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Many things are beyond our
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Allison Carmen, Self-help author
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EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lorie Gardner, RN, NBC-HWC
Gayle Gruenberg, CPO-CD, CVO
Rick Hanson, PhD
Mark Hyman, MD
Linda Mitchell, CPC
FROM THE EDITOR
We are experiencing things in life today
that most have never encountered before.
People are navigating a pandemic, financial
uncertainty, employment insecurity, and a
host of family-related issues.
When people do not receive the outcome
they desire, they experience a range of
emotions. Some get angry, protest, and blame
themselves or others. Some get despondent,
feel hopeless, and sink into a depression.
Many get entangled with woulda, coulda,
shoulda type thoughts, that continue to fuel
their emotions. Whatever a person’s modus
operani, learning to accept what is and
surrender the notion of what was wanted, is
vital in order to achieve peace of mind and
The Serenity prayer offers sage advice that
can guide us through life:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change, courage to change
the things I can, and wisdom to know the
While it is always important to do our
part in enacting change, equally important
is garnering the wisdom to know when
acceptance is the only remaining action.
Acting out, melting down, disparaging
others, doesn’t alter an outcome, it adds
unnecessary pain and suffering.
Things happen throughout the course of
our lives that we simply cannot control, no
matter how hard we try. All of the stress,
pain, and resentment can be a heavy
burden to bear.
Here are a few ways we can mitigate an
unwanted outcome and emerge stronger
Untangle from negative thoughts. Ask
how acting on emotion will help us live
life in the long run. Will an angry outburst
solve the problem or will it create a greater
divide? Become aware of thoughts and
strive to change the internal narrative.
Feel emotions. Don’t fight what is felt
because those emotions will linger longer.
Grieve the loss and then find ways to let it
go. Take part in activities that are calming
– practice meditation or yoga, or take a
walk. Breathe into the part of the body
where tension is felt and release it.
Embrace the moment. Be teachable and
ask what can be learned from the situation.
Can the opportunity enhance a personal
trait? Can patience, kindness, empathy or
endurance be strengthened?
As the Rolling Stones said, we can’t
always get what we want. Learning
to accept the unacceptable can be the
pathway to peace.
— Joan Herrmann
EAT HEALTHY ON A BUDGET
WITH THESE STRATEGIES
BY MARK HYMAN, MD
ARE YOU TOO HARD ON YOURSELF?
BY RICK HANSON, PHD
HOW WILL YOU REMEMBER 2020?
TIPS TO REWRITE THE NARRATIVE
BY JOAN HERRMANN
ON THIS MONTH’S
MANY PEOPLE TODAY ARE LIVING LIVES THAT FALL
SHORT OF WHAT THEY TRULY DESIRE. ACCORDING
TO KIMBERLY FRIEDMUTTER, WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO
DESIGN THE LIFE OF OUR DREAMS, AND THE POWER
LIES WITHIN US. KIMBERLY WORKS WITH HOLLYWOOD
A-LISTERS, POLITICIANS, CEOS, AND TITANS OF
INDUSTRY TO HELP THEM CONNECT TO THEIR
SUBCONSCIOUS TO GET WHAT THEY TRULY WANT
OUT OF LIFE. SHE BELIEVES THAT EVERYONE HAS THE
BIRTHRIGHT TO EXPECT THE EXCEPTIONAL.
KIMBERLY IS A BOARD-CERTIFIED MASTER HYPNOTIST
AND NLP TRAINER, WHO HAS APPEARED ON
ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, THE DOCTORS, TLC, AND
CNN, AMONG MANY NATIONAL MEDIA OUTLETS.
SHE IS THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK, SUBCONSCIOUS
POWER: USE YOUR INNER MIND TO CREATE THE LIFE
YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED.
LISTEN TO KIMBERLY ON CYACYL:
WAKE UP AND BE FREE TO
LOVE WITHOUT LIMITATIONS
BY GUY FINLEY
OUR ISSUES LAND IN OUR TISSUES
BY LINDA MITCHELL
VIRTUAL ORGANIZING: NOT JUST FOR A PANDEMIC
BY GAYLE GRUENBERG
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HAVING SURGERY
BY LORIE GARDNER
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Knowing full well we are short on time and often money,
fast food manufacturers and grocers lure us into convenient,
heavily processed meals that take a toll on our waistline,
our overall health, and believe it or not, our budget.
