Friday, April 29, 2016

Om - Stressing? Let's calm that right down

Breath work and being in the present is so amazing for calming right down whenever stress strikes.  I've been doing yoga now for 15 years and love it.  Doing Vinyasa Flow (there are many yoga options) taught me how to breath deeply, expanding the lungs, which is great for longevity and aging but also how to control my breath and I learned breathing techniques.  Doing yoga truly is a moving meditation and helps one tie in the mind, the body and the spirit.  For this reason, I feel Yoga is the best form of exercise out there and should certainly be incorporated into whatever other work out you engage in on a weekly basis.

Regarding meditation, here are a couple of videos on both the breath and meditation.  Try taking a break for a minute to watch just one.

- check out this 13 minute Ted talk

And for the breath, if you feel that RIGHT NOW you really just need to BREATHE -  close your eyes and breathe through a short 10 minute meditation from a Vipassana meditation teacher

Overemployed? Been there! My story also with some help to minimize your load

Time to chill, even for a minute is so important to be quiet and get in touch with you and with your inner peace and calm, or, let's be honest, even your inner crazy.  The world of chores, business, expectations, take us literally up and away from so many delighter opportunities if we let that happen.

I was laid off after 26 years at my telecom company where I was a high functioning Project Manager over Implementation of large Voice and Data networks for strategic companies.  I loved my work, I loved most of my customers, I loved putting out fires and calming nerves, getting everybody to play nice in the sandbox.  I loved making it fun, business should always have some fun in it.  I especially loved pulling rabbits out of hats and numerous times making the near impossible actually happen for my customer.  But I did not enjoy the long hours at all.  I only rarely had times where I could take a break.  And my health suffered after 2 straight years of working 16+ hour days, 7 days a week, including every holiday too.  Ironically, even being so very sick as I was, I had too much work to stop and take sick leave so I kept on working, but gained a full appreciation for cutting it way down wherever that was possible and focusing way more on me time.

While I (thankfully) did not have someone standing over me demanding those hours out of me, as some of us do, I was, nevertheless 'overemployed' as I have named it.

It is a very tricky place to be.  So here is what I see, the nut of it.  If you work for a large corporation, as I did, they will use you up, just keep squeezing that tube of paste until it all comes out.  Regardless of how your direct manager feels about you, he can only protect you so long.  Once you hit 50 your days are numbered. You need a back up plan.  But way ahead of this, you need to spend some time on a daily/weekly basis, just focusing on yourself and personal items and pleasures. Getting in touch with who you are and finding your passions is paramount.  Many lead you to new revenue streams which diversify those eggs that may all be sitting in one corporate employer basket.  We go around once and our life should be about life and living not working for the man, no matter how rewarding it may be.

I was exemplary at my job, had perhaps 4 sick days since 2000, was a team player, got along with everybody, my customers loved me and although we had a health plan, I personally had not ever used anything other than dental cleaning twice annually, a few pairs of glasses and a checkup every 8-10 years.  That's it.  Cheap!  When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, I located a volunteer organization to shuttle her to most of her daily radiation appointments, thus maintaining my presence and my focus on work. When my brother was sick with Cancer I did a similar thing to remain focused on the workload.

My mother and brother are now dead and I was just laid off in February.  Nope, nothing is permanent, particularly our time with loved ones.

So what I am saying is that, no matter who you are, how young and vibrant you feel, how dedicated and loyal you are or how reasonably paid you are or how little you cost the company in healthcare etc, or how greatly motivated and stellar at working autonomously with little to no need for a manager to, well, manage you, your days are indeed numbered.  Most importantly, your time on earth is.  So why not stop, smell those flowers and get some me time in?

The issues is that so many of us find ourselves being paid for an 8 hour day but feel stuck doing way more because this has become an accepted expectation.  If a man beats his wife and his wife goes along with that, guess what?  That man now believes that beating his wife is accepted behaviour because that behaviour is being allowed when it should not be.  The beat down is still there, just in a different form.  Each one of us has our limits, our line in the sand.  I am asking that you find yours and then do what you can personally do to assure that line stops getting rubbed out.  Only you have the power to do this, to enforce your line.

