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Weekly Photo Challenge: BROKEN

22/05/2015

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov

Weekly Photo Challenge: BROKEN - Mug and Vase

Weekly Photo Challenge: BROKEN – Mug and Vase

Weekly Photo Challenge: BROKEN -  Vase

Weekly Photo Challenge: BROKEN – Vase

A word of kindness is seldom spoken in vain, while witty sayings are as easily lost as the pearls slipping from a broken string.George Dennison Prentice

I chose these two items because they were treasured items; one was a wedding gift from a good family friend and the other a purchase from a cherished event. When they broke, I kept them. Of course, in retrospect, I could have tossed them or bought some putty to fix the pieces but I didn’t. Sometimes, we hold onto broken things because they capture a moment, a memory, a painful or joyful time… We can still see beauty in broken things… Just look and remember the memories attached.

“The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Weekly Photo Challenge: BROKEN - Mug

Weekly Photo Challenge: BROKEN – Mug

The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed. Charlotte Bronte

That mug came from the Omega Conference for women… It was held in NYC and I met so many wonderful people. When it broke, I packed the 2nd one away and now I wonder if I should use it as a mini planter. The message on the mug is an important reminder to care for self.
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Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

20/05/2015

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.” Graham Greene

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine...

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

“When life gives you lemons, do you make lemonade, or do you rub the fruit in your wounds? … Since trying to “think” myself out of uncomfortable, dark feelings is an invitation to fall further down the rabbit-hole, I’ve invested myself in a mood-altering writing exercise.” Robyn, Happiness Engineer, WP/DP

Recently, I went searching for the old Daily Post Writing Challenge thread and couldn’t find it. Instead, I came across a beautiful post written by Robyn: Rx: Writing as Medicine. Her insights struck a chord and, like many others, I left a comment about how much writing means to me. As a child, I spent many hours in my Dad’s Study reading and inventing stories. I wrote both serious and nonsensical little pieces, and found writing both therapeutic and fulfilling.  While my writing life has waxed and waned, I’ve always returned to it because writing is a form of medicine to me too and that motivates me to write more.

When I write, I escape the daily grind of the mundane world and enter a magical world far from my current conditions.  Writing calms and focuses my mind to finish the task at hand, and each piece is a birthing of new life with its share of  strengths and weaknesses. It connects me with others and to myself. Yeah, It’s a life lifter for me and brings clarity to my thoughts. What motivates you to write?  What would I do if I could no longer express myself? What would you do if you couldn’t express yourself? It’s worth pondering…

“The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.” A. B. Yehoshua

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine...

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

Motivations for writing include publication, storytelling, correspondence and diary. Writing has been instrumental in keeping history, dissemination of knowledge through the media and the formation of legal systems.Wikipedia

Before the written word, we had forms of proto-writing which were not easily transcribed because they lacked words or codes. According to historic records, the neolithic writing from Early Bronze Age,  Sumerian archaic (pre-cuneiform) writing and Egyptian hieroglyphs are our earliest true writing systems. Writing as we know it today, started with the Cuneiform script which was in print around the 4th millennium BCE in Sumer, Mesopotamia, and continued through other forms of writing that make up the major writing systems: logographic, syllabic, alphabetic, and featural. Chinese and other languages that use characters are created with logograms and syllabic forms, while Sign Writing is a classic form of Featural writing.

The modern Alphabet is a derivative of the first phonemic form – Phoenician script – and it is considered the ancestor of Arabic, Greek, Latin, Cyrillic and Hebrew. Two more systems: ideographic  and pictographic are made up of symbols and are not fully included as languages.  Even though the original prompting to communicate in the written word came through commerce and industry, today, we also use writing to uplift, report, connect, elevate and denigrate others. Writing can be therapeutic in that it gives us space to express our thoughts and feelings, and it can be used to  help others understand data and vital information. How and why we choose to write is entirely up to us but it is worth thinking about.

“It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J. K. Rowling

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine...

