Helping you navigate through the second half of life with clarity, vision and purpose

Good Health: Head to Toe

© 2013 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

I have had a recent brush with cancer.  At a scheduled appointment, my dermatologist scanned my body and declared: “Everything is fine but that thing on the bottom of your foot has to go.”  It was a small, dark brown freckle. It seemed completely harmless.  I had never paid attention to it. It was not painful or irritating.  Just a freckle.  How long was it there?  I have no idea.

I was quickly referred to the Skin Care Clinic where a specialist froze the bottom of my foot and cut out the small mole.  I thought that was the end of it.  Two weeks later the same doctor phoned me and said:  “The results came back from the lab and the mole that was removed was melanoma.”  He did add that the lab report found it was very shallow and very low risk (they are much more concerned if the tumour is deeper into the skin and has more aggressive features); however, in this circumstance the practice is to remove further tissue from the surrounding area.

Several weeks later I had a second surgery to remove a circle of tissue on the bottom of my foot and a square of skin from my thigh was grafted onto the bottom of my foot to cover the surgery site.  Then I had a period of three to four weeks recovering at home.  I had excellent care from doctors and nurses, as well as follow-up.

This experience was a total jolt out of the blue.  During these years of the aging journey, I expect some of the health concerns others are facing:  aching joints, problems with eyesight, feet needing support, aging skin, declining flexibility.  But to have a melanoma on the bottom of my foot was a shock.  Also, I discovered this is not uncommon. My surgeon told me:  “You are the third person I have treated this week with the same thing.”

I avoided looking online and reading people’s horror stories with melanoma. Instead, I used healing visualizations, support from wonderful friends, as well as my own self-talk.  I kept saying and feeling that my body was cancer-free.  I found this was extremely helpful. Your thoughts are very powerful and help to create the resonance that you want.

The lab result came back from the second surgery:  no malignant cells were found.

Sometimes you might not be paying attention to all of your skin. Your skin is your largest organ, weighing about 6 to 8 lbs. and covers about two square meters. Your skin performs many important functions and can regenerate and repair itself under most conditions.  It is important to pay attention to your skin and to treat it with care.

Have a good Health Support Team:

It’s important to have a number of specialists whom you trust and who give excellent service to you. In the past I sometimes stayed with doctors who were mediocre and have decided I deserve excellent care. I now have health practitioners I trust and feel really good about.

You might have some of these on your Health Support Team:

  • doctor
  • dentist
  • podiatrist
  • optometrist
  • physiotherapist
  • massage therapist
  • chiropractor
  • dermatologist (yes!)
  • holistic health practitioner

As well, you might have a personal fitness trainer, a yoga instructor, a meditation teacher, a healer, or a therapist.  A lot of women go to an esthetician for facials and pedicures. These are not only cosmetic: they are wonderful for your taking care of your skin and your overall well-being.

Look at your current state of health and ask yourself if you have all the supports you need for optimal health and wellness.

Most people I talk to have not gone to a dermatologist and are very puzzled by my experience.  “A dermatologist?”, they ask. Now that I am talking about this, I hope some of my readers might be encouraged to get a check-up with a dermatologist.  Most likely everything is fine, but it is definitely worth knowing what is happening with your skin.  You also need to avoid tanning beds and to use sunscreen that protects both UVA and UVB rays from the sun.

If you are like me, you probably love the sun. When I found out I had melanoma, my head was swirling with questions like:  Is the sun my friend?  Am I paying a price for lying on the beach? Will I have to stay indoors?  One of the doctors told me that the tumour was not necessarily caused by sun-tanning and it could be genetically linked, although there is no history of skin cancer in my family. I will be followed up at the Cancer Agency for two years, which is a good thing.

It is important to take care of your total health: head to toe.  As you age, there are many things to be paying attention to and getting care for.  One of these is your precious skin.

Warm wishes,


2013: Opening Doors of Possibility

© 2013 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

“Sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
                                                                                        -Lewis Carroll

Welcome 2013!  Let’s embrace our new year.

The new year signals change:  fresh opportunities, new goals and a vision of what is possible. In the beginning of the year, you may sense you have the motivation to make some changes or to try something new. No matter what has happened in the past, you can make new choices now. You have the chance to start fresh as you experience doors opening before you. Picture doors of opportunity in front of you. See them opening. As you see a door opening, step through the doorway with enthusiasm and purpose.

We often live with limited views of ourselves and what is possible. This can feel like a dark screen over the lens of our life.  If this were removed, we would see endless possibilities. I think about astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in outer space, who is currently orbiting Earth many times each day. The photos of our planet are stunning and when I look at them, I feel inspired and moved. Chris not only stepped out of the box, he flew up into space and is staying there for months. You can see his photos online by clicking on this link or google Chris Hadfield.

In our essence, we are made of energy. We are radiating these qualities each moment: either expansion or contraction. It is up to us how we direct our thoughts and our energy. When we put restrictions on ourselves and the possibilities of our life, we don’t see what can manifest.

Consciously direct your self-talk

Our thoughts and feelings continually create the reality that is our life.  Notice how you are talking to yourself today.  Are you saying: “I can’t do that. I’m not smart enough.  It will never happen.”  Or are you saying: “I see that possibility in my life.  I’m going for it.” Thinking positively is a way to open yourself to new possibilities.

You may feel some of these obstacles:

* being afraid of making mistakes

* lacking energy or support

* worrying about the steps to get there

* leaving your comfort zone

Let this be the year you dare to dream

Start to picture what you want. Identify things you want in your life now.  Is it better health and wellness?  Is it closer relationships?  Is it simplifying your life and letting go of what no longer serves you? Is it traveling? Contributing to your community?

Picture a door in front of you.  It is opening and on the other side are immense possibilities. Make a concrete plan that you will share with another person. Sharing will help you solidify your direction.

Suggestions if you are feeling a little stuck:

* Get out of your routine and do something new

* Drive a new route or go to a new place

* Spend  time in nature, among trees or close to water

* Get the support you need.  Free 20 minute phone consultation with me by calling 604-435-9400.

Notice when you feel happy, content or when you shift to feeling expansive. Write about this in your journal or share with someone close to you.

 “I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities.”

                                                       -Whoopi Goldberg

May 2013 be a year when you step out of limitation and embrace new possibilities.

Warm wishes


To assist you in finding and opening the doors of Possibility in your life, please enjoy a guided audio meditation “Opening Doors of Possibility ” by clicking on this text.

Time for Rest and Reflection

© 2012 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

The afternoon of life is a time to listen deeply to your heart.
– Carl Jung

We are approaching the winter solstice and the end of our auspicious 2012.  After such a tumultuous year, this coming holiday season offers us an opportunity to rest and to reflect, and to deeply nurture ourselves.

We have all been aware of the significance of 2012. We are sensing we are at the beginning of massive changes and shifts in all areas of life. This is also a time of advancement in our spiritual growth. We are releasing old beliefs, ways of being and the sense that we are separate from each other.  I am noticing many people experiencing crisis or significant shifts in all areas: relationships, health, finances, work, and consciousness. As well, we are witnessing crisis in our world in many realms. These momentous shifts are preparing us for the new age we are entering.

Some questions I am asking myself:

  • What has this year brought me?
  • What have I appreciated most in 2012?
  • In what ways have I grown as a person, or learned something new?
  • Am I living my purpose?

As the days are now shorter and darker, many people feel the impulse to hibernate, to pull into themselves. I like to have my fireplace on, the Christmas lights sparkling and a few candles burning. Then I spend some time writing in my journal. This is a season to be reflective and to notice what is happening.  In order to prepare ourselves for what is in store in the coming year, we need to be deeply grounded, and to find the time and space to be quiet.

The holidays are filled with activity and it is easy to get so busy with “doing” that we neglect our self-care.

We need balance, including time for rest and to contemplate the journey our life is taking. When we don’t take time to nurture ourselves this way, we can end up feeling exhausted, burned out or that something is lacking.  Something is missing when we don’t spend any time at all reflecting on how our life is progressing and tending to our personal needs.

It is very important to take some time to be still and quiet.

* Meditate regularly or have a practice that enhances stillness and silence.

Carve out some time for this. A few minutes a day or an afternoon.   An evening.  These occasions are precious and an investment in your growth and awareness.  In stillness and silence we begin to experience calmness and peace.  This inner peace strengthens us.

*Make sure you get enough exercise and sleep.

Some questions you might contemplate:

  • What practices do you have that bring you rest and reflection?
  • What do you notice when you take time for quiet, with no distractions?
  • What do you need to pay more attention to?

When you spend a little time with these questions, you are fulfilling a need your soul has: to know how your journey is progressing and to set your sights on what is best for you. When you bring things into balance, you may be feeling that your life is on track.

Take time to be quiet and still.  Out of stillness comes deeper knowing and the inner strength that fortifies you for the times ahead.

I wish you a contented and nourishing holiday season.

Warm wishes,


Take time to listen to the guided meditation to help you find peace. Click on the title  to start the audio. B-Dineen-Peace_meditation