Mama called the doctor

health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, psychotherapy, thoughts for living, Uncategorized


If someone is sick, you take them to the doctor. Sometimes, paramedics are called in to put the person in an ambulance to take them to the ER.

So where do you go if you are spiritually sick? You go to the Spiritual Doctor. Of course, there are specialists who deal with the brain, the heart, the skin, the kidneys. If you have a cold, you can go to the brain doctor, but it’s not necessary. The brain doctor might choose to not see you because she has more serious cases which require her level of expertise. So you go to the general practitioner who sees a wide variety of common disorders.

How do you decide how spiritually sick someone is? What are their symptoms? And who are the specialists of the Higher Order cases? That’s a tough question for which to determine an answer. Ministers don’t advertise specialties like a doctor does, yet it would seem a similar comparison could be made. What if a Healer was some obscure medicine/religious person who lived in a remote area? How would you find them? And if it’s still ultimately God, God heals us through his people.

You call the Great Healer through prayer, but you still have to pray.

Here are some signs of a spiritually healthy person:

1. An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

2. Frequent attacks of smiling.

3. Feelings of being connected with others and nature.

4. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

5. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.

6. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

7. A loss of ability to worry.

8. A loss of interest in conflict.

9. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

10. A loss of interest in judging others.

11. A loss of interest in judging self.

12. Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.



Remember to BREATHE

health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, Social Trends, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

Has your life knocked the breath out of you? No wonder, as multi-tasking has been tagged as the the working person’s holy grail when it comes to getting it done.

But for all of the star treatment multi-tasking has garnered over the years, efficiency experts are now learning that focusing on one task at a time is more productive than simultaneously attempting to complete many things.

If you find yourself distracted and scattered throughout the day, spending a few minutes paying attention to your breathing can bring back your focus.

According to integrative health physician Andrew Weil, M.D., “practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”

Breathing by its very nature is a singular activity. Try exhaling and inhaling at the same time. As a foundation to a mindfulness way of life, breathing is the cornerstone.
Here are some tips for beginning a mindful breathing practice:

1. In the beginning, just breathe and pay attention to your breath without any inclination to adjust its depth or length.
2. If feeling anxious, take time to breathe deep into your belly. This breath intention will help dissipate feelings of anxiety.
3. Alternate breaths by covering one nostril and taking one inhale and exhale with one nostril and then switching. This technique will bring more attention to the air that passes through your sinus.
4. Say a phrase that helps you focus on your breathing, such as “breathe in faith, breathe out fear.”

Many books, cds, and dvds are available from a variety of sources for personal use to learn how to improve your breathing technique. Local community groups, such as mental health groups or hospitals, may offer in-person classes.

At its breakneck speed, life takes our breath away. Taking a few minutes each day to catch it, will allow us to be living beings again.

Time tripping and the power of now

health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment   

The only moment which can be relied upon is the current one. Beyond this, everything is up for grabs. To be comfortable with the emptiness of the unknown is challenging and improbable to me. Yet, do I have another choice? My thinking wants me to believe I do.  I can and do fill up my time thinking about the future. Yet this is nothing because my thoughts can’t occupy the space of the future, they can only occupy right now.

Understanding this offers me freedom from the illusion of control based on my thinking. If I can remember, it’s a blessing to discover there’s power in my powerlessness over what comes after now.


Your obsessions can be your salvation

autism, creative non fiction, health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

My youngest son, Daniel, and our dog, Pepper, made our daily field trip to the nearby developed lake. We hunted for turtles, fish, and green algae. I have surrendered the idea of convincing my son about switching obsessions to something else because of my opinion of its tediousness. He loves this daily ritual of speaking to the flora and fauna and listening to their quiet. So, who am I to disrupt this calming activity, which, once I look past its repetitiveness, is calming to me, too?

The symptoms of repetitiveness and obsession are aspects of my son’s diagnosis on the autism spectrum. He is rated “high functioning,” whatever that means. I am rated a high functioning recovering person. My home environment mostly reflects my high functionability withgood-orderly-direction echoes of chaos. I married a high functioning working man who has an obsession of taking opportunities wherever they take us. They have taken us to eight homes in 18 years. That’s a household move every 2 ½ years. So, it ought not be a shock that some boxes are 18 years old, but when I look at them I am surprised that they are still with me. They are loaded into the moving van and relocated. This last relocation, however, feels like a long-term one. While I rationalize it as being in my son’s best interest, I know deep down it’s in my best interest, too, to stay put. More boxes have been unpacked than ever before, including the 30 plus ones bequeathed to me by my mother.

One room displays like a museum. It is perfectly put together and we don’t live in it. It is used only as a passage way into the kitchen. It is an unattainable model for the rest of the house. Every other room is in some kind of organizing process with a few boxes scattered around as reminders to my previously vagabond life. My son, with his obsession to reliable routines, is helping me exchange my feelings of discomfort to feelings of security for order and structure.

Be a turtle today

business, health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, thoughts for living

turAt the dog races, the rabbit is the animal picked to entice the greyhounds along. Speed certainly has its advantages but in this scenario I think I would rather be the turtle. In the world of the big dogs, rabbits better be fast.

But maybe it’s not necessary to race the big dogs to have a satisfying life. And frankly, the stress of that particular race doesn’t feel very satisfying when you look at the unhealthy coping strategies some people use to deal with it and the related illnesses they create such as addiction, heart disease, diabetes, etc.

Don’t overlook the turtle in the race. She’s still in it and at the end of it she still has her breath.

Lonely as a Cloud

meditation, mindfulness, thoughts for living

We spend our time absorbed in our lives and later discover it won’t endure. The Jeopardy-life trivia that I made my bed 250 days in a row or that I’m abstinent from sugar and alcohol for 1,096 days straight won’t matter to the generation 100 years from now.

The world is divided among people who are struggling or dancing through their day. Some people are walking around with a cloud over their head. You can nearly reach up and touch the cloud, the burdens they bear are so great. Others seem to skip through their life as if under their feet are the white cotton versions of the grey clouds that hang over others. Others don’t have the clouds over their heads or under they feet. They’re dog paddling through the fogginess of their lives. Many days I feel like I’m in the fog category: I’m not sure where I am and I certainly don’t know how I got there.

Any random set of circumstances can occur in any given moment. Our bumper is rear ended at the intersection. Our wallet is stolen from the office. A child is unexpectedly diagnosed with a lifelong disability or life threatening illness. We set out in our lives with good intentions, but so many factors out of our control pave the way to our personal hell.

Is the concept we all have choices in our attitude a luxury of people who have access to resources? Or is developing the right attitude the springboard for the universe to send resources and choices our way? I meet people every day who have enormous obstacles to overcome yet seem to have found the key to developing a positive attitude anyway. The world would understand their negative frame of mind over their circumstances, yet they refuse to accept this point of view. Contrast them with people who fritter their lives away. They hold Sharpie marked cardboard signs asking for handouts and offering God’s blessings. They believe emotional manipulation of others is a better use of time then manipulating their own emotions and thoughts.

In a 100 years, the trivialities of life will be lost to obscurity and of no consequence. I can’t even comprehend the vastness of the world and that across the ocean are other individuals involved in the minutiae of their lives. But if I bring my attention to now, I can comprehend the person sitting across from me at lunch and give my attention to them without thinking about myself. This focus which flashes like lightening in the dark cloud sky matters for this moment and attracts the attention of others. And this momentary attention is all I have to offer up as a gift and the rest of the time is in God’s hands.

lonely as a cloud