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CHOOSING QUALITY THOUGHTS??

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"SIN IS A CHOICE" "SIN IS A CHOICE"
Does how we think change our brain? Bea and I regularly talk about how she can fight her depression with more attention to choosing what she thinks that leads to her actions. Last Thursday she came over, all excited, because she was led to this video on YouTube.

We sat down with some Lentil soup and listened to Dr. Caroline Leaf, neuroscientist, explain, “Let’s start with agreeing, ‘God created everything’. Science is describing what was created.”

As Dr. Leaf lectured, she showed us videos of how Dendrites are being formed in our brain with each of our thoughts. Bea and I looked at each other and smiled as we agreed with the added confirmation of where we are going with our goals for finding and sharing ‘energy tools’ for a fulfilling life.

So I ask myself, “What am I surrounding my day with in thoughts? Where am I getting my ideas? How do I choose what I do?”

Dr. Leaf went on to say, “Sin is a choice.”

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THANKFUL MEDITATION

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SEVEN CHAKRA POINTS SEVEN CHAKRA POINTS
Everywhere I turn, there are suggestions about incorporating “Meditation” in our lives. Our daughter, Lynette, has become a teacher of Yoga and Reiki; teaching me about the 7 Chakras - Breathing in and out of each of the seven areas, starting with the top of my head.

As I breath in and visualize breathing out the top of my head, I am thankfully turning over, all of which I can’t personally solve with action in my life, to GOD and the ANGELS. For me, I grew up with a personal GOD and I’m in the habit of constant dialogue all day long.

Next, breathing in and out from my third eye, which in my mind is connecting with the powerful energy and ideas from one human to another. This is the area of coincidences where we are connecting with that universal energy, if we choose to clear our minds enough to participate.

Third, I breath in and out with thanks to all those I have direct connections and can talk, text and email on a daily basis. This is where I count on others to keep me on track because we can not reach our dreams alone. We need weekly meetings for religion, business and family meetings to stay on track. It's also statistically proven research that talking is the best way to handle stress.

Fourth, I breath for the sake of my vital organs, starting with my heart. I remember when Sam passed, my heart actually hurt. So I give thanks for all I can do to thrive.

Next, it’s attention to the digestive system and all the ideas for what we put in our mouth. I love having Shaklee to take care of basic nutrition so I can use my interest and creativity with fun healthy gourmet delights. Thanks to Pinterest and chefs who bring smiles to my taste buds.

Sixth, is 'One Point' which is the center of my physical balance - 2 inches below the navel. In learning from the martial art of Aikido, I often incorporate doing the exercise of circling my torso in my thankful meditation. The Aikido guru said this exercise cures a lot of issues, especially related to the spine.

Finally, I am connecting and thankful for the earth and all nature brings into my life. I’m particularly inspired by NHK TV from Japan where the Japanese appreciation of nature is a science. These are the values Sam and I clearly want to pass on to our future generations.

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Matcha Tea

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For less than $1, I can be en... For less than $1, I can be energized, and calmed and focussed on the tasks before me!
I’m sitting here having a cup of Shaklee’s Macha tea. It has more caffeine than a cup of coffee,72mg; but it doesn’t make me jittery and coffee does. The reason, according to Dr. Brouse, is the Atheanine Amino Acid (in celery & green peppers) with the catkins (also found in chocolate are calming. Therefore, we get the calming and extra energy. There is also Taurine, touted in sports medicine to bring focus.

History tells us, the Samurai knew the benefits of Macha Tea. And Shaklee is featuring Macha and Pomegranate Teas as part of their healthy weight products.

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PASSIONATE ABOUT WOMEN POWER

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USING IT TO EMPOWER OTHER... USING IT TO EMPOWER OTHERS!!
Sam was not typical of those of us with Japanese Heritage who hoped to have sons to carry on their family name and traditions. He wanted his wife and daughters, to develop our talents. He didn’t mind not having sons. That was clearly disappointing to his traditional Issei(first generation) father who prided himself in having four sons to carry on the Goto name. Sam’s clarity about the value of women came from a strong and caring Nisei(second generation) Mother.

