The articles listed below have been previously published in the EVANESCENCE womens' paper (a monthly publication distributed on Long Island and over the internet).
December 2006 issue.
THE HOLIDAYS ARE FAST approaching and along with all the festivities come the feelings of loneliness and isolation, neediness, sadness and, for many, painful memories of departed family, as well as dealing with anger and divorce.
As if that's not enough, there are those dealing with disappointment and separation, such as the many families with loved ones in the military and overseas. Even moving can be a tremendous source of stress and anxiety, leading to depression and a stress reaction - new place to live, new job, new people, and trying to make new friends.
Because of all of these factors, many people continue to live their lives through old memories and emotions, and end up denying themselves an open heart that is capable of accepting the many joys of life.
But there comes a time in each of our lives when we must choose to move along on our own paths instead of remaining stagnant. Instead of remaining just plain ol' stuck.
Do you think it's possible to turn it all around? Instead of looking back to the way it was, why not start looking ahead and making your life the way that you want it to be. It is so much healthier for the mind and body to concentrate on the future. Practice the art of making your life work for you.
I know, you're probably thinking, "It's just too much work!" And you feel you don't have a clue where to start. One very important factor here: You are special and worth every effort to make your life the best it can possibly be. After all, that is your main responsibility to yourself. But, if you are still walking on shaky ground and not quite sure what to do or where to go, then there are many professionals out there to help you with this life project.
Maybe you feel shame. If you have suffered abuse in your life, it is amazing how often that word comes up. But since shame is a wasted emotion it may be time for you to take a deep breath and sit with a therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist and allow her or him to help guide you as you try to find your path in life. There are also support groups where people are able to talk and share feelings and emotions and find support along their path of growth. It is through these groups that we often realize that we are not the only ones going through something major in our lives or simply working through "old stuff."
Why not start this holiday season by doing something positive for you? For many, the act of reaching out to another human being seems impossible, unreachable, embarrassing. But try to see it as a link to growth and a better life. You might just have to give it a try.
With that in mind, it is with great joy in my heart that I extend to all my readers a happy, healthy, and fun holiday season.
November 2006 issue.
Finding the path that's right for us.
WHY AREN'T THINGS WORKING out for me? Mary Lee finds herself in an increasing state of agonizing frustration. What in heaven's name is Mary Lee's problem?
Most of us have days where it seems things aren't working out for us, and we usually call them "bad" days. But let's take a step beyond and see exactly what is going on in this woman's life.
Mary Lee recently moved to a small town in Arizona. A colleague in Brooklyn had moved there and was doing well and loving her new life and the climate.
Upon her arrival, Mary Lee began to search for a place to live, but her attempts to find what she had envisioned failed. When she began searching for a job as an administrative assistant, she met with resistance. Job offers came in too low in salary, and she was often told she was overqualified. A feeling of depression weighed down on her. She regretted her decision to move to Arizona because nothing was coming together and she didn't know what to do.
On her way home from her last interview she was in tears trying to understand why she was up against a cement wall. No matter what direction she turned, her attempts at beginning a new life in Arizona resulted in failure. Mary Lee felt isolated and rejected.. She had almost exhausted the energy - and funds - to keep trying.
Later that evening she received a phone call from two old friends. Mary Lee had lost touch with them for a couple of months after they both moved to Virginia. It seemed such a coincidence that she would hear from them, especially now! They persuaded her to visit them in Virginia and check out the living and job situations there.
Mary Lee was reluctant at first, but quickly realized she wasn't getting anywhere on the path she was presently on. So, she accepted her friends' invitation. To her amazement, when she arrived in Virginia, she felt a noticeable settling in her stomach, as if she had finally traveled in the right direction. When she stepped out of the airport terminal and inhaled deeply, she had the feeling that she had arrived home.
The reunion with her friends was a great celebration, since they had been close and had shared so much in the past. Within a day she found the type of housing accommodation she had envisioned. Instead of looking for a job as an administrative assistant, she pursued the opportunity to sell her baked products, with great success.
Was Mary Lee on the wrong path when she relocated to Arizona? Is that the reason she met with such resistance? Was the move to Virginia meant to be?
