Friday, August 28, 2009

Dearth of Earth

Every Friday, Conrad, Ramana, Grannymar, Ashok and Magpie of the Loose Blog Consortium (LBC) post on a topic suggested by one of the members. I am honoured to receive an invitation to join this creative group. Please visit their blogs and see what a web of words are woven around Grannymar's topic - Murder.

Funeral services will be held for Mother Earth, who suffered a long, slow and painful death at the hands of those who claimed to love her best. At last count, it is estimated that she was 4.54 billion years old. She is survived by Sister Moon and Brother Sun, as well as a number of relatives, both near and far. Witnesses reported that they heard her gasps for help and saw her tears flow, but despite their best efforts, they felt powerless to prevent her murder.

Her recent years have been difficult - she has taken much abuse. She issued cries of help - stormy outbursts, followed by periods of drought. She had expressed concern over the impending loss of many friends, fearing for her own life.

There are some who claim that this is the normal cycle of life and that she has already lived a long, healthy life. Others fear that her murder could have been prevented with education and conservation methods.

Breaking news...this just in...
It's not too late! Scientists claim that she can be revived. The 3 Rs (Reduce. Reuse. Recycle) begin with you. Start with heart and consider the impact of her passing, not only yourself, but for your children and grand-children.

Image courtesy of Sigurd Decroos

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Living Lab

Yes, you too can be a scientist in the great lab called life.

As my husband and I work on my new website, we are provided with another excellent opportunity to observe science in the making. As we interact, it is interesting to note how we work together. Or at times, don't.

By becoming aware and getting curious you begin to notice how you do things. Like stress, for instance.

A certain mannerism, a sigh or a groan, even a tone of voice may trigger a stress response, fueled in part by the amygdala - a tiny gland that is big on recognizing patterns. Unfortunately, the patterns only have to be "close enough" to a previous fear/anger-producing event in order to implement the flight or fight response and release a cascade of 1400 chemical changes.

The great news is that you can circumvent this cascade by:
  1. Being aware that this cascade occurs.
  2. Getting curious about your triggers in a non-judgmental way. Beating yourself up about how you responded only serves to add to your stress.
  3. Learn techniques that are heart-activated. For example, use feelings of care and appreciation for oneself and the other person as you work together.
  4. Lots and lots of practise with your new behaviours. Don't worry, the fact that you're alive means you'll have plenty of opportunities to review in your daily interactions.
As for our living lab, we'll continue to practise! Life is a process, after all.

Photo courtesy of H. Berends

Friday, August 21, 2009

What is Love?

I am honoured to receive an invitation to join the Loose Blog Consortium (LBC). Conrad, Ramana, Grannymar, Ashok and Magpie post on a weekly topic that is suggested by each LBC member in turn. Please visit their blogs and see what wonderous words are woven around Ramana's suggestion - Love.

Cervantes said, "He who sings, scares away his woes." I can't think of a better way to start the weekend than by putting a little music in your heart.

What is Love?

Love is:
When you truly start to listen to what is in your heart, you act from a place of higher good. The remarkable thing is that when you do, your heart rhythms smoothen out. This causes a favourable cascade of biochemical, neural and hormonal events to occur, benefiting not only you, but those with whom you come into contact.

You have a powerful and portable stress transformer available anytime you care to activate it with this Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

It's your turn to have a little fun. Please add a song that illustrate a quality of love.

Image courtesy of Christian Ferrari.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ticking Along

"Takes a licking and keeps on ticking." That was the tag line from the Timex television commercials that aired in the 60's, 70's and 80's.

I am fortunate to have Dr. Don Grant and Dr. Stefan Sigalet of the 6th St. Chiropractic and Wellness in Burnaby, B.C. to keep me ticking - through all sorts of "weather".

Over the years, I've had superb pre and post-surgical care, fabulous "get me moving" emergency care (like what befell me at the beginning of summer) and the so-important "keep my joints moving" care. Along the way, I've also increased my knowledge of anatomy and physiology - they're always ready to explain how the SCM functions or where the navicular is located and any other parts about which you may be curious, like your neurological system.

They are exceptionally skilled and personable chiropractors who provide a unique and common-sense approach to health and wellness. They've earned a well-deserved reputation that crosses provincial and state borders.

Upon first walking into this office you are warmly welcomed by Mariann or Susan. They are delighted to answer any questions you may have, as they also regularly experience the benefits of being treated by Dr. Grant or Dr. Sigalet.

If you're looking for massage therapy, Annette Johnston is available to ease your aches and pains, as well as your ears. (She has such a soothing, musical voice!)

Have you ever noticed that you don't feel that well in certain places and around certain people? That you tend to pick up the nervous energy and negative feelings that are around you? 6th St. Chiropractic and Wellness is not one of those places. They've created a great environment - one where you get that sense of "Ahhh!"

 This is subtle heart energy at work - the positive thoughts and feelings that are generated here help to synchronise the heart rhythms of those fortunate enough to be present. This is good for your health and well-being and ultimately, for those with whom you come into contact. That's the Reverberational Effect at work.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the tip of my toes and to the end of my nose for keeping me ticking along!

