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Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Healthy Living/Healthy Body, Mind, Body & Spirit, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Adrenal Recovery: How long should it take to feel good again?

Adrenal Recovery: How long should it take to feel good again?

I get asked daily in my office, “how long will it take for me to feel like myself again?” This is not an easy question to answer because the question you should be asking is, “how long did it take me to get this far out of balance?” However, there are some lifestyle changes you can make that will speed up the process, but first ask yourself the following questions:

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Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Smart Women Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Quickest Way to Uplevel Your Confidence

Quickest Way to Uplevel Your Confidence

Group of young business people at meetingIt’s funny how people often see us so differently than we see ourselves. Have you even noticed this?

Let me give you an example. Years ago when I was with American Express Financial Services, which is now Ameriprise, I secured a $10,000 Platinum Sponsorship from AMERICAN EXPRESS for the women’s economic club which is now known as INFORUM.

This was a leadership organization in the city with over 1500 members from all the leading companies. They invited me to a private networking event for all the board members and sponsor representatives. I still remember walking into that room and feeling really out of my league. I looked fabulous, had a gorgeous suit, great hair, nails, jewelry, but inside, I felt like I was out of place and that they could see right through me.

As I left the event, I remember thinking, “These women acted like I was a Big Wig – a Vice president of American Express”. I was astonished, excited and confused. But I kept showing up and every time, I became more and more confident. When you are a corporate sponsor, you get to sit at special tables with other VP’s and get invited to private pre or post networking events with famous speakers and are invited to be on committees.

The reason I am sharing this story is that over the years, I have noticed that many high-level speakers, performers, authors and musicians actually get ill before a performance. I’ve heard actors and speakers share their stories of “self doubt” and how they got through it to the next level. Over the last 5 years, I have helped hundreds of women identify their disempowering beliefs and where that memory or experience that caused it is stored in the body. It’s normally something that we experienced a long time ago…and so often it’s not even true anymore, but boy when we are asked to stretch, to take that leap, that little girl inside of us pops right up and says, “STOP, you might get hurt! Who are you kidding? You’re not ready!”

And you know what? Maybe you are not ready today, but you sure can get ready. The secret is to simply notice what that belief is and to let it go. Acknowledge that little girl inside of you that she is safe, she is loved, and that you are ready to release those beliefs.

Now it may be harder than just that, that’s why there are coaches, therapists, programs and exercises you can do to release those beliefs. So today, I want to give you an exercise that you can do after the show. In fact, if you visit www.smartwomenscoaching.com, you can download the free workbook and video for “How to Breakthrough your Fears and Step into your Brilliance”, where I give you 5 exercises that will help you increase your confidence. So here is the first one:

1. Make a list of EVERYTHING that has contributed to the value of your work. Be sure to include things like:

  • Trainings and apprenticeships
  • Schooling, degrees, etc.
  • Life experiences
  • Natural talents and skills and talents you’ve honed & developed over time
  • Systems you’ve created (Signature Systems)
  • Books you’ve written
  • Positions you’ve held
  • People you’ve helped and specific results they’ve achieved.
  • What clients and other people in your life value about you
  • What you value and cherish about yourself
  • Anything else that you want to put down!!

Write your list on paper (continue on back if you need more room) and allow yourself some quiet time, to go into a meditative state.

2. Then read the list out loud, slowly and carefully, being proud of your accomplishments and letting every word sink in.

  • Now put a price tag on everything that you have listed and add it up.
  • How do you feel now?

Now I actually had a bout of doubt a few years ago, when I was thinking ahead at what I wanted to accomplish in the next year, and I immediately said to myself, “Ok Katana, get into your office and print out that workbook now” I went in and did this exercise and then when I turned to page two, and did that exercise, I began to laugh hysterically, because in the second exercise, I have you pay attention to your thoughts and what you tell yourself for a few days, and to write down thoughts, ideas and phrases that keep coming up and how it’s disempowering you.

When I did this, my thought was, “I don’t know enough to do what I wanted to do…” then I went back and looked at what I had written on page one and the whole page was filled up and I saw that I had invested almost $200,000 in coaches, programs and training in my career!

Please visit www.smartwomenscoaching.com and download these exercises – you can even watch the video – but do them and then remember others often see us so differently than we see ourselves and that’s okay. The secret is to realize you are not alone…no matter how smart, rich, thin or successful a woman is – almost everyone has these self limiting beliefs, and it’s normal, and their probably not even true anymore. You can release them and you don’t have to do this alone. Reach out to a coach, listen to our interviews from this show and reach out women in your community and start talking about this and supporting each other.

 

Katana Abbott

 

Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Life and Legacy Coach™, and founder of the Six Pillars of Awakened Prosperity System™, the proven step-by-step process that shows you exactly how to create wealth, make a difference and live the life you love.  To get your F.R.E.E. Video Course and receive her weekly money, mindset and manifesting articles on attracting more wealth, joy and ease into your life, visit www.smartwomencoaching.com

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Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Healthy Living/Healthy Body, Mind, Body & Spirit, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Keeping Up With Adrenal Health

Keeping Up With Adrenal Health

sklarcenter-906a3ed8-13a0-44e7-beef-b5ec098fe720-v2The stress of modern everyday life is enough to wear even the healthiest of people down over time. Daily stressors such as a busy lifestyle, as well as more intense stress, such as a fight with a loved one, trouble at work, or a physical injury can take a toll on the adrenal glands. 

