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Holistic Stress Management

The New Normal?

By | Holistic Stress Management, Time affluence | One Comment

Listening to the news as I do, I hear a phrase used with great regularity, “The New Normal.” The phrase begs two questions, What’s normal? and what’s changed since the old normal? Certainly, the influx of technology is considered part of the new normal. Extreme weather conditions are also considered the new normal. And sadly, the continual economic woes have become the new normal as well, particularly for those who cannot find a job. Normal, it is often said, is not necessarily healthy. These and other factors that make up the shifting sands of our society are creating the face of the “new normal.” Out with the old and in with the new means change, and change is often met with resistance (this is code for stress). One person who is questioning what is normal and with equal measure, trying to create a healthier new normal is David Wann.

Wann first gained national recognition with his acclaimed book, Affluenza, a critical look at consumerism in America. Wann suggests that we all take a new look at what it means to be successful. For so long success was (and still is) based on keeping up with the Jones, a never ending competition of consumerism, which is now coming back to bite us in the collective butt. This normal has with an unsustainable lifestyle saddled with stress (Wann notes that the US ranks 5th in the world in stress right below the people of Afghanistan and Haiti; not exactly a healthy new normal.) Wann also speaks to the issue of “time affluence” in essence, leisure time, something many people seem to have little of these days.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Do you measure your success by various social tangibles such as the size of your house, the make of your car, vacation destinations? If so you are in good (perhaps quite bad) company. Just as people are looking at what it means to be successful, they are also trying to determine how to
best measure happiness, and the two certainly go hand in hand. Many people have countless possessions, yet are anything but happy. Consider making a strategy today for your new normal, one that allows you to create a sustainable lifestyle. How would you rate your time affluence? Do you even have any? How does technology impede your time affluence? Awareness is the first step to making changes for your new normal.

Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
I highly recommend you take a look at David Wann’s link and perhaps consider reading his book, The New Normal.

http://www.davewann.com/publications/the-new-normal/

On a somewhat related note, over the holiday weekend I took refuge in a cool movie theater with a friend. The movie of choice was a pleasant surprise, BUCK. Living in the Rocky Mountains, I have ridden my share of horses, but this movie brought horse ridding to a whole new level. There are many great messages in the movie, about how to live your life, and I highly recommend it.

Quote for the Day:
“If you don’t like the culture you in, change the culture, be a culture of one.”
A paraphrased quote from the best selling book, Tuesdays With Morrie.

Photo for the Day:
Having just returned from our Spirit of Ireland Journey workshop, I thought Iwould share with you a photo I took while in the town of Doolin; a magical scene for sure.

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.

Feet Are Made for Walking

By | Holistic Stress Management, Stress and Walking | No Comments

We often take our feet for granted, but today, take time to thank your feet for all the support they have given you over the years. Decades ago, people spent far more time investing in quality footwear than they do today. Feet placed in shoes that don’t properly support the arch can
cause big problems (stress) to the structure of the entire body, primarily lower back and hip problems. Bunions and bone spurs are telltale signs that proper footwear has been ignored. Her is a good rule to remember: When fashion overrides function, it spells trouble for the feet. Without naming names, there are many shoe brands on the market today, which look cool and may even feel great initially, but offer no support to the feet and may cause serious structural damage down the road, not just to your feet, but your knees, hips and lower back. Indeed, your feet are made for walking and using them for this purpose is a great way to reduce stress as well.

• Stress Tip For The Day:

If you have lower back pain, or pain in the hip, knee or ankle joint, very likely it’s your feet that have been ignored. Please consider making an appointment to see a podiatrist (foot doctor). It might be that what you need are orthodics, followed by a good pair of shoes. Also… consider a good foot massage (reflexology) every now and then. 15-30 minutes on each foot is nothing less than heaven.

• Links/Books Worth Noting:

Once again, I would love to direct your attention to the Walking With Walgreens website which is promoting wellness through walking. There are many blog entries (including a few I was asked to contribute) for this website. Enjoy!

http://walk.walgreens.com/

• Quote for the Day:
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” —John Muir

Photo of the Day:
My Godmother, Pat O’Connor, (and her daughter and granddaughter) came out to visit me last week here in Colorado. We went up to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park in the hopes to see some wildlife (which we did; a coyote, some deer and LOTS of elk). Somehow the girls all missed the memo about bringing good walking shoes so our tour of the park was primarily by car. All is all it was a great visit.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D
. isan 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 Power of a Circle

By | Holistic Stress Management | No Comments

In the land renowned for its pyramids, I heard the other day that people in Egypt are gathering together in circles to discuss the formation of a new government. The circle is known the world over as a powerful divine symbol of wholeness, where all parts come together to form a whole, yet, the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts. Wisdom keepers and sages remind us of the power of the circle, an archetypal symbol of wholeness; the Tibetan mandala, the Native American medicine wheel, and the African drum, now used is so many cultures. Wisdom keepers also remind us of the four aspects of each circle (also known as the four gates): Spring, summer, autumn and winter. North, south, east and west. Centering, emptying, grounding and connecting. Joseph Campbell wove these four gates into the Hero’s journey (departure, initiation, assistance of spiritual aids, and the return home). M. Scott Peck (author of The Road Less Traveled) highlighted these four aspects in his template of spiritual growth: chaotic antisocial individual, institutionalized individual, skeptic individual and the mystic communal. Corporations also use the circle as a symbol of wholeness, if nothing more than to remind you at an unconscious level of their intent: Target, ATT, and Starbucks, just to name a few. The promise of wholeness is embedded within us. Should you ever forget the promise of wholeness, simply look into a mirror and see not one, but two circles; the iris of your eyes.

Stress Tip for the Day: Thomas Jefferson was so impressed with the power of the circle that he built his home, Monticello, around the shape of one. We even have a circle in the White House: The Oval office. Take a look around you and make note of all the places you see circles; dinner plates, clocks, wedding rings, coins, peace symbols, Christmas wreaths, CD’s and flower pots. The list is nearly endless. The promise of divine wholeness is all around. You just need to be aware of it.


Links, Books & Movies Worth Noting: If you haven’t seen Joseph Campbell’s interview with Bill Moyers: The Power of Myth (aired on PBS back in the late 80’s, but still as relevant today), it is surely worth a look.

Quote for the Day:

“Modern man is sick because he is not whole.” —Carl Jung

Photo for the Day:The sun and the moon often serve as symbols of wholeness. In honor of this concept, this photo of the full moon over Greenland’s town of Illulissat. 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.