Stop Cancer Spread

There are answers to stop cancer spread. Three recent cancer news stories seemed to connect. They served to unravel my calm demeanor. I must write to release it. One story was the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prohibiting an early detection cancer test. Additionally, a video detailing cancer immunotherapy embargoes caught my eye. Lastly, there was radon: information to purge the killer in your home. All three grabbed not only my attention, but also my emotion.

FTC Cancer Test Halted

First of all is an article penned by Jim Greenwood. He is a former Republican member of Congress from Pennsylvania. Additionally, he is a past president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. He answers “Why this lifesaving test for cancer still sits on a shelf.” https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/2021/07/28/why-new-breakthrough-test-cancer-still-isnt-u-s-market/5383725001/ It was published in the Des Moines Register, as well as the USA Today. In summary, the US FTC has thus far refrained from allowing an extremely effective blood test. This “new blood test has the potential to revolutionize the way we detect and treat cancer” via DNA sequencing. It has the “ability to detect the early signs of more than fifty deadly cancers.” Forty-five of them “don’t have a recommended screening option available.” This is “before symptoms present themselves”!

Early detection could be a true health system game changer. I certainly am not a doctor. However, I do wonder what could happen if this test would be released to the marketplace. How might cancer spread be stopped? Maybe simple life style changes would be sufficient action? Perhaps kinder and gentler treatments could stop the cancer? With luck, this could minimize using side effect inducing chemotherapy, radiation and surgery! Certainly quality of life would be enhanced for patients as well as their families.

How can the FTC be convinced this test is significantly vital? Jim Greenwood makes a convincing argument that there is no reason for this to be held up. The best action for humankind would be to fast track the release of this early detection blood test. This could allow us to slow or stop cancer spread.

Cuba Slows Cancer Spread

Secondly, a NOVA episode demanded my attention. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/video/cubas-cancer-hope/ Apparently Fidel Castro’s former leadership has made Cuba a world class cancer treatment center. They have developed an immunotherapy lung cancer vaccine, CimaVax. These treatments enable the disease to transform from an acute condition to chronic. It thereby increases life expectancy. Many US people go to Cuba for treatments. This is not to purposely break the law, but to improve their lives. Roswell Park doctors in Buffalo, NY have been collaborating with Cuban doctors. They are doing US clinical trials on these vaccines. https://www.pri.org/stories/cuba-has-had-lung-cancer-vaccine-years Unfortunately, there is an embargo preventing delivery of these life enhancing medications to US patients. Meanwhile, US doctors await FDA approval pending clinical trial data.

Yet again, I was disturbed that the best and most humane treatments could be blocked by our government. Medical personnel on both sides of the border want to help patients. They were ready and willing to share these treatments if the embargo was lifted.

What steps does our world need to take? How can the best medical practices be used to benefit all humankind? How can countries work together to stop cancer spread?

Mitigate Radon to Stop Cancer’s Spread

Thirdly, our local news aired a story on radon. https://www.weareiowa.com/article/news/health/radon-in-iowa-mitigation-environmental-protection-agency-public-health-maria-steele-richard-deming-bill-field-gail-orcu Radon is a naturally occurring gas released from the ground. It can seep into homes and cause lung cancer. The entire state of Iowa is a high risk area. Currently, it seems that local agencies are expressing more concern that public and private buildings be tested for radon. Mitigation of radon makes structures safe to inhabit. We installed such a system several years ago. It involves a quiet, continually running fan. The system connects a ground level area beneath the building to the exterior. Radon is then expelled outdoors. This story is a reminder of how we citizens must educate ourselves as to exposure risk.

Here is data from the World Health Organization on radon. https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/topics/topic-details/GHO/gho-phe-radon-database It also details strategies world wide. How can further radon mitigation in the public and private sectors be accomplished? What if people world wide worked on this issue? Could we stop cancer spread?

