Monday, January 30, 2017


Patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace, put them both together and have a very pretty face. 

 Remember this childhood rhyme?It did not make a lot of sense to me as a young child but it stayed with me and  I repeated it to my daughters. The words flow off the tongue with a sing song charm making it easy to remember and recite from generation to generation.

Patience embodies composure, equanimity, and humility. Emerson said, Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. 
Mountains take approximately 13 million years to form - little by little - the plates stretch and crack to form a fortress of majestic beauty. A purple coneflower takes approximately 12 weeks from seed to bloom, its comparably fragile beauty impressive in form and color.  The audible persistence of nature is a classical analogy of patience. 

Emerson's declaration and the childish limerick are reminders that patience is a force; inclusive in its definition is the ability to suppress restlessness and diligently pursue a path of health.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
~ Henri Bergson

The changes in the woods are startling – the vista available during a cool winter  hike is unparalleled for clarity of detail while the relative quiet speaks of rest. In the spring the creatures of the wood are alive with activity and beginnings - the leaves are fresh, the creamy white dogwood trees and the aptly named redbuds are in full bloom. The summer appears to rest in the glory of being complete - the trees envelop us in green shades and rich scents warmed by the sunny air bath us in bliss. The fall wood begins a transition to a quieter time - the foliage releases in a glorious display to reveal the foundation of the trees themselves - naked but strong.

I once desired only to live in summer but now I understand that the transience of the woods mirrors life itself. Comprehension and acceptance enable graceful change. I sometimes fail to notice, acknowledge, or accept my own changes, to my own detriment.  Keeping a journal is one method that has enabled me to embody and reflect on change. 

May we share our insights as we travel our sunny and healthy path to health.

Inspiration from Amber

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do… 
Explore.      Dream.      Discover.       -Mark Twain

I found myself fidgeting with my golden hued amber ring as I was walking this morning. The fossilized resin stone caught the sunlight and gave me a feeling of incredible balance. It was as if I were transported into the intangible realm of dreams that was at once calming and energizing.  Amber is warm and earthy – in nature it has a rich honey-like scent that has been replicated in oils and perfumes.
It is not surprising that my amber ring would inspire a grounding imagination - considering its origin.  It is a tree resin, not a precious stone.  It serves to protect the sap (the fluid that circulates through a vascular system of a plant to nourish it) from disease and injury perpetrated by fungi, insects, and external injuries (like broken branches). In mature trees, the resin may ooze from vertical fissures in the bark due to tension produced by rapid growth. Indirectly, the amber is reminisce of the healing balms available to us in the form of beautiful sights, healing touches, and encouraging words when our lives are perpetrated by unwelcome changes. Knowing we have these systems of healing, what is preventing us from exploring, dreaming, and discovering?
Mark Twain’s home spun wisdom and amber native strength – together provide me inspiration to walk a sunny and healthy path. What inspires you today?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Depression opens the door to beauty of some kind.  -James Hillman 

If we live long enough we will all experience sadness (depression) in our lives. It can turn our steps into robotic like movements or immobilize us completely in its terrifying compression of light. 

Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation, articulated well the experience of depression: 
That's the thing about depression [sadness]: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she [he] sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key. I have always viewed fog as enigmatic and dreamlike, yet if it never lifted with the suns gentle hand, it indeed would be terrifying. 

Michael Schenker, a German born musician, captured the essence of sadness with his statement; Depression is something that makes you lose your sight. However, depression perhaps gives us a different way of seeing - it stops our sometimes mindless routine – forcing us to determine the cause and create an escape. Sadness is not a place to stay, but a visit may prove valuable.

In his book, Spontaneous Happiness, Dr. Andrew Weil states that research confirms that one of the positive benefits of depression in creativity.  Song writer Richard Marx said, I'm happy, I would say that I'm one of the happiest people I know but I've certainly had periods of profound sadness, depression, and heartache and those are the kind of things that are interesting to me to write about

My experience has inclined me to agree with the American psychologist James Hillman who declares that depression (profound sadness is more descriptive to me) opens the door to beauty of some kind. 
I cannot believe otherwise and continue walking along a healthy path.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


No legacy is so rich as honesty.   -William Shakespeare 

Being honest is a basic life lesson but difficult to maintain as life lengthens.
Zig Ziglar said, Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life - all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity. 
Honesty is the bonding agent of relationships whereas dishonesty unglues the union of all relationships. All sacred texts speak of honesty. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another ².

I have observed a dichotomy between our relationship to our bodies and behavior. Who among us cannot recall a conversation with someone who recited exemplary dietary or exercise routines yet the figure sitting before us did not resemble the narration? DISHONESTY
I daily interact with people of various diagnoses; a recurrent discussion theme is questioning how they succumbed to the disease process or actually blaming others for their situation. I hope my face does not reflect my skepticism as the poor lifestyle choices are often obvious (I hear your protest, I know there are exceptions). A look at our plates or midsection; our skin or our teeth - a head to toe scan – are we making the best choices to promote our health? BE HONEST

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.³ a healthy path is one in which we extend honesty to ourselves, accept responsibility, and keep walking.

¹The photo is of a European plant called honesty. The round, flat, translucent seedpods are used for indoor flower arrangements.
² Ephesians 4:2
³Proverbs 10:9

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Royal Jelly

Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins. 
-Jim Rohn

I like when I find research* that supports a health habit that I have adopted based on experience but little substantiating information. Royal jelly has been a health food store staple on behalf of anti-aging for over 50 years.  Much of the information supporting its health promoting attributes has been antidotal.  Its popularity has been inconsistent, often dependent on the current infomercials which unfortunately stained its reputation with unrealistic promises and inflated prices. Nevertheless, Royal jelly is the food of queen bees that is harvested like honey from the hive. Its rich chemical make-up includes a rare fatty acid (10-HDA), protein, minerals, and B vitamins.¹ Royal jelly is 67% water, 12.5% protein, 11% monosaccharaides, 5% fatty acids. It also contains many trace minerals, some enzymes, antibacterial and antibiotic components.² Several years ago, when I was working at Akin’s Natural Foods in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an 82 year old gentleman told me that he had been using Royal jelly daily since he was a child. His mother reportedly used it to help manage his asthma and he kept the habit throughout his long life. I listened to his words as I marveled at his flawless, wrinkle free skin.  Royal jelly has been attributed to increased collagen production that promotes healthy skin, occasionally Royal jelly can be found as an ingredient in cosmetics.  It was then that I began adding a teaspoon of royal jelly to my daily routine - a decision I will carry on as I continue walking my path to health.

Research:  Effect of royal jelly ingestion for six months on healthy volunteers Morita H, Ikeda T, Kajita K, Fujioka K, Mori I, Okada H, Uno Y, Ishizuka T Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:77 (21 September 2012)[Abstract] [Provisional PDF]
1 Herbal Research Foundation

2 Wikipedia

Saturday, January 14, 2017


We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
                                                                                    - Aldo Leopold

A rarity in North Carolina.

A time to play. 
Turn off the TV news. 
Don't drive. 
Climb trees.

Don't panic. 
It melts.

Enjoy the land.


The bluebird carries the sky on his back. 
                                                                                - Thoreau

Balanced Eating

Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat

Food fuels our body so that we can live our dreams. Unfortunately, the bounty of processed food available to most of us has contributed to a society of overfed and under-nourished people.  Excesses strain the body – arthritis, cancer, heart disease – and insufficient nutrients lead to imperfections – skin disorders, depression, and fatigue.  

Here is a simple technique that can make a balanced diet easy to achieve.  Picture a plate – now divide it in half (50%).  Fill this side of your plate with energy building, mood lifting, immune strengthening fiber rich carbohydrates – fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Now take the remaining half and divide it in half (25% each). Fill one section with brain building, skin softening, fat-rich foods – like, avocados, nuts, and olives. The remaining  section has enzyme producing, brain boosting, and muscle constructing protein rich foods – like, soybeans, tempeh, tofu. 
Got it? 

When your food intake is balanced and not in excess your body works for you so that you can focus your attention on following your heart on the path to your dreams.