Sep 30, 2013

Vitamin D

"There was a 25% jump in blood levels of vitamin D in people who popped the probiotic lactobacillus reuteri." Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Those of us who live in the northern hemisphere tend to have low vitamin D levels because it is difficult to get enough sunlight to produce the vitamin D in our bodies.  This is good news that there is another way to boost those levels.  However, I checked the probiotic I have in the refrigerator and it does not say lactobacillus reuteri; it says just lactobacillus acidophilus -- so apparently not all probiotics contain the same bacteria.  This might be worth checking out if you have been tested and told you have low levels of vitamin D in your blood. 

Sep 29, 2013

Telling the truth is an important thing to do in life, and I some times wonder how telling the truth compares to what Abraham recommends -- that we never resist anything.  Can we tell the truth without resisting something or someone?  That is a balance.  Perhaps the best way is to tell "the truth" without having to show someone else they are wrong.  Dysfunctional systems flourish in secrecy and in denying the truth, with truth being defined as the basic facts.  It is important in those cases to speak the facts when not doing so is affecting us personally.  Whenever anyone is being affected adversely, it is our ethical obligation to speak the facts about that.

Sep 28, 2013

Fall Colors

"The archangel Rafael's name means "Healer of God", and this archangel is gateway to fall."  Joan Borysenko

The colors have already started to change here, and the days seem so much shorter.  The dark evenings seem to come especially early.  According to Borysenko, fall is the perfect time to be introspective.  The energies of fall help to bring unconscious matter to consciousness.  It is also a time of healing between opposites.  Where I live always has a gorgeous fall.  It is a wonderful time to get out in and nature and spend some time in meditation.

Sep 27, 2013

Brain Food

"Noshing on the best brainy foods can lower your risk of dementia by a whopping 70 to 80%" Neal Barnard, MD

These brain foods are:

nuts and seeds
colorful vegetables
vitamin B12

An easy way to protect our brains is to eat these foods and take this supplement.

Sep 26, 2013

Homemade Sanitizer

"Avoid harsh chemicals and make your own hand sanitizer." Sarah Snow, green-living expert and author

1/2 cup pure aloe vera gel
1 1/2 teaspoon witch hazel
15 drops tea tree oil
5 drops lavender essential oil

I like to keep hand sanitizer in my purse, and this sounds like a lovely recipe. 

Sep 25, 2013

Open Minds

"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Terry Prachett

An amusing truism.  I like to maintain an open mind, and I have often been puzzled when people then try to convince me of their way of thinking.  Sometimes I have wondered if having an open mind can be misperceived by some as being weak.  It is not weak.  Having an open mind is the only way we can live life and learn by our experiences.  It does not mean that we do not have our own ideas and values; it does mean that we are willing to listen to your ideas --but,  listening to other's ideas does not mean we will adopt them.  It is just that people with open minds want to make sure they have considered all sides.  Having an open mind is a healthy way to live.

Sep 24, 2013


"Religion is belief in someone else's experience. Spirituality is having your own experience." Deepak Chopra

Someone quoted Deepak Chopra as saying, "Religion is for people who want to avoid hell.  Spirituality is for people who have already been there."  I'm not he actually said this, but it is an amusing truism.  People who are spiritual do seem to have integrated the unsavory aspects of themselves -- which is a journey all evolving souls must make.  A truly spiritual person is not going to say something incongruent from his/her behavior, because the soul journey enables one to be congruent in words and actions.  Is your experience internal and intimate with God as you understand God?

Sep 23, 2013

True Peace

"True peace is not the absence of war; it is the presence of God." Loveless

I read recently that Alfred Nobel made a fortune from his discovery of dynamite, and by his discovery, war was changed forever.  When Nobel died, he put in his will the creation of what we now know as the Nobel Peace Prize.  Interesting!  He made his fortune in something used for war, but he left his fortune to those who promote peace.  There are wars of some type going on across our planet every day.  Even in our own lives we may be 'at war' with an agency, a neighbor, a policy.  Does this serve us?  As was said in a recent blog, Abraham recommends, instead, that we align ourselves with what is right.  Aligning ourselves with what is right feels better, creates more harmony, promotes health of ourselves and others.  In what way can you align yourself with what is right in your life today?

