Saturday, December 16, 2006
It is my belief a great deal of the angst in life stems from people not understanding their purpose in life and not having a passion for what they currently do and/or the life they currently lead. To me that is monumentally tragic. Life is to wondrous and to great an adventure to not be passionate about it.
At least in part of my life I can honestly say I am doing exactly what God means for me to do (i.e. sharing wellness) and I can see a not-to-distant future when I will be able to do so without any of the current distractions in my life. My life truly began the moment I understood my life's purpose. You know what? There is a tremendous joy in knowing your life's purpose. With all my heart I hope you know that kind of joy!
As you reflect on the past year I want you to know something. I want you to know that miracles are within your reach and within your own mind. Do not scoff at that statement. Rather give it your most serious consideration. The quality of your life depends on your understanding the truth of it.
Do You know how special you are?
Do you know your life's purpose?
Are you living your life's purpose?
Do you know you have all you need to create a miracle in your life?
Do you understand the impact of words and thoughts on the quality of your life?
Consider the words of Maya Angelou:
"Words go into the body. So they cause us to be well and hopeful
and happy and high-energy and wondrous and funny and cheerful.
Or they can cause us to be depressed. They get into the body and
cause us to be sullen and sour and depressed and, finally, sick."
Words are important. Thoughts are important. What kind of words or thoughts are you holding inside of you. You have a choice as to what kind of words and thoughts you hold near you. Positive or negative. Words and thoughts can be death .......or death-defying.
What are you choosing to hold within you?
My gift to you this holiday season is a short movie. I hope you will
take 3 minutes to watch it and an hour to consider it.
Click here: http://tinyurl.com/tcyrv
Wishing you wellness and joy,
This post may be reprinted in your newsletter or blog only with the following resource box:
Pam Murphy,B.S.,RRT has a thriving network marketing wellness business, is completing a Masters in Holistic Nutrition and enjoys mentoring others in both improving their health and financial freedom. http://pamsnutritionstore.com
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
You see there is a controversy regarding certain nutrition supplements and cancer. Consider the information in the following links:
Recent studies have been positive on the use of antioxidants:
None of these above articles discuss the use of glyconutritional supplements. Glyconutrients are not vitamins, antioxidants, minerals or amino acids. They are in a class of their own. There are so far eight known necessary glyconutrients (ie monosaccharides). These are discussed in Harpers Biochemistry, a medical textbook. Though there are four Nobel prizes which discuss cell to cell communication and the integral part these monosaccharides play in cell to cell communication, glycobiology is a young field and not well understood yet by the vast majority of physicians. There is however, a Glycomics Conference every October in which increasingly more physicians are learning this information. http://www.endowmentmed.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=40
Case studies and research point to a positive benefit with dietary supplementation of glyconutrients:
http://glycoscience.org/ (search "cancer")
What I most wanted to get across is that folks need to educate themselves and not rely solely on physician input. Doctors are not gods; nor should we expect them to be. They are not trained in nutrition. They are largely educated by pharmaceutical companies. I learned this the hard way in my battle with Lupus. Had I not taken responsibility for my life and wellness; had I solely relied on my physicians input I would either be dead or in a wheelchair and in a nursing home today; instead of celebrating over two years in remission. My physicians did not value nutrition and didn't know about glyconutrition. Thru all the years I battled Lupus, not once did any of my physicians ask me about my diet. Has yours?
Saturday, August 19, 2006
I told her my philosophy was to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going and that's what she had to do too. We agreed we would do that together for as long as we each could. Then we had a discussion about what we each wanted and didn't want in regards to medical treatment. We made each other promises to safeguard each others dignity in the event we couldn't do it for ourselves. There were no tears during our conversation, but in the years since her passing I have often wilted into tears when remembering it. I kept my promise to her, there was no medical intervention with feeding tubes, IV's or medical machinery at the end of her journey.
Thinking back on the difficult times of my lupus journey I can say it's really not a simple thing to do to "keep going" when in the grip of 24/7 pain, shortness of breath and overwhelming fatigue. In fact, when faced with an incurable illness it takes an uncommon courage to even want to keep going. There were many times when I begged God to take me home.
But at the time when my mother and I had our conversation, I simply thought that to put one foot in front of the other and keep going was all I knew to do and certainly didn't think of it as courageous. To me it was just survival. In fact, everything I did; changing my diet to one without processed foods, being a guinea pig for an investigational drug, reframing my thoughts, exercising when I was physically able and my physician would let me, incorporating daily
meditation, trying glyconutrient supplementation, was all, I thought, just a matter of survival. Not just to stay alive, but to keep my lifestyle and my independence.
But I've been told by four different people in the last few months that they view me as courageous. As I sit here pondering my journey to remission I have a hard time thinking of myself as courageous. It blows my mind that anyone thinks of me as courageous. My journey to remission wasn't about courage, and though I thought it was about survival, it really wasn't even
about survival; it was about having a significant life. Everyone wants their life to mean something. I have always thought one of the worst things about chronic illness is the loss of human potential. Illness illustrated to me very clearly the insignificance of monetary success and about personal growth and living a life of significance. Financial freedom means nothing if you're not also making a difference.
