Gratitude and Appreciation

Sun set from my kitchen window
Standard

My computer picked up a bug a couple of weeks ago. I am sure that a lot of you know the feelings of panic and despair that immediately surface as the realization sets in that you have to wipe the whole setup and go back to factory “scratch” mode. I tried to stay calm, but after several days without access to my computer during the fixing process and a lot of other things going on that needed immediate attention on line, I lost my patience and cool. I had a bad day, because I let my circumstances and thoughts about them dictate my mood.

I picked myself up quite a few times that day, only to fall back into the same mood again and again. I asked myself what I could be grateful for, found something small, to be overshadowed by my reality soon after. I had not felt this bad for a long time and decided that I was not going down that road again and letting it get a hold of me completely. In the end I dusted off my old lap top and handled the most urgent issues from a pink screen with double letters and went to have a coffee with a friend up the street. Now I appreciated the fact that I had hung on to my old laptop instead of donating it to a family member, as hubby had suggested after I bought the new one, and having a friend living so close that is often home for a chat. It is always good to listen to someone else’s problems for a bit to get your mind off your own. It makes you realize that problems are part of life and everyone has them. In hindsight they are always less dramatic, even beneficial!

This event had me annoying dear hubby to the max too, because he is my only “go to” person when it comes to computer issues. Unfortunately he is no “nerd” and knows only a little more than me, so what I am asking him to do for me is very stressful for him as well. The first attempt that took several days, failed to produce a useful result (our upset state of mind surely would not have helped), so he did it again when we both had calmed down a bit more. (mentally sending him some gratitude and appreciation once more right now)

This time worked a lot better and now, after a busy week away with extra work and little time besides breakfast to look at my screen, I can finally say that I am happily typing away again with everything I need in place. It has been a time consuming process with many hours waiting for things to download and looking through my 400 page notepad for hints to all my passwords to regain access to all my accounts. My old computer has started to cooperate a bit better in the last few days too, with the screen in a more forward position propped up on an angle that allows me to see it clearly. I have decided to leave it on the table a bit longer to watch the odd movie or lecture from my relaxation spot in the house and am grateful I pulled it out again.

Seeing that I had not had too many happy things to write about lately, let alone could write much, it was time to put a story to my blog page about an earlier event that I had wanted to write about for quite some time now.

It was not long after Winter that one of the neighbors over the back fence decided after a bad storm that it was safer to create a bonsai out of their old gum tree near their fence. Gum trees are very hardy and when cut, the stump will grow shoots again. I had always loved how that majestic tree attracted the lorikeets when in flower and I looked at them a lot from my kitchen window. I could not help but be at least a bit disappointed with their decision.

A couple of weeks later we had a beautiful sun set and all of a sudden it dawned on me that I had missed all the previous ones because the tree had blocked the view! I could now finally find appreciation for the missing tree that gave us back our sun sets!

I feel like my happy self again once more and can’t help but wonder what sort of “beautiful sun set” will be revealed shortly after the “bad” week I have just experienced. I guess what I am saying is to keep trying to look for things to appreciate and eventually all problems big or small will get solved revealing the good that comes out of it all again and again. What are your experiences with this?

Advertisements

Life lessons found in unexpected places

Standard

“When Yates cut the rope, Simpson plummeted down the cliff and into a deep crevasse. Exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, Yates dug himself a snow cave to wait out the storm. The next day, Yates carried on descending the mountain by himself. When he reached the crevasse he realized the situation that Simpson had been in and what had happened when he cut the rope. After calling for Simpson and hearing no reply, Yates made the assumption that Simpson had died and so continued down the mountain alone.

Simpson, however, was still alive. He had survived the 150-foot fall despite his broken leg and had landed on a small ledge inside the crevasse. When Simpson regained consciousness, he discovered that the rope had been cut and realized that Yates would presume that he was dead. He therefore had to save himself. It was impossible for Simpson to climb up to the entrance of the crevasse (because of the overhanging ice and his broken leg). Therefore his only choice was to lower himself deeper into the crevasse and hope that there was another way out. After lowering himself, Simpson found another small entrance and climbed back onto the glacier via a steep snow slope.

