For those of us with kids this might come easy, for those of us without kids, it may or may not, but let’s give it a try.
Have you ever stopped and wondered how life is through the eyes of a child? Oftentimes we get overwhelmed with life. As we grow up and start getting married, working, becoming homeowners and having kids we forget. We forget how we used to see life…. through the eyes of a child. We are so busy with this or that, climbing the career ladder, what our neighbors are doing or what our family and friends think of us that we lose ourselves, our true selves, the pureness of our souls is lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Recently, I was reminded how beautiful life is by my 5-year-old son. To him, everything is new. He asks why this, why that constantly. He will wonder about why trains go fast, why they go slow, why it rains, why the sun shines. These questions have made me more aware of my surroundings and the life that revolves around us that we forget is there. His questions remind me of the wonderment I once had which has since faded away since my own childhood. He has helped me become more aware and present in today, not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today. He reminds me that every day is beautiful, that there is beauty all around us no matter what might be happening in the world and that there are good people in the world no matter what we constantly see in the news. He reminds me of the goodness, the beauty, the promise.
Let’s take some time today to take a few minutes and see the world again through the eyes of a child. The child we once were. You’ll be surprised at what you see.
I’ve recently reviewed the book, “Pulling the Trigger” by Adam Shaw and Lauren Callaghan. What brought my attention to this book? Anxiety. After the birth of my son, I suffered a bit from anxiety issues, triggered by the fact that he had many health problems when he was born and as a new mom I felt extremely overwhelmed. Thankfully, my son’s health has gotten much better (I thank God for this everyday!) and I am also doing better but still very interested in topics related to anxiety. When I read the book “Pulling the Trigger” by Adam Shaw and Lauren Callaghan, I felt that Shaw really understood what mental illness is and how to deal with these issues. He was very open about his own struggles, how he went through life trying to deal with OCD, anxiety and depression and how he attempted to get the help he needed. He ultimately found this help through Clinical Psychologist Lauren Callaghan.
I thought it would be a good idea to talk to him about this topic.
In a phone interview from the countryside of the United Kingdom, Shaw spoke about “Pulling the Trigger” saying it focuses on a compassionate, straightforward and unique approach to support sufferers recovery from mental health issues and he talks about his struggles with OCD, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.
Shaw says that when he wrote the book with Lauren Callaghan, he thought about his own mental health issues and what he would want from a self help book. “They need to have help, they need to see that somebody else is going through it,” he says.
Shaw suffered mental health problems since childhood. He had thoughts he was going to harm people, he had obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and severe depression. “I thought I was crazy,” he says.
“During the time we were taught how to eat healthy and exercise but there was no curriculum for mental health. You would just hear the negative things on the news about crazy people doing crazy things. I thought I was going to be taken away – end up locked up,” adds Shaw. He says that having worry and anxiety played a pivotal role in adding fear to his thoughts and adding even more anxiety. His thoughts became more sinister and turned his life upside down – then he was officially diagnosed with OCD but was being treated in the wrong way. Shaw says he went to a point where he was going to end it all – anxiety and panic left him contemplating suicide.
“That’s when I ended up on the ledge of a bridge. Ironically, I found this to be the first time I didn’t feel anxious and the only reason was because I knew I was going to end it and it couldn’t get me anymore – for the first time in my life I was relaxed.” Fortunately, that is also when he realized that he could possibly get better so he sought the help of Clinical Psychologist Lauren Callaghan.
“Lauren told me, “Why don’t you have the courage to face your fears and walk towards it, if you allow the bad thoughts in, you also allow the good thoughts in. Your thoughts will be desensitized when you face them, don’t add meaning to them.”
Shaw believes that the majority of mental health problems especially anxiety based ones like depression and OCD affect a lot of people and go untreated. “A lot of this can be resolved just by educating people,” says Shaw.
“Pulling the Trigger” is a book with a philanthropist element says Shaw. “We want to educate people on why they have the mental health issue. We can help people feel better. This book is about improving lives and helping others because our proceeds go to our charity where we help people who are in socially deprived areas that don’t have the medical care they need for survival,” he says. These books are not a commercial venture says Shaw. He made his money and sold his company a few years ago which employed about 1,000 people. “The idea was to launch a global charity where we could help children and parents with mental health – create and sell books with a philanthropic purpose. It goes to helping vulnerable people in dire and desperate situations. A lot of people are suffering needlessly,” he says.
Shaw says, “Life’s a journey – I’m very healthy now. It’s the first time in my life I feel right. I am doing something I really enjoy and am looking forward to helping as many people as possible.”
Alfa 1 antitripsina es una enfermedad genética que afecta a 1 de cada 1.500 a 3.500 individuos de ascendencia europea. Este trastorno puede causar enfermedades pulmonares y enfermedades del hígado, con los primeros signos y síntomas de la enfermedad de pulmón o el hígado que se muestran entre las edades de 20 y 50. El problema que causa esta deficiencia genética es que no permite que el cuerpo produsca suficiente enzima para proteger a los pulmones y el hígado contra la exposición a los contaminantes que son potencialmente peligrosos. Personas que tiene esta deficiencia son menos protegido y tienen mayor probabilidad de desarrollar un problema.
Muchas personas están sin diagnosticar hasta que desarrollan una enfermedad pulmonar llamada enfermedad pulmonar obstructiva crónica (EPOC) o enfermedad hepática. El problema es que las personas que no saben que tienen este trastorno genético pueden involucrarse con estilos de vida poco saludables, como fumar, beber, vivir en zonas contaminadas con mala calidad del aire o mantenerse en ocupaciones peligrosas. Algunas de estas ocupaciones son la lucha contra incendios, pintura de coches, o minería. Estas pueden afectar directamente a la gravedad y la evolución de la enfermedad.
