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Home arrow Blog arrow September 2009 arrow September 16, 2009

September 16, 2009
September 16, 2009: The Struggle for Balance: Body, Mind and Spirit

Inspired by a post I read this morning on Huffington Post; By Johann Hari "Why Have We Stopped Raging Against the Sick, Sick Fashion Industry?"

Which is about models who starve themselves and  women who feel bad about their bodies, I excerpt from my e-book today:


So, That was 54...
An e-book




The Struggle for Balance: Body, Mind and Spirit

A WOMAN'S WEEK AT THE GYM
By Anonymous

Dear Diary,

For my birthday this year, my daughter (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me.  Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

My daughter seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

MONDAY:

Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She is something of a Greek goddess - with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!

Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today Very inspiring!
Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit- ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!

TUESDAY:

I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile.. I feel GREAT! It's a whole new life for me.

WEDNESDAY:

The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.

Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other shit too.

THURSDAY:

Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late - it took me that long to tie my shoes. Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. She sent another skinny bitch to find me.

Then, as punishment, she put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.

FRIDAY:

I hate that bitch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it.

Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.

The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

SATURDAY:

Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

SUNDAY:

I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my daughter (the little shit) will choose a gift for me that is fun – like a root canal or a hysterectomy. [end]




The reason why people fail to develop an exercise regime is not due to lack of will, but lack of love for the activity. "Working out" will not work out; until it becomes a time to play.

So, for those who are struggling- I hope you will find some inspiration from my struggle for a better balance of body, mind and spirit.



Roots:

What we begin as we usually just become more of as we get older.

I climbed out of my crib at nine months. My earliest memory is twirling in circles until vertigo cast me to the ground. I'd get up laughing and spin the other way until I got bored and then would sit on the sofa and rock back and forth. I'd rock that way, until my mother would come in and tell me to stop it because that is what retarded children do. So, at three because I liked to rock my self-esteem took its first major plunge.

Will there ever be a time in America, when a girl's self-esteem will not be wrapped up in her body?


I was born in 1954, and lived the first three years of my life in Greenwich Village, a few on Staten Island and came of age in Levittown, Long Island; hometown to Eddie Money and Mr. Bill O'Reilly. I consider myself to be among the last of the generations of kids who were free to roam until the sun went down and nobody ever worried. Our activities were not scheduled; they just happened. In high school most all of my friends lived miles from my home and I was always content to walk the miles alone to and from their side of town and never felt lonely in the silence before Walkmans and I-Pods.

I was a skinny active kid until just prior to puberty, when I gained a rapid twenty pounds. That  began a decade of loosing and re-gaining even more than I had lost before. In the ninth grade I began restricting my calories to less than one thousand to maintain a weight of 120. When the scale once read: 163, I quit weighing, but not eating and was not having much fun. At not quite five foot four, rotund was the shape I once was in.


In my early twenties I worked, went to school, drank, smoke and considered Popeye's onion rings a vegetable.

By 23, I was sick and tired of being fat and lazy, and began the struggle to regain what had come natural as I played as a child; movement.


From nursing school, I knew all about nutrition. The struggle began in implementing the knowledge. I quit eating all fast food and cannot recall ever missing it. I joined a gym and forced myself to go until I began to like it. By my late twenties I went for the burn with Jane Fonda then moved onto jazzercise until I injured my back.

I cannot recall many a day ever since that I have not walked at least two-to four fast miles, for I always have had a dog, or two, three or four.



I took up rollerblading at the age of 38 just a few months prior to my husband being diagnosed with a spinal cord impingement that resulted in two neck surgeries in the third year of our marriage. He feels as if he has a chicken bone stuck in his throat, but what he has is a metal plate and six screws that keep his cervical spine from impinging on his spinal cord. Nothing can be done for the nerve damage and although he rarely complains, he is in chronic physical pain. Up until he was slowed down by his cervical spine, Johnny had been an avid handball player and outdoorsmen. At the age of 70 [he is 16 years my senior] he works two long days a week, does all the yard work on ten acres, fishes, hunts and plays piano for a start up church and a local classic rock and blues band.




In the spring of 2008, I fractured my right wrist in a typical roller blading injury. I attempted to break my back wards fall with my hands; but my butt landed on my thumb and the opposite side of my forearm impacted atop of a pine tree branch. By the time I got inside, my arm had already begun to swell and if the boys in the band hadn't been over, I imagine my husband would have thought to take me to an emergency room.


Instead, my Internist husband told me to elevate and ice pack my arm and take a few ibuprofen. The following morning just before he left for work, Johnny took one quick look at my arm and told me to get myself to a walk-in clinic. Upon x-ray, the doc-in-the-box directed me to an orthopedic surgeon.


I wore a black cast for five weeks and a splint for five more. It still hurts because I developed an ulna nerve impingement which causes numbness and tingling in my last three fingers and my fore arm often feels on fire. I know I make it worse by way of my vocation as a writer who writes best pounding out my heart on a keyboard.


Writing can be a physical, mental and is a heart passion that consume most hours of my day due to the re-writing and constant editing to clarify and simplify my thoughts. I was not a full-time writer when I married my husband in 1990. I did always write diaries out of a need to express myself without interruption, to process my thoughts, feelings and reflections on situations and experiences.



Once I wrote it down; I never looked back on it; that is until THAT DAY we call 9/11:

And that is at the very root of why this website exists; and I wonder if perhaps the balance for body, mind and spirit is wrapped up in finding ones passion-and reason for existence?



So, That  was 54...

2008 was the year that the year of my birth and my age were the same number: 54.

Because I have endured many episodes in my life when balance was just an elusive word, So, That was 54...will be about my trials and errors, what I learned and what I do now.

So, That was 54...I hope will inspire others who are seeking balance in mind, body and spirit.

So, That was 54... is dedicated to all who seek to live life to the full; which is fulfilling ones vocation.

  

"The struggle is in the mind. We must bury our own monsters and stop condemning people. We are all Christ and Hitler. We want Christ to win. We're trying to make Christ's message contemporary. What would he have done if he had advertisements, records, films, TV and newspapers! Christ made miracles to tell his message. Well, the miracle today is communications, so let's use it."-John Lennon


IMAGINE: A Sisterhood of Man


http://www.youtube.com/user/eileenfleming




The more I learn, of less I am certain,
except for the need to remain open
to the Mystery we call God;

Creator of unfathomable diversity
Artist of intricate details
who crafted verdant mountains where fragile flowers dwell
who designed the ocean depths
and no human eyes have yet to read their deepest tales.

So it is with us;
unknown realities within
The Divine indwells;
thirstily seeking us as we search hungrily for what we desire to possess;
Peace of mind and life to the full.

 

So many voices in the world striving to convince, when all that really matters is the peace that can be within;

Begins with Detachment from outcome,
just do your best.

When one lets go of the need to control and to self-defend
When one has a heart for the poor and oppressed
When one seeks and sees The Divine within all creatures and events
When one trusts The Holy is in control-although the daily news denies it.
When one accepts The Other has a plan and desires to find it.
When one comes to understand The Eternal Mystery is more than any concept
And welcomes the diversity of men rather than deny them.

When one accepts we will not stand on any accomplishment,
But on our motives and the love that drives it.

When one is aware that evil as well as good cut through every human heart
And learns to make friends with silence
The Light is ever present to guide us.

Silent time in nature is as necessary as bread
Prayer is poetry and service her manifestation.

To forgive is divine and necessary to be divinely forgiven.
And therein lies the peace that passes all understanding.

And every drop of dew are but tears from heaven,
Shed each day a new,
For me, for you
For what we did and did not do
To help bring in The Kingdom.

And the Kingdom comes from above and it comes from within.

IMAGINE a kingdom of sisterhood of all nations and all men.

I do.

I also believe that education is the way to compassion, and compassion the way to change.


So, That was 54...
An e-book


   
 
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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

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The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



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