Time to “Krill” Your Omega-6 Overage

We read and hear a lot of information about “good” versus “bad” oils and fats, Omega-3s and Omega-6s, and the information can be confusing; even contradictory. These essential oils are so named because they are essential to life. Our bodies don’t make these fats so we have to get them from our diet. The Paleo diet is rich in Omega fatty acids; somehow our cavemen ancestors knew their importance! But we don’t have to be on any extreme diet to get what we need.

Commonly we are told to increase our intake of essential fatty acids in the form of Omega-6. What that blip of a headline fails to detail is that Omega-6s should be balanced at a ratio of 1:1 with Omega-3s; preferably no more than 3:1. And the best form of Omega-6 is in the form of GLA (see list below). When the balance is tipped toward Omega-6 in any form, which it is with most Americans (20-50:1), inflammation and other negative effects take place in the body.

In order to lower inflammation and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, reduce heart disease and incidence of depression, manage inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, allergies, and immunity issues, our Omega-3 consumption needs to increase (about one teaspoon for 150 lb. person per day) and Omega-6 needs to decrease to a moderate level (about a 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon for a 150 lb. person per day). For a list of 255 different diseases that Omega-3’s benefit, go to: http://greenmedinfo.com.

There are different essential fatty acids in Omega-3 (DHA, EPA, ALA) and Omega-6 (GLA, LA), and each needs to be present to be effective, but the balance is most important. According to Dr. J.E. Williams, OMD, (and many other scientists and doctors) we should take between 2,000-4,000 mg (2-4 grams) DHA/EPA per day, from fish oil, and have the rest in moderation.

To make the best fish oil choice, I found an independent study by Labdoor, http://labdoor.com/rankings/fish-oil of all the brands on the market. They’re ranked and graded A+ through D+ based on several criteria. I was shocked and disappointed to learn the brand I’ve been taking for many years received a C and I just bought a bottle of 240!

Let me also mention coconut oil. It is a medium-chain fatty acid, and adding it to your diet offers major benefits to heart health, immunity, skin, thyroid and more. As with other fats, a little goes a long way, so keep it in moderation.

Besides fish oil, “how do I get these complicated phospholipids?” you might be asking. I’ve created a list below, and as with everything I write about, it is best if the items are organic, non-GMO, unprocessed (no hydrogenation) and/or raw, free-range, grass-fed, wild-caught — basically as pure as possible.

Krill

Krill: such a tiny sea nymph but oh so healthy! According to scientific studies, Krill Oil is the most bioavailable Omega-3, meaning our bodies can immediately absorb the DHA and EPA at nearly 100%.

 

 

Best Sources for Omega-3:

Fish (DHA/EPA)

  • Krill*(least contaminated, best source)
  • Halibut
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Oysters
  • Salmon

Produce 

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Avocado

Best Sources for Omega-6 (GLA): 

  • Borage Oil
  • Blackcurrant Seed Oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil (softgel capsule, min. 750 mg/day)

Combination of Omega-3 (ALA) & Omega-6 (LA):

Seeds & Nuts/Oils

  • English Walnuts (nearly 10x the antioxidant power of black walnuts)
  • Flax Seeds/Oils
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Chia
  • Sunflower
  • Sesame
  • Pumpkin
  • Almonds
  • Pine Nuts
  • Avocado

Meat/Dairy

  • Pasture-raised, organic poultry and egg yolks

Avoid or limit:

  • Corn/Soybean/Canola Oil/Palm Oil
  • Non-Organic Meat/Poultry
  • Processed Carbs/grains
  • Margarine/Trans Fats
  • ALL Hydrogenated/Partially Hydrogenated fats

Side note: Olive Oil does not lose its health benefits when cooked. For variety, a combination of Olive/Safflower/Sunflower/Coconut provides a nice balance when sautéing or frying. But go ahead and stick with Olive, Safflower or Sunflower oil if that is what you have on-hand. They are far better than most choices.

“Every time you eat, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.” Heather Morgan, MS, NLC

Sources:

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Eureka Zika!

With the new panic over the Zika virus, I thought it appropriate timing to share my knowledge (and experience) with Lyme Disease and West Nile, other organisms that can cause neurological and late-term illness, very similar to the mysterious Zika Virus.

One problem with these sneaky viruses and bacteria is that you can get infected unknowingly, have no or few symptoms, and go through life unaffected until the natural aging process starts to lower immunity, or a long-term stress event occurs. Once the immune system is compromised, symptoms may start to appear, but they will be masked as any number of other issues.

