Here we are in the middle of winter. It’s a gray-sky day and there’s snow and ice on the ground. We are all hoping for a decline in the prevalence of the Covid virus. Some of us have been vaccinated and some have not.
“Immunity” is a frequent word in our conversations, as we talk about the health of our physical bodies. We all have antibodies that contribute to our immune system and protect our good health. Some antibodies occur naturally; some come from fighting off a specific infection or disease; and some antibodies can come from vaccinations.
One way we develop antibodies to various organisms begins with a gradual exposure in our environment from infancy through childhood into adult life. Most of us played outside as children. We played in the dirt; we had domestic animals around us; we were in constant contact to germs and bacteria of all kinds. We ate the cookie that fell on the ground. We wiped our nose on a muddy sleeve. All of those different kinds of germs and microorganisms helped to strengthen and expand the capacity of our immune systems to develop a larger repertoire for fighting new environmental agents
The holiday season is the season for giving. The problem is we are always giving. We give of our time, money, and energy, especially during the holidays. However, in order to give, we must know how to receive. Give yourself some gifts of Holiday cheer!
Give yourself the gift of nurturing you. This is a time for you to give to yourself, to recharge, replenish, and revitalize from your day. Nurturing yourself allows the mind to relax and to release extra electromagnetic frequencies we receive from electronic devices, restoring you back to balance. Some ideas could be a fifteen-minute walk outside to gather fresh air, a long overdue massage, or perhaps a luxury bath.
The benefits for nurturing yourself? For every 15 minutes of physical movement, you burn approximately 20 carbs, releasing endorphins, and eliminating potential excess weight you might gain throughout the holidays. A good deep-tissue massage will give your lymphatic system a complete workout and release built-up toxins from all the holiday cheers you consume. Warm water from a bath will recharge and replenish your energy. Water and blood both contain negative ions, and two negatives equal a positive—a win/win for you. However you choose to nurture yourself, the positive side effect is that when you fill yourself up first, you have more to give.
We are coming to the end of 2021. Another year of our life on planet Earth is ending. This year has been challenging in many ways. There were the forest fires with the devastation of our beloved lands and wilderness. There were the heavy layers of smoke filling our skies day after day. There were the days of excessive heat in our summer season. There were and are the drought conditions creating a loss of crops for farmers and the inability of ranchers to feed their cattle. And then there was Covid and all the problems in our communities around vaccinations. Goodbye to 2021!
But what is coming in 2022? Will things get better or worse? Will there be more forest fires? Will we get the water we need for the crops, for the animals, for the wild lands, for the vitality of our soil, even water for us to drink? Will there be another Covid variant? What else could possibly happen?
“True transformation happens at the intersection of pain and love.” I recently heard this quote from a breathwork facilitator and trainer, Samantha Skelly, and it struck me as profound. It rang true in every way, because it applies so well to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. If this idea is correct, then we need to be asking:
How can we allow love to intersect, run through, and transform our pain and dis-ease?
How do we open body, mind, and spirit to receive transformational love?
How do we give that kind of love to ourselves and to others?
If we could keep these questions in mind, I believe we would make radically different decisions in our daily lives. Let’s look at how we can love ourselves through the way we eat, breathe, move, sleep, and think. Let’s consider how to create a safe environment that allows for transformation and the healing of pain through love.
It is all too easy in our culture to neglect and abuse our bodies by consuming toxic, food-like substances. It’s time to start telling ourselves the truth about what we’re putting into our mouths.
A simple way to love your body is to talk to yourself about the food in front of you. Is it a whole food, full of healing and nourishment? Or, is it a dead, toxic, and inflammatory food-like substance that you are ingesting unconsciously, perhaps as entertainment or as a numbing mechanism?
Aother autumn has made it to our doorstep, and with it clearer skies, and all the wonders of a changing season, along with its chores, and pumpkin everything! As we harvest our end-of-summer bounty, we ready our gardens for a long winter’s rest. These chores, like raking leaves, stacking firewood, and cleaning out the garden, are very healthy for your heart. Since everyone can benefit from a healthy heart, especially into our later years, I decided to look into it.
Simply put, here’s how it works: Our cells collectively make up organs; each organ has a meridian (energy pathway) that flows through it. Movement creates that energy and the heart meridian moves through the arms. So, moving the arms produces an energized and healthy heart—think swimming, dancing, power walking, sweeping, and Chi Gong. You get the idea.
“What does that phrase mean?” asked Lena, as she heard Carol state it. Four women were all sitting at a restaurant table having a cup of coffee. Carol said, “Think about it; it’s happening all the time these days.” Marta spoke up and said, “I know what she means. Several friends of mine were going to come and visit me in September. We get together every year but couldn’t last year because of Covid. We each live in different states. We connected on Zoom in April to make our plans for September.
We decided they would come to my home in Bozeman and then drive to a national park in Canada for several days of hiking. We quickly made reservations for both lodging in Canada and for a local rental car, because we had heard it was going to be a busy summer with lots of tourists.
“Our only concern was about when Canada would open its borders to tourists. I felt certain they would open long before our scheduled visit,” said Marta. “Sure enough, they opened the border in August, but we had a problem. They would only accept tourists who were vaccinated and two of my friends were adamant that they would not get vaccinated.”
Our current “health care” system is broken. In fact, it might be more accurate to call it our “disease management” or “sick-care system.” It rarely offers true healing to anyone. But what if it doesn’t have to be that way? What if we could reimagine and create something better? What if we could create a TRUE health-care system aimed at:
Maintaining vibrant health
Preventing chronic diseases
Offering the multifaceted support needed for genuine healing to occur
Honoring the bio-individual needs of each and every person?
I believe we are beginning to see a shift in this direction. Many doctors are rethinking the way they care for their patients. They are looking to address their needs in a more personalized, in-depth fashion. Additionally, thousands of certified health coaches are being trained every year. These coaches have the potential to provide a solution to many of the problems within our current system.
Health coaching is relatively new to the health-and-wellness scene. It is already proving to be one of the most effective tools for helping people recover and maintain their health. Health coaches can relieve much of the burden placed upon doctors and improve health outcomes for patients, providing a win-win situation for everyone involved.
This question is not about your grocery list or your “TO DO” list. It is a list about you. It may be a list you have yet to make.
Let’s back up a little and first learn about Ruth’s story. She and her parents were in a concentration camp in Germany near the end of World War II. They suffered severe hardship until they were freed by the Allies in 1945. They were poor; they had no savings; they had no home. They had lost all contact with their relatives. Somehow Ruth’s parents found work and received help from different groups.
After they had recovered physically, mentally, and emotionally to some degree, the family made their way to the U.S. and settled in New York City. They worked hard and saved enough money to open a clothing store and a few years later, a clothing factory. Ruth worked long hours beside her parents, but she was grateful. She was safe and free to live her life.
When a coffee mug slips out of Celeste O’Connell’s hand and shatters on her tile floor, she realizes something is terribly wrong with her. The recent stumbles on the stairs, the deepening of her voice, the weakness in her right arm and leg, are part of a mysterious pattern of frightening changes in her body.
Celeste is diagnosed with a terminal illness. She struggles to accept her fate and the loss of everything she loves—her husband, her college-age children, her work, and the rugged, spectacular Montana environment in which she lives. She creates a bucket list and tries to complete everything on the list, but as her symptoms worsen, she finds she cannot. A startling dream leads Celeste to a therapist who helps her explore her dreams and long-neglected beliefs about life and death.
Celeste thought about the Ten Commandments. How many had she broken? She had not committed adultery (though tempted twice), nor stolen, nor murdered anyone. Well, maybe in her heart once or twice. She had certainly taken the name of the Lord in vain, swearing more times than she wanted anyone, especially God, to know. She definitely coveted her neighbor’s gorgeous log home on a knoll high above the river. And what about the first commandment? ‘Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and soul,’ that one. Not even close. How could she obey that first commandment when she wasn’t even sure God existed? He or She was an idea, not a reality.