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“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

BeYourselfFinding the right “fit” – whether you’re a high school graduate looking for a university or you’re an employer looking for a new employee – is crucial to both our success and our health.

An NFL coach knew this well when he reminded a young recruit who was trying out for the team: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”. It helped the young man feel comfortable on the field, enabling the coaches – and him – to really judge whether he would be a good fit. And, the coach indicated, if he wasn’t hired, it didn’t mean he was a failure, it meant there was a better place for him. As it’s turned out, this particular player has made a great contribution to the team for a number of years.

This simple but profound idea – find the right fit – has become a mainstay in many communities –the mental health community, the business community, sports community and other settings where we might be tempted to be what others expect rather than ourselves.  Any time we are persuaded to be someone we are not, we need to step back and reconsider that we can avoid a big, sometimes painful, experience by finding, holding onto, and operating from the basis of who we really are.  For me, this means, finding a better understanding of the nature of God, my relationship to the Divine and what God’s plan for me is.  I’m clear that not being true to myself can lead to serious consequences.

A program entitled “Leading with Authenticity” was launched last year by Z. Colette Edwards, MD, MBA and a colleague.  They were surprised that “authenticity was identified as the most pressing issue among executive leaders during the mini-focus groups we conducted in advance of the program.”

“The topic bubbled up organically in panel discussions and conversation, and was singled out as key to both business success and, on a more personal level, overall health and well-being.”  Edwards brings out that “the stress of being in an environment which does not embrace being genuine or align with one’s values – not surprisingly – leads to a laundry list of health problems associated with stress.”

Authenticity is defined as “acting and expressing oneself in ways consistent with one’s values, desires, and emotions.”

Some of us go through life trying to fit into a mold – to be something we are not – to be more acceptable in a specific society — or, maybe to impress someone, or be like someone we admire.  This means we are either not happy with who we are, have not given ourselves the opportunity to know what our “authentic self” actually is, or maybe feel we would lose something if we revealed our true “values, desires and emotions.”

And, the statement “Be Yourself” is certainly easier said than done.

As a result of circumstances over which I had no control, my life was completely turned upside down.  In desperation and to help with family finances, I was persuaded to take a job for which I knew I wasn’t qualified.  A friend of mine promised he would help me with the work at night.  This “help” never materialized and I was drowning in work I didn’t know how to do.

Depression, discouragement, and fear of failure took a toll on my physical health (headaches, sleeplessness, and digestive problems) and mental well-being – a cloud hung over my head and everything seemed hopeless.

From my Christian upbringing, I knew honesty was crucial to honoring God, myself and others. And this statement from a textbook on Christian healing grabbed my attention when I was reading and praying one day: “Honesty is spiritual power,” and the author continues, “Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help.”  Companioning this thought is one from the chapter of Romans in the Bible, “”Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”  I realized what was actually weighing on me wasn’t the overload of, and undoable work, it was the dishonesty! I was not being true to my “authentic self” – to the values I was brought up to embrace and wanted in my life as an adult.

In an article on “Place”, the author of that textbook, Mary Baker Eddy, also points out: “God has given to everyone a place,” and in this harmonious creation there is no void, –nothing left, nothing lacking …  Each fills its own, her own, his own place, whether they have knowledge of it or not.”

I realized I was actually occupying a position that was not meant for me but for someone else. Someone else was looking for that job and had the skills to do what I did not. I left the job soon after this realization and felt relieved. But, I was still in need of employment.

The more I prayed to be true to myself – to understand God and how my life expresses Him –the calmer I became.  And, I experienced relief from each of the physical problems and from the mental cloud.

Shortly after that, my husband bought a business and it became clear to me that my job was to help him. This met our financial needs and we worked together happily for several years until another opportunity came available to me.

So, “be yourself” in this wonderful world.  You will make, and find, it a better, brighter and healthier place.

#authenticity – #stressinbusiness  – #authenticself – #perfectfit – #stress –-#health

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. Contact Kate on Twitter: @CscomMaryland, on Facebook: Kate Johnson CS, or email:  maryland@compub.org. 

Opinion: Help to heal our world: Conquer Fanaticism, by Kay Stroud

Posted by on Jan 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Photo by © Google Images

Photo by © Google Images

With the current world wide surge of hatred and fanaticism in the news today Kay Stroud, a spiritual thinker, writer, blogger and colleague, presents some possible healing remedies that each of us can consider and practice.  Let’s read what Kay has to share on this pressing issue.

I started thinking about this subject before the terrorism events in Paris, but those events have made dealing with fanatical thinking seem even more imperative.

