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Archive for the ‘book’ Category

Children’s Book for Grief

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

When a good friend of mine went through the worst thing you could imagine happening to a parent, I wanted to help.  But what can be done or said in times like that?  When speaking with my friend, what I learned was that some of the most difficult moments in that time came from the words/actions from others.  Death makes us uncomfortable, difficult situations make us awkward.  Often we try our best fill that space with words, but they can be unhelpful and in some cases not appropriate.

It’s hard to know what to say or what to do when you can’t make a situation better…so I did what I knew I could and wrote a book.  The book was for their 3 year old son who was struggling with all that was.  The book was my love song to him and his parents…to let them know of all the things I would do if I could.

beeThe little boy is shown what would be done for him by various animals.  A rabbit would hop alongside him, helping him feel the freedom of jumping through the grass; an elephant would wrap his trunk around him, letting him feel the safety of his caress.  With each page, the boy is shown of all the wonderful things that would be done to show him love.  At the end of the book, you meet the person speaking…as she ponders what would she do or say to help him feel better.  She realizes, like I realized with this family, that sometimes all we can do is let them know we are thinking of them, that we love them and that we wish we could make it lighter.  Even if that can’t be done…we can share our love.

Conversations like this are not easy.  It’s hard, very hard.  But my hope is, is that this book opens up the discussion for how we support others when they are hurting.  Making the call, even if there are tears on the other end, is helpful.  Bringing over food/treats/gifts, even if you don’t know they will be useful is helpful.  But mostly just showing up, even if it’s awkward is often the greatest gift of all.

My hope is this book touches others they way it was intended and hopefully will help to continue the dialog of supporting others through grief or difficult situations.

If interested in purchasing this book, please visit the Children’s Book page for more information.

Arguing with Reality

Posted on: April 14th, 2013 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

One of my favourite authors is Byron Katie.  Her book, Loving What Is, offers wonderfully challenging concepts about how we think about our present circumstances.  One of her quotes that continues to be relevant for me, is:

“When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time. How do I know that the wind should blow? It’s blowing!” Byron Katie

This winter was a challenging one for me.  It seemed long and intense, uttering its last cold breaths until the very end….even this past mid-April weekend.  Throughout the last 4 months, I would often wake up, fairly frustrated that the snow and cold were still around.  It’s end of March, I thought, it should be warmer…it’s now April, April should not have snow and cold apart of it.  But as Byron reminded me, I was arguing with reality and when you do so, you always lose.  This was the reality of the season, a late and long, cold winter.

How often do we argue with reality?  We think things should be different or better, that reality should offer something other than what is.  But the seasons are helpful reminders for us to continue to accept what life offers.  This is challenging when faced with pain, illness, unrest, stress, etc…but Byron Katie reminds us,

“The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want.” Byron Katie

I encourage you to play around with this concept for things you have no control over.  For me, I’ll start with the weather, embracing a snowy mid-April day for what it is.

We are Literally What we Eat

Posted on: May 14th, 2012 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

This is another wonderful quote by Joshua Rosenthal, founder of Institute for Integrative Nutrition and author of Integrative Nutrition.  In this quote, Joshua reminds us that our most basic level, we are what we eat.  A wise reminder as we make food choices to eat foods that support and build up our bodies.

“The food we take into our mouth goes into our stomach, where it gets digested and eventually assimilates into the bloodstream. Our blood is what creates our cells, our tissues, our organs, our skin, our hair, our brains and even our thoughts and feelings. We are, at our most basic level, walking food.” ~ Joshua Rosenthal

I’m Hungry…Or Am I?

Posted on: December 16th, 2011 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

This is the time of year when food is abundance.  Work place counters are full of treats, parties offer tables full of goodies and Holiday Gatherings offer courses of food.  Generally when we leave these functions we end up feeling bloated, full and frustrated that we ate so much. Temptation can be difficult, especially surrounding Holiday Celebrations.

So what can be done to help?  I think the best place to start is asking a question, having an apple and a big cup of water.

Michael Pollan’s Book, Food Rules reminds us to ask a question when we are hungry…Am I Hungry Enough to Eat an Apple?  If the answer is yes…eat the apple, if not…you’re probably not that hungry at all.  Trying this out can be very interesting and very helpful.  It makes you really check in to see the true hunger level, what the body is craving and most importantly, why.

If the apple has been eaten and you are still hungry, try a glass of water.  The signals for thirst and hunger are so similar that it is hard to differentiate.  Try having a big glass of water before Holiday parties to fill you up and decrease the likelihood of a hunger pang striking.  Remember this isn’t to be juice, wine or water with any type of sweetener added, which increases your appetite…just pure, good old water.

Adding this trick before Holiday functions will hopefully have you feeling more refreshed and energized, able to really enjoy the Season.

If interested in learning more about Nutritional Health, please contact Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D. at info@touchstonehealth.ca or 1-888-454-4667.

The Alchemist

Posted on: June 22nd, 2011 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Today was an incredibly beautiful day – the sun was shining, the temperature was warm and there was a wonderful cool breeze.  The only thing to make this better was a good book to read alongside the day.  One of my favourite reads, is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. If you have not heard of this book, I highly encourage you to pick it up and see why it has won the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author.  It has been translated into 67 languages and has sold over 65 million copies…and there is good reason why.  This book is a life changer, a motivator and a real inspiration for those who are wondering what their purpose is.  This fictional story is full of wisdom and insight…encouraging us to tap into that part of ourselves that knows truth and steers us in the direction of what is best.

It has made a sincere difference in my life and I would like to share some quotes from Coelho to hopefully inspire you.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

“In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left you.”

“In his pursuit of the dream, he was being constantly subjected to tests of his persistence and courage. So he could not be hasty, nor impatient. If he pushed forward impulsively, he would fail to see the signs and omens left by God along his path.”

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.  You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense. “

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