Frequent and intense stress can overstimulate the adrenal glands, and in time, cause them to become ineffective at regulating the body’s hormone levels. This is known as “adrenal dysfunction” and “adrenal fatigue.” Like with many kinds of fatigue, there may be a variety of symptoms, including constant weariness, inability to cope with stress, recurrent infections, irritability, cravings for sweet foods, and more. The treatment for adrenal fatigue requires a comprehensive, full-body diagnostic approach. 

Here are 5 ways that you can help support your adrenal glands. 

1. Load-up on nutrients, especially Vitamin C. A healthy, balanced diet of whole foods is an important part of maintaining adrenal health, and will have the greatest impact on adrenal health long-term. Stick to a diet that is rich in whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. The adrenal glands rely on B and C vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and quality proteins for optimal health and function. 

2. Work it out! Like a healthy diet, daily aerobic exercise is essential to maintaining adrenal health and reversing adrenal fatigue. Exercise also helps build up your body’s defense to stressors, making them easier to deal with internally. Depending on your level of adrenal health, it is really important to plan this with your doctor. You may need to slowly ease into an exercise program! 

3. Keep stress at bay. Stress management is vital when it comes to restoring adrenal health. Try integrating some simple stress reduction techniques into your daily activities, such as deep breathing or meditation. Find a technique that calms you and easily works into your daily schedule. 

4. Relax. You deserve it and your body craves it. Take 15 to 30 minutes each day to relax. Try deeper bouts of meditation, or if you sit for extended periods of time during the day, fill this time with soothing music and simple stretches that will loosen your body and realign your back. 

5. Make beauty sleep a priority. Sleep is vital for health. Your adrenal glands are constantly working throughout the day, and need time to recharge in order to avoid exhaustion. You can help regulate your body’s internal clock by sticking to a regular bedtime. Choose a bedtime that allows your body enough time to fully recharge, leaving you refreshed – not groggy – when you wake.

 

SusanSklar2012Dr. Susan Sklar is the founder and medical director of the Sklar Center for Restorative Medicine where she helps midlife men and women look and feel better and lead longer, healthier lives. She uses the view of Restorative Medicine which recognizes that hormonal and other biochemical changes cause humans to age in ways that are not necessary or inevitable.  Replacement and balancing of these natural substances result in improved vitality and a longer healthy span of life with less chronic illness.   Dr. Sklar has completed her fellowship training in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine after  more than 25 years of experience as an obstetrician/gynecologist, placing her uniquely at the forefront of the care of men and women in midlife health transitions.  She sees private patients at her center in Long Beach, California.

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Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Contributing Expert, Healthy Living/Healthy Body, Uncategorized | 0 comments

National Guidelines Challenged

National Guidelines Challenged

sklarcenter-28dcfee2-bf53-4083-ad2b-9cb7f60e3e44-v2The Institute of Medicine (IOM), which is an esteemed organization, part of the National Academy of Sciences, has been challenged by researchers in the study of Vitamin D. Scientists at two different universities have found that the IOM has miscalculated the amount of daily recommend Vitamin D by a factor of 10!  The IOM recommended 600-700 iu per day when in fact 7,000 iu per day from all sources is the recommendation for reduction of diseases related to Vitamin D deficiency. 
  
This is vital information. It is estimated that we could achieve a 67-70% reduction in breast cancer, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and colon cancer—WITHIN ONLY 5 YEARS! Adequate Vitamin D levels also lower risk of ovarian cancer and heart attacks. 

A recent study showed that Vitamin D improves aggressive prostate cancer and in some cases allowed the cancer to regress and disappear from imaging studies altogether. It did this by fighting inflammation in the prostate gland.

The Sklar Center recommends getting your Vitamin D level checked, then calculating how much Vitamin D you will need to take to get your blood level to 60 ng/ml. Be sure you are using a good quality Vitamin D like Replenish D Forte from the Sklar Vitality Store.

 

SusanSklar2012Dr. Susan Sklar is the founder and medical director of the Sklar Center for Restorative Medicine where she helps midlife men and women look and feel better and lead longer, healthier lives. She uses the view of Restorative Medicine which recognizes that hormonal and other biochemical changes cause humans to age in ways that are not necessary or inevitable.  Replacement and balancing of these natural substances result in improved vitality and a longer healthy span of life with less chronic illness.   Dr. Sklar has completed her fellowship training in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine after  more than 25 years of experience as an obstetrician/gynecologist, placing her uniquely at the forefront of the care of men and women in midlife health transitions.  She sees private patients at her center in Long Beach, California.

 

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Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Contributing Expert, Get Inspired, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Consciously Changing Your Life

Consciously Changing Your Life

Successful and stressed businesswomen in contrasting weatherHigher consciousness is associated with expanded thought and spiritual connection, but it can also apply in a very practical sense. We use higher consciousness practically when we employ positive thought and visualizations with daily actions.

