Finding Your Voice

A lot of people claim that they can’t sing. Maybe at some point in their life, someone told them they couldn’t carry a tune. Maybe they were told that they were being too loud or obnoxious. Maybe they started thinking that singing wasn’t cool, or that it was only acceptable in a karaoke bar under the influence of alcohol. At some point, they just decided to quit singing. I say “quit,” because anyone who has been around young children knows that they are not nearly as shy about sharing their voices with the world. At some point, though, it seems … Continue reading

Thanks for the Words of Encouragement

From an early age I had low self-esteem partly as a result of being criticized unrealistically by my mother. I was a perfectionist and struggled with anger, frustration and tension. Besides that I felt like my parents were smothering me with over protection. College graduation coincided with a break up with my boyfriend, dashing marriage plans and leaving me lost and dejected. Mom said, “I told you so.” That just made things hurt more. I moved to a faraway state to try and escape my parents and the feelings of failure and guilt that I had, but things only got … Continue reading

Getting unstuck from depression

On the bus recently I overheard a woman on her cellphone. “I’m so depressed,” she told the person on the receiving end. Later that day, I was on the receiving end as I listened to a friend from across the country explain that it’s been hard to get out of bed in the mornings. I knew what she meant. I, too, had been having a hard time getting and staying motivated and upbeat. While the term “depression” might commonly be used as a general descriptor to convey, I feel bad emotionally and I don’t know how to relieve it, depression … Continue reading

Guide Your Recovery with Wellness

Exuberant Life! The road to recovery is difficult for everyone whether you’re at the beginning or well into your journey. Incorporating wellness practices like good nutrition, exercise and improved sleep habits into your routine make your recovery easier and more successful. Easier? You might think that sounds like extra effort when you’re already working so hard. Yet, for people in recovery, a healthy lifestyle is especially important for several major reasons. First, substance abuse causes damage to the body due to excessive stress. Second, alcohol and drug abuse can cause general malnutrition as well as specific nutrient deficiencies. Third, improved … Continue reading

Health Beyond the Numbers

Mahatma Gandhi said: “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” He was voicing ancient wisdom that goes as far back as the first century BC when the Roman poet, Virgil, wrote: “The greatest wealth is health.” Today we say, “If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.” We seem to want good health. The majority of New Year’s resolutions center on the physical body: exercise more, quit smoking, eat better. Fitness clubs offer state-of-the-art equipment; television commercials hawk quick and easy weight loss plans, in-home exercise paraphernalia and plastic-encased ready-to- eat meals. We … Continue reading

On Creating Balance

Finding balance in our daily lives can be difficult in today’s fast-paced, smartphone- driven society. Five days a week, my smartphone leaves me feeling as though I am a critical- care neurosurgeon; on-call and always accessible. Without real private time, or privacy. Whether it’s work or family needs, all too often we are encouraged to play the role of the First Responder; always standing ready. Reports tell me that approximately one in five American women are on antidepressants, that tens of millions of our fellow Americans find themselves relying on food stamps, that the most prescribed drug in America is … Continue reading

Applying the Wisdom of Recovery to Your Finances

We seek to live whole lives in recovery and wellness, but it is so easy to find parts of our lives that get compartmentalized or ceded away from recovery principles. Personal finance is one of those areas where the wisdom and tools of recovery could help, but many people get overwhelmed, and doubly so when debts are part of the picture. Debt has become a new norm in American life. Think about how credit cards have become a part of everyday life. Fewer than half of consumers pay their credit card balance off in full each month, and the average … Continue reading

If you live in America today…

……a large part of it at least, you live in a place designed to make you overweight and unhealthy. It was not designed this way on purpose; nonetheless, that’s the effect. Sidewalk-less suburban cul-de-sacs keep you from walking. If you do walk, you face having to cross a four-lane highway to get to a store. Once at that store you are presented with a mile long row of boxed options disappearing into the horizon, all of them packaged with bright, distracting colors and most of them containing a great deal of sugar and fat. If this becomes overwhelming, as it … Continue reading

Retrain the Brain?

Many of us have heard of higher brain living — but what is it? Some brain researchers advocate energizing the pre-frontal lobes — the higher brain — to help us lessen the impact of unproductive “lower brain” stress responses. Directly or indirectly, medical researchers believe that up to 90 percent of all medical office visits are a result of stress. Our primitive survival brain, or lower brain, is the part of our brain physiology that is responsible for survival. It is a reactive part of our physiology that keeps us in the grip of stress, fear, anxiety, reactive impulse, addiction, … Continue reading

New Year? What New Year?

Why it’s so Hard for us to Keep our Resolutions With another New Year under our belts, up to half (48 percent) of us made New Year’s resolutions. Only eight percent of us actually achieve the goals we set for ourselves. So why is it so hard for us to keep our commitment to our self-made promises? There are really four main reasons why people aren’t able to achieve their annual goals,” says Joda Coolidge, health counselor. “From setting too many or just finding the time to work on them, most people fall into one of these common resolution traps.” … Continue reading