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

Crises In Haiti:The Choice For Love, Miracles, Inspiration And Bliss

February 8, 2010 · Filed Under The Power of Love · Comment 

“Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall they be saved.”   ~ Jane Goodall

If you are looking for inspiration, miracles and feel good experiences, including bliss, then you have to look no further than the events in Haiti. Have you noticed that 9/11, Katrina, the tsunami and the earthquakes of Haiti have succeeded in uniting us as a country and as a world community in ways that no other force has been able to achieve.  In simple terms, events that take our breath away, inspire each of us to make the choice for love which, in turn, leads to our experiencing an extraordinary sense of well-being and bliss.

Just think for a moment about recent weeks in which you have been traumatized, inspired, transformed and even able to experience your own healing as you stayed glued to your television, watching both the horror of the destruction of almost an entire nation, as well as the attempts to rescue those caught in the rubble of the destroyed homes and buildings. The turn of the clock and the shaking of the earth have forever changed the poorest country in the northern hemisphere, while, at the same time, deeply touching the heartstrings of the rest of us.

Have you wondered why it is that we are moved to choose to respond with love? The answer rests in part with Albert Einstein and his quantum physicist colleagues. Einstein believed that since everything is energy (and all energy vibrates), and love is among the highest of energies, we honestly are thy brother’s keeper. In other words, given that we can energetically merge with one another (because we are pure energy), the only way to treat one another is with compassion, love and kindness. Catastrophic events such as the colossal destruction in Haiti quickly remind us that we are a brotherhood, that we are in this together, and, therefore, we have a responsibility to care compassionately and lovingly for one another. That is what brothers, sisters and families do, isn’t it?

After all, there is an old saying that goes something like this: “ If not for the Grace of God, that could be me.” Haiti reminds us that we, too, could be in a similar situation. Mother Nature does not always give us advance warning. We identify with the pain of these people; we know it could be us in need of help at some point in the future. And, yes, as Einstein believed, we are thy brother’s keeper.

The fascinating paradox about a catastrophic event is that as horrible as it is, it provides opportunities for people everywhere to rise to an inspirational level of being the best they can be. As we choose to follow our hearts, do what feels right and behave lovingly, we create miracles and miracles feel good and blissful! (To be continued…)

Susan Barbara Apollon

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

©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon

Bliss & Making New Year Miracles On WNBC Today In New York

January 14, 2010 · Filed Under Everything Is Energy, The Power of Intention · Comment 

The invitation came unexpectedly just a few days before the New Year. Could I come to New York and speak about “How to Set and Keep New Year’s Resolutions and Intentions”? While there was little time to prepare, I knew that this would be a great opportunity to share with everyone what I have been living and teaching patients in my practice. Making miracles (Creating and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions) is really all about energy – and positive, loving energy, at that!

View videos on NBC: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video.

We arrived at Rockefeller Center early. After going through security, we headed up to the 7th floor for the interview. The studio is huge, pleasant and filled with desks, chairs, television monitors of all major shows being broadcasted at the same time.

I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with several of the producers and stage-staff – all down to earth and so very kind. While waiting for my turn to be interviewed, one of the producers, Li Jing, helped me with getting a cup of coffee and enabling me to relax a bit as we talked about what led up to the production of Touched by the Extraordinary.

The anchor who interviewed me, Pat Battle, was wonderful. We hit it off immediately. Pat is high energy, positive, has a great smile, radiates feel-good energy and is absolutely lovely. I felt blessed to have such a super, supportive team around me as we prepared for our segment. Having my family there, just a few feet away also helped me feel even more comfortable.

And, then, we were on. The segment literally flew by. I worked to convey as much of the material I had prepared. I was told my enthusiasm was felt by those present and that they especially valued some of the tools I had spoken of, including my ABC technique and three question journaling method. I was genuinely moved by their warm response.

What fun this was and what a great way to begin the New Year!

May we all be blessed with a New Year filled with Laughter, Peace and Much Love.

Susan Barbara Apollon

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

©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon

To Feel Good And Find Your Bliss, Do Not Hesitate To Be Inspired By People In Your Life

July 7, 2009 · Filed Under Creating Peace & Happiness · Comment 

“The thing I remember best about successful people I’ve met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they’re doing…and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they’re doing, and they love it in front of others.”

