mindset & living with chronic pain

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 0 comments

Sharing a hug with my mentor during the Mindset event!

Sharing a hug with my mentor during the Mindset event!

Last week I attended Fabienne’s Mindset Retreat. It was an amazing event that I couldn’t help but connect to holistic pain relief. What I learned (all over again) is that mindset is the combination of three things: thoughts, beliefs and actions. So how does that play out with chronic pain? We think about the discomfort & pain all the time. We believe that the pain will never end. We often don’t take action because we feel hopeless and so miserable.

But what would happen if we could make a decision to change our mindset today? Could we

  • Think about pain relief solutions
  • Believe that small changes could add up to big gains
  • Take action to change our habits in ways that support pain relief

Remember, I’ve been on both sides of this coin. I had my first experiences of chronic back pain in my twenties, without realizing that it wasn’t how all my friends felt. After finding help from chiropractic treatment, I felt pretty good for a few years. And then the back pain came back with a vengeance in my early thirties. This time it was massage therapy that helped me manage and heal the pain. And with the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I had a much bigger mindset challenge because chronic illness felt so much scarier than back pain.

So how do we change the way we think about holistic pain relief? Well, being part of this community (on Facebook and at ConfidentWellness.com) is a good place to start. When we connect with like-minded individuals who are also focused on solutions instead of tied to the pain experience, we are supported and can feel more positive. I also believe that taking the time to laugh and enjoy life will make a BIG difference. For example, choose an uplifting comedy instead of a heavy drama when you go to the movies. Spend time with friends who are positive thinkers. Listen to happy music instead of news in the car. Make time for the goodness in life!

All of these things combine to help us shift our belief system. Beliefs are just thoughts we think over and over and over again. So take some time (maybe with a journal) to reflect on the thoughts you were taught as a kid about your body and your health. For example, did your parents or grandparents say things like, “Everybody’s body falls apart after 40” over and over again? Perhaps you have internalized this belief without even realizing it. Or do you say things like, “I hate how my body has stopped working,” or just simply, “I hate my body” many times every day? Reframing these beliefs can make all the difference for us!

And then beyond our thoughts and beliefs are the action steps that relate to our mindset. Sometimes we decide to take action and we choose the top 20 things we need to change. And then we try to change them all at once! From my personal experience, this is a recipe for frustration and maybe even disaster. If you are contemplating changes (maybe some of the ideas from our report, “17 Easy Ways to Start Minimizing Your Pain Today”), please consider changing just one thing at a time. Determine where to start, and then make a plan that helps you make that one change. Live with the changes for a while—days or even weeks, and then consider adding another change into your life. Step-by-step adjustments give you a pace that acknowledges the chronic pain in your life. Be easy with yourself as you move forward!

I would also encourage you to dream about the life you’d like to create for yourself. Start a vision board or make a “mind movie” that will give you visual and emotional cues. Take some time to imagine and visualize what you’d like life to be like. Maybe capture that in your journal as well. And then keep re-visiting that vision on a daily basis.

Please let me know if I can help you with these ideas as well. Mindset is everything!


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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reflections from
women in pain conference 2013

Posted by on Sep 18, 2013 in Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness, Women in Pain | 0 comments

She stands in the courtyard of the conference venue and seemed appropriate to me!

She stands in the courtyard of the conference venue and seemed appropriate to me!

I’ve been thinking about the Women in Pain conference all week. It was just one day, but I really enjoyed the information and ideas as well as the people I met. The theme was “Getting Real: Transforming Hidden Truths Into Positive Action,” with a special emphasis on forgiveness and coping.

Next week, I’ll share information from a terrific presentation by a renowned pain management specialist. It’s just too much to capture in one article!

This week I’m going to share some quotes and thoughts that I loved from the day. I hope they inspire you the way they inspired me!

