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Monthly Archives

March 2012

Be Creative….Think Different!

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There are many types of effective coping techniques, but my favorite is creative problem solving. Creativity is very empowering… if not liberating. To take an idea and make it a reality, now that is something! Necessity, it is said, is the mother of invention. Necessity could be another word for stress. When we are pushed (or painted) with our backs against the wall, we can either pout, or be creative. Always choose the later. Creativity isn’t just an attribute for artists or musicians; it’s a birthright for everyone. You ARE creative! Creativity begins with imagination and ends with hard work (organizational skills) to make the inspiration become a reality. Creativity is a right and left-brain activity. Sadly, creativity isn’t taught in schools these days, though I wish it was. It is never too late, however, to exercise your creative muscles. Be creative.. think different!

Stress Tip for the Day:

Grab a pen and paper and make a list of your top five stressors. Then pick one and work to creatively solve the problem. To do this, follow these steps: 1) define the problem. How would a 5-year old see your problem? How would an Eskimo or alien from a distant galaxy see your problem? Once you have it defined, then come up with five (5) viable solutions (and one off-the wall, crazy, ludicrious idea). After you have a list of possibilities, pick the best one and then make it happen. When all is said and done, take time to evaluate… and if the solution is still elusive, start over again…. The creative problem solving process is never a straight line. Today (and every day) see yourself as a creative person. Don’t let fear negate your highest potential as a creative luminary. And given the state of the world today, don’t be shy with your creativity skills. We need them!

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Although I haven’t bought it yet, I have come across a new book called Imagine. From the interviews I have heard on NPR, the author seems to explore the concepts of the creative process and to this add new information gathered from research based on functional MRI’s of what’s going on in the brain during the creative process. AND… if you have not read Steve Job’s biography, I highly recommend it. Very inspiring and it will surely give you many ideas to ponder. Think Different, Steve reminded us. Great advice!

http://whywereason.wordpress.com/tag/the-creative-process/

http://www.amazon.com/Imagine-Creativity-Works-Jonah-Lehrer/dp/0547386079

Quote for the Day:

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” —Thomas A. Edison

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” — Steve Jobs

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” — Thomas A. Edison

Photo for the Day:

Today’s photograph is part of a project I am working on called the Doors of Perception. This particular door speaks to the creative process (those who attended last fall’s mountain retreat had a chance to see this project in it’s embryonic stage). I photographed this tree, door and windows in Ireland, though not all in the same place. 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Spring Equinox: A Reminder of Life Balance

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Today is the first day of spring, a day when the amount of sunlight equals the amount of darkness. It is a day of balance and it is a reminder for us to live our lives in balance. All too often our lives are thrown out of balance with work responsibilities, relationships, finances, technology, all the things that can cause day-to-day stress. Balance is an inherent part of the human condition. The human body strives for balance, a name we call homeostasis. The ancients used nature as a guide to lives our lives, taking cues from the sun, the moon and planet earth herself to remind us that while things may slip out of balance, they always come back to balance. We would do well to honor our natural connection to the world.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Take a hint from nature today and live in harmony with the earth energies. Step out into the fresh air. Greet spring with open arms. Take a walk in the woods. Buy some cut flowers. Reflect on your life and take note of what appears to be out of balance. Then do what you can to right it. Breathe!

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Pick up a coffee-table book on nature and spend some time getting lost in the photographs.

And if you haven’t read the book, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water… consider picking that up for a good read too!

Quote for the Day:

“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” — Robert Fulghum


Photo for the Day:

This is one of my favorite nature photographs, taken in St. Lucia, one of the prettiest places on the planet. 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Unconditional Love (Is there really any other kind?)

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Love, it is said, is the glue that holds the universe together. Love has been the focus, obsession and subject of a great many conversations over the eons of time, but this kind of love, romantic love, is but one color of love’s rainbow. The totality of this magnificent rainbow is the divine light of altruistic compassion; an open heart. Fear and anger can close the heart’s door. Unconditional love is an expression of compassion that asks not of reciprocation. It is the pure gift that neither asks nor expects anything in return. Unconditional love, true love, is love without a hint of ego; quite the opposite of stress. Stress, exhibited through unresolved issues of anger and fear, is the epitome of ego. There are those who say that the human condition is not capable of existing without ego. Don’t you believe it! There are others who say that the human species is going through an amazing transformation, dare I say, evolution; a transition from the motivation of fear to love; unconditional love. This evolution is a choice that each of us invited to make, quite regularly. No matter where you are on your own human journey, when you come to a fork in the road and must choose between fear and love, always choose love. In doing so, you assist the Universe to become one with it.

Stress Tip for the Day:

The daily practice of meditation is a great way to quiet the noise of the ego, so that you may hear the wisdom of the soul to follow your true path in life. Take time each and every day to sit still and calm the noise in your head. Learn to observe your thoughts and the emotions so strongly tied to them. The symbol of unconditional love is often represented by a golden white light. Close each meditation session by surrounding yourself in this light. In doing so, you may find that your ability to shift out of fear-based thinking becomes much easier. Finally, remember this: Unconditional love not only applies to all others, but yourself as well.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

One of the best books I can recommend to you, even if you have already read it is the classic book, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck; it’s always worth a second browse!

Quotes for the Day:

“The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.” — Elisabeth Kuber-Ross.

“True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Photo for the Day:

Indeed, love is symbolized by a great many things, not the least of which includes flowers, in this case, a water lily. 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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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I just returned from the Emerald Isle and it was a great trip indeed. We often speak of the “luck of the Irish,” but anyone who delves into their history knows they have had some pretty hard knocks over the past 1,000 years, including most recently a national bankruptcy. From the 800-year occupation of the British, through the Great Famine to the fiscal problems of today, Ireland rises it’s head and moves on with grace, dignity and humor. What they might call luck, we call fortitude, certainly something to lean on in times of stress. What we call the divine, they call magic. We would all do well to call ourselves Irish today.

Stress Management Tip for the Day:

Take stock of your fortitude today. Take time to count your blessings. See yourself as lucky and see the divine as magic! Put on some green today and make those Irish eyes smile! Slainte!

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here is a list of some of my favorite Irish Movies, any of which would be great to view tonight:

1. Waking Ned Divine

2. The Secret of Roan Inish

3. My Left Foot

4. Into the West

5. Ondine

6. The Field

7. Ryan’s Daughter

8. The Committments

Quote for the Day:

An Old Irish Blessing

May the sun always shine

on your window pane,

May a rainbow be certain

to follow each rain,

May the hand of a friend

always be near you,

May God fill your heart

with gladness to cheer you,

May your blessings be many

to the sunshine above you

May your life bring you gladness

and always, God love you.

Photo of the Day:

I took this photo last summer in County Wicklow near Glendalough. I thought they were shamrocks, but was told later that day that shamrocks are very tiny (1/4 the size of these)… most likely these are simply clover… but Irish nonetheless. 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 (7E) and his forthcoming book, A Beautiful World; The Earth Songs Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Holy Moments!

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My plane has just landed in Shannon Ireland and I am exhausted, but in a good way. I flew the red-eye flight last night from Newark, NJ. Usually I try to sleep so I am not a zombie the next day (toothpicks please!) But last night I couldn’t even think of sleeping. As luck would have it, I had a window seat on the left side of the plane flying east, giving me a perfect northerly view of the Aurora Borealis. Curtains of green light shimmered over the horizon for hours. It wasn’t just amazing. It was Divine. I truly felt honored to see such a sight, and it was nothing less than magnificent, spectacular, holy. To be honest, life is filled with countless magnificent moments; those moments when we realize we are part of something much, much bigger, and in the realization of this connection, a magical alchemy of consciousness occurs, a union of our humanity and divinity, where the supernatural become natural and the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Last night was one such holy moment for me. When we can see ourselves as something of a much larger picture, then the perspective pulls our lives into focus and makes things much easier to handle. I wish you many holy moments each and every day!

Stress Tip for the Day:

Invite these holy moments into your life today. Ask to become aware of the extraordinary and the supernatural in everyday life. Become conscious of the bigger picture and make yourself available to the Universe to co-create your reality with divine guidance. Take delight in the little miracles. Take delight in the big one’s too. And when all else fails, remember this. YOU are a miracle too!

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you can view the first chapter of the Earth Songs meditation film I made a few years ago, with many holy moments. Enjoy!

http://www.brianlukeseaward.net/earthsongs.html


Quote for the Day:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as thought everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein.

Photo for the Day:

With camera in hand, I was ready to take some photos of what I saw last night at 35,000 feet, but alas, nothing came out, save the memories in my head. This photo appeared on a recent Facebook posting today and all credit goes to the photographer in Iceland (whomever this might be. Thanks!) It didn’t look quite like this from the plane, but it was impressive. 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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Imagine!

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Imagine living at your highest potential! What would that look like? What would that feel like? What could you do with your life? Spiritual luminaries suggest that, like the caterpillar, we too have what scientists refer to in the caterpillar as imaginal cells. There is absolutely nothing in the cellular structure of a lowly caterpillar that even hints at what it will become upon emerging from it’s chrysalis. These imaginal cells allow for a most remarkable transformation, allowing the caterpillar to reach it’s highest (and most beautiful) potential. Spiritual luminaries suggest that we too have a type of imaginal cell structure. It manifests as we take time to go inside (the human chrysalis, not to be confused with the Man Cave) and really cultivate our spiritual growth. Butterflies the world over are regarded as a symbol of the sacred. Butterflies symbolize the path of the soul emerging from a hardship, transforming into it’s destiny of breathtaking beauty, transcending the mundane into the sublime. Your metamorphosis is calling…..

Stress Tip for the Day:
You don’t have to crawl into a cocoon and hide from the stress of society to wait for these imaginal cells to do their work. Making the transformation from the mundane to the sublime is a change of attitude. Imaginal cells are your keys to empowerment, and they are VERY REAL. This shifting paradigm of thought moves you from victim to victor, and allows you the liberation to take flight. Ask yourself today what thoughts limit your potential? What perceptions hold you back from who you want to be, where you want to go and what you wish to accomplish. How can you release the chains of these perceptions and set yourself free? Imaginal cells are not magical for the lowly caterpillar, nor are they magical thinking for you. It’s your destiny calling… The caterpillar has to make a conscious choice to change. So do you, if you wish to fly to new heights. It’s time to use these imaginal cells. Your destiny is calling….

