You Have the Answers for You

I’m still excited about getting spade on Wednesday. My positive feelings range from anticipating having two-and-a-half weeks off work and how awesome I am going to feel once I have recovered, to looking forward to meeting the nurses and support staff at the hospital and seeing my doctor in a new way.

It is with 100 percent certainty that I feel I am taking an action that will move me forward on my quest for optimal wellness.

But just because having a hysterectomy is the right step for me does not meant that I am advocating that surgery—or anything else—is the solution for you.

When we feel like we are moving forward on our life journey, it’s easy to suppose that everyone else needs to do the same things to have the same results.

I am as guilty of this as anyone. From taking the “right” supplements, to doing the “right” exercise, to eating the “right” diet, I’m sure I have driven my friends and family mad with my absolute certainty that “this” was THE solution and they were idiots if they didn’t do it, too.

All I can say to them now is, “I’m sorry, and hopefully I won’t do it again.”

What I have come to know is that there is no one “right” way to do anything or to get anywhere. Being certain in my path in no way enlightens me to the path that other’s “should” take.

But at the same time, what I have learned and what I am doing may provide a valuable piece of the puzzle for someone else.

There is a fine line between sharing what is working for you—and providing a positive example—and pushing your agenda onto others.

My intention is to demonstrate that a healthy and happy life is possible, and inspire others to seek it for themselves—but to let them find their own way.

This is how I work with my clients. I believe that each and every person has their own answers—they just may need a little help finding them.

Often, people I work with will ask how they can get those closest to them to do the same things they are doing. There is genuine frustration, anxiety, and even anger over their partner or spouse, children, and friends not immediately joining them on their diet or exercise program, or whatever else they are doing to transform their lives.

My response is always that your wellness journey is your journey. Nobody’s journey looks the same, or follows the same path. How you do it will be as unique as you are. And that’s also true for your husband, best friend, and everyone else who you believe isn’t where you think they should be.

Be passionate about what works for you and let others figure out what works for them. When they are ready to change they will find the way.

Together we can do it!





A Fabulous New View of Surgery

I had an energy shift yesterday. The situation didn’t change, and there was no specific thing that happened, or that anybody said or did. I can’t pinpoint the cause, or the exact moment the shift happened. It was an internal change—a change in my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.

It was a sudden awareness that I wasn’t just focused on the all the reasons the hysterectomy I’m having next week is going to be beneficial, or my plan to rebound as quickly as possible, or even how much humor I can find in the situation. It was a feeling of genuine excitement about the opportunities this surgery is presenting not only for my physical wellbeing—but for me.

I am actually looking forward to the new situation, new sensations, new environment, and new people I am going to encounter—regardless of how pleasant or not I might judge them. My view of the surgery and hospital stay has shifted to an adventure rather than something I know I can endure for 24 hours. And there is an eagerness to see how determined I can be, how focused, and how well I can use the skills I’ve learned to aid my recovery. It almost feels like a game, or an experiment where I get to see what works best in the moment.

What was interesting was the limiting belief this new feeling made me aware of—that you’re not “supposed” to be excited about experiencing something as “bad” as surgery. It made me reluctant to want to share this new perspective. It brought up my fearful Gremlin, who pointed out that things can happen in even minor surgeries that can result in death, or that the benign fibroid tumors being removed could really be cancer.

Yep, that’s all true. And it doesn’t matter. My spiritual beliefs help me see death as a positive experience. (It’s the folks left behind that have the hard time.) And should there be something else that comes of this, I know I can handle it because everything is always working out for me.

This life we are living is a miracle. There is no guarantee that we have anything but this very moment in which to be present and alive, and to enjoy the incredible colors, sights, sounds, and textures all around us.

I’m not sure how long this new perspective will last. My energy around this may bounce up and down. But for now, I’m going to enjoy this space. I’m going to bask in how much this constructive anabolic energy is aiding every cell in my body. I’m going to think about all the new things I will experience and how much about life I can appreciate from this new vantage point. I’m going to revel in my knowing that well-being is the dominate basis of All-That-Is.

Should my energy drop back down to anxiety, I’m going to remind myself that I was here—and that I can be here again. That I can allow myself to feel this good about something that so many judge as “bad.” I’m going to look for as many ways to have fun as possible.

And I am going to be grateful for the miracle of this moment. This fleeting time and space that will never be again. It is a miracle that the sun comes up every day and that the rain falls from the sky. It is a miracle to be able to see how each moment is unique and utterly new—the clouds in the sky will never be the same again. The birds and animals will never be in the exact same place. The cars and people moving around in their day are in totally new perspectives and positions from one another. The people we see and talk too are different, and even the words that we say to the people who are most consistent in our lives will be different. This is truly a new day and it is a gift for which I am so grateful.

Every situation is an opportunity to learn, grow, and live life to the fullest. How good you allow yourself to feel is up to you.

Together we can do it!

