Friday, September 11, 2015
More and more we're finding that people are being stricken with devastating illnesses like cancer, inflammatory diseases, and other debilitating illnesses. Research shows that stress hormones such as cortisol eat away at your immune system and then to add insult to injury we ingest toxins that compromise our bodies even further. Most of these illnesses are preventible when we take a look at our lifestyle and environment. I lost my father when he was 54 (my age now) and my mom at 67. Both were far too young and the deaths could have been altered if they would have played by the motto: Heal thy self. When we start evaluating our life choices and our priorities we can see that we only have one life to lead and that life should have a quality of life that will creates a healthy self. We need our minds, bodies and spirits to view life differently. Positive outlooks are the key. My son died April 19, 2013. The devastating and unsuspecting blow caused me to stop caring about myself. I was so consumed in grief that I simply did not care if I lived or died. I gave up my practice as a therapist because I didn't want to deal with other people's pain when I had so much of my own. Parenting is a huge job and most of us want to do it right so we give too much. Being exhausted wears down the immune system and allows for disease to show up. We become tense where our blood vessels don't operate well and our digestive track gets all whacked out. They call it dis-ease for a reason. What I want you all to do today and consider what you are role modeling to your children. Do you wish for them to learn that life is about sacrifice, exhaustion, resentment and dull? If not, role model and heal-thy self and show them what a healthy self looks like. Take care of yourself for just 15 minutes a day by escaping: do yoga, meditate, breathe, do acupuncture, walk, watch a funny movie, read a couple of pages in an interesting book or get a massage.
Just over 2 1/2 years ago my son, Katlin, died unexpectedly. He was a poet, musician and song writer. At the age of 14 he wrote a poem for the fallen heroes who gave their lives to save others. Parents make the mistake of believing their children will outlive them. This wasn't the case for me and even some of my other friends who will never get to see their children again in this lifetime. I will say however that I have the gift of my son's poetry to keep his memory alive. If you haven't said so recently, please take a moment to remind your children that you love them; always cherish their innocence and dare them to dream.
Here is his poem.
Here is his poem.
A tribute to the 9/11 firefighter who lost their lives
Hero's are the ones who searched through the dust.
Hero's are the ones we know we can trust.
Hero's are the ones who broke down and cried.
Because they couldn't save any more lives.
Hero's are the ones that God has sent.
To save the heart of America on this tragic event.
People died but the hero's tried.
The Angels crying at their side.
Hero's died too but with a cause.
To save lives and then be a servant to God.
You should know the hero's are in a better place.
Because of their tremendous bravery and grace.
Katlin Mykel Shaw
Friday, April 17, 2015
Our perceptions determine outcomes, as real events aren’t really real. Instead they are our subjective thoughts and attitudes constructed to make sense of it all. Our memory of these events dictates how we interpret and respond to our environment. The beauty of our minds is that we have a choice on how to view what we see: we can look at our hard times as irritating and bad or we can view them as valuable and necessary. Take the making of a pearl for example. Oysters, like Alchemists, transform ordinary objects into precious things to feast our eyes upon. If not for the pain and discomfort the oysters must endure caused by the irritating sands festering within, this precious jewel would not exist. If we viewed our troubling experiences from this vantage point, we could move forward freely and without reservation, as our pain does not have to define us but rather it can refine us. When we allow ourselves the opportunity to embrace and learn from the lessons presented to us, we can perceive our circumstances differently. The universe whether it be God or another higher power offers opportunities to experience what is necessary to find our authentic purpose. Otherwise, we’re lost with no direction or intent. April 19th marks two years since my son’s tragic passing. The insurmountable pain has to mean something—it has a purpose—but what?
Although I haven’t quite grasped the lesson, I tell myself I must trust and have faith. I have to patiently look for the signs, which give me direction and permission to move forward safely. I have endured tremendous pain over my lifetime but this loss has by far been my greatest. What I know is my past has given me the ability to help others through difficult times and this time probably isn’t any different. Everything happens the way it’s supposed to and although I’m still confused I find comfort in my conviction and trust my experience is meant to serve a greater purpose other than myself. My goal is to celebrate my son’s life rather than mourn his death, as his life is a gift. Every part of who I am is based on loving him and because love doesn’t die, I must find the perseverance to continue honoring who we both are together.
Originally, I wrote a memoir entitled, “Sparrows in a Hurricane” to celebrate our surviving horrific tragedies. We had a happy ending. The brevity of time together should not be my focus but rather embracing the love that I feel for the opportunity and privilege to raise my son.
Rest in Peace Bubby