Beyond Forgetfulness

Forgetfulness is a form of freedom. Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese writer

How often do we say, “I forgot….the keys, the sweater, the birthday, a name, a phone number?”  For most of us of a certain age, some forgetfulness is routine. But what about those whose lives are slipping away, those who have passed up simple forgetfulness and are living in a foreign world, one without memories?

As I interviewed daughters for my book on mother loss, I found it particularly heartbreaking talking with those who are losing their mothers to Alzheimer’s disease. One woman said, “My mother is lost to me but not gone.” This mother had forgotten her daughter and everyone else important to her yet she was alive and may live for many more years. One daughter’s story exemplified Gibran’s quote. She said, “My mother used to have great anxiety and worry. As a result, she was often angry and depressed. Now, because of her dementia, she is free of worry and is experiencing joy.” Of course, this daughter knows her mother’s situation will worsen but, in the meantime, she is embracing the moment.

Perhaps you have lost or are losing your mother (or someone else you love) to this terrible disease. I can’t imagine what pain you’re experiencing but I can stand beside you and support you through it.

Affirmation: I’m grateful that my brain is alive and well.

Coaching questions: What does your ability to think, remember, reason mean to you? What can you do to support those who are affected by Alzheimer’s? 

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Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash

Is Lack of Sleep the New Smoking?

More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. Study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Is sleep deprivation the new smoking? Years ago, we had evidence about the diseases caused by smoking but the public blithely smoked on. Later, after diligent stop smoking campaigns, the public generally woke up. The same can be said of sleep today. The research is in. During sleep, the fluid-filled ventricles of the brain open so deadly toxins, including the plaques the cause Alzheimer’s disease, can drain. In addition, adequate sleep strengthens the immune system and helps protect us from cancer. Plus—we’ve all experienced the productivity and behavioral bonuses that come with good sleep.

Sleep isn’t a “waste of time.” It’s a significant player in the scheme of healthy living. When we know better, we do better.

Affirmation: I get adequate sleep.

Coaching questions: Are you pushing the evidence aside and convincing yourself that you’re fine with less sleep? What is it costing you? Are you willing to take the risk?

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