Inner Nutrition: How Can We Best Cope with Health Challenges? Roslyn McGrath

natural living, holistic wellness, U.P. wellness publication, holistic health

You do everything you can to eat right, exercise regularly, and make healthy lifestyle choices. Or you’ve thought about doing so, but haven’t quite followed up with this very much yet. Or you feel like you should, but really don’t want to. Or sometimes you do these things, sometimes you don’t. You’re young. You’re old. You’re somewhere in-between. Regardless, it’s likely you’ve had, or at some point will have to deal with a significant health challenge, something beyond a stubbed toe or head cold, something that may be painful, limit your capacities, and/or threaten your survival.

Frustration, fear, anger, grief, sorrow, self-pity–any or all of these reactions may well up in dealing with your situation. It’s normal and it’s natural. And trying to stuff these emotions back down is likely only to increase your suffering sooner or later. More and more, research has shown how our mental and emotional state impacts our physical health. So what might help you to authentically cope with your situation in the most positive and effective way?

In speaking with and observing friends, family members, and clients, as well as considering my own experiences, a number of suggestions arose. Below is what our lay experts have to say. What might it be like to use these suggestions? What suggestions do you have of your own?

Don’t dwell on your health challenge too much. You are not the illness or injury; you are simply dealing with it. Be sure to pay attention to the other parts of your life as well. You’re likely to feel better emotionally, and more like yourself.

Consider with whom you’ll discuss your health challenge, as well as how often and in what ways. The fears, past experiences, and sympathy or pity of well-meaning others can drag you down because they focus upon your challenge as a negative. Who will be a compassionate supporter? Who will hold a positive space with and for you?

Don’t label your health challenge with its medical term, which can have many negative associations to it. Instead, see it in symbolic terms. This may help loosen up your view of it, bring you a greater sense of positive potential, and envision and work toward more positive outcomes.

Let your supporters know what form of support you’d like. This may be different at different times, so keep communicating. Are you seeking advice? Feedback? Cheerleading? Neutral listening? Help with tasks?

Have patience. Time as well as tenacity may be required for your healing. Trying to push the river may be pointless or even produce negative results, extending your healing time, so accepting where you’re at while continuing to envision your positive outcome is important.

Trust your gut in making decisions. Information-gathering in itself is unlikely to provide one 100% guaranteed “correct” choice and ultimately your healthcare choices are your own. So give yourself what you need to line up with a choice and then follow through on it.

Don’t give up. If the approach you’ve been going with has been given a good try and isn’t working for you, open to exploring other avenues.

Don’t expect to feel positive all the time. Emotions come up. Don’t judge yourself for having them. So long as we don’t hold on to them or feed them, they are temporary states. Accept your feelings for what they are, and return to your positive focus when you’re ready.

Trust. To the best of your ability, let go of worries, fears, and resistance, surrender to the universal flow, and watch the magic unfold. Remembering this may help lessen some of the suffering in the moment. 

Focus on what you can do more than on what you can’t, and do those activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Do something creative that you wouldn’t otherwise. Your current limitations may even help inspire the form your creativity takes. For example, when a very physically active friend was laid up in recovery from a hip replacement, she danced with her toes, developing the strength and coordination of her ankles, feet and toes.

Think about how you anticipate feeling when your healing is complete. Do your best to really feel how that feels, perhaps even imagining you’re breathing this feeling in from every direction, or it’s being poured into you by angels.

Pay attention to, and to the best of your ability, stay actively engaged in the lives of your loved ones, and with the world around you.

Spend time in nature. Sunshine can be very healing. Take time to slow down and appreciate the life around you. Breathe in the freshness of the earth. If you can’t get outside, play recordings of nature sounds and surround yourself with plants and flowers. Imagine yourself in a beautiful forest or meadow. 

