Mind, Body, Spirit Connections

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday celebration~

My friend Kathy completed the Susan G Komen 60 mile breast cancer walk in Washington, DC. last weekend. She's my hero. In her sixites, and smack dab in the middle of some huge life changes, Kathy trained her butt off, raised money, put a team together and joined thousands of other walkers committed to fighting breast cancer.

You rock Kathy~

Here is what she shared:

"Two stories will be with me forever. The amputee, an ex-Navy Seal, walking with the woman he met at the walk last year and proposed to on Friday of the walk this year. He wore a hot pink bra and wig, bare-chested with a hula skirt to finish the ensemble. When he developed an infection in his stump on Saturday and was hospitalized, his fiance finished on Sunday carrying his artificial leg in his honor. And then there was the young survivor I met who was walking alone and I shared the road with her as she told me her story in tears. At the closing ceremony she sought me out to have our photo taken together. She told me repeatedly she could never have made it through her mastectomy and treatments without her friends. She is now dating a wonderful sounding man who knows what a strong woman he has found.

Like that young woman, I could not have done the walk without support. Thank you. I thought of each of you as I walked and the stories many of you shared with me as to your personal reasons for donating. Thank you for sharing and for your support."

I am celebrating Kathy and everyone who participated in the Susan G Komen walk -- walkers, volunteers, supporters, and donors. We have all been touched by breast cancer -- by many cancers. We have all lost loved ones, friends, and colleagues.

Let's take a moment to celebrate their life, to remember the gift they were in our lives, and to sink into deep gratitude for our continued health.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spiritual Guidance~

A little spiritual humor to start your day~
Remember Y2K? The frenzy, speculation, fear and anticipated chaos? The entire grid was going to come crashing down -- planes falling from the sky, banks not able to determine whose money was whose, power outages -- the "sky is falling".  
Hard to believe that this was just 11 years ago. And, yet, here we are again with the impending arrival of 2012 and some people are freaking out.
The world is not going to end. Take a deep breath. We will still be here. And perhaps that is the issue for some.
No escape~
We are living in an unbelievable time. Unprecedented technological advances, extreme earth and climate changes, and human consciousness shifting as rapidly as facebook is growing. We are awaking up! The blinders are coming off, and we are deeply questioning what is real and why we are here. The individual "I" is dissolving into a "We" consciousness as we recognize how deeply connected we are to each other. We are literally "one" and many around the world are acknowledging this truth and taking action.
What an amazing gift to be here...NOW...and able to participate in this awakening.
2012 is just the beginning~

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Health Tip - Understanding Cancer


"Those who fail to take the time to be healthy

will ultimately have to take the time to be sick."

~ Dr. James Chappell

Understanding Cancer

Cancer does not develop for some unknown reason. Once you understand why and how it develops, and learn how to support your body so that it may more effectively fight cancer, it may never be too late to get healthy again. (No matter what type, they have the same underlying causes.) Cancer is a natural process where, to put it simply, an overworked and weakened immune system cannot kill it as fast as it is multiplying. Toxin, carcinogens, radiation, even viruses, combined with an unhealthy internal environment , and in conjunction with a weakened immune system, cause more cells to turn cancerous, and allows them to thrive.

You must change your internal environment to one in which cancer cannot thrive. Just as we couldn't live on Mars with no oxygen, cancer can't exist in cells where there is enough oxygen. Unfortunately, all too often our cells are low in oxygen. Fortunately it is possible to increase the levels of oxygen in cells, thus, making your body's internal environment a place where cancer can't easily survive.

Immune System Support for Cancer

Cancer is a perfectly natural process. A very small percentage of cells in every person who has ever lived turn cancerous. And the body usually gets rid of those cancerous cells before they do harm. This process has been going on for eons. It is only when more cancer cells are being created than the body can get rid of that the problem comes. With increased toxins, viruses, carcinogens, etc. our immune systems have become significantly overworked and weakened.

The underlying cause of all cancer, no matter what type, may have been discovered by Otto Warburg over 50 years ago. He actually won two Nobel Prizes for work proving cancer is caused by a lack of oxygen respiration in cells. He stated in "The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer" that the cause of cancer is no longer a mystery, we know it occurs whenever any cell is denied 60% of its oxygen requirements.

Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.
Research Implications

All normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs in great part by fermentation. All normal body cells are thus obligate aerobes, whereas all cancer cells are partial anaerobes." J.B. Kizer, a biochemist and physicist at Gungnir Research in Portsmith, Ohio explained, "Since Warburg's discovery, this difference in respiration has remained the most fundamental (and some say, only) physiological difference consistently found between normal and cancer cells.

A nurse who works in medical research said, "It's so simple. I don't know why I never thought of it before. When we're working with cell cultures in the lab, if we want the cells to mutate, we turn down the oxygen, to stop them, we turn the oxygen back up."

Ma Lan, MD and Joel Wallach DVD, point out that one type of white blood cells kills cancer cells by injecting oxygen creating hydrogen peroxide into the cells. Looking at cancer in this light, it makes sense to drastically increase cellular oxygen levels and to detoxify the body so that more cells stay oxygenated.

In chemistry, alkali solutions (pH over 7.0) tend to absorb oxygen, while acids (pH under 7.0) tend to expel oxygen. For example, a mild alkali can absorb over 100 times as much oxygen as a mild acid. Therefore, when the body becomes acidic by dropping below pH 7.0 (note: all body fluids, except for stomach and urine, are supposed to be mildly alkaline at pH 7.4), oxygen is driven out of the body thereby, according to Nobel Prize winner Otto Warburg, inducing cancer. Stomach fluids must remain acidic to digest food and urine must remain acidic to remove wastes from the body. Blood is the exception. Blood must always remain at an alkaline pH 7.4 so that it can retain its oxygen. When adequate mineral consumption is in the diet, the blood is supplied the crucial minerals required to maintain an alkaline pH of 7.4.

