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Monthly Archives

May 2010

Holiday in Turkey

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My best selling book, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, was translated into Turkish last year. Early in January I was invited by the Amity Turkish Cultural Center in Jacksonville, FL to join a group of high profile Americans on a cultural exchange to Turkey. We leave May 27th and return June 7th. The trip promises to be a cultural and spiritual adventure. Included in the trip’s itinerary are visits to Cappadocia, Ephesus, and the famed poet, Rumi’s home town, Istanbul, performing whirling dirvishes, sight see among many world heritage sites, and in my case, speaking on the topic of stress and spirituality. As such, this blog will be on sabbatical for the duration of the trip… see you all after June 7th.

Links/Books Worth Noting:
Check out this link to the Amity Turkish Cultural Center
http://atccenter.org/toturkey/

Quote for the Day:
“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you…. don’t go back to sleep.” —Rumi

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.

Freud and The Power of Denial

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It’s an old joke, but perhaps worth repeating. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt! Freud spent decades observing people’s thoughts and came up with a long list of what he called “defense mechanisms,” the ego’s way to cope with stress! Defense mechanisms, he noted, are done unconsciously; we are not even aware that we are using them. The purpose he said, was twofold: To decrease pain and increase pleasure to the ego. Topping the list of these coping skills is DENIAL. Young kids about to get spanked are quick to yell out, “I didn’t do it.” BP seems to be in denial about the amount of oil gushing to the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Alcoholics deny their drinking problems. Congressmen and preachers deny their sexual orientation—until caught in the act! (Politicians make such great examples of Freud’s theories of psychology!); the list of examples is nearly endless. In the short term, denial may serve as a means of protection, in the long run, however, it spells disaster, because it allows the individual to attemt to postpone/avoid the inevitable. This is metaphorically described as “falling asleep.” Eventually we all have to wake up!

• Stress Tip(s) for the Day:
Metaphorically speaking, are you asleep? Are you hiding something behind a defense mechanism? Are you denying a truth about yourself or the world you live in that needs addressing and resolution? As Dear Abby often said, “it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.” And she’s right. All stress needs resolution and the sooner the better.

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
If you are interested in further reading on this topic, here is a link to more insights:
http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/165/Defense-Mechanisms.html

• Quote for the Day:
“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we’re afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we’ll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy.” — Richard Bach

• Photo of the Day:
Never having been to Egypt, I have no photos of the Nile River, but here is a photo of a Gulf coast island (I think Alabama, but it could be Miss too) just days before the oil spill, as I was flying from Houston to Ft. Meyers, FL. Enjoy (and while your at it, please say a prayer that this oil disaster is resolved quickly).

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.

Learn to Take Yourself Lightly

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It’s admirable to be “driven” with work, even pleasure at times. Yet a serious demeanor in all situations eventually becomes a noose around one’s own neck. The ego’s role is that of protector, yet in an effort for domination and control, the ego puts on a very serious face in the hopes for a promotion to CEO. Wearing a mask of serious intent often reveals high drama, perfectionism and control issues. While this content may make for interesting TV viewing, not so in real life! To be honest, it gets boring fast when there is no character development. People who can engage in self-deprecating humor (without sacrificing one’s self-esteem) are the real stars of the show. Learning to take yourself lightly when things don’t go right, or when the unexpected happens at the worst possible moment is an admirable skill in coping with stress. Taking oneself lightly (without the sharpness of sarcasm) is a prime example of learning to walk in balance, also known as “grace under pressure.”

• Stress Tip(s) for the Day:
Perhaps Shakespeare was right: All the word’s a stage and we are merely actors upon it. If this is true, can you distinguish yourself from the actor your play? All reality show jokes aside, if your life was portrayed on the screen today (TV or the silver screen) would it be a drama or situation comedy? A boring documentary? How is your character development progressing? Can you laugh at yourself when you make mistakes, or things that don’t go as perfectly planned? Now is the time to start laughing! When all else fails, ask yourself this question: Will any of this make a difference a year from now?