Conclusion

This brings me to why these three stories concern me. Indeed, we must stop cancer spread. You see, we lost our 38 year old son from cancer. I know we are not alone on this journey. So many of us have lost family members, friends and colleagues to this dread disease. Have you ever counted how many you have lost? Also include those who are still living with cancer. I began counting by using my upper and lower digits. Then, I greatly exceeded twenty and lost count.

My point is that cancer is far too wide spread in our world to be playing trade wars. Cooperation is vital!

Lastly, one must ask, who benefits from these trade policies? While this is not the focus of my writing, it is a vital question. For some reason, it feels as if it is a money issue. I am reminded of the quote from Scrooge in Dickens’ Christmas Carol. “Then let them die and reduce the surplus population.” Is it indeed because of money? If so, this disturbing scenario will end when our love for humankind exceeds our love for money. What can we do? Our policies and actions can significantly make a difference.

The Mirror Tree

Maybe once in your life or perhaps twice, a tree or plant will mirror your life back to you. If you are a seeker you may find multiple times in which nature reflects the circumstances in your life. This is my story.

When our children were young, we planted three fruit trees: a yellow apple, a red apple and a cherry tree. Our son was in kindergarten while our daughter was a toddler.

I recall the four of us doing our own part when we planted them. My husband dug the holes and lifted each sapling into its new home. I held them straight, one by one, while the others (mostly my husband) placed dirt in the hole. Our kids thought it fun to help tamp down the dirt with their dancing feet. It was an enjoyable and carefree time.

Mirror Tree, Which of the Three?

The three trees looked lovely in our yard. The yellow delicious apple tree began fruiting first. I should mention when we purchased the trees, we asked if the cherry tree needed a mate for it. We were told it was self-pollinating. Apparently it wasn’t because it has never produced fruit. It was and is, however, a very lovely tree, appearance wise.

Our red apple tree wasn’t strong enough to produce. It only lasted a year or two. The yellow delicious tree, however, was an exceptional specimen!

Not long after we started harvesting the yellow apples, it was common to collect wheelbarrows full of luscious fruit. One year our early elementary-aged son requested I make apple crisp for his entire class. Rather than frosted cupcakes, he wanted this apple treat to celebrate his fall birthday!

Through the years, innumerable fresh apples were consumed from that tree. Quart upon quart of applesauce flowed forth. Of course, the tasty apple crisp frequented our kitchen and landed in our bellies! Year after year, this tree presented her grandest efforts, with the exception of two years. One year, our dear tree only produced two apples, only two whole apples! That fall, one of the two apples fell before harvest. Coincidentally, that was the autumn our son left for college, while our daughter remained home with us.

Mirror Bushes and Plants

Other plants now enter my story from stage right. We planted pygmy crimson barberry bushes to landscape around our home. These lovely, deep red plants added a nice contrasting splash of color. Two years, however, were a challenge for a number of these bushes. They became infested with worms. During the first infestation, the leaves were gone for the remainder of the year. Fortunately, the foliage returned the next year. In the second instance, some leaves were lost, but miraculously in that drought year returned. Interestingly, each of those two years (three years apart) were the years of our son’s two major pancreatic cancer surgeries. He regained a clean scan following each of those two surgeries! It was fascinating to see the bushes reflect a clean bill of health as well!

I would be remiss if at this point I neglected to mention our resurrection plants. These lovely lilies are what some call naked ladies. They explode with beauteous petals in shades of pink tinged in blues and violets. Ours were transplanted in our yard years ago from my mother-in-law’s garden. The habit of this plant is to produce long, slender green leaves in the spring. It then dies down. Eventually in late summer, with no hint of a plant above ground, all at once single stems pop from the ground. A gorgeous flower sits upon each.

Betwixt our son’s two aforementioned surgeries, was his first scan after having been diagnosed with the “c” word. The very day we came back home from this scan, these lilies were tired of playing hide and seek. They were blooming in a glorious array! It seemed to be portending a clean result on our son’s scan, which it was then: no evidence of disease!