However when insufficient mineral consumption is in the diet, the body is forced to rob Peter (other body fluids) to pay Paul (the blood). In doing so, it removes crucial minerals, such as calcium, from the saliva, spinal fluids, kidneys, liver, etc., in order to maintain the blood at pH 7.4. This causes the de-mineralized fluids and organs to become acidic and therefore anaerobic, thus inducing not only cancer, but a host of other degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, lupus, etc.. Everyone knows that the human body is made up of 78% water by weight, and that water is hydrogen and oxygen gases. When nitrogen gas and carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and methane gases are added, the total gas in the body by weight becomes over 95%. Almost half of the remaining 5% that makes up the human body and controls all biological functions is the mineral calcium. No other mineral is capable of performing as many biological functions as is calcium. Calcium is involved in almost every biological function. This amazing mineral provides the electrical energy for the heart to beat and for all muscle movement. It is the calcium ion that is responsible for feeding every cell. It does this by latching on to seven nutrient molecules and one water molecule and pulls them through the nutrient channel. It then detaches its load and returns to repeat the process. Another important biological job for calcium is DNA replication, which is crucial for maintaining youth and a healthy body. DNA replication is the basis for all body repair and can only occur on a substrate of calcium.

Thus, low calcium means low body repair and premature aging. As important as all these and hundreds of other biological functions of calcium are to human health, none is more important than the job of pH control. Calcium to acid, is like water to a fire. Calcium quickly destroys oxygen robbing acid in the body fluids. Thus, the more calcium, the more oxygen, and therefore, the less cancer and other degenerative disease.

Calcium is the Key

In the 1950s, Dr. Carl Reich M.D. discovered that his patients were able to cure themselves of almost all degenerative diseases by consuming several times the RDA of calcium, magnesium, vitamin-D and other nutrients. Dr. Reich was the first North American doctor to prescribe mega doses of minerals and vitamins to his patients and is considered by many to be the father of preventive medicine. By the 1980s Dr. Reich had cured thousands, but lost his license for explaining that the consumption of mineral nutrients, such as calcium, could prevent cancer and a host of other diseases. This concept was considered too simple to accept by the medical wisdom of the day. However, by the late 1990s, other medical men of wisdom were also discovering that calcium supplements could indeed reverse cancer.
We Face a Time of New Beginning

In the beginning, the earth's atmosphere was 37% oxygen. Now the atmosphere is 20% oxygen. Oxygen is essential to metabolize food and create high energy, and it is also impossible for cancer to exist in an alkaline oxygen-rich environment.

All people have the right to know the truth and the basics for human life. God did not create the human body to suffer from cancer, and if we will use the same methods scientists use, to return the body to its original state, we will never suffer from this disease. People who know and apply this information are saving hundreds of thousands of lives annually.

Scientists have simply shown us how to raise the body's alkalinity and oxygen to eliminate cancer. The method is just a logical and safe way of returning the body to its original state.

- No Cutting; No Burning; No Nuking; No Drugs -

18 things that CAUSE cancer: (in no particular order)

•Smoking cigarettes

•Drinking non-organic milk or eating non-organic dairy products

•Hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids

•Mammography radiation

•Chemotherapy and radiation

•Perfumes and fragrance products

•Cosmetics and personal care products

•Home cleaning products, including laundry detergent, dryer sheets, etc.

•Plastic food containers - includes plastic lining inside food cans

•Sodium nitrite - found in most processed meats

•Pesticides, PCBs, chlorine and other chemicals

•Acrylamides (formed during high-heat food processing such as frying)

•Watching television / lack of exercise

•Severe emotional distress or relationship stress

•Refined sugars / refined grains

•Dry cleaning chemicals

•Hair color chemicals

•Nail polish remover

22 things that PREVENT cancer:

•Vitamin D and sunshine - see the Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

•Anti-cancer foods

•Green tea

•Broccoli and cruciferous vegetables

•Medicinal mushrooms - reishi, shiitake, agaricus blazei, etc.

•Lycopene and tomatoes

•Infra-red saunas and sweat lodges - because sweating expels toxins


•Pomegranate seeds

•Omega-3 oils / chia seeds

•Rainforest herbs - There are many anti-cancer rainforest herbs, including graviola and Cat's Claw (Una de Gato).

•Juice detoxification

•Acupuncture - helps move blood and chi (body's energy)

•Sprouts - ALL sprouts are anti-cancer. Best sprouting machine is the EasyGreen Automatic Sprouter (use any search engine to find resellers)

•Red clover - Helps cleanse the blood. Find from any supplement maker.

•Deep breathing / oxygenation / stress reduction

•Yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates - These all boost lymph circulation

•Cacao - (real chocolate)

•Therapeutic massage - helps move lymph, boost circulation

•Mint - grow your own (the easiest plant to grow)

•Apricot pits / laetrile / vitamin B17

The cancer industry attacks nearly all genuine cancer solutions

After examining this list, it's not difficult to notice something quite curious: The cancer industry promotes many things that cause cancer while attacking most things that prevent cancer. Naturopathic doctors who once prescribed laetrile for cancer patients, for example, have been run out of the country or arrested. Herbal product companies have been censored to such a degree that none dare tell the truth about the anti-cancer effects of their own products, and even broccoli growers and marketers are scared into remaining silent about the remarkable, scientifically-proven anti-cancer effects of broccoli.

In other words, if you want to know what the cancer industry supports or attacks, just check to see which list it's on. If it's on the list of things that prevent cancer, the cancer industry (including most of its doctors, oncologists, non-profits and government regulators) will be against it. If it's on the list of things that cause cancer, they will promote it.

The exception to this is, of course, tobacco. That's a substance that doctors once gladly promoted in magazine advertisements, claiming that smoking was good for your health and even improved your teeth! But today, the tobacco scam has long since been revealed, and even conventional medicine is now squarely against this substance that they once strongly promoted.

The American Medical Association, by the way, used to actually run ads for cigarettes in its flagship medical journal, JAMA. Doctors can always be bought off and made to promote whatever poison is making the most money this decade (these people have no shame). In the 1950's, it was cigarettes. Today, it's pharmaceuticals and chemotherapy. Different drugs, same scam. But money was always -- and IS always -- the bottom line for conventional medicine.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quote of the Day~

"The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment."
-Pema Chodron

Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun and author of When Things Fall Apart, a wonderful book filled with wisdom and practical advice for living in the moment, embracing our fear, and moving fully into our pain and suffering rather than trying to escape.

"Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don't get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It's a very tender, nonaggressive, open ended state of affairs." (When Things Fall Apart, pg 10.)

"When you have made good friends with yourself, your situation will be more friendly too."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Chapter in Jennifer's Life~

Growing up in Pleasant Valley~

In honor of my father's visit, I'll spend a moment sharing what it was like to grow up in Pleasant Valley, Ct.

My parents moved from Pennsylvania, leaving their families, to Pleasant Valley in April of 1967. I was five, my sisters four and one. Dad found a wonderful 200 year old New England home. The Farmington river flowed in front of our house, and the People's State forest was our backyard. The center of town consisted of a little grocery store, post office, and elementary school. No traffic lights (and still none to this day).

Most of our neighbors were elderly and were delighted to have three little girls to dote on. We walked to school, and played all day long on the playground, or in the woods behind our house. My mom would ring a bell to call us in for dinner.

Summers were spent at Stan Cliff Cove - a private beach and reservoir awarded to the town of Barkhamsted (which Pleasant Valley is part of) in compensation for the land taken by the Metropolitan Water District. Winters were spent at Ski Sundown; a little ski slope 10 minutes down the road.


You bet. I can't imagine growing up in a more tranquil, lovely place. I lived outside -- in the woods, floating on the Farmington river in tire tubes, skiing, ice skating, swimming, and biking.

My dad still lives in Pleasant Valley. The house burnt down in 1995 and he and my mother rebuilt. Mom no longer lives with dad due to her Alzheimer's. He lovingly took care of her as long as he could.

I love returning home -- walking through the house, down our street, remembering my childhood years and how lucky I was to have lived in Pleasant Valley.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Blog Share~

Taking Risks: 5 Things To Know Before Leaping Without A Net

Tiny Buddha Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Brenda Clevenger

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” ~Unknown

It was the perfect storm.

In 2009 my best friend got married. At 48, having never been married, I once again caught the bouquet. Two months later, my mother’s home burned to the ground. At 70 years old, she lost everything, including a pet. Three months later, her husband died.

During the process of negotiating my mom’s temporary stay at a cabin resort, I fell in love with the cabin developer. To complicate matters, I was already living with a man who I had lived with, inconsistently, for 14 years.

To summarize, in six months I watched one of my last unmarried friends get married. I saw my mother fall to pieces. I mourned my stepdad’s passing. I terminated a 14-year relationship, to be with another man. I sold my real estate business, moved from Kansas City to the Ozarks, and lost touch with my friends—and myself.

Two years later, I awoke and confessed what I formerly denied: I had just had a whopper of a midlife crisis.

Through it, I learned these 5 important lessons about happiness:

To Thine Own Self Be True
In Hamlet, Act I, Polonius shared this as his last piece of advice to his son Laertes. To be true to yourself means to not lose sight of what is essential for your happiness.

When I met the cabin developer who was there for me during a very difficult period, my love (or lust) blinded me of what made me, me.

Because I thought my marriage chariot had finally arrived, I over-compromised by moving to the country, away from the city culture I adored; by living in a depressing man cave, even though I love new and modern surroundings; and by isolating myself from my friends and simple Brenda basics, like a movie theater and a salad bar.

Friends warned me upfront that, because of these differences, I should reconsider pursuing the relationship. But I didn’t listen, until one day my inner voice me forced me to fess up. Not only was I unhappy; I was miserable.

A good friend of mine has always known who she is, what she wants, and what is a deal breaker in her relationships. She doesn’t date men with kids and, in her words, she doesn’t sleep with Republicans. She’s Aquafina clear on her criteria. To her own self she’s don’t-screw-with-me true.

We’re just plain happier when we know our needs and honor them.

Always, Always Have a Plan B
When I jumped ship to pursue a life with the cabin developer, I just knew we’d be married within the year. To ease the guilt of breaking up with someone I once considered my soul mate, I told myself that he had his chance: I’d given him 14 years to ask for my hand. He hadn’t and he wasn’t going to.

For years I told my friends that I didn’t care about marriage and didn’t want it, but for some strange change of heart and mind, I certainly wanted it now. I could see the finish line, and it had an altar behind it.

However, I had a Plan B if my leap into the developer’s arms proved ring-less. I would move back into one of my rental properties and start another business–something I could be successful doing based on my 20-year entrepreneurial track record.

Turns out Plan B had to be executed. I’m glad I planned for it, because one night I cried out loud, “I want my old life back.”

We can’t know going in whether the things we thought we wanted will make us happy. We can only know we’re willing to walk away if they don’t.

Thank Your Teachers
In Eat, Pray, Love, when Liz Gilbert tells her husband she doesn’t want to be married any more, she plans a one-year journey abroad. Prior to departure, she has a brief love affair with an actor named David.

Halfway through her journey they break up, but she chooses to look back at David as teacher, not a mistake. He taught her about meditation and his Indian guru’s ashram where she learns to forgive herself. David came into Liz’s life for a reason, just as the developer came into mine.

He helped me and my family through hell, pulled me out of a relationship that had plateaued, and taught me to focus on the right goals (mine) vs. society’s (marriage).

Our relationship reminded me everything that I cherish begins with a c: city, culture, cats, camaraderie with girlfriends, creative work, and a contemporary home and office environment to thrive in.

Everyone we encounter can teach us something about the people we want to be. Happiness is recognizing and appreciating that.

Forgive Yourself
Even if you’ve retrained your brain to look at your past as being filled with teachers and life-changing lessons, you may still harbor guilt.

One thing that helped me through my guilt was that I previously understood the consequences of ending a relationship to begin another. I knew I would be closing doors that never could be reopened again—both to a long-term love and friends affiliated with that love.

So, in hindsight, I wasn’t purely out of my mind or in a hormonal funk, as formerly accused. I knew the consequences and accepted them upfront, not after the failure of what turned about to be a two-year love affair.

Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself that acknowledges you’re human, according to Erin Pavlina. We tend to be our own worst enemies when it comes to self-talk, self-blame, and self-wallowing.

