With thoughts-and-musings, quotes, poetry, and stories of connection and inspiration, here Dr. David Perlmutter will share the information and insights that have influenced his research and development. This is a place for positive thinking, and that asks us to dig deeper in our journey for optimal health.
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What does gratitude mean to you?
I recently found this wonderful quotation from author, Melody Beattie describing gratitude:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
I encourage you to reflect on this sentiment as you enjoy this holiday weekend with family and friends.
Always good to take a moment to think about the things you like. My list, clearly not in any particular order:
- Acts of compassion.
- Dedication to a cause.
- Love for my family and friends.
- Love of my family and friends.
- Sautéed onions.
- Socks right out of the dryer.
- Connecting seemingly disparate conceptual dots.
- The counsel of wise elders.
- Making complex issues more approachable.
- The positive outcomes of my work.
- The mystery of it all.
No one is so bereaved, so miserable, that he cannot find someone else…who needs friendship, understanding, and courage more than he. The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.
– Helen Keller
There’s always a tendency in each of us to question ourselves when we consider our supposed foibles, but the following folk tale from Sacinandana Swami shines a different light on how we may choose to embrace our sense of worth.
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on one end of the pole he carried across the back of his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream, the cracked pot arrived only half full. This went on every day for two years, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his master’s house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishment and saw itself as perfectly suited for the purpose for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived as bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“For the past two years, I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws you have to work without getting the full value of your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and out of compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the wildflowers on the side of the path. The pot felt cheered.
But at the end of the trail, the pot still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and again it apologized for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I knew about your flaw and took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them for me. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. If you were not just the way you are, he would not have such beauty to grace his house.”
These days we all seem to be pushing as hard as we can to meet our ever-increasing demands. I found the following verse by Eknath Easwaran to be instructional:
Today’s mania for speed strikes right at the root of our capacity for an even mind. How often we find ourselves locked into behavior and situations that force us to hurry, hurry, hurry! By now, most of us are aware that compulsive speed – “hurry sickness” – can be a direct threat to our physical health. But hurry has another alarming repercussion: it cripples patience.
When we lack patience, even a few moments’ delay, a trivial disappointment, an unexpected obstacle, makes us explode in anger. We are not hostile people; we are just in such a hurry that keeping the mind calm is impossible. Without peace of mind, how can we enjoy anything, from a movie to good health?
When we go slower, we are more patient, and when we are more patient, we are capable of enjoying life more. All these benefits can come from just learning to slow down.
I found this poem (“For a New Beginning” by John O’Donohue) to be greatly inspirational in dealing with making life changes. – Dr. Perlmutter
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
Over the past 15 years I have written several books including LifeGuide, BrainRecovery, The Better Brain Book, Raise a Smarter Child By Kindergarten, Power Up Your Brain, and now Grain Brain – The Surprising Truth About Wheat Carbs and Sugar, Your Brain’s Silent Killers.
Without question, the key dietary messaging over the years that I have put forth has clearly changed, and with good reason. Science is dynamic. And my mission is to remain at the leading edge of science and bring the very best and most current knowledge to public awareness.