Where Do You Turn for Healing?

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Where do you turn for healing? In the last post I mentioned that psychotherapy and personal development helped heal my mind and heart. What about physical dis-ease?

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Western medicine can’t be beat for putting people back together after an auto accident or a fall, being burned, or to save premature babies. Expert intervention saves lives, improving the quality of those lives. My daughter’s tumor removal surgery by an expert surgeon extended her years and her quality of life.

Acute medical conditions call for a doctor! Yet even years of scientific study, licensing and practice does not make doctors omnipotent. They still “practice” medicine. Other sources may best help in chronic cases. Reviewing results of traditional medical treatment versus alternative methods for a particular issue may be enlightening.

For example, some in the past put down alternative healers as “quacks,” which I heard doctors of chiropractic called when I was a girl. Now chiropractors are accepted into the mainstream, included on health plans, and respected. I wish they’d been acceptable to my parents when I landed on my chin at ages 3 and 15. A Doctor of Chiropractic may have corrected the curvature of my neck from those accidents, before a vertabra set backwards.

Some people use both traditional and alternative healers. This is the view that I prefer, not one or the other, but whichever is more likely to contribute to healing in that particular instance.

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There are also faith healings, such as those by Jesus Christ (Matthew 9:35), performing miracles. After my daughter’s tumor removal, the surgeon came back in complete awe. I’d told him beforehand that many people fasted and prayed for her, and for him. Afterwards he told me that the tumor came out in one piece, peeling off the carefully-monitored nerve to her left arm with NO stress to the nerve. Hundreds of little tentacles relaxed, allowing the entire tumor to be lifted from her chest cavity. Also her father secretly prayed that the doctor would NOT need to cut through her collarbone to access the tumor, which would have caused many more months of healing. The surgeon said he had thought of a way to access the tumor without cutting her collarbone. He co-created a miraculous surgery!

People may have faith but not be healed (see Doctrine and Covenants 42:43), such as the Apostle Paul, who stated that his “thorn in the flesh” was not removed (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Then the challenge becomes living with the infirmity, or dis-ease. Faith, prayers, and priesthood blessings can help provide comfort, peace, and answers. Pain may be alleviated with medications, herbs, or meditations.

How do you decide where to turn for healing? Different dis-eases may be addressed individually. Is the dis-ease a problem for which traditional medicine can best help? What is the track record of traditional medicine for this dis-ease? Are there other sources for alleviating this particular health crisis? Generally, when different kinds of healers agree, there is more credibility, with greater confidence in the results. Each person may take responsibility for their own health, searching out their own answers. These are some of my views on physical healing, based on my own experiences and knowledge. I hope that someday traditional and alternative healers will work together in harmony for the best interest of the patient, supplying the best of all available care for the particular needs of that individual.

Why I Pursue Personal Development

Why do I pursue Personal Development courses, books, seminars?  Why invest the time and money? How do they help me fulfill my mission here on earth?

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I, like Nephi, “was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father” (1 Nephi 1:1), and then learned in high school and at college while acquiring my bachelor’s degree. In fact, while attending Brigham Young University I learned the AIMS of a BYU Education: “(1) spiritually strengthening, (2) intellectually enlarging, and (3) character building, leading to (4) lifelong learning and service.” Brigham Young said, “Education is the power to think clearly, the power to act well in the world’s work, and the power to appreciate life.” Personal development helps me to be of greater service to my family, friends, community, church, and professionally.

What is Personal Development, anyway? Wikipedia says it is, “activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.” A long Wikipedia list follows of ways personal development can assist a person’s well-being, effectiveness, and contributions.

There are many sources for Personal Development. I enjoy reading good books, going to seminars, and listening to audio recordings of books or talks by, those who practice what I want to learn. Recently I listened to Sonya Lyubomirsky’s THE HOW OF HAPPINESS: A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO GETTING THE LIFE YOU WANT.

