Monday, May 30, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Punny Stuff # 1

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia - the LAN down under.

A lot of money is tainted - Taint yours and taint mine.

A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.


Image courtesy of Joe Zlomek.

Thanks to Connie, a pun master in her own right, for sending me these.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Boiling Pot = A Stress Lesson

I turned the stove to maximum to boil the soup stock.

Invariably, I end up with a mess around the element from the roiling soup.

I realised that I could accomplish the same thing and bring the soup stock to a boil, simply by choosing a lower temperature.

How much energy are you using to get through your day? Is it efficient, or are you burning and boiling at a higher temperature than necessary and making a mess of things?

There are two branches of the Autonomic Nervous System. The Sympathetic Nervous System is like a stove with the burner on maximum heat. Whereas, the Parasympathetic Nervous System is an element that is turned off. We function best when there is a balance between the two.

Initially, many people are in "overheat". Like that pot of bubbling broth, the Sympathetic Nervous System is on "High". Gogogogogo - until then they boil over or burn out - the nervous system becomes worn out, and the scene is set for ill-health.

Learn to lower your "temperature" and achieve more with less energy.

Image courtesy of Ruben Las Palmas.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mirhtful Monday - Timing is EVERYTHING!

I have received permission to recount the following anecdote, which was told to me by someone who shall remain anonymous.

She had just had her first baby and was at a gynecological appointment. Just as the doctor was about to examine her,
she heard him say, "Oh no! . . . This is not good! . . . Oh my goodness!"

Naturally, she became quite concerned.

She asked what was wrong.

He told her that his wife, who was also a doctor, had left the examination light on overnight. It turned out that the heat from the lamp had melted the plastic drawer of the examination table!

Image courtesy of Melodi T.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Want: What Women

Do I or don't I? I know that by typing a certain four-lettered word, I'll attract a certain type of reader faster than a texting teen!

I'll work around it and not even make mention of the word.

A friend sent a funny email with "*Ahem* for Women" in the subject line. You can look at the images here.

What makes this so humorous? In part, it has to do with how simple it can be to make a woman happy. Kind gestures and actions generate positive feelings. They are felt in the heart. From there, signals are sent to the brain. The brain interprets those signals and when they are deemed positive and not a threat to safety, the stress response - flight or fight - is not activated! And who knows what that can lead to! ;)

A number of my female clients struggle with doing it all. Not only do they work outside of the home, but in many cases, they are responsible for ensuring that the household runs as smoothly as the famed Dutch railroad system. Often, the care and feeding of children and spouse and all the planning and work that is involved falls onto their overloaded shoulders. Aging parents may also require a slot on a calendar that seems to always be short a week or two. At day's end, they collapse into bed, exhausted, only to be frustrated by their poor quality of sleep. When they finally do fall asleep, the cacophony of the alarm clock signals that it is time to start all over again. This is not a recipe for romance.

Emotions matter
Emotions infuse our lives with querulousness or quality, pain or pleasure, turbulence or tranquility. In the ocean of life, sometimes you are on the crest of a wave, other times in the trough. It's through the practised activation of positive thoughts and emotions that you learn to keep afloat.

Fans of Star Trek - The Next Generation may remember Data's curiosity about and desire for emotions. In this clip, Data gets a taste of the joys of a positive feeling, courtesy of Q:

You gotta have heart!
I can't discuss emotions without this scene from The Wizard of Oz. The Tin Man shares his longing for a heart, and with good reason. It's the place where we feel and the place where we begin our stress transformation process.

What do women want?
All you need to do is ask, then act from your heart!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Grade Three Wisdom - Part 2

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.

Better to be safe than.....................punch a 5th grader.

Strike while the ............................bug is close.

It's always darkest before...............Daylight Savings Time.

Never underestimate the power of...termites.

You can lead a horse to water

Don't bite the hand that..................looks dirty.

No news is....................................impossible.

A miss is as good as a...................Mr.

You can't teach an old dog new...........math.

If you lie down with dogs, you'll..........stink in the morning.

The pen is mightier than the............pigs.

An idle mind is...............................the best way to relax.

Where there's smoke there's..........pollution.

Love all,

Related Post: Grade Three Wisdom

Image courtesy of Ivan Prole.

Mirthful Monday - Truths Learned in Adulthood

1) Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt. 
3) Families are like fudge . . . mostly sweet, with a few nuts. 
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground. 
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle-age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the joy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Soaking in the Love Tub

What are some of the things you enjoy doing?

Do you realize the significance of making time to do them, if only for five minutes?

When you fully commit to doing the things you love, your negative thoughts and feelings fall away. Your focus shifts and with it, so too, does the chemical cascade that is triggered by the signals that your heart is sending to your brain. Rather than operating from a flight-fight response (generated by a threat to your safety), you are now acting from a position of safety. 

In order to ensure that you maintain those activities, it is important to be cognizant of the restorative power of the feelings that are generated when you do what you love to do.

It is an indication that you would benefit from stress coaching, if you have difficulty answering, "What makes your heart sing?" Remember that stress rewires your nervous system and sets up the scene for ill-health whether it be mental, emotional or physical health. Your ability to see the positives in your life may be erased. Negative looping thoughts wear you out. Your self-esteem develops puncture wounds and the sense of who you are deflates.

This weekend, if only for five minutes at a time, do something that makes your heart sing. As you do, you'll be soaking in the metaphorical love tub - a place where your cares are washed away and the positive feelings expand like so many soap bubbles, to effect a change in your physiology, which changes how you feel, which undresses your stress, which ... and so it goes. 

What will you make time for this weekend?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Puns for the Educated Mind - Part 3

A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, “I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.”

Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says “Dam!”

Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, “I've lost my electron.” The other says, “Are you sure?'” The first one replies, “Yes, I'm positive.”

Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Related Posts:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Stressing The Job Market

“I'm sorry, but we'll have to let you go.” Words, that when first heard, can cause one to wonder if they even heard them at all.

Once it sinks in that you are being terminated from your job, you experience a myriad of other thoughts and emotions. How will I tell my family? What am I going to do? Who is going to hire me at this age? How will we live? What will we do without the benefits package?

Initially, there will be a period of grieving. How you handle this dire situation depends upon how much resilience you have. Some people are able to take action and move into more resourceful behaviours. In other words, when the going gets tough, they do what is necessary to move through these unfortunate circumstances.

Others can become ensnared in the stress created by unemployment. They may not know that their negative thoughts and emotions cause the body to go through 1,400 chemical changes. Those changes affect how they feel, emotionally, mentally and physically.

It becomes a vicious cycle – the more stressed one is, the less equipped they are to effectively handle the job-search or interview process. The longer the situation continues, the more difficult it becomes to break out of that pattern. It is crucial to learn techniques and have strategies in place in order to minimise the damage and prevent non-resourceful behaviours, like anxiety, depression or anger from self-perpetuating.

Repercussions of untreated stress:
  • Loss of confidence
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of preparation
  • Poor sleep
  • Quick to take offense or anger
  • Increased nervousness
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Isolation
  • Ill-health
  • Loss of interest in life
  • Development of self-destructive behaviours (addictions)
  • Break-up of relationships (family, friends)
Stress is a matter of perception. It is the interpretation of external events that produces internal distortion or strain. Since stress is an “inside job”, it makes sense to treat the cause from the inside, by learning techniques that allow you to balance the two branches of your nervous system. In addition to becoming calmly efficient, you also gain greater resilience, which is the ability to bounce back from set-backs. A balanced nervous system also means that you are able to go when you need to go and to sleep when it's time for rest.

Stress impacts many areas of one's life. Decision-making. Problem-solving. Creativity. Care for oneself and others. Ability to learn. Resilience. Wouldn't you agree that these are all highly-prized skills in the search for employment?

