Showing posts with label Marjorie Catone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marjorie Catone. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Key to Unlocking an Enriching Life

By Marjorie Catone, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC
Integrative Nurse Health Coach

I always thought my purpose in life was to be a mother. What could bring more joy to one’s life other than nurturing, raising and protecting your babies in a healthy and happy home? To carry an unborn child, to feel the tiny, miraculous movements from inside that nobody else in the world could feel. To connect with the spirit of a child who was about to uncover a world of their own. My life was complete with the birth of my second child. I had a fulfilling job where I was fortunate to work part-time in order to be home primarily to raise my children. My husband owned a thriving gym which was constantly expanding in space and popularity. I had a happy, loving marriage. What else more could I want?

Until, one day, something happened that changed my life forever. My only son, 20 months old, had passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly. I can remember the feelings that followed in the days and months that passed. Feelings of emptiness, loneliness, depression, confusion and the yearning to just hold him once again. The simplest things like getting out of bed in the morning, preparing meals, completing household tasks, attending friends and relatives parties all seemed unsatisfying, difficult and unbearable. However, I had my four-year-old daughter that needed me so I had a choice to make. I could continue to live with my head hanging low in the shadows of the days or use this crisis to thrive and live a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

Sometimes we find our life purpose when we are under a crisis such as an illness, death, divorce, retirement, or job loss. However, this crisis can become a catalyst for a purpose we never envisioned possible. Most of us tend to take life for granted and get lost in the busy and stressful days of the everyday hustle and bustle of life until a crisis wakes us up and forces us to ask some big questions. “Why am I here?”, “What is my purpose in life?”, “What do I want to achieve while I am here?” We end up letting go of petty concerns, conflicts and the need for control and begin to truly realize that life is short and every moment is precious. At our lowest moments and times of suffering, our heartbreaking situations that arise cause us to revisit our stories which ultimately reawaken us and help us see life a little more clearly. Previous importance’s fade in significance. As the dust settles and the fog lifts, we begin to see the true importance of life.  

Research has shown that having an authentic purpose in life creates better health outcomes. It can be important to overall brain health and well-being and make you less prone to illness and disease and ultimately help you live a longer, happier, more fulfilling life. But, how do we find our purpose? We all want to leave an impact on the world, to leave our footprints behind, to contribute to the greater good, to what speaks to our soul. We all seek growth, knowledge, compassion, love and joy. However, we must ask ourselves, “What is our unique purpose in this world?” A great place to start is by searching our childhood and seeing the gifts that were instilled in us, our passions and values, and asking ourselves, “What gives our life meaning?” For many people, purpose can be as simple as having a family and children or it can be a fulfilling career that rewards us with its gratification. We also must be aware that purpose can change, as life changes and unfolds. As we grow, learn and mature, we become wiser. As challenges arise, we find that our purpose sees us through and sometimes during this challenge, purpose finds us and we must answer. The truth comes from within, buried deep within our souls.

Through unimaginable pain, struggle and hardship, I found a new meaning and purpose in my life. Not only do we grow physically, but we grow spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and socially. I have chosen to live a more simple life and have found joy in nature and in all those that I meet. I try and find the good in all humanity, even at times when I have lost all hope. I have learned to love more deeply and be present in each moment, especially with my family. I have become an advocate for my son Nicholas, who no longer has a voice in a world that is so large. Through tragedy, I found transformation and every day I fight to turn my unimaginable loss into a legacy. Sometimes, as our true-life purpose unfolds, our story connects with others and encourages them to find their higher meaning in life and to motivate them to be a better person. We all want to become the best we can be. Through self-awareness and reflection, our purpose unfolds. You already have it in you. However, you are the only one that possesses the key to an enriching life. So, I challenge you to unlock your story, your gifts and your curiosity and find your life’s purpose. Therefore, I leave you with some questions to ponder and perhaps write down in a journal.

1.) What is your reason for getting up in the morning?
2.) How do you contribute to the world?
3.) What special characteristics make you unique?
4.) How do others see you?
5.) Why are you here?

Visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org/IntegrativeMedicine or call 732-263-7999 to learn more.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Energetics of Spring


By Marjorie Catone, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC
Integrative Nurse Health Coach

Springtime is a wonderful time of year to seek clarity, change and growth. It is a time of tremendous energy and excitement in the world and our bodies. Our bodies seek movement and with the anticipation of warmer weather; our bodies are eager to get up and go. In traditional Chinese Medicine, every season is related to a corresponding element and organ system. Spring corresponds to the wood element and energy of the liver. The wood element is where manifestation begins, just like deep seeds planted in the Earth. In order to grow, we must first let go of what no longer serves us. Our energy during the winter months is latent and buried deep within the Earth. As Spring approaches, our energy feels the need to move and blossom. This energy drives us to refocus on our New Year’s Resolutions, move forward on our goals or triggers a desire to alter our diets and lifestyles. 

Liver energy becomes sluggish from emotional stress, toxins and the heavy foods of winter. Inactivity, overeating, consuming too many alcoholic beverages and sugar can create imbalances which ultimately lead to inflammation and sickness. A Spring detox is a common theme we hear every year. What exactly does a detox do for our bodies? According to Dr. Mark Hyman, the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, “detoxification” means the removal of toxins from the body. Just like flowers, humans absorb toxins—preservatives, pesticides, antibiotics and heavy metals—through food, water, air and skin care products. Luckily, your digestive, endocrine, and circulatory systems have equipped you with mechanisms designed to eliminate these toxins through your mouth, eyes, skin, colon, urinary tract and your breath. The trouble is that too much sugar, caffeine, and processed foods, little to no exercise, and stress can slow the body's natural detox function to a sluggish pace. Spring is a time of rebirth and an amazing time to transform that stagnated winter energy into a sense of renewal. 

According to Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” In Traditional Chinese Medicine, (TCM) food is used to nourish the body, mind and spirit. All foods have different characteristic properties of energy and are therefore used to help balance our bodies and make us healthy. According to TCM, a balance of “cool” and “hot” foods, “yin” and yang” foods is essential to overall health. As we move away from the winter months, where we were consuming "hot" or “yang” foods which are higher in calories and sodium and helped keep our bodies warm, we now move to “cool” or “yin” foods that are lower in calories and high in potassium. Life is all about balance and connection and when you incorporate some of these foods from the Eastern philosophy and the principles of our traditional Western medicine and science, including nutrition, you will have the tools necessary to live a healthy life.

By just listening to what your body best needs this time of year, it automatically is in sync from the Earth’s energy. Our bodies naturally are ready to shed the weight we acquired from winter. The types of food we find ourselves drawn to now sprout from the ground, symbolizing rebirth and regrowth. Examples include antioxidant, green-leafy vegetables, fresh salads, onions, carrots, asparagus, mushrooms, berries, lemons, green beans, broccoli, herbs, spinach and artichokes. Recognizing the relationships between seasonal changes and our bodies enables us to positively transform that energy into something usable. Whether we use this energy to get outside and clear our minds, exercise to lose the extra weight gained over wintertime, sign up for a detox or start eating lighter, more colorful whole foods, we are giving our digestive systems a rest. Spring marks a time for all things to come alive and experience rejuvenation. Your health is worth it because you are worth it.