Depending upon the company, I have seen folks mandated to work a set amount of non paid overtime hours.  I find even the idea of this expectation rude.  My husband works for such a company.  While they love him, and that's all great, he is exceedingly over worked.  To my mind, we want to be productive at work, get the job done and well.  That stated, if we have a rare opportunity to cut out early one day out of the month then why the heck not do that?

For my personal situation, I had no help, I was knee deep in my clients kimchi, and was brilliantly stuck sideways doing the hours if I wanted to assure that what was on my plate didn't blow up for my customer and, ultimately me.  To stop work would mean failure and nobody was going to ultimately realize the truth of it, that it was enough work for 3 people so 3 should have been hired.  No, rather, it would have become a black eye for me.

I know a lot of you are in this camp, on this mission, paddling this same boat. While we may rarely feel like it, in these moments, I am telling you right now that we are in control of our choices.  If enough of us scale our work back, we win more personal time in our day.  Frankly, if we are doing the job of 2 people, another person should be hired and that is a mismanagement issue not an underachieving employee one.  For each employee who routinely works a 12 or 16 hour day, that is the same as taking one full time job away from someone who needs work.

Work to life balance has been a buzzword for years.  But so much of what I see is just the words spoken with no real meat of intention behind them.  I see open door policies that really aren't open at all, because they are not really open for change.  I once reported  (anonymous) an issue to our ethics hotline.  They were zero help, they told me to contact HR.  HR was zero help, they wanted me to discuss the concern with my director and offered to set a meeting up.  I was also advised that I should go back to my manager even though the concern wasn't about me, not even about a member of my direct team and was not about anybody that rolled up under my new director.  It was about policy being flagrantly ignored that could lead to a lawsuit!  Two people that I knew of  had been recently denied their bereavement time.  My suggestion to HR,  was for the company to send out a refresher to all management on policies.  Don't single anybody out, just mandate that all managers refresh themselves on the policies in place and then refresh their teams too.  Everybody on the same level playing field knowing what the rules are.  Those in violation of said rules would be educated and further transgressions minimized but this refresher would absolutely open a logical door up to single those folks out the next time they denied their staff bereavement or comp time etc.

Sometimes you are purely in a situation where, regardless of intentions, you are not going to fix what is broken.  You are, however, always in control of how you think, feel and act.  I will always look out for justice being done to people and animals but for those individuals, my advise was to brush up their resume's and move on because nobody cared to listen.

If you feel stuck, just look for ways to create space in your day for you, even if it is just a ten minute break with a cup of tea and a book.  Scheduling times you check email and times you do other work really helps too.  We don't have to be engaged in email all day long.   Pick and choose your battles, what must happen today and what could wait until tomorrow, so that you can locate some kind of stopping point for your day and finally rest.  Feed yourself healthy food, drink water, get up from your desk and move around every few hours. Deep leg thrombosis IS a thing and it can kill.

When all is said and done, you take yourself with you wherever you go, so it is vital that you and your health come first. Whatever company you work for, I can pretty much guarantee the corp is putting itself first.  Copy that and put yourself as priority #1!  If you have poor management, where things are broken and nobody cares to fix that, don't stress over it.  Bring it up the once.  If you don't gain an ear take that as your clue to move on. Try not to take it personally if you get no place with some advise.  Be thankful for the paycheck and do your best but get your resume updated and out the door as you continue to still work there.  Try hard not to put yourself in a situation where you may end up bitter.  If you are going to be bitter at working 12+ hour days, then just don't do it.  Leave instead if you must. Our lives are insane enough without adding bitter to the flavor.  And be patient, things can take time, but persevere.  Take a long look at your skills and how those translate to other opportunities.  Sometimes we feel stuck when really, we only need to look at ourselves (and our situation) with fresh eyes.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Skincare - What to Avoid

The painful truth is that the money machine is not set up to protect us.  The government doesn't protect us.  Big pharma and Big business mostly is after our wallet and they don't typically care about the environment, the planet or toxins unless they are an all organic green company.  In my Hippocrates training recently I learned that after the wartime in the 50's companies had created toxic chemicals to kill our adversary that was later used on our crops to kill bugs.  And we didn't even realize then what the substances actually did, how they really worked!

