7 Simple Steps for a Healthy New Year!

This is conversation with Cheyenne Mendel, Licensed Acupuncturist, Executive and long time friend. 

Candess: We have a New Year ahead of us and many people are making changes in their lives to increase their health. What are some of the most important changes you suggest to do for their health in the coming year?

Cheyenne: 

1. Drink good quality Water!

Chances are if you say, “I don’t like water,” you don’t have a good clean source. The very best investment you can make for your health “HANDS DOWN” is hydration. Your body cannot release toxins without it.

All organs need water. The lungs use one quart of water at sea level just to breathe. Your body need much more at higher elevations. When it is freezing you can see your breath. Some people don’t ever even drink that much. Some people say “I drink coffee…lots of water in that.” Have you ever tried washing your clothes or wiping your counters with coffee? You can also get water by eating water filled foods like raw fruits and vegetables.

2. Avoid the offenders!

Avoid the foods that become “goo and glue” in your body. These are sugar, high fat, and refined carbs.

Anything in a box or with plastic on it has been processed in some way. I am currently in California and finally made it to the ever-famous Trader Joes. The problem with this store even though it is pretty cool, is that most of the vegetables are processed in some way. The vegetables are wrapped in petroleum based plastic materials.

Make sure you are not hungry when you shop because you will end up eating whatever you buy.  Whether you make a healthy or crappy lunch for work, when lunchtime rolls around you are hungry and you will eat whatever is there. When you eat healthy it is like giving your cells a high paying job vs. minimum wage or a slave labor job.

If eating healthy is too overwhelming then simply avoid the bad stuff. If that is too much, then start small. If you eat sugar all day long then start by avoiding sugar in the morning. Don’t destroy your whole day with an assault on your pancreas first thing in the morning. Avoid the offenders! Nature abhors a vacuum and the healthy food will creep in.

3. Consciously interact with Dr. Nature 20 min a day!

Dr. Nature has many curing aspects such as fresh air, sunshine, rest, movement/exercise or a combination of these. Try a walk and a quick catnap or a cat rest if you can’t do naps. Today people are so exhausted and over stimulated from technology that rest is a higher priority for a body. You know how to do this. Notice how your thinking and feeling changes as your begin to walk in nature.

4. Contribute to others!

Being an acupuncturist for two decades with 10,000 patient contacts, I can say the unhappiest people I encountered in my practice and in life were people that focused entirely on themselves. It is difficult, almost impossible to be happy when you are not healthy, but of being happy is contributing to another person in some way.

Take 10 -15 minutes a day to contribute to someone else. The opportunity or challenge I am offered is to do something that brings you joy.  Write and mail a card of appreciation, make someone’s bed, clean the employee break room for 10 minutes, pick up trash around your neighborhood, or bag your own groceries to help a busy clerk.  Sharing a kind word or listening deeply to someone can make you happy by giving.

There are stories about random acts of kindness like the story of people paying the lay away bills for people at K Mart. People who use lay-away are typically very poor or they would simply purchase the items in the first place. You can send a loving thought and prayer for a homeless person rather than sending out a thought like “get a job.”  (One I have been working on.)

5. Forgive others!

Forgiveness is for YOU and your freedom. If you are offended or “go to your bed in wrath” or are thinking about what so and so said or did to you, then you are sowing strong seeds of ill health. Try forgiving on a small scale and you will understand the truth of how forgiving contributes to your health. Ten minutes of prayer or mediation can really help in this area.

6. Spend 15 min a day on your Essence Self!

Just like how you are instructed in an airplane, if there is a need, an oxygen mask will appear and you must put the oxygen mask on yourself first; it is important to care for yourself first. We all have family or friend situations that we respond to either in a positive or negative way.

It is important to take time to spend with your Essence Self and to put energy into your own “coffer” and not wait for someone else to fill you up.

In an emergency situation, I recently moved to California to manage one of my husband’s businesses. It is a small complex of studios which I am selling. The first 20 minutes in the unit I unplugged and removed the television. I have lived without a TV in my home for 20 years. My 18-year-old daughter has grown up without TV.

Instead of watching TV, I walk on the beach, read, write old fashioned cards, people watch, sit and zone out and have more time to make special “qi” (life force) filled meals for myself. I have more energy to pick out really healthy food and the list goes on and on. Spend 15 minutes a day with your Essence Self and see what you need to create and what you need to let go of this year.

Candess:  My thanks to Cheyenne for sharing this with us. She is the most healthy and pure person I know and I love her continued support of mine and other’s physical, mental and spiritual health. She has contributed to tens of thousands of people in her lifetime!

7. Step 7 is for the reader. As you read this, there is something you know that you need to do that will be helpful to raise your level of health for the New Year!


Communication and Whole Brain Thinking

I am honored and delighted to share this interview with Susie Leonard Weller. She shared with me that children mirror their parent’s brain. I am really curious about this.

Susie teaches Life Skills classes through the Institute for Extended Learning, Adult Basic Education program in Spokane, Washington. She received training through Herrmann International in North Carolina. They studied brain research for over 30 years to improve results at Fortune 500 companies. Susie has applied this research to strengthen family relationships. She is now a Certified Thinking Consultant and her book is Why Don’t You Understand? Improve Family Communication with the 4 Thinking Styles

Susie, I am really curious. What is whole brain thinking?

Susie: Thinking styles are innate preferences for how the brain gathers and processes information in distinct ways. It’s part of who we are. Just like we have a preferred hand to write with, we also have a preferred thinking style. We use our dominant hand more often because it’s easier. In a similar way, our brain requires less effort to talk with someone who shares the same thinking style.

Some people are more left-brained and make logical decisions with their head. Others are more right-brained and make relational decisions with their heart or gut instinct. A whole-brained approach integrates both of the left and the right-brain hemispheres, as well as our intellect and heart.

  • No two people are alike. Our brains are wired differently, right from the start.
  • Most family squabbles are linked to biological differences in how we think.
  • The brain requires 100% more energy to think and communicate in its opposite style.

What styles are there?

Susie: There are four main thinking styles. Imagine the brain as a four-room house. The two upstairs rooms concentrate on problem solving or seeking new solutions. These are called the Logical and Creative thinking styles. The two downstairs rooms focus on handling everyday realities and maintaining relationships. These are called the Practical and Relational thinking styles. Although we might prefer spending more time in some rooms than others, those using a whole-brain approach can access necessary skills from any of these rooms whenever they are needed.

Here’s a brief summary of all four thinking styles:

LOGICAL

Focuses on facts
Clarifies the bottom line
Likes to figure out how things work

CREATIVE

Focuses on thinking outside the box
Is imaginative and playful
Like to be spontaneous

PRACTICAL

Focuses on follow through
Organizes things
Likes to plan ahead

RELATIONAL

Focuses on feelings
Is friendly and supportive
Likes meaningful conversations

How is it that children mirror their parent’s brain?

Susie: Babies are born with “mirror neurons.” They copy everything they see. An infant’s brain is like wet concrete. The earliest impressions make the deepest impact. Experience shapes their brain—both positively and negatively. Repeated patterns become hardwired as established neural pathways. Children “download” their parents’ beliefs and behaviors to survive. By the time children are three years old, about 85% of their brain is already wired with subconscious programming for how to relate to others.

What is the best way to deal with conflict?

Susie: Conflict is a given—even within healthy relationships. The best way to handle conflicts is learning how to respect and leverage our differences. Rather than polarizing people into extreme positions, try to hear the need underlying and fueling their behavior. Learn to speak in ways others understand instead of more “loudly” in your preferred style.

Each thinking style has strengths and challenges. Learn to see them as complementary rather than sources of irritation. For example, when Logicals only focus on the facts and minimize the role of emotions, Relationals feel discounted. And, Relationals need to develop a firm backbone as well as their heart. Likewise, Creatives and Practicals can antagonize each other by refusing to accept each other’s desire to explore options or to make timely decisions.

Opposite styles are like oil and vinegar. They don’t mix easily, but they add great zest to a salad. Rather than take conflicts personally, practice becoming multi-lingual and speak in all four thinking styles whenever needed.

The key to managing conflict is finding win/win solutions to meet each others’ needs. Families are 24/7 learning labs to develop life skills—particularly how to communicate with those who think differently than we do.

How can we best set limits?

Susie: In a half-brained world, discipline styles swing from one extreme to another. But, whole-brained parents know how to balance nurture with structure, as well as to play and problem solve. First, they acknowledge the feelings; then they set an appropriate limit. Adults set clear boundaries and follow through on consequences. Wise parents know when to take charge and when to follow the child’s lead to meet their needs for connection.

What could we do to be a wise parent or a wise communicator?

Susie: Under stress, our brain regresses to a more rigid style. To avoid melt downs, learn to practice the Four C’s of courageous conversations. They will soothe the emotional brain to shift gears more easily to use all four thinking styles as needed.

Logical: Clarify a common goal and code of conduct.

Relational: Care enough to seek understanding (not to prove you’re right) and protect the safety zone so that no one shuts down or becomes aggressive.

Creative: Cultivate choices of both/and rather than either/or positions.

Practical: Commit to practicing mutual respect on a regular basis and express at least five positive comments for every negative one. In my book, I also describe the NARN (Notice, Accept, Reflect & Nurture) Process for shifting the brain to a higher gear when triggered:

1. NOTICE what’s happening—physical, emotional and mental warning signals

2. ACCEPT and work with what is, rather than deny or dismiss it.

3. REFLECT on other possible options to resolve this situation or find ways to re-frame it.

4. NURTURE yourself by choosing a concrete action to calm yourself within this moment—breathe deeply, take a break, stretch, listen to music or hum a song.

In our half brain world, more whole-brain families are needed. Our children will face increasing complexities and challenges. As Albert Einstein said, “The problems we are causing can’t be resolved in the same state of consciousness in which we created them.” Our future depends on our ability to use our whole, creative brain to discover new ways to respect how we think, communicate, relate, play and even pray together.

Thank you Susie. This is a good beginning. How can readers get more information?

You can download FREE excerpts from my book by visiting my website: www.susieweller.com

In addition, for those who contact me, I’ll send a FREE 13-page report with 30 tips for how to calm yourself in stressful moments. They are organized by each thinking style to soothe you from head to toe.

Susie Leonard Weller, M.A. for personal coaching

Call USA (509) 255-6676

Email her at weller.susie@gmail.com or visit www.susieweller.com