Tag Archives: health

“As Long As You Are Breathing”


As I went through my own struggle with my health issues this past year it was difficult to think of anything else except what I was going through. Bringing myself into a place of mindfulness that reminded me that I wasn’t living now and that I can’t ever get this time back took a conscious effort.

In Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn writes, “As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than there is wrong, no matter how ill or how hopeless you may feel.”

He goes onto say:

“When we’re ill, we obsess about what’s going wrong in the body. We don’t think about the fact that since we’re alive virtually everything in the body is going right! And when we’re healthy, how often do we celebrate our good health? Hardly ever, for most of us.

So I’m going to suggest that you devote more mental space to celebrating and rejoicing in the ordinary things that are going right, and that you’re doing right, in your life.

-When you’re driving, notice that you’re driving with care and attention, and celebrate this. Say to yourself things like “Yay, me!”

-When you’re reading, pause once in a while and rejoice in the fact that you can read. (As a father whose oldest child is only just beginning to stumble through reading primers, I’m at the stage of recognizing how amazing this is.)

-Notice that you’re conscious. What an amazing thing that is! No one has the faintest idea what consciousness is — how matter interacting with matter can create this thing called “experience.” You’re a miracle!

-Pause and celebrate your good health. Say “thank you” to your body. If you’re in bad health, rejoice in the fact that your body is forever trying to heal itself, and that most things in your body are in fact functioning.

-Celebrate having access to clean drinking water, clean air, food.

-Celebrate having clothing and having possessions. If you’re poor and live in the developed world, you’re probably still richer than 90% of the world’s population.

-Celebrate family and friends.

-Celebrate the fact that you’re alive.

-Celebrate that you’re able to celebrate.

“My Personal Corporation”


Sometimes I feel like I have lots of different personalities inside me fighting to be expressed. I know it sounds a bit schizophrenic, but it’s not that serious. It feels more like I have my own corporation going on inside me, and each partner wants to be heard, expressed and giving the opportunity to do what they feel is most productive for the good of all.

So I imagine that each partner within my corporation has their own departments to run:

• There’s the work ethic department that takes care of our house which involves upkeep, cleaning, repairs and design.

• There’s the health department that oversees diet, food planing shopping, exercises, mental balance, and healthy hygiene.

• There’s the creative department in charge of crafts, gardening, and various other hobbies.

• There’s the communications department that takes care of writing daily post, writing books, and fulfilling various other ideas.

• There’s the social department that makes sure that the important people in my life are touched in someway by phone call, card, visit, dinners, gifts, parties and prayer.

• There’s the family department that involves my husband, children, grandchildren and now our first upcoming great-grandchild. There’s my sisters, brother, and in-laws.

• There’s the holiday department that takes care of birthdays, Easter, thanksgiving, Christmas, and various family picnics, visits and gifts. Everyone matters and making sure no one is left out is a great responsibility.

• The most important department is the spiritual one, because it holds all the others together and reflects all that I believe and stand for. In this department there is prayer, meditation, contemplation, reading and learning.

I expect the best, because I want everything I do to reflect what’s in my heart and soul. I want everyone in my life to feel as important as they are to me. So when I’m unsure how to do something I research and study how to do it right.

Wow! When I put it into words like this it really does seem overwhelming, and I can see how it can become chaotic. All those different parts of me shouting to be heard. It’s at this most important point of realization that I can see what I’m doing wrong. I’m trying to do it all on my own and I’ve forgotten to consult with the most important “partner” I have…”God.” It truly is a bigger job then I can handle on my own. So together we work, and do great things for it is always with Him, in Him and through Him that great things happen and fall together.

“Mindfulness Opens Our Eyes”


Your will is the gardener that tends the garden called your body.
Listen to your body, and it will tell you what you need to know.
–Dr. Wayne Dyer

As I continue my mindful practice listening to my body takes conscious effort. I eat without much thought. My body tells me I’m hungry, but is what I’m putting in my mouth really good for my system? I won’t know that unless I pay attention to how my body reacts to it. So today I’m weaning myself off sugar. I’m allowing myself the natural sweetness that comes from eating fruit but cutting out table sugar and any product that has it in. The funny thing is I don’t think I eat that much sugar, but even in this one day I’ve read that it’s in a lot of the products I eat. Why am I doing this right now when I’m not feeling good? Because I want to feel better, and sugar feeds inflammation and infection going on in my body.