 Most often, chronic Lyme Disease symptoms will be subtle, like fatigue (who doesn’t suffer from that?), headaches, joint and muscle pain, inability to concentrate or remember simple things, anxiety and anger, mood swings.

Because most doctors don’t think about checking blood serum for Lyme, (and even if they do it may not show up), symptoms get chalked up to normal aging, menopause, stress, and get diagnosed as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and a myriad of other auto-immune diseases. The problem is, especially with Lyme, it will slowly destroy your nervous system until it does irreversible damage. It is a neurological bacterium, affecting the brain and nervous system. It can be diagnosed through clinical information (like Parkinson’s Disease, which it mimics) and muscle testing.

 West Nile Virus, which is carried by over sixty species of mosquitoes, according to the CDC, acts very similar, with headache being a major symptom since it can cause encephalitis. So little is known about West Nile that it is rarely reported and it seems there’s very little being done about it. There is no treatment and antivirals do not work (webmd.com). If struck with WNV, it is unlikely that you would know that West Nile is the culprit. It presents as a common bug, but many holistic doctors have found that it stays in the body forever, inhabiting its host, potentially causing neurological and immune system problems later.

 In my case, I knew something was very wrong when I had a serious, rapid change in my eyesight, constant headaches and facial twitching. I found a specialist who determined it was, in fact, Lyme and West Nile. I had observed numerous Lyme patients at clinics over the years and many were wheelchair-bound, with facial paralysis; most were misdiagnosed with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and Parkinson’s Disease. Lyme can cause strokes, bell’s palsy and many other tragic, permanent ailments if left untreated.  I witnessed a proper diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease change those lives completely. Most of them were out of their wheelchairs and living again, crying tears of joy at the miracle they’d experienced.

I feel I dodged a bullet — had my diagnosis come any later, I may have suffered irreparable damage. I tried intravenous pharmaceutical antibiotics and antivirals for two weeks at my doctor’s suggestion (and against my instincts), to no avail. Once I started natural treatments of Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation, http://drsubi.com, interchanged with intravenous silver, vitamin C, glutathione, and ozone therapy; homeopathies and supplements, I recovered and both went dormant, http://www.FLIMC.com. I endured four months of nearly daily IVs, but it worked. Lyme and West Nile will never leave their host now — they are a part of my DNA and RNA, but as long as I stay healthy, they cannot take over — I won’t let them!

 There are approximately 300,000 people newly affected with Lyme annually, http://lymedisease.org. This doesn’t count the chronic life-long suffers that get diagnosed many years later. And it is not simply limited to certain states — it is now throughout the U.S. and eighty countries http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org.  It usually comes from a nymph tic, about the size of a poppy seed, so one can see how it goes unnoticed. Scientists are also linking the spread of Lyme with mosquitos, and West Nile to tics.

About 42,000 people are on record as having been infected with West Nile (reported cases, mine will go unreported due to the late diagnosis) in the US since 1999, nearly half of them had or have infections to the brain and spinal cord, and 1700 have died, http://cdc.gov.

 Zika symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes, fatigue and a general sense of having the flu. It’s very easy to think nothing of it and never receive a diagnosis. There is no treatment or vaccine. It is associated with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and paralysis, and is sexually transmitted. I fear this virus, discovered in 1947, will continue to evolve and the fallout will be years in the making. And, just like Lyme Disease and West Nile, the virus may lay dormant in the system and create havoc at a later date.

 Because I already host two lovely bug-borne illnesses, I will be extra diligent about being outside this season when the mosquitoes are at their worst and will slather on layer after layer of natural repellent — those who spend time with me will smell me before they see me. I will be a walking potpourri of lemon, mint, eucalyptus, oregano, clove, rosemary, tea tree, cedar, lavender and witch hazel. So much for the expensive eau de parfum in the cabinet!

If you suspect for one tiny second that you may have one of these insect-borne diseases, get tested right away while it will still show up. Though there is not much that can be done, it will be useful information if exaggerated yet seemingly normal symptoms, crop up later. If you do get a diagnosis, try to find a holistic clinic and heed the doctor’s advice for the best course of treatment. Thanks to UBI, other IVs, and NIS/NET, I am healthy today and know how to stay that way if I get the slightest inkling that one of them is trying to invade my inner sanctuary.