All this stated, we know men are mostly wash and wear while most women apply at least 8 different products on their face every morning.  But either way you go, we all have skin in the game.  Yeah, I couldn't really resist saying that.  We must all be mindful of what we apply on and in our bodies.  Everything we apply topically sinks into our body.  Just seeing a pain patch do its magic is eye opening as to exactly how swiftly the product is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Everybody is busy and just trying to get through another hectic day as swiftly as they can, right?  This is why I post this stuff, to help us all avoid toxins while learning what we all can do, to live a greener and cleaner (and far healthier) life.

Avoid anything with 'eth' in the name, such as Sodium Laureth Sulphate, ceteareth or oleth.  Propylene Glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze, is even in food and is especially prolific in cosmetic and skincare!  Avoid it is you see the words PEG or Polyethylene glycol, DEA, TEA Lauryl Sulfate, MEA, Pareabens, Formaldehyde, Triclosan.

And things can get tricky when stuff sounds natural, sounds pleasant and nice but isn't, such as Japanese Honeysuckle Extract or what about fragrance?  That doesn't sound bad but yes, that is too.  Just the word 'fragrance' can really mean that up to 400 separate ingredients (and chemicals) went into that product.  This can include toluene, phthalates, which can cause liver and kidney damage, harm a fetus, and disrupt the endocrine system amongst other things.

Buy products that state they are certified organic from companies you know and trust.  On that topic, know that one of the best things sbout Miessence, other than the fact it is a carbon neutral company that has gone through the necessary steps to be certified 100% food grade organic with no chemicals, is that the products are made fresh from the factory and shipped directly to you.  Unless you are very motivated to make your own skincare products in your kitchen, this is one of the rare lines where you can get the absolute freshest most pure and potent product for your gorgeous skin!

Smile and stay pretty!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Shut Your Mouth!

">Things that alkalize your body don't always alkalize your mouth, for example lemons.  Adding lime or lemon to water creates a refreshing alkalizing water, great for your body, but not great for protecting the teeth.  The healthy mouth is continuously producing saliva to help break down foods, clean the teeth from deposits and remineralize and protect your teeth.  Think of your teeth like gears in an engine, you need lubrication to keep them from breaking down.  I read that night time is the hardest time for the teeth and was curious why.  Well, for one, saliva production is reduced.  And if you sleep with your mouth open, you are in trouble right there, not to even touch on grinding.  In a dry mouth, teeth can become severely worn and without a help out from saliva, there is no natural repair.  I read the book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye, author Ellie Phillips, which had a lot of great information.  I even tried her recommended program for daily oral care. Not all her advise on oral care worked for me.  Firstly, her recommendations include products with questionable ingredients from my place of organic living, reduction of chemicals etc.  Next, they flat out stained my teeth and I believe mostly due to the fluoride.  I say this because I used to use a prescription fluoride on my teeth and for years experienced 'heavy coffee drinker' staining.  Even though I didn't drink coffee, had perhaps a daily cup of tea, coffee perhaps once or twice a month.  Once I kicked the fluoride curbside, my hygienist suddenly stopped complaining about 'heavy stain' and instead complimented me on how clean and free of stain my mouth was.  Now suddenly I was back to complaints about heavy stain.  So here are my tips on taking care of your mouth.  Oil pulling takes time but works great.  If you floss, be thorough, but very gentle around and in between your gums.  Before you brush your teeth, rinse with water to alkalize your mouth first.  Even better oil pull with organic coconut oil for 20 minutes prior to brushing.  Zellies mints are not bad tasting and contain Xylitol, which is a natural sugar substitute from the birch tree.  You can also buy a bag of it and I did both via Amazon.  Pop the Zellies between meals, after meals to alkalize your mouth and protect your enamel.  You want to shoot for about 6.5 to 10 grams a day of Xylitol for oral benefit.  What I like to do is take a teaspoon in my morning tea and then pop the mints throughout the day till I have hit close to the above number.  Now, at night, for whatever reason, I began sleeping with my mouth open and ended up with dry mouth.  This is bad because you can wear your teeth and erode your gums this way!  Freaked out, I researched a solution to this and it's medical tape. You can cut a piece of medical tape about a 1/4 inch in length or so and place it just above your upper lip onto the philtrum, over the mouth and secure the tape just below your lower lip. This will help you keep your mouth shut at night but you will still be able to breath or speak if necessary.  With the AC on and the nights my mouth flew open and dried right out (so attractively) where my tongue felt like a freaking caterpillar, this simple thing, taping my mouth, has helped greatly!  I apply lip balm ahead of adhering the tape.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Eschewing Toxins

