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Out of Darkness, Into the Light!

 Trust. Have Hope!

      Gradually, imperceptivity, step-by-step, sluggishly transformative…things change!

Life’s metaphors may speak about our journey towards increasing health and friskiness, from imbalance to greater personal balance and health. Many examples in life abound:

  • In gardening: weeding, preparing the soil, adding compost, planting seeds, watering, and waiting for the harvest of delightfully colorful, nutritiously splendid, sumptuously growing, and tasty produce.
  • In waiting for fruit to ripen: oh the beautiful blossoms, then small green leaves and tiny fruit, the seasons of warmth, cold, and rain…all connected, to bring about a crunchy and delicious apple or other fruit (I LOVE plums, peaches, pineapple, grapes, oranges, and more!).
  • In going from winter’s early darkness: from just 1.2 minutes a day increasing the light and warmth that is available, until we arrive at the splendor of summer’s long and warm days!

  • In arriving at a destination: when you drive your vehicle from place to place, you have an awareness of your starting place as well as an awareness of where you are going. You accept that you cannot get there instantaneously; you accept that you will travel the distance, and in time, you will arrive at your destination. You do not get so discouraged at the midway mark that you just turn around and go back to your starting place. You accept the distance between your starting place and where you desire to be–and you continue to move in the direction of your destination. You understand what is required, and you do it. We want to understand that the journey between where you are now and where you want to be–on all subjects–can be just as easily understood. You keep taking the required steps and don’t stop until you arrive at your destination. Just as it is possible to contemplate a trip from Portland, Oregon to Seattle Washington, contemplate a trip from financial insecurity to financial security, from confusion to clarity.
  • To really understand this evolutionary process I encourage you to get up one morning before dawn (in summer maybe around 5 am, and in winter around 6:30 am) and sit in a chair with the lights out where you can look out the window. At first the sky will be completely dark (except for stars or the moon), and very gradually you will notice the outlines of trees, buildings. The images of household objects will come into focus, until you can see everything clearly.
  • So consider the journey from wanting to ride a bicycle to riding one…or of desiring to drive a car to driving one…or from inner distress to peace…or from illness to well-being…and lastly see how this gradual learning process applies to your journey of arriving at and maintaining a healthier weight and life.

Come into your true self…a gradual awakening…just like the arrival of the dawn.

 

Step-by-step: Visions of health into realities, you make the difference!

Moment-by-moment, choice-by-choice, you plant seeds of well-being and nurture them and…

You reap the harvest of health and friskiness!

Taken from my diary in 1992 during a emotionally discouraging time:

             Oh, Bobbie sweetheart, remember where you were…

Contemplate how do you keep and nurture hope during difficult times?

May the seeds of self-honoring and respect, self-empowerment and awareness, sprout, grow, and… blossom into a wondrous, abundant new life for you!

Investigate the Epilogue-The Tree Story

Along your journey of change, be gentle with yourself!

Be respectful towards yourself:

“Don’t shout at the apple and demand that it ripen!

It won’t ripen any faster and all you’ll get is a sore throat!!!”

—Advice given to me by my counselor

Don’t Give up!

Cultivate Health as You Celebrate Well-Being!

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Cultivate health! Celebrate well-being!

Vitality/aliveness/well-being is more than a number on a scale!

Ask yourself: What’s NOT wrong?

What are the blessings in my life that sometimes I might take for granted?

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Come to the banquet table of life.

Learn to nourish yourself in ways that provide lasting nourishment to the soul (heart).

Practice the recipes for nourishing the heart.

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Learn the art of cultivating joy.

Ask yourself, what nourishes joy in me? What nourishes joy in others?

Do I nourish joy in myself and others enough? Do I enjoy the precious jewels that I have?       

        Daily Check-in:

  Notice if there’s suffering (obstacles/patterns that don’t work well).

See a cause.

See a way out, and a path that shows the way out.

Practice the path.

     Ideas for Self-Nurturing Activities         By Bob Wilson, BS, DTR

(* = FREE) This list is euphoric and non-caloric!!!

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Paint Your Life with Creativity! The Painting Experience

Self-Nurturing Restorative Box

Sprinkle Dollops of Delight and Self-Care Towards Yourself

Ways to Learn to Love Your Body

Listen to my favorite music

Enjoy a long, warm bubble bath

* Go for a walk

* Share a hug with a loved one

* Relax outside

* Practice feeling contented

* Physical activity (of my choice)

* Spiritual prayer

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*Attend a caring support group

* Practice diaphragmatic breathing

* Do stretching exercises

* Reflect on my positive qualities: “ I am…”

* Watch the sunrise/sunset

* Laugh

* Concentrate on a relaxing scene

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Create a collage representing “the real me”

Receive a massage…ah…

Massage

* Reflect on: “I appreciate….”

