MARCH 2016

Cindy Coney
Addressing the audience in Baltimore.
(Photo courtesy NOCC)
Dear Friends,

I've just returned from Baltimore, where I was honored to deliver the opening keynote at the 2016 National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) Conference. This terrific organization is empowering women and the community in the fight against ovarian cancer.

While I enjoyed my time there (Baltimore is a beautiful city!), winter seems to have a firmer-than-usual grip on the Mid Atlantic Coast. I felt very lucky to return to the warm weather and sunny skies of my hometown of Tampa. 

And speaking of luck, March seems the perfect month to talk about it: what it is, what it is not, and how much our attitudes impact whether or not we have any. I hope you enjoy this month's featured newsletter article, Lupus, Luck and Attitude.

Wishing you good luck always,
featured article | Lupus, Luck and Attitude     

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but of playing a poor hand well."

~Robert Louis Stevenson

When I think of the month of March, I think of the color green, shamrocks, leprechauns (wouldn't they be fun little guys to meet!) and luck. I've never really believed in luck as a strategy for living life; I'm more a believer in hard work and experience. Still, I do think that luck is a nice addition to the pot, and overall I do consider myself lucky. I've found dollar bills, pennies, and even a ten dollar bill while walking. I once stumbled upon a very expensive David Yurman bracelet on the sidewalk with an envelope nearby with a name and address on it. I was in DC and spent a great deal of time tracking down the name on the envelope, eventually returning the bracelet to its rightful owner (she was lucky too!). All of these little things and more make me feel lucky in life.

I've lived with lupus for many decades. One may wonder how someone with a serious chronic illness can consider themselves lucky. Well, I'll admit that in the health department I may not have hit the jackpot where luck is concerned, but that is only one aspect of my life. Overall, feeling lucky and expecting good things in life seems like an attitude to me. It is an optimistic perspective of believing that the best is going to happen. When I infrequently buy a lottery ticket, I hope that I'm going to win and sometimes I feel lucky, but I certainly don't go out a commit the winnings to large purchases! I may consider myself lucky, but I'm not generally foolish. Feeling lucky when playing games and winning is just plain fun. I feel lucky when I put on my Florida State University apparel and head to football games. Sometimes luck (and skill and talent) aren't enough to win a game and I'm temporarily disappointed, but by the following weekend I'm back to feeling lucky and hopeful for another win.

I'm a big believer in a positive attitude. Unlike my health, I feel this is an area of my life that I have complete control over. I can choose to see myself as lucky, fortunate and blessed or I can focus on the one area where I struggle-my health. I learned long ago that focusing on the negative only seems to dull the joy in other areas of my life. I have to live with the hand that was dealt me and that includes living with lupus, but I do not have to let this one piece of life control everything else, even when I'm not feeling well and it nags and tries to get all of my attention.

I've heard it said that we make our own luck. On March 17th, I plan to cook corned beef and cabbage for dinner, wear green so I don't get pinched and celebrate the areas of my life where I've been extremely lucky and blessed: family, friends, career and more. I think that I'll keep the lupus hidden under a shamrock, if I get lucky and find one.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!
books |What Cindy's Reading
The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path to Healing Ourselves and Our World
by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu

This title was recommended by Brenee Brown in her book, Rising Strong. Because I admire her work, I chose to listen to this audio book narrated by the authors: Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, the Rev. Mpho Tutu. I'm thrilled I listened to instead of read the book, because Desmond Tutu's deep, calm voice added meaning to the words. The process of forgiving those who hurt us, and of forgiving ourselves when we hurt others, can be challenging. I learned a great deal from this book. For instance, until we can forgive the other, that person holds the key to our happiness. The authors also share 4 steps for forgiving and so much more. I'd love to spend a page listing everything I learned and things I want to implement myself, but it would probably be better if you simply read or listen to the whole book yourself. I highly recommend it.

Vanessa and Her Sister
by Priya Parmar

Initially, I did not particularly care for this book. I often find epistolary novels - such as this series of letters - to be choppy and at times hard to follow. However, once I got into the fictionalized story based on the lives of actual people (painter Vanessa Bell and her sister Virginia Wolf and their siblings and friends), I found the account fascinating. The novel is set in London in 1905 as the four Stephen siblings are getting a home in the Bloomsbury District and begin to entertain their wild array of friends. Once into the story, I looked forward to reading about the next event and the lives of members of the Bloomsbury Group who went on to gain great fame. 

Cindy's keynote speeches for patients and healthcare professionals have inspired audiences around the globe with her uplifting messages of hope, optimism and overcoming challenge. To learn more about what Cindy can offer your group, email her at 
Read Cindy's latest blog entries Visit our blog
I'm a big fan of Gretchen Rubin and her book, The Happiness Project. While waiting for [cont]...»
If you have liked my public Facebook page (Cindyconeyfla), you have seen [cont]...»
I heard the word "victim" on a television show my husband and I were watching [cont]...»
I have heard it said that we are all artists, that each of us possesses a special talent. [cont]...»
I am the first born, high achieving girl in our family. Thus, I came blessed with a double dose of the [cont]...»
I never know why things pop into my brain, but this morning the term "worry wart" appeared. [cont]...»
When we moved to our new home my husband and I made a decision not to bring things [cont]...» 
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.