Fred Rodgers

Find people to inspire you. Anyone who inspires you most likely vibrates energetically at a higher level which, in turn, enables you to feel good. My patients inspire me every day that I am privileged to sit and be with them. Because they choose to come to me, often when they are in great pain or experiencing a sense of loss (either of which often impairs their daily functions), they are actually demonstrating courage and strength just by choosing to come to see me. I watch these exquisite beings working so diligently to recover their souls and their identities.

One patient recently had been in an accident in which a car hit him while he was riding his bike, causing (miraculously) only mild injuries, but clearly having also created a shift in consciousness, due to the trauma. About a week after the accident, he sat in my office sharing with me the most eloquent writing that expressed his feelings. He viewed his accident as a significant turning point in his life, one that he felt had transformed him. He spoke with great wisdom, deepened understanding and a greater sense of maturity. I was inspired by the manner in which he had found such powerful meaning in an event which, for others, would probably have been viewed quite differently.

My cancer patients inspire me in so many ways. One patient I had been working with, on and off for years, came back to see me during the weeks leading up to her death. It became immediately apparent to me that the illness had brought about an amazing personal transformation in her. This very loving, kind, compassionate and upbeat woman had accepted her cancer and her life.

She had actually claimed her power – something she had never been able to do up to that point. For the first time in her life, she spoke with calmness, peacefulness, complete love for herself and others and great self-confidence. She was no longer afraid of standing up for what she knew to be right and just. I was moved and inspired by her courage, power and stunning ability to assert herself in ways she could not previously do.

Her family, friends and doctors were inspired by the manner in which she approached her own death. Because she was not afraid of death, neither was her family. The manner in which she chose to die enabled her family to handle her death with a greater sense of peace and equanimity than would have been the case if she had handled it any other way.

Another patient has heroically handled her challenge of a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I am extremely inspired by her choosing to view her MS as a teacher of many lessons. Her determination to persist in holding onto her vision of well-being and being able to continue to live her life with good quality has enabled her to continue playing her beloved music (which is inspirational for her) and has enabled her to walk without the canes she once thought she would always need. She is a magnificent role model of hope, perseverance and great wisdom for all of us.

Your well-being and your bliss can be engendered by being conscious and aware of aligning with those who move and inspire you. It is all about feeling good because when you are inspired and feeling good, you know you are connected to your own soul, to your Source and to All There Is. Choose to be inspired and bliss will be yours!

“When I think of Robert Frost’s poems, like ‘The Road Not Taken,’ I feel the support of someone who is on my side, who understands what life’s choices are like, someone who says, ‘I’ve been there, and it’s okay to go on.’”

Fred Rogers

Susan Barbara Apollon

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

©2009 Susan Barbara Apollon

To Feel Good, Happy And Find Your Bliss, Seek Inspiration In Words And Deeds

June 23, 2009 · Filed Under The Power of Laughter, Joy & Humor · Comment 

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Helen Keller

I am wondering if you love quotes as much as I do. Quotes are probably one of our greatest sources of inspiration. Not a day goes by that I do not find beauty and wisdom in the words and thoughts of others. Sometimes, it is my patients who speak profound words that touch my soul. Other times, I come upon words that make me stop in my tracks, words which come from a guest on a television or radio show or an article from the internet, the newspaper or a magazine. Of course, there are the words of our great philosophers, writers and great leaders throughout history who continue to motivate and inspire all of us.

Perhaps you have, like my husband and myself, been collecting particularly inspiring words of wisdom and have been jotting them down and storing them somewhere where you can refer to them in times when they seem especially appropriate. I have an ongoing book of quotes I have been creating as a gift to give to my readers, filled with quotes that have inspired me and which, I hope, have the power to inspire you.

Books are one of the greatest sources of words of inspirations. Whether in the form of stories, poems, journal entries or essays, these quotations are often so beautifully and powerfully written that they move, touch, motivate and inspire us to take action – action which may serve to help us find our purpose or to help improve our world on a scale we could not have imagined possible! Perhaps, this is also why we see so many calendars with quotes. What better way to motivate you to have a great day than to provide you, at the beginning of your day, with great words of truth and inspiration.