So my mindful experiment today was drinking black coffee. I’m use to adding a lot of Peppermint Mocha creamer to my coffee. So I knew it had to add something to the experience to make it enjoyable. I went out onto my quiet peaceful deck and sipped it same as I did when it had creamer in it. First sip was bitter, so was the second and third. It was not the enjoyable experience I was hoping my mindful thoughts would make it into. It reminded me of the same reaction I had to beer and wine when I first tasted them. I didn’t like them either in the beginning. Now I love the taste of both. I drank the cup anyway not wanting to have withdrawal symptoms from both coffee and sugar. I’ll either learn to enjoy its essence or stop drinking it all together.

My conclusion is that not everything we do mindfully will bring us joy, but it certainly opens our eyes to the things our mind and body are trying to tell us. That’s a good thing. So my endeavors where well worth the time I gave them. The big plus is that for a short space in time my attention was on something else rather then my symptoms.

“A Must Change”




Today I feel the desperation of my need to lose weight. This has been an ongoing battle for probable 20 years. Off and on I go with diets. I start by building up this great attitude telling myself this time it’s going to be different. “You can do this, yes you can!” I visualize how I want to be. Not skinny or unrealistically thin. I see myself at a healthy weight feeling good about how I look, and feel energetically. I gather the food, plan the meals and after one week or two something comes along to sabotage my efforts. But you know what? That’s just an excuse. Blaming something outside myself for what I let happen. So today as I randomly do sometimes, I pull a book off my bookcase. This one is one of my longtime favorites called, “As a Man Thinketh,” by James Allen. It opens to a page easily, and when that happens I usually see it as a sign of something I’m meant to read.

“Effect of Circumstances” page 19.

“Here is a rich man who is the victim of a painful and persistent disease as the result of gluttony. He is willing to give large sums of money to get rid of it, but he will not sacrifice his gluttonous desires. He wants to gratify his taste for rich and unnatural viands and have his health as well. Such a man is totally unfit to have health, because he has not yet learned the first principles of a healthy life.”

Change means- to become different. I know everything I need to do, but I’d rather pay someone else to do it for me then do what I need to change myself. Change means giving up, and giving up is really hard to do. You can’t change like the rich man in the story until you recognize what the thing that is standing in your way is. The bottom line is I want to be healthy, but I have to want it enough to be willing to make the changes I need to. I can have all the encouragement I can get, all the prayer you can give me, but I’m the only one who can make it happen.

“Have to or To Have”


“Have to or To Have”

When you don’t want to do something, but there’s no way of getting around it, what’s left, but to plunge on through. If it’s a “have to” kind of thing, I can always change the word “have” to “choose.” It really does change the whole outlook on that something.

There’s a lot people I know right now, myself included, who are faced with some medical issue. I guess it has a lot to do with getting older. My Dad used to say, the older you get the more you have to go into the body shop for repairs, new parts and adjustments. Notice I use the words “have to.” I don’t like putting it that way because there’s always a choice to do, or not to do. No matter how unpleasant something is, it’s always up to us. No one is twisting our arm. When I hear myself say, I choose to have this done. Notice how the negative words “have to” becoming a positive reaction, “to have” actively changing the perception of the thought.

None of us desires to go through any kind of unpleasant repair, but when we make an informed decision, we are able to make a choice we can live with.

“Practicing What I Preach”


I’m working on practicing what I preach. When you don’t feel good it’s difficult to get beyond it, and think of anything else. I find myself saying you’re a mess Connie, and the next thing I know something else goes wrong with me or I’m just not getting better. I start looking up things on google adding to the messy thoughts of my condition. It’s like feeding the monster that won’t go away. Not only am I saying I am a mess, others are saying it as well to me. Why would the monster even think of leaving when it’s being feed so well?

The first step is recognizing what you’re thinking and saying to yourself, then simple stop saying it. I am not a mess. I am Connie. Then I start to list of all the things I’m grateful for. It’s not easy when you don’t feel well, so I start with the obvious. I am glad I woke-up and have another day in my life to live. I am glad that Tom is still with me. I am glad that Ollie is snuggled up beside me. I am glad my kids and their family’s are healthy. I am glad for this opportunity to make the best of my condition. Now is there anything more I can do to make myself better? Of course there is, and it starts by remembering how blessed I am above all else.