Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Can't Afford to Be Sick! What Do I Do?

A Handful of Remedies From My Friend Base (originally published at Yahoo Contributor Network)

In about a week, I am scheduled for an audition. Up until a couple of days ago, I was fine. My vocal chords were well-oiled and I hadn't caught the icky flu that's been going around. I was pretty proud of that. I even bragged about not really ever getting sick. And after telling everyone I do not get sick, I did! Needless to say, I am not pleased. I can't afford to cough and burn! I need to get rid of this ick in a flash!
Luckily, I can query friends for help and have. Below follow some of the responses I received to my call for best remedies:
Boil ginger in water, add honey, add cayenne: I like this suggestion very much because I don't have to go very far. I'm already feeling a bit feverish. Yay to the fact that the ingredients are all in my house! Plus, the brew is tasty. It's spicy and warms the body. Drinking it right away smooths the throat so I can talk on the phone a bit and it makes me warm when perhaps I had a bit of a chill before.
I found a recipe online for this: I thought I would give you one since I tend to throw ingredients into pots willynilly. I think a nice addition to this could be some fresh squeezed lemon juice and/or some green tea (which was another suggestion from a friend, "Drink copious amounts!").
Just a short note about the benefits of each of the ingredients (resources for where I've found the information appear underneath the links): The honey coats the throat and even can be used on its own as a cough remedy. Ginger reduces inflammation, strengthens immunity, and keeps the stomach tame. It has many other benefits, as well. Cayenne pepper helps to break up the congestion associated with the flu, also helps with keeping the stomach tame, is an anti-inflammatory, and as I've mentioned, warming. Lemon strengthens the immune system, provides a lot of that vitamin C we're always talking about during cold and flu season, and goes well with the green tea as it may improve the antioxidant properties in each.
To me, this sounds (and feels!) like a great elixir. I'm essentially drinking it non-stop.
Garlic!: Now here's a superstar in the flu-attacking world. It's an immunity booster and simple to incorporate into your life. It's great for preventing colds and flu and can be made into a tea when you've caught either of those. Garlic can open the bronchial passages and reduce flu symptoms. It's great if taken at the first sign of the flu.
Garlic is great used as a preventative measure, as well. I plan to increase its usage in my daily cooking. This is preventative medicine that tastes good, and it's another ingredient found right here in my kitchen!
Try this recipe to knock the ick out fast!:
1 cup hot green tea (see benefits above)
Juice of one orange (Vitamin C, Immunity Booster, anti-inflammatory)
1 inch peeled and grated ginger
1 teaspoon of Agave Nectar
1 drop each of echinacea, Vitamin C, and zinc
This looks like a remedy that doesn't mess around! I may very well be bundling up and trekking to the store! I've listed links in my resources below for more information on the benefits of each of the ingredients we have not yet talked about.
Black pepper, honey, and a dash of cayenne and turmeric: Here's another warming beverage which is a traditional familial recipe one of my friends has shared. I wanted to note the warming qualities of this drink (!). It reminds me of the fever that often accompanies the flu., I found that fever is, in most cases, a natural reaction of the body which is not necessarily dangerous in and of itself. Fever creates an environment in the body wherein viruses and bacteria cannot survive and prompts the body's internal defenses into action. Keeping the body warm during a flu, then, is no wives tale. With this recipe you can warm the body from the inside. Less shivers and all the heat!
Don't forget lots of water and sleep!: When we are not taking care of ourselves, we are more prone to have weakened immune systems. Sleep is an important aspect of immunity and water is important in flushing away toxins and keeping the body hydrated .
I hope this information helps you as it is helping me! I feel so much better already!