A fanatic expresses excessive, irrational zeal.

Far from taking an intelligent and well-informed stance on an issue, their passion and manic obsession with a cause or way of doing things colour their decision-making ability negatively.

Fanaticism about a political or religious philosophy that makes us feel superior; holding obsessively to a non-proven hypothesis; belief that there is only one way to play football and there’s a single worthy team; prejudice about what foods we should eat and the best way to cultivate them; or uncompromising belief that we only need to attend to the physical body to be healthy, are all too common habits that lead us down a slippery slope of intolerance.

Please click here to read the entire article

 

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. Contact Kate on Twitter: @CscomMaryland, on Facebook: Kate Johnson CS, or email:  maryland@compub.org.

 

 

The Healing left on Angelina’s cutting room floor, by Tony Lobl

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Blog | 2 comments

... and faith! Photo from googleimages

… and faith!
Photo from googleimages

Unbroken, the hit new movie directed by Angelina Jolie, is a study in strength, perseverance, faith and victory.  Tony Lobl, a spiritual thinker, writer, lecturer and colleague, observes that although the movie is inspirational it leaves out a crucial component to the outcome of this amazing journey.  Let’s join Tony and find out more about the important part that was omitted.

Angelina Jolie has turned Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling biography Unbroken into an inspirational hit movie. But could it have been even more inspiring?

Angelina Jolie’s third outing as a director has been a stirring success.

As an “inspirational film” Unbroken’s Christmas day launch turned into box office gold, taking in almost $50 million dollars in its first few days, according to Variety. It is expected to be right up there in the top three again during the “post-holiday weekend”.

But her biopic has also courted controversy by omitting overt references to the deep Christian faith at the heart of her protagonist’s life.

Please click here to read the entire article

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. Contact Kate on Twitter: @CscomMaryland, on Facebook: Kate Johnson CS, or email:  maryland@compub.org.

 

Working for or Against your Health?

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

Photo by © Google Images

Photo by © Google Images

Steven Salt, a spiritual thinker, writer, blogger and colleague poses an interesting question. Could habitual, repetitive thinking about what is going to happen in the future and fretting about what has happened in the past directly influence the present?  To find out what Steven has to share about this thought provoking subject, click here to read the entire article.

We can never know about the days to come

But we think about them anyway…

Carly Simon’s hit, “Anticipation” opens with a truism that has proved to be at times comforting; at times, calamitous. And when it comes to the near or distant future, anticipation about our health can be a good or a bad thing. It depends how you think about it.

Let’s face it, we’re mental time travelers. We spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the future and the past, possibly at the expense of the present. Rehearsing events and conversations that have yet to take place is a favorite pastime (future-amusement) for us mortals.

Why do we do it? Preparing for all the possible scenarios in life, anticipating outcomes within those inner conversations we have with ourselves is a curious habit. For one thing, it is believed to be a protection technique often used to avoid unpleasant surprises.

click here to read the entire article

 

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. Contact Kate on Twitter: @CscomMaryland, on Facebook: Kate Johnson CS, or email:  maryland@compub.org.

Wishing you a Holiday Season Aflame with Gratitude

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

Photo by © Google Images

Photo by © Google Images

This season exudes gratitude and love and it is palpable.  The very act of expressing gratitude dispels the clouds of darkness that gather in our hearts.  Tony Lobl, a spiritual blogger, investigator and colleague, shares an enlightening exercise and his personal experience with the light and power of gratitude.  Join me and find out what insights Tony has discovered.

You gather family and friends of all ages in a large room and ask each person to hold a single, unlit candle.

Then you turn out the lights.

In the darkness, you ask someone to tell you about something they’re grateful for – whether it’s another person, an event or anything else. After sharing their story they light their candle. The next person does the same, and so on, right around the room, story by story.

After each expression of appreciation, the room grows a little brighter. By the time the last person has spoken, it’s ablaze with light!

This idea is not new. One Christmas, a friend of mine heard a young woman reminiscing on a late night radio show about her family and friends doing just this.

Please click here to read the entire article

 

 Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. Contact Kate on Twitter: @CscomMaryland, on Facebook: Kate Johnson CS, or email:  maryland@compub.org.

 

Owning our Health: The transforming effect of Christmas

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

The beauty and light of Christmas can lead us to a transformation of thought from a fear based, stressed, unhappy mind set to a more spiritual, peaceful view of life.  This shift of thought brings about a sense of well-being and healing.  Anna Bowness-Park, a colleague, spiritual writer and thinker, shares her inspiring insight with us.  Join me in reading what Anna has to say.

