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Stop Waiting for It to Get Easier

I learned 13 years ago how precious life is, and how short it can be, when I was diagnosed with melanoma. Having cancer was a defining moment in my life and I realized that that no matter what goals and dreams I had – the time to make them happen was now.  I still run my life and operate my various businesses with that same sense of urgency. As a coach to entrepreneurs and small business owners, I hear about ideas for growth a lot. And whether the idea is based on a new product, a new or improved service,…

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10 Steps to a Healthier Life

For many of us, work isn't done when the clock strikes five or when the weekend rolls around. Work is done only when we say it is done because there is always more to explore, unwrap, analyze, sell, make, create, or ponder. That's the issue, at hand, for all of us Type A personalities, hard workers, go-getters, entrepreneurs, and workaholics. The sky's the limit...or put, more succinctly, we're the limit. The problem is, we're not meant to be pushed to a limit. We're meant to ebb and flow. We're meant to honor the two sides of ourselves: the active and…

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Tips to Get Through the Holiday Blues

For some, the holiday season is a joyous occasion. For others, holidays bring to the surface feelings that are the complete opposite of Christmas cheer, usually unwrapping sad reminders that may start as early as Halloween. The holidays can be a roller coaster ride of emotions for many. Below are some steps to a smoother journey through the holiday season. A lot of people consider the holiday season one of the loneliest times of the year. Many of my clients who come to me for counseling ask whether they are the only ones who feel this way. Coupling this with…

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You Are Beautiful As You Are

A friend of mind has been struggling recently with her body image. She says she feels a lot of shame when she looks in the mirror, and the stories in her mind keep on trying to convince her there is something wrong with her at her present weight. She is caught in the land of fear, where her mind keeps telling her stories that she is not skinny enough, pretty enough or sexy enough. In other words, she is not enough, period! Our western society basically deems women’s bodies unacceptable unless they are a size 2 or less. Just take…

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Finding Daily Moments of Joy

Life is about the journey, not the destination. If you believe this deeply, in the marrow of your spirit, you will treasure each day and take ownership of your time. This means that every day should hold moments of joy and hope for you; your job is to figure out how to usher such moments into your life on a daily basis. For me, this means writing in my journal as a gentle way to enter the day. I go into my study, cup of tea in hand, pick up pencil and notebook. Usually, both have been selected with care.…

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Doctor

Become the Project Manager of Your Health

Visiting doctor after doctor, none could diagnose my pain. They would prescribe a pill with the hopes of relief. Finally one doctor, after still not providing a diagnosis, said, “Let’s give you a hysterectomy. Maybe that will help.” This experience led me to become the project manager of my own health. Two issues currently exist with our Western medical system. First, our current system no longer treats the patient but treats the symptoms. Medications are administered not to remove the illness but to relieve the symptoms. Pharmaceutical companies market to patients and doctors offering quick fixes to our discomfort. Secondly,…

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In This Moment You Are A Perfect You

Where did you learn what a perfect body looks like? Where did you learn what is beautiful? Where did you learn what is ugly? How old were you when you came to these conclusions? We were walking down the street in Paris several years ago to find ourselves taken by a body image considered to be "beautiful." We were looking at the street lamps in front of the Paris Opera House. Built in the mid-1800's, those lamps are supported by statues of naked women. These castings done in the Neo-Baroque style are curvy with rounded bellies and by today's standards…

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Lion, Tinman, Scarecrow

You Had the Power All Along

Like the Scarecrow, Lion, and Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, I sought an expert to provide me with what I already held. Over a decade in corporate America led this Type A into physical distress. I was fatigued and irritable. My muscles were tight and painful. My digestion and reproductive systems were broken causing intense issues and discomfort. I was a wreck. Visiting doctor after doctor I was told there was nothing wrong. No illness. No disease. Prescriptions of all sorts were recommended – none of them really worked. After more than three years, I was frustrated, tired,…

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Debunking the Myths of Aging and Illness