It takes real courage to live a life of significance. It takes insight, (some would say wisdom), to understand you can live a significant life even if you are coping with a seemingly incurable illness. Sometimes that is hard to see when you're living with 24/7 pain and little hope for respite. When illness strikes and your dreams suddenly seem unreachable; you must understand your illness, no matter what you no longer can do, does not make you any
less important to the world. You must understand every existence is significant. By putting one foot in front of the other and keeping going you are, in fact, living a life of significance. You are giving value to life. There is nothing more noble.
So whatever hardships you are coping with in your life; change the things in your life which are negative or don't promote wellness and keep on keeping on. You are precious and your existence is significant.
Wishing you wellness and joy
Sunday, July 30, 2006
|I've talked a lot about taking charge of your wellness and changing the things in your life which aren't promoting wellness. Have you decided to make wellness your top priority? Does changing things in your life to promote wellness seem a bit overwhelming?|
The answer to overwhelm is to choose and change one thing at a time. Every week or two weeks (whatever feels right to you) incorporate a new wellness habit.
Here's a suggested (but not all inclusive) list to get you started:
Week One: Drink water instead of soda. If your doctor does NOT have you on any water restrictions divide your weight by two - this will give you the ounces of water you should drink per day. Drink SPRING water ( which you will find in any grocery store) or Wellness Enhanced water http://tinyurl.com/s8b6o .
Week Two: Eat one salad every day. Do NOT use a high calorie salad dressing. I would also not recommend the low calorie "chemical ridden" salad dressings. Try Annies Green Garlic Dressing (found in the health food section of your grocery store or in a health food grocery store). Check out the salads/dressings in the "Healthy Kitchen" section of http://www.drweil.com/ . Go to your bookstore and peruse the vegetarian recipe books for healthy salad dressings.
Week Three: Resolve to eat Five vegetables a day. This isn't hard when you stop to realize a serving is 1/2 cup. Make your plate colorful! Eat veggies of different colors!
Week Four: Resolve to not eat fast food. Fast food is normally high calorie, high fat.
Week Five: Cut down on coffee! Resolve to have only one cup in the morning. IF you are a bigtime coffee drinker you may consider having one cup of caffeinated coffee and remaining cups 50/50. Gradually change over to just 50/50 and then slowly decrease how many cups you have in the morning till it's only one cup. You might even consider booting coffee out of your life.....You might substitute Green Tea for it's antioxidant qualities!
Week Six: Eat four fruits a day. If you haven't been wild about eating fruits up till now then go easy eat two a day and work up to four.
Week Seven: Do you smoke? With the issuance of the recent Surgeon Generals report don't you agree it's clear how bad smoking is for your health. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/ If you are a heavy "nervous" type smoker I recommend you talking with your doctor about how to quit. You can also find a smoking cessation group in your area. Most hospitals have smoking cessation groups. Call the Respiratory Care department of your local hospital. The American Lung Association offers smoking cessation http://www.lungusa.org/ and also the American Cancer Society http://tinyurl.com/z4vju .
Especially if you are quitting smoking you should consider incorporating an excellent antioxidant supplement into your wellness regimen. Even if smoking is not an issue and you just want to be proactive about your wellness an antioxidant supplement is important.
I recommend: http://tinyurl.com/gt7ur
Week Eight: Incorporate some form of exercise into your daily regimen. Check with physician before starting an exercise regimen especially if you've been mostly sedentary for some time. Your exercise regimen could be as simple as walking. Get a pedometer and work up to 10,000 steps per day. But find some form of exercise you enjoy and DO IT!
These changes will get you started. You might also read the books:
"Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman,MD http://tinyurl.com/po88c
"Ultraprevention" by Mark Hyman,MD http://tinyurl.com/r7y28
So have you decided to change the things in your life which don't promote wellness?
Write to me! Let me know how things go! I care about you........
Wishing you wellness and joy!
Monday, July 03, 2006
Are you ready to get well?
Who wouldn’t rather be well?
In my business I spend countless hours talking to chronically
ill people. Some folks have convinced me they aren’t ready
to be well. There's actually lots of reasons some folks aren't ready
to be well. There's the folks who don't want to make a commitment
to change; the folks who get an inordinate amount of secondary gain
from being ill (this article isn't about them); and the folks who believe
there is no hope for a better life.
Will they increase the servings of salads and veggies in their diet,
cut back on red meat,
eat four fruits a day? No.
Stop eating processed foods? No.
Will they stop drinking soft drinks? No.
Will they stop using fake sweeteners? No.
Will they increase the amount of water they drink? No.
Will they stop smoking? No
Will they reach for another drug? Sadly, yes. Even when they are
on ten different drugs none of which have improved how they feel
or their quality of life; they will return to their physician for yet
another drug. Is this you? Hey don't feel bad. One can only do what
one knows to do. We have been trained to look to our doctors for
answers and doctors have been trained to give us drugs.
