A New You in 2022
A healthy perspective on shaping our lives
This chapter covers more than New Year’s resolutions. It gives us powerful considerations about shaping our lives — mind, body, spirit and the way we want to live.
We feature healthy habits you can’t live without, illustrating that wellness is a journey consisting of one step at a time.
Dr. Amy Johnson shares insight about getting back to our authentic selves, as Moxie Creed declares January the month of giving to ourselves.
With the new year, many of us want to clear the clutter, but some trash could be treasure. There’s a March appraisal event in Naples that can help you identify items that might have much more than sentimental value.
As we move powerfully into the new year, Collier County Supervisor of Elections Jennifer Edwards presents a 2022 voter timeline and urges eligible voters to voice what is most important to them.
And on the subject of what’s important, we present an overview of the March 2022 in-person Imagine Solutions Conference, where thought leaders will share their visions for the future, held for the first time at Arthrex Global Headquarters in Naples.
As we seek to empower every member of our community, we shine light on Women Lifting Women, a new initiative of the Women’s Foundation of Collier County. Partnering with the community, its goal is to change the life trajectories of disadvantaged women and girls here in Collier County.
“The bad news is time flies,” said Michael Altshuler. “The good news,” he countered, “is you’re the pilot.”
Happy New Year!
Healthy Habits You Can’t Live Without
A practical approach to becoming healthier in 2022
by èBella staff
Every January, magazines publish self-help plans featuring workouts and diets. You try the convoluted routine ... until you spy Valentine’s candy on store shelves. Then you’re back in front of the TV, drowning your sorrows in bonbons until next year’s fitness fad.
The problem isn’t your willpower but how much these plans expect you to do. Contrary to the 21-day self-help myth, science has proven that it takes about two months to form a habit.
While we don’t diagnose or treat illnesses (and encourage you to consult a physician before attempting lifestyle changes), we can present researchers’ recommendations for improving health.
Instead of jumping on the latest health craze, try adding one manageable health habit every two months and build better health over the year. Here’s an example of how to do just that.
January/February Habit: Drink
Your body is 60 percent water, and research shows that not getting enough water can cause headaches and fatigue and negatively impact mood, memory and heart function. But how much water do you need?
Advice varies on this topic, with some authorities recommending eight 8-ounce glasses daily while others suggest you calculate the total number of glasses this way:
1) take your weight (in pounds) and divide it by 2.2
2) multiply that number by your age
3) divide that sum by 28.3 (which gives you the total number of ounces)
4) divide that number by 8 to get the number of glasses per day.
That said, a 65-year-old woman who weighs 135 lbs. would be advised to drink more than a gallon a day.
It seems that researchers’ best advice is that you assess your hydration level by striving for pale yellow urine.
Make your January to February health goal to drink water (infused with fruit if you need flavor) while reducing caffeine, soft drinks and alcohol intake.
March/April Habit: Sleep
If your doctor offered one prescription to help you maintain a healthy weight and immune system while lowering your risk of diabetes, depression, cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and premature death, would you want it? It exists — it’s called sleep.
Make your March to April goal to get the currently recommended 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Since caffeine lasts six hours, stop intake at 2 p.m., and reduce alcohol consumption because it interferes with sleep cycles. Also avoid eating meals and drinking water late.
May/June Habit: Move
Hydrated and rested, you can start moving. Don’t do “exercise;” do something fun and convenient, working up to the recommended 30 minutes of cardio five days a week and two days of weight-bearing movement from May to June. Just do something — experts say even five minutes helps.
July/August Habit: Eat
Rather than “diet,” strive to eat more foods containing fiber, aiming at 25 grams of fiber daily as your July to August goal. Researchers say fiber reduces cholesterol and blood sugar to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Fiber improves gut health, reduces some cancer risks and can help with weight loss.
By choosing high-fiber foods, you’ll automatically be eating more plant-based, lower-fat, lower-sodium, higher-vitamin foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. If you add flax or chia seeds for fiber, you’ll also get omega-3 fatty acids.
September/October Habit: Breathe
Studies show that stress can contribute to high blood pressure, headaches, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and suppressed immunity as well as digestive, reproductive and mood disorders.