Early in our marriage, I wasn’t aware of Sam’s push for female power in our relationship and parenting. But, I do remember how he talked me into starting the Japanese Collection at the U of W Library Archives. There was also an incident in 1973 with our second daughter that highlights Sam’s passion and how he would not allow anyone to hold back her creative energy.

It was 1970, almost ten years after we married in 1961. Sam had opened his own Dental Lab business in Seattle’s Medical Dental Building the year before - he was adamant about working for himself. I was happy to be a stay-at-home mom with our six-year-old and three-year-old daughters.

The phone call seemed to come out of the blue from Dr. Minoru Masuda, a Psychiatric professor at the U of W Medical School. I didn’t know him nor had heard of him. He asked me to consider the part-time job, “We are starting a Japanese Collection with the University of Washington Library Archives Special Collection. We want to document the Japanese Experience in the Pacific Northwest. I understand you speak some Japanese?” I’m sure he explained more, but I didn’t have any interest and felt unqualified.

I was a Public Health nurse and I hadn’t come close to thinking about history. I answered, “No thank you.” I didn’t even think to ask who had recommended me for the job nor did I have any over-all thoughts about the Japanese community activities yet. I had grown up in Eastern Oregon and gone to college in Portland; therefore, I was new to the Seattle Community.

After I hung up, I told Sam about the call and he suggested I think about it more. He said, “I think it sounds like something you should try.” asking me to call back. At that time, Sam understood me better than I did myself. I was flattered that he thought that of me.

I had never been to an archive so I had to ask how to get there. Karyl Winn was the newly hired assistant director of Special Collections and Rich Berner was her boss. The other collection started was the Jewish Collection. My orientation was, “Go out and find information that documents the Japanese here in the Pacific Northwest,” and I was shown a couple boxes of papers that were already at the Archives. Sam bought me a tape recorder and with his help I began tape-interviewing people in the Japanese Community and got referrals. I worked for a year or so until the grant funds ran out.

By 1973, Kelly was almost six-years-old and we moved into our new house on Mercer Island where she started first grade. Mrs. Wheelis was the teacher and all the neighbors told me she was an excellent teacher.

Kelly had a great preschool and kindergarten experience so we were surprised when she was sent to the principal’s office those first couple weeks. Three weeks into the school year we went to a parent evening and met the teacher. She informed us that, “Kelly was not listening to directions and needed to be put down a peg or two.”

My reaction was to be patient and work things out, but Sam immediately decided his daughter was not going to be treated like that and he pulled her out of the class and reenrolled her at West Mercer.

Evidently, in Sam’s childhood, a first grade teacher had made him do something in front of the class and he wet his pants. He said, “She also forced me go out and play with the girls and gave me a spanking because I wouldn’t.”

Kelly Goto is keeping her name and her 9-year-old daughter doesn’t want to use her birth name and signed “Kaori Goto” on their 2018 Christmas Cards. The Goto girls will carry on our family name well.

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"BUILDING CONFIDENCE" ACTIVITIES

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Box of cards FOR THOUGHT P... Box of cards
FOR THOUGHT PROMOTION
I bought this set of cards at the Postal Service Shop at the Marin Country Mart because I like the clerk and wanted to give him some business. The girls like the inspirational cards and are always begging for the ones at Paper Source that inspire them. I had Drew, the clerk, wrap the box and he put on a nice pink grosgrain ribbon..

This morning, with breakfast, I decided to give the cards to the girls as an early Valentine gift because I am leaving on the 12th.

So, we opened the package, each took a card and started to read them out loud:

“Once we learn to see ourselves as already (and by nature) foolish, it doesn’t matter so much if we do one more thing that might look stupid. Failure won’t be news to us; it will only confirm what we have already gracefully accepted in our hearts: that we, like every other person on the planet, are nitwits.”

