Migraine Magic

Not so long ago, I wrote about the use of Botox for migraines. Since then, and about two weeks ago, I visited my neurologist and submitted my head to the 31 injections.

Botox does not work immediately – it takes a little time. When I’d had it previously just for wrinkles, it took up to a week for the muscles to stop working. The doctor said it would take 5-7 days before it started doing anything. But it is not an immediate change – it kind of sneaks up on you. So far, the intensity of my migraines seem to be easing; however I am noticing how much pain I am getting from TMJ (the next time, I will get the doctor to inject those spots, too – she can do that!)

Botox is on the PBS (for Australians) for people who have tried at least 3 other migraine medications and have migraines at least 15 days out of the month. You need to be referred to a neurologist – I was referred to Dr Robert Stark but he is way too busy so I saw his daughter. They are in the CBD. It cost $160 for the consultation and $150 for the Botox. I received $170 back from Medicare but you can’t do this type of transaction online.

Dr Stark told me that it may actually take 3 times before it works for some people BUT the PBS will only cover 2 procedures if it isn’t working immediately.

It didn’t hurt too much but my head felt a little bruised later.

If you’re not a fan of needles, a headband that stimulates nerves is now an option in America to reduce the pain from migraines.

A-New-Device-Offers-Promise-to-Migraine-SufferersRecently, the Food and Drug Administration approved Cefaly, a product that uses nerve stimulation made by Belgian company, STX-MED, to aid in the relief of migraines. It’s a battery operated plastic headband which may reduce the pain of severe headaches and make downtime more manageable.

While nothing has been proven to prevent migraines completely, the headband may offer a new, medication-free solution to the user. The unit has been sold to more than 50,000 people in Europe already.

Low electric current is sent through the head to help reduce the severity of migraines. The cranial nerves are literally tingled to a place of relief. According to health professionals, patients may notice a reduction in migraines and in the amount of recovery time after a migraine.

The nerve stimulation device may offer promise of relief to many people who suffer from migraines on a regular basis. It also points to potential causes of recurring migraines. Unfortunately, the device  does not get rid of migraines completely.

If you’d like to see iHerb’s selection of Headache and Migraine products, click here. Use Coupon Code LHJ194 to get $10 off any first time order over $40 or $5 off any first time order under $40.

Int Fibro

Tell Them

great make upI’m sure that some of you have seen this. I have seen and read it many times…each time, it brings tears to my eyes. I don’t know who wrote it. I don’t even know if it’s true – but it is beautiful!

(Warning: may cause tears)

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’ t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Mark’s math teacher? ‘he asked. She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

‘We want to show you something, ‘his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed.. We thought you might recognize it.’

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.

‘Thank you so much for doing that, ‘Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark treasured it.’

All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.’

Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’

‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said.’ It’s in my diary.’

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times,’ Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists’

That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

How to Understand Someone With Chronic Pain

In hopeful anticipation of informing YOU, a person who wants to understand: these are some things that can help YOU to understand, and help, people who suffer from often debilitating, chronic pain:

Remember: chronic pain sufferers (CPS) have already attempted numerous alternative therapies and know what therapies have worked or not worked for them.

1. Remember that being sick does not mean that the sufferer is no longer a human being.

1A CPS may spend the majority of their day in considerable pain. If YOU visit or live with a CPS, the CPS may be unable to enjoy the things they used to enjoy. The CPS remains aware, and desires to do what they used to perform. The CPS feels as if they are stuck inside a body over which they have little or no control. They still want to enjoy work, family, friends and leisure activities; however, pain keeps that enjoyment out of reach.

2. Learn the code.

2A CPS will often speak differently from people free of constant pain. Do not assume the CPS is not experiencing pain when they say that they are fine. The CPS attempts to hide the pain due to lack of understanding in others. Accept that words may be inadequate to describe how the sufferer is feeling. Recall a time when YOU experienced pain, then multiply the intensity and attempt to imagine that pain present twenty-four hours a day, every day, without relief. It’s hard to find the words for that sort of pain.

3. Recognize the difference between “happiness” and “healthy”.

3Remember the last time YOU had the flu, YOU probably felt miserable. A CPS has experienced pain from 6 months to many years. Pain has caused them to adopt coping mechanisms that are not necessarily reflecting the real level of pain they feel.

Respect that the person who is in pain is trying their best. When the CPS says they are in pain – they are! They are merely coping; sounding happy and trying to look normal.

3aLook for signs of pain: grimacing, restlessness, irritability, mood swings, wringing of hands, moaning, sleep disturbance, teeth grinding, poor concentration, decreased activity, and perhaps even writing down suicidal thoughts or language.

4. Listen.

4The previous two steps made it clear that a CPS can speak in code or make light of their pain than is the reality. The next best thing that YOU can do is to listen to them properly, and to make it clear that YOU both want to hear what they have to say and that YOU really have heard it. Use YOUr listening skills to decode what they’re hiding or minimizing.

5. Understand and respect the CPS’s physical limitations.

Being able to stand up* for ten minutes doesn’t necessarily mean that the CPS can stand up for twenty minutes, or an hour, or give YOU a repeat performance whenever. Just because the person managed to stand up for thirty minutes yesterday doesn’t imply that they will be able to do the same today. With a lot of diseases, a person may exhibit obvious signs of immobility, such as paralysis, or total immobilization due to weakness, etc. With chronic pain however, it is confusing to both the sufferer and the onlooker, and their ability to cope with movement can be like a yo-yo. The sufferer may not know, from day-to-day, how they are going to feel when they wake up and each day has to be taken as it comes. In many cases, they don’t know from minute to minute. That is one of the hardest and most frustrating components of chronic pain.

* Insert “sitting”, “walking”, “thinking”, “concentrating”, “being sociable” and so on, to this step, as the curtailment on a sufferer’s ability to be responsive applies to everything that you’d expect a person in good health to be able to do. That’s what chronic pain does to its sufferers.

6. Leave your “pep talk” mode for your kids and your gym buddies.

6Realizing that chronic pain is variable, keep in mind that a pep talk can be aggravating and demoralizing for the CPS. As already noted, it’s quite possible (and for many, it’s common) that one day they’re able to walk to the park and back, while the next day they’ll have trouble getting to the next room. Therefore, it’s vital that YOU don’t fall into the trap of saying: “But you did it before!” or “Oh, come on, I know you can do this!” If YOU want them to do something, then ask if they can and respect their answer.

Get over the need to give platitudes about the value of exercising and fresh air. For a CPS, “getting out and doing things” does not make the pain vanish and can often exacerbate the problems. Bear in mind that YOU don’t know what they go through or how they suffer in their own private time. Telling them that they need to exercise, or do some things to “get their mind off of it”, may frustrate them to tears, and is not correct advice, especially if YOU’re not medically trained and haven’t got a clue. If they were capable of doing some things any or all of the time, they would.

Remember that CPS are constantly working with doctors and striving to improve and do the right things for their illness. Another statement that hurts is, “you just need to push yourself more, try harder”. Obviously, chronic pain can affect the whole body, or be localized to specific areas. Sometimes participating in a single activity for a short or a long period of time can cause more damage and physical pain; not to mention the recovery time, which can be intense. YOU can’t always read it on their face or in their body language. Also, chronic pain may cause secondary depression (wouldn’t YOU get depressed and down if YOU were hurting constantly for months or years?), but it is not created by depression.

7. Never use throwaway lines.

7Assuming YOU know best by making such statements as “Ah well, that’s life, you’ll just have to deal with it”, or “you’ll get over it eventually. Until then, you’ll just have to do your best”, or worst of all, “Well, you look well enough”, etc., are lines that might make YOU feel done and dusted with the topic but they are both a form of distancing yourself from the person and making the sufferer feel worse and out of hope. Psychologist Mark Grant suggests that YOU should throw lifelines rather than throwaway lines.

8. Check your own patience.

If YOU’re impatient and want them to “just get on with it”, YOU risk laying a guilt trip on the person who is suffering from pain and undermining their determination to cope. They probably have the will to comply with your requests to go out and about with them but have neither the strength nor the coping capacity as a result of the pain.

A CPS may need to cancel a previous commitment at the last-minute. If this happens, please do not take it personally. If YOU are able, please try to always remember how very lucky YOU are, to be physically able to do all of the things that YOU can do.

Be very understanding if the CPS says they have to sit down, lie down, stay in bed, or take these pills right now. It probably means that they have no choice but to do it right now, and it can’t be put off or forgotten just because they happen to be somewhere, or they’re right in the middle of doing something. Chronic pain does not forgive, nor does it wait for anyone.

9. Be sensitive when suggesting medicines or alternative treatments.

9Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and alternative therapies can have side effects and unintended consequences. Some may not appreciate suggestions, and it’s not because they don’t want to get well. They may have heard of it or tried it already or some may not be ready to cope with new treatment that can create an additional burden on their already over-burdened lives. Treatments that haven’t worked carry the emotional pain of failure, which in and of itself can make the person feel even lower.

On the other hand, never be afraid to ask them about how satisfied they are with their treatment. Mark Grant says that it is important to ask helpful questions about whether the chronic sufferer thinks their treatment is satisfactory or if they think their pain is bearable. He suggests that people rarely ask these open-ended “helpful questions” that would help the CPS to open up and really talk. Of course, if there were something that cured, or even helped people with a particular form of chronic pain, then they should be made aware of it. There is worldwide networking (both on and off the Internet) between people with chronic pain. Those can be good resources. Be sensitive in how YOU bring it up.

10. Don’t be put off if the CPS seems touchy.

If that’s the appearance, it’s probably because they are. It’s not how they try to be. As a matter of fact, they try very hard to be normal. Just try to understand. They have been going through a lot. Chronic pain is hard to understand unless YOU have had it. It wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. It is exhausting and exasperating. Almost all the time, they do their best to cope with this, and live their lives to the best of their ability. Just accept them as they are.

11. Be helpful.

11The CPS depends a great deal on people who are not sick to support them at home or visit them when they’re too sick to go out. Sometimes they need help with shopping, cooking, or cleaning. Others may need help with their kids. They may need help getting to the doctor, or to the store. YOU can be their link to the “normalcy” of life. YOU can help them keep in touch with the parts of life that they miss and desperately want to undertake again.

12. Balance your career responsibilities. If YOU are living with a CPS or supporting such a person on a regular basis, YOU need to maintain balance in your life. If YOU don’t take care of your own needs, health, and work-life balance, being around the CPS can bring YOU down even though YOU’re probably trying hard not to be. Avoid suffering from carer burn-out by getting other people to help, taking time out, and curtailing your guilt trips. Care for this person as much as YOU’re able but also care for YOURSELF.

Happy New Year (?)

51adRpp0LPLWe just had Jewish New Year…so happy New Year, everyone!

The good (or maybe it’s bad) thing about this is that it is a very good reason to have a look at the goals I made for the ‘normal’ (sorry, I can’t think of the right word) New Year and I still have time to do something about it.

My main goal (other than getting cured!) was to lose weight – do you remember my post Bigger is NOT Better? The 10,000 tonne woman has disappeared from my TV screen so I don’t know how she’s going but, although I have been battling some major depression, I have lost 11 kilos. It isn’t the 30 kilos I pledged but at least, it’s a step in the right direction.

Now we had a lot of comments on that post so I’m wondering how the rest of you are doing…yes, I shall name names (Sherri Caudill Lewis, Lara, Kimberley Hatfield- Patty, Valerie Dunlop, Cara Heinze from whohastimeforthegym.com, Sarah Pirtle, Tina, Kate Fuller, Vicki, and FibroLogic) but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about the rest of you…so please, let’s hear your New Year updates.

It’s My Life!

Woah! Really busy for me out in the real world – there is actually a life for me beyond Fibromyalgia Awareness…

As you know, last night was my fabulous shiatsu massage; but, before that, I had a very-overdue botox injection (or lots of little ones) across my forehead: Botulinum toxin, commonly referred to as Botox®, is well-known for its cosmetic use to eliminate glabellar lines, the frown wrinkles between the eyes (which is fabulous) frown_lines_beforeyet it can also relieve migraine-type headache, muscle tension headache, or chronic daily headache. Results can be dramatic. Some patients (about a third) who have suffered from daily headaches for years report being free of headaches for two to five months; so I’m hoping (at least) some of my head pain will disappear.

After that, it was an appointment with my lap-band doctor – basically unnecessary because, during this whole month, despite hardly eating because of teeth pain, I only lost 400 grams (that’s a poo!). Hopefully, after this whole ‘Lyrica-weaning’ process, I will start to lose some (much un-needed) weight!

Driving Miss DaisyToday I was lucky enough to receive my very belated birthday present – a matinee performance of Driving Miss Daisy with Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones. I had seen the movie (a very, very long time ago – after googling it, the movie was around 1989 so I was 18) but I really didn’t remember the entire Jewish storyline, only the black racism. It was pretty damn cool and I had a (very uncomfortable) seat in the second row (that’s from the front!)

And now, tomorrow, it is Z’s 3rd birthday party (so I’ll see my father for the 1st time since The Letter) – he decided to have a gardening party with minimal decoration (BUM!) but I did what I was allowed to:

hungry caterpiller (window)hungry caterpiller

balloons

His real birthday is on Tuesday so I prepared a treasure chest of presents…

chest closed chest opened

and decorated the spare-room at my house for when he sleeps over.

view from door full view

We’re going to the Zoo!

Related Posts:

A Fibromyalgia Fairytale

If you read my FB post, you’ll know that I am NOT in the most amazing mood! And a parable is the only way I can even put into words the way I’m feeling

zombieOnce upon a time there was a gargantuan, purple she-monster, who lived in a small village, where she used to terrorise the man/boys (ages 29 – 35). Round and round the village, she used to lope (because walking hurt) after them – never catching them.

One day, she just gave up (or, at least, she is trying to). It was no use anyway; all the beautiful she-villagers were catching the man/boys – there were none left for the she-monster.

beautiful people

And no matter how much filler she used, she was never going to have gorgeous, full lips. No matter how much she dieted (especially with her Lyrica dosage), she was never going to be slim. No matter how much moisturiser she used (and that’s when she remembered), she was never going to be younger.

That same day, she realised that she was never going to meet anyone (she was unable to leave the village)…

At the same time as that realisation hit her, a group of man/boys whooshed by in their chariot and yelled out, at the top of their voices, “you #()^%ing, ugly (&%T!!!!’

And that was my day (and how I felt all day!)

Lest We Forget

Today, in Australia, is ANZAC Day. So, I thought it was appropriate to give a quick history lesson to those who are not from around these parts:

ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia’s most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.), and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.

When war broke out in 1914, Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only 13 years. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey), the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. Although it was planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly, the campaign dragged on for eight months. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated, after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships.

Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign left us all a powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as the ANZAC Legend became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways they viewed both their past and their future.

With the coming of the Second World War, ANZAC Day also served to commemorate the lives of Australians who died in that war. In subsequent years the meaning of the day has been further broadened to include Australians killed in all the military operations in which Australia has been involved.

Continuing with the theme of today’s post:

ANZAC biscuits date back to World War I, and were eaten by our troops on the shores of Gallipoli and the fields of Flanders.

The original Anzac biscuit was known as an Anzac wafer or tile and, along with beef bully, was part of the rations given to our soldiers during World War I. They were included instead of bread because they had a much longer shelf-life.

These biscuits were so hard they prompted Lieutenant A L Dardel in 1915 to comment that ‘the man who can eat Gallipoli stodge (called bread) can eat anything… somebody will break his neck someday wandering round with his eyes shut and his teeth clenched on a biscuit trying to bite it through’.

Many soldiers ground these biscuits into a type of porridge to make them more palatable.

The mothers, wives and girlfriends of Australian troops back home must’ve got wind of the terrible Anzac tiles and were reportedly concerned that their boys were not getting enough nutrients. Knowing that oats were a food of high nutritional value, these women used the recipe for Scottish oatcakes as a base and developed what we now know as the Anzac biscuit.

Along with oats, the other ingredients – sugar, flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup and bi-carbonate of soda – were used because they would be able to withstand the long journey via ship that the biscuits had to make to reach the troops.

Eggs, a common binding agent in biscuits, were purposely not used because of the high likelihood that they would spoil before they reached Gallipoli or the Western Front.

RECIPE FOR TRADITIONAL ANZAC BISCUITS

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
  • 150g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 170°C.
  • Place the flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • In a small saucepan place the golden syrup and butter and stir over low heat until the butter has fully melted.
  • Mix the bicarbonate soda with 1 1/2 tablespoons water and add to the golden syrup mixture. It will bubble whilst you are stirring together so remove from the heat.
  • Pour into the dry ingredients and mix together until fully combined.
  • Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on baking trays lined with non stick baking paper, pressing down on the tops to flatten slightly.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Have a wonderful ANZAC Day, everybody!

Are You Sleeping?

frere

Do you get enough sleep?

This is what happens to your body if it’s deprived of sleep:

  • You have problems with memory and concentration.
  • You have problems finding the right word.
  • You get irritable – you think so?
  • Neurotransmitters in the brain become altered.
  • You become more susceptible to infection.
  • At its extreme, sleep deprivation can lead to death.

h1sciqsleepwalkingIt seems that no matter how many Ambiens (zolpidem) and Lunestas (eszopiclone) we take, we wake up feeling like shit (sorry – there is just no other word!): feeling hung over and inattentive. So much so that the FDA recently cut recommended doses of Ambien and other drugs that contain zolpidem for fear that their use, even the night before, might impair driving or other activities the next day.

This is because Lunesta and Ambien affect GABA receptors, which are found throughout the brain and are associated with side effects, including thinking disturbances, and deficits in attention and memory, explains Jason Uslaner, lead author of a study published in the April 3 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

A new study funded by Merck (of which Uslaner is director of In Vivo Pharmacology at Merck & Co.) has shown that a new class of sleep medications appears to help people fall asleep without causing grogginess the next day (YES! You did read that correctly!)

These new medications – known as dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORA) – target a more specific region of the brain than the other popular sleep drugs, promoting sleep without affecting cognition.

About 15 years ago, scientists discovered chemical messengers known as orexins, which are released by a relatively small brain region known as the lateral hypothalamus. lateralThis area of the brain releases orexins during the day to keep us awake and lowers levels at night so we can sleep.

The appeal of orexin antagonists, said Dr Michael Thorpy, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, is that they “target a system that’s more specific for sleep.”

That means, theoretically, fewer side effects and perhaps less of a tendency to be habit-forming, Thorpy explained.

Merck already has one such drug, suvorexant, under review by the FDA.

But with this study, Uslaner and his colleagues investigated a compound called DORA-22, which has the same mechanism of action as suvorexant, to see how it fared alongside Ambien, Lunesta and also diazepam (Valium) in rats and rhesus monkeys.

DORA-22 did not lead to the same mental impairments as the other three drugs. Rhesus monkeys and rats performed just as well on memory and attention tasks shortly after being administered DORA-22 as they did on the placebo.

This is the first time in years that scientists have targeted a totally different receptor in the quest to combat insomnia, said Dr Alexandre Abreu, co-director of the UHealth Sleep Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

444-36-cartoonBut many questions remain as even experts note that findings from animal studies do not always hold up in human trials: Do the drugs truly have fewer side effects? Will they be habit-forming? And will they change the quality of sleep in any way?

Those questions will only be answered with more testing and use in humans…(waiting…waiting…waiting…)

 

Related articles

When the Going Gets Tough…

There’s a lot to appreciate in everyone’s life even when things are tough…

One of the most tragic things about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses outside the window.

Dale Carnegie

Who wouldn’t rather be happy than sad, positive than depressed, calm than anxious?

But there’s no difference, in fact, between various emotions. It’s all just energy and the surest way to hold onto negative feelings is to judge them, analyse them or try to pretend they’re not happening. We can’t be cheerful all the time – that’s a plain fact of life – but we can be happy.

Even in the darkest hour, we can find the peaceful sanctuary that lies within each of us.

7520956914_db9ee248daIt’s picking yourself up and dusting yourself off and starting again that counts. I guess it all comes back to balance again – there must be enough in life to make our hearts lift and our spirits soar, whether it be a hug from a friend, a beautiful piece of music, a puppy or a child’s playfulness, the sight of the ocean, trees, flowers, a lover’s smile and so many more.

Conquer Your Fear

Subconsciously, we set tests up for ourselves, especially in areas that we know are our weakest. What we fear, we will always see. If you’re constantly worried about money, you will eventually have a financial crisis to deal with; if you’re afraid of rejection and loneliness, you’ll experience relationship breakdown, and if you’re afraid of tangible things such as a particular insect or object, you will see nothing else. So, the important thing is to conquer your fear before it cripples your life.

If you want to overcome a certain issue or problem, for a while, it will get worse as your negative ego struggles to keep it in a dark place. It’s a test of our resolve – will we cave in or hold strong? If it’s the former, we’re simply not ready so don’t lose heart and if it’s the latter, there will be rewards in the improvements in life that will become clear.

daemon_hammerWe humans seem to like to learn our lessons by being hit over the head by a mallet, instead of gently and effortlessly.

Learning is a lifetime’s occupation and yes, we repeat many lessons as we go along. But we must never get impatient or critical of ourselves, just start again and use the newfound knowledge to do better, feel better, relate better, live happier.

Look for the Gift

Prosperity comes in many forms and sometimes it’s heavily disguised. When life seems at its hardest, that’s when we have to look for the unexpected gift.

Have you seen the movie Serendipity? In it the woman says that in Greece, they don’t write obituaries when someone dies; they just ask one question, ‘Did the person have passion?’ It represents risk, or, taking things to another level, adventure.

See the Magic

What about magic? Is that another wishy-washy concept or something real and tangible? I (try to) always believe that things will come out right in the end – and they generally do. Try to see the magic in ordinary, everyday things; look at the world the way a child does or imagine seeing again after years of blindness.

all around you

Self-talk

When you behave in undesirable ways, feel ‘upset’ or have physical symptoms, ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I doing to create this situation?
  • Are my emotions helping or hurting me?
  • What am I telling myself?
  • What are the facts?
  • Am I exaggerating or distorting?
  • Are there other explanations?
  • How likely are my worries?
  • Whose problem is this really?
  • What have I got to learn from the situation?
  • Am I failing to trust?
  • Am I giving in to negative thoughts?
  • Am I running into the future?

Remember to appreciate your daily blessings and not find a whole lot to criticise about your life, which is really quite wonderful most of the time.