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Tina B Tessina

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Hello, and welcome to the "Happiness Tips" newsletter. In addition to a helpful tip for increasing your happiness, you can find out where I'll be signing books, and how to contact me, along with "Happiness Tips from Tina" in every month's newsletter. Please remember to add to your "acceptable" list, especially if you're on AOL.
Newsletter Dated: 11/3/2009 12:19:17 PM

Subject: Happiness Tips from Tina: Turning Poison Into Medicine

Dear Friends:

Welcome to our new subscribers, I love hearing from all of you, and I've printed your e-mail responses at the bottom of this newsletter. I welcome all suggestions for topics. To make sure your spam system doesnít reject this newsletter, please add to your list of acceptable e-mail. I am not able to fill out forms online because youíre screening for spam. To unsubscribe, see below.

Remember if you donít want the newsletter, just click the link at the bottom, and youíll be instantly unsubscribed. If you missed the newsletter last month, the article is on my website at

Happiness Tip: Turning Poison Into Medicine

The revered Sufi poet, Rumi, wrote:

ďWe turn poison into medicine and our sorrows into blessingsĒ

This Thanksgiving, Iím giving thanks for many things. I live a wonderful life, surrounded by loving friends and my beloved husband, Richard; I have the privilege of doing work which I love, and Iím thankful (yes, really) for being diagnosed with diabetes this year. Why am I thankful? Because it finally solved a problem Iíve been struggling with since 2002 Ė a lot of extra weight, gained as I went into menopause, and Richard simultaneously had cancer surgery (Heís been cancer-free since, which is something to be thankful for on a whole other level) and during his recovery I was working two jobs, with a long commute and eating to comfort myself.

After that ordeal was over, I began exercising five days a week, and thought I was eating healthy, but couldnít budge the weight. I was mystified, because Iíve accomplished everything I ever set out to do in life by overcoming obstacles and figuring out problems, but I was stuck on this. Still I knew from personal experience that standard low-calorie diets didnít work. I also knew that forcing myself to do things I hated would lead to destructive backlash. I thought back to what had worked for me to overcome problems in the past, and so around the beginning of 2008, it occurred to me to develop an affirmation:

I, Tina, am now creating a healthy body
In easy and natural ways.
Divine Love is healing me now,
And I thank Thee for receiving
That which I need to know,
That which I need, and
That whom I need to know,
And the courage to act upon it,
And the energy to follow through.
In easy and natural, healthy and balanced ways.
Abundance and joy, peace and love.

I repeated it 10 times during each of my swimming sessions, five days a week, and any other time I thought of it.

I believe the energy and focus I gained from this led me to a wonderful hypnotist: Sheri Zampelli of The hypnosis sessions really reduced my anxiety about food and weight. I felt much better and more relaxed about food, but the weight still didnít budge. Nikki Ostrander, of helped me cleanse and feel better.

Then, I added an extra line to the affirmation, so the first line read ďI, Tina, am now creating a healthy body in easy and natural ways. I know exactly what and how much to eat. Ē Thatís when the miracle happened; although it didnít feel like a miracle at first. (Next year, Iíll write a newsletter about why writing down your goals works.) On July 15 this year, blood tests showed I had just recently entered into diabetes II levels. This was devastating news, and it took a while to understand what it meant and what to do. I took Kaiser classes, which were somewhat informative yet not very helpful for a vegetarian diet like mine. But, I did learn about counting carbohydrates and the ďplate methodĒ of eating, and began changing my diet. The results were amazing. By limiting starch (carbs), I began losing weight. It was amazingly easy. Even though I was still confused, I learned to take my blood sugar (Kaiser nurse Dorothy Lopez gently showed me it was not nearly as painful or scary as it seemed) and I then found Registered Dietician Sylvia Hernandez, who understood both diabetes and a vegetarian diet. With her help, my blood sugar is coming down, and so is my weight. So far, Iím able to do both without medication.