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

“Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.” Paulo Coelho

Whether we write for work, school or pleasure, it helps to maintain some perspective about the process and remember that our words can/do make a difference to SOMEONE! We can choose how to respond to a topic that engages our interest by creating our vision through it. We can make our stories as fantastic or concrete as we wish. If writing is a utilitarian exercise for you, so be it. Communication is community building and that is why it is important that we reflect on what and why we write. I invite you to make time to create something different that feeds and fuels your juices. It doesn’t matter if your stories are somber or soaring, write it.  Whose life is perfect anyway? Below is a story (author unknown) to lift your spirits and help you dig deep for that creative muse and make a decisive choice to get writing.

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine...

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

The Pregnant Deer – Author Unknown
In a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth. She finds a remote grassy field near a strong-flowing river. This seems a safe place. Suddenly labor pains begin. At the same moment, dark clouds gather around above and lightning starts a forest fire. She looks to her left and sees a hunter with his bow extended, pointing at her. To her right, she spots a hungry lion approaching her. What can the pregnant deer do? She is in labor! What will happen? Will the deer survive? Will she give birth to a fawn? Will the fawn survive? Or will everything be burnt by the forest fire? Will she perish by the hunter’s arrow? Will she die a horrible death at the hands of the hungry lion approaching her? She is constrained by the fire on one side, by the flowing river on the other, and boxed in by her natural predators. What does she do? What choice will she make? She focuses on giving birth to a new life.

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Motivation Mondays: What’s A Wellness, Fitness & Healthy LifeStyle?

18/05/2015

“(Health:) It takes more than just a good looking body. You’ve got to have the heart and soul to go with it.” Epictetus

Motivation Mondays: What's A Wellness, Fitness & Healthy LifeStyle?

Motivation Mondays: What’s A Wellness, Fitness & Healthy LifeStyle?

Health: Health is optimal well-being that contributes to quality of life. It is more than freedom from disease and illness, though freedom from disease is important to good health. Optimal health includes high-level mental, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness within the limits of one’s heredity and personal abilities. via mhhe.com

DISCLAIMER: This is a motivational, self-improvement, lifestyle post. I am not a medical professional nor am I making any such claims or recommendations. If you need medical advice, please seek the help of a licensed medical professional in your area.

Motivation Mondays: What’s A Wellness, Fitness & Healthy LifeStyle? How Healthy Are We? Last week was National Women’s Health Week, and the information and tips I shared with you, got me thinking about this whole arena of staying healthy, fit and well.  According to the CDC, the top ten leading causes of death (2013 data) are: Heart disease: 611,105, Cancer: 584,881 Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 149,205 Accidents (unintentional injuries): 130,55 Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,978 Alzheimer’s disease: 84,767 Diabetes: 75,578, Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,979, Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 47,112, and Intentional self-harm (suicide): 41,149. Factor in the research on Emerging Infectious Diseases, and it becomes critically clear that we need to do everything in our power to maintain a healthy immune system that includes wellness and fitness goals. If we want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it won’t be enough to just focus on the body. We must focus on adding joie de vivre and these important lifestyle five tips as well as balancing these five key areas; our Physical, Nutritional, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Health.

Why do we struggle with maintaining Healthy Lifestyles? A lot of people feel defeated before they lift a finger because there is enormous emphasis on physical beauty and being thin in this society. What is not addressed enough is that health is more than the size of your dress or pants. What good is it if your thinness is from chain-smoking or doing drugs? What good is it if you’re in a foul mood from all that diet deprivation? How fit are you if you subsist on rabbit food and neglect the importance of a balanced diet? How healthy could you be if your fitness regimen includes shots of steroids and other mood enhancing drugs?  What role does wellness, a true sense of well being, have in all that regimented crap? Let’s get motivated to get healthy, well and fit in a sincere and realistic way. Seek the advice of a trained professional to guide your steps.

“Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind, and spirit – the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being.” Greg Anderson

Motivation Mondays: What's A Wellness, Fitness & Healthy LifeStyle?

Motivation Mondays: What’s A Wellness, Fitness & Healthy LifeStyle?