Just this evening, on the ABC Evening News, the Person of the Week was a woman who had written a children’s book that has inspired children to take actions which raise funds to help children in Africa to have a better quality of life. Because she was honored and her work was discussed on a national news program, I am confident that this author has inspires countless numbers of others to find a way to make a difference.

Even the words of our children’s beloved Mr. Rodgers have been released in a book which I recently purchased. Why would I buy such a book? Because Fred Rogers’ words inspired me while he was alive and are even more inspirational for me since his death. Just consider the following quote which I find to be inspirational: Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.

One more example that I wish to offer you of words from Fred Rodgers that inspired me: When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is: the lovely with the unlovely, the strong along with the fearful, the true mixed in with the façade, and, of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way. I believe that what inspires us about this gentle soul is that he lived what he preached – and he lived with great dignity while inspiring all of us to live with dignity.

Susan Barbara Apollon

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

©2009 Susan Barbara Apollon

To Feel Bliss And Happiness, Make It Your Intention To Be Inspired By Life

June 11, 2009 · Filed Under Creating Peace & Happiness · Comment 

“Life is my college.” Louisa May Alcott

“Where there is love, there is life.” Mohandas Gandhi

When interviewed for The Survivor Spirit, cancer patient, Jane Yamashiro stated: “Help may not come from where you expect, but it comes if you ask and are open to receiving it.” She also stated: “Why dwell on negative issues and load yourself with baggage when you can glide through life and enjoy the views? Life is wonderful when you let go and flow.” Jane allows herself to be inspired by life!

In my own life, I have made it my intention to be inspired by various people, places, situations and special words – and have created my dreams via putting my focus of intention on my sources of inspiration. For example, I have learned that I draw to me that with which I am vibrationally and energetically aligned and that the highest level of energetic vibration, for me, is Love. Thus, above a collage of family photographs in my kitchen hangs a wood carving with a favorite quote that has been a source of personal inspiration for me for more than twenty years: ‘I have learned to cherish those I love as though I would not have tomorrow.

I am inspired by words that remind me of why I am here, who I am and how I can be of service. I am inspired by Love – every moment of every day. This includes actions of Love, words of Love and thoughts of Love. Love is such a high vibration that it has the power to make us feel genuinely good and happy and attract to us very positive, high energetic experiences, including healing miracles.

Healers inspire me, perhaps because their work is grounded on Love. When our fifteen year-old dog, Amber was diagnosed with cancer by our vet, which was later confirmed by the University of Pennsylvania, I chose to use a variety of healing techniques that I had learned from those healers whose work inspired me. These techniques involved, on a daily basis, experiencing a sense of merging into the Oneness with All There Is and then filling with overwhelming feelings of Love and projecting this Love onto Amber while touching and holding her.

I was also inspired to go on a wonderful healing retreat in which I studied the healing work of renowned psychologist, Larry LeShan (taught by his protégé, psychologist, Joyce Goodrich). LeShan has been honored by Harvard for his work in the area of intentional healing or distant intention.

For four days, I engaged in intentional healing meditations and experiences. The day after I returned home, I discovered, much to my amazement, that Amber’s right gum was no longer filled with the cancer. Instead, when I lifted her gum, I discovered healthy, pink tissue on both sides of her mouth. Even Amber’s vet, Dr. Louise Morin, validated that this was a legitimate extraordinary healing. Consequently, Amber lived almost two more years (to almost seventeen, most unusual for Golden Retrievers). Had I not been inspired to do the work of intentional healing, this would not have occurred.

As a result of my having been inspired, I chose to write about this in my book, Touched by the Extraordinary, so that others, perhaps you, might be inspired in a similar manner. I know that I am not unique. If I am able to apply such healing methods and intentions, so can you. In this way others may be inspired as I have been by so many beautiful souls. (To be continued…)

Susan Barbara Apollon

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

©2009 Susan Barbara Apollon

Get Involved In Something Inspirational And You Find Bliss And Happiness!