Now you're going to learn a better way.
If you keep doing what you’re doing you’re going to keep
getting what you’ve always got. Yes, if you have a chronic
illness you should be under a physicians care. But you
also need to change the things in YOUR life that
aren’t promoting wellness. By the way has your
doctor ever suggested that? Does your doctor ever talk to
you about eating fresh produce? Have you and your
doctor ever talked about what you eat? (did i hear a "no"?)
When it comes down to committing to the actions necessary to regain
their life they find a million reasons why they can’t. Some have
actually told me change is too inconvenient. Some have told
me that enjoying a soda is their one joy in life and they aren’t going to
give it up for anything.
OK. I understand that feeling. I was there once. But what if……
What if the chemicals in that soda are contributing to your
illness? Wouldn’t it be worth stopping to find out?
Is healthful change more inconvenient than illness? Is anything more
inconvenient than illness? I don’t think so. Why would anyone want
to be ill rather than make healthful changes that could give them their
life back? Sometimes it’s so easy to see why these folks are ill. But
there’s nothing I can do to help them until they are ready to help
themselves. It frustrates and saddens me.
I’m sure everyone wants to be well. Nobody likes the inconvenience
or physical and emotional pain illness causes. I think we all need to
understand there is not a good pharmaceutical answer for chronic
illnesses. Drugs treat symptoms not causes.
Nutrition on the other hand works at the level of the cause.
You would not think of putting gas in your car, but ignoring the oil or
transmission fluid. Your car would not run for long. Your body is the
same way. Put in the right nutrients and it works optimally.
Yes! It really is that simple. Your body is capable of healing itself if you
give it the nutrients it needs to do the job. You've seen the body heal
itself when you've had a paper cut or a broken bone. Think about it.
Your immune system can do even more when it's not starved for
Nutrition! That is the key! Unfortunately, we are killing ourselves with
processed foods, green harvesting and fake sweeteners. Do you know
why the government increased the serving amount of veggies on the
food pyramid? Because they KNOW we aren’t getting the nutrients we
need in our food supply. They also have supported the use of supplements,
as has the AMA.
For instance, to get the same amount of Vitamin A that was in one peach in 1953, you would have to eat 50 peaches today. It's that way with all our produce. We can't possibly eat enough to get all the nutrients our body needs.
That's why we MUST supplement.
You know I know what it’s like to be sick 24/7 for years. I know what it’s like to have a doc refer to me as "unfortunate" and "steroid dependent". I know what it’s like to have a disorder docs have no answers for and no real treatment which restores quality of life. I know what it’s like to not have hope for a better future.
Yes I know why it might be hard for you to believe ANYTHING will help. I really understand that. Western medicine tells you there are no answers. But put your disbelief aside and understand what I am telling you is logical and backed by science.
I am talking to you today as I celebrate two years in remission
because I made changes in my life. I took charge and kicked lupus’s
butt for a change. (It feels GOOD.)
YOU are no different than me. YOU CAN TOO!
So are YOU ready?
Will you increase the servings of salads and veggies in your diet,
cut back on red meat,
eat four fruits a day?
Stop eating processed foods?
Will you stop drinking soft drinks?
Will you stop using fake sweeteners?
Will you increase the amount of water you drink?
Will you stop smoking?
Will you commit to a supplement regimen?
If you are ready to get well I am here and more than
ready to help you make the healthful changes you need
Wishing you wellness and joy,
PS: You need to read these books. These three books will change your life.
"Eat To Live" by Joel Fuhrman, MD
"The Healing Power of 8 Sugars" by Allen Somersall, PhD
"The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, PhD
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Oct., 1987 - I was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. Somewhere in time it morphed into mostly Lupus.
I could rattle off many different symptoms, annoyances, frustrations, obstacles, physical and emotional pain it caused me, but if you are healthy my litany would mean nothing to you and if you are dealing with lupus (or any chronic potentially life-threatening disorder) you already understand. Anyway the dark side of my journey is not what I want to talk about. Not exactly.
The me I was died in October of 1987. You know what, despite all that happened on my journey from then to now; it's not bad that the me I was passed away. Oh that me was a good person. I worked hard in my job. I was truthful; a good friend to my friends and tried to do the right things in my life. I worshiped my Father God on Sundays and even talked to Him a lot in prayer in my everyday life. But I really didn't "get it".
I didn't "get" life. So many people don't.
When I died I didn't see a path to a bright light. I didn't feel warm and fuzzy. I didn't even know I died. I was like millions of other people going thru the motions of everyday life; who don't know they are alive. I really died before my diagnosis.
After my diagnosis I just kept putting one foot in front of the other doing my best to keep going; despite the physical and emotional limitations lupus set forth for me. Slowly after my diagnosis; I realized how much I had taken for granted and how appreciation enriches one's life. Lupus taught me so much. (And yes, even in remission I'm still learning.)
I've learned that most everyone is living "too fast". By our choices we can choose to live "fast" and miss the beauty and treasures of life, or choose to live slower, appreciatively, in a way which enriches our experience of the gift of life.
