Higher Ground

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Propaganda, twisted information, outright lies speed through national news and social media like lightning, producing judgement and even death threats against the falsely maligned. Good people are outraged against the falsehoods, good people are outraged because they believe the reports, good people are outraged against people who fall for the falsehoods, good people are outraged against people who don’t believe the news they believe.

People who say not to judge others are judging others severely. People who clamor for freedom to wear what they want are condemning someone for wearing a certain type of hat (which happens to stand for making America great and represents one of the most pro-life presidents in recent history). People who condemn those who speak against homosexuality are giving a pass to those shouting anti-homosexual remarks because they were black and instead attack Catholic boys who defended homosexuals as human beings. People who condemn racial profiling and sexism have immediately condemned caucasian males after seeing a heavily edited video and without knowing the full circumstances of the situation.

How can this be happening? How can the Covington Catholic boys, waiting for a bus to take them home after their pro-life march at the Capital, be caught in this Twilight Zone of hate-filled media attention? Because anti-catholic is vogue, because anti-Trump is vogue, because pro-life is detestable, because being a white male is detestable … at least in the eyes of the current liberal mindset. Those catholic boys put up with horrible slurs hurled their way by the Black Hebrew Israelites, they put up with a guy drumming in their face (who was a known activist), and they tried to drown out the insults and sounds by chanting school cheers.

Why did a heavily edited video that twisted the truth so much as to be untruthful go viral? John 18:38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime.” We know Jesus was innocent and Pilate in the end wasn’t really after the truth, he was after pacifying the crowd. Is the media like Pilate? Not really after the truth? Are they out to push an agenda, or pacify a crowd, or create divisions? What happens when innocent people are persecuted?

Christians know, it’s happened before, Jesus was crucified. Injustice happens. And Jesus said it would happen to His followers as well. What is the higher ground? Trust in God. Trust that there will be a resurrection and victory at the end, even if it looks like a horrible injustice has won at first. Trust that truth will prevail at some point in time, speak the truth, hoping others will listen. And then let God act … sometimes the victory will come later, sometimes the victory will come after the cross, maybe we won’t even get to see it until after we’ve died and get to review things from God’s perspective.

But our personal victory here and now will be standing on the higher ground of our christian values, trusting God, and continuing to share the truth. It will make a difference to some (or it might not) but we will have done our duty to God. Those catholic boys did good, they didn’t become aggressive or hurl insults back, and it must have been a weird and confusing situation for them to be in.

And we can pray for the end to the division that is currently going on. The only one who’s happy about people being outraged against each other is the devil; so even though we may want to knock some people up side the head with the truth and have trouble understanding how they can be such idiots falling hook line and sinker for lies, know that others feel the same about us and what we believe. It does no good to let an emotional charge build, instead it’s a time to have the courage to love. Not to love falsehood, we still stand in the truth, but to love our neighbor, to be respectful towards them.

That’s the higher ground and may God grant us the grace to take it.

 

Laser

 

Definition: A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The term “laser” originated as an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”.

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Lasers are used in everyday life from barcode readers to printers, business pointing devices to surgery, gun scopes to landscaping levels, modern telescopes to musical performance light displays.

There are gaseous lasers, UV lasers, hot torch-like cutting lasers, and there are infrared cold lasers. Light energy has so many practical uses and one of those is to heal the body inside and out, from skin problems to muscle and joint pain.

LLLT or low level laser therapy is a “cold laser” treatment, that means it doesn’t produce heat or burning. It used to be known by the term photobiomodulation. Did you know the use of low level laser to reduce pain, inflammation and edema, to promote wound, deeper tissues and nerves healing, and to prevent tissue damage has been known for almost forty years since the invention of lasers?

Cold laser therapy uses mostly NIR (Near InfraRed light). The red spectrum of light can penetrate more deeply into the body tissues to reach bones and connective tissue. LLLT is used on both people and animals.

The biological effects of low level laser therapy begin at the cellular level improving respiration and impacting the mitochondria (power centers of cells). Changes in redox state induce the activation of numerous intracellular signaling pathways, such as nucleic acid synthesis, protein synthesis, enzyme activation and cell cycle progression (see link above ‘biological effects’).

A research study from fifteen years ago provides insight into the molecular mechanisms associated with the beneficial effects of red light irradiation in accelerating wound healing: The gene expression profiles of human fibroblasts irradiated by low-intensity red light show that the irradiation can affect the expression of many genes that belong to different function categories. Irradiation of LLL stimulates cell growth directly through regulation of the expression of genes related to cell proliferation and indirectly through regulation of the expression of genes related to cell migration and remodeling, DNA synthesis and repair, ion channel and membrane potential, and cell metabolism.

