Looking Back to 2013

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Barack Obama says, “Look forward, not back.” But I think we need to look back. If we don’t know where we’ve been, how do we know where to go? For me, 2013 was an amazing year. I hope it was good for you, too.

Most of my amazing wouldn’t be noticed by anyone else, except maybe my partner Aisha and my advisor/editor Eileen. I’ve gone to wonderful places without leaving my neighborhood. Many days I don’t even leave the apartment, but I’m still having great adventures.

One ongoing adventure is getting into meditation. I’m still terrible at it, but it’s making a big difference in my life. I’m more open, more centered, getting more done with less effort. I strongly encourage people to start meditating, even just five minutes a day to start.

There are many ways to meditate, so perhaps explore until you find one that works for you. There are technological ways, such as LifeFlow and Hemi-Sync. They play sets of sounds, best heard through headphones, that tune your brainwaves to meditative states.

I’ve started trying to get better from multiple sclerosis (MS). I’m doing a new treatment I can’t share yet. I’m also eating more organ meats, as I wrote about here. It’s just been a couple of weeks, and it is making a difference. Or something is. Keep you posted on that.

Words and music
I’ve done a lot of valuable reading this year. Most of it is in the realm where science meets spirituality. I’ve benefited from Rupert Sheldrake’s Science Set Free, Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, Rick Hansen’s Buddha’s Brain, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and several others.

Now I’m reading Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. This is a Christian approach to self-help. You’re not trying to help yourself but to help God, which helps you. Although it drives me crazy in places, I’m actually getting good things out of it.

Like I said, I don’t get outside much, but when I do, it’s been good. I saw the Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili. Four of their members are in wheelchairs from childhood polio, and their music is incredible. So much energy! People danced till they dropped. I got a hug from one of the players in wheelchairs as they came off the stage.

I saw an old ska band called The Melodians. You might know their most famous song, “Rivers of Babylon.” That was a wonderful show, too.

Carnaval San Francisco was beautiful this year. My friend Josie and I got seats right in front on the parade route in our mobility scooters. Beautiful, sexy, musical fun.

There have been some other great days; I think more than I’ve had in a long time, maybe ever. I think it comes from being more aware. The blessings are all around you, but you have to be aware that they are there. You have to pay attention and have an open mind.

Work has been good, too. I got hired to write chapters about diabetes and chronic illness in two different textbooks for community health workers. One is for English-speaking countries and the other is for all the poor countries of the world. These chapters are a big challenge, but instructive and rewarding. They make me feel good about my life path.

I’m still working on the Reasons to Live book, but not as much because of other commitments. Still, some of it is creeping on to Diabetes Self-Management. People seem to like reading articles written from the heart.

Next year I expect to have more adventures. My resolution is to stay open and aware to the world’s love and do my best to bless others.

But enough about me. Tell us about your year.

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