CELEBRATIONS BRING WELLNESS

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I’ve just returned from spending a couple of weeks with family. It was a really, really good time of being together, and of celebrations! There were two birthdays to celebrate, a new house construction beginning to take shape, and a wedding anniversary!

Celebrating the big wins seems to be a normal part of our culture, like when a huge promotion, a completed project, or a coveted form of recognition happens. We also do well at celebrating special events such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries. But taking time to celebrate little things is much harder, and can easily be overlooked or not thought of as important enough to make time for.

By “little things”, I don’t mean unimportant or trivial things. I mean things that we might take for granted, or that we might not take the time to recognize as accomplishments. So, for example, after having surgery for a brain tumor, my family and I celebrated the good news that it was non-cancerous – in a small way, of course,  because I was recovering from the surgery. We remembered to celebrate the first year anniversary. But then it faded into the background, until this September when my daughter-in-law wished me a “happy decade brainiversary”. She remembered that it was 10 years ago when I made it through surgery and found I was going to recover to live a normal life. THAT was worth celebrating! I got to appreciate all over again how special life is, and how amazing health and wellness has become to me.

What about celebrating the small steps you’ve put in place to reach your “big goal”? That’s worth celebrating too! As an artist, I set goals for how many paintings I want to do each year. I don’t just celebrate at the end of the year, nor after each painting only, but I celebrate each time I begin a painting, each time I persevere through the “ugly” stage, every time I feel like quitting but don’t. Celebrating these small victories makes me stronger, makes me aware that I can and do achieve these small goals.

But what about when I don’t succeed at little or big things? Then it’s even more important to celebrate what I have learned from mistakes and failures! Many times those  mistakes and failures have led me to a completely different place, and created the opportunity to become someone I could never have imagined. Without THOSE times, I would not be where I am this moment, writing to you. It is those moments which have taught me so much more than I could ever have learned in the fleeting moments of “success”!

Celebrations bring wellness. Through recognizing the ups and downs of life, reflecting on what we’ve done, who we’ve known, the importance of family and friends, we are filled with gratitude for the many blessings which are in our lives. And gratitude for life, even with its challenges, creates wellness.

Celebrate today! Write a note to yourself to say “well done!”, make an entry in a gratitude journal, call a friend and celebrate your friendship with a conversation, hug your partner to celebrate the love you share, pick a single flower from your garden and place it where you can celebrate its beauty, enjoy some popcorn as a treat… find special and creative ways to celebrate your life, to celebrate you, to celebrate family and friends. I guarantee you – it will be worth it, and celebrating will bring a sense of wellness every. single. time!

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Do You See What I See?

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Do you know what this is? You might see it as a Far Infared Sauna, but I see it as a miraculous gift.

Eight years ago, my husband and I went into a state of shock when he was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. He had just taken early retirement, and we were looking ahead to a new chapter of adventures and travel. Everything changed in the space of a few moments.

I won’t bore you with all of the details, but fast forward a number of months, and he was being seen by a Functional Medicine doctor as well as his family physician and a hemotologist at the local cancer center. His was a “wait and see what happens” type of leukemia, so no treatment was anticipated by  for the first year…but then it would probably be the standard chemo and bone marrow transplants, depending on how quickly things progressed, according to the hemotologist. 

Meanwhile, the Functional Medicine doctor was running tests, giving various treatments, recommending supplements to accompany our new way of eating and living, as well as giving us details on the progression of my husband’s improving health.

One of the treatments Syd had two times a month was using a “Far Infrared Sauna” at the doctor’s office. This was so that he would sweat out toxins which were affecting his immune system’s ability to cope with disease. He enjoyed these sessions very much, and they DID help him feel better, along with all the other pieces of the doctor’s protocol to strengthen Syd’s immune system.

When we moved from Alberta a couple of years later, we wanted to get a sauna for in our home – that is, until we discovered the cost of one. Let’s just say they’re not cheap! We basically put the thought aside as an impossibility.

Where we are living, there are quite a few “estate sales”. Syd was looking to purchase a few things for his wood working shop, and so visited one of these sales. And there, for less than one quarter of the cost of a new sauna, was the one meant for us! It was in perfect condition, with speakers for music even. He put our name on it, and that afternoon we took it all apart and brought it home.

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We use the Infrared Sauna every single week. Our ritual is on Saturday mornings we put it on and each of us spends between 30 and 45 minutes as an “alone” time – reading, meditating, praying, slowing down and relaxing. It is a lovely way to begin the day, and to de-stress from the week.

I see this very expensive sauna as a gift – a miracle if you will. We are grateful to have it and to reap the benefits that regular use brings to our overall wellness. If you have the money, I highly recommend researching what a sauna of this kind can do for you. If you, like us, can’t afford a sauna, there are many gyms and doctor’s offices that have them available for you to use for a fee. Search one out in your area, and use it. Even once a month gives health-promoting benefits. And if you keep your eyes on websites like Kijiji and check estates sales…you NEVER know what kind of a blessing is waiting for YOU when you are paying attention! 🙂

P.S.: Syd is still in a “wait and see” period with the leukemia…his hematologist here says he may never need treatment with chemo and bone marrow transplants as long as his health remains as good as it is currently! More to be grateful for…more reasons to share the health and wellness discoveries we’ve made on this life’s journey!

From the Ground Up: Earthing

Beach.jpg I grew up by the ocean, and when as an adult I lived on the prairies, I missed it terribly. As a child, I would spend many happy hours digging and playing in the sand. When a teenager, I spent many, many hours on the huge rocks on the beach, which sat at the edge of the bluffs, dreaming of my future. During stormy times in my life, the ocean was a comfort and a mystery to me…especially when the fog was rolling in to shore, thick and wet, and the mournful sound of the fog horn was bellowing every few minutes. Little did I know that being on the beach was also healing for me.

Just over five years ago, my husband and I moved to be by the ocean again – but on the opposite side of our huge country of Canada from where I grew up. Now I am living in the Pacific Northwest, on Vancouver Island. I am so very blessed to be able to reach several beaches within minutes of walking, riding a bike or driving. And now that I am aware of the benefits of Grounding, I am even more grateful to be where the climate allows me to practise this form of wellness on a regular basis. But no matter where you live, you too can practise Grounding, or Earthing as it is also called.

So, just what is Grounding? There are many things which bring us health benefits, and the energy of the earth is one. It used to be that people received earth’s energy when they had their hands in the soil, gardening, or when they went barefoot in the grass and on sandy beaches in the summer. In fact, grounding is part of the reason many people like to spend vacations on a beach…they feel better, but are unaware of the reason why! When we connect with the earth directly – barefoot – we receive a tiny charge of energy which helps us feel well. Our bodies are great conductors, as we are made up of so much water, and the energy from the earth “recharges” our body battery, so to speak. The free electrons on the surface of the earth transfer into our body easily, as long as we have direct contact with the earth through our skin. The electric charge is even more beneficial if you are able to walk on WET sand, and who doesn’t love wading at the water’s edge of the ocean? But just walking barefoot through your grass, or sitting on a lawn chair with your bare feet in the grass/soil works beautifully as well.

Most of us in Canada don’t live in a climate which enables us to “ground” year round. Fortunately, with the latest technology, you can purchase various grounding sheets and blankets, as well as pads and mats for when you work on your electronic devices. My sister claims she gets relief from aches and pains when she sleeps on her grounding sheet, and there are many testimonials from product users which make me think there are definite health benefits for many, and especially for those who don’t have access to beaches, gardens, and grass in the winter.

Even though it’s now winter, I have the privilege of walking on the beach in my bare feet. The sand may be quite cold, but it’s possible. Even a few minutes of grounding is worthy of chilliness, and it seems to me that I should take every advantage of living next to the beautiful Salish Sea! So, for abundant wellness, begin to plan for ways you can incorporate grounding into your life. Feel the earth’s energy recharging your body with health and wellness. It’s free, it’s enjoyable, and it’s building your wellness, from the ground up!

 

 

 

 

creativity is part of wellness

For those of you who don’t know, one of the things I do to maintain my overall wellness is to be creative. At one time, it was knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, but when I finally tried what had been my heart’s desire all along, I found what filled me up and made me happy every time I did it. Every. single. time.  Even when I was frustrated, I would still come away afterward with a sense of being “filled”, of “wind in my sails” or whatever term you want to use to say happy! contented! energized!

So, the sweet spot in creativity for me is as an artist. For you, it might be something like photography, calligraphy, journaling, or something else…there are probably as many ways to be creative as there are people. One thing I do know is that we all need to MAKE AND TAKE TIME to be creative. We are better parents, partners, friends, employees, entrepreneurs, professionals, etc. when we carve out time to express our creativeness in some way on a regular basis. Don’t underestimate the power of being creative in your overall wellness plan. It’s a must. Nonnegotiable. Just do it!

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Great Blue – acrylic on 20″ x 26″ canvas – available