One of the best ways to enjoy a high quality abundant life is by avoiding toxins. If you've not yet seen it, please watch FoodInc. The film is eye opening.  It has some humor and good stuff in it as well, which makes it watchable.  But there is a tortured cow in it among other items of concern.  We need to know this.  We need to know that 1) All life holds value, both intrinsically and to the individual possessing that life. And 2) Our capacity for greed has overshadowed all common sense, all kindness, all morality when it comes to the barbaric level to which our food, which should always be honored, is treated.  We need to absorb and come to understand the significance of items 1 and 2 so that we are empowered to research smarter choices which are healthier for us, our pets and sustainable for the planet.  We vote with our wallet.  

Back in the 50’s/60’s most farming was organic.  Crops were rotated out to feed the soil different minerals, vitamins, based upon what plants took or provided.  Land was rested in between crops too.  There was less eye on greed and more on abundant and quality living. I believe we cared more about not harming our fellow inhabitants but all that's changed for the mainstream way of thinking anyway.  

1                  Today we have rampant genetically modified organisms (GMO).  You can hail a big        ole thank you to greed and keeping the public dark on the topic wherever possible,        that allows such corporations as Monsanto to even exist.  Greed has made some crazy.  Who else, in their right thinking mind, ruin our soils and water supplies, trash the earth, sicken, malnourish, mistreat and genetically alter our food?  How could one really logic their way through the end game of it and remotely believe this way is healthy or right action?

    Every one of us holds what is called a body burden of toxins.  We get these toxins from the air, the food, our water, cleaning and home-care products and skincare.  It is impossible to avoid them. 
  CAFO – Otherwise known as Factory Farming, are sad Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation institutions of  despair. The sad cow that I mentioned earlier is from such a place. For the vegetarians, huzzah!  For the meat eaters, I am not here to beat on you.  I am not asking that you give meat up.  But I am asking for a mindset change and a reduction in your meat consumption.  This way of living is not sustainable for our planet, degrades our health, our soils, our waterways.  Factory farming and the beef industry have depleted our soil minerals and vitamins to such extent that our foods, our crops no longer have the same nutrition they did 50 years ago.  In my Hippocrates class, I was advised it now takes 50 bowls of spinach to equal the iron content in 1 can of spinach from 1950.

Nothing is exact anymore, and you may think well, we’ve pretty much ruined ourselves, haven't we!  But change comes by way of wallet, and diligence, and there are a lot of us!  We can slowly carve a better path for the future and do the very best to mitigate toxins in the present circumstances.

