How to Experience Bliss and Heal Body, Mind & Spirit & Loss by Choosing Compassion, Kindness and Love(#2)

July 8, 2010 · Filed Under Purpose of Life · Comment 

 

"Where there is Love, there is Life."

Mohandas Gandhi

At this time of the year, we have many reasons to celebrate. Graduations, weddings, anniversaries, special vacations and even retirements tend to happen more during the months of May, June, July and August than any other time of the year! We are provided with so many opportunities to share in the joy of our loved ones, and, in so doing, we get to experience personal joy, as well. Taking time to attend an important event of a friend or family member is a powerful way of saying  “I love you.” and “You are important in my life.” It is an expression of choosing Compassion, Kindness and Love.

There are times in our lives, however, when our friendship and personal relationships ask more from us and we are placed in positions of having to truly “walk the talk” of being the  compassionate, caring and kind friend or loved one that we have always thought ourselves to be.

A beautiful example of this is that of Madonna Siles, author of Brain, Heal Thyself: A Caregiver’s New Approach to Recovery from Stroke, Aneurysm, and Traumatic Brain Injuries and Eureka! Memories and Motivations: A Strategy for Creating a Healing Home for the Stroke/Brain Injury Patient and Caregiver. Madonna has become one of my real heroes, demonstrating what Compassion, Perseverance and Love are really about.

I first heard Madonna speak when she was a guest, along with neurosurgeon, Mark McLaughlin, on The Medical View: Where East Meets West, a superb radio show hosted by Dr. Beth DuPree, Dr. Amy Harvey and Dr. Deidre Walsh, on 860 AM  WWBD Philadelphia, Saturdays from 10:00 to 11:00am.  Rarely have I been as touched by the selfless actions of one human being as I was upon hearing about Madonna’s successful efforts to rescue her dear friend from the abyss of a devastating aneurysm and brain injury.

Try to imagine that you and your dearest friend have moved to a new home, a place where you have no support system and your friends live hundreds of miles away, and your dearest friend suddenly has an exploding aneurysm, leaving her in what appears to be almost a “vegetable” condition. You have limited financial resources – and not enough for a long nursing home/rehabilitative stay. What do you do?

Do you choose to stay to provide tedious and difficult caretaking of your friend? Or, do you do what social workers and healthcare professionals recommend–gather your belongings and get as far away from the situation as is possible?

The decision was not one with which Madonna had to struggle, despite the consequential hardship she knew she would have to endure .She resolved to repurpose a few years of her life in order to be the caretaker and, more importantly, the rehabilitator of her good friend, Eve.

But Madonna, who holds no advanced or medical degrees, was able to accomplish so much more than anyone in the health field could have imagined. Thanks to Madonna placing her trust in her Higher Power, relying on her intuition as to how to employ motivational methods to reach Eve’s subconscious mind and integrating the wisdom of the twelve step program into her rehabilitative process, Madonna has enabled Eve to make a stunning and almost full recovery. 

If you or anyone you know is dealing with recovery from stroke, aneurysm or brain injury, Madonna’s book, Brain, Heal Thyself, written with warmth, humor and candor, can provide not only the how-to guidance needed for such an undertaking, but the emotional and spiritual support needed by caretakers, as well. More importantly, Madonna’s choice for Compassion, Kindness and Love provides all of us with another reminder that when we choose Love, bliss and miracles of healing mind, body and spirit are possible.

           “To be a realist, you must believe in miracles.”

David Ben Gurion

 

Susan Barbara Apollon

Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”



Intuition Is Easy & Fun

©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon

How to Experience Bliss and Heal Body, Mind & Spirit & Loss by Choosing Compassion, Kindness and Love(#1)

July 8, 2010 · Filed Under Purpose of Life · Comment 

 

“My religion is very simple. My religion is Kindness.”

The Dalai Lama

 

Remember the last time you were either ill or felt that your heart had been broken?  Perhaps you suffered a crisis such as the loss of a loved one or your job or a medical ordeal such as a stroke, heart attack or the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. At such times, we blissfully desire the loving presence of one who understands our situation, who feels our loss, who knows what it is like to suffer and who has the courage not to run away from us when we need them most.

