Thursday, February 3, 2011

February's HEART Month activities and Tomorrow's National Wear Red Day!!!

February 3,  2011

For our mothers, grandmothers sisters, aunts, friends, and all women….wear RED tomorrow!!! Friday 2/4/2011
It’s National Wear Red Day! You will be helping save lives!
Watch Channel 4 news tonight at 11pm for my heart story!

Good afternoon fellow Go Red Ladies!!!

     Tomorrow is the day to speak out and help save lives by wearing RED. Something as little as this can make a huge impact, and I encourage everyone I know to do this for the women in their lives!

     In my endeavor to write about my “Heart Month” events I though I would share a few events I had on Tuesday… and yes one was  smack in the middle of our largest snowstorm this season! The first was  a radio interview with WGPR 107.5 FM radio station here in Detroit.  The Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA) produces a weekly, 60 minute, magazine-style radio show that is aired every Saturday from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and it is called the “Senior Solution!”  Mr. Paul Bridgewater, President and CEO of the DAAA interviewed  me for a 15 minute segment for this Saturday 2-5-2011, so if you get a chance drop in for a listen. We conversed about Go Red for Women’s mission to bring awareness of Heart Disease to women  and how they can take action to know and lessen their own risk factors for the disease.  He voiced his appreciation of the fact that women’s symptoms can be much different than men’s…he had a heart attack himself and received a stent to open up the blockage in his  coronary artery.  So if you get a chance tune in to listen!

     My second Go Red event was at the Charles H Wright Museum of  African American History, downtown on Warren Ave in Detroit.   I was asked to talk to the attendees of  the “’Living to the Beat of your Heart”  program about heart disease and my personal experiences.  Channel 2’s morning news anchor, Anquenette Jamison, was the moderator for the evening, a very warm and approachable young lady.  There were less numbers than anticipated, mostly due to the largest snowstorm in the Detroit Metro area this season, but we had a wonderful evening.  I arrived early at 6pm with little snow falling and left at 8:30pm to an accumulation of already 4 to 5 inches! It ended up being a very warm evening inside, of sharing and many questions and answers.  The participants were delightful and energetic.  We even had a hustle class taught to us, to learn how to mingle dance and exercise together!  I had a great time! Since it took me over an hour to get home driving 30 mph  on I-75’s snow covered road, I had some time for quiet reflection of the evening.  I had talked about my heart related experiences, the AHA Go Red for Women initiative, and what we as women must do for ourselves to reign in this disease that affects so many women in our families, friends, and ourselves.  I found myself talking about a very dear philosophy of mine and that is “Living in one day often one moment at a time” 

After my heart attack, I decided to change my approach to life in regards to stress management.  I’ve known for a long time that the way I approach life, in a very controlled way,  continued to be counterproductive to leading the  peaceful existence I so longed for.  So simply put … I changed things up. My newfound philosophy requires me to work hard everyday at acknowledging my controlling self and tendencies and making choices to counteract their deeply imbedded position in my psyche.  I am happy to say that every day I get closer to winning the struggle between the old  and new me.  I used to add so much unnecessary stress to my life and that of my families, so when  I was asked by Angela King,  the “30  Days to Lose It Program” museum educator and coordinator, “how did you de-stress your life,” I said by “Living in the day, often one moment at a time.”  She replied “Really… how do you do that?”  I have come to sincerely believe that the stress we live in is unreasonable and too often self-inflicted.  We ladies often live in the past, by second-guessing ourselves, and in our tomorrow’s list of all we need to get done…the day we’re living in is somewhat lost..  I asked myself sometime ago, what benefit, if any, do I derive from revisiting yesterday? My conclusion was absolutely nothing…that day is done, over ca-put.  What benefit do I derive from worrying about tomorrow and all it encompasses? I get not one positive thing from that; I do however find myself wasting precious energy with tomorrow’s worries.  The fact is ladies… life is so dynamic, ever-changing hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, and we deal with change constantly.  Why do we  try and plant in stone what is going to happen tomorrow or worry about it, when anything can happen and ultimately change all of your well thought out plans and worries?  I truly feel that if I work diligently to stay in my day in thought and effort, I lead a much happier and less stressful existence.  Now many may think, this sounds good but really, it’s not realistic.  I prefer to think otherwise, and it has worked for me.  The key to this endeavor for me is to truly rely on my natural instincts and confidence in myself.  Ladies, if we tap into our wonderful instincts, and talents, and are confident in them, we become able to deal with anything at any given moment.  We are our own worst enemy when it comes to questioning our abilities and ourselves.  Instinctually, we have amazing capabilities and when we learn to block out the negative that makes us question ourselves, which ultimately puts us in a whirlwind of panic, which is followed by over  analyzing everything, we then start lessening our  stress.  Now,  I’m not a psychologist or claim to carry a PHD, but I do know how I feel today versus pre- heart attack days…and I feel so much better today. I have found that my choice to “live in the day” I am in, slows me down and allows me to make better  heart healthy choices for myself.  If I take a few breaks, moments, in my day to stop and think and give thanks for all I’ve been blessed with, then I always make better, healthier choices for myself.  I choose the stairs rather than the elevator…I walk (in NY) rather than take a taxi…I make a better choice in my midday snack.  Things become so much more pleasant. 
   I made a choice after my heart attack to “live in the day I am in,” and I make a genuine effort and work hard everyday to do this. It has been difficult to master, and I continue to work on it everyday…. But the rewards are immense for me. I have a deep faith in the man upstairs, that when I fail, it’s okay with him and so why not me?  The old adage, “What doesn’t break us will only make us stronger” is so true.  But take it a little bit further and look at the “break us” term.  We have the ability to not allow anything to “break us” or our spirit.  Tap into this strength and learn to rely on it.  I do and by doing this, the sky’s the limit “one day at a time.”  Yesterday’s gone, a memory, tomorrow is off in the future…today is what living is all about. 

Sincerely and from the heart,


1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written!! 'Yesterday’s gone, a memory, tomorrow is off in the future…today is what living is all about'... love that!

    Thanks for sharing again today!!