Monday, March 29, 2010

Stop the Stress-Breathe in Life

Here I was, just before, at my desk, writing my newsletter and still having a bit of inner turmoil about the fact that we have a huge water leak and it's going to be a bit of a task to fix it.  Anyway, I realised, we have taken all the action we can, at this point in time to rectify the situation.  I sat there, looked out my window at my beautiful garden and took three deep breaths; I listened to the sounds of the birds and cars, I looked at the leaves on my frangipani tree and rubbed my barefeet on the carpet.  Life is good! 
In our day, too many of us (me inclusive) forget to breathe and we breathe too shallow.  Stop for a moment during your day (aim for a minimum of 3 times) and remind yourself of deep breathing and how good it feels.  Take at least 3 three deep breaths each time you stop for that moment.  Please share if you try this as to what results, if any, you get.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Perfect Example

The drama queen in me wants to start off by saying "I almost got killed on my way home just now" and let's just say it wouldn't be too far from the truth.  You may have experienced something similar.  It's a perfect example of someone who isn't living in the present and how it could affect other's lives.
I was waiting at a set of traffic lights, waiting for them to turn green.  When they turned green, as I was fully present, I just took my time to get going.  I wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere so slowly took off in first gear.  And lucky I was slow about.  I had to jam on the brakes and come to an immediate stop.  Someone had come through the red light coming up on my right.  I checked out their face (I always expect those people to look angry and 'in a rush').  This person was a Mum (children in the back) and looked as though she had absolutely no idea she had just run a red light.  Her mind has obviously taken over so much, she really isn't noticing much in her surrounds, even safety measures like stop lights. 
If I had of taken off as soon as the lights turned green, I would have been badly injured right now or worse.  Please live in the present more; if not for your own safety then for someone else's safety, before it's too late.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kids Worry Too

In light of being in hospital with my son last week and from watching him and listening to his thoughts and questions while he has been unwell over the past 8 weeks, I have become much more aware of how much kids worry.
My son asked me questions like "Mum, what is cancer?" (he doesn't have it but obviously has heard a little about it) and "Will I ever be better?".  He also had loads of tears from fear of the what he may have to experience and fear of many things that he had never experienced before.  Most of the things he experienced over the last 8 weeks or more were new to him. 
My son is also very sensitive for a 10 year old so at times when my words of reassurance weren't matching my body language of uncertainty, I'm sure he was able to identify my incongruence with his intuition.
I was very aware that we were all in unchartered territory and also very aware of my son's worry.  I thought I would share the things I tried with my son to ease his worry.
1. We already have a daily bedtime routine that includes a type of recap of the day.  We talk about what the best thing about our day was, what was the worse thing about our day (a great time for your child to share something that is worrying or bothering them if they aren't the sort who just blurts it out) and we always have a random question like what's the best smell we smelt that day.  We always end the chat on a positive note.
2.Going for a slow stroll to the park or just getting out of the house to wander around the garden (we were fortunate enough to have some sunflower plants burst into flower during this time) is a great way to live in the present.  Getting out into the fresh air and being distracted by nature along with a little vitamin D does wonders for adults and children alike.
3. I invited his friends over for a light play.  As he wasn't infectious, this was also a way of distracting him and helping him live in the present.
4. I gave my son back massages with lavender oil and as he had tummy pain, I also gently massaged his stomach.  The power of touch is brilliant for easing worry, especially coupled with relaxing essential oils.
5. I ran him warm baths at whatever time of the day he felt like them.  Besides the comfort of the warm water on his tummy, relaxing in the bath is also great for easing stress and worry.
6. I encouraged him to swim.  Again the water relieved his tummy pain and the fun and exercise took his mind off the worry(helped him to live in the present as kids do this extremely well in play).
7. I showed him patience, understanding and respect for privacy so that he felt he had a soft place to fall if he needed it (even if at times I myself really wanted to run and hide).
8. We played Monopoly and Uno as a family.  This was not only fun but it also took away the worry and helped time to go quickly and bonded the family unit.
9. I told the truth.  At times when I didn't have the answers or didn't know if this treatment was going to be the answer, I said so.  That way my body language and my words were congruent and he could tell I was being honest with him.  This helped him to trust me and trust that we were going to get through this together, no matter what it took and that I was on his side.
So next time something out of the ordinary is happening in your home, remember that your children are probably feeling it just as much, if not more than you.  What ideas can you share with them to arm them with the ability to ease the worry?  Maybe make a list of things they like to do that distracts them and that they enjoy (more than likely they will be able to be more present doing these things).  Ask them what they would like to do and help them to do it.  There are lots of solutions to reducing kids worry.  Please comment if you have some solutions that I have left out or want to share any experiences of your own.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Practice What I Preach

Well this week is certainly going to be a great time for me to really practice what I have been writing and reading about for the last couple of years.  My son is going into hospital (fingers crossed) on Tuesday for a procedure to help to heal him.  We will be in there for two days and two nights.  I am thinking I will need to stay in the moment for strength and also to be calm and also to wait until the results pan out rather than pre-empting them.
The old me would have already made up some fairly elaborate, scarey stories in my mind by now and the old me would be revisiting that visualization often in the build up to going off to the hospital.  I would most certainly be sick in the stomach with nerves and anxiety by now. 
My son certainly did this at first when he heard what his options were and he was dead against having this procedure.  He built a visualization based on fear of the unknown and fear(False Evidence Appearing Real) itself.  When we got all the information, his visualization of what was going to happen changed; it was an informed one and he actually chose this solution which goes a long way when you think about what it could have been like taking him to hospital on Tuesday.
So now when and if I think about what is going to happen, a lot of the emotion has been removed (certainly the fear side of it anyway).  We are thinking of it in an excited way.  Knowing that it will bring relief to his pain and that he can be a normal kid again.  We are also thinking it's a little bit like going on a holiday.  You still prepare in similar ways; pack your clothes and toiletries, pack your favourite toys (mine are in don't worry!), let your family know where you can be reached etc.  The only difference is on this adventure it will just be the two of us instead of the whole family.  That in itself also has it's positives too.
I will keep you posted(well in a week or so), when he is back on the right track, of how the procedure went and how well I put into practice my knowledge and experience of living in the moment. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

9 Things You Can Achieve Every Day

Gretchin Rubin recently wrote an article about a list she has of nine things she achieves every day.  See it here:  The idea of this list is when you have an extremely busy day and fall into bed tired and exhausted wondering if you actually got anything accomplished that day, at least you have nine things that you can say you did, each and every day without fail.  I thought I would make a list of the things I achieve every day and share that with you:
1. Have a healthy low calorie breakfast
2. Drink at least one bottle of water
3. Undertake some kind of exercise
4. Stay within the speed limits
5. Clean something in the house
6. Eat at least 1 piece of fruit and 3 serves of vegetables
7. Brush my teeth
8. Check and reply to emails, social networking messages, etc.
9. Do at least one thing 'just for fun'

10. Go to bed at or before 10.30.  This is my bonus for the day.  Guess I didn't make that today.  If you were to list your 9 things that you achieve every day, what would they be?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Work Life Balance

Here is a link to some great ideas about creating a better work life balance.  Worth a look.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Simple and Peaceful Life

A tweep (twitter person) of mine shared this article on Twitter today. It gives 13 ideas and some tips on how to live a simple and peaceful life.  It mentions the following:
* Identifying what is important; 4-5 things in 3 key areas of life to focus on
* Look at what you have committed to and if they don't align with the above, maybe look at changing that commitment
* Decrease the size of your to do list so you can actually take your time and enjoy each thing on your list rather than rushing through everything
* When making time commitments, leave plenty of room either side so you can arrive calm and with plenty of time
* Prioritise your to do list.  What is essential or what aligns with the 4-5 things you identified in the 3 key areas as important?  Take everything else off the list.
* Do only one thing at a time.  This includes thinking whilst you are 'doing'.  Even that is multi tasking and will detract from your simple and peaceful life.
* Find out what you allow to cause you the most stress.  How can you eliminate that or minimise it?
* Make some time just for you, whatever that looks like.  A walk or some other 'alone' exercise, a massage, reading, the list is endless.
* Are you ready for this nothing.  Can you believe that was actually suggested?  On a more serious note, sometimes you need to do nothing.......n-o-t-h-i-n-g.  I give you permission.
* Take some hints and tips from my blog, practice being in the present (for more hints and tips sign up for my e-newsletter via the blog).
* Practice gratitude right now and live in the moment.  Focus on what's good in your life instead of what you don't have.
Anyway, go to the article and have a read.  There are also some more links there and some other tips.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Universe

It's actually quite amazing what is coming my way from other blogs.  If you have read my post from yesterday you will know I spoke about receiving an inspirational blog post from Zen Habits about inspiration (bit of a play on words there!).  Today I have read an inspirational blog post from The Gratidudes.  Not sure if you have heard about The Gratidudes.  Check them out here:  This latest update to their blog is about, wait for it......................worry and how it affects your life, financially, health wise, etc.  It is exactly what I needed to read a week ago.  Maybe I wasn't attracting it last week.  I clearly was thinking the wrong things and attracting the wrong things last week (and the week before and the week before that).  It's almost like The Gratidudes read my post from yesterday on Inspire, Motivate, Create, Achieve and then answered it!  Giving me advice on how to handle my situation and how not to worry.  Even when your focus is living a peaceful and calm life and you get thrown a curve ball beyond your control, it seems the universe always answers when you are most receptive.  Yesterday, for me, it felt like the challenging issue I had been worrying about had started to sort itself out and I am feeling much more positive about the situation.  And then I start to get the answers and motivation I need.  Thank you, universe and thank you, me!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Chef

Cooking for friends and loved ones can be a very rewarding experience.  It doesn't have to be silver service or a la carte cuisine.  Stay in your passion and skill set range.  Invite some friends for a BBQ or do drinks and some finger food.  Make your family some fun muffins (like the Cherry Ripe Muffins I posted on one of my other blogs;  What about a morning or afternoon tea, a healthy lunch or breakfast.  If there are a few of you who like cooking different things, organise a progressive dinner (remember those-where you have different courses at different people's homes enlisting the help of a designated driver of course if you are having a few drinks as well).  Or there is the reverse dinner, where you start off with after dinner mints, coffee and a cheese platter, then dessert, then main meal and finishing off with an entree or nibblies.  You can have as many courses as people who are participating or you can do it all in one home.  Cooking is another creative solution to help you focus in the present.  So relax and enjoy the actual process the next time you decide to be the Happy Chef.