Cultivate gratitude. This allows you to release negative emotions that no longer serve you. Taking time each day to practice gratefulness, whether in a thought, prayer, affirmative statement, meditation, or simply looking around for things for which you are grateful is healing. It’s particularly helpful to include yourself, and also the many ways in which your body is working well. Given the human body’s complexity, no matter your health challenge, likely there are many things functioning well, so this is a more balanced, accurate view. Gratitude allows us to receive more love and joy, and bathes the very body cells in a positive charge, relaxing us.

Special thanks to Joshua Alan Brown for his assistance with this article, and also to numerous friends, clients, and loved ones.

Roslyn Elena McGrath is an observer, participant, visionary, and implementer of life as it is and can be. She supports herself and others to shine their light through personal growth and vibrational healing sessions, workshops, books, recordings, art, and this magazine. Visit http://www.EmpoweringLightworks.com and HealthandHappinessUPMag.com.

Reprinted with permission from the Spring 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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Community Improvement: The 20th Annual Spring Holistic Health Fair, Nicole Walton

IMG_2195Can you feel it? The slightly tingly energy beginning to build?

You’re not imagining things. It’s simply the hearts, minds, and intentions of everyone involved with the Natural Connections Holistic Health Fair revving up for the annual event.

Now a hallmark of Marquette’s spring calendar, the fair had more modest beginnings at the Ramada Inn in 2000 under the guidance of a handful of people who wanted to bring holistic practitioners together in one place so residents could see what’s offered in the holistic/alternative medicine scene. It’s now sponsored by the nonprofit group Natural Connections (previously Integrative Health Resources)—a volunteer organization formed in 2005 dedicated to connecting the community with integrative services and information.

Former NC board president Diana Oman says in the early years it was exciting to offer massage therapists, reiki practitioners, healing touch, nutritionists, and chiropractors in one place to those who were interested in various healing modalities. It opened attendees’ eyes to other methods of getting—and staying—healthy. “One location, several practitioners, several modalities, several products, so if a person is a little bit curious they can go there and gather a whole bunch of information on one day,” she says.

Yet finding a place to hold the fair wasn’t always easy. Organizers moved it from site to site in an effort to find the perfect niche: Upfront & Company, Northern Michigan University, the Holiday Inn, the Marquette Armory, even the lower level of the Masonic Square Mall. NC struck gold when it found its current home, the Masonic Center in downtown Marquette. The space has allowed the fair to grow by leaps and bounds says Roslyn McGrath, current Natural Connections president. When it first began, about 100 people walked through the fair. Last year more than 600 people attended. “I’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of interest in the fair, both by vendors and community members, as well as those coming from a distance to the fair,” Roslyn says. The number of vendors showcasing their services has increased, as well. Over the last several years anywhere from 40 to 45 different vendors have participated at a time. “It’s still scratching the surface, because not everybody who offers a holistic modality is at the fair,” Roslyn notes.

But why are so many people being drawn to the fair? “I think there’s a lot to a human being,” Roslyn states, “and as time has gone on, people have realized more and more that medical offerings alone are not fulfilling all of their needs for health and wellness. They are looking for more or a different approach to integrate with what they’re already doing or looking for something that’s going to jumpstart them, motivate them, help them stay on track, perhaps, with those medical and non-medical choices for their wellness and health.”

Fair attendee Sally Moilanen agrees. “One thing I’ve learned with attending these types of things [is] it’s so overwhelming to learn that there is so much more natural healing we can do for our bodies and our minds versus going to a pill and using pharmaceuticals,” she says, “and that’s a really big eye-opener. And I think more people need to be aware of what else is out there besides your traditional medicine.”

Acupuncture has made its way into the fair, along with personal fitness trainers, healing art, yoga, Emotional Freedom Technique, energy field healing, intuitive counseling, sound healing, yoga therapy, Ayurvedic medicine, reflexology, and astrological counseling.

And under the nurturing of Natural Connections, the Holistic Health Fair has grown to offer more than just services. Vendors now also sell essential oils, organic food products, soaps, nutritional supplements, natural body care products, jewelry, and much more. Presentations on various topics are held throughout the day to more thoroughly explain different modalities, and several door prizes are given away each hour.

