WWB INSIGHT: The Many Faces of Suicide and the Elephant in the Room We Don’t Want to Miss…

Jun 11, 2018 by

WWBINSIGHT2018LC

 

                  “The universe offers you three things that money cannot buy:  
                                                              joy, love, and life.” 

                                                          ~Matshona Dhiliway

 

This was a very tough week for our culture. Two high-profile celebrated people committed suicide within days of each other. If you somehow missed the news this past week, both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain hung themselves to death. This sad news once again shocked so many of us, because from the outside looking in we perceived these individuals to be successful, wealthy and having it all. No matter how many times we are told money and success can’t buy you happiness, we still think “Why would they want to kill themselves, they had everything”. We also can’t imagine how they could leave their loved ones behind. The obvious triggers connected with suicide, are drugs, alcoholism and untreated clinical depression.  Having worked in the mental health field earlier in my career, I had a very close up look at people who somehow survived their own suicide attempts. Contrary to the popular idea we hear about mentally ill people being a danger to society, they are far more likely to harm themselves and in fact do.

My first experience with suicide was my father who was not living with me at the time. I was very young when he jumped off a commuter ferry-boat while it was cruising at full speed. Fortunately he survived but he never escaped his mental anguish. I only found out about it because a very insensitive school teacher said to me at 6 years old “I read in the newspaper the unfortunate story about your father, and so sorry for his accident.” I ran home confused and frightened to ask my mother what my teacher meant. My poor Mom had to find a way to explain suicide and the complexity of mental illness to a six-year-old child.”

What I successfully took away was that he was sick and very sad. I later came to understand from my father himself that he was not committing suicide but rather running from his demons in his head. They were terrorizing his mind and he just wanted them to stop. This is the horrible effects of mental illness. Before actual suicide attempts, many people suffering will self medicate with alcohol and drugs to drown out the disruptive symptoms of their mental illness. My father never attempted suicide again but he suffered most of his life in terrible agony from his untreated mental illness. Most of his family would not or could not recognize he was sick because mental illness was seen as weakness rather than a health condition that could be treated and managed. Escaping terror is just one face of suicide…

The next encounter I had with suicide was much later in my college years. Now a psychology major for the obvious reasons, I was doing my internship at a psychiatric center on the adolescent unit of a state hospital. I was working the night shift and a young 13-year-old girl was admitted to the unit after an attempted suicide. She had attempted to commit suicide by jumping off the fire escape of her apartment. After being hospitalized and healing from her physical injuries the doctors established she was in a deep depression. She was hospitalized to protect her from herself. Of course you ask, how can a 13-year-old be in a deep depression? My simple answer is life can be cruel and when experienced alone and isolated it can be very scary. Why do you think gangs are so appealing to young teens?  It’s an alternative to feeling alone and scared. Many young teens on this psychiatric unit had serious diagnosis’  like Schizophrenia, Borderline Disorder, Manic Depression ( now called Bi-Polar Depression) and even Autism. There were also violent teens with behavioral problems on the same unit.

The young white girl I was assigned to was different. She didn’t have a typical clinical diagnosis but rather a real case of depression brought on by life’s cruel unbearable experiences. Why was she depressed so much that she chose to kill herself at 13? I read her chart before meeting with her in a padded room where I found her sitting on the floor, head hung down in her lap distraught and silent. Her psychiatric medical chart told me the following. Her mother was an addict and had a baby. The mother left and abandoned the baby infant at the apartment for hours and days at a time with this 13-year-old girl. The baby had to be fed, so the 13-year-old decided to breast feed her younger sister when she could. She had been keeping this whole experience a secret to the outside world while also trying to protect her new baby sister from her mother. The girl’s mother would come home strung out and angry and physically abused the 13-year-old girl.

