Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.—Khalil Gibran
We all experience some things in life that have brought us to our knees. Whether it’s an illness, death, divorce, loss of a job or financial troubles, our uncontrollable situations can cause us great suffering and grief. At times, we feel sad for no discernable reason. It’s very similar to and often related to negative thoughts. Sadness comes from a lack of meaning and purpose, from a lack of hope, from fear of the future, or worry about loved ones. It’s part of the human condition that we naturally have the ability to feel blissful and melancholy and everything in between. This is a good thing.
My son, Rocco, is intelligent, sensitive, and very spiritual. He studies many different spiritual practices from Christianity to Buddhism. During a phone conversation, he told me that he was sad but okay. Parents worry when their children are unhappy, especially when they live far away. My first reaction was to jump on a plane and make darn sure he really was okay. Rocco was the first person to explain to me—his mother—that being sad is part of life and that it made him appreciate the good times even more. I asked Rocco to recall our conversation and if he would share a few sentences about his interpretation of our discussion. Here’s what he said.
The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind. —Paracelsus
There is nothing more peaceful than being surrounded by nature and enveloped by its healing power. The sight of colorful birds and trees, the symphonic sound of crickets and birds singing, the gentle kiss of wind on your face, and the smell of freshly cut grass or a fragrant gardenia can be an instant stress reducer. The Great Outdoors is also a place where we can be alone with our thoughts and feelings. Have you ever gone for a walk to ‘clear your head’ and suddenly came up with creative thoughts about how to solve a problem or design something new? Inspiration takes place in many forms and in many places. Being in nature can do more than just enhance our sense of vitality.
A strong body makes the mind strong. —Thomas Jefferson
When I was in high school, I was twenty pounds heavier than I am now. Then in college I became part of the “Freshman Fifteen Club” – that’s not a club you want to join. At a time in my life when I should have been at peak physical condition, I was overweight. If I add it all up, I’ve gained and lost over 100 pounds in my life.
As a smart college girl, I knew many tricks to lose weight. Two of the all-time worst weight loss gimmicks were: wrapping my body in plastic wrap, donning a sweat suit, and sitting in the sauna, or simply starving myself. Neither, as you probably know, worked. Only when I started to teach group fitness classes regularly did I start to shed pounds. Another important change was that I stopped thinking about what I was going to have for lunch while eating breakfast. I kept busy. Finding something you love to do prevents you from eating out of boredom, too. Have you ever been so involved in a project that you forgot to eat? Compare that with inhaling a bag of chips while watching television.
“Before aligning the mind, body and soul … first one has to straighten their mind out.”
― Stephen Richards
Part of being healthy and happy is not only based upon what we eat and how we exercise, but how we think and feel. Scientists are discovering and admitting to the links between how our emotions affect our health. We’ve all heard stories about couples that have been together for a long time and when one of them dies the other soon follows although they had no terminal health problems. Grief can have an astonishing effect on the human body and can cause heart attacks and even stroke.
Meditation, relaxation and finding things to distract you from overwhelmingly negative thoughts have been proven to relieve stress and even pain during difficult times. When my husband, Ted, had both of his knees replaced he was in an incredible amount of agony, even with anesthesia. I tried something with him that I knew that has helped me with debilitating migraines. Don’t expect it to completely take away the pain of a critical injury, like a broken arm, but try this when you’re feeling stressed. It worked for Ted.
Made it to the top of Camelback Mountain! What an amazing adventure! There were times when I didn’t think I could take another step, and then I did. My legs were quivering, my feet hurt, but I kept on moving forward. The payoff was spectacular! I just had to take this crazy photo, but now I think that wasn’t a smart thing to do. One little slip and I would’ve fallen down the mountain. Stupid. Stupid. But I was on a Rocky Mountain high! Proud of this accomplishment. Something that I will remember forever.
“Animals are more complete than people. They are wonderful teachers, therapists and role models for us all.”
Many people feel that their pets are part of their families. Dogs, cats, birds and even reptiles are included in holiday photos. Some pet owners have astonishingly bequeathed large sums of money to their pet companions in their Will. So why the love and adoration for these friendly companions?
Dogs are commonly referred to as “man’s best friend,” and for good reason. No matter how difficult our day is, no matter what we look like or how we feel, our faithful comrades love us unconditionally. When we are at our worst – feeling sad, sick, unsightly, ill, with bed-head, baggy sweats and no make-up, our cherished pals seem to love us even more. And the feeling is mutual.
“Surround yourself with positive people, there are too many energy vampires out there, all to happy to steal your shine.” – Author Unknown
An energy vampire is someone who sucks the positive feeling from you, leaving you drained and exhausted. They are also referred to as Emotional Vampires. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of experience dealing with people who may or may not even realize the affect their behavior and essence have on others.
My son, Rocco, and I were in an elevator when a man rushed in as the doors were closing. He was out of breath and breathing heavy. He began to thump the button for the 10th floor rapidly, as if hitting it faster and harder would have any effect on how quickly we would arrive. When he exited, Rocco and I looked at each other with confusion and exhaustion etched into our faces. Have you experienced something similar when someone else’s bad vibes cause your typically happy demeanor to become tainted?
Please be aware of chemicals & pesticides used in your home or office. This family was on vacation and now they are fighting for their lives.
I understand all too well what that’s like.
We became chemically sensitive after our home (featured on MTV Cribs) was contaminated with toxic mold between the walls. We never saw anything. It happened because of faulty building. Sadly, we lost our home and everything in it including Ted’s rock ‘n roll memorabilia and Rocco’s baby pictures. What’s worse, we all got very sick. Ted and I had 4 different types of mold in our bloodstreams. Rocco had severe asthma. Our immune systems were destroyed. I was on oxygen and couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs if my life depended on it.
“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” – Mick Jagger
Dress Like a Rock Star
Ok, that might sound a bit extreme, but think in terms of what could be slightly more exciting or stylish than the clothes you usually wear. Rock stars carefully cultivate their image. Shop your closet. Mix things up.
Ladies: Step out of your comfort zone. Pair a floral top with striped pants. Look at popular fashion sites on the Internet for ideas. Add some dazzling earrings or a pearl necklace to a simple t-shirt. Coco Chanel once said “A girl should be two things; classy and fabulous.” If only for today, be those two things. Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in Sex and the City wore a pearl necklace with her pajamas when she went to visit a friend late one night. That’s fabulous!