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Coming 2015! Click on the Tea Cup to Reserve Your Sessions!

Image courtesy Jeff Kubina

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Season's Greetings from Debbie & WWGN!

Time to Settle In
& Get Cozy!

 

It's getting colder, the holidays are upon us and, all of a sudden, I'm feeling the need to slow down and get cozy. Of course, that means hot chocolate, marshmallows, a comfy throw and my favorite holiday movies.

 

What brings you comfy, cozy happiness? Whatever it is, make sure to allow yourself to luxuriate in it this holiday season.

 

Don't think of it as goofing off. Think of it as prioritizing live out loud joy at the very top of your "to do" list.

 

You deserve it!

 

Wishing You & Your Family
a Happy & Healthy
Holiday Season &
a Very Happy New Year!

xoxo,

Debbie

Copyright: vell / 123RF Stock Photo

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New Podcast: Thriving In a New Normal After Cancer

What does it take to move beyond traumatic life experiences? Because we're all different, there is no one answer. Each of us brings our unique strengths to survival and hopefully, by sharing our stories, we provide each other with hope, encouragment and inspiration.

That's why Melissa Wilson and I got together recently on a new episode of her The Grass Gets Greener podcast series. Melissa is a bullying survivor, and anti-bullying blogger and advocate. Her podcast series spotlights survivors of all kinds of traumas who have worked through individual struggles to go on to thrive.  

Of course, Melissa asked me about my cancer experience and what I've done to bring about healing. We also talked about a traumatic event I experienced that I don't talk about very often (hint: it's something we have in common.)

You can find the podcast episode here. Download it at iTunes and check out the other episodes. 

As I always say, we're all survivors of something. Coming together to talk about healing is good for all of us and, as always, I'm honored to be a part of the conversation.

Survival > Existence,

Picture Copyright: nikkytok/123RF Stock Photo

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What One Little Word Breaks You Out of Your Comfort Zone?

The following is an article I originally published on Empowered Living.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Neale Donald Walsch

Why do we find ruts so comfortable?

Before cancer, “No” was my default response to anything new and different. After cancer, I realized saying “Yes” was healing and jumped in with both feet.

I’d wanted to check out yoga prior to cancer but, true to form, never made it happen. After my mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries I was ready to take back control over my body. We joined the local Y and I tried the weight room, Pilates classes and, finally, found myself in a yoga class.

It was love at first down dog.

Over the next three years, I regularly attended the same yoga class twice a week. The teacher’s rhythm, my classmates, even the ride back and forth to the Y became an established part of my week.

Eventually, I realized something was missing and I needed to break out and try other classes, but I’m a creature of habit and resisted. My schedule worked and I was afraid if I messed with it, I’d drop out and stop doing yoga all together. Also, truth be told, I was afraid to be the new kid in class again.

The tension between sticking with the familiar and longing for something new continued way too long. The more excuses I made, the more dissatisfied I became with yoga itself. I wasn’t going to class as much and, when I did, wasn’t leaving with the same good feeling.

Eventually I realized, although part of me wanted to stay safely ensconced in the same old same old, the part of me that wanted to venture out was tired of hearing “No.” I was comfortable in the rut I had created, but it was stifling.

Saying “Yes” to switching it up allowed me to experiment. I wrote new class times down in my planner and rearranged my work schedule. It took a bit of time, but I found a new teacher with a great energy level and found myself smiling and laughing in class again.

Which reminds me of the time I changed hair stylists. After working with her well over 10 years, my former stylist was getting sloppy and was always late. Plus, her salon was no longer conveniently located. Rather than find a new stylist, however, I kept making appointments.

I finally had enough when, after I had driven 30 minutes for our last appointment, she didn’t even bother to show up. I found a wonderful new stylist much closer to home, who asked why I had stuck it out with my former stylist for so long.

“I’m loyal,” I said.

To which he replied, “To a fault.”

He was right and I was wrong.

It was my fault I didn’t change stylists sooner, but it wasn’t because of loyalty.

It was because I was afraid to say “Yes” to breaking out of my comfort zone.

Are you ready to shake it up a little? Why not say “Yes” today to something you’d like to do but have been afraid to make happen.

All it takes is saying one little word and you never know where the life at the end of your comfort zone will take you.

Survival > Existence,

Image courtesy Lyn Tally

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What's Your Breaking Bad News Story?

If you've been diagnosed with cancer, you have a breaking bad news story. 

And, you're probably never going to forget it.

Besides the usual who, what where and when, you also remember the how. How did your doctor break your bad news? Was he or she sensitive and compassionate? Or, was your doctor distracted, rushed, uncomfortable and insensitive? 

It's hard to believe, but medical schools don't teach compassionate communication skills. To fill the gap, the BBN (Breaking Bad News) Model was created by doctors to teach doctors and other medical professionals the compassionate way to break bad news to patients. 

I'm happy to celebrate the work of this organization and wanted to share an article I wrote about it recently for Cure Magazine:

The Art of Breaking Bad News

BY DEBBIE WOODBURY

At the age of 38, Lesley Andrews found herself in a breast surgeon’s office. She wasn’t too worried about the lump in her breast, assuming it was like the one she’d found three years earlier, which was benign.

After an examination and an ultrasound, the doctor took her into his office, sat behind the desk and said, “I don’t like the shape of this one.”

“My stomach dropped, and I got very upset and anxious,” Andrews says. “I was looking to him for guidance, but he wouldn’t look at me. He kept checking his beeper and wouldn’t answer my questions. Finally, he told me to go to the front desk to make an appointment for a biopsy. As I left, he said, ‘Have a nice day.’”

Read more at Cure

To learn more about the BBN Foundation, take a look at the video below. It was shot a few weeks ago at the 2nd Annual BBN Foundation Moment of Compassionate Truth Fall Gala, which I attended with my husband. (Lisa Marie Latino of Hip New Jersey and I talk at the end of the video.)

Today, and always, I hope all your news is good news!

Survival > Existence,

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What Are You Struggling With?

The triumph can't be had without the struggle. Wilma Rudolph

In the five years since my cancer diagnosis, I've struggled with a lot. 

At first I struggled alone with loneliness, anger, survivor's guilt, fear, body image and grief. Even though I had supportive friends and family, no one really understood what I was going through. It took some time but, eventually, I found a tribe of fellow patient/survivors and empathetic medical professionals.

Not only did they save my life, but they taught me a life lesson.

Sharing is Healing. 

Now, I'm asking you to share, because I want you to heal too.

I want to know what you are struggling with, even if you think it's not that big of a deal. 

What keeps you up at night? What information are you looking for? Where are you in your emotional healing and what do you need to get to a better place?

Comment below or write me an email at debbie@wherewegonow.com. Be specific, pour your heart out. I'm here to listen.

I'd also love it if you let me know what you think about a one-on-one mentoring program I'm considering offering.

I'm tentatively calling it the Hope & Tea, You & Me Mentoring Sessions. I know from experience that "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you," (Maya Angelou) and I've experienced the healing power of sharing my cancer story. Now, I want to offer you what my mentors offered me: a healing space to be heard, understood, guided and inspired. 

Topics to be shared over tea (or the beverage of your choice) include:

How to create more joy in your life
How to live your hope
Beginning a gratitude practice
How to reach out and be heard
Celebrating the "little things"
Practicing mindfulness to help you live in the here and now
Dealing with body image issues after cancer
How to embrace the new normal
What to do with difficult emotions, such as anger, loneliness and stress
Issues in my books, You Can Thrive After Treatment and How to Build an Amazing Life After Treatment, and
many other possibilities

What do you think? If you're interested in the program, which would be conducted over Skype, please let me know. 

As always, thanks so much for being part of this community and I'm really looking forward to hearing from you!

Survival > Existence,

PS: I love the image above and especially love its title, "Tea Time for the Soul." It really speaks to what I hope to create with the Hope & Tea, You & Me Mentoring sessions. Image courtesy Jeff Kubina

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