“Wellness and better pain control are within reach. Making the pain experience more livable, richer and fuller.” ~ John, caregiver

“Self and integrative care are the best places to go. Grieve but don’t stay down. Self-reinvention is mandatory and can be exciting.” ~ Cynthia, woman in pain

“Being open and real about everything is the only way to better wellness. Forgiveness is where we set the stage for grace.” ~ Cynthia, woman in pain

“Bond fiercely as only sisters in pain can. Together we figure it out better.” ~ Cynthia, woman in pain

“How you cope with your pain is highly associated with overall functioning and how you live. Enter into this with compassion and forgiveness. Don’t judge yourself.” ~ Heather, health care provider

“Could I suffer less if wasn’t so attached to my previous self? Allow yourself to grieve the parts of your life that you won’t have back again.” ~ Lynne, woman in pain

“Always saying you’re fine when people ask “are you okay?” can halt your ability to cope with the pain. Sometimes it’s easier to tell people something that they understand than what’s really going on with her pain. Being more honest with everyone has helped though.” ~ Britt, woman in pain

“The ultimate act of forgiveness is about believing in yourself so much that you won’t waste any of your life energy on anyone but you. We need every part of our energy and our life force to be right here with us now.” ~ Kristina, woman in pain

“True self-love and healing comes from letting go of the story and taking care of you instead.” ~ Kristina, woman in pain

“We all deserve a better quality of life. There is hope on the other side. Being me is good enough. I’m more than my pain. Cain, walker, wheelchair – I’m still me.” ~ Simenona, woman in pain

“Hoping is reaching out to others – people who know you and love you for all you are.” ~ Radene, woman in pain

“It’s about adjusting your dreams – not giving up on them. You can do – but your path isn’t everyone else’s. My illness is like a marriage because in a marriage there’s compromise.” ~ Radene, woman in pain

Don’t forget to come back next week when I’ll share information from a terrific presentation by a renowned pain management specialist.


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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the most important detox you can do

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Healthier Choices, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 2 comments

Smiley GR EmoticonPeople often ask me about whether a detox program or a cleanse is right for them. They especially wonder if it’s a good idea to help initiate some holistic pain relief. My answer is always, “It depends on you.” Sometimes a 7-14 day detox is just the thing to reset our taste buds and remind us of all the yummy things we gain by adding more vegetables and fruits into our lives. But I also often find that clients living with chronic pain discover that the detox is more stressful than it’s worth. All the restrictions and extra planning can be taxing if you are living in an exhausted, pain-filled state. On the other hand, if you’re doing pretty well … a short detox can really create a wonderful boost. It depends on you, and I’d encourage you to really be still and let you intuition tell you what’s best.

What I like to do instead is teach people how to maximize their body’s detoxification functions every day. It’s possible to make small changes over a little while really amp up the things your own body can do for you! It takes a little more patience, but it also can be a lot less stressful.

But today I wanted to talk about something other than food-related detox. What about detoxing our thoughts from the negativity of the world? I believe that how we refer to our bodies, our pain and any diseases we live with can make ALL the difference. Negativity detox is so critical to your holistic pain relief plan. This is all up to you, and not something you can pay someone to do to you or for you! This is personal philosophy, so if it doesn’t resonate with you that’s okay too.

Here’s what I mean: When I was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I was immediately concerned about the type of language that is used to describe autoimmune disease. This is a situation where part of your immune system is overactive towards your body. Notice I said overactive—but typical medical language is that your immune system ATTACKS your body. I decided very early on to NEVER use that phrasing when I was talking about myself. It just doesn’t seem to be productive to me since my main goal is find healing and pain relief, not WAR and FIGHTING.

It’s not that I’m dishonest about my pain or about RA when someone asks, but I always look to the most positive possible way to frame the situation. People asked, “how could you do massage with RA?” My answer, “I’ve never NOT done massage with RA, so it seems normal to me!”

If I feel limited in any given day, I choose to focus on and remember what I CAN do instead of what I can’t. Every moment I am up and moving around is a privilege, because I know people whose pain immobilizes them and makes them 100% dependent on others. So what do I GET to do today? Instead of what CAN’T I do!

