HIV Longevity Still Fighting…


Positive Attitude

Let me start by saying that I do not condone, nor believe in positive thinking/attitude without something to back it up. E.g. I don’t think you can look at a weed-filled garden and chant there are no weeds 1,000 times and then they mysteriously and suddenly disappear. That said, I do sincerely believe in a positive attitude and taking it a step further, I think it is one of the determining reasons I am still alive today!

So … What does that mean? You ask. Exactly what I said. In my opinion, a positive attitude can and will prolong your life (especially through a battle with some form of deadly illness and so on). On top of that, I believe that it will improve aspects of your life that you had no idea needed improving (and some that you knew needed it). Also, a positive attitude and outlook will get you places in life. Finally, it is contagious! That’s right … Your positive attitude can and will rub off on the people around you. If you think carefully about this last statement, you will quickly realize that the opposite is true as well. You certainly don’t want to be the bad apple in the basket!

Now let’s talk about some of the ways that I spend my time improving my attitude:

Wake with a Smile
So many studies have been done on the power of a simple smile. For the most part, it has been scientifically proven that putting a smile on your face will improve your outlook, attitude, and make people think you are insane (just kidding about the last one, wanted to see if you were still with me). Since we know the power of a smile, why not harness that power and use it to your advantage? Jump out of bed grinning. And, when you get to the bathroom mirror, make sure that you have a big goofy smile pasted on your yap! You’d be surprised what this will do for the start of your day. Try it tomorrow morning … Heck … Try it now! Go run into the bathroom smiling and look at yourself. Isn’t that a friendly face? Imagine how others react to you when you walk down the halls of work. If they see you with a stoic look, frown, or even pout, don’t you think that is a negative aura and reflection of you? Reverse those feelings and beliefs by smiling.

I should mention, I’m not talking about a toothy vampire grin … Or, a sociopath smile with teeth clenched and eyes all scary. I mean a simple, calm, and friendly smile.

Try it!

Share the Love
I often fall back on the idea behind the movie Pay It Forward. What a great story and premise. When I say, share the love, that’s what I mean … Once you have built up a happy life filled with positive emotions, you should share that with others. Go beyond simply smiling at people. Instead offer them information about how you created a positive attitude in your life. You’d be surprised how receptive people are to hearing ways to improve themselves. It is a key component of living a happy and successful life. Simply share your happiness with others. And, not only with tips on improving your attitude, but also by doing friendly things. When is the last time you stopped your car to help someone on the shoulder with a flat tire? I’m a huge fan of doing this. And, I NEVER accept a penny from anyone that I help in this fashion. During the deep snow storms of 2009-2010, I spent days out in the weather (with my FJ Cruiser, a snatch strap, and a snow shovel) rescuing people who were stuck. Boy did that feel good! Gotta love helping people!

Try it!

I use a daily meditation to improve my outlook and help to heal myself. Anytime that I am experiencing struggles, I will kick back, take some deep breaths, and literally fall into a trance (don’t fall into a trance while driving!) and recognize things in my body and things around me from a different perspective. There are tons of books and information on these kinds of things. Regardless of which way you do/experience meditation, I would recommend that everyone tries it. You’d be surprised how much better you can improve your feelings and attitude by doing a few minutes of deep and thoughtful meditation

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One of my favorite ways to meditate is during a low-impact and deep stretching yoga workout. 20 Minutes of deep breathing and yoga stretches while meditating internally can do wonders for your body and day!

Try it!

The War of the Body
After all of those peaceful and loving descriptions and information let me step out on a limb and discuss how I turned my low T-cell count into a climbing number, and potentially saved my own life. Many moons ago, my HIV was winning the battle of stealing my life. I was taking 22 pills each day. And, I was taking them five times per day. Each time I took the pills I was thinking (literally) to myself, I’m taking this medicine because I’m dying. I was bombarding my body with negative thoughts and powerfully dangerous chants five or more times per day. No wonder I was dying!!!

One day I woke from this devious and deadly mistake and figured out a way to improve myself. I realized that I could just as easily chant something motivational and positive instead of doom and gloom. I came up with a better statement to say with each ingestion, This medicine is healing me and making me stronger. You might (or might not) be surprised to hear that this immediately turned around my death tailspin and turned my health around.

Shortly after adapting this solution, I took it several steps further and incorporated my meditation into the event. I started envisioning a battle going on in my body. And, as I took the medicine and chanted positive things I also imagined my meds being field generals in a war in my body. Each of these generals was given regiments of T-cells and I saw them rolling through my body and kicking virus ass. I still use this technique today, and I am healthier than I’ve ever been in my life.

Recently, a friend and mentor, Alan Hobson (cancer survivor and bestselling author of Climb Back From Cancer), showed me a powerful way to do what I was doing and make it more peaceful. He said, instead of viewing a war in my body, why not imagine a flowing river of holy water (or something similar). In this way, you can imagine magical water flowing into your body and cleansing it from the inside out.

Whichever way you decide to do it, I would recommend that you utilize some option along these lines when you are dealing with sickness or health issues.

Try it! Try all of them!!!

That’s it for today … I hope I was able to stir some positive emotions!

Typed with love,

p.s. This post is a chapter in my blog-book, The Secret to Longevity. Checkout my similar posts here: Or, follow the goodie trail:
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Posted by Vaughn Ripley

Comments (2) Trackbacks (2)
  1. Hi am using your articles to do a session on Personal hygiene and HIV…thanks…it reads beautifully.

  2. Highest t-cell count of 568 in the last 18 years running in the 200 lower range. I am not advocating or sharing my story to have others stop their meds. What I want to stress and hopefully help in taking back control of your life and be more pro active and educated on treatment decisions. Drs are not Gods and YOU should never fear asking questions or suggestions on YOUR options before ingestion of any form begins.
    It is no secret how the pharmaceutical and healthcare providers are in bed together. Chris Rock said it best.
    “The money is in the disease not the cure”. Ask yourself this question?
    When u started your Hiv/AIDS regime were you pill free on a daily basis only to be prescribed another pill to counteract the SIDE EFFECTS from the HIV/AIDS regime?
    ThinK instead of getting angry at this question. Do you now have high blood pressure whereas you didn’t before? How about cholesterol do you take a pill for this too now? Hows your weight and bloating going? Do you have a fatty liver ? What about your mental and anxieties issues compared to prior treatment. When does longevity trump quality of ones life? Please take no issue with my truth today as I am not saying I will never take western medicine again. I love your article and urge your readers to follow what you have shared reminding not to play around with drug holidays. They can have serious repercussions. I feel it of utmost importance as a 30 plus HIV/AIDS warrior survivor to ACT Up and ACT OUT Raged at what the FDA is now approving. I know times are changing an AIDS activism is so yesterday with all the marriages and adoptions taking place its easy to get complacent. I pray it’s not to late for you as it maybe for me or might not?