MAY 2015
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Happy May Friends!

May is one of my favorite months. I love celebrating Mother's Day with my mother and daughters. I love that it is Lupus Awareness Month and many people will learn about this cruel and mysterious disease. And on May 25th we honor and remember those veterans who fought for our freedom.

Wow, I smile thinking about the month ahead. I hope you and yours have a wonderful May.

Hugs, Cindy 
featured article |The Gift of Motherhood    
The drive out to the agency seems to take an eternity. The wait on the turquoise vinyl chairs goes on forever. It feels like anticipating Christmas as a child, thinking it will never come. My husband, Tony, and I sit in the tiny room waiting for the gift of a lifetime...our first child. Mother's Day always brings back these memories in vivid focus, even today over thirty years later.

As a child, the thought never crossed my mind that I would not be a mother. I played with dolls, worked in summer camps with children and even majored in Elementary Education! My Plan A world was a family with little ones running around and my thought was always the more the merrier. But life had other plans for Tony and me: our Plan B life with lupus. Plan B did not include biological children; instead, it included the children who were meant to be ours and came to us through adoption-two beautiful daughters for whom we will forever be eternally grateful.

Motherhood...with my daughters, three decades ago!
In May, as Mother's Day rolls around and I see all of the cards in the stores, I sometimes reflect on the times of struggle and heartache Tony and I experienced. I think of all the couples out there who want to have children, but who are unable to conceive. This is often a private struggle kept secret from the outside world and one that takes great love, resiliency and support to endure. An act that is so natural for so many can become a source of great pain for those longing for a baby. I've been there and this May I send special love to these families. 

For those who are fortunate enough to be celebrating Mother's Day with their children (furry four-legged children included) or mother, I wish you the happiest day ever. For those whose children are miles from home on May 10th, I know love transcends distance and time. And to everyone else reading this, may you too experience the feeling of unconditional love from another human being. After all, that's what being a mother really means. 

"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother."
~Oprah Winfrey
 
advocacy | Lupus Awareness 

This month, help raise public awareness of lupus by joining in one of the many activities planned nationwide. In May, thousands will be participating in local Walk to End Lupus Now™ events (check out my team, Monkey'n Around to End Lupus!), recognizing lupus on World Lupus Day (May 10th), wearing purple to show their support on Put on Purple™ for lupus (May 15th), and finding other creative ways to put the spotlight on this serious and little understood disease. There's so much that's positive happening in May! For activities and ideas on how you can join in, visit the Lupus Foundation of America's website..
books |What Cindy's Reading
Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
by Martin Seligman

First published in 2002, I recently reread this title because I love the work of Martin Seligman. Much of the work that I do in resiliency is based on Seligman's research on enhancing our signature strengths. I have to admit that I did laugh at the portion of the title referring to "new" positive psychology! It is no longer new, yet still incredibly relevant. The book offers a formula for happiness, which I like very much: Happiness = set range for happiness (genetic) + circumstances of your life + factors under voluntary control. I am a firm believer that we can choose to be happy despite life's challenges and this formula supports my belief! If you have not read Seligman's book, I recommend you do so or visit the Authentic Happiness website. Run by the University of Pennsylvania, the site has a lot of information on positive psychology. It also offers a huge number online surveys and tests that you can take to learn more about things like life satisfaction, character strengths, relationships and happiness.


Stunned By Grief:
Remapping Your Life When Loss Changes Everything
by Judy Brizendine

I connected with author Judy Brizendine through LinkedIn. This connection, and a few e-mails back and forth, led to her sending me a copy of this book. Although I am fortunate that I am not grieving the loss of a loved one, I found this book to be incredibly insightful into the challenge of dealing with life changing events. Chronic illness falls into this category and I believe many dealing with life changing illnesses go through a grieving period. Judy's positive approach resonated very much with me. We all know I love to focus on hope, laughter and learning to live beyond the challenges we face. In Stunned by Grief, Brizendine says that, "Sometimes, the presence of someone who genuinely cares is the only thing needed. Words become unimportant. Empathy, direct eye contact, and the touch of another human being speak volumes all by themselves." I found these words and many others in the book to be true and meaningful to me. Note: Judy is a Christian author and there are many references to God in the book.

Honoring Mothers | Quotes


"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child."
~Sophia Loren

Happy Mother's Day!

tips
 
Cindy's Five "Be's"
greyscale-dr-advice.jpg
Communicating with healthcare providers isn't always easy. But there are ways for you to "be" within the patient-physician relationship that can ensure you get the support you need and the care you deserve from your medical team.
  1. Be Honest
  2. Be Efficient
  3. Be Assertive
  4. Be Yourself
  5. Be Patient
Read more about Cindy's
Five "Be's" HERE.

encouragement
Read Cindy's latest blog entries Visit our blog
4-27-2015 

If you've been following my posts, you know that I have lived for over three decades with a chronic illness. I've accepted that the illness-at least for today-doesn't have a cure. [cont]...»

 

4-20-2015

Although none of us come with a guarantee of immortality, lupus taught me at a very young age that I am most definitely a flesh and bone mortal. [cont]...»

 

4-12-2015 

Remember the game Fifty Questions? I always thought it was kind of fun to be asked unusual questions and try to answer them. [cont]...»

 

4-06-2015

As you know if you are following my posts, most of my days begin with a walk. You probably also know that Busy Brain frequently joins me on these walks, especially on those days I've tried (usually unsuccessfully) to quiet her during 20 minutes of pre-walk meditation. [cont]...» 

 
"Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation."

~Robert A. Heinlein
Where's Cindy? | Upcoming Appearances

airplace-takeoff-sunset.jpg Walton County Prevention Coalition Leadership Training
Mission, Money and Multitasking: Sustaining Your Nonprofit
May 13, 2015, Florida Panhandle

Baycare Patient Centered Medical Home Seminar
Keynote Address-Partners in Healing
May 19, 2015, Clearwater, FL

Walton County Prevention Coalition Leadership Training
Is My Board Bored or Onboard?
June 24, 2015, Florida Panhandle

Scleroderma Foundation National Patient Education Conference
Opening Keynote Address
July 17-19, 2015, Nashville, TN
More Information
I would love to speak to your group. Simply contact me at cindy@cindyconey.com and we'll work out the details!
 
ABOUT CINDY CONEY Nationally recognized keynote speaker and resiliency educator Cindy Coney has assisted thousands in moving beyond "coping" with limitations to recapturing joy, balance and freedom through her speeches and pioneering educational training for patients and healthcare professionals. Diagnosed with lupus in 1980, Cindy has traveled the globe to share her story of thriving after a chronic diagnosis. Read more.