Friday, December 25, 2020

The Gingerbread Boy

Gingerbread is such an integral part of Christmas that it may surprise some people to learn that the first gingerbread recipe came from the Greeks in 2400 B.C. The Chinese followed next in the 10th century. But it was the Europeans -- particularly, the Germans -- who turned gingerbread into a high form of art. Cookies decorated with gold leaf were a symbol of English nobility and royalty under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Gingerbread cookies were so popular by the late Middle Ages that Gingerbread Fairs became a popular form of entertainment. Germans began creating gingerbread houses in the 16th century. The story of Hansel and Gretel may have been inspired by gingerbread or gingerbread may have been inspired by Hansel and Gretel! Nobody knows for sure.

A well-known children's folk tale is The Gingerbread Man or Gingerbread Boy, depending on the teller.


Now, you shall hear a story that somebody's great-great-grandmother told a little girl ever so many years ago:

There was once a little old man and a little old woman who lived in a little old house on the edge of a wood. They would have been a very happy old couple but for one thing -- they had no little child, and they wished for one very much. One day, when the old little woman was baking bread, she cut a cake in the shape of a little boy, and put it in the oven.

Presently, she went to the oven to see if it was baked. As soon as the oven door was opened, the little gingerbread boy jumped out and began to run away as fast as he could go.

The little old woman called her husband, and they both ran after him. But they could not catch him. And soon the gingerbread boy came to a barn full of threshers. He called out to them as he went by, saying:

"I've run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

And I can run away from you, I can!"

Then the mowers began to run after him, but they couldn't catch him. And he ran on 'til he came to a cow. He called out to her:

"I've run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

A field full of mowers,

And I can run away from you, I can!"

But, though the cow started at once, she couldn't catch him. Soon he came to a pig. He called out to the pig:

"I've run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

A field full of mowers,

A cow,

-- And I can run away from you, I can!"

But the pig ran and couldn't catch him. And he ran 'til he came across a fox, and to him he called out:

"I've run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

A field full of mowers,

A cow and a pig,

And I can run away from you, I can!"

Then the fox set out to run. Now foxes can run very fast, and so the fox soon caught the gingerbread boy and began to eat him up.

Presently, the gingerbread boy said: "O dear! I'm a quarter gone!" And then: "Oh, I'm half gone!"

And soon: "I'm three-quarters gone!" And, at last: "I'm all gone!" and never spoke again.

Traditional Folk Tale

St. Nicholas Magazine, 1875


Dawn Pisturino

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Butter Thief


Many years ago, a little boy named Krishna lived in a small village in India.

Every morning, the women of the village would milk the cows and churn the thick, sweet cream into a golden butter. Then they would place the butter into cool clay pots.

Krishna loved butter. One day, he sneaked into a neighbor's hut and stole the pot full of butter.

Sitting under a shady tree, Krishna shared the butter with some hungry monkeys. When they were all full, he threw the pot on the ground and broke it.

The next day, Krishna sneaked into another hut in the village. But the pot full of butter was sitting on a high shelf. Krishna could not reach it. He stacked some wooden boxes under the shelf. Then he climbed up the boxes and stole the pot full of butter.

Krishna shared the butter with his friend Balarama. They had fun smearing butter on each other's faces. When they were both full, Krishna threw the pot into some bushes.

The next day, Krishna sneaked into another hut in the village. But the pot full of butter was hanging from the ceiling. Krishna could not reach it. He could not find any wooden boxes to stand on. But in the corner of the hut, Krishna found a long wooden stick. He broke the pot with the stick and ate all the butter.

As Krishna was licking butter from his fingers, a young woman entered the hut.

"Krishna, why have you stolen all the butter?" she said.

"Why do you accuse me of stealing?" Krishna asked. "There is plenty of butter in the village."

The women of the village complained to Krishna's mother. She saw the butter on Krishna's face.

"Open your mouth and let me see," she said to Krishna.

Krishna opened his mouth. But instead of teeth, tongue, and tonsils, Krishna's mother saw the whole universe. She saw the sun, the moon, and all the planets. She saw all the stars in the Milky Way. She saw the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. She saw comets shooting across the sky.

Krishna's mother was amazed at what she saw, but she thought it was all a dream. She scolded him for stealing the butter then held him on her lap. 

The next morning, the women of the village found all their pots full of sweet golden butter. And they were never empty again.

Dawn Pisturino
Copyright 2008-2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Eat That Parsley!


The next time you go to a restaurant, don't neglect the parsley on the side of your plate. Eat it!

