Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Access Your Power

"Auntie, please come play Mario Kart Wii with me?" asked my niece.

How could I refuse that enthusiastic request?

As I was "driving" around the track - I want it put on the record that I don't drive like that in real life! - she continued to encourage me. "Access your power, Auntie! Access your power!" (For those uninitiated, one is able to do just that - access their power - when a particular feature of the game pops up.)

Since then, I've been thinking about how we choose and don't choose to access our own power.

Our power centre is the heart. Both literally and figuratively. It keeps us alive and it serves as our guide. When we listen to what is in our heart, we are able to do better.

The heart is the strongest organ in the body and it can work independently outside of the body. It has a powerful electromagnetic field, which sends information to each and every cell. It also conveys information to those around us. You know when someone is open-hearted, don't you?

Start paying attention and notice when you immediately feel comfortable with someone - what is their emotional state like? That's heart energy at work.

As I continue to practise stress techniques, I am better-able to access my power - it is pure, energy-efficient and driven by the heart.

How and when are you accessing your own power?

Image courtesy of Abdulaziz Almansour.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"I Don't Care!"

Those three little words come heavily-weighted...usually with care that has gone awry.

If you look closely, and dig deeply, you'll probably find that before those words were uttered, you did care. Very much. Perhaps, too much?

Quite often, so much energy is invested in whatever you may care deeply about, that it becomes a drain. Then, when things don't go the way you hope or expect, you become disappointed, frustrated or hurt. "I don't care!" can become a way to insulate or protect oneself.

If left untransformed, these negative feelings and emotions can trigger the stress response.

What to do? Cultivate a more balanced perspective. Realise that you can only do so much. Activate sincere feelings of heart-propelled intelligence. Continue this practise as you run and march and stroll and linger through your days.

Image courtesy of BSK.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten Suggestions for Undressing Your Stress

  1. Be thankful for what you have.

  2. On a daily basis, do the small things that make you smile. They add up. That first cup of coffee, a hot shower, a hug from your child, the smell of a bar of  soap that transports you to another place and time, a glance at your favourite piece of art work, etc. Do you take these things for granted? Would you miss them if they were gone? Enjoy them while you can.

  3. Schedule time for the bigger things that bring you joy.

  4. Celebrate! Your little successes, your big successes and those of others, as well.

  5. Get enough rest, water, nutrition, exercise and friendship. Appreciate that you have enough rest, water, nutrition, exercise and friendship.

  6. Spend some time alone in nature, without the distractions of your cell phone, PDA, iPod or iPad. A park bench will do. Start with a few minutes and increase the time. Appreciate your body for all it does for you. Feel the beating power of your heart and the gentle rhythm of your diaphragm.

  7. Don't catch "comparititis". Stop comparing yourself to others. No two lives are exactly the same.

  8. Move away from the "Complainers' Table" at lunch time. This may be a good time to do # 6.

  9. Do your best each day. Be aware that some days your best will be less than the day before. Allow yourself  to accept this; ease your suffering.

  10. Learn techniques that help you treat the cause of your stress and not just your symptoms. Activate the power of your heart. It makes 1 to 9 easier to do.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Avoiding the Crash

I was stopped at the intersection on a busy highway, awaiting the advanced left turn signal. The light changed and I started to proceed through the intersection. Fortunately, I noticed the rapidly-approaching truck and came to a halt. At the last minute, the driver managed to stop, but not without fishtailing into the intersection with a squeal of brakes.

It was a close call. My body immediately responded to this potential threat to my life. My heart was pounding, my stomach did that loopy-di-loop and I was shaky. If I had glanced in the mirror, I probably would have seen dilated pupils and noticed a pallor to my skin. I knew enough to debrief myself by celebrating that an accident was averted and giving thanks that nothing happened.

Did you know your body goes through this same process based on what you are thinking and feeling? It may not be as obvious as in my near-miss, but the flight or fight response does get activated. Over time, without techniques in place to transform the effects of this constant activation, you re-educate your nervous system, so it takes less and less to activate. You may notice that this has begun to affect your mental, emotional and physical health.

Researchers now know that stress is linked to a number of medical conditions.If you live with a chronic medical condition, Google the name of your condition, plus "stress". Surprised? By learning to treat the cause of your stress, not just the symptoms, you can do a lot to help yourself.

If you have no medical conditions, but suspect that stress is beginning to rule your life, avoid the crash and learn some techniques that will be of benefit to you as you travel the highways of life.

Image courtesy of Chris Chidsey.