Monday, February 28, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Puns for the Educated Mind - Part 1

The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .

She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.


Image courtesy of Rainer Topf.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Emotionally Connected - Courtesy of Sidney Crosby and Tim Hortons

Why is this Sidney Crosby/Tim Hortons commercial so powerful?  In a word - emotions! (I confess that even though you won't catch me watching Hockey Night in Canada, I am moved by this commercial.)

Growing up around snow and skating on frozen patches of ice, driving down streets where you saw kids playing hockey and yelling "Car!" - distant echoes from the past, a remembering of simpler times, of dreams and hopes and rosy cheeks.

Emotions - we all have them. It's what gives our life quality and meaning. Learning to use positive thoughts and feelings transforms your stress. It is the basis of good emotional management, a skill that can be learned and practised.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Still Wondering

It's been a week and I am no closer to solving it.

A mysterious someone wished me flowers in the grass, memories that last, shelter from the passing rain and a Happy Valentine's Day, accompanied by a basket-full of tasty treats to tantalise.

Last week was challenging. You could even say it was stressful. But I have been able to utilise the Valentine's Day surprise to shift my thoughts from the negative stress-inducing ones and activate more positive feelings such as gratitude, joy and wonder.

And, speaking of wondering ... were you the generous and thoughtful soul who sent this basket my way?

Do you care to share any surprises that make your heart sing when you recall them?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blasting from the Past - Restoring the Present

Some time ago, I tweeted this on Twitter:

Wkend feel-good assignment.Who have u not spoken to in quite some time? Give them a call/arrange a get-together. Happy♥=undressed stress! (I've left the message in its abbreviated form to maintain authenticity. Twitter places a 140 character restriction on each tweet.)

I took my own advice and once again, did a Google search for him. This time I got results! (Sounds like some kind of espionage thriller, doesn't it?)

OK, since you've asked, I'll tell you. It's the very talented, much-respected Stuart Fraser, a teacher friend with whom I worked and socialised when I lived in Thompson, Manitoba.

How wonderful and affirming to receive an email that read as follows: "Wow!! I can't believe it! I've been thinking of you over the years but could never find you. Your married name is the reason."

He, in turn, passed my email on to Bert, another gifted and well-loved teacher from that chapter of my life. In addition to teaching in Quebec at a CEGEP, Bert writes under the nom de plume (of sorts) of Anthony Morrissey-Ready.

"The genre is religious satire/folklore/historical and a bit of philosophizing thrown in for good measure. It's all I want to do once the marking is finished. I have a good many laughs bringing back the nicknames, expressions and stories from the village."

It's wonderful to hear from them and to see how they're enjoying what they do and how what they do is a powerful stress-undressing practice! Stuart, now that he has retired, has paired his love of technology and writing into a business that marries both. Bert, who has always been creative and a great tale-teller, has taken the leap into publishing.

The more frequently you immerse yourself in positive emotions, which includes the restoration of friendships, the more you increase your resilience and your ability to stay steady, regardless of the weather.

For more information on resilience, please visit the Resilience Research Centre.

Image courtesy of Ralph Morris.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Happy Valentine's Day!

How many of you bought some brain-shaped candy for your loved ones this Valentine's Day? --------I didn't think so.

The brain is important. Remember that it is both the science and the art of the heart that gives your life depth, "breath" and joy.

I'd like to take you to back to November 28, 2009. We were at the beautiful and historic Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, B.C., attending the VSO Pops Silver Screen Classics series.

The orchestra had played its last tune, the vocalists had hit their final notes and the conductor had made his closing remarks, when ...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Unleash Good Habits

"Holly, heel!.......Heel, Holly!" as we went around the course, yet another time.

"Come, Holly, heel!"

"Do you usually ask Holly to come when you want her to heel?", asked Chanone.

"No, not usually," I replied, truthfully.

Five minutes later, I heard it: "Holly!...Holly, heel!"