I could have returned to Kansas City hanging my head in shame for leaping to conclusions about finding Mr. Right, mercilessly ending a relationship with no forewarning or clear explanation, and losing touch with friends I’d one day sorely miss. But instead I forgave myself for losing my way.

We’re inevitably going to make choices we wouldn’t make in hindsight. Peace is accepting that.

Get Back On Course
I honor myself for being a woman who loves deeply and never settles for a relationship that restricts rather than flowers. This summer, sitting at home alone and relationship-less, I’m happy to have opened that door. Granted it didn’t lead to where I thought it would, but I know in my heart I needed to open it to discover my true self.

In the 1998 movie, Sliding Doors, the main character’s love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on the sliding doors of the subway. If they close before her and she misses that train, her life turns out one way. If she catches it, her life takes a completely different turn.

I had been on the train, on and off, with my 14-year relationship—far longer than a passenger should sit. The cycle needed to be broken. The only man persuasive enough to get me off that train was the cabin developer.

I know the next door I open will lead to something greater and more powerful. I no longer expect marriage to be the final train station, but I do have expectations of being the conductor, not the passenger. Finding someone to be my co-pilot on this journey would be a bonus.

Forgive yourself for any seemingly useless stops or diversions you’ve made throughout the years. As long as you’re honest with yourself along the way, you are on the right course.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday celebration~

Who is this?

My papa! My dad was married, had a mortgage, a child (me), two cats, and a dog at the ripe old age of 22! It was different back then in the late fifties. My dad was an adult, fully ready and capable of taking on responsibility -- cherishing the life he was creating with my mom.

He took wonderful care of his girls - 3 daughters and our mom. He joked last night that the only time he stretched a tax return was when he claimed Tampax as a medical expense!(Don't worry dad, the statue of limitations has long since expired). Imagine this poor man with 4 woman on the "rag" -- I clearly remember him one night throwing his hands up in the air, and declaring that "Even the damn dog was a female." This rare outburst was brought on by yet another clogged toilet!

I am celebrating my dad today. Thankful that he is healthy, and for all the love, wisdom, and guidance he has given me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spiritual Guidance~

The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed. -Jiddu Krishnamurti

How true this is. How many of us feel this transformation with the first blush of love? That extraordinary feeling that washes over you as you immerse yourself in that new love; the boundless energy, the pitter-patter of your heart, the giddiness that transforms the adult into a child. We have all felt that rush, have we not?

But, is this the love that Krishnamurti is speaking of? I think not. I believe he is speaking of an unconditional love that applies to everyone and everything -- a state of being "one" with all that is. No judgments, separations, illusions, or false beliefs -- an acceptance, awareness, and embracing that illicts the feeling of deep love. A love that transcends the mundane and ordinary and perceives the extraordinary in everything.

Imagine being able to carry this in your heart? Even if for brief moments throughout your day. How extraordinary to perceive the world from this place of love. The path to this love is through gratitude. Every morning sink into gratitude. Every evening, before sleep, sink into gratitude. Stop during your busy day, take a moment, breathe deeply and sink into gratitude. Watch what begins to happen.

Your world will transform~

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Health Tip - How to Keep a Healthy Brain

My mom has Alzheimer's disease. It comes as no surprise that I would be an advocate of keeping the brain healthy. While speculation continues on what exactly causes Alzheimer's and other dementias, the research indicates that there are definite steps you can take to minimize your risk.

Starting early is a must!!!

For a Healthy Brain in Old Age, Start Early
by Joseph Shapiro

It's called "use it or lose it" — the belief that exercising your brain will keep your memory and thinking skills sharp as you age, and maybe even ward off dementia and Alzheimer's. That's the hope, at least, but the scientific proof is pretty modest.

Some of the best evidence yet comes from research reported last month from a long-running study called Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE).

About 3,000 volunteers were given 10 to 18 hours of instruction in different kinds of thinking skills: memorizing lists, looking for patterns in strings of numbers or letters and visual concentration. Five years later, they were better at those learned thinking skills, although only one group was better in a statistically significant way.

"What we clearly show is that these short mental workouts improve performance, and that improvement is detectable as much as five years later," says Michael Marsiske, an associate professor of clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida and a principal investigator in the ACTIVE study.

An even bigger question: Could brain exercises make people better at all kinds of thinking? One group said they thought they were quicker at everyday activities, such as reading instructions on medicine bottles or balancing a checkbook.

The results of the study are enough to make Marsiske advise older people to learn a new language or play a new instrument.

"The advice that I think people could comfortably take from this," Marsiske says, "is that if they challenge themselves to learn new things, including things that they might perceive as difficult in their later years, many older adults will not only achieve benefits from those challenges but those benefits will be long lasting."

But other researchers say there's a better way to look at brain health.

"One of the thoughts is that what's good is to enter old age with as good a brain as possible," says Margaret Gatz, a professor of psychology, gerontology and preventive medicine at the University of Southern California.

Scientists use the term "cognitive reserve."

"This is a term that's being used a lot now by dementia researchers," says Gatz. "And this is referring to the idea that, as one becomes older and there's inevitable biological changes to the brain — not just Alzheimer's processes, but other biological changes — is there enough of a cushion that one can keep functioning just fine?"

In other words, do you already have enough brain power — or cognitive ability — in reserve to keep dementia at bay longer?

Gatz believes that you should start challenging yourself mentally when you're younger, rather than waiting for old age to take Italian or piano lessons.

Gatz's own studies of elderly twins show that ones who had mentally demanding jobs are less likely to get Alzheimer's.

There are other things that are good for the brain that people of all ages can do, such as eat the right foods and exercise.

Physical exercise has been linked to brain health. One recent study found that older people who started aerobic workouts actually increased the volume of their brain matter.

So Gatz takes the stairs, walks and bikes.

Gatz worries that the research might lead to telling people with dementia that it's their own fault.

"I would not want to blame mom," says Gatz, "[because] she decided to skip the puzzle page in the paper."

Researchers are learning more about the complex causes of dementia. But the main risk factors are still the same: old age and genetics. And those can't be changed, no matter how many crossword puzzles you do.

