ten things I can’t live without…

It’s Day #13 of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.  The prompt: Write a list of ten things you need (or love) most. In David Letterman style, here are the top 10 things I need most.

#10  Shelter

I feel fortunate, during these challenging economic times, that my husband and I are able to live comfortably in our own home.  A couple of years ago, I had the epiphany that if I was going to be home everyday, my home needed to support my health.  We hired a feng shui consultant to help us make changes in color, room arrangement, etc.  She designed a wonderful office space that includes an accessible desk where I spend most of my day.

#9  Healthy Food

Food provides more than fuel for the body – it is medicine, especially when it comes to disease management.  I am have been prescribed a gluten-dairy-legume free diet for persons with multiple sclerosis by the naturopath I am working with. It is a bit more expensive up front to eat fresh, organic fruits and vegetables but the pay off in improved health makes it a worthy investment.

#8 Positive attitude

With my  basic need for food and shelter out-of-the-way, I can now focus on my attitude. Scientists have found that happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their less-than-happy peers. Some days it is easier than others….

“Happiness is no magic bullet,” says University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener,  “but the evidence is clear and compelling that it changes your odds of getting disease or dying young.”

#7 Funds for discretionary spending

Our current healthcare system has not fully embraced complementary healing modalities such as healing touch, reiki, massage, or acupuncture. I have found all  these modalities to be beneficial for me and use them regularly.  I take part in yoga a few times per week to maintain flexibility and strength. I also receive acupuncture and therapeutic massage every 2 weeks to manage the increased tone (spasticity) in my legs and relax my body. I gladly pay-out-of-pocket for these services… but a little help from the insurance company would be nice.

#6 Technology

I love my Mac desktop computer. (It was part of my #10 office space re-design).  I also have an iPad which I use for both entertainment and work. I believe that the invention of the iPad was genius and I know that it has changed the life of many people with disabilities. When my eyes go blurry from too much screen time, I can dictate and it will type with 85% accuracy. I can use it for research, to respond to emails. store recipes and to watch movies.  Technology has changed my life and the lives of those living with a disability.

#5 My walker

Walks have become enjoyable, again!  My walking has declined this past year and while I can walk using a cane, it is much easier to use my walker. I don’t have to concentrate on each step so I can relax and enjoy the fresh, spring air.  It has a seat so I can rest when needed.  My walker is also wonderful for hauling packages when shopping or traveling in airports. It gets me first row seating at Disney World.

#4 My girlfriends

I have a lovely circle of women who offer me support and encouragement. It turns out that girl friend relationships are good for health, too.  (I am inserting a shout-out to Diane, one of my “forever” friends… Thanks for reading what I write everyday).  My girl friends nourish my soul.

#3 Regular phone calls from my children

No explanation needed here – always a mom.

#2 Opportunities to express my creativity

Whether I am writing a blog, helping a friend solve a problem, sewing or knitting… it is important for me to have a creative outlet. It’s what I am here to do and, I believe, how I am meant to be.

We are ourselves creations. We are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves. This is the God-force extending itself through us. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using creativity is our gift back to God. -Julia Cameron, Heart Steps

#1 Love

To know and awaken the love in my heart for myself and others. Love is all there is.

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