The case notes were just unfathomable and yet  many social workers will tell you they see worse than this on a daily basis. The young girl suddenly thrust into motherhood and who had never been really mothered herself was living like this for the first two years of her baby sister’s life. The stress, the pressure and lack of any support system began to take its toll.  She was becoming depressed, despondent and hopeless. She could not see a way out of this life she was living with her addict Mom. She had become a Mom to her baby sister and when her mother came home drunk and hurt the baby, the young girl felt responsible for her baby sister and felt she had failed. And remember, not only was the baby neglected but this barely teen girl had been neglected herself for many years prior to the baby sister being born. Suicide did not suddenly just happen. She was living in a pressure cooker.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;
the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

~ Kahil Gibran

This 13-year-old child was protecting the baby from her Mother and she wasn’t always successful. She felt tremendous guilt for not being there for her baby sister when she had to show up for school. I don’t have to go on with the dark details for you to understand. This girl had every reason to be depressed. What she didn’t have was a way out of the personal hell she was living in. She wanted to escape and ending her life seemed like the only way. Hopelessness and exhaustion is another face of suicide.

After reading her chart, I walked into that padded room with this 13-year-old who at the time was just 6 years younger than myself. I decided there were no words I could offer. I told shared my name and I sat quietly next to her. She asked if she could leave and I told her I wasn’t able to do that for her right now. I said gently ” I understand why you want to leave but what if we just sat together for a while.” I wasn’t trained to say this, I just understood she was in pain and intuitively knew she needed to feel her pain safely. So I put my hand on her shoulder, and when I did, she broke down and began to sob uncontrollably  in my arms. She cried a river for quite a long time. She felt my presence free of judgement, free of needing her to say anything. I just let her cry and hold on to me while she did. I will never forget this experience for my entire life. What’s haunting is I understood this wounded soul on so many levels. While I didn’t have that same horrific experiences as her, I understood what it was like to hold on to too much at a young age and to feel very alone. I too wanted a safe place to lay down my pain, and I knew exactly what she needed. We give what we need and sometimes heal a little ourselves in the process.

As I went on to work in the mental health field, I later was a Supervisor for a mental health agency. I was assigned to ‘homes’ where mentally ill people lived while they were transitioning from the hospital to the real world. The agency provided apartments and professional support systems while these individuals worked at putting their life back together. We called them clients not patients. I felt empowered in this job because I was helping people get well. Something I was never able to do for my Dad.

Our clients were on medications for their conditions and they had to learn to be responsible for taking their meds, and to generally learn to take care of themselves again. One of the adults I monitored had her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. She was intelligent and an amazingly talented artist but had attempted to kill herself with a razor on more than one occasion. When I made visits, it was so hard to see this bright women with all this potential in such a dark state. She was diagnosed with Major Depression which is a very serious illness that can end in suicide more often than not. Many authors have written memoirs about their suffering of clinical major depression and describe how it completely debilitated their every day functioning. They talked about feeling the depression physically, emotionally and mentally. They literally can’t get out of bed. It’s dark, very dark. Many of us have experienced depression on some level usually related to a life event like divorce or losing a loved one to death. Depression isn’t totally bad. We are human beings and we need to grieve. But a clinical depression can overtake you in a gripping way and paralyze your life.

When you think about this heavy dark existence it is not hard to understand why a person would want to get out and escape this sentence called life. Keep in mind my client got herself through Grad school and yet she tried to kill herself many times. She had the scars to show it and here she was bravely trying to give life one more chance and learn to live with her illness. She may never be completely symptom free but she could survive this condition with medication and a very good support system. She attempted suicide once again while I was working there. Somehow I was spared from finding her, she had waited until she was approved to visit her family. I don’t know if she is alive today, I can only hope she kept up the good fight. Despair is another face of suicide.

        ” I want to be seen, to be understood deeply
         and to be not so very lonely ~Jodie Foster

Today we are learning a little more about Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. They are another face of suicide that seems to be fueled by our ‘driven to success’ culture. The last couple of years has been riddled with many talented people who have chosen to end their lives. I can list them all but you remember. Robin Williams was the most shocking because this was the man who made us laugh and who seemed to possess great empathy for people suffering. Robin gave to us what he so desperately needed himself. Even his choice of acting roles seemed to tell us what he was needing and struggling with.

