This week, I’m going to ask you all to be a little selfish. Yes, I know it may sound a bit odd coming from me, but this post isn’t going in the direction you might surmise. My goal…to insure that you’re paying attention to those things that keep you healthy—mind, body, and spirit. As some of you may know, my girlfriend Jennifer’s mom, whose name is Shirley, (lovingly known as “Mamasita”) has received some devastating news about her health. (If you’d be kind enough to send her some love/positivity, it would do wonders for her.) http://tiny.cc/efh24 It got me thinking about our health, and general well-being.
As many of us know from experience, when we aren’t feeling well, physically, or emotionally, it becomes very difficult to enjoy the things in life we most cherish. Yet, I for one, don’t pay too much attention when I’m feeling well. It’s not until something ails me that I take action. I’ve decided to pay more attention to my health ALL the time.
I know one thing for certain…we can all take better care of ourselves. Many people ignore tell-tale signs. These signals are trying to tell us that there is a problem.
I’m going to ask you to do this for me…if there’s a problem, situation, or circumstance in your world that’s adversely affecting your quality of life, take action. And I don’t mean tomorrow. Please do it now. I’ve invested a great deal of time in getting to know you all. I would consider it a personal favor if you do your best to stick around. Time to start cleaning house. Dead-end job? Stop bitching and take action! Feeling off lately? Step away from the candy bars and eat something healthy. Is there a problem with a relationship in your life? Decide today to take the first step, and have a conversation with that person.
I’ve been feeling a bit physically off lately. I took the first step, and followed the advise that I’m now giving you. I went to see the doctor. After receiving a clean bill of health, my energy level and spirit have risen, due to the fact that I no longer have to wonder, or live in fear that something might be wrong. Let this week’s post be a catalyst for action in your life. Take the initiative and make it happen.
Please don’t forget—we are surrounded by friends who truly care about us. I am one of those friends. You all contribute an important part of a greater whole to my world, as you do for many others. I don’t want that to change. Pay attention to your well-being…be pro-active. Commit to doing what needs to be done right now then follow through. I can’t stress how very important this is. And if all is right in your world, bravo! That’s the kind of good news that I love to hear.
As alway, I love your feedback, stories, and general input. Other readers also read what you have to say in these comments. Treat my blog as an open forum if you have something to share. Thank you for your continued support…take care. Take better care!
All the best, AB
You know Al, I say this a lot, but I’ll say it again: the world does truly need more of you in it. It is people like you, who think and act the way you do, that make it worth getting up and facing the world for another day. I couldn’t agree with you more. You know that I have had a lot of difficult times in my personal life lately. BUT, through all the darkness, my health, my friends and their words, have lifted me. I have a renewed sense of wellbeing, of happiness. I find I make time to enjoy the things that are important to me: running, reading, friends, life. So, I second your request that all of our wonderful friends take the time to be well, be happy and stay with us.
Also, thoughts and prayers continue to go out you and your girlfriend in this difficult time. Know that you both are on my mind every moment of every day.
Stay strong and live happy.
Lisa…as always, I soooo appreciate your kind words and support. I think it’s important for us all to realize that a small effort put forth to help others can sometimes make a world of difference. I see you doing so on a daily basis. Thank you for that, and for being such a wonderful, solid friend.
My goodness – Al, I don’t think you could have said that any better. Made me sit back from the screen and think for a few minutes. You’re 100% correct – take action, fix things that may not be working, do something about it now.
“I would consider it a personal favor if you do your best to stick around.”
Well said my friend, my best to Mamasita.
Thank you, Steve. I really appreciate the friendship that’s grown between us. You are an individual that I see constantly giving selflessly to others. You have my respect and admiration for doing so.
as always a thought provoking post. Yes. I’m stepping back and taking stock. thanks for the reminder.
Thank you for your constant friendship and support, Thea. The daily gifts of assistance you provide, to friends, and fellow writers, are recognized and greatly appreciated. Your efforts make a huge difference.
Wonderful reminder for us all. It is so easy to let our circumstances shadow our better judgment. I’ve been doing a lot of housecleaning lately, from the big things (relationship) down to the little things (giving away clothes/items that no longer serve me). Huge changes in my life have given me more room to breathe, more motivation to eat right, exercise daily. So much to be grateful for – family, friends, life. It all boils down to choices. That what is so empowering. We are not victims. It’s not what is thrown at us that defines us, it’s what we do with it that does. Ever day we can make a choice – to love or to fear.
I ask all those who I love and who love me…choose love.
WOW…exactly! This is an eloquent response that speaks to the very core of my post. Kudos to you for making these necessary adjustments, Diana. I believe others will be inspired by your lovely story.
Thank you for a heart-touching, wise post, Al. I second what Lisa said about people like you. Jennifer and Mamasita are lucky to have you. May you three share many precious loving moments in the days ahead.
It’s so easy to forget to be mindful about taking care of ourselves, to treat our bodies and minds with compassion. Thank you for the reminder.
Jeanne…your kind response fills me up. I’m so pleased that you took the time to read this week’s post. I feel very fortunate to share a friendship with you, and have enjoyed getting to know you over the past few weeks. Thanks so much!
I’ve been sitting here trying to think of how to comment. I can’t think of anything profound or inspiring to say because I think you said it in your post. So, thank you for that reminder to take care of ourselves. And I don’t think its asking us to be selfish. Sometimes we forget that by putting our own health aside we end up hurting our friends and family in the long run.
You are so right, Kaye. It easy to lose site of how much people mean to one another. By caring for ourselves, we are in turn, caring for those around us. I appreciate your visit and kind words very much, my friend.
Just wrote the “stop bitching” line on my mirror! Gonna start working out consistently, because I’ve been promising myself I would.
Alright now! Nicely done…I like your spirit. I’m so happy you visited my blog, Storm.
Al, you are the personification of kindness and compassion. My positive thoughts continue to go out to you, your GF, and her family.
Thank you so much, Eden. I’m blessed to have you as a friend. We are feeling the love.
Al – I so agree with this post!
In fact my whole 2011 has been devoted to taking action, cutting dead weight – whether it be one-sided relationships,work issues – and most importantly going after my dreams and pursuing my passions…Life is about embracing the now, living each day as if it is our last; remembering to live, laugh and love. Too many people are stuck in ruts and are too concerned with outside judgements to make the changes needed. It takes courage to say no or put yourself, your health and your passions first.
(Aside – thoughts and prayers go out to you and your girlfriend and her family at this time….May you all find the strength needed to get through this time. Remember too that it is always darkest before the dawn and that it takes a storm to create rainbows.)
Kim…I’m excited for your journey, in light of the fact that you have become proactive in making positive changes in your life. I applaud your courage…it really takes a commitment to one’s self in order to do this.
Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words too. It’s very appreciated.
Wow, I love this post, honey. Thanks so much for bringing all the love in for the Seeter. I love you!
There are so many wonderful people out there who have sent prayers and positive energy your way. You, and Mamasita are 6,000 miles away from where I sit, yet the hope and Love we all feel for both of you is focused on your hearts like a sunbeam through a magnifying glass. Give her a collective hug from all of us. Love you both.
Al, I think that you have me in mind when you wrote this post :-).
Seriously, this is such a wonderful and timely reminder to us busy and ambitious people all over the world. We are so involved with life’s demands and chores that we forget to take care of ourselves. I do, all the time.
A few months ago, after I felt breathless and nearly blacked out in a gym session, John insisted that I went a for a thorough medical check – “you have no excuse this time as I’ve already booked a Bupa Wellbeing appointment for you.” I reluctantly obliged and the Doc found a lump on my thyrold. No wonder I was feeling constantly tired but I didn’t think that anything was wrong with me. Now whatever those cells were they were removed and I’m left with a scar and a perminent scarf around my neck :-).
During my recent visit to China, soon after my arrival I felt trapped and stressed out by what I have seen and been exposed to. The noise, the contant dining and entertaining (its excess and associated wastefulness), the non-stop ‘Ganbei’/drinking, and people’s unrelenting obsession with money and so on all became too much to bear for my sensitive nerves. My mental distress very quickly led to physical illness – we Chinese believe that our emotional wellbeing is intrisically linked to our physical fitness. I was dispairing: How would I last another week in such a state?
My saving grace, again in the form of my husband, who finished his business in Beijing and Shanghai and joined me a week later. He made a decision to change our flights and flew back a few days earlier. If it was up to me, I would have sticked it out, do my duty and continue my mental ‘suffering’ as a Chinese person is supposed to, for the greater good of my family and their ‘face’. Despite living in the UK for nearly half of my life, underneath I know my obligations. Then the 20-odd years in the West has made me resent this.
Thanks, Al, for being a wonderful friend and life coach to us all – I shall definitely take action and be more ‘selfish’ from now on. I’m very grateful to the care and love my friends have shown, and it has made my world a wonderful place to be.
My thoughts and prayers are with Shirley, Jennifer and your extended family at this time. Life is a trial, testing our strength and endurance.
All the best and thanks again for a great post!
Junying…I’m so thankful that you have a kind and loving husband looking out for your best interests. I know you to be a very giving individual with a huge heart…I’m pleased that you have decided to help care for it by being good to your self. I’ve missed your friendship and kind words while you were away. It sounds like home is where you truly belong. Welcome back, my Dear, and thank you so much for your kind words, regarding the Jenn and Mamasita.
Al, I haven’t known you very long but it is so interesting that you write what is foremost in my mind, like today. Health- mine, my friends & families have all diverged the alarms are ringing a wakeup call.
My best friend, Lynn, has breast cancer, although in remission, a recurrence is likely, according to her oncologist, unfortunately her body is unable to support any additional rounds of conventional treatment. Hope springing eternal, Lynn traveled to Ecuador, and received a 6 day treatment with an indigenous holistic healer there. Upon her return, when people asked ,do you believe you’re cured? She explained “I went on this journey to be healed, no matter, what form it takes. To that point, I would say, yes.”
