Nov. 29, 2012, Vol. 10, Issue 23
It’s not even December as I write this, and I find myself fast forwarding (in my head) through all of the holiday tasks and pleasures ahead — makin’ my list and checkin’ it twice. The threat of stress arises, though, because it’s not a gift list, it’s a to-do list. Last year I realized that while I was doing all of these mental exercises, my husband was pleasantly uninformed of my angst — at least he would be until it surfaced in some not-so-pretty displaced display of frustration. So I decided to do something revolutionary — communicate. Together, we made a list of all of the Christmas decorating, baking, cooking, presents to buy, social activities, etc. We prioritized them and gave lots of them optional status. Amazingly, I recall having a very relaxed and enjoyable holiday season and doing most everything except making lefse and getting our annual Christmas letter out. So this year, those may rise to the top, and we may let go of something else. First, we need to make the list — together — on paper.
All of that is to say that I’m pretty sure you’re dealing with the same kind of additional responsibilities and activities at this time of year, and that brings up the topic of stress. I’ve recently added Lauren E. Miller, Google’s #1 Stress Relief Expert, to my roster of outstanding speakers for women’s events, so I turned to her for some advice for you. First, a little about her story, so you know why she’s an expert.
Then check out the upcoming free webinar on using social media to increase attendance and engagement. This is specifically for women’s wellness events. You’ll want to make time for this, to reduce your pre-event stress in 2013!
Stress Relief Expert
Lauren E. Miller
“I was 38 years old, with 3 young children, and going through a divorce, when the doctors told me that I had a 50/50 chance of survival of stage 3 breast cancer. Until that time, I had no idea the extent of my instinct for survival and my choice for life no matter what I heard,” Lauren recounts.
“I had surrendered everything over to God when I was 17 years old and I used to pray, ‘Dear God use my life and my death to bring more love into the world.’ However, when death lurked in the shadows, I remember falling to the ground and crying out to God, ‘I take back the death part.’
“At the time of the diagnosis, my business was and still is teaching people how to maintain inner peace no matter what surrounds them and here I was facing two of the top stressors at the same time: cancer and divorce. In less than two years I experienced a divorce, a double mastectomy, 16 chemos, an additional year of chemo, 6 weeks of daily radiation, 12 surgeries (Due to third degree burns from the radiation/chemo combination they had to graft my back onto my front.), and a MRSA staph infection that almost took my life. I say this without any sense of victimization because this was truly a schoolhouse of opportunity to practice and apply what I had been teaching and learning about for 20 years.
“I remember standing in the shower, bald and breast-less, surveying the scars on my chest where my breasts used to be as I said out loud, ‘Wow, I am earning my PhD in suffering, which will give me the ability to connect to the hearts of humanity through vulnerability,'” Lauren said.
Today she is the international bestselling author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Stressing Out!
“When you remember that you have the God-given ability to shift your perception of any situation that unfolds before you, the portal of healing and opportunity for growth opens up before your eyes. After speaking engagements, people will approach me and share pieces from their dark night of the soul experiences in life. Often, they will start out by saying, ‘Well, this is nothing compared to what you have been through.’ I respond by reminding them of three things:
- Be present to the lessons and learning opportunities in the midst of your perceived threatening situation. Don’t miss the invitation to move beyond your limitations.
- No two human hearts beat the same. Comparisons only occur when people forget their worth, uniqueness and capability.
- Use your unique challenge to reconnect to what you value most in this life. You will begin to see what is non-essential and what is essential in light of this choice and inner peace will return.
“Be a seeker of rainbows no matter what surrounds you and you will see them appear in the most unlikely situations,” Lauren continues. “The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is located by your brain stem and is responsible for tuning in to whatever it is you are focusing on. I made the choice for God, life and love no matter what surrounded me. I am now celebrating my 5 year survivorship. By your thoughts you form your choices, and by your choices you form your life – choose wisely. You are not the victim in life unless you choose to be,” Lauren says.
Lauren has received national recognition in Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, CNBC, Lifetime and Discovery, along with the International Journal of Healing and Care. She works with men and women worldwide, empowering them with techniques and skills to de-stress their lives.
How to Stay Sane in the Midst of the Holiday Insanity
(Hint: It’s in the Context)
Here are Lauren’s top three techniques for having more joy and less stress for yourself in the midst of the holiday frenzy. The purpose of all three is to alter the context in which you anticipate events, tasks, and people around you. That begins with how you interpret the situations you face.
“Stress is simply a signal within your body giving you an amazing opportunity to identify and adjust your perception of a situation, along with your behavior. We forget that whatever we focus on grows bigger quickly…positive or negative.” That is easier said than done, of course. Most of us are in the habit of accepting stress as – well – stressful. Lauren suggests three powerful techniques that you can use to stay sane in the midst of what you have always considered to be the dark side of the holidays, otherwise known as the insanity:
- Know what you value most in life. When your priorities are clear, decisions are easy. Stress creeps in when you forget what you value. When you spend most of your energy on the “non-essentials” in life you begin to feel depleted very quickly, and the stress hormones begin to double. Create moments every day that nurture what you value most in this life, and notice how quickly clarity of thinking and inner peace return within your being.
- Let go of this belief: “In order to be loved and accepted I need to be perfect…have the perfect house, tree, job, car, person, family, job, credentials.” Ask yourself: what are the few essential items on your deepest inner list of requirements for you to feel loved and accepted in life? Reconsider your need for certain outcomes around the holidays in order for you to feel good about yourself, and just let go of the ones that are not central to happiness for you and your family. Happiness returns when you release the attachments you have in life to things you only think are necessary for you to feel good about you. Remember that joy flows from the inside out, not the outside in… start loving yourself completely just as you are, right where you are… if you lack it, borrow it from God’s heart where the supply is limitless.
- Breathe, Breathe, Breathe…and be present to the “Silent, Holy Night” that dwells within every moment of life. Give yourself the gap of empowerment that comes when you become the observer of your life instead of the reactor. Be a curious and fascinated human being who looks at everything before her as an opportunity for learning and growth. When one door closes, don’t waste one moment looking at that closed door; start seeking the open window. Don’t miss life. When you worry, doubt, and fear, you miss the life standing right in front of your face. When you are present, you will laugh more in life, and that produces profound physiological benefits, another wonderful gift to give yourself and those around you this season.
Fill Those Seats
and Engage Participants
Before and After Your Event
Some of the events I hear about are sold out (happy dance for the meeting planner!), while others are not attracting the numbers they’d like to see. Although promoting your program is probably not your main job, when that time comes around to plan the event, you either get it right or risk disappointment. With tight budgets and time lines, there is little room for error in getting people to attend and engage in your event. Do you ever wonder about social media and marketing? What is all the fuss about? Could it help? Are you missing out?
Our heart health speaker, Eliz Greene, is hosting a free webinar Monday, December 10, to help you increase attendance and engagement at women’s wellness events, and as one of my people you can benefit without spending a dime. She’s presenting this proven method of developing a 60-day social media marketing plan to her clients as a free gift out of gratitude for their support, and she has offered it to all of us as well. She will team up that day with Social Media Guru Phil Gerbyshak, to provide specific, step by step instructions on how to get more booties in your seats and if it’s a fundraiser, more dollars in your collection plates.
Whether you are a seasoned social media user or new at the game, you will find tips and strategies you can use right away:
- What you need to have in place before you begin.
- What content you need to gather or create.
- Who should be on your team.
- Specific plans for Twitter, Facebook, and email.
- How to measure your success in hard numbers.
So you can:
- Access people who wouldn’t normally know about your event.
- Engage people (and get donations) even if they cannot attend your event.
- Build your Twitter & Facebook reach, and your email list.
- Promote your silent auction and even allow virtual bidding for those who cannot attend.
- Add value for your sponsors.
- Provide educational information to a larger audience.
Eliz and Phil will show you how to set your program up, gather content — you need good content to attract people — and get other people to build momentum. Eliz tells me that Phil speaks English, not geek, so everything will be understandable and doable.
By the way, this is NOT a sales pitch for any program. I’m sharing this invitation with you because she shared it with me to express her thanks to me, and her gift included offering it to you all for your continued support of our work. I told Eliz that as far as I’m concerned, the more you, my clients and friends, succeed, the more I succeed. So please take advantage of Eliz’s offer and increase our mutual success.
You can join the webinar from either computer or phone on Monday, December 10, 2012, 12:30 – 2:00 pm Central Time. They will make every attempt to record the webinar for later viewing/listening – so please register even if you aren’t able to be there.
We hope you join us Monday, December 10, 2012, 12:30 – 2:00 pm Central Time.
I’ll be there. You can count on it. (It’s my birthday!).
Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.
For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!
The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they know how to connect with women and give them life-changing information served on a silver platter of joy, camaraderie, with a side of sauce (spicy, of course).
Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me endless joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.