I’m sure you have played the game where you draw slips of paper out of a hat with various “have you ever ________________” questions. I just saw a similar type of activity, a meme posted that had a list of activities you have done in your life where you score how many of the activities you have done in your life and share it with your friends having them do the same.

Why is this activity so fun and interesting? Because it helps us relate and learn something about the other person. It helps us connect.

This week I have had several experiences that have reminded me that we have life experiences sometimes for our own learning and growth and sometimes for others. In my personal experience, I can see where it has been for both although certainly at the time it may be unclear.

I think this perspective is one of the reasons I feel called to change my career path of 25 years from treatment to prevention. In the past 6 months I feel an even greater urgency to spread the news. The good news! The news of hope and healing. The news of transitioning from surviving to thriving. The news of living WOW.

It’s interesting though, physiologically we are programmed to focus on the bad news. That is the survival instinct in our primitive brain. Change is a threat to our survival because it is unknown and unfamiliar which equals fear and run away if left to our primitive brain. Bad news feeds the fear and endorphins and in a stimulating way, just like sugar, we crave it. It’s why we, as a society,  feed off the media and can’t look away from the latest disaster, crime, or scandal.  We are self protecting by recognizing the danger and avoiding change.

Until we can’t…

Because ultimately life will have real danger and we will be forced to change. This is where the “have you ever” comes in handy. This is where we look for similarities to other experiences we have had and usually, if this is a repeat danger, probably didn’t change enough to prevent the situation from happening again. So we look to others for their guidance and experience to help us successfully navigate the danger. Sometimes we need an electrician, sometimes we need an attorney, sometimes we need a doctor; it may be any expert or individual who has understanding and knowledge in our problem area.

The trick is to get out of our primitive brain and into our rational brain (much easier said than done) where we can recognize change as growth and reach out to others who have similar experiences before it becomes a true danger and certainly before it becomes a repeat danger. Having your oil changed and car serviced regularly, new tires and wipers as needed, and a car wash are good examples that aren’t too threatening but if neglected, wow, disaster could easily strike.

How do I know? Because I live it everyday, just like you do! This is what happened when I finally woke up and realized that my health crisis was a direct reflection of the choices I made, even though they weren’t BAD choices they were definitely SAD choices. I didn’t have this realization until 3 years into my health transformation and 20+ years into my adult, decision making, primitive mind, auto pilot that was my life.

  • Have you ever been in pain and taken a Tylenol or Advil?
  • Have you ever put on weight and dieted to take it off?
  • Have you ever joined a gym to get into shape and not used it?
  • Have you ever blamed your health problem on “it runs in my family”?
  • Have you ever blamed “getting older” for your aches and pains or prescription medications?
  • Have you ever ordered pizza and pop for a party or to reward the kids?
  • Have you ever yelled at your kids, not because they deserved it, but because you were frustrated and tired?
  • Have you ever gone to work not because you wanted to but because you had to?
  • Have you ever settled for what you know rather than what you want?
  • Have you ever had more month than money?

Of course I have! That is so SAD but it is exactly how most of us live every single day.  I lived it and I continue to see it all around me every day in our Standard American Diet (SAD) and lifestyle. These are the messages we don’t see or hear being blasted at us continually from every corner of our world because as normal they are our autopilot.

From autopilot to pilot!

You can’t change something you are not aware of. It is the trap of autopilot! How can you make a course correction (even if you want to) if you don’t recognize who’s in control? How can you change your direction if you don’t know what direction you are going? How can you solve a problem if you don’t know the equation?

It is critical to get into the pilot seat of your life. It might be a bit overwhelming at first because there are so many details on the dashboard that you didn’t even realize mattered before. Maybe the big red flashing “DANGER” light is what caught your attention and you realized you were heading for a crash but don’t really know how to avoid it.

This was me 10 years ago as I could see a health crisis looming in my future. I could see a series of near crashes in my marriage, my family, my work, my faith, my life but they just kept repeating because I was on autopilot. I was making choices with my primitive brain not necessarily my rational brain. Through many hours of personal and professional study and education, personal development, healing and teaching I am no longer on autopilot. I am a skilled pilot with confidence of where I am going, what all the gauges and lights on my dashboard mean, and what the threats and distractions are that may interrupt my flight and tempt me to step out and use auto-pilot.

Just to be sure…

  • Have you ever driven in dense fog?
  • Have you ever flown in a lightening storm?
  • Have you ever driven a mountain pass with icy roads?
  • Have you ever been out on the water when a storm came in?
  • Have you ever experienced wind that could launch the trampoline into the neighbors yard?

Even when you are a skilled and attentive pilot, life will still challenge your skills! You may be tempted to change course or find an easier way. Maybe you even want to pass the controls on to someone else so that you don’t have to navigate the passage. Worst of all, to give up and quit altogether.

I have been there! I am there! Even as the clarity of my transformation in 8 Lessons Lupus Taught Me: From Surviving to Thriving with Autoimmune Diseases led to inspiration in Change Your Story: From Surviving to Thriving  and RisetoShine.life and ultimately, the end result Living WOW Lifestyle Program; I am knocked about by the storms of life, hardly able to catch my breath before the next wave lands!

I personally believe that I have experienced this not only for my own growth and experience but also for you. I have had a handful of experiences just this week that reminded me that the journey is not easy and that everyone has their own journey. Yours is different than mine, BUT there are similarities and because I have experienced what I have and navigated successfully through, I can help you navigate successfully too. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are the only one in the storm and there is no one to call for help.

What I know is that nutrition is key and it is also individual, although there are some definite standards that apply to all humans currently eating SAD.

  • Eat less don’t just spend less
  • Eat more real food, whole food
  • Eat more plants
  • Avoid processed foods or synthetic ingredients
  • Avoid stimulants like sugar, caffeine, and alcohol

What I also know is that our health is about our lifestyle just as much as it is about our diet. Our bodies were designed to heal spontaneously if given an environment to do so. The lifestyle choices you make including your mental and emotional health have a direct reflection on your physical heath. You can not have one without the other. You also can not have a sustainable healthy lifestyle living SAD.

  • Daily meditation or prayer
  • Daily education
  • Goal setting or aspiration
  • Daily physical movement
  • Personal inspiration and guidance

This can be a tall order coming off of autopilot with SAD lifestyle and mindset blasting you on all sides. I live in the same SAD world you do with the same choices coming at me every single day. I am not perfect, but I have learned that implementing the Living WOW Lifestyle makes getting through the storms faster and easier because I understand the dashboard and the gifts I have learned to recognize. I now have the full focus of a fighter pilot in battle and when a missile comes at me I have the tools to either navigate around it or blow it out of the sky!

I would like to help you transform from surviving to thriving just like I have. Whether you are surviving with autoimmune diseases or surviving with SAD, I am on your same journey. I understand that when you are on autopilot you either don’t have the awareness or the energy to turn off the primitive brain and take on the conscious pilot role. Let me help you as a co-pilot. Baby steps to awareness, course correction, and reading the gauges. There is a better way. Life is meant to be an amazing adventure not just an endurance test. You were made to thrive!

Living WOW Lifestyle Daily Playbook

This is my foundation for the Living WOW Lifestyle Transformation Program and the Living WOW Lifestyle Daily Playbook . Tools that help you step out of the SAD life and into a WOW life day by day, choice by choice.

I have compiled these power habits into the Living WOW Lifestyle Daily Playbook to help you step out of the SAD lifestyle and into the WOW lifestyle more easily and quickly than I did. Twenty five years of behavior modification and neuro reprogramming as a speech language pathologist, 10 years of continuing education in nutrition and lifestyle, as well as my own life laboratory healing and reversing autoimmune diseases has led to this Living WOW Lifestyle Daily Playbook to synthesize and apply powerful strategies every day.

To claim your copy of the Living WOW Lifestyle Daily Playbook just click here and join our RisetoShine.life community. There is no cost as it is my gift to you! It is my gift to you, but it is up to you to receive it, open it, and use it. I also have a training on the Living Wow Stonehouse Style YouTube Channel so that you can maximize the tool, for FREE!

By being a part of our community of Rise to Shine and Living Wow you can join us whether in person or online. If you are in Idaho we would love to have you join us at our Healthy Living Revolution and Change Your Story events. You can find the calendar of events on the website! If you are somewhere else in the US, we are planning to visit all 50 states this year and would love an excuse to meet you as we inspire healthy living across the nation. Contact us to schedule an event in your area! When you are online you can friend and follow the RisetoShine blog, You Tube vlog channelFacebookInstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn. Please share this blog and resources with those you know who want to start thriving. I know there are way too many who are just surviving! Shine on!

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