BarbetteSpitler.com

Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

What is Energy Medicine?

400_Human_Energy_Field_2I get a lot of questions about energy medicine…  In a nutshell….  Energy Medicine is based on physics rather than biochemistry.  Physics is the study of energy.  You remember from high school?  Physics does not override biochem.  It DRIVES it!  Biology and Chemistry behave according to the laws of physics.  The human body is made of energy.  ALL matter has energy!  IF you have ever had an x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, EKG, EEG, EMG, laser surgery, etc… they are all done using energy!

Conventional medicine treats the symptoms of a singular body system.  My friend, Christina Ross,compares western medicine to auto mechanics, plumbers and electricians.  It’s a GREAT analogy.  The human body has bones (structure), digestive system (plumbing), and nervous system (electrical).  Western medicine treats the body systems separately.  If we have a heart problem we see a cardiologist.  If we have a stomach problem we see a gastroenterologist.  If we have a structure problem we see an orthopedist.  Pharmaceuticals (medications) affect the chemical signals in the body and all medications have side effects meaning they affect (mostly negatively) other body systems because they interfere with the chemical signals of the body.  Treating the body as if it is just a sum of it’s individual parts is not only inefficient it is often detrimental to the body as a whole.

Energy medicine recognizes ALL body systems are connected and strives to harmonize the entire energy system.  When the body is in energetic balance, (then and only then) does the body heal itself.  Energy medicine works with the electromagnetic signals of the body.  Since every cell, tissue, muscle, bone, organ, blood…  every part of the body is energy and therefore sending electromagnetic signals throughout the body – harmonizing them to balance is the most efficient way to heal the body.  Since every part of the human body is interconnected and integrated with every other part of the human body – achieving balance in a body system also means achieving energetic balance to the whole.

In our culture, we think nothing of getting an X-ray nor do we understand fully how the energy of it works.  We get an ultrasound and only care about the results and nothing about the energetics of how it works.  We see our heart rate blipping on the monitor screen and don’t understand the science behind the graph. We are just happy to see the activity that indicates we have a beating heart!  Measuring the brain waves (EEG) is yet another tool to measure energy waves and determine the brain activity.  Each of these examples are an example of using energy for testing or reading the electrical signals within the body.  We use these terms nearly every day yet we know little to nothing about the science of these tools which measure the energy within the body.  But we do not question the validity!

Conventional medicine is newer in comparison to energy medicine.  Pharmaceuticals have only been around for the last 60 years.  Yet, energy medicine and hands on healing have been see in drawings dating back to 2700 BC.    It is well studied and again I remind you…. there are no negative side effects.  I’ve been told only Jesus heals…  I submit to you that is wholly inaccurate!  Every human body has the ability to heal itself.  You have healed yourself of cuts, abrasions, broken bones, and many illnesses including influenza, colds, gastroenteritis, headaches, and many other interruptions of the human system.  No medicine can cure you.  No doctor can heal you.  You heal yourself.  Healing is made easier and much more efficient when you treat the body as a whole, recognize and harmonize the human energy system, and only use medications when truly necessary.  Fortunately, medications are seldom truly necessary!   Thankfully, we have the scientific understanding of energy medicine and it is available at our fingertips!

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Change My Friends!?!?

84633959afc236bcad8429b8235015adChange My Friends??  But ONE friendship can change your whole world!

This weekend I heard a quote that caused me to pause a moment.  I wrote it down.  It was thought provoking.  I’ve been pondering it all weekend.  “If you can’t change your friends, it’s time to change your friends.”