“You are your only advocate. If you think something is going wrong within you, it probably is. Do not be brushed off and sent away as another case of ‘normal aging.'” K.D. Sadler

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Are Your Teeth Making You Ill?

Dental related nerve pain and illness are more common than anyone realizes. I was fortunate to have a doctor who witnessed many nerve-pain, dental-related cases before and asked the question that changed my life, “Have you ever had a root canal?” If he had not stepped in, I would be in a wheelchair today, though I am never one to give up or stop looking for answers.

I had another very recent situation with a tooth and chronic nerve pain in my left shoulder area. For almost two years, I dealt with what I thought was an injury from my dog, Barney, pulling on the leash. The pain was so bad, I couldn’t take a deep breath and I couldn’t use my left arm at all. I had to quit yoga, quit lifting any weight, and had to switch to the other arm to carry my purse and groceries. I lost sleep and lost my ability to concentrate. My adrenal glands took a beating again and illness crept in.

I had my teeth checked regularly throughout that time and all seemed okay. I had an MRI of my shoulder (inconclusive), my neck (inconclusive), had every theory thrown at me — it’s a rib, it’s the neck, it’s a tear in the shoulder area, it’s in the thoracic spine, and so on. Chiropractic helped, but not for more than a day. I tried physical therapy — which I couldn’t tolerate, laser therapy, massage therapy, ultrasound, traction, acupuncture, and on and on. I started suspecting it might be a tooth, but when I went for my next dental cleaning, all was well.

However, after that cleaning, the facial twitching I had begun having earlier in the year intensified and my left ear was killing me; then I started having nagging pain in my face, and I knew. I muscle tested myself and it showed the pain and twitching was from my only remaining wisdom tooth, upper left side. I consulted the tooth chart and confirmed that wisdom teeth correlate to the shoulder, neck, thoracic and rib area. I went to my alternative doctor and had her check it using NIS, NET (see below) and muscle testing. She narrowed it even further by finding it was a “root problem” with that tooth.

I went to my dentist two days later, told him what we had found and he proceeded with a panoramic X-ray. It showed nothing suspicious. He is a holistic dentist, so he muscle tested and came to the same finding we did, but, perplexed by the clean pano X-ray, he took a bitewing X-ray to find out more. It showed a slight “reabsorption” of the root. My body was trying to reabsorb the tooth. (Gross!) He pulled it and guess what? The nerve pain in my shoulder stopped.

Once again, two years of suffering, which I suspect led to more major illness, all because of a tooth. I’m not certain why it didn’t show up as weak until now — I suspect it was due to the fact that it correlated with my husband dying, and our bodies will only show us what it most prominent.

My grief process with Ken, then our dog Barney several months later, overshadowed the mechanics of what was going on. I’ll explain in more detail the way muscle testing and quantum medicine works, but suffice it to say, it is like the onion I referred to earlier: layered, with emotions overruling mechanics.

Dr. George Meinig, D.D.S., root-canal specialist and author, published twenty-five years of research from Dr. Weston Price about the dangers of root canals and the delicate nature of dental issues in his book Root Canal Cover-Up. He writes about Dr. Price’s first case (around the year 1900) ,when he removed a tooth from a woman with severe arthritis and immediately implanted it under the skin of a rabbit. Within two days, the rabbit was crippled with arthritis and the woman found relief. He continued with smaller bits of teeth and many diseases until he was injecting tooth powder, always with the same results. One-hundred-percent of the time, heart disease transferred from infected patient to rabbits. Other diseases were about eighty percent — kidney disease, ALS/MS, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Crones, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Dr. Price found that people with strong immune systems were able to stay healthy, despite having root canals. He also found that those healthy individuals, when faced with anything that overly stressed their immune systems, such as an accident, the death of a loved-one, a severe illness or anything severely taxing, allowed the bacteria trapped in the teeth to escape into the body and cause any number of diseases, or a “failure of the body defense system.”

To perform root canals (41,000 in the United States daily as of 2012), dentists drill through the enamel and dentin to clean out the root pulp, which is all blood vessels and nerves hooked to your jawbone by the periodontal ligaments. Then the hollow root is filled and all the germs and bacteria living in the tooth and root get packed in with nowhere to go but up and out into your body.

