Friday, August 29, 2008

Inconvenience or Insight?

My car was once stolen from the parking garage of our condo. I remember going down and confusedly thinking, "why didn't I park in my spot?" Only to realize that the car was indeed gone. Fortunately, it was found a wk. later, being driven by a 14 yr. old. who "needed it" to go roller-skating.

When I received an email newsletter from Troy White talking about how his home had been broken into while the family slept, it immediately brought to mind the feelings that I had at the time.

Troy writes, "Anything could have happened. Fortunately, nothing did. A missing purse and minivan - who cares? We are all fine - which is what really matters."

This is an excellent example of changing one's perspective which goes a long way to speaking about how well Troy handled this situation. Without that perspective, this event could go on to create havoc, physiologically speaking.

The more frequently we can change our perspective, especially in instances when our 'stress meter' climbs, the better we become at handling what life throws at us. It's not always easy, particularly, if we've had a lifetime of practice looking at things a certain way. It is, however, a skill and that means it can be learned.

As for my car, I considered myself fortunate...I did get it back with minimal damage. My neighbour, whose car had also been stolen that week, was not so lucky. At the time, I was angry because it was a violation of what I had worked for, as well as a huge inconvenience which involved paperwork and some other hassles. However, the bottom line was that it could have been much worse.

Photo: Alicja Michalik

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Whatcha' Sayin'?

I was speaking with a client about how words have power. Just by mere mention of the word "vaccine," she was able to witness how quickly her heart rate changed on the emWave® (educational technology). Conversely, when we started talking about things that enriched her life she saw that those words also had an impact on her heart rhythms, affecting her physiological response. (pulse rate, breathing, muscle tension, etc.)

Ironically, I came across this post on Brooks Clark's blog - Grammar Tip of The Day. It is entitled, "Select words with due regard to their connotation (power of suggestion)". He is making that very point - "words are feelings, emotions, sensations, ideas....they have the power to suggest varied associations."

Which, as in the case of my client, the word "vaccination" had a bad connotation and resulted in a physiological change - a stress response, which can lead to chronic health concerns and a loss of well-being, if left unchecked.

Here's something to try: First, make a list of the 10 words that you don't like. Read them and notice your response to those words. Now, make a list of the 10 most beautiful words you know. Reflect upon them and notice how you feel. What's different?

Please send me an email to find out how you can live a better life.

emWave and Personal Stress Reliever are registered trademarks of Quantum Intech, Inc.

Photo: Daniel Wildman

Monday, August 18, 2008

Passing it On or Paying it Forward

One of the best things we can do to lessen our stress is to open our heart and give to someone else. It doesn't always have to be a gift of money - time, advice, caring will do. All of these go a long way to helping you feel better and provides you with increased resilience so that the little things don't eat away at you.

I just finished reading Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde, the delightful book that spawned the movie starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt and also the Pay it Forward Movement. Perhaps this will provide you with a starting point?

This just came in from Brenda Blackburn. (Posted on her inspirational blog on 08.08.18) Are you looking at building a new habit? Why not mark Aug. 22nd on your calendar and decide to make it a year-long commitment instead of just one day? For example, you could start by choosing the 22nd of every month or if that is overwhelming, decide upon once a season as a starting point.

To get the stress-reducing benefits, notice & recall how you feel when you are performing your 'angel act'.

Sometimes you need a little push to get you started and the confidence to know that you can make a difference, even if you're unaware that you did touch someone's life in some way.

I can guide you through this process if you're curious about discovering what is possible when you transform your stress. Please send me an email to find out more.

Photo by: Sanja Gjenero

Not Always A Message In A Bottle

I'm always amazed at what happens when we start paying closer attention to our lives. Quite often we get what we need - whether it be a lesson, some information or encouragement. These messages can take many forms - you may hear the same thing from several people with whom you interact, or read something that is just what you need or hear something in a more formal situation.

Several weeks ago at The Centre for Positive Living, Rev. Terry talked about "power" and how we often want to control things, people or events. This is one of life's greatest lessons - learning that the only person we can truly control is ourself. When we understand that and work from the inside, we are better able to positively affect our environment and in the process, lower our stress levels.

One of the best ways to do this is to use the power of the heart. When we start listening to our heart, many of our internal systems start to align with what is in our heart. Research is showing that not only is listening to our heart good for us emotionally, but mentally and physically as well.

Our heart is the strongest organ in the body and when we allow it to influence our brain wonderful changes start to occur. Amongst them, we begin to quiet the stresses and learn to be "ok in the moment", regardless of what is going on around us"...which, incidentally, was the topic for the following week.

Next time you're out and about, don't wait for a message in a bottle, it could come from any number of sources providing you with what you need to hear and do. By activating the power of your heart, you are able to receive that message without any interference.

Photo: Rodolfo Clix

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Value of Encouragement

Last year, I was asked by Christina Erickson of Finally Fluent to contribute to La Sirena - a newsletter that she created.

What has impressed me most about this creative & intelligent woman is her ability to inspire. For me, that has meant a renewed interest in speaking and writing French and Spanish, as well as the enjoyment found in "playing" with language - vis à vis the articles for La Sirena.

I put these positive, joyful feelings to use when I practise my HeartMath® techniques, which is an ideal way to increase the balance within your system.

Who inspires you? Have you let them know? I guarantee that if you do, it'll be a heart-warming experience, not only for them, but for yourself, as well.

Christina, merci and gracias!

HeartMath is a registered trademark of the Institute of HeartMath.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pebbles in My Shoe

On my walk this morning, I had a goal of doing my route in forty-five minutes. That meant that I had to move. I was so intent on accomplishing my goal that I couldn't stop to shake out the pebbles in my shoe, even though it would likely improve the speed of my walk, which was my intention after all.

Stress is like that...we are so intent in getting to the finish line that we sometimes forget to stop to take care of our own comfort - whether it be emotionally, mentally and/or physically. Some of us know that we need to remove the pebbles, but we may not know how or feel that we don't have the time. The truth is that we actually become more efficient and our performance improves when we start to manage our stressful thoughts.

Warning! Side-effects may include: better sleep, improved performance, greater sense of calm, more joy, less fear and frustration, improved memory, enhanced creativity, greater pain-control, and in general, a better life!

To find out more:

Thanks to Mary Ellen Rynes for the photo!