Herbalists have been aware of the medicinal properties of parsley for 2,000 years. The Ancient Greeks used the seeds and roots as a diuretic. During the Middle Ages, parsley wine was recommended as a remedy for poor circulation. Traditional folk medicine has used parsley to regulate menstruation, ease kidney stones, relieve stomach cramps and nausea, and to bring new life into dull, limp hair.

Parsley is a carminative which soothes the digestive tract, stimulates peristalsis, and reduces gas. It contains volatile oils which stimulate the appetite, aid digestion, and improve metabolism.

Parsley contains an essential oil, called apiole, which stimulates the kidneys and promotes the elimination of uric acid.

Due to its strong diuretic action, parsley is an excellent herb to use for detoxifying the liver, relieving bloating, and cleansing the urinary tract.

Parsley contains many important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A nd C, iron, folic acid, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorous.

Used regularly, parsley may lower heart rate and blood pressure and help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Parsley is an  excellent breath freshener, especially when eaten after a meal. Histidine, an amino acid found in parsley, is believed by researchers to fight tumors.

Pregnant women should avoid eating large amounts of parsley because it contains elements which may stimulate uterine contractions. After childbirth, however, those same elements help to contract the uterus to its normal size and to increase lactation.

Parsley is most commonly used in cooking as a garnish. It may be added to sauces, pasta, and salads; or sprinkled over potatoes and fish. The best choice for cooking is fresh Italian parsley.

Dawn Pisturino, RN
May 31, 2007

Copyright 2007-2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The Five Pillars of Islam


The Kaaba, Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during Hajj

The heart of Islam is the Five Pillars of Islam (arkan al-Islam). These are the five obligations all Muslims must perform. Revealed by the Angel Gabriel to Muhammad, these five obligations appear in the Qur'an and the hadith, and in particular, the Hadith of Gabriel (hadith jibril). 

Shahadah (or witness) "is the first and most important pillar in that it requires the individual to recognize and believe that there is no God but God and Prophet Muhammad is the Messenger of God." Before Muhammad received his revelations, the people of Mecca worshipped over 360 idols that were enshrined in the Kaaba. Besides these idols, the Arabs believed that "Allah was the invisible God, creator of the Universe, and above all the others." Muhammad's mission was to bring the Arabic people back to monotheism.

The believer who recites the shahadah makes a covenant with God based on four conditions. In the first condition, the believer affirms the Oneness of Allah (Tauhid-ar-Rububiyyah). In the second condition, the believer acknowledges that only Allah is worthy of worship (Tauhid-al-Uluhiyyah). In the third condition, the believer agrees that the names and qualities of Allah cannot be changed or attributed to others (Tauhid-al-Asma was-Sifat). In the fourth condition, the believer confirms that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.

Salah (the five daily prayers) are incumbent upon all Muslims after the onset of puberty. "The prayers . . .  are spread throughout the day as a reminder to Muslims of their true purpose in life, which is the obedience and worship of God." In Muslim countries, a Muezzin calls the people to prayer from a minaret attached to the mosque. Since the five daily prayers are recited in Arabic, Muslims are strongly encouraged to learn Qur'anic Arabic.

Before prayer, believers ritually purify themselves with water or clean sand (wudu) or a full bath (ghusl). During prayers, Muslims face the direction of Mecca and the Great Mosque (al-Masjid al-Haram). The body positions required during prayer force believers to reaffirm their dependence on and obedience to God. "Prayer is . . . the quintessential act of submission to God and the main proof of Islam."

Friday, right after noon, is the day when all Muslims gather for congregational prayer (juma) at the mosque. Men and women are segregated "so that there is no temptation that can interfere in the worship." A strict dress code is observed by women, which requires them to cover their heads, arms, and legs.

Fasting during the month of Ramadan (saum) is the third pillar of Islam. All Muslims who have reached puberty are obligated to perform this fast. The Ramadan fast commemorates "the day in which the Qur'an was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad." The fast was prescribed in the Qur'an, Surah 2:183: "O, you who believe! Observing As-saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)."

Although the fast is difficult (believers must abstain from food, water, and sex from dawn to dusk), they honor it "as both a purifactory act of sacrifice and an affirmation of ethical awareness." Suffering thirst and hunger during Ramadan reminds believers to remember the poor and needy when performing zakat (giving charitable alms). "The larger principle [however] is the total awareness and submission to God."

Zakat (charitable alms) is the fourth pillar of Islam. Muslims believe that it is "the act of giving in charity that leads to the purification of . . . money, and this altruism of giving to others does not contribute to its diminution but to its increase." In other words, sharing with others in remembrance of Allah increases the blessings received from Allah. Muslims are required annually to donate 1/40th of their excess wealth to charitable causes. Charitable acts which also qualify as zakat include kindness to others, preventing evil, and promoting the general good.