If the benefits on laser use for pain management and skin healing have been known for almost 40 years and if research studies support this for the past two decades, why isn’t cold laser used more frequently and why isn’t it more readily available. I was curious and went onto PubMed and typed in “cold laser therapy” and thousands of research studies came up. In fact, they are even researching LLLT for use in the treatment of mood and brain disorders! Wow!

In 2018, I purchased a professional set of cold lasers for use in treating pain. The certification program I completed indicated the need for protective eyewear by the therapist and the patient when using class 4 lasers. Safety for class 3B lasers (a lower intensity laser) included optional use of protective eyewear and to avoid directly aiming the laser at the eye. Otherwise, cold lasers were deemed very safe for use with skin healing and body pain with no known adverse side effects. The exception would be to avoid use over the thyroid and to avoid use over areas of cancer (there is not enough research to know how LLLT might impact cancer). Remarkably, no side effects have been reported so far with the use of LLLT in humans.

If you’re a “do-it-yourselfer” there are a variety of red light therapy home use devices available and my favorite is the RedRush 360 (just google it to learn more). If you’re in the area and want a professional treatment for a long standing issue you’ve been dealing with, I’d love to help you out with this innovative type of procedure and am now incorporating cold laser therapy in bodywork treatments!

No known side effects, natural, non-invasive, and a multitude of benefits that stimulate the body to heal itself … it sounds like a miracle. Do your own research and let me know what you think!

Conflict and Kindness

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I had a friend who was also a client receiving pain relief bodywork and stress relief work. There was a lot of ground to cover but we were making progress. Healing work is based on trust. We held much in common … our love for horses, our love for natural healing, our respect for animals, our quiet natures, our desire to be the best person we could be, but we were at opposite ends of the political spectrum. And on my personal social media sites, I express myself politically at times.

My friend took offense to my personal thoughts and chose to no longer be a friend and to no longer be a client of the successful healing work we were doing together. And I’m still saddened by that. No, I haven’t changed politically; my views are based on what I morally stand for. Who can hide or change that without compromising themselves? No one, no matter what they stand for. So do we lose friendships or stop talking to family members when we are in this type of conflict?

Here are some ideas (from Dr. James Satterfield in Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence by Great Courses) to use while navigating difficult situations:

  • Every person has value and deserves respect.
  • We all have biases and we all make mistakes.
  • We often have shared goals  but have very different ideas about how to get there.
  • We are all growing and learning.
  • Work on yourself and find support. Move yourself into a healthier frame of mind.
  • Consider your biases and assumptions. Intentionally look for exceptions to the rule.
  • Build personal relationships.
  • Choose your battles. You can’t fight all the time.
  • Focus your attention wisely and avoid news and Facebook sometimes.
  • Before a conflict, recall positive memories about the individual and individual characteristics that make him or her more human.
  • Use situational modification when setting up for battle (modify a situation to change it’s emotional impact, either with the external physical area or with your internal emotional regulation using thought, self-talk and reframing).
  • Keep the engagement time limited and don’t be afraid to take a time-out if things get too heated.
  • Have an internal mantra that helps you regulate yourself during conversations “This is a person I care about, this is a person I care about, this is a person I care about…”.
  • Take a side step and find an area of agreement.
  • DON’T confuse politics with people. We are all people in this together and at our most basic level, we all want and need the same things.
  • If protests happen and rage is expressed, know that can be part of the process. Our country (USA) was founded on protests and freedom of expression. We don’t have to agree, but we do need to find common ground through compassion, kindness and emotional intelligence.

Bottom line, there can still be friendship, there can still be trust, there can still be shared moments in other areas that bring joy and satisfaction but that can only happen if you can be in conflict and still exhibit kindness.

 

2019

 

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It’s weird but I don’t have any resolutions for this year. It feels like I’ve been through a rough spot, I’ve come to the other side, and now I’m just coasting. Granted the rough spot was about seven years long but there’s a bit of distance from the mental and physical pain.

I pushed through it, wrote several books during the crisis time, studied different modalities and tried healing in a hundred exotic but natural ways. And here I am, sitting in the sunset, watching the stars, resting.

