Being fabulous after 40 often means that we are asked to juggle many balls. We are asked to, not only manage our health but, the health of others as well: our children, spouse, parents or, a combination thereof. So, chances are that, at some point, we will be dealing with ailing parents, sick children or, health conditions ourselves.

Many believe, as I most certainly do, that we each have the power to choose how we manage this challenge; we can follow a dark, scary path or we can follow a brighter and kinder path. So, whether you are negotiating a health issue for yourself or for someone you love, it is my hope that these 10 steps to managing a health challenge will help light up the, all too often, frightening and dark halls of illness.

1) Know who you are

You are not your illness or disease. You do not need to be identified by it. Understand that your disease may be your body `s way of telling you that something is out of balance. Learning to become aware of your ego with help you understand who you truly are and put what matters into perspective to give you the resilience you need to get well again.

2) Listen to your body

Your body has a natural intelligence that is constantly communicating with you. Learning to decode the, often cryptic, signs our body sends us requires careful observation and learning. It is never too late to learn to read and speak the language of your body.

3) Stay positive and watch the words you use.

Use and listen to positive and empowering words. This will help you stay out of fear so you can tap into love. Love heals, fear does not.

Avoid war- like words and phrases often seen in the media, words that instill feelings of shame and guilt, words that connote pity or that evoke drama and fear mongering. Instead, choose words and affirmations that convey love, trust, compassion, kindness, beauty and hope.

4) View your illness in a holistic way

Your body is a system where each organ and system influences the other and is a part of a whole. It helps to understand that when one organ is removed, another organ will have to do its job. Taking a medication to treat one symptom will cause a chain reaction where new symptoms creep into the equation. It helps to see the body as a system of complex interconnections.

5) Choose a team to support you

Choose a team that mirrors your beliefs and values. Look at your team and notice how you feel. If safety, love and respect are important to you, make sure you choose a team that helps you feel safe, nurtured and honored. Don’t be afraid to look at alternatives and look outside the box.

6) You are the CEO of your team

As CEO, you ask the questions, you weigh opinions shared, you  analyze data gathered, and you basically run the show. Where your health and your body are concerned, assume others know less than you think and you know more than you think.

This is where accessing your inner wisdom and following your gut come into play.

7) Open your heart