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Simple happiness brings happy, healing thinking

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Is joy more than a feeling of great pleasure and happiness?  Rodolfo Jerome Lacusong, a  writer on spirituality and health, discusses the possibility that joy and happiness have a direct influence on our health.  Let’s read what Rodolfo has discovered.

Be happy! •© GLOW IMAGES

Be happy!
• © GLOW IMAGES

Have you been hired in a job that the simple requirement is to be joyful?

When I came to the United States and landed a job with an American family, the first question they asked me was, “Can you give joy?”

Well, I got the job, and the joy that is within me was doubled because as I worked with this family, I found out that when we give more, we receive more – not materially but a priceless peace of mind and steady healthy consciousness.

My work was comprised of  a daily cleaning up of the veranda with multiple vegetable plants and flower pots, tidying the bathrooms, rooms and the garage and interestingly, reading a Bible Lesson to a former high school English teacher. At first it was hard to read, but I tried and am really thankful that I accepted the “challenge.”

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.

 

Is it science or God that heals?

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

In this article, Monica Karal, a spiritual thinker, writer and colleague of mine, provides spiritual insight on the debate over – when healing occurs, some give thanks to God and others to science.  Let’s see what Monica has to say about this topic.

Spiritual healing can feel like "a sunrise on a mountaintop." Photo from Google Images

Spiritual healing can feel like “a sunrise on a mountaintop.” Photo from Google Images

When people recover from a serious disease, they sometimes go public. If they’re persons of faith, they often thank God for the healing. This has stirred some pretty lively discussion in the media about the contributions of science and faith. Why do some people credit God for healing?

When people recover from a serious disease, they sometimes go public. If they’re persons of faith, they often thank God for the healing. This has stirred some pretty lively discussion in the media about the contributions of science and faith. Why do some people credit God for healing?

In August, for example, there was a lot of buzz about Kent Brantly. He’s the American doctor who credits God and the compassionate care of medical staff and friends for his recovery from the Ebola virus. He and his family moved to Liberia in 2013 because he felt called to serve the people there.

To read the entire article click here

 

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

 

 

 

 

How Love heals grief

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

Sunny Days, construction paper cutouts with acrylics on canvas board, by Steve Buzash, the Son.

Sunny Days, construction paper cutouts with acrylics on canvas board, by Steve Buzash, the Son.

There was a time when I was terrified of death! In fact, I could not even identify my mother’s body when she passed away in a nursing facility many years ago.  So, I sent my husband to do it.

But this all changed when I had to put down one of my favorite cats, Treasure.  I called my daughter to meet me at the vet’s office, thinking that she could be with him while I waited in the waiting room.  But she didn’t arrive in time.  Even though I was afraid, my desire that the cat not be alone when he passed overrode the fear.  I stood there patting him and telling him how much he was loved.  When the vet said “he’s gone”, I realized that Treasure never left me, I still felt his love.  I knew his innocence and wide-eyed approach to every new situation was still with me.  The real essence of who he is – all his wonderful qualities – were not gone and would never leave me.

From then on, I was no longer terrified of death because I knew that death does not terminate the real substance of something that is alive. I felt I could trust this because I think of God as Life and as everything being an expression or outcome of God. Each life that is an expression of God is eternal (like the Divine) – whether I can see it here on the earth or not.

So, when my son “died” in March of this year, I was by his side and unafraid for him.  I knew he still had a lot of living ahead of him – he had dreams to fulfill and lessons to learn.  I was not afraid for him. What I was really fearful of was having to live my life without seeing him.

In the ensuing weeks after his passing, there were many times I thought it impossible to climb out of the darkness called grief.  But I knew I must.  I had read studies and even written two blogs about the impact on a person’s heart that grief can have, and the role that prayer and faith can play in helping someone heal that grief. But, now, I was faced with actually proving what I had written about.

When you think about the oft-used phrase, “broken heart” – a reference to the idea that someone is suffering greatly from grief – it’s easy to understand where it comes from.  My heart appeared to be breaking and so did those of his siblings and close friends.

