BarbetteSpitler.com

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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THE TASTE OF THE TONGUE

images-9The human body is designed to digest the foods of the planet and use that energy for fuel. The foods of the planet are easily digested, absorbed, and converted to energy. It is not designed to use the body’s energy to digest processed foods. It’s just that simple! Yet, it is processed foods that tickle the taste buds. It is the sweet. It’s the sweet and salty combined. It’s the hidden sugars that tantalize the tongue and leave us wanting more and more. Whether it’s healthy or not doesn’t seem to matter. What matters is the taste on the tongue!

The human body is designed to use food as fuel. Imagine eating as the input valve for the body’s energy source. (Like the gas tank for a car.) We take in food, covert it to energy for immediate use or store it up for later use. The tongue helps us to move the food in our mouth for more efficient chewing and it aides in the process of swallowing. It also has taste buds that help us to discern the basic nature of the food including salty, sour, bitter, spicy, and sweet. In our culture, the sweet has won us over.

The human body is designed to eat only when hungry and only enough to stop the hunger. We were not designed to eat until we are “full”. We have done ourselves a terrible disservice by teaching ourselves and our children to eat until we are full. Maybe that was a condition of centuries ago when famines were feared. But that is no longer a threat for our culture. The illusion that we must eat until we are full has caused an entire population of people to over eat. Over eating stretches the size of the stomach and we have to intake more food quantity to reach “full”. The cycle continues until we have a morbidly obese human with a stomach organ the size of a football instead of the size it was designed to be – the size of our fist. Regardless of your age, height, or bone structure, the size of your stomach is supposed to remain the approximate size of your closed fist.

The human body is designed to eat the foods of the planet. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds all have enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are far more complex than we can fully understand. They work in synchronicity with each other in such a way we cannot duplicate with scientific measures. The foods of the planet were created/designed to fuel the body with energy for activities and to sustain life. Although scientists try to fractionate the elements out of the whole foods to design specialty vitamins or try to genetically alter natures bounty in order to make it “better” – there is nothing better than the whole foods… as nature intended for us.

The human body is designed to digest minimal amounts of meat. Fresh meat that was caught or killed and shared with others… fresh off the bones. If cooked, it was added to vegetables for a stew like meal or eaten by itself in small amounts. The human body was designed to eat more foods from plants and less food from animals. Meat as the main event in our meals does more harm to our bodies than good. We were not designed to handle the processing of meats (or any foods) like we eat today. And it’s literally killing us. Our culture has more dis-ease and chronic illness than any other. The dietary intake of our culture is the primary culprit.

When I think of how our body is designed to eat healthy foods of the planet, I am continually amazed at how often we choose to eat based on taste and taste alone. We live by the taste on the tongue! We will eat with no hunger noted but anticipating the taste of the food in front of us. We have become so addicted to sweet and the need for sugar on our tongue that we are as addicted as any cocaine, heroin, or meth user! The research has shown sugar to be that addictive! And, we allow it to be the front runner in our dietary choices. From coffee based sugary beverages and so-called sports drinks to breakfast cereals and other highly processed products we call “food”… sugar is added! I believe if sugar were discovered today it would be FDA regulated. We know it is a primary factor in deteriorating health conditions like diabetes and all inflammatory diseases. Sugar feeds bacteria, viruses, fungus and cancer cells. Yet, we still choose high sugar foods admitting, “it tastes soooooo good!” It is literally the taste on the tongue… a muscle in the body less than 2x4in.

Take a look at your own food choices. Does the taste of the tongue guide your food choices? Do you follow the SAD diet (Standard American Diet)? Do you seek healthier food choices? Do you recognize food is fuel not just a tantalizing treat for the tongue? Or are you way too fond of the sugary, sweet desserts and snacks? Do you think you might be addicted to sugar? Ponder your food choices this week and then revisit this blog and comment below!

sugar.addiction.lady

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Ancient Wisdom – Always Relevant

ho'oponopono heart
There is much wisdom in ancient teachings.
     As I spend more and more time and energy reaching out to those in need or helping others reach for the stars, I am also presented with opportunities to learn from the teachings of the ancient elders.
     Mother Teresa is one of those who carried forward the teachings of the ancients into current time.  She taught us the true meaning of love and service.  She inspires me.  Gandhi taught us to “Be the change we wish to see.”   Wayne Dyer taught us to take responsibility for our own thoughts, actions and reactions.  I could go on and on.  Each of these wise teachers are reminding us of the wisdom of the elders.  It’s not new news.  It’s all ancient teachings.  But who brings them forward?
     Another great ancient teaching is the Hawaiian Healing Prayer,  Ho’Oponopono. It means – to make right.   It’s so simple it’s difficult for our ego mind to believe it could possible work to help heal anything.  Yet, it does. From injuries to relationships!  It’s like a miracle worker.  Why?  Because it combines the power of love and forgiveness.  There are only four steps.  They are laid out in four simple statements which connect to deeply held beliefs or emotions.
     Step One:  Acknowledge and Repentance.  I AM SORRY.  We are completely and totally responsible for our actions and reactions!  We choose them.  You may be sorry for being angry or for hurting someone’s feelings. You may be sorry you gained weight or were careless and hurt yourself.  The list goes on and on.  Even if you are not quite sure if you are “sorry” for something, say it anyway and see what happens.
     Step Two: Ask forgiveness.  PLEASE FORGIVE ME.  You are not necessarily asking this of another human.  Ask it from Spirit.  Ask for forgiveness from yourself… for yourself.  Try it!  See what it feels like to be in this very vulnerable state.  It’s amazing! (And it gets easier with practice.)
     Step Three:  Gratitude.  THANK YOU.  Again, this is not about going to another human and expressing the gratitude.  Express gratitude to yourself for yourself.  Just say it!  Thank Spirit.  It doesn’t matter to whom… just express the gratitude! Say Thank You!
     Step Four:  Love.  I LOVE YOU.   Share the love. Love for yourself.  Love for others.  Love for Spirit.  Love for humanity.  Just share LOVE!
 I'm sorry
     These four simple statements become four incredibly profound expressions of love and service to self and to others.  Easy and effective.  No one ever need to know you are using the Ho’Oponopono to help heal yourself or a relationship.  Dr.  Ihaleakala Hew Len used this method to heal criminally insane patients he had never met.  He read their patient files and performed this healing ritual for each of them.  The results were incredible!
     It is my understanding this healing works regardless of the order of the statements said.  It is more important that we acknowledge each step and use the verbiage to clear the energy connected to it.  The order of the statements matters less than the awareness of  them.
     So, put on your thinking caps and start a list.  Do you have physical issues your need to heal?  How about:  Relationships with others; your finances; your health; your feelings about yourself; your feelings about others;  your prejudices; your anger/hurt/hatred…   Get started now making miracles  happen in your life and allow the ripple effect of your Ho’Oponopono to happen!
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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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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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