Yoga and Medicine

Dr. Ruben Mesa is a leading oncologist in the research of myeloproliferative neoplasms, and at this time he is heading a new research program on how yoga can benefit patients with these rare blood cancers. I was very intrigued by this study. The first reported results from Dr. Mesa’s research appear to be very positive.

These developments reminded me of a prediction by Krishnamurti at a workshop I attended years ago that science and spirituality will come together one day to complement each other. At that time this was not something easily accepted, but the talks Krishnamurti had with leading scientists of the time were very interesting and insightful. I strongly believed then that this will happen, and that one day the differences will become complementary and the whole will be enhanced.

I am so grateful that I have lived to see the time when a highly respected medical doctor endorses yoga as a symptom reliever and a way to feel better. It doesn’t replace medications and other essential treatments, but it helps with general well-being. And yoga doesn’t have any negative side effects! It influences your body and your mind in a positive way, and when combined with meditation and mindfulness, it will improve how you feel and enhance your life. I can only imagine what break throughs we’ll see in the coming years in the medical field, and how they will be complimented by spiritual exercises to allow the body mind connection.

Yoga is very powerful, and I was blessed to have worked with Yogi Babacar Khane, who taught three different forms of yoga. You might want to read more about it in Healthy Insights “Yoga”.

The Eastern and Western philosophies are drawing closer, and soon the day will come when they will be side-by-side fully complementing each other. I am looking forward to it.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

Creating and Cherishing Happy Memories

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day offering a wonderful opportunity for creating unforgettable memories. My step-daughter flew in for a long weekend and we spent some enchanted days together. The visit culminated on Mother’s Day with her cooking an exquisite meal and other thoughtful gestures.  She touched me deeply, and there are not enough words to express my gratitude. Our days together were filled with love and joy and gave birth to many happy memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Memories are so important. Good ones, like the ones above, bring happiness and are relived often. Hopefully you have gathered many during your life journey so you can enjoy them over and over again.

Of course, there will also be the less happy memories, filled with pain and disappointment. I don’t perceive them as “bad” memories, but as learning opportunities. They always bring personal growth. How do you remove the pain from them? I forgive myself for the role I played, then I forgive the others for theirs and replace the sadness with positive thoughts so that peace can enter my heart. You might need to practice this a little while but be patient and persevere. Our painful memories will not go away completely, you will always remember them, but they will lose their sting and will no longer hurt.

There are many memories in our lives, some are vivid, and others hide in the background. I am writing my memoires and I am astonished what pops up in my mind. There are many beautiful moments I haven’t thought about for a long time. I smile and feel happy all over again. My trip down memory lane is very rewarding and, in some cases, even cathartic. And we create new memories every day. Isn’t that an incredible gift we receive at birth and which we use our entire life?

Memories are like a treasure box. We can open the box whenever we feel that we need a positive stimulus or just a pleasant journey in our mind and heart. They are always there and ready to take us away to those happy times again. As we age, the box becomes bigger and bigger and we most likely open it more and more frequently. Being more confined at an older age doesn’t mean one’s life’s journey has to become dull and boring. Open your treasure box and relive some of the colorful moments of your life. You can feel the excitement and joy you experienced at that time all over again. Life is what you make it.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

 

 

 

Our Little Boy

It was a little over 2 years ago that we picked up our little Romeo, and he has brought us so much joy and happiness since then. Our little, inquisitive puppy grew into a handsome young man, still with the same curiosity, playfulness and love. He truly lives up to his name. You love him, he will love you back multifold. There is not one aggressive bone in his body and we feel blessed.

As you might recall, we were very concerned about taking a little boy, mostly because of his lifting the leg. Nothing wrong with it, but we wanted to paper train. Well, he is paper trained and does his duties like a little girl. There was a time during his first year when he stood on the wee-wee pad trying to lift a hind leg and asking himself: “Shouldn’t I do something with my hind leg”? And then he forgot about it.

He is the happiest little guy, and I feel much love and joy just looking at him. He is always ready to play and to give kisses, and there is never a moment when he seems sad. He is happy no matter what, with a new toy, something to eat, walking, playing, a sunbath with mommy, it doesn’t matter. Life is filled with joy for our little Romeo.

Isn’t it happiness that we all seek? Romeo is my role model, and when we get up in the morning he always makes me laugh. He is a little clown and definitely has an audience in me. Have you ever wondered what life would be like if we could be in the “zone” all the time? I believe when we stop looking outward for something or someone to bring us happiness, and realize that happiness comes from within, we get closer to our goal. One thing is certain, getting up every morning with Romeo is a blessing that leaves no space for sadness or worry.

I have started thinking about everything that makes me happy in my life several times a day. Just doing so makes me feel in peace, and I know that by doing this frequently, I will find more and more sources of happiness. Hopefully one day I will be happy all the time, as taught by Paramhansa Yogananda in his book How to Be Happy All the Time. With my health challenges it is easy to forget my blessings and the wonderful things surrounding me. Knowing this, I focus on good and positive things, and it works.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

And Life Goes On

There are many changes happening in my life, some by choice, some by necessity, but in the end, it all comes down to me and how I see my life unfolding.

Being positive is one of the choices I made a long time ago, and it has been and still is a pillar of how I live my life. It helped me tremendously over the years and is a true blessing with my present health challenge. I remind myself every day that there is nothing which cannot be improved by a positive outlook. Sometimes it takes more than just reminding myself, and then I seek help through meditation and reading. But I always get there and can again feel balanced.

We all have hurdles to overcome, and it is solely up to us how we handle them. Do we become bitter, resentful and blame others or circumstances? Or do we have hope and faith that we can overcome the obstacles? The present might be painful and disheartening, but if you look to the future with a positive attitude, you will find something which you can look forward to and which can strengthen your hope. And then you can maintain positive thoughts that move you to a better place. This is not easy. It takes courage and strength to take responsibility, to admit that in the end “the buck stops here”!

We are the only ones who can bring change, and sometimes we might not be able to, like for example in the case of an incurable health challenge. But we still have choices and can decide if we want to be a victim or a martyr, or if we want to enjoy every day to fullest as long as we can. Of course, it can be tempting to blame someone or something, but what will it achieve? Blaming doesn’t change anything, it only makes us more angry and more negative. And we miss out on the joys of our life’s journey.

I have learned that life goes on with or without me. I can be dragged along screaming and fighting, or I can be a willing participant and enjoy the ride, no matter what. After my mother died when I was 17, I lived through some difficult years, I was definitely dragged along protesting and fighting all the way. I didn’t know any better then, but I still remember how painful and stressful it all was. There was very little happiness. Thanks to the gift of spiritual teachings and teachers, who assisted me in learning how to forgive, to open my eyes and my heart, I was able to leave those negative times behind and to see the beauty of life again. I still practice these teachings and they allow me to keep my balance and positive attitude.

Enjoy life to the fullest!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

United We Stand …

Divided we fall. This expression has a long history going back to Aesop in ancient Greece and is also found in the New Testament. In modern times, its first attributed use was by a founding father, John Dickinson. He wrote in The Liberty Song, “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all, by uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!” It was published in the Boston Gazette in July 1768.

Most of us believe in this principle, and one can wonder why our country has become so divided. I am not posing a political question, but rather a philosophical one. Nothing good can be achieved through divisiveness, and although opinions may vary, an open mind and nonjudgmental attitude will go a long way. United doesn’t mean being the same, it means having a shared goal reached by different approaches.

Why can’t we live united in diversity? Since its foundation, the United States has been a beacon of hope and a dream for so many. It has been a place where one could be free and prosper. When I became a US citizen and pledged my “Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”, my heart was filled with pride and joy. I wonder what happened that people became so divisive and have no tolerance or respect for anyone who is different from them? Do they still believe in and honor this pledge? Has the core fiber of our country changed, or was this divide always bubbling under the surface? At the ceremony for my citizenship, the American melting pot was evident, and everyone was treated equally. I sat next to a Russian who couldn’t speak English, and we were surrounded by other new citizens from all over the world. They all had their dreams, and a gleam in their eyes. They were now Americans and could live the American dream!

I like to believe in the good of people, and that good prevails. I believe in the United States, my adopted country of choice, and I believe that it will again live up to its name and continue to make our founding fathers proud. We are so blessed in our country, let’s be grateful for what we have and be aware of what we could lose. Divisiveness can be a treacherous road, passions are ignited, and love and respect are ignored. History has shown us what can happen. Do we have to live it again?

United in our diversity we can achieve whatever we set out to do. Our only limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves by not having an imagination and not believing in our dreams. Our dreams and visions will always be diverse, but we can share common goals and work together to achieve them.

This has nothing to do with a political opinion but, as said above, is my philosophical view. I was hesitant to publish it as a blog but finally decided that it is time for a message of love. It is my deep belief that we are on this earth to make it better, to grow ourselves, and to let joy and happiness be our guide. Let’s embrace unity!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

 

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