I am an RN of 25 years who shifted to health & wellness advocate.  My career is health promotion and disease prevention.  I encourage people to take action to clean up their diets and learn to fuel their bodies with quality nutrition.  I educate people about nature and nurture.  I introduce people to holistic and complimentary supplements and modalities which will enhance their health and wellness.  My wish for everyone is the best physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health possible.  Yet, I recognize I am considered an odd ball in my circle of friends and family.  I am often teased and many poke fun at me for my beliefs, my suggestions and my lifestyle.  I am sometimes disappointed when I cannot affect change with/for them.  I am aware some of my friends and family ignore me,  thinking I am just sharing my opinions.  However… I am schooled in nutrition.  I have researched nutritional supplements and holistic methods.  Thirty years ago my opinion was that food only needed to taste good!  Fast forward through degree programs and research and I KNOW for certain, food is fuel!  It is the major ingredient in our physical performance, our mental capabilities and our emotional balance.  No Oreo or Dorito can provide that fuel and we are silly if we think it can or will!

I know people in my circle who don’t want to believe that food is the major player in allowing dis-ease or  promoting good health.  But change friends just because they don’t think the same as I?  Change friends because they smoke or drink or carry around an extra 50 pounds?  Change friends because I can’t influence them enough to want to enhance or improve their health?

Twice I was over 200#.  Once was while pregnant with twins.  I have carried extra weight and yo-yo dieted most of my life.  I understand the addiction to sugar because I lived it.  I attended Carbohydrates Anonymous (which I think is now known as Food Addicts Anonymous).  I was addicted to Diet Pepsi.  I totally understand the issues!  AND…I am a nurse with over 25 years experience in ER, ICU, Home Care and Hospice.  I have seen the affects of drug interactions, recreational drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and poor food choices.  We humans want to think food is about “tastes good” rather than “fuels well”.  We want to ignore the connection to what we put in our physical gas tank affects our physical, mental and emotional performance.  Egads… how do we not SEE the connection??  For a long time, I didn’t!  Yet, change my friends because they see things differently?  Wouldn’t that be like changing my friends because they have different religious or political beliefs?  I’m still pondering this….

I asked Damn-Near-Perfect (my husband of nearly 32 years) for his thoughts.  His words of wisdom….”When you surround yourself with people who don’t believe you, don’t “get” you, and don’t want to hear what you have to offer, it hurts your heart and makes you doubt your place on the planet.  When you surround yourself with people who think like you do, you will never again doubt yourself and what you do.  ”   WOW.  WOW.  WOW.

Deep Breath.  A few tears.  And now…..

Changes Ahead!!

Changes next exit

 

 

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Same-Sex-Marriage Causes the Decline of America?

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Why are so many American’s  upset about the Supreme Court Ruling about Same-Sex-Marriage.  If you aren’t Gay… why do you care?  If you stand in your Christian faith, know this….  Absolutely nothing has changed in the Bible. God’s law (or your interpretation of  it) is exactly the same as it was before the ruling. We are still responsible to live as God requests and to teach our children to do the same.  We are still responsible to be kind and considerate.  We are still responsible to be of love and service to our fellow man and spread love and peace throughout the land!

