OCTOBER 2015
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Hi Friends,

October is one of my favorite months. College football is in full swing, the weather is starting to cool off a bit, and I get to see all the little Trick or Treaters in their costumes. Such fun!!

Loved leading the recent strategic planning session in Florida with the board & staff of the Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance.
I hope you're able to relax before the holiday season gets into full swing. Now is the time to start making your lists and chunking down the things you want to do for the holidays into doable bits. The holidays are so much more fun when we're not stressed and exhausted.

When I blow out the candles on my birthday cake, I'll be wishing for health and happiness for each of you!

Hugs, Cindy 
Featured Article | The Light of Life       
"When our thoughts, at times, wander into darkness... remember we are human and have been imbued with free will to choose the light."   ~Christopher Earle
 
I look up when walking to admire the sky because I've always thought its beauty one of nature's greatest artistic gifts. Experiencing sunrise is a breathtaking way to start my day. I've also enjoyed many afternoons at the beach watching thunderclouds roll in off the Gulf of Mexico, sending spears of lightning crashing to the ground. Yet sunset has always been my favorite time of day. I imagine God taking out his paintbrush and turning a blue sky to magnificent shades of pink, orange and yellow as the sun gently goes to sleep for the night on the horizon. I wonder how many rolls of film and how much digital space I've filled trying to capture these sunsets, yet nothing can compare to the real thing.

On a recent morning walk (one where my body refused to get moving early enough for sunrise), I captured the photo at right on my phone. I didn't take the photo because it was colorful, but rather for its natural composition. When I looked at this particular sky, I realized that if someone  asked me to share one photograph of what living with lupus or another chronic illness is like, this is the one I'd share. In all of my looking ups, I've never witnessed sunshine nestled so closely to darkness. The instant I saw it I thought, "Cindy, that is your life." I have the moments of incredible joy and happiness snuggled right up next to pain, hospitalizations and fear of the unknown. Though I choose to live on the sunny side, there are times when even my "sunny" outlook gives way to an eclipse. These are the times I reach deep inside and hum "Tomorrow,"  the song from Annie. It promises "the sun will come out tomorrow" and, sure enough, it always does. Given time, rest and proper medical support, I am able to find my joy, smiles and laughter, even when they have been temporarily hiding behind clouds.
 
As I celebrate my 60 years of living this month, each of those birthday candles will bring a bit more light into my life. I'm thinking 60 plus one-to-grow-on will require a very large cake; yumm! I will fondly remember all of the good times and let the cloudy times slip further into the past. Most of all, I'll be thinking of all the people in my life who bring me happiness and joy, wishing the same for them, and looking forward to many more years together.
Books |What Cindy's Reading

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Before reading the new book by author Harper Lee (see review below), I thought I could use a refresher on the original. It has been decades since I read this book and it is so much more fun when it isn't required reading! I thoroughly enjoyed To Kill A Mockingbird this time around. I can understand why the book was voted the "Best Novel of the Century" and why Harper Lee was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Go Set a Watchman

by Harper Lee

This is the story of Jean Louise Finch's (Scout's) return to Macomb, Alabama from New York to be with her father, Atticus who has rheumatoid arthritis. It is a complex novel, with deep insights into the people we hold as heroes. Many of Scout's childhood memories come flooding back. I was somewhat surprised that not all were true to the original narrative in To Kill A Mockingbird. The author's use of language paints pictures that I will hold onto for quite a while.


Rising Strong

by Brene Brown

I love the work of Dr. Brene Brown. Her writings on shame, vulnerability, courage and worthiness always resonate with me. I have read many of her books and was anxious to read this latest book on getting back up after failing. Once again, I found myself wishing that I could download everything she writes into my brain, so that I could draw upon it when needed. I liked this book the best of any she has written because she uses personal stories to illustrate her points. Often, she shares so much of her research that, although incredibly valuable, I find it hard to remember. I think I'll be remembering more from this book, especially because I plan to read it again. It's that good!
Encouragement
Read Cindy's latest blog entries Visit our blog
09-28-2015
Many of you may remember the children's song, If You're Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands. It is adorable when a room full of kindergarten kids claps their hands, then happily sings the next verse while stamping their feet! I love a room full of little ones displaying their happYness proudly, and I [cont]...»

 

Fear Out Ruby Slippers In 09-21-2015
The light goes out, the room is dark and the child imagines monsters under the bed and all sorts of scary things that live in the dark. Flip the light switch on and all the monsters scurry away. Unfortunately, most adult fear doesn't work like that; the flip of a light switch doesn't cause the [cont]...»

 

09-14-2015
After I spoke to a room full of pharmaceutical sales representatives who sell a lupus drug, I was asked to stay on stage for a question and answer session. I agreed and the audience members wrote their questions on index cards and passed them forward. I honestly don't remember all of the questions I was [...]...»
 
Speaking
"Whether you are an individual with a chronic disease, a family member or the health professional that cares for someone who has a lifelong struggle with an illness, Cindy Coney's impactful and motivational messages move audience members to take actions to address and cope with the effects of chronic disease and achieve a better quality of life. Everywhere she speaks, she dazzles!"
Sandra C. Raymond, President & CEO
Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.


I would love to speak to your group!
Simply contact me at cindy@cindyconey.com and we'll work out the details.

ABOUT: 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.