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the persevering plum

Inspired by the famous Qing Dynasty painting (The Flowers of the Twelve Months) by Yun Bing--one of the better-known woman painters in the 1700s--I'd like to share January's plum blossoms (the image above is not from the aforementioned painting). A symbol of winter and a herald of spring, the plum blossom represents perseverance and hope--something I think we could all use as 2020 begins.

I confess, I've not been a faithful blogger, but in 2020, I'm committed to sharing more helpful information with you. I just started a new online program in Integrative Health and Lifestyle with the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona that focuses on bringing conventional and complementary approaches together to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.

One of the first things I learned was the World Health Organization's definition of "health" as a "state of complete physical, mental and social well-being; not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Generally, health is associated with bodily function and dysfunction, and while the proper functioning of our bodies is certainly critical, it's only one aspect of what makes us whole.

So what makes us whole? For me, it's using my physically sound body, my mentally nimble mind and my emotionally stable spirit to do, and feel, and experience the things I love with and for the people I love. And as I pursue what makes me whole, I hope to help or encourage others to do the same and I'm committing to one flower post a month.

Along with the persevering plum, January is also Thyroid Health Awareness month. Located just below the Adam's apple, the thyroid plays a critical role in how your body works by producing and distributing thyroid hormones. These hormones affect your metabolism or how you use energy, regulate your temperature, and contribute to nearly every organ function. To learn more, visit

On a more fun note, January is also National Book Month, so if you're a reader like me, check out the Great American Read for inspiration and your next literary adventure.

Happy reading! See you next month!

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