Sep 22, 2013

How We Spend Our Time

"It is not the thing on which we spend the most time that moulds us, but the thing that exerts the greatest power.  Five minutes with God and His Word is worth more than all the rest of the day." Oswald Chambers

Whatever/Whoever one thinks of as God or the Divine or Source is powerful, and we are better people for spending time in reflection and quietude.  A day, and one's life, is different if we make spending time with God - as we understand God to be -- a priority in our lives.  But, I also think that the thing we spend the most time thinking about does mold us.  If what we spend our time thinking about is peace and well-being, that is reflected in our personality, our bodies, our relationships.  If what we spend most of our time thinking about is worrying or judgment, our bodies will be uptight, our countenance will be dimmed, and our relationships will be tense.  Our choice.  For the best balance, it seems to me, spend some time in quietude every day, and for the rest of the day train your mind to think positive thoughts.

Sep 21, 2013

Aging and Creativity

"Not all intellectual functions are preserved with age, but as processing power declines the brain can compensate in ways that actually enhance creativity." Jeffrey Kluger in article in Time, September 23, 2013, The Art of Living

This article stresses the benefits that more mature brains have in the area of creativity.  It cites as examples Grandma Moses, Frank Lloyd Wright, Benjamin Franklin --- all of whom had some of their greatest work in their later years.  The article also reminds us that happiness contributes to a longer life and reduces the chance of illness.  It is good for us to remember that happiness is a choice.  People in very similar situations can either be miserable or happy --- it is personal choice.  Volunteer work also contributes to lower mortality rates; and we, as caregivers, may feel we do quite enough 'volunteering' in the role of caregiver, but I find that other ways to volunteer benefit me.  There are many examples when we look around us of people who are producing notable works of creativity in their later years.  Let's be one of those people.

Sep 20, 2013

Top Regrets of the Dying

"1.  I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me." Bronnie Ware, palliative nurse interviewing people who were dying

The above quote was the most frequently expressed regret of the five regrets expressed by people who were dying, according to an article in  The other four regrets were:
2.  I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3.  I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4.  I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 
5.  I wish that I had let myself be happier.

No mention of more money, or sex, or adventure trips.  Just simple wishes that the person had been truer to him/herself and spent more time being happy and being connected to other people.  We can learn from these people who were dying.  We can do these things, so that we do not have them to regret. 

Sep 19, 2013

Regrets of Those Dying

"A palliative nurse who has counseled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'." Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse/Susie Steiner,

I already wish I had not worked so hard in my life, and it is something I say to Dwane -- we both have worked so hard.  I wish we had taken more trips, and I am so grateful for the ones we did take.  I wish we had played more, gone boating more, spent more time having fun.  Both of us were so oriented to working -- both inside and outside the home.  Our home always looked nice as a result, and we are able to pay for Dwane's care because of our continuing to work for pay and our careful stewarding of the money.  But.  I wish we had traveled more.  I wish we had planned more fun in our lives.  Now, when I see Dwane, I try to always schedule some fun -- even if it is just going out for an ice cream cone.  A balance of fun and work and recreation and socialization:  a well balanced life seems the ideal.

Sep 18, 2013

Avoiding Conflict

People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.
--Abigail Van Buren

There are so many opportunities for conflict.  Injustice is hard to ignore.  I am reminded of Mother Teresa's words when asked if she would attend a demonstration against war.  She is said to have responded, "No, but if you have a demonstration for peace, I will attend."  A big difference.  We have the war against drugs, fight for gun control, actual wars on the grounds in some areas, fights in football stadiums among fans (amazing!!! -- it is, after all, just a game.)  It can be tempting to join the fight against something, but I think that is a pitfall.  We are better served, instead, by putting our energies toward something that is going forward, rather than against something we want to change.  Feel the difference.  Fighting against something is struggle.  Being for something is ease.  I listened to an Abraham dvd recently, and they said that to be in a position of opposition ALWAYS puts us upstream --- working against the natural flow of our lives.  So, for today, let us be for peace, for harmony, for well-being.  Our support of those qualities will increase them in our lives.