Photo by © Glow Images

Photo by © Glow Images

Christmas lights can transform our homes and communities, but one man’s change of thought brought a transformation in how he saw himself and others

When most of us think about Christmas, we associate it with gift giving, family time and great food. What many hope for at Christmas is a greater sense of peace and well-being for ourselves, our neighbours, as well as for the world. The specific joy of Christmas is when we see all these things come together in specific instances and events that touch and transform our lives.

Author and work/life coach Don Joseph Goewey has experienced this and describes it in a recent article as his “best Christmas ever.” For a long time he had been cynical of Christmas, as well as resentful of the money his wife spent on gifts for their children. He dreaded the Visa card bill in January, and clearly gave everyone a hard time over the holiday season. As he described it, “I wasn’t much fun to have around.”

Please click here to read the entire article

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. Contact Kate on Twitter: @CscomMaryland, on Facebook: Kate Johnson CS, or email:  maryland@compub.org.

 

Does being spiritual and religious make you uncool?

Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

It seems the general opinion toward identifying yourself as being religious and spiritual has become unpopular and uncool.  Eric Nelson, a spiritual blogger, thinker and colleague, shares his findings with us that perhaps discovering our religious and spiritual identity can be a pretty cool adventure after all.  Join me and read what Eric has discovered.  

Photo by © Glow Images models are used for illustrative purposes

Photo by © Glow Images

PETALUMA, CA, Nov. 18, 2014 – The Ariel Atom is one of the quickest cars on earth, reaching a speed of 100 km/h in just under 2.5 seconds. Even faster is the time between when some people say “I’m spiritual” and “but not religious,” as if within those few milliseconds they might be mistaken for someone misguided, deluded or just plain uncool.

But what about those who consider themselves spiritual and religious? Is the assumption that they have fallen under the spell of some non-existent deity, are perhaps less inclined to think on their own and are obsessed with converting anyone and everyone they meet just to increase their standing with God or the folks back at church?

Possibly. After all, there are plenty of religious types who have been misled, who find it easier to follow blindly than to be guided by their own conscience and whose fear of being left out or left behind fuels a seemingly insatiable drive to reform or, worse, condemn anyone they consider to be unfaithful. No wonder so many are so quick to qualify their spiritual coming out with “but not religious.”

Please click here to read the entire article

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. Contact Kate on Twitter: @CscomMaryland, on Facebook: Kate Johnson CS, or email:  maryland@compub.org.

 

Corrected: Don’t let outgrown theories about age keep you from good health and activity

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

Correction: I am grateful that a reader called my attention that the original blog had an error and it is my pleasure to correct it here. (See paragraph 9)

Former President George H.W. Bush skydiving on his 90th Birthday Google Images

Former President George H.W. Bush skydiving on his 90th Birthday
Google Images

Today, how we view aging is in some ways no different from how some once viewed the earth – flat. The widely held belief over a long time has been that as we age, we must become less active, less mentally acute and less able to live free of illness. Yet, that is beginning to change.

We are beginning to understand that we can, in fact, challenge the widely held belief that everyone must at certain ages begin to slow down, become wrinkled, and lose some senses – sight, hearing, the ability to think clearly or the desire to try new things or take on physical challenges.

Some scientists say every cell in our bodies renews itself every 7 to 10 years – just think of it, a new body every 7 or 10 years.  But there is more to aging or agelessness than acquiring a new body.  Increasingly, we know that how we think about age is more important than how many times the earth has gone around the sun. And, what we believe about the source of our life – is it material or spiritual?  – is, to me, the crucial factor.

“There are many studies demonstrating the profound influence of the mind and beliefs on ageing,” says Deepak Chopra.  “It can speed up, slow down, and even reverse itself.”  And, while this is a popular and relatively new view on aging, it is still a view that leaves someone dependent on the vagaries of human thinking rather than the consistency of an unchanging spiritual principle.

At a conference of spiritual thinkers a few weeks ago I asked the members in attendance to write down a health problem they had overcome through prayer or spiritual thinking – and to share with me what spiritual reasoning they used to overcome the problem.

One fellow, a man who is considered “of mature years”, had been swimming a mile a day several times a week for over 50 years.  He wrote that he has to routinely counter the mental suggestions that he “can’t do this anymore” and he is “too old, weak, tired, cold and bored.”  He continued in his story that he was the only one at his large gym that swims this distance.  He also participates in the most challenging exercise class meant for younger people – Total Conditioning Extreme – and has no difficulties with it.

