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Monthly Archives

March 2009

Water: The Source of Life!

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The climate I live in is classified as a “semi-arid desert.” It’s very dry! Just under a mile above sea level, the air is thin and people, mostly visitors, begin to show signs of “Mountain Sickness” (e.g. headaches, fatigue, dizziness, etc.) even before they even head up into the mountains. We have an expression here: “If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.” Whether you live up in the mountains or down at sea level, a great many people today are walking around “dehydrated” which, in no uncertain terms, is a stress to the body. In our heavily caffeinated society, its good to remind yourself that caffeine acts as a diuretic, often urging the body to deplete the essential nutrient of water through urine elimination. Stress will do this too! The combination compounds the situation. Not only does dehydration tend to make one feel more fatigued, it places stress on the body’s physiological systems to perform under pressure. One consequence of persistent dehydration is kidney stones. Water, you see, helps to clear the body of toxins and waste products that indeed need to be eliminated. The “drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water” rule is a good start with, but the actual amount is very dependent on one’s body weight. The real indication of your level of hydration is the color of your urine. Optimal hydration offers “near clear urine.” Consistently dark urine suggests potential health problems. Drinking too much water is problematic too. Balance is the key. If you have listened to the news much these days, you might have noticed that water is a hot topic: Shortages, unregulated bottled water issues, pharmaceutical toxins as well as plethora of agricultural run-off that finds it’s way into our tap water. UGH! Bottom line: It’s always a good idea to drink filtered water and enough to stay properly hydrated.

• Stress Tip for the Day: Make a mental note to pay attention to the color of your urine for the next several days and check to see how your hydration levels are. Consider drinking water at meals rather than sodas and cut back on beverages that contain caffeine.

• Website Links Worth Noting:
Greg Bradden and colleagues at the Institute of Heart Math have started an organization called the global coherence. In a nutshell, it’s about a mind shift needed by people to help make this a better world. Pleas check out this link and if so inspired join.
http://www.glcoherence.org/

Highly Recommended Book Worth Reading:
I have been a fan of Jane Goodall for several decades and I was ecstatic to read her best selling book, Reason for Hope. Not only is it an autobiography, but in it she offers hope for our world situation today. It is one of my all time favorite books and in these stressful times, I HIGHLY recommend it.

• Photo of the Day:
One of my best friends, Dan Hickin (Hi Dan!) is a nature enthusiast like me. On a visit to Ohio a few years ago he took me to the National Park by his house and we went for a hike to his favorite waterfall. It’s a beautiful waterfall.

• Quote for the Day:

“Depart not from the path from which fate has you assigned.”
— Anonymous

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

The Importance of Dreams in Resolving Stress

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In this day and age, its surprising how little attention we pay to the power and wisdom of the unconscious mind. Experts remind us that about 85% of our behaviors are driven by the unconscious mind. With that much influence you might think that we would pay a little more attention to this wealth of information and influence. Unlike the conscious mind, the unconscious mind (which is in full operation 24/7) speaks in the language of colors, symbols, stories, metaphors and dreams, with dreams being perhaps the best means of communication. While we sleep it is thought we have about 3-4 dream periods (usually during REM). During this time, the unconscious mind does its best to “problem solve” by giving insights to personal situations, problems and issues. The insights are often “coded” and rarely a literal interpretation. While Freud said that dreams conceal various aspects of our personality, Jung argued that dreams don’t conceal, they REVEAL these aspects. We just need to be bi-lingual with dream language. Jung spent nearly his life work teaching us how to do this but as with much wisdom, it often gets forgotten with contemporary distrations. Learning the language of the unconscious mind takes work, but the payoff is always rewarding. Both Freud and Jung studied dreams long before the invention and prolific use of television AND its influence on our minds. It’s fair to say that these images (from violence, sex, etc) as well as those by movies have an effect that has yet to be fully accounted for. Nor has the impact on these shows toward personal levels of stress been fully researched. But you don’t need to be Freud or Jung to know that surely what we take in through the media definitely affects profoundly us at an unconscious level. Recurring dreams are a means for the unconscious mind to get your attention to work on the resolution of a specific issue. Jung was of the opinion that we could do this through lucid dreaming (visualization) to consciously finish/ resolve the dream with a happy ending. In doing so, you then send a message to the unconscious mind to continue this resolution process and reduce this latent stress. The message here is not to ignore your dreams; they may offer insights to help you reduce stress! So pay attention to your dreams, they may be your best means to help resolve stress.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Consider keeping a pad of paper and pen by your bed to jot down some/any notes you might have about dreams (or dream fragments) from the night before. Writing them down often helps remember more of them. Also by reminding yourself as you place head to pillow that you wish to remember your dreams you plant a seed in the unconscious mind to do so.

• Website Links Worth Noting:
A group in California has embarked on a wonderful idea: to conduct inspiring lectures from some of our world’s most insightful luminaries. The website is called:

http://www.ted.com/

and it contains many great talks. One talk I feel compared to share is by Al Gore whose message is important for all of us to heed.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/al_gore_on_averting_climate_crisis.html

• Photo of the Day:
This is a photo composite I created (with the help of Photoshop expert, Mark S. Johnson (www.marksjohnsonphotoraphy.com ). Although it was made to convey a sense of practicing mental imagery, it also conveys a sense of remembering your dreams.

• Quote for the Day:

“ Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
— Helen Keller

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Did Someone Say, “ Mental Health Day?”

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Having a routine offers stability in a typically frenetic day. Routines offer structure so we don’t feel like we are adrift in the open sea of life. As children we rely on routines for emotional, even physical stability. Even pets crave routines! As our lives tend to get more complicated, having a routine adds a bit of normalcy to a hectic day. This is one reason why exercise and meditation are thought to be so beneficial; they offer structure and often balance each day to a busy life. As great as routines are, however, at times they can feel like a rut. Predictability is nice, but so too, is a change of pace every now and then, which is why we need periodic vacations. While its not always practical to up and leave for the beach or the mountains weeks on end, taking an occasional mental health day is highly recommended. In Colorado where I live, these days go by another name (for those who ski). Its called a “powder day,” and for a host of reasons you will commonly see people who will take a day off from work during the week and head up into the mountains (I also call this “Mountain Therapy”!) In the days of old (like 30 years ago) Sundays, a day of rest, were our mental health days. Today people (unless your Amish) rarely rest on Sundays. That day is now relegated to catching up on the past six days of running around like a crazy person. Living in a 24/7 world may seem to have its advantages yet the long-term implications greatly affect one’s health. Health! Mental health! Mental Health Day! Consider it an investment into your life.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Without lying (calling in sick) create a way that you can take a mental health day for yourself. If not a whole day, perhaps a few hours in the course of a day. Schedule a massage. Take a walk along the nearest beach or park. Do something for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it.

• Website Link Worth Noting:
I have a friend named Sun who periodically emails me the most wonderful weblinks. This one comes to us from the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), a wonderful organization whose mission is to help raise consciousness and make this a better world. This link is called one minute shifts. There are several to choose from. Enjoy!

http://oneminuteshift.com/

• Photo of the Day
I took a mental health myself yesterday (a powder day skiing in Winter Park). It was a great day in the mountains, and I was not alone in my efforts to maintain my mental health. I took this photo of others who had the same idea. Join the club and make this a habit for yourself as well.

• Joke of the Day

A Polish immigrant went to the DMV to apply for a driver’s license.
First, of course, he had to take an eye sight test.
The optician showed him a card with the letters
‘C Z W I X N O S T A C Z.’
‘Can you read this?’ the optician asked.
‘Read it?’ the Polish guy replied, ‘I know the guy.’

