My mom happened upon this in one of her drawers - one of those lost and found treasures. I’m glad she shared it with me.
“The author of the message that follows is not known. The note was found in the billfold of coach Paul Bear Bryant, Alabama after he died in 1982.”
The Magic Bank Account
Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest:
Each morning your bank will deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However this prize has Rules.
The set of rules:
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?
You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?
Actually this Game is real. Shocked???? YES!
Each of us is already a Winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can't seem to see it .
The PRIZE is *TIME*!
SO, what will YOU DO with your 86,400 seconds?
Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars. Think about it and remember to Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than You think.
So, take care of yourself, be Happy, love deeply and enjoy life!
Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day, Start “spending”…..
“DON”T COMPLAIN ABOUT GROWING OLD….!” SOME PEOPLE DON’T GET THE PRIVILEGE!”
What a thought provoking message! As I share it with you, I’d add only one thing that came to mind.
Besides taking care of ourselves, being happy, loving deeply and enjoying life, I’d remind us to feel gratitude for each second.
May you and your loved ones be healthy and safe,
Thank you to Banyan Botanicals and Nishita Shah for the recipe. Even though, it will soon be Fall weather, these truffles are so delicious, I had to share the recipe with all of you!
Coconut Ginger Truffles (pitta pacifying recipe)
When it comes to nutrition and nourishment, Ayurveda teaches us to honor the changing needs of the body according to changes in the seasons, our environment, our lifestyle, and our own individual state of balance.
In general, summertime is a great time for eating more foods that are light and raw, such as salads, fresh fruits, and raw nuts. Thanks to the natural heat of the season, our agni, or digestive fire, tends to have a heightened and brightened capacity to digest some of the foods that may be more difficult to digest in the colder months.
This summer in particular, which has arrived in the context of so much uncertainty, change, and upheaval in the world, may find us needing a little extra dose of comfort and joy. This may simply look like soaking up the warmth of sunshine on your skin, taking time for self-care, or planting colorful flowers in your garden. It may also mean giving yourself permission to enjoy an actual tasty and edible treat!
These healthy coconut truffles are a delicious way to nourish your soul, uplift your heart, and connect to the simple pleasures of life. And because they are ridiculously easy to make, they’re also a great way to get the little ones involved in a fun and simple activity because you’re basically just mixing ingredients together and rolling them into little balls.
The truffles are made with a base of coconut, which is cooling, balancing to pitta, and great for soothing any excess summer heat. And, in case your agni (digestive fire) is a little weak or has a harder time digesting raw foods, I’ve added some fresh ginger and cardamom to the recipe to keep these treats nice and easy to digest.
May they bring a little taste of comfort and pleasure to your day!
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients together, minus the chocolate. It should reach a consistency where a small handful will easily stick together when squeezed. Roll the mixture into balls and place them on the baking tray.
Take your melted chocolate and place a dollop of the chocolate over the tops of each truffle. Alternatively, or besides, roll each truffle gently in coconut flakes or use a light sprinkling of Cacao powder for a no sugar version.
Freeze your truffles overnight and enjoy the next day as a wholesome, nourishing, and well-deserved treat!
Be sure to store these in the fridge or freezer to ensure that they don’t melt or fall apart.
May you and your loved ones be healthy and safe,
I wrote a blog about the facade of being perfect six years ago. It is below these words of wisdom I recently read in The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. Her insights about artists and perfectionists are applicable to anyone and life in general.
Julia says, “Perfectionism has nothing to do with getting it right. It has nothing to do with fixing things. It has nothing to do with standards. Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead. It is a loop - an obsessive, debilitating, closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details.....and to lose sight of the whole.”
She adds, “The perfectionist writes, paints, creates with one eye on her audience.
(Or one eye on the boss in the case of business) Instead of enjoying the process, the perfectionist is constantly grading the results…..The perfectionist is never satisfied. The perfectionist calls it humility. In reality, it is egoism. It is pride that makes us want perfection”…..
“Perfectionism is not the quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough - that we should try again. (Or no one is good enough for us, so keep on searching).”
Julia further comments, “A painting is never finished. It simply stops in interesting places. A book is never finished. But at a certain point you stop writing it and go on to the next thing. That is a normal part of creativity - letting go. We always do the best we can by the light we have to see by. “
The same could be said about anything in life. We do the best we can by the light we have to see by. There is the figurative light but also the light of knowing. At different points in our journey, our inner lights shine based on what we have learned and experienced in our lives. The painting accompanying this blog is another of mine that I share with you. It is far from perfect, if I am wearing my art critic hat. Yet for this point in time, it is perfect. It was done with the light of my life’s experiences and my beginner's painting skills.
