Health

Wellness Expert Shares Personal Struggle with Addiction & Depression

ADDICITION. Doesn’t discriminate.
ANXIETY. Indifferent to credentials and achievements.
DEPRESSION. Blind to where you live.

By: Dr. Natacha D. Nelson D.C, M.A.

“Look at you, your parents should be disgusted by you”, voices whispered solely for my ears.

“Your black daddy and your white mommy should be ashamed, to get married, to have you…”, their unapologetic words punctured my naive heart. The seed planted.

“A half breed, black girl shouldn’t be raised by a foreign, white woman. You should be taken and given to a proper home”. Their sentiments pierced every cell of my seven year old body. The terror became real.

***

I Attended a private high school and college. And I was an addict. An eating disorder, compulsive exercise and alcohol consumed my life. Desperate to distract myself from painful and uncomfortable feelings, the addictions led to academic probation and ultimately, dismissal from college.

Determined to become successful, I redeemed myself as the doctor of a large successful practice. I became an internationally competing athlete, married, had a family and good friends around me. None of my achievements dissolved the terror restless below the surface. The image I portrayed eclipsed my fear. Not even I noticed the hibernating rumblings.

Skilled at detecting possible threats against me or my mom (whether real or imagined) I blotted out the physical and emotional consequences of undetected anxiety growing fierce. My duty as a protector and provider devoured my time, money, energy and resources. In attempt to thwart perceived threats, I bankrupt myself; physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Unable to force myself out of bed, depression ensued.

The proverbial earthquake jolted my life. Demolishing the comfortable walls I erected for safety. Raw and vulnerable, I allowed myself to feel the heartbreak, the grief and the rage. Courageously, I engaged one feeling, one emotion, at a time. Finally willing to acknowledging the terror and pain, I desperately tried circumvent.

Giving my hurt permission to breathe, I began to write. And the healing balm, called Love, soothed my aching heart. Through writing, I was able to sift through four decades of actions and behaviors of my life. Eventually, the “A-Ha” moment revealed itself to me.

*****

The insight that my choices and decisions were unconsciously driven by the need to prove to myself and others, that I was lovable. I wanted to feel accepted, at least tolerated enough, to dissuade others from harming me or my mom.

Unknowingly, my efforts could never hush the unloved parts of me I refused to accept. Other people’s beliefs- about me, my parents and my life- I accepted as true. As long as I held the misbelief that I was unlovable, nothing I could do would override my inner judgments of myself. My outward actions would follow my unconscious beliefs.

My only mistake was to believe the false words of strangers and neighbors. Accepting their judgments as true and accurate. Believing I was bad, wrong, worthless and to be ashamed of. My parents’ marriage-one year after interracial marriage was legalized- to some, was deemed a disgust and my black and white mixed skin was a disgrace.

Once I forgave myself, for choices I made from fear and misinterpretations about myself, the healing began. I could not prove I was loveable if I didn’t believe I was. Accepting I am loveable, I no longer felt the need to prove it; not to myself, to my parents, to anyone. I forgave myself for buying into the unkind words of strangers and neighbors. I Forgave myself for the actions and behaviors I engaged in as a result of the misinterpretations I believed about myself. I Forgave my parents for the mistakes I believed they made in raising me. And forgave the authority figures of my childhood whose unkind words hurt me.

Addictions thwarted my college experience.

Anxiety bankrupt me.

Depression forced me to look at every aspect of my life, lovingly guiding me through the necessary emotional process. The healing work was worth the time and effort. I am finally free.

To you, Beloved Reader. You, too, are loved, are loveable and your life matters.

With Loving,
Natacha.

To learn more about my story, my services, visit:
www.adancingzebra.com
www.lifedoctor.guru
“Finding Courage to Let YOU Out” is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

About the author
Dr. Natacha D. Nelson D.C, M.A., has dedicated her career to understanding the connections between physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being through principles of Chiropractic and Spiritual Psychology. A practicing chiropractor for over 20 years, she is the owner of Inside Out Wellness Center, as well as a former professional beach volleyball player and advisor on health and wellness for the Santa Clara Fire and Menlo-Atherton Police Departments. She is a Mental Health and Wellness consultant and educator who keeps up on the latest research and attends continuing education seminars and scientific symposia, and has a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology. She lives in Los Angeles, with her daughter.

OXYGEN: A SECRET WEAPON FOR FITNESS? 

Expert Offers Insight into the “Oxygen-Enhanced Exercise” Trend & Shares Breathing Tips to Improve Health & Enhance Your Workout

Have you seen anyone at your gym wearing unusual face masks as they workout? If not, you are sure to encounter this soon and when you do, there is no need for alarm. It’s called oxygen-enhanced exercise, and it’s a holistic approach to fitness that has recently skyrocketed in popularity. Once available and common only with Olympians and pro athletes (like Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, and Mario Lemieux,) this training method has hit the mainstream and now at-home-exercisers and workout warriors across the country are using it as an all-natural way to gain an athletic advantage.

Oxygen-enhanced exercise is a scientifically proven phenomenon that’s said to benefit the body by reducing the physical stress of exercise, accelerating recovery, helping you sleep, giving you more energy, and improving your metabolism.

According to breathing expert Michael Grant White, oxygen is crucial for peak athletic performance.

“Playing sports, weight-lifting, circuit training, or any other intense physical activity, of course, burns calories and builds muscle, but many people don’t consider the wear and tear it has on their body. Lack of oxygen ages the body at a much greater rate…”

…says White, who has studied breathing over the past 24 years and has seen a rapid rise in interest for oxygen-enhanced exercise. As anti-doping initiatives spread across the country, and athletic drug testing becomes more prevalent, many athletes are turning to oxygen-enhanced exercise as a way to amplify their workouts without the use of drugs, chemicals, surgery, or invasive techniques.

We all know oxygen and exercise go hand-in-hand, but in case you missed this high school biology lesson, here’s a quick recap of the science: During exercise, your muscles have to contract and work harder, which increases their demand for oxygen. The amount needed is much more than you are taking in. Your body first burns the existing oxygen in the red blood cells and when this runs out, the body turns to fermentation for its energy needs. Instead of using oxygen, the muscles convert glucose into lactic acid and this is when fatigue sets in. Oxygen-enhanced exercise leverages the body’s already-existing system for oxygenating the blood before this happens.

If you’re not ready to sport an oxygen mask, you can still enhance your workout through mindful breathing. According to research, proper breathing should be one of your main focuses during exercise. It’s easy to underestimate just how much it impacts our overall health and fitness. Oxygen helps the body maintain pH balance, it increases neuronal energy metabolism in the brain, detoxifies the blood, and strengthens the immune system by killing harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Oxygen also plays a huge role in the recovery process because it helps restore pre-exercise ATP levels and helps your liver break down lactic acid into simple carbohydrates.

“Not all breathing is created equal, there are breathing techniques you can do to enhance your workout…”

…says White who has trained athletes to use proper breathing techniques and seen first-hand how better breathing can help strengthen endurance, lower lactic acid production, and improve stamina for cardio-centric activities (like running, swimming, biking, etc.) In addition, simple breathing techniques can help athletes (at any level of fitness) recover more quickly from high-intensity activities.

In short: better breathing = better health.

Michael Grant White is on a mission to awaken the breathing consciousness of the world. He has insight into the oxygen-enhanced exercise trend and can share breathing tips people can use at home to improve their health and their workout.


IN AN INTERVIEW / ARTICLE:

  • Breathing Tricks to Improve Your Health & Enhance Your Workout
  • Unlikely Ways Your Breathing Impacts Your Life
  • Fascinating Link Between Breathing & The Brain
  • Insight into the “Oxygen-Enhanced Exercise” Trend: An All-Natural Approach to Improve Health & Enhance Workouts

ABOUT MICHAEL GRANT WHITE:

Michael Grant White is a holistic health expert, author, and international speaker who has dedicated his career to helping people improve their health through better breathing. As an Optimal Breathing Coach and the founder of My Oxygen Machine and Breathing.com, White is on a mission to make the world healthier one breath at a time.

For More Information Visit:

 https://breathing.com

Cardiologist Releases Memoir Detailing Her Own Heart Break & Lessons Learned

Today women are fighting for rights to our bodies, searching for success in what is still a men’s dominated workforce, and balancing motherhood along with everything else. We look to influencers and self-help experts for guidance. But the one woman we should look at is someone who helped pave the way for females in all these areas: Barbara Roberts, MD, the first woman to practice adult cardiology in Rhode Island (as a single mother of 3 no less) and outspoken feminist who fought for safe abortions.

Dr. Roberts’ life is a story of passion: for women’s rights, motherhood, medicine, love, and the underdog. She stood up for what she believed in and battled politics, career stereotypes, her children’s fathers, the Family Court system, public scrutiny, and even her own conscience at times. And she made it through all, proving to be the hero of her own unique journey. Her memoir, The Doctor Broad: A Mafia Love Story [Heliotrope Books, September 3, 2019], details it all.

“I wrote this book because the world has changed so much from the world I grew up in,” Dr. Roberts recently told NBC 10’s Coffee Break with Frank and Friends Facebook TV Show. “I wanted particularly younger women to be able to learn some lessons in how to survive adversity, how to overcome heartbreak and how to come out in the end and really have led a full and happy life.

About Barbara Hudson Roberts, MD

Barbara Hudson Roberts, MD was the first female adult cardiologist in the state of Rhode Island. She graduated from Barnard College and Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. As a resident at Yale New Haven Hospital, she became active in the pro-choice movement, before Roe v Wade made abortion legal. She helped found the Women’s National Abortion Action Coalition (WONAAC) and was the keynote speaker at the first national pro-choice demonstration in Washington DC in November 1971. She also was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and spoke at the last mass anti-war demonstration on the grounds of the Washington Monument on the day of Nixon’s inauguration in 1973. She was a staff physician at Planned Parenthood for many years, and continues on the voluntary faculty at Brown where she is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine.

About the Doctor Broad

The Doctor Broad: A Mafia Love Story is the memoir of Barbara H. Roberts, MD.  There are people in the know who say that she caused the downfall of the New England Mafia. She did this, not by killing someone, or sending someone to jail, but by keeping someone alive, and out of prison, for about a year too long. During this time, Roberts navigated life in two separate worlds. In the “straight” world, she was a single mother of three, the first woman to practice adult cardiology in Rhode Island, and an active feminist. In the other world she was the physician whose testimony prevented Raymond L. S. Patriarca, the head of the New England Mafia, from having to go to trial, and the secret lover of the alleged #3 man in the New England Mafia, Louis “Baby Shanks” Manocchio. Roberts’ commitment to feminism and medicine leads her into unexpected byways as she faces moral dilemmas she never envisioned, but two things of the girl she once was remain: a love of children and a desire to heal. Her story was even featured on an episode of the Crimetown podcast.  

  Connect with Barbara Roberts on Facebook @barbara.roberts.14, Instagram @bhrdoc, Twitter @BarbaraHRoberts and visit www.thedoctorbroad.com.

The Doctor Broad: A Mafia Love Story releases on September 3, 2019.

Lacking Self-Discipline?

5 Ways To Develop It And Reach Your Goals

Americans are known to overeat, abuse credit cards, marinate for hours in social media, and break New Year’s resolutions before the end of January. Self-discipline doesn’t seem to be a national strength.

And achieving self-discipline – and the success that can come with it – may never have been harder than it is in this instant-gratification age, says Dr. Rob Carter III.

“Self-discipline is an undervalued trait in a modern society that wants everything now,” says Carter, co-author with his wife, Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter, of The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life (www.themorningmind.com). “Self-discipline is the ability to motivate and coordinate our efforts to improve our quality of life, but unfortunately most people are not taught it.

“It is, however, a skill that everyone can learn. Self-discipline is the skill that will allow you to reach any goal you set.”

Carter offers five ways to develop self-discipline:

Be aware of your resistance. Resistance, Carter says, is the biggest obstacle to developing self-discipline, and it often comes in the form of discouraging internal self-talk such as, “I can’t do it” or “Why should I have to change?” “The next time you embark on a new project that causes resistance,” Carter says, “fight it by asserting or writing down your intended goal and the benefits it will bring.”

Plan for every outcome. Plans go awry when people let excuses get in the way. “An example is having a goal of running in the morning for 30 minutes, but you have bailouts such as it’s raining, cold, or you don’t feel like it,” Carter says. “Developing self-discipline is recognizing and planning for these self-created obstacles and actively choosing to work through them. So when you set a goal to achieve, have chart in place listing “Even ifs.” List the potential obstacles to achieving your goal and counter each one with a promise to yourself that you’ll achieve your goal even if these challenges arise.”

Prepare to give something up in order to gain. Carter suggests compiling a list of the pros and cons of sacrificing for a certain goal. “To reach your goal, Carter says, “you will more than likely have to impose certain limitations on yourself in order to gain something. These limitations could be less free time, socializing, money or television. The upside is that seeing the rewards of the sacrifice on the pros list will keep you motivated and disciplined.”

Reward yourself with self-compensation. “Rewards are an incredibly powerful tool for motivating yourself to reach your goals,” Carter says. “Consider them the carrot on the stick. Have a reward in place for when you achieve a goal or part of a goal, and make sure it’s appropriate.”

