Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

My wife, Mary, has a blog that recently reminded me of the importance of centering myself, being still, and getting back in touch with my spirit and that which is greater than me.

 

And so this morning before I dive in to work, I want to be quiet and reflective.  Writing helps me to remember.

 

I breathe deeply from my diaphragm through my nose.  Over and over again.  And I remember.

 

I remember last night being clear and without humidity, and the millions of stars popping out of the sky as we sat on the deck.  And the night sounds of country living at the lake that include cicadas and tree frogs.

 

I remember close friends who spent time with us over the weekend.  Time for long conversations and the sharing of dreams. Why don’t I do this more often?  This is part of what gives life meaning. Read More »

Posted on 22 July, 2010 in Balance, Gratitude
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Sometimes days go by, maybe weeks or months, where there is routine and predictability in life.  There is a rhythm that feels natural and right.  We even fool ourselves into thinking we are in control of our own destiny.

 

And then something shifts, and we wake up and realize that our life has changed.  Sometimes it is temporary, sometimes it is for the rest of our life.

 

Someone we care about is sick and it means adding a daily or weekly responsibility to our routine.  We lose sleep and we try harder.  But we get more exhausted.  Additional things happen to people we care about and we do what we can to support them, but we realize we cannot do it all. Read More »

Posted on 14 July, 2010 in Balance, Gratitude
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Article by Mary Be a Sullivan, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Lush, green, serene … Camp McDowell serves its purpose well as a soul-restoration location.

 

There’s only one drawback.  If you have mobility issues, walking from the cabins, to the meeting room or the dining hall can take a lot of energy.

 

These past few days I have been immersed in the beauty of “Camp” as a facilitator for “Heartsong,” an annual retreat for people with HIV/AIDS.  The retreat organizers were prepared, and borrowed church vans to shuttle folks from one location to another as needed.

 

One of the participants, I call him “George,” needed a walker and routinely would be the last to arrive at each activity.  George is a young man … too young for a walker.  And sometimes he didn’t want to take the van. Read More »

Posted on 30 April, 2010 in Gratitude, Helping Others, Inspirational Stories
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

If you have ever had a catastrophic event happen in your life where everything was fine one day, and the next day your life was changed forever, you understand.

 

If you have ever loved someone with your whole heart and s/he died suddenly without warning and you lived in shock and numbness for weeks, months, or even years, you understand.

 

If you have ever had a friend or family member suffer with cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV, or any other illness that caused an enormous amount of suffering for the patient and for the caregiver, you understand.

 

If you have ever had the hopes and dreams of a marriage crumble before your eyes even when you tried to do everything you could do to save it, you understand.

 

If you have ever put your trust in someone completely without reservation only to find out that you had been misled or lied to, you understand.

 

If you have ever been hungry, or without a home, or suddenly without a job, you understand.

 

If you are ever been so overwhelmed by debt that you could not pay your bills, you understand.

 

If you have ever pretended to be one type of person to the world when you were another, you understand.

 

And what do you understand if you have experienced any of these things? Read More »

Posted on 20 April, 2010 in Gratitude, Making the Day Count, Spirituality
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Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

At best … coping with the emotional and financial strains of having an unemployed spouse or significant other is difficult and highly stressful.

 

Yet at the same time, this is the very circumstance when your loved one needs your support.  According to University of Michigan researchers, a spouse’s attitude toward job hunting is a major influences the mental state of the unemployed mate.  And keeping a positive attitude both at home and in a job search can be the difference between success and failure … both in landing a job and in the success of the marriage.

 

So … What can each of us do to help our partner, while at the same time maintaining some resemblance of normalcy at home?  Couples who have successfully weathered unemployment, as well as professional counselors suggest: Read More »

Posted on 24 March, 2010 in Career, Finance & Family, Gratitude
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