Want some help with these ideas? I have two friends who are creating great programs RIGHT NOW about letting go of negativity in our lives. Of course, I can help too … but I wanted to share these great additional options because they are helping ME!

Star Staubach’s 21-Day Challenge to RECEIVE is still open … it started September 1 but I’m guessing all the content will be available even after the 21 days are over!

Jennifer Boykin’s 30-Day Negativity Cleanse is open too! You take a pledge to refrain from negativity, and Jennifer sends you a daily uplifting email for 30 days. What would happen to our world if we ALL did this?

Let me know what you sign up for okay? I’m excited for all of us to receive all this GOODNESS!


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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if your vision is crazy, you should read this

Posted by on Aug 22, 2013 in Entrepreneurial Ideas, Guest Blogs | 0 comments

This week’s post is a guest blog from my friend Lily Starling, founder of FillYourHolisticPractice.com. This blog is so inspiring to me, as a 10+ year entrepreneur. I have so much to learn about being a business owner, and even more to learn about life—that never stops, does it? My favorite line from the whole article? “No one is going to give you permission to have the kind of life you want, because your life doesn’t make sense to them.” Your life is yours alone—be brilliant at it, no matter what anyone else says!

Lily StarlingDoes the scope of your dreams scare you? Are you worried that if you give in to your deep inner calling you will fail?

I can relate. I worried for years about my chances of succeeding at the half formed, ravenous, and impractical desire to heal as a modern day medicine woman.

But I realized success is only two things: personal freedom and living a life of massive service. Freedom: to live life on my own terms and at peace in my own mind, untethered to my demons and my past, in awe of my future; to savor the tiny sliver of the richness of this world I will experience in this lifetime. Service: to help others do the same. In this way my two great passions go together, as I think they must.

When I was 24 and my friends were graduating law school and working in high level corporations or enrolling in PhD programs, I was ashamed of my decision to drop out of college and live a life of adventure, studying a healing tradition in the wilds of Central America. I knew that chopping roots and pushing my way through fragrant thickets of medicinal jungle plants would never parlay into a high-paying job.

I was a lost, anxious adult child in self imposed exile saying over and over, “No. Back off. You don’t know what’s best for me. I don’t want to be a doctor. I don’t want to go back to school.” I wasted a lot of energy and tears and vain pleas for approval on people who would never understand, because they were born in a different reality and with different values.

I kept to my strange path and blew around the globe led by my vanities and emotions, my pathological unemployability. I worked for excellent companies and I left, over and over. I continued not to fit. I scratched away at myself and the harder I tried to smooth my edges the rougher they became.

And then one day when I was 28 I stopped trying to get along with others and I started my own company. I made it up from scratch, from the impractical substance of my idealism. It worked. No business plan, no formal training, no degree. I created success out of the form of my vast experiences. There are a lot of measures of success in my business but they don’t matter. What matters is that I did this with very little support and no permission from anyone I cared about, and I did it in service to my greater purpose and myself.

No one is going to give you permission to have the kind of life you want, because your life doesn’t make sense to them. The things you think need to be in place in order for you to move toward your freedom are false. I know that a lot of would-be entrepreneurs are struggling, waiting for the house, the job, and the kid situation to be “taken care of,” whatever that looks like, before they take the leap. You will wait forever if you wait for the circumstances to line up. People ask me how I got my ducks in a row to move to Belize, to go to the Virgin Islands, to start my own company, to travel the world, and I tell them it was always a leap of faith.

I never knew enough and I never had a job lined up before I got on the plane. I ended relationships more than once in order to pursue my greater dream.

I woke in the night in utter terror as hurricane rain pounded on the crumbling zinc roof of my shack on the Caribbean Sea, and asked myself what the hell I was thinking to do this alone. I almost drowned in a river in the jungle, breaking the surface only after I stopped fighting for it. I mentally composed a goodbye letter to my family as I was summoned into a Burmese immigration office at the age of 19, 20 days overstayed on my visa. I was hit by a car on the streets of Istanbul. I dragged myself to the bottom of despair and self-loathing and I would not listen to sense.

