GlowWithTheFlow.com https://www.glowwiththeflow.com Getting Back To Who You Really Are Thu, 19 May 2016 16:07:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.6 What Gwen Might Say by Sheryl Lynn https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/what-gwen-might-say-by-sheryl-lynn/ Sun, 15 Feb 2015 23:00:23 +0000 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/?p=1691 “OMG, Gwen!!!  Wait til you hear this!!!  The guy I like, you know, the one who’s not been around, sent me FLOWERS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!!!  Not only that, he was ALL OVER ME last night!!!  WHAT’S GOING ON!!!  Gwen, call me like RIGHT AWAY!!!  I need you to tell me why he’s doing this!!!  Gwen, call me like RIGHT AWAY!!!!”

My name isn’t Gwen, and I’ve never met the female whose name I can’t quite make out, the female who’s been leaving me multiple versions of the above message for the past two days.  I’ve called the number she keeps leaving on my voicemail, wanting her to know I’m not Gwen and she’s been calling a wrong number.  I always get a busy signal.

I’m guessing either Gwen’s friend will stop calling on her own or I’ll answer one of her calls.  I’ll miss her when she’s gone. I’ve shut the romantic part of me down, and it feels good to bring it back.

Maybe Gwen’s friend’s boyfriend’s just looking for a one night stand.  I hope not.  The undying romantic within me hopes Gwen’s friend’s boyfriend, as unlikely as it might seem, sent flowers and raced back to her after hearing the lyrics to a beautiful song written by Leon Russell and Bernie Taupin called “I Should Have Sent Roses.”   I’m counting the days until I get to experience Leon Russell in concert once more.  In anticipation, I’m reviewing many of the wonderful songs he’s written.  I’d forgotten about this song until Gwen’s friend showed up in my Android:

“Cause I never sent roses
I never did enough
I didn’t know how to love you
Though I loved you so much
And I should have sent roses
When you crossed my mind
For no other reason
Than the fact you were mine
I should’ve sent roses
Yeah should’ve sent roses.”

published by Universal Music Publishing Group

Leon Russell’s music has touched countless hearts.  You’ve probably heard it, even if you don’t think you have.  Donny Hathaway sang us a fabulous version of the song, but he didn’t write it.  Neither did Karen Carpenter, Helen Reddy, Aretha Franklin, Cher, Ray Charles, Donna Summer, Bobby Brown, Peggy Lee, Bizzy Bone, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Willie Nelson, or Bon Iver.  Leon Russell gets the credit for writing “A Song For You.”

Here’s a little of “A Song For You,” Gwen’s friend:

“I love you in a place where there’s no space or time
I love you for my life
You’ re a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you.”

published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

Thank you so much for bringing your tour into my area, Leon Russell.  Each time I see you in concert, my magical life becomes even more magical.  I saw you in 1971 and 2014.  This is 2015.  Third time’s a charm.  Not only that, I have a feeling something wonderful is about to take place in my life.  I’ve had that feeling for months.  It’s that anticipation that something amazing is about to happen that ushers in more magic.  I don’t know what it is.  I don’t have to know what it is right now.  I know it’s nearly here.  I also know being at your concert will help raise me up, will help activate that magic.

I am ready to receive.

So, Gwen’s friend, are you also ready to receive?  I don’t know why your boyfriend sent you flowers and was all over you.  I hope it’s because he loves you and realizes how important you are to him.  And if he isn’t the one who does, I wish for you someone who will “love you in a place where there’s no space or time.”

All of us deserve nothing less.

Copyright 2015 by Sheryl Lynn.  All rights for any further use reserved.  For permission to repost or reuse the above only in its entirety, fill out this form:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/contact/  Always consult your physician or trusted health professional to design a treatment plan for your own or for someone else’s wellness.  All the information on this website is intended solely as loving support intended to accompany traditional medical care, not as stand-alone advice.  If you like what you’re reading here, thank you.  Thank you for donating via the website PayPal link to support my continuing to do this work, and please forward this website to a friend:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com

 

 

 

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$2.67 Including Tax by Sheryl Lynn https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/2-67-including-tax-by-sheryl-lynn/ Mon, 09 Feb 2015 01:00:22 +0000 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/?p=1687 Helping Hands

Helping Hands

8 February 2015

I wanted to buy someone a single rose.  The grocery near me sells nice single roses.  I went into the refrigerator, looking for just the right rose.  I found one that was blooming nicely.  It was magenta and quite large.  Gorgeous!

I asked the distant young girl who was carefully arranging and wrapping a man’s large flower order how much the single rose would cost,  She said, “That’s $2.49.  If you want the baby’s breath and greenery, you can add an extra $3.00.”  I thanked her and waited for her to ring up my purchase.

I looked again at the rose.  I now saw a spot on one of the petals that didn’t look good to me.  I went back into the refrigerator, looking for just the right rose.  I found another magenta rose that was blooming nicely.  It was even larger and prettier than the first rose.  Perfect!

I lined up once more to pay.  The young girl asked if all I wanted was the one rose.  I said yes.  The man whose flower order she’d been wrapping was off to buy some cases of bottled water.  She was free to ring me up.

“I can see how much care you’re putting into wrapping those flowers.  I come here to buy flowers from time to time, and I don’t always see people doing such a careful job.  It looks like you really love your work.  Do you?”