Sep 17, 2013


"Only time can put the past in perspective, and only when the past is behind us, and not before us, can we be open enough and empty enough to truly feel what is about to happen." Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo talks about how the nautilus builds another spiral onto its shell in which to live; the rest of the shell is filled with gas to help the nautilus control its buoyancy.  The nautilus can be an example of how to live.  We need to learn the lessons life has to teach us.  We hold these lessons in our hearts, but it is only in living present to the moment that we can really be alive.  Like the nautilus, the past can serve us.  The past can give us buoyancy to live the present.  We cannot turn the pages of life until we learn the lesson from what is on that page.  Having learned that lesson, we store the lessons softly in our heart, and this enables us to live more fully in the present. 

Sep 16, 2013

Happier as We Get Older

"One has increased emotional well-being as one ages." Stanford University

Even with aches and pains, the research says we get happier as we get older.  Our marriages also get better, and our relationships get deeper and richer.  We have less emotional swings.  Volunteering is the single most consistent predictor of cognitive well-being in people over age 72, according to research done by Case Western Reserve.  These are all ways we can continue to experience happiness, cognitive health, and well being as we progress through life.  Volunteering not only gives us social outlets, it also can give us a sense of meaning. 

Sep 15, 2013

Peace Begins at Home

"Peace is not the absence of demand, disturbance, suffering, it is the presence of good will." Sister Genevieve Glen

When I was a young mother, it occurred to me that the atmosphere in the home was dependent upon the person most in the home, and at that time, that was me.  Of course, those people coming into and out of a home also affect the atmosphere, but as the host or hostess of the home, we can set an atmosphere of utter respect, peace, calmness and good will.  Part of that peace is the elimination of any negative talk.  Negative talk is very draining on the spirit.  Negative thoughts are draining on the person who has them, but negative talk is draining upon the whole atmosphere -- and it must not be tolerated when the focus is on good mental health.  Negative talk is toxic to all within earshot.  Let us commit to eliminating negative thoughts and even more importantly, negative talk. 

Sep 14, 2013

Happy as We Grow Older

"Aging is associated with increased levels of emotional well being".  Stanford University

This may seem odd, as we all have known older people who spend great amounts of time complaining, but the research indicates that as we age, we enjoy more emotional well-being.  It makes sense.  As we mature, gone are the emotional dramas that seem to accompany the younger ages.  We seem to have our priorities more clearly in mind.  Little things may not bother us as much as they used to.  We may no longer put an emphasis on achievement.  We may have more time for creative expression, with the children raised, and we may have more freedom from work schedules.  Whatever the reasons, the research is clear:  we are happier as we grow older.  What are your happy about right now in your life?

Sep 13, 2013


"Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere." Albert Einstein

The above quote seems a funny thing for a man so renowned in science to have said.  But I have also read that Einstein's greatest inspirations came from flashes of insight.  Einstein is also the person who said that all he really wanted was to know the mind of God, and it seems that he placed a high value on imagination and inspiration.  There are currently teachers who recommend that we imagine our future lives the way we want them to be.  Especially before going to sleep, if we imagine how we want our lives to look, the effect is powerful.  Speaking in encouraging manner about ourselves and others helps us to create the lives we want, and then to imagine the life we want - like movies in our mind - brings this life more into reality.

Sep 12, 2013


Real love pours itself out upon the object of its affection, without demanding any return.
--Florence Scovel Shinn

The above author wrote a charming book, The Game of Life, which teaches positive thinking long before it became more mainstream.  Have you had the experience of real love?  When I am with my granddaughter, I know I am experiencing real love toward her and receiving it back.  She effuses happiness and love.  With adults, we may have learned that it is not safe to pour our love out.  By the time we are adults we will have had some people hurt us and reject the love we poured upon them.  That is just part of the life of being human:  to experience rejection of our love.  Let us not let those experiences lead us to misunderstand and hold back on loving.  Real love is poured out and has no expectations.  Real love heals us.  Let us risk really loving ourselves and others.. 

