When Did You Die?

8 Steps to Stop Dying Every Day and Start Waking Up By Temple Hayes Health Communications, Inc. Hayes shares with the readers that she is amazed to be alive. She grew up in a violent and neglectful home. She admits she’s been in many automobile accidents and many times she drank enough alcohol to kill herself. Yet she didn’t die. However, each day she denied who she was, dying a little more each day. Hayes states, “Many people do not realize that there are many layers of being asleep and dying while we are living.” She offers readers techniques to … Continue reading

Imagine the Life You’d Love to Live, Then Live It:

52 Inspired Habits and Playful Prompts By Peg Conley Viva Editions How are you living the life you want to live? Conley describes her creative journey and provides 52 chapters of common sense advice to inspire new habits and disciplines. This book has useful tips from an artist and owner of a successful greeting card and stationery company. There are short essays and exercises to inspire and help the reader intentionally create the life they want. She suggests these will help the reader “unlock their inner genius” and nurture their journey forward by using practical ideas and suggestions. Week by … Continue reading

Faith: Essays from Believers, Agnostics, and Atheists

By Victoria Zackheim Beyond Words Publishing Zackheim was well into her sixties when she began to explore what she believed, and in turn, asked others about their beliefs. She asked, “What do you believe?” Their responses and how they came to their beliefs are included in this anthology. This collection of thought-provoking essays was written by 23 award-winning and best-selling authors Zackhein knew or had worked with in the past. The essays are honest and candid. Readers may use these gifted authors’ personal reflections as prompts for their own reflection and answers. Zackheim has edited several other creative nonfiction anthologies … Continue reading

Finding Your Voice

A lot of people claim that they can’t sing. Maybe at some point in their life, someone told them they couldn’t carry a tune. Maybe they were told that they were being too loud or obnoxious. Maybe they started thinking that singing wasn’t cool, or that it was only acceptable in a karaoke bar under the influence of alcohol. At some point, they just decided to quit singing. I say “quit,” because anyone who has been around young children knows that they are not nearly as shy about sharing their voices with the world. At some point, though, it seems … Continue reading

Thanks for the Words of Encouragement

From an early age I had low self-esteem partly as a result of being criticized unrealistically by my mother. I was a perfectionist and struggled with anger, frustration and tension. Besides that I felt like my parents were smothering me with over protection. College graduation coincided with a break up with my boyfriend, dashing marriage plans and leaving me lost and dejected. Mom said, “I told you so.” That just made things hurt more. I moved to a faraway state to try and escape my parents and the feelings of failure and guilt that I had, but things only got … Continue reading

Accepting Reality

I see myself on the high-speed motorbike with skin-tight leather jeans and long shiny hair and the looks of an angel. I see myself acting in a movie. The movie wins an Oscar, and I have all that I need and cherish as an actor and author. I see myself being a great leader whose speech touches the hearts of  millions, who brings victory to mankind and kills all ignorance. I see myself writing books and shifting the mass consciousness and see the creativity inside me to publish these best sellers. —Vidya Gargote from MUTE: Poems That Saved My Life! … Continue reading

Welcome Spring with Health, Fitness, and Cooking apps

With the weather finally heating up (goodbye snowpocalypse!) it’s that time of year again when we layer down and show some skin. For those of you who didn’t exactly get that body you’ve been hoping for during this year’s hellish winter… don’t stress. From running to biking to cooking, here are some apps that will get you in tip-top shape in time for next winter: 1.MapMyRun – For all the runners out there, MapMyRun allows you to record your workout details including the time span, distance, pace, speed, elevation and calories burned. It uses the GPS in your mobile to … Continue reading

Getting unstuck from depression

On the bus recently I overheard a woman on her cellphone. “I’m so depressed,” she told the person on the receiving end. Later that day, I was on the receiving end as I listened to a friend from across the country explain that it’s been hard to get out of bed in the mornings. I knew what she meant. I, too, had been having a hard time getting and staying motivated and upbeat. While the term “depression” might commonly be used as a general descriptor to convey, I feel bad emotionally and I don’t know how to relieve it, depression … Continue reading

A Brief Taxonomy of Addiction

“Think you’re different”? read the tagline on the poster my first C.D. counselor would point to the second a new patient entered his office. The words, printed in a cheerfully comic balloon-lettered font scrolled over a depiction of thousands of densely massed European lady bugs, bright red with big black polka dots. “I’d relate better” I said “if they were cockroaches” I said. I understood it, though; I was already getting the idea: Find the common ground. Whether in treatment, or in the “rooms,” addicts come together from wildly different backgrounds, cultures, levels of formal education and religious upbringing. If … Continue reading

Guide Your Recovery with Wellness

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 the Editor

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.

Letter to the Editor

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

Health Beyond the Numbers

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

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

From the publisher: 2014 was odd…

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.

On Creating Balance

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