There are many, many, MANY things that are legal but not necessarily Godly and certainly not considered Gods Law.  But just because they are legal, doesn’t mean you have to embrace them and incorporate them into your lifestyle.  Strip clubs are legal.  Pornography is legal.  Alcohol is legal.  Sex out of wedlock is legal.  Having children out of wedlock is legal.  Divorce is legal! Having sex with your married friend is legal.  Gambling is legal.  And now, same-sex-marriage is legal.  Whoop-di-do!  If you don’t like it, join me on the sideline of  “I’m not gonna do that!”
Like all the above, just because they are legal doesn’t mean you have to like them, do them or support them.  And I’m pretty sure this is not the “beginning of the end for America”.  Other countries have already recognized same-sex-marriage and they didn’t implode.  Surprisingly, they haven’t made bestiality legal either (Oh the incredible things people say from fear and intolerance).  And before you spout off about how this nation was built on Christian faith and values, remember this….  our forefathers annihilated the natives of this land and then enslaved millions.  There was nothing Christian in any of that!
In America’s history, there have been several major events which caused division in the nation.  When those events were settled, the decision was sure to cause the decline of America.  The Civil War….  Slaves were freed in 1863…. Women fought for the right to vote for over 50 years….  Prohibition in the 1920’s… Mixed race marriages… I could go on but you get the idea.  Each of these events (and more) have divided this nation.  Yet, none of them have caused it’s demise.  And we need to step back from the ridiculousness of assuming a “law of the land” or “mans law” will ever dominate above all.
As we are being so focused on this human issue at hand, we seem to have forgotten that each of us was a NON-gender spirit (soul) before our entry on the planet and we will again be NON-gender when we leave it.  I am sure  you have noticed, we leave our physical body behind like an old robe.  Do you suppose our souls gather around and speculate on the earthly laws?  I’m thinking our souls look back at the earth and wonder why we wasted so much time focused on limiting one another instead of raising the level of all humanity to love and service for others.
Ponder this….  what if all the energy created in social media against the Supreme Court Ruling had been focused on healing the sick, promoting wellness, feeding the hungry, or saving lives.  Now THAT would be unity vs division.  It would be love and service rather than judgment and condemnation.  It would be Grace rather than intolerance.  It would be miraculous, indeed!
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“UNFRIEND” Means Much More

unfriend

I read a FaceBook post from a young lady who said a close family member had “unfriended” her.  As I pondered this, I was mindful, there are always two sides to every story.  I wondered about the other side of the story.  I don’t remember any of her posts being inappropriate, so I looked through them to see if I missed something.  I had not.  Not one of her posts crossed any type of ethical or moral lines. Not even borderline.  What type of message did the family member intend to send to her and why?

I was recently “unfriended” by a family member.  When I asked about it, they indicated my FB posts were too self serving in nature and they weren’t interested in reading them.  As is the nature with social media, we share our joy and happiness. We share our events, our excitement and our thoughts. Interestingly enough, also available with social media are ways to scroll past the posts you do not want to read.  Similar to the old fashioned way of reading a newspaper or magazine.  If you don’t want to read something… you don’t.  You simply turn the page.  When something on television doesn’t resonate with you, change the channel or turn it off.  FaceBook has this feature where you can scroll past a person’s posts.  OR you can take their posts out of your newsfeed so you don’t even see what they share.  Especially if they are fanatical about politics!  You can turn off notifications as well.  It’s that easy. That is…IF it is truly about the content of their posts that offends you.
Social media is an interesting facet of current times.  People use this platform in many different ways.  Some use it as their political microphone.  Others use it to support and advertise their business.  Many people use it as a way to follow friends and family activities yet never post their own.  Just yesterday I heard two people chatting, never having met until then, indicating they felt they knew each other because of their connections on social media.  For each of us, our intention to use social media may differ.  There is no right or wrong way to use it (illegal, immoral, unethical uses not included).  And for each of us, we have the right and free will to read what we want, scroll past what we choose not to see and seek out what we enjoy reading more about.  When we disagree with another’s viewpoints, we can easily ignore their posts.  Really, it’s just that easy.  Even the political posts!
When we click on the option to “UNFRIEND” we are doing more than limiting our view of their posts/newsfeed.  We are sending a message that cannot be unheard.  We are making a statement TO the individual that goes far beyond social media. Explore your true intention before unfriending someone.  Decide if it is really about the posts or is it something else.  Wouldn’t it be wiser and more helpful to share your thoughts or concerns with the person rather than sending them a message you can never undo.   Is it worth damaging a long term relationship over a social media post?  And if it’s not about the social media platform, then determine what it is really about and work to resolve it.  Life is too short and relationships are too precious to click that button and send the huge message that goes along with it.
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Doctors Practice Witchcraft?

dictionary pharmaceuticalWhen looking for a definition we are unsure of, we seek the answer in the dictionary.   We have learned, though, the dictionary is ever changing as we, the people, create new idioms or use words once considered “slang” and now considered common.  Consider the correct use of the word; anxious.  Many people use it as a form of expressing anticipation and eagerness for a meeting or event.  i.e. I’m so anxious to meet you.  However, the definition of anxious actually means;  afraid, nervous, showing fear, or feeling anxiety.  Thus the correct word for expressing happy anticipation is eager.  i.e.  I am eager to see you again.  Interesting, right?