He wrote that health is a matter of what you expect of yourself.  Are you believing you can’t do something or are you rejoicing that you can?  He has not accepted the “normal” limitations put on an aging body.

Another woman said she had recently taken the same physical fitness test she had taken seven years earlier and that she surpassed all the results from the former test.  She also said she had taken on two new sports – spinning (cycling) and boxing!  She says she loves new challenges and that she never considers her age or the possibility she can’t do something she attempts.

Both of these people shared that they spend time in prayer at the start of each day and even before a specific workout or event. What does that do for them? It reminds them of what Caleb experienced when he was requesting from Joshua (Moses’ right hand man who eventually led the Israelites into the “Promised Land”) that he be granted the rightful inheritance that Moses had promised him.  He indicated that he had wholly followed “the Lord” [was obedient to God’s words] all his life and, at the age of 85, he was as strong as when he was forty. (Joshua 14:11)

Another historical figure, Mary Baker Eddy, who, like Joshua, at 85 accomplished even more than she did at forty, wrote: “Manhood is its eternal noon undimmed by a declining sun.”  These ideas and examples tell us that if we are willing to wholly follow the Lord, we don’t have to buy into a slowing down or diminishing of any function.  We can continue learning and experiencing new things on a daily basis. Many are doing it, and health experts and researchers are beginning to explore how to understand and further it.

Former President, George H.W. Bush is a great contemporary example. In the book, 41: A Portrait of My Father, George W., his son, describes how his father, even at the age of 90, wanted to parachute jump like he had done on his 85th birthday. “He was [and continues to be] daring and courageous, always seeking new adventures and challenges,” George W wrote.  At the time of his recent 90th birthday jump, George H.W., unable to walk long distances, was in a wheelchair. He did complete the jump with his family watching at the landing site.  Nothing would stop him from “living his life to the fullest,” George W said.

In numerous settings, Former President H.W. shared the importance of the sustaining nature of his relationship with God. At a prayer breakfast in Houston, he shared this: “For me, prayer has always been important … it has sustained me at every point of my life: as a boy, when religious reading was part of our home life; as a teenager, when I memorized the Navy Hymn. Or how 48 years ago, aboard the submarine Finback after being shot down in the war, I went up topside one night on the deck, on the conning tower, and stood watch and looked out at the dark. The sky was clear. The stars were brilliant like a blizzard of fireflies in the night. There was a calm inner peace. Halfway around the world in the war zone, there was a calm inner peace: God’s therapy.”

Like Caleb, Eddy, and Former President George H.W., each of us can turn away from human views of aging and draw on God’s therapy to live a long, active, and productive life.

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. Contact Kate on Twitter: @CscomMaryland, on Facebook: Kate Johnson CS, or email:  maryland@compub.org. 

 

 

 

Don’t let outgrown theories about age keep you from good health and activity

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Former President George H.W. Bush skydiving on his 90th Birthday Google Images

Former President George H.W. Bush skydiving on his 90th Birthday
Google Images

Today, how we view aging is in some ways no different from how some once viewed the earth – flat. The widely held belief over a long time has been that as we age, we must become less active, less mentally acute and less able to live free of illness. Yet, that is beginning to change.

We are beginning to understand that we can, in fact, challenge the widely held belief that everyone must at certain ages begin to slow down, become wrinkled, and lose some senses – sight, hearing, the ability to think clearly or the desire to try new things or take on physical challenges.

Some scientists say every cell in our bodies renews itself every 7 to 10 years – just think of it, a new body every 7 or 10 years.  But there is more to aging or agelessness than acquiring a new body.  Increasingly, we know that how we think about age is more important than how many times the earth has gone around the sun. And, what we believe about the source of our life – is it material or spiritual?  – is, to me, the crucial factor.

“There are many studies demonstrating the profound influence of the mind and beliefs on ageing,” says Deepak Chopra.  “It can speed up, slow down, and even reverse itself.”  And, while this is a popular and relatively new view on aging, it is still a view that leaves someone dependent on the vagaries of human thinking rather than the consistency of an unchanging spiritual principle.

At a conference of spiritual thinkers a few weeks ago I asked the members in attendance to write down a health problem they had overcome through prayer or spiritual thinking – and to share with me what spiritual reasoning they used to overcome the problem.

