September 9, 2004, Vol. II Issue 19
I just returned from an extended Labor Day Weekend camping in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington with my fiancé. The Olympic National Park lived up to its reputation for awesome scenery including glacier-covered peaks, breathtaking shorelines and incredible rain forests. There was so much to discover, I can’t wait to go back. While it was great to be away for a few days, I was happy to come home and get back to work on all of the exciting things that are coming up.
And that includes my new website which I hope will debut by the end of the year. Planning a website, as many of you know, can be a huge job. I’m pleased to feature in this issue another “new” speaker you’ll find on the new website. Sandy Queen has been a presenter at the National Wellness conference for the past twenty-four years. Now that’s what I call comeback power!
Female physicians are in the spotlight at a national exhibit, and more good news (mostly), as chocolate makes the health headlines again.
Speaker Spotlight: Sandy Queen
If you asked NWI participants, they would tell you that what Sandy Queen is most known for, besides emceeing the annual talent “extravaganza,” is her opening humor session to prepare participants for their “week of wellness.” As it is at any conference, it’s easy to get caught up in the intensity of the week. Sandy’s opening session helps people lighten up and look at the week from not only a professional, clinical, information- gathering focus, but from a personal, empowering, growth-enhancing perspective.
When Sandy started out at NWI, she was one of the few people who did anything with a focus on wellness for children and youth. Her workshops on creating wellness programs for schools along with her book Wellness for Children: A Programming Guide garnered her a solid reputation in the field of educational wellness.
Sandy still works in that field, seeing some 50,000 young people yearly through her work with schools and leadership groups. “Wellness for youth,” she says, “is more than rules on eating, exercising or avoiding drugs.
“I believe that if we are ever going to stem the tide of high risk behaviors in our youth, we need to deal with positive, leadership skills to empower young people to develop their own individuality rather than programs focused on the negative ‘don’t’ (smoke, drink, drug) which has done little to change behaviors.” Sandy also works with parents, serving, as a “liaison” between the kids and their parents.
“How many of you are parents? How many of you remember what a great parent you were . . . before you had your first child,” she quips.
In any arena, Sandy is most known for her ability to take serious subjects and turn them into rib-tickling views of daily life. As she pokes fun at the foibles of being human, people see themselves and laugh at themselves, while gaining insights into their own efforts to resolve issues of who they are vs. who they want to be.
I know because I sat in the audience of a standing room only program last year as we belly-laughed our way through the frustrations and peculiarities of mid-life transitions into what Sandy refers to as the years of “Zest-full Potential.” She’s a perfect “Ladies Night Out” speaker for the times when you want your audience to enjoy themselves immensely.
She is also as sensitive as they come when it comes to handling a challenge. On September 11, 2001, Sandy was presenting the first day of a new two-day program for creative thinking for Arlington County employees, including half of all fire and rescue workers. She was about two miles from the Pentagon when she began her presentation at 9:42 that morning. The only thing she had been told was that “a helicopter crashed at the Pentagon, and a plane hit the World Trade Center.”
Knowing that there would be some fallout (but never imagining the extent of it) Sandy felt that being “funny” was probably not appropriate in this situation. So the opening question was, “What is important to you?” and for the 12 or so minutes before the full impact of the events became apparent as all the fire and rescue workers were called out, she spoke to her audience in a light but serious way about the importance of our children, grandchildren and each other.
When they re-convened in December, the one thing that folks said helped them get through the day was the time of laughter and sharing they had had with Sandy that morning. One woman whose husband worked at Ground Zero at the Pentagon, reported that the one thing that kept her going throughout those long agonizing hours until she found out that her husband had survived, was a story Sandy told that morning that had left her laughing.
Being a humorist after September 11 was not an easy task, but as Sandy says, “if they are able to take our laughter, they truly do win.”
Sandy Queen is a contributing author to the Wise Women series of books published by Fern Carness and has put together a journal/workshop guide for women, Reflections on Women Becoming. There will be more in-depth information on our new website about her topics for Seniors, “Thirty Dirty Lies About Being Old;” Women, “You Don’t Have to Be A Superwoman to be a Super Woman;” Parenting, “How to be a Parent and a Human, Too;” and Humor, “Lighten Up.” Meantime, if you have questions about Sandy and her programs, please give me a call at 503-699-0531 or email me — firstname.lastname@example.org
Changing the Face of Medicine Exhibit
Want to be inspired? The National Library of Medicine (NLM) in Bethesda, Maryland, has a first-class exhibit celebrating women pioneers in medicine. The project was the result of the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health and the American Medical Women’s Association. It pulls together historical and current themes with delightful visuals and fascinating content. The featured individuals provide an intriguing glimpse of the broader community of women doctors who are making a difference.
The coolest thing is that you don’t even have to go to Bethesda to experience it. From the comfort of your office, you can visit the exhibit including many interesting, well-produced video clips, with the ladies narrating their stories. A couple of names you might recognize are Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Dr. Vivian W. Pinn. Check it all out at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/index.html
NLM, which began quite humbly, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health, is the world’s largest medical library. The Library materials and provides information and research services in all areas of biomedicine and healthcare.
Dark Chocolate for the Love of It
When my friend Jane visited me last month, she brought me a couple of bars of my favorite kind of chocolate, 70% cocoa, strong dark chocolate. This particular brand of Belgian chocolate, Chocolove X O X O X, even comes with a love poem in the wrapper. Just to prove how good it really is, I must tell you that you can purchase it in health food stores. Or check it out at http://www.chocolove.com
The best news, however, is that I had just clipped an article with a dateline from Munich, Germany, announcing that scientists had found that eating dark chocolate appears to improve the function of important cells lining the wall of blood vessels for at least three hours.
The study involving 17 healthy young volunteers who agreed to eat a bar of dark chocolate and then get an ultrasound, found that eating the bar of dark chocolate seemed to make the blood vessels more flexible which helps prevent the hardening of the arteries that leads to heart attacks.
Unfortunately, the naysayers have noted that the weight gain from eating a lot of chocolate would probably cancel out the apparent benefit. Well, how about if we just have a bar as a meal replacement, my chocolate loving friends?
Until next time, be good to yourself, indulge in a bite of good dark chocolate for your well being and those you love.
ABOUT OUR SERVICES
My vision for The Speak Well Being Group is to be a connector for speakers I
know, love and believe in, with the audiences who will be inspired, motivated, and transformed by their perspectives, knowledge, empathy, compassion, information and, most importantly, capacity to enjoy the process, laughing at themselves and with you along the way.
You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.
Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031