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Mind Matters

by Cheryl Wheeler Duncan

I try and do as much as I can on a physical and nutritional level to stay youthful and healthy. Just as importantly, I try and take the time to feed my soul or center in various ways. For me it’s quiet time, positive visualizations, meditation and/or prayer. These practices have been proven to be very important to overall health and longevity. I’ve learned to take these opportunities when I can, sometimes for only 10 to 15 minutes a day, sometimes longer if I’m lucky. I can be sitting in my car outside of my daughter’s tutoring class, or in the elementary school pick up line with my sunglasses on and eyes closed. I concentrate on my breathing and I calm my mind. Sometimes I try and clear my mind and not think of anything but breathing in and out. Live Your Dreams Today - Don't WaitSometimes I purposely work on positive visualizations, positive thoughts and positive affirmations, listing out loud the things that I am most grateful for that day. I believe that being thankful and not taking our blessings for granted are important factors in being happy, feeling good and staying healthy. When my children were toddlers I used to deprive myself of these daily rituals because I would try and set aside a large block of time for meditation or prayer, and would find myself too tired to put forth the effort required at the end of a busy day. I’ve grown wiser and better at time management in my older age. Steal your “centering” time whenever and wherever you can, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.

Something More

It’s not always easy to juggle family, kids, career and self, and I make the best choices I can, compromise a lot and always strive to do better for myself and my family. I used to be last on my own “to do” list until I realized that when I feel my best, my entire family benefits. For many years (when the kids were younger) it was all about everyone else, and I was feeling neglected and a bit down. My husband was traveling a lot for work and the kids, their school work and extracurricular activities were consuming me 100 percent. I had no time for me. For awhile there I couldn’t even commit to stunt work, employment that I love with all my heart and soul, as I couldn’t run off and do a movie for 8 weeks with my husband gone so much of the time. Who would be there for the kids? I had to turn down movie jobs and gladly so, because my children were my priority, but there was an empty spot inside of me that I just couldn’t fill. I was an adrenaline junkie, part-time stuntwoman that had no challenge and no outlet!

 

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