• Quote for the Day:

“ In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Time to Tickle the Funny Bone

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There is nothing funny about being laid off, losing half of your retirement in the stock market or having your whole world crumble beneath your feet, but if you talk to anybody who’s been through hell (and kept going), you will learn that having a sense of humor is a crucial aspect to effectively coping with stress. In stress management circles, it’s called “humor therapy” or comic relief. Freud called humor one of the best defense mechanisms because it decreases pain AND increases pleasure. Boy do we need some humor in these rapidly changing times. Have you ever said to yourself during a really bad moment, “A year from now, this will be funny, but right now, it’s not funny!” Well… don’t wait a whole year; you might forget to cash in. Laugh now! Stressful episodes, no matter how intense or prolonged, typically include a period of grieving (which is only natural). Humor helps ease the pain of stress and gets you back on the road to your highest potential. In Viktor Frankl’s classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he describes the horrible ordeal of surviving in Auschwitz the notorious Holocaust concentration death camp. Even under the worst of all possible conditions, he said people could find things to bring a smile to their face. We would do well to learn from Frankl. There are many kinds of humor; from self-parody to irony to satire, double entrendres, puns, even bathroom humor, but the one kind of humor that doesn’t reduce stress is sarcasm (which literally means “to tear flesh”). Sarcasm is a latent form of anger and it would be best to minimize or abandon this style all together. So start your day by putting a smile on your face and see if you can reach what some people say is the quota of 15 laughs per day. Start with the photo up top.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Consider starting a “Tickler Notebook”: a collection of funny jokes, jpgs, birthday cards, Dave Barry columns—anything that brings a smile to your face and warms your heart. If you start looking for one funny thing a day, the truth is that you will find many things to laugh at, even in the worst of times. Having this notebook to refer to when you are down in the dumps is a great humor Rx.
Another suggestion is to listen to NPR’s Car Talk show (usually on weekends) with Click and Clack. (This show masquerades as a car talk show, but it’s really a high brow comedy show and one of the best programs on the radio (not bad car advice either).

• Website Link Worth Noting:
Dewitt Jones is a phenomenal nature photographer and he has a website that’s for anybody who wants to see the world in a new (better) way.
Please explore his website and see how you feel afterwards. Most likely you will be ready to conquer the world. Enjoy
http://www.celebratetraining.com/

• Photo of the Day
This photo was sent to me by a friend who knows I love funny things. Given that Colorado is a semi-arid part of the country where forest fire danger is high here too, we might be seeing these kinds of signs as well. I don’t know who created this but thank you for sharing your sense of humor.

• Quote for the Day:
“I’m and old man and I have know a great many problems, most of which never
happened. ”
—Mark Twain

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

Friends in Need: The Buffer Theory

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There are many effective coping techniques for stress, but one that surfaces time and time again is the one called social support networks (known more commonly to you and me as “friends.”) In this day and age of rapid change and upheaval, its a good coping technique to fall back on. Research shows that people who have solid friendships tend to weather the storms of stress better than those who have a poor social network, or feel isolated. It would stand to reason, being that by and large, people are often called, the social animal. Perhaps John Donne said it best, “No man is an island.” In sociology circles, having a strong circle of friends is known as “The buffer theory.” The logic is that friends tend to buffer you from the harshest effects of stress and soften the blow if/when you get knocked over. It should be noted that friends are not people who always take your side in conflicts, nor are they “yes’ men to all of your ideas. Friends act as sounding boards, conversation partners, exercise comrades and people who simply show up because you need a shoulder (real or metaphorical) to cry on. The classic study on support groups was conducted with women with breast cancer decades ago and holds as true to day as it did when the data was collected and anylized. Those who were involved with a strong social support network far outlived their counterparts without the buffer of friends and family. The authors of the best selling book, Megatrends suggested that as we become more reliant on technology the importance of friends will only grow. As a rule people who spend more time with a keyboard and computer screen tend to have less “real time” with other humans—at a cost. While social support networking on the Internet is a great way to connect virtually, nothing can replace face-to -face human contact.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Consider calling up a friend this week and invite them to go for an afternoon walk or a cup of tea, OR, invite some friends over for a weekend potluck dinner party. Since friends tend to come in and out of our lives these days (e.g., relocation, death, new jobs, etc.) consider striking up a new friendship with someone at work or even your neighborhood and invite them to join you for lunch or tea. As the saying goes, “You can never have enough true friends.”

