choosing happiness
in the midst of life’s messiness

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Ask the Coach, Healthier Choices, Wellness | 2 comments

Choose Happiness

 

I’m excited to be a Happiness Crusader and to be joining over 100 women in spreading the message of #ChoosingHappiness to women around the world. In today’s post I share how I chose happiness in the midst of life’s messiness by answering a few questions from my inspiring friend best-selling Publisher Linda Joy.

Today is the official release of her new book Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness featuring the soul-inspiring stories of 27 amazing women who share their intimate stories of transformation. Choosing Happiness also includes Reflection Questions after each story, which will empower you to integrate the vital lessons of each woman’s journey into your own life.

For a limited time you can get over 40 transformational gifts with your copy of Choosing Happiness. Grab your copy today at  http://bit.ly/Happiness_Book

Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you realized that your happiness was an internal choice that could be made despite your outside circumstances?

When I was 12 years old, my parents divorced and my mother and I moved to another city. That the earliest moment I remember realizing I could either be sad or be happy, despite the momentous changes this meant for my life. However that was a child’s decision in response to some guidance from loving parents who wanted the best for me.

It’s also important to recognize that when an adult chooses to be happy, it’s a more complex and layered decision. My pivotal adult moment was at the time I was diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis. I was experiencing chronic pain, and although it wasn’t my first such experience, it was certainly the scariest. In that moment I fought through the fears and choose to find a positive, solution-oriented, happy approach to the rest of my life.

Q: How do you remind yourself that happiness is always within and catch your footing in those whirlwind moments of life that can throw us off balance?

Just when I think things are settled, life throws me a curve ball and I have to decide how to react. I may duck to try to avoid the worst, or such a move may be impossible. My goal is always to pop back up and stay centered in my life, instead of staying down.

I’ve found that the best way to remind myself of the happiness at the core of my being is to love, hug, and laugh with someone. It can be a friend, my spouse, or even a client. I also take the opportunity to ask someone else what going on in their life. This gets me outside myself, which actually makes it easier to reconnect with my own happy attitude.

Q: What is your personal definition of happiness today?

I recently heard this poem read, and I think it’s the perfect illustration of my definition of happiness.

I Have Found Such Joy

I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread,
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head,
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through a door.
I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days; a curtain’s blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my window sill,
A rose fresh-cut and placed within a vase,
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.
Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might
Tell every woman who goes seeking far
For some elusive, feverish delight,
That very close to home the great joys are:
The elemental things – old as the race,
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.

~ Grace Noll Crowell, 1877-1969

Q: Share three things that bring you happiness.

I find the most happiness in simple joys and close relationships. We have a close family, and because we’re also a blended family, it’s a special treasure for me. When my four-year old granddaughter stops to lay her head in my lap before she leaves to go home, I am happy.

When spring comes again and my garden grows with new shoots and blooms, I am happy.

And just so you don’t think I’m a sedentary old lady, it makes me happy to work up a good sweat exercising. There’s a chemical reason for that (endorphins), but it’s also my way of connecting to and nurturing my one and only body.

Thanks to my friend, Publisher Linda Joy, for these inspiring questions! I invite you to share how you choosing happiness moment in the comments below.

Be sure to check out Linda’s new book, Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness and grab your copy today at http://bit.ly/Happiness_Book to receive the bonus gift bundle worth thousands!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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oxytocin (the love hormone)
conquers all

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Holistic Pain Relief, Women in Pain | 0 comments

My friend and fellow author Aubree Deimler wrote today’s blog. She’s taken everything she’s learned from living with endometriosis, and from her training as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and created PeaceWithEndo.com. You may not have pelvic pain, but this information about oxytocin applies to all of us looking for holistic sources of pain relief.

The Healing Powers of Oxytocin

Puzzle of LoveI listened to Dr. Christiane Northrup speak awhile back and something that she said made my ears perk up. She mentioned the hormone oxytocin and how it is the true fountain of youth hormone.

“Pay attention to this”, she said.

How had I never heard of oxytocin a.k.a. the love hormone?

I found out that oxytocin is produced in your hypothalamus and stored and secreted by your pituitary gland. It acts as a neurotransmitter in your brain.

Turns out this molecule is super powerful and arguably all healing. Here’s why…

Oxytocin has anti-inflammatory properties. So when it is released in your body it helps with cramps, headaches, and overall body aches.

Oxytocin has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is the “stress” hormone, which can cause all kinds of havoc in your body. The release of oxytocin follows with feelings of calm 🙂

Oxytocin is also helpful in overcoming depression and anxiety.

Interestingly enough, oxytocin receptors have been found in your digestive tract. Therefore, it helps improve digestion through improved gut mobility and decreased gut inflammation.

More oxytocin means less cardiovascular stress and an improved immune system.

As I gathered this information I could definitely see why Dr. Northrup spoke of oxtytocin with the suggestion to pay attention to this hormone!

How to Get More Oxytocin

Inevitably the question follows…. So how do we get more oxytocin?

Turns out its pretty simple. Your body releases oxytocin when touching is shared. This can come in the way of a hug, kiss or a simple handshake.

This touch causes your brain to release low levels of oxytocin both in yourself and the person that you are touching. With this connection, oxytocin levels help create a sense of trust.

When your body is sexually aroused or excited then oxytocin levels increase in your brain significantly. With orgasm your brain is flooded with oxytocin!

I understand that for many of us with endometriosis that sex and/or orgasm can be painful. But no need to fret, there are plenty of other ways that we can increase our oxytocin levels.

Simply watching an emotional movie can compel oxytocin release as can singing in a choir, doing karaoke with a crowd or dancing! Playing or cuddling with pets can cause oxytocin levels to increase too.

Another way to increase oxytocin is by verbally expressing your love for all the ones in your life: “I love you!”

Oxytocin is the love molecule but part of its evolved biology comes from the fact that you have to put it out there to get it back.

Because of this energy exchange, giving gifts to others can increase oxytocin levels.

Another way to give to receive is with focused meditation on others. Putting forth positive, focused energy to those in our life that we care about creates a ripple that returns to us with increased oxytocin and yes…. LOVE 🙂

On the Positive Side? 

I shared with my husband the power of oxytocin, and its become something we joke about now and again. We both recognize just how powerful this hormone is to calm down tension between the two of us.

Have you ever paid attention to how sometimes a hug makes the stress and anxiety melt away (at least for a moment)? Sometimes all it takes is my husband’s arms around me to make everything better.

I love how oxytocin spreads with the spread of the “L” word. When we give, we truly do receive. Oh by the way I LOVE you dear reader 🙂

I hope this information inspires you to give up some hugs today and share some love.

Yes, love indeed conquers all.

 

More about Aubree:

When Aubree was 29 years old she was officially diagnosed with endometriosis. She realized that she did not want to treat it with drugs or surgery. Instead she took an alternative road on a journey to whole healing – on a physical, emotional and spiritual level… and the rest is history.

As a certified holistic health coach and founder of Peace With Endo, Aubree is deeply passionate about wellness and inspiring other women with endometriosis to reconnect with a life filled with love and positive rhythms. 

Aubree is available for speaking events on the subjects of nutrition, healthy lifestyle, stress management, and overcoming suffering.

 

 

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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do they love AND sabotage you?

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Healthier Choices, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 0 comments

MotherDaughterDisagreeingAre there people you love who don’t understand the holistic pain relief choices you make? You’re not alone! The choices you make might be:

  • Medical or alternative treatments
  • Food-related changes, exclusions, or focus
  • How you spend your time
  • How you spend your money
  • Anything you do that impacts someone else

The people in your life may want you to feel better. They may even feel sad that you hurt a lot. But, they don’t always support you (and your choices) quite the way you’d like to be supported.

Let’s face it: Their words and actions are a type of sabotage, although I sometimes call it loving sabotage. What do you do then?

I recently saw this exchange between a mother and daughter on Facebook. It was such a perfect example of loving sabotage that I saved it to share with you!

Mother:          You are going to have to endure a B-I-G cheat on Friday.

