The Challenge of running a support group, restoring my passion

I left the Fatty Liver Disease Support Group I created 6 years ago on Monday after 2 senior administrators left and deleted me from their Facebook. I have known both for 3 or more years and i was friends with their family as well. I was told the drama in the group was my fault for not standing up for them clearly. That I am too lenient and I am too often allowing people to come to the right answers for themselves once they have been advised on things like not using supplements. That I am the reason for the dysfunction that happens in there

I want to be clear that I understand their viewpoint. When you are on the edge waiting for a transplant or you have had one there is a desperate need to demand that everyone else NEVER get to their stage of this disease. I agree completely with this, but my confidence has come from the fact that I am unaware of a single member who came in to the group with early stage fatty liver who has actually gotten worse with the advice given in here about eating natural foods and stopping the processed foods as much as possible. You are looking for a ratio of 90% natural and 10% processed.

I did a lot of soul searching on Monday and cried a ton of tears. I was blamed for drama on the weekend that i was not a part of, i did not witness but that i received 10 emails from angry members about how things happened with deletions and how it was handled.

The issue on the weekend was actually about a celebrity who is extremely controversial that some members wanted to see as a spokesperson and other members were dead set against him.

This had NOTHING to do with the disease and the group at the end of the day. Having someone famous talk about the disease would be helpful but they should be a little less offensive to a large portion of population.

I came to a decision that i would stop running the group if i was truly damaging it by being to kind. I even started accepting that after 6 years pouring my heart and soul into this group that maybe it was time to back away.

I received a large number of emails of support from within the group Monday and I am forever thankful to those that took the time to check in on me.

Tuesday morning I believe God intervened.

1.A local city politician asked to meet with me and have me help him because he has just been diagnosed with fatty liver disease. He respects this is a business for me and wants to pay me to teach his family how to read labels, how to determine what is a gmo veggie and which are not. How to start a small garden and how to conveniently start making meals from scratch.

Once i spoke to him i was energized with my passion for this disease and helping people again. The negative messaging about whether i am doing a good job or not seemed less important.

2. In the afternoon I received a tweet asking me what i wanted to ask for funding for from a group that helps create campaigns for crowd sourcing. I told them about my visions for raising awareness on fatty liver and they see it as a very worthwhile cause and they will help me get this going.

I rejoined my group on Tuesday I was clearly receiving messages from the universe that told me this is too important to back away from.

On Wednesday I was asked to speak at a women in progress lunch on avoiding fatty liver disease at the end of April and I will also be on a talk radio show in Toronto talking about fatty liver as well.

So while i am still quite hurt by the events of this, i lost a large number of friends because i try to look at all sides of a story before i make a decision. Each one who left and deleted me thought i was supporting the other side, when in fact i saw that they all had a point.

If you have gotten worse while you are in my group please let me know. If this is a common event I will reconsider my position again. I want to help not hurt people.

Please be kind to each other and please be even kinder to your liver

Ignite Health Ontario I – 2 days to go!! Get your Tickets!

I can not believe that Ignite Health Ontario I will happen in 2 days! A thought from my brain that was triggered thanks to Ignite London will materialize in a public event to help people listen to their bodies and start taking accountability for its success. We have amazing speakers that I am proud to get on stage. Jim Mills – Former London Knights Captain, impacted by Guilles – Barres Syndrome and now running the Smile Epidemic! Lisa Merriam – 20 years old and sharing her story of mental illness and how she is fighting every day to raise awareness and diminish the stigma, Blair Rymer will teach us all some base yoga moves and we all get to participate. You will get a chance to learn about and sample Kiki Natural Maple Sap beverage! You will learn why you should consider a chiropractor, a reiki treatment, or a nutritionist. You will learn from Emory Ediger how it feels to move into a nursing home and feel alone and how you can turn that around. You will hear Megan Clermont tell her story of how she has moved from living a life of chronic illness where she spent most of her time isolated and alone as a teenager to now being a thriving busy teenager who fights back against her illness. You will learn about the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution and what my role is as ambassador and what the plans are for 2013. We will have a great presentation on Getting to know your farmer, eating local and watching out for GMO’s ! Have you ever heard of Shamanic Healing? Me neither but we will learn what that can offer for your spirit, Have you considered Hypnosis to deal with challenges like smoking, weightloss, insomnia? We will get a chance to explore new ideas there too! We have all presentations ready to go, we have 2 videographers volunteering their time, we have 3 volunteer photographers, we have a projector, we have a podium, we have snacks and beverages too. Now all we need is you to come and take a seat and listen to these presenters and walk away with one new idea to help you be a better healthier you! http://ignitehealth.eventbrite.ca/?ebtv=C . http://metronews.ca/news/london/410906/former-london-knights-captain-among-speakers-at-ignite-health-ontario/ http://www.londoncommunitynews.com/2012/10/ignite-health-ontario-will-take-place-at-covent-garden-market-oct-24/ Contact Michelle Clermont 226-234-4006 for more details

What is Shamanic Healing – Guest Post Wanda Davis

What is Shamanic Healing?

 

Shamanic healing is connecting with the spiritual dimension of reality for healing and guidance.  It is a contemporary practice that anyone can learn.  Many are familiar with what an indigenous shaman would do for his/her tribe: healing, divination, ceremony, etc.  Michael Harner, an American anthropologist, has studied indigenous tribes throughout the world and realized there are many core, universal shamanic techniques that are used worldwide, whether it is in Australia, Siberia, Peru, the Amazon or here in the Americas.  He has brought these universal techniques to the Western World and has continued to teach them.  These key elements can be incorporated into daily life similar to teachings in yoga or meditation.

 

Animism is the way of perceiving the world by believing that all created things (humans, animals, plants, elements, seasons, etc.) have intelligent, communicative life force or spirit and their own energy.  One can build a relationship with these life forces for wisdom, insight and healing.  This practice of direct revelation and learning directly from the source brings awe and wonder to every journey.  A shamanic journey is the art using rhythm and intention to enter an altered state, the theta state, of consciousness to connect with the spiritual dimension of reality.  Anyone can be taught how to journey for him or herself.  A shamanic practitioner journeys for another person to determine what healing is needed and then proceeds to act as the conduit for the healing. 

 

Each of us has allies that help us.  Everyone has at least one power animal that brings us power and protection.  You may already feel a connection to a particular animal only to find out how they may help you.  Teachers may come in any form (think of possible trees or planets).  Teachers in human form could include an ancestor, indigenous teacher, person from a story, a saint, ascended master, etc.  You may have different teachers for different purposes in life.  

 

There are three major methods of shamanic healing: power animal retrieval, soul retrieval and extraction healing.  Power animal retrieval brings an animal whose power may be needed for a particular purpose at that time.  In a time of trauma, a person may have lost connection with a part of their energetic soul and retrieval helps him/her feel more whole again and able to move forward in his/her life.  Extraction healing helps remove any energy blockages in the energy body that may prevent the energy from flowing properly. 

 

Shamanic healing can be very powerful and can shift the energy balance towards healing.  A person need only trust the process to gain tremendous wisdom, insights and healing. 

 

Wanda Davis

Shamanic Practitioner, Reiki Master/Teacher

www.wandadavis.ca

wanda@wandadavis.ca

 

Getting Stuck in Someone Else’s Ideals – Tommy Caldwell

We all have people we follow. They may inspire us, speak in terms that we understand and bring us clarity, or uncover topics or information in areas that we don’t frequently research. Whatever your reason, learning from others is the fastest and most efficient way to learn and adopt new ideas and life strategies. But when do we take it too far? When do we get so caught up in what someone else is saying/doing that we bypass our own logic and judgment in exchange for the excitement of a new thought? I’m sure you are all reading this and saying “that’s not me; I think for myself and make my own decisions in life”. I beg to differ, and I think we all need a bit of self reflection now and then.

Research Smesearch…It’s always a matter of opinion
Most things we learn in the age of information have some sort of stemming ‘research base’. When someone cites a reference or some sort of scientific experiment it somehow legitimizes what they have to say. For most of us this is enough to get our ‘eyes up’ and take some questioning away from any given persons spiel. I personally don’t cite references or research for any of my writing or findings because research is biased and quite frankly a bunch of bullshit.
Everyone has their motives- as both the speaker and the listener- and both will find a way of legitimizing what they want to say and what they want to hear; and research is a great way to falsely support our own inner investments. Here are some examples- If you frequent facebook you have seen the picture of the distance runner next to the elite sprinter; the sprinter looking muscular and cut, while the distance runner looks skinny, loose, and frail. If you’re someone like me who promotes explosive movements (sprinting) and somewhat condemns degenerative activities (distance running) it is easy to look at this picture and say “here’s your proof, sprinters look good and perform well and distance runners are flabby losers!” I’ve seen this picture posted by my colleagues and fitness folk alike to prove their point in a totally illegitimate and lame way. They can say ‘research shows that distance runners typically have a higher body fat and lower muscle mass when compared to a sprinter’- and they may very well be right… based on the research they chose to search out.
The worst part about this is that ‘proofs’ like this spread like a disease- with a bunch of agreeable people jumping on the bandwagon and spreading their new found ‘proof’ without asking a single question or looking into how one sided the information may be. You won’t hear questions like “do you think that perhaps big jacked muscular explosive people gravitate towards sprint based activities and excel at them while skinnier, lighter, fiber 1 type people gravitate towards and excel in distance based activities?”. Not to mention the fact that you could easily find a really jacked distance runner and a slightly overweight sprinter, place their pictures side by side and make the same adverse argument; but neither of those things will ever happen with a group of speakers and an audience of listeners that find it more important to prove THEIR point than to prove the point that is most legitimate in the most legitimate way.
You may be saying ‘ok, I get it, but that isn’t really research, that is an optical comparison’. You’re right, it is, but here is a legitimate research paper example that is equally moronic.
I was reading an article in a journal of strength sciences regarding how plyometric exercises (jumping, bounding etc) cause more harm than good. The article explained how they did a 6 week course of varying plyometrics in one group, and then a basic light exercise course in the other. After the full 6 weeks they had several minor injuries in the plyometric group resulting in very little overall gains, and in the other group they showed positive gains in strength.
Well, I did some further research on this article and dug up the stats that they didn’t tell you. Like most lame exercise research papers spread to the average reader, they used a population of elderly people for this testing. So in group one they were having 60+ year old degenerative participants jump around on their old brittle bones and weak stagnant muscles and via their conclusion that jumping around is bad for old people they publish a paper stating that plyometric movements may be bad for ALL PEOPLE. Junk science at its finest, and consequently the most abundant science we have these days.
The point is that you never get the whole story on research, the participants, or the environment- and even if you did, YOU WEREN”T THE ONE BEING TESTED!!!! Research on any other person other than you will never give you a result that should be followed specifically by you. So read your research with caution and skepticism.

Joining the Modern Day ‘Cult’
It’s great to be a part of something. As Seth Godin would explain we all have this deep seeded instinct to find our ‘tribe’ and belong to it. In other words, finding like minded people with similar values to share a portion of our lives with. This is a healthy, effective, and sustainable approach towards becoming part of a good cause, movement, change, or whatever you want to call it. But when does it go too far? When does it get to the point when you’re not so much a part of something as you are ‘under’ something? Where do you draw the line between belonging to something and becoming something?

Losing your true individuality
I come from the mindset that no person should ever just ‘be’ something. I don’t think someone should just be a republican or a democrat. That someone should be a Buddhist, Christian, or atheist. Why can’t someone just be who they are without subscribing to a pre planned train of thought, belief system, or set of ideals?
As soon as you decide ‘this is who I am, and this is what my people are called’, your individualization and potential for growth are over with… done. You build a box around yourself and remove your potential that pertains to everything outside of that box. You are essentially subscribing to one way of thinking in a given subject and blocking out all other sources of competing information.
I can’t think of a worse way to live your life. Having pre-determined thoughts and understandings of everything that surrounds you because you want be a part of something and attach a name to that group.
Unfortunately it is now all around us. In fitness, health, religion, politics and all other topics that allow some sort of adverse thought. You could argue that these different groups allow us to exchange ideas and create discussions, but people are only interested in spreading their own ideas and not truly interested in absorbing others. People these days argue to be heard and spread information to be known- not a lot of people do it to ‘get people thinking’ and create a platform for the open expansion of the mind.

An ‘Open Air’ Approach
People are always complimenting me in somewhat flabbergasted ways in regards to the shape I’m in, the sacrifices I make, and how well I take care of my body. I couldn’t see things more differently. I think getting in shape and taking care of yourself is a fairly easy task. In fact, I think it’s insane that the whole world population doesn’t take better care of themselves because it is the easiest thing you can do. It’s no different than brushing your teeth, going to work, and combing your hair.
What impresses me are the people in this world who have 100% control of their mind, emotions, stress, and intellectual outcomes. I have spent the last 3 years putting far more focus on the health of my mind than the health of my body- and I am nowhere near where I’d like to be. I literally exercise my mind with the intent of making it stronger and more efficient every day of the week, and I am literally moving at ‘crawl speed’ when I think about where I would like to be.
One of the big challenges I faced with the reconstruction of my mind was the ability to understand others first, and not let my own ‘interests and opinions’ affect how I perceived the information I received from those people. Truly listening to another individual who sees something differently than you with the full intent of utilizing their information over yours if it seems more logical is a very difficult feat. The ability to say “I’m wrong, they’re right, what else can I learn from them” is a trait that seems to go against every grain of human nature; but the more I work on it, the better I get, the better I feel, and the more I grow on a personal and professional level.
My point is that we subscribe to an ideal that likely isn’t even ours, from sources that are self serving, and then we put a name on our ‘group’ and shut out all adverse arguments and points, regardless of logic. None of us want to admit it, but we all do it in a completely selfish and childish manner. If you can realize this part of yourself and accept that it is how you deal with a lot of your ‘mental subscriptions’, you will see that you can still have the feeling of belonging to something great and contributing to that movement and yourself, without compromising who you are as an individual and as an independent thinker.
Listen to what others say. Get excited about new ideas. Listen to many many many many different people; but don’t get stuck in a single path of thinking in any given subject, and never think that you or the leader you are following has the answers to all your questions… or even their own. And if you find yourself following someone who is never wrong, constantly condemns others ways of thinking, or suggests that ‘their way is the only way’- you have unknowingly become a member of a modern day idealists cult. I suggest you get out IMMEDIATELY!

Call for Speakers Ignite Health Ontario I

 

September 19, 2012

Ignite Health Ontario is a new speaker series, branching from Ignite London, that offers 5 minute presentations. The speaker series will include 2 presentations for each topic and events will take place every 4 months. All presentations will be videotaped and available for viewing on the Ignite web sites through Youtube. The pillars of this event include the following 6 topics:

 

Food

 

Exercise

 

Mental Health

 

Spirituality

 

Practitioners

 

Patient Stories

 

All speakers will have a table to share additional information about their presentation, providing a networking platform between speakers and guests. Tables will also be available for sponsors to advertise their services. Costs of our event include: facility rental, insurance fees, videographer, photographer, and healthy snacks and beverages.

 

Our first event will be taking place on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 upstairs at the Covent Garden Market. On average, Ignite London has hosted audiences of 150 people. Ignite London and the parent company O’Reilly Media will be advertising our event, drawing people from their existing audiences. We are expecting 100-150 attendees for our first event.

 

Providing a talk about a topic you are passionate about, in addition to the passion I put behind creating this event will not only show support for a balanced approach to self motivated health care, but it will also help assure the success of “Ignite Health Ontario”.

 

The following guidelines are required by all speakers within the Ignite format. I would encourage you to prepare a speech in the “ignite” format and we would be delighted if you are up for the challenge!

 

1.

Your talk proposal must be submitted by October 5th at midnight. Not all talk proposals make it to the schedule, but we aim to fit in as many passionate and unique ideas as we can.”

2.

Your talk must be exactly 5 minutes long. This is an extremely short amount of time. Be sure to practice your presentation to make sure you don’t go over time. The MC has permission to use a giant cane to drag offstage any speakers who go over 5 minutes. Make sure you are wrapping up on your last slide.

3.

Your talk must be accompanied by 20 unique slides. Your talk should not hinge on transitions, animation or sound. If you have a video in one of your slides, you have to be able to talk over it, and be prepared if the video does not play – this slide will still be displayed for exactly 15 seconds. Presentations must be submitted to me in .ppt format. I believe it will be presented in Microsoft Power Point, but this may change. Also, be sure to use high-contrasting colours, as we do not know the condition of the projector we will be using.

4.

Slides will auto-advance every 15 seconds. Keep this time limit in mind while crafting your slides, as 15 seconds is not a lot of time for your audience to read. Auto-advancing can help you with your pacing, but it can also be overwhelming if you cannot keep up with the slides. Practice, practice, practice!

5.

Your slides are due October 17th, 2012. Please email your presentation to ignitehealthontario@gmail.com. You cannot make changes to your presentation after emailing it in.

I would be pleased to discuss this opportunity further with you at your earliest convenience. If you have any questions or would like more information about our event, I may be reached at 226-234-4006. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Michelle Clermont, Event Coordinator Ignite Health Ontario

http://ignitehealthblog.wordpress.com/

http://www.ignitelondon.ca/

Teenage minds- Not ALL the same!

My name’s Megan I am 16 years old and I live in London, Ontario. Seeing into the minds of people my age can be difficult for anyone who isn’t my age. My generation faces new problems, new social norms, and new expectations. The way teenagers thought 30 years ago isn’t how we think today and the way we think now won’t be how teenagers 30 years from now will think. And within that every teenager will have different priorities and different hopes and dreams so clearly you can never have a full understanding of every teenagers mind. I have been sick for the last 5 years of my life and have been removed greatly from people my age so I can’t tell you much about the way they think but I can tell you about the way I think.

The thing about being sick for so long is I had a lot of time to think.  Most people envy being able to stay home all day and relax but being that isolated can become boring and tedious; you can only check facebook so many times. For the first few years of my illness I found small things to entertain me, video games, books, television shows, but as I grew older I spent more of that time thinking. I thought about my future and if I would get the chance to have one, I thought about my family and if I would always be a burden on them and I thought about the world and would I ever be able to do anything for it. I started spending more of my time reading about what was going on in the world and I started seeing things that I couldn’t believe were happening. For example a couple months ago in Iran 70 university programs were closed off to women because they were surpassing the men within them. And in many places around the world, such as Uganda, it is legal to kill a person for being a homosexual. Reading all this I wanted to fix it but never thought I would have the opportunity to.  At that point in my life I didn’t let myself dream or hope for anything but sickness, after five years of nearly constant illness how could I? So I ignored these problems and went back to my tv or video games.

Something changed for me a few months ago, I got tired of letting my illness stop me, I got tired of not trying to do anything because no one thought I could succeed, and I got tired of accepting that I would live the rest of my life being ill. I don’t know what changed for me but I did. I started researching universities and looking at careers in human rights and I started working towards a future for myself. I started volunteering in the community and doing things to see if I could handle going back to school. And now after five years I’m fighting my illness so I can do something with my life. I have decided I want to become a human rights lawyer and be the person that helps solve the types of issues mentioned above. So this year I’m working my butt of to do well in school and to get more involved so I can get into a good university and eventually a good law school. It is hard, I get tired and I get sick but I keep working because I have to, because I’m tired of letting illness rule my life.

So that is how I think, it may not be how every teenager sees the world but those are the challenges I am currently facing and I hope this gives some insight on a teenagers brain even if it is just mine. One thing I want to add is a quote from novelist John Green.

“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”

― John Green, Looking for Alaska

Ignite Health October 24,2012 Covent Market London, Ontario!

I am very excited to announce that we have been able to secure the date of October 24,2012 for the inaugaral event for Ignite Health. This is TRULY the ideal location. They hosted the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution event last May and because there are lots of local food vendors at this market I want to bring people to them and this is a Win/Win relationship! I  will make sure everyone is wearing a name tag so that we have a chance to connect names with faces of those we might not have met in the community before!

The event will run from 6 pm – 9pm We will have some healthy snacks and beverages available for participants.

We will accept up to 200 attendees and the event will be set up on EventBrite where you will need to book your tickets quickly!

We will start the evening off with a physical or spiritual challenge for teams to enjoy and then settle in for some amazing speakers.

You will enjoy 2 presenters in each of the following categories:

Food – I will share details of the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador program.  We will have a nutritionist sharing a few great ideas for healthy eating!

Exercise – Have you considered the Hula Hoop for a great workout? We will have an exciting presentation and challenge for attendees. I will also make sure we have a great personal trainer provide some getting started tips for those new to exercise!

Mental Health – We are looking to secure a puppet presentation for Anxiety, and a great speaker to raise awareness on mental illness in our community.

Spiritual – Are you aware of Shamanism for dealing with illness from a spiritual perspective, Deep Breathing and Yoga will be the other focus I am looking to have presented.

Patient Stories- A positive approach to Cancer from an inspirational lady and another strong woman to share her battle with Depression!

Practitioners – We will introduce you to Reiki with a demonstration with 2 amazing ladies. We are looking for another practioner to share their skills and I am considering a number of ideas!

After 6 presentations I will break this event up for 20 minutes for you to enjoy a snack , take a break and an opportunity to speak with the first 6 presenters.

We will come back for the second half presenters and you will have a chance afterward to go into the Labatt Room to get more information from all the speakers and a chance to talk to them.

Get Registered at http://ignitehealth.eventbrite.ca/

Follow our Companion Blog at http://ignitehealthblog.wordpress.com