As I’ve alluded to in some recent blogs, I’ve had an injury which has kept me at home 24/7 for several weeks. Lots of pain has been an unwanted companion. Those of you who are or were in similar situations may have observed that motivation, creativity and inspiration go on holidays. Nevertheless, I’ve wanted to continue my self-imposed challenge to post a blog every week. Ideas for content have been sorely missing. What is one to do? Consult Prof Google, of course. I scoured a few hundred suggested blog topics. None of them sparked any interest. Besides, I thought, there is very little under the sun that you can’t read about on the internet. Where do I go from here?
I went back to my nightmare years on the farm to see if there was something I haven’t shared. Before you could say Pate de Foie Gras, I realized the story of Ricky, Lucy, Fred and Ethel was still untold. Just to be clear they were not the cast of the 1950’s sitcom. No, indeed. They were 4 majestic, mean-spirited geese that patrolled our land like a commando unit. They hissed and honked and screeched whenever anyone came near. We sure didn’t need a watch dog or home alarm system with the fearsome foursome keeping vigil.
This high strung quartet did not have a lengthy stay with us. It was not due to a shortened life span. It was more about their on-going misadventures and shenanigans. Periodically, they would get loose from their pen and go charging down the hill beside the road. They'd be screeching and honking descending like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse upon the neighbors’ gardens as veritable harbingers of doom. Personally, I found this quite entertaining. The neighbors whose gardens were being ravaged and plundered did not.
I always made myself scarce during the great escapes so I wouldn’t have to deal with the four fowl or foul four, depending how you regarded them. I found their antics a great source of comic relief during those trying times. I even thought they could have provided great fodder for new age nursery rhymes or cartoons. However, over the course of several months the honkers sorties caused great angst in the neighborhood. Fortunately, we found a farmer willing to have them take up residence on his farm where they lived out their remaining days. I look back fondly on the feisty four with smiles and affection. Here’s to you – Ricky, Lucy, Fred and Ethel. I hope you are honking happily in goose heaven.
Comments are welcomed.
It’s not about how high we jump or how fast we run. It’s about how we bounce. When people talk about resilience, they often refer to abouncing back. What if we looked at it as bouncing forward? How do we move forward from great adversity?
It happens when we recognize that we can be the heroes in our lives. It lies in our capacity to honor our suffering, respect our needs for self-care, and shape each day toward a more inspiring future.
Self-compassion is a big key. We need to acknowledge that we experience times of suffering and that suffering is a part of life. In those moments we need to be kind to ourselves. This does not mean wallowing. It is giving ourselves that compassion we would give to a friend or loved one.
Human beings are naturally resilient especially in the face of great challenges. Hope in those times of challenges means:
Former Vice President Joe Biden has experienced multiple losses in his life. He said what has kept him going was having a sense of purpose. Finding meaning and purpose for ourselves can keep us moving forward. Finding that sense of meaning and purpose can come from volunteering, helping others, being a role model for family members and friends. How we show up in the world can make adifference to someone without our realizing it.
Resilience is not only about navigating challenges in the present. It is also about how learning from past experiences helps us deal with unexpected situations in the future. It is about leveraging the good within us during easier times so that we move closer to a sense of thriving right now.
“There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who do not. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” – José N. Harris
Comments are welcomed.
It began with a purchase of a wireless keyboard. I’ve had a desk top computer with everything attached by wires. Yes, somewhat dinosaurish considering smart phones and nearly everything wireless. Still, it was a perfect set up for me until recently. The problem arose with that injury I’ve mentioned previously making it painful to sit at the computer for any length of time. Like most of us these days, my computer is a necessity. My well being depends upon it. Pathetic, but true. What to do? Of course, get a wireless keyboard that would stay by my side whereever I happen to be. Since I use a screen reader, I could be anywhere within 33 feet of the computer and hear what I was typing. This was too much fun.
I feel very fortunate that the simplest of things can lift my spirits and elicit sustained happiness. At least for one entire day. I began considering what else lifts my spirits and lightens my heart. They are truly the most seemingly insignificant moments. How often do we not realize the value of those moments until they become memories? I believe it is important to be aware and notice those moments, those small actions as they occur.
Memories play an important part as well. Science has shown how recalling a positive experience including the feeling associated with that experience can bring happiness in the present. We actually have a treasure trove of simple pleasures we can engage in to brighten our day. I thought I would share a few things that can uplift my mood like magic. A cup of good coffee is always a great starter.
Some others include: home made chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven, conversations with my grandkids, sharing some of my dinner with the family dog (he is too cute and cuddly for words), A visit to the Lemon & Lavender boutique, having lunch or brunch out with a friend, spending time in a special place in nature, roasted chestnuts from a vendor, spring rain, the smell of fresh mown grass, getting on public transit and visiting a neighboring hood, wearing my hot pink denim jacket, acknowledging with gratitude the caring people in my life. I have a seriously long list if I were to continue. There are numerous memories to recall and savor as well.
Just thinking about the items that bring us happiness can in and of itself lighten our hearts. What is on your list? What are your simple joys? What makes you smile or laugh?
Comments are welcome.
What comes to mind when you hear the word pandemic? Thoughts of past influenza epidemics that wiped out huge populations around the world, right? Records of pandemics actually date back several centuries. A pandemic is defined as an epidemic that spread beyond a single country’s boundaries. I am not here to talk about the flu, the plague and the like. It has occurred to me that stress may be the new age pandemic. You can go anywhere in the world and people have stresses whether it is about work, family, health, necessities of life, survival.
What to do about stress? Medical and psychologicals sciences have proven that laughter is definitely the best medicine.
Dr Robert Holden -
Every day a new medical “wonder-drug” is launched by another global, multi-million dollar drugs industry, and yet, according to recent research, laughter is still the best medicine. A series of recent trials by scientists confirm that laughter is the most effective and inexpensive “drug” on the market. Here are some good reasons to carry on laughing.
Stationary Jogging - Imagine being prescribed laughter for weight loss. It is not as silly as it sounds. Dr William Fry Jr coined the terms “internal aerobics” and “stationary jogging” to describe the physical effects of a good belly laugh. His research found that laughter, like physical exercise speeds up heart rate, expands circulation and enhances oxygen intake. In fact, he calculated that 100 to 200 belly-laughs a day is the equivalent of a high-impact workout that can help you burn off as many as 500 calories.
Internal Massage - Laughter is the ultimate chill pill. We instinctively turn to laughter and humour when we need to rest and relax. Medical researchers have found that while we laugh our upper body is exercised, and after we finish laughing, we experience a physical afterglow in which we relax muscle tension, reduce stress in the nerves, massage the lungs, restore a full and flowing breathing pattern and gently expand our circulation once more. Laughter is the perfect “internal massage” for our busy, manic, hyperactive lifestyles.
Comic Relief - Laughter is a natural pain killer. Norman Cousins is known as the modern Father of Laughter Therapy. In his famous article for the New England Journal of Medicine, Cousins told how he used laughter to heal himself of a painful spinal disease called ankylosing spondylitis. He wrote that he made “the joyous discovery that 10 minutes of genuine belly-laughter had an anaesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep.” Subsequent research verifies that laughter can produce the feel-good chemical called “endorphins” which help to kill pain.
The repeated research experiments of Dr Lee Berk at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, CA, shows that laughter, happiness and joy “inspire” the immune system to create white “T” cells, commonly called “happy cells”, which help to prevent infection.
Laughter is a very effective stress-buster. Psychologists describe people who are prone to frequent bouts of stress as “Type H” personalities. The “H” stands for hostile, hurried and humourless. These people are too busy to be happy, too busy to smile, and too busy to laugh. Dr Patch Adams prescribes laughter as a stress buster. “Over-seriousness is a medical emergency,” he says. “Morbidity blows problems up, but laughter blows problems off”. Physicians have discovered that the “mirthful laughter experience” physically reduces the serum levels of cortisol and other stress hormones in the body.
Humour and laughter are excellent shock-absorbers that increase personal resilience during testing times. And, when there is nothing to laugh about, laugh on credit. After all, he who laughs, lasts.
Comments are welcomed.