Find your favorite healthy way to counter stress in September and October by trying deep breathing, meditation, yoga or tai chi.
November/December Habit: Appreciate
Research reveals social connection and sense of purpose can add years to your life, so celebrate, in moderation, in November and December.
Sources: HealthFinder.gov, WomensHealth.gov, BlueZones.com, MayoClinic.org, ClevelandClinic.org/Health, Health.Harvard.edu, UniversityHealthNews.com, HelpGuide.org, HealthLine.com, Cancer.org, Heart.org
A HAND UP
Women Lifting Women
Women’s Foundation launches campaign in support of disadvantaged Collier County females
by Kathy Grey
There’s a call to action for the women of Collier County, a cause the Women’s Foundation of Collier County (WFCC) has embraced by introducing an initiative called Women Lifting Women.
Some might wonder why a county known for the affluence of the city of Naples would require such a movement. However, the Women’s Foundation of Collier County has amassed data that sheds light on the county’s female population. Here are some of the facts.
Women in Collier County
Nearly 9,500 Collier County women live below the poverty level.
In 2020, 70 women in Collier County were living in their cars.
75% of Collier 2-1-1 calls are made by women for housing, basic needs, income support, health care and substance abuse referrals.
Women in Collier County earn 87.5 cents per dollar compared to men in the same field.
The average Social Security benefit for women in Collier County is $1,008, versus $1,696 for men.
Women Lifting Women Honorary Chair Elizabeth A. Star asks, “Can you imagine being a senior woman in your 70s or 80s, homeless and dealing with the reality of isolation and day-to-day living with financial hardship?
Star emphasizes that, with the community’s support, WFCC’s Women Lifting Women campaign will provide funding for homeless programs that identify and assist with housing for senior women, address their isolation and caregiving issues and empower young women and girls to meet their full potential through advanced scholarships, career development and mentorship programs such as the Junior Women of Initiative.
Because what’s equally alarming is that these disadvantages have the potential of trickling down to the young women of Collier County who need community support to avoid the plight their elders are facing now.
Young Women in Collier County
63.26% of Collier County students qualify for free or reduced meals at school.
More than 55% of our students live in homes where English is not the first language and sometimes isn’t even spoken.
In pre-pandemic 2019, 35,342 Collier County residents (that’s 9.3%) were living below the poverty level, then $26,200 for a family of four.
WFCC’s vision is a community in which all women and girls thrive. The organization wants to be a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls in Collier County through grantmaking, advocacy and education, explains WFCC Board Chair Donna Messer.
“Women Lifting Women has been designed to address the immediate needs of senior women, young women and girls in Collier County — and to provide for their critical needs in perpetuity through endowment funding. An investment in Women Lifting Women continues this support going forward,” Messer says. “We are honored to partner with the community to help the women of our county.”
“This is where we can make a difference,” Star emphasizes. “We will ensure that the funds are there to support the needs for women and girls well into the future.”
Learn more and make an investment in the future of Collier County’s women by visiting https://wfcollier.org.
It’s Time to Pamper Yourself
January is an ideal month for taking care of you
After weeks and months of preparing for the holidays — decorating, creating the perfect dinner party and buying gifts for everyone — things probably got a little out of control. It’s not uncommon: It’s reality. We’ve been living life on overload in 2021 to make up for the pent-up anxiety of last year.
Moxie Creed would like to authorize January as the month you should feel no guilt about self-gifting. It’s your time now. Instead of feeling guilty about thinking of yourself, embrace it, realizing you deserve a little retail therapy love.
Gifting yourself is comparable to a flight attendant telling you to put your mask on yourself first. It’s important to remember that you get to choose how to bring yourself a little joy. After all, being happy, satisfied and content impacts our overall physical and mental health and wellness. Breathe deeply and make some time for yourself.
Moxie Creed believes its chosen products should provide only benefits. Throughout the year, the company scours for products that have a distinctive sense of purpose, beauty and power. Here are a few of their favorites:
Candles and Bath Supplies
There is nothing better than time alone, reading a book or simply relaxing by candlelight and taking a long hot bath. With many products to choose from, these two popular items fly off the shelves.
