Change Is Good

A simple adjustment can bring profound change.

I am being profoundly changed.

So can you.

(Here’s a little help to get started  http://booklocker.com/books/6811.html order/review HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU

Breathe Trust yourself

LAL: Life Alert Lessons

You want the good news or the bad news first? Okay, the good news is: reaching my senior year-s (not as a high school “senior;” but a 67-year-old “senior!”), and living in their cumulative confidence and wisdom.

The bad news: everyone’s concern that “I fall-l-l-l and can’t get up.”

Alright! I fell. (Here’s the 911 if you missed the event http://conversationswithcynthia.com/2015/06/10/pain-is-relative-ly-painful/ )

Enter LIFE ALERT! Dun-dun-dun…you know there’s a catch: my life “alert” pendant has a-leer-ing (malicious) intent. It’s sneaky and fickle.

Why is it so-o-o hard to press the activation disk yet, so-o-o simple to accidentally “activate it?!confused look The first time I unknowingly hit it was while North Hope and I were making muffins. I was chopping nuts on the chopping board in my lap when a disembodied voice rose from the base unit. Wide-eyed, we ran to the unit to reassure ADT (my home security) that it was an accident—NOT a fall!

The second time was while putting plates in my lap. (I know. I know. It’s better to be safe than sorry, but I’m sorry!) This last one is, still, only partially solved.

I heard a fire engine, and wheeled to my front window to see which neighbor’s house it stopped in front of…to watch it stop at mine. Reality hit when the driver looked through my picture window at me looking at him. Embarrassed reckoning came as I met the three medics IN my kitchen…after they unlocked the back door (with my hidden key), making the call to ADT: “She’s fine. It’s a false alarm.”

After repeated apologies, the medics left.

Trying to solve the riddle, I mentally flipped through possible scenarios of the 10-15 minutes prior to hearing the fire truck. I remembered, while in the bathroom, thinking I heard a voice, twice. I stopped to listen, twice. I wondered if the TV had been turned on by a weird frequency: an 18-wheeler on McFarland Boulevard; the sanitation truck or school bus breaks?

Then, VOILÁ! It must have been while the commode was flushing that the “voice” was inquiring as to my “alert.” Still, I have no idea how I hit my pendant. The wheels on the bus go round and round….using past experience and common logic, doesn’t always fill in the blanks.

Seriously though, it does provide security to all, particularly loved ones—whose insistence only costs YOU around $30 a month for THEIR peace of mind.

Thoughts of Change

Quote Success relearnRecently, my sister posed the question: “What brings you alive?” which made me think:

Before my chariot, discovery was my high. It was one of adventure’s draws: exploring hidden paths, and back roads; climbing trees, rooftops, and to the top of a mast; lying upon the earth pondering the heavens; studying world maps. But, after considering her question, I don’t think that what enervates me has really changed. It used to be by physical dexterity; now, it’s through imagination and thinking skills.

I come alive when faced with a quandary—a need to “discover” a solution. I light up with each “aha:” a new idea…thinking outside of the box.

Whether faced with a barrier (or, simply, figuring out how to safely clean up shattered glass from a dropped bowl), writing, decorating, repurposing, for myself and others…whatever, I come alive when faced with a problem. That’s adventure! J

For this upcoming New Year of 2015, join with me in discovering contentment. YES! Contentment.

Happiness is an inside job. It’s a bi-product of fulfillment, and fulfillment is in your hands. Not in your spouse, your children, your youth…job…achievement…but in the realization that you are the current to “aliveness,” your life rhythm.

The body’s melody is reflective of its thoughts, whose frequency determines its health. You’re the note determining the duration (endurance) and pitch (atmospheric attitude) of events for the beat of your life.

Maybe music isn’t your language. Does gardening speak to you? What have you cultivated? Paradise lost or paradise found?

Weeds of discontent require pulling. Floods of self-indulgence need irrigating. The infested, stagnant pool of unforgiveness needs unclogging.

Refresh gloomy thoughts with winds of change!

“Mindfully,” choose life!

HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU is my book on ‘how-to’ rediscover your heart and change your stinkin’ thinkin’ in order to find happiness. It’s an elementary outline to simplify needful changes. You can order it off amazon or here: http://booklocker.com/books/6811.html

 

 

Don’t Give Up!

We’re all familiar with the famous war-time quote: “Never, never, never give up!” But, do you know who has said: “Don’t Give Up!” concerning your health, hopes, and pursuits? Stephen Hawking.

Who is Stephen Hawking?

