Thursday, August 13, 2015

August Analysis

During Camp Kesem BYU-ID inaugural camp August 2014 I spent the week at the family cabin in Lowman. TJ did not want to go, he was angry also, and wanted to stay home and blow stuff up in World of Tanks. I told him he did not have a choice about attending. He did have a choice in the amount of fun he had. It was a healing and transformative week for both of us. 
My Uncle Pat has installed high speed wifi at the cabin. I both love it and hate it. Communication tools connected to the internet are another love hate relationship. Last year a Survivor Sister was in the final stages of her cancer journey. It was hard to see the pain of those close to her, it was healing to see the outpouring of love and support.

August 2014 I was still very angry about my situation. I was sure that someone else owed me something for my pain and suffering. That TJ deserved more because I could not provide for him, that cancer had ripped him off too. A lot has changed in 12 months. I am done with most of the anger and fear of my journey. I still have some tough stuff to work through, forgiveness to ask for, forgiveness to be extended. I do understand now that, I am owed nothing for my path, my journey. All of it even the deeply nasty stuff is a gift. A gift that is my choice what to do with it, how to feel about it, my decision to dislike it or love it.

August 2015 I have received information that another Survivor Sister is near the end of her journey. It sucks. Cancer Sucks, death of a young wife, mother, scout mom sucks. None of it is fair or right or ok or good. I am angry that another family, another child is denied experiences because of cancer.  I am sad for the memories and moment she will miss with her family. I am mad that cancer stops to many vibrant souls for becoming old men and women. Everyone should have the opportunity to become a joyous or grumpy old person.

I know that when I arrive at Camp Kesem this year I will not become a crying, crazy hot mess of a mom and embarrass my son. This year I am not angry, and fearful. This year I am more grateful, more peaceful, more joyous, more ready for a laugh and a joke. So excited to see my young man and hear of his adventures of Camp Kesem. To thank the gracious men and women from BYU-Id that have generously given so much of their time, talents and money to make this transformative week happen for some very brave young people. 

In the last 48 years I have learned and forgotten many things but this perspective that I have learned in the last 365 days may be the most transformative.

It is my path and my choice. I chose joy and freedom. Freedom is never inexpensive or easy. I know there will be times that I will forget that love and gratitude come first. I will respond to those I love the most without compassion or empathy. I know that there will be sad days and happy days. I will choose cherish each day, even the hard ones because in truth and love.  They are all a gift.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Healing Words

Healing is interesting. Our human bodies are unique in that the objective parts are influenced and changed by the subjective parts.

We know that deep breathing (objective) while thinking of a peaceful place (subjective) can slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure (objective).
We also know that what and how we say words can affect the listener. If you say in a loud and angry voice "shut the door", the door will likely be shut with force and disregard of the damage done by such force.
If you say "shut the door" in a quiet and peaceful voice the door will likely be closed gently with no damage concern.
Both processes have the same outcomes, the door is closed. But what is left; the feeling, the energy, the underlying subjective; create either more harm or more healing.
There are words that regardless of tone delivery will cause hurt and damage. When you use words or labels of degradation you cause hurt. When you use words or labels of love and encouragement you heal.
Being on the healing bench in a place of observation this Valentine's Day has made me acutely aware of how many of us, myself included, have misplaced our responsibly to word choice.
In this moment of history where the vast majority of word content is in non verbal form how do we convey the importance of subjective word choices.
What would be better in your world if you gave your word choice an overhaul. Choose not to use words that are negative, abusive, hateful, offensive.
For my Catholic Family lent starts on Wednesday this could be a deeply moving challenge.
For my Christian non-Catholic family this could be a great way to remove a behavior that is separating you and Christ.
For my Family who do not see themselves in either of the above groups. I challenge you to consider and practice a mindfulness of word choice for 30 or 60 days or any section of time that allows for awareness and change.
I am working to heal both my objective and subjective parts to be a better, more ready, more smooth conduit of love, light, grace and mercy. I hope you will join me putting more words and feeling of love, beauty, and joy in to the world.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Testing Prevention

     Successful prevention is hard to measure. However there are occasions when you accidentally test your process. I have Celiac Disease. I have made diligent efforts to maintain a gluten free lifestyle for 9 years. I would suffer occasionally for accidental cross contamination. The results of ingesting the smallest speck of bread or drop of soy sauce was intense pain and food poisoning like symptoms. Not pleasant at all. Side note; I am very glad my response to gluten is not deadly. However when you are unable to leave the bathroom for more than 20 minutes it makes it hard to work, be a mom, and in general a functioning human. For those who think this Gluten Free thing is a fad, rest assured it is not. However there may be hope for reducing ones symptoms of accidental consuming of gluten.

