Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rest In Peace Randy Pausch

The inspirational Dr. Randy Pausch lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008, but not before he left a wonderful message for us all. Intended for his 3 young children, his "The Last Lecture", (also now a book) was a powerful one, encouraging people to make their childhood dreams come true through right living.

Although he possibly could have prolonged his life, for a while longer, using alternative/complementary therapies, he chose not to take that route:

"If you have any herbal supplements or remedies, please stay away from me."

Rather than become bitter and hardened, he embraced his inevitable death with grace, dignity and humour:

"I'm dying, and I'm having fun.".

He chose to make his last days good ones, and in doing so this courageous man has left a legacy that has reached, and will continue to reach, far beyond the message he wanted to leave his children. Live the right way and "the dreams come to you".

Rest in peace, Randy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Keys to happiness: Marcus Aurelius Quote on Positive Thinking


"Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking."


by Marcus Aurelius


Do you have a tendency to see a glass half empty or half full? How you see that glass determines how you percieve your world. If we look at everything from a negative perspective, most things in our lives are going to turn out negative, and we will continue to attract negative experiences into our lives. If we choose to look at our experiences as positive, we will start to attract good into our lives. Everything is essentially neutral, it's how we view things that causes an experience to be either good or bad. We can decide to put either a positive or negative spin on everything we encounter in life, and when we do, even something that is quite obviously negative can be viewed as a positive. We learn from even those things that challenge us.

It all begins with our thoughts, and remember- a thought can be changed.


SOLUTIONS FOR NEGATIVE THINKING:

Try to find the lesson in every challenging situation; you will find there is always something wonderful to learn from it.

Look for something good in every experience. There will always be something positive.


If you have a negative thought, immediately replace that thought with a positive one. It's easier than you think.

Compare yourself to someone worse off than you. That always puts things into perspective.

Give all the negativity up to God to handle, because there is nothing too hard for God to handle.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Agony Of Ciguatera-laden Fish



Cigua-what? I had never heard of the word until I was reading about an outbreak of Ciguatera in Palm Beach County, Florida recently. At least 10 people have been sickened by Ciguatera which turns out to be a specific type of food poisoning caused by ciguatoxin (a natural marine toxin) tied to certain tropical reef fish.


Some of the major culprits are:

Amberjack
Barracuda
Grouper
Hogfish
Snapper

although there are other fish that can carry the toxin. Of course, if you're a vegetarian you don't have to worry, but for those fish-eaters out there, if you avoid reef-feeding fish, you should be okay. And, although they say that certain species of Grouper and Snapper are not potentially harmful, I'd rather stay safe than sorry.

As unfamiliar I was with Ciguatera, it seems more than 50,000 people worldwide, per year, are sickened by ciguatoxin-contaminated fish. It is one of the most common forms of fish and seafood poisonings.

The major problem with Ciguatera is that you can't tell a fish is contaminated until it's too late, and unfortunately cooking the fish does not help. The toxin is so potent it takes less than one-hundredth of a gram to get you sick, and the symptoms seem hideous, often appearing within hours of eating the fish.

INITIAL GASTROINTESTINAL SYMPTOMS:

Nausea
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Cramping and stomach pain

FOLLOWED BY NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS:

Headaches
Muscle aches and weakness
Tingling sensations in the mouth, lips and tongue
Dizziness
Hot/Cold reversal, i.e. hot feels cold and vice versa

If you get any of the above symptoms you should immediately consult a doctor, and report it to the Marine and Fresh Water Toxins Hotline (888) 232-8635.

However, the above symptoms are similar to other food poisonings, so it might not always be Ciguatera, so fear not. I remember a violent reaction I once had to MSG (at least I'm convinced it was), suffering with every single above-mentioned symptom, except for the hot/cold sensations, plus severe heart palpitations. I thought I was not long for this world. It was not fun; but whereas I felt fine the next morning, the neurological troubles caused by Ciguatera can last for months and sometimes years, in severe cases. And the symptoms can often re-occur after initial poisoning, sometimes triggered by something as seemingly harmless as caffeine, alcohol, other fish, nuts, or animal proteins.

The irony, in the case of 5 of those sickened in Palm Beach County, was that the contaminated fish was purchased at Whole Foods Markets, one of the leading Health Food Stores in the U.S.

Prevention and Holistic Treatment:

Other than eliminating fish altogether from your diet, there doesn't seem to be much else one can do to prevent the problem. As for treatment, one source recommends high dosages of Vitamin B12.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

When In Doubt Just P.U.S.H.

I received this in an email recently, and loved the message. I have experienced, first hand, the blessings of P.U.S.H. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did:


One night, a man was sleeping in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and God appeared. He told the man He had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. God explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might ...

So, the man pushed against the rock day after day. For years he toiled from sunup to sundown, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might.

Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out and feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Since the man was showing discouragement, the adversary (Satan) used this opportunity to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind (and you know he tries to do it every time).

"You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn't moved," said Satan. This gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

Satan whispered, "Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort, and that will be good enough."

That's what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to God.

"Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You have asked, yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"

The Lord responded compassionately, "My child, when I asked you to serve Me, and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I say to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. Now you come to Me with your strength spent thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself! Your arms are strong and muscled, your back shiny and brown. Your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard."

"Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven't moved the rock, but your calling was to be obedient; that you have done. Now my child , I will move the rock.

At times, when we hear a word from God we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. All He really wants is obedience and faith in Him.

When everything seems to go wrong, just ... P.U.S.H.

When the job gets you down, just ... P.U.S.H.

When people don't do as you think they should, just ... P.U.S.H

P = Pray

U = Until

S = Something

H = Happens


Hat Tip: Spiritual World via email