He is an “English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. Among his significant scientific works have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vocal supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics….” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking

The truly amazing thing is that at 21 years of age, he was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). By its progression over the years, he is almost entirely paralyzed and communicates through a speech-generating device.

At 72 years of age, he has yet to give in to his physical disability. But, in September of 2014, he declared himself an atheist.

If you’re so given, would you lift up a prayer that his spiritual eyes would be opened for his greatest discovery yet: that the “grand design of the universe” was created by The Grand Designer, God, Who was, is, and forever will be…and his heart would open to receive Him.

(If interested, today, November 7, “The Theory of Everything,” is premiering in theaters. It’s a movie depicting Stephen and Mary’s love story, and subsequent marriage (after his diagnosis and expected two years to live), his collaborations, honors, and struggles.)

Independence Day

God bless America and those who have sacrificed for our freedom!

PHOTO 4th of July Freedom Home of the free bec of braveIf you know anyone suffering from PTSD, Gary Young, founder of Young Living Essential Oils, has formulated the “Freedom Sleep and Freedom Release Collection” to soothe the mind and help release emotional trauma. Let’s help to bring them back to freedom.

The Freedom Collection Bundle, #9869 for $299, will be available SOON at https://www.youngliving.org/2BeWhole Please contact me with questions or interest in natural health and wholeness at Cynthia.white@ah-haventures.com

With twenty tragic suicides daily, we need to help our Heros. Life IS worth it!

I pray you have a safe, blessed day of independence. It’s been bought at a great price.

Share and Share Alike

First, I must apologize to my newsletter subscribers. Wednesday was my first “forget.” Please forgive me for a “Chariot Notes” no-show! It WILL be in your mail next Wednesday.

Lately, I’ve read articles on communal civilizations, where money had no value, no one bartered for services, and there was no societal hierarchy—no one “lording” over another. There were no egos.

One or two families tended the land, planted the crops, and harvested its produce. For instance: if it was rice, someone else’s job was storing and cooking it; another person ground it into mill for bread; someone else prepared the bread.

The fishermen fished the streams and lakes. The shepherds cared for the sheep. The shearers sheared. The fleecers prepared the fleece into yarn, then, the yarn was spun, and knitted into clothing.

Vegetables and fruit were the same. Those living in the fields, gardens, and orchards tended, picked, and prepared its produce. The same went for maintaining and directing the water supply for irrigation, drinking, cooking, and hygiene. Each occupation was passed down through the generations.

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV)

These weren’t responcibilities. Each member of the village/tribe considered it their sacred rite to the circle of life…so that they could live. What was of value was each member’s contribution to the community. The shepherds ate from the land and wore the clothes, just as the clothiers drank the milk and ate the cheese from the sheep.

No one was homeless, hungry, or naked.

There was no delinquency; no crime; no competition; no stress.

There was no need for banks, government handouts, counseling centers, fitness gyms, farmer’s markets, restaurants, civic centers.

Rural life wasn’t easy, but everyone shared everything. Everything, and everyone, was safe.

What would you say was the common denominator for such peaceful coexistence?

R.S.V.P.

photo anthropologist African tribe

Here’s the heartwarming result of such harmony:

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits.

When he told them to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats.

When he asked them why they had run like that, as one could have had all the fruits for himself, they said:

”UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”

‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are”

It sounds like God’s original plan, don’t you think?

Christmas Gift Rush and Crazy’s Prediction

After each Christmas, I always say, “Spring will be here before we know it.” Then, when the first hot spring day summons summer, I predict, “Christmas will be here before we know it.” It happens with 100% accuracy. I’m a regular Jean Dixon!

Again, it’s that time. Stores have already announced that their manic rush-to-buy-Christmas-gifts-midnight-madness sales will begin this year after Thanksgiving dinner! The traditional Thanksgiving overindulgences followed with horizontal bemoaning of over-stuffed bellies has been sold out to bemoaning over-crowded stores, rude people, and traffic, traffic, traffic.

Yes, “crazy” has fulfilled itself again: doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results…which drives me crazy. And, I know people consider me crazy because I already have Christmas planned and gifts purchased, as well as for Christmas of 2014. Let me explain:

Considering the wear-and-tear of years living with SCI and the difficulty of outings, I host an internationally-themed Christmas Eve meal each year for my family in my home. I celebrate Christmas and exchange gifts with them here. (These pictures show a little from last year’s trip to The North Pole.)

blurry Elf tree

blurry Elf tree

HO! HO! HO!

HO! HO! HO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Christmas Day, they host their own in their homes and/or with in-laws. I enjoy their exchanges via videos and pictures. (You can vicariously enjoy my past celebrations, or get ideas for your own, in the chapter, “Homemade Memories” of Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity http://booklocker.com/books/6235.html purchased right here off my website, the perfect Christmas gift!)

favorite candy served as "name card" for seating

favorite candy served as “name card” for seating

I choose a country (or heritage), research its populous, geography, outstanding characteristics, famous people, and holiday menus. I decorate my home accordingly, and give gifts from that country or symbolic of the country. This all takes time and thought, not to mention being disabled, and a non-driver. But, it can be done with ease, excitement, and joyful anticipation of the season if you don’t wait. The only thing left for me to do is prepare, purchase or cater the meal. I can peace out.

What I’m saying is: You still have time. Save yourself the stress. Stop the crazy holiday madness. Everything can be done on-line or over-the-phone. No hassles, anxiety- and annoyance-free. And, if you’re disabled, disability is no excuse.

I’m predicting that a handful of you will get it, yet the majority will prove, again, that c-ra-zy is its own prediction!

FYI: Going with my “prediction” theme, the persimmon kernel is revealing 2013’s winter forecast.

When a persimmon seed is cut into, the inside of the kernel will be spoon-shaped forecasting heavy snow (spoon equals shovel), fork-shaped for light snow and a mild winter, or knife-shaped for “cut”-ting, icy winds.

This one is indicative of heavy snow—another reason not to procrastinate!

And, if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, “Chariot Notes,” you’re missing out on some wonderful health tips and gift suggestions. December is the most fun yet! (After signing up, you’ll need to confirm that it’s you in an email I send you.)

 

 

Winning, Warnings, and Wheelchairs

As with any of you living with a disability, my journey toward independence has been showered with ubiquitous “ups” and, at times, littered with dubious “downs.” One of the downers is shopping.

Just like the able-bodied, I use earth-friendly bags, paper bags and, less often, the plastic bag. Unlike an able-bodied person, I do the stack-on-my-lap, carry-with-my-teeth, and hang-around-my-neck tricks transporting my haul. In the “FYI” chapter of Views From My Chariot http://booklocker.com/books/6235.html , I proudly share some of my inventive uses of plastic grocery bags for you other chariot (wheelchair) riders…even catching chipmunks. Yes, it’s a fascinating read and an excellent gift!

But, here’s one proven not so ingenious use. DO NOT try this at home, at work, or anywhere else.

I wanted to check my mail. From the street, my driveway slopes down to my house. My mailbox is halfway down my driveway, equidistant from the street and my house. (The P.O. approved my putting it off the street since I’m disabled.)

The wind was whipping as it began to rain. Being a SCI quadriplegic, I don’t have the dexterity to hold an umbrella and wheel uphill, so I thought I’d use an opaque plastic bag over my head as a rain hat; you know, like the clear plastic ‘rain hats’ your grandmother used after leaving the beauty shop on rainy days. It would keep my hair dry, and I could safely see through it.

ill-boding bag

ill-boding bag

I put it over my head and face, its handles hanging down over my ears like earmuffs. To secure it, I held the handles with my teeth and began my grind up to the box. Of course, to prevent a runaway wheelchair from sabotaging my errand in the rain, I had to brake my chair at the mailbox.

Once all my mail and catalogs were safely balanced on my lap, I unlocked my brakes. Again, to prevent a “runaway wheelchair” from skidding off the back of my covered carport, I held them in tension against my wet tires; yet, speedily grinding downhill.

Instantly, the wind’s pressure swooshed the plastic bag airtight against my face. My hands otherwise occupied, I couldn’t remove it…and I couldn’t breathe!

Although I could clearly see my carport, it seemed an eternity away. With bulging eyes, I finally screeched to a frantic halt on its level pavement, snatched off the suffocation bag, and gratefully gasped in depleted air. Whew! I didn’t pass out!

Lesson learned: The “Warning: To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this plastic bag away from babies and children….” lacks clarity.

I still use the multi-purpose opaque plastic bags. But now, on rainy, windy days—not only as a creative solution, but also representative of my winning attitude, I stick my tongue out against the bag. This gives me an air pocket when it tries to suffocate me.

Is my disability the result of oxygen deprivation, you wonder? It’s up for debate.

 

 

“The Fifth Element”-Love’s Surrender, Will Power, and SCI

Today, I’m correlating the similarity of a fictitious character’s hesitation to change to those of us living with a disability, disease, or illness who do the same.

