Let’s face it, there are just times in our life when it gets and feels all crazy… deadlines at work, children acting up, scary storms knocking out towns (God bless you folks in Moore, Oklahoma)…
When the world is acting like it’s a full moon (whether it is or not), we have to develop certain sanity preserving skills such as:
1. The ability to distance ourselves from unhealthy situations and people.
2. not take anything personal.
3. to be able to just shrug, breathe, and say “f–k it”!
this too shall pass…
7. Take walks, go to yoga class, hop on your bike…
8. Connect with friends on Facebook
9. Have your sweetie hold you tight and cry if you need to…
10. Listen to Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World
And when all else fails and you just need to smile and laugh, watch The Baby Bachelor.
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~ William A. Ward
Good morning! As the day begins, I offer you a few writing prompts to get your day started:
1. What am I thankful for?
2. What am I looking forward to?
3. Today I am _______ because________……
Have a blessed day!
Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~ Sharon O’Brien
The prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
A peaceful state of mind will lead to less anxiety and restful sleep most nights.
How do we on a consistent basis be in that peaceful state of mind?
I suggest we keep the following in mind:
1. The past is the past. It does not have any power over us unless we allow it to.
2. The future is not yet here. Why sacrifice today by fretting about something that may or (more than likely) may not happen?
3. Find your allies! Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who love and care about you.
4. Have faith in yourself,
5. Have faith in others,
6. Have faith in life,
7. have faith in God.
8. Circumstances and other people can not hurt you if you don’t let them.
9. At the end of the day, say, “I did my best”. Breathe. It is done.
10. In the end, what is truly important? So much of what we permit worry us or upset us if just fluff. Let it go!
Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith. ~ Author Unknown
For a treat, listen to
Time To Say Goodbye Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman.flv
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
May the sun shine for you,
when people or circumstances tempt you to question yourself,
may you look beyond them and not take anything personally today.
It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes. ~ Sally Field
Summary: Sleep apnea continues to rob millions of African American women of sleep, which can lead to increased risk of several life-threatening conditions. With African Americans at greater risk of the disorder, the question is being asked; to what degree are African American women at risk?
Hundreds of times every night, millions of African American women stop breathing intermittently during sleep for as much as 20 to 30 seconds at a time. Other than the fatigue and lack of alertness, which are just the daily symptoms, most of those women are unaware that they suffer from a growing serious health risk known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
With long term health risks including a dramatically increased risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension and even some cancers, an increasing amount of statistical evidence from researchers and all quarters of the health continuum show that African Americans are at a greater risk for OSA. This supports the mounting evidence that an increasing percentage of African American women are at risk of the condition.
OSA and African American women
The severity of sleep apnea is measured in events per hour with the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). An AHI of less than 5 is considered normal. An AHI of 5-15 is mild; 15-30 is moderate and more than 30 events per hour are considered severe sleep apnea.
While the American Sleep Apnea Association says that about 70 percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are overweight or obese, many women of color within normal weight parameters suffer from the disorder. However, a 2004 study sponsored by the National Institute of Health did find shared and unshared genetic factors that may affect the risk of both obesity and sleep apnea in African Americans.
Like most health conditions, OSA has not received the same level of study in African Americans and particularly African American women as with Caucasians. However, one of the first studies was profiled by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that showed middle aged, pre-menopausal African American women to be more likely to suffer from OSA symptoms than their white counterparts.
Although awareness of OSA in the African American community is growing, there continues to be a marked lack of women that take the initiative to be screened for the disorder. Melissa Bynes Brooks, the Clinical Coordinator of Broward Health Coral Springs Sleep Disorders Center and editor of Brooks Sleep Review recently penned an article with some startling statistics regarding African Americans and OSA. The article entitled
“Why Are Black People Dying in Their Sleep” discussed a community-based sample of 421 Black patients referred by their private care physicians where only 38 percent followed the recommendation for a sleep consultation.
Currently, the gold standard treatment for OSA is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP therapy requires the patient to wear a mask that is connected to a
CPAP machine that supplies a regulated stream of air to the sleeping patient. This serves to increase the flow of oxygen and reduce the apnea events as well as reduce the short-term and long-term health risks of OSA.
According to a recent study, 93 percent of women and 82 percent of men with moderate to severe OSA have not been clinically diagnosed. Research also shows that nearly 80 percent of African Americans suffer from sleep disorder symptoms. Of those African Americans that do get diagnosed and start CPAP therapy, compliance remains a significant roadblock.
A recent article urging African American CPAP Compliance was one of an increasing number urging them to utilize the life-saving therapy.
Spreading the good news for health
Famous African Americans are beginning to do their part as well. As part of the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine’s
expanded online OSA information repository on OSA, Shaquille O’Neal who suffers from sleep apnea, has included an informational video on the disorder aimed at African Americans.
OSA affects an estimated 15 million to 20 million Americans, as well as millions more who remain undiagnosed and untreated. Sleep apnea robs the body and the brain of sufficient oxygen, which in the short-term manifests itself in daytime sleepiness, fatigue, brain fog, and headaches. While these symptoms can clearly be improved for most people with OSA that utilize CPAP masks and machines, the brain itself can also be positively affected.
Although there are clearly many people and experts from all quarters sounding the alarm for African American women regarding OSA, the lack of significant widespread studies keeps the disorder off of the radar of the millions of black women that are living with the symptoms of OSA and the higher long-term health risks that it brings.
Outreach regarding the tools and tactics that benefit the health of African American women is clearly working overall as the life expectancy and overall health of this significant sector of society improves in many ways. Increased diligence and communication to spread the word regarding OSA is the key to helping African American women help themselves to lead healthier, longer, more productive and happier lives.
E. Victor Brown is a freelance writer specializing in health and health technology and its effects on the health of African Americans. His research and writing has covered Sleep Disorder Breathing, OSA and by extension, the technology and use of a CPAP Machine and CPAP Masks as part of effective therapy for African Americans and other populations.
Tonight’s journal writing exercise is a fun one… life’s little pleasures. Not the big stuff (or perhaps the little stuff is the big stuff…), but the little things that truly make life and daily existence worthwhile.
Writing in our journals is a wonderful chance to focus on things we love.
Remember, what we focus on grows.
What we appreciate, appreciates.
Life’s little pleasures is one of those things that just makes it all worthwhile, y’know? I even have a Pinterest Board devoted to life’s little pleasures.
What little things put a smile on your face? Little things that you look forward to? Your guilty little pleasures…? Hmmm? It’s okay. This is a safe place to share.
As always (or most of the time at least), I will start my own entry and then you write too. I invite you all to comment at the end of your post to share a few of your little pleasures. It is fun to share with each other.
Ready to start? I know I am! Let’s see…
1. The sound of the birds singing as I sit here on my back patio writing in the early evening…
2. The smell of my roses interwoven with the honey suckles that are in full bloom right now this wonderful May evening. I am breathing the intoxicating fragrance now as I write this…
3. Going for a walk and saying hello to the friendly neighbors (I live in the South and everybody is so nice and friendly here)!
4. Being out in public and enjoying the babies and toddlers (I remember when my children were that little once and it makes me happy to remember those precious days)
5. Knowing I have a great dinner planned for my family (I love to cook)!
6. My back patio garden.
7. My first cup of coffee in the morning.
8. When we first turn off the light, melting into my husband’s arms and resting my head on “my spot” (his shoulder) that is just right.. and falling asleep…
Your turn, Dear friends. I am not by any means through with my entry. This is a really fun one. Enjoy and remember to share a few little pleasures on your list with all of us by commenting in… don’t be shy now…
Much love and peace to all of you. I am so glad we are sharing a sweet sliver of this life journey together.
When you are tired from the day,
when you feel daily life is getting in the way
of your dreams…
When you want to say “enough is enough”!
or,” I don’t want to play today…”
Today comes anyway, so what is one to do?
I say, say “hey!” to the day,
I’m gonna get out of my own way,
and do what I am meant to do! Umh-huh
“What is that?”, you ask (as if you are absolutely clueless)..
but deep down in there, where the real you resides…
is a knowing.
And you know what to do with this day and the next,
you just have to do it,
forget about the rest (as in the excuses and the “someday” dreams of the mind that wishes and yearns but does not act)…
You are thinking about this, and I know you are…
If not now, when?
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~ Ambrose Redmoon
I used to teach these two lovely ladies once a week at 6:30 in the morning. Every week, they would show up like clockwork, them and them alone. My morning class went from that of a general open level setting, to a very friendly, and personal semi-private – to the point we carried our friendship off the mat, and out into the world. Every now and then, when the weather was terrible, or someone had worked too late the night before, I would receive a text that said, “Sorry, Aryn. Today we’ll be practicing sleep yoga.”
Now, they were just letting me know they were going to sleep an extra hour, and they would see me at my next class, but in the realm of yoga – sleep yoga does actually exist. Yoga Nidra is a style of yoga that helps you glide into a sleep like state, by means of guided meditation. By concentrating on our breath, and following the instruction of a Yoga Nidra teacher, Sleep Yoga can helps us, simply, let go of the stress and tensions of every day life.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra include: Improved concentration and focus, a clear mind, and improved performance at work and in other areas of life. According to The National Sleep Foundation it also helps improve menstrual problems, and even helps relieve post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).
Personally, I love yoga nidra. It is something I do at least once a week to help ensure I am getting the amount of sleep that I need. As the Dalai Lama said, “Sleep is the best meditation.” But remember, sometimes meditation is the best way to get a full nights sleep.
I’m Aryn, a mother of one born in Ohio, living in California. I love ice cream, but I don’t eat it and couldn’t even if I wanted to, and I hate popcorn. I love carnivals and summer, the beach and ocean, I love yoga and to live every moment the best that I can with my family, and I really, really love to write.
You can find Aryn at her wonderful blog Weekly Adventures. Ordinary Girl.
or she is quite active on Twitter at @ArynYoungless
A special note from me to to Aryn:
From the very beginning of my blogging journey (about three years ago now) you have been there. You are someone I can always share things with about my writing, my yoga practice, and life. Thank you for being a guest blogger here at The Warm Milk Journal and
most of all,
thank you for being my friend.
A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world. ~ Leo Buscaglia
I invite you to think about your significant other… focus on how blessed you are that they are in your life.
Then just write what you appreciate about them.
What we appreciate, appreciates!
What we focus on grows!
Who does not want more love in their lives, right? What is more important when it comes right down to it, hmmm…?
Okay, so my journal entry may look like this. I will begin, then you do your own. Deal?
What I love about my husband is:
1. his optimism
2. his kindness
3. his rugged good looks
4. his smile
5. his flexibility
6. his ability to put up with silly me!
I will continue in my private journal so that you may begin your own entry…
*note: if you are not married or in a relationship right now, you can write about the qualities that you appreciate about your ideal partner (in present tense with feeling as if they are in your life now).
Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving. ~ Kahlil Gibran