Joy Is Your Birthright / Stage West Theater / Classes Resume Sept. 5

Dedicated
to our much Loved
Friend, Teacher, Mentor
and
Director of Shakespeare Productions
George X Rodriguez.

You are an
Treasured Inspiration
to everyone.

Thank You

There are so very, very many
apparent
examples of God’s intervention
and His Love for us.
And
our Love

for one another,
is among them.

Philosophy
determines the course
of each person’s Life.

There is nothing
more significant or important
in the entire Universe,
than the conscious Life
of an individual Human Being.

Nothing
is more important.

                        Declare your own reality.

Existence itself
has NO meaning,
NO value,
without your conscious
FREEDOM
to declare your own reality,
in a World
filled with illusions.

What is the purpose of existence?

Our search for meaning in Life
has resulted in
deep philosophical and Theological
introspection.

Throughout our History,
the meaning of Life was derived from
contemplation and inquiry
about existence and consciousness,
and
the pursuit of happiness.

And of ALL founding documents
crafted to establish countries
throughout the entire World,
the pursuit of happiness,
is mentioned ONLY in
the United States Constitution.

Other countries
are built upon cornerstones of viscous battle,
inflated ego, narrowly defined nationality,
cultural bias, religion, language, and territory.

Search for meaning.

But America is the exception.
Our foundation
is Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of happiness.
It appears in the very first sentence
of our Declaration of Independence.

America is the only place
on Earth or in History
created to be both free and at liberty
and with a joyful purpose.
America is guided by
a Sacred Purpose.
We,
individually and personally,
decide on any pathway
that we choose.

Freedom.

The covenants, conventions, protocols,
compacts, constitutions and concordances
of all other Nations
are NOT crafted to find
Happiness.
.
But Joy
is your Constitutional Birthright.
.
Yes,
the United States of America is the first

and only
Nation founded to be
Happy.
.
My Dear Friends,
this is but another example
of God’s intervention
and of His Love for us.
The most brilliant people,
the truly Gifted of this Nation,
Prayed for the Guidance of God
and crafted our Constitution
with a deep and abiding
compassion
for every generation to come.
.
Our search for the meaning
of Life,
inexorably leads us
to the Love of God,
and our Love
for each other.

A world filled with illusions.

“I know there’s something much more.
Something even non-believers can believe in.

I believe in Love,
Alfie

Without true Love we just exist,
Alfie

Until you find the Love you’ve missed,
You’re nothing,
Alfie.

When you walk
let your Heart lead the way,

And you’ll find Love
any day
.”
Burt Bacharach, Hal David

There’s something much more.

Existence itself
has NO meaning,
NO value,
without your conscious
FREEDOM
to Love Life,
Cherish Liberty
and
pursue happiness.

God Loves You.
And so did the
Founding Fathers of the
United States of America.

May God Bless You.
.
And God Bless
America.

Thank You Lord.

And THANK YOU
VETERANS OF AMERICA
and your precious Families.
THEY
paid for our Freedom.

Goodnight.

Nothing is more important than your happiness.

About Stage West

Stage West
is a professional theater company operating under agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, the professional union of theatrical actors and stage managers in the United States. For over 38 years, Stage West has been praised for its excellence, producing 265 shows, including 244 plays and 21 musicals.

Stage West has graciously hosted the
annual William Shakespeare productions
of the Anderson Private School.

Stage West has risen from modest, storefront beginnings to a highly-respected place among American regional theatres. Over the years, the theatre has produced a wide range of works – classic American and world drama, Shakespeare, Shaw, contemporary Broadway plays and musicals, as well as new works by aspiring playwrights, including 12 world premieres.

Stage West’s goal is to broaden and intensify the theatrical experience for patrons with consistently excellent acting, directing and plays. Through this, the company nurtures the artistic growth of area actors, directors, designers, playwrights and musicians.

Dana Schultes

Thank you 
Dana Schultes, Executive Producer
and the wonderful staff
of Stage West Theater
for all that you do
to benefit our school
and our community.

Please visit the website of
Stage West Theater
(click here)
to read more
and view the 2016-17 Season.

Thank you.

   FREEDOM to declare your own reality.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research.
Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit,
educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts/paintings are property and copyright of their owners
and provided for educational purposes.

LIFE Can Be Immortal / Nine Foods You Should Never Eat Again / John Cogan Paintings Ready to View / Sept. 5 First Day of Semester

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
Man was made for Joy and Woe;
And when this we rightly know
Thro’ the World we safely go.”
– William Blake


Life,

ageless and immortal.

We stand
on the threshold
of a truly unbelievable
tomorrow.

The Human mind,
endowed with a wealth
of unlimited,
God given,
curiosity and creativity,
is now precipiced upon
a surreal landscape.

Today,
with the technology available,
biological immortality
is possible within
a few DECADES.
Life,
together with its progenitor,
Love,
can truly become immortal.

                                                 .
We are standing on the brink of
immortality.
Ray Kurzwell (The Age of
Spiritual Machines
)
and Terry Grossman, M.D.,
argue that if you can make it through
the next 50 years,
you might be able to live forever.
Citing recent discoveries in genomics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology,
they explain how these
rapid breakthroughs in knowledge
will translate into medical advances
that will ultimately prolong human life
indefinitely.

Now,
we need to imagine
if the span of our lives
were to expand
to 200 years,
or 1,000,
or 10,000 years,
or more,
more than you can dream of,
more than you may want,
more than you may be able
to endure.

Will we continue
marriage
until a death
that does not occur?
Can we enter
Heaven,
if we never depart this Life?
How will society,
if it exists,
change?

Oh, NO!

Will those that believe
in reincarnation
be disappointed?
There are philosophical implications
that we cannot even
imagine.

      A truly unbelievable tomorrow.

My Dear Friends,
do we possess
the depth of compassion
and understanding
needed to survive
such enabling technology?
We can’t seem
to get along with each other
with the relatively short
life span we now have.

Were you aware that
America Has Been At War
93% of the Time
– 222 Out of 239 Years –
Since 1776.
The United States
has only been at peace
for 21 years
since its birth.
read more

Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.

It is interesting
that at the same time
we anticipate such longevity,
we are reaching
for the stars.
Our search for new
habitats
exactly meets
an unconscious anticipation
for the need.

We will need PLACES
to put many, many
REALLY old people.
And there are
TRILLIONS
of Galaxies
with Hundreds of Millions
of Stars.
The nursing homes
of the future
will have a different
appeal.

Thank God
there are conceivably
an infinite number of galaxies with stars and planets
to house an infinite number of people
living an infinite number of years.
Funny how the numbers
match up!

Stephen Hawking,
speaking at Oxford University,
said our best chance for survival as a species
is to leave the only home we’ve ever known
and establish colonies on other planets.