Much of the mindset shift is in agreeing that food is not something we do when we are bored, upset or lonely, it isn't a crutch, it is simply fuel for our body.  I believe that we should enjoy our food, but endeavor to make it as clean and healthy and full of natural enzymes as possible and add supplementation.  Everyone at the house is now on Chinese Chlorella and Klammath Lake Blue-Green Algae, along with Tumeric and added minerals, B complex, C.  Rhett, our resident Doberman, gets all this daily to help detox as well.  All water is purified.  We of course still shop but now have a great little organic vegetable garden going and grow our own sprouts and whatgrass.  We harvest our own plums and figs too. Eggs come from our neighbor. The attempt is to replicate 'farm to table' just as much as we can and reduce the body burden every day.   We all vote with our pocketbook.  We change the world and lives with our spending.  The first step is in understanding the necessity to change, the need to revert back to organics and growing what one can, at home.  To me this is sort of like when I first began recycling.  At first it was weird, took extra time, added steps, I had to think about it.  Now, if I am confronted with paper, I have a real challenge just throwing it away into a regular trash bin because I am so used to recycling that this is now my habit and I no longer spend so much time thinking about it.  For people traveling alot or in a situation where you cannot grow much, sprouts may still be an option and I adore the iPlant for sprouting!  It makes it so easy.  For extended trips, I recommend (and sell) Miessence DeepGreen Alkalising Superfood as it contains the greens, the wheatgrass etc that would be next to impossible to travel with.  You mix this powder into water, easy peasy for on the go!  The other tonics are great as well.  There's Complete Protein, Fulvic Acids, a Probitoic and an Antioxidant tonic.  However, I personally am on Primal Defense probiotics, in capsule form.   For the antioxidants, and detox, I am juicing.  So you just have to look at where you are, to find what product (s) are going to suit you best.  Please note, when doing your own research, it is vital that the products chosen are organic/plant based for optimum absorption.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Death List - What to do when you are responsible for taking care of a loved ones final earthly issues

I've had the unfortunate experience of losing a brother in 2014 and my mother in 2015.  As a friend put it, 'Let me know if you need anything, but I guess you're pretty much an expert at it now...not that you wanted to be an expert at this.'   When you are in agony over loss, having a checklist helps.  This list helped me greatly so passing it on.

Prior to Death
Bank - Add your name to the checking/savings account. Ideally, ahead of time, get your name added as a cosigner on their bank account.  This is much easier than setting up an account after death in which to receive checks and make final payments and simply makes paying for things, closing final business as well as closing the account later far easier.  Everyone should have a plan because we don't live forever and things happen.  Planning ahead is an act of kindness.

Monthly Bills - If you don't already know, get acquainted with who they have phone, gas, electric services with.  For my brother and mother, I set up online access to pay bills and view their accounts so I would suggest getting user and passwords ahead of time to simplify.

Credit Cards and Debts - You are NOT responsible to pay off credit cards of the deceased unless you are a spouse.
IF you are on any credit card accounts, after you handle any final business such as getting the card cancelled, have the rep you speak with remove your name as a final item.  Once your name is removed you can no longer speak on the decedents behalf because you are no longer on the account, but also, you cannot be held responsible for any balance due (except spouse see above).  When mother was very sick under hospice care, we knew she could no longer use her credit cards and took care of closing her credit accounts.  In my mothers situation, she had a ton of bills and no money to pay them, so I alerted all folks and repeatedly, that there was no money to pay off her debts.

Nursing Homes and Medicare - The way this works is that one must qualify for Medicare, get approved for payment and the nursing home gets paid 2 ways.  Firstly, they take all your monthly earnings, all but $40-60.00 in spending money per month (I know, right?).  This is based on all monthly payments your loved one gets direct deposited in their checking account, any VA or SSI or pension payments.  Whether your loved one gets 10k a month or 1k a month, they end up with $40 bucks and the rest goes to the nursing home.  The nursing home told me they wanted me to sign agreement so that they would take payment monthly directly out of mothers account. What I did is write the checks myself for my mother because I did not trust the system and I was very glad I did because the nursing home WOULD have taken mothers final January SSI check and left me stranded to pay the difference!  They said and I quote "We don't refund money, it is up to the family to deal with paying back the VA or Social Security.'  So, pay it monthly yourself!!!  DO NOT allow a nursing home direct access out of the checking account ever!!!  Secondly the nursing home gets paid via Medicare, once they get all their paperwork in order.  The nursing home mother was in was slow and didn't bother filing until after her death, even though we'd already moved her back home!  They may try to get you to pay but you do not have any responsibility to pay for nursing home care unless you sign documents that say you do! Read everything and ask questions.

After Death
You will ultimately need a death certificate and this comes from the crematorium or funeral home you use.  It takes time and longer depending on the burial or crematorium you use.  I used Acremation for my brother which was less than a grand, his ashes placed in a nice box and death certificates quickly provided. For my mother, who donated her body, I still have not received her ashes.

