Friday, August 31, 2012

Are You An Adrenaline Junkie? (part 2)

BASE jumping from the Sky Tower, New Zealand

If you want a city view before you take the big plunge, make your way back to New Zealand. In Auckland, one of NZ's most bustling cities, jumpers from all corners of the world come here to BASE jump from the Sky Tower, one of the tallest, free-standing structures in the southern hemisphere. At 328m above ground level, the jumper can reach up to 85km/h. Just to be safe, the jump is guide-cable-controlled to prevent jumpers from colliding with the tower, in case of gusts. Now, that's bravery for you.  (No thank you!!)

In my last post I asked the question, "What's it take to get you excited?"  I emphasized that there's a lot of people who strive for excitement, stress and anxiety (consciously or not)  In part two I'm providing a few simple ideas and changes you can make to help improve your health.   Are you disciplined enough and willing to incorporate these suggestions into your hectic schedule?   You can take responsibility for your own health and make a huge difference in how you feel today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life!  Follow these seemingly small suggestions and you will be a new person in a very short time:

*Go to bed so that you plan on getting 8 hours of sleep. If you do this regularly then it wont' hurt you when you have to get by on less for a day or two.

 *Avoid any caffeine products in the afternoon. This includes chocolate too!

 *Prioritize and schedule your days by cutting out what is not absolutely necessary.  Add the things that you might not be doing which will be beneficial.  Stick to the plan.  Don't be blown around by the wind.

*Spend uninterrupted time alone so you can meditate and pray. This means NO cell phone, t.v., or computer with you! Start with just 15 mins a day and try to increase this to 45 mins a day. (I like to do this in the morning)

 *Exercise regularly;  enough so that you break a sweat and your heart rate gets up to 70-80% of it's recommended maximum beats per minute.  Latest studies point to interval training as the most effective way to train.  Walking is good for you but it just doesn't do the trick unless you intersperse sprints, rigorous jumping jacks or similar moves,  or fast hiking uphill. - Get a pulse watch if you are unsure of what your heart rate should be and what it is while exercising.

*Eat a healthy, natural, wholefood diet and avoid chemically processed foods as much as possible. Avoid fast food all together.

*Drink lots of water

*Take high-quality supplements which should include adequate amounts of B-5 & B-6.   Introduce B-12 shots or sub lingual drops while you are trying to repair your adrenal glands.
 (There are physiological, psychological, emotional, and spiritual reasons for all the above)

Like I said in my earlier post,  "it takes one to know one"! (make sure you go back and read it if you missed it)   I was diagnosed with adrenal burnout while in my mid-thirties.  Because I am diligent about my health and I have experienced what happens when I ignore the warning signs,  I now head the symptoms and take responsibility for the decisions I make which will effect my overall mind, body, soul health.   I can feel it when my adrenal gland is not working at an optimal level and I do something about it before it's too late.  I also try to prevent the problem by being pro-active in my lifestyle.

If you regularly feel overly tired, fatigued, stressed, anxious,  short-fused,  or inappropriately worried about your future or that of a loved one,  you too might have adrenal burnout.   If you are having trouble sleeping that can also be a symptom of adrenal issues. 

You might be wondering what this has to do with your spiritual life?  I believe it has everything to do with it!
One of my favorite verses in the Old Testament is found in Psalms 139, verse 23 and 24.

"Search me O God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."

David prays the end of the 139th Psalm this way after first asking God to get his enemies far, far away from him.  I think he realized that unless he was as healthy as he could be he might be attracting
the wrong things in his life.   He mentions anything that might "offend" God.
 When we are short-tempered or impatient with our friends, co-workers, or loved ones we do offend God.  When we are not as healthy as we should be because we neglect the body which God gave us I believe we also offend him.  Another great thing is that you can begin your "everlasting life" today on earth.  God wants you to feel great and to live a life of purpose, passion and peace.

Here's the even greater's never too late to change!

If there is anything I can do to help you this is my passion in life.  I can coach you for an hour, a week, a month, a year.  Contact me and I will walk beside you as you try to overcome your negative habits and introduce new, life-giving ones.   You can reach me at

And remember that God is blessing you!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What's It Take To Get You Excited?

Step between the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia and you'll hit Victoria Falls - or hear it, whichever comes first. Named after Queen Vic herself, this is also one of the most-jumped spots in the world, and during the '90s, bungee fever took this area of bellowing water by storm. Jumpers are encouraged to find their own spot on the 1.7km-wide precipice, Plummeting 111m into the deep curtain of water. Go in November, when the Zambezi river rapids are running at their best.  Two of my kids did this right in front of me!  Christina was 17 and Anthony was 15.

"I am scared easily, here is a list of my adrenaline - production: 1: small children, 2: policemen, 3: high places, 4: that my next movie will not be as good as the last one. "
Alfred Hitchcock

"I would have probably stolen cars - it would have given me the same adrenaline rush as racing. "
Valentino Rossi

"When I was onstage doing the work, adrenaline killed the pain because I never hurt in front of an audience. "
Jerry Lewis

"The adrenaline of a live performance is unlike anything in film or theater. I can see why it's so addictive."
Gwyneth Paltrow

"I get called an adrenaline junkie every other minute, and I'm just fine with that. "
Steve Irwin

"It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing what you have wanted to do so badly. You almost feel like you could fly without the plane. "
Charles Lindbergh

You've probably already noticed that this is going to be a little different than most of my posts but I feel compelled to write this in hopes that it might help a few of you. I'm sure you are aware of the saying, "it takes one to know one" and I also bet you've heard that most of the time people who get involved in helping others arrive at that place because they once needed assistance with the same thing. This is me, I am a recovering adrenaline junkie!

 Now, before you get too worried I want to assure you that I AM NOT the type who has ever been interested in hang-gliding off a cliff, skydiving, bungee jumping, or motorcycle racing. (although I do win when I partake in indoor go-kart racing!)   I have however been scuba diving with hammerhead sharks (I'd do it again in a heartbeat!) competed in martial arts, downhill skied so fast I've had the feeling of being almost out of control, spoken in front of thousands (if not millions) of people at once, traveled the world including entering "high-alert" areas of unrest, and... I get bored if I'm not on an airplane traveling somewhere at least once a month.  There's more but you get the picture:  I love to feel invigorated and challenged in various ways and I'm not afraid to take risks.  I love loud music and fun people.  I engage in some kind of rigorous exercise five days a week and my mind continually thinks of ways to get better, stronger, smarter, wiser.   I have to tell myself to relax and take a break.  I guess you could say I am the antithesis of lazy.   I almost always get 8 hours of sleep a night because I go so hard most days that I sleep like a baby once my head hits the pillow. For this I feel very fortunate as I know that there are many people who struggle to sleep. (most because the adrenal gland is out of whack and working overtime!)

Although it might seem funny or cute to call yourself an "adrenaline junkie" here's the catch: if you are caught-up in this highly stimulating cycle you need to find some way to channel your energy in a positive, safe, healthy, productive way so you will not experience adrenaline burnout.  If you don't get your life under control it will eventually cause serious health problems.

 Some reasons for adrenaline burnout might be; growing up in an unhealthy or scary home,  having been a collegiate or professional athlete, working a high-stress job or one that continually has unforgiving deadlines, being in a bad relationship of any kind, having an addiction to caffeine, or having gone through too many stressful situations without taking time to recover from each one, or  being addicted to any mind-altering drug including one prescribed by a physician.  Some situations which might trigger adrenal burnout could include a divorce or break-up, loss of a job, loss of a loved-one, issues with children (grown or not), financial hardship, dealing with a serious health problem for yourself or for a loved-one, a car accident or any other precipitating event that made you feel really scared and created the emotions and physiological response of "fight or flight". Or any combination of the above.  Any and all of these things can accumulate over your lifetime if you don't address them.

 Here's the good news! You can overcome adrenal burnout before it burns you out. Or if you have already gone over the edge you can repair the damage you have done, no matter what your age. By making a few significant (but not always easy) changes in your lifestyle you can be healthier in your body, your mind, and your soul. Adrenaline burnout can wreak havoc on all three as they are all inter-related.

My passion and my mission in life is to help others overcome these types of issues.   In my next blog I will share some simple ways to prevent or overcome adrenal burnout.

"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."   Jeremiah 29:11

The conclusion of this message titled, "Are You An Adrenaline Junkie" coming in a day or so!

If there is any way I can help you for an hour, a week, a month, or a year please contact me

God is blessing you.   Donna

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Love One Another

The women and children of "Happy Woman Migrant Shelter" greeted us with fruit & rice treats

"There abides, faith, hope, and love...and the greatest of these is love." 
  I Corinthians 13:13

As I travel the world as a Christian global ambassador for peace one constant thing I see is the longing for dignity and hope in the human soul.   The women in this shelter that I visited just yesterday in Seoul, Korea have escaped terrible, sometimes life-threatening abuse in their home.   All of them have young children with ages ranging from 8 months to 13 years old.  Because of an amazing woman who loves and cares for them they embrace hope for the future.   These families were so well-adjusted and happy to see us that they gave us a little party.  One 8 year old girl kept coming up to me and saying "hello" as she practiced her was so cute.
 This shelter is run so very similar to Grandma's House of Hope in Orange County that I mentioned to my fellow Global Peace Women that the shelter should be considered a 'sister shelter' because of their philosophies and treatment modalities.   More importantly they are a great example of the power of just one person to make a difference in the world.    The women and children in both shelters would "fall between the cracks" of society if one person didn't decide to do something for them.   This is a real example of unconditional love.
The next time you say to yourself "I wish I could do something to help", you can.   There are many people in the world who need your help.   Helping others can also keep you focused on all that is right in your own life.   It will help you to keep a thankful attitude.
Even if it's just showing kindness to a neighbor who can no longer do something for themselves, or even something as seemingly small as showing a kind greeting to that grumpy store clerk the next time you encounter them.   Remember that the "greatest of these is love."
God is blessing you.   Donna

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Where Do You Find Peace?