This is how I turned my poison into medicine.

1. After the poison, flush your system: When something devastating happens, or you get bad news, allow yourself to feel bad about it. Give yourself at least a little time to be upset, to wail and moan, and to feel your feelings. But, donít get stuck here Ė wallowing in self pity solves nothing. It may take you a while to begin to confide in friends, but do it Ė caring friends help you gain perspective.

2. Be an apprentice: Wisdom traditionally has been passed down from teacher to student, so be open to learning and taking in new ideas. Converting poison to medicine is an art, and a tricky one. Donít try to do it without information and help. It may take reading, Googling, and talking to friends and to experts to find the information you need to safely change your toxic situation into growth and healing.

3. Seek encouragement: Look for comforting and encouraging signs. Learn from your own past, and repeat what was healing and hopeful before; whether itís prayer, information, love from family and friends, or support from a group with similar issues.

4. Let go, give in: You may need to surrender before you can heal. Often going through a Ďdark night of the soulí is necessary to let go of preconceived notions (i.e.: that will never happen to me; or I can fix it by myself) and open up to a new dawn of a better attitude, the humility to allow yourself to be helped, and the courage to do what you thought you couldnít. This is whatís behind the twelve step ďAdmitted we were powerless over....Ē

5. Donít give up: It can be really discouraging and mystifying to struggle with an evil you canít seem to vanquish. You may need to give in many times, but donít give up. Keep searching for the solution. Believe in ďSeek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.Ē Sometimes the process of turning poison into medicine is complex, complicated, time consuming and difficult. But, it is always worth it. Go the next step, the extra mile; and ask the next question, seek the next teacher.

6. Picture your success: What will it look like when youíve reached your goal or solved your problem? How will you know when you get there? Make a mental picture (or a lot of them) to help you achieve your goal. The other day I told nurse Dorothy Lopez about my significant weight loss and she said ďIsnít that wonderful: just think how many millions of fat cells are now gone, and no longer blocking your insulin!Ē Picturing myself getting rid of those fat cells is a great image to motivate me. Donít worry about setbacks and discouragement. You can feel bad, complain and cry, and still keep trudging toward your goal.

7. Celebrate: As I frequently tell my clients: Celebration + Appreciation = Motivation. Celebrate every small victory, every tiny accomplishment. Give thanks to God or your Higher Power for every helping hand you receive. Be thankful for your healing or solution even before it happens. Appreciate the potential that is you. Consider being grateful to what the problem is teaching you. You are learning, being strengthened in soul if not in body, and growing in wisdom. Celebrate those around you who can help with information, love, caring and energy.

May you have much to be thankful for in this season of harvest, and may your life continue to bless you, and carry you through the hard places.

© 2009 Tina B. Tessina
adapted from:
It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction (New Page) ISBN 1-56414-548-4

If you want more, here are some related articles you can download from my website at

Anger: Cleansing Squall or Hurricane?
Anticipating Change
Attitude: From Negative to Gratitude
Comforting the Little Orphan Girl
The Courage to Hope
Creating Holiday Magic
Emotions as Weather
The Family of the Heart
Four Steps to Success
Getting Out of Your Way
Giving Thanks
Handling Anxiety Effectively
How to Have Happier Holidays!
How to Stretch Time
Humor & Hope
Into Every Life
Intuition or Inner Knowing
Learn to See Through The Eyes of Love
Learning Forgiveness
Letting Go of Anxiety
Life Lessons
Make New Friends, Keep Good Friends
The Meaning of Life
Motivation And How to Create It (Good Boss/Bad Boss)
The Nail in the Fence: Healing Wounds
No Two Miracles Alike
Patterns of Change
The Power of Purpose
Practicing Patience
Resolving Inner Anarchy
Season of Blessing
Surviving Loss & Thriving Again
Weaving The Web
Winning The War Within
Year of Peace
You Are a Gift
Your Heartís Desire