• Moxie Creed 100% Soy Candles - Made in small batches here in the U.S. and scented with essential oils from around the world, all Moxie Creed candles are phthalate-free and sans dye, preservatives and additives. With 50 hours of burning, they are available in clear or black glass.
• Bergamot Rose Body Butter Bar - These naturally scented body butter bars are fragranced with pure essential oils of bergamot, rose absolute and ylang ylang. Infused with rose, rice bran oil, natural beeswax, mango butter and coconut-derived cetyl alcohol, it renders a silky feel and elevates the senses.
Beautiful Charcuterie Board
Made from imported natural olive wood and topped with an eco-friendly resin that looks like a glassy, blue water flow, this board has a unique shape and looks lovely on the kitchen countertop while not in use. It’s a piece of art that begs to be well used or displayed.
To view more products, visit MoxieCreed.com.
Clear the Clutter — with Care
Identify the good stuff before taking a clean sweep at your possessions
by Kathy Grey
The new year has rolled in. With that, it’s tempting to get rid of the stuff you’ve amassed over time. But don’t be too hasty: Some of that trash might be treasure.
In February 2020, Avow Hospice in Naples hosted an antiques appraisal fair in which seven Doyle New York appraisers — many known from “Antiques Roadshow” — set up at Avow’s Ispiri Community Center.
At the event, one woman brought a “piece of junk her mother insisted she keep,” recalls Lois Sabatino, who coordinated the event. Doyle’s Collin Albertsson estimated the porcelain plaque to be worth between $3,000 and $5,000.
A boy who’d purchased a painting at a garage sale for $2 learned its estimated value was $14,000.
For these and many more reasons, you might want to be judicious about clearing your clutter. What you have — in the attic, under the bed or in storage —
could have much more than sentimental value. Here are a few expert tips:
1. According to www.budgetdumpster.com, high-value items can generally be found in antiques, art, coins, furs, jewelry, precious metals and stamps.
2. Do your research and train your eye by frequenting thrift shops and resale stores.
3. Start with general reference books, advises CNN Money, such as appraiser Joe Rosson’s “Treasures in Your Attic” or “Know Your Antiques,” by Ralph and Terry Kovel, who also have an online newsletter.
A popular site is http://theantiquesalmanac.com, which also produces five online magazines a year for beginning to intermediate collectors and people just interested in knowing about old things.
4. Look for signatures and other traits, knowing that what you have might not be authentic.
Kevin Zavien was among the appraisers from Doyle at the 2019 Avow Southwest Florida Appraisal Fair. Viewers might recognize him from “Antiques Roadshow.”
Doyle’s Kevin Zavien at Avow’s 2019 appraisal fair.
5. Know that condition is very important to value.
6. Separate your most valuable items from the mundane and decide where to sell them. Valuable antiques may wind up in an auction or estate sale, CNN Money reports.
7. Invest in having the item(s) appraised. In this instance, time is money.
Luckily for us Southwest Floridians, the Avow Antiques Appraisal Fair returns to Naples March 9 and 10, again featuring Doyle appraisers. So, you might want to hold off on tossing trash that, in reality, might be a treasure after you show it to them!
If You Go:
Avow Foundation presents Southwest Florida Appraisal Fair, featuring appraisers from Doyle of New York, as seen on “Antiques Roadshow”
• Evening Preview VIP Reception: Hear fascinating stories from expert Doyle appraisers as you enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres and browse silent and live auction items. Bring an item or two for appraisal.
When: 5-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9
Cost: $150 per person
• Public Appraisals Day: Bring two items for appraisal (fine jewelry, watches, prints, fine art, furniture, decorative art, rare books, coins, maps and more)
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, March 10
Cost: $50 per person
Where: 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples
Info: email Foundation@AvowCares.org or call 239-649-3683
Exercising Your Right to Vote
Voice what’s important to you by voting on these important 2022 election cycle dates
by Jennifer J. Edwards, Collier County Supervisor of Elections
One of the most fundamental rights for Americans is the right to vote. In order for our government to function and respond to the needs of our people, citizens must play a role in shaping it.
Collier County broke voter participation records during the 2020 election cycle with over 90% of Collier’s registered voters casting a ballot in the November presidential election alone, which was also the highest turnout percentage in the state of Florida.
