By KRS Edstrom
I have a friend who has been living with AIDS for several years now. She recently found out she has cancer, and now the doctors say that she may not make it to summer. She’s an otherwise strong person, with an excellent positive attitude. I was hoping that you might have some ideas on how I can feed that positive attitude, or just know the right words to say. I want to write her a letter and would like to include some words of wisdom.... but from a professional, which I am not. I’d appreciate any guidance you might be able to offer.
Friend Dying of Aids
Dear Friend Dying,
How inspiring that you have chosen to prioritize your friend’s feelings over your own painful feelings at this time. Many people back away from those who are ill, particularly at the end, because they feel inadequate and consumed with sadness. Consider calling your friend as well as writing her. The energy of a loving human voice has a powerful healing effect, both physically and emotionally. Whether you call or write, the most valuable thing you can offer your ailing friend at this point is the sentiment in your heart. Remind your friend of how much good she has done on this earth and how much she means to you.
Encourage yourself to gently ask your friend about her fear of dying. This is the hardest question for supporting friends to ask, but often the most important. More often than not, floodgates of thoughts and emotions will open from the dying person. Listen. Follow your friend into this conversation and keep it going with loving, honest feedback and further questions, if appropriate. If writing, encourage your friend to communicate her fears. Depending on her faith, you may even want to explore a conversation about letting go of her fear so she can actually anticipate her pain-free union with God.
Ask her if there’s anything you can do for her. When I asked a terminal
patient if he was afraid to die, he answered quite quickly that he was
most afraid that he wouldn’t get to say goodbye to his family. Since he
was too weak to write, I asked if he’d like to dictate letters to me
each of them. He loved the idea and was able to sign them himself.
After this session I noticed that calmness seemed to replace his former
state of agitation. [An interesting footnote: The letter writing
experience to his family members seemed divinely guided. I was able to
turn off “me” during the writing and didn’t recall anything I had
written when we were through. I delivered the letters to his family
members after his passing. It was beautiful.]
Trust your intentions, work from your heart and your friend will feel
Every day around 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. I get hungry and start snacking on low-fat and fat-free foods and can’t stop. I feel like I never get full and I am always going back into the kitchen for more. I usually end up eating until I feel like I am going to explode because I can’t tell when I’ve had enough. Could you tell me what low fat snacks are out there that will fill me up after one serving?
Binging on Low Fat Foods
The low fat snacks that will fill you up and signal that you have had enough to eat are those that are nutritionally balanced and will supplement that which your body is lacking at that moment. People are often so preoccupied with the fat content of a food that they forget about the nutritional content. When your body gives you hunger signals it is actually giving you nutritional requests. It is saying, “I’m running out of gas and I need some high octane fuel instead of empty calories, if you don’t mind.”
Thinking we are fooling the system, we give it the equivalent of cardboard in the form of refined carbohydrates and nutritionally deficient low-fat foods. The body continues to scream, “Get back to that refrigerator and try again — I’ve got a stomach full of useless cardboard here!”
But off you run, continuing to allow your mind to overrule your body.
And so the cycle spirals and the pounds accumulate (yes, you CAN gain
weight on low -fat foods). It is a very frustrating cycle that can be
hard to figure out when you don’t give your body equal time to speak.
You can begin to break that cycle by asking your body what it really
needs before you get to the kitchen. Ask your body if, for example, a
handful of raw almonds might actually taste better than low-fat
Also ask — is this really hunger or is it an attempt to numb emotional
I can do a very fast walk in 35 min and go 1.4 miles or jog the same distance in about the same time. Which is better as far as the health benefits? Thanks.
Jog or Walk?
Walking gets the vote for health benefits, especially for women. You eliminate the risk of injury and “gravitational pull” on your body (both internally and externally) with walking. Since a fast walk can actually take more effort than a slow jog, you may even be burning more calories with your walk.
KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an author, lecturer and columnist. She is
available for private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminars on
meditation, motivation, stress, pain, weight loss and other personal
growth issues. Her books and audios offer solutions for healthful,
conscious living. For free soothing guided meditations and more, please
visit KRS’ “Serenity and Meditation Corner” at
www.AskKRS.com For more info call (323) 851-8623 or e-mail: www.askkrs@aol . com
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