I can’t speak authoritatively to why Kate or Anthony took their lives. I am learning what you are learning about them. Kate has been reported to be struggling with depression for over five years. In one article I read her sister said she had bipolar disorder which includes terrible plunges into deep depression much like a person who suffers from Major Depression. The difference is the depression is accompanied by episodes of mania as well. She was also very career driven. Both were having difficulty with the loneliness that came with their seemingly overnight success. Futility is another face of suicide.

Anthony Bourdain had a complicated history with drugs and seemed at least on television to be drinking fairly regularly. He was also very driven once he made up his mind to be successful. Success and money are often substitutes for love. It is possible their parents didn’t give them the love they needed but it is also equally possible they just never learned how to love themselves and forgive themselves for not being perfect. If our sense of self is constructed of very narrow possibilities, how are we to live in this world whole and together?  When we don’t love ourselves, we are either good or bad, weak or strong, successful or failed, loving or selfish. The truth is we are all those things at any given moment in our lives and sometimes all at once. We are human, multi-dimensional and not perfect. We can be a mix of all these things and still be loved. We don’t hold ourselves to some impossible standard of perfection because we know once we are off that pedestal it is a very long way down. Many people with deep self-esteem issues lack self-love and compassion and are very hard on themselves. To compound this affliction, they are often very alone. Their work or passion keeps them from having a real loving relationship with others. They don’t have someone who might tell them on a bad day “You are loved, and even if you have failed or fall off the wagon you are still loved.” This unconditional love is what we all need to survive in this world.

Our culture today is addicted to perfect image and appearances. We crave and value the superficial trappings of Hollywood fame even though we see countless human beings suffer in their ‘roles’ as celebrities or millionaires. It’s not that success and money are bad, it’s what we give up to get them and what we believe we will receive if we acquire them. “No matter where you go, there you are”, is very deep wisdom because having this understanding will determine your happiness. Your sense of self needs to be solidly intact before you have success, money and celebrity. Marilyn Monroe is your classic tragic story of someone who desperately needed to be loved and was superficially loved for all the wrong reasons. Our culture loved her for her image which she constructed for us, but this image was not truly her. How terribly lonely and tragic she was. Today’s selfie world on social media has millions of more people trying to do the same thing. How sad is that?

 

“Intimacy is being seen and known
for the person you really are.” ~ Amy Bloom

 

The elephant in the room is unconditional love. It’s what we all need to survive in this world. Love is right up there with water and oxygen. We especially need to be able to recognize how important love is for a healthy civilized society. Sociologist are already talking about the break downs in our society. Family systems and village communities are eroding and we are becoming more isolated. Technology has ultimately created a less intimate world for we humans to live in, and emotional intimacy is where love lives and thrives.

Love is not a lofty romantic state of being that comes and goes but rather a tenderness and vital life source we all need to live healthy. The danger of not recognizing this life-sustaining need is we can die of self-loathing. Self loathing can either drive you to hurt yourself or drive you to project your pain on to others. It is unforgiving and destructive. ‘Love is the answer’ is not just a platitude or a quote from very wise prophets, it is the elephant in the room we keep ignoring. We should teach love and compassion, give it, share it and experience it through the intimate connection we have with ourselves and each other. As the author Richard Bach once wisely said “The opposite of loneliness is not togetherness. It is intimacy.” We first have to have intimacy with ourselves so we can begin to let others in to love us. The alternative is an empty place inside that can never be filled, and where enough will never be enough.

 

TrulyHerselfSignature22-300x75

 

 

 

 

read more

WWB Wise Guru Series: Nobel Prize in Medicine went to Research on Circadian Rhythms. WWB Joins the Sleep Doctor, Dr. Michael Breus, for a Q&A to Discuss Why it Matters to Us…

Oct 11, 2017 by

nobelprize2017-med

 

 

Laura Opening- Welcome back Dr. Breus. For all those who haven’t read your book ‘The Power of When’, here is a chance for them to learn more about your important work and pick up your book. Before we get to your ground breaking research, we first have to acknowledge the Nobel Peace Prize award in Physiology or Medicine that went to three doctors who have discovered molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. Now when we just say this, many will wonder, well why would that matter to me?

