OCTOBER 2014
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Hi Friends,
Cindy and two friends following her speech at a recent Ovacome Support Group Meeting.

This month's issue of my newsletter is all about stepping out of our normal lives. I was given the extraordinary opportunity to step out of my normal all the way to Switzerland! I was honored to be one of 50 researchers and doctors and 3 lupus patients from around the world to work towards defining remission in lupus. The vacation that followed was fabulous and I hope that many of you enjoyed the photos I posted on Facebook. Switzerland is truly a gorgeous country!

As fall begins, our focus shifts to the holidays. This is a time we often step out of our normal and can become overtired and overwhelmed. Join me in choosing to SMILE this holiday season. I've given a few of my favorite tips below.

Happy Halloween Y'all! Don't let those ghouls and goblins get you!

Hugs,
Cindy
featured article | Away from Normal   

"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy
merely to be normal." - Albert Camus   
Lugano, Switzerland - about 100 miles from Zurich
Though it's different for everyone, we all have what we consider our "normal" life. Recently, I had the opportunity to step out of my normal. I set aside the calendar book, forgot about alarm clocks, doctor's appointments, to do lists and the like, and I took a vacation abroad.

For me, the first day of my away-from-normal vacation included a task force meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, where I joined two other patients and fifty doctors from around the world to define remission in lupus. Now, from the outside, that sounds like perhaps a simple task, but trust me on this, it isn't. Here's why: lupus looks different in every person who has it.
Continue reading >>
 

Smiling Through the Craziness of the Holidays


Last year as the holiday "spirit" took hold of people, someone cut me off and whipped into the parking spot I had been patiently waiting for. Having several choices in the moment (you can only imagine), I chose to go home and, every day during the holiday season, look for one thing that made me smile. I then posted those SMILES on Facebook. I intend to do the same thing starting November 25th and invite you to follow along and join me. In order to get a jump on this crazy time of year, here are some tips for keeping a SMILE on your face and love in your heart.

Start early. As the saying goes, "there is no time like the present." If you bake, start baking now and freeze those goodies. If you send cards, address them now and mail later. You get the idea!

Make a list. I carry a list of the people I give gifts to with me all year. This way, when I see something I think someone would like, I buy it and tuck it away until Christmas. Assuming I can remember where I've put them when Christmas arrives, this saves me a great deal of time and stress and I have gifts people love!

Ignore the holiday hype. Think about what is truly important to you and your family and do those things. Remember, retailers exist to make money, not promote quality time with family and friends.

Let go of unrealistic expectations. Make sure that your holiday to-do list is full of things you want to do rather than things you feel you should do. Also, be sure you allocate your time and energy realistically. Many with chronic illness have limited energy and it is crucial to spend it on things that really matter.

Enjoy this special time of year! It seems ridiculous to say it, but sometimes we are so busy doing that we forget to notice the beauty of this special time of year.

Here is the link to my Lupus Foundation of America-Ask the Experts session on Dealing with Holiday Stress. You can listen to the audio and download the slides: CLICK HERE.

books |What Cindy's Reading

As you can imagine, my reading time lately has been somewhat limited; so only two books this month (more time for you to employ those "start early" holiday tips!).

If you have to Wear an Ugly Dress, Learn to Accessorize: Guidance, Inspiration and Hope for Women with Lupus, Scleroderma, and Other Autoimmune Diseases
by Linda McNamara and Karen Kemper

You know my addiction to accessories, especially shoes and jewelry, so you can imagine that I could not pass up the opportunity to read this book! Connecting with one of the book's authors, Linda McNamara via LinkedIn (don't you love social media?), I immediately ordered the book. I truly enjoyed it and appreciated and agreed with so many of tips and thoughts offered. It's easy to read, straightforward and compassionate. I look forward to meeting these two lovely ladies one day soon!

 
Hector and the Search for Happiness
by Francois Lelord

Before leaving Switzerland, I wandered into an English bookstore in Zurich. I wanted a "real" book, not a downloaded one (the fear my iPad malfunctioning and flying 10 hours without a book terrified me!). I ran across a big display of Hector and the Search for Happiness. You know that next to accessories, reading about and being HappY is my favorite thing. I purchased the book, got on the plane and dug in. To sum it up, the book is cute, offers a few good tips and is a very quick read (like, I had 8 hours left after finishing it!). Honestly, you can skim the happiness tips in a bookstore. I can't imagine this being made into a movie, but it has been and from what I've seen the film version of the book isn't getting great reviews. If you do see the movie or have read the book, I'd love to hear your opinion!

encouragement
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Where's Cindy? |Upcoming Appearances & Events
 
Lupus Foundation of America: Philadelphia Tri State Summit
October 18, 2014 in Philadelphia, PAairplace-takeoff-sunset.jpg
Keynote Address More information

LFA Teleconference: Lupus and Stress
November 13, 2014 7:00 pm.
Registration Required. More Information

American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
November 16, 2014 in Boston, MA
Keynote Address More information

Scleroderma Foundation - South Carolina Chapter
January 31, 2015 in Charleston, SC

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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.
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