The benefits of Greek yogurt, that is. In fact, it’s the only kind I eat now. Greek yogurt is thicker than traditional yogurt because the liquid whey has been drained off. It has as much as twice the protein of the traditional kind; a six-ounce serving has as much protein as 2-3 ounces of meat. It also has less lactose than regular yogurt, so it may be easier to digest.
I often write and speak about the many reasons why it’s good to receive. One of the most important is that when we receive, we simultaneously give. Yes, that’s right. What we give is the opportunity for the giver to give. This is not a trivial point, because giving is filled with rewards, and when we won’t receive, no giving can take place.
I’ve interviewed many professional caregivers over the past few months. One of the questions I like to ask them is to describe for me a difficult client. Often they tell me it’s the person who resists their care. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for seniors to refuse to accept the fact that they need help. This failure to receive is demoralizing for the caregiver. It also impacts the senior’s family members, usually their adult children, who are left with both concern over their welfare and the task of keeping their parents safe.
Our failure to receive graciously often affects others. I recall a date I had years ago. My date and I were at a club with several of his friends. When the server brought the check, my date and one of his friends argued over who would pay the tab, both of them insisting on footing the bill. Generally, offering to pay is a kind act, but this went to extremes, with neither one willing to allow the other to give. Those of us at the table became quite uncomfortable, and the unfortunate server was caught in the middle, prevented from moving on to serve others and puzzled who should receive the bill. Sadly neither man realized that allowing the other one to give would have been an act of generosity.
If you’re reading my column, I know you know how good it feels to give! Share that experience with others by learning to receive with grace and ease. We’ll all be blessed as a result.
Worried that you’re becoming forgetful as you age? Normal age-related changes in memory include forgetting part of an experience, temporarily being unable to recall a fact, or the need to use memory aids such as notes. With dementia, the whole experience is forgotten, the facts don’t return, and memory aids become less helpful over time.
If every person on the planet felt God’s love for them, if not all the time, at least on a regular basis, we would have peace and nonviolence in the world. While we can’t directly affect everyone, let’s start expressing God’s love in the form of appreciation, respect, and compassion for those we encounter.
Roger and I love to go to the Compass Room at the Hyatt Regency Downtown at night. It’s fun to see the city all lit up and notice what has changed since the last time we were there. It occurred to me recently that life is a lot like a revolving restaurant.
When we first sit down, we focus on the view and spend a few minutes gazing at the sights. As we place our orders and our attention drifts away from the window, we’re oblivious that we’re moving. After a while, we look up and realize that we’re facing another direction. We have a completely different perspective on the city without any effort on our part.
Isn’t life just like this? When we’re young we have a way of viewing the world and our lives. As we grow up and get more engaged in life, we don’t notice the tiny but continuous changes we’re making. It takes milestone events such as graduations, births, deaths, and big birthdays to get our attention and notice the shift in our perspective. If we think about it, we realize that we see things differently than we did 20 years earlier. We appreciate things we never did when we were younger, and now we understand what our parents or other elders were trying to tell us. When I was 19 and my father was almost 50, I remember him telling me he still felt 19. Back then I didn’t really understand how that could be, but I totally get it now.
Our ability to receive with grace and ease is not just affected by our willingness and consciousness. There are some things we just won’t be capable of receiving until our perspective shifts from life experiences. This insight has helped me be more compassionate with myself when I recognize how long it’s taken me to learn certain lessons. It also is enabling me to let go and worry less about the younger people in my life, be they relatives, students, co-workers, or friends. Just as the restaurant revolves without our effort, our lives progress, giving us a fresh outlook and new receptivity every time we stop to pay attention.
It’s already started. Someone came to Jazzercise with a noticeable tan after a weekend in Mexico. The instructor remarked how “healthy” she looked. We need to change our programming. Tans are not healthy. I know we’ve been trained to think so, but we’re capable of changing our thinking. When your skin changes color from the sun, it’s not a good thing.
Have you found yourself feeling forgetful, unfocused, scattered, or confused, especially when making decisions? Often erroneously chalked up to old age and the onset of dementia, according to studies of older adults, forgetfulness, attention lapses, and diminished mental sharpness are more closely related to mood and general health than to age or the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These conditions may be the side effect of a medication, the result of an underlying medical condition, or most often the result of a sleep or mood disturbance or everyday stress.
I’ve always enjoyed the stories where the author presents alternative endings and allows the reader to choose their favorite. Today I offer one to you. A bright, enthusiastic young woman wanted to get an advanced degree. She consulted experts in the field and her academic advisor, selected several schools that had programs meeting her goals, and applied to each.
Ending #1 – Despite her best efforts, she was not accepted by any of the schools. Whatever it was that she needed to do or be, she didn’t achieve it, so she failed. Feeling like a failure, she became stuck in negative emotions such as discouragement, disappointment, and low self esteem.
Ending #2 – Despite her best efforts, she was not accepted by any of the schools. She had done a really good job on her applications and interviews, but in each case someone else did just a little bit better and was selected over her. Tough break. Feeling like a victim, she doubted the advice she was given and became angry, frustrated, and sad.
Ending #3 – Despite her best efforts, she was not accepted by any of the schools. The Universe had something better for her that she didn’t yet know about. Feeling panicky at first, she remembered that God adores her and that all things work together for good for those who trust. She recognized her fear as just a sensation and did her best to remain open and see what good would unfold for her.
What ending would you choose? Haven’t we all seen each of these endings play out? Another question to ask ourselves is which scenario is true? I realized this week that having earned a degree in math, I spent years immersed in the thought that there is always one right answer. However quantum physicists have shown that the expectations of the observer affect the outcome. When researchers had scientists view identical specimens under a microscope, each one saw what they expected to see – and they were not the same!
The truth is that our power lies in our ability to choose the thoughts we hold. We make the ending true simply by choosing it. No wonder Marianne Williamson said we are powerful beyond measure!