Archive for the ‘Change and Transformation’ Category


Baby Boomers are getting older, living longer but with growing rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Not exactly the picture of enjoying a healthy, vibrant future for those in their silver or golden years. In fact, those turning 65 today “are more likely to live longer than their parents and grandparents, and much more likely to live sicker for a longer period of time,” commented Dr. Rhonda Randall, a senior adviser to the not-for-profit United Health Foundation which commissioned America’s  Health Rankings® Senior Edition: A Call to Action for Individuals & Their  Communities

This research confirmed that a serious health care crisis is brewing and vital for implementing strategies especially now since America’s senior population will grow by more than 50 percent in the next 15 years.

America’s Health Rankings has tracked the health of the nation for the past 23 years, offering insights into American health as well as state-by-state. The 2012 report suggests Americans are struggling to change unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and obesity, at the root of many health problems but challenging to get needed results. Read the rest of this entry »

Updated from article written years ago and inspired from this season’s lessons in patience!

June 14: This is a photo of my “patience plant,” taken today, the same bush which was barren for many seasons, and tested my patience to endure the barren seasons.  Coincidentally, it’s perfect timing, today is the anniversary of my father’s passing, and beautifully demonstrates that faith, patience and careful tending of our desires, does manifest, although we may experience seasons of doubt.

stress reduction, patienceWatching things grow is good for our souls—reminding us of how nature unfolds in just the right way and time. We can’t rush the process, no matter what we do. Some things grow at the speed of time-lapse photography. Other times, it’s more like a waiting and wondering game as in, “Will those seeds ever sprout and grow? “Will that barren bush ever bloom?” I question my green thumb when things don’t grow according to plan, my plan and my timetable. Observing nature teaches me about things I need to take to heart, in all areas of my life, especially when I need to remember them most.

Years ago, I planted a hydrangea bush in memory of my father. It was in glorious full bloom that first spring. The following year I eagerly awaited the display of showy blossoms both for their beauty and for the symbol they represented.  Lush leaves emerged but not one bud. I tended that bush carefully, weeding, watering and fertilizing it. Next season, I waited again for the buds to appear. I was certain they would for I had invested time, energy and effort. Surely I would get the reward. Once again, that barren bush bushwacked my desires.

I asked the garden center what else I could do. “Have patience,” they said.” Sounds like you’re doing everything right.” If I was doing everything right, why wasn’t that darn bush blooming? And so it went. Season after season, year after year. Every spring hydrangeas were in full profusion everywhere, laden with so many flowers they drooped to the ground. Just not in my yard. I dubbed my flowerless hydrangea, my “patience plant.” It had gorgeous, glossy leaves but never a bud for a blossom to grow.

What was I doing wrong? Sure looked healthy and should bear beautiful blossoms. I didn’t give up for I believed that bush would have to eventually blossom. In fact, I was sure of it because I was giving it attention and begging it to bloom. I even talked to it and asked for a little divine intervention. After all, my dad was never long on patience, maybe this was a test!

Finally, all that time, energy and patience paid off—a miracle appeared this spring. Adorning the very top of my “patience plant,” was one regal purple blossom, the long-awaited, crown jewel of patience! To me, it symbolized the power of perseverance and doing what it takes to create manifestation of desire, even without success in sight.

In the garden of life, sometimes success does sprout right away. You make a sale. Get the date. Land the contract. Get the job. Other times when you’re not reaping any harvest from all your time and effort, you may wait and wonder. You may question your ability. You may doubt that what you desire will ever materialize. You might be tempted to give up. Read the rest of this entry »

weight loss, health & wellnessIt’s truly heartening to see the Mega Mouse empire of The Walt Disney Co. take a stand in support of healthier food choices for kids and do something about it. Not just lip service but a plan in place for throwing out junk food advertising and the millions of lost revenue that goes with that committment, to help kids make healthier choices.

It definitely takes more than a village to impact global health with all of its complexities and the growing incidence of childhood obesity.  With Michelle Obama in attendance who’s championing fighting chidhood obesity, Disney Chairman and CEO, Roger Iger, announced earlier this week that Disney would ban all junk-food advertising, including from their Disney cable network and Saturday morning shows on ABC, with plans to take effect in 2015, the delay due to contractual arrangements with advertisers.

“We’ve taken steps across our company to support better choices for families and now, we’re taking the next important step forward by setting new food advertising standards for kids,” commented Iger. The new plan will follow nutritional guidelines similar to federal standards promoting fruit and vegetable consumption, limiting calories and reducing saturated fat, sodium and sugar.

We’re all ears, Disney, in hearing more about your committment for impacting healthier destinies. Hopefully, your leadership will inspire other companies to follow your lead with messaging that supports wellness for kids so they grow up making choices for delighting in a world of wellness and well-being. That is indeed the Magic Kingdom, when your world is filled with possibilities and you’ve got your health to make your dreams come true.

