A lot of people like to give out "life advice" and "life lessons," but it's hard to know if someone is really qualified. On the other hand, if you want to ask someone for tips on how to live a full life,Gladys McGarey has the resume you want. She's the 102 year old mother of six who ran a medical practice for six decades and has just published a book — and who still rides a bike and walks 3,800 steps a day — so when he offers up some suggestions, we’re all ears.
Gladys’ book “The Well-Lived Life” offers her secrets to health and happiness. But first, a little about Dr. Gladys, who is known as 'the mother of holistic medicine.” When she was a child, her parents were traveling doctors in India who helped the poor through a church program. Her family eventually re-located to the U.S., where she attended med school. She met her husband Bill and the two ran a medical practice together in Wellsville, Ohio. When Bill was called back into the Korean War, she was the only doctor in a town of 9,000 — a situation not made easier because of discrimination (female doctors were rare then and so were holistic doctors). Later she co-founded 'the American Board of Holistic Medicine,’ which involves not just birthing, but helping people make the transition at death or just struggle through difficult diseases. All the while, she had 6 kids, and juggled that with running a medical practice.
Here are some secrets she learned this past century about how to live a long healthy life.
She says 'you are here for a reason' and you need to figure out what that is.
Dr. Gladys sees life as a big jigsaw puzzle with each one of us having a special piece. She says she was born to be a physician — and she told her parents that when at the age of 2. She says it’s necessary for everyone to find a job or hobby that sparks joy. Helping with child births did that for her. As she said when she saw her first baby take its first breath, she heard the angels sing.
Everything is a teacher
She also says that everything is a teacher, even life-altering situations. She says sometimes chronic illness makes a person incredibly strong and beautiful. She herself beat thyroid cancer and later breast cancer. She says when bad things happen, you learn a lot — because there are lessons everywhere.
We also asked Dr. Gladys about advice for mothers.
It's easy to get bogged down with all of the things that you have to do, so be sure to be present and enjoy the moment. Also, try not to smother your kid because mistakes are how kids learn. The process of over-mothering can become very real so that the child really doesn't know that what their strengths are.