There are miles of inaccessible, untreated tubules in which germs and toxins can hide, grow stronger, then mutate into super-bugs and pour into the body. These can travel to the heart, lungs, eyes, stomach, mouth, brain, nervous system and now, the latest research shows a strong link to cancer.

Dr. Robert Jones, in a five-year study of three-hundred breast cancer cases, found ninety-three percent had root canals, seven percent had other dental issues and tumors always occurred on the same side of the body as the root canal or dental issue. Another physician, Dr. Josef Issels, treated terminal cancer patients for forty years and found ninety-seven percent had root canals.

Doctors and dentists who are knowledgeable about this topic recommend never having a root canal. Even if you are well after the procedure, during the aging process your immune system will naturally weaken, and trouble can start. If you have already had a root canal, have the tooth removed, even if it looks and feels fine, and replace it with a non-invasive option (bridge, partial, spider). During removal, make sure your dentist removes the tooth AND the dental ligament along with 1mm of the bony socket to reduce risk of bacteria from any infected tissue that is left behind.

If you have infected teeth that need to be extracted, get them out of your body and opt for false teeth (no implants) and watch chronic illness, and aches and pains dissipate or even disappear, and watch your health improve.

To find a biological dentist who will be aware of this procedure, visit toxicteeth.org, or search the internet for a holistic dentist in your area. True natural dentists tend to lay low to avoid backlash from the American Dental Association, and may only be found through word-of-mouth.

If you are living with chronic pain or auto-immune disease, a wise step would be to start checking your teeth. Even if you’ve never had a root canal, subtle dental issues can cause a myriad of life-altering symptoms and diseases. I am living proof that something as simple as a botched filling or a dying tooth can change a life forever.                                                    

Clink on the link seen here to download the tooth-organ chart.

Tooth Organ Chart 8.5×11

If you suspect your teeth are making you ill:

Find a practitioner who performs any version of muscle testing or energy healing such as:

  • Applied Kinesiology (AK)
  • Total Body Modification (TBM)
  • Neuro Emotional Technique (NET)
  • Applied Psycho Neurology (APN)
  • Autonomic Response Testing (ART)
  • Neurolink (NIS)
  • Touch for Health
  • Reiki

These practitioners can help you discover if the pain is dental-related, then you can get further confirmation from the dentist and fix the issue. Generally, you will not find these people on the internet. Chiropractors commonly use AK, but the rest of the list usually practices quietly, so you’ll often find these amazing healers through networking. Once you witness your body showing you what’s wrong in ways that blood work will not, the healing will begin.

References:

Root Canal Cover Up, Dr. George Meinig, DDS, FACD

Price-Pottenger Foundation, www.ppnf.org

Cancer Free, Bill Henderson, www.beating-cancer-gently.com

Rescued by my Dentist, (E-Book), Dr. Douglas L. Cook, DDS, SC, www.dentistryhealth.com

www.mercola.com

www.foodmatters.com

www.westonprice.org

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The Mysterious Link

If you read my last blog, you know how I struggled with a dental infection, chronic hip pain and immune reactions for almost two years.  The story ended when the dental implant was finished in early September and I had a beautiful molar that cost as much as a diamond ring. I was hopeful that my issues were behind me and my immune system would begin healing.

However, by late autumn, my body could not take the ever-increasing hip pain any longer and responded by repeatedly fainting — always in public, much to my embarrassment. I visited my regular doctor thinking I was having blood sugar or blood pressure issues, only to find out, once again, my blood work was perfect and maybe I should “take an anti-depressant,” (though my blood sugar hovered around 59 and had spikes down into the low 50’s). I walked out wondering why I wasted my time and energy, yet again, for zero results. Instinctively, I felt my problem was adrenal related, and the hip pain had something to do with it.

After a few more weeks of suffering, I relented and met with an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed a tiny rupture in my L-5/ S-1 disc. It was pushing on the sciatic nerve, radiating pain across my pelvis, into my groin and down my right leg. “A laminectomy would fix it,” he said with complete confidence, so I scheduled surgery five days before Christmas. I wanted to trust him, but my gut was doubtful as I wondered, is that teeny-tiny rupture really the cause of such deep pain or was it the result of fainting in full-stride a couple of weeks prior?

Throughout the two-year ordeal, I had continued with Vitamin C IVs and as many immune strengthening procedures as I could afford, but it wasn’t enough. My practitioner at the time recognized that my problems were too layered for her level of knowledge, and recommended another clinic with two alternative doctors who had practiced for decades and specialized in severe immune deficiency cases.

