1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes
A beautifully written and performed song - "1000 candles, 1000 cranes." As one reviewer put it, in a time of "political amnesia," this song is a lovely painful lesson. Please...if you have a few minutes, listen to this song...carefully. I can't remember how long ago I heard it played on a local radio station (never to be heard again, sadly), but it touched me deeply with the irony of it and how pain can be reconciled by chance meetings. A lovely song which I find I rarely listen to without tears coming to my eyes.
Stumbling Toward Enlightenment
Well, I put the pictures of my parents and me here because #8 on the list I'm about to post has to do with parents. Besides, I like showing them off! I'm doing my best to spend as much time (and quality time that is) as I can these days. Life is short and I really feel it's important to spend this time with people you love. And...I love my parents!
Now, getting to my post. Years ago, while going through some difficult times in my life, I came upon a book by Geri Larkin called "Stumbling Toward Enlightenment." I was always drawn to the Buddhist way of life but had such a difficult time grasping the tenets of that way of life. So, one day in the bookstore while desperately seeking some book which would give me solace, I saw the title of this book and I just knew I had to buy it. I was stumbling...big time! Well, it got read, and re-read and marked up and dog-eared over that summer and, to this day, I still go back and read through sections of it.
This evening I opened the book to the chapter on Fear, Worry and Shame and it began with a list of Twelve Steps for Dealing with Misery (I had A LOT of underlinings and notes in that chapter!).
So, here are the Twelve Steps for Dealing with Misery according to Geri Larkin:
Now, these may seem a bit harsh to some of you but, I assure you, at the time I bought this book (and I was VERY miserable), I worked on...well at least 11 of those steps (Don't think I'd have the courage to do step 7 quite yet.)
Although Larkin wrote these steps for dealing with misery, they are really good steps to help you lead a more peaceful life. Really.
Feel good about the food you eat
When you're feeling celebratory and good about yourself, what foods do you gravitate toward? For me, it's salad with lots of crunchy nuts, sweet cranberries, avocado (oh my I can't get enough of it) with a ginger type dressing. But when I'm having a difficult time in life, the first food I reach for (if it's in my freezer) is ice cream or I want cookies. The foods which me make me more physically ill and I know it!
How we relate to food can get very complicated especially when we look to it to help us feel better about ourselves. We search for happiness, contentment but not nourishment.
Many people tend to look to feeling good through food so they gravitate toward the comfort foods (which sometimes is not so good for you). Nourishment is not in the vocabulary at these times. But there are ways to keep from eating too much or starving yourself. Discover how you can nurture yourself to create a happier, healthier relationship to food - and your body.
EAT MINDFULLY - Think about where your food came from and how it was prepared. Enjoy the colors or the aroma. Pay attention to the food you eat.
EAT LOW-DENSITY FOODS - Here's a trick to figure out what packaged foods you buy are low energy density foods. Check the label (you should be doing that anyway). If a food has a low energy density, the number of calories will be lower than its weight in grams. For example, a 1/2 cup of Trader Joes Organic Kidney Beans is 130 grams and is 110 calories so it's considered to be a low-density food.
EAT COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES - http://www.glycemicindex.com to help you choose foods low on the glycemic index (55 or less).
STAY ACTIVE - Move your body! Find something you enjoy and incorporate it into your life. If you really enjoy it don't look at as a chore (that's how I felt when I joined a gym - quit after several months because I was bored there), you’ll do it more often.
BE SURE YOU GET ENOUGH SLEEP - About an hour before going to bed, turn off the TV and computer, keep your bedroom as dark as possible, if you're a light sleeper (like I am), block out noise with earplugs and do some deep breathing to help calm your nerves so you can sleep better.
IF YOU OVEREAT, BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF - Take a walk or go to the movie. Even call a friend. Just be sure you care for yourself in all ways.
Natural Health Magazine had an article about a very important topic that many people don't take into account during difficult times. The question posed is "Why are some of us immune to stress, while others buckle under pressure at the first opportunity?" The answer? It's all in how we look at it. If you rise to the challenges in life rather than fear them, you are at a great advantage. This is a learned trait - a life skill we can all benefit from. There will always be stress in life, but being resilient to it is quite doable. Our thoughts affect our physiology, so it's a good idea to do whatever we can to help make us resistant to stress. Want to know how to make some adjustments to your mindset to facilitate a positive impact on your life? Practice the tips below to get you started.