Sally Moilanen says she was incredibly impressed with last year’s fair. “Everybody took their time with you and made you feel special and made their time with you all about you, which was amazing,” she says. Now that she’s had a taste, she’s coming back to Marquette for the 2019 edition. “I wouldn’t miss it. I think that’s just something that’s going to be on my calendar going forward, for as long as they’re going to have it. It was amazing.”

Roslyn says the Holistic Health Fair has become a unique part of a distinctive region. “I think it’s important that all the community really know how special this area is for having so many truly sincerely committed, skilled people who are willing and able to help them feel good, enjoy their lives more, be more fulfilled, and make strides with health issues that they may have going on, as well as helping to prevent future ones,” she says. “People often say what a special area this is and how wonderful people are overall, and that’s true, and that’s also reflected in this microcosm of the holistic community.”

Norway Springs is providing water for attendees free of charge this year, and Travel Marquette is helping to sponsor the fair, financially and marketing-wise. “We are beyond grateful that they recognize the value of what we offer and how it is bringing more people into Marquette for the event, and that this is something important for our community,” says Roslyn.

The 20th Annual Spring Holistic Health Fair will be held Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the third floor of Marquette’s Masonic Center, next to the Masonic Square Mall. For more information or to pre-order a fair T-shirt, go to http://naturalconnectionsmarquette.com or  http://Facebook.com/ncmarquette.

Nicole is a writer and radio host who loves living in Marquette.

Adapted with permission from the Spring 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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More Info. from Steve Waller on “Wind Energy – Hot Air?”

Here’s the formula for relating turbines to trees:

A 2-megawatt turbine X 35% load factor outputs 700 kw X 8,760 hrs per year = 6,132,000 kWh per year X 650 g/kWh average intensity = 4,394 tons of CO2 / 2 tons CO2 absorbed per acre of trees = 2,196 equivalent acres of forest per 2-megawatt turbine

A single 2-megawatt turbine has the CO2 reducing effect of 2,196 acres of forest while generating $367,920 (@ $0.06 wholesale per kWh) of electricity per year.

One megawatt of turbine = roughly 1,000 equivalent forest acres. 

A higher turbine “load factor” (percent of maximum possible output actually generated) increases the forest equivalent. The newest turbines have higher load factors.

50 turbines in a wind farm (50 X 2,196) have the CO2 reducing effect of 109,840 acres of forest

Example:

Summit Lake wind farm’s 50 turbines utilize a footprint of only 560 acres (2%) of the 28,000 acres of wind farm forest. 98% of the forest remains forested.

219,700 turbine tons of CO2 + 54,880 unmodified forest tons of CO2 ((28,000 original acres – 560 turbine acres) X 2 tons CO2 per acre) = 274,580 tons of CO2 kept out of the air per year.

The wind farm increases the CO2 reduction of the original 28,000 acre Summit Lake forest from 56,000 tons of CO2 absorbed per year without the wind farm to the equivalent of 274,580 tons of CO2 absorbed per year with the wind farm.

Looks like we should REALLY encourage the Summit Wind Farm!

$ value of turbine power:

6,132,000 kWh X $0.06 wholesale (AKA “offset” price) price per kWh =

$367,920 annual wholesale value of electricity per turbine.

$367,920 X 50 turbines = $18,396,000 annual wholesale value of wind farm power.

6,132,000 kWh X $0.14 retail price per kWh = $858,480 annual retail value of electricity per turbine.

$858,480 X 50 turbines = $42,924,000 annual retail value of wind farm power.