I got an appointment at the new clinic right away. We created a plan to get me through the impending surgery while repairing my immune system. Hope was restored and I went forward with a positive attitude.

The day of surgery, the surgeon assured me I would have immediate relief, yet four days post-surgery, the pain had increased and I could barely walk. He said to give it more time, “Sometimes nerves take a while to heal.” Recovery didn’t happen and my pain worsened.

Feb 6, 2012, I had a second laminectomy and four other procedures. The surgeon was baffled and tried everything to offer some relief. To no avail — the pain intensified until I was bed-ridden in agony. My blood pressure kept dropping and I kept fainting. One morning it fell to 60/40 and I had to be taken by ambulance to the ER. After a week in the hospital and test after inconclusive test, they started acting like I was faking it. Yet my legs would fold from underneath me upon standing, and I would crumple to the floor from back spasms and electric shocks that would paralyze my entire body. The doctor started talking about fusing my spine. I refused to have any more surgery, and left the hospital with a heavy heart and no solution.

Weeks passed while I lay in bed depressed and hurting, not eating until three in the afternoon some days because I couldn’t get to the kitchen. By then, I was only able to walk with assistance, and wondered how this would all end. The nerve pain was so excruciating, the sheets touching the tips of my toes felt like nails being driven into them. Involuntary screams ripped from my mouth when back spasms racked my entire body. I toyed with giving up, but my faith kept me going, and I believed there was an answer out there somewhere.

I dug deep and used my Type A personality and German stubbornness to make sure I did not quit exploring every option — I was hell-bent on getting better. I continued to drive myself to the clinic (an hour away) to stay with the immune-repairing program, knowing that strengthening my system was only going to help.

After several months, my allergies to food and nickel improved, and I had stopped fainting. But, the nerve pain remained and I began coming to terms with the potential of living in a wheelchair…and then a miracle happened.

Friday, April 13, 2012, was the day my life changed forever. My doctor I was off that day; I was at the clinic for allergy desensitization. The practitioner conducting the procedure noticed the tears gently streaming out of the corners of my eyes as I lay on the exam table, and asked if he could get the other doctor (Dr. M) involved. Why not? I was open to anything (and it turned out to be divine intervention).

Dr. M listened carefully to my story until I finished, then after pondering, he asked me if I had ever had a root canal. “Huh?” was all I could think. He explained that he had seen dental-related nerve pain often, and shared a story about a man in his thirties who hadn’t walked in seven years. He came to see Dr. M and discovered it was a dental infection that went undetected by X-rays. After removing the tooth and treating the infection, the man climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro a year later. When I shared my dental nightmare with the doctor, he thought he may have a solution.

He muscle tested the dental implant and found a weakness, so he injected it with Novocaine to numb the area and see if there would be any relief. My pain slowly ebbed like a wave rolling out to sea; I got off the exam table easily and walked around the clinic like a normal person. Everyone working there watched. Our eyes got as big as the full moon and we were all silent for a moment. Disbelief….relief…a miracle! I cried tears of joy. I think Dr. M did too.

Three additional times, a week apart, he numbed it, the spasms released, and the pain washed away. During that time, we tried healing it with ozone and a laser, and my periodontist removed the crown and screw, to no avail. The implant had to come out.

May 15, 2012, immediately upon its removal, I walked out of the periodontist’s office on my own. I could walk without a cane! I live a very normal life now. I’m back to exercising, and though I see a chiropractor about once a week to keep my lower back healthy, I am grateful every day that I am able to walk and never take for granted my ability to be in this world without a cane, or worse.

From my horrible life-altering experience, I grew in ways that I never would’ve understood before. I still feel blessed every single day that I can do normal activities; things I thought were over for me. I have patience with people who are hurting, or those who may walk “too slow” in front of me. My compassion for others has grown and I try to take life as it comes — in moments. If I have an uncomfortable day, I allow myself rest and remember what a bad day truly consists of.

The strength and knowledge that I gained throughout this ordeal, as well as a deeper faith, have helped me deal physically and emotionally with the even bigger life-altering events that have happened since. I hope by sharing this information, it continues to shine the light on thinking outside the western medicine box and may help one person solve their own health mystery.

In the next blog — how to determine if your teeth are making you ill. The science behind it and resources to explore.

