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Kaleidoscope of Life

Kaleidoscope Journal

About Marty Segelke

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"Life is like a kaleidoscope . . .  which is many pieces coming together to form a grand picture in vivid Technicolor.  To change the view, you need only to turn the kaleidoscope and another wonderful, yet colorful image appears.  We have the ability to  . . . design a spectacular life! "   Marty Segelke

Kaleidoscope Living © Articles

Some Brain Matters . . .   The first is A Different View of Aging by Brenda Patoine. True or False: You lose 10,000 neurons a day as you age? The answer is false. Neuroscientists discounted this theory many years ago, but it still conjures up images of our brain slowly shrinking away. Since the late 1980’s, researchers have studied over 15,000 older people in order to identify variations in lifestyle that predict “successful cognitive maintenance”. The consensus boils down to a few fundamentals: be physically and mentally active, stay socially engaged, and reduce risk factors that can cause vascular problems( such as hypertension and high cholesterol). Science has revealed over and over that environmental complexity is a very good thing for the brain and what is a good way to work that brain? Tango dancing! It may pack a triple pack as it provides 1) social integration 2) mental challenge (to learn the complicated dance steps) and 3) physical exercise. Dance lessons anyone?

The second article is an extensive discussion on the subject of autism which we hear more and more about each day. Some people consider it an epidemic, but the jury is still out. Some experts argue the numbers have risen as a result of the evolving understanding of what constitutes autism and the changing standards doctors use to make a diagnosis.

Still, autism affects as many as 24,000 infants born in the United States each year. The causes are not known, but genetic influences factor heavily, so finding the genes involved is critical. The search is in full swing, but the task is daunting because the behavioral traits that manifest are along a continuum of severity in different people. There is hope though and early intervention is important.

I want to wrap up this newsletter with telling you about two autistic people who have - against all odds - shown their tenacity to function in the world. One is a woman professor at Colorado State University Veterinarian School, Temple Grandin, who wrote the current best selling book, Animals in Translation. She offers advice in handling your animals, because she believes she understands the fears animals have because of her autism. The second is a video of an autistic high school basketball team manager, Jason Mc Elwain, whose coach let him play in the last few minutes of the final game of the season. For all, whether you have seen this CBS video or not, it is a treat. (After clicking on the link, there is the story and to see the video click on its link). It ranks right up at the top of one of the most heartwarming and inspiring videos you will ever see. This young man scores 20 points and chaos erupts all around him. Enjoy!

Do the Thing You Think You Cannot Do continued . . .  

Last week the Denver Rocky Mountain News had an article about Chris Garner who is the chief of Gardner Rich and CO- a multimillion dollar brokerage firm with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. A former homeless person with a high school education, who raised his son alone during his rags-to-riches story, Chris’s life is detailed in his book, the Pursuit of Happyness (sic). It will become a movie to be released in December.

In 1981, Chris, barely surviving, spied a man looking for a place to park his Ferrari, and told him he would let him have his parking place if the person would answer two questions: “What do you do and how do you do it?” When the man told him he was a stockbroker, Chris had no idea what that meant. He set out to learn and overcame unbelievable challenges along the way. Seven years later, he opened his own firm and now twenty five years later is renowned for his success and generosity giving tens of thousands of dollars a year back to his community.

Recently, a friend told me the story of her hairdresser, an overweight black woman from England, who was extremely discouraged. Her martial life was in shambles and she was struggling. Then, she set a goal to take control of her life. Over the next few months, she lost over fifty pounds and her self confidence soared. Now, she works as a professional in a business office and has turned her life totally around.

A reader, Alice, tells of her daughter who followed her dream. Lisa, a highly successful engineer, quit her job and enrolled in a pastry and cake decorating school. She has since graduated after an intense and highly competitive program. In her class of thirteen, there were four more engineers and people with credentials in other fields. All had recognized a latent creative talent and followed their heart. Alice supports her decision, but has only one negative. She has gained five pounds supporting her daughter’s new profession!

A previously unpublished writer, a woman, who is a member of CIPA – the Colorado Independent Publishers Association – wrote a memoir and published it herself. It included her experience growing up in a military family and it was warmly received. With the ongoing military activity of today, her book has been highly successful and she is a sought after speaker across the country.

A few years ago, a former teacher and stay-at-home mother who lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado decided to produce quality educational videos for her children. You know the rest of the story! Disney bought the rights to her Baby Einstein tapes for millions of dollars. Now, she is pursuing her next dream which is to produce professional videos for seniors!

These are but a few examples of people who had a dream and followed through to completion. You can bet fear was hanging around along the way, but they did the thing they wanted to do. The monkey mind was thwarted as they found a way to make their dream a reality.

Do you have a dream? Are you pursuing it? It doesn’t have to be grandiose or glorious or something that will get your name in the paper. It just has to be a longing, a passion - something that you truly want and should pursue. Do you think you are too old? Remember, Grandma Moses began painting in her seventies after abandoning a career in embroidery because of arthritis. She lived to be 101.


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