This is not a question but a thank you. Your Weight Loss affirmations have been powerful for me. Not just for weight loss, but for encouraging a positive approach to life and for helping me let go of the negative energy that I know consumes me sometimes.
Also, as a musician, I appreciate how the music builds and resolves at critical moments, underscoring the message.
The first time I heard ' . . the time for reinjuring myself by remembering old wounds is over' I felt like I'd been hit between the eyes. I repeat it to everyone who needs to hear it (giving you credit, of course).
While I still struggle, I hope I am improving 'more and more' on my emotional journey. Thank you for helping to guide my way.
My inspiring story doesn't have to do with mind-body CDs, although I'm a satisfied user of guided imagery, yoga and meditation. This is about the people I work with.
I'm a 42 year old husband and father, recently diagnosed with stomach cancer. I have worked for the same small business for the past 12 years. Currently I am facing several rounds of chemotherapy, with little sick leave left, because earlier this year, my wife had to undergo back surgery. I was needed to help at home. It never crossed my mind that I might need those sick days for myself. I never got sick.
My co-workers got together with our manager and figured out a way to donate their own sick days to me, so I won't lose salary when I am too sick to work. I now have 34 extra days, if I need them. Each person gave whatever they could spare. The relief my wife and I felt was indescribable.
Every time I think about their generosity and love, my eyes fill with tears. This kindness may be what cures me, more than any chemotherapy treatment. I post this story with you, because it reminds us all of the good we are capable of.
I really like the thoughtful, respectful, inventive way Bill Murray answered this basically impossible question at the Toronto Film Festival last year. An admiring audience member asked him what it was like to be him.
He could have blown off the whole question, or lectured her on how she should be focusing on what it was like to be her, not him; or he could have said something funny, cracked wise about identity or something.
Dear Health Journeys,
I wanted to share my experience with affirmations and driving. Maybe if there is someone else like me, it might help.
I am 48 years old and am terrified of driving. I got my driver's license at age 16 as did all my peers, but never drove until I was 22 and starting my first teaching job after getting my degree.
A few years later, I married a wonderful man who was always the guy to volunteer to drive co-workers because he trusted his own driving more than anyone else. So it was very easy for me to let him do all the driving. We worked at the same place so I called this "car pooling", rather than avoidance of an anxiety producing event.
My fear of driving blossomed into full blown phobia, where I would even end up stuck in the middle of an intersection in a full blown panic attack and unable to move. You can imagine the cars honking around me and that didn't help at all.
We got this email recently:
I want to praise Carol Dickman's Seated Yoga video and Belleruth's Parkinson's Disease imagery. My husband who has been disabled and depressed with his illness for several years responds well to these. He works with both each day. He is less depressed, sleeps better and we both think he has gotten somewhat better at getting himself to move when he is "stalled", which is what we call it when there is a gap between when he wants to use his muscles and when they respond.
Having something he can do for himself to improve his symptoms is therapeutic in and of itself, we have concluded. This has been quite a difficult journey for us. We are very happy to have new tools he can use to improve his sense of agency over his life. As his wife and caregiver, it is therapeutic for me as well. There is nothing worse than helplessly watching the man you love suffer.
In the future I will be looking for more tools for him, to keep this "roll" going when he tires of these two tapes. For instance, now that he has the energy for it, we may try some gentle, graded exercise. We read on the site that this can be helpful for PD too - which reminds me, thank you for posting the new research every week. And thanks to all the staff in the office. The woman who answered my phone call was notably kind and patient.
We got this enthusiastic review of our guided imagery for surgery quite a while ago – an emailer just referred to it. It's signed. Here it is:
Because my CD player broke down at the very last minute, I was only able to hear the guided imagery pre-op meditation one time. I replayed it in my head the night before surgery, and then (because I had no CD player with me) the attending anesthesiologist played Steve Kohn's surgery meditation music for the entire OR staff on their player. (They "loved" it.)
But what was truly astounding was when one of the doctors came to my room to report EXACTLY the words that are in the pre-op meditation. My surgery was "spectacular" (the O.R. team's words), I lost the smallest amount of blood they'd ever seen (10 ml), and it took 2.5 hrs instead of the usual 3 hrs.
On top of that, I was off heavy pain meds within 36 hours and off the Tylenol in another 36 hrs. In 72 hrs I was up and dancing (gently) with my granddaughter! Every doc who visited me took down the name of this CD!
Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D.
We got this note and video clip from a friend a few years ago, and it's really a treat, so we're showing it again. You'll find in the lounges of various Mayo Buildings, there is often a piano, and sometimes people stop to play. This is an enchanting video of two older folks playing a duet in the Gonda Building, to an impromptu audience of delighted and appreciative folks. Click here.
And for a double dose of 'feel-good' medicine, this is the story that generated the video.
And here they are on a return visit, reprising their by now iconic musical number. By this time, he's 91 and she's 85 years old, and they've got a way bigger audience. Awesome.
Gratitude is arguably the most high-test, healing emotion we humans can come up with, not to mention the one most associated with quality of life, mental health and wellness. This little poem by Barbara Crooker is just another gentle reminder of where to place our attention – and our expectations. Enjoy!
A Poem by Barbara Crooker
All that is glorious around us
is not, for me, these grand vistas, sublime peaks, mist-filled
overlooks, towering clouds, but doing errands on a day
of driving rain, staying dry inside the silver skin of the car,
160,000 miles, still running just fine. Or later,
sitting in a café warmed by the steam
from white chicken chili, two cups of dark coffee,
watching the red and gold leaves race down the street,
confetti from autumn's bright parade. And I think
of how my mother struggles to breathe, how few good days
she has now, how we never think about the glories
of breath, oxygen cascading down our throats to the lungs,
simple as the journey of water over a rock. It is the nature
of stone / to be satisfied / writes Mary Oliver, It is the nature
of water / to want to be somewhere else, rushing down
a rocky tor or high escarpment, the panoramic landscape
boundless behind it. But everything glorious is around
us already: black and blue graffiti shining in the rain's
bright glaze, the small rainbows of oil on the pavement,
where the last car to park has left its mark on the glistening
street, this radiant world.
– Barbara Crooker
I've been enjoying reading about how guided imagery has been helping the military. Having experienced a lifetime of depression, I want to tell you that your Depression imagery has been the most valuable tool I have found. With that and medication, the last 7 years of my life have been my very best by far.
I am 58. In my case, life began at 50!
My husband and I are enjoying a wonderful life as retirees near Hilton Head, SC. One year ago, shortly after retirement, my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease, an auto-immune condition where one cannot tolerate gluten, which is in wheat, oats, barley, and rye.
With help from an excellent GI specialist, a mentor, and finding a newly organized support group in Savannah, we are managing just fine. I actually enjoy cooking more now with this challenge than I ever did before when we could both eat anything.
Someone just sent us the link to this very encouraging review of our Help with Fertility imagery. We think this woman nails some of the key features BR was really trying to achieve on this audio... the main thing being that there are many ways to have a positive outcome to this challenge, all the way from having your own pregnancy, to seeing your baby growing in somebody else's belly, to adopting your child, to being at peace with not becoming a parent.
We've been hearing a lot about increased negative self-talk - this seems to be a natural by-product for many people undergoing IVF and other daunting, baby-making procedures.