At World Wise Beauty I try to present important research, medical science and wellness wisdom in real context. The first question I always ask is, ‘Why does it matter?’ But before we get to this, let’s start first with a simple question. What did this Nobel Prize winning research specifically unveil for us from a scientific perspective that is so ‘eye opening’? No pun intended!

ThePowerofWhen

Dr. Breus: The basics behind the research showed that in fruit flies (who actually have very similar circadian rhythms as humans) the researchers were able to isolate the gene that controls our daily biological clock. This gene encodes a protein that accumulates in a cell during the evening and degrades during the daytime. This clock regulates behavior, weight loss, hormones levels, sleep and body temperature. Understanding this mechanism helps us all understand why we experience jet lag, how our internal biological clocks affect disease, our hormones, and literally everything we do. As you may remember in my new book, ‘ The Power of When’ this is EXACTLY what I have been writing about.

Laura Q- Yes you did, and hopefully more people will discover your work with this post! Now that we understand how our genes control our daily biological clock, what does that really mean if we are all different bio-individuals?

Dr. Breus: Actually we are more similar than you might think. The genetic studies that are going on in Sleep Research are on “common species” areas.

Lauroly Q– Why do circadian rhythms matter and why does understanding our unique biological clocks matter to our health?
Dr. Breus: So here is where it gets so fascinating, when I was in school, we learned that basically there was one central biological clock for time passage ( aging) and there were a few others that controlled hormone regulation, etc. Now we have found over 100 different control centers in the body. They each send information to each other. I think of it like grand central station in New York City. There are trains coming from all over the place to one central location. If one train is late, it could mess up all of the other trains going in or out. So the timing of these clocks actually controls our health, completely. These systems have a regularity to them or a rhythm. They become predictable, and more efficient. This is how the immune system, metabolic system, sleep system, all systems function.

Lauroly Q-  There is our answer. Sleep is a real regulator to everything in our ‘ biological system’. Should we all be in sync with sunrise and sunset for optimal health?

Dr. Breus: Yes, but it is really unrealistic to think that we can do it correctly. Remember that we have at least 4 different chronotypes, so there are some of us, who are more prone to late evenings and others who are morning people. As a side note, there was a great study on insomnia, where they took insomniacs out into the woods camping for 2 weeks. By the end of the study, everyone’s sleep had significantly improved. It was likely due to the sun exposure, and a reduction of EMF exposure talk about in sync with he sun!
Lauroly Q- In your book you identify many different types in the context of sleep needs.  Does the circadian ‘sync’ vary from person to person?
Dr. Breus: It does vary based on Chronotype. Lions (early risers), Bears (in-betweeners), Wolves (late nighters) and Dolphins (poor sleepers). If you want to know your type go to www.thepowerofwhenquiz.com and get it for free.
Lauroly Q–  So does this mean that some people are just genetically wired to be night owls?
Dr. Breus: Absolutely. I am. Interestingly enough you can even get this tested at 23 and Me, due to the genetic nature of chronotypes. It is based on the PER3 or Period 3 gene and its length. It effects sleep drive and timing.

Lauroly Q- While we are different genetically, is there still some unifying wellness wisdom when it comes to sleep that all human beings need to listen to?

Dr. Breus: Yes, consistency is the key. Most specifically in your wake up time, keep the same for weekdays and weekends, everything gets better, assuming you are sleeping by your chronotype.
Lauroly Q- The first thing I think of when it comes to circadian rhythms, is cultures living in the Northern Lights part of the world. How does the abundance of light exposure and then the significant decrease of light effect their circadian rhythms?
Dr. Breus: There are a lot of issues with sleep in these areas of the world. Sunlight appears to play a significant role in the human biology, from Vitamin D production to being the re-start button for the brain each morning.
Lauroly Q-Have their genes adapted over time living in these areas?
Dr. Breus: To a certain degree, yes. But I doubt that anyone is completely unaffected.
Lauroly Q- We know there is more depression associated with the decrease of light. I suppose even if you don’t live in these areas, but are vulnerable to depression, getting sunshine would be important. This correlates with the Vitamin D hormone that activates when we are exposed to the sun and then chemically regulates our serotonin synthesis. As we know, serotonin is one of the happy chemicals in our system. Take it from here Dr. Breus, I’m just trying to connect all the dots!