In “The Fifth Element,” a sci-fi movie set in the 23rd century, in order to defeat a great evil, there were four stones and a sarcophagus, containing a ‘fifth element,’ left for safe-keeping in an Egyptian temple. This fifth element was DNA representing the “Divine Light.” The stones represented the four elements—earth, wind, fire, and water.

The DNA is turned into the “state” lab where it is transformed into human form, Leeloo. She escapes, is rescued by Dallas, a former special forces Major who is now a taxicab driver. Soon, he presents her to a priest who recognizes her as earth’s savior. The battle to save earth ensues.

After battling the opposing evils to confiscate the stones, Dallas, Leeloo, and the priest return to the Egyptian temple to arrange the captured stones and release Leeloo’s ’Divine Light.’ When their efforts to unite the elements appear hopeless and Leeloo is slipping away from discouragement, a confession of love from Dallas causes Leeloo to surrender her love to him. As she yields, the power of ‘The Light’ melds with the other elements, explodes, and destroys the Great Evil.

Like-kind, how often do we, living with a disability, resist change, something new or unfamiliar, due to fear and discouragement? Whether it’s the uncertain territory of SCI or a life interruption that has overwhelmed you; being uprooted for a job promotion to face the unknown; a financial decision or business investment that could lead you into economic ruin; even the uncertainty of commitment to a new relationship. Fear can hold us back, blinding us to the light of opportunity, robbing us of purpose and fulfillment.

I try to stay positive and open-minded to change. “Flexibility” is my middle name. Both my books espouse the benefits of embracing change. But, I also have a “Someday” wish/fear. It’s an entrepreneurial venture that, ever so often, peaks its scary face into my consciousness.

I’m not inexperienced in business. I’ve been invested in several. But, this “wish/fear” is a larger-than-my-past-business-venture budgets. It’s a BIG BUT-get!

But, I will get it! The chapter, “Facing Fears,” in Views From My Chariot http://booklocker.com/books/6235.html is about facing three of my past fears, all ramifications of my SCI. I’m forthright about other fears and failures in HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU http://booklocker.com/books/6811.html . I totally understand using denial and rationalizations to avoid the unpredictable. In time, after using these excuses over and over and over, they’re stretched so thinly that I can finally see through them to the ‘Divine light of possibility.’

Just as Leeloo’s surrender to Dallas’ love released the power to defeat The Great Evil, conquering “the great evil” of whatever fear (disability-related, or not) is causing you worry, anxiety, and trepidation will release your power, as well.

 

An Apple A Day and Disability Aids

With the prevalence of computers, laptops, ipads, mobile devices, and all their gizmos, it sometimes seems that the state of our society is grim.

By the radical technology of the 21st century, we (able-bodied and disabled) appear advanced and are technologically savvy. But, how can we read another’s honesty, integrity, or motivation by relating over a “device.” One-on-one, eyeball-to-eyeball communications are being sacrificed. Learning to interpret interactive body language and the associative heart-mind connections is becoming a lost life-line.

Are we becoming a robotic society?

On the other hand, one can travel faster than a cheetah’s 60mph in three seconds with the touch of a mouse; can explore foreign lands without making reservations…deciding what to pack…waiting in lines, risk, hassle, and expense-free; earn a degree; have a world of knowledge at our fingertips.

As well, today’s mobile apps not only afford mindless amusement but can provide driving directions for travel and beyond to expand horizons.

For those of us living with a disability, there are iphone apps for providing helplines and medical care, apps for functional movement and alignment of prosthetics for the disabled, language learners for learning new languages, as well as providing expressive vocalization for the nonverbal, blind, and physically paralyzed.

The first bite out of the apple wasn’t such a good idea. However, that company with a bite-out-of-the-apple logo is a good thing!

Here I am talking to you on a lighted screen. Via whatever device, you’re reading my letter at home, at work, in transit, or as you wait.

I’m grateful to be communicating. I’m thankful I have a message. And, like many of you who are confined or shut-in due to SCI, illness, injury, or disease, I’m blessed to have a worldwide avenue where my words can travel into cyber space with an echo you can hear.

I hope you’re not just reading my words. I hope you hear what I’m saying in my letters to you, because Conversations with Cynthia aren’t conversations until you reply.

Let’s talk. I miss hearing back from you.  

R.S.V.P. with your “comments,” questions, and reviews on my books.

P.S. Don’t forget to enlist for my monthly newsletters with health hints and humor for whatever ails you! (After enlisting by adding your email address, remember to confirm my email to you.)