I find peace in knowing that God has a plan for my life.   I also find peace in the quiet time I spend alone each day thinking and praying about how I can fulfill my purpose and destiny. 

As I prepare to depart for yet another Global Peace Festival Foundation convention and festival in Seoul, Korea I feel that nudge to focus even more on my own internal peace.  Once I arrive in Seoul I will be part of a speaker's panel and I will be presenting information on unifying individual peace in body, mind, and soul and how that effects our ability to find peace in our homes, our communities and our world.  I will have the privilege and the honor of coming together with many different races, colors, cultures, religions and ages.  I will come away assured that no matter who we are or where we come from we all have similar goals and aspirations for our families and our world.   After all we are "one family under God." During these global peace conventions and festivals I look forward to sharing in Christian terms the importance of trying to embody the fruit of the spirit.

"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law."  Gal 5:22

Having fun with my friend Bishop Younger! Dressed up in Mongolian costume
In Mindanao, Philippines with Muslim children  2009

In Kenya at GPFF 2010 (I love the way we matched!)

My husband Robert and I will be in Korea working on an imitative to help promote the peaceful reunification of North and South Korea.  
When Robert was there last month he met with Reverend Rhee who is a pastor building bakeries to feed the starving children in the North.  He now has six bakeries with the goal of twenty or more.  Unfortunately all these children get is one small loaf of bread each day.  This is not enough to properly nourish them but at least it is enough to keep them alive.   Please pray that Reverend Rhee's efforts will continue to prosper and grow.  Robert will be posting more on him and the children at very soon.
If you want to know more about GPFF you can go to  

God is blessing you.  Donna

Monday, August 6, 2012

When Is It Ever Easy To Say "Good-Bye"?

                                Reflections On The Loss Of A Faithful Companion

At the course Baja Mar, close to Ensenada, MX.

The last post I wrote was about the loss of Donna Crean. Little did I know that just hours after completing that piece I would suffer a different yet heart-wrenching personal loss.
I am no stranger to severe grief and sadness.  As a young girl I experienced first hand how fragile life is when suddenly and unexpectedly, approaching his prime in life, my father was tragically killed in an automobile accident.  Forever emblazoned in my mind are the words my mother said to my ten year old brother Jeff and I as she woke us way too early on that Saturday morning of March 29, 1969: "I have something to tell you that is going to hurt you for a very long time, it will change your life forever."  And it did.  It also took me years to truly grieve and realize how very much I had lost.
In happier times.  You can see Royce as he peeks out from behind the seat of the cart.
Grief can invade our heart, our mind, and our soul as the result of a death, a move, a change or a loss of position or job, an illness or crippling disease,  or the end of a friendship or a marriage.  I'm also quite sure that my list is incomplete.   I have learned that grief has a season of it's own....we must not rush the process, neither we wallow in it forever.  We must be a student of our grief and we must learn to move on, embracing the fact that life is for the living.
  I have always loved the poem which I first heard in the movie, "Splendor In The Grass" starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty.

 What though the radiance
 which was once so bright
 Be now for ever taken from my sight,
 Though nothing can bring back the hour
 Of splendour in the grass,
 of glory in the flower,
 We will grieve not, rather find
 Strength in what remains behind;
 In the primal sympathy
 Which having been must ever be;
 In the soothing thoughts that spring
 Out of human suffering;
 In the faith that looks through death,
 In years that bring the philosophic mind.
     William Wadsworth 

As I mentioned above, my Saturday started out writing a blog about the recent passing of Donna Crean.  Upon completing my writing I continued with my morning's plans which are pretty routine when we are in town.  Saturday's are known as our golf day and we were not the only ones in the household who looked forward to this great outdoor adventure.  

