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Truth, from the Ladies Room

April 28, 2005, Vol. III Issue 9

Dear Friends,

A couple of issues ago, I introduced you to Dr. Robin Smith, speaker, psychologist, and author. Teen angst was the problem she addressed in two recent appearances on OPRAH. I couldn’t help but think that we, as adult women are dealing with the exact same issues: se^xuality, appearance, weight, body image, self-esteem, although not necessarily in the same order. These are all things “Dr. Robin” addresses in her keynote speeches because they all link to our sense of self-worth. I, quite frankly, love the way she frankly addresses any issue.

Another News Alert: Christiane Northrup, M.D., will be appearing on ABC TV’s “Good Morning America” on May 2, 3, and 4, to share highlights and discuss her latest book, Mother Daughter Wisdom, and other insights on health and well-being.

April 16th, I attended Oregon Health Sciences University’s (OHSU) 10th Annual Women’s Health Conference. Actually, I was a volunteer, which meant I was there at 6:30 a.m. to stuff bags, open the doors, guide attendees and help distribute 1400 box lunches at noon. This was a full day conference. Everyone heard the morning presentations and keynote speaker, and then had their choice of four topics from 16 afternoon breakout sessions.

Dr. Joanna Cain, Director, OHSU Center for Women’s Health, opened the day with her comments about changes in women’s health in the last 10 years. BIG changes have been occurring. More needs to happen as anyone reading this would attest. That’s why I thought you might resonate as much as I did with the quote Dr. Cain shared:

“When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.” Ursula K. LeGuin, 1986

When we offer our experience as our truth . . . ALL THE MAPS CHANGE. That is a powerful statement. That is what you do, and I do and our speakers do, when we share our experiences.

Yours truly,

From the Ladies Room: Personal Goes Public

Okay, ladies, here’s a question for you: What do you do if you’re in a bathroom stall, and realize you’re over-hearing a personal discussion? Some of you might stay there until it’s completed. But what do you do if you’re the keynote speaker, you have a mic on and you’re due on stage?

If you’re Deb Gauldin, you open the door and step into the conversation. “It was perfect,” Deb said. “There I was at a breast cancer symposium. I’m the after-lunch speaker. I’m always a little apprehensive about addressing a group of cancer survivors. I don’t ever want to imply that I know how having cancer feels.

“I was making a last minute stop in the bathroom and outside the stall door there was a group of women comparing (literally!) breast reconstruction and nipple tattoos! When I opened the door and they saw me with my headset on, they realized they had just ‘revealed’ themselves to the comedienne. They were so tickled that we all started giggling.”

That’s the kind of affect Deb has on people. “What was great for me,” Deb continued, “was that it affirmed for me that we’re all alike. You don’t have to have survived cancer, or have a family member with cancer, to work in the field and support people. We’re all the same, no different.” In her talk, “Celebrating the Spirit – Coping, Caring and Comedy,” that message came through loud and clear.

“When they saw the mic,” Deb said, “they knew immediately that their conversation would be in the program.” With their permission, it was. “The audience responded warmly and lovingly. It was the perfect open for my songs and I was so grateful for the magical moments with those ladies.”

The event was the 3rd Annual Breast Cancer Symposium, an educational conference sponsored by Mercy Cancer Center and the Katzmann Breast Center at Mercy, in Des Moines, Iowa. The audience was 50% healthcare professionals (nurses, physicians, mammography technicians, radiation therapists, social workers) and 50% survivors and the general public.

“Our Breast Cancer Symposium stems from an event originally sponsored by the American Cancer Society that was discontinued in our community,” Heidi Peterson, Oncology/Nutrition Specialist, told me. “Survivors, healthcare professionals and local physicians all came to us and asked us to fill the gap.”

The purpose of this one-day seminar is to explore current treatment and issues involving breast cancer. The morning included presentations about radiation therapy, breast imaging and breast reconstruction, as well as time to visit exhibits. “We choose physicians on a variety of up-to-date treatment options,” Heidi said. “We also incorporate topics on dealing with coping with breast cancer such as diet, lymphedema, genetics, and humor.” After Deb’s program, the afternoon concluded with a panel of breast cancer survivors.

“The Mercy Cancer Center provides the compassion needed when you first discover the reality and challenges of this medical condition.” Heidi said. “We arm our patients with the knowledge to help them learn more about the disease and attempt to remove fear of the unknown. In knowledge there is power. We help instill hope. Having cancer doesn’t mean their life has to be less fulfilling. With ongoing medical breakthroughs there are more cancer survivors. Katzmann Breast Center offers a range of services that includes assessment, rapid diagnosis, education, counseling and treatment planning with a team of healthcare specialists.”

“It was such a pleasure working with Deb Gauldin,” Heidi said. “We could tell she was a native Iowan with her welcoming hugs and willingness to help out where needed. Deb had us all rolling off our seats. Her personalized songs made Mercy shine! Thanks, Deb, for adding the perfect touch to our day.” [I had forgotten Deb was from Des Moines when I booked this program for her!]

As for the evaluations, many said that Deb Gauldin was their favorite part of the day. “The highlight for me was laughing with Deb Gauldin. Humor just makes me feel better,” one participant wrote.

What’s really fun for me about this event, is that Heidi heard about Deb because someone forwarded my e-newsletter to her last spring. Funny how that works. Thank you out there to our reader who forwarded FOR YOUR WELL BEING to Heidi Petersen!
Learn more about Deb and her programs and talents on our website.

Sweet Dreams! And the Winner Is . . . Barb . . . and Barb

Barb Lichty, Community Education Coordinator for Lake Forest Hospital, Lake Forest, IL, correctly followed the clue to Barb Badolati on our new website and won the drawing for her CD, “Sleep in Peace, Wake with Joy,” from our last issue’s website treasure hunt.

Barb Badolati told me that she recently presented her program, “Sleep, Glorious Sleep” in her PJs and slippers, (what a speaker won’t do to drive a point home!) She said the program features important facts regarding sleep deprivation and sleep disorder information, with humor judiciously sprinkled throughout. That helps keep people awake she said with a wink. “I talk about the times you begin to ‘fall asleep’ and then wake up with ‘a jerk,’” she said, “and I’m not referring to your sleep partner.”

Barb also delivers techniques, suggestions and methods for getting the quantity and quality of sleep necessary to be at optimal performance. “We all want to have the energy to participate in every aspect of our lives, and sleep (or lack of) affects ALL areas of our lives. That’s the wholism component that is so important to every topic I cover,” Barb said. “I can see lots of applications of this information for shift workers, overworked and stressed-out people.”
Learn more about Barbara Badolati on our website.

Win This Book for Your Library
“The Hat That Saved My Life”

This week’s website treasure hunt will help you learn a little more about our breast cancer event speaker choices.

In my experience, when clients are looking for a speaker on the TOPIC, Breast Cancer, that can be very different than a speaker they might select for a Breast Cancer EVENT. I’ve had meeting planners tell me that they’ve had enough about mammograms and such, and just want their audience to be inspired and have fun, like our story in this issue where Deb Gauldin lightened up an otherwise clinical event. Other times, only a breast cancer survivor can deliver the message. What’s important for you to know, is we acknowledge and honor the difference and you can count on us to understand the difference and recommend the right choices for your event.

This issue’s CLUE: Find the speaker who wrote, “The Hat That Saved My Life.” Time-saver hints. Search by Breast Cancer Topic or Breast Cancer Event. She’s raised four children and battled cancer twice and is a co-founder of Breast Friends.
Go to the Speaker Directory at:

Question: Would it be helpful to you to have a category that is specifically Cancer SURVIVORS?

Please respond by Monday, May 9, to be included in the drawing.

Also note we’re using random order selection on our website, so every time you search a category (other than when you select a specific speaker) the speakers come up randomly (rather than alphabetical or some other order) and in different order every time you search.

Diets . . . Who Will Get the Last Laugh?

The media certainly has been having fun with the new Food Pyramid. I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly check it out yet, but it appears to me they’re on the right track with customizing it by age, gender and lifestyle, instead of the one-size-fits all prescription. However, with the promise of a quick fix, diet crazes will probably always share if not dominate, the spotlight. After all, as human beings, we are innately creative.

The latest one I’ve come across, and I have to admit it brought a smile to my face, is “The Laughter Diet.” That’s right, you can laugh yourself to a slimmer waistline and a healthier outlook on life. Actually, the proponents of this method are serious. This probably isn’t a surprise to those of you who are familiar with laughter therapy, which has already been introduced in hospitals, assisted care and long-term care facilities as a mood-lifting activity.

Extended, hearty laughing is credited with being a form of exercise. It moves facial muscles and tightens the abs (a belly laugh has been called internal jogging), as well as oxygenating the blood, increasing respiration and bolstering the immune system. Stress increases cortisol, the hormone that creates cravings for food, and laughter reduces it. Laughing relieves stress and creates a sense of well being that preempts overeating and overrides depression.

This may be a diet or rather lifestyle ingredient that never goes out of style. When laughter gets included in the Food Pyramid, we may truly have a total prescription for health. Maybe they could put a smile on the face of that figure running up the stairs of the pyramid, what do you think?

For a program about the benefits of humor, laughter and play, check out Sandy Queen.  Let Sandy take you on a trip to the lighter side of life with her topic, “Humor as Healer,” or “Humor for the Health of It.”

Until next time, be good to yourself, make sure you get lots of laughs in every day, for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,

The Speak Well Being Group specializes in providing exceptional speakers for health, wellness and women’s events. Because we’ve worked with so many hospitals, healthcare and women’s groups around the country, we speak your language. Our hand-picked speakers are attuned to your needs and adept at addressing the issues while delivering information in an entertaining way, or eloquently providing a good time with a light message when that’s the ticket. When
you work with us, you’ll come back for more “How Are We Going to Top That?” speakers.

You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.
Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031

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