Friday, March 28, 2014

"Finding Pleasure in Being Present." by Celeste Cooper

 “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.” 
~ Lord Byron

Day Twenty-three

It comes as no surprise that when we are sedentary, our mind shifts on its own, and the first place it targets is our pain source. This makes it difficult for us, so let's allow our mind to take a vacation from daily stressors and productivity. Our brain needs calm just like our body.

We should acknowledge our pain because it too deserves tender loving care. Body awareness through mindfulness allows an unbiased assessment. We acknowledge pain's presence, but we step back from it by relinquishing our role as a critic. When we are able to do this, the parts of our brain that are normally ramped up from negative pain dialogue begin to experience neutral feelings about pain.

There is a plethora of information on the techniques of mindfulness. Books by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Bernie Seigel, Neville Goddard, Martha Beck, Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, and other mind-body experts can be helpful. Find information on prayer and meditation practice in the Winter Devotions of the series.  Today, I will recognize my pain without judging it, understanding it takes practice.

Excerpt from Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, SPRING DEVOTIONS found here.  

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain ProAdvocate

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Free download of Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, Spring Devotions.

Free download of Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, Spring Devotions. 

Saturday March 22nd 12:00 AM pacific time to midnight Sunday March 23rd. 
Get it right here

If you don't have a Kindle, you can download an app for your device(s), here.

We sincerely appreciate the loyalty of our readers. If you have a moment to go back later and leave a review at the same link and scroll down the page and click on the button "Write a Review," we would appreciate it.


Don't Snooze? You Lose - Sleep Deprivation in Pain Disorders

Sleep is a really big deal, especially for those of us who don't get it, or get it but never feel rested. What better time to talk about sleep, or lack of it, than March—"Sleep Awareness Month."

What Came First—The Seed or the Tree?

Many things can lead to sleep deprivation according to those who study it; anxiety or depression, airway obstruction (sleep apnea), narcolepsy (falling asleep without reason), pain, disordered sleep patterns   (prevalent in fibromyalgia), and inspiratory airflow dynamics also seen in fibromyalgia.  

We know primary sleep disorders affected by a disruption in the central nervous system (also is in charge of hormones that regulate sleep), sleep starts, and delayed sleep phase (inability to fall or maintain sleep) and all the other things from the first paragraph, interfere with our sleep quality. However, other disorders can plague our sleep too; including, teeth grinding (bruxism), periodic limb movement, PLM, (the vampire of restless leg syndrome), migraine, nocturia (nighttime urination, caused by bladder dysfunction, or certain other diseases), irritable bowel syndrome,  contributing symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and more. Wouldn't it be nice to get some sleep?

Promoting Your Circadian Rhythm

Our circadian rhythm, a physiological cycle of all living things thought to repeat about every 24 hours, is orchestrated by two markers, melatonin concentration, and core body temperature. So how can we affect these things and contribute to restfulness?

Here is a helpful acronym for sleep hygiene:

S - Schedule bedtime and stick to it
L - Limit physical activity before bedtime
U - Use comfort measures
M - Meditate (count those lambs)
B - Breathe
E - Eliminate stress and food (including caffeine 2-3 hours prior to bedtime)
R - Remember nothing—clear your mind (journal your to-do list so you can let go)
(Cooper and Miller, 2010, pg 167)

Here are some tips that might keep your internal DVR from repeating the same episodes over-and-over again.:

  • Limit caffeine intake to mornings.
  • Avoid alcohol in the evening.
  • Limit activity two hours before bedtime.
  • Don’t eat right before going to bed.
  • See if your medications cause insomnia.
  • Practice relaxation techniques.
  • If deprivation is significant, see your doctor.
(Cooper and Miller,2013Are You Missing Your Favorite Episode? The Soap Opera of Pain and Sleep.

Disorder in Bed Court!

Sleep deprivation can impede healing, foster agitation, and when severe, cause psychosis. This might explain why so many of us have difficulty fighting off viruses and recovering from injury, the things normally repaired during sleep. When our cells are deprived of oxygen, cellular metabolism and energy is affected.

