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

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." ---Ecclesiastes 3:1
A Time to Cultivate Mindfulness and Self-Compassion: Seasonal Patterns of the Mind
by Staff Writer

Have you ever heard someone say, "If you don't like the weather in Nebraska, just wait five minutes"? It does seem like the weather patterns here in the Heartland can change quickly.Picture of Rodin's "The Thinker" Sculpture One moment the temperature is "just right" and the breeze is gentle, and the next minute a hot and humid wind capable of blowing you off of the sidewalk whips up. Because of the way we humans are built, our thoughts and emotions can behave in the same way as the weather; they arise and pass away often in quick waves. One moment we may think we need to work harder, the next our supervisor changes our thought pattern by remarking what hard workers we are. One moment we are disappointed, the next excited. Thoughts and emotions are, by their very nature, impermanent.

Occasionally, though, thoughts and emotions persist. When negative, they can lead to depression. According to Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and John Kabat-Zinn in The Mindful Way through Depression, "around 12% of men and 20% of women will suffer major depression at some time in their lives." The first bout usually occurs in childhood, adolescence, or a person's early 20s and can linger for one to two years. Each time a person experiences a bout of depression, chances of yet another increases by 16%. 

Williams and colleagues insist that "the problem is not the sadness itself, but how our minds react to the sadness." That reaction is often our own worst enemy. We want to think our way out of our unhappiness or despair, but it just doesn't work. Our critical thinking skills keep us in what the authors call "doing mode," the mode of mind that helps us identify and solve problems. Unfortunately, this characteristic of our minds isn't the best approach to depression because it will bring us back, again and again, to the gap between what we want to think and feel and how we actually think and feel. The greater the distance, the greater the suffering. When we find ourselves drowning in the gap, that's what professionals call rumination.

"Another mode of mind altogether is required when it comes to dealing with unhappiness," say Williams, Teasdale, Segal, and Kabat-Zinn. "Being mode is the antidote to the problems that the doing mode of mind creates." We are called human beings for a reason. The heart of being mode, according to the authors, is mindfulness, or "the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally to things as they are." In other words, being mode is the opposite of doing mode. Rather than relentlessly "minding the gap," we learn to embrace life as it is in the moment, whatever that may be. It is not surprising, then, that mindfulness is enhanced through self-compassion. (Watch Segal discuss depression and mindfulness in a TED Talk.)

The Mindful Way through Depression teaches readers how to cultivate mindfulness in a way that allows them to not only notice or be aware of the present moment, but also to notice or be aware of "the particular mode of mind that gets us stuck when misapplied to ourselves and our emotional life." Williams and colleagues note that our thoughts and emotions are not the enemy. In fact, they intimately connect us with ourselves and the world around us; they are part of the thrill of being alive. When the difficult ones persist, however, we must find a way to be more at peace with them and with ourselves. Cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion can be one way to find that peace.
NOTE: Mindfulness practice may not be the only form of treatment appropriate for depression. If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of major depressionfeeling depressed or sad most of the day, having little or no interest in what usually brings you pleasure, losing or gaining weight rapidly, sleeping poorly, experiencing near-constant agitation, feeling exhausted, feeling worthless, having trouble concentrating, or having thoughts of death or suicideseek professional help as soon as possible. A mental health provider can assess the severity of your depression and collaborate with you on a plan of action.
A Time to Eat Well: One Day on the Mito Food Plan
by Staff Writer
Picture of Grilled Salmon and Green SaladOver the last six months, we've explored the Institute for Functional Medicine's (IFM's) Mito Food Plan, including articles on therapeutic fats, proteins, carbohydrates, beverages, and sweeteners. The plan incorporates foods and beverages known "to support healthy mitochondrial function while maintaining blood sugar and inflammatory balance." In other words, it helps prevent chronic illness, boosts energy, and enhances vitality. This month we bring all of the parts together and take a look at what a typical day's meals look like.
  • Spinach omelet (two eggs) with 1 cup spinach cooked in coconut oil
  • Small handful of pumpkin seeds or walnuts
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • Grass-fed beef or buffalo burger or an organic turkey burger*
  • 2 cups of salad greens (or a mixture of kale and greens)
  • 2 cups of raw veggies, tossed with olive oil and your favorite vinegar
  • A roasted seaweed snack
  • Wild salmon*
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli
  • Salad of 1½ cups greens, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup thinly sliced red cabbage, handful of almonds, and ¼ avocado, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
*Vegetarians and vegans can replace meat with other protein-rich foods such as beans, tofu, edamame, vegetables (especially leafy greens), hemp, chia, nuts, and more.

As we learned in a previous newsletter, IFM also recommends a daily intake of six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of pure, filtered water. Unsweetened coconut water, rich in minerals and electrolytes, can be counted as part of those six to eight glasses. Additionally, IFM suggests considering drinking up to two, 8-ounce servings of green tea daily because of its benefits to brain health.

Here's to a simple and healthy way to live long and prosper! (Yes, we did just reference Star Trek.) Peace to your palate and your plate.
NOTE: Gena is currently working toward her certification in Functional Medicine through IFM. Why functional medicine? Read more on Wholehearted Healthcare's website. Have more questions about the Mito Food Plan and how it might enhance your wellness journey? Gena welcomes meeting with you to discuss the plan further. Contact or (402) 730-9819 to schedule an appointment.
A Time to Unfollow: Weathering the Loss of Friendship
by Staff Writer

"Friends and lovers have much more in common than we realize," writes psychotherapist Jeanne Safer in the April 2016 issue of Psychology Today. In her article "Broken Bridge," Safer relates the story of letting go of a close friendship and the sense of loss and emotional pain that comes with such a decision. Of course, some casual friendships organically bloom and fade with seasons of life, physical moves across the country or globe, job transitions, and more. But some friendships—the ones that are close and deep, the ones that usually last despite changing circumstances—these are the ones that can cause the most suffering when they fall apart.

One reason for the suffering, explains Shapiro, is that "there is no term to describe the breakup of a passionate friendship, no ritual or legal proceeding to mark its end the way divorce does for marriage, even though it leaves just as large a hole in the psyche." These soul friends don't come along every day; they are not easily replaced. So when the relationship ends, they take a serious toll on our hearts.

Sometimes there are obvious reasons close friends part ways. "Subtle envy and competition can eat away at trust; changes in fortune can create barriers that eventually become unbreachable," says Shapiro. Also, as we learned last month from Brené Brown and her Super Soul Session "The Anatomy of Trust," there can be no relationship without trust. If friends don't have clear boundaries, if they can't rely on each other to do what they say they are going to do, if they aren't accountable to each other, if they don't hold each other's stories in confidence, if they don't act from integrity, if they judge one another, or if they can't take the most generous perspective of each other's words and actions, the relationship is likely to become toxic and even traumatic in some cases.

"When we trust," affirms Brown, "we are braving connection with someone." When that connection is severely damaged or broken, the smartest, most self-compassionate, and most difficult decision may be to unfollow each other—not only on Facebook, but also in real life. Most of us don't make that decision casually or without deep consideration because letting go of a close friend, Shapiro points out, "undermine[s] a cherished and tenacious assumption—that there are at least a few people you can always count on, no matter what, that their love transcends any conflict, that you can always talk it over, that you are as indispensable to them as they are to you." The literal death of a friend can be easier to accept than the death of a friendship.

How do we, then, weather the loss of someone we have loved dearly? "When there is something meaningful to retrieve from a past relationship," assures Shapiro, "celebrating it is a genuine compensation for loss." What was real? What was true? Hold fast to those things and, with time, the suffering can transform itself into appreciation.
NOTE: You can read Safer's complete article in the April 2016 print version of Psychology Today or on the magazine's website.
A Time to Journal: Friendship and the State of Your Heart
by Staff Writer

Quote: Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul. ---UnknownIn our very first newsletter, we defined this section, Spirituality, as a space to explore what it means to consciously slow down from our busy lives and check in with ourselves. We determined that spirituality is about tending to our hearts, taking a few moments each day to focus on our spiritual beings and ask ourselves, "What is the state of my heart?" In turn, we listen closely to our answers.

As you can understand from your own experiences and the article above about weathering the loss of close friendships, the people we hold closest to our hearts have the greatest impact on our lives. Spend a few moments on the following journal prompt:
  • Have I surrounded myself with friends who make me hungry for life, who touch my heart, and who nourish my soul?
This is a serious question, isn't it? If you answered "no," spend some time journaling about your response:
  • How have the friends in my life become close to me? How are they affecting the state of my heart? Do I need to reconsider some of my connections?
This can be a painful yet essential process. Only you can answer these difficult questions. And only you can decide what to do next.

If you answered "yes" to the first question, be grateful! Take a few moments to journal your responses to these prompts:
  • What do I appreciate about my friends? Exactly how do they satiate my hunger for life? How do they touch my heart? How do they nourish my soul? Be specific.
In the coming days and weeks, maybe you can share your thoughts with those friends you hold most dear.

Finally, it's worth considering yourself as a friend. Are you the kind of friend you want in your life? Slow down. Ask the question. Listen to your soul's response.
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 Sounds Meditation
Wednesday, September 7 and 21, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

A spiritual immersion in the therapeutic vibrations of singing bowls, tuning forks, bells, gongs, koshi chimes, and more led by VJ Herbert. 

Space is limited. 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. VJ currently lives in Lincoln where he continues his work and education in sound healing and directs his new and upcoming vocal music group Xion.

Those interested in a personal session may contact VJ directly via email: He will discuss further details with you, including time and location. A private, hour-long session is $45.
Mindful Mondays
Monday, September 12 and 19, 7:00-8:00 a.m.

Bring your yoga mat, sitting cushion, or meditation mat, and join Gena by the pond (or inside the clinic, if it's raining) 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.
Meditation and Movement
Wednesday, September 14 and 28, 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. 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.
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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