Isn't positive thinking supposed to be a wonderful thing? It's a positive thing, right? So why does the term make me bristle? Somehow positive thinking evokes for me some hyper-cheerful type with a teeth-baring smile, strained cheeks, a painful handshake, and a strong propensity for sweet denial. Makes me want my old cynical self back.
But I won't have her. I traded in my not only cynical but also depressive, dark, miserable, underachieving self almost a decade ago when years of often halfhearted searching (amazingly) brought me to a new way to look at my thoughts ... which led me to a new way of thinking ... which led me to see the world and people and myself in much friendlier terms. For the record, though this article isn't about that, the powerful form of self-inquiry I discovered and, more important, applied and keep applying, was The Work of Byron Katie. You can learn all about it by visiting www.thework.com or by reading Loving What Is.
Here's one of the most pivotal things I ever heard Byron Katie explain: anytime that you believe anyone or anything outside of you can keep you from your well-being, you're a victim. Gulp. I recognized myself instantly as a habitual victim constantly pointing outward (to insane politicians, greedy corporate types, bigoted neighbors, loved ones who didn't understand me, family whose needs drained me, the economy, not enough time) that made it impossible for me to be peaceful, content, and creative. In bumper sticker terms, I was more into "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention" than "Live the life you love" or "I'd rather be here now." With a new awareness of victim mentality, I made it my business to catch myself in any victim talk or thought and to speak or think again.
By Andrea Levine and Abbe Lyons
"You saved my life. The Free Clinic really saved my life." Ithaca Health Alliance (IHA) Clinic Coordinator, Valarie FitzRandolph, hears thanks and praises like this often. This time it was from a patient who'd been living with unmonitored high blood pressure and no health insurance. He came to see a doctor at no charge and left with a prescription for an inexpensive blood pressure medication.
Full of excitement, another patient told us her blood pressure has gone down and her mood has improved since using herbal medicine. She loved her free appointments with and botanical remedies from 7Song, Herbalist and Director of Holistic Medicine at Ithaca Free Clinic. She reports that she felt like a new person, thankful and hopeful. Still moving through financial and health struggles, she continues to use the Clinic's medical care, counseling, and financial advocacy. She is grateful for the integrated approach to health care. These services are made possible largely by local financial and volunteer support.
Support the Ithaca Health Alliance at GreenStar's Cash Registers
Would you like to be part of this vital force in local health care? Together, as Health Allies, we can sustain the Health Alliance in this effort to equalize access to health care for uninsured and underinsured community members.
The first of November will mark the start of our "Give Thanks for Health Care" register fundraiser at GreenStar. Please ask your cashier to add a donation to your everyday and holiday purchases. If you have access to affordable care, you can help make it possible for those who don't. If you can't afford care, you can still help support services for others and use them yourself as well. All money raised will help ensure that these services continue for our neighbors in Tompkins County and beyond. As one Health Ally says, "It's great to know that these resources are available — just in case."
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By Alexa Besgen,
Before he was examining the toxicity of New York state, Walter Hang was trying to cure cancer. Spending hours in labs testing chemicals on mice and giving children doses of chemotherapy wasn’t as rewarding as he thought it would be, and he soon realized he wasn’t helping as much as he wanted to. Hang, who is the founder of Ithaca’s Toxics Targeting, says he knew exactly what he wanted to do after stumbling upon a cancer map in a library. His missio...