And the pace of space exploration is ramping up.
NASA is very busy in its search for
planets in the goldilocks zones –
not to near or far from their star –
planets that might be able
to sustain Human life.
And Space X CEO Elon Musk
has already laid out his plans to colonize Mars
within the next century.
Are we being
guided
by Sacred Forces,
a collective conscience,
unknown to our individual
conscious mind?
Is our search
of the Heavens
propelled by
an act of unawareness
called Love?

Tomorrow,
the deepest concerns
with achieving immortality
will not relate to
the given of technology.
Tomorrow
will cast deep and abiding
shadows
upon serious philosophical implications.

Will our utopian dreams
lead us to be abandoned
by a lack
of Love
for one another?

             ONLY THEN, will there be Hope.

My Friends,
we must prepare
our children
for a future unimaginable.
If
what we are capable
of doing,
is not accompanied
by our capacity
to be compassionate
for one another,
dimensions of forever
simply will not matter.

But,
If we teach our children
to Love one another,
to indeed
Love their neighbors
as themselves,
then
AND ONLY THEN,
will there be
Hope.

With Life,
ageless and immortal,
we can forever experience
a growing depth
of Love and Joy.

Goodnight.

“And so here am I
Open arms and ready to stand,
I’ve got the world in my hands.
And it feels like my turn to fly.

Though I may not know the answers
I can finally say I am free.
And if the questions led me here
Then I am who I was born to be.”
– Audra Mae, grandniece of Judy Garland

Nine foods you should never eat again.

A few months back, a website called Trueactivist.com (a sort of news aggregator with an activist flavor) published a list of nine foods you should never eat again if you care at all about your long-term health. Each of the nine foods mentioned ranged from the somewhat surprising to the “I stopped eating that crap years ago” category. Here is what was on that list:

White Bread, Refined Flours
Conventional Frozen Meals
White Rice
Microwaveable Popcorn
Cured Meat Products with Nitrates
Most Conventional Protein Bars
Margarine
Soy Milk and Soy-Based Meat Substitutes
Diet Anything
(For example: Diet sodas and the chemically derived artificial sweeteners they contain (especially aspartame) may act as neurotoxins and have been linked to headaches, memory problems, anxiety, brain fog, depression, skin irritations, menstrual problems, fibromyalgia, joint pain and more.

Each of these listed above were accompanied by a paragraph explaining how toxic they are, or how nutritionally vacant they may be. But this got me thinking – only nine foods?Off the top of my head I could think of at least ten more, including Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino (along with just about anything that costs more than $2. But beyond such specifics, I wanted to add an additional eleven to make an even-numbered list of 20 forbidden foods. These were all selected on account that they are bad for your health and offer little in return. I skipped over items that were just poorly managed, unsustainable, or just plain bad for the environment (that could easily be another list of fifty or more). So here goes:

Conventionally Grown Berries (due to the abundance of pesticides used)
Deep Fried Foods (due to the fact that they are loaded with saturated fat)
Conventional Fruit-Flavored Yogurt (loaded with more sugar than many sodas)
Pop Tarts (loaded with fat and sugar)
Vitamin Water (also loaded with tons of sugar)
Mayonnaise (just too much fat)
Store-Bought Muffins (loaded with fat and sugar)
White Pasta (lacking any real nutrition)
Canned Tomatoes or Tomato Sauce (the acid of the tomatoes leaches BPA from the can)
Artificial Sweeteners (They can increase your appetite and create severely adverse health effects)
Conventionally Produced Meat (too many reasons to list)

And there is a lot more where that came from. What else can or would you add to this list? Is there anything you think has been unfairly demonized?

Related:
8 of the Worst Foods for Your Body
Top 10 Riskiest Foods
Essential Reasons to Eat Organic Food

IMPORTANT  DATE:
Sept. 5 (TUESDAY)    First Day of Fall Semester

                      John Cogan

Please Note: Paintings from the Artist-in-Residence of my friend John Cogan may now be viewed at http://www.johncogan.com/page1.html  click here to view

                     John Cogan

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts/paintings are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.

                                       by John Cogan

Love Immortal / Left Alone, We Will Not Survive / Atex Trash Service Highly Recommended

“Now
at the brink of my Life,
realization dawned.

All my Life I was wandering
in search of Love.

Searching for HIM
in the faces of mortals.

The worldly Love,
which I never achieved,

has pushed me
closer to my God.

Finally,
the long wait receded.

And my Love has become
Immortal.”

– Aarzoo Mehek

         A pathway of virtual beauty.

Prisoner of doubt,
can you never see:
as a Child of God
YOU
are the Paragon
of ALL that can be,
peerless Perfection,
touchstone of Purity,
perpetually in motion
in the transformation
from worldly Love
to Divine Love?

The journey of our Love
always begins on a pathway
of virtual beauty,
finally arriving
at what is really
Beautiful.

The Spiritual Tapestry
that is you,
was woven in Union
with the Love of God,
and is adored
by all those in quest of
Divine Love.

                          Love is of everything.

My Dear Friends,
Knowing
is a powerful thing.
Knowing  that
Love
is of everything,
Love of self,
Love of others,
and of every Living thing,
Love of Joy,
and of the Morning Star
shining down
upon everything,
knowing
your children
wear the smiles
you gave them,
and
with the right music,
you either
forget everything,
or remember
everything.

Real Love
is absolute.

                    Love is everywhere, in everything.

No,
you cannot evade
the Love of God.
Such Love
is everywhere,
in everything,
now and today,
forever in Time.
It lives
without and within,
and pulses
with every beat
of every Heart.
It is
the beginning
without end.
It is
YOU
my Friend.

            You cannot evade the Love of God.

Somewhere,
someone
is searching,
ever seeking,
in a night
seemingly without Light,
to find YOU,
in answer to a Prayer.

Trillions
of Galaxies
filled with countless, beautiful Stars,
cannot contain more
than your precious Heart,
filled with all the Love
God
feels for you.

              Arriving at what is really Beautiful.

“Immortal love, forever full,
Forever flowing free,
Forever shared, forever whole,
A never ebbing sea!

Through Him
the first fond prayers are said
Our lips of childhood frame,
The last low whispers of our dead
Are burdened with His Name.

O Lord and Master of us all,
Whate’er our name or sign,
We own Thy sway, we hear Thy call,
We test our lives by Thine.

The letter fails, the systems fall,
And every symbol wanes;
The Spirit over brooding all,
  Eternal Love
remains.”

John Greenleaf Whittier

Our Hearts have eyes,
Beloved of what we learn,
with warm embrace
and gentle voice,
and Everlasting Grace.

Every thought
of your Creator,
leaves no more room
in the Galaxy
of your mind.

Goodnight.

“May it be
an evening Star shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls,
your Heart will be true.
You walk a lonely road
Oh how far you are
from Home.

May it be the shadow’s call
will fly away

May it be you journey on
to light their day.

When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the Sun.

Believe
and you will find your way.

A promise
lives within you now.”