Yellow Delicious Mirror Tree

We now return to our yellow delicious apple tree, four years after our son’s second pancreas surgery. Our tree started out that year, perfectly fine. Despite her share of wind-battered injury and removed limbs, she had been producing many apples. That summer, she did set on fruit, however, by mid-summer the fruit shriveled and dropped. The tree lost the bulk of her leaves throughout the warm months and appeared as good as dead. This of course, was the heart-breaking summer when our dear son passed from this life. It was as if our poor tree was in mourning as well.

Unbelievably, the photo on this post is of our yellow delicious tree, the very next summer following the death of our son and seeming demise of our tree. That summer, the foliage looked lush while the fruit setting on appeared delectably plump. Was our apple tree mirroring the influence of our son’s impact through the years, that he and his memory lives on?

Departure

In the years since then, our apple tree continued producing fruit, although the quantity was waning. This very year, our poor tree has finally reached her age of departure. It has been five years since our son’s passing. Our mirror tree started out the year with a small amount of energy devoted to squirrel’s-ear-sized leaves. A very small number of deformed, dime-to-nickel-sized apples squeezed from the stems. What limbs she has now are mainly shoots off of major limbs which were previously lopped off. Her protective bark is no longer clinging to the trunk. This Charlie Brown like tree sadly turned brown for the final time. I read that a semi-dwarf apple tree typically has a life expectancy of thirty to thirty-five years. It will be sad to cut her down, however she lived a good thirty-nine years in our yard. Our son’s life was just shy of thirty-nine years by three to four months.

Our plants, as you can see, speak to me. They uncannily mirror what our lives are. I encourage you to search and seek the mysterious messages that may be hiding in plain sight before you. May you find your mirror tree!

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Approaching Grief

First of all, how are you approaching grief? Undoubtedly, you have questions. Is your grief normal? Are there right ways to grieve? Is it unusual to speak to your dearly departed?

Models of Grief

For years, the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross grief model was the gold standard. Many still use it. This traditional model was developed in 1969. It includes five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. One may assuredly experience these in any order. Many grief models emphasize finishing the grieving process. Meanwhile, this 1996 book, proposes a different way. https://whatsyourgrief.com/continuing-bonds-shifting-the-grief-paradigm/ The title is Continuing Bonds: New Understanding of Grief (Death Education, Aging and Health Care). Klass, Silverman and NIckman are the authors. For overviews of other grief models, check GRIEF RELIEF.

This is certainly refreshing learning for me. Maintaining a relationship with our dearly departed can be a healthy and normal way to cope.

Additionally, this page offers ideas to continue a connection to your loved one. Perhaps you have some other ideas as well. https://whatsyourgrief.com/16-practical-tips-continuing-bonds/

Another site documents chiefly positive mental health effects by speaking to our dearly departed. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/grief-talking-to-a-dead-loved-one-is-good-for-mental-health

There are indeed dramatically different ways to approach grief. Furthermore, it is culture dependent. Much of the death process has been removed from USA homes. Most of our institutions have “concealed many aspects of death and dying from patients and their families. One consequence is that survivors are less well equipped to deal with the aftermath of death.” (NCBI)

“Pathologic results of grieving, not surprisingly are … evaluated and labeled.” “Looking for… health consequences of bereavement is so unusual in cross-cultural perspective … that it can be regarded as …Westernization.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK217844/

Grief Practices: Other Cultures

Conversely, some other cultures encourage a continued relationship with our departed. One such example is the annual Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. It honors loved ones with home based alters. An alter is pictured at the top of the Teen Vogue site above. This beautiful photo is a scene from the movie, Coco. These alters celebrate and honor the departed. Food, decorations, photos and candles are certainly part of the celebration. Additionally, parades, music and festivals add to the atmosphere.

What if there was a way to speak to your departed loved ones? How would you do it? What would you say?