Perfection and Facades (blog from 6 years ago)
From the time I entered grade school, my “thinking cap” was securely on my head and on high alert. I raised my hand so fast with answers that it became a game for others to try to beat me. Rarely did others succeed. Not that I got called on by the teacher all the time, but my hand shot up knowing the answer every time. My challenge at that time wasn’t knowing the answers.
As my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Wallman, reminded us often, “anything worth doing was worth doing well”, and to her that included silence from her students, unless called on. Now for me, That (silence) was a challenge!
The first row, first seat in our classroom was reserved for the “Best” among us. 100% correct papers were required, and that part was pretty simple for me. I was lucky enough to have a last name that started with a “D”, and that gave me pretty good positioning to start out. So, I rather quickly moved into 1st Row, 1st Seat “Best” status.
That is, until 1st Row, 2nd seat, Peter poked me in the back, and I turned around to ask what he wanted. Mrs. Wallman snapped to attention as I turned in my seat and quickly proceeded to inform me that I had to move out of my cherished spot for talking. Usually this talking mess-up meant going to the back of the row I was currently in - so back of the 1st row.
But, such an ‘injustice’ to me warranted argument and telling my teacher just how unfair she was being and advancing my insistent plea of innocence because 'it wasn’t my fault that Peter poked me'. I’m not sure just how brazen I became, as my memory recalls much more of Mrs. Wallman’s penetrating looks and pointing with her finger to show me which seat I was now entitled to take - and thus I was booted to the last row, last seat. Arrrrrgh, I was so angry with her.
Not a quitter by nature and with a ‘born in me’ determination beyond reason, I focused on working my way back to “perfect” and that revered seat in the front of the room. Each day I controlled my natural talkative and playful self to prove to Mrs. Wallman that I was the ‘best’ in the class. I realized in those first few months of first grade, that if I worked hard enough and did exactly what I was told, that I could be “perfect” and be in Row 1, Seat 1.
Anyone who knows me wouldn’t be surprised that I worked my way back to “perfect”, only to bounce in and out of that seat numerous times that year. I’ve always liked to talk. Though never again did I return to the last seat, last row. My arguing and my standing up for “injustice” were held at bay the rest of that year.
The takeaway that was decided by little Mary in first grade was that “perfect” was indeed possible. I also decided that I wanted to be “perfect”, and that if I worked very hard and did exactly what I was told to do, that the end result was “Perfect”.
I have chased perfection my entire life. Not altogether a bad thing, since that striving for perfection led to high grades, numerous awards and accolades, high achievements, high level positions of leadership and accompanying salary - AND very high expectations for myself and for others.
I also lived my life with a “Perfect Facade” shown to the world, while having inner feelings of ‘never being quite good enough’. I knew all my imperfections and was fearful that if others looked too closely, they’d see the real, less than perfect Me that existed behind my own Wizard of Oz curtain.
Luckily for me, I’ve experienced transformation through my taking the weekend immersion of Landmark Forum. My past hasn’t changed. It will always be my past. Though I now realize that “What happened?” and our stories about What Happened? are rarely the same. So, to be a little more accurate, my version of my past will live on. The transformation comes from my perspective having changed and my focus being much more on the present and actions of today that can impact the future.
Why does any of this matter to you? I am sharing as I work to figure things out - even though Landmark basically debunks our need to keep ‘trying to figure it out’ and urges we keep taking action instead of thinking about it so much.
With that said, and I agree on Landmark’s point. For those of you who are ‘trying to figure it all out’, sharing my stories and experiences and what conclusions I’ve come to for me…just may be the advice or message you needed to hear today.
Much has transpired in my life since that blog post was written, and those recent lessons and experiences have added to my understanding of myself and my nature. Knowing that each day, each moment brings its own version of perfect that we can accept or not. The 'not' alternative is to stay stuck in the details of what we deem as less than perfect, spinning like a whirlpool that never ends. I've spent much time in life's spin cycles, and they aren't much fun.
Let's choose this moment of perfect, exactly as it is! .............and then move on to the next perfect moment.
May you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy,
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of seeing the world through the lens of scientists, politicians, medical ‘experts’ and main stream media. From the daily onslaught of coronavirus “news” comes a very dim outlook on life. It is a depressing outlook with so much controversy and undependable information, that it is difficult to determine who or what statistic to trust.
I hope you’ll stay with me for a few minutes and allow yourself time to bring to mind magical places that you’ve been. Perhaps the seashore, ocean, a waterfall or lakefront is magical to you? Maybe it is a hike in the woods or up a mountainside or walking in an open field of flowers or seeing a rainbow? Or is it playing in the park or walking in your neighborhood, soaking in the beauty of nature?