Are you "taking time" to live? Or are you "giving" time away?
Letting it slip thru the cracks of your life.
I learned as I sat on a park bench one day, how to have peace, by watching ants on the ground below scurry about their duties to their community. Ants really aren't unlike us. Except they work better together. The preciousness of time I learned to appreciate taught me that politics at work or game-playing in relationships of any kind is a tragic waste of precious time, energy and this gift called life. In feelings of anger, resentment, jealousy, hatred, envy or fear; there is only destruction, a tearing down of all that is good. Time is to fleeting, to precious to waste even one second in negativity.
WHAT IF....we all just learned to get along with respect for each other? How different would corporate life and the relationships in our lives be? How different would each person's life be? And how would that impact the world? Why I think it would be awesome! Don't you? I choose to envision that world.
I learned.....by taking time to experience peace....by taking time to really study the color and beauty of roses and other flowers in the park...and on my kitchen windowsill the value of taking time to appreciate beauty.... I see a richness of color in a red rose or lacy -ridged dianthus that before my journey with lupus I didn't used to see. It wows, thrills and amazes me!
Do you take time to foster your inner peace? Do you have flowers in your living space? You should. It's a good thing to do for you. Have you taken time to study their beauty? The appreciation of beauty creates inner peace. God is a wondrous artist. Our eyesight and the incredible beauty in nature are gifts of unexplainable pricelessness. Do you take time to
feel gratitude for these gifts?
I learned, as I observed people at work, at the mall, yes, even at church; folks don't smile anymore. They frown, they hold their shoulders in a tense, stressed manner and they hurry about their errands. But they don't smile, they don't say hello, their eyes don't meet yours. A mall full of people can still be a very impersonal place! Hmmmm.....
Isn't that a sad observation? I wish it weren't true. A smile given to another person is an immense gift. It lifts both people up. It carries on through-out the day. There's no reason we can't all give the gift of a smile to one another everyday. Please think about it.
WHAT IF......everyone took the time to compliment someone else everyday?
Even a stranger!
Hey, I really like that shirt you are wearing and it really looks good on you.
Hey you have really pretty eyes.
Gee you did a great job!
I know you worked really hard.
You're really good at_________.
Wow you sure keep your car looking spick and span.
I'm glad you're my friend you add so much to my life.
Those shoes really look sharp with that outfit.
You always look so nice!
You have a pretty smile you know!
How much would a few positive words change the world? It would change YOUR world and it would change THEIR world. And it would change it positively. Immensely.That which changes your world; ultimately changes THE world.
We can all change the world in a positive way with even tiny actions. We just have to INTEND to and then take action.
WHAT IF......you took the time everyday to just-for-you "slow down"?
Eat lunch in a park.
Read a personal development or self-help book each week or month.
Meditate for 30 minutes daily.
Set aside time to keep a journal.
Set aside time to take a walk for thinking, observing and appreciating beauty.
Take a bubble bath, sit in a sauna, get a massage.
Your life does not NEED to be hurried or frenzied or overwhelming. Have the intention to have control over your life. Intentionally stop the frenzied hurriedness. And think of the example you are giving to the children and young people in your life. Do you want their life to be frenzied? Life does not need to be that way. It's a choice. Let's teach our children better choices for a rich, full life.
So take time for you. It will impact your health in a positive way. It will enrich your life. You are not taking away from your family or friends by taking time for you. There will be more of you to give to others and a healthier, happier you. If you're happier, others around you will be happier. And healthier!
I learned, in my illness; illness is a teacher and we MUST be good students. Illness teaches us how little time we have and what is important for our survival. Illness is your body crying out for help; for nutrients it isn't getting and love it isn't feeling. When we give our body the nutrients it needs our immune system can overcome nearly every disorder. The exploding
incidence of auto-immune, cancer, heart disease, etc points to the necessity of taking charge of our health and responsibly giving our body the nutrients required to sustain life.
Processed foods, fake sugars and fast food are killing us.
I went to a health lecture the other night. The speaker said something life-altering .....it's not that we are living longer......it's that we are taking longer to die. Statistics are showing the average persons health is failing the last ten years of life. Is this the quality of life you want at the end of your life?
I learned.....we must be deliberate, thoughtful, serious and responsible about giving our bodies the nutrition it requires. I am in remission from Lupus because I cleaned up my act..... took responsibility for my wellness.... gave my psyche a gratitude mindset and my body the nutrition it needs.
What choices will you make?
Will you stop smoking?
Will you stop eating junk food ?
Will you take time for you ?
Will you smile at someone today?
In good choices, in being aware and attentive to your wellness, both physical and emotional, your whole life will be richer. You'll live everyday of your life, instead of dying before your diagnosis.
I wish you wellness and joy!
Friday, May 26, 2006
I get a newsletter "Simple Living" that is sooooo cool...below is an article from the latest issue.......just had to share......there is so much truth in it.....
