Maintaining our Balance

This blog is not political, and I want to assure everyone that I respect all views. I decided to address the deep personal stress we are experiencing because of the US’ constant political controversy. Living at a time filled with fear for our health and the deep political split that clouds our future make our lives painful and difficult.

Therefore, it is more important than ever to maintain our balance and well-being, as well as fighting the coronavirus. As a senior with a depressed immune system, I realize how truly important this is, although it creates a lonelier life. Having to tell friends that I can only see them if they wear a mask, observe social distancing, and disinfect their hands is not comfortable, but in my case, a must. I don’t want to fall ill, and even more, I want to avoid at all costs exposing people around me to the danger. I always hope that love will prevail and that my friends will understand. Yes, the pandemic has shaken things up, but it has also opened doors to spending more time with my husband, reading more extensively, and resting comfortably when the need presents itself. As long as we keep an open mind, things will fall into place, and life will be good.

If the election shook up your world, try to sit back and look at it closely and objectively. You cannot change what is happening but can trust the legal process and find peace within you. Listen to the news if you wish, but don’t allow it to shake you up and risk forfeiting your interior well-being.

What else can we do about maintaining our balance when the world around us is in turmoil? Since we cannot change occurrences outside of us, the easiest and fastest way is to evaluate how we look at things and what we think and feel about them. Keeping an open mind and heart filled with compassion and empathy helps tremendously. I see a transition benefitting all American people and hopefully allowing the active participants to find compromises and solutions. May the good for all prevail.

In these difficult times, I focus on the quality of life I have left and strive to stay balanced. Every day is a gift, as I look at it, and I endeavor to find joy, no matter what. It Is not always easy, and my lack of energy compels me to choose where I use my remaining strength.

My recommendation is that spending more time doing enjoyable and uplifting activities will permit us to nourish our emotional being and to enjoy life more, no matter how challenging things become. We have a stream of well-being flowing through us that is always available; we simply have to tap into it.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Found of NotJustCooking.com

 

Mind and Body

Recently I was challenged by an abrupt hospitalization due to severe and intolerable spleen pain. Before I knew what was happening, I was in the hospital emergency room, then transported to a patient room with numerous special teams taking care of me. High doses of intravenous pain medication took the pain away like a dream but left me numb and out of touch. I knew this was only temporary, and that the final regiment would be effective and comfortable. The most important thing then was that the pain was gone.

But I have never felt so strange in my life. It felt like my physical and spiritual body were separated. And the question popped into my mind: “why would people drug themselves, is this what they are looking for”? Sure, problems disappear, and an artificial balance is created, but feelings disappear as well, and isn’t that what allows a human being to enjoy pleasures, feelings, and to grow? Lots of questions went through my mind during that short period of time, and I feel grateful and in awe of the complexity of our mind and body. Here I was crippled with pain and feeling sorry for myself, then I go through a period of complete pain-free detachment, and finally, my whole being comes together again. The image of a dog shaking wildly and bringing all the hair back in place again, that’s in a way how I felt. And it was a heavy shaking!

I am nearly back to my old self, pain-free I would like to point out, and I am grateful and delighted. I am still struggling with some of the drug effects, but they are disappearing rapidly. The doctors at the Mayo did an awesome job, and I am grateful for my blessings; doctors who can perform such miracles are mind-boggling and my gratitude is deep.

The mind and body connection is a miracle. Treat it with respect and be grateful for the blessings it provides. This experience in my life is difficult to describe, but hopefully, I was able to give you a glimpse. It will always be at the forefront of my mind. It made me clearly aware of the need to keep a harmonious relationship between the two so we can enjoy life to the fullest.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

A Special Day

Seventy-six years ago, a little girl was born into the ravaging final stage of WWII. Three months later, her father died in a massive bombing attack, and then after a few weeks, the house burned down in another assault by allied bombers, burying her under the rubble. Her mother dug her out and tried to save the baby’s eyes using her breast milk since no water was available. A rough beginning indeed, and that little girl was me.

It has been a long and diversified journey since then. I experienced incredible spiritual encounters, painful losses, stressful family situations, two immigrations, a successful career, exotic travel, and a more even and exciting life with my husband for the last 38 years.

Looking back at my life and considering the serious health condition I am dealing with, my birthday this year felt like the closing of a circle. I felt compelled to ponder where I stood in my life at this time and came to the conclusion that I am in peace. Most of my life lessons have been absorbed, and I can honestly say that I am ready to accept whatever is waiting for me. Not everything has been solved to my satisfaction, but I cannot change people. The only thing I can do is love them from far away and hope that someday they will open up enough to feel my love.

I have been blessed with many loving and caring friends, and my life is filled with happiness. Please do not think that this is a goodbye note, I still have some living to do, but my birthday this year brought clarity to me which I wanted to share.