 

 

As events were unfolding 10 years ago, I was at my computer, stunned, just miles from the Pentagon.  I wrote the following in my attempt to process the events of which had never been experienced, and sharing now as my way of reflecting back.

It’s Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I look out the window and see a gorgeous day. I turn on the TV and our world is in chaos. Fifteen miles down the road, thousands have lost their lives, families have lost fathers, sons, daughters and mothers, husbands and wives. Many children now in school will learn too soon they have lost a mommy or daddy. We too, may have lost friends in this unexplained tragedy and wait for any news.

How can we sort out the chaos and what comes from such terror and tragedy? This is a life-as-you-know-it-shattering event. What we believed to be safe no longer is. This event will shape millions of lives in immeasurable ways. We won’t ever think the same, perspectives on life are jolted into a new reality along with our priorities. Things that seemed so important and pressing just a few hours ago, really don’t matter now.

America is reeling from the unfathomable. The tallest buildings in the world just collapsed into rubble. Multiple jetliners hijacked off airport runways and became vehicles of destruction and devastation. Our nation’s defense center is in flames.

We haven’t heard the stories yet of the lives lost or those that almost perished but were miraculously spared. Those stories will come in time and break open our hearts.Thousands walked out of their homes this morning, believing it to be just another day. Some stopped for their morning mocha. Some kissed their lovers goodbye. Some didn’t. Some dropped their kids at daycare. Some fought traffic snarls and rushed to their desks to tackle their priorities. An hour or so later, all work stood still as the world watched and wondered why.

What will we do about this? How will we change? What is this all about? Why was this necessary for the world to witness? Some of the answers will come. Some will likely forever be questions. Read the rest of this entry »

weight loss, health & wellnessHave you ever been so determined to achieve a life-changing goal that you set your intention and boldly declared you were going for it? As a wellness coach, I work with many who do just that. Some are tired of feeling constantly fatigued, exhausted, overweight, and other conditions that are robbing them of vibrant living. They’re  seeking solutions to look and feel better, to have more energy, shed pounds and inches, often lots of them, and to make healthier choices.  It requires setting intentions to succeed and the challenge of changing habits that support their health.  It’s rewarding to see people who set those intentions and take them to heart, reach their goals and triumph in their victories.

There are many factors working against wellness today and why two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and one-third considered obese. Our world has changed and our bodies barraged by toxins, stress and nutritional deficiencies, which contribute to weight gain, energy drain and many degenerative conditions. Toxins and impurities are surrounded by fat cells which accumulate around the organs, midriff and throughout the body in the form of toxic fat. Whole body nutritional cleansing has proven to be an effective solution for so many seeking weight loss and enhancing their overall health. Read the rest of this entry »

“Will life ever be the same for you?” the reporter asked a Joplin resident on this morning’s newscast following the flattening of a city from a Midwestern monster tornado. What a preposterous question! How could life ever be the same when an entire community is physically decimated with few remnants, if any, of familiarity?  Residents will begin again, rebuilding a new life that could never fully resemble the old. Experiencing such utter destruction shakes up everything, usually  including our priorities, and that changes how a new life is reassembled.

As a metaphor, a storm that twists and tears your life apart as you once knew it, can never be reassembled in the same way.  There’s a natural desire to hang on to the pieces. Just as they’re doing now in Joplin, people sifting through the rubble, to find remnants from the past, of something tangible, representing life before the storm.

When life twists us in new directions–whether through natural disasters or changes in health, relationships, finances, employment and other events, we’re given an opportunity to examine how to re-engineer from the perspective of “what is.”  This means bracing for the arduous task of starting over along with an attitude of acceptance that our life for awhile and perhaps a very long time, will be chaotic, far from the comfort zone of the past.  There’s much to overcome including our own resistance–that’s required for firing up a spirit of resilience to meet all the challenges, but ultimately, that is what’s needed.

Tess Gallagher reminds us, “The past is not only that which happened but also that which could have happened but did not.” So we have to embrace the new reality and not rail against what we have to do to put life back together, if it hadn’t happened. It did. Looking back and wishing your present wasn’t what it is, does nothing to support needed next steps. Moving forward is where you need to focus your energy along with remembering to have patience through the process, often reminding yourself regularly to be patient especially when it’s hard, because it is. Building a new life takes time, an endurance run for the heart.

Taking time to reflect how you want to experience your present as well as how you want your future to look like, is a valuable stress-reducer. That way you’re consciously creating your attitude which is within your control–of setting your intentions, a powerful and productive use of your energy. It’s scary being in uncharted territory, not knowing what’s next, and lots of “what if’s” that rise up  adding to your angst.  Yet,  when you take command by committing to how you will maneuver through all the changes, things fall into place rather than apart.

When my life was in full-blown chaos from the unexpected journey taken in 2004, I remember wailing, “I don’t like my life much right now!” My world had shaken apart, and found myself spinning in so many directions–stressed, confused, with fear thoughts swirling through my head. Read the rest of this entry »

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