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Monthly Archives

June 2012

Healthy Boundaries: Off to Ireland

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Dear friends, fans and colleagues, 
For the next three weeks I will be presenting at a conference and leading a tour group to Ireland. I have found that while on the road, it is a challenge to keep up with the blog entries. So… to reinforce an important stress management (and time management) concept and coping skill, I am establishing a healthy boundary with this blog by putting it on hiatus until the first week of July. Thanks for your understanding.
As they say in Ireland, Slainte (Slan-cha!), to your health!
Stress Tip for the Day:
Where can you establish a healthy boundary? Take a moment to evaluate your life and see where you can pull the reins in. Then… make a strategy. Tell your friends and colleagues of this new boundary and then do it. It’s that simple.
Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:
If you are looking for a great summer book to read, I would like to recommend Anum Cara, by John O’Donahue. It’s a book about Celtic Spirituality. If you can listen to it on a CD (with his Irish accent), event better!
Quote for the Day:
“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him throughout temporary periods of joy. ” — William Butler Yeats, Irish Poet
Photo for the Day:
I am renting a booth at the Colorado Irish Festival (July 13-15 in Littleton) and will be selling posters, note cards, totes and a 2013 picture calendar. Here is one image that will be both a poster and note card. Enjoy (and if you are free that weekend, come over and say hi!)
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 12 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.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

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In 1997, Don Miguel Ruiz came out with a wonderful little book, called The Four Agreements. They are four simple rules to live by. Agreement No 2 states: Don’t take anything personally. The premise of this rule is to learn to let things roll off your back (the Teflon coping skill of stress management). Under stress, the perceptions of the ego become magnified 10 fold. When others are under stress, they are thinking only about themselves. As a consequence, there is a lot of rude, cynical, sarcastic and less than desirable behaviors that come full force in our direction, or so it seems. Don’t take it personally. Sensitive people tend to absorb these negative energies, which ultimately causes internal stress.
There is a find line between thickening your skin and turning the other cheek, yet both are possible at the same time when you can learn to rise above the occasion and domesticate your own ego. The real lesson is not take anything personally while at the same time offer compassion. This is known as the “unbearable lightness of being.” Once you have this down, you have conquered the world. So the message today (and every day is this: Don’t take things personally, but keep your heart open).
Stress Tip for the Day:
It bears repeating that the best way to rise above the fray is to meditate each day. Sitting still, focusing on your breathing, and clearing your head of the ego chitter-chatter becomes the best way to domesticate your own ego; the simple inoculation of daily stress. In essence you become not only the observer of your thoughts, but you eventually learn to observe yourself observing your thoughts. This is called detachment; a necessary step in learning NOT to take anything personally. And remember, by and large, people are not malicious. They are just clueless (perhaps you’ve noticed).
Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:
Today’s book recommendation is the best selling book, The Four Agreements. And if you ever get a chance to hear Don speak, I highly recommend it.
Quote for the Day:
“Don’t take things personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world. Don’t take things personally.” — Don Miguel Ruiz
Photo for the Day:
Today’s photo is an image of Hanging Lake Falls, near Glenwood Springs, Colorado… 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 12 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 Monday, Indeed!

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  There is a trend in Colorado (perhaps other places too) to greet people with an expression, based on the actual day. I think it began with Thursdays, but I am not sure. In some parts of the world, it’s “Good Morning!.” In other parts of the country it’s, “How’s it going?” But in Colorado, it’s “Happy Monday,” or “Happy Friday,”… you get the idea: A simple salutation to bring good cheer. One of my favorite harbingers of good cheer is the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strip. Though it only lasted for 10 years in the daily papers (1986-1996, I think) the creator, Sam Watterson, left me smiling for decades, and it hasn’t stopped. I giggle just thinking about how Calvin tormented his teacher Ms. Wormwood, or his neighbor, Sally. Happy Monday, indeed. Today, in the spirit of “Have a nice day,” and as a tribute to Calvin and Hobbes, here are some famous Calvin quotes to bring a smile to your face. After all, laughter is one way to make people happy!~ Happy Monday everybody!
Stress Tip for the Day:
Being happy is all about attitude. It’s a mindset and humor can help, if only momentarily. And life is made up of moments. Today’s goal is to find those moments, as many as you can… to make today a happy day indeed. You can start by reading some of Calvin’s quotes below. You can continue by being silly (see above illustration). You can finish the day by sharing a smile, with somebody who really needs one. Smiles are infectious… Pass them on. Happy Monday!
Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:
If you don’t have a Calvin and Hobbes anthology cartoon book, what are you waiting for? Go get one.
You can also find a cartoon strip a day with these links:
Quotes for the Day:
• Calvin: You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help.
• Calvin: Everybody seeks happiness! Not me, though! That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world. Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!
• Calvin: They say the world is a stage. But obviously the play is unrehearsed and everybody is ad-libbing his lines.
Hobbes: Maybe that’s why it’s hard to tell if we’re living in a tragedy or a farce.
• Calvin: We need more special effects and dance numbers.
•  Calvin: Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
•Calvin: Trick or treat!
Adult: Where’s your costume? What are you supposed to be?
• Calvin: I’m yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Madison Avenue and Hollywood, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you’re old and weak. Am I scary, or what?
Photo for the Day:
This came from a Facebook update that I included as today’s image, with thanks to Bill Watterson; a true genius. 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 12 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.

Fear Mongering and More Fear Mongering

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In his best selling book, Spontaneous Healing, Physician Andy Weil suggests that people do not eat while watching television. Too many negative vibrations, he says. His point is that it’s hard to digest your food while stressed. And he is right. There is a lot of fear mongering going on out there, from politics to the stupid Mayan 2012 interpretations of the world coming to an end (it’s NOT coming to an end). Moreover, it’s not just on the TV, but radio, and the Internet as well. Weil, and others, put forth a challenge. You feed your body with food, but what do you feed your head (mind) with? Is it mindless entertainment? Stupid political bickering? Fatalistic or catastrophic predictions?   Fear-based propaganda? Feeding your head (the conscious and perhaps more importantly, the subconscious minds) is as important as a well-balanced diet of the essential nutrients. Why do people gravitate toward fear mongering? On can only guess, but it’s quite likely due to the ego’s need to control. The world is NOT coming to an end, by any stretch of the imagination, so don’t buy into that negative message. Instead, shift your perception toward optimism. It’s the best digestive strategy for both mind and body.
Stress Tip for the Day:
Consider the idea of a “news fast.” Take time out from your habits of watching the news or listening to it on the radio or web. Start today. Include in this fast the removal of any fear-based movies as well.  If you have ever done this before, you know that when you re-emerge, the same stories surface only the names have changed. Do it for a day and see how you feel, then consider a few days a week. If something important comes up, trust that someone will tell you. Start filling your head with positive and happy sensations. Make a habit of doing this each and every day.
Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:
If you can get your hands on a copy of Spontaneous Healing, I would highly recommend reading it.
Quote for the Day:
“Feed your head.” Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland
Photo for the Day:
While in Cancun several years ago I took this photo at Chitzen Itza. Again, let me say that the world is not coming to an end. The Mayans, like many other indigenous cultures, understood the concept of natural cycles. Whenever one cycle ends, the next one begins. 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 12 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.