What makes a place magical? What do I mean by magical? To me, a place or experience is magical if it causes me to wonder and be amazed! I’m not seeking scientific principles or any kind of explanation - I want instead to Feel the magical qualities - the wonder and amazement of the world we live in.
When we were children, we all had lots of ‘wondering’ questions. Some of those questions were answered along the way, and others…. well we just knew to keep quiet about not knowing the answers, so we could appear that we were among those who claimed they did know.
At this moment, let’s just wonder and try to not think about answers. Right now, answers are not important.
At the ocean, have you ever wondered how all the water got there? Or Why does it look like the water and sky meet when you look far away but it doesn’t up close - there’s just air that we can’t see and water. The horizon in the distance is so beautiful to witness. Don't think about it for an answer, just imagine it and wonder.
When you go to a park or hike in the woods or walk in your neighborhood, have you ever wondered why grass, bushes, trees are green and not blue or orange or purple? Have you stopped to wonder how a single seed can grow into a huge tree? Or how do the perfectly symmetrical lines in leaves and some flowers appear? And have you ever noticed that every tree, bush, flower is unique and different, even within the same species? How does it happen that when the same kind of seed is planted, every single tree, bush, flower is a little different and special in its uniqueness? If you don’t believe me, spend some time really looking at nature. It’s amazing the variances that are there for us to see.
In one of my past blogs, I wrote about how my daily walks and the trees I saw on those walks inspired me to first begin drawing with charcoals, oil pastels and then markers. After about three weeks of drawing, less than a month ago, I began painting. I’m a beginner in all mediums of art, and in order to learn, I did some reading, watched a couple YouTube videos and listened to teachers/artists as they showed how to use the art supplies and make their pictures come to life.
Most importantly, I’ve learned to draw and paint through researching and allowing the vibrancy and beauty I feel about nature to come out in the pictures. It’s fun research, as it involves paying close attention during my daily walks to what a tree, flower, bush really look like - the markings, the shape - What are the proportions? What shape are the leaves? Where do I see the sky, and how do the clouds look with different color skies? What can I see behind the tree, bush or flower? Next to the tree? What does the ground look like at the base of the tree? So many questions and lots of research - all just by looking at the trees, flowers or bushes themselves. I like to paint water too, and since I lived near an ocean for most of the past five years, views of the ocean in various seasons and times are embedded in my mind.
(A beginners attempt - the painting above is one I've done.)
I used to do walks or runs solely for the fresh air, exercise and to clear my head by playing in my mind past or future conversations and thoughts or creating plans - always thinking. Often, I’d talk on the phone or send texts. I’d walk or run past the nature in a rush, while appreciating the overall view, yes, but not really immersing myself in the magical wonders of nature - rarely did I allow my mind to just be.
Today, I know an experience that is completely different. When I take a walk now,
I notice the differences seen through the markings, colors, shapes, sizes and ages of the life around me, and these observations cause me to wonder and be amazed.
I see more vividly, nature’s beauty. I also notice that nature adjusts and lives in harmony with other nature - and this too is magical and makes me wonder about how nature is so strong, beautiful and adaptable in its diversity. If only humans would follow the lead of nature!
I feel the hand of God or if you prefer, Mother Nature, touches life and is the very spark in this beauty. It is not man made. The seeds that become plants in our beautiful world are truly magical. In nature, I am overcome with feelings of gratitude.
Please give yourself a gift - you deserve it! Take a 30-60 minute daily escape that may change your life and will certainly be a boost to your immune system by improving your mental health!
30-60 minutes outdoors in nature, with no cellphone - anywhere with an abundance of nature.
By giving yourself permission to experience the magic, treating the time as moment after moment of wonder, really noticing how amazing it is, life itself will renew you with energy and vitality.
May you be healthy and safe,
In this time of uncertainty and fear, I hope you will enjoy this interesting and heartwarming story as much as I did. This is a survival story showing the mysterious ways of God.
The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously. All the men, women and children of Piotrkow's Jewish ghetto had been herded into a square. Word had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded ghetto. My greatest fear was that our family would be separated. 'Whatever you do,' Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me, 'don't tell them your age. Say you're sixteen.'
I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off. That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker. An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He
looked me up and down, and then asked my age. 'Sixteen,' I said. He directed me to the left, where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood. My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children, sick and elderly people.
I whispered to Isidore, 'Why?' He didn't answer. I ran to Mama's side and said I wanted to stay with her. 'No, 'she said sternly.'Get away. Don't be a nuisance. Go with your brothers.'
She had never spoken so harshly before. But I understood: She was protecting me. She loved me so much that, just this once, she pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw of her.
My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany . We arrived at the
Buchenwald concentration camp one night later and were led into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued uniforms and identification numbers.
'Don't call me Herman anymore.' I said to my brothers. 'Call me 94983.'
I was put to work in the camp's crematorium, loading the dead into a hand-cranked elevator. I, too, felt dead. Hardened, I had become a number. Soon, my brothers and
I were sent to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald's sub-camps near Berlin .One morning I thought I heard my mother's voice.
'Son,' she said softly but clearly, I am going to send you an angel.'
Then I woke up. Just a dream. A beautiful dream. But in this place there could be no angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear. A couple of days later, I was walking around the camp, around the barracks, near the barbed wire fence where the guards could not easily see. I was alone. On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone: a little girl with light, almost luminous curls. She was half-hidden behind a birch tree. I glanced around to make sure no one saw me. I called to her softly in
German. 'Do you have something to eat?'
She didn't understand. I inched closer to the fence and repeated the question in Polish. She stepped forward. I was thin and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my feet, but the girl looked unafraid. In her eyes, I saw life. She pulled an apple from her woolen jacket and threw it over the fence. I grabbed the fruit and, as I started to run away, I heard her say faintly, 'I'll see you tomorrow.'
I returned to the same spot by the fence at the same time every day. She was always there with something for me to eat - a hunk of bread or, better yet, an apple. We didn't dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for us both. I didn't know anything about her, just a kind farm girl, except that she understood Polish. What was her name? Why was she risking her life for me?
Hope was in such short supply, and this girl on the other side of the fence gave me some, as nourishing in its way as the bread and apples. Nearly seven months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal car and shipped to Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia .
'Don't return,' I told the girl that day. 'We're leaving.'
I turned toward the barracks and didn't look back, didn't even say good-bye to the little girl whose name I'd never learned, the girl with the apples.
We were in Theresienstadt for three months. The war was winding down and Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed. On May 10, 1945, I was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 AM. In the quiet of dawn, I tried to prepare myself. So many times death seemed ready to claim me, but somehow I'd survived. Now, it was over.
I thought of my parents. At least, I thought, we will be reunited. But at 8 a.m. there
was a commotion. I heard shouts, and saw people running every which way through camp. I caught up with my brothers. Russian troops had liberated the camp! The gates swung open. Everyone was running, so I did too. Amazingly, all of my brothers had survived; I'm not sure how. But I knew that the girl with the apples had been the
key to my survival.
In a place where evil seemed triumphant, one person's goodness had saved
my life, had given me hope in a place where there was none. My mother had
promised to send me an angel, and the angel had come.
Eventually I made my way to England where I was sponsored by a Jewish charity, put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the Holocaust and trained in electronics. Then I came to America , where my brother Sam had already moved. I served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War, and returned to New York City after two years. By August 1957 I'd opened my own electronics repair shop. I was starting to settle in.
One day, my friend Sid who I knew from England called me. 'I've got a date. She's got a Polish friend. Let's double date.' A blind date? Nah, that wasn't for me. But Sid kept pestering me, and a few days later we headed up to the Bronx to pick up his date and her friend Roma.
I had to admit, for a blind date this wasn't so bad. Roma was a nurse at a Bronx hospital.. She was kind and smart. Beautiful, too, with swirling brown curls and green,
almond-shaped eyes that sparkled with life.
The four of us drove out to Coney Island. Roma was easy to talk to, easy to be with. Turned out she was wary of blind dates too! We were both just doing our friends a favor. We took a stroll on the boardwalk, enjoying the salty Atlantic breeze, and then had dinner by the shore. I couldn't remember having a better time. We piled back into Sid's car, Roma and I sharing the backseat.
As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been left unsaid between us. She broached the subject, 'Where were you,' she asked softly, 'during the war?'
'The camps,' I said.
The terrible memories still vivid, the irreparable loss. I had tried to forget. But you can never forget. She nodded. 'My family was hiding on a farm in Germany , not far from Berlin ,' she told me. 'My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers.'
I imagined how she must have suffered too, fear, a constant companion. And yet here we were both survivors, in a new world. 'There was a camp next to the farm.' Roma continued. 'I saw a boy there and I would throw him apples every day.'
What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. 'What did he look like? I asked.
'He was tall, skinny, and hungry. I must have seen him every day for six months.'
My heart was racing. I couldn't believe it. This couldn't be.'Did he tell you one
day not to come back because he was leaving Schlieben?' Roma looked at me in
'That was me!'
I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn't believe it! My angel.
'I'm not letting you go.' I said to Roma. And in the back of the car on that blind date,
I proposed to her. I didn't want to wait. 'You're crazy!' she said. But she invited me to meet her parents for Shabbat dinner the following week.
There was so much I looked forward to learning about Roma, but the most important things I always knew: her steadfastness, her goodness. For many months, in the worst of circumstances, she had come to the fence and given me hope. Now that I'd found her again, I could never let her go.
That day, she said yes. And I kept my word. After nearly 50 years of marriage, two children and three grandchildren, I have never let her go.
Herman Rosenblat of Miami Beach , Florida
This story is being made into a movie called The Fence.
Sending Love and Light,
I love this message, and it feels so perfect right now.
As I reflect deeply on the many emotions that I, and likely all of us, have cycled through in the last 4 months - fear, worry, anxiety, sadness, frustration, despair, anger and most recently determination - I realize that these emotions were fueled by what I was being shown on television, computer and phone screens, and what I was being told by the media and others on those devices. We have been glued to the drama of it all.
Luckily for me, curiosity has always been part of my nature, and in the last month or so that curiosity has led me to be receptive to exploring what is unfamiliar, instead of dismissing it, as would have been the case in the past. I started listening to doctors and researchers who have been banned from mainstream social media sites. I thought that banning information seemed odd, especially from what appeared to be highly credible sources, and I wondered what it was all about. There was so much uncertainty from the “medical and scientific experts” on TV, and the “facts” changed sometimes daily. So, I was curious what was out there that could be so bad for us to hear and see. Luckily my judgmental nature was overruled by curiosity.
It has been an interesting process to explore ideas different from those I believed to be my own. I’ve witnessed that we all have ideas based on what we learned in the past and what input we choose to listen to now.
Initially, I avidly watched the television and followed the virus and death tolls with an intensity as well as a certain amount of disbelief and fear, like everyone else. So many have shared that they felt like life had turned into a Sci-Fi movie. I thought the shutdown might last two weeks. Just shy of four months later, and life in the US and rest of the world is anything but normal. What a turn of events!
During the second month, I continued to watch the television, while simultaneously increasing the vitamin, herb, and protein support for me and my mother in order to keep our immune systems strong. We were told that weak immune systems and comorbidity were strong factors in those who died from the virus. It seemed like a given that we should bolster our immune systems.
I had doubts and questions about why the medical and science experts speaking daily on the television, were not outlining ways to strengthen people’s immune systems and giving us advice to ward off the threat - focusing instead on advice to stay in our homes and not to touch or go near anyone. Heightening our fear, we were told to use hand sanitizer, gloves to sanitize everything from groceries to delivery boxes, and to wear masks should we be in close vicinity to anyone. We were to be cautious and afraid of everything and everyone, especially considering we were in the high risk age group. Families stopped visiting each other, and neighbors kept their distance.
High anxiety and stress compromise the immune system, but that didn’t seem to be of concern to the experts. The feverish pitch of fear continued in the media, all day long, every day.
We had our groceries delivered and followed faithfully the guidelines about gloves, sanitizing, and staying away from everyone. As the months went on, the isolation and change in daily life became more difficult, especially for those families with young children who were trying to teach their children at home and keep spirits up. I consciously made a point of taking a daily remembrance of gratitude for having enough to eat, a nice environment to be living in, and continued health.
Yet, life was starting to feel meaningless and filled with a despondency. Was this to be our new normal? This low feeling felt so real and felt as though it was coming from my own thoughts on the world situation - but it wasn’t. The ideas of despair and hopelessness were being fed to us on every news station in the country and world. Social media also spread the same messaging. Focusing on daily COVID death tolls, as they rose, made them very real and disturbing. Yet we rarely think about the 56-57 million people worldwide, nearly 3 million in the US, who die every single year. Suddenly half of one million deaths in 6 months was seen as catastrophic.
The hope offered is all about vaccines. We’ve been warned about a second wave and vaccine compliance is being said to be required.
Words like mandatory do not resonate with me. There are too many variables in a worldwide population of more than 7 billion. I have never taken a flu vaccine, as I feel injecting my body with a foreign substance when I am perfectly healthy is not warranted. Until recently I have had little opinion regarding vaccines in general. I just didn’t think I needed flu vaccines. And I rarely have experienced the flu, even when others around me, many of them having gotten the flu shot, have it.
Worldwide rush-to-the-market vaccines are being touted as our only hope to return to a life, without shutdown, social distancing, masks and fear. This vaccine solution continues to be pushed loudly and often, as the only viable one. Our country is divided on this and many other issues suddenly coming to the forefront during this pandemic.
Something seemed off to me from early on and still does. Doing some serious research and listening to doctors, scientists, and highly credentialed people who cautioned about the vaccine in the pipeline, my head began to swirl with questions. People and organizations that I had trusted and admired were being exposed in a new light. I kept digging and reading and watching interviews. My prior ideas about so much was being challenged.
Spending hours researching filled the days, as the weather was pretty poor, and I was worried about being outside, at the beginning of the quarantine. Yoga of course helped me, and I signed up for some online courses to pass the time, doing something other than watching TV.
After months of being indoors, the sunshine called to me. I did not wear a mask and rarely came within 10 feet of anyone. Walks outside gave me a mood boost. A couple of weeks of outdoor walks shifted my energy.
Then, virtually out of nowhere, I decided since I’ve always wanted to paint, that I’d order some drawing supplies and try to draw some of the amazingly beautiful trees that are in the neighborhood (you can see an example at the top of this post :). I started with charcoals and moved to markers and oil pastels. I did daily research when I went for walks by focusing on the proportions and the dimension and angles of the trees. I watched a few YouTube ‘how to’ videos. As I moved from the gray of the charcoal to the lush greens and browns of markers, the aliveness inside me came out in the drawings. I’m now moving on to acrylics for my next attempt at displaying the life inside me through art!
The huge trees in my mother’s neighborhood, mainly oak but many other varieties, inspired me with their strength and vibrancy seen in the multi shades of green of their leaves - signs of life and health. Each tree filled me with a feeling of grounding and well being. The sunshine, fresh air and being outdoors was a huge improvement over staying inside. I felt stronger each day and also started seeing more clearly.
I discovered that there are many doctors and researchers who express very different views on the COVID crisis than what we hear and see from main stream media and social media. While these researchers and doctors have nothing to gain and much to lose when they speak out in this new time of censorship, they are not afraid. They are leaders that I would have dismissed not many years ago. Now I am listening.
My renewed sense of aliveness has empowered me and strengthened me. I continue to care for and strengthen my immune system through healthy practices and healthy foods. I am not afraid of COVID19, which will come and go like wind blowing in the air. My roots run deep, as does my faith in God’s plan and the deep gratitude
I feel for life.
I’ve turned from fear, despair and worry to feeling strong, healthy and vibrantly alive!
Waking up out of despondency, there is much hope on the horizon. Cleansing and releasing toxins in our minds and bodies will allow a return to good health. This holds true in bodies, relationships, countries and whole worlds. By God’s grace may we fuel our minds and bodies with all that is healthy, so that our inner lights may again shine brightly.
Sending love and light to each of you,
Traveling for the first time since mid-March and the COVID-19 shutdown, I worried I’d have difficulty getting an Uber to take me to the airport. I was wrong. The Uber car arrived even quicker than usual. The driver wore a mask and there was sanitizer and cleaners available next to the seat I sat in. I had my own sanitizer spray and wipes too. He had his side window open a few inches, circulating the air. The driver was as nice as Uber drivers usually are and helped with my luggage. I felt perfectly comfortable and safe.
On this late Sunday morning, Chicago’s O’Hare airport seemed a ghost town. Social distancing was quite easy, with so few people in the terminal. Staff were present to assist with check in and staff were visibly cleaning as I walked through the terminal to get to my gate. The airport was really clean and smelled fresh. I even visited the ladies room, as I arrived early and had quite a long wait. I thought that the check in process might be slower than usual, with the 6 feet distancing and other safety measures in place. Again, I was wrong.
I was pleasantly surprised. Check-in with TSA pre-check took about 5 minutes in total. The gate was in a rather remote area of the terminal. I walked for some time and saw fewer than 10 people along the way, and most were airport staff. Arriving at my gate, there were 8 people other than me in a span of three gates. I walked past darkened Starbucks and other food venues - none of them were open. I was thankful that my two apples had not been confiscated at the security check. With a couple hours to spare, I knew that those apples would be enjoyed.
I felt blessed that the experience was peaceful, safe, clean and seamless. I didn’t really miss the noise, chaotic feel and all the people sitting on floors and pretty much heavily packed into the airport of the past. I do hope that the usual bustle and vibrancy of a busy airport seemed a thing of the past. Perhaps a new normalcy that is somewhere in the middle will be the future - Vibrant, orderly and busy, with less of the chaos and packed in feeling?
Time will tell……….
Sharing the light,
Participating in the Immune Defense Summit, I am excited to share this work by Dr Zelenko, in Monroe, New York. With ZERO deaths, Doctor Zelenko’s simple and direct outpatient treatment of COVID-19 high risk patients is incredible. I am encouraged to know he is in contact with the White House and the leaders of Israel.
Dr Zelenko is the primary care physician of 75% of the adult population in a small town of 35,000 residents in upstate New York. His goals are simple- keep those infected alive and out of the hospitals. After doing much research on what was being used around the world and speaking with local hospital doctors, he determined the regimen of treatment he would use for those testing positive in the high risk categories of his patients. 699 of his patients tested positive for the virus, and 200 of them were high risk- over 60 years old plus comorbidity.
Those not in the high risk category had minor or no symptoms and are fully recovered.
