It’s Been Awhile

Yep, yep, I have been off the grid for a bit here.  But now I have something that I just have to share. Today I received my advert that will be in Sybil Magazine next to my column for the ENTIRE year of 2016!

It also previews what I will be doing for the next year….I just read it – whew, that is a lot of stuff!

Tell me what you think:   Like it? Hate it? Love it? Neutral?   I still have time to make changes..

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So with writing the articles and getting ready to kick off this major BANNER YEAR!!!! – I am a bit invisible at the moment!

But OH BOY wait until you see what is about to happen!!!!

Taking a Break from MS Talk!

I think it’s time for me to take a break from focusing on MS.  I say that because even though I am all about not letting it stop me, it actually does when I think about it too much..  Remember those sayings like:

 You become what you think about.  

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve,” Napoleon Hill once said.

“The mind is everything. What you think, you become,” Buddha taught,

Well I don’t want to become Multiple Sclerosis or any disease for that matter.  I have no intention of doing that, so what if, just maybe, I spent the next month focusing on something other than MS – not writing about it – or complaining about it – or letting it get me down in the dumps.?

I wonder if I go on an MS fast, what will I feel like at the end of the month.

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True it is November 2nd,  so I missed a day, but I am going to give it a go.  29 days without the letters coming out of my mouth, pen or keyboard!  I am going to be MS free.

So here is the question, without my faithful companion to talk about, what will I focus on this month?  The world is so big and colorful and bright, the air is feeling balmy and clear, the people on the street all offer different types of expressions,  what have I been missing?

And now that I am replacing two letters in my brain, I need to think of something, one thing that I will work on this entire month and give it as much attention as I do the disease.  I will look at groups to join about it, people to engage with that are involved in it, and find a whole new tribe of folks who know nothing about what it is to live with the Monster.

Yes that is what I am going to do all month.  I haven’t decided on what that focus will be just yet,  after all it is NANOWRIMO so I could use it to write a novel, but I am just not ready for that this year, I could work on my spiritual evolution, that always needs some attention, or I could concentrate on a way to make a difference in this world. Even with my limitations, even though I am only a regular woman, I can focus on something that will help others and help create positive change.

Okay, the wheels are a turning.  I will go and sit under the banyan tree and do a bit of soul searching.download (4)

When I get back to you I will tell you what my focus for the month will be.

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An Angel in the Subway

This morning I was in a particularly vile mood. The reason is part of a long drawn out story and one I am sure you won’t want to hear. But, there I was, not so happy, not so Zen as I wanted to be, and I decided to go my neighborhood Subway (yes we have them in Bahrain) to get a Veggie Delight.

 


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To be fair I am known there. I usually pop in for the same thing after I teach my courses on base, so the workers greeted me with their typical smiles and hellos. But I was still fuming over the perceived injustice I had to endure, and I just wanted to get my sub and go home. That is when the manager, a sweet looking young man from Nepal, came up and shook my hand. “I haven’t seen you for a good time” he said. I told him I had been home to the USA to visit. Then he excitedly shared with me his visit to India. He was so thrilled to be talking about it. His face was glowing. He wanted to tell me that he went to the Prabhupada temple in Mayapur, and his experiences being there.

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He talked about how beautiful it was, and how peaceful. “Even if you go there and you are speaking loudly or angrily you will immediately calm down and the voice will get quieter.” “Yes” I agreed. Not having ever been to that particular temple, I remembered my experience at a spiritual place I had just visited in California. I noticed my own volume was lowering and my body had calmed just thinking about the vibration it held. He talked on and on about how many people visited, and that he himself went eight times on this one trip. He played a short musical piece for me that he heard there.

 

And all the while I felt I was being transformed in a very small but real way. From anger to acceptance and from angst to peace. As he continued, I found myself becoming more mentally attuned with the Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, Ca where I had walked around the water, fed the fish and the turtles, and marveled at the gracefulness of the swans who called it their home.

 

cc4af10c1380f5004715147619ced934The feeling of time standing still, the air softening, it was what I needed in that moment. My breath eased, and the fever in my brain cooled. Then the young man said, “When I first met you, I saw you wore an AUM symbol, and other things like that around your neck, and I felt you had the look of someone who is understanding of these things.” I explained to him that I very much enjoyed talking about and reading about spiritual beliefs and traditions. And then I realized what a gift this short encounter was, so I told him about how I had walked into the Subway angry and how meeting him, and him telling me of his journey to the temple, had changed my day.

Before saying good bye we both had tears beginning to form in our eyes. I thanked him, and he thanked me as well. I walked out of the building smiling and happy to continue my day with newfound positivity and strength. Today I learned that angels come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be found in the most unusual places…even in a Subway restaurant.

I Challenge You to: PERSEVERE!