Sep 11, 2013

Our Beliefs

"The subjective mind always responds to us according to our beliefs.  Whatsoever we entertain mentally has no choice but to materialize in our lives." Sunshine Daye

Recently I was discussing beliefs with some friends.  Prejudices are based on beliefs:  a belief that the other person is some how different and, in that difference inferior, to oneself.  People who are prosperous have the belief that being prosperous is possible for them.  Our beliefs are often ones we inherited, or - as Bruce Lipton would say - downloaded, from the people around us without our conscious awareness when we were very young.  We each inherited beliefs about our own ability to be happy, successful, loved, and prosperous from the families into which we were born.  It is great if these beliefs we acquired from our families support what we want in life, but troublesome if they do not support what we want.  We can change the beliefs that do not support what we want in life.  By becoming consciously aware of what we belief, we can change that belief.  Our lives will reflect the beliefs we have.  Let us make sure our beliefs support the life we want. 

Sep 10, 2013

Being Still

"All the wisdom traditions say to be still -- that the stillness will bore holes in our useless knowing.  But how do we begin?  Every time you find yourself sorting life in your head, stop and notice what the brightest spot of light around you is touching."  Mark Nepo

Many traditions say, "Be Still and Know God".  There must be something to being still.  Nepo tells a story of a Hindu sage who was visited by two learned scientists.  The sage told the scientists to empty their minds of all they had learned, and then to return.  It is not that knowledge is bad.  We have evolved as humans as we have learned to read, communicate effectively, discover antibiotics.  But, learning cannot take the place of inspiration -- which comes from the Divine.  And, inspiration comes when we are still, silent and open -- without the rumination of thoughts that we so often have.  Meditation helps us be still, so too does nature.  How do you find stillness? 

Sep 9, 2013

Keeping Your Brain Healthy

"Exercise is the best thing you can do for your brain."  Laura L. Carstensen, Stanford Center on Longevity

No other single thing is as good for the brain as exercise.  Cognitive decline is not inevitable.  The brain continues to make new neurons and fine tune neural connections for as long as we live.  Aerobic exercise jump starts the creation of new brain cells.  Exercise reduces brain loss and keeps cognitive skills sharp.  Exercise slashes your risk of Alzheimer's in half and the risk of dementia by 60%.  Exercise boosts the flow of blood in the brain, releasing the brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which has been called "Miracle-Gro for the Brain."  This chemical stimulates the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus, the area of the brain linked with learning and memory.  Just 2 1/2 hours a week gives us these benefits.  Let's get moving!

Sep 8, 2013

Higer Self

"We first come into contact with the archetype of the Higher Self through stories involving heroes, wise women and men, kings and queens, prophets and saviors, and people who stretch the limits of what we consider 'normal'."  Dr. Joan Borysenko

Dr. Borysenko goes on to say that Errol Flynn was one of her heroes.  Hero is a non-gender term, so it can be either male or female.  Who were your heroes?  I remember being entranced by the deeds and magic of a girl who could make herself just as small as "sniffles", a mouse; and then she could do magical things.  Later, I was captivated by Wonder Woman.  My heroes seem to have contained both women and men.  I did admire Gene Autrey.  My sister and I would sit on the edge of our seats watching a Superman short in a Saturday matinee.  We need our heroes, so that we can find the hero in ourselves.  Each of us must, in order to be a fully developed human, take the hero's journey, which is the quest to find our true selves.  Outer models of heroes helps us in that quest. 

Sep 7, 2013

Study About Brain Health

"Researchers are looking at 'super agers' - people who are in their 80s and 90s but with brains and memories that seem far younger."

Neuroscientist Emily Rogalski of Northwestern University says we are living long but we're not necessarily living well in our older years.  This SuperAging study hopes to find the factors that help people live long and well.  Participants take memory tests and have special MRI scans.  In super agers, the brain's cortex is thicker than typical in 80 and 90 year olds.  Deep within the brain, a small region called the anterior cingulate - important for attention -- is even bigger than what might be expected in someone age 50.  These superagers also have more energy than most people their age and share a positive, inquisitive outlook.  All the more reason for us to look at the positive side of things, remain socially active, and continue to learn new things. 

