Are you having a near-life experience?

© GLOW IMAGES (model used for illustrative purposes only)

© GLOW IMAGES (model used for illustrative purposes only)

The famous John Lennon quote, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” makes us question if we’re really living in the present.  Have the ever-increasing speed of life and the growing options technology provides caused us to opt out of appreciating today?  Wendy Margolese, my north of the Minnesota border colleague up in Ontario, shares some practical and healing insights to help our day-to-day experience become more real and satisfying.  Here’s Wendy…

The pace of life has picked up speed – and most of us feel like we are always running to catch up.  Some days pass in a blur of phone calls, text messages, and kids’ activities – maybe all at the same time!

Author Max Strom has coined the phrase ‘near-life experience’ in his recent book, ‘There Is No App for Happiness’.  This type of life is characterized by experiences we are not completely engaged in and present with; a life that leaves us feeling that something is missing despite how busy we are.

Advances in technology have led to constant connectivity to information and to people.  Although this has brought some good things into our lives (I can Skype with my family living in another country), statistics say we do not feel a sense of satisfaction in life.  If anything, we have become dissatisfied; and stress has become a constant companion.  And that’s not good for our health.

Please click here to read the rest in its original context…

Celebrate religious freedom on the Fourth of July

@Glowimages: The Statue of Liberty, New York City, United States of America with the Stars and Stripes flag in the foreground

© GLOW IMAGES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Southern California colleague, Don Ingwerson, reminds us that a big part of why we celebrate our independence this weekend, is freedom to practice the religion of our choice.  That idea often gets drowned out by fun and fireworks.  And the prayer that’s at the center of religion can bring freedom from sickness.  Here’s Don…

Is July 4 just a day for barbecues, friends and family?

It seemed that way to a friend of mine a few years ago at an Independence Day neighborhood gathering. He was surprised to learn that most of the children attending didn’t know why they were celebrating….

One of the bedrocks of our country, which many other nations tragically lack, is the commitment to religious freedom we have maintained through the years. Yet I have learned such commitment requires fresh renewal with each generation. We can’t take for granted that all our citizens will understand and appreciate this crucial component of our history, nor recognize how vital it is that it should continue.

Please click here to read the rest in its original context…

Empathy: crucial for effective healthcare

© GLOW IMAGES (model used for illustrative purposes only)

© GLOW IMAGES (model used for illustrative purposes only)

Can the caring at the heart of healthcare sometimes seem to get lost?

Many think it does, as classic family physicians have been increasingly replaced by time-constrained, clinical specialists.

Among doctors, such caring used to be called a “good bedside manner”.  And after more than a generation of specialized training focused on medical knowledge and technical acumen, the value of empathy is being re-discovered and taught as an essential skill.

It improves the experience of both patients and doctors when medical professionals express clinical empathy, according to the Kaiser Health news service.  The patient feels understood and cared about, has a better outcome and is more satisfied.  The doctor in turn gets a better rating, faces less risk of malpractice suits and experiences decreased burnout.  The whole system is benefited.  (SeeEfforts to Instill Empathy Among Doctors are Paying Dividends.”)

I too have learned how powerful empathy can be, in my journey as a practitioner of Christian Science healing.  But I view it from a slightly different angle.  To me, empathy for patients is not just a technique to show you understand another person’s emotions and share their feelings.  Rather, it’s at the core of our desire to help one another.  As children of a loving Creator, the capacity to care for each other is innate in all of us. Continue reading

PTSD Treatment: Symptoms or Souls?

@Glowimages 022319.

© GLOW IMAGES

News reports on the current state of American veterans are beyond devastating — over 10 times more veterans have been lost to suicide than to combat operations in the same time period, at a rate that’s averaging 22 suicides per day!  My Virginia colleague, Richard Geiger, shares examples of treatments that go deeper and have more success than the standard drug-based, symptom-focused ones.  Here’s Rich….

After the showing of “American Sniper,” the audience around me at our local theater—perhaps like at yours—remained silent.  Long minutes passed before people quietly rose and shuffled out.

I think we were sharing heartbreak.

We were sharing an urgency for dominion over combat trauma called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The number of affected veterans and families is growing.  And, as many dedicated care-givers work to find solutions, one fact is emerging:  one method of treatment does not fit everyone….

“The need for non-drug treatment options is a significant and urgent public health imperative,” says NCCIH Director Josephine Briggs, MD.  Urgent, because the need for cure is growing, and also because conventional drug treatments aren’t working over the long haul.  In many cases, drug dependencies are created instead–without any real cure in sight.

Please click here to read the rest in its original context…

Re-thinking our self imposed limitations

Man inside a  bubble

© GLOW IMAGES (model used for illustrative purposes only)

The first words in my Twitter profile are:  “Breaking free of limits!”  So, I’m delighted to share this inspiring story from my British Columbian colleague, Anna Bowness-Park.  She tells how a shift in her mental approach freed her from fear and pain; and transformed what could have been a disaster into a “spiritual adventure.”  Here’s Anna….

Canadian Olympic gold medalist Adam Kreek was not happy.  A new member of the team was a better rower than him, consistently beating him at races.  Although annoyed, Kreek was also curious.  What made this young rower more successful?  So, over coffee he asked the question.  The response was surprising.  “I seek failure,” said his teammate.

Expanding this idea in an entertaining and thoughtful TedX Talk in Victoria in 2013, Kreek went on to explain his teammate’s comment.  Imagine yourself with a bubble around you.  That bubble is your self-imposed limitations; how you see your abilities and what you believe about your capabilities.  Kreek stressed that breaking through that bubble is the first step to understanding our true abilities.  It is a vital part of understanding how we unwittingly limit ourselves in every avenue of life, including our health.

What was interesting, was that Kreek’s teammate did not talk about diet, fitness or modern technology as what helped him be a better athlete.  He talked of a mental app; if you like,  a change of thought about how he sees himself….

This is something I learned in a small way that forever altered how I see life….

Please click here to read the rest in its original context…

Malala Yousafzai and the healing power of forgiveness

malala1The world seems caught up in an endless cycle of attack and retribution.  Whether on an intimate, national or global sectarian level, mankind seems hopelessly drawn toward answering violence with violence.  But there is another way.  My colleague from British Columbia, Anna Bowness-Park, explains how one young girl’s example of forgiveness is having a powerful healing effect and leading us to peace.  Here’s Anna…

Is there a way to heal the effects of violence in our communities?

2014 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner, Malala Yousafzai, is not only convinced there is, but she lives what she believes.  At just 15 years old, she survived a brutal attack by a young “Talib” who shot her in the head on a school bus in Pakistan.  Her crime – in his eyes – was having the audacity, as a girl, to want to work toward an education!

When speaking at the United Nations in 2013, she said she knew her life was threatened long before the attack, and wondered what she would do if faced by a man with a gun.  She remembered thinking to herself:

“If he comes to kill me, what do you do, Malala?  I thought I would take my shoe and hit him.  Then I thought, ‘if you hit a man with a shoe, you would be no different to the Talib.  You must not treat others with that much cruelty and that much harshly.’”

In this description of her first reaction to the Taliban threat, we may think it merely the self-defence response of a child.  But in her culture, to throw a shoe at someone is a mark of deep disrespect.  What Malala was really saying is that disrespect was not on her agenda.  She wanted to have a conversation – to show respect for her attacker, rather than contempt and hatred.

Please click here to read the rest in its original context…

How Christmas relates to healing

@Glowimages MCG02393.
© GLOW IMAGES

I grew up not knowing the real origin of Christmas.  Our family still celebrated Christmas (and Hanukkah) with presents and decorations, food and fun.  But I wasn’t familiar with the story of Jesus’ birth, which as the saying goes is “the reason for the season.”

Fast forward to early adulthood, where I’d begun to read the Bible and practice spiritual healing through Christian Science.  I experienced quick healing of a wound – in a way that would be considered physically impossible.

One evening, I was trimming my mustache and slipped.  The scissor blade went deep into my upper lip.  At that moment, along with pain and surprise, I had another response that came from my spiritual study.

I recalled an account I’d read that day about a woman working in a restaurant.  While using an electric appliance with one hand, she reached out with the other to turn off a dripping faucet – causing a huge electric shock to grip her. Continue reading

#GratitudeChallenge: From the Trivial to the Transformational

@Glowimages MEE00810.

© GLOW IMAGES

My Massachusetts colleague, Ingrid Peschke, examines current gratitude fads.  She drills down to the profound, healing impact that true thanksgiving can have on our health and happiness.

She observes, “I’ve found that gratitude can be most beneficial when it feels as though there’s nothing to be grateful for.  In those dark moments, I’ve gotten better at detecting a deceptive view of my circumstances and focusing on the good instead.”  Here’s Ingrid…

My Facebook feed this summer included a steady stream of lists from friends who accepted one of the numerous gratitude challenges circulating social media spheres.  I read their posts with curious interest, but I secretly hoped I wouldn’t be asked to take on the challenge, too!

Sharing gratitude in an open forum can sometimes come off as trite.  Besides, people seem to be popping gratitude like it’s the latest wonder drug.  A recent Salon.com article addresses the current Western trend toward gratitude and mindfulness as a kind of “spiritual meritocracy,” or spirituality lite.  The author writes:

Please click here to read the rest in its original context…

Defeating fear of Ebola will help defeat Ebola

© GLOW IMAGES (model used for illustrative purposes only)

I’m not an authority on dealing physically with contagious diseases but I do know about handling fear.  I’ve learned that stopping fear of disease can go a long way toward stopping disease itself.

The Christian Science Monitor quoted Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group:  “There are two kinds of contagion, one is related to the virus itself and the other is related to the spread of fear about the virus.  Both contagions must be defeated.”

This Daily Mail article agrees that worry and fear are often unhealthy and linked to various health problems:  “Ebola: A crash course in fear and how it hurts us.”  (See related article, “Five Rock Solid Ways to Master Fear.)

Just how connected the contagion of fear about Ebola is to the actual spread of the virus is becoming more widely understood.  What happens in our thinking does not stay in our thinking.  Fears can be manifested in our bodies.  Protecting ourselves and our communities from Ebola and wiping it out, is as much about what we do mentally as physically. Continue reading

Is spiritual-based healing weird?

prayer-booth-580 jpg

Photo courtesy Zach Alexander, licensed under Creative Commons

My Texas colleague, Keith Wommack, uses a simple analogy to explain how spiritualizing our thinking to heal our body can go from new and strange, to natural and effective.  Here’s Keith…

While in a meeting, a newspaper editor, after learning that I practiced spiritual-based healing, said, “Since Christian Science is weird, it … ”

The editor stopped mid-sentence, looked at me, and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry.  I didn’t mean to say weird. I’m so sorry.”

After the editor apologized several more times, I said, “Forget about it. It’s okay,” and we went back to our pleasant discussion.

The editor’s “Weird” comment reminded me of ’73.  In 1973, I was in Brad Shearer‘s kitchen.  Brad and I attended high school together.  He was a star football player who went on to play for the Texas Longhorns and the Chicago Bears.

While in Brad’s kitchen, I watched as he took a large glass measuring cup and cracked eight eggs into it.  After whipping the eggs, he opened the door of a small machine, placed the measuring cup inside, closed the door, and turned a dial.  A minute or so later, he opened the door, took out the cup, and began eating the eggs with a fork.  Weird!

Weird, because in ’73 I had never heard of, much less, seen a microwave oven.  How did those eggs cook in just a minute?

Just as the microwave seemed weird to me in ’73, the thought of providing prayer for illness or pain can seem the same to you when you first encounter it.  However, both are effective.  Both utilize laws.  The microwave transforms food. Spiritual treatments can transform people.  Both accomplish this from the inside out.

please click here to read the rest in its original context