In an article, “Dealing with grief and bereavement”, from Harvard Health Publications, it says: that “Grief is physical as well as emotional.” And that it can “lead to a decline in health” – particularly to heart problems.  It also mentions several ways to overcome these problems, among which are talk or write about your feelings, talk to friends or seek help from a spiritual advisor. I chose this latter path, with a bit of a twist. I sought help, comfort and healing directly from God.

The Bible and a textbook on Christian healing, Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy, provided insights to God as my friend, comforter and advisor. It pointed me to the Bible verse, “like as a mother comforteth her children so will I comfort you”, was especially helpful.  I knew how I had comforted my son – how we all stood by him.  He knew how much he was loved.   I realized that God loved me, my son, and his family and friends even more.  “God is Love,” St. John assures us.   And “God is a God at hand not a God far off.”  The God that is Love is with us at each moment, always. I could feel that.

As I began to feel that love and comfort, I also knew there was more I needed to understand and do. A divine demand from Joshua (24:15) says, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.”  Was I going to choose sadness, longing and loss or was I going to choose happiness, strength and courage?  It was a choice I knew I needed to make.  I did not want to wallow in sadness and grief. Day by day I chose joy.  It was not always easy.

Eventually, as with the passing of Treasure, I began to realize that the wonderful qualities my son exhibited when he was here with me were still all around me. The ever-present unselfish love he had for everyone was still here.

At one point on my journey, his sister shared an idea that was very helpful to me as well. She said her Christian faith helped her know he was continuing on his journey.  He still has a purpose to fulfill she felt.  She felt she could trust this because the teachings and example Jesus offered tell us that Life is not in the body but in our understanding of God and his son.

Our family vowed to be there for each other and we were – always willing to talk – always willing to get together and comfort each other.  Isn’t this love?  It is; and it felt to us that it was not mere human love but God’s love surrounding us like the sunlight.

I was learning how not to suffer from my son’s death, but still thought it was my responsibility to help family members not suffer as well.  However, there did come a point when I realized it was not. I reasoned we were all part of the universal family of brotherly love with God as the head.  We relied on God and His love – not me – to comfort and sustain us. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:  I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isa 41:10)

As the days passed, sometimes friends or acquaintances would stumble over coming up with the right words to say to comfort me.  I would tell them that there was nothing they could say, but what I really needed was a hug.  Not one person stumbled over wrapping their arms around me.  It was good for me and for them.

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.

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The Cup of Cold Water Challenge, by Debra Chew

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

 

Photo from Google Images

Photo from Google Images

In this article Debra Chew, who is a colleague, is challenging us to entertain the possibility that we each have the ability to offer a more spiritual type of support for the cure of ALS, as well as for other diseases.  Here is Debra. . .   

People all over the world have been participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Recently, my own daughters were nominated to have a bucket of ice poured on their head and send $10 to the ALS Foundation.  And they accepted it.

Amazingly, this challenge has raised millions of dollars to support finding the cure for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a progressive neurodegenerate disease.  At this time, the millions the ASL Foundation receives hasn’t resulted in finding a cure, but much of the money is spent to find ways to comfort those with ALS and support the family members who must care for them.

As the Ice Bucket Challenge gained momentum, I asked myself: is this the only way to find a cure?  When a family member actually nominated me to participate in the ‘challenge,’ I wondered if perhaps I could offer an additional way- a spiritual approach – to contribute to finding a cure for this disease.

Please click here to read the complete 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

A clear path to physical and mental health – Forgiveness

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

Photo from Google Images

Photo from Google Images

There are many times during each of our lives when we are either needing to forgive someone or wanting someone to forgive us. It’s a struggle one way or the other.  We’ve all experienced the sufferings wrought by wrong doing and had times when we were the perpetrator.

“The topic of forgiveness is simply universal, whether it’s forgiving someone else or yourself.  But what many of us don’t know is that forgiveness is good for our health.  Furthermore, holding grudges takes a physical toll,” says Karen Swartz, M.D., a practicing psychiatrist and clinical programs director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center.

We’ve known for a long time how important forgiveness is to our overall well-being since Jesus, right amid his own crucifixion, said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  And when asked by his disciples how many times they should forgive someone, he said, “Seventy times seven.”  In other words, continue to forgive and forgive and forgive.

Two millennia later, Christian healer Mary Baker Eddy said, “Hate no one; … If you have been badly wronged, forgive and forget.”  Miscellaneous Writings 12:2

I learned the importance of these wise advisors years ago. I felt I was “badly wronged” when  I was the secretary for the Public Relations Department of a large corporation and we were preparing for a gala celebration of the world premiere of the movie “Winchester 66.”  A secretary for one of the vice presidents was in charge of getting girls together to take part in a city-wide parade and to act as hostesses and guides for those that were coming to town.  Being in on the planning of the celebration, I was waiting to be asked to be a “cowgirl.”  But, it never happened – and I felt hurt.

I chose not to make a big deal about it. But, when she and the other secretaries stopped allowing me to walk to lunch with them or even sit with them, I began to wonder what had happened.  One of the other secretaries and I were supposed to be very good friends, but even she had nothing to do with me during work.  Outside of work she was fine.  As it turned out, the head secretary was mad at me because I had sent her a correction that needed to be made on a memo she was to be sending out.  Unbeknownst to me, she had already sent it out – mistake and all.  It seemed she had retaliated by speaking ill of me to this group of women.

The injustice of it all overwhelmed my thinking and affected my home and work life. I needed to find some emotional relief.  As I had always done when problems arose at home or at work, I turned to prayer to quiet my angry, hurt feelings.  I knew these would not do me any good, nor make things better at work.

In thinking about Jesus’ example, I reasoned that being left out of “cowgirl” status was insignificant compared to being crucified.  I could forgive, even if it took me many weekend hours in humble prayer to do so. Humble means that I was willing to give up my personal feelings of anger, injustice and hurt and let God be in charge of my feelings and the outcome at work.

When I went back to work, I felt refreshed and untouched by the previous week’s events.  I was no longer angry.  As it turned out, one of the men involved in the planning asked me if I was one of the cowgirls. When I responded “no I wasn’t yet”, he said they were looking for someone to work directly with the stars that were coming from Hollywood and be the hostess for the gala dinner and wondered if I might be interested.  Of course, I agreed to do this and thus had the wonderful opportunity to take some of the stars on a tour of the plant and museum, have my picture taken with some of them and meet them all at the dinner where I took care of them.

I cannot say that this group of women and I ever all became good friends again but we continued to work well together and I did find a few new friends.

When I look back over this experience, I realize that if I had continued to harbor anger and frustration toward those girls, I might have left myself open to the “physical toll holding grudges” has proven to take on our bodily and mental health. And, I might not have been open to a new and better opportunity and would have missed out on wonderful and memorable events.

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 Assume You’re Old – How to Reduce Long Term Care Expense, by Brenda Evers

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Blog | 3 comments

•© GLOW IMAGES omodels are used for illustrative purposes

• © GLOW IMAGES
o models are used for illustrative purposes

Some people are up in arms at the possibility they may be held responsible for the expense of relatives’ long term care.  In Pennsylvania, a couple found this out when presented with a bill for $500,000 from a nursing home for care for an aging relative!  A “filial responsibility law” in that state allows for this.  And that state isn’t alone.  Maryland, where I live, along with more than 20 others, has similar laws.

As alarming as this scenario is and as much as it might incense our sense of fairness, the fact remains that the costs of long-term institutional or home care are high and, if that care is used, the costs have to be borne by someone. Right?

Numerous studies indicate we are facing a veritable tsunami of challenges, especially the rise of health care demands and health care costs, stemming from our aging populations.  Yet, running alongside these predictions is a quiet revolution urging us to re-think aging and, in that act, create a different future.

Data is beginning to show that how a person views aging has a big impact on their experience.  We can, it seems, do much to avert the age = decline scenario if we choose to see aging through a lense of freshness, youth, engagement and purpose.

Although the data is new, the idea is not. Christian healer and health expert    Mary Baker Eddy envisioned this more than 150 years ago, when she said, “Men and women of riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health and immortality, instead of lapsing into darkness or gloom.”  Eddy’s words are based on the examples of the long, healthy lives of Bible figures who chose to live close to God.  And, on the teachings of Jesus, who often referred to the possibility of eternal life.  His every word and act pointed to improved life not decline.

And Eddy knew what she was talking about since, in a day when women lived to be on average about 50, she did her most substantial work from the time she was 60-90, including launching a major daily international newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, and founding a church and a publishing house.

She wrote presciently of the dangers of focusing on the body and the aging process, when she also penned: “The measurement of life by solar years robs youth and gives ugliness to age.”

So, if you’re ready to quit measuring life by solar years, it seems the first step is to expect improvement with age.  It is possible.  It is happening now with more than 70,000 U.S. residents living beyond 100, often in good health. And many more are projected for future decades.

Some of these centenarians have shared what they felt were the secrets to longevity.  These suggestions are interesting, and I especially like those that focus on mental and spiritual goals, including:

  1. Think more about what you can do than what you can’t do.  Appreciate your well earned talents and maturity.
  2. On your birthday, focus less on the number of times the earth has been around the sun since you were born and more on the good you have seen and experienced.
  3. Be humble about your experiences and accomplishments, but don’t overdo it.  Be sure to recognize that your life has blessed others.
  4. Shut down regret, blame, and sadness.  These contribute to decline.  Instead, be glad for the life lessons, and find another person who would enjoy sharing about that.  Friendship is a great way to stay young at heart.
  5. Develop a relationship with God that works for you and, if possible, with a faith community as well.

And as for expensive long term care, it’s in your hands.  Take charge of that concern now by being so engaged in nurturing your spirituality and appreciating yourself and the good around you that you choose to defy the idea that you have to decline!

Brenda Evers, a member of Kate’s blog team, is a writer who loves to learn about and share with readers the connection between spirituality and health. In addition, she is a Christian Science Practitioner in Ellicott City, Maryland.  She and her family spent many wonderful years in Southern California and now are happy to have returned to beautiful Maryland.  Contact brendaevers@gmail.com.

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, Christian Science, 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.  

 

 

 

Living in Harmony by Kim Wiklund

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

Photo of Wilson taken by Kim Wiklund

Photo of Wilson taken by Kim Wiklund

The recent suicide of the brilliant Robin Williams has once again put depression and addiction into the spotlight.  After the similar loss of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, the public seems to be taking a harder look at depression and other forms of mental illness and the havoc that they can wreak.

This has caused me to think more about how it is that we can get can through times that are bleak and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Can we really live a life of harmony since life is not always smooth sailing?  As a musician I know that harmony consists not only of pleasing sounds (consonant), but also of those that “clash” (dissonant).  Dissonant sounds are typically used in transition and always resolve to something more pleasant and can thus be tolerated. The brilliance of harmony is in the piece as a whole.

Life is no different.  How often it is that I remember situations that were seemingly so horrible that I could not imagine that I would ever get through them.  But if instead of simply reliving these instances I step back and carefully examine them, I can see how each was successfully resolved and that a valuable lesson was always learned.  That good result is what I should strive to remember while letting go of the “transitory dissonance.”

Recently, our English setter, Wilson, had to have major abdominal surgery.  He moved through this “dissonance” beautifully and was completely recovered within 2 weeks.  It was remarkable and I wondered if I could have done the same.  Plainly, our pets do not dwell on past ills, but rather move forward in anticipation of the next good thing.  We can learn a lesson from their example.

Through all of my searching I have come to know that there is something larger than my own efforts at work. In the Old Testament, Psalm 91 gives us all assurance with this verse:  “The Lord is your protection; you have made God Most High your place of safety.  Nothing bad will happen to you; no disaster will come to your home (New Century Version).”

Mary Baker Eddy, one of the foremost Christian healers of her time, wrote this:  “Harmony in man is as beautiful as in music, and discord is unnatural, unreal. “  No stranger to dissonance herself, she came to see that when we understand and trust God’s power and goodness, we increasingly expect and experience harmony.

I find it helpful to understand that there is never a point that we cannot anticipate a healthy and positive resolution to any and all situations that come before us, no matter how untenable. For the sake of our own health and peace of mind, we should not view past mistakes or disturbances in a vacuum. We can learn to see the greater whole of our life – guided and protected by this larger divine force for good – and these ups and downs as mere stepping stones that we can leave behind where they belong. That is true harmony.

Kim Wiklund, a valued member of Kate’s blog team, is a life-long spiritual seeker who began her study of Christian Science relatively recently.  As such, she looks forward to exploring more about spirituality and the important part it plays in our overall health through her blogs.  She is a classically trained guitarist and recently took up the banjo as well.

 

 

Is Love Actually All We Need? by Tony Lobl

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

Is Love Actually All We Need?

Most would agree that love is one of the most powerful components of our being.  Tony Lobl, a writer on health and spirituality and a colleague, shares his insight on the different aspects, benefits and expressions of love. Here is Tony. . .

Photo by GiselaGiardino uploaded from flickr.com

Photo by GiselaGiardino uploaded from flickr.com

“All you need is love” sang the Beatles, as they once again topped the charts.

I confess I sang along with the Fab Four as heartily as the next Beatle fan – although perhaps not always in tune!

So when a card dropped on the doormat recently, bearing those words, it not only took me back a few decades but also prompted a thought-provoking question: “What kind of love is it that meets all our needs?”

After all, there are many varieties to choose from, according to the promotional blurb from a highly colourful Festival of Love – currently running at London’s Southbank Centre.

“The Ancient Greeks had around 30 words to describe Love in all its shades and complexities,” it says.

 

Please click here to read the entire article

Health: Baby Boomers and the Zumba Craze, by Cynthia Barnett

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

Cynthia Barnett, a spiritual visionary and colleague, shares some thought provoking insight from her personal experience with the Zumba Craze.  Here is Cynthia …

Cary, NC — There’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on at the Cary YMCAs: It’s the Zumba classes. With reportedly nine classes at the Cary Y and eleven at the Kraft facility, Zumba, with its high intensity activity, is clearly a crowd pleaser. Can any age take part?

Baby Boomers and the Zumba Craze

Zumba class:  uploaded from google images

Zumba class: uploaded from google images

It’s no surprise that most participants are twenty or thirty-somethings with some middle-aged moms enjoying the classes, too. But what about the older ladies and men? Is vigorous exercise too much for baby boomer bones?

As a boomer myself, I had to find out. I signed up for classes to experience the sensations of Zumba. After I started, there was an article in a local newspaper about baby boomers and their exercise habits– featuring my Zumba class. The writer assumed that “old bones” and joints would have a lot to contend with– mishaps expected and other therapies to be recommended. Suffice to say, what I read was a bit of a downer.

Better Health Through Spirituality

However, many health experts question these assumptions about age and other body-based theories, turning instead towards a mindset. Dr. Dean Ornish implies love is the answer to better health, even reversing age symptoms. Dr. Lissa Rankin predicts that spirituality, not biomedical models, will have a stronger role in our health practices. Many other respected practitioners share this view.

It’s not a new idea. Pioneer health writer Mary Baker Eddy, based on her extensive healing practice, says to look away from the body for better health. Men and women of “riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health…,”she believes, reflecting her understanding of life as an outcome of the divine.

Click here to read the entire article

Worried about worrying? by Ingrid Peschke

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

Worried About Worrying?  How to Silence That Internal Chatter by Ingrid Peschke

Ingrid Peschke, a colleague and spiritual thinker, shares her insight on the power and effectiveness of prayer.  Here is Ingrid . . .

•© GLOW IMAGES omodels are used for illustrative purposes

• © GLOW IMAGES
o models are used for illustrative purposes

“Desire is prayer,” I found myself quoting from a book that has largely informed my spiritual practice, ” . . . and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds.”

The quote comes from a chapter all about prayer and even though I’ve read it many times, I still return to dig deeper into what it means to pray and how to do it with certain results. For me, prayer is what effectively turns off worry.

You could say a worried state of mind is the opposite of a prayerful one. British philosopher Alan Watts describes worry in his YouTube lecture as “a mind in the grip of vicious circles.” He says “Once you’ve learned to think you can’t stop. And an enormous number of people devote their lives to keeping their minds busy and feel extremely uncomfortable with silence.”

Yet silence is a vital ingredient of prayer. I know it (from that same chapter on prayer) as “the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings” in which “we must close the lips and silence the material senses.”

Click here to read the entire article