Wholehearted Healthcare, P.C., Newsletter
November 2016
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November 2016

"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." ---Marcel Proust
Choosing Active Peace over Passive Violence
by Ann Halim, Guest Writer

Recently I had the privilege of listening to Arun Gandhi speak about the life and philosophy of his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi, a great national figure who led Picture of Arun Gandhithe Indian independence movement while India was under British rule. Advocating and practicing nonviolent civil disobedience, he also inspired civil rights movements around the world.
Listening to Arun from the comfort of a padded seat in a climate-controlled church sanctuary, the realities of violence and concomitant fear engendered in those experiencing dis-ease on a daily basis seemed removed from our mostly sheltered lives. However, when he began speaking about passive violence, the talk became more personal.
Passive violence seems like an oxymoron, but as I’ve unpacked and researched the topic since hearing Arun speak, the term is becoming clearer.
Passive violence may be as simple as not speaking up when you see someone marginalized, having negative thoughts or speaking negatively about others, or as complex as wasting people’s lives and talents in ineffective organizations.
Quantum physics is revolutionizing our conception of the unseen world. It’s no longer a hypothesis that negative thoughts influence others. It’s a proven fact. We are not just observers of everything that goes on around us. We are participants. What we think, along with what we say and do, has an impact on the energy that surrounds and affects the micro-spaces in which we live.
“Passive violence fuels the fire of physical violence,” Arun says. Since anger obviously leads to physical violence, negative thoughts and words that can elicit anger are a form of passive violence that can turn physical.
Bringing it closer home, Glen Anderson comments, “Passive violence is the conscious ignoring of the physical, psychological, and emotional needs of a person; the conscious failure to ensure the safety of someone under one’s care; or the failure to ensure the development of well-being of someone under one’s care.”

Although most of us don't live day-to-day in a war zone, many vulnerable people (including children, the aged, and those of us with disabilities) may actually experience similar reactions when needs are ignored or basic human dignity is disrespected. All these constitute passive violence.
According to the Victory Over Violence website, "Passive violence is anything we say, think, or do that undermines the fundamental dignity of our own lives or the lives of others. Passive violence is (1) verbal/emotional abuse (ex: teasing, taunting, bullying, ostracizing), (2) oppression (ex: economic, political, cultural, religious, etc.), (3) apathy/indifference (choosing to step back and do nothing when you see acts of violence in your environment) or (4) negative mental judgments (dismissing someone or 'profiling' them in our mind based on race, skin color, dress or other superficial quality—before getting to know them individually) . . . When we become conscious of the little things we do every day that are passively violent, we can make better decisions and help build the culture of peace."
Another form of passive violence, says Arun, is wasting earth's resources. He notes that wasting natural resources is violence against nature; hoarding food and overbuying commodities is violence against humanity. As I move through daily interactions and decisions, I'm trying to be more mindful of the effect my selections and judgments are having on my family, community, nation, and the world. It is sobering to think the butterfly wings I may cause to flutter here could stir disorder and cruelty far from my protected enclave.
As we enter the holiday season, rich with joyous synergy, beneficence, and affection, I challenge us to be attentive to our own capacity for passive violence and choose, instead, to release and multiply beauty, affirmation, and a large dose of tenderness toward ourselves and all who travel this planet with us.

Ann is an artist, spiritual coach, writer, and explorer of fantastical ideas and thoughts.

Photo Credit: Union College Marketing Communications
Nourishing Our Bodies and Souls
by Staff Writer

In the introduction to his book The Slow Down Diet, Marc David gets right to the point: "If you've chosen to read this book, you're likely doing so because Picture of The Slow Down Diet Book Coveryou want to fire up your metabolism—you want more metabolic energy to lose weight, look lean, be healthier, and have more energy. . . . If you've worked for stronger metabolism and have not achieved success, there's one basic reason why: you're moving too fast."

We live our lives at a pace that often prevents us from enjoying them, from slowing down long enough to savor them. We do everything in a hurry, including eat. Eating too quickly "destroys our metabolism and creates digestive upset" because we partake of our meals under stress. When our bodies are stressed, their ability to burn calories and fat, take pleasure from food, get enough oxygen, thoroughly digest, and make use of nutrients is greatly diminished. Speed leads to "dis-ease." Slowing down is the cure.

The Slow Down Diet is actually not a diet at all. Rather, it's an approach to meals that teaches us how to eat for pleasure and increased energy as well as for weight loss. It's more about how to eat than what to eat. In other words, it focuses on the psychology of eating. In slowing down life around our tables, claims David, we speed up our metabolisms. And by slowing down, he means "becoming more aware: Open. Centered. Present. Balanced." Metabolism isn't just about the chemical reactions that occur in our bodies when we give them food. Rather, "metabolism is the sum total of all the chemical reactions in the body plus the sum total of all our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and experiences." Our bodies are miraculous. But if we keep them in a fight-flight-freeze state, they can't function optimally. Reclaiming the inherent wisdom of our bodies is the goal of The Slow Down Diet.

Over the next several months, we will explore the eight universal metabolizers Marc David places at the core of his approach to eating: Relaxation, Quality, Awareness, Rhythm, Pleasure, Thought, Story, and The Sacred. Feel free to read ahead in The Slow Down Diet or to explore his other book Nourishing Wisdom. You might also find interesting The Institute for Eating Psychology, founded by David, as we delve into this topic.

In the meantime, start to nourish your body and soul right now. Begin your meals by taking a moment to center and ground yourself before lifting your fork. Take three deep breaths. Give thanks for the meal before you, for those who participated in bringing it to your table. And be grateful for your remarkably and wonderfully made body.
NOTE: Interested in knowing more about how the psychology of eating could benefit your health journey? Registered Dietitian Amy Harshman is also a Certified Eating Psychology Coach. Learn more about nutritional support and counseling on her website True Nourishment.
Giving Ourselves the Gift of Forgiveness
by Staff Writer

"Real forgiveness is an act of self-love," explains Mary Hayes Grieco (watch her talk about "Forgiveness and Your Health"). It's not about forgetting. It's Picture of a Gift Boxnot about saying that whatever caused us pain is okay. It's about healing ourselves so that we can enjoy our lives more fully, so we can live wholeheartedly. As we head into the holiday season, we're likely to spend time with family and friends we don't see very often—some of them for reasons related to past hurts. Now is as good a time as any to consider giving ourselves the gift of forgiveness.

Currently the director of The Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training, Grieco describes herself as a spiritual leader and emotional healer, and her work carries on the legacy of her mentor Edith Stauffer, Ph.D., whose healing methods are found in Unconditional Love and Forgiveness. In her own book Unconditional Forgiveness, Grieco shares eight steps to completely letting go and binding up our wounds. Although there's much more to them than we have space to include here, these steps and their brief descriptions, listed on Grieco's website, offer a starting point for the practice:
  • Step One: Use Your Will
    Declare your intention through the power of will to begin the process of forgiveness.
  • Step Two: Express Your Emotional Pain
    You are given complete freedom to express your honest emotions without judgment or fear.
  • Step Three: Release Expectations from Your Mind
    Identify and let go of the expectations you had surrounding the person or situation that you are forgiving.
  • Step Four: Restore Your Boundaries
    Firmly separate yourself from the harmful actions and attitudes of the other person or situation.
  • Step Five: Open Up to Getting Your Needs Met in a Different Way
    Emotions have been released, expectations have been let go, and you no longer demand anything from the person or situation that you are forgiving.
  • Step 6: Receive Healing Energy from Spirit
    Reach to a higher level, bringing unconditional love and light into your being.
  • Step Seven: Send Unconditional Love to the Other Person or Situation and Release
    Unconditional love and light is freely given to the person or situation you are forgiving.
  • Step Eight: See the Good in the Person or Situation
    Now that you are free from the past pain and grievance, recognize the good that can be taken from the person or situation.
As Grieco notes, when we don't let go of our expectations of others, our judgments, and our resentments, we make our suffering—both emotional and physical—worse. (Watch a live demonstration of the eight-step process to better understand how it works.) In essence, we create our own suffering. And that takes a lot of energy, energy we could instead be using to create our own happiness. Releasing expectations allows us to be fully present in the moment, freed from the past and unafraid of the future. By forgiving, wholehearted living becomes possible right here, right now. In self-love, let's give ourselves that gift.
Giving Thanks for Those Who Bless Us—Body and Soul
by Staff Writer

According to Jo Marchant, Ph.D., author of Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body, loved ones can literally save our lives. Several years ago, for example, some Picture of Fall in North Dakotaresearchers who study Blue Zones (areas of the world where people live longer than the rest of us) noticed that Costa Ricans residing on the Nicoya peninsula were living years beyond their peers in other parts of the country. Blood work proved that Nicoyans have longer telomeres than the average Costa Rican. Like the plastic ends of shoelaces, telomeres are the protective tips of our chromosomes. The longer they are, the healthier we stay and the less quickly we age. But why did this particular group fare so well?

A long list of possible answers were ruled out. Diet didn't have an effect. Neither did physical health nor education. Wealth wasn't a reason either. In fact, the Nicoyans whom researchers studied were more obese and had higher blood pressure than other Costa Ricans. They also lost the longevity advantage if they moved from the peninsula. So what was making the major difference? Researchers still aren't completely sure, but they have a few educated hunches: "Nicoyans are less likely than other Costa Ricans to live alone, and more likely to have weekly contact with a child. Such social connections seem crucial. The telomere length difference is halved among Nicoyans who don't see a child each week, and if they live alone, they lose their advantage completely." In other words, social ties may be their fountain of youth. And ours.

Professor of psychiatry and researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Charles Raison declares,"probably the single most powerful behavioral finding in the world" is that those of us who enjoy warm personal relationships and have a strong sense of belonging don't get sick very often and live longer than those who have few friends and feel excluded or isolated. The science demonstrates, reports Marchant, that "social isolation is as harmful as drinking and smoking" and can be more dangerous than being overweight or living a sedentary lifestyle. As it turns out, loved ones may be our greatest superpower against illness and early death. And that's something to be deeply thankful for.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, may we, as the French novelist and critic Marcel Proust reminds us, "be grateful to the people who make us happy," for they bless us far more than we realize—both body and soul.
All events take place at Wholehearted Healthcare's healing space, 4701 Bancroft Ave., Lincoln, 68506. Note that cancellations and updates are posted to the clinic's Facebook page.

Celestial Sound Meditation
Wednesday, November 2 and 9, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Picture of VJ HerbertA spiritual immersion in the therapeutic vibrations of singing bowls, tuning forks, bells, gongs, koshi chimes, and more led by VJ Herbert with Angela Barber.

Space is limited for these final two sessions before VJ heads east for a while. RSVP to or (402) 730-9819.

You will want to bring your own mat, pillow, or other articles of comfort to support you while you are bathed in this healing experience. Free will donation at the close.

VJ is a musician, composer, conductor, spiritual teacher, and vibrational sound practitioner. In 2012, he began his work with music and sound as an instrument for healing through meditation, using crystal bowls, tuning forks, and solfeggio frequencies as methods for self-mastery.

Mindful Mondays
Monday, November 7, 14, and 21, 7:00-8:00 a.m.

Bring your yoga mat, sitting cushion, or meditation mat, and join Gena for a mindful start to the week. The morning will begin with a grounding exercise, a bit of inspiration, some conversation on mindfulness, and a sitting, walking, or lying meditation—depending on the day. This will be an ongoing event, free and open to all. Come as you are. No RSVP required.

Meditation and Movement
Wednesday, November 16, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Using the body to help us center back to ourselves through movement in addition to the practice of quieting the mind can help to release stagnant energy and increase the flow of positive energy through our body while enhancing our sense of well-being. This easy, gentle practice requires no previous experience and is led by Joyce Schmeeckle.

Space is limited for this month's only session. RSVP to or (402) 730-9819.

You will want to wear comfortable clothing. Meditation mats and cushions will be provided. Free will donation at the close to support Pan American Health Services and sponsor a child's education at a bilingual school in Peña Blanca, Honduras.

A practitioner of Zen Meditation and T’ai Chi Chih (TCC), Joyce combines the practices with other guided or body movement for a full spiritual practice of connecting inward and outward. Joyce has engaged in spiritual practices for almost ten years. She has led groups in meditation and TCC for over six years.

Mothers' Connection
Wednesday, November 30, 8:00-9:00 p.m.
Picture of Gena and Her DaughterA group to support women who are mothers along their journeys. Led by Gena and Annie Nienhueser. Nursing infants are welcome.

Join us this month for hot tea, supportive conversation, and a holiday craft (supplies provided). RSVP via, or (402) 730-9819.

Originally from Sioux City, IA, Annie has been a Lincolnite for eight years now. She and her husband Jeff have three girls. Among other interests, Annie is passionate about her family and holistic health. As a Certified Health Coach and a mom, she gets especially excited when she can support other moms and families on the path of healthy living.

A Mindful Way through Life: Small Group Workshop
Tuesdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m., January 10–February 21

Picture of Wooded PathJoin Gena on an intimate journey of exploring what mindfulness can do for your emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness. This workshop is for anyone who wants to live with more intention and joy in life. If you experience SAD, depression, anxiety disorders, developmental or other traumas—or if you are a human being—you will wholeheartedly benefit from this workshop. Each person who attends will bring different gifts to this private group; thoughts, feelings, emotions expressed and shared by group members will be kept between those present. Members will create a safe space for everyone to share and support each other as they delve into the powerful, healing concept of mindfulness.

The group will read The Mindful Way through Depression by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. In this book, four uniquely-qualified experts explain why our usual attempts to “think” our way out of bad moods or just “snap out of it” lead us deeper into a downward spiral—“down the rabbit hole.” Through insightful lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive behavioral therapy, the authors demonstrate how to sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including rumination and self-shaming, so we can face life’s challenges with greater emotional resilience.

Throughout the book there are activities and personal growth exercises each member will complete before or during the course of the evening assigned to the given chapters. We will share personal responses, thoughts, or experiences—as members feel comfortable. Gena will also incorporate findings on self-compassion, mindfulness, boundaries, and self-care from additional sources.

  • January 10—Part One, Chapters 1 & 2
  • January 17 and January 24—Part Two, Chapters 3, 4 & 5
  • January 31 and February 7—Part Three, Chapters 6, 7, 8 & 9
  • February 21—Part Four, Chapters 10 & 11
  • Presence and intention for healing to take place
  • Five-minute guided meditation for gathering of self
  • Opening thoughts by Gena followed by open discussion from group members
  • Five minutes of self-compassion journaling
  • Open discussion from group members
  • Sharing of exercises completed from the reading—as members feel comfortable
  • Closing thoughts by Gena
  • The Mindful Way through Depression by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn (included in the cost of the workshop)
  • Your own special journal, a pen or pencil, and an open heart
  • $250, check or cash to be paid in full by January 6, 2017. Mail or deliver to Wholehearted Healthcare, P.C., 4701 Bancroft Avenue, Lincoln, NE 68506. Again, The Mindful Way through Depression is provided as part of the workshop fee.
Space is limited for this special event. Call the clinic at (402) 730-9819 to reserve your spot.
Love, light, and peace to your soul,

Gena Foster
Copyright © 2016 Wholehearted Healthcare, P.C., All rights reserved. Edited by Tanya R. Cochran.

Our mailing address and phone number are:
4701 Bancroft Ave., Lincoln, NE  68506
(402) 730-9819

Disclaimer. The information in this newsletter is provided as a resource only and should not replace professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.

Advice from Gena. Personalized medicine is always the best type of medicine.

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Wholehearted Healthcare, P.C. · 4701 Bancroft Ave. · Lincoln, NE 68506 · USA

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