Restore & Renew

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Life can be complicated, confusing, and stressful. Here you will find topical articles on a variety of issues known to affect physical and mental health. Each short article includes recommendations for further reading and other useful resources.


By Ronnie Biemans, Dec 16 2016 05:50PM

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” - Epictecus

From time to time when I encounter a challenging moment or when someone I hold dear is struggling, I think of a particular song from The Sound of Music a movie musical I enjoyed as a child. The song is entitled “My Favorite Things” and goes like this: “ Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.” Rodgers and Hammerstein, the songwriters, wrote the lyrics before we had access to the brain research that supported their message.

By Ronnie Biemans, Dec 16 2016 05:44PM

Expectations and the Real World: You Can’t Have It All at the Same Time

There are all types of mothers who face all types of joys and challenges. The roles and responsibilities are limitless: baby incubator, birth-giver, nurturer, nurse, playmate, cook, chauffeur, executive secretary, care coordinator, advocate, housekeeper, laundress, social event planner, masseuse, therapist, teacher, to name a few. Along with our family’s needs and expectations we mothers have our own yet find it hard to accommodate them amidst the needs of others. Expectations of ourselves run very high with little thought to the costs of overdoing. Doing with no downtime takes its toll on body and mind. We cannot be all things to all people all of the time. No one can.

By Ronnie Biemans, Dec 16 2016 05:37PM

What is all the buzz about mindfulness? It seems like nearly every day I see an article in the newspaper or a magazine about mindfulness and mindfulness meditation.

Several years ago while visiting relatives in England, I was amused by the slogan in the London subway system emblazoned on mugs, t-shirts, and posters: Mind the Gap. Simply put, the slogan meant pay attention lest you fall between the subway platform and the train—mind the gap between the two. Aha! Being mindful means to pay attention, tune in, be present. Okay. I can do that, no problem. Being mindful can keep you safe (no falls between subway platforms and trains), and that’s a good thing.

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