The Cat Box

You’ll always find something of interest in the Cat Box

Moving Back Into the Light — January 3, 2013

Moving Back Into the Light

I have to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time. Truth be told, I have been in a loooong black tunnel for the past 6 years while life rained shit down upon me. Really, so many bad things happened that I curled up like a pill bug touched again and again by the twisted hands of fate.

Only now can I look at those days with anything but fear as the bright circle at the end of the tunnel gets bigger and bigger.

Into the Light
Into the Light

And only now do I have the clear vision to see the many blessings I received during those days of blind fear and angst.

But wait a minute. Something I read on Oprah’s website http://www.oprah.com yesterday made me think that perhaps I prolonged my own agony by living in it as if it was my only option.

Oprah was relating the difficulties she experienced ending her fabulously successful television show and she advised, “Step out of your ego so you can recognize the truth. As soon as I did that, I was able to see the role I had played in creating “my circumstances,” without blaming other people. And—bingo!—I realized that all the noise about my struggle was a reflection of my personal angst and fear. “

Angst and fear. I had always considered myself a risk-taker and an explorer of life, but after getting hit pretty hard several times in a row, I lost my courage and my faith in myself. I began to live in darkness instead of light and to feel weak instead of strong. I was thrashing about for answers believing them not to exist. Oh, and those blessings I mentioned; they were very real and huge, and I let go of their power to clutch onto my pain.

I have to mention Oprah again because she uses her power to bring goodness – I see it all the time. She attracts people with inner personal power so people whose voices I need to hear appear in her magazine and on her website.

In the January issue of O there is a piece by Martha Beck titled “Take a Flying Leap.” She says, “When you crash, you’ll just keep getting better at the pop-up. You’ll live through every leap except the big one at the end. And even if you never leap, you’ll die anyway.” Nice. You can find more from Martha at http://marthabeck.com/.

I have also discovered a blog by a man named Jonathan Wells that is helping me to get moving on my path again by creating momentum. He says, “Taking consistent action toward your goals is the best way to build momentum. That means that taking action will get easier and easier as you go along. Eventually the actions you take will require much less effort. You’ll begin to enjoy your activities because you’ll feel more empowered and confident and you’ll have momentum on your side.” Check out Jonathan’s blog at http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/the-power-of-momentum-2. His Breakthrough Strategy Coaching says, “You’re not here to break even. You’re here to break through.” Fantastic!

It is great when others speak their own personal truth that comes from their own personal experience. I hear and feel these words from these individuals. I also feel ready to work toward my goals of aging powerfully and gracefully and helping others to do the same. I am signed up for the 2013 Denver Century Ride http://denvercenturyride.com/ on June 15th. I am training for the 100-mile course that goes up over Lookout Mountain.

Up and Over Lookout Mountain
Up and Over
I stopped at Salvagetti Bike Shop in North Denver last night for new cleats for my shoes and took my first spinning class in four years. I am moving back into the light.

Forever Young — August 24, 2012

Forever Young

I just received my Thought for Today Newsletter which is filled with very interesting and useful information from Oprah. Today’s issue has a story about slowing the aging of cells that caught my eye.

Elizabeth Blackburn

Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD, won a 2009 Nobel Prize for her research on a tiny bit of cellular machinery that turns out to be a hugely important clue to human health: telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of our threadlike chromosomes (“similar to the plastic tips on shoelaces”) that keep our genetic material safe from damage. Every time a cell divides, as our immune and skin cells regularly do, the telomeres tend to get a little shorter—which makes them an excellent indicator of cellular aging. When telomeres get too short, cells stop working properly. Blackburn and one of her colleagues discovered an enzyme that replenishes and repairs frayed telomeres, helping us stay healthier as we get older.

This enzyme, called telomerase, slows the rate at which telomeres degrade, and research indicates that healthy people with longer telomeres have less risk of developing the common illnesses of aging—like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, which are three big killers today. But telomerase also has the potential to fuel the growth of any cancer cells already lurking in the body. So you don’t want to just dial up a person’s levels. Instead, discover the lifestyle factors that boost telomerase naturally.

A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids is one of the clearest examples. Exercise is another key; enough daily exercise to make you break a sweat. Exercise mitigates the effects of stress—and stress, we know, shortens telomeres. In fact, early studies indicate that stress reduction techniques like meditation help people maintain the length of their telomeres.

Scientists are on the verge of discovering many of telomerase’s secrets that could uncover valuable information to combat aging, fight cancer, and even improve the quality of medical treatment in other areas such as skin grafts for burn victims, bone marrow transplants, and heart disease.

It doesn’t seem very difficult to add some omega-3 to the diet. I love to eat walnuts on my Greek yogurt and I have started adding a tablespoon of ground flax seed to it also. The walnuts go on top of a banana and a handful of blueberries and half a peach when they are in season that I put on there too. I also drizzle on some honey.

When the weather gets cooler I put my toppings on steel-cut oatmeal instead of yogurt and add a dollop of heavy cream. This is so easy and delicious it makes breakfast my favorite meal of the day all year round.

Find foods rich in omega-3 here: http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=84

There are web sites on the internet that offer products that supposedly contain telomerase and that supposedly slow the signs of aging. I don’t know anything about them though.

Professor Elizabeth Helen Blackburn, AC, FRS, FRSN is an Australian-born American biological researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies the telomere.

Thought for Today Newsletter is filled with very interesting and useful information. Just go to oprah.com and sign up for it.