restoring hope and passion to thrive!
In This Issue WELCOME.... ................................................................................................................................... 1 Your Wellbeing................................................................................................................................... 2 Why I Love The Gym ........................................................................................................................ 3 What is Autism Spectrum Disorder? ................................................................................................. 5 Healed But Not Whole ....................................................................................................................... 7 Being Grownups................................................................................................................................. 9 Until Death Us Do Part .................................................................................................................... 10 The Importance Of Parent Partnership ............................................................................................11
WELCOME.... The LIFE newsletter is produced quarterly. Our hope is to bring you stories and articles that will encourage and equip you as you pursue to live life to the fullest.â€¨ We know that life is a journey with many twists and turns. It is not always how we start that matters in the end but how we choose to live everyday with the options that are before us. We would love to hear your stories and how you are overcoming challenges to follow your purpose. Feel free to share your stories with us. All personal details will be kept confidential. Today choose to live and love, your life!
Your Wellbeing Candy Daniels Have you ever wondered about your health? With illness growing at a alarming rate in todays society amongst children and adults alike there is reason to stop and take note of how to take care of our health and wellbeing. In short our health starts to deteriorate when we are unable to or struggle to take control over our thoughts, feelings and behaviour and intern it affects how we interact with others and even how we are able to care for ourselves. The World Health Organisation definition of health is “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” So, in essence a person can have a disease/illness/condition/disability but be healthy. So, how does a person achieve complete wellbeing? I believe if starts with being at rest. I often hear people say that they struggle to have a good nights sleep, so there is no rest. People are constantly eating on the go, so there is no stoping to enjoy the meal or for digestion to run its proper course. No time for exercise or valuable movement to keep the body fit. The days are shorter, so there is no time for valuable social interactions, yet the days are longer to cram in busyness. Everyone is busy at an alarming rate with no time for stoping to be purposeful or productive. So, what is the rush that keeps us going but never achieving the outcomes we possibly desire? I would say that most often it is that we haven’t made time, we are not taking time to think things through clearly and thus we are unsure of our capability and or capacity. We are trying to please everyone but unable to care for or respect self. This is my simple rule for maintaining rest; physically, mentally, spiritually and socially • Honour your physical body • Observe your thinking • Purposeful in all things, especially prayer • Establish time for healthy relationships Its your wellbeing and you are responsible for how well you take care of yourself. Essentially, the respect you have for yourself begins with how well you care and take care of yourself.
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Why I Love The Gym Trudy Buchanan With so many fad diets, discussions around health and super foods and lifestyle changes - it’s hard to know what’s good for us anymore! There are many benefits to exercise. With more sedentary lifestyle and less incidental exercise taking place, it requires a little more intentionality to pull it off. My motivation comes and goes depending on the goals I have set, my mood, amount of sleep and suchlike. Research and my personal experience suggest the importance and benefits of exercise. As I’ve got older excuses are easier to find, sore knees and back, fatigued but exercise has become like brushing my teeth it’s a hygiene factor and crucial for my wellbeing and health. These are the reasons why I love the gym: 1. It reduces stress - Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress! 2. Boost happy chemicals - Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed. 3. Improve self-confidence - On a very basic level, physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image. Regardless of weight, size, gender, or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person's perception of their capabilities. 4. Enjoy the great outdoors - Outdoor bootcamp is one of my favs. Find an outdoor workout that fits your style, whether it’s rock-climbing, hiking, renting a canoe, or just taking a jog in the park. The Vitamin D acquired from soaking up the sun can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms. 5. Prevents cognitive decline - As ageing and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells, the head actually shrinks, losing many important brain functions in the process. Exercise and a healthy diet can’t “cure” Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the LIFE Volume 6, Issue 2
brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45. Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning. 6. Alleviates anxiety - Jumping on the track or treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety sensitivity. 7. Sharpens memory - Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learning. 8. Prevents disease - People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers as well as strengthening bones and muscles. 9. Taps into creativity - Next time you need a burst of creative thinking, go for a long walk or run to refresh the body and the brain at the same time. 10. Inspire and meet others - Studies show that most people perform better on aerobic tests when paired up with a workout buddy. Even fitness beginners can inspire each other to push harder during a session, so find a workout buddy and get moving! Current recommendations for 19-64 years old (Individual physical and mental capabilities should be considered when interpreting the guidelines) 1. Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2Â˝ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. 2. Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity. 3. Adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week. 4. All adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods. Thereâ€™s a plethora of options for exercising so look around and find something that suits you and your lifestyle and get into it!! LIFE Volume 6, Issue 2
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What is Autism Spectrum Disorder? Sam Brown To understand what Autism Spectrum Disorder is, or ASD as it is commonly referred to these days, perhaps it would be easier to start by clarifying what it is not! Autism is not a disease, and as such it can not be ‘cured’. ASD is now understood to be a neurobiological disorder that usually effects the social and communication areas of the brain, often resulting in repetitive behaviours, restricted interests and impairments to social communication. The severity of symptoms and their impact on functioning, differ for every individual who has ASD, which is why it is classified on a spectrum, and although it is not ‘curable’ it is treatable. But, just as every person with ASD is different and has varying degrees of behavioural and learning deficits, there is no one strategy or intervention that will work for everyone. Under the new 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders produced by the American Psychiatric Association [APA], Autism is no longer defined as a number of separate disorders on one spectrum. Previously, Autism Spectrum Disorders included Autism Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Development Disorders, but the new classification lists ASD as a singular disorder with varying levels of severity. Autism is not an epidemic. Although it may seem like it is at times, given the increase in diagnosed cases in the past 10-20 years, this increased prevalence can be attributed to a number of factors, including major advances in diagnostic tools, and breakthroughs in scientific and medical research. Theses advances have allowed for earlier, and later, and more accurate diagnoses. Previously, many children were not being diagnosed with Autism until they reached schooling age, or at the earliest around the age of 2, when significant differences or deficiencies in learning capabilities and growth markers become distinguishable. Advances in technology and research have meant that children can now be diagnosed with ASD traits as early as 6 months. There are also many adolescents and adults who have grown up not realising that the reason they have always felt ‘different’ has been because they were never formally diagnosed LIFE Volume 6, Issue 2
on the spectrum. Not all people with ASD have language and speech deficiencies, or low intelligence. In fact there are many people with ASD who have normal IQ scores and/or particular savant skills, but struggle with social relationships, understanding others or ‘fitting in’, and yet manage to grow up, get good jobs and function well in society. The growing awareness of what the symptoms of ASD look like, how it effects different people, and what causes it, has meant that the reality of its prevalence is finally being more fully recognised. Autism is not caused by the MMR vaccine, or ‘refrigerator mothers’. In the early days of understanding, the term ‘refrigerator mother’ was often given as a cause for Autism, because it was believed that the children with Autism had social and relationship issues as a result of cold, unloving parents who did not socialise them properly. The fact that ASD has been proven to be a neurobiological condition means that this myth can be busted once and for all, along with that of the measles-mumps-rubella [MMR] vaccine, which has been completely disproved. Although there is still much more research and investigation to be done, it is now believed that around 20% of ASD cases can be linked to genetic factors, involving hundreds of genes. There is also some evidence for environmental factors, including in-utero exposure to infections and neurotoxicants. Taking these factors into account, and given the heterogeneous nature of how ASD impacts of each individual, it seems highly likely that the explanations and causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder may well be just as complex. For further reading: - Anagnostou, et al. (2014). Autism spectrum disorder: advances in evidencebased practice. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 509 - 519.
