Traditions

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Having the unique opportunity of viewing the botanical gardens at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, NV is a true pleasure.  Every few months the staff work tirelessly to present a visual floral feast to celebrate the current recognized holiday.  Without regard to religion or country or creed – each worldwide ethnic traditional celebration is displayed.

Here in the United States we are entering one of our periods of traditional celebration – Thanksgiving,  Christmas and New Year’s.  These are our traditions, our celebrations of development, remembrance and new beginnings.  We express ourselves and our happiness by spending more time with family and friends.  Our gift giving and meal sharing is our attempt at making everyone feel happy and secure.  We want to party and encourage others to join us in celebrating our traditions.

Traditions are our link to the past and offer hope that our surroundings in the future will be stable and secure.  All ethnic groups have similar celebrations focusing on their traditions – it grounds us all to the past yet offers hope for the future.

Traditions, and the celebrations of them, are fast approaching.  We all revel in our ability to freely enjoy their dual meaning: the past the future. Enjoy your traditions and those of others.

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More Time

Jennifer Brea was a PhD student at Harvard when her body began to rebel against her. She was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

In her TED talk launched January, 2017 entitled “UNREST,” she describes her harrowing journey through symptom management and finally correct diagnosis.  This debilitating disease stole her energetic, promise-filled life.

Her heart felt sympathy for the other yet unidentified people who carry the invisible disability is heart breaking.  Jennifer was forced to give up a youthful, promising professional life to a debilitating, little-recognized medical condition that will slowly cannibalize her ability to enjoy the pleasures of life.

She’s a beacon: a light that shines a path urging us to use our time wisely.  She thought that she had more time – time for: experiencing the pleasures of life, discovering the truths hidden in books, spending quality time with friends and family and earning an advanced degree at a distinguished university.  Jennifer has reevaluated her life based on new goals that are every bit as challenging.

She has developed a new voice.  A voice that will stand the test of time.  One that will give us all MORE TIME.  Her example shows us that by using our time wisely together and developing a collective voice we can integrate what we know into the challenges of the future. So, my challenge to you is: Check out Jennifer Brea.

Comfort with Life

20171005_123354This cartoon appears in a recent 2017 edition of Reader’s Digest.  Obviously, it offers a relaxed slat on life.  This  viewpoint is reinforced in a recent interview with Art Garfunkel (11/4/2017) when he states that he has reached a period in his life when he is “comfortable with life.”

Certainly, this is a broad term cultivated after weathering life’s many trials and challenges.  Often we wonder: “why am I enduring this horrible situation?” There seems no rhyme or reason for a negative or bad experience to enter our otherwise normal or calm life.  I am not a “bad” person.  I have not intentionally hurt someone.  Yet,  there it is – a great big challenge sitting smack dab in front of you.

So, you gather all of the positive coping strategies that you used in the past to overcome the challenge.  This approach works.  You know it works because it has worked in the past.  You develop a strategy, the strategy works and provides harmony in your life.  This is a path to feeling comfortable in your life.

As you work through issues in your life, instead of ignoring them, you realize that only by addressing barriers that challenge your comfort level will you develop a strategy.  This attitude becomes comfortable.  Being comfortable, feels comfortable. You like the feeling and want to repeat it.  You develop strategies to keep experiencing the feeling.

Before long you too are comfortable with life… Continue reading

Blood/Blood Clots

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A basic definition of the blood system is a red liquid that circulates in the heart, veins and arteries of man and animals.  It’s also a portal system that stabilizes our body functions – nutrition, hydration, elimination, circulation.  Each of these systems functions in a balanced manner.  When this balance is disrupted the system breaks down.

Healthy blood coagulates, or clots.  In a recent article (published by Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada) this process is explained as a normal process to stop bleeding after an injury is sustained.  The article goes on explain that platelets and plasma proteins inside the blood allow this to happen by forming a solid mass over the broken blood vessel.  Normally, this clot will dissolve – it’s a natural process.

This is a good example of our body “healing itself.”  Our marvelous body can generally do this if it is given the correct tools to do its work.  We are in charge of giving our body the tools.  Our tool belt should contain adequate hydration, nutritious food, restorative rest, enjoyable relaxation, supportive social networks and a stimulating career path.

We may not always be able to keep our tool box filled with the needed equipment but at least attempting to keep it stocked with most of the tools that we use on a daily basis may get us through the hard times.  When we are in danger of “throwing a clot” we want to have right tools at our disposal to handle the emergency.

Dialysis

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Dialysis is the separation of unequal, diluted substances through a membrane. This membrane often has numerous, minuscule permeable tentacles interwoven through flexible fibers.  This process often purifies the substance.

Medicine uses this process to purify the blood of someone who has experienced kidney failure.  It replaces the process that a body’s functioning kidney would perform. The patient usually has a permanent shunt implanted into their body for easy access of the chronic procedure.  Since impurities are filtered out of the body, the patient needs to surrender to the process on a regular basis.

Having observed many dialysis patients, I understand the tension between submitting to life-long medical procedures and the freedom to enjoy good health.  Dialysis means that someone or something has control over an intimate aspect of your life.  However, it also is obvious that not submitting to the procedure will endanger your health or end your life.

Such is the dichotomy of life. Often, we don’t want to do what is good for us!

Is It Obvious?

20150131_135823This festive door is decorated for a Mardi Gras celebration.  The wreath is a collection of bright colors and varied textures.  Visitors would immediately know that the people in this home are in a festive mood and ready for a holiday party.

When people walk by you on a public street can they immediately sense what is going on inside?  Are you healthy?  Do you exercise on a regular basis? Have you taken time to reflect on your personal needs?  Have you chosen your favorite form of exercise and designed a routine that fits your lifestyle?

We all are faced each day with a variety of choices.  How we make those choices determines how we spend our time.  Hopefully, when we are walking down the street, doing our grocery shopping, going to the library or attending a social event the general public can visually see how we are spending our time.  It should be obvious that we are making the correct choices if we are standing tall, walking straight with shoulders back and feeling healthy and well-rested.

Next time you are in the position to make a quick observation, it should be obvious.

 

 

A Little Sugar

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I overheard a conversation: “My doctor said that I have a little sugar in my blood.  I don’t know how it got there.  My doc said that I need to get it out.”  I admit that I was ease-dropping.  The couple was talking about the husband’s recent diagnosis of diabetes.

The man needed more information about his medical condition.  Hopefully, the doctor was following up with education classes.  Possibly, the doctor was referring to the term “A1c.”  This is a reference used by medical providers to assess the level of glucose in a persons blood at any given time – it is a marker on the red blood cell.  There are certain guidelines that gauge if this A1c level is in a healthy parameter for the patient.  We all need to know how our bodies function and education from professional sources is the correct avenue from which to receive that information.

Our bodies function on a delicate balance of hormones, enzymes, signals, pathways, connections, feedback systems and response loops.  In order for all of these units to interact properly we must provide the fuel.  Fuel keeps the entire engine engaged.  Of course, the man needs “a little sugar in his blood.”  He also needs proteins, “good” fats, complex carbohydrates and trace minerals circulating through his system to keep his fine-tuned body in good working order. We all need “a little sugar” just try to make it the right kind of sugar.

I maintain a web site – “HubCityWellness.com” that outlines credible medical resources which may be of interest.

 

…in the islands

20170810_074501I recently took a trip to a tropical island.  It offered a chance to physically and mentally relax.  The option to focus on my health and wellness presented itself in a most unexpected manner.  As I was standing on the sandy beach I was gently reminded that life, as well as nature, has a certain “ebb and flow” to it.  This cycle doesn’t depend on a human intervention or a mechanical manipulation.  No one has to set a clock or develop a time sheet to optimize this cycle.  A computerized spreadsheet has nothing to do with the cycle’s performance or occurrence.

Natural issues such as water, air, rotations and awareness of nature’s subtle signs perpetuates the cycles.  I was instantly aware of the similarity between the nature of the ocean and the nature of my body.  Each of us has an “ebb and flow” to our system.  We have functions, and cycles, that occur within our bodies that seem to operate without our knowledge.  Our responsibility is to provide the water, air, nutrition and awareness of our bodies subtle signs so that our systems can continue to perpetuate its’ cycles. Often, our challenge is to provide the optimum “fuel” so that our cycles can operate at their most efficient level.

Do we get enough rest?  When did we exercise last? Have we had enough water intake?  Did we eat our fruits and vegetables? Do we give our bodies enough protein for fuel? Are we aware that our minds and bodies are physically connected – our thoughts affect our actions?  Did we look into our mirror today, and smile?  Did we tell our loved ones that we care for them?

We are living beings operating on cycles.  These cycles need to be nourished and protected.  Someday you may find yourself standing on the beach of a tropical island – you want to feel “in-tune” with the cycles.

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.