The elections in 2022 are of paramount importance. The outcomes of these local elections directly impact the citizens of Collier County. It is up to each individual to exercise the right that so many fought to obtain and continue to fight to protect. The Collier County Supervisor of Elections office has made it their mission to remind voters of the importance of these elections and to help voters engage in the electoral process.
On Feb. 1, voters residing within the City of Naples city limits, will be asked to vote for three City Council seats. The individuals elected on Feb. 1 will represent the City of Naples and the citizens who live within it. They will serve the city’s best interest by legislating for the city, directing the enforcement of ordinances, transacting city business, providing community leadership, and overall, protecting the welfare of the city and its inhabitants.
Countywide, voters will participate in the August primary election, followed by the November general election. Not only will voters be asked to make a choice for governor and cabinet members, they will also select their representatives in the United States Senate and Congress, the Florida Senate and House, judicial retention, county commission and school board members — and contingent on where a voter resides, they may see special district races on their ballot, including mosquito control seats, soil and conservation seats, fire district seats and community development district positions.
Important dates to remember for the 2022 election cycle are as follows:
The leaders in 2022 will be the decision-makers in our community, and our voice in Tallahassee and in Washington, D.C. When we do not take full advantage of the right to vote, we not only give away our voice, we also give away the ability to shape our community’s future. In 2022, use your vote to voice what is important to you.
Supervisor of Elections Jennifer J. Edwards has been serving Collier County’s voters for more than 20 years. She was elected, unopposed, during the 2020 primary election.
Turning off the mind to discover the “Golden Buddha” within
by Amy Johnson, Ph.D.
If we aren’t who we think we are, who are we?
In my limited left-brain words, we are the expansive, pure consciousness we were born into — before so much was added and learned. We’re the Golden Buddha. Do you know about the Golden Buddha?
Somewhere around the 13th century in Bangkok, Thailand, a massive statue of the Buddha was made of pure gold. Not long after it was created, Burmese soldiers invaded Thailand. In a flash of insight, the Thai people covered the Golden Buddha in stucco and glass to hide its value and keep it safe. The invaders came and went, and the statue was spared.
In the 1960s, when the statue was being moved, it was dropped, and the plaster cracked. A pure gold toe shined through Buddha’s dirty façade, and its shiny, perfect nature was realized.
When that scary thing happened and you retreated into your head, your mind created a façade to keep you safe. Your mind told you the kind of person you were, and the way you needed to be from then forward to be accepted and safe. Because those strategies and the façade felt like safety, you identified with them more and more, and you identified with your true nature less and less.
The psychological experience took center stage, and your expansive, nonverbal essence fell to the background. You slowly mistook fleeting thoughts, feelings and behaviors for who-you-are, and you fell asleep to your true nature.
But nothing about who-you-are has ever changed. You’re as peaceful and connected to all of life as you’ve always been. You’ve simply gotten into the habit of listening to your mind a little too closely and it becomes all you hear.
And then, one day, you get dropped. You go through a breakup or a breakdown. You find yourself anxious, sick, or with an addiction you can’t kick. You lose your job. You can’t get pregnant. Your kids grow up and you no longer recognize who you thought you were.
You’re unable to pick yourself up and go back to how things were, which is excellent news. You’re dropped so hard a crack is formed, and you’re forced to look beyond the appearance of things. You catch a glimpse of what’s beyond the façade.
Fortunately, insights into who-you-are don’t require an identity crisis; they can come from openness and curiosity, a willingness to look beyond surface-level appearances and not accept your moment-to-moment thoughts as truth, a willingness to look toward something with which you are deeply acquainted, but also unaware.
When I initially came across this understanding, my teacher would give me pointers. He’d say things like, “get quiet,” “look within,” “fall out of your thinking” and “go beyond your conceptual mind.”
So, I’d sit in silence, looking somewhere that felt like “within,” except I wasn’t discovering anything because I was looking with my mind. I was mentally focusing on the space within, thinking about it. That’s not discovery. It was me staying in my head, thinking about what I thought I should be exploring. That’s the way a smart adult would go about discovery, but you want to do it the way a newborn baby would, guided by curiosity and not-knowing rather than by expectations and assumptions. As soon as you engage your intellect, you’re moving in the wrong direction.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a group where we close our eyes, get quiet and fall out of our thinking for just a minute or two, and a handful of people deeply sense themselves beyond their thinking. They’re blown away at how still and beautiful and close it is. They sit in amazement that “This has been right there, so close, this whole time?”
When my kids were 4 or 5 years old, I’d say something like, “When you’re warm and cozy in your bed, and you’re just starting to get really sleepy ... you know how there’s a really nice, peaceful feeling there as your mind falls asleep, right before the rest of you falls asleep?”
Yes, they knew it.
“That’s you. That’s the exact same you that you were as a tiny baby, the part that will never change even as you grow up…. It will always be right there, beneath your thoughts and feelings. Even when you can’t feel it, it’s there — because it’s you.”
My kids were familiar with who-they-are when they were just 4 years old. I recently shared this with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, a room of 9- and 10-year-olds, and they knew it, too.
It’s my more mature students who claim to forget, but even they sense it with a reminder or two. We’ve all felt overwhelmed with love, a sense of oneness with nature or deep, quiet peace.
We simply don’t realize that what we’re feeling is who-we-are, our default nature. We give credit to something outside of us, like the people we’re with or the beautiful sunset.
Explore that pre-thought, pre-verbal space yourself. See if you can sense the still, deep peace that’s there. The more you recognize that space as you, the closer and more familiar it feels.
But you have to promise me one thing: If you look within and you don’t feel what your mind thinks you should feel, don’t make anything of that. Your mind will tell stories. It’s trying to own this experience and do this for you, but remember, it’s not needed here.
Given what minds do, yours has probably been painting a picture of how your exploration should look and feel. It’s been coming up with standards against which to judge your progress so you can decide whether you believe me, or whether you pass or fail this exploration.
That’s just what minds do.
Please don’t take it seriously. You can’t fail at exploring who-you-are. Only a mind would tell you otherwise.
Amy Johnson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, coach, author and speaker who shares a groundbreaking new approach that helps people find lasting freedom from unwanted habits, anxiety and self-doubt via insight, rather than willpower. To learn more, visit dramyjohnson.com.
SAVE THE DATE
What Important Issues Will Shape Our Future?
Imagine Solutions Conference 2022 set for March 7
by Kathy Grey
Following last year’s virtual conference, Imagine Solutions returns to its live format on March 7 at Arthrex Global Headquarters in Naples.
The annual conference, now in its 12th year, presents guest speakers who reveal their progressive thoughts and practices. Seven critical issues will be covered by 19 world-class thought leaders during the day-long event. These include the importance of science (with four of the six panelists being women), breakthroughs in technology and science (including Moderna’s chief corporate affairs officer), the history of innovation, cyberwarfare, game changers (including Gitanjali Rao, Time Magazine “Kid of the Year” in 2020), education and the arts. (“Could we find a great stride and boogie-woogie piano player?” asks the conference’s “chief experience officer” Randy Antik. “We did.”)
Antik is the founder and CEO of the 501(c)(3) Searching for Solutions Institute established in 2007 that launched the Imagine Solutions Conference in 2010. He met with top executives at the Aspen Institute, TED, the Milken Global Institute and many thought leaders. Antik saw an unmet need for intellectual networking, bringing together like-minded people who want to effect social change and make a difference both in Southwest Florida and at a national level.
“We started to frame our 2022 conference in March 2021,” Antik says. As with every Imagine Solutions conference since 2010, the theme addresses the important issues that shape our future, engaging the game changers who are driving what will benefit us all.
“Our world is rapidly moving in often surprising and unforeseen ways,” Antik says, adding, “It is a world of immense opportunities if you are willing to unleash your imagination while invoking your skills. We wanted Imagine Solutions Conference 2022 to potentially change your imagined future.”
“We know well from our previous 12 years hosting our annual Imagine Solutions Conference (that) our audience loves to meet and talk with speakers … in person.”
“Ride the rapids of our changing times ... into the raging currents of progress.” ~ Imagine Solutions Conference 2022
If You Go
What: Imagine Solutions 2022 Conference: “A Whitewater World”
Where: Arthrex Global Headquarters, 1370 Creekside Blvd., Naples
When: 8:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Monday, March 7
Cost: $700 per person (75% tax deductible)