Gatz does crossword puzzles. But not to ward off Alzheimer's. She does them for fun.

"And while I'm working the puzzle, I'm usually feeling myself entering a state of greater relaxation," she says. "So I'm using the crossword puzzle as a tension reducer."

Other research, Gatz says, suggests that avoiding stress and depression also will help you maintain a healthy brain.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quote of the Day~

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” -African proverb

Monday, September 19, 2011

Intention of the Day~

Allow the blessings in your life to become a cloak of light surrounding you~

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Chapter in Jennifer's Life~


"We are all on a voyage – the river is waiting to lift us free, if only we let go – not afraid of being tumbled and smashed against the rocks by the current. Trust the river of life. Release yourself." (Bachman journal, Appalachia, 1981)

I landed in Appalachia in my Junior year of college. Too broke to travel abroad, I drove my mother’s 1964 green Valiant to Barbourville Kentucky.

The first question I was confronted with when I arrived: What is poverty?

“Poverty is getting up every morning from a dirt and illness stained mattress. The sheets have long since been used for diapers. Poverty is living in a smell that never leaves. This is a smell of urine, sour milk and spoiling food sometimes joined with the strong smell of long-cooked onions. Onions are cheap. If you have smelled this smell you did not know how it came. It is the smell of the outdoor privy. It is the smell of young children who cannot walk the long dark way in the night. It is the smell of the mattresses where years of “accidents” have happened. It is the smell of the milk which has gone sour because the refrigerator long has not worked, and it costs money to get it fixed. It is the smell of rotting garbage. I could bury it, but where is the shovel? Shovels cost money.

Poverty is an acid that drips on pride until all pride is worn away. Poverty is a chisel that chips on honor until honor is worn away.” (Excerpts from a paper delivered by Jo Parker, 1965)

I scoffed when I read her paper feeling that this woman was exaggerating and that even if this were true in the 1960’s, surely the same conditions did not exist in the 1980's. But, I had only just arrived in Appalachia and I had not met the Clevenger’s.

The following is my accounting of my visits to the Clevenger's taken from my journal in 1981.

The Clevenger’s lived in a hollow (pronounced holler) in Corbin, Kentucky. My supervisor gave me the case as a joke. I was sent to do a 6 month follow-up. I talked to myself nervously while traveling the back dirt roads. I was all of nineteen and this was my first case alone. Naïve, nervous and completely unprepared for the likes of the Clevenger’s.

I remember my knees trembling as I climbed up the wooden steps and knocked. The door opened and I entered the dark, dank, smelly room. I quickly explained who I was and the reason I was there. Chuck was tall, over six feet, and dressed in overalls, dirty and he smelled stale. Not sure what I saw first in the dimly lit living room, but the slithering of hundreds of objects down the wall caught my eye and my skin began to burn and itch. The smell hit me instantly with the recognition of what I was seeing – hundreds of cockroaches. Surreal, it looked like rain. Turning to my left, I saw a woman sitting in a chair dumbly staring at a black and white TV. The TV sat on an old fifties rusted, metal stand. No picture, only white snow and sound. His wife, Dorothy, never acknowledged me and never spoke. She just stared at the screen.

Chuck hollered for his children to come in and meet me. A boy and a girl maybe seven and five years of age ran into the room. They were shabbily dressed, filthy and malnourished. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I noticed along the opposite wall a crib and a child standing in the crib. Her head was too large for her body, and blue veins crisscrossed her skull. My mind was screaming, but I could not understand my own alarm.

And Chuck just talked and talked and talked; angry, and tired of his neighbors complaining, he vented his frustrations. They had called the Bureau of Social Services on him and he was resentful. He received a 1,000 check each month in disability, much more than the BSS workers make in a month. Chuck claimed that they spent over $700 in food. It made no sense as the cupboards were bare. The kids ate saltines off the floor. I opened the refrigerator only to find more filth and an empty, cracked plate. The kitchen sickened me, and I fought the urge to vomit. Pots and pans, filled with crud and mold were strewn across the counters. The sink was filled with black water. The place was filthy beyond imagination and they used an outhouse, even though the house had a bathroom – unused.

I left promising Chuck I would return next week. As soon as I got back to the office, I called the Health Department making appointments for all three children. The following week I picked Charles, Dorothy and the children up and brought them to the Health Department. Charles started up again about people harassing him and how dumped on he’d been his whole life. His daughter's feet were so cold that morning that her boot wouldn’t go on – Chuck struggled to get her foot into the boot.

The visit to the Health Department was tragic. Peggy, the baby, was 18 months old, but measured only 7 months old on the growth chart. Cora had bruises all over her buttocks and worms. Chuck had also inadvertently broken her leg trying to pull her boot on that morning. One of the nurses became irate and began to scream at Chuck. He became angry and started yelling. And there I was, trying to mediate. I was so frustrated and knew I was way over my head.

Long story short, my supervisor finally realized how serious a case this had become and intervened. Neighbors had been stealing their electricity which was why the electric bill was so high, and the local grocer was charging 50 cents on the dollar for food charged by Chuck. When the BSS workers refused to clean the house, a church finally did. They discovered a stack of journals under the TV stand. Dorothy had been writing down, word for word, the dialogue from the Soaps she was listening to. She was enrolled in school and eventually began to speak again.

I have never again witnessed poverty like I did in Appalachia. I imagine if I were to venture back into the hollows of North Corbin, I would still discover the same conditions that I did in the 1980's.

Wait, I'll look it up~

OMG, the rate of children living below the poverty line in North Corbin, Kentucky is 68.4%. I am sickened. So much for ending poverty!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Blog Share~

Love this! How wonderfully touching, surprising, human, and loving these two seniors are with each other. Sit back and enjoy~

'Web Cam 101 For Seniors' Turns Oregon Oldsters Into YouTube Celebrities

A couple from northwestern Oregon who are Internet newbies have found themselves the unwitting subjects of an instant viral video, thanks to a little help from a grandkid.

Bruce Huffman, 86, and his wife, Esther, 79, of the Hillside Retirement Community in McMinnville, recently purchased their first laptop computer –- an aqua colored beauty with a built-in webcam.

Late last month, the couple sat down together and tried to figure out how to make a video with the webcam, something a granddaughter had painstakingly attempted to teach Esther a few days beforehand.

"I was trying to figure out how to do the videos and didn't know the thing was actually running," Esther told The Huffington Post. "All the while, Bruce was kind of amusing himself because he was bored. He was being quite an actor."

The nearly three minute video captures Bruce making funny faces, singing, burping and at one point, during a moment of levity, he got a little flirtatious with his wife. "See how pretty your hair is?" he said. "Just drop your dress a little bit and see your boobies."

Esther, focused on the task at hand, shot down the request. "Come on stop it. No, no, no," she laughed.

When the couple's granddaughter later saw the video, she titled it "Web Cam 101 for Seniors" and uploaded it on YouTube.

"I did not know anything about YouTube, but apparently, it is spreading like wildfire," Esther said.

While the accidental celebrities are surprised by the amount of attention the video is garnering, they said they are happy that people are enjoying it.

"We certainly didn't plan it, but there is so much bad news out there. We are glad we could put something fun out there. We like to have a good time and if it makes people laugh, that's ok," Esther said.

There is, however, one thing she would change going back.

"I wouldn't have looked that way," she said. "I guess I have to quit chewing gum. I look like a cow chewing gum so quickly."

While their candid video is endearing the modest couple to the World Wide Web, they have no immediate plans of making another video.

"We're still trying to figure out how to work it," Bruce said. "But we're having fun trying."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday celebration~


I held an Intent Heals Workshop last night and six woman attended. Beautiful, dynamic, interesting, intelligent woman who were there with open hearts and minds listening to a new way of healing. Open to "walking through the ring of fire" to expose and heal that which still laid dormant and resistive.

And as we explored, the sharing between us deepened, and the aura of sisterhood began to emerge and make its presence known to each of us in the room. It's always there in a gathering of woman, but rarely does it emerge unless the conditions are ripe: safety, vulnerability, open-heart, and the awareness that we are all connected by our shared stories.

Spoken or unspoken, this aura of sisterhood wraps us and we know we are 'one' - interconnected, not alone, and safe.

I celebrate sisterhood on this gorgeous Friday. I celebrate all of the amazing woman in my life who enrich, nourish, love, and support me.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spiritual Guidance~

Global One TV

Inward Revolution Creates Outward Revolution

I'd like to share this message from Eric Allen Bell who I believe has created an amazing vehicle through Global One TV to inspire people to look within. 

Seen from space, is there a line separating the United States from Mexico, or Israel from the Palestinian territories? If Chinese factories pollute the air, does the poisonous air agree not to drift across the borders of China?

If someone makes you laugh, will you not bring that joy with you into the next room of people you are about to meet? Do we not all bleed the same color? Do the people in Pakistan not want their children to grow up to be happy and healthy every bit as much as do the people in Newport Beach, California?

It is one thing to know this intellectually, to take a few seconds acknowledge this as "interesting" or "refreshing" or even "inspiring". But it is quite a different matter to know this deep down in your heart. To literally know, without a doubt that there is no real separation between us and them. It is a hallucination to think otherwise and this hallucination is the source of so much misery in the world.

To know this, to really see it, represents a shift in consciousness. But not as an intellectual exercise - rather you must feel it in your heart. To know this at the level of the heart is to feel tremendous joy and incredible sorrow almost simultaneously - to laugh and cry for the world - not as something that you pity but as something that you are.

If you can do this, really let it in such that one cultivates a quality of consciousness which knows self and other as parts of the same whole - to really know this is the gateway to knowing, deeply knowing, that the separation of self and God is also a hallucination.

- Eric Allen Bell

I apologize for missing yesterday - internet was down!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quote of the Day~

"When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt."
~Honore de Balzac

Monday, September 12, 2011

Intention of the Day~

To stay in a place of trust and acceptance~

When so much is in flux and the "unknowns" are ping pong-ing in the air like fresh popped popcorn, it is difficult to stay in a place of trust.

For me, being in a place of trust means not playing the "what if" game. "What if" implies fear-based thinking and the urge to control. I'm very fond of control (smile). Andy and I are in the midst of making a very big decision that will change our lives significantly. On one hand, we are ready and excited. On the other, we are fully aware of how much our life will change. This is when we must reach down deep and trust that what has fallen before us is, indeed, in our highest and best.


Where ever this may take us, may we open to all the possibilities, trust and accept what unfolds.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day We Will Never Forget~


As we fly our American flags, and take a moment (or the day) to reflect on the tragic events of 9/11, I pray that we ask ourselves the question that the Dali Lama posed 10 years ago on this day:

"Today the human soul asks the question: What can I do to preserve the beauty and the wonder of our world and to eliminate the anger and hatred—and the disparity that inevitably causes it—in that part of the world which I touch? Please seek to answer that question today, with all the maginificence that is You. What can you do TODAY... this very moment?"
~ The Dalai Lama of Tibet, from remarks made on 9.11.2001

I cannot help but be drawn back to the events of 9/11. It is etched in my psyche; I remember exactly what I was doing and can recall the physical sensation of  horror that washed over me as I watched the second plane hit the South Tower. Simultaneously, the urge to be with my kids became overwhelming and I remember driving to the school and taking them home. I wanted them with me - safe. They played outside while I sat glued to the TV sobbing. When the towers came crashing down, and I watched the people of NY screaming and running for their lives, I became numb.
I think there is an "off" switch in each of us when it just becomes too much. The images were so disturbing and the loss of life devastating. And, selfishly, I was both grateful and guilty that my family was safe.  
I no longer take anything for granted. If 9/11 taught us anything, I hope it taught us to be in gratitude daily. And to ask the question that the Dali Lama posed -"What can I do to preserve the beauty and the wonder of our world and to eliminate the anger and hatred—and the disparity that inevitably causes it—in that part of the world which I touch?"

