Monday, June 15, 2015

Writing and Wellness - A Guest Post By Randy Rolfe

This past month I met Randy Rolfe through Women's Business Connection, an empowering organization for women entrepreneurs in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Writing as a way of healing had influenced her work, Randy told me, not only at the International Women's Writing Guild summer conferences which I have attended several times, but in the greater scope of her work as an author, entrepreneur and healer.

Loss, the mother-daughter relationship, the "secrets" of successful parenting, and healthy living - all topics Randy has explored in her books. Please welcome Randy to the Women's Writing Circle ~ Susan

(Note: Painting is by Montreal artist and cancer survivor Cheryl Braganza, who I met at the recent Women's Voices, Women's Visions 2015 symposium at Skidmore College.)

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In the early 1970s, I studied nutrition while going to law school. The smells, textures, tastes, and hands-on tasks were a great break from the books and lectures. Besides, I was determined to sort out all the conflicting information about nutrition to figure out what my new husband and I should be eating to maximize our health and longevity.

I wrote my first book about what I had learned, but publishers turned it down, saying it was too reasonable, so they didn’t know how to market it. Ten years later, my first published book was You Can Postpone Anything But Love, all about our happy experience raising our son and daughter. I self-published the book in 1985, when self-publishing was still largely unheard of, but I had a deadline for a conference where I wanted to introduce my book, so I made it happen! The book was eventually picked up by Time-Warner and has sold over 50,000 copies, now in third printing.

That experience led me to meeting many other women writers, particularly through the International Women’s Writing Guild. I was asked to develop workshops there to help busy writers to stay healthy while they bent over their computers after a long day at their day job. I also came to appreciate how, just as wellness can help a writer, writing and writers can help with our wellness.

Whether it is your career goals, your struggles, your insights, your dreams, your opinions, your personal resolutions, your favorite fantasies, or your advice and accumulated wisdom, it helps tremendously to lighten your heart, reduce your stress, unload your mind, lower your blood pressure, and allow you a good night’s sleep to get it all out there and down on paper or keyboard. And it can really be helpful to share your thoughts with other writers! It builds confidence, skills, and friendships!

My favorite question as a child was, "Why can't people just be happy?" So I set about to find out why. In my quest I have had the joy of working in a number of fields, as a lawyer, family therapist, clinical nutritionist, college professor, theologian, and media personality. Today my passion is helping individuals to become more aware of how their smallest choices each day have the biggest impact on their long-term happiness.

In an important article by Stephen C. Schimpff, MD, "The Dramatic Change in the Causes of Death," Schimpff points out that our causes of death have changed dramatically, and that the medical world has not kept up. Author of  The Future of Health Care Delivery, he explains, "Industry has found that some 70% of health care costs to the employer are due to modifiable behaviors and some two thirds or more of these expenditures go to managing just four diseases - cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. What is evident is that the causes of death have switched from acute illnesses to chronic illnesses. And we know from insurance companies that chronic illnesses consume about 70-85% of claims paid."

We often hear that these diseases are more prevalent now because we are just living so much longer, longer enough to reach the age when these "strike." But in fact, they don't just strike us. They develop over decades from our less than healthy environments and lifestyle choices.

In the last 100 years, according to U.S. Government Statistics, life expectancy at 50 years of age has increased by only 11 years for white males, by 12 years for white women, by 10 years for all other males, and by 14 for all other women. We cannot claim it is just because we are older. In fact today we see these dangerous conditions developing in young adults and even now in children.

So what can we do? All these conditions are related to chronic stress reactions which cause havoc to our bodies over time. We don’t sleep, make poor food choices, don’t feel like walking, and forget to take time to relax. Meanwhile we are exposed to ever increasing toxins, in our air, water, foods and beverages, household products, and even bedrooms, and now there is the challenge of universal WIFI frequencies, which the World Health Organization has identified as a possible hazard.  
We must reconnect to nature and improve our own homes, where we do have control. Technologies now exist for reducing the toxic load in our homes and our diets. Once we feel better, we will get out and about, have more adventures to write about, and interact with more people, like getting to our local writers’ group!

I hope you will take a look at the amazing line of wellness products which my family and I discovered more than a decade ago and which has virtually stopped the clock for us and made us feel more energized, relaxed and yes happy than we previously thought possible! If you choose to share these technologies with others, the income can also give you more time for writing!  


RANDY ROLFE is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur, and a recognized authority on parenting, family life, wellness, and life balance. She is author of eight books, including You Can Postpone Anything But Love and The Four Temperaments. She has appeared on top network talk shows more than 50 times and on 100s of radio shows. A Renaissance woman, Randy is also a lawyer, theologian, clinical nutritionist, and educator. She lives with her husband in Chester County, Pennsylvania and California and they have a son and daughter now grown. Randy enjoys travel, history, nature, cuisine, swimming, ping-pong, and ballroom dance. Please visit Randy at http://www.randyrolfe.com and  http://www.nikken.com/randyrolfe.

Her Amazon Author page is: http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Rolfe/e/B000APVFB8

How about you? Can you relate a story about the connection between writing and wellness? Your comments are most welcomed.
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