Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

No Day But Today…

What if every day were encapsulated and once it’s over it’s gone forever?  How can we best utilize the resources we have on any given day?  How much extra energy are you spending on what you can’t change?

These are all big questions.  I saw a quote today that inspired me, “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”  You may not be carrying around the energy from the past few days, but are playing scenarios in your head wondering the “what if” question?  How much time are you wasting on the Monday morning quarterback strategy as you face life with a chronic or life-threatening illness?  It’s an important question because every drop of energy you use on what already happened detracts from the energy you need to deal with what is happening in the here and now.

I’m sure for some people ruminating over past events have a certain level of comfort.  Let’s face it; we’ve already lived it, so we know it.  However, wouldn’t you rather start fresh and approach the day as a new beginning?  Living the day for what it has to offer allows you to stay in action.  It promotes a healthier life view and that translates into immune boosting activities within your body.

The other element involved in allowing yesterday to eat up today is the simple matter of time.  We’re only given twenty-four hours in a day.  As the song from the musical Rent reminds us, that translated into five hundred twenty-five thousand-six hundred minutes.  So how do you measure a year?

Robbing yourself of time today limits your life experience.  It prevents you from capturing the experiences, and information you need on your journey to wellness.  I realize that we can’t start and finish everything every day, but most of us carry around too much from previous days clogging up the new experience pipeline.

What will you do today to limit yesterday’s intrusion into your life today?  It’s all about containment.  Let the past be the past unless you’re using it for lessons learned, but don’t try and relive the past…that’s only in fantasy and science fiction movies.

Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Life Motivation, living with chronic illness

If Zig Ziglar Said It: It Must Be True

Motivational speakers provide us with encouragement, challenge us, and give us tools to make life a little better.  Zig Ziglar has been in on the world stage for years.  After learning about his death I found a quote that made me sit up and pay attention.  Ziglar said, “Failure is not a dead end; it’s just a detour.”

It’s one thing when applying this philosophy to business and relationships, but does it apply to health and healing?  Could we take this thought and see how it reflects the consciousness of illness?

I believe that Ziglar’s quote is a universal.  How does it apply to being diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness?  Anyone diagnosed with a health challenge knows that treatment isn’t always smooth sailing.  There may be times when something doesn’t work, or the body reverts to earlier stages of agitation creating a flare.  These are the times when we have to create a world of possibility and hope so we can move forward.

The world of possibility and hope may require a change in medication.  It could lead you to looking at complementary therapies.  You may be inspired to go deep within and cultivate the emotional and spiritual realms of your life.  Whatever choice you make just means that the destination may take a little longer.

I’m well aware that not everyone is cured.  However, creating a world that is engaging, envelopes you with love, and has meaning is at the center of a good life.  If every challenge were a dead end, following a diagnosis we’d simply wait for death.  Working with individuals with life-threatening illnesses for over twenty years I know that’s not the norm.  We’re used to detours in life.  It requires us to establish where we are, and create a new route.  It’s like when your GPS resets after you take a wrong turn.  You get to your destination; it just takes a little longer.

You need to understand that this detour doesn’t come without frustration.  It may leave you questioning life every day.  Your faith may be tested.  It’s your route to plan and execute

What does your detour look like?  How will you reset your internal GPS?  Send me your thoughts…either comment below or email me at


Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Always Moving Forward: To Infinity and Beyond

We all have projects to complete in our lives: raising our families, fixing the house, finishing school, or overcoming the impact of a chronic or life-threatening illness.  It doesn’t matter the project there are steps that are important to keep moving forward in your process.

Moving forward is probably one of the key pieces of the puzzle.  It reminds me of an episode of friends where Phoebe (played my Lisa Kudrow) is dating a police officer.  He talks about moving their relationship forward and she’s hesitant.  He says, “If you’re not moving forward, your moving backward.”  She responds with, “No, not necessarily, if you’re not moving forward you’re standing still” and she strikes a mannequin pose.  Moving forward doesn’t mean you’ve reached your personal summit.  It does mean that your intention is to progress physically, emotionally, or spiritually (or all 3).

Don’t be alarmed, we all get stuck, but it’s how you become unstuck that matters.  I mentioned yesterday that I submitted my dissertation for review.  Yesterday afternoon I had a meeting with my adviser and thanked her for her patience.  She said, “I knew you would do it.  You were passionate about the subject, and all you needed was for the timing to be right.”  Those were important things for me to hear because it was what I needed to hear.

Having someone who has faith in your ability to move forward on your project is vital to achieving any of your goals.  Knowing you’re not alone in your journey is worth its weight in gold.  Who do you believe or know is on your team?

It was also important for me to hear that it would happen when the time is right.  I know you’re wondering how does that apply to an illness, when you’re ready for progress the moment you get diagnosed.  It’s not about progress in whether you’re getting better or well, but progress in your commitment to your own wellness.  It’s a commitment to integrating the diagnosis in a way that it doesn’t submerge you in despair.  It’s about believing every day is an opportunity to try again.

We are our most important project.  How will you make yourself and moving forward a priority, not just a pipe dream?  I’d love to hear about your journey, email me at

Posted in Uncategorized

If Dolly Parton Sang It…It Must Be True

I’m watching Good Morning America and Dolly Parton is the guest.  She’s closing the show with a song, how appropriate.  The song captures the thought I’ve been thinking a lot about over the past few weeks.  The song is titled “Celebrate the Dreamer in You”.  What is it about a dream that keeps us going when facing a life disruption?

I just finished the first draft of my doctoral dissertation.  It was a study where I interviewed artists facing chronic and life-threatening illness and they all shared one important characteristic.  They all had a dream for their life and their art.  There was a unanimous devotion to creating work that would continuously inspire and bring beauty to the world while telling their stories.

What interrupts our dreaming process?  I’m not talking about the dreams we experience during sleep, but the dreams that create a path to the future?  Facing a chronic or life-threatening illness may certainly edit that dream, but isn’t it important to keep dreaming?  What is it that moves you forward on your journey to health and healing?

I believe what Dolly Parton was singing about was the importance of holding on to those idea and ideals that bring joy to your life.  She gave a commencement speech to a university and was hesitant thinking she wasn’t smart enough, but she’s intelligent, successful, and wise beyond her years.  The dream is what educates her because when we dream we look for ways to live those dreams. 

What do you need to learn about overcoming a health challenge?  Do your dreams include learning about your own body, mind, and spirit connection?  How will you incorporate those nuggets of wisdom into your life?

I hope you find ways to celebrate the dreamer in you!