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Speak Well Being

Serving hospitals, healthcare and women's groups

For Your Well Being: Chaos to Calm

May 27, 2010, Vol. 8 Issue 5

Dear Friends,

I wasn’t a LOST fan, so I wasn’t lost about their finale this weekend. I was, however, glued to the edge of the couch during the Grey’s Anatomy finale last week with all of the gunning down of my favorite characters right within the halls and rooms of the hospital, turning the whole place into an emergency room. All that white-knuckled tension — mine, not theirs! It’s amazing what I’ll do and call it, “relaxation” . . .

Fortunately, I can only imagine what it’s like to work in that kind of pressure cooker. It’s much easier to learn from someone who has, so today I’m pleased to introduce you to Diane Sieg, who has taken what she learned as an ER nurse for over twenty years, and turned her experiences into lessons about how NOT to live your life as an emergency. In fact, today, she lives her life from the serenity of her yoga mat.

And, on another topic, I have a few things to say about pink buckets and miles to go . . .

Diane Sieg, RN, CYT, CSP

From Chaos to Calm

Diane Sieg freely admits that she was she was a self-taught expert in emergency living long before she ever worked in an emergency room. “For almost forty years I stayed busy being busy overdoing everything from my exercise routines to my social commitments,” she says in her book, Stop Living Your Life Like An Emergency. “I was the busiest person I knew, but I still felt like I wasn’t doing enough.”

The problem is that when we stay busy being busy, we don’t have time — for anything, not even to take care of ourselves in a real emergency. Emergency living is life-threatening. It threatens our physical health and emotional well-being, our relationships, and our overall quality of life because it keeps us in a constant state of chaos, crisis, and confusion. We are chronically overworked, overwhelmed, and overdone.

“Over the years, I began to realize that, more often than not, the patients I treated created a lot of their own emergencies. Whether it was falling asleep at the wheel because they were exhausted, ignoring warning signs because they were too busy, or rushing to get somewhere because they were running late, their emergency living contributed to the events that brought them to the ER.”

“ER nurses are known for their autonomy, assertiveness, and technical skills,” she noted. “Their courage and compassion for the suffering human spirit are also renown and required, because they are subjected to seeing people in their most vulnerable and dire circumstances. The privilege I had participating in people’s lives on such an intimate level provided me with a unique perspective.

“I saved many people’s lives in the ER, but I didn’t feel like I could really change them,” Diane said. “My time with them was limited and I usually didn’t get an opportunity to follow up with my patients, unless they returned to the ER with another problem. I realized that as a lifestyle counselor, I could make a bigger and longer-lasting difference in people’s lives by counseling them on an ongoing basis. I would much rather work with people before they break down, instead of in a crisis situation in the ER. Today I help my clients change their everyday lives by using the life lessons and survival skills I gleaned from my ER experience.”

The good news is that emergency living is treatable. In her talks, Diane will show you how to rejuvenate your life, increase your free time, and re-discover the joy of living. Sound good? With high energy and life lessons learned from her ER experience, Diane demonstrates how to make space in your life for the daily mindfulness that creates health, energy and real change. Her secret?

“Now my days are filled with intention and energy after discovering a 10,000-year-old secret: Yoga!  Less than five years ago during a painful divorce, I found yoga to be a healthy, healing, and grounding practice. What I didn’t know was that yoga would change my body more than kickboxing, marathon running, and weight training combined. It would change my mind more than therapy, vacations, or self-help retreats. And, most importantly, yoga changed my spirit more than sugar, wine, or shoes ever could! I now teach yoga and practice daily, and have incorporated its message into my motivational speaking business because it keeps me connected with myself and my deepest intention: to empower other women. I am more fabulous because of this powerful practice and I want every woman, no matter what her age, to experience it too.”

“I really love working at women’s conferences. Women find and own their power when they come together in a group,” Diane said.  “They bring together women of all age groups, from teenagers to women in their 70s – mothers, daughters, sisters, friends. They come together to connect and really to be reminded of the things that we already know but tend to forget in the rush of everyday life.

“Perhaps the most important message for women is just to take time for themselves – to focus on what’s truly important to them,” Diane said.  “That’s why I created my half-hour daily 30 Days to Grace practice, to help structure that all-important piece into women’s busy lives and help them live with intention, not just out of reaction. And of course because women do tend to be the caretakers, empowering them has the additional impact of passing along those benefits to their families and friends as well.”

With high energy and heartfelt stories, her opening keynote sets a positive tone to start a meeting or her closing keynote can end a conference on a high note, sending people home with a clear and strong message about the importance of life balance and self care.  Audience members leave with the permission and practical skills they need to be more authentic, productive, and balanced in every area of their lives. Bottom line: To create quality relationships, harness the energy necessary to be creative, compassionate and passionate in their work, and be the most effective for the long haul, they have to take care of themselves, first.

And especially for healthcare gatherings, Diane’s newest talk is, “CHAOS to C.A.L.M. -Thriving Through the Reform Storm!” It’s her prescription for the daily best practices that will will help healthcare providers retain quality care, patient satisfaction and a sane staff.