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Blog Share~

Ten Years After: Commemoration Without Agenda
Michael Roth, 9/9/11
President, Wesleyan University

As the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon approaches, hundreds of journalists, commentators, writers and artists are telling us how to mark this occasion. On my left, Noam Chomsky is there to remind us of what he always knows before any events have to happen: that U.S. imperialism is responsible for everything evil that happens in the world. On my right, John Yoo is there to remind us that the terrorist attacks are evidence that the United States is justified in doing anything whatsoever to destroy those who might possibly be its enemies - even if we destroy our political values in the process. The commemoration of the awful killings is being used by those with political agendas to advance their various causes. That's what happens with public memory.

There are others who will argue that we still must get the facts straight about the factors that led up to the events of September 11, 2001. They want more research about the causes of the rage that fueled the Al Qaeda operatives, and a deeper understanding of the intelligence failures that made Americans vulnerable to suicidal terrorists. On this 9/11 anniversary, they want to make sure what really happened before and after the planes pierced those crystal clear skies on that awful morning.

As I argue in Memory, Trauma and History: Essays on Living With the Past (coming out this fall), these are two of the important ways that we connect to the past - how we try to turn memory into history. The first is pragmatic: let's use the events in the past (even awful, traumatic ones) to learn lessons for the future. We can make sense of the painful past by making it a useable past. The second connection to the past is empirical: let's make sure we have an accurate representation of what really happened. The first attitude gives us agendas; the second gives us research task forces.

There is a third way of relating to the past that makes no particular claims for the future. I've called this "piety," an acknowledgement of the existence of the painful past, and of the capacity of what-has-been to make a claim on us. By using the word "piety" I do not mean to evoke some necessarily transcendent or religious aspect to one's connection to the past. I do mean to evoke recognition that we sometimes strive to relate to our memories and histories in ways that are not reducible to a quest for using them well or getting them right. We connect to our memories just because they deserve our caring attention. Piety doesn't have to do anything; it is an attitude of respect and care, even of reverence.

As the anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 nears, I think back to my shock and horror as I watched the television news. I feel my way back to the concerns that I had for my family, my students, my country. I wanted to gather with my community to simply be together as we absorbed the shocking loss of life and the experience of horrific vulnerability. Yet, even moments after the planes hit, some began making political speeches about how to confront or support our public officials. It was time, they said, to engage in political or military battle. And even in those moments some were calling for research into what really happened. Conspiracy theorists were off and running.

As we commemorate the trauma of those days, as we remember the loss of life, the heroism of so many on the scene, and the solidarity of sorrow and anger that welled up across the country, let us remember -- but not only in the register of the pragmatic and the empirical. Sure, there are political and military issues that still demand our attention and struggle. Sure, there are still open historical questions about the facts and their interrelationship. We will continue to engage in those pragmatic and empirical dimensions.

But on this 10th anniversary of 9/11 let us also simply acknowledge the claim that our painful memories still have on us. Let us recognize with piety that we still carry the traces of those traumatic events with us, and that we acknowledge their importance to us without trying to use them.

Let us commemorate, if only for a few moments, without agenda.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday celebration~

Married 11 months on this glorious day~

Yes, I am the quintessential geek! Andy and I celebrate all kinds of anniversary's; the first time we kissed, the first time we (well, we won't go there), and our anniversary monthly!

I know I am one of the luckiest woman alive. I celebrate second chances. I celebrate the fact that I was courageous, made an incredibly difficult and painful decision, and find myself still (in this moment) pinching myself asking, "Is this real"?

I am also quite aware of the significance of today. Ten years ago, on a beautiful, sunny Friday mornning, we were attacked by the Al-Qaeda. The images of the towers burning are still deeply etched in my psyche.

May we take a moment to celebrate our good fortune and also pause in a moment of silence for those who died ten years ago. May we also send a prayer to the 9/11 families who are no doubt struggling today.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Spiritual Guidance~

Getting out of our own way~

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Actually, many times. Our reliance on the intellect, reasoning, and calculating every option, strategy, and "maybe" before making decisions (big or small) can actually be a hinderance. Decisions are always driven by our emotions; those clearly felt and a tangled web of emotions hidden deep within our consciousness. Often times, we make decisions based on what is logical, practical, and what will likely not be construed as a "mistake". The fear of being wrong drives the decision-making process.

What if we were do to nothing?

What if we were to simply listen to our bodies, our mind-chatter, and then to our heart? And, then be still. In the stillness, a simple solution may arise. Or, a 'knowing' of what to do next. Maybe, nothing is required. In the stillness, the awareness to simply let it be, or let it go, or allow for the next events to take place without intervention is the better way.

There is something to be said about not forcing a situation or making a decision quickly because the perception is that the current situation dictates immediate action. When we force outcomes, we miss the myraid of opportunities and solutions waiting to be born into existence.

Creating space for a fresh insight or perspective gives you the opportunity to 'get out of your own way' and witness the unseen possibilities.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do you want to know the biggest secret of all time?


It's time to step into your magnificence, embrace your true identity, and let your genius shine.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quote of the Day~

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Monday, September 5, 2011

Intention of the Day~

I intend not to "labor" in anyway today~

I will devote the entire day to play and relaxation. Scramble (golf tournament) in the morning, huge picnic lunch, visiting family and friends in the afternoon, PGA golf match early evening, and early to bed!

Have a wonderful Labor Day....and relax~

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Day in Jennifer's Life~


We can never underestimate the power of friendship. I am so grateful to my friends who listened, and processed with me, as I untangled the threads of the complicated situation with my granddaughter, Peaches.

We are always learning on this healing journey that we so courageously embark upon. For me, my lesson once again, was to just surrender. To allow, to acknowledge that there are no good answers or choices, and accept.

The release happened when I spent yesterday with Peaches. First, she helped my put together an order for Intent Heals. "I'll do it. I'll do it", she insisted as she picked out the journals and slipped them into the silk bags. Then we packed up the van with beach chairs, toys, and she took charge of putting bathing suits, towels, and sunscreen into a green beach bag. Before the beach, we had to driver her daddy to work at Target and I told her we are going shopping for a few things she desperately needed. 

I caught myself and let go of the anger when I found ourselves in the infant and toddler section trying on clothes. Peaches is almost 4, and weighs only 27 pounds. Her size? 2T. Puny she may be, but she knows what she wants! Customers were laughing as she said, "Grandmere, I want this. Oh, and this will match it." Hysterical.

