Sept 4, 2008, Vol. 6 Issue 15
September 2008 marks our 10-year anniversary since establishing The Speak Well Being Group, specializing in speakers in health and wellness. Woo-hoo! What a ride it has been. I’ll be sharing a little history and a few highlights in upcoming issues.
One of the greatest joys of being in this business is the fabulous people I get to meet and know. Precious friendships have evolved over the years as we’ve met in person at conferences, in coffee shops and restaurants, in hotel and dorm rooms, and in our homes. There’s nothing like a sleep-over for women to get to know each other, yes? We’ve shared our visions and values, our dreams and disappointments, our hearts and heartaches – loves, joys, recipes, passions and favorite toenail polish colors, to name a few.
One of those speakers I’m honored to know as a friend is Dr. Karen Wolfe, a perennial favorite at the National Wellness Conference. She just celebrated her 50th birthday in April, and today she shares with us a recent turn of events – a health wake-up call — that is illustrative of her personal commitment and her true colors.
Dr. Karen Wolfe’s “Wake Up Call”
Moving From Stress to Strength
Choose between an Olympic career and medicine? That’s exactly what Dr. Karen Wolfe did back in 1976. She was training to go to Montreal on the Australian swimming team, and made the decision to pursue a medical education over an Olympic career. Another big transition came in her life when she fell in love and made the decision to move to the United States. This move opened up her opportunities to pursue her interest in creating health rather than treating disease, and she has become a well-respected leader in the wellness industry.
“I love to educate about health issues and be part of the solution to the health care crisis by helping people be good advocates for their own health,” Karen says. “Well, I certainly had an opportunity to practice what I teach this year when I found on a routine mammogram that I had pre-invasive ductal carcinoma in my right breast. How could this happen to me? I struggled with the ‘why’ for a while and then realized I had to rally all the strength and support I knew to guide me in all the choices I was about to face.
“I now recognize the stages I went through emotionally from denial, to anger to fear and sadness, to a readiness to embrace it, and take action. First, I called the nurses I knew who worked in this field and asked who they would recommend. All roads pointed to one amazing female surgeon who was a breast cancer survivor herself. After a two-hour consultation and education from the surgeon, I was presented with lots of options and choices. I needed to slow down and really assess what was best for me. I called on many respected sources of support that have become the foundation of the message I want to share with others. Many of these came from the book I co-authored with Dr. Deborah Kern called Create the Body Your Soul Desires. Talk about an opportunity to walk my talk.”
“Here are my top ten ways that I turned stress into strength when faced with my personal challenge:
1. Immediately seek support from life-affirming and trusted friends AND avoid negative “basement” people.
2. Get educated about the diagnosis, treatment options and clinical research results.
3. Practice stress management techniques that work for you – I used “Guided Imagery for Successful Surgery” by Belleruth Naparstek and took time to rest between the flurry of medical tests and appointments.
4. Deepen spiritual connections in whatever way is most meaningful for you – nature is a spiritual path for me so I spent more time at the beach, in the park and walking with my dogs.
5. Take a friend to every medical appointment and medical test – this one was crucial for me because the shock and fear would often block me hearing all the information AND I needed my husband for moral support when I freaked out in the MRI room.
6. Use music to build up your spirits and relax you – I downloaded my favorite, inspirational music on my IPOD and I took that IPOD everywhere. I had it in the waiting rooms at doctor’s appointments. I listened when I had a needle biopsy of a lymph node under local anaesthetic and during the mammography-guided wire localization before surgery. I had it during all my radiation sessions. I was able to create my own emotional experience instead of reacting to the fear underlying each event.
7. Choose not to “become” your diagnosis.
8. Use “pet therapy.”
9. Consider a reading from a medical intuitive that explores the link between emotional and physical health.
10. Remember the fragility of life…to enjoy every moment and become aware of the gifts that a “wake up call” provides and choose to focus on those as much as possible.”
In her new keynote, – “Diagnosis ‘Wake Up Call’ – How to Move From Stress to Strength,” Karen shares her own up close and personal experience of how she applied all the mind/body/spirit skills she has been teaching to others. When faced with a diagnosis that had the word “cancer” in it, she chose to move from stress to strength and to not only survive, but thrive. You will walk out of this session renewed, hopeful and better able to deal with the changes that life throws your way.
Dr. Karen Wolfe is an Australian Physician and motivational keynote speaker. She is well known for her down-to-earth and dynamic style and for the uplifting and practical skills she teaches to make her messages stick. To learn more about Dr. Karen Wolfe and her availability, call us at 503-699-5031.
Here We Go Again
Well, it’s time to do it all over again. In April, I got a new left knee. For someone who loves to walk, hike, dance and be active, it’s been a long summer getting that one through physical therapy, while gimping along with the limitations of the other one. So, Monday, Sept. 8th, I’m getting the right knee upgraded and will be on the road to moving once again with agility and joy on TWO good legs. The good news is, I know what to expect this time around, and the bad news is, I think I know what to expect.
Actually, everything went better than I anticipated the first time around, and I trust that will be the case again. I’ll be out for a few days in the hospital and then back at work with my laptop – and I expect to continue publishing our e-news every other week this time around.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Until next time, take care of yourself, for your well being, and those you love.
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.