Sep 6, 2013

Autumn in the Air

"For everything there is a season." Shakespeare

Although still hot here with some violent hail storms, the trees are showing a hint of autumn.  Hard to imagine.  Nature and life both have seasons.  There is a season to grow up, a season to be productive, and a season to slow down.  What season of life are you in?   It is so important to focus on what is right in one's life --- the benefits of that show up in our health, our finances, our relationships.  What is right in your life right now?  For me, I have relationships I cherish, work that is rewarding, service that gives me meaning.  What is right for you? 

Sep 5, 2013

Soft Expectations of Good

"Have soft expectations of good occurring for you."  Abraham

What a lovely way to live:  to have soft expectations of good occurring at all times on all levels.  Listening to a dvd of Abraham, that is what was told someone who wanted to create a business for himself.  According to Abraham, it is important to avoid negative feelings (they call that headed upstream).  Whenever one notices experiencing a negative emotion, the idea is to turn toward a slightly better-feeling emotion.  Doing that again and again has a person arriving at the highest-vibrating emotions:  love, appreciation, freedom, joy.  Good advice and a good practice to implement.

Sep 4, 2013

Be Happy Here Now

"Find joy where you are." Abraham

The essence of what Abraham says is, "Find joy where you are."  Do not focus on what we do not have, do not yearn for what we think is better -- just be happy where we are.  It is such a good discipline to be content, right here and right now.  We can either focus on what is wrong, or we can focus on what is right.  It serves us best to focus on what is right in our experiences, and to be happy within that. 

Sep 3, 2013

Money Worries Effect

"People worrying about having enough money to pay their bills tend to lose temporarily the equivalent of 13 IQ points, scientists found when they gave intelligence tests to shoppers at a New Jersey mall and farmers in India."  Eldar Shafir, Princeton University

Now there is research evidence of the damage that worrying about money causes.  Those of us who are caregivers not only have all the responsibility of carefully stewarding money, but we have the worry of wondering if there will be enough to meet the needs of the person with dementia, and enough left over to see us through our time here on earth.  Financial stress monopolizes thinking, leaving less energy for creative thinking.  One may think we are just thinking of Third World countries, but the money-and-brain crunch applies to over 100 million Americans who face financial squeezes.  The research is not about poverty, but about those people struggling to make ends meet.  Money worries take over the functioning of the brain, leaving less brain power to deal with other things.  For people who are poor, it may not be their values but their situations that impair their decision-making.  For those of us who are caregivers, we need to do the best we can to prepare for and pay for services needed.  And, beyond that, we need to do what we can to stop worrying. 

Sep 2, 2013


"Everything you can imagine is real." Pablo Picasso

Perhaps Picasso was speaking of his art work, but perhaps not.  Perhaps he was an early believer that our brains do not know the difference between reality and what we imagine, so it benefits us to imagine what we want to experience.  Long ago a lovely therapist taught me that the brain cannot tell the difference between the upsetting end of a dream or an ending you consciously revise, and if this is true, then it must also be true that the brain cannot tell the difference between what is reality and what we tell it is reality.  Then it behooves us to "see" reality in ways that best serve us.  We all know that people can describe the same situation very differently.  Some will speak of its negative aspects, some will speak of its positive aspects, and others blend the two.  If everything we imagine is true, let us see, expect and experience the positive aspects of all experiences. 

Sep 1, 2013

Protein in Hippocampus

"A specific protein in the hippocampus area of the brain is essential for memory.  In recent tests in mice, increasing the levels of that protein, increased memory."  NBC news

What good potential news for people with memory difficulties and those people who love them.  It would be so wonderful if brain research would result in a simple, effective way to prevent and/or eliminate dementia and neurological disorders, like Parkinson's Disease.  With the research just in mice, it will be some time before we humans see benefit; but it is hopeful.