Here is another culture which promotes this connection. It is demonstrated in Japan. https://allthatsinteresting.com/phone-of-the-wind This is a Japanese phone booth with a disconnected phone. Mourners may speak their message to a loved one. The wind carries their words. I have no doubt that each heart felt message is delivered!

Finally, does your heart feel at peace with your grief approach? That is indeed a sign this is the right way for you to grieve.

CLEAR NEGATIVE ENERGY

Would you like to clear negative energy? Have bad vibes impacted your life? Do you ever feel encumbered by past emotions? What about trauma? Perhaps you’ve felt stuck in your life? Did you know that our emotions can eventually lodge within our bodies and affect our health? Here is a potential solution for you to try!

A number of years ago, our son was newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This event inspired my search. I looked for multiple ways that the average person could affect one’s health. These health techniques are typically termed complementary healing. They are to be used in combination with other more traditional kinds of medical treatment. One such way I found was in utilizing tuning forks. These are specially tuned forks. A struck fork emits a specific frequency. This in turn affects different aspects of our bodies’ energy fields. After using my forks for some time, I came upon YouTube videos with these frequencies! The videos play specific tones, not necessarily “music”. This enables anyone with access to the videos to try this modality much more affordably.

Our Energy Fields

One’s energy field can hold emotions from decades ago. We may not even realize it! I have previously had an intuitive healer work on me. A trauma from decades ago was significantly affecting me. When she gave me the age range, I thought a bit. I did remember something traumatic from that time period. However, I had no idea that it was still harbored in my body. Even though the event which triggered my trauma was resolved within days, the emotional baggage still needed to be released decades later!

Here is quite an informative article on the intersection of traditional Western medicine (allopathic) and energy medicine. This would include subtle energy healing such as Reiki, tuning forks, etc. It is a lengthy article. If you read only a portion, I recommend scrolling to the bottom to at least contemplate their amazing conclusion. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331403723_Energy_Medicine_Current_Status_and_Future_Perspectives

Purge the Negative

Interestingly, I’ve read that our energy field is somewhat like a tree’s growth. Happenings of our early years are at our core. Successive years build out from there. Accordingly, our positive and negative emotions are recorded within this field. Traditional medicine has their therapies to deal with deeply internalized emotions. Complementary and alternative healing modalities have other sets of solutions.

Prior to trying the frequency to clear negative energy, I felt mildly on edge. Then, I started the video and relaxed on a yoga mat. My breath deepened as I began feeling intensely relaxed. I felt tingly and could feel free flowing energy within my body. I listened for only fifteen minutes, but it was still long enough to induce a light headed sensation. For that reason, I took my time in resuming my activities. It seemed that I felt lighter and freer following my session.

Before trying some of these frequencies, be sure to consult with one’s medical professional. They will ascertain that you are a good candidate to try this modality. Also, one must be sitting or lying down while listening. Once finished, it is important to carefully determine if you are settled before standing.

Here is the YouTube video I used to clear negative energy:

Clear Other Energies!

Last of all, here are a few links to other posts I’ve written on frequency healing. For grief, here is Tuning into Healing: Grief. Before I found this video, I listened to my 396 frequency tuning fork to clear grief. It certainly made my heart feel lighter! For boosting one’s creativity, listen to Creativity 101 with 528 Hertz. Who doesn’t want to be more creative? If you desire to improve in the relationship arena, here is HEALING AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: 639 HERTZ. Find a friend and give it a try! If you are experiencing physical pain, try PAIN: KNOCK IT DOWN – 174 HZ and Pain Blessings When It Hertz! I was dramatically impressed with my experience with these! No medical claims are made. However, I do recommend exploring some of these techniques to decide for yourself. Happy healing!