Now consider the definition of pharmaceutical.  We think of pharmaceutical as being related to drugs, medicines or pharmacy.  However, just a few short years ago, that was not the Webster’s definition.  In 1968, Websters defined pharmaceutical:  to practice witchcraft or sorcery.  In my parent’s 1979 Webster’s Dictionary (photo above) it is defined:  to practice witchcraft or use medicine.  The same dictionary defines pharmacon: poison.    So, what’s changed?  Certainly we cannot argue medicine or pharmaceuticals are improved such that we now have removed the definition poison and/or witchcraft.  Quite the contrary.  We have an incredible number of class action lawsuits against many different pharmaceuticals and new suits arise every year.
What’s changed?  It’s our acceptance and usage.  As the percentage of American’s using pharmaceuticals increased year after year one could hardly ignore the definition no longer spoke to the masses, right?  How many physicians would approve of Webster’s defining the majority of their practice as witchcraft and sorcery?  How many patients seeking the latest and greatest pill for what ails them would approve of their prescription for poison?  How many people would approve of the majority of our TV commercials advertising better ways to practice witchcraft with the best poison?  Really….   think about it!
Every pharmaceutical has a side effect (or six).   Often, the side effect is a worsening case of what you have initially.  Sometimes, the side effect is the opposite of what you are seeking.  Sometimes, the side effects are such that your body must be monitored for failure of another body system.  Not because your original ailment would cause that other system to fail, but the medication will!!

The body is designed to heal itself.  When we fuel it with healthy foods full of wholesome enzymes meant to help the body restore itself…when we hydrate our cells, tissues, fluids and organs such that they perform as designed… and when we rest and refresh our bodies… our bodies will seek to heal and regain balance.  An imbalance always has a root cause.  Discovering the root cause enables a quicker and more successful pathway to wholeness and healing.  Please… Take a few moments to think about pharmaceuticals (medication) and see if you can find one that actually cures a disease or illness.  Not something that just masks the symptoms, but truly cures.   I’m pondering…..but so far…. not one!

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Leland Controversy Becomes Positive

LelandWe recently found ourselves to be at the center of controversy.  It was not necessary nor was it instigated by us.  Nonetheless, there we were.  Right smack-dab in the middle of a news story which by it’s delivery, was meant to stir up the justice-seekers of the community.  Although we knew the truth, we also knew there is always the possibility a good situation can turn ugly just because public opinion calls it so.

We purchased an old historic property.  It was built in the early 1920’s and is situated on a beautiful piece of property by a garden park and a river.  The property was owned by the Five Rivers MetroParks.  My husband has been employed by Five Rivers for nearly 20 years.  This property had been their corporate headquarters for 50 years and was on the market for nearly 2 1/2 years.  It was our understanding there were a lot of lookers but no offers.  There was simply too  much work to be done to either restore it OR to renovate and upgrade it.  It is just a little too far out of the downtown area and not far enough to be in the neighboring towns.  But, we didn’t care about all that.  We have a vision for it and we knew what we could afford, and it wasn’t even half of the asking price.

