Women in Wellness: “Why it’s essential to reduce negativity in your life” With Author Cheryl Ivaniski
Reduce negativity in your life. Everyone wants to live a more positive life, but there are always negative influences that just seem to be there trying to stop you. They might come from the outside or from within you. Wherever they come from, there are hundreds of things that put dents in your motivation, self-confidence and happiness. It could be a friend or family member who seems only to criticize you, or kids that drive you crazy, or it could be a nasty habit that you can’t shake, or an environment you put yourself in. Negative thought patterns can hold you back when you can’t help but assume how else things could be or simply the worst all the time. But you don’t want these bad influences to rule your life.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cheryl Ivaniski.
Having survived serious health challenges, Cheryl set her sights sharply on mastering a Holistic Way of Living so she could serve health professionals, business professionals, colleges/academia and those with Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes. For over 28 years, Cheryl has shared her experience, education and expertise in Holistic Wellness, the Power of Mindset, Leadership Skills and Wealth Building Strategies internationally. Cheryl has gone on to co-author books with some of the Top World Thought Leaders including Jack Canfield (New York Times Best Selling Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series), Les Brown, Dr. John Gray, Brian Tracey and others. Cheryl’s latest book, Having a Life of More was inspired by her 100-year-young Grandpa. It earned her International Status as a Global Award Winning Author. With her best selling books, her background in traditional medicine, her Doctorate in Holistic Studies, Nutrition and Acupuncture, and treating and coaching clients for over 28 years, she excels in delivering the latest, leading-edge holistic wellness programs so you can thrive!
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Having watched my grandma struggle for 40 years with loss of vision, mobility, independence and eventually the shutting down of her kidneys and heart, until one day Diabetes took her life and I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (and Hashimotos disease) over 24 years ago. Specialists said I should expect the onset of scary complications and told me to prepare for a grim future. I took a stand that my life was not going to be the same. I mastered the Holistic Lifestyle and have since been living a very vibrant life! My mission brought me from teams of health professionals using the traditional approach, to going back to University and studying alternative methods to wellness — how to heal from the inside out, to be proactive rather than reactive, and how holistic self-care can elevate your wellness leaps and bounds!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Since starting my career, I had gone to over 5 different specialists with symptoms that interfered with my daily living. Each time I was dismissed even though I asked for tests. Since my preliminary blood work showed no cause or concern to them, they denied any other tests be done. My outreach to them and my asks for help were unheard.
What is more interesting, is I was picking up a friend from a post-operative cancer care appointment from his specialist’s office one afternoon. I was there as support to my friend. What happened is the Dr. looked at me said he saw grey all around me. He sat me down in his examination room. He immediately did an examination and ordered a specialized test to be done within 24 hours. He literally took my hand and personally took me to another floor in his building for the test. I was told to come back to his office personally the next day 24 hours later.
I told him I had already been to see over 5 specialists over the past 6l years and not one of them would believe me or take next steps. I was told had someone been willing to listen to me I would likely not be my current condition requiring medication for life.
I am grateful for that Dr. to this day.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
My Biggest mistake was following the system that I knew didn’t work yet I had no place else to turn to. I searched and searched for other options, but all there was for me was the mainstream approach to dietary eating including highly processed, high flour and high sugar every day foods. This was the only education there was at the time and it is much like this today. An education lesson, the dietitians would take a small group to the hospital cafeteria and you would buy your meal and they would go through it with you. Ie Jello, sandwich, rice pudding . They went through servings but not carbohydrate counting teaspoons of sugar nor could they answer questions about the glycemic index of foods and what that meant. I soon learned exactly why my grandmother’s health and diabetes was out of control like so many of the millions of people in the world. The system was not supporting them, it was exasperating the problem.
I learned to not take this way as living as the only way and began my quest to learn all I could about new ways of fueling my body .I learned to not take the information I was given as the gospel and read, go to courses, and take action to learn more. I am an action taker.
That began my quest in research and talking to more Dr’s. I learned this through testing my sugars a minimum of 20 times every day for the first 5 years to learn exactly what food caused what kind of reaction to my sugar levels both individually and in combinations. I also volunteered in research studies with Drs. doing glycemic index studies and learned so much more.
I learned to avoid the biggest triggers and self taught myself healthier swap and healthier choices all by trial and error . I travelled to the USA to Florida to some wellness centers and abroad to learn more. I began learning about carbohydrate counting which was not taught here at the time and this was the beginning of a new approach to eating, choices, cooking etc.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am grateful for those before me and what they went through. Their experiences show us what doesn’t work at the cost of their own quality of life and longevity like my grandmother and so many others. We need to take that information and build on it and apply it in our lives.
