“The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day,” the Queen tells Alice in Through the Looking Glass. The rule hints at what is too widely accepted: good always belongs to some other time.
This is Women’s Health Week. We are being encouraged to talk about our health, including becoming well-informed about evidence based health information and its effectiveness.
However, there’s an additional approach to health gaining ground in Australia which some might find surprising. An Australian study published in the British Medical Journal this June found that a significant proportion of Australian women are using prayer or spiritual healing as part of their healthcare management.
Admittedly, the latest high-tech measuring instrumentation available may not be able to pin-point how and when prayer brings about a change, mentally or physically. But the fact is many find that it often does lead to healing.Continue Reading
It’s a great time of year to spend the day preparing and slow-cooking a melt-in-the-mouth beef casserole. And then to enjoy the delicious comfort food over a long, slow meal with family and friends.
That’s “slow food,” right?
Well, no, not really. The Slow Food movement is not so much about slowly cooked and eaten food, as it is about linking the pleasure of eating well with a commitment to local communities who produce food in a sustainable way and without exploiting people or the environment. This is a progressive step, driven by a desire to be more responsible consumers.
Slow Food is just one of many groups that comprise the Slow Movement, a cultural revolution that advocates a shift toward slowing down life’s pace to allow time to re-evaluate current practices, consider local and global ramifications, take personal responsibility and make connections with people. These are aims and activities not always done at such a slow pace!Continue Reading
The four-hourly doses of morphine were such a welcome relief to the intense pain I was experiencing following major surgery. What could possibly make me give them up?
Amazingly, I found there was something that could persuade me to do so.
And that’s why, I want to share my experience with the sufferers who are being invited to break their silence about chronic pain for National Pain Week.Continue Reading
The issue of violence is prominent in our community conversations at the moment. Terrorism, drug-related violence, domestic and institutional abuse, and even road rage are insistently crying out for our attention and solutions.
Despite serious efforts over many years to prevent violence, to deal with its effects and to punish the perpetrators, there’s now general agreement that violence will continue to escalate and to propagate fear in the community until we find and treat the real causes.
Fundamental beliefs that underlie and perpetuate all kinds of violence are: that humans have an animal nature prone to competition, self-preservation and aggression;Continue Reading
I often talk about ‘love’ in my writing, and find that this word ‘love’ is the word that is most often misunderstood in the human language. We seem to want to categorise it by psychological terms, such as emotional, platonic, parental or romantic. Some just want to question its existence at all, by replacing it with its opposites – dependency, manipulation or lust.
But the very essence of us is pure, unconditional love; love for ourselves and love for each other.Continue Reading
This week’s ANZAC Day commemorations in Australia, New Zealand and in Gallipoli, Turkey, highlight the best of human conduct – servicemen’s and servicewomen’s courage, mateship, decency and willingness to lay down their lives for country and comrades in battle.
At the same time though, and in a quieter way, ANZAC Days are proving occasions to mention those who suffer trauma as a consequence of being embroiled in the devastation and brutality that go hand-in-hand with war. It is estimated that upwards of 30% of all serving Australian defence force personnel experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).Continue Reading
Four ‘trick or treaters’ knocked on our door on Halloween evening. Somewhat unprepared and surprised to experience this novelty in Australia I managed to locate a few sweet treats for each of them, and they left happily bubbling with excitement.
Was I frightened of their costumes or weird masks? Of course not. And I’m sure they didn’t believe for a moment that they’d suddenly morphed into ugly, wicked or ghoulish creatures, either.
Sometimes, though, people do put on an emotionally draining mask as they strive to feel accepted and loved. Over time they may come to accept the charade as part of themselves.
For instance, they may act out the role where they have to be the best … at everything. They can’t abide mistakes and feel it’s a badge of honour to say they’re a perfectionist. Ever in fear of failing, they may be chronic procrastinators. They don’t like themselves very much either, because they rarely live up to their own expectations.Continue Reading
It is fascinating to trace your family history back through the generations. Millions agree, considering the popularity of TV programs such as Who do you think you are?
I find it amazing that the well-known personalities who delve into the past are quite emotional about the heartbreaks, injustices and challenges experienced by their forebears, who they have only just discovered existed. On the plus side, this has led to healing in families when today’s standards and insights about race, religion, circumstances and nationality have been brought to the table.
Genealogy websites are just as popular. My cousins had traced our family tree back several generations. So, earlier this year we visited a family estate in Ireland and our namesake town in England and felt the warmth of belonging, despite never having visited before.
On the downside, shocking discoveries about forebears, such as a relative who promoted slavery, or great, great-grandparents who included criminals, prisoners, millionaires and paupers, all pepper family histories. Not to mention records of disease and mental illness resurfacing over the generations.Continue Reading