Friday, July 9, 2010

Summertime and the living is stressful

Anxiety is high. Expectations get in the way of simply being present with the gifts of today. I must remind myself and be willing to believe that everything truly is okay. My mortgage is current, there is food in the fridge and I can afford to put gas in the car. Sure, I'd love to drive a newer car - after all my car is almost 15 years old and it would be great to have that lovely remodeled bathroom but the things that matter are really alright.

Alright and okay are very powerful places to be. Fantastic and fabulous and spectacular are rare and not very comfortable. Alright, okay and tolerable are solid and enduring. These conditions last a long time and can carry you through times when you are struggling with the unpredictable and unknown future.

Know that you have gotten through times that are equally stressful or more so and you can get through the unpredictable events that lay ahead. Predictability is just as boring as perfection. Embrace the unknown and allow yourself to grow stronger in the experience of tolerating what you cannot control.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ten suggestions for find joy

We are surrounded by so many issues that take away from our joy it is difficult to remember there are simple tools for assisting us to find comfort and solace in this world. Below are ten suggestions as a start:


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes the limits of age, weight and height. Let doctors worry about them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. Negative energy will most often pull you down.

3. Keep learning and stay inspired. Learn about the fine arts, geography, gardening, yoga - where ever your curiosity takes you. Never let the brain idle, keep challenging your brain. An idle mind is the devil's workshop.

4. Practice beginners mind. Enjoy the everyday activities as if they were experienced for the first time.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath…our lives can be so entertaining!

6. The tears will come. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us for our entire lives, is ourselves. Love all your emotions deeply.

7. Surround yourself with what you love; whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies. Your home should be your refuge and sanctuary.

8. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you believe you can improve, seek the help of a skilled professional.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the park, to the next city, even to a foreign country; but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people whom you love just how much you love them… at each and every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back to Basics

Vacation! What a concept! The military assignment at Ft. Lewis would have been a vacation of sorts - away from the stresses of clients and research reports and especially this home office phone.

So I am dreaming of sitting in the 70 degree sun at a lovely spot thirty miles west of Guadalajara. Today in LA the weather is damp, cool and cloudy and there is construction taking place outside with repair people discussing the project in loud Spanish.

So I remind myself: breathe. Make a cup of tea and enjoy the silence between the workers' comments. Maybe there is a vacation on the horizon. I'll aim for a mini vacation at one of the day spas in Korea town here in LA.

And I continue to think good thoughts about healing myself and staying in this quiet place for a few more minutes.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hangin' In while I'm Hangin' In

Still no travel orders! Sigh. However, there is a great event this weekend: the Yellow Ribbon pre-deployment and return support program sponsored by the Army for military families. These are wonderful events where individuals get to learn there are other families experiencing the same stresses they are feeling.

And I get to talk to them about ways to manage these feelings. Breathe. Yes, that is one of the tools I discuss at length. Simply slowing down sufficiently to experience a slow, easy breath can be one of the most healing tools anyone can use.

Breathing is the one thing I must continue to remind myself to do these days. On the one hand I am waiting to hear about my assignment and at this moment not even sure it will materialize. On the other hand, I am focusing simply on being right here in the present moment. The one benefit I have received from this uncomfortable waiting is the knowledge that my clients can see the tools I am teaching in actual use.

Breathe. You are fine, in this moment, in this very place. No words are needed only gentle silence.