“With the transitions people are facing in this ‘new normal’ of healthcare, they are finding themselves living with a lot of fear, uncertainty, and chaos, trying to do more, better, faster — with less,” Diane said. “Whatever place your nurses are in right now—understaffed, overwhelmed, stressed out or burned out, now is the perfect storm to go from chaos to calm.”

For more information about this and any of Diane’s other programs, give us a call at 503-699-5031 or visit our website.

50 Cents a Bucket

Or 10 Cents a Mile?

I’m sure you’ve heard about the KFC Pink Buckets for the Cure promotion that ends, thank goodness, in a few days.  50 cents a bucket is being donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, for each pink bucket of chicken sold. Actually, if you read the fine print, it’s 50 cents for each bucket purchased by restaurant operators. Customer purchases of KFC buckets during the promotion will not directly increase the total contribution. KFC is targeting up to 8 million dollars. As of this writing, $3,713 ,771 had been raised.  You can check the gooey pink website for the latest — it’s dripping with almost as much sentiment as the grease from their fried chicken.

Now you, our savvy readers, know that studies have shown that an increased risk of developing colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancer is associated with high intakes of well-done, fried or barbecued meats (National Cancer Institute). There is plenty of data about the link between nutrition and cancer. And plenty has been written about this inane partnership between KFC and Komen (talk about strange bedfellows) and since it’s almost over, I’m not going to waste any more ink on it. Instead I want to introduce you to a marketing initiative focusing on breast cancer that makes much more sense.

Cybex International, Inc. a leading manufacturer of premium exercise equipment, has announced its 2nd Annual Pink Ribbon Run, a national program benefiting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). CYBEX will be donating 10 cents for each mile logged on its custom-made pink treadmills during Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October, 2010.The distinctive pink treadmills, will be sold to health clubs, YMCA’s and other exercise facilities across the country.

During its inaugural campaign, Pink Ribbon Run was recognized as one of 2009’s top cause-marketing initiatives, with exercisers logging more than 250,000 miles on the pink treadmills at more than 90 facilities in 38 states. Based on that success, for every one pink treadmill purchased by a repeat participant this year, a donation will be made for that treadmill, as well as one purchased in 2009.

“As a company, we’re deeply committed to raising funds to fight breast cancer, and awareness about the benefits of exercise as it relates to the disease,” states Joan Carter, CYBEX Executive Director and Founder of the CYBEX Pink Ribbon Run. “We were very pleased with the success of the Pink Ribbon Run last year, and so were the clubs and YMCA’s that participated. Our goal is to raise even more money in 2010.” And here’s the connection. In this case the research supports the cause.

Research from The Nurses Health Study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) tracked nearly 3,000 women up to 14 years after their breast cancer diagnosis and found that exercise reduced the likelihood of recurrence and increased the odds of living longer. It’s also been shown that exercise likely offers protection against breast cancer, regardless of a woman’s stage in life.

“This innovative program not only contributes to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s mission of finding a cure for this disease in our lifetime, it also draws tremendous attention to exercise as one of the most important preventative factors in relation to breast cancer,” states Myra J. Biblowit, BCRF President. “The 2nd Annual CYBEX Pink Ribbon Run is a cause any club can get behind, and it allows members to do more with the time they spend working out.”

A month ago, I would not have recognized the name CYBEX, but for almost 30 days now, I’ve been staring at that name on the workout machines at the fitness club I joined, as I huff and puff, and push and pull my muscles into shape. When I saw this press release, I immediately made the connection, and it was a good one. This is a message that computes. I can also do the math. 10 cents a mile for 250,000 miles is a far cry from half a dollar per bucket for hundreds of thousands of buckets. Yet this feels like a far better match as a way to raise money for breast cancer research. The numbers might not compute now, but in the end, the message will, and that resonance may eventually compute into far bigger numbers as women get behind it. Who knows . . . maybe Cybex will up the ante.

I wish Komen no ill will — we all make mistakes — but I am one who joins many others in feeling that this deal with KFC was an obvious mis-match, if not a sell-out. It has resulted in plenty of unnecessary negative P.R. for Komen and cast doubt on their judgment. We need support, not controversy to raise money to find the cure.  “Make no mistake,” says Breast Cancer Action, one breast cancer advocacy group, “every pink bucket purchase will do more to benefit KFC’s bottom line than it will to cure breast cancer.”  To read more and voice your opinion, visit  I did. You’ll get a reply from Komen and you can form your own opinion.

In the end, we each vote with our dollars, intentions, and choices. What will it be? Buckets of pretense for half a dollar, or a dime per mile — sweat equity in a race well run. Some choices are just plain tougher than others.  I like to think we’re up to the challenge, ladies.

On a lighter note, I hope you get to enjoy this first long, summer weekend. After teasing you with our early, colorful spring, we’re enduring a cold, rainy month of May here in the Northwest.  If it’s not raining in your neck of the woods, send us some warm, sunny thoughts, please.  Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,

PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.

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The Speak Well Being Group specializes in exceptional speakers for women’s health and wellness, community and healthcare-oriented special events, including cancer survivor, breast health awareness, heart health and nurses appreciation programs. Our goal is to make it effortless to connect clients with the talent and expertise that will make speaker selection easy and ensure a successful event. We’ve been co-creating health and wellness through connections since 1998.

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