The issue was two-fold:  the ridiculously low price we paid for it AND that it sold to an employee for that low price.  Although everything was clean, clear, legal, and totally transparent and above reproach, it didn’t matter to those who wanted to stir up controversy.  So, they did.  The claim eluded to favoritism and foul play.  The investigation included scouring through all the public documents about the property, the sale, our backgrounds, and my husbands personnel record of nearly 20 years.  It was not pleasant.  Every day there were updates about the investigation.  There was the phone interview and my awareness that anything can be taken out of context and misconstrued for sensationalism.  All the while, I know the purchase followed the Ohio Revised Code for government owned real estate sales.  And when the MetroPark was concerned they had missed something relatively small, they started the whole process over again by posting the property for sale in the Public Notice Section as well as holding another Open House for the public.  I was in a bit of a twit about it all.  I knew our offer was low.  Anyone in the whole, wide, world could come in with a higher offer and walk away with it.  I prayed, as I always do, that IF this is the right purchase for us, that it be made easy and effortless.  And we got it.  We closed months later than expected and lost a lot of good weather time to work on the exterior.  A few days after the closing, we received notification from the City indicating the exterior did not meet standards and needed immediate attention, or else!  That was our Welcome to the City!

When the news investigation began in January, we had barely started working on the building. And we were all too aware of the  watchful eyes to our comings and goings.  And then the news….  First it was on the local news without our names but clearly indicating this was an inappropriate sale.  Then the next day came the newspaper article with personal information being published, which was totally unrelated to the sale.  Then came my personal interview and tour of the property, which I offered up.  Why?  Because, it was my prayer that the Angels shine the light on the harmony and transparency of this transaction and to allow this to be a positive publicity event for the Leland Center.  You see, our vision for the Leland extends far beyond us.  It is our hope to provide the community with holistic services, access to workshops and events which are not currently available in the area, AND we have a vision to have a non-profit arm of the business which will provide complimentary therapies to Veterans and our active military especially those suffering with PTSD.  The final news piece has become exactly what we prayed for.  It was done well, with integrity and exemplifies our vision of the Leland House as well as became positive publicity for the Leland.  There will be more written about this journey.  We are eager to share!

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Pt 2 “Mom, You’re registered for a full marathon!” No way! Not me!! Never!

Mary and I rocking the half marathon!  Finished in 3 hours 5 minutes!

Mary and I rocking the half marathon! Finished in 3 hours 5 minutes!

Two weeks before the Air Force Marathon, September 2010, my husband and I visited our Air Force son, Cody, at his base in Biloxi, MI.  While there, I just had to run along the flight lines.  It was so cool!!  I was really enjoying the jog/fast walk intervals.  (I never really understood the difference between jog and run, but I am pretty sure as slow as I was going and the minimal distance I covered each time…it was jogging.)  While we visited, Cody surprised me with the announcement he was coming home to run the FULL Air Force Marathon along with several of his friends.  I was so excited to know they would all be on the course and having a new experience together!  But I was in NO WAY interested in ever doing that!

During the half marathon, I had to make a quick potty stop.  I drink plenty of water and I didn’t know to plan around the pee stops.  There was a long line and it put me about 8 minutes behind Mary.  I needed to catch up!  So, I jogged until I found her.  I don’t know what the distance actually was but I smiled often as I realized I was actually jogging a portion of a half marathon.  I caught up with her and later, we crossed that finish line together and with great big smiles on our faces. We averaged 13 1/2 min/miles  for the first 5-6 miles.  We rocked!!  I loved every minute and knew I wanted to do it again the next year.  My son and his friends finished the full marathon.  They were sore, they struggled up and down the stairs.  I giggled at their misery.  And I knew, I never needed to do that…ever!!  Why??  Running (or jogging) 26.2 miles is just crazy!  And look at how much pain it causes!  Dah!  Why would anyone sign up for that?

