“All is well in my world and so it is.” – Louise Hay
Growing up I experienced huge losses. Two significant loved ones passed away when I was young. My mother was an incredible role model of how to deal with the stress of these losses. She researched various methods and then taught me the power of mind and the power of exercise to release negative energy. Afterwards practicing these methods, I felt better. These strategies proved to work. They were gifts which came out of tragedy, and I took those gifts with me along my journey. I felt empowered and resourceful.
Later on, I was involved in many extracurricular activities in and out of school, too many. These activities although good for college applications competed with my heavy academic course load. Again, my amazing mama showed me ways to handle the stress and anxiety. This time the skill was focusing on my breath, which would relax me, help clear my mind in order to prioritize and then accomplish one thing at a time.
After graduating from FSU with two degrees, I taught in the school system for almost a decade. I enveloped myself in creating lesson plans and paperwork that I honestly felt drained, demoralized and discouraged. My role as teacher was in actuality an umbrella title for caregiver, nurse, therapist, coach, disciplinarian, mentor, and big sister. Again, I was spreading myself too thin but this time it was not by my choosing. The giving and giving and giving of myself quickly took its toll. I was burnt out and simply had no more left to give. I needed to tap into the strategies that were tried and true – Breathe, prioritize, make time for YOU and be a role model of someone healthy and happy.
I watched two of my grandparents suffer and die from various forms of cancer. As time went on more and more friends lost loved ones to cancer and then my friends themselves were struck with battling the disease and I watched them suffer, as well. Then my mother was diagnosed with Osteoporosis, which means she was losing bone-density. If untreated, her bones had the potential to become dangerously weak and brittle. In today’s health care system what choices are there to make? Take medication OR make a change? Life presented my mother with another opportunity to choose an alternative. She decided to make a change. Her new commitment was to a workout routine, morning and evenings, which includes weight-bearing exercise, a vigorous walk 2X a day and adding more nutritious foods to her diet. After 5 years of commitment to a disciplined routine she has received test results showing a reversal in her diagnosis! So, without medication, my Mama has proven healthy eating, the right attitude and regular exercise can indeed improve the quality of one’s life.
So Ham – I am that I am.