I do not possess the personality traits necessary for adventure, for self-starting. I am not the American prototype of success. I did not win most likely to succeed, ever. I do not have a high tolerance for pain. I do not have a well of burning type A energy inside me.

I am scattered, easily distracted, and often self-absorbed. I am impatient and too proud. I have broken my own heart more times than I can count. I am attached to outcomes. I am rigid when flexibility is required, and have retreated when my boundaries were pushed. I am afraid of rejection. I am introverted and often oblivious to the opportunities flinging themselves in my path. I have ended things sloppily and exited gracelessly.

I spread my shortcomings before you like silver bangles on a market stall blanket. Can see they are just ordinary human flaws? I hold them up to the light, turning them this way and that to show you how the light collects in the imperfections. I wear them on my wrists, shaking them in warning against polite silence. I batter them against table tops in time with the thumping rhythms in the street outside the room where you are hiding.

I learned from acting in spite of my fear and deficiencies that life is a short, brief gift and so I can’t wait another day to try for what I want. I have a willingness to leap into the void, to do what others will not, because when I am dying I do not want to regret a thing. I tell you about my deficiencies because they are inconsequential in the light of my greater purpose, the growing flame inside me that burns to be of service and to take my place in this great generation of healers. I want you to know that you are perfectly ready.

I have lived this incredible life and done these incredible things in the midst of these overwhelming reasons not to. If I can do this despite what I am and be successful, you can too.

The secret to success is only this: it never lines up. Not all of it. Not all of you. You must not wait another day to commit body and soul to changing the world. At some point, you must recognize that where one unbreakable tie exists another will always be waiting to take its place, and you will move from one to the next like worry beads on a string of “not yets” unless you decide one day to put the whole thing down and walk away from it, unfinished, imperfect, with a lot of shoulds, because your great purpose is waiting for you and your time is very, very short.

Yes, you must always commit to the inner work, but never wait on your character to improve before you step boldly into your purpose, however crazy, coarse, callous, and bizarre. Dreams and madness grow from the same soil, and you must defend the madness of your dreams until they have taken root in the world, shaking with joy in the sun.

Start your business, your art, your vision now, not tomorrow, not when the kids graduate, not when the savings account looks right. Buy the plane ticket. Summon your team. Learn all the hacks to work around your deficiencies; don’t waste a moment regretting or trying to change yourself. Not now.

You have been measuring yourself against your shortcomings when you were meant all along to inspire those around you with your beautiful imperfection. Be messy and make others uncomfortable. Get used to it. It’s glorious to be written off as a lost cause, because then you can focus on your own.

It will be easy when you are inspired; every molecule in your sphere will align to manifest your vision. The secret is that you must double down in those moments when you are discouraged and doubtful and out of sync. You must be pig-headed and stubborn about your greatness and drag yourself forward through the mire. You must. It’s a terrible mistake to retreat into mediocrity just because you want the reassurance and coddling of those who are happy with ordinary things. You must be irascible and unafraid to excise well-meaning people from your life, even if you are kind. Especially if you are kind.

You have your own definition of success, the one you were born with, not the one you adopted out of fear. You will know its truth once you are honest about how flawed and brilliant you are. It is waiting for you, but not patiently. There is no more time for patience. The fatuous, decadent, and self-indulgent truth of your great purpose is dancing below the surface, scratching with disdain at your sensible, responsible life. It is getting louder in you because it is getting louder in all of those who have the calling.

Answer it.


Lily Starling has been writing about marketing a holistic practice since 2011 and teaching her students and clients the system she created to fill her massage therapy practice with more than 800 clients in 2 years. An avid student of humanist psychology and current social trends, Lily believes that the work of shifting the planet toward a just and brighter future must be spearheaded by healers from all walks of life.