Dr. Breus: Light therapy is used in both depressive diagnoses and some sleep disorders. In depression the light helps re-set the persons circadian rhythms, which sends all of the other systems back in sync. This appears to play a role in the recovery from depression. While it is not the whole reason, it does seem to have a significant effect.

Laura Closing- Thank you for sharing your expertise with us Dr. Breus. Now that we are learning more about our biological clocks and our connection to nature, we can begin to see how everything is interdependent in wellness. As Plato so wisely said “The Part can Never be Well, unless the Whole is Well.” I encourage everyone to read ‘The Power of When’ and learn more about your own body’s internal clock. Sleeping will become a healthy habit, just like a good diet and exercise is.

Dr. Breus Closing: Thank you so much for having me, and if people want to learn more they can check out my website www.thesleepdoctor.com or learn your chronotype at www.thepowerofwhenquiz.com

read more

WWB’s Weekly Wisdom Wrap: It’s ‘World Smile Day’– Lighten Up and Discover the Top 4 Health Benefits of Laughter…

Oct 2, 2015 by

 

‘World Smile Day’ couldn’t have come at a better time, as it has been a week of gloomy weather here on much of the East Coast of America. But everyday we can find grace. I am grateful, that we dodged a major hurricane, and all my family and friends are safe and sound. If lots of rain and dark skies is all I have to deal with– I can deal! But keep in mind there are many people who suffer from SAD disorder and physically feel depression when there is no sun. Achieving good physical and mental health is a different challenge for each of us individually, but there are some universal things we can all do to feel better. You know where I am going with this…it’s ‘World Smile Day’ and before you check out cynically and dismiss this post, let me just tell you this not a ‘fluff’ piece. To the contrary, science and medical research has found that smiling and laughter is seriously and truly beneficial for good physical and mental health. So lighten up and learn more, because before you know it, you’ll be cracking a smile, feeling good, and dare I say…celebrating World Smile Day with me. 🙂

P.S I also believe in the power of music to uplift and just had to share a feel good music video with you. Check it out below. This one you can’t get out of your head once you hear it and that maybe the best thing about it. Enjoy the weekend and Happy World Smile Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  2. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  3. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  4. Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems

Resources:

Laughter is the ‘Best Medicine” for Your Heart‘– Describes a study that found that laughter helps prevent heart disease. (University of Maryland Medical Center)

Laughter Therapy – Guide to the healing power of laughter, including the research supporting laughter therapy. (Cancer Treatment Centers of America)

If the health benefits are not enough to get you smiling, the research gets better and finds laughter is also good for mental health –both mind and spirit! So let’s get real first, some life events are clearly sad and not occasions for laughter. But most events in life don’t carry an overwhelming sense of either sadness or delight. They essentially fall into the gray zone of ordinary life–giving you the choice to laugh or not. So the next time a certified grump asks you “What are you so happy about?” you can say ‘JUST BECAUSE’ and I feel GOOD about saying it! If you really want to make them feel sorry for asking, you can rattle off the following Mental Benefits of Laughter and send them on their way with their dark cloud in a twist!