Daughter:       Nope. I will bring myself stuff I can eat if I need. LOL

Mother:          Oh I wish you wouldn’t do that. Surely you can allow yourself to enjoy what I’m offering. You’ll live through it.

This daughter didn’t respond back to her mother. Would it have been hard for you to respond too? I’m sure she didn’t want to hurt her mother’s feelings. And I can also imagine that the mother may not have realized how she might’ve hurt her daughter’s feelings.

At what point is any particular food, no matter the love it was prepared with, worth additional pain the next day? Would the mother have asked a recovering addict to have a beer, just because she’d brewed it that day at home? Of course not.

These sabotaging people do love you; they just don’t understand what living with chronic pain is really like.

I’m not suggesting you yell and scream at people who try to sabotage your holistic pain relief efforts. But I do encourage you to gracefully stand firm in what you know helps you.

You may want to develop a “standard” answer that helps in most of these situations. For example you might say:

“I know how much you love me, and I appreciate that you want to give me this food tonight. And I love you too. But, I’m also working hard to feel better so we can spend more time together. For me, this means avoiding foods that increase my pain. The less pain I feel, the more energy I have, and I hope that means we can enjoy life together more! Would you please support me in this?”

You might go simple and direct instead:

“Thanks for your offer of _____ [fill in the food]. I know it’s always been one of my favorites, but I pay too big of a price in pain tomorrow. I’d love to share it with my __________ [insert family or friend’s name here] instead.”

I know you’ll find your own words. Remember you’re not alone. Lots of people living with chronic pain run into this exact situation. So, reach out to your network (including in the comments below) and see what ideas they’ve tried as well.

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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what every entrepreneur ought to know about self-care

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Entrepreneurial Ideas, Healthier Choices, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 4 comments

I love the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey, mostly because she says the craziest things! One thing she said in the first season has stuck with me ever since that show. She said, “Weekend … what’s a weekend?” As an entrepreneur, I could really relate to this idea although of course she didn’t mean it the way it struck me. Her life is one of leisure and there’s never a need for “down time.” But for us business people, the idea that we put business aside (and gasp … relax!) for two whole days is pretty foreign!

So what’s an entrepreneur to do … burnout isn’t pretty and we are all just a weekend or two away from that frustrating exhausted feeling. Am I right? THIS is exactly why self-care isn’t a luxury. Taking time for yourself is the best way to be sure that you can keep doing amazing things in the business you love!

So what is self-care exactly? The obvious answer would be, “It’s taking care of yourself.” As someone whose 10-year entrepreneurial career is all about taking care of others, I have often found my own self-care at the bottom of the “to-do” list. And then four years ago I was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition that forced me to figure out what kind of self-care I really needed. Since then I have found a long list of things I do on weekends and weekdays to be sure I actually take care of me.

Woman Exercising Self-careHere are my five favorite steps to self-care:

1. Good nutrition IS self-care. If you want to be at the top of your business game, you have to fuel your body to excel. This means finding easy, tasty choices that are high in essential nutrients but not highly processed. Things like vegetables, fruits, high-quality protein and whole grains. If you keep your choices in this range at least 80% of the time, you will have the fuel to make the best decisions, focus, and maximize your business hours.

2. Go outside. Leave the house, the office and the computer for at least 15 minutes each workday. Ken has his porch office, which is a great example of breaking out of the “home office” shell. There’s also Earthing, which is new research on the benefits of getting your bare feet on the earth every day. Just take your shoes off and sit with your feet on the grass for five minutes every day. Even though this is a challenge in the winter, do it whenever the weather permits!

3. Sleep. It’s that simple … get enough sleep! But I understand it may not be easy to sleep. Doesn’t your mind race with all the tasks at hand? If you struggle with sleep, consider limiting caffeine later in the day (you knew I was going to say that, right?). Drink your hydrating water earlier in the day so you aren’t awakened during the night. Dim the lights in your house starting at sunset, which creates a winding down ritual for both mind and body. Turn off the electrical devices including your TV at least 30 minutes before bedtime. And keep a notebook by your bed to write down any great ideas or solutions that are running around in your head during the night.