You can request a free copy of her Success Guide for Healers at http://www.fillyourholisticpractice.com. Connect with her on Twitter @LilyStarlingCMT and Facebook www.facebook.com/fillyourholisticpractice.

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how to start delegating – when you should have started yesterday

Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 in Entrepreneurial Ideas, Healthier Choices, Wellness | 0 comments

multitask1This week’s blog is a guest post from my friend Jeannie Spiro. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, delegating is an essential skill—particularly when you also live with chronic pain. I loved Jeannie’s ideas, and thought you might too!

Some years back when I started in my first management position I was overcome with joy when I found out that the job automatically came with a built in assistant.

Can you imagine how thrilling it was to no longer have to do absolutely every menial task in my job? Having an assistant meant that I could work on big projects, manage my staff, focus on revenue generation and commission incentive programs.

It meant that I could get the most important and necessary tasks done in my job and delegate the rest.

As a Director I was in no means a micro-manager. I quickly realized that to be one wouldn’t be the best use of my time.

That’s why when my very first mentor recommended that I hire a Virtual Assistant, even before I was barely generating any business income, I didn’t hesitate.

Most solopreneurs make the assumption that they need to manage everything in their business and often times they wait to hire an assistant.

When I first advise my clients to hire an assistant I hear excuses like,

I can do everything myself”,

I’m not making enough yet”,

“It’s going to take too much time to train someone else to do things I can easily do”

I bet if you haven’t hired someone to help you yet then you’re thinking some of the same things.

It’s time to stop doing everything and start doing what you need to do in order to have more conversations to grow your business. To work on the most important revenue generation tasks and to focus your time and energy on the tasks that you MUST do in order to create momentum in your business.

Where should you start when you should have been delegating already?

  1. Create Systems– even before you start to delegate tasks you want to look at the process or systems you’ve created or can create. Look at your business as a whole and identify where you can create systems. Client intakes, social media marketing, payment processing, client paperwork, your newsletter and so on.  All tasks will likely have a system. Identify what you do, document it and get ready to delegate.
  2. Identify What Only YOU Can Do – we tend to think that because it’s our business that we need to do everything. It’s simply not the case. I’m always encouraging my Virtual Assistant clients to get assistants. Why? Because having help will make you streamline your work and focus on the most important tasks that only you can do. Take time to identify exactly where you MUST be in your business and where you can fill in getting help from an assistant.
  3. Start with Projects – another easy way to start off with delegating your tasks is to consider your business as having many projects. For my first Telesummit I knew I couldn’t manage the task myself so after I decided to host the event the very next task on my list was to find someone who can manage everything that I didn’t know how to do. You can do this for your next launch, a workshop, a training program, a course or any project that might have a specific start and stop time.
  4. Recommendations – being in the business of Business and Marketing Coaching it’s my job to know who are expert Virtual Assistants, Consultants, Graphic Designers and Web Developers. I have a Recommended Resource list that’s extensive and valuable. Because I’ve done the work to find out who is reputable I can tell my clients who to work with and give out multiple recommendations. I recommend that you always do your homework, check references, review their work and consider hiring on a project basis to see if you want to work with an individual long term.

Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for a while, you need to consider that you will create more revenue faster when you delegate all those tasks that are repeatable and can be done by someone who is efficient at getting them done.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should!

Jeannie Spiro headshot March 2013Jeannie Spiro is an Online Business Strategist specializing in helping women coaches and solopreneurs get more clients, grow their tribe and monetize their business online. Through her “Monetize Your Signature System” and  “Rapid Fire List Building”  systems, Jeannie helps women strategically build their business to six figures and beyond. Ready to ramp up your business online? Get started with “Ezine Secrets: 7 Compelling You can learn more about Jeannie at http://JeannieSpiro.com and Grab Jeannie’s FREE Report, “Ezine Secrets: 7 Simple & Effective Steps to Create a Compelling Newsletter to Grow Your Business! at:http://jeanniespiro.com/sp/ezine-secrets/

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