Tomorrow I celebrate two years in remission from Lupus...two yrs of having my life back... Lupus took a lot away from me.....but it also gave me a lot...it gave me a perspective on life i wish i could bottle and gift to people. For a long time I've been searching for the right words to express what Lupus taught me. Some of the words for which I've been searching are in the article below, "Life is not a race. It’s an experience. It’s a miracle." Just as the lady who wrote the article below says....we all need to exhale and slow down at least 10%. Don't wait till an illness comes along and forces you to slow down......the anxiety in modern life is not necessary....it's something we do to ourselves by the choices we make.
Consider this. For a time I ran a pulmonary patient education program at the hospital. Every morning the computer system would generate a list for me of folks who were admitted the previous day. Not long after I began receiving the admissions list I noticed something. Most days most of the admissions were due to health problems that were preventable!
In wellness coaching with folks (especially folks coping with chronic illnesses) I always tell them two things:
1. Don't let western medicine tell you wellness is not an option. There was a time when my life consisted of either being at work or being in bed resting so I could go to work. That was my life. Most days were, quite frankly, miserable. My docs referred to me as "unfortunate" and "steroid dependent". I am neither of those things today. You don't have to be a statistic either.
2. Take responsibility for your health ...."Change the things in your life you can change".
I can guarantee you this if you don't get serious about your wellness (and specifically about your nutrition) you will at some time be forced to get serious about your illness. Cos that is what you will be: ill.
All good things take effort. If you are serious about wellness you will change the things in your life you can change to positively affect your wellness. Nope, it's not easy to change your habits. It's not easy to change your diet. It's not easy to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. All good things take effort and discipline. And yes you need to spend some money on supplements. Even physicians are realizing the need for supplementation. There has even been an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) regarding the need for supplementation. I will say this; taking care of yourself does reduce the anxiety in your life. When you are truly taking care of yourself; you make better choices and your priorities change. Where are your priorities? It's so easy to be sucked up into the whirlwind of busy-ness....but what is really important. You are.
If you want to talk about what you can change in your life to enhance your wellness email me email@example.com to set up a free 30 minute coaching session via telephone.
Someone helped me and I want to help you.
Wishing you Wellness and Joy!
PS: ohhhhh and guess what I decided to do to celebrate my two yr remission anniversary tomorrow......I thought and thought about it. I wanted to do something special. Finally it came to me.... as you probably know I live on a lake....I'm going to take a pitcher of iced tea, my camera, a good book and a loaf of bread and go sit in my favorite parkbench on the boardwalk by the lake and feed the ducks and enjoy my book. That is special cos when my Lupus was active I couldn't be in the sun. It is priceless to me to have the freedom to sit in the sun. That's what wellness means to me......freedom.
I hope you enjoy the article below from the Simple Living newsletter...........
She Did It!
Eat, Pray, Love
I love seeking out people who live life on their own terms, and Elizabeth Gilbert just might take the cake. She shares her amazing journey in her book, Eat, Pray, Love. What a story! What a life!
Elizabeth’s story begins on her bathroom floor where, for the 47th consecutive night, she sobbed so hard “that a great lake of tears and snot was spreading before me on the bathroom tiles, a veritable Lake Inferior (if you will) of all my shame and fear and confusion and grief.” Elizabeth was heading for a divorce, and, ultimately, to a deeply personal journey to recapture her soul.
After reading Elizabeth’s book and engaging in a long, wonderful conversation with her, I now understand her raw emotions during that difficult time in her life.
I also understand how much influence society has on us to behave in certain ways, and how easy it is to fall prey to these forces. I know how meaningless life can seem when you live without reflection and don’t take time to know yourself deeply. And I understand just how gut wrenching it is to untangle yourself from all of these expectations when you finally take the time to know yourself.
This is exactly what happened to Elizabeth.
Her Story Is Everybody’s Story
In some ways, Elizabeth’s story is yours, mine, and everybody’s. She had done what many of us do—she started out following her heart and soul, but then began paying more attention to society and the media. I did the same thing years ago, and it wasn’t until I discovered simplicity that I was able to find my way back. So, I can definitely relate.
For Elizabeth, it was simply expected that in her late 20s, she would get married and live the traditional American dream—so she did. It’s hard to march to a different tune when societal messages are so strong and coming at you from all directions. That was just one of the reasons her marriage came to an end.
She explains, “My marriage had many reasons for ending, but what was so suffocating to me was the relentless accumulation and acquisition that seemed to come inevitably with American marriage.
“There is sort of an autopilot response—you get married and you have very little and then you start to accumulate automatically. Mortgages, cars, furniture, appliances, and designer hammers. There was really nothing we didn’t have and so I found it very suffocating and very shocking that we were making money but not having any. The only commodity we didn’t have and couldn’t buy was time and space. We had gotten sucked into that whole cycle of acquisition, work, and stress.”
Before marriage, Elizabeth had been a traveler. She used to work as a waitress and bartender for six months at a time, living a “very small life” while saving money. Once she saved enough money, she would travel around the world for another six months, then repeat the process over again.