Write my thoughts and feelings in a personal journal

Attend a favorite athletic event

Do something adventurous!

Read a special book or magazine

* Sing, hum, dance or whistle a  happy tune!

Play a musical instrument

* Spiritual meditation

MEDITATING DOG

Work with plants (gardening)

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Learn a new skill

See a special play, movie or concert

Work out with weights

Ride a bike or motorcycle

Make myself a nutritious meal

HPIM0285.JPG

Draw/paint a picture

MY FIRST PAINTINGI SAY YES TO MY LIFE

* Swim, float, wade, relax in a  pool, or on the beach

Do aerobics/dance

Visit a special place I enjoy

* Smile & say : “I love myself.”

* Take time to smell the roses  (and other flowers I enjoy!)

uncondition love ROSEP1040518

* Imagine myself achieving my goals and dreams

Go horseback riding

* Reflect on “my most enjoyable memories”

* Enjoy a relaxing nap

Visit a museum/art gallery

* Practice yoga

Relax in a whirlpool /sauna

Enjoy a cool, refreshing glass of  water or juice

* Enjoy the beauty of nature

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* Count my blessings: “I am thankful for…”

* Play as I did as a child

* Star gaze- stay up late, get up early!

* Window shop

* Daydream

* Tell myself the loving words I want to hear from others

Attend a special workshop

Go sailing/paddle boating

Reward myself with a special  gift I can afford

Take myself on a vacation

Create with clay/pottery

GIZO FRONTVOW PLAQUE

* Practice positive affirmations

* Pet an animal

* Watch my favorite TV show

* Reflect on my successes: “I CAN….”

Make a bouquet of flowers

LOVE OF FLOWER ARRANTEMENTS

* Relax: watch the clouds

Make myself something nice

* Visit a park/woods/forest

Read positive, motivational literature

* Reflect on: “What I value most in life…”

Phone a special friend

Go on a picnic in a beautiful setting

Enjoy a gourmet cup of herbal tea or coffee

Participate in a favorite sport, game, recreation

* Practice a relaxation exercise

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* Practice the art of forgiveness

Treat myself to a nutritious meal at a favorite restaurant

Participate in a hobby

* Practice feeling awe for life

woman meditating on rock

* Discover a new place

* Hug a tree!

* “Meow” with a cat; “ bark “with a dog, “chirp” with a bird !

* Create my own list of self-nurturing activities

LIVE LIFE

ABC's of Zestful Living-COLOR

You Become What You Contemplate!

Do your habitual thoughts lead you to feeling calm, centered, happy…OR

…distressed and anxious?

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Just like with food habits….you BECOME what you think, what you eat, and what you do….

your moment by moment choices shape your world.

Your life is your garden. Over time, what you plant is what you get.

                                                                                          

ASK yourself: What mind am I contemplating?

1. The “I, me, and mine” mind: This is a mind that is always planning, fearful, and obsessed? Maybe anxious? Always concerned with outcomes? Trying to control all things in your life? How do you feel when you are lost in all of those type of thoughts?

2. “Concern for your family and the whole-world” mind: This is a more expansive and broader contemplation, but consider what happens to your mind and emotions when you are watching too much news and seeing directly the distress of the world.  Perhaps your thinking about your family and friends with a caring and open heart? Where does seeing too much suffering, problems, and individual distress lead you? Do you end of feeling discouraged, feeling hopeless, sad, or wanting to run away from it all?

WORLD DAY OF METTA

3. OR, “focus on a VAST” mind: the mind of the still forest or whole Universe: connected, present in the here and now, concentrated, celebrating life! Aware of senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. Practice how to cultivate that vast mind:

Winter Stillness: Talk by Kodo Conover

  • Be aware of the 4 elements in everything: earth, air, fire, and water parts of all life.
  • Let go of the thinking/planning mind whenever possible–come to silence–focus on the great VAST mind–just like the sky with stars in it or clouds in it (all floating by)–all levels of manifestations on earth–constantly arising and instantly manifesting…and then…instantly disappearing.
  • All in the VAST space of awareness (my mind)…everything arises in it…and disappears…
  • Allow all to arise and pass away–without preferences
  • Don’t “judge or label” what happens….allow it to be just as it is in this moment.
  • The VAST Universe, world or planet is ONE continually pulsating, alive organism–all with mysterious intelligence that guides it and brings it to harmony. My apparent “life” is intimately and completely connected with the whole world and Universe–it is NOT separate from it.
  • Allow myself to experience the awe, wonder, and mystery regularly…contemplate it and rejoice!!
  • Accept all as the perfect teacher for what I need at this moment.

