Health / Wellness

A body-mind-soul philosophy: learning how to listen to our bodies, so we can truly hear what we need; and making the choice to treat ourselves with loving care and respect.

The Need For More Touch…

Too often we underestimate the power of touch... (drawing by Diane Mottl)

Fingers entwined. The squeeze of a hand. A soothing circular motion on the back. An arm slung over a shoulder. A pat on the back. An all-out bear-hug. A furry paw on skin. The nudge of a wet nose. Whether from human or furry friend, touch has power. It heals. It soothes. It has emotional and physical health benefits. Research suggests that the effects are so profound that “…touch is truly fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health.” (Hands on Research: The Science of Touch). We know that without touch, a baby cannot thrive and can even die. The evidence is there. Yet while many of us are […] Read more »

Coconut Cake And The Art Of Aging…

Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been (drawing by Diane Mottl)

Are you at the age of grey hairs, wrinkles, slowing metabolism and gravity? When you look in the mirror do you like what you see or are you caught in the mindset that beauty is synonymous with youth? Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”  So, do you mind? Does it matter? I recently attended a friend’s 60th birthday party. Seated next to me was a 90-year-old woman who had a vibrancy that was contagious. We were mid-conversation when the two luscious cakes from Decadent Desserts were being cut: Coconut Cake […] Read more »

The Little Boy in the Drawing…

Pencil drawing of a sad little boy (by Diane Mottl)

My guess is if you saw this little boy in the drawing hunched over, face burrowed in his arms you would stop and ask, “Are you okay? Can I help?” Unlike the hesitation some of us may have felt helping the man with the cardboard sign, most of us would come to the aid of a young child.  Something kicks in that makes us care enough to reach out and connect. Are we reacting to his vulnerability? Innocence? Is it the parenting instinct to protect (whether we are a parent or not). Or do we see a little bit of our long ago selves reflected in […] Read more »

Two Halves Don’t Make A Whole…

"The best thing to hold on to in life is each other" (Pencil drawing by Diane Mottl)

When I found the quote I used for the drawing on the left, I immediately saw it as a powerful message that cuts to the chase about what is really important in life. But then I started to think about the different ways that we hold on to each other: some healthy, some not-so-healthy. So what makes “holding on” cross over into not-so-healthy land? I think a big part of it comes down to how whole we are. If I am holding on to someone to make me feel whole/complete, then I am cheating myself and them. To me, being whole has nothing to do with […] Read more »

Taking A Turn Holding The Lantern…

Never fear the shadows. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby" (pencil drawing by Diane Mottl, Beingtrulypresent.com)

Not too long ago, I was contacted by an author who had just published a short story called The Tale of the Lantern Lady1. Having received similar emails before, my cursor inched towards the delete button. Then it stopped. Fast forward to me deciding to set up a Support Other Worthwhile Projects section on my blog, her sending me a PDF of her story as a thank you, and me having one of those “just-what-I-needed-even-when-I-didn’t-know-I-needed-it” moments. With the effects of her story still lingering, this is what I wrote back to Natalie (the author): I am not sure if I will be able to find the words to describe […] Read more »

Be a flicker of light during the holidays…

Pencil drawing by Diane Mottl (Beingtrulypresent.com)

As much as I want to see the holiday season as a joyous time, I know that for many it is not. There are sobering statistics attesting to the fact that the holiday season is a time when depression spirals, grief strangles, and sadness reaches unbearable depths. Before you stop reading, saying “This is too much of a downer, I don’t want to read this”, give me two more minutes to convince you that it is worth staying on this page. Those who are struggling with depression, sadness and grief can make it through the holidays; can get themselves off the edge of […] Read more »

Cocooning after a crisis…

photo credit: Br3nda via photopin cc

Confession time: I am a cocooner. It is my emergency off button, one that I use when I have given too much and need to pull inward and disappear for a while. Cocooning is the act of insulating or hiding oneself from the normal social environment, which may be perceived as distracting, unfriendly, dangerous, or otherwise unwelcome, at least for the present (WhatIs) Cocoon (verb): Envelop in a protective or comforting way (Google) Co·coon·ing: Retreat into the seclusion of one’s own home during leisure time, as for privacy or escape (The Free Dictionary) My friends know this about me. They know that in […] Read more »

Scars, scratches and letting go…

Today's moments are tomorrow's memories

We all have moments from our childhood that stick with us. Some are remembered because of the scars they left behind. Others for the warm tingle of feeling safe, happy, loved, free… Yet what about the moments that are more like scratches? We can remember something that happened, but we dismiss it because it seems small or inconsequential. This couldn’t have impacted me, it was so minor. In a recent creative non-fiction writing class, we were asked to write a short piece about a childhood memory. I chose one that was vivid but was not high up on the emotion-meter. Yet when I went through the process of capturing the story on […] Read more »

Breaking the taboo…

quote-on-mental-health-08

Two people recently reached out to me on the topic of mental illness. One just published a memoir with her son on bipolar illness. The other is promoting an infographic (researched and created by Best Masters in Psychology) that discusses mental illness in a visual way. Having both in my inbox and knowing the importance of this topic, I decided to meld them together in this week’s post. Why is it so important? Because despite its prevalence and the way it touches almost all of our lives (in one way or another) mental health issues are still talked about tentatively, self-consciously, judgementally, inaccurately…or not at […] Read more »

Tactile memories…

Gator

Please allow me another short break from my usual post. My Dad (in-law) passed away this week at the age of 88. The saying “he was larger than life” is one way to sum up this incredible man. Since I have had no time (or inclination) to write a well-thought out blog post, I have decided to share a short creative non-fiction piece. A few days after our beloved cat Gator died (two weeks ago yesterday), I was faced with a writing assignment about memories. We were asked to “Find an object…hold it in your hand, and, with your eyes […] Read more »