Cathy Chester | An Empowered Spirit

How To Be Kind To Yourself To Be A Healthier You

It’s true that my health’s been further compromised by a series of unfortunate events. One of them is the direction our country is going. I’ve spent a lot of time watching breaking news stories and reading compelling articles about what I consider to be dark clouds on the horizon.

You can’t predict when my wacky disease will strike. I’m not aware of large studies correlating stress and MS, but as I stated in prior posts it sure hasn’t helped.


They say life imitates art. If that’s true I think I’m a Cubist painting by Picasso where my broken parts have yet to be reassembled.

As my body challenges me I realize it’s time to take stock of my life. My health depends on it. Something has to change if I want to heal.

It’s time to choose a better path.

The words from Robert Frost’s most famous poem have guided me for years. But in the fog that’s enveloped me I’ve somehow lost my way.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The time has come to travel those roads once more in hopes of finding spiritual wellness.

My word for 2017 is kindness, one I chose with great care. Generally kindness means to be friendly, generous and considerate. But to me it means so much more.

You can be kind to others. But you also must be kind to yourself.

Power down devices more often. Meditate. Be mindful. Practice gratitude. Observe nature. Help others. Read books for pleasure. Spend time with loved ones. Reach out to those being marginalized. Laugh. Sing. Exercise. Eat healthy. Write, write, write. Enjoy life.

I’ve been fortunate to have special people in my life, those I know and some I’ve never met. With each gesture of love – offers to do my laundry or shopping, loving calls and texts, or gifts in the mail – my heart soared in gratitude for the thoughtfulness of their acts. I thank you all.


Photo Credits: Edible Arrangements,, Who Moved my Teeth by Cathy Sikorski, Esq., Pocket Blessings and Blessings About

I’ve let life lead me by the nose by giving into fear. That’s not my nature nor my intent but Illness and politics can swallow you whole if you let it. I did.

Right about now I’m looking around for Cher to slap me in the face and say, “Snap out of it!”

My word for 2017 will stay in my mind’s eye by repeating it daily. It will become second nature to me, reminding me that life is precious and today is the day to put my word into action.

My goal is to find my way back to a life filled with meaning and wholeness. Despite the presence of illness and living in a country with divided ideologies I will always take the high road. Let grace show me the way and dignity speak for me.

Hopefully my body will release me from some of the challenges I bear once I follow my new path. I look to examples of many courageous people like Helen Keller, Oliver Sacks, Muhammed Ali, Michael J. Fox, Chance Smith, Lizzie Valesquez, Randy Pausch and so many others. Despite adversity they chose to live out loud.

I need to take that first step back, to create enough space between me and the madness of those dark clouds. When I do I pray my body will respond by helping me rediscover the life I miss so dearly.

Wouldn’t that be lovely? I hope you’ll join me in choosing a new path for yourself. Let this be the year that kindness outweighs animosity and goodness will always prevail.

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17 thoughts on “How To Be Kind To Yourself To Be A Healthier You

  1. Barbara

    I’m certain that I need to write more and get away from the craziness in the world that scares me so much. I had a skin rash flair up a few months ago and after some serious thought I realized it was related to reading all the madness in the world every day and had to step it back. I’m still holding out hope that he gets impeached in the first month, but if not he’s still NOT my president.
    Here’s to calmer times ahead, Cathy. I hope you find peace and health this year.
    Barbara recently posted…It’s Been a Lovely CruiseMy Profile

  2. Claudia Schmidt

    I too have been experiencing so much stress from the current political environment and I, too, believe stress negatively impacts our health. So, I so strongly relate to this post. I’m trying so hard to stay off social media as much as possible and to avoid watching the news; it’s so toxic and I simply can’t stomach it. I empathize with your post and I too am planning pursue the path of love, not hatred, in 2017. Thinking of you xoxoxo
    Claudia Schmidt recently posted…Maybe I’ll Become a Jazz Dancer After Seeing ‘Lalaland’My Profile

  3. Kirsten Joan

    Thanks Cathy. I too have been wrestling. With politics, moving, new climate and back surgery. All that and dealing with the disease. Forgive myself exactly. I am not sure you recall but you sent information to me of MS Doctors in D.C area about 6 months ago. Thank you, I will take these tips to heart, forgive myself and know we are not alone right? I appreciate this newsletter. Thanks again.

  4. Lois Alter Mark

    This is one of the most stressful, challenging times in our country’s history and it’s definitely taking its toll on everyone on the side of decency and compassion. Please take care of yourself, and do for yourself what you always do for others. You deserve only love and kindness – and we’re all here to help give it to you. xoxo
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted…a reading list for a new year, part 1My Profile

  5. Jennifer

    You are reading my mind lately. First Corey Booker and now this? My word for 2017 is renewal because I also need to get back to taking care of myself and find a new direction .

  6. Barbara Delaney

    Dear Cathy,

    I couldn’t just read and run!…

    I am praying for you. I want you to know that you bring such hope and compassion into my life with your writing. May you be filled with the love of those you have blessed. Love is a powerful medicine and a comfort to our deepest hurts.

    “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

    I truly believe in a God that will one day take all the broken pieces and make us whole again.

    Love and Hugs My Sweet Friend,

  7. Carol A Cassara

    Ok, so profound: ‘Power down devices more often. Meditate. Be mindful. Practice gratitude. Observe nature. Help others. Read books for pleasure. Spend time with loved ones. Reach out to those being marginalized. Laugh. Sing. Exercise. Eat healthy. Write, write, write. Enjoy life. ‘
    This really is the Rx for a happy life, I think.No, I know.

  8. Antionette Blake

    2017 is going to be a year of joy and prosperity and I will not allow anyone to steal my jor or make me become negative.

    However, I do hope that others take positive actions to make this world a better place…one can only hope and PRAY!

  9. Helene Cohen Bludman

    These are challenging times for sure. If there is any comfort in that, it s knowing you’re not alone. I think that will be our stronghold for the next four years. I hope you are on the road to better health, my friend! xo

  10. 1010ParkPlace

    I’m surprised there are lots of studies about MS and stress. I would think they go hand-in-hand. This evening I’ve been talking with someone about meditation and breathing exercises. What would I have done without Dr Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing exercises as I went through breast cancer and the loss of my husband? I’ve done them for so long, they calm me in seconds. If you don’t know it, place one hand on your lower belly, the other on your midriff. Close your eyes, breathe in for a count of 4; hold it for 7, and breathe out slowly for a count of 8. For me, it’s like magic! Wishing you better mindset and healthier body. xoxox, Brenda

  11. 1010ParkPlace

    Cathy, After I left my last comment, I’ve thought about you last night and this morning. I’m reminded of my stepfather, a good man, who was vehemently opposed to Richard Nixon during the Watergate days. As a result, my stepfather ruined his health in a number of ways he never recovered from. I pray you find a way to mentally and emotionally let go of what’s happened regarding our country’s political divide. For your sake, you must. As Helene said, you are not alone in this, but our nation’s survival starts with each one of us. I know I haven’t given you any concrete suggestions here, just continuing to think about you. xoxox, Brenda

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