Splash Into Calm: Exciting New Blog Format

Welcome to my new Splash Into Calm blog. Stay up to date by "liking" Custom Calm's new Facebook page.

My previous blogs were focused around practical, simple practices, perspective and studies targeting the common issue of stress and pain.  They were a great beginning, and now with the publication of my book Splash Into Calm, I have the opportunity to dive deeper and to offer my readers helpful, concise, uplifting, pertinent posts taken directly from the book.   The book is written in an easy to follow format, based on the calendar year and presented in monthly themes, each having four articles.  The new blog will follow the same inviting format.

To make this blog meaningful and practical, I take a “less is more” approach.  In this complex world, there is a need for simplicity.  That is exactly what Splash Into Calm blog is about—simple, realistic practices and ideas that profoundly enhance your daily living.  My content from my book is communicated in a personal manner, with a bit of humor, sharing my own experiences, as well as those of my clients­­.

The overall theme of my book and posts is the absolute accessibility of calm living. Calm living offers you the ability to embrace each moment of your day. It opens you up to increased joy, spontaneity, and pleasure, because you are aware and alert.  It is a fulfilling and wonderful way to live.

Below are the monthly topics we will explore together:

January:          New Beginnings

February:        Love & Kindness        

March:              Pain & Illness

April:                 Emergence

May:                  Travel

June:                Balanced Living

July:                  Emotions & Relationships

August:            Perspective

September:    Responsibility

October:          Day-to-Day Living

November:     Digestion

December:     Stress

I look forward to offering you tips, food for thought and a community where you feel comfortable sharing your experience and asking questions.  


Posted in: Splash into Calm

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My New Book on its Way!

Yes, if is around the corner—my first book is in its final stages.

The entire process reminds me of childbirth.  I am now in labor and I can assure you that it is quite uncomfortable, even painful at times.  The due date of Custom Calm Chronicles first book, Splash into Calm is at the end of August.  As with any estimate due date, we are hoping for an early delivery, but I must wait until it is ready.  This process cannot be rushed. 

In my joy of the upcoming birth of my book, one of my helpful professionals wisely said “after it is born, you have to raise it!”  The reality of this stopped me in my tracks.  Once the book is published, I must market my new infant.  Now the work really begins. 

I will keep you posted on my progress and share some tips from my book.

Custom Calm Chronicles presents material with simplicity.  With that in mind, I have designed a format for this book that is easy to follow.  It is based on the calendar year and presented in monthly themes, each having four articles.  The topics are as follows:

January:  New Beginnings

February:  Heart

March:  Pain & Illness

April:  Emergence

May:  Travel

June:  Balanced Living

July:  Emotions & Relationships

August:  Attitude & Perspective

September:  Responsibilities

October:  Day to Day Living

November:  Digestion

December:  Stress

Look for excerpts in the next few weeks.

I will notify you when I deliver. Until then…take a breath and enjoy life moment by moment.

Let me know in the comments below how the process of achieving something you deemed important felt for you.


Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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Dependence or Independence?

Yesterday, as we celebrated the 4th of July we were honoring our independence.

I have been thinking about that idea and wonder what it really means to be independent.  I work with those whom have some kind of illness or handicap and while they are dependent on others, they are still independent.  They have cultivated an inner freedom that goes way beyond their physical state. They know that they are much more than their situation and are not victims of their circumstance.  They live their lives making the choice to be positive and proactive.  It is their attitude that makes all the difference.

From time to time it is helpful to explore how independent we really are.  Are we truly living our lives with inner calm and ease?

Think about where in your life you have not yet attained independence.  Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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Meditation or Medication?

There is an ongoing story which has been captivating the attention of many.  Aimee Copeland has been fighting a flesh eating virus that has taken both hands and one leg.  Her story is inspiring.

What I found remarkable was the title and main concept of the most recent article:  “Victim:  No pain meds.  Ga. Woman battling flesh-eating bacteria opts for meditation.” 

Amy had been studying holistic pain management and did not like the effect the pain meds were having on her.

Many might wonder why meditation helps with pain.  It does not make the pain go away, yet it lessens the pain.  There are many types of meditation techniques and how I think it impacts pain is two-fold.

  1. When we quiet our mind we become less reactive, as our focus in within.   There is much evidence that supports the reduction of pain through learning how to ride the wave of pain, rather than judge and react to the sensations.
  2. With practice, meditation can quiet  your mind to the extent that the focus is no longer on the sensation, but it is deep within.  We are aware we have a body and thoughts, yet we are able to get beyond them to the vastness inside.

There are many articles and schools about meditation.   The medical community supports these practices and now refers to them as Complementary.  It is a viable avenue for dealing with stress, pain and illness and accessible to everyone.  

Let me know in the comments below if you have meditated and what your experience was.

Posted in: This Stuff Works

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Feel Stiff From Sitting? 1 Technique to Help

Most of us spend a lot of time sitting at home or the office and when we stand up, we are achy.

The seated position creates a forward bend at the hip crease which shortens that area of your body, creating tension in the low back.

There are also those who are ill and must sit most of the day and cannot walk on their own.  A gentle unraveling of the spine will help, but often we do not have the time or ability.

Try this simple technique to help stretch out your hip crease.  It can even be even be done with a walker.

  • Stand up and hold onto something on either side, with your hands under your shoulders.
  • Stand with your feet a bit narrower than hip width apart.
  • Step your left foot forward and your right foot back the same amount (if this hurts your low back, take a smaller step).
  • While holding onto either side, slowly bring your left knee over your left ankle, keeping your right heel pressed into the floor.
  • Stand erect, keeping your ribs over your hips (rather than forward of your hips).  Lightly pull your navel in.
  • You will feel a stretch in your back hip crease and maybe into your calf.
  • Take a few breaths and come back to center and notice the difference.
  • Do the other side.

Let me know in the comments below how this worked.  Did you feel more open in your hip crease?  How did your back feel?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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This Too Shall Pass…

This phrase is core to Twelve Step Recover programs and is one of my favorites. It reminds me that nothing stays as it is.

When things are not going well,  the mind has us believing that it will never end.  When faced with illness, pain or addiction it is easy to forget that it will change, even in a small way.

This has shown up for me as I have been in pain for a few weeks.  When I remind myself of this truth, I take a breath and bring myself back to the present where each and every moment is slightly different.

When things are going well and we want things to remain as they are it is helpful not to get too attached. Eventually there will be a shift and when it does remember that even the good things will ebb and flow. 

Knowing that nothing is constant is quite freeing.

When we live in the moment we are experiencing it all and there really is no expectation about what is happening is good or bad, right or wrong.  All we can count on is:  This too shall pass… 

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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Military to Implement Integrative Medicine for Comprehensive Pain Management

A recap from an article from the Army Pain Management Task Force:

In June 2011, senior military medical leadership met with The Bravewell Collaborative and renowned scientists and physicians at the Pentagon to discuss improving pain management for warriors and veterans through the use of integrative medicine.

The 2009 Army Pain Management Task Force report called for building best practices for the continuum of acute and chronic care based on a “holistic, multidisciplinary, integrative approach to care.” 

“We have an extraordinary generation in the military right now,” Schoomaker noted.  “Today’s wounded warriors do not want to be defined by their injuries.” They want to live fully and in some cases, they want to return to active duty.

It is estimated that millions of our nation’s warriors and veterans live with chronic pain and research shows that pain reduces quality of life, work and relationships.

Integrative strategies, have been shown in clinical research to reduce pain scores by as much as fifty percent.

The practices employed by Custom Calm are backed by clinical research.  The integrative approach brings help and hope to those suffering from stress, pain and illness.  In addition to directly helping the symptoms of pain, the techniques teach how to change  their relationship to the pain, stress or illness.

Let me know what you think of this article.  If you have questions feel free to ask in the comments below.

Posted in: This Stuff Works

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Too Ill to Chill on Vacation

 The Atlanta Journal Constitution ran an article linking stress to a diminished immune system.   The focus was stress that precedes the long awaited vacation which sets up an illness to begin at the start of vacation..

 This happens because stress deregulates our immune system.

Studies from Ohio State University College of Medicine focused on the relationship of stress and the immune systems of college students.  They found that before taking a scheduled test the students would sleep less, eat poorly and wear themselves down.  Their blood work showed their immune systems were not functioning at a normal level. 

The same type of stress occurs before a planned trip.  The days are filled with frenzied activities and less sleep which sets up a compromised immune system.

The answer is simple, but not easy.

Sleep, exercise and eat a balanced diet.  In other words, learn how to calm down and center yourself when you are not on vacation

The article spoke about the consequences of  ignoring the scratchy throat, chronic headache or slight sniffle, because we are too busy.

There is an important message here:   When things are beginning to get out of whack in our bodies the body lets us know with these small symptoms.  If we ignore them, it will be too late to do anything about them when we get ill. 

Through  simple Custom Calm centering techniques you can  help relax the mind and body, giving the immune system time to balance out.

Posted in: This Stuff Works

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