“Oh, yes!!!  I just love flowers!!!!  They’re so beautiful.  Thank you for saying so.”  She’d become real.

She’d wrapped my rose in a piece of cellophane.  I swiped my credit card.  She said, “That’ll be $2.67.”  I replied, “That’s fine.”  She handed me the rose.  I handed it back to her.  I said, “It’s for you.  I imagine you work with flowers all day long and don’t receive them in return.  You love them so much I thought you should have a perfect rose.  Enjoy!”

The man whose order she’d been wrapping nodded his approval.  The young girl was ecstatic.  She came around the counter to hug me.

After the hug ended, I told her this week is the fourth anniversary of my mother’s passing.  I told her there had been a lot of trauma around her death that has kept me stuck in the grieving process, and I’d be doing something nice for someone each day this week to try to forget.  It’s especially difficult to be in the grieving process around Valentine’s Day.  It seems like everywhere I go, there are signs telling me not to forget Mom for the holiday.  I’d be doing nice things for others to honor my mother.  This day was this beautiful young girl’s turn to be remembered.

She burst out crying.  “My father died this past summer, and I’m having such a hard time.  Thank you so much for giving me this rose!”

I looked at her carefully.  I wasn’t surprised.  This happens a lot with me.  She seemed to be a little older than I’d been when my own father suddenly passed away, and I saw myself in her.  I asked her name, and she introduced herself as Katie.  I said I’d put her in prayer when I got home.  I told her, “Sweetheart, I understood how hard it can be.  I’d gone through it, too.  I’m so sorry for your loss, and I hope it soon gets easier for you.”

The tears flowed down her cheeks, but her eyes looked clearer.  I get sent to many who are grieving their loved ones.  I know the pain of loss, and I know how many people don’t freely offer the love and support that’s needed to begin to heal the pain of loss.  We get platitudes.  We get told no one ever dies and that we’re supposed to limit or get over our grief.  We get showered with many unfeeling words that come from peoples’ heads instead of being showered with compassion that comes from peoples’ hearts.

To those I find, I give the compassion, the unconditional love and support, the patient ear I rarely got.  It’s great service to support those who are in the difficult transition of learning how to move ahead without their beloveds, and I always feel wonderful when I get to do it.  It helps me heal to see someone else’s joy, the joy that comes from being cared about, even for a moment.  Giving is indeed receiving.

For $2.67, including tax, I had a heartfelt moment with a beautiful young girl, a moment that supported us both.

I see tiny heart-shaped boxes of chocolates for sale for $1.25.  I see single roses for sale for $2.49.  I see greeting cards in all price ranges for sale.

It doesn’t cost much to unexpectedly touch someone’s heart this week.  Try it and experience the healing of two hearts.

Copyright 2015 by Sheryl Lynn.  All rights for any further use reserved.  For permission to repost or reuse the above only in its entirety, fill out this form:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/contact/  Always consult your physician or trusted health professional to design a treatment plan for your own or for someone else’s wellness.  All the information on this website is intended solely as loving support intended to accompany traditional medical care, not as stand-alone advice.  If you like what you’re reading here, thank you.  Thank you for donating via the website PayPal link to support my continuing to do this work, and please forward this website to a friend:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com

 

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Cod Up In The Moment by Sheryl Lynn https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/cod-up-in-the-moment-by-sheryl-lynn/ Thu, 15 Jan 2015 01:47:20 +0000 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/?p=1677 Photo by Service1stGraphics

Photo by Service1stGraphics

Instead of spending birthday money on a useful new parka or some other piece of useful apparel, I decided to put the same money into buying something that would make my dog Laila ecstatic. Her continuing presence in my life at age 16, 21 months after a diagnosis of terminal cancer and 20 months after the tumor disappeared, is a co-creative miracle, and nothing makes me happier than waking up each morning and seeing her beautiful smiling face.

I’ll be sharing in 2015 how a worldwide community united to help create this outcome; I’m in the process of building a new website devoted to sharing with others how to do what we all did together.  Stay tuned…..

My money bought her 70 to 90 dehydrated and rolled cod skins. Yes, they reek. Thanks for asking.

Thanking all of you who prayed for her and sent us love, and wishing all of you a blessed, happy and healthy 2015….

Copyright 2015 by Sheryl Lynn.  All rights for any further use reserved.  For permission to repost or reuse the above only in its entirety, fill out this form:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/contact/  Always consult your physician or trusted health professional to design a treatment plan for your own or for someone else’s wellness.  All the information on this website is intended solely as loving support intended to accompany traditional medical care, not as stand-alone advice.  If you like what you’re reading here, thank you.  Thank you for donating via the website PayPal link to support my continuing to do this work, and please forward this website to a friend:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com

 

 

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A Poem For Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month 2014 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/a-poem-for-traumatic-brain-injury-awareness-month-2014/ Sat, 01 Mar 2014 15:18:20 +0000 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/?p=1376 I’d first learned about Traumatic Brain Injuries while caring for my mother after her 2006 fall.  I was compassionate, I wanted to understand, and I did my best to be there for her in a way that felt good to her and to me.  I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know the right questions to ask.  I only knew the questions I already had.  I didn’t even know she’d had a TBI; her doctors never used that term with me.  I learned what she had while researching why she’d suddenly become so different.  My mother wasn’t able to communicate how it was to be her in a way I could consistently comprehend.  I did better some days than others.  It was all I knew how to do.   

