Magna Carta is 800 years old today and deserves all the love and appreciation we can bestow upon it. A British Library exhibit sums up what it stands for as: “Law, liberty and legacy.” Where would we be today without “the Great Charter”? But are human rights the limits of our freedom, or is there more?
Ist das nicht herrlich – Frühling in Mitteleuropa! In den Vorgärten leuchten die Tulpen, die Forsythien leuchten gelb hinter anderen zartgrünen Sträuchern. Vorgestern telefonierte ich mit einem Freund aus dem Nordosten der USA, der mir berichtete, dass dort nun die letzten Schneeberge an den Straßenrändern tauen. Und plötzlich sagt er: „Du hast es gut, sitzt am offenen Fenster und genießt die Frühlingsluft.“ Woher er das wisse, fragte ich ihn. „Na, ich höre doch eine Amsel singen, da musst du doch das Fenster offen haben.“ Recht hatte er.
Living in any one of the three largest cities in Tennessee could make you sick. Well…so says the recently released Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America Asthma Capitals 2015 report. In fact, it calls Memphis the Asthma Capital and Chattanooga the 8th most challenging city in the U.S. for people with asthma.
When I read statistics like this, it makes me want to ask: Is it the environment or the suggestion of sickness that actually makes people sick?
ASIDE from just seeking a healthy life, have you ever wondered what you need to do to establish a healthier relationship with yourself?
I find this self-examination vital. There are many forms self-examination can take. For instance, previously when I thought of my health I would immediately check what my physical senses told me was going on. But even while I did this, I felt there must be something more to which I could attribute my health beside what those physical senses were showing me.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Those funny ears? Plentiful wrinkles? Your physical features? Perhaps your attention is drawn to something less evident but more significant—the glint in your eyes, your expression and demeanor, unique soulful qualities.
I ask because the way you see yourself has a bearing on your health.
It’s tempting to allow transient human standards of external beauty to define us. But is physical appearance an indicator of character, intelligence, a sense of humor or the capacity to love?A recent survey found just 4% of women worldwide answered “yes”.
The remaining 96% think of themselves as average -- despite the time, effort and money spent on cultivating beauty!
As someone who loves music and has experienced healing, the article, “Healing Sound” in the spring edition of the Arizona University Alumni magazine struck a chord.
Healing sound is when hearing music moves someone in a coma to regain consciousness.
At least, that’s what happened when Carrol McLaughlin, distinguished professor of music at the University, played her harp for just a few minutes at the school’s Medical Center. A comatose patient stirred, pulled off his oxygen mask, and thanked her.
Pilgrimages in far off places can bring spiritual and physical benefits, but we don't need to necessarily go far away to experience those moments of healing and inspiration.
Always ready for an adventure, a close friend of mine, Beth, decided to walk part of the famous pilgrimage walk, El Camino de Santiago in Spain.
“For the first few days I thought I might have to give up!” she said, explaining how physically and mentally unprepared she was for the challenging walk. But she didn’t! She committed to the pilgrimage. Gradually she found a rhythm to her day....
As it turns out, you really can forget how to ride a bike. All it takes is a little effort. About eight months, to be exact.
At least that’s how long it took Destin Sandlin. As a joke, some friends at work gave him a bike specially designed to veer left when the handlebars were turned right, and right when turned left. In order to ride it, he had to first unlearn all he’d been taught as a kid before he could successfully and (somewhat) gracefully navigate his way down the sidewalk.
If only I lost those extra pounds, If only so-and-so wasn't in my life, If only I got a raise, If only I was younger, If only I hadn't said that...
These refrains can seem as solid as a concrete wall. They have a way of putting off happiness and health in the present, making them seem like only a remote possibility in the future.
I've found that if I can detect these sneaky thoughts quickly, and do something about them, they lose their foothold. Take grudges, for example. There are plenty of studies that show how holding onto past wrongs is a negative influence on health.
“Spirituality should be considered one of the vital signs in the care and treatment of patients,” said Christina M. Puchalski, MD, FACP, Founder and Director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish). She was speaking to over 400 chaplains, physicians, nurses, and researchers from all around the world who were attending the second annual HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) Caring for the Human Spirit Conference held in Orlando in late April. The attendees participated in various workshops and several of them focused on integrating spirituality into care for those suffering from mental illness.
