About 50 million people worldwide are suffering from dementia in 2021, but the total number of people with dementia is projected to reach 82 million in 2030 and a staggering 152 million in 2050.
For Kate Kunkel, the tragedy of this disease struck three times. Both grandmothers and her mother passed away with dementia, inspiring Kate to embark on a mission to understand why this ruthless disease was haunting her family. During this process, Kate made some startling discoveries and has devoted her life to sharing them with as many people as possible, in the hopes that she can spare others this terrible fate.
Kate’s book, Don’t Let the Memories Fade, is for anyone looking for ways to improve their health and stave off the dreaded diagnosis of dementia. No matter your age, the information and suggestions in this book will help you live a healthier life and feel better!
I particularly like two things about this book:
One, it’s written for the general reader in clear, simple language and from the perspective of someone who has lived through the heartbreak of assisting a family member with Alzheimer’s.
Second, the suggestions it offers—on diet, exercise, sleep, stress reduction, and creativity apply to anyone who wants to live healthy—especially at and after midlife.
Following the suggestions offered in this book will reduce your chances of developing not only dementia but the other diseases of older age—heart problems, cancer, arthritis–any condition where inflammation is a factor.
Research on the microbiome points to the detrimental effects of the typical American diet, stress, and environmental factors. But simple lifestyle changes can reduce the inflammation in our bodies and give us new hope.
We affect the level of health we experience. It isn’t always easy to change our ways, but the benefits are enormous. Even if you have dementia or other inflammatory diseases in your genetic line, you can change your future and beat the odds! People are doing it every day. This book is a great place to start investigating how to live healthier and preserve your memories.
We know now that cognitive growth can occur at any age. Neurogenesis is the study of how new nerve cells develop. We can learn new tasks and make new memories well into our nineties if we work on exercising our brains! Learn something new. Learn something new that’s hard and you’ll notice how much more alert you feel!
Each chapter has a “checkup” so readers can assess themselves on the topic discussed. Included are practical steps to improve health. Kunkel ends the book with an 8-week program for improving brain health. It includes suggestions for diet and nutrition, exercise, and lots of yummy recipes. A list of resources is included for those who want to know more. Check it out! You have nothing to lose but your old habits!
Kate consults with people to improve their brain health. You can see her podcast at Brain Health Matters.
Do you believe in miracles?
Sure, you might say. I’ve seen miracles. And I expect to see them again
Or, There are no such things. Science has explanations for everything.
Actually, both perspectives are right. Miracles are prayers answered, hope fulfilled, stories of the seemingly impossible, inspirations that change lives, the melting of hardened hearts, personal transformation. But how do these things happen?
Contrary to what our senses tell us, science informs us that everything is energy. The observer affects the observed. Our thoughts influence what we perceive, how we feel, and whether we are joyful or depressed.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “A man is a product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
Traditionally, a miracle is an event we don’t expect and didn’t foresee. It comes out of the blue, full of meaning, an object of wonder so marvelous it points to a reality beyond our reach. In a religious context, we can see this as God, the ground of being, or as manifestations of supernatural powers.
What is miraculous in one culture may be ordinary in another.
In the west, people interpret spontaneous recovery from serious illness as a miracle, and persons with unusual healing powers as miraculous beings. In some earth-based cultures, thunder and lightning are considered messengers of the divine, while recovery from serious afflictions is the result of energetic interventions by a shaman or spiritual healer. And perfectly ordinary
Saint Augustine said, “Miracles are not contrary to nature, only to what we know about nature.”
Another view is that the miraculous shows itself in the everyday world—in nature, in the love between people, in a child’s smile.
The miraculous may simply be something we do not yet understand. When we use the power of intention, affirmation, gratitude, or prayer, we are harnessing energy in the living field that connects us all. We do it to change our lives, which means we acknowledge our connectedness in the field of life. Nothing is really separate. If I love you, I love myself. If I hurt you, I hurt myself.
When we understand this, we notice that our thoughts and words change our perception of reality. If we persevere with those new thoughts, our actual reality changes too.
If I pray for healing for my friend, and my friend recovers from his illness, is that a miracle? Or the effect of intention on the web of consciousness that binds us together
You decide, according to what you believe.
For 101 stories of everyday miracles, check out the new anthology, Believe in Miracles, by Chicken Soup for the Soul, available now for pre-order. My essay, Please Pass the Holy Water, is one of the stories. I hope you enjoy it.
Writing for Release
When we write with the intention of healing ourselves or connecting more deeply to our Creative Source or both, we may encounter “negatives.” Anger, disappointment, fear, jealousy, regret, even terror of admitting our own truth.
There’s nothing wrong with this. To move through unpleasant experiences, it is often necessary to write about what happened and how we felt. Positive and negative.
A faster method for releasing is to express the held emotions in primal ways, such as crying or screaming. If we don’t subject others to these outbursts, it’s fine. Magnetically polarized people, who hold onto more emotions longer, often must use nonverbal means to get them moving enough that space opens in our systems for new information to enter.
