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Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

ED’S RETURN TO PEARL HARBOR pt 1

imageRETURN TO PEARL HARBOR Pt 1
I stared at the text… “Do you want to do an Honor Flight to take a Pearl Harbor Survivor back to Pearl Harbor”? I was somewhat confused. Yes, I am an Honor Flight nurse, but we take veterans to Washington D.C. to see their memorials. It’s a VERY long day starting at 3am and ending near midnight and we keep going all day! Pearl Harbor can’t be a day trip. So that would mean an overnight, right?  Hawaii?  Pearl Harbor?  A survivor?  After a few texts for clarification I was all in! The trip was scheduled and we were off to Hawaii. We landed to a surprise celebration in the Honolulu Airport welcoming Ed, a 96 year old survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We traveled to Hickem Air Force Base to rest up for the Pearl Harbor tour the next day.

I thought we were ready… Honor Flight Dayton was good prep… The veterans are always treated like celebrities in Washington. But those Honor Flight trips are a huge group of veterans. We were bringing just one! Ed and his Guardian and me, the nurse. We didn’t really know what to expect. We just knew it would be a very emotionally charged and potentially healing experience for him. We also knew, as empathic as we both were, it would be very emotional for us to witness.

Ed had been assigned to the original USS Preble.  It was in dry dock that day.  It wasn’t with the other US ships that were bombed.  Ed remembers it was a Sunday morning.  They were supposed to be able to sleep in that day.  And that’s what he was doing.  He was awakened by the explosions.  He remembers running outside the barracks to see what was happening and then realized the whole of Pearl Harbor was under attack.  He remembers the planes coming in so low you could see the faces of of the pilots.  And he remembers running for cover…. and finding none!  He says, “I’m not sure how any of us survived.  But here I am.”

When we arrived at the parking lot we were greeted by security and given the special parking space. I touched Ed on the arm and pointed up to where the sign was. When Ed saw the sign he said, “OOOH BOY!… (long pause) I don’t know if I can do this… Maybe I should just go back home!” He struggled to maintain his composure so we just sat there for a few moments. When he was ready, we left the vehicle and began a life altering journey.

His Guardian, Terri, had planned the tour for today. But we couldn’t have known to plan for the response of the visitors at the museum today! As soon as we came up the sidewalk toward the entrance, Ed was an instant celebrity. People saw his hat and gasped! They would turn to their family or friends and point to Ed. You could see their emotions in their expressions. Some were honored to shake Ed’s hand and express their gratitude for his history at Pearl Harbor. Others broke into tears and though they tried to express their feelings were often unable to utter a single word. Still others shared their stories of a family member who served during World War II or who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As visitors approached, I would step back. This was Ed’s moment… it was about him and his history and it was for him and his healing. This was his experience and it was his opportunity to allow hundreds of others to share their respect and honor for something none of us can ever understand and can only imagine.

Ed was incredibly gracious. He always accepted the hand offered and answered questions as asked. And he was confounded by the attention he received saying “I didn’t do anything”. Yet, he nodded in understanding when I explained, “You represent an entire generation. You represent this (pointing to Pearl Harbor) and only a few can do that now. You allow us to honor the people we didn’t get to meet. You allow us to help people heal!”

When visitors heard that there was an actual Pearl Harbor Survivor on the grounds, they sought him out. People of all ages, nationalities, and their families stepped forward to meet him and have their picture taken with him. At times, and without encouragement, children would come up to him and shake his hand! How did they know? What will they remember of this day? Ed was touched by those moments. At times, while he was engaged in conversation, others would ask me questions about him or tell me their story and their connection to Pearl Harbor. One gentleman had a grandfather who went down with the USS Arizona. A man who served post WWII had never been to the museum but had it on his bucket list. This was his lucky day and he was so thrilled to chat with Ed. Two couples from France were on the grounds. They heard a Survivor was there and they looked for him. When the women found him they were overcome with tears. They were trying to express their gratitude for what our soldiers did for them… they were children but they remember vividly!  The women went to find their husbands and the four of them couldn’t get close enough and struggled to express their true feelings. They kept telling other bystanders “You have no idea…!” Though only one of the four spoke some basic English, there was no mistaking her emotions and her desire to share their gratitude.  I was amazed at their level of awe.

Ed received so much attention it was quite overwhelming for him. But it was also incredibly profound for us to witness. Ed was intensely engaged! He was given priority status at every turn. He received applause and sincere gratitude from so many! If ever you wonder if there is still good in this world… yes, there is!    (The rest of the story is in pt 2)

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Passion for Peace?

Peace wayne dyerAs each election year approaches, I am fascinated to witness the changes in personality of so many people.  Often, people who seem kind and thoughtful and even generous are… until someone with different political views joins the discussion.  I am amazed and disheartened by those who will  go out of their way to make fun of or put down the other side.  Not the “the other side” but the actual people who represent that other side!  Half of the country has hateful names for Republicans and half of the country has hateful names for Democrats.  And often, those same people, when not talking politics, say they want peace, harmony and all good things.  But if you truly want peace and harmony, how do you get there by bashing another for their political preferences?  How is it okay to demean, dehumanize and demoralize another human being in one breath and then talk about how peace and harmony should reign in another breath?  There is no commonality between the two.

We can’t get to “good” when we keep focusing on the negative.  Whatever the politicians do or don’t do…   We forget that WE – the people – are the ones who can make the difference.  Not by pointing fingers but by coming together with a positive focus and then… we the people, make it happen.