ARTISTIC LICENSE

Using artistic license to communicate is not only more fun, but can also lead to in depth understanding of a concept. I recently came across a fascinating practice. One of my poet friends, Kemlyn, invited others to join her Haiku Me Haiku You activity. Haiku is a type of Japanese poetry. A practice in succinct expression, there are no wasted words. The most common haiku is a three line poem with a 5-7-5 syllable count. There are also some with a 3-5-3 count. With the Haiku Me Haiku You activity, each person responds to the previous haiku with their own haiku.

Here is a partial thread of haiku written by Kemlyn (from Singapore, living in USA), Lawin (from the Philippines) and myself (from the USA).

Linda -  only son
         left this earthly realm
         soul flies free

Kemlyn - memories
         smell taste touch longing
         to see you

Linda -  evidence
         words dreams kisses hugs
         you're still here

Kemlyn - death's a veil
         pull it back listen
         they are there

Lawin -  no exit
         just one more entrance
         hey let's go

Kemlyn:  take my hand
         brother let us run
         taste and see

Linda:   butterflies
         bird's call rainbows speak
         my soul hears

Lawin:   paradise
         is just a check point
         let's move on

Kemlyn:  no passport
         no visa money
         no problem

Linda:   border cross
         dissolves former shell
         life transcends

Kemlyn:  borderline
         cross fight with hopes of
         better lives

It was an intriguing exercise to create responses in haiku form. Using fewer words means there is no room for fluff, we had to get to the point. Engaging with people with such diverse backgrounds from me was a big ah-ha. Their comparison of an immigrant’s crossing to a person’s passing from this life certainly gave me more nuances of meaning within each of these two types of crossing over.

Musical Artistic License

Here is another type of artistic license. Victor Borge was a master at taking classical music pieces and using them in his comedy routines. Whereas he did not personally interact with these other composers, he borrowed from them in this routine.

A License in Visual Arts

M. C. Escher’s lithograph, Waterfall, is a wonderful example of artistic response to another artist’s work. Roger Penrose was inspired by M. C.’s earlier works to create his Penrose Triangle. M. C. then used the Penrose Triangle to create Waterfall! The following link shows visuals of these. https://www.escherinhetpaleis.nl/escher-today/waterfall/?lang=en

All of the arts are quite valuable to make ties between our subconscious thoughts to our conscious thoughts. Utilizing the arts can build bridges of understanding between people as well. Just think how much different our world would be if meetings and classes were preceded by an artistic activity such as this haiku exercise!

For further exploration in the arts, check out some of these posts! CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING looks at problem solving with the eyes of an artist and the ears of a musician. EMPOWERED LIVING gives benefits derived from a visual arts background. ARTS AND SOCIETY – I is an enlightening interview with Dr. Kevin Shorner-Johnson regarding his work in music and cultures around the world.

What is a Vilomah?

What is a vilomah? Is it a person, place or thing? Do I want one? Is there one in my home? I became one before I even knew what it was, so now you know it is a person. It may be said that a vilomah belongs to the “club” to which one never wants to belong and yet this “organization” has ever growing membership.

A vilomah is a parent who has lost a child.

Vilomah is from Sanskrit and means against a natural order.

Whether a child was miscarried, or well into adulthood, it is out of the natural order of life to have a child predecease the parents.

How many have experienced this? Data from Compassionate Friends (in the following link) indicates that nineteen percent of the general U.S. population have outlived a child. This includes miscarriages up to adult children. Truthfully, I was shocked that there are so many. https://www.oklahoman.com/article/2726690/surviving-parents-pain-still-lingers-19-percent-outlive-their-children

I chose this topic as this week marks the fifth year anniversary of my joining the ranks of other vilomahs. With other kinds of loss, there are words such as orphan, widow, or widower for those who are missing a parent or a spouse. For a type of loss as common as I previously stated, it certainly deserves a word to identify it.

Child loss is one of the most challenging types of grief a person can experience. Many are just not the same following the loss of a child. It is very important to find resources to assist your grief process if you’ve become a vilomah.