Bliss takes on a different meaning in moments such as these. It comes as we experience feelings of joyful and overwhelming gratitude and appreciation for the Love shown to us in the form of Compassion, Tenderness and Kindness.

 Think about this for a moment. You are fine one minute and, in the next, your life has been forever changed by a horrific accident, a brain aneurysm, a stroke or a heart attack. If you can imagine such scenarios, can you imagine how you are going to survive? This is where Love steps in. Love can be expressed in many ways, but, ultimately, it can carry you from death’s door to life’s joys.

Coming from a family of physicians, I have long felt that healing the body is about healing the soul as well as the body. Such healing encompasses the ability to be loving and compassionate towards yourself, humanity and, in fact, the world. 

For more than a decade,, I would incorporate this message of the need to heal mind, body and soul each time I addressed a graduating class of physicians. Only last week, I was delighted to hear a new doctor- to- be, just a few days away from receiving his medical degree, announce to his class that his hope for his peers is that they practice compassionate medicine and treat their patients as they would loved ones. Nothing could have pleased me more!

Albert Einstein once said that we are our brothers’ keeper. This was in line with his research and thinking, as a quantum physicist, that everything is energy and vibrates. Given that we are all energy, we have the capacity to not only be individual templates of vibrational energy, but we also have the ability to merge with one another. Thus, he advocated that we be loving and compassionate to one another. 

Have you observed how easy it is to notice when another has either been kind or not kind to you?. However, why not consider working on building your level of compassion and consideration toward others? Why not remember the adage, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”? By doing this, you experience beautiful feelings of well-being. (To be continued.)

 

Susan Barbara Apollon

Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”

 & Intuition Is Easy & Fun

©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon

The Purpose Of Life: Live Like You Are Dying, Loving, Accepting And Healing What Is… (#3)

June 22, 2010 · Filed Under Purpose of Life · 1 Comment 

 

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is. I believe in the latter"   ~Albert Einstein

Kristine Carson, wife of Richard Carlson (author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff), writes in If You Had An Hour to Live, “Grieving is the ultimate act of love, or, at least, it can be. Love holds all possibilities, and that includes bliss in the face of immeasurable suffering and gain through loss.” Her point is that despite the grief and loss you experience, the quality of your Love determines whether you decide to choose to move into the pain and suffering associated with the darkness of grief – or into the warmth, peace and joy associated with the energy of the loving light.  Your life’s purpose is a function of the choices you make. You are exactly where you are supposed to be because of the choices you make. Again, do your best and choose wisely!

Miracles are occurring all the time and Love is at the heart of miracles, according to the book, A Course in Miracles. Because we vibrate at such a high level energetically, when we choose Love in the form of Kindness and Loving Compassion for both ourselves and others, the body’s the immune system functions better (especially when dealing with a life-threatening illness or a significant loss).  Perhaps this, again, is what motivates Tug McGraw’s character in his popular country song, Live Like You Were Dying, to want to go skydiving, fishing, bull riding and mountain climbing, as well as wishing to practice forgiveness. Loving oneself certainly includes following your hopes, dreams and long-lived passions, without the burden of anger and resentments.

As a researcher of miracles, and one who has witnessed real-life miracles, I have personally seen the stunning consequences, such as remissions and disappearances of different kinds of cancers, in my patients who have chosen to live fully in the moment, while treating themselves and others compassionately and lovingly. By choosing to take the time to become conscious of any thoughts or issues to which you have been attached and then detaching and practicing forgiveness, you shift your energy to a level which feels absolutely wonderful and initiates the release of valuable endorphins which enhance the functioning of your immune system.

Choosing to Face (acknowledge), Embrace (feel) and Replace your uncomfortable feelings such as anger, hurt, resentment, rage and disappointment, with more loving thoughts  enables you to live more freely, without self- criticism or judgment. Miracles have everything to do with you choosing to see a situation or person from a more loving, kind and forgiving perspective. A change in perspective is often considered a miracle! For example, once you recognize that how you choose to think about your Uncle Fred really determines how you feel about him; if you choose to focus on how sweet he is rather than how annoying he can be, you actually feel much better, due to the release of needed endorphins. This is how easy it is!

A hero and mentor of mine, psychologist, scientist, author and survivor of two serious cancers, Paul Pearsall, states in Making Miracles, “Making miracles depends on understanding the profound truth that our perceptions create our reality and that there is always another view of every issue.” By choosing to live like you were dying, that is by detaching from anything that does not feel good and accepting what is, you will find yourself experiencing greater peace, joy and an overall enhanced quality of life. According to Pearsall, “Things-including miracles- do not just happen to us; we make them happen!”This is the power of your mind and your ability to choose to accept what is. This is your healing power!

“Making miracles is a matter of developing vigilance for the miracles all around us. If we are open to the miracles right under our very noses, and if we become miracles observers and unashamed practitioners of miracology, we are…much more likely to participate in the making of our own miracles.”   ~Paul Pearsall, Ph.D, Author of Making Miracles

 

Susan Barbara Apollon

Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”

Intuition Is Easy & Fun

©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon

The Purpose Of Life: Live Like You Are Dying, Loving, Accepting And Healing What Is… (#2)

May 28, 2010 · Filed Under Purpose of Life · Comment 

“Don’t spend a lot of time imagining the worst-case scenario. It rarely goes down as you imagine it will, and if by some fluke it does, you will have lived it twice.”

Michael J Fox, Author
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future.

When faced with challenges of illnesses, loss, grief and trauma, we often grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually – and sometimes, we even heal physically! All of us are born as wise beings who forget our wisdom during the journey of life so that we learn lessons needed to rediscover who we are; that is, that we are loving, wise beings and that we are here for Love – Unconditional Love of Self and Unconditional Love of others.

Looking for our life’s purpose is rather interesting. Have you noticed that you can be feeling peaceful and fine and the moment you focus on your thought that you have not found or are seeking your life’s purpose, you begin to feel a sense of being out of balance, as though you are missing something? But, you were feeling whole and balanced until your mind had you paying attention to the thought that something was missing! Dying or grieving and dealing with an illness like cancer forces you to recognize what truly makes you happy – and balanced – as well as what your life purpose may be.

Being at peace comes with you becoming aware of the need to accept and unconditionally love whatever the situation, moment or circumstances may be. When my patients begin to be conscious of what they are holding onto (often something from the past) which causes them pain, suffering and discomfort, they know they have a choice and that whatever they choose to focus their energy on will determine, for them, whether they get to feel good or not good – which leads to their possibly restoring balance and well-being to their lives.

In the May issue of Reader’s Digest, Michael J. Fox, during an interview, shares lessons learned from his illness, Parkinson’s Disease. His words reinforce the power of your choice: “When things do go bad, don’t run, don’t hide. It will take time, but you’ll find that even the gravest problems are finite, and your choices are infinite.”

In the same article, Michael J. Fox provides the following excerpt from his new book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, which validates how crucial it is to accept whatever the loss is. He states: “I was really trying to hide from myself. But with no escape from the disease, its symptoms, and its challenges, I was forced, after exercising in vain all other options, to resort to acceptance, which simply means acknowledging the reality of a situation. As my acceptance grew, I came to understand that loss is not a vacuum. If I didn’t impulsively try to fill the space it creates, it gradually began to fill itself, or at least present choices.

Healing, then, often does not begin until you face the threat of significant loss or illness. Why is it that we do not stop ourselves in our tracks when we are out of balance until we come face to face with something that feels catastrophic? Again, the wisdom of the Buddhists needs to be considered: Live your life as though you were dying. When you remember this advice, you live very differently, very intentionally and very meaningfully – and you choose wisely.