After marriage, she ultimately worked her way into a better paying position in magazine publishing, but she didn’t feel much satisfaction.
She says, “There I was, 30 years old, making a lot of money and I didn’t have a dime or a free week to do anything like what I used to do at 23. I was appalled and deeply offended by that. I remember thinking, ‘Wait a minute, what’s happening? Why are we working so hard? For what?’”
Yearning for a Bigger, Smaller Life
Elizabeth began her incredible journey after her divorce. Having gone through a tough, depressing time, she knew she needed to rejuvenate her soul.
At that point a published author, she was able to convince her book publisher to let her use her author’s advance to fund a 12-month soul searching trip—four months in Italy immersing herself in pleasure, four months in India at an ashram praying and meditating, and four months in Bali learning love, balance, and harmony.
Elizabeth left America mired in self-hatred and taking antidepressants to get through the day. But she came back a year later with true love for herself and no need for medication. She also returned with a deep, heartfelt devotion to simplicity. I applaud Elizabeth for the intensely hard work she did to clear out her emotional demons.
On the last leg of her journey in Bali, Elizabeth met her partner, a Brazilian named Felipe. They live now in a small rental house in Elizabeth’s hometown of Philadelphia.
“I don’t own a house now, purposely,” she says. “I’m a renter, and I’m really happy with that. It’s a sense of freedom. I know it flies in the face of convention because we’ve really wrapped into our lives the idea that security equals home ownership. I think for a lot of people, home ownership does equal security. If you have a family and you’re attached to a certain place and have deep roots, I think that can be a very nice way to live. But it’s not me. As I’ve gone around the country, I’ve found that there are a lot of people who have all of those things, but have the same questions I did—they are not sure they want all of this.
“Security to me is freedom. The most light my life can be is the most secure I feel.”
Elizabeth also makes it a habit to practice the same kind of simplicity she did while traveling. She knows that it is her salvation and her ticket to the life that she loves. “I live by the same rule that I have for my backpack, which is if anything new comes in, you have to get rid of something of equal weight. That’s how I keep my life very simple.
“I don’t live a Spartan life—it’s a really sweet little house. It has just what we need. We have a bed, a couch, and a nice rug. There’s a lot of pretty artwork on the walls, but not a lot of clutter elsewhere. It’s also very easy to leave. If we want to go to another country, we just lock up the door and go. It affords us enormous liberty. We have a small house and a big world. It’s exactly what I was longing for in the last days of my marriage—I longed for a bigger, smaller life.”
Elizabeth acknowledges that it’s an effort to live the way she does now. “It means constantly pushing against the full frontal assault of what the entire American culture is based on, which is this massive consumer economy and all the advertising dollars that are put behind that,” she explains.
“I think what happens in people’s lives is that they go on autopilot. It’s not just about the stuff we’re told to buy, but there’s also a very powerful, not even very hidden agenda about the person you need to be and what you need to have accomplished and acquired by each age. For instance, I did a book reading in Texas and a girl in the audience raised her hand and said ‘There’s something wrong with me that I’m 24 and not married yet.’
“To not buy into these types of ideas means constant vigilance. The constant vigilance is weighing what they are selling against what you really want. Do you really want this season’s perfect raincoat in three colors?
“I have to say that when I tell people what I’m doing with my life, they seem to want it. So I think there’s a real yearning for bigger, smaller lives.”
Life-Saving Lessons in India
Elizabeth had been meditating and following a spiritual path before she left on her year-long journey, but gained light years of insight when she spent four months living in an ashram in India, meditating silently for hours and hours every day.
She says, “I had some very transcendent experiences there that anyone would have if they sat down for four months and went deep inside. But the most lasting things were all of those hours I spent by myself in silence and the new contract that I drew up with myself. The contract is of nonviolence toward me. It’s not easy. As everybody who has sat in meditation knows, all of those hours come to self-hatred pretty quickly because you see the workings of your mind, and it is so disappointing. You see all of your memories and all of your failures, and all of your disappointments. You see all of your grievances, grudges, and petty desires. It’s a pretty ugly scene.
“But when I stayed with meditation, the most important piece for me was not those couple of seconds of divine transcendence that I felt. It was the months of work that made me break down and get to this deeper part of my heart that was finally able to say ‘I will not harm you. I’m here to look after you and I love you, and I will treat you with compassion and respect.’ That is what I took home from India. That’s the most important thing from my journey—my holy grail that I won’t let me hurt me.
“From that place of nonviolence toward myself, it’s a lot easier to be compassionate toward everybody else. The hardest person to forgive and embrace is yourself, because you know what a jerk you are! It’s easier to forgive other people because you don’t see their horrors the way you see your own when you are in silence for four months.”
Living an Artist’s Life
Elizabeth adores her simple life because it enables her to live more of an artist’s life.
She and Felipe never go out to dinner because they enjoy cooking so much. Their only argument is in the kitchen, over who gets to cook. They have one inexpensive car, a Toyota, and love staying home and walking in the woods. It’s the perfect environment for her regular meditation.
“Meditation is still a big part of my life,” she says, “but I don’t try to live like I’m in an Indian ashram. I’ve freed myself from the tyranny of discipline of hard-core expectations. There’s such heavy expectations on Americans…how rigidly that perfection, accomplishment, competition, and achievement is demanded of us. It’s endless. Everyone seems to be stuck in its jaws.
Along with these types of unrealistic expectations, Elizabeth is also concerned about the huge amount of stress most Americans endure. “There’s an enormous amount of stress that people are asked to consider normal—it’s really an intense culture. Before I left, when I was living in New York City, I couldn’t really see it. But now, living with a South American, he’s always asking, ‘what’s with these people?’
“It’s funny that whenever I’m in New York City now, I can see it as the pulsing center of world stress. I’m sure it leaks through every strata of society wherever people are trying to be successful. Felipe was watching the hectic pace the other day and said you can see it in their faces when they’re walking. In the suburbs, you see it in their driving patterns.
“He said, ‘I just can’t help believing that if everyone made an agreement to bring the frenetic level down 10 percent, it wouldn’t change productivity...if everyone could just exhale and slow down by 10 percent. How much of that anxiety is really necessary?’”
Do You Have to Add Anxiety to the Shopping List?
“That’s a question I ask myself when I’m getting sucked in—when I’m in a rush and I feel my chest grip,” Elizabeth explains. “How much of this stress and adrenalin is necessary? Is there a way to bring it down a little? Do you have to add anxiety to the shopping list? Will it get the shopping done any faster? Do you really need to be buying what you’re buying?
“I think this is more what I noticed people in other countries don’t do. But granted, it would be difficult to find a culture more different from the U.S. than Bali. It’s something they understand as a culture, very deeply, that life is simply not a race. It’s an experience. It’s a miracle. It’s a tradition. It’s a lot of things, but it’s not a race or a competition.
“When I see people walking down the streets of cities listening to their iPods, with everyone rushing, trying to beat the next light, I see this human animal that’s turned into an adrenalin-pumping machine. Of course everybody is stressed and medicated—you need to be to come down from that.
“Instead of people unthreading their lives to figure out why they are so unhappy, exhausted, depleted, they go out and get a prescription. I’m not at all against antidepressants because I think they are miraculous drugs. But our brain chemistry is very influenced by our external and internal environment.
“I like the idea of people increasingly trying to create safe, clean, healthy environments for themselves. That’s harder than taking a pill. It means doing a lot of work. I did a lot of work on myself. It was a huge renovation project, but it’s possible.”
Stillness Is a Necessity
So how can you follow in Elizabeth’s amazing path? It’s all about finding space in your life for what’s important.
She says, “I ask people to see if they can carve out of the grid of their lives a small space of stillness. Whether that’s a physical space like a room, or a temporal space like 20 minutes, allow yourself the necessity (in America we call it luxury, but it’s really a necessity) to ask yourself in as much quietness as you can find, what you really want.
“It’s hard to find the answer when you’re being bombarded with images telling you what you should want. Then slowly, piece by piece, see if you can permit yourself to build, as closely as possible, what you want.”
Elizabeth sums up her year, “I got what I was looking for on my journey. It was to find a way to take total custodial responsibility for my own life.
“I feel free.”
You can read about Elizabeth and her work by visiting her Web site, http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/.
You can subscribe to Simple Living at http://doctorspreferred.com/Apps/DCS/mcp?r=70046RRK44mrM01200042hKs046RRK0moSTnoSPC and I highly recommend it! And nope I'm not affiliated in any way. I'm simply a fan.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
In a paper titled "Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking", natural health physician Dr. Joseph Mercola has stated:
"Recent research shows that microwave oven cooked food suffers severe molecular damage. When eaten, it causes abnormal changes in human blood and immune systems. Not surprisingly the public has been denied details on these significant health dangers " (http://www.mercola.com/)
Dr Mercola is basing his comments on a ton of research which is available to all of us. I will present just a few tidbits of research in this article.
The first scientist to conceive and carry out a quality clinical study on the effects microwaved nutrients have on the blood and physiology of the human body was a Swiss scientist by the name of Dr. Hans Ulrich Hertel. His study stated, “Food cooked or defrosted in a microwave oven causes changes in the blood indicative of a developing pathological process as is also found in a carcinoma [cancer].” In a swift answer to his study an industry trade organization went to court and had Dr Hertel gagged! The gag order was reversed in 1998.
In the December 1989 issue of the medical journal, Lancet, Dr Lita Lee noted microwaved milk or baby formula not only depletes the vitamin content but converts certain amino acids (the constituents of protein) into relatedsubstances that are biologically inactive.
Researchers at the Stanford University Medical Center stated in the April 1992 Journal of Pediatrics the changes in human breast milk which was microwaved just enough to warm it, included the destruction of 98% of its immunogloban-A antibodies and 96% of its liposome activity (which inhibits bacterial infections).
The problem with microwaving is two-fold, health is impacted by the changes in the food caused by microwaving and also by how the body deals with these altered foods. Microwaved foods are not only deficient in vitamins and essential minerals; cancer causing agents are created when food is microwaved.
The nutrients in our foods already gets decreased by our use of green harvesting and the lack of nutrients in our soil. It's sheer insanity to further deplete the nutrients in our food by microwaving it. With all the hits our bodies take from environmental toxins it is imperative we safeguard our nutrition in every way we can.
Convenience doesn't look so good now does it? As always natural whole unprocessed foods and non-irradiating cooking methods are the healthiest! Bon Appetit!
Kopp, William. "Microwave Madness: The Effects ofMicrowave Apparatus on Food and Humans" in Perceptions, May/June 1996
Alexander, Gary. "Throw It In The Microwave" inChronogram, February 2001, p. 9
Wishing you wellness and joy,
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
It also forces you to think about what you are planning to eat, therefore lessening the chance of a quick drive-thru high fat, high sodium, junk meal. Dare I ask you to commit to NOT eating at fast food places for the next month? Dare I ask you to cook real food for a month? You know you just may not want to go back to those drive-thru places after a month. Hey, I'm not kidding.
For the next month before you eat anything I want you to ask yourself: Is it nutritious? I want you to think about what you eat. Keep a food journal, but expand it a little. Write not just about what you eat, but how you feel about your level of wellness and how you feel about the changes you are making to improve your state of wellness.
I would like you to write me about your progress if you'd like to. You can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'll be your cheerleader, your listener......your partner in wellness.
There have been a few books which have made a lasting change in how I take care of myself. I'd like to share these books with you. I hope you find them as enlightening and helpful as I did!
Let's get started!
First, let's look at some books about nutrition.
Dr Joel Fuhrman has written an excellent book regarding nutrition.
"Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss"
This book is especially good for folks with auto-immune disorders!
You can buy it here: http://tinyurl.com/h4lxo
Stephen Nugent, PhD has written an excellent book, "The Missing Nutrients". Do you think you eat well? Do you think you are getting all the nutrients your body needs to function optimally? Read this easily understood book to discover what your diet is missing. This is a not-to-be missed book. Get it today for the health of both you and your family.
You can buy it here: http://tinyurl.com/ogw9h
Mark Hyman and Mark Liponis, both doctors, have written an excellent book I think everyone should read!
"Ultraprevention: The 6 Week Plan That Will Make You Healthy For Life"
Lots of good info in this book! This is a life-changing awesome book with an emphasis on prevention of health problems.
You can buy it here: http://tinyurl.com/ecfxp
Next post we'll talk about exercise! But you don't have to wait till then. If it's ok with your physician, why not start today to incorporate more exercise into your life. You can do it in small increments. Park farther away from the store when you go shopping, don't use the automatic doors at the store, (use the door which requires you to expend a little energy), take a walk at lunch-time or before you go to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you give it some thought, I am sure you can come up with more small opportunities for exercise in your daily life.
OK, these books will get you started! Read them and go get some REAL food!
Think how GOOD you will feel knowing how much better you are taking care of yourself!
Until next post.......Happy Reading!!!!
and don't forget to let me know how you're doing!
Wishing you wellness and joy,
Sunday, March 12, 2006
You must have a balance between mind, body and spirit. They are interconnected. If negative, your thoughts and attitudes can play havoc with your body and spirit . If positive your thoughts and attitudes will strengthen your body and spirit. Your physical self wants to be well. In fact, the immune system is "geared" to healing your body. You have seen your body repair itself when you have had a paper cut or a broken bone or the sniffles. Illness is your physical self screaming that it isn't getting what it needs to work optimally. It is your self out of balance. Your physical body doesn't just need vitamins, minerals and glyconutrients. Illness begs the questions; How am I NOT taking care of myself? What do I need to change in my life? Does my life make me happy or am I stressed? One should ask oneself those questions periodically even if not experiencing illness.
In my life, the darkness in my journey with Lupus gave way to a light, to the magic of life, which I may have never seen so well without my lupus journey. Through my journey with Lupus (from which I am about to celebrate 2 yrs in remission), I found magic in THIS world. And you can too! It is our birthright. We are meant to live an abundant and enriched life! Indeed a life with no limits.
My journey back to wellness taught me how we limit ourselves.
We limit ourselves when we:
1. eat unconsciously - without thinking about what's best for our physical self
2. allow negative thoughts and attitudes to dominate
3. live unauthentically
4. settle for less in our relationships
5. fail to exercise regularly
6. fail to take time to be awed, to be grateful, to give back
How many of those can you relate too? Undoubtedly (and unfortunately) this is not an exhaustive list of how we limit ourselves. With a little thought I'm sure you can add to this list. Perhaps, you might give some thought to how you limit yourself and how you can "unlimit" yourself! It is in "unlimiting" yourself; by being willing to change and grow, by taking responsibility for your total wellness, that you will experience life's magic at it's best.
Wishing you wellness and joy,
This article may be reprinted in it's entirety including title, authors name and website.