"Do you like Dora the Explorer?"
"No. I want the princess panties."
"Ok", I said.
Then we get to the sneakers and I show her the sneakers that match her Princess panties. "No, grandmere, I want the Dora sneakers!"

I couldn't stop laughing. She was washing away my pain as I witnessed her indomitable spirit. Then we were off to the beach. For two hours we played in the sand and jumped the waves. Peaches was fearless. The waves would crash in and she would squeal in delight as I pulled her up by her arms. Many a time, the wave crashed into her face and she just laughed and laughed. We built sand castles, popped grapes into our mouths, and ran in and out of the water. I was in heaven.

"It's time to take a nap Peaches", I said. "Ok, grandmere." We packed up, and headed for home. In the car, she quietly said to me, "Thank you for bringing the beach to me." Even as I type these words, my eyes well up with tears.

She nestled her tiny head into my neck and fell asleep. I laid there thinking about the day and the priceless gift her presence was in my life. It was in this moment that I realized I could do something to help Peaches. I began to meditate, and called in all the angels, Masters, and Jesus, and I asked for them to protect her while I sent long distance healing to her and into her future. We surrounded her in light.

I fell asleep, snuggled against my precious girl, knowing that it was all good.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Blog Share~

Hale Dwoskin

When we act from love rather than fear and greed we have much more power to make positive change for us, those we care about and our planet.
This may seem cliché, however, it could not be more true -- especially now. Most of us right now are in survival mode. The world is shaking, literally, with earthquakes on the East Coast of the U.S. and all over the world. Our financial systems are on shaky ground, with wild gyrations in the markets worldwide. And most of us are experiencing a heightened state of alert and stress.

At times like these, the tendency for most of us is to shut down and hold tight to what we know, without realizing that is the very thing that is making everything appear more difficult. Albert Einstein said: "We cannot solve a problem on the same level we created it." He also said: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result."

What if we all took an inner step back and looked for a higher or better solution?

In my experience, the now always contains solutions to every issue or problem. We often miss these solutions because we react to what is happening as opposed to actually dealing with what is. When we are reacting, we are not dealing with what is. We are dealing with what was and what might be. For instance, if you are in the middle of an earthquake and you are dealing with what is, you will have the presence of mind to either stand in a door jam or leave the building, rather than panicking and freezing in place.

But right now many of us are caught in a cycle of fear and greed, which causes us to freeze like a dear in the headlights. This is not just happening to us personally, but it is happening in our governments as well. Look at how much trouble the U.S. just went through in simply dealing with raising the debt ceiling.

This all gets reinforced because most of us act as though it is "me" against the world. Yet, there is another more powerful way for us all to move forward.

What if we all started doing our best to simply treat each other like we would like to be treated?

What if we all started treating each other with even a little more loving kindness?

What if we all simply allowed ourselves to act from love rather than greed and fear?

This is not new. It is something that has been recommended by all the major religions for thousands of years.

In my opinion, we can no longer play it safe and wait for someone else to act with integrity and love first. We all have the opportunity in our interactions with each other to simply start to stretch in this direction. It is not hard. It feels great. And it has very powerful repercussions, both individually and for our world.

It is okay to start with little things! Allow yourself to experiment with some of these simple actions:

•Smile at someone who seems down or just because they are there

•Offer a helping hand to someone who needs support

•Give to others without wanting something back in return

•Turn your judgments of others into love (This is just a decision!)

•Act with a little more consideration for how it will affect everyone, not just you

•Fully listen to people as they share who they are and what they experience

•Act with a little more compassion and loving kindness

•Let go of the fear and greed and uncover the love that is already in your heart now

These are just a few suggestions. You can think bigger too, like taking constructive action to support causes that help the world. I would recommend that you create your own action list and get into loving action now.

You may feel like this is a dangerous approach to life; however, if you are open to exploring this you will find the exact opposite is true. Love is the most powerful force in the universe! And when we act from love rather than fear and greed we have much more power to make positive change for us, those we care about and our planet.

What you are doing to support positive change for yourself and the planet? Together we can find a better way.

This post is based on the principles explored in the new movie, "Letting Go: Transform Your Life, Transform the World." It is the culmination of more than three decades of experience with a simple, powerful, elegant and easy-to-learn technique that shows you how to tap your natural ability to let go instantaneously of any uncomfortable or unwanted feeling, thought or belief. For more information, visit www.LettingGo.tv or Sedona.com.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday celebration~

Lost, or Abducted Teenager

If you have seen Zoe (or her twin),

Call Mom immediately!

All kidding aside, my Zoe has been absent on the home front lately.  I miss her terribly. And, I am celebrating her independence and zest for life. She said to me this morning, as I was bemoaning her extended absence this Labor Day weekend, "Mom, I'm a teenager and I'm happy!" How lucky am I? She's right. She's healthy, happy, not in any trouble and loving life. So, I celebrate this today.

And seriously, if she doesn't return, I do have a wonderful room available!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Spiritual Guidance~

Health Tip ~ Beware of what you blog

I missed yesterday's health tip because I was having a melt down after several incidences that acted like tiny little scalpels to open me up to my own pain and grief.

It was not pretty~

Yesterday, I presented the Intent Heals workshop for a Hospice Bereavement group in Palm Coast. Holding space for this kind of pain and grief is genuinely difficult. For some reason, yesterday I was stirred on a deeper level -- although I did not know this at the time. While driving to another meeting, I received a very disappointing call that triggered me even more. I do not do well with bureaucracy, politics, and institutional fear that supercedes the well being of children.

By the time I arrived at my friend's house, I was fit to be tied and very in tune with my anger at the "system". I ranted and raved and truly thought I had expended my hot air. Emotions can be so tricky. The releasing of my anger brought me face to face with my grief and pain over my granddaughter. I had buried it so deep because I was between a rock and a hard place where I could do nothing. And being able to do NOTHING is unbearable for me.

As I cried, and embraced my pain, I realized I was feeling like Meryle Streep in Sophie's Choice.  An impossible situation with no clear solutions in sight.