Exuberant Life! The road to recovery is difficult for everyone whether you’re at the beginning or well into your journey. Incorporating wellness practices like good nutrition, exercise and improved sleep habits into your routine make your recovery easier and more successful. Easier? You might think that sounds like extra effort when you’re already working so hard. Yet, for people in recovery, a healthy lifestyle is especially important for several major reasons. First, substance abuse causes damage to the body due to excessive stress. Second, alcohol and drug abuse can cause general malnutrition as well as specific nutrient deficiencies. Third, improved … Continue reading
Letter to editor: Mary Lou Logsdon’s reflection on the ginkgo trees that line her street (“Letting Go,” November/December, 2014) was a reminder that many meaningful life lessons are gleaned by observing nature. Her comments about “letting go,” based on the metaphor of trees losing their leaves in the fall, were not only thoughtful, but lyrical, as much akin to poetry as prose can get. I’m saving her piece, so that I can share sections of it as the opening words for a future service at our Unitarian Universalist church.
Dear Editor: Though I regularly find useful and supportive advice and information in The Phoenix Spirit, I was shocked by the tone of John Driggs’ latest column, which, in defending parents, came across as very blaming and shaming of (adult) children. Here are a couple quotes that were especially troubling: “… no matter how problematic our childrens’ childhoods were there is absolutely no justification for their rejecting us today from their lives. If they do so, they are doing so out of their own spite and cluelessness, not because they were harmed in childhood. ” “All of us are obliged … Continue reading
Mahatma Gandhi said: “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” He was voicing ancient wisdom that goes as far back as the first century BC when the Roman poet, Virgil, wrote: “The greatest wealth is health.” Today we say, “If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.” We seem to want good health. The majority of New Year’s resolutions center on the physical body: exercise more, quit smoking, eat better. Fitness clubs offer state-of-the-art equipment; television commercials hawk quick and easy weight loss plans, in-home exercise paraphernalia and plastic-encased ready-to- eat meals. We … Continue reading
Unspeakable: When our Adult Children want Nothing to do with us You know, e v e r y holiday and birthday is like a dagger in my back. Sometimes I just lie on my bed and cry my eyes out. I adopted Maria when she was two-years-old as I couldn’t have children of my own and had no husband. Her mom died of a drug overdose. She was the cutest little girl and loved following me around. I became her everything. Every time I left the room without her she would scream for attention. It took a long time for … Continue reading
2014 was odd, I’m just sayin’. It was a year filled with surprises, big and small, tangible and intangible, some deeply felt and other scarcely noticed. My husband was laid off from his job at the beginning of the year, we launched our eldest off to college, and I continued to slog and plod my way through graduate school. My mother-in-law uttered her last emphatic words, “I’m ready to go – now!” and I attended a party to honor the first 365 days of a young girl’s life.
Finding balance in our daily lives can be difficult in today’s fast-paced, smartphone- driven society. Five days a week, my smartphone leaves me feeling as though I am a critical- care neurosurgeon; on-call and always accessible. Without real private time, or privacy. Whether it’s work or family needs, all too often we are encouraged to play the role of the First Responder; always standing ready. Reports tell me that approximately one in five American women are on antidepressants, that tens of millions of our fellow Americans find themselves relying on food stamps, that the most prescribed drug in America is … Continue reading
We seek to live whole lives in recovery and wellness, but it is so easy to find parts of our lives that get compartmentalized or ceded away from recovery principles. Personal finance is one of those areas where the wisdom and tools of recovery could help, but many people get overwhelmed, and doubly so when debts are part of the picture. Debt has become a new norm in American life. Think about how credit cards have become a part of everyday life. Fewer than half of consumers pay their credit card balance off in full each month, and the average … Continue reading
……a large part of it at least, you live in a place designed to make you overweight and unhealthy. It was not designed this way on purpose; nonetheless, that’s the effect. Sidewalk-less suburban cul-de-sacs keep you from walking. If you do walk, you face having to cross a four-lane highway to get to a store. Once at that store you are presented with a mile long row of boxed options disappearing into the horizon, all of them packaged with bright, distracting colors and most of them containing a great deal of sugar and fat. If this becomes overwhelming, as it … Continue reading
By Rob Kendall Watkins Publishing This is a guide to survive challenging conversations and avoid the pitfalls that can sabotage them. Kendall says it is, “How to stop conversations becoming destructive arguments.” He provides strategies to deal with the four fundamental situations: the tangle, the big argument, the bad place, and the lock down. The reader is advised to observe conversations and using different techniques, prevent trivial conversations from becoming toxic arguments. Describing the spectrum of listening, Kendall states, “Remember, you always have a choice about how to respond.” He describes how pretending to listen, which includes listening in order … Continue reading
By Eldon Taylor Hay House This revised edition of a New York Times bestseller is based on 30 years of research and includes 5 new chapters. All of these years later, Taylor still recommends, “Don’t be manipulated by others.” He suggests instead, “Understand your own mind and be your own person.” Taylor uses case studies and research results to support his theory of how minds work and beliefs develop. He explains in depth how our minds work and demonstrates how illusions affect our visual reference system. The reader is urged to be aware of the pervasiveness of manipulation, whether it … Continue reading
By Paraclete Press Paraclete Press incorporated in 1983. They state, “Although Benedictine spirituality is at the heart of all we do, we are an ecumenical publisher.” Readers that enjoy Christian writing, ancient and contemporary, will find enjoyment in this small book. There are quotes from Meister Eckhart and Albert Einstein, and poems by William Shakespeare. There is even a short story by Louisa May Alcott. Readers are provided prompts to list their blessings and include their own thoughts on thanksgiving. “Be like the sun for grace and mercy. Be like the night to cover others’ faults. Be like running … Continue reading
By Jerry Moe and Don Pohlman Imagin Works Puppet play for the younger children and a crossword puzzle for older kids — these games and more are available to assist adults who interact with children who have been affected by the disease of alcoholism or drug addiction. For 15 years, Moe and Pohlman have been conducting education/support groups for children 6 to 12 years old. They offer games and suggestions to help children “Play their way to understanding and health.” They do this with a specially designed collection of games and activities centered on feelings, the disease of chemical dependency, … Continue reading
Many of us have heard of higher brain living — but what is it? Some brain researchers advocate energizing the pre-frontal lobes — the higher brain — to help us lessen the impact of unproductive “lower brain” stress responses. Directly or indirectly, medical researchers believe that up to 90 percent of all medical office visits are a result of stress. Our primitive survival brain, or lower brain, is the part of our brain physiology that is responsible for survival. It is a reactive part of our physiology that keeps us in the grip of stress, fear, anxiety, reactive impulse, addiction, … Continue reading
Why it’s so Hard for us to Keep our Resolutions With another New Year under our belts, up to half (48 percent) of us made New Year’s resolutions. Only eight percent of us actually achieve the goals we set for ourselves. So why is it so hard for us to keep our commitment to our self-made promises? There are really four main reasons why people aren’t able to achieve their annual goals,” says Joda Coolidge, health counselor. “From setting too many or just finding the time to work on them, most people fall into one of these common resolution traps.” … Continue reading
By Mary Lou Logsdon “Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” —Paul Theroux Winter is upon us. Daylight is sparse. Dark extends from late afternoon well into morning. The air is cold and houses warm. Long nights encourage long sleeps. It is slow-down-time, mid-winter’s gift. The rush, the energy, the holiday festivities have ended. The silent nights finally arrive. And what a gift they bring! Winter forces me to slow down. If I don’t alter my winter driving I invite a fender-bender that would slow me even more. The prelude to winter walks includes gathering boots, hats, mitts after … Continue reading