The 12 recommendations for improving happiness are:         Image

  1. Expressing gratitude

  2. Cultivating optimism

  3. Avoiding overthinking and social comparison

  4. Practicing acts of kindness

  5. Nurturing relationships

  6. Developing strategies for coping

  7. Learning to forgive

  8. Doing more activities that truly engage you

  9. Savoring life’s joys

  10. Committing to your goals

  11. Practicing religion and spirituality

  12. Taking care of your body

Just listening helped me feel happier, as I realized that I control my happiness! I already did so many of these things! I realized these ways to be happier simply put religious teachings into practice, giving me more confidence in the religious views that helped me overcome so much.

One reason I pursue Personal Development is to overcome effects of past abuse and trauma. I find it much more cost- and time-effective than traditional psychotherapy (I’ve used that too, and it has its place). Seminars with activities such as ropes courses, walking barefoot over hot burning coals, and sky diving all helped me to overcome fears and learn that my body can go forward even when the mind is fearful. Getting through the fear, going forward anyway, is powerful in extending my comfort zone. I find a lot of healing in this, and empowerment to know that I am not my past experiences! I have intrinsic and profound worth as a daughter of God.

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I am grateful for the Personal Development gained so far, and intend to continue learning, growing, and stretching throughout my life, to become all I can be in fulfilling my mortal mission.

CONTINUALLY LEARN AND DEVELOP

(Continued from THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTINUAL LEARNING)

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God tells us to study things in addition to the scriptures. In Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) Section 90:15, He states: “And…study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people.” Notice He says to “become acquainted with ALL good books” (emphasis added).  In Section 93, He says (verse 53), “it is my will that you should…obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen.”

We see from these that God wants us to learn as much as possible, to help build up His kingdom here on earth (i.e., “for the salvation of Zion”). In the parable of the ten talents (see Matthew 25:14-40), the Lord gives out talents (verse 15) “to every man according to his several ability.” He then expects each of His servants to gain more talents, to be a “good and faithful servant” (verses 21, 23). But the “unprofitable servant” (verse 30) is “cast…into outer darkness” (ibid.). Not only does God expect us to magnify our gifts, but He warns that those who do not that their talents shall be taken away and they will be punished (see D&C 82:3; Ether 12:35; D&C 60:2,13). God wants us to use our talents to bless others (see D&C 82:18). He wants us to improve upon what He has given us, to gain other talents.

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In May 1829, Hyrum Smith was told, “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men” (D&C 11:21). Preparation to magnify our callings is sometimes necessary before we are ready to “go forth” (verse 26, ibid.).

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For example, when I was called to be a ward organist, I was a pianist, not an organist! I stumbled through learning a new instrument, and applied myself to study, taking lessons and attending the BYU Organ Workshop. I passed off Level 1, then Level 2. I took responsibility and learned what I needed to learn. This greatly increased my confidence and self-reliance in magnifying my calling.

Julie B. Beck, Fifteenth Relief Society General President, said, “We become self-reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being.”

Anything we do to improve in education, financial wisdom and skill, spiritual strength, and physical, social, and emotional health, prepares us to magnify our mortal mission. It adds to the talents with which  the Lord already blessed us. The key is to consecrate all we learn and do to the Lord, to build up His kingdom on the earth.

The Importance of Continual Learning

NOTE: This is the first of a four-part series answering a question posed to me by a friend. He and I are both members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints (LDS), so answers come from scriptures and other LDS sources as noted or linked. Scriptures can be found on lds.org. Further information on LDS beliefs including the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be found on Mormon.org. Today’s introduction introduces segments on Continual Learning, Personal Development, and Healing to be posted next week.

no_49_across_the_universe_by_derekdavalos-d5wcn4dThroughout life, I seek better ways to deal with things, people, and health. A couple years ago I joined a business that encouraged ongoing personal development. Recently, a worried friend wrote this to me:

“I have also been concerned about all the self healing classes and seminars you are going through. I have been personally trying to figure out why anyone needs all that if they are truly centered in the gospel and truly know and have a testimony of the atonement?”

Dear Friend,

I greatly appreciate your concern for me! I see your example and all you overcame through your acceptance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in your behalf! Your life is transformed through Him!

I reassure you that anything I learn, or hope to learn, is through the filter of His life and love. He is the pivotal focus of my life. Anything I do to better myself or my life is consecrated to Him and His purposes for me.