“To know truly is to know by causes.” Bacon 

[from the book Root Canal Cover-Up, George E. Meinig]

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Fatty Vitamin C — What?

I know in a previous blog, I mentioned a few supplements to boost your system, but I’ve decided to touch on only one today. Liposomal Vitamin C. If there is nothing else in the universe that you add to your daily routine, it is this (Vitamin D3 is close behind — but we’ll get to that).

According to the experts (there are so many published research findings, I won’t reference them here, but feel free to do your own search on the Internet) and every doctor I’ve been to, the value and benefits of added Vitamin C outweigh the addition of any other nutrient. If you can only afford or want to start with one — this is it.

Why Liposomal? It has an added “fat” so that our cells will absorb it readily versus peeing it all away. Our cells need a little fat to absorb nutrients. I’m not talking bacon — I’m talking olive oil, safflower or sunflower oils. The one that I take has sunflower lecithin. Some have soy lecithin. Not my first choice as I’m soy intolerant, so as always, read the label.

The benefits of Vitamin C: Boosts the immune system (and greatly helps those with immune deficiency), helps with inflammation, improves cardiovascular health and lowers risk of stroke, increases eye and skin health, and new findings show it may assist in controlling blood sugar. Best of all, it can help stave off cancer or in high doses (IV), kill cancer cells.

It is hard to get enough Vitamin C from our diet, even if we eat the recommended nine servings of fruit and veggies per day, our modern-day produce is severely lacking in nutrients, so supplementation is the a great way to ensure you’re getting enough.

I don’t want to be liable for dosing recommendations, so I will share with you that I take a minimum of 1000 mg of Liposomal C per day. I usually take more, but that is based on my needs and my doctor’s recommendations.

I have been receiving intravenous vitamin C since 2006. I consider it a gift that I have access to IV Vitamin C and feel that it is the least I can do for my body to stay functional and minimize inflammation and free-radical damage.

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” Hippocrates

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A Letter to Myself

I was trying to open a file from my documents earlier today and the letter below, that I composed to myself October 31, 2013, opened. I do not know how as I did not click on it, but I am pretty sure I know why.

My freelance business has gotten very, very slow again and panic has started setting in. When I daydream worst-case-scenario (a bad habit) and think about having to support myself for the rest of my life, I start scouring the internet for a sales job. Sales is my comfort zone and I know I can make money doing it, but my writing would become obsolete. At the end of a long work day, there is very little capacity for creativity.

This letter popping up on my screen, instead of my resume, has reconfirmed that I need to stay the course as a writer, no matter how scary it can be at times. And, since I don’t believe in coincidence, thank  you my guardian angel for sending me a critically needed message.

A Letter to Myself

There is no room in life for the phrase “if it weren’t impossible,” although sometimes it may be “improbable.” Accomplishing your goals will happen if you’re dedicated and you make the most of each opportunity. That is the key to unlocking dreams.

You know it’s pointless to dwell on the “what ifs.” Recall the numerous lessons and challenges along the way. Being a sales rep for over fifteen years in a man’s market gave you a serious backbone. Quitting your favorite job in 2000 and moving to paradise to start over was brave. You didn’t think it was scary or crazy – you followed your heart. Always shrug off rejection (though once in a while it may still sting) and keep trying.

You have such a diverse list of interests and each one loops back to writing. You wish you were a marine biologist to explore the serenity and intricacies of the sea and its creatures and then share it with others. You’ve explored the field of natural medicine as a profession and upon deeper reflection, realized it was because you wanted to impart amazing, sometimes life-saving tips to those searching for a more natural way. Traveling the world to experience gorgeous scenery, different cultures and noteworthy history is still on the agenda with great anticipation as it will enhance your historical fiction.

Never stop believing in your abilities and evolving as a writer, and when times are tough, remember this is where you’re meant to be on your journey.

 

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A Christmas Light

Happy December! I love this time of year…it fills me with peace, joy and a sense of gratitude. I know many people dread the holidays and find it sad and lonely: drudgery. I recognize that it is a challenge for many and my heart goes out to them. I am blessed to have faith, to believe in the birth of Christ, and find myself reflecting on the enormity of being alive to witness the beauty of soft white lights while listening to old Christmas songs, making sure I focus on noticing (despite all the commercialism) that there are still gracious givers spreading joy and good deeds to those less fortunate.

As a child, Christmas was always full of wonder. I loved going to church Christmas Eve; listening to the bell choir and singing Silent Night in a candle-lit sanctuary. Even as a small child, I felt the reverence of the night and understood its meaning. Mom and Dad did a great job keeping Santa alive for me, despite my older sister insisting that he wasn’t real. After I’d climb into bed, Dad would go outside and make “hoof” marks in the snow so that when I woke up and threw open the curtains at 6:00 AM, I would know that Santa had come (we didn’t have a chimney so he was allowed to come through the front door while we slept). I would have to wait until 6:30, no matter what, to call Grandma and Grandpa to come over. I would practically burst with excitement waiting for them to throw on mismatched clothes and drive the mile and a half to our house. Mom, Dad and my sister would look at me like they wanted to strangle me for getting them up so early, but I didn’t really notice. I was in a bubble of pure joy.

As an adult, I have spent Christmas many different ways. I’ve been away at college, struggling to pay the bills let alone buy gifts, and at times not able to get home due to the weather. I spent nearly twelve years over a thousand miles away from family while I resided in Florida. My first year there, I hardly knew anyone and spent it with a few new friends. That became the norm – we called it the Orphan Christmas. So many people in Florida are away from family, so our orphan dinners grew into larger and larger events, usually outside in the sunshine. Though less than traditional, they were always full of laughter, games, and plenty of eggnog. In 2009, I spent it as a new Mrs. and had a Christmas full of firsts at a not-so-young age.

In 2013, shortly after my husband Ken and I moved into our dream house, our “forever home” in Missouri, I spent the holiday season reflecting on his sudden death that July. That was the year the meaning of life really hit me – like a wrecking ball. I remember crying and thinking, ‘it’s all so final. He’s just GONE.’ I was heartbroken that he couldn’t see the beautiful decorations or walk with me through the streets of historical St. Charles in the light snow; that he wouldn’t witness the serenity and joy of the season. I remember an exaggerated feeling of being present in each moment, as if I were trying to absorb it for both of us. With every fiber of my being, I breathed in the fresh, cool air and played in the first snowfall with our dog, Barney. I listened and absorbed the words of songs and cried while watching a Charlie Brown Christmas (his favorite).

Then, a few weeks before Christmas, there was a distinct moment when peace washed over me, sitting by the fireplace, watching the sky turn from periwinkle to navy as night fell. I felt his spirit near me and my heart open with hope. Where there was once a big, black empty hole, there was now a blank blackboard with which to draw my future. I missed him but felt I could move forward with his blessing, and allow the grieving process to unfold along the way (still unfolding…it never truly ends, it evolves). It dawned on me that each and every moment of being alive is the biggest gift of all, and genuine gratitude for my blessed life filled my soul.

This year, I find myself overwhelmed with appreciation for the love of a wonderful man, Allan, who makes me laugh every day and feel cherished; for my improving health, for getting writing work just when I need it most, and for living in a place that makes no sense to anybody but me – a fly over state that is beautiful and full of genuine, caring people, and friends and family who share their love openly, wrapping me in a blanket of warmth.

I know everyone has struggles that vary greatly, but despite the challenges of health or financial issues, the commercialism of the season and the stress, the money involved, the long-ago hurt, sadness or disappointment, there can be joy and peace at Christmas time. Look for it in the quiet of the midnight hour or first thing in the morning over coffee, and even if it’s fleeting, give thanks for being able to be here and bear witness. Studies show our thoughts control our actions, our moods, and our overall health.

To quote an excerpt from the book, The Healing Code, by Dr. Alexander Lloyd and Dr. Ben Johnson, “A 911 signal from your hypothalamus [in your brain] is what puts your cells into stress mode; it’s what shifts your blood flow away from your internal organs, your higher intellectual functioning, and your immune system.” The book further explains that if you stop sending negative signals to your brain, you use your body’s own positive energy frequencies to overcome the negative frequencies and stop the destruction. “Like turning on a light in a dark room. The light always overcomes the darkness.” Concentrating on just one thing that we’re grateful for daily can change negative emotions on a cellular level, and the spiritual lift is immediate. Saying thank you out loud to the universe, God or your deity, brings a truth to it that will change your thought pattern. Once you try it, you’ll notice that you’ll say thank you for more than one thing…it becomes a list and WOW! Life gets put in perspective very quickly.

My wish is for you to find peace, even for a few moments each day, and come into the light of the Christmas season. Merry Christmas.

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright….

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