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For Your Well Being: Leaps of Faith

Dec. 19, 2011, Vol. 9 Issue 13

img_0107When was the last time you took a leap of faith?  I love the picture on this greeting card and have saved it for many years. It reminds me that there’s something holding me up, something much greater than I know, and that I can step out in faith, beyond what I can see. I’ve heard from many women who are experiencing big changes in many aspects of their lives.

One woman who is stepping out on skinny branches is Dr. Lissa Rankin. Last December I wrote about Lissa and her book (new at that time), What’s up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend. That article recounted her perfect storm that led to her leaving a traditional medical practice and founding Owning Pink.

Since then, she has closed her Owning Pink medical practice, (she still has the Owning Pink website and blog), turned down a book deal, broken up with her agent, and while battling all of the demons of self-doubt and recrimination, continued to seek her truth.  And guess what?  Ultimately, the Universe answered with a major book deal with her dream publisher, Hay House, and a TEDx talk that has given her the opportunity to share her views worldwide.

Lissa Rankin, MD
Making Waves and Finding Peace in Speaking her Truth

Lissa Rankin, MD, author, health and wellness speaker, CaliforniaWhen Lissa left her traditional medical practice in 2007, she knew she wanted to be a writer.  She spent the first year after quitting her job writing a memoir that was rejected by 23 publishing houses. Then she wrote two more books – one about art, and the book I introduced you to last year — What’s Up Down There?  In January of this year she turned down a book deal on the memoir because she felt it didn’t value her worth.  It was an act of courage to say no to the publisher and she and her agent broke up over it.

Together with her new agent, Michele, they decided not to shop the book she had written (it was called BROKEN: One Doctor’s Search For The Lost Heart Of Medicine). Instead, Agent Michele issued her a challenge – to figure out the one book she could spend the rest of her life talking about – and write that book. “The book I had written was a memoir about how broken our healthcare system is. But I realized that I needed to propose the solution before I told the story of what inspired me to want to change it.  I decided to listen to the voice of my Inner Pilot Light, follow the signs from the Universe, and change directions. It was like doing a cannonball off a great big cliff into a vast pit of nothingness, without knowing whether I would crash into the rocks below – or fly off into into the sunset. Geronimo!”

She decided to take Michele’s challenge seriously. As a woman of many passions, Lissa honestly didn’t know what book she could spend the rest of her life talking about. It took some very deep soul searching.  By spring, she had opened her mind to an expanded definition of health that blew away any last bit of resistance she had towards stepping into her leadership role as a pioneer in the field of healthcare. “As I followed the signs,” she said,  “I realized I had learned many things in the past four years since leaving my traditional medical practice — many things about health and healing that they never taught me in medical school.”

By June, she was halfway through researching a new book about the science that irrefutably proves what many mind-body medicine and self-help books tell us about how we can heal ourselves.  “I was digging so deep into the medical literature trying to prove to my skeptic mind that we really do have the power to make the body ripe for miracles that I was burrowing down a rabbit hole. And in the narrow place of that rabbit hole, I found my truth. With that truth, I met Michele’s challenge – I found the one book I could spend the rest of my life talking about. And I started to write it.”

By August the book proposal was complete. The book went to auction and multiple publishing houses fought over it.  She spent two weeks without hearing a word and then two weeks interviewing with editors and publishers before choosing the house who is publishing her book — Hay House, which was founded by Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life. She’s thrilled with this association — home, at last in the book publishing world.

Meantime, someone had once asked her what she would speak about for 18 minutes if she was ever asked to deliver a TED talk. And by September, she realized that she knew what her TED talk would be. Now they would only have to ask her.

And once again, the Universe delivered. The call came and early in December, Lissa took the TEDx stage in San Francisco. With butterflies in her belly, she led her talk with the bold statement,  “Caring for your body is the LEAST important part of your health.”  Stunned silence followed. Then she went on to explain what she meant by that comment. You can watch the whole talk here: It’s well worth the 18 minutes.

When she finished speaking and the audience rose to their feet, she received the validation of deafening applause. In the end, she says, “I really don’t care about the applause. I speak my truth, not for you, but for me and my health. For years, I kept my truth bottled up inside. I stuffed it down. I covered it up with masks. I allowed myself to be silenced so I wouldn’t make waves. I wanted people to like me. I wanted to blend in.

“But my body hated it. My body started to whisper – and then it started to yell. When you squelch what is true for you, the body releases harmful stress hormones that raise your blood pressure, elevate your heart rate, and weaken your immune system. When you speak what’s true, the body relaxes, your muscles stop tensing, your blood pressure lowers, your pulse slows, your happy hormones get jump started.”

Speaking your truth is preventative medicine. “Ever since I started speaking my truth three years ago, my body stopped yelling. It stopped whispering. Finally, my body is at peace.” she continued. “There’s no going back. Once you find your voice, you can’t quiet it. Some people won’t like it. Some will wish you’d go back to stuffing it or covering it up. Some will prefer the old you. But trust me on this. The REAL you is the one who can heal you when you’re sick, tend you when you’re wounded, lift you up when you’re down.”

Lissa was the closing keynote speaker this fall at Zest Fest, a 2-day retreat in Vermont created by Beth Umba, an energetic and creative visionary woman. Beth described Zest Fest as, “A place for women to discover, connect, remember and learn how to wear all the pieces of herself that feel totally kick-ass in her life!  Kind of like a power boost each year that they can come to, gas up, clear out, take in and exit recharged and ready to rock their own world!”

“When Lissa accepted my invitation to speak at Zest Fest, I knew that the women who attended would be in for a huge treat,” Beth said. “Lissa is so vibrantly alive and radiates her love for women’s health with a beautiful emphasis on the emotional component. Her keynote was outstanding — I loved her ‘Perfect Storm’ story.”

I’m honored to represent Lissa for speaking engagements.  Being able to offer the speaking talent of people who contribute such value to all of us – and especially knowing how she will inspire your audiences in unexpected ways – is the source of my satisfaction. To learn more about Lissa’s talks and availability, please feel free to give me a call at 503-699-5031 or read and view more about Lissa on our website.

Spirited Woman Directory

I am so excited and delighted to be in the first-ever  Spirited Woman 2012 Directory: Resources for an Inspired Life. The magazine-style Directory features Every Woman Visionaries from six countries and over 25 states, who are changing the world one Spirited Woman step at a time. It is filled with inspirational stories and an array of uplifting resources, and it’s totally online.

The Speak Well Being Group is on pg. 108. The Directory is my gift to you to share with your friends, family, and associates. This is a remarkable resource. But, the women in it are even more amazing, each in her own phenomenal way.  Check it out. It’s all online and access is free.

Christmas Cookies 2011

I did find the healthy cut-out cookie recipe I thought I had (otherwise known as sugar cookies). It’s from our speaker, Eleanor Pella. Tofu replaces butter, but never mind, unless they find the package, no one will ever know the difference.

After making a batch of my traditional “Grandma’s Sugar Cookies” recipe that I’ve been using forever (and this year disappointed me in that the cookies ballooned when baked — fat angels  and thick Christmas trees),  I was very happy with how Eleanor’s recipe worked. These cookies held their shape. They are crisper than the sugar cookie recipe, so watch carefully when they’re in the oven. The other thing that is strange is that smothering these, ahem, healthy version of “sugar” cookies in sugary frosting is something like ordering a Diet Coke with a Big Mac…  Everything in moderation, right?  No, not the frosting!!!

As we approach a fresh new year, I like the idea presented by Lissa’s book agent: “If you could write only one book that you would spend the rest of your life talking about, what would it be?” You don’t necessarily have to write a book — it could be some other goal that represents an interest, purpose or passion in your life that really jazzes you. What could you create or do that you could spend the rest of your life talking about?  What’s the thing that turns you on that you want to do and share with the world?  Think about it.

I trust your holidays will be filled with family, friends and creating happy memories. EnJOY! 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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