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Archive for August, 2009

Livin’ the Dream

   In an age of economic hardship, business bailouts and a possible overhaul of the U.S. healthcare delivery system, here’s a story that positively sends shivers up my spine!

   Angela Lovelace is a teenager that was born with Down Syndrome. She graduated from high school with teachers predicting that she would never be able to read. To add to her challenges, Angela rapidly began to gain extra weight by the age of 14.

   But a dramatic change took place this year in Angela’s life. Several months ago, her parents put her on a specific nutritional regimen to see if she would benefit. Little did they know that a complete transformation would unfold before their eyes.

   Today Angela has released a total of 57 pounds and shrunk from a size 16 to a size 0! She used to throw gutter balls at the local bowling alley and now scores strikes and spares. And instead of camping out in front of the TV, Angela now lifts weights, scales a climbing wall and tackles whatever physical activity that catches her imagination.

   Angela takes pride in her new appearance and loves to show off her reading skills. She proclaims to everyone within the sound of her voice, “I am living my dreams!”

   Want to meet this amazing young woman for yourself? Go to:

http://www.facebook.com/p.php?i=1127475615&k=Z5G24YR4T2TF6BD1QF5TPUXVRPIB4XY1PPCSK&oid=1264343490168

   Be sure to share Angela’s story with someone who needs a blessing today.

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   Aristotle asked the question, “What is the good life?”

   As a towering giant in the field of philosophy, we can probably assume that Ari wasn’t thinking of sensual pleasures such as kicking back on a yacht with champagne and caviar. He was looking inward and exploring those things that gratify the soul.

   Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “cheeks sent me high”), a Hungarian-born social scientist, introduced to modern psychology the concept of flow. Some people call it convergence; others refer to it as finding your calling life.

   Dr. “Cheeks” discovered that, while positive emotions like exhilaration and ecstasy are often considered the manifestations of happiness, they are in fact temporal distractions that ultimately rob us of a sense of wellbeing.

   On the other hand, when we engage in activity that is challenging and requires a level of skill and concentration such that we lose track of time, we enter into that deeper sense of satisfaction, or flow.

   Building social capital, or trust, connects us with humanity. Building psychological capital – discovering contributive work that causes us to lose self-consciousness – connects us with our innate need for purpose and gratification.

   If you’re trapped in a low-flow mentality – pursuing fun and amusement – ask yourself what benefits you’re receiving and what price you are paying to maintain that emotional high. The high-flow person finds fulfillment in meaningful work, spiritual growth, and other activities that are congruent with his or her values.

   May I challenge you to wade out into deeper water and go with the flow?!

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   Are you positioning yourself as a health resource in your community? That doesn’t mean pushing product into people’s faces or nagging them about their unhealthy habits.

   It does mean that you are commited to becoming more knowledgeable about issues that affect everyone’s health and well being.

   Check out the “things to do” column of your local newspaper. There are numerous opportunities to attend free lectures and other events where information is shared by experts of every kind.

   Participate more fully in your church. Visit service clubs and support groups. Stroll past the stands at farmers’ markets. Ask if your library or favorite bookstore hosts discussion groups or book clubs. Peruse the bulletin board at the health food store for special speakers and cooking demos.

   Look for free classes on how to get plugged in to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

   And don’t be afraid to be the neighbor who smiles and waves over the back fence. Open a conversation by offering to share some of the vegetables ripening in your garden.

   Start building social capital in your community. Establish trust and a reputation for giving back…and paying forward. Build your toolbox of resources to share with people looking for solutions to their health challenges.

   Be open to new ideas.  And prepare to make new friends!

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