 

 

PERSEVERANCE.

Oh yeah, the big P word.

I have to admit it can be my kryptonite so I know what I am talking about here.

The very worst thing you can do – whether it is MS related, life related, and love related is to stop.

Stop moving

Stop talking

Stop enjoying

Life happens to us, or with us.  MS is going to be there regardless of what we do, or don’t do, and it is easy to throw our arms up and just say it’s too hard now.

I went through a spell not long ago, when the weather where I am, was over 110 F/42C and I literally couldn’t go outside.  The pain was intolerable, the fatigue was horrible. I was losing eyesight, and patience, and I am not going to tell you that I just breezed right through it.  It is very depressing to have to be a prisoner to an AC unit…but that is how I was living.  So yes, I felt like, “this is too much, I can’t take it” I will just sleep my life away.

And guess what?  I DID!!!

Ooh ooh that isn’t supposed to be the moral of this story!

 

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The point was, that I was actually missing out on so much during that time and I am sure there were things I could have done.  I could have painted, or written or crafted.  I could have read inspiring books. But I didn’t.

There is nothing wrong with vegging out in front of the TV from time to time…we all need that.  I think people with chronic illness sometimes have to have it when the pain is insurmountable. But if it become our life, then I think we are heading down a dangerous road.

I had a friend who committed suicide because of the pain of MS.  She felt like she couldn’t go on.  I understand. But the world, and her friends and family, lost a beautiful soul with much to give, because she gave up.

So how do we combat this little problem?

 We PERSEVERE.

I am so serious about the word I had it tattooed in white ink on my wrist so I could see it everyday.

We keep going and we find something useful that lights us up and gives us strength to move forward.

 

What do you love?

Is it cooking, writing, listening to music?

What could you do with that?

What gifts do you have to give the world?

Oh you think you don’t have any?  Trust me we all have them.

 

Even if you have no arms or legs that work – Can you speak? Can you tell stories? Can you sing?

 

There is never, ever,  a reason to give up completely.

NEVER.

The irony is that the treasure lies just beyond the point of giving up.  Right at the place where you feel all is lost, you only have to cross the bridge and find your pot of gold.

 Haven’t you watched enough movies to know that?

 

Nobody  got anywhere by saying, I CAN’T or I WON’T !

Drop those words from your vocabulary because I guarantee you, they are not doing you any good.

And while you are dropping, you can erase…………….

                                          BORED!

at the same time.

If you ever find yourself dealing with the dreaded B word, remember this:

That is why you came to earth with an…

 

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Turn off the TV – and IMAGINE.  You might be surprised at how fast you have created something to do that you truly enjoy.

Perseverance is the key to achieving every goal and reaching every dream.  Whether you have Multiple Sclerosis or Fibromyalgia, Lupus, or the flu, there is no reason for you to let life just fly by you as if you were it’s passenger – scoot on over and get in the driver’s seat.

You have places to go a people to meet.

Hey I rhymed!  Have a good one!

 

 

Foolish, Foolish Me!

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I am amazed today at how foolish we human beings can be.

Not just the folks who do those stupid tricks when they were told, “Do not attempt to do this at home.”

That’s easy. We all know how foolish they are.

I guess I am thinking more about the rest of us. Us, well meaning people who are living our lives, trying to do the right thing and at the same time often overlooking the faults in our own behavior.

I will give you an example.

A very good friend of mine has been trying to meet with me for coffee or just to talk for a LONG LONG TIME.  Now, it’s not that I don’t love her, because I do, or that I was angry, because I wasn’t. She didn’t do anything to cause me NOT to want to see her. In fact she has always been extra sweet to me.

I, on the other hand, was the one shutting the door. To her credit she never gave up and continued to wish me well on Facebook.

But this year on my birthday I promised myself I would  take a good long look at my ‘ugly side’.  So here is what happened.

We went for coffee and what do you know…….

Both of us had been going through things that were trying and difficult. Both of us could have used some support.  Both of us needed a friend. And the sad thing is , we were both going through it, blocks from each other, and alone.

What did I learn from that?

I admit it.  I was foolish.  

What ever it was that kept me from picking up the phone or sending that text, was not only foolish it was just plain WRONG.  I can’t use depression or insecurities, or “I have been busy’ or any other excuse because that is not how I should treat a good friend.

Lesson learned.
Sad for the hole it left, but happy that it has been healed.

If you have let someone slip away because of neglect, or anger or because you are just to darn busy,

Make the call, 

write the email,

go and visit. 

Don’t let special people in your life simply fade away.

Make it a point to reconnect with one  friend or loved one today.

Not only will it make you glow,

You might just be the medicine for someone else’s soul.

 

 

 

 

 

Journeying through life with my companions: Art, Travel, and Multiple Sclerosis

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