  1. Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
  2. Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
  3. Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

 

Smile &Walk on the Lighter Side of Life:

  • Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about times when you took yourself too seriously.
  • Attempt to laugh at situations rather than bemoan them. Look for the humor in a bad situation, and uncover the irony and absurdity of life. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you.
  • Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun.
  • Keep things in perspective. Many things in life are beyond your control—particularly the behavior of other people. While you might think taking the weight of the world on your shoulders is admirable, in the long run it’s unrealistic, unproductive, unhealthy, and even egotistical.
  • Manage your stressStress is a major impediment to humor and laughter.
  • Pay attention to children and pets and emulate them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, 

 

Resources:

The Science of Laughter –Psychology Today

Articles on Health and Humor – Psychologist and humor-training specialist Paul McGhee offers a series of articles on humor, laughter, and health. (Laughter Remedy)

read more

Weekly Wisdom Wrap: Nature Therapy, Ancient Wisdom, and the ‘New RX’ for Body, Mind, and Spirit

May 22, 2015 by

 

 

Today unofficially begins Memorial Day Weekend here in the States which typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. For people on the East Coast of the U.S, taking off to the beach is a tradition many people have been embracing for generations. After a long winter of snow, ice and rain, a day at the beach is the ultimate spa day filled with sunshine, salt water and fresh air. There is something special about the combination of all three that heals the body, mind and spirit and we often take these things for granted.

As a young girl, when I spent summers with an Aunt who lived close to the ocean, all I can remember is sleeping like a baby. I just had the best slumber! It’s hard to know if it was the ocean air that lulled me into a sound sleep or just the beautiful day I spent outside riding my bike to beach, swimming in the ocean and soaking up the sun. Nature was a wonderful elixir and sedative for me and there is no other comparative experience that both stimulates the senses and calms the body except sex! Don’t you agree? Think about what I am talking about here! lol

 

 

 

Just today, I read this great short piece from a UK newspaper on the healing powers of the ocean, and you will be thrilled especially if you aren’t headed to the ocean this weekend. Much of what they share in the article are spa treatments but they also recommend contacting a The General Council of Natural Homeopaths, which you can find here in the U.S or your part of the world too. I am providing the U.S directory here for your perusal, because you may want to explore it when seeking a healing modality that looks to nature for cures.

What is really interesting, is learning more about water therapy wisdom, which has been carried on for centuries by many cultures and began with the great ancient Greek healers. It is in Greece that the healing tradition called ‘The Water Cure’ evolved.  The Water Cure is the common term for a collection of therapies which, in one way or another, creatively make use of the healing virtues of Water:

Hydrotherapy:  techniques of therapeutic bathing and use of water

Balneotherapy:  therapeutic bathing in medicinal and thermal springs

Thalassotherapy:  the therapeutic use of ocean bathing and marine products

So you can understand why we all head to the ocean when we can! Yes, nature provides and we need to protect and cherish beautiful mother earth, because she is a part of us. ‘Nature therapy’ is just a modern term used for ancient wisdom. But wait, there are many who love the mountains. No surprise, because all of nature is restorative and healing. Read John Muir’s (the famous naturalist) quote I have highlighted from over a century ago, and pay attention to the ‘century’ part, because it is amazing how culturally relevant his words are today.

“Thousands of tired, nerve shaken, over civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home, that wilderness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber, and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life’. ~John Muir

As mentioned earlier, ancient cultures have been turning to nature or rather immersing themselves in nature for thousands of years! Chinese Taoist created gardens and greenhouses to improve human health. But today in Japan the belief in the benefits of connecting with the earth is so strong that a national movement  ‘shinrin-yoku‘ was launched, supporting the use of nature to improve health and well-being. The Japanese Society of Forest Medicine has conducted numerous studies showing measurable medical and mental health benefits to connecting with nature. The Japanese government invested more than $4 million in research to prove the tangible benefits of nature, and has also built “forest therapy bases” and has inspired the rest of Asia to follow. This is wellness culture in action!