My grandpa has been instrumental as a man of the land who had vegetable crops and fruit orchards, etc..He made everything homemade from mushrooms, garlic, onions, beans, and lived so much from the earth, so he and grandma and my parents were instrumental in home based cooking. There have been Dr.s in studies such as Dr. Vladimir Vuksan who I learned all about the glycemic from who spent days weeks and so many hours with me. I was a good subject for him and he was a good teacher for me.
I appreciate the people at companies who are technology savvy creating new blood sugar testing technologies, new levels of glucometers and monitoring systems for people with diabetes. I appreciate new applications and new delivery systems for people with diabetes. Wish they would focus on the cure!
I appreciate the community of natural and alternative therapies including the nutraceutical world of vitamins and minerals, herbal medicine , sound and energy therapy, nutritional excellence in nutrient dense food options, mind body medicine, alkaline water systems, redox companies , sleep companies to help with a great night’s sleep so important ,and so many other practices that add health benefits and healing capabilities .
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
The focus of my work is in helping people access and advance their health and healing through the power of Mindset- Mindshift. I inspire, empower and educate people in heightening their awareness and expanding their consciousness . This allows them to nurture their own healing of mind, body and spirit for an enriched quality of life. I help them see what else is possible beyond where they are today in their current health situation, by heightening their visibility for new outcomes.
As more and more people experience how mindshift, this can help them connect with their inner self — so they too can experience a higher connection to self allowing them to hear their own body’s whispers and feelings so they can translate them into healthy choices giving their bodies, minds, and souls what they need to heal.
If we are not willing to connect to our inner and higher selves, we give up on and forfeit the right to a better life, the opportunity to grow and impact our lives and the lives of others. We give up before we try. We settle rather than expand. We limit our own capabilities when there is no reason to. Shifting from limiting beliefs and deficiencies to abundance and the more factor is integral in my work and living a purposeful life.
This makes an impact in people’s lives around the world for self healing , for others and communities of people. I want to help expand that.
One mindset area I focus on is in preventing and reversing serious health challenges. One area in particular is pre diabetes and type 2 diabetes. I stand for people with pre diabetes and type 2 diabetes to live into a diabetes free world. For those with type 1 diabetes, like me, I hold hope for reversal. My stand in the now is to live well by optimizing insulin efficiency and living into a complication free world. All those with diabetes would then gain 5- 15 years back to their life and quality into the days.
This mindset works for health issues, money issues, relationship issues, and life issues.
As a thought leader-my new movement is all about heightening our mental and emotional awareness and harnessing that power to move our mindset into new mind shifting places and living into a healthier tomorrow . This allows people with their own health challenges to expand their mind and beliefs and give themselves permission to invite new life experiences including better health.
By envisioning and focusing on becoming diabetes free and free of complications we can create a diabetes free world. How? We call ourselves to live into each day differently and thus action ourselves differently than we have in the past. Do we want convenience or quality? Since it is now proven that we can prevent and reverse 90 % of all diabetes, look at the hundreds of millions of lives we can impact worldwide. That can mean no more leg and foot pain and ulcers that don’t heal from diabetes, no more non traumatic amputations, no more heart attacks and strokes from diabetes , no more loss of vision and blindness from high blood sugar levels, no more end stage renal failure less depression, less periodontal disease, it goes on and on How can life be different? I say we teach people how to honor their bodies, hearts and minds and show them how to appreciate and support their bodies such that they can add 5 -15 year to their life and quality into their days. Not to mention the money people will save every year to enjoy for their own life and new life experiences with family. The average family spend 14,700.00 annual on diabetes needs. Take that amount and x that by the number of years and you could be enjoying up to $200,000.00 + for your own life.
I write international bestselling and global award winning books, offer life changing coaching programs, free fb groups, retreats, webinars, masterclasses, I am a speaker, and so much more . I also partner with other world leaders to bring holistic diabetes solutions to people
I welcome the opportunity to partner with companies and people who affect positive change and share similar values. I show my blood sugar levels live and my hbaic averages as an example of what is possible. I live the difference and want others to also.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
Mindset is Magic in your Life — Mindshift
The power of the mind is magical. How we fuel our thoughts, how we talk to ourselves, our self chatter and repetitive patterns of thinking, they often pre determine how we feel and our quality of heal and healing. In fact they can determine how well we heal, how fast we heal or at times even if we heal. Our mindset is based on our past experience. The good news is as we become more and more aware of how we think, we can create the space allowing new thoughts in our lives.