It took having my own TBI in 2012, 13 months after her death, to truly understand what it was like to be her, post fall and pre dementia.  Strokes qualify as TBI’s.  Those of us with TBI’s have two full time jobs: committing to our own healing while finding a way to teach others who don’t understand how it is to be us what we need. Neither job is easy; there are many days when it’s much easier to rehab our own brains than it is to enlighten others who look at us, think we’re fine, and wonder why we make so many mistakes and can’t yet do what we used to do. Please read and share the following to give those of us with TBI’s more time to devote to our own healing. – Sheryl Lynn

Today is the beginning of brain injury awareness month!!!!
A Poem for TBI Awareness 2014

TBI awareness?
“What is that?” they say.
It’s something that I live with
Each and every day.

“T” is for traumatic
An accident, injury or fall.
The way that it effects each brain
Is different for us all.

“B” is for the brain
The computer in our head
That guides each step, each thought, each move,
And everything we’ve said.

“I” is for the injury
No one wishes it to come,
For when it does your life is changed,
Where will our strength come from?

The caregivers go through so much
In the watch and wait and see.
They each have hopes and doubts and tears,
Survival is the key.

The survivors come so far each day
With progress, there’s no doubt,
But sometimes it’s slow and frustrating
And hard to figure out.

All TBI’s are so different;
Our caregivers are so strong.
The survivors are so thankful
For those who’ve come along.

Our PT’s, OT’s, counselors,
Vision therapists and Speech
Push us towards our goals each day
So every one we’ll reach.

Rewiring the brain they say
To relearn the things we’ve lost
Striving, praying, working hard
No matter what the cost.

Our injuries can be invisible
Or sometimes they are not,
But no matter what you see in me,
TBI changes a lot.

This battle is so difficult
No one wants to fight alone.
It’s time to stick together,
For our journey’s never done.

Wear your green to show this March
That you are very aware
That TBI can effect anyone,
It isn’t often fair.

So help me spread the word
So awareness will increase,
And TBI will be well known
And ignorance will cease.

Wendy Harron 2/28/2014 thinking about TBI Awareness

What else is new for 2014 with http://www.GlowWithTheFlow.com?  Check out our brand new Amazon store.  Donations made in support of this work are greatly appreciated, especially during my continuing recovery; thank you for clicking on any of the website’s Paypal buttons.

Copyright 2014 by Sheryl Lynn.  All rights for any further use reserved.  For permission to repost or reuse the above only in its entirety, fill out this form:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/contact/  Always consult your physician or trusted health professional to design a treatment plan for your own wellness.  If you like what you’re reading here, please consider forwarding this link to a friend:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com

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World Alzheimer’s Month: Alzheimer’s And The Open Sesame Effect by Sheryl Lynn https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/world-alzheimers-month-alzheimers-and-the-open-sesame-effect-by-sheryl-lynn/ Fri, 20 Sep 2013 04:00:40 +0000 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/?p=1029 My friend Gwen Weaver passed away today.  I don’t know what caused her death.  She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.  She was elegant and playful, she was dedicated and goofy, she was creative and a badass.  I remember how much fun we had when she stayed with me in the late 1990s.  I didn’t expect to like her so much.  Hearing her name always put a smile to my face, even many years after I’d changed careers.  The breathtakingly beautiful calligraphic letters she created will dance on in my heart forever, and I dedicate the following post in her honor: 

I performed my first and only wedding ceremony a little over two months after my mother passed away from end-stage dementia.  The bride was my server at a restaurant I’d found just after my mother’s death; her loving attention was the reason I was able to swallow a few bites of food.  She’d wrap the rest for me to eat later.  I looked like hell, and Lynn worried about me.  I felt cared about.  I so needed to feel cared about in the midst of so many losses and traumas.

Her groom had lost his father to Alzheimer’s Disease the previous August.  His father had been a strict disciplinarian when Dave was a boy.  Nothing Dave ever did was good enough for him.  Dave never felt close to his father until Alzheimer’s Disease changed his father’s personality.  The continual criticisms went away, replaced by the loving and appreciative words he never thought he’d hear his father say to him.  Their relationship transformed from cold and distancing to warm and supportive.  Dave now loved spending time with his father; their final years together were healing for them both.

Dave appreciates Alzheimer’s Disease for uniting him with his father.

If you ever place your loved one in a memory care unit, be prepared for having no contact until he or she adjusts.  I’d brought my mother to her new home the day before Mother’s Day 2009.  I felt I was putting my mom in jail for Mother’s Day.  My mom took one look at the small room she’d  been assigned and became hysterical.  She wanted to go home, but home was no longer a safe place for her to go.  Someone had recently passed away in Room 40, a larger room down the hall with two large windows.  The room wasn’t ready, but it was either Room 40 or a quick exit, so the staff quickly got to work readying the new room.

I was told to leave.  I was told to not call my mother for Mother’s Day, that I’d be called when she’d adjusted to her new home.  They didn’t know how long that would take.  I walked out of the building hearing her screams echoing through the halls.

The guilt kept me awake all night.

Our next few phone conversations were awkward.  She sounded different.  She was different.  She was adjusting to community living.  The schedule was different, the food was different, the people were different.  I felt like a horrible person for having taken away her organic food, her personal care, and her freedom, even though I knew the time had come to make a change.  She slowly adjusted, and I was invited by the staff to visit her.

