Monday, April 29, 2019

Our Perspective on What Might Have Been

There are times we wish we could change, alter or delete things that have happened in our past.  We look for closure, hoping it will erase the pain of the memories, but the memories remain.
Closure is not just about letting go of what has happened to us, it is also about letting go of your fantasy of how things would have been.  We all have an ideal life that we hope to live and we ALL have things that have happened to us that we wish we could change.  Our mind is a wonderful thing and it gives us our personality and our quest for knowledge....and is also is a great storyteller.  We weave stories based on our limited knowledge about future events.  It can start as....I'll be happy once I....get a job, start a family, find my soulmate, lose some weight etc., etc..  We have a whole life in our mind as to how wonderful things will be or would have been and truthfully, nothing will ever live up to the fantasy that exists in our minds. Great authors have woven stories that have captivated the imaginations of generations of humans with their story telling abilities.  We too, have the ability to tell great stories, but sometimes we are so focused on the story in our mind that we lose sight of the story of our life.
If only I had gone to university.....but then I wouldn't have met my best friend; if only I had moved out west to take that job....but maybe i would have been in an accident; if only I hadn't moved to the city.....but by changing any one thing in your life, everything else changes too.  Think about that, what might you lose....a friend, a child, a partner. Every little decision we make in life affects our future from that moment on.  Which road to take, which friend to call, which course to study, which store to shop in....EVERY decision impacts EVERYTHING that follows it.
We can not change the past, but we can make decisions to take us forward.  Romanticizing the 'what ifs' in our past is just another way of beating ourselves up.  Our life would NOT be perfect today if 'that thing' hadn't happened or 'that thing' did happen, it might be better, but it also might be worse.  We will never know what might have been, but we do have the ability to have an impact on what happens next.  Find the people and experiences that bring you joy and relish the gratitude for those memories.
As in the photo above, the future is foggy until we make choices and move closer... with movement comes focus and with focus comes clarity.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Gratitude and Choices in this Spring Holiday Time

Unconditional love is often touted as the ultimate solution for a perfect life, but as much as it is a blessing it also comes with a caution.  The joy of knowing that you are loved totally and unconditionally brings comfort & stability and allows you to truly be yourself, without sensor.  The caution is to always be mindful that it is easy to take for granted, that person with whom you are so sure. Be careful with your words and actions, some wounds go very deep.  Take time to be grateful for the precious gift of unconditional love.   We sometimes give the best of ourselves to those who are our acquaintances, as we try to protect our public persona, leaving the drained, tired and unmotivated self for those we love the most.  Ask yourself….who matters most to me? Take the time to know what, and who, makes your heart sing.  

Happiness does not come from spending most of your life just getting through the day or waiting for those two vacation weeks a year when you can ‘enjoy life’. Your life is not meant to be crammed into a few weeks a year while you just ‘go through the motions’ for the other 50 weeks. Money is important, I get that, but all the money in the world will never make up for a hollow life full of distant acquaintances, working at a job that does not stir your passion and social media ‘friends’.  Finding joy in the simple things is the key.  Anyone can have a great time on a Hawaiian holiday, but the truly happy person is the one who finds joy in their daily routines, their family & friends and the peace that comes from experiencing ‘alone time’ in silence and tranquility.  It is in this state of silence and tranquility that we come to really know ourselves.  What makes you happy?  A simple question, but one that many of us have trouble answering. What activities are so enjoyable for you that you lose track of time? Which people will you turn your schedule upside down to accommodate because you feel so good in their company? Do you smile every time you walk into your home…if not, why not.

During the holiday times of the year, we are reminded to give thanks for our bounty and blessings.  This holiday ritual can bring us joy and peace, but for some people this is difficult because their memories do not bring them warm feelings, but instead bring anxious thoughts creating physical reactions.  We can not change the past but we can take steps to make our lives more peaceful.  Be careful not to let your mind gather unrelated experiences and create anxious, pseudo real ‘memories’ or to anticipate the negativity that is so prevalent in our society. Make new holiday traditions including only people, with whom you can be authentic.  Try different holiday foods, different holiday rituals, different holiday traditions.  

Your life lies ahead of you, create that life in a way that makes you glad to wake up each morning.  Each day is a new beginning in which you can define what happiness means to you and surround yourself with those who support that vision.  Remember that you will see and hear what you expect to hear and see.  Expect joy, expect peace, expect happiness.

Namaste my friends, and until next time……Happy Holiday.

Monday, April 15, 2019

My Life Perspective

My Lifestyle Perspective

There is no one solution that works for everyone. This is the MOST important thing you will ever know.  It is important that you begin by learning and accepting, who you truly are.   Only once you know and accept your true nature can you find the supports to help you with your unique journey through life.

Humans Beings are not cardboard cutouts, we are not all the same.  We are living, breathing creatures who are composed of uniquely different strands of DNA that create wonderfully different individuals.  When all the different unique people in the world learn to listen to each others perspectives, appreciate the strengths in others as well as the strengths within ourselves, we will be entering a time of peace and understanding.