inside a crevasse

inside a crevasse

From there, Simpson spent three days without food and with almost no water, crawling and hopping five miles back to their base camp. This involved navigating the glacier (which was scattered with more crevasses) and the moraines below. Exhausted and almost completely delirious, he reached base camp only a few hours before Yates intended to return to civilization. Simpson’s survival is widely regarded by mountaineers as amongst the most amazing pieces of mountaineering lore.[4] “ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touching_the_Void

Base camp

Base camp

Over Winter my friend and fellow blogger Felicia wrote a post about a movie that had inspired her. If you like to read it here is the link: http://embracethesoul.com/2014/08/05/yes-when-opportunity-calls/. This post reminded me of a movie I watched over a decade ago,  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touching_the_Void_(film)) that taught me an important life lesson, which has served me well since the day I watched it, that I wish to share here with you.

What impacted me the most about Simpson was his approach to the impossible task ahead of him when he realized that his climbing partner had left. The movie (I can only give you a link to the trailer for copyright reasons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9Y6MNyWp6s) goes into a lot more detail about his trip back to base camp than the above article I found on Wikipedia, so if you have the time, watch it first (from your own trustworthy video rental places on line or local stores), before you read on and find me spoiling all the suspense.

At the time I watched the movie I was a different person to what I feel I am today. I was nervous, insecure and easily overwhelmed by the multiple tasks I felt I had to do every day, so you can imagine my awe for Simpson as I watched him crawl his way back to base camp with his broken leg in such extreme conditions! My awe for this achievement has only grown with attending several incidents involving broken legs, seeing the resulting pain first hand in casualties, as a first aider in the last 7 years.

What I remember most was how he dealt with it. Contrary to my own way of looking at tasks, he first set himself an achievable one. He said to himself: “If I can drag myself to that rock over there, I improve my chance of survival”. Then, after he managed to do it, he looked for the next section he could see himself making. He did not dwell on the big picture ahead, but chose to focus on what he expected to be achievable at that moment. The result was an amazing achievement that saved his life!

There are many more benefits that came out of this ordeal as a result of him sharing his experience, that are impossible to see and measure in it’s entirety, with so many people that have seen the movie or read his book. All I can do is share what it has done for me since I have started implementing this life lesson in my own life. I now understand the importance of setting a small achievable task or in other words segmenting the big ones. I do not get overwhelmed any more, feel happier, live more in the “now” and look for more inspiration and life lessons in stories about experiences of others that successfully dealt with their hurdles! You can always find someone who went through more than yourself! This has helped me grow as a person, realize how strong people can be and has even given me better tools to help ease the suffering of the first aid casualties I come across.

I did not realize the full impact this movie had on me until years later, as it took some time for me to change my old ingrained habits, but I am so GLAD I watched it when I did! Have you seen any movies or doco’s that made a big impact on your life? Please share in the comments below. I look forward to your suggestions 😉

With love and gratitude,

Pollyesther

How my Illness made me healthier than ever

Standard

My mum was a very caring “stay at home” mum, who loved running a good household. There wasn’t a moment she didn’t have time for me whilst doing her duties as well. As most children, I suffered my share of childhood illnesses like the measles, chickenpox, the regular cold and occasional flue. When that happened it was very comforting to know that mum would go out of her way to make me feel as comfortable as possible in my condition. She would make me a cup of chicken stock and give me the medication the doctor prescribed. Sometimes she would buy me a little gift to feel better and sit by my bed a bit more then usual. I think she was so good to me because she could relate to feeling bad with chronic health problems herself. I guess you could say that to me as a small child it was a bit of a special time to be ill and it felt good to be spoiled despite the discomfort of the illness.

Now from a different perspective in adulthood, I realise that all that special treatment made me feel good and that I wanted more of that feeling, so as a consequence I “found” myself sick more often! (This is NOT a suggestion to neglect comforting ill children, but to try create balance and to encourage them to focus on the more rewarding benefits of being well). I was later diagnosed with Asthma, Hay Fever and other allergies as well as becoming known at the doctor’s as the kid with the unusual symptoms that could not be diagnosed and left him puzzled. I still remember what he jokingly said every time I came to see him: “Your a strange child and that’s what you are!” Mind you, he did sometimes have some strange ways of expressing his thoughts. One time I went to a Summer holiday camp and came down with a mysterious flecked skin and feeling unwell, conveniently at the moment I decided I had enough of being there…By the time mum picked me up and we arrived at the doctor’s, the skin had returned to looking normal! This memory proved to me that the mind does indeed influence the body.