During the Christmas season, Cody announced he was being deployed to Iraq for most of 2011.  He also announced that my Christmas gift was registration for the 2011 Air Force FULL Marathon.  He promised he would train while in Iraq and he would be home in time to run the full marathon WITH me.  My response….”What in our entire history together would ever give you the impression I wanted to or COULD do a full marathon!!??”  I was shocked, scared, stunned, defiant, and confused all at the same time.  But he was serious!  His answer, “Mom, you fast-walked a half marathon already.  Train to run a half marathon and even if you have to walk the rest, you will have finished a full marathon.”   He talked.  He coached.  He promised.  He even drew out a plan for how I could achieve it.  He deployed and I started training.  Why?  Because I was determined to make him proud!  I was excited he would be there with me. I wasn’t going to let him down. I knew the sacrifice he was making on this deployment.  All I had to do was jog.  So, I took the training very seriously.  I surprised myself!  My intervals lengthened.  My determination heightened.  My confidence increased.  My excitement escalated.  He coaches me very well!  From Iraq, he coached me how to run up and down the hills which was something I struggled with and avoided.  He taught me how the mind plays tricks on us while we run, but how we can play tricks right back.

Cody returned from Iraq about 10 days before the marathon.  He knew there was no way he could in-process to the base and make it up to Ohio in time to run the marathon.  What??  NO!!  I was terrified.  Now I would be alone!  All my training runs had been alone but with the knowledge Cody would be with me at the marathon.  Anxiety set it.  Then…. I had this thought!  Billy Ray Cyrus had this wonderful show called, “Surprise Homecoming”.  I just knew Cody was really going to be at the marathon!   I started having these fleeting thoughts and daydreams he would be there and at the finish line.  It would be him who would put the medal around my neck.  And….it was those thoughts that sustained me during the entire marathon.  What a great show it would be….  Mom runs marathon for son.  Son shows up from deployment and surprises Mom at the finish line.  Whenever I felt overwhelmed with the remaining distance to run, I would think about that finish line and Cody waiting.  And I’d be re-inspired and re-energized.

As I rounded that final curve, ran under the wings of those magnificent planes, and headed to the finish line I was almost smiling.  I knew it was almost over and I had done it.  But I also knew Cody would be waiting.  I saw the lines of officers handing out the medals as the runners came across the finish line.  I saw a young man in fatigues peak out from one of the officers and my heart jumped!  Cody!?!?  I headed to that chute.  As I got closer, the young man peaked again.  This time I was close enough to see his face.  NO!!  That’s not Cody!!  I cross the finish line, get my medal and look for my husband.  His smile melts my heart and I hold back the tears.  HE is so proud I can feel it.  We hug!  I am shocked I did it.  I actually ran a full 26.2 marathon  Who does that?  Who turns 50 and then decides to learn to run and then runs a marathon!  He tells me to call Cody and let him know I finished.  He hands me the phone but I can’t talk.  Now the tears flow unrestrained. Within moments all four of our boys are calling or texting with congratulations.  Both Cody and his twin brother, Britt, are ecstatic!  They make me cry because they are so proud of me.

I ran a marathon!  Really!!!

Oh…and that young man who was peaking out from behind the officer…he made the news!  He was waiting for his girlfriend to cross the finish line.  When she did, he proposed!  Again, my heart melted!

 

First marathon!  26.2 miles!  Sept 2011

First marathon! 26.2 miles! Sept 2011

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Pt 1… Running?? NOT ME!! Not now…not ever!! (How I got started.. )

Jogging or Running... doesn't matter!  It's about the GO!

Jogging or Running… doesn’t matter! It’s about the GO!

Running had never been of interest to me.  It was too hard!  I felt clumsy and awkward.  I never felt light and free.  Running was difficult!  I couldn’t run the distance from one telephone pole to another without feeling like my lungs would explode.  I couldn’t regulate my breath and I was embarrassed that someone might actually see me trying to run and failing miserably!   It seemed that running was so easy for others I didn’t understand why it was so difficult for me.  I could run short distances.  I played softball and had no trouble running to base.  Having said that, I acknowledge I was okay to run to the base but I was well aware I wasn’t very fast doing it.  My answer to that?  Hit the ball hard and send it flying far enough that I could actually get to base.  Hey!!  It worked!  I loved sports so I was willing to find a way to make the running tolerable.

