EDWISE  - EDITOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
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depression

art and mental health

So glad I am able to post daily here. My posts were blocked for several months, probably because of some sort of hacking/ cyber-intrusion.

Topic today: art and mental health

I recently visited my former university campus to run an errand there. The visit prompted some reminiscing. One memory that comes up from time to time is my decision not to become an English major. Considering that creative writing and literature feeds mostly off emotions, I was a bit afraid of going in that direction when I was around 20.

the Meaning of Life

I am reading a little book written by Viktor E. Frankl and first published in 1959 (Beacon Press). Small it may be, but it packs a big punch.

Dr. Viktor E. Frankl was living in Austria when Nazi Germany persecuted Jews and conquered some of Europe. He was a Jew who became a psychiatrist after experiencing the horrors of the Auschwitz prison camp. He reflects on people's responses to extreme suffering, exploring his own experience as a case in point. Endeavouring to find something positive in one of the worst kinds of experiences, he contemplates how a person may be able to rise above severe suffering by discovering meaning.

Just Peace-November

November begins the reflective year-end time for me. My birthday in mid-December is approaching and soon after that the conclusion of the calendar year. It is a reflective period for me--a time to assess what I have been doing and where I'm heading. I am gearing up to do that and review and reset my goals.

In this part of the world, the weather gets dark, cold and rainy in November. It can be downright gloomy. Like other people, I usually feel blue in November.

The autumn and winter of this region is not like the rainy seasons of the tropics or deserts; rather, heavy rain commences and goes on and on for weeks.

Just Peace -late transformation

My brother and his wife were dinner guests at my place last night. We had a nice time. My sister-in-law can get quite negative and be difficult to please but the dinner went well. Actually, her attitude and disposition has changed for the better lately.

They are a little older than I. They have both been officially labeled as mentally disabled for most of their lives, and therefore unemployed and on low income.. It's a shame because they are very sociable and have generally good character. My brother was ambitious and into many things, working hard to save money and accomplish a lot.

Just Peace - health maintenance

Health maintenance is necessary for a person to be an effective and productive citizen. It is necessary to be able to maximize one's potential while alive. It is necessary to take care of oneself well in order to help others, be active in the community and contribute to society.

I see comrades, family members, co-workers and friends who ignore common knowledge about health and nutrition and let their bodies deteriorate. I shake my head. Most people are aware that fresh fruit and vegetables are healthier than processed foods and that exercize optimizes the body's ability to fend off disease and run well for them.

Transitions-reactivating

I'm trying to get a little more physically and mentally active again. I fell into a lull as summer and summer employment ended, which resulted in a short period of lethargy and consequential weight gain. Now I am doing a bit of exercise again and walking more.

I have always been mindful of getting exercise, but effusion of the knee (water knee) started happening last summer while I was still hiking, paddling and cycling. Not that it has been painful, but it is a precursor to arthritis, which I do not wish to encourage.

Transitions - optimism rising

Despite the gloom and rain of November in Vancouver, a time when Canada sees its highest number of deaths, I am once again feeling my optimism rise as my birthday (mid-December) approaches. It can feel sad in November when we remember the dead, and some of my relatives, friends and colleagues including my parents have passed during November. Nevertheless, my energy is on the rise.

As I said at the start of this blog, while I was introducing my blog project called "A Year of Living Positively" in December, 2013, the year's end is a natural time for reflection and planning.

Transition - Breathing spell

After around 10 days of extreme tension here in the house, I felt totally peaceful and content yesterday. There was some relief from a situation with a housemate. However, the atmosphere is a little nervous again this morning.

To recap my situation, I am in temporary digs renting a room in a shared household as I make the transition from life back in Korea to a renewed life here in Vancouver, Canada. It took a lot of searching and inquiries to find some suitable short term accommodations; I signed a rental agreement for this place offered by a landlord's representative without meeting all the housemates.

Transition-Day against Racism

The International Day against Racism is a positive thing. I attended an action to honour this important day and made to responses against bigotry.

At the rally of those united against racism that brought together a diverse collection of participants around the same cause, a few neo-nazis turned up to provoke and interfere. In the false name of "democracy", they claimed that the protesters were segregating them and not allowing their voices in. A couple of them got clobbered as they kept making provocative challenges and tried to approach the stage.

Transitioning-Memory and aging

Memory loss and senility are concerns as one reaches the "senior" years. As there is mental illness in my family, including 2 elders who "cracked up" in their last few years, and my grandmother lived for a couple of decades without short-term memory, these problems are on my mind as I age.

How to prevent or at least reduce the chance or impacts of such afflictions? I found good advice under the heading of "Preventing Alzheimer's" on the helpguide.org website. Here is the link to the article.
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