Tomorrow, as Chair of the Board of the Sjogren’s Foundation, I am hosting a program on Building Resilience with Meditation and Mindset. This phone-in program is for members of the Sjogren’s Foundation who have registered (the registration is filled to capacity). As I prepare for the sessions, I thought I’d also write this post to share the information for those who can’t make the call.
You may ask why I am choosing the term “resilience” instead of inner calm, or positive mindset. The definition of resilience is, “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. And to be resilient, one has already started the practice of creating a positive mindset and creating inner-calm. In fact, that is a huge part of being a resilient person. So during this Covid-19 Pandemic time, why not use tools to help us through this very stressful time now, and also set us up for future resilience! That is my hope for sharing this information with you. By practicing some meditation and positive mindset exercises, you can help your stress now, as well as build your resilience for future stressors and challenging events!
Living with the complexities of Sjögrens is more than just managing our symptoms and physicians — it includes managing our emotions and expectations (our own and others). This is especially true when a Sjögrens relapse, or flare, hits. (more…)
I am so relieved that it is 2017! I am happy to say that I am feeling my usual self today. But it was hard work getting back to emotional and physical status quo — because the last four months of 2016 was absolute shit!
This blog post is about how the emotional stress of a major life event collided with my Sjögrens, caused a major Autoimmune Disease relapse, and what tools I used to pull myself back up to my usual state of normal. I also, now, have a game plan for the next major life event!
This is the second blog post to recreate my keynote speech given at the 2016 Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation National Patient Conference April 8th and 9th in Seattle. You may want to read the first blog Relapse to Reinvention. This post is about 10 Stages of Autoimmune Grief and Life.
After my diagnosis of Sjögren’s Syndrome in 2006, I began the difficult work of grieving the loss of not only who I was, but the dreams of who I wanted to become as a healthy individual. I was so exhausted and in such pain that I knew that I probably could not aspire to be CEO of a large company, or that I would not spend 50% of my time traveling. I also realized that I would need to incorporate new ways to care for myself including altering eating habits.
This last one may not sound like such a big deal to many people, but one of my top pleasures in life is exploring the world looking for the most amazing food available in any culture…and pairing that with the local fermented beverage of choice! So yes, altering my love of food exploration (spices, textures, acids, heat, etc.) was a great sadness to me. There were many other things in life that I thought were too challenging to be worth the effort, however, this blog is about Reinvention and looking for new and fulfilling ways to live life and explore the world….so onward. (more…)
Last Friday night, I delivered a speech to over 400 people who live with Sjögrens (just like me). This disease effects approximately 4 million people in the US, yet is drastically under diagnosed and under supported by the medical community. Thank heavens we have the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation that produces these events so we can stay informed about our disease. The conference also gives us the ability to chat with other patients about how they manage their life with an Autoimmune Disease.
I was honored to deliver the keynote speech at dinner and even more honored that so many people responded positively to my story and some of the ideas I presented. As promised, I am gong to recreate the speech on this blog, so the tips and illustrations I presented can be easily available.
I will segment my speech into several blog posts, this first one focusing on my experiences the 8 years before diagnosis and the first few years after diagnosis.