I honestly thought and believed that I wasn't saying "Come!" Chanone's simple question served to harness my attention by helping me recognise a non-resourceful habit and replace it with one that would help me help Holly replicate the target behaviour. Inadvertently, I was impeding our progress by sending her mixed messages. "Come!' and "Heel! are two very different commands with two very different outcomes.

Despite having read numerous books and watching a few videos, it was evident that I needed further help with training. I was reinforcing some negative habits; I needed some practical solutions to help Holly to become the well-behaved dog that we know she is!

In the process, I was getting frustrated with the very exuberant and adolescent Holly. I didn't want to establish this pattern of frustration and instil negative habits.

After making a few phone calls and speaking with a number of trainers, I settled upon Chanone at Canine Harmony Dog Training. Her philosophy meshed with what I do as a stress coach, so it was a natural fit to work with her.

Calmly and efficiently, she creates the right learning environment and provides practical solutions to encourage you and your dog to work in harmony.

Did you know that harmony also occurs within your body? When you learn to balance your nervous system through heart-activated techniques, your cognitive, physiological and emotional systems harmonise. You also efficiently and effectively use all three levels of your brain.

Learning to undress your stress with do-anywhere, apply any-time techniques is good for you and good for those with whom you come into contact.

You become more adept at accomplishing your goals in a creative and productive manner. You begin to be more fully aware of each moment, which is why stress transformation is so powerful in the business of habit-change.

Untangle yourself from your "knotty" habits and gain a new "leash" on life by contacting me - Auntie Stress.

Five Reasons to Work with a Teacher, Trainer, Coach or Mentor:
  1. You benefit from their considerable experience. They've put in many hours to learn what they're sharing with you.
  2. Tips and techniques are provided that help you integrate what you are learning and achieve your goals faster.
  3. They identify what you are doing right, so you can build upon it.
  4. They point out what you are doing incorrectly, so you don't incorrectly practise a skill which then becomes a bad habit that is more difficult to unlearn. Learn to do it correctly from the beginning.
  5. Accountability - you may have good intentions of learning something new, but without the encouragement, those good intentions may end up sitting on the shelf collecting 'dust'. 
  6. Much like that language program you were going to follow or those exercise DVDs that you bought.
Leash image courtesy of Tvrtko Stuka.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Grade Three Wisdom

A Grade 3 teacher collected well-known proverbs.  She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb.
  • A penny saved is............................not much.
  • Two's company, three's..................the Musketeers.
  • Don't put off till tomorrow put on to go to bed.
  • Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and have to blow your nose.
  • Children should be seen and not.........spanked or grounded.
  • If at first you don't succeed.............get new batteries.
  • You get out of something only what you...........see in the picture on the box.
  • When the blind leadeth the blind...........get out of the way.
  • Better late than .........................pregnant.
Image courtesy of Sigurd Decroos.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How Small Can He Go? (+ Draw to Win a Spurtle)

Maarten Meerman, known as @nanotray on Twitter, is “lathen” with talent, skill and creativity.

His creative projects showcase a marvellous blend of his engineering mind with delightful heart-inspired helpings of creativity and variety.

These works of art are shipped around the world and include a to-scale miniature of this historical chair, nano replicas of satellites, ballet barres (full-size and miniatures), as well as logo-inspired spurtles.

Visit Nanotray and be amazed at his out-of-this-world work, which impossibly seems to improve with each successive project.

If you're looking for a unique gift, a whimsical item or original branding for your business, please contact Maarten to discuss creating and shaping your vision.

Are you interested in winning a beautiful, yet practical kitchen tool? A spurtle, generously donated by Maarten, could be coming to a kitchen near you.

How to enter:
In 150 words or less, tell us how you stirred up some joy for someone you know. The winner will be chosen from the answers posted in the comment section.

In the recounting of your tale of joy, what did you notice about how you were feeling? I'll wager that you were smiling as you typed out your answer. Shifting into positive thoughts and feelings is an excellent stress undresser; regular practise (and it does require practise) will begin the process of restoration and revitalisation. Redress your life with techniques that leave you feeling grrrrrrreeeeaaatttt!