Break your goal down into manageable steps. “If you break your goal down into bite-sized steps,” Carter says, “you’re much more likely to stay disciplined enough to complete every sub-goal. Each step accomplished gives you an encouraging boost. Consider using SMART goals — specific, measurable, attractive, realistic, timed. This makes the goal more definitive and puts the steps in tangible action.”

“Self-discipline includes structured planning, organization, delayed gratification, and the willingness to step outside your comfort zone,” Carter says. “These things can appear scary, but don’t worry, you’re not alone. And once you take the first step, you have ventured onto a beautiful path that offers many rewards.”

About Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter

Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter are co-authors of The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life(www.themorningmind.com). Rob Carter is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, an expert in human performance and physiology, and has academic appointments in emergency medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, in public health and health sciences at Los Angeles Pacific University, and in nutrition at the University of Maryland, University College. He holds a PhD in biomedical sciences and medical physiology and an MPH in chronic disease epidemiology.

Kirti Carter was born in Pune, India, and received her medical education in India, where she practiced as an intensive-care physician before moving to Texas to complete postgraduate training in public health. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress (FAIS), has more than 18 years of experience in meditation and breathing techniques, and has been facilitating wellness seminars for the past decade.

McDonald’s accepts petition

Food activist and New York Times bestselling author Kathy Freston, who has led a national campaign for McDonald’s to add a plant-based burger to its menu, threw a massive party outside of McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago this afternoon, bringing 220,000 signatures from her Change.org petition calling for a vegan burger directly to McDonald’s. The petition delivery was accompanied by a carnival-like atmosphere, including Impossible Whopper taste tests, a Vegan Hamburglar, a balloon installation and more.

“We celebrated outside McDonald’s today to send the exact message that McDonald’s CEO said he wanted to hear: that customers were interested in a plant-based burger,” said Freston, who has been pushing McDonald’s for a plant-based burger for years. “Fast-food companies are adding plant-based options seemingly every week. How much more demand does McDonald’s need to hear before they listen to customers?”

Representatives from McDonald’s accepted petition starter Kathy Freston’s petition delivery today, but their Vice President of Global Communications, Michael Gonda, made this statement in response to the event: “As a customer obsessed, modern and progressive burger company, we’re committed to offering a variety of menu choices. That often starts by listening to customers to understand changing trends and evolving tastes—so any and all feedback is appreciated.”

“If feedback is what McDonald’s wants, feedback is what McDonald’s is going to continue to get,” said Tegan Gregory, Senior Campaigner at Change.org, the online petition platform where more than 220,000 people have signed a petition for McDonald’s to add a plant-based burger. “This petition is one of the largest food petitions in Change.org history, and even though McDonald’s refused to meet with activists today, they’re not going to be able to ignore the continuing demand for meat alternatives. Burger King, White Castle, Del Taco, Tim Horton’s and more are listening to customer demand, which is leaving everyone asking why McDonald’s is behind the curve.”

A recent study by GlobalData found that 70 percent of global consumers are lowering their meat intake or avoiding it altogether. Barclays predicts the market for meat substitutes could soar to US $140 billion over the next decade.

Raghuram Nagarathna, MD, FRCP, DSc receives the ADA’s Vivian Fonseca and Nagendran Family Diabetes Research Award

Raghuram Nagarathna, MD, FRCP, DSc, has been selected to receive the American Diabetes Association’s® (ADA’s) 2019 Vivian Fonseca and Nagendran Family Diabetes Research Award. This award, given in memory of Mr. P. Nagendran, promotes and recognizes diabetes research focused on the South Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations, and/or research by a scientist from these areas. The Award honors the contributions of Dr. Vivian Fonseca, a former ADA President, Medicine & Science and the Tullis-Tulane Alumni Chair in Diabetes, Professor of Medicine Chief in the Section of Endocrinology at Tulane University School of Medicine. During his many years of service to the organization and the diabetes community, Dr. Fonseca served as a mentor and role model to many researchers and clinicians in the continuing quest for advances in diabetes care. Dr. Raghuram will be recognized with this honor during the ADA’s 79th Scientific Sessions, June 7–11, 2019, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. She will deliver the Vivian Fonseca and Nagendran Family Diabetes Research Award Presentation, “Diabetes Prevention through Yoga-Based Lifestyle: A Pan-India Randomized Controlled Trial,” on Saturday, June 8. 

“Thank you, Dr. Nagarathna, for your tireless efforts to improve treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes in underserved populations and poor countries,” said the ADA’s 2019 President of Medicine and Science Louis H. Philipson, MD, PhD, FACP. “Your innovative work has had an impressive impact on the lives of many people. Congratulations on this honor.” 

