Jan 1Liked by T. Thorn Coyle

A perfect writing for this week. I'm 12 hours ahead of the East Coast of the U.S., so it's already late morning of New Year's day. I did a good deal of reflecting and journaling yesterday and was quite surprised to discover that as crazy and awful a year as it has been for much of the world, for me, personally, it has been on of my best years in a very long time. It started off terribly with the typhoon that wiped out so many homes on this island here in the Philippines. My own rental house was damaged and needed about a week of full-time work to fix the roof and a couple of other things. And then there was no electricity on the island for about three months. Living without refrigeration is NOT easy, and I got pretty sick three times and lost more than 15 lbs. But then, once the electricity came back, I started making changes. I decided to live instead of just hanging around waiting to die. I had a major heart attack 5 1/2 years ago and the cardiologist told me I had about a year left to live. Ten months later I had surgery for cancer and we decided not to do chemo or radiation. Last spring, I had a bunch of tests done and when I saw my cardiologist she was in shock. There was no sign of cancer and although my heart is still greatly damaged and weak, the rest of my test results indicated an otherwise very healthy person She suggested I might be a cat because I seemed to have many lives. That's when I decided to push aside this notion of dying and get on with actually living. So, over this past year I've made changes...small increments that have added up to huge changes. My diet is about 70% overhauled. I don't use sugar or any fat other than olive oil. I eat lots of fruit and vegetables and am still working on bringing healthy beans and legumes into my diet on a more regular basis.

Over two months ago, I started a free Psychology course through Yale University called The Psychology of Well-being and through that course I began to incorporate other good habits into my daily life: drinking more fluids throughout the day; taking two, fifteen minute walks each day (my cardiologist' limit setting); adding writing a list of five gratitudes in my journal every morning; meditating 1/2 hour in the morning and another 1/2 hour in the evening (before the heart attack I did meditation regularly). Once that first psychology course was over, I signed up for two more: a Classical Music Appreciation course through Yale, and a World Literature course through Harvard. I've got six weeks of the music appreciation course done with only three left to go, and I've got a very solid "A" so far. The World Literature course is at the half-way mark and I'm doing "A" work in that as well. I can't tell you how much taking these courses has changed my life. They give my life structure and purpose. I've always loved learning, but there's a different texture to these courses than there was when I was slogging through college and graduate school while raising a child as a single parent AND working full time to keep a roof over our heads. Back then, I simply took the courses I needed to get my degree and did whatever was necessary to pass. Now, I have all the time i need to actually savor the course material. What a difference! I'm loving it. So..yes, 2022 certainly started out with lots of huge challenges, but out of that dung heap grew such wonder that I hardly believe it! I'm not just alive, but thriving.........and for that I am VERY grateful. I do hope that we all can manifest whatever our heart truly desires during this new year. That is my wish for us all.

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