Showing posts from May 14, 2017

Lung Cancer Warning Signs

The Big Picture

Lung cancer is the top cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. But this wasn't always the case. Prior to the widespread use of mechanical cigarette rollers, lung cancer was rare. Today, smoking causes nearly 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths, while radon gas, pollution, and other things play a smaller role. Newly developed drugs provide new hope for those diagnosed today.

When Smoking Is the Cause

Cigarettes are packed with cancer-causing chemicals. They also disarm the lungs' natural defense system. The airways are lined with tiny hairs called cilia. To protect the lungs, they sweep out toxins, bacteria, and viruses. Tobacco smoke stops the cilia from doing their job. This lets the cancer-causing chemicals build up.


Lung cancer begins quietly. There are usually no symptoms or warning signs in the early stages. As it gets worse, you may notice:

o A cough that won't go away
o Chest pain, especially during deep breaths
o Wheezing or shortness of breath
o C…

Inspirational Quote – May 20, 2017

“Some people are hurting so bad you have to do more than preach a message to them. You have to be a message to them.”

I interpret this as meaning that sometimes when we are called upon to be there to support, comfort or encourage a friend in need, words aren’t enough. Although we mean well and can all verbalize the platitudes that we all use at these times, you know what, maybe all they need is to know is that we ourselves are conveying a message of comfort and hope just by being by their side when they most need to know we are there for them. Be prepared to be a message of hope when you need to be and, hopefully, when we are in need, they will be the message of hope for us.

Why Stories Matter

"Storytelling, recognized in every society as a way of making sense of cultural roots or social reality, is an elaborate form of metaphor, and memoir is its masterpiece: life stories enable us to share insights and enhance mutual understanding in a social, political, psychological and spiritual sense. Memoir is revolutionary precisely because, when shared, it's a way towards the truth." In this essay, Paul Tritschler skillfully demonstrates how sharing our human stories can connect us, change us, even save us. As common travelers on this earth, we are more similar than different, kept apart by our own mental barriers. Here, Tritschler shares two experiences from his journey where he learned about empathy, altruism, joy, and sacrifice from strangers who broke down barriers with little more than their human spirit.

Inspirational Quote – May 19, 2017

“As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all beings.”

I can just picture this can’t you? Breathing in life-giving air to nourish our bodies and, just a tad more important, keeping us alive. Then breathing out and picturing with our mind’s eye our very breath of life being expelled and set free to enhance and nourish everyone and every living thing around us. A precious gift freely given from us to whoever needs it most. What a gift eh?

A Conversation with Carl Cheng: The John Doe Company

"My grandfather was the mayor of Canton and on my mother's side there were even more distinguished figures." All that was wiped in the Cultural Revolution and when Carl was five his family emigrated to the U.S. taking up farming in the San Fernando Valley. Cheng's story is fascinating. He now focuses on public art. "The potential of public art is to make us value what we have." He calls himself, the John Doe Company. It's far more than being cute; it expresses a much deeper perspective.

How to Tackle Your Cravings with Mindfulness

ByDeborah Yip

Our bad habits and addictive behaviors—like smoking, overeating, or constantly using technology—hurt well-being and public health. A new book shows how mindfulness can help.

We function throughout the day thanks to habits that are nearly automatic: wake up, brush teeth, make coffee. Transforming behaviors into habits saves our brains from having to exert extra effort to make decisions, and this can work to our benefit: Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps broke world records byfine-tuning his habits, for example. But what about those other habits—like smoking cigarettes, stress-eating, or constantly checking our social media—that may be holding us back? In his new book,The Craving Mind, psychiatrist and Yale School of Medicine psychology professor Judson Brewer makes a case that mindfulness and meditation can help you identify and counter everyday cravings that lead to recalcitrant bad habits, and even addictions. Brewer, also director of research at the Center for Mindfulness in …

Inspirational Quote – May 18, 2017

“Everything flows and nothing stays.”

This is so, so true, not just for us, but for everything. Every human being, every living thing, the earth, the seasons, absolutely everything is moving constantly second by second. Nothing is the same as it was only a moment ago, including us. How many times have you revisited somewhere you lived or visited previously and were taken aback by the way it had altered since you last saw it? The same with people isn’t it? You meet someone you haven’t seen for years and silently think “My goodness they’ve got older” not realizing they’re thinking the same about you! There is nothing we can do to slow or halt this natural process which has been going on since the beginning of time, so much better just to go with the flow don’t you think?

Gratefulness: An Opportunity to Practice

Each moment as we go through our day, we are practicing habits of mind and being. Too often, we unconsciously end up practicing habits that are unhelpful for us. Resentment, fear and projection become habits that end up being hurtful, but with a change in perspective, gratefulness can be incorporated into our day as a practice. Br. David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine monk and teacher of grateful living, suggests that even in the trouble that life may bring, there are opportunities to practice gratefulness so as to open to life in profound ways. "Gratefulness, like mindfulness or yoga, is an awareness practice and a way of training, deepening, and directing our attention," says Kristi Nelson, who works with Br. David as executive director of Read on to learn a simple practice to use even when there are difficulties in life.

How to Handle a Toxic Relationship

ByChristine Carter

When a relationship is causing you stress and suffering, follow these five steps to find more peace.

Last week, I had lunch with a friend. As we were walking out, she mentioned that she had to see someone who hadn’t always been kind to her, a relationship that caused her more stress and suffering than anything else. She’d been avoiding the meeting, but now it looked inevitable. “She just makes me so anxious,” she said, gritting her teeth. I’ve been there myself. Lots of times. Some relationships, though toxic, seem impossible to avoid. Perhaps you have a constantly criticizing mother-in-law, or a neighbor who seems emotionally stuck in seventh grade. Maybe it’s a boss who belittles you when he’s stressed—or someone who is so under your skin you hold entire conversations with them in your head. If you, too, have struggled with a toxic relationship, I hope this little instruction manual will help you. 1. Accept that you are in a difficult situation, dealing with a very di…

Happy Couples Focus on Each Other’s Strengths

ByKira M. Newman

According to a new study, your ability to appreciate your partner’s strengths is linked to their well-being—and yours.

Our beliefs about our romantic partners matter—whether or not they are true to reality. Research has found that we’remore satisfied with our partners when we idealize them, and they will oftenwork to meet that ideal. A new study extends these findings by focusing on how we see our partner’sstrengths.Personality strengthsare part of people’s identity—and we often look out for these traits during the dating process:I want to meet a guy who’s funny, honest, and kind. This research is some of the only work to explore how we perceive our long-term romantic partner’s strengths. It found that the more positive these perceptions, the more we feel satisfied, supported, and challenged by our partners—and the more they do, too. Does seeing strengths make couples stronger? The researchers asked a total of 159 heterosexual couples—one group of university students, and …