I was given a book, as a gift, from Lisa Sasevich at her recent event in San Diego. This book was one of those “can’t put it down . . . have to finish it now” books. It had been a long time since I had read a book like that and was grateful Lisa gave it to me and all the other participants at her event. The book is called Choose to Live, written by Joyce O’Brien.
In the past, I have read fiction books that were real page turners, but it has been rare that I have read a non-fiction book that I could literally, not put down. Choose to Live was that for me. The author Joyce O’Brien spoke at Lisa Sasevich’s live event and I was so moved by her story of experiencing late stage cancer and how she is now living a vibrant and healthy life. As she shared her journey, I knew I wanted to read her story. I was so excited to see it on everyone’s chair after one of the breaks for the day.
I noticed right away that the forward of the book was written by Bernie Siegel, whom was a guest teacher at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York when I was in school. Bernie Siegel was one of my favorite guest teachers. I have read a few of his books and love to learn from him. So not only did I just hear an amazing talk from the author, but Bernie Siegel endorsed the book! I decided I was starting it on my flight back home from San Diego.
Choose to Live was moving, inspiring and gives hope to anyone whether you are facing health issues or not. The book chronicals the journey Joyce and her husband endured . . . both having major health issues arise at fairly young ages. It shares their struggles, their triumphs, their disappointments and their successes. There was several times my jaw dropped as I read her story and could not believe the many set-backs that took place on their journey to optimal health. I had many lessons as I read Choose to Live and aside from encouraging you to go out and get a copy for yourself, I wanted to share the lessons I learned. When you read the book you may have different lessons come up but I thought I would share mine.
My top 10 lessons from reading Choose to Live - some were reminders and some are new lessons learned:
- The importance of The American Red Cross and donating blood. I had not donated blood in over 15 years, and I finished the book on Monday and donated blood on Tuesday. Yes, this book was the trigger at this point in my life to give the gift of life by donating blood.
- This book reminded me in a BIG way how crucial it is to be your own advocate for yourself and your family, especially when dealing with medical issues.
- Never underestimate the power of clean, organic food. I am reminded of this quote by Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
- Detoxing and cleansing our bodies is so important in today’s world.
- Hold off on getting a root canal on the tooth that has been bothering me for a while. I have had 3 dentist opinions and none can say I really need it, although they suggested it. I am thankful I have listened to my gut instinct to hold off. While I have tried acupuncture and it has helped, after reading this book, I plan to look into homeopathic alternatives.
- Continue to share my experiences and encourage others to always consider integrative and alternative medicine along with traditional medicine.
- Never underestimate the power of love and support from family and friends.
- Speak up when I need support and help because there are people in my life that would be happy to help.
- How important it is to surround myself with people that I love to be with because they inspire me, make me laugh, love me and make my heart happy when I am around them.
- It was reinforced to me how important it is to continue on my path as a health coach; supporting and helping others live a healthier and happier life while I do the same for myself and my family.
I know that there will be more lessons as I continue to process what I read in this book, but I wanted to share with you what I know right now. I encourage you to step out of your normal routine and get the book Choose to Live by Joyce O’Brien and read it. Take time out for yourself to read it, as it just might change your life or someone you know. Thank you Joyce O’Brien for getting your story out to the world through your book and speaking about your journey. I am thankful you wrote this book and I am thankful Lisa gave it as a gift to all at her event.
Now, go get the book, read it and share with me your lessons learned because I know there will be many. Enjoy learning!