Wellness: Wellness is the integration of many different components (mental, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical) that expand one’s potential to live (quality of life) and work effectively and to make a significant contribution to society. Wellness reflects how one feels (a sense of well-being) about life as well as one’s ability to function effectively. Wellness, as opposed to illness (a negative), is sometimes described as the positive component of good health.via mhhe.com

What does Wellness mean to you? According to Donald B. Ardell, considered the premier advocate for wellness living, Wellness can be defined as developing a mindset/lifestyle that increases our well-being in a positive way. In past centuries, the major causes of early death were  from infectious diseases but with vaccinations, medical research and improved living/eating conditions, we have seen a marked shift. Today, the causes of early death have shifted to chronic lifestyle-related conditions. What does this mean? It means that to maintain health and wellness, we need to integrate activities that add to our sense of well-being. We need to raise our happy, wellness quotient so that even with existing  health conditions, our quality of life won’t be severely affected.

Wellness is a mindset and a lifestyle intended to increase well-being in a positive way. Whether as a personal choice by an individual or an organized program offered for the benefit of others, wellness describes initiatives that promote improved human functioning. Wellness in this positive sense, looks beyond non-illness/absence of disease. Wellness in an affirmative context encourages attitudes and behaviors that enhance well-being. Wellness lifestyles and programs seek to increase happiness, meaning and purpose, joy, fun, love and similar qualities associated with physical and mental health. Wellness also values emotional and social well-being. In sum, wellness is an idea expressly intended to increase a person’s capacity to reason effectively and to experience high levels of exuberance while supporting personal freedoms. Donald B. Ardell via seekwellness.com

How do we go about achieving wellness? Instead of offering you a shopping list of fun things to do, I would suggest that you revert to the healthy things that have always given you joy.  Stop for a moment. Take a deep breath. Stretch your limbs and mind. Reflect on the definition of wellness above. Then decide to start with what is doable in a realistic way. No pressure. No complicated programs. No 180 turn a-rounds if that is not your style. Begin with small steps that work for you and then build on them. Motivation is NOT Annihilation. As Donald Ardell says on his Seekwellness.com site, Wellness lifestyles and programs seek to increase happiness, meaning and purpose, joy, fun, love and similar qualities associated with physical and mental health. Start with connecting and communicating with friends and family; Add joyful activities that get the body moving; Seek stress reduction goals you love like walking, meditation and even reading a book and build on them. Start where you are and do things with meaning/purpose and in moderation.

“The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy.” Kenneth H. Cooper

Motivation Mondays: What's A Wellness, Fitness & Healthy LifeStyle?

Motivation Mondays: What’s A Wellness, Fitness & Healthy LifeStyle?

Physical Fitness: Physical fitness is the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively. It consists of health-related physical fitness and skill-related physical fitness, which have at least 11 different components, each of which contributes to total quality of life. Physical fitness also includes metabolic fitness (see page 9). Physical fitness is associated with a person’s ability to work effectively, enjoy leisure time, be healthy, resist hypokinetic diseases, and meet emergency situations. It is related to, but different from health, wellness, and the psychological, sociological, emotional, and spiritual components of fitness. Although the development of physical fitness is the result of many things, optimal physical fitness is not possible without regular exercise.via mhhe.com

What does fitness mean to you? Recently, I came across a PDF article on Lifestyles for Health, Fitness and Wellness that helped break down some of the fundamental differences/similarity between these three terms, health, wellness and fitness, that we tend to use interchangeably. While health is the overarching term we use in everyday speech, there are key elements we need if we are sincere about overall health/wellness/fitness. For starters, there are many choices of physical activities we can do to help us on the road to fitness. But it is important to get our whole body, mind and spirit in balance and our house in order.

Where does fitness flow into wellness and health for you? We sometimes choose one aspect of health while negating other aspects. Nonstop exercise, restrictive, rigid activities and limited nourishment of our body and spirit, leave us feeling spent and not content. As we work towards building a wellness, fitness and healthy lifestyle, we must incorporate decisions that help our entire being. Our Mental health is as equally important as our Physical, Nutritional, Emotional and Spiritual Health. What are you doing to create balance in those areas? Whatever your belief system, you still need to create a balance of purpose in achieving your health/wellness/fitness goals. Determine what they are and then act on them.

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for April and May are:
04/06 – PERFECTION
04/13 – MISTAKES
04/20 – GROWTH
04/27 – MINDFULNESS

05/04 – APPRECIATION
05/11 – HAPPINESS
05/18 – FITNESS
05/25 – SERVICE

 

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