We started to laugh. We couldn’t believe how negative the cards were and badly written if they were supposed to be funny. A lot of the other cards were serious!! We spent the next 5 minutes talking about how bad the cards were. I looked at the packaging more, “Made in England”. Maybe they are supposed to be funny??? No, too many of them were good advice and not bad, just unclear and hard to understand.

I decided to take them back to the store, but we decided we needed to document the ineptness of the writer by copying some of them first.

Our 11-yr-old announced, “Let’s make some of our own cards.” She ran to the copy machine, got some card stock. We found the paper cutter and cut them into fourths. She set a bunch of pencils and markers on the table. Then, we were directed to begin.

I was hugely intimidated because the girls are almost professionals in calligraphy themselves and take after their grandpa in their ability to draw. Their drawings are displayed all over their apartment walls and I am so proud of their creativity. The first thing I said to myself was, “My mind is a blank, I can’t even think of anything in my own words.”

I needed to force myself to participate and wrote, “I am not afraid to mess up, then, I can do it better.” I ended up making 15 cards and felt good about myself, half an hour later.

We need to keep the cards as an example of bad writing. I decided to take them to the Lunar New Year party later this afternoon. We are invited to dinner to celebrate and we think the cards will be a good party laugh.

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NO TALKING DURING PROBLEM TIMES

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"Any fool can criticize, conde... "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain
Most fools do."
-Ben Franklin
The best “Parenting Advice” I’ve ever gotten is this mantra of keeping our critical remarks to ourselves in the heat of the moment. The problem can then be discussed later at a non-problem time. This came from a Thomas Gordon, Parent Effectiveness Training. Sam and I had Sheryn Hara come to our home for six weeks and train about six of us.

When I share this idea with others, I add that the best non-problem time and place is date to a restaurant so there is no temptation for arguing because it would be embarrassing. For sure this applies to couples as well.

One time, our oldest daughter was throwing around a lot of sassy comments and back talking. Since we knew about the No Talking Rule, Sam and I put some duct tape across her bedroom doorway with a bible verse:

"Proverbs 21:23 23Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”

Today’s parenting can take advantage of “text messaging”. The secondary skill to acquire is: appropriate reactions when one’s emotional temperature is rising.

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DARUMA PRINCIPLE for RESILIENCE & GOAL SETTING

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FALL SEVEN TIMES, GET UP E... FALL SEVEN TIMES, GET UP EIGHT
This drawing hangs prominently in our home to remind us daily of rising above difficult situations. Like a punching bag, the bottom is weighted so the doll has no problem uprighting itself when knocked over and indicative of a useful habit - a skill which we can learn and become a master with years of practice and 10,000 repetitions.

There is a second tradition related to Drama Dolls for goal setting. The dolls can be purchased with just the white blank eyes. When I decide to make a goal - best to think of one that takes about a year to accomplish - I put in the left eye. When the goal is accomplished, I put in the right eye.

This is something I want to start with my granddaughters and pass on to future generations.

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CRUCIBLES OF PARENTING

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LEARNING THE SKILL OF BEIN... LEARNING THE SKILL OF BEING ONE'S OWN
HEALTHY PARENT
Everything I’ve observed in the last 50 years is that Good Parenting is Good Leadership. Warren Bennis - labeled a "leadership guru" - suggests that resilient, true and extraordinary leadership is an ability to find meaning in trying circumstances.

This morning, we sat around the breakfast table and started the day with drawing wisdom cards and reading them aloud. The best one said: “Grow through what you are going through.”

With the passing of my spouse and the dealing with the courts in our life, the questions of "parenting" is front and center.

So what is the outcome I want of all the “crucible experiences”?

When our first daughter was born in 1964, I spent most of my waking hours that first year, looking at this miracle that a year ago was nothing but an egg in my ovaries and sperm in Sam’s epididymus.

As I thought about how I wanted to parent, I decided that there would be a good chance for me to see some of my great grandchildren in my lifetime. What kind of adults do I want to see and what kind of mother and grandmother do I want Lynette to be to achieve this?

