“Always rely on a happy mind alone…. A controlled mind will remain calm and happy no matter what the conditions.” This quote comes from the book Universal Happiness by Geche Kelsang Gyatso also known as Geshe Chekhawa
A portion of this quote came to me yesterday during a conversation with a sweet friend who not only sufferers from Ankylosing Spondylitis, but who is also a practicing Buddhist. She mentioned that her Buddhist guru often repeated this quote “Always rely on a happy mind alone” This quote stuck with me forcing me to investigate it a bit further and upon doing so I discovered the other half of the quote “A controlled mind will remain calm and happy no matter what the conditions.” This helped me to put the entire thought into better context. At first glance it can seem somewhat insipid, but I found myself holding on to it and truly working to determine if I’d grasped its full meaning and further, how I could incorporate this thought into my day and perhaps even my life.
These words really appealed to me as someone who practices mediation & yoga, as many Buddhist principles are intertwined. It reminded me of the importance of daily practice, which is one way that we can train our minds to withstand even the most difficult challenges in life, including physical and emotional pain. Meditation would allow one to focus on the tools needed to work through our pain and yoga would allow us to release and let go of any mental, emotional or physical agony. Being happy doesn’t mean that we ignore our pain or turn our backs on suffering, but rather we embrace it with an open and loving heart. It’s not a denial of what is going on, but an embracing of our pain, sadness or fears and touching it with a loving hand and sending it on its way. This teaches us to better rely on the happiness that is cultivated from a heart of compassion. This is incredibly powerful, as it teaches me that I have to work at letting go, so that I might better focus on the happiness that I’ve cultivated from compassion. I hope these words have just as much of a profound impact on your day as they did mine. Be well! Peace, light & love to you.
2012 was quite eventful for me, yet equally amazing. As I approached planned and much-anticipated change in my life toward the end of the year, I found that having this blog was a very positive and creative outlet which made living with chronic invisible illness so much easier to endure. I’m also glad to know that’s it’s meant the same for so many others. So far, 2013 has been no exception, though it has brought with it much unanticipated change. I’ve encountered the reminder that we all face at times and that’s when you least expect it life can force you to slow down, take a step back and reevaluate where you are and where you’re headed. When you’ve accepted these moments, events or challenges for what they truly are, you’re then better prepared to take life’s running leap forward. So far, for me 2013 has been about introspection, accepting change and preparing for the next phase of this phenomenal journey. After all that’s what life is about right? Whether we realize it or not, life is never about a destination. It’s all about the ride and what we gain as we travel along the way. I’ve had quite an incredible journey and I’m grateful for all that I’ve gained and for all those I’ve met along the way. Happy 2013 and in this life that is your own personal journey…I wish you an amazing adventure.♥
“Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” ~Asha Tyson~
Remember “Life is a journey, not a destination.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
If you or someone you know suffers from a invisible chronic illness you may not always know exactly what to say, or you might be surrounded by friends and family members who may not always have the perfect words to encourage you, though they love and support you. I not only suffer from autoimmune disease and other chronic conditions, but I know of others who battle invisible chronic illness well. There are times when I feel that I know precisely what to say because I’m a fellow sufferer, but there are also times when I’d simply prefer to just give these friends a huge hug to let them know that everything will be OK. I also envision these hugs being powerful in their healing abilities, thus rejuvenating my friends and family members who suffer, so for one brief moment they’re able to put the symptoms of their physical ailments aside to deal with other matters of life which also need their attention.
I began to ponder how I could reflect the impact of such a hug in words, especially since many of my friends are in other parts of the country and in other parts of the world. This is when I came up with “The Holistic Healing Hug” holistic meaning “whole body wellness” combined with a hug that heals….a perfect combination. To my surprise my family was not only excited that I’d come up with this idea, but they also seemed relived to have something prepared to give me when they felt compelled. My daughter printed out “The Holistic Healing Hug” and put it on the wall of my office and at that point I knew just how powerful these words could be for others out there who also have loved ones who battle invisible chronic illness, so I’m sharing “The Holistic Healing Hug” with all of you. Please feel free to share this post or the picture with anyone you know who could use a “whole body wellness” healing hug to support them in a day of managing their chronic invisible illness. Lots of Love & Many Healing Hugs to You!!
For You My Friend….The Holistic Healing Hug
“I’m giving you this healing hug in hopes that it will sustain and support you through your day. Though it can not actually heal you, perhaps it can reinvigorate you while allowing peace to flow through you. Giving you the opportunity to mend that which is broken, while enabling you to harness the rejuvenating power which dwells within you. May you feel loved & supported by all around you through the embrace of this holistic healing hug.”
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An encouraging quote dedicated to my dear friend Janelle, whose father was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, approximately one year after recovering from a stroke. Only three months prior, her mother battled breast cancer and had to endure a double mastectomy. She’s cared for both parents during their their times of illness, nurturing them back to health. She did this while making frequent trips from another state, and while battling her own invisible chronic illness. Although she’s an incredibly strong person, being a caregiver is no easy feat and in fact, can be quite emotionally and mentally draining at times. Janelle has a wonderful support system made up of many great friends and I’m honored to be one of them, but it does not diminish the difficulties surrounding these circumstances. My heart goes out to her knowing the details of what she’s endured over the last several months and what she and her family will possibly face during her father’s decline with AD. It also makes me think of others who might also have to cope with very similar challenges, or other difficulties. Often when we are suffering emotionally or even physically, we can go to that place where we feel that we simply can not take one more awful thing, then something wonderful emerges that makes it all just a bit more bearable. We all face difficulties in life and when we do, we not only need to know that we are loved dearly, but that we aren’t alone. This is a message that we can reinforce with a little positive encouragement, remember all suffering is temporary and “Out of difficulties grow miracles.” ~Jean de la Bruyere~
Biblical version of the above quote: 1 Peter 5:10 NIV: ‘And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast’ 1 Peter 5:10 NWTOTHS: ‘But, after you have suffered a little while, the God of all undeserved kindness, who called you to his everlasting glory in union with Christ, will himself finish your training, he will make you firm, he will make you strong.’
“Keep going. That pain you feel? That’s fear melting away. Like wax off a candle. That’s weakness washing out of your pores like a monsoon. That’s the old you being shed away like dead skin. That’s the new you, rising out of the ashes of your former self.”