Look for the Solution

Do you focus more on what you want, or what you don’t? What you like, or hate? What you judge good, or bad?

Often we look for the solution by studying the problem. While we need to have a clear understanding of the problem, we then need to shift our attention to the solution. It’s looking at what will be rather than what is, or was. It’s focusing on what’s working, what’s right, and what’s the answer.

The reason for this lies in the underlying energy. Focusing on the problem creates catabolic (destructive) energy, while focusing on the solution generates anabolic (constructive) energy.

Just think about the feelings you have when you are looking at a problem. Let’s say you are in an animal shelter and you see a puppy in a cage that will be euthanized if it isn’t adopted. For most people, that can generate some pretty negative (catabolic) emotions, such as fear, distress, and even anger. Let’s say you see a family walk in the door and adopt that puppy. That probably changes how you’re feeling and generates positive (anabolic) emotions, such as satisfaction, peace, and even joy.

When we’re in a catabolic emotional state, our body is generating harmful chemicals and hormones and other physical reactions, which actually impacts our minds making it harder to think creatively, generate ideas, or even recognize solutions.

We literally need to release the problem and shift our focus to the solution, like turning a coin from heads to tails. The problem, however, is often so compelling and distressing, that we get stuck in it. It’s almost as if we’re afraid to take our eyes off of it because it might get worse, or it somehow means we aren’t compassionate or concerned, or it just upsets us so much.

If you think about it in the context of the principle Energy Attracts Like Energy (also known as the Law of Attraction), you can see that focusing exclusively on the problem generates more problem energy. By shifting our focus to the solution, we then begin attracting solution-energy.

For a while now, I’ve been paying attention to where I focus more on the problem then the solution, and trying to shift my energy on those topics. What I find interesting is how subtle those thoughts can be. It’s like I’m so used to thinking those thoughts and feeling those catabolic emotions that they’re almost invisible to me.

When we ignore catabolic emotions over a long time, our bodies begin to register the destructive internal processes as illness. Headaches, back pains, and other physical problems often begin to appear. We may associate these with stress, which is basically just an umbrella-term for all the catabolic physical processes generated by a variety of negative thoughts and emotions. When these thoughts and emotions continue to be left unchecked, those catabolic physical reactions can escalate to bigger problems, such as heart attacks.

Of course things like diet and exercise play a role, but there is scientific research that associates heart attacks and strokes with episodes of extreme anger, and other stress.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about my female problems and where chronic catabolic thoughts and emotions have played a role. It’s definitely a bit of a Gordian knot that probably started at my absolute shock and horror when I started my period at age 11. I truly thought I was dying. And I never came to peace with that particular aspect of being female.

But it’s even shown up in my resistance to surgery. Doctor’s had been telling me I would need to have a hysterectomy for about six years and I was pretty determined to avoid it. I definitely had some catabolic thoughts and emotions about surgery.

When the doctor told me in August that it was truly time, my first fear-based reaction was total panic. I came home and meditated on it and during that hour I somehow was able to accept it and come to peace with it.

As soon as I did, the solutions began to fall into place. I had one day—December 14—that I could do the surgery where it would have the least impact on my busy schedule. When the nurse called to schedule the operation, she said the doctor wanted to do it December 14. Incredible solutions also appeared in my work schedule and in our finances.

When we release catabolic energy and shift to a more anabolic state, we truly allow All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source, Higher power—whatever works for you) to provide the solutions we could never create on our own—and often couldn’t even imagine.

Where is your focus stuck in the problem? What can you do to accept it, and shift your focus to the solution? What difference does that make in your life?

Together we can do it!

Shifting My Thoughts about Surgery

Even though I am 100 percent confident in my decision to get spade next week, I woke up in the night with some anxiety.

And it wasn’t over my disappointment that the doctor (human vet?) says I can’t get microchipped at the same time. (Some silly thing about them not doing that to people. I think it would have been really handy to not have to carry ID anymore.)

When I asked myself what I was really afraid of, what came up was the probability of pain and discomfort—particularly immediately before and after the procedure, the unknown aspect of how quickly I will be able to bounce back, and the dread of not being able to work out and gaining weight as a result.

I think it’s pretty normal for this type of anxiety to come up before surgery, particularly since my experience with these types of medical procedures is limited to a tonsillectomy when I was 16 and an outpatient procedure I had five years ago to try to address the fibroid tumor in my uterus that is now requiring a hysterectomy.

The good news is that every woman I know who has undergone this operation (including my mother and many fabulous readers) has pretty much agreed that it was one of the best decisions they ever made.

Other than the fear of judgment I felt over sharing the news with my readers, this is the first anxiety I’ve had since August when I made the decision to follow my doctor’s advice to get surgery. It makes sense that it would come up now, as it’s starting to feel real.