Grief Help

As an art teacher, I know that the arts can help us to move through grief. ERASE GRIEF provides a step by step process through three famous artworks to encourage transitioning through the grief. Another art related blog entitled BROKEN compares our grief shattered lives to a piece of exquisite Kintsugi pottery. This is a broken pot pieced back together with golden joinery. A third post of mine also connects to my art classroom, Art, Grief and Life. This one speaks of how individual our grief journeys are.

Here are three posts which detail healing methods to ease one’s grief. The first one, Tuning into Healing: Grief covers amazing sound healing techniques freely available on YouTube videos! The next one, MASKED EMOTIONS informs us of help through the work of Louise Hay as well as Chunyi Lin to prevent emotions from negatively affecting us. Empty Chair Holidays is the third one. This one details actions I took to move through some of my first holidays as a vilomah.

As a veteran vilomah, I find much comfort in reading accounts of other fellow vilomahs who have received signs from beyond. Grief and Visits from Beyond contains wisdom from Carl Jung, Jamie Sams and Dorothy Maclean. Their insight may help to clear blockages which could cloud your awareness of your child leaving you signs. My Mother’s Day Guest tells the story of my breathtakingly beautiful first Mother’s Day as a vilomah! One of our signs during a Christmas holiday was astounding! Read about it here: OUR VISITOR. Last but not least, here is the story of a soul-caressing dream visitation with our son: MIRACLES AND DUETS.

If you are a vilomah, may you be comforted. If you know a vilomah, may you be understanding and perhaps give them a helpful hand on their life journey.

I sincerely hope you may find relief through your grieving journey. Thank-you for reading my post. If you’d like a weekly post sent to you, simply scroll to the top, click Follow Blog and enter your email.

Wait Grief Weight

It seems there is never a time when we are ready for grief. We may say, “Wait, grief weight!” First of all, we never want it in our lives. If it must come, surely it could just wait, right? Then when it does arrive, it comes with a tremendously weighty burden. How can we cope? Are there so called right ways to grieve?

Recently, this post was inspired by a Facebook photo of a fabulous sculpture. It is Celeste Roberge’s piece entitled, Rising Cairn, (welded steel, galvanized, 4000 pounds granite). This structure features a crouching human constructed with a steel framework. Easily seen within the human form are many large, heavy rocks. Here is a site which shares images as well as more information on the sculpture: https://blog.sevenponds.com/soulful-expressions/grief-and-rising-cairn-by-celeste-roberge

Upon viewing this artwork, I pictured my former self filled with the large heavy rocks of grief. I pondered over what ways I have been able to toss many of those weighty rocks from my body, one-by-one.

Gratitude for Grief Weight

One way to lift some of the weight of grief is to be grateful. It can be achieved by an awareness in searching one’s environment with a discerning eye. Contemplate the feeling that each and every person, place or thing induces within you. If it creates a positive feeling, then it is deserving of your gratitude. However, what if it makes a negative vibe within you? Why then, perhaps you can be grateful for the lessons you are learning from it. Practicing this with regularity can be life changing.

Creativity Can’t Wait!

When one is in the throes of grief, creativity can’t wait. Expressing myself through writing, making artworks and playing music has been life saving. I simply feel so much better when I am releasing my feelings in a form which allows my emotions free reign. If what I do can help others, then it is all the better.

Good Grief, Wait, Grief Weight!

Good grief, getting out in nature is very cleansing! It is so much easier to relax and breathe deeply when in a natural setting. Being around plant life, indoors or out, recognizes the necessary interplay of our oxygen and carbon dioxide. It seems rather miraculous that what is poisonous to our systems (carbon dioxide) is necessary to plants. Then, of course, the oxygen is life enhancing to us. I love to contemplate the expelling of grief, then the plants transforming it. When we exercise out of doors, this interchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is much more effective. I imagine that my grief is purging from my body with each and every breath.

Another thing that this artist loves about being out in nature, is to study the intricate patterning that is in all the plant and animal life. It just seems there is so much to discover about this world. To me, if there is such amazing design in all of this, then even the cycle of life and death could have a pattern of necessary beauty.