Written by Mark Hyman, MD
With our busy lives, these
temptations seem so much easier and affordable than cooking.
Between our never-ending to-do lists, demanding jobs,
children’s busy schedules, and perhaps less-than-stellar skills
in the kitchen, cooking seems to slide down to the bottom of
our list of priorities.
Unfortunately, we’ve now raised several generations of
Americans who don’t know how to cook. And it’s killing us.
The food industry wants us to believe that cooking is
difficult, time-consuming, inconvenient, and expensive.
They’ve brainwashed us to believe that we “deserve a break
Nonsense. You can eat well for less money by making
simple, whole, fresh food. In fact, a simple dinner for a family
of four consisting of roast chicken, vegetables, and salad can
cost about half of what dinner at a fast food restaurant would.
While today over 50 percent of meals are consumed outside
the home, I want to help you reconnect with your kitchen,
discover the bounty of benefits it offers, and learn just how
inexpensive eating healthy and preparing your own food can
The Expensive Cost of Cheap Food
When people tell me they cannot afford organic produce or
healthy cuts of meat, I ask them to consider the gargantuan
markup of many convenience foods. Manufacturers package
them in “value-priced jumbo sized” containers and grocery
stores promote them with price cuts to create the illusion we
are getting value.
When people tell me eating healthy is expensive, I ask them
to factor in what they spend on designer coffees, bodegas,
grab-and-go meals, and other conveniences that might spare
them a little time but at the expense of their health.
Relying on inexpensive, overly processed food is tempting
given our demanding lives and schedules, but the cost is
Feasting on the sodium, fat, and sugar bombs disguised
as food can lead to serious diseases that cost hundreds of
dollars in doctor’s visits and prescription drugs. Chowing
down on these things make us sick and sluggish, resulting in
less productivity. When we feel crummy, it ripples into other
areas of our lives. We have less patience for our loved ones, for
instance, and less energy to work or enjoy ourselves.
In the bigger picture, that “value menu” is anything but a
You Don’t Need to Spend Half Your Paycheck to Eat Healthy
Even if time and money aren’t on your side, you can still
eat healthy. This is one of the most common misconceptions
I hear. I understand the challenges of trying to eat well with
limited financial resources, limited time, or both. But you don’t
have to be rich or retired to eat well and take care of yourself.
Dispelling 3 “Healthy Eating on a Budget” Myths
The food industry spends billions of dollars each year and
has become incredibly crafty at convincing us that sugary,
processed foods are a real value. Let’s look at three of their
myths and consider the truth about eating healthy.
1. Healthy food costs more. Research shows eating
healthy, whole, real food isn’t necessarily more expensive than
eating junk food, fast food, processed foods, or convenience
foods. In fact, the top four things purchased in supermarkets
are ALL drugs: sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol! If
you give up those “drugs,” your grocery bill will go down
2. Healthy food is hard to find. You don’t have to shop
in a gourmet food store, a health-food store, a farmer’s market,
or eat only organic to eat well. There are plenty of healthy
foods right in your local supermarket. Just shop around the
outside aisles of the store. Another convenient way to access
healthy food is online.
3. Healthy food takes lots of time to prepare. You don’t
have to spend hours cooking complex meals to eat well. Good
quality, fresh food is easy to prepare and enjoy once you learn
Strategies to Eat Well on a Budget
Ultimately, it is up to us to take control of our kitchens and
our lives. The most radical message we can send the food
industry – which considers money, not our health in regard to
its bottom line – is to prepare our own meals, make the best
food selections within our budgets, and reclaim our health.
This does not mean turning bargain food shopping into
a second hobby. We are all overworked, overstressed, and
overtaxed. Most of us don’t have time to scrupulously compare
store prices or cut coupons.
Even so, there are ways of making choices that work within
our resources. Here are ideas based on how I save time and
money and create better health for myself.
• Keep a journal. This might be the most eye-opening
experience you will encounter to better budget your time,
resources, and money. For just one week, keep a journal of
every cent you spend and how you spend every hour of the day.
Think of money as your life energy. It represents your time in
physical form. How do you want to spend this life energy?
• Choose three things that give you more money. For
example, don’t buy that $2 coffee every day — that’s $730 a
year! Likewise, you might find yourself gravitating to the
vending machine daily. You can put that money towards much
• Buy in season. You will almost always get fresher produce,
probably locally grown, for less money, when it is in season.
• Learn the dirty dozen. Not everyone has the budget to buy
100 percent organic, but the more you can, the more you will
avoid GMOs and have better health.
• Frequent discount grocery stores. Search out cheaper
sources of fresh, whole foods in your neighborhood. My top
choices are stores like Trader Joe’s and shopping clubs like
Costco or Sam’s Club, where you can buy vegetables, olive oil,
fruits, nuts, canned beans, sardines, and salmon at much lower
prices than regular supermarkets or other retail chains.
• Think about joining your local food co-op. Co-ops are
community-based organizations that support local farmers
and businesses and allow you to order foods and products in
bulk at just slightly over the wholesale price. This takes a bit of
advance planning but will save you money.
• Join a community-supported agriculture program. Buy
direct and cut out the middleman. We get organic, mostly
seasonal, local vegetables delivered to our house for $55 a
week, or a little more than $10 a person for a family of four
per week. We don’t always get to choose what we get, but it
makes us more creative cooks.
• Keep some basics on hand. Develop a repertoire of
cheap, easy-to-prepare meals. Have the ingredients available
at home at all times so you don’t get stuck eating food that
doesn’t make you feel well or help you create the health you
want. This takes planning but is well worth it.
• Order staples online. Why pay retail for healthy kitchen
staples like turmeric, coconut oil, and almond butter?
About The Author
Mark Hyman MD is the Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center
for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness
Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.
To Learn More Visit:
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Are You Too
Written by Rick Hanson, PhD
Most people know their
less than wonderful qualities, such as too
much ambition (or too little), a weakness for
wine or cookies, something of a temper, or
an annoying tendency to rattle on about pet
interests. We usually know when we make
mistakes, get the facts wrong, could be more
skillful, or deserve to feel remorseful.
Some people err on the side of denying or
defending these faults (a word I use broadly
here). But most people go to the other
extreme, repeatedly criticizing themselves
in the foreground of awareness, or having a
background sense of guilt, unworthiness, and
It’s one thing to call yourself to task for a
fault, try to understand what
caused it, resolve to correct
it, act accordingly, and move
on. This is psychologically
healthy and morally
accountable. It’s another
matter entirely to grind on
yourself, to lambaste your
own character, to fasten on
the negative and ignore the
good in you, to find yourself
wanting – in other words,
to beat up yourself. This
excessive inner criticism
tears you down instead of
building your strengths;
it’s stressful and thus wears
on your mood, health, and
Nor does beating up
yourself help others. Most
of the time, they don’t even
know you’re doing it, and if
they do, they usually wish
you’d stop it. Harsh selfcriticism
can also be a way to avoid feeling
genuine remorse, taking responsibility,
making amends for the past, and doing the
hard work of preventing the fault in the
Further, the charges and scorn we throw at
ourselves are often based on nasty scoldings,
shamings, rejections, and humiliations
experienced as a child: bad enough that they
did this to you back then, and even worse that
you’re doing it to yourself today.
From The Story
tears you down
fixations on the negative in the critical approach?
Let a real conviction form as to which approach
is better for you – and a real resolve to truly use
the one that’s best for you.
Then, when you find a fault in yourself – no
need to go looking, they appear on their own! –
really try to use the encouraging approach. Name
the fault to yourself and admit the facts of it
unreservedly. Open to any appropriate remorse.
Commit to skillful corrections for the future.
And then take a big breath and very
deliberately name to yourself three strengths or
virtues you have. Let the sense of them, and of
your natural goodness, sink in.
And then take another big breath and move on.
How to Stop Beating Yourself Up
Pick a small fault – such as being a few
minutes late, interrupting, or having too much
dessert – and then try on two approaches
about it. First, talk to yourself about it like
a supportive but no-nonsense friend, coach,
teacher, or therapist. Notice what this feels
like, and what the results are for you. Let’s call
this the encouraging approach. Second, talk to
yourself about it like an alarmed and intense
critic – maybe like your dad, big sister, or a
minister or teacher talked to you. What’s this
approach feel like, and what are its results?