At a career conference, I heard stories of concern from career professionals about the amount of stress that their clients were experiencing. They were correct in stating that stress negatively impacted their client's performance during the interview process, and even before, while conducting their job search. By learning techniques that treat the cause of stress and not just the symptoms, they were better-positioned to assist their clients to move through the challenges of unemployment.

Loss can be the predominant theme when someone becomes unemployed. Loss of livelihood, standard of living, friends, possessions, health, confidence, joy. Job loss affects not only the person who has lost the job; it also creates stress for the family members and friends who care and see the struggles and feel the pain. Often, they feel powerless and don't know what to say or do to help.

Ten suggestions to ease you back into the job market:
  1. Start searching for work immediately. If unemployment continues for any length of time, you reinforce negative beliefs about yourself, making it that much more difficult to remain confident and determined.
  2. Take action. Develop a plan or strategy. If it's not working, you have the right to change it. Taking action is empowering. Explore the suggestions friends and family have to offer – this may lead to something you hadn't even considered. The important thing is that you do something.
  3. Talk. Talk. Talk. This is the time to force yourself out of the house, even though you may not feel like doing so. Contact everyone you know, often, to see if they know of any work.
  4. Conduct an inventory of your skills and assets. Are there areas that you need to upgrade? What are your strengths? Are you interested in pursuing a different line of work?
  5. Volunteer. This is a great way to meet people who may know people. It also gives you an opportunity to keep your skills current and expands your world at a time when it is shrinking. It takes the focus off your problems and gives you a bit of breathing room, while doing something positive for someone else. The key is in how you approach it – with resentment or an open-heart. Either way, you'll have side-effects. The difference is in whether they are positive or negative. Learn to be more open-hearted and you have just reduced your stress.
  6. Maintain as normal a routine as possible. Often, depression sets in and you give up doing the things that you enjoy doing. This is the time you need to be doing things that bring you pleasure to help prevent triggering the stress response. Cortisol, “the stress hormone”, stays in your body for up to 13 hours. It is cumulative and affects your emotional, mental and physical health, which affects your performance.
  7. Include your family. Ask them to help you problem-solve. Let them know that you are working on a plan and share it with them. They may be able to provide insight or suggestions. Keep them informed.
  8. Nurture friendships. Get creative in the ways you can socialize. There's a good chance that your friends may enjoy saving their money, too!
  9. Restrict the amount of time you listen to the news. Repeated stories about how bad the economy is often serves to discourage, which then causes another flood of stress hormones, making you feel even worse.
  10. Learn about how stress impacts you. When you are stressed, it is like looking through the broad end of a funnel. It is difficult to see opportunities or possibilities. For example, you may not notice the ad in the paper, or hear the conversation between two people on the bus, wondering where they are going to find an employee who just happens to have your qualifications.
In addition to the knowledge of the effects of stress, you need to be able to recognize that when you are stuck in negative emotions, you can apply heart-powered techniques to help balance the two branches of your nervous system. Not only will you feel better, you also increase cortical facilitation. This means you become more creative and resourceful in the way you problem-solve; necessary skills, not only for the job-search process, but also for life.

Let’s put suggestion #3 into action and talk:
  • If you lost your job, have you gone on to do something completely different? Care to share?
  • What and who made the biggest difference to you as you went through this challenging period?
  • What can you do to help someone you know who is looking for work?
  • Do you have additional suggestions for the list?  
I initially published this post as a guest on G.L. Hoffman's blog. In turn, the process of writing this article spawned Reverberational Effect - a post that emphasizes the importance of letting the heart write!

Image courtesy of John Lee.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mirthful Monday - The Impotence of Proofreading

I have great admiration for Taylor's ability to go through this so seamlessly! If you have time, check out some of his other works.

Thanks to @CasperMcFadden for sharing this link!