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Being an Employee VS Owning Your Own Business

February 8, 2017
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Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint at heart, as it can definitely be both an investing and sobering experience.

A friend of mine made the decision to leave her lucrative position as an IT professional and start an online consulting business. Don’t get me wrong: this was not a willy-nilly decision and she did her homework. She is very talented and I would even consider her to be a master-networker. After making this commitment for about eight months, she decided that being a full-time business owner was not for her. For sure, eight months is not very long, but when speaking to her about why she wanted to transition back to being an employee, these were some of the comments that she made:

  • “When employers would “brag” about their benefit’s package, I would think to myself – Okay, you are supposed to offer health insurance, dental insurance, or what have you, I never realized that having health insurance was truly a benefit.”
  • “I never thought I would have to work so hard. If I am not consistently working to promote my business, I am not making money.”
  • “Owning my own business is not as easy as I thought it would be. What I learned is that I can’t be a full-time business owner. Being a part-time business owner is better for me, because I need to rely on a consistent check.”

Although my friend had the best intentions, from my experience, there were a few things that she did not consider; her employee work ethics were very similar to her business-owner work ethics. So let me explain:

  • Accountability – If you are a person who needs the motivation of a boss to hold you accountable for progress, then owning your own business may not be for you.
  • Work-Time – If you prefer to clock in at a certain time and clock out by a certain time, you may want to reconsider being an entrepreneur.
  • Motivator – If you are typically not the motivator of the group, but the one who needs to be motivated, business ownership may not be for you.
  • Consistency – If you prefer to get paid every week or bi-weekly on the same day of the week, heads up, think about transitioning completely to a full-time business owner—this may not be your calling.
  • People Manager – If you have a hard time accepting criticism and working with diverse personality types, it is imperative that you reflect on why you feel entrepreneurship is for you.

Now, do not get me wrong: if it is your dream to own your own business, I am definitely not trying to discourse your vision. My goal is to promote self-awareness.

So moving forward, it is my advice that you not only do your due diligence regarding the type of business that you want to own, but it is just as critical to perform a self-reflection before you decide to make that leap. I transitioned to owning my own business after working at the same health care organization for 25 years. Since leaving my job approximately three years ago, I have had my ups and my downs as a business owner, but what I can say for sure is that the experience has made me empowered and humbled to be able to build my new legacy.

Zelda Corona is a business and life coach under her company Victory Vision Business Ventures, LLC. She co-authored the books No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged and Mommy Divas on the Move: 16 Successful Secrets for Mompreneurs. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

The Healing Power of Hot Toddies

January 30, 2017
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A stroll through a big-box drugstore reveals overwhelming choices for consumers seeking relief from colds, the flu, aches, and insomnia. Yet there was a time in the not too distant past when home remedies were often used to ward off colds, improve sleep, and relieve body aches. While some home remedies fell into the ineffective old wives tale category, many more had actually achieved the cure that grandma or grandpa promised and are still used and trusted today—without the potentially harmful synthetic ingredients and side effects commonly experienced from over-the-counter medicine or pharmaceutical drugs.

Take hot toddies. Herbal teas, lemon, and honey are the perfect antiviral combination to help clear congestion. Adding shot of whiskey, bourbon, or gin has a calming affect and can help one relax and sleep better (just don’t overdo it!). Both conventional and holistic practitioners will concur that sleep is ultimately the best medicine to recharge the immune system, thus fighting off viruses. The warm, aromatic steam from a hot toddy also soothes membranes and gives a cozy, comforting feeling, especially on a chilly winter night.

Here are a couple of my favorite recipes for hot toddies. So drink to your health, and stay warm and well this winter.

Soothing Sage

This hot toddy contains sage, which has cleansing, antiseptic properties, as well as a pleasant aroma. Lemon and honey adds antiviral benefits and a great flavor.

Place 2 Tbsp. of chopped, fresh sage into a tea ball infuser and steep in 8 ounces of boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove tea ball from sage tea and stir in a shot of Jim Beam or other good quality or local craft distilled whiskey, 1 Tbsp. raw or locally sourced honey, and 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Save a lemon wedge or cinnamon stick for garnish. Stir and drink.

Minty Goodness

Thyme has been known to soothe headaches and bronchial inflammation, and mint can aid and calm the digestive system.

Chop 2 Tbsp. of fresh thyme and 2 Tbsp. fresh spearmint and place into a tea ball infuser. Steep along with 1 peppermint tea bag in 8 ounces boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove tea ball and tea bag from mint tea and stir in a shot of good quality or local craft distilled gin and 1 Tbsp. raw or locally sourced honey. Garnish with mint sprigs and drink.

