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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Joy Factor: An Interview with Dr. Susan Smith Jones

For a woman with three of America’s most ordinary names, Dr. Susan Smith Jones has certainly made extraordinary contributions in the fields of holistic health, optimum nutrition, anti-aging and balanced, joyful living. For starters, she taught students, staff and faculty at UCLA how to be healthy and fit for 30 years! As a renowned motivational speaker, Susan travels internationally as a frequent radio/TV talk show guest and motivational speaker; she’s also the author of over 1,500 magazine articles and 25 books, including her new release, The Joy Factor: 10 Sacred Practices for Radiant Health, which is available this Friday, October 1.

In the Foreword to The Joy Factor, Dr. Wayne Dyer writes, “Regardless of your current state of physical or emotional disrepair, you can take this book, read carefully, and begin now to create vibrant health and bring serenity and sacred balance into your body and life.” I was very excited to ask Susan more about this!

Shelly Rachanow: I was inspired by how you celebrated the “human being” in your new book, The Joy Factor. Would you please share what you wrote about how special we all are? Everyone wrestles with low self-esteem from time to time.

Dr. Susan Smith Jones: Think about this Shelly? 80 billion humans have walked this planet since the beginning of time, and never has there been anyone exactly like you. If each of the 6 billion people living on our planet right now were to stream by you in single file, it would take 200 years to greet each one in turn. And by that time you would probably be off your rocker!

How miraculous is that? In 200 years you would never find two people exactly alike. You would never find two whose experiences had been the same or whose fingerprints were alike or who thought, believed, felt, or talked alike. To that let’s add another amazing fact. Of the approximately 50 to 100 million sperm that traveled an immense distance, and overcame tremendous obstacles, just one won the competition — probably the fiercest and most challenging of your life — and succeeded at fertilizing the one egg that lay in wait and together they joined to become you. You see. You are already a winner.

What’s more, you are composed of a body, mind, and spirit, and you already have everything you need to live up to your highest potential—to become master of your life. I think that calls for a celebration. “The place where you stand is holy ground.” (Exod. 3:5) Today, I want to encourage everyone reading this to focus on this miracle, this work of divinity that is you. The point is, we are all waves of divine and infinite energy and potential and today, spend some time thinking about that.

Shelly Rachanow: Do you think that we too obsessed with our bodies and how they look?

Dr. Susan Smith Jones: Yes and no. No, we must not let our health take a backseat to anything; we must be serious about taking loving care of our bodies and our lives. And yes, to answer your question about obsession -- it’s so easy to identify too much with the way our bodies look.

Just last week I saw a television program about plastic surgery, where they interviewed teenagers who were unhappy with their looks. They were getting all types of plastic surgery — breast implants, ribs removed to make their waists smaller, cheek and chin implants, fat sucked out, and lips puffed up. It was heartbreaking to see teenagers so determined to change their bodies to suit some cultural ideal and worse to think that their parents were supporting them in creating the “bodies of their dreams.” It was fairly obvious that the parents didn’t feel good about their own bodies and were passing that judging attitude on to their children.

Of course we are all encouraged to do this all the time. But just look at most magazine ads or television commercials. Either by innuendo or by outright declaration, they encourage us to change who we are in some fundamental way. Here’s the truth of the matter: You can spend millions of dollars changing your physical features, but that will do little good until you stop looking for love and acceptance from the outside in.

Shelly Rachanow: Talk about the connection between self-esteem and the body and how important positive self-image is to creating success in every area of our lives.

Dr. Susan Smith Jones: When you are not feeling good about you, you feel separated from others and God. When you see yourself as a failure, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. You attract to yourself that which you believe you deserve. Your negative thoughts and attitudes about yourself, whether they originated within yourself or others, convince you of your inability to succeed. If you feel you don’t deserve success, don’t deserve prosperity, don’t deserve to enjoy life, don’t deserve happy relationships, joy, and peace, you settle for less than that to which you are entitled. When you feel unworthy, you cut yourself off from the fullness of life.

Shelly Rachanow: How detrimental is negative self-talk and self-judgment?

Dr. Susan Smith Jones: At any moment, we have the choice to judge ourselves or to be kind and loving. Whether we succeed or fail, enjoy our lives or struggle, depends largely on how we view ourselves. In fact, numerous studies have concluded that the view we have of ourselves is the key to taking control of our lives.

Loving ourselves — feeling good about ourselves is an inside job. When you begin to see yourself as divine, special, and unique, chances are you’ll be happy with the miraculous physical body that your Creator provided for you, and you will establish a salutary health and fitness program to keep your body temple in peak functioning order.

Shelly Rachanow: Is there an action step that someone can do today, something really simple Susan, to jumpstart his or her life and move out of a humdrum, “spin-cycle” life and back on the right track to a life of more joy, passion, success, and vitality?

Dr. Susan Smith Jones: There are countless things you can do: Perhaps start with something special today to honor your body temple. Some examples might be to . . . take a bubble bath; drink more water or eat more fresh, colorful fruits and veggies; splurge on new, luxurious bedding and sleep in them; go to a movie that makes you laugh because laughter is always the best medicine; get new PJ’s that feel good against your skin; carve out extra time for quality sleep; get a massage, facial, or manicure and pedicure; or any thing else that shows you are honoring and loving your beautiful body temple. Think about how miraculous your body is today.

Shelly Rachanow: Why did you write The Joy Factor?

Dr. Susan Smith Jones: In the routine of everyday life, it can be easy to feel stuck. We may cycle between fad diets but never reach our weight goals, shove our greatest hopes and dreams to the back of the closet, and ignore our nagging health concerns. Sometimes we just need a jumpstart and supportive advice from someone who cares and knows how to get us back on the right track—Yours Truly. In The Joy Factor, you will have in your fingertips all of my tools and time-tested advice to take your life from ordinary to extraordinary. I have put my decades of invaluable information and research into this reader-friendly book – part rule-book, part work-book, and part play-book.

Through the pages of The Joy Factor, I will become your own personal holistic lifestyle coach. You will soon begin to revel in simple pleasures, live more intuitively, learn how to let too much stress flow off your shoulders, and take every opportunity—large and small—to serve others and engage fully with the world. If you invite me into your life with each page of my book and the countless healthy living tips, I will gently guide you — step by step — on how to reinvent your life, become the CEO of your body and life, blossom into your highest potential, and create the life you desire and deserve – with 360-degree success and delicious joy.

Shelly Rachanow: And last, the 'If Women Ran the World Blog' question for everyone - What would you do if you ran the world?

Dr. Susan Smith Jones: If I ran the world, everyone would need to take time out daily to meditate, dance, sing, laugh, and tell someone how much you love them. I also would encourage people to get lots of sleep, breathe deeply, eat colorful, healthy foods, spend time in nature, and find ways to move (exercise) daily. As well, I would offer these words of Robert Fulghum in his book All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, which would change the world for the better. He suggests the following: "Think of what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world -- had milk and cookies about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had the basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our messes. And it it still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together." Our planet would glow with love and vitality if we could all live this way. And it's this vision I hold close to my heart day and night.

For more information, or to order copies of The Joy Factor: 10 Sacred Practices for Radiant Health, please call toll-free: 1-800-423-7087 ET or visit http://www.susansmithjones.com/ and http://www.susansremedies.com/.

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