Seesaw Sisters

seesaw

Jewel and Joy are sisters. They love to play together. It’s fun having a play mate right in your own house, but sometimes Jewel and Joy want to do different things. It’s hard to always agree on what to play.

One day, Jewel went to her mom and asked to spend some time alone at the park. She was tired of playing with her sister all the time.

So Jewel went to the park without Joy. She spotted the seesaw and jumped on! But the seesaw is not as much fun by yourself. As she sat on the seesaw unable to make it move, she wished her sister was there with her.

Just as Jewel wanted some time alone, so did Joy. The next day, Joy wanted to go to the park without Jewel.

When Joy got to the park she ran and hopped on her favorite piece of equipment, the seesaw. But as she sat on one end staring up into the sky at the empty end of the see saw, she realized that the park was much more fun with her sister there.

The next day, Jewel and Joy decided to go to the park, together. The both ran and hopped on the seesaw and enjoyed how it went up and down and up and down! They laughed and smiled as they flew up and then down enjoying the beautiful day, together.

Sometimes together is better, but sometimes you have to be alone to figure that out.

Lifestyle Medicine

guy on rock

Prevention is truly the best medicine. Taking our health seriously and making steps toward wellness before there is a real reason to worry is the smartest way to go. To indulge and ignore is risky, to be proactive and educated can save your health and maybe your life. Your lifestyle can be your best medicine.

Lifestyle medicine means making choices that lessen your risk of illness and disease. The basics of using lifestyle intervention may include nutrition, stress reduction, toxin awareness, and physical activity. The process of incorporating positive choices in all of these areas give you the best chance at preventing many of the chronic diseases that are common in our culture today.

Evaluating and adjusting risky behavior is your first line of defense. To make good decisions you must have the right information, but you also need to be sure about where your facts are coming from. Don’t just reach for what you have been told are healthy foods, research the sources of that food being labeled healthy. Amp up your general wellness competence by making decisions based in scientific research, not big business sponsored mass marketing messages.  We need to address the gap between what we know and what we think we know.

A perfect example of this is the need for education and lifestyle management related to Osteoporosis. Did you know…

Osteoporosis_Facts (1)

So the question “What do I do now?” tends to be posed after a person is diagnosed with Osteoporosis, when we could be living a lifestyle which manages our risk and lessens our chances of developing this dangerous condition way before we are at risk of becoming one of it’s casualties.

When assessing your options to create and support a healthy lifestyle, here are three lifestyle choices to consider that may significantly impact your chances of developing Osteoporosis later in life:

1.   Calcium Intake

Are you getting enough calcium in your daily diet? Some healthy sources of calcium are dark green leafy vegetables, tofu, orange juice. It’s not just about drinking milk and consuming dairy although healthy servings of milk can also reduce your risk.  (mayoclinic.org)

2.   Exercise

Beginning to exercise when you are young and continuing your active lifestyle as you age can be the best way to build strong bones. Combining strength training and weight bearing physical activity is the best way to avoid Osteoporosis. (mayoclinic.org)

3.   Avoid alcohol and cigarettes

Excessive drinking has been linked to increased risk of bone loss and smoking doubles your chance of bone loss. (webmd.com)

For a long time I thought drinking carbonated beverages caused bone loss, but in doing research for this post I have found evidence that does not support that assumption. Since I’m not completely convinced I removed it from my list and will have to look into it further. So, in addition to making positive change, begin to second guess what you have always assumed about diseases such as this. And please, check my sources and find credible ones of your own because not every medical myth you hear has complete truth to it. Begin to evaluate your life choices, but don’t be hasty until you think them through. For example, many people think that coffee causes osteoporosis. But does it? “Because coffee and caffeine consumption slightly decreases the absorption of calcium by about 4 – 6 mg per cup, coffee has been blamed for causing osteoporosis. In a hypothetical world, this reduction in calcium would lead to bone loss and osteoporosis. Fortunately, in the real world, adding one tablespoon of milk to each cup of coffee consumed would offset any calcium loss caused by the caffeine, preventing an effect on bone quality. By ensuring adequate calcium intake and drinking coffee in moderation, studies show that there will be no increased risk of fractures or osteoporosis.” (www.isagenixhealth.net)

Be smart enough to know which life choices are truly smart and which ones are cultural lore.

So, what else do you think you know for sure? Are you trusting credible sources when gathering your knowledge on wellness? Are you sure?

thanks to where_ever_I_am on morgue file.com for the lovely photo above 

thanks to The American Recall Center for the Osteoporosis graphic above 

Waking Up

coffee

So how exactly do I know if I’m having a spiritual awakening? Will I feel it? Will I know what to do? There is no way to measure or verify an exact moment when an awakening begins, or even how it will unfold, so I’m trusting my intuition and going with the flow.

Some people are morning people and some people are not. People are complex and diverse and every spiritual awakening looks different. Some experience their eyes popping open to a brand new revelation and begin their new journey instantly and full steam ahead while others have to rub their eyes and slowly adjust to the light of a new day. But, any way you “wake up”, the important thing is to begin the process when it is presented to you.

When I open my eyes every morning, I have a noticeable transition between the beautiful world of my dreams (which used to be nightmares) and my reality flooding in. I take a deep breath and try to choose a mantra for the day such as:

“Today is a good day to have a good day”

“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”

“Time to make the donuts”

Depends on my mood.

At first, it takes me a moment to get moving, but the two little girls staring at me and breathing their morning breath into my face are not always sympathetic to that. It’s just me and the girls most mornings, so I have to hop to it as soon as duty calls.

Coffee helps.

I normally have to patiently breathe through those first few moments, set my intention quietly, and rise up before I’m ready. Stumbling for the bathroom, I hear the demands, the whining, the complaining beginning pretty immediately. I remind myself that my girls have just woken up as well and it’s even harder to manage those early morning feelings when you’re only a little girl.

I take a lot of deep breaths in the morning.

And then it occurred to me. This waking up I do everyday is a mirror of the awakening I have been experiencing for the last few years. My awakening is happening a little bit at a time, and I have to work with what I have here in my life. I don’t always have control over when I wake up, when I go to sleep, or whether or not I sleep through the night. So, I have to adapt, adjust, and roll with it without losing sight of my “why” and how much all of this means. There is a lesson in all of this and I trust that I’m learning it in the right time. I’m exactly where I need to be. During an awakening, you may learn things that take your life in new directions. Learning to let go and peacefully flowing with that momentum can be comforting. We only get to do this life once and regret is the worst thing to own.

So even with a few steps backwards along the way and little sufferings peppered in with the beautiful moments, I’m slowly rubbing my eyes and opening them to new possibilities and the idea that I can become a more peaceful and balanced person. I believe the capacity for enlightenment is the same for all people although not everyone is capable of recognizing it. I also think that our degree of feeling awake changes in different moments and states that we experience, and that’s ok.

As with most things spiritual, the act and result of experiencing an awakening is unmeasurable and unverifiable. It’s up to each of us to label and define our own journey. So, whether your eyes pop open in a revelation or you have to slowly adjust to the light, roll with your awakening and be grateful for another day to enjoy it.

Every day is a good day to have a good day, but it’s up to you to make it good.

myhappypromise

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