Category Archives: women

Timeless Advice 

I recently turned 60, and it’s been a surreal experience. I tell myself that I’m not “really” 60, and then I look in the mirror and realize that yes, sadly I really am.

I thought I would commemorate this depressing occasion by sharing a story from my youth, that helped me to terms with growing older. You see, I had always been terrified to grow old and I actually never thought I would. I made a deal with myself to stop at 30. Life was very painful for me back then, and I was struggling to exist on a daily basis.

When I was 16, I read a newspaper article about a woman who was turning 100. I couldn’t imagine anyone living that long; why would anyone want to? Being the weird person I was, I looked her up in the phone book, found her address, and mailed her a letter, explaining my fears and asking to meet her. Imagine my surprise when I received a letter back, inviting me to tea. I donned my nicest clothes and went hoping to hear some wise advice about growing old without fear. The fact that she invited a complete stranger to her house, a street urchin no less, gives you an idea of the kind of person she was.

Louise Tandy Murch was an amazing lady; she lived alone in a huge house that looked dated, as did she. Her face was etched with deep lines that reminded me of the Sahara desert.  She carried in a large silver platter that held a tea service and some scones that she had made herself. I offered to help her carry it, but she insisted she was fine. As we sat drinking tea and eating scones, she shared with me some information about her life. She did yoga every day, despite having pins in both her hips, and she was a pianist. Her husband had been an orchestra conductor and together they had traveled the world. He had died several years before but she said she didn’t have time to give up on life or get depressed (yes, we discussed depression) because she was just too busy. She was currently trading music lessons with a young man in return for free gardening work.

I told her that I liked to play guitar and sing sometimes, so she played the piano for me and invited me to sing. When I started singing, she punched me in the stomach (in the diaphragm) and told me that’s where it had to come from. By the way, that was NOT a gentle punch – it got my attention. She reached into her piano bench and took out a music book with country songs and gave it to me. She told me she didn’t enjoy playing country music but she thought my voice was perfect to sing country. I’m still not sure if that was a compliment or not. 

It was a very different type of afternoon, one that I have never forgotten. All these years later, I still have that music book, and I often remember this incredible lady and her timeless advice for living at all ages. Her secret for living so long was because she was simply too busy to die. I’m fairly sure her advice has had a lot to do with how I’ve lived my life – keeping busy (often too busy), staying involved, trusting others. In a moment of remembrance after my birthday, I decided to “google” her name and found out that the National Film Board has a short film about her life that was directed by Deepa Mehta in 1976. It also looks as if something was in the works in 2014 as well http://www.hollywood.com/movies/at-99-a-portrait-of-louise-tandy-murch-59211080/credits/.

 

I never knew I was in the presence of someone famous, I just knew I was getting some timeless advice about living and aging. Thank you Mrs. Murch, for the lesson and for the example.

By the way – if someone “googles” your name in the distant future, what do you think they’ll find? 

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Be Healthy… Stay Well

natural-health-concepts

In this post, I’m going to share with you a story and tell you about a series of events to led me to discover a health professional who has helped me to find my way to a healthier self.

First the story.

A couple of years ago, I started experiencing some disturbing symptoms. My blood pressure would occasionally spike and my heart would start racing. A couple of people I work with have had heart attacks, and two actually passed away. Since I have a lot of problems with stress, (and people my age can start to have problems with hypertension), I went to see my family doctor. In his usual dismissive way, he simply said “It’s all in your head.”

I did a bit of research and came to the conclusion that I was probably having anxiety attacks. So I went back to my doctor and shared my suspicions with him. He agreed and said that was what he meant when he said it was “all in my head”. His solution was to take antidepressant medication. Really? They prescribe that shit for everything, don’t they?

I  believe in dealing with health problems in a more natural manner. If I need to change something in my life – diet, exercise, whatever – I’d like to try that first. So I decided it was time for me to give naturopathic / homeopathic medicine a try. And that’s how I met Ashleigh Higgins, ND.

What follows is an unsolicited recommendation. She doesn’t even know I’m writing this.

Right away I liked her. She has a warm, inviting personality, making it very easy to share my fear, doubts, insecurities, etc. In other words, I opened up! One of the biggest things that impressed me about Ashleigh was she didn’t try to sell me any supplements. She made recommendations, and told me I could find them at most health food stores, such as Nature’s Emporium in Newmarket.

Ashleigh suggested I try two things: a St. Francis herb called Strest and a homeopathic medicine called Calcarea Carbonica; both were inexpensive. We also talked about some digestive problems I have (IBS and diverticulitis) and she suggested I stay away from all dairy to see if that would help and she suggested I rub some warm castor oil on my stomach and relax and let it soak in.

Fast forward 6 months. I’m calm, not having major anxiety attacks, and able to control the minor ones. I’m sleeping very well, and able to plan and put things in perspective. I still have digestive issues, but I’ve seen some improvement and she’s made other suggestions for me to try. It’s a journey.

I have a different health philosophy now. If I break a bone or contract some terrible disease, I’ll see my family doctor, because traditional “healthcare” is really “sick care”. It’s reactive, not proactive. For almost everything else, I will seek the guidance and advice of a “wellness” professional like Ashleigh Higgins.

nature

Ms. Higgins has an office in Keswick, Ontario, as well as in Cannington, Ontario. Here’s her website:

http://www.ashleighhigginsnd.com/

She can bill your insurance company directly and you can book appointments online. I’m so grateful I met her, and I highly recommend her. What do you have to lose? (except whatever is making you sick).

Life’s short – be healthy – stay well

 

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Who’s on Trial?

Is this abuse?

I’ve been following the Jian Ghomeshi trial and have an admission to make – when I listened to the evidence provided by his lawyer about the first two accusers, I thought “Who sends flirtatious emails to someone who has attacked them?” Immediately I doubted their credibility.

Then I thought more about it.

Isn’t that like asking an abused woman why she stays with her abuser? Let’s use Ray Rice as an example. The woman he beat very publicly has since married him. I don’t know why; I cannot fathom marrying someone who has hurt me for ANY reason. The fact that she married him though does not mean he did not beat her. Like millions of other people, I saw the video, it cannot be denied.

Who’s on trial?

So, if I use that same logic and reasoning, does the fact that Lucy DeCoutere sent emails, even flirtatious ones, to Ghomeshi afterwards mean that he didn’t abuse her? One of them, sent just a few hours later, expressed a desire to have sex with him and his lawyer Marie Henein said those dispatches prove the attack never happened. The former Trailer Park actress (turned armed forces captain) claims that she was trying to “normalize” the situation. I can understand this. Did Lucy DeCoutere think that his rage was caused because they DIDN’T have sex? I think as women, we are conditioned to be people pleasers and when unpleasant things happen – whether it’s the break up of a relationship, abuse, infidelity, whatever, many of us automatically start doubting ourselves. What did we do to cause this? What did we do to set him off? Maybe I just need to try harder, be better, be careful.  Only once we are away from the situation, in distance or in time, does the fog lift and we start to see it for what it was – abuse.

The fact that a woman would remain in contact with someone who hurt them speaks more about our lack of self-worth than it does about absolving the abuser of his (or her) actions.

Abuse comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s someone who puts you down, constantly criticizing you for your looks, your weight, your cooking, your cleaning skills. Someone who makes you feel like you’re not good enough in some way. Sometimes it’s someone who takes advantage of you, cleans out your bank account, steals money from your purse. Sometimes it’s someone who lacks the ability to be supportive or empathetic. Sometimes it’s someone who manipulates you to doing things during sex that you’re really not comfortable with – I think almost every woman has heard the line “but if you loved me…”. Sometimes it’s someone who hurts you physically.

Is this abuse?

Abuse takes many forms.

I remember when I was younger and just starting to work, not only was I subjected to what I now consider to be abuse on a couple of occasions, but I continued to work in those situations. I would face these people every day and act as if nothing had happened. I thought maybe I was giving off the wrong signals. I was trying to “normalize” the situation.

Where have we heard that phrase before?

There were enough women who came forward with allegations about Jian Ghomeshi, women with no previous connection to each other, each telling a similar story, enough to make me remember the phrase – where there’s enough smoke, there’s gonna be a fire. Ghomeshi admitted he liked rough sex and he claimed it was consensual. All of these women say they never gave consent. He showed the CBC photos of a woman he’d had “rough sex” with, complete with bruises and broken ribs. Can anyone really consent to that kind of abuse? Do any of the accusers have a history of liking rough sex? Sometimes it wasn’t even sex – Lucy Decoutere did not have sex with him. So what does that make it? Come on… connect the dots.

Let’s remember who’s on trial here.

 

#ghomeshi #cdnjustice #ibelievelucy #IStandWithLucy #truthmatters #rapeculture #cdnjustice

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