All the things discussed here—can and do—play a role in sleep quality. I advocate for my fellow sleep deprived cohorts. If anyone reading this article suspects sleep problems can be contributing to your symptoms, please report it to your doctor so he or she can get a sleep study, because many times despite doing everything right, a road block occurs and we literally lose our map to life. Not having enough or the right kind of sleep can be a major contributor. Effective sleep is important to our overall health. 

(Signature line appended, April 2018)

Celeste Cooper, RN / Author, Freelancer, Advocate

Think adversity?-See opportunity!

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Learn more about Celeste’s books here. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Devotions of the Broken Body Book Series Launches. See what the inside the cover reviewers have to say, you will be inspired.

Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain

Kindle version live, here. 
Amazon UK Kindle, here
Amazon Canada Kindle, here.

Sometimes we feel alone and isolated. Sometimes we forget that for every healthcare provider that doesn't believe us or in us, there are two that do. Following are the reviews that are inside the cover.

As always, there will be a FREE DOWNLOAD for all those who choose to take advantage of it. All we ask our readers is to please go back to the link here , scroll down the page to customer reviews, and hit the:

 "Write a Customer Review" button.

It shows your support, which as authors is important to us; it is what motivates us.

Watch for it!

From "Inside the Cover"

"We are all subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; they are around us, in a space we do not control. This book is a gentle, yet forceful reminder that the best defenses against them reside within- in a space we do control, welling up from resources we can learn to cultivate. Hope here is equally soft and irresistible, much like Spring itself."

Dr. David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP
Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center

"This is a truly beautiful book. It offers healing medicine for the body, the mind, and the heart. It will soothe your body with its many practical tips for minimizing physical pain. It will open your mind to new ways of framing your experience so you can live a full and purposeful life despite your health challenges. It will open your heart to your potential to be kind and loving so you can wrap yourself in a cloak of compassion for yourself and others. This is a book to keep close by, always."

Toni Bernhard, author of How to Be Sick and How to Wake Up

"The spring Devotions is like a relaxing massage for the mind. Filled with comfort and words of wisdom, it is a wonderful journey through the season, providing hope in the power of one’s own ability to travel to a place of healing. I wish I could give a copy to each one of my patients."

Susan Opper MD, Medical Director of Pain Management, Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, Assistant Professor University of Missouri Kansas City

"Celeste and Jeff have produced another gem. For those currently disabled by pain and poor health this is a traveling companion to lighten your load, and it is from someone who is on the same path. Celeste has lifted herself up from her own illness to reach out to others with compassion. Her strength amazes me. She is an inspiration to me. This beautiful book is filled with valuable advice, wisdom, and generosity of spirit. It belongs in the pocket of all who suffer, and all who care for them."

Dr John Whiteside, MBBS, Fellow of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine.

"Celeste Cooper and Jeff Miller have given us a great way to begin our day. As a chronic pain patient, I take one day at a time facing new changes and challenges. Spring is a season full of new beginnings and opportunities and this book combines stories, pictures, prose, and quotes that motivate us, inspire us, and provoke us to answer questions that challenge us to look both internally and externally. The authors encourage us to journal, and by doing so, commit us to a positive, healthier self. Spring Devotions provides us the necessary tools for our arsenal in the combat against chronic illness."

Melissa Swanson, freelance writer, patient, advocate, moderator of the Facebook group "Fibro Warriors~Living Life", and blogger  

"Broken Body, Wounded Spirit Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain" one of four seasonal daybooks' holistic approach to chronic pain challenges is a powerful tool to everyone dealing with these issues. It is a self-empowerment tool, making you the cartographer in the adventure of your evolving future.

My 20 years of working with people challenged by chronic pain issues have revealed to me just how deeply the mind, heart (emotions), and body are intertwined and how a holistic approach is a powerful one. Often our mind drives us to push, push, push because of old programming in our lives. This habit overrides the body's requirements, and needs to be untangled. This book will support and help you get back in touch with your body', so you can become an 'ally' rather than a brutal taskmaster. You can re-learn how to 'play' with your body, rather than dictating to it. This book's advocacy of Tai Chi is just one of the many insightful and valuable gems it has to offer everyone dealing with chronic pain."

Bill Douglas, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong," 2009 Inductee to the Internal Arts Hall of Fame in New York, and Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day.

This, the last of Celeste and Jeff's four seasonal devotions books, may just be the best of all. From its practical suggestions to its inspirational quotes and photos, Spring Devotions offers chronic pain sufferers daily bite-sized, easily digestible tidbits that educate, encourage and empower us to take control of our health and our lives. And as someone who likes to jot down personal thoughts in my devotionals, I especially appreciate the extra space for notes. All in all, Broken Body, Wounded Spirit...: Spring Devotions is a valuable asset for anyone living with chronic pain.

Karen Lee Richards, Fibromyalgia Editor, ProHealth, and Chronic Pain Health Guide, HealthCentral

"As a neurosurgeon committed to treating people in pain, I am often consumed with the technical details of interventional procedures. Celeste Cooper and Jeff Miller, in their beautiful book Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, Spring Devotions, remind doctor and patient alike that true healing comes from the mind-body balance that can only be achieved from within. I recommend this inspirational work to all who deal with pain, especially in circumstances that call for using advanced technological treatments, to help them center the psyche and recruit the spirit in the journey toward health."

William S. Rosenberg, MD, FAANS, Neurosurgeon, and Founder of the Center for the Relief ofPain Kansas City, Missouri

"Too often, we respond to chronic pain is by looking outside of ourselves to find cures, as dictated by our predominant biomedical model, overlooking the innate ability of our bodies to heal themselves, if we just “get out of the way”. This beautiful book is chock-full of guidance for doing just that: accessing the still, small voice inside so it can guide us to healing. It reminds us why we really need to use a 'biopsychosocial-spiritual' model of pain. Thank you for this valuable resource!"

Dr. Bob Twillman, Ph.D., FAPM, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Policy and Advocacy, American Academy of Pain Management, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Kansas School of Medicine

"The Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS) is dedicated to transforming the way pain is perceived, judged and treated.  With more than 100 million Americans living with chronic pain, this book will play an important role in that transformation, especially for those living with pain. 'Spring Devotions' offers hope, inspiration, and education. Thank you, Celeste and Jeff!"

Cindy Leyland, Project Director, Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS), a program of the Center for Practical Bioethics


"Chronic pain can be devastating and all consuming. In Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain. Spring Devotions, patients will find a way to cope with pain and thrive in spite of it. The lovely quotes, beautiful pictures, and words of wisdom are inspiring. The information and workbook give a step-wise approach for practical ways to lower pain levels and make it more manageable.

Following the daily devotions makes it easier to deal with pain in a thoughtful manner, which does not overwhelm. What is this book about? This book allows us to cleanse ourselves of isolation, rejection, self-loathing, anxiety and a myriad of other symptoms of inappropriate coping. We will embrace change and perpetuate healthy strategies that improve our relationships with others, and give us hope as we bud into a new way of thinking. Read this book and you will."

Dr Robin Miller, MD, Sharecare Editorial Advisory Board Member, Internal Medicine and serves as the medical director of Triune Integrative Medicine in Medford, Oregon. She has produced the award-winning health series, "Is there a Doctor in the House", Â, and is the author of "Kids Ask the Doctor" and the co-author of "The Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife and Beyond: A No-Nonsense Approach to Staying Healthy after 50".

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The winner is chosen: The jacket for Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, SPRING DEVOTIONS by Celeste Cooper, RN and Jeff Miller, PhD

Your votes have been counted, and you have chosen the jacket for Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, SPRING DEVOTIONS

Thank you for your participation and valuable comments. As you can see, we have made the font clearer in the design in response to your feedback. Thank you again. A picture really does say a thousand words.

Here's your WINNER


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Minimizing the Consequences of Pain and Illness by Exploring Your Creative Nature through Poetry by Celeste Cooper

Coping with chronic pain and illness is challenging, but self-expression through poetry is a way of diverting pain and minimizing its consequences.

Often thought of as the conduit to our soul, poetry provides us the thought energy we need to hurtle over the obstacles we face. It provides an endless path by heightening our senses, and  gives us texture, coloring us up inside.  In all our books, I give helpful tips for writing poetry, whether it be free form or rhyme, it doesn't make a difference, because we learn about ourselves, regardless.

I can't speak for everyone, but I know how I feel when I write a poem. Sometimes it's a work in progress for months or years, one poem. Sometimes, poetry allows me to explore feelings that are too painful to face, and other times—I am in awe of the words I scribe, they bring me peace because whether I am working through a difficult situation, or embracing the wonders of the world, I know when I'm done, I will feel connected to an inner creativity I only know through poetry.

I love it when the words fly coming together effortlessly, but that isn't always the case — at times — I have to put my words aside or work from a different angle. Writing from our soul may not always be easy, but it is always enlightening.

I hope you will pick up a pencil and a piece of paper. Write down some of your favorite words, you can find them in crossword puzzles, a good book, the dictionary, or make them up; that's the beauty of it. Let your mind float and your hands glide across the paper as the words guide you to a new place, a place hopefully free of pain and illness, but if you need to work that out, you can go there too. Just do it.

Following is a poem I started with four random words: truth, bird, broken, observe. The poem went through several transformations before I felt I created a deep meaning for myself. Some of my poems don't make a word of sense to others, but they don't need to. They are mine, just as your will be yours.


This Is My Truth © by Celeste Cooper

Like a bird with a broken wing,
I can stray off course, my flight pattern disrupted.
Wounded from the fall, I will not judge, because
As a wise owl, I observe, I accept, I understand—
Before I take flight, I need time to mend, plan a new course.
This is my truth.

Imperfection as clear as a broken mirror,
Though broken, goals are transformed.
Seedlings forced into maturity will not thrive.
Accepting that mistakes are the seed, I cultivate.
The broken mirror affords a self-reflection of reality.
This is my truth.

I falter, sometimes wretchedly, but enlightened.
Sweet is the nectar of success—not synonymous to perfection.
Erupting from deep inside a reminder from Edison,
"I did not fail; I found 10,000 ways that won't work."
I accept my imperfections—only then—can I take flight.
This is my truth.

This Is My Truth—Take One

This is my truth
I am thrown off course
Like a bird with a broken wing.
This is my truth.

Imperfection as clear as a broken mirror,
Balance remains in sight,
Only through imperfection can I grow.
Reflection of my imperfection,
Acceptance as truth.

This is my truth.
I fail, sometimes miserably, but
I find my way in acceptance of imperfection.
Success is not possible without learning,
Learning is not possible without mistakes.
This is my truth.

In healing,
Celeste Cooper, RN / Author, Freelancer, Advocate

Think adversity?-See opportunity!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Change in selections for The Cover for Spring Devotions: Your Vote Matters to Us.

Spring is upon us and the next and final edition to the Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain is near completion.

I am paying close attention to the comments because I believe feedback is very important, so I am making a few changes. The favorites thus far here on the blog and on Facebook page  are one and three, I didn't take into mind the possibility of a tie, I am putting up more options (4, 5, and 6) and taking down number two. Feel free to change your vote, just let me know you are. To the comments on #3, I wish there was a way to get the radiance effect, which lends to peacefulness, and still get a clearer title and author area, however, this isn't possible for this format. Keep this in mind when you are voting. 

Please help spread the word, because we appreciate our loyal readers and followers, and we value your opinion. 

The  choices have changed based on your input, and all you have to do is respond to this blog or on my author Facebook page in the notes section here. When the votes are tallied, we will use the one the majority of you choose. 

The deadline for voting is March 10th.

One (1)

Two (2) Deleted

Three (3)

e ॐ g

Four (4)

e ॐ g

Five (5)

e ॐ g

Six (6)

A huge Thank You for your 
continued and unwavering support. 

We are anxious to see what you pick for the cover.

Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
Click on the picture