While in college, our volleyball team frequently did distance runs up to 3 miles.  I was such an awkward teen I didn’t share my feelings of awkwardness, or my fears of distance runs with my teammates. They didn’t know how hard my heart pounded in my chest.  They didn’t know how frightened I was that I could literally die before we got back to the gym.  My coach had no idea how I struggled to breathe.  I kept it all to myself.  And I struggled!   In hindsight, I am absolutely positive every one of them would have supported me and cheered me to success.  However, I continued to keep my struggle and my dislike of distance running to myself.

All through my adulthood I continued to enjoy sports and being active.  I loved step-aerobics, dance, ballet, and yoga.  I became certified in Pilates and I loved teaching mat classes.  I have the most fun with Zumba!  P90X and other programs become fun for me.  When I saw my sister-in-law, Mary, was fast walking a half marathon, I told her that sounded like fun and I’d like to do it with her.  The following year, September 2010, she and I trained for and fast walked the US Air Force Half Marathon.  I loved the training walks.  We did many of them together but we also had to do much of our training alone.  We live over 10 miles apart so we kept track of each other and kept up the same pace, the same distances and took our training very seriously.  She would keep an eye on the time and pace of our training walks.  At times we walked so fast, I wanted to break into a jog.  I resisted because I remembered. Besides, I was 49 years old.  No one starts jogging at 49, right?

One morning that summer, while on a 4 mile walk by myself, I was pushed for time.  I was walking so fast I couldn’t resist the urge to jog.  I jogged about 20 yards and I immediately regretted it.  My heart was pounding out of my chest, there was throbbing in my ears, my lungs were burning and I was hoping no one noticed!  I slowed to a fast walk again.  Soon, I thought I would try it again.  No better feeling.  No better outcome.  Ugh!  I was listening to my iPod and I laughed out loud when I realized I hadn’t made it through one verse of the playing song.  But… to my credit, I continued to try.  All summer I worked at it.  My goal was to get farther each attempt.  I later learned those are called intervals.  Sometimes I would set a landmark goal ahead, like a tree or a driveway, and attempt to reach it. Other times, I would plan to get to the end of the current song.  Eventually, I was able to sustain a slow, comfortable jog for more than 20 yards!  Then, I set my sights on jogging the length of our driveway.  Then, it was to the end of the driveway AND back. My next big goal was to jog from beginning to end of a song.  I eventually did it.  I was so excited!!  By the end of summer, I could jog to the road and back 10 times!  I had no idea how long it was.  It didn’t matter.  I was learning to control my breathing, and jog longer distances.  Together, Mary and I fast walked about 14 min miles.  My slow jog was probably 13 min miles.  I didn’t care.  I could finally jog without fear of exploding lungs!  The funny part was I started to enjoy it.

We worked hard for this!  We rocked it!

We worked hard for this! We rocked it!

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Brittany Maynard and Lauren Hill. Same direction… two very different paths… Live it or Leave it?

Lauren Hill, 19.  Also diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

Lauren Hill, 19. Also diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

Brittany Maynard, 29 diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

Brittany Maynard, 29 diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

By now you’ve heard about Brittany Maynard.  She is the 29 year old woman who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  She moved to a state that allows for Death with Dignity, a legal form of assisted suicide.  She created a bucket list of wishes and scheduled her departure date.  She was determined to end the journey before a possible massive stroke or other complications could erupt.  Although there was no promise of these complications, she didn’t want to experience them or have her family witness them. She checked off the items on her bucket list and did so with gusto and dignity!   She completed her death this past weekend.   She chose to leave it when the timing was right for her.  She prepared herself and her family.  She planned for it.  She chose when and how and did it on her terms.