Appearances Calendar

Please follow me
Please look for my newest book: The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You're Far Apart (Adams Media 2008) ISBN # 1-59869-432-4
The Dr. Romance blog:
I'll answer your questions at

Upcoming radio shows, TV, and lectures are all posted on my website at and at

I welcome your feedback and support, please contact me at

Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD

Re: Kindness and Happiness
Thanks Tina, This was perfect a letter that you sent for me today. I am so sorry that I was not more sensitive to your troubles. I had know idea that you had to go through all this "boloney" regarding your teeth.
I watched the news today {which I never do} and realized how lucky I am. L. and hugs ...Nancy

Nancy, I see you turning your poison into medicine, and I know itís hard, but itís working. Donít give up.
Dear Tina Allow me to empathise deeply with your dental suffering! Oh Lordy, I know how deeply painful that can be. I'm glad to know that Richard and others were there for you, as Randy was for me. A blessing indeed:-) Here's hoping all our dental pain is behind us and nothing but healthy happy smiles in front of us! Blessings, Mel

Thanks Mel, and blessings back to you. From your mouth to Godís ear.

Hi sorry you have had some unpleasant dental work done..had I known, I would have sent you some good wishes and prayers. I hope all is well now. I do know about that. I want to thank you again for the help you gave me, it was so enlightening. You are so understanding and helpful and I will always be so grateful for your love and support. Hope you are feeling much better. Please let me know if you need encouragement, prayers or just good thoughts or a ride or someone's hand to hold I would be more than happy to help out. love, donice

Thank you, Donice. I am grateful for your good wishes and prayers, always.

Hola Amiga, Thank u for this email on Kindness. I am so blessed to receive your mails and your profound knowledge. I 2 am having many problems with my dental work n it was so uplifting to realise thru u, that i need to thank some friends for all their support. I REMEMBER!! Wishing u eternal happiness, La Cookita
de nada, Cookita. Vaya con dios.
Great stuff here, Tina.....As usual !! Lloyd

Thanks, Lloyd.

Hi Tina, I love your comments about kindness. I send a heartfelt hug to you both. :) Love, Lynley

Thanks, Lynley. Hugs back.

Thank you - Brad
Youíre welcome, Brad.

Hi Tina; I appreciate all your email newsletters . . . thanks. Since Blair died, I read as much as I can on rebuilding my life. Marianne
Thanks, Marianne. It is great to hear from you, keep going on that rebuilding.

Sorry to hear you had a tough time. Feel well-be well. We need you. Really liked the newsletter. Great quotes. Madelyn
Thanks, Madelyn. I think youíre my biggest fan. :-)

Hi Tina, Glad you're through the horrible dental trials. Heal quickly. Barb.
Me, too Barb. Thanks.

Hi Tina, Just finished your book Commuter Marriage, it was great. Reesy.
Thanks, Reesy. Iím glad you liked it.

HI Tina, I hope you're feeling better now. Bravo for getting through it! That must have been tough. Great to get your newsletter -- THANKS! Hugs, Chuck
Thank you for the support, Chuck. Iím glad you like the newsletter.

Hi there, i have bought 2 of your books thanks for your help they are the best I highly recommend them. Thank you so much, You are the best. Pam
Youíre welcome, Pam. Thanks for the kind words. Iím glad you enjoyed the books.

Hi Tina, I love your newsletters and I think of you often. So sorry to hear that you had a difficult health problem. Expect positive energy from me. Lots of Love, Candace
Lovely to hear from you, Candace. Iíll gladly accept the positive energy.

Dear Tina: Thank you for the gift of "you". Thank you for your inspirational articles. Sharon
You are so welcome, Sharon. Thanks for your kindness.

Dear Tina: Iím really sorry to hear about your unpleasant and difficult dental work. Mouth pain can be excruciating! You are right on target in that the support and encouragement of loved ones makes all the difference in the world. Ken
Thanks for caring, Ken.

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