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
This link is well known for showing the failure rate of the human species (note this site is not for everyone)
http://failblog.org/

• Photo of the Day:
The cold morning air is a perfect time for hot air balloons and I see many of them while jogging after sunrise, including this morning. This particular photo was taken a few years ago from my backyard looking toward Rocky Mountain National Park.

• Quote for the Day:
“Angels fly because they take themselves lightly. When We do the same we allow our spirits to soar.”— Anonymous

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” —Woody Allen

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.

Thursday Morning Humor

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Once again we have decided to skip the theory and go straight for the application with some jokes for today. Enjoy!

One Day at the Pearly Gates
St. Mark has been guarding the Pearly Gates for a long time, and it’s well past time for St. Peter to relieve him. St. Peter hasn’t come by, so finally Jesus takes pity on him and takes over. While He’s there, an old man comes up to the gates.

“Welcome to Heaven,” says Jesus, “Tell me a bit about yourself.”

“Well,” says the old man, “when I was alive, I was a carpenter. I had a son, and for a while he was a carpenter too, helping about the shop, but he left home. Made quite a name for himself, for a while, popular with thousands of people, but in the end… they killed him… One of his most recognizable features are the holes in his hands and feet.”

Jesus stared searchingly at the old man. “Father?” he asked.

The old man stared back in disbelief.
“Pinnochio? Is that you?!”

Downsizing
A company, feeling it is time for a shakeup, hires a new CEO. This new boss is determined to rid the company of all slackers.

On a tour of the facilities, the CEO notices a guy leaning on a wall. The room is full of workers and he wants to let them know he means business! The CEO walks up to the guy and asks, “And how much money do you make a week?” Undaunted, the young fellow looks at him and replies, “I make $200 a week. Why?”

The CEO hands the guy $1,000 in cash and screams, “Here’s a week’s pay and benefits, now GET OUT and don’t come back!”

Surprisingly, the guy takes the cash with a smile, says “Yes sir! Thank you, sir!” and leaves.

Feeling pretty good about his first firing, the CEO looks around the room and asks, “Does anyone want to tell me what that slacker did here?”

With a sheepish grin, one of the other workers mutters, “Pizza delivery guy from Domino’s.”

The Good Son
An old man lived alone in Idaho. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but
it was very hard work. His only son, Bubba, who always helped him was in
prison for armed robbery. The old man wrote a letter to his son and
mentioned his predicament:

“Dear Bubba, I’m feeling pretty low because it looks like I won’t be able
to plant my potato garden this year. I’ve gotten too old to be digging up
a garden plot. If you were here, my troubles would be over. I know you
would dig the plot for me. Love, Dad”

A few days later the old man received a letter from his son: “Dear Dad,
For HEAVEN’S SAKE DAD, don’t dig up the GARDEN! That’s where I buried the
GUNS and the MONEY! Love, Bubba”

At 4:00am the next morning, a dozen FBI agents and local Police officers
showed up and dug up the entire area. After finding nothing they
apologized to the old man and left. That same afternoon the old man
received another letter from his son:

“Dear Dad, Go ahead and plant the potatoes now. It’s the best I could do
under the circumstances. Love, Bubba”

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Abraham Lincoln once said people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Humor isn’t an emotion, it’s a perception. So consider adopting a perception (or attitude) of light heartedness. Try to find one humorous thing a day and most likely you will find many things to bring smile to your face.

• Quote for the Day:
“ Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” — Victor Borge

Photo of the Day:
One of my former students found a pad of paper and gave me a sheet from it! Enjoy!

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.

How Sweet it Is!

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What do you get when you combine two specific amino acids (protein structures) together? In one special combination you get an incredibly sweet taste, 100 times sweeter than sugar—more taste with less calories, Who Knew? The end result of this chemistry experiement is Nutrasweet, also known as Aspartame. I have been told by many sources that more complaints have been registered with the FDA about Aspartame than any other product, yet it still remains on the market. The problem with this substance is that documentation reveals serious health problems, ranging from alleged brain tumors to symptoms mimicking Multiple Sclerosis, not to mention memory problems, and a whole host of cognitive problems (today kids dink sodas like (and in lieu of) water. In his groundbreaking book, Excitotoxins, Russell Blaylock, MD defends the research on this “toxin” found in soft drinks, chewing gum, toothpaste, and many, many other food sources. Blaylock contends that as an excitotoxin, it crosses the blood brain barrier, leading to all kinds of health problems. Having taught nutrition at the University of Colorado for over a decade, I brought in many guest speakers, ALL OF WHOM spoke on the dangers of Aspartame and begged my students NOT to consume it! They recommend the natural product stevia instead. Several of my students added their their fathers were pilots for major airlines—all of whom were told NOT to drink ANYTHING with Aspartame, as it effects cognitive skills while flying. The bottom line is that this product is a stress to the mind-body and should be avoided at all costs. MSG is also an excitoxin and Blaylock suggests to avoid this as well (interesting to note that due to public concern about MSG, food labels (check out the condiments in your fridge) now simply state “Spice” or “Natural flavorings.”

• Stress Tip for the Day:
The best thing you can do for your health is to STOP consuming any foods that contain thess products, particularly diet soda. Monsanto, the company that makes Aspartame is changing the name (perhaps as a marketing ploy to confuse consumers). Its new name is AminoSweet. Let the buyer beware! Many people find Nutrasweet addictive, insisting that it’s very difficult to give it up. One suggestion is to switch to ice tea (without a sweetener!) Below is a link to an interview with Dr. Blaylock. Please consider reading his book, Excitotoxins as well.

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
Here is one link (and there are hundreds) on the topic of this dangerous substance. This link includes interviews with Dr. Blaylock. Please take the time to educate yourself on this important issue.
http://www.whale.to/w/excitotoxins.html
I also recommend you get your hands on the movie, Food Inc.

• Quote for the Day:
“If you want to avoid obesity, metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, and if you don’t want to make your cancer more aggressive, then you need to stay away from these products.” —Russell Blaylock, M.D.

“Nobody has ever said it better than Dr. James Bowen who told the FDA years ago that aspartame is mass poisoning of the American public and more than 70+ countries of the world.”

Photo of the Day:
On a flight back from Washington D.C. a few weeks ago I had a layover in Chicago. Looking out the window, with camera in hand, I snapped a photo of the Windy City at her finest. Enjoy!
(this photo has absolutely nothing to do with today’s topic, but it’s a nice photo and… I didn’t have a photo of St. Louis, where Monsanto is located!)

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.

2012, Stress and New Beginnings

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There is much buzz in a great many social circles that the world is coming to an end, and soon. NOT! This news is nothing new. For thousands of years people have been forecasting the end of times, sometimes with specific dates; most recently with Y2K, and now with the end of the Mayan Calendar (12/21/12) with a REALLY bad Hollywood movie capitalizing on people’s fears. The world is filled with worrywarts, naysayers and fear-mongers. Gloom and doom end-of-the-world scenarios are nothing more than people projecting their prolonged grieving/fears on to others (fear is a great way to control people too!) Don’t buy into it! It is best to ignore these people—and their negative ways. Negativity only breeds more negativity. Conversely, the world is also filled with bright, happy, compassionate people who work hard to make a difference in the world, one person at a time. These are the people you want to associate with and enjoy their company.

Stress Tip of the Day:
Rather than focusing on the end of the world, consider focusing on living your life to the fullest. Take time to appreciate all the great things that life has to offer. Give thanks and carry and attitude of gratitude! Learn to live your life with no regrets. Tell family and friends that you love them (as often as possible). Live responsibility, sustainability, yet at the same time, enjoy life to the fullest, and all its simple pleasures. Walk on the sunny side of the street! If 2012 means anything, it begs us to shift our consciousness from a fear-based, ego-driven lifestyle to a spiritual consciousness of collaboration and responsibility. You can start right now! Be part of the positive change!

Links/Books Worth Noting:
There are many books (and perhaps even more websites) on the topic of 2012. I have even endorsed one such book, 2012 and the Galactic Center, by Chris Page. A friend from Canada visited me a few weeks ago and we discussed the topic of 2012 quite a bit. He left me with a house warming gift, a book titled The Mystery of 2012 (SoundsTrue), a collection of essays from a score of some of the world’s brightest luminaries. If you REALLY want to know about what the Mayans thought of 2012 and see where some think we are going as a species, please consider reading this book. I highly recommend it!

Photo of the Day:
This image is a photo from space of the Iceland volcano spewing its cloud of dust and ash. Having been to Iceland in 2008, I learned that the whole island is one big volcano that typically lets off steam every 10 years. It may be a nuisance to people flying in and out of Europe, however, it is NOT the end of the world!

Quote for the Day:
“We are approaching an epic shift of consciousness, one that we cannot turn away from; one that we must engage in fully. The world isn’t coming to an end. This is the birthing process of consciousness, one without fear and everyone is invited.”—Barbara Marx-Hubbard

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.

Stress and The Art of Worrying

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The present moment is a gift that few people choose to open. Instead they dwell on the past or the future. The past brings with it feelings of guilt for things we did or perhaps didn’t do. The future consumes us with things that might happen. There is much worry in the hearts and minds of people today; finances, relationships—the list is nearly endless. Worry sows the seeds for anxiety (and for some, panic attacks). Worry is called the “immobilizing emotion” because it keeps you locked in fear, like a car spinning its wheels, but going nowhere. Some people view the act of worrying as “caring.” Moms can be really good at this. Worrying, however, is not the same thing as caring! Worrying is a state of non-productivity. While you can plan for the future (and this is a great strategy) worrying about the future is a waste of emotional energy. Worrying is stress prone behavior and it’s time to let this go.

• Stress Tip for the Day
Do you waste a lot of your emotional energy worrying about things that might or might not happen? Are you the kind of person who is immobilized by fear and worry? Differentiate between worrying and planning for the future. Mark Twain had a great line about worry. He said, “I’m an old man now, and I have known a great many problems in my life—most of which never happened.” Learn to live in the present moment!

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
The following link helps you get out of the worry business:
Please check it out:
http://www.anxietyculture.com/worry.htm

• Quote for the Day:
“Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”—Anonymous

Photo of the Day:
Springtime in the Rockies is nothing less than amazing. Blue skies, flowering cherry, plum and crabapple trees and snow covered mountains. I took this photo this morning while on a walk with my dog, Logan. Simply magical! THIS is living in the present moment! Enjoy!

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.

Stress and TMJ

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Dentists are noticing an alarming increase these days in people who are grinding (gnashing) their teeth. The medical term is called “tempro-mandibular joint dysfunction” (TMJ or TMJD). Most people who have TMJ don’t even know they do this behavior, because the grinding takes place while they’re fast asleep (if you have ever heard someone doing this late at night, the sound would wake the dead, but oddly enough the person doing it cannot hear it!). TMJ can also manifest as a change in one’s bite, thus affecting the position of one’s teeth in the mouth. Hence, this can cause all kinds of dental (and health) complications. While professionals in the dental field will recommend mouth guards to prevent the damage to dental bone tissue, be aware that TMJ is known in stress management circles as the symptom of unresolved (suppressed) anger issues (often latent anger). Mouth guards for TMJ don’t resolve the cause of the problem!

Stress Tip of the Day:
One sign of TMJ is waking up each morning with a headache, and of course tension in the jaw muscles. Your dentist can certainly tell through x-rays (but you have to actually go to the dentist first!) If you suffer from TMJ, consider addressing both the symptoms AND the cause of the problem. Biofeedback is a great method for learning to decrease muscle tension in the jaw muscles. Classical (5-element) acupuncture is also highly recommended and in many cases can do wonders). First and foremost, work to uncover the source of mismanaged anger and then resolve it asap!

Links/Books Worth Noting:
One book I highly recommend on the topic of anger is Harriet Learner’s The Dance of Anger. Another book to add to your library is Forgive for Good, by Frank Luskin.

Photo of the Day:
Having just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. to speak at the 104th Annual Conference of the American Association of Orthodontists, I managed to do a little sight-seeing in our Nation’s Capitol including a nighttime stroll by the White House. Lots of stress here! I am not sure if Obama has TMJ, but have you seen how much Presidents age while in office?

Quote for the Day:
“The body becomes the battlefield for the war-games of the mind.” — Brian Luke Seaward

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.

Stress and ELFs: The Trouble With Cell Phones

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It is commonly known among scientists that energy is measured by vibrations per second (also known as Hertz or Hz). Various energies of the body can be measured in Hz as well, including brain waves and heart rhythms. Alpha waves of the brain are measured around 8 Hz, indicating a very relaxed state of consciousness. The planet itself has a vibration (known as the Schumann Resonance) measured at around 8 Hz. Speculation suggests that 8Hz is the vibration of health, vitality and relaxation. Various vibrations on the energy spectrum are categorized. Researchers have known for quite some time that Extremely Low Frequencies (ELFs) 20-60 Hz, can have a negative effect on human physiology (specifically cancerous tumors, insomnia via compromised brain chemistry) through the principle of “entrainment.” Electrical current is measured at the ELF of 60 Hz. Microwave ovens and cell phones operate at an ELF not in a harmonic resonance with any aspect of the human energy field. The bottom line is that cell phones compromise the integrity of your health, from brain physiology to the immune system. Research studies describing the harmful effects of ELFs have been around for decades. New research regarding the harmful effects of cell phone and cordless phones use are now coming to light, but not without controversy (talk may be cheap, but there is a lot of money in this industry).

Stress Tip of the Day:
Do you choose convenience over your health? Many people do, particularly with regard to cell phone use. If you knew that repeated and prolonged cell phone use caused brain tumors, decreased production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, decreased sperm count in men, altered brain chemistry at the blood brain barrier and suppressed the immune system, would you still use it? Today people have abandoned land line phones for the convenience of wireless communication. The question is at what expense? There was a time when people only used these phones for emergencies. Perhaps a return to this modus operandi is not a bad idea. FYI: WiFi hookups in the home also operate at ELF’s not harmonious with the human energy field. Let the user beware!
Links/Books to Note:
The link below comes from an extremely well researched article published in GQ magazine and featured on many NPR programs, including This American Life, Living on Earth and All Things Considered. Please take the time to read this article (and the second article I found in Harpers Magazine.

http://www.gq.com/cars-gear/gear-and-gadgets/201002/warning-cell-phone-radiation

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/04/hbc-90006937

Years ago Robert Becker, MD wrote the acclaimed book, Cross Currents. Although it was written before the invention of cell phones, the content regarding ELFs is timeless. I feel this book should be read by everyone.

Quote of the Day:
The term “entrainment” was coined by scientist Christian Huggens (the person who discovered the rings around Saturn). As the creator of the pendulum clock, he was the first to notice how the energy of vibrations effect various objects (e.g., women who live or work together who begin to menstruate together). Here is a definition of entrainment: The mutual phase-locking of like-frequencies causing the object of lesser vibration to match the object of greater (stronger) vibration.

Photograph of the Day:
This photo was sent to me for a presentation on cyber addictions. Perhaps this photo says it all.

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.