Robert and I have been very blessed by the generosity of many people that we have met over the years.   Nearly seven years ago one such friend, Madeleine gave us the gift of golfing at her beautiful Del Mar Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe, California.   Since that day whenever we have a day off we drive the scenic one hour long trip down to the most beautiful and peaceful golf course in the world!  The club is "dog friendly" and thus our trusted little companion Royce had the joy of joining us for almost five years.   If for some reason (which was rare) we had an appointment or dinner engagement down that way I would have to sneak my golf tote bag out of my closet in order that Royce would not realize we were going golfing without him. 
 Saturday, July 28th was a more typical day in that and our cute little fluffy guy got to join us.   He excitedly headed out to the car as we loaded him in his kennel for the trip down South.  

The details that followed are not what I want to focus on.  What I do want to tell you is that in a bazaar, freakish series of events that followed after teeing-off the first hole, our faithful, loyal, loving companion of almost five years died right in front of us.  It was terrible. We had been on the golf course for only ten minutes.  To make it even worse, he died as a result of me running over him with my golf cart.  The entire accident and it's tragic conclusion took less than a minute and he died instantly as the result of a traumatic head injury.  The next three days were particularly difficult as I played that horrible scenario over and over in my mind;  the what ifs and the if onlys can drive us crazy if we let them.  I began to think about what people must feel like when they accidentally run over and kill their children.

Thankfully on Monday morning, July 29th we left our home on a planned business trip.  At that time I was still entertaining tremendous feelings of guilt and questioning myself and my abilities as a person.  I wasn't sleeping well and I could hardly complete a sentence without bursting into tears.  Like I said, some thoughts can drive you nuts if you let them.   On the first leg of our trip I decided to take out my journal and write.  This is what I came up with.

When accidents happen some people will ask, "why did God allow this to happen?"  I know that this is the wrong question but instead we need to ask, "where was God when this happened?"  Let me share with you where I saw God immediately following our horrific accident of July 28, 2012...

First of all I witnessed God in my husband's graceful, silent presence as his strong yet gentle hands reached down and lifted Royce's lifeless body off of the cart path.  I was in too much shock and pain to do so.

I saw God in the young golf pro's assistants as they authoritatively yet lovingly accepted and comforted us as we "delivered" our beloved pet's body over to them.   They reacted as though they had been prepared and waiting for a situation like this forever.

 God was in a lady named Ester, another member,  and her daughter as they entered the women's locker room and hugged me as I cried.   A hug from someone you don't even know is a very loving gesture which can be very comforting.

God was in our golf pro John and his staff when they told us they would take care of Royce's body and told us that they would bury him.

God was in my son Anthony as he arrived home late Saturday and delivered into my hands a bunch of beautiful white roses.  They were white in honor of Royce.

I saw God in our friend who is the manager, Chrissie for her compassion and understanding in allowing our Royce to be burred there. 

On Sunday afternoon when we returned to visit the burial site God was in my mom and her husband as they agreed to come along side and comfort us as we grieved.

I saw God in Kristy, the activities director and her staff as they greeted us with "we've been expecting you."  From the look of the young man standing next to her as his eye's revealed that he knew what we had gone through and why we were there.

God was in the greeting we received when we hesitantly boarded the golf cart again in order to drive up and re-visit the exact place where Royce met his tragic death.

I saw God in the loving young man who accompanied us up to and showed us the grave.

God was in the person's hands who meticulously removed the white rose bush and in it's place lowered our fluffy little white furred friend earlier that day.

I saw God in the greeting from our server in the restaurant as he told us, "I am so sorry for your loss." 

I saw God again in our golf pro John and his wife Gayle stopping by on their "way home from a party" to offer their condolences.  In John's sharing that they had once hit and injured their dog with the golf cart... somehow that took away a bit of my horrible guilt. 

I witnessed God in every single phone call, email, text, prayer, and word of support I received from family and friends who heard about out loss.  In the poem that was sent to me, "The Rainbow Bridge."

God is in reminding us that each day is a special gift so appreciate it and enjoy each and every minute. The ones you love so much today may not be here tomorrow.

God is in the continued loving generosity of two people who gift to us the privilege and the enjoyment of golfing at the most gorgeous, fun course in the world.  And for the the joy of allowing us to take our little buddy along for almost five years.  

Thank you friends and thank you God.  Royce is in his "happy place" forever. 
Royce's grave where we placed a single white rose, given to me earlier by our son Anthony.

When Is It Ever Easy To Say Good-bye?  My answer is "never".  Would it have been easier to see my dad die later on in watch him suffer some terrible illness that would ultimately take him after years of hospitalization and sickness? 100 years old after living a long, long life (as his mother, my grandmother did).   Based on what I've seen others go through with their parents, I would say not.   And as far as our beloved pets go, would it have been easier to have put Royce to sleep at the vet in ten or so years?  I cannot say it would have. 
In closing, no matter what you go through in life do not ask God why he allowed it.  Ask to seek where He was and where He is,  in your good times and in your painful ones as well.

God is blessing you.     Donna