I Am Grateful! He Is Not My Pope

Source: Yahoo
Source: Yahoo

Yesterday, as I was conversing with friends on Facebook, I was seeing a variety of different posts about the new pope, Pope Francis. Many were encouraged. More were unhappy and disappointed with the lack of progress that is being made by the Catholic church.


I suppose it is much easier for me to look at this with an objective outlook, he is not my Pope. For some reason, ever since I was a young girl, I have questioned the “rules and laws” espoused by any church that smacked of injustice, inequality, judgment, and a lack of inclusion. I am not surprised that the new pope follows the doctrines of the Catholic church without question. He would never have made it to Cardinal status if he did not, and would never have been viewed as a viable candidate for Pope if he did not.

This outlook, of course, has helped my spirit resonate with the First Agreement of Toltec Wisdom as written about by don Miguel Ruiz in his book, The Four Agreements. The First Agreement states “Be Impeccable With Your Word”. Underneath that agreement is the concept of looking at the agreements you have made with your tribe (family, friends, church community, teachers) and your culture, both ancient and current. These are agreements you have made without reservation, without thought as to whether they are true for you. Without asking the question, “does my spirit resonate with this agreement”, and listening for the truth from deep inside.

As I think about the views held by Pope Francis with an intention of standing in non-judgment and staying assumption free, taking him at his word – I see that he strongly believes in helping the world’s poor, protecting women and children from abuse and exploitation, he opposes abortion and views choice as a “death movement” and he opposes same-sex marriage stating, as reported by L’Osservatore Romano:

“In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.

Let’s not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God’s plan. This is not a mere legislative proposal (that’s just its form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God… Let’s look to St. Joseph, Mary, and the Child to ask fervently that they defend the Argentine family in this moment… May they support, defend, and accompany us in this war of God. “


I can only bless Pope Francis, and know that these are his truths – that they may have come from his culture and/or his tribe. I cannot judge him, but my truths are not his in all cases. I recognize that I cannot change him, or his church. And, I am not responsible for him.

So, let me be impeccable with my word:

  • I agree with helping our fellow (wo)man. None should be abused or exploited. The ill deserve our love, compassion, and to be cared for. Humanity, not just women and children deserve our love, compassion, and to be cherished and not be abused. The elderly deserve our love, compassion, and our monetary support so that they might be able to share their wisdom without fear of destitution.
  • I believe a woman must be given the right to choose abortion under certain relatively narrow circumstances. This is my truth – based on my experiences in life and my belief in responsible choice.
  • And, as I watch the very elderly, and very sick people around me, I also believe they should be allowed the right to remove themselves from pain. This does not “make them disposable and worthless”, it honors them. This is my truth, and is based on my life experiences, and the stated desire of my parents.
  • I also honor the hundreds of LGBT people in my life. It has been a strong part of my life’s journey to embrace this wonderful community, and to be accepted by them as an ally and advocate. This is my truth, and I cannot believe that this is “a war of God” or that this is not “God’s plan”. Perhaps it is because I believe that being gay is part of God’s plan, to teach us that we are all unique, treasured and loved. And, that we should treat everyone with compassion and more than just tolerance or acceptance – but embrace them for who they are. My Grandma Violet used to say “God doesn’t make junk!” And those are words to live by.

I am grateful he is not my Pope, and I honor him for living his truth. I am free to listen to my heart, to act on my truth, and to love  and support without passing judgment, without taking away freedom and the right to choice, and to extend the hand of compassion and peace. I am free to change my world, one person at a time.



Taking Care of Your Brain

I’ve been reading quite a bit about nourishing our bodies, removing the toxins, what to eat, and what supplements to take, if any, to help us treat our bodies well.  I don’t claim to be an expert at this, but I’m always happy to share what I learn with others.

Of course, knowing what we now know about the drugs that our doctors give us to help us “live” longer, the dangers we face when we eat a slice of bacon (said facetiously), the poisons we willingly put in our body, eat margarine, butter is bad for you, etc., we all know that scientific knowledge needs to be looked at carefully, and we need to discern what is right for us. Having said all that somewhat tongue in cheek, I need to tell you that I am not a medical doctor, nor am I a scientist. I offer you information, and it is up to you to determine what you want to do with it. As I read more, I will be posting blogs – so keep checking in, okay?

Now that is done, here as some interesting things I have learned about the brain:

  • Your brain contains about a hundred billion neurons, and another trillion support cells.
  • Most neurons fire five to fifty times a second, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Your brain weighs about three pounds – about 2-3% of your bodyweight.
  • It needs 25% of the glucose in your blood. (I wish the rest of my body were as efficient!)
  • 60% of the dry weight of the brain consists of healthy fats (Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9)
  • The neurotransmitters that carry information from one neuron to another are built from even smaller parts, assisted by biochemicals.
    • Example: Serotonin – is made from tryptophan with the aid of iron and vitamin B6.  Serotonin supports your mood, digestion, and sleep.
  • Significant shortages of dozens of nutrients will harm your body and your brain.
    • Vitamins B12, B6, and folate shortages will create a depressed mood
    • Vitamin D shortage causes a weaker immune system, dementia, and a depressed mood. Severe shortage will cause rickets.
    • DHA shortage will cause a depressed mood
    • Eating healthy foods and supplementing where necessary will bring more energy, resilience and well being.
    • Small changes in the neurochemistry of your brain can create big changes in your mood, resilience, memory, concentration, thoughts, feelings and desires.
    • It is vital that we also protect our brain from negative factors like toxins, inflammation, and stress

“Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain”
― Santiago Ramón y Cajal


What I am learning is that you can’t do it all at once. Changes in the way we eat, the way we live, and the exercise we get can only take place one step at a time. Over our lifetime we have become addicted and/or habituated to what we put in our mouth, the things we do in our daily lives that are not healthy for us, taking the word of medical personnel as gospel (there is a reason it is called practicing medicine), and getting limited amounts of exercise. Just as we have been working on our mind and spirit over the last weeks, we must also begin to work on our body. Why? Because it affects our mind and our spirit, and we want to continue to grow and prosper, and to create balance in our lives.

So, my word of caution. Read these actions that I am suggesting. Pick one or two things each week to begin to change. Talk to your doctors to get their input and permission.  Get blood work done along the way for documentation as to what your body is doing with the changes you are making. DO NOT stop taking any medication without your doctor’s approval.

Pay attention to how your body feels as you change what you are doing.  Start becoming aware of what your body is telling you, and shift accordingly.


  • Eat 3-4 ounces of protein at every meal.  This is about 21 g of protein at each meal. This will give you vital amino acids plus help regulate blood sugar and insulin. But this really depends on you – the individual. Western nutrition says we should consume .36 grams of protein per 1 lb of body weight. This doesn’t work out mathematically for the most part, because it assumes we are all very active people. Which we aren’t. So, do the research based on you and your lifestyle.
  • Blood sugar – the bane of my life. Let’s keep it under control, shall we? This means we must cut out the white stuff – sugar and white flour carbohydrates. When we eat too much of the white stuff, our insulin levels rise – and then they crash – leaving us tired, fussy, and our minds foggy. And, when our insulin is high much of the time, you begin sliding down the slippery slope toward type 2 diabetes.  So, let’s talk about carbs….
  • The general recommendation is to have 5060% of your calories come from carbohydrates.If you are on a 2000 calorie diet, 1000 – 1200 calories should come from carbohydrates. Since carbs contain 4 calories per gram, you should eat between 250 and 200 grams each day.  Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel, so you must eat carbohydrates in order to function. However, if you are already pre-diabetic or a type 2 diabetic, you should control your carb choices carefully. Again, the amount you really need is based upon your gender, lifestyle and weight.
    • Good Carbs – Whole grains, legumes and oats. These are complex carbs which contain longer chains of sugar molecules which usually take more time for the body to break down and use. This provides you with energy. Fruits and vegetables are actually simple carbohydrates, but the more fiber they contain changes the way the body processes their sugars and slows down their digestion, making them a bit more like complex carbohydrates
    • “BAD” Carbs – sugar, white flour carbohydrates, rice, potatoes, pastries and dessertscandy, artificial syrups, soda. These are simple carbs and should be minimized as much as you can. They are composed of simple-to-digest, basic sugars with little real value for you body. The higher in sugar and lower in fiber, the worse the carbohydrate is for you.
    • Scenarios
      • A woman who wants to lose weight might want to eat between 30-55 g carbs per meal
      • A man who wants to lose weight may be able to eat about 50-65 g carbs per meal
      • A woman who wants to maintain weight can bump the carb intake up to 45 – 60 g carbs per meal
      •  A man who wants to maintain weight should be able to bump up carbs to 60 – 75 g carbs per meal
      • An active woman (we are assuming that the previous scenarios were not active J) can take in as many as 56-75 g carbs per meal. This is because your muscles use insulin more effective when you are active. This reduces insulin resistance and helps decrease blood glucose levels
      • An active man moves up to about 65 – 90 g carbs per meal
      • A woman with Gestational Diabetes should eat between 30 – 60 g carbs per meal. Your baby needs nourishment from you all day long (24 hours), so it’s important to spread calories and carb loads evenly throughout the day, eating snacks as necessary to keep your counts level.
  • Glycemic Index –  (http://glycemicindex.com/about.php )The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health. Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.

Recent studies from Harvard School of Public Health indicate that the risks of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease are strongly related to the GI of the overall diet. In 1999, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recommended that people in industrialised countries base their diets on low-GI foods in order to prevent the most common diseases of affluence, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

  • Eat lots of dark-colored fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, kale, beets, carrots, and broccoli. These foods contain important nutrients that support memory, protect your brain against oxidation, and may reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Take a broad-spectrum multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Look for 5 – 10 times daily dose of B vitamins, and 100% of the daily dose of minerals
    • Most of us don’t get all the vitamins and minerals we need from the food we eat. This could be a time factor in that we don’t have or take the time to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. But, more importantly, when we purchase our food from a store, rather than grow our own, we lose the valuable nutrition that comes into the fruit of a plant in the last 2-3 days before it is fully ripened. This is because the produce is picked before it is ripe so that it will survive the time it takes to transport it from field to store, and subsequently to your home.  This is one reason why you see a huge growth in Farmer’s markets and local produce stores.
  • Take 2-3 capsules of a high quality fish oil. You are looking for at least 500 milligrams of DHA (decosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaonoic acid). If you don’t want fish oil – try a combination of flax oil and DHA from algae, but fish oil is the most effective way to get Omega-3 oils into your body and brain.
  • Drink PH balanced or alkaline water to reduce the acidity in your body. I drink Kangan® water, and have been for about six months now, and I feel so much better.


  • Avoid toxins.Of course, there is the obvious: don’t sniff glue, buy organic vegetables if you can to eliminate pesticides, don’t stand upwind of gasoline fumes, be careful of household cleaners, and so on. Be careful about alcohol. Alcohol makes you feel a buzz by depriving brain cells of oxygen. And, then there are the not so obvious toxins we ingest daily – fluoride in our drinking water and toothpaste and chlorine in our drinking water.
    • Fluoride is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. It is a cumulative poison that accumulates in the bone over the years. It can cause skin eruptions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema or urticaria. Gastric distress, headache and weakness have also been reported. Mayo Clinic reported that fluoride increases hig fracture rate and bone fragility. Procter and Gamble found that as little as half the amount of fluoride used to fluoridate public water supplies resulted in a sizable and significant increase in genetic damage. The National Cancer Institute has indicated that 10,000 or more fluoridation-linked cancer deaths occur yearly in the United States; cancers such as liver, oral, bone, and osteosarcoma. It has also been shown to inhibit enzyme systems, damage the immune system contribute to calcification of soft tissues, worsen arthritis and cause dental fluorosis in children. And, surprisingly, recent studies show that it is not effective in reducing tooth decay.
    • Chlorine – when combined with certain phytochemical nutrients have been discovered to form cancer causing substances. This discovery includes familiar foods including soy, fruits, vegetables, tea, many health products, and some prescriptions.
  • Reduce inflammation. When your immune system activates to deal with an infection or allergen, it sends chemical messengers called cytokines throughout your body. Unfortunately, because these chemicals can linger in your brain, it may lead to a slump in mood and even depression.

Practical steps you can take would be to wash your hands often, and avoid foods that set off your immune system. Many people are allergic to gluten grains (wheat, oats, ruy) and/or dairy products. You can go get medical tests, or test this on your own. Just go to zero with both these food groups for two weeks and see if you notice a difference in your health. If you do, stay away from them.

  • Go play physically every day! Not only is it fun, but it promotes the growth of new neural structures, including the birth of new brain cells.
  • Relax. The stress hormone cortisol sensitizes the fight-or-flight alarm bell of the brain and weakens the area (hippocampus) which helps put the brakes on stress reactions. And, since the hippocampus is critical for making memories, a daily diet of stress makes it harder to learn new things or put your feelings in context.
  • Sleep. Get plenty of sleep. You’ve probably noticed that when you don’t get enough good quality sleep, it is harder to concentrate the next day. And did you know that memories of the day are “filed away” in the brain while we sleep? People who suffer from sleep disturbances often experience memory problems. But many sleep disorders are treatable, so speak to your healthcare provider if you experience trouble falling asleep, bothersome wakeful periods during the night, or snoring (which might suggest sleep apnea—a disorder that causes interruption in breathing during sleep).
  • Statins. Review the literature that has come out on statins and the affect they can have on the functionality of your brain. Alternatives to also review are: red yeast rice, niacin, plant sterols, psyllium (in Metamucil), flaxseed oil and soy.

This is only a small part of what I am learning, and I can’t wait to share more.   If you are interested in learning more – watch for blogs at http://georgiafeiste.com – it is my intention to begin sharing what I’m reading and trying on my own to become a much healthier person as I move fully into the next chapter in my life. My doctors just want to give me another pill rather than help me learn, and I’m already taking 3 too many. My goal is to be healthy, without drugs.

Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, and Phoenix, AZ, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

Dear Woman… Response

I caught this YouTube post today on Facebook.  I would like to hear your response.  Mine is below.

Dear Men:  Thank you for recognizing that men and women can stand side by side in this life; in all aspects of our relationship, and in integrity with our core values and beliefs.  Men and women alike would do well to live by the values and statements you have made.  This is not a one sided journey, and I applaud the men in this video who have taken the first step in reaching out to women, and offering their thoughts on how we might move forward.  By moving intentionally in this direction as humanity, “together we can make miracles”.


The Woman Who Thinks She Can

Have Faith in yourself; Faith in the Source

Religious leaders tell us to have “faith”, but they fail to tell people how to have faith.  They have not told anyone that faith is a state of mind, and applies to every aspect of your life, not just your religion. 

Your belief or faith is the primary building block to the action of your subconscious mind.  It is the foundation of your character.  Most twelve step programs capitalize on this concept by suggesting that you act as if what you want/desire is already true, i.e., as if you were already in possession of the physical reality which you desire.  The more you practice this behavior, the more “real” it becomes until it is second nature and has manifested into reality.

The mind begins to take on the character of the thoughts that dominate it.  This is why it is critical to encourage and practice positive emotions as the primary energy of your mind, and discourage negative emotions.  If you think back on your life, and what you have told yourself over and over about who you are, and what you are capable of,  has it come to be, whether true or not?  Each of us is what we are because of the prevailing thoughts with which we occupy our minds. 

I am reminded of John, a man I have known for a very long time.  He has told himself since he was a child that he is stupid, slow, and unintelligent.  He believes this with his whole being.  He struggles with reading – he is dyslexic – and he can’t spell, or construct grammatically correct sentences.  And, if you sit down to talk to him about the history of the United States since World War I, he can keep you enthralled for hours.  He can accomplish this enormous task, even if you have no interest in history.  But, because of his beliefs about himself, he struggles in many areas of his life, and has nothing positive to say about himself in relation to most of society. He considers himself a failure.  We are working on creating a positive self image by recognizing and celebrating his successes.  When he doesn’t allow himself to be frustrated by his physical challenges, he is brilliantly alive with his greatness.

Faith is the “miracle” of life, which gives strength, focus and clarity to the energy of thought.

Faith is the only known answer to FAILURE.  It helps you keep your eye on the goal.  It encourages you to learn lessons from the obstacles placed in your way.  It keeps you going even though what you are trying and practicing may not be yielding the results you desire. 

Thomas Edison did over 3,000 experiments before he perfected the light bulb.  He had faith in his dreams. 

So, how do you have Faith; faith in yourself, your abilities and your strength?

  • Write down your major purpose.  Commit it to memory and repeat it, out loud and frequently throughout the day.  Say it with emotion, and passion. 

Compare this purpose to a seed you are planting, fertilizing and watering on a daily basis.  It will begin to germinate, grow and multiply itself over and over again, until it becomes an integral part of who you are.

  • Make a list of your strengths, gifts and beliefs.  If you are struggling with moving forward with your greatest desire, you may find that your greatest weakness is lack of self-confidence.   Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, and Jack Canfield, The Success Principles, suggest some steps you can take to build your self-confidence. 
    • Acknowledge that you have the ability to achieve your purpose in life.  Promise that you will take persistent, continuous action toward it’s attainment.
    • Concentrate your thoughts for 30 minutes daily on who you are willing to be, creating a clear and focused mental picture of that person.
    • Spend 10 minutes each day to the development of self-confidence by creating tests for situations that cause you discomfort.
    • Keep repeating steps 3 and 4 until you have developed enough self-confidence to reach success in your purpose in life.
    • Make it a principle in your to life to not participate or engage in any endeavor that does not benefit everyone whom it affects. 
  • Your passion for your purpose will attract others of like mind, and because of your willingness to serve others, you will inspire others to do the same. 
  • Success will be yours when you lead authentically, because you believe in others, and in yourself. 

I am reminded of a poem, written by Walter D. Minten, entitled “The (Wo)Man Who Thinks (S)He Can

If you think you are beaten, you are,

If you think you dare not, you don’t

If you like to win, but you think you can’t,

It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost

For out of the world we find,

Success begins with a person’s will –

It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,

You’ve got to think high to rise,

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster (wo)man

But soon or late the one who wins

Is the one WHO THINKS (S)HE CAN!

What Do Women Want?

Yesterday, one of my great Twitter friends, William Powell (commonly known as @LeadrshpAdvisor), alerted me to a trending topic on Twitter: #whatdowomenwant.  I monitored the topic off and on throughout the day, and after sifting through some of the more graphic posts, I have distilled the following major themes from the twitter flow: 

  • Women want to be admired. 
  • Women want to be deeply respected.
  • Women want to be listened to.
  • Women want to be loved.

Within these four, subtopics arose:  Women want to be understood, safe, and secure.  Women want their relationships to be based on honesty, commitment, loyalty, balance and choice. Women want to be happy. 

And, finally, as a sign of our times and culture – women want clothes, shoes, purses, money, etc. 

Many of the men that commented firmly believe that women don’t know what they want.  After watching the stream for a period of time, I would encourage these men to listen to the women in their lives.  I think they really DO know what they want, and one of the first things they want is to be listened to.  Much of what they were saying was buried under superficial words and the energy of the conversation was hiding underneath the surface. 

It strikes me that what was being said in this sometimes frantic conversation yesterday is applicable throughout the entirety of our lives, whether in our relationships, our physical vitality, our spiritual life, or our work.  These are very core values, wants and desires for most people on this planet.   The women responding to this stream are not unique – just more hooked in to social media, and not afraid to put their thoughts out there for all the world to see.

As I mused on these observations overnight – as I am wont to do – I concluded that this has been part of my personal growth over time – and while I am still not perfect, I have made giant leaps forward in my thinking.  So, I would like to share a thought with those who might resonate with this.    If you want to be admired, respected, listened to and loved, you first must give that to yourself, moment by moment throughout the day.  Then you must look around you to your relationships – family members, spouse, partner, co-workers, and people you touch daily – and give those same things to them.  Constant daily practice will create major changes in your life – and you will find that you have gained the admiration, respect, attention and love not only from those around you, but from yourself. 

And, you will be happy.

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership transition coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master.  Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find her on her websites http://www.collaborativetransitions.com and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com   Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.

The Gift

 Life sometimes hands us a challenge, an opportunity to enter a state of being we may never have thought possible.  It can be a job loss, or a promotion.  It can be the loss of a family member, or the birth of a baby.  Or it can be a life threatening disease…

Please watch this from Stacey Kramer, who offers a moving, personal, 3-minute parable that shows how an unwanted experience — frightening, traumatic, costly — can turn out to be a priceless gift.