Dr. Nagarathna is the Medical Director of Arogyadhama Naturopathy and Yoga Clinic, a 250-bed teaching hospital of integrative medicine that combines an evidence-based Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy (IAYT, including disease specific  asanas, breathing techniques, meditation, yogic diet, and yogic counseling) with modern medicine, Ayurveda, naturopathy, acupuncture, and physiotherapy offered to  patients with different noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), under the supervision of a team of experts in each of these specialties.

She also serves as a distinguished professor in the medical college, guides PhD students, and works as the principal investigator for many funded yoga-related clinical projects of the Vivekananda (S-VYASA) University in South Bengaluru, India. She is a member of yoga-related policy making national committees of the World Health Organization, Niti Aayog, university grants commission, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), and the Indian Yoga Association.    

Dr. Nagarathna has authored more than 60 publications in peer reviewed high impact journals, written 12 books, published DVDs, and given TV serials on yoga for different NCDs including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, spinal problems, and women’s health issues.

The Vivian Fonseca and Nagendran Family Diabetes Research Award is given in memory of Mr. P. Nagendran and funded by a grant from Suku Nagendran, MD, and Anne Nagendran.

The American Diabetes Association’s 79th Scientific Sessions, the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes research, prevention and care, will be held June 7-11, 2019, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. Nearly 15,000 leading physicians, scientists, health care professionals and industry representatives from around the world are expected to convene at the Scientific Sessions to unveil cutting-edge research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a cure for diabetes. During the five-day meeting, attendees will receive exclusive access to more than 850 presentations and 2,000 original research presentations, participate in provocative and engaging exchanges with leading diabetes experts, and can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) or Continuing Education (CE) credits for educational sessions. The program is grouped into eight thematic areas: Acute and Chronic Complications; Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Education and Exercise; Clinical Diabetes/Therapeutics; Epidemiology/Genetics; Immunology/Transplantation; Insulin Action/Molecular Metabolism; Integrated Physiology/Obesity; and Islet Biology/Insulin Secretion. Gretchen Youssef, MS, RDN, CDE, President of Health Care and Education, will deliver her address, “It’s All about Access!,” on Saturday, June 8, and Louis H. Philipson, MD, PhD, FACP, President of Medicine and Science, will deliver his lecture, “Precision Medicine—Addressing the Many Faces of Diabetes,” on Sunday, June 9. Join the Scientific Sessions conversation on social media using #ADA2019.

About the American Diabetes Association

Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. Nearly 115 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For nearly 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Information is available in English and Spanish. Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).

Surprising side-benefits of Glucosamine for Cardiovascular Health

A new study published on May 14 in the British Medical Journal has found a surprising side-benefit of regularly taking the supplement glucosamine for osteoarthritis symptoms: Long-term usage also strengthens cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of heart attack death by 22 percent.

The prospective study of approximately 466,000 subjects showed that people who took glucosamine for an average of seven years had an 18 percent lower risk of heart disease; a 15 percent lower risk of heart attack or stroke; a 22 percent lower risk of heart attack death; and a 9 percent lower risk of stroke.

“Either side of this equation is a win-win for patients,” says board certified internist Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, a leading expert in treating chronic pain and fatigue. “Glucosamine is clearly one of the most effective non-pharmaceutical treatments to decrease heart attack and stroke risk safely and naturally, and the only side-effect is that it reduces or totally eliminates arthritis pain.”

“With major studies showing that arthritis medications cause 30,000 – 50,000 US deaths annually, it’s time to rethink how we treat pain,” explains Dr. Teitelbaum. “Offering benefits for one condition while creating side-effects that can kill you is not good medicine!”

“Although arthritis medications (NSAIDs) can be worthwhile when natural remedies are inadequate, simply using the natural remedies first for a six-week trial could save upwards of 70,000 US lives every year.” According to Dr. Teitelbaum, major studies have shown that glucosamine combined with chondroitin was essentially equivalent in effectiveness to Celebrex.

Other studies have shown that a combination of the botanicals curcumin and boswellia was even more effective than Celebrex for arthritis; and this herbal mix is also associated with significant cancer protection and other important health benefits.

“Botanicals have been used as medicine for centuries,” says Dr. Teitelbaum, “and now research suggests that they’re also the medicine of the future. Especially today, the public and physicians are desperate for safe alternatives to opioids for effective pain relief.”  