LIFE GIVES US WHAT WE NEED TO LEARN

LIFE IS FULL OF BEAUTY. NOTICE IT

DALAI LAMA-INNER PEACE

ACCEPT YOU AS YOU

Considering all of these thoughts can benefit the entire world!

WE ARE ALL TOGETHER-1

Don’t Worry About It!

 Worry

In 1988 (and again in 2013 and 2015 many similar challenges are coming up) I was going through a time of great transition  (I’m retiring at the end of the year) and was worried about everything: finding a new job (or letting go of a former job), my grandmother’s (or mother-in-law’s) care, many friends’ well-being, a love relationship for myself, money for bills, the world’s chaos, and cleaning my messy house! I was an emotional wreck.

I went out on a walk with my mind completely a jumble of distressing thoughts. I was praying and asking God for a sign—please help me understand. Shortly after I looked over towards a truck that was parked on the street and on the rear wooden bumper were engraved the words: DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT! I was astonished! All my thoughts stopped and I smiled. Ah…I could let go of all my concerns. Just trust that things would work out—for me and everyone else. Believe it or not, on that same walk I found a medallion with an inscription on it that said:

 It only takes one person to

change your life….YOU!

 path to happiness

As a postscript—about 20 years later—many things did work out for the best. I didn’t starve, the house did get cleaned, and I did find a wonderful job and a loving companion, and my crazy thinking improved!

  It is safe to let go and relax.

It is safe to let go of the illusion of control.

There is nothing to fear!

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

Be happy for this moment--it is your life!

Pay a visit to: Do you experience overwhelming circumstances and can’t achieve a healthier weight?

Getting to Know Your Stress and How to Management It

What Are We Powerless Over?

Gander at:

Bob-isms: Bob’s Sayings

May Your Life Blossom Into Friskiness!

  1. Accept yourself as you are and as you are NOT. Celebrate your precious life!
  2. Quit “shoulding” on yourself; become a benevolent, kind, and wise observer.
  3. Notice that dieting is DIE plus T for torture.
  4. If we don’t take time for wellness, we will take time for disease.
  5. My head and my heart make commitments my body can’t keep!
  6. We change from the inside out.
  7. A healthy weight is managed in a skillful way, not controlled.
  8. An ounce of awareness and planning keeps you healthy and frisky!
  9. Put away the tough, disrespectful observer and become a benevolent one.
  10. With my former self-talk patterns, I felt like I was walking down the street and my mind would mug me! Now, I embrace myself with deep respect.
  11. I am not what I do, own, accomplish or weigh. I am a wonderful being just as I am.
  12. Changing the size of your stomach (gastric surgery) does not change the hungers you are trying to fill.
  13. We have become very sedentary, so to become active, we have to give our tush a push…and get moving.
  14. Just because I make a mistake, I am not one. Mistakes are practice.
  15. It’s never too late to be what you could have been. Begin now. Begin flamboyantly!
  16. Most often baby steps lead to success, but sometimes giant leaps are called for.
  17. If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always gotten.
  18. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. So, just begin again!

Be happy for this moment--it is your life!

  1. Stop the “Yeah, buts”.
  2. Before my life was stuck. My head had been up my ass, but the lights were out; now they’re on! I’m changing for the better…one step at a time. My life has blossomed.
  3. If I had a friend who treated me like I treat me, I wouldn’t want to be around them. Be gentle. Be kind.
  4. I’m allergic: I break out in fat all over my body (if I take in too many calories!).
  5. I have had hand to mouth disease, and would eat out-of-balance. Now harmony is restored. Ah…
  6. Have a lot of “mouth fun” (pleasure in eating); it’s important. Celebrate the sensual pleasures of foods.
  7. At times, I can resist everything but temptation. So I try to set up my various environments to support my success at making healthier choices.
  8. At potlucks and other events that have lots of foods, I may think, “So much food, so little time!” I make an effort to remember, it’s not my last meal. I will be able to eat again! Go there to see the people, not the food!
  9. Plan for the future, but live in the present.
  10. Oh, freckles! Oh, holy petunias!
  11. Give up all hope for a better past.
  12. Free food comes with a cost.

