Welcome to the new members of Soulful Sunday!
Today, I’m introducing a new layout for Soulful Sunday, including two new sections which will appear each week: Master Your Monday and Vision for You.
I hope you enjoy this week’s edition.
1. Master Your Monday - A mindful tip to help you start the week.
All mistakes teach us something, so there are, in reality, no mistakes.
First rising to prominence in the 1960s as a member of the Black Arts Movement, award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni established herself as a leading proponent of racial and gender equality; her early works "Black Feeling, Black Talk" and "Black Judgement" are among the most important volumes of modern African American poetry. This quote appears in the 2016 book "In the Company of Women," a literary collection of empowering wisdom and advice to which Giovanni contributed. In it, she explains that she seldom dwells on self-doubt since "mistakes are a fact of life."
2. Vision For You - A thought, idea, image, or belief that will help you create a vision for your life.
When I started my personal transformation years ago, I often needed reminders to be positive because I was living through such a challenging time. To help, I created a vision board for my life. I started with photos of family and friends and added quotes and sayings that were relevant to me. I made it a place to remind myself who I wanted to be and how I wanted my life to look.
A vision board can be anything you want. I ask you to think of it in terms of a Vision for You. Make a physical board and hang it in your office or home. Create a digital version using Canva or Pinterest and keep a copy on your phone.
Think about adding your intentions, hopes, and beliefs. A Vision for You should change and evolve as you do.
I have many vision boards. Here is a section of one of the boards in my office.
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3. A Guide For Navigating The Medical System
For the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing strategies for setting intentions in the new year, examining the benefits of a Mindfulness practice, and discussing concepts such as gratitude. Today, I’m switching gears.
From reading The Power of Change, you know I’ve spent more than two decades navigating a broken medical system to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for a chronic, invisible illness that affected me for more than half of my life.
My journey began in 1993. In 2017, I embarked on a second similar journey to find answers for my son.
Today I’m sharing the process I developed that led to the answers we needed.
The key to this guide is to know that you don’t need to be suffering from an unknown illness to use it. It works any time you need to navigate the medical system.
Definitive Guide For Finding The Help You Need
Science And Illness Are On Divergent Paths
Science is evolving, and technology has changed a great deal about medicine and disease. Novel treatments are being discovered across all specialties. It’s not uncommon to see dramatic headlines like this recent one: a ‘breakthrough’ in brain cancer research.
But this was not my experience during the past two decades.
Instead, I found:
Clinicians were uninterested in new scientific data that contradicted their beliefs.
Practitioners could not accept an alternative theory was credible, even if it had scientific proof. ( Of course, there are reasons behind this-but that’s for another day).
The healthcare system is broken.
I don’t know how to fix it, but I know how to navigate a broken system and emerge on the other side.
Here are the first steps to navigating the medical system. My process is a comprehensive one. If you’re interested in the full guide, please leave a comment, and I’ll send it to you via email.
A Process To Navigate The Medical System
1. Learn to Advocate
This means taking control of your care. You must become informed and have the right people to help. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut.
Knowledge is power. To get to the bottom of the mystery, I began by uncovering relevant scientific research. This is not for the faint of heart. Many people do not have the patience to navigate medical journals and research studies, looking for information, clues, or new insights. Some may be too ill to do so. If you need help, ask a friend or family member or consider a medical advocate.
Once you’ve gathered research, analyze it for relevancy and sort it by categories. Create a binder or system to organize the information.
Relevant information is any data point that may explain a symptom, a change, a test result, or answer a question. At first, you may not understand what you’re looking for.
The more well-versed I became on topics such as the immune system, the nervous system, virology, and infectious disease, the easier it became to correlate the research to facets of my illness.
Thanks so much for offering your insight on vision boards. You're absolutely right! They don't need to be 'artsy', but rather just a place to formulate a visual of what you're focusing on or hope to accomplish. I'd never thought of a spreadsheet as a vision board but it certainly can be. Thank you for offering this suggestion.
Hi Christine, I'm sorry to hear this. Yes, of course I'll send it. If you have any questions, let me know. I changed my PCP years ago and can tell you more about that too.