They voted Right: Or Is It Left?

Did you hear it? Was it loud enough? Do they get it yet? A resounding YES just echoed throughout the land. The Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 to keep the Affordable Care Act in tact. Millions, including one of my very dear friends, have been saved from being thrown back into the pit of disregard and hardship advocated by those those who would have given almost anything (except their own privilege) to see this grand accomplishment go down. Foiled! The brilliant and beautiful Black Man in the White House has pulled it off again. Sorry. Too bad. La di da. La di da. La di da.

I dare say this has been a good week. Out with the confederate flag. In with Obamacare. What’s next. I bet, hope, and pray, we go three for three. The odds are good. The wind is at our backs. Any takers?

We never know what things may come.  All we do know is our intention and our willingness to follow through. Here’s an image for momentum and resilience. Use it and see what happens.

 Beating the Drum

Close your eyes, exhale through your mouth, and imagine you’re standing within a circle of light. See, feel and sense how you are beating a drum that sends out a clear and powerful message. See all those who hear this message responding to its rhythm and coming to join you. See them entering your circle and see this circle growing larger. Hear the drumbeats flowing out into the universe, becoming stronger and clearer. Feel them resonating in your heart and in the hearts of others. See and sense what happens. Then breathe out and open your eyes.

 

Presto Change-O: Our Magical, Mystical DNA

On December 17, the New York Times ran a piece on How Exercise Changes Our DNA,” thus proposing we can affect our genetic makeup by how actively we live our lives.

Nice!  But we can go a lot further with this —  to that oft ignored, and invisible place where we know that our genes are affected not only by how we move our muscles but how we move our minds. That place where it’s possible to create a self fulfilling prophecy that is not a dream, not an illusion, but undeniably real.

A Body in Motion

The idea that we need to “Keep Moving” is  more essential to our vitality and health than we think. At a certain point, too many of us, myself included, set the more active phase of life aside. We think slowing down, sitting back, laying low, is natural. Just the way it is. Yet, If we choose the high road, believing instead, that we’re the pattern makers of our destinies, in both body and mind, how much more willing might we be to take part in sparking the creation of our lives?

Instead of men and women in their fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties falling apart, we might continue to alter the old, accepted pattern of decay to one of healthy growth and active engagement. Why not?

It’s Epi-ge-What?

This is no pipe dream. It’s Epigenetics, a type of biology that studies changes in how a gene expresses itself when it’s influenced by events above and beyond the gene itself, such as environment, experience, beliefs, and images — events other than specific changes in the underlying DNA sequence — hence the term epi-genetics (from the Greek for over, above, outer). Although these influences from outside and above don’t change the underlying sequence of our DNA (i.e. our hard drive), they do cause our genes to function, or “to express themselves” in a different way. And these new genetic expressions, once created, need not stop. They can be passed along to future generations.Holy moley. Shazaam. And so forth.

The science of using outside behavior and our innermost thoughts to affect what’s going  on, on the inside, may, in another twenty years, inform the way we live our lives. At least for those who want to live better, healthier, happier and longer.

A client of mine, a psychiatric nurse/dancer worked with patients in a large Manhattan hospital, where she managed to get a donation of tap shoes and started holding tap classes twice a week for the patients. The “short of it” is it changed their mood, and the way they thought and behaved. The “long of it” is the change extended into all areas of their lives. Sadly, they left their tapping and the concurrent changes it wrought, behind when they left the hospital.

Imagine what might have happened had they not.

Tapping it Forward

So let’s keep tapping. Never stop. Our bodies and minds are the laboratories of both our personal  and universal futures.Imagine! Happier, healthier, more engaged generations to come, living happier, healthier, more engaged lives. Genetic engineering at it’s best! Not a bad thought, not bad at all. . .

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That’s Not Okay: A Patient Loses Patience

I don’t like to complain. I prefer to stay positive. To smile and give the benefit of the doubt. But the inefficiency, lack of compassion, greed, and ignorance of the medical profession is not okay. I refuse to cut them slack for being on overload. When have they done that for me?

Granted, I recently moved and am still getting my bearings. But my bearings are fine, on all fronts but this. They say time heals. But whom does it heal? And when? And How? And exactly how long does that take? Less time than these mistakes and mix-ups I hope.

While I lived in New York I found my way to the best and the brightest. The ones who were brilliant, compassionate and kind. But right now the best and the brightest elude me. Still, I try to keep the faith.

Meaning Well Means Nothing

The notion that one means well means nothing; it can’t condone bad behavior. The secretary at the new internist’s office admits that, yes, they sent me documents with the wrong date, time, and name on them, yet she can’t understand why I don’t agree that it’s just an everyday error. She hangs up on me instead. That’s not okay!

The first internist I interview has a five star rating on the internet sites, yet is so full of ego I wonder how he gets his head through the door. Clearly,the danger of ratings abounds. He examines me so roughly I’m tempted to smack him. He threatens me with a rectal exam on the spot, if I don’t immediately agree to make an appointment with a gynecologist. One he recommends, of course. When did he gain dominion over my life? Who gave it to him? Treatment like this is not okay!

The imaging center forgets to schedule my test. They also forget which test I’m getting. When I arrive I explain their error. They smile; they  nod. According to them it’s no big deal. They tell me to return tomorrow. That’s not okay

My patience has hit point zero. Waiting six to eight weeks to become a “new patient.” Then waiting two hours once I finally get to the office is not an exercise in patience. It’s rudeness taken to the nth degree. That’s not okay!

 Portals Aren’t People!

Dealing with recorded phone prompts. Needing to communicate through a “patient portal.” Failing to provide caring human interaction, is standard in this new world of doctor/patient relations. That’s not okay! Never has been. Never will be.

For many years I’ve been my own authority. Now is not the time to stop, but to push forward. To speak up and speak out. To find a healing path that suits me and healers who are willing to travel it with me instead of trying to squeeze me into their standardized molds.

Now That’s okay! I will accept nothing less. Why should I? And why should you?

If you require some steel to stand up and be counted, in your doctor’s office or anywhere else, try the following image:

Become Your Own Hero 

Intention: The Hero is an image we usually attribute to another. Here you empower yourself by tapping into your own natural courage and heroic energy. That other part of yourself that you too often forget exists.

Close your eyes and exhale one time. See and sense how it is to become your own hero. Know that you are connected to your source of power.Imagine this source as someplace within you, or coming from above and beyond you. Feel this power strengthening and emboldening you. See the job that needs doing.

As your own hero, see yourself overcoming the gremlins of fear and doubt. Doing what needs to be done. saying what needs to be said. Celebrate your accomplishment.  Then breathe out. open your eyes, and return.

 

 

Let It Snow

It’s snowing in New York City. Again!

Wait. It just stopped. Or did it? I am sick and tired. Literally. What else can I do but complain? Who wants to listen? No one!

I make it a habit to look on the bright side. Wait a minute. I’m still looking. There must be something good to say. I’m thinking. Okay. I’ve got it.

The heat in my building is actually working. They can’t get here for the umpteenth time to repair the boiler, which doesn’t seem broken to me, so the hot water is on instead of off. It’s deep-quiet outside. No horns blaring. No trucks idling. No drills drilling. The old City University building stands ghost like, across the street, swathed in netted scaffolding, waiting to be torn down to make way for a high-rise condo, and the work has been indefinitely postponed. The power is on all over town. The streets are being cleared, proudly directed by the neophyte mayor. There’s enough food to last me until tomorrow.  I’m not eating much anyway. And the best part – for a moment it seems like time stands still. And who couldn’t use some of that?

It’s snowing, as well, out at Stony Brook, Long Island, where my brother-in-law, Daniel, my friend, my witness, my last link to my family history – to my beloved parents and sister – to my personal past, has just been taken off a respirator and has begun to breathe on his own. And to see, and respond, and show signs of life.

It’s my niece’s Birthday. She’s driving through the snow to the hospital to see her father. She will get there because that’s who she is and what she does. She’s his rock. He says she likes to boss him around. There are many bosses in this family. All with their own style and expertise. I’m putting my money on the biggest Boss of all. In every situation, at every moment, it’s the best any of us can do . . .

If there is someone (including yourself) who is in need of a heroic intervention, use the following imagery exercise. It offers power, faith, beauty and connection, from both above and below:

Hands of God

Intention: To ask for guidance, protection and clarity in times of need, danger, or difficulty. To develop awareness of, and connection with, the Shekinah (the feminine presence of God).

Close your eyes and breathe out three times. See before you a cone of light descending from above. Know that you are in the revealed presence of the Shekinah

Go into this sacred space and say a brief prayer for what it is you want or need.*Say “Thy will be done.” Then see, sense and feel yourself , or the person for whom you are praying, being lifted up by the Hands of God.

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In Pursuit of My Fantasy Doctor

Last week I saw two doctors within the span of two days. Two more than I usually see in a year. The first had a lot to say and went quickly from charming to overbearing, instructing me to toss every vitamin supplement I own since they are not FDA approved and cannot be trusted. In her view, they make things worse. She was too busy being right to notice my response.

The second was like clear water, He listened without comment. He spoke without prejudice. He told me what I needed to know and made no effort to convince me he was right. His advice held no judgment. The little he said made sense.

Through the years I’ve learned that I don’t need my doctor to be my friend, or to like me, or approve of me. What I do need is to be treated as an equal. An adult. And for him or her not to make pronouncements, as though there is only one way (their own) that things should be done. And if it’s not too far a reach, to have the wisdom and grace to step into a space where ego doesn’t drive truth underground and there is no hierarchy of status. Just two people talking.

These doctors do exist. I have encountered them on several occasions. They shine like lights in the darkness and give me hope. We need more of them

When I was a kid I would sneak from my bed at night and listen to the grownups discuss life as they knew it (which seemed far more interesting, than life as I knew it). One of the topics of conversation was doctors. And the greatest compliment paid at the time was to call him (yes, it was always a him in those days) “A very big man.”

In my innocence, I assumed that meant girth, height, presence. Of course, it was none of these, although they were sometimes included in the package. The Big Man had power, commanded respect, had an office in Manhattan, on Central Park West, and could tell you what to do and how to do it with surety, and within a blink of the eye.

My first doctor was Morris Schwartzfarb.  Dr. Schwartzfarb  made house calls, seven days a week, at $10 a pop. Since he lived in the building, He had only to cross the courtyard and take the elevator to the second floor to get to our apartment. He was accessible and kind. What we called a real mensch. But, as you may have already guessed, he was never referred to “as a very big man.”

Yet for me, he was special. Like the Taoist master, he did his work, and walked away. He never bragged, made unfunny jokes, touted his credentials, or acted like he knew stuff we didn’t  ─ just stuff that was different. While we  knew about jumping rope, broiling a chicken,  cleaning the house, choosing the best fruit, and going to school. He knew how to use a stethoscope, take our blood pressure, and give injections.  He had his job; we had ours. We were different but equal.

Too many of today’s  doctors see themselves as ” Very Big Men.”  Yes, even the women, except for a few who don’t, like the Dinosaur.

Fantasy Doctors are a precious species. I am always on the lookout. When I find them, I make sure to say how special they are. After all, they are rare birds, disappearing faster than the wind. And with the way things are now, who can blame them?

If you wish to find yourself a Fantasy Doctor, use this imagery exercise for the next 21 days with the intention of drawing one to you, or you to her/him, and see what happens.

Unlocking the Gates

Close your eyes and breathe out three times. See yourself standing before a set of gates that until now have been closed to you. Find nearby a key and unlock these gates. See, sense and know how by unlocking the gates, the way opens, and all obstacles disappear.

Ask the universe for what it is that you want. See yourself receiving it. Notice what happens and how you feel.

Then breathe out, open your eyes, and never doubt it for a minute.