Mindshift is a change in your focus. When you want to experience new and different outcomes in your life, especially with your health, it is all about your awareness and noticing your self chatter and thoughts. Once you become more and more aware, this is when you have access to shifting your perception and welcoming new possibilities in your life. Mind shift can happen because as you reposition your focus and attention on the one thing you do want, you allow yourself to become laser focused on that outcome.
It is about letting go of past thoughts and recognizing the power you give them. You can notice them by simply taking a few quiet moments, breathing deeply and you will become more aware of the thoughts occupying your mind. There will be thoughts that don’t serve you and others that do. It is about releasing the thoughts that you don’t want, and choosing the ones that you do want. To help you notice your thoughts and where your mind goes, a great exercise is to journal your thoughts in a book. On one side of the page write the limiting thoughts and on the right side replace those thoughts with new ones to attract your desired outcome. As you embrace these changes, this is when you can experience new levels of self-empowerment, and harness more positive life experiences and more of those ah ha moments that can change your life . The goal is to be creating more and more ah ha moments.
How to Win Over Stress — Kick Stress to the Curb!
We all live with different levels of stress at different times in our life. If you’re living with higher levels of stress and multiple stresses at one time, this may be putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional balance, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. It may seem like there’s nothing you can do about stress. The bills won’t stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might currently think. Effective stress management helps you break the hold stress has on your life, freeing you up, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun. There are many great exercises to help with this . You may want to refer to my book The Authorities where I talk about stress. Also visit cherylivaniski.com and holisticdiabetessolutions.com to learn more on how to kick stress to the curb for good!
Reduce the negativity in your life.
Reduce negativity in your life. Everyone wants to live a more positive life, but there are always negative influences that just seem to be there trying to stop you. They might come from the outside or from within you. Wherever they come from, there are hundreds of things that put dents in your motivation, self-confidence and happiness. It could be a friend or family member who seems only to criticize you, or kids that drive you crazy, or it could be a nasty habit that you can’t shake, or an environment you put yourself in. Negative thought patterns can hold you back when you can’t help but assume how else things could be or simply the worst all the time. But you don’t want these bad influences to rule your life. If you want to stop them from controlling you, you need to learn ways to dismiss them from your life and cut them loose. This takes time, patience and awareness, and although it may seem like a difficult thing to do, you can. So, Believe in you, and don’t let such things get you down. It is the small tweaks and changes that you let sweep through you every day replacing the old how’s that will change your life little by little each day.
Eating Well !
Contrary to what most people think, eating healthy doesn’t mean feeling hungry all the time or eating nothing but lettuce for the rest of your life. Much like sleep, your body likes consistency when it comes to what and when you are regularly eating healthy foods. It’s about sourcing the best nutrients, absorbing them and so your body can easily use them. So its about where you get these nutrients and then enjoying them. It about being creative and using vegetables, fruits, lean meats and whole grains that not only support your body’s vital functions but work in your body to help balance your mental well-being as well. Too much of anything is not good when it comes to food. Why? Eating too much when you are and aren’t hungry means your body can only digest so much and the rest gets stored as fat, so not good. Making yourself skip meals can have metabolic consequences that can upset your physical and mental health. Finding what works for your body systems is the most important. Don’t forget that drinking plenty of water goes hand in hand with eating right. Drinking 30 minutes prior to meals helps you with portion size and drinking prior to a meal rather than during a meal does not interfere or dilute the digestive enzyme activity of your food.
HOW DOES EXERCISE IMPROVE HAPPINESS?
Movement and Exercise support your brain activity in many ways. Endorphins are hormones that are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland within the brain. Their main job is to inhibit the transmission of pain signals, but they also produce feelings. This is what makes you feel happier instantly, and the effects will last a good amount of time.
Endorphins are the only “feel-good” chemicals released through exercising though. Your body will also produce the reward chemical (serotonin, norepinephrine, BDNF and dopamine). All of which have huge positive benefits for the mind. The bottom line is: the combination of these five chemicals will boost your mood, and have been proven to help to relieve both anxiety and depression. Movement also helps gets more oxygen into your system and your brain promoting good brain health.
Take Time to Relax
Relaxation is commonly thought of as only a mental exercise with only mental benefits. There is more to it than this. Tension can build up in muscles causing headaches or back pain and stress hormones can cause a variety of nasty symptoms. In these modern times, everyone packs their schedules full of events and puts pressure on themselves to get ahead. While ambition is admirable, scheduling time to simply relax and enjoy yourself, your family, your friends, is important to your overall health. It has come to the point where it is necessary to schedule you time. Whether it is getting a massage, taking a nap, staying home with a good book or getting your hair and nails done, some “me time” does everyone good.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
MINDSET FOR WELLNESS would be my movement.
Wellness begins in your mind. In fact, wellness begins with your mindset. Your mindset is the ideas and attitudes with which you view and approach the world. In order to truly be healthy, you must begin with a healthy mindset. Wellness is multidimensional and encompasses every aspect of your life including, your physical health, mental health, diet, physical activity, relationships, work, home environment, social life, finances, recreation, etc. If any one area is weak it will weaken another area. The key is to strengthen each area to your satisfaction in order to achieve your vision of wellness. The human body is made up of several different systems and mechanisms working together in order to maintain homeostasis and your overall health and well-being. If any part of your body is struggling to do it’s job, it will affect other parts of your body. It will take more work than you know, longer than you want, but because you matter, you owe it to yourself to work through the process.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
1.) Take care of you too, because you are as important as everyone else.
I was consumed with doing more and helping others so much, that I did not consider or factor myself into the equation thereby depleting my energy and ultimately my health.
I thought being young and healthy = invincible. I wish someone would have told me or taught me that others are not more important than me but rather I am important and that although is it nice to want to help everyone it should not be done at a compromise to one self or to the detriment of my health. I always felt I had to put others first and myself last, if at all. This is what I observed others in my family doing. Rather than telling myself I can catch up on sleep later, or pay myself when there is money left over, I needed to be fueling my body, mind and bank accounts with more self-love along the way. Self-love was not practiced in my family, so I didn’t learn it was necessary nor how important it was and is.
2.) I wish someone would have told me that the body needs rest and quality sleep every night or it will surely break down without it and cost you your health. I wish I would have known how important it was and is and that it is an absolute must to heal, repair, and be healthy.
I wish I knew this because had I known this, I would not have forfeited sleep to get more things done, help more people, and start and run businesses at the cost of becoming exhausted. I ran myself into burn out status blowing out not 1 but 2 organs and glands permanently and today I wear medical life support devices 24/7 to stay alive. That is the severity of the exhaustion. I now know it doesn’t have to be like this in life, yet this is now part of my life. Moving forward the gift is doing it all differently allowing rest, healing and self love as part of conscious healthy living
3.) I wish someone would have told me it is ok and healthy to take a break and schedule fun time every day and week.
Why, I then would have had then and now an even more open mindset about work. I would be able to give myself more freedom around being so much of a workaholic. I would have given myself more permission to take a joyful lunch out of the office instead of packing a lunch I eat at my desk between calls and assignments, or missing it altogether. I may have appreciated my favorite meal and cooking more, or nature and the outdoors more to get in a nice walk or jog or even to commune with others. I often kept to myself because I had to get things done. I grew up with super hard working parents, grandparents, etc. so the mindset in my family was that work is hard and enjoying time away from work meant there was more work to do later. Now although it still is in my way of being and there are times of struggle with it, I am more aware. The key is behavioral changes in every day life.
4.) I wish someone would have told me to seek out an excellent business planner — coach for the health of my business and myself to help with business goals, finances and to help with setting milestone markers and intervention strategies.
Why: to focus on the bullseye clearly with best strategies, laser focus, tracking, growth and scalability which are so important and having a coach was and is necessary. I grew up self-sufficient and business planners were not something discussed or even available or something I knew about especially at that time or in those days. The good news is times change and there are new resources. No time like the present
5.) I wish someone would have told me — taught me how to value myself more and how to own my power and harness it for myself so I could be more, do more, give more and contribute at a higher level. More meditation, higher connection with self, etc..
Why, I could serve myself and others better, faster, and build on that to create more positive global impact and joy in my life and helping others achieve more freedom and choice. I’ve graduated into this space in this space and Im developing in this space more and more, it’s a journey.
Working with my mindset- allowing mind shifts is a lifelong process. It takes courage, vulnerability, determination, openness, willingness, desirability, etc. Transition and growing changes my life and it will yours to.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
MIndset and mental health are the most important to me. We all need a mindset that allows us to grow, to be open to what else is possible, experience new levels and heights of contribution, self love and joy. This is how we grow. Once you are aware of your own limitations and heighten your awareness to it, you can then create more space for new ideas to generate and take form.
It’s not that you change your mindset in a day or a week or a year. It is more about you allowing yourself to grow, adapt, be flexible and welcome new beginnings as blessings, opportunities, and to live life experiences with people as change agents. New choices allow for even better choices, health wise and this may also lead to new ways of eating, moving, new causes, taking new stands and making food healthier lifestyle decisions.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights!