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Spreading love, positivity & insight into your mental, physical well- being 1st June, 2012

Published from India

MS HEALTH NEWS Issue : 2

FOODS FOR A HEALTHY

SMILE!

Nothing works as wonderfully as plain, sugar-free yogurt to clean out those germs between your teeth. The buildup of germs or bacteria between your teeth can cause bad breath, plaque and gum disease, and the good bacteria in yogurt helps battle the bad ones. A recent study revealed that eating yogurt four or more times a week will also keep off the cavities.

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him. ;-)

Understanding and Coping With MS Flares Here's why multiple sclerosis symptoms flare and subside, and how you can deal with this cyclical pattern. Tanuja Chitnis, MD, a Boston neurologist specializing in multiple sclerosis, likens the human nervous system to a massive jumble of electrical wires. Nerves transmit messages through this vast network all over your body. To protect them from "short circuits," nerves are covered by what's called a myelin sheath, an insulating layer of protein and fat. In multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder, your immune system mistakenly attacks your own nervous system, starting with the myelin sheath. Specific symptoms — vision loss, balance issues, fatigue, numbness and tingling — will then appear depending on where the damage occurs. In addition, without the myelin, electrical signals in your nervous system can be interrupted or slowed, causing MS symptoms to flare. It is a hallmark of multiple sclerosis that the symptoms caused by faulty nerve signals ebb and flow. An acute flare is often followed by a remission, which can last from months to even years before another episode occurs. Given the cyclical nature of the condition, the course of MS is anything but predictable. Understanding an MS Flare A multiple sclerosis flare is also called an exacerbation, a relapse, or an attack. A flare can involve either the appearance of new symptoms or the reappearance of older ones. Timing is also important: To be technically classified as a “relapse," symptoms must last for 24 hours and must occur at least 30 days after your most recent flare-up. Dr. Chitnis, assistant professor of neurology and director of the Partners Pediatric MS Center at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, compares the appearance of MS symptoms to those of a stroke, saying that "while a stroke comes on in a manner of minutes, MS symptoms [generally] come on over the course of several days."

the arms and legs; vision problems, such as eye pain or blurred problems. Causes of an MS Flare While many things have been linked to multiple sclerosis flares, the exact cause of a flare can be difficult to pinpoint. "Flares can be triggered by infections, including [bladder infections]," says Chitnis. And "some evidence suggests that stress may trigger flares, but this is still controversial." One misconception regarding what increases the risk of an MS flare: vaccines. "The evidence is strong that vaccinations do not trigger flares," notes Chitnis.

Symptoms of an MS Flare MS symptoms generally vary from person to person. And this certainly holds true in the case of an MS flare. Severe fatigue is common, as are sensory problems, such as numbness and tingling in the arms and legs; vision problems, such as eye pain or blurred vision; weakness and balance difficulties; and bladder and bowel

Preventing an MS Flare Though a multiple sclerosis flare cannot be prevented entirely, avoiding things that trigger attacks can help keep them at bay, at least in the short term. Since flares are sometimes triggered by infection, it's especially important to wash your hands frequently during the cold

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2

ARTIST OF THE MONTH! "Believe what you will. That is your right. But I choose to win. I choose to fight”

Marlene Schwartz

“My art is definitely influenced by my love of the area.” Ms. Schwartz, who grew up in northern New Jersey, has been an artist since early childhood. From the start, she never confined herself to one medium, working in pastels, pen & ink, oils, and watercolors. Around 1980, Ms. Schwartz began experiencing symptoms that were diagnosed as multiple sclerosis. This did not affect her artistic pursuits. Instead, she found that the challenge of creating art while living with a chronic disease gave her a feeling of pride and selfworth. Ms. Schwartz compensates for her MS-related symptoms such as fatigue and unsteady hands by working on smaller pieces and using rulers and other devices to assist her. Relocating to southern New Jersey in 1991, Ms. Schwartz found new inspiration, and her paintings began to reflect her appreciation of the local flora, fauna, and architecture. She has won numerous awards, and her work has been exhibited in galleries and juried shows in Boston, New York City, and many local venues around Cape May County. Ms. Schwartz paints in a style that combines realism with impressionism. Her award-winning pieces are available as originals as well as limitededition digital reproductions. She also produces commissioned portraits of people, pets, and houses. She still works in different mediums, usually preferring watercolors or pastels. “Painting, for me, is truly a gift,” says Ms. Schwartz. “When I paint, it amazes me to see the beautiful images appear almost magically as I work. That's really what it's all about.” Continued from page 1 - Understanding and Coping With MS Flares.