Let the differences between approaches
sink in. How do you feel inside when you’re
“listening” to each one? What’s your sense of
the influences in your life that have created
each approach? What are the distortions or
About The Author
RICK HANSON, PHD
Rick Hanson, PhD, is a psychologist, Senior
Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center
at UYC Berkeley, and a New York Times bestselling
author. His books have been published
in 29 languages and include Neurodharma,
Resilient, and Hardwiring Happiness.
To Learn More Visit:
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Written by Joan Herrmann
Yesterday, as I was driving in my car,
my minded started to wander, as it usually does, and I pictured
a day in the future when I will be sitting with my grandchild
reminiscing about the pandemic of 2020. As I envisioned that
encounter, my mind immediately shifted to my grandmother,
who for most of my life, brought every conversation back to her
experience during the Great Depression.
When the market crashed in 1929, she was a young wife and
mother. The years that followed turned her life upside down.
Lack became the mental foundation on which she built the
remaining years of her life; it became her story. The trauma,
pain, and scars stayed with her like a noose around her neck
and she was never able to break free.
As I remembered my grandmother I wondered, what will my
Today, people are experiencing financial devastation similar
to those during that horrific time in history. Many have lost
their jobs and homes, friends and family members are sick, and
they no longer have a sense of security. It is easy to get stuck in
the pain, and it’s challenging to see the proverbial bright side.
Over the years, I have witnessed people become a victim of
circumstance, bound to the dark periods of their life. They got
so lost that they couldn’t find a way out. For awhile, I was one
of those people. I felt sorry for myself and played the same story
over and over in my mind.
But once that story got old, I realized that it was time to let it
go and change the way I viewed the hand I was dealt. I finally
understood that no matter what happens around us, we always
have the power to change the way we see it and handle it.
The year 2020 will be a defining moment in many of our
lives, one that we will carry with us until our death. Health
concerns, financial insecurity, loss of loved ones, isolation,
caregiver PTSD, political unrest, have altered the world that we
know. The psychological fallout will likely be devastating. It will
be my grandmother’s depression.
And, as I imagined, years from now, we’ll share stories with
family and friends and tell our grandchildren about life in 2020.
But, how will we really remember this unprecedented event?
Will it be a source of pain from which a person never recovers,
like my grandmother, or will it be a springboard to something
different or possibly better?
While there’s no way to avoid what’s happening in the
world, there are ways to regain a sense of control, even when
everything feels so out of control.
Psychologist Dan McAdams developed the Theory of
Narrative Identity, which he describes as an internalized story
we create about ourselves. This story evolves and changes
based on the experiences we have. According to McAdams, our
stories tend to focus on the most extraordinary events, good
and bad, because those are the experiences we need to make
sense of and that shape us.
Research suggests that we can edit, revise and interpret the
stories we tell about our lives even as we are constrained by
the facts. Our power comes in rewriting the story in a more
positive way. So, while we can’t change the past, we can change
the story to provide meaning from hardships.
So, when thinking about your story, ask: Does the story
serve you? Is this the story you want to tell?
If the answer is no, here are a few ways that we can navigate
difficult times and not allow them to define us:
Accept what is. Change is an inevitable part of life. Fighting
events outside of our control drains our energy and creates
anxiety. Accepting a situation provides the freedom to devote
precious energy to the things we can control and change.
Don’t identify as a victim. A victim is defined as a person
harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or
other event or action. By this definition we all are victims at
one time or another. But, some feel like victims all the time.
Don’t waste energy blaming or getting angry, but rather do
what you can to change the narrative. When the blaming
begins, turn your attention away from the negative thoughts.
Look for the positive in any situation. There is always
something for which to be grateful. Sometimes it may be
harder to find, but it is always there. Focus on the happy
memories being created by spending time with family. Dream
about the new job you may find. Recall the conversations with
long lost friends. Be thankful for good health.
Remember, we write our story and the power of the pen can
be life changing.
So, how will you remember 2020?
About The Author
Joan Herrmann is the creator of the Change Your Attitude…
Change Your life brand and host of the radio show and podcast,
Conversations with Joan. She is a motivational speaker and the
publisher of 24 Seven magazine.
To Learn More Visit:
Mary Beth Battaglia
Call For A Free
November 2020 Issue
Wake Up and Be Free to
Love Without Limitations
Written by Guy Finley
When in a fight of any kind, over
anything, we look over at the other person and “see” – almost
magically – exactly what’s wrong with him or her in that
moment. So confident are we in our conclusion as to the nature
of their problem – that the following has almost no chance to
dawn on us:
We can’t see that person is looking at us in this exact same
kind of “light” that is not a light at all. Negative reactions have
no awareness of themselves; there is no light in them, any more
than a cluster of bombs has compassion for whatever they fall
on and destroy.
What we need in these moments is the light of a new kind of
understanding. We need to awaken to, and realize a higher level
of awareness that allows us to appreciate two things at once:
first, to see that just like us, the other person is in some kind
of pain and is being moved, just as we are, to find someone to
blame for it.
In other words, the same negative forces are at work in
both of us. And second, even though these opposing forces are
blind, that doesn’t mean that we have to be! The more we can
wake up to the presence of these unconscious forces and how,
undetected, they keep us at odds with one another, the freer we
become to love without their limitations.
When we’re negative – in a “power struggle” with someone
over whatever is being contested – we’re reduced to being little
more than a puppet. We’re literally “strung out” – momentarily
animated – by unseeing forces in us that can only do one thing:
mechanically oppose whatever seems to oppose them.
I understand this last image is not very flattering, but let’s be
honest: experience validates the fact of it. Each time we’re drawn
into a fight, it’s exactly as if someone “turns out the lights.” All
we can “see” in that slowly enveloping darkness of our negative
state is someone that we’re sure it’s our duty to change, control,
or “make sorry” for what he or she has done to us... even as they
are trying to do the same to us.
The conflict in these emotional tugs-of-war is the stuff of
sorrow and take us nowhere except back and forth. If this
is true, and we know it is, then, with what are we left? From
where will come this new light needed in the midst of these
dark moments knowing, as is obvious by now, that we can’t
illuminate our partner, our friends, or anyone else.
Assuming we can all agree with this last revelation – that it’s
not in our power to illuminate another – here’s what we’re left
with; its simplicity is both beautiful and powerful at the same
If we hope to see any real transformation take place in our
relationships – whether with family, friends, or our partner for
life – then it is we who must become illuminated. The kindness,
the patience, the love we seek is going to have to start with us...
even if our best efforts get thrown right back in our face!
Challenging? No doubt – perhaps more so than anything
we may have ever tried to do before. Rewarding? Let’s see, and
then you decide:
What if rather than allowing these blind, opposing forces
to set you against another person, you could learn how to
start using them; where even a hint of their pressure would
not only awaken you to their presence but – in that same
moment – empower you to consciously separate yourself from
their punishing influences? This would be like owning a kind
of spiritual “alarm clock” that goes off just before you start to
blame – or resent – another; a silent but unmistakable alert
system that serves, at once, to reveal and release you from
the unseen parts of your own consciousness that tend to
automatically oppose any unwanted moment.
About The Author
Guy Finley is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation,
a nonprofit center for spiritual discovery in Merlin, Oregon. Finley
presents two free online talks each week open to all. Every class
is different, but the underlying theme is “The Limit of Your Present
View, is Not the Limit of Your Possibilities.” This article is excerpted
from Relationship Magic by Guy Finley, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018.
To Learn More Visit:
November 2020 Issue
Not Just for a Pandemic
Written by Gayle M. Gruenberg
After sheltering in
place for the majority of 2020, and
in anticipation of functioning in an
environment that continues to be
uncertain, clients are looking at their
homes and offices as places where they
can still exercise a modicum of control.
Creating systems, being organized, and
feeling the attendant sense of peace is
crucial to that exercise. But how is that
possible if we can’t let people into our
homes or workplaces?
Enter Virtual Organizing (VO), which
uses technology to connect an organizing
professional with client. Over a video
platform, or even with still photos and
a phone, the professional can guide the
client through the organizing process, as
long as the client is physically able to do
A virtual session can be useful when
someone needs to create a new system
at work and internal guidance is nonexistent,
is still working from home and
balancing personal and professional
lives, or may be comfortable with video
technology but shuts down when faced
with having to create a digital file system.
VO is good for clients’ physical and
mental health. Many of my clients are
chronically disorganized and/or have
brain-based conditions that inhibit
their ability or desire to get organized.
Depressed clients may take to their
beds and not get up for days. Result: a
A virtual organizing session forces the
client to get out of bed. It gives a purpose
to a person’s day, gets their blood flowing,
and encourages him or her to get things
done. Moving around, doing the actual
organizing, brings oxygen to the brain,
promoting focus and enhancing mood.