****Please, share this information with your doctor if you need treatment.
His treatment for the high risk patients was the following regimen:
Hydroxychlroquine (Plaquenil brand name) - 200 mg 2X/day for 5 days (requires prescription)
Zinc Sulfate 220mg (does not need to be sulfate - needs 50mg elemental zinc) for 5 days
All but 6 of the patients did not need hospitalization and are in full recovery. 4 of the 6 patients are being given antibiotics for pneumonia in the hospital and doing better. Two of the 6 patients have been intubated in the hospital.
Dr Zelenko explained that the zinc is actually the key to the treatment, as this mineral stops the replication of the virus in the body, so that the body’s immune system can fight off the attack. Zinc however, is a positive ion and needs a transporter to get through cells. The Hydroxychloroquine opens the door and allows the zinc to enter the cell. Both are needed together. Dr Zelenko said that if there was a bacterial issue as well then he would also add the commonly used antibiotic, erythromycin.
It is important to note that all of these patients were in the early stages of the virus. Dr Zelenko’s successful treatment of his patients gives me great hope!
Another speaker in the Immune Defense Summit was Dr Levy. Practicing for 40 years and an expert on vitamin C, he also provided practical and excellent information for good health and to fight against the COVID-19 virus.
I was surprised to learn that there are approximately 60,000 peer reviewed articles published on vitamin C. I was also surprised that a study of 16,000 Americans found that 33% were deficient in vitamin C- one in every three people. Even moderate vitamin C deficiency can lead to a weakened immune system, fatigue, chronic pain, dry and rough skin, impaired wound healing, weight gain, and heart disease.
Somehow, I only thought vitamin C had an important role in keeping away colds. I was wrong!
Vitamin C rich cells show up first to address all attacks on the body. Dr Levy discussed how Vitamin C, along with other antioxidants are the power of the immune system. Vitamin C is a macronutrient and one of the most important substances to keep at a high level in the body. Vitamin C neutralizes toxins or free radicals by donating electrons to them. Toxins cause disease. With a strong immune system and enough vitamin C and antioxidants in the cells, the toxins are neutralized.
Further, Dr Levy explained that anywhere in the body that inflammation is present, it is a sign that vitamin C has been depleted. There is increased oxidative stress = inflammation.
All Vitamin C is not equal, as supplements that are water soluble do not penetrate the cells easily. Dr Levy’s talk provided a multi-C protocol, especially if acute resolution is needed. He recommended liposome encapsulated C (gets into the cells), daily sodium ascorbate powder to bowel tolerance 2 or 3x/day (helps clean the gut), plus Ascorbyl Palmitate (fat soluble C that also gets into the cells). If there is an acute hospitalization situation, he urged patients to ask for an IV vitamin C and hydrocortisone to neutralize inflammation and toxins attacking the body.
I learned much from these talks, and I am grateful for the expertise of these medical professionals. While I am a novice, I am determined to take responsibility for my health care, and that requires learning through research and listening to experts.
I also recognize that experts often have opposing views and that's fine and part of the process too. Ultimately, I need to make the decisions about my health and be responsible for those decisions.
As an avid follower of Ayurveda, I’ve embraced this science as a methodology that treats not only symptoms but focuses on root causes for imbalance and disease in each individual. It is not one size fits all, and Ayurveda works. I have personal experience using it. Ayurveda seeks to help with the overall balance of the body, mind and spirit. A person who has a balanced lifestyle and strong constitution is able to maintain balance through healthy foods, drinks, activities and exercise.
Foods rich in vitamin C include broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, oranges, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes.
Foods with darker, richer colors like orange, yellow, blue, and red tend to be higher in antioxidants. Whether vegetables, nuts, fruits or spices (such as cinnamon, turmeric, ginger), there are many choices of foods that are high in antioxidants.
The key is to not become deficient, and regular consumption of the above mentioned foods will enjoyably serve to keep you and your immune system healthy.
Some supplements and herbal medicines may also be needed to add defense against the pollution in our air and water, plus the ill effects of the many chemicals we encounter in our daily lives.
The good news is that we can live healthy, happy long lives when we learn what our bodies and minds need. I encourage you to keep paying attention to your health. When we are healthy, every facet of life is better!
I am grateful for the learning from the Immune Defense Summit and from the many teachers of Ayurveda and yoga that have transformed my life. May we all live life healthy and happy.
Before he died, a father said to his son; “Here is a watch that your grandfather gave me. It is almost 200 years old. Before I give it to you, go to the jewelry store downtown. Tell them that I want to sell it, and see how much they offer you.”
The son went to the jewelry store, came back to his father, and said; “They offered $150.00 because it is so old.”
The father said, “Go to the pawn shop, and see how much they offer you.”
The son went to the pawn shop, came back to his father, and said; “The pawn shop offered $10.00 because it looks so worn.”
The father asked his son to go to the museum and show them the watch. The son went to the museum, came back and said to his father; “The curator offered $500,000.00 for this very rare piece to be included in their precious antique collections.”
The father said, “I wanted to let you know that the right place (right people) values you in the right way. Don’t find yourself in the wrong place (with the wrong people) and get angry if you are not valued. Those that know your value are those who appreciate you. Don’t stay in a place where others do not see your value.
Know Your Worth!” -Thank you to Scott Tang for sharing this story
This story has interesting layers of understanding.
Initially, I appreciated the clear understanding of the teaching - something that looks old and worn may be quite valuable to expert eyes.
Then I reread, thought more and realized the story presented the teaching that old and worn are to be appreciated as having value.
The favorite teaching to me was revealed in the idea that where we are the most appreciated is where we have the most value.
It is true that our value is inherent wherever we may be, and shining our light or sharing our value may positively influence and help others. Yet, seeking to be in places and the company of those who appreciate us is recognizing and knowing our own worth!
Dinacharya: Ayurveda´s answer to loving and living joyfully
Would you like to reverse aging? Generate self-esteem, peace and happiness? Keep the aura bright with lustrous skin, and healthy tissues? Improve digestion, eyesight, hearing, muscle strength, flexibility, and brain function? Most importantly, during these turbulent times, strengthen the immune system?
Isvari, with her dynamic and compassionate style of teaching , will convey Ayurveda’s ancient holistic medicine with a daily routine for every body type. A daily routine is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind and consciousness. For the novice and for the leading aspirants of Ayurveda, there will be gems of information you won’t want to miss.
Isvari (Mary Ann) Johnson AP, CYI is a sincere and dedicated teacher/practitioner of Ayurveda and Classical Yoga. In 1997, she received the advanced certificate for teaching yoga from the Sivananda Yoga Retreat in Nassau, Bahamas. In 2004, she graduated from Dr Vasant Lad’s Ayurvedic Studies I and II at the Ayurvedic Institute Albuquerque, NM, finishing her studies with Dr Lad in Pune, India. For two decades, Isvari has traveled internationally, holding seminars with emphasis on body treatments, nutrition and yoga. She is a motivating teacher and life coach. Currently, she is the director of Ayurveda at the Sivananda Yoga Ranch in Woodbourne, NY, and is on faculty for Dr. Vasant Lad’s Institute of Ayurveda, Pune, India. (VIOA) You can contact her through email for an Ayurvedic Consultation email@example.com or visit her at the Sivananda Yoga Ranch in Woodbourne, NY where she also offers Ayurvedic Bliss Therapy. Bliss Therapy includes body message and shirodhara. Shirodhara means a steady continuous stream of warm oil poured over the forehead and scalp, making for deep relaxation and rejuvenation. She offers credited courses in Ayurvedic body treatments at the Sivananda Yoga Retreat , Nassau Bahamas.
We are living in such uncertain and unprecedented times. While I am questioning more and more about the shut-down and who and what was behind it, I have seen some definite positives, at least initially, from people slowing down, being with their families and pausing the fast pace of life we’ve all become so used to.
In the last five and a half years, as most of you know, I’ve been learning about and living a yogic life. Many of the main yogic principles are similar to the simple lessons of right living I learned at home, growing up in a traditional household. Yet, somehow as an adult, the world I am living in seems to have changed the basic meaning of the virtues I’d learned about - kindness, cleanliness, patience, compassion, honesty, tolerance. This is no judgement of others, as I found myself very much caught up in the fast paced, competitive, money driven, power seeking, highly judgmental, materialistic world. Taken to the extreme, these lauded characteristics said to lead to success, come at a price - our physical, emotional and spiritual health can be highly compromised, leading to weakened immune systems, disease and early death. We've all heard a lot about weakened immune systems lately.
While it was difficult to transition, the yogic lifestyle resonated so much with me, in part because the basic tenets were familiar and what I’d been taught as a young girl. Residing in an ashram in the Bahamas for most of the past five years, virtues were valued, taught and encouraged. Gratitude, patience, compassion, kindness, cleanliness, honesty, love - remembering them as we learned them as children. Gossip and idle talk were discouraged at the ashram. No TV and no news were actually freeing to the mind and spirit. When was the last time you had a tech free day?
I firmly believe that We Can Do Better as a human race.
I also believe that there is good in all of us, and an innate sense of right behavior in healthy humans.
Health and Virtues are of value to a civilized society.
As we are returning to activity once again, I wonder if the time we’ve had to reflect on what is important will spread out and change the world into a more caring, compassionate, healthier, and cleaner place to live?
Sending you love,