I have said for as long as I can remember that I need a minimum of four hugs per day. With my three children around me for over 20 years, I was able to get more than that by a long shot. So when they ceased to be plentiful in my life, it is no wonder that I became depressed, sick, and lonely.
This article is a good one explaining a bit of the benefits of hugs. But what happens when you don’t have friends or family around to give you that much-needed hug? Well if you live near the Jersey Shore and happen to run into Andrew Kurywczak you are sure to get at least one. He is credited with giving over a 1000 in one weekend in the wake of Storm Sandy. He claims that November 16th changed his life forever. Imagine what it did for those whom he hugged? Be the change you want to see in the world. Way to go, Andrew!
Wrap your arms around someone, press your hearts together, let your mind be stilled, your spirit comforted, your body refreshed.
I was born and lived the early part of my life in Coos Bay, Oregon. One of my most vivid childhood memories is of Steve picking me up off the track and cradling me in his arms after I’d attempted to hurdle, like the big kids, during a summer track camp at Marshfield High School when I was six-years-old. Like him, I was a rebel.
Nearly everyone had already been picked up and my single, working mom was late, as usual and therefore nobody was there to tell me “No”. The two men up in the stands weren’t looking and I took off in a sprint without much regard for anyone else-it was better to seek forgiveness than ask permission. I biffed hard! I can still remember the crash, the skinned knee, bloodied and blackened by the track surface, and lying there crying in a heap, embarrassed and defeated. I also remember the way one of the men bolted from the stands and was at my side, scooping me up, with lightening speed, comforting and encouraging me, telling me he was proud of me for trying. I think that I have been wanting that in a man ever since.
Steve died a year, or so, later, but the legacy he left behind is one of the greatest in modern day history. He was filled with determination, verve, and heart. Winning was defined by him as a measure of his own willingness to punish himself beyond his body’s physical ability. His was a life well-lived. That state of mind is imperative to good health and is the foundation to mental, physical, and emotional strength. As he so famously said, “To give anything other than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Go Pre! And go YOU!!!
Obesity is the greatest health risk in the US today. Spoons feed people. Therefore if we get rid of all of the spoons, there will cease to be an obesity problem. That is the logic that is used to rationalize the banning of guns. Maybe all you want to do is limit the size of guns…well then only get rid of tablespoons…more food can fit on them than teaspoons.
Murder is tragic and diabolical. Getting rid of a tool will not eliminate tragedy or evil. And in the case of the horrifying event at Sandy Hook Elementary, the use of a gun pointed at Adam Lanza by one of those teachers or school personnel would have saved lives. It is not the tool, but the user that was the problem. The only sure way to get rid of murder is to get rid of people…or get rid of evil.
With all that said, my heart grieves for the families and friends, as well as the survivors who will live with that experience the rest of their lives. My thoughts and prayers are also with the father and brother who was also the son to the murdered mother. God help us.
Do you remember the little girl or boy who would shout from the rooftops, “I’m king of the hill” unapologetically? For one moment, put aside the question of why that optimistic, confident, “I can do anything” believer became buried. Instead, go sing you song and trust that you are unique, special, and beautiful, and that you are valuable, with something to offer the world… and shout it out loud!
It is destructive to be looking over your shoulder yearning for something that distracts you from your vision. (Anyone remember what happened to Lot’s wife?) And if the “But Mom” is followed by “I just want”, whoa Nelly, stop the train!
The context of the “But Mom” scenario is always the same: one wants to do something contrary to what is in his or her best interest- a moment’s pleasure enticing one away from what is optimal. So when I would hear one of my cherubs say to me “But Mom”, I would counter with “Do I look like a Butt Mom to you?” which would send them into peals of laughter. Sometimes it was enough of a diversion to help them reboot, but other times, a tone tainted with a whine ensued with a justification for why the object of desire was paramount to their happiness. A logical discussion about the misdirection that the thing in question would cause was much more easily digested after a hearty chuckle.
So if you find yourself in a situation where your version of “But Mom” rises up, do not let yourself get derailed! Instead, step back and count the cost. Whether it is that cookie that will take you away from your dieting goal, the cigarette that seems good to smoke at the time, or the pretty little thing whose company for lunch seems like a good idea, none of those compare to the greater satisfaction you will experience by staying the course.
I love Lumosity! In addition to it being a fabulous way for me to procrastinate in the morning, it has amazingly reawakened my brain function! In just a month, I have balanced my problem solving ability with my attention and focus. No small feat, mind you.
Since entering my 40’s, I had found that my thought processes had become rather sluggish. Misplacing my keys, forgetting little things, or finding it hard to recall a word that ought to have poised at the tip-of-my-tongue and then leaped off had become the norm; I actually considered that I may be losing my mind. Alas, I have learned that it is common, that I do not have Alzheimer’s nor dementia, and that I am treatable.
Routine, lack of mental challenges in conjunction with an abundance of emotional stresses, lack of exercise and stimulation, and diet all are contributors to the slowing down and degenerating of the brain. The good news is that it is all fixable. Meditating, or in my case, breathing on purpose, exercising, and eating a clean diet were not the problem. But being a single mom of teenagers, having an illness, and living morally in a society that mistakes what is lawful for what is moral, have all contributed to a nearly overwhelming stress load; and doing basically the same thing every day for years certainly offered no new challenges. With less than 30 minutes a day devoted to these brain exercises, I have rebalanced myself which has helped in ways I had not even imagined: emotional coping, relationship-building, and self-governance. Amazing!
More to come on the issue of mental health and brain function. In the meantime, there is a free trial that you can check out. I would love to hear from you regarding your own struggles and successes. Until then, I will be twirling to the 80’s hit “Maniac” but singing “Brainiac” instead.
I am closing up the day on my 45th birthday and beginning the rest of my life. How fun is that?
Fun is indeed an important and intrinsic aspect of my life. For the last 21 years, that fun has been intricately woven with what defined me and that, in short, was my motherhood. And although I am still a mother of three amazing and beautiful children, they are nearly completely independent and so the time has come for me to begin a new career. New is scary. It is also exciting. It is my intention to make it fun.
Welcome to the whiteboard of my mind where I am going to share ideas, putting them “out there” so that I can make sense of them. A place where I can share experiences in the hopes of helping others avoid mistakes I’ve made. A filtering agent for me to sift out the good ideas from the rest and hopefully develop something lasting in the way of writing. Authorship provides a sense of immortality after all.
Thanks to my three beauties who have been so supportive of my writing. (I will find a more eloquent way of saying that later.) And thanks to the one we have all adopted who has been so patient with me and my near Luddite-like lack of technological luster, Derrick J whom you can find at Peacenewsnow.com. They’ve been the wind beneath my wings in so many ways, helping me to be the change I want to see in the world.