Isolating issues (tunnel vision) and ignoring the holistic perspective will only result, at best, in temporary relief or happiness.  Wellness requires that we heal the whole self. We are integrated beings and therefore trying to separate out one issue, while disregarding the whole will never result in total health, although temporary relief may allow you to ignore the issue and the consequences for a little while longer.  Example: Applying topical pain medication to a twisted knee, may allow you to continue to work with minimal pain BUT the numbing of the pain is allowing you to continue to hurt the already twisted knee and there is no progress to healing.  You need to ask yourself -  Is your priority short term pain suppression or long term healing? How did you twist your knee?  Do you do this regularly?  Did you add a cold compress to prevent additional inflammation?  How can you prevent repeating the cause? Could someone else have done the job?  Does your ego have an impact on your decision to ‘keep going’? 

This is my view of life and how I work to restore balance, health, joy and peace to an individual.  I work from a holistic perspective and believe that when the body, mind and spirit are aligned, balanced health is the result.  My technique is based on two primary sources:  first, the lifestyle ‘sister science’ of yoga called, ayurveda and the second is the hierarchy of needs as set out by Abraham Maslow.
Ayurveda focuses on ‘three pillars’ of health: sleep, nourishment and the management of vital energy.  Nourishment involves both the physical intake of nutrition and the nourishment of the mind the emotions and the soul.  Maslow focusses on building your ‘stable house’ from the ground up.  Developing a stable and grounded base from which you build. 

We must look at ourselves in terms of our physical body, our mind, our emotions, our social and our spiritual perspectives. Sometimes, the reason we have to continue to ‘fix’ the same problem is not so much that it is recurring, but because we have only ‘fixed’ the superficial aspect of the issue.  As long as the roots exist, the issue will continue to grow and we will be caught in the cycle of both physical and mental pain/illness/disease and short term relief.

Asking for help means being willing to:
  1. Let down your guard and look at yourself objectively.  This can be very difficult as we all build a framework, based on our life experiences through which we see the world and we hold our beliefs and opinions very close.
  2. Listen, then converse
  3. Make small changes that will add up to big changes…..or dive in and make major changes in your life, all at once (different options work for different people, remember, we are each unique)!
  4. Restructure your routines and thought patterns
  5. Take control (knowing what is within your control and what issues belong to another and over which you have no control).
If you can be open about your complete being, understand that evolving with change is a good thing (and that it is the very process that moves life in a positive direction) and engage in a conversation that requires both talking and listening, you are well on your way to a healthy, happy fulfilling life!

Take everything this world has to offer you, listen to the medical community, the wholistic community, the scientific community and most importantly listen to your own mind and body, you are truly the greatest book of wisdom for yourself.  Talk to the professionals that you trust, listen to what they recommend, make a plan, then follow it!  Life is a gift.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Our View of the World

We each see the world in a different way, our framework is created by our past experiences and that which we expect to see and hear in our daily interactions. My energy follows my thinking, that which I expect to hear and see, I will see and hear.

I want you to visualize the following ‘mountain analogy’ of the world. Imagine that your and three of your friends are at the base of a huge mountain, looking up at the peak. Each of you is at a different point on the base, you are on the south side and the others are on the north and east sides. You all see the SAME mountain, but from a different perspective. All of you see what is in front of you, all of you see the same mountain but you do not see the SAME thing. Each view is as valid as the next, only by listening to each other can we have a better understanding of the whole. Too often we engage in conversation by speaking, then either waiting to speak again or listening for the purpose of proving the other person wrong. What we need to do is listen for the purpose of understanding. Our fragile ego will not collapse under a different opinion, but we can learn to understand differing perspectives and how someone else might have a different view of the world ….even if we do not accept their view.

During every moment of the day, we are bombarded with stimuli. It is virtually impossible to process all of it, so our brain learns to filter. In a perfect world this is a good thing, but in reality the filters we developed could be making us anxious, unhappy or even a little paranoid. In a room full of noisy people, if someone mentions your name, you will hear it….why….because our filter usually allows for personal things to get through, but what are those personal things? If my body image is poor (I’m too fat, too tall, too skinny, too short etc.) I will perceive comments about body image as “directed” toward me. I will hear those comments in a room full of noisy people because it is personal to me. This stimuli will enter my mind and be directed to my emotions, and I will immediately retrieve old unpleasant memories. The noisy gathering of people will begin to seem uncomfortable and oppressive and I will probably want to leave.

My energy follows my thinking…that which i expect to hear/see, i will hear/see.

Understanding our triggers or our sensitive areas is the beginning. Once we know what causes us dis-ease (as in uneasiness) we can begin to uncover the triggers and work through them. We can also learn to direct our mind (and therefore our emotions) to the places that bring joy and peace. It is a long process but so very worth the journey. Breath.