Here are a few examples:

  • Work – We send images, messages, and thoughts to every encounter, email, or phone call—often without knowing it. We can send positive messages with every action such as seeing a positive response from the other person, enthusiasm and support from our co-workers, or a large success associated with a project.
  • Relationships – People tend to respond to our image of them as well as our feelings about the outcome. For example, we can reflect on the positive characteristics of a person and focus on the pleasurable aspects of spending time with them before meeting with them.
  • The Physical – Research proved our bodies actually respond better if we visualize the exercise routine–and physically exercise. The body responds to our inner images, and it reflects them in the physical body. (Thinking or speaking about extra weight actually increases it or prevents a decrease because we are holding an image of this.) The physical world actually reflects much of our inner thought and chatter through our physical surroundings. Everyone has walked into a room and noted the overall energy as good or bad.
  • Spiritual – Our spiritual connection allows us to rewrite our imagery so we can create a better life by consciously focusing on our desires. When we meditate, focus on positive imagery, or chant, we literally raise our vibration (the energy that surrounds us), and this helps in creating a better reality.

The term, higher consciousness, refers to a more awakened state—a place within which lets us notice when we are positive or negative. It’s odd, but our society is basically negative. It takes practice to see life in a more positive sense.

Many of us meditate, practice yoga, or other forms of connection, but it takes more to create rapid change. Big change means altering our inner images (and we form an inner image of everything) and consciously changing them into a more positive state.

Where do we start? We start with desires of the heart—and any place we might seek greater happiness. Our problems are an indication of a lack of energy or blocked energy so they are also part of the work. Desires of the heart should be visualized as an experience of the completed desire. (If you want a new car, imagine having already purchased it.) Leave out the “how.”

With problems, it’s helpful to focus on the most pressing issue and see the opposite of it (in a reasonably realistic, but enthusiastic way.) For example, we could add 25-50% more to your paycheck, see our spouse or partner helping in small ways, or imagine staying calm when your children are restless. In other words, start small. Notice what is bothersome or upsetting—and turn it around.  Add new visualizations as the situation resolves itself.

Positive states and the effectiveness of visualization become more believable over time. We also become more aware of our participation in the negativity of life. We’ve all reviewed a difficult or disagreeable situation until we felt anxious, tired, or overwhelmed, but we actually change these situations by bringing in higher consciousness—and seeing and feeling the situation in a new way.

A few tips:

  • It’s best to meditate and achieve a state of calm connection before moving into visualization.
  • Meditate on dreams and desires first. See them as already fulfilled.
  • Choose a problem for daily meditation. Create a partial solution and visualize seeing the desired event or change as if it was happening now.
  • Give it time to work. Don’t ask how. The “how” comes from altering your consciousness through visualization and meditation while connecting to the “universe”—the field of light and love.
  • Compliment yourself for staying with the practice and believe in its efficacy.

julia_closeJulia Griffin is a tele-summit host, intuitive healer, and writer. She has successfully healed and transformed the lives of thousands of clients for the past 8 years by helping her clients discover how to discern the inner voice of their own intuitive wisdom or the True Self.

Julia sees and reads energy to find its resonance with the soul and gently guides clients through this amazing process that she learned from wolves and nature. She helps others resolve the challenges of life, ranging from business enterprises to personal issues. Website:http://onetrueself.com

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Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Get Inspired, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Smart Women Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Turning 2015 into a Year of Miracles!

Turning 2015 into a Year of Miracles!

MiraclesOvercoming adversity is just one of the miracles many of us are constantly seeking. Whether you’ve survived an abusive relationship or have been forced to file bankruptcy, these challenges can become strengths. I’ve contributed to two books about finding the gifts in adversity and getting through very dark times with ease. The first is  Breaking Through:  Getting Past the Stuck Points in Your Life and the second is Thank God I: Stories of Inspiration for Every Situation.

Both of these books are focused on finding the gratitude in adversity. For example, my chapter in the second book is called, Thank God My Dad Died When I Was Six and I Became an Abused Stepchild and Wife.” While this time in my life was difficult and often overwhelming, I recognize that the lessons I learned from this experience helped me grow and become the strong woman that I am today.

I’d like to share this quote with you that sums up this message:

 “The things we overcome in life really become our strengths.” Anne Bancroft

I have no regrets about my life even though it was very difficult.  I’ve found the gifts and the lessons have helped me learn and grow.  I’d never want to go back and experience that time in my life again, but I know that what happened to me happened for a reason.  In fact, when I look back now, I can see all the miracles that occurred to help bring me to where I am today.

The Universe is always present like the conductor of an orchestra bringing everything together in our lives and setting the stage for us to create a beautiful masterpiece.  Most of the time, we are simply too distracted to even notice it. As you begin to search for the miracles in your life, let me ask you to reflect:

  • Where are the miracles occurring in your life?
  • How often do you simply brush them off as a coincidence?
  • What would happen if you actually looked at these experiences as miracles?
  • If you recognized the Miracles in your life, would you be able to create more of them?

 

I believe that we are divine beings and each of us has come here for a divine purpose.  We’ve simply lost touch with what that purpose is and who we are.  Therefore, our sacred journey here on Earth is to discover that purpose so we can do what we came here to do with ease, joy, and fun. At this point in my life, I say if it isn’t fun, I’m not going to do it!

However, the process of waking up often includes lots of adversity. The secret is to remain awake and present in every situation is simple. Ask yourself, “Okay, what’s the message here and what’s the gift?”

Once you are awake, you can begin to ask for miracles, and your life will begin to flow.  We have seen these messages all our life, but we have simply forgotten.  How many times have you heard or read these words?

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.” 

Here is an exercise. It will not only help remind you of the miracles that have happened in your life, as well as how to manifest more miracles. There are three steps and this will take about 20 minutes.

Step 1:  Write down the major events that occurred during the past decades. So ages 0-10, 10-20, etc. Include the theme for each one.

Step 2: Do you see the synchronistic events that occurred in each decade? Look for the gifts in adversity and for the miracles and the magic that occurred back stage. By doing this, you will begin to connect the dots.

Step 3: Create a vision for what the next decade or two is going to look like.

This is a magnificent way to you let the Universe, your conductor, know exactly what beautiful masterpiece you have in mind for your life.  And remember, you are both the composer and the musician, so create beautiful music and enjoy!  It’s time live a life of miracles.

 

head shot copyKatana Abbott, CFP® is a Life  and Legacy Wealth Coach, founder and CEO of the Smart Women Companies® and Midlife Millionaires®.  She is the creator of The Six Pillars of Awakened Prosperity™, the proven step-by-step process that shows you exactly how to create wealth, make a difference and live the life you love. Click the link below to get your F.R.E.E. Video Course and receive her weekly money, mindset and manifesting articles on attracting more wealth, joy and ease into your life!

Visit here for your free gift! www.smartwomencoaching.com

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Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Get Inspired, Smart Women Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Reflective Thinking

Reflective Thinking

Last week, we talked about how we often make goals or NY resolutions…and then lose momentum, and I gave you 5 Steps for Effortless Manifesting in 2015. If you missed it or would like to print it out and do the exercise, you can visit www.smartwomensblog.com or you can visit our FB Fan page at SWT.

reflective thinkingOkay, so today’s tip is another fabulous exercise you can do every single year. It’s based on Reflective Thinking.  Today, I am sharing an exercise I learned from the bestselling author, John Maxwell. He calls this Looking Back to Plan Forward.

Step 1: 

I want you to just go through this exercise in your head, and then later you can sit down and put some time into this  because it is so powerful, you will want a pen and paper to do it right.

You will begin by looking back over the last 12 months and evaluate your experiences as a mother, father, partner, leader, daughter, son, sister, brother, friend or business owner to create a clear picture of What when well? What didn’t? Who were the key people this year who impacted you most and in what areas of your life ? So take some time to jot down these thoughts as you look at yourself in these different roles.

Step 2: 

Get out your calendar and make a list of accomplishments, significant events, decisions you made, places you traveled.  Notice how you have spent your time.  Spend some time reflecting. Write down every experience that stands out to you last year. Be sure to write down both the positive and the negative. Remember — our mistakes are normally our best teachers.  There is always a gift!!! And every experience is Perfect…the good and the bad.

Step 3:

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What did I do that I shouldn’t have done? (For example, what did you spend most of your time on, was it a priority? Were you focusing on your unique abilities and strengths – or distracting yourself with mindless things like email? Always ask yourself, “What did you learn from this?”
  • What didn’t I do that I should have done? (What didn’t happen? What did you neglect that should have been a priority? This can be with family, friends, self care, you work, your finances.)
  • What is the most important thing that helped me learn and grow? (Is it something I want to do again? If so, remember last week’s tip? How can I break this action down in to manageable steps so I can do it again?)
  • What are the things that are draining my energy, confidence and income that I need to let go? (What in your life are you tolerating? What habits do you want to release — like letting email rule your life, or not following a model week, or not having a healthy self care practice? Perhaps it’s not being present, or not doing what you say you are going to do? Or simply focusing your time on things that don’t bring you joy? Spending money you don’t have? What about not getting paid what you are worth? This can be really draining!
  • Where can I be more focused? (Think of what you did in 2014 that brought you the most income and joy? How did it feel? Was it easy? How can you do it again?)
  • How can I go to the next level? (Now summarize all of this and using last week’s tip on 5 Tips to Effortless Manifesting – write out your goals for 2015. Remember these are on the SWT Facebook page and the Smartwomensblog.com)

This is a powerful exercise and I suggest that you print this out and put it somewhere where you can see it regularly. I have a binder that holds all my tools that I use to plan my goals, income and celebrations. It’s where I do my journaling too. If you schedule time to do this exercise, it will help you Manifest a Fabulous 2015, so it can be Your Best Year Ever! I hope you do it and I’d love to hear your thoughts on our SWT Fane page.

head shot copyKatana Abbott, CFP® is a Life and Legacy Wealth Coach™, international retreat leader, radio show host, speaker and author. At 48, with over $100 million in assets under management, she sold her financial planning business to her partner of 15 years.  She left to follow her calling, reinvent herself, and to create her perfect life and business (and so can you). With 30 years of financial and business experience, she can help you create wealth, make a difference and live a life you love!

Grab your free breakthrough clarity session now at:  www.TalkWithKatana.com

 

 

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Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Contributing Expert, Healthy Living/Healthy Body, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Holiday Food Survival Guide

Holiday Food Survival Guide

sklarcenter-d6973320-0347-45ed-9186-d39bb07f0214-v2At the holidays, FOOD=LOVE more than any other time of year. We feel obligated to show appreciation by eating all the goodies put in front of us. Most of those goodies are carbohydrates and we know that excess carbs are not good for optimal health. So what to do and still show love?

