Fitting In

Many people struggle on a daily basis to fit in and belong. The struggles, and consequences of these struggles manifest differently, and the truth is in order to have peace in the world we have to continue to explore what is truly meaningful personally. 

To feel like we truly belong we have to have courage to be ourselves  and realize that sometimes it means we can’t please others or that we won’t belong to a specific group.  This will no doubt cause pain and suffering and require courage, vulnerability and resilience. However,  when we try to fit in and go against our grain, we also suffer.The more we face the fears we have of being our true self,imperfections and all, we find that being ourselves can be our biggest gift to the world.

Our inherent goodness and worthiness is waiting to be uncovered at all times.

Your purpose

is to be yourself

You don’t have to run anywhere

to be someones else

You are wonderful

just as you are

~ Thich Nhat Hahn

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

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Mental Health

May is Mental health awareness month

The theme for this year is fitness for mind and body. Wellbeing includes emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellness. All of those to varying degrees influence our daily life.

It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans is affected by mental illness. That means it is highly likely we know someone who has a mental illness. Alongside with having a mental illness, there is still stigma attached to mental health issues, making it all the more challenging for people to get help.

During the month of May, National Association of Mental Illness is focusing on Compassion, Empathy, and Understanding as ways to reduce and remove stigma attached to seeking help for mental illness.

Stigma, adds to the suffering a person is experiencing with mental illness. We have the capacity to understand and alleviate their suffering. We liberate others when we allow them to speak of their perceptions and mental constructs without fear of judgement. Compassion is the urge to alleviate another person’s suffering. When we experience compassion, we also feel uplifted. Reducing stigma to mental illness is important. Having empathy, understanding and compassion is crucial to personal and global wellbeing.

Below is a link to an interview with Thich Nhat Hahn on compassion that I hope you will watch and find thought provoking

https://youtu.be/PewRDHeh3oY

Namaste,

Shobhna

Thriving

This lilac tree was once struggling to bloom and thrive. We moved it from a shaded part of the garden to a sunnier location. We gave it some rich nourishing soil and have continued to add soil through the years. The tree has bloomed like clockwork by the 2nd week of May every year. Last year a wren built a nest in the tree and we had the joy of seeing fledglings emerge and fly. A once fragile tree is now a shelter for other beings.

It’s not just plants that don’t thrive in some areas but do well in others. Happens to all living beings. Conditions need to be consistently evaluated. Where some beings do well, others might require help, further nourishing and enrichment. Not always easy to uproot and move but one can always ammend the situation, balance out the environment and find ways to grow.

We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same – Pema Chodron

Namaste,

Shobhna

Parkinson’s Disease

Recently, Parkinson’s Disease became a part of our daily lives. The symptoms were present before we knew about the diagnosis. So really, Parkinson’s had already become a part of our lives before we became aware of it. As other conditions were being ruled out PD (Parkinson’s Disease) was becoming more prominent. Here it is in our lives. James, my husband, has Parkinson’s. There is no cure for PD but there are medications and therapies to help cope with the disease.

As we learn more about Parkinson’s, we realize a lot more still needs to be done. As long as research continues there is hope for a cure. Hope and action have to go hand in hand. We are learning to accept Parkinson’s disease in our lives and still finding ways for James to keep the full impact of the disease at bay for as long as we can.

We have been educating ourselves about PD. Books, research articles, webinars and podcasts, anything to learn more about this disease. To learn how to live with it, to keep advocating for research, for supportive care, to understand PD, to prevent it for future generations. The whole gamut.

If you want to learn what Parkinson’s Disease is…here is a short video from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

https://youtu.be/cRLB7WqX0fU

March 21st is advocacy day for Parkinson’s Disease.

Even if you are not personally affected by the disease, but are an advocate at heart, for science, research, eradicating diseases, then please ask your congress members to increase awareness about PD issues

http://advocate.michaeljfox.org/app/write-a-letter?7&engagementId=262473

Your support means a lot.
Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Namaste,

Shobhna