Cindy delivering opening remarks in Washington, DC at Dept. of Defense Grant Review Meeting
Happy New Year Friends!

I hope each of you had a lovely holiday season and didn't try to do too much. It is so easy to overdo in the spirit of loving others.

On this last day of 2014, it is a good time to look back on what worked well in your life over the past year and what didn't work so well for you. Are there things you'd like to change? Now is a great time to ponder those changes; just don't make too many New Year's Resolutions. It gets harder to follow through if you have too many!

So, here's to a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2015 for all.

featured article |What's New?    
"And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been." 
~Rainer Maria Rilke 
When greeted by people we know, we often hear, "Hi, What's new?" Not much forethought is given to this common social greeting, nor to the typical response, "not too much." Well, I'm here to say a lot is new! The calendar is moving from the year 2014 to the year 2015 and with that comes a clean slate. I love that feeling.

As we watch the ball drop in Times Square (for those of us who manage to stay awake!) and wish those we love a Happy New Year-in that moment-we have a brand new year ahead of us. Aside from the gaiety of New Year's celebrations, the coolest part is that each and every one of us gets to decide what we do with that year. It's sometimes easy to forget about the power of choice. We all have it, though it's often tempting to ride along through life on cruise control, just because it is easier to leave things the way we are than to change them. We human beings are not especially fond of change (to say the least!). Yet all of that blank space in the 2015 calendar presents a choice. I love the thought of all that potential. Just think what it would mean for you if those tiny lines and boxes were filled with things that made you happy! Did you know that the happYest people are people who help others, practice gratitude, and spend time with people they love? I know we can't control all of what makes us happy; some of our individual propensity toward happiness is genetic and a portion is circumstantial and beyond our control (unfortunately my pesky lupus falls in this category), but we control a lot more than we think- an estimated 40% in fact. We can look at those tiny blank calendar spaces and fill much of 2015 with activities we enjoy, people who make us happy and events that we can look forward to. How exciting is that!?!

Here's what I'm proposing for the New Year: Take out your 2015 calendar right this minute, pause for a moment and think of some things that you want to (rather than should) do and type them in the blank spaces. Do it now, because if you are like me those tiny spaces have a way of magically filling themselves up. If I don't take control and choose what will fill my days, then before I know it, it is New Year's Eve again and I'm pondering where the year went. Time truly is a gift, if we use it wisely and fill it with meaningful and memorable moments. So this year, if you are one to make resolutions, join me in resolving to control the calendar and make it a year filled with moments of HappYness, smiles and fun. I'm pledging to continue my holiday motto of stress less-enjoy more and make this year one of the best ones yet.

Happy New Year Friends!
"I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was."   
~ Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
books |What Cindy's Reading

My nose has been buried in Department of Defense grants and although the research gives me great hope for the future of lupus, these grants will never make my list of Best Reads!!! They are not nearly as much fun as a good mystery novel.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
by Haruki Murakami

I follow Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project) and this is one of the books she recommended last month. Although not a new release (2008), I was drawn to the title because I am a former runner. Would love to still be a runner, but lupus and my joints nixed that! This book is a beautifully written memoir tying together the author's passions of running and writing. I loved the book and the insights offered, and devoured it between grants. 

Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng

Okay, I'll admit that I'm a sucker for Best Books lists. I often download recommended books without even reading the description. I figure if everyone else likes a listed book, it must be good - right? This book topped many Best Books lists, including Goodreads. The book begins when the daughter of a Chinese American couple is found in a local lake and then recounts the story that led up to this event. Full of secrets, tension and frustration, the book is brilliant in it's depiction of characters. I would recommend it, but want you to know that it isn't a happy story.

Read Cindy's latest blog entries Visit our blog

Let me begin by saying I like to be busy. I'm a person who enjoys being actively engaged in life. Nope, no standing on the sidelines and watching life go by. [cont.]...»



On December 8th, I was honored to be invited to speak and mark a moment of silence in honor of all those coping with chronic illness as part of the U.S. Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program meeting in Washington, DC. [cont.]...»



I am an optimist. I see 

the glass as full to overflowing. I trust and see the best in others and always believe that good things are about to happen. Now, for the most part, [cont.]...»

What's Cindy up to in January?

Powerful Patient Radio Program

Cindy will be the featured interview on this empowering program for people with complex medical issues or disabilities, and those seeking a diagnosis. Click here FMI
January 8, 2015 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern

Scleroderma Foundation - South Carolina Chapter
January 31, 2015 in Charleston, SC Click here FMI or to Register __________________________________________________
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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