answers are already known, hidden behind many veils. By deactivating reaction, our minds can sort through the process whereby we arrive at a calmer, more practical solution. It just takes practice. Live and learn.