Monday, June 28, 2010

Simplici - Tea

My goal is to make the majority of our meals from scratch, using wholesome ingredients. Generally speaking, I succeed.

With some planning, it doesn't take a lot of extra time, contrary to what we've been "sold" by some convenience food makers.

Similarly, stress transformation doesn't require a great deal of time. Since you are thinking and feeling anyway, why not make time and learn to guide the way you think and feel? Brew up some fine heart-felt feelings like appreciation, care and compassion and you'll enjoy a change in stress levels.

You'll be asking for more when you notice how simple it is to feel that much better.

Speaking of seconds, here is my recipe for made-from-scratch iced tea:

1 teabag of black tea
1 teabag of fruit-flavoured herbal tea
2 pinches of loose-leaf green tea (or a green tea bag)
1 stock of mint
1 stock of lemon balm (optional)
Slices of citrus (orange, lemon, lime)
Sugar or honey to taste

1. Boil water.
2. Place the tea in a pitcher.
3. Pour water over tea. Let steep a few minute.
4. Remove tea bags.
5. Add herbs and sugar. Stir well.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Listen with Your "hEARt"

I've done it. You probably have, too.

Someone has called you or stopped you on the street to chat. Your child comes home from school to tell you about what happened that day.


You're not really listening. You're continuing to work on whatever problem you are resolving. You may be thinking about what you have to do for the day. Your mind is engaged, elsewhere.

This may or may not be obvious to the listener. At first.

Then, something clicks. They realise that when they speak to you, you're not present. You may be in the past, replaying a discussion or argument. You could be in the future, reviewing tomorrow's agenda. Or, you may just be...lost in the newspaper, a television program or texting.

If this continues for any length of time, you may find that the important people in your life stop telling you things.

Do you really want your children, your spouse or your friend to stop talking to you? When something serious happens, will they trust you to listen?

Inadvertently, you are teaching them. Is this the lesson you intended?

I think there's a reason, the word "ear" can be found in "heart". When you listen from your heart, the other person feels it. They sense that you value what they're saying and you care for them.

Be "hear" now. Step out of your thoughts. Put down the newspaper. Look away from the television. Simply focus on the speaker and open your hEARt. Even for 5 minutes. What is different?

There's another side to this...the speaker's role. That's for another post, though.

Image courtesy of Andrea Kratzenberg.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Intuition - A Signal from the Heart

"I wonder if this is such a good idea?" I thought, just after  handing over my charge card to complete a transaction.

The next week, I received a phone call from that same charge card company. My card had been compromised.

Coincidence? Probably not.

When stress is regularly transformed, intuition improves. Granted, I could have done with this information a little earlier!

What do stress techniques and intuition have to do with one another? A few things. Studies are showing that the heart responds to an event seconds prior to its taking place.

Heart rate variability - the way in which the heart speeds up and slow down - changes. That change is transmitted to your brain, which processes this information.
    When you are under stress, your attention is elsewhere, so you may miss those subtle signals of 'knowingness'.

    Practising undress-the-stress techniques like recognising when you're experiencing stress - circulating negative thoughts and emotions - then actively replacing them with positive thoughts and feelings changes your heart rhythm.

    With practise, you become more adept at recognising and trusting the messages that you are intuiting.

    Now, if only I could intuit the correct numbers for the upcoming lottery draw that everyone is discussing!

    Image courtesy of Ronaldo Taveira.

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    This is Stress!

    Is your "Inner Monster" growing? Are you feeding it a steady diet of negative thoughts and emotions?

    Do you feel as if you were your own complaint department - one that never closes?

    Put the monster on a diet and develop shorter hours for that inner complaint department. Learn how swirling negative thoughts and emotions have a detrimental affect on your body. Then, practise replacing them with positive, heart-activated techniques which help to balance your nervous system.

    Balancing your nervous system means so many things. Increased energy. Better sleep. Improved cognitive functioning. Flourishing creativity. Fewer aches and pains.

    How would that feel?

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Let Go for Flow

    I usually put the finishing touches on my weekly post on Monday evenings. Last week was different. Not one of my one hundred and eighty-eight parked posts in various states of completion seemed suitable for publishing.

    Tuesday...Wednesday...and most of Thursday. Still no closer to posting.

    Maybe I was being too fussy? Perhaps something greater was coming my way? Or, could there be a lesson that needed refreshing? (The "Let Go for Flow" lesson.)

    I discovered that it was all three reasons.

    Fussing over a post creates stress. Stress hampers creativity. Creativity, on the other hand, equals flow.

    "Let go," was the answer that came to me when I practised a stress technique. Rather than my having to chase a post, life threw me a wonderfully synchronous event. This has since turned into two posts! (Being able to recognise "coincidences" is part of being in the flow.)

    I'm still flabbergasted! I did not consciously know that the teacher would teach Venn diagrams on the very day that I decided to use one to reinforce a lesson on responsibility.

    I believe that there is something larger at work, something that is happening beneath our level of consciousness. It's as if we were to tap into a great underground river - one that allows us to flow along, with awe, ease and gratitude. As we develop our awareness and transform our stress, the flow increases.

    When I'm writing, I know that I'm in the flow when it feels as if the words are pouring out of my fingers. This is really the heart connection. By activating the power of the heart, we plug into an amazing source of power that augments our brain power, enabling us to perform better.

    When we perform better, it feels good. We all need a lot more of that. Wouldn't you agree?

    What does it feel like when you are in the flow?

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