This New Year, if you can implement one thing, do your best to bring in more present mindful living. I invite you to read my newsletter on methods to manage stress, as well as a few of my favorite articles from 2016.
As I begin my cross country drive to Northern California, I am reminded of the paradox of life. Namely, I’m moving and leaving family, dear friends as well as personal belongings behind, but I’m also moving towards something new and the curiosity of what this will bring in my future is exciting. I admittedly completely freaked out about making this move initially.
What immediately strikes you at the Pacific Cancer Foundation’s (PCF) Aloha Kalikimaka Benefit Gala is the “Aloha Spirit.” Set outdoors at a sprawling Maui house, you’re greeted by parking attendants and then led up to the party adorned in traditional Hawaiian décor with fresh leis on every table, and the west Maui mountains in the backdrop with a gorgeous sunset. It felt like a scene out of Jurassic Park (minus the scary dinosaurs)!
This was my second year participating in the Pacific Cancer Foundation’s 27th Annual Day of Hope 10K Run & 5K Run/Walk (5K for me this time around) and I can truly say it is one of the best race events I’ve been a part of – from the overall organization of the day to the feeling you have when you head home, this is an event to put on your yearly calendar.
While battling cancer at age 25, then later facing life in a wheelchair, as well as going through a divorce, I continued to receive answers from medical and psychological professionals that simply didn’t feel right. After a lot of soul searching, I made a decision to be proactive in my health and listen to my intuition, and took steps to create my own self-healing path.
As a former reading teacher, I love a good book discussion. I enjoy asking questions and seeing others ponder how they perceived a situation, and making connections with the book and their own life experiences. A good story offers so many gifts to the reader and by having an open examination of the book, the depth of connection and learning really has no limit other than the time given to the exchange.
It’s been said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes but there is definitely a third – change. The topic of change has been coming up a lot among my circle of friends and family and for many, change and the resistance to change can be one of the toughest life challenges. The truth is, we are never in control in life and often just when we think we have it all together or are way off our path, we need life to shake us up to remind us of this fact.
This week I hosted a “girls’ night” which included the usual food, drink, games, and conversation well into the evening. I enjoy cooking and opening my home to family and friends, but most importantly, I know that regular social gatherings with your tribe are important to overall mental health. Feeling like you’re part of a community and being able to share stories with others, allows people to connect on a deeper level – different from your day-to-day interactions.
Halloween marks the first holiday in a festive string of Fall events. This fun family evening is known for dressing up as your favorite alter ego and for kids in particular, collecting a slew of candy. For some parents and kids, this night can be a nightmare of its own. Worries of too much candy, blowing a diet or exercise routine, sugar highs, stranger danger, and even additional after-school time commitments are all valid. More importantly, this holiday can be a true danger to kids’ health.
I used to love the show “Fear Factor.” Joe Rogan was a perfect host choice for this stimulating and disgusting show. I was so turned off, yet I tuned in to watch the gross concoctions of blended bugs and maggots that contestants would drink for a CHANCE at winning $50,000. I used to sit in my comfy chair, red wine in hand and wonder if I could do it. Would I drink that stuff, would I sit in a bed of snakes, would I try to escape from a submerged car? The odds weren’t in my favor of ever winning, it seemed like the show would make sure of that, so I enjoyed the show from the A/C with my bug free dinner, usually mentally forfeiting after round 1. Of all the stunts they pulled on that show the one I could not bare to watch was the highlighting of the needle phobia or trypanophobia.