I propose, based on research evidence from the fields of cultural psychoneuroimmunology, cultural neuroscience, functional medicine, biocognitive science, and cultural anthropology, the following: Illnesses are culturally learned and the causes of health are inherited. Growing older is the passing of time, and aging is what we do with our time based on the culturally-learned premises we use to interpret our experiences. Family illnesses are propensities rather than genetic sentencing. Growing older does not have to be a progressive and uncontrollable deterioration. Addictions and other behaviors of excess are not illnesses: they are socio-culturally learned strategies to avoid fear of accepting…

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4 Foundational Principles for Harmony in Your Home

I wish that someone had given me a blueprint for leading my best life years ago. I am thankful that I can share my more than 20 years of academic and experiential insights with you to help you design your own inspired life. Practicing the Home in Harmony lifestyle guided me to a healthy, vibrant, and joyful existence. Although my life has had its share of trials, I am grateful for the journey—which has also been filled with glorious moments that have left me in awe. Each moment, good or bad, has brought me to where I am today. Collectively,…

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What Have You Lost in Constantly ‘Doing’?

In our fast-paced, multi-tasking, on-the-go-deadline driven work, we are often caught up in the act of “doing.” We move from task to task on our to-do list. We rush from work to class to home. We keep pushing ourselves to do more and do it better. But what is the cost? Do you have hobbies? Do you have passions? Or have you lost who you are to all of the things you are doing outside of yourself? Do you sleep well at night? Are you fit? Do you feel good in your body? What is your blood pressure? How is…

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Your Body Is Beautiful… As Is

Most of us would change something about our bodies if we could.  We (too) often speak harshly about ourselves: Gross. Fat. Ugly. Flabby. Eh, this part is ok. But this part, disgusting. Too big. Too small. Too short. Too tall. Body image is a reflection of our thoughts and belief systems. It is also an indicator of the amount of self love we possess. Stories we have been told. And lies we believe. The weight loss industry rakes in billions each year. People try one diet after another. They ride the wave the media makes.  Everyone wants a quick fix to look "good," whatever…

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Why Are You Reluctant to Stop Doing It All?

When the behaviors of a Type A are out of control, we can take responsibility for situations and outcomes, for the feelings and experience or others, and for absolutely everything around us. We think everything is our responsibility, and thus, within our control to affect. We fear if we don’t take care of everything needing to get done, there will be horrible consequences. The stress coming from being overtaken by our Type-A tendencies, eventually takes a toll on our mood, mental clarity, relationships, work satisfaction, and our health. The goal of this book is to help reduce these negative side effects of…

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Ask A Luminary

Can I Heal Myself with My Thoughts?

"I have an auto-immune disease and I'm always sick. I feel so poorly most days that it's hard to think positively. How can I possibly use my thoughts to heal myself, when I can't get out of the rut I'm in? And I beat myself up for feeling so poorly, which just makes things worse." ~ Emily, Burlingame, CA Dear Emily, Thoughts control your stress response. When your stress response is hyper-activated, the immune response is triggered to produce more inflammation. With more inflammation, your immune cells begin attacking, and in your case, they attack you. The more you beat yourself up for not…

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Beyond Money and Power

Lately I have been experiencing a ground swell of desire for a new way to be and live. I expect to see this from my clients, however I am seeing it in places and people I would not expect. Arianna Huffington shares her thoughts about redefining success in her new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder. Instead of focusing solely on money and power, she calls us to look to a third metric centered on the quality of our lives. A relaxing weekend at a friend’s summer house becomes a discussion…

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Trust Your Innate Intelligence

1. Say what you mean and mean what you say. I've always been able to sleep well at night because of this. Getting enough rest is essential enough to your health after all. Honesty is the best policy and if you are consistently true to your word, you are, most importantly, being honest to yourself. 2. Question Everything. Unfortunately, many do not. They do what they are told without asking or knowing why. This should not be the case when it comes to your health. Medical mistakes and assumptions are made all the time. Take control of your health by…

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Never Stop Loving and Learning

1. Realize that there is not always a tomorrow for everyone that you encounter. Treat each and every meeting with someone as your last with them. It may be. Even if you stayed in the place where you were born and raised, people, friends and family come and go. In my case, I left two countries that are home to both family and close friends to start a life in my husband's country where I have met new family and made new friends. Unfortunately, I have not been able to see the many family and friends that I would have…

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