Inner Child Overeating

  1. You can’t eat what’s not there. Keep your different environments set up to support your success.
  2. What crawled up me and died (when I find myself lost in compulsion and am grumpy towards others)? Isn’t it my love for myself? So, just begin again…be gentle, be kind towards my self and forgiving.
  3. I have often participated in “Dial a Compulsion,” instead of healing root causes and exploring healthier options.
  4. For those of you who indulge too often, you will bulge.
  5. Be aware of the difference between mouth lust and mouth fun.
  6. Transform “delight deficiency syndrome” (emotional depletion) with non caloric, no-cost self-nurturing treats.
  7. I’m the Chairman of a Board of Directors made up of all the crazy people who live inside my head. I benefit from listening to all parts and making wise and skillful decisions.
  8. When we eat in an unhealthy way, our body pings and knocks and bulges. Choosing to eat healthfully is making an amends towards my own body, mind, and spirit.
  9. Continue suiting up and showing up. When you attend a class to explore new skills, if you bring your body along, eventually your mind will follow.

5 LESSONS FROM DR. SEUSS

Frolic around: What Does It Look Like When Things Are Going Well? 

 

Various HUG Coupons: Hugs are euphoric and non-caloric!

* Hugs! * Hugs! * Hugs! * Hugs are fat-free, sugar-free, and require no batteries. Hugs reduce blood pressure, body temperature, and relieve pain and depression. Hugs brighten the day and lighten the heart! Discover Free HUG coupons at: http://www.worldhealing.net/hug.html

Frolic around Ideas for Self-Nurturing for delightful ways to celebrate your life!

Frolic around:

Mental Nutrients: What To Say When You Talk To Your Self

If you continue to think what you’ve always thought,

you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got!

Our mind is the garden, the thoughts are the seeds, the harvest will be either flowers or weeds.

Inevitably so, inevitably so! Mel Veldon.

The quality of our thoughts influence the quality of our lives. Our minds can make us sick OR we can use our minds to improve our health.

If you have found that your mental habits and life experiences have led to your feeling discouraged, disconnected, and drooped–believe it or not–those patterns of thoughts and emotional reactions CAN be changed!

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You can open yourself up to positive and powerful habits of thought and more balanced emotional reactions. You can learn to celebrate yourself and life!

When my mind gets into fear, disappointment, feeling alone and unloved…I acknowledge it, and then I take time to consider different kinds of thoughts and images. Since at least at one level, I’m creating my “feeling tone” of my experience by my interpretation of it.

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I had to learn about my thinking habits, to accept the fact that “what I think becomes me.”  Whatever I put my focus on…EXPANDS: fears or trust, misery or happiness and joy. When I constantly think discouraging thoughts about myself and others, I end up feeling very discouraged about everything. I tried it. It works! But when I put encouraging, loving thoughts into my mind about others and myself, I have a great time! I tried it. It works! The choice is yours—and mine.

A healthy body is built by practicing sound nutrition choices

and living an active lifestyle.

 A HEALTHY MIND is developed through developing effective MENTAL HABITS.

Plant the Mental Garden of Your Life With Seeds of Well-Being!

Delight In Exploring!


Imagine Your Ideal Day
, consider Harmony, Abundance, Equality, and Commitment

 How to Develop a Loving, Self-Nurturing, Inner Voice For You!

Nourishing AffirmationsSeeing your uniquenessCreating a vision for your new life,

Letting go of all your old self-destructive or restrictive personal identities,

GIVING YOURSELF all of the love you want from others,

and Stretching yourself towards new dimensions of well-being!

Be Happy and Contented! and Various Meditations

Peace! and Kiss The Earth and Walk as You Touch Peace in Every Moment!

Happiness Project Toolbox

The Happiness Project Toolbox supplies eight tools to help you construct your “happiness project.” Everyone’s project will be different, and there’s no right or wrong way. You can use all eight tools, or you can pick one tool that appeals to you. Just jump in and start now. http://happinessprojecttoolbox.com/

 

Daily Strength Website: Discover many Popular Support Groups. Also find health blogs, expert treatments, and other ways to be empowered. http://www.dailystrength.org/

 

Zen Habits: Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness. http://zenhabits.net/ and About Zen Habits: http://zenhabits.net/about/

Along your journey of change, be gentle with yourself!

Be respectful towards yourself:

Don't Shout

“Don’t shout at the apple and demand that it ripen!

It won’t ripen any faster and all you’ll get is a sore throat!!!”

—Advice given to me by my counselor

Affirmations: Suggestions & Methods for their use

See Bob’s story Mental Skills — whatever you FOCUS ON, expands!

Also check out Bob’s story The Emotional area.

Visit Home Coming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child.

Explore  When Helping You Is Hurting Me.

Discover Re-evaluation Counseling.

Consider the Dieting Versus Non-Dieting Approaches.

Contemplate the Out of hell, into freedom thoughts and lastly,

Transform your thinking, visit Make your mind an ocean and Meditations

 

Cultivate Twelve Essential Skills: Achieve a Healthier Life, Weight, and Vibrant Friskiness… Step-by-Step!

Skill Power, Not Will Power, Is the Key to Success!

Discover Below Guidance-At-A-Glance!

Have you ever wondered how all of that excess stored energy (fat) ended up stored on your body anyway? Were you just walking down the street and it jumped out and stuck to you? To learn about what happened–the mystery–requires you becoming a detective. As a detective, you will need some tools to figure out clues to your mystery.

The Twelve Essential Skills below will provide answers for you. You use the skills and different tools to discover how you do what you do, right now.  Then you figure out strategies to practice making healthful substitutions–to substitute new choices that will, over time, help you achieve a healthier weight, a healthier relationship with your food and life. You choose which areas you are ready to look at now.

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Success at achieving a healthier weight, transforming addictions, and finding increased well-being, for a lifetime, requires learning a series of new lifestyle skills. These skills allow us to create our lives in a NEW way. Before I started my weight loss journey, I didn’t know any of these skills. Learning these skills opened for me the prison door to my isolation cell of overweight and various addictions. I was no longer a victim of my out-of-control, unhealthy habits. It was so ENJOYABLE to discover the freedom of new options for living.

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My Web site (Balanced Weight Management) is a blueprint for self-change. It’s a toolkit–tools don’t do anything. YOU do as you use the tools to discover how you do what you do. This is self-directed learning. With self-directed learning you can discover the issues or problems that are most relevant to you at the moment. They are based on your own experience. You set your own agenda and your own pace. Have FUN with your exploration!

Why Would Someone Try My Approach?

How To Use This Site: Where To Begin & What To Do

As you explore below, ask yourself, “What are YOUR root causes?” Your patterns?

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I encourage you to explore  the Resource Sections 1 and 2 for an extensive list of resources in each topic area.  There you will find an invaluable collection of weight-loss and addiction-free life wisdom. I Have learned most of what I know from other people. Many of the resources that I and many other people have found to be invaluable are listed there.

Time and time again, I have seen people’s lives blossom after they made the decision to invest the time in themselves to study and practice the twelve skills listed below.  I encourage you to just pick and choose those themes that you would like to explore. Remember, your health is your greatest wealth! Answer the questions, “Oh my, how did I get to where I’m at now? and How can I begin to make enjoyable and lasting changes?”

  1. Taking the First Steps In Your Journey of Change

  2. Cultivating Balance in Your Life

  3. Write Away Weight: Keeping a Food and Lifestyle-Choice Journal

  4. Discover the Power of FUN: Celebrate Enjoyable Ways to be Active for Life!

  5. Cultivating a Sustainable, Healthful Plan of Eating

  6. Planning and Preparing Delicious Recipes, Meals, and Snacks in a Hectic World

  7. Eating With Awareness and Pleasure

  8. Transforming Emotional Eating and Addictions

  9. Self-Nurturing, Self-Esteem, Heal From Depression, and Transform Emotional Wounding From The Past

  10. Seeking Support, Counseling, and Outside Resources

  11. Maintenance: Learn How to Cultivate Life-Long Well-Being.  

  12. Cultivate Daily Quiet and Personal Introspection Time 

How to Deal With Crisis Oh No, the Computer or Car Crashes, or Basement Floods…OR!

Crisis

Tools to use when things run amuck

Problems are only temporary and are opportunities in work clothes!

Rise above the clouds and you will see the sun. In every problem, there is opportunity; you need only look for it. Still your mind and you will be guided to turn each challenge into a gift of growth.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could schedule crisis in? Gee, I have time next Tuesday at around 3 P.M. and it would be a good time then! But that’s not the way it usually goes.

For me in the last couple of weeks the basement sewer backed up and there was standing water in several rooms of the basement. Recently there have been lost house keys and misplaced wallets! Then, just a week later the computer crashed and needed a new hard drive! Oh NO! What to do??!!

Pause when agitated or doubtful and wait for the intuitive thought or decision.

First the shock and amazement arise! Oh no, how could THIS be happening! But, but…this happens to other people, not ME! Surprise! This is a “pop quiz!” How well have I integrated my lifestyle self-management skills into my life? Can I bring a measure of peace, perspective, and calm into a challenging situation? How can I do this?

When life presents us with a lemon, don’t squeeze it in your eye!

Alan Cohen suggests in his book I Had It All The Time, “Adversity is the soil in which seeds of greatness are grown. Every great person has achieved mastery not in spite of their challenges, but because of them. Difficulties are not boulders to crush us, but stones to build a stairway to the stars.”

Consider a crisis as an opportunity in work clothes! I try to use everything that happens in my life for spiritual and emotional practice or training. When I go through a challenging life experience, I can validate for myself my increasing competency and also authenticate the knowledge that is contained in the life-wisdom and spiritual  teachings that are given below.

They describe what happens to me and help me “reframe” the experience. Alan Cohen suggests in his book I Had It All The Time, “How would one who remembered his wholeness see this? Quickly the “test” will become a gift. You do not need to pass it; you need to embrace it…It is an invitation to love yourself more. Everything is an invitation to love yourself more.” I come to respond with increasing levels of inner peace and acceptance, although things are still chaotic on the outside!  I then ask myself some important questions.

What can I learn about myself and life? What view or attitude will allow me respond to my life in a peaceful and engaged way? How do things REALLY exist? Are they solid? Do they always stay the same? Do material possessions or things outside of myself bring lasting happiness to me? What really brings happiness to me? What is really true? What is genuinely valuable in my life? I notice that:

Notice Everything changes!

constant change

What seems SO constant and permanent can actually vanish or change beyond recognition

at any time for reasons that are completely beyond our control!

We do what needs to be done, but release expectations of seeing the results of our actions.

We begin to appreciate the notion of control is an illusion.

Circumstances change, and we simply don’t know what is going to happen next.

The only thing to do is what’s in front of us, making the best effort possible!

  Adapted from Ken McCloud, in his book Wake Up To Your Life, page 102 – 104

My recent crisis validated for me Ken’s wisdom! I usually try to take a few minutes (if possible) to pray, tune into my feelings about what’s going on, or perhaps to pause and take a NAP! Then my head and emotions are cleared of the fog of distress that may momentarily engulf me.

 To cultivate healthy thinking habits, first acknowledge and pay attention to the automatic reactions and emotions that arise during a crisis. It is natural to experience grief, overwhelm, and perhaps frustration. Try to just “be present” with yourself. Just notice that things ARE really challenging. I use the process: Do You Experience a RAIN of Feelings? and How to Develop a Loving, Nurturing, Inner Voice for You to help me observe all of my inner reactions–and to just be a loving friend to me when I’m having a hard time.

After calming down, perhaps consider some of the following suggestions. All of the insights and resources below are an invaluable source of comfort and wisdom during difficult times.

 Frolic around:

Perform Practical Problem Solving From a Place of Perspective and Peace

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During a crisis, I certainly take all of the feasible steps that I know about to remedy the immediate urgent situation.

  • I evaluate the problem. What’s going on? I try to do a quick assessment. What are all of the factors that influence the present situation?

  • What can I do about the problem? What are some alternatives? I try to come up a variety of possible fixes or options. Can I fix it myself? Or do I need some help? Who can I call? What resources do I need?

  • What are the pros and cons of the possible choices and different fixes?

  • I then make a decision to try something out. I ask, “Did it work?” Yes? Partially fix the problem? No? I keep trying different things out until the crisis is stabilized.

  • I ask myself, “What can I do to prevent the problem from happening again, or minimize the impact?” Like buying an external hard drive to back up my data before the computer crashes again, or performing regular maintenance on the car.

  • Sometimes things work out the way I would want them to. Other times, I get to practice patience and acceptance! I always congratulate myself for taking the time to use these self-management tools. Good show Bob!

How Do I Continue With My Healthy Self-Care During a Crisis?

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I use the Daily Personal 5-Minute Check-In and Cultivate Daily Quiet and Personal Introspection Time, and also the wisdom and experience I have in maintaining my weight and sanity that is shared in Discover and Apply Your Own Healthful Lifestyle Maintenance Schedule.

I also Get to Know My Stress and How to Manage It and practice on-the-spot stress management techniques. What’s more, I Relax, Observe, and Allow along my life’s journey and give myself an Emotional—Spiritual Tune-up. Lastly, I keep my life in as much balance as possible. Ah…much better!

I try to remain mindful of what I need to stay well and not to get too stressed out and compulsive! It’s not OK to kill Bob off (or YOU either!), even for a spectacular reason!

Managing the Emotional and Physical Pain of Chronic Illness or Injuries

INJURIES-KEEP GOING

If your crisis is physical in nature, e.g. injured limbs, heart attack, or other chronic illnesses, that involve you or a loved one, perhaps check out:

When a crisis happens for me, this is a reminder of some profound spiritual principles. I’ve studied the ideas, now I can see their value in every-day life. I encourage myself to reflect on:

Crisis extinguish with water

Helpful Resources

Healing Power: Ten Steps to Pain Management and Spiritual Evolution by Philip Shapiro M. D. Visit Dr. Shapiro at: http://www.philipshapiro.com/philbook.html Publisher Comments:
We seek unlimited peace, love and joy in an uncertain world where suffering is inevitable. Because we manage our pain poorly, we get into trouble. The wisdom of the ages, taught by the world’s diverse religious traditions, offers a solution to this dilemma by pointing out the connection between pain management and the cultivation of spiritual qualities. When we develop a spiritual practice, we learn how to transform our suffering into spiritual power. Dr. Shapiro describes a self-help method of ten steps that propel spiritual evolution. The ten steps teach us how to expand our healing power, improve our pain management skills, and cultivate spiritual qualities. The central premise is that life, through a series of painful lessons, teaches us that the peace, love, and joy we seek in the outer world can and must ultimately be found within. Dr. Shapiro elaborates twelve spiritual methods derived from the world’s great religions. These methods help us unlock healing and spiritual powers inherent in the body. Detailed instructions explain how these methods help us cultivate peace, love, joy, strength, and courage in response to any pain of the body, mind, or soul. These qualities are the jewels of this life. They are healers. They help us eliminate or endure any painful condition of body, mind, or soul. They are more powerful than any barrier or challenge we may face. We encounter trouble no matter which route we take, but the way offered here is the path of least resistance, the way through our pain to peace, power, and strength. As we move forward through the steps, we find ourselves living the richest possible life, a journey where our spirit is in charge and we are ready for anything!

Explore the book, Practicing The Power of Now, (1999), by Eckhart Tolle, New World Library Sounds True has audio and videotapes of this book, and many other titles. http://www.soundstrue.com/  800-333-9185Provides suggestions and insights to experience the joy of being, to enter the now, to accept whatever is happening (to see impermanence and the cycles of life), and to transform the “pain body” in us. This section is especially helpful when you find yourself triggered into a dark mood–it comes upon you– and you start getting into a negative mind-pattern and thinking how dreadful your life is; you might feel depressed, despairing, and cynical and find yourself having a desire to hurt yourself or others, or find you become very angry or withdrawn. Notice, your thinking has become aligned with the pain-body. See Chapter Six: Dissolving the Pain Body. I found it to be extremely helpful and very practical.

 

Gift From Within (www.giftfromwithin.org) a non-profit organization is dedicated to those who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), those at risk for PTSD, and those who care for traumatized individuals.  GFW helps everyone with PTSD by sharing ideas, improving morale, and reducing the stigma of the diagnosis and its treatment. We have articles written by authorities in the field, poetry and art gallery for trauma survivors, peer support pal network, personal coping and inspirational stories, a Q&A, videos, book reviews, list of retreats for survivors, global list of trauma survivor support groups, and other educational materials and resources.

Some of our articles include:  “The Art and Science of Caring for Others without Forgetting Self-Care”; Trauma Addiction: Safety and Stabilization for the Addicted Survivor of Trauma;  Life After Breast Cancer: Surviving & Thriving; “Exposure To A Traumatic Event Does Not Automatically Put A Person On A Path To Develop PTSD: The Importance of Protective Factors To Promote Resiliency.”; Latinas in Pursuit of Healing: Cultural Implications for Counseling Sexually Abused Latinas; “I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse (excerpt)”; Trauma in American Indian Communities; Suffering in Silence: The Problem of Male Sexual Abuse; Stress Responses in Sexual Trauma Victims and in Others Experiencing Overwhelming Events ; Don’t Make it Worse! Use of Alcohol or Drugs After Trauma; Secret Diet Disasters of Trauma Survivors

 

Relax, Observe, and Allow….

Take time to go within. You will find your solutions there.

Often it is easy for us all to get caught up in accomplishing too many tasks during our busy days. We can lose touch with our inner wisdom, peace, calm, and feeling of contentment and joy. Following this practice several times a day allows each of us to stay connected with and present for ourselves. Practice being with what is. Right here. Right now. So for yourself…

RELAX: Release rushing. Hand over my pushing–every minute, every hour, every day–> leads to tensionless living.  Release resistance to what is or what isn’t. Release from all of the entanglements of your mind. Release from fear, striving, and all worry. Have no agenda or judgment about what is happening. Go easy. Let things be as they are. Ah…tension diminishes as you allow non-doing.

Body Scan

  • Slow down. Release all goals and ambitions. Allow yourself to FEEL the process of being awake and alive. Open up to all of your senses. Don’t just live in your head. Feel yourself awake and aware, completely in the present moment. Take time to celebrate your journey of life!

  • Release speed. Own where you are. Release the need to rush to the next thing. Own your place on the earth. Move more slowly throughout the day. Ah…

  • Know what is enough. Watch greed (and compulsion) for accomplishment–things like e-mails or computers, numerous projects, or lists of things to do. Notice the heaviness of obligation that might come over you. Consider leaving your lists behind! How can you allow lists not to run or rule you? Perhaps simplify your life? Cultivate the feeling of inner contentment and peace. Remember: When I get lost in the field of tasks, I feel buoyed up and validated from them…and exhausted by them. Choose to simplify and prioritize, and be still.

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OBSERVE: Tune the light of awareness into your experience. Really notice (look at) what’s happening with your body, your mind, and with your emotions. Check out the Four Foundations of Mindfulness: body, feelings, mind, and all phenomena. Take time to just be present in your life. Open fully to all of your senses. Just be. Through observation you make the unconscious, known. You see your problems and your patterns. Gently look into the areas of your discomfort. Observe and then later transform them through skillful substitution.

  • Be in the moment. Don’t live your life, look at your life through thought. Rest your attention on your direct experience of walking, eating, washing the dishes, etc. Not “thinking about” or creating a “story line” about what you are doing, or remembering the past or planning for the future while you are doing each task. Be in the moment–know where you are at in this life. Be in the “crosshairs” of this moment. Pull in your mind. Stabilize your attention.

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ALLOW: Don’t push away or fight anything. Allow tensionless living. Trust! Release the ego’s need to control or defend! Allow whatever is present in the moment to be there. Perhaps pain, distress, anger, anxiety, tiredness, or delight, appreciation, and happiness. Whatever it is, just be present with it and allow it. Following this process allows ease of well being–a deep acceptance of what is or isn’t– to arise.

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Do You Experience a RAIN of Feelings?

Release the tried and failed method! Move on!

Take Time

This practice was shared by Rodney Smith at an insight meditation retreat. To hear the talk, visit Rodney’s site: http://www.seattleinsight.org/Talks/BrowseTalks/DharmaTalk/tabid/90/TalkID/294/Default.aspx  and go to individual talks to the talk on 7/05 Explore his many excellent talks including Distortions of Mind. Check out especially Distortions of Mind– The Driven Mind

LIVE LIFE

Develop a love for the present moment.

Learn to reconnect with our bodies and our lives.

Come to know what nurtures you and what depletes you.

ASK: What might lead me to greater openness, honesty,

and a deeper capacity to love myself and others?

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Nourish awareness in every moment. Cultivate a peaceful response about your life, acceptance of your present  circumstances, and kindness towards ourselves and everyone else. Frolic around these wonderful books:

Peace Is Every Step (1991),The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh, (1976), Beacon Press, Boston In Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Present Moment Wonderful Moment–Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living*, Parallax Press, (1990). See also Parallax Press Resources for Mindful Living: http://www.parallax.org/ *From the introduction: This book contains short verses to help us dwell in mindfulness. We often become so busy that we forget what we are doing or even who we are. We forget to look at the people we love and to appreciate them…we don’t know how to get in touch with what is going on inside and outside of ourselves…To meditate is to be aware of what is going on in our bodies, our feelings, our minds, and in the world. This is a delightful book that promotes a feeling of joy and of the sacredness of life.
Practicing The Power of Now, (1999), by Eckhart Tolle, New World Library Sounds True has audio and videotapes of this book, and many other titles. http://www.soundstrue.com 800-333-9185 Provides suggestions and insights to experience the joy of being, to enter the now, to accept whatever is happening (to see impermanence and the cycles of life), and to transform the “pain body” in us.

Stillness Speaks, (2003), by Eckhart Tolle, Namaste Publishing and New World Library. From the Introduction, “The only function of a spiritual teacher is to help you remove that which separates you from the truth of who you already are and what you already know in the depth of your being.” Enjoy discovering your inner being!

  • Namaste Publishing promotes Eckhart‘s books and other materials. Their mission is: “To make available publications that acknowledge, celebrate, and encourage others to express their true essence and thereby come to remember Who They Really Are.” Find them at:  www.namastepublishing.com/  

Delve into other areas for ideas: