Cathleen L. Balfour

Holistic Health and WellBeing, LLC

Embrace Spiritual Wellness and Thrive

The Power of Adaptability

On my recent trip to India what stood out most to me was how different the everyday life in Padum India was compared to my lifestyle in Liberty Lake, Washington.

I could never have imagined the awe-inspiring journey I encountered. Going off the grid was like untangling myself from a fish net. Being free from technology, and my extremely engaged life, was like a "Get Out of Jail" Monopoly card!  Don't get me wrong, I love my life and I am living the life Spirit destined me to create.

Going to India reminded me to take a deep breath, step back, and take a good look at life. It also reminded me that I needed to have the ability to adapt to unusual or challenging situations, and become comfortable with the ever-changing circumstances in each experience. Living my life, truly in the moment, could influence my happiness, health, stress level, and general well-being. clb

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The Zanskar Valley in India is one of the most remote inhabited regions of the world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said ”this is the last remaining authentic Buddhist culture.” In this 12,000 foot high Himalayan Valley, surrounded by 24,000 foot glacial peaks, the people are isolated from the rest of the world each winter as the only road in and out is buried in snow and temperatures drop to -40° F. Every year, as the cold settles in, the healthcare needs become more critical. To read more or donate -- visit the Hands On Global Website: http://handsonglobal.org/


My husband Paul and I are still sharing and revisiting our memories from our Hands on Global mission trip that we took in June 2019. We have put together a collection of our pictures taken during our month-long working experience with the Tibetan people in India.


To briefly recap our Zanskar trip, we realized that working with a different culture challenged us to adapt to the food; the extremely high altitude; traveling on undeveloped mountainous roads; unexpected weather (snow); and local customs. Both Paul and I, and the medical team, had to quickly adapt to accomplish the mission.


We found the Tibetan people to be happy and uninhibited. In the small village where we were working, most of the people were farmers raising peas and barley. The main foods are mutton, flat eggs, rice, dairy, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and cabbage. Drinks include buttered tea, sweet tea and barley wine. 


The team saw 1,174 patients and provided basic medical care including ultrasound, lab work, prenatal, holistic health therapy, physical therapy, massage, and Tibetan medicine. Typical health issues were arthritis, pneumonia, skin infections, acute stomach issues, worms, and scabies.