Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stress and the light bulb

Do you know how you know when you are really stressed?  You can’t remember anything; you walk in a room and forget why you walked there in the first place?  You cannot seem to focus on even the most mundane jobs and then you beat yourself up for being so stupid?  Does this sound familiar?

This is all too familiar for me.  Stress can sneak up on you too.  I think I am being super productive, working so hard, doing all the right things.  I push myself to do one more task, got to get that “to do” list done before I can rest.  I often say to myself, if only I had more time, (or you might say more money, the right job, car, clothes etc.…) I might then get everything done that I need.  I might then have peace and happiness. But instead I find myself with signs and symptoms of ADHD, (or at my age is it Alzheimer’s?!)  My productivity slows down to a dribble…this is when even the simplest problems and decisions can seem so overwhelming and I cannot see the simplest solution right under my nose.   It is also when the little roadblocks also seem like mountains.

Case in point, I’ve been trying to clean out my office and especially my office desk for an eternity, guests are coming so the Ego says this is eminent.  To add insult to injury, the days are becoming shorter and although I have a sunroom for an office the lighting sucks and when the sun goes down so does my eyesight.  I even splurged and had my husband buy me two new office lamps for me for Christmas which came yesterday to solve “THE Problem” but last night as I tried to assemble them so I could see start cleaning the office out (of course it was close to midnight….) I discover they came broken…..ARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!  Father time is clicking and I’ve convinced myself there is not enough time, money etc.….  It is also this week that my old office furniture decides it has had enough of my abuse.  The pretty looking file cabinets decide to collapse under the mountains of paper that I try to stuff into them, the handles come off my desk cabinets (because I’ve stuffed them too full, the bottom falls out of the big center desk…. You get the picture.  I get the message that it is past time to purge.  To let go of the old so I can bring in the new.  I’ve detoxed my body, lost the last 15 pounds to obtain my ideal weight but now need to clean the clutter in my office and my mind.  Like my nutritional coaching, I have to be kind and gentle to myself, listen to the messages that are being delivered to me.  STOP, LOOK and LISTEN.

I need to stop the negative mantras or ANTs in the head.  Deepak Chopra says that if you think there is not enough time, that is the surest, fastest way to high blood pressure, a heart attack and stress related illness and you will indeed succeed at your self imposed self fulfilling prophesy.  So I have to admit it, so it is with money too, or weight loss or finding that dream job or whatever goal it is that you are seeking.  You will only obtain that which you feel worthy of and the only way to self worth is to look at and accept both the light and the dark sides of ourselves clearly and kindly without harsh judgments.   To honestly look at what is holding us back. We must look at our fears and have the courage to move forward in spite of them.  This is why I have my own coach, my own sponsor and my own beautiful support groups.

So my only option last night was to stop and go to bed.  This morning when I woke up I took the time to journal (a beautiful and necessary gift from me to myself).  I wrote my to do list and then returned to my dark office to begin the process of cleaning off the desk.  I then noticed that one of the bulbs in the desk lamp is burned out and the other environmentally better bulb, (that was supposed to last 100’s of years without changing) had gradually slowly over time, lost almost all of its lumens. 

Isn’t this how chronic illness, anxiety and emotional discomfort develop?  Slowly over time, barely noticeable until some message hits us, we wake up and realize we cannot continue doing things the same way?

I went into the kitchen to find a new light bulb (forgetting why I walked in there when I saw the mess I’d made there the night before) finally found a new bulb and replaced it.

VOILA!  What a difference the new light bulb made on illuminating my desk!  I can now begin the process, one step at a time and it really wasn’t all that difficult or expensive to fix. How often do we create and or amplify our problems by not taking time or the steps to care for ourselves first?  How often do we ignore self care until it comes up to bite us (yes Lisa, this means organizational and financial health too) How often do we let our perceived stress control us instead of us controlling our time, money and attitudes?

It’s our successes that enable us to more freely move forward.  Recognize the small successes; celebrate the progress and the journey.  Maybe we can even laugh at our own humanness.  As my daughter Dana says, “Practice not perfection”.  Being mindful of what we want to bring into our lives.  Replace the fear with light and hope, self love and forgiveness.

Today, I am not only going to just clean off the desk, I am going to purge that which I no longer need. 

Can anyone tell me how to dispose of this “environmentally safer” mercury bulb?

Food for thought; I would love your comments.

Carpe Diem & Namaste.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

More thoughts on Healing From Within

It was no accident that I titled my blog, “Healing from Within”. Intuitively I knew that all health, all healing has to come from within.  I say intuitively because this is not what I was taught growing up or in nursing school.  Our western thought is that science is king and if we just have the right diagnosis, the right doctor, the right therapist, we can get the answer we are seeking to “fix” our problems.

But what if our problems, our discomfort, our dis-ease isn’t a bad thing?  What if we took a paradigm shift in thinking and looked at these “issues” as gifts?  As a message to us from ourselves, or from God or from a higher power or whatever you can accept for the moment.  What if we looked upon ourselves lovingly like a parent looks at a child learning to walk when they fall down?  That falling down is just a natural part of the journey of life.  Scraped knees teach us balance, how to stand erect and ride a bicycle.

What if we took the negative judgment away, could we be more apt to find a solution?  Might then the journey feel loving and kind instead of fearful and overwhelming?  Might the journey even be joyful?

What if we focused on the first root chakra in Yoga Dance and the mantra, “I have”. What if we truly believed that we had enough?  We had enough time, enough money, enough food, enough shelter.  What if we changed our internal dialogue of “There’s never enough time” or “if I only had more money, more time, more whatever….” What if we felt and acted like we do have all that we need right here and right now, to be happy and satisfied with ourselves, in this moment.  What if we accepted that we are here where we are supposed to be to learn what it is we need to learn in this journey called life?  Could we then give ourselves permission to breathe deeply and fully? Could we then lessen our anxiety and fear? Could we possibly even be more productive?  Might we even laugh at ourselves? 

Could we then accept that we are all perfectly imperfect?  I believe that this is the reason to practice the art of (self) loving kindness and the practice needs to begin within, here and now. 

This is where a coach, a group, a therapist, or a good trustworthy friend can help.  Come begin to practice self care and loving kindness with me at a Let Your Yoga Dance Class Sunday afternoon in Great Falls, Va at Beloved Yoga Studio

Namaste & Carpe Diem,