Have you also heard about Lauren Hill?  She is a 19 year old Cincinnati woman who was also diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  She is progressing such that her dream of playing college basketball (she is on the team with first game only weeks away) was literally disappearing with each passing week.  Her coordination is affected such that she can no longer dribble the ball well.  Her right arm doesn’t always follow her commands making it more difficult to shoot baskets.  It is expected she will be unable to play basketball by the time the season officially starts.
Lauren chose to live it.  To make the best of life every day she has yet to live.  A few weeks ago the NCAA granted special permission to allow an early game so Lauren could live her dream and play college basketball before she dies.  A death she knows is soon.  A death she knows could be clouded with complications. A death she knows could be painful.  Complications or no, the journey will still be short.  She isn’t focused on what difficulties could await her.  She chose instead to focus on the here and now and enjoy every moment as if it could be her last.  There are times when Lauren is so weak she cannot stand, let alone run.  Yet, she is present and engaged in the process of living.
I have been at the beside of many people as they lay dying.  Death and dying is the focus for a hospice nurse.  And during my years as an emergency room nurse, I saw death experiences from car accidents and shootings to overdoses and massive heart attacks.  Dying is something every single one of us must look forward to.  It will happen…there is no way around it!  Yet, so many of us don’t want to think about it.  Or worse, we don’t plan for it.
Both of these young women were delivered a diagnosis none of us ever want to hear, terminal, inoperable, unfixable, brain cancer.  Both of them chose how they wanted to live out their remaining days on earth.  Both of them brought their journey public and both of them allowed us to experience a wee bit of their journey with them. Isn’t it interesting their journeys paralleled in many ways yet they chose opposite endings for their life’s song.   Do you know which you would choose if this became the next chapter in your book of life?
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Ohh… To be a plumber…

fixing-a-leaky-shower-faucet_87807702.s300x300   If I was a plumber and knew my friends, family, and neighbors had leaky faucets, I would be willing to help them.  I would shake my head in bewilderment if they didn’t ask me to help.  And I would be disappointed for them to have leaky faucets.  Why?  Because leaky faucets mean they have water to clean up or possibly water damage.  An undetected leak would also include mold growth and damage.  Leaky faucets also result in a higher cost in water bills.  And it means a waste of a precious resource.

I am not a plumber.  I am a health, life and performance coach.  My passion is health promotion and disease prevention.  I teach people how to build a strong immune system.  I encourage people to healthier food and lifestyle choices for better well-being and longevity.  I help people heal themselves from illness or chronic disease.  And I guide people to discover the connection between their mind, body and spirit.  Like a plumber, I am willing to help others to repair their issues and improve their circumstances.  Like a plumber, I am bewildered when people are suffering  (physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually) and don’t ask for help.  Why?  Because whether we are in a health crisis or just looking for better ways to promote our health and wellness, we can waste precious time and energy seeking information and answers.  We look for a quick fix for the symptoms rather than a long term resolution to the initiating problem.  It’s like wrapping a towel around the leaky faucet.  The towel will absorb the water for awhile but the leak remains.  Eventually, the wet towel becomes part of the problem, too

Symptom suppression is the same.  While suppressing the symptoms, we are not resolving the problem.  This means longer healing times, IF healing occurs at all.  It means possible further damage caused by the side effects of the symptom suppression medications.   And,  it means the initial problem continues to produce the same or similar symptoms because it is not resolved. Symptoms are actually messages to the brain/body that a problem exits.  The body will continue to send the messages as long as the problem exists. That means the symptoms continue or increase in intensity or duration, which means more medication is needed to suppress them.  It’s an interesting and complex cycle which often becomes a cyclone of symptoms which leads to more and different medications to address or suppress the symptoms.

Sadly, I shake my head in bewilderment wondering why anyone would want to continue on that path, especially when other options exist. Yet, I witness the journey for many,  If I was a plumber, their continued leaky faucets would be disappointing for me to witness .  As a health and life coach, their suffering is painful for me to witness.   Yes… there are times I wish I was a plumber.

 

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