I was shocked to see she’d made friends.  Mom didn’t have many friends while I was growing up.  This was a new concept.  Mom and the three other ladies who sat at the same table for meals had bonded.  They walked hand in hand from the dining room to the community center, from the living room to the porch.  Mom walking hand in hand with three other women she barely knew? They clearly cared about each other.  Mom had girlfriends.  They didn’t speak much, but they’d bonded.  I called them The Cool Girls.

I asked Mom if she wanted to go for a walk in the courtyard.  I took her hand and led her to a shaded bench.  We sat together and people watched.

Denise, one of my favorite caregivers, was walking across the courtyard holding hands with a male resident.   She looked at him and said “I love you.”  He looked lovingly at her and said, “I love you more.”  “No,” said Denise, “I love YOU more!”  It was a peak moment in my life, seeing Alzheimer’s Disease destroy the barriers that normally separate us from the love we are.

I realized, in that moment, how lucky my mom was to live in a place so filled with love.  And in that moment, I wished I could live there, too.  My mom and I grew closer while she was living there than ever before; the love that surrounded everyone and everything helped make that possible.

Mom passed away in early 2011.  I still call her facility from time to time to say hello.

I miss feeling that love.  People are too scared out here in the “real” world to say things like “I love YOU more!”

For some who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, it’s an Open Sesame to reveal the hidden treasure, the love they feel that’s been kept away from the world for many decades.

To the people I know who are terrified of love, and there are many of them:

You can wait until your last years to open your heart, or you can breathe through your fear and do it now.

If you do it now, at least you’ll remember you did it.

So will someone else.  So will many someone elses.

What are you waiting for?

Rest well, Gwennie.  I love you more.

Copyright 2013 by Sheryl Lynn.  All rights for any further use reserved.  For permission to repost or reuse the above only in its entirety, fill out this form:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/contact/  If you like what you’re reading here, please consider forwarding this link to a friend:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear In the Refrigerator? by Sheryl Lynn https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/book-review-why-did-grandma-put-her-underwear-in-the-refrigerator-by-sheryl-lynn/ Fri, 13 Sep 2013 21:44:04 +0000 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/?p=1003 My friend Max Wallack and his former middle school English teacher Carolyn Given have written a book I hope everyone will buy.  Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear In the Refrigerator? An Explanation of Alzheimer’s Disease for Children, is a beautifully written and illustrated guide dedicated to teaching children about what it’s like to care for a family member who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

I used to be a contributing writer for the Alzheimer’s Reading Room.  The brand I chose for my posts was “Keeping The Love Alive.”   Learning how to focus on the love instead of the illness was a gradual process, yet a necessary one to keep my mom and me and my aunt and me connected while they were living with dementia.  My mom was always my mom.  My aunt was always my aunt.  They both had dementia, and they were still my mom and my aunt.  They both had dementia, and we still loved each other.   Max and Carolyn have also placed their focus on keeping the love alive, which is why I so love this book.

Julie, the narrator, is seven years old.  Her beloved grandmother came to live with her family after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  She carries us with her as she describes how much fun she and her grandmother had together at the zoo on the good days.  She carries us with her as she describes how upset she felt when her witch’s Halloween costume scared her grandmother so much she had to change into something else she didn’t like as much.  She carries us with her as she shares her idea of maybe being an Alzheimer’s researcher when she grows up, helping lots of other peoples’ grandmothers and grandfathers to live easier lives in their final years.

I cry every time I read this book.  I cry because I wish I’d had it when I was struggling all by myself with learning how to become an effective full time caregiver for someone I loved whose erratic behavior made no sense to me.  I cry because I can feel the love shared by Julie and her grandmother.  I cry because it brings back wonderful memories of caring for my mom and my aunt.  Focusing on the love we shared while it was all happening has left me with dozens of beautiful memories I hope to carry with me for the rest of my life.

I know this book is written for children.  I feel it’s just as useful for adults to read.  I see this book as a guide to learning how to treat other people, with or without Alzheimer’s Disease.  This book quietly teaches us how to love unconditionally, to accept others as they are instead of trying to get them to be how we might want them to be, and to focus on enjoying each precious moment with them as much as possible.

Fifty percent of the book’s proceeds will go towards Alzheimer’s research and caring for Alzheimer’s patients.  Yay, Max, and yay, Carolyn!

If you don’t already know someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, chances are you will.  It might be your father, it might be your aging son, it might be your wife, it might be your neighbor.  I first learned about Alzheimer’s Disease from my neighbor.  Remembering how his daughter and son-in-law learned to handle his unexpected excursions into nearby unlocked houses turned out to be great training for later life.  Who knew?

September is World Alzheimer’s Month.  If you know a caregiver, offer to sit with their loved one when they take a much needed break.  If you are a caregiver, share the news about this book with other caregivers.  If you are interested in learning how to keep the love alive between you and someone who’s dealing with a debilitating illness, I encourage you to buy this book.

Thank you, Max and Carolyn, for writing this wonderful book.

Thank you for teaching us, through the experiences of a seven year old girl, how to keep the love alive.

Dad said, “It’s like when you look at yourself in a fun house mirror. You’re still the same, but the mirror makes you look different.”  Max Wallack and Carolyn Given, Why Did Grandmother Put Her Underwear In The Refrigerator?

