Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week 25: The First Step: Admitting You Have a Problem

Help, get me out of here

The First Step: Admitting You Have a Problem

Hi, my name is Bertice a I’m a workaholic. There, I wrote it and it’s out there. Just admitting this is something that I had a hard time doing.

For the past 5 days, I have been at home doing nothing. It was not a choice; I had an impacted wisdom tooth taken out. Nothing can prepare you for the pain and recovery.

I expected to get up like I did after having my gall bladder removed. I expected that I’d at least be able to work for part of the day, like I did after a year and a half recovery from a head injury, but all I did was eat and sleep. I tried to watch intelligent documentaries but I kept falling asleep. When I read I could only get through a page and had to keep starting again.

I had to do nothing. Doing nothing is not easy for me. I’ve been working since I was 12 and I like it. There is a time however when you have to do nothing and during those times you get to choose what you will do next.

Will you learn to rest when necessary or will you keep burning the candle at both ends?

Don’t look at me, I’m still trying to do nothing.

Be you, be well, be rested.

Bertice Berry, PhD.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 25; The Day The Well Went Dry

 The Day The Well Went Dry

I’ve heard it and said it and now I know that it’s true; you never really miss the water until the well runs dry.

I’m going to tell you this as quickly and as completely as I can because I’m still reeling from pain and embarrassment.

Last week, I was feeling rather beautiful. I can say for the first time in my life I had come to terms with the way I look and feel. Don’t get me wrong, I have known and taught that we are beautiful as we are and should accept ourselves completely before working on being better.
“You can’t get the body you want if you don’t love the body you have,” I’ve often said and at 52, I have learned to love the me that looks back in a mirror.                          
Then last week, something wonderful and awful happened. My wisdom tooth had finally come in and it had to be removed right away. I thought I was prepared for the surgery and to some degree I was.

I had love and support around me. Jeanine drove me and Fatima fed me. My friend Vincent came to town and did chores while others called and checked in or brought soft foods.

But nothing prepared me for the face that stared back at me in the mirror. I knew I would heal, but with the assistance of pain medication, (I tried to go cold turkey, really bad idea) I deliriously began to think that my swollen face would be my new look and suddenly, I truly valued the looks I’d had the day before.

So here’s my point, don’t wait until your older, swollen or even tired, to look at yourself  with total admiration, love and respect.

Love your water and your well.

Be you, be well, be appreciative.

Bertice Berry, PhD.
Order A Year to Wellness and Love your NOW
I Love Moms Mabley, but I don't want to look like her

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Week 24: Learn Something New Everyday

Learn Something New Everyday

I love to learn. For me, learning is like breathing; I have to do it in order to live.

The subject can be big, like the idea of the connection between vulnerability and wholeheartedness as put forth by Brene Brown (The Power of Vulnerability) or the subject can be small like how to fold a tee shirt in 2 seconds. (Watch and learn)

Each day, I start with a prayer, a bed made in gratitude and a meditation. After clearing my mind, I fill the space with new ideas and new thoughts.

I have learned a lot, but there is so much more to learn. I marvel at what I simply don’t know and each day I am blessed to discover something new.

Today, learn something small that you can apply immediately and learn something big that you can ponder, apply, reapply and then learn something else.

Be you, be well, be knowledgeable.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 24 of The art of Living; What We All Need

What We All Need

We all need this; can’t live without it and yet, we don’t get or give it enough.

We all need inspiration and affirmation. We someone to be that mirror of light, reflecting the good and potential we have and can possess.

I’ve often wondered about the about the tipping point between inspiration and deprivation. In other words, how many people does it take to inspire someone to greatness without which they would end up on a downward spiral to despair?

I’m certain that the margin is miniscule; that the difference between making it and not may depend on just one person saying the right thing at the right time.

In my own life, I have had many detractors, but I have also had just enough goodness to keep me focused on my goals and purpose.
Here’s the thing and I’ll make it quick because you have work to do, we get the inspiration we need when we give it.

Light attracts light; we need we.

Tell someone they are beautiful, wonderful and powerful just as they are. Encourage someone to be what they desire to be. Enlighten a pathway for someone who is just about to give up and I can assure you that your day will be brighter too.
Be the tipping point for a child or young person. Be the touch and grace for one who is old.

Inspire someone and you will be inspired too.

Be you, be well, be great.

Bertice Berry, PhD.


Monday, June 10, 2013

The Art of Living Week 23: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Wellness starts in the mouth

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Okay boys and girls, remember two things; you can’t shoot the messenger and the messenger had to take the first hit.

Wellness begins in your mouth; not just with the things you say, but also rather literally with your mouth.

Last week, I did something that I had neglected for a rather long time. It had been 3 years since my last “visit” to the dentist. Prior to then I went more than regularly with 6-8 visits and cleanings a year.
I have been blessed with great teeth. At 52 I’ve never had a cavity. A great deal of that is because of the care I had given my teeth, but let’s face it, the other part is pure genetics.
My genetic juice also blessed with me gums that require a deep cleaning every 6 years, but that too had been neglected.

So last week when I broke down and made an appointment (which only happened because my daughter needed to go,) I was embarrassed by the state of my oral health.

Wellness truly starts in the mouth. Your physician probably won’t tell you, because quite frankly, they don’t know, but the lack of oral health is related to heart disease, strokes, joint pain and diabetes. The bacteria of gum disease can get into your blood stream causing a slow and painful death.(Read more about the oral systemic connection)

If your mouth is not well, your body will not be either.

As my mouth put Michele and Dr. Breitberg through a workout, I cried out in pain. When Michelle, the hygienist asked if I was okay, I told her that everything hurt. She was about to call the doctor in for more Novocain when I stopped her and managed to say that the pain came from the realization that I had been caring for my mother, my children, family, dogs and friends, but I had forgotten to take care of my own mouth.
As I cried, I vowed to not let it happen again. I had another appointment with the dentist but I moved it up and got back in sooner.

The gum cleaning not only made my teeth look better; it made my body feel better too. The aches and pains I had been feeling in my back and knees have miraculously gone away.
I find most dentists to be a humble lot. They don’t tend to make big bold claims of miracle drugs and treatments, but what they know about the connection between the nerves in your mouth and those in your body will astonish you.

If I told you that there was a way to avoid a heart attack or stroke would you listen?
There is and I’m telling you---get to the dentist.

Before you buy another pair of shoes, a dress or even a cup of coffee, put your money where your mouth is and see a dentist.

Be you, be well, be smiling.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Week 22 The Art of Living: How Do YOU Measure Success

When I was a kid, I wanted to have my own books.
How Do YOU Measure Success

When I look around at my own life, I can say that I am successful. If you were to ask my kids, my accountant or some family members, they may have something else to say.
Too often, we measure success based on where we want to be rather than where we have come from. Even more often, we measure it based on what someone else tells us we should be.

I can barely remember being cold and hungry, but that was my childhood. Now, I’d rather be hungry than full. When my stomach is full, I am uncomfortable, but when I am hungry I know without a doubt that I will eat again and that I will never be as hungry as I was growing up.
When one of my children first came to me, she could barely read and write. She was 8 years old and knew I had a great deal of work to do. I worked hard and she worked harder and soon was on her way. One day, a new teacher called me in to say that she was worried because my daughter was reading a year below her grade level. I laughed and told her that this was amazing because it meant that in one year; she had caught up for four.

My daughter had been successful in her work but because she was not where here teacher thought she should have been, her worked had been viewed as not quite enough.
We can’t measure our own success by someone else’s standards. If I did, I could have stopped working long ago.

Our standards and goals should be sky high and our work should match it, but these standards should be our own creation, our drive should come from within and our need to do more should never stop.
If we determine our own success, we can constantly raise the bar. We can work harder and harder without the prying prods of Wall Street, Oprah and someone else’s idea of what God told them about you.

I am not done, but I have done well.

Stop looking around at someone else’s dream and make your own.

That’s it.

BE you, be well, be your own success.
                                                                        Bertice Berry, PhD.