I’m not even dreaming. Everything is pretty much in the moment … if something strikes my fancy, I go for it. I completed a menopause course a couple of months ago and am currently in another essential oils course. I love learning. But I also love reading novels and watching movies and so I do that too. And I’m cooking more with the help of Home Chef (it’s a fantastic service by the way – it’s creative, is helping me lose weight and I save money on groceries).

The framework of life still revolves around helping my aging parents and helping my husband with the farm life. I’ve tried to create an online business the past couple of years but most of my work is still done 1:1 with people with pain relief bodywork and stress relief riding lessons.

When I first started as a therapist I worked in a hospital mental health unit. For five years I taught assertiveness, relaxation, and stress management. Maybe if I had a wish for this year it would be to start teaching women these skills before they reach the breaking point … wellness prevention.

I don’t mind creating new stress relieving essential oil blends or doing the pain relief bodywork but how the mind handles stress is at the core of (dare I say it) all non-traumatic pain. I think I’d really like to facilitate women in strengthening the core of their mind … training their own thoughts, examining their own belief system (not religious beliefs but the type of childhood learning “eat everything on your plate” type of belief), and demystifying emotions and defusing those emotional triggers.

Maybe I do have a resolution for 2019 in teaching stress reduction … we’ll just have to see what opportunities arise and how things play out. What about you? Have you contemplated the past year(s)? Where are you at in your life’s journey? Did you set any New Years resolutions?

Merry Christmas!

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And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: For, this day, is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying:
Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.
And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us. And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart (Luke 2:8-19)

Coaching Yourself

I don’t know why, it’s such a busy time of year, but for some reason I find my mind wandering. Coaching questions are one of the best ways I’ve used to turn daydreaming into productive self-reflection.

For example:

Say your feeling overwhelmed or going through a bad time, ask yourself “If someone you loved was going through what you are, what would you feel towards them? What would you want for them?

Or if you find your inner critic is laying on guilt and shame, consider that this inner critic is most probably based on a younger version of you when you were afraid or sad … talk back to this inner critic as though it were a hurting child and you are the adult in charge. How does that change things up?

If you are experiencing pain of some type, ask yourself if that pain is in proportion to the circumstance that is currently going on in your life? If the true answer is “no” then the pain may be an accumulation of stress and pain from other life events (many events cause post traumatic stress reactions, especially if they were overwhelming at the time) and it might be helpful to use EFT tapping during your current emotion. Another trick to use is to climb into an imaginary hot air balloon and allow it to rise above the landscape, look down at the miniature view below and see if it’s easier to view what’s really going on in the here and now and reconsider how tragic (or not) it is.

Practice mindfulness … being totally present in the moment … a coffee savoring moment, a beautiful colorful sunrise moment, a sweet breeze gently blowing moment. During mindfulness there are no labels, no judging, no comparing, no evaluating, no analyzing … it’s just pure presence.

It’s coming down the wire for Christmas … breathe, slow down a moment, everything will be all right; self-awareness, self-empowerment, self-compassion, self-forgiveness, self-kindness, self-encouragement … those are kind gifts you can give to yourself this season.

Setting Up Success For The New Year

 

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I know, I can hear it now … “it isn’t even Christmas yet and you’re writing a blog about success in the New Year?” and “what about all your encouragement about being in the moment, isn’t thinking this far ahead the opposite of mindfulness?”

And my response would be that like most things in life, it’s not EITHER mindfulness OR planning ahead, it’s BOTH/AND … both mindfulness and planning ahead. You need both for a balanced successful life.

Do you ever procrastinate?

Is your attention wandering in current moments?

Are you good at setting goals but not so good at following all the way through?

How would you rate your happiness?

Is there room for more happiness?

Can you improve finances, relationships, your health?

Willpower is just one area for success in your new year … there are also things called “won’t power” and “want power” that can be more energizing for meeting long range goals.

I’d like to invite you to plan ahead for success in your New Year and join me in my bi-monthly stress management group for women … the December class is focused on addressing any blocks to success you might be experiencing. Stress management starts with knowledge and helping to build a positive mindset and that’s what this group is all about … removing old emotional baggage to move forward into a happy new year.

We’ll learn a little, practice 2 or 3 stress management techniques you can do on your own, and then I’ll use the Emotion Code to clear sabotaging emotions that are getting in the way of you’re meeting the goals you set for yourself. The class is December 27, 2018 starting at 7:30 eastern time. It is a telephone seminar meeting and will be recorded in case you can’t make it live on the call. Sign up and get the call-in info HERE!