     Often we must go back to move forward. December 20, 2011 I am sitting at my new desk in my new office at my new job. It is day 10 and everything is still very new. Everything is just as I had hoped it would be when I graduated collage at age 44. My cell phone rang. I had had the breast tissue biopsy the previous Friday. And was expecting the results that day, and fully expecting them to be part of that 80% that results in is benign. I heard the words from Dr. Maxwell. “I have your results and I’m sorry to tell you, you have cancer.” As any survivor will tell you they don't recall much of what was said after that. I do recall Dr. Maxwell saying “We have a great team they will take good care of you. You will be ok.” 

     Shortly after that day I started to learn about my treatment plan, side effects and what I should do to give myself the best possible outcome. I was quick to learn one component that I had supreme control over was nutrition. What I eat. Oh goody I was already the food police of my family reading all the labels, researching unfamiliar ingredients. Now I needed to toss out all my conventional knowledge about food and ignore the government recommended nutritional guidelines. What I have learned about that quagmire of data is a long story for another time.

        Let us go forward a little bit. Mid November 2012 ago when I was exhausted and crazy sick my friend Donna Foster invited me, again, to learn about a whole food product that she and her family use. It had helped her son stay healthy and maintain perfect attendance in elementary school. I had discovered by reading the results of cancer research that nutrition from whole foods is better than consuming individual nutrients. But was overwhelmed with trying to consume 10-15 cups of fresh, organic, local, raw produce.

     I arrive at the meeting location a hot mess, I had lost my job, I had just brought my mom home from a 10 day hospital stay for a sepsis infection, and I had had ear surgery in October, was still healing from radiation treatments. To state that I was a hot mess is understated.  The speaker, Stacy Joy, is a holistic nurse that was silly crazy about the 12,000 nutrients found in an apple. She was talking about nutrient synergy and anti-oxidants and DNA switches. I was familiar with the terms she was using, they are the same terms and definitions used in cancer prevention and post treatment healing research. Stacy and Donna both said that taking all three fruit, vegetables and whole grain blends of Juice Plus would help me bridge the gap on the volume of whole food nutrients I was consuming. My package arrived a few weeks later, red, green and purple for me and red and green for TJ, his were free.

     Go forward again. June 2014 TJ encourages me to learn more about the Celiac Disease Study at Advance Clinical Research. There are many parts and markers to see if you can participate in a medical clinical trial. I shan’t bore you with the details. One component that is important to this this story is the Upper Endoscopy with biopsy to detriment the current level of damage to the lining of my stomach. This is the same procedure used to diagnose Celiac Disease.  Results are that I do not have enough damage to go forward in the clinical trial. I am happy sad, my stomach lining is healing. Happy that I am healing, sad that my participation in the clinical trial has ended.

     Coming around to now. September 18, 2014 I am at a Boy Scout Camp in McCall Idaho. It is a special place and a special time. Scouting youth teaching components of the outdoor experience on a Wood Badge Course. That is a story for another time. Others are preparing my food, ALWAYS huge risk! I have backup safe food, I always have back up food. I visit with the man in charge of breakfast, we do a rundown of the components of the breakfast casserole. I feel comfortable that it is safe for me and TJ to eat. I get breakfast first, on the third bite I look again at the golden brown cheesy yumminess….there in all its loveliness is a layer of tasty flaky goodness….bread. Oh goodness…I this could be very bad. I have not consumed that much regular bread in 9 years. I stop eating and go for my back up stash. Informing TJ that we are enjoying our preparedness.

     I am happy to share with you that, the rest of the day the others that prepared food for me and TJ were prepared, knowledgeable and accommodating. The amazing result of my gluten consumption, I had some minor discomfort and extra gas. A FAR, FARAWAY different response than just a few months ago. I am amazingly grateful for the knowledge that my efforts to eat enough nutrients to heal my body are working.

     This is not a sales pitch. This is me expressing gratitude for confirmation that hard work and diligence provides desired outcomes. If you want to know more about Juice Plus and how it may help your prevention program please contact me.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 30~ Triad Finish

Welcome to the beginning.
As with all things in life it is a cycle, system or process. When you reach the end, it really is the beginning of something. We have reached the last day of  the triad challenge, that daily lifetime process of honoring mind, body and spirit. My hope is that something that we have done in the last 30 days you have enjoyed enough to continue for the next 30 days or weeks.
I was asked if this challenge has been harder than I had expected. I must admit that I did not have many expectations when I started, many of the writings amaze me. I think that we often miss the message because we are busy looking for a mistake or how could I have done it better. The next few weeks will be filled with meaning, expectations, traditions, joy, and peace on earth. I ask you to set a side the need to fulfill every expectation. Find a way to help your neighbor. Look for opportunities for make supportive memories.
I leave you with my best enjoyed practices.
Mind: Play a new puzzle or practice a new language
Body: Take 10 deep breaths and walk during your TV show.
Spirit: Look at your thinking and understanding of someone's situation. Make an effort to understand it better. See where you can help.
I hope to continue creating wonderful readings, but am having surgery on Dec 11th. Prayers and healing thoughts are welcome.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 29~Triad Challenge

Welcome to gratitude.
Service to others changes us.
Last week I was enjoying a cup of tea when my phone rang, it was my friend who moved to Ohio in September, "Do you know where the bus barn on Franklin is?...Yes...Good go there now, Tiffany's dad died. ...Oh Crap...on my way."
Her dad had just died of a heart attack. She was at work and needed a friend, driver and prayer warrior.
As the day unfolded with hugs, tears, prayers and travel plans it became apparent that I would be cat sitting. I can say that given a choice, I will choose a dog over a cat any day. However this cat sitting has given me and TJ a chance to help someone else. He had a not so good experience with a cat and had vowed to never like cats. Smokey has changed him. He thinks that maybe a cat someday would be okay. That daily scooping the litter box might be better than the weekly poo picking of the yard.
This doing for others... It changes us...we see the world in a different light. After being in her home everyday for a week I can say that I have a better understanding of her and her journey. For that I hope to be a better supporter of her journey.
What can you do to see a friend or situation in a different light that will make you a better supporter?
Think about that as you take a walk or eat more green vegetables.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day 28 ~ Triad Challenge

Welcome to gratitude.
Mind: take time today to be quiet. With all the excitement of the day we can overwhelm our minds and emotions.
Body: go for a walk before and after that big meal.
Spirit:  Love the one your with. Simply stated you can wish for and long for those that are gone or you have yet to meet but that reduces what you do for those next to you now.
Today, the here and now is a gift, it is a present. Do what you can to enjoy the future, learn from the past but love the one your with.
I am grateful for you.
Happy Thanksgiving!  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 27~Triad Challenge

Welcome to gratitude.
Today is Wednesday. Yes that is right Hump day, middle of the week. The day that marks the changing of the tide for the work flow.
With our amazing fast spread of information a commercial, phrase or picture can go from a few people seeing and giggling to a whole nation declaring "Enough with the camel".
This Wednesday is extra is the day before Thanksgiving. There are no stories written about thanksgiving eve, something like... 

The kitchen was all a flurry with the baking of pie, stirring of sauce, and slicing of yams. The parlor gleamed for not a spec of dust to be found, the table glowed from the shiny silver, bright china and sparking crystal. The family is all tucked in bed exhausted, hungry and nervous, for tomorrow is Thanksgiving and "Company" is coming to dinner. Company may be friends or family may be those you see daily or just once a year. But this is a special meal, the one that we all recall for years to come. Come to the table with your glass and gratitude, leave your burdens and complaints at the door. You are loved and cherished today and everyday.      
In the story of Thanksgiving eve we have no special elf that arrives to wake us with a clatter, magically not create a mess from coming down the chimney and leave behind a gift that some will say replaces the gift of a savior. For Thanksgiving we just have each other and the anticipation of good food and the making of memories. Make memories that support. Memories that bring a feeling of love, belonging, valued and acceptance.
I am grateful you are reading this. 
A friend presented the question...If today you have only what you gave thanks for what would you have?