Copyright 2013 by Sheryl Lynn.  All rights for any further use reserved.  For permission to repost or reuse the above only in its entirety, fill out this form:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/contact/  If you like what you’re reading here, please consider forwarding this link to a friend:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com

 

 

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Sacred Distractions by Sheryl Lynn https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/sacred-distractions-by-sheryl-lynn/ Fri, 06 Sep 2013 06:30:51 +0000 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/?p=997 It had happened too many times to be coincidental.

I have a big dog.  Twenty years of dog walking have taught me big and small dogs don’t always get on.  In the interest of harmony for all, I’ve learned to steer clear of all small dogs unless I know they’re on the approved list.

No matter which route I took, the woman with the small dog always followed me, shadowing me so that I’d know she was there.  If we weren’t walking fast enough for her, she’d run in place until we moved on.  My dog moves more slowly than usual.  She’s been sick for much of this year, and she’s still recovering from a week in late August without air conditioning.  I remember my mom’s doctor telling me many years ago that the older we get, the less bounce back we have.  I honor my dog’s need to move at whatever pace works best for her, and it doesn’t help her move any faster to have people and dogs stalking her.

I’d try to read the woman’s mind.  Should we zig or should we zag to get away from her?  She’d zig right along with me, and she’d zag right along with me.  And she’d jog in place until we zigged or zagged at a pace that worked for her.   She wouldn’t leave.  She was gum on a shoe.

I’d had enough.  The time had come to take a stand.

Yesterday, I turned around and said, “Look, whenever I see you, I always go the other way.”

She was stunned.  “Why?  I stay behind you!”

I was on a roll.  “Big dogs and small dogs don’t always get on.  I keep trying to read your mind, trying to guess which way you’ll be going so I can take another route…”

She looked stunned.  She stammered, “You’re trying to read my mind?  I can’t even read my own mind!”

I calmly responded, “I’m not being rude.  I’m just trying to make this walk as easy as possible for all of us.”

She ran away from us to cross the street, calling over her shoulder, “I understand!”

Her face revealed her shock at hearing me call her on what she’d done.  Most dog walkers don’t tell other dog walkers to back off.  Then again, The Golden Rule also applies to dog walking; I respect your space, and you respect mine.

She wasn’t thinking of how it felt to be my ailing dog, having a person and a dog encroaching on her space, silently pushing her to move more quickly than she’s able.  She wasn’t thinking of how it felt to be me, having a person and two dogs encroaching on my space while my post-stroke brain is rehearsing how to walk safely before taking the next step.

I don’t think she was thinking.  I think she was so attracted to our energy that she’d go wherever we went, whether or not we wanted her with us.  And the more annoyed I got with her, the more I glared at her, the more closely she stuck to us.  By giving her my anger, I was giving her my energy, and that’s just what she wanted.  By choosing a strong and calm response, I’d withdrawn my energy from her and forced her to do something else.

She was a sacred distraction, a situation brought into my life to first help me get clear about my boundaries and then express that clarity by defining them out loud.

Why is she a sacred distraction?

What do we truly own in life?  Material things can be taken away. Relationships come and go.  Health seems to be here one day and gone the next.  The only thing that is truly ours is our own energy.  We have the right to be happy or sad.  We have the right to be attractive or distancing.  We have the right to radiate whatever it is we radiate.  It’s all part of the human experience.  And we have the right to safeguard our energy.  We have the right to determine who will receive our energy.  We have the right to determine how we will allow ourselves to be treated.

That’s the sacredness of the distraction.  When we become lax about determining and enforcing our own energetic boundaries, the Universe will send in a sacred someone or something to make sure we get the message.  The Universe has created us to be us.  Maintaining strong and healthy energetic boundaries helps us to become a better version of the us we came here to be.

I trust my words were strong and clear enough to keep her away.  If not, I’ll reaffirm what I said, and I’ll add even more calm strength to the words I speak.  She’d feed off my anger.  She’ll get nothing from my calm strength.  And I am the one who gets to choose who receives my energy, especially as I continue to recover.

I remember one of my spiritual teachers advising our class to radiate peace if you’re ever in a bar and a fight breaks out.  Sending love to the fighters merely feeds the conflict, which makes all the fighters happy.  They want to fight, and the energy of love, even though it is the energy of love, merely gives them more energy to fight.   Radiating peace will do more to settle the dispute than anything else.  Metaphysical principles work in ashrams, and metaphysical principles work in bars.

Many of us on the spiritual path have learned to ask our angels to help.  Our angels will help, if that’s appropriate for them to do.  They also want us to help ourselves, and they will not protect us from a lesson that will help us grow.  They want us to take our own power.

People who want our energy for themselves develop skillful ways of getting it.  They’ll give endless comfort to the hurting, they’ll give nonstop sex to the horny, they’ll give unlimited entertainment to the bored, they’ll give money to the financially strapped, they’ll give a sympathetic ear to the lonely. You’ll think you’ve found your soul mate, you’re seemingly so much in tune with each other.  Not in the way you might imagine.  Our soul mates are friends of our souls, not always friends of our personalities.  And there are times when our soul mates show up as advocates for our souls by hurting us so much that we have no choice but to wake up and choose another path.

People who want our energy for themselves have a well-honed instinct for first finding our Achilles heel and then learning how to use it to their advantage.  They’ll manipulate us, they’ll guilt us, they’ll lie to us, they’ll isolate us from others, they’ll treat us inconsistently in order to create a strong bond that is based upon the cycle of deliberately opening our wounds again and again in order to soothe them again and again and bring us ever closer.

They’ll do whatever they have to do to gain our trust in order to drain us dry.

There are also people who want to lower our service.  They know how to find people who want to help people who are hurting.  They give them endless love and attention.  And they, in turn, use the givers as toxic waste dumps, filling them up with their stories of victimhood and their complaints, so much that the givers’ bright lights have now dimmed.  And, in turn, the complainers have even more energy to keep doing what they do.  They don’t want to change what they’re doing.  They get their power out of taking others out of their power, and they do that by draining off life force energy through complaining, selfishness, and manipulation.

There is a difference between being there for people who call out for our support and love and guidance while passing through challenging times and being there for people who dump on others and talk at others without committing to change.

Pick whichever one serves you best.

I see many wonderful people being pursued by others who want their energy.  Yes, everyone is exactly where they’re supposed to be.  That being said, education is power.  The sooner we learn to identify those who want the energy of others all for themselves instead of exchanging energy in a healthy relationship, the sooner we can regain our power and get back to being who we showed up to be.

And it all begins with first defining and then enforcing our energetic boundaries.

Establishing and maintaining my energy is my responsibility.  Establishing and maintaining your energy is your responsibility.

Fall in love with the word “no.”

And then fall in love with how you feel when you say the word “no.”

“Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don’t go into yours, you don’t go into mine. You gotta hold the frame.”  Johnny to Baby, Dirty Dancing

Copyright 2013 by Sheryl Lynn.  All rights for any further use reserved.  For permission to repost or reuse the above only in its entirety, fill out this form:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/contact/  If you like what you’re reading here, please consider forwarding this link to a friend:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com

 

 

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Alzheimer’s Disease Explained To Children by Max Wallack https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/alzheimers-disease-explained-to-children-by-max-wallack/ Mon, 08 Jul 2013 02:19:35 +0000 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/?p=916 Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator

My friend Max Wallack has co-authored a groundbreaking new book, Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear In The Refrigerator: An Explanation Of Alzheimer’s Disease For Children.  Although it’s intended to educate young children, I wish I’d had read it when, at age 54, I suddenly became my mother’s primary caregiver.  It’s perfect for people like me, people who can only grab a few minutes here and there to learn the basics of caregiving like redirecting, focusing on the love, and explaining Alzheimer’s Disease to others.  To learn more about my friend Max, who is, at age 17, making a tremendous difference in our world, I invite you to read his December 2012 post, “Kids Who Give.”  Highest possible recommendation!

There is a growing need to explain Alzheimer’s Disease to young children.

I recognized this need some time ago, and  since no book really existed aimed at the 4 to 10 year old audience I decided to tackle this need along with my colleague Carolyn Given.

Not only did I want to explain this disease, but I also wanted to provide these young caregivers (children) with some useful coping mechanisms.

I am pleased to announce that our  book, “Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator, a Book Explaining Alzheimer’s Disease to Children” is now available for purchase on Amazon.

The book was co-authored by myself and Carolyn Given.

50 percent of the profits from this book will be donated to Alzheimer’s causes.

Below is a description of our book, which I hope will be helpful to the millions of children living their daily lives touched by Alzheimer’s disease.

On some days, seven-year old Julie feels like she’s living in a Fun House. Hers is a topsy-turvy world where the toaster sprouts a toothbrush, and a watermelon gets dressed up in pink underpants for Fourth of July!

But on other days, Julie struggles with understanding why her Halloween trick-or-treating got cancelled, or why Grandma can’t remember her name.

Julie is struggling with understanding her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s disease.

Authors Max Wallack and Carolyn Given believe that no child is too young to learn about this disease, or how to participate in providing safe care for their loved one.

Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator is a sensitive, light-hearted children’s story that seamlessly provides its young readers with a toolbox to help them overcome their fears and frustrations.

It shares easy-to-understand explanations of what happens inside the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, how to cope with gradual memory loss, with a missed holiday, or even a missing Grandma!

This 40-page fully illustrated children’s book is told from a second-grader’s perspective in her own style and vocabulary, but it lovingly shares real strategies, scientific insights and lessons of dignity from which adult caregivers may also benefit.

Max Wallack has received numerous national awards for his work on behalf of Alzheimer’s patients.

These include the Nestle Very Best in Youth Award, the Citizen’s Bank Trufit Good Citizen Scholarship, the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award, the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award, and the President’s Call to Service Medal.

He has published in respected journals in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and has presented his work at national and international conferences.

Carolyn Given is an experienced caregiver herself and an acclaimed middle and high school educator with particular interest in intergenerational programming. Prior to her teaching career, she served as her town’s Council on Aging Director and later became cover-story writer and editor of The Senior Advocate (now called the Fifty Plus Advocate Newspaper), a Massachusetts-based mature market publication.

Most recently she was the recipient of an award from the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition sponsored by the National League of American Pen Women. Together, Max and Carolyn have created a book that is a necessity for the millions of children and grandchildren who are currently dealing with this incurable disease.

Go here to get your copy of

Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator?: An Explanation of Alzheimer’s Disease for Children by Max Wallack and Carolyn Given

Or go here for the Kindle version

Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator?

 

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The Unexpected Soulmate by Sheryl Lynn https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/the-unexpected-soulmate-by-sheryl-lynn/ Sat, 29 Jun 2013 04:41:04 +0000 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/?p=897 Have you ever met your soulmate?  What do you think makes a soulmate, and what do you think makes a soulmate relationship?

Is it easy?  Is it permanent?  Is it what you thought it would be?

I define a soulmate as someone who is a friend of someone else’s soul.  Most of us understand soulmate relationships only as romantic connections.  I’ve been blessed by knowing many soulmates in this lifetime, including two dogs, two parents, many friends, and yes, some romantic connections.

Our culture perpetuates the idea that two soulmates meet and immediately gaze meaningfully into each others’ starstruck eyes before blissfully riding off into the sunset together to live happily ever after.

If you believe all that, I’ve also got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

I have found my deepest soulmate relationships to be as far as two people can be from living the soulmate myth.  Being a friend of another’s soul is not necessarily the same as being a friend of another’s personality. Our strongest soulmates can bring up so many of our own issues that, at times, we’d give anything to rip off their heads.  When that happens, it’s a sign that we’ve found the perfect person to help us heal our past.  Soulmates can come together explosively for brief mutual wake-up calls before abruptly separating paths, and soulmates can come together for life.  Both souls call out for someone to show up to catalyze them into doing something completely different with their lives, into living from soul. If the point of life is evolution, the challenge comes from believing our personalities know more about what our souls need than our souls.

I once told someone I came into his life in order to destroy it so he could build something new that worked better for him.    At the time, based upon the things he’d promised me, I thought it was something else, but it fell apart fast, as it was supposed to.  We did what we were to do together, and then we were done.   I then said he was welcome for my destroying his life.  His response?  “Thank you???”

I’ve been writing about my dog Laila during the past few months.  This seems like a good time to describe how we’ve evolved our unexpected soulmate relationship.

I met Laila nearly ten years ago.  My soulmate dog had died three months earlier, and I was still grieving her loss.  The last thing I wanted was another dog.   I knew I wasn’t ready.   My friend Lexi in Ohio knew this and still had the nerve to call me, saying she knew a rescue dog who would be put to sleep if she didn’t get a home ASAP.  In that moment, I knew it was no longer about what I thought I was ready for, it was now about how I could help someone who desperately needed a loving home.

Before I knew it, I was on my way to Ohio to meet a dog who, on first meeting, didn’t seem to be too interested in becoming my dog.  Many things had happened that had traumatized her.  I remember seeing the whites of her eyes completely surrounding her irises, that’s how scared she was of everything and everyone.   She paced around and around her enclosure.  I didn’t feel a connection with her, she was too big for me to handle and too scared for me to soothe, but I had to find out if we were a match.  I cleared everyone out of the kennel before asking her to give me a sign if she wanted to come home with me.  Nothing.   What else was there to do but burst out crying?  I’d driven 600 miles to meet a dog who thought I was part of the scenery.

And then something magical happened.  She saw how upset I was and trotted over to me to lick my hand.

In that moment, I knew I had a new dog.

Like any good soulmate relationship, it wasn’t always easy.  My vet told me, after meeting Laila, she didn’t think the two of us were a match.  I think it took between three and five years before I saw her smile.  It can take traumatized rescue dogs years before they feel safe enough in their new home to relax.  My previous dog had been a retired champion, and she had the charismatic smile to prove it.   I grew up with a mother who’d been chronically depressed, and here I now was, living with a dog who was bringing up all sorts of childhood memories I wanted to keep buried.  But I’d committed to this relationship, so I learned to honor where she was without expecting anything more.  And then, one amazing day, I saw her smile.  It was glorious.

That’s what love does.  Love is patient.  Love knows that everything within us that is not love will eventually come up for resolution.  Love shows up to help us love everyone more, starting with ourselves, and love gives us the space to learn to do it at our own pace.

For years, I didn’t think she was happy living with me.  She didn’t smile.  She didn’t play.  She didn’t seem to like most people.  Hey, I wasn’t too sure how she felt about me most of the time.  She began escaping from my place to visit my next door neighbor.  I thought that meant she wanted to live with her.  I still wanted her with me, but I understood that if her soul would grow more with someone else, it was important for me to completely release her.  It was very difficult for me to consider giving up on her and us.  I knew it was possible I was just a stop on her journey, not her destination, and it would be selfish and disrespectful for me to hold her back from becoming who she’d showed up to be.  I learned to be OK with the idea of completely giving up someone I loved, and that learning to be OK without being attached to things working out the way I thought they should gradually led to her becoming an increasingly happy dog.

That’s what love does.  It teaches us to appreciate it for as long as it lasts without placing rules around it as to what that should look like.  It teaches us detachment from outcomes.

She’d loved my mother until the catastrophic head injury changed her personality.  I’d planned to care for my mother for the rest of her life and brought her into my home for four months in 2007 and again for six weeks in 2008.  My mother had become wildly inconsistent: sweet at times and violent at other times.  I wanted to keep my promise to care for her, but I wasn’t able to deal with the growing psychosis.  Laila, who’d always been well mannered, began peeing all around the house.  I knew it was deliberate.  What was I to do?   Should I send my mother home with care, or should I find a new home for my dog?   This was one of the most difficult times in my life, as I knew I’d have to get rid of someone I loved.   I eventually realized that Laila’s peeing was done from love; it was her way of telling me I was trying to do the impossible, that I wasn’t the only one here who couldn’t handle my mother’s situation, and it was time to get my mother the care she needed.   I reluctantly sent my mom home with care, and Laila, seeing our home return to being a peaceful place to live, stopped peeing.

