Archives for December, 2012
It’s easy for us to look back on a time of that was good and when it comes to an end focus on the loss. While grief is healthy to experience, there is also a time and place to widen our perspective. I’m reminded of a Dr. Seuss quote that one of the members of The Now Effect Community recently brought up, "Don't be sad it's over, be glad it happened." We can take this to the present moment as well. There’s a chapter in The Now Effect called "Present Nostalgia," a term I coined to represent how we can use the concept of nostalgia to appreciate the present moment more often and be “glad it’s happening.” The Practice:
As family and friends begin to gather during the holidays at one point or another may have to face either ourselves or a loved one with addiction. There are really very few people who are not touched by addiction in one way or another. Addiction comes in the form of alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, eating, sugar, and other compulsive behaviors that are an avoidance strategy and eventually cause distress. When caught up in the cycle of addictive behavior, there is an inability to accept whatever is being felt in the present moment and the mind is constantly wandering onto the next ‘fix.' So it's safe to conclude that addiction often builds a wall of disconnection and makes it difficult to actually be present for the holidays. If you or someone you love struggles with addictive behavior I recommend checking out the Mindfulness and Addiction series I wrote about in past years.
No matter what time of year it is, stress will likely be a part of it. A little stress is good, it fuels motivation, but there’s a tipping point where it starts to have diminishing returns. When that higher level of stress hits, if it’s left unchecked it can lead to anxiety, depression, chronic pain, addictive behaviors, you name it. Today I want to give you something that you can BET on anywhere, anytime to help turn the volume down on the chaotic mind and bring you back into balance. I’m a big fan of things that are short and sweet. Something I can remember that can help me in a pinch. Here’s a short acronym that you can BET on throughout the day:
If you’re reading this you have access to technology and that means that you are likely going to engage in media multitasking at some point or another. In a previous post I looked at a study that says that media multitasking leads to poorer cognitive performance. That’s not so shocking since our attentional capacity is limited and when it’s splintered off we’re not going to be as sharp on any one thing. However, the reality is, we’re going to multitask, it’s not only rewarded in work environments, but it’s something that comes natural to our brains. So if we’re going to do it, what’s the best way? Research suggests you look into mindfulness training.
Thomas Merton was a Trappist (Catholic) monk who spoke these words a couple hours before his final breath: “Compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” I’ve made it a practice to be interested in what people say toward the end of life. I think at that point, people often come to a space of presence and clarity that I’ve called The Now Effect. This isn’t a special moment of wisdom that is reserved for our deathbeds, it’s something we all glean at some point or another and yet at the same time it is a skill that can be cultivated. Merton’s quote strikes at the fundamental delusion that underscores much of our dis-ease. We walk around life with this belief that we are somehow separate from one another and this growing feeling of disconnection leads to a state of imbalance. When we’re mentally imbalanced it’s a lot easier for our buttons to get pushed sending us into states of stress, anxiety, depression and addictive behaviors. What would be different if we flipped it around and we walked around day to day with a fundamental belief that we are all connected, that there’s an interdependence of all being and that my actions reverberate in an interconnected web that cause ripple effects? Maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to judge others. Or maybe we’d be more likely to help out other people or beings in this world. What would your life be like if there was more of that sentiment in it? What would the world be like if more people believed that? Here is a truly worthwhile endeavor to practice today:
You may have experienced it yourself or can become aware of it just looking around. There's a rising feeling of anxiety in our culture today and people are searching for answers from mental health professionals to spiritual gurus. Today I want to bring you someone who has some insight into what's going on and what might help us in the more difficult times. Friedemann Schaub, MD, PhD, is a physician specializing in cardiology and molecular biologist who has helped thousands of people with his Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment program that combines his medical expertise with NLP, Time Line Therapy™, clinical hypnotherapy, and more. He is author of the recent release The Fear and Anxiety Solution and lives in Seattle, Washington. Today, Friedeman talks to us about what fear and anxiety are, how we create it, what role our subconscious minds play, how do we overcome self-sabotaging behaviors and what the limitation are of anti-anxiety medications. Elisha: Why are fear and anxiety so pervasive in our society – and of what are we so afraid?
Almost 15 years ago Saundra Adam’s grandson, Chancellor Lee Adams came into her life in the most heart-wrenching way. One night in 1999 after the past NFL player Rae Carruth and Cherica Adams went to a movie they got into separate cars to drive back to Cherica’s house. As Cherica parked another car drove beside her revealing a gun and fired a number of rounds into Cherica. At the time Cherica was in her third trimester with Chancellor and had enough energy to dial 911 and implicate Rae in the shooting. The paramedics got to Cherica in time to save her son’s life and performed an emergency c-section. Because of Cherica’s death, Chancellor had been oxygen-deprived and would spend the rest of his life with severe disabilities unable to feed and change himself. But Saundra, his grandmother who inherited him tells this a different way.
How we start the morning often sets the stage for how the rest of the day unfolds. Of course life throws us curve balls in the middle of the day, maybe you get a stressful email or someone rear ends you with their car or you lost that deal that you were looking forward to. Anything can happen in the present moment, but how we start our day can often affect how we greet those challenges. Here are four tips to start your day that will help you with the inevitable ups and downs that you get handed.