Here are some tips for getting through the holidays:

1) Help yourself stay in control by eating small, protein-based (fish, chicken, turkey) meals every 3-4 hours. Your blood sugar levels will stay more level resulting in less carbohydrate and sweet cravings.

2) Have a small protein snack or protein shake before going to a party. You will be less likely to gorge on sweets and carbs. Also, your mood and energy will improve.

3) Limit alcohol so that you can stay on top of your eating plan. Alternate one or two glasses of water with each alcoholic one.

4) Eat the healthy choices at the buffet first so you are less hungry when it comes time to consider the less healthy ones.

5) Bring your own healthy potluck dish to a gathering so that you know there is at least one thing to help you maintain your eating plan.

6) Prepare yourself before socializing. Do some visioning before you go to a party or dinner. Picture how the buffet table or your dinner plate might look. Then plan a strategy for making the healthiest choices possible.

7) Learn to cook the paleo way. You can make desserts and appetizers that are healthy and low carb using nut flours, coconut flour, and flax seed meal. See the following websites for ideas: elanaspantry.com, everydaypaleo.com.

 

SusanSklar2012Dr. Susan Sklar is the founder and medical director of the Sklar Center for Restorative Medicine where she helps midlife men and women look and feel better and lead longer, healthier lives. She uses the view of Restorative Medicine which recognizes that hormonal and other biochemical changes cause humans to age in ways that are not necessary or inevitable.  Replacement and balancing of these natural substances result in improved vitality and a longer healthy span of life with less chronic illness.   Dr. Sklar has completed her fellowship training in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine after  more than 25 years of experience as an obstetrician/gynecologist, placing her uniquely at the forefront of the care of men and women in midlife health transitions.  She sees private patients at her center in Long Beach, California.

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Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Contributing Expert, Money & Finances, Uncategorized | 0 comments

My Family Plan, Follow-up from October 7th Show

My Family Plan, Follow-up from October 7th Show

family planAs you may recall, I shared a story on the show about our family appearing on Oprah a few years ago. I got to share most of the story but time ran out before I could share “the rest of the story.” Katana asked if I would be willing to re-tell the story and how our family plan has impacted our kids’ lives.

To simplify it, it was about our family’s 10/10/80 Plan. My wife, Sue was watching Oprah one afternoon while making dinner. At the end of the show they said that they were going to be doing a show on teaching children about money and values, and, if the listeners felt they did anything different or unusual in this facet of their family life, to send the show’s producer a summary. Well, Sue sent them a summary about how we included our children in running our family’s finances. Three days later they contacted her and asked for more information. A few days later they sent a filming crew to our home to interview all of us.

We shared with them that we ran the family finances as a business: I was the CEO, Sue was the President, and each of our two children were Vice Presidents. We held family business meetings every two weeks for the purpose of paying the Vice Presidents their salary. Their salary was just for their being part of the family and sharing in the family financial resources. They were not paid for doing chores…you just did those because you were part of the family. Their weekly salary was determined by multiplying $1.00 times their age; so if they were 10 years old they received $10.00 per week, which meant their gross pay was $20.00 at each family meeting. From their gross pay they had to contribute 10% to our Family 401k plan and 10% to church. This meant that they kept 80%. The family financial business matched their 10% contributions to the Family 401k plan which was intended to teach them how these types of matches could provide a 100% return on their investment immediately. We wanted them to learn that this is the type of retirement plan they would be primarily dealing with when they got into the work world. The contribution to church was intended to inspire them to help others out of their reward for work and find their blessings. We also had annual bonuses at the end of the year. If Sue and I were thinking about making a significant charitable gift, we discussed it in terms of how using family funds might affect other things we might do with family money such as fewer family vacations or postponing some significant family purchase.

You wonder when you do this type of thing will it have any long term impact on the kids. Well, between our daughter’s freshman and sophomore years of college she got a job at a large retailer. Her job training was to take place for most of a Saturday. When she got home, we expected that she would tell us about the position, what department, hours and hourly wage. But guess what? The first thing she shared with us was that after 30 days she could put money the company’s 401k plan and get a match. The second thing was that after 60 days she could buy their stock at 10% discount!

Well, 30 days went by and she called and asked “How much should I put in the 401k plan?” She was shocked when I told her “Nothing.” She was only going to have earnings that year from her summer job and would not have any taxable income; therefore, she would get no current tax benefit and all distributions to her in retirement would be taxable. I asked her how much she had thought about contributing. I told her we would match that amount and put it all in a Roth IRA which does not create a tax deduction now, but, when she makes withdrawals in retirement, none of the distributions will be taxable.

Remember the 10% the kids had to put in the family 401k plan? The kids both used those funds as part of a down payment on their first home (in effect, another type of investment instead of the stock mutual fund.)

Some of you reading this might be thinking to yourself, “I wish I had thought of something like this with my kids.” Well, how about sharing this idea with your children to be used with your grandchildren; or, maybe you’ll want to do it with your grandchildren directly. By the way, there is a book out entitled “Three Cups – Teaching Children how to Save, Spend, and be Charitable with Money is as easy as One, Two, Three” by Tony Townsley and Mark St. Germain (you can find it on Amazon). I wish I had written this book to reflect our family’s story!

mkd_05bIn his 25 years as a financial professional, John Dankovich has seen a lot of change. Through every market shift and economic high and low, he has been there…the consistent voice of wisdom in the lives of hundreds of families.
As a pioneer in the field of values-based planning, John has helped build remarkable lives for automotive executives, physicians, owners of private companies, and established families. He has spent his life making a difference in the lives of the clients he serves and in our community. John and his wife Sue have two grown children and reside in Clarkston, Michigan.

To learn more about John go to http://www.mkdwealthcoach.com

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Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Contributing Expert, Healthy Living/Healthy Body, Uncategorized | 0 comments

THE BIG QUESTION:  ARE HORMONES SAFE?

THE BIG QUESTION: ARE HORMONES SAFE?

sklarcenter-bc2ab972-7bb0-4922-9f42-f54db4a74478-v2Let me address some hormone concerns that I hear frequently. One is the question of hormone safety. To answer this question adequately I have to explain some of the history of pharmaceutical development in the United States. Natural products such as estrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA cannot be patented.

For this reason the pharmaceutical companies were not interested in the development and clinical use of these substances. They worked industriously to produce synthetic alternatives that were patentable. This has resulted in widespread risk to patients and untold suffering due to restriction on the use of hormones because of safety concerns.

In the 1940s, pregnenolone was used as an anti-inflammatory treatment for arthritis. It is safe and effective but it was not patentable. Witness the evolution of Prednisone, a potent steroid hormone with numerous side effects. Although Prednisone is effective in reducing inflammation, it also has serious side effects such as osteoporosis, skin changes, fat deposition, muscle wasting, and fluid retention.

Natural estrogen was not patentable. So Premarin was developed. Premarin stands for “pregnant mares urine.“ Pregnant horses are lined up and their urine is collected for the purpose of extracting estrogen-like components. These components are then put into pills for women to take. The problems with Premarin use are multiple. First of all they contain estrogen that is natural to horses not humans. Many of these estrogens are more risky and carcinogenic. In addition, Premarin was put into a pill to be taken by mouth. In this form, estrogen causes increased risk of blood clotting. When estrogen is taken orally it gets processed through the liver. This processing results in increased production of clotting factors. These increased clotting factors result in an increased tendency to have heart attacks and strokes. This was seen in older women in the results of the Women’s Health Initiative, a large study conducted by the National Institutes of Health.

The other, very frequently prescribed synthetic steroid that was produced was Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate), a pharmaceutical substitute for progesterone. Medroxy-progesterone acetate has some progesterone-like effects in a woman’s body, but it also has a number of undesirable effects. The Women’s Health Initiative clearly showed an increased risk of breast cancer with women who used Provera. The conclusion following the release of these results was that Provera, not Premarin, was the cause of an increased risk of breast cancer in women who are on this type of hormone replacement therapy. So, when you ask the question “are hormones safe,” the answer is “yes” but it depends upon the hormones. Bio-identical hormones have a proven safe track record as seen in numerous studies.

What are Bio-identical hormones?
I have to be honest with you. When I was practicing gynecology as a traditional type of doctor I said that Bio-identical was a marketing term used to sell hormone programs. Now that I understand the scientific bases of this restorative medicine approach, I have a clear understanding of the benefits of Bio-identical hormones versus other types of hormones. Bio-identical means that the hormones are chemically and molecularly identical to the hormones in the human body.

Why is this important? This is important because the risk of using Bio identical hormones is less than using other types of hormones. The other types of hormones are pharmaceutical products that have been developed by drug companies in order to patent them and profit by their sales. Some of these are bioidentical products, but some are not. The non-bioidentical hormones include some naturally occurring ones such as Premarin(conjugated equine estrogens) which is made from pregnant mare’s urine and some completely synthesized ones such as Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate) which is found nowhere in nature. Using hormones that are exactly like our own human hormones, and using them in balance with each other, maintains the benefits while reducing side effects and risks. So you can see Bio-identical is far more than a marketing term.

 

– See more at: http://www.sklarcenter.com/2014/08/the-big-question-are-hormones-safe/?inf_contact_key=4fa632ff579c5dd98f74c8d45a73521cbfd4bec8229fdbb0e16e48d1b98376a9#sthash.BI36pIXf.dpuf

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Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Healthy Living/Healthy Body, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Dr. Sklar’s Hormone Revolution

Dr. Sklar’s Hormone Revolution

estriol-150x150Formerly an Obstetrician-Gynecologist for 25 years, Dr. Sklar entered the field of Anti-aging Medicine seven years ago.  With this change, her knowledge and understanding of hormones went through a revolution.  Here is what she has to say:
Over my many years of practice I had untold numbers of women come to me with problems such as depression or fatigue or low sex drive or weight problems and ask “Dr. Sklar, do you think this could be due to my hormones?”  Within my limited scope of view at that time, sometimes I said “yes.”  A lot of the time I said “no.”  Now with a full understanding of the role of hormones in health and disease I would say yes to all of those women. Of course there are other factors that enter into health and disease but hormones are a huge part of it.

Hormones are important chemical communicators in our bodies. They provide communication between our nervous system, our immune system, and our endocrine system. What does this mean for us? It means they are involved in how we feel, how we think, what our weight is, and risk of chronic disease, just to mention a few things.

Our hormone levels decline as we get older. Our hormones are at their optimum levels when we are in our 20s. And I hate to tell you, it’s all downhill from there. By the time are in our mid-40s some of our important hormones are present at half the amount that they were in our 20s. Added to this gradual decline with age, is the decrease in hormone levels due to stress. And who isn’t stressed? Stress plays a devastating role in our physiology.

Stress and aging changes in hormones affect both men and women, but women have an additional very important factor in how hormones affect them.  That factor is their reproductive cycles, both the monthly cycle and the reproductive lifecycle.  The reproductive lifecycle starts at puberty, goes through the childbearing portion of a woman’s life and on to the perimenopause, menopause, and then into the postmenopausal periods.

Every month during the reproductive time of the woman’s life, hormones fluctuate up and down. Alterations in the smooth function of our cycles result in problems like premenstrual syndrome, heavy or painful menstrual periods, and the growth of fibroids. Then, towards the end of the reproductive part of a woman’s life cycle she enters what is called perimenopause. This is another time of fluctuating hormone levels that can be very erratic. This can wreak havoc on a woman physically and mentally and emotionally. This is time that I call the “hormone storm.”  Then women enter menopause. In menopause hormone levels are low consistently. This creates another entire set of problems with hot flashes, low sex drive, vaginal dryness, mood changes, weight gain and a host of other issues.

The good news is that there is a solution.  And that’s what’s so exciting about this type of medicine. There are hundreds of hormones in the human body, but in Anti-aging and Restorative Medicine we’ve picked a few of the most important ones to restore and balance. I have personally witnessed amazing transformations in my patients. Women who were initially depressed, haggard looking, and exhausted become transformed into vibrant, energetic, and happy people.

 

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Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Money & Finances, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Five Ways to Become Wealthy

Five Ways to Become Wealthy

 

becoming wealthyThere are basically five ways that you can become wealthy starting with nothing in America based on over 25 years of research into American millionaires.

The Five Roads to Financial Success in America and How to Choose Your Own

There are basically five ways that you can become wealthy starting with nothing in America based on over 25 years of research into American millionaires. Number one, you can inherit it. Less than 10 percent of wealthy Americans inherited any of their money, and it’s less and less every single year.

The Second Way

The second way that you can become wealthy is you can achieve it professionally. You can become a doctor or a lawyer or an architect or an accountant. You can become extremely good at what you do, be paid very well, and hold on to the money.

The Third Way

The third way you can achieve it is you can become a senior executive of a large corporation. You can be highly paid; you can have stock options and bonuses. And if you stay with the company long enough, for enough years, you can be paid enough to become wealthy.

The Fourth Way

You can win it. But only a tiny fraction of one percent of wealthy Americans got that way by winning their money some way or another. As a matter of fact, the odds against you winning the lottery are the equivalent of lightning striking twice in the same place. They’re millions and millions to one.

The Best Way

The fifth way that you can become wealthy is you can start your own business and earn it all by yourself. Starting your own business has been and will always be the high road to becoming wealthy for most self-made millionaires. Entrepreneurship in America offers more opportunities and opens more doors than all other possibilities put together. This is why it has been said that if you have the ability to start your own business and you don’t do it, you are a fool. I’ll repeat that. If you have the ability to start your own business and you don’t do it, you’re a fool.

Where do you start?

You start by getting your finances under control. The very first thing you do is you make a decision to get your finances under control. Some years ago, a man named George Classon wrote a book called The Richest Man in Babylon. It’s a classic on financial success and what Classon said in that book was that the key to becoming wealthy is to pay yourself first. Take ten percent off your earnings, off your gross income every month and put it aside. Learn to live on ninety percent or less of your gross income. So the very first thing that you do is you begin to save your money.

Action Exercises

Now, here are two things you can do immediately to put yourself onto the high road to personal wealth:

First, resolve today to begin saving your money a little bit at a time. Set a goal to save 10% of your earnings, to put it away and to never touch it. This will change your life.

Second, immediately register your own business or sole proprietorship. Open a bank account, get business cards and letterhead and create the corporate entity under which you can do business. Your business opportunities will appear far sooner than you think. If you build it, they will come.

 

 

Brian Tracy’s spend decades interviewing millionaires to find out what their money-making secrets are…and how he’s put them all in one place!  Learn the top 21 ways to earn, save and invest your way to becoming a self-made millionaire.  Get started today with 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires by Brian Tracy.

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Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Money & Finances, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Leveraging Your Financial Potential

Leveraging Your Financial Potential

financial potentialOne of the greatest forms of financial leverage is contacts.

Know the Right People

Knowing the right people and being known by them can open doors for you that can save you years of hard work. The quality and quantity of your contacts and your relationships will have more to do with your success than perhaps any other factor.

Here are three things you can do to expand your list of contacts. First, make a list of the 25 people you feel it would be most useful for you to get to know. Develop a strategy to get to meet everyone of them over the next 12 months. Then make a list of 25 more.

List the people in charge of the major corporations that would be useful for you to know. List the mayor, list the congressmen, list the senator. List the important people that it would be helpful for you to know and then make a plan to meet them.

Network at Every Opportunity

Second is for you to network at every opportunity. Join business and trade associations. Attend meetings. Get involved. Volunteer for service on a key committee. This action alone can cut years off your career.