That’s what love does.  It wakes us up to living our truth.

I didn’t want to ever be a caregiver again.  I’d cared for my uncle during the last six cancer-filled months of his life, I’d cared for and supervised the care my mother received during the last 50 brain-damaged months of her life, and I’d cared for my previous soulmate dog whose kidney failure went on for four months.  That adds up to five full years devoted to being some form of a 24/7 caregiver.  I’d gone through a lot during the past few years, and I was recovering from serious health issues.  And then Laila’s health suddenly changed.  My life has been devoted to caring for her 24/7 during the past five months, during a time when I was still in need of care.  And I’ve learned a tremendous amount about miracles in healing; Laila cleared the disease that claimed my mother’s life, and the last time we saw the vet, she was unable to palpate the tumor (it’s still there, just smaller than before).  I’m not as concerned these days with Laila’s living or dying as I am with her enjoying her life for as long as she can.   After the mini-stroke I had a month ago, I’ve set firm boundaries about how I want to be treated (I invite you to read my June 2013 post entitled “The Word Diet”); people from around the world, some old friends and some new friends, are both telling me and showing me they love me and are supporting me in amazing ways.

That’s what love does.  It inspires us to do whatever it takes to support those who really need our love, even if it makes us uncomfortable to give what’s needed.  And it inspires us to grow even more through our service to another.

I never thought I’d have a second soulmate dog, and I certainly never thought it would be Laila.  She came into my life as my unexpected soulmate.  And, like all good soulmate relationships, both of us are better off for having met.

Thanks, Lexi, for making me do the one thing I didn’t want to do.  Despite all my bitching and moaning about not wanting another dog, you held true to what you knew would create the highest good for both Laila and for me.

Thank you for being a soulmate friend.

And you, the reader?  I wish you all the soulmate relationships your souls want you to have to help yourself and your significant others grow into living the lives your souls want you to live.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Copyright 2013 by Sheryl Lynn.  All rights for any further use reserved.  For permission to repost or reuse the above only in its entirety, fill out this form:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/contact/  If you like what you’re reading here, please consider forwarding this link to a friend:  https://www.glowwiththeflow.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KidsWhoGive by Max Wallack https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/767/ Mon, 28 Jan 2013 02:33:57 +0000 https://www.glowwiththeflow.com/?p=767 I met Max Wallack maybe five years ago through the Alzheimer’s Reading Room internet community, founded by Bob DeMarco to educate himself and countless others around the world about caregiving and topics related to Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Bob was his mother Dotty’s primary caregiver during the last nine years of her life.  Max was his great-grandmother’s caregiver.  Great Grams had Alzheimer’s Disease.  Max and his Great Grams shared a very special connection.  When he was seven years old, he invented a device to help her stay mobile.  Max won an award for his invention. 

Max didn’t stop there.  He continued to care for his Great Grams.  His interest in Alzheimer’s Disease didn’t end with her death.   He made a commitment to do all he can do to put an stop to this heartbreaking and heart-opening disease.  At age 16, he is a sophomore at Boston University, taking undergraduate and graduate level courses designed to help him help many others.

Max is that rare combination of brain smart and heart smart.  He is the creator of the Puzzles To Remember program.  He oversees an international effort to collect and distribute Alzheimer’s friendly jigsaw puzzles.  The act of working jigsaw puzzles has been shown to stimulate brain function in many Alzheimer’s patients.  Max personally donated two of his specially produced Springbok puzzles to my mother’s memory care unit in honor of her life’s journey.  With all he has to do, he found time to remember my mother during the week after her death two years ago. 

I am proud to call Max Wallack my friend.  I will always do what I can do to support him on his life’s journey.  Remember his name.  You’ll be hearing a lot more about him in years to come.  After reading the following blog, I hope you will join me in backing him and his work:

I am a 16 year old sophomore at Boston University  who is dedicating his life to help Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.  In 2008, I founded PuzzlesToRemember, which, by now, has distributed over 19,300 puzzles to Alzheimer’s facilities around the world.  I also volunteer 20 hours a week in an Alzheimer’s research lab.

I recently learned that I am the recipient of a $1000 grant from KidsWhoGive, which is a philanthropic program run by Farm Rich Products.  I will be donating these funds to the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Lab at BUSM.

Donating consumer goods like puzzles is helpful, but the knowledge created from research can have a much wider and longer lasting impact on society. There are 5.8 million Alzheimer’s patients in this country alone, with a new patient being diagnosed every 58 seconds.

I recently learned that KidsWhoGive is having a “run off” competition between the nine students they have chosen throughout 2012.  These students are being voted on by the general public.  The winner will receive $10,000 for their “cause” I would really like the opportunity to provide $10,000 for research at Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Please vote here every day until Feb 5 and help me bring this money to research.

http://kidswhogive.com/vote-on-entries/

This is a wonderful opportunity for people to donate for Alzheimer’s research without it costing them anything.  Please share this information with your colleagues, post on your Facebook page,  and publicize anywhere else in order to get as many votes as possible.  It could make all the difference!

Thanks.  I appreciate all the help you can give.

Max Wallack

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