So, Sam and I agreed that we wanted to see healthy, kind, responsible, resilient and integrity in outcomes. One of the tools we studied was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The other thing that became more and more clear and important were our Japanese Heritage values - honesty, trust, hard work, family, harmony with nature, education.

Therefore, Sam and I read, took classes, looked for good examples and allowed failures. From our Japanese Heritage we teach the "Daruma Principle" - Nana korobi, ya oki (fall seven times, get up eight times. We did our best as physical parents while our girls learned to parent their own inner child.

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SELF-PARENTING/MENTORING & ACCOUNTABILITY

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SELF-PARENTING/MENTORING ...
One of the most difficult parts of New Year resolutions is to stay accountable for what we know is good for us healthwise - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

The Japanese arts and culture have brought many of our resolution type goals to a science with their training curriculums and with their national self-discipline skills.

These Japanese heritage values are learned first from appreciation of nature. This morning I watched this documentary on the billions of dollars put in to creating the event: "First Sunrise of the Year".

The event is a train-ride in northern Japan. After the devastating earthquake the Iwata Prefecture used the donation of $$several billion from Kawait to reconstruct the railway along this northern shoreline. They are making it profitable by creating publicity with this sold out event as one rides this specially designed train cars - "kotatsu tables" (gathering under blankets of heat), bento, paper amulet with string craft and a visit to local shrine.

The story featured this family - parents taking young grade school age daughter - and the words of inspiration were from the daughter, "The beauty of the sunrise motivates me to similarly rise each morning and be my best".

My personal goal is pass these heritage values in creative ways as I help parent our granddaughters this year. I will be the parent, reminding them over and over, to take care of their own basic needs until it becomes a habit of their own. The goal is to be healthy adults that mentor/parent their own inner child.

I'm reading a book called: DANISH WAY OF PARENTING. The authors are describing what I learned in graduate school about coping and solving problems. It's described as " Internal vs. External Locus of Control. Part of being a good parent is to teach our children to acquire Internal Locus of Control or becoming our own Self-Parent.

I learned about this the best when I started our daughter in the Suzuki Method violin program where the girls learned a skill that gave them confidence and a feeling of capability.

Self-Parenting or Internal Locus of Control ultimately takes 10,000 repetitions according to Malcolm Gladwell in OUTLIERS.

My resolution for 2019 is to share my philosophy of learning Self-Parenting the Japanese and Danish way by continuing to learn and sharing these ideas.








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"YOYU"

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"YOYU" is a Japanese word: ... "YOYU" is a Japanese word:
Extra - extra time, extra money, extra energy, extra ability - for accomplishing the task at hand.
I find this article on my computer desk top. An example of having extra thoughts ready when I’m booked for the next few days and see that I haven’t posted this week:

Coach Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers was known to say: “If you are five minutes early, you are 10 minutes late.”

Here I am in seat 15f on my way to San Francisco to play some more of the nanny game. Reading the BEYOND Alaska magazine, there is an article about tips for how to enjoy flying. The first tip is to get to the airport early to avoid frustrations. The second tip is to wear the same set of clothes for each flight.

This morning I awoke an hour earlier than needed and I got to sleep early. I had plenty of time to remember things and not think of it in the car after leaving the house.

I have a window seat and am enjoying the sunny scenery,

When Lynette was three or four years old, our Suzuki violin teacher from Japan first taught us the word “YOYU” and how to create it. She explained that a three-year-old doesn’t mind repeating the same thing over and over. Parents have no trouble praising over and over. Each step, for instance of holding the bow in the right position becomes automatic. Lynette could do it without thinking and then concentrate on enjoying the piece as she shared.

At the age of almost eighty, I have acquired tools for extra energy with Shaklee supplements. My body houses “ME”. If I feed it right, put it in a decent environment, exercise/rest, and learn the tools to maintain a good attitude; I can enjoy the esthetics of love, beauty, peace and happiness in my God given life!!

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