What is Your Focus?

Recently a friend relayed this experience:

She was visiting her sibling and enjoys his company very much.  However, there were many other family members to visit and some of them display inappropriate behavior, and have done so for years.  She told me that nothing has changed over the years and by the time she was leaving to go home from an otherwise enjoyable visit, she was sick to her stomach.

When I think about her report of her entire visit, I would say about eighty percent of her visit was great, yet the disturbing experiences are overshadowing the positive experiences.  I venture to say, this is pretty typical of the human condition. 

In my book, I have a few suggestions that can help:

  • I always begin with centering techniques while the situation is going on, but many of us get so caught up in the moment that we forget to take care of ourselves.

 If that has happened, I would suggest the following:

  • It is helpful to review what happened so you can gain some insight. Some questions to ask might be: “What could I have done differently?” “Is there another way to look at the situation?” While reviewing and experience, don’t neglect the fact that there might have been some uplifting moments as well, no matter how insignificant. While the sweet, small events we engaged in are often overshadowed by our upsetting memories, make sure you include them in your review, and then move forward. Even forgiveness is a choice.

It is empowering to realize that you have the ability to shift your perspective.  This review is for you, so go out and enjoy your day—with no indigestion!

Let me know in the comments below how this can apply to your situation.  Are you able to change your focus to the positive experiences or do you get stuck?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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Mistakes: No Big Deal

I left for a relaxing beach trip with my husband knowing I had quite a lot of work to get finished for my book. With a full plate, we both decided that a change in scenery was needed. After a long drive, as I was getting ready for bed, I realized that my focus had been on my book and I had forgotten to write my Wednesday post.   I have not missed a week for over a year.

I allowed myself to let it go for the evening and slept well.  It makes me realize that we are human and no matter how disciplined we are or hard we try, we will make mistakes.  It is what weI do after the mistake that makes the difference to our serenity.

The tools I teach help me on a daily basis to move away from reaction, and move toward a healthy response.  It took a few simple breaths to slow me down enough to realize that forgetting to post a blog was no big deal. 

I guess the moral of this post is that we are human; we will make mistakes, get confused, and forget from time to time.  The part of the equation that we do have control over is what we do next.  Take the well needed pause so you can treat yourself with patience and kindness.  As I sit with my cup of coffee, I feel calm, centered and grateful that I have a choice.

Let me know in the comments below what you do when you forget, get confused or make a mistake.

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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Change of Plans

I am in the last stages of my first book.  After meeting with my editor I was raring to go on my final edits.  My plan was to spend a few hours in the early evening to forge through it.  That was my plan, however the universe had a different idea—a strong storm followed by a power outage!  My book would have to wait.  I had a choice–do I want to stay calm about this shift or do I want to be upset and angry?

I close to enjoy the change.  After the storm cleared, my husband and I took our dog for her evening walk.  We passed neighbors socializing with one another whom we had never met.  It was as if there was a snow day from school and the adults came out of the woodwork.  The lack of power changed everyone’s plans as most would have been on their computers or watching television.  

Interacting with one another is not done on a regular basis.  We save it for times when our regular routines are not available to us.  There were two lessons last night:

  • We are creatures of habit and it takes some effort to make the shift to do something different.
  • Do not get too attached to your plans, because they can change in an instant.

Go with the ebbs and flows in life and you will find many new opportunities available to you.

Now, off to finish my edits!

What do you do when your plans are derailed?  Do you try something else, or get frustrated by the change?  Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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Mood Swing

The past few days I have woken up in a funky mood.  After trying to figure out the cause, I came up empty. Rather than going into “analysis-paralysis” I decided to stay with it and just notice how I felt. 

I went on with my day, beginning with a yoga practice followed by meditation.  When I finished my mood was a bit better but still felt kind of low.

I thought about a recent article I read about at 93 year old giving tips on living a longer, happier life.  She uses curiosity, optimism, humor and a cheerful greeting.  Her attitude inspired me to make a few simple decisions:

  • Let go of analyzing the situation.
  • Open up to enjoying my day-it is all I have.
  • Notice the simple things–I focused on the foliage with curiosity.
  • Smile, even though I did not really feel happy at that moment.
  • Choose to be grateful for my life.

Let me know in the comments below how make a shift in attitude.  What do you do when your mood needs a boost?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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Why Me?

I have heard this question asked when facing painful experiences.  My answer is always, why not? This is the harsh reality and I in no way want to seem heartless.  I think that when we realize that it is not personal, even when it feels that way, we can take a bit of space needed when in the midst of a difficult situation.

After settling into what challenges you have been presented with, then you have a choice on how you want to live life.  In my work I meet many people that are living with cancer and other serious challenges.

I see the difference in those who live an attitude of empowerment and those who live as a victim of their circumstances. 

Viktor Frankl spent 3 years in various concentration camps during World War II.  We can learn from his inspiring words:  Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. 

No matter what we are living through, there is always choice in the attitude we bring to our day.  Embrace each day as best you can and you will be surprised at how life unfolds.

Let me know in the comments below how you view the challenges in your life?

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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Stuck in our Behavior

Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

If we are hammering something and we continue to smack our hand, we would change how we are hammering, or would we???

In our relationships we do the same thing.  Our approach may not get the results we are wanting, yet we continue to employ them.  It is difficult to change how and what we do, even when it hurts us and others.  This seems to be human nature, and it is not effective.

What happens is our mind gets stuck in our own perceptions of how things should be, leaving no room for other possibilities.  It becomes a good, bad, right or wrong judgment and we perpetuate our behavior.

When we are able to quite our minds we can take a step back and see with more clarity.  Only then do we have a choice to be open and receptive to other options.

Are you stuck in insanity in your life?  Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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A Matter of Perspective!

I walked out to my patio with ready to enjoy my lunch, and within a few seconds I felt something wet drop on my head. 

Sure enough it was Bird Poop!

I have heard that when a bird poops land on your head it is a sign of good luck.  I investigated this claim further and here is what I found:

Many people believe this to be a major sign of wealth coming from heaven. Hence, although, it is really yucky and a major inconvenience, when something like this happens to you, take comfort in the fact that this is described as good luck being just around the corner!

This is a matter of perspective!

At first I did not feel very lucky, but after giving it some thought I chose to look at it in that way. My perspective made the difference of how I experienced the moments after this happened.   I could have gotten angry from the mess in my hair and on my hand, but instead I smiled, cleaned myself off and sat down to a wonderful lunch.   

Our perspective is a choice and it has a powerful effect on our mental, physical and emotional state.  The choice to bring ourselves to the moment, rather than live in reaction will sustain a calmer, more peaceful state of mind.

What is your perspective today?

Let me know in the comments below how your perspective has affected you and those around you.  

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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