The fifth pillar of Islam is the Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca). "Muslims are required to perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime if they are capable physically and financially of doing so." According to the Qur'an (2:127-219), Abraham and his firstborn son, Ishmael, built the Kaaba. Allegedly, Allah taught Abraham the rituals of the Hajj and "required [mankind] to make the pilgrimage to that House."

The rituals of the Hajj commemorate the story of Abraham, Hagar, and their son, Ishmael. When pilgrims run back and forth between the two hills (As-Safa and Al-Marawah), they are remembering Hagar's search for water. When pilgrims throw three stones at the pillars of stone representing Satan, they are reminded of Satan's attempts "to dissuade Abraham from sacrificing his son." The sacrificing of a sheep or ram at the end of Hajj honors the Angel's intervention in stopping Abraham from sacrificing his son, Ishmael, and the appearance of a sheep to take his place. Over a period of ten days, pilgrims "re-enact those traditions passed on from Abraham through subsequent generations and continued by Prophet Muhammad."

Circumambulating the Kaaba is one of the most important traditions of the Hajj, for it "symbolizes the believer's entry into the divine presence." The entire purpose of the Hajj is to remind pilgrims of their submission to God.

The Five Pillars of Islam are the external rituals which set Islam apart from other religions. The rituals are meant to evoke a constant reminder of God (dhikr) and to affirm the Oneness of God.

Dawn Pisturino
January 17, 2019
Copyright 2019-2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Please contact author for sources.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Meth Madness

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in 2005 that 10.4 million Americans aged 12 years and older had tried methamphetamines at least once.

Meth is a synthetic amphetamine which was once used in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers. It is a Schedule II controlled substance which stimulates the central nervous system and damages the brain.

Popularly referred to as "crank," it is available as pills, capsules, powders, and crystal chunks called "ice." Users achieve an intense "high" by swallowing, inhaling, smoking, or injecting it. During the 8-24 hours that it remains in the body, users experience incredible alertness and euphoria, enhanced feelings of well-being, paranoia, hallucinations, insomnia, loss of appetite, anxiety, and a heightened sense of personal power. They may become irritable and violent.

Meth is highly addictive. After the "high" wears off, users become severely depressed and feel strong cravings.

The body responds to meth with elevated respiration and heart rates, blood pressure, and body temperature. The temperature may climb so high that brain damage and death may result.

Meth causes permanent damage to brain cells, nerve endings, and blood vessels in the brain. Users may develop Parkinson's-like symptoms, characterized by tremors and uncontrolled body movements.

Meth addicts are at higher risk for developing kidney and lung disease, permanent psychiatric disorders such as paranoid schizophrenia, a weaker immune system, severe tooth decay, skin problems, heart and liver damage, stroke, and complete cardiovascular collapse.

Using meth during pregnancy can lead to greater risk of premature birth and birth defects. In homes where parents use meth, child abuse and neglect seem to be more prevalent.

Neighborhoods with widespread meth abuse tend to have higher incidences of motor vehicle accidents, crime, fires, explosions, and hazardous waste exposure.

When you examine the big picture, meth is a problem that cannot be ignored. It destroys lives and has profound effects on the whole community. Please support local efforts to stem the use of this deadly substance.

Dawn Pisturino
April 24, 2007

Copyright 2007-2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Hindu Prayer for Peace

Lord Krishna

Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real.
Oh God, lead us from darkness to light.
Oh God, lead us from death to immortality.
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti unto all.
O Lord God Almighty
may there be peace in Celestial regions.
May there be peace on earth.
May the waters be appeasing.
May herbs be wholesome,
and may trees and plants bring peace to all.
May all beneficent beings bring peace to us.
May thy Vedic Law
propagate peace all through the world.
May all things be a source of peace to us.
And may thy peace itself bestow peace on all.
And may that peace come to me also.

Shanti, Shanti, Shanti Om.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Float Away with Flotation REST Therapy

Are you bombarded by noise and chaos in your environment? Feeling tired and over-stressed? Longing to get away from it all? Try floating away!

Since 1975, flotation tanks have been used in conjunction with restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST) to induce deep physical and mental relaxation. This form of relaxation training involves floating in an enclosed tank filled with a small amount of highly-concentrated solution of Epsom salts and purified water.

The tank is both soundproof and lightproof, creating an environment completely free of sensory stimulation. The heavy concentration of Epsom salts allows the participant to float face-up on the surface of the water and sleep or daydream without fear of sinking or rolling over. The controlled climate settings can precisely match the temperature of the air and water with the participant's own body temperature.

Stepping into the tank induces an automatic relaxation response. After a short adjustment period, the participant begins to experience feelings of weightlessness, timelessness, and a sense of deep relaxation. Suddenly, he or she is aware of every heartbeat, muscle twitch, and sensation in the body. The mind calms down, finding new freedom to explore the infinite possibilities of the imagination. The participant becomes keenly aware of suppressed thoughts and emotions. Without the distraction of outside stimuli, he or she turns inward, becoming more and more in tune with his or her own physical, mental, and emotional landscape.

The typical flotation session lasts 45 minutes. Most participants emerge feeling relaxed, refreshed, and re-energized. After being deprived of sensory stimulation, the whole world takes on an appearance of freshness and renewal. Colors, sounds, and smells seem suddenly brighter and more vivid. Stimuli is a welcome relief from the darkness and silence of the flotation tank.

Supervised flotation REST has been used along with relaxation training, stress management, and biofeedback to treat hypertension, anxiety, stress disorders, chronic pain, muscle tension, insomnia, PMS, rheumatoid arthritis, spastic muscles, lupus, scleroderma, and smoking cessation.

Studies done at the Medical College of Ohio reveal that flotation REST reduces blood pressure, heart rate, and the production of stress hormones such as cortisol. It increases the release of endorphins from the brain, producing a sense of well-being, relieving the symptoms of stress, and alleviating or reducing chronic pain. Muscles relax, range of motion improves, and participants feel a greater sense of muscle control. Participants have reported increased energy levels, more focused mental concentration, less susceptibility to sensory overload and illness, and higher performance levels in the areas of sports, science, and the creative arts. Personal relationships improved, and people with chronic pain experienced temporary relief from pain symptoms.

Flotation REST therapy should be performed by a qualified professional. But individuals can purchase their own flotation devices for use in the home or visit a flotation center to participate in a session.

Dawn Pisturino, RN
June 20, 2007
Copyright 2007-2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

My Thoughts on the Coronavirus

By now, everyone has been affected in some way by the coronavirus. People have gotten really sick, with most recovering, and some dying. Some people who tested positive never got sick at all. Most Americans, however, seem to be healthy and well.

Due to the spread of coronavirus around the world, countries began to shut their borders, institute quarantine and isolation procedures, promote education about the virus, social distancing, and an economic lock down. Right now, the world is at a standstill.

Millions of people have been temporarily laid off or furloughed from their jobs. Others are working from home. People are anxious, restless, bored, and scared. What will happen next? Will things get better? Will they get worse? Will this virus be defeated? Will it come back again? Nobody can really give us an adequate answer.

Businesses - both large and small - are suffering. Will they be able to reopen? Or, will this shutdown put them out of business? Just yesterday, retailer Neiman-Marcus announced its plans to file bankruptcy. This will likely cost a lot of people their jobs.

The federal government has increased the national debt in its effort to help people weather the storm. And most of us are grateful for the extra money and support that the government is providing. But it's only temporary. And the money only stretches so far. Rents and mortgages still have to be paid. Food still has to be bought. Life goes on.

Gun and ammunition sales are through the roof. Why? Because of the threat of increased crime and overreach by state and local governments. While convicted criminals are let out of jail, law-abiding citizens are forced to shelter in their homes, wear masks in public, and follow restrictive and unconstitutional mandates. Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, for example, is prohibiting people from buying seeds, planting gardens, and hanging American flags. What do these normal activities have to do with preventing the spread of coronavirus? This kind of out-of-control power grab by politicians is sparking anger, protests, and demands to end the economic shutdown.

The mainstream media has fed into the hysteria by politicizing the crisis, deliberately spreading fear and chaos, and sensationalizing the number of cases and deaths. Politicians are at war with each other, pointing fingers, and deliberately spreading misinformation and lies. It's an election year, folks! And that matters more than unifying and helping the country.

Then we have Bill Gates and the big tech companies wanting to stop people from working until they acquire a certificate that they test negative, have already recovered from the virus, or have been vaccinated. WTF? I feel sorry for anybody who doesn't live up to their standards. And what made them the experts anyways? Bill Gates has a financial interest in all of this. And this is a guy who wants to reduce the human population by 15%. No, thank you, Mr. Gates! I'll take a pass on any vaccine developed by you!

Liberal governors are also refusing to open up their states' economies until some distant date in the future, out of fear that the coronavirus will reoccur. Come on, guys! People need to get back to work and back to a normal life as soon as possible. Standing in line for toilet paper happens in third world countries, not the good old USA!

On the positive side, people are finding a healthy appreciation for the things they have, the things they are missing, and the things they had lost, such as their love of family and faith in God. People are praying more and spending time with their loved ones.

So, out of all the chaos, order will come. Out of all the fear, confidence will grow. And out of all the death and destruction, new life and hope will be restored. We are resilient people, after all.

Dawn Pisturino
April 19, 2020
Copyright 2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Origins of Pagan Easter

The Spring Equinox marks the festival of Eostre - also known as Ostara - a Germanic goddess worshiped by the Anglo-Saxons. If "Eostre" looks familiar, it's because the word eventually morphed into "Easter."

The pagan symbols of Easter include rabbits, hares, and eggs. Rabbits and hares represent fertility, while eggs symbolize fertile purity. Easter egg hunts can be viewed as a re-enactment of rebirth and renewal rituals practiced by ancient people. Lighting a bonfire at dawn on Easter morning hearkens back to the days when Germanic believers lit bonfires at dawn on the morning of the Spring Equinox. Decorating eggs and wearing new clothes symbolize the end of winter, the coming of Spring, and the birth of new life.

We all look forward to the coming of spring and all the beautiful treasures it brings: fresh green grass, colorful and fragrant flowers, birds singing in the trees, blue skies and sunshine, and warm breezes wafting through our open windows. Spring is the time when we feel energetic and renewed. We want to stretch out our muscles and get outdoors in the sunshine. We feel suddenly motivated to clean out our closets and send belongings we no longer need to the local thrift shop. We shop for new clothes, try a new hairstyle, revel in nature and the world at large. After the oppression of winter, Spring sets us FREE.

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

Dawn Pisturino
April 11, 2020
Copyright 2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Saint Patrick's Breastplate

Irish tradition says that St. Patrick wrote this prayer in 433 A.D. to bring down God's protection on him while working earnestly to convert King Leoghaire of Ireland to Christianity. It has also been called The Cry of the Deer.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God's strength to pilot me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of evils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
That may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a might strength, the Invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.


NOTE: This is a classic prayer of Spiritual Warfare that is just as relevant now as it was in Saint Patrick's day. Arm yourself with the Breastplate of Saint Patrick!

Dawn Pisturino
March 12, 2020
Copyright 2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Apache Blessing Prayer

Apache Man 1903 by Edward S. Curtis

Apache Blessing Prayer

May the sun
bring you new
energy by day.
May the moon
softly restore
you by night.
May the rain
wash away
your worries.
May the breeze
blow new strength
into your being.
May you walk
gently through the
world and know
its beauty all the
days of your life.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Buddhist Advice for the New Year, 2020

Everything changes. Nothing is permanent. No matter how much we desire for things to remain the same, they never will. New life is born, old life dies. Friends come and go. Children grow up and leave home. Marriages end; lovers split apart. Therefore life -- because it changes -- can never bring us anything but suffering.

In reality, it is not life itself which brings us suffering but our own attachments, desires, perceptions, and expectations. The more we get, the more we want. The more we expect, the greater our disappointment. The more we attach ourselves to other people and objects, the harder it is to give them up.

For example, we go deeply into debt buying things we can't afford, then needlessly suffer from the worry, anxiety, and stress of trying to pay for them. When we finally pay them off, we see something else we want -- and begin the cycle all over again!

Our suffering can only end when we extinguish our desires; embrace the reality of birth and death, illness and old age; and accept the inevitability of change,

We cannot control the big stuff, but we can control the small stuff.

Simplify. How much stuff is in your closets that you spent lots of money on that you never use anymore? Did you ever use it? Did you really need it in the first place? Clean out your closets and dispose of excess clutter. Donate items to the local thrift store.

Avoid Debt. You can never find peace of mind while coping with a pile of debt. If you can't afford to pay cash, then you probably don't really need it. Save the credit cards for emergencies. Pay off all unnecessary bills. Open a savings account. Just saying "no" to things we don't really need is liberating.

Show love and compassion toward others. Understand that we are all in this life together. None of us asked to be born. Nobody wants to suffer. And there is only one way out.

Be truthful and honest. Avoid causing harm to others through your words and deeds. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Stop doing all those little things which cause unnecessary worry, stress, and pain.

Take things in stride. Instead of resisting change, embrace it! View it as an opportunity to make a fresh start. Have a sense of humor. Go out of your way to make others smile.

Have a happy, prosperous, and serene New Year, 2020!

Dawn Pisturino, RN
March 15, 2007
Copyright 2007-2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.