Overwhelmed, Tired, or Anxious? Listen to your heart

In Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive, she tells about a turning point in her life. By many measures, she was extremely successful – fame, money, and extraordinary achievement. Then one day, she woke up in a pool of her blood after taking a fall precipitated by overwhelm and exhaustion. In that dazed moment, she wondered, is this success? The answer changed her life. I too had such a moment, a wake-up call; mine was at the age of 26. One dark evening, I totaled my sports car driving recklessly, way too fast, to a party. My precious car spun off the road and rolled into a field. I’d been driving like a lunatic for months. Racing around curves on winding country roads, and for what? An adrenaline high? Two weeks later, I was sitting in my bedroom meditating after a long work day. In the middle of meditation, my life flashed before my eyes. I saw the foolishness of my behavior on the evening of my accident. It was a revelation. I wanted to live, not throw my life away challenging myself to go faster. How did this fuzzy thinking happen? The search for happiness and meaning:an inside job As a teenager and young adult, I was led to believe that a college degree brought happiness. It was a ticket to success. I had gotten the degree three years earlier and had what many thought was a good job. Yet, I certainly didn’t feel successful or happy. Was something wrong? In those days, it was customary for me to come home from work tired and tense. Then make some dinner and quietly ask myself, is this all there is? I was frustrated, bored, and weary. Life was difficult. However, there was a glimmer of light on the horizon. A few months earlier, I took a meditation course and began a daily practice. I now looked forward to coming home from work to meditate. Each 15 – 20 minutes of sitting quietly in meditation brought relief from the tension of the day and recharged my batteries for the activity ahead. After meditation, I was at peace and happier. There were lots of changes. At some point in our development, like Arianna Huffington, many of us question life’s teachings and values. For example, during this period of introspection, my earliest mentor, my dear father tried to set me straight. He said, “you’ve got to get it out of your head that you’ll find work that you enjoy doing. People do not enjoy working.” Sadly, I had to tell him that I didn’t believe that. Some big changes were afoot. Approximately six months after my car accident, someone at the local meditation center asked me a provocative question. Had I ever considered becoming a meditation teacher? What? I was stunned that someone would suggest that I could teach others something as important as meditation. I knew how to be an engineer, but a teacher? Could I do that? After months of ruminating on this [...]

By |2019-05-14T15:08:25+00:00May 13th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How to Thrive Under Stress: Access Your Higher Self

A physician was recently asked, what’s the #1 behavior contributing to people’s ill health? Not surprisingly she said it was the way in which people deal with the stress in their lives – workplace, family, finances, and health, to name a few. It does seem that everything is vying for our limited attention. Open your email, and … you get the picture. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Add to the mix, work projects and deadlines, relationship concerns, world news, and social media posts. We are wired up and melting down. How do we stay sane and calm? How can we thrive when it’s so easy to get lost in the pressures of our daily lives? Even many common coping mechanisms - caffeine to power us through the day, and the use of alcohol and recreational chemicals to wind down in the evening - add to the problem. Stay with me, there is hope. Turn to your Higher Self First, let’s get a little abstract for just a moment. Who is it that's lost in the pressure? Best-selling author, Dr. Wayne Dyer gave us an insightful story. A woman phoned him one afternoon and within a few minutes, she was irrational and losing it. Fortunately, before becoming a celebrity, Wayne was a counseling psychologist. Skillfully he jumped in and interrupted the caller’s tirade. He told her he wanted to speak to the person who had it together to look up his phone number and dial the phone. You see, he knew that there was more than one self “in there.” The emotional, hysterical self was not the one that he wanted to converse with. Like it or not, we all have an unhinged voice(s) in our head, while simultaneously a centered higher self or silent witness exists inside. This is our true self, the one that notices the chaos without getting overwhelmed by it. Which self is dominate in your life? If your life is out of control far too often, your small or lower self is running the show. It’s time to bring your wise, true self to the forefront. The question is, how’s that done? An analogy helps. Image being on a ship at sea when a storm comes up unexpectedly. Everyone onboard is scared, this could be the end. However, if there was scuba gear on the ship and you knew how to use it, you could put it on and dive deep into the water where you’d experience calm and delight. Our mind is like this. Fears, insecurities, and stress are on the surface and deep within at the source of thought is the peace of your Higher Self. A worthy goal is to bring balance to your life by cultivating the stability that already exists deep within. The crazed woman on the phone with Wayne was thrashing about on the turbulent surface of her mind. Fortunately, she was talking with someone who knew how to change the situation by helping her reach inside [...]

By |2019-03-19T14:19:15+00:00March 19th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How to Improve Our Heart Health Without Trying

The American Heart Association says that 1 in 4 deaths in this country are due to cardiovascular disease. It’s the leading cause of death for both women and men. The good news is there’s much that we can do about heart disease other than be dependent upon medication and surgery. Just regularly take steps to implement the following proven lifestyle strategies in order to live a longer, healthier, and happier life: 1. Get adequate rest and sleep 2. Eat nutrient rich food 3. Exercise, move your body Chronic Stress and an antidote: Deep rest In this short blog, we’ll focus on #1 on the above list. It’s arguably the foundation to our heart health and well-being. Rest heals, and it requires little mental or physical effort. Just close your eyes. It doesn’t get easier! You don’t have to try to change or do anything. If you’re thinking that you don’t have the time to rest, there’s something that you do not understand. We require rest to sustain the energy needed to live. Without rest, we aren’t focused, alert, or wise. Fatigue begets dullness which begs the question, Why are we so tired? All signs point to the stress in our busy lives. Last week, a client said everyone knows that stress is bad. He was talking about chronic stress, and reflecting on his experience as a physician. When we’re stressed, our heart rate rises, muscles tense, digestion slows, and our immune system activity is suppressed. During the stress response, the body gears up to survive threats whether they are real or imagined. Now, stress is not all bad. The stress response could save your life if you were being chased by a tiger. Our bodies are designed to be able to handle such isolated or intermittent stress. The problem we face today, however, is that stress is chronic – it’s in our face to some degree every hour, most days. To confirm this, watch the news, drive to work, open your email, or have a family meeting. Take notice if you heart isn’t beating more rapidly during some of these events. That’s the influence of stress. Yes, it’s good to pay attention to these influences because the negative impacts of stress accumulate over the months and years. It’s best to take corrective action proactively. A critical step is to get an adequate amount of restful sleep daily. It is a key to a healthy heart and a happy live. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours. Yet sleep association and government statistics tell us that 1 out of 3 Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. If you are in that group, consider getting to bed earlier and learning to meditate. Meditation: What’s the big deal? Meditation is one of the best things we can do to improve our response to the stress in our life. In other words, we handle stressful situations more effectively when we meditate regularly. So, how do we get started? There are many ways to meditate, and [...]

By |2019-02-07T21:32:27+00:00February 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments