Integrated Wellness Physical Therapy, LLC


12/12/13 "Go on a giving spree"

So it seems that giving is coming up in my life everywhere, so I decided to write about giving again.  But don't be fooled, it wont be a repeat of the last blog. I have new stuff to say. So read on...

I wrote an entire blog on giving and how we can give of ourselves in so many ways that don't cost any money.  I wrote for about an hour on the many creative ways that people I know have given and how I myself have had to dig deep to find inventive ways to give during times in my life when I wasn't financially abundant.  I walked away from my computer and when I came back, it was gone.  Just gone, no where to be found....UGGGGG....Okay, Mr. Universe, maybe that wasn't the message to give this time, GOT IT, I said to myself.  Either I look at it that way or I throw my computer through the window, I choose the former. Because its that time of year, I would like to save my money for giving to others, not for buying myself a new computer.

At this point I was out of time and needed to get in the car for one of my many treks around the state of Maryland, this time to my office in Ellicott City then to pick up my daughter. I plugged in my iPhone and tuned into my current audiobook, Unlimited by Jillian Michaels. It was at the chapter about forgiveness.  Thats when I had an a-ha.... Forgiveness is FOR- GIVE- NESS. It is an act of giving. This giving stuff really was everywhere or maybe my brain is just plugged in to see it, either way I used it as a sign I should write about it.  So forgiving  is a "giving"  not in order to get something back but to be full of the same joy you get when you give an amazing gift to someone you know will knock their socks off. That thing you search for and search for and when you found it you knew that person was gonna be blown away by it. Forgiveness works the same way. 

IT IS  a gift. 

Forgiveness is generally thought of as a letting go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. An act that hurt or offended you might always remain part of your life but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you to focus on other, more positive parts of your life. Forgiveness doesn't mean that you deny the other person's responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn't minimize or justify the wrong.  You can forgive without excusing the act.  Forgiveness brings you peace.  And without the resentment you find the joy that is available and present in our life.  

Forgiveness is one of the thorniest and most difficult things we are called upon to do as humans.  It is not easy nor comfortable. It is inspiring to read stories of people who forgave all sorts of horrific traumas and we love to feel good for these people but when we are called to bring forth the forgiveness aspect of ourselves there is a lot more resistance. That's okay, we are human. (Forgive yourself....)  Its sometimes not until we let go of something that we see what kind of hold it had on us.

There are small everyday acts that we can forgive.  Those are sometimes the easiest ones to start with. Forgiveness doesn't have to be the big terrible things that have happened in your life.    Lets take that jerk behind you in traffic for example.  He is tailgating you, he is flashing his lights or he cuts you off.  You think " What the bleep, bleep, bleep" and get all sorts of angry and bent out of shape. You cant believe that he did that to you. And then you go about your day with that pent up resentment at the guy who cut you off in traffic. Meanwhile in another part of the world...he was rushing his child to the hospital because she had fallen , hit her head and is unconscious. He is in a panic and scared to death.

We cant and don't know what others have gone through in their lives. We don't have to condone what anyone has done to us but putting yourself in their shoes and understanding their life goes a long way in giving you access to forgiveness. This is the essence of compassion. I will talk about boundaries at some other point, but compassion does not mean you are a door mat. You can understand someone and how they made the choices they have that ultimately hurt you without agreeing with them or allowing them to continue to hurt you.  We are all doing the best with who we are at any given moment in time, with the tools we have. We all have hurt someone or said something that we regret, and we certainly have all been a jerk in traffic, however unintentional.  WE are human and we aren't perfect.  That means there will be people that hurt you and you will hurt others, it comes with our humanity.  You can hold onto the grudge or let it go and get on with loving. That's where the gift is in all of this anyway.

Most of the time life has great lessons to teach you. However, the lessons sometimes come wrapped in the gift wrapping of hurt and pain and sadness.  If you continue to keep the wrapping  (or refuse to forgive ) you wont ever get the real gift which is the stuff inside.  We are wired to learn from our experiences so we can apply that learning to our future.  But when an experience has hurt us or damaged us in some way, its often hard to see through the pain to catch the lesson on the other side. Forgiveness allows for you to get the nugget of wisdom from the experience because you are no longer holding onto the pain, all that's left is the gift inside the experience.

Forgiving is a gift to you and to others.  Even if you forgive someone or something and they never know, you give that gift of freedom to yourself and everyone that loves you.  Forgive the guy in traffic, your spouse for that insensitive thing they said, your boss for the lack of raise, your dog for peeing on the rug, AGAIN...Its a gift you have to keep giving, because you will keep being human and so will everyone else.

So go on a giving spree, a forgiving spree.  Tis' the season....

11/14/13 "The HIGH of Giving"

This is my first entry into my blog. I want this to be informative and educational.  Please feel free to communicate with me, I love hearing from people about their lives and their experiences.

So , in contemplating what to write about I decided to just go with what was top of mind. Christmas.... its coming and is less than 6 weeks away.  I have a little girl, who is 9, and the spirit of Christmas is alive within her and it is always such a magical time.  Its that time of the year when miracles happen and giving is a focus for so many people.  I realize that with the hectic pace of our world, we commonly get caught up in the day to day "have-to's" and are just trying to get to the end of each day.  There is nothing wrong with that, however, I believe Christmas is so magical because it causes us to stop even for a minute of two and think of what would make someone else happy.  The feeling you get when you give that someone an amazing gift, has enough positive energy to fill up many of the gas tanks on the beltway, if it were actually fuel. Wouldn't that be cool, positive energy fueling our cars. hey, just imagining...a girl can wonder, right??

So, what is it about giving that feels so good? Well, it definitely causes you to come down out of your mind and to let go of ego attachments to self.  You cant really get caught up in "its all about me" when you truly want to give something that lights up that other person. And that being said, giving does make you feel good, so you get a return on the giving.

Scientist Jorge Moll and NIH researchers have done studies (in 2006) on giving and what happens in the brain.  They found that giving activates the primal pleasure centers.  Even just the thought of giving activates those centers, causing a dumping of feel good chemicals into the body (dopamine mediated euphoria).

Recently, I came across a story about Cami Walker, a writer.  She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her thirties.  She lost the use of her hands, part of her sight, and was significantly affected by the neurologic effects of the disease.  Within two years of being diagnosed, she had quit her very high powered job and become addicted to pain medication. She became depressed and got the end of her rope. Very often, we need to suffer and get to the point of emotional and mental fatigue to be ready to alter something, to try something new... Its the cry for help a lot of have experienced...

She went to a friend of hers, a South African medicine woman who has practiced integrative medicine in San Francisco. Her prescription for Walker was unusual, to give 29 gifts in 29 days. Walker was resistant and physically ill, not being able to get out of bed on some days.  The task was daunting and seemed impossible, but she was at the end of her rope.  You will try anything when you get there, hanging on for dear life. So she set out, doing what she could.  She started by giving her time and attention to this person or a smile at that person, then she saw the energy of giving not only coming back to her in feeling better but it became contagious and the world seemed to be giving back to her with new opportunities.  So she completed all 29 days and on the 29th day she started an online challenge site, to inspire the world to get in the giving spirit. She went on to publish a best seller 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. She has since felt better and her neurologic progression halted, she still has MS but isn't suffering from its debilitating effects. And her book, blog and website have started a worldwide following of getting into the giving.  Check her out...

So giving is contagious and empowering.  It lights us up.  It alters your body, your immune system, and changes your brain chemicals. Its really like a drug...with no side effects, all natural, and something you could get addicted to it. 

So at this time of the year, I am always present to that Giving drug. I want more of it, I want to peddle it on the streets. And I want to teach my child, to get that feeling.  That "getting" can feel good but giving feels better. 

So here are some things to try, to feel that "giving high"....

1. Give a Smile for no reason.  Better yet, give it to someone that you may not want to give it to.  A real smile, just to give it not to get anything back.

2.  Leave some change somewhere. Maybe next to the cash register at the grocery store, on the ground in the parking lot (you remember finding money as a kid and it was as if the whole world was bigger and brighter), or next to the gas pump.

3. Pay for the toll of the person behind you. Be careful not to expect a wave as they go by, pay for it just because you can and just because....

4. Listen.  Listen to someone talk for what they say, not what you want to say in return. Listen from a place of gifting that person with your presence. I can't tell you what a gift this is!

5. Gift something of your own that you feel attached to.  This is really difficult.  But the letting go of it brings you more than the holding on. I promise.

6. Give the gift of apology. Saying I'm sorry, is a gift in that you are acknowledging that other persons feelings, even if you don't agree with them. Its not about who is right and who is wrong.  The apology is simply giving them the gift that they matter to you and that you are willing to set aside your "right-ness" for the sake Love being the bigger picture.

7. Give someone a laugh. There are few things in this world that compare to a hearty belly laugh.  It can change someone's day.

8. Give the world your passion.  Find out what it is, and follow it.  No one has YOUR passion for that thing you are passionate about.

The bottom line, give in whatever way you can. Give because it feels good.  Expect nothing in return and the feeling is that much bigger. It can be small and cost nothing.  And the crazy part is that when you give , you inspire others to do the same. You ignite a fire in someone else, you pass it on.

So lets get high on giving people!

Website Builder