Any kind of expression, if it does no harm to another, is good. If the idea frightens you, a professional facilitator can help.
Once space opens and we no longer feel at the mercy of our emotions, positive affirmations help. Start with something simple. I use the affirmation “I love myself” nearly every day. How about:
- “I can change my life in positive ways.”
- “I express my love for myself and others.”
- “I am grateful for my life and ______”
- “I co-create with Source to improve my health.”
What affirmations can you use to change negative beliefs or patterns you’ve noticed?
Take a few minutes and jot them down. A special notebook for your affirmations or beliefs you are changing is useful, as you can look back at your record and see how far you’ve come.
We may forget that affirmations are prayer. When we affirm our health, we accept our role as co-creators. Instead of asking for divine intervention, we acknowledge we have a part to play with our Source.
Larry Dossey, MD has written a fascinating book, Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine
He talks about the concept of “prayerfulness” as a state where the person does not pray for something in the traditional sense, but lives with a sense of the sacred, of being aligned with “something higher.” Prayerfulness accepts without being passive, is grateful without giving up. It is willing to stand in the mystery of life where much is hidden from the rational mind.
He mentions research on cases of spontaneous remission of cancer which suggests that prayerfulness and an indwelling spiritual sense has the most effect on the process of cancer.
Making friends with the unconscious mind, for some the seat of all healing and inspiration, seems to be key. People who experience radical, spontaneous healing have a quality of acceptance and gratitude, as if things are all right despite the presence of disease.
When coping with a life-threatening illness, gratitude may be a stretch, but the more we can forgive, ourselves and others, we open the door to transformation.
Here is a lovely prayer to start the day. From Nick Polizzi of the Sacred Science website. If you haven’t seen the video or read his book about an amazing journey of healing that people with serious illnesses undertook with indigenous shamans, it’s worth checking out.
Dear Great Spirit,
You are inside me, within my every breath,
Within each bird, each mighty mountain.
Your sweet touch reaches everything and I am well protected.
Thank you for this beautiful day before me.
May joy, love, peace and compassion be part of my life
and all those around me on this day.
I am healing and I am healed
I’m an introvert. I’ve always known it, and it’s one of the few things I never judged myself for.
By “introvert,” I mean a person whose focus of attention is toward the inner world. While extraverts seek information outside themselves, we introverts aren’t satisfied until we process outer information through our inner filters. Many introverts are p(erfectly comfortable in social situations.We do need alone time, though.
(To learn how to be a successful introverted writer, try Hope Clark’s excellent book.The Shy Writer Reborn: An Introverted Writer’s Wake-up Call.)
For me, meditation and solitude are natural. I’m familiar with the internal landscape. My inner voices are old friends.
Even knowing this, even with experience using journaling and meditation to figure out what’s going on with me, I fall prey to the trap of listening too much to others.
When I started writing for publication, I wanted to publish. Writers want to be read, right? With research and effort, I made progress. Next came marketing. Internet marketing seemed like a natural fit. So I learned. Read. Took courses. Read blogs. Learned strategies.
Except it wasn’t.
I was listening to others’ opinions about what was marketable. I’m a creative intuitive, remember, so I love ideas. I love to follow them, apply them. Before long, I had so many projects, paralysis set in.
I was learning craft, the fiction market, how to position books, how to blog, how to develop a web site, how to use Facebook, twitter and forums. It was not only overwhelming, it brought all my insecurities to the surface.
Many times, I threw up my hands. The only time I was really happy was when I focused solely on writing my novels.
The other day I was re-reading Steven Pressfield’s excellent follow-up book to The War of Art. It’s another short, simple read called Turning Pro. I highly recommend it.Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work.
As I was pondered my recent rejections and how more than one beta reader had recently commented I wasn’t taking risks, with my fiction, it hit me.
As much as I listen to my inner self, I was using the distraction of marketing to avoid opening to a deeper level in my own writing. I knew, vaguely, that the deeper level was there. I wanted to get to it.
On the other hand, that takes time and there’s this article to write, and my latest book to market, and editing on that new story, and I have client work to finish, and . . .
Shut up, I said to myself. If turning pro means, as Pressfield claims, facing my fears and listening to the Muse, then I must listen to the message that a deeper part of myself is calling.
Turns out, as with most things, there are levels.
I committed to serious writing several years ago. That decision is made. But I get sidetracked on marketability. What will sell? What does the market want?
Then I remembered a lesson I learned long ago. There is a tone inside each of us. If you are very quiet and listen, you can hear it ring. It rings with your vibration. It tells you what is sacred and true. It resides in the center. The still point.
So my new resolution is to write from as close to my own center as I can get. This will vary from day to day. That’s okay.
For an introvert who enjoys solitude, it was humbling to learn that I have resistance to silence, to turning inward, to listening to the voice within. Embarrassing. But that’s what always happens when another piece of resistance falls away.
The upside is that energy releases and creativity flows more freely. Totally worth it. So I’m committed anew. To listening more deeply. To quit surfing over the waves and diving deep. That’s where my tone beckons me.
What about yours?