DECEMBER 2014
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Happy Holiday Friends!

Wow, December is here and, before we know it, 2014 will only be seen in the rear view mirror. The older I get the faster life seems to move by; which constantly reminds me to enjoy the happy moments in my life.
Cindy with participants in Tampa at the Lupus: Learning & Living Symposium

For two months I've been sharing ways to reduce holiday stress and prioritize the things that are truly important to you and your families. I'm hoping that perhaps you've taken a few steps to "stress less and enjoy more" this holiday season. It is such a beautiful and magical time of the year, if only we relax and enjoy it.

From my home to yours, I'm sending a wish for Peace, Love and Joy.

Hugs, Cindy
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featured article | Don't Tell Mom    
I shimmy under the Christmas tree on my stomach, moving very carefully until I reach a wrapped package labeled "Cindy" and another labeled "Tom." I grab the gifts as silently as possible and slide back out from under the low hanging branches. There, in the softly lit living room, my brother and I carefully untape the ends of the wrapping paper to peek at the gifts xmas-tree-icon.gif inside; all the while saying, "Don't tell Mom." Somehow these sibling adventures never seem to go exactly as planned and, before we know it, we are caught red handed peeking at our Christmas gifts.

We still laugh about this misadventure at family gatherings, along with others like the year I was sick on Christmas Day and rode my bicycle up and down the hallway of the house, instead of outside with friends. And the hotdog meal that became an annual tradition with our neighbors- all because one year no one had remembered to buy dinner in advance and the only place open was a small convenience store, which had only hot dogs available. Today, these are the stories we laugh about as we sit around the breakfast table Christmas morning. For our family and for me personally they are what give meaning to the holiday. Continue reading >>
 
article shelf | Recent News    
"Empathy beats sympathy for patients, keynote speaker says." Tri Star Publications reporter Rod Carson interviews Cindy for the ACR Daily News. Read the November 17th article now.

"Dealing with Holiday Stress: Questions & Answers with Cindy Coney." Download the podcast and read the 15 questions at the Lupus Foundation of America website.
books |What Cindy's Reading
I know that during the holidays there isn't always a lot of time to curl up and read a good book (so don't expect a long list from me in January!), so I'm only recommending two books for December. If listening fits your schedule better than reading, these books are available on audio as well.

 
10% Happier:
How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge and Found Self Help that Really Works
A True Story by Dan Harris

Okay, you know that I am an absolute sucker for any book with happy or happiness in the title (remember, I accidentally got the Duck Dynasty book this way!). Well, good news on that front: this new book on happiness is fabulous and such fun. I love Dan Harris' sense of humor (warning, he cusses occasionally). Dan is a newscaster and one morning had a panic attack live on Good Morning America. This book is his foray into the world of meditation, including his ten days at a silent retreat. For me, his initial skepticism on meditating and its benefits was a breath of fresh air from some of the New-Agey stuff I've read (Dan and I agree on this point). Meditation is definitely something I'm interested in pursuing in 2015 and this book confirmed to me that if a driven guy like the author can find benefit, there is hope for me sitting still and gaining some benefits as well.
 
The Silent Sister
by Diane Chamberlain
This was one of my pure pleasure books this month. (As an aside, the busier I get, the more important I find it is to read books purely for pleasure as a way to relax. I have been super busy reading and reviewing very long and complex scientific proposals on lupus for the Department of Defense. Mindless and absorbing books like this help keep my mind in balance.) A friend recommended Diane Chamberlain books to me and I enjoyed this one. I was quickly absorbed, and with each twist and turn of the story found myself racing towards the end of the book to find out what happens. The story, though fictional, shows the resilience that individuals build in different ways when confronted with challenge. I looked forward to picking this book up each day as a reward for finishing my other work!
encouragement
Read Cindy's latest blog entries Visit our blog
11-24-2014 

Yes, the little things in life often make me the happYest. This week, it was a piece of paper encased in a plastic sleeve [cont]...»

 

11-17-2014 

I recently made the trek into the wild, wild world of fitness gadgets. Trust me when I say this is not a task for the faint of heart or the [cont]...»

 

11-10-2014 

My guess is Mrs. Peacock in the library with a knife. Does this sound familiar? If so, like me you may have loved playing the game of Clue growing up, or perhaps still do. Yes, it is fun to roll the die, move from room to room, eliminate incorrect guesses and finally solve the mystery [cont]...» 

Where's Cindy? |Upcoming Appearances & Events
With fellow lupus patient, Rob, following a recent speech. 

U.S. Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (DOD PRMRP)
December 7-9, 2014 in Washington, DC
Consumer Reviewer and Presenter: Cindy Coney
More information

LFA-REAL™ (Rapid Evaluation of Activity in Lupus)
December 15-16, 2014 in Washington, DC
Patient Stakeholder: Cindy Coney
More information

Scleroderma Foundation - South Carolina Chapter

January 31, 2015 in Charleston, SC
Keynote: Cindy Coney



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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