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Archive for April 1st, 2012

This sounds like Tara Brach, PhD… one of my favorite teachers. Take a listen. Tara also has a website and several years of podcasts on iTunes.
Enjoy. Thanks for sharing. As always, another great blog post from Talesfromthelou’s blog

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Here is the second article… So far, I have attached a list of foods to avoid, safe foods, and a headache journal. This week, I will post a 7 day triggers tracker… wow, say that quickly… and I will give a review of a new iPhone app I downloaded earlier today.
Namaste, Jennifer

Mindful Lifestyle - Devoted to Healing & Being

Here is what author, Carol A Foster said about food and migraines in her out of print book, Gotta Headache?

“Many of the foods you eat may contain something that interferes with how your brain functions; but don’t give up on eating.  It appears that small amounts of certain foods consumed at a time when your disease is well controlled might not trigger a headache or other symptoms.  However, when certain foods are eaten together or over several days a headache will result.  these foods are “trigger foods.

Naturally occurring amino acids, the basic building blocks of all protein, are in the foods that interact with serotonin and other brain-cell activity.”

Here is a PDF text from Foster.  I wish she was still in practice!

Enjoy and hope it helps!

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“Jenifer, how do you deal with grief in this very personal way so it does not have a negative influence on you. What were your biggest challenges or as you say you grew up around grief, is it easy for you?  !~~  Marty”

Wow, if that isn’t a question to ask yourself every day for a lifetime!

Thanks Marty.  I know that we regularly follow each other’s blogs and I was honored that you dropped me a note on my Ask Here tab.

So, first off, grief is very personal and it does have a negative impact on one’s life. . . that can be short-term or long-term.  When I lost my grandfather when I was 16, I thought the world had ended.

And in a way, it had.  My grandmother had died but I wasn’t as closer to her.  When my grandfather died, and yes, I was his precious granddaughter, everything in the universe stopped.

Looking back, it was my grandfather’s death that felt like the beginning of the unraveling of my family.  I spoke to him every day on the phone.  It bugged me but then, when he was gone, I wanted it to bug me.  I wanted the opportunity for it to bug me.

Life became foggy.  My school work suffered.  I withdrew into myself even more than I already was as an introvert.

But I still had people… I had to loving parents and an older brother.  I still had friends.  I had family friends that were like family to me. But the thought that I would ever be THE most special person in someone else’s eyes faded.

And I had a lot of pain when my brother died and I went off to grad school six months later and tried to start my own life.

I think having my mentor, getting more in-depth with my meditation practice, losing my mentor, moving to a few different states, and ending up at hospice helped a lot.

Pacifica, CA January 2012

All of those things helped me to see that life is all about goodbyes, impermanence, and the need for right now.

Please don’t get me wrong.  A failed relationship hurts.  A beloved patient or hospice volunteer causes pain.  Thinking that one day, my parents won’t be here brings up an array of tortured emotions but right here, right now, I have my breath.

I have a bottle of water.  I have an iPod with a lot of the teachings of wise people, meditators, neuroscientists, monks, hospice workers, some beautiful jazz music and meditations.

I have a yoga mat.  I have at least one good friend who lives close by and many more to love.

I’m not living with daily migraines.  I’m walking upright, despite pain specialists telling me that at 30, I’d never sit in the lotus position again.

And yes, I get angry at work when I see unfairness.  My stomach flip-flops when I see a parent yell at their child in the grocery store or objectify them.  Yes, I still have days of pain, physical and psychospiritual.

But what I work on, again and again, is my mindfulness practice.

“Oh, today I’m feeling moody.  What’s that like?  Label it, let it go.  Hmmm, I doesn’t want to go away?  Label again.  Can I count my breath?  It’s still there, haunting me.  Can I send compassion to all those people, all over the universe who are feeling moody and can’t shake it?  Can I send lovingkindness to the people around them?”