Part of my testimony is that He continues to give light and life to the world. He gives revelation to His prophets. He inspires people to help their fellowmen. As Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

In Alma 24:14, we read: “And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations.”

God reveals truth to us, giving light and hope. He asks us to study and seek out learning.Latter-day_Saint_Scripture_Quadruple_Combination

Jesus in John 5:39 tells us to study the scriptures: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Further, the Lord in modern revelation asks us to study other good books and subjects, not necessarily from the scriptures. “Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

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“Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—

“That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:78-80).

Friend, the scriptures witness that everything we can learn helps us to fulfill our mortal missions and serve God more capably, if we choose to serve Him.

Volunteer!

Are you looking for a way to fit in, to feel needed, to make a difference? VOLUNTEER!

One of the fastest ways to find like-minded friends is to join a cause you feel strongly about. Use your talents to make the world a better place, and find self respect and self esteem.

Look around your neighborhood. Are there shut-ins or elderly who would appreciate a visit or call? Helping them with errands may be greatly appreciated. Perhaps a young mother could use some help with her children, or a family with one parent some assistance in the yard.

Do you attend a church? I belong to a lay church where I’ve served in a variety of volunteer positions in music, teaching children and cub scouts, and serving the youth. Perhaps you know of some church members needing assistance. Ask the leaders in charge if they know of some service opportunities.

There may be needy people in your area that could use a hand. One fun thing to do is to leave a needed but anonymous gift! I especially enjoy doing this at Christmastime, but any time can be rewarding when you know that what you give is needed and appreciated.  Even a plate of cookies with a friendly note to a neighbor helps build a sense of community.

Do you have strong political opinions? Volunteers are in demand to make phone calls, put up flyers and signs, and offer assistance. I served as precinct chair and vice-chair, as a county delegate, and in helping specific candidates.

Hospitals love volunteers. I worked as a Candy Striper as a youth, filling water containers and bringing ice to patients in their rooms. They often wanted company more than ice water.

Crisis centers need people to answer phones and take calls. I worked as a volunteer in a crisis center in college.

Soup kitchens and homeless shelters welcome volunteers. Women’s shelters invite assistance in gathering clothing, food, and supplies for infants, women and children of all ages.

The American Red Cross seeks volunteers.   

Name indexing of public records helps people connect world-wide in finding their ancestors. I’ve indexed names from Germany, Mexico, and the United States, from ancient parish and city records, census records, and immigration records. Even shut-ins can make an important contribution doing this.

Retirement centers and nursing homes welcome visitors. For four years my singing group of bell ringers visited the sick and elderly all year long, performing beautiful music to brighten their world. My grandfather and other home residents now enjoy weekly visits from those with service dogs.

There are many ways to volunteer. What interests you? Do you want to help people locally or abroad? What talents or skills might you enjoy sharing to bless the lives of others?

One way to heal from past trauma or abuse is to help others. Serving those who have gone through similar trials can help us overcome anxieties. If you would like personalized assistance in finding ways to volunteer, please contact me.

Find a Talent!

Are you searching for ways to feel better about yourself? One thing that builds self-esteem is to find a talent!

Music is what feelings sound like

Do you have a talent for music? Listening or playing? For yourself, others, both?

Music is one of my talents. Beginning notes turned into beautiful melodies. I didn’t always enjoy practice, but enjoyed playing songs. Despite no money for lessons, I practiced and people offered to teach me or arranged for lessons. Playing and singing music is an emotional outlet, providing enjoyment. I serve others through music, and pass on the talent to piano students.

Need ideas for your own talents? First, what do you enjoy doing? What kinds of things do you like? Working with your hands? Music, art, reading? Sewing? Helping others? Dancing, sports or the outdoors? Make a list of the types of things you enjoy doing now, as well as those you have enjoyed in the past.

Second, for what do people compliment you? What do you feel you do well? Do others say you have a flair for fashion, dressing and accessorizing well? Do your friends thank you for being a good listener? Do they say you have a great garden?

Growing a Garden

“A volunteer sunflower made its appearance. We decided to let it grow and see …” ~Kathey-frommywindow.blogspot.com

Maybe they rave over your colorful walls and interior decor that you just completed. Or they love it when you cook, and always beg you for the recipe. Write down everything you can think of that you’ve done and others commented positively about it.

Third, what would you like to do if you didn’t have to do anything? If you could spend time doing anything you wanted, what would you do? Write? Speak? Perform? Create? Alone or with a group? Who would you do it with or for? Jot down any ideas that come to mind. (Pretend money is not a factor because there’s a way if it’s important).

Talents need not be public to be valuable. Perhaps you make and keep lifelong friends, and have a talent for strong relationships. Maybe you are great with children. You might know just what to say to someone who is going through a difficult time. Whatever you enjoy and are good at doing, is a valuable talent for you. Perhaps a talent comes easily and naturally to you, like solving complicated math problems or fixing a car.

Compare your lists. What stands out? What do you feel most excited about? Circle those items you feel the strongest about, or that are repeated more than once. From those circles, choose which ones you would seriously like to pursue. What will bring you the most joy and fulfillment?

Once you’ve decided on a talent to pursue, make a plan to develop it. Will developing this talent mean taking lessons? Will you want to schedule classes? Does it require practice in order to enjoy it more? Perhaps it is something you already do, and now can appreciate it as your TALENT.

Now that you know what talents you want to pursue, put your plan into ACTION!

Find a Talent!

So use the talents He has given you to the fullest and make every day as important as the next. Everyone has different talents. If we we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place.” ~Gypsy-Sisters.com/profiles/

If you would like guidance in finding your unique talents, you are welcome to contact me for personal assistance.

Healthy Food for Health

The Healthy Eating Pyramid

Do you connect eating healthy food with feeling good? Healthy eating habits make a big difference in how we feel about ourselves, physically and emotionally. Not only how we look, but mental and physical health. Have you ever pigged out on something you knew wasn’t good for you, only to feel sick later? I have! One thing that can trigger ill health or negative emotions is eating too much sugar.

Fresh-picked vine-ripened SWEET Strawberries!

Eating the right kinds of sugars keeps our brains and bodies going. Foods too high in glycemic response increase blood sugars rapidly then spike insulin levels, resulting in low blood sugar. After I had children that I couldn’t physically handle sugar like I had previously. If I ate refined sugar, I became the Wicked Witch of the West! But there are good sugars , like fruit, sweet potato, and sweet garden tomatoes.

First Crop 2012

Yummy tomatoes from my garden!

Sugars are one thing, but what about fats? Are some fats healthier than others? Fats in their natural state tend to be healthier than processed fats, such as hydrogenated oils like shortening, or fried foods with trans-fatty acids. Naturally fatty foods like avocados, eggs, olives, coconut, raw nuts, when eaten in balance with the rights carbs (sugars) and protein form part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Which leads to the third type of nutrient, protein. Protein in its natural state is healthier. Animal sources should be clean from unnecessary hormones or antibiotics, and fed clean feed– lean organic meat is safest. Vegetarian sources of protein include nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and vegetables for complete proteins.

Do you have a vegetable garden? Picking your home-grown produce to eat fresh is a treat! The active enzymes and natural sugar content of just-picked fruits and vegetables, ripened on the plant then popped into your mouth, makes all the effort of gardening worthwhile. Growing a natural, organic garden increases the vitamin and mineral content of the food, and avoids harmful chemicals. Organic foods can also be purchased, but sometimes are picked green for shipping. Nothing beats picking it off the vine and eating it picked fully ripe and fresh! Try it if you don’t believe it.
Fresh fruits and vegetables also hydrate the body. So does filtered or spring water. Do you drink enough water? One recommendation is to drink at least half your body weight (lbs.) in ounces every day.

Even with proper nutrition and hydration, getting nutrients to every cell of the body requires something more–exercise.   The lymphatic system has nothing to circulate it but our movement, so for optimal health some form of movement or massage is necessary.

Knowing about healthy food and nutrition is not the same as doing it! I write this article as a reminder of what to eat to feel healthier. Please contact me if you would like greater support in making healthy choices.