Monthly Archives: March 2012

April Happenings


This month marks the last time Mandala Reflections will share health and wellness events in this format.  A page devoted to highlighting local events and resources will replace the “happenings” posts. This change will organize resources for you in a way that is more user-friendly. Look for the new page next month!

To hold you over until then, here are a few April events that caught my eye.

Monday, April 2 – Friday, April 6, 5pm– Doors open, 5:30pm– Program begins, Location: Coffman Memorial Union (Monday only), Mayo Memorial Auditorium (Tuesday – Friday), for full address details and parking information, visit U of M website, 8th Annual National Public Health Week Film Festival, presented by the School of Public Health. “Are you curious about the farm to school food movement, how health is a human right, how the GLBTQ community rose above the devastating effects of the 1980s AIDS epidemic, the terminally ill’s controversial end-of-life decisions, or female orgasms and how the medical industry is trying to stake claim on prescription medication?” Then this is the week for you to explore public health issues through cinema! For full details on the movies and the freebies in store for you, check out what’s happening on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Cost: FREE, but you may need to pay for parking.

Tuesday, April 10, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Location: Regina Medical Center,  Common Female Medical Problems that Women Worry About, “Meet a team of obstetrician/gynecologists ‘OB/GYNs’ who specialize in women’s health” to discuss preventative care, gynecological consultations, gynecological surgeries, prenatal care including normal and high-risk pregnancies, infertility testing and treatment. “Questions can be submitted confidentially before the Q&A session begins.” Cost: Seminar is FREE but reservations are necessary. Free gift and refreshments provided. To register call mainline 651-480-4244.

Saturday, April 21, 7:30am to 5:00pm, Location: Golden Valley, MN, Exploring Paths of Hope: Midwest Family Building Conferencepresented by Resolve. “This conference is designed to address the medical and emotional issues associated with infertility and adoption.  Attendees will learn about new treatments, be able to talk directly to doctors and specialists, explore parenting options and network with others experiencing infertility.” Cost: $45/person at early bird special rate (register before April 6), Scholarships are available. If money is an issue  Resolve wants to make sure you can still join. Please call Julie at 612.481.4307 for information about scholarships.

Friday, April 27, 10:15am-11:00am, Location: West 7th Community Center, St. Paul, Lyme Disease: What You Need to Know to Be Your Own Advocate, “According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the number of Lyme disease cases has been increasing dramatically since the 1990s. Learn how Lyme disease affects the body, become familiar with symptoms, avoid diagnostic pitfalls, and know how to protect yourself and your family.” Cost: FREE. For more information, call 651-298-5493.

Everyone is Needed


As we twirl our way through space on our vast journey aboard the planet Earth everyone is needed.

An idle traveler is not permitted.

The captain without the cook cannot long guide the ship.

 So with professor and craftsman, farmer and city dweller, governor and sanitation worker.

So, too, with the elderly and the youthful.

Everyone is joined in the single human venture.

What is done by each is different.

That is why everyone is needed.

Activities that differ most from each other are most needed by each other.

– Excerpt from Thomas Berry‘s article, The Creative Role of Elders in the Human Community

As I am settling into finding and accepting my place in the world, I recognize now more than ever that everyone is needed, and everyone is important. This belief seems to go well with the subject of compassion–a topic that I have been looking at more deeply in my life.

Many of us cannot find compassion for others, because we sincerely believe that “those people” are less important, smart or worthy than the way we view ourselves and our communities. But we all know deep down, we are connected. We also know that nobody is perfect, including ourselves. So we must cooperate with each other, let go of our egos, and be humble. Our communities cannot become healthy and well until we acknowledge each person for the important role they play within it.

Questions to ponder:

If everyone is needed, how do you contribute? What do you bring to the world?

Do you appreciate your true talents and abilities/place in the world or do you try to be somebody or something that you perceive is more needed, appreciated or fabulous? If you experience the latter disconnect, how does it affect your well-being and sense of self? How does it affect your ability to be part of or contribute to the greater community?

Who do you least appreciate? Why? How might that being be just the person/animal/thing you need to accept, learn from or pay attention to? What would it feel like if you began to appreciate people who are different from you?

How do you feel when you are compassionate or when you receive compassion from somebody else?

A Healthy Home in the Making


This post is three parts, one part excuse, one part teaser, and one part informative/cool.

Excuse part: While I will do my best to blog about any pertinent wellness news, I write to ask you to please excuse my quiet blogging presence this month. On March 1st, my husband and I bought our first home. Which means during the last two weeks, our free time has been dedicated to all things house-related. If we aren’t eating or sleeping, we are packing, organizing, moving, painting, dreaming, arguing, celebrating, or thinking about the move. You get the idea. You know the stereotypical, new, overexcited DIY-homeowners? That’s us right about now. I never imagined myself to be so enthralled by it all, but I am, and I am riding the wave while I can. I sense a burnout on the horizon so I’m hoping this go-go-go adrenaline will continue to motivate us through April 1st, our official move-in date. Once we are all in one place, I look forward to taking a break from the hustle and bustle and inviting you over to simply relax and ponder the meaning of our existence, you know, the usual. Or, maybe we could be wild and have a party? The possibilities are infinite…

Teaser part: So why am I including this homeowner babble on Mandala Reflections? Well, I have been itching to share some information about environmental health on this blog and now feel like I have the extra push to bring this topic to light. My thesis work for my holistic health studies degree actually started with research on environmental health and healthy homes. I gained a lot of knowledge and insight about the environment and how it affects our health and would love to share what I learned with you in smaller bites. Truthfully on good days, I can hardly wrap my head around the pages and pages of my thesis and notes, so I actually am delighted to have a reason to revisit my work, make it useful for me and for you, and perhaps encounter some more discoveries along the way.

Informative/cool part:

One important aspect of a healthy home is good air quality, indoor and out. So, I leave you with a picture of a desk that was designed by Julio Radesca based on the principles that Kamal Meattle discussed in his TEDtalk on how to use plants to grow fresh air. To give you the quick version understanding, plants help keep the air you breathe clean. Certain plants work better than others.  Julio Radesca’s desk uses a hydroponic system that feeds the plants, which keeps them alive so they can clean the air, so that you can breathe happy.

However you should know, there two things that plants cannot clean. 1) Smoke. 2) Dust. So if you smoke, understand that only you can remove those pollutants from your home.  And, always remember to give your green friends a good wash, at least once a week if you want them to keep cleaning the air for you. What is a good wash, you ask? Spray the leaves with water and pat them clean/dry with a paper towel. Be gentle. If you want to give your plant a great wash, maybe talk to the plant while you wash it. Light some candles, put on some tunes, whatever works for you and your plant. Just don’t light the candle too close to the plant…