People with Hoarding Disorder or
OCD can get help without having to let
The organizer sees only a screenor
photo-worth of space, saving the
client from feeling embarrassed or
ashamed. For people who live alone,
Virtual Organizing is a lifeline. Studies
have shown that social isolation and
loneliness can contribute to premature
death. The virtual session may be the
only social interaction a client may have
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to
reorganize itself by forming new neural
connections, essential for coping with
a constantly changing environment.
VO creates new neural pathways. Since
the client must physically participate
in the process, she/he learns new skills;
during on-site sessions, the organizing
professional may do most of the work,
and the client may tune out or get
Repetition is the key to building neural
pathways. VO sessions are often shorter
and more frequent than on-site sessions
and focus on organizing concepts.
This serves clients with attention
challenges by keeping the momentum
going, preventing backsliding, creating
more structure and accountability,
and supporting clients to overcome
procrastination. The organizing process
is sped up, and clients gain insight into
their thought processes, emotions, and
About The Author
GAYLE M. GRUENBERG
Gayle M. Gruenberg, CPO-CD ® , CVO, is the
chief executive organizer of Let’s Get Organized,
LLC, an organizer coach, and the creator
of the Make Space for Blessings system.
To Learn More Visit:
Land in Our
Written by Linda Mitchell, CPC
Is there a particular part of your body that’s
chronically bothersome? Are there a few areas that
always ache, irritate or give you trouble despite
non-specific diagnostic results? Your body is calling
out to you – it has a message and it’s trying to get
Our bodies hold immense amounts of
valuable information if you’re ready to listen.
The body speaks its own language; constantly
sending messages and nudging you to its truth.
The body never lies. It holds so much wisdom
and intelligence yet it’s a resource that’s often
overlooked or underappreciated.
As a bodyworker and coach, I’ve spent the last
20 years listening to the wisdom and information
of other’s bodies and teaching them how to discern
the valuable knowledge held inside in order to
heal old physical and emotional wounds. When
we listen deeply, we find a treasure trove of precise
When this idea of listening to the body is first
introduced, people either raise their eyebrows in
intrigue or furrow them in dismissiveness. It’s a
new concept for many and let’s face it, humans
often disregard things they don’t understand.
But for those willing to learn to listen to the
wisdom of their bodies, it’s a welcome wakeup call
to better health and deep healing. Each body part
has its own meaning and holds different issues.
Your body knows best and once you tune in, it
becomes a trusted compass for optimal health so
you can live with more ease, joy and peace.
Many eastern and ancient traditions revere
the body as a sacred temple but here in the west,
we limit ourselves to consulting the brain for
catalyzing information. That’s
not wrong – it’s just woefully
Our bodies hold all sorts
important insights and
intelligence and is a bountiful
and accurate resource. From
decades of doing in person
bodywork and long-distance
healing, I’ve seen very specific
patterns emerge. Let’s examine
some of the most obvious
places where our issues land in
Ever wonder why people
hold so much tension in their
shoulders? Those who have
boulders in their shoulders
are people who constantly
remind themselves of all their
obligations and all the things they should do. To
these people I say; stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself! Do
you often take on other’s duties and responsibilities
or feel unduly obligated to a situation or person?
Over time your shoulders will feel like they’re
holding the weight of the world. It’s the shoulders
that are burdened under our sense of obligation
Is your neck often tight, tense or stiff? The neck
reflects lack of choice. When we feel out of control,
feel like others are controlling us or we have a strong
desire to always be in control, it’s the neck that
begins to absorb this stress and tension.
Each body part holds its own story. Those who
prefer everything to be just right and delight in
structure and order or have tendencies towards
perfectionism often display right shoulder issues.
Show me someone who’s left shoulder is chronically
irritated or always higher than the other and I’ll
show you someone who feels they rarely get what
Experiencing lots of accidents, injuries or issues
on the left side of your body? Our left is our feminine
side. It’s all about receiving and reflections of future.
Ask yourself two things. First, how comfortable
are you receiving help? Do you struggle to receive
compliments gracefully and really prefer to be the
one giving versus receiving gifts? Second, how are
you feeling about the future? Do you typically worry
or fear future conditions? These issues land in the
left side of the body.
