But first, my dear brother in law suggested I put my credentials (school, work) in the beginning of this section.
After earning my Bachelor’s degree in Health Science, I went on to get my Masters joining three disciplines: Science (Physiology); Communication (Public Speaking); and Philosophy (Critical Thinking). I received my PhD is in Human Sexuality with my dissertation on sexual health and pleasure. I taught at San Francisco State University for over 20 years and have been a speaker, author and life coach (back then we called it a health and fitness consultant) since 1988. That said, I think my most valuable credential is that I’m happy and healthy and I love helping others uncover their health and happiness.
How many of you have ever had a moment that changed your life forever?
For me, that moment was when I was 25 years old and I was told by a team of doctors that I was going to die.
And, I'm still here because of two powerful core beliefs I got from my dad.
But first, let me share a bit of my backstory.
For the first 25 years of my life, I struggled with my health.
As a baby, I had really bad allergies and by the time I was a few months old, I developed chronic asthma. So, when I was 25, I had, yet another, severe allergic reaction, my body went into anaphylaxis and I was rushed to the hospital. I’ve been there before. I knew the drill, I was given adrenaline to stop the anaphylactic reaction. But this time, after the adrenaline took effect and I could breathe normally again, the doctor hooked me up to an IV with aminophylline, he said it was a new asthma drug and it would help me.
The next thing I remember I was surrounded by a group of doctors trying to revive me. My heart had stopped; my body had rejected the aminophylline.
After I was stable, I was transported to the pulmonary ward in another hospital. When I got there, I could walk; but by the end of the third week, my pain was so great and my breathing so labored that I couldn’t even wheel myself down the hall.
I asked the doctors why I was getting worse. They told me not to worry, that I would get better. But, I was scared and I knew that something was wrong.
My body was falling apart!
I wondered if it might be my medication. So I decided, instead of being scared, I was going to investigate on my own. I asked a fellow patient to wheel me to the nurses’ station; and when no one was looking, I examined my chart.
The doctors were prescribing an oral dose of aminophylline, the same medication they gave me in the emergency room. The one that had caused my heart to stop.
No wonder I wasn’t getting better.
The doctors probably didn’t know what happened in the emergency room. So, the next morning, I told them.
But they said they knew and that I didn’t have a choice. They said, “Without the drug, I would die immediately.”
“And with it,” I asked them, “would my death be slower and more painful?”
“Maybe,” they said, “but you don’t have a choice.”
How many of you ever felt like you didn’t have a choice?
If it hadn’t been for the core beliefs my dad gave me, I may have believed them.
So, I made a decision. I pretended to take the meds and threw them out. I visualized the pain leaving my body and me walking out of the hospital. Within one week I could walk well enough to sign myself out.
At the top of this page, you see a picture of me with my dad. He was happy, loving, kind and generous.
My dad taught me that no matter what hardships we face, we can choose to be happy and that nothing, or no one, can take our happiness from us.
Core belief #1: We can choose to be happy.
He also taught me that no matter what was going on in my life, even when I was in a lot of pain, to look for the gift. He said, if I looked for it, I would find it. And, he was right.
Core belief #2: Find the gift in everything that happens.
Because of my dad, I am a happy and optimistic person and I live my life from love and not from fear.
The lessons that I got from my dad saved my life.
Throughout my ordeal, it took a few more months for me to get healthy, I believed that this was happening for a reason and that something good would come of it. I was right!
I learned about the incredible power of beliefs.
And, because I was happy and optimistic, I was able to create powerful beliefs about my health and save my life.
I was inspired to write books and give talks and work with others to help them save their lives.
And here I am almost 50 years later, happy and healthy and still learning. I’m very excited about sharing my learnings with you.
So, if someone tells you that you don’t have a choice, don’t believe them.
if you think that you don’t have a choice, think again
We have the power to choose to be happy!
We have the power to choose to be healthy!
We have the power to create our own story, and choose the life we want!