The Surprising Benefits of Mindful Meditation
I developed a fast love affair with yoga after my first class–the stretching, the balancing, the breathing. But I dreaded the end of class when we rested silently in mindful meditation. I couldn’t relax and let go of the mind chatter. Albeit I did begin to notice less stress, enhanced sleep, and more peacefulness. So imagine my surprise to learn that mindful meditation can slow the aging process. In other words, this one habit can add years to your life. That’s right–years! (I’m tossing the concealer and B.B. cream)! Continue reading
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
I have always been a fairly predictable person. For the past 16 years, I had worked at the same job. I got up at the same time every day, followed an organized routine in the morning, and went to the same 4 yoga classes a week. I ate the same thing for breakfast every day with a cup of tea and treated myself to coffee every Sunday. I was happy and I was comfortable. But then an opportunity presented itself that forced me to choose between my comfortable routine and a chance to follow a dream. Was I ready to take a leap of faith and shake up my life a bit?
A few months ago I was offered a job managing not one, but two cancer centers. I would have the opportunity to mentor and lead new nurses, provide education to staff and patients, develop new programs, and be involved in patient care—all the things I loved about being an oncology nurse. At the same time, I would be giving up my comfortable routine and giving up telecommuting. There would be less time for yoga and less time for writing. It would entail developing some new skills and creating a new role. It was both scary and exhilarating.
The prospect of being able to step into a new role was exciting. The idea of leaving my comfortable routine, however, was super-scary. I did a lot of self-talk, and I surrounded myself with friends and loved ones who believed in me. And then I realized something. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to get what you desire in life. It was time for me to get out of my comfort zone, follow my passion, and create a little chaos in my life. I decided to go for it, and I am so much better for it.
Whether it’s starting a new job, taking a trip of a lifetime, writing a book, moving to a new location, devoting more time to a hobby, or trying something completely new, it takes a leap of faith. How do you take that step? How do you know when the time is right to follow your passion and take that leap of faith? Continue reading
The Pink Ribbon
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and time to sport your pink ribbon. With 1:8 women being diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, it’s a cause that affects most of us. Pink raises awareness and honors those who have been directly affected by this disease. We need to raise awareness because we need more information about early detection. We need more advances in research for a cure. And we need more programs to support families affected by this disease.
The pink ribbon is ubiquitous with breast cancer and many companies sport the ribbon on their products during October. When you buy a pink product, it raises awareness for breast cancer. But how do you know where your money goes? Will it make an impact? Pinkwash is a term used to describe a company that promotes pink ribbon products but contributes little to support research. These companies may even sell products that contain ingredients known to increase the risk of breast cancer. When the pink ribbon is everywhere, how do you show support and put your money to good use? How do you know your contribution has an impact? Continue reading
Volunteering is Good for Your Health
My husband and I are active in several community service organizations. It makes a positive impact on the community in which we live. We enjoy helping those less fortunate than ourselves, giving voice to those who need support, and working to make the environment a better place. It makes us happy and it feels good. What we did not realize was the health benefits we reap when we volunteer. Volunteering is not just good for those we help, it has surprising benefits for the volunteer, as well. Continue reading
If you are over 50, vegan, or female, you need to read this. If you are underweight, post-menopausal, or avoid exercise, you should read this. If you have bones, you should read this. Actually, everyone should read this. It’s about your bones. And it’s a wake-up call to take care of your bones before it’s too late.
I am 53 years old, and I do not take my age for granted. I eat a whole foods, vegan diet. I do yoga, power walk, or use my TRX equipment at least 5 days per week. I get 8 hours of sleep every night and practice meditation every morning. I wear sunblock when I go outside, and I take vitamin D and turmeric every morning. So imagine my shock when my gynecologist told me my bone density test indicated a decrease in bone density. I have osteopenia, I condition that can lead to osteoporosis and fractures.
What is osteopenia? And how did this happen to me? Continue reading
Many of us believe that crying is sign of weakness. When we show our emotions, we are letting our guard down. But crying serves an important purpose. Crying is good for you. Case in point…
I was talking with a couple of friends who are in the midst of medical treatment. Both of these women are successful business women who often travel for work. They each have magnetic personalities that emanate warmth and enthusiasm for life. And they are both mothers of teens. They seemed to be handling their diagnosis and treatment with bravado, both maintaining active social calendars and managing work and being moms. It’s been remarkable to see them keep it all together and manage it all. They were never without a smile because, well, crying was not an option. But underneath all these layers, they confessed that they each hit an emotional wall. Continue reading
I am over 50 years old and had been putting off my colonoscopy because of fear of the prep and the procedure. I know, I know—I’m an oncology nurse and most of my patients have been through the procedure. I was having a difficult time coming up with plausible excuses. I realized I needed to put on my big girl panties (then take them off) and be an example to others. March was Colon Cancer Awareness month and a reminder to schedule my screening. This is not a pleasant subject for dinner conversation. A lot of people have the same reservations I did. Since colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States, I hope talking about my personal experience can help dispel fear and move you (no pun intended) to get screened. Continue reading
When my son was born, I said good-bye to my bed. He never slept…never. He would close his eyes for 20 minutes, and just when I thought it was safe to go back to bed, he was wide awake again. This lasted for 1 year. There was no carpet left under the rocking chair in his room. My husband and I read every parenting book, hoping to come across a tip we hadn’t tried. The pediatrician had no suggestions. When we exhausted all of our friends, family, and Nick at Night shows, we decided to consult a sleep therapist. We tried all of his suggestions, following his instructions like we were putting together an IKEA table. No luck. Continue reading