Listening to your Body and Soul

Good Morning Bring Smiles Family.  Happy Thursday!

Have you ever had that moment when your body and soul are trying to tell you something but you just can’t quite figure out what it is?  There is something you are supposed to know, yet you either are just too busy trying to get on with your day and life that you don’t take the time to stop and listen?  Finally, when you do figure out what it was, you wish you had because it would have been better to know sooner? This morning I am going to share a personal story that reminds us all of the importance of listening to our body and soul when it is trying to speak to us.

About eight years ago, I woke up one morning with a very weird feeling. This particular morning, I sat up in bed and all of the sudden a voice inside of me told me that I needed to schedule an endoscopy (a procedure where they go down through your throat and take a look at you from the inside). I had been on acid reflux medicine for many years and had an endoscopy done back when they put me on the medicine, but that was six or seven years prior.  The doctor had never told me I was supposed to have them periodically to check things out because I had been on the medication for so long. However, this particular morning my inside doctor was speaking loud and clear.

For once I listened, promptly found a gastrointerologist and made an appointment. Within a week I was scheduled for the endoscopy. I expected it to be routine.  I was young…well younger in my 40’s, healthy, feeling fine and absolutely no symptoms. When I sat down with the doctor post the procedure, I was floored by what he told me. He spouted out a bunch of words I couldn’t understand and recommended that I see a specialist within the week, which I did.

To make a very long story much shorter, I discovered that I had a gastro intestinal stromal tumor (GIST) which was very rare at the junction of my esophagus and stomach. I had never even heard of these tumors and went to work doing my research.  Anyone who has had anything will tell you that researching what you have on the internet rarely is good experience.  I learned that there wasn’t a lot known about these types of tumors because they were so rare, that catching them early was key and that they almost always turn to cancer.

Fortunately for me, I had a great set of doctors. I underwent surgery where they removed the tumor and a piece of my stomach where the tumor was located and waited patiently for the lab results to come back. Finally, the news came that we had caught it in time.  It was benign and they were able to remove it with great margins.  Today other than having an endoscopy every five years, so far no return of the tumor or any new ones.

I learned a lesson that day to always listen to my body and soul. It often speaks to us and lets us know that it needs attention.  It is incredibly important that we take the time to stop, listen and devote the time and energy to understand what our body and soul are trying to say.  I listened that morning. Because I did  I am still here doing the work that I was supposed to do in this lifetime.

The next time your body and soul are trying to send you a message, whatever it may be, listen. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, it makes it impossible to take care of others. When we believe in our own importance and remember that we have a purpose for being here, even if we haven’t discovered it yet, in time we will.  We just need to listen.

With that, take care of yourself, have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.





The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


Welcome from our Founder

Thank you for following Bring Smiles to Seniors blog.  Bring Smiles to Seniors is a 501 (c)(3) organization that works with schools and civic organization to make and decorate cards for seniors.  Cards are distributed to seniors in nursing homes, independent and assisted living facilities and to seniors at home through our home mailing program.  In addition, we provide cards to elderly nutrition programs (such as County and Meals on Wheels programs) to be delivered with seniors’ meals.

I started this program in honor of my grandmother, who was in a nursing home and had dementia. I recognized a need to teach children and others the importance of remembering those that paved the way for us to ensure sure that they knew they were cared about and loved.  We began the program in March of 2016 and delivered 18,810 cards in 2017.

Through the generous donations of card artists around the country who support this program, Bring Smiles to Seniors has a goal for 2018 of delivering over 20,000 cards.  Having delivered over 11,000 cards so far this year, we are well on our way to meeting that goal.

As a part of the program, I write a daily inspirational column Monday through Friday that will now be posted to this blog.  Sharing life stories and philosophies, my goal is to enhance and enrich the lives of our readers and program participants.

We are so happy to have you join us on this new chapter of Bring Smiles Smiles journey.

Ron Tyson, Founder, Bring Smiles to Seniors, Inc.                              Instagram: bringsmilestoseniors

Pet Effect on our Lives

Good Morning Bring Smiles family. Happy Wednesday!

Yesterday, I was sitting at my computer and I got an unexpected visit from my cat Moochie. He just came and sat next me, started rubbing up against my hand, purring and sharing his kitty love that doesn’t always come through. It got me thinking about the importance that pets play in our lives.

Now we all know that some people just aren’t animal people and that is okay. I was one of those people. We had a couple animals when I was growing up that had pretty tragic deaths and I swore that I would never have an animal again as long as I lived. Nor would I allow myself to get close to one. That was until 14 years ago when we were asked to pet sit for one of our friends cats while she was away and my heart began to melt.

After she returned and we had to give Tuxedo up and we decide to take the plunge and adopted Moochie from the local shelter. He was 9 months old, had been adopted out twice and came to us with the name of Maverick, which just didn’t fit. He was mooching for food all the time and one day the name Moochie stuck. We lived in NJ at the time and Sopranos was big so we made his formal name Maverick the Mooch, Mafia Kitty.

One of the amazing things about animals is the life lessons they can teach us, especially about unconditional love. Feed them, walk them and take care of them and you have a friend for life. They don’t ask us to be anything but ourselves. They provide comfort for us in our times of need and they bring joy to our lives in the most unexpected ways. Several years ago I was diagnosed with a tumor in my stomach (more on that another time). The night before my surgery I was laying in bed and Moochie came and laid across the whole of my back and stayed there all night, something he had never done before. He sensed something was going on and he wanted to let me know that he was there to support me. Fourteen years after adopting him he is starting to show his age and now it is our turn to return the favor.

Last week, I posted a couple of videos about programs that bring newborn kittens into nursing homes to the benefit of both the animal and the senior. On visits to senior communities we have seen the power of animal visits first hand when a seniors eyes light up and agitation ceases once they are in the presence of an animal. Some communities even have their own animals adopted by the facility that become a part of the community family. It is a beautiful thing to watch.

The lesson of unconditional love is an important one that animals teach us. From them we learn to transfer that unconditional love to our own lives, which only enriches it and makes it better. If you have an animal, give them a little extra love today and remind them of the important part they play in your life. If you don’t consider donating a can of food or money to an animal shelter striving to take care of those who have been abandoned. Those of us who have them understand they are an important part of our family and they remind us of that every day.

With that, through these pictures Moochie wishes you a good day and reminds you to be the reason someone smiles.


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