And part of that practice is not labeling myself a moody person, a bad person, a person whose moody because of pain or lack of sleep.  I try not to rage against myself because I’m feeling off.  It’s here and the more I push against it, the deeper it will dig in its heels.

Oh, today it’s grief?  Same thing.  Let myself cry… Lois told me that if I tried to control the tears, I’d always end up with a sinus headache.

And what, my grief has come up at work?  Around my family?  When I’m at the park?  Hmmm, can I just accept it?  Can I just accept and not fight that my heart is open and sore because someone I loved so much is so far away from me?

So, I don’t know if that answers Marty’s question.

My biggest challenge was that I was human and I lost people I loved.

My biggest gift was that I had parents who didn’t shelter me from loving people who were dead.

No hiding.

It’s there.

There’s pain.

Experience it.

Make sense of it.

Make a part of who I am.

Do something with that whole it left in my heart… like being there for other’s who are experiencing it too and honor those I’ve lost in the process.

With deep gratitude to all of you who read my blog, who share on this journey… who leave comments, share resources, love, practice, breathe, and “just sit”.

Peace, Jennifer

PS, I would love to hear from others.  Please check out the Ask Here tab and let me know what you want to hear about… yoga, more meditation basics, more grief theory, more information on coping with life-limiting illnesses or caregiving?

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Is this what you want?

http://www.considertheconversation.org

Sorry for the really large letters for the website…wanted to make sure that you had the info to check out this website and this video…

We can’t hide from dying.

Most of us want to be at home, most of us want some semblance of control ..

Some want to feel no pain, at the expense of extra time with family.

Others want to be lucid and wide awake despite more pain.

The common denominator?

Doing it our way!

Yet, like other taboos, like sex, we don’t talk about this with our loved ones.

Think about it, sex is everywhere but we can’t talk to our kids about healthy sexual self-concepts or taking care of their sexual health.

Is it any different with dying?

We tune in to Anderson Cooper and he and Sanjay are all over the world, in war-torn areas.  We watch people killed in Saving Private Ryan, any Bruce Willis movie, the 5 o’clock news, NCIS, zombie movies, etc.  Even Easter is coming up, a celebration of dying and renewal and we focus on the renewal, the eggs, the candy, the hats…

But we can’t talk about the reality.  Really?

I wanna talk about it before it’s too late.

Have you had the conversation?

Do you know what your aging parents want at the end of life?  Do you know what your adult children want?

Heck, do you know what you want?

What about this?

This is a great video!  It features some of the greatest names in the field… Ira Byock, MD, Doug Smith, MDiv, James Clearly, MD.  What they tell us is not that different that the stories and the teachings of people like Frank Ostaeski, Joan Halifax, Ram Dass, Stephen and Ondrea Levine.

The video emphases the reality of what our dying can be like, that we have choices, that the medical profession doesn’t always start this conversation, what is hospice care, and so much more.

Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode

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Healing does take place. Don’t ever let someone else take your opportunity for healing away. Here is another story of healing that stems from great tragedy!

Evolutionary_Mystic Post

Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi have a powerful friendship born of unthinkable loss. Rodriguez’ son was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001; el-Wafi’s son Zacarias Moussaoui was convicted of a role in those attacks and is serving a life sentence. In hoping to find peace, these two moms have come to understand and respect one another.

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Tara Brach is an incredible healer, teacher, wise woman, and therapist. Check out this blog with her work….

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

Tara Brach does a 27 minute guided meditation here:

This is great for beginning meditators and anyone who likes to vary their practice from time to time.

More posts that feature Tara Brach on this blog:

●  Gossip Demeans Ourselves and Others

●  Vulnerability and intimacy

●  Vipassana (Mindfulness) Meditation

●  The Mystery of Who We Are

The books below excellent introductory materials that can apply to anyone regardless of whether one is drawn to Buddhism. Tara Brach is also a psychologist and draws from her practice when sharing her thoughts in the book.

●  Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha (paperback)

●  Radical Acceptance: Guided Meditations (audio CD)

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