Kawachi Fuji Garden in Japan

Don’t despair, you know you don’t have to go to Japan to commune with nature. Western science is catching up with ancient wisdom and new research is supporting that nature therapy helps control pain and negative stress. ‘Nature’s RX’  has benefits that may go way beyond just outdoor exercise. Certain scientific findings ( evidence still building) has become so convincing that mainstream health care providers are promoting nature therapy for an array of illnesses and for disease prevention. Don’t forget last weeks ‘weekly wisdom wrap’ where we covered ‘Vitamin D’ and sunshine. Moderation was the key takeaway…

So here is the good news! As I said, you don’t have to go to Japan, you don’t even have to go to the ocean or the mountains to reap the benefits of ‘Nature Therapy’. You can just go for a walk outside. Many docs and experts promote the benefits of reconnecting with Mother Earth simply by walking into our own backyards barefoot, also called ‘earthing‘ or “grounding.” Research has shown that this simple action may offset some of the harmful effects of the electromagnetic fields surrounding us and transfers the negatively charged free electrons in our bodies into the earth.

I personally wanted to share some of my passions in addition to loving the beach. I am a certified Flowerista which essentially means I love flowers! Gardening is a great way to dig in and commune with nature. There is an old book from 1699 called the ‘English Gardner’, and it advises “spend spare time in the garden, either digging, setting out or weeding, there is no better way to preserve your health’. Remember the Chinese had this down thousands of years before this!

Since I’m a Flowerista you would think I have my own personal garden–but surprise I don’t! I have lived in urban city apartments for a big part of my adult life but always found my way ‘out into nature’. My work allowed for International travel and guess what I always did no matter what part of the world I was in? I found a Public Garden! I still do this is my own area and always find gardens greatly uplift my mind and spirit. I also love visiting working farms and farmers markets which keeps me ‘grounded’ and healthy in numerous ways, especially from the inside out. Below is one of my fav local farms in New Jersey…

Here are two links I thought you would find useful and hopefully will inspire you to get outside for some nature therapy. Of course there are National Parks, Eco-Travel vacations and tours but communing with nature doesn’t necessarily have to be saved for a vacation. If you live in a concrete jungle like New York just go over to the new ‘High Line’ and enjoy a wonderful path along the outskirts of the city. Green Spaces are becoming more available because ‘the wisdom’ is becoming understood that nature is good for communities. Go figure! How this escaped us I will leave to the historians of industrialization!

Find a Public Garden

http://www.nationalpublicgardensday.org/search-gardens

Find a Farmers Market

http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/

So here we are again, coming to a familiar conclusion. Mind, body, spirit are all interconnected and health is dependent on caring for all three. It’s truly amazing how Mother Nature provides healing medicine for all three and it is often right outside our front door…

Enjoy the Holiday Weekend!

read more

In Remembrance of Robin Williams: Connecting the Parts and Treating the Whole

Aug 12, 2014 by

Creative brilliance yes, but Robin Williams had lived for a long time with a darkness at the periphery of his vision. Some call it Bipolar disorder, others call it Major Depression. Both psychiatric conditions can lead to suicide when not treated. Life’s crushing blows and heartaches, crossed wires in the brain, imbalanced chemistry, missing serotonin, improper nutrition–now couple this with alcohol and drugs. This is a lethal mix. Some say psychotherapy helps, others say pharmaceutical drugs will help and many others say ‘snap out of it and get a little exercise’. An afflicted person may try all of the above and still SUFFER. So they think to themselves ‘maybe this drink will help’ (self-medicating).

The TRUTH is we are complex human beings and there is no one magic bullet to treat any DIS-EASE. Our mind, body and spirit are parts of the beautiful WHOLE. When we finally come to this, and treat the PERSON and all their CONNECTED parts ‘holistically’, we will have embraced true wellness culture.

I could pontificate on the many topics related to Robin’s suicide but perhaps the best way to honor him, now that he is gone, is to celebrate wellness culture. I will continue to talk to the many wellness professionals and experts around the world, so we can all “synthesize’ wisdom and the many helpful ‘approaches’ to caring for our mind, body and spirits. Our aim together as ‘World Wise Beauties’ is to be WHOLE and comfortable in our own skin. This is a worthy aspiration, this we can try to do, because we are ALIVE. We’ll deeply miss your Robin.

 

Truly Herself,
Lauroly 

 

 

 

 

read more
%d bloggers like this: