Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

W.O.W. (Words of Wisdom) from Chris Rock

Over the last couple of years, I rarely watched Oprah.

A couple of weeks ago, however, I tuned in at just the right time.

Chris Rock passed on these wise words which I suggest you read carefully: "Don't like it because you've tried something, not because you dismissed something."


"I know what I like and I like what I know!" you may declare. It's an admirable trait to be so certain.

Bear in mind, though, that as life flows by, you gain new experiences. Your taste buds change. You change. Activities. Friends. Partners. Jobs. Health. This can and does affect how and what you like.

I even have an example to illustrate what I mean. Several weeks ago, we went to the Regional Tasting Lounge, where we were served a set five-course meal. I was dismayed to note that I didn't like three of the courses. But, as I told the owner, I was willing to give them a try. Well, what a surprise! Not only did I like them; I loved them! Kudos to the chef. The food was so delectable and elegantly presented that it enticed me to have a bite. And another, and another!  It seems that my taste buds had changed.

By being open enough to giving those previously disliked courses a try, I felt good. It was a culinary adventure, one upon which I gladly embarked.

Stress can make you dismiss something - an activity, a food, or a person - without giving consideration to how you may have changed. Dependent upon whether you are stressed or not, a different part of the brain is activated. The cascade of stress hormones is akin to making a knee-jerk decision; one that is based on a previously negative experience, which may not fit for the current situation or encounter.

The key to differentiating between the likes and don't likes is in how you are feeling emotionally. That is something you can learn and practise how to do.

That "trying" that Chris Rock speaks of, is life-long adventure and experience.

Image courtesy of Asif Akbar.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Swimming Through Air

Tell me you didn't smile, even just a little bit!

Check out the faces of the people waiting for the elevator.



Thanks to Casper for always finding that just-right something to brighten our days!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Science of Control

Let's just say I was more than surprised when I started watching this episode of National Geographic's Fight Science.

It wasn't the "fight" that intrigued me, but rather the training that these soldiers endured in order to have such utter control of their physiological responses. With scientists, doctors and paramedics standing by, the participants were put into extreme conditions and asked to complete a variety of herculean tasks, all under pseudo extreme conditions.

This show demonstrated that training helps us control our physiological responses to our environment.

At times, a far-from rational rush hour, interminable line-ups or exploding deadlines may seem like a battle-zone. In actuality, our interpretation can trigger the stress response; the get-out-NOW or the stay-and-fight flood of chemicals that was inherited from our ancestors. The flood of chemicals comes complete with side-effects, which in a true life and death situation are necessary for survival.

Without techniques in place to help us reset, restore and revitalize our system, we may find that we are much more reactionary. Patience has trickled away, anger or frustration may be the standard emotional forecast and a sense of well-being has long been buried and forgotten.

You don't need to put yourself in extreme conditions in order to train yourself to choose a better way of maneuvering through your life You do need to practise, though.

Call or email and learn how to work with yourself rather than fight against yourself.

Of interest to you, may be this research about how your brain is changed by city living.

Image courtesy of  Cristian Galletti.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Communication Breakdown



Have you noticed that as stress increases, the channels to communication often break down? The conversational waters become polluted with the flotsam and jetsam of bad feelings which could include anger, resentment, withdrawal and lack of cooperation.

Problems can arise whenever one or both parties involved are stressed. Negative thoughts and feelings can quickly set a conversation off-course. The listener may not be fully engaged or misconstrue the context of what is being said. The speaker may have difficulty with expressing how they feel in a respectful or constructive manner.

Regularly practising stress transformation techniques will help you safely navigate the sometimes murky conversational waters.

If you are learning another language, stress techniques will help you there, too! (More about this in a future post.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Got Tension?

I emailed Gail with a sewing machine tension question: "I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but regardless of which way I adjust the buttons, I'm getting bunching or pulling. Any thoughts?"

Gail replied, "Tension is a funny thing in people and in machines. It's hard to control."

As I thought about Gail's reply, I realized how accurate she was in making the comparison between tension in people and machines. When people get tense, muscles do start to pull; the tightness may even feel like a bunching up in one area of your body.

As far as controlling the tension; it is hard. It is much simpler to learn to manage your emotions with techniques that change the signals that go from the heart to the brain. Rather than flight or fight, you get alive and thrive or alright and delight. There is a different chemical cascade that occurs when you feel positive versus when you feel negative. Notice, I said "feel" as opposed to "think". There's a vast difference; one you'll learn about in a short, targeted program.

When you regularly practise operating from the heart and see the difference, you'll find the tension, or rather, you won't find the tension!

By the way, the solution to my sewing dilemma was to purchase a different type of thread. Thanks for that suggestion, Gail!

Image courtesy of Iwan Beijes.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Life Truths From the Li'l Ones

1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.

2) When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.

3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.

5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.

6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.

7) Never hold a DustBuster and a cat at the same time.

8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.

9) Don't wear polkadot underwear under white shorts.

~ Source Unknown

Friday, August 5, 2011

WheeeOhhhhhOwwww!

Think back to when you were young ...

Do you remember jumping on a wagon and hurtling down a hill with reckless abandon? Faster and faster you went until the speed was such that it was no longer fun.

At some point you invariably got hurt. Wheeeee! went to Owwww!

How much of the seemingly-increasing speed of today's world is taking you from "Wheee!" to "Owww!"?

The pressure is on to do more, in a shorter amount of time, often doing simultaneous things.

There is a cost to be paid. Less attention to detail. Poorly completed tasks. An unbalanced nervous system, which can lead to serious consequences.

Stress is like an octopus with its tentacles reaching into all areas of your life. Health. Family. Work. Creativity. Sports. Recreation. Unlike Vegas, stress doesn't stay where and when it occurs. Cortisol, the stress hormone, takes up to thirteen hours to leave your body. It is cumulative. Unless you have techniques to diffuse its effects, you are steeping in a "brew" that leaves more than just a bad feeling.

If you're feeling stressed by the "gottadomoreandfaster" urge, help is on the way. Learn some simple and effective techniques that take you from "Owww!" to "Wheee!"

You're thinking and feeling anyway, so why not make it count?

Image courtesy of Anthony Bonventre.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mirthful Monday - Punny Stuff # 3

When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.

What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead give away.)

She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.

If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

~Anonymous

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

Image courtesy of Lieven Volckaert.