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:
Here is a link from one of my favorite people, Bruce Lipton, about imaginal cells: Enjoy:
http://www.brucelipton.com/newsletter-archive/imaginal-cells-and-cultural-creatives-crisis-ignites-evolution/

http://www.brucelipton.com/newsletter-archive/imaginal-cells/

There are scores of books and movies about the triumph of the human spirit. Some of my favorites include St. Ralph (movie) Life and Death in Shanghai (book) and Enter the Void (movie). The book by Richard Bach, Illusions is also a great read. Consider cocooning up with an inspiring movie or book to awaken/activate your imaginal cells today.

Quote(s) for the Day:
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” —Richard Bach, author of Illusions

“There is absolutely nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. ” —Buckminster Fuller.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the Sun
And find your shoulder to light on

To bring you luck, happiness and riches

Today, tomorrow and beyond.

— Irish blessing.

Photo for the Day:
Butterflies frequent my backyard garden all the time (a divine message?) This tiger swallow-tail butterfly looks stunning among the purple phlox… 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 (7e) and A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

How Did You Sleep Last Night?

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It’s amazing to think that for the amount of time people spend sleeping (one-third of our lives) how most people don’t spend much thought (or money) on good quality bedding. While stress plays a huge role in insomnia, yet

What you sleep on (e.g. sheets, pillow cases, mattress pads, mattresses, blankets, comforters, etc.) contributes greatly as a factor known in sleep study circles as “sleep hygiene.” If you were to ever spend a night in a high-end hotel, you would immediately know the difference in what constitutes great bedding: down pillows, soft mattress pads, 1000 count Egyptian cotton sheets, down comforters, etc. As they saying goes, if you don’t spend time and money on the best bedding for maximum comfort, you are robbing yourself of a good night’s sleep. As one friend of mine adds, “There are many people sleeping on King or Queen size beds, but they sleep like peasants.” Aside from keeping technology out of the bedroom for a great night’s sleep, premium bedding is a must for how you should spend one-third of your life.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Quality bedding isn’t going to removing all the stress in your life, but it’s a great start. The art of calm involves all of the five senses, and the sense of touch is an important one to consider when considering a good night’s sleep. The hotel I stayed at which was a revelation in quality bedding was the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. They have a person who specifically answers phone calls on how to order/purchase the sheets, pillows, comforters, etc., well what you will ever get at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Consider making an overhaul of your bedding so you can sleep like a queen or king.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here are a few links to more information on the topic of sleep hygiene.

http://helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm

http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/f/sleep.htm

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/02/secrets-to-a-good-night-sleep.aspx

Quote for the Day:

“For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has be carried all the way through.” —Steve Job.

Photo for the Day:

While at the Dromoland Castle in Shannon Ireland last year, I took this photo thinking that one day I might use this for a blog entry… And this was a King size bed with great bedding. 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

How Did You Sleep Last Night?

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It’s amazing to think that for the amount of time people spend sleeping (one-third of our lives) how most people don’t spend much thought (or money) on good quality bedding. While stress plays a huge role in insomnia, quality sleep surface is essential for all kinds of reasons. What you sleep on (e.g., sheets, pillow cases, mattress pads, mattresses, blankets, comforters, etc.) contributes greatly as a factor known in sleep study circles as “sleep hygiene.” If you were to ever spend a night in a high-end hotel, you would immediately know the difference in what constitutes great bedding: Down pillows, soft mattress pads, 1000-count Egyptian cotton sheets, down comforters, etc. As they saying goes, “If you don’t spend time and money on the best bedding for maximum comfort, you are robbing yourself of a good night’s sleep.” And as one friend of mine adds, “There are many people sleeping on King or Queen size beds, but they sleep like peasants.” Aside from keeping technology out of the bedroom for a great night’s sleep, premium bedding is a must for how you should spend one-third of your life.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Quality bedding isn’t going to removing all the stress in your life, but it’s a great start. The art of calm involves all of the five senses, and the sense of touch is an important one to consider when considering a good night’s sleep. The hotel I stayed at (decades ago) which to me was a revelation in quality bedding was the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. They have a person who specifically answers phone calls on how to order/purchase the sheets, pillows, comforters, etc., well beyond what you will ever get at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Consider making an overhaul of your bedding so you can sleep like a queen or king.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here are a few links to more information on the topic of sleep hygiene.

http://helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm

http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/f/sleep.htm


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/02/secrets-to-a-good-night-sleep.aspx

Quote for the Day:

“For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has be carried all the way through.” —Steve Jobs.

Photo for the Day:

While at the Dromoland Castle in Shannon Ireland last year, I took this photo thinking that one day I might use this for a blog entry… And this was a King-size bed with great bedding. 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.