May 19, 2009 · Filed Under Creating Peace & Happiness · Comment 

“All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Walt Disney

So, what is inspiration? How does it impact us? And what and who inspires you? Clearly, if nothing else, to be inspired or to focus on something inspirational is all very high vibrational activity, contributing to you feeling like you are living your bliss, finding happiness and a sense of empowerment!.

The word inspire actually has several definitions: 1. To stimulate somebody to do something (encourage somebody to greater effort, enthusiasm or creativity); 2. To provoke particular feeling (arouse a particular feeling in somebody, as inspires optimism); 3. To cause creative activity (to stimulate somebody to do something, especially creative or artistic work); 4 to breathe in (as to inhale air).

For me, personally, that which inspires me (fills me with beautiful spirit) is what touches my heart and my entire being, in a way that motivates or pushes me to want to take some kind of action or to, at least, give thought and consideration to the meaning in my own life of whatever it is that has inspired me. Whatever my inspiration is, it serves my journey in some way, contributing to the forward or upward movement, hopefully, of my soul’s growth – and, most of all, it really feels good!

If you are looking for some bliss and joy, take time to become aware of your sources of inspiration; take time to look for situations, people, experiences and moments which you intuitively know will uplift you and, because they feel so good, you will hold in your heart, where you keep your treasure box of special vibrational memories, as we do with Susan Boyle’s experience, forever treasuring them ….again and again.

Finding inspiration is so often about the internal meaning you give to an external event, making it, then, something precious and uplifting to you. For example, I recently had the honor of participating in a benefit theater production in Bucks County, PA, of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.. The goal of the monologues: create awareness of - and an end to - the violence against women. All profits went to charities which support the education of ending the abuse against women and girls.

To my surprise, I found that by choosing to participate in this magnificent production, I was finding daily, if not moment to moment, inspiration that moved me to tears, through the words I was reading and the actors with whom I was performed. Those of you who watch Oprah know that through the gift of television, you are often inspired by her guests and what they have done or by Oprah and all that she is doing to help the world. This is what I felt by choosing to perform in this play.

Consequently, I felt empowered and wonderful – and wanted to be able to do even more to stop the violence against women and to bring peace to the world in which we live. I felt, also, a sense of transformation occurring within me and, most important, I felt I was making a difference! Yes, I was – and have been– inspired by both Eve Ensler’s words and deeds and by the incredibly gifted actors with whom I performed. These women ranged in age from 16 to 65! Quite a group and I was so honored to be included. (To be continued…)

Susan Barbara Apollon

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

©2009 Susan Barbara Apollon

To Feel Good, Be Happy & Find Your Bliss, Seek Out What Inspires You – And Be Inspired!

You can do nothing to inspire the person in front of you, if you do not inspire yourself first.” Sogyal Rinpoche

Have you noticed that when you are in need of a feel-good experience, and you find something or someone that fills you with inspiration, you suddenly feel so much better  – even bliss and joy? And, you may even feel a sense of intuitive wisdom or purpose rising up within you.

Awareness of what inspires you can be a key to your happiness, bliss, experiencing healing and even living with a sense of purpose. Just consider the beautiful, heartwarming story of Susan Boyle, which, thanks to the internet, has spread around the globe.

Personally, listening to the newest internet sensation, Susan Boyle, became my most recent source of inspiration. I click to listen, knowing that I will cry and be moved to tears as I listen to the gift of her unexpected magnificent voice.. Quite a paradox, if you stop and think about it.

An international sensation taking the world by surprise, Susan Boyle, in the video of her performance on Britain’s Got Talent, has touched hearts everywhere. No one, that I can recall, has inspired so many people throughout the world just by singing one song, amazing as that song is.

Seeing and hearing Susan sing I Dream a Dream from the Broadway show, Les Miserables, brings tears to just about everyone who experiences her. Is it because a dowdy 47 year-old woman surprises us with an unbelievable voice? Are we moved by the stunned looks and words of the three judges, some of whom are known for being rather nasty and sharp tongued with contestants who resemble Susan, an older gal, from a little village in Scotland, dressed plainly and with little or no makeup? Is it that the music is extraordinary? Or is it because, perhaps, we see ourselves in Susan, each of us holding a dream – a vision -, which we are able to make a reality before we come to the end of our life, as she does with this moving, superb and incredible performance?