Life is a gift, and being close to the end of mine, I am filled with appreciation. I know that some of the struggles and challenges made me grow to the person I have become. I am grateful for the opportunities and will keep on with my efforts to become a better and more fulfilled person. My birthday has always been connected to a painful loss in my younger years, and I understand loss so much better since I have lived it myself. We all feel in different ways, and I am not so presumptuous to think that I am an expert about loss and know how others think and feel. I am talking about the hole and the void loss creates and the resulting experience we carry with us throughout our whole life. This is true for most of our emotions, and the more I can feel, the humbler I become.

My birthday this year was a special day. I’ll travel this memory lane often and it will give me strength and joy during the coming year.

Enjoy every day to the fullest and be happy.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

A Kind and Loving Soul

During my 50 years living with Yorkies, four little girls, and now our first boy, I have been blessed to learn a lot from my furry companions. Each one has shown unique personality traits, and I loved all of them deeply. Romeo, our present little boy, is an extraordinary creature, and he demonstrates it every day. I often ask myself who supposedly is the “evolved” being, and I humbly admit that Romeo teaches me lessons of love, tolerance, joy, and patience. He has been a guiding light in my life, and every day with him is a gift I truly appreciate and cherish.

Does he wear a mask? No, he doesn’t, but I am sure he wouldn’t mind if I would put one on his nose. Quarantine is not a big deal for him, as long as his mommy and daddy share it with him. If he could talk, he would most likely ask what is the big deal, since we are living with people we love, in a place we enjoy, savoring fabulous food and pursuing our hobbies?

Reading and writing are two of my favorite pastimes, and I enjoy learning about the different ways people accommodate the pandemic and its restrictions. One thing is evident: the more we complain, the worse we feel, but the more we focus on the positive, the better we fare. Somehow our little Romeo does this naturally and lives from moment to moment, enjoying his life to the fullest. He doesn’t allow moments of distress, like a scary noise from a smoke detector, or a loud clasp of thunder, to affect the rest of his day. He looks for comfort, cuddles in his mommy’s or daddy’s arms, and when the noise is gone, he is ready to enjoy the day again. That defines “living in the moment.”

Life is simple for Romeo, and I try to adapt his outlook into my life. When I am in pain, Romeo is distressed, wondering what he could do for me; and then he goes into his toy box and brings me his favorite toy. Could life be so uncomplicated and love more unconditional?

I believe that we can live lives focused on pleasant experiences when surrounded by kind and empathetic people. Of course, there will be moments of tension, but we do not have to stay there longer than required to resolve them. Romeo doesn’t think he has to like every person and to spend time with them. He is always pleasant and says hello, but if someone is not what he considers loveable, he takes his distance. Most people don’t realize it, but he maintains harmony in his immediate surroundings and successfully eliminates any negative impact. Life doesn’t have to include a series of unpleasant or stressful events. We can choose, like Romeo, and we can do it in a pleasant and stress-free way.

Having had more time to watch our little Romeo during this pandemic, I concluded that he is a guru, a gentle soul teaching love, kindness, and empathy, with an attentive and grateful student in me.

There are many ways to learn, and sometimes life’s lessons come from surprising sources.

Silvia Coggin,
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

Life is Good

Yes, life is good as long as we allow positive and beneficial thoughts to vibrate within us. There are times we have to work on it, and consciously invite positivity into our lives, but hanging on to negative thoughts and feelings is not the way to live a happy life.

Every morning I tell myself that life is good, and I bless our little Yorkie Romeo, who is vital to my mental health. He cuddles and distributes kisses, looks lovingly at me when I am in pain, or do not feel well. He and I share our bed and feeling that warm little body pressed next to me brings pure bliss. I believe our furry friends play an essential role in our lives. Romeo is a big part of my being able to say life is good, despite advanced cancer and its complications. He continually brings joy, happiness, and laughter into my life.

My husband, Steve, is another factor in my endeavor to remain positive about life. He helps when he can. He wanted a slide digitizer for Father’s Day, and now we are traveling down memory lane, providing us with much joy. I look at the slides from many years ago (we started with our Honeymoon) and count my blessings. I tell myself that life is good as long as I focus on what I have and not what I have lost.

Having a progressive and incurable disease could be such a natural invitation to slide down the slope and start feeling sorry for myself. There are times when it takes energy and strength to keep a positive outlook. When that happens, I tell myself that life is good, no matter what, and it brings me back into alignment. I can also look around and appreciate my husband, little Romeo, loving friends, a beautiful and comfortable home, and medical care that allows me to function and control my pain. And now, with the slide converter, I have another avenue for joy and positivity open to me.

If you are stuck where you don’t like to be, change it. Visualize what would bring you happiness, and then dwell there until the dark clouds lift.

Life is good. Let us open our eyes and allow the blessings in.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

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