Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

The Many Paths of Yoga

Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning union or communion. The purpose of practicing yoga is to achieve oneness with the Supreme Universal Spirit.

Yogis view the universe as an emanation of God’s love, and they see His essence in all things. Through the serious practice of yoga, they learn to realize the divine source within themselves, transcend the material world, and become one with the Divine Power.

Yoga encompasses many paths.

Karma Yoga the path of action – involves attaining enlightenment and unity through selfless service to others without any expectation of reward. 

Bhakti Yoga the emotional path – requires total absorption in a personal deity and is marked by intense love and devotion, and deep prayer and meditation.

The intellectual path is called jnana yoga, which emphasizes the study of sacred scripture and ancient wisdom.

Hatha yoga is concerned with physical self-discipline through the diligent practice of asanas, or postures. This form of yoga has become very popular in the West over the last few decades.

These postures were developed over thousands of years to exercise the muscles, nerves, and glands. They tone the body, increase flexibility, help to eliminate toxins, stimulate the release of hormones, and promote mental, physical, and spiritual balance.

People who consistently practice these postures report greater levels of energy and vitality, lightness of body, mental clarity, and a heightened sense of well-being. With persistence, they develop discipline of both mind and body, deeper spiritual awareness, and a sense of unity with the Divine.

Raja yoga literally means “king yoga” and is considered the supreme path, for it seeks both mental and spiritual discipline. Raja yogis struggle to purify and perfect their minds, bodies, and spirits through constant practice of yogic principles, including all the paths of yoga mentioned above. Yogis who succeed are regarded as saints. They are recognized by their profound love for humanity, their wisdom, their power to relieve suffering, and the feelings of peace and serenity which they bring to others.

~

Dawn Pisturino, RN
March 2, 2007; September 26, 2022
Copyright 2007-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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The Amazing Apple

(Photo by Vera De on Unsplash)

The Amazing Apple

by Dawn Pisturino

Hooray for the all-American apple! Boiled, baked, stewed, juiced, fried, dried, or raw, apples are as American as rock-and-roll.

Eating this amazing little fruit is one of the simplest ways to improve and maintain good health at a reasonable cost.

Apples are high in fiber, which is important for eliminating toxins from the body, lowering cholesterol, and regulating blood sugar, appetite, cell growth in the colon lining, and the action of bile acids in the body.

Apples are a great source of antioxidants because they contain vitamin C and a phytonutrient called quercetin. Quercetin is a flavonoid which is currently being researched for its anti-cancer properties, especially against lung and prostate cancer.

There is only about 10 mg of vitamin C in an average apple, but when combined with the quercetin, research has shown that the effects in the body are equivalent to 1500 mg of vitamin C. Now, that’s powerful stuff!

Apples have been proven to have antiviral, antiseptic, and laxative properties, contain a natural sugar called sorbitol, and a wide variety of important vitamins and minerals.

Researchers believe that regular consumption of apples can improve lung function, lower the risks of cancer, heart disease, and stroke, contribute to weight loss, and protect the brain from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The Washington Apple Commission recommends eating at least one apple a day in order to reap these benefits.

Cooked apples are easier to digest than raw ones. Apple juice — especially freshly pressed — has almost the same benefits as the whole apple.

Apples are a traditional part of the school lunch box. In the kitchen, apples combine well with other fruits and vegetables.

For free recipes and more information, go to the Washington Apple Commission website at

http://www.waapple.org

Dawn Pisturino, RN

February 25, 2007; September 16, 2022

Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, June 26, 2007.

Copyright 2007-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved. 

21 Comments »

Jesus Met the Woman at the Well

(Photo from http://www.Christ.org)

[Note: All quotations are from the New King James Version Bible]

John 4:1-54 in the New Testament tells the story of the woman at the well. When Jesus informed his disciples that he was going to go to Galilee by way of Samaria, they would have been surprised, although John does not tell us so. Samaria was generally avoided by devout Jews. Interactions with Samaritans were frowned upon due to religious and cultural conflicts. Jesus was making a daring move and a profound statement by choosing to go there.

Jesus traveled to the city of Sychar and decided to rest at Jacob’s Well, which was just outside the city, while his disciples went on to procure food. Soon, a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. When Jesus asked her for a drink of water, she reminded him that Jews did not mix with Samaritans. But Jesus offered her “the gift of God” and “living water” in exchange for the drink.

The woman questioned Jesus further, reminding him that Jacob dug the well. But Jesus pointed out to her that ordinary water would always leave a person thirsty. The water he offered would give “everlasting life.” The woman, intrigued, asked for her portion of this water, but Jesus turned the tables on her by asking her to bring her husband to the well. The woman admitted that she had no husband.

Jesus, pleased by her honesty, revealed that she had had five husbands. The woman, amazed by his knowledge of her, honored him as a prophet. She reminded Jesus that part of the conflict between the Jews and the Samaritans was the sacred places of worship, which differed between the two groups. Jews believed Jerusalem was the only place to properly worship God, and the Samaritans worshipped right there on the mountain near Jacob’s Well.

In response, Jesus made a profound admission. “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” He seems to be saying here that God does not need a temple or particular place in which to be worshipped. Worship comes from the heart and the soul and cannot be contained within brick-and-mortar walls or special designated places of worship. God is everywhere and all-inclusive. All people are welcome to worship Him.

The woman at the well affirmed her belief in the coming of the Messiah, and Jesus admitted that He was the Messiah. The disciples returned then with the food and did not question Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman. But Jesus affirmed to them that He was doing His Father’s work – that was His real food.

In her excitement, the woman ran off without her water jug. But she no longer needed it because she had heard Jesus’s words and left filled with the Holy Spirit. She informed the city about Jesus and His wise words. People flocked to hear what He had to say. Many believed in Him because of what He had to say. People told the woman, “we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the World.”

After two days, Jesus and His disciples traveled on to Galilee. He returned to Cana, where he learned about a wealthy man’s son in Capernaum who was sick. Jesus admonished the people, accusing them of not believing in Him unless they “see signs and wonders.” But Jesus reassured the father that his son would live. When the man returned home, he learned that his son had recovered from his illness at about the same time that Jesus had assured him that his son would live.

The difference between the Samaritans and the Galileans was that the woman at the well and the people in Sychar believed in Jesus as the Christ because of His words, whereas the Galileans wanted proof in the form of miracles.

May we listen to the words of Jesus and find comfort in His wisdom, love, and compassion. May we put all of our trust in God and hand over all of our worries and cares to Him.

(Folk singers Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers: “Jesus Met the Woman,” from the 1964 album, “Peter, Paul, and Mary in Concert.”)

Dawn Pisturino

August 26, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

14 Comments »

Beans: The Healthy Art of Legumes

“Beans, beans, the musical art,
The more you eat, the more you fart.”

We’ve all laughed at that childhood rhyme, not understanding just how healthy beans are for our bodies (farting included.)

If you regularly eat aduki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, great northerns, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, mung beans, navy beans, peanuts, green peas, pinto beans, and soybeans, you’re engaging in a good nutritional practice that provides your body with both protein and starch.

Beans (and peas) are surprisingly low in calories and fat.  They are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber.  (Good for the ol’ cholesterol levels!)  Cost-wise, beans and peas are relatively inexpensive.  They have often been called “the poor person’s meat,” but you can’t put a price on good nutrition and good health.

If you are looking for complete proteins, soybeans and peanuts come the closest.

The downside of eating legumes is the gas they produce.  Combining beans with a grain such as rice can reduce this problem.

Many beans can be sprouted, which increases the protein content by 15-30 per cent.  Most beans contain adequate amounts of iron, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

So, if you like chili with beans, get cooking!  Or serve up a mess of tofu and greens.  Baked beans sound delicious right about now.  How about a chilled dilled green pea salad?

You get the idea.

Dawn Pisturino, RN
April 19, 2010; August 10, 2022

Copyright 2010-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Facebook article.

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Rape Prevention in Arizona

(Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash)

Rape Prevention in Arizona

by Dawn Pisturino

Abstract

Social services in Arizona are concentrated mainly in the Phoenix area.  Outlying areas may or may not have sufficient services.  In Mohave County, for example, domestic and sexual violence services are geared largely toward families and domestic violence.  Few services exist specific to rape prevention.  In fact, the nearest actual rape center is located in Flagstaff (Coconino County), which is two hours away.  Arizona does have a comprehensive Sexual Violence Prevention & Education Program aimed at prevention of sexual and domestic violence, but most state-funded organizations are located in southern Arizona.  National organizations like RAINN provide general guidelines and state-by-state information.

Rape Prevention in Arizona

       The Sexual Violence Prevention & Education Program in Arizona originated at the state level, conforms to CDC guidelines, and depends on funding from the CDC and other sources.

       In 2004, the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families formulated a state plan that would “increase capacity . . . to provide services, promote prevention, conduct trainings, and create public awareness activities statewide” in the area of sexual assault.  The primary goal was to “increase victim access to comprehensive crisis services” (Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families, 2004).

       A statewide eight year plan was implemented through the Arizona Department of Health Services in 2010 that would “stop first time perpetration” through standardized educational curriculum in the schools, colleges, and universities; faith-based organizations; widespread media campaigns; and businesses that serve alcohol.  The mission was to achieve “the vision of a culture that supports healthy, respectful relationships through primary prevention efforts and zero tolerance of sexual violence in Arizona communities” (Arizona Department of Health Services, 2010).

       Sexual assault is a public health threat that requires preventative education and counseling before an assault occurs; interventions immediately after an incident; and long-term follow-up care, if necessary, with therapy and empowerment tools (University of Arizona, 2012).  Programs are now teaching bystander intervention skills to people who want to serve as role models and intervene when they witness a potential or actual sexual assault occurring.  The University of Arizona routinely screens students for past and recent sexual assaults and abuse so they can receive the therapy they need.  Male students learn how to evaluate their own attitudes and beliefs about male dominance and entitlement in order to gain new respect for their partners and develop more effective communication skills (University of Arizona, 2012).

       The Sexual Violence Prevention & Education Program implemented in 2012 on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson is also available to other campuses, organizations, and businesses through their community outreach program.  According to their research, alcohol is implicated in 50-70% of all sexual assaults.  Drug and alcohol screenings are now done on campus to screen students for substance use problems.  Students receive information about consent and the ability/inability to consent for sexual activity while intoxicated.  Freshmen are required to take an online course in sexual assault (University of Arizona, 2012).

       Research conducted at the University of Arizona supports new laws and public policies.  Researchers have found that community-based programs are most effective.  Their public awareness programs have been so effective, Governor Douglas Ducey proclaimed April 2016 Sexual Assault Awareness Month (Governor’s Office, 2016).

       According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2016), 1 in 5 women and 1 in 15 men experience rape or attempted rape.  By the age of eighteen, 40% of women have suffered some sort of sexual abuse or assault.  The long-term physical and psychological trauma can be devastating.  Family Advocacy Centers have been established in some areas of Arizona to provide post-sexual assault services, including forensic evidence collection, expert witness testimony, and legal representation.  Arizona state law allows victims to receive a forensic examination by a trained examiner within 120 hours (5 days), whether or not they plan to report the incident to police (Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families, 2004).  Forensic biological evidence will be kept indefinitely in unsolved felony sexual offense cases (Arizona Revised Statute 13-4221).  There are no statutes of limitations in felony sexual offense cases (Arizona Revised Statute 13-107).  The definition of rape has been expanded in order to increase the number of convictions.  Sexual assault is a class 2 felony, but if a date rape drug was used, the sentence will be increased by three years (Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1406).  The minimum sentence for a first conviction under ARS 13-1406 is 5.25 years, but a life sentence may be imposed if intentional serious physical harm was inflicted.

       Cultural competence remains an important issue when dealing with victims of sexual assault since the United States has such a diverse population “with differing ideas about domestic violence and sexual assault” (Warrier, 2005).  Trained interpreters and bilingual educational materials must be available.  Professionals must be able to understand victims’ experiences of violence within the context of their own culture.  This is particularly crucial among the Native American population.

       Kathryn Patricelli, MA (2005), educates women on what to do after an assault or rape.  First off, they should not bathe or cleanse themselves.  Secondly, they should call the police and report what happened. Third, women should go to the emergency room and ask to be examined.  A forensic examination should be performed.  If a date rape drug was used, they should have a urine toxicology screen done.  Fourth, they should go stay in a safe place or have someone stay with them.  Fifth, victims should get help from a counselor to ease the shock, pain, and guilt.  If symptoms do not ease in a reasonable amount of time, the victim should get ongoing therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Method

Process

       Research was conducted online through EBSCO and Google Scholar using the keywords “rape prevention,” “rape prevention in Mohave County,” and “rape prevention in Arizona.”  Other research was done in person and by telephone.

Results

       The best online results were found in Arizona government websites and publications.  Kingman Aid to Abused People/Sarah’s House did not answer their door or telephone.  Their primary focus is on family abuse and domestic violence.  Calling the Mohave Victim Witness Program phone number connected me to a pager.  There was no local rape prevention literature available at the Mohave County Library in Kingman; their resource list was out-of-date; and the librarian could only find two young adult books in the system related to teen dating safety and sexual harassment.

Discussion

       Local programs funded by the state of Arizona must provide “education on sexual harassment, definitions of rape, teen dating violence, assertive communication, and strategies to increase reporting and awareness of sexual violence” (Arizona Department of Health Services, 2016).  Some organizations also explain consent and Arizona law.

       Most programs and organizations in Mohave County provide post-incident crisis intervention, shelter, and hotlines for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Mohave Community College has policies dealing with campus safety and sexual harassment and assault.  Mohave Mental Health and Southwest Behavioral provide long-term therapy services for depression, anxiety, and PTSD.  Local hospitals have trained forensic examiners, social workers, and counselors available for immediate care after a sexual assault.  The Mohave County Health Department performs confidential testing for STDs/HIV.

       Charles P. Nemeth (2012) defines rape as sexual intercourse with another person through the use of force, without consent, and with intent.  His guidelines for dealing with an attack include trying to dissuade the attacker from completing the act; pretending to have an STD or AIDS; acting insane; yelling; struggling and fighting back; using self-defense skills; using pepper spray or mace; avoiding resistance in order to survive (Nemeth, 2012).

       The Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families (2004) describes rape “as a crime of power and control . . . motivated by aggression and hatred, not sex.”  The state of Arizona has implemented a statewide plan to address the problem through standardized educational programs, increased availability of services to victims, and expanded tools for prosecutors and police to increase the number of convictions for sexual assault.  But most comprehensive services are concentrated in the Phoenix/Tucson metropolitan areas.  More needs to be done for less populated counties like Mohave County.

References

Arizona Department of Health Services. (2016). Sexual violence prevention and education

       program. Retrieved from http://www.azrapeprevention.org.

Arizona Department of Health Services, The Bureau of Women’s and Children’s Health. (2010).

       Arizona sexual violence primary prevention and education eight year program plan.

       Phoenix, AZ: State of Arizona.

Arizona Legislature. (2016). Arizona revised statutes. Retrieved from http://www.azleg.gov.

Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of

       Violence Prevention. (2016). Stop SV: A technical package to prevent sexual violence.

       Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control.

Governor’s Office. (2016). State of arizona proclamation. Phoenix, AZ: State of Arizona.

Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families, Division for Women. (2004). The state

       plan on domestic & sexual violence: A guide for safety & injustice in arizona. Phoenix,

       AZ: State of Arizona.

Nemeth, C.P. (2012). Criminal law. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis.

Patricelli, K., MA. (2005, December 15). Abuse – If you have been assaulted or raped. Retrieved

       from http://www.mentalhelp.net.

RAINN. (2016). State-by-state definitions. Retrieved from http://rainn.org.

University of Arizona, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. (2012). Sexual

       violence prevention & education program orientation manual & annual summary. Tucson,

       AZ: University of Arizona.

Warrier, S. (2005). Culture handbook. San Francisco, CA: Family Violence Prevention Fund.   

~

Dawn Pisturino

Substantive Law 225

October 22, 2016; July 27, 2022

Copyright 2016-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.                                                      

28 Comments »

Peace, Serenity with T’ai Chi

(Photo by Mark Hang Fung So on Unsplash)

T’ai Chi is a Chinese system of gentle exercise movements which developed mainly out of Taoist philosophy to promote general good health and a less violent form of self-defense.

Lao Tzu, who developed the philosophy of Taoism in the sixth century B.C., believed that human beings could find peace and serenity by understanding and acting in accordance with the flow of nature. The slow, fluid movements in T’ai Chi reflect the constant ebb and flow of opposing universal energies, called the yin and yang.

T’ai Chi has many benefits. The graceful movements can be easily learned, with practice, by people of all ages. No special equipment is needed, and the exercises can be performed in a relatively small space.

T’ai Chi provides good exercise, lays the foundation for self-defense techniques, increases mental alertness, and improves meditation abilities. As individuals progress, they often develop a more tranquil frame of mind. T’ai Chi incorporates movement meditation along with quiet meditation, based on Taoist meditation and breathing techniques.

T’ai Chi developed as an internal martial art that emphasizes wisdom and development of the mind over body. It allows practitioners to balance internal energy, called ch’i, in order to improve general health and generate new power. The use of vital energy from within becomes a self-healing modality as well as a potent force for self-defense.

T’ai Chi practitioners become highly aware of the benefits of cultivating this energy (ch’i): more rapid recovery from injury and illness, increased energy and libido, greater physical strength and flexibility, better balance and stability, improved stamina, and a stronger immune system.

Many senior citizens have found that the regular practice of T’ai Chi exercises helps them to remain more flexible and active.

(Learn T’ai Chi with Jack Mace on YouTube)

Dawn Pisturino

February 3, 2007; July 25, 2022
Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, March 27, 2007
Copyright 2007-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

22 Comments »

Dirty Feet

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

Gandhi was a spiritual man full of wisdom and keen insight. What exactly does he mean here?

One of the first practices we learn on the spiritual path is to protect ourselves from the negative influences of the material world. A Hindu tenet is to live in the world but not of the world. In other words, although we have to live, work, love, and function in material society, our minds should be focused on our own spiritual growth. We protect ourselves from the influences of negative energy by wrapping ourselves in a cloak of blue or white light (or some other form of spiritual protection). We eat healthy, wholesome foods. We clear our minds of negative thoughts and accentuate the positive. We practice patience and forgiveness and push those dark feelings of hatred and anger from our hearts. We take care of our bodies in ways that honor and promote LIFE. We avoid hateful, chaotic, negative people. We surround ourselves with beauty, cleanliness, aromatic fragrances, peace, tranquility, and serenity. We remain calm in the face of danger and adversity. We strive to help others. We extend our hands in friendship and kindness. We turn off the noise, the hate, the violence, the chaos, the insanity directed at all of us by the media and loud, angry, hateful people. 

And it does not matter whether we are Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan, or any other spiritual affiliation. The principles remain the same. Meditation and contemplation; prayer; trusting in a higher power; opening up our minds and hearts to the positive flow of energy; cleansing our minds and hearts of negative thoughts, feelings, and influences; striving to be a constructive force in the world instead of a destructive force; projecting light and a ray of hope in a dark world – all of us have the capability to shine like the brightest star in the night sky. But it takes commitment and work and a sincere belief that we all contain a divine essence inside ourselves.

May the divine spark in you shine brightly!

Dawn Pisturino

July 20, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

29 Comments »

Balancing Body, Mind, and Spirit

When you look in a mirror, what do you see? Two eyes, a mouth, two shoulders, hands, legs, and feet. But you also have a mind for thinking, planning, creating, remembering, and dreaming. You own emotions such as love, hate, anger, despair; and a spirit which searches for meaning and validation.

Even though you can’t see it, you know that your mind exists and is functioning on a day-to-day basis. You are keenly aware of your shifting emotions, even though you can’t touch them. In the face of obstacles, you call upon your inner spirit to face those obstacles and overcome them.

If you were just a body, you would function like a robot performing tasks in a mechanical fashion without deviating from the routine. If you were all mind, you wouldn’t need a body. If you were all spirit, you wouldn’t need this world at all.

Once you recognize that you are made of body, mind, and spirit, you can see yourself as a whole person. You can appreciate the beauty and wonder of yourself. Science has dissected the physical body for centuries and still has not discovered all of its secrets. Psychiatrists have tried to analyze and understand the mind, to no avail. The imagination continues to amaze and delight all of us. The world of the spirit is an infinite frontier yet to be explored. 

When you are living in balance, you are addressing the needs of body, mind, and spirit. You nourish the body with food, the mind with knowledge, and the spirit with faith and hope.

You know when you are feeling out of balance. You know when you are experiencing too much stress. You know when you are not eating right or getting enough sleep. You know when you are feeling lost and empty inside. You know when you are consumed with love or rage. You know when your body craves exercise, your mind seeks quiet, and your spirit needs comfort.

Stop for a moment. Listen to yourself. Your body, mind, and spirit are speaking to you. They are asking to be recognized and nourished. You know already what to do. If in doubt, seek help.

January 22, 2007; June 30, 2022

Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, March 6, 2007

Copyright 2007-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

17 Comments »

Your Own Best Friend

Once we have made the commitment to achieve a higher level of wellness, there are a few things we need to consider.

First off, making that kind of commitment could be interpreted as selfishness by the people around us.  Our spouses may not want us to go out jogging while they lay on the couch watching TV.  After all, this is an activity that has been shared for many years, and now that situation has suddenly changed.  They may feel abandoned.  They may feel threatened or afraid.  Hopefully, they will get the message and get up and join us.


Our kids may not be ready to give up mom or dad to activities that take us away from them.  They may become more demanding or attention-seeking.  On the other hand, there are many activities in which they can participate.  They, too, can achieve a higher level of wellness.

People who do not understand may try to discourage us.  Since they do not see anything wrong with themselves, they may tell us we are wasting our time.

Secondly, wellness can be costly.  Fitness center memberships and work-out gyms can cost a lot of money, especially if they go unused.  If choosing to buy organic foods, be prepared for a higher grocery bill.  Vitamins and other supplements can also lighten your wallet.

So what is the answer?

Take a moment to consider, “Who is my best friend?”

If you did not name yourself, then you need to reconsider your commitment to wellness.  In order to win on the path to wellness, you must first be your own best friend.  You must first be your own best nurse, doctor*, partner, fitness coach, mother, spiritual adviser, and cheerleader.  You must believe in yourself, your efforts, and your ability to succeed.

Make the choice.  Make the commitment.  Have faith in yourself.  Stay focused on what you are trying to achieve and stick with it.  This is not a commitment to last a day, a month, or a year.  This is a commitment to last a lifetime.

Dawn Pisturino, RN
November 2, 2006; June 29, 2022

Copyright 2006-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

*Check with your doctor before engaging in exercise that may be harmful to your health. Even yoga and simple exercises can cause injury. Make sure that herbs and supplements do not interfere with your prescribed medications. Watch out for medical scams that promise miraculous cures. Watch out for practitioners who offer questionable therapies. DO NOT GO AGAINST YOUR DOCTOR’S MEDICAL ADVICE. DO NOT STOP TAKING PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATIONS UNLESS ORDERED AND SUPERVISED BY YOUR PSYCHIATRIST. DO NOT USE STREET DRUGS. Being “your own best doctor” means taking responsibility for your health, NOT self-diagnosing, NOT self-prescribing, and NOT self-medicating. If necessary, go to the emergency room and get the help you need.

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The Path to Wellness

Wellness, from a holistic point of view, means wholeness.  We achieve wholeness when all the parts of our lives come into balance.  But how do we do this?

First, we make a choice.  Making the choice may or may not be easy.  We may genuinely enjoy smoking.  We may really like going out for Sunday dinner at the local steak house.  We may really believe that one more cup of coffee won’t hurt us.  But what is the end result that we want to achieve?

Do we want to breathe easy in our old age or be hooked up to an oxygen tank?  Do we want to maintain healthy arteries through our diet or to undergo surgical procedures to clean them out?  How many medications do we want to take — and who’s going to pay for them?  Do we really like the feeling of jitteriness that coffee brings? And oh, the heartburn!

Once we make the choice, it is all a matter of sticking with it.  Making a commitment to ourselves and our well-being goes a long way to achieving wellness.  After all, nobody else can do it for us.  The family doctor can prescribe drugs and suggest lifestyle changes, but he cannot do the exercise for us.  Neither is he going to give up his steak and ice cream for us.  He will, however, be more than happy to take care of us when we end up in the hospital.  Is that the outcome we want to achieve?

Frankly, it’s hard.  It’s hard to give up the things we love and which give us a sense of comfort when we are under stress or bored.  It’s hard to give up those little pleasures which make life worth living.  After all, isn’t that what life is all about? 

And who really wants to go out and jog five miles a day?  Who has the time?  And does it really matter whether we live to be 76 or 78?

Wellness means wholeness.  Wholeness means integration and quality of life.  It is not so much the number of years that we are trying to reach but the quality of life that we are trying to achieve.  A person may live to be 100, but if they are dragging around an oxygen tank, live in a nursing home, and have no family or friends, is that wellness?  Is that wholeness?  Is that the quality of life that we are striving to achieve?

Think about it.  Examine your life now and your possible life in the future.  What do you see?  Do you like what you see?  If not, then make a commitment to yourself to achieve a greater level of wellness in your life.
Dawn Pisturino, RN
November 2, 2006; June 28, 2022
Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, February 27, 2007

Copyright 2006-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

16 Comments »

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