New Year Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

We’re a week into the New Year. As I understand, it’s still acceptable to talk about the new year and even make resolutions throughout the month of January. There is no mandate that this must happen during the first few days of the year. We want to be thoughtful, intentional…clear out the holiday fog.

I don’t know about you but last week my email inbox was filled with numerous offers to help me make resolutions for the new year. The vast majority of them have some monetary cost associated with them — make meditation part of your new year and sign up for this online course, maintain dietary goals for the new year by signing up for this meal plan, or buy these books to get you started for the new year. Whole Foods even mailed me a brochure titled, Feed Your Resolution: Solutions for Special Diets.

Thank you very much but I think I can do this on my own.

Actually, this may the first year I’ve not made any New Year resolutions. Basically, it’s all about change. We either want to start doing something different or stop doing something we’re doing which we know no longer works for us. Well, I don’t need the Gregorian calendar new year, Chinese New Year, or Jewish New Year to initiate any changes.

Having a chronic health condition is all about change — monthly, daily, and sometimes hourly changes. What may have worked for me yesterday, no longer does today and I’ve got to work around that to achieve my goal whether it is opening a bottle, getting nourishment, or soothing some pain or discomfort.

I am open to change…thankfully…because you know — a sure sign of insanity is repeating the same patterns and expecting different results.

Back to New Year resolutions, there’s certainly nothing wrong with making them. It’s the maintaining them that can be problematic for some. Here’s a short piece to help you with the process. Last year I interviewed a few friends about their resolutions. But I’ll resolve to continue learning and making changes on an as-needed basis…which is definitely more than once every 365 days.

 


Medical Cannabis

This podcast episode explores the experiences of six people who have used medical cannabis for a variety of conditions including cancer, depression, muscular dystrophy, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, bone fracture, and bipolar disorder.

There’s a lot of information about medical cannabis but I recommend watching this CNN documentary. Check this map to see where your U.S. state is in terms of medical cannabis legalization.


Author Toni Bernhard talks about her books, Buddha, pain, mindfulness, breast cancer, and compassion

Author Toni Bernhard was a law professor for 22 years at UC-Davis until she had to retire due to a viral infection which evolved into a chronic debilitating illness. In this episode Toni talks about her Buddhist practice, mindfulness and compassion and how they’ve helped her cope with chronic pain and breast cancer. And, of course, how she came to write three books — How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers, How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow, and How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide.


Qigong: Move that stagnant qi!

Nicole teaches medical qigong in Alameda.

Nicole teaches medical qigong in Alameda.

You’ll be learning about the ancient practice of Qigong in this podcast episode. Paul Robison – licensed acupuncture practitioner – explains qigong as a longevity exercise. Barbara finds her qigong practice helpful with symptoms from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. And Nicole Stone, my qigong teacher, brings a background of dance, yoga, and meditation to her medical qigong practice.

For additional information check out the National Qigong Association.


The Bath

A bath can be healing for sore muscles, a night-time transition to sleep, and a spiritual experience. It’s one of my treatment modalities. My friend, Barbara, shares her thoughts on bathing for her chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

If you’d like to explore some bathing accouterments, check out this book, Spiritual Bathing: Healing Rituals from Around the World. Also, this is my favorite bubble bath.

Here’s more information about my personal Hierarchy of Needs.