Archives for the month of: March, 2016

Mental happiness is total relaxation.~ Yogi Tea

Just as I was going to work on this PGG, I made myself a cup of tea, and out of any message I could have received on the little tag, I got the one above.  Thank you Universe for confirming what I am about to write!

I’ve been through a lot these past few years, and my closest friends wonder how I manage to exist and do the work I do. My response is always that I practice what I preach, and there are many tools in my toolbox; I use them all, but one of the easiest to access, yet hardest for many people to apply, is the simple act of doing nothing.

When I say nothing, I mean NO THING.  No doing, no thinking, no feeling (unless they come up), no reading, no TV or movies, no music (well, sometimes soothing music), not even meditating: JUST BEING.  You can do this on your couch, in your bed, on the beach or in a park; you can sleep or doze or just be in a neutral state in whatever space you’re in. It’s about taking a conscious time out on all levels to let your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual batteries recharge. It’s been my best medicine to remedy all that I’ve gone through and is better than any other food, drug or other substance – and there are no side effects or hangovers!

My guess is lately you’ve probably felt like a warrior on the battlefield of stress, combating what feels like all the forces of nature against you.  So think about it – even if you haven’t been physically straining yourself with a sword and shield somewhere, (and perhaps even getting enough sleep), you have been exerting yourself on levels you might not be aware of and it takes its toll nonetheless.  Hence the rest.

Most people only rest when they are forced to due to an illness or trauma to the body. But we also need to shut down after a period of mental and/or emotional turmoil, sustained physical exertion or sensory overload.  Especially if you are an introvert or an empath, it’s easy to become subconsciously overwhelmed by so much coming at us from the outside, whether electronic ions, ubiquitous wi-fi, sound waves, disturbing images and picking up other people’s “stuff” in and around your environment.

Mind you, this is not being lazy or sick, and I’m not even talking about catching up on sleep (although that is critical if you need it); I’m talking about simply resting on all levels, and giving your body quality time to process, catch up, heal on subtle levels so you can keep on keeping on in the most healthy way in mind, body and spirit.

Usually I will use this technique (lately it’s been staying in bed all day, but even a couple of hours is better than none) after a particularly stressful experience to mitigate the effects of what I had just been through; other times it is more like a preemptive strike that my body intuitively knows to do to prepare for the challenges ahead.  And it’s not every week, or even every month, just when I need a stronger dose than my daily repose, depending on whatever is going on in my life – it’s a free, immunity-boosting powerhouse that reduces any potential infirmity, and makes my mind clear and my energy able to handle whatever the task at hand may be, rather than slug through endlessly never feeling productive or operating at my fullest.

BTW, I’m sure there are scientific studies about this.  For one, just think about when you exercise a certain set of muscles at the gym – the advice is always to have one day off in between for them to rest.  That’s how they get stronger.

Then there is the wisdom of oh so many traditions, which suggest (or mandate) some form of a Sabbath – because even God had to rest! But whether you are religious or not, it means you are consciously setting aside time to commune with your SELF.

Many folks can’t sit still for five minutes, let alone even consider spending an entire day in bed if they are not sick (or have some other condition like depression or ordered by a doctor).  Because of our always on, go-go-go society, at first it’s easy to feel some sense of self-imposed guilt for not crossing out items on your To Do List or the FMO that comes along with shutting down; or you might think it’s some luxury you can’t afford.  Start where you can, for however long you are able.

Think of it as being internally productive, as most healing we can’t easily see or perceive as it’s happening – like when we get a cut or break a bone that magically gets better – and know that the investment in downtime saves you time and increases your external productivity in the long run. For instance, instead of squeezing out whatever you have to do on fumes over 8 hours feeling burnt out and suffering, use those 8 hours for quality rest FIRST, then bang out whatever you need to do in a very focused, refreshed and flowing 1-2 hours. Try it, you’ll like it!

In our increasingly stimulating world, most people are being controlled by their technology, rather than them being in control of it.  Besides the daily grind of commutes, work and other obligations, there are always challenging cycles of adversity and intense situations to endure. It is essential to disconnect in order to process your activities and their impact, to sort out your subconscious and integrate all you experience.  You need to be able to hear your own thoughts, feel your own feelings and think for yourself.

We must make a concerted effort to create the conditions to receive inspiration, download waves of creativity, have those ah-ha moments, problem solve and brainstorm new ideas.  When you make rest an integral part of your life, you will find you can be more patient with family members and friends, spouses and significant others, kids and coworkers; you’ll able to listen more effectively, be present and have more empathy with ourselves and whoever we are with, and the world around us.

The more you develop and heed your resting muscle, the more you will be able to listen to your body – its infinite wisdom knows what is best for you at any given time.  Heed that wisdom and your body will reward you.  You will feel more centered and alert and will naturally make you more confident, and yes there is something to what they call “beauty” sleep!

The bottom line is that we must impose our own YIN to our very YANG culture at this extraordinary time in history that is demanding our attention with the steady stream of stimulation, distraction, transition, emotional porn and more we are subjected to 24/7.

Due to this reality, it seems as if everyone is dealing with some level of fear or anxiety and feeling frazzled or out of control. Unchecked sleep deprivation and/or incessant stress on our minds and emotions can permeate our daily lives in insidious ways you might not realize because at this point you’re so used to it! However, when we’re well-rested we see things more clearly and have the strength and wherewithal to handle whatever comes our way, rather than become ill or hopeless and/or explode in some inappropriate manner which could harm yourself or others physically and/or emotionally. And, if you rest on a regular basis you won’t need to binge eat/drink/whatever, and might not even need to take a vacation!       

The Roman poet Ovid so wisely wrote, “Take rest; the field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”  Want to make sure you have much to harvest throughout the year? Gimme a buzz, and I’ll show you that when you make time for rest, you can be assured that life will be bear fruit in every way!

Click here for a pretty version of this PGG

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!   Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

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CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One FROM AMAZON

FEELING STUCK IN YOUR CAREER? CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO!  

  Last November I was one of the career experts featured in a panel discussion hosted by The Muse.  Here is the full length video where you can hear my thoughts on career transition, working with a coach, building confidence and handling emotions in the workplace. 

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The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat intangible..It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from Midtown and how late is it open? ~ Woody Allen

Ah, the paradox between poetry and practicality, art and accounting, beauty and bottom line, meaning and metrics. Especially in the results-oriented, materially-focused, high-powered metropolis that is New York, it’s often challenging to communicate the value of things we are unable to touch, see or precisely measure.

I recently assigned some journaling to a client, and she seemed perplexed and not too happy about it.  Her concern, she said, was that it would be difficult for her, an MIT graduate, not to have any sort of metrics or immediate tangible outcome to guide her or let her know she was doing it “correctly”, which her perfectionist self needed in order to be validated in the exercise.  She was not the first to be challenged by or to question the effectiveness of the solution I offered, just the first to articulate it so well!

This type of scenario has been the bane of my existence. The world of the intangible has been my field of expertise and the “meat” of my work for most of my professional life – teaching  or speaking, creating programs that promote intercultural understanding and women’s empowerment, individual and group coaching, even writing these little essays.  Most everything  I do is impactful on an internal level, enabling shifts in perception and healing to take place, so my challenge has always been how to grade, evaluate, measure or assure the merit of such things: How do you quantify understanding, inspiration, identity, and transformation?       

With flowers and trees now blooming all around us, remember that they didn’t just magically appear overnight, as unseen forces were at work during the barren winter months. The result is tangible, but the process itself is something, too.  Fertile soil, sunshine, water, time and Nature’s mysterious special sauce work consistently in harmony behind the scenes, making it all come together for us to once again enjoy the gorgeous potpourri of colors and shapes.

Feeling like your Spring needs to be sprung?  You might just need a little professional tending to your garden, fertilizing it with process, presence and patience – along with some Xray vision – so give me a buzz, I’ll help bring on the blossom and have Everything Coming Up Roses for you again!

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on April 26, 2011 )

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!   Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One FROM AMAZON

FEELING STUCK IN YOUR CAREER? CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO!  

  Last November I was one of the career experts featured in a panel discussion hosted by The Muse.  Here is the full length video where you can hear my thoughts on career transition, working with a coach, building confidence and handling emotions in the workplace. 

I always like to remind folks who attend my talks that we are living in extraordinary times. Now more than ever we need to listen to our hearts and march to the beat of our own drum. Yet we are not solo performers on this stage – but more like duets, with the Universe as our partner – in what I like to think of life as the dance of life. There is ebb and flow, push and pull, reap and sow.

In our technologically advanced, left-brain evolved world, we think we can do more and know all the answers in making things happen for ourselves. But the truth is that we are only half the equation: the Universe, with its great unknown and unseen power, process and nature, is the other half.

There is a sublime order to things in our world if we only allow ourselves to honor it, regardless of how long our journey takes or what form or shape the fruit of it bears – and the Universe always knows better than our little pea brains. There is a method to its seeming madness and oft-lengthy timeline, but the more we resist its infinite wisdom, the more we suffer, the more mess is made, the more there is to clean up, and the longer it can take to get back on track.

Instead, we must learn to go with the flow – not in a loosey-goosey kind of way, but with faith and confidence, like a farmer planting his seeds, in knowing that the sun will rise tomorrow and that what comes up must come down.

Any artist, dancer, musician or athlete understands that practice and technique will only get you so far; at some point you have to let go and allow the Universe do its thing. In other words, no matter what you are working toward – getting a new job, growing a business, reaching health goals, or improving relationships – you need to simply “do your best and surrender the rest.”

If you haven’t seen the external results you desire, take a moment to slow down and reflect. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice you’ve been undergoing some major inner reconstructing and re-arranging of molecules, experiencing a deep emotional and mental detox encouraging you to let go of the past in order to move forward; this too is part of the dance. Sound familiar? If not, and you’ve been feeling blocked at every turn, ignoring the call to do this type of internal work is probably to blame, and is easy to correct.

The beauty of dancing with the big U is that that once you get in sync with it, things actually get in sync with you, and stuff starts to happen, as I always say, “in time and on time” – and often more miraculously than you could have ever imagined.

Not sure of what steps to take next or feeling like you wanna rock right now? It Takes Two to make a thing go right, so give me a buzz and I’ll help you to make it outta sight!

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on November 13, 2013 )

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!   Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One FROM AMAZON

FEELING STUCK IN YOUR CAREER? CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO!  

  Last November I was one of the career experts featured in a panel discussion hosted by The Muse.  Here is the full length video where you can hear my thoughts on career transition, working with a coach, building confidence and handling emotions in the workplace. 

One of my favorite artists from back in the day,Howard Jones, sang:  “The old man said to me, don’t always take life so seriously…. Try and enjoy the here and now, the future will take care of itself somehow. And he happily cautions in the chorus,Don’t try to live your life in one day, don’t go speed your time away.”

I recently came into a newfound appreciation for the wisdom of his pop songs – beyond what the catchy tunes, a cute face and big orange ’80s mohawk hairdo did for me back then.

Fashion and music always comes around again in slightly different forms. Nowadays everyone is cutting back and having to scale down and tap into whatever material and personal resources they have.  It’s a good time to reflect on what facets within you can be recycled and refurbished.  What about yourself, someone else, or the situation can you look at and see with new eyes, appreciate and/or put to use in a totally different way? What blast from your past – whether a song, piece of clothing, relationship or talent – can you relish in now, but in a more profound way?

Not sure what gems you might have forgotten that can be dug up and polished off for your greater good? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you do some excavating to resurrect those parts of your life that have been dormant far too long, and by doing so, discover that indeed “Things Can Only Get Better.”    

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on November 10, 2010)

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!   Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One FROM AMAZON

FEELING STUCK IN YOUR CAREER? CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO!  

  Last November I was one of the career experts featured in a panel discussion hosted by The Muse.  Here is the full length video where you can hear my thoughts on career transition, working with a coach, building confidence and handling emotions in the workplace. 

There’s a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in. ~ Leonard Cohen

I recently had my apartment painted, which is basically like moving without actually moving. The main reason I did it was to force myself to  go through all of my belongings and see what should stay and what  should go, clean all the nooks and crannies that never get looked at and rearrange things in a better way.  Well, it’s working, but for various  reasons has been happening s-l-o-w-l-y….and I just need to be okay with  that.

In my post The Present of Presence, I mentioned that out of chaos comes clarity.  And I’m always talking about process, how patience is a virtue and the consistent effort needed to make lasting change, One Step at a Time.  I’m certainly getting some good practice right now!

It’s been a great exercise to dismantle my external life, since most days I live and work on the internal side of things.  Just like with physical surgery, sometimes you gotta literally open up, get in there, dig around, and rid yourself of and/or fix whatever is not working in order to begin healing and functioning more optimally.  Like my client’s ostrich with its head held high on her Vision Board, we have to deal with what is and take action, instead of keeping our heads buried in the sand expecting things to change.

With all the graduations, series, season and competition finales, as well as the loss of some famous folks, it’s a reminder to say goodbye to life as a student, to an era, to characters and storylines, and perhaps jobs, people, places and things, and especially old personas that we’ve  outgrown. There are just times in our lives when we need to let it all go to make way for the new.

What needs to be opened up, dismantled, re-examined in your life?  What is old and tattered and/or has served its purpose and should be released? What can be put back together in a new and improved way so that you can more easily integrate ALL parts of yourself and more effortlessly move forward in the most positive way on this journey called life?

Whatever area you feel stuck in, be sure to  Ch-Check it Out – because only when we look at things from a different perspective can we make different decisions.  Having a hard time letting go of anything that’s not Hot Stuff?  Give me a buzz and I’ll help you face the music and get you Stayin’ Alive in the best version of yourself now and beyond!  

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on May 22, 2012)

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!   Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One FROM AMAZON

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