And why is it that we like to listen to Susan sing I Dream a Dream as often as we do? Perhaps, it is because she inspires us. Yes, she represents hope that we, too, may be able to bring our dreams to fulfillment. When I hear Susan sing, I am inspired; that is, I am infused with the spirit of Hope, Joy, Enthusiasm, Possibility and Love. I feel good hearing her magnificent voice. She is a symbol of hope for me and for all of us that we need to hold onto vision– that anything and everything is possible.

When you choose to focus on someone or something which inspires you, you feel wonderful, full of hope, motivation and joy, enabling you to experience an energetic higher quality of life. A word or two of advice: If you want to feel good, make it a point to become more aware of what it is that inspires and infuses you with life-giving energy, joy and purpose. You will have a win-win situation! (To be continued…)

Susan Barbara Apollon

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

©2009 Susan Barbara Apollon

Finding Bliss And Peace Via Meaningful Rituals – Part 5

May 2, 2009 · Filed Under Creating Peace & Happiness · Comment 

One of the nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
~Luciano Pavaroti and William Wright~

Where there is love, there is life.
~Mohandas Gandhi~

Food is such a valuable aspect of self-generated ceremonial rituals. Furthermore, food is an expression of healing, loving energy which enables you to feel good and experience bliss. Consider your holidays and how important it is for you to include traditional foods and dishes always associated with specific holidays. Somehow, knowing the treats you will serve or receive as a part of your holiday meals seems to ground and stabilize you, enabling you to feel safe, rooted, deeply loved and that all is okay with you and your world.

As you go about preparing and eating the ritualistic holiday foods, remember to project or feel love in every morsel of food. Actually, it happens quite naturally. Personally, hot dogs and hamburgers convey love, comfort and healing joyful energy for me each July 4th, as does turkey, my mother’s incredibly delicious stuffing and sweet potato pie with marshmallows and for Thanksgiving.

And how could I forget the matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, kugel and my home baked rugalah that have been a part of every Jewish family celebration? This is my heritage – and continuing the rituals helps me to preserve and more deeply root our family members. Think, for a moment, of your own family’s food-related traditions and feel the wonderful, energetic goodness of what this means to you.

Fortunately, for many of my friends, they are able to donate their time and energy to assisting their community members who are homeless by working at food banks. Others, I know, give of their time throughout the year and/or on the holidays to prepare and serve meals for those who have no homes. These acts become loving, ceremonial rituals which enable them to feel they are making a difference in the lives of others.

I often think about the women of the Holocaust who continued to find ways to celebrate special occasions such birthdays, holidays and anniversaries – and the Sabbath. These women understood that they could maintain a sense of some normalcy by continuing the traditions of cooking foods associated with their way of life, as well as maintaining rituals such as prayers and the lighting of candles at appropriate times. I have a cookbook written by the women of the Holocaust (something that I was amazed they could pull off, given the difficulty of their situation). Yet, I know that it is the meager food which was cooked with love and the meaning of the ceremonies and the rituals that sustained them and their families in those most challenging – and horrific circumstances.

Finally, have you thought about the many ways in which you carry on exquisite, loving, ceremonial rituals for your friends and loved ones who are ill, dying or who are grieving? Please consider these times in your life and the ways in which you and your family have either received or provided assistance, be it with a cooked meal , the running of errands, caring for children, being a chauffeur and support system for doctor appointments or assisting with hospital, insurance or burial issues and needs. Because you act from love, these rituals are all high energy shifting experiences for you, bringing you greater peace and comfort.

And, of course, there are the visits you make to either the hospital to be with the ill or to the funeral home or cemetery to honor the deceased. All of these help you and those with whom you visit by the gift of your presence at a time when it is very, very needed as an expression of loving support. You heal yourself and your loved ones by choosing such loving acts and rituals of compassion and kindness.

One of the secrets to a better quality life filled with joy is to consciously and wisely choose those rituals which will feel good to you and enable you to experience healing and well-being!

Susan Barbara Apollon

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

©2009 Susan Barbara Apollon

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