Support

20141005_141728Yesterday I attended a panel discussion at a Public Library entitled: Writer’s Workshop. The roundtable dialogue presented various options for authors.  The main topic centered around developing a strong social media presence and building a lasting readership for independent authors.

The topic of “support” was prominent among both the presenters and  audience.  Having attended many conferences over my thirty-five years in the nursing profession, I have often found the idea of support a lacking issue.  In the professional world, colleagues often attempt to compete and corrupt their fellow workers in order to succeed in their work environment.

However, this is not the case in the “indie” author world.  Independent authors use the idea of “support” as the medium with which all succeed.  Only by helping fellow authors, do all succeed.  Supporting struggling writers to find professional review avenues or locate specific publishing professionals can be a valuable tool for an aspiring novelist.  Working with these resources can often be the one inspiring event that skyrockets a career into the public arena.  It is like a lone butterfly discovering a blooming field of spring flowers and then signaling his group that the nectar is ready – all can feast on the resources.

Ask yourself: “How can I support the area in which I live?”

Nutrition

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I recently enjoyed a conversation with a health conscious friend.  The topic of nutrition centered around carbohydrates.  My friend immediately said, “I never eat bread, it’s got carbs in it.”  Well, that began our  extended discussion about “simple” and “complex” carbohydrates and their place in a well balanced nutrition plan.  I say “nutrition plan” instead of “diet” because that’s what it is a – life long plan to improve and maintain good nutrition.

Our bodies need “complex” carbohydrates for brain food and the intricate functions that it performs every minute of every day.  Without them we can not think, walk, talk or interact with each other in a coherent manner.  Complex carbohydrates are those wonderful foods that slowly release useful sugars our body uses to perform the necessary functions of life – whole grains, beans, legumes, etc., that keep our internal factories running at an efficient level.

So, the next time you have a conversation and the topic of nutrition enters the arena, add the idea that “complex” carbohydrates might just be a good source of brain food.

Celebrate the 4th

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The bright lights of Las Vegas will certainly be shining as we celebrate Independence Day.  This city seems to take great joy in displaying the ability of expression.  Just looking at the glittering lights makes me feel happy.  The scene reflects an oasis in the desert which beckons far and wide with possibilities and potential.  It’s a part of America that grabs you by the collar and says, “come here and have a good time.”

However, the responsible adult in all of us knows that a “good time” also involves making responsible choices and good decisions.  This is what forms the greatness of America.  It is a country that offers immense opportunity and possibility while presenting clear and true guidelines for success.  Our job, as responsible citizens, is to look at all of our options and pick the right choice, the best fit for our needs.  This choice will be the one that keeps us healthy, prosperous and motivated in a positive manner.

So, when you are celebrating your freedom this holiday season, make good choices…

Endorphins

20170528_123447These neurotransmitters are electric signals within the nervous system that interact with our opiate receptors  in the brain to reduce our perception of pain.  They act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine.  At least 20 different types of endorphins have been identified in humans according to a website – MedicineNet.com (7-25-2017).

When our bodies sense stress and/or pain these endorphins are released to interact with the targeted receptors to decrease our perception of distress.  This natural process does not lead to addiction.  We feel euphoric, calm, satisfied, healthy and comfortable.  Studies show that activities such as acupuncture, massage, eating certain foods, i.e. chili peppers and chocolate, can also stimulate these endorphins.  Additionally, healthy sexual activity with a loving partner and meditation has proven to release these helpful chemicals.

It may be a good idea to engage in activities that help us to feel good on a regular basis, especially since we have found some that aren’t addictive and don’t seem to have adverse side effects.  So, the next time you are feeling stressed or angry or lonely or are over come by a general feeling of dread, try engaging in an enjoyable act.  Go out and release some endorphins.

Be Open To Improving…

20130704_214725“Be open to improving,” this was a statement in a medical article that caught my eye.  As I read the article it discussed the idea of expanding our everyday thoughts and actions to include ideas that we hadn’t tried before or that seemed to difficult to perform.

What a great idea.  Since our bodies and minds are made to move, what better way to test the limits of both.  If we only do what is “known” and what we are familiar with everyday, then our bodies and our minds develop a pathway into the “known.”  It’s logical then that those pathways are the most developed.  But what about the millions and millions of other UNUSED pathways in our bodies?

Imagine all the neurons that never get used.  What about the muscles that never get enough exercise or stretching?  How long has it been since your lungs took a nice, full, deep breath of crystal, clean air?  When was the last time your eyes saw the most gorgeous sunrise known to mankind?  When did your feet touch the top of a high mountain in an exhausting climb?  What about those upper arm muscles having a good, challenging workout? Can you remember when you engaged in an exhilarating conversation with a group of friends discussing a passionate subject?

These are all things which need to be explored.  Only you know the answer.  The answer will only come to you if you are – open to improving.

Have a stimulating day…

“Family” Reunions

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During the summer months some families celebrate reunions. In today’s society the definition of family seems to include an extended vocabulary.  The definition may include the traditional – mom, day and the kids.  Or the blended family may be more current with a step mother, step brothers and sisters.  Possibly, a set of two mothers who are raising an adopted, foreign-born child, is the most descriptive of family.  Or even the more extended definition should include the “family” we belong to in our public life – school and work.

If we look at the extended definition, then consider the recent college and high school graduates who are entering into our ever-expanding public life.  These new “entrants” will soon be looking at their 10th, 20th and 50th class reunions.  In most situations, high school and college are the institutions where we form our public family.

We have all experienced the situation when we receive notification that it’s time for our high school or college reunion.  Sometimes we are excited, sometimes scared, sometimes we dread even the thought of reliving our challenging school days.  Whatever our situation, we usually relive our experience through memories which may or may not be accurate.  We seem to convince ourselves that history is a certain way simply by talking to ourselves – we decide it is and so it is.

Whether it’s our public or private family,  we all have memories of our interactions and experiences.  However, they may not be accurate.  The best way to put a true spin on our memories is to attend the reunion and spend time with other family members who helped formed those memories.

So, if you are invited to a reunion this summer – go.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

Recovery

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Whenever we are not at our best we need to recover.  Sometimes it’s because we are ill or we have been a little sad or we have been physically injured.  This process can be from a perceived or actual problem.  It is a time of replenishment and redemption and rescue.  Our body and our mind need to quiet – to be still.

This is a difficult process in our society, especially today.  Our society is geared toward achieving, doing, producing and showing results in our endeavors.  That normally means that we are in motion.  We are using our energy to make things happen – make events occur.  We are in a whirlwind of activity which tends to be in constant motion.

Stepping back from the “tornado of turmoil” can take courage.  We can be addicted to the action and activity just as we can be addicted to any other adrenalin producing activity – it changes the chemistry in our brain.  However, it is necessary to take the backward step if we are to be calm and quiet.  Our mental, and ultimately physical health, demands that we make attempts to quiet the noise of our lives.  Remember that you can take the step because – you are recovering.

Invisible Disabilities

An unseen physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity is a general definition of invisible disabilities.  We often see a person using the blue and white disability placard in a public parking area and we question the use.  The person appears to be able to walk and move without using major appliances such as a wheelchair or crutches.  How can the person be “disabled?”  We automatically make a judgment based on what we assume is that person’s situation.

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If the person has both legs and both arms, they should be able to walk around and function perfectly fine for themselves.  There should be no need for any additional consideration or help.  They should not be entitled to any special assistance…  Again, we make an assumption based on what we know not on what the reality may be for the other person.  We place our own reality on the other person.  All of us are guilty of doing this at one time or another in our lives – even the most compassionate of us.

I’m talking about the disabilities that we can’t physically see.  The medical and psychological issues that limit or impair the  ability to easily function as the majority of healthy individuals.  This area opens up into a valley of unseen vistas: low vision, respiratory, cardiac, muscular, auditory, sensatory senses of the body that limit the persons ability to ambulate easily through the normal activities of life.  Maybe it’s the person who parks in the disabled parking space who is undergoing chemotherapy treatments and just has enough energy that particular day to drive themselves to the local store and pick up their medication from the pharmacy.  Possibly it’s the daughter who has just been released from the hospital after a kidney transplant and she struggles through her first trip to the grocery store to restock her kitchen cabinets.  Or it could be a husband who has just been admitted to a hospice program for his terminal disease and he wants to make his last trip to the hardware store to buy some tools for that “one last repair job at the house.”  Yet it may be the wife who is the repeated victim of intimate partner violence and suffers chronic, debilitating back injury from her abusive husband.

Who are we to judge the use the “disabled” parking space?

Easter Sunrise

An awakening of the day – a slight chill lingers from the evening veil. This is my favorite part of the day.  Easter heralds an awakening of spring and the morning of that day is the cumulative invitation to all the earth to being anew.

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We use symbols to represent this invitation – new born chicks, cute little bunnies, soft baskets filled with sweets, colorful Sunday costumes and varieties of attractive flowers. These hallmarks represent an “open arms” attitude to the day.  We view these icons and feel peaceful, hopeful and grateful.

As you experience the joyful attitude in your heart make it a full day!