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Lissa Rankin, MD is an OB/GYN physician, author, keynote speaker, consultant to health care visionaries, professional artist, and founder of the women’s health and wellness community OwningPink.com. Discouraged by the broken, patriarchal health care system, she left her medical practice in 2007 only to realize that you can quit your job, but you can’t quit your calling. This epiphany launched her on a journey of discovery that led her to become a leader in the field of mind/body medicine, which she blogs about at OwningPink.com and is writing about in her third book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013).
She teaches both patients and health care professionals how to make the body ripe for miracles by healing the mind and being healthy in all aspects of life, not just by promoting healthy behaviors like good nutrition, exercise, and adequate sleep, but by encouraging health and authenticity in relationships, work, creative expression, spirituality, sexuality, finances, and living environment. She is leading a revolution to feminize how health care is received and delivered by encouraging collaboration, fostering self-healing, reconnecting health care and spirituality, empowering patients to tap into the mind’s power to heal the body, and encouraging women not to settle for being merely well, but to strive for living vital, joyful, authentic lives full of “mojo.”
When not spreading the word, she chills out, paints, does yoga, and hikes in Marin County, CA with her husband and daughter.
At a farm convention in Chicago, I was approached by an audience member who explained that gifting a working farm to her children was preferable to selling and leaving them each $5 million. When I pressed her for more details – such as – “what do your children think of your plan?” She snapped her head back and proclaimed, “why would I tell them?”
I have to confess it wasn’t the first time that I had heard someone say that silence was going to be the key ingredient of their estate plan. It got me thinking how many beneficiaries – children especially — truly know the contents of their parent’s wills?
When I put the question to my audiences, “how many people hold a copy of their parents’ wills?” Only 10% on average acknowledge they do. The more interesting question is: “how many in the audience will play a lead or significant role in providing care for an aging parent?” The response — an average of 75% — agreed they would. I find the disparity between these two pieces of data, striking.
The relationship between inheriting money and the provision of health care is an issue moving into the media and cultural spotlight for two major reasons – we’re living longer (a lot longer) and the cost of health care and assisted living are rising faster than inflation and saving rates.
For some who live much longer than the average age of 76 for men and 81 for woman, many will turn to family for financial support and care when their savings are fully depleted – the same family from whom secrets were kept when a surplus seemed assured.
Why do so many people keep secrets from those who will likely be providing them with late in life care? How do secrets serve beneficiaries or add to relationships before we become old and dependant? Talk to enough estate planning professionals and they’ll tell you it almost always comes down to a lack of trust and a debilitating fear of death.
For those who view their money as an absolute source of power and control you can see how the aging process and the concomitant relinquishing of power and control makes dying and death such a wretched, fearful experience. Compare that to individuals who seriously prepare family, friends and charitable organizations to receive not just their wealth but their wisdom and you’ll find some extraordinary relationships built purposefully over a lifetime – even when years outstrip savings.
Sharing the contents of a will requires judgment – some might call it wisdom nurtured over time. A wisdom both taught and harvested through conversations with intended beneficiaries not in the last year of life, when death seems imminent, but precisely the opposite, when death is a distant abstraction.
A will doesn’t need to be seen as a solo “end of life document” but rather a collaborative work of art monumentally improved by living in relationship with our intended beneficiaries.
It is the act of collaboration, supported through frequent and deliberate conversation about the future that we leave something more valuable than just our money. This is, in part, how our fear of death recedes when we know with confidence that our beneficiaries—our emissaries — will take our ideas and perhaps our surplus assets at death and live purposeful lives themselves.
Have you shared the contents of your will with your intended beneficiaries – the ones likely to be providing late in life care for you?
My Vet sends me reminder letters … Why can’t my lawyer when it comes to my Will?
Leading up to the release of my new book Willing Wisdom, I paid extra attention to the mail I received. Delivered to my home over the course of three months, were reminder letters from a host of personal service suppliers, including my accountant to file my taxes, my window cleaner, my lawn service, my insurance provider and my veterinarian.
What I didn’t receive, in fact what I’ve never received over the course of my 51 years on the planet, is a letter from my lawyer reminding me to up-date my will. Curious to know if I’m special (and not in a gifted way) I recently asked my audience – about 200 business owners from across North America assembled at a convention in La Jola California – how many of them had received an annual letter from their lawyer reminding them to up-date their will? Only seven hands shot up.
The results confirmed my suspicion that, like me, 193 people in that room had windows and pets receiving better regularly scheduled maintenance than their estate plans. So what’s the deal?
More alarming is that when questioned on the subject, half of that room acknowledged they didn’t have a will at all. When pressed further, 50% of those who did have a will confessed that it had been more than 5 years since it was last up-dated. When questioned even further almost the entire room confessed to having clean windows, healthy pets and weed free lawns.
Approximately 125 million North Americans over the age of 18 have no will and will eventually die intestate. The resulting financial and relational devastation to families is incalculable.
When I asked my veterinarian how she could be so organized and proactive in scheduling my pet’s annual check-up she tilted her head side ways (kind of like the way my dog Goblin does when I say “treats”) she blurted out – “auto-scheduler”. She might as well have added …“duhhh.”
Asking her for detail on this cutting edge 25-year-old technology she noted it was free — as in it doesn’t cost anything.
Below is the letter I received from my veterinarian word for word.
To: Tom Deans
Annual physical examinations and a personal health consultation is integral to maintaining Goblin’s health. Please call our office to schedule an appointment. We’ve missed you and look forward to seeing you soon!
Dufferin Veterinary Hospital
If you’re not receiving a letter from your lawyer reminding you to up-date your will, would you consider forwarding this article to your lawyer and help them get acquainted with the power of “auto-scheduling” and helping clients keep their estate plans up-to-date? Here’s a sample letter for them to consider sending annually to clients like you.
A will is one of the most important legal documents for you and your family to consider. If one or more of the following apply to you, please call our office and schedule an appointment.
In the past year have you experienced?
- the birth of a child, grandchild or other close family member?
- has someone close died?
- have you acquired or sold a business?
- has your financial situation materially changed?
There are many other changes in your life that may affect your will that we would be pleased to discuss, including Powers of Attorney, Advanced Health Care Directives and the selection of Executor(s).
I look forward to meeting with you.
Your Lawyer Who Totally Gets that You are Busy and Reluctant to Think, Talk and Up-Date Your Will.
And while you’re at it, please remind your lawyer that no less than four US Presidents died without a will — two were lawyers.
To Book Tom Deans, a Lugen Family Office Speaker and The LFO 2013 Speaker of the Year Award Winner, to speak to Your Clients, Donors, or Employees at one of your events, please click here.
The future of health is here today: John Lewis, Ph.D.
John Lewis, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Lewis is the principal investigator of several nutrition, dietary supplement, and exercise studies.
Imaginable intelligence – everyone deserves to be heard: Lisa Domican
Lisa Domican is a Wicklow-based mother of two autistic children. She set up the company Grace App Communication, and developed a simple picture communication app in collaboration with a successful games developer that allows non verbal people with Autism and other disabilities to communicate effectively. In interacting with people with autism, Lisa advocates in ‘the 3 As’: Awareness, Acceptance and making Allowances. She hopes through using these steps people can help reduce the challenges that make having living with autism in a world designed for “normal” people so stressful.
Sleep deprivation & disparities in health, economic and social wellbeing: Lauren Hale
Is anyone getting enough sleep? What difference does it make? Everyone knows what it feels like when you have a rough night but are there larger implications? Sleep researcher, Dr. Lauren Hale, talks animatedly about the social patterning of sleep and how it contributes to a cycle of inequality in health and well-being. With funding from National Institute for Child Health and Development, National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the National Institute of Aging, she analyzes demographic, behavioral, and neighborhood data from large-scale studies to identify patterns of sleep and wellness in child, adolescent, adult, and aging populations. Dr. Hale suggests that the results raise concerns about public health and social justice; she also presents some initial thoughts on what we, as individuals and a society, might do about it. Dr. Hale has published over 45 published peer-reviewed articles in Sleep, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Journal of Sleep Research, Pediatrics, among numerous other peer-reviewed journals. Dr.Hale is Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University where she is Core Faculty in the Program in Public Health. She received her PhD from Princeton University. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Sleep Foundation.
Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend
Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.
Kelly McGonigal translates academic research into practical strategies for health, happiness and personal success.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?
Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal is a leader in the growing field of “science-help.” Through books, articles, courses and workshops, McGonigal works to help us understand and implement the latest scientific findings in psychology, neuroscience and medicine.
Straddling the worlds of research and practice, McGonigal holds positions in both the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the School of Medicine. Her most recent book, The Willpower Instinct, explores the latest research on motivation, temptation and procrastination, as well as what it takes to transform habits, persevere at challenges and make a successful change.
She is now researching a new book about the “upside of stress,” which will look at both why stress is good for us, and what makes us good at stress. In her words: “The old understanding of stress as a unhelpful relic of our animal instincts is being replaced by the understanding that stress actually makes us socially smart — it’s what allows us to be fully human.”
Why Lululemon clothes work so well
Lululemon’s popular clothes are designed by athletes, making the technical aspects of their sportswear work just right.
Is Medicine Killing You?: Lissa Rankin, MD
Lissa Rankin, MD is a physician and New York Times bestselling author of “Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself”, and the founder of Dr. Lissa Rankin’s Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers. She was featured on the public television special Heal Yourself: Mind Over Medicine, and will soon appear in a documentary film about her work. Dr. Rankin is on a grassroots mission to heal healthcare by repairing the doctor-patient relationship, while empowering both patients and health care providers to marry the best of Western medicine with mind-body approaches scientifically proven to activate the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms. Join the revolution at HealHealthCareNow.com and follow Dr. Rankin on her blog at LissaRankin.com or on Facebook.
Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?
Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist: He studies the sleep cycles of the brain. And he asks: What do we know about sleep? Not a lot, it turns out, for something we do with one-third of our lives. In this talk, Foster shares three popular theories about why we sleep, busts some myths about how much sleep we need at different ages — and hints at some bold new uses of sleep as a predictor of mental health.
Russell Foster studies sleep and its role in our lives, examining how our perception of light influences our sleep-wake rhythms.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
Much as your ear does double duty (balance plus hearing), Russell Foster posits that the eye has two jobs: creating vision, but also — as a completely separate function — managing our perception of light and dark, providing the clues that our circadian rhythms need to regulate sleep-wake cycles. He and his team at the University of Oxford are exploring a third kind of photoreceptor in the eye: not a rod or a cone but a photosensitive retinal ganglion cell (pRGC) that detects light/dark and feeds that information to the circadian system. As Foster explains: “Embedded within our genes, and almost all life on Earth, are the instructions for a biological clock that marks the passage of approximately 24 hours.” Light and dark help us synchronize this inner clock with the outside world.
The research on light perception hits home as we age — faced with fading vision, we also risk disrupted sleep cycles, which have very serious consequences, including lack of concentration, depression and cognitive decline. The more we learn about how our eyes and bodies create our sleep cycles, the more seriously we can begin to take sleep as a therapy.
Seeing with the Ears. Hands and Bionic Eyes: Amir Amedi
Prof. Dr. Amir Amedi uses music and sounds to make blind people ‘see’ their environment. He uses non-invasive sensory substitution devices and invasive bionic eye procedures to teach blind people to see. He is an award winning brain scientist that suggest new ways to look at brain organization and brain flexibility. His work with blind and normal sighTED individuals suggests that the brain is actually a flexible sensory independent task machine, rather than a pure sensory machine, the current dogma in brain research.
Critical Illness Insurance Broker | Dr. Marius Barnard, Creator of Critical Illness Insurance
A message from D. Marius Barnard, the creator of Critical Illness Insurance, speaks about why he was compelled to create a financial plan that acts as a financial doctor to assist patient in their overall recovery. If you are interested in Critical Illness Insurance in Canada, please contact us.
Dr. Lissa Rankin: Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself
While some mind-body medicine pioneers and New Age teachers talk about how we can heal ourselves, Dr. Lissa Rankin was a skeptical physician, trained in evidence-based academic medicine and raised by a closed-minded physician father.
But after witnessing patients who declined conventional medical treatment, only to experience spontaneous remissions from seemingly “”incurable”" illnesses, she couldn’t deny the possibility that patients might hold within them the power to heal themselves. Her curiosity led her to dig deep into the medical literature to scientifically prove that the mind can heal the body.
Her search uncovered not only proof that you can heal yourself, but also the shocking physiological mechanisms of how emotions like fear, loneliness, pessimism, and depression can make the body sick, while love, intimate connection, optimism, and faith can cure you.
About Dr. Rankin
Lissa Rankin, M.D. is a physician whose research led her to discover that our bodies have natural self-repair mechanisms that can be activated or disabled based on thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that originate in the mind. She is on a mission to heal our broken health care system, help patients play a more active role in healing themselves, heal, train and certify physicians in a more enlightened way of practicing medicine, and encourage the health care industry to embrace and facilitate, rather than resist, the body’s self-healing capacities. Lissa has written 3 books, including her newest book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself. She speaks around the world, blogs at LissaRankin.com, paints professionally, and founded the Whole Health Medicine Institute, a training program for health care providers. She leads a mentoring program for visionaries, founded the wellness communities HealHealthCareNow.com and OwningPink.com, and teaches online programs, such as “”Find Your Calling”" with Dr. Martha Beck and Amy Ahlers, and “”Visionary Ignition Switch,”" an online business school for visionaries co-created with Amy Ahlers.
Her work has been featured extensively in the national media, including O magazine, The New York Times, CNN, Health, Women’s Health, Self, Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan.
Lissa lives in Marin County, California with her husband and daughter.