• Website Link Worth Noting:
Cancer has become all too common these days and despite the gains made in Western medicine, this disease still sends chills up the spine of anyone who hears this prognosis. A friend of mine, who was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago started a website business called www.cancergifts.com When the cancer returned, she sold the business to a beautiful soul named Tricia who has taken over the reins masterfully. If you know of someone who has come down with cancer and are looking for away to offer support consider visiting this website for ideas.
www.cancergifts.com

Photo of the Day:
Twice a year I host a potluck and house concert at my place. As someone who tends to be on the road a lot, it’s a great way for me to reconnect with good friends and family and offer some first class entertainment (e.g., Celtic music, jazz, folk music), not to mention some great food, my friends can cook really well. This photo is of my friends, Jessie Burns/fiddle (of the group Gaelic Thunder) Adam Agee/fiddle and Jon Souza/guitar and banjo brought the house down last year. Everyone is awaiting their return to the next potluck party.

• Quote for the Day:

“A true friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
— Anonymous

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

Food As A Stress Pacifier?

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For ten years I taught a course titled, Nutrition, Health and Performance at the University of Colorado-Boulder. I had studied nutrition in graduate school, but boy, did I really learn about this topic when I actually taught it. As a result, even though I thought I was eating rather well, this new focus caused me to take a new look at my eating habits. Regarding stress and nutrition, here are some interesting facts to ponder:
• During periods of chronic stress, we tend to deplete vital nutrients necessary for optimal living, primarily the water soluble vitamins (C and B-Complex) as well as many minerals, all of which are used for energy metabolism (fight or flight).
• During periods of chronic stress, people tend to eat “comfort foods” (junk foods, fast foods, and processed foods which are high in processed sugar, fats (and trans fats), salt. While these may taste good, they are called “empty calories” because they don’t replace the essential nutrients lost in the course of chronic stress. The opposite of empty calories is nutrient dense food. Think a Twinkie vs. an apple.
• During periods of chronic stress people tend to consume foods that actually trigger the stress response (trigger the release of epinephrine and nor-epinephrine). These include processed sugar, processed flour, and caffeine. Once should note that salt, also found in these kinds of foods, tends to increase water retention, leading to elevated blood pressure levels. If you are prone for hypertension, this is NOT good.
• A fourth factor to consider is that while the food supply in America is plentiful, it is also laden with toxic chemicals that should never be allowed in food (As we have learned with the last administration, the FDA is in the pockets of corporate America who is into making profits, not creating health). Herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, fertilizers (many of which are petroleum-based have synthetic estrogens associated with breast cancer) are not only on the foods; they are IN The foods we eat, with the exception of organics. When you add to this mix antibiotics and hormones in non-organic meats, the immune system becomes overwhelmed (suppressed) and this leads to a whole host of health-related problems.
Given the alarming rise of chronic diseases and their association with stress, paying more attention to our eating habits is essential, particularly in times of stress (personal or otherwise). Moderation is the key! Changing eating behaviors is challenging at best, but not impossible. What I often told my students was this” “Eat one meal a day for your immune system.”

• Stress Tip for the Day: It has been reported by a few nutrition experts that sugar tends to suppress the immune system. Our food supply is loaded with processed sugar including high fructose corn syrup (sugar in fresh fruits is fine). Consider dramatically decreasing your consumption of foods containing processed sugar for the next week. In essence, become more conscious of what you are eating, and particularly where it comes from.

• Website Link Worth Noting:
This website link is called Wisdom Book, a collection of short interviews with the likes of several world luminaries (e.g. Robert Redford, Jane Goodall). It is very inspiring.
http://wisdombook.org/

Photo of the Day:
This bowl of organic fresh strawberries was as delicious as it looks. Remember its always best to shop organic when possible.

• Quote for the Day:

“Sixty percent of all cancers could be eliminated if people ate a better diet.”
—The American Cancer Society

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

These Days of Sensory Bombardment

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Never in the history of humanity are people being bombarded with so much information… and advertising from every direction of technology. Some estimates suggest that on average we are exposed to as much as 3,000+ advertisements per day. Bits and bytes of information zooming into our brains through the eyes, ears, skin (and nose?) are estimated to be in the tens of thousands per minute. It wasn’t long ago that people had a choice of three TV stations to watch, and each house had just one phone number. Those days seem like ancient history now. Experts suggest that all of this media and wonderful technology that is so accessible is simply overloading our brains with a cacophony of information. As a result many people are showing signs of impatience, rudeness, irritability, poor attention span and poor sleep (insomnia); in other words: STRESS! It has long been known in stress management circles that sensory bombardment leads to eventual “burnout” with many of the same symptoms listed above. Not only does one begin to process all of this sensory information poorly, but at some level it, triggers the stress response to heighten your awareness, thus elevating the threshold of excitement. What this means is that it becomes harder and harder to relax—and have your body return to a sense of homeostasis. The end result could be one or several manifestations of chronic disease or illness, ranging from headaches to something much worse. Life is WAY too short for this. Remember technology is here to serve us. We are not supposed to be slaves to it.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Consider giving yourself one hour a day free from technology and media— all which begs for your attention. This includes not using an IPOD while exercising. Give your mind a chance to deprogram from the sensory bombardment that is ever so pervasive in the American (if not global) culture. For those of you having problems sleeping at night, its very likely you will see a difference.

• On The Shelf: Book Recommendations:
A friend of mine mentioned a new book on the market called Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. This book is the newest in the wave of books on the field of Positive Psychology and definitely worth reading.
A colleague of mine, Ron Frederick, has written a new book titled, Living Like You Mean It: Using the Wisdom and Power of Your Emotions to Get the Life You Really Want, which I also highly recommend.

Photo of the Day
This is a photo supporting the idea of taking time each day to unplug from technology and enjoy the simple things in life, in this case … a walk on the beach!

• Quote for the Day:

“If you want fast acting relief… try slowing down.”
—Lily Tomlin

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

Two Brains are Best With Stress

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Split-brain research is so well known, the concepts of right-brain and left-brain thinking can practically be found on the back of cereal boxes today. Here is what you don’t hear that often about right brain (the intuitive, imaginative side) and left-brain (the analytical, rational side) t hought processing. The left-brain is more active during times of stress. The left-brain functions (e.g., judgment, time awareness, verbal acuity, linear thought processing, etc.), are essential for survival, hence t hey are the cornerstones to fight or flight. The right brain skills are more easily engaged during times of relaxation. Balance is the key! It has been said that American is a “left-brained country” in which the left brain skills are encouraged, even honored more so than the right brain skills (just ask any starving artist!). America is also a very stressed country (e.g., record numbers of people on anti-depressants, obesity issues, suicides and of course the every looming economic meltdown are just some examples). With all of this in mind, it stands to reason that it would be in our best interest to balance the hemispheres of thought by taking time to exercise the right brain for cognitive balance (and peace of mind). There are many ways to do this, but meditation is a great place to start. Sitting quietly (with no interruptions) and simply focusing on your breathing each morning for about 5 minutes is a great way to work toward this balance. Remember, in the end, we need both hemispheres of the brain working optimally (and together) to navigate this journey called life.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
To augment the right side of your brain or balance your cerebral hemispheres, consider using your non-dominant hand for everyday functions. Examples (pick one) might include moving the computer mouse to the left side of your keypad, brush your teeth with the other hand, or switch the use of your fork or spoon from the dominant to the non-dominant hand. Keep in mind that the first few days with this behavior will seem VERY awkward, but with some persistence it will soon become second nature. You may not notice the cognitive process becoming balanced immediately; this too will take a few days too. Be persistent, the benefits will help you immeasurably.

• Noteworthy Website Link:

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: This website link, with MANY pictures, was sent to me by a friend over a year ago. I find the concept and content fascinating. The artist has added a few more images since I first saw this. Hope you do too.

http://www.chrisjordan.com/current_set2.php?id=7

Photo of the Day:
Sunsets can be a magical part of the day. As we shift into Daylight Savings Time our body’s internal clock take a few days to adjust. This adjustment is always a little quicker/smoother when we spend an adequate amount of time in natural sunlight, which is why I chose this photo today. Enjoy.

• Quote for the Day:

“There are no great things, only small things with great love.”
—Mother Theresa

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E).

Shoes, Feet and the Art of Happiness

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This time of economic meltdown gives one pause for thought about how we have lived (before the meltdown) and how we need to change our behaviors in this rapidly changing world. Many experts are blaming this fiscal mess on greed, and not just with the banking industry. There is enough greed to spread around everywhere and everyone. I am reminded of a cartoon I saw recently where the caption read: “I have one of everything, I just don’t have it in every color.” Yes, the caption is funny, but very likely based on some element of truth. While the economic situation can be viewed as stressful, particularly if money is tight, we can try to see the bigger picture (a stress technique called reframing). This period serves as a great time to reflect on our stress-prone behaviors regarding our own fiscal management and start to make some corrections as we chart our course from here on out. Years ago I came across an autobiography by Robin Lee Graham titled, The Dove. It’s the story of a 16-year old who sailed around the world solo. One quote I remember vividly from his book was this: “It’s not how much we need to get buy, but how little we need.” Gandhi said it this way: “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.” If your happiness is based on material possessions, then now might be a great time to start focusing on those priceless intangible things that also provide happiness. Perspective helps too. Another quote, I think from the depression, says: “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet.” If you get a chance to pick up The Dove, its a great read and given these times we are in, its helps put things about material posessions in perspective. Not to mention true happiness!

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Take inventory of what you do have and give thanks. Its hard to be down in the dumps when you are showing gratitude. Try this: Make a list of ten things that you are grateful for in your life. If you can’t think of ten things, start with the fact that you can breathe. If you can think of more than ten, go for it, then past this list some place where you can see it daily.

• Photo of the Day
This photo of the Napali Coast was taken by me on a cruise around the Hawaii Islands last year. The sailboat gives the rugged coast the scale to really appreciate its full beauty.

• Quote for the Day:

“It’s not how much you need to get by, but how little you need to get by.”
— Robin Lee Graham

Welcome!

By | balance, inner peace, stress management | One Comment


Hi and welcome to “Stressfully Speaking,” a regular blog column on the topic of stress, stress management, balance and achieving inner peace in these turbulent times we are living in. There is no doubt we are living in stressful times, and despite the fact that every generation says that theirs was an age filled with stress and turmoil, never before have so many changes come our way so rapidly as this time we are living (and this was BEFORE the economic meltdown). This blog will offer some ageless wisdom, timeless insights, inspirations and personal reflections as we navigate these troubled times together. Please take to heart what you like and disregard the rest. My hope is that this content inspires you and helps you achieve a sense of peace to mind, body and spirit. In doing so, helps you to enhance your optimal wellbeing. Stress, it has been said is the equal opportunity destroyer, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By taking the time to be fully conscious about our thoughts, perceptions and actions we can rise to our highest potential, and this after all, is what life is all about.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Take a News Fast by limiting your television (and perhaps all media) news to 10 minutes a day, preferably in the afternoon so as not to start your day on a bad note. Most news today is fear-based, following the well-known news motto, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Negative news adds to the critical mass of negative stimuli we encounter in our personal world and can push us into a spiral of negative thinking without even knowing it. If there is something really important to know about, trust that someone will tell you.

• Noteworthy Website Link:
A Shift in Consciousness:
Last week, a dear friend sent me a link to a new movie trailer, a documentary on the coming shift in consciousness (see below). There has been a strong current of consciousness swelling over the past decade or so regarding the delicate balance of human nature and mother nature, war and peace, cultural, humanitarian and environmental responsibility and many, many other issues. As a member of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) for the past 16 years, these are the issues we discuss at annual conferences, journal articles and small group meetings. The basic premise is that we need to shift (and raise) the focus of consciousness if we are going to survive as a species on this planet. The preview of this movie gives a taste of this shift and I highly recommend that when the movie comes to a theater near you, you bring a few friends to see it and then take some time to discuss the concepts among friends to help raise consciousness for all. One person can make a difference and many people can change the world!

http://theshiftmovie.com/thankyou.html

• Photo of the Day:
The photo at the top of this page was taken (by me) at the end of the Nualolo Trail on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai, Hawai.

• Quote for the Day:

”Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
— Plato