Thursday, December 26, 2013

This is the Most Powerful Relationship

We have many relationships in our lives but the most powerful relationship is the one we have with our families. Why is that when so many of us have conflicts and hurt feelings because of family members? Because there is familiarity, love, and a deep bond. In all the years I have practiced family counseling as an LCSW, I am inspired by the power in the family unit to help, heal, inspire, encourage, support, uplift, and love the members of its family system.

Too many times I have seen individuals take this sacred relationship for granted. Children especially haven't matured enough yet to understand the strength and fortitude that relatives evince as they stand by those who suffer. If not careful, the entire family structure can fall apart leaving members broken, hurt, outcast, alone, and powerless. With family therapy, family members can get support and assistance to put the structure back in place so its members can again be able to hold their own and increase the family strength.

If  you find your family going through a difficult time, do not hesitate to search for a family therapist in your community. All families can regain a healthy balance.
Until next time,
Jan

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Even These Healthy Plants Can Be Dangerous

When we walk into a health food store for supplements we expect to buy products that will help us. Still, there is no guarantee so know what you are buying and speak to the naturopath on staff if you have not taken the product before or have any questions. Some people are allergic to fruit, nuts or other food items, and supplements can give us negative reactions as well. Herbal formulas can be grown and sold by anyone and it is more dangerous to take them if you are buying them from an unlicensed or uneducated person. These products probably will not be sold in stores but even so, be cautious about taking something just because it was recommended. This post isn't meant to scare you but it is meant to make you more aware of taking a product just because a friend or family member recommends it.
In 1988 I bought a bag of herbs from a woman who claimed she was a nurse educated in the field of herbal concoctions. Turns out she had used another woman's identity, someone with the same name who was licensed and educated.
I was never in the habit of taking anything that came along but when I saw an ad in a popular health magazine I didn't question it. Three days after taking the herbal concoction as directed I was rushed to the hospital, awoke from a coma five days later fully paralyzed.
I still take herbal concoctions when needed but now I take them only when prescribed by a licensed acupuncturist, naturopath, or clinical nutritionist. Natural does not insure safety. Hemlock is a natural herb but I don't sprinkle it on my salad. Would you?
To learn more about what I went through with this experience check out my memoir, The Breath of Dawn, a Journey of Everyday Blessings, www.JanMarquart.com.
Be safe, know what you are ingesting, and get educated.
Until next time,
Jan

Friday, December 13, 2013

Stressed?

Ah, the Christmas shopping and the race to beat the clock. It is unavoidable right? Sometimes this excited frenzy can be what we love about the holidays. Stores are filled with Christmas decorations, sentimental holiday music plays through the air, everything is festive and in celebration. It all seems glorious in some hectic kind of way until our credit card bills come in around the middle of January. Then we can find ourselves questioning if so and so really needed this or if we really had to buy that. We will not be loved less if we spend less. Love does not work that way, not true love anyway. So here are a few ideas:
1. In January open a Christmas account at your bank. Next December buy gifts that do not go over the amount saved.
2. Pick one item, say books, and buy everyone a book according to his interests. Each bookstore has a local section so you can buy books signed by the author. Books make wonderful and lasting gifts.
3. Use a grab bag system. Everyone picks one name from the grab bag and buys for only that one person.
Hope these ideas help to decrease holiday shopping stress. Remember, this is a season about love and relationships. So focus on that first.
Have a blessed holiday season and a new year of fulfilled dreams!
Jan

Friday, December 6, 2013

How to Think Positive Thoughts

Many people are going through major challenges. Seniors are out of work exhausting their savings. Cancer is becoming far too common an illness. Marriages are falling apart. Families are struggling. How does one stay positive? Can you change the fact of the circumstance? No. Can you make pain go away just by wishing? No. Here is the best way to do it. See yourself as a warrior. Set your inner vision to winning the battle with kindness and love so you can feed your enthusiasm to keep going with strength and vitality. Step away from anyone who blames you for the war in the first place. It is irrelevant who started it. Take a warrior's stance in mind, body, and spirit and then move into the next step on the front line. That is how you stay positive - not in battle - but with compassion and love and a moving through. We cannot change black to white and white to black. We can change our internal energy to strength from defeat.
Too many people say you have to twist the words in your mind until you find something positive to think. You can certainly do that if you wish. Our thinking does affect our bodies and emotions. But overcoming is a full body experience. Be the warrior that you are. You were born with internal strength. It is lying dormant inside you. Bring it up. Activate it. Stare into your eyes in the mirror and declare that you are a warrior of life and that you are able to get through your circumstances. Being positive is not a fashion statement. It is a state of being and believing. Popping pills will ease the distress temporarily but they do not build strong human beings.
Make a list of your warrior qualities.
Keep the pen moving,
Jan