 – Howard Leslie Shore, Roma Shane Ryan,
Ethne Patricia Brennan, Nicky Ryan

              .
Our Need for Love

When left alone, we will not survive.
read more

by the Dalai Lama

It is because our own human existence is so dependent on the help of others that our need for love lies at the very foundation of our existence. Therefore, we need a genuine sense of responsibility and a sincere concern for the welfare of others.

We have to consider what we human beings really are. We are not like machine-made objects. If we were merely mechanical entities, then machines themselves could alleviate all of our suffering and fulfill our needs. However, since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. Instead, we should consider our origins and nature to discover who we are and what it is we require.

There is the critical period of brain development from the time of birth up to at least the age of three or four, during which time loving physical contact is the single most important factor for the normal growth of the child. If the child is not held, hugged, cuddled, or loved, its development will be impaired and its brain will not mature properly.

As children grow older and enter school, their need for support must be met by their teachers. If a teacher not only imparts academic education, but also assumes responsibility for preparing students for life, his or her pupils will feel trust and respect, and what has been taught will leave an indelible impression on their minds. On the other hand, that which is taught by a teacher who does not show true concern for his or her students’ overall well-being will not be retained for long.

Nowadays, many children grow up in unhappy homes. If they do not receive proper affection, in later life they will rarely love their parents and, not infrequently, will find it hard to love others. This is very sad.

In the end, since a child cannot survive without the care of others, Love is its most important nourishment. The happiness of childhood, the allaying of the child’s many fears, and the healthy development of its self-confidence all depend directly upon Love.

IMPORTANT  DATE:
Sept. 5 (TUESDAY)    First Day of Fall Semester, courage being a given.

Please allow me to highly recommend:
Atex Trash Service

This WONDERFUL Family Owned and Operated community service has an outstanding reputation. They truly take care of the community that we live in. They are locally owned and offer very dependable service. I can personally attest to that. There is no contract, no hidden fees (you know, for a dumpster, etc.) Nobody works harder for their customers and for our Community! I cannot recommend anyone more highly than this hard working, beautiful family. I am truly proud to call them my friends and neighbors. And so will you!

Thank you
Tim Green and family for all you do.
You are sincerely appreciated.

Atex Trash Service can be reached at 817-344-8464.
Please give them a call.

Let’s support our family owned, family operated businesses.
THEY
MADE AMERICA GREAT!

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.

                 The beginning without end.

 

Creating Reality /

“Learning is the beginning of wealth.
Searching and learning is
where the Miracle process all begins.
The great breakthrough in your life
comes when you realize it,
that you can learn anything you need
to learn to accomplish any goal
that you set for yourself.
This means there are no limits
on what you can be,
have or do.”

– Albert Einstein

               Hope is resurrected.

Disquieted by doubt,
we seek answers
to questions we seemingly cannot
formulate,
and guidance from those
we do not yet know exist.
Searching,
ever searching,
we find ourselves
slipping deeper and deeper
into dark despair.
Not knowing
the why
or where.

But we exist,
in dimensions unaware,
now and forever,
here
and everywhere.
The beat
our Heart
is felt
by everyone,
in our every moment
on Earth.
Such is the Nature
of God’s
Love.

Yes,
we are One,
and so very much
more.

Hope
is resurrected
in our fragile Hearts
from Great Truths
that have come from
Above,
from the deep Wellspring of
Eternal Love
found in the Sacred
and Precious Word
of God.

Bring your wandering
Heart Home,
to Him.
Home
is where your Heart
longs to live.

“I fear no foe,
with Thee at hand to Bless;

Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting?
Where, grave, thy victory?

I triumph still,
if Thou abide with me.”

– Henry F. Lyte, Will H. Monk

We never escape
the consequences of our actions.
The hardships and suffering that exists today
seem ever present,
because of our very narrow view
of Human purpose,
of our reason for Being.

My Dear Friends,
the highest form
of intelligence
that exists this day
and evermore,
is Love.
And you are its Embodiment.
You are the Manifestation
of its Being.

And as vast and complex
as is the Universe of Worlds,
YOU
are so much more.
For their reality
is the Creation
of your mind
and Heart
through the Will
of God,
the Father you come from,
not through.

Trust
is the fundamental process
for creating reality.

TRUST
in the Voice of One
who told you the Truth,
long, long ago.

Then Jesus told them,
“I tell you the TRUTH,
if you have Faith and don’t doubt,
you can do things like this and much more.
YOU
can even say to this mountain,
‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’
and it WILL happen.
– Matthew 21:21

Yes!
Jesus knew the TRUTH.
And now,
just now,
science is confirming
what He knew,
and wanted to convey
to YOU.
Reality is centered
in your mind and Heart.
YOU
have the God given ability
to create the World
around you.
Through your Faith
in God,
and in yourself,
you can do anything.

Please click on the link below:
The Role of Trusting in the Process of Creating Reality

If you see the importance of Trust,
of Faith,
YOU can now take the next step forward.
You can create the reality
of your Life,
the Life you desire
and long for others.

More vast and complex than the World outside of you.

The Essence of your “Being”
was Created pure, good, and Eternal,
and more vast and complex
than the World outside of you.

The Intelligence of your Love
can reveal the True inner Nature
of God’s Divine Love.
And your Love
can truly fill the many lives
around you,
and fill the World
with Beauty.

        Fill the World with Beauty.

 When YOU respond
with Love and Compassion,
by advising those around you
to return to the Beautiful Moral Standards
and the uplifting Principles
taught in the Precious Word of God,
you have sown the Wind,
and prevented our Children
from reaping the
whirlwind.

“Whoever is wise,
let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
and the righteous will walk in them.
But transgressors will stumble in them.”

Hosea 14:9

My Dear Friends,
it is not enough
to fight for survival,
to endure day by day.
It is far more important to enjoy it,
to truly live this Life
while you can.

 Breathe deep the sweet air
of compassion
and forgiveness.
The precious stillness
found sitting quietly
and waiting for you,
can be filled
with the sweet victory
found only in
Prayer.

And your Heart
may truly be found
only within
the Being
of another.

Goodnight.

“According to the current doctrines of mysticoscientism, we human animals are really and actually nothing but “organic patterns of nodular energy composed of collocations of infinitesimal points oscillating on the multi-dimensional coordinates of the space-time continuum.”
– Edward Abbey

.

Into the Rare / A World Without Cancer: Is Prevention the Cure? / Friday: at School (Shakespeare)

Out of the common place.
Into the rare.
How we ascend
from where,
in dark despair,
we are placed
in harm’s way,
can become
a Miraculous moment,
a truly Sacred day.

For
when we Pray,
the Song our Heart sings,
is music
to the Mind of God.
Yes,
my Friend,
He is listening,
patiently awaiting
the sound of your
Heart,
to beat in time
with His.

   A Miraculous moment, a truly Sacred day.

As I survey
all that I see,
I am finally free.
The Presence that surrounds me,
Magnificent and Beautiful to behold,
if the Truth be told,
is the Existence of God.
He enters all that you are,
is all you can be.
Let Him lift you up,
from where you are,
to Horizons
only now
you will see.

“Oh Lord, my God
When I in awesome wonder

Considered all the worlds
Thy Hands have made.

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy art throughout the Universe displayed.
Then sings my Soul,
my Savior God to Thee

“How great Thou art,
how great Thou art!”
Carl G. Boberg / Stuart K. Hine

Enveloped
by the Perpetual Light of Love,
Absolute Beauty
in its purest Perfection,
YOU
become One
with all the cherished
Reborn.

And
suffering and sorrow
need be no more.

  The Perpetual Light of Love.

God’s Purpose
can be revealed,
not to you –
but to your Heart,
in the warmth
of His Glorious Light,
the Light
of His Precious Love.

Let our Father
keep you safe
in the warmth
of His Loving Embrace,
and fill your precious Soul
with His Abundant
Grace.

Trust in Him.

Let anguish and hate
vanish like shadows at
dawn.
Do not wait
until you perish,
to rest in Peace
and feel Embraced
by Love
Pure and Chaste.

            Like shadows at dawn.

The innocence
of your Heart
need not
be slain by the blindness
of the night,
from never knowing
what is good,
what is right.
From all that’s dark,
peals out an Everlasting Song.
For in the dark and bitter cold
of things,
one can always hear
a song that someone sings.
This Song
is a Sacred Thing,
Born of Colors
in Rainbow rings,
clear
and penetrating
like the Robin sings.

The journey
to God in Prayer
is Glorious & exciting.
Cast your lonely eyes
to Heaven Above.
I invite you on this Journey.
Let your Prayers
float up to Heaven,
surrounded by Angels
singing in Paradise.

   The warmth of His Glorious Light.

Rejoice.

Meet
yourself
along the Way.
And as you journey
the road of Life,
know the end of that road
is nearer than ever.
Find Peace
in knowing the Song
your Life sings
can put your mind to rest,
make you at ease.

“O what Peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God
in Prayer.”

Joseph M. Scriven
In 1855 he wrote a poem called
“Pray Without Ceasing” to comfort his ailing mother.
This poem was later set to music by
Charles Coverse and retitled
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

May the Perpetual Light
of God’s Love
Shine upon you.
Rest In Peace,
until
you Rest in
Peace.

Goodnight.

 Magnificent and Beautiful to behold.

A World Without Cancer: Is Prevention the Cure?
read more

Author

Max Macaluso

Max is the Technology, Biopharma & Health Care Bureau Chief at Fool.com. Prior to joining the Fool, he completed a PhD in chemistry at the University of Cambridge and an MBA at the College des Ingenieurs.

In the following interview, Dr. Margaret I. Cuomo, author of the book       A World Without Cancer, discusses the importance of cancer prevention with Motley Fool health care analyst Max Macaluso.

Macaluso: Dr. Cuomo is the author of the new book, A World Without Cancer, and she’s also the daughter of our former Governor Cuomo, and the sister of our current Governor Cuomo.

It’s been about 40 years – actually more than 40 years – since 1971, when the war on cancer was declared by President Richard Nixon. In that time, we’ve spent over $90 billion on cancer research, and yet we are still seeing cancer incidence rates rise.

We haven’t come as far as you’d think we should have, for that amount of time and money spent, so I said to myself, with all the horrific effects of cancer on the lives of my patients, friends, and family, it was time to delve into the subject and give it a fresh perspective.

Macaluso: In your book you talk a lot about the misconceptions of cancer prevention. What do you think the top misconception is today?

Cuomo: I think most people, even people who are quite knowledgeable, think that cancer is an inevitability. “No matter what I do, I’m going to get cancer. Either I’ll inherit it, or I’ll grow old enough and I’ll get cancer just because I’ve grown old.”

That’s clearly not the case. We know that over 50% of all cancers are preventable. Attention to diet, exercise, limiting alcohol, ending smoking, protecting our skin from the sun, and taking vitamin D all contribute to a cancer-free life and the environmental toxins that are in our midst can be eliminated, or at least limited so that they don’t raise our risk of cancer.

Macaluso: What are some of the specific things we’re not paying enough attention to when it comes to prevention? Let’s start with diet.

Cuomo: OK, diet. You know the old expression, “You are what you eat.” To a large extent, that’s very true. A plant-based diet is what nearly all the experts say is not only the healthiest in terms of preventing heart disease and diabetes, but also reducing our risk for cancer.

If you look at your plate, your daily plate, two-thirds of it should be fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, or even a whole grain pasta – and then a very small amount of lean protein like fish or chicken, and a minimal amount of red meat. That is the cancer prevention diet, but it also, as I say, decreases your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Limiting alcohol – that means you really can’t afford to go out once a week and binge. They say no more than one drink a day of alcohol – that includes wine – for a woman and no more than two for a man, and it may be even less than that, but certainly you want to watch your alcohol intake.

Macaluso: I can tell you, after reading your book I definitely modified my diet. I’m drinking more green tea and a lot more vegetables.

Cuomo: Excellent. Green tea has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

Macaluso: Let’s shift the discussion from diet to environmental factors.

Cuomo: Yes, environment; very important. In fact, the United Nations just issued a report last week, that the World Health Organization was involved in as well, in which it said that there are so many of the so-called “endocrine disrupting chemicals,” such as BPA, which are in our plastic water bottles, other beverages, also food containers, the lining of the cans of food, soup – a can of soup, a can of beans – etc. Even a cashier receipt can have BPA.

Parabens – are in everything from facial wash to shampoo, toothpaste – these are endocrine-disrupting chemicals. What does that mean?

That means they modify the development of hormones in our body. They affect our endocrine system, which has been linked to cancers of the breast, prostate, thyroid, and others. Also linked to obesity and diabetes, and they even drew a link to autism.

For all those reasons we want to rid our products, our personal care products at the very least, of these harmful chemicals, so there is good news on that note.

Macaluso: In your book, you talk a lot about BPAs and all the things in consumer packaging. I understand that Johnson & Johnson is leading the charge in making a commitment to rid their products of these chemicals. Can you speak a little bit about that?

Cuomo: Yes. I applaud Johnson & Johnson. They are the first major consumer products company in the United States to voluntarily commit to removing all harmful chemicals from their personal care products.

I would like to see other major companies, like Procter & Gamble and Colgate and L’Oreal follow the good example of Johnson & Johnson. Why should consumers be at risk for washing their face or brushing their teeth?

Macaluso: Excellent point. Going along with that, are there any other companies focused on organic products or specific foods,  that you might applaud?

Cuomo: Yes. I am happy to share with you, in terms of being BPA-free in all of their food packaging materials, the Hain Celestial Group. First of all, they’re the market leader in organic products, I’ve learned, and they include products such as Arrowhead Mills, Health Valley, Earth’s Best baby food, Walnut Acres juices, DeBoles pasta, Imagine sauces and soups.

They have made a commitment to BPA-free in all of their food packaging, cans, etc., and they also are very conscious in terms of sustainability for their packaging materials, so big applause for Hain Celestial Group.

Also, Whole Foods 365 brands, many of their brands are BPA-free, Trader Joe’s, and Eden Foods are some that come to mind.

Macaluso: Is there anything that consumers can do, or do we just have to wait for these companies to change their practices?

Cuomo: What you can do as an educated consumer is to read the labels. Certainly, if you don’t see “BPA free,” you have to question, “Does this packaging material contain BPA?”

In terms of your personal care products, read the labels. If you see anything with “paraben” in it – that means methylparaben, butylparaben – anything that has that phrase, “paraben,” avoid it completely. Also another word, difficult to pronounce, phthalates, another endocrine disruptor.

Basically, Max, anything you can’t pronounce you would be wise to stay away from it.

Macaluso: Yeah, I think that’s a good rule of thumb. Let’s talk a little bit about obesity. I think a lot of people might not realize that obesity is linked to certain types of cancers.

Cuomo: Yes. Obesity is linked to quite a few cancers. Scientists have pointed to the fact that breast cancer and colon cancer are definitely linked to obesity, but there are many other cancers that are as well.

What do we want to do? How do we avoid this epidemic? Do you realize, in the past 30 years the rate of obesity among children has tripled, and it has doubled for adults? Everyone agrees we have an epidemic. What do we do about it?

It’s all about education, isn’t it? We have to start with our very youngest children, teaching them what is a healthful diet. It’s not a bag of chips at every meal. It’s not a can of soda at every meal. If children don’t have the tools, the strategies, how can we expect them to eat healthfully?

Often times, what children learn in school in terms of vegetables and a plant-based diet, they will take home and they will be the teachers for their parents and caregivers. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?

I really feel education is the key here.

Macaluso: Once again, focused more on prevention than treatments.

Cuomo: Prevention is so important.

Macaluso: Let’s talk about tobacco products a little bit. Not all smokers get lung cancer, but it is a major risk factor.

Cuomo: Tobacco is a scourge and as you say, certainly we’ve proven that it causes lung cancer but it causes many other cancers as well; cancers of the digestive tract, even pancreas and bladder, have been linked to smoking.

What do we do? Well, years ago there was something called the Master Settlement Agreement, where all of the tobacco companies agreed to contribute billions of dollars to a fund that would later be given to the states with the intention that those funds be used for tobacco cessation programs and other tobacco elimination programs.

However, as I understand it the law is that the money goes to the states, but the states are not compelled to use it for that purpose. In these economically trying times, states are using it for infrastructure, they’re using it for a lot of other reasons.

We have to get back to preserving that money for tobacco cessation. Right now we have an increasing trend in smoking among adolescents, and among people of low education and low income.

Again, the burden of their illnesses is going to impact all of us. It doesn’t only impact the person who is going to be unfortunate enough to get lung cancer; it affects our health care costs, and we all absorb that, so it behooves all of us to make sure those funds are used properly.

Macaluso: Let’s shift the conversation from prevention to treatment. Your book does talk about some major successes in medicine, in the treatment of cancer. One in particular is Novartis’ Gleevec. This is a treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia.

What I was wondering, reading your book, was why haven’t we been able to replicate the success of Gleevec and chronic myeloid leukemia with other types of cancer, namely solid tumors?

Cuomo: That’s a very astute question. Chronic myeloid or myelogenous leukemia, CML, is based on a single genetic mutation. This terrible disease is actually a very simple disease, unlike breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer – these more common cancers – which are several orders of magnitude more complicated than that.

Therefore, Gleevec can attack CML and effectively cure it because it’s a very simple disease. Breast, prostate, lung cancer, are all much more complicated and it’s not as easy to treat them with a single chemotherapeutic agent or a monoclonal antibody, and that’s what Gleevec is.

Cuomo: prevention is the most effective strategy we have for ridding ourselves of cancer, and yet we devote so little time and attention to it.

My agenda is not to draw attention away from treatment. Again, there will always be patients who require treatment, and they should have it. What I am saying is that we have the intellectual resources and the financial capability to achieve both.

The National Cancer Prevention Institute would do just that. It would be based on a collaborative focused effort divided into teams, each team addressing a specific cancer type, and it would draw from many disciplines.

It would be a trans-disciplinary approach, including epidemiology, cancer biology, microbiology, immunology, engineering, pharmaceuticals, even urban planning; everything you need to decrease cancer incidence.

I don’t see that happening right now, and a lot of people that have been studying this for a long time feel it is time now to do this kind of approach, the way we did for the moonshot and for the Human Genome Project, both of which took a collaborative effort which had team science at its core. That’s what we should use for the prevention of cancer.

Macaluso: Dr. Cuomo, recently there was an Institute of Medicine report that addressed cancer care. Can you speak a little bit about that?

Cuomo: Yes. I was very pleased to see some experts in the country, such as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Dr. Peter Bach, contribute to this workshop last October. They just issued a report from the Institute of Medicine addressing the question, “How do we contain cancer costs and what can we be doing better?”

Some of the key points were, what should a cancer therapy do? How do we assess its effectiveness and its value?

Well, it should increase our overall survival. It should increase the patient’s survival. It should increase the patient’s quality of life, while at the same time it should have very few side effects – certainly not life-threatening side effects or side effects that degrade that quality of life – and it should contain costs. It should not be an unsustainable cost.

I thought that was a very good way of focusing attention on the question of how do we end the spiral of cancer care cost in America.

Macaluso: Thank you very much. Once again, Dr. Margaret Cuomo, author of the book A World Without Cancer.

IMPORTANT  DATES:
May 12 (Friday)   At School all day (preparation for Shakespeare Play)

May 15 & 16      Shakespeare Production at Stage West Theater
May 17 Tuesday  –  NO SCHOOL – a day of rest for a job well done!

May 22 – 26       Adventure Trip
May 26               Last Day of Semester.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.

       Horizons only now you will see.

Love Surrounds Us / Heart Healthy Diet / Friday: At School

The Miracle of Life blossoms into Beauty.

Thoughts of love
surround us.
And all around us,
in every moment
of every day,
with every beat
of every Heart,
the Miracle of Life
blossoms
into Beauty that
WE
can behold.

The Eternal Light
of Love

chases away the last vestige
of the dark
of night.

And we come to see
evermore,
the wonder of our Birth
into Hope,
into Love
and Life,
and into the
Light.

All
things become visible

when they are exposed by the Light,
for everything that becomes visible
is Light.”
Ephesians 5:13

We are remote
from the possibility
of comprehension.
But the Human Heart
can
take pleasure and delight

in the magic and the wonder
and the mystery
that is this
Life.

               A Many Splendored Thing.

Life
is at best,
but a brief journey
through Seasons
that come and go,
the passage
through which
few
are ever fully aware,
ever really know.

Yes.
Seasons come
and then they go,
and we are here

and gone.
Your smile,

faint in the glow
of beautiful memory,
much like
your Life,
seemingly long,
glimmering like a Rainbow,
but lasting
like the Dawn.

             Glimmering like a Rainbow.

But the Miracle
of this Life
lies in the Mystery
of the Clear Eternal Light,
that when you Pray,
will find you
and guide you,
and never
let you lose
your way.

“This is the message
we have heard from him
and proclaim to you,

that God is light
and in him is no darkness
at all.”

John 1:5

Let us
Dream the Dream,
and keep on
Living
to Walk
in the Beautiful
Light of God’s
abundant Love.

                      Lasting like the Dawn.

 Yes,
the tides of fortune
are awash and aplenty
upon our shores.
And the initial Life
of material existence
is filled with illusion.

“Our concept of Beauty
suggests a greater Meaning
in a Universe capable of producing beings
that not only appreciate Beauty
but strive to achieve greater and greater Beauty.
You are made to think, know, and create like God,
because God wanted to share
that experience of Being
with some other than Himself.”
Sarah Capello

But deeper
than the Ocean
is God’s Love
for you.

I Pray
you will come to see
the Peace and Hope
and the everlasting Joy
such knowing
will bring.

God’s Love
is truly
a Many Splendored
Thing.

Goodnight.

             Let us dream the dream.

Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease
read more

Ready to start your heart-healthy diet? Here are eight tips to get you started.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.

 1. Control your portion size

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs.

Use a small plate or bowl to help control your portions. Eat larger portions of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and smaller portions of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or fast foods. This strategy can shape up your diet as well as your heart and waistline.

Keep track of the number of servings you eat. A serving size is a specific amount of food, defined by common measurements such as cups, ounces or pieces. For example, one serving of pasta is 1/2 cup, or about the size of a hockey puck. A serving of meat, fish or chicken is about 2 to 3 ounces, or about the size and thickness of a deck of cards. Judging serving size is a learned skill. You may need to use measuring cups and spoons or a scale until you’re comfortable with your judgment.

2. Eat more vegetables and fruits

 Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Vegetables and fruits contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.

Featuring vegetables and fruits in your diet can be easy. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you’ll remember to eat it. Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredients, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.

Fruits and vegetables to choose Fruits and vegetables to limit
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits
  • Low-sodium canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit packed in juice or water
  • Coconut
  • Vegetables with creamy sauces
  • Fried or breaded vegetables
  • Canned fruit packed in heavy syrup
  • Frozen fruit with sugar added

3. Select whole grains

 Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. Or be adventuresome and try a new whole grain, such as whole-grain farro, quinoa or barley.
Grain products to choose Grain products to limit or avoid
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Whole-grain bread, preferably 100% whole-wheat bread or 100% whole-grain bread
  • High-fiber cereal with 5 g or more of fiber in a serving
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, barley and buckwheat (kasha)
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
  • White, refined flour
  • White bread
  • Muffins
  • Frozen waffles
  • Corn bread
  • Doughnuts
  • Biscuits
  • Quick breads
  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Egg noodles
  • Buttered popcorn
  • High-fat snack crackers

4. Limit unhealthy fats

 Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

The American Heart Association offers these guidelines for how much fat to include in a heart-healthy diet:

Type of fat Recommendation
Saturated fat Less than 7% of your total daily calories, or less than 14 g of saturated fat if you follow a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet
Trans fat Less than 1% of your total daily calories, or less than 2 g of trans fat if you follow a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet

The best way to reduce saturated and trans fats in your diet is to limit the amount of solid fats — butter, margarine and shortening — you add to food when cooking and serving. You can also reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet by trimming fat off your meat or choosing lean meats with less than 10 percent fat.

You can also use low – fat substitutions when possible for a heart – healthy diet. For example, top your baked potato with low-sodium salsa or low-fat yogurt rather than butter, or use sliced whole fruit or low-sugar fruit spread on your toast instead of margarine.

You may also want to check the food labels of some cookies, crackers and chips. Many of these snacks — even those labeled “reduced fat” —  may be made with oils containing trans fats. One clue that a food has some trans fat in it is the phrase “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list.

When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, found in certain fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.

An easy way to add healthy fat (and fiber) to your diet is ground flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have found that flaxseeds may help lower cholesterol in some people. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal.

Fats to choose Fats to limit
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Vegetable and nut oils
  • Margarine, trans fat free
  • Cholesterol-lowering margarine, such as Benecol, Promise Activ or Smart Balance
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Avocados
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Gravy
  • Cream sauce
  • Nondairy creamers
  • Hydrogenated margarine and shortening
  • Cocoa butter, found in chocolate
  • Coconut, palm, cottonseed and palm-kernel oils

5. Choose low-fat protein sources

 Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs are some of your best sources of protein. But be careful to choose lower fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties.

Fish is another good alternative to high-fat meats. And certain types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. You’ll find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Other sources are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil.

 Legumes — beans, peas and lentils — also are good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat. Substituting plant protein for animal protein — for example, a soy or bean burger for a hamburger — will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake.
Proteins to choose Proteins to limit or avoid
  • Low-fat dairy products such as skim or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Eggs
  • Fish, especially fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon
  • Skinless poultry
  • Legumes
  • Soybeans and soy products, such as soy burgers and tofu
  • Lean ground meats
  • Full-fat milk and other dairy products
  • Organ meats, such as liver
  • Fatty and marbled meats
  • Spareribs
  • Hot dogs and sausages
  • Bacon
  • Fried or breaded meats

6. Reduce the sodium in your food

 Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
  • Healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day (about a teaspoon of salt)
  • People age 51 or older, African-Americans, and people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day
 Although reducing the amount of salt you add to food at the table or while cooking is a good first step, much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods, such as soups and frozen dinners. Eating fresh foods and making your own soups and stews can reduce the amount of salt you eat.

If you like the convenience of canned soups and prepared meals, look for ones with reduced sodium. Be wary of foods that claim to be lower in sodium because they are seasoned with sea salt instead of regular table salt — sea salt has the same nutritional value as regular salt.

Another way to reduce the amount of salt you eat is to choose your condiments carefully. Many condiments are available in reduced-sodium versions, and salt substitutes can add flavor to your food with less sodium.

Low-salt items to choose High-salt items to avoid
  • Herbs and spices
  • Salt substitutes
  • Reduced-salt canned soups or prepared meals
  • Reduced-salt versions of condiments, such as reduced-salt soy sauce and reduced-salt ketchup
  • Table salt
  • Canned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners
  • Tomato juice
  • Soy sauce

7. Plan ahead: Create daily menus

 You know what foods to feature in your heart-healthy diet and which ones to limit. Now it’s time to put your plans into action.

Create daily menus using the six strategies listed above. When selecting foods for each meal and snack, emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources and healthy fats, and limit salty foods. Watch your portion sizes and add variety to your menu choices.

 For example, if you have grilled salmon one evening, try a black-bean burger the next night. This helps ensure that you’ll get all of the nutrients your body needs. Variety also makes your meals and snacks more interesting.

8. Allow yourself an occasional treat

 Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. A candy bar or handful of potato chips won’t derail your heart-healthy diet. But don’t let it turn into an excuse for giving up on your healthy eating plan. If overindulgence is the exception, rather than the rule, you’ll balance things out over the long term. What’s important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.

 Incorporate these eight tips into your life, and you’ll find that heart-healthy eating is both doable and enjoyable. With planning and a few simple substitutions, you can eat with your heart in mind.

Friday:

We will meet at school
on Friday
from 8:30 a.m.
to 3:15 p.m.
and work with our Director,
George Rodriguez,
on our upcoming
Shakespeare production.

IMPORTANT  DATES:

May 5                 At School (Play rehearsal)
May 15 & 16      Shakespeare Production at Stage West Theater
May 22 – 26       Adventure Trip
May 26               Last Day of Semester.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.

The magic and the wonder and the mystery that is this Life.

 

That’s All I Ask of You / Coping With Workplace Stress / Friday: At School (Shakespeare Play Rehearsal)

“We must know
that we have been created for greater things,
not just to be a number in the world,
not just to go for diplomas and degrees,
this work and that work.
We have been created in order
to Love
and to be Loved.”

–  Mother Teresa

God has been invited to come in.

My Dear Friends,
from this moment
Life can begin
again.

Imagine yourself
as another living Being.
And God
has been invited
to come in
and forgive you
of all your sin,
and rebuild the Life
that housed all your previous
days,
all the moments that for you
did exist.

             Life can begin again.

The first thought
that flies past you,
is that you cannot understand
what He is doing.

No.
No one can ever
really understand.

“Great is our Lord,
and abundant in power; 
his understanding is
beyond measure.”

Psalm 147:5

Because
the past
no longer exists.
Only tomorrow
is real again.

  The pain is no longer here to stay.

The pain,
from so many years,
that never
seemed to go away,
in one moment,
on one precious day,
is no longer
here to stay.

“For which cause we faint not;
but though our outward man perish,
yet the inward man is renewed
day by day.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16
 .
God is preparing
a place for your
Heart.

Far
beyond forever,
will He stay
in Love with you.
For
He will never
not Love you.
And all
He asks in return,
is that you Love
Him.

Is this
not what we ask
of others
in Life?

“No more talk of darkness
Forget these wide eyed fears.
I’m here, nothing can harm you.
My words will warm and calm you.

Let me be your freedom.
Let daylight dry your tears.
I’m here, with you, beside you,
To guard you and to guide you

Say you Love me
Every waking moment.
Say you Love me
Oh, I do Love you
that’s all I ask of you.

Anywhere you go
let me go too.
Love me,
that’s all I ask of you.”
–  Andrew Lloyd Webber

Yes,
finding a way
to be,
is as simple as
“I Love You.
Please Love Me.”

Goodnight.

               I Love You.

Coping With Workplace Stress
by Diana Louise Carter
read more

 in Esperanza
(Hope to Cope with Anxiety and Depression)

click here for more

Taking steps to strengthen your resilience, plus seeking treatment if necessary, will help you handle cranky customers, toxic co-workers, and other on the job stressors.

After a really stressful day at work, Katie, an RN, spends a little extra drive time in her car.

“Once I leave the office, work stays here. I try absolutely my best not to take it home,” says Katie, who lives in Alabama. “Even if you have to drive around for a few minutes by yourself.”

That’s what professional counselors call a “calming ritual” – something that may come in especially handy for nurses like Katie, home health workers, bus drivers, social workers, and people employed in restaurants, real estate, personal services, and manufacturing.

Those are among occupations with the highest rates of depression, as ranked by two studies – one published in 2010, the other in 2014. Authors of the later study identified “frequent or difficult interactions” with the public or clients, high levels of stress, and low levels of physical activity as characteristics the jobs had in common.

No matter the profession, strains like cranky customers, uncivil bosses, unpredictable work schedules, unreasonable deadlines, and the 24/7 electronic tether of our mobile devices can challenge anyone’s well-being.

In the American Psychological Association’s 2012 annual Stress in America Survey, 65 percent of respondents listed work as their top source of life stress – but only 37 percent said they were “doing an excellent or very good job managing stress.”

Katie says hospital nursing is so demanding it’s sometimes hard to take a break to regroup.

“You’re the person who goes between the doctor and the patient,” she notes. “All of it kind of gets put on your shoulders. If it all goes wrong … nurses just catch most of the blame.”

Katie prefers to practice in a small clinic where the pace and workload are more comfortable. A case manager for an outpatient mental health and substance abuse program, she’s a fan of adult coloring books— “they’re actually very calming” – and journaling for stress relief.

CREATIVE CHANGES

Expert advice for dealing with job stress tends to fall into two categories: steps you can take at work, such as using all your allotted breaks or advocating for different duties, and steps you can take outside work to better your health and enrich your life satisfaction—getting more exercise, for example, or pursuing hobbies that make you happy.

Steven implemented both types of solutions when the demands of his brewery job in upstate New York contributed to an anxiety diagnosis in 2007.

Steven, 57, had to follow complicated and precise recipes to craft huge tanks of “malternatives” like fruit-flavored alcoholic beverages and hard lemonade. Once he was formally reprimanded for using an ingredient from a new supplier that hadn’t been certified yet, which meant the whole batch went down the drain. He found himself overthinking all the steps in making beer coolers.

He was able to implement one creative change in his work flow to reduce his second-guessing: He would line up ingredients before he started and as each was added, he’d remove it from the bench.

There were other aspects of the job came he couldn’t control, however. His schedule rotated through day, evening and night shifts—a documented risk factor in depression and anxiety. He would frequently be called away from one task to attend a process elsewhere in the brewery complex, which made it harder to meet his production deadlines. Cost-cutting layoffs shrank his department from five employees per shift to three.

To counterbalance on-the-job aggravations, Steven pursued nature photography on his own and with a meet-up group.

“Photography helps,” says Steven, who took a disability retirement last year due to a bum knee. “Taking walks, occupying yourself, looking around. Your mind isn’t replaying all that went on in work again.”

RESTORING RESILIENCE

The American Institute of Stress notes that job pressures in and of themselves may be less important than how individuals fit with the work environment. For example, there are people who thrive in pressure-cooker situations while others have a lower tolerance for overload.

What’s happening outside of work can make a difference, too. At times, life stressors plus job stressors may add up to more than an individual’s natural resilience can handle. That’s when buttressing your reserves with activities that strengthen your physical self (especially good sleep), reinforce a positive perspective (such as reframing problems), and dilute tension (yoga, anyone?) become even more important.

Allison got caught in a period of institutional upheaval shortly after starting a new job at a prestigious music conservatory in Rochester, New York.

“We had to downsize my department. I had to fire people to cut costs. I had to outsource services at the same time I was learning the job,” recalls Allison, who was hired to oversee publications and public affairs.

In her personal life, Allison was dealing with her mother’s declining health and her marriage was slowly unraveling. Diagnosed with depression, she worked with her doctor and therapist to come up with coping tools.

“My doctor suggested maybe doing art or exercising. I swam laps. I would sit quietly at night and listen to the radio and draw mandalas. I would paint,” says Allison.

As the environment at work worsened, Allison decided on a more radical solution: Leaving that job to look for opportunities where she could be self-employed.

The “take this job and shove it” approach may be the best option in some circumstances, but for many it feels like an impossible choice. Robert W. McLellarn, PhD, often counsels people who are stressed out because of their jobs.

“They feel like they have to keep going to keep the paycheck,” notes McLellarn, a licensed clinical psychologist in Portland, Oregon, who specializes in treating anxiety.

McLellarn says that taking some sort of action short of leaving a bad job can be a stress reliever. For example, pursue the skills or training needed to get a more fulfilling job. The goal is to feel less stuck.

“Even giving people some strategies, some ideas, some hope that this can change is rewarding,” says McLellarn.

 WORKPLACE ALLIES

Assuming clear guidelines from human resources and a sympathetic supervisor, negotiating accommodations can be an on-the-job option. Opinion varies on whether it’s wise to divulge mental health challenges, and a lot depends on an individual’s particular situation and comfort level.

Genella of Brandon, Manitoba, coaches individuals on managing stress and advises companies on how to establish “psychologically safe” workplaces through her consulting firm Partners in Discovery. Although more employers are recognizing the bottom-line benefits of reducing burnout, she acknowledges that ignorance and stigma haven’t disappeared.

“People understand if you have a cast on your leg, but if you’re stressed, people still think it’s a character flaw,” says Genella, who has dealt with depression and anxiety herself.

Similarly, Genella points out, people can see that someone with a broken leg needs an elevator to go between floors, but they may not know what sort of supports to offer for a person with depression or anxiety. 

Genella says Canadian law acknowledges addiction issues, but hasn’t codified accommodations for mental health.

Protections assured by the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act may come into play if symptoms interfere with job responsibilities, according to Job Accommodations Network, a program of the U.S. Department of Labor and academic and industry partners.

Lisa of Brooklyn found an ally when she went to work part-time as an admissions coordinator at a law school in New York City nine years ago. Lisa, 46, has lived with sometimes disabling anxiety since her teens. Her department head allowed her to switch around her schedule if a panic attack erupted on a day she was due in.

When Lisa feels overwhelmed at the office, she takes a bathroom break to practice deep breathing exercises. She also finds prayer calming.

Having a strong support network at home keeps Lisa fortified for work demands. She finds that in her husband and parents, who live in the same apartment building. Weekly visits with her beloved nephews, ages 5 years old and 4 months old, have become a vital tonic.

“I call them my sunshine boys,” she says. “They should just bottle babies and give that as depression medication.”

Genella, meanwhile, thrives on the “unconditional gratitude, acceptance and love” of her dog, Tucker.

“When you have those, you can’t have a stress response at the same time,” she asserts. “I suggest that a person find out: When you are stressed, what works for you?”

WORKPLACE STRESS: SWITCH GEARS

It’s important to leave work and all its worries behind once you get home. Creating a destressing ritual can help you move into a new frame of mind. That could be something as simple as changing into more comfortable clothes or having a cup of tea while reviewing the mail.

DOLLARS AND SENSE

If it’s not addressed, chronic work stress can have a negative impact on physical health, family relationships, and life satisfaction. It can tip vulnerable individuals into depression or anxiety, or trigger those already dealing with mental health challenges.

Quite apart from the personal toll, there’s a financial backlash for businesses. One widely quoted statistic puts the annual cost of job stress to the American economy at $300 billion.

That includes the estimated burden of accidents due to fatigue and inability to concentrate, employee turnover, and loss of productivity due to absenteeism and “presenteeism”—in attendance bodily but unable to work at normal capacity.

According to the Harvard Business Review, studies show that presenteeism due to chronic illnesses—including conditions like allergies and arthritis – costs employers two to three times more than direct medical care.

Looking specifically at depression in the workplace, the advocacy organization Mental Health American cites a figure of $51 billion annually in indirect costs to the U.S. economy.

In Canada, more than 30 percent of disability claims and 70 percent of disability costs can be traced to mental health issues, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. However, such payouts may yield a rich payback.

In a 2009 survey of 3,000 Alberta workers found that 255 people (or nearly 10 percent) confirmed they’d had a depressive episode in the year before they were interviewed. Those who had received treatment were significantly more likely to report being able to function at a highly productive level at work compared to those who had not sought help

 TOXIC WORKPLACE ANTITOXINS

Sometimes job stress doesn’t come from the work itself but from the people you work with. In her book Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace, Christine Porath, PhD, chronicles the toll that a toxic workplace can take on employees and employers.

Productivity tends to decrease and work absences tend to increase. If workers burn out and leave, businesses face the expense of replacing them. People are likely to carry workplace stress home at the end of the day, with poisonous effects on their health and relationships.

Whether a single bout of yelling or constant “micro-aggressions” by a difficult supervisor, the effects “can stick with people for decades,” Porath says. “It takes a cognitive toll even if you just observe it.”

Minimizing face-to-face contact can be a legitimate strategy, such as steering clear of committee work with a co-worker who pushes your buttons. Some other recommendations:

For a reality check, discreetly ask co-workers whether they’re having similar problems. Try to evaluate where there’s an objective issue affecting everyone, like unreasonable deadlines or constant disrespect, or whether you are particularly reactive.

Try talking with your supervisor about specific behaviors and situations that are making you feel stressed. Some may welcome the feedback, others may react negatively.

If your supervisor is not receptive to your concerns, consider moving up the chain of command or turning to the human resources department or a union representative.

If unclear job expectations are creating stress, ask to work with your supervisor on developing written guidelines you can both agree upon

 FEEL THE BURN(OUT)

The Mayo Clinic lists these signs of job burnout:

  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started once you arrive?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Are you using food, drugs, or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
  • Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints? 

  No one can ever really understand.

Friday:
Our plan to travel this Friday
has been postponed due to
inclement weather.
We will meet at school
on Friday
from 8:30 a.m.
to 3:15 p.m.
and work with our Director,
George Rodriguez,
on our upcoming
Shakespeare production.

IMPORTANT  DATES:

April 28             At School (Play rehearsal)
May 1                TUITION DUE for 2017-18
May 15 & 16      Shakespeare Production at Stage West Theater
May 22 – 26       Adventure Trip
May 26               Last Day of Semester.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.