Health and Wellness

Change (part one): Why We Resist

What makes us resist change? Why would we rather stick with a job we hate, stay in an abusive relationship, keep smoking despite illness, and endure unnecessary hardship rather than do something to make it better?

Why do we?

Is it fear of failure? Uncertainty of the unknown? Apathy?

It’s D. All of the above.

Change can be hard.  It can also be easy.  One thing is certain: change is inevitable.


If you don’t like something in your life, change it.

If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

Let me give you an example.

I’ve had a chronic pain condition (burning mouth syndrome) for over three years. I am reluctant to blog about it because I don’t see the point in giving something so afflictive any more attention than it deserves.

I hate it. It can be all consuming and at times unbearable. Presently, I have exhausted all management therapies.  I’ve stopped googling it as I can’t bear to read other BMS sufferers lament about how poor their quality of life is.  It makes me feel hopeless.


Somedays I do crawl up in a ball and go to sleep.  Sleep is sometimes the one thing I can do to escape the pain.

I can give in to hopelessness.


I can change the way I think.

I can redirect my attention to something else.  Take my focus off the problem and put it somewhere else.

I can do that.

Instead of putting a spotlight on the pain and allowing it to have control of how I live and what I do, I can put it in the background.

Accept, but not empower.

That has been the one thing that has helped me deal.

It has taken me 3 years to figure out I needed to change my thoughts.

What about you?

Is the problem the problem? Or could it be how you think about the problem?


There are at least two views.

A rut or a grave?

Half empty or half full?

A mountain or a mole hill?

Lemons or lemonade?

A weed or a flower?

All changes, even the ones we crave can be sad. We leave behind something that was a part of us, our life. We knew it well. Kind of like an old shoe.

Remember, If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.

Is there something you need to change?  What’s stopping you?

Today, I only ask that you think about one area of yourself or your life that you need to change.  That’s the second step to change (contemplation).  Pre-contemplation is the first step – you already experienced that when you felt the nudge to read this post.

Think about how your life will be better after you make a change.

Whatever it is you need to change trust me when I say, you got this.

We all need change.

Jim Rohn, American Entrepreneur and motivational speaker said so well,


Next week: Preparation

Health and Wellness Writing

3 Ways To Get Noticed

You can write a better than great blog post, but if you only get a handful of readers, are you ok with that? Of course not. The point of blogging is to share your opinions, experiences, and knowledge with the world.

With a potential 3 billion people audience and 150 million bloggers worldwide, getting people to read your content is a challenge.

It starts with an intriguing headline.

Ask a question. Solve a problem. State a claim. Make a list.

Your reader has clicked in, now you need to deliver what you promised.

BAM! Get to the point.

We all scroll and skim. Trim the fat and get to the meat or we are off to the next headline before you can say, Tic-Tac Sir?



Give me eye candy.

Break up your text with cool-with-attitude pictures and images that invoke my emotions and make me want to stay awhile.



Teach me.

Life-hack me. Tell me something I didn’t know. Give me a short cut or a brilliantly unique perspective.

Make me come away with thinking, finally, after so much digital time suck, I have found you.

There you are!
There you are!


Give me a bonus.

Something I wasn’t expecting whether it be a tip on free stock photos or a link to Starbucks secret menu.

Most of us bloggers are small satellites in cyberspace.

small guy


To get noticed don’t be run-of-the-mill average. Stand out even once, and your audience will keep coming back for more.

Health and Wellness

How To Tell The Difference Between a Poser and a Real Friend

Mark Twain
Mark Twain

Do you agree with Mark? So do I. Then why would you or I, or anyone else seek out people who belittle their ambitions?

That’s the five hundred and seven thousand dollar question.  Maybe because you didn’t realize until now that a certain person was making you feel small. There are many passive-aggressive and other damaged individuals in our lives that pose as our friends.

How do you know if you have a poser verses a genuine friend?


How do you feel after you spend time with this person? Lifted up or crushed down? Posers use you to make themselves feel better.  They don’t care about you because they are the center of the universe. Fake friends say things like,

You always. You never. What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with me?Nothing. Oh, something came up. Of course you can trust me. I won’t tell a soul, cross my heart. Who’s side are you on? I can’t stand her (Oh hi Angela, we were just talking about you! How have you been?!) 

I know you didn’t seek out this person who makes you feel small.  It just happens sometimes. And you certainly don’t deserve to have your nose rubbed in your mistakes or your flaws constantly pointed out. We are all flawed.  We all make mistakes.  We are the same. We all have thoughts that would shame the devil.  No one gets away with I’m better than you attitude cause it ‘aint true.

You are a nice person, and that’s why you haven’t said sayonara to this freak yet. Life is short even when you don’t think it is. Free yourself of toxicity! If it’s family, free yourself emotionally and learn how to deal with these difficult people.

