On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Diving, Floating, and pRocrastinating

Diving headlong into my writing in Belize '08
Floating in Belize '08



When I write, I dive headlong into the work as into a river, where I swim for my life or, depending on the tenor of the story, float on my back, gazing at clouds. ~ Jan Karon, author

   A few random thoughts on diving, floating, and pRocrastinating.  I do all three, but mostly the latter, especially when it comes to my writing.  However, the more I think about it, I'm that way in my everyday life.  If I love an idea, I dive headlong into the river, forgetting to eat and drink, sometimes suffering from dehydration.  When I'm living in the now, I float along thinking of only the moment with no care of time.  On the other hand, if I have to do something that I fear, or I'm not certain of how it will turn out or how much time it will take, I pRocRastinate.  I can think of a hundred things I must do first--laundry, swiffer floors, scare frogs off the patio, or watch one of my favorite old movies.  I waste more time pRocrastinating.


   But I'm changing, proving that you can teach old dogs new tricks.  I'm now diving headlong into those challenging projects (calling Medicare regarding my father's insurance--staying on hold for 30 minutes is no fun; canceling Weight Watchers online--what a joke; and of course writing the next chapter of my book).  



   So, what are you pRocrastinating about today?  Why don't you try diving headlong into that challenge or fear?  And when you do, you'll find that you'll have much more time to float on your back and gaze at the clouds.



Happy floating!  


Friday, August 10, 2012

"Let's Get Physical, Physical"

Huntington Beach, CA 2012


I have blogged random thoughts about everything from travels, friendship, moving, writing, publishing, Israel, beauty. I wrote several blogs about women's health issues--from heart attacks to cancer--and when I recently received an email from someone who had read my blogs regarding cancer, it brought back flashbacks of a dear friend of mine who died last year, of Rob's best friend's wife who died two years ago; and of several friends who have survived ... cancer.  The C word.  Even Olivia Newton-John, the beautiful singer of "Let's Get Physical" is a cancer survivor.  Research continues, support groups are bountiful, and there are people like David Haas who dedicate their lives to this field.

I've never had a guest on my blog before, but when David wrote and asked if he could share an article on my blog, I was delighted.  Joining the organization in 2011, David is a cancer support group and awareness program advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In addition to researching the many valuable programs available to the site's visitors, David often blogs about programs and campaigns underway at the MCA, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer, while creating relationships with similar organizations.  Here is one on his articles.

Utilizing Exercise for Cancer Patients

Many cancer patients find a desire to live a better lifestyle not only to survive the disease but also to live longer after recovering.  From the time of diagnosis, exercise can help cancer sufferers to deal with the stress, anxiety and depression that come with cancer.  Exercise that also works on the relaxation of the mind, such as yoga is especially beneficial.  Furthermore, physical fitness can help regain appetite that is often lost during treatment of cancer.

The type of exercise undertaken is highly dependent on how cancer has affected the patient.  Some days, the cancer sufferer may not feel well enough to do any physical activity especially while undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation that cause high levels of fatigue; however, the patient should try to exercise as regularly as possible as even a few minutes of exercise is better than none.  Reports show that studies of numerous types of cancer have shown that obesity reduces survival time after cancer treatment and increased chances of recurrence.

Exercise can be broken down into four categories: aerobic, strength training, balance, and stretching.  A cancer patient, whether in the treatment stage, remission or even just diagnosed, should cover each of these areas.  Although at times the cancer sufferer may not feel up to doing much, just 10-minute blocks of exercise throughout the day can be highly beneficial.

Aerobic exercise is particularly useful t feel better during treatment.  This can be something as simple as walking, an exercise which can be practiced immediately after undergoing treatment. When combined with strength training, the body decreases body fat and builds lean muscle most efficiently.

Strength training is highly important for cancer sufferers who are undergoing chemotherapy, commonly used for the treatment of mesothelioma, because it causes a loss of bone density and muscle.  Through weight training, cancer sufferers are able to increase muscle in order to maintain bone density.  They should consult their doctor before beginning a regimen.

A sense of balance may be slightly impaired by medications, making falls more likely.  Chemotherapy patients especially run the risk of breaking their more fragile bones.  There are very simple exercises that can improve balance and can be completed even on days when the cancer patient has little energy.  Such exercises include balancing on one leg or a grapevine moving by crossing one leg in front of the other.

Too much bed rest can lead to stiff joints among other problems.  Stretching relieves this discomfort while providing the body with gently exercise.  It can also help to stretch areas that have developed a weakness due to the treatment such as the rotator cuff in breast cancer patients who have undergone mastectomies.

I want to thank David Haas, for all the work he does with the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.  You can read more of David's blogs at www.mesothelioma.com

As we enjoy the last days of summer, let's get physical and connect with those around us.  A smile, a kind word, sharing valuable information with those in need.  You are God's hands, eyes, heart.  We were created to get physical.
Oceans of blessings,
Sharon

Monday, August 6, 2012

Inspirational Ebooks: Lady and the Sea by Sharon Leaf

Inspirational Ebooks: The Lady and the Sea by Sharon Leaf: Historical Romantic Fiction After two failed marriages, forty-eight-year-old Rosie Atkisson struggles through the process of rebuilding ...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Successful Book Signing Tips from Aunt Eunice


   I hesitated when my niece, the almost-famous author, Sharon Leaf, came over the other day and begged me to accompany her to her next book signing.  To be honest, I have my hands full helping Betty White with her book promotion, but after rearranging my schedule, I agreed and dived in.
   "Here, memorize this," I said as I handed Sharon my personal pamphlet, How to Have A Successful Book Signing in Twenty Easy Lessons.  

   The next day as we entered Mama Belle's Bookshop I gave last-minute instructions. "First of all, darlin', you have to know your audience."
   "Oh, that's easy," Sharon replied, smiling.  "Women of all ages."
   I shook my head as I stacked thirty-five books on her table.  "That's way too general, but we'll talk about that later.  Here, I made these flyers; now walk the store and hand them out ... and smile."
   Sharon came back to her book table five minutes later wearing a frown.
   "What happened?"
   "I walked over to a large group of women who were grabbing up a book off the best-seller shelf."
   "Very good. Then what?"
   "I gave each of them my flyer."
   "Wonderful! What was their response?"
   A gorgeous blonde held up her gray-toned paperback and asked, 'Is your book anything like this one?'  I quickly answered, 'Oh, it's much more adventurous!'"
   I smiled at my niece.  "You go, girl!"  
   "But Aunt Eunice, they totally ignored me and kept grabbing that best-seller book."
   A moment later I asked, "By the way, what was  the book's title?"
   I could tell by the blank look on Sharon's face that she didn't know.  "Ugh, well, it had a gray cover and the title was something like Fifty Shades of ... ugh, the Day, something like that."
   Then I frowned.  "Oh, dear; I don't think that's the audience you're aiming for."  Then when I saw twenty women of all shapes and sizes making their way to Sharon's book table, I added, "Well, perhaps it is."
   I placed a pen in Sharon's hand and said, "Get ready, darlin', you might make it to the best-seller list after all!"  
   I knew at that moment that Sharon has a lot to learn about book signings, but I ask you, who's  better to teach her than her Aunt Eunice?
   Until next time, keep smearin' that Vaseline on your face!
www.sharonleaf.com