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Healed But Not Whole Candy Daniels Over the I have shared some of my journey and I am sure you would have gathered that I have some physical restrictions due to pain in my body. It is the cause of an auto immune disorder. A disorder is the breakdown or the disruption to the functioning of the body. I was not born with it, rather it made a grand entrance into my life one day without any invitation. First it was the feeling of being tired and then before long came the pain. Eventually after 18months of seeing every possible specialist and physician, I was diagnosed. By this time it was a relief, it wasn’t imagined and someone understood the pain and more than all of that the pain that caused my body to barley function on a daily level had a name. I was told by my specialist that things would get worse as time went on and that there was no cure. He explained that I was tired because of the pain and the pain would cause me to get even more tired, yet it would be important to have regular exercise and rest. The treatment plan would involve medication that would slow my immune system and regular blood test to ensure the medications were not causing adverse issues to my organs. I was told my immune system would be weak and to stay away from anyone who was sick (contagious). I am a Bible believing, Jesus focused Christian. I understand that this is not everyones view or faith in life but this is mine and my faith has been the one thing that has been consistent and of assurance all my life. The reason I am sharing this with you is because over the last month I have had people ask me questions about my pain and my faith. One person who saw me when I could barley stand a few years ago saw me the other day and looked at me and said ‘how did you get better, have you been healed?’ My response “yes I am healed but not whole yet”. We had a short discussion about my journey since I had seen them last etc In case you are interested this is the short version. I can tell you the very day the unbearable pain made its grand entrance into my physical life. On that morning, all I had the ability to do was call on the one name that I knew was with me - Jesus. At that moment the peace that came over me was and till today is incredible. The Bible calls it the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). From that moment I did go through 18 months of hospital visits, CT’s, MRI’s and many other exhausting experiencers but what I had was the peace of God. I had encountered God as a young girl and for me no encounter can out do the best or worst experience. LIFE Volume 6, Issue 2
Gods peace gave me healing of mind, soul and spirit and the healing power of Jesus has continued to penetrate into my body over the years very slowly; I am waiting for it to be completely whole and look forward to that day. Just within that initial first dreadful week, I was knocked down with pain, I had been transferred from one hospital to another and no one knew what was wrong. I then realised; I had two options. I was either going to give up who I enjoyed being (a wife, mother, counsellor…) and wait and depend on science. For with medicine often symptoms, infirmities or pain is managed to give normality to life. My other option was that I was going to wake up each morning trust in the God who knows all and take one step at a time walking in His Strength and counting on the power of the Holy Spirit to keep going. My options didn’t seem like much and it was by no means easy choosing. Yet, before me was living life in and with pain or giving up what I loved because of pain. I choose to walk in Gods strength, to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit and to keep my eyes on Jesus so that I can pursue the things that I am passionate about; assisting people to live life to the fullest despite the circumstances that surround them. I look forward to the day when I am whole, when I don’t have to think about daily medications, have regular blood test, walk without having to think too much about how far to push my body, knowing how much is enough rest for me….. It’s been eight long years, I have done things that I was told I wouldn’t be able to do. I have not been on daily pain medications for years, the doctors have reduced my auto immune medication dose to a quarter of what I started (I was on the highest possible till about 18 months ago), I am still dreaming and doing the things I love doing. I am all these things because Jesus has healed me although I am not whole as yet. I was never content with normal, I wanted abundance of life; I wanted to thrive. I am a work in progress, walking one day at a time enjoying and never taking life for granted.
Fruit is a sign of hope, possibilities & life. Regardless of the conditions or seasons of life we can choose life, choose to dream, choose to live!
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Being Grownups Sam Brown I went to a wedding recently; a lovely wedding of two beautiful friends, but whilst all the grown ups were eating, and drinking, and chatting about grown up things, this sweet little pumpkin was having the time of her life, spinning around in endless circles, in her sparkly white party dress, with her dirty blackened feet, and squeals of delight emanating from her frame. I couldn't take my eyes off her, or the smile off my face. Every time she fell over she would kick her feet up in the air, lie there for a moment and laugh, then pick herself up off the floor and start all over again. She reminded me so much of me as a kid, "always got your backside in the air" my Dad would say! And as I sat there watching her, I wished, just was a moment, that I could be that girl again joyous, carefree, spirited, free spinning in circles, getting dizzy, having so much fun!! As adults we often get so lost in the seriousness of life and responsibility! I hope we can all remember to stop every now and then, put down the burdens of being grownups, and do a few emphatic spins in our sparkly white party dresses!!
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Until Death Us Do Part Jodie Chambers The traditional definition of marriage is the coming together of two people who pledge to love and care for each other until death they do part. In many societies marriage is a formal pledge, or a public commitment made with another person. However, it can be broken or annulled and is not always a pledge for life. There are many reasons for this to happen and I am not wanting to discuss the complexities of marriage relationships. My question is 'What of the children?' Children are traditionally born into a loving couple relationship. They grow and experience this relationship first hand. The child has the privilege of being part of this intimate union and inner sanctum. In fact, they are the product and representation of the intimate love two people in marriage share. You are their example of what love is. So what happens to the child when this union is broken? The child may now enter what is known as a blended family. The child can be told they have a new mum or dad, or perhaps a step mum or dad, whom they are expected to love, or at least like, perhaps some new siblings to get along with, as well as a new place to call home .... for at least some of the week. Prior to these new changes - of which they have very little say or understanding - the child's only example of relationship is that which they experience from their parents. They feel part of their parents and have their little idiosyncrasies mirrored to them from these people. Their likes and dislikes are known and perhaps encouraged. In short, they feel they belong and are accepted. Even in families where the parents may argue, generally the arguments remain between the parents and the children experience this as part of a relationship. When there is a breakdown in the relationship and the parents separate, the child can sometimes be left in limbo. They can be in shock as they may not have been aware of any problems their parents were having. You may hear them say "My parents always argue." or " my parents never argued". What they once knew as good and secure has now gone. They may be told they need to spend part of their week, or weekend, away from their home, where all their things are and their place of safety. They may now be asked to 'get along' with someone they do not know, or LIFE Volume 6, Issue 2
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have had any relationship with. This new adult doesn't understand their little idiosyncrasies so the child may begin to feel disconnected, displaced or angry at the new arrangement within their blended family. Add to this a situation where both parents have re-partnered, perhaps even started respective families, and the child from the first relationship may start to wonder where their 'home' truly is. Adult relationships are not easy, and can be hard work. However, keep in mind that this is the place where your children start. It is with you both that they feel loved, so it is with you they want to spend time. In blended families, children can, and do, learn to love and accept new partners and siblings, however, it is with their own mum or dad that they want to spend time. It is with their own siblings that they want to be with. This is not because they are selfish or trying to make things difficult in the new relationships, it is because they feel known by you, their parent. You are their first love and their first relationship, you are where their story begins.
The Importance Of Parent Partnership Lisa Dumicich Parent Partnership is so important to your child's education, parents working together with schools rather than against is one of the single most important things you can do for your child's education. The idea that parents are responsible for the education of their child and answerable to God for how they raised the children that He gave them is foundational to education as a Christian parent. I see every day how beneficial it is for children to have their parents in partnership with their school and teachers. Research is now catching up with the Biblical Principles we have known all along that parent partnership significantly improves educational outcomes and also impacts children outside of school as well. Partnership is not just about volunteering at school (although we do love our parent volunteers!) as we understand that many parents work, but it is about supporting what is happening in the classroom at home and placing value on education. LIFE Volume 6, Issue 2
The following adapted from http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family- articles/article/ 754-5- reasons-to-get-involved shows just some of the great outcomes from a strong Home/School partnership 1. Higher grades - Children whose parents partner in their education get better grades and have higher test scores. And the more parents are involved, the more their children seem to benefit. A study of parents highly involved in the educational process showed that their children were more likely to improve in reading and maths. 2. Better behaviour - Children develop better social skills and show improved behaviour when their parents are involved at school. Studies have also shown that children are less likely to truant, less disruptive in class, and more likely to do their homework when their parents are involved. 3. Improved education - Research shows that parent partnership can help improve the quality of schools, raise teacher morale, and improve a schoolâ€™s reputation in the community. Partnership pays off in the long term, too: Children stay in school longer and are more likely to continue their education after high school. 4. Increased confidence - When students feel supported at home and school, they develop more positive attitudes about school, have more self-confidence, and place a higher priority on academic achievement. 5. Parents benefit, too - When parents partner in their childrenâ€™s education, they become more comfortable in the school, gain confidence in their parenting skills, and feel more capable of helping their children learn. Theyâ€™re also more likely to continue their own education. So in this day where there is increasing pressure to rush to the defence of children rather than working with schools, lets try and be counter cultural and form great partnerships with your child's teachers and school and reap the God given benefits.
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Articles about wellbeing - mind, body & spirit to restore hope & passion to thrive.