Spring Forward in Your Health

Spring Forward in Your Health

Health and Wellness, Life & Community
“I did it!” I shouted, as I ran across the finish line at the Atlanta Mission 5K Run to End Homelessness. I heard the announcer call my name, and I felt as if I had won a Grammy or something. As I contemplated the two months of training that lead to this very special triumph, I could not help but think of the hundreds of homeless women, men, and children back home in Detroit. You see, I’m a homeless advocate because I’ve been there, and I believe no one should be without a safe place to call home, ever. Health is mind, body, and spirit working in symphony, and my first 5K run was at the top of my 2014 Personal Health Action List. Contrary to popular belief, health does…
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Moving Past Fear

Moving Past Fear

Life & Community, Life Coaching
When was the last time you traveled alone to an unknown destination? How did it make you feel? Are there other destinations that you want to explore but something seems to be holding you back from taking the next steps? Could it be that fear of the unknown has you in its grips? What do you feel you need in order to move past fear in order to enjoy the amazing life God has planned for you if you only trust and believe? A few months ago, Julie, a young lady I met on MySpace more than seven years ago invited me to speak at a conference for massage therapists in Montreal, Canada. The thought of this 8.5 hour driving excursion was exciting but scary at the same time. I’ve…
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Find a Place of Refuge

Find a Place of Refuge

Life & Community, Stories
I remember that cold winter night like it was yesterday. I was in the relaxation studio, where I provided massages for the hotel guests. I looked over my thousand-dollar monthly invoice, and wondered if the repo man was going to snatch my car while I was sleeping. How could I get to a client’s home to provide a massage if I didn’t have a car? If they repossessed my car, not only would I still have to pay the debt for a car I didn’t have, I would also mess up my dad’s credit because he co-signed for me. I thought about how embarrassed I would be if I didn’t pay the bill and they put me out of the hotel. For a brief moment, my mind even wandered to…
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Loving Touch Heals

Loving Touch Heals

Health and Wellness, Life & Community, Life Coaching
Touch deprivation happens when someone is suffering from poor, loveless, or inadequate physical contact. Did you know that, across America, couples who sleep together each night are experiencing the effects of this malady? It’s a fact! And our anti-touch society not only affects couples; children and the elderly are experiencing isolation, violent behavior, and even depression due to touch hunger. There are actually no-touch rules in many schools that punish students with expulsion if they are caught, for example, comforting a classmate who lost a pet. Schools with these rules have the children line up and extend their arms to show the child in front of them how close they are allowed to come to them walking down the hall. Now, I’ve heard of personal space, but how skewed is…
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Health and Literacy

Health and Literacy

Health and Wellness, Life & Community
"Take one tablet twice daily by mouth before eating." This is an example of a simple instruction on a prescription. But did you know that, according to the 1995 TOFHLA (Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults), in a study of 2,659 patients presenting for acute care at the emergency care center in two urban, public hospitals, approximately 41.6% of adult patients could not follow these instructions due to their inability to read and comprehend them? This startling fact is just one example of how literacy impacts health. In a previous  issue of Thrive Detroit, I wrote about how four Detroit libraries were closing down as a result of budget cuts. Since that time, literacy advocates have joined forces to collect used and new books for six outdoor libraries. Some…
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10 Signs You’re on the Road to Homelessness

Life & Community
The number of children walking the halls of U.S. schools today now exceeds the total population of Detroit. As families, children, and college students struggle to keep their head above water during our nation's economic slump, it is important to be aware of the signs that homelessness may be on the horizon. Once you know the signs, it's equally important to make immediate changes to pull yourself and your family ashore before sinking into the dark abyss of homelessness. Homelessness is not for the weak; no single incident leads to this far from an exotic destination. Usually a series of poor decisions and unexpected circumstances blindside vulnerable people. This article and my memoir, Thank God for the Shelter: Memoirs of a Homeless Healer, were written to serve as a first line of…
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