Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Most of us have been trained to work hard. If we are not working hard, we have been programmed to feel guilty about not working hard. Ever heard someone called lazy because they weren’t working hard enough?
Hard work has held the promise of reward, but there is a downside if we find ourselves not enjoying the living of it all. If balance between work and life outside of work is not maintained, your well-being can suffer, harming your peace of mind, physical health, and your relationships.
Even if you love your work, thrive on it, and can do it all day and into the night, it is important to take some time to rest and create a balance. Stop, reflect, restore, and revitalize. Your relationships need attention, your spirit needs nurturing, your body needs care, and your mind needs some time off. If these are neglected, is there any amount of success that can make up for their loss?
I think it is important to work at something you love, or at least like. Simultaneously, it is important to pay attention to your inner world. This helps you maintain a healthy balance. There are 10 simple things you can do each day to aid you in this worthy endeavor. I practice them myself and hope you will join me.
1. Inhale with awareness.
2. Walk in nature, even for just 10 minutes. Aim for 30.
3. Sit in silence and still your mind for at least 10 minutes each day.
4. Notice if you are thirsty, hungry, tired. What do you do about it?
5. While eating, slow down and give your full attention.
6. Avoid people who consume your energy.
7. Embrace people who accept and support your endeavors.
8. Regard the beauty of your surroundings.
9. Appreciate the freedom and ability to work or establish a business of your own.
10. Exhale completely.
Dr. Christina Grant is a holistic healer and spiritual counselor who works in person and by phone. She has helped hundreds of people attain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being through personal transformation. Her writing is published nationwide. She is co-author of Eight Minute Muse and is completing a book with a fresh perspective on women’s health. To learn more see her website www.christinagrant.com and blog http://christinagrant.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Healthy means having a good health history with no serious illness, no addiction issues, no history of anxiety or depression, and no eating disorders. But it goes beyond the health of the egg donor herself. It also means no one in her immediate family has any of these issues. There should also be no cancer in her immediate family. While it is not unusual for a grandparent to have cancer late in life, it is alarming to intended parents to see cancer in the immediate family, especially with her mother or father, particularly those occurring before the age of 40. After the age of 40, while it still may be worrisome to many intended parents, it is not as likely to be of a hereditary nature. Other types of cancer, such as breast cancer on the maternal side, is more likely to be a hereditary issue if it occurs before the age of 40.
Adult onset diabetes in the donor’s grandparents doesn’t tend to be a big concern but juvenile diabetes in the donor’s immediate family is a major concern due to hereditary factors. Another major concern among intended parents is mental illness and addiction. Alcoholism in a grandparent is not necessarily a huge issue and is fairly common. What is of greater concern is seeing a pattern of addiction in the donor’s family. If the grandfather was an alcoholic, and so was the uncle on the same side of the family, that indicates there could be a pattern of addiction, which is a hereditary issue. If the donor’s parents have ever struggled with addiction, that is also a huge red flag for intended parents, and they are unlikely to ever choose that donor. The same is true of any mental health issues in the family such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia. Unfortunately, there is a strong hereditary factor for all of these mental health issues.
I realize that all of these things are not terribly unusual. It happens in the best of families. In fact, many intended parents may have these same issues within their own genetic families. But if there were a choice to avoid serious health issues, mental health issues, and addiction, all of which have genetic components, wouldn’t you want to avoid them too?
It is often difficult for intended parents to truly assess how bright an egg donor candidate may be. But intelligence is a concern for most intended parents that I work with. Most of my clients are well-educated, having attended college and in most cases, graduate school. They have worked hard and truly value intelligence and drive, and are hoping to find these characteristics in an egg donor. They want to see a spark of intelligence that will help them relate to the donor and feel like this is someone they could like, someone who could fit into their family. With barely more than a few pages of information and a few pictures, intended parents have to make one of the most difficult decisions of their life. One of the most important aspects of this is to see if the donor has attended college. For the most part, most of my clients want to see a BS or a BA; some will consider an AA if the donor seems to have drive, but many really would like to see more.
The jury is still out as to intelligence being nurture or nature. Intended parents know that they can nurture, but will their child feel like they fit into a family of very bright people if the answer is nature? That is why intended parents want to see demonstrated intelligence. Intended parents are hoping to find someone that will remind them of themselves. These are people who have excelled in academics and value that drive in others. If they had the opportunity to get to know these egg donors personally, they might not care what kind of degree they have because they would already know the quality individual that they are, but that is not the case. All they have are a few pages of a donor profile.
Beyond health and intelligence, intended parents like to see wholesome girls. They are often trying to either see themselves or visualizing a future daughter. They don’t like to see egg donor candidates who look like they are trying to seduce the camera or worse yet, their husbands. They want the donor to look like a nice girl they could take home for a family dinner, not someone who would drink too much and wind up dancing on the table. Again, what they want is someone they can relate to, who will fit into their family.
This all brings me to my final point; first impressions count, and when it comes to donors, it may be all that you have to get the intended parents’ attention. If intended parents don’t find an egg donor visually appealing, they will not look any deeper. There are some agencies that are very good at marketing their donors so there are things that you can do to present the donor at her best. Everyone has good hair days and bad hair days; just don’t use those bad hair day pictures. Choose the pictures that show your donor at her best. You don’t have to use every picture she sends you just because she sent it, and if the pictures she provides are not very good, take the time to shoot some pictures when you meet her. If photography is not your forte, send the donor to a studio or hire a photographer to take a few good shots for your site. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Our system of medicine is excellent in emergencies and immediate life-saving procedures. If there is an emergency, I want conventionally-trained doctors on my case. However, beyond emergencies, there is nothing done to heal the whole person or address the root cause of an ailment. We are separated into little parts, our humanity cast aside. The incredible power and influence of the mind, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions to make us sick, and help us heal, is ignored.
When we arrive at a hospital or doctor’s office we are most often viewed as a file folder, an insurance card, and someone who needs to be dealt with as fast as possible because there are just too many other important things to do, like get on to the next patient (i.e. bring in more money), make sure to avoid being sued for malpractice, and bill insurance.
My mother is in her 70’s now. She said when she went in for a physical exam the doctor seemed puzzled that she wasn’t on any prescription drugs - not that she would be, since she is in great health, exercises daily, and eats well. I wonder why a doctor would be surprised that a 70-something person is not on a drug. Is this because almost everyone over a certain age has multiple bottles of prescription pills sitting in their cabinets?
I would like to see more holistic-oriented doctors coming out of medical school. The training for doctors is heavy on left-brain proof and scientific method, very light on heart, intuition, and what it means to be in service to others: the human side of healing. To be more holistic would require a different orientation from doctors: less devotion to needing everything proven by linear, limited science before it can be acknowledged, and more of an open mind to the mysteries and complexities of how a human being can heal; less of a need to get rich while fostering a desire to serve and be a healer.
Our training in this society is to trust science and refute intuition and inner knowing. I understand this, being trained in the system myself. It is valuable to have facts and figures we can see and know. It was drummed into me that you don’t say a word about anything unless there have been studies to back it up. But I’ve learned in practice with real, live human beings the deeper value of keeping the heart open and engaged, the mind flexible to human mysteries – to keep active within the thought, “Although I am well-trained and understand the value of science, I don’t have all the answers and am willing to entertain the improbable.”
What we now call “alternative” medicine is traditional medicine, used far longer than the very recent advent of a multi-billion dollar industry with profits on the mind. (Note that Americans seem less healthy now than ever before.) Only lately has it begun to make its way into conventional medicine. Reiki, acupuncture, massage, prayer, and energy healing are inching their way in - thankfully so - to help patients get something deeper that can touch the core of who they are, where true healing exists.
In my community there are multitudes of holistic healing resources including medical doctors that are aware of holistic practices and utilize these resources with their patients. My own conventional medical doctor is holistic in his approach. His office is quiet, comfortable, and warm. Not overwhelmed by frenzy, nor the standard tacky medical office furniture, or white, stark walls and artificial light, the environment itself puts people at ease. I appreciate that he is very conscious of the fact that a real, live, human being has sat down in the chair next to him. He sits, leans back, relaxes, looks at the patient as if he has all the time in the world to listen. And that he does, with his heart. He is gentle, wise, and not the least bit arrogant, rushed, or too busy. He never gives the impression that he is on a higher plane. Consequently, he is revered in the community – a beloved figure.
One of the ways we can foster more doctors like this is to balance the male-dominated medical system (left-brain, linear) with the ancient, traditional healing arts of the feminine (right-brain, intuitive). And that is another subject for another day, because there is much to say about it. But keep it in mind. The only reason we’ve lost our connection to extremely powerful, nurturing, effective, and deeply healing practices is because we pushed the feminine underground. She’s on her way back, not to dominate, but to integrate. Meanwhile, seek out holistic, heart-centered practices to complement your healing the next time you have the need to see your doctor. You just might find the whole medical system works better for you when you have options and various healers devoted to your well-being.
Dr. Christina Grant is a holistic healer and spiritual counselor who helps people attain well-being, greater insight, and inner peace in their lives. Her writing is published nationwide. To send a message, schedule an appointment, or sign up for her e-newsletter, go to www.christinagrant.com.