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is the best-selling author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery), Pain-Free 1-2-3, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution, Real Cause Real Cure, Diabetes Is Optional, and the Beat Sugar Addition NOW! series.  He is the lead author of four groundbreaking research studies on effective treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia using an integrative treatment approach called SHINE. His research on ribose, a unique 5-carbon sugar, showed an average 61 percent increase in energy at 3 weeks

Why Meditative Moments Are Perfect for Those Who Suck at Meditating?

Do you want to meditate but never seem to be able to find the time? Don’t give up. Meditation’s many benefits are worth pursuing, even if you have to use your time popcorn, those small random free moments such as waiting in line, that pop up randomly throughout the day and make us instinctively reach for a distraction.

There are so many reasons to meditate. The workplace has become a breeding ground for an epidemic of SADness—stress, anxiety and depression—three afflictions that meditation can ease. Smartphones have shrunk our attention spans to sub-goldfish levels and meditation can help us focus at least as well as an amphibian. And meditation can make pain feel less painful, help us sleep better, control impulsive reactions, and improve our relationships. But most of all meditation helps us live our lives as they’re happening, not as a background music to thoughts of the past and imaginings of the future.

Here are five easy yet powerful meditative moments that anyone, no matter how busy, can fit into their day.

Stoplight = Breathe + Delight. Do you ever feel the urge to reach for your phone at a stoplight to scan your email? Where I live, one of the toughest jurisdictions for distracted driving in the world, even touching your phone to turn off an alarm while your car is on the road can result in a fine of up to $1,000 for a first-time offence. Plus a 3-day driving suspension and demerit points. Rather than reach for your phone, take a deep breath and scan your environment for something pleasing to look at, or double-up on the meditative impact by combining it with the next meditative moment…

The Happiness Wish. This simple practice has resulted in countless cases of “my best day at work in years.” Whenever you encounter someone, say to yourself “I want this person to be happy.” Not only will you short-circuit a knee jerk reaction to view others with a critical mind, but with each person you encounter, you’ll be cultivating an aura of kindness that, if they’re attentive, they’ll be able to sense. If you can wish happiness for everyone you see in a day, you will get the same mood-elevating benefits as a formal meditation session in compassion where you imagine a wider and wider circle of humanity and wish them all well. Compassion meditation always begins with yourself, so while you’re wishing happiness for others, be sure to take a moment to wish for your own happiness.

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. Do you remember tasting anything today, or did you scarf down your food and drink while you were busy doing something else? Food is a pleasure that deserves to be savored. You’re eating anyway, so why not take a moment to smell, taste and feel the sensations that your food gives you. Savoring your food counts as meditation.

What’s happening in your left hand? “He lived at a little distance from his body” began James Joyce’s “A Painful Case,” the tragic story of Mr. Duffy, a man who never paid attention to the world around and within him. Many of us are Mr. Duffys who would prefer to be all orderly minds without nuisance bodies that repeatedly impose their needs on us and interrupt our productivity. But when we cut ourselves off from our bodies, we cut ourselves off from what Joyce called “life’s feast,” so reconnect with your body now and sporadically throughout the day. What’s happening with your left hand? It’s not an insignificant question. To begin to inhabit the body takes you out of inhabiting only the mind. If you can feel your left hand, you can also start inhabiting other parts of the body. Feel the aliveness in your left hand, and if you have time, travel up your arm and around your shoulders down to your right hand. You may discover that your body is a welcoming place of mental rest.

Just breathe. The simplest and most portable tip, just breathe is a meditation that you can do anywhere, anytime. Take a deep breath into your belly, and let your attention follow your breath as feel your belly rise, and fall as breathe out. It only takes a few breaths to signal your body to relax, recharge and energize.

Try one of these meditative moments, notice how it makes you feel, and soon you’ll be seeking out opportunities for more meditative moments that sown together over the course of a day will have a positive effect on your wellbeing. And if you ever decide that you have five minutes or more to sit quietly and just breathe, your meditative moment will have become the bridge to building a meditative habit.

Lynne Everatt is a recovering MBA, LinkedIn Top Voice in management and culture, and nominee for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for her first book, E-mails from the Edge, a novel with the theme of workplace mental health. She is a former careers columnist for Canada’s largest newspaper, The Globe and Mail. An ardent advocate for mental health through physical fitness, Lynne is a certified personal trainer who has completed two sweaty half-marathons and a marathon six minutes and twenty-three seconds of stand-up at the Absolute Comedy Club. She served for three years as President of the Board of Directors of the women’s shelter Interim Place where she met and became friends with co-author Addie Greco-Sanchez of The 5-Minute Recharge. Connect with Lynne on LinkedIn and Twitter. Together, Lynne and Addie want to make the world a mentally healthier place through their friendship.

To learn more please visit, www.5minrecharge.com.

The Handbook for Eliminating Stress for Sustainable Change in Work and Life

Stress and anxiety are part of leadership and life, but what if someone told you these feelings are simply self imposed states of mind and that humans belong to an ego-thought system that is a very common way of seeing, thinking and behaving in the world? That we can be hurt by nothing but our thoughts? Or that in order to be a truly transformational leader and enjoy a more peaceful and prosperous life in both business and family, one most surrender the ego to a higher power?

All too often, organizations implementing operational excellence do so without addressing the human and cultural implications of such a change strategy. They conduct studies, move equipment, reduce work in process, allocate employees and change measurement systems, all focusing on minimizing waste and improving the flow of value through the value stream, but they overlook the human impact of these changes, the mindset and belief system that must accompany it.

In Miracle-Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable about How to Apply A Course in Miracles in Business [Beyond Words, October 22, 2019], “zentrepreneur” and mindful leadership expert John J. Murphy teaches readers how to get out of their own way by shifting their thinking to see life—and themselves—very differently. By integrating teachings of A Course in Miracles (ACIM), a unique, spiritual self-study program designed to awaken us to the truth of our oneness with God and love, along with other great spiritual lessons, Miracle Minded Manager helps people improve their lives. Readers are provided with the tools to eliminate stress, not just manage it, through a non-sectarian, non-denominational spiritual tone in which everyone can participate.

“The next time you have a big problem, look in the mirror,” says Murphy. “People all over the world are stressed, especially as innovation, change and uncertainty accelerate. More importantly, people are stressed and they are not aware it is a condition of their own making. The ego mindset is projecting a negative outcome or possibility onto the future and when we dwell on what could go wrong, we feel anxious and afraid. These negative assumptions, projected by the mind, are triggering fear and stress. It is like being nervous before giving a speech or taking an exam. We are nervous because we ‘think’ something might go wrong. Mindful leadership is essential to helping people see things differently – by teaching them to see in a different way, a miracle-minded way.

Miracle-Minded Manager is the sequel to Murphy’s Agent of Change: Leading a Cultural Revolutionbut it is not necessary to read Agent of Change before reading this book. An intriguing parable about bringing more inspiration, harmony, balance, and peace of mind to corporate culture, Miracle Minded Manager offers insightful lessons on how to overcome fear and eliminate stress in all areas of their lives. Through an entertaining and compelling fictional narrative, readers will learn how to apply the spiritual ideas of ACIM and the law of attraction to everyday challenges, discover practical meditation techniques, and experience a transformational shift in thinking to discover a whole new level of understanding, awareness and appreciation in life.

The story features enlightening conversations between two characters, Jack MacDonald, the president of a business unit of TYPCO (Typical Company), and Jordan McKay, an intriguing business consultant. With the help of Jordan, Jack learns how to overcome a great deal of resistance to completely reinvent the organizational culture he leads. In addition to this, he learns valuable insights that apply to his personal life. It is here that Jack first learns of the ACIM course and begins to apply it himself, along with the help of his wife.

Miracle Minded Manager can help business and government leaders, people living in stress and those seeking enlightenment, no matter what they are doing, overcome:

  • Fear, anxiety, worry and stress – at work and at home.
  • Challenging relationships – at work and at home.
  • Business culture issues; Divisiveness

“We all get in our own way from time to time by doubting ourselves and thinking inside a box- a paradigm- that doesn’t exist,” adds Murphy. “It could be a ‘rule’ that we follow, like we have to work 40 hours per week, eat three meals a day or wear certain clothing styles. We spend countless hours trying to find ways to improve performance and results inside these ‘boxes.’ Entire industries are being disrupted by innovations challenging old paradigms. The same is true in our personal lives. If we can find innovative ways to work four hours a day, or three days a week, why not? In healthcare, if we can find ways to prevent illness and disease, rather than treat it, what might that look like? This is what miracle-minded management is all about. It is about challenging old paradigms with a truly open and fearless mind.”

About the Author:

John J. Murphy is a global business consultant, speaker, spiritual mystic, “zentrepreneur,” and award winning author. He is Founder (1988) and CEO of Venture Management Consultants, Inc., a firm specializing in creating lean, high performance work environments.  As a business consultant, Murphy has delivered services to some of the world’s leading organizations, including ADP, AlliedSignal (Honeywell), BMW, Chase, the CIA, GE, GM, GSK, Hilton, Lockheed Martin, Merck, the Michigan State Senate, Perrigo, Prudential, Raytheon, Spectrum Health, Target Stores, Teva, and the US Navy. As an educator and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Murphy has trained thousands of people from over 50 countries, including Fortune 500 executives, project leaders, military leaders, managers, and black belts. He has mentored dozens of project teams in Organizational Development, Operational Excellence, Business Process Innovation and Lean Six Sigma applications. As a speaker, Murphy has delivered keynotes and seminars worldwide. A critically-acclaimed authority on peak performance, transformational leadership and healthy mind-body-spirit, Murphy is a best-selling author who has published 19 books and appeared on over 400 radio and television stations and his work has been featured in over 50 newspapers nationwide.

Murphy is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BBA Finance) and the University of Michigan’s Human Resource Executive Program. He is also a former quarterback for Notre Dame.

Connect with John J. Murphy on Facebook @Author.John.J.Murphy, Twitter @sageleader, LinkedIn @johnjmurphymystic, YouTube @AuthorJohnJMurphy, Instagram @jjmurphy13 and visit www.johnjmurphy.org.

Miracle-Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable about How to Apply A Course in Miracles in Business releases on October 22, 2019 in paperback and e-Book.

Stress Awareness Month: Alleviating Stress and Working Out

Natalie Durand-Bush, PhD, CMPC

Association for Applied Sport Psychology Executive Board Member

Full Professor, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Co-Founder, Canadian Centre for Mental Health, Ottawa, Canada

Recovery plays a vital role in sport. It is necessary to prevent underperformance, overtraining, burnout, injuries, and illness. This is mainly due to the fact that athletes are subjected to ongoing physical and mental stressors while training in order to stretch their performance limits. However, it is important to balance such stressors with appropriate rest and recovery through the use of periodized approaches. Periodization programs are designed and implemented in sport to maximize the effects of physical and mental training over predetermined training cycles by varying key training variables such as volume and intensity.

The aim of these programs is to maximize long-term athlete development and peak performance during targeted competitions within identified periods or ‘mesocycles’ (e.g., hockey season, Olympic quadrennial). Each mesocycle consists of preparatory (e.g., off-season and pre-competitive season), competitive (e.g., regular competitive season), peaking (e.g., playoffs, national championship), and recovery (e.g., post-competition period prior to off-season training) periods or ‘microcycles’ that vary in length based on training objectives, athletes’ needs, and the amount of time available between peaking events. Issues often arise when periodization protocols are mismanaged and training responses are not properly monitored. For example, peaking may not occur if athletes do not respect built-in recovery activities (e.g., days off, sleep routine, naps, limited social media) as a result of fearing they will fall behind their competitors. Also, coaches who insufficiently pay attention to warning signs during high-intensity periods in which athletes require more time to physically and mentally recover can jeopardize athletes’ performance and health. The costs of poor or failed monitoring could be injury or illness, including low mental health and the onset of mental illness.

Athletes’ mental health reflects their psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Athletes who are mentally healthy are able to feel, think, and act in ways allowing them to work productively, reach their full potential and goals, enjoy life, contribute to their community, and cope with normal daily stressors. When stressors (e.g., physical, psychological) exceed athletes’ internal (e.g., resilience strategies) and external (e.g., parental and coaching support) coping resources, it can deplete them and lead to significant distress and impaired functioning. In other words, it can exacerbate an existing mental illness or trigger a new one. Symptoms to which coaches should pay attention when working with athletes include any significant changes in eating and sleeping patterns, isolation from others, unusual low energy/stamina, intense mood swings, decreased enjoyment and concentration, feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness, inexplicable pain, and difficulties performing daily tasks, to name a few. Coaches noticing such changes in athletes should intervene, particularly if these changes last more than two weeks.

This entails having a private, respectful, and empathetic conversation with struggling athletes by (a) asking them specific questions regarding observed changes (e.g., “I have noticed that you look more tired and withdrawn than usual, are you struggling at the moment?”), (b) offering support (e.g., “Your mental health is important to me, what can I do to help you recover and regain your strength?”), and (c) referring them to an appropriate mental health care provider if necessary (e.g., “I’m not a mental health expert but I am seeing signs that concern me; our team has access to a mental health practitioner and I’d like you to see this person to make sure you have the resources you need to cope and get back to your normal self”). Given the crucial role of rest and recovery in the management of both athletic performance and mental health, coaches should discuss with any struggling athletes the benefits of adding recovery periods in their training program or of taking a complete break to prioritize and help them restore their mental health.