As I since have learned while trying to understand my health issues, everyone has the ability to “make themselves sick” (mostly accidentally, unintentionally and subconscious) for whatever reason, but on the flip side if we focus on being healthy and feel good about being healthy we really can achieve good health. I discovered that being healthy is not a blessing, it is a choice! (It is not a brain one but a choice with determination you feel deep down from the bottom of your chest.) I made that choice when I finally realised that being sick was interfering with my life too much and holding me back from what I liked doing.

The final drop that caused me to feel very angry at the health care system and solidified my decision to ultimately free myself from all medication, was the response of a skin specialist I saw when I was about 19. After years of using cortisone cream and not seeing any improvement in my skin problem, I was getting desperate for a cure. It was so bad, I had to keep my hair from touching my face not to aggravate it. It would feel like my skin was on fire, also turning bright red in large patches and when that subsided it would itch really bad and the skin would peel off. I had to take the train for an hour to see this expert specialist, that was supposed to be able to do what the local specialists could not. After several appointments I straight out demanded to know what the cause was, as it seemed that not one of the many specialists I had seen for this problem had been able to tell me that. He did not hesitate to tell me that “stress” was the cause. Ok, that was great news, now I knew how to get rid of the skin problem, just get rid of the stress! In my opinion, if stress was the cause I should go and see a psychiatrist to combat stress instead of a skin specialist who gave me cortisone cream that was not having any positive effects on stress or the skin problem whatsoever! His response was: “That would not work, would you like another prescription for the cream?”!!! I felt so let down (and more stressed out), that I did not want to waste any more time than absolutely necessary in a doctors office!

I started “finding” the right information, every time I was ready to learn the next step, in books, health magazines and things people said to me. I discovered that my skin problem was caused by an allergic reaction to nail polish, after reading about that possibility in one of the books I found about curing allergies. It completely went away after I stopped using nail polish in less than a couple of weeks! I was baffled that those “clever” skin specialists never looked at my beautifully manicured hands! Despite my anger at them at the time, I am now extremely glad they didn’t, because that was the turnaround point in my life. This “victory” was the moment where I became ready to start taking responsibility for my own health. This ultimately has led me to start this blog to reach others that might need to hear what I have found out the hard way. Now I am back at a point that I can honestly say that there is definitely a need for doctors and they do good work too, but be selective if you need one and find the doctor that understands your needs and treats you as you deserve, with respect!

It took several years of changing my eating habits, finding the right (mostly mineral) supplements to boost my immune system and going to alternative health practitioners. I slowly changed the way I thought about health and what is possible. I can now confidently say I am completely free of any medication for the first time in my life and feel better now than when I was in my teens and twenties! I made the choice to be healthy and free of medication and things “fell into place” to make it a reality and I have learned to embrace life again! (I still catch an occasional cold like everyone else, but the severity has decreased dramatically and now not even once a year, 6x less than before.)

Now I can hear you think: “But what about the more serious and life threatening Illnesses, what about incurable diseases?” Well, I am glad I never let it get that far, but in my studies to regain my own health I have stumbled on many so called “miracles” that other people have written about, like Kit Campbell, who beat Crohn’s disease ( http://kitcampbell.com/about-kit/ ). That proves to me that the decision to focus on health also works for those cases, depending on the individuals ability to believe (and feel) the “unbelievable” and to read their inner compass.

For those that would like to learn more about the subject and aid their recovery from so called “chronic” and/or “terminal” illness, besides having the guidance of a good qualified doctor and/or specialist, I also recommend to look into works by Bruce Lipton PhD ( https://www.brucelipton.com/about ), Lissa Rankin MD ( http://lissarankin.com/ ), Andrew Weil MD ( http://www.drweil.com/ ), and others like them, who are much more knowledgeable, regarding the way the body and mind really work together, than me. Have an open mind, relearn to feel your own intuition and you will find your own miracles. I am glad I found my health, because it gave me so much more!

“I admit that thoughts influence the body.” —Albert Einstein-

Quoted by W. Hermanns in A Talk with Einstein, October 1943. AEA 55–285. http://einstein.biz/quotes.php