One fellow, a man who is considered “of mature years”, had been swimming a mile a day several times a week for over 50 years.  He wrote that he has to routinely counter the mental suggestions that he “can’t do this anymore” and he is “too old, weak, tired, cold and bored.”  He continued in his story that he was the only one at his large gym that swims this distance.  He also participates in the most challenging exercise class meant for younger people – Total Conditioning Extreme – and has no difficulties with it.

He wrote that health is a matter of what you expect of yourself.  Are you believing you can’t do something or are you rejoicing that you can?  He has not accepted the “normal” limitations put on an aging body.

Another woman said she had recently taken the same physical fitness test she had taken seven years earlier and that she surpassed all the results from the former test.  She also said she had taken on two new sports – spinning (cycling) and boxing!  She says she loves new challenges and that she never considers her age or the possibility she can’t do something she attempts.

Both of these people shared that they spend time in prayer at the start of each day and even before a specific workout or event. What does that do for them? It reminds them of what Joshua experienced and how they can replicate it:  Joshua was Moses’ right hand man and eventually was the one who led the Israelites into the “Promised Land.”  It is said that Joshua who wholly followed “the Lord” [was obedient to God’s words] all his life and, at the age of 85, was as strong as when he was forty. (Joshua 14:11).

Another historical figure, Mary Baker Eddy, who, like Joshua, at 85 accomplished even more than she did at forty, wrote: “Manhood is its eternal noon undimmed by a declining sun.”  These ideas and examples tell us that if we are willing to wholly follow the Lord, we don’t have to buy into a slowing down or diminishing of any function.  We can continue learning and experiencing new things on a daily basis. Many are doing it, and health experts and researchers are beginning to explore how to understand and further it.

Former President, George H.W. Bush is a great contemporary example. In the book, 41: A Portrait of My Father, George W., his son, describes how his father, even at the age of 90, wanted to parachute jump like he had done on his 85th birthday. “He was [and continues to be] daring and courageous, always seeking new adventures and challenges,” George W wrote.  At the time of his recent 90th birthday jump, George H.W., unable to walk long distances, was in a wheelchair. He did complete the jump with his family watching at the landing site.  Nothing would stop him from “living his life to the fullest,” George W said.

In numerous settings, Former President H.W. shared the importance of the sustaining nature of his relationship with God. At a prayer breakfast in Houston, he shared this: “For me, prayer has always been important … it has sustained me at every point of my life: as a boy, when religious reading was part of our home life; as a teenager, when I memorized the Navy Hymn. Or how 48 years ago, aboard the submarine Finback after being shot down in the war, I went up topside one night on the deck, on the conning tower, and stood watch and looked out at the dark. The sky was clear. The stars were brilliant like a blizzard of fireflies in the night. There was a calm inner peace. Halfway around the world in the war zone, there was a calm inner peace: God’s therapy.”

Like Joshua, Eddy and Former President George H.W., each of us can turn away from human views of aging and draw on God’s therapy to live a long, active, and productive life.

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. Contact Kate on Twitter: @CscomMaryland, on Facebook: Kate Johnson CS, or email:  maryland@compub.org. 

 

 

 

Can Your Grudges Be Making You Sick?

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

To forgive is not only beneficial to your emotional well-being it is also a positive catalyst to better physical health.  Debra Chew, a colleague, spiritual thinker and writer, shares her personal experience on the subject of forgiving. Let’s see what Debra learned.

GOOGLE IMAGES

GOOGLE IMAGES

Forgive and Forget – that’s what “they” say. Often, a lot easier said than done! But, is there something to that old saying? Could it be that by not forgiving and forgetting, the grudge could be making you sick?

It was Mother’s Day – a time for a loving visit with my mother in Ohio – the last thing on my mind was an altercation with a family member! We had experienced a harmonious family day and I was looking forward to the next day’s activities. That’s when my teenaged daughter made a comical comment to someone and it was taken completely out of context. This family member then spoke harshly to my daughter and to me. The words she said stung and hurt deeply. No matter how we reasoned with her, she refused to budge off of her position. She then attempted to draw other family members into the drama, but to no avail. At that point, the atmosphere became so heated, it appeared my daughter and I would have to leave for our home in Tennessee at almost midnight!

As I began packing my suitcase to leave, my compassionate teenager reminded me that God loved us all and that we were here for her grandmother and that leaving would grieve Mom on Mother’s Day far more than this episode had.  She begged me to reconsider.  Wow!  Leave it to a child to remind me that I was choosing to neither feel nor express God’s love.

Please click here to read the entire article

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. Contact Kate on Twitter: @CscomMaryland, on Facebook: Kate Johnson CS, or email:  maryland@compub.org.