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

You and Obama are the Commander-In-Chief

Okay maybe you aren’t given the final word on going to war or making national policy, but you are the commander-in-chief of your own health and healing.  You get the final word about what treatments you take, what doctors you visit and your attitude.  There is no one who can superimpose their beliefs on you because you are the final word in your health.  Can you think of anything more powerful than recognizing, acknowledging, and then acting as the Commander-In-Chief of your health?  I think it’s incredibly empowering to sit in that seat, take the controls, and make the tough decisions.

The key principle is to do what the President does, surround yourself with the best people possible.  You can’t know everything about everything, but given the right information you can make informed decisions.  Recruiting the best people possible to help you sort out what’s extraneous and what’s important can mean the difference between success and failure.  It’s easy to act like a cat and chase every shiny thing that crosses your path; treatments that promise big results without substantiation are the shiny things.  Don’t go toward something just because it’s easy, go toward what will work.

You are being given a lot of responsibility and I hope you take that responsibility seriously.  If you hand off control to others how is your voice heard?  What will it take for you to step up and take the reins and act as Commander-In-Chief.  It’s about developing a sense of conviction.  You need a platform and I hope your platform is: increased health, increased peace of mind, and increased quality of life.  We know that we can’t cure every illness, but you can set the wheel in motion for emotional and spiritual health.  Do you take yourself seriously in leading your corner of the health and healing world?  Share your Commander-In-Chief experience…you have a constituency and that’s everyone facing a chronic or life-threatening illness who are still running for office!

Posted in Uncategorized

Size of Your World

I remember the first time I saw the pictures of the earth taken from outer space, what a magical vision.  For a planet that seemed so large the picture made it look so small; I guess that’s a lesson in perspective.  As we stand on this planet, in our bodies the illness experience knocks us off our pedestal of feeling big and cuts us down to size.  It’s not a punishment, or a lesson in reality, but an understanding of our place in the world.

The question “what’s the size of your world?” is important because it’s not uncommon following an illness diagnosis for our worlds to shrink and the unfortunately it’s repopulated with a medical community we had no interest in knowing.  Maybe our world has to increase it’s size like a taffy pull, just keep tugging at the edges and stretching it till it becomes smoothe and shiny. This would happen by friends, neighbors and co-workers engaging you.   Maybe we can increase the size of our worlds the way they do with angioplasty…insert a balloon into the artery and then slowly fill the balloon with air increasing it’s size allowing for increased blood flow.  Perhaps we can increase the size of our worlds by invitation, making specific requests of people.

It’s interesting that President Obama asked the country to engage in acts of service.  Can you think of any greater act of service than maintaining our relationships to their full capacity?  Service is not only something we do for those we don’t know.  Service is about extending a hand to anyone who could use a bit more support and encouragement.

How will you increase the size of your world?   Make a list of five things you can do and then select one that you can do today.  I’d love to hear what you’ve chosen and the actions you’ve taken to increase the size of your world.

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

A Piece of the Inaugural Address

Last night I was watching Oprah’s show, the day after President Obama’s inauguration.  The two guests I was most taken by were Jon Bon Jovi   and Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.  If you have never read any of Ms. Goodwin’s works I strongly urge you to read her accounts of some of our most famous Presidents.  As the panel was talking they were asked about their favorite moments and each referenced a quote in the inaugural speech.  I realized that even though I watched the speech I missed parts so this morning I printed the speech for review.

Reading the speech I landed on a phrase that caught my attention, “The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history…” .  Can you feel the power in that phrase?  The idea that you can choose a better history is an affirming concept.  It puts you, the person facing a chronic or life-threatening illness in the driver seat.  It promotes the idea that you must seize every moment, every decision and every experience because they are the legacy left behind when you leave this world.

In order to “choose our better history” means you must be present when walking in this world.  It requires that you be in your body, connect the mind, body and spirit on a conscious level and make the connection between cause and effect.  As the person in charge your decisions dictate your actions.  It also means that you are responsible for your actions so make them wisely.  It’s not about correcting mistakes you may feel you’ve made in the past; it’s about starting a new chapter.  It’s the freedom to change the course of your biography to a healthier, more life-affirming direction.

I couldn’t have stated the concept more eloquently so I’m thankful to and for our new President.  Print out the speech and see what resonates for you.  Take it beyond the state of the nation and apply it to the “state of you”.  What was particularly powerful for you?  What struck a nerve?  What will you do differently since being touched by those powerful words?