My friend is now, by appearances, is healthier and mentally her attitude is looking forward to each day being grateful. One day at a time.
So I am sending these hopeful loving thoughts out to you, Jennifer and her mother Mamasita. Where there is life, there is always hope. Where there is love, there is always life.
Thank you again Al, for this timely, beautifully written piece. We too, want you around for a long time too.
My best, ~Monica
Monica…it’s such a special blessing to have you and my other wonderful friends offer so much positivity to my family’s very challenging situation. A bright and hopeful outlook is essential in conquering any type of challenge we face while navigating our complicated lives. The kindness that you and so many others have offered serves to bolster our strength and renew our faith in our fellow man, and higher power. We are blessed to have wonderful people like you in our lives. Thank you so very much for your kindness.
Al, I’m so glad you were one of the first people I met when I started this journey. Without your constant positivity and welcoming nature, I probably would have given up already. Thank you for always be so kind and letting your goodness shine through!
As for me, after finishing three pieces of pizza this afternoon, I more than needed this post. It’s always in the back of my mind, but not until someone steps up and gives me a swift kick in the behind do I really pay attention to the damage I sometimes do to myself. You really know what you’re talking about!
I’m sorry that your family is going through such a difficult experience, my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Hi Steph…thank you for sending your warmth and positive spirit our way. I know how easy it is to get discouraged, and let things go. At some point, we’ve all want to walk away when it all gets to be too much. However, the beauty…the mystery of life, is that one never knows when the clouds will lift and positive change will take place.
Often, a catalyst is required to wake people from the figurative trance they somehow fall into. That’s why it’s so important to give a bit of ourselves to others when we are able. Perhaps a kind word or simple nudge to a friend, or family member, will start them on a new path, thus eliminating a more serious occurence to slap them back to reality further down the line. I truly believe that the positive energy that we put out feeds each of us, and makes our collective journeys just a little easier. I’m of the mind that it’s well worth the effort. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, and your wonderful friendship.
You and your family are very welcome. Al. Blessings to all, ~Monica
Y’know, I was just thinking along these lines when L. M. posted the link on her twitter. You’ve got points, definitely. Which reminds me, my next pay check I think I’m finally going to see a doctor about the pain I’ve had in my hip for over six months. This pain keeps me from feeling capable of so much. I think it’s time to deal with it.
I really hope things get better for your girlfriend’s mother. Getting bad news about a loved one’s health is horrible. My mother is dealing with something now that could kill her. Unfortunately, it’s not curable. Not yet, anyway.
Take care, Al! Glad to know you’re healthy! I suppose I should get a good start on that journey myself! (I have lost a good 8 lbs since coming back from my vacation, though! =D)
E. M. …I’m thrilled that my words may help you take steps in the right direction with your well-being. Congrats on slimming-down too. I really appreciate your kind words, in reference to my family’s challenging times. Thank you so much for your visit and lovely response to this week’s post.
What a sweet thought! You really are such a generous soul. =)
Thanks for the reminder!
Thank you very much for your kindness and for checking out this week’s post, India. I’m excited about your new release, Ordinary Angels. I can’t wait to read it.
Good thoughts, Al, and good advice. I’ll keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.
You are a gentleman and a wonderful friend, Larry. I’m so thankful for your support, and that of the wonderful friends in my life. Your support means the world to me and my family.
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Al, my Keem, my thoughts are with you and Jennifer.
It’s amazing to me that you can borrow some of these bad news things and turn them around like you have. Keep the good vibes flowing. You and and Jen and Jen’s mom can count on mine in your direction, too. You’re one in a billion, sir.
This is why I value your friendship so greatly, JCM. Your positive energy is felt across the miles and appreciated more than words can ever say, my friend.
Al, thank you so much for this post – it is something that resonates with me and the work I do with people in my various communities. It also touches me in a personal way as a survivor of multiple traumas. As someone who lives with several illnesses I also appreciate what you mean about taking care. In fact often times people with chronic illness can live longer and better than those who don’t, as we have to take care. We have to treasure life – ours & others and we must never stop dreaming the things we want into being. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say – and I believe that a vital part of taking care is to follow what you believe – to be in your truth and follow your passion – as you are, Al. When we step back and are ‘selfish’ it usually means that we are ready to grow and give out more – which in turn nourishes our soul, creating a healthier environment for us to live in. If we take good care of ourselves we are moving in the right direction to bring balance back to our world in these difficult times. I hope that your loved ones are well – it is so fortunate for them to have you by their side. Thanks Al, I’m so glad we’ve met.
Michelle…it’s so nice to know you care so much for others, but at the same time, make your own well-being a priority. This is very important, as you well realize. I really appreciate your kind words and greatly value your friendship. It’s wonderful to know you.