Sources Cited / For further information:
Alabi, Monica. "The 13 Health Benefits of Garlic." The Herbal Magazine RSS . The Herbal Magazine, 11 Dec. 2011. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
"Facebook Inquiry: What Are Your Best Flu Remedies?" Online interview. 21 Jan. 2013.
Feature, Denise MannWebMD. "Lack of Sleep and the Immune System." WebMD . WebMD, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
"Fever." : Health24: Diseases A to Z . Health24, May 2011. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
Hunt, Jennifer. "Using Proper Hydration to Combat Cold and Flu." Modern Alternative Health RSS . Modern Alternative Health, 26 Oct. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
Parker-Pope, Tara. "For Cold Virus, Zinc May Edge Out Even Chicken Soup." Well For Cold Virus Zinc May Edge Out Even Chicken Soup Comments . New York Times, 15 Feb. 2011. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
Regan, Dr. Kathleen. "Momâ s Homemade Flu Recipe: Garlic and Ginger." Regan Naturopathic RSS . Regan Naturopathic, 3 Apr. 2011. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
Rivers, Dee. "Raw Garlic for the Flu." LIVESTRONG.COM ., 22 June 2010. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
"Taking Echinacea to Treat Colds: Benefits & Side Effects." WebMD . WebMD, 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
"Vitamin C for Colds: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses." WebMD . WebMD, 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to be Alone / Aloneness is a Freedom

The Holiday Season 2012/13 was the worse it's ever been for me. My family resides in multiple states other than the one I live in. I haven't means at this time to visit any one of those places let alone all or some. Family isn't able come either. 

A good deal of my core friend base in the last year or so has significantly shifted. At the end of 2011, I really had felt a part of a community, a tribe, and I was happily looking forward to working within that tribe as this sense of belonging was something that I had been yearning for. I also felt that I had some direction because of that belonging.

But then chaos happened, misunderstandings, emotions, moves, mistakes, and other stresses which caused rifts in loves and friendships, and a more desperate scrabbling for means. I wasn't sure I knew myself, let alone what I wanted and even thought to run away from it all, despite the deepening sense of alienation that a move such as that could cause. 

The changes and transformations of last year left me in a despairing mess of loneliness that I was not sure I could shirk but lucky for me, my stubbornness kicked in and I realized what a freedom aloneness is. While everyone else was participating in the rush of the holidays, I had some space. I had some peace. I began remembering all the things that I had wanted to put in place for myself before belonging, before the chaos and the ripping apart of dreams. All was well and as it was supposed to be! I realized how much I had, what love I had around me, and I began to have a gist of all the things I have available to offer. 

I wanted to share this video because time and time again it shows up for me when I've forgotten the value of aloneness. It is beautiful, inspiring, and absolutely healing. I hope that I remember to watch it should I ever again enter a despairing and forgetful state of loneliness.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Latency is Pure Potentiality

  --old journal doodleby Tameca L Coleman

I have a confession to make: I'm scared. I'm so scared that I have taken plenty of time to hide. I have bottled up my words, and music, waiting for a time when I am no longer afraid.

I'm supposedly a writer, amongst other things. Frankly, I haven't been writing a lot since I graduated from my undergrad. I journal some but even that has been on the wane. Most of my published works have appeared in small or defunct journals and it's hard to see peoples' eyes glaze sometimes because they want to know someone who has actually done something, is doing something, or at least looks like they are doing something. Small and defunct journals are often only important to the people that are published in them. Further, my lack of consistency and fear has turned into boxes upon boxes of things to sift through in the closet and latency.

Just a bit ago, some friends on different occasions asked me whether I blog. I directed them here, kind of shyly, with a bunch of referring to the word "latent." I didn't realize it then but it turns out that the word suggests pure potentiality, something lying in wait, dormant, with potential for expression. I'm glad that I somehow knew to use that word. When I told my friends about my creative latency I was initially beating myself up about the whole thing, feeling that perhaps I was lying when I still considered myself a writer. Maybe I was hobbyist who spent loads of time and money on the fun! I am known by many to be a meanderer with a penchant for fantasy. However, as I write this, I can't get the image of a seed just sprouting and greening, pushing its little head above the earth to meet the sun.

"Slumbering Sun" -- old journal doodle by Tameca L Coleman
So, what prompts a post at all? This is Blogger. This is indie. I do not make money with these posts here and no one really knows me from the man in the moon! This may not be productive. I am not considered an expert on much. I haven't shown or proven anything. Blogs for most are public diaries. . . .

Well, there are the friends who ask me if I do this, and say that they will link what I do here to what they do. That's inspiring. Further, what I have been feeling has been reflected back to me in myriad emails and conversations from friends, teachers, and others in my community who have something to say and are timid about saying it. But here we are. We have to start somewhere, and who knows what can happen with consistent and small actions, showing up, putting a little something towards those things we say we do and those things we want and need to say.

Here's to that, and waking up, pushing our heads at last above the earth to reach the sun!