Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gabriel's Hounds

Image courtesy of Dave Dyet.

For Christmas, my friend gave me one of those daily desktop calendars on Forgotten English.

March 29th, 2012 - Gabriel's Hounds. They're described as phantom hounds - jet black and breathing flames . . . frequent bleak and dreary moors on tempestuous night. ~ Elizabeth Wright's Rustic Speech and Folk-Lore, 1914.

Has stress caused you to have your own version of Gabriel's Hounds? Do the real or imaginary hounds of horror instill fear in your heart as you runrunrun, yet get no where?

Stress is insidious. It is often over-looked - at first. Over time, your nervous system is re-educated. It activates on a more frequent basis, responding to threats, real or imaginary. Worries grow, anxiety expands, frustration mounts and anger explodes. These are just some of the many emotional signs and symptoms of a system that has gone awry.

Mentally, physically and spiritually, stress exacts a toll - one that is costly, not only to you, but your family, friends and employers.

What do you do?
  1. Learn how stress is impacting you on all levels.
  2. Develop an awareness of how you feel when you think and feel a certain way.
  3. Find out how, simply by changing the quality of your heart rhythms, is the easiest way to undress your stress.
  4. Monitor how you are breathing.
  5. Ensure that you do something you love on a daily basis, even if only for five minutes. 
  6. Express heart-felt feelings of gratitude.
  7. Forgive.
  8. Exercise your "stress muscles".
  9. Revel in celebration.
  10. To quell your Hounds of Gabriel, take a short, targeted, five-hour coaching program to learn how to live a better life!
Image courtesy of John Nyberg.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Close the Splitter for More Flow

I had an epiphany. I was depleting precious natural resources, worrying about someone's health and well-being.

I was allowing a lot of precious energy to be siphoned off to by someone who doesn't value health as much as I do.

I was in over-care. A condition that is not restorative, nor helpful. It is draining because it causes an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system. True feelings of care are regenerative; there is room for you and for the other person.

Many people in the helping professions suffer from over-care. However, it isn't just contained at work. You can see it in action on volunteer committees and with family and friends. It can lead to burn-out, unless a more balanced approach is taken.

This is an old behaviour I am learning to recognize and release, thanks to the ongoing work I do with heart work which is really mind and body work.

Much like what happens when the splitter is closed on the tap, flow (energy) increases.

To learn how to do this for yourself, please email me for information.

Do you recognize a time when you were in over-care? Can you think of any current situations which can be improved by closing the splitter?

Related posts:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day

Image courtesy of Adrian.
There is no doubt about it, your mom has a big influence on who you are and who you become. Mom and dad, and stress can affect whether you become, at all.

As you grow, the lessons learned apron-side, span the generations; an invisible heirloom, often passed on from mothers to daughters to grand-daughters, much like this story that made the email rounds several years ago:

The new bride decides to make her mother's famous brisket recipe to impress her husband. While passing through the kitchen, her husband noticed that she cut off the ends of the brisket. Wisely, he kept quiet until after the meal, when he asked why she cut off the best part of the meat. 

She replied, "Oh, that's the way my mother always does it." 

The following week, she went to her grandmother's house, where she watched her grandmother cut off the ends of the brisket.

"Why do you do that, grandma?" she asked.

"That's the only way the meat will fit into the pan," replied the grandmother. 

Nature and nurture. Nurture and nature. A time-old question, one which is not cleanly, nor easily dissected. In my opinion, both matter, but the degree is dependent upon a number of variables.

A recent chat with someone on Twitter revealed a fear of swimming. This person was not afraid of the water because of a bad experience, but rather because of a transferred fear from the mother, who had a bad experience in the water.

Lessons abound. You're always learning; the question is whether the lesson is the one that you wish to learn.

On Mother's Day, you pay homage to mothers, present and past. Mothers by blood and mothers who, although unrelated, grandly and gladly fulfill that role.

This post is to honour my mother who passed away from ovarian cancer.
Thank you for these and many other positive lessons:

  1. Never leave home without a dime in your shoe. (Yes, you can tell how long ago I learned that lesson!)
  2. Eye contact is important.
  3. When preparing a meal, double the recipe. You'll save time and energy.
  4. There's always room at the table for more guests.
  5. Manners matter.
  6. Allow yourself time to arrive at your destination - it's impolite to keep others waiting.
  7. Do your chores. It was preparation for that thing called life. (Oh boy!, did I hate some of those chores!)
  8. Chewing gum in public doesn't look good.
  9. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Long before it was fashionable to be green.
  10. Forgive freely.
As was to be expected, I did pick up some lessons that she likely didn't intend to pass on to me. Awareness helps with those.

I am also thankful for the lessons she didn't pass on to me; the weighty ones such as her horrific early experiences in Holland during World War 2. She taught me to be open-minded, that people were people, regardless of ethnicity.  

As she was dying she also took the time to explain that our alcoholic father, who had died the year before, was proud of us; even if he could never say it, much less show it. Thank you, Mom, for your strength, your courage, your generosity.

What are some of the positive lessons you've learned from your mother?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Engine Warning Light

Image courtesy of MimiLiz.
You are driving your car. Your engine warning light just came on.

What do you do?

A) Ignore it, maybe it'll go away.

B) Put it on your To Do List for later.

C) Stop at the nearest service station and get it looked at immediately.

Some of you may take better care of your vehicle than you do of yourself - the “car” you have for life, the one you can't trade in for a newer model.

Perhaps, the engine light isn't consistently on, leading to a false sense of security. "There's no problem," you say to yourself, "It's not the engine, it's just the light that is malfunctioning".

Or you may treat your car like you do your body; ignoring that engine warning light and continuing to drive until the engine burns out. (At least a car's engine can be replaced.)

You may luck out and replace some of your parts, as I have, but others are irreplaceable. Bear in mind that the new parts don't always work as well as the original, plus they wear out, too!

Stress is implicated in a number of serious medical condition. Rather than being an acute, immediate response to danger, as was intended, the stress response becomes chronic; activating on a frequent and regular basis, resetting the nervous system and darkly colouring all aspects of life. It is often overlooked as one of the contributing factors to diseases, often because the illness may take some time to develop.

When your "engine light" comes on, don't wait until you get to the spa, the gym, a vacation or retirement to look after it. Regardless of the condition you are in, you can start now. It is never too late to learn to balance your autonomic nervous system with techniques that can be done anywhere/anytime.

You are breathing, thinking and feeling, anyway. Why not learn to make it count? As you undress your stress, you enhance your performance.

Get into STP - Stress Transformation Program.