Welcome to the February newsletter. I hope it finds you all doing well. So, yeah, February seems to be most known for Valentine’s Day, well, that and my birthday of course. I don’t like Valentine’s Day, though, never have.
I’m not sure why exactly, maybe its all the hype we have going on around us that somehow forces us to think if we don’t get a special present or our significant other doesn’t really do something amazing for us to show their love, that perhaps we aren’t really “loved” enough or perhaps we aren’t special enough. When in reality we all know that it is the jewelers, candy makers and florists who benefit from this particular “event”.
I was reminded recently, though that Valentine's Day is a symbolic celebration of love and that each and every one of us is here to experience love. We experience love in a variety of ways including heartache, healing, romance, sex, trust and faith. Valentine's Day should be and is for every person whether you are single, dating, partnered, married or alone. The message really is that you need to be in love with you; understand that you are uniquely perfect just as you are. Make the day special, do something for yourself that you love to do, call the people you care for, your friends, kids, family, best friends and tell them you love them. Love is contagious, so why not spread it around a bit.
I usually do an article about relationships (just like everybody else) but not this year. I want to thank Debra for recently reminding me about just how important compassion is. This world does not have enough compassion in it, or at least that’s how it sometimes seems. So in honor of Valentines Day, Love and Compassion, I hope you enjoy my article on …
I have found several definitions for the word “Compassion”, some which I like and others I do not like at all.
First, com•pas•sion. A noun. Definition: sympathy: sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help.
Next, Compassion, n. [F., fr. L. compassio, fr. compati to have compassion; com- + pati to bear, suffer. See Patient.] Definition: Literally, suffering with another; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. "Womanly ingenuity set to work by womanly compassion." Macaulay. Synonyms -- Pity; sympathy; commiseration; fellow-feeling; mercy; condolence. See Pity.
then, Compassion (Com*pas’sion), v. t. Definition: To pity. [Obs.] Shak. [I don’t care much for this one]
And the last one which I like the best, the definition of compassion is: “Wanting others to be free from suffering.”
I think that those of us who (through our writing, lectures, workshops, classes or whatever) have chosen to help those people who seek our help, often say or write the same words, phrases, ideas or theories that we all hear so often and in exactly the same way. So much so that they tend to lose their spontaneity. They lose the feeling of truthfulness and, instead, like a memory lesson, feel glib. It’s sort of like when you see someone on the street and say, “Hello, how are you?” How many of you actually want or expect a real answer. Don’t you expect the other person to say something like, “I’m fine and how are you?” Do you even ever wonder if they are fine?
How many of us actually listen to what we hear. Listen to the questions being asked and the answers given. As healers, instructors and advisors, we owe it to our clients and to ourselves and to every other person who might read what we have written or said, a moment of thought, and in that moment of thought, to get in touch with our compassion. Take the time to actually write something that is real because it comes from the heart. I’m not saying that the standard phrases we all hear over and over again aren’t real, but there is a difference when we take that extra moment to think and get in touch with our love and our compassion and then write or speak.
When we talk about compassion, each of us must generate a genuine sense of self-acceptance and self-love first, then compassion for all the messiness and the baggage that each of us carries around with us wherever we go. Each of us really is truly uniquely perfect exactly as we are. I know, I can see you all now rolling your eyes, but yes, even with those extra pounds or those unfinished chores, or all the commitments that you may have been avoiding, you are perfect. That doesn't mean you can't still grow and change, you can and you should and you will if you allow yourself to grow.
Another thing that is so important, you can and you should refuse to listen to that broken-record monologue that runs in your head (we each have one you know), the one that analyzes all your mistakes and failures and puts them onto a list of things that you must do before you can believe that you are O.K. Instead of listening to that old record, why not switch the channel to the 24-hour positive affirmative reinforcement channel, where a loop of “everything's just as it should be” repeats over and over again until it is ingrained in your subconscious.
If you are willing to love your imperfect body or your absent-mindedness, your still-in-development relationships to work or money or love and your tendency to be self-centered or self-indulgent or whatever; this love and compassion for yourself will shine through; and with that shining, then someone else, someone around you, someone you touch may be more willing to love themselves, in spite of similarly messed-up exquisiteness. If each of us can live our life knowing and demonstrating that we can love ourselves in spite of all our faults, then maybe, just maybe those people we live with, work with or just come into contact with, can start to love themselves as well, with all their faults. Give yourself a break, treat yourself with compassion and that compassion will flow outward to everyone and everything in your world. That’s a motivating cause worth fighting for, one that you can get behind; and, in the process, heal others and yourself, as well
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
Within My Eyes
By Steven C. Bowers
Can you see the pain in my eyes, where my sorrow lies!
The abyss of my soul, the vision of my mind …. thoughts where never the sun has shined.
Some things should never be shared, something would never be dared;
put into words for others to gleam – the truth of sound to chide.
Loves emptiness, hopes denied. Dreams lost with the passage of time.
Now lonely is the kingdom where I dine. By myself; in a world of pain.
Void is delight, happiness is vain.
Suffering is the course put upon my plate without emotion have I ate.
And if by chance would you believe. With this I fight on my knees.
Night and day, day and night. And what lies within me cries …
for no one sees the pain – lurking within my eyes.
HEALTH AND NUTRITIONAL STUFF
This month, just some general health tips that I’ve found interesting:
That tummy ache? Must be stomach cancer. That headache? A brain tumor. Forgetting things? Uh oh, Alzheimer's.
Who hasn't overreacted to utterly common problems? But some people are especially prone to health fears. One antidote? Exercise. Sweaty workouts shrink health worries. You shouldn’t ignore persistent or sudden symptoms, of course. But if rationally you know you're fine, yet you just can't let go of nagging fears, go for a jog, swim, or hike.
Get this: If you think the years ahead will be better than the years behind, they will be.
But if you expect your health to decline with age, you may actually encourage that to happen. How? By taking a why-bother attitude, especially about staying fit. Instead, buck the odds and stay active, no matter how old you are, 39, 59, or even 99 -- an age you should aim to reach.
No question about it: Your cell phone is a convenient way to stay connected. But could you be addicted to it?
Answer the following questions to find out. Are you preoccupied with your cell? Do you continue to use it despite soaring bills? Do you get irritable when you try to cut down on calls? Researchers associate affirmative answers to these questions with addiction-like behavior. A break from your cell may be just what the doctor ordered.
Is your New Year's resolution to lose a few (or quite a few) pounds?
Most diets focus on one thing: pounds lost. Why? Because we really, really want to look good, fit into those slim jeans, and have flatter abs and thinner thighs. But this year, tweak your resolution a bit. Resolve to eat right and exercise so you feel better, not weigh less. Old Think: I'm going to lose weight this year. New Think: I'm going to feel better -- and younger -- than ever this year.
Want to keep your brain razor sharp for years to come? Just say no to middle-age spread.
When it comes to memory and concentration, it may pay to practice waist control. Packing on extra pounds can slow not only your time in the 50-yard dash but also your ability to remember things and stay focused.
Why do you need a spider plant in your bedroom?
Quite simply, because plants are nature's air freshener -- they continually improve a room's air quality by increasing the oxygen and removing pollutants. Easy-to-grow spider plants, philodendrons, and golden pothos are the most effective, according to a NASA study. Talk about potluck!
Chopped, sautéed, roasted, or caramelized . . . onions liven up the flavor of your foods and boost your cancer-fighting defenses.
The bonus: Onions are a low-calorie veggie bursting with flavonoids, vitamin C, and chromium. Why not make an-onion-a-day a habit? If teary eyes stop you, chill the onion before cutting. Stinky fingers a problem? Swipe your digits with a slice of lemon or a splash of vinegar. Bad breath? Nibble on parsley or apple slices. Or cook the onion first, to release some of the sulfur compounds.
If you're debating whether to go to bed early or tackle your to-do list, go for the pillow time.
Here's why: Shortchanging yourself on zzzs makes your heart work harder. Here's how: When you sleep, your body goes into a lower blood pressure mode. But too little time in this low-key state can eventually lead to high blood pressure. So set the list aside and give your heart a little holiday instead.
[This last one here, if you have a problem with sleep, I’ve got a really good downloadable short Insomnia session that will help, also a full length CD for those who have a serious problem.]
If you have found this newsletter to be helpful to you and you know someone who you feel could benefit from these thoughts and messages please pass it on.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
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