It’s close enough that it’s beginning to impact my daily decisions—I unthinkingly scheduled a coaching appointment for two days after the surgery, and then later realized that I might not be up for it. I’ve had my pre-surgery appointment with the doctor and have two disinfecting sponges on my bureau that I’m supposed to bath with before the surgery, and the fleece lounge-wear that I ordered to wear home from the hospital has arrived. (While it makes me look like a small, and extremely fuzzy black bear it is warm and shouldn’t bind any sensitive flesh.)

Often times, even when we’re incredibly confident in our decisions, it’s following through with them that is the most challenging part. It can make us question our original decision, create stress, anxiety, depression, and fear, and lead us to backtrack.

This is true whether you are up for surgery, trying to lose weight, just left a job, or just broke up with someone.

Recognizing that it’s perfectly normal for your Gremlin—that part of you that criticizes and tells you that you are less than who you really are—to kick in is a big help in following through with confidence.

As is recognizing that some of the things you are afraid of are true.

For me, there will be discomfort with this procedure. That 23 hours I am in the hospital will be unpleasant. But the more I dwell on and fight against that, the worse the experience will actually be—and I’m prolonging the discomfort of that experience by a week-and-a-half if I focus on the negative part.

Now I’m not denying it—that anxiety is there and I’m allowing myself to feel and acknowledge it—but I have the power to shift how I think about it, or if need be, to change the subject altogether to something more positive.

For instance, using humor (at least the idea that I’m getting spade is funny to me) is one way I’m relieving the anxiety. Reminding myself of why I’m making the decision and the long-term benefits helps shift my energy. Plus, the worst will be over in 23-hours, which really isn’t that much time in the context of my entire life. I can endure a lot knowing that the worst will be over in a day.

There is also the time I get to take off and the quiet and relaxed Christmas I will have. Giving myself permission to use that time to take care of myself helps take some of the pressure off. I’m also mentally prepared to get back on the exercise wagon as soon as possible. My doctor says the best thing I can do to recover is walk and drink water, so I am poised to do as much of that as I can. I have faith in my ability to make the daily decisions that will gently move me back into my exercise routine. Even if I gain a few pounds, I know what to do to lose it.

The holidays themselves will distract me—Christmas movies, presents, eating in moderation. There will be lots of things to appreciate about my recovery time. And, if I get to even some of the things I have on my to-do list, that will be progress.

Good ways to strengthen your faith in your ability to make decisions is to stay focused on your goal, think through the steps you will have to take and accept that some of them won’t be pleasant, give yourself kudos when you make progress, and forgive yourself when you feel like you have fallen short. Then get up again and keep going.

Knowing you are on the right path doesn’t mean it will be easy. Sometimes the way to the most magnificent places requires maneuvering through steep and rugged terrain. It can even get so rocky that you can lose sight of the path. This is a normal part of the journey.

Together we can do it!

I’m Positive about Surgery

The assignment for day 12 of my Gratitude Challenge is to make the effort to live life with a positive outlook.

This would normally be a slam dunk for me. This is something I focus on every day. As the assignment describes, my intention is always to restrain from criticizing the people around me, dare to see the glass as half full, listen more than I speak, give freely of myself, and practice kindness at every opportunity.

So it’s very interesting to me that I awoke this morning with intense physical discomfort that is centered around my female parts, which are soon to be history. Perhaps if you were to witness the intensity of this discomfort, it would give you an inkling as to why I have made this decision. After dealing with these issues since I was 15 and trying more alternative treatments than I can count on both hands, it feels like the next logical step to take more mainstream action.

I have been reluctant to share this decision with you fabulous readers for a number of reasons. Mostly because I have been worried about your judgment. My assumption is that many of you will challenge my decision-making process to turn to surgery, and I frankly don’t want to justify it. There is also the concern that people won’t want to go to a wellness coach who isn’t, in their opinion, 100 percent well.

That sounds like an immediate negative reaction to me. Here I am altering my behavior because I am afraid of what you might think. That’s never a good reason to do anything. And frankly, it’s being critical of you without giving you the benefit of allowing you to respond however you respond.

So today, with this assignment, I’m changing how I think about sharing my surgery with you. There may be people who judge me and that’s OK. There may be people who don’t understand that this feels like the next logical step on my wellness journey, and that’s OK, too. Because I know what I went through to get to this point. And I know that this feels strongly like the direction the Universe is guiding me. And if either of those change based on what others say, then I do need to rethink my course of action.

I’m also choosing to share this because maybe my decision to pursue this path to wellness will inspire or soothe someone else who is struggling with their own wellness journey. And to me, nothing is more important than being of benefit to someone else.

So on December 14, I am going in for a hysterectomy. Or as I like to call it, getting spade. Yes, I plan to get micro-chipped at the same time. That should make running without identification a lot easier.

I feel really good about this decision, and now I feel good about sharing this journey with you. And I really look forward to leaving behind 29 years worth of female trouble and pursing an even healthier and happier future.

Together we can do it!