1) Funeral choices - There is a wide birth of choice here.  I chose simple, cremation which is what they both wanted, with a simple memorial at our home to honor them.
2) Obit in the paper - I did not announce their deaths in the paper because all their friends were alerted that needed to know but this is a step in the process so putting it in the checklist.
3) Death Certificates -  Order more than you think you will need right up front as this is the cheapest approach.  They get a lot more expensive to order later.  That stated, also understand that most places accept a copy rather than an original so most of us own a printer that copies and scans docs, makes things easy.  Both of my family members lived simply, did not own real estate or have any assets, just bank accounts and credit cards so I ordered 5 each. I still have all originals as I was able to use a copy for everything, just to give you an idea here.

1) Social Security - If your loved one is getting SSI payments, you will want to alert them to the fact your loved one has passed.  Please note that even if your loved one dies at the tail end of the month, if they do not live through the entire month, the money deposited will be taken back!  They don't care that your brother had a car payment or mortgage due or the very simple fact that bills don't stop at time of death here.  Send in Death Certificate once available. DO NOT spend that last SSI payment.
2) VA payments - Same as above.
3) Cancel the monthly bills, water electric, gas, phone, cell
4) Get all receipts ready to prep the final taxes.  On this note, I got mixed messages here but what I ultimately found out is this: On the final taxes, if doing electronically, such as via TurboTax, you will be asked the question regarding death.  If doing by hand, or via mail, write the words Deceased along with the decendent's name, and date of death across the top of the tax return.  You would need to sign the forms as the appointed personal representative of the deceased.
But they died owing money to the IRS
*****Unless you are a spouse, IF the decedent died owing final taxes, and they died leaving nothing to pay off the debts, as my brother and mother both did, then you are not responsible for paying out of your own pocket.  This is per Lane Mullinax CPA.  I was quite nervous as my brother had apparently cashed out a small IRA to pay off personal debts he owed and plain giving money away to people he liked, realizing his death was imminent.  He despised the IRS and paid no taxes on the cash out and thus ended up owing taxes on it.  I was so relieved to know that I was NOT responsible to pay off the IRS on his behalf.
I want to stress that this situation is if the person has no assets, no cash left after bills, no home to sell off etc.  In my brothers case, he left a car payment, medical debts, monthly bills that needed covering.  Although his finances were considerably better than mothers, there were still earthly concerns to address at his passing that evaporated what was left in his checking account from his monthly VA and SSI checks.

A note about body donation - A lot of folks think this is easy peasy lemon squeezy.  I'll donate my body to science, to a school, it costs my family nothing and at time of death, the family just makes a phone call en voila, my body will be whisked away, all take care of for free and they will get death certs and ashes later.  No, no, not quite.  Mothers body was donated to a school.  I will be kind and not mention them here.  But let me state that yes they finally agreed to take her body after I threatened to go to every retirement home in the vicinity and post a blog to re-educate folks about how the ball gets uncomfortably dropped at time of death.  Here's why:  Schools and med facilities are always looking for different things.  They may not want your dad's cancer riddled body because that is of no use to them right now, they have enough bodies with cancer for example.  So while someone may have indeed been 'Pre-approved and accepted' that actually is a false message and the school or med facility, at their discretion, may go back on their promise right when you are at your most vulnerable time. If your loved one is in a hospital or nursing home, they MUST be moved immediately!  This means planning ahead.  I was tipped off by my hospice rep that things are kind of ugly with body donations and called ahead, got flack and baracudaed past all of that with threats.  Not a great thing to sort through 11th hour either when one wants to be as calm as possible and be there for their loved one not on the phone arguing about taking the body later!  IF your family member has agreed to donate their body, I would seriously look at other options that fit your situation, ahead of time.
5) On this checklist is yourself, from planning time off for bereavement, PTO time, to also taking time to be alone and with friends and family for support and maybe a trip to the SPA.  Your loved one would want you to be happy and healthy so as much as this time just God awful hurts, do take some time to love and nurture yourself.  Do it for them!

Drama Queens - Why It Is imperative To Chill

Brother Carl passed away 2014. Mother passed away in 2015.  Cancer took Carl slowly (prostrate to bone to every place).  Cancer took mother swiftly, which ended up a blessing really, considering in November she  was shuttled from her home to a mental hospital,diagnosed with early onset dementia/ Alzheimer's, diagnosed with Cancer just ahead of Christmas and dead in January.  For some reason I'd thought they were two different things but apparently dementia and Alzheimer's are one in the same.  What was once labeled dementia now has a new name Alzheimers much like Hyperactivity (what I have been all my life) is now labeled Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD. More on that topic later when I can focus (inside joke).

In trying to help mother get back home to us, (she was deemed unfit to live alone and spent some time in a nursing home before we could get her back here)  I learned alot about aging and dementia.  One thing I learned that struck me was how a sudden shock, whether it be a fall or an emotional hiccup, can bring on sudden dementia!  Nobody knows why.

Mother had always and forever been a drama queen.  She rode her highs and lows proudly and when she was low, took any bystanders along with her to her personal ride into hell that morning.  Smart, talented, creative, dedicated and attractive, yes. Balanced emotionally? No. Mother had fallen and was just out of rehab for that.  Losing my brother was probably the final blow.  Shortly after his death, she fell once more, got back home after rehab and poof fell apart emotionally.  She had been stating for months that she just wanted to join Carl.  In spite of two more siblings still here, join him she did.  Her mind and body gave her exactly what she wanted.

The mind, just like the body, is a miraculous thing to behold.  The body heals itself all day long.  The brain is redundant, able to heal itself after surprising catastrophes.  I've witnessed 3 severe head trauma patients re-learn and re-blend back into society and find it all incredible, inspiring and amazing!

People always say 'This is how I am' but the truth is even better!  Serious brain injuries prove our capacity for mind change.  Be less of a Drama Queen by re-training your brain.  It takes 21 days or so to make a new habit and I figured out why.  Just take yourself back to a class where things got strange, detatched, confused, hard to absorb, where you said to yourself  'Oy, I'll never learn this!' But then one day you walked into class en voila!  Suddenly a bright light was on in your mind and you just suddenly 'got it' like magic just happened!  Yep, that was magic.  Your marvelous brain just built new roads, new neuro net paths to a whole entirely new way of thinking it knew you needed now.  Incredible, right?  Now I used to think as long as we breathed air, change was possible.  But with mother I saw that at a certain point, you go beyond that ability.  So I want to caution once more that the mind and body tend to try and give us what we think we need or deserve.  Therefore, don't put off any changes you know you may need to make in your life, in your mindset, in your care taking of yourself because the time is truly now, while you are able to do so and while you still have time to enjoy those changes along with being able to bless those around you with those changes as well. When we move with right intention, patience and love, we open ourselves up to the miracles that tend to work out.  Not saying you escape death, none of us do.  But perhaps you die another day, you get through this particular physical or mental battle, enable yourself to grow, to change and be who you want to be today, with less attachment to the past, less attachment to the drama.

I have to say I learned how to be the perfect victim from my mother.  I knew just exactly how to create and maintain drama in my life.  I learned from the very best teacher.  And then I had to figure out how to undo all of that damage thinking and live more abundantly.  The rock bottom is that, no matter who you are, whether it's your yacht that needs repairs or your Honda, we all have problems, all have drama. Empathy for yourself and others plights, acceptance and a calm mental state to move forward with picking up the pieces and moving on is the healthiest way to carry on. Not saying you cannot have a good cry.  In the situation of losing a loved one, of course you will and repeatedly.  But in with the dire pain of it, see the joy.  See that your loved one is out of pain, whole and gone with God.  And with all the lesser stuff, hail storms, floods, fires, job loss, Divorce etc, accept that as much as all this sucks, it is part of this life and so now you go and carry on to help yourself and others through this mess called life. The way is always forward regardless.  Take those steps with loving kindness.  In 21 days you'll thank me.