Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Book of Love

Although you may not remember the song, you have probably heard, "I wonder, wonder who, who wrote the book of love..." by, rather appropriately, if you heard my singing voice, (LOL), The Monotones.

John Gottman had nothing to do with those lyrics, as far as I know, but he has written several books on love, relationships and marriage, which are full of useful, practical tips and information based on his many years of research in Seattle.

Coming up in Langley, B.C. on Nov. 8 & 9th is a workshop entitled, "The Art & Science of Love" - offered by Gottman-trained therapists.

This weekend is one that is enlightening, entertaining and educational. The skills you'll learn at this seminar are transferable to all areas of your life - they also blend well with the techniques and tools that you can learn from Change of Heart Stress Solutions.

Photo by: Marja Flick-Buijs

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mistakes

Have you never made a mistake? Just what I thought. We're human and we all make them...big, small, by omission, intentionally or by accident, through carelessness or deliberately. They're all there.

How many of you tend to revisit that mistake in your mind? Cringing and berating yourself, wondering how you could have been so stupid?

I made one last week - a costly one. My intention was to take initiative and take care of something myself - well, this is one time it backfired. What has been interesting is the tendency to think about it and beat myself up over it. Something I've done my entire life - I would go on "paying" for weeks, sometimes months. That kind of thinking is a habit that grew. It was well-tended, after all! But, I now recognize that it was non-resourceful.

Somehow, we think that by constantly "chewing" on the error, we're doing something about it. Unfortunately, it's an emphatic "No!" Each time we revisit the problem our body goes through a process which causes further damage to our health and sense of well-being.

What's done is done - we can take action to correct the error and then ask what we have learned and hopefully, apply it in the next situation and not have to re-learn that lesson.

Old habits die hard, especially if your normal modus operandi is to beat yourself up. Try this: Next time you make a mistake, change that word to feedback. Before reading on, sit for a moment and reflect upon that word...what is different? Are you breathing differently? Do you want to get up and walk away? Calmer? Just notice how you feel.

Awareness is the first step. Then comes replacement. What if you could replace that worry with a more resourceful behaviour? What would that feel like? Some people find a greater sense of peace while others have more energy. (The key is to have an alternate behaviour to fill the void of the one you're replacing. Nature doesn't like a vacuum!)

Fortunately, I have techniques to implement as soon as I catch myself doing that kind of stinking thinking. In addition to having a replacement behaviour, the side-effects from those damaging stress hormones are also minimised.

(Photo: Gundolf, Milan, Italy)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Game of Pool Anyone?


I am not a pool player, but for those who are, you may be able to relate to this analogy.

What would happen if you played pool on a table without pockets? Yes, you're reading that correctly. I imagine you'd say that the game is pointless.

How many of you have no idea what you'd like to do next or are afraid to even start? Perhaps, like that pool table with no pockets, there is no starting point because there is no end point. How do you know which way to go if you don't have an idea of the destination?

By choosing to do nothing, we are still choosing and it does produce an outcome...one we may not like. That "outcome" contributes to more of the same - in other words it sets up a cycle; one that leaves us stuck.

How do you change the game?

1. Activate the power of your heart. The heart is actually the strongest organ in the body and with some easy to apply techniques you will be able to take advantage of this "power-assist" feature. When you do, life gets easier.

2. Brainstorm a list of things you'd like to do - even if you think they're outrageous. Put them down anyway.

3. Choose one thing from your list and ask yourself how to move closer to accomplishing this one thing.

4. Then, do it.

5. Be patient - it may not be the right thing or you may need to do something differently.

6. Activate the power of your heart and ask again.

7. Repeat as necessary.

8. Soon, you'll be playing a different kind of game!

Photo: Dmytro Samsonov

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Grandest Pyramid Scheme Of All!


I like to think of my services as a type of "Pyramid Scheme". Wait a moment, it's not what you think!

People are not at their best when they're living under constant stress. They say and do things that are not truly reflective of who they are.

Speaking for myself, I know that within a certain "window" I could function very well. However, if life threw something unusual or different into my path (as is normal), I would fall off the proverbial window ledge.

By learning techniques to transform your stress, you have more resilience so that you are not so easily bothered by things that get in your way. When you are able to handle more, you do more and you are also "more" - more balanced, more joyful and more forgiving & giving (of yourself).

How does the Pyramid Scheme come in? When I teach people how to transform their stress they begin to live a better life - one that is in accordance with who they are. They begin to step into their lives and be all they can be...gee, sounds like an army slogan I once heard. Just imagine what you will do when you are feeling calmer and more energized and joyful!

Stop and really think about that...

Are you feeling more magnanimous? As a result, do you then go on and help others in some little way - maybe a compliment, encouragement, friendship? Then because of your kindness, they may in turn pass it forward...

Just like in the book of the same name, you may not know whose lives you've touched and how you've been the catalyst for your own Pay It Forward Movement.

I think because of the immediacy of the media, we often think that our small, unnoticed gestures are unremarkable...they are noticeable, to the people who are the recipients.

I invite you to start your own "Pyramid Scheme" by learning to transform your stress.

Photo: Lorenzo S.