Tag Archives: Women’s Health

My Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions

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(Flowers from past weekend, photo courtesy of K. Higgins)

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a women’s retreat. Six women, some strangers, all coming together to be in circle, supporting one another in our life journeys. I feel so blessed to have kicked off my New Year this way, sitting in reflection with such intelligent and spiritually savvy mirrors. The experience was a perfect way to slow down and to begin living out and defining my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions.

1) Don’t do community, Be communityCommunity has always meant a lot to me, and it continues to get more important as I age. I look forward to spending quality time with my tribe this year. Quality over quantity. I may not be around as much, but I pledge to be present when I am with people. Often my existence consists of me thinking about what I need to do next or me being tired from the last thing I just did. This year, I pledge to be with my friends and family, and therefore, only be in one place at a time. No more double-booking. When you are doing, doing, doing, you can only miss out.

2) Rest. And then rest some more. People forget that rest is an important aspect of health and wellness. I am (was?) one of those people. 2012 was a little too busy for my liking, and I’m looking forward to catching up on some sleep in the New Year! Stay tuned for a longer post on Zzzz and restoration!

3) Eat simply. My husband and I love cooking, but this year I really want to explore simple foods and make them delicious. This weekend I tasted my first, broiled cinnamon orange. So simple. A recipe we enjoyed for its health benefits but mostly for its sheer simplicity and warmth. Yum!!!!

4) See beauty in everything (including myself). True beauty is everywhere. We often fail to see it because we are bogged down by all the white noise out there. It’s time to embrace who we are and actually see the beauty that resides in ourselves. How often do you look in the mirror and think, “I look awesome?!” Maybe some of you do, but for many, the first thing our minds are drawn to is something that may be irritating. “Oh, nice chunk of spinach in my tooth. Yum.” You get the picture. If its not in the physical, many of us are waiting to approve of ourselves after we do something – get a new job, get a boyfriend, lose weight. Why not approve of who you are now and see how beautiful you are now. You are. If we can find true beauty in ourselves, we are more likely to love and accept ourselves, and therefore we will take better care of ourselves and those around us. When we take care of ourselves, love and compassion will radiate toward others. Awesome!

5) Embody movement and accept movement. I need to move my body more and recognize that all of life’s experiences are just the movement of energy. Ebbing and flowing. Up and down. And that’s that. We cannot always be up, and we will not always be down. So I need to be okay with moving in both directions. I’d like to close with a great poem that reflects this sentiment, by Lao Tzu from Tao Te Ching (a special thanks to a new friend, Ihotu, for sharing this gem).

Do you think you can take over

the universe and improve it?

I believe it cannot be done.

The universe is sacred.

You cannot improve it.

If you try to change it,

you will ruin it.

If you try to hold it, you will lose it.

So sometimes things are ahead

and sometimes they are behind;

Sometimes breathing is hard

and sometimes it comes easily.

Sometimes there is strength

and sometimes weakness;

Sometimes one is up

and sometimes down.

Therefore the sage avoids extremes,

excesses, and complacency.

If it suits you, I hope you, too, can avoid extremes, excesses, and complacency in your life, find beauty in the moments, live simply, take time for rest and relaxation, and be present with yourself and your community in 2013!

Best wishes to you and your hopes and dreams this New Year!

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April Happenings

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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.