Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How To Achieve Any Goal in Life

Love this bit of inspiration from The Modern Health Monk:

His book Master The Day is really AWESOME. He interviewed people who had dropped 100 lbs. and kept it off. What he discovered was that there was no single diet or magic bullet. No matter if they were low-fat, high-fat, no-carb, he found that it was about tiny habits each day that grow into weeks, months, years.  The book is really great for creating a structure for what you want to accomplish and it doesn't necessarily have to be about weight loss. In fact, I think there's only a couple pages toward the end of the book where he even talks about diet, because it's really more about mind-set. So check him out! Good stuff. :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

How Does Stress Stay in Your Body?

A few months ago I got a book called Trauma Releasing Exercises by David Berceli.  The book explains our biological response to fear, specifically with muscle tension & shaking in fearful situations. When animals are scared, they shake & they keep shaking until they're not scared anymore. They literally "shake it off." Humans are the only animals who override the shaking and try to stop it. What happens is that the tension stays deep (in the psoas muscle in the pelvis) and that tension affects the rest of our body AND how we feel; physically, emotionally, & mentally with things like anxiety.  In fact, the TRE program is being used with vets with PTSD and in countries where there have been natural disasters.

The exercises are designed to fatigue the more superficial muscles to get to the deeper muscles to release the tension. What's great about this is you don't have to re-experience any of the former trauma. Your body just shakes it out. It's not just for trauma, but can be for any stress, anxiety, or fear response. As I think about this, I'm reminded of Bruce Lipton saying how 95% of all diseases are caused by stress. We already have a built-in, biological mechanism for releasing the stress response--but we try to override it! 

My experience:
I read the book  a few months ago, but didn't actually do the exercises.  Then last week I mentioned the book to a massage friend. A couple days after our conversation, she called to say she'd tried the exercises and was blown away. She said she'd had pain in her shoulder for months that she couldn't get relief from & that the pain completely released. I'd not thought about the application to pain; I was just thinking about trauma as in emotional. But again, of course this makes sense since trauma affects the muscles and they hold on to tension. So I thought that I should really do a full session. 

I watched this video & then did the exercises:

A session is about 15 minutes & I just lay on the floor and moved however my body wanted to move.  I was not all energized like my massage friend.  In fact, I was exhausted; so I took a nap for an hour & when I woke up, for the first time in forever, I didn't have any tension or aches or pain. I was completely relaxed but alert. Amazing!  Truly a miracle. A couple days later, I did another session and just felt really relaxed, like I've had a massage. Again, no muscle tension!

So here are a few resources to check out:
Trauma Prevention, the official website, for more information. There is a listing of certified TRE practitioners that can take you through a session. It also list trainings you can take.

Here's a link to the books/DVD.   

Neurogenic Yoga was created by a TRE practitioner who combined it with specific yoga moves. AWESOME!!!  AND there's a 3-day seminar June 10-12th at Yogaville.  

And, as Taylor Swift would sing, Shake it off.  ;-)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

Our first Mother's Day without Mum. Having inherited her stiff-upper lip, we're soldiering on. Today at church they gave out carnations to all the mothers & those who knew mothers. Those were Mum's favourite flowers; partly because of their fragrance, and partly because they lasted longer than other flowers and that appealed to her practical side. If you're going to get flowers, at least get ones that will last. On the other hand, these Mother's Day carnations are pink, which was her least-favourite colour. Anyway, here are 3 out of 5 sibs after church today:

Me, Atlasta, & Chiro-Sis
In honour of Mother's Day, I thought I'd go thru all my Mother's Day posts and repost them for today. I didn't manage to document every year, but here are the ones I did. I'm so grateful to have had this blog. I managed to be able to let Mum know thru this blog, how much I loved and appreciated her. So, here we go:

For my mother, who gave me life and continues to give me INSPIRATION. I LOVE YOU. And for my sisters who are mothers and my sister-friends, too. The photo is my niece Zoe a couple years ago. It's Mum's favourite. I've made notecards for her, and a canvas tote bag with this image. I wrote the following piece while thinking of my childhood. :-) H.

May you have the experience of making homemade bread with your mom even when store bought is faster.

May you go barefoot in the summer and know what it's like to have tough feet before starting back to school.

May you watch kittens being born and babies, too.

May you chase after fireflies in the summer's night breeze.

May you experience playing in the heat of the summer to appreciate a cold popsicle--made in a paper cup with apple juice. And may you discover that papaya popsicles are yucky.

May you experience the cold of winter playing in the snow, to thaw out your hands in front of a warm fire with a cup of hot chocolate--the real stuff. And may you gather the firewood that makes the fire.

May the electricity go out during a storm so you know what it's like to have soup made on a wood stove & eaten by candlelight.

May you have time just to play without rushing through a schedule of extracurricular activities.

And may you not have your own TV in your room so you learn to share & negotiate; and may your TV time be limited so that you can use your own imagination.

May you climb trees and walk through woods and grow tadpoles from a pond.

May you be allowed to play in the dirt & eat mud pies and splash in mud puddles without fear of germs.

May you hear “no” every once in a while. May you be allowed to cry, get angry, not have your way all the time and know that you are still LOVED.

May you write thank you notes to grandparents even when you don't appreciate the maroon and pink plaid polyester pants.

May you have to sit through church & snicker with your siblings to get the hairy eyeball from your mom in the choir.

May you be given chores to contribute to the household even when it's easier for Mom to do it. And may you have to clean your own room & make your own bed.

May you learn to make your own breakfast, even if the eggs are crispy and the pancakes are runny on the inside and charred on the outside.

May you learn to mend a hem and sew on a button.

May you have to do your own laundry when you become a teen-ager, so you don't learn the painful lesson not to add a red sock to a white load when you get to college.

May you have to eat dinner together at home more often than at a restaurant. And may you have to take three bites of food you think you don't like.

May you have a garden and may you eat cherry tomatoes off the vines that make up your own jungle.

May your first car be a clunker and you run out of gas. May you learn to change a flat tire--wearing white in the rain. ;-)

May you keep the joy of learning even when school is not fun.

May you remember the good times, and laugh at the bad. And may all those life experiences bring you closer to the ones you love.

First Day of Advent, December 2007

You appreciate your mother most when you are faced with children your own. I got an instant family of 2 boys when I got married. I’m standing in Son#2’s room and I said, “I can’t see your floor.” OMG. Who said that??? I’m channeling my mother! My sibs and I will all marvel: How did Mum do this with 6 children??? On my 7th birthday, we moved from California to Virginia in a van: 4 1/2 children: one potty-training, one in diapers and the fifth child on the way!

Some people say that we remember our lives in moments. When I think of Mum, I remember those special moments of celebrations and family gatherings. More than that, I think of those days of ordinariness; the daily rituals & routines that I did with my step-sons and that I see my sibs recreating with their own children—things like bedtime with stories, cooking together, and eating family meals together. What Mum did with us seems like such a rare commodity today: she gave us her time and attention. Even with 6 of us, she managed to create stability and structure. She never had to say she cared. It was her caring for us that was evident. It was the activities she orchestrated like polishing the silver together or covering our books at the beginning of the school year. Winter days where Mum had made proper slow-cooked porridge over night on the stove. Summer trips to the library.

We grow up learning without knowing we’re learning what is important in life. And here it is: Learning new things is fun and adds spice to life.
There’s no use in complaining about doing an unpleasant task; just do it and then it’s done.
Read books: for new knowledge, for entertainment, to relax.
Limit TV time.
Sugar, candies & desserts are for special occasions. It’s not a treat if you do it all the time.
Take care of yourself and your environment.
Brush everyday and floss.
Eat together as a family.
Dothings together: not just the fun stuff, but the daily chores like raking leaves or cleaning the house. 
Ignorance is not an excuse: learn.
YOU CAN DO IT—no matter what “it” is.

THANKS, MUM. I am SO GRATEFUL and proud to be your daughter. LOVE, :-) Hal.

Mum reads her card about raising us on health food. Hahahaha!

Yesterday after massages at the Mims, I popped over to Mum's to give her some sweet purpley mums and The Grasshopper Quote card set that I made for her. [Side note here: I'm deliberately not showing the details of it because it will be featured in this month's Ornament Thursday blogpost]. Suffice it to say, Mum's a huge Grasshopper Notes fan and prints out John's blog posts to give to friends & coworkers. So I knew it would be a great surprise for her. She'll be passing the cards around to her nurse-aide students today. :-) H.

May 7, 2009: Hilarious Without Meaning To Be
(I'm including this one because Mum thought it was funny when she read it)

Yesterday, while stopped on the interstate, I tuned into a radio station to get some traffic info. I heard an ad that was so not-meaning-to-be-funny but was:

Give Mom the gift of safety for Mother's Day. Give her the firearm of her choice.

Because nothing says I love you, Mom like a handgun. It got me to thinking about how other businesses could use Mother's Day. Forget the obvious choices of bouquets, jewelry, or spa treatments . . .

Instead of flowers that wilt and die, give your mother something she can really appreciate: Valium. The old-fashioned remedy for ennui and angst, tranquilizing mother's since the 1950's.

This Mother's Day, give Mom a pest-free home. We'll kill your bugs inside and out for her special day.

Trying to think of something special for Mother's Day? Why not consider her own storage unit to fill with future useless crap she gets for Mother's Day.

This stuff just writes itself as XM Radio Guy says. Last year for Mother's Day, XM he gave away pregnancy tests, pearl necklaces, and I forget what else, on his radio show. Hahahaha

She's British and a nurse. We grew up with Stiff Upper Lip Syndrome in doubley. Her answer to all-things-bleeding was the butterfly stitch (band-aids with little triangle shapes cut out). I wore a box of band-aids on my chin when I landed on a cinder block with my chin when I was 12. One time she had to do actual stitches on Brother D. She gave him a washcloth to bite on and when he said it hurt, she told him to "just think of England." That's our family joke, now. So, this is the card I got for Mum.

BNO? Mum calls us all her Blessings, & I'm Blessing Number One.

And here's a Cakewrecks-inspired cake I saw in Walmart in honour of M-Day:

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to anyone who is a mother or has ever had one. :-) H.

Chiro-sister got Mum a T-shirt; very appropriate of a stick figure pumping iron. Like Mum.

Here's the card she sent Mum:

Click on the image to embiggen. Hys. Ter. Ical.
Mum's collection of Mother's Day cards.
I've been playing with pop-up cards, so here's the one I did for Mum:

Back in the '80's, we used to wear men's paisley pajamas accessorized with rosaries & bangles. My mother said, "I hope you don't tell people who you ARE when you go out in public like that." So I went out to the front porch & shouted, "Hey, everyone! I'm Anne Holliday's daughter!" So it's sort of a family joke. "BNO" is short for "Blessing Number One." You'll note that chiro-sister signed hers "BN2" for "Blessing Number 2." Brother Atlasta is BN3, & so-on.

The flowers are the pop-up part. I used decorative damask scrapbook paper for the background, & a picture of flowers on top of a cake from O Magazine.
This is the card that chiro-sis & I got for Mum this year:

One of those GIANT cards. You know the kind; 2' X 1' with extra-extra postage.

Brother Atlasta missed out on signing it!  Haha
HAPPY Mother's Day, Mum!

Every year, on holidays, her birthday & special occasions, Mum gives the edict: "I don't want any gifts. Only consumables."  

So this year for Mother's day, I gave Mum a book I made for John Morgan for his birthday:
I did it with Picaboo, a GREAT company for creating photo books.
John has a Grasshopper quote-of-the-day thingie that you can sign up for. So I took the first 500 and put them into a book for him. Here's Mum reading:

 I think she was laughing at: "It's flattering when someone asks for your advice; it's world-changing when you take your own."

 "Life doesn't have an undo button."

Marlene checking the book out. 
Card from Chiro-Sis:

Card from Atlasta:

HAPPY Mother's Day!