For example, when the doctor tells you that you may be dealing with an illness such as cancer, you may find yourself experiencing either fear of the unknown – including thoughts of possibly dying – or you find yourself suddenly reflecting on all the desires , hopes and dreams you have been planning for – and wishing you had done something more about them. No two people respond in the exact same way. Some may wish to get right down to the business of receiving treatment. Others choose to quickly assess what they have or have not accomplished regarding their lifetime goals. Others quickly and insightfully recognize that the issues to which they were attached, dealing with anger and resentments, need to be immediately released – if there is to be peace of mind, body and spirit. To live like you are dying, choose what feels right at the level of your heart, but, if possible, choose what fills you with joy, passion, enthusiasm, and, of course, Love.

What I know for sure is that when you recognize that you are an energetic being and you choose to focus on anything that represents loving energy, especially Love of yourself, as well as Love of others, you experience inner peace and contentment- even during the most challenging of times. The reason for this is that Love is the highest of energies and has the capacity to enhance your physiological, emotional, mental and spiritual states. Therefore, when you need to confront fearful thoughts related to the possible loss of someone or something, choose to fill with thoughts of Love. In the words of a renowned physician and author, Jerald Jampolsky, “Love is letting go of fear.”

Susan Barbara Apollon

Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”
& Intuition Is Easy & Fun

©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon


The Purpose Of Life: Live Like You Are Dying, Loving, Accepting And Healing What Is

May 16, 2010 · Filed Under Healing Wisdom, Purpose of Life · Comment 


“If I had an hour to live, I wouldn’t be calling anyone who owed me any money, or anyone who had wronged me in any way during my lifetime….With the time I have left, I choose to allow my thoughts to rest in total peace, right here, right now in this precious moment.”    ~Richard Carlson

Have you noticed that the moment you or a loved one receives news of a life-threatening illness, such as cancer, Parkinson’s Disease or ALS, or a significant loss, so much in your life suddenly takes on a different meaning?  

Instantly, you find yourself valuing time and everything else in your life in ways you could never have imagined. Suddenly, you find yourself discovering meaning in places, including relationships, which you had previously discounted. Perhaps, for the first time, you “get” what this experience known as “the journey of life” (your life) is really all about. And, even better, you know you are “getting it.

Country music artist Tug McGraw sings a song, “Live Like You Were Dying,” that is especially meaningful to loved ones (or those close to loved ones) who have been recently diagnosed with cancer or any other significant illness. Written when he learned that his father had been diagnosed with cancer, the song touched hearts everywhere. In fact, it secured the #1 position in country music in the United States for seven weeks. What I love about “Live Like You Were Dying” is that it reveals an immediate shift in perspective regarding what seems to matter or not matter after being told that you are dealing with a life-threatening illness or possible loss.

So often upon receiving unwanted and unexpected news concerning the possible shortening of our lifespan, we question the meaning of life or our life’s purpose, and this, in turn, leads to a stunning sense of clarity and intuitive knowing about these matters. For example, upon learning that he may be dying, the main character of Tug McGraw’s song wastes no time in engaging in activities he has always wanted to pursue, including skydiving, mountain climbing, fishing and bull riding. Even more significantly, knowing that life may soon end, he engages in faith- related matters, including reading the Bible and forgiving everyone. The listening public, as judged by their desire to hear this song, appears to recognize the truths that McGraw speaks for so many of us.

The Tibetan Buddhists have long known and advocated that life needs to be lived as though we are dying. This is something I share with my patients who are stuck in their attachments to issues, things, places and people which prevents them from fully living their lives. When you are aware that your time is limited, be it as a senior, a terminally ill person or someone about to lose a relative or friend, all the issues on which you focused that have kept you at a distance from your family and friends melt away.  It is at these times that your valuable material possessions seem much less valuable– but people you love and care about are more precious than ever. Why is this?  It has everything to do with Choice and your awareness of the power of Love. (To be continued)

Susan Barbara Apollon

Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”
& Intuition Is Easy & Fun

©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon

p.s. For our seniors, please visit our Seniors 101 page where you will find a link for the Longevity Solutions Members Directory.