Once, when I was working with the Chamber of Commerce, I came to the attention of a senior executive who hired me away from the company I was working for a year later at triple the salary. Meeting people is very important. Network at every opportunity.

Get Involved in the Community

The third way is to get involved in community service organizations. The best people in every community, the people you should know and who should know you, are usually involved in public service in some way. Start with the United Way in your own city, or get involved in any charity that you care about or that you’re interested in. You’ll be amazed at the quality of people that you’ll meet doing voluntary service.

Unlock Your Creativity

Another form of leverage is creativity. Remember, one new idea is all you need to start a fortune. Everyone has the ability to come up with creative ideas and solutions if they look for them. All great fortunes begin with an idea.

Create Good Work Habits

A powerful form of leverage that can help you is good work habits. Good work habits make an extraordinary difference. In a recent study, 104 chief executive officers all agreed that the ability to set priorities and then to get the job done fast were the two qualities that most readily led to promotion and increases in pay. Good work habits will bring you to the attention of the important people in your life as fast or faster than anything else you can do. In the final analysis, you always get paid for your results. Developing a reputation for being the person who gets the job done fast can, alone, put you onto the fast track in your career.

You Action Assignment

Now, here are two things you can do to leverage your financial potential:

First, get involved in the business, trade, civic and social organizations in your community. Once you become a member, off er to help and serve on committees. This will bring you to the attention of people who can help you faster than any other way.

Second, develop excellent work habits. Be punctual. Plan your work and work your plan. Always concentrate your conscious energies on high priority tasks and make sure that you are doing things that are important to your boss and to your company.

Increase your Contacts, Expand your Influence and Build your Business…FAST!

Brian Tracy’s spend decades interviewing millionaires to find out what their money-making secrets are…and how he’s put them all in one place!  Learn the top 21 ways to earn, save and invest your way to becoming a self-made millionaire.  Get started today with 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires by Brian Tracy.

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Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Enjoy The Freedom Not To

Enjoy The Freedom Not To

 

Do you got to?

The Practice:
Enjoy the freedom not to.

Why?

 

 

We’re pulled and prodded by financial pressures, commuter traffic, corporate policies, technology, advertising, politics, and the people we work with and live with. As well, internal forces yank the proverbial chains, including emotional reactions, compelling desires, “shoulds,” and internalized “voices” from parents and other authority figures.

Sometimes these pressures are necessary, like a flashing light on your car’s dashboard telling you to get gas. Even a broken clock is right two times a day.

But on the whole these pressures are stressful and breed a sense of helplessness. Plus, a lot of the internal forces come from childhood, irrational fears, unfair self-criticism, ancient tendencies in the brain (e.g., its negativity bias), or the darker corners of human nature; acting out these forces is bad for us and others.

Giving oneself over to these pressures is un-free, like being a puppet tugged by many strings. It’s the opposite of well-being to be “hijacked,” “obsessed,” “addicted,” “plugged in,” or “compelled” – which all imply mental servitude if not slavery.

On the other hand, a sense of inner freedom is a hallmark of emotional healing, mental health, self-actualization, and the upper reaches of human potential. For example, a common term for enlightenment is “liberation.”

In plain English, we all know what it feels like to be pushed around . . . and what it feels like to have choices and be autonomous.

So, lately I’ve been softly saying this phrase in my mind – the freedom not to – and seeing what happens. And what’s been happening is great. A feeling of ease, of room to breathe, of not needing to jump to some task or to agree or disagree immediately with someone. A sense of shock absorbers between me and my emotional reactions, of not making a mess that I’ve got to clean up later, of not embarrassing myself, of not swapping a minute of pleasure for an hour of pain.

Being intimate with life while feeling free within it.

How?

For one or more of the items just below, imagine what it would feel like for you to have the freedom not to:

Press your point home
Struggle to get someone to change his or her mind
Have a second drink. Or a first one.
Worry what other people think about you
React to what is swirling around you
Act on an impulse
Get into an argument
Be swept along by anger
Identify with a mood or point of view passing through awareness
Take something personally
Take responsibility for the experiences of other people
Criticize yourself for not being able to fit into a pair of jeans
Resist what’s unpleasant
Drive toward what’s pleasant
Cling to what’s heartfelt

For one or more of the items just above, imagine how your greater freedom would help others. Also, let others be freer themselves with you; give them room to breathe, time to think and feel.

Faced with things that grab you in daily life, play with phrases like these in your mind: I’m free not to . . . I’m free not to __________ . . . I’m free . . . there is choice . . . Slow things down, pause, buy yourself some time, that space of freedom between stimulus and response. If others are getting intense, try gently talking to yourself, reminding yourself: You are free . . . you can choose your response . . . they are over there and you are over here . . . there is a freedom . . .

Notice what it’s like to feel freer. Enjoy it. Let this experience sink in.

Be at peace.

 

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and New York Times best-selling author. His books include Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence (in 12 languages), Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (in 25 languages), Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time (in 12 languages), and Mother Nurture: A Mother’s Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships. Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, and on the Advisory Board of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. Asumma cum laude graduate of UCLA, his work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, CBC, FoxBusiness,Consumer Reports HealthU.S. News and World Report, and O Magazine and he has several audio programswith Sounds True. His weekly e-newsletter – Just One Thing – has over 100,000 subscribers, and also appears on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and other major websites. For more information, please see his full profile at www.RickHanson.net.

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