Reminiscing

In working through my grief, I’ve found much comfort in reminiscing through old photographs. This reliving of the good times we’ve shared with dearly departed loved ones does my heart good. I also love speaking of our lost loved ones and keeping their memory alive.

How do you grieve? Let us count the ways…

Does everyone grieve the same? Should everyone grieve in a similar manner? There is absolutely no one right way to grieve for everyone. Each of us must forge our own path as to what feels personally right.

I’ve noticed a marked difference among various people in their approaches to grief. What I find comforting may be appalling to some. What others do may not be effective for me. I found a very informative article explaining masculine and feminine ways we might grieve. It truly does not matter if one was born male or female, we all just gravitate to the methods which work best for us. Here is the site: https://www.cfhp.com.au/grieving-differences-men-women/

The ways which work best for me do happen to be in outwardly expressing myself. This is listed as being a more feminine way to cope. As you may have noted in the site listed above, people with more of a masculine, inward focus may be very non-verbal, but work their grief out by doing physical work. Portraying a strong and controlled self is also a masculine trait. This site gave me more understanding and compassion for seeing that there are many individual ways which come naturally to grieving folks.

These are a few of the ways I am able to toss some of the heavy rocks of grief from my body. When you may be tempted to exclaim, “Wait, Grief Weight”, may you find the ways which work best for you!

Think Like a Dog

A few seasons ago, my husband removed the entire fence surrounding our garden so he could replace it. Since the gate was in good shape, for a short while it stood as a solitary reminder of the former enclosure. It struck me as a bit of visual humor to see a gate with no fence. As the photo indicates, our dog fully realized that he could access the other side without using the gate. He didn’t even need the big stick to get there. Maybe we would do well to think like a dog!

Looking back, I think of the times that we humans may get so stuck in our ways that we don’t consider an alternative way. Our habits run deep. In the midst of my career, the path I normally drove to work changed because one of the roads I took was permanently closed. Consequently, it took some time for my left hand to not automatically engage my turn signal at that stop sign. As the saying goes, old habits die hard.

The same thing could be true with mainstream thought or following the crowd. Perhaps something has always been done a certain way because Sally and Joe have done it that way. Maybe you are afraid to look different or odd by forging a different path or trying something new.

I call this the yellow brick road syndrome. The path is already marked out. No thinking is required. The directions are obviously there. The question becomes, is that really where you want to go?

Be like a dog!

Dogs seem to be led by their nose. Their tails leave no mystery as to their feelings.

Did you know there are over 300 words for love in canine? Gabriel Zevin

The dog lives for the day, the hour, even the moment. Robert Falcon Scott

We would do well to gravitate toward that which we love, to express that exuberance, to live in the moment!

Revisiting our gate, I’ve always gone through it rather than around. Passing through that gate had been the only way to access the area on the other side. Old habits can blind you to the possibility that suddenly there is another way to reach the goal.

In the bigger picture, this tells me that in any situation we must be aware. We should think for ourselves. The art teacher in me encourages us to be creative. Always there are new ways to be discovered of doing virtually anything. Life can be far more interesting rather than boring brown if we entertain changes like this. Finally, here are three of my posts which offer help to encourage more creativity for you: EMPOWERED LIVING, Creativity 101 with 528 Hertz and CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING.

As with our fence-less gate, don’t be stopped by what’s not there. Even our dog knew he could go around it!

Hidden Emotions

Believe it or not, this post is not only about a post, but also about emotions, hidden emotions! My photo shows the base of my very favorite tree. The appendage to the lower left of the trunk is actually an old wooden fence post. We live on my grandparents’ former property. As a little girl, I remember a couple of wooden posts were leaning against the trunk of the tree. Even then, the posts were beginning to be covered over by new tree growth.