4. Reach out for help with self-care. Find professionals whose mission is to help you be a better you. Scheduling that time can be the best thing you do for yourself every month. Maybe for you this means making a massage appointment, a golf lesson, or personal training session. I also use acupuncture to help me manage the mental and emotional stresses of entrepreneurial life. If needles aren’t your thing, there’s always counseling or talk therapy too.

5. Be spontaneous and have fun! Sounds crazy to schedule time for fun, doesn’t it? When we live and breathe our businesses (whether corporate or entrepreneurial), balance isn’t always a natural inclination. Having entirely open days every month with zero plans is a great thing. Find friends and family you’d enjoy spending the day with, and resolve to plan nothing until that day. Just do something you’re in the mood for right then.

Now darn it, get off the computer and go relax. It’s a matter of survival!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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happy diagnosis anniversary to me?

Posted by on Oct 24, 2013 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Healthier Choices, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 8 comments

I had every intention of sharing today about what it was like to travel with my blender last week. To show you exactly how I was able to make myself fantastically nutritious smoothies each morning. And then I looked at the calendar … and realized that this is my anniversary week. No, not one of the anniversaries I share with Cris. This Sunday is the anniversary of my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. It’s been four years since the rheumatologist confirmed that indeed I did have this disease. What an amazing experience it has been!

Female Doctor and PatientThat first winter I was in so much pain and discomfort. We had several 12”+ snowfalls, and I really felt every barometric pressure change of the storms. I also had to learn all about pacing myself. I couldn’t just go out and shovel snow with Cris the same way I had the year before. I learned about the price we pay when we live with chronic pain—that even when something feels doable in the moment, you can have a LOT of unexpected pain afterwards because you actually did too much.

Because the pain, swelling and stiffness that started the diagnosis process had started months before, by then I had also experienced the business consequences of RA. But you’ve heard me talk about that before!

I learned what the stiffness was REALLY like when you have RA. I remember saying to people, “I am flexible to snuggle myself into some crazy positions under that winter blanket, but then I can’t get myself out!” We would watch a movie at home and I started taking a few “intermissions” just to stand up and move around. If I didn’t, moving around again at the end of the movie was excruciating.

The winter was also my time to adjust to the medications involved in RA. I had to wrap my mind around what the doctors told me—that I would “take them for the rest of my life.” This was a completely new experience, and NOT easy. Then I had to deal with the way they made my body feel—from just a little queasy to full blown gross. Thankfully my body “settled into” the meds and side effects were minimal within a several weeks. But the meds really didn’t provide enough relief. My pain levels when down some, but medication didn’t give me my energy back. And that was what I needed MOST!

With every year that passes since that diagnosis, I take this anniversary as a reminder of how far I’ve come! RA has brought me into the world of holistic health and holistic pain relief. As a bodyworker, I was skirting around the edge before and now I sit right in the middle of that world as a Holistic Pain Relief Coach. My goal today is to serve people living with chronic pain (especially entrepreneurs)—to offer them practical tools and a lot more HOPE! I want you to have less pain and more energy—the same things I started to gain back after that first difficult winter four years ago.

If you’ve been here at ConfidentWellness.com before, you already read a lot of the things that I do to relieve the chronic pain my body wants to deliver to me. Here’s a quick recap of some essentials:

  • Going gluten free made an unbelievable difference in my pain levels.
  • I work really hard to be sure I get truly restorative sleep every night.
  • Clean eating to make a big difference in how I feel!
  • My fabulous husband cooks easy but aMAZing, anti-inflammatory meals for us.
  • And I believe that mindset—the way we think about chronic pain in our lives—can make an unbelievable difference in what we experience every day.

Four years ago, I believed that managing a chronic pain condition was all about doctors and medications. Since then I have learned that a much larger percentage of the treatment plan is up to me. I am grateful to have gained this knowledge (and the pain relief it brings), and even more thrilled to be sharing these practical, every day tools with you! Thanks for celebrating my Diagnosiversary with me this week!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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