Now seek out people who build you up, who make you feel important. Genuine friends don’t place conditions on your relationship and they definitely don’t pack a knife for stabbing you in the back.  You know the pure of heart because of how you feel when you’re around them. Do you feel loved? Encouraged? Happy? Accepted for who you are?  If you do, then that’s evidence you have got yourself a real friend, and a treasure!


As the philosopher Balastar Gracián once said, True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.

As you travel through life may you know the difference between the impostors and the real deal. And in turn find good fortune, and be blessed.

Health and Wellness

My Thoughts on Social Media

Everyday I ask my self why do I bother with social media?  Why am I on Twitter? I’m not a rockstar.  Why do I write for LinkedIn? I can’t compete with the influencers. I am an amateur photographer  with less than 20 followers on Instagram and have a no frills WordPress blog. I do everything the gurus tell me to do.

  • Retweet
  • Engage
  • Converse
  • Use hooks
  • Blog regularly
  • Follow back
  • Tweet links, photos, have a,
        and so on.
and so on.

Still, I am so small. Pale blue dot kind of small.

I think social media has been bad for my self-esteem.

Unless you are in the camp of the gurus, big star musicians/artists, famous founders/ entrepreneurs of successful companies, high Klout score tweeps- whatever that means…

Social media might be bad for your self esteem too.

How do I know this? Because I just do. I work in psychiatry. A long time ago I was a teenager in public school. I was the tallest girl in my class. No one asked me to the prom.  I’ve raised three kids. I blog. I get self-esteem.

P1130608Do you feel alone, faceless, passed over?  Have you hurt inside when a troll directed an opprobrious comment at you?  Have you felt dejected because your favorite band, artist, author, colleague, influencer never acknowledges, retweets, likes, or follows you?

Maybe it seems like all your followers or connections are eggs, fake celebrities, f-bomb droppers, spammers, or tweeps who don’t speak your language.

I say social media is a self-esteem mutilator and reminds me of high school. A place I tried so hard to fit in, but never could. God, it was brutal.  And life in the digitalsphere can be brutal – if you let it.

So don’t let it.

Get your self-esteem boosts by living in the real world, not the digital one.  Post with the intent to lift up others, and you’ll find yourself lifted too.

Surround yourself with those you love, who love you.  Be in the presence of real people. Get out, enjoy your life. It’s a vapor that is fleeting.

If you find a real friend or connection on social media, consider yourself lucky.  I am lucky.  I now realize social media is what it is and I’ll use it my way: to share nuggets of truth, inspiration, beautiful, fun things with you. If someone doesn’t like what I share, oh well.  I won’t let it crush my spirit.

I won’t pretend to fit in.  Because I don’t.  And I can honestly say, I’m fine with that.

Health and Wellness Heath and Medicine

Do You Really Want to Know What Your Doctor Thinks of You?

Did you know you have a right to see your medical record? And if you find a mistake you can request it to be corrected, or if you disagree with something your provider noted, you also have a right to write your own note stating that.

So why do we feel like we are snooping when we steal a glance at our “chart”? It’s our record, our right. Or are we afraid of what we might find out?

Health Information Privacy rules of protection has been around since 1996.  Along with the right to view your chart, you have the right to:


I hope you want to know what your doctor thinks of you – your relationship with your provider should be one that is based on mutual respect and trust.  If you find out otherwise, it’s time to find a new health care partner.

Health and Wellness Leadership

The Top 6 Traits of Likable People

We all want to be liked.  It feels great to see likes on a blog post (hint), and even better to hear someone say, “I really like you!”


But what really makes people more likable than others? Is it attractiveness, wealth, tone of voice, style of dress, mannerisms, or standard of hygiene?

Research tells us that our qualities such as level of success, fame, and good looks might initially interest others,

but by far, we like people who have good personalities.

The top character traits of likable people are trustworthinesswarmth, kindness, intelligence, sense of humor, and empathy.


Think about it. Do the people you like the most have “good” personalities?  Do they make you smile, make you feel important and good about yourself? Do their eyes sparkle when they smile at you?  I bet when they ask, “How are you?”, you are certain they really want to know.

We like to be heard, to be noticed, to be recognized.  A warm hug, eye to eye contact, a kind word, the feeling that we are not being taken for granted, made fun of, judged, or criticized – but accepted and respected is what makes us feel liked.

Have you doubted your likability, or wondered why certain folks are a people magnet?

Pause and consider these six traits.  How many do you have? How many do “they” have? It’s not a worthy goal to seek popularity for an ego boost.  But it is a honorable one to be trustworthy, warm, kind, and empathetic: you will become more likable and in so doing,  will make yourself happier in the process.


Health and Wellness

Self-esteem: Is Yours Healthy?

We all want to be liked. It’s part of being human.  We are social beings who need to belong, to be accepted by others.  Our self-esteem and success are intricately woven to what others think about us.  It is rare to meet someone who is not hurt by a rude comment, a bad review, or an insult that was neither provoked nor justified.

Just look at social media –  there’s like buttons on every platform. People buy followers so they look rock star popular. I stopped following new folks because I don’t know who’s real and who’s not.

I don’t know why I did it, but I joined Instagram.  I have 7 followers and I am fine with that.  I am a minnow in an ocean of sharks, and it’s ok.  My self-esteem is not dependent on how many followers, likes, shares, retweets,  comments, or views I get.  And I’m learning to not let the mean people I encounter on my day to day adventures have a say in my self worth.

What about you? Do you find yourself feeling dejected if you don’t get likes or retweets? Are you overly critical of yourself,  fail to speak up for yourself or avoid expressing your opinion?

Self esteem is your sense of self-worth or personal value.  In Maslow’s hierarchy he put it towards the top of  the pyramid.


If you are hungry, sleepless, homeless or your life is threatened, you aren’t concerned about belonging and self-esteem until your basic needs are secure.  Once those are taken care of we can pay more attention to and develop our self esteem.

Is your self esteem healthy?  Try the Rosenberg Self Esteem quiz for starters. Click here and take the quiz, note your score, and then bounce back here and I’ll explain more.

If you didn’t score in the healthy range, don’t put too much stock into this simple 10 question quiz. It isn’t an end-all-be-all-carved-in-stone result.  It is a tool that can be useful in determining where you’re at.

Our self-esteem can fluctuate.  Everyone has low times, high times, and in betweens.  However, if you, or someone you care about consistently voice self depreciating comments,  or exhibit other behaviors that suggest poor self worth, it is important to recognize it  and work towards improving it.

It’s nice to be liked and wonderful to be noticed. But that can’t be the basis for how you value yourself.  Being momentarily hurt by a rogue comment or a two-faced acquaintance is normal.  Have a one minute pityfest, and then let it go. Brush it off your shoulders like lint and watch it fly away.  Those people don’t matter.

You matter. Be kind, do your best work, make your corner of the world a better place and love yourself – embrace your gifts, your flaws, and enjoy who you are. That’s a healthy self-esteem.

It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.             ~W.C. Fields

Health and Wellness

Compelled: The Message and The Messenger

If you live in the Rochester area, come out this Sunday, December 28th, 2014 to Pittsford Community Church and hear my soon to be 18 year old son preach his first full sermon: Compelled.

Benny is wise beyond his years,  and speaks with passion and honesty.  He has a heart for those hurting and has a message all can relate to.

Come and listen, and be blessed. Services are at 9am and 10:30am, he will be preaching at both.

Health and Wellness

Top 10 Last Minute Christmas Gifts

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.  Mother Teresa


Still not finished with your Christmas shopping?  Don’t panic. I got your back.  I post this every year when I am thinking, oh no! I’m a last minute shopper, again.  Are you like me and need a delicious or marvelous gift that doesn’t require a hefty rushed shipping charge? Then here’s some ideas that should help you out.

  • Amazon Gft Card: Email or print out at home.
  •  Instant downloads for gamers: My boys have a perennial wish list at Steam.
  •  Wine. But what’s a good pick?  Ask the store employees to select one out for you – they have never let me down. Popular wines include: Christmas Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot.  If you feel like splurging, consider Ice Wine.  I once held a bottle in my hand, ah, maybe some day.
  •  Fruit/gift basket: Dust off a nice wicker basket or pick up one from Goodwill. Line it with a new kitchen towel and fill it with a variety of fruit from the grocery store, or pick another theme – popcorn and accompaniments, fancy pasta/sauce, bread, and some italian cookies.
  • Homemade coupon booklet: I still have a few coupons left from one I got a few years ago. Coupons could be for free hugs, lawn-mowing, babysitting service, car wash, breakfast in bed, home-cooked meal. Be sweet, don’t include an expiration date.
  •  Starbucks e-gift card: I give these often throughout the year when I am really in a pinch.  Everyone loves to get one.
  •  Regal e-gift: Who can afford going to the movies?  Keep in mind it’s $10 or more for one movie ticket.
  •  I-tunes/Apple: Can never get enough of these.
  •  Money – we all enjoy receiving cash. Don’t forget to tip special people like your mail and newspaper carriers, hair stylist, babysitter, dog sitter, music teacher.
  • Homemade goodies – We make hot cross buns, decadent chocolate fudge sauce, or caramel corn to give away to neighbors and friends.  I have made this recipe a dozen times and it is absolutely delicious and tops any caramel corn money can buy. It is amazing.


Above all, do not let the hunt for the right present take from your holiday joy.  Rarely do people remember what they got or didn’t get the year before.  In my house, we celebrate Christ’s birth and our joy comes from being together as a family. Embracing the faith,  embracing each other, recognizing that we are blessed whether we have, or have not.


I’m still going to pick up a few more things, but even if the Grinch were to visit us during the night and steal all our presents and our  LED pre-lit easy-assemble artificial tree,  may I be found singing alongside Cindy and all of Whoville,

Welcome Christmas as we stand, heart to heart, and hand to hand.

Health and Wellness

Photo Quotes