Through the years, the tree grew, slowly enveloping the posts. A few years ago, the tip of the other post became rotten and broke off. It almost seems as if the remaining post (which was once a part of a live tree) has become welcomed, once again, as a live growth. Or, perhaps it could be felt as a destructive spear? As our tree seems perfectly healthy, my guess is that the post is a welcome visitor.

Help for Hidden Emotions

First of all, It can eventually cause many problems with our health if we try to bury our emotions within. Expressing our feelings and letting them out is a far healthier alternative. This resource discusses the differences between repressed emotions and suppressed emotions. https://www.healthline.com/health/repressed-emotions

Secondly, it is important to learn the benefits of allowing our emotions to be released. It may help us be our authentic and true selves. It is much easier to relate well with others when we are being honest, not only with ourselves, but with others. This post elaborates on the concept. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-fitness/201311/dont-bury-your-feelings

Thirdly, one may wonder, am I emotionally repressed? How would I know? Here is a website which gives one signs to be able to determine if you are. https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/emotionally-repressed-signs.htm

At last, we may want to know, where might these emotions reside within the body? This site also includes lists of commonly repressed emotions and how to change negative emotions into positive ones. https://scottjeffrey.com/repressed-emotions/ Here is one of my posts to help with MASKED EMOTIONS.

Tree with the Hidden Post

Finally, this tree with the post hidden within its trunk could be much as a human with hidden emotions, buried within the body. If humans have negative emotions, these can literally eat at our insides. Many physical and mental ailments have repressed emotions at their root. May you learn how to say hello and, most importantly, good-bye to any hidden emotions. Last of all, replace them with welcome guests! Your body will be especially thankful!

Speaks with Sunshine

Do you know anyone who speaks with sunshine? I do! I’ve been to a couple of offices in the past few months whose receptionist’s voices sounded so warm that they could melt butter. These ladies had such a welcoming, expressive lilt, it was actually a joy to sit there (sans magazines) noting the music of their speech. Of course, I had to compliment them on their cheerful, expressive demeanor. The manner of their speech told everyone that it was a safe as well as an optimistic atmosphere. I told one of them that if she was Native American, her name would have to be Speaks with Sunshine!

Dr. Bernie Siegel – Optimism

Optimism is a great way to approach life. There was no time in my life where this played out in such an amazing fashion as with our son. When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he chose to not have the doctors give him a prognosis. This attitude of optimism from our son was impressive. He wasn’t about to let a doctor give him an expiration date. Of course it was easy enough to look up statistics. However, we found information far better than statistics. Dr. Bernie Siegel’s refreshingly optimistic ideas via many of his books and recordings were a big part of our son’s journey. After all, not many pancreatic cancer patients live seven years from diagnosis. This little excerpt gives one a taste of Dr. Siegel’s philosophies. https://www.cancermonthly.com/doctors-hospitals/8896-2/

Love what you do; Do what you love. Wayne Dyer

Here is an informative site which defines optimism as well as identifies the characteristics and attitudes of it. Most importantly it includes the benefits of optimism. One of the most critical learning points is that good things can even come from something we consider bad. https://www.verywellmind.com/the-benefits-of-optimism-3144811

Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor. Rumi

Living with optimism implies a living of life to its fullest, being one’s best self, and yet, not taking the self too seriously. Laughter is uplifting as is gratitude. Being thankful can lead to optimism. This post on gratitude could help. Gratitude for Hard Times

Sunshine

Being in the actual sunlight is certainly uplifting, particularly if it has been cold and dreary. I’m thankful that as I am writing this, I see a clear blue sky. The sun gives me new found vigor and energy for the upcoming day. Here is a site on the benefits of sunshine. https://selecthealth.org/blog/2020/07/7-health-benefits-of-sunlight We can see that it is not just our imagination that we are solar powered!

Music another way to bring optimism into our lives. Stevie Wonder’s song, You Are the Sunshine of My Life is a great example!

May your glass be at least half full ….of sunshine and know that you have room for more blessings!

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