Recipes adapted from BUST “Drink to Your Health,” Oct./Nov. 2009 issue

Sheila Julson is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine

New Year’s Purpose

January 6, 2017
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I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I decided several years ago that the decision to swear to do or not to do something during the upcoming year is more wishful thinking than commitment. I prefer to create new actions – which in turn manifests my annual visions.

In my opinion, history has proven that these New Year’s resolutions are made with good intentions, but after about two weeks into the New Year, they are forgotten, buried, and pushed to the side without any further regard.

According to www.shape.com, they highlighted 10 reasons why you don’t stick to your resolutions. 1. Must people go at it alone, which means there is no one to hold you accountable. www.shape.com explains that you should surround yourself with people who inspire you to be more, do more, and have more. 2. Your resolution is extremely lofty. You should seek a more attainable goal and refrain from choosing resolutions that are too big. Now I believe in thinking big, but you must ensure your actions match your visions. 3. People tend to give up too easy. In my experience, I have learned that from a high-level perspective, there are certain types of people – starters, finishers, and people who are both. You know you are typically a starter when you enjoy the excitement of the new challenge, but once the endeavor becomes work, you tend to lose interest. Finishers don’t like to jump-start their ideas. You finishers tend to always have a justification of why you can’t get started. However, once you get going you tend to complete your tasks. Finally, there are those who are good at both initiating and finalizing their visions. You are normally successful completing your goals, but you have to be careful with taking on too much which can become overwhelming. 4. Time management is huge. After starting your resolution, you realize that it is a bigger time commitment than you thought. This normally occurs because there wasn’t a true plan created when you decided on your resolution. If you don’t consider your resolution a priority, then it’s not. 5. Financial burdens. If your resolution is associated with expenses that are too high, this can cause you to forgo your commitment. 6. Choosing unrealistic resolutions. You have to be honest with yourself. If you set a goal to lose a total of 100 lbs. but you want to lose 50 lbs. within two weeks, you really need to reconsider how sensible is your resolution. 7. No plan. I alluded to this in a previous comment. The best resolutions are those that actually include a plan-of-action (www.shape.com.) It is critical to put a plan in place to achieve your goals, and the key word here is ACTION. Without action, you are stagnate. 8. Lack of honesty. Again, I mention earlier that you must be honest about your commitment. If you know you haven’t worked out in a year, why would you take on a marathon challenge without planning and completing the proper training that will assist with your success? 9. Wrong perspective. Although you may have the best intentions, you could be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself (www.shape.com.) Make sure that you keep decisions in perspective. 10. Not believing in yourself. Sometimes you must encourage yourself. Yes, it great when others can give us a pat on the back, but there is nothing like mastering the art of self-affirmation. Self-affirming will lead you to true success. To master this task, you first have to love everything about yourself – even the things that you want to change. You have to give yourself permission to fall, while inspiring yourself to get-up and start again.

I believe that self-affirmation is a major part of success. To assist you with self-affirmation, I want to explain the meaning according to Wikipedia. It’s a psychological theory that focuses on how individuals adapt to information or experiences that are threatening to their self-concept. In other words, how you process information coupled with your life experiences will dictate how well you will master self-affirmation. It will require practice if you want to get good at encouraging yourself. I suggest that you create a plan-of-action and make a commitment to work on becoming your personal cheerleader. So now what? Should you create a New Year’s Resolution or not? Well, why not write your realistic action plan first, incorporate self-affirmations daily – then rather creating unfilled resolutions, this year decree to manifest your authentic purpose.

Zelda Corona is a business and life coach under her company Victory Vision Business Ventures, LLC. She co-authored the books No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged and Mommy Divas on the Move: 16 Successful Secrets for Mompreneurs. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

Stress Management: A Civic Duty?

January 3, 2017
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I’m seeing a lot of patients lately with “post-election stress disorder.” Some voted for President Trump, others for Secretary Clinton, even others for 3rd party candidates. Despite their political differences, they are all suffering feelings of disconnection, malaise, and worry. In their different ways, they are concerned for America and equally vested in the continuing success of our republic.

Acupuncture, meditation, and herbal medicinal products are all safe and proven effective ways to work with stress. Most of my patients report immediate stress relief, in varying degrees, after only one treatment. But as they return to our very toxic political environment, the longer-term effects can dissipate quickly.

I’ve been offering two pieces of advice to all of my “political refugee” patients, drawing on our common ground as Americans.

The first is a gentle reminder of who we are. Ultimately, we are Americans first and political partisans second. Typically, our experience with stress is of being closed-in, crushed, and confined. Opening up space is part of good acupuncture and traditional medicine.

When I coach patients to think about how we are united, I help them to open space for themselves, to reaffirm who we really are. So I’m telling patients, “The first name of the nation is still ‘United.’ And if we can’t get the united part right, we don’t ever get to the ‘America’ part. Let’s work for a more united America together.”

The second bit of advice I’ve been offering to my patients deals with their deep sense of disconnect—from our political system, from our elected officials, and most of all from one another. As with the feeling of being confined, this sense of disconnection, of disorientation is common to stress. Patients describe feeling out of control, even worthlessness. Worse still, disconnect causes us to neglect our actual accomplishments. We fail to nourish our inherent dignity. We no longer feel like we are our own friends.

Reorienting our efforts at the local level guarantees success in the sense that we are working with our own neighbors, for the benefit of our homes, neighborhoods, and towns. My advice is a little unusual. “Forget Washington, DC. It’s unlikely you can change anything there. Focus on what you can influence: your neighborhood, your workplace, your schools, and your family. Direct your best efforts into your community. Bring your life back to the eye contact zone. You’ll feel grounded. You’ll be effective. And your results are immediate—even if you don’t get exactly what you want.”

Whether stress runs you down or runs you over, never underestimate how toxic it is. In my own view, I think stress may be the only disease there is, manifesting under hundreds of different names. Acupuncture, meditation, and traditional medicine work well to help manage stress, without side effects. For you, your family, your neighborhood. That makes smart stress management with acupuncture, meditation, and herbal medicinal care good for America, too.

Paul Shinkle, L.Ac. MSOM is the executive director of Enerqi Center for Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine, in West Allis. 

Vitamin D and Autism

December 19, 2016
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This is now the darkest time of the year in Milwaukee. We have only nine hours of light, and the sun only rises 11 degrees over the horizon. We are making no vitamin D. It requires a 45 degree angle sun (April 1) and a warm enough day for you to expose your skin to make vitamin D. So it’s a good time to remind you how important vitamin D might be.

This source article is fascinating: Nature Molecular Psychiatry  The  puzzle of autism is pretty complex. The authors took 4,229 mothers and their children and measured their vitamin D both in the middle of the pregnancy and then again at their birth with cord blood. That data was then compared to autism at age 6. They defined deficiency as 25 moles (which is 10 ng by commonly used American measures). That is a pretty low-level, but close to what we get to in January in Wisconsin if we are not taking a supplement of vitamin D. The correlation between low D status in pregnancy and the SRS (Social Responsive Score – a measure of autism) scores were statistically significant to p< 0.00. The findings persisted (a) when the model was limited to offspring with European ancestry, (b) when samples were adjusted for genetic data, (c) when 25OHD was entered as a continuous measure in the models and (d) when seasonal blood sampling corrections were taken into account. The conclusion was that low vitamin D status in pregnancy is a real risk factor for autism.

Now, what vitamin D supplementation is needed to be “sufficient” during pregnancy? Bruce Hollis and Carol Wagner conducted a double blind clinicaltrial in pregnancy and showed that 4,000 IU of D a day was the least needed to result in sufficient D in both mother and child at delivery. They also collaborated on another study in pediatrics to show that it takes 6,400 IU during pregnancy to have enough vitamin D in milk for a mother to be able to supply her child with sufficient D with breast-feeding.

Why does D have such a protean effect, but take so long to play out? Vitamin D is fundamentally your “maturation” hormone. Ten percent of the human genome has vitamin D responsiveness, and it essentially plays a role in the maturation of stem cells. A developing brain, in utero, needs to get its connections right to then mature properly when it is born and developing complex social skills. Vitamin D helps in that maturation. It takes that long because our maturation takes that long. Cancer takes 20 years to mature, which is why it takes studies of D that last at least 10 years to show its beneficial effect. If you see a study that lasts less than five years with Vitamin D, be suspicious of its outcome.

WWW—What will work for me? My vitamin D level was seven when I first measured myself 15 years ago. I take 100,000 IU a month, mostly in four doses of 20-25,000 IU a week. I advise every pregnant woman that she should take 6,400 IU a day as part of her regimen of preparation. Or else she better get herself out of Wisconsin and down to Cancun for a week every month for the next four months.

John E. Whitcomb, M.D. is founder and medical director of Brookfield Longevity & Healthy Living Clinic. He is a Yale University School of Medicine graduate and is board certified in holistic and integrative medicine from Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.

Torn Aura

December 13, 2016
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I am a person with a gift to absorb energy from others, be that positive energy or negative energy. The gift is that not all people born to this world can act as natural conduit of light, meaning bringing light and healing to humanity. I choose to use my gift for good at all times, but sometimes others people’s negative energy and their thoughts will overload my connective circuitry.

We all have auras. Auras are our own personal electromagnetic field that surrounds our bodies; for lack of a better example…our auras are sort of like a layer of protective silicone or wax, like when you wax your car for extra protection from the elements. Unfortunately, this layer is not indestructible and can become torn. I usually know when my aura has been torn, because I start feeling a sense of dread about humanity and the need to shield myself away from the energy of negative vibes especially, but at times even from the good because it becomes just too much brain drain. The good is always welcomed, but it becomes hard to tune in or truly focus on the good vibrations properly because my aura has been torn. What I did not know is that there are many other signs to assist you in knowing when your aura is torn and how to go about repairing it: http://pranahealing.net/index.php/new-articles/47-new-articles/89-how-to-repair-holes-in-the-aura

I can attest to the information provided in the link: Someone called me a few days ago and viciously attacked me, my character, my whole persona over the phone. The caller was wild with what I call self-rage, as I knew the person’s rage was not really about me, as it was more about them and their unhappiness with who they are. However, the person chose to use me not only as their sounding board, but their whipping post and their conduit simultaneously. This ball of negative energy engulfed me like a huge wave of black smoke that was slowly suffocating my aura. I was physically exhausted after the attack and mentally drained, in addition to my feelings being hurt. I literally had to go into meditative state to push that attack of negativity off of me and out of the room I was sitting in.

I know what I have to do is to not take attacks like these personal when they come from other people, but it is easier said and harder to do when you have the gift of being super sensitive to other people’s energy. You get their thoughts, their vibes, their energy—good or bad—whether you want it or not! I did not go out of the house for the rest of that day, because I knew I needed to retreat to my room to just rest with no cell phone and no television, especially the news . . . for a while. This is the way I heal my aura, but now I have a few other methods like sitting in a salt bath or holding a quartz crystal within my hands and around the circumference of my body. I feel like this will speed up the process in healing my aura as opposed to me having to shut myself off from the world for a few days. My gift is needed and you don’t provide service to others by being locked away.  This gift of light is one that I am still learning about and one that I must eventually master in due time.

Sonya Marie Bowman is a writer of positive prose for the Milwaukee Community Journal and a published co-author of the book No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

That’s My Shade

December 5, 2016
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What are your true colors?  I was just saying to my son the other day that most people are hiding certain things about themselves for various reasons.  Embarrassment.  Ego.  Or simply just wanting to portray themselves as having the “perfect” life.  Whatever the reasons, during our conversation, I assured him that when we are fake, or afraid to tell our truth, this is when people can hold us hostage.  But when we are fearless enough to tell our story—better yet, our testimony—this is when naysayers literally have to walk away because there is nothing else left to be said.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, if you want to impress someone, don’t try.  When you have the need to showcase your value, it usually means that you are seeking affirmation that you are worthy.

Cookie Lyon, a character of the hit TV show Empire, was working extremely hard to impress the mother of her new boyfriend.  She went as far as buying new furniture for her home, changing how she would normally dress for an occasion, and finally catering a beautiful seafood meal, to which mommy dearest was allergic.  When it was all said and done, Cookie decided that enough was enough, and she laid all of her cards on the table.  Yes, this particular scenario was fiction, but the principles of the story are real.  Once Cookie became loyal to herself, it didn’t really matter what her boyfriend’s mother thought of her.   What was more critical was how Cookie felt about herself.

There is an old saying, “the truth will set you free.”  I have learned that it will do just that.  The truth will release you from the strong-holds of others, and more importantly, honesty will liberate you from the bondage that you have placed on yourself to keep up appearances.  No need to remember lies that you have told, and that feeling of defeat that engulfs you like a flood of muddy water after you post that photo of you with the phony smile showing off your fabulous life, is no longer your fraudulent defense. The good news is that you can and you will emerge to higher ground.

The lyrics by Cyndi Lauper actually says it all: “But I see your true colors shining through.  I see your true colors and that’s why I love you.  So don’t be afraid to let them show.  Your true colors.  True colors are beautiful like a rainbow.”

Zelda Corona is a business and life coach under her company Victory Vision Business Ventures, LLC. She co-authored the books No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged and Mommy Divas on the Move: 16 Successful Secrets for Mompreneurs. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.