Here are just a few of the sources I used for Wind Energy – Hot Air in the Spring 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/21/wind-power-results-bird-deaths-overall/

https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/co2_vol_mass.php

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00464.x

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/arjun-krishnaswami/renewable-energy-brings-economic-boost-rural-communities

https://www.factcheck.org/2018/03/wind-energys-carbon-footprint/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140616093317.htm

https://www.awea.org/wind-101/benefits-of-wind/environmental-benefits

https://www.awea.org/wind-101/benefits-of-wind

https://www.awea.org/Awea/media/Resources/StateFactSheets/Michigan.pdf

https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/life-cycle-analysis-of-the-embodied-carbon-emissions-from-14-wind-turbines-with-rated-powers-between-50-kw-and-34-mw-2090-4541-1000211.php?aid=74577

https://www.awea.org/wind-101/benefits-of-wind/economic-development

https://www.aweablog.org/the-truth-about-wind-power/

https://www.aweablog.org/fact-check-really-causes-electricity-prices-rise/

http://www.windustry.org/how_much_do_farmers_get_paid_to_host_wind_turbines

https://www.landmarkdividend.com/wind-turbine-lease-rates/

https://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/07/wind-power/

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/arjun-krishnaswami/new-report-clean-energy-sweeps-across-rural-midwest

https://www.awea.org/Awea/media/Resources/StateFactSheets/Michigan.pdf

 

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New for Spring 2019

HH 47 Cover

Yup, we’re holding a space for spring, and bringing you a great new issue full of revitalizing ideas and information! Click here for a Central or Western U.P. location to pick up your copy!

This issue is dedicated to Barb Schmitt Mc-Bride, in honor of her strong, humanitarian spirit. During the fifteen years after her diagnosis of Stage IV breast cancer, she not only confounded the medical community with the resiliency of her health and times of total remission, she also helped inform her medical team on integrative health options, focused her altruism on creating the Breathe in Hope Retreat for cancer patients and their caregivers, and helped form the group Five Alive with other cancer patients to write a book about their experiences.

Throughout her life, Barb was an active champion of many causes. Despite the many challenges she encountered from the time of her diagnosis, Barb stayed interested and involved in the lives of many friends and family members, and fed her heart in travels with loved ones, photography, knitting, drumming, reading, art, and poetry. Barb stayed true to herself in choosing the course of health action she carefully arrived at as best for her. Her bright smile, lively interests, and caring heart have touched many and continue to inspire.

Reprinted with permission from the Spring 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

 

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Creative Inspiration: Winter Moon Madness, Roslyn Elena McGrath

winter moon madness illustration

Winter moon madness sparkles sharply
over crusty layers of icy skyfall.
It ripples through frigid rivers
and captures cold shadows,
increasing their inky contrast
to the shining white mystery
that blurs shapes
and freezes forms.

Can color continue in this world?
Must it all be shades of dark
and light, ad nauseam, forever?

When the moon conquers our souls,
will we remain frozen,
caught up in our thoughts and counter-currents,
statues under indigo skies?
Or will we reach out,
grab another’s hand,
and dance wildly to the sound
of our own howling laughter,
kissing shadows and sparkles
’til we keel over drunk
with intoxicating, frosted breath?

I happen to have a star shine in my hand
that wears me as its amulet,
and I am proud to share its wealth
with all the wide, white world.

Roslyn Elena McGrath is a visionary artist, author, holistic practitioner, teacher, and publisher. You can find out more about her private sessions, upcoming workshops, and inspirational books and products at http://www.EmpoweringLightworks.com.

Excerpted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Winter 2018-19 Issue, copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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Bodies in Motion: Snow Biking My Way, Michelle Gill

trail biking, Gills

When I think about what inspires me the most to mountain bike, road bike, or snow bike, it’s just being outdoors. I love the fresh air on my face and body, the smell of the leaves, fresh earth, or fresh cut grass in the air, the beautiful shades of greens and blues seen in the trees and lakes, the sound of laughter among friends—I love being outdoors in almost all weather conditions. Therefore, winter opens up a fabulous new opportunity for biking called snow biking or fat biking.

My husband and I own twenty acres just outside of Marquette where we snow bike as much as possible all winter. Since we don’t own a snowmobile or groomer, we manually groom the trails ourselves by snowshoeing them. This can be a lot of work on our eleven different loops, but it is also great exercise! It’s not as simple as just going for a casual snowshoe. When grooming, you have to go over sections multiple times, and bank corners where needed. This doesn’t produce the same quality of bike trail as professionally groomed trails. In fact, it’s harder to snow bike on trails that are manually groomed, and every time it snows significantly you have to re-groom. However, it’s worth it to be able to step outside your home and ride.

Between snowshoeing to groom trails and the actual riding, winter snow biking on our trails is a major workout. Our trails are on a gradual hill so no matter which way you go, you will be climbing at some point. We usually start at a half-hour ride and work our way up to an hour. At times, snow biking can be fast in the straighter sections, but rides on most of them are slower and more challenging, with trails curving all through our glorious woods. During the work week, going for a ride right after getting home works best for us. This usually requires the use of headlamps or flash lights mounted to the bikes. Night riding is a little more challenging, but so enjoyable under the clear, star-filled sky! Winter snow biking on our trails also helps us master riding at slow speeds, cornering, and balancing. It’s made me a better biker for summer trail riding.

To prepare for winter snow biking, you should have bar mitts if your hands normally get cold in the winter. With bar mitts on your bike, you only need to wear a light pair of gloves. On our trails, I don’t recommend clipping into your bike pedals. We wear boots to keep our feet warm and dry. As far as clothing, we wear the same garments we would wear for cross country skiing or running in cold temperatures-layers, breathable garments, wind protection, helmet, goggles if it’s really cold… the usual winter gear required for snow biking.

If you want to try snow biking, area bike shops offer rentals. I recommend you try renting first if you’re not sure about it. The many trails in and around the city of Marquette are beautifully scenic and perfectly groomed. In addition to riding recreationally, snow bike races exist throughout winter and across the Upper Peninsula. Check online or at any bike shop for more information about snow biking or racing. Snow biking is just another wonderful sport to enjoy in our beautiful north woods. Have fun!

ice biking, Gills

Financial adviser and former human resources director at Marquette Area Public Schools Michelle Gill grew up in the western U.P. and has called Marquette home since 1994. She and her husband David enjoy living an active lifestyle, playing outdoors as much as possible.

Excerpted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Winter 2018-19 Issue, copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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Senior Viewpoint: Your Personal Legacy is Happening Now, Heather Mlsna

hand-1549399_1280A personal legacy isn’t something static that appears or is bequeathed when we die. We are continually creating it. Our everyday actions, emotions, and behaviors combine into a series of good and bad experiences that result in our individual life history.

When considering the legacy we are leaving behind, it’s helpful to take an honest look at our lives—from our earliest memories to present-day experiences. Chances are, as you take time to reflect, you will recall events that made you feel all sorts of emotions.

Often, these feelings move us to want to write about our lives, perhaps even more so as we move into our later years. We may feel a need to “set the record straight” by clarifying words and actions from our past. This sort of project can be comprehensive or narrow in scope, and can take the shape of a letter, memoir, journal entry, conversation, poem, etc. Legacy writing can take many forms, but the first step always begins with personal reflection.

How do we tell our story? One way is to create a personal legacy document. The exercise that follows is an example of how to write about a life event in need of remediation. However, the process can be used to describe any of your experiences.

A personal legacy document is defined as any narrative that describes or explains a period of time in someone’s life.

If you are unsure where to start, reflect on your individual history, and make two columns on a piece of paper. It’s sometimes helpful to look at old photo albums to aid your reflective journey. Start with your childhood, and systematically move through your history to the present. In one column, list the deeds of which you’re proud. In the other section, record anything you’ve done that you regret.

Take a look at your list and identify which negative memory causes you the most pain. Circle it. This is your starting point. Here is where you identify your audience, or the wronged party. Write the name of the person, place, or thing involved in this recollection next to the circled memory. This is who you will be addressing in your document.