Experts also recommend such simple tactics as drinking cranberry juice daily to help protect yourself from bladder infections. Duration of an MS Flare Flares can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your response to treatment. Sometimes, a brief flare-up of symptoms can occur and then resolve without any treatment at all. This is called a pseudoexacerbation and is not technically classified as a relapse. These pseudoexacerbations are usually brought on by increased body temperature and go away when the body cools down, sometimes in a manner of minutes.

FOR YOUR

SMILES Love involves having a cuddle on the sofa whereas marriage involves one of you sleeping on the sofa ;-)

Treatment for an MS Flare Flares can be treated with steroid medications that suppress the actions of the immune system, which helps to keep it from attacking the nervous system. This often slows the progression of a flare. But because the side effects of steroids can be serious, Chitnis says that doctors often weigh the long-term risks of steroid use against the immediate benefits of flare symptom relief. Recovering from an MS Flare Most people with MS are initially diagnosed with a form of the disease called relapsing-remitting MS. In this type of multiple sclerosis, when the attack on the myelin stops, symptoms gradually lessen. Some people will regain total functioning after flares, in others the recovery may only be partial. Rehabilitation can play an important role in regaining certain functions after flare-ups. A physical therapist, speech therapist, or occupational therapist can be useful additions to your team of health care providers to help you move forward with your life after a flare-up. Reference : Everyday Health. By Connie Brichford

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3

MS & DIET Beat the summer heat with foods!!

If you’re like me, summer months have you hiding inside to avoid the heat and the symptoms which come with MS-related heat intolerance. This year, I decided to join the fun, so I put this list together so you can get out there, too. The list is in no way comprehensive, but it does contain things that have worked for me as well as some suggestions sent to me by readers.

Gooseberry (Amla)

Eat enough and this gooseberry might give you goosebumps instead of sweat stains. "Not only is amla a great refresher, it'll also reverse the ageing effects of the strong Indian sun and give you added stamina for gym sessions," "It strengthens the heart, hair and different glands in the body.

Apricot

If you're prone to skin breakouts or acne in the summer, apricot's your man.. err fruit. "They provide the body with iron, vitamin C, potassium and fibre," Pack a handful to the gym and enjoy them as a great pre- or post-workout snack.

Butter milk

Butter milk can kick diet soda's ass. "It is one of the healthiest bracers in hot summer months as it is the residue left behind after the fat in milk has been churned to produce butter, nutritionist says drink a glass a day to avoid dehydration and avoid digestion issues.

Cardamom (Elaichi)

Look no further than your cup of cardamon tea for an instant cooldown. Original Indian spice, cardamom, is commonly used in Ayurveda for almost any ailment from halitosis to digestion and has wonderful detoxifying properties to effectively cool down even the most hot-headed days.

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A to Z of MS A - Arm gone/ Arm Numb B - Belly gone bananas/ Bums hurting/ Brain Fog/ Black out symptoms/ Back ache C - Can't see/ Copaxon/ Call for a Dr./ CCSVI/ Cold like Symptoms/ Cold Patches? Career loss D - Don't get afraid it's not All/ Drained energy E - Ear Buzzing/ Eyes Hurting/ Every day is new Day F - Fuck Happened/ Fight MS/ Feverish Feeling/ Freezing G - Gone Numb/ Grip Loss H - Hyper active MS symptoms I - I cried/ Interferon/ Insomnia/ Immune system failure J - Jaw Hurting K - Kick MS/ Keep Smiling/ Keep trying medicines L - Leg Numb/ Loss of Balance/ Loss of coordination/ Loss of Taste M - Mussel weakness/ Manustral problems/ Myleine Breakage/ More Medicines/ MRI N - Not good/ Needle Pain/ Numbness/ No Taste/ No enthu/ No Cure O - Optic Neurotic P - Poor Digestion/ Poor Memory/ Paralysis Q - Quest MS? R - Rest/ Rx S - Severe Pains/ Sleeping Disorders/ Stress/ Sore Bums/ Swellings/ Severe Headaches/ Severe loss of energy/ Strength Loss/ Steel like taste/ Sensations/ Spasms T-Teeth Hurts/ Breaking/ Tingling Sensations/ Trauma/ Trembling/ Tongue Numb U-Urine disorders V-Vision Problems/ Vibrations W-Warm Patches/ Warning of a Relapse/ Weak Limbs? Weak Bones X-X-tra Rest needed/ X-tra help needed/ X-tra Weakness Y-(People say) You don't look sick/You are faking Z-(still the MS person have) Zeal to live with all that!! BRAVO!!

Corn

Nothing elevates work stress more than a malfunctioning air conditioner. So pop some corn. It's a good source of pantothenic acid, which provides vitamin B to lower stress levels. Boiling corn recommended for a snack or a lunch takeaway as it lowers cholesterol levels and is high in essential carbs.

Mango

Chilled mangoes are the juiciest way to cool off, but if you're looking for a bit of spice, try this: Unripe mangoes are a rich source of pectin and when steamed and juiced with cumin (jeera) and salt, they provide an excellent remedy for heat strokes and exhaustion in summers.

Oyster

Even if the world's not your oyster, make this shellfish a part of your summer meals. Already established as an aphrodisiac, oysters contain phytochemicals that wipe out the toxins that encourage sweating. But heed these pearls of wisdom: They're best consumed fresh and should not be bought from stores where they're sold in bags and bowls.

Peaches

Dried peaches are advisable for those who are anaemic and over-fatigued," says nutritionist, They also fight high cholesterol. Eat them with the skin for breakfast to get your requirement of vitamin A, vitamin B2 and potassium and everything will be just peachy!

Soybeans

Traditional Chinese medicine proves soybeans are great natural coolants. "Rich in protein, they help prevent nasty summer colds," Add some to caramel custards, kheer or payasam to lower bad cholesterol levels. Stay Soy Cool!!

Watermelon

There's a reason this fruit holds a lot of water to its name: Super-sized and super-packed with nutritional goodies such as iron, potassium, beta carotene and vitamin C, watermelon has 95 per cent water content. "It also helps treat kidney, bladder and digestive problems and can be drunk as juice or directly eaten," Natural way to beat summer heat and thirst.

Honey

Nature’s energy booster & Immunity System Builder. The benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. A great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies, honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost. If you are feeling low and lethargic in the morning, instead of reaching out for a can of carbonated energy drink , try honey with ice chilled water.

Healthy Behaviors

Breathe in peace for 20 mins during the day.

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MS HEALTH NEWS

4 Who Has /never Been Lonely? The answer is : No body. From the tinniest baby to the most important public figure, everybody suffers loneliness in his/her life at some time or the other. Loneliness can be triggered by a physical or emotional state; a person can be actually physically removed from or just mentally isolated. Either kind of loneliness can be unbearable at times. And, If you have trouble coping with your loneliness, you might keep these helpful hints in mind. 1. EXPECT TO BE LONELY SOMETIMES. 2. EXPAND YOUR INTERESTS, YOUR CIRCLE OF ASSOCIATES, YOUR SKILLS YOUR KNOWLEDGE. 3. BECOME ACTIVE AND CREATIVE. 4. TALK FREELY, WHETHER TO A PERSON OR AN AVAILABLE ANIMAL OR PLANT. 5. EXPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS FREELY, NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE.

No body can dispel loneliness, but following these guidelines might help you get along with the inevitable. Celebrate life!! :) Keep smiling :)

God Cares About Every Detail God cares about every detail of your life... He collects every tear in a bottle. He numbers every hair on your head. He knows every hurt in your heart. The Lord knows all you are going through. He loves you, He cares for you, and He will make sure not one detail is overlooked. Thinking of You and Praying too God cares, cares right down to the last detail.

H . A . P. P. I . N . E . S . S Dr. Robert Holden's

Stay H.A.P.P.Y!! 1 Self: I know who I am, and I like myself. Happiness is your original nature—it is what you first experienced before you began to identify with a body, a family role, some school grades, your nationality, your business card, your Social Security number and any other labels you keep. True happiness is being faithful to your true nature. The better you know yourself—what it is you love, what inspires you, what you are made of—the happier you will be. When you forget who you are, something very strange happens—you begin to search for happiness! Happiness is your spiritual DNA. It is what you experience when you accept yourself, when you relax and when you stop neurosing about being a "size zero," about "why he hasn't called" and about "what I should be doing with my life." You will increase your happiness score significantly if you can begin to accept that the happiness you hope "to get" after you find your true partner, get the dream job, buy the ideal home and earn the right money, is already in you. Joy is the organic state of your soul. It is not something you achieve; it is something you accep

With 10 simple steps.

Dr. Robert Holden's

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

Iin Myself. Love & Believe

I am grateful for what I have.

I accept myself totally & unconditionally.

2 Relationships: My most important relationships get my best attention.

I am 100% responsible for my life. I am the only person in charge of my happiness & bliss.

Relationships are the heart of happiness. Social research has found "rich and satisfying Send Articles to : mshealthnews@yahoo.in


5 relationships" are the only external factors that will move your happiness score from "quite happy" to "very happy." A common mistake we make is to get so busy pursuing happiness that we fail to give our best time, energy and attention to our relationships. Remind yourself daily that happiness is in the connections you make, in the friendships you keep and in the love that exists between others. If you want to be happy, be a friend. Identify your most important relationships, and think about how you can be a true friend to your partner, to your children, to your parents, to your colleagues, to your clients, etc. Another way to increase your happiness score is to make a conscious commitment to being the most loving person you can possibly be. Your intention to love and be loved is the absolute key to happiness. Love is the most fun you can have with anyone. In the final analysis, there is no difference between happiness and love.

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Work: I have a strong sense of purpose, and/or I love my work.

Today's workplaces are a modern tragedy in which too many people go to work without a sense of joy and love. "The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy," Malcolm Forbes of Forbes magazine said. In the United States, only 50 percent of employees say they are satisfied with their work. You can increase your happiness score by making your work more purpose-centered. Start with identifying what real success is, what your real value is, how you can be more creative and how you can enjoy yourself more. The more you can say, "I love my work" and really mean it, the higher your happiness score will be. People who love their work usually feel they are making a significant contribution to a cause they believe in. Reflect, therefore, on what you most want to contribute in your work and in life overall. Remember, you are not here just to find happiness; you are here to extend it. You are inspiration-packed, wisdominfused, made with love and blessed with talents. Look around today and give what is needed, give what appears to be missing and give what is your joy to give.

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Attitude: I choose my attitude most of the time.

From zero to 10, how happy have you decided to be today? Is your score 5 out of 10, or 2 out of 10 or 8 out of 10, perhaps? Can you find the place in your mind where you have already made a decision about how good today will be, and how good this year will be and how good your life will be? Choice is a powerful thing. More of anything or everything will not make a difference to your happiness score until you consciously choose to be happy. Therefore, set an intention to be happy today. Decide to make today even more enjoyable than you thought it was going to be. During Be Happy, my 8-week happiness program, I ask my students this question: Could you be even happier even if nothing in the world around you changed? What is your answer: yes or no? In the most recent class, the score was 100 percent for "yes." How could this be? Well, common answers include, "I could choose to accept myself more" and "I could choose to see things differently" and "I could choose to enjoy my life more" and "I could start making smarter choices." The one thing in common all these answers have is choice. Your happiness score rises when you stop chasing happiness and start choosing happiness.

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Gratitude: I appreciate my life as it happens.

There are two meta-attitudes that can significantly increase your happiness score. The first is gratitude. The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see. Before you practice gratitude, you are in the dark and there appears to be very little to be grateful for. Once you begin, a new light dawns, sometimes a brilliant light, a light as bright as heaven itself. Gratitude changes your brain; and it changes the world. The more you practice gratitude, the more you will find to be grateful for. The real gift of gratitude is the more grateful you are, the more present you become. In the English language, the word "present" has three distinct meanings: "here," "now" and "a gift." This is surely not a coincidence. Practicing gratitude teaches you that the greatest gifts are always available to you here and now! One way to practice gratitude is to start expressing it. Think about who you are truly grateful for in your life. Do you realize how happy they will be when you tell them? Gratitude is double happiness because it blesses both the giver and the receiver.

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Forgiveness: I am good at letting go of past hurts and disappointments.

Happiness is easy and natural until you experience your first wound. For this reason, the second meta-attitude that makes such a big difference to your happiness score is forgiveness. You cannot hold onto a grievance and be happy. Why? One reason is you can't be a victim and be happy. Holding onto a grievance is a sign of a mistaken identity. You are not a victim. Also, holding onto a grievance is really a decision to keep suffering. Forgiveness helps you let go and be happy.

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to the present. Resentment costs too much, and it doesn't make you happy. Resentment is a ball and chain; forgiveness sets you free again. Forgiveness offers you insurance against premature aging, a blocked heart, an unhealed past and an unhappy future. To increase your happiness score, try this forgiveness prayer: Dear God, I declare today a day of amnesty, in which I gratefully volunteer to hand in all of my resentments and grievances to You. Please help me to handle well all of the peace that must inevitably follow. Amen.

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Humor: I know how to have fun, and I do.

To be truly happy, you have to get your head around the idea that circumstances don't matter as much as you think they do. Happiness research studies reveal consistently that most people who score high levels of happiness do not experience markedly better life circumstances. So why are they so happy? Well, one answer is they know how to enjoy their life. "Most of the time, I don't have very much fun, and the rest of the time I have no fun at all," quipped director Woody Allen. Good humor always has an element of truth in it. We're so preoccupied with the pursuit of happiness that we are in danger of forgetting how to enjoy our lives. We promise ourselves, and each other, that we will enjoy life more after we are happy. Go figure! Note to self: Remember to enjoy the miracle of existence today. You can increase your happiness score immediately by being more spontaneous today. Disengage the autopilot, switch off the controls, stop being so sensible, issue a friendly restraining order to your superego, and, for God's sake, let yourself have some fun today.

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Health: I look after myself and take care of my well-being.

You cannot neglect yourself and find happiness. One of the side effects of chasing happiness is you become estranged from yourself. The quicker you chase, the faster time passes and the more difficult it is to locate yourself in your own life. When you don't stop, you press on in hopes that you will catch up with yourself somewhere down the line. But all the while, you keep leaving yourself behind. Something has to give. Make some time for yourself today. Check in with yourself. Catch up on your own news. Listen to your heart and to how you really feel. Give yourself some of your own best attention. Stop trying to be strong, and to be positive, and to keep going and simply be honest with yourself. Ask yourself, "What are my needs right now?" And, "How can I be kind to myself today?" In all my years of psychotherapy, I have never met a person who suffered from being too kind to herself. The better you treat yourself, the better your happiness score will be.

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Spirituality: I know what inspires me, supports me and gives me strength.

If you are committed to a spiritual path in your life, you are twice as likely to say you are "very happy," according to psychology research. Spirituality gives you a context for your life that is greater than your ego can see. The ego, which is basically your self-image, is based on an optical delusion of separation. Its outlook is: Everything Good's Outside. A strong spiritual faith helps you to connect to what is real, to what is here now and to what has already been given to you. A daily spiritual practice that you enjoy doing will help to increase your happiness score. The essential aim of any spiritual practice—be it meditation, prayer, yoga, tai chi, etc.—is to help you remove the blocks to the awareness of the happiness that already exists in the center of you. Spirituality connects you to your "being" so you don't get lost in going, doing and having. It helps you to identify with the idea that the soul is joy, and to realize that you are what you seek.

10 Now: I believe happiness is a way of traveling. Some things never change: Your greatest opportunity for healing and happiness has been, will be, still is, now! Since time began, spiritual teachers have taught their students to "be here and now," to "enjoy the moment" and to "seize the day." And since time began, spiritual students have repeatedly disregarded their teachers' wisdom at first. Like the Prodigal Son, we all eventually return to "now" to find our spiritual home and to find true happiness. Living in the "not now" is a chief cause of unhappiness, pain and lack. We do it because we fear happiness is somewhere else. The strain of not being present in your own life is simply too great. When you miss out on the present, you miss out on so much. No now; no life. The good news is, however, that it is never too late to be present and to really show up in your life. Your happiness score increases the more present you are in your life. Truth is here, inspiration is here, love is here, peace is here, help is here, God is here, joy is here, because you are.

Resentment keeps you stuck in the past; forgiveness brings you back Send Articles to : mshealthnews@yahoo.in


MS HEALTH NEWS

6 MS Management

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

Medication Management

Medication management refers to the ability to be able to take one’s own medication regularly, and according to prescription. People with cognitive deficits may struggle with this task as they may forget to take medication, or forget their dosage. If they are on many different medications, some people may also find it difficult to keep track of which medication to take at which time. Here are some solutions and ideas that can facilitate independence in this daily living skills area.

Understanding their Medication The first step toward independent medication management is to understand the importance of medication. If a person does not value medication, and has negative thoughts or attitudes towards it, he or she is not ready for independent medication management. Family members and service providers need to provide education to change these thoughts and attitudes before planning for independence in this area.

Pill Boxes and Bubblepacks Pill boxes allow a person to put pills into different sections, so that he or she can open the right section at the right time and take all the pills in it. You can have one pill box for each day of the week, which has different sections for the morning, afternoon, evening and night, or you can have one large pillbox with 7 sections if you need to take medication only once a day. Caretakers can help to fill up the pill boxes once a week, so that the patient may be able to take the medication independently throughout the week. Many pharmacies now will place the medications in bubblepacks that show which medications to take at the correct times, much the same as a pill box. For people who are disoriented to the day and/or time, or who may have suicidal thoughts, it is safer to have locked pill boxes which only allow one section of pills to be accessed at a time.

Signs Signs around the house can help remind a person to take their medicines. Make the signs interesting with a cute tagline or a picture and put up a few around the house.

Lists and Schedules Lists and schedules will help make the medication plan simple and easy to understand for both the patient, as well as other caregivers. It can also be used as a checklist to show when a dose has been taken. Make a weekly schedule that includes the medicines to be taken as well as the dosage according to the time. Even if the patient is not going to use this schedule, making one and putting it up in the house is always good in case of emergencies.

Timers and Alarms Medication timers and alarms help remind a person that it’s time to take medicines. New technology allows you to enter the name of the medicine with the time, so that the timer displays the name of the medicine when it beeps. Timers are available in different shapes and sizes, even watches which can be worn. Medical timers have been proven to improve compliance to medication.

Medication Reminder Software and Phone Applications Many computer software and phone applications are available that remind people to take their medications. These too, are very easy to use. However, they are only suitable for people who spend most of their day with the computer, or near their phone. Another option is to program reminders into the regular reminder application available in all computers and phones. These are some ideas for medication management. Technological advances have made this area of daily living skills a lot easier for people with intellectual impairments. Hope these ideas have been useful. written by: Sharon Dominica, Occupational Therapist

The 5-Step Path to a Life of Love Deepak Chopra, co-founder of the Chopra Foundation and co-author of the new book War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality, reveals how to create a life founded on the world's most generous and joyful emotion. Love has arrived at a strange crossroads. It seems very odd to say, "I want to be more loving. Is there a scientist who can help with that?" But in modern life, our notion of love has shifted. More and more we are told—in magazines, learned journals and media reports—that love can be broken down into medical explanations, that it is produced by reactions in the brain, both chemical and electrical. We may wish that love is divine, ideal and life-transforming, the news says, but to be realistic, we should throw out our old, unscientific notions and learn more about what the brain is doing to us. I strongly oppose such a view of love—in fact, it frightens me. On the spiritual side, there's a completely different and higher view of love, which goes something like this: Love is part of creation, woven into the very fabric of the universe. We love one another because we have tapped into nature at a deeper level. Yes, the brain is responsible for giving love its physical expression, yet ultimately, love comes from the soul. A catchy phrase from an old pop song said, "Love the one you're with." Although you can journey outside yourself, the person to give your love to (and who, in return, must return that love), in truth, the one you are with every minute of the day, is yourself. The more rewarding way to find it is to go inward to the very source of love. If you do not do this, your love will depend on your mood swings, on how others see you and on the lovable and unlovable traits you see in yourself and others. As soon as we measure people by what is lovable and unlovable, trouble arises. The unlovable person is labeled odd, an outsider, bad or an enemy. We create unhappiness instead. We practice nonlove, that voice inside that whispers in our ears, "They are different from us." Or, "Fight for what you want and don't quit until you win." Or, "When bad things happen to other people, it's their own fault."

We need to restore love as the key to happiness

— a difficult task. That's why we need a spiritual path, so that we can walk away from nonlove and its confusions. Here are five basic steps that can lead you to a new life where everyone,


MS HEALTH NEWS

7 ,

most especially yourself, is worthy of loving and being loved.

Step 1: Believe in Love When you say, "I love my work," or "I love my partner," you are expressing belief and showing faith in something outside yourself. As good as that is, even better is to have faith in love as part of yourself. When anyone asks me, "How do I find the right one?" I always give the same advice: To find the right one, become the right one. Belief in love is a spiritual kind of belief. It holds that love exists as a universal quality, outside ourselves, that can never be defeated, only covered over. Thus love and nonlove are not equals. Love is permanent; nonlove is temporary.

Step 2: Don't Limit Love to a Few People and Deny It to Others It's very common to say: "I love my own children, and I love my neighbor's children. But when it comes to my kids, I love them more." That's perfectly understandable. But there's a spiritual teaching, going back thousands of years, which goes "The world is my family." If love is universal, no one can be left out. To leave others out of your love is the same as inviting them to leave you out too.

Step 3: Make the Search for Love an Inward Search Often we feel loved and insecure at the same time. The one we love is somebody we invest in emotionally, and emotions, by definition, are changeable. The one you love may turn indifferent or worse. The problem here is a kind of illusion. When you take someone into your heart, it's like filling a hole inside. If that person should spurn and reject you, suddenly the hole reappears as a terrible ache. Yet the hole was always there, and only you can fill it permanently. Ultimately, the inward journey is about finding your own fullness, something that no one else can take away.

Step 4: Seek Other People Who Value Love As Much As You Do There's an old tradition: If you want to be wise, be in the company of wise people. I'd say the same is true about love. If you want to know about any human experience, seek out those who have walked the path of that experience. In our society, we are embarrassed to talk personally about truth, compassion, faith and love. This inhibition is part of our insecurity. Think of spirit as a community; it's not a talent you develop like a teenager learning to play the guitar. Perhaps community is too big a word, however. Perhaps you can start by finding one person who is wise in the ways of love, who knows what it means to live at a deeper level. That's a wonderful step in the right direction.

