Help others to help yourself |

Help others to help yourself

I teach physical fitness for a reason. As I get the privilege of helping others improve their lives, I, too, get to keep myself healthy and strong. But there are more components to health than just the physical body. The mind, body and spirit need to be balanced for them to work optimally.

I just returned from a trip to the Seattle area, and the weather was the usual gray and drizzle that I often compare with London. As beautiful as Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound are, the gloomy weather tends to bring me down. I have found that the fastest and surest path to improving my mood is to find a way to serve others. If you are angry, depressed or lonely, it probably is because you are spending a little too much time focusing on yourself and perceived problems.

I thank my students often for attending class, because if they weren’t there, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to practice my Pilates mat work on a regular schedule.

As we roll into the holiday season, do yourself a favor and plan yourself or with your family and friends how you are going to serve others so that maybe everyone won’t worry so much about the financial strain it can be to make sure the kids get the latest and greatest Nintendo or Mattel product. Maybe the kids won’t worry so much about receiving the stuff if they are involved in helping someone else.

Former President Bill Clinton states in his recent book “Giving” that “Almost everyone – regardless of income, available time, age and skills – can do something useful for others and, in the process, strengthen the fabric of our shared humanity.”

These words are true – everyone has something to give, whether it is time, money, a service or just accepting someone as they are as you listen to their story. Forget about the excuse of not having enough to be able to assist others. If you don’t do it when you lack, you won’t do it when you prosper, either.

Have a lonely or physically challenged neighbor? Ask them if you can lend a hand with a chore, share a ride to the store or run an errand for them. I have a neighbor who is housebound and appreciates everything I do for her. Even the smallest acts of kindness are huge for those in need.

Thank you to the Tribune for continuing to publish my columns so that I can hopefully help others who read them. Because I do travel to the Northwest frequently.

Area organizations where you can help out:

Angora Fire Victims Fund: (530) 543-5614; Fire Relief, 2092 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite 400, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Christmas Cheer: (530) 542-4934

South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center: (530) 544-2118

Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care: (530) 577-2273

Lake Tahoe Humane Society: (530) 577-4521

Suggested Web sites from “Giving” to help you help others globally:

Amnesty International:

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:

Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund:

The Carter Center:

The Clinton Global Initiative:

Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative:

Doctors Without Borders:

Grameen Bank:

The Green Belt Movement:


Habitat for Humanity:

ONE Campaign:

Opportunity International:

Opportunity International Australia:


Red Cross:

The Self-Employed Women’s Association (India):

ShoreBank Corporation:

United Nations:

The United Way:

The William J. Clinton Foundation:

The World Wildlife Fund:

Help Me Rhonda

Rhonda Beckham is owner of Help Me Rhonda and Perfect Pilates, a Pilates instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College and Sierra Athletic Club, as well as a personal trainer operating out of Sierra Athletic Club and the Tahoe Keys Marina Fitness Studio. She may be reached at (530) 208-6369, and

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