Was it a coincidence that her two friends reconnected with her at the exact time she was about to give up? Was the invitation to Virginia the catalyst that propelled Mary Lee onto the right path for her?
It is highly desirable for us to believe that the Universe provides for us, but sometimes we are pulled off onto the wrong direction. We can't believe things are not working out for us with the choices we have made. That's when a little kick in the gluteus maximus sometimes will sterr us in the right direction, bringing us back to reality and grounding us.
If we remain open, listen, and tune into our bodies, we will know.
Are you on the right path?
October 2006 Issue
The body knows, you just don't wanna listen!
SO, YOU HAVE FINALLY MET THE man of your dreams. Why, you turned around and there he was, casually leaning against the bar directly across from you. You couldn't miss the bright smile on his face, beckoning to you from across the crowded room. You could almost hear what he was saying to you with his eyes. He appeared to be well-known; as you intently watched, ladies brushed by him or touched his arm as they walked by him. But he seemed to have eyes ONLY for you.
You could only concentrate on the fact that he wanted ONLY you. He was everything you had ever dreamed of and so much more! Of course, the fact that he was tall and handome and had a body that could only be worshipped had some bearing on what you were feeling. There was a wild tingling magic whenever you touched and that sensation was only heightened whenever his lips met yours. You felt so fortunate because out of everyone he had chosen YOU. You couldn't even begin to imagine spending the rest of your life with him, although you couldn't even remember what your life was like without him in it; and that's only four weeks after dating him.
He was kind and gentle and loving and so very understanding. He enjoyed taking you out and he couldn't seem to keep his hands off of you. You were absolutely amazed with how he knew just what to do and what to say. In fact, you didn't have to worry about a thing because he had moved right in and took over. You didn't even realize that you were not contributing to this little twosome. Maybe it was because you felt like putty in his hands or you were afriad to lose him if you spoke up. You found yourself out most of the time at clubs and bars with HIS friends . . . in HIS WORLD. You were so caught up and loving every minute of it.
But there was only one problem. You were ignoring the gnawing feeling; a sensation deep in the pit of your stomach and it just wouldn't go away. What could possibly be the problem?
What you have just read is quite a scenario, isn't it? Although we would all like to find the ideal specimen, the question is, what are we really looking at here? Is it possible that this woman missed some serious clues as to what she was getting herself into?
I am sure that we have all read, at one time or another, that our bodies are the perfect machines; the ultimate creation. The human body holds all the answers to our problems; aches and pains as well as disease and dis-ease. So, considering that fact, is it possible that a sixth sense is trying to warn this woman? Is it simply a case of women's intuition?
At one time or another haven't we all experienced gnawing or feelings that we just can't shake about someone or something or about a situation that we are in? Is it possible that the problem is simly the fact that we refuse to listen to these warnings? Maybe we bury them because we are so into the feeling of the moment?
Another possibility that doesn't seem to be out in left field is that we are picking up on some negative energy, and, that subsequently, the body is going into protective overload. In other words, the body is simply rejecting the absorption of this negative energy. The brain, therefore, signals to the body and we feel some type of physical reaction. After all, it would be extremely helpful if an alarm simply went off in our heads every time, but since the body cannot do that it simply sends out symptoms that we react to but then ignore because we don't know how to deal with it.
It would probably be very easy to listen to our bodies if we were tuned into it. But most of us are not even aware of the many signals that our bodies give to us on a daily basis. The body might send us a signal with a headache, sudden stomach ache, or the feeling that we have eaten enough, even though we are only halfway through our meal.
It could be a feeling of dread or anxiety. We might break into a sweat and feel like we are going to pass out. No matter what the signals, our bodies are trying to communicate with us and we are stuck in a moment some place and do not want to listen or do not even have a clue as to what is going on.
What would have happened if this woman had taken a step back and taken the time and most importantly listened to the "gnawing" sensation?
Is it possible that we would be able to more successfully assess a situation or another person by doing this? By listening to our bodies would we be able to avoid many painful situations and memories? If our bodies come equipped with this built-in mechanism, then how come we don't take advantage of it.
Think about it; what would you do? What have you done in the past that you would do differently now?
Until next month, come home to your body and start listening. You might be pleasantly surprised with what you discover.