When I was little, my grandparents, my mother’s parents, lived in a two-story, white house in Central Village, Connecticut. The house sat right on the street with a railroad track just on the other side. When the trains came, you swore they would go right through the house. I remember that sound. I remember that feeling. As I loved trains, I always thought it a wonderful feeling. The only other good thing I remember from there was my grandmother. My grandparents were French-Canadian, Gagñon. My grandmother was called Mémé. She loved me. I knew she did. She was the only one. I remember one day, I was three or four, playing by the train track, alone. Apparently I disturbed a bee, and was stung on my bare foot. I remember running into the house, crying, and my Mémé scooped me up into her arms and sat in her rocking chair, and rocked with me, holding me close, and comforting me. I felt loved. She died a short time later. They didn’t let me go to her funeral. I never got to say goodbye, and I never felt loved again. Continue reading
Sarah’s Rap: If you look at any truly successful, happy or healthy person you will notice that they do not stand alone. They are surrounded by people that love and support them. Synergy, one of my favorite words, is “the combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately.”* This is what a human support system can do for each of us. As this month of love closes behind us, continue to grow the love in your life by finding a Bert to your Ernie, a Brady Bunch to your Alice or a cheering squad for your own personal pep rally.
That all sounds well and good, you say, but how? Well, don’t despair! Sometimes the sources of love and reinforcement can surprise us. One thing I’ve learned in recent years is that just as one needs multiple pieces to build a puzzle, so does a support network requires multiple people of varying “shapes” to make your life feel complete and your own puzzle piece to feel surrounded and stable. That’s why it’s called a support “network”, not a “pair”. No one person can provide you will all the different types of support you may require, whether you are suffering from heartbreak, job loss, illness or just life’s general stresses. Continue reading
Sarah’s Rap: Last year I was walking with a long-time friend and after voicing my unhappiness with my health issues and resulting dietary regimen (for probably the millionth time), my friend suggested that I might need to accept that this was the way things were going to be. That I might not get past this. She had a good point, and for awhile after that conversation I tried not to be upset with what I COULDN’T eat and instead was satisfied with what I COULD eat, and all the other good things I had in my life – a loving family, a good job, enough money to buy organic, high-quality foods and more. A strange thing happened. Just by deciding to change my mindset my stress-levels reduced and I felt more enjoyment in life.
Sadly, since then I’ve regressed and reverted back to fighting my circumstances and always striving to “get better”. On one hand, it’s a good thing to want to be better. I don’t sit idly by or decide to eat whatever I want no matter how sick it makes me. I got a new doctor, did some lab work to find more food sensitivities and bacterial overgrowth issues, bought a portable sauna for the house and started doing progressive relaxation. But this mindset of always striving for better health also causes stress and a constant dissatisfaction that my life is not what I want it to be. I’m always cooking, worrying about eating at social functions and turning a bit into a hermit. What I need to find is a balance between the two. I need to bring more LOVE into my life and only I can control how receptive I am to it. Only I can generate love within myself for others, my environment and my life experiences. No one will do it for me. I am surrounded by love from others, yet I often feel dissatisfied and depressed. I am going to call this My Year of Love and I’ve just read an inspiring book that’s going to help! Wanna join me? If so, read on! Continue reading
Sarah’s Rap: As the month of love is upon us, I have been contemplating all the sources of love in my life. I am very fortunate to receive love from many angles – family, friends, spouse and children. Each kind of love is different, yet special in its own way. All this love has definitely helped me to cope with illness, stress and challenges over the years. Thank you to all those in my life that love me. I love you too!
A few other “loves of my life” are my fuzzy buddies. As a daughter and wife of pet-lovers, there have been very few times over my lifetime that I have been without a furry friend to love. Those times that we didn’t have a pet, the house felt empty even when it was full of people. What is it about the love from a pet that sometimes feels more comforting than human love? Do I take the human love for granted because I have always had copious amounts? Is it that pets love you unconditionally (as long as you feed them)? Is it because they are always so happy to see you when you come home or maybe because they snuggle so nicely? Whatever it is, the power of a pet’s love is amazing, as is the feeling of loving a pet in return. In fact, it’s downright therapeutic!
Sarah’s Rap: As many of you know, Melissa and I both suffer from health issues and are working parents. Sadly, that means we don’t always make time for others outside of our immediate families. There is something about this time of year that makes both of us want to give back to our communities and help others less fortunate. If you didn’t catch Melissa’s post about caroling at your local hospital, check it out here. This year, I decided to help out in a different way. This week I volunteered with some of my fellow co-workers at a local church where we served a meal to 80 homeless and down-on-their-luck residents of the Seattle area.
There is nothing like sitting down with these resilient souls to make one feel humbled and so very thankful.
Sarah’s Rap: This deck of cards is one of my favorite things. They’re not for playing poker or Go Fish, but instead they’re fifty-two notes to feed your soul and provide needed support and affirmation.
Melissa gave this to me as a gift a few years ago when I was struggling with my digestive health and the resulting emotional turbulence. I remember opening it up and seeing the title,”Crazy Sexy Love Notes”, thinking ‘what in the heck did she send me?’. Inside I found a brilliant concept by Kris Carr, a best-selling author, cancer survivor and wellness advocate. These cards are, as the box proclaims, “Messages from your wise & fabulous inner self.” Continue reading