Archive for: May 2013

Love in Any Color

If you live and breathe in the 21st century, you are regularly bombarded with differences in people, culture, work, and play. What do those differences mean to us? Do they divide us? Do they teach us about each other? Do they enrich us?

Friendz

Image credit: darrinhenry / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Check out this short clip (story begins at 0:15).

Best Friends

We all have many pairs of ‘glasses’ that we can choose from as we look out at our world. As we learn to see things through ‘glasses’ of acceptance, peace, and love, our world becomes richer, we become more compassionate, with a broader view of what it means to live and respect other fellow earth travelers.

Wear these ‘glasses’ often, and when you die, you will know that you have really lived!

How do I get from ‘Here’ to ‘Happy’?

Are you happy? Do you know anyone who you would describe as happy?

Most humans, consciously or unconsciously, want to know the how of getting from Here to Happy.

Happy woman

Image Credit: andresr / 123rf Stock Photo

Researchers tell us that people who rate themselves in the upper registers of ‘happy’ are more likely to stay well and feel better connected in their relationships. So what does it take?

Read More→

Clownfish and Bullies

Once upon a time in an idyllic setting far, far away, my husband and I had the privilege to sail with friends in Belize (rhymes with puh-leeze, NOT valise). We were reveling in the beauty of the perfectly pure aquamarine water around the boat, swaying gently on the anchor just off a gorgeous little treasure of a cay (pronounced key–it’s a small island).

Off Golf Cay

Off Golf Cay

My husband suddenly began to feel confined by the parameters of the 45’ boat we were relaxing on. Donning trunks, he dove in and snorkeled around, only to return to the boat and proclaim that he had found a skull on the bottom with coral and plants growing out of the eye sockets just a few feet off the cay. He wanted me to see it, so—willing woman that I am—I jumped in and followed him to the spot. We snorkeled, I saw the skull, and we returned to the boat. Our fabulous sailing trip ended too soon.

A couple of days later, we had the beginnings of a biology lesson. We learned all about ‘jellyfish bloom’ and the effects of coming in contact with microscopic jellyfish larvae—which is actually so tiny that it cannot be seen in the water. The larvae attach to your skin where they are then in position to discharge their toxic darts. Jellyfish vary widely, and in our case, we were blissfully unaware—until we began to have small painful, itchy red bumps erupting through the surface of our skin. We have chosen  to never have that happen to us again if we can help it!

Solutions range from staying out of unknown waters to a patented product called Safe Sea. As we learned that the developers of the Safe Sea product had taken a lesson from the clownfish, which never gets stung because it exudes a slippery substance that coats their skin and prevents the jellyfish from attaching.

Image credit: cbpix / 123RF Stock Photo

Image credit: cbpix / 123RF Stock Photo

Now for the *bullies part. What if we could protect ourselves with a self-made thought process called Safe Passage that screened any incoming verbal abuse?

When an insecure bully starts in on you, just let it run off, like water off a duck’s back. Don’t let that abusive person in your world get into your head and tell you who you are! Whenever someone is pouring on the verbal abuse, they might as well wear a sign around their neck that says, ‘I’m feeling small and scared. Let me stomp on you to make me feel big and strong.’

In response, you can do some self-talk like this: ‘Watch out bully! I have a brain and I know how to use it!’

When someone is in bully mode, their view of you is not correct. It is our own fears that maybe they are right—we really are a [insert bad word] that causes us to cave and want to slink away.

Separate yourself from the bully in whatever way is best in the situation, but remember that you are a human just as much as s/he is, and that automatically qualifies you to hold your own opinion. You are ‘As good as the best, but no better than the rest.’

Wishing you Safe Passages!

Resource – http://www.stopbullying.gov

*Disclaimer: This post addresses garden-variety verbal abuse in our everyday lives. It is not meant to be the only response to a violent abuser.

Beyond Half Full. . .

I have a client who knocked my socks off last week with a story.

She was at this conference and the keynote speaker hefted a half glass of water at arms’ length for all to see. Everyone expected to hear the old question about our viewpoint on life—is the glass half full, or is it half empty? But the presenter didn’t go there. . .

Instead she asked, ‘How heavy is this glass of water?’

Image credit: captainzz / 123RF Stock Photo

Image credit: captainzz / 123RF Stock Photo

As attendees shouted out answers, she held up her hand to stop them. ‘It doesn’t matter,’ she continued. ‘What matters is how long you hold it.’

If you hold the glass for 5 minutes, the weight doesn’t matter at all.

If you hold the glass for 5 hours, you will feel numb and become stiff and achy.

If you hold it for 5 days, you will likely pass out and crash on the floor.

This water illustration captures perfectly the way we interact with our environment when under stress. Our systems were designed to absorb some stress without ill effects. However, in our ‘push-it-to-the-max’ society, we need to be aware that we are often stressed beyond our body’s capabilities. AND if we don’t sit up and take notice, it may kill us.  Literally.

So what’s a body to do?

Rewind to a graduate course I took in my master’s program. Our instructor told us that if we didn’t remember anything else—we should remember this. (It worked, see?)

‘After a stressful day,’ she exhorted, ‘you will be carrying around a cocktail of toxic chemicals dumped into your body by the stresses you’ve just experienced. The best thing you can do,’ she said, ‘is to go for a brisk run for just 5—that’s FIVE—minutes. That’s all. The burst of energy you get by running gives those chemicals somewhere to go and neutralizes their debilitating residue.’

Furthermore, she upped the ante even more by telling us that these potentially lethal stress hormones—unneutralized by the short burst of invigorating exercise—just hang in there and do their dastardly work against our major organs. The same major organs, mind you, that will ‘knock on the door’ one day to hand us one of the 10 deadly diseases that take us out the back door in a pine box.

Lesson learned–I still remember what she said. She got me. And I’m glad.