I often talk about 'love' in my writing, and find that this word 'love' is the word that is most often misunderstood in the human language.
We seem to want to categorise it by psychological terms, such as emotional, platonic, parental or romantic. Some just want to question its existence at all, by replacing it with its opposites - dependency, manipulation or lust. But the very essence of us is pure, unconditional love; love for ourselves and love for each other.
Fasting has long been considered a religious practice that focuses on abstaining from food and drinks for periods. The purpose is to free oneself from materialism through cultivating a closer connection to the divine.
However, as religious life fades and food becomes increasingly abundant and accessible in Western culture, fasting as a religious practice is on the decline in our more secular society. At the same time, there has been a dramatic increase in the so-called ‘lifestyle’ diseases-diabetes, some cancers and heart disease-which studies indicate have their origin largely in the quantity and type of food we eat.
Sitting at my desk, I look at a painting which depicts a young Lakota daughter leading her horse out of the trees into a clearing. It speaks to me of the spiritually innate nature of love, which we each possess, that can help lead the lost out of darkness.
This article was published on Arizona Silver Belt (subscription only paper - link above is to Arizona Committee blog) on April 22, 2015
LOOK IN A NEW DIRECTION FOR HEALTH/HAPPINESS?
By Donald Ingwerson
As a former public school educator, I’ve often wondered why parents consistently rated their children’s schools better than schools that other children attended. It turns out that first-hand experience matters in how we perceive things.
I still recall the moment decades ago that my faith made a U-turn. It wasn’t so much a carefully thought-through turnaround as it was a desperate one. And it marked the end of weeks of periodic migraine headaches.
Almost daily I would experience those headaches and they’d bring to a halt whatever I was doing. When they happened during the workday I shut the office door and put my head down on the desk. I wasn’t inclined to use medication, and a friend of mine who struggled with the same problem, but who had tried several medications, said they brought him no relief.
Fixer Upper has taken HGTV by storm. It's the popular home design show featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines, a dynamic and totally endearing couple from Waco, Texas who are known for taking the worst house on the best street and turning it into the house everyone wants.
A video recently circulated on my Facebook news feed featuring Joanna's story of her inspiring trust in God's direction for her life purpose. Judging from the number of repeat shares, I suspect my husband and I weren't the only ones who got a bit misty-eyed after watching it.
Everyone has the right to know that they have something to contribute.
By Anna Bowness-Park
The recent movie, “The Second Best Marigold Hotel,” stars a cast of my favourite older British actors playing the roles of seniors living in India. To me, like the first movie about the Marigold Hotel, this one is not so much about age as it is about life. Whether it is the cranky but wise Muriel (played by Maggie Smith), hilariously dressing down an American waiter on the proper way to serve tea, or Sonny, the young hotel manager (Dev Patel), whose insecurity about his upcoming nuptials threatens to derail the wedding, it’s life in all its tender, poignant and funny moments that is examined, against a backdrop of the color and vibrancy of India.
MANY Christians and Bible scholars appreciate the soaring beauty, simplicity and spiritual insight of the Biblical parable, ‘The Good Samaritan’, related by Christ Jesus to a certain lawyer in Luke 10:25-37. Jesus related this parable to the lawyer, who had asked him what he needed to do in order to have eternal life. Jesus aptly told him to do what his profession, the law, said he should do. Being versed in the law, the lawyer was quick to point out the requirement of the law, which he said was loving God and loving neighbours as the prerequisite for gaining eternal life.
Until recently, any recovery from serious disease not involving medical intervention was usually dismissed as little more than “spontaneous remission,” generally defined as the unexpected disappearance of a particular ailment by inexplicable means.
Ken Burns’ new documentary series, "Cancer, the Emperor of All Maladies", highlights “the longest running war in human history”. But stories like that of Anita Moorjani suggest there could be other ways to find freedom from such a devastating diagnosis.
Could the seed of what a writer recently called “arguably our most feared disease” lie in something as simple as a thought?