Next, on a new page, record everything you can remember about this unsettling life event. Make three columns labeled: before, during, and after. Write down the concrete and abstract details of what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the experience. Remember to include feelings, intentions, your temperament that day, and personal circumstances at that point in your life. Try to identify all the existing verbal and nonverbal communication going on at that moment. You are not creating a document here; you are brainstorming, so don’t worry about creating sentences. Get your ideas on paper in any manner that is functional to you.

These pieces are the elements you’ll use to construct the story of what happened, a graphic organizer or outline to guide your writing process. If you don’t have enough information in any of the three columns, go back to brainstorming and look harder at the situation. Add some sensory details to your lists so you can show – and not just tell – your reader how you feel. For example, “Right before I saw you, my brother called to say we needed to paint our parents’ house. My arthritis was so painful that day that the thought of doing that plunged me right into a funky mood.”

Now you are ready to write. It’s important to remember writing is a process. What you put down on paper initially will not be perfect, and you shouldn’t strive to make it so. Write, and do it fearlessly, so you can find your inner truth and voice, and then convey this to others.

What you have created thus far lays the foundation for plotting your story. All stories have a beginning, middle, and end. These are equivalent to the before, during, and after columns you’ve just created.

The “before” represents the exposition of your story—the explanation for what leads to the negative interaction you are trying to remediate by writing. But before you get to the part where the trouble explodes, you need to show how the exchange built up. If you’ve brainstormed adequately, these essential pieces will be in the “before” and “during” sections of your outline or graphic organizer.

Although it takes time to write these details, they are a key part of the process, helping you to illustrate what brought you to the moment of harm (the climax). This allows for the expression of your humanity – right or wrong – and to tell your side of the story, giving the reader an opportunity to connect with your state of being, and perhaps find insight into your thoughts and actions.

The person or people being addressed won’t need help recognizing the climax and what came afterwards for them. However, you will need to tell them how it has affected you. This is the “after” of your story, illustrating the falling action, or what came after the life event.

Finally, we arrive at the point of resolution, where you get to apologize and attempt to make restitution for your actions or words. It’s the most important part because without a thorough and honorable admission of your misdeed, you cannot ask for a reprieve. You have to be crystal clear about what you are owning, and what you are asking forgiveness for. Better still, describe any life lessons you learned and carry with you.

Your first draft is now complete. As you go back to revise and edit it, you can decide on your vehicle of delivery. Will you make this document into a letter? Will you deliver the information personally through conversation? Will you compose a short story and offer it to the transgressed? Will you keep it as a diary entry for yourself? (Sometimes the latter choice is the only one available if our audience is deceased.)

Read your finished first draft out loud to yourself. Note information or descriptions to add, and scratch out anything that doesn’t make sense. Rewrite to include omissions and additions, and make sure there is unity in your document so every sentence advances your story. Do this over and over until you are satisfied. If you are feeling brave, have a friend or relative read your story and offer a critique.

You can repeat this process any number of times. These same steps can also be used to describe wholesome, nourishing pieces of your history, or the history of a relative or friend. Doing this can support the flow of your life into the future, knowing you have done your very best to be a good person.

Creating a legacy document can open doors of communication you thought were closed. It can illustrate a life that was previously unknown, stand as a memorial to a deceased person, aid in remembering favorite trips or adventures, help heal relationships, figure out our place here on earth, or be thematic and pull memories from various corners of your mind. Chances are, as you move through the process of writing there will be an element of self-discovery. Your life – your living legacy – may be enhanced with this unveiling.

Heather Mlsna is a professional writer. Her business, Last Letters/No Regrets, seeks to promote healing and remembrance through writing. It serves individuals seeking to express themselves on paper who need help getting started. Heather can be reached at lastlettersmqt@gmail.com. (https://lastlettersnoregrets.com

Excerpted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Winter 2018-19 Issue, copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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