If you start to pay attention you'll notice that you feel better in places and with people that feed your heart.

Think about the places in which you feel good.
  • What makes them special?
  • Who is there?
  • What are you doing?
Image courtesy of Svilen Mushkatov

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Playing with the "Big Kids"

Do you remember the sense of trepidation you felt when you were asked to play with the big kids? Your fear-based self-talk may have gone something like this, "Oh, they want me to play! But, I'm not good enough. What if I can't keep up? I don't want to look silly."

Then, you forgot yourself and your worries. You began to enjoy the game and have fun. When it was all over, you felt a sense of accomplishment for taking a risk and joining the big kids. Yes, they truly wanted you in the game. In fact, they saw strengths and abilities in you that your fears had over-ridden.

On 73 Ways to Become a Better Writer, Mary Jaksch suggests attempting different genres of writing. Poetry is one genre that I'm not comfortable with - neither reading nor writing. So, why not start there?

In a recent post to Kayt Hoch, I commented:

AuntieStress: @poetwist One of these days I may be brave enough to take u up on ur poetry challenge! :)

Kayt Hoch punctuates the day with daily tweets of encouragement which help us prod our inner poet.

Yesterday, she tweeted the following prompt to the Twitterverse.

Add your voice :-) word prompts & new poetry each weekday – today's word: curtain – looking forward to reading your tweet! #poetwist ∞∞

My hesitant but "go for it anyway" tweet:

@poetwist Will send u my first foible...playing with the "big kids" now! :) Why I'm making it public is beyond me! :~o

Followed by my first public attempt at poetry in a number of years. Many, many, years!:

AuntieStress @poetwist Stress closes the curtain of joy/Light♥edness is heavily-weighted /Is this what u wish 2 destroy?/A catastrophe abated

Promptly cheering me on, Kayt replied with:

@AuntieStress thanks for joining in :-) pushing the boundaries & risking a bit is palm sweaty for everyone - way to go for it!!

And a compliment on my very public poetic tweet:

@AuntieStress very nice write! excellent opening line - 'curtain' of joy is a wonderful turn of phrase - thought provoking message too!

The interesting part to me was the process. I knew I wanted to venture out of my comfort zone and a tweet is a perfect place from which to fly - only 140 characters, plus Kayt was gently pushing me out of the nest.

Once I committed myself to writing a 140 character poem, it happened in mere minutes. That's the power of the heart. It's the strangest and most wonderful of feelings! The words seemed to appear out of nowhere - it's almost a sense of not thinking, or perhaps, more aptly, not trying to think.

As I continue to transform my stress and balance my nervous system by using the power of the heart, I experience this flow on a more frequent basis. It's what cortical facilitation is all about - the quietening of the fear-based "noise," in order to be able to hear and convey the true essence of what you want to say.

Finally, in a further email discussion, Kayt had this to share, "I can relate too, to the description of your process - I am an intuitive artist/writer - the initial work is more like a channel opening than me actually 'deciding' to 'do' anything. After that of course comes the intensity of disciplined crafting, molding the raw material into a final product."

I feel privileged to be playing with the big kids! Thanks to Kayt for awakening our poetry palate and creating a space for us all to play and experiment!

Image courtesy of Paulo Correa

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nosing the Past - The Good and the Bad

My oma was a prodigious user of Comet. A whiff of that cleanser and I am instantly transported back to Oma's bathroom - the one with the white-enameled tub that seemed, at least to my toddler-self, as big as a swimming pool. That's a great memory for me and one I use with my techniques to get me into the Stress-Free Zone.

Your sense of smell can remind you of events that are less than pleasant. For example, the smell of burnt rubber may cause you to recall a car accident. Or the smell of ashtrays may remind you that you didn't feel safe when those raucous parties took place in your home. These smells trigger the release of stress hormones so quickly, that unless you are aware of what has happened, you may find yourself suddenly feeling ill-at-ease, sad or fearful.

Other smells may instantly cause you to smile or feel a sense of comfort - they're the ones that generate happy feelings. Someone walks by and their cologne reminds you of your first kiss. The pleasant memory and feelings of sitting around a camp-fire on a warm summer's evening may be gently blown your way when you are out on an evening stroll and you smell your neighbour's wood-burning fireplace.

The sense of smell can elicit emotions that signal your brain to inundate your body with chemicals. Positive emotions cause a chemical cascade that leave you feeling good. Negative emotions produce chemical changes that prepare the body for flight or fight, otherwise known as the stress response. This is biological programming from cave-man days which is still activated in our 21st century bodies in response to the perception of danger, regardless of whether it is seen, smelled, heard or felt.

When you are aware of this process, you are then in a position to change your perceptions which gives you greater control to activate feel-good techniques. As you nose around in your past, you can train yourself to make scents of memories that create a feeling of well-being and less stress.

What "scentual" memories does your nose know?

Photo courtesy of Sophie