Por eso, es bueno saber si usted lleva esta deficiencia genética. Si desea hacerse la prueba, lo puede hacer a través de esta impresionante organización, Fundación Alpha-1 http://www.alpha1.org.
E empezado a correr la voz acerca de este trastorno genético. En esta foto estoy enseñando a un grupo de los detalles de alfa 1 antitripsina. Vine a saber acerca de este trastorno genético cuando mi hijo fue diagnosticado con esta deficiencia a los 6 meses de edad. Afortunadamente mi hijo sólo es ligeramente deficiente por lo que sólo hay que asegurarse de que tome decisiones inteligentes y lleve un estilo de vida saludable – no fumar, no beber alcohol, comer saludable, hacer ejercicio y mantenerse alejado de las zonas altamente contaminadas y puestos de trabajo que pueden aumentar el riesgo de problemas respiratorios.
Yo e hecho la prueba y también tengo la deficiencia. Ahora estoy poniendo a prueba mi familia ya que este es un problema genético que se transmite a través de la familia.
On Friday I took my 4 1/2 year son to kindergarten. It was tough! My husband and I had been telling him that he was going to start school soon and we were diligently mentally preparing him for the occasion – so he knew that it was the day.
Boy did he know! As soon as he woke up he refused to get dressed. He did not want me to put on his shirt, his pants, his socks, nothing! He refused very vocally, running around the living room, screaming and crying for at least 15 minutes. After much cajoling, he finally succumbed to my pleas and let me dress him. By that time I was already exhausted and he was sweaty, it was only 8:15 in the morning! Going down the stairs was a wrestling match. He fought tooth and nail and almost knocked down his daddy. Again, the screams and pleas, ” No, school!!!” he screamed.
I was a bit taken back by this scenario. our little Michael had been in pre-school for 2 years know and I honestly thought that he would be a pro at this now. I thought he was used to the mob of kids who were his peers and the authoritative figure of the teachers. Perhaps the comfort of home and the memories of all the fun activities he participated in during the summer months took a hold on him yesterday. He somehow instinctively knew that he was in for a whole new ball game. Kindergarten. This is when the real school work starts. During this year he will get homework and will have to work in school most of the day, learning how to read, write and possibly some math. The days of all fun and games is done. Now the real work begins. My little baby is growing up.
Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disorder that affects about 1 in 1,500 to 3,500 individuals from European ancestry. This disorder may cause lung disease and liver disease, with the first signs and symptoms of lung or liver disease showing up between ages 20 and 50. The problem this genetic deficiency causes is that it does not let the body produce enough enzyme to protect the lungs and liver against exposures to potentially hazardous pollutants. So the less protected we are, the higher the chance of developing a problem.
Many individuals are undiagnosed until they develop a lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or liver disease. The problem is that people who don’t know they have this genetic disorder may get involved with unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking, drinking, living in polluted areas with bad air quality and hold hazardous occupations such as firefighting, car painting,or mining that can directly affect the severity and outcome of the disease.
That is why it’s good to know if you carry the genetic deficiency. If you’d like to get tested, do it through this awesome organization, Alpha-1 Foundation http://www.alpha1.org.
I’ve started spreading the word about this genetic disorder. Here I am teaching a group about the details of Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. I came to know about this genetic disorder when my son was diagnosed with it at 6 months of age. Thankfully he is only slightly deficient so we just have to make sure he makes smart decisions and leads a healthy lifestyle – no smoking, eats healthy, gets plenty of exercise and stays away from highly polluted areas and jobs that can increase risk of respiratory issues. I’ve been tested and also have the deficiency. Now I’m getting my family tested since this is a genetic issue that is passed on through family.
During the weekend I had a very interesting experience. I was driving towards home to pick up my son when I looked to my right side and noticed a sign in the park that read, “Celebrate Life!” I was so intrigued by this that after picking up my son, I made a split decision to go back to the park where the sign was to inquire about it. I just felt compelled to go and find out what that sign was about. After all, usually you would see birthday party or baby shower parties in this park. Folks from around the area enjoy celebrating special occasions here and they usually have beautiful elaborate decorations set up….but I’ve never seen this type of decorative sign before.
So I drove to the area where the sign was and there before me were several chairs laid out in a circle and two women were sitting together chatting. There was another table with four women sitting around playing dominoes, and there was a third table set up with snacks and small kids’ toys.
I approached the two ladies sitting together chatting and they both welcomed me with happy faces and bright smiles. I asked what the sign was all about, I told them I had seen it while driving and it caught my attention. One of the ladies, Maribel Beltrez a program therapist who lives in the area replied, “In the midst of darkness we need to know that we are here for a reason, we have this set up because there is so much negativity going on the world that we need to take a moment to celebrate the good, to celebrate life!”
This really grabbed my attention and tore at my heart strings. It’s true why not take time to celebrate life for all the good things that happen in the world, with our families, with our friends and with us?
Maribel said that she and her friend Evelyn Lopez who works as a banker, organized this get-together to have a good time with friends and celebrate themselves and the great things that that they do. She said that the party was for who anyone one who walked by and wanted to join in. “The party is for everyone, let people see your good, it’s your day, your life is important, said Maribel.
These two wonderful women Maribel and Evelyn, made me realize that yes, we can have a party to celebrate life. We don’t need a special occasion. Let’s have a party to celebrate life, to celebrate us because as they said, we are all here with a purpose, so yes, let’s go ahead and celebrate!