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Brookhaven Retreat Blog - For inspiration, growth & a fresh perspective.

Stop and Smell the Flowers

Monday, 30 May 2016 00:00  by Jessica K.
I am a lover of art, the expression of emotions onto canvas. One of my favorite painters is Georgia O’Keefe; her bigger than life flowers with vibrant colors and her take on the mid-west. All of her work is inspirational to me. I enjoy finding inspiration in nature, finding the nuances in color in flowers that some might not see. Georgia O’Keefe was the epitome of this type of artist. Georgia was quoted at one time saying, “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it,…

Bibimbap

Sunday, 29 May 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
While shopping at Trader Joe’s the other day, I pointed to a frozen Bibimbap package and asked my 13-year-old daughter to say the word to find out how she would pronounce it. Much to my surprise, she said it exactly as it’s meant to be pronounced: Bee-beem-bop. I was so proud, but I laughed out loud because frankly, to the American ear it has a silly sing-songy ring to it. However, bibimbap is no laughing matter. In fact, it’s a kind of comfort food taken very seriously in Korea. This…

Cameron Diaz and Aging Stereotypes

Saturday, 28 May 2016 00:00  by Christina M.
In our lifetime women are living longer, fuller, and healthier lives than ever before. And yet, stress and trauma occur from outside pressures on what aging should be and how women are valued. I remember thinking that “old” meant anyone that wasn’t young, and young meant anyone under 25. However, I am past 25, and all of the distinguished women role models that I find myself looking to are well into their 50s and feel nothing like “old”. Cameron Diaz has noticed so much about herself and other’s reactions to…
I’ll never forget the time I experienced high blood pressure for the first time. I was in the doctor’s office, which is no joke, although it may sound like one. I thought something might be wrong with me and I was there to find out if I was right or wrong. Of course, one of the first things they do in the doctor’s office is take your blood pressure, which I don’t enjoy. That on top of the fact that I was nervous about what I might find out about…

Painfully Honest

Thursday, 26 May 2016 00:00  by Lori R.
December 25th, 2000, our Siamese cat, Pebbles, is missing. The holiday passes. I search and search and finally discover the cat in the field across the street, having perished… from what? Being hit by a car? Trauma from a coyote attack? What do I tell my 5-year-old son? “Honey, Pebbles must have jumped in Santa’s sleigh and gone to live at the toy factory!” Ugh. Is this a harmless lie? What possesses us to cover the truth? I’m sure I’ve told countless white lies under the excuse of protecting someone’s…

Mental Health Month

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
Too many of us take our mental health for granted without realizing how many people we know actually suffer on a regular basis. Sure, we may have time in our lives when we slip into brief bouts of depression or have passing anxiety or even experience panic attacks during especially difficult times. But unless you live with a mental illness every day, you may not realize what a struggle it can be. The simplest of tasks may take longer, feel harder or even impossible sometimes. Getting out of bed, if…

The end is near . . .

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 00:00  by Caitlin Y.
The end is near . . . The end of the school-year, that is! The Facebook posts have been filling up my newsfeed with ideas for parents on how to avoid the inevitable “boredom” epidemic. In the past few years I have started out strong with great ideas and distractions but eventually lost steam along the way. As the end of summer came around our home had become a myriad of art projects, our yard was full of DIY creations (some completed…some not), and I was exhausted! Although this is…
Summer is coming and the desire to eat more fish, especially if you live near the shore, seems to increase with the temperature. We all know fish is a nutrient-dense food that should be on your regular rotation list. But too often the mania surrounding us makes us opt to microwave it because it’s quick and alleviates the sting of a dinnertime crisis. (That’s when the dinner bell rings and not only is there nothing on the table, but you haven’t begun to decide what to make.) Another mistake we…
Since I was a child I have taken on the role of a caregiver, and ingrained it into my identity. I was taught from an early age to care for others, to be aware of their needs, and volunteer. These things come natural to me, and instead of a place of obligation, it comes from a place of love. Caring for others became as common a task as doing laundry or going grocery shopping. I usually wanted to spend my time with aging relatives or sick friends; I genuinely wanted…

Humor and Pinterest

Saturday, 21 May 2016 00:00  by Jessica K.
I love to laugh. Full out, gut busting laughing that either makes me cry or snort. A lot of times, I laugh at myself. I am really okay with this because I am, at times, a klutz and don’t always think before I do something because I become really excited about an outcome. This excitement doesn’t always lead to the outcome I want and instead of becoming sad or angry, I just end up laughing. The results are, in fact, hilarious. I totally believe in self-care as part of recovery…

Bipolar Awareness

Friday, 20 May 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
Did you know that suicide is the number one cause of premature death among people with bipolar disorder? According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), bipolar disorder results in 9.2 years reduction in the expected life span, and as many as one in five patients with bipolar disorder successfully commits suicide. Once more commonly known as manic-depressive illness, the brain disorder and psychiatric disease can cause mood disorder, a shift in energy, activity levels and dysfunction in all manner of life skills. Vincent Van Gogh was posthumously diagnosed…

10 Foods to Help With Menstrual Cramps

Thursday, 19 May 2016 00:00  by Charity B.
You’ve experienced it: cramps running through your abdomen and it seeming like nothing will help. You’ve taken painkillers, you’ve applied heating pads, you’ve spent a whole day in bed watching Netflix. However, have you ever stopped to think that what you eat during your period – and even the week before – could help your body deal with cramps and reduce other symptoms as well? Eating these ten foods, in addition to other healthy choices, can make a big difference. Water You hear it everywhere, but drinking enough water can…

Self-Empowerment In Spite of Everything

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
Where there’s a will there’s a way. I’ve heard this proverb about a trillion times since I was young, but I never gave it serious thought until now. Have you ever applied the meaning to your own life? To me it means with enough determination you can overcome any obstacle. If I am committed to making something happen, I will do it one way or another, and nothing but the cessation of my own breath will stop me. Now that my longing for improvement in every facet of my life…

Reminders of Hope

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 00:00  by Christina M.
Reminders of hope come in all sorts of packages. I call it hope but it is also the strength and drive to move forward into recovery. I also call it a reminder, because that word implies that the hope and drive was never really gone in the first place. Some people are reminded of this hope and drive by music, family, or a task/career, but whatever it is that ignites the hope it is a moment that changes our perspectives and shifts away from the impossible and looks toward reality.…

Naked Persian Turkey Burgers

Sunday, 15 May 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
Summer is coming and the daunting task of swimsuit shopping and going out in public wearing less than usual is not necessarily a happy thought. For some, it can inspire extreme anxiety and behavior that can turn into a full-blown eating disorder. But with almost 10 weeks left, there is still time to take a healthy approach to weight loss. The first thing to do is love yourself no matter what. The second considerate thing to do for yourself is remove the pressure immediately. Let go of it. Unhealthy weight…
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