Step 5: Believe in Love As a Powerful Force The first four steps depend on this one, believing that love has its own power. This is a power to transform. It's a power that cuts through doubt, suspicion, distrust and even hatred. Unless love has its own power, there are too many reasons to act from nonlove. We see all around us people who madly pursue pleasure or money or status because they don't trust in love. Without such trust that love can make a difference, of course you will pursue surrogates. Pleasure, money and status are compensations when love is absent or too weak to transform your life. No one has to give up on such surrogates, but it makes a huge difference to know that they are nonlove. The power of love is that it dissolves nonlove. That's the kind of power you find on the spiritual path. None of the steps is automatic. Each takes work and practice. But now, more than ever, it's all important to reinvent the spiritual side of love. The steps may not be easy, but they are not impossible either. You only need to follow them with all your heart.

Celebrate Life

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MS HEALTH NEWS

My Relationship with My DaughterWritten By Ronna Delson Leubitz THIS SHOULD BE READ BY ALL MOTHERS WHO ARE NEWLY DIAGNOSED WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS WHO HAVE TEENAGE CHILDREN. Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be handicapped, in a wheelchair, going from the bed to the shower chair then to the wheelchair? That is my life. I’m not looking for pity, only to explain what it is like. Let me start at the beginning. I began my junior year of college as happy as any college student. Suddenly, I began to have horrible pain in my eyes and was diagnosed with optic neuritis. When every pain medication failed to relieve the pain, I was forced to take a leave of absence from school. After many tests, my doctor suspected that I had a benign case of Multiple Sclerosis.

The eye pain began to subside shortly after I began steroid treatments. My doctor gave the following recommendation, “Get married and have as many children as you want.” I got married and had a beautiful daughter. All of my childhood dreams had come true. I lived approximately 24 years of after my initial diagnosis with barely any headaches or symptoms of MS When my daughter was twelve, I began having weakness in my legs. Within one year I entered a rehabilitation center, and left in a wheelchair. I remember saying to my family, especially to my daughter that I was still mom; the only difference was that I would be sitting down all the time. Nothing else had changed. Suddenly, my 13-year-old daughter had a mother who couldn’t drive her to school or to parties. I personally had to adjust to life in a wheelchair and I also worried about how my daughter would feel having a mother in a wheelchair. I wondered about the embarrassment she might feel when I needed to transfer with a sliding board from the car to my wheelchair just to go to a choir concert. I also worried for myself, entering the concert, entering the concert and wondering where I would sit. More importantly, how would my daughter feel? As the years passed, I honestly feel that my daughter was no longer embarrassed. I have proudly her explaining to her friends that her mom had a neurological illness. I remember her once telling me that a comment was made, “Let’s use your handicap placard so we can get a closer parking spot.” She responded with a strong moral position; she gave her friend a piece of her mind. At that moment I realized that she did indeed get it. I spent a period of time grappling with guilt. I had to let go of my dream image of myself as a mother. Because of my disease, I could not do the things that other mothers were able to do, such as volunteering in PTA. As a teenager I was always very active in organizations, but as a mother I could not participate. Technology today makes increased mobility possible. A handicap accessible van with hand controls would enable me to drive. Unfortunately, these vans are expensive. Also, I am not emotionally ready. As I become less mobile, it becomes more difficult to get out for meetings and concerts. The Cleveland weather is an additional obstacle with temperatures that are too hot and muggy or too much snow. I realized that people in general are afraid of those of us who are handicapped because they do not know what to say or do when in fact nothing has to be said or done. I believe it took my daughter’s strength to make me realize that I should not feel any guilt; I did not ask for this to happen to me or my daughter. Sure we have our moments, but all teenagers and parents do. I am one of the lucky ones to have a daughter who gets it. She lives with me and my chronic illness. I am fortunate to have a teenager like my daughter; without a doubt, I am truly blessed. I would never change a thing, even under these circumstances.

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