We have become a nation that tolerates it’s ignorance, indifference, insensitivity and it’s inertia! We spend our time pointing fingers at who is responsible for what.  We have lost our focus and what is best for us as a nation.  We’ve let the politicians decide what is in our best interests as fed by the many lobbyists who wine and dine them.  Is that okay with you???  Are you really satisfied with your government choosing your life and lifestyle for you?

     We have the opportunity to join forces as the people of our nation have in the past.  We can turn off the reality shows,  celebrity news and the 24 hr news channels, and turn on our passion for what’s right for our great nation.  We can join together and focus our energy to improve our food supply; improve the health of our people; and restore our faith in our country.  But we will never get there wasting our time, energy and efforts, bashing the other political party, pointing fingers and placing blame.  I believe, we can best move forward by stepping past the political differences and stop focusing on how we got here!  We simply must look beyond the how and why and look forward to what can we do about it?
     When we are looking for positive solutions, the energy toward positive solutions raises.  Raising the energy also raises the awareness and thus raises the passion for it!  Imagine – a passion for PEACE!    Can you just imagine how it will be to live in a country with a passion for peace?! It would bring our nation together to create a better future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.  Let’s do it! Let’s clear out the negativity, hatred,  racism and tolerance.  Let’s bring in peace, harmony, understanding and acceptance.
     What great things about our country and it’s people are you passionate about? What are you willing to speak up for?  What are you willing to do to improve our great nation?  And let’s get to it!

worrld peace

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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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Passion or Politics

political yin yang
As each election year approaches, I am fascinated to witness the changes in personality of so many people.  Some people seem kind and thoughtful and even generous until someone with different political views joins the discussion.  Some people with differing political views go out of their way to make fun of or put down the other side.  Half of the country has hateful names for Republicans and half of the country has hateful names for Democrats.  And often, those same people, when not talking politics, say they want peace, hamony and all good things.  But if you truly want peace and harmony, how do you get there by bashing another for their political preferences?  How is it okay to demean, dehumanize and demoralize another human being in one breath and then talk about how peace and harmony should reign in another. There is no commonality between the two.
We can’t get to “good” when we keep focusing on the negative the politicians do and forget that WE – the people – are the ones who can make the difference.  Not by pointing fingers but by coming together with a positive focus and then, we the people, make it happen.  We have become a nation that tolerates it’s ignorance, indifference, insensitivity and it’s inertia!  We spend our time pointing fingers at who is responsible for what.  We have lost our focus and what is best for us as a nation.  We’ve let the politicians decide our best interests as fed by the many lobbyists who wine and dine them.
We have the opportunity to join forces as the people of our nation have in the past.  We can turn off the reality shows, and the celebrity news, and turn on our passion for what’s right for our great nation.  We can join together and focus our energy to improve our food supply; improve the health of our people; and restore our faith in our country.  But we will never get there wasting our time, energy and efforts, bashing the other political party, pointing fingers and placing blame.  I believe, we can best move forward by stepping past the political differences and looking beyond how we got here.  And bring our nation together to create a better future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.
What great things about our country and it’s people are you passionate about?  What are you willing to speak up for?  What are you willing to do to improve our great nation?  And let’s get to it!
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Boycott Coke?

boycott coke

Really?

Drinking Coke is something I don’t and WON’t do.  Not now and not ever!  It has nothing to do with their new Superbowl commercial.  Drinking soda is a topic I have covered in an earlier post and will most certainly discuss again later.  Today, I want to discuss the “Boycott Coke” signs I’ve seen floating around on social media. 

 Today, our country is divided, nearly equally, on politics, equality, and immigration.  Each side believing they are the correct side and that the other side is just plain wrong.  As horribly divided as our country was 50-70 years ago, I’m not sure we have improved much.  So why would Coke take such a hotly charged topic and bring it to America in such a compelling “in-your-face” style?   Certainly they knew there would be those who would smile and beam with pride at how dynamic the commercial was and how beautiful our patriotic song sounded in so many different languages.  Certainly they also knew there would be those who would stare at the TV, jaw hanging open in stunned amazement that our beautiful patriotic song was butchered because it wasn’t in English.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have heard both sides of this debate and it isn’t pretty.    

 Years ago, Coca-Cola made a huge hit when they released the commercial I have attached to the blog post.  Anyone over 50 most certainly can sing every word of the song, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”.  We loved the song regardless if we like Coke.  The commercial showed the diversity of nationalities which make us America!  And, yes, it was all harmonized in English.  Every time I think of how I want the world to really be – I hear that song and smile.  I would love to see every human look at another and realize that skin color or country of origin doesn’t matter.  I’d love for every one of us to reach out to another and offer peace and compassion. Ahhh… just imagine….

As I re-visit their most recent commercial and compare it to the 1971 version posted above… I am struck by several points.  The images in the 2014 commercial are absolutely beautiful.  Turn the volume down and just look at the images.  You smile.  The images are what America is all about.  Happy people.  People helping people. Our countryside.  Our people!   It’s beautiful.  I watched the video of the new commercial with the song from the 1971 version and I had tears of happy!  

 Regardless of your like or dislike of the commercial itself, I will certainly give credit to the marketing team at Coca-Cola for stepping out of the politically correct comfort zone and offering up an attempt to bring America together – just as they did in 1971.   But mostly, I wonder…. how would the commercial have been received if the song was done in English – with accents and all?  Would it have made a difference?

What do you think about the commercial and the message Coke was sending?

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