Author Archive for Carol

The Sweet Spot of Surrender

Controlling by Letting Go

I am sure that I am not alone in feeling at times that ‘my life has taken on a life of its own’ – that is, realizing that how my time and energy is spent these days is not at all by complete choice on my part.  Circumstances beyond my control- most recently related to aging and dying parents- have added an array of bitter sweet emotions, responsibilities, and yes, STRESS.  It is that ‘outside-in’ stress created by circumstances beyond our control that can sometimes hit like a wrecking ball.   However, I realize that I am the one responsible for compounding that stress, by my own struggle and resentment about this point in life -although temporary- where I am not able to fully dedicate time and energy to the creative and expressive endeavors and service that I want and that I most enjoy.That struggle and resentment creates even more stress- ‘inside-out’ stress -that only I can control…by letting go.  And so, it is only in the sweet spot of surrender that I find solace. 

Surrender: Abandonment, cessation, and letting go of  fight or struggle.Are there circumstances where surrender can create more freedom for you?

  • When there are events or circumstances in your life where you find you are hanging on to the way you think things ‘should’ be, practice letting go of expectations and realize that this time is only temporary-as are all things- and that this time too, is part of your soul’s journey.
  • Navigate through unwelcome or unfamiliar territory with an open mind and heart. Allow yourself to fully feel, experience, and move through the array of emotions- anger, grief, surprise, sadness, confusion, resentment- without judgement- and be willing to accept, adapt, and let go.
  • Inject moments of activities and endeavors that feed your ‘want to’ desires and bring you joy, pleasure and inner satisfaction.
  • Consciously surround yourself with individuals who accept, understand, and support you for who you are and where you are in life’s circumstances.
  • Find meaning in the mundane. Examine and discover how you may be of service to others in ways that you never imagined, yet that service is important and meaningful.
  • Always do your best.  You may find that an uninvited set of responsibilities are not necessarily in alignment with your interests, gifts and talents.  Simply do the best you can, which may be a ‘different level of best’ every moment of every day.
  • Love and appreciate yourself…everyday.

Stress, Wonder and Wisdom – Igniting Health in Healthcare Professionals

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Sadly, health care sometimes seems like anything but…especially for the professionals working within the healthcare industry.  Hours are long, stress is high, burnout comes easy, and it’s common for caregivers to give all their energy to those they care for, leaving little or no energy for their own self care.  Something needs to change, and the change must come from within.

Stress in healthcare is taking its toll on the industry from the inside out.  It’s been nearly forty years since the first studies were produced linking stress to illness and disease.  Still today, it is estimated that nearly 80% of illness and disease can be attributed to the effects on our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.  How are you managing your stress? Who better to lead the way to better health than healthcare professionals themselves?  I propose that we as healthcare professionals take “walking our talk” a little more seriously, and become the change we want to see in healthcare.  Nothing is going to change unless you change.

Just like disease, health can be contagious too-in families, among work peers and in social circles.  Becoming and staying strong and resilient to illness and disease is your best opportunity to enjoy and long quality life.  Whole health and happiness – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually – simply requires the desire and commitment to placing value on your quality of life. Why is it that we can effortlessly make deposits into our financial retirement account, but often ignore the need to make deposits into our “well-being” account so we can enjoy the fruits of our labor with ample vitality and energy?   Only you can choose to make your life a journey of happiness and discovery vs. illness and despair.  That’s what wisdom is all about.

“Wisdom begins in wonder”   -Socrates

I love this “wise” statement.  It is so true.  The more you wonder, the more you learn. The more you experience, the more you know, and the more your wisdom grows.  This expansive state of wonder is as applicable to our SELF as it is to exploring our world.

What if you approached learning about decreasing your stress and improving your well-being with a sense of innocence, openness, receptiveness, discovery and knowing?  What if your
well-being came from starting in wonder?

Try it over the next few weeks.  Begin by wondering…  “What would I feel like and learn if…”

  • I paused throughout each day to observe my breath and slow down?
  • I took regular stretch breaks during the day?
  • I ate only vegetables one day this week?
  • I gave up soda pop this month?
  • I invited someone I don’t know very well to lunch one day?
  • I scheduled meaningful time with a special friend or family member?
  • I gave up watching TV for the week or month?
  • I kept a regular bedtime/wake time schedule and got 8 hours of sleep each night?
  • I planned ahead and brought a healthy lunch every day this week?
  • I took 10 minutes each day to sit in stillness and meditate?
  • I made it a point to show appreciation for a co-worker each day?
  • I took time to reflect and write down what it is I really want in life?
  • I took time to cook a new vegetable or recipe?
  • I took the time to be fully present with my kids or spouse and really listen to them?
  • I finally tried a yoga class or that yoga DVD at home?
  • I got out and took a walk each day?

 What do you wonder about, but have yet to try?  Why not now?

True happiness and well-being can only come from within.  There is no job, raise, praise, big house, child or grandchild, number of friends, or perfect outfit that can make you truly happy. Caring for your SELF and the resultant sense of well-being leads to more wanting and desiring what is good for you– which will continue to expand your well-being.  This is “right action” – action that is good for you, good for those you love, care for and serve, and good for the world.  What could be better?

Chakra Sense for Self-Care

Chakra Sense

Chakras and Self-Care

 

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The Assault of Excess – Reset Your Senses

The Assault of Excess - Reset Your Senses

Metamorphic Energy Moves

 

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Crank up Your Creativity

 

Nature’s Course Runs Deep

Bear with me here. I am feeling compelled to share yet another “body message” with some meaningful analogies personal growth and transformation. It all started with slippery steps and a fall. I landed hard on my upper right thigh with a bruise the size of a cantaloupe! (I have pretty large thighs!) Anyway,  as I have observed the healing process, I notice that my skin color is returning to normal or balance from the inside- out, to where now I just have a discolored ring around the “landing area”.
So I realized that this relates to the process of integrative wellness. In other words, “quick fixes” for discomfort -physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually- are like putting a band aid on the surface without allowing the deeper, inside-out healing to occur. It’s so easy to grab onto fad diets, energy drinks, busy-ness, withdrawal, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and collecting stuff for the quick “feel better” affect rather than increasing awareness and working with the long lasting tools of a lifetime. Transformation starts deep – with meaningful choices and changes- one at a time. And yes, nature once again shows us how to return to balance…from the inside- out, lasting for the long haul.
The key is to know who you are, what you want, what you need, and what is true for you. Then go after it! This is where I have found the help of a coach or mentor paramount. Someone to guide and support you in ways that matter to you. That’s how long lasting lifestyle transformation occurs.

How does stress or “wake up calls” show up in your life?

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3 Reasons Self-Health is NOT Selfish!

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