In contrast, the right side of the body represents
our masculine side, linear thinking and thoughts
about the past. Issues like fear of repeating the past
or dealing with difficult male relationships will land
From The Story
are the outer
of our inner
in the right side of the body. What the specific issue
is, determines where on the right side of the body it
What about your legs? While different regions
exhibit different issues, they are largely about moving
forward. If we’re in a place where we’re fearful about
moving forward in our personal or professional lives,
often these issues will land in the lower limbs.
The knees hold so much detailed and site-specific
information that they deserve their own dissertation;
but in general, fear of commitment, reluctance to
allow yourself pleasure and specific relationship
issues, land in our knees.
The lower back holds issues of safety, security,
stability and conflict with authority. Recall times when
your low back was painful and reflect on what was
happening in your life personally and professionally.
It’s likely you had financial woes or your life lacked
the security you desired.
Issues in the lungs often center around grief
and unexpressed emotion. Every organ and body
part represent a different issue. Elbows reflect
flexibility issues. Foot issues represent questioning
or conflict with our foundational beliefs. TMJ reveals
unexpressed emotion or resentment. Even facial
creases have meaning. Look at your friends and
family…anyone have that cute dimple in their chin?
Warning - they’re the people who always need to be
This just scratches the surface; the body is a vessel
of valuable information! When we learn to appreciate
and properly assimilate its wisdom and messages, we
can properly identify root causes which then help us
clear out old emotions and more rapidly heal physical
Our bodies are the outer representation of our
inner landscape. Our thoughts, beliefs, emotions
and unresolved issues land in our tissues. The good
news is, by listening to, discerning and honoring the
messages from the body, we can heal old patterns,
wounds and issues.
About The Author
Linda Mitchell, CPC, is a board-certified coach,
speaker, reinvention expert and LMT. She
empowers people who are stuck, overwhelmed
or ready for change to release the struggle, gain
clarity, balance and radiant health as they move
through life’s challenges and transitions and step
into their highest purpose.
To Learn More Visit:
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N O V
Written by Lorie Gardner, RN, BSN, NBC-HWC
Many people had to delay their elective surgery
due to COVID-19. Now, many of these surgeries
are being scheduled as the pandemic numbers
start to decrease and necessary precautions
and protections have been put in place.
What is important to know before you agree to
surgery? First and foremost, you should understand
the details of the surgery, why it is being recommended,
and what would happen if you did not do the surgery.
As a nurse-patient advocate, I always recommend a
second and sometimes a third medical opinion so you
can be sure you have enough information to make
your best decision. Many health insurance companies
are requiring these second opinions. The importance
of getting second and third opinions can’t be stressed
Equally important is knowing what the benefits of
the surgery will be and how long those benefits will
last. Discuss with your doctor if there are different
techniques for the surgery and why your surgeon
does it one way over another. Ask
if there are any alternatives to
surgery such as medical or nonsurgical
alternatives, or could
“watchful waiting” be an option.
Selecting a Surgeon
Isn’t it ideal to get a surgeon
with the most experience? That
is why it is crucial to find out
how many surgeries a year a
surgeon conducts. By seeing a
second opinion surgeon you can
compare this statistic. A review
of the surgeon’s outcomes,
complications, such as infection
rate and side effects, is important.
You can get a surgeon scorecard
at Propublica.org to assist you.
Not only can it matter greatly the surgeon you
choose to do your surgery, but the hospital you
select is important, too. Make sure to review the
hospital and what its safety score is by checking the
Ask your surgeon who the anesthesiologist is and
what his or her credentials are. Ask to meet the
anesthesiologist before surgery.
Special Considerations for COVID-19
Here is a list of questions and answers that
should be considered when you are planning to have
elective surgery based on the recommended Re-Open
protocols for elective surgery:
• When and where should I be tested for Covid-19?
Most of the time the surgeon’s office will provide
you with directions on where to get tested. Your test
results will be sent directly to your physician. In most
cases, patients should be tested 72-96 hours before
their scheduled surgery. This result should be known
prior to surgery to safeguard the healthcare workers
and other patients.
• Should I be self-isolating once I have my
pre-surgical Covid-19 test? Yes. Once you have
your pre-surgical Covid-19 test, you should be
self-isolating at home and avoid going out, if
• Should I report if I have been in contact
or exposed to anyone with Covid-19? Yes. If
you were exposed to someone with known
Covid-19 or suspected Covid-19, with signs and
symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, fever,
or shortness of breath, report this to your
surgeon’s staff. This may delay or postpone
your surgical procedure.
• Can my family come into the hospital with
me? This depends on hospital policy. Some
hospitals may allow one family member or no
family members, depending on its Covid-19
policy and the current CDC Guidelines. If a
family member is permitted, their temperature
will be taken prior to coming into the facility.
Your temperature will also be taken and you
both will be checked for signs and symptoms
• What can I bring with me to the hospital?
Hospitals are advising that you limit personal
items and clothing, especially for “same day”
surgical procedures. In most cases, you are
advised to wear comfortable loose clothing
and will change into a hospital gown at the
facility. You should also bring identification,
your insurance card, your cell phone, and a
• Is the staff at the hospital being screened for
Covid-19 on a regular basis? Yes. The hospital
or ambulatory surgery center is required to
screen staff daily by taking their temperature
and screening them for signs and symptoms of
Covid-19. They are also asked about any known
contact with a person who has Covid-19.
• Are hospitals cleaning and disinfecting
patient equipment and rooms regularly? Yes,
hospitals or surgery centers must follow the
cleaning protocols set by the CDC and use
• Has the staff been educated on the protocols
to prevent the spread of Covid-19? Yes. The
hospital or surgery center must educate its
staff on the CDC infection prevention protocols
that prevent the spread of Covid-19, such as
meticulous handwashing for 20 seconds, using
personal protective equipment for contact
with patients, universal masking, social
distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting
patient care equipment between use.
Know What Insurance Covers
This article does not go into detail on the
insurance issues involved with having surgery,
but it is extremely important to contact both
your insurance company and all the providers
involved (surgeon, hospital, anesthesiologist,
pathologist and any specialists) to ensure
you will be covered by insurance and not get
any surprise bills. More and more patients
are being able to determine the costs of the
surgery ahead of time. You can also go to
websites such as Healthcare Bluebook and
Fairhealth Consumer to find out the typical
costs in different areas.
Be Prepared for Discharge
Ask about the recovery after surgery. You
need to determine if you will require help at
home or if you will be going to a rehabilitation
facility first before going home. Ask about any
specific medical equipment, therapy, or home
care assistance for treatments or devices that
you will need after surgery during recovery.
Prepare Your Body and Mind
It is important to physically and mentally
prepare for an upcoming surgery. You will
need to follow any preoperative instructions
the surgeon and medical team provide you,
but you can do more yourself. The list below
are some recommended suggestions to help
From The Story
to help you
and be at
- Advance directive
- HCP document
- POSLT if you have it
- Name of a contact person and phone
- Your physician’s names & phone numbers
- Notebook and pen to take notes
- Cell phone and charger
- Book, newspaper or crossword if there is
- Socks, sweaters in case of cool temps
- Disinfectant wipes- use frequently to wipe
down all high touch surfaces
Don’t Go It Alone!
You can see that there is a lot of preparation
and questions to be asked prior to surgery.
Enlist the help of a loved one or friend to
navigate this journey. You can also hire a
private healthcare advocate to assist you as
well. Remember, being in the hospital requires
that you have someone to help you understand
everything going on and be at your side with a
• Eat plenty of protein to promote wound
healing and boost your immune system.
• Eat a high fiber diet of fruits and vegetables
to keep your GI system healthy when you are
not moving as much.
• Avoid sugary and processed foods.
• Increase your physical activity.
• Lose weight, if needed.
• Get a good amount of sleep.
• Discuss any fears or anxieties with a
trusted friend or therapist.
• Envision and focus on a positive outcome
and that your body is strong and will heal
• Have your Hospital toolkit bag ready
- A list of your medications with dosages
and frequency and supplements as well as
a list of your medical conditions and past
surgeries and hospitalizations
- Insurance cards and you can keep a copy
of them in your bad
About The Author
LORIE GARDNER, RN
Lorie Gardner RN, BSN, NBC-HWC, founded
Healthlink Advocates, Inc., to assist people with
all aspects of their healthcare. As private nurse
patient advocates and board certified health &
wellness coaches, they partner with clients seeking
assistance navigating the complex healthcare
system and those seeking self-directed, lasting
health improvements aligned with their values.
To Learn More Visit: